Z*Magazine: 20-Apr-87 #48

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/09/93-11:30:01 AM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 20-Apr-87 #48
Date: Fri Jul  9 11:30:01 1993

           ZMAGAZINE APRIL            
                ISSUE 48              
April 20, 1987 Happy Easter/Passover  
         Zmag Staff:                  
Publisher/Editor in Chief: Ron Kovacs 
Managing Editor: Alan Kloza           
Special Correspondent: Steve Godun    
Columnist: Eric Plent                 
Publisher: Syndicate Services         
Asst Publisher: Ken Kirchner          
 This week in Zmagazine New Jersey

<*> Atari vs. Commodore
    Lawsuit is Settled

<*> ST Express--New Publication
    For ST Users

<*> Electronic Arts Buys Out
    Batteries Included

<*> DataTrieve Review

<*> New CoinOps From Atari
    In The Arcades

<*> Plent's Page

Atari and Commodore Settle Lawsuit

Atari, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA. and
Commodore International Ltd., West
Chester, PA, announced that they had
settled all pending litigation between
Atari and Commodore's subsidaries,
Commodore-Amiga Corp. and Commodore
Business Machines Inc.

The companies would not comment beyond
a joint statement that said that the
suits had been "settled and
discontinued on terms satisfactory to
both sides." A Commodore spokesperson
said "Commodore is giving out no
information whatsovever" about the

Both firms said that a condition of
the settlement agreement was that they
 not disclose or discuss details.

Observers said they expected the
settlement of the suit to relieve
pressure on Commodore, which has been
financially troubled during the last
three quarters and has recently
introduced new versions of the Amiga
and a new MS-DOS based PC "clone".

The companies would not discuss
whether Atari would receive payments
from Commodore, but informed sources
hinted this to be the case.

The Amiga was at the center of the
litigation between Commodore and
Atari. Jack Tramiel, chairman and CEO
of Atari and former President of
Commodore, sued Commodore shortly
after he purchased Atari from Warner
Communications in 1984.

That suit charged Amiga Inc. with
breach of contract. Atari had
negotiated a technology license
agreement with Amiga, Inc. which
developed the support and graphics
chips for the Amiga Computer.
Commodore, which acquired Amiga in
late 1984, was later included in the

Atari later sued Commodore, again
alleging that the Amiga infringed on
Atari patents.


If you've got an ICD doubler installed
in your 1050 or are using an INDUS
drive, you'll want to be very cautious
before purchasing ORIGIN SYSTEMS new
AUTODUEL game. Basically all you get
is an endless repeat of the title

Previous ORIGIN Systems products ran
fine on these drives. They have
apparently switched to a new
copy-protection scheme. Unfortunately,
the scheme has the effect of zapping a
lot of honest users of the software.

If you use an ICD Doubler or an INDUS,
don't purchase AUTODUEL--at least not
until they come out with a version to
work on those drives.


Even if you're an ST owner you may not
have heard of ST X-PRESS.  Why? 
Because it's a fairly new magazine for
the ST's.  It's been in publication
for only four months, but has already
undergone some drastic
transformations-- going from a dull
black and white cover with spiral
binding into glossy full color

Currently there are five language
columns (Assembly, C, Forth, GFA
Basic, and Pascal).  There also is a
MIDI column by Stefan Dastrom (a
programmer at Hybrid Arts), review
columns, an extensive ST BBS list, and
a vast public domain library.

ST Express is also available in disk
version with all the source code and
ready-to-run programs from the
magazine.  The disk version includes a
few bonuses each month (last month -
digitized photos of the Mega ST's and
the Atari PC).  If that's not enough
there's  also a compilation of all the
ST related material from Zmagazine!

Ask your local Atari dealer for
ST-Express.  If he doesn't carry it,
he can call the publisher for a
complimentary issue and stocking

If you're interested in a mail
subscription, you can call or write:

Rich Decowski Editor of ST X-PRESS
P.O. Box 2383 La Habra, CA  90632
(213) 691-8000
ST X-PRESS BBS (217) 877-9740

....EA Acquires BI..................

San Mateo, CA, April 13,
1987--Electronic Arts announced today
its acquisition of the assets of well-
known software brand Batteries
Included, a Canada-based publisher of
creativity and productivity products
for leading home computer systems. 
Under the terms of the agreement
Electronic Arts will acquire most of
the company's fixed assets, 
inventory, artist contracts and  key
trademarks and brand names.   Trip
Hawkins, president of Electronic Arts,
indicated that as of May 4, 1987 all
operations of Batteries Included will
be consolidated into the San Mateo
offices of Electronic Arts.

"In December of 1986 Electronic Arts
was divided into separate publishing
and distribution groups.  This
division has allowed us to focus our
attention on building new channels of
distribution and maximizing our
development of products in specific
categories, including creativity and
productivity," explained Hawkins.  
"The acquisition of Batteries Included
will significantly strengthen our
product line in these categories. 
We're especially excited about the
award winning   PaperClip word
processessing series, Degas, a design
and entertainment graphic arts system,
and Thunder, a spell checker and
abbreviation expander."

Batteries Included has been highly
recognized by critics in the computer
software industry and has received
several awards of excellence. 
PaperClip received the award for Best
Buy of the Year from Computer Shopper
and 1986 Best of the Year award from
Commodore Magazine.  Degas received
the Critic's Choice Award from Family
Computing Magazine and Thunder was
selected as Editor's Choice/Best Buy
of the Year from MacUser Magazine.

"Batteries Included has always had an
excellent reputation," Hawkins
explained.  "We knew that their home
productivity and Atari ST compatible
software would be complementary to our
own products, and that our sales force
could increase their presence and
sales results in the retail channel." 
Hawkins noted that the acquisition
evolved after the founders of
Batteries Included indicated a
preference to sell the company. 

The Batteries Included name will exist
as a separate line of products within
the creativity/productivity division
of Electronic Arts.  "Based on demand,
we will take a number of existing
quality products to market
immediately," said Hawkins.  "And we
are currently conducting work sessions
with the artists from Batteries
Included to complete products already
under development.  These products, 
supplemented with our own and those
planned for the future, will establish
a comprehensive line of high quality
products for all leading home

The transition of the Batteries
Included operations to Electronic Arts
will begin immediately.  Hawkins
explained that the Electronic Arts
customer service department is already
preparing itself to fulfill all
requests for upgrades, warranty
replacements and promotional offers
from Batteries Included customers.   
"By May 4 our customer service
department will be able to assist
these consumers with all product
related inquiries," said Hawkins. 
"Electronic Arts is committed to
supporting its customers, and we
expect to afford Batteries Included
customers better service than ever

Beginnning May 4, all inquiries
regarding Batteries Included products
may be directed to the Electronic Arts
customer service department at (415)


It's not the most cheerful assessment
we've ever heard, but...

Computer + Software News, a
prestigious trade newspaper that
covers the software industry, recently
surveyed home computer users about
what peripherals they have on their
systems and found that only 29 percent
have modems.
Furthermore, only 11 percent of them
said they plan to buy a modem in the
near future.
Dan Janal, a New York correspondent
for CompuServe's Online Today
electronic edition, says at least part
of the problem for the depressed (and
depressing) sales may be a lack of
consumer understanding of modems.
Carl Gritzmaker, president of
modem-maker Migent, says, "It's a
question of educating consumers and a
question of the variety of sources of
information available to consumers
over the phone lines. The modem will
become essential as consumers do more
banking and paying bills by phone with
new vertical market software programs.
"One of the reasons there's a lack of
penetration of modems is the
disproportionate price between a modem
and the PC system."
Maybe so. Certainly gives us something
to reflect upon...

     -- US Sprint Communications Co.
will move control of its planned
2,000-mile transcontinental fiber
optic network to the Kansas City area
from Atlanta. It will set up a
telemarketing operation in Lenexa,
Kan., creating 260 jobs this year.
     -- GTE Communications Systems
Corp. and Fujitsu America Inc. will
work together to develop voice and
data business communications systems
through a new company called Fujitsu
GTE Business Systems Inc. Its product
line in the beginning will include the
Omni Series and the GTD-4600 digital
PABXs and the SBCS and Starlog digital
Hybrid KTS/PABX systems.
     -- Pacific Bell's "Project
Victoria," the experiment in multiple
voice and data transmissions on a
single line, is ready for its second
round of tests, as soon as the FCC
gives its go-ahead. Michael Eastwood,
director of PacBell's new network
applications, says that this time the
system will be tried out in the
"residential market," including such
things as meter reading, interactive
TV, alarm services and electronic
university and shopping services.

....DataRetrieve for the ST........

I  just  recently  made what turned
out to be a very wise           
purchase.  Having wanted a filing
system for research notes  for        
some time, I finally invested in
DataRetrieve by Abacus Software.

My  only experience with databases
previous to this  was  on             
the Apple,  and I must say, working
with the ST and DataRetrieve is     
a far cry from that.  For one
thing, DataRetrieve's files can be  
quite large - up to 64k
characters.  For me that means I am
able to set up files that
will store long quotations.  
DataRetrieve saves  these files
on the disk dynamically,  which I
guess  means that it does not
save the empty spaces you do not use. 
The long  and short of it is
I can save the equivalent of over 250
3x5 note cards filled with
information,  publisher,  author, 
quotes, page number,  etc.  on
a single 350k disk.  And the best
thing is that DataRetrieve is
compatible with a ram disk (which it
comes with) so that searching
and file manipulation takes seconds.

Besides all this, DataRetrieve has
lots of bells and whistles:  
You can create your own masks on the
screen so you actually enter       
the data in a nicely designed form,
with 6 different fonts.  More    
importantly, you can set up printer
forms that allow you to print     
out  reports  in  almost  any  form, 
including  form  letters,   
multicolumned reports, 3x5 note cards,
roledex cards, and so on.

All of this involves some very
sophisticated  logic.   Thus,    
another plus is that DataRetrieve
is entirely Gem and mouse-driven--
to set up forms you just draw
boxes (the commands are echoed on  
the  keyboard).   To flip
through the files you simply click 
the mouse  on  the 
appropriate token.   And it is  all 
clearly  and  intuitively organized
so that a novice (like me) can set up
a filing  system with little or
no difficulty.

But the best thing about DataRetrieve,
the reason why I got it,
is the price.   It lists for $49, 
and you can get it 
mailorder for about  $33.

So if you are in the market for an
inexpensive yet powerful    
database/filing system, check out

--Philip Pennie

...What's New in Coin-Ops............

By Steve Godun
Zmag Special Correspondent

Let's go on an imaginary trip to the
local video arcade.  WHAT??  You
haven't been to an arcade in HOW
LONG??  Well, hold on to your hats;
several new HOT video games are
waiting to steal your quarters...

Our first stop is at Atari's latest
coin-op titled "Rolling Thunder". Just
like previous Atari hits ("Gauntlet",
"Paperboy", and "720", for example),
this one uses the power of an Atari ST
for its graphics and speed.  Full
color animation, smooth right-to-left
scrolling, and fast action make this
the next hit from Atari.

In the guise of a super spy-type
person, your mission is to move
through several levels of dangers
while avoiding all bad deeds.  On your
side is your cunning, speed, agility,
and an occasional visit to a weapons
or ammo storehouse.  Working against
you is strength (it's not that hard to
become weaker), numerous baddies, and
several sharpshooting villans.  And
did I mention the little things like
traps and hiding thugs?  This baby is
sure to snatch up a few bucks...

On our next stop is a not-so-new (but
also not-so-widespread) game called
"Outrun".  In this game, you're
driving a Ferrari (that's what it
looks like) convertible in a race
against time. Sound like a popular
Atari racing game?  It plays a lot
like it.  The graphics are quite
stunning, especially the fast-moving
scenery and the multiple car styles
you pass (or pass you) such as the
familiar Porsche and Volkswagen Beetle
styles.  You can even choose between
three musical melodies played while
you travel!

But the real standout of "Outrun" is
the reality element involved.  Before
I explain that, I should tell you that
"Outrun" comes in two styles; the
stand-up cabinet version (costing
between .25 and .50 per game) and the
sit-down full-car version (costing
between .75 and $1 per game).  When
playing the stand-up version, you may
occasionally be surprised to find the
steering wheel SHAKING IN YOUR HANDS!
This happens during a collision or
running off the road.  The designers
of the game should be given extra
points for that!  The sit-down game is
even better; The ENTIRE SEAT (mounted
in a car body, of course) MOVES WITH
YOUR STEERING!  The whole thing is
very realistic - all you need now is a
fan blowing in your face.  Collisions
cause the car (with you in it) to
shake violently.  This is NOT a game
for the weak-stomached.

Our final stop (for today) is at
"Contra", Konami's newest entry in the
coin-op world.  Set as a freedom
fighter-type person, you (and/or you
and a friend - this can be played with
two players at once) jump, flip,
shoot, swim, and duck your way through
a right-to-left scrolling screen while
torching or blasting automated defense
stations, weapon-bearing bad guys, and
various traps and bombs.  Hence, all
hope is not lost!  Along the way,
you'll find helpful goodies (more
powerful weapons) to increase your
chance for survival.  Among the better
ones are a laser beam weapon, a flame
thrower, and what I like to call the
"scatter-shot cannon".  The first two
are your standard variations of the
common rifle, but the last one is
really great.  Fire it, and your
shot(s) spin in a spiral pattern
devastating everything in its path. 
More fun than a hand grenade without
the safety pin...

-Steve Godun

PS: If you ever see the initials
    "TRS" or "KID" on an arcade
    hi-score screen, that's me.

....Plent's Page...................

Eric Plent
Zmag Columnist

Mail order is probably the best way to
get good prices on hardware and
software. The down side to this is
that there is sometimes a long wait.
Not always, but sometimes.

While I have not used mail order that
often, I know that most mail order
software companies pride themselves on
quick service. This was not the case
with Carina Software Systems. I placed
an order for their BBS system around
the middle of Feburary. Three weeks
later I still didn't have the software
in hand.

I called the voice number printed in
the ad, but could never get an answer
no matter what time I called. I
finally gave up on it. I found the
number for the Carina BBS and gave it
a call. Guess what the first thing I
saw was? "Please do NOT use this BBS
to ask questions about orders. Use the
voice number for all ordering
questions". Helpful, 'eh?

I dropped them a Feedback letter
asking where my order was. Two days
later I had the software (which was
postmarked the day I called the BBS).

The whole point here is don't be
afraid to call mail order places about
orders. I know some people would have
waited longer, but I am not the type
that likes to wait for anything longer
than I have to.

I am not putting Carina Software
Systems down. They seem to be a very
good outfit, and I like their software
very much, but I, as I said, hate to

Trenton Computer Festival  1987 

WOW!! My head is still spinning from
this show! I know many of you have
probably been there, and have had
mixed feelings about it, but for me it
was great! This was my first time
there, and I really didn't know what
to expect.  I had heard stories about
it from friends--stories about great
deals on hardware and software for all
types of computers. It's TRUE!!

Ok...rather than let my emotions get
the best of me, let me report on some
of the things I saw at this year's

Spread in buildings all over the
Trenton State campus were workshops
and demos of some the following:

    Computer User Group Displays
    Packet Radio
    Non-Commercial Exhibits
    Commercial Exhibits
    Hands-on workshops
    The GEnie Information Service
    The CompuServe Information Service
    BYTE Magazine's BIX Service

And then there was the flea market.
This is the place where all the REAL
deals are. For example, at one table
there were 30 Megabyte hard drives
(complete w/controller and pwsupply)
going for $389. I kicked myself for
not having the money right there. Ah
well..I didn't really want a hard
drive anyway, did I? 

Going up and down the rows of tables I
saw  whole computer systems for $100. 
Keyboards for $10, CB radios (which I
bought) for $10, chips everywhere (I
could have bought a 68000
microprocessor for $1) and computer
books on every subject imaginable.
Most vendors in the fleamarket area
were willing to deal and the best buys
came late in the day as dealers
dropped prices rather than take unsold
merchandise home with them.

Admission was $7. for adults, and $3
for students. I found it well worth
the  price and urge you to attend next
year's festival.

--Eric Plent

Zmagazine #48        April 20, 1987
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