Z*Magazine: 22-Jun-87 #58From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 22-Jun-87 #58 Date: Fri Jul 16 10:21:14 1993 _____________________________________ ZMAGAZINE JUNE 22, 1987 ISSUE 58 _____________________________________ PUBLISHER/EDITOR-----> RON KOVACS ASSISTANT PUBLISHER--> KEN KIRCHNER 80 COLUMN EDITOR + ASSISTANT PUBLISHER--> SUSAN PERRY _____________________________________ ZMAGAZINE OFFICIAL HEADQUARTERS: 40 The Syndicate: (201) 968-8148 80 The Gateway : (609) 931-3014 _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG INDEX 58 -1- Publishers Page -2- Zmag User Group of June (RIACE) -3- Zmag Software Capsule Reviews -4- FCC Proposal -5- IBM Emulator Update -6- Hardware Update -7- ZMAG Newswire -8- Online Magazine News -9- Next Week in Zmagazine _____________________________________ Xx PUBLISHERS PAGE Welcome to another edition of Zmag. I received news this week about the current status of the ST Transformer. ANALOG MAGAZINE is purchasing the program and it will appear in the August or September issue. Stay tuned for details..... You might have noticed in a few issues, spelling errors!!! Well the errors are not because of my lack of correct spelling. If the system you read ZMAG on is an Express BBS, you will see the errors. I failed to remove the SHIFT 6 character from the issue. When you read any issue online that contains this, you will either find letters missing or even strange things like your name, numbers, etc... In this and future editions that character will be replaced by the character (+). Sorry for any inconvience. _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG USER GROUP OF THE MONTH JUNE .....Rhode Island Atari Computer Enthusiasts RI ACE..... _____________________________________ You can become a member of RI ACE by sending a check or money order to: RI ACE c/o Steve Dunphy 192 Webster Ave. Cranston, R.I. The dues are $20.00 yearly. 24 hr BBS # 401-521-4234 in Prov. R.I. _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG SOFTWARE REVIEWS _____________________________________ By:James Delson Battle of Antietam Strategic Simulations, Inc. 1046 N. Rengstorff Ave. Mountain View, CA 94043 (415) 964-1200 PRICE: $50 RATINGS: Overall performance: Excellent Documentation: Excellent Play system: Excellent Graphics quality: Good Ease of use: Difficult Value for money: Excellent Although there have been only two Civil War computer games in the past four years (The Road to Gettysburg and The Battle of Chickamauga), each marked a significant innovation in the field of strategy and tactics. Now, the latest, Battle of Antietam, follows its predecessors by taking the war-game genre into fresh territory. A re-creation of the bloodiest day in American military history, Antietam equals the best from Chickamauga, and more. Antietam's added details are abundant, with the ability to plot and then take back moves, view line-of-sight for all units, achieve flanking fire in attack and defense, and have routed units rally and rejoin the battle. Playtesters went wild over Antietam. Over the course of several weeks, as many as three games were going on at once. The key to the game's success is its easy-to-use command-control system. Once you master the lengthy but well-written rules, every hour spent at the keyboard makes using the refined play system closer to second nature. This allows full concentration on the superb game. You're offered three levels of play and a host of options. They include one- or two-player modes, hidden movement, and gradual activation of the historically superior Union forces to balance play. More fine details can be found, and the computer opponents are challenging, too. _____________________________________ Borrowed Time for ATARI ST Activision 2350 Bayshore Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043 (415) 960-0410 PRICE: $30-$50 RATINGS: Overall performance: Good Documentation: Average Play system: Good Graphics quality: Excellent Ease of use: Difficult Value for money: Good The city's a lonely place for a private eye, especially when you've got assorted torpedos out there waiting for the chance to air condition your skull. But if your job's solving crimes, the risks come with the territory. In this text/graphic detective tale, your moniker's Sam Harlow. From the moment your tired tootsies first appear on your desk, you're in for more trouble than a cat in a dog pound. You've got seven cases open, and if you're good, I mean real good, you just might be able to solve 'em all before some slug from a .45 buys you the farm. If you can solve all seven cases in 24 hours, you're the leading gumshoe everyone thinks you are. But one false step and you're deader than last week's meatloaf. Try talking to people, following leads all over town. Collect evidence, no matter how unimportant it might seem. And soon the pieces will fall together. You'll need smarts to solve the mystery, and there's plenty of action here, too, so move fast, keep your eyes open, and don't forget to use a map. _____________________________________ Super Boulder Dash Electronic Arts 1820 Gateway Drive San Mateo, CA 94404 (415) 571-7171 PRICE: $15 RATINGS: Overall performance: Excellent Documentation: Good Play system: Excellent Graphics quality: Good Ease of use: Average Value for money: Excellent Super Boulder Dash is the successor to Boulder Dash--one of the first (and still one of the best) strategy/ arcade games. Both games are joystick -operated, multi-screen challenges of timing, hand-eye coordination, and strategic planning. Don't worry if you've never played the original because, as a bonus, it's included as side one of the disk. Novices are urged to complete side one before trying the new version, since the difficulty level of even the easiest Super screen requires an hour or more to crack. Practice is essential. Remember, in this type of game there's always a proper way to get through a screen. Generally speaking it will involve using elements which initially appear dangerous or unsolvable. We couldn't get some playtesters away from the game, even for snacks. Everyone agreed that Super Boulder Dash is one of the best strategy/ arcade games for people at all levels of play ability. _____________________________________ Xx FCC PROPOSAL _____________________________________ Phone-Access Fee Is Proposed For Computers FCC Would Make Firms Pay to Link Networks To Local Phone Loops By:Bob Davis Staff Reporter of the Wall Street Journal WASHINGTON -- The FCC proposed a fee that would steeply increase telecommunications charges for many business and residential computer users. Under the FCC proposal, companies such as US Sprint Communications Co.'s Telenet subsidiary and McDonnell Douglas Corp.'s Tymnet unit would be charged as much as $5 an hour per user to hook up their computer communication networks to local telephone loops. Currently, computer networks are exempt from these so-called access charges. The charges would almost certainly be passed on to consumers and business customers. US Sprint is a joint venture of GTE Corp., of Stamford, Conn., and United Telecommunications Inc., Kansas City, Mo. Price increases would be a big blow for millions of personal-computer hobbyists who depend on computer networks to communicate cheaply with one another and to call up such information services as H&R Block Inc.'s CompuServe Inc. Currently, most consumers pay only a few dollars an hour in telephone costs. The proposal also would be a major setback for Telenet an Tymnet, which have attracted consumers and business customers with discount computer telecommunications rates. These companies rent private telephone lines, which previously haven't been subject to access charges, and spread the costs among thousands of computer users. Rate increases "will dry up the marketplace for new and innovative computer services," said Joseph Markosi, counsel for Adapso, a trade association of computer service companies. "Prices will go through the roof." He added that the proposal would improperly discriminate between computer network companies and other companies that maintain their own data networks. The later companies apparently wouldn't be charged access fees under the FCC proposal. Clark Woodford, a CompuServe executive vice president, said any access charges "will cause us to reassess our pricing structure." The FCC voted 4-0 to seek comment on a plan to end the access-charge exemption beginning Jan. 1, 1988. The commissioners said the exemption amounted to a subsidy for the computer network companies that was being paid by business and residential telephone users. "We don't want the (telecommunications) network to evolve in response to various subsidies and anomalies," said FCC Charman Dennis Patrick. Agency staffers and other said the Jan. 1 date wasn't firm. Page Montgomery, vice president of Economics & Technology Inc., a Boston telecommunications company, urged the agency to delay the decision for perhaps a year until the local phone companies change their networks to give competitors equal connections. Otherwise, the regional Bell companies, which are trying to enter the computerized-communications field, would have a big advantage. That's because the computer-service companies would be burdened with price increases and also wouldn't be able to offer hook-ups to the local telephone netowrk that are as good as those offered by the phone companies. "It would be a serious policy mistake" to end the exemption Jan. 1, 1988, Mr. Montgomery said. The FCC said that access charges should decline over the next few years, by about a dollar per hour, as the agency increases residential charges for connecting to the telephone network. Much of the revenue from these assessments is used to reduce the access charges paid by telecommunications companies. The FCC proposal came as a surprise. In March, the agency decided that computer network companies should remain deregulated, which industry observers interpreted to mean that rates wouldn't increase. But now the FCC said that only purely private networks, operated by some big companies for their internal communications, would remain free of access charges. [Ed. See CompuServe's comment on this matter below.] _____________________________________ Xx IBM EMULATOR UPDATE ....Courtesy CompuServes Atari16.... _____________________________________ #: 66890 S5/Business Users 16-Jun-87 Sb: Info on PC-Ditto Fm: David and Sandy Small 76606,666 To: Pc-Ditters I spent awhile on the phone with Avant-Garde (like three hours) talking about PC-Ditto, so I thought I'd pass some info along, since there's a lot of curiousity about it. Jerry called me up from Comdex and said it was amazingly good. He'd done all the things like under the table for a PC or inside for an 8088; it's a software emulator, all right. Then, he got a bunch of his own software to test it on.. and lo and behold, it worked. He ran LapLink and DesqView on it, and while he says it's slow, it does work. Apparently the emulation is at the chip level. The guy who did it is an ex-IBM'er and sales type -- he was a pro salesman, believe me -- who's working on it with his wife. Mom and pop shop, so to speak. They've had lots of marketing offers and are very very busy. Don't expect to get through on the phone, it's always busy. My own experience with emulators is that you lose a 4X in clock speed with necessary overhead. So I'd expect about a 1-2 Mhz IBM out of this. The good thing is that I/O is done at 68000 speed, 8 Mhz, so it will only appear slow when you get computation-bound..like recalcing a spreadsheet. Burt just copying files, etc, it ought to scream along pretty nicely. The big thing that they told me was they wanted everyone to know they weren't connected at all with the MS-EM people. Apparently they had received mucho negative feedback on that other product. They've tested and certified it with lots of different IBM products; they went through a top-40 IBM product list and it ran all that stuff. The guy who's doing it sounds technically competent and is a good salesman. Caveat: this is all based on a telephone conversation, but he does know what he's doing with emulators, and it's for real. I'd suggest getting them online on CIS a.s.a.p. to answer questions. It sounds like it'll be a good product. -- Dave _____________________________________ Xx HARDWARE UPDATE _____________________________________ By:Ed Chop Did you know that Atari made two 1050 drives? The newer drives are Tandon drives and the older drives are WST (World Storage Technologies). It seems that the WST drives are quieter and more reliable, but the belts are more expensive. The WST drives are generally not marked as to manufacturer, but they have NOVACON motors. What about these cheap SD drives you see advertised in Computer Shopper all the time? Can you use them on your Atari? Well....yes ....and no. You can't use them without modifying the drive or your computer. By adding a microprocessor and interface circuits to the drive you could probably get it to work with your Atari just like a 1050. But an easier way may be to take the mechanical drive assembly from the cheap drive and wire it to the 1050 electronics. And why go through all this trouble? Because the cheap drive that you want to buy should be gear-driven. They are MUCH quieter and reliable. According to Bob Wooley, from the Compuserve Atari Sig Community, the drive must be one that draws less power than the original. Bob says that you may burn up your driver transistors, although he hasn't tried it himself, yet. Another way would be to add a PIO to your computer. That's a parallel I/O aadapter. Mmmmmmmm....sounds interesting, huh? Well it seems our friend Bob Wooley is working on such a project. The PIO board will plug into the PIO port in the XL with a 24" cable. The information for building the PIO will be available on the Atari Sig when he has it completed. By adding the proper controller chip to the PIO, you can run the new drive with your Atari. But Bob has a better idea. How about a parallel 1050 drive that can load a disk in 10 seconds? Got your attention, huh? Well, he has an interface card planned that will plug into the PIO to run your 1050. That, too, will be available on the Atari Sig. We'll be looking forward to that hardware project. What's Atari doing to enhance their drives? Well, to start with, Bill Wilkinson is working on a new DOS called A-DOS. Although originally planned for the promised 3.5 inch disk, now scrapped, A-DOS is being designed for a new DD 5.25" drive from Atari. _____________________________________ Xx ZMAG NEWSWIRE ....June 15-June 19.... _____________________________________ COMMODORE SUES RATTIGAN Online Today on CompuServe reported that the turmoil at Commodore continues. The firm has filed a countersuit against Thomas J. Rattigan, the company's former president and chief executive officer. Rattigan left the company in April after the board suspended him and said it was considering dismissing him. He immediately filed a lawsuit against the company for $9 million in damages, charging his employment contract had been violated. In the counterclaim, filed in US District Court, Commodore said Rattigan failed on several occasions to carry out the decisions of the company's board of directors and that his actions had been costly to the company. The Associated Press reports that Commodore is seeking at least $5 million in compensatory damages and as much as $13.7 million in punitive damages. _____________________________________ COMPUSERVE BLASTS FCC PROPOSAL The following is the text of a statement released June 15th by CompuServe regarding the Federal Communications Commission proposal to lift the access charge exemption. The Federal Communications Commission proposed on June 10 to eliminate an exemption from certain telephone access charges for computer-based services and information retrieval systems. The commission created the exemption several years ago to allow computer services to adjust to new interstate access rules. The FCC voted 4-0 to seek comment on a plan to end the access charge exemption by Jan. 1, 1988. CompuServe opposes lifting the exemption and will, as it has in the past, work aggressively against any proposal designed to increase the cost of data network communications for its customers. The company will actively petition the FCC and make known its opposition to the proposal. Further, CompuServe will encourage its customers -- who will be most deeply affected by any new access charges -- to voice their opposition to the proposal by writing a letter to FCC Chairman Dennis Patrick and/or their local Congressional representatives. While the FCC proposal will raise costs for commercial customers of CompuServe's network and information services, it is the individual home subscriber that could be most affected by price hikes of 40 percent or more. Such a price increase could effectively place online information services out of the reach of many Americans and squelch the growth of a booming industry still in its infancy. Such consequences seem to fly in the face of the original intent of the access fee exemption: to protect and foster the growth of a relatively new and fragile industry. In light of the serious ramifications of the FCC proposal, several mitigating points should be made to clarify the situation: -:-Some media reports have stated that the access fees could be as much as 9 cents per minute ($5.40 an hour), nearly doubling current per-hour charges of $6 for access to the CompuServe Information Service. In fact, the access charges are likely to be far less, probably closer to 3 and a half cents per minute ($2 an hour). CompuServe bases its estimation on the track record of other similar charges in the communications industry and upon information received directly from Bell Operating Companies. -:-There is likely to be a differentiation between "prime" daytime and "non-prime" nighttime rates, with lower access fees at night. Such a scenario would be better for home users who most frequently access information services at night. -:-Any access fees, regardless of how they are applied, would be levied on all competitors in the information industry. Some competitors who do not own their own networks, as CompuServe does, would have even higher costs associated with a lifting of the access charge exemption. Despite these ameliorating circumstances, CompuServe views any additional communications surcharges with the utmost seriousness and will continue its efforts to defeat the implementation of such charges. It is CompuServe's opinion that the FCC's action is in conflict with the government's stated position of creating an atmosphere of free and fair competition in the communications industry and of devising ways to put information services within the reach of all Americans. The FCC's proposed surcharge will only further disadvantage the average home subscriber and impede access to online information for millions of Americans. _____________________________________ ATARI HOLDS COMPUTER EXPO Atari Corp. held a computer expo in Santa Clara, Calif., June 19 and 20. The show will featured about 80 companies demonstrating hardware and software for desktop publishing, word processing, database management, graphics and spreadsheets. Atari offered a 520ST personal computer as a door prize. In addition, the exposition featured a computer game tournament. According to Atari, as many as 16 participants at a time will got a chance to play MIDImaze, a game created by Los Angeles music software developer Hybrid Arts. The tournament winner received a Casio synthesizer. The show, which was held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, was open to the public between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day. Admission was $5 at the door. Participating Atari user groups and computer stores sold tickets for $3.50. Children 12 and under accompanied by an adult were admitted free. _____________________________________ Xx ONLINE MAGAZINE NEWS _____________________________________ By:Ron Kovacs As many of you know by now there are other online publications available. This week we highlight TeleTalk. The following text was taken from the 12th edition. *OnLineOnLineOnLineOnLineOnLineOnLin* *OnLine OnLine* *OnLine TeleTalk... OnLine* *OnLine OnLine* *OnLine The BBSer and SysOp OnLine* *OnLine RESOURCE! OnLine* *OnLine OnLine* *OnLineOnLineOnLineOnLineOnLineOnLin* *OnLineOnLineOnLineOnLineOnLineOnLin* * * * (C)opyright 1987 Public Domain * * Vol.2, Issue 12 Page 1 (of 2) * * * ************************************* * "An AUTHORIZED T/TalkNET BBS!" * * John Peters - Bob Connors * * * * T/TalkNET (303)392-6631 * * The Graphics Dump *(201)469-0049 * * The Data Store *(214)520-1412 * * The Vault *(303)796-0539 * * Modern Times *(414)384-1701 * * Sorman (Sweden) 1-11-46-470-22183 * * * = PC Pursuitable * ************************************* INDEX ===================================== LOG ON .................... [LOG] News from Sweden! DOCTOR BOB ................ [BOB] Talks about Xmodem and "(non) standard" communication protocols. MESSAGE OF THE MONTH ...... [MSG] FCC UPDATE ................ [FCC] You can breathe easier, for awhile anyway. SYSOP'S CORNER ............ [COR] First impressions DO count! HOT PURSUIT! - Why is Xmodem soooooo slow? DEC WARS! - Part II. BBS networking with the Apple // computer. TeleTalk OnLine - Who, When and Where. In the weeks ahead we will arrange publication of some articles which are of interest to our readers. _____________________________________ Xx NEXT WEEK IN ZMAG _____________________________________ +++ Part 2 of Antics CES Report +++ Software Review by Steve Godun +++ General Users Magazine Excerpts +++ BBS Update _____________________________________ ZMAGAZINE JUNE (c)1987 Ron Kovacs June 22, 1987 Issue:58 Reprint Permission Granted _____________________________________
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