Z*Magazine: 2-Oct-87 #73From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/17/93-08:01:43 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 2-Oct-87 #73 Date: Sat Jul 17 20:01:43 1993 /////////////ZMAGAZINE\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ October 2, 1987 Zmag Issue #73 ______________________________________ Publisher/Editor: Ron Kovacs Assistants: Ken Kirchner Sue Perry Rich Decowski ______________________________________ ZMAG Information Network (201)968-8148 ______________________________________ Xx Index 73 October 2, 1987 ______________________________________ <*> Zmag Newswire (British Awards) <*> Antic Atari News Update <*> Zmag Technique (Mr. Goodprobe) <*> SX212 Fix (From CompuServe) <*> Pay Services (Part 3) <*> FCC Update (Mike Brown) <*> Computing Across America ______________________________________ Xx ZMAG NEWSWIRE ______________________________________ British Awards Roundup Reported by Online Today's (Ben Knox) LONDON -- Visitors to this year's Personal Computer World Show, one of Britain's main computer events, could be forgiven for thinking they'd strayed into a games arcade. Only a handful of serious contenders in the business PC market turned up at last week's show, namely Olivetti, Amstrad, Victor and Samsung. Acorn, Atari, Commodore and Cambridge Computer were among the few others who could claim anything approaching star status. Also held last week, was the 1987 British Microcomputing Award ceremony. According to the judges, the winners showed an exceptional level of functionality, and generally represented better value for money. The winners were: -:- Business Micro of the Year: Tandon Pac 286. -:- Business Software of the Year: Adobe Illustrator by McQueen. -:- Home/Small Bus. Micro of the Year: Archimedes 300 by Acorn (a sub- $1,000 micro based on RISC microprocessors). -:- Home/Small Bus. Sftwr of the Year: Ability Software by Migent UK. -:- Game of the Year: Guild of Thieves from Rainbird Software. -:- Special Awards: Ormus Fashion by Concept II Research (an educational package for fashion and textile design courses) Vidi-PCW from ROMBO Productions (a video digitizer for the Amstrad PCW word processor for $150) Ventura Publisher by Xitan (Desktop Publishing package). Finally, a special commendation went to the Amstrad PC1512, the first truly accessible low-cost PC in the UK, because of its impact on the marketplace. One product launch at this year's Personal Computer World Show here perhaps got less attention than it deserved -- it was Atari Corp.'s CD-ROM system. As far back as 1985, Atari was making noises about employing the colossal storage capabilities of CD-ROMs for archive data retrieval. In that year, however, the audio aspect of compact disks was in its infancy (CDs being first unveiled by Philips and Sony in 1983), so Atari made a public statement that when technology prices fell, it would release a CD-ROM system for its machines. The company apparently feels the time has come. To be shipped by Christmas, the Atari CD-ROM system will sell in the UK for about $650 and is capable of up to 400 meg of data storage on a single compact disc. In line with the unofficial CD-ROM standard, the Atari system will work to a 350-meg standard on a disc, and also will be capable of playing existing audio compact discs. As an added bonus, the system also will be capable of playing up to one hour of real-time video, although it remains to be seen how much video software actually becomes available on the format. Atari's announcement may be a challenge to Microsoft Corp., which earlier this month announced shipment of its first CD ROM application, Bookshelf, a collection of 10 major reference works on a single CD ROM disk. ______________________________________ Xx ANTIC ATARI UPDATE ______________________________________ ANTIC PUBLISHING INC., COPYRIGHT 1987 REPRINTED BY PERMISSION. ATARI PRODUCT UPDATES By Nat Friedland, Antic Editor Sept. 1987- Just as this issue went to press, Antic was invited to visit Atari and preview the new SLM804 Laser Printer in action. Take a look at the sharply detailed laser printout accompanying this article and you'll see why we were impressed with the SLM804. While we were in the Atari Engineering Department observing their laser printer crank out ultra-sharp pages, on a workbench behind us was a line-up of seven Atari PC clones. These IBM- compatible Ataris were running a wide range of MS-DOS software, from Lotus 1-2-3 to Flight Simulator II. According to Atari Marketing Communications Director Neil Harris, those PCs were a pre-production test shipment. In a manufacturing start-up timetable, this would put the PCs about 30-45 days behind the 2-megabyte Mega 2 and 4Mb Mega 4 three-piece STs. The first production run of Megas was shipped to software developers and is now going on sale in Germany and France. Harris said that a major "rollout" of the Megas and laser printer would take place in October, with a series of regional dealer meetings. At that time, final prices for these products were to be set. Antic has just received a developer's 4-megabyte Mega 4 (with blitter chip), which will be covered in detail in coming issues of Antic and in the Spring 1988 issue of STart, The ST Quarterly. We opened up our Mega's motherboard box and looked at the clean chip layout. Especially impressive was the wide-open Direct Memory Access which should make it easy to tap the power of the Mega for a variety of specialized hardware uses. Of course, while at the Atari Corp. we also took advantage of the opportunity to check on the latest status of previously announced hardware for the 8-bit computers. According to Harris, the first cargo containers of the 80-column XEP-80 display box (Antic, July 1987) and SX212 1200-baud modems had just arrived in Atari U.S. warehouses. We also heard that the XE Game System computers and many new XL/XE-compatible game cartridges were due to start reaching the stores in October. However, the double-sided, double-density XF551 Disk Drive shown at the June Consumer Electronics Show (Antic, September 1987) will not be scheduled for manufacture until programming of the new operating system is successfully completed. ______________________________________ Xx ZMAG TECHNIQUE . ..The Sound of Digital Merriment... ______________________________________ by Mr. Goodprobe Most connoisseurs of fine food will share with you the fact that there is no finer compliment to a great meal than a fine wine. This holds true in the computer world also, there is no finer compliment to a good program than some super sound! This week's hardware hints will aid you in your quest of true "music to your ears"! Although the sound is naturally limited which your Atari 8 bit computer can produce, some of this deficiency in the quality of the sound produced is due to lack of effort on the part of many programmers. A few recent releases for the Atari 8 bit computer that I have had the privilege of seeing seem to be on the road to correct this though. We can take a long step toward enhancing the sound by some clever hardware hacking. If you are presently using a portable TV with your Atari system, the easy way to access the audio would be the monitor jack. You can purchase a monitor cable, any with your style monitor plug and 2 leads or more with RCA style plugs on them will suffice, at your local TV shop, Video store, or the like. Simply plug the cable into the back of your computer, and pop the other end into the tape or auxiliary jack of your home stereo. Don't worry about putting it in wrong, as it can not hurt anything. If you hear a loud buzz when you turn on the stereo you know you plugged in the wrong jack, merely choose another and insert it. If you wish 2 channels to produce this computer generated audio, you can purchase a stereo synthesizer for about 5-10 dollars. This will not produce true stereo, but will give you 2 separate audio channels. Plug the monitor/audio lead into the adapter, and then plug the output leads from the adapter into the tape or auxiliary inputs of your stereo. If you are using a monitor with your Atari computer system, your task is a bit harder, but the results will be just as good. I would advise you to obtain a lead that has an RCA style jack on one end, and stripped, bare wires on the other. After testing the quality of the sound produced, you may wish to drill a small hole in the back end of your computer and insert the bare end of the 2 conductor wire through this hole. After you opened your computer and safely stowed the screws and cover, look for the following part in your Atari: Model # Part # Location of part -------------------------------------- 800 | R194 | On motherboard, on right hand side, next to | 4.7k |small standing electro marked C179. -------------------------------------- 800xl |R7 or | Just below 8 pin IC, IC is left-center of board | R8* | At left-hand side of same IC R7=2k R8=5.1k -------------------------------------- 1200xl| L1 | At top right of cartridge port, is the middle of the 3 jumpers w/ black ferrite beads on them -------------------------------------- 65xe |R7 or | Located just below 8 pin IC, and at right side of |R8* | IC, IC is directly below RF modulator7=2k R8=5.1k -------------------------------------- 130xe |R7 or | Located just below 8 pin IC, and at right side of |R8* |IC, IC is directly below RF modulator R7=2k R8=5.1k -------------------------------------- *= Try connecting to either of these 2 resistors, it will sound better on one or the other of them, depending on your stereo and the amount of amplification it provides. Connect wear it sounds best to you! Ok, there you have it! Now, although you will not receive concert hall audio, the difference will be quite noticeable! One game I would recommend you trying so you can see what "this baby can do" would be the fine Karate game called World Championship Karate by Epyx. One further audio note: the owners of Commodore 1702 monitors can use the audio jack mounted on the front of their monitor for an interesting purpose. We all well know that when one is using their favorite word processor or have logged on to their favorite bulletin board...there is no sound! To change this, simply run a line from the tape outputs of your stereo to the audio input jack of your monitor. You simply haven't lived until you listened to "Flight of the Bumblebee" while using Paperclip to write your long-lost Aunt Gertie! -Mr. Goodprobe- (on lend from) Midtown TV (216)633-0997 Atari 8/16 Repair/Sales ______________________________________ Xx SX212 Fix ...From CompuServe Atari8 SIG... ______________________________________ #: 196691 S2/Telecommunications 24-Sep-87 00:48:42 Sb: SX-212 fix for SIO Fm: Bob Woolley 75126,3446 To: All If you are planning on buying the new SX-212 and using it on an 8-bit, be aware that the SIO connector is NOT used as a device buss. None of the standard handlers will work in EXPRESS (1030 XM301 or 850). Likewise for HOMETERM and XETERM. The book has zilch information about the SIO handlers, but I discovered that the R-VERTER handler (RVHAND.XMO) in DL2 will fix HOMETERM for use on the SX-212 thru the SIO port. It 'aint EXPRESS, but for those with an XM301 or 1030 and no P:R connection, it allows you to upgrade to 1200 baud without costing an arm and a leg. And you don't have to depend on <poof> Atari's schedule. Bob Woolley ______________________________________ Xx PAY SERVICES Part 3 ______________________________________ SIG*ATARI CONFERENCES Here in SIG*ATARI our conference area not only puts you in contact with other members, but also with the big names in the Atari community. Throughout the many years SIG*ATARI has been serving the Atari community, we have been holding various "formal" conferences with guest speakers on a whole variety of subjects. Many transcripts have been recorded from these past conferences and are still available in our Data Libraries although somewhat "buried" under newer files. SIG*ATARI plans on holding many more conferences in the future with other outstanding members of the ATARI community. Everyone is always invited to attend our conferences! We have a number of text files that were written to help you learn how to use the conference facility if you are unfamiliar with it. Please download them and print them out if possible and be sure to ask the SYSOP if you have any questions! HOW2CO.HLP - Written by Ron Luks, available in DL 2. FORMAL.CO - Instructions on the formal conference protocol, available in DL 2. NEWCO.TXT - Written by Mike Schoenbach, available in DL 2. CONFR.HLP - Written by Ron Luks, available in DL 2. ============== COMMUNITY GAB: ============== In addition, you can join us every Sunday night at 9:00 PM EDT/6:00 PDT for our informal "community gab" conferences. Everyone is invited to attend to meet and talk to other members of the Atari community! *** OCT. 1 *** DL 12's (SIG CLASSICS/SIG OLDIES) files have been rotated. Be sure to check out our latest batch of GREAT "rediscovered" programs! Data Library 12 contains a collection of SIG*ATARI "Classics" and other older files that were previously located deep within our other Data Libraries. Be sure to read the Data Library <DES>cription for more information. *** SEPT. 27 *** ** UPCOMING FORMAL BBS CONFERENCE ** The ATARI 8-Bit Forum will be sponsoring a Formal Conference on Saturday, October 17, 1987 at 9:00 PM EDT/6:00 PM PDT. The subject of this conference will be ATARI 8-BIT BBS Systems and their future. ALL BBS Sysops and users are invited and encouraged to attend this very special conference to discuss issues that are facing all of us. Also attending will be some well known BBS software authors, including: Keith Ledbetter (BBS EXPRESS!), Mike Olin and Mike Mitchell (AMIS XM301), Matt Singer (FOREM), and others. Please mark your calendars! Remember -- Saturday, October 17th, at 9:00 PM EDT/6:00 PM PDT. ====================== WEEKLY TECHNICAL TALK: Every Saturday night at 9:30 PM EDT/6:30 PDT in Conference Room 12. WEEKLY COMMUNITY CHAT: Every Sunday night at 9:00 PM EDT/6:00 PM PDT. Please join us! WHAT'S NEW IN SIG*ATARI: Type GO ATA-1 to find out! ______________________________________ Xx FCC UPDATE ______________________________________ by M. G. Brown Looming on the horizon is the specter of the Federal Communications Commission's "Amendments of Part 69 of the Commission's Rules Relating to Enhanced Service Providers". If the amendments are adopted as proposed, local telephone companies will be allowed to charge enhanced service providers (such as Tymnet and Telenet, to name a few) by the minute. The added costs will be passed on to users of these services. While the FCC claims these amendments are part of a long-range policy "toward a more economically rational pricing scheme", their good intent in dropping the exemption becomes suspicious when applied to those who are using these services for data communications. Since the exemptions were first allowed in 1983, a number of data communications specific businesses have sprung up in competition with traditional providers, to serve the access needs of computer users. This growth has followed the upward trend in use of computer data communications by business as well as the general public. Low cost communications services such as the innovative and popular PC Pursuit, begun in 1985 by GTE Telenet, are helping make new ideas in telecommunications possible. At night and during weekends, PC Pursuit allows users in some 500 cities to make the long-distance link to 25 major metropolitan areas for a flat fee of $25 a month. PC Pursuit and services like it have created more affordable information exchange medium "for the rest of us". Suddenly, bulletin board systems and smaller information systems became centers for national exchange of information and ideas. Specialized systems have sprung up to satisfy the needs of researchers in such diverse areas as genealogy and health care, and shareware producers suddenly find themselves with a much wider market. Even the more traditional software and hardware producers are setting up their own BBS systems as a way to provide technical support. According to a recent statement by Telenet, if the proposal is adopted "PC Pursuit's current 'flat-rate/ unlimited usage' service would have to be repriced to a per-usage basis, including an estimated $7 to $9 per-hour access charge. It is doubtful that the service would survive at this inflated rate". The demise of PC Pursuit would be followed by the destruction of innovative work on and for microcomputers and telecommunications. Individuals, small businesses, non- profit organizations and libraries are likely to be hit the hardest and most directly by the proposals. Many libraries around the country now offer their patrons electronic database searches. With the added costs, such services in rural and small libraries are unlikely to continue because of the increased costs. Even patrons who never request an on-line search will suffer. Interlibrary loan and book cataloging are increasingly dependent upon reasonably priced interstate telecommunications. One of the FCC's goals is the "elimination of unreasonable discrimination and undue preferences among rates for interstate services". Yet discriminations should be made, especially when you consider that phone companies provide all sorts of special arrangements for toll carriers, including switching machines costing millions of dollars and special trunking exclusively for toll carriers. Packet-switched networks such as Telenet, however, receive no special treatment. They connect into the local network in the same manner you and I do- through ordinary lines. Some argue that packet-switched networks make heavier use of those ordinary lines. Heavier use is already priced into business rates, however, about five times residential rates. The largest expense, having the line installed to begin with, is not dependent on the amount of use. The FCC has not awakened to the fact that data transmission is now being used as a secondary means of communications by more and more "common" Americans. This personal communication and information revolution is in full swing and should only be expected to grow in the foreseeable future. This growth path will be stunted if this proposal is adopted. By all estimations, more people and businesses will suffer that will gain if the FCC's proposal is adopted. It seems that eliminating the exemption will not only affect the progress of telecommunications in this country, but will slow the progress of other developing technologies depending on the free flow of information as well. (Thanks to Bruce Miller for sources quoted in this article) ______________________________________ Xx COMPUTING ACROSS AMERICA ______________________________________ If you have called the Zmag BBS, you might have noticed our Main Menu option "D". This section titled above, contains articles written by Steve Roberts. These articles came direct from GEnie and are available on the BBS. The following was received from Steve about his upcoming book. Sub: Books and such Ron... OK.... My book, which will be available around the first of November, and titled: "Computing Across America -- the Bicycle Odyssey of a High-tech Nomad" It covers the first 10,000 miles, and is my 4th book. About 368 pages plus pix and such -- trade paper -- $10. The bimonthly magazine is "The Journal of High Treknowledgy" and it covers current adventures, tech articles about the bike, pix, and more. It is $13 for 6 issues. All this and more (posters and soon, T-shirts and postcards) is available from: Computing Across America Publications 762 Churchill Drive Chico, CA 95926 GEMAIL: RAY-ROLLS A free flyer is available from the same address. Thanks! Steve ______________________________________ Zmagazine is a weekly online magazine made available to the public. We are now accepting advertising. If you are interested in advertising in Zmag or ST-Report, Please call (201) 968-8148 by modem only. (c)1987 Ron Kovacs October 2, 1987. Issue #73 (Number 40 of 1987) ______________________________________
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