Z*Magazine: 9-Oct-87 #74From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/17/93-08:02:58 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 9-Oct-87 #74 Date: Sat Jul 17 20:02:58 1993 /////////////ZMAGAZINE 74\\\\\\\\\\\\\ ______________________________________ October 9, 1987 Volume 2 Number 41 Issue #74 (c)1987 Ron Kovacs ______________________________________ Publisher/Editor: Ron Kovacs Assistants: Ken Kirchner/Susan Perry ______________________________________ Xx ZMAG INDEX 74 ______________________________________ <*> Mega ST Released......John Edwards <*> Atari News Update........SIG Atari <*> FCC Update "Current details" <*> Zmag Technique.......Mr. Goodprobe <*> Confrence Invitation from Atari8 <*> Survey Help Request <*> Advertisers Page <*> P: R: Connection Description ______________________________________ Xx MEGA ST's ______________________________________ Atari Corp. has started shipping its new Mega 2 and Mega 4 computers to authorized Atari business computer centers. According to Atari, the new two-and four-megabyte computers, which are aimed at small-business users, feature a small footprint, separate keyboard, battery powered real-time clock, BLiTTER chip and a bus for plugging in add-on boards and peripherals. In addition, the new machines are compatible with software and peripherals designed for the Atari ST line. "The Mega demonstrates Atari's commitment to the computer specialty retailer," said Sam Tramiel, Atari's president. "Features in the Mega are the direct result of requests from dealers and business users. The Mega is a professional computer offering the highest performance for advanced business, engineering, desktop publishing, desktop presentation and personal computer applications." John Edwards CIS Online Today ______________________________________ Xx Atari News Update ...From CIS Atari 8 Sig... ______________________________________ #: 197288 S7/HOT News/Rumors 05-Oct-87 Sb: ATARI CLOSES OFFER! Fm: SYSOP*Mike Schoenbach 76703,4363 To: ALL OTC 10/05 ATARI CLOSES TENDER OFFER FOR FEDERATED GROUP SUNNYVALE, CA (OCT. 5) PRWIRE - Atari Corporation (AMEX, PSE: ATC) has announced the closing of its tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of the Federated Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FEGP), effective as of midnight EDT, Oct. 4. Approximately 96 percent of outstanding shares of Federated have been validly tendered. Effective at 7 p.m. EDT, Atari Corp. extended its tender offer for Federated's shares to midnight, Oct. 4. The tender offer had initially been scheduled to terminate on Sept. 25 and had previously been extended to Oct. 2. The purpose of the further extension was to allow Atari, Federated, and Federated's bank lenders to complete documentation for the closing. Atari is an international manufacturer and marketer of personal computer systems and video games. Federated sells home entertainment and consumer electronics products through a chain of retail stores. CONTACT: Greg Pratt of Atari, 408-745-2349; or Merrill Lyons of the Federated Group, 213-728-5100, ext. 204. ______________________________________ Xx FCC Update ______________________________________ RAISING PHONE FEES FOR COMPUTER NETWORK USERS (Combined Reports) FCC Chairman Dennis R. Patrick said Friday (October 2, 1987) that a proposal to raise telephone fees for computer network users is based on fairness. But users say the plan would crush the fledgling industry. In testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Telecommunications subcommittee, Patrick said the proposal would charge computer users the same fees now paid by long- distance callers. Home computer users, say the added costs would force many of them off the computer networks they use to communicate with electronic databases across the country -- exchanging information on electronic bulletin boards, checking stock market reports, making airline reservations, and exchanging public domain computer programs. Witnesses also told the panel that the higher charges, proposed by the Federal Communications Commission, would drive thousands of computer users -- from hobbyists to doctors -- off their electronic networks and slow the growing use of the technology. "This would severely retard the coming of the information age," said Allan Conner, president of DunsNet, a company of the Dun & Bradstreet Corp. The implications of the proposal extend far beyond home computer users. For example, Conner said, imposing access charges would substantially drive up the cost of automatic authorization of credit cards -- raising the cost of a single verification from the current 12 cents to 19 cents. This cost, he said, ultimately would be borne by the consumer. "Consumers would lose, retailers would lose, the credit card people would lose. The only people who would gain are people who use fraudulent credit cards," Conner said. The higher charges will reduce the use of electronic information services, slowing or even crippling an infant industry, which in turn will reduce revenues from the fees, he said. "In essence, no one gains and many people lose if this goes forward," he told the House Energy and Commerce telecommunications subcommittee. Schools would be forced to cut back their use of electronic data bases for research, said John Stuckey, director of academic computing at Northeastern University. Cutbacks also would be forced at hospitals, where doctors rely on computerized medical data bases for quick reference, said Jacquelline Bastille, director of the medical library at Massachusetts General Hospital. "This is a vital service," she said. "Access to biomedical information is needed quickly. Same-day retrieval is critical to quality patient care." Higher fees also would drive many of the roughly 750,000 home computer users off the electronic networks they use to read stock reports and news stories, call up airline schedules, and even line up blind dates, said Richard tenEyck of the Boston Computer Society, the largest computer group in the country with 25,000 members nationwide. "This is a genuine threat to our society," said Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., subcommittee chairman. ______________________________________ LONE WITNESS DEFENDS PROPOSAL ______________________________________ FCC Chairman Dennis R. Patrick, the lone witness defending the proposal, said government regulators see the issue as one of fairness -- everyone who uses the local phone network should pay the costs of maintaining it. "If we exempt one category of users, that means another category of users will have to pay more," he said. "It's not clear to me it is appropriate in an equity sense if it increases the amount borne by low-income voice users." "The commission recognizes the valuable role enhanced (information) services play in this nation's information age," Patrick said. But the FCC must also weigh the effects of the proposal on ordinary telephone subscribers, who already are paying similar fees, he said. Patrick estimated the access charges on information service providers would reduce long-distance rates by about 1 percent. "We want to see the (computer) networks evolve in response to the economics of the marketplace ... not in response to subsidies," he said. Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., subcommittee chairman, noted the strong opposition to the proposal from computer users who have sent him more than 4,000 letters. "Our highest priority must be that these services are available and the information flows freely," he said. With imposition of the proposed access charges, "information services will become the exclusive prerogative of the rich." The FCC, when it adopted the access charge system in 1982, exempted information service providers from the fees because of the fear that the new industry would not withstand the sudden increase in costs. Now, the FCC believes, it may be time to lift the exemption, but the agency has found scant support for that conclusion. Even some of the local Bell operating companies, which receive the access charges, have reacted with only lukewarm support. ______________________________________ SHARE THE LINE ______________________________________ Users also cite that phone companies combine such electronic calls so that several of them may be transmitted over the same telephone line. Since standard (voice) calls cannot be combined this way, users claim that several users would be charged for the same call. The proposal would add about $4.50 an hour to the cost of hooking up to information services. For some of the lower-priced services, the additional cost would more than double the hourly rates. Floyd H. Trogdon, vice president of Telenet Communications Corp., a computer network that connects computer users with information data bases, said the access charges would raise some of its off-peak rates by 500 percent. He estimated that the access charges from the computer industry would lower long-distance rates by less than one half of one percent. Computer users said electronic information services are already paying their share of phone network costs in a flat-rate surcharge per customer. Markey took the panel on the road to Boston, a high-tech center that has generated much of the opposition to the proposal. "This (industry) will essentially disappear if the FCC access charges goes through," said Richard tenEyck, telecommunications director of the Boston Computer Society, whose 25,000 members make it the largest computer group in the country. The loss, he said in a telephone interview earlier this week, will cut off these services to many of the approximately 750,000 home computer users, some of whom are handicapped or elderly and use computers as a gateway to the outside world. Using one of the more than 15,000 electronic billboards on computer networks throughout the country, a computer user with a question about how to handle a tax matter, for example, can dial into a network, pose the question in a message and post it on such a billboard. Readers scanning the different messages can answer the question, posting their message in the same way. "That kind of interaction happens on the order of every five seconds throughout the United States," tenEyck said. He added, "One of the ways to make the technology more affordable is to increase the size of the market. Reducing the market is a step backward." Text captured from Antic Online ______________________________________ Xx ZMAG TECHNIQUE ...With An Eye On The Future... ______________________________________ by Mr. Goodprobe With the advent of so many new and exciting options that have become available to the computer user/owner, whether they presently own a system or not, many perplexing questions arise. Which one? Why? How long will it last till I need another? These and many other questions can cause the most confident computer user to wonder which way is up. The purpose of this little article is simply for the present Atari 8 bit owner and my reasons why I think that if he is considering upgrading his system, the Atari ST series is a very wise choice for him to do so with. And for the present ST owner, and quick reminder of the blessings he now enjoys! This by no means is going to be a complete thesis, but a collection of random thoughts I have had on this matter, may they help you in your future choices! The Atari ST is first of all a 16 bit computer based on the 68000 microprocessor which means that is running at a nice 8 Mhz versus the roughly 1 Mhz of the Atari 800xl/130xe series. The raw computing power of the St is not based on this factor alone, but definitely doesn't hurt! One of the big plus factors for the St is the disk system it uses. The 3 1/2 disk it uses it completely enclosed, and quick handy for popping one in your pocket when you need to take a disk to work, a friends house or whatever. Also, the 720k disk is rather inexpensive now, and you can find them regularly available for 79 cents for a double- sided version of this little data- storage wonder. With your data safely stored inside the plastic enclosed housing, it is very likely that it will last quite awhile. As far as display quality goes, if you should choose to use the monitor that Atari makes available for you, the SM124 monochrome monitor, or the SC1224 RGB color monitor the video will quite honestly probably take your breath away. The St series now can be used with a standard TV via the modulator built in, or a composite monitor, but these options, although good when first trying to first purchase your system, they don't allow you to take full advantage of the graphics capabilities of this system. A point that I feel should be made is that the sound produced by these monitors is quite acceptable, I do feel, along with many others, that it leaves much to be desired and you may not be totally happy with this portion of the ST system. This can be overcome of course if you are using a synthesizer with your ST in which case your sound will be out-of-this world! So much for that, now lets get to the REAL reasons why I LOVE the ST. Firstly, if you were fortunate enough to forsee the day when you would upgrade your present system, you will be thrilled to learn that the vast majority of your generic hardware add- ons such as printers, modems and such like will indeed work fine with your ST system. This indeed can save you quite a bit financially, and if you were really happy with your equipment before, you will be doubly so not with it hummin' away on the ST. you know, for some reason my Panasonic 1080 seems to be much faster now that it is connected to the ST, it is quite possible that its my imagination, but not likely! There are some programs that now allow to to take advantage of some of the features of your printers that you didn't even know existed! And some word processors allow you to change the fonts right on the screen with very little effort and use graphics in ways you didnt think a home computer could do! now, the text flows around the graphics and makes for a very eye-pleasing appearance! And the terminal programs..my oh my! Most major forms of transfer protocols are supported, and you can emulate most systems with your term program so you can enjoy ANSI (IBM), Vidtex, RLE, and ATASCII graphics...on-line! There is even one term now that allows for multitasking, so now you can download a file and be working on a text file at the same time. And speaking of emulators, there are a multitude of emulators for the St that actually allow it to run software designed for other computer systems. The first type of emulator you run across is the software emulator. PC Ditto is the premier software emulator that allows the St user to run programs that are designed to run on the IBM PC and clones. It runs a large portions of these programs, and does a good job in doing so, although at less than half the speed of a normal clone. But, this opens a vast library of programs for the users, many available for the cost of the disk from computer clubs, or free from local bulletin board services. There is now an emulator for the St which allows one to run UNIX software also, and this one is quite fast. In this month of September ST Log will carry an article and program that allows the St user to run his 8 bit Atari software on his ST. This program too allows the user to run his original programs at less than half speed, but because this Transformer will be public domain you can be sure it will improve with the addition of new routines and the more efficient use of code to further speed it up. There are also further emulators that allow run to run Apple 2e and Commodore 64 programs on the St, but they still need further work on them to make them practical. The next 2 items would make one think of emulators, but they are in a class by themselves! firstly, the multi tasking operating system known as IS-9 has been recently released for the ST. This will allow the St to run all programs in the IS-9 library as this is not a system dependant operating system. The majority of computers using this operating system at present are the $20,000 and up class, and are used by many major manufacturers to do a variety of work from accounting to robotics. These programs will run with virtually no modification whatsoever. The second of the "in-a-class-by- themselves" items is the Magic Sac by David Small. This cartridge allows one to run software designed for the Macintosh, and run it faster than the machine it as designed for! with the last version of software that is used in conjunction with the Magic Sac cartridge(4.52), it appears to be very close to crashproof. Any Mac owner will tell you of the frequent crashed of their beloved Mac system, but Mr. Small has found a way to almost give you fewer crashes than the owner of an actual Mac experiences. In fact, you can run some programs with the Magic Sac the Mac owners can not do so themselves! I use this grand item on a regular basis, and can not sing enough praise! I hesitate calling this baby an emulator as it is the closest thing possible to actually adding another computer system to your collection, and at a FAR lower price! Not only is this a good reason to own an St, but a MUST for the present ST owner. Let me share with a you a recent public domain program I received for use with my Magic Sac. This little beauty was small terminal program that when run dialed our Atomic Standards clock via the modem, and then set the clock in my computer with that of the Atomic standard. now you cant beat that for accuracy, and well for novelty sake it cant be beaten! The variety of programs out are exceptional, and seem to cover the majority of interests one could possibly have. Educational, graphics art, music, business accounting and data retrieval are all well taken care of with programming gems designed for the ST. And speaking of GEM,it is the easiest to use interface that will allow the newest computer user to feel comfortable with his system, and the old "hacker" to easily accomplish things that were quite a chore before! Instead of typing on filenames to transfer a file from one disk to another, you merely drag the file to the other disk with your mouse and the task is performed. Graphics artists will be thrilled with the art programs available for the ST, and the new batch of CAD programs, with most notably CAD 3-d 2.0 allow you to do things that quite honestly were only possible on mainframe type systems. Full manipulation in a 360 degree sphere and animation for a snap with the script system designed Tom Hudson for Cad 3-D 2.0. And you can create "computer movies" with the greatest of ease with Aegis Animator. Oh yes, how could I forget, the games! You will find a game to suit every whim, fancy and desire! And once again with the power of the ST the graphics present, the computing power used, and the speed of complicated computations, your games will never have good so good and been so life-like! As you can well imagine, this list is by no means complete, but rather a quick overview of what is quite possibly the BEST computing-power per dollar value on the market. I can indeed assure you that you will never be sorry about sticking with your beloved Atari in the purchase of your new 16 bit system. The technology used is on the cutting edge, and you can be sure that it will be antiquated for quite some time! Imagine using laser printers, FAX machines, and maybe next year if all goes as promised, Atari's 350 meg Optical disc storage system! Now that is some computing power, eh my friend? Keep those Atari's hummin! Mr. Goodprobe (On lend from Midtown TV) Atari 8/16 Repair/Sales (216)633-0997 Please keep those hardware questions/ mods/upgrades coming! They are the foundation of this column, send to: Mr. Goodprobe c/o Midtown TV 27 Midway Plaza Tallmadge, Ohio 44278 ______________________________________ Xx Confrence Invitation ______________________________________ Please reprint this notice on your local BBS systems and your Users Group newsletter: UPCOMING FORMAL TELECONFERENCE (Oct. 1, 1987) by Mike Schoenbach The ATARI 8-Bit Forum on CompuServe (GO ATARI8) 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 ATARI 8-Bit BBS Sysops and users are invited and encouraged to attend this very special conference to discuss important ATARI telecommunications issues. Our guests will include some very well known ATARI BBS software authors, such as Keith Ledbetter (author of BBS EXPRESS!), Mike Olin and Mike Mitchell (author of AMIS XM301), Matt Singer (author of FOREM), and others. ______________________________________ Xx SURVEY REQUEST ______________________________________ My name is Bob Paradis and I am currently president of SJST (South Jersey ST) a small but ever growing user group. I need your help with some research for a future article that I am writing on Software Piracy. This is where the survey and you come in. Below are 12 questions I would like you to answer and mail back to me. I will have no idea who you are (unless you tell me) so answer honestly. If you are a software developer I would like to know who you are but it is not necessary. All you have to do is print out this file, answer the questions and mail it back to me...simple! If you do not have a printer or for any other reason are not able to print it out just send a self addressed stamped envelope to the address below and I will gladly mail you a copy of the survey. Also give this survey to everybody you know, the more replies I get the more accurate the survey will be. Just circle your responses....... 1. You type in a program from a magazine, save it, and give it to a friend, have you violated the Copyright law? (YES) (NO) (UNCERTAIN) 2. You type in a program from a magazine and add it to your user group's disk library for all of the members to use, have you violated the Copyright law? (YES) (NO) (UNCERTAIN) 3. You buy the disk version of a magazine and give one of it's programs to a friend, have you violated the Copyright law? (YES) (NO) (UNCERTAIN) 4. You buy the disk version of a magazine and add it to your user group's disk library for all of the members to use, have you violated the Copyright law? (YES) (NO) (UNCERTAIN) 5. You buy a magazine and lend it to a friend, have you violated the Copyright law? (YES) (NO) (UNCERTAIN) 6. You buy a magazine and photocopy something out of it for a friend, have you violated the Copyright law? (YES) (NO) (UNCERTAIN) 7. In your opinion, what portion of computer user groups violate the Copyright laws? (ALL) (MOST) (SOME) (NONE) 8. Do you consider software piracy a crime? (YES) (NO) (UNCERTAIN) 9. Do you consider a pirated program as innocent as a photocopied article from a magazine? (YES) (NO) (UNCERTAIN) 10. If you had a pirated copy of a program that you really enjoyed and used alot, would you buy it? (OF COURSE) (DEPENDS ON PRICE) (NEVER) 11. Would you ever knowingly pirate or a accept a pirated program? (YES) (NO) (UNCERTAIN) 12. How old are you? Thank you for taking the survey! I must add that the first 7 questions are based on a similar survey that ANALOG COMPUTING magazine did about 4 years ago (I have changed the wording). Now that you are through just pop it in an envelope and mail to me at: SJST PIRACY SURVEY c/o Bob Paradis 5 Erynwood Ave. Marlton, NJ 08053-1814 I must ask that all completed surveys be mailed by December 1st AGAIN...THANK-YOU! ______________________________________ Xx ADVERTISER PAGE ______________________________________ The following ia a paid advertisment. +------------------------------------+ |Your Source for Sales and Service! | |Flat rate repairs on all Atari 8 bit| |Quick turn-around on ST repairs! | |We also do flat rate repair on 8 bit| |Comodore equipment, and also can fix| |your Amiga or Apple computers! We | |also offer service contracts on all | |computers, call for rates today! Be | |sure to take advantage of our flat | |rate repair on VCR's, Video Cameras,| |and Camcorders---->$99 (covers all | |parts/labor except heads and Nuvicon| |Midtown TV 27 Midway Plaza | |Tallmadge, Ohio 44278 (216)633-0997| +------------------------------------+ ______________________________________ Xx P:R: Connection Information ______________________________________ Now you're no longer limited to 'Atari Only' printers and modems. The P:R: Connection is a flexible alternative to the Atari 850 interface. Suddenly hundreds of printers and modems become compatible with your Atari. You can even share the same printer and modem with your ST or IBM PC. The P:R: Connection plugs directly into the serial (disk drive) port of any 8 bit Atari and provides the user with a standard 'centronics' printer port and two RS-232 type serial ports. It also draws its energy from your computer which means one less cord fighting for an outlet while its compact size leaves your work space virtually clutter-free. The P:R: Connection's serial ports resemble those of the 850 interface, posessing the same signals and functions and using a fully compatible built in R: handler. ______________________________________ Zmagazine 74 October 9, 1987 (c)1987 Syndicate Services/Ron Kovacs ______________________________________
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