Z*Magazine: 25-Apr-88 #103

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/28/93-11:03:49 AM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 25-Apr-88 #103
Date: Wed Jul 28 11:03:49 1993

|//SYNDICATE ZMAGAZINE   Issue #103//|
|//EDITOR          |April 25, 1988 //|
|//      Ron Kovacs|Vol 3, No. 4   //|
|Syndicate Zmagazine c/o SPC         |
|Post Office Box 74                  |
|Middlesex, New Jersey 08846-0074    |
|BBS #1: Syndicate (201) 968-8148    |
|BBS #2: Stairway  (216) 784-0574    |
|CONTENTS                            |
|*|Letter To The Editor              |
|*|Super Dos   Press Release         |
|*|Video Title Shop  Review          |
|*|Survey Results                    |
|*|BBS Listing                       |
|*|Zmag On GEnie                     |
|*|Zmag On CompuServe                |
|*|Destroying The Hard Disk Myth     |
Letter To The Editor
The following letter received April 8,
1988.  Edited for clarity and grammer.

Panama, Republic of Panama, March 31,

Dear Mr. Kovacs,

Greetings from Central America!  I am
an avid reader of ZMagazine, (when I
can), who was also a CompuServe
subscriber. Foreign rates went up and
that has kept me from using the
service. (I had to cancelled my

ZMag is a great magazine. I would like
to find a way to be able to read it.
Perhaps a little background on Atari's
here would help.

The company that used to sell Atari
equipment here decided to drop the
line, leaving us out in the cold.
Furthermore, computer dealers seeing
this decided to drop all Atari related

This happened over a year ago. Since
then we have relied on the states to
get equipment, software and other
peripherals.  A local Atari repairman
still repairs Atari's equipment, so we
can fix them easily. For most of us an
8 bit is all the computing we'll ever
need, and that holds true.

I was thinking, we have a small user's
group, the PCACUG, and we are at a
loss for news or Atari related
information. I'd like to propose to
you to establish a contact by mail, so
that I could receive Zmagazine by
mail. I beleive rates for a disk to
Panama are not too high. A friend sent
me three Atari disks in a fairly sized
envelope and it cost him $2.22. I am
not sure whether you actually mail
your Zmag's to BBS's or just upload
them to CompuServe.  In a few words, I
would like to subscribe to ZMag, and
be added to your BBS list carrying

I run the two Atari BBS's in the
country. BUGBBS named after the BBCS
bugs, updated to AMIS then to Express
and maybe to Express Pro if it is ever
released.  It runs 24 hours at 3-12
baud and the number is: 60-0530 I also
run the club's BBS, which is called
the PCACUG BBS which is the longest
running BBS in the nation. (Nation
here applies to our two million

AS I said, we have a lack of
information and there are no magazines
locally. The clud is subscribed to
Antic and Analog, but we only get one
issue for our sixty members.  Since
each ZMag is weekly, it would cost too
much (and too much effort) to send. 
Maybe if you cram 4 issues a month
into an enhanced or double density
disk we could get this off the ground.

Your help would be invaluable. There
are alot of hopeless Atarians down

We have not seen the jump from 8 bit
to 16 bit mainly because the cost for
a 520ST is $1500.00 (no kidding) and
that's a substantial chunk of money.
Mostly, people jump from 8 bit to no
bits at all.  Beleive it or not, our
national currency is the US Dollar,
even though the US has frozen all
panamanian accounts there, so there is
a definate shortage of cash right now.

I run an Oasis BBS. I have ofcourse
trouble getting utilities for it.
Could you tell me the whereabouts of
it's original creators? I run the BBS
with RamboXL, Spartados 3.2, RTIME8,
US Doublers on one of the drives and
hopeful for a 576K upgrade to me

Once more, Thanks again for your
invaluable help, please pardon my
shaky english grammer, since we are a
spanish speaking country and I am not
using my word processor.  I will
somehow try to contact you on
CompuServe via my friend. Thanks

Bye from Panama:

Carlos Hassan
6-401 El Dorado
Panama, Republic of Panama

We will be sending Carlos all of the
issues we can in the next few weeks.
How about some assistance from some
United States User Groups? Send this
group a copy of your newsletters, your
disk of the month and whatever else
you can!  We cant allow Atari users to
be un-informed on the latest and
greatest happenings with the greatest
micro around!

Lets show Panama our support of Atari,
(Seriously folks!!!)
Super Dos  Press Release

                    Apr 22, 1988

Charles Cherry
Technical Support
205 Peoria Street
Daly City, CA 94014

SUPERDOS, the most popular DOS in
Australia, is finally available in the
United States. It is an easy to use,
powerful replacement for DOS 2.0 and
2.5. Although SUPERDOS is more compact
than the other DOSes and uses less
disk space, it has several new
commands, such as RESTORE DELETEd
files and PATCH damaged ones.

The convenient, high speed menu is
available instantly with all
computers, even 400s and 800s (no
MEM.SAV, no lost data). It closely
resembles DOS 2.5 in appearance, but
is optimized for ease of use and

SUPERDOS supports Atari 1050 and 810
drives as well as double density
drives. Automatic density sensing
configures SUPERDOS for each disk as
it is used. Copying between densities
is easy, even with only one drive.

SUPERDOS also supports 130XE-
compatible RAMdisks up to 320K bytes
and Axlon-compatible RAMdisks up to
288K bytes. SUPERDOS automatically
sets up the largest RAMdisk possible
and copies designated files into it.

SUPERDOS is NOT a public domain
program. It was written in Australia
by Paul Nicholls who retains sole
ownership of it. It is marketed in the
United States by Technical Support. If
you have not paid for the copy you are
using, please send $20 (plus $1
shipping) to:

          Technical Support
          205 Peoria Street
          Daly City, Calif 94014  USA

(California residents add 6.5% sales

SUPERDOS is warranted to perform
satisfactorily. If you are not
satisfied with SUPERDOS, your purchase
price will be cheerfully refunded.

SUPERDOS is fully compatible with DOS
2.0 and 2.5. It even looks and feels
like Atari DOS, there's nothing new to
learn. However, it's much easier to
use, and much more powerful. It
supports most Atari configurations,
including Single, Enhanced (Dual), and
Double density disk drives, Axlon and
XE RAMdisks, and most memory
expansions. We are convinced that
SUPERDOS is the most convenient Atari
DOS ever created. If you use it for a
week, you'll never want to return to
another DOS.

         SUPERDOS features:
1. SUPERDOS works with all Atari
   130XE computers and the XE Game

2. Supports Single, Enhanced (Dual),
   and Double density.

3. Automatically configures to the
   density of the disk in the drive.

4. Density of each drive is displayed
   at the top of the screen.

5. Copy files between different
   density disks with only one drive.

6. Automatically finds and sets up
   largest RAMdisk possible.

7. Supports 130XE compatible 128K,
   256K, and 320K RAMdisks.

8. Supports Axlon compatible 128K and
   256K RAMdisks.

9. Automatically copies files with
   .RAM extender to RAMdisk.

10.I/O defaults to RAMdisk if drive 1
   is not available.

11.SDUP.SYS available instantly, no
   MEM.SAV (even on 800s).

12.Short DOS.SYS and SDUP.SYS files
   leave maximum space for you.

13.RESTORE files which have been
   DELETEd or left OPEN.

14.Directory can display DELETEd and
   OPEN files.

15.Automatically TRACE and PATCH to
   recover damaged files.

16.Single keystroke menu (no Returns).

17.Clear English prompts.

18.Concise double column display lists
   40 files at once.

19.Full screen scroll, won't wipe out
   filename you were about to use.

20.Screen border color indicates type
   of operation.

21.Use upper and lower case, inverse
   and numbers in filenames.

22.Adjust the key delay and repeat
   rate for XL/XE (fast keyboard).

23.Write with or without verify,
   toggle from menu.

24.A Binary Save that even saves

25.Support for high speed transfer
   with SUPERMAX and US Doubler.

26.Skewed sectors for even higher
   speed with SUPERMAX.

27.Format disks in any density.

28.Write DOS.SYS and SDUP.SYS or
   DOS.SYS only.

29.Copy all .SYS files except DOS.SYS
   using wild cards.

30.True sector copier copies boot
   disks, skips empty sectors.

31.Option to format destination disk
   during disk copy.

32.Copy sectors and display bad sector

33.Copy to and from cassette (C:)
   using long or short IRG.

34.Display the configuration block for
   non-Atari disk drives.

35.Enter sector numbers and addresses
   in hexidecimal or decimal.

36.Handle up to eight double density
   files open concurrently.

37.Handle up to four double density
   drives plus a RAMdisk.

38.Easy to change file buffers and
   drive buffers, no POKEs.

39.Copy from DOS 3 files using one or
   two drives and wild cards.

40.SUPERBIN - a compact boot program
   which displays menu of binary files
   and runs them.

   program which displays menu of
   BASIC files and runs them.

Note: SUPERMAX is an enhancement for
the Atari 1050 disk drive. It provides
true double density and SUPERSPEED
data transfer. SUPERMAX is a product
of SUPER Products, P.O. Box 507,
Beenleigh, Queensland 4207, Australia

Note 2: We have just discovered that
the current version of SUPERDOS
(V.4.4) only supports 128K of the
Newell 256K memory upgrade.
Software Review  ..VIDEO TITLE SHOP..
from DATASOFT       by Bill Pike (PAC)
review copy loaned by IB Computers

Here's what we who own VCRs have been
waiting for.  Have you ever wished to
be able to put professional titles on
your tapes?  Well here is the best way
for you to do it.  The Video Title
Shop sells for $24.95 and is available
at IB Computers.  The program uses
Micropainter format background screens
ie:62 sector pictures.  Did I tell you
that the digitized pictures from
Computer Eyes are 62 sector
Micropainter type screens?  What does
this suggest to you?

DataSoft has published a program
called Video Title Shop.  This program
allows you to place titles at the
beginning of your video tapes, over
Micropainter type pictures or over
colored backgrounds.  You are able to
wipe individual lines or over the
entire title at one time.  You can
scroll text or graphics constructed
from text characters across the
screen.  Pictures and text can be
digitally dissolved (fizzed) between
two pictures and/or text.  If you have
a computer with extended ram (ramdisk)
you can load all the pictures, text,
and command files onto the ramdisk and
save your diskdrive.

Video Title Shop has the newest
version of Micropainter on the disk to
construct backgrounds.  Included is
documentation for Micropainter and a
Quick Reference card for both
programs.  You have two fonts on the
disk, plain and fancy.  There are two
double sided disks of Micropainter
screens provided for you or you can
construct your own.  The screen disks
also have 5 different borders to chose
from as well as many different

You have the option of either a RF
connection from the computer to the
VCR or monitor output (direct video).
There is even a section on how to
setup your VCR and what cables to use
and how to use them.  However the
program doesn't support sound or

There is a command line at the top of
the screen, this means that the
program isn't fully menu driven.
However you are prompted for your
selection and the commands are
relatively easily remembered.  Just
about everything except text entry is
by joystick control.  You are able to
place text around the screen and
change fonts.  The text and background
can have the color and brightness
changed independently during display
for greater effect.

As you can see there isn't much that
you can't do with Video Title Shop.
This is the first commercial program
of its type available.  There have
been several public domain programs of
this type around but they won't do
one-tenth of what this program will

I would rate Video Title Shop a
excellent buy at $24.95.  It is fairly
easy to operate and the documentation
won't snow you.
Survey Results
GEnie recently ran a survey for their
Atari callers, and, after taking the
survey, and reading some of the
postings, I got the impression that
certain people had the idea that the
Atari Corp. 8-bit user relationship
was doing "just fine." One example-
Atari released a 1200 baud modem!
Isn't that just great!?

Well, in response, I wrote my own
survey, and a few of the area boards
ran it. Here are the results and a
condensed version of that survey.


There is/was an Atari 8-bit computer
in my life. At present, I feel that
the support Atari Corp. is giving to
the 8-bit users is:

< 4%> Satisfactory.
<89%> Unsatisfactory.
< 4%> Comparable/others
< 3%> Undecided.

Before the advent of the ST line, I
feel that the support given by Atari
Corp. was:

<48%> Satisfactory.
<12%> Unsatisfactory.
<30%> Comparable others
<10%> Don't know.

At present, thinking about the
relationship between Atari Corp. and
the 8-bit user:

<74%> Atari don't care about 8-bit
<10%> Atari is doing fine for 8-bit
< 6%> Atari supports 8-bits as their
      sales deserve.
< 8%> Atari is trying to discourage
      the 8-bit line.
< 2%> Undecided

Third party software for Atari 8-bits
has rapidily declined. I feel that it
is because:

<45%> Atari forgot about the 8-bit, so
      others followed.
< 2%> Decline? What decline?!?!
<13%> Piracy.
<36%> Software hard to find because of
      sales drop.
< 4%> Undecided

I own a modem. It is:

<34%> Atari 300 baud.
< 8%> Non Atari 300 baud.
< 8%> Atari 300/1200 plus.
<50%> Non Atari 300/1200 plus.
* Note: "plus" greater than.

Non-Atari modem users:

<25%> I bought this because I got
      tired of waiting for Atari to
      release a 1200/2400 modem.
< 4%> I will buy a 1200/2400 baud
      Atari modem and will wait.
<31%> I own a 300 baud modem.
<40%> Atari didn't offer a modem of my
      baud rate at purchase.

Atari Corp. recently released a new
modem. However, it was up to the
purchaser to find a Terminal program
for it. I think this is:

<20%> A sound business practice.
<53%> The dumbest thing possible.
<12%> Better to release the product
      when PD software is available.
<15%> Undecided

I like my 8-bit. If I was transported
back to the day I bought it, and
remembered what Atari Corp. did since
I bought it:

<45%> I would buy an 8-bit Atari.
<50%> Buy some other computer.
<00%> Would not buy a computer
< 5%> Would buy a game machine

In summation, thinking about how Atari
Corp. has supported their 8-bit users,
I would say:

< 7%> average satisfied.
<43%> below average.
<49%> is non-existant!
< 1%> Undecided.

Total users participating:__> 186

This survey was run in the Allentown,
Bethlehem, Easton area of Pa.

Conclusions at a glance:
Support given by Atari is now nearly
non-existant and completely
unsatisfactory; and this changed with
the advent of the ST line. The reason
for this decline is Atari's doing, and
is also affecting support that was
given by third-party software

Nearly half of the callers are
300 baud, and more than half are using
non-Atari 1200 baud or faster modems
because Atari did not supply one
better than 300 baud at the time of

50% of the users in this area would
buy another computer because of the
lack of support Atari is showing

Finally- 92% thats right 92% of the
users say Atari support for the 8 bit
people is either below average or
non-existant (49% nonexistant!)

This may be too little and too late,
but, there is always hope Atari will
wake up and get back on track.

BBS Listing
This is the pre-release of the
ZMag/ST-Report BBS list. This will be
updated weekly and published every few
months here.

You will notice a rather large gap in
the registration numbers. These
systems have not be validated, so will
not be added until that time. This
list is not complete.

These systems support our
publications.  Please call and support
these systems.  If you are not on any
of the pay services, call these boards
and pass the word.

We thank each and every BBS listed
here many thanks. Without your weekly
support we would not have made it this

Reg No.Area  Phone Number BBS Name    
H001-  201   968-8148     Syndicate
H002-  216   784-0574     Stairway 
H003-  312   690-3724     Lions Den
X004-  609   451-7475     C.C.B.B.S.
X005-  219   223-8107        Manitou
X006-  718   648-0947        Dateline
X007-  718   604-3323    New York City
X008-  301   437-9813        Ratcom
X009-  916   962-2566     Shadow Haven
X010-  918   835-5198       Tektron
X011-  201   Closed          Timelink
X012-  201   298-0161        J.A.C.G.
X013-  216   545-4817   Pirate Busters
H014-  904   786-4176  Bounty Atari ST
Z015-  305   747-9196        Alternate
Z016-  813   821-3188    ST Petersburg
Z017-  505   897-4306      Asylum BBS
X018-  808   423-3140  Wonderful World
X019-  219   674-9288       M.O.U.S.E.
Z020-  404   945-6021 Buford Byte Size
X021-  813   726-3449    Harbor Lights
X022-  912   244-1726        Talisman
X023-  617   674-8361        Westport!
X024-  817   444-3023        Rivendale
X025-  415   825-2952      West Coast
X026-  315   638-8569      The D.E.N.
X027-  505   525-0388   Atari C.A.L.C.
Z028-  201   723-0824    Wild West BBS
X029-  216   758-0284          Command
Z030-  707   252-0631          Irata
Z031-  617   675-8503        S.W.A.T.
X032-  703   560-6318        The Ark
X033-  615   665-1217  Vanishing Point
X034-  301   967-2207        Orion
X035-  207   784-0631        M.A.C.H.
Z036-  516   698-7456        WQNR BBS
X037-  713   923-7392       W.A.S.T.E.
X038-  504   244-0768        Milliways
X039-  617   586-8840        Lost Byte
Z040-  303   796-0539        The Vault
Z041-  404   796-3805      Garden City
Z042-  609   939-6247        Satelite
Z043-  206   848-3371        The Reef
S044-  816   761-2190        Elysium
Z045-  315   454-9612      Atari Hotel
X046-  212   617-0153       The Bunker
X047-  201   247-8252      E.B.B.B.S
Z048-  402   466-5339   Griffon's Nest
X049-  011   494-12997   Kisa Monitron
X050-  011   0340-51117     First Star
Z051-  718   253-8602        Outsiders
Z052-  805   773-5907      Hot Rodders
X053-  203   776-9723        New Haven
X054-  502   964-2964 Bargain Basement
X055-  609   931-3014        Gateway
X056-  602   846-7357      Network 23
Z057-  313   547-0440  Cosmic Stompers
Z058-  804   379-4156 Midnight Express
X059-  314   647-3290     Gateway City
Z060-  312   457-2219        Bluemoon
X061-  617   625-5348        Mall Five
Z062-  312   430-4234        Runequest
X063-  205   772-8526     Bloom County
X064-  205   461-7893        H.A.U.G.
X065-  812   985-2083     West Terrace
Z066-  502   778-9846        WAEL
Z067-  502   964-2924     Atari Scene
Z068-  614   471-8559        ACEC BBS
X069-  614   471-9209        Pandora
Z070-  918   251-5450        Help BBS
Z071-  716   875-7376      Bates Motel
Z072-  516   884-4140      Ol' Hackers
Z073-  203   443-5200       Phantasmal
S074-  402   466-5339       S.T.U.N.N.
S075-  201   929-9351        CoaSTline
S076-  703   665-0087        Infonet
Z077-  201   388-1676      White House
X078-  616   245-8259        Exte
Z079-  404   968-4380       Dark Crypt
Z080-  601   388-3490       C.A.U.U.G.
Z081-  601   374-0709        Irata II
Z082-  612   522-2687        T.A.I.G.
X083-  219   336-3774        Pipeline
X084-  313   736-3920        Facts BBS
Z085-  808   261-2184     Muskrats Den
X086-  507   60-0530         BugBBS
X087-  219   875-8205        One Stone
Z088-  305   793-2975        Carina
Z089-  305   734-6026   Atari Computer
Z090-  216   441-3816      Mega Vision
X091-  419   289-8392    Balloon Works
X092-  517   371-1106       C.H.A.O.S.
X093-  011   470-22183          Sorman
Z094-  206   631-8056      Knotts Nook
Z095-  312   889-1240      C.L.A.U.G.
Z096-  915   757-0788  House of Chance
Z097-  714   653-0447     Thunderbeast
Z098-  203   445-4094      Spiders Web
Z099-  219   693-3485        Acorn BBS
Z100-  606   271-1466     Missing Link
Z101-  704   253-3614        Office
X128-  805   239-8710      The LookOut
Z129-  201   286-6189        AtlantiST
S130-  201   271-8765      Great Fire
X131-  918   622-1121      Future City
X132-  805   872-0377        Home Bace
Z133-  201   752-9466       Piscataway
Z134-  718   373-4669        Blue BBS
X135-  216   376-7618      Rubber City
X136-  317   243-2177        Dog House
X137-  907   338-5005    Public Domain
X138-  309   797-5926        Checkmate
Z139-  707   437-6366 Elsinore Brewery
S140-  602   435-9645       Think Tank
X141-  813   823-1471        MegaPlex
X142-  314   696-3506        AXE***BBS
X143-  201   343-1426       Launch Pad
Z144-  416   648-8359        19th Hole
Z146-  213   631-7328        L.B.C.S.
X147-  314   581-3801        Brickyard
X148-  215   289-5247       Star Fleet
X149-  201   938-6906       Starbase I
Z150-  805   929-1624        My House
Z151-  ???   855-1317   Atarian Domain
X152-  816   637-6163 Schwarzer Drache
Z153-  201   689-4550  Kilroy's Castle
Z154-  415   565-9742        Eagle BBS
ZMag Area on GEnie
            Welcome to the Atari 8-Bit
    ** ** **   RoundTable!...Official
    ** ** **   Atari Online Support!!
    ** ** **
    ** ** **           SysOps:
   **  **  **
  ***  **  ***   DARLAH  Darlah Hudson
***    **    *** MARTY.A Marty Albert
                   &  CRAIG.S.THOM

 Weekly RTC is      Atari Online:
 Every Thursday
 Evening - 10PM  NHARRIS  Neil Harris
 (7PM Pacific)   TOWNS   John Townsend
                 DMAY     Darryl May
                 DANSCOTT Dan Scott

GEnie                         Page 667
      Set Atari Software Library      
        Library: ALL Libraries        

 1. Help Files
 2. Programming/Disk Utilities
 3. Educational Atari
 4. Music/Graphics Utilities
 5. Atari Tunes
 6. Great Graphics
 7. Textfile Graphics
 8. Telecommunications
 9. Information Processing
10. Atari Amusements
11. Everything Else
12. User Group Newsletters & Info
13. ZMAG   <---------------------
14. ALL Libraries

Enter #, <P>revious, or <H>elp?
ZMAG Area Debuts on Compuserve
April 11 -- ZMAG comes to DL 11!

ATARI8 is pleased to announce ZMAG's
new home on CIS -- DL 11! The library
description tells it all...

This Data Library is devoted to
Zmagazine.  You will find the weekly
issues of ZMAG as well as other
support files in this Data Library.

Articles written will be extracted and
made available for user group editors
to reprint in local newsletters.

You will find ALL issues of Zmag in
this area.  Some issues have been
difficult to find, as they are found,
we will upload them.

If you have an article you would like
to have published in the magazine,
Please upload it here. Remember,
upload time is Free ALL day on CIS!

Publisher/Editor          Ron Kovacs
Assistant Publisher       Ken Kirchner

To begin, 99% of all hard disks made
conform to IBM standards. With this
thought in mind we shall proceed....

The most readily available and in my
opinion, the most reliable, hard disk
is from Seagate......next in line is
the Miniscribe. There are others, you
must make sure they conform to the IBM

Most commonly found hard drives do not
have controllers built in. These are
the most reliable and economical
drives to use.

This goodie is the custodian of your
hard disk!  It directs all I/O
functions to the hard disk it also
points to and accesses each cylinder.
It "controls" everything.

DATA  ST125 ST138 ST225 ST251 ST251-1
SIZE f'm'd
       21    32    21    42    42
        4     6     4     6     6
       615   615   615   820   820
      3-200 3-200 5-200 3-200 3-200
        28    28    65    40    28
       N/A   N/A  300/614 N/A   N/A
POWER watts
        10    10   14.8    11    12
 ST4038    ST4051    ST4053   ST4096
SIZE f'm'd
   31        42        44       80
    5         5         5        9
   733       977       1024     1024
  10-70      10-70     3-70     3-70
   40         40        28       28
 300-732      N/A       N/A      N/A
POWER watts
  25.5        25.5      23       25.5
ST138R ST157R ST238R ST251R ST277R
SIZE f'm't
  32     49     31     43     65
  4      6      4      4      6
 615     615    615    820    820 
 3-200  3-200  5-200  3-200   3-200
 28      28      65     40     40 
 N/A     N/A    N/A     N/A    N/A
POWER watts
  10     10     14.8    11     11
ST138N  ST157N  ST225N  ST251N  ST227N
SIZE f'm't
  32      48      21      43      64
63,139  95,015  41,170  84,254 126,790
  28      28      65      40      40
POWER watts
  12      12      16.8    13      13

Be Advised, as of 01/01/88, Seagate
began using the new I'ntl light code
the front light on the drive is GREEN
not RED only if it is made after Jan.
01 1988. I do not advise the use of
the "N" models as they are limited in
the flexibility of use by the embedded
controller and are more expensive.
Seagate may cost more, but they are
the workhorses of the industry. The
Seagate Hard Disk is extremely
RELIABLE. Seagate units above 40mb
have auto-park.

All of the above are:FCC,TUV/UL/CSA

The list of other types of drives is
large, some are, Disctron, Lapine,
Microscience, Micro-memories,
Miniscribe, Priam, Rodime, Shugart,
Tandon and Tulin.  The formatted size
of these range anywhere from 5-87Mb.

I purposely avoided name Brand Names
of packaged drives because in most
cases they use Adaptek and seagate...I
have found that Atari and Supra have
gone to the small 3.5 hard disk. I
will cover those next.  As far as
Atari is concerned, I wish they would
have save a fortune in R&D and went
with the standard assembly, as the
method they used is so typical of
Atari, "they walked all 'round the
barn to walk in the front door", why
did they have to change the 'prom it
made the SH204 a problem maker, why
the dip switches?, do they really
think the Atari user cant handle
Terminal resistor packs and jumpers??? Bad Move....Some of the companies have
gone to Miniscribe, (the coffee
grinder) to cut production costs, they
will go back to SEAGATE as soon as
they realize the RMA volumn is eating
their lunch!

Remember that all these drives (except
for a few) come without a controller,
you really want it without a
controller ..it's less expensive and
works out much better for you in the
long run.....you will see!

The actual chain of connection for a
hard drive is:

1-hard disk
3-interface..and the DMA port.

MFM- This is a format style most
commonly found in use although
recently, RLL has been becoming far
more popular as it is a condensed
compact format thus allowing more data
to be stored on an equivalent size
hard disk.  The major difference is
the media itself in the hard disk is
PLATED to insure accuracy and
longevity.  Think of it like plain
recording tape and CrO2 Chromium
Dioxide tape.  The recording media in
the "R" drives is of a high quality
and plated.

In most cases, the Interface, ( Host
Adapter ) determines what type of
system the hard disk will comply with.
It also (usually) has a clock/calendar
built in.

In reality you can take a hard drive
system made for an 8bit XL/XE and
change the interface to one for an ST
and it will now work on the ST (after
a format).

The two most widely used controllers,
and I might add, ARE REALLY THE BEST,
are made by Adaptek they are designed
with the user in mind and provide for
expansion for the future.

ACB-4000A                ACB-4070
---------                --------
Interface SCSI dr type   ST506/412
ST506/412 [RLL-Certified]

These hard disk systems are special in
one way, they have embedded

ALPHA 10H           BETA XXX interface
SCSI dr type  Cart 10mb      Cart xxmb

RO650                  RO652 interface
SCSI  dr type    10mb             20mb

ST225N interface  SCSI dr type    20mb

*** NOTE Iomega, Rodime, and the 1
Seagate listed are the embedded
controller type.  These are slowly
fading from popularity.

             WESTERN DIGITAL
WD1002-SHD interface
SASI dr type     ST506/412

1410                   1410A interface
SASI dr type ST506/412       ST506/412

* These devices are SASI also slowly
fading into the sunset......

ACB4000A / ACB4070 are highly
recomended and of excellent design.
These controllers will handle most any

There are three types available for
the ST:  ICD, Supra, and Berkley

The "MIO"...Designed for use in the 8
bit field comes in two configurations

  256k                        1MB
  ----                        ---
Both units handle all your needs as
they include all the fuctions of the
Atari 850 interface.  PLUS a printer
spooler and buffer.

The Host Adapter is designed for the
16 bit ST hard drive system or for
most anything you care to couple to
it...ie, tape backup and hard disk and
laser printer etc..

The host adapter interface is also
equipped with an outstanding clock
made non-volatile thru the use of a
lithium battery. Rated **** ICD has
real winner here!

Both of supra's interfaces are quite
good, not as flexible as ICD's but


This is the end of the first
installment to placed here for you,
there will be more in the near future.

The configuration for the hard disk
systems are variable, for example, if
you wished to use the stand alone
system with a different computer you
would be able to do so simply by
changing the interface.

Expandable means you can add another
drive at a later date in the existing

NOTE: This article and the "Hard Disk
Series" are for the readers of ST
not be duplicated in any form without
the written permission of the
publisher and author.
Syndicate ZMagazine  Issue #103
April 25, 1988 (c)1988 SPC/Ron Kovacs

Return to message index