Z*Magazine: 9-Oct-88 #126

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/12/93-05:20:27 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine:  9-Oct-88 #126
Date: Sun Sep 12 17:20:27 1993

Syndicate ZMagazine          Issue #126     
October 9, 1988
American Publishing Enterprises, Inc.,
PO Box 74    Middlesex, NJ 08846
         Publisher: Ron Kovacs
   General Manager: Ralph Mariano
       ZMag Editor: John Deegan
  Assistant Editor: Carlos Hernandez
GEnie Correspondent: John Nagy
Publishers Desk  by R. Kovacs

ZMagazine returns to 40 column 
publication with this issue.  It will 
appear shortly after release of this 80 
column edition on CompuServe and the 
Launch Pad BBS.  If you are interested 
in 40 column over 80 column, NOW is the 
time to feedback your opinion!  Unless 
we receive positive response on 40 
column, we will discontinue it.

I felt compelled to write an extensive 
rebuttle or commentary article on the 
recent Sam Tramiel conference.  Since 
John Nagy's article just about 
duplicates my feelings, I will not print 
it here.  Please take a few minutes out 
and be sure to go over the transcripts, 
I am sure you will find them 
interesting.  Although the bulk of 
discussion pertains to the ST, you will 
notice where Neil Harris got his roots 
in public speaking!


/// Publishers Desk                    
/// Editors Desk
/// Sam Tramiel Conference Transcripts 
/// Sam Tramiel Conference Reaction
/// Software Copyrighting Help         
/// Washington AtariFest Report
/// Conference Symbols and Meanings    
/// Atari-8 Bit Color Radar Viewing
/// History Will Teach Us Nothing      
/// MTOS Update
/// Bill of Rights                     
/// Epic 2400 Modem Review

####################(c)1988 APEInc#####

=====Editors Desk===========>
by John Deegan

In the middle of final production of 
this issue, I was informed MAM replied 
to questions submitted by Ron Kovacs.  I 
am not sure what the results are, but as 
soon as I can get more facts on this, we 
will print them here.

The Atari CO follows, I must stress that 
this is a very poor conference, and I 
find it difficult to accept the attitude 
that is projected below, but again, what 
do I know??

The Turbo816 is still on schedule for 
release in mid November, stay tuned to 
ZMag for the latest!

Thanks to John Nagy for gracing the 
modems in ZMagazine.


=====Sam Tramiel Conference=>

Captured and edited by Ron Kovacs for
ZMagazine.  This material is Copyright
(c) 1988 CompuServe SIG Atari. Reprinted
by permission.

% The ATARI President Sam Tramiel
conference is beginning

Your moderator is Job 11  SYSOP-Ron

(SYSOP-Ron) Hello everyone....

Tonights special CONFERENCE with Sam
Tramiel, the President of ATARI Corp.,
will begin in just a few seconds.  To
ask Sam a Question, you must type /QUE
to get into the queue.  I'll recognize
the next person in line one at a time.
Please keep your questions simple and
ask only one question at a time.  Mark
Jansen of ATARI will be typing for Sam
tonight.  Does Sam have any opening
statement before we open the floor for
questions? (ga Mark)

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) Sorry for not
being available last Monday night. There
was a conflict with a Jewish holy day.
There is another Jewish holy day today
but I dared not do it again.  :-) So
here we are.

(SYSOP-Ron) thx Sam.  We all appreciate
you showing up here to answer some very
nagging questions.  okay first user.

% Moderator recognizes queue #1
  Mark Woolworth <32>

(Mark Woolworth) I really dont want to
start out on a negative point, but here
goes.  I was one of the people that was
demonstarting the new machines at the
fall COMDEX show last year, and most of
these machines were promised for
sometime this year. At least at the
present point I have not seen any of
these machines released. What is the
status on them, and when will they be
out in the United States?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) You were clever
not to mention the model names. At
present I think that we are shipping
all the models in Europe, even the Abaq
to developers. We will start shipping
in earnest to the US market in early
1989, including the st and the line of
pc compatibles and our new members of
the ST family. The Abaq is now called
the ATW (Atari work Station) ga

% Moderator recognizes queue #2

(RICHARD MATAKA) Hello Sam...first of
all, i want to congratulate you and your
sons and others who have resurrected
Atari from an almost certain death..but
I am still somewhat questioning the
support from Atari US. As you know,
there are only a few US publications
supporting the ST.  Now Compute ST has
decided to no longer publish and with
the questionable support from Atari,
Word Perfect Corp seems to have put
their product developemnt on hold. Also
other software 3rd party companies are
not supporting the ST.  How will you
convince these companies and others who
may start a company to suport the ST?
What kind of incentives will you be
offering or will you just let everything
come out of Europe which is where the
current bulk of ST support is based?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) Thank you for the
fine complement regarding my sons but
they are only 7 and 4 years old
respectively.  I am the son of Jack
Tramiel and Leonard and Garry are my
brothers. I am as frustrated as you are
and probably more so. The present
problem is that the dram problem is
causing us great delivery problems and
we can not keep up with the demand in
Europe and other parts of the world. We
just signed a major deal with a big
Dram supplier and the situation will
get better I hope in early 1989. We will
and do support developers all over the
world and suggest that US developers
learn how to export which would help
themselves and the economy. I am sorry
to see Compute drop the ST mag but I
hope that they will revisit the issue
when they see tens of thousands ST's
sold monthly in the US.

Last month I was in Germany for the
Annual Atari Fair in Dusseldorf. It was
incredible, over 30,000 over the
weekend.  ga

(RICHARD MATAKA) Sam, i appreciate your
answer but while the support in Europe,
(I agree), is great, here it is another
story. As you may or may not know, I
was an author for ST XPress for about a
year writing Critics Corner and the
public view of Atari support is quite
contrasting to Atari's version. How will
you and Atari hope to change this US
view of your marketing strategy so that
support will be forthcoming for the Atari
computer products?......ga

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) Right now we do
not really have a major marketing thrust
as you know.  However, we do think that
we have user support and good in house
people at Atari US that are more than
willing to help.

(RICHARD MATAKA) Sam, I think that maybe
where your main problem is user support
is excellent however, development
support is very very 

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) with almost any
problem.  WE definitely plan to bring in
software from Europe but "development
support is very very...what?"

(RICHARD MATAKA) strained..and it is the
development people that you have to win
over if you are going to be a serious
computer competitor in the US.

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) We are not
strained, and are happy to help anyone.
I am sure once we are selling large
quantities in the US, any strains that
exist will disappear.

% Moderator recognizes queue #3
  charles medley <16>

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) In the meanwhile,
export to Europe. (Sam Tramiel @ Atari)
We do, and we like it!  :-)

(charles medley) OK.... I have 3
questions.  1) What is REALLY in the NEW
TOS.  2)  What is the final news on the
68030 TT?  Can a MEGA be used for it.
What is the fate of the 68030 box?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) We have already
published the details of new TOS to
developers and will do so for the rest
of the users when it is released. We
are working on the TT, and hope to show
it in early '89.

% Moderator recognizes queue #4
  Michael Lynch <21>

(Michael Lynch) Do you have any plans
for an IBM 286 board for the ST line?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) No.

% Moderator recognizes queue #5
  Steve Mortimer/NNQ <5>

(Steve Mortimer/NNQ) Many developers
and dealers are not going to support the
ST anymore or are on the brink of that
decision.  It is essential to retain
what support we have left.  Will you
consider advertising to increase
awareness till the "big push" or sign
up a national computer chain stocked
with a few STs diverted from Europe?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) We feel that
advertising without product availability
is helpful in selling our competitors'
machines, and therefore, will just waste
money. As far as a national computer
chain is concerned, we are already
diverting machines to the US and ship
them to our few but loyal ST dealers. ga

% Moderator recognizes queue #6
  =Bandit= (tm) <13>

(=Bandit= (tm)) BALLPARK Date/Price of
new TOS ROMS to USERS? (=Bandit= (tm))
Who is Neils replacement?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) Date: early 1989,
depending on ROM deliveries... Price -

(SYSOP-Ron) C'mon Sam.  "Reasonable"???
How about a price range?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) You know that we
are always reasonable, Ron.

% Moderator recognizes queue #7
  Ed Waldorph <39>

(Ed Waldorph) There has been much talk
from dealers and former dealers and
employees about the difficulty of
making a business selling the ST line in
the U.S.. Much criticism has been
leveled at Atari for lack of dealer
support. There is some indication that
the situation is changing but in this
entire forum only _one_ dealer has
spoken out to defend the company.

What is Atari doing to increase its
delear support? How are you going to
increase the delear base? Have you
considered setting up a section for
dealers here or over at Genie so they
can talk directly to Marketing and
Sevice and among themselves, and
encouraging them to use it?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) We already have a
system for Service Centers, Sales Reps,
and dealers, run from Sunnyvale.

% Moderator recognizes queue #8
  Rex Reade <17>

(Rex Reade) Sam, Why was Mike Dendo [VP-
SALES] telling people in Michigan that
Atari HAD 3 soft quarters and needed
strong 4th to survive!

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) We just had three
RECORD quarters, and I am sure that
someone misquoted Mike.

% Moderator recognizes queue #10
  Bob Dolson <55>

(Bob Dolson) Why don't you provide an
easier upgrade path for memory, drives,
etc, so that the 'poor' owners of 520
STFM's for instance would find it easier
to get double sided drives, and more

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) It is a tradeoff
between cost and upgradability. Adding
the upgradability will increase the
cost of _every_ unit.

% Moderator recognizes queue #11
  Joe Fowler <22>

(Joe Fowler) Mr. Tramiel.  We heard a
lot about the ST tonight.  I would like
to know what future plans Atari has for
the 8 bit line of machines, the best
made on the market?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) We agree that the
Atari 8-bit line is the best available.
However, the US market seems to want
more powerful machines. We are selling
many tens of thousands of the XE/XL
line in Europe, and in the middle east,
and in Latin America. We are trying to
push the XE Game System in the US, as a
computer and a game for the same price
as the Nintendo, with an exercise mat.
(i.e. $149)

% Moderator recognizes queue #12
  edward giertuga <28>

(edward giertuga) You folks make a
beautiful machine, but your marketing
strategy is scaring the heck out of me.
Have you read David Small's message
(#111539) regarding Neil Harris'
resignation?  It's worth reading. Any

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) By the way, there
is now a fifty dollar rebate on the XE
Game machine.  To be honest, I have not
read David Small's message, but I

The conference is ending due to a system

(Ed)  At this point, CompuServe ended
the conference via an unwanted shutdown
of the area.  After a short pause and
minor confusion, the conference
restarted and continued)

% Moderator recognizes queue #40

(Dave Groves) could Sam answer Ed's
query? ga

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) As I was saying
before that "glitch"  I wish Neil alot
of success in his new job it was a
pleasure to work with him over the
years that I have known him.

(SHAWN SMILEY) Are you planning to make
any additions to the ST like stereo
sound and speach synthesis?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) No comment.
Sorry, but we do not want to promise new
things until they are ready.

% Moderator recognizes queue #42
  tc <3>

(tc) What about the portable ST? Fact
or fiction? ga

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) Fact.  We are
working on it, and will ship it as soon
as it is ready.

% Moderator recognizes queue #43
  Steve Mortimer <10>

(Steve Mortimer) Do you forsee any major
changes at Atari or the ST market in the
near future? This includes the
possibility of a revamped ST based on
new technology like the 68020/30 while
remaining ST compatible?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) I hope so...we
plan for Atari to be number two or
number three in the world personal
computer market and we hope to make the
ST one of the standard machines in the
US during 1989.

(Steve Mortimer) Any specific plans to
achieve that goal?

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) I would prefer
not to comment on details of future ST
or TT machines at present.

(SYSOP-Ron) I would like to apologize,
But I just have been informed by Sam T.
That he has to leave in 5 minutes.  He
is willing to reschedule another
CONFERENCE in the (near) future.  So
Since we have so many unanswered
questions. I dont know if it would be
fair to all concerned to let 1 or 2
more go, so I'll just end it here. 
Would Sam like to make some general
closing comments in his last few

(Sam Tramiel @ Atari) Closing
comments: I appreciate the support of
all of you, and I really hope that in
1989, you will not be such a minority in
the US personal computer world. It is a
pleasure to see Atari so successful in
Europe and I'm sure that with more DRAM
as we expect in '89, we will be able to
be successful in the US as well.  Good

(SYSOP-Ron) I'll throw the CO facility
open to all folks....

% The conference has ended
   Thank you for attending

=====Sam Tramiel Conference=>

by John Nagy

Yes, ATARI spokesman NEIL HARRIS has
resigned.  Known unaffectionately by
many names including "the MOUTH", Neil
carried the brunt of "ATARI BASHING" for
the last several years, usually due to
promises, timetables, and products that
never materialized.  Neil was in a
difficult position, being told to
announce things for political and
economic reasons, even when he knew (and
we knew) differently.

What angered many of us was his
enthusiastic zeal and razor tounge while
defending ATARI positions that would too
frequently be revealed as embarassing
falsehoods or blue-sky vapor.  In some
ways, Neil became the whipping-boy,
someone on whom to take out our
frustrations with ATARI in general.  It
kept ATARI itself a bit cleaner looking.

However, the communication problem at
ATARI is FAR from over. In what was
CONVENTION, CompuServe had a live
conference with SAM TRAMIEL, CEO of
ATARI Corp.  It was held online at 9PM
EST on October 3.  And it was awful...
and goes a ways in this writer's mind
to indicate that Neil was, indeed,
just passing on the tone of upper ATARI,
and maybe wasn't as self-taught in his
obnoxia as we had thought.

The "event" was rescheduled after Sam
cancelled the original September 26
date, reportedly because it was a
Jewish Holy Day.  Well, October 3 was
another one, but they held it anyway.
Perhaps it was moved because Neil was
supposed to handle it with Sam... but
he resigned 3 days too soon.

When the conference opened, it was
announced that "Sam Tramiel, CEO of
ATARI, is here to talk about the future
of the ST".  Well over 100 people were
tuned in to read the "real facts" from
the top.  Two hours were allotted for
the convention, and the question que
filled almost instantly. We were

We were dissapointed.  Some good and
wide questions were asked, and were
either avoided completely or narrowed
to a yes/no answer... all without Neil's

It is also interesting to note that Sam
referred to ATARI machines in the US as
having been "diverted" from their
European destinations!

Even the CompuServe Sysops were
obviously shocked when Sam cut off the
conference after little more than an
hour.  Perhaps we were seeing more
concern over the connection time fees
that were to be lost than over the
possible loss of information exchange.
(Consider 100-200 people all paying
CompuServe $7 to $13 dollars an hour to
witness the conference...it MUST have
been a financial dissapointment not to
go at LEAST the planned two hours!)

There WAS some actual information
passed, although most of it was fairly
old or well-rumored.  Like, there WILL
be an ST-Portable... someday.  Sam says,
"We are working on it, and will ship it
as soon as it is ready." Like wine, not
before its' time, I suppose.

Sam had nothing at all to say in this
conference, and didn't care to reachout
to the real and troubling questions of
the users.  And the "event" gives us a
glimpse of what Neil had to go through
to be the daily buffer between ATARI
and the public. I am left feeling that
ATARI really doesn't care about what
you or I want or need... they have
their company, it's going just the way
the want it, and they can't understand
why we won't just let them play by

I bet Neil hasn't got any second
thoughts about leaving.

=====Software Copyrights====>


M. Lee Murrah  Attorney at Law
      6504 Hillcrest Rd.
     Roanoke, Texas 76262
   Metro 430-3760 (Area 817)

    Information Needed

1.  Full name and nationality (or 
    domicile) of author.

2.  Birthdate of author, unless the
    copyright is to be owned by a
    company. Date of death if author is

3.  If multiple authors, description of
    what each contributed.

4.  If the applicant is different from
    the author, a description of how the
    applicant obtained ownership of the

5.  If the registration is to in the
    name of a company, the full name
    and address of the company and the
    name and title of the officer who
    will make the application.  If the
    software was written as an employee
    of a company, the software is
    considered a "work for hire", and
    the company is considered the

6.  Year the software was created.

7.  Full date the software was first
    published (if it has been
    published), and the country in
    which first published.

8.  If the software is being
    published commercially, the name
    and address of the publisher.

  Documents Needed

1.  A full printout of the software
    source code for file documentation
    purposes.  Be sure the source code
    has a comment or remark at the
    beginning with the title of the
    software and your copyright notice.
2.  A printout of the software object
    code (hexadecimal listing) for file
    documentation purposes.  Be sure
    the object code includes a copyright
    notice that appears on the initial

3.  Three (3) special copies of the
    software for deposit with the
    application.  The guidelines in 1
    and 2 immediately above regarding
    copyright notice should be
    followed, EXCEPT that certain
    portions of the deposit copies may
    be omitted or be blacked out as
    described below.

4.  Documentation for the software.  Be
    sure the documentation has a
    copyright notice on the title page.

5.  Copy of registration previous
    version of the software, if any.

 Software Deposit Guidelines

You have three options for making
deposits of software with your

1.  Deposit the first 25 and last 25
    pages of the SOURCE listing. If less
    than 50 pages, then all must be

2.  Deposit all the object code under
    the "rule of doubt."

3.  Deposit the source and/or object
    code with portions omitted or blacked
    out, with a special "petition for
    special relief",as follows:

    (a) Submit the first and last 25
    pages of the SOURCE code with up to
    50% blacked out.

    (b) Submit the first and last 10
    pages of the SOURCE code with none
    blacked out. If less than 20 pages,
    then all must be submitted.

    (c) Submit the first and last 25
    pages of the OBJECT code plus any
    10 or more consecutive pages of the
    SOURCE CODE.  If the object code is
    less than 50 pages, then all must
    be submitted.

Clearly, in any case you would want to
do two things: (1) place the "meat" of
the program in the middle part which
may be omitted under the guidelines,
and (2) double or triple space your
source listing.

RECOMMENDATION:  Option 3 with the
option ( a, b, or c) which reveals the
least amount of sensitive code is
usually the best choice.

=====AtariFest Report=======>
by John Deegan/Brian Biggs

Last weekend, Oct 1, the Washingtion
area was pelted with another AtariFest.
As we have been hearing through ST-
Report and ZMagazine.  The most recent
to date, previous to the Washington
Fest, was the Glendale AtariFest.  (See
ZMAG125 for details on that show).

Well, the Washington AtariFest is
underway, and the Fairfax High School
was *packed* with tons of folks, and
dealers. Of the many dealers that showed
up, only one dealer did not set up,
Migraph (the EZDraw folks).

One of the hottest items around --
Spectre 128 -- was selling out on the
spot. Mr. David Small arrived and set
up (sort of...) in the midst of a mob
of 20 or so people waiting to get a
coveted copy of the Mac emulator.
Nearby, an entranced group stood around
watching someone putting the Translator
One through its paces.

At the dealer show room, Mac Roms (64k)
were available, while orders could be
taken for 128k rom's. (The price was
$30 for the 64K's and $115 for the
This Fest was divided into two principle
display areas, the demonstration rooms
including setups for several interests.
We stopped by the Education and the
Handicapped, and Telecommunications
rooms to talk about the ST with the
demonstration personnel.
In the dealer area, NeoDesk and the
Universal Item selector were being
actively demoed by the CalCom folks, to
people attracted by the CyberPaint
Animation sequences ("...it's like
watching Saturday morning cartoons").

Throughout the display hall, hundreds
of titles were available, with perhaps
less than half being games, the
remainder being productivty software
and development tools. All of the
pricing noticed was very reasonably.
Additionally all type of hardware were
available from plugs and wire to monitor
switchers to computers. Topped off with
a rather full speaking schedule, this
Fest had the makings of a success.

Where is Atari during these successful

=====CO Symbols ??==========>

 :-)     humor.
 :->     humor variation.
 %-}     humor variation.
 :-(     sad.
 :-<     sad variation.
 %-{     sad variation.
 :_)     tongue in cheek
 :-!     foot in mouth
 <:-)    for dumb questions.
 (:-)    dealing with bicycle helmets.
 (8-)    for dealing with owls.
 d:-)    for dealing with baseball.
 d :-o   hats off to your great idea
 q:-)    for those who wear their caps
 @=      for dealing with nuclear war.
 o>-<|=  for interest only to women.
 ~=      to annotate flaming messages.
 oo      somebody's head-lights are on
 ;-)     say no more, nudge nudge.
 :-$     your money where your mouth is
 >:->    leer
 ;-}     leer? (terminal dependent)
 |-<>    kissy face
 :-|     man playing an harmonica
 O:-)    for those innocent souls
 [:|]    from a robot/other AI project
 :>)     from someone with a big nose
 :<|     from someone who attends an
  Ivy League school
 :%)%    from someone with acne
 =:-)    from a hosehead
 :-(*)   someone who is about to vomit
 :-)8    someone who is well dressed
 8:-)    from a little girl
 :-)-{8  from a big girl
 #-)     someone who partied all night
 %-\     from someone hungover
 :-*     someone just ate a sour pickle
 -:-)    someone who sports a mohawk
 :-'|    from someone who has a cold
 :-)'    from somone who tends to drool
 ':-)    from someone who accidentally
  shaved off one of his eyebrows
 8:]     from a gorilla
 (:)-)   from someone wearing scuba mask
 P-)     from someone getting fresh
 |-)     someone who is falling asleep
 .-)     from someone with one eye
 :=)     from someone with two noses
 :-D     from someone who talks too much


 (-:|:-) Siamese twins
 :~/     Really mixed up
         the invisible man
 {:\/    sounds like a duck
 .\/     duck variation
 %+{     from the loser of a fight

  /   \
 | RIP |
 |_____|    from someone who is dead
So you see, bit-mapped displays are
really quite unnecessary :->


=====Atari 8-bit Color Radar>
by Lawrence Estep

***On-line viewing***

Unfortunately, on-line viewing of GIF
graphics is not available yet, but I
understand that the possibility is being
discussed. Stay tuned for further
updates on this.

***Off-line viewing***

To view the CompuServe Color Radar
images, you need the file AT8GIF.OBJ,
and the doc file AT8GIF.DOC, which are
both available in Library 4 of the
Atari 8-bit Forum on CompuServe. The
next step is to download the map.

***Graphics mode***

To download the latest Color Radar
image, type GO COLMAPS at any
Compuserve Information Service! prompt.
When prompted for your graphics mode,
enter 4 for Other.

***Number of colors***

Next enter 256 when prompted for the
number of colors your graphics mode
supports. You will then be prompted for
your choice of GIF maps. Enter the
appropriate number for the U.S. Radar

***Color settings***

You will then be prompted with a menu
that will look something like this:

     1.Display Map*
     2.Download Map
     3.Change Color Settings

Choose option 3 to change the color
settings. You will then be prompted
with 6 levels:

     1 Light:
     2 Moderate:
     3 Heavy:
     4 Very Heavy:
     5 Intense:
     6 Extreme:

Next to each will be the default colors.
The default colors do not produce a
very pleasing image on the 8-bit. Type
1 to begin changing the colors. You
will be prompted with the following:


 1 Dark Blue
 2 Dark Green
 3 Dark Red
 4 Dark Magenta
 5 Dark Yellow
 6 Dark Cyan
 7 White
 8 Light Blue
 9 Light Green
10 Light Red
11 Light Magenta
12 Light Yellow
13 Light Cyan

I have found that the following colors
produce the best image:

1 Light:Light Blue (8)
2 Moderate:Light Cyan (13)
3 Heavy:Light Green (9)
4 Very Heavy:Light Yellow (12)
5 Intense:Light Red (10)
6 Extreme:Light Magenta (11)


After changing each color level, return
to the options menu, and choose option
2 to download the map. This is better
than capturing it, because you eliminate


After downloading the map, you can go
offline, and view it. The best way to
view the map with the AT8GIF.OBJ
program is to zoom in on various
sections, as a full U.S. image is
rather distorted looking. See the file
AT8GIF.DOC for more information on the
zoom feature of AT8GIF.OBJ.


If you wish to add titles, the easiest
way that I have found is with Video
Title Shop. To use this, you must first
write a copy of your GIF image to disk.
This creates a MicroPainter compatible
file (62-sector format). This will then
enable you to choose the Load Canvas
option of VTS, and add your titles. This
also enables you to chain several maps
together in a continuous slide show.


If you own an Okimate 10 printer, you
can make a hard copy of your map by
using the Color Print software that
came with your printer, and a color
ribbon. Just load the converted
Micropainter file, and choose option 7
from the Color Print menu for
MicroPainter files.

***Example files***

The following files are available in
Library 4 of the Atari 8-bit Forum on
CompuServe to help you (Note: All files
are in the converted MicroPainter 62-
sector format):

*MAPCOL.PIC-This is the suggested color
code for the Color Radar images.

*NERAD.PIC-This image is of the
Northeastern portion of the United
States using the suggested color code

*GILBRT.PIC-This is a rather vivid image
of the precipitation associated with
Hurricane Gilbert throughout the state
of Texas. This image was from 09/16/88
at approx. 7:30 P.M. E.D.T. This image
uses the suggested color code in

If you have any questions, comments,
suggestions, or complaints, please leave
me an Easyplex E-mail message to user
i.d. #71450,1050.

I hope this text has been of use to you!
Watch for future modifications to this
file, as GIF images improve, and new
options appear!

Reflection by John Nagy

Weeks ago I wrote in detail in COMPUTER
about how ATARI Corp was asking for the
help of user groups. Sam Tramiel, Atari
Chief, appealed to users to help spread
the word about Atari and to be their
advance sales and promotion force.
Further, he asked that users and dealers
work together to resolve the penetration
problems of Atari marketing.

Echoing with commmon feelings of
frustration with the Tramiel business
ethic, several readers have written to
me in response.  One in particular
summed up much of the mood.  The writer
asked not to have his name printed, as
he was "still leery of Tramiel!" 
Here's a few excerpts of a long and
thoughtful letter from a concerned and
mature user.

"More than 10 years ago I became a
Commodore dealer.  It was required that
I put XXX dollars up front for my
initial inventory... to become
"authorized".  Commodore shipments did
not start up until more than three
months later and were strung out over a
2 or 3 month period. It seems they were
"changing distributors"...

"Factory representation to the dealer
was nil.  The attitude of Commodore
(Tramiel) was terrible...  Personnel
changes were constant and you could
never call the factory and establish
continuity with anyone in the

"What Tramiel did not know was that at
one time he could have OWNED the entire
 personal computer industry if he had
treated his dealers halfway fairly.  He
had a good computer and good software
support.  He lost it all to Apple.

"About 5 years ago I sold my computer
business and moved to Florida in
retirement... I saw this account of the
ATARI 520ST... bought the works and
loved it.  ...I was ready to become an
ATARI dealer!

"Then I began to see the Tramiel
syndrome setting in... Atari was going
to be sold only by discount houses.
Atari was only going to be sold by mial
order houses.  People were being fired.
No user could contact the factory.
Please don't bother us.  Talk to your
local Atari dealer.  The entire charade
was and is a replay of the Commodore

"So I bought an XT clone system. Plenty
of software?  WOW!! ... Sure - the XT
isn't the machine the ST is, but under
the circunstances, who cares?? Not me.

"So Tramiel(s) want help eh?  Want
dealers and user groups eh?  Well,
Tramiel will reward you for all your
love and kindnesses.  He has a special
award for those who get near him. It's
called the barbed wire shaft with the
purple cluster.  Avoid this turkey with
all your might - this is another
Ayatolla.  Good product?  Who cares -
it ain't worth it.

"...Tramiel could have cut himself a
nice slice of market, but now needs
"help" from users groups and dealers
simply because he does not know how to
treat human beings.  Tough, Jack!!"

While this letter obviously presents
the opinion of one person, most of us
can hear the ring of the familiar and
the truth in his letter.  What this
man's experience suggests is that the
current ATARI problems are NOT the
result of market pressures, NOT the
fault of Japanese chip price
manipulation, and NOT going to be
resolved by any user group
participation. He believes that the
problems follow the Tramiels from
company to company as a direct result
of their business policies and personnel
practices. How many of us are ready to
challenge those assesments?

Mistakes are natural, and form important
boundry markers for the future...if one
has the wisdom to heed them.  Atari can
learn to change... let's encourage them
to do so.

======MTOS Update===========>
Copyright 1988 by Tom Hunt

Welcome to MTOS version 3.0.  MTOS
brings the power of the multi-tasking
environment to 130XE's and Rambo
compatable ram upgraded Atari 8-bit
computers. Version 3.0 includes the
addition of a few new features.

First is the ability to switch between
processes with a shift-control-number
keypress combination. Second is a 40%
speed increase over version 2.0.  Third
is the lowest memlo ever, making MTOS
compatible with a wider range of
software.  Fourth is the fact that this
version works with BOTH machines. Fifth
is the ability to have foreground only
processes. That means that such tasks
use CPU time only when called in to the
foreground. Otherwise, they are
dormant.  Kind of like a desk accessory.

Some of the more sophisticated features
that were in 2.0 have been left out of
version 3.0.  Namely inter-task
messaging, binary file loading from
exec, Atari dos compatability, wait_
next_event, and the amount of tasks for
the 256k version has been cut from 6 to
4 tasks.

Of course, the system variables can be
found at the same place so that old
programs that you have made under 2.0
will still work under the new 3.0
version. However, if you made calls to
system routines, your program will
It was my intention that MTOS would
find it's way into being accepted by
commercial software developers, and
that commercial software would be
produced around the MTOS kernal. That
has not been the case. There isn't
really that much commercial software
being developed for the Atari 8-bit
computers these days.  MTOS has been
used mainly by programming buffs, and
those fortunet enough to have enough
experience with code hacking to
integrate it into their own programming
environments. I release the use of MTOS
to ANYONE who wants to use it in an
non-commercial way. That means that if
you make a p.d. or shareware software
package using MTOS, then that's ok with
me. If you want to go big-time, then
you have to get in contact with me. If
you have any questions, feel free to
call my bbs (Closer To Home BBS) at
419-368-4413. You can also find MTOS
utilities and programming examples on
the C.T.H. bbs. The bbs is undergoing
changes right now to make it easier to
find MTOS related files. This is the
official MTOS version 3.0 support bbs.

=====Bill of Rights=========>

Extracted from "Bill of Rights for
Software Users", by David Browning

The following version of the Bill of
Rights for Software Users was presented
for approval by the Capital PC User
Group, Inc. Board of Directors at the
May 1985 board meeting, and has been
distributed to the press, industry and
to legislators.  This bill is intended
to set forth in writing our needs as
software users, and is not intended to
take away the right of software vendors
to protect their products or
compensation. It is time we let the
industry leaders know how we need to
use their products so they will know
better how to interact with us.  I may
be contacted on this subject by writing

        WBS and Associates, Inc.
       7620 Little River Turnpike
                Suite 600
            Annandale, VA 22003


1.  Right to Product Quality:

The user has the right to expect a
software product to perform with a level
of quality consistent with industry
specified or implied standards.

2.  Right of Functionality:

The user has the right to expect a
software product to perform basic
functions common to the generic program
type, with any exceptions or caveats
fully disclosed prior to purchase.

3.  Right of Continuous Service:

The user has the right to have on hand
sufficient backup of program packages
and authorization devices to continue
operations uninterrupted by loss of or
damage to the primary package or
authorization device.

4.  Right to Program Support:

The user has the right of access to
information from the software
manufacturer concerning known errors,
fixes or temporary work arounds. The
user also has the right to reasonable
updates to the released versions for
the correction of errors.

5.  Right of System Integration:

The user has the right to integrate
software products into his or her system
environment without undue constraint or
interference from copy-protection,
software authorization, or other
extraneous program functions.

File Ctsy of:
Capital PC User Group
P.O. Box 3189
Gaithersburg MD 20878
(703) 978-4339

=====Modem Review===========>

A Review of the Epic 2400 Plus External
Modem by Doug Acker Copyrighted 1988,
Pegasus Technology, all rights reserved

        Epic Technology
      5680 Stewart Avenue
       Fremont, CA  84538
      (415) 683-0932 [insideCA]
      (800) 634-9992 [outside CA]
      (415) 683-0935 [FAX]

Epic 2400 Plus External Modem  -
 A 2400 baud External Modem

The Epic people first made their debut
last year at the 1987 San Francisco
AppleFest with their internal modem for
the II series.  While interviewing them,
I found out that this company was
formed when they left another modem
manufacturer and formed their own
company.  Epic currently has products
for the IBM, Mac and Apple II line.

The modem itself is slightly larger
than some other modems I have seen
lately. It is 8" x 5.5" x 1.5" so if
you are tight for desk space, this
might be a factor.  The case comes in a
beige color with a blue face with 5
indicator lights on it.  On the back is
a RS232C female connector, two modular
phone inputs [one for the phone line
and one for a phone] and the connector
for the power supply.  In addition the
on/off toggle switch is in back.

One of the first things that I noticed
is the placement of the on/off switch.
It is right between the RS232C connector
and the power supply connector. Unless
you have small fingers [unlike me],
turning the modem off and on is not

On the front side, the indicator lights
are a plus.  These include POWER, XMIT,
RCV, SPEED and SIG.  The power light
and speed are essential in order to
determine if the modem is turned on and
has power while the speed light is to
see if you are in 2400 baud mode or not.
The SIG lamp informs you if its
connected to you computer.  The RCV and
XMIT lights flash when the modem is
either receiving or transmitting
information.  These lights are adequate
for normal operation.  However if you
are a BBS operator, not having an auto-
answer mode indicator and a carrier
detect and off-hook indicator will be
quickly noticed.

In actual operation I called various
local and long distance BBS's and online
services such as GEnie (TM).  The line
noise rejection was quite good, [i.e.
the lines seemed "clear"] at 1200/2400
baud rates.  However, every now and
then I will see some garbage "sneak by"
on my screen.  This is better than alot
of modems I have seen, however it is
not the best.

The manual also has some strengths and
weaknesses.  It has *nothing* about how
to connect your modem to your computer.
It assumes you know that step. This is
sometimes a very big assumption.  It
does list some communication packages
and the appropriate setups for each
which is helpful. In additionit has a
*very* nice glossary.  It does list the
hayes compatible codes and registers
for the modem however it does not
explain what they mean.

The modem does have a 5 year warranty
and a troubleshooting hotline Monday
through Friday.

For me, this modem seems like it is the
"middle of the road". In documentation,
it has its strong and weakpoints.  In
the acutal use of the modem, its alot
better than most but not the best.
Price-wise, this modem is a good value.
If I was looking for a modem, I would
not discount this modem however, I
would not rush out any buy it without
looking at others on the market.

/// Syndicate ZMagazine //
Issue #126 October 9, 1988
(c)APEInc, 1988
####################(c)1988 SPC########

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