Z*Magazine: 26-Nov-89 #182From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/02/93-03:29:56 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 26-Nov-89 #182 Date: Sat Oct 2 15:29:56 1993 ==================================== ///// /// //// //// ////// // //// //// // // /// // ///////// ////// /// /// // // /// // // // /// // ///// // / // // // /////// ===================================== Issue #182 November 26, 1989 = 1989 by Rovac Industries, Inc. ZMagazine - (ZNet Online) Publisher/Editor: Ron Kovacs The Z*Net BBS CompuServe:71777,2140 (201) 968-8148 GEnie: ZMAGAZINE Xx CONTENST ------------------------ <*> Editors Desk........................by Ron Kovacs Commentary/Update <*> ZNet Newswire..........11/14-11/25............... Latest News Update <*> Atari Reaches Out to Developers.........John Nagy Comdex Report Part 2 <*> Exclusive Interview With Charles Cherry.John Nagy Interview at Comdex <*> 8-Bitters United Support News.................... Oasis/Bob-Term Discussed <*> Revolutionary Concepts..............Donald Thomas The Revolution Continues - Part 7 <*> 8-Bit DOS - Confused?.............Elliott Coerper A look at 6 Atari DOS's <*> BBS Discussions.................................. Messages of Interest... Xx EDITORS DESK ------------------------ by Ron Kovacs Things are VERY slow within the 8-bit area, support is almost non- existent, and there is nothing to report on specifically oriented to the 8-bit owner. We are working on a few changes and will have discussions on them in the next few weeks. This is Issue #182, and last week we did release an special edition dedicated to the Fall Comdex Show in Las Vegas. It was uploaded VERY laste to GEnie because we thought it was uploaded there already. I guess being as busy as we were last week caused the confusion. I apologize to anyone looking for it. It is available now. The number ONE file downloaded on the ZNet BBS was ZMAG181. It even beat out ST*ZMagazine. Thank you for the downloads! While we are talking about the BBS, please give us a call at (201) 968-8148 and register YOUR BBS! We are RIGHT NOW compiling a national list of systems supporting our publications and would appreciate your assistance! The BBS also provides and area for submitting articles for this and all our publications. December will be Graphics Month on the BBS. Upload your best graphics picture, animation, atascii art, print shop file, etc... This week John Nagy completes his Comdex Coverage with an exclusive interview with Charles Cherry, the NEW TOS Pusher at Atari, and reports on Atari reaching out to developers at Comdex. BBS UPDATE The following systems carry ZMagazine or ST*ZMagazine every week: Traveler's Inn (814) 825-9410 Aardvark Inn (813) 425-5113 Chicago Public (312) 890-8513 Pegasus BBS (708) 623-9570 Syndicate Z*Net (201) 968-8148 Xx ZNET NEWSWIRE ------------------------ NINTENDO WINS The Soviet video game Tetris belongs to Nintendo for all home video systems, a federal judge ruled in San Francisco last Monday, November 13. The U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Judge Fern M. Smith, had earlier awarded Nintendo a preliminary injunction against Atari/Tengen sales of its version of Tetris for home video game systems. A trial on the question of a permanent injunction and damages was meant to commence. The judge cancelled the trial announcing that she intended to award summary judgments to Nintendo because there were no material factual matters which Atari/Tengen could prove. ATARI GAMES RESPONDS The following is a statement by Dennis Wood, senior vice president, Atari Games Corp. ''Today's court decision by Judge Fern Smith of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco granting Nintendo's motion for a summary judgement regarding the rights to 'Tetris' is a disappointment to Tengen. The court's finding is based simply on a contract issue that has no bearing on the larger anti-trust and patent disputes between the parties related to 'Tetris.' The judge's ruling is confined to 'Tetris' and in no way affects Tengen's ability to market any of its 14 independently manufactured Nintendo-compatible video games. We are confident that we will prevail on our anti-trust and patent infringement allegations against Nintendo when the issues come to trial. An appeal of today's decision is being prepared.'' ATARI POSTS LOSS Atari reported the results of operations for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 1989. Net sales for the quarter were $81.4 million compared to $98.8 million for the like quarter last year. The net loss was $5.4 million compared to net income of $.9 million. Net sales for the nine months were $253 million compared to $300 million for the like period last year. There was a net loss of $1.8 million compared to a net income of $12.1 million for the like nine months last year. Sam Tramiel, said "This has been an encouraging yet difficult quarter for Atari. Towards the end of the quarter we began shipping many new products which represent our future. For example, we started shipping Portfolio, our new hand held MS DOS command compatible computer, and the Megafile 44, our new removable media hard disk drive. Also, during the quarter, we began shipping the STE computer, an improved version of our core ST product. Additionally, during the fourth quarter, we expect to start shipping Lynx, the new hand held color LCD video game system. However, to reflect the dramatic drop in component prices, especially semiconductors and disk drives, the company has taken a special charge during the quarter of approximately $10 million in respect of such inventory. With the shipment of new products and less volatile DRAM costs in the fourth quarter, we anticipate normalization of margins as and when the inventories of older products are sold. Portfolio production is ramping up now as planned. Initial sales appear consistent with our expectations." Greg Pratt of Atari Corp., 408-745-2349 COMDEX UPDATE To complete the coverage of last week's Comdex Newswire, here are a few more products released at the Fall Comdex. Cyberspace released a keyboard-sized laptop 286 PC, which uses headgear to suspend a postage-stamp-sized screen in front of one eye. A hologram like image appears to float two feet in front of wherever you look. The 286cx displays IBM CGA graphics and runs under MS-DOS. It also has a built in 2400-baud Hayes-compatible modem. Mitsubishi announced a 386SX color portable, which displays 640x480 pixels in 256 colors on a backlit florescent screen. An active matrix handles motion. The computer will be available within a year in 286 12Mhz and 386sx 16MHz or 20MHz models. Ricoh Corp. announced a Voice Recognizer for IBM PC/ATs and compatibles. The speaker-dependent voice-recognition board runs commercially available software with spoken commands and records up to 1,000 words in a voice dictionary. Designers say word recognition accuracy is 98 percent. The voice recognition chip also will be marketed to industry and consumer electronics firms. Microteck Labs announced a Color/Gray Scanner which allows 16.8 million colors and scans photos and drawings into the Macintosh, PC or PS/2 for use with many paint programs. It comes with three scanning and editing software packages. The MSF-300Z scanner is $2,195. The Macintosh interface is being shipped now for $500. The PC interface will be shipped in December for $400. Canon announced the Color Laser Copier 500 by Canon USA Inc., supported by Macintosh and IBM third-party developed drivers. An IPU (intelligent processing unit) produces full color output from video equipment, television signals and computers. Text and color photos are differentiated by Advanced Image Recognition technology. Pictures are reproduced in four colors and type in pure black. The copier allows digital image sizing (zoom), color conversion and many more features. The Color Laser Copier 500 will be for sale at the end of December for $49,000. The expandable IPU will cost from $18,000 to $40,000. LYNX UPDATE Challenging arch rival Nintendo's Game Boy system, Atari Corp. has introduced a one-pound hand-held game machine called Lynx that features detailed color graphics and sound effects. Analysts have told business writer Marybeth Nibley of The Associated Press that the clarity of the Lynx screen and its technological capability give Atari's machine an edge over the black-and-white Game Boy system. But, they note, Lynx retails for $179, compared with $89.99 for Game Boy. Both Lynx and Game Boy come with one game cartridge, cables to link machines and other accessories. Individual games for Lynx cost $35 to $40 while Game Boy's cartridges average $25. FEDERATED UPDATE Greg Pratt, who is Atari's Chief financial officer, revealed this week that his company is looking for other buyers to take over the remaining leases they hold on the chain of Federated Group stores. Silo, an electronics specialty division of the Dixon Group, has acquired the rights and leases to 26 of the Federated stores. These southern California facilities will now bring the total of Silo's current log of stores to 100. Atari has not been able to find a buyer for the troubled chain, so has now resigned itself to selling the troubled stores in smaller chunks. The remainder of the Federated stores will be kept open until they are sold. Xx ATARI REACHES OUT TO DEVELOPERS ---- Xx CLOSE-UP INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES CHERRY ------------------------------------------ by John Nagy Last week at the Fall COMDEX, Atari Corporation's Antonio Salerno introduced a new Developer Support Program at a Wednesday evening cocktail party. The drinks and finger-food helped loosen the mood, as did birthday wishes to Leonard Tramiel. MIDI-music was performed on several STACY units, and when Antonio explained his plans to assist the dealers and developers, most in attendance were at least somewhat optimistic. Antonio reflected on the problems that Atari has been having, and mentioned that he and Sam Tramiel had been in contact with many developers recently in order to gather ideas on what could be done to become "partners" with developers in the recovery of the Atari market. Atari will be giving active, registered developers: - a complete list of all registered Atari product owners with monthly updates (said to contain 60,000 names now) - a complete dealer list with quarterly updates Getting owners to register has been a problem, of course, with probably under 20% participation. In order to bolster the registration, Atari has arranged to give new registered owners a three-month demo subscription to START, ST-INFORMER, ATARI EXPLORER, and ST WORLD magazines, with others possibly to be added. This exposure to the literature and advertising available to the Atari owner is expected to result in significant additional purchases of software and peripherals. This will, if it works, provide an increase in third party product sales and support. Registered developers will also now be able to buy most Atari hardware at 50% off retail. This is hoped to make it easier for developers to stay abreast of the newest equipment without eating all their profits. Atari wants developers to participate in their dealer support effort by sending both full and disabled "demo" versions of all their software to Atari. An online database (rumored to be placed on CompuServe) will carry listings of all available software, cross indexed by type, price range, features, and company. End users will be able to find information and request additional information via mail, as well as being directed to a demo version of the software that will be available on line. The final phase of the "Softsource" plan is to put all of the above data and sample programs on CD-ROM, and put a unit in every dealer's store for dealer or customer look-ups. Similarly, self-exercising programs on the CD will allow "background" demonstrations while no one is looking up data. The new man at Atari who will be running point for the support plan is Charles Cherry. Charles, a greying but youthful six-foot-six and lanky fellow with the casual air of a surf-shop owner, is excited about his new job. His eyes sparkle with intensity from behind his wire-rim glasses as he talks of his plans for Softsource. "We have the tools, and for the first time, we have Atari's entire owner data in our hands.. this is a radical move, it's never been done before... it shows that Atari is serious about making a partnership with third party developers." Charles comes to Atari from ANTIC SOFTWARE, where he ran the sales division that remains a major source of Atari product like FLASH and the CYBER series. He says that the focus at ANTIC was moving towards the AMIGA and other lines, and that he was powerless to influence the higher -ups. The fact that many of the ST products steadily sold more copies, or had more stable followings, had little effect. However, in his time at ANTIC, Charles got a thorough understanding of what it was like to be an Atari developer without adequate support. In fact, Charles was part of what looked like a swat team at the last (Spring, 1989 Chicago) COMDEX where the newly installed Antonio Salerno got his trial-by-fire. Surrounded by frustrated developers, Antonio listened to endless complaints and horror-stories, and vowed to change things. "It says a lot that Antonio turned around and hired one of his most vocal critics to help turn things around," says Charles. "Many computer buyers today have a specific purpose in mind for their machine. Like a refrigerator, they have one image of what it is going to do for them, and they don't join a club or become an enthusiast. Who ever heard of a refrigerator users group? I hope to be able expose the new owners to the wider range of what their computer is capable of. It's like letting a refrigerator owner know that it can also chop wood.. it may never have occurred to him!" The magazine subscriptions will certainly do a lot to help convey the range and power of the Atari products to the new owners. Some critics of the plan claim that it may undermine new dealers. The thought is that the exposure to mail-order may create an anti-dealer attitude in the new buyers. Charles refutes this by citing the in- dealership Softsource program. Walk-in buyers can see everything in one place... impossible through mail order. Lack of dealers is another real problem for the Corporation as well as for third party developers. It is hoped that well over 100 new dealers will result from the COMDEX push, and the Softsource program will help more. Dealers are also being told that they are "more likely" to get the popular Portfolios that they want to sell if the store is a full- line dealer. The leverage plan (that Charles mentioned that he would have thought would amount to market suicide) has been an easier sell than expected. Dealers are now somewhat more enamored to the new look of the full Atari product line. I asked Charles Cherry if he felt that the new push in developer support from Atari was a reaction to the AAD, the Atari Association of Developers, formed earlier this fall. Developers had banded together in a self-help effort, citing lack of sufficient help form Atari itself. Charles said, "Support is our job. We are going to do that job", although he admitted that the moves of the AAD had certainly made the need for Atari to act even more obvious. He sees the group not as a competitor for development support, but potentially a useful group. "They should help each each other in the things they can do best, and Atari will provided the machine support as we can do best." Charles projects quiet assurance that he will accomplish most of the difficult goals set by Antonio Salerno and Atari. The "new crop" of Atari employees are more reason for hope... Charles, Antonio, Bob Brodie, Mike Morand each have the spirit and character that can make an Atari comeback a believable event. Developers or potential developers can contact Charles Cherry at (408) 745-2082. Gail Johnson of Atari can help with developers registration at (408) 745-2568, or at Atari Corp, 1196 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. Xx ATE BITTERS UNITED SUPPORT NEWS ---------------------------------- from The 8-Bitters BBS OK 8-bitters, This is the first and hopefully a good beginning for future articles. One of the eventual upgrades to any computer is a modem, and for a select few who care to rack their brains and put up with a never ending battle with "The User", choose to run a BBS. For the 8-bit, there is an extreme variety of BBS programs that are available either public domain, shareware, and by commercial software. For the beginner, I recommend getting a copy of the simplest BBS programs, and work your way up to the more complex. AMIA was the first BBS I chose to start with about 4 years ago, and now I use a very powerful and easy to use program, which can be considered one of the more complex BBS systems as far as the shape and structure it can take. I will get into that in a "Bit". First, I would like to mention that a bbs isn't just downloads. There is message bases, and possibly on line games and maybe even some sort of data base. Most up to date bbs systems do support that type of format. I would like to bring your attention to one particular company which gives you an option. In fact I haven't seen it done anywhere else. The name of the company is Z Innovators. OK now the question marks pop up all over and ask what software are they selling, and is it any good. Well first let me mention another name, Glenda Stocks. Some question marks still remain and a few will say, "Oh yea, Oasis." Why the disinterest? Let me give you a little background of Oasis. It started out, as a bbs program written by a well known programer, Ralph Walden back in 1986. Yes He is the Original author of Arc, and UnArc. Anyway, that is when I purchaced Oasis for use and almost lost interest myself. The big problem was bugs and lack of support, and eventually lack of interest by the Author himself. Leo Newman came along and provided some support for a bit but also followed the same path. Since that time, Glenda Stocks took over the rights to Oasis oh I guess it was about late 1987, 1988 (correct me if I'm wrong Glenda), and the word "Support" is cutting Glenda's work short. I for one was getting a real bad taste in my mouth for Oasis but for some reason gave it and Glenda a chance. Of course the rest of BBS land already dropped Oasis to the bottom of their list. Oasis was then a no frills coded BBS program which as one of its selling points had resident support files for menus and information files. The big problem still was all the bugs. Glenda ripped the main body program apart and began her continuous battle of making Oasis into a respectable BBS program again. Eventually I became a Beta Tester for the Oasis system, and from that point actually participated and helped in the developement of the "New Oasis". Most important though, I have really seen what goes into developing software, great software. In fact, Glenda dedicated herself so much to Oasis, that she went to a part time status at her workplace. She then formed Z Innovators, the company that sells and supports the Oasis BBS system. To give you an Idea of what Oasis can do, it can support Ansi and Vt-52 color, Online games, multi sig function, Online term program which acts like a commercial term program with number and macro storage, message Convos, (messages are read by conversation not by listed posts), and tons of options that would take to long to mention. There is a public domain Oasis system which doesn't have nowhere near the power of the commercial version, but it does give you an Idea of how powerful Oasis is and how easy it is to make it Your Unique BBS System. There is no bugs!!! There is a support BBS which is PC pursuitable for help with any problems. And to top things off, this can all be run without a hard drive, and by the end of 1989, Oasis will be a networking BBS. That means that Oasis will be capable of calling other Oasis BBS systems and swap messages...... all by itself. For the future sysop, I recommend Oasis whole heartedly, you won't be disappointed. Another software developement most recently released as a shareware program is written by Bob Puff. Oh Yeah, everyone knows Bob. He is another major supporter of the 8-bit. Well his newest accomplishment is BOB Term. It is one of the Best Term programs available for the 8-bit, and it is available as shareware. The best way to show how great Bob Term is, is to make this simple statement.... "GET it, GET it now, Get it Quick, and Don't miss it." It has many options on the menu, and now a capability of running modules as upgrades....(another option I failed to mention about Oasis too.) Here are 2 Individuals, that make a difference in the 8-bit community. Bob and Glenda continuously are coming up with new developments for the 8-bit, and are extremly reliable. We need more support from them and more programmers all over. Let them know your feelings, and above all, show your appreciation. The Atari 8-bit machines have been around for a long time.... let's keep them around. This article was written mainly to show that there is support for our machines, and there can be more as long as you the 8-bit user, care enough as these two have to give you great software. Join AtE Bitters United (c) Call the AtE Bitters BBS (201) 872-0831 Show them we care!!! To purchase Oasis BBS System you can mail direct to: Z Innovators Co. 1344 Park St. Dept 187 Stoughton, MA 02072 Price: $55.00 Bob Term can be found almost anywhere, but please contribute to the writer. Shareware info contained with program. Xx REVOLUTIONARY CONCEPTS - PART 7 ---------------------------------- "REGISTER MY WARRANTY?" by Donald A. Thomas, Jr. (c)1989 ARTISAN SOFTWARE (This is PART 7 of a series of articles published and distributed by Artisan Software. Please feel free to copy and distribute this article as you please provided you include all unedited text. Also feel free to upload to boards and communication services. These articles are designed to entice you to take constructive action. Write to involved parties and tell them how YOU feel about the subject.) Over the years, I have been sent various programs for review, constructive criticism or to aid in debugging potential compatibility problems. In most cases the programs soon come face to face to the trash can icon on the desktop or into an archive if reference is expected later. They are not "trashed" because they have no worth, but I have not found a personal need for it and I am obligated to purchase it if I use it. In some cases, however, I am very impressed with what I see. Case in point most recently, is the Universal Item Selector by Application & Design Software. I do not intend to review their product here, but it has proven to be quite helpful while developing software due to its versatile access to buried files on my hard drive. Recently, an Artisan Software customer has had interference apparently caused by the installation of an on-board clock. An analysis of his particular configuration was made and I quickly assembled a local group of people to allow me to borrow the programs my customer was using. I am pleased to report that none was causing the interference, but having played with the Universal Item Selector, I ran out and purchased version II from B&C Computervisions in Santa Clara. This now brings us to the topic in hand. While the packaging for the UIS II was no more than a zip lock vegetable bag, Application & Design Software did an excellent job otherwise. The instructions were complete and easy to read. An invitation to subscribe to ST INFORMER was enclosed and a postcard size warranty registration card was also enclosed. There was a day when I as well do many people took little time to understand the value of a warranty registration. It is hard for me to believe that many more than a handful ever sent one in for their General Electric toaster oven. When it comes to some areas, those little cards are tremendous tools for the company receiving them and the customer sending them. Artisan Software uses warranty registration cards seriously. All registered customers receive excellent product support and early notice on product releases. Most software companies will offer an edge to registered owners. Unlike some companies who refuse to offer customer support without the card received and logged, Artisan Software understands the inconvenience of sending those darn little things in. When you climb over the high, shaky fence which divides user from developer/publisher, you begin to understand a little more about the significance of things like warranty registration cards. A company's net worth is not only evaluated by past sales. It's worth is also enhanced by names. It's one thing to say you sold 100,000 copies of a software title over the last year. Its' another to say I have 100,000 names to sell a new release. A company's net worth is always valued by it's futures. This is most clear with newspapers and magazines who gain most by higher readership counts. Analysis of information on the cards helps guide future direction of the company with needed demographic profiles. Since most manufacturers/publishers deal through distributors, there may be no other way to accumulate such data. The philosophy of the REVOLUTION is to encourage activities which are low cost, yet productive. As insignificant as it seems, the minute you take to fill out a warranty card will contribute to the net worth of the company you bought it from. It offers you advanced notice and, sometimes, preferred treatment, but it is one small way to show the company that you like your purchase. Use it also to make a comment or two. I sent the warranty registration card from my Universal Item Selector (stamped with The REVOLUTION) the moment I took the product home. I encourage you to send in yours. For information on how you can "JOIN THE REVOLUTION" and actively support the exposure of Atari computers, send $6.00 to ARTISAN SOFTWARE, P.O. Box 849, Manteca, California 95336. An ST/MEGA compatible disk- based HANDBOOK will be rushed to you by return mail. The HANDBOOK is also available from ST INFORMER, MEGABYTE COMPUTERS (Hurst, Texas) and as a download from COMPUSERVE, GENIE and DELPHI. Xx 8-BIT DOS - CONFUSED? ------------------------ by Elliott Coerper, Korea - November 1989 Atari DOS, MYDOS, SmartDOS, SpartaDOS, SuperDOS, TOP DOS, DOS XE... good night, what DOS am I suppose to use? When I bought my 800 XL and 1050 they came with Atari DOS 3. I suffered with it for three months, then a friend gave me her copy of SmartDOS (I thought I had died and gone to heaven!). Although Atari DOS 2.0 and 2.5 are the only DOSes many people will ever need, there are several DOSes that outperform them. By using the proper DOS, like having a finely tuned car, it accelerates you into new found areas of enjoyment. So, if you are looking for more out of your DOS, then follow us as we test drive 6 different ones. MYDOS 4.5 Simple, easy, menu driven and a pleasure to use. This is what DOS XE should have been. It is completely compatible with Atari DOS 2 and has full READ capabilities with DOS 2.5. However, it only writes to the first 720 sectors of DOS 2.5. Reading a disk is easy, just use the standard (A) prompt or touch the number corresponding to the drive you want. The RAM disk handler is very versatile, handling upgrades of up to 1 megabyte. MYDOS also has the capability to create and delete subdirectories at will. It even contains extensive documentation on disk! If I haven't sold you yet, then try this on for size, MYDOS is a Public Domain DOS! About the only drawback I see (for some people) is that it is not compatible with SpartaDOS, OS/A+ version 4 format or DOS XE. All things considered, (price, ease of use, performance), MYDOS is one of, if not the BEST, DOSes available for Atari. SmartDOS 8.2D Although one of the first true double density DOSes, SmartDOS still stands among the best DOSes ever written for Atari. Originally packaged with Astra Disk Drives, it is no longer available commercially. SmartDOS is menu driven, like Atari DOS 2, but with several noticeable differences. A status line above the menu indicates what drives are active, whether they are single or double density and the amount of free memory available. Also available are sector copying, bad sector testing, on/off write verify, speed check and drive reconfiguration (single or double density). And if you are willing to sacrifice the memory, you can have SmartDOS resident. Using the RAM Disk creator from Jonesware makes this DOS almost perfect. The only thing missing is the ability to make sub directories. If you can find a copy of it, pick it up! SpartaDOS Heralded as the primer DOS for Atari, SpartaDOS is probably the most powerful DOS on the market. It is command driven and allows for batch processing. The ability to make multiple subdirectories, date/time stamping and unerase are only a few of the many options available. However, with so much power, there is a price to pay. You cannot master this DOS in an hour like many of the DOSes available. SpartaDOS is not for the timid but for the serious Atari user. If you plan on using it, plan on spending the rest of your life learning it's almost endless options. For very serious Atarians, nothing can beat the speed and versatility of SpartaDOS X (a piggy back cart version of this DOS). Graphic Operating Systems (GOS) Currently there are two versions on the market, Diamond DOS from Reeve Software and GOE from Total Control Systems. Not having a copy of GOE, I cannot comment about it. However, if their cart version is anything like their demo version, then it should be an excellent product. First, I believe the disk version in entirely too slow and a waste of money. While trying to duplicate a disk from drive "A" to drive "B" I was able to run to the market and back, peddle three miles on my exercycle, and do half of my Martial Arts workout before it was finished. If you have ever seen an Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Apple Macintosh or GEOS on the Commodore 8 bit systems (available over two years ago), then you have an idea of what this system looks like. The graphic operating system is an easy to learn operating environment with icons, windows, pull down menus, dialogue boxes and a arrow pointer (mouse). A few of the many options are: date/time stamping, exiting to basic (type DOS to return), compatibility with most DOSes (the cart version states it is compatible with all), tagging files and outstanding memory expansion support. If you are looking for the graphics operating system on your 8 Bit, then this is the way to go. If money is no object, I strongly recommend the Diamond DOS cart used in conjunction with SpartaDOS X. DOS XE For some reason I really wanted to like this DOS. I wanted to believe Atari still liked and cared about the 8 bit community. I wanted to believe Atari still had the capability of bring out a strong and useful software product for us 8 bitters, however..... DOS XE is functional, it is better then DOS 3 (by just a bit), but it falls tremendously short of the mark. Atari did it again, they made another DOS that is a pain in the neck to use. Four key strokes instead of one to get a disk directory! Just like DOS 3 there are problems reading DOS 2.X files. An elaborate disk swapping routine must be accomplished prior to reading a DOS 2.X file. The only positive point about this DOS is that it takes advantage of the 551's capabilities. However, if you have a 810 or a 1050, don't waste the money. Even at $9.95 (very reasonable) it is not worth the aggravation. ATARI DOS 3 Unfortunately many Atarians had this DOS dumped on them when they purchased a 1050. This DOS successfully takes the fun out of owning an Atari. Serious design flaws prevent any practical applications. Whether it's the wasteful file management system or its inability to read DOS 2 files, DOS 3 spells "Garbage DOS". Well there you have it, a brief glance at six different DOSes. By no means was this a complete evaluation of each DOS nor are these the only DOSes available. By owning an Atari 8 bit computer, you can be a charter member of "The DOS of the Month Club". Good luck, and don't forget to talk up Atari computers! Xx ZNET BBS DISCUSSIONS ------------------------ From the ZNet BBS (201) 968-8148 The following is part of a discussion about LZHARC, the newest ARC for the ST. Message : 158 [Open] 11-25-89 7:21pm From : John King To : John King Subject : #156 NONE Sig(s) : 1 (General) Robert, I just used LHARC v. 0.51, and, so far so good. I used it to extract a disk magazine (which will remain nameless, Ron!!!), and being that it was the first time I used it, I would like to mention the following: Using it alone (without a shell): I was having some kind of syntax problem, which I overcame. I'm not sure I remember what I did, but I think the syntax was something like: x c:\filename.lzh c\:*.* I may be mistaken, but that is what I think I did. All I know is that the syntax in the LHARC docs didn't seem to work! So, if anyone else has the same problem, try the above; if it doesn't work exactly as written, play with it. ...But PLEASE post a reply to this message and tell us what DID work, so we'll all know. (Whatever I ended up doing did work.) From Charles Johnson's Arcshell v. 2.0: I was having a problem, and what it turned out to be was the configuration. You have to click on configuration for both ARC.TTP and LHARC.PRG (Uh, excuse me, but is that the exact name of the LHARC program? Well, whatever the name is...). Once your configuration is set up, you will be OK. This method also worked for me. I noticed Ron has the latest ST*ZMag on the board in ASCII and ARC'ed, and would hope he would also include an LHARC version for next week's edition. How about it, Ron? -John King ====================================================================== ZMagazine Issue #: 182 November 26, 1989 Copyright 1989, Rovac Industries, Inc.. ======================================================================
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