Z*Magazine: 10-Sep-91 #196From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/03/93-03:23:55 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 10-Sep-91 #196 Date: Sun Oct 3 15:23:55 1993 ==(((((((((( == Z*MAG/A\ZINE ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE =========(( === September 10, 1991 =======(( ===== Issue #196 =====(( ======= ---------------------------------- ==(((((((((( == Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Ind Inc.. Publisher/Editor : Ron Kovacs Assistant Editor : Stan Lowell ----------------------------------------------------------------------- CompuServe: 75300,1642 GEnie: Z-NET Z*NET BBS: (908) 968-8148 BLANK PAGE BBS: (908) 805-3967 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- THE EDITORS DESK ---------------- by Ron Kovacs Well, the last Z*Magazine release was on June 11, 1991 as Issue #196. That was at the start of summer and three issues or more will be required to update you, incase you aren't reading Z*Net regularly, on the summer happenings in the Atari community. This is Issue #196 and the next release will take place in a short 7 days, not 90 as previously discussed above. Thanks for reading! Z*NET NEWSWIRE -------------- Summer Edition THREE TAIWAN PLANTS UNDER ATARI CONTRACT Although Atari has sold their Taiwan production facility for $60 million, it now contract with THREE plants in Taiwan alone. Production is way up at last, and cash flow is greatly improved. Atari just decided that it can do better as a contractor than as an owner. The results of this and other moves should hit the US shores in July, when literally up to 25,000 units a MONTH will arrive in the USA. NEW MEGAS SHIPPING TO BE MEGA 1's Most of the arriving Mega units will be the one-meg no-hard drive model. These can be upgraded in seconds to 2-meg, but to go to 4 meg may require installing a pair of sockets. The holes will be there, although soldered closed. The operation should be able to be performed from the outside of the case, opening only the hard drive cover. There is still no word on what the range of offering or prices for Atari's hard drive kits might cost for installing the internal drives. WORDPERFECT REQUEST Ataris' developer man, Bill Rehbock, has asked Z*Net to clarify what he is looking for in support for a new revision of WordPerfect. The company is hesitant to release version 5-point-something because of fears of insufficient sales. Bill has been actively soliciting reports from users as to their actual reasons for not buying WordPerfect to date, including bug reports. So far, Bill tells Z*Net that his mail has been primarily negative, bashing him and Atari for flubbing the WP deal. What he NEEDS are letters to take with him to WordPerfect in July. Those letters should say what YOU think about WordPerfect, both in the current incarnation for the Atari and what would make you buy a new version. Reasons you didn't buy the existing version are important too. Atari Corp, Bill Rehbock, 1196 Borregas Blvd, Sunnyvale, CA 94088. And /or direct to WordPerfect, 1555 North Technology way, Orem, UT 84057. NEW SUPPORT FOR ST System Solutions will begin selling professional software and hardware, including the MegaSTe and TT030. In addition to focusing in the UK, products will be distributed throughout Europe and North America. SS has alrady secured exclusive distribution rights to several products, including a library of over 100 Calamus fonts, graphics programs and hardware enhancements. The first products to be sold will be accelerators from the US. CeBIT MIDI NEWS Steinberg showed Cubase working under M*ROS Midi multi-tasking system and Synthworks SY77/TG77. C-Lab displayed Notator notation, Aura music education and Midia analysing programs. AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION RECOMMENDATIONS The Victorian Ministry of Education and Training have recommended Atari computers. The 1040STE is recommended as follows: General Curriculum Use - As part of the Atari ST range, the 1040STE supports a variety of simple word processing, database and spreadsheet packages which operate within a graphical user interface. A limited range of adventure game/ simulation software is available to support cross-curriculum activities. A proprietary brand of LOGO is available as is a robotics kit. For schools wishing to work with video, a Genlock is available. CODEHEAD SELECTS SS Codehead Software has selected System Solutions as their new UK distributor. Available thru SS will be, MaxiFile 3.1, Hotwire 2.4, MultiDesk, Lookit, Poppit, Codekeys and the Codehead Utilities for $29.95 each. REPRO SELECTS SS Trade-it has selected System Solutions as their UK distributor for Repro Studio and Repro Studio Plus. This software will be available, bundled with Logitech scanners and retail for $399 plus VAT. IBM INTRODUCES DOS 5.0 IBM announced DOS 5.0, an enhanced, single-tasking operating system that provides lower memory requirements than earlier versions of DOS, improved performance and an easier-to-use interface. DOS 5.0 offers the simplest installation of any version of DOS yet, by allowing users to choose from only two screens of installation options. In addition, a DOS 5.0 Retail Upgrade Package is available for users who are upgrading from a previous version of DOS. This package enables the system to automatically retain configuration information, eliminating the need to copy files and transfer them to the new version. DOS 5.0 is priced at $165 and additional licenses are priced at $125. Customers can upgrade from DOS 2.1 or later through the IBM Retail Upgrade Package for DOS 5.0 for $85. DOS 5.0 supports all models of the IBM Personal Computer and Personal System/2 families, with the exception of the PCjr, PC XT/370 and PC AT/370. XCONTROL RELEASED Atari Corp has released on GEnie the new XCONTROL panel for the STe and TT. The arced file contains full documentation and the CPX control files. Get it now on GEnie, CompuServe and the Z*Net BBS. FIRST SCSI HOST ADAPTER ANNOUNCED Adaptec became the first company to announce a Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) host adapter to support Insite Peripherals' new high- capacity 21Mbyte Floptical drives, debuting next week. Adaptec's AHA- 1520 AT-to-SCSI host adapter, with Floptical drive support built into its BIOS, enables Floptical drives to be integrated seamlessly into AT- class microcomputers. A working demonstration of the unit with an Insite Peripherals Floptical drive will be demonstrated June 25-27 at PC Expo, Booth 5555, Javits Center, New York. DISTINCTIVE SOFTWARE UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT Electronic Arts announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Distinctive Software Inc. Electronic Arts will pay $782,900 and issue 488,157 shares of new common stock in exchange for all the outstanding capital stock of DSI. DSI will be operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Tarrnie Williams, 50, will continue as president and chief executive officer of the new subsidiary. Don Mattrick, 27, founder, chairman, and vice president of marketing and design for DSI, will become vice president of strategic planning for Electronic Arts. Distinctive Software has created over 40 titles and 90 SKU's for leading publishers including Electronic Arts, Broderbund, Konami, Walt Disney Computer Software, Mindscape and Accolade. It has participated in the development of Test Drive and Hardball. It has designed Evolution and The Duel: Test Drive II. It has also developed Ace of Aces, Dambusters, Grand Prix Circuit, Hardball II, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. SMARTMODEM 10th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Hayes announced the Smartmodem Tenth Anniversary by kicking off a year- long celebration, beginning with the biggest cash rebate ever on Hayes modems in the United States and Canada. From June 17 to Aug. 18, 1991, Hayes provides customers with a US$150 rebate on ULTRA 96 or V-series Smartmodem 9600; a US$100 rebate on Smartmodem 2400, Smartmodem 2400P, Smartmodem 1200, or Smartmodem 1200B; and a US$35 rebate on Smartcom Exec or Smartcom II for the Macintosh when purchased with one of these modems. Hayes has set no volume limitations on individual or total unit rebates. Customers may also obtain rebate coupons in metropolitan newspapers and major industry magazines as well as through Hayes electronic bulletin board system at 1-800-US-HAYES or 1-404-HI-MODEM. For more information, contact Hayes Sales Support at (404) 840-9200. $29 ATARI MODEM DEAL Appearing on the back cover of the latest DAMARK "Great Deal Catalog" is the familiar Atari SX-212 1200 baud modem for only $29.99. According to Atari, about 10,000 of the Hayes compatible 300/1200 modem were sold, cash in advance, to the Damark liquidation and close-out specialty mail order company. The SX-212 features the standard RS232 port for use on any computer, plus the 8-Bit Atari SIO port that allows use on an 8-Bit Atari without further adapters or interfaces. At $29, it is an unbeatable bargain despite its lack of 2400 baud speeds. Damark Item Number B-373-181504 from catalog B-373-2329, call 800-729-9000 to order. PORTFOLIO SAVES THE WORLD Hold on to your Atari Portfolio, it just may help save the world some day! The 16-bit personal computer plays a key role in two sequences in the new Schwarzennegger blockbuster, "Terminator 2: Judgement Day." In the first sequence, the young boy hero uses his Portfolio to break into a bank's automatic telling machine (We'd like to know if that program is public domain!!). The other is later on during one of the film's many climaxes, in another break-in attempt with a locked door. Incidentally, you heard it here first -- the film will blow you away!! ATARI ANNOUNCES CLOSING Atari announced this week the closing of the sale of its property in Taiwan for $60 million. A portion of money will be used to reduce bank debts of $27 million. Atari also reported that due to adverse market conditions, particularly a slowdown of sales in Europe, it expects sales for the current quarter ending June 30, 1991 to be below what it experienced during the second quarter of 1990. EPSON UPDATE Epson introduced ESC/P 2, a new printer control language for dot-matrix printers that provides enhanced graphics capability and, for the first time, scalable fonts. Epson ESC/P 2 is an extension of ESC/P, the industry-standard language for 24-pin printing that is commonly known as Epson LQ. ESC/P 2 will be incorporated into all future LQ printers from Epson, starting in July 1991 with the new LQ-570, LQ-870, LQ-1170 and ActionPrinter 5000 models. The new printers include ESC/P 2 drivers for WordPerfect 5.1, PlanPerfect 5.1, DrawPerfect 1.1, Letter-Perfect 1.0, Microsoft Windows 3.0, Microsoft Word 5.5 and WordStar 6. ATARI LASER TONER $49 FROM DAK High-tech liquidator DAK offered the PC-ready brother of the Atari SLM804 laser printer for only $699 in recent catalogs. LaserPro built the SLM804 for Atari, and their Silver Express model is nearly identical to the Atari version. Remaining quantities of the now out-of-production line were sold to DAK, who has sold out, according to inquiries this week. But all is not lost, as DAK signed agreements that should assure Toner and Drum availability for another five years. Since these items directly interchange with Atari's SLM804, owners of the "obsolete" printer can easily get supplies for years to come. Toner is available for $49 (order number 5848), and drum kits are $199 (order number 5849), each plus shipping. Ask for their great catalog. DAK, 800-325-0800, 8200 Remmet Ave, Canoga Park, CA 91304. NEW PORTFOLIO HD AVAILABLE There is finally a hard disk unit really available for the Portfolio! The BSE Company, 14701 Candeda Place, Tustin, CA 92680, (714)-832-4316 have developed the Flashdrive hard disk unit. The unit connects to the Portfolio via the Parallel Interface. The 20mb version sells for $499. XoteriX has been offering a similar $899 unit, but they build them as they are ordered rather than having stock available. TRAMIEL's 7th ANNIVERSARY AT ATARI July 3 marked the SEVENTH anniversary of the Tramiel Atari Corp. It was in 1984 that Warner Communications gave up trying to sell a machine they didn't understand to a market that Jack Tramiel had personally shaped. Jack had just left Commodore where he had made the C64 into "THE CHOICE" for small home computers, despite a limited operating architecture and a dubious price advantage over the superior Atari line. The "family way" of the Tramiel's wasn't favored at Commodore, so Jack and the kids quit and bought the competition. And Atari began a new phase. Jack and sons Sam, Leonard, and Garry held a company pizza party on July 3 to celebrate the past and to toast the future. Attending were the new crew at Sunnyvale who we all hope will help make that future brighter than the past: Bob Brodie, Bill Rehbock, and others. Honored guest was Kent Fillmore, product manager of GEnie Telecommunication Service, who was visiting to find out more about the company that motivates the busiest area on his international system. ATARIUSER UNAFFECTED BY TAX The California sales tax on publications reported by Z*Net last week will not affect operation of AtariUser magazine. Quite contrary to the worst-case scenarios discussed here last week before a decision was made by California officials, AtariUser will only have to pay sales tax on their costs of printing the new monthly Atari magazine. With a circulation nearing 40,000, this is a far more affordable scheme than pre-paying retail taxes on each copy, suggested as one crippling possibility in last weeks Z*Net story. Says Steve Lesh, owner of Quill Publishing Co. and publisher of AtariUser, "The tax story was premature and it scared a lot of our advertisers, distributors, and subscribers. We didn't know what the real costs were going to be, and neither did the tax people. AtariUser Magazine is not and was not threatened by the tax. Now we know it will have almost no effect on us. In fact, we are expecting that new equipment at our printer's office will reduce the actual cost of printing, just about offsetting the increase in tax expense. It will be business as usual for AtariUser. We're expanding our market every month in America and overseas, and both our acceptance and advertising base are growing steadily." Some small adjustments may still be required for subscriptions, which are also taxable at 8.5% as a sale since the new law became effective on July 15. The new sales taxes apply to all publications in California, but the manner in which "free" publications are assessed may be on a case-by-case basis. TOM BYRON JOINS HOLOBYTE Former STart magazine editor Tom Byron begins a new position next week at SPECTRUM HOLOBYTE. Tom will be in public relations and promotion at the successful software company, leaving a staff position at ANTIC publishing where his duties were limited to writing for the PC Home Journal since the suspension of the STart publication two months ago. (There is no word yet of any progress on a hoped-for sale of STart.) Still an Atari fan, Tom Byron hopes to have opportunities to promote more Atari projects. Spectrum Holobyte is the maker of the already- classic FALCON flight simulation game, but has a limited number of titles available for the Atari computers. 50 MEG HARD DRIVE KITS SHIPPING Atari Canada confirmed shipping of the fifty megabyte hard drive kits for the Mega STE. The Mega STE 1 marketed in Canada for the past few months has been upgraded and will only use Atari's own hard drive kits to install an internal hard drive. ATARI AT PACIFIC NATIONAL EXPO Atari Canada and Minitronics Canada will join forces this summer at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver. This seventeen day fair hosts a variety of interests and currently planned are demonstrations on the Atari Computer, in conjunction with the Roland Desktop Music System as well as Portfolio and Lynx displays. The fair is annual event attended by over a million people each year. MANNY MINI-FEST On Tuesday 7-23-91 Manny's Music In New York City hosted an Atari Day for on non-Midi applications for the Atari ST & Musicians. The following companies were present; Goldleaf Publishing, STep Ahead Softeare, ISD, SoftLogic and of course Atari Corp's Mike Groh. A better detailed report will appear next week here in Z*Net. ANTI-PIRACY CONFERENCE ANNOUNCED In an effort to bring piracy under control within FNET, the FoReM inter- BBS network, the Z*Net BBS is sponsoring the Anti-Piracy Conference which is available now. The conference code is 40593 and it available to any FoReM BBS system not participating in the 'Elite" conferences currently under way in the network. The 'Elite" conference are non- public, private conferences (message bases) openly discussing pirating of Atari software. The Z*Net BBS has been deleting nodes from the Magazine conference since the receipt of a capture from one of the host nodes in FNET. Stay tuned for more information on this situation. Z*Net will be re-producing "pirate topic" discussions during the weeks ahead and will include what we are doing to fight piracy in the Atari community. BRODIE AT ASHEVILLE ATARIFEST Bob Brodie attended the weekend Atarifest hosted by Sheldon Winick in North Carolina last week. Current estimates range between 400-500 people attending along with seminars held by Brodie and ST-Reports RF Mariano. See the report of the event by Bob Brodie in next weeks Z*Net. Brodie is on his way to Indiana this weekend and will hopefully be kind enough to pass along his comments! IBM BEGINS TO RUN APPLE SOFTWARE Hydra announced the delivery of its ANDOR ONE product, a PC add-in board with associated software that allows IBM PCs and compatible to run Apple Macintosh software. Andor One is a hardware and software package which combines the two predominant microcomputer standards into a single machine and works with all PCs ranging from XTs through 486s. This new product allows a PC-committed corporation to experiment with the productivity of Macintosh software before committing to the purchase of a new family of computers and a new computer vendor. EPSON INTRODUCES NEW LX-810 Epson has introduced an enhanced version of its LX-810 printer that features faster print speeds. The LX-810, a narrow-carriage, 9-pin printer, produces up to 240 cps in draft mode, a 30 percent increase, and up to 48 cps in NLQ mode, a 60 percent increase. The LX-810 has a suggested retail price of $269 and comes with a two-year limited warranty. ATARI NEWS UPDATE ----------------- Press Release NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release PROFESSIONAL SYSTEMS GROUP LAUNCHES THE RENAISSANCE OF ATARI'S NORTH AMERICAN COMPUTING MARKET WITH THE AEGIS STRATEGIC PARTNER PROGRAM Sunnyvale, California - 25 July 1991 - The Professional Systems Group, a division of Atari Computer Corporation, will kick-off the AEGIS Strategic Partner program at the AEGIS Symposium to be held August 5 and 6. The AEGIS Strategic Partner program creates a unique relationship between Atari, its key resellers and its key developers. This relationship nurtures the development of both vertical-market and cross- discipline solutions, resulting in a strong and effective national sales organization. A key part of the AEGIS Strategic Partner program is the AEGIS Symposium, a clearinghouse for the ideas and information that create powerful vertical-market solutions. The AEGIS Symposium is a two-day product training event with participation from both key resellers and key developers. The first AEGIS Symposium will be held August 5 and 6 at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Sunnyvale, California and at the Cogswell Polytechnical College in Cupertino, California. Over 50 computer and music sales, third-party software, and Atari representative personnel will be in attendance. Key software developers attending the AEGIS Symposium include: C-Lab Software, Dr. T's Music Software, Hybrid Arts, Roland Corporation USA, Steinberg/Jones, Codehead Software, Goldleaf Publishing, Gribnif Software, ISD Marketing, Soft-logik Publishing and Step Ahead Software. ATARI BACK IN KEYBOARD Atari is back advertising in Keyboard magazine, the most widely read professional musician's magazine in the country. In the August issue (with Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman on the cover), Atari has taken co-op ads with C-Lab (Notator, Creator) and Dr. T (numerous editor/librarians and sequencers). The Atari logo is large and clearly seen in both ads. There will be an Atari/Dr. T ad in Electronic Musician this month as well. Bob Brodie of Atari says "We've also done similar things in PC- related magazines with some of our Portfolio developers." ATARI CANADA PROMOS Four promotions were announced this week by Geoff Earle at Canadian headquarters in Markham Ontario. Package One (BTS Mono) includes a 1040STE, SM124 Monochrome monitor, Star NX1000, First Word Plus and HyperPaint II. Package Two (BTS Color) inlucdes a 1040STE, SC1224 Color monitor, Star NX1000, First Word Plus and HyperPaint II. Package Three includes same products except a Mega 2STe in place of the 1040STe. The final package #4 (MIDI) includes a 1040STe, SM124 Monochrome monitor and Super Librarian. DAMARK UPDATE As previously reported in Z*Net, Damark has purchased a number of Atari SX212 300/1200-baud Hayes-compatible modems. The latest Damark catalog (September 1991), shows a reduced price of only $19.99, a full $10 off their earlier price. Shipping and handling is an additional $5.50. (A large picture of the modem appears on page 5 of the catalog; while the word "Atari" had been difficult to read in the previous catalog, it's quite legible now.) Damark's order lines are open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day: 800 729 9000. When ordering, purchasers will be asked to supply the item number for the modem (B-375-181504) and the "Damark Code" on the catalog (B-375-2006). COMPUTER FAIR ANNOUNCED The Atari Special Interest Group (SIG) of the McDonnell Douglas Corporation Recreational Computer Club (MDC-RCC) in St. Louis, Missouri, will be holding their fourth annual Computer Fair at the North County Recreation Complex in St. Louis on August 31, 1991. This will be a general-interest show, with many different kinds of computers represented (not just Atari). The Fair will open to the public at 11:00 a.m. CDT and close at 7:00 p.m. For more information contact: Ray Perry (GEnie address R.PERRY6) MDC-RCC Atari SIG Director. ISRAEL AND ATARI Plans to build a plant in Israel are nearly gone. Atari is alledged to be attempting to borrow money from the Israeli government for building the plant. Talks on this have failed and it looks like Atari will be searching for another area. As previously reported, Atari has been closing plants in Taiwan and sub-contracting work to other manufacturers in the United States and abroad. SONY TO MAKE PORTABLE PCS FOR APPLE A Sony spokesman said this week that it will produce notebook-size personal computers for Apple. However, an Apple spokeswoman denied the article, saying that although Apple deals extensively with Japanese firms, no contract has been struck with Sony or any other company regarding the production of its computers. KICK THE TIRES -------------- by Stan Lowell CSS' Deluxe 3-1/2" upgrade for the XF551 ---------------------------------------- Computer Software Services continues to come out with new upgrades to their hardware and software products. I have been getting reports back on the "DeLuxe" 3-1/2" upgrade package for the XF551. As you might have guessed, it is *impressive!* This upgrade will let you add a 3-1/2" drive to your existing 5-1/4" XF551. A program comes along with the upgrade which will let you *read*(only) 720k MSDOS formatted floppies. For you 'multi-CPU folks, or those with friends who have one of those "other" machines, this would make porting files from them to your 8-bit much easier! Hopefully, someone who has this upgrade will write up a 'quick look' or even a full fledged review? (*Hint, Hint*) I would guess that the surfacing of this bodes well for owners of the Black Box. For those who don't know about the BB: one of the 'add-ons' to it will be a floppy interface which will support drive configurations of up to 720k. This will allow reading, writing, and formatting of MSDOS, ST, or any Dos for Atari which will support these high capacity drives (SpartaDos, MyDos in the main)! Only conjecture on my part, but as a BB owner, I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Back-up Pro! - A Quick Look ------------ CSS has also updated its back-up program! This is an impressive piece of software! It will let you back-up/restore to another hard drive partition or drives 1-9 (Yes! Multiple drives on the back-up/restore! Using drive 9 does require your OS to support it). This feature laden program will also let you "compact" or "compress" (requires 128k of memory). This will cut your disk requirements in half(10 instead of 20 disks), but this does increase the back-up/restore time required. As for times, I normally used FlashBack to back-up my 1st partition. Time: 2-1/2 hours. Ready for this? Time with this program: 45 minutes! These times are *without* using compression. This program is a *must have* for Hard Disk owners and BBS SysOps! It does the usual sort of things like let you back up an entire partition or select a subdirectory(s) or file(s), lets you do a 'dry run through' to determine the number of disks you will require, etc. Things I don't like about it: Copy protection requires floppy re-boot after every use. I fully understand the unfortunate *need* for protection, but it is a real pain to select what you want to back-up, do a 'dry run' to see how many floppies you will need to have on hand... then have to re-boot and try and remember what you had selected before. You COULD have written it down, but that is like reading directions - you do it after things have crumbled! <Grin> I would like to see it possible to either boot from HD or simply re-run after booting via floppy the first time. As a minimum, something like HardBack's Calc.com would be nice. The second thing that I don't like is that, like FastBack on the PC, you can't easily restore a single file because the format is proprietary (unlike the old "Hardback" & "FlashBack") and will not allow file copies except from within the program. What this also means is that you had better use *GOOD* floppies for the backup. If you get a bad spot, you lose everything on that disk! These things aside, if you value what you have on your HD, just from the savings in time alone, you should buy this one! Price is $49.95 plus shipping & handling. Computer Software Services(CSS) has moved since Bob Puff acquired sole ownership, but the mailing address remains the same: Computer Software Services PO Box 17660 Rochester, NY 14617 The new voice phone number is: (716) 429-5639 Their BBS number is still the same: 716-247-7157(N,8,1). BRACE ATARIFEST SHOW REPORT --------------------------- by the Z*Net Staff and Bob Brodie, Director of Communications, Atari Computer Corporation Saturday, July 20th was a great day in Asheville, NC. Atarians from all over the southeast came together once again to enjoy their hobby at the second annual Blue Ridge Atarifest. The event is co-sponsored by the Blue Ridge Atari Computer Enthusiasts, and the local Atari dealer, Computer STudio. Sheldon Winick is the well known owner of Computer STudio. This was the second time Atarians had come to Asheville for the Blue Ridge Atarifest. Last year was the first event, inspired by a visit from Bob Brodie of Atari. When Bob arrived, he found an exceptional Atari dealership, and excited users. A total of about 150 people turned out for the inaugural Blue Ridge Atarifest. Most of the rest of the exhibitors at the first "show" were other Atari owners who enjoyed sharing their expertise in particular areas of their hobby. Included in last years exhibitors was a number of members from KAUG, the Knoxville Atari Users Group. Clifton Willard, a video professional, returned with the rest of the gang from KAUG for the second Blue Ridge Atarifest. No one has ever accused Bob Brodie of hiding a good thing! He was sure to tell one and all about the great impression Asheville's fine folk had made on him. This year, the show moved itself up by several notches! There were a number of other professional developers that attended the Blue Ridge Atarifest this year, and even more people! As before, the show was held in the lovely Westgate Shopping Center, in which Computer STudio is located. In a major switch from the norm of most other Atari shows, BRACE and Computer STudio made this event *FREE* to everyone! There was no charge for admission, and no charge to any of the developers that chose to display their wares in Asheville for the day! Computer STudio is a full service Atari retailer, carrying the full line of Atari products. On display in the store was the TT030, with 8 megs of ram, a Mega/STE with four megs of ram, 1040 STEs, Stacys, Lynx, and the Portfolio palmtop computer. Computer STudio is a well stocked dealer, with over 500 software titles available on the shelf. Folks from all over the southeast came to see this event. User groups were reported present from KAUG, the Knoxville Atari Users Group, the East Tennesee Atari Computer Enthusiasts, and other groups from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and even Florida was represented at this event. Among the people that drove up to this southern style gathering was the colorful and controversial Ralph Mariano. Most Atarians recognize Ralph as being the publisher of ST Report, a weakly rumor column distributed primarily on the FNET. In addition to ST Report, Mariano also has his own hard drive business, ABCO Computer. The vocal Mariano, ever a curiosity to the end users and developers alike, elected not to take a booth to show his famous ABCO hard disks, but rather opted to try to mingle with the crowd at the event. Bob enjoyed an opportunity to meet Ralph's sons, who also came for the journey north. Hmmm, wonder if they read ST Report? The once influential journalist hosted his own seminar toward the end of the day entitled "Current Events". It was an event not to be forgotten: entertaining, humuorous, and unclouded by facts. D.A. Brumleve and her family took time out from their vacation to swing through Asheville. Dorothy had her KIDPRGs on display, and enjoyed speaking to the many new users that she encountered there. Unlike many of the booths at shows, Dorothy's is one that the parents can encourage their children to use the computer! No worries about lost data at Dorothy's booth. She's always glad to get the little ones up to the screen. It's usually not too longer after the kids get busy with the KIDPRGs that Mom and Dad notice that maybe their kid isn't too young to use a computer after all! Always a seminar favorite, Dorothy gave a session on "Empowering You Learners Through Technology". Located down the hall from his wife, was Dr. Timothy Brumleve, who has written his own librarian for a Kawai synthesizer. Tim hosted a MIDI seminar to demonstrate his K5/K5m Voice Librarian. Many of the great sounds heard throughout the Westgate Shopping Center this day were courtesy of Tim Brumleve! Along with Tim, Mike Cloninger was on hand from Dragon Studio to show off some his stuff, done with Cubase. GEnie was well represented by Darlah Pine, head of the Atari Roundtables on GEnie. Hooked up live to GEnie, Darlah showed how to get around the system to the new users. Most of them were impressed with Atari's official online service! Genie's Basic Services are an exceptional value! Darlah also showed the new subscribers how to locate the developers of their favorite programs, most of whom are probably online on GEnie now! Got a problem with a program? Here's how to send electronic mail to the company! Did you say that you were interested in public domain software? GEnie has simply the *best* online libraries around! Darlah remarked how wonderful it was to find so many new users at a show! It had been a long time since so many new folk had appeared at a show. John Fox of Goldleaf Publishing was on hand, his usual wacky self, to wow the crowd with WordFlair II. Word Flair II takes advantage of Atari's FSMGDOS, utilizing scalable outline font technology. A truly unique product, a document processor, Word Flair II let you integrate text, graphics, and data all on one page! Jeff Williams is a familiar sight to show goers as one of the syops from GEnie. Jeff has long been a fixture as the moderator of the Wed. night conferences on GEnie. Now Jeff is also with ICD, and ICD sent him to Asheville with an ample supply of host adapters, AdSpeed accelerators, and great deals on close out 8 bit stuff! Jeff displayed a STacy 4 with an AdSpeed up and running. ICD's products just seem to get better and better! Located inside the Computer STudio store, hidden behind a wall of people that constantly surrounded him was none other than Nathan Potechin of ISD Marketing. Nathan was showing off Calamus S/L on the Atari TT030 at Computer STudio. People were lined up three and four deep from opening till about 2:30 to speak with Nathan, and to see the power of Calamus S/L. Nathan also gave a seminar later in the day on Atari Desktop Publishing using Calamus. Always easy to approach, Nathan spent time with new friends discussing Calamus, Outline Art, DynaCadd, and the Independent Association of Atari Developers. Nevin Shalit of Step Ahead Software is the author of Tracker/ST. Tracker is a powerful application that offers a complete mail manager with a quick letter option, label printing and more. Nevin is one of the sysops of the SoftLogik Roundtable on GEnie, and also gave folks a look at the powerful new version of PageStream. Better known in some circles for his Rumor City column in ST Informer, Nevin proves every month that you can kiss & tell if you do it right! Everyone likes to keep up with the latest scoop on the Atari community. Nevin shares his rumors with little flash and no slash, and lots of class. Refreshing reading for everyone! Other pseudo journalists would do well to consider his approach! Nevin sold out of Tracker/ST at this show! In addition to Nevin, ST Informer was also represented by Brian Gockley. Brian and his lovely wife had great supplies of ST Informers' A & D Software, including the Universal Item Selector and the Universal Network. Down from Virginia for the Blue Ridge Atarifest came Don and Carole Terp. These longtime Atarians might be remembered by some for their writings in the Atari community. They started ST Business magazine, and then published their original material in ST Applications. Now under the name of Reed Mountain Press, Don discussed the business side of desktop publishing. Clifton Willard was again on hand from Knoxville to show off his fabulous video creations, all generated using an Atari computer. Those doubters that the ST's video capabilities should have been present. His creations are simply fabulous! While not showing an Atari specific products, author Ralph Roberts spent time discussing Computer Viruses...the topic of his book. He has also written a series of Leisure Suit Larry hint books. Ralph autographed copies of his book as a special bonus to show attendees. Although not exhibiting per se, any report would be remiss if it didn't mention the attendance of Bill Aycock, Compuserve Sysop. Bill was easy to approach, and quite open about discussing the current state of CompuServe. If your a Portfolio user, CompuServe has an excellent Portfolio forum! Last, but certainly not least was Bob Brodie of Atari Computer Corporation. Bob spent most of his time helping out Darlah Pine showing of GEnie, and meeting new friends from the south. Bob especially enjoyed being right across the way from Computer STudio. It made it so easy for him to refer people to a great store just a few feet away to have their needs met. Instead of having to suggest that a dealer *might* have what the user needed, chances are that Computer STudio would already have the product in stock. And speaking of Computer STudio, Sheldon Winick and staff were on the go from almost before opening the store to the very end of the day. Lines are the cash register were typically about 4 deep. Sheldon was all smiles by the end of the day. I'd bet that this day goes down in Computer STudio history as one of the best. Did you say *the* best? Could be! The many specials that were run were sure to please any budget, and developers seemed to be all aglow as well. Beyond a doubt, this gathering brought together a fine balance of buyers and sellers! Clearly, credit for this event must go to the Blue Ridge Atari Computer Enthusiasts and Computer STudio. How many other shows in recent memory offer to provide developer space for free, and *no admission* charge? Hmmm, sounds like a pretty REVOLUTIONARY idea to me! A show in a shopping center?? Even more REVOLUTIONARY stuff! Don Thomas would be pleased. And could there be any doubt that there will be a repeat performance? How could it go wrong! With free booths for the developers, the major cost that they will have to deal is more like transportation and hotels. What a pleasant change from other recent shows! Look for this event to grow into an even bigger event than the 500 people that attended this year. Look for the friendly people at Computer STudio to be host to *the* gathering point for southern Atarians! Sheldon told Bob that he is already in discussions with a major mall in Asheville to relocate Computer STudio there. Imagine how many non-Atarians will see next years show! Kudos to Sheldon and his fine staff, and the Blue Ridge Atari Computer Enthusiasts for putting on such a fine event! I'm looking forward to next year!! 8-BIT SUPPORT ------------- Courtesy CompuServe Atari8 Forum The Atari 8-bit computers are one of finest home computers ever designed. Unfortunately, after some 12 years on the market, software and hardware has become very difficult to find. Hopefully this file will help you extend the life of your Atari. The following is a list of companies and individuals still marketing items as of 7/1/91. If you know of any companies not on this list, or any changes necessary to this list, please contact us, as we are attempting to update this list on a regular basis. Software Infinity 642 East Waring Avenue State College, PA 16801 ----------------------- Good PD selection. Have just begun marketing commercial games from overseas. Reevesoft 29W150 Old Farm Lane Warrenville, IL 60555 --------------------- Produces Diamond GOS cartridge, Diamond Paint, Diamond Write, Diamond News Station. Windowing environment for 8bits. DataQue Software PO Box 134 Ontario, OH 44862 ----------------- Turbo-816 16-bit upgrade board, TransKey hardware for using IBM keyboards on the 8-bit, and other hardware. B&C ComputerVisions 3256 Kifer Road Santa Clara, CA 95051 (408)749-1003 ------------------------------------ Huge selection of software and hardware items. Also some new commercial games, unavailable elsewhere. Sagamore Software 2104 Arapahoe Dr. Lafayette, IN 47905 ------------------- Good PD/shareware selection with extensive documentation. Change In Heat 12 Bella Vista Place Iowa City, Iowa 52245 --------------------- Independent programmer has produced 2 excellent commercial quality games for the 8-bit. Bresnik Software 555 Ware Street Mansfield, MA 02048 ------------------- Another independent, producing good educational software yet. UltraBasic 10 East 10th Street Bloomsburg, PA 17815 -------------------- 8-bit speciality software. NERDS Software 18 Wendy Drive Farmingville, NY 11738 ---------------------- Printshop related software. IB Computers 9244 S.W. Beaverton-Hills Hwy Valley Plaza Shopping Center Beaverton, Oregon 97005 (503)297-8425 -------------------------------------- BellCom PO Box 1043 Peterborough, Ontario, Canada K9J7A5 ------------------------------------ The largest PD/shareware selection. Compsult PO Box 5160 San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-5160 ------------------------------ Closeout items galore. No Frills Software 800 East 23rd Street Kearney, NE 68847 ----------------- Closeouts & Printshop graphics. Miles Better Software 219/221 Cannock Road, Chadsmoor Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 2DD England --------------------------------------- An overseas mail-order source for the Atari. They have many games which were never released in the US. Electronic Clinic 4916 Del Ray Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814 ------------------ Refurbished equipment. Kake Software 9 Smith Ct. Vincentown, NJ 08088 -------------------- Assorted theme disks. Bacmun Software 1671 East 16th Street, Suite 629 Brooklyn, NY 11229 ------------------ PD theme disks. Alpha Systems 1012 Skyland Drive Macedonia, OH 44056 ------------------- Utility software & hardware. American Technavision 15338 Inverness Street San Leandro, CA 94579 (415)352-3787 ------------------------------------ Large selection of commercial software at closeout prices, and hardware replacement parts. Best Electronics 2021 The Alameda, Suite 290 San Jose, CA 95126 (408) 243-6950 ---------------------------------- Known as *the* Atari hardware store. If they don't have the part you need, nobody does. BRE Software 352 West Bedford Ave, Suite 104 Fresno, CA 93711 ---------------- PD/Shareware. C&T ComputerActive PO Box 893 Clinton, OK 73601 ----------------- Chameleon Software 1013 Marvern Drive East Chambersburg, PA 17201 ---------------------- New & used 8-bit software and hardware. Had a "going out of business sale" in May '91, so they may be gone by now. MWPDS 890 North Huntington St. Medina OH 44256 --------------- Phantoms Atari 8-bit Box 331 Levisa Road MouthCard, KY 41548 ------------------- Vulcan Software PO Box 692 Manassas VA 22111-0692 ---------------------- Walt Huber 644 East Clinton Atwater, CA 95301 ----------------- Discontinued software galore, as well as some original programs. Innovative Concepts 31172 Shawn Drive Warren, MI 48093 (313)293-0730 ------------------------------- Accesories, hardware, PD software CSS PO Box 17660 Rochester NY 14617 (716)586-5545 --------------------------------- Specialty hardware items, 8-bit repair service. San Jose Computers 640 Blossom Hill Road San Jose, CA 95123 (408)224-8575 --------------------------------- New and reconditioned hardware and software Entertainment Excellence 1805 Princeton Place Merrick, NY 11566 ----------------- Discontinued 8-bit software. East Hartford Computer 202 Robert Street East Hartford, CT 06108 ----------------------- Discontinued software for all computers. Aerion Software PO Box 1222 Riverdale Station, NY, NY 10471-1222 ------------------------------------ Markets a new 8-bit commercial game. Toad Computers 556 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd Severna Park, Maryland 21146 (301)544-6943 ------------------------------------------- Now offers a selection of software and reconditioned hardware. When writing to request catalogs, it's always a good idea to include a Stamped, Self-Addressed Envelope. Next, is a list of magazines still supporting the 8-bit Atari. Current Notes 122 North Johnson Road Sterling, VA 22170 ------------------ A truly excellent Atari-oriented magazine, supporting both 8-bit and ST. Atari Interface 3487 Braeburn Circle Ann Arbor, MI 48108 (313) 973-8825 ----------------------------------- A magazine supporting both 8-bit and ST, with input from Atari user groups in the US, Canada and the UK. They also produce a monthly Atari 8-bit disk. AtariUser 113 West College Street Covina, CA 91723 ---------------- A new Atari publication covering the full line of Atari products. Rovac Industries Post Office Box 59 Middlesex, NJ 08846-0059 (908) 968-2024 ---------------------------------------- Produces Z*Magazine an Atari 8-Bit online magazine on a monthly basis. MODIFYING THE 1200XL -------------------- by Jason Hedrick Special thanks to: Bob Woolley, Bob Puff and Paul Smith Disclaimer: None of the above persons shall be held responsible in the event that the person doing the modifications stated in this article should damage his or her equipment. I bought a 1200XL about a year ago from a person for rather cheap. 1200XL machines can be had rather inexpensively these days, because when Atari made them, they weren't what one would consider as good as, say, an 800XL. I resolved to find out as much as I possibly could about this machine, and that I would try to make it what it 'should have been'. I have used an article written by Paul Smith and Bob Woolley as guidelines. I have basically compiled the facts. Another reason I wrote this article is because I wanted to have Computer Software Services' Ultra Speed Plus Operating System work in it. To look at it with an amateur's point of view, (like myself) you would have said, "Impossible!". No, it wasn't. Well, enough of my babbling, and on with the show. The first problem encountered with the 1200XL is the fact that any device drawing power from the SIO port didn't work because there is a current limit resistor keeping devices from getting the voltage/current they needed. So if you ever plugged in, say, a P:R: Connection, it wouldn't work, because it has no external power supply. To fix this problem, all you have to do is short out R63. This is a 100 Ohm resistor (Brown-Black-Brown) in series with the power supply and is located near the SIO connector (J1). Just solder a wire from one end of the resistor to the other. This is easiest from the solder side of the board. Another way of doing it is to de-solder the resistor, and replace it with a piece of jumper wire. Now for the big stuff. The 1200XL has its own operating system unique from the rest of the XL series of computers. It has compatibility problems, and it doesn't have BASIC built-in. Also, it doesn't have a parallel Buss. I'm not going to cover how to install the Parallel Buss Interface here, but the seperate article by Bob Woolley is available on networks like Compuserve. It's called, "Adding A Parallel I/O Buss to a 1200XL". I will get the file, (I only have a printout that my user's group president gave me) and upload it to the Computer Software Services BBS. (716) 247-7157. The main part of Bob Woolley's article I'm focusing on is how to add the 1200XL operating system chip, and how to put in a BASIC ROM. I will quote directly from his article. If there's any mention of things like 'PBI code', it's because the article I'm quoting from has the sole purpose of installing a Parallel Buss Interface (PBI) in the 1200XL. I had another purpose in mind. The 1200XL OS does not have the PBI code in either of its two 8K ROMs, which means we'll have to either recode an EPROM or use the 800XL or 130XE (same chip) OS ROM. Since many people don't have an EPROM burner and don't want to spend $150.00 for one, maybe $5 to $10 for an Atari ROM out of an 800XL (CO616598B) is a good idea. Also, it really isn't legal to copy the Atari ROM into an EPROM, even for your own use. Even if you destroy the source ROM. Atari was nice enough to provide an easy upgrade path. Use their ROM. OK? First thing you may find is that the 1200XL ROMs are 24 pin devices and the new ROM is a 28 pin package. No problem. All you need to do is de-solder the 24 pin socket at U13 and solder in a 28 pin socket. [I recommend a high-reliabily machined pin socket.] One more address line (A13) is needed, so remove the W6 jumper and solder a wire from pin 23 of the CPU chip (U21) to the top pad of W6. Now, plug the 800XL OS ROM into U13. The 16K ROM select is just as simple. Take a look inside your 1200XL. See the chip that has 20 pins (U14)? That is your MMU. It is the main difference between a 1200XL and an 800XL. Same number of little pins, same number of inputs and outputs ..... But the 800XL IC has the 16K select fot the OS ROM. So lets jump right in and swap the MMU with the 800XL part (CO61618). Fits just fine, doesn't it? De-solder all jumpers except W11, W12, and W9 and you have a ROM select line that will select the address range from $C000 to $FFFF in a single ROM, like the 800XL. Since the 1200XL has two ROM sockets and there may be some hard core nuts out there that just must have the internal BASIC ROM, get a revision C ROM and bend up pins 24 and 21. Plug this ROM into U12 and solder a wire from pin 24 of the BASIC ROM to +5 Volts at the top of C11 (just to the left of U13). Solder another wire from pin 21 of the ROM to the left hand pad of W7 (which should not have a jumper in it). One more wire from pin 18 of U14 to pin 11 of U23 and your machine has BASIC under the covers, just like the big guys!! Now you get the thrill of holding down OPTION when you want to boot without BASIC, where those of us who don't do this section only need to pull the cartridge. To be fair, though, SpartaDos will now turn BASIC on and off in your 1200XL with the BASIC on and off commands - which is kinda nice. Now to install the Ultra Speed Plus Operating System, follow these instrucions. 1. Remove the 800XL ROM from U13. 2. Install the US+ module into the socket with the wires coming out the end to which the notch of the old chip was pointing. 3. You will have to splice on extra lengths of wire from the module to install it correctly. 4. Solder the shortest wire coming from the US+ module to pin 7 of the 74LS138 right above the CPU (U21, CO14806). 5. Now desolder the wire going from the US+ module to its 16 pin chip. Note which pin you desoldered it from. 6. Now splice an extra length of wire to the wire you just de-soldered, and solder back on to the chip you de-soldered it from. 7. Splice on extra lengths of wire onto the wires coming from the US+'s 16 pin chip, enough to reach to POKEY chip on (CO12294) the left side of the board. 8. Now, piggy back the 16 pin chip pins 7 and 14 only making sure you line the notch up correctly. 9. Next, solder the wire coming from the US+ module's 16 pin chip to POKEY pin 7. 10. Solder the remaining wire coming from pins 4 and 5 of the US+ external 16 pin chip to pin 32 of the POKEY. 11. Drill a 1/4" hole in the left side of the bottom part of the case for the US+ switch. 12. To put the top RF shield back on the mother board, you'll have to cut a hole big enough for the US+ module to poke through. 13. Assemble your computer, and screw it all back together. 14. Turn it on. If nothing happens, call Computer Software Services at (716)467-9326 Monday-Friday 10AM-5PM EST. Explain to them the modifications you made, and they should be able to help. They're knowledgable folks. Well, that wraps it up. With all mods installed, you have brought your machine up to state of the art. Coming soon: Dual POKEYs and stereo outputs on your 1200XL!! 8/23/91 - Jason Hedrick ======================================================================== Z*Magazine is an Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine covering the Atari 8-Bit and related computer community. Articles and commentary presented here do not reflect the opinions of the staff of Z*Magazine. Articles unless otherwise noted may be reprinted in full with the title, author and Issue number at the top of each article reprinted. Z*Magazine, Z*Net, Z*Net Newswire and Z*Net News Service are Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc. Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey, 08846-0059. ======================================================================== Z*Magazine Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc.. ========================================================================
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