Z*Magazine: 4-Nov-91 #199

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/03/93-03:33:55 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine:  4-Nov-91 #199
Date: Sun Oct  3 15:33:55 1993

           ==(((((((((( ==    Z*MAG/A\ZINE ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE
           =========(( ===             November 4, 1991
           =======(( =====                Issue #199
           =====(( =======    ----------------------------------
           ==(((((((((( ==    Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Ind Inc..
                      Publisher/Editor : Ron Kovacs
                      Assistant Editor : Stan Lowell
                      Contributing Editor: Bob Smith
                  CompuServe: 75300,1642    GEnie: Z-NET
        Z*NET BBS: (908) 968-8148   BLANK PAGE BBS: (908) 805-3967


 The Editors Desk.............................................Ron Kovacs
 3-D Modeler For The 8-Bit....................................From F-Net
 What  Is An 8-Bit Atari...............................Barton M. Bresnik
 Rumbles, Rambles, Rumors....................................Stan Lowell
 Adventures In Structured Programming - Part 1.............Michael Stomp
 Atari At Seybold..........................................Press Release
 Z*Net Newswire.........................................................
 Summertime Reads - Atariland Style............................Andy Eddy
 * THE EDITORS DESK                                        by Ron Kovacs
 Is Z*Magazine saved???  For the time being yes...
 There are a number of articles we have received by the readers out there
 and it will keep us alive atleast until the end of the year.  We are
 going to release weekly issues until further notice and see what types
 of download numbers we receive.
 For the latest Atari news I suggest you read Z*Net Atari Online 
 Magazine, the sister of this magazine.  It is released every Friday
 evening.  For the latest PC related news and feature stories, read our
 newest publication Z*Net PC.  Currently being released bi-weekly and
 going to a weekly format in January 1992.
 Please note that the end is still on the horizon.  I really do not
 expect this online magazine to last forever.  If the readers continue
 to provide material we will continue.  We are looking for regular
 writers and if you are interested, please let us know!
 Thanks for the support!
 See you next week....  Release dates will remain on Tuesday evenings!

 * 3-D MODELER FOR THE 8-BIT                         Captured from F-NET
 ChromaCad(tm) 3-D Model Builder 91 program
 With the ChromaCAD Model Builder program, you can build any 3-D model
 you can dream of.  You merely start at the bottom and draw the contour
 lines of the model as you work your way up.  Add surface colours to the
 model as you draw the lines.  You decide you many contour lines to use
 for each model (up to 158) and you decide the elevation of each line.
 Huge scrolling 32767 x 32767 graph allows you to construct contour lines
 as detailed as you want.  Supports computer-assisted drawing of lines,
 circles, arcs, ellipses.  Displaces models in contour-line form.
 With this program, you will be able to construct unbelievably
 sophisticated 3-D modelsers -- completely free-form, sculptured surface
 -- no "extrude" or "sweep" limitations.  You will be able to construct
 models of human heads so accurately that when you display them with the
 ChromaCAD Surface Shader XE 91 program (described below), you will be
 able to recognize the subject from the model!
 ChromaCAD(tm) Surface Shader XE 91 program
 The ChromaCad Surface Shader XE 91 program can display any model
 constructed by the Model Builder program in surface-shaded format from
 any point of view, using up to three lights.  Lights can be individually
 varied in intensity and individually set to strike the model from any
 direction.  Models can be displayed in a variety of modes, including
 high resolution, colour, and 3-D stereo.  Colours can be reassigned
 instantly without replotting the model.  Up to 61K of computer RAM can
 be used for image display memory.
 Up to ten models can be individually oriented in 3-D space and displayed
 together to produce on compound multi-model scene.  (Terrain model,
 Airport model, airplanes, cars, etc. combined to produce one compound
 multi-model scene.)  The program also supports negative, mirror, and
 stepped-tone rendering, automatic clipping, highlighting, ambient
 lighting,, and inside viewing of models.
 View any model in 3-D stereo! (with included 3D stereo glasses.)  Watch
 models virtually jump off the screen..
 ChromaCAD(tm) Model Builder 91 program with 136 page illustrated,
 indexed manual (requires 48K Atari) - Order # 21...............$29.95
 ChromaCAD(tm) Sufrace Shader XE 91 program with 69 page manual, 2 pairs
 of Stereo 3-D Glasses and sample Model Disk #1 (contains 10 models)
 requires 130XE (128K Atari)         - Order # 35...............$29.95
 If that sounded like a commercial, it's because it was! :-)
 If any Atari 8-Bit users out there are interested, or you know an Atari
 8-Bit user that might be interested, here is the order information you
 American Techna-Vision
 15338 Inverness Street,
 San Leandro, CA 94579

 Write to this address asking for a catalogue and say what computer/model
 you own (say you saw this commercial on NANET).

 Phone 1-800-551-9995 for Visa/MasterCard ordering, or phone 1-510-352-
 3787 if you have any other questions. (these are voice numbers and are
 the correct numbers...I just verified them myself).  Say you saw this
 advertisement on NANET.

 There are several pictures of rendered images, and they are UNBELIEVABLE
 for an 8-Bit.  They look much like Cyber series of software (Antic
 Software) in B/W.  *Very* good.
 All this goes to prove that the Atari 8-bit is not hardware outdated,
 only software outdated.  These programs are *very* good (from the output
 of them) and I intend to order them.

 * WHAT IS AN EIGHT-BIT ATARI?                      by Barton M. Bresnik
 You see a computer for sale at a flea market for only $50... is it
 useful or just a door-stop?  Can you play games on an Atari 400? 
 Program it in BASIC?  Use it with a disk drive or tape recorder?  Why is
 this guy selling it?
 The Background:
 Atari made a number of games using the 6502 microprocessor, including
 the 2600, 5200 and 7800.  As the 6502 has eight address lines and
 performs arithmetic internally in eight-bit chunks, called bytes, it is
 termed an "eight-bit" microprocesor.  Though the game machines have
 neither a keyboard nor any means of data storage other than cartridges
 which contain read-only-memory (ROM), yet they provided the experience
 for building a line of very capable home computers based on the same
 microprocessor.  The Ataris are arguably equal or superior to the
 Commodores (Vic, 64 etc.) and Apples (][, ][c etc.), which use the 6502
 and which are still in use in many schools.
 The genealogy of the Atari family begins with the 400, with plastic-
 membrane keyboard, and 800, with type-writermstyle keyboard, both with
 16 kilobytes of random-access-memory (RAM).  Additional RAM boards were
 usually added to expand this to 48 k.  The operating system (OS) is
 contained in ROM and utilizes additional RAM, occupying about 16 k of
 address space.  As the 6502 can address a maximum of 64 k, or 65,536
 bytes using eight address lines, this leaves a maximum of 48k that may
 be "seen" by the processor at once, sufficient for a surprising variety
 of utilities and games.  BASIC programming language and game cartridges
 plug into a slot under a little door on top.  Note that these cartridges
 are NOT compatible with the 2600 game machine cartridges!
 The XL series has more RAM hidden beneath the OS, a smaller case, no
 cover for the cartridge slot, and a greatly reduced price.  The 600XL
 contains 16 k (expansion boards are still available to bring it up to
 64k), the 800XL and 1200XL contain 64k.  The 600XL and 800XL also
 contain the BASIC language on ROM, freeing the cartridge slot.  If you
 find a 1450XL, it may have some value to collector's, as very few, if
 any, were produced.
 Internally, the 65XE and 130XE and, confusingly, the XE Game Machine are
 similar to the XL series; the 65XE and Game Machine having 64k and the
 130XE having 128k.  To fit the extra memory into the 130XE (and into
 compatible expansion boards for the XL series), a 16k block of memory is
 switched with other, unused, blocks so that the 6502 never sees more
 than 64k at once.
 Needed Equipment:
 In addition to an eight-bit computer, you need a monitor or television,
 either color or monochrome; the monitor providing a somewhat sharper
 image.  The computer provides both RF output on TV channel 2 or 3 and
 composite video output to a monitor (which has two RCA 'phone jacks in
 To record documents for word-processing, to load programs written in
 BASIC or to play commercial games, you also need a disk drive or program
 recorder.  The early 810 drive is large, noisy and cannot read some
 disks without internal modification to the drive.  The 1050 and XF551
 read and write progressively more data to disks, to 360 k for the XF551.
 The 410 and 1010 recorders are usable, but MUCH less convenient and
 reliable than even the 810 drive!
 The BASIC cartridge is needed for programming and many games in the 800
 and 400, but not in the XL and XE series.  Alternatively, get the BASIC
 XE cartridge for the XL and XE machines for one of the most complete
 versions of this language.
 All eight-bits also use standard joysticks and "paddle" (knob)
 controllers, and can be programmed to read a track-ball, but do not
 recognize a mouse.  Graphic tablets such as the Koala-Pad are also
 Other Peripherals:
 The eight-bit computers do NOT have standard RS232 prts for serial or
 parallel communication.  Printers may be designed specifically for the
 Atari (such as the XMM801 dot-matrix or 1027 "ink-roller" types from
 Atari or the Alphacom 42 thermal printer) or standard parallel and
 serial ports are available from interfaces, such as the Atari 850 or the
 P:R Connection.  The 1020 plotter is an amazing device for its price
 (under $20!), able to produce four-color graphs and alpha-numeric
 characters on 4.25 " roll paper; replacement pens and paper are
 available from Radio Shack.
 Modems include the SX212 1200 baud model, which can directly connect to
 either an eight-bit or ST.  For most purposes, the older 300 baud models
 may be too expensive to operate.  Other "external" modems can connect to
 the P:R Connection or the 850 interface.
 So... you found an eight-bit Atari... How are you going to use it?
 Word-processing is the most common use.  Although you can only see 38 to
 40 characters per line, the large text is easy to read.  I actually
 prefer typing straight text (as opposed to desk-top-publishing) on my
 800XL, rather than my ST.  Word-processing programs on disk include
 AtariWriter Plus (my favorite; it even can alphabetize, which my ST
 programs cannot do) and Speed-Script.  AtariWriter cartridges are
 instant-loading, ideal for the dedicated word-processor.
 VisiCalc and other spread-sheets are ideal as a teacher's rank book or
 the family budget.
 The Atari BASIC language provides an ideal environment to learn
 programming, though there are some "bugs" in two versions of Atari BASIC
 which may cause problems when writing a program.  The 'C' language is
 available as shareware; it produces rapidly-executing programs which may
 be ported to other computers, even mainframes.  Assemblers, from Atari,
 OSS and other software suppliers, allow you to program directly in the
 language the 6502 understands, for greatest speed.  A simulation by John
 Horton Conway called "Life" which I interpreted for the Atari runs 800
 times faster in machine language (which is produced by the assembler)
 than in BASIC!
 An incredible number of games have been released for the Atari, many
 available as both disks and cartridges.  Some games may be halted in
 mid-play and saved to disk, to be resumed later.  Both Atari and Parker
 Bothers have versions of chess (the Parker Brothers' rulebook is
 particularly well written).  Other educational games are available.
 Graphic programs, such as Fun with Art from Epyx, allow you to doodle or
 create a scene for a game of your own design (as I used FWA to create my
 simulatin, "Ecologian").
 In Conclusion:
 The Atari eight-bit computers are still a viable tool, not only for
 learning about computers, but for many tasks.  As people abandon their
 old "toys" for new ones, many of these computers have become available
 at bargain prices.  I hope one can provide you with as much pleasure and
 utility as I am getting from my 800XL.
 * RUMBLES...RAMBLES...RUMORS...                          by Stan Lowell
 Z*Mag to end publication?
 In a recent issue of Z*Net, Ron Kovacs stated that Z*Magazine would
 cease publication with issue #200.  Will this come to pass?  Only time
 and YOU, the reader will make that determination.
 Whats the problem?  It is the same problem that nearly ALL editors of
 user group newsletters face as each deadline date approaches.  Reader
 support, or lack of it.  Life is a little easier for a publication that
 can actually pay their authors  (How many of those are still around).
 Those that can't, find it difficult at times to get it together every
 Another problem seems to be one of distribution.  Many "potential
 contributors" may not know about Z*Mag or know that we resumed
 publication late last year!  This came about because a user in another
 city made a remark (on my Networked 8-bit message base) after I
 mentioned Issue #200 being the "last" one.  None of the boards in his
 city carried Z*Mag and he didn't know it had resumed publication!  One
 of the suggestions offered on the FoReM-XEP Network was that Z*Mag go to
 quarterly publication.  Ron and myself ARE seriously considering this
 suggestion.  It *may* be viable if we get enough material uploaded to
 Contributing to Z*Mag is a GREAT way to get advertising and recognition
 for your user group and/or yourself!  More importantly, you are sharing
 your hobby and enjoyment with others.  As I write this, there have been
 promises of material from some, so the jury is still out, but there is
 hope!  In MY OPINION, if your Newsletter has *ever* re-published
 material from Z*Magazine, you should give something back.  If you have
 read Z*Magazine and enjoyed it, how about contributing something to it?
 We can NEVER have too much material!  There are things happening in the
 Atari 8-bit world.  I see little posts here and there on various
 bulletin boards alluding to new Shareware and new "commercial" software
 from across the oceans, tips, hints, tricks, ideas, etc.  As you can
 tell from the sporadic issues of Z*Mag the past year, I don't have the
 time to continue searching and hunting for fresh material.  So, we are
 throwing it out to you, the readers.  If you want us to continue
 publication, help us.  We are YOUR magazine.  Z*Magazine, support it or
 loose it.
 When readers asked Ron to resume Z*Mag last year, he asked if I would
 help with the effort by doing an article or column, I said that I would
 do my best, but couldn't make any promises.  I have spent many hours
 with a modem looking for fresh material and getting permission to
 publish the material in Z*Mag.  I thank those who gave permission,
 especially those who have called and uploaded material to us.
 Lost, but not forever!
 Somewhere between here and Publisher Ron Kovacs, my last article got
 waylaid.  No problem, I will just re-upload it!  Wrong!  Murphy's law
 strikes again!  My disk with ALL my information for future articles,
 past articles, and *that* article...got totally hosed up!

 So, what follows is as much as I can piece together from memory.

 ANSI for the Atari 8-bit?
 The  shareware author of the Atascii Emulator for the PC world, Robert
 Sinclair, has been busily working on an "Ansi emulator" terminal program
 for Atari 8-bits.  Apparently, a 'beta' version is around.  There are a
 few wrinkles to iron out before its final release.  Reports I have
 gotten indicate that it really works (with some limitations)!
 R-Time 8 Battery - Practice What I Preach Dept.
 My battery went 'nutso' a few weeks back.  I dug out the article on
 replacing it, threw caution to the wind, and did it!  It works just
 marvie!  Thanks again to Jonathan Mordoski (SysOp - Atari Computer
 User's Technical Exchange, 215-261-0620)!
 Of course I ended up getting a different battery because I left the
 battery number at home...sigh.

 Other New Things
 Bob Klass of K-Products is now selling a 'SpartaDos utility package' of
 utility programs for both MIO and Black Box owners.
 The following messages are captures from the repair BBS describe the
 utility package.

 Message: 2(#16773)
   Title: New 8-Bit!
  Author: Sysop*Bob
      To: All
  Posted: Mon  8-Jul-91 at  7:52:00am
 Replies: 0

 There are a few programers out there still supporting the Atari 8-Bit
 user.  Just released are DK-Utilities by Dan Knauf, who released all
 rights to K-Products, 4267 W. Midway Dr., Salt Lake City, Ut 84120,
 DK-Utilities is a set of utility programs intended for use with Sparta
 Dos, the Black Box, and at least one hard drive.  These utilities can
 all be used from the Sparta Dos command line.  They have been written in
 two forms Com files and Command files (for BBS Express! Professional
 Sysops), and are available on the Repair Shop BBS 801-967-8738 in the
 online store, price $10.00 plus s/h.
 The disk contains the following files.
 BBFIG.COM -> You can load and save the the main configuration table for
 the Black Box or MIO to/from a disk file.
 BLOCK.COM -> Allows you to lock, unlock or check the status on hard
 drives connected to the Black Box or MIO.
 BOOTMENU.COM -> Is a bootup menu program for Sparta Dos users.  It
 provides a menu of up to 32 single Sparta Dos commands to be executed by
 a single keypress.
 BPART.COM ->  Is a program to load, save and print partitions lists for
 the Black Box from the Sparta Dos command line.  This effectively
 eliminates the 96 partition limit for the Black Box users!
 BSWAP.COM ->  This allows you to swap the drive assigns in the
 configuration table to either the Black Box or the MIO interface from
 the Sparta Dos command line.
 DMENU.COM ->  Allows you to enter either the Black Box menu or the MIO
 menu from the Sparta Dos command line.
 FLUSH.COM ->  This will flush the print spooler on the Black Box.
 LF.COM ->  Turns on/off the line feed option on either the Black Box or

 PR.COM ->  Turns on/off printer port works only on the Black Box with
 any DOS.
 RS.COM ->  Turns on/off RS232 port works only with Black Box, but with
 any DOS.

 SOUND.COM ->  Turns on/off the sound works only with Black Box, with any

 SPOOLER.COM ->  Works with any DOS but only with Black Box and computers
 with extended memory.  Turns the printer spooler on/off.
 WHO.COM -> Works just like Sparta Dos's HUH.COM only WHO works with
 either the Black Box or the MIO, shows the status of all drives on the
 system.  If you are using the Black Box, the Hard Drive partition names
 are listed after the drive assigns data.
 Hope several of you find Dan's efforts useful...

                 Bob Klaas

(3/250+) ATARI 8-BIT:

 If you are the owner of either a BB or an MIO, have a hard drive and/or
 run a BBS, this looks like a very useful package to me!
 BobTerm  1.21
 After hearing about version 1.21 of BobTerm for months, what follows is
 the Update.txt from the archive.  Let me mention that this program is
 *NOT* FREEWARE, it is Shareware!  This means if you try it, like it, and
 USE it, you *should* send the requested donation to the author.  If a
 program is 'good enough' for you to use on a regular basis, it is good
 enough to have the donation sent to the author, whomever it may be!
 BobTerm has long been acclaimed as one of the best full featured
 terminal programs for the Atari 8-bit.  On to Bobterm!  Changes from
 version 1.10 include 15 bug fixes and 37 enhancements and modifications!
 Some things are gone, having been replaced by new things.
 (UPDATE.TXT - Reprinted with permission.)

 The following is a list of changes from version 1.10 of BobTerm to the
 current 1.21 version:
 Bug Fixes:
 1.  Connects at 19200 Baud within the dialer will no longer switch down
     to 1200.
 2.  The delay between redials has been increased to work with a wider
     range of modems and settings.
 3.  The line editor now allows full ATASCII cursor editing (editing
     filenames, macros, etc...).
 4.  The first character of a macro may be any character, including a
 5.  ATASCII<->ASCII protocol translation with MIO problem fixed.
 6.  FModem upload to FoReM boards finally fixed.
 7.  A couple bugs that caused the header and first blocks of each file
     in a batch transfer to be repeated were tracked down and fixed.
 8.  Obscure XModem padding problem fixed.
 9.  Fixed various lockup points when using the MIO.
 10. When saving the capture buffer, a disk error now causes an error
     message to be displayed (none was shown before).
 11. RAM-based OSes may now be used.  An example of this is the HAPPYXL
     program that gives high speed data transfer with modified 1050
 12. A lockup problem occurring when capturing and using the XEP driver
     was fixed.
 13. The filename entry prompt for a full capture buffer makes sure the
     name you enter is good before saving (it used to just erase the
 14. Doing a COPY <file> E: in the command processor interface for
     SpartaDOS 3.2 now works.
 15. The 835/1030/XM-301 modem handler has been re-written to properly
     tone dial, as well as respond with the proper messages in the proper
 16. Dialing manually drom the dialer no longer unmarks the highlighted
     entry, and will not perform any automatic logon.
 1.  The non-batch receive protocols are self-adapting, in that they will
     automatically adjust to the sender's protocol (If you select a CRC
 2.  Protocol sends are slightly faster.
 3.  The FAST CIS XMODEM receive protocol now supports 1k block sizes.  I
     suggest you use the 1k block sizes (by specifying the protocol to
     CompuServe with PRO:X1K), as it causes the data stream to be
 4.  In the batch file selection area, pressing "A" at a file query will
     mark ALL the rest of the files in the directory mask you have
     entered.  This saves having to hold "Y" for all the entries.
 5.  Separate pathnames are stored in the config for upload, download,
     and capture.  This saves having to type the path all the time.
 6.  Separate upload and download default protocols.
 7.  Spaces are inserted between successive RETURN characters in ASCII
     Sends, so your formatting will be preserved in message editors that
     normally 'eat' the blank lines.
 8.  Fine Scrolling is now available.  Use Shift Control S to toggle.
     Its status is saved in the system config.
 9.  The Word Wrap flag is now saved in the system config.
 10. Parity is now supported.  Use the VT-52E for Even, VT-52O for Odd,
     and ASCII for No parity.  Vidtex has not been eliminated, use the
     VT-52O for CIS Vidtex emulation.
 11. The VT-52 emulation is more compatible with VT-100, ANSI, and a few
     other emulation modes.  It does not support the entire VT-100
     command set, but its better than it was before.
 12. The timer/clock will keep the proper time on 50Hz PAL systems.
 13. Internal BASIC is automatically disabled for all DOSes.  This took
     some serious probing into SpartaDOS to make work.  Also, OSS carts
     are also disabled under all DOSes except Sparta.
 14. The Dialer's Print List option has been removed, and the buffer
     size has been decreased by 256 bytes.  This had to be done to make
     room for the new features.  If you wish to make a hardcopy of your
     dialing list, you may use an older version of the term for this.
     The dialing list format is the same.
 15. The Capture buffer may now be viewed before it is saved.  The view
     function is accessed by the [C] command from the main term menu.
 16. The TONE/PULSE selection was moved from the main menu to the dialer,
     where it was actually used.
 17. The modem's result messages returned when using the dialer are now
     displayed.  (BUSY, NO DIALTONE, etc...)
 18. The dialer now depends upon the modem's result codes rather than the
     carrier detect signal, and so should work with just about any hayes-
     compatible modem, regardless of configuration  (the messages have to
     be returned in verbal as opposed to numeric).
 19. The dialer now has an option of sending the first macro upon
     connection.  This can be used for automatic logons.  I suggest
     adding one or two Control Ps in the beginning of the first macro to
     account for the time needed for the other modem to properly connect.
 20. The Long Distance code feature now supports the ability to embed the
     BBS number within the LDX code.  See the main documentation for
 21. When a DOS function is completed, you are returned back to the DOS
     Functions menu.
 22. The DOS Functions have been assigned letters instead of numbers, the
     letters corresponding to the same ones used by DOS 2.x.  This should
     make operation friendlier and easier.
 23. The Command Processor interface for SpartaDOS now has a feel much
     more like the real DOS.
 24. The ability to copy a single file is now available in the DOS
 25. The Atari 850 Interface handler is loaded every time; you don't have
     to power it down prior to coldstarting.
 26. Any handler BobTerm loads will be unlinked when the term is exited.
     This should prevent random lockups that happened with various DOS
     and handler combinations.  Note: it is recommended you use the
     [Q]uit command to exit the term, rather than pressing RESET.
 27. The Control 1 function to start/stop printing may now be used in the
     View a file, View capture buffer, and command processor interface
 28. The macro processor has been enhanced with two new functions: a
     Control D will cause a 1/2 second delay.  This is useful for
     generating the HHH sequence for logging on to GEnie.
 29. A Control N in a macro will cause it to link to the next macro.
     Thus, you are no longer limited to 31 characters in a macro!  Note
     that neither the Control N nor the RETURN that follows it will be
 30. The curly brace characters in the Ascii character set are translated
     to Control A and Control D characters (for open and close).  The
     braces may be sent by pressing the same keys.
 31. The chat buffer may now be sent without a RETURN at the end.  Type
     an ESC prior to hitting RETURN.  (Note: version 1.21 fixes a bug in
     1.20 that would not let a space be the last character before the
 32. The $7F character in the Ascii character set is now ignored.  This
     serves no useful function, and caused problems on GEnie.
 33. Attract mode is disabled while the dialer is busy dialing numbers.
 34. The messages on the top status line have been enhanced.
 35. The term screen is displayed while using a transfer protocol.  It
     was found that BobTerm could keep up with 19200 Baud transfers with
     the screen fully on; so the top three lines indicate the transfer
     status, and the rest of the screen displays the term screen.  Note
     that any bad bytes received while in the transfer are sent to the
     term screen, so if you start a transfer while the other side is
     still sending, you will be able to see the incoming data.
 36. The BOBTERM.CNF file is now larger, and is not compatible with
     config files created by older versions.  Delete any old config files
     you may have.
 37. The ST-specific VT-52 color setting commands are now ignored instead
     of being displayed.
 That's all I have documented that was changed.  Its possible that there
 may be a couple minor things that have slipped past me.  Please be sure
 to read the main documentation for more detail on the enhancements.
 When uploading BobTerm to a BBS or giving it to a user, upload the whole
 ARC file, or make sure the disk contains ALL the data files unaltered.
 Thank you.
 Bob Puff  04/27/90
 Suite 222
 2117 Buffalo Rd
 Rochester, NY  14624
 CompuServe Mail: 76702,1076
 GEnie Mail: BOB.PUFF
 Computer Software Services(CSS) has moved since Bob Puff acquired sole
 ownership.  The NEW voice phone number is: (716) 429-5639.  Their BBS
 number is still the same: 716-247-7157.
 Until next time!  If you would like to submit a review, article, or a
 rebuttal (ANYTHING is welcomed!), feel free to upload to myself or Z-NET
 Online BBS.  I can be reached on my BBS (908-805-3967), GEnie(S.LOWELL),
 and on Z*Net Online BBS(908-968-8148).   Both of us are PCP node: NJNBR
 Starlink node: 3319

 SUPPORT ShareWare Authors and others who write for the Atari 8-bit!
 Support Z*Magazine!
 Support THOSE who support YOU!

 * ADVENTURES IN STRUCTURED PROGRAMMING - Part 1        by Michael Stomp
 The basic idea of structured, or top-down, programming is that one
 breaks a program down into modules that are relatively self-contained
 and produce a single, easily defined, result.  Then each module is
 further broken down into other modules, and so forth until one reaches
 rather simple operations that can be used throughout the program.  This
 produces code that is clean, logical, and easy to read and modify.
 Depending upon the language one uses, these modules are called
 subroutines, functions, or procedures, and are an integral part of
 programs written in C, ACTION!, or an extended Basic like BASIC XL/XE or
 TURBO BASIC XL. The syntax may vary form language to language, but the
 ideas remain the same.
 One can think of these modules as 'black boxes' with one entry point and
 one exit point.  If the conditions upon entry and results upon exit are
 clearly defined, the insides of the 'box' are immaterial -- at least at
 the level of program design in which they are used.  What is important
 is that each module 'completes a thought'.
 However, handling error conditions that may arise can get a little
 tricky.  The last thing you want to do is to just jump off to some error
 handling section, as that will take you out of the well-structured
 program logic, with no way to get back. In such cases, the best one can
 usually do is to restart the program from the beginning -- not at all
 satisfactory to the user.  No, if the module is to be a 'complete
 thought', any errors that may occur within a module should be handled
 within the module.
 As an example of this, I want to present a simple module for the input
 of numerical values.  This example is in TURBO BASIC XL, but can easily
 be translated into other languages.
 The 'complete thought' that we want this module to perform is this: when
 calling the module, a string containing the prompt to be printed is
 passed, the module gets the input from the user, and does not return a
 value until it gets a legal value, which is returned.  Period.  That's
      ? PRMPT$;
      # BADVALUE:? CHR$(253)

 (I didn't include any line numbers, although they are needed when you
 enter the code, because they are immaterial.  Use any line numbers you
 want; the program doesn't use them.)  The essence of this routine is the
 'infinite' loop bounded by DO...LOOP.  The only way out of this is via
 the EXIT command, and one only gets to it if a legal numeric value in
 input.  If something other than a legal number is typed, the INPUT S
 command will produce an error, and the TRAP command directs control to
 the line labelled #BADVALUE, where the console speaker is beeped and the
 program goes around the loop again.  The TRAP is turned off immediately
 after the INPUT S statement, since one does not want an error somewhere
 else in the program to dump one into the middle of this procedure!  One
 uses this procedure by a call like:
  PRMPT$= "Altidude, in feet"

 (Don't forget to DIMension PRMPT$!)
 While functional, this procedure has some drawbacks; one is that
 repeated bad values will result in the prompt being printed down the
 screen, which will cause the screen to scroll and mess up the whole
 appearance of the thing.  We can cure this by passing along the location
 to print the prompt.  (I like to pick a single line on the screen and
 put all prompts there.)  Another drawback is that it doesn't do any real
 checking on the input.  We can remedy that by passing along the legal
 range for this value.  And, I like to include a default option, one the
 user can select by just pressing RETURN.  This default can be almost
 anything, but let's implement one in which RETURN means 'keep the
 present value'.  The 'improved' version looks like this:
      INPUT A$
      IF LEN(A$)=0
      # BADVALUE:? CHR$(253)

 One needs to DIMension a couple more strings here: BLK$ is a string full
 of blank spaces -- enough to clean off one screen line. (I always like
 to keep a BLK$ handy in a program; it can come in useful many places.)
 A$ must be long enough to hold any input typed.  CLMN and ROW hold the
 column and row where the prompt is to be printed.  LR and UR are the
 lower and upper ranges of legal values for the variable being inputted.
 SS is a temporary variable to hold the value typed in until it is
 checked to see if it legal or not.  One calls this procedure by
 something like:
  PRMPT$="Altitude in feet"

 Notice that one must preset S to the old value since it will not be
 changed if the default is chosen -- RETURN pressed.  The reason A$ is
 used for the input is so a simple RETURN can be used for the default --
 anything is legal in string input!  A string length of zero means only
 RETURN pressed.  Now the TRAP surrounds the VAL command, where the input
 is converted to a number.  An error here will mean the input was non-
 numeric.  And finally, the number input is checked against the legal
 range, and rejected if it is outside that range. 
 The first EXIT command is where the default is implemented; doing
 nothing means keep the old value, but there are other possibilities one
 can use here.  One I have used is to have the program pick a random
 value within the range.  You can do this by replacing the EXIT by:

 Other possibilities should occur to you, should your program have some
 special needs.   Happy computing!

 * ATARI AT SEYBOLD                                        Press Release
 Professional Systems Group
 A division of Atari Computer Corporation        NEWS RELEASE

 Contacts:   Harry Miller              SEYBOLD BOOTH NUMBER 942
             Public Relations Counsel
             (510) 938-5663  Office
             (510) 939-5655  Fax
             Bill Rehbock
             (408) 745-2082  Office
             (408) 745-2083  Fax

                                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


 "Direct To Press" Products Offer Added Features, Speed, Quality

     Compatibility With Existing Standards Makes New Platform
                     The Logical Alternative

 Sunnyvale, California - September 23, 1991 -- The Professional Systems
 Group, a division of Atari(tm) Computer Corporation, will show its
 Direct To Press digital publishing solutions at the Seybold Publishing
 Conference and Exposition on October 2-4 in San Jose.  At their booth,
 the Professional Systems Group will demonstrate the irrefutable logic of
 choosing their TT030 computer as a publishing platform.
 Each of the pre-press solutions possesses clear advantages over the
 existing competition.  Those advantages are manifest in a richer feature
 set, quicker speed of operation, and in visibly higher output quality.
 As if that weren't enough, the Direct To Press systems are affordably
 priced compared to other alternatives.  Direct To Press systems provide
 output quality one would expect from much more expensive dedicated
 typography system.
 Direct To Press includes full-featured, high quality, and high
 performance tools for every phase of pre-press work from document
 processing ans design to photo retouching and imagesetter film output.
 Direct To Press is a solution provided by the Professional Systems
 Group.  This solution combines software, hardware, and support to
 implement a superior publishing system.  Design and typography output
 workstations take advantage of the sophisticated graphics and pure
 processing power of the Atari TT030(tm), the company's high performance
 computing platform.  Available as custom configurable systems, Direct To
 Press is targeted at pre-press and printing service bureaus and in-house
 design and productions departments, as well as freelance designers,
 artists and publishers.  Systems based on the Direct To Press products
 and concept are distributed through a network of value-added resellers
 and dealers.
 Publishing System Hardware Platform
 The Atari TT030 provides the ideal computing platform for the Direct To
 Press publishing tools.  It features a 32MHz Motorola(tm) 68030
 microprocessor with on-chip cache and memory management as well as a
 68882 math coprocessor, 8MB of RAM (expandable to 26MB), and 80MB hard
 disk, and a wide range of video and storage expansion options.  Output
 for proofing purposes is provided by the 300 dot per inch Atari SLM605
 (tm) laser printer. The SLM605 features a small footprint, high quality
 output, and fast 6 page per minute operation.
 The TT030 performs even better in graphics-intensive applications than
 the specifications would indicate.  Several factors help explain this
 phenomenon.  First, the machine's architecture vastly reduces screen
 redraw time by using a 64-bit wide video data path.  Next, the TT030
 uses DMA (Direct Memory Access) channels for disk, video, printer, and
 sound data transfer.  And, up to 10MB of video RAM can be used.  These
 hardware advantages are leveraged by an operating enviroment that
 minimizes overhead without sacrificing ease of use or power.
 "We designed the TT030 to be a great platform for sophisticated
 publishing applications," said Greg Pratt, Atari Computer Corporation.
 "But the performance and output quality that our strategic software and
 hardware partners have achieved makes these systems a compelling choice.
 When you consider that most system selections are based on output
 quality, speed of operation, ease of use, and affordability, we really
 are 'the logical alternative.'  You can't afford not to look at the
 TT030 and the Direct To Press system solutions."
 Three Software Product Families Meet a Broad Range Of Needs
 The Direct To Press solutions generally follow one of three
 complementary approaches: Soft-Logik's PostScript(R)-based PageStream(R)
 2 provides direct compatibility with that industry standard.  The
 Calamus(R)SL and tms Cranach Studio(R) family of high-end publishing
 applications, including proprietary SoftRIPS(R) for specific models of
 typesetters and imagesetters deliver a wide range of features and fast
 performance.  And the ReTouche Professional(TM)/Didot Professional(TM)
 family of digital lithography, line art, and page layout tools uses
 proprietary hardware technology to create raster images of pages within
 the host software, eliminating the need for an external RIP, and uses
 specialized hardware to greatly enhance output speed and quality.  Files
 can be easily exchanged among the tools, and with many other industry-
 standard desktop publishing programs: The TT030's floppy disk format is
 identical to that of MS-DOS, so data files on floppies can easily be
 transferred.  Similarly, file transfer can be accomplished via an
 Ethernet network.  Most of the applications can import and export files
 from popular applications on other platforms.
 Professional Systems Group is a new division of Atari Computer
 Corporation whose mission is to provide superior computing solutions for
 vertical market segments where output quality and execution speed are
 the highest concern.  Professional Systems Group combines its computing
 platforms with high performance software and peripherals to meet and
 exceed the needs of these demanding audiences.
 Atari is a registered trademark, and TT030 and SLM605 are trademarks of
 Atari Corporation.  Motorola is a trademark of Motorola, Inc.
 PageStream is a registered trademark of Soft-Logik Publishing
 Corporation.  Calamus SL and Calamus Outline Art, Calamus SoftRIP are
 registered trademarks of DMC/Ditek International.  tms Cranach Studio 
 is a registered trademark of tms GmbH.  PostScript is a registered
 trademark of Adobe Systems.  ReTouche Professional CD, Didot
 Professional, ad the Image Speeder are trademarks of 3K Computerbild.

 The Direct to Press division of Atari Corporation made another
 impressive presentation at the SEYBOLD Electronic Publishing Show, a 
 20,000 square foot show in two halls held this week in San Jose,
 California.  This is the first time in two years that Atari has attended
 this publishing show.  The range of DTP solutions plus electronic
 imaging and lithographic preparation for press included Pagestream,
 Calamus, Codehead Software, and the wide 3K line of products.  According
 to reports from early in the show, floor traffic was light due to
 exceptional conference presentations, but the Atari area was well
 attended.  Most show-goers to this internationally renowned publishing
 trade show are getting used to seeing Atari now, and the demonstrations
 of state of the art systems at reasonable prices seem to be well
 received.  See the press material from Atari for Seybold, later in this
 issue of Z*Net.

 Astounded by the great reception and product sales at the Glendale Atari
 show in September, the keyboard and music hardware giant ROLAND is
 planning to make Atari show appearances a regular thing.  Company reps
 have asked Atari to advise them of any and all user and trade shows that
 will feature Atari products, and have booked a display at the upcoming
 WAACE AtariFest in the D.C. area in mid October.  Expect them again at
 the Chicago Atari Fair in November.  Groups that are planning shows
 should be certain to coordinating their work through Bob Brodie at Atari
 Corp in order to assure that Roland and other interested developers know
 of the event.  Call Bob at 408-745-2052.
 Production of Atari's first CD, the Softsource Collection, should begin
 in late October and sell for about $30.  The CDAR505 CD ROM player may
 be in dealers at that same time, beginning the demand for third-party CD
 releases.  One such company, Computer Rock of the San Francisco area,
 was responsible for the two existing domestic Atari ST CD disks and has
 several more planned for immediate release.  The ST Software Library,
 released two years ago, contains the Public Domain library supplied by
 Current Notes magazine at that time.  The First ST Clip Art Disk was
 released in late 1990, and has thousands of IMG and other format clip
 art files.  To be released in November '91, the Z*NET CD will have over
 7,000 fully categorized and indexed programs, plus years worth of
 ZMAGAZINE, ST-ZMAG, and Z*NET news releases and news photos.  Coming
 soon afterwards will be another ST release with complete text and disk
 archives of a major print magazine.  Planned for 1992 are another clip
 art/graphics collection, a Z*NET supplement disk, and at least one other
 Atari title, bringing the their catalog to a minimum of seven titles.
 Prices for the CD's from Computer Rock, which will each carry up to 500
 Megabytes of read-only data (over 700 floppy disks worth), will range
 from $39.95 to $69.95.  Details on availability will follow soon.  To
 order existing Computer Rock CD titles, call 415-878-9609, and be 
 certain to mention Z*NET.
 Two weeks ago, Z*Net announced Soft-Logik's Pagestream giveaway.  The
 response has been so high that the company has asked us to share more of
 the details of the offer to streamline their response time.  Atari user
 groups can get two FREE copies of the desktop publisher PageStream 2.1,
 plus another demo copy for their library.  A related program will offer
 discounts for user group members when they buy PageStream from dealers.
 The groups should send a previous and current newsletter, add Soft-Logik
 to the groups mailing list, full adress information, group membership
 and president name.  Or, call Soft-Logik at (800) 829-8608 for specific
 instructions before mailing your group's request.  Soft-Logik, 11131 S.
 Towne Square, St. Louis, MO 63123.

 * SUMMERTIME READS - ATARILAND STYLE                       by Andy Eddy
 The following article is reprinted in Z*Net by permission of AtariUser
 magazine and Quill Publishing.  It MAY NOT be further reprinted without
 specific permission of Quill.  AtariUser is a monthly Atari magazine,
 available by subscription for $18 a year.  For more information on
 AtariUser, call 800-333-3567.
 [EDITOR'S NOTE:  AtariUser originally planned to include a monthly guide
 to the contents of the major Atari support magazines.  However, the only
 magazine that was willing to cooperate was STart, and of course, they
 are now history.  So, we commissioned Andy Eddy, a magazine professional
 with Atari experience, to do an objective look at Atari publications.
 We promised a free hand, and he shared his opinions frankly.  We didn't
 think it was quite right to include a review of AtariUser with these, so
 make up your own!]
 Atari Interface
 3487 Braeburn Circle
 Ann Arbor, MI 48108  (313) 973-8825
 Frequency: Monthly
 Issues Reviewed: February, March, April/May 1991
 Editorial Slant: Overall yet lightweight coverage.
 3.5 STARS   ***1/2
 Summary--Atari Interface Magazine (AIM) bills itself as "a monthly
 publication that also serves as an official newsletter of several
 independent Atari user groups."  Several?  It lists over 60
 participating Atari user groups.
 Look and Feel--AIM is an attractive package, from its color cover to its
 basic layout design.  (The great cover of the March issue, created on
 the TT, looks like a painting.)  It gets its information across quite
 well, without many hitches along the way.
 The production of the magazine is good, too.  It's printed on good
 paper, and the typography is clean--showing that the ability of the ST
 in DTP is adequate.
 Writing and Editing--The articles in AIM are friendly, for the most part
 informative (more on this in a second) and easy reading.  And,
 similarly, the editing doesn't impose on the writers' musings.
 One other thing that jumped out at me was an article called "Public
 Domain, It Doesn't Have to be Sold to be Good!"  While the article
 starts off describing the benefits of PD software, it turns into an AIM
 Monthly Disk pitch.  Editorial should be clear of advertising, and a
 magazine must be careful with that regard.
 Utility--While issues of AIM I looked at are over 50 pages of editorial
 material and advertising, I came away feeling like I was missing
 something--there didn't seem to be enough "information" in there.  For
 example, the February issue had about 20 pages of ads out of the 55
 pages, a sizable chunk.  Add to that about a dozen pages of club news
 (mainly listings of when the clubs meet and where, which would be best
 run on an occasional basis, as opposed to every month).  And the table
 of contents spans two pages, including the 60-plus clubs that
 contribute.  This really doesn't leave much for the reader to sink their
 teeth into.
 Also, some of the editorial material seemed to be, as described in the
 Atari Explorer review, somewhat limited in its focus.  For instance, the
 February issue included a 1-1/2-page "review" of Vampire Empire, an aged
 ST game, which doesn't so much review the game as describe it.  In that
 same issue, there is also a long article comparing two MIDI keyboards.
 Given the limited editorial space in AIM, I think it could have offered
 a better mix of material to suit the reader.

 In all fairness, the March issue seems to be a little better balanced
 with articles on the STe, the issue of Byte magazine not covering Atari
 products in its DTP overview, a piracy test and an article on London's
 16-bit Computer Faire, among others.  It still seemed to be a tad
 Overall Rating--Though AIM is pleasing to read, I can't overlook the
 fact that there just doesn't seem to be enough to dig into.  Perhaps
 this will change in future issues, and the foundation is there if it
 does.  3.5 STARS.
 Puget Sound Atari News
 P.O. Box 110576
 Tacoma, WA 98411-0576  (206) 566-1703 (Jim Chapman, coordinator)
 Frequency: Monthly
 Issues Reviewed: February, March/April 1991
 Editorial Slant: Potpourri
 2.5 STARS.   **1/2
 Summary--Self-described, the Puget Sound Atari News is the newsletter of
 the "participating non-profit Atari computer users groups.  The contents
 of PSAN are a compilation of club news, hobby and industry news and
 articles about Atari computers and supporting software and hardware."
 Look and Feel--Being a newsletter, PSAN is understandably rougher in its
 appearance, and more basic in its layout.  This doesn't hinder its
 ability to pass on information, and the publication's staff does a good
 job of putting it together.  Also, the magazine is created using Atari
 computers and related software.
 On the critical side, some of the articles were composed at an
 uncomfortably small point size.  At the same time, there were some
 filler cartoons unrelated to computers that could have been lifted for a
 better, easier-to-read layout.  The editor could also drop a story in
 favor of a cleaner magazine.
 But the bottom line is that the PSAN is a nice-looking package
 considering that it's not a professionally created magazine (like Atari
 Explorer), and is fairly comfortable and clean for a laser-printed
 Writing and Editing--Much of the writing comes from other sources, such
 as GEnie and other club publications, so some leniency needs to be given
 for consistency of writing and editing.  The expected quantity of typos
 and grammatical errors are found, however they don't diminish from the
 information that PSAN passes on.
 PSAN also builds itself up by adding some supplements, such as Z*Net
 ("The International Atari Newsletter") and a Club News section.

 Utility--Newsletters not only try to provide reviews and news within the
 world the club was formed to partake in, but also cover the club news
 itself.  PSAN is no different, and does the job well.  In the issues
 looked at, there were articles and reviews on such subjects as database
 programs, color printing, hardware projects and program reviews--there
 was even a review of the same game by two different people for better
 perspective.  PSAN also includes the 8-bit user, devoting space to that
 often-neglected community.

 Overall Rating--Again, I don't want it to appear as a strong criticism,
 but the PSAN is a newsletter in magazine format, and it suffers from
 some minor attendant problems.  However, its strength is that it offers
 something for everyone.  2.5 STARS.

 ST Informer
 280 Peach Street
 Merlin, OR 97532  (503) 476-0071
 Frequency: Monthly
 Issues Reviewed: March, April 1991
 Editorial Slant: Wide and agressive.
 4.5 STARS   ****1/2
 Summary--It's easy to spot ST Informer because it's the only newspaper-
 style ST publication that's out.  And its cover page is newspaper-like
 also, featuring some newsier items like press releases and reports.
 Look and Feel--ST Informer is a really nice presentation of material,
 and jams a lot of information into its pages.  Though it offers almost
 no color to speak of, its neat four-column layout is smooth to follow
 articles through.  It appears that ST Informer keeps the same style from
 month to month, placing new-product announcements and a feature on the
 front page, columns near the front, etc.  This makes the reader feel at
 home with each issue, much like you'd feel driving the roads of your
 home town.

 Writing and Editing--The content of ST Informer is all top drawer, and
 the editors make sure there is a good quantity of material for everyone,
 as well as the specialty stuff.  For instance, the April 1991 issue
 contained articles on new Atari products in the works, the new NeoDesk
 3.02, the second part of a RAM upgrade article, as well as a study of
 electrostatic discharge and its effect on computers, in addition to many
 reviews of ST products.

 It also appears that the editorial staff has a good idea of what they
 are doing.  The material is showcased well and grammatically correct.

 Utility--Even though there is a fair amount of advertising in ST
 Informer, the staff still seems to put a load of stuff in there.  Each
 issue is chock full of reviews, product announcements, tutorials and
 columns, among others.  The columns in particular cover most of the
 regular needs of the reader: game reviews, new products of interest, a
 rumor column and a Q&A help section.  The latter two are quite helpful--
 the rumor column gives the readers a fill of hot tidbits (for instance,
 did you know that a STacy was used on-stage at a Sting concert),
 potential stories and insight, while "The Help Key" provides some basic
 ST-specific techniques and answers questions that most users don't have
 anyone handy to answer.

 It's apparent that ST Informer can fill one other gap that most other
 publications can't: timeliness.  It would appear that ST Informer has
 almost no lead time (the time it takes for a magazine to get into
 readers' hands after it is completed) because the April '91 issue
 featured a reader letter commenting on a review in the March '91 issue.
 What this means is that ST Informer is more like a newspaper because the
 editors can place stories into it at the last minute.

 Overall Rating--ST Informer has something for everyone, and presents
 special-interest material in a way that can draw in those readers who
 may not normally raise their eyelids.  This is a well-produced
 publication.  4.5 STARS.

 ST World
 2463 Latona Court NE
 Salem, OR 97303 (503) 393-9688
 Frequency: Monthly?
 Issue Reviewed: April 1991
 Editorial Slant: Too early to tell.
 2 STARS   **
 Summary--After a hiatus with a strange story behind it, ST World seems
 to be back with new management, though there is some doubt that it has
 returned to a regular monthly schedule.
 Look and Feel--ST World is mainly a black-and-white publication, printed
 on newsprint--some of the ink will end up on your hands after a good
 read-through.  It also employs a fairly large point size, which not only
 makes it easy to read (like a kid's book), but also lets each article
 take up more space, thus filling the magazine quicker.

 Otherwise, the layout is very simple: three-column layout for most of
 the magazine, switching to two-column for a feature article.  The
 magazine employs very few graphics, but offers an "identity" by showing
 pictures of its columnists next to their work.

 Writing and Editing--This is a problem area, one that the editors should
 address in future issues.  For instance, ST World uses the straight
 quote marks that signal a less-than-professional look.  Also quirky is
 the schizophrenic mix of punctuation inside quotes in some articles,
 while being placed outside quotes in others.  This leads me to believe
 that the editors are leaving it up to the writers, again showing editing
 to be below standard.  The writing could also use some tweaking, but a
 few of the articles show great promise.

 One thing that really bothered me was the Errata section.  While error
 gremlins always manage to creep into even the best publications, ST
 World (with a long history of typos and layout errors) seems to dwell
 too much on the mistakes of the previous issue.  Apparently, the titles
 on four articles were switched, which is bad enough on the surface, but
 becomes worse when too much attention is paid to it.  As a reader, I'm
 not too concerned with the mechanics of why a mistake happened.  But as
 an editor, on the other hand, I can't subscribe to the explanation that
 these were flukes--even the most difficult, four-color magazines have
 room to check proof pages for mistakes, particularly those in headlines.
 'Nuff said.

 Utility--Unfortunately, this department didn't help my view of ST World.
 While there are some attractive articles in the issue I reviewed, there
 are also some pieces that are well-written but hit a very small
 audience.  How many of you are interested in a super-techie article
 called "V.32, the CCITT and the Tale of the 9600 Baud Modem"?  How about
 an article on "Clients and Servers"?  I'm not saying that technical
 articles don't have their place in general-interest magazines, but this
 stuff belongs in Byte or InfoWorld more than an Atari magazine, in my
 view.  A magazine that wants to gain subscribers can't overestimate its

 This is not to say that ST World is empty of helpful or well-directed
 writings.  It features a good mix of game reviews (both for Lynx and
 ST), a smattering of press releases and a preview section, among the
 previously mentioned articles.  A better mix of game coverage, "serious"
 hardware/software reviews and other articles of interest is needed.

 Overall Rating--Suffice it to say that I wasn't that pleased with the
 "new" ST World.  It would be good to see more issues; I only had one to
 work with, and couldn't prove the rumors of it being monthly.  2 STARS.
 Hey, what about the "online" magazines?  These are "free,"
 electronically transferred, available on CompuServe, GEnie, Delphi,
 F-Net, UseNet, and countless private bulletin boards.

 ST Report
 Post Office Box 6672
 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6672  (904) 783-3319
 Frequency: Weekly
 Issue Reviewed--May 24, May 31, June 7, 1991
 Editorial Slant--"A Current Affair" Meets the ST.
 3 STARS   ***
 Summary--One "publication" takes the prize as the National Enquirer of
 the ST world, and that's the electronic ST Report.  Though over time it
 has been proven to be a rumor monger, it has also been counted on by
 many each week for insight and no-holds-barred reporting.  What the heck
 is ten minutes of downloading worth to you?

 Look and Feel--Well, the look is what you make it.  After all, ST Report
 is a text file, so looks aren't really under consideration.  But its
 "flow," how the magazines moves from article to article and the choice
 of articles in each issue is smooth enough.  ST Report also features its
 share of regular columns that cover all subjects.

 Writing and Editing--Room has to be given to a weekly publication for
 some sloppiness.  ST Report does a good enough job of making the
 articles readable, though there are some of the traditional mistakes in
 punctuation, grammar and spelling.

 Another benefit about ST Report is the fact that there isn't much
 advertising in it, though there are ads just the same.  However,
 advertisements for CompuServe, Delphi and GEnie help more people get
 into a position of downloading ST Report--and getting involved with
 online activities--so it's easy to overlook.  Besides, the best thing
 about an electronic publication is the reader's ability to skip ahead if
 an article or advertisement annoys.

 Utility--Wait a minute.  Isn't the name of this publication ST Report?
 Why, then, are there extensive articles on other PCs ("CPU Report") and
 the Macintosh ("Mac Report")?  It's certainly a change from when I used
 to read ST Report regularly, and I'm not sure it's appropriate.
 However, when I used to read it regularly, it was ST specific--and about
 50K in size.  Now the ST Report files fill about 120K each, so I guess
 the readers can handle the extraneous non-ST filler.  It's up to them to
 determine whether other industry news is required reading--even though I
 find it to be inappropriate for a magazine named ST Report.  Yet, the
 articles are in-depth, particularly the "CPU Report", which is packed
 with technical insights and views on the industry.

 On the ST side, there are some helpful sections, such as the "A Little
 of This, A Little of That" column, which singles out some of the more
 important threads on the online services.  This not only gives readers
 who aren't online cruisers a view of what type of action takes place
 there, but also answers some of the questions of the day, like what the
 status of GCR and System 7-compatibility is and aging troubles with
 particular hard drives.  If only the rest of the "magazine" was more
 Finally , the editor, Ralph Mariano, is one of Atari's biggest fans--and
 detractors.  He is brutally honest about when Atari messes up, perhaps
 to a fault, which is something of a wake-up call for the company at
 times.  Though the readers get a benefit out of his rantings, they often
 go overboard, and have at times made him look like he is trying to
 create headlines.  Again, the National Enquirer provides an apt
 Overall Rating--If you can get by the snooty, smarmy rumor-slinging
 theatrics, the "I know something you don't know" reporting (which
 attempts to bring people back week after week like a soap opera) and the
 non-ST text, ST Report isn't really that bad for what it tries to
 accomplish.  And it's pretty painless to download or have copied from
 another ST user.  3 STARS.

 P.O. Box 59
 Middlesex, NJ 08846  (908) 968-2024
 Frequency: Weekly
 Issue Reviewed--May 17, May 24, 1991 
 Editorial Slant--All the News That Fits.
 4 STARS   ****
 Summary--Ron Kovacs started ST Report as an offshoot of his ZMAGAZINE,
 and then...well, it's not important.  After too much bad blood, Ron
 abandoned ST Report to Ralph Mariano, and now does Z*Net.  It does its
 best to stick to reporting, both the visible on the behind the scenes
 Look and Feel--Again, as with ST Report, Z*Net's layout is nothing more
 than what you get when you load the file in your text editor of choice.
 Hey, you can make it two or three columns if you want, but its the
 content that matters.
 The "Feel" of Z*Net is comfortable, the kind of vision you get by
 peering in on the evening news on TV.  Z*Net tries to keep the reader
 informed of what the happenings are in the Atari community, without too
 much fluff or non-specific reportage.  In comparison to ST Report, Z*Net
 also has its share of columns, though much better focused to the Atari
 world.  And no advertising at all.

 Writing and Editing--The columns we just spoke of are nicely written
 and, again, well focused.  For example, the "Z*Net Software Shelf" by
 Ron Berinstein is a regular porthole to the new software appearing for
 the ST owner.  Not only does this column offer a listing of new products
 and what they can be expected to do, but it also leads in the body of
 the article with some humorous and friendly--okay, sometimes eccentric--
 chatter.  As mentioned before, this adds personality and freshness to a
 publication.  Z*Net also has a nice mix of technical and non-technical
 The editing is subject to the usual breaks in consistency, but Z*Net
 also features a good amount of reprinting--the issues I looked at
 included transcripts of online conferences and reprints of features from
 AtariUser--so it is pretty clean grammatically.

 Utility--The fact that material is reprinted from other sources makes
 Z*Net's utility rating suffer somewhat, although most conference
 transcripts are mercifully condensed by the Z*Net editors.

 An important issue, though, is that Z*Net features almost entirely
 Atari-related news, with the exception of the "Z*Net Newswire," which is
 industry-wide coverage, though a lot less intense or technically
 oriented than ST Report.  (It, however, turned my head to see news
 stories in the May 17, 1991, issue on the death of John Maher, publisher
 of Down Beat magazine, the retirement of Harry Reasoner from the 60
 Minutes TV show and the recent changes in Zenith computer prices.  Hmmm,
 must've been a slow Atari-news week.)

 A major benefit is that 95% of Z*Net is solid Atari coverage, and the
 issues generally were less than 50% the size of the similar ST Report,
 clicking in at about 55K in size.

 Overall Rating--Most of Z*Net is meaty Atari reporting, something that
 makes it a big draw for Atari-computer owners.  It doesn't take much
 time out of your week to download and scan through it, and you'll
 probably walk away with a few tidbits of knowledge that will help you be
 a more-informed user.  4 STARS.

 That about covers the regular periodicals, both print and electronic.
 Certainly the cost wouldn't preclude you from getting a hold of a few to
 receive the varied benefit that some of these publications offer.  And,
 needless to say, one man's ceiling may be another man's floor.  For that
 reason, you should look into the content of the magazines I covered here
 to see if you get something out of them that I didn't--or even simply
 disagree with me.

 Finally, there are many European Atari coverage magazines being imported
 with varied regularity.  When reading foreign mags, understand that the
 ST is treated differently in other parts of the world, and may feature
 products not available or usable in North America.  Also keep in mind
 that the cover prices only indicate the price in their respective
 countries; import costs may not enter into the equation.  Check with
 your local Atari store or contact the publishers directly for more
 information on how you can get a copy.  A pair of British magazines and
 one German magazine were in my grab-bag:

 ST Format, The Old Barn Somerset, Somerset, England TA11 7PY0458 74011.
 Monthly, in English.

 Atari ST User, Europa House, Adlington Park, Macclesfield, England SK10
 4NP0625 878888.  Monthly, in English.

 Atari PD Journal, HolbeinstraBe 606000, Frankfurt am Main 70, Germany
 06151 56057-8.  Monthly, all in German.
 Happy reading! 

 BIO: Andy Eddy, a long-time Atari journalist, is currently Executive
 Editor for VideoGames & Computer Entertainment and TurboPlay magazines.
 He can be reached on Delphi as VIDGAMES (where he is sysop for the World
 of Video Games SIG), CompuServe at 70007,3554 or GEnie at VIDGAME.

 To sign up for GEnie service, call (with modem) 800-638-8369.  Upon
 connection type HHH (RETURN after that).  Wait for the U#= prompt.  Type
 XJM11877,GEnie  and  hit  RETURN.
 To sign up for CompuServe service, call 800-848-8199.  Ask for operator
 198.  You will be sent a $15.00 free membership kit.
 Z*MAGAZINE Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine is a bi-weekly magazine covering
 the Atari and related computer community.   Material  contained in this
 edition may be reprinted without permission,  except where otherwise
 noted,  unedited,  with  the  issue number, name and author included at
 the  top  of each reprinted article.  Commentary and opinions presented
 are those of the individual author and  does  not  necessarily  reflect
 the opinions of Z*MAGAZINE or the staff.  Z*Magazine Atari 8-Bit Online
 Magazine, Z*Net Atari Online Magazine, Z*Net  are  copyright (c)1991 by
 Rovac Industries  Inc, a registered corporation.  Post  Office  Box 59,
 Middlesex, New Jersey 08846.  (908) 968-2024.  Z*Net  Online  BBS  24
 Hours, 1200/2400 Baud, (908) 968-8148.  We can be reached on CompuServe
 at 75300,1642 and on GEnie at Z-NET.
                  Z*Magazine Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine
                Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc..

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