ST Report: 02-Mar-90 #409From: Len Stys (aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 03/21/90-11:42:50 AM Z
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From: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys) Subject: ST Report: 02-Mar-90 #409 Date: Wed Mar 21 11:42:50 1990 *---== CPU NEWSWIRE ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" _____________________________________ from STR Publishing Inc. """""""""""""""""" March 02, 1990 No.4.09 ======================================================================= CPU NewsWire Online Magazine? featuring STReport ~ Online? __________________________ Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 ~ 6672 R.F. Mariano Publisher - Editor _________________________________________ Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM - 4 PM EDT BBS: 904-786-4176 12-24-96 HST/14.4 FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EDT _________________________________________ ** F-NET NODE 350 ** 500mb Online ** STR'S owned & operated support BBS carries ALL issues of CPU/STR Newswire and An International list of private BBS systems carrying CPU NewsWire for their users enjoyment __________________________________________________________________ > 03/02/90: CPU Newswire? #409 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ---------------------------- - The Editor's Podium - CPU REPORT - CPU STATUS REPORT - QUICK ST NEWS! - STALKER/STENO CO - INTERNATIONAL FEUD - PCD2 GAAK! - CIS OPENS EUROPE - CPU CONFIDENTIAL --==** IS ATARI SELLING HARDWARE OR DEVELOPER KITS? **==-- --==** ANTIC BURNS DEALERS BIGTIME! **==-- --==* AG ONLINE, STILL NO PALS! *==-- ========================================================================== CPU NEWSWIRE? "Only UP-TO-DATE News and Information" -* FEATURING *- Current Events, Up to Date News, Hot Tips, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ========================================================================== CPU/STR's support BBS, NODE # 350 invites systems using Forem ST BBS to participate in Forem BBS's F-Net mail network. Or, Please call # 350 direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging ideas about the Atari ST computers through an excellent International ST Mail Network. ========================================================================== AVAILABLE ON: COMP-U-SERVE ~ DELPHI ~ GENIE ~ BIX ========================================================================== > The Editor's Podium? Odds are, many of you have heard the cliche; "When the going gets tough, the tough get going". Certain of Atari's more enthusiastic reps have taken this familiar expression a step further. They are trying to keep things afloat and active while others on other networks are busy making "waves"... read on McDuff! The amusing picture that evolves from all this is astounding. At a time when Atari and its online people should be taking extra steps everywhere to keep the troops smiling, there is this oddity occurring on Usenet, where one of Atari's "quiz kids" is busy doing his best to thoroughly alienate the press at an international level. Before anybody thinks we are blaming this young man for his actions, we do not, we do however, look to a higher authority at Atari. Its times like this that perhaps best show the mentality of Atari. When the assumption of a 'positive low profile' by Atari and/or its representatives and employees would be most advantageous, they do just the opposite. The shame of it all is; these actions are not helping Atari one iota at a time when Atari needs all the goodwill it can garner. In this area, the dealers are perhaps the most neglected and abused group in the Atari userbase. The dropout rate of delaers is atrocious, another in Florida has closed his doors. The dealer list/customer database recently distributed by Atari to its developers has proven to be rather outdated. After doing a casual check of the dealers listed, a good 21% were no more... In the future, this author is determined to focus on the actions of Atari's folks who seem to care about the future of Atari. Additionally, we will concentrate on the third party developers (software and hardware). Most of all, the dealers desperately need our support and encouragement. In fact, next week's issue will carry our first annual presentation of: "THE STREPORT MVP AWARDS" (Most Valuable Performer). The award winners will be chosen from three areas, Atari itself, Developers and the userbase. The criteria for an award is simple, how useful/helpful etc.. and individual or product (its creator/author) is to the userbase. thanks once again for your support, Ralph..... ___________________________________________________________________ ********************************************************************** :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ 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: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. **** SIGN UP FEE WAIVED **** The system will now prompt you for your information. THE GENIE ATARI ST ROUNDTABLE - AN OVERVIEW ___________________________________________ The Roundtable is an area of GEnie specifically set aside for owners and users of Atari ST computers, although all are welcome to participate. There are three main sections to the Roundtable: the Bulletin Board, the Software Library and the Real Time Conference area. The Bulletin Board contains messages from Roundtable members on a variety of Topics, organized under several Categories. These messages are all Open and available for all to read (GEnie Mail should be used for private messages). If you have a question, comment, hot rumor or an answer to someone else's question, the Bulletin Board is the place to share it. The Software Library is where we keep the Public Domain software files that are available to all Roundtable members. You can 'download' any of these files to your own computer system by using a Terminal Program which uses the 'XMODEM' file-transfer method. You can also share your favorite Public Domain programs and files with other Roundtable members by 'uploading' them to the Software Library. Uploading on GEnie is FREE, so you are encouraged to participate and help your Roundtable grow. The Real Time Conference is an area where two or more Roundtable members may get together and 'talk' in 'real-time'. You can participate in organized conferences with special guests, drop in on our weekly Open COnference, or simply join in on an impromptu chat session. Unlike posting messages or Mail for other members to read at some later time, everyone in the Conference area can see what you type immediately, and can respond to you right away, in an 'electronic conversation'. ********************************************************************** > CPU REPORT? ========== Issue # 56 ---------- by Michael Arthur Remember When.... In 1957, several MIT Engineers set up a company called Digital Equipment Corporation in Maynard, Massachusetts, and in 1963, when DEC's PDP-5 minicomputer was introduced, or in 1970, when DEC's PDP-11 became the first major 16-bit computer standard, upon which Unix and C were first completed? Also, in 1977, DEC's VAX-11/780 became a 32-bit minicomputer standard, whose speed later became one of the first industry benchmarks for measuring processor speed, or MIPS? CPU Systems Roundup? XXIV ========================= IBM's RISC System/6000: Industry Standard, or Last Stand? ---------------------------------------------------------- Before the IBM PC, IBM's revenue was mainly involved in the minicomputer and mainframe market. Therefore, IBM mainly looked at the PC as a significant, but minor part of its product line. By 1984 IBM dominated the microcomputer industry, and microcomputers had become a significant part of its product line. In an attempt to reproduce its success, IBM introduced the first major computer utilizing RISC chips, the IBM RT Workstation, in 1986. However, due to marketing problems, faulty product positioning, and a basically underpowered product, the IBM RT became one of IBM's worst computing endeavors. IBM has recently experienced financial difficulties, with increased competition in the mainframe market, and its PS/2 microcomputer market share being taken away by IBM Clone Vendors like Compaq. Meanwhile, the workstation market grew into a billion dollar industry. Recently, IBM introduced the RISC System/6000, so as to retake market share in the workstation market. In order to understand its future impact on the computer industry, let us take a look at the RISC System/6000: The IBM RISC System/6000 uses a new RISC chip architecture, called the "Performance Optimization with Enhanced RISC", or POWER chip. Capable of computing up to 41 million instructions per second (MIPS), as well as 13 million floating point instructions per second (MFLOPS), the POWER chip will be 2-4 times as fast as the Intel 80486 chip, Motorola's 68040 chip, or any other microprocessor currently available. The RISC System/6000 line uses an improved version of IBM's MicroChannel Bus Architecture, capable of a much faster data transfer rate than the IBM PS/2's version of the MicroChannel. IBM has also reportedly licensed Silicon Graphics' Geometry Engine, a graphics coprocessor used in SG's Personal Iris workstations which supports anti-aliasing, raster operations, and many other graphics functions.... Named the POWERstation 320, the low-end model of IBM's RISC System/6000 line has a processing speed of 27 MIPS and 7.5 MFLOPS, at a cost of $13,000.00 Given that other similarly capable workstations cost over $40,000.00, many industry analysts consider this an example of "Power Without the Price". IBM is targeting the POWERstation mainly at the Engineering Workstation Market, which the IBM RT workstation was swiftly rejected by in 1986. The POWERstation could also gain significant market share in the general workstation industry, which is expected to be worth $10 billion dollars a year by 1992. Interestingly enough, IBM is manufacturing the RISC System/6000 in Australia, as well as setting up two IBM Porting Sites (where IBM will help software vendors port their software to the new workstations) in Australia and Texas.... A/IX Version 3, Operating Environments, and the IBM PC ------------------------------------------------------ Along with its new workstations, IBM has introduced A/IX Version III. This update of IBM's incarnation of Unix features improvements in disk management and virtual memory control, as well as in IBM's Transparent Computing Facility (TCF), a new utility for implementing distributed processing in a LAN Network. In addition to licensing Silicon Graphics' Geometry Chip, IBM has licensed Display Postscript from Adobe Inc. It is an extension of the Postscript page description language which acts as a unified display environment which can both generate on-screen computer displays, and produce printed images using Postscript. Display Postscript is the underlying imaging model for the IBM RISC System/6000, which actually features two different operating environments: - AIXwindows Environment 6000, an X/Windows-compatible version of the OSF Motif Unix User Interface. - AIX NextStep Environment/6000, a port of the NeXT Computer's operating environment, which comes with Workspace Manager, Interface Builder, and other features found in the NeXT Computer's version of NextStep. NeXT Inc. also licensed NextStep to IBM, anticipating that the IBM RISC System/6000 would bring added industry support to the NeXT Computer.... Several major computer companies plan to support the RISC System/6000 workstations, including: - Interleaf Inc., with Interleaf Publisher (a workstation DTP program) and its full line of publishing software. - Alias Research, with its popular Alias 3D CAD/Industrial Design software for workstations. - Since software written for the NeXT Computer can easily be ported to the POWERstation line, products which are being developed for the NeXT (such as Informix' Wingz Spreadsheet, and DBase IV) will also be quickly ported to the RISC System/6000.... Also, several software programming tools (including NextStep's Interface Builder) will be available for IBM's new workstation line, and 3Com is also supplying Ethernet LAN Adapters, which IBM will market for its machines. IBM's situation with the RISC System/6000 has many similarities to the IBM PC's in 1981. Given that (like the IBM PC) the RISC System/6000 is a relative newcomer to its respective industry, IBM will have to do a job of garnering industry support at least as successful as that which aided the IBM PC. Also, IBM's clout in this industry does not seem as overwhelming as in the 1981 Microcomputer industry. However, given that there were two "failed" predecessors to the IBM PC, while the IBM RT Workstation preceded the RISC System/6000, IBM's chances in the workstation market may be virtually unpredictable.... CPU INSIGHTS? ============= Apple Lowers Prices, as Mac IIxi Nears Introduction --------------------------------------------------- Within the past few years, Apple has consistently lowered the prices of older members of the Macintosh computer line shortly before they introduced a new version of the Macintosh. Recently, Apple announced that they were lowering their prices for the Macintosh SE, SE/30, and their Laserwriter series of laser printers. Here, we present the announced prices: New Prices Previous Prices ---------- --------------- - 1 Meg Macintosh SE w/o Hard Drive $2600.00 $2900.00 - 2 Meg Mac SE with 40 Meg Hard Drive $3400.00 $4100.00 - 1 Meg Mac SE/30 w/40 Meg Hard Drive $4400.00 $4900.00 - Apple Laserwriter IINT Printer $4500.00 $5000.00 - Apple Laserwriter IINTX Printer $6000.00 $7000.00 Interestingly enough, Apple is reportedly going to introduce the Mac IIxi, a new model of the Macintosh aimed at the High-end Microcomputer and Low-end Workstation markets, in March 1990. The Mac IIxi is rumored to feature a 33 MHZ 68030 and a 68882 math chip, and may utilize the 68030's Burst Read Mode. The latter innovation could potentially double its data transfer speed, and provide an even greater speed increase than simply using a faster 68030.... But ponder, if you will, these questions: 1) How dominant could IBM become in the workstation field, given the popularity of Sun and Apollo workstations in the workstation industry? 2) What are the implications of the great economic potential of both the European Economic Community, and West Germany? 3) Do any of these implications have any meaning towards Atari Corp.'s actions in the area of marketing and sales for the Atari ST? > CPU STATUS REPORT? ================== - San Jose, CA ***** TELEVIDEO BEGINS RESTRUCTURING ***** ------------ Televideo Corp. has recently cut prices on its line of 286/386-based computer products, including network file servers, low-cost video terminals, and ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits), up to 20 percent. This was done in a new campaign to rebuild the company's market share. Televideo used to hold a dominant position in the computer industry, but now has been "in the red" for over six years.... As part of its restructuring, Televideo has invested heavily in R&D, and hired Sig Hartmann as Executive Vice President. As part of his efforts to help rebuild Televideo (as he helped Jack Tramiel bring Atari from near-bankruptcy to the status of a Fortune 500 company), Sig Hartmann is establishing a new marketing strategy for Televideo in Europe.... - Tokyo, Japan **** NEC, CRAY, ENDORSE UNIX ON SUPERCOMPUTERS **** ------------ NEC has recently introduced a Unix-based operating system for its line of SX-3 supercomputers, which has added parallel processing utilities and other modifications to facilitate Unix's use on supercomputers. Also, several companies, such as Amdahl and Cray Research, already have Unix- based operating systems available for their supercomputers, and Hitachi plans to use OSF/1 (a version of Unix being developed by the OSF, or Open Software Foundation), which has mainly been supported by workstation vendors, on its supercomputer line.... - Yorktown Heights, NY ** IBM SHOWS SPECS OF ITS 16-MEGABIT DRAM CHIP ** -------------------- IBM recently announced at a Solid State Circuits Conference trade show that it had managed to manufacture a 16 Megabit DRAM chip currently in development using CMOS (complimentary metal oxide semiconductor) technology, on a production line now used to make 4 Meg DRAM chips. Many Japanese have engaged in efforts to build new manufacturing facilities for their upcoming 16 Meg DRAM chips. Also, IBM's 16-Megabit DRAM chip will run at a speed of 50 ns (nanoseconds), which is faster than DRAM chips currently available. However, IBM plans to introduce its new chip in two years.... __________________________________________________________ > STALKER/STENO CONF. CPU/STR Feature? E. Rosenquist & Strata Software =================================== February 28, 1990 <[Sysop] JEFF.W> On behalf of the Atari ST Roundtable, I welcome all of you to the Strata Software RealTime Conference on GEnie. Our guest tonight is Eric Rosenquist of Strata Software. Eric is the author of STalker, a terminal program that runs as an accessory on the ST. Eric has also written STeno, a word/text processor that is also an accessory. STalker and STeno are marketed as a single commercial product. Welcome, Eric, and thank you for being here. Do you have any opening remarks you'd like to make before we open the floor to questions? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Greetings to all, and thanks again for attending. I'll start with a little bit about myself. I'm a professional programmer with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Carleton University in Ottawa. I've been programming for I guess about 13 or 14 years now, starting with a PDP 8/e we had in our high school (16K of good ol' core RAM and a removable hard disk). I started writing for the ST almost as soon as I got one, back in the fall of '86. I'm 26 years old now and as far as any of you know, I'm a 6'2" blonde who is built like Arnold Schwarzenneger. Ok, to be honest I'm closer to 5'7", but I really am blonde! As a programming exercise to teach myself GEM (I'd done a bit of Mac programming in University and hence was already familiar with many of the concepts) I started writing what eventually became Termite - a rinky-dink terminal emulator DA that I released as PD, which, after a redesign, became STalker. I started Strata Software in early 1989, primarily selling STalker 1.0 at the local user's group, to local dealers, and via mail order. During the spring and summer I began working on a new product - a companion text editor accessory to STalker that would serve as an editable capture buffer. By about September the combination of STalker and STeno was out on the streets. STalker is a terminal emulator accessory that runs in a GEM window and can function -completely- in the background by exploiting GEM's cooperative multitasking system. If you're currently using something like Flash or Interlink you may not realize how nice it is to have a comm. program as a DA until you've started using it. Ask just about anyone who's used STalker for a while - it's like having an accelerator board, or a product like TurboST, QuickST, G+Plus, UIS, etc. When you try to go back to the 'old' way you find it annoying and very restricting, especially having to sit around and wait for sequence dialing or file transfers to complete. STeno is a text editor accessory (both products can be used as programs just by renaming them) that has a very simple interface plus all the usual features. It has word-wrap, variable tabs, printer configuration (left margin offset, # lines/page, etc.), search & replace, paragraph reformatting, choice of the 3 system font sizes, etc. It also has some stuff that not many other programs have: very Mac-ish text block selection and cut/copy/paste using the mouse, background printing, cut/copy/paste to STalker via the standard GEM clipboard, and a GEM menu bar -inside- the desk accessory window. Demos of both programs are here in the library area. The STeno demo (file #11665) is pretty close to the commercial version but the STalker demo (#10126) goes back to STalker 1.0. Some of the nice new 2.0 features such as text selection from the scroll-back buffer, capture mode, and auto-logon settings aren't there. Nonetheless it will give you a pretty good feel for the user interface and basic program capabilities. Time for me to shut up I guess and start taking question... over to you Jeff. <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Thank you. I might mention that there is a STalker support topic in Category 8, Topic 29 of the ST Roundtable Bulletin Board. <[Charles] C.F.JOHNSON> Howdy, Eric. I was wondering if you have any plans for a Flash-like script capability for STalker? That's one thing I use heavily in Flash, and it would be hard to go back to manual log-ons and message scans at this point. <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> If I add scripts I don't think I'd make them Flash-like. Since I added auto-logon capability I haven't had too many requests for scripting - that's what most use it for I have no firm plans, but there is some talk underway in the ATARIDEV area about adding a full GEM message pipeline to STalker (it already has some features in that regard). This would allow me (or others) to add fancy scripting. The basic answer is "no definite plans right now". <[Charles] C.F.JOHNSON> Well, let me just put in my request for scripting, then (even if it isn't 'Flash-like') because the ability to write little "programs" to navigate around the different services is a very important part of my online biz. Thanks! <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> No problem Charles, glad to have official requests. Zmodem is top priority for V3 though. Wanna write a script ACC :-) ? <[Charles] C.F.JOHNSON> Let's have lunch. <grin> <JRHARRIS> Um, I seem to recall downloading STalker some time back and discarding it as not too user friendly...has that improved? And what is the price/availability? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Not too user friendly? I guess everyone has their own opinion on that, but that vast majority of comments that I get are to the effect that it is much more user friendly than other comm. programs, no doubt due to the fact that it stays with a GEM window and screen for everything rather than flipping between text & GEM screens. Retail price is US$30 (CDN$35). Many stores in the states seem to have it in stock now, I know of a couple in specific but that doesn't necessarily help you. You can also order from Strata directly (cheques and money orders only though) but I just as soon see a local dealer make the sale. <[Sysop] JEFF.W> If my local dealer doesn't have STalker in stock, what distributors can I point him to for ordering STalker? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> By the way, that $30 gets both STalker *and* STeno. Pacific Software Supply is currently the only US distributor. <JRHARRIS> I'll be in ST Louis next week, (no local dealers in FL panhandle) are Randall's a dealer? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Sorry, I don't know since I've only been selling to PSS. Maybe someone else here knows and can /SEND you the answer. <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> If you're into mail-order I *do* know that Joppa has it. <[Sysop] JEFF.W> JR...You might call Randall's tomorrow and ask him to hold one for you. <S.STUBBS> If I understood Charles' point correctly, you can't automate an online session. Doesn't this limit the usefulness of working the program in the background? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> That's right, there is no script language per-se, so you can't write fancy scripts to jump to different areas etc., but there are auto- logon prompt/response macros. Regarding the limiting of background usefulness I think you'd find it to be more the opposite. When you don't have to stick around and wait for the program to go about its work while you browse a file etc. you don't find yourself wanting to write a script to do everything unattended. All you do with STalker is close the window and go about your other tasks, then check up on things later. If you're doing a file transfer or a sequence dial STalker plays a little tune to let you know when the operation completes. <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> One more thing I should mention, you also have semi-automatic access via function key macros. <[DD&John] D.D.MARTIN> First, thanks for sitting in the hot seat tonight! I just want to agree with Charles. I do everything by scripting, from uploading mail and messages to the BBS, downloading files, and navigating around the system. I also make extensive use of the programmable function keys available in FLASH. I also am a heavy user of the chat mode. What does STalker offer in this regard in the way of split screen or type ahead buffer? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Hmmm, scripting seems to be getting more important by the minute... <[Sysop] JEFF.W> The Public has spoken. <grin> <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> The current (2.03) version of STalker doesn't do anything special in terms of split-screen/type-ahead, but the STalker 2.04 / STeno 1.02 combo which should be ready in another month or so (more details later if you like) makes use of the combo. You type in STeno and it feeds the data to STalker. I'm using the beta versions right now. I've got the STeno window in the bottom 1/4 of my screen and the STalker window is scrolling away as I type above it. There is a bit more info in CAT 8 TOP 29 as we've been discussing this over the last month or so (getting ideas / opinions etc.). <[DD&John] D.D.MARTIN> That sounds good. The split screen option. I've always said FLASH needs a bigger type ahead buffer. grin <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> This way you essentially get a buffer as big as you want. I've got all the text that I've sent so far still here so if neccesary I can edit it and resend. What I tend to do is just capture a BRO NOR and then read the stuff offline. <[DD&John] D.D.MARTIN> But, I probably wouldn't buy your product if I can't script it. A script buffer responds so much faster to GEnie prompts than I can do and this saves money while online. <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> If you're staying online to reply anyway then the script isn't saving you much. <[Vince-Cubed] V.AVERELLO> What enhancements (other than Zmodem) are planned for STalker 3.0? I've got 2.0X now & it's a great acc. Oh, add my name to the list of those who want scripting ... <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Maybe I should talk about 2.04 first.... that's in the immediate future.... <[Vince-Cubed] V.AVERELLO> OK, have it your way :-) <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> 2.04: The aforementioned type-ahead features; a 'remote mode', aka mini BBS, aka host mode; and one I had been saving for 3.0 Video attributes! 2.04 will support all the VT100 attributes: bold, underline, inverse, and blinking (shows up as 'light' text). Also, ANSI-style text colour support may be included. There are some other minor enhancements, user suggestions, bug fixes, optimizations, etc., but those are the biggies. 3.0: This is well into the future (no earlier than mid-summer), but the plans are for ZModem - probably via loadable protocol modules. I've been experimenting and it seems to be feasible. <[Vince-Cubed] V.AVERELLO> What will it cost the current 2.0X users to upgrade to 2.04 ? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Cost to upgrade: nothing if they're online. As with the other "minor upgrades" a patch file will be posted when the time comes. Users without access to online services can upgrade for $5 plus their original disk. <[Vince-Cubed] V.AVERELLO> Good deal, what's the possibility of loadable terminal emulations? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> I'd have to say "slim". Anything can be done of course, but I don't see it as a big seller given the effort it would take (not to mention the amount of documentation I'd have to write, extra support costs, etc.). <[bob] B.O.B.> Hi. I used to use Flash. I recently switched to InterLink. What can STalker/STeno do for me? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Good question. What do you want it to do? In the local stores anyway when it's put head to head with Flash/Interlink it wins 99% of the time, mainly because it looks more like a real GEM program, and is much easier to get started with. Lots of people buy it for its background dialing and file transfers, some buy it for STeno alone. If you're into DTP, STeno can be tremendously useful since it gives you a complete, fast text editor as a DA. <[bob] B.O.B.> Great. I am into DTP...Sounds great...Thanks <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Check out the STeno demo - you'll like it I'm sure. <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Tell us a bit about STeno, Eric. <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Jeff - why don't I talk about STeno... :-) <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Good idea, Eric! <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> The demo is my best salesman, so if you are genuinely interested take the time to download it. STeno is probably more like a typical Mac program than a typical ST editor. You can use the mouse to select blocks of text (yes, it scrolls if you go past the window boundaries). It also has very Mac- ish cut/copy/paste capability. It deals with plain ASCII files and has a very zippy paragraph reformatting command (much quicker than 1st Word or Word Writer). You also get your choice of the 3 system fonts. If you really want to, you can edit in the 6x6 font. Both STalker and STeno work perfectly on the Moniterm, the Image System's colour board (1024x768), overscan equipped ST's, and according to Atari the new TT modes. <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Enough of that, specific questions would probably be better at this point. <[Sysop] JEFF.W> I think one of the most unique things I've seen about STeno is the menu bar in the GEM window. That is slick! I didn't know you could do that. <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Anything is possible Jeff, remember :-) 3K or so of code and we've got menu bars in windows. Another nice thing about STeno is that its name in the "Desk" menu includes the file you're currently editing. This is especially useful if you've got 2 STeno's loaded since it helps you remember which is which. Since STeno and STalker use the GEM clipboard you can cut/copy/paste between them. Load 2 or 3 STeno's and cut & paste till you're blue in the face. <[Sysop] JEFF.W> I think it's nice also that STalker and STeno are separate accessories. The user can use one or both of them. They have the choice. Makes it nice for memory tight systems. <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Yes - that was done on purpose so that 520 owners would be able to pick how much memory then wanted to chew up. It's also helpful since some people are only interested in STeno. <[Vince-Cubed] V.AVERELLO> Eric, I know we've talked about this in the BB but, what do you think is the probability of more programs supporting the "standard" clipboard & why do you support it if so few others do ?? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> I wanted a capability like that for STalker and STeno, it was there, I used it. I'm lobbying a few other developers to do the same. In particular I'd like to see a word processor and a good spreadsheet handle the clipboard. I'm only one voice though - we need more users to lobby the vendors. I understand that the GEM clipboard is starting to catch on in Germany. Hopefully it will spread to North America. <[Bill] ABGRAF> does the steno program need a printer driver? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> No - I just sends standard ASCII data. There is a "Printer Configuration..." menu item in STeno but this is for parameters such as left margin offset, # lines per page, send LF after CR, send FF at end of page, and a few other things. <[Bill] ABGRAF> So how do you use more than the standard font? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> The font is only for the screen display - you just get tiny, medium, or large characters in the STeno window. You *can* specify a printer init string and have it change your printer to compressed printing if you like, but STeno assumes nothing in particular about the printer. <[Bill] ABGRAF> I see. What about that host prog you mentioned is that available yet? <[Sysop] JEFF.W> The mini-BBS in the next release, Bill? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Good question. Anything specific or should I just spout off? <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Spout away. <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Yes Jeff - it will be in 2.04, ie. not in the current version. There are, lemme see, 7 commands. [B]rief dir listing, [F]ull dir listing, [C]hange dir, [U]pload, [D]ownload, [G]oodbye, and [R]un shell. First and foremost, like the rest of STalker the remote mode operates in the background, so you can be sitting there in a GEM program while someone dials into your machine and uploads a file. Most of the commands are probably obvious; the [R]un shell command invokes a user-specified command shell by redirecting its stdin/stdout to the serial port. This would be especially useful if you wanted to move/rename/delete files, use ARC to arc or unarc something, or just about anything else you can do from a well-behaved .TTP style program. <[Bill] ABGRAF> when will 2.04 be out? and how big will it be? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> 2.04 should be going out for beta testing in a couple of weeks, so unless they have major changes I would guess that it should be ready by late March. I'd like to have it ready for the Toronto show on April 1 but I can't promise that right now. So far 2.04 is about 10K bigger than 2.03, meaning that a minimal configuration uses a grand total of about 110-115K. Since video attributes are in 2.04 it means that two bytes are required for each screen character, so the memory used for the scroll back buffer is higher. <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Will there be a caller log with different security levels and passwords? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Jeff: there is a second password for the [R]un shell program (there is a logon password). I wasn't planning on going any further than that however feel free to make suggestions in CAT 8/29 though! One neat thing is that you can use the remote mode locally (an oxymoron?). If STalker is in LOCAL mode, all the I/O is to the STalker window (no uploading/downloading of course since it wouldn't make sense). If you're in ECHO mode then everything that the remote user types and all the prompts show up in the STalker window. You can turn on Capture or the printer to permanently record the session. In FULL (duplex) mode nothing is shown in the window, but the status line always shows what the user is up to (uploading, entering a command, logging on, etc). One of my beta testers is telling me to up the price once remote mode is available :-) I'm not, but it'll probably go up for V3. <[Joel] J.DANNELLEY1> 5"!Q%9Q=%11see how things progress. For those who don't know, Y-Batch downloads are supported but uploads are not. What BBS/service do you use that accepts Y-Batch? <[Joel] J.DANNELLEY1> It's just a easier way to transfer files between people, I HATE sealink ;-D <[Vince-Cubed] V.AVERELLO> Can the shell be another accessory or does it have to be a TOS program? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> As it stands now it would have to be a TOS-style program. For the programmers, STalker just redirects the I/O and then Pexec()s the shell. Naturally you lose the background functionality while the shell is running. In theory it would be possible to write a shell that makes GEM calls and hence keeps the system alive. If you're interested in having it invoke a DA bring it up in the STalker topic and we can discuss the possibilities. <[Vince-Cubed] V.AVERELLO> So, as it stands ACCess & the NeoDesk CLI won't work. <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> I would be surprised if their stdin/out could be redirected in the first place. Maybe I should get in touch with the Gribs and Rock Digital. Good idea there Vince, remind me if I forget! <[Sysop] JEFF.W> STalker works with DC PORT. What's DC PORT and how does STalker use it? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> DC-Port is a hardware enhancement from Double-Click that plugs into the cartridge port (when Spectre isn't in there :-) and gives you additional serial ports. STalker supports it directly - in the "Port Settings" dialog there are 4 choices for comm. port: AUX, Midi, DCP1, and DCP2. Since STalker is a DA you can actually load 2 or 3 STalkers and have each one using a different port. I've actually had a GEnie BRO NOR capture going on one modem while another STalker was uploading a file. Pretty heavy-duty stuff! <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Thanks. Before getting your closing comments, Eric, I'd point out for everyone here that while writing all these enhancements for STalker/STeno, Eric is also dealing with being a new daddy! How's little Sarah doing? She's about a month old now, right? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> One month tomorrow Jeff. She just had her first doctor's appt. today. She's doing very well - she's gained 1.5 pounds already and is doing everything a new baby is supposed to do :-) <[Sysop] JEFF.W> I hope she's sleeping at night for you. <grin> <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> Luckily my wife is handling the evenings - she's on maternity leave so at least she can sleep a bit during the day. <[Sysop] JEFF.W> I guess that about wraps up the Strata RTC. Any closing comments, Eric? <[Strata] E.ROSENQUIST> I'd just like to thank those that attended - especially those with questions, and of course GEnie for doing such a good job supporting ST users and developers. I'm looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible at the Toronto and Anaheim shows. <[Sysop] JEFF.W> Thank you, Eric! Remember everyone, next week we will have Nathan Potechin of ISD here to talk about Calamus Outline and the rest of the Calamus family of software! Live from Australia. ========================================================================= = 1989 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari Roundtables. May be reprinted only with this notice intact. The Atari Roundtables on GEnie are *official* information services of Atari Corporation. ========================================================================= > Quick ST NEWS CPU/STR InfoFile? ============================== ****************************************** Branch Always Software presents... Quick ST II Quick Tools Quick ST II Demo ****************************************** Hello from Canada! For a few weeks now we've been hinting that today would be the day that we would announce some new products, and we certainly don't want to disappoint anyone. We have information about our new products, Quick ST II and Quick Tools, as well as a look back at the good and the bad of 1989. This announcement is about 7 pages long, so pour yourself a cold one, grab a chair, sit down, and start reading. The first Quick ST was just voted the best shareware program of 1989 by the readers of ST WORLD (U.K.) magazine. We hope these new products will rank high in the commercial categories for the 1990 vote. Quick ST II - Software Screen Accelerator and Desktop Customizer ---------------------------------------------------------------- Price: $19.95 U.S., $22.95 Canada, 19.95 U.K. Now shipping. Quick ST II is a major enhancement of the Quick ST software accelerator, and includes 5 new screen utilities. Quick ST II is a must have package for anyone concerned with the performance of their ST. It includes: - version 2.0 of the Quick ST software screen accelerator, - the Quick ST II Desktop Customizer, - the Art-ST graphics editor, - version 1.8 of the Quick View fast file viewer, and, - version 1.8 of the Quick Index speed benchmarker. Quick ST 2.0 speeds up text and GEM screen output, which makes most GEM or text based programs redraw faster, respond faster, and thus run faster. Compared to earlier versions of Quick ST, version 2.0 is up to 100% faster, and is now compatible with almost all ST software. Quick ST 2.0 is a software accelerator. That means that it requires no hardware modifications, replacement of ICs, or voiding of warranties. Quick ST 2.0 does its job by making TOS more efficient at outputting text and graphics to the screen. It runs on all STs, from TOS 1.0 to TOS 1.6, color or monochrome, blitter or no blitter. In most cases, there is a 200% to 300% increase in the speed of screen output. This was verified by not one, but three different screen benchmarking utilities (including our own Quick Index). This is even faster than the performance of hardware accelerators. How is this possible? A good hardware accelerator (such as the T16 board) can only provide about a 50%-100% speed increase, and those cheaper boards are only good for about a 10%-30% speed increase. But instead of using this brute force approach, Quick ST 2.0 replaces slow screen drawing code in TOS (which contains a lot of compiled C) with small and fast assembly language code. In one case (printing strings of text to a color monitor) our code is over 15 times faster than that originally found in TOS. Quick ST 2.0 now makes even better use of the blitter chip (if present), so that even machines that do have blitter chips will execute GEM faster. If a hardware accelerator is present, Quick ST 2.0 still provides almost the same level of speed increases as without the board. In fact, the combined performance of a Mega ST containing a T16 accelerator and Quick ST 2.0 almost equals the performance of the Atari TT! (Based on benchmark figures of TOS 3.0, the version of TOS found in the TT). Quick ST 2.0 has many other features. It supports the 19 inch Moniterm monitor, making the large screen faster than ever. It is compatible with the Atari Monitor Driver and ZZ Driver, and also works with other high resolution screen drivers. Quick ST 2.0 uses only 20K of RAM, which is a lot less than most other utilities, which makes it ideal for use on 512K or 1 meg systems. Even the Control Panel uses more memory! Quick ST 2.0 runs from the AUTO folder. Simply copy Quick ST 2.0 to the AUTO folder of your boot disk and reboot. It is not copy protected, for easy installation on a hard disk. Once installed, Quick ST 2.0 is invisible and worry free. Quick ST 2.0 supports the installation of custom desktop backgrounds and fonts, to make your ST feel more friendly. Any DEGAS compatible medium resolution or monochrome picture can be installed. Like other software accelerators and the blitter chip, Quick ST 2.0 can only speed up well behaved applications (programs that do not bypass TOS). This excludes most video games, 8-bit, Mac, and PC emulators. Quick ST 2.0 does not significantly speed up low resolution (320x200 mode) since most well behaved applications do not run in low resolution. The only other product that comes close to Quick ST 2.0's abilities costs more than twice as much as Quick ST 2.0, uses twice as much memory as Quick ST 2.0, doesn't support the Moniterm, has trouble supporting custom backgrounds and fonts, and most of the time isn't even faster than Quick ST 2.0. There has never been a better time to get Quick ST! The Quick ST II Desktop Customizer is a companion program for Quick ST 2.0, which allows for the installation of custom background patterns and desktop images. Although there are other public domain and commercial utilities that install custom desktop images, none of them are as fast, as easy to use, or support the installation of background patterns (which saves memory). Here's how it works. When you first turn on your computer, Quick ST 2.0 checks its configuration. It will be in one of three modes: - normal green or gray desktop background - custom pattern - custom background image (requires an extra 32K of RAM). A custom pattern allows you to replace the solid green (in color) or gray (in monochrome) desktop background with your own custom designed pattern. No extra RAM is required. We liked the way this feature looked on the Mac, so we just had to give the ST this ability too. The third option loads a DEGAS compatible picture into memory, and uses it as the desktop background. Most GEM based programs will also use this background image. There are plenty of images that can be on the desktop. Calendars, reminder messages, digitized pictures, or just plain bizarre drawings. The Desktop Customizer, which runs as either a desk accessory or as a regular program, allows the user to instantly change modes, from normal background to custom fill to custom image, to load, edit, and save patterns, and to load desktop images. The desktop background can be changed as often as one wants, without rebooting the computer. And all configuration information is written directly into the Quick ST 2.0 files. There is no renaming of files required, and the desktop image files (.PI2 or .PI3 DEGAS pictures) can be located anywhere on the disk. The Desktop Customizer contains a built-in pattern editor, and as the pattern is edited, it is displayed on the whole desktop. On a color monitor, the pattern can include up to 4 colors. To help users create that desktop image that is just right, Quick ST II includes the Art-ST shareware graphics editor, by Robert Birmingham. Users of Quick ST II are encouraged to use this program and send a small shareware contribution to the author, who will then provide an update. Art-ST has all the features needed, including circles, boxes, text, cut and paste, and is compatible with DEGAS files. The fourth program in the Quick ST II package is Quick View 1.8. This latest version of our text file reader runs as both a desk accessory or as a regular program, and can also be installed to replace the desktop's "Show Print Cancel" function. Simply double click on any text file and it will quickly be display in 80 columns, and in 25 or 50 rows (in mono). No other text file viewer can flip back and forth through a text file as fast as Quick View. Use Quick View to read README files, online magazines, source code, or any other text, or near text file. Quick View supports standard ASCII, UNIX text files, and Atari 8-bit text files. Because it can run as a desk accessory, it is possible to do things like read documentation files while running a GEM program. Readers of ST Report online magazine will especially like the built-in table of contents generator. Just load in an issue of ST Report, press the Tab key, and instantly get a table of contents of the entire issue. Then just press a letter to choose a topic, and Quick View instantly jumps to that article. Nothing could be simpler or snappier! The fifth program in the package is Quick Index 1.8, an upgrade to our famous benchmarking utility that is used the world over to benchmark hardware and software upgrades for the Atari ST. Quick Index 1.8 has been expanded with reference benchmarks for the new Atari STe. Quick Index benchmarks your computer in various categories: CPU performance, disk drive performance, and screen output performance. Quick Index will show you just how much slower your ST is without Quick ST. It can also be used to test various hardware accelerators. Quick Tools Volume 1 - Useful Utilities And The Quick Manager ------------------------------------------------------------- Price: $19.95 U.S., $22.95 Canada, 19.95 U.K. Available in April. Quick Tools Volume 1 is the second commercial offering by Branch Always Software. It is a collection of 9 different multi-configurable utilities (that term will be explained below!) plus the Quick Manager. The package includes the following programs (most are version 2.0): - Quick View (smart file viewer) - Quick Find (fast file finder, catalogs disks) - Quick Label (label printing utility /w mail merge) - Quick Inf (DESKTOP.INF file editor) - Quick Env (system environment editor) - Quick Index (the de-facto Atari ST benchmarking software) - Quick CLI (simple but powerful command line interface) - Quick Control (our own easy-to-use control panel) - Quick Lock (drive & partition read/write protector) - Quick Manager (manages Quick Tools, calls file selector, displays time, date, TOS version, free RAM) As stated above, each Quick Tool is multi-configurable. This is a term we use to describe a program's ability to work as either a desktop application (which can be double clicked from the desktop), a desk accessory (loadable at boot time) or as a Quick Manager Overlay, by simply renaming the filename extension. But you may be wondering, "what is a Quick Manager Overlay???" This question is most easily answered by explaining the function of the Quick Manager itself. When we started creating more and more Quick Tools, we realized that sooner or later, somebody would try to install them all as desk accessories and run out of room. GEM only provides support for 6 desk accessories at a time on the desktop's menu bar. What was required was a program to manager the Quick Tools, and so Quick Manager was created. The Quick Manager is desk accessory which enables the user to load and run any of the Quick Tools as if they were desk accessories, but without using any desk accessory slots. The secret lies in the fact that Quick Manager has its own drop down menu for installing up to 16 overlays. A Quick Manager Overlay is simply a Quick Tool installed for use with Quick Manager. It can be considered to be both a desk accessory and an application, and has the benefits of both. It can be called up any time the Quick Manager accessory is visible (such as from the desktop or from within another GEM program), and unlike regular desk accessories, overlays are not permanently memory resident. In fact, Quick Manager itself uses only 15K of memory, and with all of the Quick Tools installed, less than 60K of memory is used! Every one of the other Quick Tools is multi-configurable. So the user can run each Tool in one of three ways: as a standard desk accessory, as a standard application, or as an overlay. Remember that there is a substantial savings of memory when using overlays. Almost any desk accessory can be converted into a Quick Manager Overlay. Any developers interested in converting their desk accessories over to Quick Manager Overlays can contact us for more information. But Quick Manager does use a desk accessory slot itself. So to make up for this, Quick Manager has other features which themself replace several commonly used desk accessories. Quick Manager can call up the file selector at any time by simply clicking on the "FSel" button on Quick Manager's window. Users of custom file selector programs can thus call up their favorite file selector with a single mouse click. Quick Manager also displays the current time and date, version of TOS, and free RAM. The time/date display is user configurable, and all configuration information (including the position of Quick Manager's window) can be saved. Hopefully, this gives you a flavor for the functionality of the Quick Manager and the concept of overlays and multi-configurable utilities. As Branch Always Software develops further releases of Quick Tools they will easily become a part of your desktop configuration. Now, a few words about the individual Quick Tools themselves. Quick View 2.0 is the latest generation viewing program for the Atari ST. It will automatically determine what type of file is being viewed, and display that file appropriately. This means that a text file will be displayed as a text file, and a picture will be displayed as a picture, and so on. Even ARCed files are displayed as a verbose listing of the contents. Quick View 2.0 can be thought of as a "smart file viewer". Quick View 2.0 can be installed to replace the desktop's "Show Print Cancel" function (using another Quick Tool, Quick Inf). Simply by double clicking on any non-program file on the desktop, Quick View 2.0 will load it in and display it appropriately. No more screens of Hebrew characters! If Quick View 2.0 can't recognize the file type, the file can be viewed in hex mode, raw ascii, or as raw graphics. This is ideal for examining files at the byte level. Quick Find 2.0 is a fast file searching utility. If you have ever wondered, "where is that .DOC file", you can find it using Quick Find 2.0. It has the ability to search any combination of drives and partitions simultaneously, with informative directory style output going to the screen, printer or any filename you wish. Searches can be done on any drive, or even subdirectory within a drive. As well, a "non- recursive" search may be done if you do not wish to search into subdirectories. Quick Find 2.0 can completely scan all the the directories on a 20 meg hard disk in only 5 seconds! But wait, that's not all. Quick Find 2.0 also allows group file modifications as well. This means that you can write protect, hide, touch, delete or even set the TOS 1.4/1.6 fast file load bit on any group of files you search for. And that's just a short list of possible operations available. Quick Label 2.0 is a multi-purpose label generation system. It has 10 buffers to handle even the biggest of multi-label jobs you can dream of. It has provision to create and load any printer driver, plus has a full suite of text editing commands to make that label look as slick as can be. It also contains a very simple to use mail merge facility, so the generation of mailing labels is a snap with Quick Label 2.0. It too can be configured as an installed application which acts on *.LAB files (the label files generated). Quick Inf 2.0 is the Atari ST DESKTOP.INF file editor. It allows you to edit the normally uneditable features of the desktop, such as drive search masks (have you ever wanted a window to display only *.DOC files when looking for the document you want to edit?), or the default installed text file reader. (An ST fact: when you click on a text file, any program you wish can be given that file rather than the standard "Show Print Cancel" utility built into the desktop! It's just that up until now, you couldn't change it unless you knew exactly what line in the DESKTOP.INF file to change!) Thus, with Quick Inf 2.0, you can customize your desktop with simple button clicks, and even save and load multiple versions of your favourite desktop configuration! This is a real boon to multi-user STs: each user can have their own .INF file and by configuring Quick Inf as an installed application, you can simply double click on any *.INF file to change the desktop configuration. It's that easy! Quick Env 2.0 is another handy utility since it allows the user to alter and edit, load or save the current system environment strings. This is especially useful for program development since all compiler information can be placed into the environment strings, negating the need to use a bulky command line interpreter to run your favourite compiler. More down to earth users will appreciate the ability to take all your program's resource files (*.RSC files) and place them in a subdirectory, and edit the system environment string which tells the ST where to find these files. Never again worry about remembering where those pesky resource files reside! Quick Index 2.0 is of course, the de-facto benchmarking utility for the Atari ST, as described under Quick ST II. Quick Index 2.0 has Quick Manager support. Quick CLI 2.0 is a small but useful command line interpreter which has the advantage of being able to run as an accessory. It contains a complete suite of commands including DIR, COPY, RENAME, DELETE and a host of other commands which make life easier in those moments when the desktop just won't do. Also, Quick CLI 2.0 supports changes to the system environment strings, as well as supporting the new Atari ST Extended Commandline Specification released a few months ago. Since Quick CLI 2.0 is multi-configurable, you can even run it as a desk accessory, for those emergency file operations (such as having to clear out space on a disk before saving an important file). Quick Control is, as the name suggests, our own Control Panel. It allows complete customization of the standard system parameters, but, since it's a Quick Tool, you can run it in any of the three ways described earlier. Use it to change the time and date, edit screen colors, change the baud rate, reconfigure the printer, and many more things. And finally, Quick Lock 2.0 is the drive/partition protection program. It allows the user to select drives or partitions available to the system and either write protect them, read/write protect them (which makes that drive basically locked to the outside world) or leave them alone. It also has password protection so that you can lock your system, and leave your ST unattended until you come back and enter your passoword to unlock the system. This is especially useful for protecting a multi-user system from prying eyes. Hopefully the above information allows you to get a feel for the power and versatility that the Quick Tools package offers. Look for the Quick Tools Demo, soon to be uploaded to online information services and bulletin boards everywhere. Quick ST II Demo ---------------- A lot of Quick ST users have commented that they didn't fully appreciate what Quick ST did for them until they had to use a computer without it. It's like trading in 10 speed bike for a 3 speed bike. They thought something was wrong, because everything became a lot slower, but then they realized that Quick ST was not installed. We would like all Atari ST users to experience this, so we have released a demo of Quick ST II. The demo package includes demo versions of Quick ST 2.0 and the Desktop Customizer, and several sample desktop patterns and pictures. This demo is now available for download from the Atari ST libraries of the online services Compuserve, GEnie, Delphi, BIX, and Usenet. We expect that it will soon be available from most Atari ST bulletin boards as it gets copied around by other users. A DISK CONTAINING THE DEMO CAN ALSO BE ORDERED FROM US. The demo has certain limitations, otherwise it wouldn't be a demo. For one thing, the demo runs slower than the real thing, but still considerably faster than just plain old TOS. The demo of the Desktop Customizer has all Save options disabled. The demo displays a prompt to remind you that it is a demo, and also uses more than 20K of RAM. To get the full speed 20K no limitations version, simply buy Quick ST II. Speaking of demos, be sure to drop by the Branch Always Software booth at the Second Canadian Atari Users Convention, being held on April 1 in Toronto, Canada, at the Airport Hilton. The show is being put on by the Toronto Atari Federation user group, and promises to be a blast. Later in April, catch us at the Atari show in Pittsburg. Our products will also be on sale at the World Of Atari show in April. Ordering and Upgrading ---------------------- We are expanding our dealer network, so that the new software will be available through more dealers in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. We should have dealers in other European countries soon. Quick ST II is now shipping and should be available at all dealers within a few weeks. Then we will begin shipping Quick Tools, and also release the Quick Tools Demo to the public. As we found out the hard way, it is impossible to ship two products simultaneously when both members of Branch Always Software are also trying to write exams and graduate from college. So bear with us. Two more months and we're free! If for some reason your Atari dealer does not stock our products, or you just wish to order direct, send a check or money order to our address: Branch Always Software PO Box 2624, Station B Kitchener, Ontario Canada N2H 6N2 In Canada or the U.S., add $3 for postage and handling. In the U.K., add 2. All other countries, add $5. We accept payment in Canadian dollars, U.S. dollars, and pound sterling. For fastest service, please enclose the correct amount. Residents of Ontario, please add 8% tax. A disk containing the Quick ST II Demo and the Quick Tools Demo is available for $2, plus postage and handling as above. We are also setting up a VISA card order line, and we will ship just about anywhere in the world. If calling from outside of North America, remember to dial the appropriate codes for Canada. Order line: 519-570-4340 Inquiries: 519-747-0386 Registered users of Quick ST can upgrade to Quick ST II for the usual $3 upgrade fee and by sending back their original disk. This only applies to users who have already sent in their registration cards. If you haven't, we don't know about you yet. Registered users of the Quick Utilities can receive an upgrade disk containing the Quick Tools. The cost is $3 and the original disk. All previous discount offers and upgrade offers have expired. Any shareware contributions received will be treated as orders, provided that the correct amount is sent. Please call our inquiries line for more information. Inquiries: 519-747-0386 Press release for immediate distribution to all Atari ST users. By Darek Mihocka and Ignac Kolenko of Branch Always Software. = 1990 Branch Always Software. ___________________________________________________________________ > INTERNATIONAL FEUD CPU/STR NewsPlus? USENET carries Hot Feud! =================================== "IS ATARI SELLING HARDWARE OR DEVELOPER KITS?" ============================================ captures of usenet strings of Atari Corp.'s badgering members of the international press... From: SOCS18@vaxb.york.ac.UK (Vision Newspapers) Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: STE DMA sound Date: 22 Feb 90 21:23:00 GMT Sender: daemon@ucbvax.BERKELEY.EDU Organization: The Internet Lines: 209 OK, here is the documentation for STE DMA sound output. More documentation when I've typed it in. Screen blanker postings when I've got a copy of uuencode ... please be patient ----------------------- cut here ---------------------------------- STE DMA Sound registers Register Access Description FF8900 R/W 00 - sound disabled (reset state) 01 - sound enabled, disable at end of frame 11 - sound enabled, repeat forever FF8902 R/W Frame base address (high) FF8904 R/W Frame base address (middle) FF8906 R/W Frame base address (low) FF8908 RO Frame address counter (high) FF890A RO Frame address counter (middle) FF890C RO Frame address counter (low) FF890E R/W Frame end address (high) FF8910 R/W Frame end address (middle) FF8912 R/W Frame end address (low) FF8920 R/W Sound mode control: xxxx xxxx m000 00rr Where for m: 0 Stereo mode 1 Monophonic mode Where for rr: 00 6258 Hz sample rate (reset state) 01 12517 Hz sample rate 10 25033 Hz sample rate 11 50066 Hz sample rate FF8922 R/W MICROWIRE data register FF8924 R/W MICROWIRE mask register Volume/controller commands (device address is always 10) -------------------------------------------------------- 011 DDD DDD Set master volume 000 000 -80 dB 010 100 -40 dB 101 XXX 0 dB 101 xDD DDD Set left channel volume 00 000 -40 dB 01 010 -20 dB 10 1xx 0 dB 100 xDD DDD Set right channel volume 00 000 -40 dB 01 010 -20 dB 10 1xx 0 dB 010 xxD DDD Set treble 0 000 -12 dB 0 110 0 dB 1 100 +12 dB 001 xxD DDD Set bass 0 000 -12 dB 0 110 0 dB 1 100 +12 dB 000 xxx xDD Set mix 00 -12 dB 01 Mix GI sound output (ST sound chip) 10 Do not mix GI sound output 11 Reserved ---------------------------------------------------------- Sampled sound data is stored in memory as a series of bytes, which represent a speaker displacement from -128 to +127. Zero represents the neutral or middle speaker position. Playback is programmable at one of four rates : 50kHz, 25kHz, 12.5kHz or 6.25kHz. During the horizontal blanking phase, samples are fetched from memory by the DMA sound chip, and fed into a Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC). The output of the DAC is then filtered by a four-pole low pass filter to a frequency equal to around 40% of the sample frequency. The signal then passes through a two pole 16kHz low-pass filter, and fed into the National Semiconductor Volume/Tone controller (LMC1992). The final output is available from the RCA jacks on the back of the STE, which can be fed into an amplifier and hence to speakers, headphones etc. Both stereo and mono sample replay is provided, but both stereo channels are mixed along with the ST's sound chip output for monitor speaker output. Sound chip output can also be sent to the stereo output jacks as well. In stereo playback mode, the same data is regarded as words, with the high byte of the word being the sample for the left channel, and the low byte the right channel sample. In mono mode, each byte is output to both left and right stereo channels, but data is still fetched one word at a time. This means that mono sample data must always be an even number of bytes. Samples are grouped together in frames. Each frame can be played once, or repeated automatically forever (until stopped). Two registers are loaded with the frame start and end address - the end address is actually the first byte beyond the end of the sample. Thus a 512 byte sample with a frame start address of 101024 would have a frame end address of 101536. Table One gives the location and description of each DMA sound register. Actually, playing a sample is really quite straightforward. Simply assemble the data in memory, load the start and end addresses, set stereo or mono mode and the playback frequency. Finally, write a one to the sound control register, and the sample will play once. Producing continuous sound and linking frames together are the next steps, and hardware support is provided for these processes. The DMA sound chip produces a 'DMA sound active' signal which is connected to the external input of MFP Timer A. This signal is a one when samples are being played, and zero otherwise. At the end of a repeated frame, this line goes from one to zero, and then back to one again. Thus setting Timer A into event countdown mode allows you to generate an interrupt when a frame has been played a set number of times. Frame repetition is seamless - there is no time delay between the end of a sample, and the start of it's replay, because the frame start and end registers are double buffered. Writing to these registers actually places the data into a holding area, and the contents of the holding area actually go into the true registers when the chip is idle (at the end of the frame, if one is currently being played). Thus, if you wanted to play two consecutive frames, you would write the start and end addresses, and set the control register to three. The first frame will start playing, and you can immediately write the start and end addresses of the next frame, without waiting for the first frame to finish. There will still be an interrupt from Timer A at the end of the first frame, and you could use that to load the address of a further frame, and so on. One further thing to note is that the 'DMA sound active' signal is also exclusive-ORed with the 'monochrome monitor detect' signal, and fed into the GPIP I7 input of the MFP. This was provided to enable interrupt driven sound without using the last free timer of the MFP. It is a little more difficult to use, since you will get a different signal edge depending on whether a mono or colour monitor is attached, as well as an interrupt at the end of every frame. Monochrome monitors ground the 'mono detect' line, resulting in a zero when the bit is read from the MFP. Colour monitors don't ground the line (it is left floating), and the bit reads one. When DMA sound is active, this situation is inverted (because of the XOR with the 'DMA sound active line'). TOS actually looks at this bit during vertical blank time, to see if the monitor has been changed, but TOS on any machine with the DMA sound chip has been appropriately modified to avoid problems. Finally, the 'DMA sound active' line goes from active to idle (one to zero) after the last sample has been fetched. There is a four-word FIFO (First In, First Out) buffer inside the chip, so it will be eight sample times (in stereo mode) before the sound actually finishes. If you do not reload the frame registers in this time, then the join between samples will not be seamless. The volume and tone controller of the STE is connected via a MICROWIRE bus interface. The idea behind this is that further devices can be added to the bus in the future. The MICROWIRE bus is a simple three wire serial connection, with a protocol to allow multiple devices to be controlled individually. In the general case, the data stream consists of N address bits, followed by zero or more don't care bits, and then M bits of data. The actual hardware interface in the STE consists of two 16 bit read/write registers, one for the data to be shifted out, and a mask indicating which bits are valid. A one in any bit of the mask indicates that the corresponding bit in the data register is valid. Data transmission starts as soon as the data register has been written to, so the mask register must be loaded first. Sending takes approximately sixteen micro-seconds, and if the data register is read during this time, a 'snap-shot' of the data being shifted out will be obtained. This means that if you wait for either register to return to its original state, you can be sure that sending has been completed. The volume/tone controller is addressed by a two bit address field of %10 (binary) and a nine bit data field. Table One details the commands that can be sent to the device, and the addresses of the MICROWIRE registers in the STEs memory map. Actually sending these commands is easier than it looks. Simply set the mask register to $07FF, and place the data in the lower nine bits with %10 in the upper two bits. For example, setting the mask to $07FF and the data register to $04C4 will set the master volume to $14. That's all there is to it! Regards, Mathew Lodge From: apratt@atari.UUCP (Allan Pratt) Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: Re: STE DMA sound (documentation posted) Date: 24 Feb 90 02:15:10 GMT Organization: Atari Corp., Sunnyvale CA Lines: 13 Why was this article posted? That information is available to all developers, is of limited interest to anyone else, and is protected by the nondisclosure agreement between developers and Atari. It's not that this particular information is all that secret, but posting it does constitute a violation of that agreement. I don't want to be a bad guy about this, but you shouldn't just key in Atari documentation and post it. Among the reasons is that you can get it wrong, or leave out important stuff, and people will complain to us about things which are not our fault. ======================================================================= Opinions expressed above do not necessarily -- Allan Pratt, Atari Corp. reflect those of Atari Corp. or anyone else. ...ames!atari!apratt ======================================================================= From: SOCS18@vaxb.york.ac.UK (Vision Newspapers) Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: STE documentation - why it was posted Date: 25 Feb 90 17:30:00 GMT Sender: daemon@ucbvax.BERKELEY.EDU Organization: The Internet Lines: 43 This article is primarily in reply to Allan Pratt's posting questioning the reasoning behind my posting of the STE DMA sound information. Since Allan posted his complaint to the net, I'm going to post my reply similarly. Allan, I realise that you're not "The Villain Of Atari US", and I would like to give my reasons for the posting. 1) My STE documentation was obtained from Atari UK. However, I am not a developer - I just write for a computer magazine. I am also not the only UK computer journalist with a copy of the documentation. But what did Atari UK think computer journalists were going to do with the it? Lock it away in a safe? 2) The amount of mail I received requesting that I post the info to this group clearly indicates that this information is _NOT_ of limited interest to anyone. One of the biggest problems with writing software for the ST is the lack of correct technical information available to non-developers (i.e. the guy who is fairly serious about programming his ST, and wants the facts, but who doesn't want everything else you get when you pay to be a registered developer). I would imagine that my column in ST World would not run to six pages every issue if such information was available. 3) I agree that simply keying in Atari documentation and posting it is bad (and also a breach of copyright). Although, what was posted is fairly close to the original Atari text, it is not the same. The wording is mine. 4) Since the wording is mine, I will carry the can for any mistakes or omissions. As you might guess, I'm not convinced that posting programming information on the STE is wrong. I still intend to post some information on display hardware soon. Regards, Mathew Lodge From: Bob_BobR_Retelle@cup.portal.com Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: Re: STE DMA sound (documentation posted) Date: 26 Feb 90 06:24:50 GMT Organization: The Portal System (TM) Lines: 31 Allan Pratt asks, in reference to the posting of some technical data about the STE's sound: -> Why was this article posted? That information is available to all -> developers, is of limited interest to anyone else, and is protected by -> the nondisclosure agreement between developers and Atari. Well, it was probably posted by someone who's tired of Atari's stupid, restrictive policies about who gets to know the details about the computers they've purchased... only the "elite" developers who've passed the initiation rites and paid the initiation fee prescribed by Atari are worth Atari's time or effort.. (as recently noted by KenB@Atari) -> I don't want to be a bad guy about this, but you shouldn't just key -> in Atari documentation and post it. I don't think anyone here thinks Allan (or Ken) are "bad guys" because they follow company policy... (not even *me*... would you believe it..??) -> Among the reasons is that you can get it wrong, or leave -> out important stuff, and people will complain to us about things which -> are not our fault. OK, "people"... go ahead and write us the most incredible sound programs we've ever seen (or heard), but if they're based on the information you read here, and not on "official" Atari documentation, don't complain to Allan, or Ken, or anyone at Atari... OK..? BobR From: rehrauer@apollo.HP.COM (Steve Rehrauer) Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: Re: STE DMA sound (documentation posted) Date: 27 Feb 90 16:37:00 GMT Sender: root@apollo.HP.COM Reply-To: rehrauer@apollo.HP.COM (Steve Rehrauer) Organization: Hewlett-Packard Apollo Division - Chelmsford, MA Lines: 52 In article <email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org (Kevin Clendenien) writes: -> In article <email@example.com.EDU> firstname.lastname@example.org (Chris Roth) writes: ->> I am glad that SOMEONE at least is posting information about Atari ->> machines, Atari sure isn't going to do it! It is a sad state of ->> affairs when you have to spend a couple of hundred bucks just to get ->> information on your machine. -> Don't be so glad. If people keep breaking their agreements with -> Atari not to publish this information, Atari will have no choice but -> to restrict the information even further. Sorry, that line of reasoning seems retarded. I understand that Atari cannot afford to give away disks and manuals and software. And if developer information includes advance notice of corporate strategy (e.g.: notice of pending new products), then yes, Atari must ask for some restraint. They deserve it, in that case. But what was posted hardly warrants any concern from Atari -- if anything, they should be happy to see such information spread to the four winds. No one at Atari had to type it up & post it, nor pay for distribution. If it makes a feature of their product line more accessible, then what in god's name is the harm in that? So what if someone propagates the information and doesn't dot their i's correctly? It's regrettable, but hardly a tragedy or legal liability for Atari. What do you think disclaimers are for? -> As far as having to spend a couple of hundred bucks just to get -> information on your machine, this is no different than IBM, Mac, or -> Amiga computers. When you buy IBM and DOS, do you get a technical -> reference manual? NO! NEITHER DO YOU HAVE REPRESENTATIVES OF IBM, APPLE OR COMMODORE CHIDING PEOPLE FOR TELLING OTHERS HOW TO PROGRAM THEIR MACHINES. NOT FOR GIVING *INCORRECT* INFORMATION, MIND, JUST INFORMATION. What was posted wasn't source code. It didn't cause a loss of whatever competitive edge Atari may have. I'm not flaming Kevin Clendenien, and Atari may have the legal rights to build fences around anything they damn well please, but it sure seems dumb in cases like this. What, are they in business to sell hardware or developer kits?? Sure it's available, but at a cost. This same scenario is played out with both Mac and Amiga computers. You can find information on the Atari line of computers without having to become a developer. But, just as with the above mentioned computers, you will have to pay for it. I wish information was free, but we all know that just ain't so. Knowledge makes the world go round. Not just in the computer field, but in every field. Right, so don't defend arbitrary suppression of knowledge. -- >>"Aaiiyeeee! Death from above!"<< | Steve Rehrauer, email@example.com "Flee, lest we be trod upon!" | The Apollo System Division of H.P. From: firstname.lastname@example.org (John Logajan) Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: Re: STE DMA sound (documentation posted) Date: 27 Feb 90 18:53:24 GMT Sender: email@example.com Organization: Network Systems Corporation, Mpls., MN Lines: 16 firstname.lastname@example.org (Kevin Clendenien) writes: -> Don't be so glad. If people keep breaking their agreements with -> Atari not to publish this information, Atari will have no choice but -> to restrict the information even further. This is an empty threat. It is in Atari's interest NOT to further restrict information -- so it won't happen. Atari representatives are just trying to delay the inevitable -- the word of mouth, jungle telegraph spread of useful information. They have no hope of ultimately suppressing it, and they have no legal basis to suppress it in most cases -- regardless what they claim. -- - John Logajan @ Network Systems; 7600 Boone Ave; Brooklyn Park, MN 55428 - email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-424-4888, Fax 424-2853 From: D.C.Halliday@newcastle.ac.uk (D.C. Halliday) Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: Re: STE documentation (Why the ST sells in the UK.) Date: 27 Feb 90 14:32:43 GMT Sender: email@example.com Organization: Computing Laboratory, U of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK NE17RU Lines: 26 Mathew Lodge says: -> 1) My STE documentation was obtained from Atari UK. However, I am not -> a developer - I just write for a computer magazine. I am also not the -> only UK computer journalist with a copy of the documentation. But what -> did Atari UK think computer journalists were going to do with the it? -> Lock it away in a safe? I think Mathew has hit on one of the main reasons why the ST sells better on this side of the Atlantic. Since Atari UK, Germany, ... etc. release information to mags to aid in producing articles, they get lots of coverage (free advertising.) It is worth noting that Atari actually advertises more in the US than here! (I have only EVER seen one Atari ad in a UK publication in over a year and a half!) -> As you might guess, I'm not convinced that posting programming -> information on the STE is wrong. I still intend to post some -> information on display hardware soon. I too, will take alot of convincing that this information should not be posted to the net, If you can read it in a magazine then why not on the net? Dave H. (D.C.Halliday@newcastle.ac.uk) Editor Note: The big question is...... "IS ATARI SELLING HARDWARE OR DEVELOPER KITS?" ============================================ We too, find no fault with the young men who have come forward wearing the Atari banner and championing the Atari cause. There is no doubt that they, Pratt, Badertscher, etc.. are given direction by a boss. The levels of intimidation evidenced in the Atari community have gone too far and must be brought to a screeching halt. It is outrageous to see this kind of "GOODWILL" coming from a company which is dragging its feet while the rest of the industry soars past them. However, the position Atari has taken is truly self destructive, indicative of a company whose executive corps. have apparently lost sight of the future and most of all, a company whose overall objectives for the future seem grievously clouded and misguided. Once again to be fair, we feel the Tramiels are being misled by their subordinates who, evidenced by Atari's performance in the last 36 months and especially in the last year, haven't the foggiest idea of what they are doing or what they should be doing. This attitude of secrecy and the punitive measures being taken has become the "joke of the year" in the industry. Sure, there is doubt or argument that corporate planning and strategy belongs in the safe, secure from the competition. But when one observes what Atari's reps are apparently directed to squawk about we must say, it appears this is only good information that will foster support for the currently released machines, NOT something destined for future release. Atari's constant attempts at controlling the press through intimidation is contemptible. It smacks of a total disregard for the users, ("tell 'em only what we want them to know"), we feel the users have every right to know what is going on in the Atari community. We will above all else, strive to bring to them all the facts. Perhaps the time has come, to begin a series of articles detailing the eye opening, EXACT activities, demands and pressure directed toward various members of the press and commercial information services attending to the Atari community. Actions, when presented to the userbase will no doubt, show how seriously misguided and incompetent certain lesser executives at Atari truly are. _______________________________________________________________ > Stock Market ~ CPU NewsWire? =========================== THE TICKERTAPE ============== by Michael Arthur Concept by Glenn Gorman Information was not available on Monday. Atari Stock went down 1/4 of a point on Tuesday, but recovered by going up 1/2 of a point on Wednesday. On Thursday its price did not change, but on Friday Atari stock went down 1/8 of a point. Finishing up the week at 7 1/4 points, Atari stock is up 1/4 of a point from the last report. Apple Stock was down 1/2 of a point from Friday, February 16, 1990. Commodore Stock was down 1/4 of a point from 2/16/90. IBM Stock was down 7/8 of a point from 2/16/90. Stock Report for Week of 2/19/90 to 2/23/90 _________________________________________________________________________ STock| Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Reprt|Last Chg.|Last Chg. |Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.| -----|----------|--------------|-------------|------------|--------------| Atari| ---- |6 7/8 - 1/4|7 3/8 + 1/2|7 3/8 .... |7 1/4 - 1/8| | | | | | 41,400 Sls | -----|----------+--------------+-------------+------------+--------------| CBM | ---- |8 1/8 .... | 8 - 1/8|8 1/8 + 1/8| 8 - 1/8| | | | | | 19,900 Sls | -----|----------+--------------+-------------+------------+--------------| Apple| ---- |33 1/4 - 1/4| 34 + 1/2| 33 - 1 |33 1/4 + 1/4| | | | | | 1,338,900 Sls| -----|----------+--------------+-------------+------------+--------------| IBM | ---- |102 7/8 - 5/8|104 7/8 + 2|103 1/4 |102 5/8 - 5/8| | | | | -1 5/8| 1,562,900 Sls| -----'-------------------------------------------------------------------' 'Sls' refers to the # of stock shares that were traded that day. 'CBM' refers to Commodore Corporation. '----' means that info on the stock was not available for that day. ___________________________________________________________ > PCD2 GAAK! CPU/STR OnLine? AS TIME MARCHES ON.. ..AND ON ..AND ON... ========================= Thu Mar 01, 1990 BOOJIBOY; posts at 22:39 PST Well, I am one of those saps who actually believed that when Bill Teal promised an immediate return of new PALS, send in my old PALS on 2-13-90 by next day mail, only to learn the truth... that A-G didn't have the new PALS and wouldn't be sending them out until they were received by one of their infamous suppliers. Once again, Mr. Teal puts his foot in his mouth. Taste good Mr. Teal? I understand that A-G plans to attend the World of Atari show at Disneyland on April 7 & 8. That is D-Day. He better have ALL of the boards he shipped working by the time the show starts or he might as well not show up at all. If they aren't working, there will be a mob of people with a noose waiting for him... not to mention a few subpoenas. And if he doesn't show up, that will be a clear sign that A-G is not long for the world and you can kiss your investment good-bye. Believe me, I have been extremely uncritical of A-G, but after being told to send in the money for a 4 to 6 week wait, and then waiting 4 to 6 months, you would think he would know better than to use the word "immediately". Mr. Teal may be a brilliant programmer, and I admire him for his talent, but a marketing genius, he ain't. He better get his act together right now, or he will not have any customers waiting for the $299.00 product when they are finally available in quantity. He should upload a text file with the names of all he has shipped to of the PCD2 and start uploading names of all he has shipped, if any, the new PALS. At least that would give some of us hope. The above is my opinion and a constructive criticism. And reality. Editor Note: It is indeed unfortunate that users should get to a point of utter frustration and have to make demands and threats. Granted there are extenuating circumstances in every difficult situation. That's Murphy's Law. AG should have made a better effort at keeping the users informed about what was actually happening. But since this is water under the bridge, it is best said that we must give this firm the time and encouragement to get things set right. The latest info we have is AG expects the PALS this coming Monday or Tuesday. 03/05-06/90 The best advice we can offer to those who cannot wait for AG to resolve the situation, is to obtain PCSPEED available now from MichTron or Supercharger which is awaiting FCC approval and will be available by April 1990. ____________________________________________________________ > DUGGAN DEZIGN CPU/STR InfoFile? The STIK-GRIPPER ============================== ______________________________________________________ * * * NEW COMPANY TO REBATE MONEY TO ATARI USER GROUPS!! * * * *______________________________________________________* Duggan DeZign Inc. is proud to announce a new promotion that will put money right into the user group's pockets. We will REBATE MONEY to any official Atari users group whose members buy our new product called STIK-GRIPPER. Over 18% of the $18.95 purchased price will be rebated to the Atari users group whose members purchased it. In other words, for every STIK-GRIPPER purchased by an Atari user group member, their Atari user group will receive $3.50. Imagine if you had one hundred members that purchase it - thats a $350.00 in your club's treasury! Why are we doing this? We are doing this because of the many loyal Atari users groups who promote Atari computers simply because they like Atari computers, and don't often get the credit they deserve for their efforts. In addition, I myself am a member of RIACE (Rhode Island Atari Computer Enthusist) and would like nothing better than to see groups like this receive the support they need in order to expand or in some cases just continue to operate. WHAT IS STIK-GRIPPER? STIK-GRIPPER is a new product that was released in December 1989. It will be announced and advertised starting in February in many of the Atari magazines. What this product does is clamps your Joystick to the table top allowing one-handed Joystick operation. It is fully adjustable to fit any Joystick up to 4 5/8" wide. It will clamp large Joysticks such as the WICO BAT or smaller Joysticks such as the Atari 2600. This product works well with games like Falcon, Dive bomber, or any other game requiring both Keyboard and Joystick control, as you won't have to let go of the Joystick to operate the Keyboard. Beyond that, it gives any games the 'ARCADE FEEL' because you don't have to hold the Joystick in your hand! One of STIK-GRIPPER's best feature is that its made out of all steel and is very rugged. It also comes complete with protective pads so it won't scratch you table top. THE REBATE DETAILS Here's how it works: In order for a user group member to take advantage of this offer you must do the following: 1. Fill out the order form attached completely. All items must be filled out in order to qualify for the rebate. 2. Mail the order form with a check or money order for $18.95 + $2.50 for shipping & handling to the address on the form. 3. At the end of the promotion (June 30th, 1990) Duggan DeZign Inc. will total all purchases by Atari user group members and issue a check along with a list of members who purchased it to their respective user group Presidents. The amount will be for $3.50 (three dollars and fifty cents) for each one sold to a member. 4. No phone orders will qualify for the rebate. All orders must be done thru the mail directly to Duggan DeZign Inc. Visa and Mastercard will not be accepted. All payments must be check or money order. 5. This offer will expire on June 30th, 1990. Rebates will be made based on orders received prior to this date. For more information, contact Duggan DeZign Inc. at: (401) 826-2961 or leave E-Mail (GEnie) to K.DUGGAN. clip here -------------------------------------------------------------------- ORDER FORM for STIK-GRIPPER PROMOTIONAL OFFER NAME _________________________ USER GROUP ________________________ ADDRESS ______________________ PRESIDENT ________________________ CITY ________________________ PRESIDENT'S PHONE # ______________ STATE & ZIP ______________________ YOUR PHONE # __________________ ORDER QTY ___ X ($18.95 + $2.50 SHIPPING) TOTAL ___________________ USER GROUP ADDRESS _________________________________________________ CITY, STATE, & ZIP _________________________________________________ Mail order form to: Duggan DeZign Inc. 300 Quaker Lane - Suite # 7 Warwick RI 02886 --------------------------------------------------------------------- clip here _______________________________________________ > CPU NEWSWIRE CONFIDENTIAL? Sayin' it like it is..... ========================= - Pittsburgh, PA **** SPRITZ-WATER KING HAS BOAT - NO OARS! **** -------------- Mead Ames-Kline or Meade Ames-Klein, (whichever), President of Atari US operation, including the computer and entertainment divisions, is facing quite a task.. Not only must he overcome the apparent indifference from those immediately above him, he must also remain unscathed by the corporate warriors battling beneath him for "THE KING'S" favor. He then must contend with the Aircraft Carrier Commander whose ship has a broken rudder, (keeps going in circles). It seems this commander likes to pit his subordinates against each other thus, affording himself the opportunity to always appear to be the stabilizing, in control type, so admired by the King's men. Hopefully, if we can see through this act the King and his men eventually will too. In any case, there are those in the Atari community who have set the timer at between 78 - 110 days and the old faithful revolving door will do its thing.... we shall see. - New York City, NY *** COMPUSERVE NOW OPEN FOR EUROPEANS *** ----------------- (March 1) CompuServe is pleased to announce that members located in Europe now have the benefit of local access and customer support through our new European service, CompuServe/Forum. CompuServe/Forum features connection to the world's most comprehensive information service through new, lower-cost local network arrangements. CompuServe also has discontinued its foreign handling fee. Customer service is provided from Europe, eliminating the inconvenience of time-zone differences when seeking answers to questions. In addition, a special top menu is designed specifically for European members. Soon, European sections of CompuServe forums will address specific hardware and software needs. These enhancements are the first steps in a multifaceted plan to offer CompuServe throughout Europe. Later this year, a version of CompuServe Information Manager will support the European networks and keyboards. In addition, European full-text searchable databases with a CompuServe-like interface will be released. CompuServe/Forum is marketed through TeleServe of Berne, Switzerland, a partnership of CompuServe Incorporated and TeleColumbus of Baden, Switzerland. In Europe, customer service is available in the United Kingdom at 0800 289 458; in Switzerland at 031-509 800; or in other European countries at +41-31-509 800. - Sunnyvale, CA. **** A ROSE ..IS A ROSE ..IS A ROSE .. **** ------------- WILL ATARI EVER SHAKE THE "GAME MACHINE" IMAGE? OR THE "TOY" COMPUTER IMAGE? Recently heard in the hallowed halls of Sunnyvale... The STE is expected to be certified by FCC in two weeks. Atari is also building more 520's, 1040's and STE's and all are expected to be available in the US in 3 to 4 weeks. Atari is also about to launch a new promotion selling a 520 bundled with games, word processor, and drawing program for $399.00 (no monitor) through Sears, Montgomery Wards, and some other similar chain. The package will be offered in California first and expanded to other areas if they sell well. I guess you would call this a test marketing by Atari and the involved retailers. So, here we go again. The ST "GAME MACHINE" reappears in a toy department with COMPUTER ILLITERATE SALES CLERKS. This reminds me of when they had the ST in Toys-R-Us sitting between Barbie Doll, Ken, GI Joe and the Goo Monster. They might sell a few computers, but people looking for "REAL" COMPUTERS DON'T SHOP IN TOY DEPARTMENTS. Then again, there is the impact on the dealer they are undercutting. Perhaps they think that a 520 marketed as a game machine won't get in the way of a dealer's sales due to the possible difference in customers. We'll have to wait and see which way the winds blow on this effort. Will the promotion make it out of California to other states? Will it make the Sears' and Ward's catalogs? BETTER YET, How many of the developers will applaud this latest move? Atari "may" get an enlarged userbase, but will this type userbase pursue quality application and productivity software. The answer is yes, but only if Atari aggressively advertises the fact that the new wave of "game machines" are capable of a great deal more than a trip to lala land. - Toronto, Canada ***** GERMANY LEADS IN SUPPORT FOR STE ***** --------------- A new feature-rich 4096 colour paint program called Megapaint II has been released in Germany. Wonder when it will hit the Canadian and U.S. market. There are also numerous impressive STE audio demos, and a number of games that take advantage of the STE's power. One of which was the first game made for it, White Water Madness. Space Ace also came out, and the delays were due to ensuring compatibility with the new STE. Space Ace uses the STE's enhanced colour pallete, 4096 colors and terrific sound output. The other exciting product out is JRI Genlock for the STE! - San Francsico, CA. **** ANTIC BURNS DEALERS NATIONALLY! **** ------------------ After interviewing a certain large dealer, we felt it was absolutely imperative to let the users see another reason why we are losing dealers so fast. The program, Phasar 4.0, is for sale at $89.95 list price, of course, one may purchase it for about $55-59.95. The dealers pay between $44.95 - $53.95 for the program. The wholesale price to distributors is approx $40.48. Now that you have the whole breakdown, some of you may already see where this is going, since you may have already received your special offer to purchase Phasar 4.0 for $39.95 direct from Antic. A "special deal" Antic has extended to its subscribers. Not bad, when one considers that Antic is cutting the throats of the majority of dealers left in this country who stock and sell Antic's software. From what we are told, the angry dealers and distributors are prepared to return all existing inventory. ____________________________________________________________ > Hard Drive Info STReport InfoFile? Affordable Mass Storage ================================= NEW PRICES! & MORE MODELS!! ============================ ABCO COMPUTER ELECTRONICS INC. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672 Est. 1985 _________________________________________ Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM - 4 PM EDT BBS: 904-786-4176 12-24-96 HST FAX: 904-783-3319 12 PM - 6 AM EDT _________________________________________ HARD DISK SYSTEMS TO FIT EVERY BUDGET _____________________________________ All systems are complete and ready to use, included at NO EXTRA COST are clock/calendar and cooling blower(s). -ALL ABCO HARD DISK SYSTEMS ARE FULLY EXPANDABLE- (you are NOT limited to two drives ONLY!) (all cables and connectors installed) RUGGED, RELIABLE SEAGATE HARD DISK MECHANISMS * ICD HOST ADAPTERS USED EXCLUSIVELY * OMTI HIGH SPEED CONTROLLERS * * SCSI EMBEDDED CONTROLLER MECHANISMS * 32mb #SG32238 519.00 42mb #SG44710 579.00 51mb #SGN4951 619.00 65mb #SG60101 679.00 80mb #SGN296 719.00 100mb #SG84011D 939.00 CALL FOR SUPER SAVINGS ON LARGER CUSTOM UNITS ============================================ :IMPORTANT NOTICE: ============================================ TAX REFUND SPECIAL OFFER! ========================= ORDER YOUR HARD DRIVE NOW AND GET A SECOND COMPLETE UNIT! ****** for $100.00 LESS! ****** That's right! A custom two for one sale. Buy with a friend and save money! CALL TODAY and ORDER YOURS! --==*==-- SHIPPING AND INSURANCE INCLUDED -offer good for a limited time only- ============================================ * SYQUEST 44MB (#555) REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE * - SYQUEST 44 MB removable media drive - ICD ST Host Adapter - ICD Mass Storage Utility Software - 3' DMA Cable - Fan & Clock - Multi-Unit Power Supply (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart. Completely Assembled and READY TO RUN! in a shoebox OR under monitor cabinet As of 3/90 NOW ONLY __$865.00__ *** SPECIAL SYQUEST OFFER!! *** ORDER YOUR SYQUEST UNIT NOW AND GET A SECOND COMPLETE UNIT! ****** for $100.00 LESS! ****** -> DO IT YOURSELF BARE SYQUEST UNITS $600.00ea 2 for $1100.00 * TWIN SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVES ... PROGRAMMER'S DELIGHT * SPECIALLY PRICED $1539.00 * SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE AND HARD DRIVE COMBINATIONS * - Syquest 44 Model  and the following hard drives - 50mb SQG51 $1279.00 30mb SQG38 $1199.00 65mb SQG09 $1339.00 85mb SQG96 $1399.00 LOWBOY - STANDARD - DUAL BLOWER CABINETS ***** COMING SOON! INSITE FLOPTICAL DRIVE ***** August-September, 1990 20 MB 3.5 FLOPPY DISK MASS STORAGE OPTICAL DRIVE! uses standard 3.5" floppy disks and Floptical disks Will access and read your present library of floppys $789.95 approx. CUSTOM CONFIGURATIONS AVAILABLE Listed above are a sampling of the systems available. Prices also reflect various cabinet/power supply configurations (over sixty configurations are available, flexibility is unlimited) *** ALL Units: Average Access Time: 24ms - 34ms *** ALL UNITS COMPATIBLE WITH --> SUPERCHARGER - PC-DITTO/II - SPECTRE/GCR LARGER units are available - (special order only) NO REPACKS OR REFURBS - Custom Walnut WOODEN Cabinets - TOWER - AT - XT Cabinets - Keyboard Custom Cables Call for Info ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED -* 12 month FULL Guarantee *- (A FULL YEAR of COVERAGE) QUANTITY & USERGROUP DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE! _________________________________________ DEALERS and DISTRIBUTORS WANTED! please, call for details Personal and Company Checks are accepted. ORDER YOURS TODAY! 904-783-3319 9am - 8pm EDT _______________________________________________________________ > A "Quotable Quote"? ================= "To make mistakes is only human, to admit to those mistakes is DIVINE!!" ...from: ALSOP'S "Doin' the Right Thing" -------------------------------------------------------------------------- CPU/STR? "Your Independent News Source" March 02, 1990 16/32bit Magazine copyright = 1990 No.4.09 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors, staff, CPU NEWSWIRE? CPU/STR? or CPU Report?. Reprint permission is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. All reprints must include CPU NEWSWIRE, CPU/STR or CPU Report and the author's name. All information presented herein is believed correct, the editors and staff are not responsible for any use or misuse of information contained herein. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- --
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