Z*Net: 18-May-90 #520From: Kevin Steele (aj205@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 06/10/90-09:40:38 PM Z
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From: aj205@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Kevin Steele) Subject: Z*Net: 18-May-90 #520 Date: Sun Jun 10 21:40:38 1990 ////// // // ////// ////// Z*Net Atari Online Magazine // / /// // // // May 18, 1990 // /// // // // ////// // --------------------------- // / // /// // // Compiled and Edited by: ////// // // /////// // Ron Kovacs and John Nagy May 1986 - May 1990 Issue #520 Atari News First ---------- (=) 1990 by Rovac Industries, Inc. Post Office Box 59 Middlesex, New Jersey 08846 Z*Net Online BBS: (201) 968-8148 ======================================================================= CompuServe 71777,2140 * Cleveland Free-Net * GEnie Z-NET ======================================================================= =============================== THIS WEEK =============================== by Ron Kovacs Many of our readers have been calling the Z*Net BBS over the last few weeks with positive comments about our publications recently released and we thank you for taking the time to respond. Z*Net Mechanics Online Magazine and Z*Net MAC Online Magazine has been completed. A reader has uploaded the first to issues of the Mechanics Newsletter to the Atari ST RT on GEnie, if you are interested take a look. Bruce Kennedy, the originator of the first ZMagazine, (regardless of what others say), is the primary editor of the publication, look for additional releases shortly. ST Journal has been released, as we reported last week. The glossy paged magazine is available at your local Atari dealer or magazine vendor. For subscription information call or write ST Journal, 113 W. College Street, Covina, California 91723. 818-332-5473. Apologies are in order to Alice Amore and Mark Quinn. Last week I listed them in the contents and failed to include their articles, this week I lost the articles altogether. Sorry guys... Alice is on assignment and will return shortly. Mark has been under the weather and recovering fine. Look for an article next week. As always, for the accurate news and Atari information read Z*Net! Don't be fooled by imitations! =============================== THE STATE OF ATARI =============================== Z*Net News Service Tuesday, May 15, at 2 PM, Sam Tramiel presided over the 4th annual Atari Corporation shareholders meeting in the General Meeting Room of Atari's Caribbean facility in Sunnyvale, California. The two orders of business were to elect the directors for the following year and to ratify the appointment of Deloitte and Touche as independent auditors of the Company for the year ending December 31, 1990. Both items passed as expected, with no changes to the re-elected board. After the official meeting ended, Richard Miller and Leonard Tramiel gave shareholders an overview of the new TT 030. Antonio Salerno discussed features and new applications for the Portfolio. Future applications for the Portfolio include software for construction cost estimation and tennis, golf, and bowling, handicapping and scorekeeping. A question and answer period followed, with questions ranging from the commonly asked U.S marketing concerns to topics as specific as the status of Atari Explorer magazine. Sam Tramiel responded to the Atari Explorer question by stating that the magazine had been brought "in- house", and that the new editor was Jim Fisher, Atari's VP of Marketing and Advertising. On display at the meeting were the STe running a digitized stereo sound effect demo, the TT 030 displaying a video quality graphic demo, the Atari MS-DOS computer with a Portfolio Ram card drive attached, the Portfolio, and several Lynx's encased in a new point of purchase display that allows consumers to play the up to four Lynx's inside the plexiglass-like enclosure. New Lynx titles being displayed included Ms. Pacman, Klax, and Slimeworld. Sam Tramiel also announced that Atari hopes to ship approximately 400,000 Lynx's by year's end, with approximately 30 "hot" game titles available in time for Christmas. Information provided to shareholders included ownership and control statistics. Jack Tramiel now owns 43.8% of Atari stock, while Warner Communications holds 24.6%. The 16-member group including all directors and executives of Atari Corp hold an aggregate of 51% of all stock. There are almost 58 million shares of Atari stock outstanding. Atari reported net income of $1.5 million or $.03 per share on sales of $85.5 million for the quarter ended Mar. 31, 1990. This compares with net income of $3.3 million or $.06 per share on sales of $88.8 million for the first quarter ended Mar. 31, 1989. The results for the quarter reflect continued revenue growth for the Atari ST and Atari PC compatible product line, and the new Lynx video game machine. The decline in revenue from last year is attributed by Atari to the impact of competition in the company's traditional 2600 and 7800 video game market in the United States. =============================== NEC AND ATARI =============================== Z*Net News Service As reported this week in a pair of Z*BREAK special bulletins, it has been confirmed by N.E.C. that NEC and Atari Games have signed an agreement to promote NEC game systems as a joint venture. Rumors of an ATARI/NEC deal have circulated for several weeks, but it now appears that the Atari that most observers had expected to be involved is the wrong Atari. NEC is Nippon Electronics Corporation, makers of the NEC TURBOGRAPHIX 16 game system as well as countless other consumer electronic devices and components. NEC also owns several "real" computer lines, and is known to be shopping for other computer and home entertainment product lines. The Turbographix 16 system has sold slowly in the USA, and some reports say that NEC believes it is due to poor marketing and a brand name that is unappealing to the game market. They may feel that ATARI's name and know-how in the games and arcade field will lend both the experience and credibility needed to successfully promote the NEC systems. There was an error in our earlier report as to the status of WARNER and Atari Games. Warner, a 24% shareholder in Atari Corp (the computer folks) DOES NOT own Atari games. Warner sold its interests to NAMMCO, an arcade game company, some years ago. TENGEN is a subsidiary of Atari Games, and is the primary development company for consumer game software for Atari Games. A few sources have told us that plans now include introducing the NEC PORTABLE game console far sooner than originally scheduled. However, while NEC stressed that the agreement with Atari is for GAME SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT, our sources indicated that there could be future ATARI GAMES involvement in hardware and promotion as well. NEC sources say that there is no current intention to rename the Turbographix 16 game console, nor to use the ATARI name on their product. The portable Turbographix 16 unit was shown privately at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show, and all who used it agreed that it "blew away" all other portable systems INCLUDING the LYNX from Atari Computer. Plans at that time said the unit might be available by Christmas 1991, but have been revised to hit the Christmas 1990 market. The NEC portable uses the same game carts as their home console, a feature thought to become a major selling point for both systems. It will be featured publicly at the upcoming Summer CES show. The first title to be offered for the NEC system via the services of Atari Games will be "KLAX", which is coincidently the next title to be released for the LYNX. Next will be "SLIMEWORLD". Other rumors about NEC buying into American computer companies (and possibly into Atari Corporation) have also been traced to the April agreement by AT&T and NEC to support each other in chip design and production. While this agreement does not preclude further NEC activity, the actual agreements with AT&T parallel those that have been rumored regarding Atari. ================================= WORLD OF ATARI Vs.GLENDALE: AGAIN ================================= Z*Net News Service World of Atari show promoter and ST WORLD magazine publisher Richard Tsukiji has announced that he plans to hold another of his WOA shows in San Jose, California, in August 1990. GLENDALE show organizer John King Tarpinian is concerned, as his show dates for the user-group sponsored "Southern California Atari Faire Version 4.0b" are September 15 and 16, 1990. Last year, that annual and very popular show was canceled due to this same scenario, with Tsukiji short-scheduling a competing San Jose show only weeks away from the Glendale date. San Jose is 400 miles up the California coast, and neighbors San Francisco and Atari's headquarters of Sunnyvale. At the time, Tsukiji's move was seen by critics as an open challenge to user shows. Developers had to make hard choices about which California show to give their time and effort, and the issue of commercial competition with user groups shows was widely debated. Both Glendale and the WOA shows were ultimately cancelled, and both sponsors lost money and wasted effort. Hard feelings on the part of many California users and some developers are still apparent by comments and attendance at the WOA Disneyland show in April, 1990. This repeat performance of the scheduling conflict is seen by some as a deliberate attempt to again thwart the user-group show at Glendale. This year, Tarpinian has said that this time he will not cancel Glendale, and adds that his show date has been known to Atari and Tsukiji since last Summer. Atari has committed to supporting the Glendale show, and now must decide whether to support or even to allow the newly scheduled WOA to occur, literally in their own Sunnyvale back yard. Atari is aware that to do so may seriously damage both the Glendale effort and user group relations in general. Before his Disneyland show this year and before his announcement of new show dates, Tsukiji had been informed by Atari that he should not attempt to schedule any shows within 30 days of any other Atari show commitment, and that he ought to give a minimum of 120 prior notice of his show dates to Manager of User Group Services, Bob Brodie. Tsukiji has avoided Bob after having implied that Bob was trying to sabotage the Disneyland show by failing to persuade user groups to support that show with volunteer efforts. Tsukiji, a private businessman promoting Atari shows for profit, has not yet held a WOA show without Atari supplying him many thousands of dollars of equipment for booths, advertising, and personnel. He has also announced plans for a Boston area show. For information on the Glendale show, call John at (818) 246-7286. =============================== MORE ON ATARI EXPLORER =============================== Z*Net News Service Readers have begun to receive their subscription issues of the March/ April issue of ATARI EXPLORER, bearing the label of SPRING rather than the dates. This is the revised issue, Atari having removed articles that they considered to be derogatory to them. Atari Corp owns Explorer, and after seeing an editorial and a commentary by Editor Betsy Staples and co-editor David Ahl that criticized Atari, fired the entire Explorer staff in March. Instead of Staples' editorial explaining why the issue was late (which went into details of Atari failing to pay for the printing of ATARIAN magazine), a new editorial by former technical editor John Jainschigg appears. However, the table of contents for the issue still bears the Staples title and byline. Since the firings, the future of Explorer has been up in the air. Atari's Vice President of Marketing and Advertising (who fired the old staff) made a public statement that Explorer would continue, and announced "plans to enhance the ATARI EXPLORER magazine" following "necessary actions taken to relocate the operation closer to headquarters in Sunnyvale, California." Rumor had it that John Jainschigg was the leading candidate for editor of Explorer, particularly after his editorial replaced Staples' in the revised issue. Atari reportedly approached Larry Flynt Publications, former publishers of ANALOG and ST-LOG, with an offer to have them take over Explorer, but Flynt turned the opportunity down. ST-WORLD magazine publisher and World of Atari show promoter Richard Tsukiji is also said to have made a bid for producing the magazine for Atari. However, at the Atari shareholder meeting on May 15, Jim Fisher was announced as the new Editor of Explorer. No information regarding production staff has yet been made public. =============================== Z*NET NEWSWIRE =============================== COMMODORE NAMES WILLIAM SYDNES GM Commodore appointed William Sydnes to General Manager of PC compatible products, in charge of research and development for new PC compatible computers. Sydnes is recognized as having been instrumental in the development of the personal computer industry. During the early 1980s at IBM, Sydnes managed development of the IBM PC from concept through production including the architecture for numerous follow on products such as the XT and AT using state-of-the-art technologies. PROBLEM WITH CABLE ROUTING ON T1000SE DISK DRIVE Toshiba announced late last week that a potential disk drive cable malfunction on some of its early T1000SE notebook-size portable PCs. The problem, which has been eliminated in all current models, could occur after prolonged use of the PC as the result of the routing of the cable to the disk drive. Potentially affected units are those with serial numbers starting with the following three digits: 010, 020, 030, 040 and 129. Owners of the specified portables are asked to call Toshiba at 1-800-999-4CSD for instructions on how to inspect and correct the cable routing if needed. Customers also can take their units to an ASP, located by calling 1-800-334-3445, for inspection and correction at no charge. NINTENINITIS Nintendo video games may create health problems for people who play them for hours at a time. Doctors in Boston made this announcement earlier this week. In one case, a 13-year-old girl who spent three hours playing Super Mario Brothers suffered an epileptic seizure apparently brought on by the flickering patterns, exploding lights and rapid movements on the video screen. Dr. Edward Hart of Franciscan Children's Hospital said the girl appears to suffer a rare form of photosensitive epilepsy that affects 2 percent to 3 percent of epilepsy patients. A similar case was reported in England involving a video game called Dark Warrior. In another case in Wisconsin, a 35-year-old woman who played Nintendo without interruption for five hours experienced severe pain the following day in the thumb she used to press the button operating the game. Dr. Richard Brasington of the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin said the pain went away after several days of treatment with an over-the- counter pain killer and abstinence from video games. The doctor went on to say, "I suggest that this sports-related injury be called "Nintendinitis". WALT DISNEY CO. RELEASES STATEMENT The following is the official statement of The Walt Disney Co. on the death of Jim Henson: Michael Eisner, Frank Wells and all who work at The Walt Disney Co. are profoundly shocked and saddened by the untimely death of Jim Henson. The world has lost a creative genius and a warm and gentle man. We grieve with his family and share their great loss. We vow to do all that we can to see that the extraordinary legacy of this great friend and colleague will live on. Also passing this week were entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. and Jill Ireland, both of cancer. GENIE'S "DESIGN TO PRINT ROUNDTABLE" GEnie has added a RoundTable devoted to addressing the technical and professional needs of desktop publishers and the electronic publishing community. The Design To Print RoundTable is for anyone who is interested in graphic design and illustration, electronic editorial communication, or production technology and publishing systems. The new Roundtable will include: a library of graphic elements, design samples and publishing copy placed into the public domain; information about products, user groups and industry organizations; and also a series of tutorials on design and production techniques, and hardware/ software support. COMPUTER TAX DIES New York's proposed tax on computer services and software is virtually dead. The tax had been opposed by virtually every professional and commercial group in the state. Among other arguments by opponents was one pointing out that some affected firms were making immediate plans to move their billing offices to New Jersey. Such a move avoids New York's new tax, but it would also deprive the state of any other revenues from these firms. NINTENDO GIVES MIT GRANT Nintendo is giving $3 million to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study how video games might be used to teach children. MIT is not obligated to develop video games for Nintendo, but the Japanese company is depending on the Media Lab research to create ideas that independent designers may turn into profit-producing game cartridges, whether instructional or not. MOTOROLA UNVEILS NEW CHIP Motorola introduced a new 68HC001 which is intended for use in laser printers, telecommunications, factory automation, automobiles, consumer electronics and so forth. Motorola also announced new surface-mount packaging for microprocessors and peripherals in the 68000 family. AT&T TO LOWER LD RATES ATT has filed a plan with the FCC to lower interstate and international rates by an average 2.5 percent for direct-dial calls placed between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., Sunday through Friday. If approved by the FCC, the new rates will take effect July 1. 908 COMING SOON New Jersey will soon be adding another area code the present two in service. The 201 area which covers north and central New Jersey will be divided and 908 will cover all central areas. The area code change is already beginning to take effect and will become permanent January 1, 1991. SPINNAKER POSTS $1.4 MILLION LOSS Spinnaker has posted a $1.4 million net loss for the quarter ended March 31. In 1989 Spinnaker had a net profit of $29,093. Sales for the quarter fell to $3 million from $2.4 million a year ago. =============================== Z*NET DOWN-UNDER =============================== by Jon Clarke Snippets and gossip -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- From England this week comes the rumour that Atari is going to develop a hand held ST compatible computer. Rumours for have been circulating for sometime now about a new A4 sized version of the 'Portfolio' with 80826 technology. How ever it is now thought that this machine will be in fact ST compatible. Ashton-Tait are about to release Dbase IV version 1.1 very soon with all the bugs that acurred in DBase IV version 1 fixed. On the 30th of May the telecommunication Giants of 'AT&T' and Australias 'OTC' will join forces to give Australian users access to USA based SDSN (switched digital service network) opening the way to true ISDN (Integrated service digital network) applications. An Introduction to Modems : --------------------------- Modem commands ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I thought it might be nice to look at the modem commands this week. Instead of all the jargon, I have tried to turn it into 'English'. This way all the budding modem users will not have to make a call to their friends to ask what "AT" means. I hope this helps. +------+-------------------------+------------------------------------+ | CMD | Command Means | Means in English | +------+-------------------------+------------------------------------+ +------+-------------------------+------------------------------------+ | AT | Attention Modem. | Hey Modem here comes a command. | +------+-------------------------+------------------------------------+ | I | Identification | Hey Modem, what are you???? | | &F | Reset to Factory Specs. | Hey Modem, remember your Birthday! | | &W | Write to Modem Ram | Hey Modem, Remember this! | | Z | Use Internal settings | Hey Modem, Do what I said! | | D | Dial a Number | Hmm, let's call someone interesting| | B | Set the Modem Speed | Ok lets speed up.ATB2, Thats Better| | M | Turn the speaker on/off | Hey modem BE QUITE. ATM0, Ahhh. | | V | Response mode | Speak to me "OK", or "0". | | X | Extended response mode | Tell me you have "Connected" | | H | Hang up, off Hook | Ok lets Hang up. Prepare to call | | S | Status registers | Hmm lets get into the nitty gritty | +------+-------------------------+------------------------------------+ | SET BAUD RATE | +------+-------------------------+------------------------------------+ | B0 | Set to 300/1200/2400 | Hmm be safe set all the speeds | | B1 | Set 'Bell' 300/1200/2400| Sets up for Bell ONLY | | B2 | Set 1200/2400 | Hey this is the one WE USE | | B6 | Sets 1200 ONLY | Good one to use on Netcomm Pockets | | B8 | Sets 2400 ONLY | Use for a Netcomm 1234sa ONLY | +------+-------------------------+------------------------------------+ | SET STATUS REGISTERS | +------+-------------------------+------------------------------------+ | S0 | Turn Auto Answer on/off | Stop the phone from Answering | | S7 | Wait for carrier <sec> | Hey connect me in 30 sec's or Else | | S9 | Wait for CD <sec> | Ok where is the Carrier Detect | +------+-------------------------+------------------------------------+ Some sample commands. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AT&F <- Reset the modem, 'whamo' ATB0 <- Set the speed of our modem to 300/1200/2400 ATM1 <- Lets turn the speaker on so we can hear the dial ATDT 12345 <- Lets 'tone dial' the phone number 12345 +++ ATH0 <- Ok now we are on-line lets hang up. Ok that was the most common 'Hayes' commands now a little on what the lights mean. How many times have you dialed up and seen you lights flash on and off, and wondered what they meant? O=Light +---------------------+ | O O O O O O ' ' ' | <- Modem Front | T R O C D A | Panel +---------------------+ Modem Lights ------------ TD Transmit Data, Send data to host computer RD Receive Data, Get data from host computer OH Off Hook, phone is off the hook, ready to dial CD Carrier Detect, the modem has connected to the host DT(R) Data terminal Ready, the computers hooked into the AA Auto Answer, The modem will answer a call If you have the oppitunity to get a modem, 'go for it' and discover the fascinating world of the "Global village". =============================== Z*NET BBS REPRINTS =============================== Ctsy Z*Net Online BBS (201) 968-8148 Message : 1123 [Open] 5-12-90 9:13am From : Richard Guadagno To : All Subject : Poolfix4 Sig(s) : 4 (Atari News) From: apratt@atari.UUCP (Allan Pratt) Wed Apr 25 16:24:52 1990 Path: njin!rutgers!apple!portal!atari!apratt From: apratt@atari.UUCP (Allan Pratt) Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: POOLFIX4: my reactions Message-ID: <2176@atari.UUCP> Date: 25 Apr 90 20:24:52 GMT Organization: Atari Corp., Sunnyvale CA Lines: 31 Chris Evelo of the University of Limburg in The Netherlands wrote me to ask if I objected to Claus Brod's naming of his patched POOLFIX program. I would like to take this opportunity to make my feelings on the subject known publicly: Yes, I object to Mr. Brod's naming of the patch. There is a world of difference between something released by Atari and something patched by a hacker and loosed on the world. The confusion caused by his choice of names is inexcusable. Not only did he add a little functionality (the XBRA fix), he also claims to have "improved" the code. That is unconscionable. Certainly there could be room for improvement: the code is the output of the Alcyon C compiler, after all. I put greater value on getting it right than on getting it small. But would YOU trust his "improvements"? I wouldn't. In general, it's possible to make semantically equivalent transformations on assembly code, but "hand- optimizing" the code can also introduce bugs. My moral (and corporate and legal!) position on this is not reduced by the fact that I released two non-working versions of this patch before I got it right. POOLFIX4 is a derivative work from an Atari program, and that program was NOT placed in the public domain. In the future, I will be more diligent in putting copyright messages on programs like this. To have hacked POOLFIX is not especially irresponsible; to have added XBRA so it would work with his code might even be useful; to have named it as he did, however, is unpardonable. ============================================ Opinions expressed above do not necessarily-- Allan Pratt, Atari Corp. reflect those of Atari Corp. or anyone else. ...ames!atari!apratt Message : 1115 [Open] 5-10-90 12:09am From : John King To : All Subject : Viruses Sig(s) : 1 (General) I decided to check a few of my disks for viruses... and guess what? SIGNUM VIRUS. (alias Key Virus, or Type 1 virus). I suggest all of you download VKILLER.ARC which I just uploaded. It is version 3.10 of ST Virus Killer, and is excellent. Although the author says it's free, he also says he will accept contributions. I think I should send him something. (And you should, too.) CHECK YOUR DISKS FOR VIRUSES NOW. If you don't have VKILLER.PRG, or at least something like it, download it from this BBS. (BTW, the Signum virus was on between 10 and 20 of my disks. Some of my disks went back a few MONTHS!!! ---my online capture buffers from a while ago had the virus. Who knows how long I had it before I decided to check. Don't be like me. Check all your disks now, and do it every time you Download something or get a PD disk or even get a disk from someone else.) ========================== ALMOST JUMPED SHIP (GASP!) ========================== by Tom Molnar (Reprinted from the Puget Sound Atari News, May 1990) I am constantly searching for new reading material which will make me a better and more informed ST user. I'm sure everyone is aware of the demise of several ST periodicals in the recent past, so my search gets tougher as time goes on. In one of the more unlikely places, I've found some pretty good information and coverage of the ST. There's a PC oriented monthly called Computer Shopper which has a section devoted to our beloved machine, albeit small as it is. They also maintain areas for the Mac, Amiga, Unix, etc.. The main thrust of the magazine, however, is IBM compatibles and the mail order sale thereof. In the process of reading this telephone book sized magazine on a monthly basis, I began to read some of the other stuff as well. After all, I'd never had any real exposure to the MS-DOS world and felt maybe I should. Here it all was, right in the same magazine as my ST articles. While I used to stand in the magazine section of the supermarket and read the two or three ST articles while my wife finished the shopping, I now was bringing the darn thing home. After reading the PC articles, and beginning to get some slight understanding of the MS-DOS world, I started reading the ads from the myriad mail order houses which make up the bulk of the content. Before long, I was thinking in terms of perhaps getting one of these business world machines. After all, they are now running the 386 chip at up to 33mhz, which is a good four times faster than my stock 1040ST. They are touting multi-scan 1024 by 768 VGA color. They can now use the mouse. They have windows programs. You can get many megabytes of RAM installed in your new machine. Hard drives are C H E A P compared to what it will cost me to get one for my ST. Everything is neat and compact; all in one housing. No external modems, floppy drives, or hard disks. No more wiring headaches. One look behind my computer desk calls up memories of a tour of a spaghetti factory. Yep, I was ready for a change. Of course, I wasn't going to sell my ST. I would just keep it for games, and to run my private little BBS. Even my wife was almost willing to go along with me on this one. With the new "business machine", I could learn dBase and actually make some money developing custom programming for local area businesses. Why, I could even get a tax write off for it! My ST friends all thought I was crazy. One of my best ST buddies works on PC's all day long in his job and swore he'd never OWN one! "They're Neanderthal", he said. "Sure, they're getting faster by the week, but it'll take you weeks, maybe months to get familiar with DOS. And THEN you won't have anything near what you've got now!" His final suggestion was that I get a hard drive, maybe a RAM upgrade, and enjoy using one of the easiest, most advanced machines around. I had done some serious pricing of various machines, configured the way I wanted. I decided it would cost me somewhere around $2500. Not too bad. Then I realized something else. I'd have my lightning fast 386 all ready to go - and nowhere to go TO. You need a DOS program before you can even think about loading any other program - of any kind. Unlike the Atari (which gives you the operating system in ROM, or even in early machines, came free on a disk), you have to buy the operating system. A lot of dealers will give you a copy of DOS with your purchase, but not all of them will. Ok, now I have DOS. Now what? You don't get "386 Writer" free, or Basic, or Megaroids, or Neochrome, or anything free with your machine. Some dealers include a couple programs with your purchase, but very few go past free DOS. So what? Well, now that I've invested $2500+, I still can't do anything with the machine. I need a word processor; I want dBase; a spreadsheet. You want a mouse? That'll cost $70-140! Do you want a bus mouse, or a serial mouse? Wha? You say you want windows? Sure, but that's another $130. How about DeskView for $80? dBase for $400 is a GREAT price! You can have Wordstar or Word Perfect (both premium word processors) for just over $200. After adding up all these necessities, it occurred to me that my reasonably priced 386 screamer was now easily topping the three grand mark, and no longer affordable. The more I looked at (and used) my trusty ST, the more I rekindled my love affair with it. It came with windows; it came with a mouse (and who cares if it's a bus or a serial?); it came with a "deskview", although not multitasking. But most of all, it's here NOW, and it's paid for!!! I have desktop publishing software. I have two word processors, a spreadsheet, a data manager, two telecommunications programs, a BBS up and running. I've got uncounted utilities, two paint programs and more games than I care to admit to. My ST is SO easy to use it's almost frightening. While true PC power users and old time hackers swear by CLI's (Command Line Interfaces), I prefer the ease and simplicity of my mouse (which I've heard referred to as "wimp mode"). When the subject of User Friendly comes up, they MUST be talking about the Atari ST. THE affordable computer with affordable software. So here I am, after nearly abandoning my first computer love, asking for forgiveness and realizing that I almost made a tragic mistake. Someday I will no doubt move into the PC market again and actually buy one of those things, but not until they've caught up to my truly "User Friendly" Atari 1040ST! =============================== TRACKER ST UPDATE =============================== Press Release Step Ahead Software is pleased to announce the availability of v2.02 of Tracker/ST, the premier mailing list/mail merge/person tracking software for the Atari ST. This update is FREE to all registered owners of Tracker/ST. "This is a GREAT program and it has cut my mail list time by over half...Just wish I would have had this program a couple of years back." --B.R.G., Texas Changes in this version of Tracker/ST include: --Elimination of two small bugs reported by our users. --Addition of the ability to search by Company name while in the QuickLetter area of Tracker/ST. --Additional filter command allows the user to print a report, label or mail merge to an alphabetical range of _Companies_. Previously, the alphabetical range ("Everyone between the letters of C and G") could be performed only on last names. (Of course, this version of Tracker/ ST still has all its other powerful filtering commands, such as selecting by category, rank, company, state, zip code range, keyword, date, source, country, etc, etc, etc..!) --A slight change to the automatic mail-merge building process for more pleasant page layout. This upgrade is FREE to all registered users. Simply send your original Tracker/ST disk to: Step Ahead Software, Inc. 496-A Hudson Street, Suite F39 New York City, NY 10014 212-627-5830 Registered owners of Tracker/ST who have a GEnie account may receive their upgrade by GEnie e-mail. Please send a note to NEVIN-S on GEnie (or drop a public message in Category 6, Topic 23) if you would like your upgrade sent to you by e-mail. (We MUST have your registration card of file for you to be eligible for e-mail upgrading.) "I am really impressed with the excellent service your company is offering." --J.M., Texas If you have not already done so, please SEND IN YOUR REGISTRATION CARD. We are preparing the first issue of our Quarterly Newsletter and we can't send you a copy if we don't know who you are..! Nevin Shalit Step Ahead Software, Inc. =============================== Z*NET NEWSLETTER GROUPS =============================== The following is a listing of groups subscribing to the monthly Z*Net newsletter supplement. These groups have been mailed the June 1990 issue. Group City State ============================================= CHAOS/GENESSE Lansing Michigan MVACE Dayton Ohio JACG Roselle New Jersey ABACUS San Fransisco California ACAOC F.Valley California ACORN Rochester New York MACC Ellicott Maryland WACO North Hunt Pennslyvania PCACUG Eldorado Panama LUST Ontario Canada HACE Houston Texas SPACE/MAST New Bright Minnesota SLAPP Ontario Canada PSAN Tarcoma Washington CVACC Akron Ohio KAUG Powell Tennessee CACE Cleveland Ohio MACC Manitoba Canada JACS Clementon New Jersey RIACE Providence Rhode Island MACE Rosanna Australia MAGUG Warner Robbins Georgia These groups represent 4,500 Atari users around the world. If your group is interested in more information call 201-968-2024 today or call the Z*Net BBS at 201-968-8148. =============================== COMPUSERVE PORTFOLIO CONTEST =============================== From May 15th to July 15th, 1990, the Atari Portfolio Forum will sponsor a Programming Contest with the winners receiving the prizes listed below. One winner will be selected per individual category along with a runner up. Winners will be selected from the files uploaded into Library 16, "CONTEST LIBRARY" of the Atari Portfolio Forum. The files submitted for the contest must have the specific categories for entry listed in the file description. Persons may enter and win in more than one category, however a program can only be entered into one category. Although the author shall retain any copyrights to their entry, all winning files shall be considered 'publicly distributable files' and may be made available for downloading from CompuServe. The contest categories and prizes are listed below. Categories: The Best Entertainment Program: any game program written for the PORTFOLIO Computer. The Best Database Program: any program that can classify and sort information by any number of parameters and presents it in a useable manner. This category will include 'to-do listers' and even outliners. The Best Utility/Application Program: any program that helps make your PORTFOLIO more useful. This includes utility programs or specific application programs. Prizes: The winner in each category will receive the following prizes: * $100 connect time credit from CompuServe to be applied to the CompuServe account that was used to upload the winning entry. * DOS UTILITIES ROM Card for the PORTFOLIO donated by Atari Corporation (Retail Value $80). The DOS UTILITIES is a ROM card based collection of powerful utility functions for Atari Portfolio users. Over 78k of versatile files are permanently available on a card which never requires a battery replacement. The 22 utilities are of particular value for those who write and use batch files with popular commands known in other MS-DOS environments and some new ones. Each function offers extended features for using the Portfolio and enables users to customize their system so it works bets for them. Also, included is a 110-page manual with descriptions, syntax, and examples for each command. * Leather PCpouch donated by Caseworks, Inc. (Retail Value $50) This handsome glove leather carrying case is designed to protect the Portfolio from the rigors of day to day travel. It is specially equipped with an elastic pocket to hold the computer plus elastic bands for inserting 3 AA batteries. The case contains compartments to hold three memory cards, all in a size not much bigger than the Portfolio itself. A special 1/2" foam lining helps ensure that the computer and accessories are kept cool if left in direct sunlight. All sides are foam fitted to give its contents maximum protection from impact. The runner up in each category will receive a $50 connect time credit from CompuServe. The staff of the Atari Portfolio Forum will select the winners, which will be announced on August 1st, 1990. RULES: 1. The Atari Portfolio Forum Programming Contest is a skill-based contest for any member who has properly registered and joined the Atari Portfolio Forum on the CompuServe Information Service. Participation in this contest is open to residents of the United States. Employees of CompuServe Incorporated, H&R Block, Egret Associates Inc., CompuServe Information Providers, SysOps, GameOps, their affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, and immediate families are ineligible to win prizes. This contest may be discontinued at any time at the sole discretion of CompuServe Incorporated. The contest is subject to all local, state and federal regulations and is void where prohibited by law. All taxes are the sole responsibility of the winners. All files must be uploaded into the designated library. The categories in which the files are being entered should be included in the file's description. 2. From Tuesday, May 15th at 12:01 AM EST to Sunday, July 15th 11:59 EST members who meet the above eligibility requirements can enter the contest. The files should be uploaded into Library 16, "Contest Library," of the Atari Portfolio Forum. The specific categories for entry must be designated in the file's description. One winner will be named per category. 3. The Primary Forum Administrator and the Assistant Forum Administrators of the Atari Portfolio Forum will judge the entries. The decision of the judges is final and not reviewable by any other person, agency, or tribunal. Winners will be notified by CompuServe Mail on or about August 1st, 1990, and their names will be published online in the Atari Portfolio Forum. 4. This contest and prizes may be publicized outside the CompuServe Information Service. No prize may be exchanged, substituted, modified, or redeemed for cash. One prize per family, individual, household, or User ID number. Prizes are not transferable. Prizes won by entrants under the age of 18 will be awarded to the winner's parent or legal guardian. All prizes will be awarded and mailed to the winner's address contained in CompuServe's online records. By acceptance of their prizes, winners consent to publication of their names, likenesses, and/or User ID without further compensation for advertising or promotional purposes. Prizes not claimed after 21 days of the day of notification, for any reason whatsoever, will be forfeited. Prize winners may be required to execute an affidavit of eligibility and publicity release within 21 days of notification. Non-compliance within this time period will result in disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected if possible. 5. Prize winners will be required to provide CompuServe with their Social Security numbers by completing Federal Tax Form W-9 which will be mailed to all winners. Non-compliance within 21 days of receipt of the form will result in disqualification. The value of the prizes won in the Atari Portfolio Forum Programming Contest will be reported by CompuServe and other prize providers on Federal Tax Form 1099 for each individual awarded a total retail value of at least $600.00 in prizes during the tax year. =============================== COMPUSERVE CONTROL KEY GUIDE =============================== Compiled by SYSOP*Charles McGuinness 76701,11 Control = "^" Command Description ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ^A Stop at end of line (delayed ^S, sorta) ^B Type-ahead control C. "hits" when the program next asks for input. ^C Interrupt. Either kills the program outright or tosses it into an interrupt routine. ^D Disconnect. If you're direct connected to a node, this is the equivalent to hanging up. ^E ^F ^G Beep! Break character... ^H Backspace ^I Tab ^J Line feed. Break character ^K Vertical tab ^L Form feed ^M Return (Carriage Return or Enter) ^N ^O Disable/enable output toggle. Output is bit-bucketed until another ^O or the program explicitly turns it back on. (Note the SIG is very good at turning it back on just before prompts) ^P "soft" interrupt -- flushes output, sets a bit program can check. Like ^C, but gentler. ^Q Resume from ^S or ^A ^R ^S Suspend output ^T Use to give a job status in the old days, nothing now ^U Abort current line ^V Retype current line ^W Alternate version of ^Q ^X ^Y ^Z End of file. One of the fun ways to get a program to end occasionally, usually with messy tracebacks. The SIG program is immune, but there's always some program floating around that isn't careful enough. ======================================================================= ======================================================================= Z*Net Online Magazine is a weekly released publication covering the Atari community. Opinions and commentary presented are those of the individual authors and do not reflect those of Rovac Industries. Z*NET Z*NET ONLINE,Z*NET MECHANICS ONLINE MAGAZINE, Z*NET MAC ONLINE MAGAZINE are copyright 1990 by Rovac Industries. Reprint permission is granted as long as Z*NET ONLINE, Issue Number and author is included at the top of the article. Reprinted articles are not to be edited without permission. ======================================================================= ======================================================================= ZNET ONLINE The Original Atari Online Magazine Copyright (c)1990 Rovac Industries, Inc.. ======================================================================= -- Kevin Steele (aj205.Cleveland.Freenet.Edu) --
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