ST Report: 27-Jul-90 #630From: Len Stys (aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 08/25/90-10:25:46 AM Z
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From: aa399@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Len Stys) Subject: ST Report: 27-Jul-90 #630 Date: Sat Aug 25 10:25:46 1990 *---== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" _____________________________________ from STR Publishing Inc. """""""""""""""""" July 27, 1990 No.6.30 ======================================================================= STReport Online Magazine? 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 STReport Online Magazine and An International list of private BBS systems carrying STReport Online Magazine for their users enjoyment __________________________________________________________________ > 07/27/90: STReport? #6.30 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU REPORT - CPU STATUS REPORT - Customer is 1ST! - DreamPark - Stark BBS? - Apple Classic - 32Mhz TT030 - STR Confidential * DEVELOPER'S RECEIVING TT030 * REVOLVING DOOR BUSIER NOW * * UK COMPUTER CRACKING BILL BECOMES LAW * STe DMA NEWS * ========================================================================== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE "Only UP-TO-DATE News and Information" -* FEATURING *- Current Events, Up to Date News, Hot Tips, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ========================================================================== STReport'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? In the course of the past few weeks, we have had the benefit of witnessing a number of rather illuminating experiences in the ST community. From overzealous STR supporters, to the rude, crude retaliation against these supporters. Lately though, the uncanny reporting of paralleled items, though mostly out of phase, in most cases by at least, if not more than 180 degrees, is most interesting. Without a doubt, we realize that in this limited market there are only a certain number of stories, rumors, happenings and truths. As such, we as the reporters of these items must strive, at all times, to bring to you, the reader, the most accurate and truthful representations of these happenings as humanly possible. Granted, negative news or articles are not a pretty sight, but then neither is the reality of a rude awakening. The comfy practice of producing mostly non-controversial, pablum filled articles in a pseudo news, positive only, attitude is truly a 'no risk' situation for any publication. The downside is; the reader is severely 'short-changed', mislead and left with a false sense of well being concerning the state of the Atari community. Sure, there has been a great deal of clamoring by an 'organized few' who didn't care for the negative views (truths). Remember, they may attempt to kill the messenger however, they will never be able to kill the message. History has proven time and time again that the book burners always finish last if at all. At this time, STReport and its staff wishes to assure the readers that we will not succumb to direct or indirect pressures from any direction. As a result, the reader is assured we will NEVER offer sugar coated pablum or filler items or 'company-line, brain massaging' blurbs. We will remain a totally independent news and views source. While on the subject of Atari related magazine articles, there recently appeared an article in one of the hard copy magazines bemoaning the 'picking' on Atari. The author (a very well informed one) missed one vital point. NOWHERE was the Atari product line 'bashed' or proclaimed doomed by any publisher or editor. Only the impudent and equally incompetent leadership was rigorously criticized by all. In retrospect, had Atari enjoyed the executive brain power IBM had when it began in the computer fields, there is no doubt that Atari would be in far better condition now. That does not mean to say that Atari cannot rebound, they can and will. Besides, as always, the record clearly speaks for itself. Recently, STReport has been given the honor of being the online magazine that offers the "news with views" by one of our esteemed colleagues. This is an extremely accurate representation. STReport pursues this endeavor aggressively with great care and absolutely relishes the opportunity to do so. As is found with all reputable publications, they strive to have a distinct, recognizable format and presentation style in which they present themselves and take justifiable pride in doing so. This is known as 'style or character'. STReport prides itself in being the outspoken, thought provoking electronic publication it is. We have, since our becoming totally independent, been taking great strides in presenting to our readers the most up to date reporting of the news and the very latest in product and general information pertaining to and concerning the Atari userbase, ..good or bad. Of course, each issue has a personality of its own due to the generous sprinkling of views and opinions which, in many instances are those sent to us by the many readers of STReport. As always its a great pleasure to acknowledge our faithful readers and at this time, we would like to express our sincerest thanks to them for their strong support. Ralph........... *********************************************************************** > CPU REPORT? ========== Issue # 77 ---------- by Michael Arthur Remember When.... Atari started shipping TOS 1.6 with the STacy portable (the buggy version of TOS 1.6), and how in the course of events preceding the shipment of STacys with TOS 1.62, it was revealed that the STacy motherboard had EVERYTHING that the Atari STe motherboard had, except for SIMM Memory expansion Slots? And how Atari had failed to advertise, announce, or otherwise inform its long-suffering US userbase (who was clamoring for the release of the STe at the time of the STacy's introduction) that the "ST Portable" was, quite possibly, a portable version of the Atari STe? CPU INSIGHTS? ============= ATARI'S FUTURE, PERSONAL COMPUTING, AND WASTED POTENTIAL -------------------------------------------------------- While many things about Atari and its actions are debatable, one thing that is certain is the quality of its computer systems. Both Atari's Desktop STs (the 520/1040 ST/STE systems), and its Workstation Line (the ATW and the upcoming Atari TT), provide levels of price/performance seldom seen in the computer industry. But while Atari's potential for growth is STILL great, there is a veritable plethora of work to be done in order to rebuild Atari's position in the microcomputer industry. As it may be the most critical part (besides a LOT of good advertising for the Atari ST in the US) of such an effort, there is a lot of interest on what focus Atari will put on members of its product line. Therefore, in order to figure out what it may be, here are some possible ways that Atari's product line could be positioned for optimal results: EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES, ATARI, AND THE MACINTOSH CLASSIC -------------------------------------------------------- In 1985, when it was first introduced, the Atari ST was a paragon of computing, with a megabyte of RAM, the GEM operating environment, and the ability to access DOS disks, all in a package that truly provided "Power Without the Price". However now, with IBM's $1000.00 PS/1 computer aimed at the mass market arena, and with Apple preparing to seize the rest of the non-DOS personal computer market with the Macintosh Classic, Atari must consider new ways to survive in the computer industry.... There is also a crisis in today's schools concerning computer literacy. Statistics have shown that there is sometimes only 1 system available for every 30-50 students in American schools, and that the level of educational software is often shabby, at best. Disturbingly, this results in that elementary and high-school students get VERY little exposure to the world of computing, and that what they DO get won't begin to help them when they go out into today's increasingly computerized society. Also, while today's software (not to mention the future) runs on graphical user interfaces, almost none of the "computer literacy" programs have the equipment necessary to explore this field.... Since the Atari STe (and especially the Atari Advantage program) is aimed at the low end of the market, and given the needs of the Educational market, it seems that Atari would have a PERFECT market in this field. But how schools could benefit from the Atari STe, and how could Atari benefit from actively marketing the Atari STe in this area? With the severe lack of computer-related funding available to our schools, many computer literacy programs haven't been able to buy the number of computers necessary to fuel their students' desire for learning, and have searched for the most economical alternative. Before, the only choices were obsolete Apple IIs and PC Clones, which remain inadequate for students' needs, to say the least. Also, since most schools can't afford the cost of much educational software out for the PC or Apple II, many "computer literacy" programs are little more than courses in BASIC or "How to Use dBASE I". And BASIC won't help America's future leaders compete in the world of tomorrow. Fortunately, much of the productivity software available for the ST is affordable enough for most schools, and there is a lot of quality Educational Software out for the ST, all of which could be very useful to today's students. While Apple Corporation (which had $5 billion in sales last year) was virtually built on its sales to the educational market, Apple has now lost a LOT of ground in this field to PC Clones. Since the Atari ST is far more capable than current low-end computer solutions, while having a lesser cost, Atari has a golden opportunity for growth in the educational market at the present time. But the window of opportunity is quickly closing.... Apple is preparing to introduce a line of low-end Macintoshes in September 1990. Reportedly called the Macintosh Classic, this line is expected to consist of two basic machines: - A Mac with a 16 MHZ 68000, 1 Meg of RAM, 1 Mac SE Expansion Slot, and a 1.44 Megabyte disk drive for $1500 without a monochrome monitor. (Color Quickdraw support requires a 68020 or 68030) - A Mac with a 16 MHZ 68020, up to 3 NuBus slots, 2 Megs of RAM, a 1.44 Megabyte Disk Drive, and a built in hard drive, for less than $3000 without a color monitor. Many industry analysts have shown that, because of the Macintosh's reputation in the computer industry, Apple could gain a significant amount of market share (estimated by some at 500,000 additional users in a year's time) when it begins marketing the "Macintosh Classic" in earnest. Since IBM has now introduced its 80286-based PS/1 personal computer, targeting it towards the home consumer market, Atari will have to explore new avenues in order to survive in the months and years to come. While IBM's PS/1 may create much interest in personal computing at the home consumer market, tradition has shown that the home consumer market does not readily accept a product (read: it doesn't achieve the status of a widely available home appliance) until it is priced at the $400 - $800 dollar level. Interestingly, while IBM's PS/1 has an entry level cost of $1000.00, the Atari 1040 STe costs $800.00. And Atari itself has said that the Atari Advantage system (with an Atari 520 STe) would be priced at the $400 - $600 price range. However, one thing that is absolutely VITAL for gaining ANY sales in the US home consumer market is heavy advertising. And IBM and Apple are planning lots of their own for the Christmas buying season.... THE 68030 TT, ST UPGRADES, AND THE FUTURE OF ATARI -------------------------------------------------- VME Bus Architecture, 512K TOS ROMs, 1280*960 graphics, 68882 math chip support, SIMM RAMs, Appletalk, and a 68030 chip. With all this and more, the Atari TT is truly Atari's best shot at the middle/high-end of the microcomputer industry. Aimed towards the growing "personal workstation" market, it has great possibilities for both Atari, the ST Userbase, and the computer industry itself. The TT which we will first see is the TT030/2, or 2 Meg Atari TT. It will initially be most popular among personal computing enthusiasts and the remaining base of ST Owners who wish to take advantage of the TT's capabilities. It won't have enough memory to run Atari Unix, but since the TT will use SIMM RAMs (for easy memory expansion), upgrading to Unix potential should be simplicity itself, once Atari makes it available. Some of Atari's branches in Europe recently revealed the wonderful news that there would be a version of the TT030/2 with a 32 MHZ 68030, and that it would cost only $3200.00 in US currency, with a color Multisync monitor. This would not only pose a deadly threat to the Commodore Amiga 3000, but would place Atari at the vanguard of the personal computing market. Since the 16 MHZ version of the 68030 TT is already undergoing FCC testing, Atari will probably introduce a 16 MHZ TT030 in the US at first. It would be logical that, since a 32 MHZ TT (with monitor) would cost around $4000 in the US, that Atari could profit well from marketing a 16 MHZ TT (without a monitor included) in the US in the $2500 - $3000 price range.... As promises of the 68030 TT and STacy entered the minds of the US ST Userbase, the question of Computer upgrades became an important issue among the ST Users' Online Community. Since Apple and IBM had maintained upgrades in the past which were both profitable to them and their userbase, many wondered why Atari would not also do this. However, Atari maintained that it would not be profitable for them to do so. Given that the 68030 TT and STacy's minimum price is or will be $2500 - $3000, it would be most beneficial if current ST Users were able to trade in their computers for a reduced price on these systems. Surprisingly, an Atari upgrade policy is not only feasible, but potentially profitable if it applied to the 68030 TT and STacy, for these reasons: - Since Atari probably will sell the Atari TT to dealers for around $1800, Atari could make a healthy profit by offering an upgrade policy for the STacy and TT line. And if current ST Users are willing to pay reasonable upgrade fees to trade-in their current computers to the 68030 TT and STacy, then it would be in the best interests of Atari to make such an upgrade policy available, since the customer would be saving money and replacing his/her "old" computer in the process. - Atari would "convert" the ST Userbase to the Atari STE and TT more quickly, meaning that good software would be developed for them a LOT faster than otherwise possible.... Since this policy could possibly hurt dealers, one way to reconcile Atari's commitment to ST dealers with a desire to implement an ST Upgrade policy would be to have ST Dealers implement their own policies for trading in old computers for STacys and 68030 TT's, and for Atari to buy back these old STs from Dealers at a low cost. Atari could then either resell ST's through Mail Order, donate them to a worthy charity to get tons of free publicity, or some other useful purpose. In addition, a good upgrade policy would help soothe the bitterness of the US ST Userbase towards Atari's past actions, so Atari has everything to gain by implementing an ST Upgrade Policy which would help both Dealers, the ST Userbase, and Atari itself.... "Advertising is like an addiction - once you start you can't stop...." Sam Tramiel, President of Atari With Elie Kenan's coming at Atari Corporation, let us all fervently hope and dutifully pray that the attitude exemplified by the above quote does not last at Atari. For if this "attitude" does not last, Atari could play a dominant role in the personal computer market in the 1990s. And we ALL know the consequences of Atari's present attitude towards marketing the ST effectively in the US.... CPU Systems Roundup? XXXV ========================= IBM, PENMANSHIP, AND PEN-BASED COMPUTING ON GO ---------------------------------------------- IBM has recently made a string of announcements which will have a significant impact on the field of pen-based computing. With pen-based computers, a person uses an electronic stylus as an input device, writing on a digitizing tablet. The tablet senses the stylus, and traces the path that the stylus takes as the person is writing on it. The shape of this path is then analyzed by a handwriting recognition system, which translates it into ordinary text. A major goal of researchers in this field has been the perfection of real-time handwriting recognition, so pen-based computers can recognize what is being written by a person AS the person is writing it. Before, these systems could only recognize handprinted characters if each letter was in a separate box on the screen. IBM scientists have announced a new system, called the Paperlike Interface, which can recognize real-time handprinted characters without requiring that each letter be in a separate "digital box". IBM's ultimate goal (and the Holy Grail of this entire field) is the computer recognition of natural cursive writing. Which, viewing from my own cursive writing, will NEVER be reached.... IBM has also announced that it has licensed the pen-based operating system used by GO Corporation's pen-based computers. GO Corp. is one of the largest makers of pen-based computers, and IBM's announcement has helped prompt companies like Borland, Lotus, and WordPerfect to begin developing software for GO's proprietary operating system for handling the input of pen-based computers. Interestingly enough, the immediate result of IBM's announcement may be an implied rejection of Microsoft's plans for supporting support for pen-based computing as an extension to DOS. Pen-based computing, while it may never reach the goal of "making a computer as easy to use as writing on a piece of paper", will be useful for a number of applications. For example, many handicapped computer users (for whom using a computer mouse is VERY difficult), and survey takers (like the recent Census officials) could benefit from this emerging technology. Interestingly, much of the focus on pen-based computing has been on providing a better way of helping computer-illiterate people and "computerphobes" become accustomed to using computers.... CPU INSIGHTS ============ 32 MHZ 68030 TTs, and Notes from Atari Netherlands -------------------------------------------------- As part of its Release of the specifications of the 32 MHZ 68030 TT, Atari Netherlands made available some additional information, which reveals some interesting facts concerning both the TT's compatibility with ST applications, and its eventual delivery date. ------------------------------- Message : 16517 [Open] 6-17-90 11:00pm From : Sysop Wilfred To : Fred Appelman (x) Subject : #16466 TT op 32 MHZ? Sig(s) : 9 (Portfolio) There are 3 replies <Atari Netherlands' Specifications' Release deleted, because it previously appeared in ST Report> Delivering: The first 6 machines are delivered to major software developers in the Netherlands and Belgium. Already 12 machines are delivered to Germany. The first real production is expected in August. Mass production is expected in September. Price Dfl 6500 (US Price - $3200.00), incl. MULTI-SYNC VGA color monitor. Remarks: ------- ST software (without adjustment) runs 5-7 times faster. After optimalisation runs at least 10x faster. FAST RAM is only used by the processor and by the SCSI/DMA port. SCSI transfer via TT RAM gives 20% more HD speed than via ST RAM. Software in FAST RAM is faster too. In fast (TT) RAM we use burst-mode fill to fill the cache quickly, in ST RAM we do something smart with the 64 bit arrays used for the video logic. ST RAM is 32 bits but is accessed with 64 bits by the video logic. If there is no TT RAM, the SCSI controller also works with ST RAM. Software is loaded in TT RAM by using a utility like MAKEFAST in TOS 1.4. Two bits are set in the file header to indicate the program is to be loaded in TT RAM. Compatibility tests have given must better results than expected, although some programs had to be changed. It was remarkable how many programs run without any change. Some of the programs DID use the new features of the TT right away. If a program didn't run, lots of times it was enough to switch to ST video mode to solve the problem. TT TOS is called TOS 3.0 and is functional equal to TOS 1.6 with some extensions for the new hardware of the TT. The rest you have to read in the magazines (The dutch magazines) which will be in the shop soon. ------------------------------- CPU MacNews? =========== ASHTON TATE SELLS DBASE MAC, PLANS MAC VERSION OF DBASE IV ---------------------------------------------------------- Ashton-Tate has announced its sale of the rights to its dBASE Mac database software to New Era Software Group, a Macintosh software developer. On August 15, New Era will support current dBASE Mac Users, and gain the rights to distribute and support dBASE Mac everywhere except in Japan, where Ashton-Tate will market dBASE Mac. Ashton-Tate reportedly did this in order to fully develop its upcoming port of dBASE IV to the Macintosh. Later this year, New Era Software will be shipping an update to dBASE Mac which will include compatibility with System Software 7.0, among other things. At this time, New Era will change the database software's name to nuBase Mac, in order to eliminate any confusion (and association) with Ashton-Tate's products. New Era plans to make nuBase Mac more of an object-oriented database system which relies heavily on the Mac user interface, while dBASE IV for the Macintosh (Ashton-Tate's port of dBASE IV) will be geared towards maintaining compatibility with other versions of dBASE IV.... > CPU STATUS REPORT <<<<< LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS >>>>> ================= - Cedar Rapids, IA COMPUTER "VIRUCIDE" EDUCATES PC USERS ---------------- Parsons Software has recently introduced a new DOS virus detector program, called ViruCide. Written by John McAfee, a renowned expert on computer viruses, ViruCide can automatically detect and alert you to the presence of almost all types of PC Viruses, and also eradicates any viruses present in memory before it scans a disk. Cost: $50.00. What makes the ViruCide package unique is what it does to PREVENT virus attacks. John McAfee (who is also the president of a major industry consortium serving as a "computer virus watchdog") and Parsons Software are bundling a free copy of McAfee's book, "Computer Viruses, Worms, Data Diddlers, Killer Programs, and Other Threats To Your System", with every copy of ViruCide. With this book, Parsons Software hopes that ViruCide can not only prevent viruses, but help educate PC users on how to prevent such programs from invading/damaging their systems. Parsons Software can be reached at 1-800-779-6000.... - San Francisco, CA PACIFIC BELL STARTS HEALTH PROGRAM FOR VDT USERS ----------------- Pacific Bell has begun an $8 million dollar campaign to minimize the physical stress and strain caused by working at video display terminals (VDTs), or computers. Over 45,000 of Pacific Bell's 61,000 employees use VDTs on a daily basis, and the cost in sick leave, eye problems, and other health problems related to regular work in front of a VDT are estimated to be FAR greater than $8 million.... As part of this two-year campaign, Pacific Bell will install new adjustable furniture (like chairs with back and foot rests, offices with indirect lighting, and glare control filters for VDT screens) in all of its offices. They will also start training efforts to help people use the furniture to be more comfortable, and implement a health program, with exercises for areas like helping people maintain correct back posture and stay in better physical condition. - London, England UK COMPUTER CRACKING BILL BECOMES LAW --------------- Having passed Parliament, the UK Computer Misuse Bill has now gained Royal Assent, becoming law. This Bill defines computer hacking (or to use a MUCH more appropriate term, computer Cracking) as the act of gaining unauthorized access into a computer system., and makes it punishable by fines and short prison terms. It also enables people to be prosecuted in England if either the offender OR the affected computer system was in England when the computer system was broken into. Interestingly enough, a Price Waterhouse report says that theft or fraud were responsible for only 20 percent of reported security incidents in the UK, and that over 76 percent were due to human error, system failure, or natural hazards. However, over 65 percent of UK companies in their survey said that they had suffered financially from security failures.... - Topeka, Kansas EFFORTS BEGIN TO LAUNCH LOBBYING GROUP FOR MODEM USERS -------------- Alan Bechtold (President of the BBS Press Service) has begun efforts start the Modem User's Association of America (MUAA). If successful, the MUAA will be a non-profit organization that will engage in legal and Congressional Lobbying activities for modem users and operators of online services. It will also serve as a source of information on modem-related legislation being considered around the US (like the FCC's attempts to charge special fees for people to use modems).... Most of the interest for the MUAA has come from places like Texas and Indiana, where telephone companies and state governments are trying to implement new rate structures that charge modem users higher rates for service. Bechtold is now trying to test the level of support for such an organization, via an effort to raise $10,000 in funds to begin the MUAA by the end of September. If that amount has not been raised by then, he has pledged to "tear up all the checks that I have received and continue on with other activities". Interestingly, a Group based in Washington DC has offered to contribute legal and lobbying support for the MUAA, but only IF it gains enough support. Bechtold is considering these annual membership fees for the MUAA: Individuals - $15 Commercial Bulletin Boards - $50 Hobby Bulletin Boards - $25 Commercial Online Services - $100 Makers of Telecommunications and/or Terminal Software - $200 Modem and Computer Makers - $500 If you wish to obtain more information about the proposed MUAA, Alan Bechtold can be reached at 1-913-478-3157.... ____________________________________________________________ > Stock Market ~ STR Stock Report? Watch out for Falling Stocks! =============================== THE TICKERTAPE ============== by Michael Arthur Concept by Glenn Gorman The price of Atari stock stayed the same on Monday, and was down 1/8 of a point on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the price of Atari stock went down 3/8 of a point, and stayed the same on Thursday. On Friday, Atari stock went down 1/8 of a point. Finishing up the week at 5 1/8 points, the price of Atari Stock is down 5/8 of a point from the last report. This was the worst week yet this yea for computer stocks, marked by the sudden drop in the price of Apple stock. Interestingly, Apple stock fell by 2 7/8 points on the same day that Apple announced a 25 percent increase in revenue for this quarter of 1990... Apple Stock went down 5 3/4 points from Friday, July 13, 1990. Commodore Stock went down 5/8 of a point from 7/13/90. IBM Stock was down 3 3/8 points from 7/13/90. Stock Report for Week of 7/09/90 to 7/13/90 _________________________________________________________________________ STock| Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Reprt|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.| -----|--------------|-------------|-----------|-----------|--------------| Atari|5 3/4 ---- |5 5/8 - 1/8|5 1/4 -3/8|5 1/4 ----|5 1/8 - 1/8| | | | | | 166,000 Sls | -----|--------------+-------------+-----------+-----------+--------------| CBM |7 3/8 - 3/8|7 1/4 - 1/8|7 1/4 ----| 7 - 1/4|7 1/8 + 1/8| | | | | | 51,200 Sls | -----|--------------+-------------+-----------+-----------+--------------| Apple|45 5/8 -1 1/8|44 1/4 -1 3/8|44 5/8 |41 3/4 | 41 - 3/4| | | | +3/8| -2 7/8|1,712,900 Sls | -----|--------------+-------------+-----------+-----------+--------------| IBM |122 3/8 +1 3/8|120 3/4 |119 7/8 | 120 + 1/8|117 5/8 -2 3/8| | | -1 5/8| -7/8| |1,758,600 Sls | -----'-------------------------------------------------------------------' '#' and 'Sls' refers to the # of stock shares that were traded that day. 'CBM' refers to Commodore Corporation. '----' means that the stock's price did not change for the day. ________________________________________________________________ > ATARI'S SUPPORT STR Spotlight? Customer Satisfaction is #1! ============================= THE REALITY ZONE ================ by A. W. Wolff "Please Atari, there are many of us out here who must consistently put up with certain annoying problems..." Ever wonder how many times a letter is started off like that by some loyal, but frustrated Atari user who is trying to enjoy his computer? Here we present a few (there aren't too many) a few of the more predominant complaints we hear of from our readers.. A - ITEM: The Diablo Emulator version 1.2 The Diablo Emulator was heatedly criticized for many shortcomings soon after its appearance. Word Perfect nearly left the Atari market because of, among other things, the ill will concerning the emulator. Since that time, there has been a number of noises emanating from Sunnyvale about a 'possible fix or upgrade'. However, there is nothing forth coming and from all indications, "Version 2.0 will remain a dream" even though its reported to be done and ready for release. pssst, what about version 1.3??? B - ITEM: The STe Hard Drive DMA BUG From all corners of the globe, from as long ago as four months, the reports of trashed hard drive fat tables began filtering back to the 'hallowed halls'. Now, with the latest reports of DMA problems coming in at a rather brisk clip, one would imagine that all stops would be pulled to find and correct the problem with the DMA port. How long has the STe been on sale and shipping all over the globe? How long has the problem been evidencing itself? Why was the STe shipped to the US market when the problem was already a known factor. Why the continued "ominous silence"? Could it be ...there are no answers yet? C - ITEM: Moniterm Monitors and the TT030 At the last Comdex (Fall'89) that Atari participated in, the TT030 units were working perfectly with the moniterm units. However, at this time, the whispered word is that the moniterm units will NOT work with the contemplated release version of the TT030. Seems the units in use at this time all over the world operate fine with the ST, but are alleged to be not compatible with the new TT. Also, it appears there is a 9 pin connector on the current units worldwide and the TT is looking for a 15 pin connector. Of course, there is more to it than just a different connector, in fact, the circuitry requirements are apparently different. Why the quiet change to obviously leave the loyal ST MEGA owners with obsolete monitors? The more things change... the more they remain the same. It appears that the disposable computer concept is still, unfortunately, with us. Before anybody gets up on their 'white horse', I proudly own 3 Mega ST units and seven 1040 units, two big screen monitors, a multi-sync, 4 SC1224 monitors and 3 SM124 monitors. These units are in use on a daily basis both in my office and in the shop area. I am more than 'just satisfied' with the hardware it is a pleasure to own and operate the Atari ST computer systems.. Truly, Atari has some of the world's finest hardware to offer the home computer enthusiast. Now with the recent changes at Atari, there may be a brighter ray of hope for the future. __________________________________________________________ > DREAMPARK STR Feature? 1.44mb Floppy Drives from DreamPark Dev. ===================== A LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE ========================= By Michael Lee There has been some new programs and hardware released, or getting ready for release, for the ST that I felt haven't been given enough press (in other words, I hadn't heard that much about them and was very impressed, so I thought I'd bring them to your attention here). Here's two that especially impressed me. ------ One is the MIDI TASKING program. This is a program that will allow multi- tasking of midi programs and is being developed by one of the midi companies under the auspices of Atari. While this program was developed for midi software, it is not limited just midi stuff. It will also allow multi-tasking on many normal (well-behaved) ST programs. Once it is ready for release, it is rumored that Atari will be selling this program for $15-$20. Even if it doesn't work on everything I own, for that price, it will be well worth the price if it only allows me to multi-task 50% of my normal software. ------ Have you ever found your 720k (or 828k if you use 10-sectors) disks too limiting? Have you ever wished for a 1.44 meg drive like your friends have on their Mac's or PC's? It looks as if you can now have your wish. One of the new products available for the ST that seems to be hot is the POWERDRIVE from DreamPark Development. The POWERDRIVE is a complete external 3.5" drive and it comes with all necessary hardware and the modification board for the inside of the CPU (it can be installed internally but requires another power supply board, cutting up your case and more hardware technical expertise). According to Brad, DreamPark's GEnie on-line representative: "We have designed a rock solid internal board that allows us to sense media changes as well as sense what kind of disk is in the drive. It knows whether you have a 360, 720 or 1.4, and it knows when the disk has been changed. The drive and the format are standard IBM 1.44 meg, but with the PowerFormatter software included in the price, you can format up to 1.7 megs reliably. We are using a new and better designed 2793 chip, and the mod board plugs in where the old 1772 was. It's removed, and a socket goes in that allows a ribbon cable plug in for access to the CPU. Also needed are two lines from the sound chip, since this chip controls the drive select. It is 100% upward compatible with the 1772 chip, it acts just like a 1772 when there is a 360K or 720K disk in the drive. No difference. But when a 1.4 meg disk is inserted, BANGO! Off to the races..." "The PowerDrive works with SuperCharger... as long as you format your disks first using the Power Formatter and the "DOS BOOT" option. You can read, write and even copy HD (High Density) disks!" "As for GCR compatibility, it works well with Spectre 720k formatted disks, but we are having problems reading and writing GCR ('real' Mac) disks. A PowerDrive is in the hands of Dave Small even as we speak, and we are working on this end to insure that we get 100% compatibility with Spectre. In a recent message in the Gadgets RT, he seemed optimistic that some software revision might be all that would be required." (Note: The above quotes are a compilation of many different posts left on GEnie.) I don't know about you folks, but being able to utilize 1.44-1.7 megs per floppy disk is quite impressive to me. If you want to order or have more questions, give Brad a call at 801-943-4370. Oh? The price? I'm not for sure what the final retail price will be, but Brad stated they had an introductory special for only $259.95, however I don't know if this price is still good or for how long. Until next week... _________________________________________________________ > Forem BBS STR InfoFile? FOREM BBS SOFTWARE TO BE UPDATED ====================== Effective immediately Full Moon BBS is now your source for the FoReM BBS program by Matthew R. Singer. FoReM is not new, it has been in use all over the free world since 1985. Available in single line versions for the Atari ST (one meg RAM recommended) and the IBM PC (512 K required) FoReM may be purchased directly from Full Moon for $74.95 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling. All orders are shipped with a manual that includes detailed instructions on installing and configuring FoReM. When used in conjunction with the FNET mailer program by David Chiquelin (a shareware program supported at Atari-Oh! BBS 713-480-9310) either version of FoReM can be used to exchange messages with other BBS Systems worldwide. You can order FoReM ST or PC by sending a check for $79.95 ($74.95 for the program plus $5.00 S&H) made payable to: Stephen Rider 20 Cargill Ave Worcester MA 01610 Orders are shipped UPS only, specify a street address as UPS cannot deliver to a Post Office box number. For ST orders specify single sided or double sided diskette. PC owners please specify 360K or 1.2 meg 5.25" or 720K 3.5" disks. Depending on the media you order we will also include some useful PD or shareware utility programs that are widely used by FoReM boards. Steve Rider Full Moon BBS 508-752-1348 This offer is made in conjunction with Matthew R. Singer, creator and copyright holder of FoReM ST. Offer not valid in Massachusetts. (c) 1985-1990 Matthew R. Singer FoReM Order Form Version desired (circle one) FoReM ST FoReM PC Type of diskette (circle one) If ordering FoReM PC 360K 5.25" 1.2meg 5.25" 720K 3.5" If ordering FoReM ST SSDD 3.5" DSDD 3.5" (please note, depending on the media you select we will try to include at no extra charge some popular PD or shareware utilities as well ) Your name ________________________________________________ BBS Name (optional) ______________________________________ BBS phone number (optional) ______________________________ Your street address ______________________________________ Your City and State/Province _____________________________ Your country (if other than US) __________________________ [note, P.O. boxes may not be used, all orders shipped UPS] (In case I need to reach you) (optional) Your Voice phone number __________________________________ Price is $79.95 ($74.95 + $5.00 Shipping and Handling) Payment must be made in form of cash or check made out to: Stephen Rider Send completed form to: Stephen Rider 20 Cargill Ave Worcester MA 01610 We will ship the most current released version of FoReM ST or PC. You will be welcome to call Full Moon BBS for various programs which are often used with FoReM such as doors, the FNet mailer, CrossNet and more. Full Moon can be reached at (508) 752-1348 at speeds up to HST/9600. _____________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL? "BLOCKBUSTER ATARI NEWS FIRST!" ===================== - Edmonton, Canada TT030 16MHZ DISPLAYED - 32 Mhz PROMISED ---------------- According to Steve at Alphatel in Edmonton, they had a TT030 on display last week, it was a loner. When asked whether or not the unit was 16 or 32Mhz, he replied, "the unit we had was 16Mhz but we expect 32Mhz units to be delivered sometime in September... Their address is: ALPHATEL 16814-114th Ave TEL:(403)452-0025 - Pontiac, MI. GEORGE MILLER GOES TO ABACUS ------------ George Miller, of MichTron, long known for his excellent support of MichTron's many customers has accepted a position with Abacus Software of Grand Rapids, Michigan. STReport would like to wish George the best of luck and success in his new endeavors. - San Jose, CA. "USED AND ABUSED" DEVELOPERS SIDESTEP SAN JOSE WOA ------------- Certain developers have expressed a desire to not attend the WOA San Jose shindig because of extenuating circumstances. Could it be because they felt the recent tactics of the promoter were not to their liking? Or, could it be they felt rather used and abused.......... - Seattle, WA. USA'S "ST WORLD" TO CHANGE HANDS ------------ Sometime right after the first of the year, R. Tsukiji will sell his ST World magazine to its former general manager. ST World will continue to serve the ST community but without Mr. Tsukiji who will pursue other endeavors. Give my regards to "Uncle Sugar" Rich. - Los Angeles, CA. TIM LEWIS NOT THE EDITOR ---------------- Tim Lewis, the founder of ST Journal, has reportedly left his position as editor of the recent newcomer to the ST arena. St Journal has come under some rather heavy fire recently for its content and format. There has even been alleged rumors of extreme discontent with the circulation and release frequency. - Sunnyvale, CA. REVOLVING DOOR STILL QUITE BUSY -------------- According to our 'super snoop' a certain TOP official at Atari has been wooing Rick Meyer to return to the helm of the Portfolio Division. Meyer left prior to Jim Kennedy and most recently, Ken Jacobson. It appears the newest recipients of tickets to the infamous door may include Eltok Southard, research and design (Styra) Tx. and Israel, Pavel Peshinewho, Computer acceptance design for the FCC. Additionally, certain of Atari's lesser execs have had their sphere of influence reduced. Also, reportedly, A. Salerno no longer has input into the affairs of the Portfolio division. - San Bernadino, CA. TT IN THE HANDS OF "SELECT" DEVELOPERS ------------------ Its only the 16mhz version, and one of the developers had to return a TT030 that was not behaving properly (Murphy's Law). And.. it was promptly replaced. But is now confirmed that developers are beginning to receive them. Also, the 32Mhz version will be a reality in 1991. The TT030/2 will be in a tower cabinet instead of the 'wedding cake' cabinet the 16mhz unit will present itself in. One of the recipients has confirmed that the 32Mhz unit is in the not too distant future...... - St. Augustine, Fl. STARK BBS & GROWING PAINS ------------------ Gregg X. run the Xanadu BBS, a Stark BBS, he is one of the key support BBSs set up with the Stark program. Stark is GFA Basic and a combination of Assembly routines. Lately, due to a number of unfortunate mishaps the author has some serious hardware problem. Since STReport maintains its own support BBS system, there is a certain understanding involved. There has been a spat of less than friendly messages posted concerning the support of Stark or the lack thereof. Stark's author will be up and running shortly... so please, those of you who have this program, 'keep the faith' support and upgrades are in the wings... --------------------------------------------------------------- > Codehead Info STR InfoFile? More NEW product info... ========================== CODEHEAD SOFTWARE ANNOUNCES: LOOKIT! & POPIT! When Doug Harrison showed us these two incredible programs, we were amazed...not only at the programs themselves, but at how well they fit into the CodeHead line of products! Both LookIt! (the amazingly fast file viewer/binary editor) and PopIt! (desk accessory hot keys) complement and enhance the other programs in the CodeHead catalog, particularly HotWire and MultiDesk. These programs are a must for anyone's utility folder! Some of you may know Doug as the author of the highly-acclaimed shareware spreadsheet and graphing program called OPUS. We're honored to welcome a programmer of his caliber into the CodeHead Corral. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ LOOKIT! -- The ultimate ST file viewer/binary editor LookIt! Overview LookIt! is an incredibly fast, easy to use ASCII file viewer and binary file editor. It features a custom user interface which overcomes many of the shortcomings in GEM. Some of LookIt!'s features include: - super-fast text display, Blitter/Turbo ST/Quick ST NOT required - use the mouse OR the keyboard to page and scroll up/down through text or binary files; three configurable scrolling speeds - as many as 32 files can be held simultaneously in memory - fast, powerful searching options -- LookIt! supports a powerful (yet simple to learn) regular expression "language" as well as exact match searching - search strings may be assigned to keyboard commands, making it easy to skip from topic to topic in online magazines or captured messages - up to 18 saveable search strings - binary file editing on both the hexadecimal and ASCII representations of binary files - mark blocks of text or binary data and save them to disk, print them or delete them from the file - set up to four "bookmarks" in each file, and instantly return to any mark with a single keypress - flexible display options, including color and font size control in high resolution modes - printer options allow 40 byte strings to be sent before/after each file and provide for draft/final and condensed print modes; margins may be set and headers printed - all program options are saved in a configuration file, making it easy to customize LookIt! to your preferences - may be installed as an application for the GEM Desktop or CodeHead's HotWire, to let you show files by double-clicking them - powerful command line options allow loading of CFG files from paths other than the default, automatic printing of files, wildcard expansion - an enhanced GEM menu bar that can be operated either with the mouse OR the keyboard; use the arrow keys to move through drop-down menus - innovative Mac-like user interface, with keyboard equivalents for all dialog box functions, vastly enhanced editing functions, a unique improved file selector (that can be disabled if desired), and much more ------------------------------------------------------------------------ POPIT! -- HotWire your desk accessories! PopIt! Overview PopIt! is a desk accessory that lets you assign "hot keys" to your desk accessories, and call up any accessory simply by typing its hot key! In other words, PopIt! "HotWires" your desk accessories. And PopIt! communicates with CodeHead's MultiDesk (version 2.0 or greater required) to let you assign keys to accessories loaded into MultiDesk. This means that you can instantly get at an unlimited number of desk accessories! - no more reaching for the mouse just to open a desk accessory - shows all installed desk accessories in a scrollable window - accessory names can be shown in sorted or unsorted order - hot keys can be assigned to all keys on the keyboard, with or without the Shift, Alternate, and Control keys - typing the hot key for an accessory opens it instantly, in any GEM program that normally supports DAs - hot key assignments can be saved and loaded as needed - print out the list of hot keys for handy reference - hot key processing can be disabled at ANY time ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ordering Information The projected release date for LookIt! & PopIt! is July 20, 1990. The retail price for the package (which includes both programs and a detailed manual) is $39.95. LookIt! & PopIt! can be ordered directly from CodeHead Software at: CodeHead Software P.O. Box 74090 Los Angeles, CA 90004 Voice: (213) 386-5735 Fax: (213) 386-5789 We accept most major credit cards. If ordering by mail, include a check or money order for the amount indicated plus $2.00 shipping ($3 Canada, $5 Europe). LookIt! & PopIt! will also be available at any ST dealer that carries CodeHead products; if your dealer doesn't have it, ask him/her to order it! *********************************************************************** :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. *********************************************************************** > Hard Disks STR 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) * ICD HOST ADAPTERS USED EXCLUSIVELY * OMTI HIGH SPEED CONTROLLERS * * ICD ADVANTAGE+ HOST ADAPTERS * FULL SCSI COMMAND SET SUPPORTED * * SCSI EMBEDDED CONTROLLER MECHANISMS * 51mb #SGN4951 519.95 65mb #SG60101 649.95 80mb #SGN296 709.95 100mb #SG84011D 839.95 120mb #SGN120FH 989.95 120mb #SG120DD 1128.95 170mb #SGN2962 1369.95 260mb #SG60102 1849.95 WE HAVE A COMPLETE LINE OF 3.5 LOW PROFILE HARD DRIVES for USE IN MEGA ST COMPUTERS AND RELATED CONFIGURATIONS. 20mb #AI020SC 379.95 30mb #AIO3OSC 419.95 50mb #AI050SC 449.95 65mb #AI065SC 499.95 85mb #AI085SC $559.95 >>> ALL ABCO DRIVES ARE HIGH SPEED UNITS <<< (500 - 600k per sec @ 23 -33ms) CALL FOR SUPER SAVINGS ON ALL OUR OTHER CUSTOM UNITS FROM 30mb @ $419.00! Ask about our "REBATE SPECIALS" --==*==-- SHIPPING AND INSURANCE INCLUDED ============================================ * SYQUEST 44MB (#555)>> ABCO "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE * - SYQUEST 44 MB DRIVE - ICD ST ADVANTAGE PLUS H/A - ICD Utility Software - 3' DMA Cable - Fan & Clock - Multi-Unit Power Supply (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart. COMPLETELY ASSEMBLED AND READY TO RUN! >> SPECIAL NOW ONLY __$849.00__ << *** SPECIAL SYQUEST OFFER!! *** ORDER YOUR CUSTOM SYQUEST UNIT NOW AND GET A SECOND COMPLETE UNIT! ***** for $50.00 LESS! ***** -> DO IT YOURSELF BARE SYQUEST UNITS $600.00ea 2 for $1100.00 Syquest Mechanism - 2 year warranty * 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 $1179.00 30mb SQG38 $1099.00 65mb SQG09 $1239.00 85mb SQG96 $1299.00 LOWBOY - STANDARD - DUAL BLOWER CABINETS 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 USED! - 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 YOUR NEW UNIT TODAY! CALL: 1-800-562-4037 -=**=- CALL: 1-904-783-3319 Customer Orders ONLY Customer Service 9am - 8pm EDT Tues thru Sat *********************************************************************** NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME to the Readers of; STREPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE """""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY! Call any of the STReport Official BBS numbers (Listed Above) or Leave E-mail to STReport - R.Mariano Be sure to include your full mailing address so your Compuserve kit can be immediately mailed to you! NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE *********************************************************************** > A "Quotable Quote"? ================= "Inside every complex and unworkable program... ...is a useful routine struggling to get free!" ..Marvin Trottenberry -------------------------------------------------------------------------- STReport? "Your Independent News Source" July 27, 1990 16/32bit Magazine copyright = 1990 No.6.30 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors, staff, STReport? CPU/STR? or ST Report?. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Each reprint must include the name of the publication, date, issue # and the author's name. The entire publication and/or portions therein may not be edited in any way without prior written permission. The contents, at the time of publication, are believed to be reasonably accurate. The editors, contributors and/or staff are not responsible for either the use/misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. --------------------------------------------------------------------------
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