Z*Net: 26-Oct-90 #543From: Greg Lindahl (email@example.com)
Date: 11/01/90-10:20:21 PM Z
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From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Greg Lindahl) Subject: Z*Net: 26-Oct-90 #543 Date: Thu Nov 1 22:20:21 1990 =========(((((((((( ==========((( ==(( ==((((((( ==(((((((( =========== ================(( ====(( ====(((( =(( ==(( ==========(( ============== =============(( =====(((((( ==(( (( (( ==((((( =======(( ============== ==========(( ==========(( ====(( =(((( ==(( ==========(( ============== =========(((((((((( ==========(( ==((( ==((((((( =====(( ============== Z*NET ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE October 26, 1990 Issue #543 Publisher/Editor : Ron Kovacs Assistant Editor : John Nagy Z*Net New Zealand: Jon Clarke Z*Net Canada: Terry Schreiber CONTENTS EDITORS DESK.................................Ron Kovacs/Terry Schreiber Z*NET NEWSWIRE......................................................... EDUCATIONAL TECH EXPO 1990 REPORT............................Mike Brown THE IDYLLIC LIFE OF A REVIEWER............................David Plotkin GUIDELINES FOR REVIEWS................................Jim Pierson-Perry PHANTOM OF THE LASER......................................Press Release TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES..............................Press Release Z*NET NEW ZEALAND............................................Jon Clarke EDITORS DESK ============ by Ron Kovacs Guest Commentary by Terry Schreiber ----------------------------------- We have received many enquiries into the effect that the low cost MacIntosh will have on the Atari market. How it will effect Atari sales? My personal attitude to the Mac and the new IBM model is still Atari wins hands down for ease of use. If, and indeed I believe these other models were slated for the home computer market, they lack one important thing - a user friendly interface. Recently Radio Shack has made great strides into the home market with their built in user friendly operating system for MS-DOS compatibles. "Yes, Mr. Developer Mom and Pop from the pre-baby boom era would like to use the system as well." A good clean user interface is a must for the home computer market. Atari in my opinion wins hands down with the built-in GEM operating system. The point and click is very simple to operate and to teach even the computer illiterate. Most people learn to grasp the Atari Desktop in less than an hour - a far cry from the DOS environment. For the advanced users there are many desktop alternatives as well as menu programs, accessory loaders, macro editors and enhanced files selectors that make operations even easier once installed. Getting back on topic I believe that if Atari felt threatened by these late arrivals the response would be immediate by Atari Corporate. After all the "POWER WITHOUT THE PRICE" and "TECHNOLOGY SO ADVANCED IT'S AFFORDABLE" is what Atari built it's reputation on. ERRATA Last week we referenced an update to Publisher ST as version 2.01 and it should have read 1.01. We referenced Word writer. FALL BACK This weekend turn your clocks back one hour. Z*NET NEWSWIRE ============== ATARI NEWS FIRST Compiled by Ron Kovacs and Terry Schreiber TT SHIPPED IN CANADA The long awaited Atari TT machine will be shipped to Canadian Authorized dealers following the unveiling at the Toronto Computer Show. Due to a limited supply dealers will be shipped one sample unit per store for demonstration and evaluation purposes. Units for sale will become available about the end of November for a suggested retail of $3995.00. Atari will handle two monitors for the TT, a Dual-Sync color (PTC1426) at $895.00 and a Phillips monochrome (TT194) 1280x960 at $1495.00. The Phillips is indeed the large screen full page monitor we had previously heard rumours about similar to the Moniterms. PORTFOLIO BLITZ Atari Canada announced a major advertising campaign starting next week on the Portfolio computer. Advertising is slated for most major newspapers and magazines across the country as well as a new pricing structure designed to make the palm-top affordable to almost all users. SECOND "SIMPSONS" GAME Acclaim announced this week that it will release its "Bartman: Avenger of Evil" hand-held in November. Under an exclusive licensing agreement with 20th Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising Corporation, Acclaim is publishing Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy video games as well as SuperPlay hand-helds based on the "Simpsons". "Bartman: Avenger of Evil" is expected to retail for approximately $19.95. NORTH CENTRAL REGION EDUCATIONAL LABORATORY'S TECH EXPO 1990 REPORT =================================== by Mike Brown One of the things that we, as Atari owners, are told should be done to assure the survival of Atari computers in the US, is to get Atari computers into the schools. Recently, I was invited to attend and participate in a very large educational "Tech Expo" sponsored by the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, The Urban Education Network, The Office of Educational Research and Improvement (US Department of Education), Chicago Public Schools, and Illinois Institute of Technology. This show and conference was attended by representatives of the 13 largest urban school districts in the Midwest along with the State Departments of Education for the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Doesn't this sound like a crowd that should be exposed to "Power without the price"? My ticket into this exclusive gathering of educators and school system policy makers was my volunteer work with a Chicago Public Schools funded project to develop a "...conference conduit for users of all ages and background with any type of computer to share ideas. (the system) will erase the boundaries between schools and the greater community and provide support for classroom teachers...". If you guessed that this sounds like a multi-line BBS system, you win the star prize! Our BBS system currently has eight concurrent lines (with multi-channel CHAT capability) on a UNIX minicomputer provided by Unisys. The system (which has just celebrated it's first birthday) is called the EIES (Electronic Information Exchange System) of the Chicago Public Schools. Give us a try at (312) 890-8512 1200/2400 and (312) 890-7828 9600. Visitors welcome! NCREL asked me if I'd be available the opening day of the show to staff a booth with other technical volunteers, I offered (sneakily) to work Saturday if I could use equipment and software that I was already familiar with. The organizers said "no problem, you can bring in what you want to demo the system on". A neighbor, good friend, and LCACE guiding light, Dwight (J.J.) Johnson volunteered his new STacy for use at the show, this would be the hot show setup in a world of dull MS-DOS and Apple systems. The gleaming new STacy was the star of the EIES booth- I drew a large number of comments from attendees about the STacy, and made some contacts with educators who use 8-bit Atari systems (most notably with LOGO) in classroom situations. A group of students (helping in the huge 5000 sq ft Apple "School of the Future" exhibit) stopped by to play with the STacy and had very favorable comments. Near the end of the day, the EIES sysop regretted the fact that I had chosen to set up so near the aisle, as the STacy could have drawn people "into" the booth (yes, but it was more visible at the end!). At the show, I was surprised by the large outlay that IBM and Apple Computer made in equipment, staff, hospitality and outside exhibitors. Their presentations were easily as elaborate as what you might see at a COMDEX show. Zenith, Tandy and Pioneer America had more modest (but interesting) booths. While developers such as Advanced Voice Technologies, Inc., Computer Curriculum Corporation, The ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, Ed Tech, Encyclopedia Britannica, and TI-IN Network each had "one table" booths swarming with interested educators. Over 60 different sessions were presented during the 3-day conference. These sessions were held by exhibitors, software vendors, as well as educators themselves. There were ongoing sessions in the Faculty Club room sponsored by Apple, and IBM had constructed a "Decision Support Center" to privately hawk their multimedia products. It was a very revealing experience shmoozing with educators and administrators, soft pedaling the Atari Advantage. One of the more frightening revelations of the conference, was the stranglehold that Apple Computer has on the US educational market, and the mind set of the educators. I constantly heard educators referring to computer labs as "Apple Labs". This seemed to make as much sense as calling Driver's Ed, "Chevrolet Training" or Home Economics, "Kraft Class". Before I was even in the show proper, an educator asked me "Is this the place where the Apple Expo is?"; my reply is not suited for a publication read by young persons, so it will remain unreported. Anyway, thank you to Carole S. Fine, Dennis Tokoph, NCREL, and all of the others that made it possible for STacy and Myself to play a small part in the shaping of solutions to educational problems in urban schools. For more information on future Tech Expos, or general information on High-Tech, High-Touch and High-Teach resources for your local schools, please contact NCREL at 295 Emroy Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126 (708) 941- 7677. THE IDYLLIC LIFE OF A REVIEWER ============================== by David Plotkin This feature is a reprint from the OCTOBER/NOVEMBER ST-JOURNAL MAGAZINE, presented here by permission. THIS ARTICLE MAY NOT BE REPRINTED IN ANY OTHER PUBLICATION OR NEWSLETTER WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION FROM ST- JOURNAL, 113 West College Street, Covina, CA 91723, 818-332-0372. I've been involved with Atari computers for a long time - longer than most. I got into them strictly by accident when I attended the SF Computer Faire in 1980 and was fascinated by the many Apple II's. What really caught my eye were the games - I'd never seen anything like them except in the arcades, but I couldn't afford the humongous number of quarters that arcade machines were designed to gobble. Also, I couldn't afford to pay over $2,000 for an Apple II and a disk drive. A local computer dealer sold Ataris (yes, they really did in those days), and so, in May 1980, I plunked down $800 for an Atari 400 with 32K of memory and a tape drive. The dealer later admitted that he really made me a better deal than he should have! I also bought Star Raiders which, to this day, remains one of the premier computer games of all times. About a month later, when I came up for air, I started looking around for something else to play. There was very little. I had violated the prime rule for computer purchase - buy the machine that will run the software you want to use. I decided to attack this problem in two ways. The first was to learn to program. The results of that effort were not very satisfactory because I was using the Atari Basic graphics, etc. The results ran but were so slow as to be useless. Magazine connection The second line of attack was to start buying magazines. In those days, there were two magazines that covered the Atari: Compute! and Softside. These were similar - each had a section devoted to the multiple machines they covered. Type-in listings were featured, along with tutorials, and I read these avidly, painfully, learning the tricks of programming, as I went along, and playing the games that I had laboriously typed in. There were also advertisements for quite an assortment of software on tape-cassettes. I was in heaven - I quickly ordered a large selection of the more interesting looking stuff and soon discovered two things. The first was that most of this software was abysmal - slow, not much fun, and, after only a very short time, boring. It needed to be reviewed so that people didn't buy "blind" based on frequently misleading ads. The second thing I learned was that software (whether good, bad, or indifferent) is expensive. I couldn't possibly afford everything I wanted. So how was I to get all I wanted without having to pay for it? Writers wanted Being a relatively honest sort, stealing it didn't appeal to me. What I did was set myself up in the reviewing business. I phoned the editors of the magazines and explained that I could review software. All they had to do was send it to me - or I would be willing to phone the software company and ask for it to be sent to me directly on the strength of the assignment. Believe it or not, the editors were delighted. Finding someone who was at all familiar with computers and also who could write was a rarity. (I'm told that it still is to some extent.) In all the years I've been writing, I'm proud to say that I've never missed a deadline - and there have been some pretty tough ones. Editors love that. Running a magazine is tough, and knowing that they have people they can count on is priceless. I have had calls asking for some major piece of software to be reviewed - with a deadline only a week away - and have pulled it off. This policy of being dependable has served me well down through the years with Analog, ST Log, Antic, START, Video Games, and now ST Journal. A lot of people have seen me getting all this wondrous software free and have become convinced that I have it made. Well, it is pretty nice - especially since I get paid for the reviews, as well. But it's also a lot of work and carries a fair burden of responsibility. You see, along with all the good stuff like WordUp and Touch-Up, LDW Power and Dungeon Master, there is some really awful stuff - the kind you wouldn't waste your time with; you'd either reject it, after a short trial in the store, return it to get your money back, or just reformat the disk and kiss your investment goodbye. I can't do that. I've been assigned to review it and that's my job, as unpleasant as it sometimes can be. A good example is my currently working review of STEVE, the ST Event Editor. This is integrated software; word processor, database, desktop publishing, and a few other things all put together into one huge package with a 600 page manual. The software isn't bad, just huge and not particularly interesting. But I can't just put it aside for some other time - I've got to get a review out on deadline. If I don't, my credibility suffers. Responsibility enters the picture because I am relatively well known. It has been a long time since I have called a software or hardware manufacturer to request a review copy and they haven't known who I am. When I write a review, people listen and make buying decisions based on what they read. Since ST Log folded, my review may be the only one they see. What this means is that a lot of care must be put into evaluating the product. If, at first glance, it appears really awful, I must keep digging and evaluating to make sure I don't say it's awful without giving the software every chance to prove itself. One product (an alternate desktop) completely defeated me. I couldn't even get it installed. The files that I was supposed to work with weren't on the disk, and others that were not mentioned in the manual were present. After struggling with it interminable, I finally gave up. But I really tried far harder than if the software had been for my own use. Had I purchased it for myself, I would have simply mailed it back and gotten a refund. (Always buy software with your credit card because you can get your money back if it turns out to be unsuitable.) But I must remember that people are going to read what I say and factor this into their decisions. It's sort of daunting to realize that my single article may influence a substantial part of the income of a software or hardware vendor. So I have to be fair and impartial and do a thorough job with each review, and, on top of that, write well and provide interesting material for my readers. So much for the idyllic life of a reviewer! As you can see, it's hard work and carries a lot of responsibility. See you next month. - DP GUIDELINES FOR REVIEWS ====================== by Jim Pierson-Perry The accompanying text file contains a summary of guidelines I prepared for STart magazine to (hopefully) give some direction to writers for accurate, comprehensive and ethical product reviews. By their nature, product reviews are factually base and should be written/judged accordingly, as opposed to opinion or editorial articles which would require some different criteria. I personally believe the quality of published product reviews is a valid guide to the maturity and quality of the parent computer platform. Hobbyist computers tend to spawn hobbyist/amateur writing styles and foibles. Products for pro computers usually get much more in depth and polished efforts (more writers competing for limited magazine space and readership). The above is a gross generality but if you look at comparative reviews of word processors, printers, hard drives, CAD packages, etc in mainstream Mac or PC mags I think you'll get my point. Anyway, I offer my guidelines as a starting attempt to put some thought behind what should go into a review, the mechanics of it, and some ethical issues that ought to be considered. I welcome all constructive criticism and hope we can upgrade the guidelines to reflect the best thinking from our BBS (and others) community on what is important to readers in the product reviews they write. Thanks for your interest. If you'd rather just drop me a private note instead of joining the public discussion, my GEnie address is REMO. Here are some of my thoughts on general guidelines for preparing product reviews. I've included some concrete examples from published reviews (left anonymous) to illustrate some points. It is very important that we try to do a good and thorough job with our reviews. There are precious few avenues where US Atari users can turn for "second opinions", unlike the Mac and PC users with their plethora of magazines. My comments begin on review writing in general, then go into specific phases of evaluation/writing. Take them for what they are worth - guidelines only, not strictures. General Points 1. Reviews should not be authored by beta-testers or others similarly related to the product (manual authors, distributors, ...). Even with the best of intentions, it is hard to keep objectivity and there will be a conflict of interest (real or perceived) in the readers' minds. 2. Reviews must be fact checked by the author with the developer prior to final submission. This is a reviewer responsibility - you cannot complete a piece unless you know that what you have written is accurate. Developers should not use this opportunity to sway reviewer opinion, just make sure the piece is factually correct. 3. In line with point 2 above, be sure to report promptly any bugs you find during product evaluation to the developer. They might not be bugs at all but errors on your part or corrupted files on the review disk (both have happened to me more than once). Clear these up at once - don't wait for the final fact check and to find out you've got a major rewrite on your hands. 4. Make heavy use of user groups and on-line bulletin boards to research the product. You are not likely to be the first user and can often pick up on good/bad points that others have encountered. This also lets you evaluate the developer's customer support and response time. Overall Writing Style 1. Be direct and positive in your comments, avoid negative praise. Example: "I am pleased with program XXX..." rather than "I do not hesitate to assert how good program XXX is...". 2. Do not write "table of contents" reviews - stepping through each program feature and how to use it. Focus instead on reasons why particular design choices were made and their consequences, what features are lacking, ease of use, etc. Would you buy this product in view of similar offerings? Why? 3. If the product is a bit esoteric, consider using sidebars to supply background information. This will bring novices up to speed without slowing down the main review for more the experienced ones. 4. Avoid pretentious grammar, vocabulary, and thesaurus abuse. It reads poorly, makes you sound like a pompous ninny, and is a general pain for editors to correct. Another example: "In writing this evaluation, therefore, I have compared program XXX with both earlier versions of itself and other popular YYY applications for the Atari ST." 5. Break up the review into sections corresponding to major product functionalities. This lets readers jump about to sections of primary interest to them instead of tracking through text swamps. 6. Humor has its place in writing but don't overdo it! Anecdotal speech may be fine with user groups or friends but translates poorly into cold print. Humor is only good when natural, not forced. If you are deliberately trying to be funny in your text, it won't be. Same goes for stream of consciousness writing, as practiced (poorly) by some columnists. 7. Use constructive, not destructive criticism. Destructive: "The search and replace function in XXX is a poorly designed afterthought that is hard to use and slower than any other such program I have ever used." Reworked into a constructive sense might give: "The search and replace function in XXX is about twice as slow as in similar word processors. Part of the problem is its needless scrolling of the entire text file on screen, even when doing a global replace operation." 8. Comparative reviews with head-to-head feature tables are very popular and useful. Be careful to explain all terms and symbols in your summary tables. A recent comparison of replacement desktop programs had the cryptic entries "toggle fast bit", "time ledger", and "enhanced windows" that were never explained and probably not understood by most readers. 9. Stress major design, interface environment, real world performance issues, hardware requirements, etc. Cover the main points adequately and don't waste time/space trying to cram in coverage of every last persnickety detail. 10. How well does the product integrate into the existing Atari environment? Example: word processors that build on GDOS and Ultrascript, rather than requiring users to invest in new font collections. 11. Write in the active voice! Example: "The program quickly redraws screens" rather than "Screen redraws are handled quickly by the program." 12. Supply several illustrative screen shots (DEGAS capture utilities are useful here) and captions with your review text. Don't leave the captions up to editorial discretion or imagination. 13. Watch your grammar and always spell check your review before submitting it. Editors question factual accuracy if the writing mechanics are sloppy. 14. Clearly describe the hardware configuration you used for the review. Where appropriate (and possible) use several types of peripherals to fully challenge the product. Example: if you are reviewing a word processor, check performance with a 9 pin dot matrix as well as a laser printer. 15. Make sure to mention the program version you reviewed (dumb mistake, but I've seen it missing in the past). 16. Budget enough time for the review. Compromising the accuracy of the review, or your writing ability, in order to meet a deadline does no one any good. The developer will (rightly) take you to task and you will lose credibility with readers (and editors). The review you finished after 16 hours straight typing may read as Pulitzer material at 2 am, but be cat box liner on second reading after a good night's sleep. After you finish a review leave it for a day or so, then come back for the final edit. Evaluating The Product Manual 1. Are there a table of contents and an index (reasonable and complete entries)? What about sufficient screen shots throughout the text to illustrate operations/features? 2. How up to date is the manual? Is it several versions out of synch with the current program and patched by a series of "README" files on the disk? 3. How does the manual look visually? Look for consistent formatting, overall typography (no tiny text), spelling or other errors, and writing style (easy to read or too dense). 4. Do the installation instructions match actual product usage? Are all hardware and software requirements fully spelled out? 5. Are tutorials provided, with corresponding example files (as appropriate)? 6. Are keyboard command equivalents summarized in an easily accessed appendix? What about other appropriate summaries - must you hunt through the text for them? Setting Up 1. What are the hardware and software requirements? Does the program come on double-sided disks but still claim compatibility with a standard 520 ST? 2. How compatible is the product with standard desk accessories, autoload programs, alternate desktops and TOS versions? BBS reports are helpful for these problems. What about support for big screen displays (Moniterm)? 3. Is product installation required and, if so, is it manual or automatic? If GDOS-based, is the installation routine smart enough not to trample an existing ASSIGN.SYS file? Can the program be put in a directory of your choice or must it go in the root directory, etc.? 4. How easy and intelligent is the automatic installation process (if used) - number of disk swaps, recognize both A: and B: drives, check available hard disk space before starting, etc? Program Operation Evaluation 1. Exercise all program features - the one you miss will be the one that readers call up to complain or question about. 2. Create and use your own examples, do not blindly rely on canned tutorial or example files provided with the product. This really becomes painfully obvious when all reviews of a product have the same screen shots - just how thoroughly did the reviewers test the program? 3. Include objective performance criteria such as speed of search and replace, memory consumed, printing time, scrolling speed, etc. 4. Especially with printer related programs, check the extremes (dot matrix, laser printer). Don't base your entire review on a single platform - quality and speed can vary dramatically (and not necessarily in the same fashion) between printer types. 5. Does the program include on-line help (hopefully triggered through the HELP key)? 6. Are keyboard command equivalents provided for mouse/menu commands? Are any program functions available only through the keyboard or mouse exclusively? 7. How is the overall response time? Where are the bottlenecks - any obvious ways to circumvent them? Any suggestions for improvement to offer the developer? 8. How intuitive is the user interface? Does it follow "standard" Atari programming conventions? Are common operations implemented in a straightforward fashion with a minimum of steps? Is the program easy to learn? By the way, despite how some writers have bastardized the concept of a learning curve, a "flattened learning curve" means hard as hell to learn while a "steep" one is a snap. 9. What safeguards protect the user from errors - his own or the program's? Things to look for: format disks from within the program, show remaining memory, autobackup of files, sense when the printer is not on-line, warn before overwriting an existing file, etc. 10. What user customization/convenience features are provided? Example are: assignable directories, save global parameters (page size, font list, printer driver,...), file utilities (delete, rename, query free disk space, ...), no copy-protection, etc. Extras 1. Try to get a feel for customer support, both through phone calls and BBS. 2. Are any freeware/shareware programs included on the product disk? What about templates for DTP or spreadsheet programs and similar aids? 3. Are there any useful auxiliary programs that can add to the product's utility which readers ought to be told about? Example: Word Up only imports IMG, GEM and DEGAS pictures but the shareware program CONV2IMG converts many other graphic file formats into IMG files which can be then used. 4. Is there a demo version of the program - how to get to it? What about foreign language versions (not all of your readers will be from the US)? 5. Does the developer provide additional support products that would enhance the value of the product under review? Examples: MIDI hardware interface for MIDI software, alternative printer drivers for word processors, file format conversion programs, training manuals, etc. 6. Is there any third-party support for the product? Examples are fonts, clip art, NeoDesk icons, Printmaster graphic collections, etc. Summary Statements 1. How does the product compare with similar ST offerings - why should readers by this particular one over the competition? 2. Any features present or lacking versus similar applications on other computer platforms (Mac, PC)? 3. Is the developer willing to share plans for upcoming revisions or new features? Vaporware is taboo but feel free to briefly comment on near-term goals (the focus is on what is for sale today, we're not selling futures here). 4. What is your feeling on the product's overall value for the money, time, and effort required to buy and use it? PHANTOM OF THE LASER ==================== Press Release ATARI SLM804? OWNERS! ANNOUNCING: "PHANTOM OF THE LASER?" * Frustrated by the requirement that the laser printer MUST be on to use your computer?! * Tired of the fan noise, heat, & power consumption? * Worried about the internal heat buildup when you use the "backdoor" shutoff "FIX"?! THE PHANTOM OF THE LASER? SOLVES ALL THESE PROBLEMS!! The SLM804 remains off till you really need it to print! The "PHANTOM" is installed inside the SLMC804? interface box permanently. A 12 volt power cube supplies the "Phantom's" requirements. Built with computer grade components. "BULLETPROOF" Design! Total system compatibility! No more unplugging the interface cable just to play games! $40.00 US Installed at our facility. WIDGETS BY DECKER* 2399 SW Palisades Crest Drive Lake Oswego, OR. 97034 USA Telephone 503-638-3940 *(Innovation through frustration!) Please note that the quoted phone number in the November issue of Current Notes is WRONG! The correct number is listed here! TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES - THE GAME ======================================= Press Release Coming Soon... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Game Those heroes in a half shell are coming out of the sewers and into your ST! This game has all of your favourite characters: Leonardo - Leader of the Turtles, Raphael - Master of the Sai, Michaelangelo - His Nunchakus are deadly, and last Donatello - The mechanic himself. And of course the enemies: The Foot Clan, Rocksteady, Bebop, Krang, and Shredder. This is an all new adventure through the streets and sewers of New York City. Watch for the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Game'. Coming this Christmas. ** NOTICE ** This game has not been cleared with Mirage Studios or Archie Comics. This game is subject to be cancelled without notice of any kind. Dark Angel Systems acknowledges that 'TMNT', 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles', 'Leonardo', 'Michaelangelo', 'Raphael', 'Donatello', 'Foot Clan', and 'Shredder' are registered to Mirage Studios. TMNT (c)1990 Mirage Studios - All Rights Reserved TMNT - The Game 1990 Dark Angel Systems - All Rights Reserved (*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*) _ _ o( ) Z*Net New Zealand ( )o / /\ By Jon Clarke /\ \ News from around the Nets -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- From Usenet postings this week in comp.sys.atari.st (*)(*)(*) New British Magazine (*)(*)(*) Path: grahamt!syma!icdoc!ukc!mcsun!uunet!lll-winken!ames!uhccux!virtue! comp.vuw.ac.nz!am.dsir.govt.nz!dsiramd!marcamd!mercury!kcbbs From: email@example.com (Graham Thomas) Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: New applications-oriented ST mag to appear in UK Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 9 Oct 90 10:59:19 GMT Organization: SPRU, Univ. of Sussex, Brighton, UK Someone recently asked about ST journals & mags with an applications and programming bias. There was some discussion on the demise of the UK mag ST World. (Sorry, demise is not correct - the mag has gone quarterly and now consists mainly of comparative reviews and 'buyers guides'.) Well, the gap may be about to be filled by a new publication: ST Applications. It's being launched by Paul Glover, who runs the 'ST Club' (newsletter, disk mag and PD software library) and who has recently become the UK correspondent for Z*Net mag. The ST Club newsletter is due to turn into ST Applications in November. The exact format is not yet fixed, and potential contributors are currently being solicited for their views & ideas, but the intention is to have a mix of reviews and articles on all sorts of application areas, as well as coverage of the ST scene worldwide. While the aim is to produce a more professional magazine, Paul & co (David Smith, design; Niki Wilson, admin) don't want to lose the 'user-driven' feel of the ST Club newsletter. They're after ideas for submissions. Authors will be paid, though not extravagantly. The first print run will be around 12,000 copies, and the magazine will have at least 45 pages of editorial material. Further information can be obtained from Paul Glover, ST Club, 49 Stoney Street, Nottingham, NG1 1LX, UK. Tel: +44 602 410241. Graham Thomas (just an ST Club member) (*)(*)(*) New Atari ST Emulator for the Amiga (*)(*)(*) Path: icsu8053!ming!dali.cs.montana.edu!uakari.primate.wisc.edu!samsung! munnari.oz.au!comp.vuw.ac.nz!am.dsir.govt.nz!dsiramd!marcamd !mercury!kcbbs From: email@example.com (Craig Pratt) Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: Re: We've been EMULATED. Message-ID: <2669@dali> Date: 14 Oct 90 09:23:23 GMT Organization: Montana State University, Dept. of Computer Science, Bozeman In article <90285.225011CXS128@psuvm.psu.edu> CXS128@psuvm.psu.edu writes: > > I don't know how many of you follow comp.sys.amiga but one of the > topics over there is an ST emulator that works! It seems that this > program contains a copy of TOS and GEM in it. I don't think this > is completely legal. For anyone interested in knowing the site with > this program it is abcfd20.larc.nasa gov directory incoming/amiga > program name atari1. > > John T. I was invited/challenged to come over to a friends the other day to try out some of my software on Atari1 on his Amiga 500. Here are the results: Degas (original): -Can't flip between screens -Have to reboot to exit UniTerm 2.0e: -You can't flip back to term screen -Doesn't talk to the modem -Eventually bombs Opus 2.23: -Works just fine! (REAL slow scrolling -Actually printed out a graph! Cool Tetris: -BOOM!! Battle Zone: -BIG boom! (Had to turn off the Amiga) Drachen: -Loads title screen, then wierd garbage -Had to reset Joust: -Atomic blast (Had to power cycle) Star Raiders: -Ditto Unix Windows: -Woudn't talk to the modem I was truly amazed that it ran Opus at all considering that it uses GDOS. It didn't load desk accessories at all. Everything was very slow, especially the disk accesses. It took about two minutes to load the GDOS fonts. The color resolutions were VERY flakey. Mono was better but the whole screen was stretched vertically and was about 1.5" too low. It was very difficult to read any fine, horizontal lines due to interlacing. I can't possibly believe that this thing is legal. It would be quite a trick to reverse-engineer all of TOS GEM and the ADI and have it work. It simply looked like a hacked version of TOS 1.2 (1040 TOS). Many of the dialog boxes for the desktop were just loaded with different text. It would seem that the serial port and sound are not supported in any fashion. The printer seems to work, though. Also, Atari1 takes over the whole machine. You have to reboot to get out. All in all, I don't think I'd call Atari1 an emulator - not even close to the level of the Mac emulators. It's just an interesting/illegal hack job. More novelty than utility. Oh well, at least Amiga users can run Opus now, at half speed. (No, I didn't give him a copy) BTW, George Harrison, are we going to see a new version of Opus soon? Craig Pratt / firstname.lastname@example.org Montana State University, Bozeman MT / Craig.Pratt@msu3.oscs.montana.edu Nothing beats the taste sensation when maple syrup collides with ham " Special Agent Cooper, _TWIN PEAKS_ (*)(*)(*) Replies to new Atari ST Emulator (*)(*)(*) Path: apratt!atari!portal!apple!sun-barr!cs.utexas.edu!samsung!munnari.oz au!uhccux!waikato!comp.vuw.ac.nz!am.dsir.govt.nz!dsiramd!marcamd !mercury!kcbbs From: apratt@atari.UUCP (Allan Pratt) Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: Atari ST emulator for the Amiga: Atari's position Message-ID: <2709@atari.UUCP> Date: 16 Oct 90 21:34:04 GMT Organization: Atari Corp., Sunnyvale CA Some people have expressed confusion over the legality of the "Atari emulator" now floating around the net for the Amiga. I understand that Atari's position is that it is a grave and flagrant violation of Atari's copyright, and we are asking everybody, especially archive sites and BBSes, to stop distributing it and remove all copies they have. I don't know why people think this *could* be legal: it's a derivative work from Atari's copyrighted material, and Atari intends to protect its copyrights. Some people have expressed dismay that their favorite archive or BBS might get in trouble. In my *personal* opinion, the operators of these sites bring doom upon themselves by making uploads immediately available for downloading, with no checks on the content of the uploads. I believe that only a Common Carrier, such as the phone company or an airline, can legally be blind to the content of the information or goods they transport and distribute. Everybody else is responsible for exercising due diligence to ensure that no illegal activity is going on using their equipment or service. Since this program is prima facie a copyright violation, a duly diligent sysop would not have made it available for downloads. Finally, some people have expressed the opinion that Atari should be a "good guy" and take no action concerning this. That's nonsense. If you don't vigorously protect your copyrights, you lose them. Ignoring this could mean relinquishing all rights to protect TOS from copying and modification. This message represents my opinions and things I believe to be true, but it is not to be considered a legal opinion from Atari's legal department or anybody else but me. -- Allan Pratt Systems Software Engineer Atari Computer Corp. ...ames!atari!apratt -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*- Visiting and age old tradition. =============================== by Jon Clarke Over the last week I have been wandering around the country on a short vacation. What mixed with thunder storms and earthquakes I thought I had picked the wrong week to journey to lower reaches of the North Island. Last Saturday we were up at 4:30am and ready for the first leg of our trip to Palmerston North some 300 miles south of us here in Auckland and to visit with the users of the Manawatu Atari Users Group. We jumped in the trustly little Toyota and ended up in Ohakea the southern most Air Force Base in the North Island at 10:00am an met with Tony Lewis the Editor of the WAUG user Group. Dropping all our gear at the his place we make haste to Palmerston North some 25 miles away. Our timing was great as everyone had just started to arrive. So we unpacked all the computers out of the car and set them up in the hall. This is where I discovered this was not going to be the normal User Group meeting that I had seen. You see everyone was bringing their Atari's to the meeting. There were old 520ST's with the boot disk, STe's and the most amazing ST I have ever seen. This ST was a wooden cased 520ST. Now forget the old jokes as I used them too, "Wooden case and Wooden go!" I was really taken back when I saw what Chris had done to his ST's keyboard. Imagine if you will an old revision 'c' 520ST with a detached keyboard similar to Mega keyboard, however encased in the most beautifully dark stained and french polished wooded case. "This has to be a first for the ST" I thought. I have seen many variations to the ST and have even done the same myself but have never seen anything like this at all. Looking at this ST it conjured up thoughts of stately ballrooms and the likes. By noon there were no less than thirteen ST's and STe's set up all doing different things from games play, programming, demonstrating new software they had written and modifications to their ST's. So I spent the next four hours looking, playing, and being pleasantly surprised by the quality of the locally produced software. Several chaps in MAUG have started to produce a monthly disk for ST users in the User Group and for users around the country. It is called STUNZ and stands for ST Users in New Zealand. The man behind this disk based magazine is Chris Hocking. Chris is stationed at the Army base and has been one of the few people lucky enough to have spent a lot of time with the top German ST programers while he was stationed in Germany, and is the author of "STicker" and "STicker III". I must confess after seeing disk based magazines from all around the world the 'STUNZ' disk ranks up in the top 5 in my opinion. Here in an overview of the STUNZ diskette..  Will run in colour or Mono.  Is designed to run on a 520ST or a 1040 ST as well as the STe.  Uses Gdos or Amgdos (The PD GDos)  Several PD programs.  Hints, tips and secretes of GFA basics programing.  Just click and select an icon to run an option. Not only did I see some brilliant local programing I lucky enough to see some of the latest European demos by the "Lost Boys" called the "Lost Boys Demo". By now I guess most of you have seen the TCB "Care Bears demo" and this is been held the beST demonstration of what a ST can do. Well the "Lost Boys demo" goes beyond the bounds of description. I spent 3 hours on Sunday looking at the 20 demos it includes and then I did not see it all. These guys writing demos in Europe are sure using all the tricks possible to get the ST to do these demos. After the meeting some of us went out for tea and then met up with several of MAUG members at their home and was taken on an extensive tour of the local BBS's. It was funny both during the meeting and after, the comments passed about the PC I am writing this article on. You see when I travel I have my little "T1200" with me and a null modem cable. So when I hook this up to a ST via the cable or take a disk out of my "T1200" and put it in a ST, many of the younger users look in amazement and the point finally comes home that the ST is more compatible to the IBM than they first thought. From Palmerston North I travelled to Wellington the capital of NZ and to see what was going on in the WACE user group. I missed the meeting by one week however I did have the opportunity to visit with the Sysop of their BBS called Harbour Board BBS. Chris Thorpe the Sysop has just completed a major face lift to the BBS and it is now humming along at a great rate. It is funny when sysops get together there is always similar stories and items of interest that seem to happen no matter where your BBS is located. We sat down to few amber ales and I was taken on a flying tour of the FoReM based BBS. Hmm then came all the stats and the old rivalry of FoReM and MBBS boards. Needless to say WACE are doing a good job with their BBS and are lucky to have a "IBM AS400" operator being their Sysop of Harbour Board. As an aside here, it is funny how sysops seem to parallel each other in some cases as in this case Chris and I work of different Banks, run different software on our BBS's and live in the two largest cities in NZ. So much for the travels, as a brighter note I did manage to buy an old IBM XT for $NZ200 so the PC Speed may not be used as much [grin]. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*NET Atari Online Magazine is a weekly publication covering the Atari and related computer community. Material contained in this edition may be reprinted without permission except where noted, unedited and containing the issue number, name and author included at the top of each article reprinted. Opinions presented are those of the individual author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff of Z*Net Online. This publication is not affiliated with Atari Corporation. Z*Net, Z*Net Atari Online and Z*Net News Service are copyright (c)1990, Rovac Industries Incorporated, Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey 08846-0059. Voice (908) 968-2024, BBS (908) 968- 8148 at 1200/2400 Baud 24 hours a day. We can be reached on Compuserve at PPN 71777,2140 and on GEnie at address: Z-Net ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*NET Atari Online Magazine Copyright (c)1990, Rovac Industries, Inc.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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