ST Report: 23-Nov-90 #647From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/01/91-09:48:53 AM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 23-Nov-90 #647 Date: Tue Jan 1 09:48:53 1991 *---== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" _____________________________________ from STR Publishing Inc. """""""""""""""""" November 23, 1990 No.6.47 ========================================================================== STReport Online Magazine? Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 ~ 6672 R.F. Mariano Publisher - Editor _________________________________________ Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM - 4 PM EST BBS: 904-786-4176 USR/HST DUAL STANDARD FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EST _________________________________________ ** Fnet Node 350 * FidoNet Node 1:112/35 * NeST Node 90:03/0 ** STR'S privately 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 user's enjoyment __________________________________________________________________ > 11/23/90: STReport? #6.47 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU REPORT - CPU STATUS REPORT - PORTFOLIO NEWS - 2M Amigas Sold - SEAGATE MECHS - Stock Report - ABC History? - STR Confidential * ATARI/COMDEX > ANOTHER LOOK!* * WHY KENAN LEFT! * * ATARI IN SAUDI ARABIA! * ========================================================================== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE? The _Number One_ Online Magazine -* FEATURING *- "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Hot Tips, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ========================================================================== STReport's support BBS, NODE # 350 invites systems using Forem ST and Turbo Board BBS to participate in the Fido/F-Net Mail Network. Or, call Node 350 direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging information relative to the Atari ST computer arena through an excellent International ST Mail Network. All registered F-NET - Crossnet SysOps are welcome to join the STReport Crossnet Conference. The Crossnet Conference Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is # 350. All systems are most welcome to actively participate. Support Atari Computers; Join Today! ========================================================================== AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON: GENIE ~ CIS ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ F-NET ========================================================================== > The Editor's Podium? Here we are a week after Comdex, and all the smoke is just about completely cleared. This week's issue contains a pair of articles that are ..well, to say the least, "illuminating and thought provoking". While STReport anxiously craves to show support for Atari as it is the computer we chose and our being Atari enthusiasts is a fact. Still, we are report- ers, as the name STReport implies. After having received a number of 'attaboys' for our last two issues, this week STReport received a chal- lenge from a group of developers to present their view of Comdex and current events. We have done just that in an honest attempt to be impar- tial. We now ask that the two articles be read with objectivity in mind and understanding for the plight of the Developers in heart. Additionally, STReport extends to any responsible party an opportunity to submit, for publication after approval, a reply to the articles con- tained herein. It is our basic endeavor to involve as many of the readers in the contemporary issues as possible. We feel the input from every reader is more than just 'valuable'. It is absolutely needed. None of us cares to see the ST become an orphan or at best, an engine without fuel. The fuel being the products of the developers. Fact.. the developers are upset, very upset! Ralph....... *********************************************************************** 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: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198 You will receive your complimentary time and be online in no time at all! WHAT'S NEW IN THE ATARI FORUMS (Nov. 21) THANKSGIVING FILES FOR ATARI 8-BITS The following files are available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari 8-Bit Forum (GO ATARI8) in honor of Thanksgiving thanks to Lawrence Estep: CORNCP.BAS - Cornucopia by Joey Latimer from 11/84 Family Comp. FALL.BAS - Falling Leaves from Family Computing magazine SUGRPM.BAS - "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy" TURCHS.BAS - Turkey Chase game by Steven C.M. Chen TURKEY.BAS - A beautiful holiday turkey from Family Computing TURPNC.BAS - Turkey Panic text adventure from Family Computing WSHBNE.BAS - Pull the Wishbone game from Family Computing If you have any Thanksgiving-related files you would like to share, please upload them to LIBRARY 1. Upload time is free of standard CompuServe connect charges. COMDEX NEWS SYSOP*Ron Luks combined all the various ST, STe, and TT press releases from COMDEX and uploaded it to LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) as COMDEX.PR. Portfolio-related press releases are available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO) also under the filename COMDEX.PR. Additional COMDEX NEWS REPORTS are available in STReport's STR646.ARC, ZNT546.ARC. (available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Arts Forum). NEW TETRIS-LIKE GAME A new Tetris-like game is now available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari ST Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS). Collapse is a low resolution game, object of which is to align similar block rows in three or more. Check out file COLLAP.LZH. NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE *********************************************************************** > CPU REPORT? ========== Issue # 92 ---------- by Michael Arthur Dream Systems? VIII =================== DREAM SYSTEMS VIII: POWER WITHOUT THE PRICE? ============================================= Part II In the computer user's quest for faster and more powerful systems that will do more in less time, much of the focus in the computer industry has been on high-end products like the NeXT workstations or 80486-based IBM Clones. Unfortunately, the extreme cost of these "Dream Systems" forces the ordinary user to look for alternatives that both approach the power levels of the high-end "Dream System" and are reasonably affordable. In short, the search for "Power Without the Price".... This essay features a list of "Practical" Dream Systems that could be configured from the major microcomputer standards in the low/middle end of the market. I ignored variables like operating systems and software, and concentrated on the actual computers' features and speed, the largest hard disk you could attain, and the best graphics that system could provide. While operating systems and software are a definite factor in a computer, I wanted to aim for the best hardware that would make operating systems and software perform faster and be more versatile to the user. All of the Practical Future Systems shown cost from $2500 to $5000, since surveys have shown that many computer owners own systems that are in that price range. Also, all of the Dream Systems have at least 2 Megabytes of RAM, since this is quickly becoming a requirement for running major software applications. After doing some research, I found several configurations that could claim to be "Affordable Dream Systems". Shown in no particular order, here is my list: (Warning: Do not be surprised by the Retail Prices Shown.) System #1: - Tandon SL 486/25 with Expanz Data Compression Card - --------- Total Cost of System: $4980.00 Dollars This IBM Compatible is a system with a 25 MHZ 80486 chip, 2 Megabytes of RAM onboard, 3 PC AT (and 1 PC XT) Expansion Slots, a 1.44 Meg Floppy Disk Drive, and a 40 Meg Hard Drive. To further enhance this system these components are added: Infochip's Expanz data compression card (which would be used to allow the 40 Meg Hard Drive to store up to 80 Megabytes of Data), a CompuAdd SuperVGA Graphics Adapter, and a Dell SuperVGA Color Monitor. So with this system, you would have: ------------------------------------ Tandon SL 486/25 with a 25 MHZ 80486 chip (Cost: $4000.00) CompuAdd Extended VGA Graphics Adapter (Cost: $ 280.00) InfoChip Expanz Data Compression Card (Cost: $ 200.00) Dell SuperVGA Color Monitor (Cost: $ 500.00) VGA Graphics Resolution: 320x200 with 256 Colors out of 256,000 640x480 with 16 Colors Displayable out of 256,000 SuperVGA Resolution: 640x480 with 256 Displayable Colors out of 256,000 800x600 with 16 Colors out of 256,000 Faults with System: None whatsoever. A Superb system, with a decent amount of expansion slots. System #2: - Macintosh IIsi w/NuBus Adapter Board - --------- Total Cost of System: $4880.00 This Macintosh uses a 20 MHZ 68030, Two Megabytes of RAM onboard, an internal 40 Meg Hard Drive, 1.44 Meg High Density Disk Drive, an AppleTalk Networking port, and a built-in Video Adapter chip. It uses the SWIM (Sander-Woz Integrated Machine) Disk Controller chip to allow the Mac to read/write to MS-DOS and OS/2 formatted disks. Added to this is a NuBus Adapter Board that gives the Mac IIsi one NuBus Expansion Slot, and an Apple 12-inch RGB display. So with this system you would have: ----------------------------------- Macintosh IIsi w/2 Megs of RAM and Keyboard (Cost: $4030.00) Apple 12-inch RGB Monitor (Cost: $ 600.00) NuBUs Adapter Board (Cost: $ 250.00) Macintosh II Resolution: 640x400 with 256 Colors out of 16 Million Faults with System: - No Floating Point Math Chip, for spreadsheet applications. - Only One Expansion Slot. System #3: - Atari TT030/2 with 33 MHZ 68030 Chip - --------- Total Cost of System: $3550.00 This is an Atari TT030/2 with a 33 MHZ 68030 chip, 2 Megs of RAM onboard, an internal 50 Meg Hard Drive, a 720K Floppy Disk Drive, an AppleTalk Port, and 1 VME Expansion Slot as Standard. An Atari PPC-1246 Multisync Monitor has been added. So with this system you would have: Atari TT030/2 with 2 Megs of RAM (Cost: $3000.00) Atari PPC-1246 MultiSync Monitor (Cost: $ 550.00) Atari STe Resolutions: (Supported by TT) 320*200 with 16 displayable colors out of a 4096 color palette 640*200 with 4 Colors out of 4096 640*400 in Monochrome Atari TT Resolutions: 320*480 with 256 Displayable Colors out of a 4096 Color Palette. 640*480 with 16 Colors out of 4096 1280*960 in Monochrome Faults with System: 1 Expansion Slot is not enough for many users. Also, no "Expansion Slot Box" is available to remedy this fault. System #4 - Amiga 3000/16 with 2 Megs of RAM - --------- Total Cost of System: $4100.00 This is an Amiga 3000 with a 16 MHZ 68030 and a 16 MHZ 68881 Floating Point Math Chip, 2 Megs of RAM (with no CPU Cache) onboard, 2 PC AT Expansion Slots and 4 Zorro III (32-bit) Slots. It also has an improved version of the Amiga's Enhanced Chip Set, which both boosts its graphics capabilities, features a Display Enhancer Chip (known in the Amiga world as the Amber "FlickerFixer" chip). This system also has a built-in 40 Meg Hard Drive, and a Commodore 1950 Multisync Monitor has been added. So with this system you would have: ----------------------------------- Amiga 3000/16 with 40 Meg Hard Drive (Cost: $3300.00) Commodore 1950 Multisync Monitor (Cost: $ 800.00) Amiga Resolutions: (Not including Overscan) 320x200 with 32 colors out of 4096 320x200 with 64 colors out of 4096 (Extra Half-Brite) 320x200 with 4096 colors at the same time (HAM Mode) 640x200 with 4 to 32 colors 640x400 with 2 to 16 colors (interlaced) With Enhanced Chip Set: (most capable graphics modes shown) 640x256, with 64 displayable colors out of 4096 1280x400, with 4 colors out of 64 (interlaced) Faults with System: None.... System #5: - Mega STe/4 with 16 MHZ 68000 Chip - --------- Total Cost of System: $2700.00 This is a Mega STe with a 16 MHZ 68000, 4 Megs of RAM onboard (and a 32K CPU Cache), 1 Mega ST Expansion Slot, an AppleTalk port, a 720K Disk Drive, and a built-in 80 Megabyte Hard Drive. Along with this would be an Omnimon Rainbow Monitor from Wuztek Inc., which is capable of handling all of the STe's resolutions. So with this system you have: ----------------------------- Mega STe/4 with 16 MHZ 68000 (Cost: $2000.00) Wuztek Omnimon Monitor (Cost: $ 700.00) Atari STe Resolutions: 320*200 with 16 displayable colors out of a 4096 color palette 640*200 with 4 Colors out of 4096 640*400 in Monochrome Faults with System: - No Floating Point Math Chip, which could be useful in future spreadsheet applications. - Many users need more than the 1 Expansion Slot provided by the Mega STe. System #6: - Macintosh LC with built-in Video Adapter Chip - --------- Total Cost of System: $2930.00 This Macintosh uses a 16 MHZ 68020 and has Two Megs of RAM onboard, an internal 40 Meg Hard Drive, a 1.44 Meg High Density Disk Drive, an AppleTalk Networking port, and the Video Adapter and SWIM Disk Controller chips found in the Mac IIsi. It also has a proprietary expansion slot. Added to this system is an Apple 12-inch RGB monitor. So with this system you have: ----------------------------- Macintosh LC with 2 Megs of RAM and a Keyboard (Cost: $2630.00) Apple 12-inch RGB Monitor: (Cost: $ 600.00) Macintosh LC Resolution: 640*480 with 256 Displayable Colors out of a 16 Million Color Palette. Faults of System: - No Floating Point Math Chip. - Only one card (Apple's IIe emulator board) is available for the LC's proprietary expansion slot. - Like many of the new middle-end systems available, the Mac LC only has 1 Expansion Slot. Here is a Graph of the features of each Dream System: :DREAM SYSTEMS LIST: (Comparison of each Systems' Optimal Features) _________________________________________________________________________ Dream |Main Chips,|MHZ Rate|Mass |Expansion|Graphics Displays/ | System |Megs of RAM| & MIPS |Storage | Slots |Best Resolution(s) | -----------|-----------|--------|----------|---------|-------------------| IBM 486 |Intel 80486| 25 MHZ | 80 Meg |Three (4)|640*480, 256 Colors| System | Two Megs | |Capability| PC/AT |800*600, 16 Colors| -----------|-----------+--------+----------+---------+-------------------| Mac IIsi | 68030 | 20 MHZ | 40 Meg | One (1) |640*480, 256 Colors| System | Two Megs | |Hard Drive|NuBus | | -----------|-----------+--------+----------+---------+-------------------| Atari TT030| 68030 | 33 MHZ | 50 Meg | One (1) |320*480, 256 Colors| System | Two Megs | |Hard Drive|VME Bus |640*480, 16 Colors| -----------|-----------+--------+----------+---------+-------------------| Amiga 3000 |68030/68881| 16 MHZ | 40 Meg | Four (4)|320*200,4096 Colors| System | Two Megs | |Hard Drive|Zorro III|640*256, 4 Colors| -----------|-----------+--------+----------+---------+-------------------| Mac LC | 68020 | 16 MHZ | 40 Meg | One (1) |640*480, 256 Colors| System | Two Megs | |Hard Drive| LC Slot | | -----------|-----------|--------|----------|---------|-------------------| Mega STe | 68000 | 16 MHZ | 80 Meg | One (1) |320*200, 16 Colors| System | Four Megs | |Hard Drive|Mega ST |640*200, 4 Colors| -----------'-------------------------------------------------------------' 1 VAX MIPS approximately equals 1750 Dhrystones per Second. Also, the Expansion Slot Column now measures the number of available expansion slots in each Dream System AFTER installing the various add-in boards in each System Configuration. The number in parentheses is the total number of expansion slots in the system. :Dream Systems List: Basic System Performance List _________________________________________________________________________ Dream |Dhrystones |Data Transfer| Linpack |Size of Bus|Size,Type of| System |in VAX MIPS| Rate | MFLOPS |Architectr.| CPU Cache | -----------|-----------|-------------|----------|-----------|------------| IBM 486 | 9-12 MIPS | 8 Megabytes | 0.9 - 1.2| 16 Bits | 32K SRAM | System | | Per Second | MFLOPS | Wide | | -----------|-----------|-------------|----------|-----------|------------| Mac IIsi |2 - 4 MIPS | 10 Megabytes| Has No | 32 Bits |No CPU Cache| System | | Per Second |Math Chip | Wide | | -----------|-----------|-------------|----------|-----------|------------| Atari TT |5 - 7 MIPS | N/A | Has No | 16/24 Bits| 32K SRAM | System | | |Math Chip | Wide | | -----------|-----------|-------------|----------|-----------|------------| Amiga 3000 | 3 MIPS |Up to 33 Megs|Up To 0.1 | 32 Bits |No CPU Cache| System | | Per Second | MFLOPS | Wide | | -----------|-----------|-------------|----------|-----------|------------| Mac LC | 2 MIPS | N/A | Has No | 16 Bits | 32K SRAM | System | | |Math Chip | Wide | | -----------|-----------|-------------|----------|-----------|------------| Mega STe | 2 MIPS | N/A | Has No | 16 Bits | 32K SRAM | System | | |Math Chip | Wide | | -----------'-------------------------------------------------------------' MFLOPS - Million Floating Point math Operations performed Per Second SRAM - Static RAM memory (many times faster than DRAM chips) MIPS - Million Instructions performed Per Second > CPU STATUS REPORT? >>>>> LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS <<<<< ================= - Cambridge, MA LOTUS BUYS ITS OWN WORD PROCESSING DIVISION ------------- Lotus Development has recently purchased Samna Corp., a prominent Microsoft Windows applications developer, for $65 million. Lotus is offering $18.84 a share for Samna, which currently makes two Windows-based word processors (Ami and Ami Professional). Samna will become the Word Processing Division of Lotus, and its Microsoft Windows programmers will help make Lotus' other products (like Lotus 1-2-3) fully based on the Windows standard. Lotus will also be diversifying its line of products (read: sources of revenue) with this deal, while Samna will use Lotus' marketing and development resources to make Ami Professional a dominant standard in the Windows word processing market. Interestingly, Jim Manzi (the President of Lotus) has said that Lotus "intends to provide tight integration between (Ami Professional) and our spreadsheet and graphics products under development for Windows 3.0." This indicates that Lotus is now porting both its 1-2-3 spreadsheet and its FreeLance Plus graphics program to Windows 3.0, and that Lotus is now fully backing its future on Microsoft's standard.... - West Chester, PA COMMODORE SELLS 2 MILLIONTH AMIGA ---------------- Commodore Ltd. has recently revealed that it has sold over two million Amigas worldwide. In an announcement this week, Commodore had said that Amiga sales "have increased dramatically" in 1990. Of interest is the fact that Commodore announced that it had sold its 1 millionth Amiga in early 1989. Since the Amiga was introduced in 1985, it seems that Commodore has doubled its rate of Amiga sales since it first reached the "1 million computer" mark, and that the Amiga is gaining popularity after initially slow sales. - Las Vegas, NV LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR SOFTWARE SHOWN AT COMDEX ------------- One of the more innovative items shown at Comdex was Globalink's GTS (Globalink Foreign Language Translator). This DOS-based program is capable of translating ASCII documents written in foreign languages at up to 20,000 words per hour. Meant to help human translators in efforts to translate long documents, this $1000 product is able to interpret idiom, context- and subject-specific text, in addition to "literal translation" features found in other computer-based translators. GTS also provides clearer and less "stilted" translations of documents, and features a modifiable dictionary of words. Globalink is also making versions of GTS geared towards documents dealing with computers, law, and commerce. One drawback to this program is that users must purchase a version of GTS for each "translation direction". For example, if you own the "English to Spanish" version of GTS, and you want to translate English text into French, you have to buy the "English to French" version of GTS for another $1000.00. Globalink also supports the German, Russian, and Chinese languages in its library of translation tools. However, GTS is quickly becoming popular among international businesses and embassies, who have experienced vast improvements in the time it takes them to do their translation work. - Washington, DC US SOFTWARE SALES UP 24.4 PERCENT -------------- The Software Publishers' Association has recently revealed its statistics about the collective revenue of 150 of its member companies over the 3rd Quarter of 1990, in order to help judge the financial growth of the softwre industry. The SPA has found that among its members, international sales increased by 61.2 percent, while worldwide software sales grew 34.1 percent. Interestingly, DOS/Windows software sales (which were up 31.9 percent) surpassed that of Macintosh software sales (only up 5.5 percent), and Windows applications sales are quickly approaching the level of Macintosh program sales. Other findings are that: - Windows applications sales grew by 213.1 percent. - Spreadsheet sales were down 1.4 percent, while Word processor sales were up 37.1 percent. - Sales of entertainment software were down 19.2 percent, while educational software sales were up 23.7 percent. - Desktop Publishing Software sales were up 44.3 percent, to $47.4 Million. Interestingly enough, MS-DOS DTP packages accounted for $28.2 million in sales, while only $18.4 million worth of Macintosh DTP software was sold. *********************************************************************** :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. -> NOW! GENIE STAR SERVICE IS IN EFFECT!! <- *********************************************************************** > SEAGATE MECHS STR Spotlight? "What's the Story, Jerry??" =========================== SEAGATE MECHANISMS AND RELIABILITY ================================== by R.F. Mariano Over the past few months, a number of those who supply assembled hard drives to the ST community seem to be "experiencing" problems with certain versions of the Seagate Hard Disk Mechanism. Sure, I am wearing the hat of one who is directly involved in the marketplace that sells and services mass storage devices. Since 1985, Seagate mechanisms have been used in most all the systems assembled here. Some 1,485 drives later, there has only been 16 instances where the Seagate mechanism was directly responsible for the "in the field" problem that arose. Compared to the number of Seagate mechanisms that are in the field that we can account for, and those that failed, the percentages are very good. Of course, we can look at the failure rate of the removable drives and find a number of them have croaked, as have the carts themsel- ves. And we will find that the manufacturer's warranty leaves a great deal to be desired. Does this mean the manufacturer should be avoided? Of course not. And neither should Seagate. Unless of course there are OTHER less obvious reasons for bad-mouthing Seagate incessantly and recom- mending another manufacturer repeatedly. Remember Rodime, "the very best ..." And oh how great the Miniscribes were touted to be... until. Oh well, nobody's perfect. If we were to begin comparing other problems and component failure rates, we can start at the DMA Cables, and certain versions of formatting software that has caused video problems and Fat Table problems. But these are all part of the business, nobody's perfect. When the revisions came through for the Host Adaptors, there were "growing pains" and again fat tables fell victim, but as stated earlier, nobody's perfect. Then came the power supplies in the "shoebox" cabinets, that for a while in 1987, the doggone things were dropping like flies, especially those cabinets that came from a certain supplier in Texas, the power supply boards were replaced without question, but the inconvenience factor and replacement logistics were a bear. But.....once again, nobody's per- fect. After calling Seagate's Customer Service Department it was discovered that yes, they had a problem with the EARLY 3.5 drives and then, only with the 20mb 3.5" drive in most cases. The spindle would stick. At one point in time, Seagate had in their instructions to never install the drive upside down, that is the circuit board facing up, yet a number of sup- pliers of assembled drives did just that! With little or no problems. Now it is discovered that the problem can be alleviated (in some cases) if one were to flip the drive mechanism over and re-install it in the cabi- net. Seems this changes the resting point of the spindle. As for certain versions of utility software finding itself incompat- ible with some of the Seagate mechanisms, "this occurance is a result of the ongoing forward movement of Seagate in programming their onboard systems to give the very best performance to the overall computing com- munity and not a "special interest niche," they said. Frankly, it would appear that the responsibility lies with the software publishers to main- tain an up to date version that complies with the hardware, not the other way around. Right Bruno? How very easy it is to recall the Adaptec story, when at one time you could only use the Adaptec because it was the controller to have... then miraculously, the OMTI came crashing upon the scene and now, it is the only one to use. Strange though, many of the users now own Adaptec and find the software does only the barest of functions well. Why this vacillation? Could it be that the OMTI 3500 series controller market has been cornered? Who knows. One thing is for sure, SEAGATE is going to be around for many years to come, perhaps a lot longer than those who are, "oh so busy", bad-mouthing a good company that provides a fine, affordable product to the entire computing community. The time has come for all folks in the hard disk arena to realize that the Hard Disk Mechanism Business does not revolve around the Atari Niche market, in fact, in most cases, the Atari market must comply with the big picture. Seagate ships far more drives per month than any other manufac- turer of the mechanisms. And although they may be the Volkswagon of the hard disk world, they're quite reliable. __________________________________________________ > Stock Market ~ STReport? And the Band Marches On.... ======================= THE TICKERTAPE ============== by Michael Arthur The price of Atari stock rose 1/8 of a point on Monday, but dropped by 1/4 of a point on Tuesday. On Wednesday it was down by 1/8 of a point, and the price of Atari stock was up 1/8 of a point on Thursday. On Friday the price of Atari stock went up 1/8 of a point, ending the week at $2.25 a share. The price of Atari stock was at the same price on November 16 that it was on November 2 and November 9. Apple Stock was down 3/8 of a point from Friday, November 9, 1990. Commodore Stock was up 1 3/4 points from 11/9/90. IBM Stock was up 3 1/2 points from 11/9/90. Stock Report for Week of 11/12/90 to 11/16/90 _________________________________________________________________________ STock| Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Reprt|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.|Last Chg.| -----|-------------|------------|------------|------------|--------------| Atari|2 3/8 +1/8|2 1/8 -1/4| 2 - 1/8|2 1/8 +1/8|2 1/4 + 1/8| | 221,700 Sls | 33,200 Sls | | | 31,400 Sls | -----|-------------+------------+------------+------------+--------------| CBM |7 1/2 + 1/2|7 3/4 + 1/4|7 7/8 + 1/8| 8 + 1/8|8 3/4 + 3/4| | | | | | 266,200 Sls | -----|-------------+------------+------------+------------+--------------| Apple|36 1/4 +3/4| 36 - 1/4| 37 + 1 | 36 - 1 |35 1/8 - 7/8| | | | | |1,634,000 Sls | -----|-------------+------------+------------+------------+--------------| IBM | 113 +2 3/4| 112 - 1 |113 1/2 |112 5/8 -7/8|113 5/8 + 1 | |3,453,300 Sls| | +1 1/2| |2,269,700 Sls | -----'-------------------------------------------------------------------' '#' and 'Sls' refer to the # of stock shares that were bought that day. 'CBM' refers to Commodore Corporation. ________________________________________________________________ > STR Portfolio News & Information? Keeping up to date... ================================ PowerBASIC PROGRAM COMPILER CARD for the PORTFOLIO PALMTOP COMPUTER ctsy CIS While the Atari Portfolio Palmtop Computer has the most commonly used software applications built-in, individual and corporate buyers have felt that the go-anywhere computer would be even more useful if they could quickly and easily develop their own unique programs. To give users this application flexibility, Atari Computer has introduced the new PowerBASIC Portfolio Compiler Application Development Card. The PowerBASIC Compiler is a true compiler that can be used by anyone to develop fast, efficient .COM or .RUN files directly from their own source code. Company officials note that the files are directly execut- able on the Portfolio and perform at 4 to 100 times the speed of an in- terpreted BASIC program. Developed by Spectra Publishing of Sunnyvale, CA, the compiler is a compact version of the firm's highly popular PowerBASIC Compiler (formerly Borland's TurboBASIC (TM)) that operates on IBM (R) and compatible per- sonal computers. PowerBASIC is the first compiler that has been specially designed for the palmtop computer market. FAST PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT ------------------------ Spectra officials note that programs are easy to develop and run on the Atari palmtop. Using the one-pound computer's built-in editor, users simply enter their source code directly or download it from another com- puter. Then, the user types the name of the file on the system's typewri- ter-style keyboard and an executable program is completed and ready to run. "The Portfolio is great to slip into your attache' case, coat pocket or purse," Joe Byrd, Spectra's general manager commented. "Because the palmtop computer is so energy-efficient (it runs for weeks on standard AA batteries), it's ideal for professional people who are on-the-go. While the built-in spreadsheet, text editor, calculator and other programs will be used for day-to-day activities, everyone needs the ability to have programs that are convenient and/or unique to their organization or their way of working. We've provided a fast, easy and economical method of developing those programs to help the user release the power of the Portf- olio." TRUE COMPILER ------------- Sam Tramiel, CEO for Atari Corporation, said that the PowerBASIC Portfolio Compiler provides a very powerful, enhanced version of BASIC. "This is a complete, high-level language that features structured program- ming elements, floating-point arithmetic, dynamic strings and comprehen- sive data file manipulation capabilities," he noted. "It gives users access to all of the Portfolio's built-in capabilities. PowerBASIC proves that the Portfolio is a serious computer for serious users who do more than sit at a desk but don't want to lug around a laptop computer all of the time." With PowerBASIC, people who develop their own applications programs on the Portfolio have a complete stream of structured programming elements. Data files can be accessed in either sequential, random-access or binary modes. This allows for manipulation of individual lines, records or bytes. The floating-point arithmetic conforms to IEEE standards and has a full complement of math functions. PowerBASIC supports a full complement of relational and logical operators, as well as true dynamic strings. To produce quality applica- tions software, users can debug their programs using PowerBASIC's built-in trace debugging system. Atari officials note that the PowerBASIC Portfolio Compiler Applica- tions Development Card should be available through Portfolio dealers across the country in less than 60 days. Suggested retail price is under $100.00 For more information, contact: Greg Pratt, General Manager, Atari Computer, 1196 Borregas Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94088 (408) 745-2000, FAX (408) 745-2088. ctsy CIS [72567,707] DOSCMD.ADR 04-Nov-90 3505 Title : DOS commands for Portforlio: Syntax and examples Keywords: DOS MS/DOS COMMAND ATARI PORTFOLIO A synopsis of DOS commands with syntax and examples of use. Includes examples of * and ? wildcard use. It can be kept conveniently in the the Atari Portfolio as an Address Book (.ADR) file. This allows quick data-base-like access. An essential supplement to the PF/DOS "HELP" command for infrequent users of MS/DOS (especially Macintosh users like me). [JAPP [/A/C/D/E/S/W/C] Only one allowed Takes you directly to ADDR BOOK,CALC, DIARY,EDITOR or SETUP BREAK [ON,OFF] BREAK (no arg)-reports current state BREAK ON -Fn B halts immediately BREAK OFF -Fn B halts at next screen or keyboard activity CD [dir string] (Change Directory) CD -returns current dir CD \ -changes to root dir CD A:\DATA\NEW CD .. -moves up one level CD NOTES (no \) -move down one level CHKDSK [disk][/p] (list disk content) CHKDSK a: -lists memory useage of disk /P =one page at a time CLS (clear screen) CLS -also homes cursor and window COPY [path1] [path2] COPY DATA.TXT TEMP.TXT COPY *.TXT A:\DATA\*.* COPY TEMP?.TXT C:\*.SAV * =wildcard, ? =single char wildcard DATE [mm-dd-yy] DATE 10-26-90 -sets date DATE -returns current date, asks for new one (RETURN keeps current) DEL [path] (Delete file) DEL MORTG.TXT DEL A:\DATA\TEST.* DEL A:\DATA\TEST?.TXT * =wildcard ? =single char wildcard DIR [path][/p][/w][>] (List directory) DIR A:\DATA -lists files,size,date & DIR time on default or /P =one Page at a time /W =names only across screen Width FDISK [n] (set RAM disk size) FDISK 16 -sets the size of the C:RAM disk to 16K also does cold start: all data lost FORMAT [disk][/V] (disk format) FORMAT A: -formats card in a: all previous data lost! /V will ask for volume name after format HELP (Lists DOS commands) HELP -lists only, no syntax or examples MD [disk][path][dirname] (Make dir) MD A:\HOME\DATA MD DATA -creates directory DATA below current disk\directory OFF (PF off (standby)) PATH [path1];[path2]... (search path) PATH A:\;C:\;C:\MAIN\PROGS PATH ; -reset to current working dir Sets search path for any executable command looking for a file, esp. in .BAT files PROMPT [text][$n$m..] (set sys prompt) PROMPT PRTF $p -Prompt=Prtf a:\data> $d=cur date $t=cur time $p=cur dr\dir $v=DOS ver# $n=cur drv $g= > $l= < $b= | $_=CR-LF $s=space $h=backsp RD [drive][dir] (remove directory) RD A:\DATA -directory must be empty REN [path]file1 file2 (Rename) REN TESTDAT.WKS NEWDAT.WKS REN A:\FINAN\MONEY.WKS TEMP.* -both names must have same path RUN [path][file] (Run mem card prog)(used ONLY for certain Portfolio mem card progs) RUN A:\FIXIT.COM SET [chrstr1]=[chrstr2] (set synonym) SET -returns current definitions SET NAME=DAVID SET NAME= -removes setting (used mostly in .BAT files) TIME [hh:[mm:[ss]]] (Set time} TIME -returns cur time and req new TIME 06:17:29 TYPE [path]filename[/p] (Type file) TYPE C:\NEWDAT.TXT -displays file contents TYPE TESTDAT.TXT/P -ditto, 1 p at time VERIFY [ON,OFF] (File write verify) VERIFY ON VERIFY OFF VERIFY -displays current setting VER (DOS version number) VER -prints DOS version number on screen VOL [disk] (Display Vol number) VOL a: -displays label for disk a: (see also LABEL) < [device] (Redirect input from dev) After any command requiring input Devices: PRN -parallel port AUX -serial port LPT1 " " COM1 " " NUL -no output CON -console(kybd) FILENAME (> [device] (Redirect output to dev) After any command producing output Devices: PRN -parallel port AUX -serial port LPT1 " " COM1 " " NUL -no output CON -console(kybd) FILENAME ________________________________________________________ > THE FUTURE & ATARI STR PROBE? Taking a long, hard look... ============================ ATARI/COMDEX - ANOTHER LOOK =========================== ARTICLE ONE ----------- IS ANYTHING DIFFERENT NOW? ========================== by Elliott Steinberg Comdex for Atari this year was an *utter disaster*!! Mind you now, this is my opinion and my opinion only. But to back it up I'd like to take a moment or two to point out the glaring warning signs and screaming evidence that this is and will be the case. All questions were asked this week, after Comdex, and were answered by developers whose identities will be kept anonymous for obvious reasons. [Q] Did Atari have an elaborate display of the famous laptop, Stacy on display? [A] No, the only Stacy units to be seen were those brought in by developers who were displaying their wares in the Atari booth. One would think, with the thousands of dollars spent in develo- ping the Stacy, Atari would have at least had a number of them on display, if only for midi applications. The most I saw was maybe two. [Q] Were Atari's three ABC (Atari Business Computers). Atari's MS- Dos Clones on display? [A] Nope, nowhere to found, not even a mention of them this year. [Q] How was the attendance this year at Atari's display compared to last year's in the west hall? [A] Attendance from the showgoers was maybe 1 TENTH of last year's, when Atari was in the West Hall. It was like a "ghost town", very few people even *cared* about the TT or the Mega-STe, most folks gravitated toward the Portfolio display. Clearly 65% of the Atari booth was dedicated to the Portfolio. The entire Sands Convention Center was not well attended, it was like Atari was exiled in Siberia. [Q] Do you think the TT030 will be able to hold its own against the new line of contemporary machines now hitting the US market? [A] The TT030 pricing is LUDICROUS! They (Atari) are living in a dream world where they seem to see the Amiga as their only com- petition and all pricing is against only the Amiga and not aga- inst THE PC'S AND MAC'S THAT ARE RAVENOUSLY EATING THEIR LUNCH. [Q] Did Atari live up to the expectations of the userbase and develo- pers who waited patiently for this year's "spectacular showing"? [A] People were pretty much waiting for Comdex to see if Atari had any surprises left. There were no pleasant surprises. The TT is 3 years obsolete, the STE 4 years obsolete at best. The Portfolio was the big crowd catcher this year. Every third person wanted to see the "MS-Dos compatible machine." [Q] Have you any idea why E. Kenan decided to drop the entire USA thing he was to head up? And do you feel the new man, Gregg Pratt will be the man for the job? [A] After many discussions with other developers and some folks at Atari, there seems to be two different stories circulating that describe why Elie left. The first, in a nutshell, relates to how Elie was describing how he was going about making the changes and personnel realignments when he was interrupted and informed that the plan was far too expensive. At this point, Elie informed them that he was not asking for approval but merely outlining his plans and goals and that he fully intended to proceed. At this point he was again informed that it was much too expensive. Elie stood up turned and in so many words, "hit the road". The second briefly related, is basically the same in that he was told he could not do this or that because of either expense or inconvenience. So, Elie who had an ironclad, non-interference clause went back to France. As far as G. Pratt is concerned, I'll quote what I've heard myself from many of the developers throughout the show, "Greg Pratt seems to have little or no real technical grasp, he may be the most enthusiastic appointee so far, but how can he relate to anything that may effect us good or bad?" There you have it folks, there was quite a bit of casual conversation also where old familiar expressions were heard like the "Titanic", the "Hindenburg", The San Francisco Earth Quake, O'leary's Cow and many other descriptively colorful ways the developers used to illustrate their con- fidence (frustration) in the future of the ST and Atari. In all fairness it must be said that most felt the Portfolio had a very bright future indeed as long as the same leaders who made the ST a 'success' were not allowed to make any decisions effecting the Portfolio. ARTICLE TWO ----------- THE DOLL HOUSE OR HOUSE OF CARDS ================================ by Larry Karowski Just about two years ago a former, long time Atari employee told me that the only way you could possibly understand Atari completely is to compare Atari to three kids with a doll house. What, you say, compare Atari to a doll house? Yup, stop for moment and think about it... Christmas, 5 years ago, Daddy bestows upon his three sons a rather elaborate doll house to play with. The number one son organized the doll house and placed various dolls and toys in each room and then went outside to play with his new car. Son #2 didn't like the way the dolls and toys were arranged, so he changed some of them around. Then he too, went out to play with his friends. Son #3 then came in and loudly exclaimed; "Those brothers of mine haven't the first idea about playing with doll houses! I will absolutely have to do this myself to make sure its done right!" And so, he proceeds to re-arrange all the dolls and toys in the entire house! Content with his elaborate efforts, he then went outside to admire the stars. By this time, the first son came back and promptly blew his top because the doll house was completely re-arranged without his permission. He began throwing some of the dolls out because they weren't with the right toys. Now, let's reword the previous paragraph changing dolls to people and toys to jobs. Christmas 5 years ago, Jack bestowed upon his three sons a new com- puter company to "play" with. The number one son organized the Company and placed various people and jobs in each room and then went outside to play with his new car. Son #2 didn't like the way the people and jobs were arranged, so he changed some of them around. Then he too went out to play with his friends. Son #3 then came into the building and loudly exclaimed; "Those brothers of mine haven't the first idea about playing with computer companies! I will absolutely have to do this myself to make sure its done right!" And so, he proceeds to re-arrange all the people and jobs throughout the entire company! Content with his elaborate efforts, he then went outside to admire the stars. By this time, the first son came back and promptly blew his top because the company was completely re-arranged without his permission. Since many of the people were unable to finish the jobs assigned them, due to the outrageous con- fusion, he, in a fit of temper, began firing some of the people. Crazy way to run a business isn't it.. But lets look at Atari today.. In the past year, the company was so disorganized it seemingly, was unable to order monitors to sell with its computers.. Then.. when they did manage to get some computers into their warehouse to sell to its surviving dealers, there are no monitors to sell with the computers. This level of expertise was so bad, as far as having the monitors and computers available at the same time, that Pacific soft- ware (The largest Atari distributor) and Talon Tech both carry and sell competing mono and color monitors so that the remaining Atari dealers can purchase them to sell with the computers they "occasionally" obtain from Atari. Last March there were rumors posted on GEnie that the Mega computers were going to be discontinued. Atari spokespersons immediately got on- line and vigorously denied this statement. However, since that time (8 months ago) Atari received only ONE large shipment of Megas.. (approxim- ately 100) which were quickly sold out (in spite of there being no mono- chrome monitors available). In August and September Atari received and shipped a whopping grand total of 23 Mega computers. Everyone bemoans the fact that Atari does not advertise.. TRUE, but that's not the real prob- lem! From all angles of observation, it would seem that Atari hasn't enough money to manufacture and ship large quantities of computers, (let alone do the R&D). As a result, the few computers they do make, they sell most all in Europe. The advantageous international money exchange rates forces this to happen. Lo & behold, Atari has announced the all NEW Mega STE. This sounds great, but lets take a good look at the "facts". This computer has not been seen nor is it owned by any developers, which means no new software that takes advantage of its new features. Unfortunately, it can also mean its more than likely a long way from being ready for sale in the USA. It has not been FCC Type Accepted (approved). Can you spell sometime next year? It is not selling in Europe yet so that could mean add a minimum of another 4-8 weeks before it ships outside the USA. (Could it be that Europe is trying to clear out the Mega ST 1 computers first?) This very easily can translate into a longer delay to allow dealers worldwide to sell out their existing Mega ST inventories. This may mean that the earliest we will see the new megas is late first quarter. Perhaps early June if all else fails. Now comes the TT, it was announced over TWO years ago and is still not in distribution here in the USA. Strange, how Atari announced in Septem- ber that they would be selling the TT at Comdex. Everything was going to happen the first week of November. Then, on the first day of the show, Atari tells the developers the absolutely great news, the double whammy... NO TT'S FOR SALE THIS YEAR.. NO MEGAS FOR SALE THIS YEAR. Christmas is going to be a LUMP OF COAL. Now, it seems the TT was NOT FCC approved even though numerous Atari employees said it was. Perhaps Apple's announ- cements of dramatically lower prices and NEW PRODUCTS that ARE ready to ship caught Atari by utter and complete surprise, (its not that they weren't forewarned by the online press months ago). And, as a result, they were forced to redesign the CPU to make it more competitive to the Apple line of inexpensive computers. This might have forced Atari to re-submit the now 32Mhz TT.. No one knows! Atari will not tell its dealers and developers who have remained loyal anything at all! Why? Possibly, Atari was planning all along to give them the biggest letdown yet this year. There will be many loyal developers and dealers going to different computer platforms now, if they can financially do it at all. Speaking of going out of business. Where have all the big, reputable developers/publishers gone? MichTron & Antic Software are OOB. Three years ago, between the two of them they published 3 or 4 new programs a month. Antic told the developers of their great Cyber programs to shove off because we are not interested in selling a new program for the ST. There is no market. MichTron refused to publish HiSoft's new Assembler for the ST saying they couldn't afford to print the manuals, they would LOSE TOO MUCH MONEY! What lose money? No market... What has Atari done to us? Microsoft, Imagen, and many others are no longer interested in doing any further development for the Atari Platform. WHY?? Big game companies (like Microprose) that have games developed in Europe for the ST refuse to sell them in the US stating there is no market and they don't care to deal with Atari. The loss to the Atari community worldwide is staggering... Soft Logic is now concentrating on software for the Amiga, Migraph is doing great in the PC market. Numerous developers from Antic Software are working at Auto Cad in the PC market. MichTron's Gordon Monnier and Tim Purves seem to be working for GEnie. These folks and guys like Tom Hudson, Dan Moore and many other GIANTS who started with the ST and who know it inside and out have left the Atari market only to TRY AND MAKE A DECENT LIVING. Atari, why have you done this to them and the users! You had some of the greatest developers in the industry killing themselves to support you and you didn't support them at all. Instead, you found it necessary to punish the more outspoken developers, you just had to be vindictive! Well Atari, it would appear your actions toward the great developer corps. you once had, that supported you, has come back to bite you right in the butt. Amazingly, even for this Comdex, the "make or break" Comdex for you, it was easy to make the plans to shun all but the few that "worked" in YOUR booth at the Sands Exposition Center. A closed dinner? A public relations masterstroke!? Traditionally, this event was looked forward to by many developers and staunch Atari supporters, this year you even turned your back on them. Some say it was because of a serious case of the cheaps! Worst of all, You didn't help those who were there a bit a bit, all you did was mislead to them, telling them the new computers, the new advertising, the new marketing plan, the great Elie Kenan, the year of Atari, all these great things are going to happen in a few months.. talk about a stroke job... every year the same things are said and they still have not happened. Now, as a direct result; at this time there isn't but one or two developers who believe * anything * worthwhile will happen in the ST market. The last new major software program introduced to the US market by a US developer was Wordflair over a year ago and it too was born through controversy at Sunnyvale. No one, not a single soul in their right mind, is writing big, major programs for the ST. There are some small utilities being written by Codehead, Double Click and Gribnif. But Codehead and Double Click have stated publicly that they are going to start writing software on other CPU's as they can not survive solely on Atari sales. During the Christmas season, most software houses do 75% of their business. Selling software for Christmas Presents and after Christmas sales of software to people who have purchased or received a Computer for Christmas. Since Atari will not be selling any Megas, Mega STe or TT's during this coming Christmas season, most software developers will lose even more business. People who want a new, modern computer for Christmas are not going to wait for Atari to get off its dead a** and ship the new TT030 and Mega STe. Granted, there are 1040STe units and SC1435 Color Stereo monitors in the warehouse, but who would buy a 1040STe now when they can have a Mega STe with the new fancy desktop in a few months? Besides, most folks are fully aware of Atari's generous trade-in and upgrade policies.. NONE! They know they'd have to sell the 1040STe privately to get anywhere. There is no doubt that many folks wanting a nice Christmas will go out and purchase a new, IBM MS-DOS Clones with windows or one of the new, inexpen- sive Macs. These are people that Atari will, unfortunately, lose forever. Next week: An honest look at the new bundles Atari has announced. Are they for real? _____________________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL? "BLOCKBUSTER ATARI NEWS FIRST!" ===================== - Sunnyvale, CA. MegaSTe/TT - VME CARDS ARE AVAIALABLE -------------- The TT & Mega STe will properly support 3U VME cards. VME card man- ufacturers seldom make 'drivers' for their cards. It is usually left to the software developers. The VME card mfgr. doesn't usually know what type of system the card will be used in. If say, somebody wanted to do an 8-line BBS for the MegaSTe/TT that worked with the Green Springs Octal Serial Port Industry-Pak(tm) VME card, he would start by writing the Rsconf/Bconmap drivers for the computers. This would enable the 8 addi- tional serial ports to behave just like the existing ports. Then he would write a BBS that basically worked with COM1: through COMx: As far as I know, there is little reason why most available 3U VME cards wouldn't work in the TT/MegaSTe. There is company in Germany (Rhotron(sp?)) that has 4,8,12, and larger VME expansion cages available along with data collec- tion cards with datalogging software, A/D convertors, and more. All of this would be very FCC class-A oriented, so it shouldn't be difficult for an enterpreneur to bring over the pond. There was a company at Comdex showing a 6U form factor 16 Mhz '286 card that was sure the card could be designed for a 3U slot, although the cheapest card his company made was a $3000 robotics-control card. The Slot(s) are a natural for something along the lines of AT-Speed, etc. - San Francisco, CA. NINTENDO INTROS SUPER FAMICOM! ------------------ Now, at least in the Japanese market, Nintendo has introduced its own replacement system called Super Famicom. It's the successor to the Fam- icon - short for family computer - that has been sold only in Japan for several years. Super Famicom sells for about $167 in Japan. An improved video system, with 512 kilobytes of RAM for video alone, will allow more latitude in animation, larger objects on the screen, and up to four in- dependently scrolling backgrounds for depth effects. The new machine reproduces up to 32,768 colors, and there are new visual effects as well. This systems can also be fitted with an optional modem. A digital-signal-processing (DSP) chip permits lifelike synthesis of voice and sound effects plus music that can be patched into a stereo system. Super Famicom's software format will NOT be compatible with current Nintendo systems. Nintendo hasn't announced plans to bring the new machine to the U.S. market yet, but many will be watching whether or not Super Famicon becomes a popular hit in Japan. "Except for culture specific games," says NEC vice president of software Bob Faber, "the Japanese market is a good predictor for U.S. sales. - San Diego, CA. FTL BREAKS SOUND BARRIER! -------------- FTL is working on a solution to the lousy sound on the IBM.. they've got a little DAC board that plugs into the printer port on a PC that lets you connect an external amplifier and get digitized sound in games... (like Dungeon Master for instance.. :) It's true that other sound boards are available, but the big advantage of this one is its price... it's *FREE* ..! They plan to include it with the IBM version of Dungeon Master, and freely publish the software needed to use it, in hopes of having other software companies adopt it as an inexpensive standard. Leave it to FTL to come up with an SUPER idea like that...! - Sunnyvale, CA. ATARI PART OF DESERT SHIELD! -------------- ATARI MARCHES INTO THE DESERT WITH VIDEO GAMES FOR TROOPS --------------------------------------------------------- by Mike Langberg, Mercury News Staff Writer Denied a real war to keep them busy, U.S. troops stationed in the Persian Gulf are getting a hightech distraction from Atari Corp. of Sunnyvale: the company's Lynx hand-held video game system, offering electronic conflict through games such as Blue Lightning, Electrocop, Gauntlet and Slime World. Atari is shipping 15 Lynx Kiosks, each containing four of the portable units, to military recreation centers in Saudi Arabia. The USO and Defense Logistics Agency are promising delivery by Christmas. "We're sending U.S. technology to Desert Shield," said Atari chief ex- ecutive Sam Tramiel, taking a gentle poke at Atari's much bigger Japanese competitor, Nintendo. Atari is donating the kiosks and games, valued at $50,000, to the milit- ary.The company is also offering a special deal to Desert Shield GIs eager to zap space aliens: a Lynx unit, game cartridge and six AA batteries for $120, one-third off the retail price of $180. Shortly after U.S. troops arrived in Saudi Arabia, a soldier wrote Atari asking for a sun visor to help him play Lynx games in bright sunshine. Atari decided to donate Lynx units after more letters arrived from sol- diers seeking everything from more game cartridges to desert proof car- rying cases. DAVID.CAGLE - Rockville MD. SPECULATION RISES ON EXISTANCE OF "PANTHER!" ------------- I would guess that the "Panther" is NOT an ST. First, the ST cartr- idge port only has a 128K address space (the carts in the SEGA Genesis have a 1MB add. space). Second, the ST has no sprite capabilites. And even the STE has a limited capability for scrolling (try to make an ST recreate some of the scenes in some of the newest Genesis games like Phelios and Thunder Force III). Third, the ST can still only display 16 colors (without tricks)to the existing STE, the main logic behind using the ST hardware would become irrelevant. The only reason you would want to use the ST as a frame would be to provide an easily accessible software base (like the XE game machine). Since none of the existing programs would use the new features (most don't even use the STE features and 'most' of the world has been able to purchase STEs for almost a year!), all the existing works would pale next to the Genesis or Turbo. Also, the few reports (rumors) that do exist claim that the system has multi-planar scrolling and hardware scaling. As an educated guess...I would speculate that the "Panther", if it exists, uses an 8 or 16mhz 68000. It probably has sound comparable to the Lynx (except in Stereo), a derivation of the Lynx chipset for scaling, a new sprite engine (at LEAST 80 sprites...hopefully more), a 4096 color palette (maybe 32,768) with 256colors in 320x480 ala the TT. Since Atari has expressed an interest in a 'CD-ST' in Europe...a CD-ROM as an option or perhaps even a standard feature is possible. The main reason I chose these features (THEY ARE TOTALLY MY CREATION, NONE OF THESE NUMBERS IS BASED UPON ANYTHING MORE THAN SPECULATION) is that ALL of them can be derived from hardware that already exists in Atari's arsenal (except the sprite chip, which really MUST have 80 sprites just to be competitive with the other systems). I wish someone at Atari could give me a 'hint' as to whether or not I am even close to correct on this one...but I guess we will have to wait and see if the 'Panther' ever surfaces. Matt K. Matt, we have been assured, that to see a Panther one must go to the Zoo as there are no Panthers at Atari. re: Bob Brodie ____________________________________________________ > Hard Disks STR InfoFile? Affordable Mass Storage.... ======================= NEW LOW PRICES! & MORE MODELS!! =============================== HOLIDAY SPECIALS! ** EFFECTIVE -> 11/19/90 ** 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!) 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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 - AT/PC SPEED - SPECTRE/GCR LARGER units are available - (special order only) *>> NO REPACKS OR REFURBS USED! <<* - Custom Walnut WOODEN Cabinets - TOWER - AT - XT Cabinets - * SLM 804 Replacement Toner Cartridge Kits $46.95 * Replacement Drums; CALL 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 ____________________________________________________________ > A "Quotable Quote"? ================= "MANY A TRUTH WAS SAID IN JEST" ...Marvin Trotenberry """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport Online Magazine? Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport? "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" November 23, 1990 16/32bit Magazine copyright = 1990 No.6.47 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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. 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