Z*Net: 15-Dec-90 #549From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/05/91-12:26:13 AM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: Z*Net: 15-Dec-90 #549 Date: Sat Jan 5 00:26:13 1991 =========(((((((((( ==========((( ==(( ==((((((( ==(((((((( =========== ================(( ====(( ====(((( =(( ==(( ==========(( ============== =============(( =====(((((( ==(( (( (( ==((((( =======(( ============== ==========(( ==========(( ====(( =(((( ==(( ==========(( ============== =========(((((((((( ==========(( ==((( ==((((((( =====(( ============== Z*NET ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE December 15, 1990 Issue #549 Publisher/Editor : Ron Kovacs Assistant Editor : John Nagy Z*Net New Zealand: Jon Clarke Z*Net Canada: Terry Schreiber Z*Net Germany: Mike Schuetz Contributor: Keith Whitton Columnist: Keith Macnutt Z*Mag Asst Editor:Stan Lowell Copyright (c)1990, Rovac Industries, Inc. CONTENTS EDITORS DESK................................................>Ron Kovacs Z*NET NEWSWIRE......................................................... Z*NET OFFICIAL USER GROUP LISTING...................................... CODEHEAD SOFTWARE OFFER................................................ FOREM ST UPDATE/HISTORY....................................>Steve Rider TURBO ST UPDATE........................................................ 8-BIT RUMBLES,RAMBLES,RUMORS...............................>Stan Lowell SKETCH REVIEWED.......................................>E. Frank Carlson PUBLIC DOMAIN UPDATE.....................................>Keith Macnutt EDITORS DESK ============ by Ron Kovacs Special end of year issues are now being produced. A two part year in review will begin next week in Issue #550 of Z*Net Online. Contributors to this weeks contents include: Terry Schreiber, Keith Whitton, Bruce Hansford, John Nagy, Bill Whiteman, and Dr. Paul Keith. (Many KEITH's appear?!?!) Look for uploads of new pictures from Z*Net. Dr. Paul Keith captured the new control panel in various stages from the MegaSte. These files are currently available through the FNET base and soon to CompuServe and GEnie this weekend. Also, Terry Schreiber uploaded a ZNETXMAS demo to GEnie early last week. It is a large 400K plus file, so beware of space if you are interested in downloading! There will not be a pause in release this holiday season. The Christmas and New Years holidays fall in the mid-week period and should not cause conflicts for our release. Last, Z*Net is now released on Saturdays!! Please pass the word about this change which took place a few weeks ago. The online services will make an attempt to validate the file for download, but don't look for the issue on CompuServe or GEnie before 10pm eastern. It is available after 1pm on the Z*Net BBS if you can't wait! Z*NET NEWSWIRE ============== Including the Canadian Newswire MEGA/STE PASSES FCC TESTING Last week, Atari learned that the MEGA/STe had passed the FCC testing as a Type B (Consumer) product, and may begin US distribution as soon as production is ready. That is expected to be in mid-January. This marks the first time in memory that ANY Atari product has been approved for consumer release within 30 days of the first product announcement... (except perhaps for the $29 plastic monitor stand offered last year). TT BEGINS SHIPPING TO USA DEALERS Yes, the TT030 machine has in fact begun shipping to US dealers as a TYPE A COMMERCIAL USE device. The price for the base unit, a 2 MEG RAM, 50 MEG hard drive device, is still $2,995. Only VARs (Value Added Resellers) and "qualified dealers" can get the TT, and must send Atari a letter assuring that the machines will not be sold to consumer, residential users. The FCC is getting concerned with improper sales of Type A devices, such as the STacy and the TT, and is considering slapping a $5,000 per machine fine on those sold for improper use. SALERNO LEAVES ATARI Antonio Salerno, Vice President - Applications for Atari Corporation, resigned last Thursday, December 6. Salerno had been in charge of efforts to persuade major software companies to bring their well known products to the Atari line, and had less than dramatic success. Antonio reportedly will return to school to complete a Masters degree at Stanford University. Atari has no immediate plans for a replacement, as Leonard Tramiel and Atari USA staff members are taking over most of the duties of the position. BEACH BOY JOINS ATARI James Grunke, technical man for the super group BEACH BOYS, is leaving the band to replace Frank Foster at Atari as the Music Industry Representative and MIDI promoter. James will begin work on January 1, 1991. Foster left in early September. FULTON JOINS ATARI Formerly of NEOCEPT, makers of the powerful WORD UP graphic word processor for the Atari, programmer Mike Fulton has been hired and has begun work in Atari's customer and developer support area. This fuels earlier speculation that Atari may eventually buy and support Word Up as an Atari brand product. BRODIE SPEAKS TO ACES Atari Computer Enthusiast Society, a West Covina California group, enjoyed a speaking visit from Atari's Bob Brodie last Wednesday, December 12. Before and after the meeting, Bob visited local dealers including Glendale's COMPUTER NETWORK, and showed Los Angeles area developers the new MEGA/STe computer. Z*NET MONTHLY COMBINES DEC/JAN ISSUE Z*NET Monthly (our HARD COPY newsletter, included in dozens of user group newsletters worldwide and reaching 4,000 Atari users) is taking a well deserved break for January, producing instead a December/January issue in order to catch up with an ever-increasing delay in production. Problems in scheduling actual production, plus staff relocations and legal matters have caused the Z*NET issues to be late since October. This break will allow clubs to catch up with the current issue of Z*NET or to take a Christmas time break of their own. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all... from Z*NET! LYNX AT THE MOVIES A promotion running in 20 premier locations of Cineplex Odeon motion picture theaters across the USA includes an Atari LYNX game kiosk and a sweepstakes for the show-goers. Visitors to the theaters can play the hand-held games, mounted on the display stands. Companion advertising for the LYNX appears in MOVIES USA, a magazine available in most movie houses. The promotion runs throughout December, and Atari thanks a number of user groups who helped set up and are maintaining the displays in areas where local Atari representation needed a hand. Kudos to: MAST (Minnesota Atari ST Users); HACKS (Hooked on Atari Computer Keyboards Society, Glendale CA); HASTE (Houston Atari ST Enthusiasts); SPACE (Seattle/Puget Atari Computer Enthusiasts); NOVATARI (Virginia); Mid- Florida Atari Computer Club. For their efforts, the clubs will get to keep the LYNX machines and the display kiosk. ATARI ST VOTED "COMPUTER OF THE DECADE" Hong Kong's largest English magazine, the "NEW STRAITS TIMES", conducted a reader survey and 41.8% of the votes declared the Atari ST to be their choice for "Computer of the Decade". Second place went to the Commodore Amiga with only 5.2%, third was the Macintosh with 5.1%, tied with the IBM. This was reported in the Thursday, August 23 1990 edition. FLEETWOOD MAC TOUR ENDS; ATARI IS THERE As a sponsor of the famous FLEETWOOD MAC tour, Atari provided complimentary seats at the final evening of their 1990 tour for several club officials, dealers, and the press. Friday, December 7, the music group that has been pressing hit albums since 1967 visited Los Angeles as the last stop on their tour in support of the latest LP, "Behind the Mask". Fleetwood Mac uses Atari computers to control MIDI keyboards and effects. Drummer and group leader Mick Fleetwood dazzled the sold-out Forum stadium with an extended solo on his MIDI drum-vest, which enables Mick to perform by touching, tapping, or slapping sensors in his clothing. This is the same technology that Fleetwood and Jimmy Hotz use in the HOTZ BOX, which is finally becoming available commercially. This performance is to be the final tour date that singers Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie participate in, although they may continue to be on Fleetwood Mac albums. Z*NET thanks Atari for being included in this event, and thanks Fleetwood Mac for a great show. SPC BUG GETS TRACKED Users are closing in on just what triggers one of the most obscure (and innocuous) bugs in the new TOS 1.6. Becoming known as the SPC bug (for SHOW, PRINT, CANCEL), this one causes an executable program to occasionally be offered for viewing as text rather than loading when double clicked. While this is seldom more than the briefest of annoyances, with the advent of "live icons" upon us, the dropping out of "load" mode when pulling a document to an application can be troublesome. A recent discussion on GEnie turned up the fact that the bug happens with much predictability if the entire pathname (without drive specifier) totals exactly 16 characters in length. This may help Atari find the actual cause, but can also help users avoid it. Says one user: "I just got a call from a client who... was having problems with Microsoft Write. I immediately asked him if the filename was WRITE.PRG and if it wasn't perhaps in a folder named \WRITE\ (totalling 16 characters in the path). Indeed it was, and I asked him to rename the folder to \MSWRITE\. He did, ran MSW, and it worked perfectly." PIRATE GETS 5 YEARS Dennis Hayes, the Cincinnati resident who pleaded guilty in late October to selling more then 5,000 copies of pirates MacIntosh ROMS was sentenced to 5 years in prison this week. In the original half million dollar chip bust, Hayes sold copied MacIntosh ROM chips for between 130 and 195 dollars per set. Atari users were said to have purchased many of the ROMs for the Spectre Mac Emulator for the ST. Dave Small of Gadget's By Small stated in October that there were many legitimate sources for Mac ROMs and that the marketplace should not be affected by this event. ATARI ELITE VS ROVAC Repeated attempts this week to contact Atari Elite's legal representation were unsuccessful and at the present time we still do not have a clear picture of the situation. Rovac's Ron Kovacs received a writ of summons in late November stating that action had commenced on the matter, but to date no further information or summons has been received. Z*Net Online continues to offer the Atari Elite response space to articles we ran earlier in the year. ATARI EXPLORER UPDATE The Atari in-house publication Explorer is still around. Production delays seem to be the problem and we have been told to expect release in January 1991. FIRST VDT SAFETY MEASURES ADOPTED San Francisco California's Board of Supervisors tentatively adopted on the nation's first active VDT safety regulations. The new regulations would require employers with 15 or more workers to provide a mandatory 15 minute break. Also, adjustable swivel chairs, document holders and computer terminals with detachable keyboards and adjustable, non-glare screens must be supplied. Private and government offices would have two years to comply with the VDT safety rules if the ordinance is approved a second time by the supervisors and signed by San Fransisco Mayor Art Agnos. BSA SUES FRENCH AND UK FIRMS The Business Software Alliance has brought copyright violation lawsuits against divisions of Rhone-Poulenc of France and General Electric Co. of Britain, alleging software piracy. BSA members Microsoft, Lotus and Ashton-Tate corporations jointly sued Rhone-Poulenc's Films division seeking $1 million in damages. They were then joined by WordPerfect Corp. in filing the suit in Britain against Marconi Instruments Ltd., a unit of GEC. EUROPE ADOPTS SOFTWARE PIRACY MEASURES European Community ministers have unanimously adopted new measures to fight software piracy. The measures would grant software the same treatment as literary works, which are protected under the international Berne Convention on copyrights. Copyright holders would have exclusive rights to authorize the reproduction, adaptation, translation or rental of their works. ATARI CANADA DROPS PRICES Atari Canada announced a $300.00 drop in the suggested retail pricing of the 1040STE bringing the price down to an incredible $699.00. One can only assume the reasons behind the price drop as being one of the following: o New pricing reflecting the Mac Classic and the drop in clone prices o Pricing re-designed to reflect the new Mega STE pricing o Pricing designed to bring up year end sales o An honest effort on Atari's part to increase the Atari marketshare o Any or all of the above In any such case it is the consumer who makes the buying decision and with the drop in pricing it makes the 1040STE a viable and attractive alternative once again to the competition in it's class. The STE can easily be upgraded up to a powerful four megabyte machine by the simple replacement of SIMM memory panels. It also has an enhanced color palette and stereo sound, MIDI ports and Blitter chip. Where's the competition? ATARI OFFERS UPGRADES Atari is offering through December 31st a $450.00 trade in on any 520 or 1040 towards a new Atari TT. This offer is available through any Canadian Authorized TT dealer. Push, pull or drag your machine to your nearest dealer to take advantage of this offer. Trade in machines will be refurbished and given to charity or used in an educational program. U.S. customers wishing more information can call (604) 275-7944 for pricing. ATARI, SIX MONTHS: IN REVIEW 12/7/90 - Atari announces a TRADE-IN program for end users wishing to trade up to the TT. Authorized dealers can provide a very liberal allowance for 520, 1040 products which are then returned to Atari (Canada). 12/3/90 - Atari announced a NEW price reduction on the 1040STe to 699.95. 8/22/90 - Atari Canada will be reselling and supporting the Moniterm monitor and controller. 8/8/90 - A fix for the DMA port problems on 1040STe, see the service bulletin for details. Atari announces the re-introduction of the 520STfm into the Canadian marketplace. The product is being bundled in "Back to School" promotions, in addition two 520 packages were introduced complete with "Casio" keyboards and MIDI software for ST dealers. Atari announced tremendous successes in the Canadian school board marketplace for the ABC industry compatible product line. Particular success was evident in Ontario where the ABC product range had received Government GEMS (Gov't Eligibility Micro Systems) approval for Atari's stand alone and Atari's educational PC network products. REVOLUTIONARY CONCEPTS ====================== PART 34 - "The Transportable Computer" by Donald A. Thomas, Jr. (c)1990, ARTISAN SOFTWARE (This is PART 34 of a series of articles published and distributed by Artisan Software. Please feel free to copy and distribute this article as you please provided you include all unedited text. Also feel free to upload to boards and communication services. These articles are designed to entice you to take constructive action. Write to involved parties and tell them how YOU feel about the subject.) NOTE: THIS ARTICLE MAY BE EDITED AND IS ENCOURAGED TO BE PUBLISHED BY ATARI AND/OR OTHER COMPUTER RELATED PUBLICATIONS. SUCH USE OF THIS ARTICLE MUST INCLUDE COPYRIGHT AND AUTHOR DESIGNATIONS AS WELL AS THE NEW PRODUCT RELEASE INFORMATION AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE. The Atari Portfolio is a stick of dynamite that has explosive power. For less than three hundred dollars, an individual can obtain a fully functional and programmable MS-DOS command compatible computer that fits in the palm of their hand. Even adding the cost of peripherals, the Portfolio is more than a thousand dollars less than the its nearest competitor- The Poquet computer (retailing at $1999). This is NOT meant to be a sales pitch, it's pure fact. Anyone who has the need for a portable computer can link the Portfolio and quickly transfer compatible data within seconds. Not hours, not minutes, but seconds. And this link is not limited to MS-DOS platforms. Virtually any computer in the world can exchange data with the Portfolio. The secret lies in two areas. The most significant of the two is the ASCII character set standard. A pure ASCII text file on one computer means exactly the same thing on another. Therefore, the files that are transmitted between two incompatible computers are 100% compatible. This has always been true, but is now being better understood by more and more people. The second part of this secret is the ease of the physical link. There is an energy department in Canada which is looking at Portfolios as a remote, unmanned environmental data collecting device. Reporters and photographers are discovering the Portfolios' ideal design for notetaking and scheduling. Salespeople are providing customers with quotes and receipts instantly. Marketing people are compiling statistics with up to a 15 pound lighter load than the laptop alternatives. Hackers like the uninterrupted on-line time since the desktop is difficult to take on vacation. Executives keep in touch with their E-mail and appointments all in one machine. Students find the Portfolio easy to carry between classes. The Portfolio has already proven its broad potential and is fast becoming a trusted tool. I think the most amazing phenomenon I have encountered in regard to the Portfolio, is how well every platform is quickly learning to make the connection. The Portfolio has already been advertised as "the Portable Mac". Of course MS-DOS users get along fine with it and have since the beginning. Just about every category is covered. Well, except for the Atari ST market. I am simply dumbfounded at how many Atari 16-bit computer users struggle with the Portfolio. Now before you all start writing and telling me you get along fine with it, I am talking general terms here. It seems that the Atari 16-bit community has the most difficult time exchanging files with the Portfolio. Of course, you are probably an exception. I personally feel that the Atari ST and MEGA computer user should investigate the Portfolio closely, even if it is not purchased. For those who are committed to help spread the Atari namesake around, the Portfolio is the easiest advertisement Atari has ever produced. One of those users referred to above is a broadcaster in the Los Angeles area. I spoke to him one day and he told me he was ready to buy a desktop. He said Memory Cards were beginning to cost as much as one anyway and the Portfolio inspired a confidence in computers. Since he was so pleased with the Portfolio, he wanted advice as to what desktop to buy. I sent him to our friends in Bellflower (Mid-Cities Comp Soft) and this broadcaster is now a proud owner of an ST. The Portfolio is CLEARLY THE MISSING LINK BETWEEN THE REST OF THE WORLD'S COMPUTERS AND THE ENTIRE ATARI LINE. When I first learned of the Portfolio, I resented Atari's apparent departure from the ST/MEGA environment. I still cringe from time to time to think that Atari could ever decide to abandon their traditional line of computers. It is obvious they will not as they have now the new STEs and TTs being introduced in the United States. As I learned more about the Portfolio, I was amazed at its total function abilities. The Portfolio is enhanced even more by optional software and hardware. I use mine for light spreadsheets, but mostly for writing my thoughts as I commute to work each day. I also take it along on business trips for the address book functions. And everywhere I go someone stops and asks about it. If they heard about it, they are amazed that it is exactly as advertised. If they didn't, then they are simply amazed. If you have been considering to link the Portfolio to an ST/MEGA computer, then read on. It's easy, inexpensive and some fun too. What you will need is the optional Serial Interface and a "DB9 (female) to a DB25 (male) null-modem serial cable". If that sounds like a lot, just know it is a rather standard cable and your computer dealer will know what all that means. The cable should not cost more than $20. You will also need communications software on the host computer (the ST/ MEGA). One popular title is FLASH, but there are many good ones. You will not need a communications program on the Portfolio. Read my lips ... you will not need a communications program on the Portfolio. Make the connections between serial ports using the interface and cable. Run your communications software on the host and designate a TEXT receive. When that is set up, then go to the Portfolio and type COPY FILENAME.EXT AUX. This will issue a copy of your file out through the serial port. To receive a file on the Portfolio, type COPY AUX FILENAME.EXT. Please replace FILENAME.EXT with the true filename. If you have problems, it may be because you have not initialized the serial interface through the SETUP menu or some parameters are mismatched. The only parameter you will probably need to set is the baud rate on the host computer. 9600 baud is the default on the Portfolio and the suggested speed. As you become more sophisticated with the Portfolio, you may discover that your file transfer needs have grown. You will need a communication program on the Portfolio if you wish to do non-ASCII file transfers, for instance, ARTISAN SOFTWARE has just released TRANSPORT for the ST/MEGA computers to help you through the confusion. It is written specifically to link traditional Atari computers to the Portfolio. For beginners, an express menu system will enable fast file transfers and display exactly what and when to type the commands you need. Advanced users will learn to access two advanced menu option screens. Included is the ability to generate non-transferrable file reports, strip files on non-ASCII code characters, Xmodem file transfers and much more. It will work on color or monochrome systems and sells for $24.95. You may obtain TRANSPORT from your local Atari computer dealer or you may order direct from Artisan Software. Direct orders must add $1.50 shipping/handling and California must add 6.25% sales tax. If you desire more information about the Portfolio, consider one of the many Atari publications, visit some users' groups meetings and subscribe to GENIE or COMPUSERVE. For information on how you can "JOIN THE REVOLUTION" and actively support the exposure of Atari computers, write: ARTISAN SOFTWARE, P.O. Box 849, Manteca, California 95336. Z*NET OFFICAL USER GROUP LISTING ================================ Capitol Hill Atari Owners Society Leo Sell PO Box 16132 Lansing, Michigan 48901 Miami Valley Atari Comp Enthus Pamela Rice Hahn Post Office Box 24221 Dayton, Ohio 45424 Jersey Atari Computer Group Gary Gorski 313 Sheridan Roselle, NJ 07293 SPACE (Puget Sound Atari News) Jim Chapman PO Box 110576 Tarcoma, WA 98411 Atari Bay Area Computer Users Society Bill Zinn Post Office Box 22212 San Fransisco, CA 94122 Maryland Atari Computer Club James Hill 8591 Wheatfield Way Ellicott, MD 21043 Westmoreland Atari Computer Organization George Adamson 230 Clairmont Street North Huntingdon, PA 15642 Panama Canal Atari Computer Users Group Carlos Hasson 6-401 Eldorado Balboa, Ancon Panama London Users of ST's Brian Wiltshire 162 Inverary Crescent London, Ontario Canada N6G 3L8 Houston Atari Computer Enthus. Tracey Webber PO Box 460212 Houston, TN 77056 St. Lawrence Atari Players and Programmers Hector Woods #12 Farreway Crescent Brockville, Ontario Canada K6V 3V2 Cuyhoga Valley Atari Computer Club Ron Mullens PO Box 9173 Akron, Ohio 44305 Knoxville Atari Users Group Steve Meyers RT 3, Box 317A Powell, TN 37849 Cleveland Atari Comp Enthus. George Neff 16218 Huntmere Cleveland, Ohio 44110-1547 Manitoba Atari Computer Club Fred Eldridge PO Box 3833, Station B Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada R3C 5H9 Jersey Atari Computer Society Roger Heller PO Box 710 Clementon, NJ 08021 Rhode Island Atari Comp Enthusiasts Steve Dunphy 192 Webster Aveue Providence, RI 02909 Milbourne Atari Computer Enthus PO Box 340 Rosanna, SA 3084 Australia Middle Georgia Atari Users Group Peter Miller 115 Feagin Mill Road Warner Robins, GA 31088 Montreal Atari ST Mega Users Group Steven Gold 5510 Aven Morre #2 Montreal, Quebec Canada H3X 1Z3 Metro Toronto ST Lesley-Dee Dylan 47 Alton Avenue Toronto, Ontario Canada M4L 2M3 KWEST Dani Roloson Apt #8 48 Benton Street Kitchener, Ontario Canada N2G 3H1 CODEHEAD SOFTWARE OFFER ======================= Ctsy GEnie ST Roundtable Saturday, December 8, 1990 CodeHead Software is pleased to announce a special Holiday offer for GEnie subscribers who attend the Atari ST RoundTable! Throughout the holiday season, you may now purchase any products or combination of products, in any quantities, directly from us at an incredible 30% discount! And as our gift to you, we'll pay the shipping charges for any orders you place within the holiday season! Our holiday price list, which includes your special GEnie discount, is: PRODUCT RETAIL PRICE GENIE PRICE HotWire $39.95 $27.97 MaxiFile $34.95 $24.47 HotWire Plus (includes Maxifile) $59.95 $41.97 LookIt! & PopIt! $39.95 $27.97 G+plus $34.95 $24.47 CodeHead Utilities 3 $34.95 $24.47 MultiDesk $29.95 $20.97 MidiMax $49.95 $34.97 CodeKeys (NEW!) $39.95 $27.97 CodeHead T-Shirt $10.00 $ 7.00 If you'd like to examine any of our products before buying, we've posted demonstration versions of almost all of them here on GEnie. The file numbers are: FILENAME FILE # DESCRIPTION GPLSDEMO.ARC 7861 Demo version of G+PLUS HOTDEMO2.ARC 15598 Demo version of HotWire 2.x LP_DEMO.ARC 15719 Demos of LookIt! & PopIt! MAXIDEMO.ARC 12965 Demo version of MaxiFile MIDIMAX.ARC 12594 Demo of CodeHead's MIDIMax MULTDEMO.ARC 8215 Demo of MultiDesk CKEYDEM2.ARC 17508 Demo of CodeKeys 1.2 The easiest and fastest way for you to take advantage of our special offer is to leave Email with your order to J.EIDSVOOG1, including a credit card number and expiration date, your mailing address and phone number. Or you can call us at the numbers listed below. Act now and have a CodeHead Christmas! May you and your families have a healthy, happy, and safe holiday season! Sincerely, Charles F. Johnson John Eidsvoog CodeHead Software P.O. Box 74090 Los Angeles, CA 90004 Tel: (213) 386-5735 Fax: (213) 386-5789 FOREM ST UPDATE/HISTORY ======================= by Steve Rider Ver. 2.7o 12/09/90 ------------------ - Added force email read option for users. Change flag from '*'-terminal parameters (now user options) prompt. - Added "XMODEM.TXT" which is displayed before a xmodem download. - Changed the time calculation for downloads. Zmodem is calculated at 95%, ymodem at 90% and xmodem at 85% efficiency. - Added LZHDL.LZH support. Your prompted for either ARCDL or LZHDL when you use the archive tools. Ver. 2.7n 12/07/90 ------------------ - Added a positive indication when batch marking a file. - Filename searches in file section now ignore the extender (FILENAME.LZH and FILENAME.ARC will match in other words). - FoReM will prompt you to transfer batch files if a user quits the file area with batch files marked. Ver. 2.7m 12/06/90 ------------------ - Added ECHO command to FDOS. Batch files will echo to the output unless "echo off" or "@echo" is encountered. "Echo off" will turn echo off until an "echo on" command is received. Ver. 2.7l 12/04/90 ------------------ - Tweaked FDOS to run Binkleyterm. Ver. 2.7k 11/28/90 ------------------ - Fixed endless loop problem in new user login section Ver. 2.7j 11/24/90 ------------------ - Mouse is enabled when running a .PRG from FDOS. - Fixed problem with "off" typed at "Enter First Name" prompt. - User ID is now only the index number of the PAS.DAT file, from 0 to 1999 are valid values. Logon is permitted either the "old way" or the "new way". - Continued tweaking the batch file processor for Bink. - Fixed a problem searching for usernames when entering a message. Ver. 2.7i 11/21/90 ------------------ - Fixed prob with reading email "from" when logged on as sysop. Only messages that are local or for the local node are displayed. Ver. 2.7h 11/18/90 ------------------ - Fixed problem with the file editor bailing out early - FoReM now supports mixed case in User Names. Run pasconv.tos to convert existing pas.dat name entries to Mixed Case. Ver. 2.7g 11/17/90 ------------------ - Added cps to upload log entry and user display. - Fixed small problem which was causing lf's to be dropped from ascii files Ver. 2.7f 11/12/90 ------------------ - Complete recompile of rev e. Ver. 2.7e 11/10/90 ------------------ - All filestamps are duplicated on "copied" or "moved" files. Ver. 2.7e 11/09/90 ------------------ - Fixed a bug with multiple batch marking in the files section. - Made small improvements in FDOS for Binkley compatability. - Fixed a copy file problem if wildcards used in the destination name. - Fixed carrier detect bug in certain areas. Ver. 2.7d 11/07/90 ------------------ - Made some more changes in the buffer handling in the files section. Ver. 2.7c 11/06/90 ------------------ - Fixed stack garbage problem in doors section. - Made some changes in the buffer handling in the files section. Ver. 2.7b 10/31/90 ------------------ - The graphics files functions have been fixed. Ver. 2.7a 10/26/90 ------------------ - The double "Sysop Online" prompt has been removed. 10/21/90 -------- - Ported FoReM ST to Lattice C Ver 5. Code size came down about 40K and execution speed is markedly improved. - Added local support of "i" command (graphics mode) if in "non-window" mode locally. TURBO ST UPDATE =============== Turbo ST, Copyright 1988-90 SofTrek Version 1.84 December 11, 1990 =============================== IMPROVEMENTS: 1. Turbo ST will now run on STs equipped with 68010, 68020, or 68030 CPUs. 2. The output of non-byte aligned text is now much faster in color and slightly faster in monochrome. 3. To reduce memory requirements, the auto folder versions of Turbo ST now release the memory that is used by the installation code back to the system. CORRECTIONS: 1. The HiSoft editors that allow you to use the 8x8 or 6x6 fonts in monochrome will now scroll properly with Turbo ST installed. 2. The "Thunder!" spelling checker is now completely compatible with Turbo ST. 3. The code to speed up WordPerfect and Dyna Cadd, that was accidently left out of the version 1.82 monochrome desk accessory dated July 4, 1990, has now been included. 4. Other internal changes were made to improve maintainability and to reduce the possibility of any error. ATARI 8 RUMBLES - RAMBLES - RUMORS ================================== by Stan Lowell, ZMagazine Asst Editor Reprinted from Issue 188 It has been much longer than I planned since my last article! Why, you ask? The exact reason seems to have slipped my mind...something to do with formatting a disk(THREE times!). At any rate, here I am again! Many thanks to those of you who sent me information on GEnie, my BBS, and elsewhere. Your input is a great resource for all Atari 8-bitters! Among the more interesting messages which I have encountered was the following capture from the ACUTE BBS(215-261-0620). This message was in their networked NEAR-US message base. Message: 194 (#4903) Title: 8 Bit Software Author: Randy Constan To: All Posted: Fri 26-Oct-90 at 2:12:00am Origin: Nest BBS, Long Island, New York Hi! I just want to tell all 8 Bit users that Elfin Magic Software is still business, and still supports the 8 Bit! While the changing market has made it impractical for me to continue advertising in major publications, I still receive dozens of calls anually from interested users. There's still quite a stock of SUPER 3D PLOTTER II, CIRCUIT DATABASE v.2.3, and CHECKING ACCOUNT MANAGER, on Hand. It's a shame when good software is available, but totally unknown to so many users that could really put it to good use. Our address is: Elfin Magic Co. 23 Brook Place E. Islip, NY, 11730 Phone: 516 - 581-7657 Free information on all products is available for the asking, with a SASE. Or, you can leave a message or personal EMAIL, or call any evening after 6:30PM (eastern time), if you need specific questions answered. The revolution lives on! -Randy After this message there was a discussion of Ads on a BBS. I brought the idea to my Network SysOps. They liked the idea. As a result, we are encouraging 8-bit developers to post information about their 8-bit software on any of our FoReM-XEP boards, in the 8-bit Networked base. Our wish is to get the users & developers together. The current list of FoReM-XEP Network boards follows: Blank Page BBS - S. Bound Brook, NJ (My Board) 908-805-3967 Gateway City - St.Louis, MO (Support Board) 314-647-3290 Cheers BBS - St.Louis, MO 314-351-2837 Atarian Domain - Orlando, FL 407-855-1317 The Oasis - Kissimmee, FL 407-846-1765 Final Frontier - Philadelphia, PA (Support Board) 215-624-6347 The Boss BBS - Houston, TX 713-479-1967 Manitou BBS - Rochester, IN 219-223-8107 The Magic Dragon - Milwaukee, WI 414-482-2635 The Outhouse BBS - Belleville, IL The Road to Damascus BBS-Sacramento, CA 916-929-4389 In my last article, I asked for overseas sources for sofware, and I received feedback from Ray Wilmott on my BBS about an overseas source with which he has done business. Their catalog is NOT a slick copy, but a computer printout. Much of the newer sofware is on cassette. According to Ray, their prices are good, and the catalog is free for the asking. Thanks for passing on the information, Ray... Stan, Was reading your intro piece in Zmag. You mentioned European mail-order software. Here's the address of the one I've used before in case you want to list it in a future Z-Mag. Please let me know of any others you find... Miles Better Software 219/221 Cannock Road Chadsmoor, WS11 2DD England -Ray Several people left me the same names of Businesses carrying software and/or hardware for Atari 8-bits. For simplicity, I have included some messages from my BBS' Networked bases. Msg# : 1243 - For Sale/Wanted Sent : 11/06/90 at 11:48 AM To : BOB WINNETT From : Tom Spencer C-net: Final Frontier-Philadelphia PA BOB, you can get 3 I/O cables for $10 (or 1 for $4.50 get the three!) from American Techna-Vision 1-800-551-9995. I just got 3 and they're good. They ship UPS "land" and it takes 7 to 10 days to receive. Also there is a $4 shipping and handling charge on all orders under all orders under $150. They also have a decent selection of software an reasonable prices and some hardware-parts, i.e. power packs, 1050 mechanisms, keyboards, upgrade kits etc. but no actual computers or drives. TOM SPENCER Msg# : 2156 - Msgs 8-Bit - Net Sent : 11/26/90 at 10:45 PM To : Nick at Night From : LARRY CHARPIAT C-net: The Oasis BBS - Kissimmee, FL. Subj : LOOKIN' FOR GAUNTLET B & C Computer Visions, 3257 Kifer Rd., Santa Clara, California 95051, (408)749-1003 has the commercial version of Gauntlet 64K disk $31.50 & the Gauntlet Deeper Dungeons disk $22.50. You need the Gaunlet disk in order to use the Deeper Dungeons disk. They are open Tuesday - Friday 10AM to 6 PM, Saturday 10AM to 5PM Pacific time. Closed Sundays & Mondays. Also available for the ST, Gauntlet $44.95 & Gaunlet II $44.95 Msg# : 1831 - Msgs 8-Bit - Net Sent : 10/28/90 at 5:32 PM To : Nick at Night From : LEN SPENCER C-net: Oasis BBS - Kissimmee, FL. Subj : LOOKIN' FOR GAUNTLET The game he is referring to is NOT PD. I bought it new last spring for $16.95. Yes, that was the price, NOT a typo. The place is called Software Plus 'n' Stuff, in Columbus, Ohio. Their BBS number is (614) 239-0349. When I was there they had a lot of good stuff at good prices. Give the board a call, they even have online price lists. Another long time 8-bit Atari software source is: San Jose Computer 640 Blossom Hill Rd. San Jose, CA 95123 408-224-8575 Another message gives us a hint of the next shareware terminal program to come from the prolific Bob Puff: Msg# : 2129 - Msgs 8-Bit - Net Sent : 11/20/90 at 4:38 AM To : Richard Welter From : Terroc C-net: Magic Dragon BBS-Milwaukee, WI Subj : Bobterm 1.22 ... BTW: Bob Puff is taking suggestions from people regarding what you'd like to see in BobTerm XE, the next release of BobTerm. So if you have any suggestions you'd like to convey him here are the BBS' that he's involved with: Computer World Jr. Bob Puff's BBS (716) 247-8355 Computer Software Services Support BBS (716) 247-7157 If you call CSS' BBS address messages to Bob Puff as SysOp Bob. -=*]Terroc[*=- Well, that about does it for this time. Once again, many thanks to those of you who have helped me with information. If you should call the mentioned places, please mention that you saw it here in ZMag. Let them know that somebody still cares and appreciates their continued support. If you should have some useful input, I can be reached on my BBS (908- 805-3967), GEnie(S.LOWELL), and on Z*Net Online BBS(908-968-8148). SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL USERS GROUP! Support those who support US! SKETCH ====== High Resolution Painting by E. Frank Carlson (Reprinted from the Puget Sound Atari News, October 1990) Strange things can happen at the SPACE ST user group meetings. In this case, I found myself volunteering to review the copy of Sketch that Megamax had sent to the club for this purpose. Once I got it home, I spent quite a bit of time having fun playing with this program, but then that is not why I have it, so on with the collection of comments that I have on this software. First, a few brief comments about the program's background and functionality. I have been evaluating version 1.3+ of Sketch which is a German program that is being marketed here in the U.S. by Megamax. From what I have seen, they made a clean port of the program, as well as the manual, from German into English. The program combines a lot of drawing -type features from Degas, Neochrome, and CAD-3D, in addition to animation and other capabilities. It can accept artwork in the format of .PI3, .IMG, as well as its own internal format. Sketch requires use of a monochrome monitor. While this will prove to be a limitation to many users, it is required to provide the high resolution which is a fundamental objective of the program. You can get the program to run on a standard 520, but it really needs a full megabyte of memory to take advantage of the basic capabilities. Sketch offers some optional "advanced features" which can be loaded along with the rest of the program, if you so desire. Megamax recommends that you have at least 2 megabytes of memory when using the advanced features, but I thought that it ran satisfactorily on my one meg 520, but more about this later. My first impression: I see a lot of things in this package that I really like. Sketch does things the way that I like to see them done. I found the program easier to use than I first suspected after skimming through the manual. This is not a criticism of the manual, but simply reflects its description of the alternate use of the left and right mouse buttons. When I was trying to get my ideas together for this review, I started reading through the manual during lunch at work and found that I was getting lost as to when I should use multiple clicks of the left mouse button and when I should use the right mouse button. I found, however that the confusion vanished when I started using the program since I found the use of the correct mouse button came quite naturally. Well, so much for the introduction - let's get into the features. First, I will cover the "basic" features that are part of the basic program. The functions available in Sketch are available through the icon bar. It should be noted that whenever one of the icons is selected to activate a particular tool, then the icon bar disappears until you have completed the action with that tool, or clicked the right mouse button. Now for a brief description of some of the features. MAGNIFIER: When you select this tool, you will have a rectangular magnifying glass running over the image on the screen under mouse control. When the magnifying glass is over the portion of the image that you desire, you click on the left mouse button to put the program into a pixel editing mode. The upper portion of the screen shows the area being edited, plus a significant amount of the surrounding image. You can scroll the screen with the arrow buttons located next to this image. The lower portion of the screen is used for the pixel level editing. This is convenient because you can see the immediate results of the editing in the upper portion of the screen. ERASER: Whenever this option is selected it first lets you use a mouse drag to size the eraser. Then it will erase anything under it when the left mouse button is held down. FREEHAND: Allows you to make freehand sketches using the mouse to trace around the screen. CURVED LINE: I think that this is one of the more unique features in Sketch. In other programs, I have had trouble drawing a smooth line with the mouse since they all use something like "freehand" above. When using curved lines, you first click the left mouse button to fix the first point on the line, and click it again to fix the second point. Then you move the mouse and it stretches the line into a smooth curved shape. You control the curvature by the distance and direction that the mouse is drawn away from the curve. You click the left mouse button again to fix the curvature. STRAIGHT LINE: The first click of the left mouse button establishes one end of the line, and the second click the other end, but this is not all. The line is now "stuck" to the mouse. When you have placed it in the location that you desire on the screen, you click the left mouse button again and it is fixed at that point on the screen. CONNECTED LINES: The first click of the left mouse button establishes the starting point of the line. The second click establishes the end of that line and the start of the next line segment. This sequence is continued until you click the right mouse button. RECTANGLE, FILLED RECTANGLE, OVAL, FILLED OVAL, and ROUNDED RECTANGLE: All are fairly standard, except that once they are sized, they "stick" to the mouse movement much like the "straight line" described above. RADIAL LINE: The first mouse click establishes the center point and each succeeding click of the left mouse button makes a radial line out from that center point. TEXT PARAMETERS: These give control over the font to be used, the font size, and the angle at which the text will be written. CURRENT SCREEN: This allows you to switch quickly between a series of "screens". Each of these screens can contain a different picture. My 1 meg ST Sketch gave me eight screens plus the paste buffer in memory at the same time. This can be handy for tasks such as cutting and pasting. COPY SCREEN: This allows two screens to be combined. CUT AND COPY: Allows you to cut from one area (or another screen) and paste to another. There are approximately 22 special effects that can be applied as part of this process. Examples are mirroring or bending the copy. PASTE AREA: Is used to designate the area where the image that is in the paste buffer is to be pasted. LASSO CUT AND COPY AREA: Allows you to cut an arbitrary shape out of one area and paste it to another location or screen. DISK OPERATIONS: Gives control over the normal disk save and load functions in several formats. It also supports receiving/sending an image directly from/to the RS232 port, or from one of several scanners. PRINTING: Controls normal printing,and allows you to print one, two, or four images (screens) on one page. This finishes a whirlwind tour of the basic features of the program. Included on the program disk is the SKETCHGO program which adds "advanced features" to those discussed above. The primary reason for this two-step capabilities is to allow SKETCH to run on half meg STs. Megamax recommends at least two megs of RAM for normal use of SKETCHGO, but I thought it ran quite well on my 520ST which has been upgraded to 1 meg of RAM. Of course, I disabled all desk accessories for this portion of the evaluation. The "advanced feature" that impressed me the most was the virtual screen capability. This allows images that are larger than the physical screen to be displayed. Let me explain this. When you generate an image with a scanner, it may well result in an image that is larger than the 640 by 400 pixel (dot) image that can be displayed on a monochrome screen. The virtual screen capability allows you to load the full scanned image into memory. You can then use the mouse to scroll around in the image. It is like cutting out a small window and moving it around over the surface of a photograph - you can see it all, a portion at a time. The thing that really impressed me about this capability is how fast you can scroll around the image. There appears to be instantaneous response to the mouse movement with no distortion or jitters in the screen display. The program disk contains a sample scanned image consisting of eight screens to hold it all. The image is four screens tall and two screens wide. It provided a good example of the scrolling capability. Another advanced feature is the "multipoint spline". This puts a spline through a series of points that you put on the screen with the mouse. A spline is a smooth curve that passes through each of the points. The next feature that caught my fancy was the capability to make enlargements of the image appearing in the upper left portion of the screen. There are also some features that I did not have a chance to evaluate. These include the 3D modeler which allows creation and rotation of wireframe (outline) objects, and animation which allows you to sequence through several frames to create a simple means of animation. In addition, I did not get into the font editor. I found that it was not necessary to get into the portion of the program that customizes the printer driver. One was already provided for my HP LaserJet printer. It appears that printer drivers are provided for most printers. I did, however read through the manual section dealing with creating custom printer drivers, it appears that this would probably be a significant challenge for most users if it should be necessary to create a custom driver. The manual does not explain what the various codes are supposed to do or their significance. This could lead to a lot of trial and error. When it came to printing a screen image, I was very impressed with how fast the printing is done. SKETCH is very fast and efficient in sending the image to the printer. I did, however, have a bit of difficulty initially. I was getting some garbage in the output images. I found that it was my problem - there was a conflict with one of the programs that I had in my AUTO folder. Once I disabled this program, the garbage in the printed images was cleared up so the hardcopy output looks just like the image on the screen. Therein is what I consider to be a drawback of the program. The hardcopy output does not take advantage of the capabilities of high resolution printers. Before I had isolated the printer problem to one of the programs in my AUTO folder, I sent a letter to Megamax explaining the problem, telling them that I was writing a review of SKETCH, and asking for their assistance in resolving the problem that I had encountered. It has now been two months since I sent the letter and I am still waiting for a response, or even an acknowledgement to my letter. To sum it up, I think that SKETCH is a very good program. It is solid - I was unable to get it to crash. It works smoothly and quite naturally. My only reservation is that Megamax has not responded to my letter so it makes me wonder about getting timely support for the program after purchase. All things considered, the bottom line is that I intend to purchase SKETCH for future use. PUBLIC DOMAIN UPDATE ==================== by Keith MacNutt GOGO->ST V 2.4 By Mark Cawthon 3550 Pacific Avenue #210 Livermore, CA 94550 GOGO ST is a total replacement for the file selection windows in gem. Instead of opening drive and folder windows, you only need to save the path and file name your looking for, and GOGO ST will run that file with a simple click of the mouse. GOGO ST works with lists of files containing up to 50 names each, and a maximum of 200 file lists (for a total of 10000 files) can be saved and loaded at just about anytime. Each file list can be broken down into similar categories like utilities, wordprocessing, databases or spreadsheets. Installation is very easy and GOGO ST can be run from floppy or hard drive. To get the most from this program the user should set the program to autoload at boot time. Those with TOS 1.2 or older will need to install startgem.prg into the AUTO folder and the startgem.inf file containing the program to autoload into the root directory. Those with TOS 1.4 and greater can install it as an application and save the desktop. In both cases the supplied document gives a very detailed step by step procedure for the installation on both a floppy and hard drive based system. A break down of all the features in this program is not possible in this review, but here are some of the major ones that will show you just how powerful this program can be. o copying buttons from one list to another. o move buttons in a file for easier access. o delete a button. o edit a button. o run programs not in any of the lists. o load up to 200 different file lists. o make any list the default at boot time. o load accessories by clicking on the GOGO ST logo. o set system time and date. o find a file in any list. o check the path of any file. o and finally start a log session to track the amount of time spent in any application. This program is easy to use and has enough power to satisfy even the most demanding user. Please support the shareware concept and donate the small amount requested ($5.00) and the programmer will send the latest version with the shareware donation screen disabled. NEXT WEEK: 1990 IN REVIEW ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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, Z*Net News Service and ZMag 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 is an independent publication and article copyrights/trademarks should be so noted. All Rights Reserved. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*NET Atari Online Magazine Copyright (c)1990, Rovac Industries, Inc.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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