Z*Net: 22-Dec-90 #550From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: Z*Net: 22-Dec-90 #550 Date: Sat Jan 5 00:34:20 1991 Z*NET INTERNATIONAL ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE ----------------------------------------- USA * GERMANY * CANADA * NEW ZEALAND * UK SPECIAL YEAR IN REVIEW - PART ONE December 22, 1990 Issue #550 Published and Copyright (c)1990 Rovac Industries, Inc Editor: Ron Kovacs Assistant Editor: John Nagy Contributing Editors: Terry Schreiber, Jon Clarke, Mike Schuetz ----------------------------------------------------------------------- CONTENTS EDITORS DESK........................................Ron Kovacs ATARI NEWSWIRE................................................ Z*NET GERMANY.....................................Mike Scheutz Z*NET NEW ZEALAND...................................Jon Clarke Z*NET CANADA...................................Terry Schreiber INDUSTRY NEWSWIRE............................................. ATARI DONATES TO DESERT SHIELD...................Press Release PORTFOLIO USERS UPDATE..........................Press Releases PUBLIC DOMAIN UPDATE.............................Keith Macnutt 1990: YEAR IN REVIEW - PART ONE......................John Nagy EDITORS DESK ============ by Ron Kovacs Merry Christmas from everyone at Z*Net to you and family. This week we begin a two part retrospect of Atari's first year of the new decade, 1990. These articles were compiled from Z*Net weekly issues we have released during the year and placed in the order of how they occurred. This series was written by John Nagy. Since I will also miss voice communication with some of the staff, I want to pass along my sincere thanks to everyone who has assisted us during the year and want to mention them here: Mike Scheutz, Terry Schreiber, Jerry Cross, Bruce Hansford, Alice Amore, Keith Whitton, Dorothy Brumleve, Darlah Hudson, Ron Luks, Robert Brodie, Jim Chapman, Neil Harris, John King Tarpinian, Mark Quinn, Keith Macnutt, Stan Lowell, John Gagne, Nathan Potechin, Robert Ford, Paul Glover, Mike Brown, Mike Austin, Dean Lodzinski, Carl Bacani, Bruce Kennedy, Gary Gorski, Leo Sell, Steve Rider, and of course John Nagy. If I missed anyone, I am sorry. Thanks for all your assistance this year and the years past. A special thanks to the pay areas like Compuserve and GEnie for supporting us and users in the FNET system. Z*NET ATARI NEWSWIRE ==================== ATARI YEAR END SPECIAL Atari is presently running a "Year End Special" through midnight, December 31, 1990. If you purchase six 1040 STe's, you will receive either one free SC1435 Color Monitor, or TWO free SM124 Mono monitors, dealers choice. In addition, if you purchase six 520 STs, you will receive a free SM124 mono monitor. This special is exclusive of all other promo's currently in place. You have the option to either purchase existing promos, or the above mentioned year end special or any combination. For further information, contact Sales Administration, or your local rep. CHICAGO ATARIFEST UPDATE: ERRATA In Issue #546 of Z*Net Online, we listed vendors and developers who attended the Gurnee Atarifest. We failed to list others in attendance who assisted in making the event a success. Those omitted were:] Namely Computer Cellar, Mars Merchandising, Kolputer Systems, and Paper Express. We apologize for the omission. HOTZ GETS RIGHTS TO MARKET BOX Atari has reportedly given Jimmy Hotz the rights to marketing for his full-size Hotz Midi Translator, also known as the Hotz Box. This $5,000 and up unit is designed for professional studio and tour use, and it is expected that Jimmy will be better able to promote and sell it at on his own to fellow musicians. Atari will retain the rights to marketing any consumer version of the controversial device that allows anyone, even a child, to free-style solo with or accompany pre-recorded music without a sour note... sort of the ultimate in a chord organ. Jimmy will once again join Atari at NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchandisers show this coming January 18-21. CYBERARTS COUNTERPOINT HOAX Hotz Box critics take note: Can computers make real music? And what is the actual value of music if it is created and generated by machine alone? These were questions that were hotly debated at a recent CYBERARTS Festival, sponsored by Keyboard Magazine in Los Angeles. In a seminar titled "Computer as Inspired Collaborator", International MIDI Association members presented software that would sample a musical passage and play back a new passage with themes and content related to the original but original in themselves. Many visitors tried it out, playing in a theme while the computer dutifully generated a melodic counterpoint. Discussion continued, pro and con, about the value and quality of the "music" so generated, until it was revealed that there was no software at all. Instead, a live musician in another room was listening and creating the reflections of the original music. What was proved? Only that the line between human and machine creativity is a lot greyer than anyone seems comfortable with. At least one well known conference attendee is still convinced that what he heard HAD to be software, that it could not have been done by a human! Others had egg on their faces when they realized that they found technical and creative fault with music based only on their erroneous expectation that it was "artificial". D2D OFFERS ATARI AUDIO DIRECT TO DISK SYSTEM Due for release by the time of this writing is a stereo Analog-to- digital, DSP, and D-to-A cards for use with the Atari ST computers. These devices will allow hard drive files to be recorded and played back as sequencer tracks with cut and paste, etc. Operating as a desk accessory, the software works while the ST manages a sequencer or other duties. Full non-destructive cue list software is included with the $1,000 package. MAC versions will be available later. Built by D2D Systems of Cambridge, England, contact Plasmec Systems Ltd., Weydon Lane, Farnham, Surrey, U.K., or call 011-44-252-721236. FLEET LEAVES THE STREET MIRRORSOFT of the UK has announced that FLEETSTREET PUBLISHER is being pulled off the market due to poor sales. Most other Mirrorsoft productivity titles were transferred to other lines, like MICRODEAL, but Fleetstreet was not, and has an uncertain future. Fleetstreet Publisher, recently in version 3, was marketed in the USA by MICHTRON, which also recently changed hands. YET ANOTHER REPLAY MICRODEAL, one of Michtron's main import lines, has announced REPLAY 8, replacing Replay 4 as an amateur musician's sound sampler and editor. It will feature some of the enhancements of Replay Professional. USA availability is not yet known. ST WORLD GOES QUARTERLY Downscaling has hit Atari magazines overseas as well as in the USA. ST WORLD (UK) has dropped its publishing schedule back to QUARTERLY releases. NEW HIGH-RES CARD FROM THE UK TITAN DESIGNS of the UK has just introduced its REFLEX GRAPHIC CARD, offering increased screen resolutions and able to drive large-screen monitors from the ST. Resolution is 1,024 x 1,024 on A3 or A4 monitors, or 1,024 x 800 on standard Atari SM124 monochrome monitors. It also features a ZOOM which increases resolution to 2,048 x 1,536, 16 times the normal screen area. The card fits MEGA machines with adapters in the near future for other models. Price is 230 pounds... with no known US importer online as yet. BRODIE WRITES FOR START MAGAZINE Atari's Manager of User Group Services Bob Brodie will begin a continuing column for STart Magazine, the largest US Atari specific magazine, in early 1991. His articles will be general interest items, with accent on user groups and how they help owners get more from their Ataris. MIGRAPH NEW TOUCHUP VERSION FOR TT/STE Mentioned in earlier issues of Z*NET, the Migraph Hand Scanner, Touch- Up, and Easy Draw are parts of one of the new STe bundles. We didn't mention that TOUCH-UP is going up to version 1.6, and features new abilities to save a true grey-scale image in TIFF format. However, the new features require the extended palette of the STe or TT for full use. Older ST units will not have access to all the new features of the upgraded TOUCH-UP software. ATARI OUT IN FORCE Atari (Canada) Corp. will be attending the Pacific Rim Computer and Communications show which will be held at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre January 14-16, 1991. The official corporate booth is being flown out from Toronto for this show. This is one of the best looking booths in North America. Working the booth with Atari (Canada) Corp. are the following dealers: MicroVision Computers Nanaimo Wizard Computers Vancouver Quay Computers New Westminster GXR Systems Vancouver CyberVideo Com Vancouver Tom Lee Music Company Vancouver Ward Music Vancouver Institute of Communication Arts Burnaby A & B Sound Vancouver Part of the booth has a stage area which will be used for software demonstrations and mini-seminars. Performing on this stage will be Tim Brecht Atari (Canada) Corp.'s Digital Arts Consultant. Tim is a local entertainer who has become famous for his unique style, which combines state-of-the-art-technology (all driven by a STACY), refined instrumental technique, and a razor sharp wit for a great performance that can only be described as "totally fun." A full range of products from Atari will be on display: TT030 MEGA STE Portfolio MSDOS LYNX 1040 STE SLM 804 /605 TT194 19" TT monitors STACY PTC1426 Multisync monitor SC1435 Stereo Monitor Just some of the guests attending the show are: Peter Alexander of Alexander Software, Newbury Park, California. Peter is the North American distributor for CLAB's newest line of educational music software. Peter will be available on Monday the 14th of January. Nathan Potechin of ISD, Markham On. Nathan always adds his own brand of flair to a show. Come down for the latest information on Calamus and Dynacadd application software and attend one of the product seminars. Paul Garay local entertainer and MIDI programmer. Meet one of the best MIDI programers in Canada. This amazing fellow can assemble a song in a matter of seconds. Paul recently worked on an album in Germany that went Number One in a matter of weeks. Rob McGowan - Product Support Manager - Atari (Canada) Corp. Speak with Rob about the latest information concerning new products coming from Atari Corporation. Denise Carroll - Marketing Coordinator - Atari (Canada) Corp. One of the hardest working people in Atari (Canada) Corp. Denise is one of the main people responsible for Atari (Canada) Corp.'s support at this show. Atari (Canada) Corp. would like to invite any and all User Group Members that are attending the show to stop by the booth. Your support and enthusiasm will be welcome. Most dealers have discount coupons worth $3.00 off the regular ticket price of $9.00. Please note: I believe there is an 17 year or older age restriction admittance. Z*NET GERMANY ============= by Michael Schuetz, Contributing Editor ** Alwin Stumpf to take Kenans position at Atari North America? ** ** Mega STE4 available in Germany shortly after Christmas 1990. ** As Z*NET reported this fall in a totally surprising newsbreak, Elie Kenan, who had stirred so many hopes in North America left the US in October to go back to France. Up until now no official confirmation or comment has been made by Atari USA. Now just before Christmas there comes another newsflash - this time out of Atari's stronghold in Europe, GERMANY! Word is being spread in Germany that the head of Atari Germany, Alwin Stumpf, will pick up the work where Kenan has stopped. It is said that he will leave Europe in a few weeks to go to North America. At first he is supposed to stay there approximately a year. Again - no official comment or confirmation is available from Atari, but one of Germany's most reputated newspapers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), had a big article about Atari in its issue from Thursday, December 20th, 1990. The article covered several aspects about Atari in Germany, among them the story about the KAOS TOS 1.4.2 and last but not least it was mentioned that Alwin Stumpf will move to Canada shortly to steer the matters of Atari in North America from there. Stumpf switched from Commodore Germany to become the head of Atari Germany shortly after Jack Tramiel had taken over Atari in the middle of the 80ies. May be he will be able to turn around the situation in North America to Ataris favour. It is no secret that Germany is one of the best, if not THE best, Atari subsidary. Atari has done things in Germany that most US Atarians have just been dreaming of ever since 1985: They have and still are heavely advertising their computers. Since 1985 several TV commercials could be seen at prime time in the major TV stations for the ST. Radio commercials are constantly praising Atari computers and since the TT is selling here in Germany, several ads for it have been placed both in magazines and newspapers. Let's hope that the spring of 1991 will see a new blossoming of Atari in North America with it's new line of Mega STEs and TTs. By the way - as reported two weeks ago, Atari held the press conference in Munich, Germany, on December 12th. Just as expected they showed off the Mega STE. It was said there, that a limited number of Mega STEs is already on its way to Germany. The first units are believed to arrive at dealers shelves shortly after Christmas. At first only one configuration of the Mega STE will be available in Germany. It will be the Mega STE 4 with a 48 MB harddrive. The official retail price for this unit will be DM 3.000 (approx. US$ 2000) including the SM124 monochrome monitor. Z*NET NEW ZEALAND ================= by Jon Clarke, Contributing Editor /*/* Seasons Greetings from the Atari Users in New Zealand *\*\ _ _ ( )o Z*Net New Zealand o( ) /\ \ By Jon Clarke / /\ SUPER PRE XMAS ADVERTISING Atari-NZ has started its pre-christmans advertising campain with avengence. Television adverts promoting the $NZ999 Atari Discovery Pack. When asked why the Discovery Pack was being promoted, Mr. Alex Davidson said, "The reason for this is the low retail demand in the economy, making purchasers more concerned about value for money than the lastest technology. We believe that offering the STFM with the Discovery Pack at $NZ999 does indeed give buyers value for money-its an excellent computer at a very attractive price. STACY NOW AVAILABLE In a dealer release Atari-NZ have advised its retailers the long awaited Stacy portable ST is now shipping to New Zealand. The first shipment will be in the stores for Christmas. With a RRP of $NZ6995 it comes with 4 megs of memory, 40 meg hard disk, and a power source, power adaptor. THIS AND THAT The TT still has not reached New Zealand in dealer release yet. It was going to be here for Christmas but the new delivery date is set for early 1991. The new 16mhz STe is rumoured to be on order and expected to hit the New Zealand shores by early 1991. The new SC1435 colour/ stereo monitor is a smashing success, with dealers odering more than expected. ATARI-NZ HAS A GOOD YEAR During the course of 1990 Atari-NZ has sold more units than the last 12 months to date. When asked if Atari-NZ was happy with the results, Mr. Alex Davidson replied, "In the current state of New Zealands economy we are more than happy with the result." When asked if Atari-NZ had a commitment to the New Zeland Atari users, Davidson said, "We certainly do and you will see this by the current advertising campain, and the great dealer pricing we are giving. Further to this I would like to state that we are over the moon with the response to the introduction of the STe and the other new products we released this year." ATARI BBS GET NATIONWIDE NETWORK A company in New Zeland offering a free noding service to System Operators of BBS's, now has three Atari BBS's noding from it. They are Harbour Board BBS in Wellington, STarlight Express in Auckland and also STaTus in Auckland. Users from all around the country are flocking to the new service. Increased activity has been seen by users of all computers as they now see what Atari BBS's have to offer. The three BBS systems mentioned all run different software from FoReM to Express to MichTron V3. To quote a comment from a promenant person from IBM at a recent All SYSOP function, "It looks like Atari has finally grown up". (We did not have the heart to tell him Atari ST's have been doing this for over five years now) X32 NETWORK NOW AVALIABLE IN NEW ZEALAND. Telecom International and Networks have advised its X25 users that the X32 option is now avaliable in New Zealand. X32 allows a user to call his local X25 PAD in data mode and make a modem phone call to 158 countries world wide. The X25 Network then calls that countries X25 Network and it then makes a normal phone call to the system that carries X32 in that country. /*/* To our readers around the world, Merry Christmass from Z*Net NZ *\*\ News from Around the Nets ------------------------- From: firstname.lastname@example.org Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st Subject: STE's in Europe..lack of SIMMS Message-ID: <sent.Sun.Dec..2.01:10:38.GMT.1990.via.CS.TARDIS> Date: 2 Dec 90 01:10:38 GMT A response from Atari on this one please! Here in Europe, Atari are now shipping some STE's with soldered in RAM. Forgive me if i'm wrong, but was one of the plus points of the STE not the easy memory upgrades using SIMM's? I reckon Atari are peeved that people are buying 520STE's and pluggin in extra SIMM modules. Atari would rather people buy the 1040STE. However, there is no difference between the 520STE and 1040STE apart from the larger memory...so why splash out extra dosh for a 1040STE? I reckon Atari have dug themselves into this hole. The basic hardware of all their machines is the same...face it...there is absolutely no reason to buy a 1040STE. But why do Ataari have to go and spoil it and solder in ram. It's going to confuse memory upgrading even more. On a different note, I've just bought the new SIMM Ram board for my normal ST from Evesham Micros here in the UK. It costs 89 UK pounds when it comes with 2x256K simm's which upgrades a 520ST to 1Mb of ram. This allows me the easy-upgradeability of the STE range (hah!). I can currently get 1Mb simm's for 30 pounds.. to upgrade my ST to 4Mb would cost me 120 pounds in the future. Hmm.. why would a Mega 4ST cost me hundreds more <grin> Time for some price reductions Atari! Rich (Editors Note: This message reprinted as is and NO spelling errors were corrected.) /*/* Christmas is a time of giving *\*\ The Top 20 Games United Kingdom for December 1990 Rating Title Rating Title ------+----------------------------+------+---------------------------- 1 F-19 Stealth Fighter 2 Shadow Warriors 3 Kick Off II 4 Battle of Britian 5 Battle Master 6 Operation Stealth 7 Back to the Future II 8 BBS Jane Seymour 9 Emlyn Hughes Internat.Soccer 10 Midnight Resistance 11 Oriental Games 12 Imperium 13 Operation Thunderbolt 14 F-29 Retaliator 15 Midwinter 16 Fun School III (5-7) 17 Venus 18 Football Manager II 19 BMX Simultor 20 Falcon Mission II ------+-----------------------------+-----+----------------------------- [Please Note: Not all these games are available in the USA] /*/* Joy to the world the "TT" is here *\*\ Merry Christmas from New Zealand. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well here we are again at another Christmas weekend, woundering what happened to the last twelve months. Time flies when you are having fun as they say. When I got up this morning I turned on the television and started to watch "CNN's Early Prime". Now here we are in New Zealand some 1/2 a world away enjoying a fantastic summer, and I see alot of the readers of Z*Net are in the grips of one of the worst winters for many years. So take heart get inside and crank up your Atari computer by the fire and have an enjoyable weekend. Think of us all at the beach enjoying our Xmas spirit. A Warm and hearty Christmas greeting from Z*Net New Zealand. Z*NET CANADA ============ by Terry Schreiber, Contributing Editor 1990: A POSITIVE YEAR FOR CANADA Canadian sales remained positive despite it's falling enthusiasm in U.S. This year broke the barrier into the educational market, strenghtened it's dealer and VAR markets and basically stood up and said we are alive and well and are fully intent on kicking some butt. Atari Canada ran dealer promotions through all four quarters in 1990 with great success, this follows the European idea of bundling their packages. This year also marked the first year Atari bundled MIDI packages, I also believe the first time they have bundled second party hardware with their systems. This year the competition introduced it's new low priced models. Atari immediately responded by dropping the suggested retail of the 1040STE three hundred dollars to $695.00. In comparison the Amiga 500 selling at a local discounter for $599.00 or the Mac Classic selling for $1495.00. Atari announced a trade-up program on the new TT product. Atari will pay up to $450.00 trade-in on any ST system towards the TT. (Dealers may pay more) Trade-in's are to be refurbished and donated to charity or used for educational purposes. This is seen as a very positive move on Atari's part in the fact that more programs such as this might be seen in future on other products. People are becoming more service oriented an again Atari was there. Atari Canada spent $100,000.00 in their service department this year bringing in the latest in test equipment to speed up repairs and customer downtime. As for experience I can only state that a 50% improvement has personally been noted. Advertising and Atari has been an issue in the past with most users. Why can't Atari advertise their computers? Well this year they did, not where most would want to see it, but in print. Who got the TV slots? The Lynx, the same image that Atari was trying to live down. We are realistic so lets examine why the TV dollars went to the Lynx. What ages are we attracting with the Lynx? The second question is "does the majority of that market read newspapers or magazines?" This could be why most TV advertising in Canada was slated to Much Music, a video music network. Promotions on the Lynx were also seen on a National level on Neilson's Candy Bars in their "Win a Lynx" campaign running third and fourth quarters this year. Atari - My Prospective! The Crystal Ball is a little fuzzy perhaps I should have traded this one in on some Tarot cards. What I personally feel could help Atari will probably never get to the powers which be but it's Christmas, my gift to you - Sam. An Educational Program for students is in dire need. Students, with valid cards could purchase the systems at a reduced rate. I have noticed that most Universities and College campuses now carry computer equipment right on site for sale to students and faculty, Where's Atari? This offer should be extended to cover other schools as well, in fact all schools. Dealers could handle this as a rebate situation, claiming for reductions on their next orders. An educational package with good literature on software availability and pricing will sell the Atari. (It also doesn't hurt to push the Emulation aspect as well) Computer Labs should be set up in most major cities. I know myself, that a lab here would prove invaluable, Atari should include classes or tutorials with their systems. This may not be feasible nationwide but in major centres it is a must. With computer labs in place, User Groups could be called upon to teach the new buyer how to use their computer. The Groups could be compensated by Atari in product and lab time. The cost to Atari, minimal at most in comparison with the potential dollars in sales, advertising dollars and good will this would generate. Employee purchase plans are another aspect of sales to look at. Employees of companies can purchase a computer system through their work by payroll deductions. Computers are offered at discounts and no interest charges and underwritten by the company. This has many benefits in the fact that the employer can introduce his staff into the High Tech market and get a more computer literate employee. This also helps to boost staff morale when you share common interests. Atari will benefit because the people that would never think of going out and buying a computer will purchase one in this types of a situation. It sort of like keeping up with the neighbors, "John bought one so I guess I will too, must be something to it!" a physiological approach but thats sales. User Group members of two years or more should be allowed to purchase equipment at a discount price. Dealers, when selling equipment, build into their pricing the cost of support to that customer. There is no need for this for a person who is not a first time user and Atari should reward repeat buyers with some sort of plan or rebate off the price. After all, these are the people who keep your machine alive out there with their newsletters, bulletin boards, meetings and support of your product while you are the one making money. What if the Users Groups said "NO MORE FREE RIDES" Don't you feel you owe them something in return? Advertising, yes we would all like to see the computers advertised on television if not for sales then for our own re-assurance that the computer is still being sold. Advertisements in print may carry more bang for the buck but the memory of the ad will have faded long before the memory of a good TV commercial. Yes, Atari needs to advertise but it is you, the end user now, that is their best source of sales. Show your friends and relatives what the computer can do, you have a captive audience. Someone once said "Atari Computers - The world's best kept secret" and I believe them to be right. Many people feel that if there were more computers out in the hands of end users that again there would be that much more support for Atari products. I don't know if I agree or disagree with that synopsis, but I think a few hundred thousand more end users would carry more weight with development and manufacturing of new hardware and software. Z*NET INDUSTRY NEWSWIRE ======================= PC DATATIMES Newspapers can now create their own low-cost in-house library databases through the powerful new "PC Datatimes" software system. The new system enables small and mid-sized papers to build computerized libraries using stand-alone personal computers. DataTimes expects that many of the newspapers installing "PC DataTimes" will become available on its worldwide online information network. DataTimes subscribers use their computers to electronically access the files of more than 645 publications, news services and financial databases from four continents. DataTimes is an industry reseller for Personal Library Software Inc. of Rockville, Md. For more information contact: DataTimes, Oklahoma City, Ed Roach, Newspaper Marketing Manager, (405) 751-6400. PRODIGY AGREES TO REFUNDS Prodigy, a computer information service, agreed this week to refund four months of fees to Texas subscribers who want to cancel the service. Prodigy was accussed by the Texas attorney general's office, of misleading customers about its costs and services. In an agreement, Prodigy said it would "clearly and conspicuously" disclose all fees in future advertisements. SPRAGUE CLOSES SALE Sprague today reported the close of sale of its Semiconductor Group to Sanken Electric Co., for $58 million cash. Sprague is a worldwide manufacturer of capacitors and other electronic components. VENTURA PUBLISHER SHIPS Ventura Software announced late this week that it has begun shipment of Ventura Publisher, OS/2 Presentation Manager Edition, a new version of the company's desktop publishing software running under IBM's OS/2 version 1.3 Presentation Manager operating environment. This new product will be distributed to major resellers nationwide. NEW 908 AREA CODE New Jersey's new area code (908) will make its debut on customer bills next month. Beginning with bills mailed Jan. 3, customers who are located in the 908 area or those who make calls to 908 numbers will see the new area code on their bills. Customers who dial incorrectly after the new code becomes mandatory on June 8, 1991 will hear a recording with dialing instructions. The 908 area includes all of Warren County and almost all of Union County. The parts of Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties that currently are 201 will become 908, as well as small portions of Sussex and Morris counties. The 609 area remains unchanged. SAN FRANCISCO PASSES VDT BILL Last week we reported that San Francisco California's city supervisors had been deciding upon a measure to protect users of video display terminals, (VDT). The bill, approved over the protests of business leaders, now goes to Mayor Art Agnos for signature. The measure mandates adjustable chairs, special lighting and rest breaks. Affecting all city government and businesses with 15 or more employees, the bill also requires glare shields, detachable keyboards and tables with sufficient leg space. If signed, companies have two years to implement the provision, after which violators could be fined up to $500 per day. The Mayor has ten days to decide and sign the provision. COMPUSERVE NEWS The State of New York will soon require CompuServe to add sales tax to CompuServe charges. Connect charges, telecommunications surcharges, product surcharges, and items ordered from CompuServe's product ordering area will be taxed. New York members who have filed a sales tax exemption form may mail a copy to: CompuServe Incorporated, Customer Administration, PO Box 20212, Columbus, OH 43220. Please include both your CompuServe User ID number and member name. Sales tax will then be discontinued where appropriate. FCC LEVIES FINES The FCC has levied fines totalling $200,000 against computer equipment vendors who attended last month's Comdex trade show in Las Vegas found violating FCC rules. The FCC made 300 inspections affecting sale of personal computers and peripherals that violated FCC marketing rules. Violations cited were vendors who didn't display FCC ID numbers and others who allegedly rushed new uncertified products to market while competitors were waiting for FCC certifications of their products. A list of those fined is not available. COMPUTER RULE CHANGES A proposed FCC rule change could affect the cost and availability of motherboards for personal computers. The FCC is involved with certification programs for computers because the devices can emit radiation that cause electronic interference. The FCC requires that computer systems marketed for home use must meet Class B certification requirements. Class B specifies that emissions have to be of an intensity low enough not to disrupt communications on a wide range of frequencies. Currently, complete systems and some peripherals such as accelerator cards and video boards must be certified. However, the FCC is considering a change in the classification of motherboards to require they be certified individually. Under current regulations the boards are considered subassemblies not subject to certification. The FCC invites comments on the proposed rule change. Those interested who want to submit comments to the FCC should do so now since the first round of hearings were held last week. Comments on the proposed certification of RCPU boards (motherboards) should refer to RGen Docket No. 90-413S and should be sent to: Office of the Secretary, FCC, Gen. Docket No. 90-413, Washington, DC 20554. NEW VIRUS UNCOVERED A new computer virus has been found in the Apple Mac. The virus, called ZUC B, forces the computer's cursor to drift across the screen. When the virus finally reaches the Mac's Finder software, cursor control becomes impossible. ATARI DONATES COMPUTERS TO DESERT SHIELD ======================================== PRESS RELEASE Agency Contact: Andy Marken Marken Communications, Inc. (408) 296-3600 -- Office (408) 296-3803 -- FAX (408) 732-9589 -- Home FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Client Contact: Ron Beltramo (408) 745-2000 ATARI COMPUTER DONATES PORTABLE COLOR VIDEO GAME SYSTEMS TO OPERATION DESERT SHIELD SUNNYVALE, CA (November 30, 1990) -- To give military personnel participating in Operation Desert Shield a healthy way to release pent- up energy and to alleviate some of their boredom, Atari Corporation has made arrangements with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the USO to supply Lynx portable color video game system kiosks and video game cartridges to military recreation centers in Saudi Arabia. The display kiosks that are being shipped have four Lynx systems installed as well as complete libraries of game cards. "We've packed the Lynx kiosks so they can be taken right from the palettes, plugged in and used by the men and women who are temporarily stationed in Saudi Arabia," said Meade Ames-Klein, president of the consumer products game division. "We're confident that the game systems will be in the recreation centers before the Christmas holidays." Requests from the Field Ames-Klein said that the idea of shipping Lynx systems to Operation Desert Shield was discussed shortly after the first group of troops arrived in Saudi Arabia. "Our military personnel hadn't been there a month when we received a letter from an Army sergeant requesting that we ship him a sun visor/screen guard for his Lynx so he could play his system more easily when he was off duty," Ames-Klein recalled. "Since then," he noted, "we've received dozens of letters from military personnel who have told us about endless hours of having nothing to do. They've requested accessories such as sun visors, carrying pouches and additional game cartridges. Others, have seen someone else stationed there with a Lynx and have wanted to buy their own system and games." "When it became obvious that our troops were going to be in the Middle East for some time," he continued, "we thought the Lynx systems and game cartridges would help improve morale and would provide the men and women stationed there with a little entertainment. Perhaps, for at least a short period of time, the Lynx will let them escape from the reality of their surroundings." Variety of Game Cartridges Ames-Klein said that with the exception of "Blue Lighting," a combat jet fighter game, the games are not war-oriented and have been designed to test an individual's skills and agility. With a number of the game cards, players in the recreation centers will be able to connect the Lynx game systems with ComLynx cables and enjoy multi-player competition. Game cards that are being shipped with the Kiosks include "California Games," a one- or two-player game that includes BMX biking, skateboarding, surfing and foot bag juggling; "Gates of Zendocon," a 30- level game where players conquer hostile aliens in order to return home; and "Electrocop," where the player must rescue the President's daughter. Games also include "Chip's Challenge," with 144 puzzles; "Gauntlet," where up to four players can search for the Star Gem; "Slime World" where up to eight players travel deep into the gooiest, most slippery mire in the world; "Klax,"which challenges players to stack tiles and create a klax; "Paperboy;" "Ms. PackMan" and others. Second-Generation Players Ames-Klein pointed out that many of the men and women stationed in Saudi Arabia are second-generation video game players ... they grew up playing Atari's early game systems and have returned to playing the new advanced games. "Back in 1984/85, they lost interest in video games because the software was boring," he noted. "But the new generation of video games feature dynamite graphics and color, as well as exceptional complexity and depth of play. Today's games are much more difficult to master because the game developers have taken maximum advantage of the advanced microprocessor used in the Lynx system." Ames-Klein valued the initial shipment of Lynx video game kiosks and game cartridges at $50,000. He added that, depending upon how long U.S. military are stationed in the area and the feedback they receive from USO officials, additional Lynx systems may be sent to the area. First Color Portable System Lynx, which was introduced in several test markets for Christmas last year was the video game industry's first color hand-held video entertainment system. Slightly larger than a video cassette, the system features a backlit LCD screen that displays up to 16 colors from a palette of 4,096. The Lynx screen can be rotated 180 degrees for right- or left-handed play. Powered by six "AA" batteries, the system uses credit card-sized game cartridges so players can enjoy any of the more than 15 games that are currently available. Priced at $179.95, the Lynx portable color entertainment system, accessories and game cartridges are available at major retailers across the country. For complete information on Lynx, Atari's home video game systems and growing family of video game software call or write Ron Beltramo, Vice President of Marketing, Atari Computer, 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94088, (408) 745-2000, FAX (408) 745-2088. # # # Atari is a registered trademark; Lynx and Comlynx are trademarks of Atari Corporation (AMEX:ATC). Other products are trademarks of their manufacturers. PORTFOLIO USERS UPDATE ====================== ** NEW PILOTS SOFTWARE AVAILABLE ** ** ARTISAN RELEASES TRANSPORT SOFTWARE ** PILOTS! PILOTS! PILOTS! PILOTS! PILOTS! PILOTS! PILOTS! Paragon Technologies announces the introduction of two aviation software packages for the Atari Portfolio: FX-3 FLIGHT PAK The FX-3 will turn your Atari Portfolio into a DUATS terminal and flight calculator. With the FX-3 software and a portable, battery operated modem the size of a cigarette pack (also available from Paragon) you can access DUATS services to obtain a weather briefing, file a flight plan or access the many other flight services. Your session can be saved to an electronic log and then later reviewed at your own pace. The FX-3 can be used as a general purpose communications program to access CompuServe and other information services while you're on the road. A unique 80 character by 25 line Quasi-Static emulation enhances the Portfolio's capabilities. The flight calculator provides TAS, WIND, RATE, FUEL and WEIGHT & BALANCE calculations. FX-4 FLIGHT PLANNER If it takes you more than 60 seconds to plan your flight, you need the FX-4 Flight Planner. Featuring a full U.S. navigational database, the FX-4 makes flight planning quick and easy. The FX-4 will automatically generate detailed leg by leg trip plans for you in seconds. You may specify the route yourself or let the FX-4 choose a set of navaids along an optimal great circle route. You can locate the twenty closest airports or navaids from your current airport or navaid automatically. Flight plans can also be reversed or stored in memory for later recall. If you're a renter, you will also appreciate being able to store multiple aircraft performance files for later recall. - Full North American and Caribbean Navigational Database. - Every public use airport in the U.S. - paved, turf, and water. - Detailed Leg-by-Leg Trip Plan - Optional 56 day update service FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO PLACE AN ORDER... Contact Paragon Technologies at 1-800-255-9411. PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE ** *** ***** * *** ** * * * * * * * * * * * ** * **** *** * * * **** * ** * * * * * * *** * * * * S O F T W A R E PRESS RELEASE --------------------- for IMMEDIATE RELAESE NEW SOFTWARE LINKS ATARI(r) ST(tm) and MEGA(tm) to the PORTFOLIO(tm) COMPUTER MANTECA--- Artisan Software has just released a software system which unleashes the data transfer power between the Atari ST, STE and MEGA computers and the Atari Portfolio computer. Portfolio is the innovative palmtop MS-DOS command compatible computer. The new package by Artisan Software entitled TransporT(tm) is compatible on color or monochrome systems and is specifically written to be fast, easy and efficient. The program offers two levels of interaction with the user. The initial menu appears on boot-up and permits efficient ASCII file transfers back and forth to the Portfolio WITHOUT SPECIAL SOFTWARE ON THE PORTFOLIO. The system prompts the user with the few exact entries required on the Portfolio to accomplish the transfer. More advance users will be able to enter two extended menu systems which support Xmodem, non-ASCII character stripping, on-line help and file viewing and more. A separate text file is included which offers constructive tips on using the Portfolio productively. A serial interface and null-modem serial cable is required at an nominal charge from Atari computer dealers. TransporT is Artisan Software's fifth software release. Their titles include the Word Quest(tm) series of word search and crossword puzzle construction systems and Graph Maker(tm). TransporT retails for $24.95 and may be purchased from better Atari computer stores or from Artisan Software directly. Direct orders should include $1.50 shipping and handling. California, add 6.25% tax. For more information or to place an order, write: ARTISAN SOFTWARE, P.O. Box 849, Manteca, CA 95336. PUBLIC DOMAIN UPDATE ==================== by Keith MacNutt Magnum Software SII 2871 S. 124th ST. Milwaukee, WI 53227 VIRUSES! Nearly everyone I know, has at one time or another, got these pesky little trouble makers on public domain disks exchanged quite innocently from friends. Within days of someone getting bitten, people are going through their collections and comparing notes on what they found, and hopefully all that turns up is some harmless little program written by a bored hacker out to make a name for themselves. Up to this point little damage has been done in the ST community, mainly because the software base is not as large and I think we all have better things to do with those programming talents. The first line of defense in slowing down or stopping the spread of viruses is to check all disks that you receive, and to immediately call anyone who has inadvertently passed one of these along, so that they can clean up their problem and not spread it further. A few days ago one of my friends gave me a little program that looked very interesting, and after I tried it, I immediately started using it to hopefully protect myself and many others from those dreaded viruses. Since that first encounter, the program has been updated and is available on Genie. ( file name SHOTZII ) 1990: THE OF ATARI IN REVIEW ============================ by John Nagy, Assistant Editor (Original for ST Journal Magazine, presented with additional material for Z*NET) PART 1 (Concluded next week in Z*NET) 1990... was it the year of Atari? It was a year filled with hope and with disappointment. It was a year of promises and some fulfillment. Lets look at the highlights and the lowlights together. Computer years tend to be measured from Fall Comdex to Fall Comdex rather than from the more traditional calendar. So here is a chronology of Atari since the Comdex last November 1989, up through the recent Comdex, to the end of 1990. Part 1, this week, will take us up to June 1990, and next week we will conclude with July to presstime 1990 plus a look ahead. I've focussed on Atari and added only a few major third-party announcements. While I know some folks will feel slighted by being omitted, sorry. I'll be blaming it on the editor. (Grin!) NOVEMBER 1989: Sig Hartmann retires after 5 years as front man for Atari. Comdex - the US marketplace of computers, attended by the industry bigwigs, dealers, and distributors who are deciding what lines they will buy and sell in the coming year. In the Las Vegas convention facilities, Atari Corporation occupies a spot near the main entrance where they seem to sit as a foothill to the towering ZENITH and IBM exhibits just behind it. Atari has perhaps their best looking booth ever, in light colors with open feeling displays. "A Computer For Everyone" declares the overhead sign, and from the brand new palmtop Portfolio and STe to the TT (being shown in production prototypes), Atari draws lots of attention. Carrel after carrel of major third party developers each show their own lines to thousands of intrigued visitors. The STacy and Portfolio are the clear eye catchers. Over 1,000 potential distribution contacts are made for the Portfolio alone. Bob Brodie is popular already in his second month at Atari. Charles Cherry, only two weeks with Atari after leaving ANTIC Software, begins his effort to support developers in new and attractive ways, including SOFTSOURCE and distribution of dealer and user data. The mood is very up - this seems to signal a new and forward moving atmosphere at and for Atari. The Independent Association of Atari Developers (IAAD) is formed by 40 developers at the WAACE Atari show outside Washington, DC. Nathan Potechin of ISD is the first Chairperson. ST-LOG and ANALOG magazines merge, then announce that the November 1989 issue will be the last of any Atari magazines from Flynt Publications. START magazine loses Andrew Reese and editor and Tom Byron takes over, and ST-XPRESS closes altogether. GADGETS BY SMALL begins distribution of the GCR Mac Emulator, enabling the Atari ST to not only run MACINTOSH software faster thana MAC, but read and write real MAC disks... faster than a MAC. PC-SPEED, an internal IBM emulator board from Germany, is in distribution by MICHTRON, while AVANT-GARDE is unable to meet release promises with PCDITTO II, a hardware PC emulator first shown in April, 1989. DECEMBER 1989: Mike Morand, President at Atari for only two months, resigns. David Harris in named as his successor. Greg Pratt, Atari's Chief Financial Officer, continues the search for a buy for the FEDERATED GROUP store chain that has drained Atari's working capitol. The FCC passes the STACY laptop ST as a "TYPE A" device, meaning that it can only be sold as a commercial device, not in outlets for the home users. Battery operation time is admitted to be about 15 minutes for units with hard drives. JANUARY 1990: The LYNX is a major hit at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Nintendo is the clear winner in volume and promotion with the Game Boy, but the LYNX wins hearts with astounding color graphics in a hand held machine. Private showing of a prototype portable machine from NEC causes worry that the LYNX will be passed up by this newer unit by Christmas 1990. QUICK ST goes from shareware to commercial, as Darek Mihocka begins a trend in small developer success stories. ZMAGAZINE and ST*ZMAGAZINE merge to become Z*NET ONLINE, a single weekly electronic publication covering the entire Atari computer lineup. So begins the fifth year of the continuing, volunteer, non-profit Z*NET project. Avant-Garde's PCDITTO II begins actual shipment, but less than 10% of the users can make it work, and it turns out to be so large that only MEGA machines have room inside for it. TALON announces that they will begin importing the SUPERCHARGER external IBM emulator that will require no installation at all. FEBRUARY 1990: Jack Tramiel, "retired" controlling stock owner of Atari and chair of the Board of Directors, takes a more active hand in Atari policy and management. A $5,000,000.00 backorder backlog that has had some items (like Monochrome Monitors) unavailable for five months begins to ease as Atari hardware shipments arrive at dealers. Rumors begin to circulate about a new version of the MEGA computer that may be based on the STe and card-compatible with the TT. Atari makes an impression at the National Association of Music Merchandisers (NAMM) show as the only major computer display. The Hotz Box and the STacy are featured, and a concert is sponsored by Atari. MIDI-TASKING is released to developers as a BETA-TEST version, offering a multitasking environment under GEM, tailored for MIDI applications. MARCH 1990: Layoffs of 15% of the Sunnyvale Atari employees affect mostly warehouse and accounting departments, but are felt by all. After some angry power plays and short-scheduled events by commercial promoters that appear to be trying to squeeze user groups out of show production, Atari announces that they will not support Atari Fests that are not scheduled at least 120 days ahead of time and that are closer than 30 days to any other show. Charles Cherry's SoftSource system of cataloging and promoting third- party developers nears readiness on GEnie telecommunication system. FEDERATED is finally sold, the last parts going to SILO's chain of stores in a deal that gives Atari a large block of the huge UK company's stock. Avant-Garde releases a series of fixes and chip replacements that make PCDITTO II work... for as many as 80% of the owners. CALAMUS OUTLINE ART begins shipping from ISD. It comes with a conversion program to turn Outline format graphics into PostScript files. APRIL 1990: ATARI EXPLORER MAGAZINE editors David Ahl and Betsy Staples are fired by Atari, the publisher, for their critical commentary in the "Spring" issue. The issue is recalled before distribution and reworked. The second Disneyland World Of Atari is a moderate success, with showings of some new products. Gadgets's 68030 upgrade board is shown - working - and might even be faster than Atari's own TT. The STe finally passes the FCC testing and can begin distribution in the USA. MICHTRON releases FLEET STREET PUBLISHER 3.0 without fanfare, as Michtron begins winding down operations and discussing a possible sale. They continue to appear at shows with great deals. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) raids an Atari Taiwan plant and finds several pirate copies of LOTUS on employee machines. Atari denies responsibility and criticizes BSA priorities. A two-day Atarifest in Pittsburgh, PA sponsored by PACE is a resounding flop, with well under 500 attending. Worse, comments from many visitors cause fears about the rampant and apparently accepted level of piracy in the area. Discussion of the situation online and in media reports infuriate local groups. MAY 1990: At Atari's annual meeting, shareholders learn that the company has earned $1.5 million in the most recent quarter, and sees the TT. Jim Fisher is announced as the new editor of Atari Explorer, adding to Jim's duties as Vice President of Marketing. Production will be handled by Jon Jainschigg, formerly the technical editor of Explorer under Staples and Ahl. World of Atari Manager Richard Tsukiji relights old fires by announcing a WOA in San Jose less than a month before the Glendale Atari Faire, defying Atari's guidelines for show scheduling. A similar announcement in 1989 caused cancellation of BOTH shows. This year, neither plan to back down. ST JOURNAL, from Steve Lesh and Quill Publications, begins distribution of their first issue. The new ST specific magazine attempts to provide a serious user's journal of news and reviews, avoiding the "game" image entirely. JUNE 1990: The Summer CES in Chicago was attended by Atari but no new hardware or packages were offered. The long talked about "Atari Advantage" package (a bundle of LOTS of game and productivity software with a 520ST ad a very low price) was prepped then pulled out of the CES show at the last moment. The Tramiels are rethinking the contents and pricing of the bundle(s). ELIE KENAN comes to Atari from his position as Manager of Atari France, to begin preparations for his takeover of Atari USA, Canada, and France. The STacy and STe begin shipping to Atari dealers in the USA. Atari co-sponsors the "Silicon Summit", trade talks with the Soviets concerning a trade of computers for RAM CHIP production in the USSR. WOA promoter Richard Tsukiji is informed by Atari that Atari will not participate or support his San Jose show in any way, due to his late and conflicting scheduling of the show. GRIBNIF shows their NEODESK 3 for the first time, offering lots of remarkable advancements in their ST desktop replacement. ICD Inc. offers new driver software for their hard drives and host adapters that resolves a major incompatibility with Talon's Supercharger IBM emulator. NEXT WEEK: PART 2, Featuring WOA, GLENDALE, COMDEX, the MEGA/STe, and MORE, as 1990, the Year of Atari In Review continues... XX XXXX OXXXOX XXXXXXXO OXOXXXXXXX XXXXXOXXXOXX XXXXXXXXOXXXXO OXXXXOXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXOXXXXX OXXXQXXXXOXXXXXOXXXO || Season's Greetings from Z-Net Z*NET ONLINE MAGAZINE is Copyright (c)1990 by Rovac Industries Inc. Opinions and commentaries presented are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of the Z*NET/ROVAC staff. Z*NET INTERNATIONAL ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE ROVAC INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED POST OFFICE BOX 59 MIDDLESEX, NEW JERSEY 08846-0059 VOICE: (908) 968-2024 BBS: (908) 968-8148 FNET NODE: 593 Z*NET CONFERENCE CODE: 20448 COMPUSERVE ID: 71777,2140 GENIE ID: Z-NET and R.KOVACS *** MERRY CHRISTMAS ***
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