ST Report: 11-Jan-91 #702From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/20/91-05:09:55 PM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 11-Jan-91 #702 Date: Sun Jan 20 17:09:55 1991 *---== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" _____________________________________ from STR Publishing Inc. """""""""""""""""" January 11, 1990 No.7.02 ========================================================================== STReport Online Magazine? Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 ~ 6672 R.F. Mariano Publisher - Editor _________________________________________ Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM - 4 PM EST BBS: 904-786-4176 USR/HST DUAL STANDARD FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EST _________________________________________ ** Fnet Node 350 * FidoNet Node 1:112/35 * NeST Node 90:19/350.0 ** STR'S privately owned & operated support BBS carries ALL issues of STReport Online Magazine and AN INTERNATIONAL LIST OF PRIVATE BBS SYSTEMS carrying STReport Online Magazine for their user's enjoyment __________________________________________________________________ > 01/11/91: STReport? #7.02 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU REPORT - CPU STATUS REPORT - MacWorld Opens - CBM Layoffs - CES REPORTS! - The Flip Side - PORTFOLIO NEWS - STR Confidential * UK COMPUTER FAIRE * * DAREK MIHOCKA, ONLINE * * 68000 BASED GAME CONSOLE? * ========================================================================== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE? The _Number One_ Online Magazine -* FEATURING *- "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Hot Tips, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ========================================================================== STReport's support BBS, NODE # 350 invites systems using Forem ST and Turbo Board BBS to participate in the Fido/F-Net Mail Network. Or, call Node 350 direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging information relative to the Atari ST computer arena through an excellent International ST Mail Network. All registered F-NET - Crossnet SysOps are welcome to join the STReport Crossnet Conference. The Crossnet Conference Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is # 350. All systems are most welcome to actively participate. Support Atari Computers; Join Today! ========================================================================== AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON: GENIE ~ CIS ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ F-NET ========================================================================== > The Editor's Podium? The CES show is going full blast.... The new products are intended to excite most of us and of course instill confidence in the coming year. Although there are no confirmations, the 68000 based super game console, whose name might just be "Panther" is in Las Vegas, being 'shown' behind closed doors. Atari is embarked on the "rebuild" course and from all indications has a definite plan to follow. About four weeks ago, there was a rumor of the German GM being recrui- ted to head up the vacancy left by Elie Kenan. Now, with the UK Computer Faire over, we to hear this story again. The best that can be said is that Atari Corp. may be doing something along these lines, Atari US is certainly not part of the plans or so someone would have us believe. In any case, nothing but good can come of any international influence on the entire North American market. After all, that would virtually guarantee a flow of the 'hard to get' European software to the USA. Thus rejuv- enating the USA's rather sluggish market. Thank you again for your support! Ralph *********************************************************************** NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME to the Readers of; STREPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE? """""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY! CALL: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198 You will receive your complimentary time and be online in no time at all! WHAT'S NEW IN THE ATARI FORUMS (Jan. 11) ATARI REGISTERED DEVELOPERS... Atari Developer Support has uploaded TTLANG.ARC to LIBRARY 7 of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO) for Atari Registered Developers. This is the TT030 "Language Disk" & Advanced Hard Disk Utilities Disk that is currently shipping with the FCC ClassA TT's. NEW FROM DOUBLE CLICK SOFTWARE DCMSHF.ARC, available in LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). DC MOUSE SHIFT emulates any of the modifier keys (SHIFTs, CONTROL, and/or ALTERNATE) by pressing the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON. Perfect for selecting multiple files at the desktop or a MOVE operation on TOS 1.4 and up. Built-in configurator allows you to assign key(s) and whether or not emulation is turned off in programs. ST,STe,and TT compatible. DCMN1A.ARC, available in LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). DC MENU V1.0a is a DC DESKTOP extension. DC MENU v1.0a fixes a small 'oversight' of 1.0: the path is now set to that of the program being launched. Programs launched will now find their resources and other associated files. DC MENU lets you launch 24 programs with a key from DC Desktop without the need for a program icon on the desktop. 100% assembly. NEW PORTFOLIO LIBRARY As requested by the members, we've established a separate Library (#11) for GRAPHICS files in the Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO). The sysops have moved all of the previously uploaded graphics files to this new location. NEW PBASIC, UTILITIES FROM B.J. GLEASON The prolific B.J. Gleason has generously provided us with some heavily requested utilities and a new version of his PBASIC interpreter. Check out these files, now available in Library 1 of the Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO). NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE *********************************************************************** > CPU REPORT? ========== Issue #A01 ---------- Temporary Editor - Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. > CPU STATUS REPORT? LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= - San Francisco, CA MACWORLD EXPO OPENS THIS WEEK ----------------- The semi-annual Mac World Expo opens this week in San Francisco. The Expo runs from Thursday through Sunday, at the Moscone Center and the San Francisco Civic Center/Brooks Hall. It is not anticipated that much new will be announced but all sorts of rumors are swirling around Apple. Some of the new hardware that may be announced is a slightly enhanced Portable and a new mid-range printer to replace the unpopular and trouble prone Imagewriter LQ. Apple's System 7 software isn't to be released until sometime during the first 1/2 of the year, so it will not be shown. Prior to the show, Apple announced high-speed Ethernet expansion cards or the Mac II and LC lines and three types of Ethernet cabling, so the new cards will work with fiber optic, thin or thick coax or twisted pair wiring cables. Microsoft plans a news conference sometime during the show and it is anticipated to unveil version 3.0 of its Excel spreadsheet. However, Lotus's long-awaited Mac version of 1-2-3 isn't expected to be shown. Reports say that several companies will be showing new music and sound tools. Also, some new accelerator cards (based on the 68040) are to be demonstrated. - Santa Monica, CA NORAD INTROS RADIATION SHIELD FOR MAC CLASSIC ---------------- NoRad Corporation has introduced a NoRad Shield (Model 2524-P) for the Mac Classic. Bruce Sperka, NoRad director of marketing said that the reason the shield was developed so quickly was because the Mac users represent a strong customer base for his company and due to the popularity of the recently introduced Mac Classic. NoRad shields have been certified as the most effective product avail- able for blocking video display terminal non-ionizing electro-magnetic radiation. It is said to provide "broad spectrum EMR attenuation includ- ing better than 99.9 percent of virtually the entire E-field (electric), including ELF and VLF, and better than 50 percent of the H-field (mag- netic) above 30 kiloHertz". Suggested retail price for the Mac Classic model is $129 and has immediate availability. - New York City, NY COMMODORE MAKES CUTS ----------------- Commodore International has announced cuts in its U.S. operations. The cuts will mainly be in administration and factory overhead. It is reported that the company will lay off about 10% of its 600 U.S. workers. The company said that the action was necessitated due to the reorganiza- tion of certain functions and it is hoped to result in more efficient operations. - San Francisco, CA HAYES WINS ONE ROUND IN PATENT FIGHT ----------------- Instead of going to trial, Promethus Products agreed to an out of court settlement with Hayes Microcomputer Products concerning the rights to a patent issued to Hayes in 1985 (number 4,549,302). Promethus (one of three defendants in the case) agreed to pay license fees to Hayes in connection with Hayes' Modem with Improved Escape Sequence patent. The 1985 patent covers most personal computer async modems running at up to 2,400 bits/second (2400 baud). - Waterloo, Ontario, Canada HAYES BUYS WATERLOO MICROSYSTEMS ------------------------- In an effort to boost its Canadian presence, Hayes Microcomputer Products has hired all the staff of Waterloo Microsystems (which Hayes acquired late last year) and has changed the name on the office to "Hayes Canada". A spokesperson for Hayes said that the acquisition of Waterloo brought Hayes considerable technical expertise. - San Jose, CA NINTENDO BEING SUED...AGAIN! ------------ American Video Entertainment (AVE) filed suit for $105 million against Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Japan in US District Court in San Francisco on January 8th. AVE charges Nintendo with having an illegal monopoly and that Nintendo changed their machines so that they will not work with non-Nintendo cartridges. In 1989, AVE's Macronix engineers created a cartridge which was able to defeat Nintendo's "lockout" chips and would work on the 28,000,000 Nintendo game machines on the market. But AVE claims Nintendo changed the internal design of its video game players in November and they will no longer play AVE's cartridges. Nintendo has been in court before concerning it's lock-out scheme. Atari Games' 1988 suit (also charging Nintendo with monopoly) is still in the courts and the Federal Trade Commission is also investigating. - Sydney, Australia MAC CLASSIC BUNDLED AND BARGAIN PRICED ----------------- Reliable Australian Distributors (RAD) is offering the RAD Mac Classic Starter Pack. The starter package offered is a Mac Classic with 3 megs of memory, a 50-meg Microtech internal hard drive, Norton Utilities for the Mac, Total Recall back-up software and the SmartBundle - Write Now, Full impact, SuperPaint 2.0 and RecordHolder Plus - all for AUS $1,350. The Starter Pack is also available with 40-meg or 100-meg hard drives and/or 1-meg memory upgrade. - Kazan, Russia RUSSIAN SOFTWARE FACTORY UNSATISFACTORY ------------- Microsoft and Nantucket representatives say that the software pack- aging plant established two years ago in Kazan, Russia by the Soviet State Committee on Computers and Informatics is not satisfactory. The quality of packaging that comes from this factory is not very high and is only good for use in producing some parts of dBase and Clipper packages. Also, the service is limited. The factory can't respond quickly enough to marketing moves required by Microsoft. *********************************************************************** :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ To sign up for GEnie service: Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. **** SIGN UP FEE WAIVED **** The system will now prompt you for your information. -> NOW! GENIE STAR SERVICE IS IN EFFECT!! <- *********************************************************************** > The Flip Side STR Feature? "......A different viewpoint.." ========================= A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee In last weeks column I mentioned that "I might get someone's name wrong on occasion". Well, last weeks column was one of those occasions. I gave credit to "Doug Williams" for a post and it should have been given to Doug Wheeler (I think I've done that before). Doug, I apologize and I'll try not to let it happen again. ---------------- From Mike Loader on the SoftLogic (PageStream) RT on Genie: For those wondering, PageStream ST does not currently run on the TT. The version you always see at shows is an in-house beta, not a for sale version. The current version is still 1.82. Now that Amiga 2.1 is shipping, all attention will be given to 2.1 Atari which will run on both machines. The Atari manual will be the same as the Amiga 2.1 manual, with the usual changes for machines, plus a whole bunch of spelling corrections! ---------------- From Jack Hickey on Genie: I have it from a reliable source that a simple jumper change in either the TT or the MegaSTE will enable 1.44MB drives to be used. Also, that same source mentioned an upgraded WDC 1772 that also accommodates 1.44MB. Should make for an easy upgrade of all ST's! Don't ask Atari to confirm this, and don't run a modified system in a residential, non commercial application. (FCC you know) ---------------- From Gantry Gappmayer (Editor ST Journal) on Genie... ST Journal will not be printing a Feb/Mar issue. The purpose of this is to give us time to: Reevaluate the market and our place in it. Prepare for expansion to cover TT, Mega STe, and the Portfolio. Change the format of the magazine, possibly going monthly. Subscribers will still receive the same number of issues, resuming the next published issue. ---------------- From Lauren (WordFlair) on Genie: Sorry for the delay. We pride ourselves on meeting our shipping schedules. We announced Wordflair, the original product, at COMDEX '89 and projected a December 15, 1989 ship date. It actually shipped just after Christmas that year. This year's COMDEX announcement projected a January 2, 1991 ship date (trying not to repeat prior year's per- formance) and will ship two weeks late anyway. Murphy's Law...But seriously, we work hard to find as many bugs as we can, and we fix all that we find, so it is hard to be 100% accurate with projections. ---------------- From Mike Schuetz on Genie: I just returned from London yesterday, so here is my (German) 10 cents worth about the London show. There were over a 120 vendors at that show showing off soft-& hardware for the ST & Amiga. Typical for the English ST market the whole show was dominated by Game software. Where for example at the Atari fair in Duesseldorf, Germany, probably 80% of the show is dedicated to application software or hardware devices and may be less than 20% to game software, the 16 Bit Atari fair in London it was just the other way around. Naturally there was also other stuff to see & buy besides games: Double Click Software was showing off DC Desktop and DC utilities AIM introduce their Atari magazine to the English crowd PC emulators - PC Speed, AT Speed, Supercharger and AT Once were seen Softlogik demoed Pagestream Retouche Professional was shown by the English distributor HiSoft was there with their full range programming languages Even some German companies like the modem supplier CSR, the harddisk manufacturers LACOM & PROTAR had come to London to show off their products. The show was held at two rooms in the Novotel and was very well accepted by the English public. There were often times during the three days where some rows between the booths were blocked by the large number of visitors. A very high percentage of the visitors were kids and students, naturally attracted by all the games. Quality games like Captive, Powermonger, Speedball II, Populos, could be purchased for 17 Pounds (~US$ 30). There weren't too many developers among the over 120 vendors. A very high percentage was made up of dealers selling commercial software, PD stuff and/or hardware. All in all there was nothing new to see for the ST but I take it the show was a very good success for both the organizer and most of the exhibitors. ---------------- Have you ever wanted an alternative to the SM124 mono monitor? Here's a post from Larry Rymal on Genie about the NEC MultiSync GS2a that might interest you (slightly edited).. The NEC MultiSync GS2a is not a color multisync but a paper white...The monitor is capable of many resolutions including gray scale but not for the ST. The ST doesn't have have the right outputs to give us gray scale...You have to use the GS2a in ST monochrome mode only. I almost returned the GS2A but the paperwhite monochrome is so beautiful on the ST, that I fell in love. At first, I had a few problems getting the NEC GS2a to work. The problem was not in the monitor or the ST, but in getting the video to go where it was supposed to go. Without modification the NEC GS2A cannot plug directly into the ST but it will work with the the OmniSwitch, an interface box that allows multisyncs to directly work with the ST. The OmniSwitch has two D receptacles allowing use with both 9 and 15 pin multisync plugs. Sounds great, right? However, in spite of the OmniSwitch the NEC GS2a did not work properly at first. The display looked terrible, with lots of shadows and video "ringing". Upon accident, as I was preparing to disconnect the NEC plug from the OmniSwitch, a ring on my finger touched the two D connectors. BINGO! The display flickered, most of the shadows disappeared and the ringing all but stopped. Using a test lead, I alligator clipped the two D connectors together. Wow...! Things looked really great, but being picky about my monochrome display, I was upset about a few "hardly noticeable" shadows that were present. I wondered if the OmniSwitch was the problem. Grabbing some more test leads, I decided to experiment and hook the NEC GS2A directly to the ST. Just for reference sake, the NEC GS2a only has three lines that are relevant to the ST (four if you want to count ground). These are the VIDEO, the H.SYNC, and the V.SYNC. I hooked the NEC H.SYNC to ST pin 9 (HORIZONAL SYNC), and NEC V.SYNC to ST pin 12 (VERTICAL SYNC), and played with the NEC VIDEO line, hooking it to ST pin 11 (MONOCHROME), I think. I say, "I think" because, if I recall right, I was able to get a great display with the NEC VIDEO line hooked up to the ST MONOCHROME pin mentioned above, and had equally beautifully displays with that line hooked up to any of the ST color lines. To get the ST to monochrome mode, I grounded ST pin 4 (MONOCHROME DETECT). The results were amazing to my eyes. No shadows, no ringings, and best of all, truly adjustable video size with a screen considerably larger than the SM124. Needless to say, I removed the OmniSwitch! I was so shocked that this jewel worked right off, that I stopped experimenting, soldered the working wire combination to the ST plug and was up and running. This monitor is really sweet and will work on the MAC, the Amiga, the ST, and the IBM. Its versatility speaks for itself at a price not that much more than the SM124. Question from Daniel.H... What happened when you tried the color lines without the mono detect? Do you think there'd be some way to rig something that would grey-scale? Answer from Larry Rymal... Without the mono detect, you lose sync. I went inside of the monitor and saw several clearly labeled pots for sync adjustments. Well, I regained sync, but the image was so large, that it overlapped the edge of the monitor's screen and just could not be adjusted...I restored the pots to their original size and regained my beautiful paper-white ST screen, by the way. I know absolutely nothing about IBMish grey-scale video cards, but I'd bet that color is converted to grey-scale prior to reaching the line feeding the monitor, somehow--a luxury that we don't have on the 68000 STs. Until next week.... ___________________________________________________________ > COMPUTER FAIRE STR SHOW NEWS? * EXCLUSIVE * Show Report from London UK! ============================ 16 BIT COMPUTER FAIRE LONDON, ENGLAND January 1991 by Gordon Monnier I will give you a brief description of what was happening at the 16 bit computer faire. Atari people in England are the same as the Atari people in the US. Scared and Worried. Trying to figure out what the HECK Atari is doing. All the Europeans have heard is that the ST is totally dead in the US and they can't figure out why its still selling in Europe. Not as good as the Amiga but "still alive". One figure I heard from a few people is that the Amiga is outselling the ST about 6-1 in England. The show itself was quite a success, they had well over 100 exhibitors selling Atari ST and Amiga products. Total attendance at the show was 20,000 plus people. At the show Talon Tech was showing their new Beatle Mouse (taking a cue from Atari and showing the new products in Europe first!!) <The devil made me say that>, Hisoft was showing a new Flight Simulator and new beta versions of the HiSoft Basic and Dev Pack, all of which are promised shortly through Gold Leaf Publishing here in the US. GFA has a new version of Basic for the ST and is hoping to have a version of GFA BASIC for windows on the PC in early February. Best news yet to GFA users they have hired a local rep and are opening a 3 person office in Boston as of Jan 1. The new man is a PC person and I think most of their plans in the US are for the PC market. But he should be able to support the Atari and Amiga owners. Other US companies at the show were Double Click showing their new software, Best Computer Products, SoftLogic and Unicorn Publications. One interesting rumor I heard circulating was "that since the Frenchman, Elie did not work out, Jack is now going to try his luck with a German." He is going to attempt to transfer the German GM to the US to try to straighten out the US. One interesting side effect I heard ...he was going to bundle some German software with the new STE's and he is going to pay the German companies to set up offices in the US to support their software. Atari chose not to exhibit at the show so there was nothing new from them. The surprising observation was the number of English ST software companies that have closed up or changed their marketing direction and thrust. Its as gloomy as in the US. Some big names in Europe have ap- parently ceased or minimized their support of the ST. For example, there was nothing from GST for the ST. Hisoft, GFA, Kuma and a company showing a photo retouching package were the only serious software people there. Both the Amiga and the ST in England are considered a game machines and are sold as such. Another interesting thing was the fact that there was at least 6 different companies selling mouse replacements for the ST. Seems that 5 years ago the ST mouse was ok. Today, its kinda behind times. **************************************************************** > MIHOCKA CONF. STR FOCUS? :DELPHI ONLINE: "DAREK ....SAYING LIKE IT IS" ======================= IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= As a reader of STReport Online Magazine?, you are entitled to take advantage of a special DELPHI membership offer. For only $29.95 ($20 off the standard membership price!), you will receive a lifetime subscription to DELPHI, a copy of the 500-page DELPHI: THE OFFICIAL GUIDE and over $14 worth of free time. NOTE: Special offers can be found in your favorite Atari magazines: START CURRENT NOTES ST INFORMER ATARI INTERFACE MAGAZINE SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call. JOIN -- DELPHI -------------- 1. Dial 617-576-0862 with any terminal or PC and modem (at 2400 bps, dial 576-2981). 2. At the Username prompt, type JOINDELPHI. 3. At the Password prompt enter STREPORT. For more information, call DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005, or at 617-491-3393 from within Massachusetts or from outside the U.S. DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, Mass. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT -------------------- Beginning September 1, 1990, DELPHI will begin offering a new plan that will save you money! The new plan is called the 20/20 Advantage Plan and it features 20 hours online for just $20 a month! The $20 is a monthly fee that covers your first 20 hours online via direct dial into one of DELPHI's two direct-access lines, or via a special Tymnet 20/20 Access code. It also gets you additional hours at just $1.20 per hour. And you get free access to several services on DELPHI as part of the Advantage Perks. Other telecom services may have additional charges. Canadian Tymnet users have an additional telecom charge. Office Time access (7 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekdays) may have an additional charge. And of course, other restrictions may apply. But this is still an amazing deal! For more information, contact DELPHI at 1-800-544-4005 and ask for Member Services. DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! *********************************************************************** A FORMAL CONFERENCE WITH DAREK MIHOCKA January 8th, 1991 .Gordie> Good evening, and welcome to DELPHI's ST Advantage. Tonight we're pleased to have Mr. Darek Mihocka, of Branch Always Software, as our guest for a Formal Conference. For those of you who don't read ST Report, Darek's column on Windows 3.0 vs. the ST/TT has been causing quite a stir. But Darek is no stranger to controversy, as he is the author of Xformer ST, an Atari 8-bit emulator for the ST, which Atari didn't seem to want to see happen, when Darek first wrote it, several years ago. Darek has since written several utilities for the ST, of which the best known is probably Quick ST, an accelerator program. Okay, with that out of the way, Darek, do you have any opening rema- rks? .Darek> Gordie, thanks for the intro. It pretty well says everything I would have said. Actually, I just got home 10 minutes ago so I didn't have time to type up anything anyway. But as most of you know, I am one of the two co-founders of Branch Always Software. I'm a recent graduate from the U of W in Canada, and recently moved to Seattle to pursue a day job. I'm the author of Quick ST II, and several of the Quick Tools, which are 2 of our products, as well as the author of several freeware programs such as ST Xformer. Yes, I am a Windows fan. I have been for 3 years, but it hasn't been until now that I have seen the IBM PC (and clones) as a viable alternative to the ST line of computers. It is for this reason that I am writing the series of articles in ST Report. No, it is not Atari bashing, and I have tried to remain as unbiased as possible (believe me _that_ was hard), but facts speak for themselves. Also, this month my company is mailing out roughly 10,000 newsletters to Atari ST users across the United States, Canada, and Europe, with product information about our current two products and upcoming releases. And with that, I turn it over back to you Gordie! .Gordie> Okay, Bill, you can start things off. .Bill B.> Thanks Gordie. Darek, having been an xl user, I'm more interested in the Xformer package. I purchased the cable from you only to get the shareware release of ST Xformer. Is the freeware version<s> available? .Darek> Bill, at this time, all releases of Xformer are freeware (or "public domain" as some people call it). About a year ago, I decided to no longer pursue that project because of various reasons. <grin> The shareware and freeware versions can be considered to be one and the same. For as long as you have version 2.55, you have the latest version. However, I've recently gone back to working on Xformer, and will be releasing at least 2 versions. One will be ST Xformer 2.6, which fixes bugs that have been reported in version 2.55. Even though the source code is in the public domain as well, it seems I'm stuck with fixing it. <grin> The other version will be an IBM PC compatible version, that emulates an Atari 800 at various speeds, depending on whether you have a PC, XT, AT, 386, 486, etc. For reference, on a 386 machine running at 25 MHz, it runs at about twice the speed of the Atari 800. A possible third release will be made for the TT, if I ever get my hands on one long enough to figure out why ST Xformer doesn't run on it now. All of these releases will be free and available on online services. As for the Xformer Cable, I released the plans of that into the public domain, so anyone is free to build and sell them. Do not try to buy one from me (if you need another one) since I do not carry them. Bill B.> Oustanding! I have 2.43...Looking forward to it THANKS! BRUCENELSON> You have in the past been exceptional at replying to phone calls, email, and other communications. As I have been trying to get a reply from you for over 3 months, and I have read on otehr nets that other customers have also had trouble contacting you, I was wondering if there was any particular problem - besides a fulltime job, a fulltime business,and a social life :-) .Darek> Bruce, first, I have no social life. <grin> The problem with people trying to reach me is that Branch Always is a night job. i.e. from 6pm until about 3am. To reach me, that is the best time to call (Pacific time). Simply due to the cost, I cannot reply to every message left on my answering machine. I prefer it when people contact me either by email or after 6pm. Yes, I received several email from you in the last few weeks regarding your update, but you must understand that I did take several weeks off during the Xmas break. A lot of people do ask about updates, so let me explain a bit how I do updates. (This is one of the reasons people think I've gone out of business, because they are waiting for updates.) At "off season" times, i.e. times not immediately following the release of an updated version of a product, updates are processed perhaps once or twice a month. This is to minimize the amount of time taken away from such things as software development. Our typical turnaround time for an update is 4 to 6 weeks "off season" and 2 to 3 weeks "in season". Usually when I have to listen to my messages and decide which ones to call back, the calls regarding updates are usually left out. Simply for the reason that there are too many of them and most people are expecting updates in a week or two. This simply can't be done. BRUCENELSON> Thanks. However, a quick email reply (I thought my mail was going to a black hole) would have been appreciated even if you only said you'd get back to me in X weeks. I appreciate the position that you're in. Thanks for the reply here .... ga next?? SCOTTJ> Darek, after your column on Windows in ST Report as well as the tone of some of the posts you've made on GEnie (some of which were reposted here on Delphi), how can you expect the Atari community to support you and your products? Haven't your actions driven away your customers? GA .Darek> Scott, first I'd like to say that the point of the ST Report articles was not to focus on Windows 3.0 exclusively. But if I didn't mention Windows, people would ask why, and I can't ignore Windows because it is one of the major pieces of software in the PC World today and will shape personal computing for years. Yes, perhaps I have shot myself in the foot and lost customers by writing these articles, but I have always spoken my mind in the past, and now is not a time to shut up and quietly join the ranks of many developers who have already left the ST community to write PC software. I plan to continue developing and providing support for the ST. But of the 4 people writing software for BraSoft (myself, Ignac, Robert, and Ian) all 4 of us either own PCs or develop on them in our day jobs. Over the next few years, the number of ST users who either buy PCs or have to use them at work will constantly be increasing, and frankly, I see the ST as a dead end down the road. How long? Maybe a year. Maybe two. Having been an Atari 8-bit and ST user for 10 years now, I know how proud Atari users are of their machines, and with good reason. But Atari has not been keeping up with the rest of the computer world, and the rest of the world has not only caught up, but surpasses the kind of technical innovations that Atari used to be famous for. Being one of these loyal Atari users, I still have an attachment to my 3 STs and many former 8-bit systems, but in my case, warm memories of years past do not help me today. In the last year or so, the cost of low end machines such as the Mac or PC clones has taken such a nosedive, that the ST is by far no longer a "power without the price" machine. My articles are intended to very rudely awaken the ST community (even if it gets them peeved at me) to wake up and look around them. Windows is here to stay. The Mac is probably here to stay. The ST, no way. Being a developer, I find the ST software market still very profitable, and so I cannot turn away from it just yet. But as we all know, it is the users that have kept the momentum going for Atari as long as it has been and I just don't want to see all these people realize a year or two from now that they would have been better off with another computer. The ST developers around now are only going to stick around so much longer before the larger markets of the Mac and PC draw them away. So what I am suggesting is that Atari users look around NOW and make plans to switch over to some other computer that has a chance of still being supported 2 or 3 or 5 years from now. How much support is the Atari 8-bit getting now? ZIP. In a few years, the ST will be the same. SCOTTJ> Darek, if you are not going to support the ST in the future, why should ST owners support you now? Also, why should ST owners continue to invest money in a dead computer when they could spend that money on a new and viable computer system like a Mac or PC clone? .Darek> We both know that any mass switchover of ST users to the Mac or PC isn't going to happen overnight. As with the 8-bit line, there will remain a core of tens of thousands of die hard users who will remain active users even 5 years from now. So the ST market will never be dead, just smaller. I am prepared to support that market for as long as it exists. Quick ST II is a hot selling product, but it only has about 5% of the market penetration here in North American, so there is PLENTY of room for more sales. In my newsletter, I do reassure people that Quick ST 3 will be shipping this June, and it is the product that I am currently spending all my development time on. What's after Quick ST 3? After June? I don't know. That will depend on the market. On the other hand, there will be the people who do switch over. They may not do it right away, because a lot of people are still waiting to see what "ST-like" applications come out for Windows or the Mac. Right now, there is already a large selection to choose from. A year from now, with Apple's release of System 7.0, and even lower prices on 386 and 486 based machines, there will be even more reason to switch. But answer your question, it is up to the individual user to decide whether they are going to stick it out to the very end with the ST, and in that case, continue to support ST developers, or, to switch over. By starting some minor development on the PC now, and more development after the release of Quick ST 3, I am positioning myself to support both markets. As a first step, I am porting over some of my ST software to the PC, such as ST Xformer. Next will probably come some of the utilities from Quick Tools. This way, users of my software on the ST will at least have something familiar for when they switch over. JDBARNES> Why did Microsoft fail on a version of Word for the ST? How important are non-DOS things to their business? I know that there is no love lost between you and Atari Corp. But it seems that your latest actions are aimed more at revenge than anything else. .Darek> First of all, there is a very common belief that what Microsoft ported was MS Word. That is not true. MS Write and MS Word are two ENTIRELY different products. MS Write on the PC is the word processor that comes bundled with Windows. It is a very simple word processor, lacking many of the features of Word or Word For Windows (but what do you expect for free) and that is what Atari apparently asked for and got. Atari was responsible for marketing the product, and if they failed (especially considering the price they charged), then how is Microsoft responsible? As for "revenge tactics", certainly their refusal to sell me a TT had something to do with it. But you have to realize that this leads back to last June when Atari officially "introduced" the TT to North America at the little get-together in Toronto. I was there, and listened to the usual promises of TT's in dealers across Canada by July, and how any developer in Canada can get a TT immediately. Well, that didn't quite happen. Then I move to the US and now have to deal with Atari US, and once again, at both the Glendale show and the WAACE show, Atari said things to developers that they didn't follow up on. Yes, now the TTs are finally shipping to developers, at a higher price and months later, and only to those developers that meet their criteria. Considering how few developers there are already, this is certainly not the way to treat your developers. Having been hassled by them before concerning the 8-bit emulator, and the resignation of Charles Cherry and Elie (Kenan), I do not have any belief that developer support will improve as was promised last year. JDBARNES> Would Atari register you as a developer if you applied and paid? .Darek> I am registered! Last year I finally decided that "yeah, Atari is turning things around and I should register" because I started hearing from other developers that supports really WAS improving. It was around then that Charles left and this whole TT thing started, so I have very little evidence to prove that things actually were better. JDBARNES> Ok, sorry for the misapprehension. I knew you were not registered at one time. I'll let someone else in now. .Dave> Darek, can you describe a little bit how Quick Manager allows your accs to share memory? Can other accs be modified to take advantage of this feature? .Darek> Dave, Quick Manager is really an overlay manager. The other Quick Tools programs are designed to load in on top of parts of Quick Manager, thus saving memory. When you switch from one Tool to another, it simply loads the second tool on top of the first, which requires no extra memory. This concept has been around for years, and some operating systems like UNIX and Windows <grin> do things like that automatically (also known as "swapping"). Since TOS does not include any form of support for overlays, we developed our own method. Yes, it is fairly easy to convert most desk accessories or programs to run as Quick Manager overlays but for the time being, we only provide sample code compatible with Laser C or MADMAC. .Dana> OK, a couple of my questions have been answered, so I'll ask one that's usually asked in this instance!! Darek, what does Atari _have_ to do to win you back as an avid developer; and win back the respect that the company needs to regain to become a viable market again? .Darek> Dana, I am not a financial wizard, so all I can do is guess. My first guess is that they should do what they do best - make hardware. Let people who know software write the operating system and applications. That is what they first did with GEM, and I'm not sure why Digital Research didn't continue to support GEM on the ST. Might have been related to the Apple lawsuit. But, for example, instead of whipping together their own new desktop, why did they not go to, say, Gribnif or Double Click and incorporate one of their products (which are very popular with the users too). Or why not let some other company handle developer support. In the case of Apple, they split off their own software company to function separately from the hardware company. It may be the case that Atari is simply too small to afford to do that. I don't know. They're stuck in the unfavorable position right now of having to write their own operating systems as well as making the hardware. They cannot, as is true in the PC clone world, simply make a cheap computer and use the existing software already available. A built-in PC emulator would help a lot, but Atari didn't do too much to save Avante Garde did it? I just think that Atari should work with its developers in developing newer versions of TOS, or GDOS, or whatever, instead of what they do now, which is, here is the computer, here is the development kit, write some software for us. .Dana> Thanks for your candidness. .Tony Messina> As some of you know (or may not) I've been around the Atari community for awhile. Since 1979. I have extolled the virtues of the Atari line since then and been an avid supporter of their machines. I have closets full of stuff. But Darek is correct in his assessment of ATARI and its future. If I had to put food on my table by either developing SW for the Atari or the PC... the PC would win. I use and develop on one daily. The PC software development tools are far superior to ANYTHING available now on the ST. I love my ST and its capabilities, but Windows 3.0, which I also develop for, is much better than GEM ever will be. I was a registered developer for Atari I got one of the first ST's off the production line in 1985. Paid my 300 bucks and NEVER heard from ATARI again!! Never got upgrades to the lousy DRI compiler... no ROMS for TOS.. NOTHIN!! Don't get on Darek's case. He's gotta make a livin folks. So do I and my money is with the PC. Thanks. .Greg_Zeibari> Darek, I have read your comments on INTERNET and your articles in STR and I couldn't agree with you more about the ST and PC market, Windows 3.0 is GREAT! Q: What language(s) do you use to program the ST & PC with and what books do you recommend? (i.e. ST Internals, etc...) . .Darek> Greg, ok, I'll do the ST side first. My main programming language on the ST is assembler. That's not really a great place to start if you're just learning programming, because I at least did 6502 programming on the Atari 8-bit, so learning 68000 wasn't that hard. My second choice of language is C, and I have used Megamax C and Laser C for a few years. The thing that attracted me those compilers was the ability to mix C and 68000 assembler code easily, since the C compilers available for the ST tend to generate fairly poor code (or at least they used to. I can't speak for Turbo C which I hear is great). For debugging, I use the Tempelmon debugger. On the PC side, I use Microsoft C and MASM at work (obviously!!!) but for my own development I find Quick C quite adequate for what I am doing now. Quick C, like Laser C, allows for mixing C and assembly code, so on the PC, I program in both languages as well. For a debugger, nothing beats Codeview! As for books, the "bible" that I have always used on the ST, mainly because it was one of the first books around and did contain a disassembly of parts of TOS, is ST Internals. Get the third edition, because it has the fewest typos. <grin> The COMPUTE series of books (AES, VDI, TOS) is also excellent for writing GEM applications. On the PC, there is the famous Charles Petzold "bible" on writing Windows programs, and of course, the Peter Norton book of PCs to guide you through the operating system. .Greg_Zeibari> Thanks. .Lloyd> Isn't it true that you're taking heat for saying publically what many of the remaining ST developers are saying privately? And you say that Quick ST has 5% of the market for North America. What do you base that figure on, since no-one knows how many ST's have been sold in the US and Canada. Also, I disagree with you about Windows. It's okay on a '386 system but try running it on a 8088 or even a '286 and you'll appreciate how fast GEM is. Also, try running it on 512k with one floppy drive. .Darek> Lloyd, well, I'll let other developers speak for themselves. But I do know that there are quite a few developers who own non-ST computers, and even develop on them, either as day jobs or as hobbies. I also know that I'm not the only developer to be peeved about the TT situation, and I'm not the only developer to ever have problems getting support. As for the 5% figure, I'm basing that on the only figures I've heard so far, which was a CO with Tom Byron here a few months ago where he estimated about 100,000 US ST users. My own estimate, based on that, is lower, and so based on my sales in the US, I come up with the 5% figure. It may be off by a factor of 2 or 3 either way, but in any case, it shows me that there is still a sizable market to tap into. That's the reason for the newsletter campaign, since it does not cost all that much to reach a good chunk of the entire US userbase by mail. As for GEM on 512K vs. Windows, well, 2 or 3 years ago, yes, I most certainly would have agreed with you. When I first worked at Microsoft as an intern student, I brought my color 1040ST to work one day and dazzled them with the GEM desktop, Spectrum 512, etc. 512 colors on the screen was a big deal back then. 3.5 inch floppies were a big thing back then. More than 640K of RAM was a big thing back then. But if you shop around, you'll see that for the same money that you spend on that 512K floppy based system, you can buy a low end Mac or PC. 512K with floppy is pretty restrictive on the ST nowadays. But anyway, to get my train of thought back, now when you can spend under $1500 for a 386SX based system with all the memory and graphics and color and speed of your ST and more, the 512K flopy based ST is not such a big deal any more. Look at IBM. They just released their XGA card (which will probably replace the VGA in a few years as the standard graphics display on PCs) which offers 1024x768 resolution and up to 65 THOUSAND colors on the screen simultaneously. Even the TT, with its 320x480 256 color graphics doesn't compare to the graphics a cheap Mac II or PC clone can put out. While I gather more thoughts. .Lloyd> I saw Windows last week on a '386sx machine and it was _slow_!! I think my 16mhz ST is faster on re-draws. And my GEM based ST doesn't cost $1500. While that's the minimum a Windowed system would cost. .Darek> Lloyd, I'm not trying to get into a discussion of whose computer is cheaper here. Certainly a 520ST and color monitor can be had for under $1000, but you're looking at the bottom of the line ST system. Get practical and consider what most ST users use nowadays and then price it. As for Windows being slow, consider also that because of the larger screen resolution and more screen colors, the PC screen memory is much larger than the ST's. Look at the Moniterm monitor. It has slower screen redraws due to the larger screen. Look at the ISAC card, or even regular low resolution with its 16 colors. It is slow. If you want Windows or any other graphics application to be "just as fast as my ST" then sure, drop in a monochrome card such as a Hercules, and you'll get faster screen redraws. But your computer will look more like an ST then than a PC. <grin> .Lloyd> But my point is that most ST owners don't own Moniterm systems, they own systems that are 1040's or less and it would cost them considerably more to get a comparible IBM system that would run Windows (at a reasonable rate...compared to GEM). .Darek> Well, I wholeheartedly disagree. The feedback I have been receiving from users who responded to the Quick ST Challenge I posted recently, which required them to give me a description of their ST system, shows that the great majority of ST users have at least 1 megabyte of RAM and most have a hard disk. I can debate that with you till dawn if you want, so let's move to another question. .Maurice> I pretyped my comments in my capture buffer to save everyone $$$. Here goes... Just an observation. I, like Tony Messina, must grudgingly agree with a lot of what you've said -- although I can't really comment on the GEM vs. Windows argument. Even though I've been a FIRM Atari supporter over the years I too have been forced onto other platforms to keep up with the times, particularly insofar as graphics goes, since that's my bread-and-butter (along with writing). It's become so almost none of my "commercial" work is on or for the ST anymore, and is more and more PC based. I would LOVE to be able to recommend an Atari, but how can I when even _I_ find its uses diminishing? That's rough. I mean, the guys who wrote all the ST animation tools I use (Jim Kent and Tom Hudson) are now at Autodesk now writing for the PC! In order to find work, I have to go where the tools are. The same goes for the applications software and game developers I've worked with. An ST might still be a good value $$$ wise for the hardware per se, but with dwindling software support, how can we recommend it? I love my Mega4, but it (nor the TT) simply cannot compete with VGA, or my 25mHz 386 running a graphics board displaying 32,768 colors at once. Thanks. .Darek> No comment I guess, except to ask where I can get that VGA card too! <grin> .Maurice> He he! Not VGA! Vision 16 board. .Keith> I am concerned with the fact that there is a lot of talk, yet no action. When people don't like something with the PC, they make their own solution, yet we sit and complain. Any comments? .Darek> I think it has to do with that die hard Atari loyalty. Users just keep hoping something good will finally happen. You have to also just compare sheer scale. Last year there were somewhere between 5 million and 10 million PCs and PC clones sold in the U.S., compared to some number less than 100,000 STs. When you have that many more people using a machine, chances are there will be more breakthroughs in hardware and software. .ROCCO> I tuned in late but I caught enough to get my question answered. Don't buy a ST hard disk. Save my money and get that 386 33 mhz. Is there any hope for the ST? I've thought about buying a PC emulator to give me compatability with work. .Darek> Rocco, a PC emulator is certainly another alternative, especially if the rumors of a 386 based Supercharger are true. Whether you sell your ST and buy a PC, or buy an emulator, most of your peripherals such as modems and printers will work on either setup. Even an Atari hard disk can be taken apart and the mechanism re-used on a PC. My only concern with emulators is that while they do give you the speed and compatibility of a PC (since they are in effect PCs without a keyboard or monitor) is that you don't have the kind of expandability you have with a real PC. PCs are built with an open architecture, which means you can open the box, plug in a new graphics card or memory card or whatever, and do so in a few minutes. With an emulator running on the ST, you are limited to the screen graphics available on the ST, which are roughly somewhere between a CGA and EGA. In other words, years behind the current VGA standard. But I have seen the Supercharger at work, running Windows even, so it is certainly a way to go if you can't afford to own both systems or sell the ST. .Gordie> Tim, you'll have the last question, since we've been at it over 2 hours, then I'll wrap it up. .TTRYON> I just wanted to ask if there is any chance of an ST emulator being developed so those of us who have a lot of money wrapped up in software will be able to salvage something. .Darek> An ST emulator is something I have considered. A hardware emulator (in the form of a plug in card would be the ideal solution, but is something beyond my hardware designing capabilities). A software emulator, to run on a fast 386 or slow 486 is also possible. I have been making some calculations to determine the memory requirements and speed of such an emulator, and something which runs at the speed of an 8MHz 68000 or slower is possible. Afterall, the 6502 emulator runs at double the speed of real thing, and that is on my PC which is not say, a top of the line 486. A year from now, when we see chip speeds in the 50MHz to 100MHz range, speed will not be a concern. If I do decide to write such an emulator, it will be this summer or later. Since most PCs now have 3.5 inch disk drives and better graphics than the ST, getting the software across to the PC and displaying the graphics is not a problem. .TTRYON> Thanks. .Gordie> Darek, one last question. If you could change any _one_ thing about Atari, what would it be? .Darek> What would I do? Concede what many people have known for years, and that is that the Atari ST will never be a business machine as Atari would like to think. It's a great game machine, and great at emulating other computers, but as a business machines, no. When Atari stops playing this business computer game and just admits that what it makes are nice cheap low end computers, good for what they're good for, and advertise them as such, I think they would succeed. Sell it at Toy-R-Us. Sell it at Sears. Don't try to cut off your dealers. I live across the street from Nintendo's U.S. head office, and every day I am reminded of the fact that there are 50 million of their machines in the U.S. and 100,000 of the STs when it could have been the other way around. So what if people think of it as a game machine? They always have! .Gordie> Any closing comments, Darek? .Darek> First of all, I can always print up more newsletters. So if anyone wants to get a copy of the 4 page BraSoft News, just send a self addressed stamped #10 envelope to Branch Always Software. (14150 N.E. 20th St. #302, Bellevue, WA 98007) Second of all, since Ralph is not here tonight, I'd just like to thank him for allowing me to express my views in ST Report. I know that some people have called both of us traitors, but he is simply keeping an open mind and not covering things from that loyal, close-minded Atari viewpoint. .Gordie> This has been a great CO! I want to thank everyone for attending, especially Darek. This CO is officially over. *** Please excuse any typo's I might have missed. It's late, and I'm tired, and I want to get this posted tonight. --Gordie *** Editor Note: Can you believe it?? The one night I wanted to be here and on my toes, I come down with the FLU. Or, something much like it. In any case, I have an open door for any reasonable viewpoint(s). I feel that Darek's support for the ST community has been real and sincere since day one. Oh! By the way Darek, there's a brand spanking new TT030 waiting for you at Sunnyvale. All you need do is call and make the necessary arran- gements to have it sent to you. ____________________________________________________________ > STR Portfolio News & Information? Keeping up to date... ================================ THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ========================= On CompuServe by Walter Daniel 75066,164 I returned from my 2+ weeks of vacation to find a lot of activity in the forum. Many of the messages dealt with questions about RAM cards (Korg cards have a different pinout), memory expansion (none yet availabl- e), cables (null modem for serial interfaces), and file transfers (to/from just about everything). While you can always post a message with a re- quest for help, chances are somebody has already addressed the problem by uploading a help file. Winners of the help file contest will be announced soon, so more will be available. BJ Gleason continues his uploading onslaught. PBASIC 3.1 (PBAS31.ZIP) is the latest version of his free Portfolio-specific BASIC interpreter. This version adds error trapping, program chaining, support for graphics files, and other goodies. While the file includes adequate documentation, BJ is preparing a much larger hardcopy manual that will be available by mail order in a few weeks. DATEIT.EXE and NAMEIT.EXE are utilities that add date/time and date/time/filename to the end of any text file. FTMenu 1.1 for the PC (FTM11.EXE) is an update of BJUs shell program that makes parallel interface transfers easier. All are currently in Library 1 (New Uploads). The BIG NEWS is the accelerating development of a graphics standard for the Portfolio. I reported last time that Don Messerli uploaded a small graphics file viewer for the Portfolio with more software promised in the future. Well, as the late George Allen used to say, "The future is now!" Don and the aforementioned BJ Gleason put their heads together and produced a compression scheme for the .PGF graphics files that they call .PGC (C for compressed). BJ has added support for .PGC files to PBASIC 3.1 while Don has updated his viewer PGSHOW to 1.10 (PGS110.ZIP). The .ZIP file also contains six .PGC graphics files. What if you have files in the old .PGF format? Don has uploaded a compression utility called PGCOMP (PGCOMP.ZIP) that turns .PGF files into .PGC files and (usually) makes them smaller. This utility comes in handy with the files in PGF01.ZIP since those files are in the .PGF format. If you're wondering what the format for the compressed files is (in case you're doing some programming), Don uploaded PGSPEC.ZIP, a text file explaining the .PGC file format with a couple of example files. How does one make .PGC files? PGEDIT 1.00 (PGEDIT.ZIP) is a graphics editor for desktop PCs (512k RAM, VGA, Microsoft-compatible mouse require- d). I believe that this version creates the old .PGF files, but I'm sure a version with direct support of the .PGC files is on the way. What if you just want to do a screen capture on your PC? Use SNATCH from Wally Wasinger (SNATCH.ZIP). SNATCH is a Terminate and Stay Resident utility that will grab a Portfolio-sized section from your PC screen and create a .PGF file (.PGC support on the way). Don has hinted that he might program a .PGC editor for the Macintosh eventually; however, PGEDIT can read MacPaint files now. This whirlwind of activity has resulted in the addition of a library to the forum just for graphics (library 11). The files mentioned in this column will be in library 1 (New Uploads) for a few weeks as well. Can you think of new and interesting uses for Portfolio graphics? If so, please share them with us by posting messages in the forum. I really got my hopes up when I saw FS.EXE, a flight simulator for the Portfolio. I had missed one of the keywords for the file: GAG. At least one Portfolio programmer has a sense of humor! _________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL? "ATARI NEWS & EVENTS" ===================== - Las Vegas, NV ATARI TO LAUNCH NEW PRODUCTS AT CES ------------- (The following was excerpted from an article about videogame makers at Winter CES in TWICE, a consumer electronics trade weekly, Jan. 7-11, 1991 issue.) "...Atari is promising to make two major announcements at CES, though it won't play its hand until the show commences. However, it is expected that a major price cut on its Lynx color portable system will be involved. Apparently, Atari is setting its sights on knocking Nintendo's black-and-- white Game Boy out of contention. "Lynx is now available nationally; a company spokesperson estimates that 250,000 Lynx systems shipped in 1990. By the show, Atari will have 15 titles available, with another 14 set to ship in the first quarter. "Lynx software has been selling at a rate of 4:1 against hardware, but the company says that with more software now available, the ratio has incre- ased to 6:1." - Las Vegas, NV ATARI DEBUTS PORTABLE COLOR VIDEO GAME SYSTEM ------------- Atari Corp. yesterday unveiled its Lynx color portable video game system at the opening of the Winter Consumer Electronics Show here. The Lynx system is priced at $99.95. Sam Tramiel, Atari Corp. chief executive, also displayed 16 video games that are available now, as well as 16 additional games that will be in stores by mid-year. Tramiel pointed out that Atari has been able to lower its manufac- turing cost for the Lynx handheld color video game system. "These savings are being passed on to the consumer," he added. The Lynx has a full, 3.5-inch backlit LCD screen, an eight-directional built-in joypad, volume and brightness controls and fire buttons. It also includes a ComLynx jack which can be used with the optional ComLynx cables to allow up to 16 players to participate in multi-player games, Atari said in a press release. In addition to the basic Lynx system, Atari is offering a more comprehensive system for $149.95. This system has the Lynx, ComLynx cables, an AC adapter and two games. - Las Vegas, NV ATARI DEBUTS NEW PORTFOLIO GOODIES ------------- ATARI ANNOUNCED 14 NEW SOFTWARE TITLES FOR THE PORTFOLIO. HERE'S A LIST OF TITLES. PowerBASIC from Spectra Publishing PORTFOLIO Stock Tracker from Lifestyle Software ATARI Turbo Translator from Organized Solutions Personal Finance from Bytesize Software Scientific Calculator Portfolio Bridge Baron from Lifestyle Software Portfolio Wine Comparison from Lifestyle Software Portfolio Astrologer from Lifestyle Software Chess Hyperlist Portfolio Diet/Cholesterol Counter from Lifestyle Software U.S.Traveler's Guide from Organized Solutions European Traveler's Guide by Organized Solutions Spell Checker/Dictionary/Thesaurus - Sunnyvale, CA ATARI REVAMPS DISTRIBUTION NETWORK ------------- MIXED REACTIONS Although it was shocking news to all, just days and hours before CES and two weeks before the NAMM show Atari dismissed all it's sales reps. "I couldn't believe it, this is a serious mistake." said one of the now job-less reps. "They have CES now and NAMM right after that. They won't have anyone to man the booths, and not a soul to bring in new dealers." Atari has stated the reason for the lay-offs was because of "Lack of product, and slow sales." But is this truly the case? Atari has had plenty of product through Christmas, for example, one sales rep., when Atari announced to dealers that if they purchased 10 1040STe's they would get 2 monochrome monitor's for free, sold $200,000 in six days. Also, if Atari is so cash short that they have to layoff their sales force, how is it that they can afford to spend the huge sum of money they are spending at CES? Since most of Atari's remaining employees are at CES, no one was really willing to "go on record and comment when questioned." However, one point of view was made very clear, for the last "umpteen" months all Atari has received, concerning the majority of their (in the field) fac- tory reps has been grief. The overall evaluation of the rep system has been a disaster. STReport agrees with this consensus and fully applauds Atari's decision to go with a full distribution system. "At last, Atari and the users are no longer subjected to the whining and devious maneuver- ing by certain dealers to maximize profits through the "exclusivity" afforded them by the old system. Besides the old system was literally eating Atari's lunch. Now, at least with products available through distributors, the excel- lent Atari products will be getting maximized exposure through many previ- ously unheard of outlets. And I might add at the right prices for posi- tive consumer reaction. The days of the "gouge" are finally over. For the time being, Atari will deal direct with dealers. Any dealers wishing to place orders for equipment should contact Shirley Taylor at Atari. Brad Martin And now, a different viewpoint.... A.WHITTEN2 POSTS... ON 01/09/91 at 20:21 PST Here's my question? Why did Atari Corp. decide to fire all of their sales reps today. This move was of a great shock to all of my dealers here in the states and in Canada as well. Although their salaries may have been a little expensive, I don't know! This seems to be a very bad move for ATARI. How is Atari going to get out into the market place without their REPS. It sure will not be through their advertizing campaigns. What a joke. Atari going through distrubition channels is good for the existing dealers, but what about the new dealers that are out there and know nothing of ATARI. So, as a concerned supplier of ATARI software and hardware for the USA and Canada, I felt that this move may only hinder Atari's 1991 goals. Aubrey J. Sales Executive Pacific Software Supply - Sunnyvale, CA ATARI FINALLY SHIPS TT/030 ------------- After many weeks of promises Atari Computers has finally shipped the TT/030, which has only received a FCC Class A certification, to VAR's (Value Added Resellers) and authorized dealers. By not having a Class B certification from the FCC dealers are not supposed to sell the TT/030 to the general consumers, but if history is any guide, this won't stop many dealers. Atari has received much criticism for not releasing the TT/030 im- mediately after last November's Comdex like they had promised, and while they have been sitting on a warehouse full of TT/030s for almost a month now they have not been shipping them to VAR's as they have promised to do. The TT/030 is seen as Atari's newest, best chance to break into the United States computer mainstream, a goal that has eluded them for the last five years. There are some who doubt Atari's sincere commitment to the U.S. mar- ket. Recently, this was clearly demonstrated to this reporter that Atari has been shipping the STacy laptop for almost a full year with only a Class A certification and they seemingly made no real move to correct the problems. One wonders if Atari plans to only sell the TT/030 as a class A product, and because of a stagnant U.S. economy, focus all their current resources in the larger European market that has been more receptive to the Atari computers. Atari promised more exposure in the U.S. market at the last November's Comdex, but has of yet not shown any deviation from their past market strategy. If this strategy does not change, many folks question if Atari will be able to sell many $3000.00+ computers here at all. Brad Martin - Las Vegas, NV SEGA TO INTRO GAME GEAR AT CES ------------- At this Consumer Electronics Show, Sega will introduce the hand-held; Game Gear. It features a 3.2 inch, high-resolution color screen that promises to deliver the finest graphics ever seen on a hand-held system. Also, rumor has it that SuperFamicon, 16-bit videogame system from Ninten- do, might also be available in the U.S. at the same time frame. Like Nintendo's Gameboy, Sega's Game Gear will require its own dedicated game software that will not be compatible with the home system. Game Gear will be available later this year for $170. (Atari, t'was a good time to lower your price on the Lynx) Just when you thought it was safe to go shopping again, a new home video game system is showing up on retailers' shelves. It's called NEO-- GEO, and not only game system on the market, it also is the most expen- sive. For $650, the NEO-GEO includes the main console, two controllers and one game. Additional games will retail for $200. For the purist, this game is a dream come true. Nintendo, Sega and NEC claim their sys- tems as arcade-like, but the NEO-GEO can safely be called the _real_ arcade game. Game play is so vivid that after playing, you reach in your pocket for a quarter. If you're looking for superb graphics, sound, action and control, and don't care about price... NEO-GEO is it. It is available from Video Express, 800-253-6665. - Chicago, IL 1.44MB DRIVE IN STE/TT FUTURE? ----------- In a message found on GEnie.... Category 14, Topic 35 Message 288 Tue Jan 08, 1991 J.HICKEY6 at 19:20 PST I have it from a reliable source that a simple jumper change in either the TT or the MegaSTE will enable 1.44MB drives to be used. Also, that same source mentioned an upgraded WDC 1772 that also accomodates 1.44MB. Should make for an easy upgrade of all ST's! Don't ask Atari to confirm this, and don't run a modified system in a residential, non commercial application. (FCC you know) Since I know most of you will ignore the caveats, might I suggest you visit the Legal Roundtable for advice on how to beat the rap? Jack Editor Note; Jack there's no rap to beat... The rumor is more widespread than you would imagine. Whether or not its true is really not important. What is important is the fact that the users (paying customers) WANT that type drive in the new computers they wish to buy. According to our little birdie, this will happen and happen sooner than you think. The chip and jumper change is close to what will happen and the newer mechanism will cost a few bux. - Las Vegas, NV A PANTHER BEHIND CLOSED DOORS? ------------- Mind you now this is only rumor, but this is suppopsed to be the "cat's meow" in game consoles that are reasonably priced. 68000 based, a power house and raring to go. This baby is reportedly being shown behind closed doors at CES to developers and potential developers of software forthe powerhouse game console. ________________________________________________________ > PRODUCT SOURCES STR InfoFile? PRODUCT SOURCES FOR ATARI COMPUTERS ============================ PRODUCT SOURCES FOR ATARI COMPUTERS =================================== ATARI CORPORATION Antic Direct 1196 Borregas Avenue 544 Second Street Sunnyvale, CA. 94086 San Francisco, CA 94107 (408) 745-2000 (800) 234-7001 Hardware - Software Psygnosis Games etc... ABCO Computer Electronics Gribnif Software P.O. Box 6672 P.O. Box 350 Jacksonville, FL. 32221 Hadley, MA 01035 (800) 562-4037 (413) 584-7887 Hard Disks & Supplies NeoDesk & Turbo C 1ST Stop Computers Horizon Computers 7085 Corporate Way 695 S. Colorado Blvd., #10 Centerville, OH 45459 Denver, CO 80222 (800) 252-2787 (303) 777-8080 Full Line Dealer Authorized Atari Dealer A & D Software ISD Marketing Inc. 226 NW 'F' Street 2651 John St., Unit #3 Grants Pass, OR 97526 Markham, Ontario, CA *L3R 2W5 (503) 476-0071 (416) 479-1880 Universal Item Selector Calamus, DynaCadd etc... CompuSeller West Logical Design Works Inc. 202-1/2 W. Main St. 780 Montague Expwy., Suite 403 St. Charles, Il 61101 San Jose, CA 95131 (708) 513-5220 (408) 378-0340 Full Line Dealer LDW POWER Alpha Systems L & Y Computers 1012 Skyland 13644c Jefferson Davis H'wy. Macedonia, OH 44056 Woodbridge, Va. 22191 (216) 467-5665 (703) 494-3444 16 and 8 bit Support Atari products and Software ASDE Inc. Maxwell CPU 151 Rue Jolicoeur 2124 W. Centennial Dr. Hull, Quebec Canada J8Z1C8 Louisville, CO 80027 (819) 770-7681 (303) 666-7754 Geography Tutor etc... Expose - Silhouette Atari Interface Magazine Step Ahead Software Inc. 3487 Braeburn Circle 496-A Hudson Street Suite F39 Ann Arbor, MI 48108 New York City, N.Y. 10014 (313) 973-8825 (212) 627-5830 Atari Magazine and Monthly Disk Tracker ST B&C ComputerVisions Mars Merchandising 3257 Kifer Road 1041b St. Charles Rd. Santa Clara, CA 95051 Lombard Il. (408) 749-1003 (817) 589-2950 Atari Products & Supplies Atari Products & Accs. Branch Always Software Lantech 14150 N.E. 20th St. PO Box R Bellevue, WA 98007 Billerica, MA 01821 (206) 885-5893 (508) 667-9191 Quick ST, Software 10 Megabit Local Area Network Best Electronics Migraph Inc. 2021 The Alameda Suite 290 200 S. 333rd St. San Jose, CA 95126 Federal Way, WA 98003 (408) 243-6950 (206) 838-4677 THE Atari parts source & Supplies Top Notch Graphical Products Computer Garden MicroTyme WestSide Mall 4049 Marshall Road Edwardsville, PA 18704 Kettering, OH 45429 (800) 456-5689 (800) 255-5835 Discount Software Discount Hardware & Software Carter Graphics & Computers Practical Solutions Inc. 914 W. Sunset Blvd. 1135 N. Jones Blvd. St. George, UT 84770 Tucson, AZ 85716 (801) 628-6111 (602) 322-6100 Atari Products Atari support products CodeHead Software Prospero Software P.O. Box 74090 100 Commercial St. Los Angeles, CA 90004 Suite 306 Portland, ME 04101 (213) 386-5735 (207) 874-0382 Software Products "Codekeys" Software Products Comput-Ability Rio Datel Computers P.O. Box 17882 3430 E. Tropicana Ave., #65 Milwaukee, WI 53217 Las Vegas, NE 89121 (414) 357-8181 (800) 782-9110 Atari Products & Distributor International Products CompuServe Information Service San Jose Computers P. O. Box 20212 640 Blossom Hill Road Columbus, OH 43220-0212 San Jose, CA 95123 (614) 457-0802 (408) 224-8575 Online Services Atari Products D.A. Brumleve Seagate Technology 607 West Illinois Street 920 Disc Drive Urbana, IL 61801 Scotts Valley, CA 95066 (217) 337-0674 (800) 468-3472 High Quality Kiddie Software Hard Drive Mechanisms Debonair Software Sideline Software P.O. Box 521166 840 NW 57th Court Salt Lake City, UT 84152 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 EL CAL The Math Machine (305) 771-9035 Atari Support Products International Software Source D & P Computer SofTrek P.O. Box 811 P.O. Box 5257 Elyria, Ohio 44036 Winter Park, FL 32793 (800) 535-4290 (407) 657-4611 Atari Support Products TurboST "The Software Blitter" Double Click Software ST Informer P.O. Box 741206 909 NW Starlite Place Houston, TX 77274 Grants Pass OR 97526 (712) 977-6520 (503) 476-0071 Software Developer Monthly Newspaper Duggan DeZign Inc. Strata Software 16 Oak Ridge Dr. 94 Rowe Drive West Warwick RI 02893 Kanata Ontario Canada K2L 3Y9 (401) 826-2961 (613) 591-1922 "Designs with Fun in Mind!" Stalker/Steno TeleCom Fast Technology Talon Technology P.O. Box 578 243 N. Hwy. 101, Ste 11 Amdover, MA 01810 Solana Beach, CA 92075 (508) 475-3810 (619) 792-6511 16Mhz 68000 Accelerator Supercharger IBM Emulator Gadgets by Small Toad Computers 40 W. Littleton Blvd. 556 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd. #210-211, Littleton, CO 80120 Severna Park, MD 21146 (303) 791-6098 (301) 544-6943 Spectre GCR MAC Emulator Mass Storage & Atari Prod. Goldleaf Publishing, Inc. WuzTEK Omnimon Peripherals 700 Larkspur Landing Circle, One Tech Dr. Bldg. 1E, #301 Suite 199 Larkspur, CA 94939 Irvine, CA 92718 (415) 461-5703 (714) 753-9253 WordFlair Document Processor Atari support products Dr. Bobware Wiz Works! 180 N. Hazeltine Avenue P.O. Box 45 Campbell, OH. 44405-1024 Girard, OH. 44420 (216) 743-4712 (216) 539-5623 MVG & Modules Graphics Image Cat - MugShot! GEnie Information Services Taylor Ridge Books 401 N. Washington Street P.O. Box 48 Rockville, MD 20850-1785 Manchester, Ct. 06040 (800) 638-9636 (203) 643-9673 Online Services Cmanship 'C' programming Hayes Microcomputer Inc. US ROBOTICS INC. 705 Westech Drive 8100 No. McCormick Blvd. Norcross, GA 30092 Skokie, IL 60076 (404) 662-7100 (800) 982-5151 Modems - TeleCom Modems-BBS Sysop Program ICD Inc. Soft Logik 1220 Rock St. 11131F S. Towne Sq. Rockford, Il. 61101-1437 St Louis, MO 63123 (815) 968-2228 (314) 894-8608 Hardware Peripherals PageStream DTP Software Innovative Concepts (I.C.) Hybrid Arts Inc. 31172 Shawn Drive 8522 National Blvd. Warren, MI 48093 Los Angeles, CA 90232 (313) 293-0730 (213) 841-0340 Full Service Dealer Software for the Musician Mirrorsoft Ltd Supra Corp. 118 Southwark St. 1133 Commercial Way London, UK SEI OSW Albany, OR 97321 011-43-928-1454 (503) 967-9075 UK Software Dev. Modems - Hard Drives GT Software Word Perfect Corp. 12114 Kirton Avenue 1555 Technology Way Cleveland OH 44135 Orem, UT 84057 (216) 252-8255 (801) 222-5800 Sofware Dev. Word Perfect wp Spectrum HoloByte STR Publishing Inc. 2061 Challenger Dr. PO Box 6672 Alamedo, CA 94501 Jacksonville, FL 32205 (415) 522-3584 (800) 562-4037 Falcon F16 Software STReport Online Magazine _______________________________________________ > Hard Disks STR InfoFile? Affordable Mass Storage.... ======================= NEW LOW PRICES! & MORE MODELS!! =============================== ALL SPECIALS ** EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! ** ABCO COMPUTER ELECTRONICS INC. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672 Est. 1985 _________________________________________ Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM - 4 PM EDT BBS: 904-786-4176 12-24-96 HST FAX: 904-783-3319 12 PM - 6 AM EDT _________________________________________ HARD DISK SYSTEMS TO FIT EVERY BUDGET _____________________________________ All systems are complete and ready to use, included at NO EXTRA COST are clock/calendar and cooling blower(s). *-ALL ABCO HARD DISK SYSTEMS ARE FULLY EXPANDABLE-* (you are NOT limited to two drives ONLY!) (all cables and connectors installed) * ICD HOST ADAPTERS USED EXCLUSIVELY * OMTI HIGH SPEED CONTROLLERS * * ICD ADSCSI+ HOST ADAPTERS * FULL SCSI COMMAND SET SUPPORTED * * SCSI EMBEDDED CONTROLLER MECHANISMS * Conventional Shoe Box Model Description Autopark Price ================================================== SGN3038 31Mb 28ms 3.5" Y 419.00 SGN4951 51Mb 28ms 3.5" Y 519.00 SGN6177 62Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 619.00 SGN1096 85Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 649.00 SGN6277 120Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 889.00 SGN1296 168Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 1069.00 SGN4077 230Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 1669.00 ================================================== WE HAVE A COMPLETE LINE OF 3.5 LOW PROFILE HARD DRIVES for USE IN MEGA ST COMPUTERS AND RELATED CONFIGURATIONS. 20mb #AI020SC 379.95 30mb #AIO3OSC 419.95 50mb #AI050SC 449.95 65mb #AI065SC 499.95 85mb #AI085SC $559.95 MEGA ST Internal Hard Drives CONNOR HIGH PERFORMANCE MECHANISMS >>> ALL ABCO DRIVES ARE HIGH SPEED UNITS <<< (500 - 600k per sec @ 16 - 33ms) CALL FOR SUPER SAVINGS ON ALL OUR OTHER CUSTOM UNITS FROM 30mb 28MS @ $419.00! Ask about our "REBATE SPECIALS" --==*==-- ** SHIPPING AND INSURANCE INCLUDED IN COMPLETE UNIT PRICES! ** ============================================ * SYQUEST 44MB (#555)>> ABCO "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE * - SYQUEST 44 MB DRIVE - ICD ST ADSCSI PLUS H/A - ICD Utility Software - 3' DMA Cable - Fan & Clock - Multi-Unit Power Supply (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart. COMPLETELY ASSEMBLED AND READY TO RUN! --->> SPECIAL NOW ONLY __$ 719.00__ <<--- EXTRA CARTS: $ 79.50 DRIVE MECH ONLY: $ 439.95 *** SPECIAL SYQUEST OFFER!! BUY WITH A FRIEND! *** ORDER YOUR CUSTOM SYQUEST UNIT NOW AND GET A SECOND COMPLETE UNIT! ***** for $50.00 LESS! ***** * TWIN SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVES ... PROGRAMMER'S DELIGHT * SPECIALLY PRICED ** $1229.00 ** * SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE AND HARD DRIVE COMBINATIONS * - Syquest 44 Model  and the following hard drives - 50mb SQG51 $ 939.00 30mb SQG38 $ 819.00 65mb SQG09 $ 969.00 85mb SQG96 $1059.00 LOWBOY - STANDARD - DUAL BLOWER CABINETS CUSTOM CONFIGURATIONS AVAILABLE Listed above are a sampling of the systems available. Prices also reflect various cabinet/power supply configurations (over sixty configurations are available, flexibility is unlimited) *** ALL Units: Average Access Time: 24ms - 34ms *** ALL UNITS COMPATIBLE WITH --> SUPERCHARGER - AT/PC SPEED - GCR LARGER units are available - (special order only) *>> NO REPACKS OR REFURBS USED! <<* - Custom Walnut WOODEN Cabinets - TOWER - AT - XT Cabinets - * SLM 804 Replacement Toner Cartridge Kits $42.95 * Replacement Drums; CALL Keyboard Custom Cables Call for Info ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED -* 12 month FULL Guarantee *- (A FULL YEAR of COVERAGE) QUANTITY & USERGROUP DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE! _________________________________________ DEALERS and DISTRIBUTORS WANTED! please, call for details Personal and Company Checks are accepted. ORDER YOUR NEW UNIT TODAY! CALL: 1-800-562-4037 -=**=- CALL: 1-904-783-3319 Customer Orders ONLY Customer Service 9am - 8pm EDT Tues thru Sat ____________________________________________________________ > A "Quotable Quote"? ================= "DO THE BART MAN!" B. Simpson """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport Online Magazine? Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport? "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" January 11, 1991 16/32bit Magazine copyright = 1991 No.7.02 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors, staff, STReport? CPU/STR? or ST Report?. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Each reprint must include the name of the publication, date, issue # and the author's name. The entire publication and/or portions therein may not be edited in any way without prior written permission. The contents, at the time of publication, are believed to be reasonably accurate. The editors, contributors and/or staff are not responsible for either the use/misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
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