ST Report: 25-Jan-91 #704From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/03/91-12:36:47 PM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 25-Jan-91 #704 Date: Sun Feb 3 12:36:47 1991 *---== ST REPORT ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" _____________________________________ from STR Publishing Inc. """""""""""""""""" January 25, 1991 No.7.04 ========================================================================== 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 __________________________________________________________________ > 01/25/91: STReport? #7.04 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU REPORT - CPU MacNews - Lynx Sales Soar! - Lattice Part III - B.O.B Review - The Flip Side - PORTFOLIO NEWS - STR Confidential * ULTRASCRIPT TO BE A TSR? * * SAM TRAMIEL TO "FACE THE NATION" * * ST -vs- IBM-MAC * ========================================================================== 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? Mega STe shipping, TT030 shipping and SLM 605 shipping.... All good news. Atari has got all these goodies shipping in the USA at this time but of course, in limited quantities and to vars in the case of the TT030. Elsewhere its been made mention that the Mega STe has been FCC certified, well that's not quite right. The Mega STe has passed all the certifica- tion tests performed by an independant test facility that's FCC approved. Now, all that remains is for the FCC to corroborate the lab's findings and issue the certification. Of course, of this there is no doubt that it will happen as its a mere formality. The TT030 and the MegaSTE represent the future of the Atari computing platform's positive, forward movement. You can be sure they will forge the actual computing environment of the future for Atarians worldwide. The VME port is most definitely a major step in the right direction. There will be a number of expansion enclosu- res available shortly that will take full advantage of the VME port's power and versatility. Desert Storm has really taken up most of my attention as I have one son in the Navy and another three who are of eligible military age. Saddam Hussein is regrettably and in my humble opinion, a carbon copy of Adolph Hitler. The only notable difference is Saddam Hussein is running in fast forward toward a violent end for both himself and the nation he leads. For example; He has used the most henious of means, (chemicals- gas), to kill the Kurds, people of his own nation and the Iranians. Hitler used chemicals (Gas - Zychlon B) in the showers of the camps like Auschwitz, Buchenwald, etc... It took Hitler three years to stoop to slaying his top generals in fits of psychotic rage after the Allies took up the battle. It took Saddam only two weeks to do the same thing after the 15th of January, the beginning of the Allied engagement in enforcing the UN resolutions. Saddam Hussein may have been moderately strong aga- inst the Iranians, but against the USA? He hasn't a prayer. There are those who now reccommend mercy and negotiation. Why give him a chance to regroup and strike again? This maniac must be totally neutralized. The time has come for the environmentalists to start a massive letter writing campaign to the UN Sect'y Gen'l and Iraq's UN delegate protesting the malicious generation of an enormous oil spill. This spill is roughly twelve times greater than the Exxon Valdeze was and is growing in enormity by the hour. Is this the best this character can do? Make war on the sea, its inhabitants and the ever so fragile environment? Of course, these actions are characteristic "last ditch efforts" of a maniac who is desparately trying to draw the allies into a ground war by any means possible. Once involved in a ground war, you can fully expect his tactics to be quite similar to those of the 'divine wind' attack pilots ('Kamikaze') of Japan during WW II. Only this time, it will be Iraqis on the ground in Kuwait. I fervently hope and pray the Leaders of the Allied Forces make every effort to stay with the saturation Air War. And thereby keep the folks on ground secure and safe from suicidal waves of Iraqi zealots. Sorry, I apologize for going astray by delving into the severe poli- tics of the middle east, but the entire mideast situation is very much, at this time, a strong factor in all our lives. I too, have relatives in Haifa and Tel Aviv, (On my wife's side of the family) and my oldest son is stationed in the Red Sea so naturally, it becomes a strong point of ex- treme personal concern and involvement. To twist a statement made by Saddam Hussein's father to fit the situa- tion more appropriately; "MOTHER NATURE MADE ONLY THREE SERIOUS, UGLY MISTAKES..... ...CREATING FLIES, HITLER AND SADDAM HUSSEIN!" Please excuse my self-indulgence but I hope you enjoy my little ditty about "Saddam & Co." thank you for your strong 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. 25) WHATIS.ARC Available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO) New version! WHATIS 4.3 recognizes 77 types of files: ARCs, LHarcs, PRGs, pics, ACCs, animations, etc. No more "what kind of file is this?" problems! Runs as either a PRG or an ACC (just rename the file) on any ST/TT in any resolution. CAL41.ARC Available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO) New version! A few more features and tweaks! See calendar of any month/year. Attach 'events' to days by date or position in month -- never forget a birthday again! Browse events, find a specific event, etc. Custom Desk menu entry makes it easy to distinguish multiple copies (for Birthdays, Holidays, etc). LATEST FROM DOUBLE CLICK SOFTWARE DCMTRK.ARC Available in LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN) DC MAX TRACK is a FREEWARE program for you from Double Click Software. DC MAX TRACK will determine the maximum number of tracks your floppy disk drive can write to. Run DC Max Track, pop in a scratch disk and test it! 100% assembly. ST, STe and TT compatible. PORTFOLIO CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED The Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO) is happy to announce the three winners of our helpfile writing contest which ended 12/31/90. The winners of the Euro-massage tape produced by PLAYBOY for Sharper Image are: Peter DeGroot 72567,707 Marty Mankins 73217,3305 BJ Gleason 73337,2011 The single best entry was Peter DeGroot's FAKEDB.TXT file which gives an excellent example of how to use the PORTFOLIO's built-in programs to function as a database. All entries will be relocated to LIBRARY 17 and have the phrase CONTEST ENTRY in the keywords or title field. Congrats to all the winners! NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE *********************************************************************** > CPU REPORT? ========== Issue #5 ---------- Temporary Editor - Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. > CPU STATUS REPORT? LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= - London, England INTEREST IN LYNX ON INCREASE --------------- After investing more than 6 million UKP in advertising, Atari UK reports that interest in the Lynx games console is increasing. Recent marketing statistics show that 34% of TV viewers recall ads for the Lynx, 26% for Nintendo and 17% for Sega. According to Atari UK, there are about 500,000 Atari computers in use in the UK and the Lynx sales are soon expected to reach the 75,000 mark. - Washington, DC COMMODORE EARNINGS DOWN 97% -------------- Published reports stating that for the fiscal year of 1990, Commodore's earnings were down $1.5 million, 97% from last year were recently confirmed by a spokeswoman for Commodore. However it wasn't clear whether this figure referred to the Commodore Business Machines division or Commodore International, the mother company. - Washington, DC COMMODORE'S REVOLVING DOOR TURNS AGAIN -------------- After last weeks reassignment of Commodore president Harold Copperman, James Dionne has been named president of Commodore Business Machines, Inc. Mr. Dionne, the former head of Commodore's Canadian unit, will be the fifth Commodore president in slightly over six years. According to rumors, things are in a turmoil at Commodore and there will be changes in the company by next year. Some of the changes suggested might be that Mr. Dionne will have less control over the company than the previous president and the company would probably drop its business oriented marketing and return to emphasising its consumer products. - Cupertino, California APPLE EARNS $150.5 IN FIRST QUARTER --------------------- For the first fiscal quarter which ended Dec. 28, 1990, Apple Computer reported that their new revenues rose 12% compared to the same quarter this time last year and up 33% from the first quarter in the prior year. Net revenues for the quarter were $1.676 billion, compared to $1.493 billion for the previous year. International revenues accounted for 45% of the total, compared to 36% for the previous year. John Sculley, chairman and chief executive officer, attributes the figures to "The new products we introduced this past quarter - Mac Classic, Mac IIsi and Mac LC - have been well received". Shipments of Macintosh computers are up 50% during the first quarter compared to a year ago. - Tokyo, Japan IBM'S OPEN ARCHITECTURE TO JAPAN? ------------ So far, 11 Japanese computer manufacturers plan to participate in IBM Japan's Open Architecture Developers' Group. The groups aims are to encourage Japanese makers to produce IBM-compatible PCs. IBM Japan will provide technical information as well as IBM's latest DOS version to help the hardware makers in the group produce IBM-compatible PCs. The Video Graphic Array or VGA will be supplied by Japan's ASCII. The participating computer makers include major firms such as Sharp, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi, Matsushita and Sanyo. Seiko-Epson, an NEC ally, has also decided to participate in this group. Seiko-Epson boasts about an 8 percent share in the PC market in Japan. The figure is almost the same as that of IBM Japan. - Zuepak, Papau New Guinea SOLAR-POWERED LAPTOP HELPS MISSIONARY ------------------------ All of the 160 teams of missionaries in PNG from the Summer Institute of Lingustics (SIL) who are attempting to translate the Bible into some of the 700-plus local languages are now using Personal Computer's. The vast majority of the PC's are Toshiba laptops. Since most of native villages where the teams work don't have electricity, the most common power source is a combination of solar panel and 12v car batteries. A typical system has two or more, two amp panels, feeding batteries which supply all the power for day-to day use. As well as the computer, the batteries also power the printer, lighting, 2-way radio, as well as tape recorders and short-wave radios. Normally the PCs are run from their internal NiCad batteries, charged from the solar panels via a Toshiba car adaptor connected to the 12v car battery. The batteries used are normal general purpose, sealed lead-acid car batteries. - Moscow, U.S.S.R. RUSSIAN COPYRIGHT LAW TO BE CHANGED ---------------- Computer materials are excluded from protection under current Russian copyright laws but a recent draft of the U.S.S.R. Civil Code Basics has suggested changes in the law. Article 123 of the draft says that "computer programs and databases" will be protected by copyright in the Soviet Union. Article 127 states, however, that "copying [of copyrighted materials] in single quantity for learning or education or scientific purposes without earning profits from that" is possible without an author's prior consent and a payment to the copyright holder. The Civil Code Basics draft was published by the Supreme Soviet and will probably become a law later this year, according to published parliament reports. - Tokyo, Japan SHORTAGE OF WHIZ-KIDS IN JAPAN ------------ With the success of Nintendo's Family Computer and the recent release of the upgraded 16-bit Super Famicon, many Family Computer software manufacturers in Japan are suffering from a shortage of software engineers. In order to combat this problem, many Japanese companies have begun their own games software schools and are also holding seminars for potential young engineers. Nintendo, Hudson and Human are three of the companies involved. - Cambridge, Massachusetts LOTUS CANCELS BUSINESS AND CONSUMER ------------------------ CD-ROM DATABASE Citing privacy concerns and misunderstandings by the public, Lotus Development has cancelled its MAC based MARKETPLACE CD-ROM database. Marketplace was a database containing names, addresses and marketing information on millions of US businesses and consumers. The US business version has been shipping since October and the US Household version had been due to ship in march. Lotus president, Jim Manzi said that the cancellation of the products was disheartening because "...we feel that many...misperceptions...add a layer of cost and complexity that is beyond us....Households did not contain any information not already available through a variety of publicly accessible databases." Manzi emphasized that the data was designed to protect privacy; Telephone data, actual income of households, credit history and purchase history were not in the database. He said "Consumers should demand that any future products in this area be as scrupulous." *********************************************************************** :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!! <- *********************************************************************** > Sam Tramiel Conf. STR FOCUS? "ASK ATARI" - Realtime Conf. w/Sam Tramiel =========================== Sam Tramiel to "FACE THE NATION" "ASK ATARI" -- REALTIME CONFERENCE WITH SAM TRAMIEL =================================================== SECTION ONE: ------------ Atari Corporation president Sam Tramiel will be the special guest of GEnie's ST Roundtable during our January 30, 1991 Realtime Conference. Atari Corporation manufactures a line of 68000 and 68030 based home computers and professional workstations, as well as handheld and desktop MS-DOS compatable systems. Mr. Tramiel will be on hand to make some announcements and to field questions and comments from those who attend the conference. Everyone is invited to attend and participate. The conference will begin at 10pm EST / 9pm CST / 7pm PST. Unlike other conferences sponsored by the ST Roundtable, the Sam Tramiel Conferece will be held in GEnie's Grand Hall, instead of in RTC room 1 of the ST Roundtable. The Grand Hall easily accomodates larger audiences and it provides unique facilities to allow a formal conference to move along at a faster pace than in an ordinary RTC room. The most significant difference is in how audience members direct their questions and comments to our Speaker (Mr. Tramiel). Instead of waiting for the Meeting Leader to let an audience member 'speak,' Grand Hall attendees may submit their comments and questions for the speaker at any time during the conference. The questions are held in a queue for the speaker. When the speaker is ready to address the next question from the audience, the question will be displayed for the entire room to see and the speaker will respond. This method of submitting comments and ques- tions for the speaker completely eliminates any time lost while the audience member types in his or her question. On the day of the Conference, you will be able to enter the Grand Hall just as you would normally enter the ST Roundtable RTC. Just use menu item 2 on page 475. Between now and January 30th, there will be an extra menu item on page 475 labeled "Practice In The Grand Hall." You can use this to practice the Question Build commands of Grand Hall. Another way to enter the Grand Hall is to type 698 at any GEnie page prompt. The next section describes the commands that are used in the Grand Hall. Folks familiar with our regular RTC will see that many of the RTC commands work exactly the same way in the Grand Hall. SECTION TWO: ------------ About The Grand Hall -------------------- GEnie's Grand Hall is an electronic auditorium where you and other GEnie users can observe a lecture by a guest speaker. You also have the opportunity to ask questions and view the Speaker's responses. The meeting is conducted by a Meeting Leader who acts as a moderator. The Guest Speaker may be a famous person such as a politician, sport figure, writer, entertainer, etc. The Meeting Leader will start the meeting by introducing the Speaker. The Grand Hall is similar to the CB Simulator in that you can send messages to other users who are in the hall. However, once the Speaker has 'taken the podium' you will not be allowed to broadcast messages to other users. You may still use the /SEND command to send a message to another user. This allows you to discuss the content of the proceedings while listening to them. Entering a Question ------------------- You may enter up to 800 characters for each question you wish to ask. Your question is maintained in a "question buffer". In order to enter a question you must be in "Question Build Mode". Do this by issuing the '/QBUild' command. While in this mode you will still see all events going on in the hall. However, any text entered (non '/' commands) are assumed to be lines of your question. The '/QXIt' command exits you out of the mode. Your "question buffer" will retain any question which has been built so far. To send your question you have built type '/QSEnd' THE FOLLOWING IS A DESCRIPTION OF COMMANDS AVAILABLE TO YOU FOR USE IN THE GRAND HALL: /HELP - The '/HELP' command or '?' displays a command summary. Each command is displayed along with a short description. /BYE - The '/BYE' command logs you off The Grand Hall and also off of GEnie. /ECH - The '/ECHo' command causes messages you input to be echoed. The echo does not take place if you are in "Question Build Mode". The ECHO feature is in effect when you enter the Grand Hall. The '/XECho' command turns it OFF. /EXI - The '/EXIT' command is used to leave The Grand Hall and return to the Grand Hall menu. This is identical to the /QUIt command. /NA - The '/NA e' command is used to prefix a name to your address in the Grand Hall. For example '/NA E Chris' would prefix the word 'Chris' to your address. The '/NA E' command issued by itself removes a name which was previously added to your address. /QHE - The '/QHElp' command provides a command summary for those commands which deal with the submittal of questions to the Speaker. /QUI - The '/QUIt' command is used to leave The Grand Hall and return to the Grand Hall menu. This is identical to the /EXIt command. /SEN - The '/SENd jj m' command sends a one line message 'm' to a particular user via the users job number 'jj'. This command is used when a broadcast to all the users in The Grand Hall is inappropriate or not desired. /STA - The '/STAtus' command is used to display all the users in The Grand Hall. The users "handle" is displayed along with their city, state, and job number. /TI - The '/TI e' command is used to display the current date and time. /USE - The '/USErs' command displays the total number of users currently in The Grand Hall. /WHO - The '/WHO jj' command displays the address of the job numbered 'jj'. /XEC - The 'XECho' command turns OFF the echo mode. Messages you enter are NOT echoed back to you. THE FOLLOWING COMMANDS ARE USED FOR ENTERING QUESTIONS: /QBU - The '/QBUild' puts you into question build mode. Up to 800 characters of text may be entered as part of your question. Any non-commands (i.e. commands not beginning with a slash '/') entered are taken as part of the question. Any partially built question which has not yet been sent to the Speaker will be displayed to you. /QCL - The '/QCLear' command clears the question currently in your question buffer and also exits "Question Build Mode". This command can be used to wipe out or clear a question being built. NOTE - This command has no effect on any questions you have previously submitted to the Speaker. /QLIst - The '/QLIst' command displays your current question buffer. This should be used before sending the question to the Speaker to insure that the question is in the proper format, etc. /QSE - The '/QSEnd' command sends your question to the Speaker. It also takes you out of "Question Build Mode". NOTE - There is no way to cancel a question once it is sent. However, the Speaker or eeting Leader always has option of "skipping" any questions that they feel are inappropriate. /QXI - The '/QXIt' command removes you from "Question Build Mode". If you have a question in you "buffer" which you have not sent to the Speaker it will be retained until you send it to the Speaker or clear it. SECTION THREE: -------------- In the list above, the only commands that are uniquely different from the normal RTC commands are: /QHE (Display Question Build Command Summary) /QBU (Go Into Question Build Mode) /QLI (List Contest Of Question Buffer) /QCL (Clear Contents Of Question Buffer) /QSE (Send Question To Speaker & Exit Question ode) /QXI (Exit Question Build Mode Without Sending Question) RTC commands that DO NOT work in the Grand Hall are /JOB and /BLA. If you would like to practice these commands at any time, you can enter the Grand Hall by using option 7 on page 475 or just type 698 at a GEnie page prompt. __________________________________________________________ > Lattice C v.5.0 STR Review? "....the "Atari Library Manual" ========================== LATTICE C VERSION 5 COMPILER ============================ Part III by R. Covert This is the third is a series of articles describing the Lattice C compiler, Version 5.06, as distributed and developed by HiSoft Company in England. This week I will describe the LC5 Volume III Library Manual with empathsis on the unique LC5 functions. Volume III is called the "Atari Library Manual" since it documents the Atari ST specific functions dealing with TOS, such AES/VDI/GEMDOS/- BIOS functions. Section I is the Introduction which describes the format of the manual pages. The remainder of this Volume are devoted to the various LC5 Libraries. I will not attempt to document each library function, but will highlight functions unique to the LC5 package. THE AES LIBRARY fsel_exinput() Hisoft implemented the new TOS1.4 and beyond extended file selector function such that it is usable on ALL version of TOS without modificat- ion. The new extended file selector allows the dialog box to display a message. LC5 implemented fsel_exinput() such that in earlier versions of TOS an additional dialog box is displayed above the file selector. objc_walk() Objc_walk is a new LC5 function which traverse an object tree (such as a dialog box with children). A small code fragment is given showing the correct use of objc_walk(). objc_xywh() Lattice has defined a data type called GRECT which has four members containing the x, y, width, and height co-ordinates of a rectangle. Objc_xywh() returns the screen coordinates of the given rectangle in a GRECT variable. Other LC5 functions use the same GRECT data type as arguments. RECTANGLE HANDLING FUNCTIONS Lattice has added several functions to manipulate rectangles using the GRECT data type. They are: rc_constrain() - constrain one rectangle within another rc_copy() - copy one rectangle to another rc_equal() - compare one rectangle with another rc_inside() - test wether one rectangle is within another rectangle rc_intersect() - find the intersection of two rectangles rc_union() - find the union of two rectangles Each function contain a code fragment showing its use. WINDOW FUNCTIONS Lattice has added functions concerning windows. They are: wind_info() - change the information line of a window wind_new() - re-initialize window data structures wind_newdesk() - use a new object tree for the Desktop wind_redraw() - window redraw utility routine wind_title() - changes a window's title Each function contain a code fragment showing its use. THE VDI LIBRARY v_font() V_font() is used to change the default alpha text font. This functions is used in BATCHER to provide a 50 line high resolution screen. There is a code fragment showing the use of v_font(). v_offset() V_offset() changes the console screen offset. This is an un- documented feature of the TOS operating system. THE GEMDOS LIBRARY The other Lattice enhancment to the GEMDOS library is the _mediach() function. _mediach() forces a media change on a device and should ALWAYS be called before the getbpb() function. THE BIOS LIBRARY There are no Lattice enhancements to the BIOS Library. THE XBIOS Library There are no Lattice enhancements to the XBIOS Library. THE Line-A Library There are no Lattice enhancements to the Line-A Library. Most of the functions in Volume III "the Atari Library Manual" follow published guidelines. I have documented those functions which HiSoft has added to their Atari ST implementation of the Lattice C compiler. __________________________________________________________ > B.O.B. STR Review? AERIAL FIGHTER COMBAT AT ITS BEST! ================= "BATTLE OF BRITAIN" =================== Released by LUCASFILM by Paul Varn Those familiar with the Lucasfilm game Battlehawks, will have a good idea what this WW II re-creation is like. Based on the battle for con- quest of the sky over southern England early in the war, German and Bri- tish forces are represented by the most famous and numerous craft used in that battle. Again, historical and mechanical detail are given minute attention with several added in addition to those in Battlehawks. First, there are more types of craft with custom gauges and controls for each type of craft. In addition to the flight characteristics and armament for each, you have to learn the instrumentation that is unique to the aircraft. For the RAF, there is the Spitfire and Hurricane fight- ers which did 95% of the fighting for the British during that battle. The German forces are represented by six craft and their variations. One of the treats here is that three of them are medium bombers that have multiple gun turrets. You can toggle between these guns while your plane is in auto-pilot and take pot shots at the attacking fighters. Or, place any or all of the turrets in auto-fire so you can concentrate on piloting or bombing (with appropriate level bombsight included of course). Affects such as flak, explosions, and air frame hits are even more detailed than before, enhancing the realism. The 3-D camera re-play feature is retained and enhanced with full control given over to the mouse and well placed, implemented icon controls. I have to give the programmer extra credit as this kind of interface has been the failing of many would-be good games, but works very well here. Dramatic "films" can be saved to disk and played at will, even on other machines. GAME PLAY There are four basic modes of play. Pre-programmed historical situa- tions re-enact a particular battle. There are many to choose from. There are also non-destructive training scenarios. The meat of the game is in the campaign area. Here, using a map of the region you re-create the whole three to four month conflict and try to duplicate the successes and correct the historical errors. As a guide, the nearly 200 page manual is half devoted to an entertaining overview packed with photos, quotes, and eye witness accounts. In addition, you can create your own battles with a builder program that puts every detail at your control. This may be a creative way for friends to challenge one another and provide increased variety (of which there is no lack). An aspect of roll playing exists as well. You create pilots and crews which you select for the various planes in the group you are flying with. Not only the pilot/crew in your plane, but the others you've chosen for the planes flying with you benefit (and possibly advance) from current mission successes. As these crews gain experience and promotion, they can be relied on to fulfill combat objectives (and are missed more when lost to enemy action). Air and ground targets abound which include radar, factories, air- fields, ships, and more. Some missions may involve ground strikes and escort for bombers. You can direct the flight paths of the craft from take-off, mission objective, to landing by setting up way points that include altitude. Up to four mission objectives can be pursued simul- taneously. In the campaign game, other similar targets are attacked by friendly aircraft who's success is dependant upon yours. A successful mission will not only promote the surviving pilot crews but inflict damage far beyond what your one strike would. INTERFACE AND DISKS As in Battlehawks, complex action can greatly reduce the scrolling smoothness and response. Possibly even more so here. A useful addition is the ability to select the amount of ground detail (which really isn't much to begin with) and speed things up when the going gets real rough. Mouse and joystick are implemented. I liked the mouse better although like most games of this kind, it's a little too sensitive. The joystick is way too sluggish. The manual mentions a joystick adjustment feature which doesn't seem to exist in the European ST version I own. The controls are easy to learn and most are identical to Battlehawks. Unlike Battlehawks, take off and landing is implemented adding realism although not always necessary to accomplish for successful game play. The game comes on two double sided disks labeled 1,2 and 3,4 respectively. They are not copy protected and will install on hard drives. When played from floppies, (as I have to do) swapping disks is frequent and tedious (not to mention SLOWWWW). In addition, the file search and sorting routines associated with pilot/crew management cause up to 30 second additional delays when there are more than 15 or so created. A possible solution for floppy users might be to keep smaller numbers of pilots on separate disks. GRAPHICS AND FINAL COMMENTS Again, as in Battlehawks, the aircraft images (I assume digitized from photos of models) are superb. Computer adversaries are intelligent and crafty, the battles fast and furious. Time can be accelerated to absorb lapsing moments. Alternate views containing your own aircraft details are held in ram but may take up to 4 seconds to display which has caused some impatience for me. Price at the time of this writing hovers around the $50 mark which now seems typical for the current run of the highest quality simulation games. Although I tend to view this as getting close to the limit of what I'm willing to pay for games, this one has done well to justify its cost with authentic detail, intelligent adversaries, variety, and excellent manual. There is a protection code wheel that is better done than others I've seen and is cleverly integrated into the game design. Better yet, unlike Battlehawks, you are most likely to have to enter the code only once during play. If historical air combat simulation appeals to you, this game packs a lot of entertainment power. ______________________________________________________ > The Flip Side STR Feature? "A different viewpoint..." ========================= A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee Not being a game player, I've always had the game area on Genie and CIS locked out when I capture my messages. This week I decided to open the areas up so I can get you "gamers" some of the new information and rumors. I don't know much about the new games, so I can only hope the information I publish with be of interest to some of you. ---------------- From Corey Cole (Sierra) on Genie... Hero's Quest has been re-released as Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero. Try it under both names. We're shooting for March or April for the release of Quest for Glory II: Trial By Fire for the ST. It will require 1 Meg RAM and I strongly recommend a hard disk. (It's on NINE double-sided floppies, about 4 Megabytes!) Silpheed was converted to the ST (by an outside contractor), but the port was judged substandard, so never released. I don't know the current status, but we won't release it unless it's up to Sierra's standards. ---------------- From Dana (DPJ) on Delphi... Omnimon and WuzTek are selling multisync monitors. They're currently advertised for $550. All the necessary hardware is included, which means no switchbox is required to change resolutions...with 99% of STs, the monitor is plug-in and go. There are a few exceptions, as I discovered being an owner of an early 520, but WuzTek sent me instructions to modify my 520. The monitor is very nice. It has a larger screen than the Atari monitors and I can't tell if there's any loss of quality with the Omnimon. Quality is just as sharp to me. The benefits of this monitor is the availablity of all three resolutions in one monitor. Larger screen, swivel base, switcher, etc. all make this a very attractive piece of hardware. Check out the November issue of ST Informer for a review. ---------------- Many ST users are confused as to when they need to use FOLDERxxx and POOLFIX (POOLFIX is only needed with TOS 1.4). Ken Badertscher (Software Engineer for Atari) attempts to tell us the difference... The bug that POOLFIX fixes is different from the "OUT OF INTERNAL MEMORY" problem (that FOLDERxxx handles). Unlike the POOLFIX bug, this problem isn't really a bug, it's a fact of life with a statically allocated OS memory pool. GEMDOS, like MS-DOS before it, uses a fixed, configurable amount of memory for its internal uses. What FOLDRxxx does is beef up the amount of memory available for GEMDOS to use. The difference is that GEMDOS also uses this fixed pool of memory to keep track of allocated blocks of memory. So, if you have some TSR auto folder programs, and a couple of DA's, the amount of pool available for files and folders gets smaller. If you run enough of them, and an application that tries to allocate a lot of blocks of memory, eventually you'll see "SYSTEM HALTED..." Without POOLFIX installed, GEMDOS may actually corrupt memory before you see that message. With lots of pool, GEMDOS probably won't put itself in the situation where the POOLFIX bug bites. Clear as mud? ---------------- From S.Winick on the differences between Initial and Regular Toner for the SLM804 - from Genie... You only need to use "Initial Toner" when you start with a new Toner Hopper that has never had toner in it before. Normally, you'll only need to use regular toner for refills. Changing the drum has nothing to do with the type of toner your SLM804 needs. As best I understand it, the initial toner (for the SLM just as for most copy machines as well) is formulated slightly differently to adhere better to the bare metal distribution roller at the base of the hopper (I believe it is made slightly more metallic to accomplish this). ---------------- From John Eidsvoog (CodeHead) on Genie... Any TT-compatible product of CodeHead Software will work fine on any ST/STe machine. We currently have no plans for writing anything that is TT-specific. I'd also like to take a moment to explain why most of our earlier products did not work correctly with the TT when it was released. It's not because our software uses illegal techniques as many people (including many at Atari) think. HotWire is the only one of our programs which "breaks the rules". We accepted the responsibility from day one that HotWire would require updates for each new ROM that came along. Actually, beginning with version 2.4, HotWire should work with all future ROMs...at least those that use the NEWDESK technique of starting programs with function keys...because it now uses "legal" techniques for bringing itself up from the desktop. The main reason that G+Plus, MultiDesk, HotWire, and MaxiFile (as well as a few of the Utilities) "break" on the TT is that they all intercept vectors to monitor system routines. Beginning with the 68010, Motorola changed the location of variables passed on the stack during interrupts and since Atari uses the stack to pass variables, our programs needed to be modified in order to detect that they were running on processors other than the 68000 (the TT uses the 68030). So there are basically three reasons that our programs were not able to immediately run on the TT: 1. We like to do some neat tricks that can only be accomplished by intercepting vectors. 2. Atari passes parameters to some of their system calls on the stack. 3. Motorola changed the architecture of their 680x0 processors. We have the mistaken reputation in some circles as a company whose software "breaks every rule in the book", but it's just not true. ---------------- From Nevin Shalit (Soft Logic RT sysop) on Genie... Yes, certain print spoolers will greatly increase the speed of printing with PageStream and the DeskJet. Calamus will still be faster, often a LOT faster. The programs are both very good. Try them both out and see which one better fits your needs. In a nutshell, I would say that PGS's advantages over Calamus are multiple dox open at a time, with cut and paste between the open dox, full color support, rotate graphic objects, and a nice duplicate (or "step and repeat") function. And Postscript support. Calamus's advantages over PGS are printing speed (by a country mile), beautiful on screen fonts (even rotated) with true what-you-see- is-what-you-get, adjustable spacing between _paragraphs_ (both programs allow you to change general line spacing), and a fast built-in text editor. I am sure there are more differences then those I listed, but that's a good start (and my personal opinion, of course). Both programs are superb. Check them both out and then choose your weapon! ---------------- A compilation of posts from Mike Squire on Genie about the new version of Word Perfect... I have just received the new 12/6/90 release of Word Perfect for the Atari ST. Unlike the previous 11/1/90 release of Word Perfect, the latest release is extremely well-behaved with the three mouse accelerators which I tested with it. Those mouse accelerators are: o Atari's "Mouse Accelerator 3" (MACCEL3) o Kyle Cordes' latest version of "Mouse Doubler" (MOUSE2) o John Harris' "RAM Plus" (RAMPLUS) I tested each of these three mouse accelerators using Word Perfect's own Alt-V, Print Preview, macro and they all worked flawlessly. I also tested the Print from List Files menu which did not work at all in the 11/1/90 release. This bug -has- been fixed in the 12/6/90 version and my printing using this method was successful. Other changes to Word Perfect introduced in the 12/6/90 release, as indicated in the README file which comes with the new release, are: o Atari ST Word Perfect is now compatible with the TT030. o Scrolling with the window off the screen will no longer cause the display to leave residual marks. o Apparently, Word Perfect's initial color palette will resemble that of your GEM Desktop. If you change the color palette used by Word Perfect, it will retain those selections for future use and restore your Desktop color settings when you exit Word Perfect. It appears that Word Perfect now requires the use of the Control Panel desk accessory or some other similar desk accessory to set the program's colors which are then saved into the SYS___.WPC file when you exit the program. The capability to set colors by using the Word Perfect "Screen Colors" command is no longer in the program itself. o The Reveal Codes feature better uses its window space. o Word Perfect claims that the new update is TT030 compatible. Word Perfect is charging you $15.50 (includes S&H) for the 12/6/90 release even if you had previously upgraded to the 11/1/90 release. I felt that it was worth it. While some users may feel that this added charge is unfair, my feeling is that I would have gladly paid $31 for the original 11/1/90 release (in a bug-free condition) just to get the Word Perfect 4.2 file conversion capability and the new implementation of Print Preview in a GEM window so I elected to upgrade notwithstanding the charge. Ask for "Word Perfect for the Atari ST, Version 4.1, 12/6/90 release". From WP.DAVE (Word Perfect Roundtable sysop)... As a result of all your expressed concerns about paying for the latest release after already paying for the "buggy" November release, I just called WordPerfect Corporation's Atari support folks. It seems that the KEY factor in the December release is the support of the new Atari TT computer. The main two bugs cleaned up were evidently on the "incidental" plus factor [my words, not theirs]. Now the bottom line: whether folks with the November release pay for the December release or not is being handled on a case by case basis. So, call in for your upgrade and report your difficulties in detail. That seemed to be the best answer available as of 4:15 p.m. Eastern 1/14/91. ---------------- Until next week.... _________________________________________________________ > STR Portfolio News & Information? Keeping up to date... ================================ THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ========================= On CompuServe by Walter Daniel 75066,164 The thread about WordPerfect on the Portfolio continued this week. Many forum members indicated that they would be interested in such a product. One possibility would be to squeeze the files for WordPerfect Executive on the new 512k ROM cards that Atari can now make. One of the sysops is working to get the people from Atari and WordPerfect in touch, so keep watch for further news. Several bits of news appeared in messages this week. For example, did you know that the Atari Portfolio Forum has "over 2000 active members?" You can find some Portfolio coverage in Atari Explorer magazine in addi- tion to what you are now reading in STReport Online Magazine. PowerBASIC from Atari will likely be released in several weeks and retail for under $100. BJ Gleason's free PBASIC interpreter continues to be improved. PBASIC 4.0, currently in beta test, will be out around February 1; new features include files, more math functions, menus, and faster execution. The printed manual will be available for $25 at that time. There were some more messages about interfacing the Tandy PDD-2 por- table floppy disk drive (for use with the Tandy Model 102 computer) with the Portfolio using the serial interface. No success to report, though. Another enterprising user tried to use the Pacific Rim Systems parallel port floppy drive. While it worked with his desktop PC, it would not work with his Portfolio. Pacific Rim Systems may take a look at the interfacing and develop a Portfolio version if there is a market for it. The Pacific Rim drive is an MS-DOS compatible drive with access to 720k and 1.44M formats while the PDD-2 stores 200k in a non-compatible format. Uploaded this week is sysop Ron Luks' gathering of Atari press rele- ases relating to the Portfolio from the Winter Consumer Electronics Show. Some new software titles were introduced. Look for PORTF.PR in Library 1 (New Uploads). If you have any Portfolio news or suggestions for this column, please leave me a message in the forum. Editor's Note: LATE BREAKING NEWS...... The Compuserve Portfolio Forums have been designated the official Beta Testers in two areas; Power Basic for the Portfolio and Hyperlink for the Portfolio. Now users can stay abreast of the very latest developments concerning the ever popular Atari Palmtop Computer, Portfolio. __________________________________________________________ > STR Portfolio Software Updates? CES Release Notes.... ============================== NEW SOFTWARE TITLES FOR ATARI PORTFOLIO ======================================= ctsy CIS Portfolio Forum To meet the growing needs of today's sophisticated on-the-go computer user, Atari Computer and third-party developers have unveiled 14 new software titles for Atari's Portfolio palmtop MS-DOS command compatible computer. The compact, one-pound personal computer, which starts at $299.95, comes equipped with five internal software packages, all of which are menu-driven and viewed in frames and overlapping windows. Standard software includes a Lotus 1-2-3 (R) file-compatible spreadsheet, text editor, calculator with editable paperless tape, personal appointment book with a reminder alarm, address book and phone directory. All of the new software programs are available through Atari Portfolio dealers across the country. Software programs for the Portfolio include: POWER BASIC, BY SPECTRA PUB. is a full-fledged powerful basic compiler that allows users to write application programs for the Portfolio that can be tailored for specific needs. PORTFOLIO STOCK TRACKER, FROM LIFESTYLE SOFTWARE, keeps track of users stocks, bonds, annuities, options, cash, mutual funds, treasury issues, warrants, real estate, hard assets, autos and any other investments the user defines. The program allows for hardcopy printout. ATARI TURBO TRANSLATOR, FROM ORGANISED SOLUTIONS, can translate ap- proximately 1,000 phrases and 2,000 words into six languages (English, Swedish, German, Italian, Spanish and French). PERSONAL FINANCE, FROM BYTESIZE SOFTWARE, is an easy-to-use tracking program that allows input and sorting by category. This software package can also be used to record time/expenses for attorneys or anyone who must keep an hourly time sheet for billing. SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR contains approximate scientific transcendental functions. With this program, users no longer need to carry a scientific calculator in addition to their organizer. PORTFOLIO BRIDGE BARON, FROM LIFESTYLE SOFTWARE, is for people who want to learn how to play Bridge or improve their game strategy. It includes 91 challenging deals as well as a variety of both elementary and advanced declarer strategies. PORTFOLIO WINE COMPANION, FROM LIFESTYLE SOFTWARE, allows users to catalog their wines, choose just the right wine for the occasion and track their wine cellar value and composition. This package has been a strong seller in the PC world. PORTFOLIO ASTROLOGER, FROM LIFESTYLE SOFTWARE, uses the three main astrological calculation bases (Placidus, Koch, and Equal House), to provide a complete natal chart, influences, a planetary map, daily data and even the interpretation of the data. The program allows for hardcopy printout. CHESS, has all the strategy and challenge the game is known for. Assisting in the design of this Portfolio game was the renowned chess and computer chess authority, David Levey. HYPERLIST performs outline functions with main topic headings and sub-headings. Hyperlist is ideal for anyone who must manage a tight schedule or prepare a presentation on short notice. THE PORTFOLIO DIET/CHOLESTEROL COUNTER, FROM LIFESTYLE SOFTWARE, lets you monitor your caloric intake as well as fat consumption for a total dietary evaluation according to official U.S. government RDA guidelines. The programs are based on official U.S. government tables for food evalua- tion and compensate for the user's lifestyle, activity level, sex, and age. The Portfolio Diet/Cholesterol Counter is essential for everyone who is interested in their health and in maintaining a proper diet. U.S. TRAVELER'S GUIDE, FROM ORGANISED SOLUTIONS, is a complete guide to most major continental U.S. citys (including Canada). 24-Hour phone numbers, emergency services, restaurants, hotels, transportation, and entertainment listings are all at the user's fingertips. The Traveler's Guide is ideal for both novice and seasoned travelers. EUROPEAN TRAVELER'S GUIDE, BY ORGANISED SOLUTIONS, is a complete guide to most major European cities. It offers the same features as the U.S. version of the Traveler's Guide and is certain to be as integral to European travelers as their passports. THE SPELL CHECKER/DICTIONARY/THESAURUS can be run in an interactive mode with the Portfolio's ROM-based editor or as a standalone program that can be used for a text-based file that was previously saved. This soft- ware package gives users the security of knowing that even text changes made on-the-go won't need apologies or explanations when they are presen- ted. "We plan to help make the Portfolio even more popular by providing maximum support to individuals and organizations that want to produce special applications software for their own firm's use or for sale to the general public," said Greg Pratt, general manager of Atari Computer. The ATARI PORTFOLIO is the WORLD'S FIRST PALMTOP COMPUTER, and was originally introduced in early 1989. The one-pound system is powered by three standard "AA" alkaline batteries that provide an average of up to six weeks of normal use. The compact size and sleek look of the Portfo- lio, as well as it's capabilities and the latest software applications, make it easy for this powerful computing system to quickly become an essential part of the user's daily routine. For more information, contact: Greg Pratt, General Manager Atari Computer 1196 Borregas Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94088 (408) 745-2000, FAX (408) 745-2088. ________________________________________________________________ > IBM vs ST STR FOCUS? ...Atari - IBM - MAC ==================== WHAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE HERE? ============================ by Dana Jacobson Well, it appears that I put my foot in my mouth, and must now follow through and put this article together. What a way to begin a writing "career" for ST Report!! I'm given the task to find out what users of multiple platforms (STs and Macs, PCs, or Amigas) find useful in their daily endeavors. What do they enjoy on one platform and not the other. How do they rate the various machines they use, the various applications that they have avail- able, what they "prefer" given the choice of one over the other. It would be a big enough task if I personally used more than one machine myself! Alas, my ST serves my every needs. What work I might be able to do on our office PC, I'd rather do at home on my ST. So, I set out to learn what others feel, and posed the question on various local bulletin boards and on Delphi. The responses came back rather quickly. I tried to eliminate the responses that were based on emotions only ("I love my ST and will never use an IBM", or "The PC is so far advanced and supported than Atari will ever be so that's all I use now"). While good reasons for some, they really don't tell you much. While I don't have the experience with other platforms to agree or disagree with the following statements, I've related them to you so you can base your own opinions. There's been a _lot_ of controversy lately about the benefits of the IBM world and Windows, and people dropping out of the Atari arena to pick up on other platforms. While many have per- fectly legitimate reasons to do so, many are considering doing so for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps the following can provide some information and give you some insights as to what others feel. Afterall, they use more than one type of computer and have a better idea of what's available, impossible, and worthwhile using. Let's see what they have to say! (I've edited somewhat where it appeared necessary) My usage of computers is for both business and pleasure. I use an Atari 1040 ST, Mac Plus, IBM PS2/30 every working day (ST at home). Functionality: All three can get any job done. Word processing, data entry, productivity...but with significant speed differences. Office activity/Productivity (WP, spreadsheets, phone dialing, etc.) My use of the IBM is primarily limited to data entry. Productivity is confined to my desk machine which is a Mac Plus. IBM PS2 is used with a database data entry format. One interacts in standard computer fashion with highly proceduralized line by line dictates. Errors are difficult to correct. This is the third version of a similar program tied to the PC. It is only good if you have not (sic) other experience with other kinds of computers. The Mac Plus - I have been using this machine for 1.5 years and am thoroughly integrated into the MAC scheme of things. Much like an ST, it has some very annoying characteristics. It is very slow with high over- head programs like Word 4 WP and full spreadsheets. Calls to the system for files, etc. are very slow (System 6.02). Method of setting up Desk Accessories (DA) is cumbersome, but the system holds an infinite number (if you don't run out of RAM). Many DA's create conflicts with programs and especially Microsoft Mail which is still buggy in the latest incar- nation. Dialing and address DA's are indispensable in my ten hour work day. Much of my office activity is duplicated at home. The ST is much faster except for floppy calls (EVEN TOS 1.0). Screen is easier to read. Programs run much faster (except for WordUp). If you glean anything from this, I can respond to specific questions...good luck. Bernie Gregoire I use an ST for my personal use, but I frequently work with IBMs and Macs at work; and I've used everything from Apple IIs to an IBM 3090 mainframe. For me, the single biggest advantage the ST has over most other machines (and EVERY machine that's anywhere near its price) is the stability of the monochrome monitor. Because it refreshes 70 times a second, it doesn't flicker, as most other monitors do (this is something that I notice; others don't notice and/or aren't bothered by it - individ- ual difference, 'ya know). For user interface, the Mac and the ST leave the IBM in the dust, though this comment doesn't necessarily apply to IBMs running Windows, since I've never used WIndows. Overall, I'd call the Mac and ST user interfaces about equal in quality. The Mac's is more complex, which has both advantages and disadvantages - you can do things you can't on the ST, but these things are often not obvious, and can be tedious (just look at some of the Mac's bizarre "keyboard shortcuts"). My 520 ST recently died, and I decided to replace it with a 1040 STe rather than get a Mac or IBM. Part of the reason was financial, especial- ly since I had money invested in things like my ST's monitor and software; but I might have gone the ST route even if the entire system had been fried. I wouldn't have been able to afford an IBM I could live with, and the Mac Classic, though tempting, is sort of the cripple of the Mac fam- ily. Now if I could have got, say, a Mac IIcx for $1,000..... Rod Smith I'm a college professor. I use the ST to connect to a VAX (via UNITERM - one of the best VT 100 emulators around), to write (Word Perfect - quite a good program, and files are portable to the ubiquitous clones), to keep records on (usually I use INFORMER II - a really nice database) and to keep grades on (OPUS - a fairly good spreadsheet. I've been fool- ing around with getting LDW, but so far OPUS has been adequate). I am also director of a program, and faculty secretary, so I use DTP a fair amount. Mostly, I use Pagestream, though I'm currently fooling around with Fleet Street 3.0 (it has nicer printout from a 24-pin printer). All the programs are quite good - the major limitations are imposed on me, not by the hardware or software (Hemingway wrote his books with an old type- writer, so I can't easily blame a difficulty I am having in writing an "A" on Word Perfect - wish I could!!) DTP takes talent and design ability. I'm not sure if the top-of-the-line IBM or Mac programs will do more than Pagestream, Fleet Street or Calamus, though I doubt it. I AM sure that the ST programs allow plenty of room to grow. The ads that show people turning out dazzling copy the first time they use the new software with all its bells and whistles is a joke. Kind of like thinking that a new camera will turn you into a great photographer... For fun, I like to play with new programs (Mac and IBM, as well as ST). I still play with Degas Elite (I know that some of the new paint programs are better, but my talent is limited), do some programming (very little now, though I've been thinking of getting C-Manship and C), get onto Delphi and GEnie and play some games. I get more out of my computer, and do more with it than people with 386's and Mac II's - mostly because they don't know how to use their computers but knew they wanted "power". I have fooled around with getting one of the IBM emulators so I could run some of the educational software, but it easy enough to run them at the school; and the ST/VAX combo that I use is really quite powerful. I love the computer, concede that a 386 is better, and might buy a NEXT someday. I wish it was easier to get some of the new stuff from Europe - maybe a revived MichTron will do it. Harris Whoa. That's a very open-ended letter! I own an ST, and daily use Mac's and IBM's (I'm a chemist). For me, by far the most useful is the Mac (you know like the commercial says, The most powerful computer is the one people use"). The Mac's ability to run several applications at the same time, to share data easily, and to load fonts and accessories off of a disk make it the platform of choice, for me. It's continually impro- ving (the) operating system, I think, is its greatest advantage, especial- ly over the ST. Contrary to what some may say, I see far more software conflicts in the ST world, with the slowly evolving TOS, than I see in the Mac world, where the system changes every several months. With the rel- ease of Windows 3.0, PC clones are a more useful tool, but the windowing environment has far to go. In short, I believe that the strength of the operating system far outweighs minor advantages in computing speed.. The ability of a clone, or even the new TT, to perform at multi-mip levels isn't going to help you if your applications don't interact smoothly and you can't share data. I do feel, however, that there are good niche markets appropriate for the ST. Music and desktop publishing are obvious ones (i.e. where the user only wants his machine to perform a dedicated task). What I tried to convey in my first note (Lee left two replies) was that I consider CPU speed to be secondary to the richness of the operating system. In the case of the Mac, the smoothness with which applications interact is its strong point, in spite of its relatively high hardware cost (relative to PC's). The fact that Finder is now multitasking is also a plus. Windows 3.0 has hurled PC's into the same ballpark as Mac's. Although it is a much less mature environment, it has some real strengths, such as pre-emptive multitasking, and dynamic data exchange (DDE). Sadly, Ataris have lost so much ground that I think that they are doomed, except for very small uses such as in music and desktop publish- ing. The ST was a clever piece of hardware for 1985, but essentially no technical development was done (especially on the software side). Lee Herman I have just recently looked into the OTHER two major platforms for some MIDI work I am involved in. I have a really nice program I am finis- hing on the ST in GFA Basic, and it goes very smoothly; but I am now finding limitations on the PC and Mac systems that would have been enough of a stumbling block that I never would have attempted my project had I had one of those other machines. (Follow me?) Anyway, major advantages of the ST: Can reserve OOODLES of contiguous memory (like DIM X%(700000), Y%(700000), and also the 200Hz system clock. Real easy to write real-time music playing routine with this. The Mac seems to only have a 60Hz timer available, and the PC, without special interrupt programming, only has a timer updated every 18th of a second! Virtually impossible to do smooth real-time stuff on a PC. The Mac falls down when it comes to screen size. I NEED 80 columns of text, which means 640 wide, not 512. I will TRY to get by with the 60Hz clock when I port over, but I doubt I can do anything with the PC. Oh also, I use the PC at work; and also use the ST at work to do editing of BASIC programs that will eventually end up on the PC. I use Easy Draw to do illustrations for the manuals that go with the PC programs when we sell them (the manuals themselves are printed using Word Perfect on the PC), and I do the ad layouts for advertising the machines that use the software, using Pagestream and UltraScript. I have yet to see a DTP program that is as good for ad layouts, but then I have been using Pagest- ream since it was Publishing Partner and am probably biased. I also use Microsoft C on the PC, and much prefer Laser C on my ST; and also use Microsoft QuickBasic and sort of prefer GFA Basic on my ST (close call, that). Main complaint about QuickBasic is that it's final linked files are HUGE!! Ron V. Webber Well, the PC world is so huge, there are many high quality applicati- ons, but I would say that RELATIVELY SPEAKING, ST applications are higher quality on average, and good applications appeared sooner; but as I said, absolutely speaking, the best IBM applications are better than the best ST applications. Also, because of extensive and well-defined standards, the Mac world has the best integrated applications, and some of the best applications period. Tom Nolan I don't expect any of this to be taken as the ultimate "gospel". The point that I intended to prove, is that there are many reasons why people use different machines. There is no clearcut "one" choice. We all use different machines for different purposes. Some use more than one type to get the best of all "worlds". Some use more than one machine because it's the only option available to them in different environments (work versus home use). To simply state that one machine is better than another is, at best, a matter of opinion by the user. A friend of mine on the local boards here summed up my opinions of the ST, although I would have broadened it further. His remarks seemed appropriate as a perfect ending: "My two machines are: an Atari 520ST (1 meg) and a pencil, paper, and calculator. I definitely prefer the Atari. It's more fun and, sometimes, quicker. Sorry you asked? :-) Alan Reed ________________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL? "ATARI NEWS & EVENTS" ===================== - Sunnyvale, CA QMS/IMAGEN HEIGHTENS SUPPORT FOR ULTRASCRIPT ------------- How do you spell relief? Try..... QMS/Imagen's Ultrascript as a TSR! A [T]erminate [S]tay [R]esident program. (A joint venture between Atari Corp. and QMS/Imagen). What does all this mean? For starters, its a superb method to access US from within other programs ie; Calamus and Pagestream... Uh oh almost forgot Publisher. Although its going to happen very shortly, its not quite ready yet... seems there's a few minor hurdles yet to overcome. Seems it may appear by early Fall. Do not direct any inquiries to QMS/Imagen as Atari will be the sole source of this program and all support. The bottom line is... Atari & QMS/Imagen are currently working together to provide long term support of the Ultra- Script [PostScript] solution for the Atari ST/STe/TT lines of computers. - St. Louis, MO PAGESTREAM 2.0 IS ALIVE & WELL ------------- According to our ever-faithful little birdy... Pagestream 2.0 is already 'together' and now going through its finalization and polishing stages. Seems it will take full advantage of the Outline Font technology and is due to appear in all its glory by early Fall. A bit of wishfull thinking: The new Pagestream 2.0 with a switch in a drop down menu to turn FSM GDOS on and off. A neat idea and wonderful way to take advantage of all those great FSM Fonts. You might want to drop Soft-Logik a line and ask about the possiblity of including FSM GDOS support in this new version. - Oakland, CA DVORAK INTERVIEWS REHBOCK ----------- John Dvorak interview Atari's Bill Rehbock on KNBR Radio. During the interview, Mr. Rehbock pointed out that the 1040STe, Mega STe and the TT030 are available and shipping... even in the USA! In a subsequent interview by this reporter Bill Rehbock has affirmed that Atari's direc- tion and support of the userbase is on the upswing. In fact, the level of enthusiasm exhibited by Rehbock during the conversation was commendable. And he backed it up by hinting at "things to come" that this reporter is sworn to keep 'under wraps' until told to do otherwise. This much can be said though, ..."there are good things afoot McDuff!" - Rockford, IL DOUG WHEELER JOINS ICD INC. ------------ ICD welcomes Doug Wheeler to its famous, high powered, development team. Wheeler is well known for his support and work with Dave and Sandy Small, Dan Moore, and the Gadgeteers along with writing the Transverter and Double Page. ICD has always recognized the need to support great hardware with great software. Doug will be writing software for ICD hardware products which include SCSI host adapters, accelerators, memory expansion systems, mass storage systems, printer interfaces, and display adapters. You will also continue to see him on the major online services providing the high level of support on numerous topics that he always has. Doug will be joining others in Rockford, Illinois on the ICD engin- eering staff which include Mike Gustafson, Howard Peters, Craig S. Thom, Jerry Horanoff, Curt Lewis, Dan Rodriguez, and Tom Harker. - Sunnyvale CA STE CONTEST PARTICIPATION HIGH! ------------ THE ATARI COMPUTER CORPORATION DEMO CONTEST As Atari Computer Corp. gets into full swing for 1991, dealers are requesting as many demonstration programs as possible to "show off" the abilities of our hardware. We are looking for demos that feature DMA sound, digitized speech, and advanced color graphics that will make people want to buy the STe/MegaSTe/TT series of computers. SUBMITTED DEMOS MIGHT INCLUDE: o Demos that take advantage of the expanded STe/TT color palette. o Demos that show off the abilities of existing presentation graphics packages such as the Cyber Series, Deluxe Paint, and others. o demos along the lines of Cool STe and Tony Barker's. o Interactive demos -- self running demos that a shopper in a store can get involved with. All submitted demos will become property of Atari Corporation, with all rights reserved and may be freely distributed to our dealers and users. Judging will be done by Atari staff in Sunnyvale and all decisons made by the judges will be considered final and not reviewable by any other person or agency. Employees (and their families) of Atari Corporat- ion, its advertising agencies, and its subsidiaries are ineligible. One winner and two runner-ups will be selected from the files either uploaded to our Email address on GEnie (ATARIDEV) CompuServe (70007,1072), or mailed directly to our offices at: Atari Corporation 1196 Borregas Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94086 Attention: Bill Rehbock Mailed entries must be postmarked no later than March 26, 1991 and received by us in-house by April 5, 1991 to qualify for entry. The contest prizes are listed below. Prizes: 1ST PRIZE..........32MHZ TT030/8-50 1ST RUNNER-UP......16MHZ MEGASTE/4-50 2ND RUNNER-UP.......LYNX & 2 ADDITIONAL GAMES EDITOR NOTE; Contest entries have been excellent both in participation and in quality... so much so that... rumor has it there may be prizes added so that the many fine submissions do not go unrewarded. So... Atarians show Atari what you can do! Send in that Demo or Two and "mesmerize" 'em! Maybe even an autographed photo of ......! _______________________________________________________ > 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 @ $419.00! Ask about our "REBATE SPECIALS" --==*==-- ** SHIPPING AND INSURANCE INCLUDED IN COMPLETE UNIT PRICES! ** ============================================ * SYQUEST 44MB (#555)>> ABCO "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE * - SYQUEST 44 MB DRIVE - ICD ST ADVANTAGE PLUS H/A - ICD Utility Software - 3' DMA Cable - Fan & Clock - Multi-Unit Power Supply (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart. COMPLETELY ASSEMBLED AND READY TO RUN! --->> SPECIAL NOW ONLY __$ 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 $75.00 LESS! ***** * TWIN SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVES ... PROGRAMMER'S DELIGHT * SPECIALLY PRICED ** $1329.00 ** * 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"? ================= "Please pray for the safety of all our Folks in Desert Storm!" Ralph..... """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport Online Magazine? Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport? "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" January 25, 1991 16/32bit Magazine copyright = 1991 No.7.04 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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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