Z*Net: 02-Feb-91 #9104From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/07/91-09:09:24 PM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: Z*Net: 02-Feb-91 #9104 Date: Thu Feb 7 21:09:24 1991 ==(((((((((( == Z*NET INTERNATIONAL ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE =========(( === ----------------------------------------- =======(( ===== February 2, 1991 Issue #91-04 =====(( ======= ----------------------------------------- ==(((((((((( == Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc. PUBLISHER/EDITOR: Ron Kovacs SENIOR EDITOR: John Nagy CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Jon Clarke, Terry Schrieber, Mike Schuetz CONTRIBUTORS: Dr. Paul Keith, Mike Brown, Keith Macnutt SPECIAL EXPANDED ISSUE CONTENTS EDITORS DESK...........................................Ron Kovacs 1991 WINTER NAMM SHOW..............................Dr. Paul Keith ATARI AND C-LAB VENTURE.............................Press Release Z*NET NEWSWIRE................................................... BBS TRIAL DISSALLOWED.................................Gerry Cross Z*NET CANADA......................................Terry Schreiber Z*NET FIRST REVIEW - VIDI CHROME ST.....................John Nagy IBM EMUALTION FOR THE ST......................................... BYTE MAGAZINE RESPONSE................................M. G. Brown PACIFIC NORTHWEST ATARIFEST.........................Press Release EXPOS ANNOUNCED....................................Press Release SOFT-AWARE INFORMER II..............................Press Release REVOLUTIONARY CONCEPTS - PART 37....................Donald Thomas PUBLIC DOMAIN UPDATE................................Keith Macnutt EDITORS DESK ============ by Ron Kovacs Oh well, what can we say!! We were absent last week and apologize for not letting everyone know. We have made some extreme changes that are in place to correct some of our internal communications, and areas of responsibility. I will be passing the editorial and production baton on slowly in the weeks ahead to Terry Schreiber, our Canadian editor, and will take on other projects and responsibilties. The time required to prepare, edit and persue news is comsuming time needed to maintain other areas. With other publications and a company to maintain, a real full time job, and a family, changes were needed to continue operating and presenting the latest news and reviews. We also have other Z*Net areas to persue such as Z*Net New Zealand, Z*Net UK and Z*Net Germany. Five months ago we restarted ZMagazine, the Atari 8-Bit online and original Atari online magazine. At the same time we started the Mechanics Online Magazine, an effort with Gateway Associates, and most recently started another online offering called the Z*Net PC Newswire which is just starting. With these publications, we have our regular monthly hard copy newsletter which will mark it's second anniversary next month. Add to this traveling and other tasks and you see we are all wearing big hats. The changes in Z*Net Online WILL NOT be a repeat from the ST-REPORT changes in editorship made a few years ago and WILL NOT bring on another editor or magazine to BASH you or Atari. The content will remain the same with features from myself and John Nagy and new writers are working on material. The only change you will see right away will be with the new editor. I hope the new editorial change will be a positive one. Of course your comments are appreciated and needed. Thanks for reading and your support! 1991 WINTER NAMM SHOW ===================== Exclusive Show Report by Dr. Paul Keith, Z*NET USA The Anaheim Convention Center, South of Los Angeles, was once again host for the mammoth Winter NAMM Show, January 11-14, 1991. As in the past, the Winter National Association of Music Merchandisers Show has proven to be the Mecca for musicians, with over 600 exhibitors from all over the globe. Booths ranged from Grand Pianos to quaint antique acoustic folk instruments to light show equipment to huge, stadium sized speakers for the heavy metal set. Add software companies, like Dr. T's, Digidesign, Hybrid Arts, and C-labs. And of course, our favorite computer company, Atari. This show had a decidedly different feel than previous ones; the combination of recessionary times plus the war in the gulf had attendees watching portable TVs for the latest news on the bombings. Much of the Hollywood style glitz and flash that has typified NAMM shows was missing, and so was much of the crowd. Atari's booth was on the main floor of the show, while last year's show found them high above the activity of the show in a set of converted offices. This year they used a scaled down version of their Comdex booth, showcasing six developers in their booth, with a large conference room, and a stage for the demos, all in a 20' x 40' space. In past NAMM shows, Commodore has ventured into the MIDI arena, but not with any great success, and they did not appear this year. The greatest competitor to Atari's dominance is the Apple Macintosh, but Apple never comes to NAMM. This time, though, there was a challenger to Atari's presence at the NAMM Show, and from a surprising source: IBM!! The IBM booth, located just two booths away from Atari's, looked like it had just come in from a small office exhibition. The MS-DOS world has a number of fine MIDI products, so imagine the surprise of the attendees to find that IBM was showing Sierra On-line Games in their booth!!! And Prodigy!!! But an impressive part of the IBM booth was the demo being done by MIDISoft Studio. They provided some of their personnel to help Big Blue show that they did indeed have a presence in the market. Perhaps the most telling sign of IBM's involvement in the MIDI field came when Atari would start up the Hotz Box demos, as virtually *all* of IBM's white windbreakered crew would scurry over to the Atari booth to see exactly what was going on, and *how* they were doing it. Almost without exception, each of the Hotz demos would end with Jimmy explaining to people how the Hotz box worked, and saying almost apologetically to an IBM representative, "Sorry, this doesn't run on an IBM! It can only work on an Atari!" Speaking of Jimmy Hotz, this was the third year that Atari has featured Hotz and his MIDI controller, the Hotz Box. This time there was no sign of longtime friend Mick Fleetwood on stage with Jimmy. Instead, he was joined by a new cast of Hotz Box fans: Jon Anderson, formerly lead singer of YES; now with the band Anderson Bruford, Wakeman, & Howe. Paul Haslinger, one of the leaders of the Tangerine Dream, a new age/ fusion band, and a surprising appearance by Scott Gershin, better known for his capabilities as a sound engineer than a musician. While Hotz was conducting his demos, most of the staff from Atari and the other developers in the booth quite literally had to get out of the crowds way. I caught up with Bob Brodie, standing on the edge of IBM's booth where there was plenty of room. I asked how he felt about IBM and MIDI. "Based on IBM's presentation, it's pretty obvious that they really don't have a good handle on what's happening in the MIDI market," Bob answered. "We've brought on board a real pro in James Grunke. He's a musician first, so he understands our MIDI dealers that look at our computers as just another way of making music. And, of course based on his experience with the Beach Boys, he certainly understands the performers end of the business. We're definitely glad to have him on board. He'll go a long way to keeping people like Jimmy and other developers happy." Joining forces with James in the Atari booth was none other than Greg Pratt, the new President of the Atari US division, in a demonstration of support (both for the MIDI market, and for James, his new Director of Specialty Markets). Meetings were scheduled with significant developers, giving them a chance of to air grievances, and of course, to make proposals for the future. In the case of C-Labs, the results came quickly. Reportedly, during his meeting with C-Lab, Greg told Mikhail Graham, "I don't want you to judge me on what I promise. Judge me on what I do!" The next morning, a stunned Graham was commenting to Bob Brodie, "I can't believe this. We cut a deal, and the next morning, here's a press release being handed out!! This is *NOT* the same old Atari!" Showing off their wares in the Atari booth for the first time was Digital I/O, US Reps for the new Plasmec A2D2 direct to disk recording system. This system comes in direct competition to Digidesign's Sound Tools, only for far less money. Surprisingly, Digidesign announced at the start of the show that they were going to drop all North American support for Atari products, prompting some observers to speculate that the expensive Sound Tools product was selling poorly in North America. However, by the end of the show, Digidesign had left the door open for other discussions, impressed with Atari's presence at the show, and even more impressed with the meetings that they had with Greg Pratt and James Grunke. Atari showcased a number of MIDI solutions in their booth. Included was Hybrid Arts, showing off their Adapt II system, Dr.T's, demonstrating many of their products, Take Note, the premier ear training program, C-Labs, demonstrating Notator. Atari told their dealers that at this point, they are prepared to make them great deals on the 1040STE, MegaFile 30's, and both of the ST monitors. However, NAMM proved to be a great test for the new Mega STE, as a number of developers were using them for the first time. The TT was present, but mostly just for show. Also present was Atari's usual band of user group assistants, headed up by Glendale's John King Tarpinian. John did his usual great job in lining up volunteers from area user groups to assist with set up and tear down. Bob Brodie says that the LA groups do such a reliable job with this, Atari basically just tells them what they want done, and then get out of their way. User groups supporting Atari at the NAMM show included: HACKS, ACES, ACAOC. Bob asked me to send his special thanks to club presidents John King Tarpinian, Tara Jacobs, and Tom Mynar for making sure that all of Atari's equipment was well handled. While turnout was disappointing when compared with previous shows, Atari's presence at NAMM signals a continuing support of the music industry that is unparalleled in the computer industry. That signal was not lost on the industry officials and dealers, who comprise a significant part of Atari's sales outlets. ATARI, C-LAB ANNOUNCE JOINT MARKETING/DEALER PROGRAM ==================================================== Press Release ANAHEIM, CA (January 18, 1991) -- C-Lab, the top-selling MIDI sequencing software developer, and Atari, the leading MIDI computer manufacturer, today announced a joint marketing and dealer support program that will provide comprehensive sales and support assistance to nearly 50 key MIDI dealers across the country. "In today's competitive market, we have to do more than simply provide MIDI-compatible systems with the best price/performance," said Greg Pratt, general manager of Atari Computer. "In order to expand our market share, we must provide maximum support to the dealers who specialize in providing MIDI systems to both novice and professional musicians." Optimum Dealer Support ---------------------- In explaining the new program, Burkhard Burgerhoff, managing director of C-Lab, said that both organizations are firmly committed to assisting authorized Atari/C-Lab MIDI dealers by flooring no-cost hardware and software, by training their assigned MIDI specialists, by providing no- cost demonstration packages and by directing all interested parties to the dealers. He added that the two firms will be appointing Atari/C-Lab MIDI dealers in key market areas to sell and support Atari Computer's 1040STE, MEGASTE and TT030 systems, as well as C-Lab's sequencing and notation, music education and training software. The program will be available to selected music dealers across the country who are willing to designate individuals who will be technical and creative spokespersons for their dealerships. Once a dealership has been appointed, Atari and C-Lab will direct inquiries to the dealers' spokesperson so prospective MIDI user can obtain in-depth information and assistance. Under the agreement, both companies will provide demonstration hardware and software to the dealers at no cost in addition to extensive MIDI training for the assigned spokesperson(s). "We want these dealers to be able to promote the fact that they have extensive and unique expertise in the MIDI arena and that this level of expertise can't be found at any other store in the area," Pratt emphasized. "We want our Atari/C-Lab dealers to have a selling position that can't be duplicated by anyone else in that metro-market area." Leading MIDI Software --------------------- "C-Lab's new software provides sequencing and realtime notation capabilities as well as SMPTE synchronization and notation printout capabilities," Pratt said. "With C-Lab software, studio recording engineers, professional and semi-professional musicians and music instructors have everything they need for a broad range of audio and video broadcast synchronization and production applications." Burgerhoff added that his firm is enthusiastic about the new Atari/C-Lab MIDI dealer program because Atari computer systems have an excellent reputation for economically providing the performance musicians at all levels want, need and expect. "Atari computers have surpassed other systems in the MIDI market because of their processing speed. The speed of the microprocessors, combined with the system architecture, has enabled our software developers to write realtime programs, such as sequencers, that have better timing than other computers. In other words, when a musician hits a key on his or her keyboard, the sound is heard at the exact time the musician intends it to be heard--the computer does not affect the timing," he explained. Atari's complete line of computers feature MIDI ports as standard and are fully compatible with the SMPTE time code standards. For more information, contact James Grunke, Jr., MIDI Product Manager, Atari Computer, 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94088; (408)745- 2000; FAX (408) 745-2088. # # # Atari is a registered trademark; 1040STE, MEGA STE and TT030 are trademarks of Atari Corporation (AMEX:ATC). Z*NET NEWSWIRE ============== ST JOURNAL MAGAZINE UPDATE ST JOURNAL has temporarily stopped production of their bi-monthly Atari magazine. According to Editor Gantry Gappmeyer, the February/March issue is being held as a re-evaluation of the format and marketplace is being done. Announcements will be made in March about what will happen next, but at this time, a smaller, all-Atari product monthly magazine may replace the ST specific magazine in April. Subscribers should not fret; "at least" full credit for monies received will be offered. SAM TRAMIEL ONLINE This weeks online GEnie conference with Sam Tramiel was plagued with problems. It seems the large conference could not support the numbers of users that called to get their questions answered. The conference became overloaded and disconnected users multiple times and when it seemed that it finally had settled down, another mass disconnect hit the RoundTable. GEnie will be checking into the problem and hopefully correcting it shortly. Gregg Pratt is expected to attend a conference on GEnie this Wednesday, February 6, 1991 to answer questions again. ATARI CANADA LAYS OFF STAFF In Toronto this week Atari Canada laid off approximately 30% of its staff. Atari General Manager Geoff Earle was un-available for comment, other sources at Atari would only state it was a positive move. Speculation has it that a certain person from Germany is soon to arrive and complete the re-structuring. Atari announced earlier changes would be happening in the U.S. and Canada as they came under the Atari North America plan. IBM INTRODUCES NEW ISDN PRODUCTS The IBM ISDN Interface Co-Processor/2 Model 2 provides attachment to the ISDN Basic Rate Interface and, when operating with supporting IBM software, provides full duplex data transmission at 64,000 bps concurrently over each of the two information (B) channels, under control of a 16,000-bps control (D) channel. When installed in an IBM Micro Channel-a Personal System/2-a Model 50 or above the ISDN adapter card and its supporting software, the IBM ISDN Co-Processor Support Program Version 1.1, provide ISDN connection not only to other similarly equipped PS/2-a workstations, but also to a wide range of IBM systems using either the IBM 7820 ISDN Terminal Adapter announced in 1988 or the IBM 3174 ISDN Basic Rate Interface Adapter. IBM UNVEILS NEW PRINTER On January 22, IBM introduced a new printer for the business workstation or home office environment offering users an affordable, easy-to-use printer that features letter-quality printing and high resolution graphics. The IBM Proprinter 24P, priced at $499, and all its options and features are available now through the IBM Information Products Corporation authorized printer dealers or directly from IBM. To locate the nearest dealer, call (800) IBM-2468. TOSHIBA LAUNCHES HDTV Toshiba announced last week that it had started selling high-definition television (HDTV) sets at up to three-quarters of the price of existing equipment available in Japan. The equipment comprises a 2.1 million yen (15,500 dollars) 30-inch monitor and a 1.8 million yen (13,300 dollars) decoder, enabling viewers to receive experimental broadcasts by the national network Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK). ASHTON-TATE SHIPS DBASE IV Ashton-Tate announced on January 22, 1991 that dBASE IV for Sun computers has shipped. It is available in single-user and multi-user versions, priced from $995. dBASE IV was on display at Uniforum in Dallas, Jan. 22-24. SYQUEST TO SUPPLY U.S. ARMY SyQuest recently signed a $2 million contract with Tri-Star Technology, Closter, N.J., for removable cartridge disk drives used in internal data storage subsystems supplied to the U.S. Army. The Army contract encompasses 4000 SQ555 5 1/4-inch 44-Mbyte removable cartridge drives and 8000 cartridges. Also included are 4000 host adapters to be supplied by Tri-Star. The data storage subsystems supplied under the contract will be used as systems disks in Zenith Z248 286-based systems running data-base management and other applications at 3200 U.S. Army Reserve sites nationwide. IBM CREDIT FILES SUIT IBM Credit Corporation filed a lawsuit against Comdisco, to halt its misappropriation of computers and parts owned by IBM Credit. The lawsuit, filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, charges that Comdisco engaged in elaborate schemes in which property belonging to IBM Credit was illegally transferred, re-leased or sold. CNN ADJUSTS PRICE OF 900 NUMBER Turner Home Entertainment and CNN have adjusted the price of their 900 number to reflect a volume discount. The non-profit number, (900) 520- 1CNN (1266), is set up to patch directly in to CNN's live feed so they can keep up with events in the Persian Gulf as they unfold. The original price per call per minute was 50 cents; now, the price is 30 cents for the first minute and 25 cents for each additional minute. COMPUSERVE SELECTS STRATACOM CompuServe announced January 24, 1991, plans to upgrade the backbone of its value-added packet data network and to offer a public frame relay service by the end of 1991. The company purchased 38 fast packet IPX T1 networking systems from fast packet and frame relay company StrataCom. Plans are for CompuServe to build a public frame relay network service in the first half of 1991, with availability to network customers by the end of the year. HAYES MODEM PATENT UPHELD Hayes was awarded a multi-million dollar verdict on January 25, 1991 by a jury in federal court in San Francicco. The case involved a patent owned by Hayes. The award came after a three-week trial by Hayes against three manufacturers of Hayes-compatible modems, Everex Systems, Ven-Tel, and OmniTel Inc. The jury concluded that the Hayes patent was valid and had been willfully infringed by each one of the other modem makers. NEW YORK REMAINS LARGEST CITY New York City remains the largest city in the country, with a population of 7,322,564 people, and Los Angeles, however, edged out Chicago as the second biggest. The Census Bureau released the figures and rankings for 195 American cities with a population of over 100,000 as of April 1, 1990. According to the report, New York City grew by 250,925 people in the decade since 1980, or a 3 1/2% increase. APPLE DECLARES DIVIDEND Apple announced this week a declaration of a 12 cents per share dividend for the company's first fiscal quarter ended December 28, 1990. The dividend, Apple's sixteenth consecutive quarterly dividend, is payable March 15, 1991 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 22, 1991. HP REDUCES PRICE Hewlett-Packard announced this week that it is reducing the list price of the HP LaserJet IIP printer from $1,495 to $1,295. This reduction is US prices only. BBS TRIAL DISSALLOWED ===================== by Gerry Cross Ctsy GEnie ST RT Z-NET ONLINE Catagory 31, Topic 2, Message 284 The Trial between the Variety And Spice BBS (Sysop Jim Emhauf), and Michigan Bell Telephone Company has been dismissed due to the failure of the sysop to supply a list of witnesses in time. On January 18 the judge ordered Sysop Jim Emhauf to supply "Michigan Bell and Staff" with a list of those persons planning to appear as witnesses, along with their backgrounds, by January 25 at 5:00pm. The purpose was to give Michigan Bell time to get additional background about the witnesses and to better plan the timing of the trial. The Sysop claims that he did indeed deliver this information to the main headquarters of Michigan Bell on Friday, January 25, at 4:00pm, and gave them to the security guard in the front lobby. The guard, according to accepted Bell security practices, accepted the package and was supposed to deliver it to the proper office. Michigan Bell claims that the package was not delivered until January 26 at 12:00pm, according to a log kept by the security guard. Also, due to a misunderstanding on the Sysop's part, no information was sent to the "Staff" which meant that the Attorney General's office and the MPSC office were also to be supplied with this list. Michigan Bell filed for a dismissal because the judges "order of discovery" was not carried out. They claimed that there was insufficiant time for them to study the documents. The judge agreed, and dismissed the case on grounds that the trial was now prejudiced toward the complaintent, meaning that the Sysop had an unfair advantage in the trial and did not follow the judges order to supply appropriate information. The sysop stated that he plans to re-file his complaint and request another trial. At this time there is no other information available as to when the trial will take place. Part of the problem here is the sysop had not hired an attorney to represent him. He has been getting advice from a few lawyers, but he admits that they are not very familiar with public service commission law or routines. He claims he has had a difficult time locating any lawyer with such knowledge. At todays trial, he was representing himself, and did not have a lawyer present. Michigan Bell was represented by four members of their legal staff. At this time it appears that nothing has changed. MBT has not stated what their future plans are, and would not have any more information until a new complaint has been filed. But it appears they will not be going after other bbs's until this complaint has been settled. It is also dissappointing to report that there was a complete lack of support by the Michigan BBS users. There were only about 15 people in the room, and that included all of the legal staff of Michigan Bell, MPSC, and the Sysop's witnesses. I think only 2 or 3 other people were present. The sysop claimed that as many as 300 might attend, including a large number of his bbs users. This didn't send a very impressive message to the representatives of the MPSC in attendance. It only tells them that there really isn't that many serious bbs users around and gives them little to go by when future decisions will be made. Z*NET CANADA ============ by Terry Schreiber, Contributing Editor Vancouver or Mush While discussing the upcoming Atari Show with Ron Kovacs the other day I discovered that many people are under the impression that we are a frozen barren wasteland up here. Contrary to belief we do not have igloo gas stations to fill up your snow-mobile or to rest your dogs. Most sporting goods stores would look at you twice if you wanted to buy a pair of snow shoes and call the guys in the white suits if you asked for a dogsled. We do enjoy six months of daylight and six months of darkness but they are in twenty-four hour shifts not all at one time. Last years temperatures in June were hitting the mid and low 70's with July and August sporting mid 80's. True, we have seen more snow this year than in the last ten years combined but everyone gets dumped on once in a while. Vancouver's weather is generally very mild with a more than our share of rainfall. The weather could be compared to our sister city "Seattle", which is only 180 or so miles south of us. In a final note to Ron and John and others who are planning on attending the Pacific Northwest Atarifest in June you can dress for 65-75 F. temperatures and bring a raincoat. I also failed to mention that the U.S. dollar is worth $1.16 CDN so your money buys more here as well. (Yes John there are three MacDonalds within a couple of miles of the hall and seven 7-11 stores within the same distance. Don't forget the duty free stores if you are crossing the border.) Z*NET FIRST REVIEW - VIDI-CHROME ST =================================== VIDI-ST GOES 4,096 COLORS! First Look Review by John Nagy (Z*NET will be uploading a variety of VIDI-CHROME pictures to CompuServe and GEnie this week to show the power of the new color system. They will include the samples mentioned in this review as well as Color Pictures from Atari's booth at NAMM last week.) Almost two years ago, the VIDI-ST video digitizer came to America from Scotland... and instant live TV graphics have never been the same for the Atari ST. Now, the next step has arrived, and full color is now available for VIDI pictures... for $39 or less! Vidi-Chrome ST is a software package that includes three color gels, and requires the original VIDI-ST cartridge to operate. While the VIDI-ST alone does quality instantaneous "grabs" from any video signal, live or tape, it does so in a monochrome, or rather, 16 shade picture. While the shades may be a color tint and are displayed in Low (color) resolution, they are still a 16 gradient picture. Vidi-Chrome changes that. And the results are stunning. While the software of Vidi-Chrome is quite sophisticated in adjustability and features, the essence of getting a Spectrum-format 512 color (4,096 available on the STe machines!) is simple enough: Take three "grabs" of the same picture, one each through a red, blue, and green filter, then merge the three, and sort the results into a color picture. After only five minutes of fumbling through the 44 page manual, I was doing my first picture. Even though the book warned me not to expect much from a first attempt, my finished 512 color picture (from a snapshot of a friend off Catalina Island) was amazingly accurate. While later efforts produced sharper images, the colors of the first effort were perfect, spurring me to what was almost an all night play session. The flexibility of the Vidi-Chrome software is remarkable, allowing color pictures to be saved or loaded into DEGAS, NEOCHROME, ART (Vidi- ST's own paint package), IFF/HAMM (standard for file trades with IBM and Amiga, including the Amiga version of Vidi-Amiga), Spectrum Compressed and Spectrum Uncompressed. Yes, you can do full color pictures in the 16 color DEGAS format, as Vidi-Chrome will choose the best mix of palette and dither the colors together to produce the best representation of the original picture possible. While the 16 color modes are less sharp and not as smoothly shaded as the 512 mode, they are quite satisfactory for many pictures (and smaller and more versatile). Palettes can be manually tweaked and re-merged with the picture, allowing the user to add in, for instance, an eye-blue where the computer had decided to skip that color as underrepresented in the overall photo. Then when the computer re-merges the picture, it will use that blue where it should, bringing back a detail where it had left it out before. Needless to say, using the 512 color mode is easier, as the computer does all the work. Overall color rebalancing can be done via a menu where the input of each color can be adjusted. With the right camera technique and a sharp subject image, the 512 color mode brings far more detail and subtlety into the picture that can be imagined by inspection of the single color grabs, which until now have been all we had to offer with Vidi-ST. The results are as sharp and as true colored as any color digitized Spectrum pictures yet seen on the ST, but much faster and easier to do. I have not tried the system yet using an STe machine (drat!), so I can only assume that the 4,096 color operation will be even better, smoother, and sharper. However, one may create 4,096 color pictures on any ordinary ST, for display on an STe machine. Editing features abound on Vidi-Chrome as well. Flips and negatives, pasting windows, merging pictures of different original formats, etc. The three source frames (red, green, and blue) can be saved for later use, to be merged at will for whatever project you might want. Sequences, the high point of the monochrome operation of Vidi-ST, cannot be made in color. Also mentioned in the manual, in a flyer inside the Vidi-Chrome package, and even on the outside packing sleeve, is "VIDI-RGB", a hardware color splitter, listed as available for 69.96 pounds...about $100 US. While this device is not yet marketed in the USA, it goes between the camera or VCR and the computer, as well as plugging into the printer port on the ST. When used, it automatically collects the three primary color shots WITHOUT USING THE FILTERS, in real time, all done in well under ONE SECOND. This allows live color captures of all but moving objects, as well as color captures from videotape. A "perfect" still frame is required for the best result. I hope to be able to get one of these devices soon, but who knows if it even will be available in the USA? Vidi-Chrome ST is at version 1.0 as of November, 1990, according to the documentation. What will come next? I hope, for one, that later versions will allow aspect ratio adjustments beyond the PAL and NTSC settings now offered. It is impossible to get perfect circles in the finished pictures, everything is compressed and more squat that it should be... not enough to be awful, just ...not right. In short, the Vidi-Chrome package is an absolute MUST HAVE ITEM for any Vidi-ST owner, and is available for $39.95 retail, and perhaps as low as $30 on sales. You can't beat it, you will love it, and you may not sleep at night for days after you get it. Ask for it at your software dealer, Vidi-Chrome ST is NOW available through any distribution outlet that carries or can get VIDI-ST. Vidi-Chrome is an import from ROMBO Productions, 6 Fairbairn Road, Kirkton North, Livingston, Scotland, EH54 6TS, telephone (0506) 414 631, FAX (0506) 414 634. IBM EMULATION FOR THE ST ======================== Captured from Catagory 31, Topic 12 in the GEnie ST RT BB SUPERCHARGER ------------ Category 31, Topic 12 Message 17 by E.SCHOFIELD Dear Fran, My name is Eric Schofield and I use the SuperCharger. So far, it has been a wonderful device for me and I am quite happy with it. The advantages to using the SuperCharger are portability from one computer to another, RAMdisk capability by using either the ST's memory from IBM mode or the SC's memory from ST mode. There is a program that will allow you to use the entire ST's memory as extended memory in IBM mode, the name of the program is TC Power! This program will also work with any of the other IBM emulators. The SC is quite expandable as well. This is nice if you find that a 4.4 Norton factor just isn't fast enough for you. You can add a math coprocessor chip inside the SC to speed it up or you can purchase one of the many daughter boards that will be released in late December or early January. These daughter boards are as follow: 1. 286 board, runs at 12 MHz, comes with 1 meg of RAM, expandable to 4. Contains true AT expansion slots & accepts any expansion card, will also handle the 80286 math coprocessor. 2. 386 board, runs at 16 MHz, comes with 1 megh of RAM expandable to 4. Contains true expansion slots accepting any expansion card, will handle the 80386 math coprocessor chip. Both of these boards simply plug into the V30 socket with no soldering required! The mini VGA card should be coming out about the same time for the SC. This will allow the ST or STe to display true COLOR VGA on a multi-sync monitor. There is also a networking board available for the SC. It is supposed to be able to connect DOS and TOS programs under the Novell standard, it has a transfer rate of 2.5 Mbits/sec. As you can see, the options for the SuperCharger are rather extensive. True, this does cost a bit of money but if you were to upgrade your SC to a full 386 system with the VGA adaptor, it would still be less than the cost of a real 386! I hope that I've helped you out some! AT-SPEED -------- Category 31, Topic 12, Message 18 by B.REEVES2 [Alter Ego] I have the AT-Speed by Sack in Germany. I have the version that was distributed by Michtron and came with the Michtron documentation for PC- Speed. The documentation, as you might expect, is quite poor coming from Michtron. However it was adaquate for me to successfully install the device in my early model 520ST, 2.5Meg, TOS 1.4. Compatibility with ST software is great. None of my ST programs seem to be aware of its exsistence. Even Spectrum 512 (at least the slide viewer) works great (I had heard that PC-Speed broke spectrum). The the only software that it comes with is a disk labeled AT-Speed V 2.0. NO MS-DOS. You will need a copy of MS-DOS (version 3.2 or higher) to use AT-Speed. I feel that DOS should have been included with the package, as the hardware is useless without it. What comes on the disk is the AT-Speed driver program, which when activated basicly seem to turn off your 68000 and the 80286 appears to take over the bus. I'm not sure exactly what they are doing to the hardware here, as I said the docmention is for the PC-Speed and the only AT-Speed specific information included was a poorly translated readme file on the disk. Other programs include an ST program to set your PC graphics modes, colors, character sets, mouse emulation, harddrive partions, etc. It is also supposed to be able to set hard drive autoboot in MS-DOS however, I have not been able to get that feature to work (I'm using DOS 3.31 if somebody has a clue as to why this thing isn't working for me), however booting from floppy works fine and I am able to access my HD partions. They also include a couple of DOS sys programs to put in your config.sys file, one that allows you to access all those extra partions on your HD and another that allows you to use whatever memory you have over 1Meg as a RAM disk in DOS, (AT-Speed sees it, ask extended memory, most programs that check for that sort of thing, see my system as an AT with 1.47Megs of extended RAM.) The version 2.0 of the system software will emulate CGA or Tandy 16 color on the color monitor and Hercules (with part of the screen cut off), Olivetti, or...CGA on the monochrome monitor. It also support basic PC sound (beeps and clicks). How compatible is it with PC software? Every commercial program I tried except Checkit, (Which locked up the computer so that I had to shut off power to get it back. This appears to happen when it does hardware checks, I guess it didn't like what it saw.) worked fine. Some of the PD and shareware programs I tried also broke. But all in all most things worked fine. It's pretty much like having a low end AT clone, not and exciting computer, but adequate for most computing needs. Now a few gripes. CGA graphic emulation seems to work fine, with the color monitor attached, software that checks to see what kind of graphics adaptor you have, thinks you have CGA. For those programs that support Tandy 16 color graphics, (mostly games) if you tell them to run in the Tandy mode, work pretty well most of the time. Initially when I ran these programs, I found that the colors were all wrong. The default colors seem to be the right ones but they were in the wrong order in the palette. The configuration program allow you to change three color palettes, labeled 80 column text, 40 column text, and graphics by selecting levels of red green and blue, though you can't see the actual colors until you get back into the emulator. But there is no documentation on how these color palettes are used in the Tandy mode and no explanation of difference between these palettes. However, with alot of trial and error and a book on Tandy graphics I was able to determine which colors I should have and what order to put them in the palette definition in the configuration program in order for them to look right in DOS. At least for the 40 column, 16 color palette (If anybody wants this information I will post it.) which seems to be the regular DOS color pallete available in low resolution. Some programs, such as games from Sierra looked quite good (better than a real Tandy) although the animation and colors were not quite as good as the ST versions. The sound emulation was quite poor, even worse that an actual IBM, particularly when a program tried to do anything fancy. In some games I tried, objects would disappear from the screen and animations appeared jerky, my guess is that is has to do with the way the emulator handles graphics screens, but again as there is no documentation it's hard to tell if it's a bug or a "feature". I bought Windows/286 which has a special driver for Tandy graphics but that just filled my screen with garbage. The CGA driver does work on both color and mono monitors though I like to use the Olivette driver on my monochrome. Now that Talon has taken over U.S. distribution of AT- Speed perhaps we will get better documentation. I would also like to see improved emulation of Tandy Graphics and support for Tandy sound would be nice as well, (The Tandy 1000 series has a three voice sound chip very similar to the STs) since the Tandy 1000 is the PC platform with the closest match to the ST's graphics and sound abilities. (But not in speed or ease of use.) So thats what the AT-Speed gives you, a Norton SI of 6.7, good compatibility with PC's for most application programs, enhanced CGA and (almost) Hercules graphics. However if you need to do any high power number crunching or use high resolution color graphics, this is not the way to go, because there is no provision for a math coprocessor, and of course ST hardware just can't do high-res color graphics. If you need VGA graphics or a coprocessor, try the Supercharger. Me? This is just about as much PC computing as I can take. BYTE MAGAZINE RESPONSE ====================== by M.G. Brown - LCACE AUA Letter Campaign to Byte Magazine: One Participant's Reaction ----------------------------------------------------------------- I, like many of you reading these words, wrote a letter to Byte Magazine as part of the AUA-sponsored protest of a Byte article highlighting DTP systems. The article protested, completely ignores the Atari ST as a DTP solution, but instead, highlights hardware and software of other manufacturers. My letter to Byte began with the essence of the AUA-supplied letter, but with a few personal notes added. As I worked on my letter, I wondered if there was a way to quantify Byte's coverage of MS-DOS, Apple, etc, and compare it to Byte's coverage of Atari. Suddenly, an idea hit me: let computer technology find the answer for me! Since I have access to the Ziff-Davis "Computer Library" periodicals database on CD-ROM, I thought it might be nice to search the over 45,000 articles published during the last 12 months, and see how many listed that were published by Byte magazine contained the word "Atari". Since the Computer Library CD-ROM contains the FULL TEXT of all of the indexed articles, and the provided software allows searches within that text, literally, at the speed of laser light; it seemed like an interesting way to find what Byte really published about Atari this past year. As luck would have it, the January 1991 Computer Library CD had just arrived days earlier. The information on the CD would be representative of what the major computer-related publications printed during the whole of 1990. I carefully inserted the rainbow-colored CD-ROM in the drive, and started up the query program. I patiently waited while the CD whizzed to operating speed. When all was ready - I selected the Query function, and typed the selection criteria "journal ands byte andd atari". This sent the query program off with the mission to find all articles containing the word Journal in the same sentence with the word Byte and the same document as the word Atari. I watched the % completed number steadily grow as the software made its three passes to find the asked for articles. In a matter of just a few minutes, I had the answer! I was shocked to see that the program had found * absolutely no * Byte articles containing the word "Atari"!! At first, I'd suspected that I'd done something wrong- so I substituted the word "IBM" for the word "Atari" in the query request. The program merrily hummed along, occasionally updating the progress of the search. Unlike the request for Atari articles within Byte, several byte articles mentioned IBM, and when I tried it substituting "Mac" and even "Cray", I found several articles published by Byte for each. I was puzzled, did this mean that for all of 1990, Byte published NOTHING about Atari? I added a paragraph to my custom version of the AUA letter, stating what I had found out on the Computer Library CD about Byte's apparent non-coverage of Atari, and shot the letter off to Mr. Langa in Byte-land. Like many of you who wrote, I got back a reply to my letter in the form of a very nice looking, but obviously form-written, letter from Byte. In it, Editor-in-chief Fred Langa states that he was a former Atari 800 owner, developer, and claims great empathy for Atari causes. The letter states that "...a quick search through the BYTE archives shows we've covered the Atari about every other month in 1990, about the same level we had in 1989, too. Now, these weren't splashy cover stories --- they tended to be references inside other articles.". If this statement were true, why did my search not turn up any Byte articles containing the word "Atari"? It's a bit scary to think that any editor does not even know the content of his own magazine, but the results of my investigation seem to point in this direction. I would very much appreciate that if Mr. Langa is the Atari supporter that he says that he is, that he provide Z-Net with information on what articles published by Byte in the last year contain references to Atari. I would ask that the issue month and year be identified, the title of the article, and the page numbers within the issue of the article. Another thing that disturbed me about Mr. Langa's response, is that the AUA letter writing campaign very specifically asked why the ST was not included in the Desktop Publishing article. I was not able to find anything in Mr. Langa's letter that answered this question. I would further ask that Mr. Langa make a statement to Z-Net explaining why he feels that the Atari ST did not merit inclusion in the Byte DTP article. As a last comment, Mr. Langa blames Atari themselves for the lack of articles published in Byte about Atari products. His letter states "...if (Atari will) get on the case and give the Atari the push it probably deserves, increasing it's use among BYTE readers, then for sure we'll increase our coverage even more. But that kind of push can ethically come only from Atari--- it's not Editorial's job to promote a prosduct. We report; the companies promote.". I don't know what Mr. Langa's idea of journalism is, but I always thought that good writers and journalists searched out news and wrote articles based on what they experienced first hand, not from press releases and other such company-slanted information sources. The best journalists explore far off of the beaten path, and sometimes face danger to get the story to the readers (witness the risks that CNN reporters faced to bring live reports to us from Iraq). Mr Langa's statement seems to imply that if a company is not a big advertiser, or is not able or willing to provide free product samples for review, they are not likely to appear in articles in Byte magazine. The Byte magazine that I remember fondly, was forward-looking; they regularly covered very obscure topics and manufacturers (but most of the manufacturers were obscure back when I caught the computing bug). We, as Atari users and owners, are faced with the sad task of being one of the last holdouts from personal computing as defined by IBM, Microsoft, and Intel. I must salute the designers and engineers at Atari; they have avoided the "me too" trap, and have maintained their artistic integrity. Atari listens to the beat of a very distinct drum - that does much to enhance the usefulness, user friendliness, and yes, the raw appeal of their products. In conclusion, I guess that the rebel Atari ST is like the artist that is not appreciated in their own country; not appreciated- except of course, by those who have taken the time to look past the computer industry image and the hype, and found the true soul of Atari's machine. In the words of the master, Paul Gauguin, "Art is either a plagiarist or a revolutionist". PACIFIC NORTHWEST ATARIFEST =========================== Press Release Date: June 15th and 16th 1991 Location: Steveston Senior Secondary School 10440 Number Two Road Richmond B.C. Canada This two day event will draw users from Washington State as well as from Western Canada. This is the first Atari Show to be held in Canada west of Toronto. We are hoping to draw 3000 people during the two day event. This is a preliminary release in order to let developers know well in advance should they want to take part. Retailers --------- Includes curtained booth space, table & chairs, power, sign, 2"x2" AD in show program. $350.00 Developers ---------- Includes curtained booth space, table & chairs, power, sign, 2"X2" AD in show program, free use of computer equipment (if available from the pool) $350.00 or $250.00 and $150.00 product (whol.cost) These facilities provide two stages and two lecture halls. Anyone wishing to do seminars should book early so a schedule can be arranged. User Groups ----------- If you are a recognized Canadian Atari Users Group or a member of the Puget Sound Co-op your space is free. Please contact us as soon as possible as there will be a limited number of free space available. Special Note ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Retailers and Developers who pay before March 1st will be mentioned in the show advertising. Ads will be placed in several Atari magazines, major online services, F-NET, FIDO, USENET, as well as local radio and newspaper. A Dealer Kit is being put together at this time and will be uploaded to GEnie online services shortly. For further information please contact Terry Schreiber at (604) 275-7944 T.Schreiber1 on GEnie, or Node #505 Atari West BBS on F-Net. Z*Net Online will be reporting LIVE from the floor of the event! NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT ======================== Press Release THE COMMERCIAL RELEASE OF THE PROGRAM EXPOS -------------------------------------------- Maxwell Computer Products Unlimited is now shipping the new desk accessory program Expos for the Atari ST personal computer. Expos offers ST users two valuable functions: a notepad and a graphics window from a desk accessory. Expos also offers quick display of the disk/partition free space, an editable date/time, quick access to the file selector, a screen snapshot function, a diskette formatting function, access to the extended ASCII character set and a display of the free system RAM. With the Expos notepad, the ST user can create, edit or load text files and then send portions of the notepad directly from Expos to the main program being utilized (e.g., a word processor). The notepad is a valuable tool for keeping notes and for inserting stored information into a developing document. The Expos GEM graphics window will allow the ST user to load and view graphics files. Load DEGAS, DEGAS compressed, Neochrome, Tiny, IMG, GEM and Macpaint file formats. Low or medium ST pictures are converted to high resolutions. Clip out areas of the image and save in IMG format. Use the configurable pen/eraser to edit your image before saving. The extended ASCII character set is accessible from Expos. Select the special characters quickly, create a phrase and have the option to send it directly into the main programs document or backward into the Expos notepad. You will find Expos functions to be quickly accessible. Go directly to a particular function by depressing a control-alt key combination while selecting the desk accessory. Expos offers a mouse oriented interface that presents pertinent information on the main interface and valuable functions that will round-out and enhance your Atari ST desktop. Retail Price: $39.95 Available Now. Shipping to dealers near you or purchase directly from Maxwell C.P.U.: Maxwell C.P.U. P.O. BOX 576 Louisville, CO 80027-9998 9AM-5PM MST @ (303)666-7754 SOFT-AWARE INFORMER II ====================== News Release Upland, CA Jan, 1991 Soft-Aware Releases INFORMER II VERSION 2.03 -------------------------------------------- Good news for database users and enthusiasts! Soft-Aware, Unlimited continues to support and upgrade it's products by shipping the latest version of it's unique and highly versatile data/image manager. Image files are logically connected to records within the database and accessed for casual or "slideshow" viewing. Images are also used as the background for personalized "form-on-the-screen" input. Columns on the list screen and input boxes on the form screen can all be easily manipulated with the mouse. All of the commands can be accessed with either the mouse or keyboard. INFORMER II utilizes concepts found in word processors, forms managers, report writers, and spread-sheets without the burden of programming. The latest version comes on 3 double sided disks with a completely new and revised manual in a 8x5 3 ring vinyl binder. Version 2.03 offers the user many new and enhanced features. The number of data fields is up from 36 to 52. You can now view external image or text files, even HEX files. Managing records is even easier now that you can Delete or Clear a record from the FORM or the LIST. You can also Move/Copy a record to another Table in the database. Most of the Change, Find and other options have been enhanced or expanded. This Latest version of INFORMER II also has a fresh look, since the main work screens and many of the dialog boxes have been worked over as well. Included with each package is a self running demo, a version of which is available on GEnie and other information services. This demo will give the user a general overview of the program and acquaint them with the basic features. As in previous versions, INFORMER II comes with a conversion program which converts many data formats and as always the users first upgrade is FREE. Available now through all dealers, this release also marks Soft-Awares entry into mainstream software distribution. INFORMER II runs on the Atari ST, STe, & TT series of computers with the PC version being available soon. CONTACT: Your local dealer or Soft-Aware, Unlimited 334 "B" N. Euclid Avenue Upland, CA 91786 Phone 714-982-8409 - FAX 714-985-2348 GEnie: R.SKRALY and Category 34 in the Atari RT (475) REVOLUTIONARY CONCEPTS ====================== PART 37 - "TESTIMONIAL" by Donald A. Thomas, Jr. (c)1991, ARTISAN SOFTWARE (This is PART 37 of a series of articles published and distributed by Artisan Software. Please feel free to copy and distribute this article as you please provided you include all unedited text. Also feel free to upload to boards and communication services. These articles are designed to entice you to take constructive action. Write to involved parties and tell them how YOU feel about the subject.) The letter below arrived at Artisan Software offices on January 25, 1991. The sender has given permission to use his name and to reproduce the letter. About one paragraph has been omitted due to its personal content. The letter is one of hundreds which offer praise and support for The REVOLUTION HANDBOOK and the campaign. January 15, 1991 Dear Donald Thomas: I am a very excited Atari user who joined The REVOLUTION in October 1990. Recently I heard about your book through a friend who is also an Atari user. After reading the first chapter of your book, I knew that I must have a copy. My story is sad, but true. I am presently employed in a Unisys shop. I am in charge of running a Unisys system. When I started looking at computers, I looked at IBM, Packerd Bell, and Compaq. The first problem I saw was a similar problem I see every day; "DOS". It seems that DOS has a command statement for every function. A good portion of my time at work is spent looking up DOS commands. I knew I wanted a computer that could run both IBM and Mac software. Fortunately, before I made the mistake of buying the wrong computer, I was introduced to the Atari through my friend, Donald F______, who has purchased your book. After only a few minutes of using his Atari, I fell in love with this machine. I could not believe that I could do everything that my Unisys could do. Donald and I attended the ATARIFest in Boston, Massachusetts and that is when I was convinced that ATARI was the computer for me. Within hours after the show, I purchased the 1040STE from my local Atari dealer. My only regret is that I do not have an Atari at work. A Happy Atari User (signed) Robert Nogueira North Dartmouth, MA To order Artisan Software's updated new paperback edition of The REVOLUTION HANDBOOK, send $14.95 (plus $1.50 shipping and handling) to: ARTISAN SOFTWARE, P.O. Box 849, Manteca, California 95336. The 1989 disk-based version is available through select Atari dealers including Megabyte Computers (Hurst, TX), Computer Studio (Asheville, NC) and in the December issue of STart magazine. PUBLIC DOMAIN UPDATE ==================== by Keith MacNutt BOOTSECTOR TECHNICIAN V1.0 Magnum Software Bootsector Technician is the new name for ShotzII, which I reviewed several articles ago, and is the result of several changes to the later mentioned program. What these two programs have in common is the need for the user to try and immunize their systems from the ever present threat of being infected with a virus. No matter how much is said and written about this subject, people every day learn the hard way that when a virus strikes it has probably infected at least a few of your disks and even more of your friends. Most infections that I've run across have done little damage, but some of my friends have suffered massive amounts of data loss before they knew what hit them. I find that the best way to protect yourself is to always write protect all your floppies and if you know ahead of time that a program will be writing to the disk, TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER for at least 10 to 15 seconds and even more if your system has more than 1 meg of memory. This procedure along with a disk formatted after the power was turned off, will insure that you have a clean system to work with. Now that you have purged your system, the next step is to try and stop the virus from infecting your disks. Boot Tech will write an executable program to the boot sector, which will at boot time display a message that the disk has been immunized and probably contains no viruses. No program to date has been able to detect or destroy all know viruses, mainly because as a better mouse trap is built, someone comes up with a smarter mouse. What Boot Tech can do is to try and fool a virus into not writing to the disk. Most viruses will first check the boot sector and if it finds one, chances are that it will not attempt a write. Bootsector Technician is chocked full of features that I've not talked about, mainly because to do so would make this article to long. Most of these features are easy to use and understand, although new users may have trouble understanding some of the terminology and concepts of just what this program is attempting to do. Programs like Bootsector Technician are indispensable in everyone's collection, and if used correctly, will save you and everyone you share software with a lot of headaches. So in closing my advice to users new and old is to write protect all your disks after they have been checked, and to use several different virus checkers, which will hopefully find all or most of the viruses which are around today. Pray For Peace ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*NET International Atari Online Magazine is a weekly publication covering the Atari and related computer community. Material contained in this edition may be reprinted without permission except where noted, unedited and containing the issue number, name and author included at the top of each article reprinted. Opinions presented are those of the individual author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff of Z*Net Online. This publication is not affiliated with Atari Corporation. Z*Net, Z*Net Atari Online, Z*Net Newswire, and Z*Net News Service are copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries Incorporated, Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey 08846-0059. Voice (908) 968-2024, BBS (908) 968-8148 at 1200/2400 Baud 24 hours a day. We can be reached on Compuserve at PPN 71777,2140 and on GEnie at address: Z-Net. FNET NODE 593 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*Net International Atari Online Magazine Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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