ST Report: 15-Feb-91 #707From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/19/91-10:54:55 PM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 15-Feb-91 #707 Date: Tue Feb 19 22:54:55 1991 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" from STR Publishing Inc. """""""""""""""""" February 15, 1991 No.7.07 ========================================================================== STReport International 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 ** privately owned & operated STReport support BBS ALL issues of STReport International Online Magazine are available along with A worldwide list of private bbs systems carrying STReport __________________________________________________________________ > 02/15/91: STReport? #7.07 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CD WORMS - CPU MacNews - 512K SRAM - CBM loses Suit - MEGAPAINT II - HACKER BUSTED! - ALADDIN CONTEST! - SSI ALIVE & WELL! - DOUBLE CLICK! - PORTFOLIO NEWS - STR Confidential * SAM TRAMIEL TO FACE NATION! * * CIS CONNECT FEES WAIVED -> TRAMIEL CONF.! * * OFFICIAL PORTFOLIO FORUM ANNOUNCED! * ========================================================================== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE? The _Number One_ Online Magazine -* FEATURING *- "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? Here we go again!! Only this time, its in the CIS Convention Center. Sam Tramiel will be in an online Conference with Atari users nationwide. Compuserve has announced that they're holding the event in their Electr- onic Convention Center. According to CIS documentation, its capable of holding well over 600 users at one time. That's why they were able to WAIVE CIS CONNECT FEES & CHARGES for the Online Session with Atari's CEO Sam Tramiel. Don't miss this one, its a freebie!. On another note, we have an excellent, in-depth view of the Mega STe and will be involved fully in ongoing presentations of overviews and evaluations of a wide variety of Atari and third party hardware and softw- are. This is the catalytic year for Atari, you heard me right.. this is the year it all begins to come together and then in 1992, watch Atari's smoke in the computer marketplace in the USA. Fall Comdex is one show that is a "must see" this year. In fact, its sure to take precedence over many subordinate special interest shows this year. The Comdex dates have been changed also. This fall's show will be a true "window into the future". Every once in while, its nice to say.. "thank you." So there you have it. Thank you, each one of you, ever so much for your strong and faithful support. In return, myself and STReport's staff pledge to make sure the issue is there every week, on time, without fail. This year marks the beginning of many new directions being taken at Atari and ... For the record STReport fully supports the folks at Atari and adds that they are doing a fine job. Congratulations are certainly in order for Pratt, Brodie and Rehbock, (What a team!), for having made it abundantly clear that Atari will not settle at being second best in any way. A special thank you goes to Sam for having the faith in these folks and allowing them to "do their thing". Ralph....... GOD BLESS OUR FOLKS IN THE MIDDLE EAST """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > STReport's Staff The regulars and this week's contributors! ================ Publisher - Editor ------------------ Ralph F. Mariano Staff Editors: -------------- Michael Arthur Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. Dana P. Jacobson Lucien Oppler Brad Martin Walter Daniel Oscar Steele Contributing Correspondants: ---------------------------- Michael Lee Richard Covert Roger Stevens Brian Converse Oliver Steinmeier Mike Vederman Ed Krimen John Clover IMPORTANT NOTICE ================ Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: Compuserve.................... 70007,4454 GEnie......................... ST.REPORT Delphi........................ RMARIANO BIX........................... RMARIANO NEST.......................... 90:19/350.0 FIDONET....................... 112/35 FNET.......................... NODE 350 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote"? ================= "Human Beings are creatures of habit..." "Break the habit and you'll lose the creature!" ....Alfred J. Krebbs *********************************************************************** NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME to the Readers of; ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL 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 (Feb. 15) SAM TRAMIEL TO BE IN CIS ONLINE CONFERENCE! Sam Tramiel will be joining CompuServe Atari Forum members for a special online conference on Thursday, February 21st, in the CompuServe Electronic Convention Center (GO ECC). Watch the News Flash announcement in the Atari Forums for more details. **** COMPUSERVE CONNECT CHARGES WAIVED!! **** **** FOR THE SAM TRAMIEL ONLINE CONFERENCE!! **** Ron Luks announced that, "in celebration of the Portfolio Support Forum designation and the unfortunate 'late announcement' of the Sam Tramiel Online Conference it was decided to waive all CIS connect charges for the conference. ===================== CONFERENCE WITH ATARI'S BILL REHBOCK The transcript of last nights Conference with Bill Rehbock, director of technical services at ATARI Corp, is now available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari ST Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) as BILLCO.ARC. NEW FROM DOUBLE CLICK SOFTWARE DCFKEY.ARC - DC Function Keys (F-KEYS) is a great FREEWARE program by Double Click Software. DC F-KEYS allows you to assign up to 49 text macros to function keys. So, now you can press <F10> and have it print your name. Even more! Has a user definable on/off toggle key. Uses a text file for configuration. Very easy! 100% assembly. ST, STe and TT compatible. Available in LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM The Atari Portfolio Forum has been named Atari's official online area for Portfolio support. The PowerBASIC and Hyperlist beta tests continue. Thanks to the efforts of Atari Portfolio Forum members, these fine products should be ready for the public in the very near future. Be sure to check out all the great new Portfolio files available in LIBRARY 1. NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE *********************************************************************** > CPU REPORT? ========== Issue # 99 ---------- by Michael Arthur CPU INSIGHTS? ============ CD-ROMS, WORM DRIVES, FLOPTICAL DISKS and THE FUTURE OF STORAGE ================ In the short lifespan of the computer industry, advances in chip technology, graphics, and RAM/ROMs have occurred at an incredible rate. While these areas are very important, one field which (although it is just as vital to computers) has not achieved the level of recognition as areas such as microprocessors is the matter of storing all the information that computers handle. As computers became more powerful, operating systems gained in capabilities, and applications had more features, the need for ways to store the data generated by all these computers grew exponentially. While Five Megabyte hard disks were reserved for power users as late as 1985, now 20-40 Meg hard drives are the norm, with 150-300 Meg Hard drives being the Power User's dream. But as computers improve even more, it is a certainty that even MORE storage will be needed. In the past few years, four new technologies have emerged to fill the present and future need for information storage: CD-ROMs, WORMs, Bernoulli Drives, and most recently, Magneto-Optical disks. CD-ROM's (or Compact Disk - Read Only Memory) read data from Compact Disks through a pretty interesting process. First, a laser emits a beam of light which is reflected by a mirror into an objective lens, which focuses it onto the optical disk. Embedded into the disk are tiny pits (or dots), and when the disk is rotated under the lens, the raised pits reflect a greater intensity of light back to the lens than the rest of the disk. This increase in intensity is then detected by the read head, to denote the digital data stored on the disk. Laser technology is used to pack an enormous number of "dots" onto the disk, resulting in that vast amounts of data are densely compressed in Compact Disks. CD-ROMs are made in an unconventional manner, with disks being formed by stamping them, or cutting them out of a smooth sheet of plastic film. This, by the way, is exactly how phonograph records are made in the music industry.... CD-ROMs are perfect for storing large databases of general info that don't require revision often (such as encyclopedias, digitized sounds, and dictionaries). However, there is often a need to store huge amounts of one's OWN data (such as a series of AutoCad 3-D files with full schematics of the space shuttle, or a complete catalog of ALL the source code produced by a programming team from the program's inception) for archiving or personal reference. In this case, WORM (or Write Once, Read Many) drives may be the only option. WORM drives read data in a fashion similar to CD-ROM drives, but they can also write data to disk (though this writing is permanent; hence the term, "Write Once Read Many"). This is done by using a laser to burn holes directly onto the surface of the disk. Since these holes reflect much less light than intact disk areas, the decrease in beam intensity which is caused is used to denote the data stored on the disk. As with CD-ROMs, the lasers are used to mark a great number of tiny holes in the relatively small area of the disk, causing great information density, and greater data storage capabilities (most WORM drives can store 800 Megs of data per cartridge, while CD-ROM drives have 640 Megs of storage space). Most of us identify Bernoulli drives with the 20 Megabyte Removable Cartridges made by Iomega Corporation. This technology, though, is based on a principle of physics that is used everyday. Bernoulli's Principle states that an increase in the flow of a fluid on one side of a surface produces less pressure on the other side, and that a decrease in fluid flow on one side results in an increase in pressure on the other side. For example, a plane's wings are made so the speed of the airflow below the wing is greater than the speed above it, resulting that the pressure below the wing is greater than the pressure above it, producing a lift that helps the plane take off. Iomega used this principle in the Bernoulli Box by having a flexible magnetic disk rotate very closely to a circular plate which contains the magnetic read/write heads. When the disk is spinning, the circular plate draws in and manipulates air flow, lifting the disk up towards the plate close enough that the head to disk spacing is VERY small (50 microns for the Bernoulli Box). Since the magnetic head does not actually touch the disk (doing so would create pressure that would push the disk away from it, and nullify the Bernoulli effect), head crashes are practically impossible. Also, since the disk is closely (but safely) aligned with the magnetic head, more data can be stored and accessed, since the head can accurately read/write from more tracks than otherwise possible. Also, given the general basis of this method, Bernoulli technology can be used with other storage methods, in order to achieve even more reliable ways of storing far more data than before.... Magneto-Optical Drives: ----------------------- THE NEXT GENERATION, AND A NEW ORDER Although these three technologies will be important, most of them deal with archival storage, or storing massive amounts of data for later retrieval. Recently introduced, however, magneto-optical drives seem certain to revolutionize the area of floppy disk storage. Most computer users know of this technology because of NeXT Inc.'s pioneering efforts in using magneto-optical drives in its high-end computers. The disks for the NeXT drive use the same material as CD-ROM disks, with a reflective "mirror" layer on top of a plastic film. NeXT disks use a single laser to both read and write data. To write data to the disk, first the drive applies a magnetic field to the disk. This field is oriented to write the binary digit 0 on the disk. Then, a laser is used to heat a sector on the mirror layer to its Curie point, or the temperature at which the crystals in the mirror layer change their polarity to match that of the magnetic field. This makes all binary data in the sector consist of 0s. The drive then orients the magnetic field to write the binary digit 1 on the drive. The laser then heats all the sector's areas where a bit must be set to a 1, to the mirror layer's Curie point. To read data onto the disk, the drive first removes the magnetic field. When it uses the laser to aim a beam of light at the mirror layer, a phenomenon known as the Kerr effect causes the crystal alignment to alter the polarization of the reflected beam. The amount of beam polariz- ation determines its intensity, and a polarizing filter in the read head then determines whether a 0 or a 1 was read on the disk by the level of beam intensity. As in CD-ROMs, lasers enable a large amount of data to be written in a very small space. Several Magneto-Optical disk drives have been introduced, most providing 512 - 640 Megabytes of Storage per Cartridge. However, Maxtor has introduced a $6000 drive capable of storing more than 870 Megs of data on a cartridge, with the potential to store 1 Gigabyte (or 1024 Megs) of data per cartridge. While magneto-optical drives hold great potential, several factors have contributed to their relative obscurity in the computer industry. For example, while the NeXT Computer shows many of the potential uses for Magneto-Optical technology, the price of such technology ($3000 per disk drive, and at least $150 for one cartridge) forced NeXT to abandon their use in their low-end NeXTstation computers. Also, the slow access rate of magneto-optical disk drives (60 milliseconds, as compared to the < 20 ms speeds found in conventional hard drives) have caused potential users to use WORM drives (or very big hard drives) instead. Currently, price, performance issues make magneto-optical drives too expensive for conven- tional microcomputer use. However, as this technology is further develop- ed, it has the potential to seize many of the markets now dominated by WORM drives and large hard drives. A note worthy effort to "commercialize" magneto-optical technology has appeared from Insite Peripherals. Founded by Jim Shugart, one of the en- gineers behind the original 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drive, Insite Peripher- als has developed the Insite I235VM Drive, which provides an innovative new twist on magneto-optical technology. Unlike CD-ROMs, WORMs,or "NeXT-type" drives, the I235 uses removable 3 1/2 Inch disks called "Flop- ticals". Capable of storing up to 25 Mb of data, floptical disks are very similar to high-density floppy disks in design. The I235 can read/write to both types of floppy disks, and can be used by any computer with an SCSI interface. One serious problem with current floppy disks is that they tend to wobble, making it difficult for the magnetic read/write heads to scan the data on the disk accurately. To make it easier for the drive's magnetic heads, floppy disks have always had a very limited amount of tracks (or grooves) per inch. While this solution improves reliability, it reduces drastically the amount of data that can be stored on floppy disks. Insite Peripherals solved this problem by embedding an optical servo track (using lasers to precisely etch the track markers) onto the surface of conventional high-density disks. An infrared LED is used to follow the tracks, so magnetic heads can be aligned to be more precise. Since the read/write heads are made more accurate, lasers can etch tracks on the disk more densely, and the LED can easily follow the tracks. This allows MANY more tracks (15,000 per inch, as compared the 135 tracks per inch found on regular 3 1/2 Inch disks) to be used on Floptical Disks. Roughly translated, this means that much more data can be quickly stored and accessed from disk. However, the slow seek time of Insite's drive (65 ms) and its relatively high cost (around $350.00 for OEM/VARs and computer manufacturers) has prevented it from going head to head with current hard disks now on the market. Most of us take disk storage technology for granted. While the newest Graphical User Interface, powerhouse microchip, or the latest and greatest in Multimedia technology all inspire a sense of wonder, we seldom take more than a passing interest in the storage devices used to handle the most important aspect of any computer: Data. Whether it be the Church Newsletter or Spectre GCR, it seems that computer users take their trusty hard drives for granted. Except of course, when the trusty hard drives run out of space or when the ancient technology used in their trusty hard drives fail, causing an interesting phenomenon known as a hard disk crash. Many new mass storage technologies have the capability to provide more storage space while protecting our systems from the flaws of current hard disk drives. While hard drives are currently useful, alternative methods of data storage will become a vital part of the computer industry's future. A future in which hard drives are obsolete. _______________________________________________________ > CPU STATUS REPORT? LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Issue #8 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. - Cupertion, California CHANGES IN MAC PORTABLE --------------------- Apple Computer Inc. announced that it was lowering the price of its Apple Macintosh Portable Computer by more than $1,000. Also announced was a backlit screen and greater memory capacity than the current model. The backlighting that was added to the portable's active matrix liquid crystal display will allow the make the screen easier to read in a greater range of lighting conditions. Battery life, however, has been cut from a claimed maximum of 10 hours to a claimed maximum of 6 hours. The new model of the Portable will be available with either two or four megabytes of memory and a 40-megabyte hard disk (previously, the Portable could only be purchased with one or two megabytes of memory). The extra RAM was added to allow it to run System Software 7.0 when it becomes available. Existing Portables can be upgraded to add backlighting. However, memory expansion chips that worked with the old model will not work with the new one, Apple said, and Apple will not offer any memory expansion for the new computer. - San Francisco, California IBM ANNOUNCES WORLDS FASTEST SRAM ------------------------- IBM announced that its scientists have constructed the worlds fastest high-capacity memory chip. The 512k chip (code-named "lightening") is the fastest SRAM (static random access memory) ever created and is capable of sending or receiving data at the rate of eight billion bits of information per second. It can "read" individual bits of information in 4 billionths of a second and can "read and write" successive bits of information, cycle time, in just 2 billionths of a second. - New York, New York COMMODORE LOSES LAWSUIT ------------------ Commodore International has lost a lawsuit brought against it by Thomas J. Rattigan, a former president and chief executive of the company. Rattigan brought suit because of his April, 1987 dismissal and sought damages of about $9 million. The jury award has yet to be determined. - Tokyo, Japan 1 AND 4 MEG DRAM PRICES DROPPING ------------ Dealer prices on 4 megabit DRAM chips have dropped by 22% since last fall, to $27 per chip. The same 4 meg DRAM chip was $115 each when it was introduced two years ago. One meg DRAMs have dropped to $6 each. - San Francisco, California 100 MIPS RISC PROCESSOR BREAKTHRU -------------------------- National Semiconductor has announced that it has created a 100 million instructions per second (MIPS) 64-bit superscalar microprocessor architecture with digital signal processing (DSP) capability. This RISC (reduced instruction set computer) architecture will provide higher performance than any embedded processor available today and includes digital signal processing capability faster than or equal to current stand-alone DSP devices. - Oyster Bay, New York ACCLAIM TO MAKE NINTENDO CARTS -------------------- Acclaim Entertainment has announced that it is one of four firms that has been authorized by Nintendo of America Inc to manufacture it's own Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) compatible cartridges. Prior to this, all NES licensed software was manufactured by Nintendo Company LTD. in Japan. - Cupertino, California FOUR NEW TOOLS FOR SYSTEM 7.0 --------------------- Even though the Macintosh System 7.0 operating system hasn't been released yet, Apple Computers has announced four development tools for it, MacApp 3.0, ToolServer, SourceBug and BalloonWriter. MacApp 3.0 provides developers the objects such as scroll bars, multiple windows, printing, cut and paste, undo and menus needed to program standard elements of Macintosh applications.. ToolServer is a stand-alone, tool-execution environment for Macintosh Programmer Workshop (MPW) tools. SourceBug is a direct-manipulation, source level debugger that runs on System Software 6.x, 7.0 and A/UX, Apple's version of the industry- standard AT&T UNIX operating system. BalloonWriter is a tool for creating Balloon Help for application programs. Balloon Help is a feature built into System 7.0 intended to allow programmers to provide an intuitive on-line help system applications menus, windows and dialog boxes. - New York, New York MAN RIPS ALLNET FOR $72,000 ------------------ Albert Kong, 23, of New York City, has been arrested by the New York State Police for allegedly using his personal computer to "hack" out personal identification numbers (PINs) on Allnet and giving himself uncharged access to the system. The investigation carried out by the New York State Police in conjunc- tion with the United States Secret Service, using monitoring devices attached to Kong's telephones from October, 1988 through December, 1989, indicate that Kong used approximately 1,779 hours of unauthorized access. Based on a billing rate of $10.00 per 1/4 hour for unauthorized access, it was determined that Kong stole services from Allnet worth approximately $72,000. Kong is charged with computer trespass and second degree grand larceny, both felonies, and theft of services, a misdemeanor and faces a maximum penalty of up to seven years. Even though the search warrant under which Kong's equipment was seized was executed on the same day as "Phiber Optics", Mark Abene, equipment was seized, there seems to bee no apparent connection between the cases. *********************************************************************** :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ To sign up for GEnie service: Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. **** SIGN UP FEE WAIVED **** The system will now prompt you for your information. -> NOW! GENIE STAR SERVICE IS IN EFFECT!! <- *********************************************************************** > The Flip Side STR Feature? "......exciting things for the ST owners" ========================= A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee With the recent on-line conferences by Atari personel, it looks as if exciting things are in store for the ST owners in the near future. Lowered pricing, two-level distribution and availability of product means there will be more ST's sold in the next year. More ST's sold means a larger customer base for our ST developers. A larger customer base means more good hardware and software for all of us. A "win-win" situation. ---------------- A compilation of posts from GERECHT and Mike Angier on the Softlogic Roundtable on Genie... ...I just got an interesting book you should look at (two actually). #1 is "PRINT THAT WORKS" by Elizabeth W. Adler. Subtitled, "The first step-by-Step Guide that Integrates Writing, Design, and Marketing" Bull Publishing $23.95 (US), $32.95(Cdn) #2 is Modern Encyclopedia of Typefaces 1960-1990 by Lawrence W. Wallis Published by Van Nostrand Reinhold at about the same price. This has 345 "typeface families" - all designed from 1960-90 and is a real treasure trove of fonts. It has the designer and the company(s) designed for. It even has thumbnail sketches of each designer. At $24.95 it may not be for everybody, but I could give a such a list of fonts I'd like to see available!!!! ...the font encyclopedia by L.W. Wallis is apparently too new to be located on anything but electronic services, so here is the information that I was able to get on it: U.K. Edition : Modern Encyclopedia of typefaces 1960-1990 Edited by Lawrence W. Wallis Published by: Lund Humphries ISBN: 0853315671 U.S. Edition : Same as above except...Published by: Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN: 0442308094 ---------------- Looking for 128k Mac roms? Here's some places to look.....from the Gadgets Roundtable on Genie.... Computer Emporium - 800 526-5548 1st Stop - 800 252-2787 Joppa - 800 876-6040 TOAD Computers - 800 448-TOAD E. Arthur Brown - 800 322-4405 From Dave Small....Shreve has them at the moment, at a fairly high price. They think more will be coming in from time to time. Otherwise, its "when you can", especially now that there are all these computers & boards using 128K ROMs....Pre-Owned is out of the ROM business, I gather. I talked to some people there a couple days ago. From Jeff.G...L & Y Electronics had some at $200 a pop. Pretty soon the ROMs will be worth more than a used Plus. From S.J. Yonamine....I bought my ROMs from a place called MicroMat. They sell OEM Apple parts....Their number is (415) 898-6227 and their address is 7075 Redwood Blvd Bay #4, Novato, CA 94947....I don't know if they're still around, but it's worth a shot. From Doug Wheeler....I got my ROMs from an Apple dealer at a swap meet (before Spectre or AMAX were available). I have no idea if they have any left, but they had a soda case full when I got mine. The place is: PR. ALLEN & CO. 10191 Vista Dr. Cupertino, CA 95014 (408) 996-7140 ---------------- Looking for TOS 1.4 chips? Here's a post from Wayne D. from Genie I bought my TOS 1.4 chips from BEST Electronics 2021 The Alameda, Suite 290 San Jose Ca, 95126 Phone 408-243-6950 They were about $95 bucks when I bought them (about 9 months ago?). I'm sure others can come up with places with better prices in the $75-$90 range. ---------------- Question from C.KLIMUSHYN on Genie... Is anyone out there using Supercharger or PC/AT Speed with SSI's Pool of Radiance series? How bad are the CGA graphics....I can't find CGA monitors (at least without searching) to compare. Since most of SSI's Pool of Radiance series only supports graphics up to EGA, I wondered if I'd be missing much. Answer from C.Borges on Genie... Yes, I have been using Pool of Radiance with the Supercharger. The Graphics are ok, about the same as playing it on a Commodore 64. It does play a bit slow (mainly in the keyboard response when you try to move around the game). Comment from Rick Gridley on Genie... The problem is that a lot of the newer action games, Wing Commander and Secret Weapons need speeds of 25mhz or better to play at full potential. A 25mhz 386 is the ultimate answer for advance gaming. ---------------- From Mike Loader (Radical Type) on Genie... Radical Type has grown too fast for one person to continue writing all the articles...Radical Type is looking for authors to write articles of interest to our peers in the DTP community. If you are not interested in writing an article, but have a great hint or tip for a DTP or graphics program, send it to Radical Type. If it's published in Radical Type you will receive $20. If you are interested in writing for Radical Type, drop a line requesting author guidelines. The guidelines let you know exactly what Radical Type is looking for, and how it should be submitted. Radical Type pays for all articles published. For new subscribers, Radical Type started in April 1990 as a PageStream newsletter. The April/May, June/July and August/September issues concentrated mainly on PageStream. The November/December issue has complete coverage of Professional Draw and started covering Professional Page. If you want to order back issues, copies of the August/September issue are still available at $4.95 US each. ($5.60 Cnd billed to Visa. Canada: $5.65 includes GST. Intl: $6.80 US). The first two issues are now sold out. Subscriptions started in the next two weeks will be started with the Nov/Dec issue, the current issue, unless requested otherwise. The next issue will be February/March which will be out shortly. Production has been delayed due to growth pains and other committments. It's been quite a change from a 16 page photocopied newsletter to a 32 page magazine with a splash of color. Radical Type is available only by subscription in North America. It is also available by subscription and at computer dealers in Australia, and by subscription in the United Kingdom. Australian subscribers should contact Braden Ray Software at 08-390-3018. US and Canadian dealers wishing to sell Radical Type should contact Radical Type at P.O. Box 107, Lazo, BC, V0R 2K0, Canada for upcoming dealer rates. Firms wishing to advertise in Radical Type should request the advertiser rate sheet. Individuals trying to sell personal hardware or software can place a short text ad in Radical Type at no charge. Thanks for all the support you have given Radical Type in the last year. ---------------- From R. Moore on Genie... I sell the Okidata 400 Laser printer and have used it frequently. A beautiful machine that does a fine job emulating the Hewlett-Packard Laserjet II. The printer has 19 built-in fonts, 512K buffer memory expandable to 2 megs, it has a low-cost replacement toner cartridge (around $40) instead of $75 for HPLJII...The MSR (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail) price is $1499.95. Our store sells this incredible printer for $799.95...I own an Atari ST and use PageStream. The HP emulation is great. Even though the Okidata 400 laser is NOT a post- script printer, it will bit-map the image on the paper so that you'd swear you were using postscript! ---------------- From STACE on Genie... OK folks...if you would like to GREATLY extend the battery life of your PS Cordless Mouse. (Disclaimer: If you don't know which end of a soldering iron to hold or if you think a Phillips screwdriver is a new brand of alcoholic beverage, then DON'T attempt to make this modification. Instead, refer same to a qualified electronic tech.) The idea is simple. If you can cause your Cordless Mouse to "go to sleep" sooner than the 10 minute default time then you will save on batteries. Sure...a mouse that sleeps more quickly will require YOU to push its wake-up (power on) button more frequently but that's the price you pay. I found that about 99% of the time that I left my mouse alone for more than about 2 minutes, I usually left it alone for at least 10 minutes. In that circumstance, I would be pressing the power-on button anyway so why not save some battery life in the process? I quickly became accustomed to hitting the power-on button EVERY time I start to use the mouse. The modification is simple. The part number (inside the Cordless Mouse...NOT inside the receiver) is capacitor C3. It is a 100uf electrolytic. All you have to do is change this capacitor to the below values to achieve the approx. "go to sleep" time shown: 1 Capacitor Go to sleep time --------- ---------------- 100uf (default) ~ 10 minutes 47uf ~ 6 minutes 33uf ~ 4 minutes 22uf ~ 2 minutes (Remember...these are ELECTROLYTIC capacitors so note the polarity when installing the new one. Use one rated for at least 10volts.) I installed a 22uf 50v radial electrolytic that I easily found at Radio Shack. My mouse shuts off in just over 2 minutes. I made this modification on Feb 5, 1990 (and put in a new set of batteries at that time) and have only replaced the batteries TWICE since then! That's three sets of batteries in over a year! I use Flash and GEnie a lot so my mouse doesn't get used as much as someone that does DTP all day long. Your mileage will vary. Until next week.... _______________________________________________________ > 68000 Story STR Feature? The History of the 68000 chip ======================= THE LIFE & TIMES OF THE 68000 CPU ================================= Part II by Brian Converse (The 68000 architecture has 16 'data' registers and 15 'address' registers; yes the 'visionary architecture' has grown, and the 68040 has quite a few more internal registers for sundry purposes...still, the core architecture remains the same). In reality, the 80386 to date is primarily installed in PC clones and these clones primarily run software designed for the 8086. So, the 386 is primarily used as a 'fast' 8086, as is the limited population of 486 based microcomputers. The 68030 and 68040, however, tend to be used very ef- ficiently to run software that was designed for them. There are certain aspects of the software, such as memory management or floating point control, that must be redone, but these things are most often found in operating system code, not user programs. The 32 bit aspect of the 68000 has been there since the first chips appeared in the early 1980s, so no recoding or redesign need be done for this (to be honest, there WERE aspects of the early 68000 chips that one could exploit and write 'hacked' code that would run faster...but later, these aspects vanished as the chips became more powerful). The 68000 also has a stylistic and pleasant design compared to the 8086. One term bandied about frequently was that the 68000 was more 'or- thogonal' than the 8086. This referred to the fact that just about any 68000 instruction could use just about any register or addressing mode, whereas the 8086 was limited to the use of particular registers in par- ticular ways with particular instructions. The way the 8086 worked just seemed to be extremely baroque. It makes life extremely difficult for the assembly language programmer. The 68000, in contrast, is strikingly sym- metric to the assembly language coder, almost to the point of beauty. Not that the 68000 architecture does not have warts, a fact that competitor National Semiconductor attacked with its "more orthogonal than thou" 32000 series of chips. These were too late to the market to succeed, despite any actual or perceived advantage. The ugly, nasty fact of microcomputers and computers is that they are all driven by technology. Today, that technology is the silicon chip, for the most part. To be specific, it is the process used ('CMOS', 'BiCMOS', 'ECL', etc.) and the feature size. These are both controlled by basic and applied research into structures and materials that is pretty much open as well as manufacturing technique that is pretty much top secret and propri- etary. Unfortunately, everyone uses the same TOOLS to make things. IBM may scoop the world with an "8 inch" wafer processing system, but the wafer processing equipment manufacturers in the US and Japan will likely catch up within 6 months. Few engineers are brave enough to design in a chip made by only one vendor AND for just a short time AND with brand new experimental equi- pment. Thus, at any time, all the latest microcomputers you can buy use pretty much the same silicon processing equipment, the same silicon proce- ss, and probably run within 15% of the same clock rate. No matter how beautiful the design is or how 'visionary' an architecture is used, dedic- ated work with a competing microprocessor will come pretty close in per- formance. The manufacturers will try very hard to convince you otherwise, but it just isn't so. The programmers involved may go insane or need to be paid a premium, but there simply is no way to get a 2 to 1 or even 1.5 to 1 advantage unless one of the players folds or stays still. That said, there remains the question, why is the 80x86 architecture doing so well? It's easy to blame the proliferation of the PC, but that is not the whole story. The 8086 was an extension of the 8080 to 16 bits, and was not done with much thought to easing the coding of Pascal or C or even BASIC. It was still an assembly language/small program/fast, tight code microcomputer. The 68000, however, was a completely new design. Some familiar as- pects of the of the 8 bit 6800 remained, but only enough to make a 6800 programmer slightly less uneasy. Motorola marketed the 68000 as a "minico- mputer on a chip", and actively avoided 'toy' computers and 'minor' mar- kets like embedded control that had worked so well for the 6800. The main Intel 8 bit micro, the 8085, had failed miserably against the innovative Z80 and the primitive but fast and cheap 6502. Motorola had done little better in the home computer wars with the 6800, but the chip HAD done well in embedded control for industry. The 68000 was to be promoted for high value machines. Many of the initial 68000 computers were, in fact, inexpensive minicomputers. They contained large numbers of additional chips, ran UNIX and cost tens of thousands of dollars. In no time, Motorola controlled most of the microc- omputer UNIX market. Unfortunately, this amounted to only hundreds of chips per month at best. While Motorola was wooing UNIX box makers, a few hardy souls persisted in trying to use the 68000 to make small, cheap computers. The 68000's "asynchronous" memory interface; in fact, its entire I/O architecture, is a superb design. While not baroque in the same sense as the 8086 instructions, connec- ting ANYTHING to a 68000 is not simple. Then again, connecting anything to the 68000 is equally hard as connecting anything else; once you've done it, there is little new to learn. In any event, the 68000 quickly develo- ped a reputation for being a hardware Gordian knot. All of this probably had great bearing on the decision of IBM to use the 8088 in the original PC. There were many other factors. The 8088 could use cheap 8 bit wide memory and cost less than the 68000. The 8088 could run 8080 code, and there was LOTs of 8080/8085/Z80 compatible software available already. Very few 68000 programs. In retrospect, the PC could have been 'won' by the 68000. To 'win', though, you had to know in advance how important it would be. Nobody did, especially Intel. .....continued in next week's issue __________________________________________________________ > CIS PORTFOLIO SITE! STR InfoFile? CIS NOW OFFICIAL PORTFOLIO SITE ================================ CIS NOW OFFICIAL PORTFOLIO SITE =============================== FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (The OFFICIAL Release) SUNNYVALE, CA. (February 15, 1991) -- In recognition of the wide-range support provided for the Portfolio palmtop personal computer by the CompuServe Information Service, Atari has designated CompuServe's Portfolio Forum as an official support site for Portfolio users. The Forum Staff,managed by head SysOp, Ron Luks, provides online support via an interactive message board and conferencing facility. Topics that are covered in the Portfolio Forum include communications, data base applications, text processing, entertainment and programming. Greg Pratt, Atari general manager, commented that last year's software contest generated a lot of interest among Portfolio users who like to develop their own software. "Through the Forum, Portfolio users now have access to libraries of more than 300 Public Domain and Shareware programs and files ," he said. The Forum libraries include a number of DOS and MacIntosh support programs, as well as updates to the ROM-based operating system, system utilities, programming examples, tutorials and a variety of games. Pratt added that Atari technical support representatives and representatives from most of the Portfolio software developer organizations can now be contacted online through the Forum facilities and CompuServe's electronic mail network. A special area has also been set up on the CompuServe Portfolio Forum for new announcements on hardware and software. Luks, who has been an active Portfolio User since it was introduced in late 1989, said that because the one-pound Portfolio easily fits into a sport coat pocket or purse, it has gained a strong following from CompuServe members who use it as an extension of their desktop systems. "The Portfolio already has a built-in text editor, address book, calculator, and a Lotus 1-2-3 compatible spreadsheet," Luks explained. "But as people experiment and work with the system, they often develop special applications and game software that they're willing to share with other CompuServe members. Informally, we've had a very active Portfolio program for over a year. Now that we have Atari's support, we can provide Portfolio users with an "Official Forum." The Portfolio Forum will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at regular CompuServe connect time charges. There will be no surcharge for downloading files or daytime access. Connect time charges for 2400 baud will be the same as 1200 baud. Luks noted that with the proper optional interface, Portfolio users can get online with their compact palmtop PC. He added that many of the public domain and shareware prog- rams can be downloaded directly from CompuServe to the Portfolio's 128k internal RAM. If users want to add these programs to their library of Portfolio software, they can be stored on 32k, 64k or 128k RAM Cards. To help familiarize present and potential Portfolio users with the services provided by the Forum, Compuserve is offering a COMPLIMENTARY introductory membership booklet to the CompuServe Information Service. The booklet containing a user ID #, password and initial $15.00 usage credit, is available by calling (800) 848-8199 and asking for represen- tative 198. Priced at only $299.95, the MS-DOS compatible Portfolio operates on the "AA" batteries or an optional AC adapter. For more information on the Portfolio, its accessories or its growing library of third-party and public domain software, call or write: Portfolio Department Atari Computer 1196 Borregas Avenue Sunnyvale, CA. 94088 (408) 745-2000 - (408) 745-2088 fax _________________________________________________________ > STR Portfolio News & Information? Keeping up to date... ================================ THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ========================= On CompuServe by Walter Daniel 75066,164 There were some items of new product news in various messages this week. Rumors continue to fly about a 286-based Portfolio that Atari will introduce next month in Europe. We'll have to wait and see. Atari is considering using the industry standard RAM cards that are different from the current Portfolio design. If they do change the card format, they might look at developing an adapter so that current Portfolio cards can be read as well. Another product in the wings is a Tesco International barcode wand that connects to a Portfolio through the serial interface. Hyperlist and PowerBASIC testing continues with information flowing through the private areas in the forum. One message alluded to the fact that Hyperlist for the Portfolio should run on a PC. Lots of folks volun- teered to be Hyperlist beta testers, far more than Atari needed. C'est la vie. PowerBASIC testing is proceeding at a furious pace. Which of the built-in programs do you use on your Portfolio? Sysop Ron Luks started a thread saying that he thinks that a database is more useful than a spreadsheet, but lots of people replied otherwise. I hope that Atari does include a true database (and a serial communications program) in the ROMs of the next Portfolio model, but please don't cut the spreadsheet! Some spreadsheet applications mentioned in the thread: keeping students' grades, estimating amount of building supplies, tracking travel expenses, calculating loan payments, and many others. I received an Internet message from Scott Wood about the Atari archive he is managing. All you developers who have access to Internet should send your programs to Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org for further dissemination. The most fun upload this week has got to be DESKTO.PGC. This PGC graphics file, created with Do n Messerli's Macintosh program PGC Grabber, is screen dump of the "desktop" of a Macintosh--the menu bar, a hard disk icon, the trash can icon, and the desktop area. Display this file with PGSHOW and confuse your friends and coworkers by telling them that your Portfolio works just like a Mac! Speaking of PGSHOW, Don uploaded a new version of the program this week (PGSHO2.ZIP). Version 2.0 is much faster since it writes directly to the LCD controller. In fact, decent-quality animation is possible with PGSHOW (about 8.5 frames per second). The ZIP file includes a BAT file to animate the dominoes in the ADEMO file that was uploaded a couple of weeks ago. Try the animation--you'll be amazed. Don mentioned that, with his new displaying technique, some interesting things might be possible (ga- mes, anyone?)..... New programming and utility files were uploaded this week. BJ Gleason posted his Turbo Pascal 6 version of The Portfolio Unit (PFTPU6.ZIP). This unit lets Turbo Pascal programmers use Portfolio functions and features in their programs. David Stewart uploaded a new version of his 80COLS text file display utility (80COLS.ZIP) that I mentioned last week. The program now has scrollback, text search, and cursor key commands. The eight help file contest entries are in library 17. ASCII1.ADR is an Address Book document that lists the entire ASCII charac- ter set, shows how to insert special non-keyboard characters, and gives the control key codes. ASCII2.ADR is a smaller file that lists the ASCII characters 128-255. FAKEDB.TXT is a 5 page document that shows how to use the built-in Address Book and Worksheet applications to create databases that can be transfe- rred to and from desktop computers. HOMEWK.TXT demonstrates how to use the scientific functions of the built in spreadsheet to generate homework and test problems for math and science classes. LISTS.TXT is a text file with instructions on how to use the spreadsheet and editor to make editing of multiple-column lists and tables easier. Have you ever wanted to start one of the built-in applications with an empty file instead of the last one on which you worked? MTFILE.TXT should read for instructions on how to alter your setup. PORT is a text file in which one author details his method of using his Portfolio to write and his desktop computer for file transfer and collec- tion. BJ Gleason's PBAS30.ADR is now superseded by the equivalent file in the PBASIC 4.0 package, but the idea is the same; use the Address Book to display help for each PBASIC statement and command. That's it for another week. If you have Portfolio news or views, please send me a message in the forum. I especially want to know if anyone gets the "Portfolio works just like a Mac" trick to work! _____________________________________________________ > DOUBLE CLICK STR InfoFile? THE PROGRAM OF THE WEEK ========================= THE PROGRAM OF THE WEEK ======================= from; Mike Vederman Hello one and all! We here at Double Click Software have been attempting to serve the Atari ST community lately by remembering our roots. When we say 'roots' we mean where we started off in the ST software business: SHAREWARE and PD. We feel it is very important for us to demonstrate that the people who helped us escalate our business from PD to commercial should not be for- gotten. Our contributors are _very_ special to us, through their help we were able to save contributions and start our business. To that end, we have undergone a _massive_ 'grass roots' campaign at Double Click Software. It began last October, and will hopefully continue until this October. It is our special rememberance of where we came from and who helped us out. We call it: THE PROGRAM OF THE WEEK We hope everyone has enjoyed using the programs we have been uploading every week for the past 4 months. We have plans to continue uploading programs every week. Please use this topic to comment on the programs we upload, suggest new programs, or give us ideas for improvements on the ones out there. You *can* help us! This is our goal: Upload one program a week for one year! So far, we've been doing it for about 4 months. We have ideas for more to come, but we want to know what you want! Here is the basis for deciding if you have a PROGRAM OF THE WEEK idea: 1) The program (where possible) should have ONE feature. It should be designed (conceived) to perform only one task. Most of our programs we have been uploading are of this nature. Still, we won't reject any idea we receive (we keep them all for future use). 2) The program should be able to be written in less than one day. We prefer to spend about 2-4 hours on each program. As you can see, we don't like to spend a whole bunch of time writing the program. But that doesn't mean the software can't be of the highest quality or take longer. It just means we like to save some time for other things! :-) 3) The program should really be usable by more than just yourself. Our weekly programs have been of a very wide variety, but we like to think that everyone could use them at one time or another. 4) You should let us know of your idea. If you don't tell us, we can't write the program! That simple. Speak up, no idea is too small! Thus far, here are the programs we have uploaded: 17517 DCDMASP2.ARC Desc: Plays digitized sound 17142 DCDSKINF.ARC Desc: Quick extensive disk info 17584 DCFLIGHT.ARC Desc: DC FLIGHT/DC Floppy Light 17243 DCLEFTY.ARC Desc: DC LEFTY Swaps mouse butns 18132 DCLICKME.ARC Desc: Double Click ME! - A Game 17999 DCMAXTRK.ARC Desc: Floppy disk maximum tracks 17864 DCMSHIFT.ARC Desc: DC Mouse Button Shiftery! 17435 DCMSTICK.ARC Desc: DC Mouse Stick is for you! 17055 DCSHOHEX.ARC Desc: Awesome File viewer 17436 DCSLICK2.ARC Desc: DC SLICK SHIFT is neato! 18062 DC_CRC.ARC Desc: DC CRC computes/stores CRC 18197 DC_FKEYS.ARC Desc: DC Function Keys save time Please comment on these programs here. Thank you for your very helpful support! Mike, Keith, Paul and Gilbert Double Click Software Let me add that some of the programs you see uploaded have had a great deal more time than 2-4 hours spent writing them. A great deal more time. If the idea is a good one, we don't care how long it takes, but understand we want YOU to have a new (or improved) program every week. __________________________________________________________ > MEGA STe  STR Spotlight? ".....an awesome machine." ========================== LOOKING OVER THE MEGA STE! ========================== Essay 1 by Ed Krimen For those of you who are curious about the new and rather hard to find Mega STe in the US, here are some performance figures: Tos 1.0 Tos 1.4 Tos 1.6 Cpu Memory 165% ---- ----- Reg 205% ---- ----- Divide 204% ---- ----- Shifts 208% 207% ----- Dma 64K Read 5680% ----- ----- Gemdos Files 1583% 1607% ----- Disk RPM 2408 ----- ----- TOS text 121%/ 536%(Turbo) 386%(Turbo) 342%(Turbo) string 118%/1911%(Turbo) 1288%(Turbo) 1181%(Turbo) scroll 181%/ 195%(Turbo) 140%(Turbo) 110%(Turbo) GEM Dialog 209%/ 460%(Turbo) 437%(Turbo) 276%(Turbo) The MEGA STe is really an awesome machine. Its very fast, Atari has mightily improved the hard disk controller, I get three times the thruput than on my old SH204, and the drive itself that came with it is a 157N, a very nice 50 megabyte hard drive. Through the VME slot on the back, I popped out the card, and looked inside to see SIMM's, a nice 90 watt power supply, and a vacant 68881 socket. I noticed too, though I cannot confirm, but the floppy drive looks like a 1.44 megabyte drive, Sony mechanism. The floppy drive controller chip is socketed too. Therefore, even though its a WD 1772, it may be easily removed in the future for a better floppy controller. I am a US developer and got mine under the wire, one left. In fact, at the time of this writing, there were approx. 10 machines shipped to developers in the US. The rest went to the European and Canadian com- munities. The Spectre GCR works very nice with this machine. You get hard disk performance of something between a IIfx and IIsi. 600-700 kiloBYTES per second. 33ms access time. I am very pleased with the Mega STe. The retail value of the machine is $1979.99. TOS 2.05's desktop is really nice and its even useful. It packs hot keys, item grouping which is maclike along with command key equivalents. I think its much better than NeoDesk. The copy operations are efficient and very quick. You can select your own icons for different things on the desktop. You can color them and your windows individually. Now the desktop looks pretty and is functional. The Machine has 8Mhz/16Mhz/16Mhz with cache options. You should see how snappy this machine is with TurboST installed at 16Mhz cache on. The keyboard feel is very MAClike. The key tops are smaller so you can type faster and quicker. They are no longer mushy. The keyboard is very nicely laid out as far as physical form and user comfort is concerned. It can mold itself to the front of the cpu housing, for a perfect fit or can simply be placed in any position you desired. I of course can't test this as I only have the SM124 to work on. I am very satisfied with the layout of the machine, the reset key is in an easily accessible location, along with the keyboard port, which makes positioning the keyboard much more intelligent than on the MEGA ST machines. Port listings from the DOCS: Processor: 16Mhz 68000 Math CoProcessor 68881/2(Optional) Memory 2 or 4 Depending on Model Graphics 320x200x16 640x200x4 640x400x2 Color 4096 Colors Interfaces Midi IN/OUT VME-compatible Eurocard Monitor port (RGB) Television port Parallel port 1 Serial Port 2 Modem(RS232C) Floppy disk port LAN Interface ACSI DMA port (10 Megabits per second) ROM Cartridge port (128K) Mouse/Joystick port Stereo RCA ports Sound Generator Pulse Coded Modulated sound (8bit DA Converter) 3 voices from 30Hz to above audible range Keyboard 95-key intelligent keyboard using its own microprocessor. Power Consumption 95 WATTS MAX. _______________________________________________ > MEGA STe  STR Spotlight? "....a switchable 16 MHz computer." ========================== A QUICK VIEW OF THE MEGA STE ============================ Essay 2 by John Clover A few weeks ago I was asked by C-LAB's North American consultant, Mikail Graham, to help demonstrate C-LAB's Notator 3.0 for the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California, from January 11th through the 14th. Original- ly there were supposed to be three areas for C-LAB at the show: the main booth at the Marriott Hotel manned by Mikail and the C-LAB reps, a booth in the main Atari area, and then a third booth shared by C-LAB and another company. Later the company which was to share a booth with C-LAB cancel- led, so there were only two booths. Phil Shackleton, who wrote the text book on Notator, was showing the Education package at the main booth while I showed Notator in the Atari area. For those unfamiliar with Midi or C-LAB's Notator, it is a fully integrated sequencer/music notation program from Germany. It has a dongle which goes into the cartridge port and runs at 8 MHz. Although I would probably get arguments from other software companies, I believe it's the premiere music notation program for the ST. When I was asked to help at the show I was told I would be using a Stacy2, however when I got to the Anaheim Convention Center for the set-up I found out I would be using a Mega STe. At first I was disappointed since I had been looking forward to finally getting my hands on a Stacy. There is not a musician around who doesn't covet a Stacy, and I was really looking forward to trying it out. The Mega STe's were set up by Atari in face to face stations in their area. The Mega is a switchable 16 MHz computer. It can run at 8 Mhz or 16 with or without a cache. Since Atari was not sure if all the various programs to be demonstrated were compatible with the faster speed, they had set up all the Megas to run at 8 MHz. Each of the computers was configured with 4 Megs and had a 50 Meg Hard drive. Since I have a 4 Meg 520 at home I wasn't too sure about the Mega since it is encased in the now familiar TT case, with Macaroni shaped function keys. The detachable keyboard wasn't too thrilling to me either, since I like to know that my CPU is close at hand. When we were setting up Jimmy Hotz (who had his Midi Translator there) informed us that Notator would run on the Mega at 16 MHz. This was a total revelation, since the dongle is designed to work at 8, and it wouldn't work until we figured out we had to disable one of the files for the Control Panel. Once we did that Notator ran flawlessly. In fact I can say it ran faster than usual. Although I didn't have any benchmark programs to run it appeared that Notator was running at least 50% faster than usual. The Extended Control Panel is totally unlike the normal ST's control panel. It has a configurable number of slots to put such things as Color Setup, Sounds, Window colors, Modem and Printer Setups, Mouse Accelerator, etc. It also shows the time and date. You can also shut it down if you don't want it. It takes up about 128k of memory so you better have a bunch to spare. The Mouse accelerator is the Atari version 3.3 accelerator, which is configurable for regular, fast and rocket speeds. It also has a built-in screen saver. The sound module has balance (with a rotating head to show the balance), treble and bass sliders. Even though I use the NeoControl Panel with NeoDesk 3 I feel the new Extended Control Panel is a vast improvement over the old one and Atari has shown us what they can really do. The feel of the keys is a lot better on the Mega STe than the old ST's (I had to install Mega Springs in my 520 to alleviate the Repeated Keys Syndrome) and are quite responsive. The function keys, although getting some time to get used to, work quite well. They also can be configured to run programs from the desktop. This was a little strange at first, but it is a very nice feature. The custom icon feature which is included is very nice to have, although I still prefer NeoDesk's. Compared to the present desktop icons it is vastly superior. Bob Brodie was very helpful in showing how this worked. To quote Bob: "the Mega STe is a step down from the TT rather than a step up from the ST." My overall impression of the Mega STe is that when I can afford one, its the computer I will invest in. It runs faster, smoother, and once you get used to the case is slicker than the present model. My hope for the New Year is that Greg Pratt will be allowed to do what he wants for Atari. I want to thank Greg Pratt, Bob Brodie, Mike Groh, Jim Grunke and all the rest of the Atari crew who were so helpful and made the experience as enjoyable as it was. I also wish them the best of luck in making the best computer even better. I also want the thank Mikail Graham for giving me the opportunity to show off Notator 3.0 at the show. _______________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL? "ATARI NEWS FIRST!" ===================== - San Francisco, CA. SSI ALIVE & WELL!!!! ------------------ Someone told me they though that SSI went out of business. Not so. In fact, Curse of the Zure Bonds, the sequel to Pool of Radiance has been released. The game includes more than 24 high-level spells and characters includint High Priests, Lords, Paladins, Wizards, and the like. It's an officially sanctioned Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game that should make a lot of D & D'ers happy. CZB: $59.95 SSI 675 Almanor Ave. Suite 201 Sunnyvale, CA 94086-2901 (408) 737-6800 - voice (408) 737-6814 - FAX - San Diego, CA. MEGAPAINT II * STRONG!* -------------- Tommy Software, (TOMMYSOFT) a big name in Europe, released several modules for MegaPaint II. One of these modules allows the use of Mega- Paint II for the TT. Essentially the trend, as seen in updates for Ultra- Script and Timeworks Desktop Publisher for the TT, is for companies making products compatible with the TT. Tommy Software Selchower Str. 32 D-1000 Berlin 44 - Rockville MD. SCRIPT CONTEST FOR ALADDIN! ------------- We need some scripts.. The purpose is to compile a big library of scripts that will enhance, improve and magnify the performance of ST Aladdin. This Contest will run until March 15th 1991.. Rules are simple.. Scripts must be uploaded to the ST Aladdin RT before March 15, 1991 The Scripts may do anything, go anyplace on GEnie, do anything to/with Aladdin. First Prize ............ one 24 hour day (systemwide) on GEnie... Second Prize............ one 12 hour period (systemwide) on GEnie Third Prize............. one 8 hour period (systemwide) on GEnie Fourth Prize............ one 6 hour period (systemwide) on GEnie Further information can be had by reading Catagory 4 Topic 2 in the ST Aladdin RT. - San Francisco, CA. INFORMER II 2.03 DISKS SHIPPED! ------------------ This week all users of INFORMER II that recently received the Upgrade to 2.03 were sent New Program Disks. This disk is a Fix that corrects sev- eral problems. Also included in the mailing is the missing Read Me detail- ing all the new features and how to use them. If anyone who had received 2.03, has not gotten their new disk, Please contact Soft-Aware and you will be sent the new disk. Soft-Aware Unlimited (714) 982-8409 Office Hours 8:30am to 5:00pm PST Monday - Friday _______________________________________________ > Hard Disks STR InfoFile? Affordable Mass Storage.... ======================= NEW LOW PRICES! & MORE MODELS!! =============================== ALL SPECIALS ** EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! ** ABCO COMPUTER ELECTRONICS INC. P.O. 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(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 Y 419.00 SGN4951 51Mb 28ms Y 519.00 SGN6177 62Mb 24ms Y 579.00 SGN1096 85Mb 24ms Y 619.00 SGN6277 120Mb 24ms Y 849.00 SGN1296 168Mb 24ms Y 1069.00 SGN4077 230Mb 24ms 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 ____________________________________________________________ > STR "Sign of the Times"? ====================== "Please, pray for the safe return of all our Folks in Desert Storm!" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International Online Magazine? Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport? "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" February 15, 1991 16/32bit Magazine copyright = 1987-91 No.7.07 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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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