ST Report: 10-May-91 #719From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 05/18/91-11:53:48 AM Z
- Next message by date: Bruce D. Nelson: "Z*Net: 15-May-91 #9120 (Z*Break)"
- Previous message by date: Bruce D. Nelson: "Z*Net: 10-May-91 #9119"
- Return to Index: Sort by: [ date ] [ author ] [ thread ] [ subject ]
From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 10-May-91 #719 Date: Sat May 18 11:53:48 1991 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" from STR Publishing Inc. """""""""""""""""" May 10, 1991 No.7.19 ========================================================================== 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 350 * Fido Node 1:112/35 * NeST Node 90:3000/350.0 ** 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 __________________________________________________________________ > 05/10/91: STReport? #7.19 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU REPORT - MAC REPORT - CODEHEAD UPDATES - AMIGA ACCUSED! - TRAMIEL LETTER - The Flip Side - SST030 WINDSOR - EARLE INTERVIEW -* 2 EXCLUSIVE EYEWITNESS WINDSOR REPORTS! *- -* WINDSOR PRODUCT DEBUTS DESCRIBED! *- -* PAGESTREAM 2.1 DETAILED! *- ========================================================================== 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 informa- tion relative to the Atari ST computer arena through an excellent Inter- national ST Mail Network. All registered F-NET - Crossnet SysOps are wel- come 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 This past week has produced some mighty interesting events, from the Windsor show of last weekend, to the strange goings-on in the online arena. Including a mysterious "crystal ball" type product denunciation that will remain the ALL-TIME ONLINE MYSTERY. All very interesting indeed. The most important of "happenings" is the reputed "bullying" of the NEW AtariUser Magazine people by a few of the rather outspoken dealers. Seems they did not care for the 'inside the front cover' price Zephyr Computers had for the 1040STe of $385.00. Mighty ODD I'd say since there were similar ads elsewhere in the magazine. It couldn't possibly be cen- tered around who owns Zephyr now could it? Of course, at this point in time, roughly a month or so later, the prices mentioned sound just about right. Some folks came back from Canada's Windsor Show reporting they had been told by an Atari Rep that BOTH the TT and the MegaSTe had been awarded Class B FCC authorization, that is really good news. Elsewhere in this issue are our extensive, in-depth show reports about Windsor. Don't miss them. I still believe that Atari is on the right path to recovery and will prevail. Watch for some very special VME cards in the near future that are destined to pale any mode of VGA. Some of you may have noticed that our issues have gotten somewhat larger, this is a result of our striving to bring you more complete coverage of relevant matters in the Atari arena, not just teasers or interest leaders. Thank for your support, Ralph...... TODAY'S NEWS ..TODAY! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > 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 Robert Allbritton John Szczepanik Dan Stidham Contributing Correspondants: ---------------------------- Michael Lee Richard Covert Roger Stevens Brian Converse Oliver Steinmeier Ed Krimen Tim Holt Andrew Learner 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 FIDONET....................... 112/35 FNET.......................... NODE 350 NEST.......................... 90:19/350.0 *********************************************************************** 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 (May 10) FUNK ALERT! Charles F. Johnson and LGF Software announces a new shareware utility called Funk Alert!, a really *tiny* (but powerful!) program that lets you use the function keys F1, F2, and F3 to select the buttons in any GEM alert box! See FUNKAL.ARC now available in Library 1 of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO). NEW FROM GRIBNIF IN ATARIVEN The following new files are available in LIBRARY 8 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN) from Gribnif Software: FIXQUE.ARC -- A fixed NeoDesk 3.02 Printer Queue. The one included in the PCH302.ARC would not print correctly, so download this file if you down- loaded the older version of the PATCH program and you use the NeoDesk Prin- ter Queue. FIXPCH.ARC -- This patch program will upgrade copies of NeoDesk 3 (version 3.01) to the newer 3.02 version. This program fixes several small bugs and problems, and adds some minor enhancements. PATCH PROGRAM FROM CODEHEAD CodeHead software has uploaded a small, easy to use patch program to correct two minor bugs in their MaxiFile III product. Download MAXPAT.PRG from LIBRARY 16 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). Programmers are invited to download CALLM.ARC, also in LIBRARY 16 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN) from CodeHead Software, which describes how they can easily call MaxiFile III and use it as a "multiple item selec- tor." PROGRAM OF THE WEEK FROM DOUBLECLICK Don't miss Double Click's "Program of the Week" -- DC POPBAR! DC POPBAR gives the GEM desktop a pop-up menu of the menu bar entries. Now all menu entries are available in this convenient "pop-up menu" wherever the mouse is. Download DCPOPB.ARC from LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). Last weeks Double Click "Program of the Week" was a fantastic utility which will let you run boot disks from your Desktop! *VERY USEFUL!* Download DCBTIT.ARC from LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). QUICKCIS UPDATE QuickCIS users--download QCNEW.LZH from LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO) for the latest version that allows you to use Ymodem-G with an error correcting modem for faster file transfers. PORTFOLIO LIBRARY CATALOGS New catalog files for all public libraries of the Atari Portfolio (GO APORTFOLIO) are now available in Library 1. A 60X10 PORTFOLIO SCREEN A software solution allowing a 60x10 screen for the Portfolio is available as 60BY10.ZIP in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO). A NEW FORUM! Ron Luks is preparing to open an new Palmtop portable forum on CIS, units to be covered include; Sharp Wizard, Casio, Poquet and others. The Port- folio forum will, however, remain in the Atari Area and receive full support from the Ron Luks and his CIS Atari Staff. THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ON COMPUSERVE HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AN OFFICIAL SUPPORT SITE BY ATARI CORPORATION "GO APORTFOLIO TO ACCESS THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM" *********************************************************************** > CPU REPORT ========== Issue # 110 ----------- by Michael Arthur CPU INSIGHTS ============ Optical Computing: Photonics, Optoelectronics, and AT&T -------------------------------------------------------- AT&T, as well as several University research teams, have developed experimental "photonic" computers that utilize optical technology. With these devices promising to be many times faster than ordinary electronic computers, these developments have stirred up much discussion on both the capabilities of optical computing, and its role in the future of the microcomputer industry. In order to understand the potential of both photonics and optical computers, let us take a look at both the differences between photonics and electronics, and how optical computing is being de- veloped. In ordinary (or electronic) computers, streams of electrons are sent through transistors, which manipulate this flow in a network of "logic gates", which can perform mathematical operations. However, in AT&T's experimental optical computer, bursts of low-intensity lasers are directed towards a light modulating crystal, which acts as aswitch. These bursts cause changes in the "switch", so they either become opaque (so they absorb light), or translucent, so they can reflect light. Then, a second burst of lasers (of equal strength) are reflected off the switches, in order to determine which "state" they are in. If a laser that has been directed towards a switch is strongly reflected, then the switch is translucent, and the data bit which it represents is determined to be a binary number 1. If the laser which is reflected from the switch is relatively weak, then the switch is opaque, and the bit is 0. A series of these "weak/strong" switches can then be coordinated into logic gates, so they can perform mathematical operations. This type of technology is known as photonics. Just as electronics uses electrons, photonics use the components of light (or photons), in its operations. Streams of photons (or light) are generated by either an LED or a VERY small laser, and are then transmitted to light modulating crystals, which are then coordinated into the logic gates which make up the chip. There are several advantages to using optical technology for integ- rated circuitry, including: - Speed. Since they are, in essence, what light is made up of, photons travel at the speed of light. Therefore, photonic techology would be a LOT faster than electronic technology. Resulting in MUCH faster com- puter circuits.... - More compact designs. Far less energy is needed for using beams of light for computing than electricity, since one would not need to pump as much energy into a photonic circuit in order to maintain it. This would also result in photonic devices generating much less heat, meaning that optical circuitry could be fitted more closely than normal electronic cir- cuitry. Also, while electrons are part of a category of particles called fermions (whose electrical charges repel one another), photons are part of a particle class known as bosons, which do not interfere with one another like fermions. The reason that wires are needed to transmit electrons (and electricity,for that matter) is because competing streams of fermions would otherwise distort each other so much that they couldn't get from Point A to Point B in any semblance of order. Since photons do not have this pr- oblem, large numbers of them can be transmitted close (or even through) each other without creating a problem. This means that different streams of light can be sent next to each other simultaneously. Now, if each stream of light stood for a bit of data, then one could easily implement 64-bit, 128-bit, or even 256-bit microprocessors using photonics. And given that the state of the art in electronic microprocessors is 32-bit chips.... This type of method could also be used to implement vastly sophisticated neural networks or parallel processing systems, since each stream of light could be independently accessed by several photonic circuits. This, and other benefits of photonics is one of the reasons that Japanese companies have been quietly pumping millions of dollars into optical computing research. Also, it seems that the combination of phot- onics and holographic technology is being researched. Instead of transmit- ting light to a photodetecting crystal, some scientists are looking into directing a stream of light towards holograms,so as to create holographic images on certain points of a two-dimensional grid which would correspond to bits (or pages) of data. Called "Page-Oriented Holographic Memory", this technology could be capable of storing a gigabyte of data on each storage unit. Also, using photonic technology to "read" this unit, one could access data at a rate fast enough to make memory for purely optical computing reasonably fast.... However, while the benefits of optical computing are many, implemen- ting integrated circuitry that is fully based on photonics will take several years of development. In order to utilize the abilities of optical com- puting in the near future, an upcoming technology called optoelectronics is being developed, which combines the speed of optical technology with proven electronic circuitry. In optoelectronics, light is transmitted via optical fibers to light- detecting crystals (or photodetectors), which them simply convert light into electrical impulses, which can be used by ordinary electronic devices. In essence, data is sent at the speed of light to each electronic circuit, which then processes the data at a normal rate. This method of interconnec- ting chips has great potential. For example, whole bus architectures could become networks of optical fiber, sending data at the speed of light for microchips to process. Resulting in that, instead of carrying only mega- bytes of data a second (like current bus architectures), optical buses could easily transmit a gigabyte (1024 megabytes) or more amounts of data a second.... Photonic technology, though, is only in its earliest stages of deve- lopment. Currently, the accuracy of calculations done with completely photonic computers is low in comparison to that of modern electronic com- puters. Also, new design techniques must be developed in order to develop microchips which take full advantage of the capabilities inherent in pho- tonic technology. However, optoelectronics, photonics, and other techno- logies used in optical computing will certainly become an integral part of future computer technology.... CPU Systems Roundup =================== Laser Breakthroughs, Blue Light, and a New Optical Age ------------------------------------------------------ Bellcore (a division of AT&T's Bell Laboratories) has demonstrated the first working prototype of a "quantum wire" laser. Sized at near-atomic dimensions, this technology involves directing electricity through a laser wire core measuring 30 atoms high by 300 atoms wide. This process then generates coherent (or single-wavelength) light, which is directed along the wire. This "quantum wire device" uses principles of quantum mechanics (a theory in physics which deals with phenomena at the atomic level) to generate coherent light (or laser light) with extremely low amounts of electricity. Bellcore's quantum wire device is 1/4 of a millimeter long, and a thousandth the thickness of a human hair (or 20 times smaller than a compact disk laser). Also, it is the most efficient laser technology currently developed, and could provide great benefits in the future. For example, today's compact disk lasers operate at 1/10 of an amp of current. Quantum wire lasers can operate at one millionth of an amp, meaning that they use up to 100,000 times less energy.... This potential also holds great promise for optical computing (or photonic) devices like the one shown by AT&T a few months back. In the future, computers may use this laser technology in data transfers and in performing calculations. The resulting microchips would be both extremely compact, and use much less electricity than present computers. This technology (if used in computers) may even eliminate the need to use gallium arsenide, or even "high-temperature" superconductors, in the future to make faster supercomputers.... Around the same time frame that Bellcore made its announcement, IBM scientists showed an inexpensive laser which can efficiently produce blue laser light. IBM's new laser diode is five times more efficient than other devices at converting electricity into blue laser light, which could be made commercially available within a few years. In IBM's device, a diode laser converts electricity into infrared laser light that is sent through a small (1/4 inch long) potassium niobate crystal. This crystal halves the laser light's wavelength (doubling its frequency), thereby producing blue laser light. This device is usable for a wide range of applications. One example is in CD-ROM or other optical disks, which store information as a series of embedded grooves created by a laser. While current infrared diode lasers create grooves which are around 0.8 microns in diameter, blue laser light can be focused on a much smaller area (about 0.4 microns), because it has a shorter wavelength. In the future, this could allow a CD-ROM to hold four times the data (or about 2.6 Gigabytes of storage space) than currently possible. Also, this technology could be quickly converted for use in color displays, optical computing (in the near future), or in the field of medicine.... > CPU STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Issue #20 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. - Salt Lake City, Utah WORDPERFECT SCRAPS ATARI ST UPGRADE PLANS -------------------- Despite a lot of unofficial publicity, it looks like Wordperfect Cor- poration has now all but abandoned plans to upgrade its Wordperfect word processor for the Atari ST. While the official line was that work on the package had ceased for the ST platform at the 4.x version, there were rumors that the company was working on an upgrade late in 1991, thanks to the ST selling so well in West Germany. It now seems that Atari Germany has cancelled a 10,000 unit order with Wordperfect US for copies of the ST version. Upgrades will now confined to small revisions and upgrades on an occasional basis. According to sources close to Atari West Germany, development work on version 5.x of Wordperfect for the ST platform was conditional on the order being placed with Wordperfect U.S., for the 10,000 packages. - Los Angeles, California AMIGA HAS MOST BIZZARE OF RACIST ----------------------- COMPUTER GAMES Computer video games where the player is a concentration camp manager who sells lamps made from human skin, gold tooth fillings and dog food to purchase gas to kill Turks and Jews are being distributed in Germany and now in the United States, according to researchers at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. The games are clearly aimed at the home computer market, and especially at preteens from 13-15 years of age. They range from displays of German pre-World War II symbols to complex graphics of tortured prisoners and bizarre death images like the grim reaper, according to the center. The most bizarre of the games runs on an Amiga and is titled "KZ Manager." KZ is short for the German word for concentration camp. The center has reported it contains graphic images of human torture, Hitler, and the winner gets to be the Gestapo, with a tortured, bleeding prisoner in the background. "The quality of the graphics is very good - the people who wrote these games know what they're doing," Wiesenthal Center researchers said. - Tokyo, Japan SEGA & IBM TEAM UP ON NEW JAPANESE ------------ GAME COMPUTER "Terra Drive", a game-oriented personal computer developed jointly with Sega Enterprises and IBM Japan, will be released by Sega by the end of May. To keep the Terra compatible with both the IBM PC/AT and Sega's game software, it will be equipped with twin microprocessors - a 80286 chip with the AT bus and a 68000 chip for the Sega games - and with the Japanese operating system "DOS/V", which will make it fully IBM- compatible. With almost 100 software game titles already available, the Terra will cost $1,100 for the low-end version (640k and one floppy drive), $1,390 for the middle-line version (1-meg and two floppy drives) and $1,800 for the top-end version (1-meg and 30-meg hard drive). The 14-inch CRT monitor costs $590. - Los Angeles, California PRODIGY ACCESSES USERS COMPUTERS ----------------------- Several ex-Prodigy users have reported incidents involving the finding of personal data from their hard drives in Prodigy files. One user, a retired physist and computer consultant, reported that even though he had booted from freshly formatted floppy disks, he kept finding sensi- tive and personal information from his hard drive in the Prodigy files. Randie L. Moss, a Prodigy services manager, claimed Prodigy could inad- vertently access user data, but not if it was operated from a bootable, freshly formatted floppy disk. In that case, the letter stated, the information from the hard disk files would not be accessed by Prodigy. The Wall Street Journal reported Prodigy does access information from users' personal computers, but said Prodigy doesn't look at the data. Prodigy officials were quoted as confirming a software quirk that picks up unrelated Prodigy information off a user's hard disk, and also con- firmed they could access that data. - Rockville, Maryland GEIS LAUNCHES SALES AUTOMATION SYSTEM ------------------- GE Information Services (GEIS) has announced that its new Sales Mar- keting Communication System now takes advantage of GE's global network to let sales people work together. The Sales Marketing Communications System (SMCS) ties into the network to allow users to do such things as checking product availability from a remote location. It combines GE Information Services' global network connectivity and support with a customizable workstation for territorial sales management. An average price will be about $1,000 per user which includes the software, customization, and networking charges. - Eagan, Minnesota APPLE ORDERS 2ND CRAY SUPERCOMPUTER ---------------- Apple Computer has ordered its second Cray supercomputer, a Cray Y-MP2E. The new system will replace Apple's first Cray supercomputer, a Cray X- MP, that was installed in 1986. Apple will use the Y-MP2E for continued research and development applications, speech recognition analysis in the development of a speech recognition system for future computer products and analog circuit simulation for circuit design. It will also control many of Apple's manufacturing processing, such as plastic flow modeling, which is used to simulate the various steps in manufacturing computer cabinets, keyboards and other PC equipment. - Redmond, Washington WESTINGHOUSE BRAZIL RAIDED ------------------- Acting on a complaint filed by Microsoft and Autodes, Brazilian author- ities carried out a surprise piracy raid on the Sao Paulo offices of Westinghouse Brazil. They discovered "numerous unauthorized copies" of Microsofts MS-DOS o/s and of Autodesks AutoCAD computer-aided design package. Under Brazilian copyright law, Westinghouse Brazil could face fines totalling more than $2 million. - Washington, D.C. NEW SORT TECHNIQUE REVOLUTIONIZES ---------------- COMPUTER SCIENCE Contradicting 30 years of computer science teaching which says that there is a definite limit as to how fast a computer can sort data, The National Science Foundation has announced the development of a revolutionary new sorting technique. Compared to other sorting techni- ques, the new algorithm has the potential of permitting extremely fast sorting of huge databases and actually improves as the size of the data- base grows. The new technique, referred to as a "fusion tree," allows a computer to compare one number to many others during a single operation. - Tokyo, Japan WINDOWS A WINNER IN JAPAN ------------ NEC, Japan's computer giant, has sold over 60,000 Windows 3.0 programs in Japan since February and has tripled its sales estimates to 200,000 units for the first year. Other PC makers such as Fujitsu and Seiko- Epson are also receiving many purchase orders from end-users, meaning the new product is being accepted in Japan. - Tokyo, Japan NEC TO PRODUCE 16M DRAM IN THE U.S. ------------ NEC, who developed the technology to produce a 16Mb DRAM, will produce 16-megabit (Mb) dynamic random access memory chips in the U.S. The firm will start building the line at its Roseville factory in California. This action is designed to reduce trade friction between Japan and the U.S. Production is slated to start in 1993. Monthly production will be 1 million to 1.5 million units in 1994 and 1995. The total cost to build the 16M DRAM production line is expected to be 40 billion yen to 50 billion yen ($295 million to $370 million). - Redmond, Washington MICROSOFT STOCK SPLITS 3 FOR 2 ------------------- Hoping to make its stock more affordable to the average investor, Microsoft has announced a three-for-two stock split. Shareholders of record on June 18, 1991, will receive one additional share for every two shares they hold. Cash will be paid in lieu of fractional shares. ______________________________________________________________ > FROM THE PRESIDENT STR FOCUS SAM TRAMIEL'S ANNUAL MESSAGE ============================ ANNUAL LETTER TO THE STOCKHOLDERS ================================= During the year 1990, Atari Corporation improved its balance sheet and took steps to reduce inventory and operating expenses. While our subsid- iaries in Europe showed overall sales growth with good increases in the United Kingdom and France, our business in North America continued to ex- perience severe competition in the video game and computer markets and sales were down in 1990. For the year ended December 31, 1990, net income of $14.9 million on sales of $411.5 million. This compares with the net income of $4.0 million on sales of $423.6 million in 1989. During the second half of 1990, the Company repurchased approximately 40% of its 5 1/4% convertible subordinated debentures which resulted in a gain of $21.1 million. In the fourth quarter of 1990, the Company provided significant inventory reserves, including its traditional U.S. video game products, to reflect current market value. In addition, having substantially completed its liquidation of the remaining assets and liabilities of its discontinued operations of $14.6 million. Our performance in 1990 was disappointing from a sales and operating profit point of view. However as a result of the reasons above, the Company's balance sheet improved which resulted in net income of $14.9 million for the year. We are investing in new product R&D and this should help position the Company in the years to come. We are also concentrating on reducing our operating costs by various means including the expansion of independent subcontractors for production purposes. In the third quarter of 1990, Atari started shipping the Atari TT030 personal computer, based on the powerful Motorola MC68030 micro processor. The TT030, along with the MEGA STE, a 68000 based computer, add advanced products to our flagship line of personal computers. The STE and TT line continues to attract top software developers throughout the world and we are continuing to develop new hardware and software for this family of products. At the recent Hannover Fair (March 1991) in Germany, the Atari ST compatible Notebook portable and the innovative Atari STylus portable were introduced. The two machines have long battery life and the Atari STylus features a pen oriented operation with character recognition. As a result of our new marketing approach and a lower retail price point, the Atari Portfolio, our one pound portable P.C. advanced organizer, is doing well. New Portfolio software titles are being released in 1991 which should enhance the Portfolio's position in the marketplace. The Atari line of MS-DOS compatibles suffered from a continuing severe shortage of Intel 80386 microprocessors. With recent product announcements in the 80386 marketplace, we hope that this shortage will subside during the second half of 1991 and that we can reestablish this line in our distribution network. In our video game business we are very pleased with the consumer re- sponse sponse to the new marketing compaign and lower retail price points of the Atari Lynx as announced at the January 1991 Consumer Electronics Show. As a result of the release of only 12 titles during 1990, and the higher launch price, sales of the Lynx were slow. However, with the new marketing compaign and the plan to make available for sale over 40 titles in 1991, we expect a much broader mass market appeal. The Atari 2600 and 7800 continue to sell well in Europe while the market for these two products in North America is extremely slow. New table top video game consoles are planned for introduction in 1992. While we look at 1991 with caution due to the worldwide economic do- wnturn, we are confident that our present and future products will be well received. Thank you all for your continued support. Sam Tramiel, President """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= As a reader of STReport International Online Magazine, you are entitled to take advantage of a special DELPHI membership offer. For only $29.95 ($20 off the standard membership price!), you will receive a lifetime subscrip- tion to DELPHI, a copy of the 500-page DELPHI: THE OFFICIAL GUIDE and over $14 worth of free time. NOTE: Special offers can be found in your favorite Atari magazines: START CURRENT NOTES ST INFORMER ATARI INTERFACE MAGAZINE SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN -- DELPHI -------------- 1. Dial 617-576-0862 with any terminal or PC and modem (at 2400 bps, dial 576-2981). 2. At the Username prompt, type JOINDELPHI. 3. At the Password prompt enter STREPORT. For more information call: DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005 or at 617-491-3393 from within Massachusetts or from outside the U.S. DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, Mass. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT -------------------- The 20/20 Advantage Plan IS FANTASTIC! And it features 20 hours online for just $20 a month! The $20 is a monthly fee that covers your first 20 hours online via direct dial into one of DELPHI's two direct-access lines, or via a special Tymnet 20/20 Access code. It also gets you additional hours at just $1.20 per hour. And you get free access to several services on DELPHI as part of the Advantage Perks. Other telecom services may have additional charges. Canadian Tymnet users have an additional telecom charge. Office Time access (7 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekdays) may have an additional charge. And of course, other restrictions may apply. But this is still an amazing deal! For more information please contact: DELPHI at 1-800-544-4005 and ask for Member Services. DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > SOFT-LOGIK INFO CORNER STR InfoFile The latest NEWS from Soft-Logik =================================== SOFT-LOGIK ANNOUNCES PAGESTREAM 2.1 FOR ATARI COMPUTERS Soft-Logik Publishing Corporation brings the Atari Market the most dynamic desktop publishing program available - PAGESTREAM! Soft-Logik designed Pagestream 2.1 with many improved features as well as new features. Soft-Logik will continue, through its efforts, to be the leading desktop publishing software for the Atari. PageStream 2.1 is a desktop publishing program capable of supporting PostScript output, as well as dot matrix and laser printers. PageStream's outline font technology yeilds smooth, crisp results. PageStream displays multiple screen font styles, flows text around any irregular shaped graphic and supports resident and downloadable PostScript fonts. PageStream has many other advanced typographical features including kearning, tagging, hyphenation and variable x and y point sizes. Utilizing this user friendly program, one can rotate, slant or twist any object, output color separations and import graphics and/or text from many popular programs. PageStream also offers grouping, variable line and fill styles and many more extraor- dinary features. Pagestream 2.1 is fully integrated with AGFA Compugraphic's hinted outline fonts, as well as the Adobe Type 1 IBM format (without hints to non Postscript printers). Pagestream 2.1 displays these outline fonts on the screen plus prints them out to laser, dot matrix, inkjet, non-postscript and PostScript printers with stunning results. PageStream 2.1can draw polygons with Bezier cubic curves as well as the usual circles and straight lines. PageStream 2.1 can load and save tags separate from a docvument and provide the user with consistancy page after page. In addition, PageStream 2.1 will save documents as templates for future works of similar design. PageStream 2.1 allows for specifications of beginning and ending angles of arcs in 1/100th degree increments and rotation in 1/100th degree incr- ements. PageStream 2.1 enables the specification of font sizes in 1/100th point increments and positions, sizes and resizes an object to the same 1/100th of a point. In addition, PageStream 2.1 can provide extra large page dimesions (billboard size and beyond) plus the ability to easily "bleed" objects off the page. PageStream 2.1 has enhanced its color capability to provide users with a wider selection of colors to choose from. EPS custom colors are added ot the color palette when EPS files are imported. Users can now specify CMYK colors through a new color requester. PageStream 2.1 has greatly improved its support for various test and graphic files. With PageStream 2.1, users can now import any Aegis file that contains color andany GEM metafile that contains text. GEM Metafiles and Aegis files are imported into documents "grouped". In addition, Pag- eStream 2.1 adds support for the importing of such graphic files as ProDraw Clips, GIF and DR2D. Finally, PageStream 2.1 supports Adobe bitmap screen fonts which will provide users with faster screen redraws of Adobe Type 1 fonts. Overall, PageStream 2.1 enters text and gragics faster than ever before. PageStream 2.1 retails for $299.95. (very affordable) Registered owners of previous versions of PageStream can upgrade for a limited time for $75.00. Registered owners of Publishing Partner can upgrade for $175.00. All upgrade rates are subject to change. for more info: Soft-Logik Sales and Marketing 1-314-894-8608 1-800-829-8608 Technical Support 1-314-894-0431 *********************************************************************** :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!! <- GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission *********************************************************************** > The Flip Side STR Feature "......a different viewpoint" ========================= A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee You live and learn. Last week I discussed how I was going to be forced to paraphrase some posts from the ST RoundTable on Genie and said "...and thus, I will not be able to give the original poster proper credit. (If I give him credit, then I'm quoting from him - a Catch-22 situation.)" One of my readers wrote to correct me for this statement. He said what I was describing was plagerism, not paraphrasing. According to him, you either use the original writers name or at least attribute the paraphrased comments to someone, even if it's "an on-line source". I stand corrected. Last week we had a long discussion about laser printers, this week we'll hear about hard drive noises and how to fix them (hopefully). My column is so large this week, that I'll just get on with it... ---------------- From K.Duggan (Duggan DeZign) on the ST RoundTable on Genie... ...I would like to mention that my company produces a product line of Joystick holders. The products were designed to give game players an advantage when playing games, However we have recently had some orders from Handicapped facilities. I am happy to say that one of them took the time to write us back to say how much they liked the products, as they eliminate the need to hold the Joysticks while playing. I personally found a great deal of satisfaction knowing that our Products helped Handicapped people, and find it very rewarding. We are currently looking to get our products more involved in this area. The two products are: The Stik-Gripper, which is a Steel Joystick clamp which fastens your Joystick to a table top. The T.C.S. (Total Control Stand) which is a portable stand which you place on your chair (good for wheelchairs) and secure your Joystick, Track Ball, Mouse pad, Templates, or other devices to. It comes with Velcro to attach devices or clamps are available. If anyone is interested in more information about these products, contact us at the address or number below. We would love to help the handicapped for computing! Duggan DeZign Inc. 300 Quaker Lane STE # 7 Warwick, RI 02886 401) 823-8073 If you are interested, both of these products retail for under $20.00 ---------------- From Norm Wierness on Delphi... I got some info on ATW. It has been upgraded to use the H1 processor. It does 50 MHz internal, 5 MHz external and has many improvements. But don't ask me how you can get one, bug Atari...The reports of its death has been greatly exaggerated. ---------------- Question from David L. Leon on CIS... Does anyone know how to make an ST with a WuzTek Omnimon multi-sync [monitor] get a full 1000x800 rez in monocrome mode? I'd heard of such tasks being done. Answer from Lee (Lexicor Sofware) on CIS... ...there is two ways to do what you want. One is to write your own driver for the monitor. This will allow you to view programs in that resolution. This is how most big screen applications work...The second way is to get a graphics board like the ISAC or Albert board which run in high resolution, but keep the basic atari color palette in tact...There are also several "Big Screen " programs that will allow you to view large format picture files in low res. Answer from Jay Craswell (Dover Research) on CIS... ...my ISAC card which does 1024*768 in 16 colors...As long as you own a Mega/MegaSTe or a TT, I should have somthing for you! (612) 492- 3913 ---------------- Do you have a noisy hard drive? Maybe one of the following answers will help you solve your problem. All from CIS. (Note: the questions and replies were compiled from from 2-4 posts)... Question from Rob Ramussen... I have a MegaFile 60 and ever since I've had it, it has made a slight metallic noise that really grates on the nerves (it comes and goes, and sounds like being inside an airplane when its ready to take off). I leave my hard drive on all the time until I'm through with it for the day. I would send it in for servicing except it's hard to be without it now. The chirping sound actually goes away for a second if I lightly tap on the case. Sounds like it needs oil - is this possible!? Answer from Ralph Mariano (ST Report)... ...I have seen many of the "noise makers" silenced by the addition of a small piece of double faced tape or, something along those lines that add a small amount of mass to the strap at the point where it vibrates (usually at the shaft)...The small added piece stops the occilation but does not interfere with the ground potential...There's a small metal tab, usually brass or copper, very thin and spring like, that is soldered to the logic board on one end. The other end rests against the edge of the spindle. It's there to discharge any build up of static electricity. This tab (ground strap) has a tendancy to chirp, sing and yield various other oscillation tones as it ages. A small piece of adhesive tape etc. placed on the tab changes its density ever so slightly. Thus the oscillations stop ....DO NOT oil the drive! That will quickly end it all. Answer from Willie Pelzer... ...the strap that he [Ralph Mariano] is talking about can be seen if you turn the drive upside down (with the power OFF,of course!). It's poking out the bottom/middle. Answer from Greg Wageman... Many hard drives have a grounding tab that electrically connects the motor spindle to ground. This prevents static electrical charges from building up between the spinning platters and the read/write heads. Without this ground spring, the Whimhurst effect could cause a large static electrical potential to develop. If this were to discharge from platter to R/W head, it would destroy the head. The problem is that the spindle can "chatter" against this grounding spring, resulting in the high-pitched, metallic noise you are hearing...Unfortunately, I know of no fix for it. Sometimes it goes away spontaneously, but more often it just continues intermittantly or becomes constant. I would be very reticent to oiling the grounding spring; it's only a fraction of an inch from the drive electronics. I speak as a six year veteran systems administrator for desktop engineering workstations. Maxtor mechs seem to be the worst culprits. Not all drives will show the problem. I've worked with Unix systems that have had 5-1/4" drives from Fujitsu, Maxtor, Micropolis and Hitachi. Each drive has its own characteristic sound. On some the head positioning mechanism is the chief source of noise. The Fujitsu's sound like they are grinding gears when the heads seek. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention CDC, now owned by Seagate. The CDC 327 megabyte drives regularly developed this noise problem. I've never heard a Micropolis drive do it...The quietest drives I've yet worked with are the 3-1/2" embedded SCSI drives that come in the Sun SparcStations. They are so quiet its often hard to tell if they are actually working! The sticky tape solution sounds worth a try, though. Answer from Bob Retelle (Sysop)... ...in most cases a hard drive is mounted with the actual drive mechanism on top, and the circuit board on the bottom. The spindle for the mechanism usually protrudes through a circular hole in the circuit board, or is covered by the circuit board. In either case, the hard drive has to be removed from the enclosure to get to the bottom of the drive. If you have one with the spindle protruding through the circuit board, you will immediately see the spring everyone's been talking about. It looks like a flat finger holding the shaft into the mecha- nism. (It really doesn't hold the shaft in, it just looks that way.) If you have one with no hole in the circuit board, you'll have to unscrew the circuit board from the bottom of the hard drive (carefully, there are a lot of ribbon cables and wires between them). In either case, the simplest way to stop the noise is to put a small blob of silicone sealer (the rubbery stuff in a tube) on the outside of the metal spring (NOT between the spring and the shaft!). This will dampen the oscillation of the spring and hopefully silence it. I guess it's up to you whether the noise is irritating enough to dig that deeply into the works..! Question from Bill Hunter... I was interested if you had any stats on Megafile 30 breakdowns. My drive is 16 months old. Three weeks ago the drive seized up and did so again 2 weeks later. I wanted to know if this was a frequent problem.... Answer from Dan McNamee (Atari)... ...I assume by "seize" you mean that you went to turn it on, and the drive wouldn't power up? If thats the case, it definately sounds like a the mech has gone bad. The MF30's really have been good drives, though. When I was in tech support, I got extremely few calls on them...As a matter of fact, I have a MF30 here that I've been using nearly since I started working here (over 3 years ago) that is doing fine, and we have another on our BBS that has been running constantly (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) except for the occasional power out- age, and system move with narry a problem. Do you turn the drive on and off several times a day? This can cause extreme wear on a hard disk mechanism because every time you turn it on, it must spin the platters up to speed. If so, I would recommend that if you are finishing a session of use, but you think that you may do more later to just leave the drive on, or for that matter to always leave the drive on. ...The warranty on the drive is 90 days, so at 16 months, the drive is long out of warranty. You might also check with a service center about repairs. ---------------- From Richard Covert on the ST RoundTable on Genie... I recently bought a used Sony Magneto-Optical hard drive for my ST. It is full read/write and random access. The hard drive mechanism is a Sony SMO-501 optical and uses a double-sided cartridge (297 megs per side, for a total of almost 600 megs per cart). The cartridges are generic and multiple sourced (unlike the Syquest carts), I've found them selling for as low as $159 plus shipping. It's in a standard 5.25" shoe box cabinet and came with an ICD host adaptor. (The Sony has a SCSI interface, so hooking it up to an ICD host adaptor is simple.) It uses the latest ICD hard drive software; ICD has provided a modified version of their hard drive formatter so that I can format new blank carts. I got 330 KBytes/sec and 58 ms when I ran RATEHD on it. ..if you can get a good deal on the Sony mechanism and if you have lots of SW to backup, then check out the Sony optical drives!! ---------------- Question from David L. Leon on CIS... Has anyone heard any news on the Acer Multi-sync and the Atari STs? I was just curious if anyone had any positive or negative feedback on it. Answer from Jim Ness (Sysop) on CIS... ...this is second hand, but those who have posted messages regarding the ACER say that it works fine with the ST, but the mono mode is not exceptionally sharp...with the mono mode being just a tad fuzzy, they found it difficult to do any lengthy mono work...Basically, you get what you pay for in multisynchs. The ACER is very reasonably priced. ---------------- From Kevin Engler on CIS concerning whether you can use a Seagate ST238R IBM hard drive on a ST... You can use the ST238R with an ST, but not the controller card, simply because it's designed for an IBM's motherboard slots (which the ST doesn't have). You still need a controller, host adapter (I HIGHLY recommend ICD's), and a power supply. Unless you're cash flow situation is really tight, I'd recommend going with a commercial unit. As to which one, they're pretty similar, although you can't beat ICD's support. Check with your local dealer (if you have one). ---------------- Question by Robert Huggins on CIS... Spectre 3.0 is working like a dream except for one extremely annoying item...I end up with my screen display shifted either 0.25" or 0.5" to the left. Sometimes the display jumps over 0.25" and stays there, other times it will jump another 0.25", and, sometimes, it goes for the whole half inch right at first...when the screen display moves the *new* slice of display on the far left is showing what used to be on the far right hand side of the display. In other words, my hard drive icons, which are on the far right side of my screen suddenly "move" to the far left hand side. Also. these icons are accessed by moving the mouse cursor to the far right side, watching the cursor disappear, and searching for it on the left hand side. Any ideas? Answer from George Richardson (Merlin Group, Inc.) on CIS... ...what you're describing is a hardware problem that I've seen many times. It really has nothing to do with Spectre, although for some reason Spectre seems to cause it to happen more often than anything else. This is usually caused by a defective GLUE chip, but it could also be caused by the MMU chip. The system is not issuing the hori- zontal sync at the correct time...The SST *really* aggravates this condition. A reply from a "happy camper", Robert Huggins, on CIS... ...as I had a spare GLU chip, I took a screwdriver into my sweaty hand and swapped out the current one. Reseated the MMU while I had the case open. Did everything I could think of to cause the loss of synch (certain actions seemed to always cause it) and am unable to force the screen to "slip." Looks like it's "happy camper" time once again. ----------------- Until next week..... _____________________________________________________________ > WINDSOR REPORT STR SHOW NEWS EXCLUSIVE EYEWITNESS REPORTS! ============================ WINDSOR ATARI SHOW REPORTS ========================== THE WINDSOR ATARI SHOW ====================== Eyewitness Report 1 by Andrew Learner What a lovely city, Windsor is. Truly amazing since it is right across the river from Detroit. You cross over to the Canadian side via this monstrous black suspension bridge, which glitters with lights at night, and pass through a check point. If you have nothing to declare,(ie purchases, tobacco, booze etc.) they pass you right through. The city is clean, and tidy...people actually walk the streets right through the evening, children play carelessly. Windsor/Detroit International Atarifest, was held in the huge gymnasium of the St. Clair college. It is just over the river from Detroit, about a forty minute trip from Detroit airport. I guess I enjoyed this show. When you come back from any event, thoroughly exhausted, but excited about what you have done or seen, it is cause for enjoyment. To say I had some fun is an understatement. This trip wasn't without some grief though. I started out the trip by missing my plane. As a few of you might know, I casually offered my airline ticket for sale at our last club meeting. Due to my continuing unemploy- ment, I was thinking of not going. Then, friend and club member Jeff Raders called me late last week, and suggested that I be his guest in Detroit, as he had to stay over the weekend, his company had him working in Michigan this week anyway. I nearly missed the flight on the way back also. We were busy at the hotel playing with the new software, and sliced the time very thin. I pondered it anyway. I knew that there were going to be many bargains, of both software and hardware. I would have to really be careful not spend too much money. Okay, I'll admit it was like being a "kid in a candy store"! Even though our local shows in Gurnee have turned out the people, I haven't seen an event with so much dealer/developer support. Atari Canada, and US were both represented. The bargains were unbelievable. STacy 2 - $1300, Mega STe4 $1400, color stereo monitors - $475. These were the Canadian prices!(subtract 18% for US prices) The elusive TT030 was there to be purchased, right off the floor. They sold the last one for $2100 (that's $1722 US folks!) At the beginning of the show, the TT030's were stacked 40 high! Every piece sold! Of course the software bargains were in abundance, and too numerous list here. Just imagine every program available for the ST, at a fraction of the original price! Even the developers themselves had a few bargains. But, I couldn't find a new BBS program anywhere. Oh well, I guess it's mail time. SCREAMING GADGETS! The highlight for me , was hearing Dave Small lecture about his new board for the Mega, the SST030. To say it is just an accelerator board isn't doing it justice. His "published" clock speed is 33Mhz, for the CPU, and quotes some startling Q-Indexes. (Like 3500% increase in speed over the normal ST!) Improved technology impresses me yes, but, the manner in which Small delivers a talk is captivating. Both sessions he gave were filled to the rafters, with curious ATARIANS. Dave mentioned that Atari has already licensed him to include the new TOS 2.02, with his board. Judging from his descriptions of past dealings with the Corp, this feat was nothing short of miraculous. One major difference I can see immediately about the SST, is that most all the current software will in fact run in the system. If the particular program, doesn't like the faster clock speed, the board reduces it's speed to a comfortable level the program will endure, without breaking. (Dave uses the word "break" instead of "crash"). All the standard peripherals, monitors, etc, are still supported. George Richards, is working on a series of video boards, one which will display 256 colors from a palette of 16 million! If all this sounds like mumbo-jum- bo, voodoo electro-babble, I have left out most all the techno-stuff. If you are of a mind to find out this sort of stuff, read one of Small's ar- ticles. He writes as cleverly as he talks. You will hear much adieux, about this board, I'm sure. But just read his stuff for the lighter side effects of his work. During this past weeks GEnie online conference, Dave and George fielded questions regarding the board. And on the spur of the moment whim, Small gave away through a roll of the dice one of the new boards. I was number 25, number 24 won! THE WINDSOR ATARI SHOW ====================== Eyewitness Report 2 A GREAT SHOW FOR SEEING ALL THE NEW GOODIES! ============================================ by Dan Stidham St. Claire's Community College in Windsor, Ontario was the site of the first ever international Atarifest co-ordinated by user groups from dif- ferent countries--The Windsor Atari User's Group and the Washtenaw Atari User's Group. Official show direction was provided by Brian Cassidy of the Windsor group and Craig Harvey of the Washtenaw group who also happens to be the author of an excellent editing/hacking utility called EdHak. Woulda made PT Barnum proud... ------------------------------ Key promotional assistance for the show was provided by Bill and Patti Rayl of Atari Interface Magazine. From reading online posts and speaking with the Rayls personally, this show was one of the most thoroughly promoted Atari events in memory. Promotion tools were diverse and included adver- tisements in the Detroit Free Press, the Windsor Star, the Ann Arbor News and several other local papers. According to Bill Rayl, the newspaper ads ran for a month prior to the show at a cost of over 1,000 dollars. Detroit and Windsor area stations ran a special ad on network affiliated TV stations (as a public service) and a local cable station ran a half-hour show dedicated to the Atari line of computers and the upcoming show every night for a week prior to the show. Over 200 copies of a show kit were sent out to various usergroups in the mid-west, New York and Canada. Ads were also ran in national ST publications such Atari Interface, ST Informer with press releases sent to ST Journal, Current Notes and Atari Explorer. Personally I felt the facilities (taking into account that it wasn't held in a hotel convention center) were top-notch, the best I have seen. A large colorful Atari banner hung over an information table where tickets were being sold near the entrance of the main lobby for the college. After buying your ticket for four dollars(US or CND) you would go down a long hallway, make a right then a left, pass by a small concession area and enter the double doors of a huge gymnasium. The booths were set up around the perimeter of the gymnasium with three island strips in the middle of the floor. There was plenty of room to walk around, even if the show-goers were two or three deep in front of booths. The booths were professionally set-up with blue curtains used over a booth frame. Atari was there with a double wide, double deep booth displaying all of their latest hardware including the TT030, the 1040STe and the Mega STe, Portfolio and the incredibly good-looking and sleek SLM605 laser printer. Their booth was back to back with a large Atari dealer out of Toronto, Canada called Savetech, whom Atari Canada had supplied with an inventory that would make a red-blooded American ST'er turn green with envy. Large stacks of hardware in boxes made up the bulk of a pretty impressive display. And just what was in them thar boxes? TT030/2/50's, Mega STe 4/50's, 520- STfm's with SC1224 monitors, Megafile30's and 60's, 1040 STe's and Stacy 2 portables with 20 meg hard drives. The prices were also great which I will get into later. Savetech took out a large ad in a local Windsor paper detailing the inventory they would have at the Windsor show. The ad was very professional looking and included pictures of the "TT030 Graphics Workstation", the Mega STe, etc. The prices were even more impressive, the likes of which I will get into later in this article. (my Windsor video, announced in a press release elsewhere in this issue of STReport, has some thorough footage of the Savetech booth and a close-up shot of the ad they ran). The dynamic duo of Atari/Savetech was positioned strategical- ly, smack dab in the middle of the floor and made up the entirety of a large squarish middle island. Canadian Customs...quite a tradition, eh? ---------------------------------------- Many dealers took advantage of a generous offer by Atari Canada to provide loaner machines to avoid the hassle of bringing their equipment across the border, and a hassle it was. I produced a video for the show and had brought along lots of video gear while my assistant, Scott Haynes, brought along an Atari Mega ST2, hard drive and monitor. The customs people stopped us for about an hour as they suspiciously checked over all of our equipment. I knew we were in trouble when the customs agent saw the Atari logo and commented, "What's wrong with Amiga eh? Why don't you have an Amiga eh?". Scrambling to stay under the good graces of this apparently brain-washed bureaucrat, I groveled unashamedly and said, "Geez thats funny you should mention that because I am into video and I was just telling my friend here (Scott), how I wish the Atari would come up with some good GENLOCKing hardware and software to go along with their new genlocking and graphics capabilities, and how if I had an Amiga I could do all my video- -editing on the computer ala Desktop Video on the Amiga." Dropping my head in betrayed disgust, the customs agent looked at me pitifully while I shook my head. Moved with compassion for a fellow byt- e-meister who apparently had not seen the light and was suffering for the error of his ways, the Yogi-bear looking agent, folding his arms and leaning back on the car parked next to ours, took a deeply reflective breath, and proceeded to elucidate mercilessly and smugly on the perfectness and com- pleteness of his Amiga world, and how he was using it in his organic chemi- cal business to make brochures(yes the guy was a self-taught organic chemi- cal marketing mavin). After about 10 to fifteen minutes of contrived am- azement (using such expressions as, "No!? Really" and "Something Else!") the customs agent seemed satisfied that he had put us in our pitiful, sl- ime-pit place and let us go. By the way, he mentioned that all of the customs agents used Amigas (which is probably why many Atarians experienced hassles crossing over). Early commitments to the show were slow coming in but the event gathered alot of steam and snowballed the last coupla months (hows that for mixing metaphors?) with over 36 vendors and developers exhibiting including Gadgets by Small, Codehead Software, Double-Click, Gribnif, DA Brumleve with her kidprg's, GoldLeaf, ICD, Branch Always, MegaType, MS Designs, Nice and Software, Rimik Enterprises, SKWare One, Wiz Works, Dr. Bob, C-HQ, Unicorn Publications, Taylor Ridge, Phil Comeau, Intrinsic Software, Music Code and lots and lots of vendors (there was plenty of competition). Having said all of the above, there are not alot of excuses to make for an honestly disappointing turnout. Everything was done up right and all the right people came to this party. Great facilities, unprecedented advertising, major developers, fanatical ST users--it should all add up to 2-3 deep in front of booths. As it turned out I had very little trouble getting good shots with my camera and experienced very few incidents where a giant blob would fill my viewfinder. Maybe the only legitimate excuse is there ain't that many of us fanatical users out there. But then again maybe there were those, state-wide, who felt there would be too much trouble crossing over; this may be a good possibility but still an excuse. Nevertheless, despite the fairly low turnout the per capita sales of nearly all the developers I spoke with were very satisfactory. Myself, I had a great time as I always do when I get to meet up with fellow ST users and developers. So my verdict: It may have been a disappointing turnout but if you turned out it wasn't disappointing. Final attendance has been es- timated from between 800 to 1200 for the two day show. I definitely have to go with the latter number. There were approximately 500 people attending Saturday and 700 on Sunday. Moving on one discovered many new products and upgrades as one went from booth to booth: ********************************** Atari Corp. ********************************** On hand from Atari US and Atari Canada were Bob Brodie, US manager of Usergroup Services, Geoff Earle, Atari Canada President and GM, and Rob McGowan and Mark Campbell of Atari Canada. This group of Atari payrollees underscored the downright friendliness and approachability of Atari's cor- porate staff. They jumped right into the crowd discussing Atari's marketing plans and products. They genuinely seemed to be having a good time and were very upbeat about the product line in their booth which included the TT030, the Mega STe, the highly successful Portfolio, an incredibly good- -looking and _quiet_ SLM605 laser printer that hooked up to the TT running Calamus that constantly was cranking out some incredible looking documents. Also on display in the booth was the STacy 2 with 20 meg hard drive and a 1040 STe running some colorful demos. Geoff Earle also revealed during his video interview a price reduction, announced shortly before the show, of the 1040 STe to $499 Canadian from a previous price of $695. I under- stood, but could not confirm, that Atari US has also reduced the price on the 1040 STe's, the only new computer in the Atari line to be licensed for home use, to $399. ***************************** Branch Always ***************************** If there was any doubt as to Darek Mihocka's continued commitment to the Atari platform it was completely obliterated at this show. Darek was demoing an upcoming release of Quick ST 3.0 that he billed (and proved) as being even faster that the present release of 2.2. Q-ST 3 will feature acceleration of line A functions and even faster GEM functions, impacting the speed of some DTP applications. But this, like, just scratches the surface. Quick ST 3.0 which will be commercially released at the Vancouver Atari Festival, will feature even more customization options including customized fonts and desktop icons with the font and icon editor built-in. Background picture customization, which has always been an integral part of Q-ST will now allow Prism Paint formats (Lexicor's paint program) and (surprise) Windows 3 files besides the standard Degas and Neo pics. You will now be able to download all of those great Windows pics from GEnie or your favorite BBS and use them as your desktop picture. Q-ST 3.0 will also allow background (and provide sample pics on disk) pictures on every TT resolution setting including 1280 by 960, the latter requiring about 150K. Darek told me that Chet Walters and the guys from Wiz Works are going to help him find some nice img's for that rez to include on the disk. The new version of Quick View that will come with Q-ST 3.0 allow viewing of all these pics and if you decide, "Yeah, thats the one..", all you'll have to do is press a toggle key and it will instantly become your new back- ground. If that wasn't enough customization, you will now be able to customize everything for individual programs, Darek states in his BraSoft newsletter (which he was giving away at the show), "...if you like to use one font with ST Word and another with Flash! Or, have a custom desktop pic with PageStream but one with Word Up, so be it..." Believe it or not, I have saved the most impressive for last. Darek showed me a new version of MonSTEr that will allow emulation of any TT resolution on any ST screen! I saw it in action and it was operating very smoothly. MonSTEr will also allow the user to customize his virtual screen to any matrix the user wishes (for instance, say, 700 by 700) up to a cer- tain yet-to-be-determined limit. I personally feel that this version of MonSTEr could sell all by itself for Quick ST 3.0's new price of 34.95 list but, wonder of wonders, in the tradition of power without the MAC price, Darek is bundling it with Q-ST 3.0. ********************************** C-HQ ********************************** C-HQ stands for Command HeadQuarters and if any of you were at the WAACE show last year, these were the fellas helping work WizWorks booth. C-HQ had on display its full line of in-house artist rendered and superbly scanned IMG and Degas clipart disks. C-HQ was also selling disks of cus- tomized NeoDesk and DC Desktop Icons with over 1200 icons included on one disk! Each of around ten clipart disks had a special theme and were selling for a ridiculous price of $10.00. I don't know if this was a show price or not but the quality for the price should have been too good to pass up (guess who forgot to buy a couple in the midst of taking notes and asking questions?) for anyone who uses DTP. ********************************* Clear Thinking ********************************* Craig Harvey, president of Waug in Washtenaw, MI, one of the sponsoring user-groups of this show, is the author of the popular editing/hacking utility EdHak, previously available as shareware from various online ser- vices. While interviewing Craig at his booth to gather info for this ar- ticle, I was so impressed with EdHak's functionality and practicality that I purchased a copy as did my video assistant Scott Haynes. EdHak 2.13 can be run as either a DA or program by simply changing the file extender, and is packed full of features that can accessed from a drop down menu within the file window or with keyboard equivalents. I found some of its more useful features in Edit mode (as opposed to Hak mode which can be entered via an ALT-T toggle) which included the ability to append and merge files on-the-fly within the editing window. Are you keeping a running account of something or keeping a diary? EdHak features an autoload feature that will, upon boot-up (if EdHak is installed as an accessory) or when the program is run from the desktop, automatically load in a text file (your diary for instance). Further enhancing its diary usefulness is the ability to append, auto-stamp dates (in any format you wish), and encrypt files. Other features include launching of programs (PRG, not TOS), word-wrap, search and replace, block cut and paste and text macros. Entering Hak mode is as easy as pressing ALT-T (T for toggle as Craig explained). In this mode EdHak acts as a very versatile disk sector or RAM editor. There's lots more but suffice it to say, in Craig's own words, "EdHak is the ST DA and PRG that is there when you need to edit anything." I guess you could expect to pay a pretty fair price if you were purchasing this great little utility for one of the other platforms but Craig was offering it for an unbelievable $15.00 show price (US) with a regular retail of $18.95. I own STeno and am now using it to compile this report ( I haven't had a chance to install EdHak yet) but I would have to say that EdHak is the best text editor available at its price. By the way, the documentation is excellent and features a keyboard command summary which can be separated from the rest of the manual. Hold on just a minute, Craig was also demoing this strange little program called MetaPsychology that offered a tutorial and quizzes that offered a pretty sophisticated examination of ones psyche. Word has it that Craig is going to link this program with EdHak and allow you to edit your head if you want! Amazing! Anyway this GEM driven program was pretty popular at $9.00 US and sold, according to Craig, fourteen copies on Satur- day. What a curious lot, them thar ST'ers. ********************************** Codehead ********************************** Besides giving me one of the most memorable moments I have ever had, (buy the video!), Charles Johnson was on hand with John Eidsvoog demoing, along with HotWire and Codekeys, their latest upgrade to Maxifile, version 3.0. Its list of features is quite long and features a unique scroll box, allowing one to scroll through source and destination files simultaneously. Charles told me that this upgrade is so complete and thoroughly packed with features, many of which were requested by Maxifile users, that Codehead, so far, hasn't received any further suggestions in the box. ********************************** D A Brumleve ********************************** Dorothy Brumleve was again the favorite attraction for those little bit-meisters as her booth offered a chance to try out her colorful and easy-to-use Kidprgs. Dorothy had two 1040STe's set-up, each one running either KidPublisher, KidPainter, KidGrid or Telegram; the latter being the most recent release, fall of 1990 at the Waace show. Dorothy had one of the more interesting table displays at the show. All four of her programs were slotted into a staircase display made up of large colorful pre-school Duplo blocks. Dot reported that on Sunday she actually sold a couple of ST systems to parents who had been contemplating a system for the family and were imp- ressed with the entertaining and educational Kidprgs. Dot promptly and personally escorted them over to the Savetech booth in the middle of the floor where they made their first-ever ST purchase. Way to go Dot! ********************************** Double-Click ********************************** Demoing DC Desktop, DC Shower and other offerings in a quiet little corner booth were them Texas boys, Mike Vederman and Paul Lee. I was really impressed with Paul Lee's new-found Canadian accent. Seems like this guy readily adapts to regional flavors and reminds me of Woody Allen's _Zelig_. Anyway explaining to me that DC Shower was not an X-10 type of controller for all of your bathroom plumbing, Paul demonstrated that when installed in an auto folder, DC Shower will enable you to view anything from the desktop, just by double-clicking on it. Anything includes arc files, all kinds of picture formats, and text files. UIS 3.3 now can incorporate the functionality of DC Shower from its own Show selection, therefore enabling one who has UIS installed as a DA, the ability to view the above within any GEM program. ********************************** Gadgets By Small ********************************** The focus of this booth was definitely on the 68030 SST accelerator board that is very close to release. According to Dave Small, waiting on PC boards from the manufacturers is the only thing holding up its release. "Specializing in speed and compatibility", Gadgets has tried to walk a delicate balance of speed and software compatibility as they developed and tested out this unit. Initial testing has proven successful and although I cannot give a compatibility list, we can be sure that Gadgets By Small is obsessed as though it were their mission from God to make sure your favorite program runs (witness Spectre GCR). Atari reports that 80% of its existing software library runs on the TT so you'll get at least that kind of harmony coupled with Gadgets "fixes" to tune up lots more compatibility problems. To try and give even a brief overview of the engineering genius that went into this product would cover many more paragraphs than appropriate for this report. But gleaning the excellent article in Gadgets own promotional literature Dave passed out at the show, one discovers that speeding up memory access by allowing you to upgrade your Mega 4 with up to 8 megs of fastRAM is the theoretical basis on which dave has approached the design of his accelerator. Dave is providing some fastRAM utilities that will run transparently in the auto folder ensuring the loading of your programs into fastRAM. A coprocessor socket is also included that will receive a 68881/2 floating point chip, with the chip coming standard in the 33 MHZ SST. Dave has also taken a modular approach to marketing and packaging the SST to allow the user to determine his entry point and upgrade path. For instance if you (or your pocketbook) are satisfied with a 16 MHZ 68030 SST, you can start there and upgrade in the future. This approach will also allow users to buy their own chips in case they can get them cheaper. ************************************ Gribnif ************************************ Gribnif, as always, was one of the more popular booths with many show goers taking advantage of the ability to upgrade on the fly. Rick Flash- man and Tricia Metcalf were on hand demoing Neodesk 3.0, the up and coming upgrade to the Neo CLI and CardFile 2.0. Gribnif bought the rights to this indispensable schedule and address accessory, added a few things and wrote a nifty manual. Major Neo CLI upgrade features include a configurable, scrollable his- tory (very powerful implementation) and the ability to write batch files that will allow the use of the mouse to choose selections in a menu. I think Gribnif was quite surprised that several show-goers brought colaware payments to the booth for their popular FormDoIt dialog box cus- tomizer. I hope they had room to bring back all those twelve packs! ******************************** GoldLeaf ******************************** GoldLeaf Publishing was on hand demoing WordFlair II, the front end to the new great line of products they are now marketing under the "Direct to Press" banner. Although they did not have ReTouche Professional running, they did have an absolutely beautiful slide-show running, that demonstrated the fruits of its incredible drawing and photo retouching capabilities. I started to videotape just a few of the pics and was so awed that I kept the camera rolling and captured the whole demo on the show tape. GoldLeaf was also demoing ProFlight on a TT. Imported from Europe, it is a simulator so realistic as to having a high degree of instructional potential. It does seem that GoldLeaf is executing a very organized game plan to become one of the major publishers and distributors of high-end software in the USA. ********************************* ICD ********************************* Jeff Williams, ICD's new public relations officer, was on hand with another very friendly fellow (don't shoot me, I forgot to write his name down!), meeting show-goers, selling host adapters and accessories, and showing off the ICD FAST tape back-up unit. The tape back-up unit was selling for a show special $849.00. ******************************** Intrinsic ******************************** Intrinsic Software from Toronto, Canada, was demoing and selling a very solid command line interpreter, called (what else?) Command!, complete in its features and able to run as either a DA or a program. Regular price on this is $24.95 while Intrinsic offered a show special of just $19.95. ******************************* ISD Marketing ******************************* Seen throughout the show roaming the floor, harassing fellow vendors, and demoing DynaCadd and Calamus was Nathan Potechin, president of ISD Marketing. Mario Georgiou from ISD was also there demoing the new, soon to be released, version of Calamus SL, showing off its color capabilities. To be honest with you I was probably more fascinated by this guys great french accent than anything else. SL was being run on a tower-encased TT030. I videographed this as well as most other reports mentioned in this article on the Windsor video. ****************************** MegaType ****************************** Don Turnock was demoing and selling his Fontverter program as well as two excellent imports called Font Designer and Font Designer Plus. The latter will create and edit type 1 Adobe fonts with hinting, while the former allows for Type 3 font creation. Don also had available a great little utility called Type 1 Converter that allows one to load in an industry standard type 1 font and export it into .ECF(font Designer Format) for subsequent conversion and export for use in an ST PostScript application. Font Designer was selling for $95.00, Font Designer Plus for 175.00, FontVerter for $45.00 and the Type 1 Converter for $35.00. Seems like MegaType is quite a one-stop source for all Calamus and PageStream font editors and aficionados! One note: MegaType was also carrying the Safari product line, fonts and EPS clipart, from Computer Safari in Woodland, CA. I took advantage of a tremendous offer on the huge Clipables EPS clipart selection. Selling normally for $125.00, MegaType had it on sale for $85.00. This collection contains over 600 illustrations in a variety of themes. Every graphic is depicted by classification and references to its disk number in the cata- logue. The catalogue was originally meant for the MAC but applies equally as well to the ST version which Computer Safari has licensed from C.A.R. Publishing, taking all the hassle of ST conversion into their own hands. ******************************** MS Designs ******************************** MS Designs had a booth next to MegaType and was displaying a line of fonts for both Calamus and PageStream. Most of the fonts were display fonts and all ten groups of display fonts sold for a show special $160.00. MS also had two clipart value packages containing IMG clipart at a show special $10.00 (regular price, $20.00). ******************************* MusicCode ******************************* MusicCode was displaying a critically appraised voice development system along with a program of a entirely different color, BlackJack 3. This program boasted the capability to teach casino-style blackjack and promises to enhance your performance (wonder if that means you'll play with style while you are losing money or you'll win with a wild-eyed, crazed look?). BlackJack 3 was selling for $59.95 and had a beautiful and complete screen display (see it in the video!). ******************************* Nice & Software ******************************* Nice & Software pulled no punches with their display, simulating a point of sale terminal(two of them) made up of the ST and monitor running the Cricit integrated Cash Register and Inventory Control package. Called the Cricit Bar Code Plus System, Nice and Software boasted that you could own this complete system for the price of a cash register (minus bar-code hard- ware). The Cricit system allows for bar-code reading directly from pack- aging, customized receipts, mailing lists, periodic reports, lay away sear- ching, auto-discounting, stock searches, issuance of coupons, ability to network up to six cash registers and more. This system is incredibly easy to use and so much fun playing around with that you want to start up a retail business just so you can use this software (OK, I got carried away). Questioning Igor Tertysznyj (hey! isn't it illegal to string that many consonants together?), he revealed that there are over 500 Cricit systems installed worldwide. Nice & Software now also carries a neat little box called the DMA sw- itcher that among other functions, will allow you to turn your SLM laser printer off if its not in use. Four DMA devices or four computers can be hooked up to the A/B/C/D ports depending on whether you want to network one device to four computers or four devices to one computer. Nice was also showing its Lantech 10 megabit local area network cart- ridge, boasting 10 times the speed of SGSnet, which uses the midi port to accomplish its networking. On its show flyer Nice claimed that Lantech can transfer a 400K file in 17 seconds as compared to SGS's 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Selling for 179.00 per node, Igor Tertysznyj of Nice informed me that the UIS Net software was actually developed on a Lantech and works quite well with it. ******************************** Phil Comeau ******************************** Phil's GramSlam software was being demo'ed and claims to check for over 1200 common grammar and writing-style problems. It works in conjunction with all word processors and text editors and even checks for spacing pr- oblems, unbalanced parentheses, doubled words, incorrect abbreviations, and obnoxious spiels (just kidding). Phil was also demoing TreeSaver ("Save a Tree Today"). TreeSaver claims it works with most dot matrix, ink jet and laser printers. One nice feature is its ability to run either as a DA or from the desktop as a program. A look at Phil's sample printout reveals one of its biggest departures from the ever-popular DoublePage Printer IV by Doug Wheeler. Whereas Doug's program prints two pages side-by-side in landscape mode, TreeSaver prints with a portrait orientation. TreeSaver was selling for $24.95 CND; GramSlam $39.95 CND. ******************************* Rimik Enterprises ******************************* Richard Betson, formerly of Talon Technology, has gone out on his on his own and was present at the show showing some interesting products. Richard had one computer running MultiGEM, a mulitasking product from Europe that seems to use the desk accessory slots to load in six independent programs. MultiGEM allows the user to adjust and allocate memory used by programs, even those who like to claim all the memory to themselves and claims the ability to run TOS based programs. After having some initial problems getting the program set up, I later came by the booth and noticed it run- ning, seemingly without a hitch, Retailing for $99.95, MultiGEM will work with ST's and STe's running TOS 1.2 or higher. Richard stated that the active window of the six programs being multitasked receives priority, but emphasized that processing still occurs in all other programs. Richard also had an interface attached to an ST color system employing the light gun used by the 8 bit machines. Several kids and adults were seen shooting skeet out of the air with it (similar to duckhunt). Richard promised that the ST light pen would be out on the market very soon and come bundled with the skeet game. Also being displayed was the Menu Plus program launcher and DT Paint, an accessory pant program for DTP'ers. ******************************* Savetech ******************************* For Americans at the show the Savtech booth was a revelation to a total- ly different world. Easily the largest booth in the show, Savetech featured stacks and stacks of Atari product for sale to the general public that can be obtained only from VAR's in the states, let alone in the middle of an exhibition hall. TT030/4 with 50 mg hard drives were stacked in a display 20 boxes high and were being blown out at $2300 CND by show's end. The exchange rate being 13:10 on that day, this translated into approximately $1800 US. Stacy 2's with 20 meg hard drives were being offered for $1350 CND (about $1,000 US). Mega STe's were available on the first day of the show for $1,900 CND and dropped another $300 CND on Sunday (approximately 1200 US). Portfolios could be had for $250 CND, 520 STFM's with color monitors for $450 CND, and 1040 STe's for $440 CND. How 'bout (pronounced boat in Canada) the archaic little SX212 1200 baud modems selling for $20 CND? ******************************* SKWare One ******************************* One of the first products I wanted to see upon arrival was SK Ware One's ColorScan program. Even though I was disappointed that this nifty little program didn't do what I was dreaming of (true reproductions of color from scanned image) I was still impressed with the quality of conversion it did. This program will take a scanned img file, convert to a color picture of your palette choice (different shades of red or blue, etc) and then export it in eight different formats. It does highly detailed work with no stair- casing and the results are beautiful. For $59 you can't go wrong with it. ColorScan is an impressive program with lots of potential and has been in development for over six months. ******************************* Taylor Ridge ******************************* Taylor Ridge reps were on hand selling copies of Clayton Walnum's C-Man- ship book and program-listing disks ($19.95 US for book and $10 US for two listing disks). Also being sold was a book titled Beyond Nintendo Masters co-written by Clayton Walnum and Andy Eddy, and forwarded by Orson Scott Card ($9.95 US) ******************************* Unicorn Publications ******************************* Bill and Patti Rayl had alot of fingers pointing at and ooh's and aah's floating in the direction of their booth. No, Bill wasn't bending forks with his mind, they had some incredible Lexicor animations running on an STe. About 10-15 disks of Lexicor animations were being made available for $6.00 a disk, 2 for $10.00, five for $20.00 and so on. About half of them also ran on the older ST's. I bought all six of the ST compatible disks, ran them as soon as I got home and was very pleased with the quality. I highly recommend these to anyone who wants to turn your computer into a conversation piece at a user group meeting or a family get-together. And, of course, Bill and Patti were selling Atari Interface Magazine subscriptions and tee-shirts with a past cover silk-screened on the front. ******************************* Wiz Works ******************************* Chet Walters was demoing the latest version of MugShot, MugShot Plus, version 1.5. This very easy-to-use, fun-filled, fully icon driven program added a Plus to its name for a very good reason. By clicking on an icon of a hand painting a face you enter into a full-featured paint program with excellent brush and spray control to fine tune your mug creations. Of course, as usual, Chet was giving away a free MugShot mug with every pur- chase of MugShot. I had an interesting and heart warming experience at Chet's booth. After having MygShot Plus demo'ed to me and my video guy, we were so imp- ressed that we both bought a copy. Chet then pulled out a data disk and gave it to each of us explaining that he was also impressed by out honesty, noting that we very well could have copied the disk. Wiz Works gets very little proportionate return on some great software and I am impressed that he would show his users even more respect. ******************************* Dr. Bob's ******************************* Dr. Bob, William parks was showing the latest update to MVG. The good doctor was also passing out a large glossy calendar that I saw in lots of peoples' hands. Every once in a while I would see William walking around in shades trying as much as possible to be incognito and hide from the software groupies. Finally, Geoff Earle and Bob Brodie announced in their seminars an interesting new program that will be on trial this coming November 23 & 24 in Chicago, Illinois. Atari plans on doing two or three of these shows where they will work in conjunction with local usergroups to put on a well backed extravaganza in top-notch facilities. Geoff and Bob also announced that workshop will be set up at these shows that will be manned by developers and handles more like a classroom. There is so much more I could have reported on but to be honest with you I have run out of steam and time. Be sure to look in future issues of STReport for more in-depth reviews of some of the software spoken about above... Take care. ___________________________________________________________________ > ATARI INTERVIEW STR InfoFile Windsor/Detroit Atarifest ============================ A CHAT WITH G. EARLE ==================== transcribed by Dan Stidham (The following is the transcript of a videotaped interview with Atari Canada President Geoff Earle, taped at the Windsor/Detroit Atarifest this past weekend. Interviewing Geoff was Daniel Stidham, producer of the show video that is available now for sale. Contained herein is some excellent topical material, especially pertaining to the release of new products in the US.) ________ DAN Hello... we are very pleased to have with us, Geoff Earle, Atari Canada President and General Manager of overall operations--thank you for joining us Geoff--briefly describe your responsibilities at Atari. GEOFF I am responsible for the bottom line at Atari Canada. I am responsible for all the marketing and sales of the Canadian Corporation. DAN How did you become connected with Atari--where did you start in the organ- ization? GEOFF I got connected with Atari, uh, first of all years ago, I used to be in the retail business with a popular Canadian called Nathan Potechin and, uh the two of us used to sell alot of commodore 64's. As a matter of fact, we were the largest independent dealer for that product. That's how I got involved in computers. We got involved in the Atari line because some of their people went to Atari computers, as you know, they convinced us to do that and we did and we evolved from that, from the retail business, after having enough of that into various ventures including some software and hardware. We mostly concentrated on the ST line at that point because we thought that it was the product for the future. I came from the software background into um, Atari Canada's national sales manager and assumed the position of GM approximately one year ago. DAN So from Commodore 64's to Dynacadd on a TT030, that's a pretty good evol- ution! GEOFF I wouldn't call it Dynacadd, I don't think I'm quite as good as Nathan at explaining and marketing its features, but, yeah, thats pretty well it. DAN What are Atari's short and long term marketing goals as pertaining to the ST/TT line of computers in a very competitive North American market? GEOFF That's a good question. Our short and long term goals are relatively the same. Now I can some it up by saying that we want to provide quality in- novative products, high technology, at an affordable price. Now, no matter whether thats a month down the road or twelve months down the road, that will certainly be our focus. Uh, in Canada as you know, we are in a reces- sion, times are tough. We want to offer the consumer good value. One of the ways that we have done that is by taking a popular product like the 1040 STe and bringing down the retail price on that by a couple of hundred dollars overnight. DAN And what is that new price by the way? GEOFF The street price on the 1040 STe is $499 Canadian. That's an incredible price. DAN Wasn't it, at one time, around $650.00, I know that in the USA... GEOFF $695 Canadian back in February. DAN Where do you see Atari in the market. Do you see Atari as having a small niche and if that's so, is Atari satisfied with that as long as they can be consistent with it? GEOFF I, uh, I don't know if Atari corporately is satisfied with that. I don't believe so. I certainly am not. I think that the hOme market is something that Atari has always been very good at marketing to, I think we should continue to do that and we should continue doing that with products like the 1040ste and the Mega STe. The TT gives us now a different market that we can go after and start to expand that market--higher education, UNIX systems, uh, areas like that uh, and I look forward to that. However, in Canada, we are certainly not going to look over the home market. That, to me, is the most exciting and changing market that is available today. DAN Could you please explain the difference in Atari Canada getting the TT030 and Mega STe out to the general public, as compared to the USA's inability to do so thus far. Is there a difference in the release versions, is there different licensing and certification standards? You here innuendos, speculation and rumors fly on such online services as GEnie concerning the FCC Class B process. You walk out on the exhibition floor and see a vendor with a stack of about 20 TT030's. There must be a good reason for this. GEOFF Thats my whole warehouse sitting out there at that dealer, uh, so,(chuckle), um the real reason is that in Canada we can achieve CSA approval alot faster, uh, than what they can FCC approval in the US. Now I don't know why but the Canadian testing people seem alot quicker to react When we have a product that we want to get tested, we apply immediately, they are very quick in responding, we get the product in, we get it tested, we get it approved. DAN It (TT) is basically the same design as the US version? GEOFF Its exactly the same. DAN But they're saying in Canada its fine for home use but in the US so far you haven't gotten that type of approval. GEOFF Thats right, but I think FCC also goes through another approval process that has to do with our alpha emissions. In Canada its two separate proces- ses for that and they can work simultaneously, but its two separate divisions. And, uh, so we can have this thing done at the same time, con- currently, and approved whereas in the US it goes through the one process and then the next. DAN So its just not true if you have these out in Canada for home use, there is no reason you would be holding back in the US? GEOFF You would have to ask the American authorities on that, there's no reason corporately why they would back. DAN But accusations get thrown all over the online services like, "They're not really interested in the Class B approval, they're just interested in the vertical market." But I guess Atari can make the argument that if its here in Canada for home use there's no reason why they would be holding back in the US. GEOFF You would have to ask the American authorities on that. There is no reason corporately they would hold back. DAN But the substance of the accusations, as you know, is that Atari US is, presently, content at having its release in the vertical realm and aren't just trying hard enough for general release. GEOFF In the seminar we just had, Bob Brodie said, "Listen, if you hear rumors they're just rumors. Get on GEnie contact Bob Brodie on GEnie and he will dispel the rumors." They are not holding product back specifically in the US because they want to mistreat the US consumer. Thats craziness. We're not in the business to lose money. You lose money when you do that. DAN Well, the TT030 doesn't look like mistreatment to me. Thats a great com- puter and I think I'm ready to buy it whenever it becomes available. GEOFF Well, I think my dealers have some good prices.. so, you should buy it today in Canada instead of buying it in the US (smiling). DAN Well, I'm waiting for 4 megs of ST Ram plus 4 megs of TT FASTram, the units you have out there have only the 4 megs of ST ram. GEOFF We have some in the warehouse I think, we can probably build that up for you if you need it. (salesman grin). DAN (pause) Gosh, he's putting me on the spot here,(laughter), well...shoot I brought my Visa Gold with me today, I think I can meet that challenge. I'm going to change gears here for a moment... What are Atari's plans for the ST Notebook and what market, when Atari was developing this, were they planning on aiming at? Are they competing with Mac and PC's or are they wanting to champion the whole thing, taking major market share from both platforms with such a small, easy to use system, lasting hours on AA bat- teries for economy and convenience... GEOFF Geez, you answered it all so I don't need to! Anyway when we first started the interview you asked me if there were any questions/topics not to touch on, I said I'd let you know...you now know(laughter) DAN Oh, OK... GEOFF No. no in all fairness, in all fairness...it was a product that was dev- eloped because its an exciting product idea, its innovative, that market is going that way, there is alot of notebooks out on the market now. We think we can do it better and we certainly feel that we can do it at a lot better price, which is important. Thats why we're there in the market. At the same time we feel like we can make some money with it! There's nothing wrong with that. The product is not available and will probably not be available until the first quarter of 1991. So its very premature to talk about it now. I cannot even give you suggested retail prices. Its an ex- citing product, I thinks its certainly a market that if we are not in, uh, our absence in that market, uh, people will start to ask questions, and uh, we should be there, so we will be. DAN By first quarter next year you think? But there's so many PC notebooks out there already. GEOFF I agree but there is not alot of PC notebooks at what Atari will be able to offer for, at the price. DAN Ok, fair enough. Last question here. Any new products that you are allowed to discuss here that are in development or can you talk abstractly about the direction Atari is going to take in future development? Have you read John Scully's book detailing his hiring from Pepsico to Apple and how he goes on in the book about how Apple has an R&D philosophy where they are looking ahead, say, fifty years...does Atari have that type of R&D? GEOFF I think we do but I think our feet are more on the ground. Anybody that can look fifty years ahead is not of this world (smile), and uh, we are of this world. I think that is alot of hype where someone tells you they are looking fifty years ahead. If we can look a year ahead and two years ahead and three years ahead and be there with the products, thats exciting. One of the things that Atari is trying to attempt, and with the reorganization of Atari where they've moved some of the engineering off-site and moved it to Dallas, and they have engineering in Israel, all around the world basically, uh we're trying to attempt to always be on the leading edge and we're researching the new products that are there, what's going to be down there. Hand-writing recognition is going to be one of those products, we want to be there and we will be there. Fifty years down the road, who knows. Next Year? Yeah, we'll be there with what's there next year. DAN Thank you for an excellent interview, thank you for taking your time, you are an articulate representative for Atari Canada. _______________________________________________________________ > WINDSOR VIDEO STR InfoFile "Get 'em while they're hot!" ========================== ITS HERE AND ITS HAPPENIN'! announcing the 1991... ********************************************** WINDSOR/DETROIT INTERNATIONAL ATARIFEST ___ __ ____ \ / | | | | | | \ / | | | |-- | | \ / | | | | | | \ / | |__/ |__ |____| ********************************************** So you couldn't make it to the show? DON'T WORRY! BE HAPPY! Thanks to the modern miracle of video technology AAA Images will bring the show to you! NO HOME MOVIE MISH-MASH HERE! NO SIR!! ***************************** * * * PROFESSIONALLY SCRIPTED * * * ***************************** ENJOY an entertaining, informative, revealing, and (at times) hilarious account of the first international user-group sponsored Atarifest. ****************************** FEATURING... ****************************** > Fast-paced video montage of action on the exhibitor floor set to some EXCELLENT background music! > Incredibly vivid screen shots of color ST/TT demo's - Lexicor animations, GoldLeaf's Retouche slide show presentation, Calamus SL TT030 demo, and many other self- running art and program demos! > Great footage of your favorite devel- opers and Atari guys - Bob Brodie, Atari Canada's President/General Manager Jeff Earle, Nathan Potechin, Darlah Pine, Dave Small, Elmer Fudd and many, many more! > See stacks of TT030's and Mega STE's on sale to the public! ************************************* EXCELLENT INTERVIEWS WITH... ************************************* > Jeff Earle - Atari Canada President gives an informative and very artic- ulate interview, outlining major Atari marketing objectives, addressing the controversial FCC Class B quagmire. Jeff also gives us a concise and interesting bio of his computer life and times. > Nathan Potechin discusses the ISD line of products and reveals how ISD has been working to break down Atari bias in the Fortune 100 business community. > Charles Johnson - this guy was soooo busy that we were only able to corner him in a very compromising position in the St. Clair's Community College Men's Room!!!! SEE THE FIRST AND ONLY INTERVIEW EVER DONE FROM THIS BATHROOM! (take that Geraldo!) With his back to the camera and a mic stuck in his face Mr. Johnson describes the Maxi- file back-door potential, product upgrades, and much more! WHAT A GUY! > Darlah Pine ^Gdiscusses the success of the ST RT on GEnie and reveals future plans! 9600 baud coming soon?? Find out... > Bill and Patti Rayl of Atari Interface Magazine give an excellent interview discussing the evolution of their ever-increasingly popular magazine and their future plans. ************************************************************************ A very SERIOUS AND PROFESSIONAL APPROACH was used to produce, script and edit this great keepsake. Equipment used: RCA CC311 Pro-Edit, Videonics Direct-ED Plus editor w/ graphics/character generation, Vidi-Craft SRT- 100 A/V mixer, Audio-Technica external mic and Aztec lighting. *********************************************************************** *********************************************************************** This tape was mastered on an extremely high-quality pro-mastering tape. *********************************************************************** ********************************** ORDERING INFORMATION ********************************** *********************** * only 19.50!!!!!!!!! * * w/free shipping!!!! * *********************** > E-MAIL your VISA/MC # and exp. date, name as it appears on card and shipping address to D.STIDHAM on GEnie or... > Call/Write AAA Images at: 3809 Feather Lane Elsmere, KY 41018 (606) 342-5660 or (606) 342-9129 Enclose a check or money order or your VISA/MC account info as described above. > E-Mail or call/write a COD order (add 3.00 for COD) Make checks/money orders payable to AAA Images ____________________________ > CODEHEAD UPDATES! STR InfoFile SOLID, ONGOING CUSTOMER CARE ============ CodeHeadQuarters Friday, May 10, 1991 For Immediate Release --------------------- HOTWIRE & MAXIFILE III New & Improved! HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - CodeHead Software has announced major upgrades for their flagship programs, HotWire and MaxiFile! The GEM Desktop environment of Atari's ST computers is simple to work with, but limited in many, many regards. Windows and icons are fine for some tasks, but poorly suited for others. ST software developers have been aware of this from the beginning, and a number have even produced "replacement" environments for users who find GEM too limited. Strangely enough, the most common approach taken in such replacement environments is to emulate the GEM Desktop! The Desktop's general look, functionality - and drawbacks - are reproduced, with only some additional bells and whistles to make it "better." But imitating the item you're supposedly replacing is hardly revolutionary. The approach taken by CodeHead Software's HotWire and MaxiFile III contrasts sharply with that of the GEM desktop and its imitators. HotWire is a full-featured program launcher, which makes running an application as easy as picking an item from a menu you design. HotWire completely eliminates the time-wasting drudgery of opening window after window and folder after folder to run programs. Instead, you simply click the mouse on the title of the program you wish to run, or type its assigned keyboard equivalent - press W to run your word processor, for example. You can create as many menus as you like, and even set up menus to load other menus! You can keep track of the time you spend in each program and the names of any documents on which you worked, with the help of "ledger" files. You can set up to 16 alarms (including daily, weekly or monthly alarms) that will go off in any program! And, in its latest update (version 3.1), HotWire is even more powerful and flexible than ever, with support for color-coded menus, "global blocks" of programs and/or documents, special hooks for synergistic communication with MultiDesk, MaxiFile, and other CodeHead programs, and full STe and TT compatibility. MaxiFile III is a file-handling utility par excellence, providing features and flexibility far beyond that of the GEM desktop or its imitators. Furthermore, MaxiFile III can be installed as a desk accessory, available from the Desk dropdown or via the shareware Little Green Selector (included with the package). This means you can format and copy disks, copy/move/delete/rename files, etc., from within most common ST programs. Here are just a few of the incredible new capabilities of MaxiFile III: o the ability to search any drive (or combination of drives) at lightning speed for files or folders according to their time/date stamps, archive bit settings, or up to 16 simultaneous extensions - then instantly jump to that path and select all matching files! o a "dual display" mode that shows you both source and destination directories at once, in scrolling windows. o a "safe deposit" feature that protects you from accidental file deletions in a fast, legal, transparent manner. o TRUE MS-DOS floppy disk formatting. o a "graphic disk info" display that shows the space on all connected drives both numerically and with a bar chart, including cumulative totals for all selected drives. o a blazingly fast text file viewing mode, with scrolling up and down via mouse or keyboard, tab settings, and fast string search abilities. o keyboard equivalents for every operation, including selecting files and folders in directory windows! Owners of the original MaxiFile will definitely want to upgrade to MaxiFile III - there are so many new features that an entire new manual had to be written to accompany it! Used individually, HotWire and MaxiFile can make working with your ST easier, but when used together these programs become a complete, integrated replacement for every aspect of the GEM Desktop. You can run programs, install documents, manage files, set system configurations - do just about anything you can do with the GEM Desktop, all from simple, configurable menus. You may never need - or want - to use the GEM Desktop again! And memory isn't a problem either. HotWire and MaxiFile III can be memory-resident or loaded and unloaded as you need them; they work fine both ways. Furthermore, both products are fully compatible with all release versions of Atari's TOS operating system. From the smallest 520ST to mightiest TT030, HotWire and MaxiFile III work without fail. CodeHead Software products are well known and widely respected, but some more casual users may have the mistaken impression that these programs are for technical types. Not so! CodeHead Software is for anyone who wants to make the most of his Atari ST/STe/TT. If you aren't using CodeHead Software, you're wasting computing power! For more information, contact us at: CodeHead Software P.O. Box 74090 Los Angeles, CA 90004 Tel (213) 386-5735 Fax (213) 386-5789 _____________________________________________________________ > Hard Disks STR InfoFile ***** ABCO PRICE CHANGES! ***** ======================= ** EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! ** ABCO COMPUTER ELECTRONICS INC. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672 Est. 1985 _________________________________________ Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM - 4 PM EDT BBS: 904-786-4176 12-24-96 HST FAX: 904-783-3319 12 PM - 6 AM EDT _________________________________________ HARD DISK SYSTEMS TO FIT EVERY BUDGET _________________________________________ All systems are complete and ready to use, included at NO EXTRA COST are clock/calendar and cooling blower(s). *-ALL ABCO HARD DISK SYSTEMS ARE FULLY EXPANDABLE-* (you are NOT limited to two drives ONLY!) (all cables and connectors installed) * ICD HOST ADAPTERS USED EXCLUSIVELY * OMTI HIGH SPEED CONTROLLERS * * ICD ADSCSI+ HOST ADAPTERS * FULL SCSI COMMAND SET SUPPORTED * * SCSI EMBEDDED CONTROLLER MECHANISMS * WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< Deluxe 2 bay Cabinet w/65w auto-switching PS Model Description Autopark Price ================================================== SGN4951 51Mb 28ms 3.5" Y 479.00 SGN1096 85Mb 24ms 5.25" Y 549.00 SGN2055 105mb 19ms 3.5" Y 679.00 SGN6277 120Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 789.00 SGN1296 168Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 1019.00 ================================================== ADD $35.00 for 4 BAY Super Cabinet w/250w PS PLEASE NOTE: The above is partial listing only! CPU ACCELERATOR & MEMORY UPGRADES AVAILABLE & INSTALLED >> ABCO is now taking orders for 1040 & MEGA STe Computers! << Call for VERY special Introductory prices! ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ****** * SYQUEST 44MB (#555) >> ABCO "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE * - SYQUEST 44 MB DRIVE - ICD ST ADSCSI PLUS H/A - ICD Utility Software - 3' DMA Cable - Fan & Clock - Multi-Unit Power Supply (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart. --->> SPECIAL! NOW ONLY __$ 645.00__ <<--- WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< COMPLETELY ASSEMBLED AND READY TO RUN! Cart and Utility Software Included! EXTRA CARTS: $ 74.50 DRIVE MECH ONLY: $ 349.95 ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ****** * TWIN SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVES ... PROGRAMMER'S DELIGHT * SPECIALLY PRICED ** $1019.00 ** Includes TWO cartridges! * SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE AND HARD DRIVE COMBINATIONS * - Syquest 44 Model  and the following hard drives - 50mb SQG51 $ 819.00 85mb SQG96 $ 1019.00 LOWBOY - STANDARD - DUAL BLOWER CABINETS CUSTOM CONFIGURATIONS AVAILABLE WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< 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 COMPATIBLE WITH --> SUPERCHARGER - AT/PC SPEED - GCR LARGER units are available - (Custom Configurations) *>> NO REPACKS OR REFURBS USED! <<* - Custom Walnut WOODEN Cabinets - TOWER - AT - XT Cabinets - * SLM 804 Replacement Toner Cartridge Kits $42.95 * * Toner Starter Kits $49.95 * * Replacement Drums $183.95 * >> MANY other ATARI related products STOCKED << ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED -* 12 month FULL Guarantee *- (A FULL YEAR of COVERAGE) WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< 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 ABCO is EXPANDING!! CALL FOR INFORMATION! ____________________________________________________________ > A "Quotable Quotable" ==================== "WHAT DO YOU MEAN??..... ATARI IS NOT A GAME MACHINE ANYMORE?... THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS MAC!" ...Willy Rubberwrist """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International Online Magazine? Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport? "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" May 10, 1991 16/32bit Magazine copyright = 1987-91 No.7.19 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors, staff, STReport? CPU/MAC/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 entire contents, at the time of publication, are believed to be reasonably accurate. The editors, con- tributors and/or staff are not responsible for either the use/misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
- Next message by date: Bruce D. Nelson: "Z*Net: 15-May-91 #9120 (Z*Break)"
- Previous message by date: Bruce D. Nelson: "Z*Net: 10-May-91 #9119"
----------------------------------------- Return to message index