Z*Net: 14-Jun-91 #9125From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 06/16/91-10:34:18 PM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: Z*Net: 14-Jun-91 #9125 Date: Sun Jun 16 22:34:18 1991 ==(((((((((( == Z*NET INTERNATIONAL ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE =========(( === ----------------------------------------- =======(( ===== June 14, 1991 Issue #91-25 =====(( ======= ----------------------------------------- ==(((((((((( == (c)1989-1990-1991, Z*Net Publishing "FLAG DAY" "HAPPY FATHERS DAY" CONTENTS THE EDITORS DESK................................Ron Kovacs Z*NET NEWSWIRE............................................ NEODESK ACCESORIES DISK REVIEWED.................Ed Krimen Z*NET ATARIWATCH 1991 CALENDER............................ COME TO TERMS....................................Drew Kerr MIST ATARIFEST UPDATE........................Press Release GRIBNIF UPDATE...............................Press Release REVIEWS FROM ATARIUSER...............................Quill MS-DOS 5 FIRST IMPRESSIONS....................Mike Mezaros ======================================================================= THE EDITORS DESK ---------------- by Ron Kovacs ======================================================================= A high point this week, although NOT Atari computer oriented was the New York City parade, "Operation: Welcome Home", for the soldiers of the Iraq war. If you were there it was a spectacular event! I work just a few minutes from the city and it was worth attending. I've caught a few comments on line this week about Z*Net and AtariUser being the same thing, and "why get AtariUser if Z*Net is going to reprint everything from AtariUser". Let's put this notion to sleep again. AtariUser and Z*Net are very separate ventures by separate staffs on separate coasts of the USA... a mere 3,000 miles apart. John Nagy is on both staffs, but there is no management overlap. Z*Net provides a page of Newswire items for printing in AtariUser, and AtariUser permits reprinting of selected items in Z*Net. We run the monthly "viewpoint" article plus one or two other items out of the 14-15 articles in AtariUser each month. It should be obvious to anyone that this cooperation shouldn't remove the "value" of either publication. The fact is, there is only a small percentage of readers who regularly read both Z*Net and AtariUser, but together, Z*Net and AtariUser reach perhaps 100,000 different people in a month. As far as we can see, nearly everybody gains by the arrangement. We'll continue to cooperate, and the few vocal isolationists can just get used to it. By the way, we're told that the July issue of AtariUser is at the printer this weekend, and should enter distribution channels by the 20th of June, for delivery to most outlets by the 27th. And last, I want some feedback on the following suggestion I received in FNET email this week from three seperate individuals. Perhaps a set-up is under way, but I will not judge these requests yet. Two of the people sent me 8K reprints of the Constitution, requesting reprint in a nearest July 4th Z*Net. Pass along your comments - sure - no - or don't care. ======================================================================= Z*NET NEWSWIRE -------------- Information Not Innuendo ======================================================================= THREE TAIWAN PLANTS UNDER ATARI CONTRACT Although Atari has sold their Taiwan production facility for $60 million, it now contract with THREE plants in Taiwan alone. Production is way up at last, and cash flow is greatly improved. Atari just decided that it can do better as a contractor than as an owner. The results of this and other moves should hit the US shores in July, when literally up to 25,000 units a MONTH will arrive in the USA. NEW MEGAS SHIPPING TO BE MEGA 1's Most of the arriving Mega units will be the one-meg no-hard drive model. These can be upgraded in seconds to 2-meg, but to go to 4 meg may require installing a pair of sockets. The holes will be there, although soldered closed. The operation should be able to be performed from the outside of the case, opening only the hard drive cover. There is still no word on what the range of offering or prices for Atari's hard drive kits might cost for installing the internal drives. WORDPERFECT REQUEST Ataris' developer man, Bill Rehbock, has asked Z*Net to clarify what he is looking for in support for a new revision of WordPerfect. The company is hesitant to release version 5-point-something because of fears of insufficient sales. Bill has been actively soliciting reports from users as to their actual reasons for not buying WordPerfect to date, including bug reports. So far, Bill tells Z*Net that his mail has been primarily negative, bashing him and Atari for flubbing the WP deal. What he NEEDS are letters to take with him to WordPerfect in July. Those letters should say what YOU think about WordPerfect, both in the current incarnation for the Atari and what would make you buy a new version. Reasons you didn't buy the existing version are important too. Atari Corp, Bill Rehbock, 1196 Borregas Blvd, Sunnyvale, CA 94088. And /or direct to WordPerfect, 1555 North Technology way, Orem, UT 84057. Z*NET INTERNATIONAL NEWSWIRE NEW SUPPORT FOR ST System Solutions will begin selling professional software and hardware, including the MegaSTe and TT030. In addition to focusing in the UK, products will be distributed throughout Europe and North America. SS has alrady secured exclusive distribution rights to several products, including a library of over 100 Calamus fonts, graphics programs and hardware enhancements. The first products to be sold will be accelerators from the US. CeBIT MIDI NEWS Steinberg showed Cubase working under M*ROS Midi multi-tasking system and Synthworks SY77/TG77. C-Lab displayed Notator notation, Aura music education and Midia analysing programs. AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION RECOMMENDATIONS The Victorian Ministry of Education and Training have recommended Atari computers. The 1040STE is recommended as follows: General Curriculum Use - As part of the Atari ST range, the 1040STE supports a variety of simple word processing, database and spreadsheet packages which operate within a graphical user interface. A limited range of adventure game/ simulation software is available to support cross-curriculum activities. A proprietary brand of LOGO is available as is a robotics kit. For schools wishing to work with video, a Genlock is available. CODEHEAD SELECTS SS Codehead Software has selected System Solutions as their new UK distributor. Available thru SS will be, MaxiFile 3.1, Hotwire 2.4, MultiDesk, Lookit, Poppit, Codekeys and the Codehead Utilities for $29.95 each. REPRO SELECTS SS Trade-it has selected System Solutions as their UK distributor for Repro Studio and Repro Studio Plus. This software will be available, bundled with Logitech scanners and retail for $399 plus VAT. 16 BIT SHOW IN JULY The Fourth International 16 Bit Computer Show will take place between July 12 and 14th at the Hammersmith Novotel. Z*NET INDUSTRY NEWSWIRE IBM INTRODUCES DOS 5.0 IBM announced DOS 5.0, an enhanced, single-tasking operating system that provides lower memory requirements than earlier versions of DOS, improved performance and an easier-to-use interface. DOS 5.0 offers the simplest installation of any version of DOS yet, by allowing users to choose from only two screens of installation options. In addition, a DOS 5.0 Retail Upgrade Package is available for users who are upgrading from a previous version of DOS. This package enables the system to automatically retain configuration information, eliminating the need to copy files and transfer them to the new version. DOS 5.0 is priced at $165 and additional licenses are priced at $125. Customers can upgrade from DOS 2.1 or later through the IBM Retail Upgrade Package for DOS 5.0 for $85. DOS 5.0 supports all models of the IBM Personal Computer and Personal System/2 families, with the exception of the PCjr, PC XT/370 and PC AT/370. MICROSOFT UNVEILS MS-DOS 5 Microsoft announced the immediate availability of Microsoft MS-DOS 5, which contains major enhancements that bring greater functionality to all DOS users whether novice or advanced. As in the past, Microsoft will distribute MS-DOS through PC manufacturers for use on new computers. Currently, more than 130 PC manufacturers worldwide have licensed MS-DOS 5 for their customers. These 130 manufacturers accounted for nearly 90 percent of the DOS-based PCs shipped last year, according to Microsoft estimates. For more information on MS-DOS 5, contact Microsoft at (800) 992-DOS5. Read Z*Net's first impressions of MS-DOS 5 in this weeks edition. ======================================================================= NEODESK ACCESSORIES DISK VOLUME I REVIEWED ------------------------------------------ by Ed Krimen ======================================================================= When I received the April issue of ST Informer, I saw the small article/ press release at the bottom of the first page announcing a new set of desk accessories for NeoDesk. One, called Item Chooser, selects items in a NeoDesk directory window, depending on the criteria you have set. Another, called Call NeoDesk, allows you to bring up a window containing the NeoDesk desktop, complete with icons, desktop picture, and pull-down menus. After reading about Call NeoDesk, I just had to have it. Item Chooser, I could do without <grin>, but the two of them come bundled together. Of course, both desk accessories require NeoDesk, but they require NeoDesk version 3.02. I had version 3.01, since I had sent in my upgrade from 2.05, so I still needed to obtain the patch program. Thankfully, the patch program which converts the NeoDesk 3.01 files on your master disk to 3.02 was uploaded to Internet's atari.archive file server. Gribnif charges $5 for this upgrade if you order it from them directly. I do believe it's also being distributed on the on-line services and electronic bulletin boards. Remember, however, that this patch only converts NeoDesk version 3.01 to version 3.02; it does not contain the desk accessories which I am about to review. The desk accessories must be obtained directly from Gribnif for a price of $10 plus $2 shipping and handling. I left Dan Wilga a note before I tried to order the desk accessories, asking him about them. He told me that they weren't quite ready yet, but that he'd send me a press release via e-mail soon. I received the release in less than a week. After waiting a couple of weeks for the press release to mature in my mailbox, I called Gribnif, with credit card in hand. The pleasant voice on the other end of the line told me that the minimum amount that one may now charge is $17. It used to be $20, but Gribnif lowered it since offering the desk accessories and the patch programs. They calculated that people would order NeoDesk Accessories Volume I ($10) plus the patch program ($5) and the shipping and handling ($2), so it would come to a cost of $17. Alas, I had already obtained the patch program, and really didn't want to spend an extra $5; besides, I wasn't THAT anxious to get the desk accessories. <grin> So, I decided to mail Gribnif a check for $12 to cover the cost of the desk accessories and shipping and handling. It took about 3 weeks to receive the package, which contains only a NeoDesk Accessories Volume I disk and your pink invoice slip. There was no hard-copy documention. The documention is installed on a READ_ME.TXT file, which I think is a good idea because it cuts down on the cost of the desk accessories. Such minute applications don't require paper documentation; you can print it out on your own. Moreover, the single- sided disk contains four files: CALL_NEO.ACC, I_CHOOSE.ACC, I_CHOOSE.RSC, and READ_ME.TXT, for a total of 22565 bytes. I skimmed the docs very quickly. It is a habit of mine to do so, even for freeware and shareware files; I want to know what the program does before it scrambles my hard drive. :^) I didn't expect the two NeoDesk desk accessories to be too complicated, so I quickly jumped right in. I entered 'CALL_NEO' and 'I_CHOOSE,' as required, in the Accessories section of the Set Preferences box. I also copied them to my boot drive (C: since I have a hard drive -- floppy users would use A:) and rebooted. Then, in the desk accessory slots under the Desk menu, "Item Chooser" and "Call NeoDesk" appeared. Since I wasn't too thrilled about getting Item Chooser in the first place, I selected "Call NeoDesk." I was already at the NeoDesk desktop, so it reminds you that you're there. After all, the purpose of the desk accessory is to allow you to access NeoDesk from inside another program. It doesn't make any sense to allow you to access it from NeoDesk. :^) Therefore, I loaded up WordWriter and a document. I then selected "Call NeoDesk." In less than a second, a full-screen window appeared, containing the NeoDesk desktop I had just left. I had run WordWriter from an open folder, so that open folder also appeared on the screen in its own window, not restricted by the size of the NeoDesk window. All three windows -- the NeoDesk desktop window, the open folder window, and the WordWriter window -- were all selectable and resizable, like normal windows. I selected the NeoDesk window, and it popped to the top of the stack. I could also send it back to the bottom of the window stack by holding down the ALT key and clicking on the full-size box (in the upper right hand corner of the window). I was able to scroll around the window, revealing different parts of the desktop. The standard NeoDesk menus are available inside the window, but they are different from the conventional drop-down menus you are accustomed to on the ST. They resemble the pull-down menus on the Mac, where you must select the menu by holding the mouse button down, and when you let go, it will execute the menu item which is under the mouse pointer. For those of you who have STeno, the NeoDesk window differs in that the STeno menus require that you first select them with the mouse button, release it, and then select the desired item again with the mouse button. Accessing the NeoDesk menus in the window was a bit awkward at first, since I was accustomed to the style which STeno uses -- but it's easy to adapt. Quitting the NeoDesk window is as easy as selecting the close-window box (in the upper left corner) or by hitting CTRL-Q, which is the same keypress for quitting NeoDesk. The NeoDesk window gave me access to every function, but two, I could do at the desktop, except of course, I couldn't run a program from it. Remember, I was already in a program and trying to run a program from a desk accessory. It would have been nice to be able to do so, but it's nearly impossible on the ST, since it would lead to memory fragmentation. The two things I noticed that I could not do is reorder files and edit icons. Another benefit to the desk accessory is that it only takes up 7K, according to the READ_ME file. The other desk accessory which comes on the disk is Item Chooser. I wasn't real interested in it, but I took a look at it and it's pretty nifty. When you have a drive window open, you can select Item Chooser and enter in different criteria, explaining which files you want to select. These criteria include templates, size, date stamp, time stamp, types (read-only and archive). You can also tell it to select everything BUT those files matching the criteria you have outlined. You can save and load different configurations. It's a very handy desk accessory. So, my final assessment of these programs is the following: both programs add to the flexibility of NeoDesk; however, you'd have to decide for yourself if you may find them useful. I don't have a particular need for Item Chooser, but I would see how some users may want to copy or move some files with a certain date stamp, for example. Item Chooser would be very helpful for this, expecially with a lot of files to select. Before I got Call NeoDesk, I wondered if I would still use Universal Item Selector. Well, I still have both installed, and I've used Call NeoDesk quite a few times. I don't plan on getting rid of either one. It's more convenient for me to copy files from within NeoDesk using CALL_NEO than from UIS III using the CALL_UIS item selector, but UIS III is still extremely useful as its main purpose, a replacement file selector. Call NeoDesk also seems to be somewhat of a nifty hack, however, to show that the desktop call be called from inside a program. It can come in handy sometimes, but UIS III via CALL_UIS can also do most of the things that Call NeoDesk will allow. My suggestion is that if you really are indeed a NeoDesk fanatic or need specific use of either program, I'd get the NeoDesk Accessories Disk. If you use NeoDesk rarely, then don't bother getting the disk. And, as always, I welcome suggestions, questions, and comments via my GEnie address, E.KRIMEN. ======================================================================= Z*NET ATARIWATCH 1991 CALENDAR ------------------------------ ======================================================================= THIS WEEKEND: June 15-16 PACIFIC NORTHWEST ATARIFEST June 15th and 16th at the Steveston Senior Secondary School, 10440 Number Two Road, Richmond B.C. Canada. This is the first major Canadian Atari show west of Toronto, and is just across the US border from Seattle. Contact Terry Schreiber at (604) 275-7944. CANCELLED !!!! June 29-30 CANCELLED!!!! The Great Lakes Atari Computer Users Conference at the Mercyhurst College Campus Center (501 East 38th St.) in Erie, Pennsylvania. CANCELLED!!!! GLACUC, call Patty Marshall at 412-225-8637 July 20 Blue Ridge AtariFest, Noon to whenever, Saturday July 20, Westgate Shopping Center, Asheville, North Carolina, at I-240 and US 19-23. Contact B.R.A.C.E., Van Estes, 704-685-8358 July 27 MIST AtariFest III in Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday, July 27th, sponsored jointly by the user groups at Indianapolis and Bloomington known as MIST (Mid-Indiana ST). Held at CADRE, Inc., 6385 Castleplace Drive, Indianapolis, IN. Bill Loring, 812-336-8103. August 8-11 GEN CON, the world's largest Game Convention (12,000+), at MECCA in Milwaukee Wisconsin. MilAtari Ltd. will host a computer gaming section again. August 23-25 Dusseldorf Atarimesse. This is the huge all-Atari show held annually in Germany. Contact Alwin Stumph, Frankfurterstrasse 89-91, 6096 Raunheim. Phone 49-6142-2090 FAX 49-6142-209180 September 14-15 The Southern California ATARI Computer Faire, Version 5.0, also known as THE GLENDALE SHOW has been confirmed for September 14 and 15, 1991. Contact: H.A.C.K.S., 249 N. Brand Bl. #321, Glendale, CA 91203, or call John King Tarpinian, Faire Chairperson, 818-246-7286. October 12-13 WAACE AtariFest '91, Sheraton Reston Hotel, Washington D.C./Virginia, contact J.D.BARNES, 7710 Chatham Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. October 21-25 Fall COMDEX Las Vegas Nevada November 23-24 Chicago Atari Computer Show BY ATARI. Contact Larry Grauzas, P.O. Box 8788, Waukegan, IL 60079-8788, phone 708-566-0671. Administrated by the Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts (LCACE). ======================================================================= ~~~~ COMING TO TERMS ~~~~ ------------------------- Part One ======================================================================= "Where Term Programs Go One On One In Death-Defying Comparison Tests!" by Drew Reid Kerr GEnie D.KERR1 DELPHI DRKERR Crack open the "Telecommunications" section of any on-line library and you're likely to find countless propgrams that seem to have the common suffix "term." It seems every other programmer concocts their dream terminal program, hoping to make it to shareware heaven. Then there are the ones that you buy for real, reaching to be the upper echelon of term programs. So I decided to lay these programs side by side and let them strut their stuff. I downloaded them from GEnie, DELPHI, Compuserve as well as getting sample copies of on-market items. Some of them were only available in demo format on-line, so this is what I had to go with. Who would be the King of the Terms? First let me share with you my approach and criteria. I am not what you would call a real egghead type of guy. I don't have patience for the real nuts 'n' bolts programming stuff like script languages. When I go on-line, I don't want to think twice. I just want to see that beautiful "CONNECT 2400" across my monitor and then let me do my dirty work like file uploads and downloads. I don't want to spend the next half-life figuring out what's what every time I turn my modem on. This is my feeling towards selecting a term program. Each program is being rated from 1 to 10 in these categories: EASE OF USE, DOCUMENTATION, and FEATURES, plus an overall rating. I am not saying this is the final word on any term program -- if you agree or disagree, drop me a line. I tried to upload the latest version of every PD program. Programs are divided into three categories: BASIC: DTerm AVERAGE: VanTerm 3.8, ZC-Term, Cowboy Term X-TRA LARGE: Flash 1.6, GIMETERM, Aladdin, STealth (Note: John Nagy will be reviewing the new version of STalker/STeno, and all current versions have been taken off the market. Therefore, I'm leaving this one to John) (I did not review Uniterm because it is at least three years old and the documentation would give Herman Melville the willies) One thing I noticed: that every program offered at least one very good feature, which probably reflect the programmer's wishes. Gentlemen, start your engines.... COWBOY TERM 1.10 by Troy H. Cheek (Shareware) A good little program that has a lot of potential. Setting up the dial directory is pretty straightforward. What makes this program stand out is its autologon sequence -- none of the other PD programs could match it. This means that when I click on Cowboy Term to dial DELPHI, it will dial the number and automatically log on with my user name and password. The send and receive set up is a little tricky, involving inputting a command line from scratch and then the path of your protocol program. Multi and single dials involve clicking on box to delineate the selected bbs. HAS: Make and delete folders, shows directory or files on screen, free space indicator, function key macros. DOES NOT HAVE: Z-modem, text editor, clock, V100 support. EASE OF USE: 6 DOCUMENTATION: 7 FEATURES: 5 OVERALL: 5 D-TERM 1K by Don Pefley (Shareware - $10) This is probably the simplest program of them all -- you quickly set up the capture buffer, baud rates, your dialing directory. Bare essentials. But this baby's got one great feature -- built-in automatic Z-modem. Those files go zippin' in and out, you barely have to worry. It also keeps track of how many bytes are left and the timing. One important weird part: make sure to fill in ATDT in the prefix string in the dial directory or else nothing will happen. It's easy to get used to programs that have this built in. HAS: Z-Modem, function key macros, multi-dial DOES NOT HAVE: A distinct way to hang up the modem from terminal screen, text editor, auto logon, scripts. EASE OF USE: 4 DOCUMENTATION: 4 FEATURES: 4 OVERALL: 4 ZC-TERM (DEMO) by Zissis Trabaris (Shareware $20) This is one cranky demo. Firstly, it operates a desk accessory, so the author claims it is "multi-tasking." Once you click on the accessory, your terminal screen pops up. To get any kind of menu, you either have to press "Help" or double click within the screen. Submenus are reached by sliding your mouse over once you reach the category you want - "Menu," "File," "Transfer," and "Parameters." The "Block" function is disabled for this demo. Beware - every time you set up one of the paramenters in the menu, it jumps back to the terminal screen, so you have to click it up again. Also, there are many atrocious spelling mistakes in both the program and the documentation. For example; protocol is spelled "protocal" in the program! I never got this program working. I clicked on the DELPHI listing and my screen read "Modem Reset" then "Dial Delphi." But no connection to my modem was made. The other annoying part of the demo was that when I saw my modem wasn't connecting, I had trouble finding a way to abort the process. I clicked on the little exit box in the upper left hand corner of the screen and then my mouse pointer disappeared! I will admit, I do like the idea of a desk accessory term program. This one needs a lot of work. HAS: Z-Modem, Clock, V-52 and V100 emulation, multi-tasking as accessory DOES NOT HAVE: hangup signal, any clear documentation, text editor EASE OF USE: 1 DOCUMENTATION: 2 FEATURES: 2 OVERALL: 2 (TO BE CONTINUED) **** Drew Kerr edits "Four Corners," an on-line public relations newsletter for small business and pr professionals. It can be downloaded from GEnie's HOSB or DELPHI's Business Forum (in the library or under Newsletters). ======================================================================= MIST ATARIFEST III UPDATE ------------------------- Press Release ======================================================================= MIST Sponsors AtariFest III Saturday July 27th, Indianapolis, Indiana ** News Flash ** News Flash ** News Flash ** News Flash ** News Flash ** Bob Brodie has CONFIRMED his attendance for the Third Annual AtariFest!! Thanks, Bob!! For a third year, an AtariFest is planned at Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday, July 27th, sponsored jointly by the user groups at Indianapolis, Bloomington and Purdue known collectively as MIST (Mid- Indiana ST). Some of the people and companies scheduled to attend: Bob Brodie : User group coordinator, Atari Corporation AIM : Atari Interface Magazine D.A.Brumleve : Critically acclaimed author of children's programs Clear Thinking : EdHak text and binary editor Compuserve : Online computer service ComputerWorks : Indianapolis Atari Dealer ICD : Hard drives, accelerators, and software ISD : Calamus DTP, Outline Art, DynaCadd Missionware : lottODDS, and Printer Initializer software MS Designs : Calamus and PageStream fonts One Stop : Chicago dealer specializing in cables and cases SoftLogik : PageStream 2.1 DTP User Groups : ASCII, BL.A.ST, PAUG, LCACE, EAUG, CinAtari, IMAGE, MAST, and many more! MIST AtariFest III will be held at the Castleton Mall Conference Center on the north side of Indianapolis. The address is: 6385 Castleplace Drive, Indianapolis, In. 46250-1902. There is a map in PageStream format in the ST file area... the file is called : MIST_III.LZH. There will be specific directions in a later posting. Public admission to the 'Fest will be $3.00, and will include a raffle ticket. We will be raffling hardware from Atari Corp, hardware and software from attending vendors and developers. Additional raffle tickets will be available for purchase. Anyone interested in attending or reserving vendor/developer tables should contact MIST by one of the below methods: Leave mail on GEnie to W.LORING1, or D.WARD10 Call the BL.A.ST BBS at (812)332-0573 2400bps, 24 hours. Write us at BL.A.ST, PO Box 1111, Bloomington, IN. 47402 Call William Loring at (812)336-8103, or Dan Ward at (317)254-0031 Vendor packets are available. If you didn't receive one in the first mailing, PLEASE let us know! We want you to attend our show! Brought to you by MIST (Mid-Indiana ST). We are ASCII (Atari St Computers In Indianapolis), BL.A.ST (BLoomington Atari ST), and PAUG (Purdue Atari User Group). Thanks for your interest, and we'll see you at the 'Fest!! William H. Loring June 11, 1991 President, BL.A.ST User Group 11:29 pm Co-Chairperson, MIST AtariFest III ======================================================================= PDC PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENTS ------------------------- Press Release ======================================================================= STEALTH Stealth, a revolutionary modem telecommunications terminal for the Atari ST, has been released. A major new stand-alone terminal has not been released for years and people have been out of touch with the latest technological enhancements. Stealth is perfect for new and experienced users alike. But most interesting is the concept of Stealth's emulation of other terminals such as Flash or Interlink. Users of these old and outdated terminals can easily start using Stealth right away! Stealth will convert data files from these terminal programs and will actually emulate them. Yes, that's right. We had to use Flash for years and it'd be tough to learn new menu bar slots and keyboard shortcuts. It's just like using one of your under-the-sink cabinet doors to hold the trash can for the past number of years. If the can gets placed in another door, you'll be opening the old door a couple of dozen times. The same goes for using a program. Not only that, but a construction-kit will be included in the near future. It will allow users to setup commands how they want them to be set up. What a simple yet revolutionary concept. But that's only the beginning. Stealth includes a built-in GEM based word processor that functions as its capture buffer (in fact, two capture buffers are offered). And it's just a click or keypress away. The Stealth interface is designed with somewhat of a concept of letting the user decide the best method of interfacing whether it be via keyboard, the menu bar, or icons. Stealth supports all major transfer protocols including X, Y, and Zmodem (as well as several variations such as Ymodem G). Stealth has a powerful script language with over 90 commands. It blows away Flash's .DO file system. Enclosed is ST Whiz, a GEM Desktop replacement program; and it's free (it normally sells for $15). Also free is a GEnie signon pack. GEnie is the official support network of Atari and is very active. PDC will be offering tech support directly via GEnie. There's much more; Stealth is "one helluva program." Stealth retails for $39.95 with shipping/handling an additional $4. MONSTER STEREO CARTRIDGE The ST's sound capability is just now being tapped with TCB Tracker and amazing game programs being released with sounds that blow you away. The only problem is that it's hard to be blown away by the ST's puny monitor speaker. And it is very puny, ja? It needs to be pumped up. That's where the Monster comes in. The Monster Stereo Cartridge (MSC) that is. MSC allows users to pump the ST's sound through a stereo, boombox, or mini-speakers. There have been others, but nothing like the Monster. Tweetyboard required extensive installation. MSC is a simple plug in device, no soldering! Playback from MichTron is not only more expensive, but it also ties up the cartridge port, and that's a major pain. MSC plugs into the printer port, and is easy to unplug without damaging the delicate cartridge port. What does it do? Specifically, it channels all ST sound through the MSC into any sound equipment (via RCA jacks). It utilizes newly written stereo software (such as TCB Tracker) to play in true stereo. Now your ST can have the power of an STe! TCB Tracker and many other programs have been updated to support the MSC. The Monster Stereo Cartridge retails for $69.95 + $4 shipping/ handling. XTRA-RAM/XTRA-RAM STE/FORGET-ME-CLOCK II PDC proudly announces that PDC is now the exclusive supplier of Frontier Software products in the USA. Frontier offers the best in quality RAM upgrades for the ST and STe line of computers. The Xtra-RAM upgrade for ST computers comes in three formats: Unpopulated, .5 MB (which upgrades a 1/2 meg ST to 1 MB), and 2.5 MB (which upgrades Mega 2 ST's to 4 MB and other STs to 2.5 MB). The Xtra-RAM STE upgrades STE's to 2 MB (2 Xtra-RAM STE's will upgrade the STE to 4 megabytes). All upgrades are solderless and very easy to install. They are totally compatible with all software. Each Xtra-RAM upgrade is supplied with free RAM-testing, RAM disk, and printer spooler software. Also available is the Forget-Me-Clock II, which is a clock cartridge that doesn't tie up the cartridge port. Other cartridges can plug into it while the Forget-Me-Clock II remains totally invisible to them. The package also is supplied with time/date setting software, as well as with an auto-run program that automatically sets the clock. Built-in setting software offers the ability to stop the Forget-Me-Clock II to save its battery life when it is not being used. All products include professional and colorful packaging, as well as complete documentation. But what's especially amazing is that PDC offers a 10 day money back guarantee. If the user is dissatisfied for any reason, he or she may return it for a full refund within 10 days of purchase! No other RAM upgrade house offers that! But the support doesn't stop there! All RAM upgrades carry a full twelve month guarantee. And the Forget-Me-Clock II carries a two year guarantee. The RAM upgrades are guaranteed to use new memory chips to make sure that the upgrade boards are the most reliable anywhere! PDC is introducing these products at a special introductory price. Prices are as follows: Standard Retail Special Price Xtra-RAM Unpopulated $129.95 $99.95 Xtra-RAM .5 MB $179.95 $139.95 Xtra-RAM 2.5 MB $299.95 $199.95 Xtra-RAM STe 2 MB $149.95 $129.95 Forget-Me-Clock II $69.95 $49.95 Shipping is $6 per order. PDC will have a representative at the Vancouver Atari Show demoing all of our products, as well as selling them at massive discounts. Be there! ======================================================================= GRIBNIF SOFTWARE UPDATE ----------------------- Press Release ======================================================================= For Info Contact: Gribnif Software P.O. Box 350 Hadley, MA 01035 Tel: (413) 584-7887 Fax: (413) 584-2565 GRIBNIF SOFTWARE ANNOUNCES UPGRADE PROGRAM FOR PREVIOUS OWNERS OF STENO (TM) AND STALKER(TM) HADLEY, MA -- Gribnif Software announced today its upgrade plans for the STeno(TM) and STalker(TM) programs, recently acquired from Strata Software. Since the new STeno 2.0 and STalker 3 packages are being released independently, the legitimate owners of previous versions of these programs have two different upgrade plans available: 1. Upgrade to STeno 2.0 (available immediately) for $15.00. Upgrade includes the new 2.0 version of the program, a 40 page illustrated manual, and free technical support from Gribnif Software. 2. Upgrade to STalker 3 (available July 31st, 1991) for $20.00. Upgrade includes the new version 3.0 of this amazing terminal program (including the new BackTALKTM script language, GDOS support, and more), a complete illustrated manual (still being written), and free technical support from Gribnif Software. If you upgrade to both now (for only $35.00), you will receive the new STeno 2.0 package first. The STalker 3 package will be shipped as soon as it is released (July 31st, 1991). Or, if you want, just upgrade one now and later on upgrade the other. To get the upgrades, follow these easy steps: 1. Mail us your original STeno/STalker disk. 2. Include a note with your name, address, and daytime phone number (in case we have some questions about the order). 3. Enclose a US Bank Check, US Money Order, or Credit Card for the correct upgrade fee (see above) and the additional shipping and handling charge: Shipping charges are $2 for U.S. orders, $3 for Canadian orders, and $5 for all other Foreign orders. Note: If ordering by credit card, it must be a MasterCard, EuroCard, or Visa. With the order you should include: 1) Credit card number. 2) Expiration date. 3) Name as it appears on the card. 4) Cardholder's signature. 4. Wait between 3-4 weeks. The orders will be processed and sent out on a "first come / first serve" basis. If you have any questions regarding the STeno and STalker software packages, please feel free to give us a call at (413) 584-7887. STeno and STalker are trademarks of Strata Software. Exclusive world wide marketing and distribution by Gribnif Software. ======================================================================= REVIEWS FROM JUNE 1991 ATARIUSER MAGAZINE ----------------------------------------- Excerpted ======================================================================= Copyright, 1991, by Quill Publishing. This article may NOT be reprinted without permission of AtariUser Magazine. Information and subscriptions are available at 800-333-3567. Defender II A Classic is Back for the First Time (ST) Defender for the ST! Finally! There have been many games for the ST in the general vein of Defender, but despite their improved graphics and sound (or perhaps because of them), none of the various Defender clones for the ST has ever quite hit the mark in basic playability. This one does. The computer version of Defender II is actually three games, covering each of the various arcade incarnations, the original "Classic" Defender, Stargate, and Defender II. Recapping the basic scenario, you are the captain of the Defender, a starship defending your planet from alien invaders who kidnap your citizens. Stargate expands on this basic idea by adding some new types of aliens and a special Stargate to instantly spacewarp from one section of the planet to another, allowing you to more effectively respond to and escape from alien attacks. Defender II adds even more new aliens, as well as new types of weaponry. You control the game with the keyboard alone or a combination of the keyboard and the mouse, odd but actually pretty easy to use. The level of difficulty and general feel of the game is pretty much the same as the original arcade versions - pretty tough. But at the same time, it's not so hard that a beginner should worry about not being able to learn the game. Compared with most games today, the graphics are nothing to get too excited over. Except for some title and options screens which have been dressed up with some neat fractal images, they emulate nearly perfectly the original arcade Defender machines. The sound is somewhat improved, however. This package will appeal mostly to old-timers who would like to relive a classic, and who haven't been satisfied with one of the clone versions. But you young whippersnappers should check it out as well, to have a look at the old days when games could not afford to slide by on terrific graphics and poor gameplay, as all too many of today's games do. $49.95, from ARC (Import, Atari UK Entertainment Division) - Michael Alfred Cleanup ST! Hard Drive Scrubber (ST, TT) What's in a name? Well, Cleanup ST! does not come in a spray bottle. It works, very automatically and easily, inside your hard drive to "analyze the disk, recognize different types of corruption, and repair the damage where possible." Cleanup ST! will correct errors in the File Allocation Table (FAT) and the directories. Cleanup ST! requires an ICD ST Host Adapter as part of your system, although it will work on drives connected to other makes of host adapter if an ICD unit is also hooked in somewhere. The software has many options. The Auto Mode is for routine check ups. You click on this and go get a soda. When you are back the program will have done its stuff. It only stops if it encounters an error. The Test Mode checks for errors but does not correct them. It lets you decide what to do or not to do. Optimising, defragmenting files for faster access, is also available. Cleanup ST! also allows you to back up just the load partition and boot sector data to a floppy. This is the index and table of contents for your hard drive. If this were to get corrupted, nothing but that little backup would be able to save your data. The first time I used Cleanup ST! I used the Auto Mode. It whipped right through the partitions, that is until it told me I had some errors on Partition D. The drive had some cluster errors. The software gave me a few choices, I chose wisely and it fixed the offending files, retrieving lost bytes. All worked perfectly. It's $29.95, by ICD Incorporated, 1220 Rock Street, Rockford, Il 61101, 815-968-2228. - John King Tarpinian DIAMOND BACK II Fastest HD Backups (ST, TT) Hard drives are wonderful, but they aren't flawless. Backups, the entire contents of your drive on a set of disks, are the only road back when disaster (or operator error) hits. Diamond Back II is perhaps the best of many utilities for creating backups to disk on the ST/TT. With backups, its not so much what you get when you're done as how long it takes to get done--and Diamond Back is the fastest. Writing full (even extended format) disks takes well under a minute each, and if you a pair of floppies, it will auto-switch between them for faster access. Formatting is also faster than anything I have used to date. The per- disk time is so short that you do even have time to be bored, let alone get up from the keyboard. Backup night used to be good for a movie and pizza. With Diamond Back, I don't have time to follow the plot or wipe my hands. Better yet, Diamond Back II incorporates every imaginable extra. Image or file backups, Spectre partitions, incremental backup by date or archive bit, optional compression or encryption, validation logs, big partition support, selectable partial backup or restore, mixable floppy formats on the fly, 1.44 meg floppy support, and, and, and... Yikes. It even does -INCREDIBLY- fast partition-to-partition copies. Included with Diamond Back II are utilities for formatting floppies and file-finding. Both run as programs or accessories, and both are remarkable in their own right. I own LOTS of backup programs. I USE Diamond Back II. It's in version 2.20, and is now marketed by its author after less than satisfying prior distribution. Bob Luneski has and will continue to improve the already terrific system. The new version has a new (nice!) manual and improved Spectre handling, plus other refinements. Owners of earlier versions should contact him for upgrades ($7.50). Diamond Back II, $44.95 from Oregon Research Associates, 16200 SW Pacific Highway, Suite 162, Tigard, OR 97224, phone 503-620-4919. - John Nagy A4 DAATASCAN PAGE SCANNER It looks like a wringer washer, but it works like a champ. At a thousand dollars, it had better. The new DaataScan A4 full-page scanner from Rio Computer is a hybrid of hand and flat-bed scanner technology, and the result is versatile and particularly enjoyable. The 100, 200, 300, and 400 dot per inch scanner is built by Mitsubishi and comes in two parts, an 8.5 inch wide scanning head that looks like (and can be used as) a monster two-hand-scanner. The powered base unit it snaps into converts it into an automatic feed sheet scanner. Just set the paper in the slot, press the scan button, and the rest is software controlled. Unlike previous scanner offerings from Rio, the new software and interface is imported from a UK company called Pandaal, and their scanning/editing software is remarkable. Like "flat bed" scanning software, you may take a page scan, mark the areas you really want, and re-scan them into a work screen. Precision is quite good for repeated scanning. Magnification and pixel edit control is outstanding, even more extreme than makes any sense. It provides a range of rotation but no actual drawing tools, so you will still need something like Touch Up from Migraph to really work on images. A selection of three different simulations of half-tones (dither patterns) plus line-art settings provide very good control and superior results. Photographs come out looking better than with any non- grayscale scanner I have used to date, certainly suitable for use in commercial publications. Screen updates aren't really sluggish, but are nearly instantaneous if using QUICK ST or TURBO ST screen accelerators. With them, scrolling through a scan window is almost seamless motion. Very impressive. Unmatched, really. Drawbacks to the unit include the inability to scan an open book, easy to do on flatbed scanners. You can use the scanning head by hand and get scans that a flatbed couldn't, but the precision auto feed is lost. I'd also like to see a wider range of control on the lighter/darker adjustment. There are times when I'd like to get a too-light or very dark scan for special effects. It's almost impossible to get a bad scan--how's that for a flaw! The DaataScan A4 unit is a treat, and it was with a tearful eye that I sent back the demonstrator. It will certainly be a limited sales device at $999.95, but it's the best I've seen in the price range. -John Nagy ======================================================================= MS-DOS 5.0: FIRST IMPRESSIONS ----------------------------- by Mike Mezaros ======================================================================= Excerpted from Z*Net PC Online Magazine, Issue #10. This article may not be reprinted without permission of the publisher. Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc. So there I am, at my local computer store where I usually buy magazines. It's Monday, the day before MS-DOS 5.0's official release. Some stores are already selling it, but this one isn't. I inquire as to why, and am told that they aren't finished with their display. But the clerk says to me, "I'm about to install it on our demo PC's. Want a preview?" Of course I did! I had already seen late beta copies of the software, but I had never seen it installed. So I enthusiastically agreed, got my first glimpse at the packaging (nicest DOS box ever), and off we went. DOS 5.0 installs quickly, easily, and... perfectly. All the clerk had to do was slip the Setup diskette into the drive, type Setup, and off we went. Setup correctly determined the machine's configuration and asked a simple question or two (Are you using a network? Do you want to automatically start Dosshell?), and from then on, only diskette changes were requested. A few diskettes and minutes later, the machine was fully configured and running MS-DOS 5.0. The Setup program was not unlike Windows' setup, only easier and faster. Needless to say, I was impressed. I've installed a variety of DOS versions (MS-DOS 3.3, 3.31, 4.01, IBM DOS 4.0, 4.01, DR-DOS 5.0) on a variety of different machines, and I've never seen an easier install. Things weren't quite as simple for me, two days later, when I bought the package. Purchasing the software was more of a hassle than installing it. I went to Egghead Software, where they were advertising it for $39.95. But first I was required to fill out a one page, double-sided form, and sit through a dozen sales pitches ("These disks are on sale... This book will make it much easier... This program adds abilities you REALLY need!") as I worked on it. Apparently, they're not making much money off of DOS 5.0, but are using it to "hook" you into the store. Actually, it wasn't the manual (I'm saving face) -- just the short "Getting Started" guide. Right there, on the page labeled "Before Installation," I found this note: "Remove all memory-resident programs..." In other words, boot with a clean CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. I did, and the problem was solved right away. I was a little worried that the program might not install properly on my DR-DOS 5.0 system. After all, it is an upgrade package for owners of previous MS-DOS or IBM DOS versions. Would I have to re-install MS-DOS 4.01 before installing this new version? Thankfully, no. Setup just determined that my current DOS version was "Other" and left it at that. DOS 5.0 couldn't salvage my previous CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files, though, as they contained specific DR-DOS commands. No big deal, I would have to re-construct them anyway to take advantage of the new DOS. Here's what my CONFIG.SYS file looks like now, after making a few changes for MS-DOS 5.0... (I've edited out the unimportant stuff.) DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\SETVER.EXE DEVICEHIGH=C:\HYPER386.EXE OR S C:4096:2048 DEVICEHIGH=C:\DOS\MOUSE.SYS DOS=HIGH,UMB The new Dosshell is also very nice, almost to the point where it is in the same league as third-party shells. It obviously takes a few cues from Windows; it looks quite similar. Of course, it can't run Windows programs and doesn't have nearly as nice an interface. And it isn't as good looking as DR-DOS's GEM-based ViewMax shell, but it is much more functional and even easier to use. I'm sure that the new look of Dosshell 5.0, coupled with DOS task switching, will drive more than few diehard C:\> prompters to see what Windows is all about. I especially like the new editor, Edit. It makes DR-DOS's Editor look ridiculously hard to use, even though it isn't. With CUA (Common User Access, the same standard used in Windows and OS/2 PM) drop down menus and a complete help system, Edit has quickly become my favorite DOS-based editor. If you're still using Edlin, you NEED this upgrade. The new programming language, QBASIC, also looks very interesting. The interpreter is CUA compliant and features the same basic interface as Edit (which is no coincidence; it seems that Edit won't run if it can't locate QBASIC even though it appears to be a stand-alone program). One of the included programs, a simple video game called Nibbles, is excellent. It is one of the most addictive games I have ever played (I have used Nibbles more than any other part of DOS 5.0), and with better graphics it might be worth the $39.95 alone! Simply put, QBASIC Nibbles is to DOS 5.0 what Solitaire is to Windows 3.0. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ron Berinstein is out delivering pasta and will be back next week with another Software Shelf. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*Net: Smaller by Design because news take less space than innuendo. Better yet, news doesn't need to be explain the next week! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ======================================================================= Z*Net International Atari Online Magazine is a weekly magazine covering the Atari and related computer community. Material contained in this issue may be reprinted for non commercial purposes without permission, except where otherwise noted, unedited, with the issue number, name and author included at the top of each reprinted article. Commentary and opinions presented are those of the individual author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Z*NET or the staff. Z*Magazine Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine, Z*Net Atari Online Magazine, Z*Net and Z*Net PC are copyright (c)1991 by Rovac Industries Inc, a registered corporation. Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey 08846. (908) 968 -2024. Z*Net USA BBS EAST 24 Hours, 1200/2400 Baud (9600 Coming Soon!), (908) 968-8148. We can be reached on CompuServe at 75300,1642 and on GEnie at Z-NET. ======================================================================= Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc.. =======================================================================
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