ST Report: 29-Nov-91 #747From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 12/01/91-11:56:20 AM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 29-Nov-91 #747 Date: Sun Dec 1 11:56:20 1991 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" November 29, 1991 No.7.47 ========================================================================== 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 ----------------------------------------- STR East: FNET 350 - The Bounty ST BBS <Home of STR> 1-904-786-4176 STR West: FNET 075 - Bloom County BBS 1-415-965-9347 STR Canada: FNET 018 - ///Turbo Board Support 1-416-274-1225 STR Europe: FNET 1031 - <<<INTERNET>>> 011-44-296-395-935 __________________________________________________________________ > 11/29/91: STReport #7.47 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU REPORT - STBook in Depth! - Overview of Bundles - FSMGDOS $59.95? - MidiTasking RIP? - Data Diet Review - New Lemmings Disk - TOS 2.06/3.06 -* (6) EXCLUSIVE EYEWITNESS CHICAGO REPORTS! *- -* FCC NAILS 100 AT COMDEX *- -* APPLE IN BROWARD COUNTY SCHOOLS *- HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ONE AND ALL! ========================================================================== 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 BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the Fido/F-Net Mail Network. Or, call Node 350 direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging information relative to the Atari ST computer arena through an excellent International ST Mail Network. All registered F-NET - Crossnet SysOps are welcome to join the STReport Crossnet Conference. The Crossnet Conference Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is # 350. All systems are welcome and invited to actively participate. Support Atari Computers; Join Today! ========================================================================== AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON: GENIE ~ CIS ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ F-NET ========================================================================== 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 (November 29) LIBRARY CHANGE Now that CompuServe's Forum Libraries support "Across Library Searching", we have closed down our exclusive "NEW UPLOADS" Library. All new files will now be made available in whichever Library can best classify them. Use the powerful BRO LIB:ALL command to browse through all of our Forum Libraries. Files will be displayed in reverse chronological order -from most recent to oldest. Download file NEWLIB.TXT from LIBRARY 1 of ATARIARTS or ATARIPRO (now called "Forum Help/Info") for complete information on other new and powerful Library commands. "HIDDEN" TREASURES... DO YOU HAVE THIS FILE? The GEMINI version 1.20 replacement desktop for your Atari ST. Better icons and a powerful CLI shell. File: GMNI12.LZH in Library 6 ("ACCs & Setups") of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO). DO YOU HAVE THIS FILE? Super Boot version 7.0. Extremely powerful Atari ST boot-up program. Selects which desk accessories, auto programs, and DESKTOP.INF file to use. Also includes password protection and welcome screen. File: SPBT70.ARC and SUPBTA.PRG in Library 6 ("ACCs & Setups") of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO). NEW VERSION OF B/STAT AVAILABLE... Version 2.42 of B/STAT is now available in LIBRARY 5 ("Applications") of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO). B/STAT is a graphics and statistical analysis program. It requires 1 meg minimum of memory and a double sided drive. It will use GDOS if present but does not require it. B/STAT may not be distributed in FRANCE due to commercial availability. LEXICOR ONLINE ANIMATION CLASS Thanks to everyone who participated in the first Lexicor Online Animation Class. The lecture and homework files will remain in the Lexicor Library of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN) for anyone who missed them and would like to continue to work on learning computer animation techniques. We'll post announcements when the next sessions are ready to start! EDHAK DISCOUNT FOR ATARI FORUM MEMBERS Download file EDHAKD.LZH from LIBRARY 2 of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO) for a full demo of EdHak version 2.25. This version can be used with the soon-to-be-released QuickCIS version 1.70. Craig Harvey (the author of EdHak) has also announced a special discount for CompuServe members who which to order the full functioning version. Contact Craig at User ID number 73047,600 for details. ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM (GO APORTFOLIO) David Stewart has uploaded a demo version of a *hot* new graphics game for the Portfolio called "PortMan." Check out PORTMA.ZIP, now available in LIBRARY 1 (and send comments to the author). The programming marathon continues with a Star Trek game, more animations, a keyboard macro program and much, much more! Check out the newest entries with the command "BRO LIB:ALL" from inside any library. 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 STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Issue #47 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. -- FCC Hits Over 100 Comdex Vendors This week, Communications Daily reported that the FCC issued more than 100 notices to vendors at the Comdex show for exhibiting equipment not yet authorized by the commission as meeting its technical standards. Violators could be subject to $75,000 in administrative fines or $100,000 in criminal fines. -- Two Viruses Cause Most Problems A survey by Dataquest Inc. and the National Computer Security Associa- tion (NCSA) of more than 600 companies and agencies found that 63% said they had a computer virus outbreak at least once. Two well-known com- puter viruses, The Stoned Virus and The Jerusalem Virus, are responsible for almost 50% of the occurances. -- 24 Year Old Cracks NASA A 24 year-old Denver man, Richard G. Wittman Jr., has admitted breaking into a NASA computer system. In a plea bargain, Wittman plead guilty to a single count of altering information - a password - inside a federal computer. According to reports, it took NASA investigators nearly 300 hours to track down Wittman and an additional 100 hours to rewrite the software to prevent a recurrence of his feat. Wittman not only broke into 118 systems within the NASA network, he also acquired "super user" status, allowing him to review the files and electronic mail of other users. -- Canadian Police Seize BBS The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has seized parts of a BBS known as "90 North" from a house in Montreal. The RCMP seized 10 pc's, seven modems and assorted copyrighted software. The BBS was charging its mem- bers C$49 per year for access. Under the Canadian Copyright Act, anyone convicted of distributing pirated commercial software can face imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of as much as C$1 million, or both. -- Singapore Feels Decline in PC Profits Singapore's local PC manufacturers say their industry has suffered a 10% loss in gross profit margins and can expect the market to decline another 2-5% in the next 12 months. -- Microsoft Resumes Business in South Africa Now that South African racial apartheid laws have been repealed, Micro- soft has decided to reestablish the business ties that it severed with the Republic of South Africa in 1986 and has selected Work Group Systems Ltd. of South Africa as its distributor. Microsoft cited piracy as a key factor in reentering the South African market. By maintaining a presence in that country, Microsoft feels it could help enforce intellectual property rights while expanding support for users. Other US software companies, such as Lotus Development Corp. and Aldus Corp., are also beginning or resuming business ties to South Africa. -- Apple to Supply over 8,000 Mac's to Florida School District The Broward County School District in Florida will spend $13.5 million on Apple equipment during the fiscal year of 1991. This will include 7,000 Mac LCs, and 1,100 Mac Classics and will go to equip computer labs in all of its 110 elementary schools. Broward County is the eighth largest school district in the nation, serving 170,000 students. -- Magazine Publisher Recycling Diskettes Publishers of the Softdisk magazine-on-a-floppy have launched a campaign to recycle used diskettes. Softdisk says its program lets users pur- chase 25 blank 3.5" disks or 50 blank 5.25" 360K disks for $9.95. Cus- tomers also can order 1.2MB 5 1/4-inch PC-format high-density disks at $19.95 for a pack of 50. Softdisk says that since the inception of the program in mid-August, it has shipped more than 90,000 recycled diskettes. *********************************************************************** :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ To sign up for GEnie service: Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. GEnie costs only $4.95 a month for unlimited evening and weekend access to more than 100 services including electronic mail, online encyclopedia, shopping, news, entertainment, single-player games, and bulletin boards on leisure and professional subjects. With many other services, including the biggest collection of files to download and the best online games, for only $6 per hour. MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! Any time during your first month of membership if you are not completely satisfied, just ask for your $4.95 back. GEnie Announcements (FREE) 1. NEW FCC COST INCREASE THREATENS COMPUTER SERVICES............*FCC 2. Thursday & Friday are GEnie Holidays -- Non-Prime All Day.... 3. SANTA CLAUS is coming online. To find out more, type........*SANTA 4. HELP. Brave adventurers needed to save Spur in..............DGATE 5. WOW...A new GEnie product for only $2.75.....................*ORDER 6. THANKSGIVING WEEKEND OPEN HOUSE AT COMP-U-STORE..............CUS 7. What's happening tonight in your favorite Computing RT...... COMPUTING 8. Bulletin Board free throughout Thanksgiving GEnie Holiday....UNIX 9. SHOP & SAVE NOW at Sears' VIDEO GAME CLEARANCE...............SEARS 10. Win Prizes from Epcot Center's GE Horizons in RTC Trivia.....FLORIDA 11. LOTS of Thanksgiving Holiday football on tap, join the fun...QB1 12. Hot games, big fun, huge value - Hurry, Hurry, Hurry.........SOFTCLUB 13. All the top holiday movies reviewed >fully< in...............SHOWBIZ 14. HAYES BB free for November's CompuCopia......................HAYES 15. Using 19th Century Military Records to find Ancestors........GENEALOGY Atari ST RT (( ........... __ __ (( )) )) ...:::::::::::::::::.... (' Y',) )) )) (( (( ..::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::/' '/ (( )) (( )) ..::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::/~'''/:. )) (( )) (( ..::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::/~...'/:::::. )) (( .:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::/.'..../::::::::. )) .::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::/~'~'.....'/::::::::::: (( .::::::::::::::::::::/~/:::::::/~~ '''' ''.''/::::::::::::: .::::/~~~~\:::::::::/`'/::::::/~ . '.''... ''.\::::::::::::: .::::(.`,.'.)::::::/.'`/::::::/'...'...'...'. |::::::::::::: :::::::\____________/::::::::\ '.'''.'..'.' ./::::::::::::::' `:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::\. ..'''''. ./::::::::::::::' `:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::\..'_.'_,/::::::::::::::' `:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::' \XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/ \XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/ \XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/ \XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/ HAPPY THANKSGIVING From the Atari Roundtable Staff Check out an exciting new program from ISD, TMS Cranach Studio. The full featured DEMO version is now available, file # 21650. An ESM example file is also available for it, file # 21652. This program compliments the ISD product line and is a "must see". 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 About MidiTasking - From John Morales (Atari) - Cat. 14, Topic 13, Msg. 81 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... ...having been involved in the MidiTasking issue since its first thoughts in '89, I can honestly say the following - you cannot fully blame Atari for the lack there of. Atari, or should I say Frank Foster, at the time farmed out the pro- ject to a team of developers from intellegent music. The program was taken through various stages. The hitch, or hitches, which were par- tially resopnsible for it's death at the time, this is not to say that Atari will not pursue this any further.. 1. In order for Midi tasking to work there had to be a mutial agree- ment from all developers on who would control the various drivers needed especially the critical timing ones. Of course being as proud as all programers are each one of them thought their way was the best way to go.. 2. Excuse me if I get some of my dates wrong here but the events are accurate...Atari did actively attempt to make this happen Unfortunatly at the time Miditasking was being shown around, all the major developers were working on their own scheme for Miditasking at Summer Namm 89. C-Lab (SOFTLINK), Steingerg/Jones (M-ROSS), Dr. T's (MPE) which happen to be around for a long time before anyone know what Miditasking was.. were claiming to be the wave of the future.. Major problem >>>>> EGO'S <<<<< and mudslinging, which went on for month's, as to who should father this child. In Steps Atari Anaheim 90...at a major Midi Developers meeting, Atari announces it is taking over the Miditasking program and moving it in house. Representatives from all major developers are invited to Atari's offices in search of the perfect solution. Everyone had their chance to show why their scheme should be adopted. But when they were all passed over for Intellegent's concept, [they] became babies..... stuck their tails between their legs and went home. Thus the beginning of the end.. Because you see without the complete cooperation of all the developers it would never work even if Atari came up with a way. So all the developers opt'ed to continue developing their own systems making sure that rival companies programs would crash.. Conclusion... GREED and EGO killed MidiTasking.. yes Atari might of handled this a bit differently but that's old water.. I hope to see it one day when only the Midi Guru knows.. ---------------- From Dave Shorr on Delphi... I called Psygnosis' USA office (located in Brookline MA) today and found out that the data disk for the _very_ addictive game Lemmings should be on your 'local' dealer's shelf by next week!!! The title of the new disk is 'Oh No, More Lemmings!' and consists of a hundred new levels! If the first 120 levels are any indication, I think this is the only game I'll be playing this holiday season<grin>. ---------------- Some interesting info from Ed Krimen - Cat. 4, Topic 14, Msg. 113 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... I received information from Teac today (Saturday) regarding their FD- 505 3.5"/5.25" dual floppy disk drive. This is a drive that puts both a 3.5" floppy and a 5.25" floppy in the same half-height drive space. They sent me a cover letter with a glossy spec sheet. If you want a copy, contact them at one of the numbers below: Montebello, CA 213-726-0303 San Jose, CA 408-437-9055 Chicago, IL 708-490-5311 Austin, TX 512-329-1037 Boston, MA 508-683-8322 Holder Hauer, Phoenix, AZ 602-431-1212 Denver, CO 303-427-3443 Salt Lake City 801-487-7077 ---------------- From John Townsend (Atari) - Cat. 14, Topic 13, Msg. 86 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... I would like to respond to a couple of the comments here. 1. Atari hasn't specifically said that 68000 multi-tasking is out of the question. I believe that we have said that we are looking into the possibility of multi-tasking on 68000 machines and we are working on multi-tasking in general. However, we are not and have not done anything specific to limit multi-tasking to the 68030. 2. The 68000 doesn't have the ability to do hardware memory protec- tion. This is really needed to do multitasking. Otherwise, programs can and do occasionally step all over each other. 3. I don't believe a decision has been made. I think we will evaluate the situation and see what we can do. 4. Multi-tasking on a 8Mhz 68000 is going to be VERY slow. As they say, be careful what you ask for.. you may get it! ;-) I will let you know when I hear more on the subject. ---------------- From Bob Saldana - Cat. 6, Topic 8, Msg. 1 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... Supercard is a great database holder. you enter records free form and supercard files them by the first letter of the file. It is very fast!!! It is very inexpensive. Supercard I came free with ST USER magazine several issues back. Supercard II isn't much more than that distributed by B.BYTES COMPUTER. You can order by mailing a request to B.WARE SOFTWARE c/o B.BYTES COMPUTER SYSTEMS 19 SOUTHFIELD ROAD HINCKLEY, LEICS, ENGLAND LE10 1UA. or telephone your order like I did they accept visa & mastercard I think. ph# 011-44-455-613377 ---------------- Question about TOS 2.06 from Fred Koch - Cat. 14, Topic 8, Msgs. 4-6 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... Some official news from Atari would be nice. I have two TOS 1.0 machines and was thinking of trying to upgrade them to TOS 1.04 in the near future, but if there is going to be a newer TOS available soon I should wait. Of course the new TOS might not even be available in the 6 chip set, who knows? Any news about specifics? Answer from Jim Ness... I can pass on what Bob Brodie told us in a seminar at the Chicago show. He said that an outfit in Europe (Artifex?) had designed an adaptor board that would allow you to put the 256k TOS (2.xx) set in any ST. Older STs (TOS 100 to 104) use 192k rom sets, so it is not a direct plug interchange. You do need the adaptor board. Atari would sell the TOS chipset, and a US distributor would sell the adaptor board. Bob mentioned that the Codeheads already deal with Artifex, and speculated that they would make a good source for the adaptor board. Answer from John Townsend (Atari)... If and when Atari US announces an upgrade, it will require a daughter- board upgrade to use TOS 2.06. As for when, how much, and how.. sorry. I will leave that one to Bob Brodie and Bill Rehbock from Atari US Corp. The TOS Group at corporate level has already released the ROMs. After that, each subsidiary is tasked with implimenting an upgrade plan. ---------------- Are you having "Out of Memory" problems with PageStream 2.01? - Here's some info from Mike K. (Soft Logik Support) on CIS... To understand what goes on here requires a little understanding of what goes on internally in PgS. First, with all the added Font support, and other features, PgS has become a fairly large program. If you are using PgS on a 1 meg machine, you must be aware of how PgS uses memory. PgS assigns and dealocates memory as tasks and objects are added and removed. Some of these "adds" are relatively obvious... add text, add graphics...others are not. Some less obvious things are: loading the import/export modules and printing. - Import modules - at boot up time PgS loads all the modules that you have in the folder that is defined in the path for "drivers". If you leave all the Import/Export modules in this path it will take up a lot of memory. Move everything that you are not going to use to another location. - Desk Acc - Obviously these require memory. Load PgS with and without the desk acc. Check the memory left from withing PgS to see which have the biggest effect. How much memory they take, verse how bad you want/need them will be up to you. - Printing - to DotMatrix printer requires a lot of memory. PgS tries to generate a bitmap image of the output page, at the resolution of your printer (dpi). If you have a 300dpi printer and are printing a 8.5" x 11" document, PgS will need 8.5x11x300 bytes just for the bitmap page image. PgS also must load any fonts that are required, generate fonts at the required size. If enough memory is not left for this operation, then PgS tries to generate 1/2 the output page, if not 1/2 then 1/3.... PgS will eventually get down to trying to generate just the bitmap for one pass of the print head on your printer. (This is when things get really slow!) If there is not enough room to load all the outline fonts needed, then PgS will purge and reload each font as it is need to generate the output page (now things will get really really slow!) So what does all this have to do with "out of memory". I think you can see that as PgS goes thru the processes, memory can get fragmented. Memory is not always freed up in the reverse order in which it was assigned. In addition, some things are not purgeable. Not so obvious is that PgS needs continous chunks of memory for some operations. PgS tries to detect when it is in an out of memory operation, but apparently what happens is that the operating system or PgS does not have enough memory to open up the dialog boxes to save the files. Recommendations: - remove all import/export modules from the drivers folder that are not needed - remove all desk acc that are resource hogs - always save before printing - minimize the number of fonts used in a document (good design practice also) - print at low resolution, until you are ready for the final printout - consider adding more memory to your machine ---------------- Until next week..... _______________________________________________________ > CHICAGO COMPUTERFEST STR SHOW NEWS "Online Observations" ================================== OVERVIEW OF THE CHICAGO SHOW ============================ Compiled by Michael Lee From Gordie (sysop) on Delphi.... ...I don't know how the developers did, sales-wise, but I sure had a wonderful time. And, to answer the unasked question, things seem to be coming together at Atari. I talked with several Atari people, and came away quite optimistic. Not for what they said the future plans were, but for the underlying foundation. Atari is doing things that could only be done by a company in solid financial shape. They are putting together a leasing program, so companies can lease Atari computers instead of purchasing them outright. They are offering floorplanning to dealers. (Which means the dealer doesn't have to pay for the product until they sell it.) They have seen that it is pointless to try to be all things to all people and have focused their marketing on the areas they feel they have the best chance of exploiting, namely MIDI, Direct to Press and Presentation Graphics. They have two bundled packages that are moving into the mass market distribution chain. Bundles that are selling out in the UK (according to ST Format's latest issue), although that could draw product from the NA market to be shipped to the UK. Atari is releasing MetaDOS, the means to access CD-ROM drives, THIS WEEK! They can't beat the street prices on CD-ROM players, so they have put their own CD-ROM drive on hold. But, since MetaDOS will address the drive that Atari was going to use for their own, CD-ROM drives will be available, and very soon! (Now if they'd just get the SoftSource disk out!) ...I was very impressed with the show, and feel pretty good about owning an Atari. --------------- From Cat. 11, Topic 10 - from the ST Roundtable on GEnie: From Ron Robinson - Msg. 359... I just made it back to St. Louis from the Chicago Computerfest and wanted to leave a few fest highlights that standout in my mind. I'm sure others will contribute when they have time. First of all, I'd like to leave a big personal note of thanks to LCACE, the other supporting users groups, developers, dealers, and ATARI for all their hard work in putting the show together. I'm sure there were many, many hero's behind the scenes of this professionally executed event. The users supported the show well, particularly considering the freezing horizontal rain/sleet/snow and cold. Atari supporters from all over the country attended the event. Developers and dealers I spoke with had comments ranging from sales are "a little slow" to "really great." A wide range of seminars gave everyone an great opportunity to see the various products and developers up close and personal. The tables were fully occupied at the Awards dinner where Greg Pratt eloquently expressed his appreciation for the dedication and support of the ATARI user community. ATARI developers and dealers were present in force showing off their latest and greatest products. I couldn't begin to list all the great goodies being demo'd. Many special buys were available via the dealers, I even managed to get in a bit of holiday shopping for myself. ATARI presented a very strong statement of commitment by supporting the show with more people and equipment than Comdex. Literally *hundreds* of computers and a large contingent of employees covering the ST, TT, Portfolio, Lynx, Unix, and other business units were at the fest. Fully equipped game and seminar rooms complemented equipment loaned to exhibitors. The entire ATARI product line was on display including the TT Unix, ST Book and the new ST bundles. A few of the announcements by Atari at the show include: - Future NewDesk 2.06/3.06 upgrades using the Artifex board, distri- bution (CodeHead Software mentioned) and availability, pricing not yet decided. - Dealer expansion programs, including possible negotiations with major consumer distributors such as Circuit City for consumer oriented products. - GE service option is still in work with all ST/TT computers covered. - Warranties on new machines will be increased to 1 yr (ST, TT, Lynx, Portfolio). - Class B TT's with 1.44 meg floppy drives are now expected early next year. - The 1.44 floppy retrofit package is in work. Western Digital essen- tially redesigned the original chip to allow the higher data rates. Retrofit will require removing the existing floppy controller chip, TOS 2.06 and possible an AUTO folder program. ATARI expects users will supply their own drives. - UNIX is shipping now to some high-end OEM's and developers with specific applications. (looked good on the demo machines) - ST Book is essentially complete. Production in pending selection of an LCD screen to allow the computer to meet production cost targets. - FSM GDOS will be available for $59. - The STe bundles, containing software to get the new user up and running are available. ------------------ From Joe Meehan - Msg. 365... Thank you LCACE. It was a great show. I just got back a few hours ago and got about 2.5 hours sleep before I head into work now. The seminars were great and the advanced Calamus show was better than I expected. (3 hours and a free copy of "The Guide..") Vendors were saying they were having a good show. Lots of new stuff and Great Atari support. The NoteBook was there; now after playing with it I want one.. Is Santa listening? Atari's comments about new product and service was great. I try to fill in more later after a night of good sleep (Tuesday AM) Sorry if this post was even more disorginized than my usual. ------------------ From Dorothy Brumleve - Msg. 366... I want to thank the folks from LCACE, the legions of volunteers from other participating clubs, and Atari for the Chicago ComputerFest this weekend! It was a very unusual fest indeed...So what was different, you ask? I'll tell you! First of all, the show had been promoted to the general public, and at least a portion of the general public showed up! There were radio ads and promotions (Lynx give-aways) before the show. Many devoted 8-bit, ST/TT, Portfolio, and Lynx users did come, but we also met many people who didn't know Atari made computers, who came to find out about desktop publishing in general, to play in the game contests, etc. Since non-users did come, I think it's safe to assume that other non-users also heard the ads and thus grew in Atari awareness. There are pros and cons to a mixed audience such as this, but it was most gratifying to see new users walking off with a Discovery Pack or Family Curriculum bundle. Did I say "bundle"? Sure did! Atari brought their new hardware/ software bundles (adopted from Atari UK) for participating dealers to sell in their booths. I was disappointed that the STBook was not yet ready for sale, but they did have one for show-goers to play with in the professional display stand area. This area used the same workstations that have adorned the Atari displays in professional trade exhibitions such as Comdex and CEPS. Various professional "solutions" were shown there. Most fests I've been to offer demonstration-type seminars: a developer presents his product(s) to the audience, takes questions from the audience, sings Neil Young tunes, and provides insights on his exper- ience in the Atari marketplace. This show had seminars like those, but it also had training workshops, opportunities for people to gain skills in a hands-on situation with an expert teacher. In this case, the training sessions dealt with desktop publishing with Calamus and PageStream. These classes were so popular that they even had to add an additional session of the beginning PageStream class! I wish I had been free to attend one myself. While I have seen the opportunity for education at other shows, especially WAACE, this is the first time I've seen it formalized in the form of workshops. It would be great to see more of these kinds of seminars covering a wide variety of interest areas. Atari brought truckloads of equipment, and part of this included Atari-related paraphenalia. I'm a paraphenalia freak myself. I collect buttons and patches and stickers and mugs and balloons and pins and pens and hats and anything that has the Atari logo. While the show- goers weren't treated to quite _that_ much variety, there were two kinds of shoulder patches, balsa planes, copies of Atari Explorer ...Plenty of "free" stuff for the price of admission. (For a small fee, I picked up a nifty Atari pin at the EAUG user group booth, too.) Atari brought an amazing amount of equipment for use by developers, for sale by dealers, and for door prizes. This is the first time I remember a grand prize as exotic and expensive as the TT. But it's also the first show I remember at which 8- bit XEs were given away as prizes courtesy of Atari. Atari had cleared a warehouse of all sorts of 8-bit equipment, and devoted 8-bitters had a veritable feast. Atari and the IAAD debuted a joint venture at this show. Participating IAAD members had contributed information on their products which was published by Atari (via Atari Explorer) to help inform the public on software and hardware products available to support Atari's ST/TT series. These brochures were available at the main entrance and at the Atari Explorer booth. It really was a show for "firsts". Greg Pratt spoke at the banquet Saturday night. Now, I admit it's probably _not_ the first time Greg Pratt has given a speech, but it's the first time _I've_ heard him give one, and that was surely true also for most of the people in the room. It was also the first banquet I've attended that was preceded by a fire drill, complete with alarm and yellow-coated firemen. OK, it wasn't the first show at which the MidWest Atari Regional Coun- cil had been mentioned. In fact, back at the MIST show in Indianapolis in the summer, MARC organizers had been in evidence. They had held a meeting for interested groups at that time. But the Chicago Computer- Fest was the first show at which this new coalition of users groups in my area offered their "MARC Excellence Awards"! Nifty plaques were awarded to the CodeHeads, Double-Click, and SoftLogik. Congratulations to the _excellent_ winners! [Say, any group in our general midwest region who is interested in learning more about MARC, please contact H.VIZE (Hank) or W.LORING1 (Bill) here on GEnie.] There were disappointments (no remote control in my hotel room!), glitches, no-shows, but my overall impression of the show is one of warm enthusiasm. Over half the members of my own user group attended, and all were glad they had. One of our main MIDI-enthusiasts spent Saturday talking to Roland's representatives. One member won a t-shirt from OPI. Another won one of those Atari XEs _and_ a computer toolkit. One brought his family and concentrated on the gaming areas. Another friend claimed to have seen and done _everything_; I don't really think this was possible. ;-) I brought my sister along to this show as I sometimes do. She's a computerphobic from way back, but she really got into this show. She strutted around in her ComputerFest shirt, helped me lug my equipment, attended the banquet and _enjoyed_ it! I had my educational consultant on hand tending my booth, so I was free to do some shopping myself. While I'm on this subject, I should mention the well-planned show program. The LCACE desktop publishers did a fine job, from the color scheme selected (blue on gray) to the arrangment of the segments. Believe me, my ad's appearance on the inside front cover has no bearing on this judgment. ;-) I debuted my Learning Games Packet, a collection of 10 mainly pd/shareware instructional programs. I also debuted my fuji rubber stamps in the guise of "instant tattoos". We offered a one-time tatooing free of charge; to maintain the effect, customers would just have to shell out for the actual rubber stamp. Didn't sell very many of 'em, but I sure did see a lot of skin! Weird, fun show! Thanks to Mike, Larry, JJ, Joe, and all the LCACE and other volunteers! Thanks to Mr. Pratt (somehow, I just can't quite say "Greg" here ;-), Bill, Bob, John J. and all the Atari crew! Same time, next year? ------------------ From Mike Drysdale - Msg. 367... As a dealer, I left the Chicago show energized by its scope and size. Atari is to be acknowledged for the tremendous effort they put out for this show - in time, personnel and product all of which costs dollars. I saw no penny pinching here. It was of course fun to see all the folks again for the first time since AEGIS. And meet new ones. The STbook is GREAT! The real pay off for a show like this is the order I took today for a TT UNIX system from 2 people who saw it at the show. WOW! ------------------ From: George @ JMG - Msg. 369... I must give a big thanks and "good job" to both LCACE and Atari, each did a terrific job in putting this show together. Well organized, lots going on, and Atari support to an extent I've never seen before. It is a pity about the snowy, blustery weather on Sunday, many think turnout would have been more with a little nicer day. Still, turnout, especially on Saturday, was quite good, and there were lots of interesting people to talk to. We ourselves managed to show a few firsts at a trade show, and impressed a lot of people by showing them new things that the didn't know there Atari's could do. Among our list of new things was demonstrating HyperLINK running on a network, in this case between a TT and Mega STE. We were showing loading applications and accessing databases over the network, including file sharing. To my knowledge, this is the first "regular" Atari application to use network database features if present, supporting Atari's new file and record locking specifications. The network driver we were using was Universal Network, also being shown at the A&D Software booth at the show, and it performed very well indeed. Another show first for us was being able to show off HyperLINK running on a large screen monitor, in this case a TTM194 19" screen. Sure, we had ordinary machines and monitors showing as well (HyperLINK was running on a Stacy, a MegaSTE, and two TT's at our booth), but a large screen monitor shows off some of HyperLINK's features even better. We were able to show five or six things going on at the same time in different HyperLINK windows. And the Chicago show also represented the introduction of our latest version of HyperLINK, 1.6, and our new "point and click and drag" report generator. In the end, our demos were very well received and sales were pretty good too. A final thanks to everyone who dropped by, whether to buy a copy, to see a demo, or just to say hi. It was a fun show for both David and myself. In this case, I can't say that much about the rest of the show, since most of my time was spent in our own booth, but from my brief wanderings I can say without hesitation that anyone who missed this show missed one of the most diversified, impressive displays of ST software and stuff in North America to date. As this was the last show of the season, David and I can now get back to every day sort of work (putting out a new newsletter, adding to our manual, putting some more demos together, etc); however I look forward to seeing everyone sometime next year. ------------------ From Charles Johnson - Msg. 371... This was a great show, folks! If you missed it, you missed one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of Atari products ever to be seen in North America. I'd like to thank Atari for their terrific support of the Chicago Computerfest -- it was exemplary -- and the show organ- izers and crew, who were extremely helpful and patient throughout the entire process. And on behalf of CodeHead Software, I'd like to say we're overjoyed about the MARC Excellence Award we received at Saturday's banquet -- it's a real honor. Thank you _very_ much. ---------------- From: David @ JMG - Msg. 373... As far as the show goes : A lot of fun! We were able with Atari's help to have our best illustration of what HyperLINK could do (4 different stations running different HyperLINK Applications) including the use of one of the 19" monitors for the TT. HyperLINK really looks sharp on the larger monitors, but they're too much of a pain for us to bring. Thanks Atari! Saturday was great! The booth was always busy with interested cus- tomers or with HyperLINK owners asking specific questions about how to do things and the time just flew right by. Sunday's attendance was lower than we had hoped but that probably had a lot to do with the weather (and the Chicago Bears game:-). We learned not to [put on] seminars on the late Sunday afternoon of a show. (3 people showed up!) Oh well, it was nice on Sunday actually getting a chance to go around and talk to some of the other devel- opers, User Groups, and I even managed to get in a game of Midi Maze! Thanks to all the people who ran the show. You put a lot of effort into it and it showed. You should be quite proud of yourselves. ---------------- From: Bill Rehbock @ Atari - Msg. 381... Larry, Mike, and the collective Midwest Atari Regional Council: THANK YOU! I am personally very proud of the great job you did (being a native Chicagoan myself :-) We at Atari were very pleased with the turnout for the show. The promotions worked out quite well and there was definitely a lot of "new-user" interest. Don at CompuSeller West has at least 6 follow ups from non-Atari customers! When my two sisters entered the hotel lobby and asked where the show was in the hotel, the bell hop responded "All over, it's a really big show!" Despite the weather and the Bears game (da-Bears!) the turnout was very good. The success of the show really makes it easier for Bob and I to keep up the concept of Atari-supported regional shows. Just a few comments regarding Ron's earlier posting... All of the TT's we brought to the show already have 1.44 meg floppy drives. They are still class 'A' machines, but they should be the last of the Class 'A's. The 1.44 meg controller is not from Western Digital; it is the Atari custom AJAX chip. AJAX is completely backward compatible with the WD1772 to ensure that copy protection and the like doesn't cause software to break. AJAX also can handle 1.44 meg drives when fed a 16 MHz clock instead of an 8 MHz clock. ---------------- From Jim Ness on CIS... I just returned home from this weekend's Chicago Atarifest. It went pretty much as I thought it would. The event is a two-day event, with seminars happening all day both days. The exhibit hall is filled with all the usual Atari developers, with the addition of some MIDI developers you don't usually see. Continuous crowds surrounded the Codehead booth, and Gribnif, Branch Always, Double Click, Toad, and ICD were similarly busy. Dave Small was not present, although he was listed in the directory. Pattie and Bill Rayl (AIM) shared a booth with Craig Harvey (EdHak) in a prime location, and always had people nearby. I had a chance to shake hands with Bob Brodie, Don Thomas and Joh Jainschigg, representing various Atari departments. I also attended Bob and Don's first seminars, which were enjoyable. I have no way of comparing the crowd to other recent Atari shows, except to say that it seemed as though there were lots of people attending. The mood was good, there were lots of Atari-supplied computers at each booth, and, to pronounce a very very early summation, I think the show is a success. ---------------- From Pattie (Atari Interface) on CIS... We did really well at the Chicago Show...as did most of the developers we talked to. There were about 60 different developers and clubs filling three different rooms at the show, plus a room for Lynx-com games and STs set up for MIDI Maze. There also was a swap room on the floor above for people selling used equipment. Apparently the 8bit developers were pretty happy. I know Chuck Steinman said he was very glad to be in a room set aside only for Classic Atari owners. Bob Puff seemed to be doing well, and I got to meet JD Potter, who was selling out of his packages. I got a nice demo of the new ReTouche Professional Color and Design package. It's very impressive, but I'm reserving judgement at this time. I managed to get a look at the new Color board from Dover Research and Lexicor Software... well, not actually look at it, cause it was in the Mega/STe, but I saw the nifty pics it can display on the big color monitor Jay Craswell was demo-ing on! At 512x512 with 16.7 million colors, true 24-bit color, with a price of $400, this is something you've got to get! So far, Jay is the only one the break through the software barrier that seems to be holding back other color board developers such as Omnimon/WuzTek, Matrix and Cyrel. Atari had a nice, professional set up...remeniscent of the set up they have at CESs I've been to recently. The ST Book was on limited dis- play, I understand, but wasn't able to get a look at it unfortunately. Atari sold out of all the 8bit equipment they brought! Lynxes were going for $125, complete. Mega/STEs were going out the door at a phenomenal rate. The attendance was in the neighborhood of 2,400, with a lot of the general public attending...people who didn't already have Atari computers. Both LCACE and Atari should be congradulated on an excellent show! Mike Brow, Bob Brodie and Bill Rehbock put a lot of hard work into this show, and it paid off! LCACE had a lot of other volunteers helping which added the final icing to the cake! _________________________________________________________ > CHICAGO COMPUTERFEST STR SHOW NEWS "Discovery Xtra & Family Curriculum" ================================== DISCOVERY XTRA AND FAMILY CURRICULUM ==================================== Computerfest Marketing Announcements ------------------------------------ by Daniel Stidham (note: this information was not obtained through press releases but was graciously presented to the readers of STReport via Bob Brodie and Mike Groh) Just in time for Christmas Atari was showing two new software/hardware packages designed to be mass marketed to those seeking a good solid family computer at entry-point level. These packages have their origin in England where Atari UK originally designed the packaging and decided their content. Basically Atari US is importing the software packages and the colorful sleeves to be wrapped around 520 and 1040 STe's available to them in their Sunnyvale warehouses. Software has been compiled from several well-known English developers and placed in boxes with Atari logos to complete the packaging. This software is by no means the state-of-the-art in ST computing but are instead designed to provide a high degree of usefulness while whetting the neophyte atarian's appetite for more advanced applications such as PageStream, Calamus and the many fine products offered by developers in the USA. Mike Groh and Bob Brodie of Atari US outlined the packages in full detail to myself for the benefit of St Report readers. There are two packages available: Discovery Xtra -------------- * 520 Ste and SC1224 color monitor * Four games including Final Flight, a Nintendo release that is actually premiering on ST's first, SimCity, Nine Lives and Escotre. * A Starter Pack consisting of NeoChrome, First Basic and ST Tour. * Over $1,000 total if pieced out, can be found on dealers shelves in the low 600's. (note: Atari was providing packages at the show bundled with 1040 Ste's for the same price as the 520 STe's) Family Curriculum ----------------- * 1040 STe and SC1224 Color Monitor * Play and Learn Module, Junior High School, CSCE revision module (high school), Computing Module (ST Word/Spreadsheet and Data Processing software), Family Activity Module (HyperPaint, First Basic, Music Maker II) * Over $1200 retail to be on dealers shelves for under $700.00 MSRP Atari is also importing 8 new packages under the Atari name in time for Christmas: * Home Productivity(same as Computing module above)--$49 MSRP * Sound and Music (Hybrid Arts sound sampler) -- $69 MSRP * Basic Programming (containing Hi-Soft's basic)-- $59 MSRP * Database (version of SuperBase) -- $49 MSRP * Spreadsheet (MasterPlan) -- $59 MSRP * Program Utilities -- $69 MSRP * Word Processing (Calligrapher Lite, multifont FSM-GDOS) -- $49 MSRP * Personal Finance -- $49 MSRP I was informed by Mr. Brodie that Atari is presently endeavoring to place these packages either now in or on their to major retailers around the country. __________________________________________________________ > STR Portfolio News & Information Keeping up to date... ================================ THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ========================= On CompuServe by Judith Hamner 72257,271 Forum members have something extra to be Thankful for this year. Due to the efforts of our marathon team and those who have joined the effort, we now have a host of new programs for the Portfolio. JMENT.BAS is a modification of days.bas designed to calculate interest on judgements compounded daily at 10%. This would be of special interest to trial lawyers to calculate pre and post judgement interest. It can also be modified easily to allow other rates or compounding periods. PIM.ZIP is a demo of a Personal Information Manager from In-Touch Network Systems, Inc. DSK8.COM is a fix for the Atari Chess Rom Program. This is only to be used with a 512k Portfolio. PBRUN.COM is the runtime program library for Power Basic. PBRUN.ZIP is a ZIP'ed version of the same file. One of these is required to run programs compiled with Power Basic. Uploaded with permission. PB02.TXT is BJ Gleason's second programming column on Pbasic reprinted from RE:Port. The topic if graphics. MKPGX.ZIP by Don Messerli let you create PGX files for PGfliX that contain PGC and PGT files. The PGX format was recently created to allow graphics animation. An update, MKPGX1.ZIP, let you use a text file rather than the command line to specify the the PGC and PGT files included in your PGX. CHEM.BAS is a simple Pbasic game. The object is to create the right chemical formula. MSTRMD.COM is a version of Mastermind for the Portfolio. POKER.COM is a video poker game. PUZZ15.COM is a version of the well known 15 tile game. SOLITR.COM is a casino style Klondike game for the Portfolio. All of these were uploaded by Mike Becker. PORTMA.ZIP is a graphics game by Dave Stewart which is intended to showcase his new graphics routines for sprite animation. PBAT.ZIP contains two scripts by BJ Gleason for use in batch files. They can be used to determine if you are running on a Portfolio and how much memory it has. ______________________________________________ > CHICAGO COMPUTERFEST STR SHOW NEWS "Studying the STBook" ================================== STUDYING THE STBOOK =================== More Computerfest Discoveries by Daniel Stidham Getting a close look and feel of the new Atari STBook notebook computer at the Chicago Computerfest by Atari, I thought I'd share my impressions and give some pertinent information about a very exciting product. Playing around with it I noticed that closing this thick piece of paper automatically turned its power off, and the next time you opened and powered it up you were brought back into the same exact spot in the same exact application you left off with. The proprietary Vector Pad got alot of attention. It features a finger-pad sized cursor positioning widget that requires you to press down your finger in the direction you want to go and the speed you want to travel(the harder you press, the faster). Two buttons below the Vector Pad act as the left and right mouse clickers and are operated with your thumb, a feature many at the show liked. This was also the only feature I really liked about the STBook's new pointing device. Generally I found it hard to master precise movement and the cursor was rather hard to pick up off a meek non-backlit screen. The STBook is a winner overall though and offers an optional MidI Expander and internal fax modem. An external mouse can also be connected if desired. The finish is finger print proof, I liked it much better than the STacy's finish which felt gritty and seemed to pick up grease off of your fingers fairly easily. A clasp latches over for closure but on the unit that was brought to the show, I found myself having to force it shut instead of having nice snapping action. In other words (and I don't know if this is going to be a problem on the release units) one handed closing was nearly impossible. Specifications -------------- * 68000 CPU * 1-4 mb of low powered pseudo-static ram * 512K Rom includes TOS, file transfer and hard drive utilities * 8 Mhz, 16 bit BLiTTER * 84 keys with ability to attach an external keyboard * 3 voice programmable sound generator * 640 by 400 Super-twist screen * Midi IN/Out, RS232, Parallel, floppy disk drive and DMA ports * 7 "AA" Alkaline battery pack (runs 10 hours on two hour charge) * High Quality AC Adapter * 19ms 40/80/1230 mb hard disks * 120 pin external expansion connector to main CPU bus * Calculator/Scheduler/Daily Planning software Optional Peripherals -------------------- * Internal Fax Modem (2400 baud data and 9600 baud fax) * 3.5 inch small size battery powered floppy disk drive * Midi/SMPTE Adapter Que Mucho? ---------- Initial pricing rumors about the show had this unit at around $2,000.00 retail and CompuSellers advertised a price of an incredible, $1799.00! Why discount it before its even released? The 1799.00 price was listed in the flyer they handed out at the show, this seemed to lend accuracy to the MSRP. Is it Soup Yet? --------------- A "high ranking Atari executive" told me that this unit will go into production next month and ship in January or February. I don't think this was any big surprise seeing as how CompuSeller had it already discounted in their flyer but I will honor his desire not to be quoted directly. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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 -------------------- Beginning September 1, 1990, DELPHI will begin offering a new plan that will save you money! The new plan is called the 20/20 Advantage Plan 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, contact DELPHI at 1-800-544-4005 and ask for Member Services. DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > CHICAGO COMPUTERFEST STR SHOW NEWS Reflections on the Show... ================================== Reflections on... THE CHICAGO COMPUTERFEST BY ATARI ================================= by Gordie Meyer <BIBLINSKI>, ST Advantage assistant area manager Now that I've had a couple days to relax and recover from my little excursion to the windy city, I thought I'd try to put some thoughts down on what I saw and what I think about it. My overall impression of the show was that it was excellent, although a limited success. I used the term 'limited' because it wasn't a perfect show. I don't mean that it was a bad show. Not at all. But speaking realistically, it could have been better. There could have been more people attending. There could have been more exhibitors. And there could have been fewer fire alarms and less snow. <g> From what I heard, sales were not as good as they had been at the WAACE show, although the crowd seemed to be a little larger. The facilities were excellent, and spacious, so there wasn't the packed-in feeling that pervades many Atari shows. And, for the first time, there seemed to be quite a few non-Atari owners wandering around the exhibit floor. Perhaps for that reason alone, I'd qualify the show as a success. Yes, even though I used the term "limited," I think the show was very much a success. And an indicator of how good the show could be in the future. The positive aspects of the show must be attributed to the excellent work done by the sponsoring user group, L.C.A.C.E. The show ran smoothly, with only one minor problem that I could discern. The public address system was difficult to hear, although that was probably a combination of the quality of the hotel's system and the competition from the MIDI booths. Other than that, I don't recall anything that even slightly marred the experience. Perhaps it is worth noting that this show was something of an experiment. Atari wants to do three major Atari-sponsored shows each year. One for each coast, and one for the Midwest. This was the first attempt at doing this kind of show, and while it was well done, I'm sure there are things that will be done a little differently in future shows. The hands-on dtp training seminars were a first, and, from what I've heard, quite successful. In fact, I believe they had to add additional sessions. And from a users' standpoint, they were quite a good deal. Usually, that kind of training costs in the neighborhood of $300 per person, so the $30 spent for 2 sessions was a real bargain. I expect that those kinds of seminars will be included in future shows. The game room, run at this show by MilAtari, seemed to be busy whenever I walked by, and I'd imagine that despite efforts to temper the 'game machine' image, similar facilities will be included when next years' shows come around. I spent several hours lending a hand to the CodeHeads in their booth, and with that experience, I'd say that having just a little more space in each booth would have been nice. Things can get fairly crowded when one person is demonstrating a killer program like MegaPaint, another is showing off a variety of utility programs, and 3 or 4 people want to have their programs updated. But, everyone managed to see or get what they wanted, so maybe the fact that I'm as big as I am was the _real_ problem. <g> I'm sure that there will be other reports about the show, that will give statistics on how many attended, who the exhibitors were and what new products were announced. So I feel no real need to go into that. But I do want to note a few things I heard and talked about with both developers and Atari personnel. Gregg Pratt, President of Atari Computers here in the US, spoke at the Saturday night banquet, and talked a little bit about where Atari was heading. Call it strategic planning, if you will. As I listened to what he had to say, I found myself translating it into terms that I'm more familiar with. I run a pizza restaurant, and much of what Gregg said about Atari is similar to my situation. Like Atari, my restaurant is in competition with the giants in the industry. Where computers have IBM and Mac, pizza has Pizza Hut and Dominos. They dominate the market to the point that perhaps half the pizza sold in the country are in either Pizza Hut or Dominos boxes. To compete, the little guy has to produce a product that is superior to that produced by the market leaders. (Fortunately, that isn't particularly difficult, either with pizza or computers.) But even with a superior product, it is no easy task getting the public to give yours a try. But, if you persevere, and maintain your standards, you will sell them. Maybe not in the same numbers as the giants, but you can still make a comfortable living. My restaurant is, at times, extremely busy. That is, we are making pizzas as fast as we can, and still can't keep up with demand. We've already gotten bigger ovens than we started with, and even then, sometimes just get behind. It's usually on one of those nights that someone comes up and asks if we've ever thought of expanding. Well, of course we've thought about it, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea. With expansion comes additional expense. Sure, it'd be a godsend on those really busy nights, but what about the slow ones? Is it worth carrying the ongoing expense, just to make a few nights a year run smoother? We don't think it is, and have decided to just bear with the line of customers waiting for a table to clear on those busy nights. It's not all that bad that people are willing to wait for your product, is it? If they don't want to wait, well, we're sorry. But we feel it's worth the wait, and obviously, so do a good number of other people. We're in business, not to feed as many people as we can, but to make a profit. And we do. Again, maybe not as much as the pizza industry giants, but we've already realized that we aren't in the same league, so it's really not fair to make that kind of comparison, now is it? Atari is also not in the same league as the two giants of the computer industry. That doesn't mean that Atari computers aren't as good as those produced by IBM and Apple. Quite the contrary. But it does mean that the strategies used by the big guys won't work for Atari. The big two can spend far more money convincing the public that their products are the ones to buy. And if they say it often enough, the public starts to believe it. And buys those products. Not always because of how good the product really is, but because of how good they think it is. In the past, Atari has used a broad appeal to try to sell their computers. If you need a home computer, Atari has one. If you need a business computer, Atari has one. If you need a MIDI computer, Atari has one. Well, no one can be all things to all people, and it's self-defeating to even try. Atari computers are capable of doing almost any kind of computing, but to be successful in the greater computer market, Atari needs to focus its limited marketing energy on just a small handful of things it does exceptionally well. For now, those things are MIDI, Direct to Press solutions and, soon, Presentation Graphics. Just as Atari must focus on limited markets, so too does my restaurant. Our community has a population of just under 50,000. Of that, just over half comprise the student population of the local state university. Now, most people think that the student market is the one to target, but we have found that just isn't so. There _are_ a lot of students out there, and they do eat pizza in great quantities. But... They tend to be price buyers, instead of product buyers. That is, they order the cheapest pizza in the advertisements. Oh, not all of them, but a vast majority. And while they spend money like they have a never-ending supply, they really don't have that much cash to throw around. And with the economy in the state it's in, they are unlikely to be increasing their wealth in the near future. On the other hand, the full-time townsfolk tend to be more product oriented. They, too, may have limited funds, but instead of buying the cheapest, they buy the best. After all, when it's your stomach, why scrimp? They may not buy as often as students do, but they are loyal to the products they find they like. And they will be around for a long time, if you treat them right. We do. And they are. Well, enough about pizza. It makes me too hungry. But I did mention something back there that needs to be expounded upon just a bit more. The economy just isn't in good shape. And that has a great deal of impact the future success or failure of Atari. Strangely enough, a bad economy seems to mean a brighter future for Atari. When money gets tight, retailers are forced to reduce their profits, in order to maintain the necessary sales volume to pay the bills. And with the huge competition amongst PC Clone makers, the profitability of any given clone is miniscule. So computer dealers are seeing already small profits being whittled away more and more as time goes on. Even Mac dealers are starting to feel a pinch, as Apple starts selling Mac's through mass merchandisers. In order to compete, Apple dealers may find themselves cutting their margins to match a mass merchandiser's price. Into that background, steps the Atari. With no competing sellers, an Atari dealer can compete with the prices of the clones and Mac's, without having to cut the margin of profit. While the 520STe and 1040STe are destined for mass marketing, the TT is reserved for dealer sales. And the margin of profit is now beginning to look very good when compared to clones and Mac's. Atari is aware of what the effect of a poor economy means for them, and is moving to exploit the opening. New dealer financing plans will make it easier to have product on the showroom shelves. And a customer leasing plan will make it easier for an Atari computer to make its way into someone's office or home. Neither of these new options would be possible if Atari wasn't in a reasonably solid financial position. Corporate debt has been reduced significantly, and funds are now available to be directed into selling the computers that Atari needs to sell. Perhaps one of the most impressive and least apparent things I found at the show was the attitude of the Atari personnel. There is an underlying commitment to make Atari a success. Gregg Pratt has built, and is still building, a team that will take Atari into the 21st century. Every one I spoke with, and a couple I only listened to, have that same enthusiasm. I can't really describe it, but I surely felt it. Gregg also mentioned that one of the highest priorities is drastically improving the customer support function. Steps are being taken to bring that department back up where it needs to be for Atari to be successful. Perhaps a small thing, but it says a lot about how Atari's thinking has changed. There is a plan and there is a team to carry it out. And, barring any interference from outside the team, it looks like we're finally going to see Atari turn the corner, and become what it has always had the potential to be. The R&D people are already working on the next generation of Atari computers. Some kind of '040 machine is in the works. The STylus is known to exist, and is being fine-tuned for the market. And who knows what lies beyond? We already know how good the hardware is, and now, it looks like the support company is starting to come around. And for those of us who have been around a while, it is a welcome event. *********************************************************************** * This file is the property of DELPHI's ST Advantage. Permission to * * reprint is granted, provided this notice is included and left * * unchanged. The opinions expressed are those of the author only, * * and not necessarily those of the ST Advantage or DELPHI. * *********************************************************************** ____________________________________________________ > DATA DIET STR Review "Calorize, Normalize, Dietize and Squish" ==================== DATA DIET 1.0 BY DOUBLE-CLICK SOFTWARE by Doyle C. Helms Jr. The above terms are from one of the most innovative programs for the ST computers since MultiDesk. The above mentioned term 'Squish', is a fairly well known name in the ST world. Squish is a program that will compress 'executable files' such as PRG's, TTP's, APP's and TOS. I have found an average of 30% compression (or space savings) from the use of Squish. The speed of Squish to decompress the file in memory is extremely fast and totally acceptable. The Squish program IS included with the Data Diet package. Let it be known that 'Squish' is only a minority player in the entire Data Diet package. The best is yet to come. ;-) What does it do?- Data Diet is a compression (real time) program for ALL of your DATA files. RSC files, word processor files, spread sheet data files, DEGAS picture files, IMG DTP files and on and on. Data Diet (hereafter know as DD for brevity) is always present and watching over your computers actions whenever you perform a disk function. DD requires NO action by you the user other than the initial set-up. The primary set-up by the user is very well documented and also very easy to perform. More on 'Set-Up' later. Once installed, DD compresses and decompresses files as they are 'called' by the master(running program). Example: The user double-clicks (or runs from HotWire or whatever) the WordWriter program to perform some word processing work. When WordWriter is run, it (WW) calls for its' RSC file. DD kicks in. DD decompresses the RSC file and allows WW to load and operate normally. In the case with WW, the decompression time of the required RSC file is really not noticeable. Ok, now the user is in WW and is ready to load a document for processing. When the document is chosen by the user it is also decompressed by DD and loaded normally. WW never knows anything out of the ordinary is going on. Ah, but there is, but-there-is! How does DD do it? - Aerobics maybe? No, Dietetics, what else? DD uses two options for compression. The is also a NO compression mode. The user can decide to exclude 'types' (extenders) of files, program data names (e.g. SUPERBT.STF) or entire paths (folders or Partition) to be excluded from compression. The reason for withholding compression from a program file is determined by two reasons(IMHO). The first reason I found is the order of which it runs in the AUTO folder. If a file such as PINHEAD.DAT is run BEFORE DD is run, it will NOT work! Why? Because the OS does not know this file is compressed and therefore does not know what to do with this garbage(the OS does not know this is a compressed file and therefore cannot make sense of the data contained in it). Any file that has a data/configuration file association that is run before DD in the AUTO folder should NOT be compressed. Makes sense doesn't it? The second reason for exclusion will be revealed in a moment. I was totally amazed when I was going to LZH some files for archival purposes when DD 'Normalized' the files automatically as the LZH (Questor) program called them to be archived. The same goes for de-arcing(de-LZHing whatever), the files are dietized once they are removed from the archive. In the initial set-up option menu the default drive exclusions are for drives A and B. This means if you were to copy a file or files from your dietized HD to your floppy, the file(s) would automatically decompress (Normalize) in the copying process. The reverse is also true, copying from floppy the HD would 'Dietize' them automatically. It is almost like a little Elf sitting on your drive controller dictating actions. The first method of compression is 'Type A'. This method is EXTREMELY fast when compressing large files (say 200K+) and decompression of same files. The space savings is not a much as the next method, 'Type B", but the speed of the large file decompression more than makes up for it. The second method of compression in DD is 'Type B'. This compression routine has the most optimum space savings of the two options in DD. The speed of decompression on files smaller than 200K are very acceptable and the savings average (on my system) at 25% to 35%. User Interface - The initial set-up of DD is very easy and quick. The manual for DD is well written with clear graphics for reference. The manual takes the user step-by-step. The set-up menus consist of an Accessory and/or an Application program. Suffice it to say that once the user determines the exclusion files they opt for, it is almost just a click away from 30% (average) larger disk drive! Reliability - I have found DD to be VERY solid. DD takes care of any files that are left 'hanging' by a unexpected power loss or other problems on the next boot up. I use Maxi-File III,Hotwire 3,Cal 6 Acc,Pinhead, Turbo-Mono 1.84 and a T-20 accelerator. The ONLY problem I have found with compatibility is when I use Outline Art (ISD) and save a file in .CVG format. The computer locks at this point. The system preforms flawlessly when using .CVG files with Calamus though. The problem is ONLY with Outline and .CVG files. the problem -COULD- be with my TSR's and etc. but I refuse to greatly alter my system parameters for a problem that can be as easily worked around as this was. I therefore set DD not to compress the .CVG files when I use Outline. Everything is now solid. Conclusion - I recommend Data Diet without reservation. Version 1.0 seems to be very solid and well executed. I have a 65mb drive at present (soon to be 100 meg (Quantum) internal with a Mega4 Ste <wide devilish grin>) and the DD tools program stats tell me I now have the equivalent of a 90 meg drive. 25 megs for around 60 bucks. Can you upgrade your hard drive any cheaper than that??? This program lives up to the old Atari adage of "Power without the Price" Next week I will examine MegaPaint 4.0 from CodeHead Software for the Artists'/DTPers' ToolBox... Until then have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season. Editor's Note: The good folks at Double Click have a real winner on their hands with this program called Data Diet. Its worth every penny they ask. ---------------------------------------------------------- > CHICAGO COMPUTERFEST STR SHOW NEWS "A SUPERB EFFORT BY LCACE" ed. =================================== CHICAGO COMPUTERFEST BY ATARI ============================= (an Aftermath Report) by Mike Brown, President - LCACE The following is Copyright 1991, Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts, and Atari Corp. Permission is granted for inclusion in Atari User Group newsletters as long as the entire text is kept intact. Other use must be approved by LCACE, Atari Corp. and STReport. As most of you probably know, the Chicago ComputerFest by Atari is now history. before I get into talking about details of the show that probably won't be covered in other reports, I'd like to take a moment and praise LCACE's Special Events Chairman, Larry Grauzas, and the members of the Chicago ComputerFest organizing committee (in no particular order): Dwight (JJ) Johnson, Steve Kostelnik, Dave Moriarity, Joe Julian, Larry Grauzas Sr. and Steve Yeaton. These gentlemen, (and their families) put their personal lives, non-show interests, and in some cases, their jobs, "on hold" for months to assure that we would have a professional and well presented show for all of you. I have nothing but praise and admiration for the fine performance shown by all of "our people" involved. I would also be remiss if I did not cite the significant contributions made by our sister Atari User Groups - MilAtari (gaming area), MAST (security), RACC (8-bit and staff), SCAT (staff), and GCACE (staff). The 9 member groups of the Midwest Atari Regional Council (ACE St Louis, ASCII, BLAST, CUSTUG, EAUG, IMAGE, MDC-RCC, PAUG and STar) also contributed significantly by supplying volunteer labor for set-up, breakdown, and day- of-show activities; not to mention sponsoring the first annual MARC Excellence awards (more on that later). Those of you out there who keep reciting the litany of "no Atari support", should have been there to help unload the _two truckloads_ of computers, display equipment, literature, promotions and handouts that Atari sent us. Each and every person walking into the Ramada convention center Friday night for show set-up nearly fell over with the sheer volume of equipment sent by Atari to be loaned to exhibitors or intended for show sales stock. Added to that was the nice cloth patches and other promotional items provided to the show by Atari for the attendees (was there anything left in Sunnyvale, Bob?). Atari Corp. supported our efforts to get the news of the show out to the general public by sponsoring a LYNX giveaway contest on WLUP radio's "Steve and Gary" show, "Chet Coppuck on Sports", as well as the award-winning "Jonathon Brandmeier" morning show. In addition, we placed newspaper ads in all of the local college papers, and well-designed ads appeared in the "Friday" section of the Chicago Tribune (thanks Dave!). Our advertising budget alone for this show eclipsed the total show budget of both prior LCACE- sponsored AtariFests. In addition to hardware, Atari provided over 25 Atari employees. They were not nameless folks either; Greg Pratt, Geoff Earle, Mark Campbell, Bill Rehbock, Mike Groh, Mike Fulton, Bob Schuricht, Art Morgan, James Grunke, Don Mandell, Sue Ruck and Don Thomas all joined Fest-meister Bob Brodie in working the show (just to drop a _few_ names). The Atari staff didn't just stand around and "look cool" either- they were clearly in attendance to "take care of business", and did just that! Greg Pratt was particularly impressive, always having time for even the smallest of questions posed by the show-goers. I saw Mr. Pratt in attendance at many of the seminars, including sitting in on the DTP hands- on classes (more about that later too!). I was left with the impression that Mr Pratt cared very much about the success of this show, and truly enjoyed being in attendance- Mr Pratt is truly "one of us" and we should be happy that under his guidance Atari Corp. is willing to take significant risks like the Chicago ComputerFest. Atari Corp's display - taking up a full 60 feet of floor space, was dominated by the same professional display stands as used at COMDEX and CEPS. All manner of professional solutions were shown in this area- there was an Atari representative or Atari business partner at each workstation smiling and offering assistance to the attendees. Somewhat of an unexpected surprise for most show-goers was the showing of Atari UNIX system V running on the TT030. Art Pruzynski and Diane Gurrero of Atari's UNIX team were in attendance to show off their "baby". I only got a peek at UNIX on the TT- but it looked quite complete. BTW- the version shown was the version currently being shipped to developers. Nearby, the Atari Entertainment display offered a row of LYNX kiosks loaded with the latest releases for the Lynx system. Atari provided game designers and staff members to help the new players get started, and to provide insight into the secrets of the games for experienced Lynxsters. I hate singling out people, but in this case it is really deserved- Louie Moskalski of Atari Entertainment was the "man who got things done" in their area. Gawd, I wish I had that level of energy during the show days, Great job Louie! Hours prior to the actual opening of the show on Saturday, people were beginning to line up in anticipation of getting one of the free promotional items offered by Atari Entertainment and Atari Corp. As a matter of fact, when I stumbled down to the foyer of the convention center at 7:00 AM Saturday, there were already people in line waiting for the 10:00 general show opening. I would estimate that there were more than 300 people waiting for the opening of the doors at 10:00 Saturday- the waiting line stretched from just outside the convention center, past the Quest nightclub and the gift shop, nearly to the front desk itself. To ease the crowd situation somewhat, the Gaming Area in Grand Ballroom "B" was opened at 9:30 by the MilAtari crew. This enabled people to relax and have something to do prior to the actual opening of the show. I must interject that the MilAtari crew led by Lee Musial did just an OUTSTANDING job of handling their area- but this is no real surprise as they have been doing an excellent job of handling the computer gaming portion of the GenCon gaming fair for many years now. Sincere thanks to Clinton Smith of Atari Portable Entertainment newsletter for helping in the gaming area with the LYNX competitions. The opening of the show was barely controlled pandemonium as you would expect- the exhibitors being VERY, VERY busy for the first few hours of the show. Advance ticket sales through local user groups helped the ticket sales problem, but people were still buying additional tickets at a furious pace all day Saturday. Most of my time Saturday and sunday was devoted to keeping the 48 general seminars humming; unfortunately, we had a couple of AV equipment failures that required projection equipment to be shuffled around from room to room so presenters would have what they needed. The presenters took it all with good humor, even those that were scheduled against more popular presentations that drew big crowds. In addition to these more conventional "presentation" seminars, we offered a series of "instructional" seminars geared to teaching participants the basic and advanced techniques of page layout and desktop publishing on Atari systems. Atari loaned us enough equipment for 20 "hands on" workstations and instructor equipment; we provided a color LCD projection system so that all in attendance could see what the instructor was doing. ISD Marketing provided master instructor Mario Georgiou to present Calamus classes, and SoftLogik provided the highly talented Dan Weiss to teach the secrets of PageSTream 2.1. Although some balked at the $15.00 materials cost for these 3-hour presentations, those that attended the sold-out sessions (SoftLogik (PageSTream) scheduled a second Intro Class Saturday night to handle those that were on a waiting list in case someone did not show) had universal praise for the content of the materials presented, and said that the sessions were well worth the time and money. Both SoftLogik and ISD have expressed interest in holding similar "hands on" sessions at future shows-- note AtariFest planners! GEnie provided a unique "on line" presence on the show floor with live reports being beamed periodically directly from their booth. I am most greatful for the participation of Juan Jimenez of the Aladdin PC RT (arguably, the "father" of the Aladdin concept), Gordon Monnier and Tim Purves of the GEnie's Aladdin ST RT (also of Griffin Hi Tech Software). These masters of telecommunications are to be congratulated for the fine presentations that they made- Juan joined us on short notice; flying in from NYC _on his own nickle_ despite the fact that he is not strictly an Atari person! It warmed my heart to see MS-DOS developers like Juan and ST Developers like Gordon and Tim working together at the show; the cross pollination can only do both "worlds" good. I must say that our exhibitors were truly generous with their door prize donations- among them were the 105mb Hard Drive donated by ABCO Computing Consultants, the Migraph Hand scanners, and the TT030 Color system donated by Atari. A good estimate of the retail value of the goods given away would approach $10,000.00. Saturday night brought the Gala Chicago ComputerFest by Atari Banquet and MARC Excellence awards ceremony. The banquet had it's share of surprises (a fire alarm was pulled just prior to the actual start of the Banquet by one of the many Jerry Garcia fans in the hotel- you had to be there...), but the biggest surprise was the outstanding turnout- we had to ask the hotel to bring additional tables in for latecomers! The formal portion of the program begun with the presentation of the first annual Midwest Atari Regional Council awards for excellence. The MARC award winners were selected for their outstanding contributions to the betterment of the Atari community by the officers of the previously mentioned 9 MARC member-groups. MARC chairman Hank Vize gave the attendees a brief overview of the purpose and goals of MARC before the actual presentation. It was my pleasure to present Double Click Software, SoftLogik Publishing, and Codehead Software with their nicely enameled plaques as a reminder of their fine work. John Eidsvoog and Charles Johnson clowned on stage during the presentation, but the "table talk" afterwards revealed that both Charles and John were truly moved by the recognition of their efforts. Next, Bob Brodie, Atari's spokesperson said a few short words, then introduced Atari's President- Mr. Greg Pratt. Mr. Pratt gave a very moving talk about the importance of everyone seated in the room as "Atari's Business Partners" and outlined the immediate plan of attack for Atari in the domestic and international markets. Mr. Pratt's remarks gave the folks assembled a first-hand flavor of what Atari exceutives are thinking and planning for the immediate future. The assembled group apparently liked what they heard based on the standing ovation given Mr. Pratt and the assembled Atari guests. After the banquet, most participants beat a path for the Double-Click or MilAtari sponsored cocktail parties which (I am told) went on _very_ late. One of the most gratifying things about hosting a national show of this nature is the cross-section of the Atari community that you meet. One of the more colorful groups in attendance at this show were the Electronic Music / MIDI folk. The music-industry personalities ranged the full spectrum from the dynamic Kest Carter-Morgan and the people of ASTMUM (Montreal Canada User Group), to the multi-talented Bob Lytle of Guitar Plus, to the arrestingly beautiful Dana Byrd of Hybrid Arts. Guitar Plus sponsored a series of "hands on" MIDI instructional seminars that were, unfortunately, sparsely attended. I guess that musicians don't really get cranking until later in the night on weekends, right Bob? Press coverage of the show was outstanding, with John Jainschigg and Peter Donoso representing Atari Explorer with John Nagy representing AtariUser magazine, Dan Stidham representing STReport and an international contingent representing such far-flung places as Peru! The one question that was on everyone's lips during and after the show was "will you do it again next year?". I must say that ball is firmly in Atari's court- LCACE, as the "little group that could", does not have the financial resources to handle the equipment, hotel, and advertising commitments that Atari was able to guarantee. On the other side of the coin, the physical and emotional demands on the LCACE staff were truly crushing, we are just now starting to recover from the strain of squeezing this puppy out- thinking about next year is almost an excersise in masochism. Will there be a Chicago ComputerFest by Atari 1992? If you think that there should be, you can help by sending a letter of thanks to Mr. Jack Tramiel or Mr. Greg Pratt of Atari Corporation for their sponsorship. Bob Brodie tells me that letters of this kind make a _big_ difference in shaping Atari policy, so make your opinion heard. I feel badly that I was not able to spend more time with each of our exhibitors and participants- fire fighting and such kept me busy both days. When I finally did sit down on Sunday after breakdown, I developed severe verigo due to the my body not being in motion. I realize that this is a poor substitute for a personal handshake, but thanks to everyone who participated. I hope that you all enjoyed our efforts as much as it appeared you did. For myself, after I catch up on a week's worth of sleep, I plan to get my guys together and buy them a beer, maybe two. _____________________________________________________________ > CHICAGO COMPUTERFEST STR SHOW NEWS ..Atari's New Show Philosophy ================================== ZeN & THE ART OF COMPUTERFEST SPONSORSHIP ========================================= Analyzing the Dynamics of Atari's New Show Philosophy by Daniel Stidham The Chicago Computerfest by Atari. I don't think a whole lot of people really knew what to expect but very few left the show, vendors and attendees, without being impressed by the whole-hearted support provided by Atari to LCACE in making this a success. Scott Haynes, veteran show attendee and a friend who helps me on my video projects, commented that he "had a blast" and got more out of this show than any he had attended. Its been said we must crawl before we walk and it seems as though this evolution in forward movement was pulled off successfully if not a bit wobbly. Brains...not beauty ------------------- Keep in mind, this wasn't earth-shattering in terms of numbers. Very few vendors reported more than average sales, this being confirmed by Nevin Shalit, newly elected president of IAAD. Although at 9AM the line queue was 60 deep, exactly one hour before the show, attendance petered out toward the end of the first day and was slow during the second day (note: a Chicago winter storm that iced up the roads may have contributed to the conservative numbers on Sunday). Not being swept away by stunning beauty and glitz, this show was more subtle in its impressions. There was a down-to-earth sincerity in Atari's effort that came through as the largest group of Atari personnel assembled for an end-user fest answered queries and demonstrated the entire Atari product line. Each facet was represented by at least one or two representatives in its own little section: Lynx Gaming, Portfolios and third party accessories, the ST family of computers, the TT030's, Atari Unix and the "Classic" Atari, the 8-bit machine. The amount of support provided for the 8-bit was somewhat surprising. The fest program book outlined a special area devoted to 8-bit vendors, user-groups and developers. Atari...friendly and at your service? ------------------------------------- Atari didn't seem as intent on blowing peoples minds as it did in blowing their conception of a computer company, seemingly out-of-touch, unresponsive, and ungrateful towards a loyal user-base. Randy Noak reported to me that he was pleasantly surprised at the friendly attitude displayed by Atari personnel as they began set-up at 2:30PM the previous day, working until late in the night. He described a smiling, joking group that was eagerly awaiting the show with the expectation of a proud new father. They had plenty to anticipate. The seminar list for the two-day show was literally as long as your arm. Every imaginable Atari application was given due justice (Dave Small and Ralph Mariano seminars were canceled as both were unable to attend) including DTP, Midi, telecommunications, etc. Several seminars were held simultaneously in several different seminar rooms. A total of 38 seminars were scheduled ranging from Missionware's LottoOdds to a Portfolio Q & A session hosted by Atari's Dave Thomas. Just a little suggestion ------------------------ Personally I thought the seminar schedule was a bit ambitious given the fact that there was so much time to be spent with the developers on the showroom floor during the 14 hours scheduled for the show (10AM to 5PM each day). My personal suggestion for future such shows is scheduling of a 3 day event with the first day, a friday, devoted to seminars from say, 8AM to 5PM. This would leave attendees with plenty of time to browse, shop and chat with their software heros without having to look over their shoulders wondering if they were late or had missed a good seminar. I never attended any of the seminars (quite literally absorbed with interviews and note-taking for this article) but peeked in on a few. The midi seminars and Atari seminar were well attended, as were the Aladdin seminars hosted by Timothy Purves and Gordon Monnier. Several others only had a handful in attendance. Moving on... ------------ Another more novel idea were the formal classroom's set-up for teaching introductory and advanced Calamus and PageStream. Each class cost a very reasonable $15.00 to cover materials and curriculum, with the proceeds divided between the sponsoring DTP company and LCACE to help defray show cost. Atari donated the use of 40 workstations for the project, 20 for each class. SoftLogik had an overwhelming response to its classes, taught by Dan Weiss, selling out both time slots on Saturday and Sunday and had to add an additional 2 hour class for $10.00 to handle the overflow. Calamus, taught by Mario Georgiou, did well but did not sell out their classes. Hmmm....does this mean that everyone's finally got Calamus figured out and mastered? Gaming ------ Another dimension to this first-ever Atari-sponsored user-group show was a multi-faceted gaming area, fully supported by Atari with 32 520 STfm's and SC1435 stereo color monitors set-up for midi-maze tournaments, 20 1040STe's and SC1435's set-up for software testing and open gaming, and 20 Lynx II stations set-up for game card rentals of the 33 available Lynx games. Atari tapped the expertise and experience of that wonderful user group that handles the GENCON gaming convention every year in Wisconsin, MilAtari, the Milwaukee Area Atari User's Group. Gameplay cost $2.00 per hour and a cash register and clerk took in the money while MilAtari militia did a commendable job of monitoring and organizing games and competitions (you could really tell they had done this before, they weren't at all frazzled). Prizes were awarded for midi-maze competition, a computerized version of real-life paint ball battles using midi-connected ST's. Up to 32 players could be organized to play in a minimum of two large tourneys (16 players performed game) with new games being called promptly on the hour, every hour. The winner of the game would get credit for on game winning hour and receive a free t-shirt while other competitors received complimentary participation souvenirs (buttons, stickers, etc.). At the end of the two-day fest the fellow or gal with the most game winning hours won a Lynx II Deluxe game system. The most I ever saw engaged in battle were 12, although MilAtari President, Lee Musial (no relation to Stan the Man), mentioned that at GENCON it was quite the hit. A handful of users were usually seen renting out some of the 20 computers in the open gaming area either for game-play or to try out a new software purchase. The lynx area saw the most action with about half the Lynx's in constant use, mostly by little kiddies staring enthralled at their Lynx's 3.5 inch screen. Two dollars allowed them rental of any Lynx cart and up to one hour of Lynx use (MilAtari allowed liberal switching of carts during the hour). Proceeds from the rental sales went to help Atari and LCACE defray show cost and to partially benefit MilAtari in return for their participation. "Classic" support... -------------------- Last and certainly not the least beneficiary of this new Atari show concept were 8-bitters. One of four grand ballrooms was devoted exclusively to the 8-bit machine and was filled with developers, vendor and user-groups. Atari brought along many items in clearing out its warehouse including bunches of XE Game Systems without power supplies or game carts. All were sold out towards the end of the second day for $25. Numeric keypads were also being sold along with many pieces of Atari hardware and, from the looks of the three table display manned by the Rockford Computer Club of Rockford, Illinois, it was all very nearly sold out. Of course, monies raised were handed over to the managing partners of this show to help defray show cost. Bob Brodie, Atari and Zen... ---------------------------- In speaking with Bob Brodie I delved into the philosophy that served as the spiritual impetus for this unprecedented effort. At a base level, Mr. Brodie saw a need for a major Atari show in the Midwest to geographically balance the two major and successful show on the east and west coasts (WAACE and Glendale respectively). On a bit more esoteric level, Bob saw a need to provide the impetus by Atari, corporately, in transforming the classic Atari fest from a glorified swap meet to a classier, better organized promotion of Atari productivity solutions. Attending several "enemy" computerfests, such as AmiExpo in Oakland, Bob was impressed with the organization and foresight shown in the production of shows that attempted to provide a complete experience. The cost for such commitment was reflected in high admission prices (for example, $35.00 for the AmiExpo), heretofore unseen by Atari show-goers. At this point in his discussion I began to understand his argument for the need for what is, to-date, the highest admission to any Atari show ($6.00, $10.00 for two-day passes). Bob stated that all were aware of the negative publicity and response to an admission price comparable to others he had seen and opted instead for a lower entry fee with ala carte options (gaming, DTP classes). Realizing the tremendous value and accessability of professional business men and women in successful user-groups such as HACKS, WAACE and LCACE, Bob saw a natural partnership of leadership in applying the experienced organizational skills of such men as Mike Brown and Larry Grouzas of LCACE, providing logistical management to implement Atari resource muscle. Bob was more than optimistic at noon on Saturday about the possibility of future shows. Ideally Atari would like to provide this same sort of commitment to the HACKS and WAACE groups in the sponsorship of their annual fests. Although Bob emphasized that this show and its concept were the brainchild of a consensus of Atari executives, Mike Brown, LCACE president, mentioned in his welcoming address that "We all owe a large debt of gratitude to Mr. Greg Pratt, Mr. Bob Brodie and Mr. Bill Rhebock of Atari USA..." Wrap-up ------- Wrapping up this portion of my report, let me leave you with my honest impressions, for what they are worth. Initially I was a bit skeptical of the need and public response to a higher-than-usual admission and the ala carte charging for special events. After speaking with Bob Brodie and witnessing the massive resources Atari provided LCACE in ensuring a classy and memorable experience, and taking into account that the hotel complex was entirely dedicated to Atari convention space (nearly every meeting room and all four grand ballrooms), I felt that the show, on the contrary, provided a great value. You did not have to avail yourself of the extras nor pay for them. I can only hope that future shows will remain as reasonable. I must emphasize that my conclusions are not the result of an excellent sales job by Mr. Brodie, but a gut feeling for knowing a good value when I see it. It was great to see 1-2 representatives available for quizzing at nearly every product-line station. We're talking nearly 20 employees of Atari Corporation assigned to separate areas (nearly the whole Comdex team)--Mike Fulton, Bill Rhebock, Bob Brodie, Greg Pratt, Donald Thomas, Mike Groh and many others. We've always been aware that Atari has had great products but were concerned about their attitude and commitment to the USA market place and the existing ST user base. I left this show with a good feeling in my bones about Atari's future that was based on more than a promise, but an active interest in me, the user. They actually seemed service-oriented and fired-up, knowing they were on the bring of forward momentum. And yet... ---------- Note the use of the phrase, "..on the brink...". Although Atari brought along tremendous amounts of equipment for vendor use, the gaming area and booth display,I was very disappointed to see little of no business computers (TT030's or Mega STe's) available for sale, nor any mention of dealer availability. By contrast, Atari Canada made absolutely certain they had supplied their vendors with stacks (literally, see the Windsor Video) of ALL product line at the Windsor Fest. This my friends (as Ralph would say) seems to be the perennially missing link. Nevertheless, Atari personnel on the whole displayed an encouraging amount of charisma and confidence. As employees they seemed extremely dedicated. Lets all hope their bosses can back-up their new-found bravado. ___________________________________________________ > CHICAGO COMPUTERFEST STR SHOW NEWS "..a comprehensive view.." ================================== THE NEW, THE IMPROVED...AND THE WACKY ===================================== by Daniel Stidham Previously I have outlined Atari's philosophy in explaining their massive sponsorship of the Chicago Computerfest. Further along I overviewed the actual execution and my impressions. Lets now get into some detail on the detail. I won't bore you with "Gribnif was on-hand showing Neodesk..." or "the Codeheads were demoing Hotwire and Multidesk...", but will focus attention on the _news_, most of it software/hardware related, along with eyewitness reports of developers tossing those "Atari's Flying High" planes from booth to booth (I've got names). Come along... ------------- After a 5 and 1/2 hour drive from Cincinnati, Ohio (home of the 1-11 Bengals, proud of that) me and Scott (or Scott and I or Scott and me or I and Scott, take your pick) arrived at the Ramada O-Hare at 9AM CST. The weather was horribly bone-chilling cold (Brrr....just thinking about it!). Windy is not just a cute nickname for Chicago folks! Anyway the nice lady told us we couldn't get into a nice warm room with a nice warm shower until about 1PM. She was too sweet to argue with and after our bribes were laughed at (we actually offered a $20 dollar 'tip' to expedite our room-cleaning) we walked towards the grand ballroom and counted about 60 show-goers waiting patiently in line, one hour before show time. Excitement was in the air but so was scrambled eggs, hash browns and sausage links. We parted momentarily to enjoy a $6.25 breakfast buffet ('twas very good). When we came back to the ballroom the show had started and the line was gone. I got in free (something about press privilege) and Scott had to pay $10 for a two day pass. The pass actually came in the form of a large raffle ticket to be filled out and dropped into a hopper. There were lots of prizes and though I cannot enumerate, I do know that ABCO gave away a complete 105 mb Quantum hard drive and 6 $100 gift certificates and Atari raffled off a TT303/8, $3,000 dollar system which was won by a fellow named Todd in the Windsor, Canada usergroup (Scott threw down his raffle ticket and muttered something about that guy probably being an "8-bitter any way" --just kidding). After getting our hands stamped we were given a really nice program packet that included a silver on royal blue Fuji with the name Atari stitched in below it, an Atarian Game Player patch, a balsam "Atari's Flying High" plane (big hit with the developers--see above), a glossy Lynx magazine length advertisement and a professionally typeset, 23 page staple-bound program. My hats off to the program designers. It was simple, yet thorough and easy to find pertinent information, scheduled activities, exhibitor listings and hotel floor plans. You were then sucked into a large main ballroom about the size of a football field. Professionally draped booths formed four long aisles of nearly every developer in North America with the notable exception of Gadgets by Small (that boot was set-up but empty indicating some sort of last minute cancellation?). I spoke with a few attendees who were anxious to see the release version of Dave's SST030 and attend the Gadgets seminar and were sadly disappointed. Speaking of accelerators, Fast Tech's jim Allen was also missed (Hmmm... sorta makes you wonder if Atari didn't renege on their alleged TOS licensing agreement with both these folks.) Atari World of... ----------------- Portfolios Atari occupied the entire back wall and was displaying ..well almost ..everything. They had a 4 by 8 table stacked with oodles of "Terminator II, Save the World" machines and accessories (at least that's what Art Thomas of Atari preferred to call the Portfolios). Seven Portfolios were scattered about displaying bit-graphic images of corporate logos such as Dutch-Boy paints and even Terminator II movie artwork. Accessories included software such as Power Basic and Finance, an Extech mini serial printer, 32 and 64K memory cards, etc. Unix Next to that table, going left to right, was a display of TT030's and large screen monitors (TTM 195) displaying Atari System V (UNIX) solutions, presented by a lovely dark-haired lady from Atari (who I neglected to identify) demoing and passing out a stapled 3 page release outlining the Unix Developers kit. Briefly the kit included XFacemaker II, "..a full interface development environment."--I was impressed. The System V Developers kit also includes a TT030 32 Mhz with 68882 co-processor, 2 mb ST Ram, 16 mb TT Ram, 3 button mouse, 200/340 mb hard drive and a TTM195 19 inch mono monitor. Complete documentation, AT & T System V Release 4.0, languages and a GUI are also included. Graphics Presentation Jay Craswell manned an area in the Graphics Presentation area demoing his Leonardo 34 bit color card capable of displaying 16.7million colors on screen at once. Jay was also passing out a glossy flyer describing a 600 mg erasable optical system made by XYXIS, that he was adapting for use on the ST platform (already sold and being used on other platforms). STBook Atari brought along an STBook, their notebook sized computer. It was hard to get a good look-see as there were constantly, 5-6 people admiring its petite demeanor. See a mini-review later in this issue of ST Report. Lynx II As mentioned earlier the Lynx gaming section on the showroom floor (as opposed to the gaming area), which included 3 kisosks with 4 Lynx's each was constantly active an manned by an Atari representative who answered questions on game availability and general Lynx information. He informed me that the New Lynx II Deluxe Package was shipping and available for Christmas. Indeed several merchandisers at the show were selling the specially packaged Lynx's, with one, CompuSeller West, selling them for a $125.00 show special ($149 MSRP). The package was generally the same as the old Lynx Deluxe package but with a more colorful box and a large Deluxe Package sticker affixed to the accessories list that included a California Games card, a ComLynx cable and AC Power Adapter was a Lynx carrying pouch that had been available previously for $14.95 retail. Without a doubt this is the best color gaming value in the market place. If you subtract out the cost of all supplied accessories ($70 MSRP) the final cost for the Lynx is $75 MSRP or $50 if you are lucky enough to find a dealer who had the kind of special CompuSeller had at the show. ROLE CALL! ---------- The vendors and developers, as always, gathered the most attention at this show. Lets check out the new and improved... WizWorks -------- Chet Walters was demoing his new scanning tray and full-page merging software called Coalesce. Positioning on the scanning tray with the scanner holder seemed to eliminate guesswork in making right and left sided scans for later merging and tweaking (quickly and efficiently I might add) in the supplied Coalesce software. W. David 'Willie' Parks was also showing a scanner input desk accessory called ScanLite ("Works Great! Less Filing!"), a bare bones utility with no other capability but to scan in and save in normal or compressed img format. It requires only 20K when not being used to scan and can be configured to reserve a certain amount of memory when used with programs that monopolize memory (such as PageStream). It can also be renamed and used as a program from the GEM desktop but when installed as an accessory it acts as a front-end for scanning directly into Chet's Coalesce merger utility. ScanLite was available for a show special $20.00 while Coalesce was available for a show special $69.95 including scanning tray. I purchased both! Both work with major scanners such as Migraph, Golden Image, Geniscan and DATAscan. Also available from the WizWorks clip-art guys were 3 new clip-art disks including Football Helmets, Star Trek and Tools. ST Informer ----------- Mike Lindsay, Chris latham and Deron Meer were on hand all the way from Grants Pass, Oregon (they also brought along this unidentified lady who stumbled and mumbled about the booth, carrying and talking to a log????). A Prototype of ST Lanport was being shown that would provide the same lanport compatibility to older style ST's, allowing them to be hooked up to Mega STe's and TT's. Attendees could also pick up a free issue of ST Informer and upgrade to the newest version of UIS 3.32, whose major upgrade features include an extension pop-up menu, resizable and configurable dialog box, full compatibility with STe's, TT's, Codekey's and DC Shower and support for Atari's Cookiejar protocol. Migraph ------- Liz and Kevin Mitchell displayed a beta version (0.9) of the Migraph OCR ad were taking pre-shipment orders for $245.00 ($295.00 MSRP). Using Omnifont Technology the OCR performed will when demo'ed to me by Liz Mitchell and I have to say that this thing looks like it will provide a positive return on an initially steep learning curve investment. Migraph executed on its promise to bring only the highest quality, and thus worthwhile, OCR available on the market today on any platform. The software will work with most scanners. Migraph was also displaying its scanning tray (identical to WizWork's) and merging software, Merge-It. Although similar in function and execution, the Merge-It! software and scanning ensemble was nearly double the price of WizWorks entry into full-page scanning. Double-Click ------------ Paul Lee and Mike Vederman were demoing their latest software release designed to cut the fat out of your hard drive, called Data Diet. This program was written by Keith Verdes and "dietizes" nearly all of your RSC, data and document files with two levels of compression. Type A compression provides 100K performed second compression while Type B is a bit slower but with 2-20% better compression results. Mike and Paul said that this software has been extensively tested and had no known compatibility problems. They also stated that speed of loading in dietized files was not adversely affected. Well, I've been awaiting purchase of this program since the summer and took advantage of a show special. Data Diet was selling at the show for $50 with a MSRP of $59.95 that they stated may go up before the end of the year to $74.95. Look for a review of this product in a future issue of STReport. Mike also passed out an issue of DC Source dated August 1991. My favorite feature of this newsletter is the column, "Coffee Talk with Mike, where all we talk about is coffee and dogs....I'm enjoying a cup of Ethiopian Yrgacheffe right now...". he then goes onto welcome readers to enjoy a cup of coffee with him at one of several future shows. Bring your coffee mugs for free imported coffee on Mike....NOT! Gribnif ------- Besides demoing its fine and growing stable of products, Dan Wilga dn Rick Flashman were demoing Arabesque Professional and XBoot. XBoot is a great boot-up manager that provides a completely GEM driven interface to manage your boot-up preferences. To make things even easier and more automatic, XBoot, a German import, provides a window with up to 40 allowable configurations that can be loaded by clicking on their set name. Shipping is about a week away and I pre-ordered one at a show special of $29.95 ($39.95 MSRP). When asked about the difference between Convector (Gribnif's yet-to-be-released autovector) and CodeHead's Avant Vector (noting their obvious differences in price--$495 MSRP for Avant Vector to $95 MSRP for Convector), Dan stated that Convector was a bare-bones auto-tracer and would provide a low-cost solution to users not needing the advanced features of Avant Vector. Missionware ----------- Believe it or not, Flash II is about to be shipped and Missionware, the new owners of this old-time favorite, was demoing a pre-release version at their booth. Advance orders for a mid-December ship date were taken at $34.95 ($49.95 MSRP). Protocols supported: XY and Z modem, Modem 7, Sealink, CIS B, Kermit and WXmodem. Other new features (among many, this is not to be construed as a complete listing) include advanced macro implementation, all terminal emulations, and the ability to display RLE and GIF pictures online or off. Built-in background transferring, called Silent Line, is now also included. MS Designs ---------- Henry Murphy was on hand displaying and talking about his newly licensed clipart collection, imported from MAC and IBM platforms called Wheeler Quick Art. Available in bit-image of vector formats, this excellently rendered and well organized collection retails from $15.00 to $64.95 with each package containing from 48 to 108 images. So far Henry and crew have converted 800 out of 9,000 images and will have the remainder done very quickly. They will also eventually market Wheeler Quick Art's 2,000 image CD Roms once the Atari CD drive is in wide distribution. Codehead Software ----------------- Displaying MegaPaint Professional was Charles Johnson while John Eidsvoog demo'ed a pre-release version of Midi Spy. My impression of MegaPaint were very positive as Charles moved about a 7680 by 7680 virtual page in real time. MegaPaint incorporated bit-image and vectors graphic rendering in one powerful program. A multitude of options and tools are available in nearly 400 drop-down menu selections and over 100 pop-up icons. Text can be entered (rendered in one of several included proprietary fonts) into any created column and a mail-merge feature allow setting up of a field within the page for merging from one of many database formats. MegaPaint can also be upgraded through its ability to call up external modules that can be written by any programmer. Charles plans to really take advantage of this feature, and you can count on it! Midi Spy is a desk accessory that allows background input and output for those spontaneous spurts of musical inspiration. Briefly Midi Spy (selling for $79.95 MSRP) will record overlay and playback individual or groups of songs. I fell in love with the background playback feature and begged John to release a Midi Spy JR to those of us who can't use the recording features due to lack of talent, but may pay a lesser price for a crippled version. John took it under advisement and to cement our new found partnership, John played "New York" on his Roland while I crooned. Charles commented (after interrupting a demo session of MegaPaint) that if I ever get out of whatever it is I do I could always take up lounge singing. I really appreciated his sentiments. Atari Explorer -------------- Peter Donoso, Managing Editor of Atari Explorer, was on hand passing out free December issues of Atari Explorer and taking subscription for the bimonthly at $9.95 a year. Step Ahead ---------- Nevin Shalit, the hardest working man in the software business (the James Brown of the ST world), was demoing his latest upgrade to Tracker, version 3.0. Recently added features included duplicate name warning system to eliminate waste in your mailing lists, the ability to dial your phone from within Tracker to facilitate servicing and updating of your list while working at the computer, and the unlimited filtering of your list working with any number of fields and constructing filters within a GEM dialog box. Nevin noted a few trends in his sale of Tracker. More and more musicians have become aware of his product and have started purchasing it in greater proportions. nevin has also noted an increase in individuals using the program to help them submit resumes. IAAD ---- Nevin Shalit as you know is the newly elected president of IAAD and in cooperation with past president Nathan Potechin of ISD Marketing, he has helped to organize a program to assist developers on two fronts. Nevin gave me a brochure typeset professionally in Calamus that was to be included with every new ST being sold in the USA and Canada entitled the IAAD Product Guide. Members of IAAD were encouraged to submit material for a half-page description in the approximately 5 by 8 booklet. Nathan Potechin provided templates and did final compilation. The result if extremely professional and log overdue. I am not at liberty to discuss in this article other similar plans of the IAAD to cooperatively market member products but I am allowed to say that it will be a top class program on a grander scale than the brochures mentioned above and will revolutionize the way dealers present Atari productivity solutions. Rimik Enterprises ---------------- Richard Betson, programmer of several useful products such as DT Paint and Menu Plus, and the pesky "Rich" who hangs around the copier machine on Saturday Night Live skits was transformed into....the Rich-man, hanging out next to the Double Click booth, selling and demoing Multi-Gem Plus, looking good marketing a $99 show special for Multi-Gem, MultI-Gem Utilities and the Beetle-Mouse...The Rich-Man...Richinsky...the Run-as-many-programs-as-you-like Rich meister. Upon seeing a demo of this product I feel that this may be one of the most underrated program out there. It works well and is still being upgraded in Germany with the Rich-man getting upgrades as soon as they are released. Good investment. KidPrgs by DA Brumleve ---------------------- Dorothy Brumleve was selling a specially compiled PD disk full of instructional programs for children at an elementary level. Included on the disk were 3 science programs, 4 math programs and 3 language programs. Dot was also selling Atari Fuji symbol rubber stamps and pads. And, of course, she demo'ed and sold her KidPrg line. SoftLogik --------- Mark Wetzel and Dan Weiss manned a SoftLogik booth showing off PageStream's color capabilities on a SpectraStar color printer. They also demo'ed SoftLogik's recently licensed PS font collection from the Image Club that come in four attractively packaged plastic cartons and include Starter Fonts, Newsletter Fonts, Classic Fonts and Designer Fonts. Starter Fonts and Newsletter Fonts retail at $99.95 and contain about fonts each including Olive, Stone, Comic Book Two, Lubalin Graph Medium, Brush Script, Souvenir, Cooper Black, American Typewriter, Surf Style Bold and ITC Machine. Classic and Designer Font Packs include about double the amount of fonts for double the price. Michtron -------- Doug Mackall was on hand with his partner Jim (didn't get his last name but I know his nick name is Des) in a booth selling and demoing the new ST Replay Stereo. My buddy Scott got one and had been playing with it ever since--loves it. Selling at a show special $140.00 I opted instead for Replay 8, a mono sampler, with a show special price of $100.00. Doug was also debuting his new critically acclaimed color game, Big Business. Extremely humorous and with good gameplay this looks to be a must have for anyone wishing some diversity in their game libraries. Michtron was also blowing out some of its Hi-Soft stock including Tempus II and other titles. CompuSeller West ---------------- As stated previously CompuSeller was selling Lynx II Deluxe Packages for $125 show special and also passed out a flyer with some pretty good specials on some of the newer Atari models and packages. I was surprised to see them advertising the STBook already for $1799 for a 1 meg machine with a 40 meg internal hard drive. TT030's were listed at $1579 for the base unit which included 2 mb ST Ram and various options for extra TT and ST Ram ($1399 for 16 mb of TT Ram). Mega 4 STE's were listed at $1409 with a 50 mb hard disk. TTM195 big screen monitors for $1099 and PTC 1426's for $489. A 50 mb TT internal hard drive was available for $299 while a 213 mb unit listed for $999 (TT-ME HD 50 and TT-ME HD 213). Miscellaneous notes and happenings ---------------------------------- * Atari was blowing out SLM 804's with Ultrascript for $699. * Bob Brodie stated that TOS version 2.0.6 was being worked on by ARTIFEX in Germany, providing a hardware hack that would be available in germany in two weeks with no ship date yet for the US. * ICD's latest version of host adapter available at the show was 5.4.2, while Clean-Up is up to version 4.1.9. * Atari Interface Magazine now has distribution of its magazine from Florence, Kentucky to England to Kuala Lampur. * Computer Publications, LTD (ST Connection and Lynx magazines) sent along their newest version of the ST Coupon Books. These are professionally typeset and bound and contain lots of specials from all of your favorite software developers. Atari (balsam wood planes) Flying High? --------------------------------------- Before I go any further I must admit I helped to instigate what is now being called the "Chicago Computerfest Plane Flying Controversy". During a lull in Sunday early afternoon showroom traffic, I started to put together several balsam planes inside of the Codehead booth with help from John Eidsvoog (Charles was busy with MegaPaint). We flew a couple and then I left the booth returning to the same general area about 45 minutes later. Lo and behold the ICD booth was stocked with about 50 of these toys and come to find out, the fellas, including Doug Mackall and Jim in the Michtron booth, John and Charles in the Codehead booth, Doug Wheeler, Jim Schumacher and Chuck Leazott in the ICD booth and Abu Zubair in the Zubair interfaces booth were found to have been assembling and launching the planes over the 8 foot tall curtain draped backdrops and over into the next aisle. Later when Computerfest militia questioned the perpetrators, all concerned shrugged their shoulders and mumbled, "Oh, how childish.." Boyz will be boyz... ____________________________________________________ > THANKSGIVING STR FOCUS ".. an Atarian's Thanksgiving...." ====================== GIVING THANKS TO OUR ATARI COMMUNITY ==================================== by Dana P. Jacobson Like most of you, Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays of the year. It's a time to get together with family and friends. I always look forward to eating turkey and all the trimmings. I'm still bloated, but it's a good feeling. There are plenty of leftovers too, the best part!! I hope that you all had an enjoyable holiday and that you had little need for the Bromo!! Thanksgiving, as our forefathers began the tradition, is a time for giving thanks. I'm not about to give a philosophical or historical reflection here about all the things we should be thankful for today. But, what I would like to do is narrow it down a little, and talk about the things that we have to be grateful for within our Atari community. The obvious first on our list to be thankful for is Atari. Regardless of Atari's short-comings, or whatever any of us might think about them at one time or another, Atari has provided us with the best computer for the buck! Atari has provided us with good solid machines that we use daily for pleasure and business. Without Atari, some of us might never have felt the enjoyment of computing. We should also be grateful for those who make up Atari. You know their names. These folks are responsible for keeping us informed as best they can. These are the folks that attend the shows and show us the new hardware. These are the folks that make up the support team for Atari. These are the people we need to thank for that continued support. The developers are my next level of Atari supporters justly deserving heartfelt thanks. Without these fine software and hardware developers, where would any of us be today? Their numbers may be dwindling at times, but their level of support is commendable. People like the CodeHeads, John Eidsvoog and Charles F. Johnson;Mike Vederman (and gang) at Double Click; Rick Flashman, Tricia Metcalf, and Dan Wilga at Gribnif Software; Jim Allen of Fast Technology; WizWorks, with Chet Walters, Dr. Bob, and Dave Rudie; Deron Kazmaier (and friends) for Soft Logik's Pagestream; Dave Small and Gadgets by Small; Nathan Potechin and ISD Marketing's Calamus; Dorothy Brumleve and her fine work for kids, "kidprgs"; Paul Wu and OPI; Nevin Shalit with Step Ahead Software; and the list goes on forever (almost!). These are real people with common interests: to provide the best available products possible for our use. They're not like those faceless people that might be found wearing Blue or half-eaten Apples on their lapels. Our Atari developers deserve a lot of thanks these days. Don't forget your local dealer if you're fortunate to have one nearby. These are the people who manage to provide us with the available products from the above developers. Repairs, upgrades, on-sight help, and more is just part of the service that they provide us. Those of you who don't have dealers readily available still have dealers such as Sheldon Winick and The Computer Studio, Dave Troy and Toad Computers, Ralph Mariano and ABCO Computers, Brad Koda and Best Electronics, Joppa Computers, L & Y Electronics, BRE Software, Rising Star, and others that provide on-site and mail-order purchases. Where do you go when you need quick support or have a question or two? Well, if you own a modem, you have three fine online services only a phone call away. Darlah Pine heads the Atari support area on GEnie; Clay Walnum and Gordie Meyer head up the ST Advantage area on Delphi; and Ron Luks is in charge of the Atari areas on Compuserve. All three networks provide a wide range of Atari support. If you don't already belong to one, do so. These people and services deserve a lot of credit for providing us with a wealth of knowledge. There are also literally hundreds of bulletin boards throughout the country that also help to provide us with Atari support. Though not capable of providing as much support as the pay services, these boards do their part to help us. It's usually a thankless job, so this is a good time of the year to let these fine folks know how much they're appreciated. If you can wait to learn about something, we're fortunate to still have a few Atari-specific magazines. Although not as many as a few years ago, the ones we have provide us with a lot of interesting reading. Let's take a moment to thank these fine editors and magazines: John Jainschigg of Atari Explorer, Joe Waters of Current Notes, Rod MacDonald of ST Informer, Patti and Bill Rayl of Atari Interface Magazine, and John Nagy and John "King" Tarpinian of AtariUser. These people and their fine support staffs put a lot of time and effort to provide us with interesting news and articles. Drop them a line some time and show your appreciation. Better yet, buy the magazines if you don't already! On a similar note, we have highly informative magazines of a different "flavor" that come out on a weekly basis. You're obviously reading one of them now! Ralph Mariano is responsible for making sure that STReport is available to us every Friday night between 6 and 8pm. Modesty aside, he has a great staff of editors and writers to help put things together! Ron Kovacs and his able-bodied support team provide us with the other weekly online magazine, Z*Net. Both magazines do their best to provide us with current news and various articles and reviews. Although each may look at things in a different light, combined they provide us with a well-rounded view of the topics of the day. Both of the online magazines deserve a lot of credit and thanks for the service that they provide us. On a more local focus, many of us are fortunate to belong to an Atari user group. These groups also provide us with the means to learn more about our computers. These groups provide us with hands-on experience with various programs and hardware. Demonstrations and tutorials are commonplace at many of the meetings conducted members of the group or guest speakers that we might be fortunate to obtain for a night. The people that help set these meetings up usually do so with little appreciation, so let's take this opportunity to thank them as well. I'm sure that I omitted something or someone in my list of people and organizations. There are plenty of names and groups that I could have added to the above. There's obviously not enough room to list everyone. If you don't see a name listed above, it's not because they're not appreciated because you/they are!! If one of those names comes to mind, then by all means they should be thanked as well!! Since I'm at it, I'd like to extend a special thanks to Ralph Mariano for his time and efforts that go into putting STReport out each week. I'm also grateful to Ralph for affording me the opportunity to have a forum where I can write various articles on a wide range of topics. I also want to thank Lloyd Pulley for all of his support when I've needed it. And, writers such as Michael Lee, Joe Mirando, Doyle Helms, Neil Bradley, and all of the others are also appreciated for helping to fill out the rest of the support staff here at STReport. Most of all, we appreciate you, the ever-faithful readers, for your continued support. You may not always agree with us, but you're always there to keep us on our toes! A special thanks goes out to all of you. As this day of Thanksgiving comes to a close, it's the beginning of the big holiday season. With this festive attitude in mind, I hope to see and hear that all of you, who help to make using the Atari line of computers very enjoyable, continue your success. I hope that at this time next year we have even more to be thankful. To those of you who celebrate, Happy Hanukkah!! Until next time... _____________________________________________________ > STReport's Editorial Page "Saying it like it is." From the Editor's Desk ---------------------- The big news this week is, of course, the Chicago ComputerFest staged at the Ramada Inn O'Hare jointly by LCACE and Atari. The net result from the show can be summed up in a few positive comments like "Atari is alive and well" and "Hopefully, by this time next year they'll be on top!" Speaking of shows, the Grand Prize winners at WAACE have been announced and the 'main' prize was made a choice of either a Stacy 2 or an Atari MSTE2/50 and an SLM 804. Hats off to Atari for 'listening'. The Big News now is show staged in Chicago this past week. It was seen by many as a success. This show was the first of its "kind". And hopefully we shall see many more of these type shows. They are definately a "turn-on" for many Atari enthusiasts. WAACE AtariFest '91 Grand Prize Winners October 12-13, 1991 Sheraton Reston Hotel Winners were picked by Bob Brodie of Atari Corporation and Ralph Mariano of STReport Magazine and ABCO Computers. Atari Mega STe 2/50 and SLM804....... Ted Martens Edgewater, MD ABCO 100 Meg Hard DRive ............. J.D. McCarty Wilmington, DE Fast Technology 20 MHz Accelerator... Mark Santora Rumson, NJ Fast Technology 16 MHz Accelerator... R.J. Smith Sterling, VA SoftLogik PageStream 2.1 DTP Package. C. Quinn Wildwood Crest, NJ ISD Marketing Calamus DTP Package ... T. McDonald Reston, VA WAACE Atari 1040STe ................. S. Marco Randallstown, MD As soon as a complete winners list is compiled and forwarded to STReport we shall present the winners list of the prizes at Chicago's Show. thanks again for your support! Ralph........... _________________________________________________________ STReport's Staff The regulars and this week's contributors! ---------------- Publisher - Editor ------------------ Ralph F. Mariano PC DIVISION AMIGA DIVISION MAC DIVISION ----------- -------------- ------------ Robert Retelle Charles Hill R. ALBRITTON STReport Staff Editors: ----------------------- Michael Arthur Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. Dana P. Jacobson Lucien Oppler Brad Martin Judith Hamner John Szczepanik Dan Stidham Joseph Mirando Contributing Correspondents: ---------------------------- Michael Lee Richard Covert Roger Stevens Brian Converse Oliver Steinmeier Tim Holt Andrew Learner Norman Boucher Ben Hamilton Neil Bradley Eric Jerue Ron Deal Robert Dean Ed Westhusing James Nolan Mike Brown Vernon W. Smith 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 ____________________________________________________________ > A "Quotable Quote" ================== "A LONG LASTING DISPUTE MEANS ONLY ONE THING... BOTH PARTICIPANTS ARE WRONG!" Voltaire __________________________________________________________ > ABCO SPECIALS! STR InfoFile * NEW HOLIDAY Prices! MORE Products! * =========================== *** SUPER *** HOLIDAY SPECIALS! ** EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! ** ABCO COMPUTER CONSULTANTS 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) (all cables and connectors installed) - Available for all Platforms - * ICD HOST ADAPTERS USED EXCLUSIVELY * OMTI HIGH SPEED CONTROLLERS * * ICD ADSCSI+ HOST ADAPTERS * FULL SCSI COMMAND SET SUPPORTED * * SCSI EMBEDDED CONTROLLER MECHANISMS * -- QUANTUM: THE "ROLLS ROYCE" OF HARD DRIVES -- WE PAY SHIPPING & INSURANCE!!! >UPS!< (Cont. USA) Deluxe 2 bay Cabinet w/65w auto-switching PS TIME PROVEN to be the most reliable! Model Description Autopark Price ================================================== SGN4951 51Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 439.00 SGN6277 65Mb 28ms 5.25" Y 469.00 SGN1096 85Mb 28ms 5.25" Y 549.00 SQN2055 105mb 12ms 3.5" Y 599.95 SQN1296 210Mb 12ms 3.5" Y 879.00 ================================================== FULLY ASSEMBLED SCSI DRIVES DEDUCT $60.00 ADD $35.00 for 4 BAY SUPER CABINET w/250+w PS EXOTIC TOWER CABINETS AVAIALABLE Call for Info! PLEASE NOTE: The above is partial listing only! FULLY ASSEMBLED SCSI DRIVES DEDUCT $60.00 ADD $35.00 for 4 BAY SUPER CABINET w/250+w PS EXOTIC TOWER CABINETS AVAIALABLE Call for Info! PLEASE NOTE: The above is partial listing only! CPU ACCELERATOR & MEMORY UPGRADES AVAILABLE & INSTALLED >> ABCO proudly offers the fabulous 1040 & MEGA STe Computers << Call for ABCO's Introductory prices! ATARI COMPUTERS * STILL THE BEST VALUE! If you don't see what you want listed here, call us. Odds are, we either have it or, can get it for you! AT THE BEST POSSIBLE PRICE! ** 800-562-4037 ** "We service what we sell" ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ****** * SYQUEST 44MB (#555) >> ABCOFILE "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE * - SYQUEST 44 MB DRIVE - ICD ST ADSCSI PLUS H/A - ICD Utility Software - 3' DMA Cable - Fan & Clock - Multi-Unit Power Supply (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart. --->> SPECIAL! NOW ONLY __$ 645.00__ <<--- **** SCSI UNITS -> ONLY $585.00 **** WE PAY SHIPPING & INSURANCE! >UPS!< (Cont. USA) 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 SQG51S $819.00 105mb SQG105S $1019.00 ** LOWBOY - STANDARD - DUAL BLOWER CABINETS CUSTOM CONFIGURATIONS AVAILABLE ** ANNOUNCING THE NEW! -> ABCO CD-ROM! ** :Special Introductory offer: ABCO CD-ROM $389.95 (limited time only) 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) * IBM - MSDOS - AMIGA - ATARI - APPLE - MACINTOSH * 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 - Atari SLM 804, SLM 804PCV Laser Toner Kits Memorex 2108, 5287 Oasys Laserpro 5287, 5308, Express 830, Express Series II Silver Express, Gold Express ** $41.95 shipping Included ** Atari SLM 605 Laser Toner Kits AT&T 593, CAF Laser, DSI Laser, DTP Systems, Epson EPL-6000 Facit P6060, Fontx Syslaser, Harris3M 2006, M-Tally MT905 Microtek Turbo PS, OAS Laserpro Executive, Packard Bell 9500 TEC LB 1305, Toshiba PageLaser 6 ** $41.95 shipping included ** (TWO Toner Carts Incl.) Panasonic Laser Toner Kits Panasonic KX -P 400 series, Panafax UF-750 Facimile ** $41.95 shipping included ** -- ALL TONER KITS * IN STOCK * -- * Toner Starter Kits-$62.95 * * Replacement (804) Drums-$186.95 * ABCO's Replacement Toner Advantages =================================== A Few Pointers about the NEW and SUPERIOR replacement Toner Cartridges from ABCO Computers. Quality ------- o Better density the OEM Toner under all testing conditions. (AVG 1.40-1.50) o Formulation completely compatible with the OEM initial toner and supply toner. This replacement Toner may be added to the Laser Printer along with OEM initial toner or supply toner. o The NEW replacement initial toner will maintain a high level of quality "much longer" using the replacement toner. o Much smaller drop in density is realized when printing in the continuous mode. Test Pattern: 10 graphic pages 1000 text pages (3 alternating pages) Time Schedule: 330 prints continuously 1 hour pause, 3-4 times a day normally 1000 copies a day maximum 1400 copies a day OEM ABCO'S NEW STANDARD --- ------------------- Density 1.30 - 1.40 1.40 - 1.50 Yield 92.1 g/1000 copies 95.3 g/1000 copies Waste toner 20.3 g/1000 copies 14.3 g/1000 copies Transfer Rate 78% 85% >> MANY other ATARI related products STOCKED << ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED -* 12 month FULL Guarantee *- (A FULL YEAR of COVERAGE) WE PAY SHIPPING & INSURANCE! >UPS!< (Cont. USA) 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! GOOD NEWS! ========== ABCO Computer Consultants now has a SUPER computer goodies catalog available. Drop us a note and we will mail your copy to you! You'd be surprised at the variety of products we offer at substantial savings. Don't wait! Send for your catalog now and get the great Christmas Discount Coupons. It'll make Santa feel great about the holidays! ABCO COMPUTER CONSULTANTS ========================= P.O. BOX 6672 Jacksonville, Florida, 32205-6672 904-783-3319 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International Online Magazine Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" November 29, 1991 16/32bit Magazine copyright 1987-91 No.7.47 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff, PCReport, STReport, AMReport, MCReport. 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, contributors and/or staff are not responsible for the use/misuse of infor- mation contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
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