Z*Net: 20-Dec-91 #9153From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 12/22/91-12:05:50 AM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: Z*Net: 20-Dec-91 #9153 Date: Sun Dec 22 00:05:50 1991 | (((((((( | Z*Net International Atari Online Magazine | (( | ----------------------------------------- | (( | Decmeber 20, 1991 Issue #91-53 | (( | ----------------------------------------- | (((((((( | Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Industries, Inc. | | Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, NJ 08846 | (( | | (((((( | CONTENTS | (( | | | * The Editors Desk............................Ron Kovacs | ((( (( | * Atari Makes Bold Push In US Market.............Seybold | (((( (( | * Codehead Announces TOS Extention Card....Press Release | (( (( (( | * Year In Review: CompuServe....................Ron Luks | (( (((( | * Year In Review: AtariArts Top 100...........Ron Kovacs | (( ((( | * Codehead To Take Over QuickST Support....Press Release | | * Multisync Myths and The Atari ST........Gregg Anderson | ((((((( | * Year In Review: End User Perspective.........Ed Krimen | (( | * ATM Safety Tips....................................... | ((((( | | (( | | ((((((( | ~ Publisher/Editor............................Ron Kovacs | | ~ Editor.......................................John Nagy | (((((((( | ~ Z*Net Newswire Ltd..........................Jon Clarke | (( | ~ Contributing Editor.....................Bruce Hansford | (( | ~ PD Software Reviews.....................Ron Berinstein | (( | ~ Reporter....................................Mike Brown | (( | ~ Assistant News Editor.......................Mike Davis | | |----------| $ GEnie Address....................................Z-NET | ONLINE | $ CompuServe Address..........................75300,1642 | AREAS | $ Delphi Address....................................ZNET | | $ Internet Address.............75300,firstname.lastname@example.org | | $ America Online Address........................ZNET1991 |----------| | Z*NET | * Z*Net:USA New Jersey...(FNET 593).......(908) 968-8148 | SUPPORT | * Z*Net:Golden Gate......(FNET 706).......(510) 373-6792 | SYSTEMS | * Z*Net:South Pacific....(FNET 693).NZ....(644) 4762-852 | | * Z*Net:South Jersey.....(FNET 168).CCBBS.(609) 451-7475 | | * Z*Net:Illinois (Garage)(FNET 621).......(618) 344-8466 | | * Z*Net:Florida (Twilight Zone)(FNET 304).(407) 831-1613 | | Fido Address 1:363/112 ======================================================================= * THE EDITORS DESK by Ron Kovacs ======================================================================= This year in about to close and another Christmas is approaching. There are plenty of things to say and little space to print it, however, before we get into this week's edition, I want to thank the following for their assistance this year. John Nagy, Bob Brodie, Bruce Hansford, Terry Schreiber, Geoff LaCasse, Mike Brown, Jon Clarke, Steve Rider, Ron Berinstein, Bill Scull, Mike Austin, Stan Lowell, Mike Davis, Mike Mezaros, Darlah Potechin, John King Tarpinian, Ed Krimen, Dr. Paul Keith, Ron Luks, Tom Byron, Steve Lesh, Doug Hodson, Dorothy Brumleve, Bruce Kennedy, Tony Komski, Bob Smith, and my family Lisa, Jessica and Adam for tolerating all the ups and downs of publishing in this community and those infamous "yelling" phone calls from the south. If I have left anyone off the list, you know who you are and forgive my absence of memory. I want to personally wish everyone a very safe and heathly Christmas and an exciting 1992. GENIE TOP 100 UTILITIES UPDATE Two weeks ago we compiled a listing of the Top 100 downloads of utilities on GEnie. However, we faailed to include the following file in the list. So, we are renaming the list the Top 101 files and add this file to the appropriate place on the list. Mistakes happen and perhaps a glitch entered our capture buffer. Please add: Number: 21208 Name: STARSAVE.LZH Address: JLS Date: 911010 Approximate # of bytes: 20224 Number of Accesses: 441 Library: 2 Description: STarSaver ver. 0.50: First public release of this new screen saver. This file contains the screen saver program, a doc file, and a program to temporarily adjust the speed of the stars and the timeout period. (defaults: speed 2, timeout 3 minutes) STarSaver works on any ST, Mega, STe, or TT screen in any rez (doesn't work with add-on cards). It does NOT use-up any ACC slots and it works in any TTP, TOS, or PRG programs. It supports "hot corners" for instant-on and temp- disable operations. STarSaver is memorial-ware in memory of my father who would have been 100 years old today (Oct. 8, 91) if he were still around. Read the doc file for further details. Use latest version of UNLZH.PRG or other .LZH extractor FSMGDOS BEZIER CURVES It seems that there was a news item in ZNET a few weeks ago that indicated that Bezier Curve support was taken out of FSMGDOS. THIS IS NOT TRUE! FSMGDOS DOES BEZIER CURVES! It always has, and taking out this support was never considered. There was some exchange with certain developers over how things were supposed to work, so this is probably where the news item started from, and somewhere there was evidentally some incorrect information. But FSMGDOS _does_ support GEM/3 style Bezier Curve calls. ======================================================================= * ATARI MAKES BOLD PUSH IN US MARKET (Z*Net Exclusive) ======================================================================= This article Copyright (c)1991 Seybold Publications, All Rights Reserved. May NOT be re-printed in any publication without the written permission of Seybold Publications. Information about Seybold and subscription information is listed at the end of this article. Atari used the Seybold Exposition to mark a new effort to penetrate the U.S. publishing system market. It did so by taking a large booth and demonstrating a varied assortment of products including page composition, color image manipulation, font editing, direct output drivers, graphics and a few other things. These products were characterized by the same capabilities as the Atari products we have known in the past--the ability to hold their own against all comers in nearly any feature war we could devise. One notable change in some of these products is an acceptance of industry standards. They are accommodating TIFF and EPS files and outputting PostScript--a sigificant addition if these companies are serious about the U.S. market. On display also, of course, was the latest Atari platform, which provides exceptional speed, especially for its competitive price. Atari's Professional Systems Group, which is responsible for these products, specializes in bringing high-end desktop publishing software from Germany. The programs on display in San Jose were picked for their relevance to trade shops. Unfortunately, the Professional Systems Group has dubbed its new publishing product lineup ``Direct to Press.'' That name is unfortunate because it bears no relation to the conventional connotation of going direct to a printing press, a technology that is now coming to reality. From what we can gather, ``direct to film'' is more what these Atari products are doing--as is everyone else in the industry. Some of the software on display was developed in Germany--using expertise that came in part from veterans of Hell GmbH--and still showed signs of its native language, but we were assured that it would be fully Americanized soon. We hope so. It would be a disappointment to see sophisticated products such as these fail here because they still looked foreign. We had seen a few of the products before in earlier versions--e.g., Calamus and PageStream--so they have already tried to crack the U.S. market with little success. But they have been successful in other parts of the world, and we were impressed enough with some of them to think they warrant a good look. We'll provide a quick trip through the booth here, with a hope that we'll get some of the software into our lab soon to take a better look at it. Sherlock Professional. A product we didn't see but would like to cover later is Sherlock Professional, an OCR program that is claimed to read up to 200 characters per second. It reportedly recognizes multiple languages, fonts and sizes on the same page and can be taught to recognize special characters. It comes with a built-in spelling checker. PageStream 2. When we last saw Soft-Logik's PageStream at a Seybold Exposition several years ago, we quickly came to the conclusion that no other page layout product at any level had more features. We didn't spend any time with it this year, but we don't think its general character has changed very much. It supports documents consisting of up to 1,000 pages and page sizes up to 400 feet by 400 feet. (If our calculation is right, it would take about one-half million reams of paper to tile a 1,000-page document consisting of 400x400-foot pages. How many trees would that be? Or, maybe we should ask, how many forests?) PageStream sets type in sizes from to 183,000 points. (That 183,000-point size is a more manageable number--only 231 sheets of 11" paper in the vertical dimension.) Besides those astounding--but not necessarily meaningful--figures, PageStream supports 24-bit color, rotating and twisting text and graphics, full bleeds, drawing and editing Bezier curves, flowing text around irregularly shaped graphics, Agfa Intellifont and PostScript Type 1 fonts, and a whole slew of layout and other features. We'll return to PageStream when we get a system running in our lab. Didot Professional for page layout ---------------------------------- In one section of the booth, Goldleaf Publishing set up a composition program called Didot Professional with a color image manipulation program called Retouche Professional to demonstrate how they can be used together to produce sophisticated documents with color. Both of these programs were developed by 3K-Computerbild in Germany, where they have been very successful. They are being marketed in North America by Goldleaf. Didot Professional was developed to handle design-intensive pages, but it has the capability of accommodating long documents--up to 100 pages, all of which can be displayed at a time. It produces registration and crop marks, color control bars, etc. It supports grids with a snap feature and construction lines for alignment. The display is very fast. One disadvantage with the display is that displaying color requires a second screen. Goldleaf calls that an advantage, though, becaus it enables the operator to focus one screen on commands and the other one on the display. Text flows into page areas, where it is treated as objects (such as columns), based on user specifications for those objects, rather than using the container concept. When a column is created, the screen can display dummy text for use by a designer in visualizing the layout. A column can be picked up and moved to a different page. Text can be flowed around irregular shapes (objects) through an auto-trace feature or by drawing a thread to create a bounding area. A tagging scheme and style sheets control typographic parameters. Styles are assigned to pages as the operator moves from page to page. Text can be typed around circles or on curved paths. Elements can be rotated with respect to any selected point in -mm increments (with the screen displaying the rotated objects almost instantly). Typography. Didot has some interesting h&j features, such as an option to expand or condense type automatically to make it fit better. This is a feature that must be used with extreme discretion, but used properly, it could be a nice aid. The key issue is how much condensing or expanding can be done without being noticed by the reader. This sentence is being rendered at 99% of the actual width of its characters. Will the adjustment be noticeable? This sentence will be output at 101%. These differences are substantial enough to aid the h&j program. Whether they will be tolerable to the typographer is another question. The maximum permissible change will depend to some extent on the design of particular fonts. To determine line breaks, the h&j program starts by calculating the line based on the optimum value and then looks to either side for the closest break point--a good start. It also permits adjustments to character spacing. The most troublesome part of the routine is that it is based on a TeX algorithm and hyphenates very infrequently. Didot supports kerning based on the shape of each character, rather than on values for specific pairs, although it also can use kerning pairs created for PostScript Type 1 fonts, which can be read in as .AFM files. These values then can be edited using the Didot font editor. It is possible to indicate in style tags whether the system is to use shape kerning or pair kerning when that particular style is in effect. (We would like to see pair kerning used in conjunction with shape kerning so that exception pairs can counter any problems arising when the shape algorithm produces unwanted results.) Kerning can be suppressed on numbers, as is useful in producing columns of numbers. Ragged type is formed by a simple algorithm that targets line endings to be within a specified percentage of the full measure, with no consideration for how one line looks with respect to surrounding ones. Text handling. Text appears in WYSIWYG format on the page, but it can be displayed in monospaced format with hyphenation decisions marked. Functions available within the monospaced mode include defining and moving blocks, changing type specifications, etc. 3K-ComputerBild has worked hard to optimize productivity. Not only is the hardware fast, but aspects of the program have been optimized. Keyboard shortcuts are available for nearly all operations. When the screen is recomposing a job, if the operator moves the cursor up, the screen quickly follows, rather than waiting for composition to be completed. Fonts. Didot supports fonts in Type 1 and Atari formats. A full font editor is available for redesigning font characters or for changing kerning pair values or shape information. Graphics. Graphics can be created from primitives or imported. Gradient fill options are comprehensive, including concentric gradients, diagonal gradients, etc. Scanned or imported bitmaps can be edited using a pixel editor. Graphics can be stored in a library and inserted. Using the system's graphics capabilities, a block of text such as a headline can be projected onto a grid and distorted in a variety of ways, after which individual characters can be modified. Color. Color images from Retouche Professional can be imported and manipulated, but most image manipulation is done in Retouche Professional, which has more complete facilities. Up to eight spot colors can be assigned, each with a different screen value. Trapping currently is not supported, but we were told that it is expected to be added in February. Output. For high-resolution output, Didot Professional packages its system in a tower called the Image Speeder. It includes a hardware screening board that functions something like Hell's RT screening, we were told, plus a direct driver for Ultre recorders. The developers had previous experience working with the Hell Chromacom system. It is possible to specify different angles and frequencies. More information about the screening capabilities is included under Retouche Professional. Direct drivers for other imagesetters in the Linotype-Hell family (the 230, 300, 330, etc.) are under development; they are expected to begin arriving in the first quarter of 1992, Goldleaf says. Both Didot Professional and Retouche Professional also output PostScript files. Retouche Professional CD ------------------------ Retouche Professional CD is an impressive 24-bit color manipulation program for creating, retouching, correcting, separating and reproducing color photos. It works closely with Didot Professional to produce four- color documents. It was released in Europe 18 months ago as a monochrome system, but is now available in color. Retouche always works in 24-bit color, although it currently uses dithering to display 24-bit color on an 8-bit screen. By the end of the year, Goldleaf says, a 24-bit display board is expected to be completed. Like Didot, Retouche uses two monitors--one for the tool box, menus, dialogs, etc., and one for displaying color images being manipulated. Image repainting on the screen is extremely fast, in part because it is done directly through the color board, not through the operating system. A hardware zoom function also is fast, enlarging up to 1,600%. For image creation, Retouche has an 8-bit palette mode where the user works with 256 colors from a total of 16.7 million. When retouching an existing image, the complete 24-bit color spectrum is available, accessed either through a color picker or by selecting the color from any pixel in the image. Two of the tools that are available are sharpening (in which case the user can specify how great a difference there must be between nearby pixels for sharpening to be applied) and gradation adjustments (brightness, contrast and gray levels via a gray curve). Retouching. Creative retouching features are comprehensive. There are a variety of pens and brushes. Chalk can be rubbed on pictures to darken them, to varying degrees of pressure. It is possible to draw only on parts of an image that are darker than a selected value. Also available are a spray can, smearing and blurring. There is an undo feature, which stores in RAM or in virtual memory the last level of modification. The undo function can be restricted to a single photo. Pixels can be copied on a point-to-point basis within an image or from one image to another. Other features. Retouche also offers an on-screen color measuring tool, a densitometer, a directory display of 10 thumbnails at a time and a status report telling the percentage of the job completed at any given time. For package design, an image can be projected and stretched with respect to the grid using 3D tools. Drawing features include drawing lines using points, lines or bezier curves. Masks can be created manually by drawing the desired shape, generated automatically based on color or gradation values, or defined by matching any vector path. They can be edited by grabbing the edges and moving them. Masks can be imported into Didot Professional and applied to documents. For calibration, the system scans a test print of CMYK strips from a press or output device and automatically creates a gradation correction file that adjusts for the color reproduction profile of the press. Output. Retouche uses TIFF as its internal format. It can output EPS format. When separating an image, it handles gray-component replacement and undercolor removal, giving the user complete control over the parameters. Output devices supported are color proof printers and Ultre recorders, which Retouche and Didot drive directly through the Image Speeder tower. The package includes more than 120 hand-optimized halftone screens aimed at maximizing quality. Goldleaf claims that the system can be used to produce good-quality 200-line screens. The Calamus SL family --------------------- We have seen the Calamus page composition program many times over the years, but in the past it has been characterized mostly by the extensive list of text-handling features available within the main program. It has now taken on the aura of a large family of products providing color manipulation, multimedia, font editing, vector graphics editing, direct drivers for some popular imagesetters and other capabilities. To cover these expansive programs adequately will require working with them in our lab, so our report here will summarize the main features gleaned from relatively short demonstrations at the Seybold Exposition. Calamus SL, developed in Germany and handled in North America by ISD Marketing of Ontario, Canada, will be released in North America on Dec. 15 for a price of $795, including the PKS Write word processor. Calamus enables having up to seven documents loaded simultaneously, with every object (text or graphics) taking on any of 16.7 million colors specified in RGB or Pantone values. Calamus separates each file into four pieces of film for color separation output. It uses proprietary outline font technology in the RIP to drive both the screen and the recorder, producing identical results. Text features are extensive, including font scaling in -point increments between 0.1-pt. and 999.9-pt., automatic and manual kerning, editing on the page or in a text window, search/replace based on type styles, logic/dictionary h&j, etc. One shortcoming of the program is that it currently doesn't support PostScript fonts. It uses faces from Agfa (about 200), Linotype (200) and URW (1,200), with a deal for Berthold Diamond faces nearly finalized. For page layout, Calamus supports multiple master-page layouts, automatic running headers and footers, an unlimited number of columns per page, style sheets, rulers and guides for placing elements, rotation, a maximum page size of 19.7"x27.6", linked containers for flowing text, and so on. It also supports time and dte stamping. Calamus imports TIFF graphics, with support for EPS coming soon. For color images, Calamus uses a program called Cranach Studio (see below). Although this live link wasn't demonstrated, Calamus will be able to launch Cranach Studio to edit an image and then return to the Calamus document. Output. Calamus drives printers and typesetters directly, without going through an external RIP. Among the direct interfaces currently available are those to the Linotype 100, 200, 300 and 500 machines (without requiring Cora, PostScript or Densy RIPs), Agfa ProSet 9000 and SelectSet series, and Linotype-Hell Ultre. The ``SoftRIP'' comes with a special version of Calamus SL. The Calamus program includes some halftone screening features that appear to involve sophisticated development. Screening is based on the use of supercells containing multiple halftone dots to reduce the possibility of moire interference. The system generates elliptical, round and square dots. A nice feature from a user interface standpoint is that when the operator picks either a screen angle or a screen frequency, the system reports back what corresponding frequency or angle will be used. If the operator changes the angle, the system automatically adjusts the frequency, reporting the new value. We haven't had a chance to evaluate the results, but the theory and implementation look promising. Cranach Studio. For color work, Calamus announced support for a new program called Cranach Studio, a 24-bit retouching tool with separation software. Calamus and Cranach are separate companies, but the programs are being tightly integrated. Among the features available in Cranach are automasking based on color density, color correction using a histogram and tonal curve, slider bars for adjusting contrast and intensity, autotracing with editable Bezier curves (see below), and zooming to 800%. A Draw and Paint module offers effects such as lacquer, watercolor, crayon and airbrush. Watercolor, fingerpainting and oil painting are supported within the retouching capabilities. The autotracing feature is enabled through an add-on module called VectorStudio that converts raster data to vector and vice versa. Multimedia. The multimedia capability within Calamus was so new that the documentation and brochure were available only in German. It was shown in prototype form, running within Calamus SL. In the demonstration, sample images and sound were played back within a text document. A video camera had been used for input. Frames were linked, but could be treated as individual objects. Video images were manipulated within Calamus and output on a laser printer. Outline Art. A supplement to Calamus SL, Outline Art is a vector graphics editor for lines, Bezier curves, control paths and other vector shapes. It also can be used to generate freely definable raster areas. It includes facilities for modifying text--rotate, stretch, rasterize, outline, compress, change to cursive and fit to circle or curved path. The program includes a predefined, expandable library of transformations. Type Art font editor. One of the new products in the Atari booth was Type Art, a designer's tool that can be used not only to edit fonts, but also to create fonts and other graphic objects in vector format. It works with editable Bezier curves. Built-in functions include rotation, mirror imaging vertically and horizontally, and condensing. Characters and graphics created or edited in this program can be loaded directly into Calamus in normal, outline, shadow or rotated style. PKS Write. Calamus supports an optional word processor, called PKS Write, which we haven't seen. Features include support for Gem, importing of text in Calamusformat, manipulation of text rules and style information, search/replace based on style or not, footnotes, index generation, macros for document processing, and popup menus. It runs within or outside of Calamus. Avant Vector. Codehead Software demonstrated a raster-to-vector converter called Avant Vector that traces bitmaps and converts them to vector data so they take less storage space and can be scaled freely. It supports .PI3, .PC3, .IMG, .BLD, .PIC and .PAC formats, plus .TIF, .IMG and .IFF. Editing facilities include functions such as changing curves to corners, selecting all points to skew them or fill them, rotating based on the center or a corner of the object, and drawing and filling objects. All changes are displayed nearly instantaneously. Objects can be resized, mirrored, grouped and acted on, saved on the clipboard for later access, and output. Alignment features include a crosshair cursor and a snap-to grid. The user can specify the tolerances when defining curves or other functions. Nine preset levels of precision are available. Avant Vector is viewed as a candidate in the market for logo generation and sign output using an optional plotter driver. Three versions of the product are available. The entry level supports autotracing and saving, but not editing. The middle range adds all editing capabilities, but no plotter output. Avant Plot includes everything, most notably drivers for plotters and cutters. Repro Studio. One product we didn't have time to look at is called Repro Studio. It is described as being similar to Adobe Photoshop, but working only in black and white. It scans and manipulates images to 256 gray levels in TIFF, GIF and PICT formats. It includes a handheld gray-scale scanner that can scan large images in multiple passes and merge the data. Repro Studio has been available in Germany for a few months, and it will be coming to the U.S. soon. Hardware -------- The Atari platform on display was the TT030, featuring a 32-MHz 68030 processor with on-chip cache and memory management. Memory from 2 to 26 MB is supported. A 48.6-MB disk is standard, an 83.9-MB one is optional. Atari's use of 64-bit-wide video memory and a 68882 math coprocessor provides extremely fast screen redrawing. Screen resolution options are 1,280x960 (19" monochrome), 640x480 (16 colors, 14") and 320x480 (256 colors, 14"). Atari doesn't offer a gray-scale monitor, but it will support some from other manufacturers. Atari says that a 68040 version will be available next year, as will a multitasking version of the Gem operating system. Product pricing --------------- The entire hardware and software product lines would be too extensive to list. Here is a sample. Hardware. The standard TT030 lists for $3,500. A 14" color monitor costs $550. A 20" Mitsubishi color monitor lists for $2,670. A 19" TTM 194 monochrome monitor is priced at $1,000. A TTM 195 costs $1,400. A 6-ppm, 300-dpi, 8+"x11" laser printer lists for $1,300. A 150-dpi Mitsubishi dye-sublimation color printer costs $14,000. A BridgIt (Ultre-based) recorder is priced at $28,000. An Ethernet interface can be added for $500. A 5,000-dpi Optotech scanner sells for $10,000-$40,000. Goldleaf puts together a package that includes a lot of customized hardware and software, described elsewhere. Software. List prices of some software products are: Didot Professional, $1,000. Retouche CD, $2,000. Image Speeder, $19,000. Sherlock Professional, $899. Calamus Font Editor, $100. PKS Write, $100. Avant Vector: entry level, $199. Mid-level, $495. Avant Plot, $895. Repro Studio, $895 (including handheld scanner). THE SEYBOLD REPORTS from Seybold Publications Subscription Rates (December 1, 1991) US CAN FORIEGN JAPAN* Seybold Report on Desktop Publishing (12 Issues) ............................ $225 $231 $243 Y45,000 Seybold Report on Publishing Systems (22 Issues) ............................ $336 $348 $372 Y69,000 Combined subscription to both Reports ........................................ $468 $486 $522 Y96,800 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Checks from Canada and elsewhere outside the US should be made payable in US dollars. You may transfer funds directly to our bank: CoreStates First Pennslyvannia Bank, N.A., Philidelphia, Pennsylvannia 19101, into account number 0194-1750. Please be sure to identify the name of the subscriber and the nature of the order if funds are transferred bank-to- bank. You can subscribe to the following address by including your name, address, telephone number, city, state, country and zip code. Seybold Publications, Inc. Post Office Box 644 Media, Pennsylvannia 19063 USA Phone (215) 565-2480 Fax (215) 565-4659, 565-3261 Telex 4991493 Note: This article CANNOT be reprinted without permission. ANY USER GROUP interested in re-printing this article must contact Z*Net via email on GEnie: Z-NET or CompuServe: 75300,1642. We will forward the information you need for publishing rights. Copyright (c)1991, Seybold Publications ======================================================================= * CODEHEAD ANNOUNCES THE TOS EXTENSION CARD Press Release ======================================================================= How would you like to have a BRAND NEW COMPUTER, with system software that makes it the equal of anything else on the market ... for less than $140? Well, now you CAN! CodeHead Software is proud to announce the TEC -- the TOS Extension Card! This amazing little circuit board, developed by Germany's Artifex, allows you to use the very latest version of Atari TOS (2.06) in your existing 520ST, 1040ST, or Mega ST! That's right! Now, you can have the same excellent new system software that owners of Mega STes and TT030s are enjoying, without spending megabucks for a whole new computer system. In fact, the price for this upgrade, including the board, is only a little bit more than the price to upgrade from TOS 1.0 to TOS 1.4! The TEC is a tiny card that will fit in ANY model of ST computer, regardless of design. It is compatible with existing upgrades, such as monitor interface boards or processor cache cards. The low price includes the ROMs containing TOS 2.06 -- and there sure are lots and lots of new goodies in those little chips! What TOS 2.06 Can Do for You ---------------------------- TOS 2.06 is a MAJOR upgrade to the ST's operating system; it's a vastly more significant upgrade than from TOS 1.0 to TOS 1.4 (Rainbow TOS). The most noticeable change is the new desktop, which has many of the features of the popular commercial alternate desktops (and some unique features too!), but with two BIG advantages: it does not use large amounts of RAM, and it does not need to be loaded from disk. Some of the features of the TOS 2.06 desktop: o Programs, files, and folders can be placed directly on the desktop and started with a double click. o Up to 20 programs or documents can be assigned to the ST's function keys and started with a single keypress. o Data files can be "dragged" and dropped on program files, which starts the program and automatically loads the document! Some programs even support multiple document files in this manner. o Each file on your disk can have its own unique icon, or you can use a common icon type for each type of file. New icons can be created and added to the system. o Keyboard commands for almost everything! And not only can you control the new desktop with the keyboard (as well as the mouse), you can also redefine any of the key commands to suit your own tastes! o A powerful file search function, that lets you find and select files that match your specified criteria. o Window management is considerably enhanced; scrolling has been sped up, and selected files can remain selected even if you scroll the window to a different area of the file list. o Up to seven desktop windows can be open at once, and you can open directory windows with simple key presses -- even change a window to show a different drive without closing and reopening it. o The "View" menu now has an "unsorted" option, for showing the actual order of files and folders in a directory. o Any character in the "upper half" of the ST's font can be typed in by holding the Alternate key and typing its ASCII number on the numeric keypad. o Many of the special functions of the desktop (like copying, renaming, etc.) can now operate in "batch mode", to let you quickly rename or show info for a group of selected files, for example. o The bootup sequence now includes a graphic display of the Atari Fuji logo, and a memory test, and a configurable bootup delay that allows hard drives time to power up. It's also possible to bypass the AUTO folder entirely by holding Control during bootup. o Internal changes in the TOS program code result in very noticeable performance improvements in many areas. o ...and of course, lots more. This list barely shows the tip of the iceberg, in fact. The TOS Extension Card ---------------------- Because the new TOS 2.06 is located at a different address and requires more space in the ROMs, you can't simply pull out your old ROMs and plug in the new ones. This is where the TEC comes in! The TOS Extension Card can be installed in any model of ST within minutes. Its size is a mere 2.5" x 2.5", and its unique design allows it to be placed almost anywhere inside the case of the computer. This means that it will even work if you have a hardware accelerator, MS-DOS emulator, or graphic card already installed. Some simple soldering is required to install the base model of the TEC; any authorized dealer should be able to handle it easily. There are also two other configurations of the TEC that are 100% plug-in solutions, requiring no soldering: o The TECbridge BUS card, which plugs into the processor bus of the Mega ST. o The TECbridge CPU, for computers which have socketed 68000 chips. This option plugs into the CPU socket, and requires that there be enough room above the CPU within the case. The Price --------- The retail price of the TOS Extension Card is $139.00. This price includes the TEC board, Atari's official TOS 2.06 ROMs, a disk containing the official Atari system utilities (including the new XCONTROL Control Panel), and a manual describing the installation of the TEC and the new features of TOS 2.06. The TECbridge BUS and TECbridge CPU options are priced at $155.00. The TEC will begin shipping on January 10, 1992 (maybe even sooner, depending on how long it takes to translate the manual); advance orders are being accepted now. Of course, we won't charge your credit card or cash your check until your order has been shipped. To place an advance order for the TEC, call the CodeHead order desk at 213-386-5735. Mastercard, Visa, and American Express accepted. CodeHead Software P.O. Box 74090 Los Angeles, CA 90004 Tel 213-386-5735 Fax 213-386-5789 ======================================================================= YEAR IN REVIEW: 1991 COMPUSERVE YEAR END SUMMARY by Ron Luks ======================================================================= In 1991, CompuServe programmers delivered a major rewrite to the LIBRARY software. Some of the changes were immediately visible, including the ability to search all available libraries in a forum from inside any individual library. Other changes, and new transfer protocols will be available in 1992. Much of the internal code was rewritten for improved speed and more efficient keyword searching. Special "hooks" were implemented that will be useful for terminal software that supports CompuServe's HMI (host-micro interface) protocols, such as the CompuServe Information Manager. Pressure will continue to be exerted on CIS to release an Atari specific version of this program. QuickCIS, the automatic navigator program written by Jim Ness, was updated frequently in 1991 to take advantage of these changes in the CIS software. Look for a similar rewrite and improvement in the CIS messaging software sometime in 1992. Details of these changes will be available in Z*net Online. A new sysop, John Davis, was added to the staff of the AtariArts Forum. John is a specialist in music systems and MIDI and has an established reputation as music editor for ST Informer. Dave Groves, longtime Atari sysop, has opened up his own forum for Diabetes and Hypoglycemia Support. The Atari Portfolio Forum was named an official online support site by Atari Corp. in 1991. With active participation by Atari Corp. and all major Portfolio vendors, this forum rapidly established itself as THE place to visit for Portfolio owners. A year end programming marathon led by sysop BJ GLeason, newsletter editor David Stewart, and programmer Don Messerli, helped push the total number of Portfolio specific files near the 600 mark by year end. The APORTFOLIO Forum was a beta test site for Atari Corp. and Spectra Publishing for PowerBASIC, the Portfolio BASIC programming language and compiler. Currently, testing continues on Hyperlist, the eagerly awaited outliner/TODO program for the Portfolio. Back in the ST/STe/TT world, Atari Forum staff and members helped beta test new programs for Double Click Software and the soon-to-be-released FLASH II. In 1991, CompuServe expanded 9600 bps support with over 200 new nodes across the USA. This growth will accelerate in 1992 with even more cities being added to the high-speed list. International access was given a big boost with drastic rate reductions for European members. Access from the United Kingdom is now available in some cities for as little as a $.25/hr (yes, 25 cents) surcharge over normal CIS connect charges. Service from Germany is as low as a $2.50/hr surcharge. Daytime rates are only slightly higher. These reduced rates have brought significant numbers of Atari users from these countries into the US Atari Forums. The general manager of Atari (UK) is now online and a special promotion will be offered in 1st Qtr 1992 to bring online even more UK members and exciting new software previously available only in Europe. Total CompuServe membership now exceeds 880,000 individual accounts with access from more cities worldwide than any other information service. You can access the Atari areas on CompuServe by typing any of the following commands at any ! prompt. GO ATARI8 - Atari 8-Bit Forum GO ATARIARTS - Atari ST Arts Forum GO ATARIPRO - Atari ST Productivity Forum GO ATARIVEN - Atari Vendor Forum GO APORTFOLIO - Atari Portfolio Forum GO ATARIFF - Atari File Finder Area ======================================================================= YEAR IN REVIEW: 1991 TOP 100 ATARI-ARTS DOWNLOADS ON COMPUSERVE Compiled by Ron Kovacs ======================================================================= This listing has been compiled via a capture of all the files uploaded to the CompuServe Atari-Arts Forum. Files uploaded between December 1, 1990 through November 30, 1991. Rank Filename Bytes Access Date -------------------------------------------------------------- 1. VGIF12.ARC/Bin Bytes: 95104, Count: 252, 16-Feb-91 2. GV.LZH/Bin Bytes: 70784, Count: 245, 27-May-91 3. Z9120.TXT/Asc Bytes: 2676, Count: 211, 15-May-91 4. BODPAR.LZH/Bin Bytes: 55040, Count: 169, 02-Jun-91 5. SEXYTR.LZH/Bin Bytes: 39296, Count: 165, 20-Jul-91 6. STR723.ARC/Bin Bytes: 59055, Count: 161, 07-Jun-91 7. STR709.ARC/Bin Bytes: 52251, Count: 152, 01-Mar-91 8. BIGONE.ARC/Bin Bytes: 106456, Count: 147, 28-Dec-90 9. DMLTNM.ARC/Bin Bytes: 17113, Count: 131, 23-Jun-91 10. HOT.LZH/Bin Bytes: 59904, Count: 126, 02-Aug-91 11. STR712.ARC/Bin Bytes: 47625, Count: 124, 22-Mar-91 12. STR713.ARC/Bin Bytes: 66232, Count: 123, 29-Mar-91 13. STR720.ARC/Bin Bytes: 47298, Count: 121, 17-May-91 14. ZNT549.ARC/Bin Bytes: 30464, Count: 118, 15-Dec-90 15. STR701.ARC/Bin Bytes: 56733, Count: 118, 04-Jan-91 16. SMALL.CO/Asc Bytes: 27121, Count: 117, 12-Jul-91 17. STR710.ARC/Bin Bytes: 56366, Count: 117, 08-Mar-91 18. NEWLIB.TXT/Asc Bytes: 14097, Count: 115, 09-Oct-91 19. STR703.ARC/Bin Bytes: 59170, Count: 114, 18-Jan-91 20. COLONY.ARC/Bin Bytes: 42744, Count: 113, 31-Jul-91 21. Z9121.ARC/Bin Bytes: 28416, Count: 112, 18-May-91 22. STR744.LZH/Bin Bytes: 30720, Count: 112, 08-Nov-91 23. TRON1M.LZH/Bin Bytes: 236032, Count: 110, 19-May-91 24. STR715.ARC/Bin Bytes: 49004, Count: 108, 12-Apr-91 25. STR705.ARC/Bin Bytes: 31568, Count: 107, 01-Feb-91 26. STR745.LZH/Bin Bytes: 48290, Count: 105, 15-Nov-91 27. ZN9109.ARC/Bin Bytes: 37376, Count: 104, 09-Mar-91 28. STR719.ARC/Bin Bytes: 66519, Count: 104, 10-May-91 29. STR739.ARC/Bin Bytes: 50157, Count: 104, 28-Sep-91 30. STR652.ARC/Bin Bytes: 67689, Count: 104, 28-Dec-90 31. STR717.ARC/Bin Bytes: 88970, Count: 103, 26-Apr-91 32. STR707.ARC/Bin Bytes: 41998, Count: 102, 15-Feb-91 33. Z9148.ARC/Bin Bytes: 33536, Count: 101, 16-Nov-91 34. STR716.ARC/Bin Bytes: 53276, Count: 101, 20-Apr-91 35. STR704.ARC/Bin Bytes: 45851, Count: 100, 25-Jan-91 36. STR724.ARC/Bin Bytes: 71097, Count: 100, 14-Jun-91 37. Z9144.TXT/Asc Bytes: 8320, Count: 99, 19-Oct-91 38. STR714.ARC/Bin Bytes: 58880, Count: 99, 05-Apr-91 39. STR722.ARC/Bin Bytes: 57548, Count: 98, 31-May-91 40. MONOP3.LZH/Bin Bytes: 52039, Count: 97, 02-Jul-91 41. SARAH.ARC/Bin Bytes: 39296, Count: 95, 24-Dec-90 42. REDHOT.LZH/Bin Bytes: 51840, Count: 95, 11-Aug-91 43. ZNT914.ARC/Bin Bytes: 33536, Count: 94, 03-Feb-91 44. STR735.ARC/Bin Bytes: 55007, Count: 94, 30-Aug-91 45. Z9111.ARC/Bin Bytes: 35328, Count: 93, 22-Mar-91 46. Z9140.ARC/Bin Bytes: 32384, Count: 93, 20-Sep-91 47. STR738.ARC/Bin Bytes: 55853, Count: 93, 20-Sep-91 48. HOTSEP.LZH/Bin Bytes: 33280, Count: 92, 11-Aug-91 49. SPR034.TXT/Asc Bytes: 10648, Count: 92, 31-Aug-91 50. STR726.ARC/Bin Bytes: 50795, Count: 91, 28-Jun-91 51. STR702.ARC/Bin Bytes: 48604, Count: 90, 11-Jan-91 52. STR746.LZH/Bin Bytes: 40294, Count: 90, 22-Nov-91 53. Z9122.ARC/Bin Bytes: 28032, Count: 89, 25-May-91 54. Z9105.ARC/Bin Bytes: 48384, Count: 89, 12-Feb-91 55. Z9117.ARC/Bin Bytes: 35200, Count: 89, 27-Apr-91 56. ZN9108.ARC/Bin Bytes: 22400, Count: 89, 02-Mar-91 57. Z9142.ARC/Bin Bytes: 35456, Count: 88, 04-Oct-91 56. STR721.ARC/Bin Bytes: 66415, Count: 88, 24-May-91 57. Z9138.ARC/Bin Bytes: 40960, Count: 87, 15-Sep-91 58. CEPS2.TXT/Asc Bytes: 4844, Count: 86, 13-Apr-91 59. STR740.ARC/Bin Bytes: 42699, Count: 84, 04-Oct-91 60. STBOOK.TXT/Asc Bytes: 3746, Count: 83, 25-Aug-91 61. Z9123.ARC/Bin Bytes: 32640, Count: 82, 01-Jun-91 62. Z9116.ARC/Bin Bytes: 27904, Count: 82, 20-Apr-91 63. STR742.ARC/Bin Bytes: 67884, Count: 82, 25-Oct-91 64. Z9141.ARC/Bin Bytes: 32000, Count: 81, 28-Sep-91 65. GRIDWA.ARC/Bin Bytes: 45824, Count: 81, 25-May-91 66. TRAFIC.LZH/Bin Bytes: 8902, Count: 80, 03-Jul-91 67. Z9125.ARC/Bin Bytes: 29440, Count: 79, 15-Jun-91 68. Z9149.ARC/Bin Bytes: 32128, Count: 79, 23-Nov-91 69. STR730.ARC/Bin Bytes: 40525, Count: 79, 26-Jul-91 70. STR725.ARC/Bin Bytes: 40704, Count: 78, 21-Jun-91 71. Z9115.ARC/Bin Bytes: 40704, Count: 77, 13-Apr-91 72. STR734.ARC/Bin Bytes: 47779, Count: 77, 23-Aug-91 73. Z9133.ARC/Bin Bytes: 29952, Count: 75, 10-Aug-91 74. Z9118.ARC/Bin Bytes: 39424, Count: 75, 04-May-91 75. NOIDS.ARC/Bin Bytes: 43904, Count: 75, 22-Aug-91 76. Z9112.ARC/Bin Bytes: 35456, Count: 74, 29-Mar-91 77. Z9119.ARC/Bin Bytes: 30080, Count: 74, 11-May-91 78. STR718.ARC/Bin Bytes: 51188, Count: 74, 03-May-91 79. Z9113.ARC/Bin Bytes: 36096, Count: 72, 06-Apr-91 80. STR736.ARC/Bin Bytes: 49952, Count: 71, 06-Sep-91 81. STR747.LZH/Bin Bytes: 64981, Count: 71, 29-Nov-91 82. STR737.ARC/Bin Bytes: 63777, Count: 71, 13-Sep-91 83. QRT.LZH/Bin Bytes: 80631, Count: 70, 07-Aug-91 84. CEPS1.TXT/Asc Bytes: 3192, Count: 70, 08-Apr-91 85. STR727.ARC/Bin Bytes: 61717, Count: 70, 05-Jul-91 86. STR743.ARC/Bin Bytes: 47406, Count: 70, 01-Nov-91 87. Z9146.LZH/Bin Bytes: 24704, Count: 69, 03-Nov-91 88. Z9143.ARC/Bin Bytes: 42752, Count: 69, 19-Oct-91 89. STR732.ARC/Bin Bytes: 51956, Count: 69, 09-Aug-91 90. STR729.ARC/Bin Bytes: 34944, Count: 69, 19-Jul-91 91. STR741.ARC/Bin Bytes: 87842, Count: 69, 18-Oct-91 92. EXPLDI.TXT/Asc Bytes: 2688, Count: 68, 20-Aug-91 93. AIMOFR.TXT/Asc Bytes: 3301, Count: 68, 18-May-91 94. Z9136.ARC/Bin Bytes: 37632, Count: 67, 31-Aug-91 95. STR731.ARC/Bin Bytes: 62957, Count: 67, 02-Aug-91 96. BOING.LZH/Bin Bytes: 37643, Count: 67, 08-Sep-91 97. WAACE.TXT/Asc Bytes: 9630, Count: 67, 12-Oct-91 98. ROBOTZ.LZH/Bin Bytes: 82688, Count: 65, 18-Jan-91 99. STR733.ARC/Bin Bytes: 37052, Count: 65, 16-Aug-91 100. Z9145.ARC/Bin Bytes: 39168, Count: 61, 26-Oct-91 ======================================================================= * CODEHEAD TO TAKE OVER QUICK ST SUPPORT Press Release ======================================================================= NEWSFLASH! As of January 1, 1992, CodeHead Software will be taking over worldwide development and distribution of the popular Quick ST 3.0 software accelerator! Darek Mihocka, the original creator of Quick ST, is selling the flagship product of Branch Always Software in order to spend more time developing a PC based Atari ST emulator. According to Darek, "The response to my emulator demo at the Chicago Atarifest was very positive. In order to bring the emulator to market in a timely fashion, it became clear that I couldn't do that while at the same time trying to develop new versions of Quick ST. Both products would ultimately suffer. In the capable hands of CodeHead Software, Quick ST will continue to exist and be improved upon, and ST and TT users can look forward to a long life for the product that speeds up their machines. It's a win-win situation for everyone." Quick ST 3 is a program that intercepts GEM's screen output routines, and replaces them with highly optimized assembly language code that is much faster. Windows pop open, graphics appear instantly, text zaps onto the screen at high speed, and everything you do with your computer takes less time. It's an indispensable utility for all owners of Atari computers, since the built-in screen output routines are written in slow, inefficient C code. CodeHead Software is well-known for their line of utility and productivity solutions (and now graphics software as well), and Quick ST is a logical extension of that line. Charles F. Johnson, co-owner of CodeHead, said, "We're quite excited about Quick ST, and are looking forward to supporting this excellent product; and since we've purchased the source code, you can also look forward to further development of the program." Quick ST is now the only US-made screen accelerator that is still being actively supported. CodeHead will also be handling updates from older versions of Quick ST. You can upgrade to the latest version by returning your original Quick ST 2.x master disk to CodeHead Software along with a check or money order for $20. Owners of Softrek's Turbo ST (any version) may also upgrade to Quick ST 3 by sending in your Turbo ST master disk and $20.00. The retail price of Quick ST 3 is $34.95; to order, contact your local dealer or call the CodeHead order desk at 213-386-5735. Mastercard, Visa, and American Express accepted. CodeHead Software P.O. Box 74090 Los Angeles, CA 90004 Tel 213-386-5735 Fax 213-386-5789 ======================================================================= * MULTISYNC MYTHS AND THE ATARI ST by Gregg Anderson ======================================================================= The following article is reprinted in Z*Net by permission of AtariUser magazine and Quill Publishing. It MAY NOT be further reprinted without specific permission of Quill. AtariUser is a monthly Atari magazine, available by subscription for $18 a year. For more information on AtariUser, call 800-333-3567. Most St owners know the ST uses different video signals for its color and monochrome modes. You may have read about the monochrome SM124's 70 cycle vertical refresh rate (how often per second the screen redraws itself from top to bottom) and its sharp, flicker-free display. Less publicized is the RGB (color) SC1224's 60 cycle refresh rate. What's NOT common knowledge is that the ST also uses two different HORIZONTAL scan frequencies (the rate at which screen data is drawn left to right). So what? It's not a problem--unless you want to use a multiscan monitor instead of two Atari monitors. Lets face it, having a single monitor that handles all three resolutions and provides a larger screen to boot has its attractions. Another attraction is Atari TT, add-on ST/TT graphics card, and even MS-DOS compatibility. The Atari monochrome display is close to one of the standard VGA modes, and thus fairly VGA compatible. Most multiscans will handle it just fine. Unfortunately, the color display is based on IBM's old CGA video mode and few VGA or multiscan monitors bother to support it anymore. So why not just use an old CGA or EGA monitor? Don't even think of it! If you do you'll likely damage your monitor, your computer, or both. Those old units were designed for a TTL (digital) signal and the ST uses an ANALOG video signal, and the two are just not compatible in any way, shape, or form. So while the advantages of a single 'all-res' monitor are fairly obvious, there are some disadvantages to using a multiscan with your ST. Multiscans tend to be rather expensive, with retail costs up to and over $1,000, though most can be found in the $400 to $600 range via mail order. You'll also need a video adapter (switchbox) to use a multiscan with your ST, and this will add another $100h and you'll fill the entire screen. Atari ST Video Display Frequencies & Monitor Data Vertical Horizontal Claimed Actual Dot Monitor Refresh(Hz) Scan(Khz) Screen Display Pitch ------------------------------------------------------------------ SM124 Mono (hi res) 70 35.1 12.0" 9.5" .? SC1224 Color 60 15.7 12.0" 10.0" .385 Multiscan (desired) 50-90 15.7-38.0 14.0" 13.0" .28 Your first and most obvious choice is using two Atari Monitors. The SM124 offers a superb monochrome display that's unmatched by ANY multi- scan monitor and is reasonably priced. The SC1224, while no barn burner, is a good monitor for the money and can handle simple word processing or data-base/spreadsheet work with few problems. Unfortunately, its .38" dot pitch is just not up to handling anything requiring detailed displays such as drafting, cad/cam, and so on. Your second choice is one of the 'Pre-Packaged' multiscan systems for the Atari ST such as those from Omnimon Peripherals (OPI, formerly WuzTek) or Talon. Both are solid units that combine excellent color and high resolution displays with a reasonable price and should satisfy any users' needs. Best of all, both come as simple, pre-tested 'plug-and- play' units that eliminate the chance of incompatibility. If you already have a multiscan or want the 'very best' display possible and don't really care about cost (are there really such people?), you'll need an interface to connect it to your ST. Even more importantly, you'll need a way of switching between color and monochrome modes. Of several available, I've tested OPI's OMNIX-2 and Talon's Omniswitch. Each provides the identical display. OPI's interface is a small 'solid state' box smaller than a deck of cards that connects out of sight between your ST and its monitor. To change resolutions, OPI supplied a thin 'wafer-switch' that you can put almost anywhere. This switch also provides the ability to force a 're- sync' if the monitor loses the video sync signal. OPI also supplies software to let you change resolutions without having to re-boot, but it requires a lot of RAM and the commercial program "Revolver" to use it. The OPI includes interface, cables, and software. Talon, on the other hand, seemed more interested in flexibility and expansion. Their interface is a large (11 X 3.5 X 2") unit with two mechanical push buttons that has to sit within reach of the user. To compensate for its size, the Talon comes with built-in DB-9 and DB-15 connectors and can act as a switch box for dual Atari monitors. Talon also includes a built-in a switch box for two secondary disk drives (B & C) and also includes RCA connectors for audio and B&W Composite Video. Optional is Talon's unique GEM patching program to allow 'on the fly' resolution switching with a custom external switchbox. It lacks the PI's re-sync capabilities, and some users report having to try several units to get a stable one. The product is more expensive than the OPI and does not include cables. Other interfaces are available from IB COMPUTERS, RIO, TOAD, and JOPPA, several of which advertise in AtariUser magazine. MONITOR TEST RESULTS Though I tested a number of multiscan monitors for ST compatibility, I couldn't test all of them. The '*' indicates that I didn't personally test this unit and the compatible/not compatible call is based on the manufacturer statements or owner reports. OPI Omnimon Rainbow/ACER 7015/MAG COMPTRONIC PMV14C Plus: This monitor provides excellent compatibility with the ST and does so at a VERY reasonable price. The color mode is at least as good if not better than Atari's SC1224. The monochrome mode, on the other hand isn't quite as sharp as the SM124's. Despite this, the PMV14C's display is more than adequate for CAD/CAM, DTP, Drafting, or any other high-resolution use. The positioning controls, unfortunately, are behind the monitor. PRINCTON ULTRA-12*: A friend who built his own interface described the Ultra-12 as 'perfect'. This is understandable since the Ultra-12's 12" screen is almost identical the Atari monitors' and, as a rule, the smaller the screen the sharper the display. PRINCTON ULTRA-14: Works and syncs nicely. While the color modes were excellent, the unit I tested suffered a background 'waver' in monochrome mode. I'd estimate the Princton Ultra-14 to be slightly superior to the Mag Computronic PMV14C. Sony CPD-1302: This unit rolled uncontrollably with both interfaces. This is because Sony uses a custom DP-9 pin-out that requires a special adapter for their sync signal. Generally speaking the 1302 should have a good to outstanding display in all video modes due to its .26 dot pitch. NEC 3D: Though it's color mode wasn't as sharp as the OPI's, the NEC had the best monochrome display I saw during this test. The best feature of the NEC is it's built-in ability to remember video display modes and screen positions. This eliminates having to re-center or re- size the ST's screen display when changing modes (after an initial setting). Also nice is that ALL controls are conveniently located in front of the monitor. Along with Sony, the NEC is one of the most expensive 14" multiscans on the market today. Mitsubishi FA3415ATK*: This one should work and has received VERY high reviews in several IBM specific magazines for brightness and clarity. Mitsubishi Diamond Scan 1381*: Talon Technologies has tested this unit and found that it works with the ST. However the Diamond Scan has received less than glowing reviews for clarity and crispness in several MS-DOS related magazines. Samsung Model CN 4551*: Another unit tested and approved by Talon. Panasonic PanaSync C1391*: This one has gotten raves both for picture and price, as it is apparently being sold out at a major discount as low as $329 in mail order ads. The following lists are based on manufacturer's published specifications, but NOT confirmed by testing. These monitors 'should' work with the ST. Relisys RE-5155* Cordata CMC-141M* AOC CM324* Mircovitec 1019/SP* Electrohome ECM-1310U* AOC CM326* Nanao FlexScan 9060S* Idek Multiflat Digiana MF-5015* Acer 710VH* These monitors are NOT compatible with the ST. Seiko 1440/1450 ViewSonic 4 Samtron SC-428V* Sony CPD 1304* NEC 4D/5D* Samtron SC-431V* Mitsuba 710VH* Dell Super VGA* AOC CM325* Goldstar 1450* Amdek AM/738* NEC-2A* Tatung CM-1496X* All Packard Bells* All EGA/CGA monitors* What to look for in a Multiscan: 1) Make sure the monitor is a true multiscan and NOT a Tri-Sync or "mulitsync", limited to standard VGA modes. Some multiscans advertise CGA/EGA compatibility based on using a VGA card that converts EGA/CGA to VGA frequencies. That won't work on your ST. 2) Be POSITIVE that the unit handles not only 60 and 70 Hz vertical refresh rates but the 15.7 and 35.1 KHz horizontal sweep frequencies as well. This is where most multiscans and VGA monitors fall flat on their faces. 3) Look for a dot pitch of .28 or smaller, and a medium to short phospor. The smaller the dot pitch the sharper the image should be, and a long persistence phosphor is useful only if you're into interlacing, something that ST doesn't normally do. 4) Unless you pick the NEC, you'll have to get used to the display shifting some to the right when going from color to monochrome (and visa-versa when going the other direction). That or spend some time adjusting the size and horizontal position controls to keep things centered each time you change resolutions. Try before you buy! Both the OPI and Talon fit all four requirements. As a result, it's pretty hard to justify spending lots of hard to find cash on a build-it- yourself system unless you already have access to a multiscan or, like me, are a pathological perfectionist. Yes, you can get a better display than the pre-packaged units, but doing so may cost you some major dollars. As I said, I'm a pathological perfectionist, so I picked the NEC 3D. Available at $600 and up via mail order, its display was outstanding and its ability to remember the ST's display modes was just too tempting for me to resist, even at the price. Still want to 'roll your own'? Test the monitor you want BEFORE buying it. Make NO exceptions unless you can afford another doorstop. Omnimon Peripherals Inc (Formerly WuzTek), 1 Technology Drive, E-301, Irvine CA, 92718, (714)-753-9253 Talon Technologies Inc., 243 N. Highway 101, STE. 11, Solona Beach CA, 92075, (619)-792-6511 (And more monitor companies than space allows us to list here, see your dealer for details.) Gregg Anderson BIO: Gregg Anderson is a member of the Far East Atari ST Club, Yokota AFB Japan. A long time Atari supporter and registered developer, he has had over 25 articles printed in various Atari-related magazines over the past four years. ======================================================================= YEAR IN REVIEW: 1991 AN END USER'S PERSPECTIVE by Ed Krimen ======================================================================= Looking upon 1991, I don't remember a whole lot of revolutionary Atari events taking place. I think most of the development for the market, not just from Atari itself, but from developers and dealers, was mainly rebuilding and redeveloping a strategy for the future. End-users wouldn't have noticed it because closed-door development is just that -- private; the public isn't supposed to know about it. At this point, many Atari doom-sayers will be thinking, "What is this guy smoking? I want a pair of his rose-colored glasses. Atari's not going to survive past next week. Their stock is down; dealers are closing; user groups are losing members; developers are leaving the market; and users are dumping their STs and buying clones. Jump ship before you go down like the Coleco Adam." We all know that Atari in the past hasn't necessarily been on top of the list in terms of customer, dealer, and developer support. In fact, in most people's minds, they're not even on the list! People "buy Atari" because they love the computers, not because of the "high" price of its stock. When judging from past performance, one would think that the lack of support from Atari and consequently the departure of users, dealers, and developers from the ST market will continue until Atari's and the ST's death. But with my wearing those funky rose-colored glasses and smoking whatever it is I'm smoking, there are a few things I can point out that happened in the past year which show development. In no particular order and off the top of my head, the Dusseldorf fair in Germany had a particularly good impact on the North American market. A few software companies, such as Codehead, Goldleaf Publishing, and Gribnif, are now importing software packages from Europe. Codehead's bringing in Avant Vector and MegaPaint, and Gribnif has Arabesque and X-boot. Goldleaf has Didot Line Art and Retouche. And that's just software. Codehead gets the TOS Extension Card from Artifex in Germany (to help upgrade the ST and Mega to TOS 2.06) and Goldleaf gets their souped up tower TT Image Speeder from Germany as well. Note that most of these products are desktop publishing-oriented, suggesting that Atari wants to go after this market much like it has gone after the MIDI market. But everything isn't just imported. Double Click had their Program of the Week in 1991. They wrote a small, freeware utility program once a week for a year. I think it spanned from October 1990 to October 1991. The Codeheads came out with MultiDesk Deluxe and just recently, MIDI Spy. Before the last few weeks of the year are over, we find that they have taken over development of Quick ST 3.0 (which was also released this year) from Darek Mihocka, who now wants to concentrate more of his efforts on Gemulator, an ST emulator for PC clones. Jim Allen of Fast Technology has developed and is now shipping the Turbo20 20Mhz and the Turbo25 25Mhz 68000 upgrades. His Turbo030 68030 accelerator and David Small's (of Gadgets by Small) SST 68030 accelerator have yet to materialize in customer's hands, however. I think I heard something about delays with obtaining TOS from Atari. The long-awaited STalker 3.0 telecommunications program and STeno 2.0 text editor were released. In many ways, STalker 3.0 has more features and is more powerful than anyone had anticipated. Double Click Software also released Data Diet, its real-time data compression program. Lexicor Software released their suite of sophisticated animation and graphics programs. Nonetheless, I could go on and on and on, but then I'd have to do more research than just looking through the December issue of ST Informer for reminders. Oh, by the way, speaking of ST magazines, Atari User magazine, the very informative, widely-distributed, inexpensive magazine sought its debut in 1991. And Atari Explorer was resurrected this past year, with each issue looking better than the previous. On a somber note however, STart died early in 1991, but not due to the ST market per se, but by the publisher's mismanagement. Perhaps one of the best signs of development in 1991 was the Aegis Dealer Symposium held in Sunnyvale. Arranged by Atari, this conference demonstrated that Atari knows that there's more to selling and supporting a computer than just developing and manufacturing them. Many dealers and developers took part in the Aegis Symposium to get together and learn what must be needed to sell Atari computers and third-party products and software in the years to come. Under the Atari roof, there have also been some exciting hardware and software developments. The Mega STE is shipping. The street price for the 520STE is around $350. The ST bundles are shipping. Atari's Extensible Control Panel has been available for several months now. FSM GDOS is available to owners of WordFlair II and others who really, really, really need it. From what we've been told on GEnie, the slowdown to wider distribution is the packaging. Atari didn't like the cover design from one company, so they contracted another and are getting it re-done. The new model Lynx is shipping, as well as a ton of games, which seem to have been coming out about one to two a week for a few months. Atari's starting to push their name around a lot more than they used to. The result to all of this will most likely be seen next year, if at all. For a couple of months, they've been having full-page ads in Keyboard magazine. Publish magazine ran a Goldleaf Publishing ad recently, and we're supposed to be seeing more Atari-related ads in that magazine. According to Bob Brodie at Atari, the Seybold Publishing Report newsletter has a big write-up on Atari and its Professional Systems Group presence at the show. In addition, the Lynx is once again being aggressively marketed, this time in Southern California. I guess a lot of stuff did happen in 1991. But there's also things that didn't happen that a lot of people would like to happen very, very soon -- like yesterday. For example, FCC Class B-certified TT030s are still not shipping! On the other hand, I understand that TTs with 1.44meg drives and TOS 3.06 are. Replacement floppy controllers for 1.44meg drives for current Mega STE and TT owners aren't available yet either. The deal with General Electric Service Centers hasn't been finalized and STs aren't in any mass merchandising stores, like Circuit City. Looking ahead to next year should prove to be a do-or-die year for the ST market in the U.S. I really don't think the current, emaciated ST market can hold out for another year, unless Atari makes a substantial push in the computer industry. Production and distribution of machines with advertising and general press coverage to let people know what's out there are the key elements here. Atari plans to show several "WOW!" computers at the CeBit fair in Germany in March. That's all dandy and good, but these computers will still be in development for the following year after they're shown. We just hope that they'll be available in LARGE quantities when that year of development is over. Atari must attract new computer users and users of non-Atari computers to their platform. This must and can definitely be done with their existing line of the STE, Mega STE, TT030, and soon the ST Book. Atari is fortunate to have a good number of devoted and informed followers who love their computers, but this following can't keep Atari above water forever. Atari must attract new users to the platform, and 1992 will demonstrate if Atari is willing to do this. ======================================================================= * ATM SAFETY TIPS ======================================================================= People who use automatic teller machines to withdraw cash are becoming targets for thieves, particularly during the rush of holiday shopping. But a manufacturer of ATMs recently said the risk can be lessened by taking several precautions. o Be aware of your surroundings when you approach an ATM. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, visit the ATM later or use another ATM. o Always look inside an enclosed site before entering. o Ask a friend to come along with you if you need to visit an ATM at night. o Have your card ready and in hand, along with other transaction materials, before you approach an ATM. o Stand close to the ATM when entering your personal identification number. Do not allow anyone to watch. o Wait until you leave the vicinity of the ATM to count your money. For people who use a drive-up ATM machine... o Pull up close to the ATM. o Remain in the car while conducting your transaction. For added security, keep car doors locked and windows rolled up before and after making the transaction. o Keep the car running while operating the ATM. o Drive around the machine first if it is in a kiosk, or drive by it, checking between parked cars, if it is a wall-mounted unit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To sign up for DELPHI service, call (with modem) (800) 695-4002. Upon connection, hit <return> once or twice. At Password: type ZNET and hit <return>. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To sign up for GEnie service call (with modem) (800) 638-8369. Upon connection type HHH and hit <return>. Wait for the U#= prompt and type XTX99436,GEnie and hit <return>. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To sign up for CompuServe service call (with phone) (800) 848-8199. Ask for operator #198. 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