ST Report: 24-Apr-92 #817From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/28/92-12:37:46 PM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 24-Apr-92 #817 Date: Tue Apr 28 12:37:46 1992 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" from STR Publishing """""""""""""" April 24, 1992 No.8.17 ========================================================================== 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 Support BBS Network System * THE BOUNTY BBS * * TURBO BOARD BBS SYSTEM * FNET 350 ~ Fido 112:35 ~ TNET 100:2/0 904-786-4176 USR/HST 24hrs - 7 days 1200 - 19.2bps V.32 - 42 bis 16.8 Dual Standard FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EST ----------------------------------------- FNET.. 18 ~ TNET 100:3/0: ///Turbo Board BBS Support...1-416-274-1225 FNET.. 75 ~ TNET 100:28/0 Bloom County BBS.............1-415-965-9347 FNET. 350 ~ TNET 100:2/0 The Bounty *<Home of STR>*...1-904-786-4176 FNET. 489 ~ TNET 100:20/0 Steal Your Face BBS..........1-908-920-7981 FNET 1031 ~ TNET 100:1/0 <<< INTERNET - UK>>>.... 011-44-296-395-935 _____________________________________________________________________ > 04/24/92: STReport #8.17 "The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine!" ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU Report - PORTFOLIO NEWS - UK LYNX CONTEST - MORE SHAMUS! - Blue Ridge Fest - GEMvelope! - MIGRAPH'S OCR - GEMFAST 1.8 - TT030 TOWER REVIEW - DUNGEON TIME! - STR Confidential -* EXPLORER & ZNET JOIN IN ONLINE VENTURE!*- -* LEXICOR RECALL OFFICIAL! *- -* REVOLVING DOOR ALIVE & WELL! *- ========================================================================== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE The Original Independent 16/32 bit Online Magazine -* FEATURING WEEKLY *- "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ========================================================================== STReport's BBS, The Bounty, invites BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the Fido/TurboNet/Atari F-Net Mail Network. You may also call our BBS direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging information relative to the Atari and other computers worldwide through the use of excellent International Messaging Networks. SysOps, worldwide, are quite welcome to join the STReport International Conferences. The Crossnet Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is # 350. All BBS systems are welcome and invited to actively participate. Support Atari Computers; Join Today! ========================================================================== GENIE ~ CIS ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ FNET ~ TNET ~ INTERNET EURONET ~ CIX ~ CLEVELAND FREE-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 (April 24) NEW IN ATARI VENDORS FORUM """""""""""""""""""""""""" Oxxi Software announces that registered Atari users of Superbase Personal/2 and Professional/3 can update to the latest version of the program. Please read message # 25350 for details. CodeHead Technologies announces the release of Warp 9, formerly known as Quick ST. This product has been revamped for usability, speed, compatibilty, and features. See WARP_9.TXT in Library 16, CODEHEAD SOFTWARE for a full description, availability, and ordering information. Oxxi, Inc. has acquired the Atari Product line formerly offered by Precision Software and has begun development on an upgrade to Superbase Professional. Oxxi is interested in your comments on new features for this upgrade. Please read and respond to message # 25112 in the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN), or send a message to Pat @ Oxxi at User ID number 76711,457 in Section 4 ("OXXI/Precision") of ATARIVEN. CONTEST IN APORTFOLIO """"""""""""""""""""" We are now running a NEW CONTEST for Portfolio Programmers. You can submit any program you have written, in any language, in either compiled or source form. Prizes will include free CompuServe connect time, ROM cards, and a subscription to "Take it With You." Please read message # 28538 for complete details. 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 #17 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. -- Atari UK Searching for Best Lynx Player Atari UK is using a national competition to discover who is the top Lynx player in the UK. The winner can choose from a prize fund of UKP 3,000 in the form of a holiday, electrical goods, and mountain bikes. Runners up will receive bundles of Atari software, while finalists will be invited to win a day at an indoor go-karting track. Starting on May 9th in 60 computer stores, the competition will run for one week a month over a five month period. The 12 top scorers will will go to a grand final at Feltham, Middlesex, on October 10th. The competition is being held by Atari in conjunction with Game Zone magazine and the National Association of Specialist Computer Retailers (NASCR). Plans call for Game Zone, a games monthly, to publish the results of the competition each month. According to sources, Atari's Lynx and Nintendo's Game Boy systems were fairly evenly matched a year ago but after releasing a large quantity of software, this year the Lynx appears to be beating the Game Boy. -- Intel to get Technology from IBM IBM has licensed to Intel Corp. its extended graphics array, or XGA, technology for improved screen graphics. Intel will design new chips incorporating the technology and plans to sell the chips to PC makers. XGA was designed to replace the current video graphics array, or VGA, also designed by IBM. IBM says XGA provides sharper graphics than VGA. IBM hopes to make XGA the next standard for video graphics on the PC. -- Asian Authorities Crack Counterfeit Ring According to Microsoft Corp., authorities in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China have broken up international counterfeiting operation that is believed to be responsible for up to 75,000 illegal copies of MS-DOS and Windows operating systems. The counterfeit software included manuals, packaging and forgeries of the distinctive hologram the company uses to identify its product as genuine. -- TI's new 1500 Multiprocessing Computer to be Powered by '040 Texas Instrument's new 1500 MP (multi-processing) computer is reported to be powered by Motorola's 33mzh 68040 microprocessor. The 1500 MP reportedly delivers three times the computing power of earlier MP models, and can support large enterprise-wide networks of up to 1,000 users. That is twice the number of users supported by existing TI systems. -- Rumors of Lotus/Borland Merger There are rumors on the street of informal merger talks between Lotus Development Corporation and Borland International. These talks are still in the informal stage and might never reach formal negotiations. --Houston Firm Settles with SPA Burnett Companies, a Houston based firm, has reached a settlement with the SPA (The Software Publishers Association) on a copyright infringe- ment suit settlement. The SPA was tipped off on its toll-free anti-piracy hotline about the company using illegal copies of Aldus, Lotus, Microsoft, Software Publishing, and WordPerfect programs installed in training computers. -- Apple Drops Some Powerbook Prices 25% In the second reduction since its introduction, Apple has lowered the price of its Powerbook 100 by another 25%. Also effected by the re- duction will be the Powerbook 140. All together, Apple will be lowering prices on six of its Powerbook 100 and 140 notebook computers. -- Rumors of a Apple Handheld Computer Sources are saying Apple Computer Inc. will unveil a handheld "personal digital assistant" machine, code-named Newton, late next month and that it will be a pen-controlled device. The computer, which is said to be powered by a RISC (reduced instruction set computing) chip, "can organize data such as an appointment calendar and can communicate with other machines by dialing phone numbers and sending facsimiles. It is controlled by writing on its screen with a special pen instead of typing on a keyboard." The device is reported to be about 6-by-8 inches or a bit smaller. It is hoped to be shown during the Spring Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago May 28-30 -- Intel Boosts "Flash" Memory Intel Corp. this week announced it has increased by five times the stor- age capacity of its "flash" memory cards for portable computers, making the credit card-sized product into what the company calls a viable al- ternative to disk drives. The card reportedly can hold up to 20MB of data and cas save information when a computer is turned off, acting as a storage device in place of hard disk drives. Intel hopes to have a flash memory card capable of storing a half a gigabyte available by the end of the year. -- Samsung Debuts First Laser Printer Samsung announced today a new laser printer that represents no new technology but may offer the best value in features and performance yet. According to a company spokesperson, the $1995 Finale 8000 printer combines six resident emulations (including PostScript), the Intel I960 16-MHz RISC processor, 2MB SIMM RAM (upgradeable to 10MB), and other benefits to provide a very attractive alternative for small- to medium-sized businesses. Perhaps the most notable feature of the new printer is that its eight page per minute print engine, manufactured by Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. in Korea, is the first to be manufactured outside Japan. While no other printer using the Samsung engine has yet been released, Samsung expects other companies to offer models based on the engine later this year. Among the Finale 8000's features, users can choose from among six emulations for a wide range of software support; PCL 4 and 5, a PostScript clone, HPGL/2, and the dot-matrix emulations IBM XL24 and Epson FX-850. A proprietary scheme reportedly allows the printer to recognize and switch automatically to an emulation. -- Apple Computer and Sharp Confirm PDA Alliance Apple Computer and Sharp announced on Thursday in Osaka, Japan a joint license and development agreement for a new Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) product in the personal information device category. Sharp is the first licensee of a new Apple software technology and will partner with Apple to develop the first commercial PDA product in this class, expected to ship in 1993. Both companies have formed project teams and have begun aggressive product development efforts with a target product delivery date of early 1993. Further product details were not made available at this time. -- NeXT to Announce 88110, RISC-Based Machine NeXT Computer is planning to announce in October a new RISC-based workstation that will be based on the Motorola 88110 processor, according to an anonymous source. The new machine, currently codenamed NRW, will include real-time video compression to disk, and may also support FDDI, the source said. A NeXT representative, when asked about the machine, said the company will not comment on unannounced products. -- Kahn Issues Call for Freedom in Programming Borland International Chairman Philippe Kahn issued a call for freedom in programming languages and standards as a part of his keynote speech yesterday at the Federal Office Systems Exposition. Kahn said that one of the results of Borland's purchase of Ashton-Tate will result in the dBase language being "free forever." He also said that it is vital for the future of the computer industry to provide for programming languages being kept free from all copyright constraints. Kahn received spontaneous applause when he said; "All programming languages must remain free to all, or it will mean the death of the industry." -- NEC Offers 85 MB In 1.8-inch Package NEC has taken the lead in the ultra-small hard disk drive race with a 1.8", 85 MB drive. This top Ministor's most recently announced 64mb 1.8" drive and a 40mb version announced a few months ago by Integral Peripherals. The combination of small size and high capacity is important because of the growing sophistication of notebook computers. Many 486 notebooks are being used to run all sorts of office applications, this means they need disk space comparable to that of desktop PCs. In addition, the hard disk is one of the largest, heaviest components left in a notebook PC. Getting the weight down is important in the highly competitive market. The new drive was designed for NEC by Aura Associates Inc. of Saratoga, CA. Aura plans to market a version of the drive under their name. Availabilty is planned for this summer. *********************************************************************** :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! GEnie's NewsStand ... Read All About It...............NEWSSTAND 2. You asked-We Delivered GEnie Coffee Mugs..................*ORDER 3. StarShip Feeding Frenzy: 5-MIN Weekend News and FRESH FISH.AMIGA 4. VICTORIA, BC - Local Access Number Now Available........... 5. San Angelo, TX - Access Number Change......................*PHONE 6. 3.5" DS/DD Disks - 29 cents each..........................DIRECTMICRO 7. Apple authorizes release of System 7 Tune-Up 1.1.1. See....MAC 8. Hot games - Big fun - Huge value - hurry, hurry, hurry.....SOFTCLUB 9. Science RTC Contest, & sci/tech consultant Michael Sekora..SCIENCE 10. No Financials Under $15,000. NOW is the Time to............LEASE 11. SINGLES: "How to Meet Your Mate" RTC, 4/26 9pm...Win GOT...FAMILY 12. SECRETARIES: CELEBRATE Your Week with a FREE listing.......DIRECTORY 13. Emigrants in Chains-New View of our Immigrant Ancestors....GENEALOGY 14. Toshiba and Altima announce hot 486 notebooks on...........LAPTOPS 15. Universal Studios, Sea World, Busch Gardens, Disney GIFs...FLORIDA Atari ST RT = REALTIME CONFERENCE = = Scheduled Wednesday RTC Guests = Have an idea for an Realtime Conference? Wish to promote a product, show or service? Atari Roundtable Realtime Conference provides an excellent platform for announcements and discussions. Contact Jeff Williams [JEFF.W] or Darlah Potechin [DARLAH] for requirements and information on holding formal RTCs. Jeff also captures and edits the formal conferences and uploads them into the Atari RT's Library. = Monday Realtime Conference = Monday DTP conferences Hosted by Ron Grant [R.GRANT11] and Nathan Potechin [ISD] Contact: JEFF.W, R.GRANT11, ISD, DARLAH Last Week's Top Downloaded Programs/Utilities: ------------------------------------------------- 23662 ONTIME14.ARC X T.SAVINO 920410 28032 236 2 Desc: DA Clock/Date/Calendar,graphic WOW! 23742 STWEL47.LZH (LH5) X B.NOONAN 920416 32384 173 6 Desc: ST Writer Elite v.4.7 Word Processor 23708 JOUTE.LZH (LH5)LZH X O.OKTAL 920413 19200 164 8 Desc: 2 Players tank color game (ST,TT) 23726 CAL62B.LZH (LH5)LZH X V.PATRICELL1 920415 75520 160 2 Desc: Cal 6.2b calendar accessory update. 23725 BOOTYME2.ARC X D.SIMPSON7 920415 6912 131 2 Desc: Latest version of BootTyme. 23703 HDINFO16.LZH X M.MAXEY 920413 20864 117 2 Desc: RENAMES HARDRIVE ICONS /W DISK SPACE 23667 FZP_B33.LZH (LH5)LZH X S.PRICE19 920411 20480 106 7 Desc: FzDS Protocols version .33 Beta ------------------------------------------------- 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 ---------------- Question from Rich Thurow - Cat. 4, Topic 38, Msgs 107-108 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... My problem: My mega ST2 (unmodified) is having intermittant and ap- parently random power offs. It only happens, it seems, when my mega- file 30 is on. The screen on both the color and mono mon goes black and the light on the keyboard goes off. The hard drive light stays on. Sometimes I have to repeatedly turn the power off/on to get it to reboot. My thoughts: 1. The DMA cable 2. The power supply 3. A blown something else ( I am not up on ST internals). I had just installed a Wuztek mono/color switchbox and did a lot of switching with the power on (is this not recommended? There were no docs, other than installation instructions, with the box, purchased from E.A. Brown). Any help would be appreciated. Answer from George Richardson (Merlin Group)... Rich, when the light on the keyboard goes off, there can only be two things wrong, the light is bad, or the power supply is. Since the monitor goes black at the same time, I think we can rule out the light. You need a new power supply. ---------------- From Scott Sanders (SDS) - Cat. 9, Topic 3, Msg. 56 - from the ST Round- table on Genie... For those TT owners who have bought Populous II, it is possible to run the game off the hard drive and at a reasonable speed. Here's how: 1. Following the instructions, use INSTALL.TOS to install the files on your hard drive. 2. INSTALL.TOS does not copy 60MHZ.PRG and you do need it so copy it to the same directory as your newly installed game. 3. To run the game first disable any screen savers (they will engage and be impossible to turn off after their time limit has expired) and then run 60MHZ.PRG. Next, turn off the CACHE (unless you want to play at a psychotic pace. Lastly, run POPII.TOS and enjoy. It takes a minute to load even on the hard drive but this method has been working for me for a while now. EA makes the only games I'd be willing to go through this much to play. ---------------- Some information from Doug Walter - Cat. 4, Topic 34, Msg. 91 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... For those of you still looking for multisyncs, there are at least 3 companies listed in the April Computer Shopper that are offering used or factory refurbished & warrantied NEC 3Ds. And JDR Microdevices (among others) has an add that still lists new 3DSs. Might be worth a call to see if they really do have them? pg. 834 - TREDEX (CA.), 1-800-338-0939 3D/$399, 4D/$599, 5D/$1299 pg. 728 - IME (MA.), 1-800-999-1911 3D/$399, 5D/$1499 pg. 725 - Vision Remarketers (MA.), 1-800-242-5224 (1-800-2USED-PC inside MA.) "call for price" pg. 858 - JDR (CA.), 1-800-538-5000 3DS/$589, 4DS/$1195 (both new) pgs. 480 & 588 have "call for price" adds (new units) BTW, I recently attended a Northgate Computers factory warehouse sale and they were offering refurbished 3DS models for $325 (S= reduced emissions). At the end of the sale there were some left. Perhaps they would sell them. Northgate Computers (MN.) 1-800-345-4633. ---------------- An interesting conversation about TT memory - From Cat. 28, Topic 2, Msgs. 29-xx - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... Question from Bill Willis... Okay, let's say that (hypothetically) I've finally decided to purchase a TT030 system. I'm currently using a 4meg 1040ST, so I'd like to have at least as much available memory on the new system as I have now. What combination of TT RAM / ST RAM do I need on the TT030 to give me this result? What about monitors? Is there one TT030 monitor that will display the three current ST resolutions (plus, I assume, the two TT color resolutions)? I guess what I'd like to know is, what's the minimum TT030 configuration that will allow me to do everything that I'm currently doing on my 1040ST? (Of course, I'm willing to accept that some ST software may not work on the TT. Most of my major applications should, though.) Any advice? Answer from Sheldon Winick (Computer Studio)... A TT030 with 4 megs of ST-RAM (2 megs on the mother board, and 2 additional megs on the TTSRB2 RAM upgrade board) will give the TT030 the equivalent RAM capacity of your current 4 meg 1040ST. That's where the similarity ends though --- the TT030 zips along a 32MHz and sports Atari's new TOS 3.06 operating system and 1.44 meg high density floppy drive as well as a host of additional ports and features. Monitor-wise, Atari's 14" PTC1426 Multisync will display all three of your current ST resolutions (ST low, ST medium and ST high) in addition to TT Low and TT Medium color resolutions. Check one out at an Atari dealer or AtariFest show nearest you. Answer from John Cole... It is very simple, you will need a TT, a ST ram expansion, and a TT color monitor. Thats it. You will get 4 meg of ST ram, the TT and a monitor that will handle the 3 ST rez and 2 TT rez. Where and when you can get that, well, there are others who know more on that :-) More questions from Bill Willis... J.Allen, you're suggesting that I load up with only 2 megs of ST RAM and 4 megs of TT RAM. Will I still be dealing with as much free RAM space as I am now? I recall reading that truly TT compatible software is written to take advantage of the TT RAM; if it isn't written to do so, does it only recognize the ST RAM? Sorry if these questions are bordering on the obvious, but I'm one of those people who *loves* using the system, but *hates* putting the pieces together. Actually, one of the two main reasons that I bought an ST is that it was the only computer available that didn't need an external MIDI interface. Answer from Jim Allen (Fast Tech)... Bill, yes. The TT needs the fast ram to get some speed. You'll have 6Megs of free ram, and SW that can use the fast ram will, the stuff that can't will use the ST ram. You set all this up by using the PRGFLGS utility provided on the disk. ---------------- From A.BITTON1 - Cat. 9, Topic 17, Msg. 3 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... Flash!!! Some copies of Grand Prix were shipped with a defective Disk 3. Side 2 of Disk 3 is corrupted. You will notice it when you back up your disks with the built-in utility on Disk 4. You need to get a new copy, or do what I did: I want back to the store I bought it from and, after checking that the other copy had a good Disk 3, I used the Disk 4 backup program to re- copy the good Disk 3 on my defective Disk 3. ---------------- One users' comments about HAYAI - From Dorothy Brumleve (Kidprgs) - Cat. 2, Topic 49, Msg. 76 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... I've got a MegaST4 with TOS 1.2 hooked up to a Supra 85meg fixed hard disk drive and a brand-new Toadfile (SyQuest) 44meg removable media drive. I bought the SyQuest because a very sad experience last year taught me to make backups of my most precious files. In my case, this usually means my .DOCs, .GFAs, and .CDKs. I've been making backups of selected files from the desktop, simply dragging the file from one of my fixed disk windows to a SyQuest partition window. This is a slow and laborious process, and it does nothing to defragment the fixed disk. Accessing that disk is becoming slower and slower as more and more fragmented files are written to it, deleted, and written again. So it was that HAYAI caught my attention. It's tailor-made for just this kind of setup as it backs up one partition to another. I don't really need the copy benefits right now, since making selected backups has become a habit. But I very much need to defragment my hard drive. Earlier this evening, I put HAYAI to the test. The first step turned out to be selection of the _correct_ backup program (there are six programs, three each for color and mono monitors) for my setup. I am not well-schooled on hard drive technology. I knew I had a mono monitor, so that narrowed my choices down to 3. ;-) Anyway, it turned out that what I needed was HAYAI512.PRG. Identifica- tion of the proper program was the hard part. Once I loaded HAYAI512. PRG, the process was so simple even I could do it. There are some online help dialogs and the menu options are obvious in any case. You simply choose the destination and origin partitions from a dialog format and go. I set the program to both copy and compare the partitions, and it did this at 9-13 megs/minute, much, much faster than I could ever hope for with file copying on the desktop. To achieve the defragmentation benefits, once I had copied a fixed disk partition to a SyQuest partition, I copied the SyQuest partition back to the fixed disk. This defragmentation process effectively doubled the time I spent in copying each of 6 partitions. Even so, the process was quick enough that I did not become bored. I didn't have time to go get a snack or something between partition copies. All in all, I spent less than 1/2 hour from the time I opened the package to the time my Supra was completely defragmented. I can tell that success has truly been achieved because: (a) my files are all still there (whew!) and disk access on my Supra is much faster than before! ;-) I do have three suggestions which would be especially useful to novice backer-uppers like myself. The program comes with some documentation on the disk; I read this (and printed it), but it assumes more knowledge than I have, and that's why it took a while to identify the correct program. It would also be helpful to have an alert box come up after you initiate the copy process, something asking: "Do you really want to copy Drive D to Drive K?" I know that everybody tends to ignore these little alerts, and many times I wish programmers would _omit_ them, but it would really be disasterous to choose the wrong drives. An alert could avert disaster for folks who would bother to read it (I would!). And lastly, I miss bells and whistles. ;-) A nice feature would wake up the weary backer-upper after the two- or three- minute copy process is over. A little ping perhaps. Neat program! Great speed! Consistent results! ;-) --------------- More games reviews from Shamus... MORE SHAMUS REVIEWS --- VOLUME III HYDRA - Hydra is an arcade conversion of a game with the same name. In the arcade, this game has gone relatively unnoticed. There is good reason for this. Hydra is essentially a car racing game on the water. You control a speed boat through various tight spots. Well, you can just imagine this game. As a conversion, the game is about average. The sprites are well drawn but the animation is chunky and could be faster. The weakness of the game is with the arcade original. GRADE: C+ ATOMINO - It is always refreshing to see a game with a new idea. There are a few games which use the idea of building molecules such as VAXINE and ATOMIX. Both of these games are very inventive and a lot of fun to play. Not only is there a lot of cerebral activity involved, but trying to beat the clock requires fast reflexes and a study hand. Atomino takes a completely new perspective and many distinctive elements to make this game an original. There are not any detailed graphics which you might witness in other PSYGNOSIS games, but the graphics are very well drawn and more than functional. Overall, people who like a "mind challenge" will like to give this game a whirl ... others should try before they buy. GRADE: B SHADOWLANDS - I will not pretend to be to upmost authority on adventure games. In fact, the closest I have ever come to role playing were the old TEMPLE OF APSAI games. This role-playing game was programmed by TEQUE. It does not take an adventure fan to tell a quality piece of programming. This game features isometric graphics which are almost identical to U.S. GOLD's SHADOW SORCERER. Fact is, this whole game is an awful lot like SHADOW SORCERER. This is not necessarily bad since both games are quite good in their own right. This game is not for all adventurers as these games are not similar to the very popular SIERRA-type adventure. Regardless, the role playing adventures carry a following of their own. Although it is hard to choose, SHADOWLANDS edges out the competition. GRADE: B+ RACE DRIVIN' - HARD DRIVIN' was one of the first vector graphics games in the arcade. With the tremendous speed of the arcade machine's hardware, the game proved to be very playable and very powerful. Many people looked forward to the conversion from the arcade because it was done by the same group at DOMARK which converted the remarkably accurate STAR WARS arcade game. Unfortunately, HARD DRIVE was just too slow and the controls were too dodgy to be much fun. Regardless of how short HARD DRIVIN' came up from a technical point of view, the game was a commercial success. To cash in on this success, DOMARK released an unofficial sequel called HARD DRIVIN' II: DRIVE HARDER. Basically, HARD DRIVIN' II had a track editor but was the same worn-out conversion. RACE DRIVIN' is an official conversion of the HARD DRIVIN' sequel. Fortunately, many aspects of the game play have been cleaned up. The updating of the graphics is much faster and the controls allow you to adjust the sensitivity to your liking. Best of all, a computer link-up mode is the strongest aspect of this conversion. Many new tracks have been added to hold your interest longer. It would be unfair to compare this game to its arcade counterpart but as a game on its own, it is a good game for driving fans. Unfortunately, there is a good chance that this game will be overlooked because of the far superior FORMULA ONE RACING. RATING: B FORMULA ONE RACING - If you want to play one of the best racing games on any system, with some of the most detailed vector graphics and some of the fastest vector updating, you have to buy FORMULA ONE RACING. This tremendous game is the culmination of a lot of hard work from the creator, Geoff Crammond. Not only can you view the game from your own cockpit, you can view the race from any cockpit and various camera angles and towers. There are many options including over a dozen actual race tracks from around the world. There are also some excellent options. For example, you can turn off some of the background and detail to make the game play even faster. Tie all of these great points with some excellent regular graphics and this game is a real sparkler! If there is anything to criticise, the sound effects are generated by the sound chip and the usual limitations apply. This game may cost a bit more, but dollar for dollar, this game is a steal! GRADE: A+ NO BUDDIES LAND - Let's face it. There is no shortage to the great platform games on the ST. NO BUDDIES LAND is another such game. This game is a real challenge! The graphics are nothing short of tremendous! This game is very comparable to the cream of the ST platform games such as ENCHANTED LANDS. This game is very playable but also very unforgiving. For example, the screen scrolls up but not down! Your character is constantly being chased up by water but if you fall down to the bottom of the screen, you lose a life. Although there is nothing new offered in this game, if you are a veteran action gamer, you will really dig this game! GRADE: A VIDEO KID - Video Kid is the latest game from the masters of graphics, GREMLIN. This game is much in the same vein of cartoonish titles such as Impossimole, Rick Dangerous and Switchblade. The graphics are extremely colourful but the game is somewhat hollow. Everything about this game is well done, but there is something missing which makes you want to come back for more. GRADE: B- ALCATRAZ - In the early days of INFOGRAMMES, they always had some nice graphics with some interesting approaches to games but the animation was always very weak and not very addictive. Ever since the cartoon fun of STIR CRAZY and the unusual strategy/action game NORTH AND SOUTH, this company is all about quality. One of my favourite games is ADVANTAGE TENNIS and I would recommend that tennis game as the best tennis on any system. This is basically an action combat game. The simultaneous two player action is terrific. The backgrounds are mainly dark and create an excellent atmosphere to this game. There are various sections to the game but one of the most interesting is searching out the buildings with a first person perspective armed with a machine gun. There are so many innovative aspects to this game and far too many to speak about in a short review. If you are interested in any type of action game, you will enjoy this game. Set your difficulty level so the game remains interesting. GRADE: A HOT RUBBER - Hot Rubber is the latest entry into motorcycle racing. Unfortunately, this game plays quite smooth but the graphics are tiresome and the gameplay is quite boring. There are too many good racing games to really seriously consider paying a lot of money out. As a budget game, this game might be worth a second look. GRADE: C HARLEQUIN - This is another game which has come out at the same time as VIDEO KID. Unlike VIDEO KID, this game has a lot of value and originality to offer. Firstly, this platform game actually mixes in some very nice vector explosions. The play area in this game is enormous! The sprites are extremely well drawn and animated to a very high standard. This game would look great on any 16-bit system, but the ST is glad to have it. In my opinion, this game will match NO BUDDIES LAND in quality pixel for pixel. This is another game with some terrific atmosphere created by the patented colourful GREMLIN graphics. Anyone who enjoys a good platform game with some excellent puzzle elements will enjoy this game! GRADE: A ---------------- Until next week..... """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= STReport International Online Magazine is available every week in the ST Advantage on DELPHI. STReport readers are invited to join DELPHI and become a part of the friendly community of Atari enthusiasts there. SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN -- DELPHI -------------- Via modem, dial up DELPHI at 1-800-695-4002 then... When connected, press RETURN once or twice and... At Password: type STREPORT and press RETURN. DELPHI's Basic Plan offers access for only $6.00 per hour, for any baud rate. The $5.95 monthly fee includes your first hour online. If you spend more than 200 minutes online a month, you'll save money by enrolling in DELPHI's optional 20/20 Advantage Plan. You'll enjoy up to 20 hours online each month for the ridiculously low price of just $20.00! And if you go over that 20 hours, the rate goes up to only $1.20, still 1/5th the price of other services. There is no signup fee for joining the Basic Plan. There is a fee of $39 when you join the 20/20 Advantage Plan, a one-time $19 signup fee and your first month's $20 fee. These connect rates apply for access via Tymnet or SprintNet (within the continental United States) during home time (7 p.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays and all day weekends) or via direct dial around the clock. Telecom surcharges apply for daytime or international access via Tymnet or SprintNet. See Using DELPHI online for detailed information on telecom surcharges. For more information, call: DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005 DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, Mass. DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > GEMvelope! STR InfoFile PRINTS ENVELOPES WITH AN ATARI LASER! ======================= GEMvelope! Ver. 2.6 =================== This program was created to fill a long time need - to print envelopes with an ATARI LASER PRINTER. Laser (and most other printers) will not feed an envelope in the standard horizontal orientation for printing across it. GEMvelope! allows you to print an envelope, fed the long way, on almost any printer. This includes virtually all laser printers and most dot matrix printers. GEMvelope uses GDOS because it has font rotation built in and there are nice fonts available, especially now that Atari's FSMGDOS is semi-available. GEMvelope features: - Import allows extracting an address from a letter in almost any word processor format. - Load-able and save-able addresses and configuration. - POSTNET bar code printing. (This will save you 2 cents per letter in the near future according to the US Post Office!) - Adjustable positioning for different size envelopes. - Mail merge allows printing many envelopes, each with a different address imported from a database or text file you create. - Fully compatible with FSM and bitmapped GDOS fonts. - A desk accessory version. You must have some form of GDOS (Atari GDOS 1.1, G+PLUS, FSM-GDOS, but not FONTGDOS 2.0 as there currently is a bug in it which prevents it's use with GEMvelope) there is currently an incompatibility with FONTGDOS) a printer driver, and fonts for your printer. If GDOS is already installed on your system, no further setup in required to use GEMvelope. If GDOS is not installed, then if you have any other program that uses GDOS, you have all you need to use setup your system for GEMvelope. The Atari laser printer comes with a GDOS driver and a nice set of fonts. Other GDOS programs such as Easy Draw, Timeworks Desktop Publisher, WordUp, and Wordflair come with the drivers and fonts needed for other printers. All of the controls for GEMvelope are located in the dialog box you see when you run the program. The horizontal position of both the return and the main address is adjustable in half inch increments. In addition, the main address is also adjustable vertically. There are a set of adjustment buttons with arrows in them and reference lines that show what they adjust. Note that the main address horizontal position is measured in relation to the return address position. This is so that the return address horizontal position may be adjusted to the length of an envelope and the main address is just an offset from the return address. The default position for the return address is 8.5 inches from the right side of the envelope and 0.25 inch from the top of the envelope. This top position may not be changed (if you would like to have it adjustable, let the author know!) The main address default is 3 inches offset from the return address and 2 inches from the top of the envelope. Printing the return address is optional. Clicking on the small square box to the left of "Print return address" will toggle it on or off. Two additional settings are "Envelope Size" and "Offset". Envelope Size is only needed if the POSTNET bar code is printed. Offset allows the "top" of the envelope to be shifted. For the SLM804, Offset should be set to 0 since you feed an envelope all the way to the left of the manual feed slot. For the SLM605, and some other laser printers that center a manually fed envelope, the Offset should be set to compensate for how your printer feeds the envelope. You can't imagine the pleasant surtprise I got when I booted this jewel. GEMvelope is a first class utility. Contained herein are a few highlights of the program and as soon as the upgrade is received, an in- depth review will appear here. At this point this program has already earned a "must have" badge of honor. To obtain your registered copy send $30. to: Roger Richards Synergy Resources 754 N. Bolton Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46219 The latest version of GEMvelope will be mailed immediately. You will be notified of any updates with new features or bug fixes. If you need support, it is best to write or use GEnie EMail. My GEnie EMail address is: R.RICHARDS2 _____________________________________________________________________ > BLUE RIDGE ATARIFEST STR SHOW NEWS "The Summertime Atari Event!" ================================== 1992 Blue Ridge ATARIFEST """"""""""""""""""""""""" Where: Westgate Shopping Center - Asheville, N.C. Take any major highway into Asheville (US 19-23, US 26 or I-40) to the I-240 loop, then take the "Westgate/Hilton Inn Drive exit" into the Westgate Shopping Center parking lot. When: 18, July 1992 Time: 10:am to 6:pm Points of contact: Van Estes, BRACE Pres. Clifford E. Allen, V.Pres. 704-685-8358 GEnie: C.Allen17 INTERNET: callen@UNCA.EDU 704-258-3758 Sheldon Winick GEnie: S.WINICK Computer STudio 704-251-0201 Come for the day or come for the weekend, but do come and enjoy yourself. Great Smokies Hilton Resort Hilton Inn Drive (704)254-3211 Toll-free reservation phone number 1-800-733-3211 Radisson One Thomas Wolf Plaza (704)252-8211 Rate: $62.00 per room (1-4 people) ====== Additional Hotel-Motel Information =========== Days Inn I-26 and Airport Road (704)684-2281 I-40 Exit 55 (704)298-5140 Econo Lodge US 70 East, I-40 Exit 55 (704)298-5519 Holiday Inn 275 Smoky Park Hwy (704)667-4501 Toll-free reservation phone number1-800-HOLIDAY Red Roof Inn I-40 and US 19-23 Exit 44 (704)667-9803 Toll-free reservation phone number1-800-843-7663 Buget Motel I-40 Exit 44 (Enka-Chandler) West Asheville Exit (704)665-2100 Best Western Asheville Central 22 Woodfin St (704)253-1851 ========= Local Bed & Breakfast lodging Information ========= Aberdeen Inn 64 Linden Ave (704)254-9336 Albemarle Inn 86 Edgemont Road (704)255-0027 Applewood Manor 62 Cumberland Circle (704)254-2244 The Bridle Path Inn Lockout Road (704)252-0035 Cairn Brae B & B 217 Patton Mountain Rd (704)252-9219 Carolina B & B 177 Cumberland Ave (704)254-3608 Cedar Crest Victorian Inn 674 Biltmore Ave (704)252-1289 Corner Oak Manor 53 St. Dunstan (704)253-3525 Cornerstone Inn 230 Pearson Dr (704)253-5644 Flint Street Inn 100 & 116 Flint Street (704)253-6723 The Lion and The Rose 276 Montford Ave (704)255-7673 The Ray House B & B 83 Hillside St (704)252-0106 Reed House 119 Dodge St (704)274-1604 The Wright Inn 235 Pearson Drive (704)251-0789] (1-800-552-5724) A more complete listing of Bed & Breakfasts can be obtained through the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. Reservations should be made immediately, as July is the height of our tourist season. =========== CAMP GROUNDS ================ (reservations are a must during this time of season): Mount Pisgah: About 20 miles southwest of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile post 408.6 (National Park Service). 690 acres. Elevation 5000'. One of the nicest campgrounds in Western North Carolina. 67 tent sites, 70 RV sites. For reservations: P.O.Box 749, Watnesville, N.C. 28786; phone (704) 235-9109. No showers. Groceries and resturant. Nature program. 14 day stay limit. Lake Powhatan: 4 miles south of Asheville on State road 191, 3.5 miles west on FR 806. 30 acres. 98 tent/rv sites. Reservation available thru Mistix 1-800-283-CAMP. Disposal station. No showers. Swimming; lifeguard; fishing; nature trails; bicycles. 14-day stay limit. While in the area, you might want to consider a little sightseeing, and include a visit to the Biltmore House here in Asheville (the largest single family residence ever built in the U.S.--its a "castle"). A visit to the Biltmore can be a full-day's activity as you will want to view the house, visit the winery, and walk some of the grounds and gardens. Hours: The House 9 am to 6pm The Gardens 9am to 7pm Conservatory 9am to 5:30pm The Winery Monday-Saturday 11am to 7pm Sunday 1pm to 7pm Other areas of interest include; the Thomas Wolf home (adjacent to the Raddison), the Blue Ridge Parkway and Folk Art Center. A drive up the Blue ridge Parkway to enjoy the higher elevations and incredible views of our mountains. Perhaps a hike up to Mount Pisgah and look back down to Asheville(you can see Mt. Pisgah from most anywhere in Asheville). A short drive from Mt. Pisgah will take you to Sliding Rock (for those of you travelling with kids who are still kids at heart), the Cradle of Forestry (first forest school in the country), waterfalls, trout hatchery, etc. For the adventurous, white water rafting on the Natahala River near Bryson City (approx one and a half hours from here). There's obviously loads more to see and do around Asheville (in addition to the Blue Ridge AtariFest and a visit to Computer STudio :-). If any of y'all would like maps and additional tourist info of the area I might suggest contacting the Chamber of Commerce: Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce 151 Haywood Street P.O. Box 1010 Asheville, NC 28802 704-258-6111 FAX: (704)251-0926 ___________________________________________________________________ > MIGRAPH'S OCR STR Review "COMPUTERS READING A BOOK!" ======================== PICTURES TO TEXT, OCR COMES TO THE ATARI ======================================== By Bill Pike STEP & PAC review version 1.05 What does OCR from Migraph(tm) do? OCR has one purpose and that is to change a IMG or TIFF(IBM format) monochrome format picture of a page of text back into computer data files of the text. Currently the only output available is ASCII text, almost every wordprocessor will accept this file type for import. How does it work?, it works very well. The manual isn't kidding when it tells you to disable all auto programs and accessory programs, this program does use all the memory that it can get, also on general principles (this is something that I routinely do with a program that uses all the memory) don't set the fastload bit, telling the program to fastload. The system requirements for this program are: #1. some way of getting a picture of the page into the computer. (some type of a scanner either flatbed, page, or hand) #2. Two or more megabytes of memory.(the more the better) If you don't have enough memory for the document OCR will use "Hard Drive Caching" to store the extra data but it is slower than using the existing ram. #3. A hard disk. #4. near $300.00 for the program. You are probably asking your yourself who needs this program? People that are doing extensive Desk Top Publishing work need this program. OCR allows the operator to scan in text from ANY hardcopy and make a file out of it that can then be edited, spell and grammar checked, reformatted, and output to a printer. What about the poor forgetful person who is writing the Great American Novel and didn't make floppy disks backing up the text that they have saved to hardisk, the hard disk crashes, Oh, @#%%#@! Now they have to retype the entire thing. If they have hard copy they are able to scan it in and recreate the original files with a little effort, a LOT less effort than retyping the original. Anywhere you need to transfer something from a written page to a computer text file. OCR already recognizes: Artisan, Bookman, Brougham, Caroll Pica, Courier, Courier italic, Delegate, Elite Modern, Helvetica, Herald Elite, Letter Gothic, Lori, Lubin, OCRB, Pica, Prestige Elite, Prestige Italic, Prestige Pica, Times, Titan, and Title typefaces. If the document you are scanning isn't one of these, by renaming the .ALD file (from the control panel, OCR will create a dictionary of the typeface you are using and save it for you to use the next time you scan a similar document, if you forget to rename the dictionary just rename it after you exit the program, no problem. OCR also creates a dictionary for letters it doesn't understand within these typefaces, this dictionary is overwritten the next time you use OCR if you didn't rename it. I would strongly suggest that you create your dictionaries by the type of document you are working with rather than by typeface. For example ST-Informer(tm) rather than Times, Computer Shopper(tm) rather than Times and so on. The typefaces aren't consistent enough to allow full recognition of all characters from one publication to another. The dictionaries are around 100k long. Let's get down to the nuts and bolts. Migraph's OCR will take direct input from any of the following Hand Scanners: Migraph(tm) (you know that it would support that one didn't you?), AlfaData(tm), and Golden Image(tm). OCR also accepts IMG and TIFF (IBM format) monochrome format graphics files, for those that have page or flatbed scanners. There is a problem in using a hand scanned image and that is the scan is only 4 or so inches wide. So if you are trying to scan large areas of text there is a problem. Needless to say Migraph(tm) has a cure for that. They recommend scanning directly into the OCR program and processing each scan independently. OCR will then construct the text file for the first scan and append the later scans to it. There is also a scanning frame available to facilitate scanning. If you are scanning with a flatbed page scanner you must first save each page as a IMG or TIFF file. You then load the file into OCR. Now that you have a image in the program you are ready to start. Not quite yet. You need to define what is text (that you want) and what is graphics (if you want to save out the graphic as a file), this helps the program to keep things on track. If the text has been "flowed" around graphics you can use a polygon to define the text area, you aren't stuck with a rectangular area. If the text is broken up all over the page you can define a number of text areas and tell OCR what order you want them processed in. If you got the scan kitty corner (that is a little bit catty corner) OCR will perform very minor rotation of the image so that imperfections in the scanner are taken into account. If there is to much rotation you will need to rescan the document. Also OCR will perform major rotations in 90 degree increments you can even scan something sideways or upside down. You can also scan white text on a dark background OCR doesn't care. Sometimes it may be advantageous to work from an black-white inverted image, the program will invert if you request it. Text from 10 to 18 point sizes are accommodated directly, letters of larger sizes also work ok, scans of smaller sized text are also taken into account by setting the smaller text option. I have found that a 150-200dpi scan is adequate for 12-18 point text and 300dpi is ok for 10-15 point text. It is recommended that 400dpi be used for text smaller than 10 point, I have been able to use 300dpi for 8 point type without to much trouble. Once you have scanned the hard copy, loaded the image into OCR, rotated the image as needed, defined the graphics (if you wish to output the graph only, otherwise you only need to define the text areas) and text areas, set the output file for the dictionary (if the typeface isn't one that is already recognized by OCR), and set the text output file. By the way if you forget any of these OCR will muddle thru on its own and get things pretty right (idiot proofing). Now you can tell OCR to "go for it". It checks out the typeface against its dictionary, then runs the text thru 25-100 odd linguistic tests, as needed, and checks it, then goes thru what it has and asks for help on specific letters and letter groups. By the way if it doesn't recognize the type face it will ask for help then and move onto the checks later. It checks for English, German, Dutch, and French letter combinations, according to your settings (you may only have one linguistic base at a time active but may have all the various bases on the drive), this has to do with the words, letters and types of letters it is expecting to find. OCR also does a very good job at differentiating between 1 and l, also 0 and O, one of the things that it does very well is keeping numbers separated from letters. OCR can even be trained to recognize Handwriting if the letters are consistent. One thing that does cause OCR to have fits is printed copy that doesn't have all the segments of the letters connected such as a copy of a copy that is to light and the letters are fragmented or if the scan is to dark and letters are not separated. This is due to the method of character recognition, that of using a mathematical description of the letters rather than a bit map. The mathematical method picks up letters that bit mapping chokes at however it needs the complete form of the letter to work from. Of course bitmapping the letter is even touchier with what it will accept. The point of this whole discourse in to make sure you have a good printed image to scan from and that you have a good scan. A way around this is during the "Interactive Learning Stage" when OCR sees letters (usually a,u,o,b,d), most fonts have thin and thick sections to the letters, the thin sections will sometimes be broken, where lines are broken it will try to make letters out of the parts it sees. There is no way of combining these parts back together. Define the most characteristic portion of the letter as the letter then, either delete the second section each time it occurs (Interactive Learning Stage) or let the program do it's thing. Take the output text to a spell checker and do a spelling check, correcting the errors as you go, this will take care of 99.999% of the errors. Or if you are braver just do a global search and replace from a word processor for the letter pairs eliminating the incorrect letter for the replace. The installation of the program couldn't be simpler. You put the first disk in the floppy drive. Click on the install.prg. Then tell it what hard drive partition you want installed on and what language to use as a default. It does all the rest of the work. It also deletes the install program at this time so only work from your work disks (the work disks should be full disk copies, not file copies)not your backups. I am using a 4meg 520st, a Canon page scanner, and hard drive. I would suggest a monochrome monitor (OCR also works in Med res. if you don't have access to a monochrome), it just looks nicer to me. The only problems that I have had are ones of my own impatience while in the learning phase of the program, pushing the button to fast. Early versions of OCR had a bug involving the paragraph setting for output (earlier than version 1.05). Migraph automatically ships you the upgrade to 1.05 when you send in your registration card. Later versions of the program will incorporate support for direct input from various page and flat bed scanners. The program is quite goofproof and well done. The manual is small but it doesn't need to be big. Everything is covered in it. If you have a need for this program I would strongly suggest the purchase of it. The program is excellent. However near 300 smackers is a lot just to have sitting on the shelf. review copy loaned by: IB Computers 9244 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy Beaverton, OR _______________________________________________________________ > STR Portfolio News & Information Keeping up to date... ================================ THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ========================= On CompuServe by Judith Hamner 72257,271 EXTRA! EXTRA! The forum staff announces a new programming contest. Any program in any language is eligible. Programs must be submitted by midnight April 30 to lib 1. See message #28538 for details. Don't forget to include your name in the file description so I can give you credit. The clock is ticking .... Hugh J. Campbell has jumped in with several contest entries. WSH10.BAS is a database for architects and builders. There are 187 steel shapes with with information on depth, width and thickness for each W section. CSH10.BAS contains similar information for C sections with information on 30 different channels. STAIR.BAS is a program to calculate design requirements for stairs. It will help determine the number of risers and treads required for a given floor-to-floor height. It can also handle multiple-run stairs. Pbasic 4.91 is required for all of these programs. Pbasic is also available in the forum library. In a lighter vein, Hugh has an electronic golf scorecard. SCARD.BAS is also a Pbasic program. It will keep score for a foursome and display a statistical report. Don Thomas has produced a new tool for graphics fans. VPORT.ZIP is a shareware program that will display Portfolio graphics on a VGA desktop PC. The formats supported include PGC, PGF, PGX, and compiled COM. All files with these extensions will be displayed in sequence. STOCK.ARC is a spreadsheet for tracking and evaluating a portfolio of securities. You can price the securities and compute capital gain, annual yield and total return. Uploaded by Ted Baynes. _____________________________________________________ > GEMFAST 1.8 STR FOCUS IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION & OVERVIEW ===================== GEMFAST V1.8 BETA RELEASE ========================= From BIX From: email@example.com (Ian Lepore) Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.st.tech Subject: GemFast v1.8 pre-release announcment (long) Date: 21 Apr 92 19:41:08 GMT Organization: Nyx, Public Access Unix at U. of Denver Math/CS dept. Well, GemFast v1.8 is very near its beta release. I've dropped a few hints about things that'll be in it, and now I've been asked for more details, so I decided to put together a little summary. GemFast v1.8 has more changes and new things than any version of GemFast since v1.0. I put away the metaphorical microscope I've used in working on previous versions and added a lot of new high-level functionality. The changes start with appl_init(), a logical starting place. It now initializes a new group of global variables which are then available for reference in your code. I found that every GEM program I write has calls all over the place to get the system desktop rectangle and other common values, so I decided to just get all the common values once and make them globally available for reference at runtime. There are also easy-to-use new interfaces that open and close VDI workstations without all the tedium. A group of new medium- and low-level object utilities have been added. This ranges from simple things like dealing with extended object types to complex functions that implement new types of objects you can use in dialog boxes. For example, there is now a thermometer-display object type, G_THERMO, which lets you easily use this type of progress indicator in your dialogs. There are also several new types of buttons, including CUA/Windows3 style buttons and rounded-corner radio buttons. Some miscellanious changes were made to extend the functionality of existing AES functions. Certain aspects of the GEM GUI make it hard to write 'blackbox' library routines which are independant of the current state of the main applicaton. For example, GEM doesn't allow you to query the current shape of the mouse cursor, so a library routine can't temporarily change the mouse to an arrow then change it back. Under v1.8, the graf_mouse() call returns the old cursor shape when you set a new shape. Likewise, the standard wind_update() function isn't so hot: any number of wind_update(BEG_UPDATE) calls can be cancelled by a single END_UPDATE. Now wind_update() works like turning the mouse on and off; if you made 3 BEG_UPDATE calls, you'll need 3 END_UPDATE calls to actually release control of the window semaphore. This lets library routines aquire and release the window and mouse semaphores without disturbing the state of the main application. There are new high-level functions for blitting areas of the screen easily, using your memory buffer or allocating one for you. There are some new rectangle calculation functions, such as creating a scaled copy of a rectangle, confining a rectangle within the boundaries of another, etc. But by far the biggest changes are in the forms library. The old forms library consisted of a single function, frm_dsdial(). Now there are 25 functions, and I'm still thinking of new ones on a daily basis. The heart of the new forms library is the frm_dialog() function, which conducts dialogs for you. Basically, it does the form_dial(), objc_draw(), form_do(), and so on. But, it does a lot of extra stuff along the way, including handling the following options for you: - Saving and restoring the screen via blits instead of redraw messages. - Dialog boxes are moveable; the user can drag them around to anywhere on the screen. - The mouse can be forced to an arrow shape during the dialog then restored to its prior shape. - The dialog can be centered within the screen, or made to pop up centered over the the current mouse location. - It supports both standard dialogs and menu dialogs, in which the objects highlight as the mouse crosses them, like dropdown menus do. Here's a summary of the new dialog functions: The functions which help you conduct your own dialogs are: frm_confine Confines dialog to rectangular area. frm_defaults Sets default options. frm_dialog Conducts your standard dialog. frm_menu Conducts popup menu dialog using your object tree. frm_eflag Reports error made by user in a dialog. frm_enableblit Enables screen save/restore via blit. frm_mkmoveable Makes your dialog moveable. frm_desktop Installs your custom desktop. frm_sizes Calculates dialog's on-screen sizes. The basic dynamic dialogs are: frm_dsdialog Automatic text dialog - hard to use. frm_dsmenu Automatic menu dialog - hard to use. frm_nldialog Automatic text dialog - easier to use. frm_nlmenu Automatic menu dialog - easier to use. frm_printf Formatted text dialog, like printf(). frm_error Formatted error reporting. frm_vprintf Alternate form of frm_printf. frm_verror Alternate form of frm_error. frm_progress Formatted text with thermometer progress display. The quick-and-easy dynamic dialogs are: frm_qchoice Formatted text and choice of 5 buttons. frm_qerror Formatted error reporting. frm_qmenu Automatic popup menu (like dropdown in a box). frm_qtext Formatted text display. frm_question Formatted yes/no question. The other big change in GemFast v1.8 is the documentation, it's been completely rewritten. It now resembles the library reference manual from a commercial compiler or graphics library. It includes cross references to related functions, a complete table of contents, a quick-reference chapter and detailed explanations of functions in separate chapters, and in general it's easier to use. Printed out, it's 100+ pages long; there's certainly no lack of information on how the functions really work. ::grin:: As usual, v1.8 will be released with full source code. I've taken major steps towards portability, but it's not there yet. I hope for v1.9 to be the true portability release, with source code that will compile on all ST C compilers, including GNU and other 32-bit compilers. < OK TO PORT > This information comes from the atari.st conference on BIX(r), the BYTE Information Exchange. For additional information about BIX call; 800-695-4775 or 617-354-4137 _____________________________________________________________ > DUNGEON TIME! STR Spotlight ...STILL A KILLER! =========================== RESURRECTING OLD MEMORIES ========================= by Dana P. Jacobson When I first bought my 520ST back in '87, most of the software that I saw for it, and made any real "sense", was games. I did buy some application and productivity software back then, but just the basics. I didn't buy my ST to play games, but I did realize that the possibility existed that I'd eventually wind up playing some. The dealer that I frequented usually had at least one customer playing one game or another, so it was easy to get a look at new game titles before actually buying them. After seeing many new games, I was eventually hooked on playing games along with doing other things with my computer. Game titles started to become the bulk of my total software. Okay, the ST was a good machine for games. Sound and graphics were done very well back then; and I didn't care if the machine was considered a games machine or not then, I was a novice. My tastes for games wasn't too broad then. I liked some of the basic shoot-em-up games the most. I wasn't crazy about racing games, sports games, or flight simulators; they just didn't appeal to me, and still don't. The Dungeons and Dragons craze was peaking about that time, but I wasn't too interested in those types of games either. Give me something like Missile Command or Megaroids, and I was contented for hours (when is that dual-game version coming out for the Lynx???). I was "gamed-out" after awhile, usually wearing out a game for three months and moving on to another one. Finally, I just didn't buy anymore games, I had plenty to choose from already. Then one day I walked into that very same dealer's store and heard this "WHOOSH"! I looked over at the machine where that sound emanated, and saw a huge "FTL" on the screen. Shortly after came the suspenseful "Welcome to.....Dungeon Master". Hmm, another of those D&D games. But, since I had no specific plans for that Sunday afternoon, I sat down to watch. I was very surprised to see it wasn't a typical D&D game; or at least what I envisioned one to be. The player was somewhere in the early stages of the game. He was "shooting" at these monsters and alternately "fighting" them. My interest was piqued. The graphics and sound effects were great, as well. I think that I watched this game being played for two straight hours, and I was enjoying it. I took a few "turns" at it, but I was "killed" fairly quickly. The enjoyment faded rapidly, and I left. On my next trip to the dealer, Dungeon Master was again on one of the demo machines. It was loaded, but no one was playing. I sat down an started. Someone else came into the store, and we both worked on the game. Once we realized what we were doing, with a few helpful hints from others who happened by, my interest in it grew again. The only real problems we discovered was that neither of us had a great sense of direction; we were constantly getting lost. But, playing along with others to provide tips made those problems a lot more bearable. We let someone else demo something else; after all, it _was_ a store and the machines couldn't be tied up _all_ of the time with game-playing! A few days later, I noticed a few new uploads to my BBS. On looking closer, I noticed that the file names were DM_MAPS. Being curious as to what these maps entailed, I didn't bother to wait for one of my SysOps to check it out, I did. I printed the first couple of maps out and looked them over. They appeared to be pretty complete. Included in one of the archives was a spell list as well. Hmmm, this is starting to appeal to me even more! That weekend, I bought Dungeon Master and a couple boxes of floppies. Everywhere you went that had any "connections" with Atari, there was talk of Dungeon Master. Call your local BBS, and there were constant message threads of questions about the game. How do I do this, where do I find that, what's the answer to this riddle, and more. And what was so great was that there were people who were able to give you the answer, or at least provide useful hints so you could manage to resolve the answers. Having the maps seemed to be cheating, but for me, it provided the help I needed. After all, I still had to battle the various monsters and solve all of the various puzzles presented throughout the game. I still had to get my "team" to various levels of competence while making sure that they didn't starve to death or die of thirst; not to mention battle the many monsters and traps along the way. Our user group meetings were the same: where are you on Dungeon Master? That far!, I'm only on Level "X"! Although I didn't frequent the online services back then, I was aware that similar discussions were going on there as well; I still have a capture of messages from one of the onlines on my BBS dealing with discussions and tips. Dungeon Master was everywhere!! Well, after playing for quite awhile, I grew weary of being routinely "beaten" on the Knights level. If I didn't get killed off by the knights or other monsters, I starved. I missed one important key which would have enabled me to get back to that infamous Screamer Room for more food and water. I finally gave up and went on to something else. I made a few futile attempts from time to time to pick up where I left off, but it became hopeless. That was over 3 years ago. Even when the long-awaited sequel, Chaos Strike Back, was released, I didn't resume playing, although I did buy Chaos on-sale! I didn't even open the package, though. Well, these last few months I've been seeing messages on the onlines and local bulletin boards discussing such games as Captive and Knightmare, and probably a few others. Comparisons were being made of them and Dungeon Master. Even though I don't own any of these newer games, I read the messages with interest. All of the discussion reminded me of the same interest being paid to Dungeon Master, albeit not as much, yet. Well, knowing all too well that I haven't finished Dungeon Master, or even starting Chaos, I wasn't about to get really involved in yet another D&D game! And, all of the sudden there was some discussions again about Dungeon Master on the local boards that I frequent. More of the usual, what do I do, types of messages. I decided to give it a try again, and get hooked once more! But this time, I decided to forego resuming where I left off, and I started from the beginning. Damn, I was regretting having to face those purple worms again without anyone sitting beside me to guide me when I veered off track!! Naturally, when I initially encountered the worms, I panicked. I left messages on my BBS and on a couple of the onlines; I tried to memorize the map of that level in the hopes that I could outrun the worms - nothing helped once I got cornered! Finally, I managed to get through with half of my party intact. I made it!! I've learned to build up my characters' abilities and skills. I can now wield the fiercest of fireballs and learned what some of those special weapons can do to make things _much_ easier. Currently, I'm somewhere early on in Level 8, The Arena. You remember that level, the one where the Banshees (green ghosts), Skeletons, Mummies, and Thieves roam around! Even more troublesome is that incessant "transported" fireball coming at you from all directions. I had to stop early on, or I'd never get anything done, _especially_ this little retrospective article!! Actually, I can't wait to finish this so I can resume playing. Hmmm, the weekend is almost here....!! I think that Dungeon Master has to be rated one of the all-time best games that ever came out for the ST; it has to be one of the top 5 sellers, if not the top one. It's one of those games that doesn't lose interest (patience, yes!). I don't remember seeing any ads in which someone was selling it, or looking to trade it away. Another good lasting-point for the game is that after people finished the game, they'd start it over again. Then, they'd attempt the game with fewer players, and eventually trying with one player. I hope that I'll make that attempt as well. If you don't have Dungeon Master yet (is there anyone?) I'd highly recommend that you get it, it's still available. For those "newcomers" to the Atari line who might be starting out with Knightmare, etc., try Dungeon Master as well. For those of you, like me, who gave up playing due to lack of patience and/or frustration, try again. There's nothing like going back to the purple worm area again and blowing those suckers away with a high-level fireball like it was nothing!! It feels good to get even with them, finally! I remember reading way back when, that FTL had considered another sequel to Dungeon Master and Chaos Strikes Back. It was also rumored that there were going to be additional "scenario" disks. I never heard, or don't recall, whatever happened to those ideas. Heck, I don't even know if FTL is still around anymore! If anyone has any information on these, please let me know on the onlines somehow. I'd be interested in hearing any news. It's nice to go back to some of those favorite games that are probably collecting dust somewhere in those stacks of disks, but somehow we all forgot about over the years. I intend to go through mine once I complete Dungeon Master and Chaos (and I will complete them this time!). I already have a few ideas as to what I will attempt next, and recapture that enjoyable retrospective appeal once more. But, for the present, it's time to get back into the dungeons!! I'm outta here! __________________________________________________________________ > TT030 TOWER STR Review "Installing the TT into a tower case..." ====================== TT TOWER REVIEW =============== by Clemens Chin Even though there seemed to be quite a few people who didn't like the way the TT (and Mega STe) case looked, I never had any problems with it. As a matter of fact, I thought the case looked pretty nice. When I got my TT a year ago and placed my monitor on top of it, the case actually bent! Since then I've wanted to put it into another case. The number of cables behind my desk were multiplying with the addition of a second floppy drive and SyQuest drive. One day, I just decided that it was time to put all of this into a tower case. Instead of buying a clone case and have to drill holes to mount the mother board and relocate the multitude of ports that us ST/STe/TT owners have gotten so used to, I went with a case especially designed for the TT from a company in London (it is made by a German company). I. INSTALLATION When I finally received the case in the mail, I was ecstatic! I immediately went to grab my tools and began disassembling my TT. Installing the TT into the tower case was pretty much straight forward and self explanatory (luckily since the english documentation wasn't complete and I had half of the english docs and the german docs)... The case includes a board that allows users to connect additional floppy drives easily, adds an additional reset button to the front of the case and monitors the thermosensor (which continuously monitors the system for overheating). Towards the front of the case there is a bay for the original 3.5" hard drive (this bay is hidden, therefore, removable media will not be suitable for this bay). There are also 3 exposed bays. Here is where I put my two floppy drives and SyQuest mechanism. All bays are vertical. Installing the SyQuest was as simple as removing the old 50 pin ribbon cable and replacing it with a longer one with an additional IDE plug for the internal hard drive. The power cable and ribbon cable that used to goto the internal floppy drive is now connected to a pc board that controls any other floppy drives you will connect to the case. II. POWER SUPPLY Though everything is working flawlessly after running this set up for four days non-stop, the power supply concerns me. Everything is powered by the original TT power supply. It is rated at 64.6 watts (not much at all). Still, it seems to be handling everything nicely; two floppies, a hard drive, a SyQuest, an ST RAM board and a TT RAM board. III. FUTURE UPGRADES This case definitely has room for upgrading. The manufacturer of the case even has an option for an internal VME card cage (with its own power supply), Octobus (adds ability to drive up to four floppies, monitor switching, bi-directional printer buffer and system protection) and power outlets for 4 additional external peripherals (sort of like having a power strip on your tower, no power surge suppression though). IV. FIT & FINISH The fit and finish is EXCELLENT. The holes for the TT's ports in the rear are a perfect, virgin fit. Access to the Lan prt, Midi port, Cartridge port and original reset button are not lost as opposed to going with a clone case. Adding any of the above mentioned upgrades would require prying off of part of the metal casing. At 20" high x 6" wide x 16" deep, this case is not small. But it has reduced to footprint of my original set up considerably (as well as reduced the number of cables and power cords behind my desk). Also, the case is very sturdy. V. PROBLEMS AND DIFFICULTIES None! Installation went perfectly, the most difficult part being, trying to align the drives so that the face plates are flush with the face plate of the case! Having done things like installing a T16, TOS upgrades, etc. this was a relatively easy upgrade to do, especially since no soldering is required (I love those). I am also happy to announce that there is absolutely no visible RF interference with the monitor as I had with the original TT case. VI. PERFORMANCE AND VALUE Everything is performing as it should, no problems anywhere. Even after continuous use (without powering down for four days), no heat problems, no power problem, nothing. The case was flat out expensive. It cost 145 pounds (1 pound=$1.70, estimate). Was it worth it? Well, I'm in love, so, I say "YES!" (You don't know how long I've been trying to clear the clutter and cables from my desk!) That original bending case always did get me a bit nervous. Interested in the case? (ST/Mega/STe/MSTe versions available) Contact: System Solutions 19 Sumner Workshops 80 Sumner Road London SE15 6LA UK Phone: 011-44-753-832212 _________________________________________________________________ > FULL RECALL! STR InfoFile LEXICOR RECALL OFFICIAL! ============ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lexicor Software has learned of questionable versions of Rosetta & Prism-Render being sold as legitimate copies of our software. Due to this fact, Lexicor is recalling all versions of Rosetta and Prism-Render sold by RIO Computers. Rosetta is a file translation program which can translate various 3D objects between platforms and Prism-Render is Lexicor's ray-tracing program which allows reflections and other features to be added to an animation from Lexicor's key-frame animator, Chronos-3D. Only Rosetta and Prism-Render are included in this recall! If you purchased your copy from RIO Computers or your copy of Rosetta or Prism-Render has a RIO stamp on the disk or in the 'ABOUT' dialog you should send in your ORIGINAL to: Lexicor Software ATTN: Rosetta/Prism-Render Recall 58 Redwood Rd. FairFax, CA 94930 Phone: 1-415-453-0271 All recalled copies will be examined for authenticity. If it is found that you purchased a legal copy of the program, you will be returned your disk as well as a coupon worth $25 off any Lexicor product as well as a special utilities disk. If we find that you purchased an illegal version of our software, that disk will be confiscated under (Title 17) of the Copyright code. However, in return for your cooperation, you will be given a legal courtesy copy of the software, as well as the utilities disk and an option for either a full warrantee and upgrades for the courtesy copy or the $25 coupon for Lexicor software. Lexicor has tried to make this as fair as possible for its loyal customers and we regret any and all inconvenience this may cause. Lexicor Software Corp. _________________________________________________________________ > SENATOR WHO? STR InfoFile REACHING YOUR REPRESENTATIVES ========================= In light of this being an election year, we at STReport, felt we should bring you a list of our Senators and Representatives along with their FAX numbers. This week the Senators, next week the Representatives. From Jim Wells on the Jerry Pournelle Roundtable on Genie... In light of the performance of our Congressmen, I thought a list of their FAX numbers might be handy...Drop them a line and tell them _exactly_ what you think of them; good or bad... ------------------------- * NP means Not Published SENATORS FAX numbers SENATORS FAX numbers --------------------------------------------------------------------- SEN ADAMS =1-202-224-0238 SEN AKAKA =1-202-224-2126 SEN BAUCUS =1-202-224-4379 SEN BROWN =NP SEN BIDEN =1-202-224-9516 SEN BENTSEN =1-202-224-1863 SEN BINGAMAN =1-202-224-1810 SEN BOND =1-202-224-7491/8149 SEN BOREN =NP SEN BRADLEY =1-202-224-8567 SEN BREAUX =1-202-224-975/2435 SEN BRYAN =1-202-224-1867 SEN BUMPERS =1-202-224-6435/6437 SEN BURDICK =1-202-224-1193 SEN BURNS =1-202-224-8594 SEN BYRD =1-202-224-8070 SEN CHAFFEE =1-202-224-7472 SEN COATS =1-202-224-1966/8964 SEN COCHRAN =1-202-224-9450/3576 SEN COHEN =1-202-224-2693 SEN CONRAD =1-202-224-7776 SEN CRAIG =1-202-224-2573/1006 SEN CRANSTON =1-202-224-8128 SEN D'AMATO =1-202-224-5871 SEN DASCHLE =1-202-224-2047 SEN DECONCINI =1-202-224-3464/2302 SEN DIXON =1-202-224-5581 SEN DODD =1-202-224-5431 SEN DOLE =1-202-224-8952 SEN DOMENICI =1-202-224-7371 SEN DURENBERGER =1-202-224-9486 SEN FORD =1-202-224-1144 SEN EXON =1-202-224-5213 SEN FOWLER =1-202-224-8227 SEN GARN =NP SEN GLENN =1-202-224-7983 SEN GORTON =1-202-224-9393 SEN GRAHAM =1-202-224-0587/6843 SEN GRAMM =1-202-224-6843 SEN GRASSLEY =1-202-224-0473 SEN HARKIN =1-202-224-9369/3254 SEN HATCH =1-202-224-6331 SEN HEFLIN =1-202-224-3149 SEN HATFIELD =1-202-224-0276 SEN HELMS =1-202-224-1376 SEN HEINZ =1-202-224-8167 SEN HOLLINGS =1-202-224-4293/3573 SEN INOUYE =1-202-224-6747 SEN JOHNSTON =1-202-224-2501 SEN JEFFORDS =1-202-224-1507 SEN KASSEBAUM =1-202-224-3514 SEN KASTEN =1-202-224-7700 SEN KENNEDY =1-202-224-2417 SEN KERREY =1-202-224-7645 SEN KERRY =1-202-224-8525 SEN LAUTENBERG=1-202-224-9707 SEN LEAHY =1-202-224-4797 SEN LEVIN =1-202-224-5908 SEN LIEBERMAN =1-202-224-9750 SEN LOTT =1-202-224-2262 SEN LUGAR =NP SEN MACK =1-202-224-9365 SEN MCCAIN =1-202-224-8938 SEN MCCONNELL =1-202-224-2499 SEN METZENBAUM =1-202-224-6519/8906 SEN MIKULSKI =1-202-224-8858 SEN MOYNIHAN =1-202-224-9293 SEN MURKOWSKI =1-202-224-5301 SEN MITCHELL =1-202-224-6853 SEN NICKLES =1-202-224-6008 SEN NUNN =1-202-224-0072 SEN PRESSLER =1-202-224-1630 SEN PRYOR =1-202-224-8261 SEN REID =1-202-224-7327 SEN RIEGEL =1-202-224-8834 SEN ROBB =1-202-224-8689 SEN ROCKEFELLER =1-202-224-7665 SEN ROTH =1-202-224-2805 SEN SANFORD =1-202-224-7406 SEN SARBANES =1-202-224-1651 SEN SASSER =1-202-224-9590 SEN SHELBY =1-202-224-3416 SEN SEYMOUR =1-202-224-8438 SEN SIMON =1-202-224-2223 SEN SIMPSON =1-202-224-1315 SEN SMITH =1-202-224-1353 SEN SPECTER =1-202-224-1893 SEN STEVENS =1-202-224-354/1044 SEN SYMMS =1-202-224-5893 SEN THURMOND =1-202-224-1300 SEN WALLOP =1-202-224-3230 SEN WARNER =1-2023 202-224-6295 SEN WELLSTONE =1-202-224-8438 SEN WIRTH =1-202-224-1933 SEN WOFFARD =1-202-224-8187 ____________________________________________________________ > STReport's Editorial Page "Saying it like it is." From the Editor's Desk ---------------------- The news is slim these days... or, is it? I think there is plenty going on out there. For example, the minor layoffs at Atari, the departure of Simon Westbrook and Gary Weiner to the "joint venture" of Atari Explorer and znet. (A marriage made in heaven?) Which brings me to the point of wishing John Jainschigg, Ron Kovacs and every one else involved in this project all the success possible in their new endeavor. With this news, in particular, in mind, it now appears STReport will be the sole, truly independant, Electronic Magazine remaining. Being such is quite a responsibility and to that end, we pledge to be unbiased and try at every turn to provide "both sides of every issue" while remaining the "voice of the users". STReport's goals have always been to 'say it like it is' and we feel that goal has been achieved and cherished. In this light, we also strive to bring you a wide variety of informed reviews of software and in-depth evaluations of hardware. While we tend to shy away from the "technocrat style", we do attempt to present our findings in a manner that's easy and enjoyable reading. Our expose's have been "interesting" and at times, catalytic in creating interest in a particular topic or topics. Speaking of expose's, where was Sam all week long and what was on the "agenda"? We shall continue with our full variety of presentations in STReport. We do, at all times, welcome reader mail and input. We will if told to do so, present any mail sent to us in STReport. Thank you for your continued strong support! Ralph @ STReport International Online Magazine """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's Staff DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! ---------------- Publisher - Editor ------------------ Ralph F. Mariano PC DIVISION AMIGA DIVISION MAC DIVISION ----------- -------------- ------------ Roger D. Stevens Charles Hill R. ALBRITTON STReport Staff Editors: ----------------------- Lloyd E. Pulley Sr. Dana P. Jacobson Michael Arthur Lucien Oppler Brad Martin Judith Hamner John Szczepanik Dan Stidham Joseph Mirando Steve Spivey Doyle C. Helms Contributing Correspondents: ---------------------------- Michael Lee Richard Covert John Deegan Brian Converse Oliver Steinmeier Tim Holt Andrew Learner Norman Boucher Harry Steele Ben Hamilton Neil Bradley Eric Jerue Ron Deal Robert Dean Ed Westhusing James Nolan Vernon W. Smith Bruno Puglia Clemens Chin 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 ____________________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL "Rumors Tidbits Predictions Observations Tips" ===================== - Sunnyvale, CA. THE REVOLVING DOOR IS ALIVE AND WELL! -------------- Recent development have found Gary Weiner, Intn'l Sales has left Atari. His old office, beneath JT's has been dubbed the "office of death", has once again fulfilled its ominous reputation as being the last stop at Atari. - Sunnyvale, CA EXPLORER & ZNET JOIN IN ONLINE VENTURE! ------------- Atari's Explorer Magazine and ZNET online will undertake a joint effort in producing an online newsletter. According to our sources, the current editor of Explorer will oversee the operation. Ron Kovacs will assume the duties of editor of the new online newsletter. Frequency of publication is expected to be bi-weekly. - Sunnyvale CA. ATARI ACQUIRES HUMAN DYNAMO! ------------- Atari has signed on Bernie Stolar. This fellow come with impeccable credentials in the "Can do" dept. Formally with the Village Voice in Manhattan, NY, Bernie brings a level of promotional expertise the likes of which Atari has yet to experience. Mr. Stolar's official title will be; Director of Business Development. Best Wishes & Good Luck to you! - London, UK MARPET TO MARKET ARBEN/FRONTIER PRODUCTS! ---------- Marpet Developments took over all rights to the product range previously manufactured and distributed by Frontier Software - the trading name of Arben Electronics Ltd, on Wednesday the 8th of April. Marpet Developments is a new business formed by Atari specialists Martin Walsh and Peter Franklin. Both have a long involvement in the Frontier product range. Commenting on the new set-up Marketing Manager Martin Walsh said "We are both very excited about this deal. We have received tremendous backing for our move both within the industry and from our bankers. Marpet will continue to supply products to existing Frontier dealers both here in the UK and throughout the world." He then added, "Recently dealers have not been getting as much product as they ordered creating a worldwide product shortage. Marpet will ensure that both users and dealers find it much easier to get our Frontier products." The product range includes the market leading Xtra-RAM and Xtra-RAM Deluxe memory expansion boards for the Atari ST range, Forget-Me-Clock and the low cost expandable Printer-Q-buffer. Other products recently launched or soon to be released include the Xtra-RAM A500+expansion board for the Commodore Amiga A500+, a sophisticated disk duplication system for Atari ST owners and a range of electronic products for the agricultural sector. Development of new products for 16 bit computers including a new memory product for Atari ST owners will continue. Product Development Manager Peter Franklin said, "Marpet sees a real need for new, innovative products and we will be actively developing for the ST and Amiga markets. We are committed to keeping up the reputation Frontier products have for reliability and easy fitting. This deal also means that support for existing users will continue to be available through Marpet." Over the past three years over 15,000 memory expansion boards have been manufactured and distributed by Frontier to Atari ST owners. Many owners of the recently launched Xtra-RAM Deluxe range may be interested to learn that Marpet are prepared to take on the remaining warranty on these units. For an inclusive handling charge of 4.99 Xtra-RAM Deluxe owners can register their product with Marpet and receive a written warranty and details of special offers. Marpet Developments Meadowfield Farm Fellbeck Pateley Bridge North Yorkshire HG3 5ET Marpet can be contacted: Tel 0423 567140/530577 Fax 0423 522874 Martin Walsh also gave these contact numbers: Tel 0423 711671 (office hours only) Fax 0765 603646 (temp) ____________________________________________________ > STR Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" ============= STReport's MailBag ================== From GEnie Category 4, Topic 11 Message 149 Fri Apr 17, 1992 J.ALLEN27 [FAST TECH] at 00:55 EDT I've decided to let people who want 50Mhz chips for sure go get them from a mail order source. We'll knock $95 off the Tiny030 price for those who supply thier own 030 chip. We'll also test your chip for you right away so you know you got a good one. Just buy it...$130? great...and send it in, we'll test it immediately, then put it aside for your unit. We'll also cover the unit including the chip under the normal warranty. How's that for flexibility? All 50Mhz 030 equipped units will ship at 50Mhz, we've thoroughly tested the design now at 50, so away we go!! Further tuning report...Turbo030 running at 40Mhz: NBM mem = 1.78 math = 2.23 dial = 5.05 graf = 10.83 QI 2.2 memory 1110 reg 1024 div 1268 shf 4457 txt 1084 str 5053 scr 160 draw 1792 Dynacadd 3D cup.... 30 secs Nevin's Pagestream test: 8Mhz ST.........161 secs 32Mhz TT..........31 secs 40Mhz Turbo030-4..20 secs 50Mhz Turbo030-4..16 secs I still need to get the blitter talking to the 32bit ram, page mode turned on, and the 32bit video turbocharging on. Also need to test my "rom-ram" utility. Should be a long weekend ;-) From GEnie Category 4, Topic 11 Message 166 Tue Apr 21, 1992 J.ALLEN27 [FAST TECH] at 22:22 EDT Hi Folks, Just a quick update on the Turbo030-4Meg board. We've got it up and running at 50Mhz!! Still no page-mode or blitter, but here are the results: NBM v1.2 Math 1.67 986% Memory 1.42 1136% Dialog 4.53 1067% Graphics 8.87 904% That is an average 10X...TEN TIMES... the speed of an ST, on the toughest benchmarks around. Benchmarks other speed wizards hold sacred ;-) QIndex 2.2 Memory 1249% Register 1303% Divide 1584% Shift 5395% Text 1506% String 6519% Scroll 160% Draw 2021% The above were running in ST Mono, with QuickSTE 3.04, with everything running in 32bit ram. Dhrystones....12,004 ;-) I'm not kidding, Calamus 1.09N looks just like TEMPUS2 when using the scroll arrows!!! You load the PRINTER.CDK file, and it's on screen in 2 seconds flat (an LPS105 Quantum helps a bit ;-) The Dynacadd 3D CUP is a cool 24 seconds!!! And Nevin Shalit's Pagestream test is 16 seconds flat (the TT takes 30 seconds)!!! I can't tell you how happy I am that my design, nearly a year old, has proven to be right on target. With out question the right way to go <grin>. See ya- Jim From the FNET Msg # 4305 ( 4 of 4 ) Date: 04-16-92 (12:54) To : ALL From: THE SHAMUS Subj: FLASH II -------------------------------------------------------------------------- SO ... what is everyone verdict of FLASH II??? It is a real let down for me. The main problem I have with it is that it seems very slow. When you turn the capture on or even without it, it is slower than the original FLASH! Also: DON'T forget, silent line works with all of the protocols except Z-MODEM ... I have heard a few people say it does not work ... but it does. Overall, I am sticking with FLASH ... I find the long distance charge calculation too much of a pain in the a$$ to set up. In fact, entering all the boards and configuring this program is a huge pain in the a$$! Usually a program defaults to the most common configuration ... this is certainly not the case with FLASH II --- let's hope a better terminal program comes out soon! /\/\/\/\ the Shamus /\/\/\/\ *Origin: Fnet Node 38, AArdvarks From Mars #38 (EE) From the FNET Msg # 37 ( 3 of 10 ) Date: 04-14-92 (21:06) To : RON KOVACS From: BOB BRODIE Subj: UPL -------------------------------------------------------------------------- In reply to: - John.. I have learned one thing over the years.. You cannot please - everyone no matter what you do. Be fair and that is all anyone can ask - for. I think your efforts are appreciated! - - Ron Yeah, but just let him list your board and mine as ST Report support sites and we'll see how much we appreciate him!!!! <grin> regards, Bob Brodie *Origin: Fnet Node 706, Z*Net Golden Gate - California From the FNET Msg # 431 ( 6 of 11) Date: 04-14-92 (21:23) To : STEVE RIDER From: BOB BRODIE Subj: NEW TOY ALERT -------------------------------------------------------------------------- In reply to: - I've been playing with a new toy today. It's a TT030 with - eight megs of RAM and a hi-res monitor, oh a laser printer too!!! - - Gosh, those people over at Atari sure are NICE folks!!! And - that TT kicks butt. - - Chances are that I'll be putting the BBS on it in a few days. - It seems like FoReM may run a wee bit faster on a 32MHz machine. Glad you like it STeve!! But I sure hope that your message doesn't make Bill Turner start accosting the UPS man looking for HIS system!! Again, my thanks to you for your assistance in making Node 319 a success! *Origin: Fnet Node 706, Z*Net Golden Gate - California Msg# : 3353/3358 Lines: Extended Read: 1 Sent : Apr 18, 1992 at 8:28 PM To : John Miller From : Jason Alexander at Fnet Node 736, The MIDI Clinic BBS Subj : Re: <3322> Znet messages -------------------------------------------------------------------------- All I can think of saying is that Atari US should smell the coffee and get looking and become more educated with ///Turbo BBS, as it is in my opinion, MILES ahead of the others. The other software out there just doesn't stack, up. As I have told you before, (John), I have had many IBM members on my BBS inform me that your software is VERY frindly, FAST, and efficient, and is much better than the currently available and popular Maximus software. If that isn't a good enough indication that ///Turbo is a hit...I don't know what is. I for one would be EXTREMELY UPSET if you left the ST world, and it would almost FORCE me to pick up an IBM...which wouldn't be bad...but still! Please don't be too hasty on abandoning us. As for Atari and Ron....I can see how a hasty move such as doling out two complete TT systems could affect your spirit, but don't let the spirit of the hundreds of happy ///Turbo owners vanish! We are strongly supporting you and your brother's software. Also, don't forget, ...we must have had high praise for your software, since we have paid for it, in hopes that you would continue and make the terrific package that you have started. Don't be afraid to show this to Mr. Brodie at Atari. I hope he opens up his eyes and understands that ///Turbo _IS_ the definitive BBS software for the Atari! Jason Alexander - MIDI Clinic BBS - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Msg # 42 ( 3 of 14) Date: 04-22-92 (08:42) To : BOB BRODIE From: JERRY BECHARD Subj: NEW TOY ALERT -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previously Bob Brodie wrote: - This is starting to get a little bit out of hand... - - We *loaned* stuff to the FoReM developers upon request. Same courtesy as - we offer all of our registered developers that are working on projects - that require specific hardware. - - Dee's comment was in jest. Right, Dee? <grin> - Does this mean if the Turbo developers register and work on projects that require this hardware, they will get them too? *Origin: Fnet Node 686, THE SEWER RATS DOMAIN @686 Msg #12246 ( 41 of 131) Date: 04-17-92 (10:34) To : ALFA From: BOB BRODIE Subj: ST-REPORT -------------------------------------------------------------------------- In reply to: =[RK>> The only rights allowed here are those I permit. This is my conf =[RK>> and I want the rules followed. Reprinting of messages from thi =[RK>> conference consitutes crossposting = = Ahh, you just violated the most basic principal we live by = = ************ F R E E D O M O F S P E A C H *********** = First of all, it's Feedom of Speech, not SPEACH. Sheesh. Ron has a lawyer, and we have staff attorneys at Atari as well. I've discussed this with our attorneys. You're blowing smoke, in their opinion. However, since I pride myself on being a fair man, I will acknowledge that if there is one thing that lawyers agree on, it's agreeing to disagree. Yours may think that ours are all wet. I'll stick with our guys anyway. At least they spell correctly. And somehow, I have a hard time believing that the Human Rights Commision patrols BBS looking for behavior that needs to be corrected. They are much too busy in Uganda, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Lenannon, Eithopia, and anywhere else some penny-anny dictator is inflicting real human suffering. have a nice day, Bob Brodie, Director of Communications, Atari Corporation *Origin: Fnet Node 706, Z*Net Golden Gate - California [Ed Note:] pssst.... Its FREEDOM not "feedom" and its COMMISSION not "commision" Hmmmmmmm! Who is...... _REALLY_ "blowing smoke"? Msg #12 ( 4 of 13 ) Date: 04-17-92 (11:11) To : STEVE RIDER From: BOB BRODIE Subj: FREEDOM OF SPEECH -------------------------------------------------------------------------- In reply to: - There is a saying I enjoy that applies here. "Freedom of Speech - belongs to the man who owns the presses". I personally am all in favor - of freedom of speech. You can stay outside of my home and say anything - you want to say and I will support your right to do so. - - My BBS is a slightly different story. It is MY PROPERTY, a part - of my home. I lay down the rules. Anyone who does not like my rules - can call some other BBS, or start their own, or stand on a soapbox Well said, STeve. And tell them to make an appointment when they come over. That way a few of us will have time to help you "discuss" this with them. The guy is blowing smoke. I checked about this with our staff attornies long ago, and again after reading his message. At least with our lawyers on staff it didn't cost me much, just another trip to Spoon's! <grin> (Favorite eatery in the Sunnyvale area, gang) *Origin: Fnet Node 706, Z*Net Golden Gate - California Msg #12 ( 59 of 13 ) Date: 04-15-92 (22:35) To : ANDREAS BARBIERO From: STEVE RIDER Subj: WINDOWS -------------------------------------------------------------------------- In reply to: - Wasn't MultiTOS shown at a show recently? - - Andreas - Have you noticed all these messages about MultiTOS which have WINDOG (intentional mis-spelling) as the message subject ? If you would like to see MultiTOS live in person call me voice, I'm local. You could see a really messy apartment at the same time! Anyone want to buy some empty cardboard cartons ? *Origin: Fnet Node 204, Full Moon: FoReM Support Msg #12342 ( 6 of 9 ) Date: 04-16-92 (08:16) To : ALFA From: STEVE RIDER Subj: MULTI-TASKING OS' -------------------------------------------------------------------------- In reply to: - But how great is it? Are there any performance test results we/I can - see? It's great! Hmmm, how great ? --- Better than MS-Windog by a long shot. Faster, more user friendly, more transparent, equipped with very useful tools for debugging and monitoring performance. The other night I was dialed out into another BBS on one of my serial ports while a user was logged into my BBS, then I logged off that board while he was still on and started editing files on my system while he was using it. I doubt very much that he noticed a thing. *Origin: Fnet Node 204, Full Moon: FoReM Support Msg #123 ( 3 of 9 ) Date: 04-18-92 (09:39) To : STEVE RIDER From: LE SYSOP Subj: MULTITOS -------------------------------------------------------------------------- And yet I know another developer (personally, but he's not from right around here) who also has it and he is having problems getting it to run anything..........on his TT that is...... *Origin: Fnet Node 168, C.C.B.B.S. - Bridgeton, N.J. From GEnie Category 14, Topic 8 Message 55 Sun Apr 19, 1992 F.BELL1 [Frank @ Home] at 13:10 EDT Rich, Gee, If your dealer doesn't know how to install TOS 2.06... Anyway, in my machine there are (were) two jumper resisters, one called w102, the other call w104. Just unsolder the outside pin of both resisters and resolder it to the other side of the resister. +-------------------+ | - - - | | | | |+-----+| | old TOS 1.06 | - - - | +-------------------+ W104 (W102) before +-------------------+ | - - - | | |+-----+| | | | new, better, up-to-date TOS 2.06 | - - - | +-------------------+ W104 (W102) after If your luckly, I wasn't, then all you have to do is switch/move a jumper. If you break the resister off, I did, then just replace it with short piece of wire (if you have a DOS PC then take the wire from there, any wire) Frank... ------------ Category 14, Topic 8 Message 56 Sun Apr 19, 1992 T.MCCOMB [=Tom=] at 14:57 EDT My friend, who bought his roms from his local dealer (he's lucky, he HAS a local dealer, and is interested in supporting him) was in the SAME predicament. Atari ships the ROMs in a piece of black anti-static foam WITH NO DOCUMENTATION WHAT-SO-EVER. He was at his dealer when the package arrived, so it's not some line of bull. Atari Corp is really amazing at times. How much time/effort/money would it take to type up the info in my previous message and Xerox it and send a copy out with _each_ set of ROMs????? Gee, if they were REAL slick they would have printed the info right on the (c) sticker on top of the ROMs. Duh. -Tom ------------ Category 14, Topic 10 Message 92 Sun Apr 19, 1992 T.MCCOMB [=Tom=] at 14:42 EDT Chip EE goes in U102 Chip EO goes in u103 W102 -> Jumper 1 to 2 W103 -> Jumper 2 to 3 W104 -> Jumper 1 to 2 The above info is for an STE In a MegaSTE EE -> U206 EO -> U207 W201 1 to 2 w202 2 to 3 W203 1 to 2 -Tom _______________________________________________________________ STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" "Here we go loopty loop..." ================== "Dream after dream ensues, and the dreams continue.. and still the dreamers are disappointed... 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