ST Report: 21-Aug-92 #834From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 08/23/92-09:07:38 AM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 21-Aug-92 #834 Date: Sun Aug 23 09:07:38 1992 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" from STR Publishing """""""""""""" August 21, 1992 No.8.34 ========================================================================== 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 100:22/0 Steal Your Face BBS..........1-908-920-7981 FNET 1031 ~ TNET 100:1/0 <<< INTERNET - UK>>>.... 011-44-296-395-935 _____________________________________________________________________ > 08/21/92 STR 834 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" """""""""""""""" - The Editor's Desk - CPU Report - PORTFOLIO NEWS - CBM down $21.9m - MAC Performa - Hayes Intros Optima - FALCON DISCUSSIONS - LUKS OPEN REPLY - LOST LYNX TITLES - ATARI ADVERTISE? - GADGETS UPDATE - STR Confidential -* CTFEST'92 EYEWITNESS REPORTS! *- -* MATH & COMPUTING *- -* DEALERS BLAST ATARI! *- ========================================================================== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE The Original * Independent * 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! ========================================================================== CIS ~ GENIE ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ FNET ~ TNET EURONET ~ CIX ~ CLEVELAND FREE-NET ~ INTERNET ========================================================================== 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 (August 21) NEW GIF IMAGES WANTED! ---------------------- In conjunction with the Graphics Forums, the AtariArts Forum is participating in the GO GRAPHICS compendium on a quarterly basis. This compendium catalogues the best GIF images from a multitude of CompuServe Forums and is mailed to thousands of subscribers each quarter. We're searching for new GIF images to include in this catalog! The staff of the Atariarts Forum will be offering gifts of free access to Atariarts/Ataripro Forums to the uploaders of the best images. Please read message # 33672 in the Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) for more information. FORBES ARTICLE AVAILABLE ONLINE The recent Forbes article about Atari Corp. is now available in lIBRARY 15 of the Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) as filename FORBES.ARC. You've heard many people talking about it, now read it in full. NEW FROM ICD ICD has uploaded the press release for their new "Link" SCSI host adaptor, now in LIBRARY 7 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). ATARI CLASSICS MAGAZINE The user-based campaign to create a dedicated 8-bit magazine yields real results! ATARI CLASSICS magazine is a go. See ACANN.TXT in LIB 7 [News & Reviews] of the Atari 8-Bit Forum (GO ATARI8) for the Official Announcement. THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ON COMPUSERVE HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AN OFFICIAL SUPPORT SITE BY ATARI CORPORATION "GO APORTFOLIO TO ACCESS THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM" """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""" This is the week... Atari Messe in Dusseldorf, Germany and the Falcon being excitedly spoken of throughout the Atari worldwide community. Last weekend was the Atari Fest in Hartford, Connecticut. There's two indepth eyewitness reports of that show in this week's issue. Additionally, there is a report about the tense dealer meeting held on friday of last week. Also in this issue is a well written item about mathematics by Sol Guber don't miss this or the files it relates to. Above all else please enjoy the spoof of 'unknown' Lynx games by Tim Holt. We will be carrying full reports about Dusseldorf as soon as they are in from Europe. The excitement over the Falcon is high over there as it is here. Hopefully we are on the brink of witnessing the new Atari ...we shall see. Thanks again for all your great support, Ralph @ STReport International Online Magazine THE STORM IS BREWING! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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 Delphi........................ RMARIANO BIX........................... RMARIANO FIDONET....................... 112/35 FNET.......................... NODE 350 NEST.......................... 90:19/350.0 GEnie......................... ST-REPORT """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "There is no comparison! The Atari Falcon is far superior to the PC platform."Sam Tramiel, 08/92 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > CPU STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Issue #34 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. -- Commodore Posts $21.9 Million 4th Quarter Loss Commodore International Ltd. has reported a fourth quarter net loss of $21.9 million, or 66 cents per share, compared with earnings of $3.3 million, or 10 cents per share, a year ago. Sales fell to $140.7 million from $216.5 million. For the fiscal year Commodore saw earnings drop to $27.6 million, or 82 cents per share, from $48.2 million, or $1.45 per share. Sales declined to $911 million from $1.05 billion. Commodore cites a soft market for its C64 computer in Eastern Europe and the discontinuation of an inexpensive computer line for these losses. -- Hayes Introduces new Smartmodem OPTIMA 144 Data + Fax Modem Hayes Microcomputer Products has announced Hayes OPTIMA 144 + FAX 144, a data/fax modem that supports CCITT V.32bis and V.42bis for data through- put of up to 57,600 bps and Group 3 fax standard V.17 for 14,400 bps. Hayes OPTIMA 144 + FAX 144, available for a suggested retail price of $519, comes bundled with free Smartcom FAX communications software and Smartcom EZ data communications software. -- Rumors of a New Mac There are reports that a new product line, mainly designed for distribu- tion in the mass market channels, will soon be introduced by Apple and will be called the Performa. There will be three new models in the Performa series, one being the Macintosh Classic II, one being the Macintosh LC II and the third is reported to be a version of a new Macintosh expected for business customers. The reports say that the Performa won't have any expansion slots for the addition of chip boards to add functions, and the high end Performa will be minus the math coprocessor chip which will be available on the new business Macintoshes to be introduced. Prices are supposedly to be in the $700 and $1,800 range and Sears has already agreed to carry the new computers. -- Feds Propose New Benchmark Standard The U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory this week has proposed a single benchmark by which any computer -- PC or supercomputer -- can be compared. Dubbed SLALOM (Scalable, Language- independent, Ames Laboratory, One-minute measurement), the technique is said to have strong support from such companies as Intel, IBM and Cray. Originally developed in 1991, SLALOM is now being patented because of its extraordinary ability to compare the computing equivalent of apples and oranges. It readily benchmarks Macs and Crays while crediting each with its own particular strengths. Existing benchmarks simply decide which of two computers is "best." -- Apple Powerbook Freezes Out Sharp When a Sharp notebook, and its LCD display froze so that it couldn't display anything at the Swiss event, an Apple Mac Powerbook computer and an Australian skier helped pull a World Cup skiing event out of trouble. Ian Pidgeon, an ex-Australian freestyle skiing champion, and developer of ski scoring software was there, and was able to set up a scoring system on his Powerbook in minutes allowing the event to continue. He said his machine has given faultless performance in skiing conditions for the past seven months in Europe and Canada. -- Windows Ships Over 4 Million Units in 4 Months Industry sources report that unit shipments of Microsoft Windows has ex- ceeded one million per month in each of the last four months. The Software Publishers Association says that Windows- based application sales in the first quarter of 1992 were double those of the same quarter a year ago, and the trend is continuing. -- SPA Pushes To Make Piracy A Felony The Software Publishers Association or SPA has come out in favor of a US Senate bill which would make intentional software piracy a felony from the current status of a misdemeanor. Senate bill S-893, introduced by Orin Hatch, Republican Senator from Utah, would only target big-time pirates, including: illegal bulletin board operations, dealers who "sweeten" hardware purchases by loading up computers with illegal copies of desirable software, and those who specifically make copies to resell them at deep discounts on a regular basis. The Piracy Felony bill would cover illegal copying for "purposes of com- mercial advantage or private financial gain" making it a crime punish- able with a fine of up to a quarter million dollars and up to five years for those making more than 50 copies in a single 180-day period. The same $250,000 upper fine limit and a maximum prison term of two years could be imposed for those "willfully" making and selling between 10 and 50 copies. __________________________________________________________ > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" PEOPLE... ARE TALKING ===================== On CompuServe ------------- compiled by Joe Mirando From the Atari Productivity forum. David D. Hagood asks: "Do you know of any 386 boards for the TT? While I LOATHE Macrosloth Dross as a working environment, I am forced to use it at work. There are times I'd like to be able to work at home (e.g. when I am both sick and behind schedule)." Sometimes the simple answers are the best. Steven Gold answers David: "Vortext in Germany has a 386sx board for the VME slot." David then asks: "Tell me more! How much does it cost, how compatible is it with dross, does it allow running a dross app within GEM, does it like MultiTOS &| MiNT?" Well, okay, so maybe short answers aren't a end-all and do-all. Sometimes you just have to ask more questions. Steve answers: "How much does it cost? If I remember the article it said that it costs 389Dm >how compatible is it with dross? dross? If you mean ms-dos it's fully compatible, after all it only uses the Atari for I/O. >does it allow running a dross app within GEM? No idea, I think there is some software that allows hotkeying with some of the emulators out there. >does it like MultiTOS &| MiNT? Since MultiTOS isn't available I have no way of knowing. Since I don't own the board I can't check on MINT." Even though Atari has big plans for machines in the near future, there is a fairly common thought that runs through some St users' minds at certain times. This thought is voiced by Boris Molodyi: "So, GEM is still alive? What are this machines GEM works on (besides PC)? Are they popular? I really like GEM, and specifically Atari GEM, so I'd certainly like to see it as good as it can be... Is it the best? ;-)" Sysop Bob Retelle gives Boris a bit of background on GEM: "Boris, the IBM PC is the only other computer I know of that can run GEM... Also, the GEM that's available on the PC is a FAR different program than what we have on the Atari. Soon after the ST appeared on the market, Apple sued Digital Research, saying the "look and feel" of GEM was too close to the way the Macintosh appeared. Rather than fight Apple, DRI agreed to change GEM to be less "Maclike". The resulting product was a pale shadow of its former self.. One of the things Apple insisted upon was that the windows could not overlap... so you have TWO windows, side by side.. period. You can't resize them or move them.. If you've seen Norton Commander for the PC, or DOSSHELL, you've essentially seen what GEM looks like now. Fortunately for us, the version of GEM that Atari licensed from DRI was not affected by the Apple suit, so we can still enjoy the BEST version of GEM...! (Also, it appears that DRI might have been premature in giving in to Apple.. other products like GeoWorks and Windows have appeared which are VERY "Maclike" in appearance... but that won't help GEM... too bad, because it was a great idea..)" Meanwhile, back at the Sunnyvale computer ranch and stable, work progresses on the FALCON, Atari's new, kick the competition in the butt, computer. As with any computer project, questions and opinions abound. Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Magazine posts his wish: "I still hope the future includes some slots for hardware developers to add on. Atari should make a machine with the same number of slots = the number of years they have owned Atari. Slots increase the selling point of the machine since everyone usually wants a video card, a networking card (ethernet), fax/modem card, and the list goes on and on. Another good part is Atari doesn't have to do any work on the hardware that goes into the slots since it is completely 3rd party. More hardware add-ons = more software and then more machines being sold." Jeff at Intersect Software replies: "Well.....the current machine, which "I" assume was to be the SPARROW, or the scaled down version of the Falcon which was to be released later, is perfect the way it is now. The machine to be released later, now probably called the EAGLE <grin>, or some such superior name....higher on the food chain....should have slots as well as a faster clock and more powerful MPU (68040). The powers that be get very nervous about our talking about machines that haven't been released yet, they feel that it will kill the sales of existing machines. Atari really has a winner with the new "Falcon" or Sparrow, >whichever< <grin>. I've heard that the TT might get a price reduction to "put it in line with Clone pricing". I guess it wouldn't be possible to design a VME 56001 card for the TT or as a add on to later Falcon type computers for multiple 56001's because of the need for DMA." Again the simple, concise message makes it's way into the conversation. This time Albert Dayes says: "We want slots! We want slots. I guess the FALCON has 1 slot (processor direct)." Sysop Bob Retelle asks Albert: "Albert... not having seen the article and photos (or.. I don't remember.. did Atari pull the photos..?) in Atari Advantage, I'm not sure.. is the Falcon "slot" a true expansion board slot, or just a processor expansion connector, a la the Mega..?" Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Magazine replies: "No the only photos are of the outside of the case, side and the back so one can see all the ports. Legal issues were involved for not showing motherboard shots, etc. I assume the processor direct slot is more than the Mega ST since I assume it has all the pins of the 68030 available. Commodore Amiga 3000 has a similar processor direct slot also. I noticed from reading STReport on the conferences that the video seems to be quite capable considering the TT color resolutions (VGA) ... 640 * 480 * 65,000 colors. I don't think I have seen anything on the PC with similar resolution and colors without paying $1500 and up." Bob Retelle continues the discussion: "What I'm wondering is about the physical arrangement of the "slot" in the Falcon... the much touted "Mega slot" was really only a socket on the motherboard and a removable panel on the back of the case... Not a "slot" in the normally understood sense of the word.. The last prices I read about for True Color boards for the PC were in the $800-$999 range, although a 16bit board that would give you 65K colors should be a lot less than that. I think I'd be satisfied for a while if my Atari system could match the capabilities of my 8bit VGA PC now... but it would be great if it was upgradable too..!" Albert tells Bob: The physical arrangement, from the Atari Advantage article from what I recall it was a 50pin + 30 pin connector. I wonder if they said anything more about how it was connected in Atari Explorer on-line edition ... hmmm. I guess I can only speculate on your question Bob. Considering a 16-bit by 65K colors is around $400 or so and by the time you add up all the components on the PC not counting a DSP it should be well above the $1500. Plus the addition of SCSI II port and a few other things a PC configuration can be very expensive. "but it would be great if it was upgradable too ..." 3rd party developers always seem to be able to things that even Atari says is impossible. Writing to the cartridge port, running MAC programs, displaying 512 colors at the same time, genlocking devices, etc. Since developers have had the FALCON for quite a few months this week is and next is going to be very interesting to see what fruits will appear first." Bob Retelle adds a bit of nostalgia to the conversation: "That's all true, Albert... Atari laughed at a certain developer when he told them he had ideas for using Macintosh ROMs directly in an ST to make it emulate a Mac, and we know where that went... So you're right, I have no doubt we'll see lots of hardware bits that will stick onto the Falcon in various ways... what I'd like to see though is some kind of "standard" expansion facility so the accelerator board doesn't get in the way of the memory expansion kludge, which is pushed over out of the way of the disk drive upgrade stick-on, while the keyboard adapter dangles outside the case on a wish and a prayer... Of course, maybe it'll be so good the way it comes that no one will even be tempted to add anything..." John Barnes says: "I wonder if we ever will get the real story on Atari's decision to go with 1040-style packaging (which effectively precludes extra slots). Do they really believe they can ignore the hacker market and go after the "computer appliance" crowd?" Bob Retelle replies to John: "John, that's an interesting question... I've recently known a number of people, both absolute novices and relatively experienced, who've bought IBM style systems as complete packages... "computer appliances"... Many of them barely know which end of the power cord to stick in the wall outlet.. most of them will NEVER open up the case of their pcs, and in fact would be aghast at even the thought.. BUT... almost without exception, one of the things that helped sell their systems was that it *COULD* be expanded... I'd wager that most of these systems will never be expanded beyond the "package" that was originally purchased.. but the possibility of that expansion was a powerful selling point." Jeff of Intersect Software adds: "From the little I've been able to read between the lines, the new computer, now officially being called the Falcon was to be a middle of the line computer (probably supposed to be called Sparrow). Thus the 16 Mhz 68030 and no slots. I assume that the upper end of the Atari line (don't know what it will be called now) WILL HAVE SLOTS and at least 32 Mhz 68030 but probably a 68040. The PRICE is very right for the Falcon.....The features are fantastic..... "I" have NO complaints with the design or price of this computer. >>BUT<< I have reservations about the marketing. "Marketing" includes support, quantity produced and B/O times for orders, Advertising and software." Well folks, I'm sorry, but it seems that I've taken up all of the room I've got with talk about the FALCON 030. Maybe that shows just how psyched-up people are about this new machine. With the big show going on right now in Germany, we can expect much more news to hit the press soon. So tune in next week to find out what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING. _____________________________________________________________ > LUKS OPEN REPLY STR FOCUS! SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT! """""""""""""""""""""""""" CompuServe Mail Date: 20-Aug-92 15:16 EDT From: Ron Luks [76703,254] Subj: Comments and response **************************************** Ralph Mariano/Ron Kovacs: I received a copy of a posting by John Nagy on GEnie where he makes a number of misstatements and draws conclusions that are simply not true. I'd appreciate it if you could post my comments in your magazine. ****************************************** Category 24, Topic 2 Message 14 Sun Aug 16, 1992 Z-NET at 16:07 EDT John Nagy here. DD: GEnie and CIS are not the press. If you doubt that they play the support game by different rules, and that it is in fact the job of the services to woo the corporations like Atari, reconsider just WHO it is that pays for Atari ads to be on NBC, then consider just WHO it is that pays Atari to be on GEnie. Atari gets a cut of the action here. GEnie gets more action by making that action happen. CIS has not done anything like GEnie or Delphi to make an attractive atmosphere for Atari to participate in. CIS hasn't taken the agressive role in innovative support ideas for years now. You don't see a "CIS LAMP", you don't see -very- regular formal conferences, you don't see much but a few nastygrams in the message bases. Some even from the boss there, many, many, many from the sub-ops. I think you get what you create. You attract like-minded people. CIS has become Bashnia, a complaint that some have about STR as well. And like Tom so adeptly said, Atari may indeed have decided that it can best use its resources in places that seem to want it. I generally don't frequent places where I am insulted and complained of eternally (this CAT excepted? ;^} ). I bet you don't either. And Atari is doing the same. A freind of mine's step-father spent years demeaning and abusing him as he grew up. He no longer will have anything to do with said step father. His mother is dead now, and the step father is ailing. The step father really wants my freind to come over and help him, and my freind really feels he should, but he han't been able to get in the door before the insults start up again. He's finally done with it, and the stepfather now contents himself with telling the rest of the family how ingrateful and disrespectful his stepson is. My freind does NOT try to tell his stepfather what to do. He does NOT try to control the content of the phone calls his stepfather makes to his family. He simply won't participate. Sure, he might say something like, "If he were nice to be with, and if he would stop trying to tell me what to do and how stupid I am for what I have done - regardless of what portion of that might be true - I'd sure be happier to spend more time there." Why is this SOOOOOOOOO hard to generalize to what is going on with Atari and the magazines and services, or shows for that matter? To make matters worse, some people have chosen to make very personal attacks on Bob Brodie. He's human, and prefers not to be abused. He quite reasonably would prefer not to take an extended weekend away from his family to travel for many hours by plane (Bob's not the petite' type that air seats were designed for...) only to be abused, harranged, blamed, insulted, and generally made into the target of every frustration, real and imagined, that anyone every had concerning Atari. And the simple fact is, some places that happens, and happens with a vengence, and some places it simply doesn't. Guess which place I'd choose to spend my limited time. Same as Bob does, in places where they're glad to see me. CIS has taken the smug position of "We're BIG, Atair needs us. We can say or do anything because Atari needs us. They'll come to us. Just wait. You'll see. We have more overseas nodes. Atari can't afford to blow off Europe. They need us." Meanwhile, GEnie has worked their tail off to create a productive, active place for Atari and supporters to get what they need and want, in a very very big way. And heck, Gordie at Delphi is one of the hardest working guys I have met, trying admirably to get more going there. The CIS way has been to rest on its laurels and expect Atari to do the work. What has resulted can be called a "shunning" only by the most extreme double-speak. By the way, Bob Brodie works for Atari US, not Atari Corp. His interest, by virtue of who pays his salery, is Atari USA (and now, North America...). If the CIS European coverage is so good, it would behoove the management there to court the European Atari people for support and activity on CIS. If they did reach out for Atari, instead of waiting for Atari to reach for them, they'd very likely find Atari more interested when they DO interact. A final note, I'm absolutely astonished to see Ralph imply that someone else is trying to do that satanicly evil thing--control content on FNET conferences. CONTROL was absolute in the old days of king-node making, when sysops lived in fear of a phone call or threatening message from node 350. If sysops let their users stray from the topic or politic specified by the lead node of the STR conference, there was hell to pay, lockouts to be suffered, routes to be lost, connect expenses to be considered, ostricization to be assured. These days, the practice seems less palatable to the peole who pioneered them with an iron hand that makes Bob's efforts look wimpy. How many dozen sysops do we need to call for tesimony here? None. The pot has called the kettle black. Maybe both could use some brillo. This is all 100% via my observation and opinion, and is completely available for reprinting in any magazine or publication where thinking is encouraged. I'm refreshed at the new involvment Ralph has pledged here, and the near-assurance of an open forum in this CAT. ****************************** Mr. Luks' reply; I must take strong exception to the way Mr. Nagy characterizes the activity and plans of the Atari Forums on CompuServe. John talks about our messages bases as being nothing but "a few nastygrams." Nothing could be further from the truth. The overwhelming number of the messages on our system are quite supportive of Atari products and the people that use them. John may not be aware of this since he has chosen, by his own admission, NOT to use CompuServe. Strangely enough, he purports to talk quite knowledgeably about what goes on there in spite of the fact that any knowledge he has of our operations is second or third hand at best. As for the Atari Forums not offering innovative proposals, he once again speaks without direct knowledge of the many proposals offered by CompuServe to Atari Corp over the recent years. One such proposal would have offered the Atari user the lowest cost, widest ranging online access proposal in the industry. It would have beaten all existing plans currently in service. Unfortunately the executive at Atari responsible for negotiating this proposal is no longer with Atari and for various reasons the plan could not be implemented without Atari's cooperation. A variation of this plan is currently under consideration and I hope to have good news for the Atari community in the months ahead. In fact, the Atari Forums have offered innovative proposals to Atari Corp, some of which have been accepted leading to Atari naming the Portfolio Forum as their official online support network, the establishment of the largest online support area for the Lynx, an ongoing support effort for registered Atari developers for the ST/TT and Portfolio line, and a special testing area for the upcoming MultiTOS operating system. In addition, CompuServe has made "innovative proposals" to Atari-related groups, like our IAAD 90-day trial program whereby any IAAD member can request 90-days of free access to the Atari Forums on CompuServe to check us out. Even if Mr. Nagy is not a member of the IAAD, I'd be happy to extend this offer to him as a courtesy to actually view our areas firsthand. I'm not at liberty to publicly discuss some of the other business plans CompuServe has on the table, which would also explain why Mr. Nagy is unaware of them. Nonetheless, they do exist. As for the second contention, that all you will see on CompuServe are "nastygrams," again I must take exception. The overwhelming percentage of messages in the Atari Forums are positive in tone and supportive of the equipment. That especially includes messages from the staff. My assistant sysops have been selected for their knowledge and enthusiasm for the Atari computer as well as their ability to relate to the membership. I'm justifiably proud of their service to the atari community. However, it has never been a requirement of the assistant sysops job to give up their rights to free speech and, on occasion, both myself and my staff have posted critical comments about Atari. We have always strove to make them constructive rather than what is blindly labeled as 'Atari bashing.' Some have called us unsupportive of Atari because we don't censor these comments. In my view, we are even MORE supportive of Atari because we DO allow these comments and criticisms. We care about the company and its products and especially the end users. Anyone who would claim that allowing only 'positive comments' is the correct way to go, is, in my opinion, very short-sighted and bound to fail. Mr. Nagy goes on to describe the attitude CompuServe has taken towards Atari (and he is very, very wrong again here) and then suggests some steps that we should follow to improve our position. In fact, CompuServe has never been "out of touch" with Atari Corp and has constantly attempted to increase our lines of communication and support with the company and its employees. Many of our efforts have been successful and the members have benefitted from this. Admittedly, there are still some major problems to be overcome. To be fair, additional support from Atari seems predicated on the content of messages and news magazines. I have been told by the director of communications that before we (CompuServe) see any more cooperation from Atari (or at least from his department) that we would have to stop any negative comments from the Atari Forum staff and that we would need to drop any support of STReport. I told him that while I would make every effort to make sure that only constructive criticisms would be made by my staff, that I could not, in good conscience, promise that they would be censored from making any statements that could be interpreted as negative by the company. As for STReport, I pointed out that STReport was an independent online news magazine and that our policy towards STReport and Atari Explorer Online and other similar magazines were to accept the uploads without editing the content which was the sole responsibility of the publisher. Furthermore, I didn't consider it reasonable or fair to expect CompuServe to cancel the free account of STReport when the same magazine and publisher was regularly uploaded to other services, including GEnie, using complimentary accounts granted by those services. On these issues we seem to be at an impasse, but contrary to Mr. Nagy's assertions, we have not taken the position that we expect Atari to come to CompuServe. We have actively pursued Atari to provide information to its customers through our network. We intend to continue this pursuit for the benefit of our users just as the staffs of GEnie and Delphi do for their members. We realize that Atari's resources are not unlimited, but we know that we reach a significant number of Atari users, both in North America and worldwide. In the months ahead, during the critical introduction of the new Falcon, we have offered a large number of complimentary accounts and a significant amount of system resources for Atari and its employees, in addition to the amount of time and effort put forth by myself and my staff. We intend to support the introduction of this computer to the best of our abilities. Since our actions will benefit the company and help them sell computers, we ask that the director of communications join us in these efforts without imposing unreasonable or unfair conditions and focus on the task at hand. Ron Luks Manager Atari Forums on CompuServe *********************************************************************** 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. :IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: DELPHI INTRODUCES THE 10/4 PLAN. Effective July 1, 1992, all Basic Plan members will be upgraded to the 10/4 Plan and receive 4 hours of usage each month for only $10! For full details, type GO USING RATES. SprintNet home time to begin at 6:00 p.m.! Effective July 1, 1992, you may access DELPHI via SprintNet beginning at 6:00 p.m. local time without incurring a telecom surcharge. To find the SprintNet node nearest you, type GO USING ACCESS. Try DELPHI for $1 an hour! For a limited time, you can become a trial member of DELPHI, and receive 5 hours of evening and weekend access during this month for only $5. If you're not satisfied, simply cancel your account before the end of the calendar month with no further obligation. If you keep your account active, you will automatically be enrolled in DELPHI's 10/4 Basic Plan, where you can use up to 4 weekend and evening hours a month for a minimum $10 monthly charge, with additional hours available at $3.96. But hurry, this special trial offer will expire soon! To take advantage of this limited offer, use your modem to dial 1-800-365-4636. Press <RET> once or twice. When you get the Password: prompt, type IP26 and press <RET> again. Then, just answer the questions and within a day or two, you'll officially be a member of DELPHI! DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! *********************************************************************** > Atari Advertise NOW? STR FOCUS! Name Recognition is important too """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ADVERTISING & ATARI =================== MAYBE NOT SUCH A GOOD THING...YET by Gordon W. Meyer Copyright 1992 Many in the Atari community have expressed an impassioned belief that Atari needs to advertise more. They see advertising as some kind of ultimate solution to all of Atari's woes. Well, that's a somewhat unenlightened view of what advertising is about. The truth of the matter is that advertising can kill a business as fast as it can save one. And maybe faster. Now, don't misunderstand. Advertising, properly done, is an absolute must for business. Without it, potential buyers either don't know about the products you have for sale or don't know that you even exist. But, improperly done, the results can spell doom for the company. To paraphrase an old Orson Wells commercial, you should advertise no product before its time. Creating a demand for a product through advertising, before the supply of that product is adequate to fill that demand, only creates negative feelings about the product, and the company that sells it. And that's not what the kind of results that Atari needs from its advertising dollars. Remember, too, that advertising is only a small part of the overall marketing of a business. It shouldn't be viewed as something separate from the entire scheme of things. And, advertising itself is not a single-purpose endeavor. You don't just use it to sell a product. While 'product' advertising is the most common use, advertising can be, and is, done for a wide variety of purposes. Name recognition, building good will in the community and 'event' advertising are all different reasons a company might advertise. But perhaps the most important purpose of advertising is to gain "top of mind awareness." That means establishing yourself well enough in the mind of the buying public that when they think of the categories of products you sell, they think of you first. For example, when most people think of fast food chicken restaurants, they think of Kentucky Fried Chicken. KFC has worked long and hard, and spent lots of money, to gain "top of mind awareness" in the majority of consumers. But, advertising is not the only way to gain "top of mind awareness" with the public. And probably not even the best way. Nothing sells better than a personal recommendation from someone you know and respect. That's called "word of mouth" advertising, and you can't buy it for all the money in the world. You have to do it the old fashioned way. You have to earn it. That is probably the place Atari needs to first focus their energies, if they intend to regain any of the market they've lost, if for no other reason than it is the least expensive and the most rewarding. It's easy to sit in front of a monitor and spout lofty platitudes about what a corporation half-way across the country should do. But that's often done by some so-called leaders of the Atari community. Rarely are any reasoned solutions presented. Oh, solutions are presented all the time, but few have any real consideration of the reality of the situation put into them. Atari is not IBM. Atari is not Apple. Atari is not Nintendo. Atari is a small company, with limited resources in both personnel and capital. It cannot use the same kinds of tactics as its major competitors, or it will fail horribly. So instead of trying to go head-to-head with them, Atari should consider using what has been described as "guerilla" marketing techniques. In fact, Atari has already been using "guerilla" techniques in many of its marketing moves. The recent Lynx display and give-aways at the Taste of Chicago festival are excellent examples of what Atari needs to continue doing. Likewise, the Atari computer game room at GENCON has been quite effective in building name recognition. These are both relatively inexpensive ways that Atari can develop both "top of mind awareness" and some positive "word of mouth" advertising. Continued placement of Atari brand products in movies and television shows is another "guerilla" technique that should be pursued. Seeing a 'celebrity' using an Atari product enhances the perceived value of the product to people who don't already know how good they really are. Sponsorship of music concerts by artists who use Atari's in their music production is another good way to get Atari's name in front of the public, and build toward some "top of mind awareness" for Atari. But the public is quick to lose that "top of mind awareness" and positive "word of mouth" advertising can turn negative in a hurry if all the good things end when the money changes hands. Service after the sale is an absolute necessity if the gains are expected to be retained. And that brings up an area that just might be the most important for Atari to closely evaluate for changes. Atari needs to improve its customer service policies. Getting the initial sale is great. But without decent customer service, any positive "word of mouth" advertising they might gain from a satisfied customer will be lost if that customer becomes dissatisfied. It is that possibility of dissatisfaction that needs to be guarded against. There are no 100% sure ways to eliminate that possibility, but some changes to Atari's current customer service set-up would vastly improve its capacity to maintain customer satisfaction. Of course, no one can change things overnight, so changes would need to be phased in over a one to two year period of time. But, the time to start the improvements is now. The first thing that should be considered is a company-wide customer service training program of some kind. Every Atari employee who might answer a phone, or otherwise be confronted with a question from a customer, should be knowledgeable enough about the Atari product line to be able to adequately deal with basic questions. And be able to refer that customer to someone who can handle questions they are unable to answer. Perhaps the next step might be the establishment of a toll-free customer service telephone number, with sufficient staffing, to handle basic problems. Those toll-free calls could be limited to a short period of time each, with more involved problems getting referred to a non-toll-free number. That would provide a means of getting help to customers, yet still be inexpensive when compared to building a wide-spread dealer network. That doesn't mean a dealer network shouldn't be built, however. If Atari is going to build on the foundation its "guerilla" marketing tactics establish, they must provide solid, local support for their products. The low end machines should be relatively easy to use, with little need for outside support. But, the more complex a system is, the more important a solid support program becomes. And the only way to provide that support, at a reasonable cost, is through a dealer network of some kind. The dealer network is another step along the path to success. Once a dealer network is established, and there is sufficient coverage of a given market area, Atari can then begin advertising in earnest, in that market area. To build a demand for a product, without having a solid underlying support structure, is foolish. Products will be sold, but the resulting negative response to the lack of needed support will outweigh any gains. A general rule of thumb is that for every negative experience, the 'victim' will tell 9 other people. Positive experiences are only related to 2 others. It is easy to see how important each positive experience is in developing good "word of mouth" advertising. And how important it is to limit the number of negative experiences. Any gains that might be made with the introduction of Atari's new computer products must be protected with an improved customer support system. Those improvements can start to be made now, before the new machines are market-ready. Then, when new products hit the market, there will be a growing customer satisfaction response, that will in turn help build the demand for Atari products. Which will in turn make it easier for Atari to attract good dealers to its ranks. The name of the game is profit, and Atari products can be as profitable for a dealer as any other. But, the dealers need to see that there is a real commitment from Atari to support its products and the dealers who sell them. Improving the customer support system will do a lot to show that Atari's commitment is real. Atari's path to success isn't going to be a stroll in the park. But, with a little creativity, some well-reasoned decisions and a lot of hard work, there's no reason Atari can't be a major success once again. +++++++++++++++++++++ This article may be freely reprinted, so long as no changes are made. +++++++++++++++++++++ _____________________________________________________________ > CTFEST '92 STR SHOW NEWS ** TWO EXCLUSIVE, EYEWITNESS REPORTS ** """""""""""""""""""""""" CONNECTICUT ATARIFEST ===================== August 1992 by Joe Mirando This past weekend, ACT Atari (Affiliated Connecticut Groups) held the Connecticut AtariFest at the Sheraton Hotel at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks. The two day show was attended by approximately five hundred people searching for hardware, software, and information on the latest projects at Atari. Although I have attended many computer shows, this is the first time that I have had the privilege (?) of working at one. Although I have always heard of how much work is involved in putting on a show such as this, I never fully appreciated the sheer volume of the things that need to be done. The Show Before the Show ======================== On friday, dealers were treated to a preview of the FALCON 030 and given a run-down on its abilities. Dealers were disappointed to find out that they would not be available in the U.S. in time for Christmas. Many estimates placed actual shipments of FALCONS and no earlier than April of '93. The Exhibit Room ================ Vendors included Atari, Barefoot Software (formerly Hybrid Arts), Maxwell CPU, Joppa, Gribnif software, Codehead Technologies, Atari Interface Magazine, Toad Computers, and ICD. ICD's new device driver, The LINK, made its first public appearance. The link you to interface up to eight SCSI devices to a single ST series computer. Aside from being able interface four times as many hard drives to a computer, The LINK allows the use of CD-ROMs and other SCSI devices. For all of The LINK's capability, it looks like nothing more than a cable connector. Because of the space limitations, I can't mention all of the terrific products I saw at the show. I mention The LINK only because it made its first appearance at the show. Inside of the exhibit room, was a "DTP Center". This area was dedicated to producing a one page newsletter twice a day. PageStream was used for the layout and printing of the originals. Copies were then made using a plain-paper copier. An interesting side-note about the DTP "kiosk" is that it was set up with two monitors running at the same time. One was for the computer operator while the other was a big-screen television type monitor that faced the crowd. Since the technical aspects of running two monitors simultaneously proved to be more than could be handled on short notice, we took a shortcut. a video camera was set up to face the computer monitor and fed the signal to the big screen monitor. The results, while not outstanding, were much better than anticipated and attracted attention from quite a few "techies". All of them were impressed until they found out how it was being done. They then walked away looking like they had been cheated. All I can say is "Sorry, guys." The seminar room, although small in size, played host to a full range of seminars from Toad's David Troy to "Golf in Connecticut" author Brian Harvey, to Rick Flashman of Gribnif Software, to B.J. Gleason, the Portfolio programming machine, to CodeHead John Eidsvoog, Pagestream seminars for beginners as well as advanced users, and of course, Bob Brodie of Atari and our own STReport seminar. In Bob Brodie's seminar, as well as the STReport seminar, the main focus was on Atari's new machine, the FALCON 030. Users and developers are ready and waiting for this machine to hit the streets with an anticipation not felt since the ST line of computers was announced. As a side note, I'd like to make the observation that over the years, computer users in general, and Atari users in particular, have become much more aware of the technology involved in their computers. The questions asked in the seminars show that users are interested in all aspects of the machine and its place in the market. The Banquet =========== On Saturday evening a banquet was held in the hotel. The meal featured soup, roast beef and desert with a cash bar. After dinner, John Jainschigg and Peter Donoso, late of Atari Explorer, along with other band members played into the wee small hours. The most memorable moment of the evening for me will always be when we heard the dull rumble of activity at the entrance of the banquet hall and saw a large group of people standing there looking sheepish. They had attended a wedding in the hotel and were drawn in to our hall by the band's music. The people were invited to join us and they soon felt at home among the "young folks" (I would estimate their average age as 65 with a range of from 55 to 70). They sat down at any table that there was room at and soon you could not tell who was with the computer show, and who was with the wedding. Everybody was enjoying themselves. It wasn't long before some of the women from this group of new arrivals decided to make use of the dance floor. It is a sight that I will see in my mind's eye for a long time to come: A handful of senior citizens dancing to Santana's "Black Magic Woman". After a while one of the women at our table decided to ask what the party was for. When I replied that we were "with the computer show downstairs", one of the women said "Oh, is that the Atari thing I saw signs for downstairs"? "Yes Ma'am," we replied. "That's the one". "Oh," she said, " I thought they went out of business years ago. My grandson had one of those. Y'know, the kind you put the little boxes in and play the games on the TV"? "No, Ma'am," I replied, "These are real computers". "C'mon, Honey," said her husband, "You remember when he was talking about those computers years ago? Atari was one of them. I don't remember which one he got though". Soon the table was abuzz with talk of computers and Atari. I was amazed to find that they were interested in it at all, but they kept asking questions. They were beginner's questions to be sure, but they were questions none the less. My least favorite part of the Banquet was that Bob Brodie did not attend. Bob had made plans to go out for a seafood dinner. As He put it: "I can get deli in California. When I'm in New England, I want lobster". I understand Bob's taste for Lobster: it's my favorite also, BUT... In closing, I'd like to thank everyone involved with the ACT '92 Fest. Especially Brian Gockley and Doug Finch. Their efforts made this show a success. Next year expect to see the Connecticut AtariFest held in April or May to avoid conflict with, as Brian Gockley put it, "Just about every Atari show on earth". Report II """"""""" CT ATARIFEST '92 ================ "GROWING WITH FRIENDS" ---------------------- by Dana P. Jacobson The recent show in Hartford was an enjoyable weekend of mingling with Atari users of the Northeast and various developers and vendors from various parts of the U.S. Over a dozen user groups were also on-hand in the showroom with their demos, magazines, newsletters and Public Domain libraries. This was the 2nd annual show in the Greater Hartford area. This year's show was moved closer to Hartford to allow easy access to the show; the airport terminal area was right there! Organizers Brian Gockley and Doug Finch are to be commended for the positive changes made from last year's show. There were a good number of developers and vendors at this show. What I enjoyed was the number of developers/vendors who don't normally make some of the other shows, mixed in with those whom we are accustomed to seeing. Just to give you a few of my personal highlights of the show: Brian Gockley and Doug Finch, the co-organizers of the show, were terrific hosts. I had an opportunity to talk with both throughout the show. They, and the support people from the various Connecticut user groups, did a fantastic job of making sure that everyone was provided whatever they needed for the show. Not only were Brian and Angela (Gockley) running the A & D Software booth, but they acted as Information Booth guides as well! I also want to extend my appreciation for the warm support provided to me in my role as an STReport representative _and_ participating user group attendee (S.S.A.G.). It was nice to be able to talk with Pattie & Bill Rayl from Atari Interface Magazine again. Pattie and Bill were handing out the latest issue of AIM as well as selling subscriptions. They were also selling their AIM "cover" teeshirts. If you've ever seen AIM and some of the unique covers, you'll know what I mean. I proudly walked away with the May '91 cover shirt!! They were also selling some of their PD software. Dana Byrd and Jeff Naideau of Barefoot Software were showing off various Hybrid Arts products. Both were interesting to talk with and their love of music and MIDI blended well with their products. No offense toward Jeff, but with Dana behind the booth, it was no wonder that there were always people surrounding their booth!! Darek Mihocka, of Branch Always Software, was showing off the GEMulator. I have read quite a few messages about the GEMulator, and seen a portion of the video, but to see it running live was certainly an opportunity worth talking about! Darek was running GEMulator on a 486 laptop and the ST programs that he tested while I was watching, ran flawlessly! GEMulator runs all ST software except for some copy-protected games (Dungeon Master _does_ work!). Programs like Pagestream 2.2 and Calamus run with no problems! GEMulator supports any version of TOS, from 1.0 up to 2.06. It will run using any of the three ST resolutions: high, medium, and low. It will support the STe color palette of 4,096 colors. You can have your own ST partition of hard drive use much the same as you can format a Spectre partition on your ST's hard drive now. There's ST mouse and printer support. It can run from Windows or DOS. With the STacey discontinued, and the ST Book unlikely here in the U.S. anytime soon, a GEMulator-stocked PC laptop is a great substitute for an Atari user on the move! If my boss' threat to get me an IBM computer at work comes about, I plan to attach GEMulator to it immediately!! I was glad to see that John and Julie Eidsvoog of CodeHead Technologies was there. Early on, it didn't look like CodeHead was going to be there, but other plans fell through so they made it. Unlike other shows I've attended with CodeHead present, lines weren't stacked up all the way out the door at this show for upgrades! However, sales were quite good, according to both John and Julie. I wanted to see Calligrapher demo'ed before I decided which version to purchase; unfortunately, I was never available whenever John was putting it through its paces. By the time I decided to buy it without the demo, all of the Professional copies were gone. I walked away with the Gold version and after seeing it briefly once back home, I'm glad that I wasn't tempted to buy purely on prices alone. Calligrapher Gold was a great purchase! Now all I have to do is decide which additional font packages I want to add to it! Kevin Champagne, a former Boston-area Atari dealer, was there representing Computers a la Carte, a northeast Massachusetts computer dealership. CAC was offering SyDOS 88's (Syquest 88-meg removable cartridge drives) for terrific prices. They sold all but one by the end of Saturday! They also were selling various hard drive mechanisms, cables, Supra .v32 bis 9600 FAXmodems, the LINK, stereo speakers, and various other products. According to Kevin, they did quite well at the show. Look for them to appear at WAACE, if all goes as planned. ICD was in attendance with their usual assortment of hardware and software products. We were also able to see the newly-announced LINK. Joppa Software drove all night to make the show. They had some great deals on game software and magazines. Joppa was also selling their latest version of STraightFAX! software, which turns your ST and modem into a FAX machine. With my recent purchase of a Supra 9600 modem, I decided to pick this gem up!! I'm looking forward to testing this stuff out soon! MegaType Software was quite busy selling a variety of Pagestream and Calamus font packages at _half_ price (I nabbed a couple!). I wish that I had read through some of their literature earlier pertaining to their font design and converter programs; I would have picked one or two of them up also! These included Font Designer which is used to create fonts with a host of added features, including Type 1 Converter which will convert Type 1 fonts for use with the ST. MegaType also offered FontVerter which will convert fonts between Pagestream, Calamus, and Font Designer with just a few mouse clicks! They also offered Bit Maker and MegaKern, two more terrific-sounding font utilities. If you're a heavy user of Pagestream or Calamus, you should check these products out the next chance you get. Clay Walnum, of Taylor Ridge Books, was displaying his various assortment of books, including C-Manship Complete and his latest book, Assembly Language Workshop, Volume I. If you're a current or aspiring programmer, these will offer you some great insights and help. If you're an Atari Portfolio user, everything you could ever need was available from BJ Gleason of Thin Air Labs. Toad Computers was there with a little bit of _everything_!! Wizztronics introduced a new product called the Cartridge Port Expander. This is a great product which allows the user to install up to four cartridge devices at once and select via accompanying software!! A definite must for those who use more than one cartridge. These folks were also showing and selling Stowaway Professional, a fantastic disk labeler for pin-feed printer users. Unfortunately, there are no plans to upgrade this program for laser printer use, sigh. There were a number of seminars, classes, and demonstration projects of interest. One of the projects was students putting together a show newsletter. I dropped by the DTP area on occasion to see their progress and it was quite good from what I saw. There were memory and speed upgrade lessons for the do-it-yourself people; or if you managed to pre-arrange an appointment, upgrades were done for you right at the show. There was also a demonstration of data transfers using a Ham radio and computer! The buffet-style banquet and post-banquet party was somewhat of a disappointment. Don't get me wrong, it was enjoyable but not up to the standards as the other aspects of the show. The $25.00 dinner price was a little high, but that figure also included defraying the cost of the all-Atari member band. Talking with organizers, the "cold-cut" dinner was the least expensive option so they went with it. There were some great highlights from the banquet and ensuing party, however. Darek Mihocka showed us that saving dessert for last was an archaic dinner custom; he managed to put away at least two pieces of that delicious cake _before_ he started the main course! It had to do with something about an addiction to chocolate... BTW, Darek, that small fork at the head of your place-setting was for dessert! In all seriousness, however, just about everyone "forced" themselves to a second (or third) slice! The band was quite late getting started, waiting for John Jainschigg to arrive. What a difference from the last time that I saw John J. in a three-piece suit and carrying Atari Explorer. Here he was in jeans and carrying a lead guitar! Peter Dinoso, John J. and the rest of the band played a very mixed assortment of tunes. It was easy to tell that they haven't been playing together long, but aside from that, they were entertaining. The "Atari Ladies" - Angela Gockley, Dana Byrd, and Maura Jainschigg kept everybody dancing for most of the night. Probably the highlight of the evening was when a group of wedding guests "crashed" the festivities! If you've ever been to a Jewish wedding, you know that the 40-65 year-old ladies had a grand time dancing among themselves. Their only complaint: the band couldn't play "Hava Nagilah"!! Other than the banquet fare, my only real complaint about the show was the layout of the showroom. The room was not huge and some of the aisles were quite narrow. Since there was no "pipe and drape", there was little room behind each vendor table so vendors kept bumping into each other. Unless you had multiple tables, there was little "storage" space except for under your booth. I was also disappointed to learn that some of the vendors and developers scheduled to attend, didn't. Some of this was due to a lack of coherent communications (or none at all) between those who were considering attending and the organizers. Some cancelled at the last minute. It was too bad because they would have had a successful weekend. Was it worth the 2-hour trip (or longer for others)? I'd say yes. All of the vendors and developers that I talked to said that they did well with sales, and that included high-price items. The showgoers came with money to spend, and did so. The various user groups that I talked with also stated that sales were great. The organizers were satisfied with the results of the show although Brian Gockley vowed he didn't want to see another microphone for a _long_ time; plenty of door prizes went out to happy winners. Would I attend the next CT AtariFest? Absolutely! ___________________________________________________________________ > THE LINK STR InfoFile NEW! External SCSI host! """"""""""""""""""""" THE LINK(tm) ============ A FEATURE PACKED EXTERNAL SCSI HOST ADAPTER FOR ALL ATARI ST COMPUTERS THE LINK provides a convenient way to connect an Atari ST computer to standard external SCSI devices. This means that peripherals like external SCSI hard drives, floptical drives, Magneto Optical Drives, and CD ROm Drives, which were originally designed for the Apple MacIntosh, IBM PC, Commodore Amiga, NeXT, Atari TT and Flacon computers can now be used with any Atari ST model computer with a DMA port. This includes all models of the Atari ST, STe, Stacy and STBOOK computers. Installation is simple. Just plug and go. Since the majority of drives require no modifications, THE LINK won't affect the drive manufacturer's warranty. THE LINK, combined with ICD's famous software, provides the fastest transfer rate possible on an Atari sT computer. ICD's Professional Software Package which is included with THE LINK is now fully compatible with the STBOOK, TT and Falcon computers supporting DMA, SCSI and IDE devices. This package supports virtually every embedded SCSI hard drive both fixed and removable media type and SCSI-2 compatible CD-Rom Drives. THE LINK supports the full SCSI-2 command set including Group 0 through 7 commands. Multiple devices are supported and SCSI IDs 0 through 7 may be used. THE LINK will connect to any DMA (ACSI) port. Highly sophisticated, state-of-the-art, VLSI circuitry has never before been used to this level in an Atari host adapter. This circuitry, combined with SMD packaging and unique case design, contribute to the sleek look and compact size of just 63x76x19mm. THE LINK could actually be mistaken for part of a computer cable. Because THE LINK is an external host adapter, installation is effortless and does not require any technical knowledge. Simply plug THE LINK into the 50 pin centronics type SCSI port of the external drive and then connect your DMA cable from the computer to the link. Parity must also be disabled and the drive's SCSI ID should be set. Since THE LINK is powered by the Termination power line of the target drive, no power supply is needed. A DMA Cable (DB19P to DB19P) is required and is available separately, for connection to the Atari ST. Parity Generation and SCSI arbitration are not supported. THE LINK was designed, developed and manufactured in the USA by ICD, a leader in SCSI connectivity. THE LINK is a trademark of ICD, Incorporated. Other trademarks are those of their respective holders. ICD, Incorporated 1220 Rock St. Rockford, IL 61101 USA Telephone: (815) 968-2228 Facsimile: (815) 968-6888 Sales....: (815) 968-8550 ____________________________________________________ > GADGETS BY SMALL STR Spotlight "Wondering where they are?" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "WHAT HAPPENED TO GADGETS BY SMALL?" From the Desk of Dave Small; "For those of you who've been wondering "What happened to Gadgets by Small?" Our ten year old son, Eric was hit by a car and _severely_ fractured his right thigh bone (femur). I got to call "911". There were two ambulances, a fire truck, police cars, lights flashing and neighbors standing around gawking, just like on TV! Anyway, after his ambulance ride, Eric ended up in the hospital for awhile, with all sorts of traction devices with ropes, weights and pulleys through and into him. Doctors simply call it traction; we felt it more resembled a medieval torture device. And... we'll all remember "the elevator ride from hell" for a _long_ time. Anyway, things came to a _complete halt_ at Gadgets as we took turns staying with Eric at the hospital. No one's Faxes were answered, the phone wasn't answered; we even left a message on the machine about what happened.. Gadgets is a _family_ business. Despite the fact that kids heal fast, its taken Eric awhile to get back to his old self. He had to have surgery to install a metal rod down inside his thighbone, with three screws to hold the bone to the rod. Eric says he's like the Terminator now, at least with _one_ of his legs! When we finally got to take him home, there was the dreaded "physical therapy" which happened every _fifteen minutes_, and was no fun at all. Since his leg muscles were traumatized, Eric was also blessed with _severe muscle spasms_ at many hours of the day and night; this also took away from Gadgets time. Anyway, now that we've mostly recovered from Eric's accident, we're ready to get back to work answering the phone, opening the mail, shipping products and all that _normal stuff_. (Well at least as normal as it gets around Gadgets) Those of you who sent Faxes and called to inquire about Eric are much appreciated; thank you! It really helped him to know that people he didn't even know cared about his broken leg. We still have things coming down the pipeline, like a new batch of GCRs. We are starting to ship MegaTalks as fast as we can, and we are in the middle of testing more Megatalks and the latest batch of SSTs, all of which will be shipped as soon as they are ready. If you were supposed to have heard from us and didn't or, we made an error somewhere, now.. you know why. We're sorry for any problems; we'll get everybody taken care of just as soon as we possibly can. Thank you very much for your patience! Dave, Sandy and Eric *********************************************************************** :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 Announcements (FREE) 1. Share Hot Summer Nights with a friend.........................*BUDDY 2. Talk about "the best movie musical ever", SINGIN IN THE RAIN..SHOWBIZ 3. Software & CD-ROM on SALE: 20% off EVERYTHING at..............EADIRECT 4. SAVINGS on ELECTRONICS - Name Brands for LESS at..............ZBEST 5. Meet Superstar Cover Model GUY DAVIS on 8/24 in...............ROMANCE 6. INTERNET Gateway Developer in Conference, Tuesday 10pm........UNIX 7. Spend an evening with author and columnist STEVEN LEVY, in....GENIEUS 8. Fantasy author Katherine Kerr, Sunday at 8 EDT in the.........SFRT 9. WIN BIGTIME in the Moonlight Picnic Contest...................*FOOD 10. There's a MYSTERY in the Writers' RoundTable..................*WRITERS 11. Daily Quote Files Now Provide More Info.......................INVEST 12. WANTED: MORE UPLOADS for the U/L Contest in..................MAINFRAME 13. Is Elvis still alive..........................................FLAGSHIP 14. I was abducted by a UFO enthusiast on the...................PSRT 15. Great news for pro and amateur Apple programmers alike in.....A2PRO Welcome to the Atari ST Roundtable ST Roundtable Realtime Conference Special Events September 2nd FAIR DINKUM REALTIME CONFERENCE ------------------------------- (Wednesday) Featuring a NEW product announcement. September 9th ATARI FALCON 030 RTC - PART II ------------------------------ (Wednesday) Atari's Bill Rehbock provides a post Duesseldorf followup to the Sam Tramiel RTC. Bill will provide more info on technical specifications, Falcon applications, pricing, and more. All conferences begin at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday Realtime Conference -------------------------- Stop in for Monday's Desktop Publishing Realtime Conferences. Hosted by Lou Rocha with regular guests dealing with all aspects of DTP and associated topics. All conferences begin at 10:00 p.m. EDT. GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission *********************************************************************** > THE FLIP SIDE STR Feature "... a different view point..." """"""""""""""""""""""""" A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee After a nice long vacation, I'm back! Things sure have changed a lot since my last column, both in the ST community and in STReport. Due to some of those changes, you'll be noticing some changes in my column. Since we now have coverage of CIS, my column will now only contain posts from the ST Roundtable on Genie. Also, due to my changed work schedule, my column will now only appear every other week. That said, it's time to get back to work. ---------------- From Michael Verderman of Double Click - Cat. 30, Topic 2, Message 153 - from the ST Roundtable on GEnie... Sorry for the long delay on posting, folx... I recently had all of my computer equipment (and modems) zapped by a bad lightning storm and am in the process of getting it all restored. This is why the BBS is down, also. Currently, I'm using a friends computer and modem to check here... Now, let me give you a brief 'scoop' on what is going on... I'm not trying to make excuses, and I'm certainly not very pleased at the way things have been occurring lately. Briefly, at the beginning of the year, both my partners decided that they wanted out of the Atari market, which left me holding the ball of wax on everything. I found a new partner in San Diego, and we entered into a preliminary agreement to test the 'waters' and see if the new partnership would work out... I, personally, have a full-time job now (have for the past year), which means my time has been reduced dras- tically from what it was during the first part of lst year (yes, I previously worked for DC full-time). Anyway, as part of the new partnership, all work was going to be handled out of SD. I have no manuals, originals, files, or anything in Houston. However, my new partner seems to have many other interests, and has not been tending to the necessary business. On Monday of this week, I called up and left a message to the effect of: It's not working, send _everything_ back to Houston. I've been unable to contact my 'partner' for several weeks now, and don't even know if he got the message on Monday. So, I sincerely apologize for the lack of responsiveness of late. I accept full responsibility, and hope to have DC back on track as soon as I get the supplies and files back here... Let's just say this is a lesson learned. I hope to have good news for everyone ASAP. In the meantime, again, please accept my apologies. ---------------- STOS information from John Dillenburg - From Cat 3, Topic 9, Msg. 89... To people interested in STOS on a TT: I just got a reply from Europress software about getting STOS to work on a TT. Here's what they said: ------------------- Ref: your letter on STOS - at present the STOS programmer Francois Lionet is on holiday but on his return I'll fax him your letter and see what information he can supply.... We are planning to upgrade STOS when we've finished AMOS Professional so it may be that Francois knows what to do already. For now, we'll keep your letter on hand and write to you again when we have news of the update. ---------------- Comments from Rich Brown [GEnie Lamp ST Columnist] concerning the Bubblejet BJ-10e vs. the Deskjet 500C - From Cat. 4, Topic 5, Msg. 16... Having been lambasted in the HP Deskjet area due to my comments on the Bubblejet, I thought I'd see what's what here. I am a multi-printer owner and user, from 3,000 to 300 dpi PostScript - to Deskjet 500C - to Bubblejet BJ-10e - to 24 pin Toshiba. I have tremendous experience on these various systems, going through paper by the case, rather than by the sheet, in my many and various projects filling very busy 100-135 hour weeks. Regarding price, I believe you can find the BJ-10ex for _under_ $300 in most areas, $279 being a price I remember from recent ads. That's without the requisite sheet feeder. Additionally, as an owner of the HP 500C and BJ-10e (the original model) I can report that after more than 12,000+ miles of traveling with the BJ, it still hands-down outperforms the HP, which never left the desk, for black ink printing, absolutely every time and in every way. Line weights on the BJ-10 vastly outperform the HP, especially in sub 1 point weights. It is very easy to see a difference between .1 and .2 points on the BJ, with the HP giving up at about .3 point, which is itself a misnomer, as the Deskjet line weights are about twice as heavy as the BJ in all weights under 1 point. Where the BJ prints a .1 point line, the DJ is lucky to do .5 or so. Gray scale photos print with decisively more grays than the HP, this being due to the added gray handling ability of the 360 dpi resolution of the BJ. Additionally, photographs have to be lightened significantly (40-50%) when going from the BJ to the HP. This I do in PhotoShop on the Mac via the Spectre GCR. Photos also tend to have better contrast on the BJ. Deskjet photos tend to look "muddy." Large black areas print with far greater uniformity on the BJ than the HP, as the HP's ink supply leaves a tell-tale mottling not unlike dichroic fog within the photographic process. Additionally, the HP's ink is not uniform in glossiness. However, the single greatest difference between the BJ and the HP is in the uniformity of the printed page through the life of the cartridge. While the BJ tends to exhibit absolute uniformity from the first to last drop of ink in the cartridge, the DJ cartridge tends to clog easily and otherwise degrades in quality so significantly as to warrant replacement long before the ink supply runs out. I have run both machines dry, though, and can report a tremendous advantage in the BJ's ink supply, which far outstrips the DJ cartridge in longevity. Additionally, the DJ cries out for "corrective maintenance" very regularly, while the BJ is a "set it and forget it" environment. On my last trip to L.A., BJ in tow as luggage, I actually had to replace pages in an otherwise PostScript laser printed document. The BJ, running PageStream, was able to sufficiently match the laser printed output as to _completely_ fool everyone who viewed even direct "this is laser - that is Bubblejet" side by side comparisons. To accomplish laser-grade results, you must use the right paper: Strathmore Legacy Pen Plotter Paper Product Number 01-075 Premium Quality, 24 pound, white 250 sheets, 8.5x11, about $8.95 Pricey, yes. Laser grade results? Yes. None of the capillary bleed or other problems associated with virtually _all_ other papers. BTW- Pen Plotter Paper does _not_ work _at all_ on the HP Deskjet. Totally wrong (different) ink composition. On the BJ, when the ink dries (more slowly here as it does _not_ soak in), the printout will actually feel similar to a laser printed page, where the ink (carbon) rests on the _surface_ of the page, giving a 'bas-relief' tactile effect. Strathmore Legacy is a division of Hammermill Paper Company, which also makes a popular long grain laser printer paper, which, by the way, is comparatively awful on the BJ. Sorry for the long post. I've just gotten tired of the narrow-minded status quo over on the HP DJ category, and this was a nice venting. Th-that's all for now... --Richard Brown GEnie Lamp ST Columnist Read it! It's a free download! ---------------- Hard drive problems from Wendell Gragg - Cat. 4, Topic 10, Msgs 108-111 I recently received a hard drive (50 MB Seagate, ICD+ host, shoebox case). I have had trouble ever since I got it, and have finally concluded that it is probably my computer and not the drive. It seems to be a thermal problem, as the drive has to be active for about an hour before the problem shows up. It usually starts with Write Fail msgs and then proceeds to msgs stating the data on one or more partitions may be damaged (or drive not responding). If I run ICD's Hdutil prg, I will get flaky bad sectors that do not show up in the same place a second time. A friend brought over his STE and I hooked it up for 2hours, with no problem. I then took the case off of my 1040 and found the DMA chip. I let the machine warm up until I started having definite failures, blasted the chip with freeze mist, rebooted (warm) and didn't have another problem for about 25-30 minutes. My question is that since the DMA chip is socketed, could I have a problem that just requires reseating the chip, or should I just go ahead and replace it? Answer from Tom at ICD... Replace it. HArd drive errors are nasty and DMA chips are cheap compared to the amount of time you may have to spend recovering your hard drive...DMA chips also have a reputation as one of the more likely chips to cause problems. Suggestions from Joe Meehan... I have two easy and cheap suggestions. First how about increasing the cooling to the chip? Second try another trick. Play with the cable locations and shielding them. I know it does not sound like this is it (heat sensitive and all that, but it is worth a try. Another suggestion, from Bob Morrow... I'd try replacing the power supply. Those suckers get hot. Best Electronics has a better one than the stock p/s. It puts out more power and less heat. I doubt replacing the chip would do much good- after a while the new one might start to show the old symptoms. ---------------- Information from Jim Allen about Fast Tech's new TurboRam board - From Cat. 4, Topic 11, Msg. 104 & 106... ...What is it? TurboRam, a 2,4,6,8 Megabyte ram expansion that adds to the 4Megabytes you already have. It is ST ram, but isn't completely compatible, as some things can't be done from it...like DMA sound, etc. It uses up to 16 standard 1MegX4 page mode ZIP packaged DRAMs. You add them in sets of 4 chips, so you can start out with 2 and add till you reach 8 additional megabytes. Installation is a simple plug in, but adding ram to the board requires soldering the chips on. We can't use SIMMs due to height limitations under shielding, etc. If SIMMs would fit I'd have used them. The price will be $199 for 0K, and the chips are around $10 each now, so 8Megabytes costs $160, or $359 total for an 8 Megabyte add-on... giving you a total of 12 Megabytes of ST ram. Just what the doctor ordered for folks using Calamus SL or looking forward to using MultiTos. It's compatible with most software that doesn't have fits if there's more than 4 Megs, and the T25 and Turbo030 boards all know about the ram and there is a "back door" built in to design which allows faster than normal accesses by an accelerator. It will be demo'ed at the Dussledorf show next week. This is what I was working on while waiting for the T25s and Tiny030 boards...one can only watch so much TV ;-) Since it'll be a few weeks till I have them I don't want to get folks all whooped up about this, try and forget about it till September, please. Sorry about the premature announcement. ...Yes, Pagestream and Calamus SL and even Calamus 1.09 like the ram, most programs that have any need of more ram will be tickled pink. The blitter and CPU have total access, other things have limited access. It is "contiguous" in that it makes the ram go from 0 to $BFFFFF...12 Megabytes of ram. ---------------- Question from Joe Rice about the new Falcon - From Cat. 4, Topic 11, Msgs 109-110 I saw that Sam Tramiel indicated that the Falcon couldn't be upgraded to a 68040. I assume you know something he doesn't, right? Answer from Jim Allen at Fast Tech... Yep, the design of the Falcon doesn't have any built in "gotcha's" that make using an 040 impossible...which IS the case with the ST(E) design. Also, the OS has been "fleshed out" in many ways by Atari, so that MultiTos knows what to do with each of the possible processors it might end up running on. I've done a study of what's required and it will be possible to put a board in, although it may be in the $1,100 range. I've also scopped out the Tiny030 for the Falcon, and will provide swap-grades for Tiny030 owners in the future when they want to move to a Falcon. I'll probably yank out a design I have for a Mac monitor compatible high-res monochrome and slap that onto the Falcon Tiny030. Since the ram system is 32bit on the Falcon...not burst mode but 32bits wide...the cache for it will be 32bit and I've got a really neat design done. It should be a serious screamer...40 or 50Mhz 030, cache, and 1152x870 19" mono video circuit. ---------------- Question from Warren Jessop about Pagestream 2.2 - Cat. 4, Topic 28, Msgs 150-152... Can anyone tell me whether Pagestream 2.2 will take advantage of the 16 colors in high resolution? Am I barking up the wrong tree, or will I be able to design my brochures with 16 colors at 640 x 400 pixels? Answer from Ringo at Lexicor... I don't have a AlberTT but I do have a TT and PageStream 2.2 and it works great with the 640 X 480 resolution with 16 colors. Importing color pictures only display in black and White but you can do color separations or print them to color printers. Answer from Jim Allen at Fast Tech... ...yes the ISAC/AlberTT cards give you 1024x768x16 colors and Pagestream is a dream running on them. The folks at Softlogic usually use an ISAC or AlberTT at shows in the demo machine. ---------------- Panasonic monitor question from Paul Griffith - Cat. 4, Topic 34, Msgs 198-202 Does anyone know if a Panasonic C1381 multisync monitor will work with my Mega 4? I know that I will need a switchbox, can anyone recommend a GOOD one, and how much it will cost? How good is the monochrome on these things? Specs are: 30Khz-37Khz Hor. sync. 50Hz-90Hz vert. sync. 1024x768 max res. .28 dot pitch Answer from Ron at Atari Advantage... The spec's you have show horizontal sync frequency does not go low enough for ST color, you need 15.7 KHz: Vertical Horizontal ------------------------------------------------------------------ SM124 Mono (hi res) 70 Hz 35.1 KHz SC1224 Color 60 Hz 15.7 KHz Answer from MYECK.WATERS.... The Panasonic C1381 will work on the STs Mono mode but not in the color modes. Horizontal sync has to go down to 15.7Khz to work with the color modes. ---------------- Great news from Anna Mason - Cat. 7, Topic 4, Msg. 168... GREAT NEWS!! Just rec'd the Migraph newsletter a couple of days ago and TouchUp 1.8 is ready for shipping. PLUS, they have PC Scanner which will allow you to use your hand scanner with both your Atari and PC!! It comes with the kit and PC version of TouchUp that is compatible with the Atari version!! ---------------- Flash II info from John Trautschold [Missionware Software] - From Cat. 8, Topic 2, Msg. 60... Gee...it's been quiet here lately... :-) I hope that's good news! Although the full maintenance update of Flash II is not yet quite ready, is getting closer by the minute. DO scripting incompatibilities are being fixed, as are many of the other problems you have reported to us. Each beta received is looking better and better. We are continuing to ship version 2.01, and interim update. If you just purchased 2.0 and would like to update, the cost is only 75 cents worth of stamps and your master disk. The 75 cents covers the return postage to send the disk back to you. There has been a bit of confusion over version 2.01 upgrades. This version is NOT being sent automatically to all registered owners. It doesn't fix all know problems, just a significant number of them. That's why we're offering it on an "as requested" basis. Those of you that really want it, can get it. If you aren't sure what version you have, just load the program and click on About Flash II menu item in the Desk menu. Or, look at the label on your disk. If you wish to update to 2.01, just send the 75 cents in stamps, along with your 2.0 master disk to: Missionware Software 354 N. Winston Drive Palatine, IL 60067-4132 We'll turn it around within a day or two. EVERYONE that is officially registered (by sending in the blue registration card) will receive the full maintenance upgrade (probably version 2.1) when it's ready, for free, without any action on your part. Naturally, we'll post a notice here when that's ready to occur. Thanks for your comments, patience, and help. ---------------- Formatting question from David Fisk... Could someone please tell me what exactly is the difference between a low level/high level format? How do you go about getting a low level format on an Atari? (this was suggested for my dead ST 277 RLL) Answer from Doug Wheeler at ICD... The format function of the hard disk utilities available for the Atari (ICDFMT, SUPRAFMT, HDX, etc.) perform a low-level format of the drive. The partitioning function is the high-level format. The only exception to this is with Quantum drives which can not be low- level formatted through software. ---------------- Until next week..... _________________________________________________________________ > LEGAL RIGHTS VI STR Feature "SNARING A PIRATE CHIEF!" """"""""""""""""""""""""""" ALDUS--SNARING A PIRATE CHIEF! ============================== by Albert Silverman From the Mac RT on GEnie Introduction This is the sixth article in a series on "piracy"--with a reverse twist. This series currently includes the following articles: (1) Great Software Licensing Hoax (LEGAL RIGHTS PIRACY1) (2) Software Copyright/License Quiz (LEGAL RIGHTS PIRACY2) (3) Great School Copyright Robbery (LEGAL RIGHTS PIRACY3) (4) San Diego County--Truth Squad (LEGAL RIGHTS PIRACY4) (5) ADAPSO and SPA--Trade Pirates (LEGAL RIGHTS PIRACY5) (6) Aldus--Snaring a Pirate Chief! (LEGAL RIGHTS PIRACY6) ------------------------------------------------------------- ALDUS LICENSE AGREEMENT CAREFULLY READ THE FOLLOWING LICENSE AGREEMENT BEFORE BREAKING THE SEAL ON ANY OF THE DISK PACKS. BY BREAKING THE SEAL YOU ACCEPT THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, DO NOT OPEN ANY OF THE DISK PACKS; PROMPTLY RETURN THE ENTIRE PACKAGE TO YOUR DEALER FOR A FULL REFUND. DEFINITIONS The following definitions apply to the terms as they appear in this agreement. "Aldus" means the Aldus Corporation. "Software" means the computer program contained in this package, and all updates to the computer program. The term also includes all copies of any part of the computer program. "Documentation" means the user's manual(s) and other printed materials accompanying the Software. "Product" means the Software and Documentation. COPYRIGHT/PROPRIETARY PROTECTION The Product is owned by Aldus or its suppliers and is protected by United States and international copyright laws and international trade provisions. You must treat the Product like any other copyrighted material. This license and your right to use the Product terminate automatically if you violate any part of this agreement. In the event of termination, you must immediately destroy all copies of the Product or return them to Aldus. LICENSE GRANT Aldus grants you a nonexclusive license to: Use one copy of the Software on a single computer terminal connected to a single computer. Make one copy of the Software for archival purposes, or copy the Software onto the hard disk of your computer and retain the original for archival purposes. You may not copy the Documentation. You may not: Modify, translate, or merge the Software with another program, except for your personal use on a single computer. Any modifications to the Software are subject to this agreement. Reverse-engineer, disassemble, decompile, or make any attempt to discover the source code of the Software. Sublicense, rent, or lease any portion of the Product. You may, after written notification to Aldus, transfer the entire Product on a permanent basis to another person or entity, provided you retain no copies of the Product and the recipient agrees to the terms of this agreement. If you have received an update to the Software, any transfer must include the update and all prior versions of the Software. If you want to operate the Software on a network, please contact Aldus to request a Network License Agreement. DUAL MEDIA SOFTWARE If the Product contains both 3 1/2" and 5 1/4" disks, then you may use only the disks appropriate for a single-user computer. You may not use the other disks on another computer, or loan, rent, lease, or transfer them to another user except as part of the permanent transfer (as provided above) of the Product. LIMITED WARRANTY Aldus warrants the disks on which the Software is distributed to be free from defects in materials and workmanship and that the Software will perform substantially in accordance with the Documentation for a period of 90 days from your receipt of the Product. Any written or oral information or advice given by Aldus dealers, distributors, agents, or employees will in no way increase the scope of this warranty. If the Product fails to comply with the warranty set forth above, Aldus' entire liability and your exclusive remedy will be replacement of the disk or, at Aldus' option, Aldus' reasonable effort to make the Product meet the warranty set forth above. This limited warranty applies only if you return all copies of the Product, along with a copy of your paid invoice, to an authorized Aldus dealer within 90 days of the date you received the Product. If Aldus is unable to make the Product conform to the above warranty, Aldus, at its option, will refund all or a fair portion of the price you paid for this package. Any replacement Software will be warranted for the remainder of the original 90-day warranty period or for 30 days from the date you received the replacement, whichever is longer. These remedies are not available outside of the United States and Canada. ALDUS DISCLAIMS ALL OTHER WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE PRODUCT. THIS LIMITED WARRANTY GIVES YOU SPECIFIC LEGAL RIGHTS. YOU MAY HAVE OTHERS, WHICH VARY FROM STATE TO STATE. NO LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES In no event shall Aldus or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of profits, business interruption, loss of information, or other pecuniary loss) arising out of the use of or inability to use this Aldus product, even if Aldus has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Because some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, the above limitation may not apply to you. The foregoing limitations of warranty and liability inure to the benefit of Aldus' licensors having an interest in the package. GENERAL Aldus product support is only available to you (1) through Aldus' Registered User Support Service and Extended Technical Support Service (2) if you live in the United States or Canada. To receive these services, you must follow the directions accompanying the registration card in this package. This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between you and Aldus and supersedes any prior agreement concerning the contents of this pack age. It shall not be modified except by written agreement dated subsequent to the date of this agreement signed by an authorized Aldus representative. Aldus is not bound by any provision of any purchase order, receipt, acceptance, confirmation, correspondence, or otherwise, unless Aldus specifically agrees to the provision in writing. This agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Washington. U.S. GOVERNMENT RESTRICTED RIGHTS The Product is provided with RESTRICTED RIGHTS. Use, duplication, or disclosure by the government is subject to restrictions set forth in subdivision (c)(1)(ii) of the Rights in Technical Data and Computer Software clause at 48 CFR 252.227-7013, or in subdivision (c)(1) and (2) of the Commercial Computer Software--Restricted Rights clause at 48 CFR 52.27-19, as applicable. The contractor/manufacturer is Aldus Corporation, 411 First Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104-2871. Rev. 8/89 Printed in U.S.A 994-921 ------------------------------------------------------------- Well aware that Aldus is a current leader in the formulation of the software industry's "licensing" strategy, I decided to expose Aldus' legal-rights piracy by querying the company about the validity of its so-called "License Agreement." To this end, a routine request was made for the legal authority under which Aldus proposes to enforce its "licensing" restrictions upon reverse engineering, disassembly and decompilation of the software. As you were made aware in the first article of this series (Software License--Fact/Fiction?), the decision in Vault v. Quaid declared that these specific restrictions within a licensing agreement are UNENFORCEABLE. Since the Aldus License Agreement contains a clause which forbids the software user from engaging in conduct which lies within the exclusive province of the copyright law, the answer to this question was eagerly awaited--and awaited--and awaited! The first letter of inquiry was innocently sent to Aldus' Customer Service Department on January 13, 1992. It is presented below: January 13, 1992 Customer Sales and Service Aldus Corporation 411 First Avenue South Seattle, WA 98104 Gentlewomen: A question has arisen with regard to the ALDUS License Agreement, revised in 8/89. There is the statement: "You may not reverse engineer, disassemble, decompile, or make any attempt to discover the source code of the Software." Please provide the legal authority under which these restrictions upon my conduct after purchasing ALDUS software are enforceable in a court of law. I assume that answering this request is a routine matter on the part of your legal department. Therefore, I shall expect to receive a very prompt reply to this request. Thank you. Sincerely, Albert Silverman After waiting for two weeks without a response, I sent a second letter to the Customer Service Department on January 29, 1992. It is presented below: January 29, 1992 Customer Sales and Service Aldus Corporation 411 First Avenue South Seattle, WA 98104 Gentlewomen: On January 13, 1992, I sent to you a letter (a copy of which I am enclosing) which asked for answers to some routine questions about your Software License Agreement. I asked for a VERY PROMPT reply; yet I have to date not received it. Please reply to these questions immediately. Thank you. Sincerely, Albert Silverman After waiting two more weeks without receiving a response, the author placed a telephone call to Aldus' Customer Service. What transpired in that telephone call is explained below in the letter to Paul Brainerd, Aldus' president, dated February 13, 1992. February 13, 1992 Mr. Paul Brainerd President Aldus Corporation 411 First Avenue South Seattle, WA 98104 Dear Mr. Brainerd: On January 13, 1992, I wrote a letter to your Customer Service Department, requesting specific information about the ALDUS License Agreement. A copy of this letter is enclosed. Having requested a very prompt response to this letter and having received no answer, I wrote a second letter dated January 29, 1992. A copy of this letter is also enclosed. Still having received no response, I called your Customer "Service" (if that is what you wish to call it) Department on 2/12/92 to inquire about the lack of response to my two letters. A young man answered the phone and claimed that he could not trace my letters, since they were not addressed to a specific person in the Customer Service Department! Does this mean that you automatically throw such letters into the round file? He asked me what my questions were about the License Agreement. When I told him, he then took my telephone number, stating that he would "talk to somebody about them." He then asked why I wanted this information! This is high order arrogance, since anyone who is supposedly operating in accordance with an agreement is entitled to understand EXACTLY what this agreement is about. He stated that I might not get any answer to my questions, and "that's that"!! When I asked for his name, he replied "it's not important." Well, Mr. Brainerd, notwithstanding the comments of Mr. X, that's NOT that. I happen to believe that it IS important that your Customer "Service" Department start living up to its name. Pronto. I also fail to see you how your employees can hope to avoid the responsibility for their actions by refusing to disclose their names. Perhaps his name will be important to YOU. Do YOU see anything wrong with such behavior? Please furnish me with PROMPT answers, in writing, to the two questions which I have asked your company about its License Agreement. No ifs, ands, or buts. Sincerely, Albert Silverman In response to this letter, a telephone call was received four days later by someone who identified herself only as a "legal assistant." She promised that Mr. Curt Blake, Aldus' General Counsel, would respond with a letter which answered both the original question about reverse engineering, etc., plus a second question (which was raised in the telephone call) to the customer service department) about Aldus' attempt to restrict the customer to the making of but one backup copy. Not surprisingly, however, no such letter was received. Following up on this continued silence, I wrote a second letter to Mr. Brainerd on February 27, 1992. It is presented below. February 27, 1992 Mr. Paul Brainerd President Aldus Corporation 411 First Avenue South Seattle, WA 98104 Re: my letter dated February 13, 1992 Dear Mr. Brainerd: In my letter dated February 13, 1992, I asked that you furnish me PROMPTLY with the legal authority for the enforcement of two specific clauses in your so-called "Software License Agreement." Two weeks later, I have not yet received this reply, which I have been attempting to obtain from your company since January 13, 1992. Six weeks is far more than enough time to answer rudimentary questions about enforceability (I am NOT referring to an interpretation of any law), which SHOULD be available at the tip of your legal department's tongue. Or is it? Your failure to provide me with these answers, mirrored by the failure of your Customer "Service" Department to address my query after two letters and a telephone call, strongly suggests that either (1) your legal department does not KNOW the answers, or (2) they do not care to answer, for obvious reasons. If (1), then it would seem that you should consult the Software Publishers Association for the answers to these questions, since it has apparently failed to explain to your legal department the legal basis for the broad "licensing strategy" which it adopted several years ago for industry-wide use. If (2), then ??? If you are so proud of this "license," with which you are attempting to intimidate legally-ignorant software users, then you should certainly be willing to answer basic questions about the enforceability of its provisions. Certainly no party to a bona fide legal arrangement would object to answering these questions. But if you are unwilling to do so, then this so-called "agreement" is clearly fraudulent and it is time for you immediately to withdraw it from use with your software. You must realize, of course, that the very integrity of your company is at stake in this matter. Need I remind you that the software USER is not the only one who indulges in "piracy"? Cheers, Albert Silverman One might think that this letter would stir Mr. Brainerd to come up with a response. Not surprisingly, however, the stonewall of silence continued. Hence a third letter was sent to Mr. Brainerd on March 5, in which my questions were reworded in a manner which could not possibly be misunderstood. It is presented below. March 5, 1992 Mr. Paul Brainerd President Aldus Corporation 411 First Avenue South Seattle, WA 98104 Re: the Aldus "License Agreement" Dear Mr. Brainerd: Perhaps it is not clear what I have been requesting from you over the past several weeks. Hopefully this correspondence will clear up any misunderstanding. The current Aldus "License Agreement" contains the following clauses: (1) "Aldus grants you a nonexclusive license to: Make one copy of the Software for archival purposes, or copy the Software onto the hard disk of your computer and retain the original for archival purposes." (2)"You may not: Reverse-engineer, disassemble, decompile, or make any attempt to discover the source code of the Software." Please furnish me with the legal authority for enforcing these particular restrictions upon the one who purchases an Aldus computer program under this so-called "License Agreement. If your legal department does not know the answer to this question, please say so. Alternatively, if you do not believe that I am entitled to this information, please say so. I expect your IMMEDIATE reply. Cheers, Albert Silverman INTELLOGIC PRESS This third letter to Mr. Brainerd at long last evoked a response! However, this response, dated March 11, 1992, did NOT come from Curt Blake, as was promised. It is clear that Mr. Blake was hardly enthusiastic about answering my questions. Instead, the response came from a Ms. Leann Nester (Corporate Counsel). It is presented below. March 11, 1992 Dear Mr. Silverman, I don't have a copy of your letter of January 13, 1992 (inadvertently not enclosed with your 1/29/92 letter), but I think I can derive the substance of your questions from your subsequent letters, and from the conversations you have had with Aldus employees in our Customer Service and Legal departments. Why can I only make one back-up disk? The end-user license agreement you received with your product states that you may only make one back-up disk. You agreed to this by means of the "break-the-seal" licensing, wherein you agreed to the terms and conditions of licensing when you broke open the disk pack. Most software companies agree that only one back-up disk is necessary, and that further copying often invites software piracy. Why can't I disassemble the code? Aldus owns the source code. Again, as an end-user, you agree to terms and conditions of the licensing agreement when you break open the disk pack. Basically, by purchasing product and breaking the seal, you have accepted the offer of a contract of license between you, the end- user, and Aldus. The license states at the top that if you do not agree to the terms and conditions of use, that you should not break the seal and should instead return the product for a full refund. Finally, I understand from your telephoned conversations with Aldus employees that you have been using Superpaint software, but are not a registered owner. I encourage you to send in your registration card, if you purchased the product. If you are using illegitimate copies of Superpaint, I encourage you to "legalize" them and purchase product of your own. This will ensure that you receive documentation, information regarding updates, and you are eligible for technical support. If you have further general questions regarding software licensing arrangements, I encourage you to contact legal counsel of your own, or to visit your local law library. Sincerely, Leann Nester Corporate Counsel cc: Paul Brainerd, President, Aldus Corporation Analysis Bulls-eye! Here is a very rare written confirmation of the industry's "licensing" strategy, stripped of any attempt to justify the restrictions under the copyright law, which of course has the ultimate say in these matters. Note that the legal authority for enforcing the two specified clauses within the "agreement" was not even mentioned, despite the crystal clear request in my third letter to the company president. Ms. Nester patronizingly explains just what conduct Aldus "permits," instead of the conduct which the software user is permitted under the copyright law! In other words, her response explains Aldus' self-serving "revision" of the copyright law, with which it hopes to intimidate the user, under the guise of a phoney "license agreement." Nice try, Ms. Nester--or whoever. Note also her statement that "you have been using Superpaint software, but are not a registered owner"! Apparently she failed to take the simple step of checking my registration of this program with Silicon Beach Software, a subsidiary of the Aldus Corporation! This interesting pronouncement, implying my piracy of Aldus software, is a superbly fitting statement from a company which is ITSELF dedicated to "pirating" the software user's legal rights. There is an old saying: "It takes one to know one." Refusing to accept Ms. Nester's attempt to close out any further efforts to obtain an answer to his question about enforcement authority, I followed with yet another letter to Mr. Brainerd. It is given below. March 17, 1992 Mr. Paul Brainerd President Aldus Corporation 411 First Avenue South Seattle, WA 98104 Re: the Aldus "License Agreement" Dear Paul: It is time to quit beating around the bush and start acting Presidential. So ANSWER THE QUESTION. Send in your Big Gun, who KNOWS the answer and can produce it in two seconds flat. Enough with his lackeys--let's go right to the horse's mouth. Incidentally, Paul, why is it that OTHER software companies all seem to know what "Legal Authority" means, when your Mr. Blake (who is hiding out in a corner somewhere) does not? 'Fess up, Paul. The game is over. Cheers, Albert Silverman This letter apparently did the trick. A few days later, I received a telephone call from Curt Blake, Aldus' "Big Gun." The essence of this conversation is contained in the letter which was then written to Mr. Blake. It is given below. ------------------------------------------------------------- March 26, 1992 Mr. Curt Blake General Counsel Aldus Corporation 411 First Avenue South Seattle, WA 98104 Dear Mr. Blake: In the light of our telephone conversation yesterday, I should like to summarize the essence of my views on the use of the common industry sponsored contract of adhesion in the "licensing" of computer software. I would hope that you (and your boss) will read it very carefully. First, let me emphasize that it is not my purpose here to discuss any particular "interpretation" of the software copyright laws. Rather, it is to discuss the use of a so-called "license agreement" in an attempt to enforce upon the user certain software handling restrictions which lie within the exclusive province of the federal copyright laws. As such, conduct which is regulated under the copyright law is OFF LIMITS within a license agreement. This includes (but is not limited to) the making and/or use of unauthorized copies, transfer of unauthorized copies, modification, adaptation, reverse engineering, disassembly, decompilation, use of the copyright notice, software RENTAL, etc. The list is long. What does this mean, in practical terms? First of all, it means that the software user CANNOT "agree" with Aldus to obey the copyright law--a nonsensical contention. It also means, as a typical example, that Aldus CANNOT grant the user a license to make ANY number of backup copies-- another nonsensical wand-waving. Whatever the user may seek to do, vis-a-vis the making of backup copies, is regulated under the copyright law and has no place (not even a mention!) within a contract. Period. In point of fact, out of all of the various restrictions which are imposed upon the software user in the Aldus "license agreement," there are just THREE which are enforceable under state contract law authority. These are: (1) the requirement that any transfer include the update and all prior versions of the software.. (2) the prohibition upon lending or leasing (but NOT rental, which is now regulated under the copyright law) the software (3) the prohibition upon the simultaneous use of software which may be provided on dual media. The remaining restrictions are all UNENFORCEABLE (i.e., by agreement) and are therefore merely taking up valuable space. Sorry about that, Mr. Blake. It is no secret that software publishers are unhappy with the Congressional "balance-of-copyrights" spelled out in the software copyright laws. Since he does not get every last thing that his heart desires in this compromise, it is quite understandable that the publisher should seek to evade the "objectionable" provisions of these laws by "rewriting" the copyright law to his own liking, while incorporating the rewritten law (which of course runs contrary to the intent of the Congress) as restrictions within a so-called "license agreement." If the legally-ignorant software user can be intimidated into obeying this rewritten and self-interested version of the law, under the threat of some vague and ill-defined penalties for "violation" of his/her agreement, the publisher will have achieved his devious purpose. Were the publisher to admit, however, that his "license agreement" indeed possesses no legal authority to backup such restrictions, then the coercive effect of such UNENFORCEABLE restrictions would be absent. This being the case, it is quite understandable that you have refused to name, in writing, the legal authority behind two specific licensing restrictions which I have identified. Were you to admit that this authority is the copyright law, it would be tantamount to admitting that your "software license" is a FRAUD. On the other hand, were you to claim that it is contract law which is the enforcement authority for these restrictions, you would then have to explain exactly WHY you are STILL using a "license agreement" which was declared to be invalid almost four years ago in the federal appellate court in the case of Vault v. Quaid. As you are well aware, this case was heard in Louisiana in order to test the validity of Louisiana's Software License Enforcement Act (SLEA). The decision was hardly to the industry's liking, although it is still attempting to "discount" its impact NATIONWIDE, as confirmed by your statements during our conversation. Your lame excuse that the decision in that case has no proven applicability in the federal district covering the state of Washington lacks all credibility. The question of the enforceability of the Aldus license agreement is identical with the model industry-sponsored "license agreement" laughed out of court in Vault v. Quaid. And this despite the fact that Washington has no comparable software license "validation" law, as existed in Louisiana. The fact remains that the federal copyright law preempts Washington state law in regulating the above-mentioned areas of software user conduct--and that is that. Contrary to your statement about "different circumstances" in that case, the nature of preemption of state law by federal law is precisely the same in Washington state as it is in Louisiana. Likewise, your feeble claim that you cannot provide the legal authority for the enforcement of your license agreement in writing because "the laws are constantly changing" lacks all credibility. Regardless of the state of fluidity of the law, one has no viable option but to go with the current state of affairs. Of prime importance, however, is the fact that, despite the inevitability that the software copyright laws will indeed undergo future change, the one thing which is destined to remain constant is the preemption of state contract law by the federal copyright law. Period. So don't give me any of that nonsense about legal uncertainty as a cover for your refusal to put the unchanging enforcement authority for your restrictions in writing. If I were engaged in the same kind of devious and deceptive tactics used by your company (and indeed, by the software industry as a whole), I would of course be unwilling to acknowledge it with my signature. The way to avoid such embarrassment is simply to abandon the use of such tactics. Small wonder, then, that it has taken me some 2-1/2 months to receive any meaningful response (and I don't mean that absurd letter from Leann Nester) to a routine enforcement question. The time is long overdue for the software industry to clean up its "antipiracy" act. You are riding a dead horse and you know it; its now time to dismount. In other words, stop this nonsense and abandon the shopworn and discredited unsigned "software license." That is, leave the enforcement of user software handling conduct to the copyright law where it belongs, and where it MUST reside when push comes to shove. While being very quick to accuse the software user of software piracy, with or without foundation, your company (indeed, as does the entire industry) has no qualms whatsoever about making a very determined attempt to "pirate" the legal rights of the ignorant software user by means of UNENFORCEABLE clauses within a so-called "license agreement." Not only are such tactics the height of arrogance, they are also HIGHLY UNETHICAL. What can ETHICALLY be done to "educate" the user about software piracy? Simple. Any explanation (interpretation, if you will) of the copyright laws can be included on a SEPARATE sheet within the software package, and identified for precisely that. While it is of course asking too much for the software publisher to abandon his grossly distorted and self interested "interpretation" of the copyright laws (such as the ludicrous claim that only a single backup copy can be made, for example), any interpretation must NOT (repeat: NOT) be camouflaged as a restriction within a phoney "license agreement." Period. The ETHICAL software company (any of these around?) will have no objection to such an approach which is likely, in the long run, to have the desired effect, assuming that the intent of the law is accurately portrayed--a very big IF. On the other hand, the UNETHICAL company, of which Aldus is currently a typical example, will continue in its attempts to bamboozle the unwary software user with a phoney "license agreement," thrown out by the federal courts long ago. Is it any wonder that the software industry is held in such low esteem by the computer-using masses, even though they are generally unaware of the nature of the "pseudo-legal" scam which is being perpetrated against them by the entire industry? If anything is guaranteed to perpetuate the current state of legal ignorance among software users, it is devious tactics such as these. So you have only yourself to blame. Perhaps software users will remain abysmally ignorant, forever and ever, of the laws which govern the handling of their computer software. Perhaps not. We shall see. Sincerely, Albert Silverman cc: Paul Brainerd ------------------------------------------------------------- CONCLUSION You have now witnessed a classic encounter with an industry pirate chief! It took FOUR letters to the company president in order to pry out any meaningful response to a routine question about the enforcement authority for Aldus' phoney "license agreement"!! Along the way, I was accused of pirating Aldus' software, when Aldus had records on hand which belied the accusation! When finally pinned to the mat after some 2-1/2 months, the Aldus General Counsel still refused to answer my question IN WRITING. This is of course characteristic of one who has something to hide. The first rule is: don't put your signature on it. In the wake of this illuminating encounter, the worth of the Aldus License Agreement is evident. ------------------------------------------------------------- Read all about it in: THE COPYRIGHT GAME, ETC. A Strategic Guide for the Computer Software User by Albert Silverman ISBN 0-9527435-1-8 330 pages in nominal 8-1/2"x11" format, softbound with an attractive cover. What is the purpose of this book? Replacing the legal Mumbo-Jumbo with plain English, it provides an all-inclusive, detailed, and impartial explanation of the computer software copyright laws, using past court cases for clarification of obscure language in the written letter of the law. Since there is NO commercially-generated distortion, it is likely that you will find some surprises; i.e., which run contrary to the industry's self-serving "interpretation" of the law. Thoroughly debunked is the industry's attempt to pirate your legal rights by the use of a phoney "licensing strategy." Included is a detailed and entertaining analysis of several leading Software License Agreements. In summary, you are provided with sufficient and accurate information (i.e., the legal FACTS) to permit you to handle your computer software in the manner intended by the U.S. Congress, while safely ignoring those industry perversions of the law which seek to gain for it an unfair advantage--at YOUR expense. Exposed in great detail is the outrageous software industry piracy of the legal rights of unsophisticated software users (directed by unconcerned educational administrators) within the California public schools. For the first time ever, this well-hidden scheme has been unearthed (with supporting and incriminating documentation from my extensive research into the inner educational sanctum) and is being made public. Although this ongoing effort is particularly well-organized in California, the premier "computer state," it blankets the entire nation, leaving no educational level uncovered. The disastrous result of this exceptionally cozy relationship between the computer software industry and the California Department of Education is explained. If you are at all concerned about the way in which this illicit educational-commercial "partnership" affects the integrity of computer education in your public schools and drains away your tax money to line the software industry's pockets with unwarranted profits, this book is essential reading. What will NOT be found in this book? Since its sole purpose is to ensure that you understand precisely what conduct is required for your (simultaneous) compliance with federal copyright law and state licensing law, there are no sermons about your "moral" or "ethical" obligations. That is, it is only your hard and fast LEGAL obligations which are addressed. The industry's "moral suasion" is most often an attempt to get the software user to obey the law; i.e., it is a substitute for the economically-unfeasible prosecution of small- scale violations of the copyright law. On the other hand, there may also be a piratical attempt to make an end-run around the law. That is, when there is NO ground for legal action against the software user, the industry may seek to gain its own way, either by shaming the user with claims of immoral and/or unethical conduct or by the use of a phoney (and usually coercive) "license." This book sorts it all out for you. ---- The price of $19.92 (check or money order) includes $4.50 for handling, shipping by UPS, and sales tax if shipped to a California address. A street address is required for shipping purposes. Off-the-shelf delivery from: INTELLOGIC PRESS P.O. Box 3322 La Mesa CA 91944 ---- Any questions? If you want information about the subject matter of this article, or if you want more information about my book, send me a message by GE Mail. My GEnie mail address is A.SILVERMAN4. Or you may write to me at the above address, enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you would like a reply. ______________________________________________________________ > MATH & COMPUTING! STR Spotlight "...all things are similar..." """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""" MATHEMATICS IS FUN! =================== by Sol Guber I love mathematics because mathematics is fun! The field of mathematics encompasses much more than addition and multiplication tables, or proving geometric theorems, or even solving differential equations. However, it takes a great deal of education and awareness to achieve the level where you are doing something interesting, new, delightful, innovative, and just playing with concepts. Subtraction and division are not fun since this is only rote memory work. Exploring the complex plane looking at objects that no one has even seen before is enjoyable. Besides being fun, mathematics is exciting. We are living in another great age of mathematical exploration, not because there are more mathematicians performing esoteric math, but because common ordinary people, like you and I have some of the tools that are necessary to accomplish something innovative in math. This is similar to what occurred in the 1600's when many new mathematical tools were invented, allowing new concepts in mathematics to be discovered. Today, the two new accessible concepts are fractals and chaos. Chaos theory is a mathematical concept that has become one of the new buzz words. A slightly counter-valent interpretation of a chaotic equation is one that cannot be used to predict either the future or the past from present information. This is a very bothersome quality for an equation. Suppose that orbital mechanics equations were extremely chaotic. If you knew that the Earth was 93,000,000 miles from the sun today, then yesterday, it could have been only 85,000,000 miles and tomorrow, it could be 120,000,000 miles with equal probability. You cannot predict what will happen from first causes. However the real world is full of chaotic systems. The stock market might be one, since it is difficult to generate equations that will predict its value correctly. If the market went up 20 points yesterday, will it go up or down today, and how much of a change will be affected by the 20 points. Weather is another chaotic system. The wind blew from the northwest at 15 miles per hour at 3:30 PM. What will be the wind velocity at midnight and from what direction? This is a very difficult problem to solve correctly. The other set of revolutionary concepts is that of fractals. This might be considered the converse of chaos. A simplistic explanation of the idea, it is that all things are similar except for their scale. If you take a picture of a grain of sand under a microscope, it might look the same as a picture of a mountain. There are a set of rules that tells a tree how to place its branches to maximize its exposure to sunlight. Little trees obey the same rules as big trees and should look the same. Blow up a little branch and you will have a big branch. The person that defined the fractal concept, Benoit Mandelbrot, invented what is known as the Mandelbrot set. The characteristic shape of the set is well known. However if you take a small piece at a border area, and enlarge it many times, you will see another Mandelbrot set, just like the one that you started out with. Both of these new methods of looking at the world have been helped by the advent of computers and graphics that allow equations and systems to be displayed on the screen. Clifford Pickover has published several books showing how these two concepts of fractals and chaos can be used to produce interesting pictures. I have spent the last year programming some of the concepts that Pickover and others have discovered. All of the programs will run in ST and TT resolutions and will use a math coprocessor chip if it is there. I hope that you will download these programs from GENIE and play with them. None of them take any real knowledge of mathematics to use, and for most of them, just put a number into a dialogue box, and a picture will be generated. The following is a description of the programs that I have produced. FERN ---- This program is the quintessence fractal program. Three sets of formulas have been found that will create ferns, triangles, and trees. They are formed from a combination of rigid equations and random numbers. Perturbations in the parameters will subtlety change the figures. Now that I have gotten all of the complicated gobbledygook out of the way, this is why this program is fun. Start it up and pick the fern option. Let it run for several minutes and a very realistic fern will appear on the screen. The formula for the fern is not drawing a fern, but rather putting dots on the screen at random, that looks similar to a fern. Now for the fun. Change a parameter. If you pick the correct variable, then the stem will be a little bit longer and the leaves slightly different. Change another value and now the angle of the leaves are different. Change another value and now the spacing between the leaves of the fern are different. Are all of these parameters valid? I don't know. Since ferns have been around for many million years there is a chance that the very fern that you have created has already been created by Mother Nature, or perhaps not, and you have picked an equally valid leaf and stem pattern for the coming Ice Age. See how easy creation is, just a combination of fractals and random numbers? PASCAL ------ This program is almost the opposite of the Fern program. It uses a mathematical object called the Pascal Triangle whose numbers are generated by a relatively simple formula. By choosing a number, you can choose which Pascal triangle to be shown on the screen. The picture is sort of fractalish since the small patterns form the large patterns and in between the large patterns there are many small ones. However, it is not a truly fractal picture because you cannot magnify any area. The patterns for each integer are very distinctive and after some practice, you can even tell the patterns apart. All of the integers will work and give a sightly different pattern. Prime integers give simple elegant patterns. Numbers that are the product of two primes, give a combination of the patterns generated by the individual primes. Numbers that are products of four or more primes, are also interesting showing the relationships between individual Pascal triangles. All this has been explored by others. What makes my program special is that I do not believe only in integer values. There are quite a few numbers between each of the integers and each of these will show a pattern. While all mathematicians can tell a 5 Pascal triangle from a 7 Pascal triangle, very few can tell a 7/3 triangle from a 7/4 one. This program allows you to explore many more of the possibilities. Looking at the pictures will show some sort of patterns and none of the values that you have picked will have had a Pascal Triangle generated before. MILLION DOT PICTURES -------------------- What is a million dot picture? I have used the formula that Clifford Pickover present in his book "Computers and the Imagination", with several slight modifications. He has called them "artistic chaotic patterns..representing mathematical objects called attractors". This means that when you change the numbers in the formulas, or change the formulas you will generate a very much different picture. This is the quintessence chaotic program. You select the parameters and then a random dot is placed on the screen, which generates the next random dot, which generates the next random dot, and so on. After a number of dots are on the screen a picture may appear. Some of them look like two dimensional scarves floating in an etherial four dimensional space, some of them appear like faces appearing in the mist, and some of them are just random dots that look like specks. But they all appear slowly on the screen, being generated in a random pattern, depending on the initial parameters. Many of them are quite attractive nevertheless. However all of them are distinct depending on the values that you use for the attractors. PATTERNS -------- This program might be considered deterministic chaotic. It uses integer values, sine functions, and two variables that you choose. If is almost impossible to predict how the pattern will materialize, but it has a strangely repetitious pattern like wallpaper. The same numbers will always give the same pattern, but since you cannot work backwards from a pattern to calculate the variables, this is really a chaos program. BITSY ----- This is another deterministic chaotic program. It puts a dot on the screen if a bit is set in a number calculated from the dot's x and y position on the screen and a factor that you choose. The dots seem to form a pattern like Moire patterns. Slightly different numbers give different pictures, and even choosing another bit to be looked at, generates a different picture. While these are not art, they are quite interesting looking. COMPLEX PLANE ------------- The next few programs introduce a different concept. In kindergarten when you learned about numbers, the number line was introduced. It was a line heading east with dots at constant intervals for the integers. Several years later, you learned that there were numbers called negative numbers to the west the zero. Several years later, you learned that in between all of those numbers were other numbers called decimals. If you are like most people, that was the last time that you thought about the number line. Now you will learn the real truth! There really is a number line, but there are numbers north of zero and numbers south of zero. All of these numbers make up the complex plane. (There are also numbers up and down of zero, but that might be explained in a much later article.) The complex plane combines imaginary numbers with the real numbers. Imaginary numbers are based on the square root of minus one and are represented by the letter "i". While in most mathematics, imaginary numbers are not needed, the complex plane is very significant in electrical engineering for alternating current calculations, so imaginary numbers are really not that fantastic. NEWTON ------ Newton discovered a method of determining the roots of an equation. It uses a combination of the function and its first derivative. Halley invented a more complicated method that also uses the second derivative of the equation. This program does shows how many times you have to go through the procedure before you reach the root. If it takes five tries, it will be one color, six times another color and so on. The region that is examined is in the complex plane with coordinates of -+ 5 to -+5i. The colors that appear in the picture form a set of contour lines with the roots being a nadir in the plane, using either the Newton or the Halley method. The equation whose roots are being determined, is of the form (x^m) x (x^n + 1). For example, when m=1 and n=2 then the roots of the equation are 0,+i, and -i. As m and n vary, the roots will become more complicated. As you might expect, around each of the roots the colored contours appear, not quite as circles, but as jagged ovals with various protrusions. As the ovals approach the ovals from another root, multicolored parabolic orbits appear. Along the orbits there are periodic nodes of colors of various sizes, like the unopened blooms of flowers. These blossoms allow you to explore the patterns further. By pressing any key, you can choose the magnify option which will put a dotted square on the screen. You can decrease the size of the square as well as move it along the screen. When you press the RETURN key, the area inside of the square will now occupy the complete screen. Depending on what you have enlarged, another section of the pattern will appear, with its own mysterious areas which can be expanded further. This program combines a fractal concept with a chaotic system. There is a vast difference in the patterns when the factors change slightly. This becomes more evident when sections of the screen are magnified. It has fractal properties since the magnification can go on for ever. Inside of some nodes are a catseye pattern, which has a small node at one side, which can be magnified to another catseye both the colors of the lines has shifted. Magnify another area along a parabolic orbit, and who knows what you will find. ROOTSY ------ This program is related to NEWTON. Rather than showing how fast the roots converge, each point in the complex plane is used to determine which root that point will converge to. The points that have the same root will have the same color. While this sounds like a monotonous program, it is not. Suppose we have the equation x^3+1=0. This will have three roots at locations -1, .5+-SQRT(3)i. Rather than having the screen divided into three colored regions, similar to a triangle, it is a little bit more complicated. Along the edges where the colors come together, there are small circles. Inside the circles are patterns like a Yin-Yang symbol, but the colors are reversed, with some of the third root color being present in the circle. As with the Newton program, you can magnify any region. Look inside of one of the circle, and you will find that it is made up of more circles, and as you keep expanding an area, you will find that the circles seem to go on endlessly, with the colors rotating as you keep magnifying. One of the beauties of this program is that you do not have to use integers for these equations, and the non-integer values give even more exotic pictures that can be expanded forever. There are also another set of equations that can be used to further increase the infinite number of possible patterns. This program generates fractal type pictures. They are really very fascinating to watch and it is unbelievable how complex these pictures really are. CHEBYSHEV FUNCTIONS ------------------- This program is similar to NEWTON, however it uses a different set of equations. Chebyshev discovered a set of equations that were Orthoginal. They are relatively easy to generate and have roots in the domain of +- 1.0. This gives very pretty pictures that are easy to generate. Again, the contours around each of the roots is generated. Two methods are used to determine the roots, either the Newton method of convergence or the Halley method. They will both give the same results, but the patterns are very much different with each of these methods. I have programmed seven of the Chebyshev equations and you can select which one you want. The area between the roots, where the contour lines smudge into one another is where all of the fun exploration can occur. The following is a list of these programs on GENIE with their numbers. Download them and play with them. Even though the explanations are a bit intimidating, using them is very easy. Sit a child on your lap, run one of these programs, pick a number and start exploring a new world. Perhaps you will learn to love mathematics too. 24974 BTITSY.LZH 25164 CHEBYSHV.LZH 19532 FERNY.LZH 21536 MILLION.LZH 24710 NEWTON.LZH 21489 PASCAL.LZH 24365 PATTERNS.LZH 25141 ROOTSY.LZH ______________________________________________________________ > GOODWILL? STR Spotlight "Winning Friends & Influencing People" """"""""""""""""""""""" ATARI ALIENATES ANOTHER FRIEND? =============================== The following was translated from the "Application Systems News" of June 15th 1992. The material was distributed to customers of Application Systems Heidelberg, a leading German software house with special links to the Atari ST computer line. While the events described herein took place quite a while ago, the eve of the Duesseldorf show seems like as good a time as any to ruminate on a little history. The relevant section follows: THE ATARI FALCON/030 The new computer from Atari was introduced to the press at CeBit in quite an unusual fashion. From conversations with journalists we were able to find out that this entire presentation occurred really strangely, in that Leonard Tramiel (from the upper Atari-Clan USA) was perhaps more concerned with shielding this prototype in its 1040-style case from curious eyes than with informing anyone about it. In the way of statements there were such informative items as "the sound is outstanding" and "there is enough memory". We can well comprehend that the news people did not find this especially funny in their articles, and we hope that at, the next presentation takes place in a more appropriate manner. Maybe one of the locals could show Leonard Hannover while it is taking place... Our encounter with Leonard Tramiel played itself out on a similarly professional plane. After offering to adapt our programs to the Falcon/030 as quickly as possible, we got a sort of reaction, from which we obtained the impression that we might as well have been telling Bill Gates that IBM had just taken over a majority of his firm. Actually we had only asked, in a relatively diplomatic manner (as was only proper) how me might best adapt Signum!3 for printing. In a choleric outburst we were given to understand that the driving of the printer port was none of our business, we should simply use the Diablo-driver from Atari. Our argument, that experience showed that printing by way of the operating system drivers takes 20 minutes instead of 4 minutes on a 24-pin printer, was dismissed by saying that this was proper and better for the user since the program could be integrated into the environment more cleanly. We are relatively accustomed to criticism, however, if a couple of nice Atari people (thanks to Bill and Norman) had not taken us aside following this conversation and taken some of the sharpness off the unqualified remarks by the promise of the necessary documentation, we might well have gone immediately to the Commodore booth and started with the adaptations for the C64. Nevertheless one should simply take another look at the Falcon/030 for himself. If it appears in a timely manner and the price is right. The specifications with respect to graphic resolution, speed, and sound look very good. We will in any case try hard to have our software adapted to the Falcon at the time of its market introduction. _______________________________________________________________ > UNKNOWN TITLES! STR FOCUS! "Lynx titles that never made it" """"""""""""""""""""""""" SECRET LYNX GAMES THAT NEVER MADE IT ==================================== (A look at several Atari Lynx titles that never made it to your store shelves.) by Tim Holt ACCEPT of El Paso Sources close to this reporter have released details from deep within the game development labs at Atari and Tengen Games, of several Atari Lynx games that were planned for release but never made it to the shelves. These sources would not reveal the reasons these games never were released, but those close to the development of these games stated that "the games were much too difficult for the average player." Upon further investigation, it appears that all of these games were in fact shown, in complete working form, to a secret group of LYNX developers at last year's CES in Las Vegas. One developer, who asked not to be identified, claimed that the games "were too confusing for normal humans." He went on to say "Frankly, after playing these games, those of us in the room could not see when they ever ended. They were games without end." He went on to say that the graphics were "state of the art", and that the sound "was really neat-o." It is now believed that all of these games have been "put on the back burner", at the request of "higher ups". In an effort to keep our readers informed, we have obtained descriptions of several of the secret "Lynx Loners" as they have been dubbed. Perhaps in time, these games will indeed be released, perhaps as stand alone games, or perhaps as part of a package. Here then, is a brief description of all known LYNX Loners: Atari X-Country Grand Prix II: Players can pick one of ten Grand Prix racing cars, choose engines, tires, fuels, etc. The entire interstate highway system of the United States with scenery is placed in this tiny credit-card sized game! Players must drive the car they choose from New York City, cross country and end up in Sunnyvale, California. What's the catch? Players must drive only from cities with Atari dealers, to other cities with Atari dealers on one tank of gas! Only cities with Atari dealers have gas stations. Watch the good times roll as you drive aimlessly from city to city, only to find out the last Atari dealer closed shop years before. Listened to the digitized sound of the gas station attendant telling you that Atari PLANS to open up a dealership in that city, but there isn't one there yet! Sorry, no gas. Can you drive from New York to Sunnyvale? Only the most dedicated drivers can! Curse of Count Vaporware's Castle: A Dungeons and Dragons type masterpiece. You and up to eight other players are stranded on a dirt road, your car broken down. The only light comes from that spooky castle up ahead. As the butler shows you around, you become helplessly lost in Count Vaporware's Dungeon. Can you ever get out? There is only one way: Collect all of Count Vaporware's promises and use that spent energy against him. Each level has hundreds of broken or delayed Atari promises, from the grotesque CEEDAR, the CD ROM drive from HELL, to SATAN's Falcon, a lost bird who should have been hatched years ago, all the promises and dreams of Atari users comes at you at blinding speed. Finally, you must confront Count Vaporware himself, and kill him using the Jewels of the Long Lost AD Campaign, so cleverly hidden in the castle that not even the Count knows where they are. State of the art graphics and sound! The truly FIRST 1 meg card ever made for a hand-held system. Inside Leonard's Brain: Life And Death IV: The first true to life "reality" based game for any hand held system. You are a neurosurgeon, and you must operate on the brain of a corporate executive. So what? Well, you are shrunken down to the size of a molecule, and are injected into the brain of your patient. Fight off lymphocytes, and other body immune systems. Then, you reach your destination: The Brain. And what a wonder it is. Learn why the executive has a closed mind, and try to open it up. You must implant positive ideas onto his crusty neurons. The more ideas that you imprint, the higher your score. Watch the stock market (your score) go up or down, depending on whether or not the executive can understand your simple commands, such as "AD Campaign", or "Listen to Users". You have hundreds of commands to imprint in your executive's brain, but only a few actually make any sense to the nearly dead patient. If the patient dies, you must make it back in time to start a new career, or you can choose to stay with the carcass, as a demonstration of your loyalty. A real winner, but not for the squeamish. (Not recommended for children.) K.L.A.C.(Kill Logical Ad Campaigns): Perhaps the greatest puzzle game of all time: Figure out the logic of the Atari Advertising Campaigns! In the grand tradition of Tetris and KLAX, you must get three stupid ad campaigns in a row to form a KLAC. You may put them in any order at all, it doesn't matter. Spread the ad campaigns out over such long periods of time that no one remembers them. Put MIDI ads in Science magazines. Tell the public that you are a computer company, then start a multimillion dollar ad campaign for a the LYNX, a game machine! Rack up the score as more and more users buy cheap MS DOS clones, and Macintoshes, because they think you are out of business! Make struggling dealers pay for YOUR ads! Tell unsuspecting gullible dealers that ATARI is the most recognized computer name in the world.Move to Europe and forget the United States for years! Make up a series of excuses, like "We don't have any hardware, so why advertise it?", or "We can't get FCC approval on something that was designed and built three years ago". The real challenge comes in getting the three ad campaigns in a row, because unless you have super-duper batteries, you will never see a series of three! Ad campaigns only come once every three or four years! So be patient with this game. Turn it on, and let it run for several years before a true Atari ad is seen! What fun! The challenge is yours! True three-D graphics. Run in "TURBO MODE" and watch the ad campaigns come once every two years! Rumor has it that there are several other LYNX Loners in the hallowed halls of Sunnyvale.Other titles that we are pretty sure exist, but were unable to confirm were: I WANNA MAC: Collect all the shareware, pd, and commercial products that have been produced for the Atari ST/TT computers that have "just like a MAC" in their instructions or descriptions. UTOPIA III: Create a world where Atari has a leader, a vision, and a eye on the future instead of the bottom line. Ad campaigns, people that listen to the user groups, and products that are delivered when promised, are all a part of Utopia III. A true fantasy adventure. Stock Market Crash: Try to keep all Atari stock at $1.50 per share. Do everything within your power to keep people from investing in your company. Buy, sell, trade, cancel products, cancel R&D, lay off workers, sell warehouses, anger the entire Israeli government, move headquarters, do it all! The person with the lowest per share total at the end of one year wins! All sources at Atari that we have contacted, including several custodians and cafeteria workers, have denied the existence of these games for the Lynx. Although one gardener did in fact say that he has heard several Atari executives say "I wanna MAC without the mayo", which leads us to believe these games are for real. Will we ever learn more about them? Only timex will tell. :-) _____________________________________________________ > CHANGING TIMES STR FOCUS! The Reality of it all... """"""""""""""""""""""""" ATARI CORPORATION - BUSINESS AS USUAL? ====================================== An Opinion ---------- by Dana P. Jacobson Various events in the past few weeks have led me to a 180 degree turn with regard to the potential of the new Falcon 030 machine to turn Atari around in the computer marketplace. It appears that Atari will do nothing more than "business as usual" with this new machine. The attitudes of the company and some of its key employees leads me to believe that Atari is more of a "toy", or hobby, rather than a business. How can Atari manage to survive without changing with the times? Can it be possible that the Tramiels are stuck in a time warp and can't get out of the mid to late 80's? Let's start with this year's annual stockholders report. It showed some heavy losses. It showed a number of six-figure salaries and six-figure outstanding loans. These losses apparently warranted some cost-saving short-term (maybe long-term) plans. Atari Explorer magazine has moved to Sunnyvale. The Lynx division has moved some of its operation to Sunnyvale. Atari Canada is a sales office; apparently Atari Canada and Atari U.S. have been unofficially consolidated into Atari North America. Other Atari offices worldwide have been down-sized as well. Why all the secrecy? It's going to come out sooner or later, so why not just announce these decisions and the reasons behind them? The economy is tight these days; the moves are financially wise. With the Falcon's pending release, Atari needs to consolidate as much as possible to be able to market it effectively. But will it? The recent Forbes article reaffirmed _many_ of the same things that STReport and Atari users worldwide have been stating for the past few years. Forbes did not portray a pretty picture of things past. Forbes did state that a change in business methods could turn things around for Atari with the release of the Falcon. Atari users everywhere have made the same claims. Atari cannot keep going under the premise that they will continue to simply maintain the current userbase only. Let's face it, that userbase is rapidly declining; Atari needs to mass produce and market the Falcon to expand its userbase dramatically in order for it to succeed. Word of mouth just ain't gonna cut it any longer. Who's going to buy the Falcon if no one knows about it? And if they know about it, where are they going to buy it? And if they find a place to buy it, where can they get it repaired or upgraded? What about software? Will there be developers for it? Will Atari be able to bring back former developers and dealers into the fold? It's going to take a massive effort to convince all concerned that this time is going to be different. No longer will these people be suckered into believing that this will be the year without proof! So far, I haven't seen or heard anything that will convince me that those of us in North America will see anything drastic or positive change the current status of our market, if there even is one any longer. The recent Sam Tramiel conferences on GEnie and Delphi, while a terrific public relations decision, did little to inform the North American userbase. The Forbes article was pooh-poohed as "mish-mash, full of half-truths" and a good laugh around the office"! Yet, an Atari employee was _quoted_ as stating that the article was "frighteningly accurate"! Sam Tramiel's attempt to ignore the article was a sham. Admit your mistakes and attempt to correct your shortcomings, Sam. Mr. Tramiel was also close-mouthed about marketing plans. We were told those plans would be announced at the AtariMesse in Dusseldorf this week. Isn't Dusseldorf in Germany? What do the North American plans have to do with Europe? I'm not in Germany, or any other European country. Why wait for Germany to announce plans; if the plans are made, make them known. These two conferences were a perfect opportunity to do more than list the Falcon specs and tell us it will run our current software. You had our attention then; we aren't going to be with you in Germany! You could have hyped this machine and provided those in attendance with some positive comments. Instead, we're told to wait. What was the point of these conferences if you weren't prepared to answer questions about your plans for North America? Yet another blown opportunity for Atari to renew some faith in the company. The recent Hartford show was another display of lack of interest in the North American market by Atari, _especially_ with the Falcon's debut imminent. The Falcon _was_ shown to dealers and developers on Friday night. From those with whom I talked to attending that showing (names withheld to protect the innocent!), some were less than impressed. The showing turned into a very heated and verbal display of dissatisfaction. Even though it was announced that the Falcon will be released here in October, it won't be released in any substantial numbers. What this boils down to is yet another lackluster Christmas for dealers, developers, and users. If things go as predicted, it will be a pretty good tax-return season. Definition: quantities, maybe, by the Spring of '93. The Falcon has been talked about for how long? Why can't they manage to be prepared for the biggest buying season of the year? Bob Brodie must have felt like a verbal punching bag at that Hartford showing of the Falcon! Speaking of Bob Brodie at the Hartford show, what was his purpose for being there other than showing the Falcon to a select few? He certainly made himself scarce for most of the weekend. As director of communications, you would have thought that he'd make himself available to as many attendees as possible. The Atari booth was nothing more than a spot to place a small smattering of leaflets and developer literature. Ultimately, that space could have been put to better use, if nothing else but to provide more breathing space. To Atari's credit, there were a number of TTs and MegaSTes provided for use by developers and vendors, along with the numerous Lynx machines. Bob was around for most of the show on Saturday, and he did conduct a seminar that afternoon which STReport editors, Joe Mirando and myself, attended. Brodie's seminar provided little information other than a repeat of the online conferences. Like the conferences, he wouldn't get into the Falcon's marketing plans. Perhaps after his meeting the night before, Bob was a little apprehensive because his attitude, at times, bordered on arrogance toward some of the attendees' questions. Even though there was at least one in the audience who may have deserved such treatment (no, Joe and I were silent throughout the entire seminar!), as director of communications, Bob was Atari's representative at the show and probably should have maintained his composure better. The person to whom I'm referring wasn't a heckler, but he was certainly insistent in asking his questions. Although I can understand Bob's hesitance to look in the guy's direction for a question, that's what Bob was there to do, answer questions as best he could. It was unnecessary to maintain that arrogance whenever this person asked a question. After the showroom closed for the day at 6:00 pm, there was a small gathering for showgoers upstairs for a cocktail hour. Most people probably chose to take a short rest before the banquet started at 7:00, understandably. I didn't expect to see many of the developers and vendors at this gathering because it was a long day for them. What did surprise me was that Bob and a number of developers chose _not_ to attend the banquet and, instead, went out to eat elsewhere. Okay, I understand that the meal was not what you'd expect or desire at a facility such as the Sheraton. And, knowing Bob's penchant for seafood, he may have wanted to avail himself of a seafood dinner elsewhere. But, he and his entourage (whoever that may include) never even bothered to drop by when they returned from dinner! This banquet was one of the show's events and the proverbial guest of honor was not present. Why not? Everyone that was at the banquet was asking why. Many wanted an opportunity to perhaps sit, share a drink, and talk with Bob in a relaxed atmosphere! He may have been a bit tired, but so was everyone else who attended. You have no idea how many times I heard someone ask Brian Gockley or Doug Finch, "where's Bob?", to which all they could do was shrug their shoulders and say "I don't know." People were legitimately upset that Bob didn't feel that this function warranted his presence, even for a little while! On Sunday, Bob didn't even make it into the showroom until after noon (the doors opened at 10). More people were disappointed that they couldn't at least say hello. I was surprised to see Bob at the STReport seminar, even if it were for only the last 10 minutes or so. When he sees the video of the seminar, he'll know that we were nothing shy of positive throughout our talk and question & answer period although we were asked a few poignant questions. <<grin>> I think that one of the things that bothered me the most about Bob's attitude toward the whole show, and perhaps a few shows in general, was a comment that he made during his seminar. First of all, it's my opinion that Bob was not overly pleased to be at this show. His lack of interest was obvious to more than just me. Secondly, with the release of the Falcon imminent, it behooves Atari to be overly visible, especially at these scheduled Atari shows, regardless of size. Now to the comment. Without being asked about Atari's schedule of appearances for upcoming shows, Bob remarked that he "didn't think Atari would be attending the WAACE show this year." He was very careful that he didn't come out and clearly state that Atari would not attend. He also claimed that the west coast users were complaining that Atari was spending too much time on the east coast and ignoring those on the west. Now, I can understand people on the west coast wanting to have a piece of Atari's attention, or specifically Bob Brodie. But, they haven't been ignored. There have been Atari shows in the western half of the country already this year, and at least the Glendale show soon to come. So, why the comment, and why now? All of the preceding shows have been planned well in advance, including Atari's participation. So, all of the sudden, Atari might not attend this year's WAACE!! Bob, or whomever directed you to make that statement, how stupid do you think people are? When are the games and politics going to end? IF Atari were going to attend only certain shows to play up to this notion that someone might be offended, then Atari should either attend every show possible (a great idea in lieu of the Falcon coming out), or determine, somehow, which shows will provide the most support for those users who will be likely to attend. But, do it at the beginning of the year, when most show dates have been at least tentatively announced; you don't do it with less than two months to go! WAACE, as past experience has shown, is _the_ premier show on the east coast. It is a highly visible and well established show that warrants Atari's attention. Similarly, the Glendale has established itself as _the_ show on the west coast. Would Atari consider the possibility of not attending that show? Of course not, and it shouldn't. So let's stop playing games and politics, Bob and/or Atari, shall we? Why don't you tell people that you're not satisfied with opinions expressed by past WAACE show planners? Why don't you tell people you're upset that you did not get an opportunity to sit on this year's planning committee? Why don't you tell people that you're not happy that you couldn't persuade the WAACE planners to disallow an STReport seminar with Ralph Mariano? Why don't you tell people that since you couldn't control what went on with the pending WAACE show, you've all but decided that Atari will not attend, as a ..payback. Shall I go on? The time for the games and politics are OVER. Atari is about to embark on a new adventure which could determine its fate in today's marketplace. You can ill-afford to split the userbase any more than has been done already. It is time for you to begin the healing process and focus all of your efforts to promote this new machine. We at STReport are here and waiting to help support the Falcon with all that we can. We'll also be here to report the failings, should that be your desired path. I hope that you choose the most positive direction; the entire userbase, worldwide, awaits you. __________________________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL "Rumors Tidbits Predictions Observations Tips" """"""""""""""""""""" - Hartford, CN DEALER MEETING ERUPTS INTO SHOUTING MATCH! ------------ This past weekend, (08/14/92) in Hartford Connecticut, there was a meeting prior to the actual AtariFest. It was for dealers only. In attendance were the pride of Atari as far as top quality dealers were concerned. When Ron Smith, the new marketing guru for Atari made it known that this Christmas would also be a bleak affair product wise, the dealers could stand no more. They let Smith and Brodie boisterously know, in no uncertain terms, of their outrage and intentions for the future as far as Atari was concerned. One dealer, who shall remain unnamed, claimed it was "business as usual" with the old "hooray for us and the hell with you" attitude in full blossom again. Our reporter, (in attendance), was informed by at least four dealers that they were going to sell what was on hand and then that would be it. One other dealer was overheard saying he had been "had" for the last time by Atari's hype. Another dealer said of the Falcon; "Its a 1040STe on STEROIDS!". He embellished further; he would be "hard pressed to present this machine in a serious environment... say alongside a TT030 and a MSTe." He did point out; "though the machine has impressive specs, its appearance is the pits. Serious computerists seek out units with a separate keyboard and expansion slots. I don't see this machine making any inroads into the business or commercial computing community." The general opinion after the meeting's close was if Atari didn't get these machines out and in quantity before the end of the year it was all over. The same dealer said; "Of the twenty some odd full service dealers around the USA, they'll all be gone before long if things don't change and change fast." """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" "Another typical Atari Dealer's Christmas!" """"""""""""""""" "Dealers were disappointed to find out that they would not be available in the U.S. in time for Christmas. Many estimates placed actual U.S.A. shipments of FALCONS and no earlier than April of 1993." ... LOCK AND LOAD! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > ABCO SPECIALS! STR InfoFile * NEW 1992 Prices! 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Prices also reflect various cabinet/power supply configurations (over sixty configurations are available, flexibility is unlimited) * IBM - MSDOS - AMIGA - ATARI - APPLE - MACINTOSH * ALL UNITS COMPATIBLE WITH --> SUPERCHARGER - AT/PC SPEED - GCR LARGER units are available - (Custom Configurations) *>> NO REPACKS OR REFURBS USED! <<* - Custom Walnut WOODEN Cabinets - TOWER - AT - XT Cabinets - Atari SLM 804, SLM 804PCV Laser Toner Kits Memorex 2108, 5287 Oasys Laserpro 5287, 5308, Express 830, Express Series II Silver Express, Gold Express ** $41.95 shipping Included ** Atari SLM 605 Laser Toner Kits AT&T 593, CAF Laser, DSI Laser, DTP Systems, Epson EPL-6000 Facit P6060, Fontx Syslaser, Harris3M 2006, M-Tally MT905 Microtek Turbo PS, OAS Laserpro Executive, Packard Bell 9500 TEC LB 1305, Toshiba PageLaser 6 ** $41.95 shipping included ** (TWO Toner Carts Incl.) Panasonic Laser Toner Kits Panasonic KX -P 400 series, Panafax UF-750 Facsimile ** $41.95 shipping included ** -- ALL TONER KITS * IN STOCK * -- * Toner Starter Kits-$62.95 * * Replacement (804) Drums-$186.95 * ABCO is PROUD to announce the acquisition of the exclusive U.S.A. distribution rights for ** Bitblit Software's ///Turbo Board BBS. ** This fine Atari ST BBS system software and user support is available through ABCO to all Turbo customers in the USA. Call for current pricing. >> MANY other ATARI related products STOCKED << ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED -* 12 month FULL Guarantee *- (A FULL YEAR of COVERAGE) WE PAY SHIPPING & INSURANCE! >UPS!< (Cont. USA) QUANTITY & USERGROUP DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE! _________________________________________ DEALERS and DISTRIBUTORS WANTED! please, call for details VISA - MASTERCARD - NO SURCHARGE! Personal and Company Checks accepted. ORDER YOUR NEW UNIT TODAY! CALL: 1-800-562-4037 -=**=- CALL: 1-904-783-3319 Customer Orders ONLY Customer Service 9am - 8pm EDT Tues thru Sat ABCO is EXPANDING!! CALL FOR INFORMATION! SEND FOR YOUR NEW ABCO CATALOG TODAY! THE CATALOGS ARE DONE! & BEING MAILED! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International Online Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STR Online! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" August 21, 1992 Since 1987 copyright (c) 1987-92 All Rights Reserved No.8.34 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff, PCReport, STReport, AMReport, MCReport. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Each reprint must include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. The entire publication and/or portions therein may not be edited in any way without prior written permission. The entire contents, at the time of publication, are believed to be reasonably accurate. The STR editors, contributors and or staff are not responsible for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
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