Atari Explorer Online: 17-Oct-92 #9217From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/20/92-07:06:17 PM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: Atari Explorer Online: 17-Oct-92 #9217 Date: Tue Oct 20 19:06:17 1992 ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE MAGAZINE ------------------------------ Published and Copyright (c)1992, Atari Corporation 1196 Borregas Avenue Sunnyvale, California 94088 ~ President, Atari Corporation........................Sam Tramiel ~ VP Software Development.........................Leonard Tramiel ~ Developer Relations Manager........................Bill Rehbock ~ Director, Marketing Services.........................Don Thomas ~ Director of Communications...........................Bob Brodie ~ Corporate Director, International Music Markets....James Grunke ~ Atari Explorer Magazine............................Mike Lindsay ~ Atari Explorer Online Magazine.......................Ron Kovacs ----------------------------------------------------------------------- October 17, 1992 Volume 1, Number 17 Issue #17 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- The Editors Desk - By Ron Kovacs This is ISSUE #17 of Atari Explorer Online Magazine. If you missed our last edition, not available on the pay services in it's initial release, we noted in this column that we would be returning to bi-weekly publishing. However, that may change to a further in-between release schedule as Z*Net Atari Online Magazine returns next week. There is NOTHING to read between the lines here. The main reason we are re-releasing Z*Net Online issues is for industry coverage and commentary within articles and columns. Atari Explorer Online WILL continue and contain OFFICIAL Atari related information, comments from the Director of Communications, Atari Explorer Magazine reprints, Atari Press Releases, and other Atari specific information. Z*Net will return with some of the original staff and aggressive community reporting, the Z*Net Newswire and coverage of the computer industry. There will be more information forthcoming on thie changes, so stay tuned for more! | | | THE Z*NET COMPUTER CALENDAR 1992-1993 | | | Schedule of Shows and Events | | | ---------------------------------------------------------------- /// October 24 The Houston Atari Safari at the Houston Marriott Astrodome, 2100 South Braeswood. Guest Speakers include Bob Brodie, CodeHeads and Double Click Software. Arrangements have been made with the Marriott Astrodome for a special room rate for Atari Safari Attendees. The normal room rate is $79.00. Make your room reservations by October 12th and identify yourself as an Houston Atari Safari attendee and you will qualify for the show rate of $59.00. Reservations can be made by calling the Marriott at 713-797-9000 or calling the national Marriott number of 800-228-9290. For more informationand times call Bill Kithas 713-855-0815 or Harold Gailey 713-988-3712. /// November 16th-20th Fall COMDEX, the biggest computer trade show in the USA. Atari will again have a major presence at the Las Vegas, Nevada show. The Falcon line of computer is expected to dominate the Atari booth, with outstanding demonstrations for the dealer and distributor attendees to consider. /// December 4-6, 1992 The Computer Graphics Show 1992 at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in New York City. This is a CMC event. For more information call; (203) 852-0500, extension 234. /// January 1993 The Winter Consumer Electronics Show comes to Las Vegas, Nevada. CES is an electronic playground, with everything in the way of high tech toys for kids and adults. Game consoles and hand-held entertainment items like the Atari Lynx are big here, and Atari will attend with a hotel suite showroom. Contact Atari Corp for more information on seeing their display at 408-745-2000. /// January 6-9, 1993 MacWorld Expo in San Fransisco California, Sponsored by MacWorld Magazine. Titled San Fransisco '93 at the Moscone Center. /// February 1993 NAMM is the largest conclave of musicians each year. Held in Los Angeles at the Anaheim Convention Center, the variety of sights at the National Association of Music Merchandisers is wilder than at Disneyland, just next door. Atari was the first computer manufacturer to ever display at NAMM in 1987, and has become a standard at the shows. A trade show for music stores, distributors, and professionals of every strata, entertainers are seen everywhere at NAMM. Contact James Grunke at Atari Corp for more information at 408-745-2000. /// March 1993 CeBIT, the world's largest computer show with 5,000 exhibitors in 20 halls, is held annually in Hannover, Germany. Atari traditionally struts its newest wares there, usually before it's seen in the USA or anywhere else. In '93, the Atari 040 machines should be premiering, and this is the likely venue. Third party developers also use this show to introduce new hardware and software, so expect a wave of news from CeBIT every year. Atari Corp and the IAAD coordinate cross-oceanic contacts to promote worldwide marketing of Atari products, and this show is an annual touchstone of that effort. Contact Bill Rehbock at Atari Corp for information at 408-745-2000. /// August 3-6, 1993 MacWorld Expo at the Boston World Trade Center, Bayside Exposition Center and sponsored by MacWorld Magazine. This event is titled Boston '93. /// September 18-19th, 1993 The Glendale Show returns with the Southern California Atari Computer Faire, V.7.0, in suburban Los Angeles, California. This has been the year's largest domestic Atari event, year after year. Contact John King Tarpinian at the user group HACKS at 818-246-7286 for information. /// September 20-22, 1993 The third MacWorld Expo, titled Canada '93 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, sponsored by MacWorld Magazine. Editor Note: Parts of this column were provided by AtariUser Magazine. | | | ATARINET | | | By Bill Scull | | | ---------------------------------------------------------------- AtariNet - You have been hearing about it, noticed a few messages referencing it, and wonder what it is?? It's a new network for any BBS that supports the Atari home computer. It's primary intent is to bring all BBS's that support Atari users together. It is easily available NOW with the FidoDoor or FiFo program for the FoReM or Turbo BBS program. After you have installed the door or utility, you will be ready to access this growing and sure to be, popular Atari network. There are currently several nodes already participating, and more are welcome to join. The following is a listing of some of the AtariNet Echoes already established and a few on the drawing board. AtariNet SysOps AtariNet echoes discussion Atari products for sale/wanted Atari supported BBSes BinkleyTerm ST support Atari DeskTop Publishing FIDOdoor Support FidoNet ST discussion Atari general discussion Atari graphics IOSmail Support Atari programming Atari sound/music Atari tech talk Atari Explorer Online Magazine If you'd like further information or would like to join please contact one of the following people. US - South East Bill Scull Fido 1:363/112 AtariNet 51:1/0 US - North East Dean Lodzinski Fido 1:107/633 AtariNet 51:4/0 US - Midwest Terry May Fido 1:209/745 AtariNet 51:2/0 US - West Tony Castorino Fido 1:102/1102 AtariNet 51:3/0 Canada Don Liscombe AtariNet 51:5/0 Europe Daron Brewood Fido 2:255/402 AtariNet 51:6/0 | | | T-25 ACCELERATOR REVIEW | | | By G.T. Cohen | | | ---------------------------------------------------------------- 1990-92:The T16/T25 Accelerator Boards: A worthy upgrade Now that 030 boards and computers are here, should anyone even consider a 16 mhz or 25 mhz board? This article is a personal account of the pros and cons of the two boards. My reason for purchasing an accelerator board was to improve the slow scrolling-speed of text in Word Writer, the popular ST word processor. Even with software scrolling accelerators, like Turbo ST and Warp 9, the speed was still annoyingly slow, especially for paragraph re-formats which such programs could not accelerate. The T16's 40% speed improvement was very noticeable when scrolling through a large document. The improvement was not doubled, but the scrolling speed was now quite tolerable. In comparison, the text scrolled as fast as an 386-SX running the Windows-Write word processor. For most applications the improvement was about 150% or 12 mhz; only for math-heavy functions like Lharcing and Arcing did the speed approach 200 percent. Printmaster improved tremendously, as did desktop operations, search and replace routines, and hard drive operations when using a disk-cache. PC Ditto software improved in scrolling by 40-50% with the T16, I have not tried the Spectre GCR Macintosh emulator. Even PC Ditto II, the hardware emulator board, improved in speed from 4.77 to 5.2 mhz. These emulators were untested on the T25. The T25's improvement is very noticeable; dialog boxes and item selectors appear instantly. All GEM operations improved dramatically, as did general hard drive cache performance in terms of data verification when loading and saving. With the exception of most games, all other programs are noticeably improved in speed. Screen re-draws, scrolling, and text reformatting on Word Writer are very acceptable at 25 mhz. STalker, the popular terminal program, slowed down less when doing background operations like group-dialing, uploading and downloading. STeno operated even faster, search and replace operations were lightening fast. QWK offline message readers, now used by most bulletin boards and modem users, use ARC and LZH utilities, which are most improved by accelerator boards. Load times for all compressed files are reduced considerably; most of my files are compressed using DC Squish v.1.2, like Word Writer, 'squished' from 150k to 75k, and take about one second to unsquish at 25 mhz (about three seconds without). Games that use compression, like Dungeon Master, also de-compress faster although the disk drives are themselves never accelerated. All these speed increases, even if they seem small, save time in the long run, especially if you use programs in AUTO folders and desktop accessories, which are usually accessed every time you power-up. About three out of every four games tested, due to their timing routines, showed little or no speed improvement with either the T16 or T25. Games like Blood Money, P-47, Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Paradroid '90, Toki, Rambo III, Terry's Big Adventure (a Super-Mario type game) Stunt Car Racer and Super Hang-On improved only slightly. Some games improved wildly, like flight simulators and most adventure games like Populace, Hardball, Sim City, and Major Motion (whose chunky, awkward scrolling, with the T16 had ice-smooth speed and handling). Starglider I and II, Plutos, Arctic Fox, Vroom, Outrun, and the four- disk Formula One Grand Prix improved greatly in both scrolling speed and 'smoothness'. Arcade enthusiasts will be pleased to find that Rampage, Bubble Bobble, and Operation Thunderbolt and Operation Wolf run nicely at 16 mhz; about the same speed as the arcade version. Joust at 16 mhz is playable at high levels where before it would slow down when too many objects were on-screen. At 25 mhz, game speed improvements are even more pronounced. Rampage is actually too fast: characters and sprites flicker and negatively affect playability. With games like Vroom, the ST is transformed into an arcade-speed dream machine. Pacland, while improved with at 16 mhz, runs at arcade speed with the T25. Another World and Prince of Persia, two graphic adventure games which suffer slowdowns due to complex animation sequences, improved dramatically, and ran at a very respectable speed with the T25. Dragon's Lair and Space Ace animations ran faster and more smoothly. Most noticeably, accelerated games ran fast enough to cause great frustration when played again at only 8 mhz. Chessmaster 2000, and shareware board games like Monopoly, Sorry and STrabble (a Scrabble clone) improved dramatically, and made all games played against the computer more enjoyable by reducing time needed to calculate moves. For the T16, compatibility problems occurred with Spectrum and its pictures, which can only be run or displayed at 8 mhz, and about a dozen games which use hardware tricks tied to an 8 mhz clock speed, such as Enchanted Lands (and many other games made by Thalion), Silent Service II, and Prehistoric. If 100% game compatibility or Spectrum use is important to you, the T16 accelerator board is obviously not for you. The 16 mhz Adspeed board, as well as Fast-Tech's T20 and T25 boards will run at exactly 8 mhz, solving the problem in all but a few cases. The T25 is able to software switch to 8 mhz, which virtually guarantees nearly 100% software compatibility. Of all applications, only DC Format refused to work at 25 mhz; it would report an error and not format; but at 8 mhz it worked flawlessly. The Magic Shadow Archiver (MSA), a disk- compression and de-compression utility, would report an error but would still work perfectly at 25 mhz. I strongly recommend the installation of a hardware switch for T25 owners who enjoy games. The T25 boots in either 25 mhz or 8 mhz, and requires a 1k program to switch speeds. The latter mode means that you must install the switch program every time you want your ST to run at 25 mhz. Installing the switch program in AUTO folders, or finding a disk with the program and swapping it is a time-consuming process compared to flicking a switch. In addition, Double Click's freeware/ public domain 'DC Bootit' program must be used with many protected games if they are to run at T25 speed, as their disk formats are often encrypted, preventing the program from being written to disk. With the hardware switch, speeds may only be switched in boot-up mode -any other time will cause a crash. The price of speed? Accelerator boards of 16 mhz cost about $200-$275 from many mail order outlets. Most boards require expert installation, which may add $50-$100 to the total cost. The T25 costs $380 US funds, but it is still less expensive than the 030 boards offered by Fast-Tech and Gadgets (which cost about $600-$1100). I have used Word Writer on a TT, and while it is faster than the T25, for the difference in cost and software compatibility, the T25 wins hands down. Having owned accelerator boards for a few years, I can say that it stopped me from looking at PC clones as my only escape from Word Writer's slow scrolling. I've tried switching down to 8 mhz to see if I could manage well without it, and the result is an overwhelming "No." I'd sooner learn the PD ST Writer or the cryptic ProText than return to Word Writer at 8 mhz. In all, the added zip of an accelerator board in many utilities and daily applications like arcing, windows, dialog boxes and spell-checkers, is well worth the cost. G.T. Cohen is a 23 year old University (of Toronto) student, majoring in History and Criminology and has used Atari ST computers since 1986, and is active in local Atari groups and BBS's. | | | TO BE OR NOT TO BE - PART TWO An Adventure In BBS LAND | | | By Bob Smith | | | ---------------------------------------------------------------- Future installments of this column will appear in Z*Net Atari Online Magazine. Look for the return next week! When I was last with you, I was telling you about the formidable task of learning about "Remote Sysoping". As I immersed my self into this, the questions came fast and furious....do I move this file there or do I delete this file, do I validate this user at that level, how do I go into that utility to do this verification.... At this point, the overriding question of "To Be Or Not To Be" became more and more difficult to answer. Anyway, the particular BBS program that I was starting to learn was the 8 Bit version of FoRem. While there are several other BBS programs that are just as good, this program was made available to me by one of the local warriors (sysops) and he provided guidance and encouragement. After all, I was learning the very structure of his BBS and in my blundering forward (or backwards, depending on your point of view) I could very easily bring down the BBS. I read and re-read the documentation, and most times could make little sense of it and just had to keep at it on a trial and (more than one occasion) error basis. This particular sysop was extremely patient and understanding. He would just sigh and explain where I had gone wrong and proceed to let me make the same mistake again. Before I continue, I just want to thank that 8 Bit sysop by name. He is George Manolas and he has since left the 8 Bit world and gone onto other things. One of the nice things in getting involved was that I found other people in this net that were most kind and were willing to help me. To this day, I have found that most all of the sysops that I have gotten to know are real nice and only too glad and willing to help. More about this later. Now back to the my ongoing journey. In learning the usage of the BBS from the other side, the perspective of the user is forever changed. As a user, I never gave a thought as to what went on with the BBS and if I happen to hit a wrong key, the message base might lock up or the file base might wind up in Hong Kong or the sysops modem might die from fright, etc. Before I started this journey, as a user I would just dial the particular BBS, hear the funny little tone and then the next thing I know I was connected. Boy, I thought to myself, that's power. At any rate, I would read messages, send them, upload and download files and generally do what good users do, use the BBS. Again the question came to mind, do I just enjoy or do I start working as a "remote" sysop? I started to view users in a different light, something like the store owner views the customer. These users were the ones that the BBS was there for, but like some customers there were a few that were the spoilers. I learned that a very, very few would log on, try to cause havoc and log off. I guess they thought of it as a game, something on the order of "catch me, if you can"!! With all of the things that I was learning on how and what a BBS was, I wasn't prepared for any downsides of BBS operations and this was a very definite problem. I was giving thought to the true sysops and what they have to cope with and couldn't reconcile in my mind if the aggrevation was worth it or not. (To be or not to be). I decided I would not try and come up with an answer until I learned more about the world of the BBS as a whole. As my training went on, I started to pay attention to the various Sysop message bases on the various boards that I called. The information that appeared in this forem was extensive and oft times confusing. At any rate, I would read and try and remember some of tips that appeared. Some of which I would discuss with other sysops and ask what would be seemingly endless questions. For instance, I found out that the ST BBS world was very different from the 8 Bit world, but alot of similarities existed. This learning process took place over a number of months and about the same time a very good friend of mine by the name of Dave Tipton 'tricked' me into looking at an ST that I had acquired, but really didn't think much about that part of the computer world. I was having enough of a time getting my feet down in 8 Bit land, especially with trying to learn and decide if I wanted to be a BBS warrior. So much to learn, so much to think about, so much many questions and not so many readily apparent answers. Oh, what a headache I was building up on a daily basis. Perhaps being a sysop, in whatever form, was too much for just a lowly user like me and the answer to the question was "Not to be", but I kept having this nagging question in the back of my mind and I pushed away the idea of not going on. So I kept learning, watching, making mistakes and at a rare time doing something right. This fraternity of sysoping was still much beyond my grasp, but not entirely. I had just reached about a quarter of my journey, when a new problem (for me) started to prevail......... | | | ATARIUSER REVIEWS | | | Reprinted from the August 1992 Edition | | | ---------------------------------------------------------------- Arabesque Professional (ST, STe, TT) Gribnif Software has brought another German import to the USA in ARABESQUE PROFESSIONAL, a premium monochrome draw/paint program. Like CodeHead's Megapaint, Arabesque makes the most of two different graphics worlds--vector (draw) and raster (paint). It runs in any resolution of monochrome (ST/TT) and requires at least one meg of memory and a double sided disk. Arabesque Pro (there is no "vanilla" Arabesque in the USA) is supported by an excellent 172 page manual and a QUICK TOUR section that holds your hand while you get used to the different functions. The 3-ring binder and disk are housed in a professional looking box. Arabesque presents a full-screen work area, plus a small strip at the top with the cursor coordinates. The (many) toolboxes appear only on command, saving screen space but making it more difficult to maneuver in the beginning. After a somewhat steep learning curve, this system becomes very efficient, and functions can be performed with the mouse or keyboard equivalents. Clicking on an icon or hitting the space bar toggles between the mapped and vector parts of the program. Many icons are ambiguous at first, requiring extensive use of the manual. But the same icons are used with both the mapped and vector menus when possible, making it easier to learn and use the functions in the pop-up menus. The Bitmap mode is the "paint" mode, with all the tools and functions you'd expect. Also available are arc segments for both circles and ellipse's, parallelograms, polygons, and text. Extra special features include a way of filling shapes with either a gradient fill that can be rotated in 90 degree increments, and the ability to fill an irregular shape with whatever is in the buffer, including graphics that can be loaded into any irregular shaped object. You can also loosely cut out irregular images and Arabesque will shrink the outer edge of your cut to the shape of your image, allowing you to paste it somewhere else without the area outside your image cutting into another image. Special block functions allow you to manipulate the block in the buffer to invert, contour (outline), smooth, mirror, rotate, bend, pull (distort width and length) etc. You can undo changes made from just the last operation or from the last time you accessed the pop-up menu. Vector ("draw") mode presents the usual object-art stuff like circles, ellipses, arc segments, triangles, polygons, and bezier curves. The nature of vector drawing takes advantage of abilities to stretch, layer, and re-organize multi-part drawings. The vector mode text function is more extensive than the bitmap mode text function, making it possible to edit text after it has been typed in. Images can be copied between bitmap and vector sections, enabling creation and saving of art with components of both kinds. Creating a bitmap image from a vector is a snap, allowing conversions of clip art for use in some bit-only layout programs. Further, the ability to hand trace bitmaps with vectors allows you to make jaggie-free blowups of any scan art. Of course, that's a tedious process for large projects, and Gribnif's CONVECTOR program (separately available at under $100) will quickly convert bitmapped files into vector format, and will operate as an integrated part of Arabesque. Arabesque allows you to use all of your tools in the magnify mode, just as you would in your regular viewing mode. This is the first time I've seen this type of thing, and it's a welcome addition to the program. You can load/save in all the standard monochrome bit formats, including the Arabesque default graphic format (.ABM), .IMG, .PAC (Stad), PI3 (un- compressed ), and .IFF, plus Calamus .CVG format and GEM/3, as well as .AOB (Arabesque OBJECT). The AOB format takes advantage of all of Arabesque features like placing bitmap images in a vector drawing, and it's much smaller than other formats. Arabesque uses GDOS fonts but doesn't require GDOS itself, even for printing. Gribnif also says that Arabesque will work perfectly with FSMGDOS but that you are not currently able to manipulate the fonts as you might do with a program like OUTLINE ART from ISD Marketing. Further, a font converter program for making GEM/GDOS files out of SIGNUM format fonts is included. While it doesn't have the control over the minute details that Megapaint does, Arabesque offers the ability to freely experiment with the editing of files that you are working on. Different versions of a picture can reside in a number of screens in memory at the same time. I can cut, paste or do anything between screens, to experiment with as many different combinations of effects as I can conjure up. Up to 20 pages can reside in memory. All in all, this is a powerful, solid, productive tool that's great for someone who likes to take an idea and play with it, changing it on a whim. But its professional level power carries a professional level price. If you plan no more than simple manipulation of images that are created by other programs, you might be served just as well by some of the less expensive, simpler paint programs on the market. For a graphic artist who is serious about the work, Arabesque will stimulate and accelerate the creative process, something money can seldom buy. Arabesque Professional, $199.95 from Gribnif Software (new address!), P.O. Box 779, Northampton, MA 01061. Phone (413) 247-5620. Fax line (24 hours): (413) 247-5622. -- Steve Blackburn and John Nagy Lynx Casino (Lynx) Video gambling games are hard to promote. While such a game lets players experience the thrills safely, if there are no real winnings, why bother? Lynx Casino doesn't resolve this paradox, but it does offer a risk-free alternative to Atlantic City. It's a collection of five games: Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Slot Machines, and Video Poker. You start off with $1000, and can get two loans of $500 each, but when the money's gone, the game ends. You can also ComLynx with a friend for a mini-junket. The best thing about Lynx Casino is that it accurately captures the experience of casino gambling. Authentic rules, odds, and payoffs are used, and each game allows the same options that the real offers. For instance, Craps supports everything from Pass and No Pass to Hard Way and Horn bets, while Roulette uses a Double Zero wheel and allows numerous number combinations. The only discrepancy is that you're always the dice shooter on Craps. Statistics are kept for each game session, allowing Lynx Casino to be played on two levels: casual players can have fun making bets, while self-proclaimed experts can develop and exercise strategies. Graphics in Lynx Casino are decent overall, with a touch of cartoon whimsy as you guide your on-screen persona among the tables, staff, and bystanders. You can talk to a few. Most time is spent at the games, which are drawn with good use of color and detail. Sound effects are not as interesting; a variety of tunes play during the game, though they can be turned off if desired. Other than that, sounds are few and fairly simple. Lynx Casino is a good, no-nonsense video version of the Vegas experience. If you want to refine your Craps stratagem, or just enjoy blowing imaginary money, this game will easily fit the bill. Atari Corp., $39.95. -- Robert Jung Hydra (Lynx) You are known as Hydra, though no government admits you exist. You are a mercenary whose specialty is the transport of "sensitive" packages, using your Hydrafoil, a one-man speedboat. There is danger from those who don't want your cargo delivered. Only the best survive, but you are the best. Maybe. This is Hydra for the Lynx, an adaptation of the Atari Games arcade title. From behind your boat, you pilot through nine levels of rivers and oceans, grabbing money bags for bonuses and crystals for fuel. There are gun embankments, enemy ships, jets and more, but you can fly temporarily to escape. Finish a mission and you compete for money in a bonus stage, then buy more weapons for the next job. A hit will destroy your Hydrafoil, but that's okay, as survival is measured in fuel; the game ends only when you run out. This version is slightly easier than the arcade, yet remains of average difficulty and offers unlimited continues. Objects appear in fixed orders, but later levels use a lot of enemies and a rarity of fuel as challenges. The controls seem backwards; you press down to accelerate and up to decelerate, but this doesn't affect playability. Unlike Roadblasters, the steering is gradual, making driving and aiming easier. The digitized graphics of the arcade appear fine on the Lynx, though the colors make some items a little muddled. Judging collisions requires experience; initial forays will have crashes with obstacles you thought you avoided. Sounds are good, and consist of your engines, chimes when items are retrieved, assorted weapons fire, and lots of explosions. Hydra borrows heavily from the earlier game Roadblasters, and offers little that's truly different. That doesn't make it any less fun, and this version is a good adaptation that will be enjoyed by action players and fans of the original. Atari Corp., $39.95. -- Robert Jung | | | THE ATARI AMATEUR PRESS | | | By Tim Duarte | | | ---------------------------------------------------------------- The following article is reprinted in Atari Explorer Online by permission of AtariUser magazine. It MAY NOT be further reprinted without specific permission of AtariUser. AtariUser Magazine, 249 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 332 Glendale, CA 91203 Telephone/Voicemail: 818- 246-6277, FAX: 818-242-2129 Andy Eddy gave us an overview of the commercial Atari press. But there's a whole other world of publishing that many Atari users are not familiar with--an entirely different level of Atari support called the Atari "Amateur Press." The Amateur Press consists of small newsletters on the various subdivisions of Atari products and interests. They are usually brief, averaging only 8 to 16 pages, but they contain interesting and useful information that you won't find in the professional magazines. Each newsletter varies in content, but most of them contain similar parts: hardware and software reviews, game solutions and tips, reader-submitted letters, question and answer columns, "how-to" projects, programming tips, classified ads, and more. Don't expect to receive a full-color pages from the amateur press. Most newsletters are created with desktop publishing software and the printed pages are usually photocopies. Remember, amateur publishers do not have large budgets or paid writers. What they do have is a network of highly informed and highly motivated readers who each take their participation in the newsletter very seriously. While this often makes the coverage uneven or quirky, it is seldom boring, at least to others who share the particular bent of the specific publication. The following are Atari-related newsletters, with a brief description and contact information: APE (Atari Portable Entertainment) Clinton Smith, 2104 North Kostner, Chicago, IL 60639. Subscription: $6 for 5 issues (1 year) AU's Lynx Columnist Clinton Smith provides a comprehensive newsletter for the Lynx gaming system. It's published quarterly, with a special Christmas issue. Clint packs 16 pages with news features, detailed solutions, strategies, and tips, step-by-step instructions on how to find "easter eggs" in the games, and more. APE is the leading newsletter in the Lynx community. Classic Systems & Games Monthly Jeff Adkins, 11 Windsor Attica, NY 14011. Subscription: $16.50 for 10 issues (one year) ($1.75 for sample). Jeff and his staff not only write columns about the 2600, 5200, and 7800, but they tackle Intellivision, Colecovision, Odyssey 2, and other classic games systems as well. CS&GM issues are large (July was 18 pages) and published monthly. A "game of the month" is showcased in each issue, and just reading the reviews makes you want to set up and revive your old game systems and join in on the fun. Digital Press Joe Santulli, 29 Cupsaw Ave., Ringwood, NJ 07456. Subscriptions: $6 for 6 bi-monthly issues (one year). "Gaming as a Way of Life." Very similar to CS&GM, Joe and the staff at DP cover all classic systems and the July/August issue was 22 pages. The difference is that coverage of new systems, such as the Sega Genesis and Nintendo, also fill the pages. The newsletter also has its own distinct personality, which comes across as a friendly, yet punchy style. Columns worthy of note are the Worst of/Best of software articles. Take It With You Perfection Applied, 454 West 1010, North Orem, UT 84057. Subscriptions: $18 for 6 bi-monthly issues (one year). This newsletter is geared toward the palmtop computer user. Not only does it provide Portfolio coverage, but also covers the Sharp Wizard and Hewlett Packard 95LX. Time-saving tips, useful tricks, and how to's are featured. 2600 Connection Tim Duarte, P.O. Box 3993, Westport, MA 02790. Subscription: $6 for 6 bi-monthly issues. Would you believe there is a newsletter that is devoted to supporting the ancestor of all videogame systems -- the Atari 2600? I should know, I'm the publisher and editor! My latest, issue #11, featured an interview with Warren Robinett (author of Adventure), the solution to Crossbow, a story on rare and collectible games, and more in its eight pages. The Lynx Phil Patton, 131 Dake Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Subscriptions: $12 for 12 monthly issues (one year). Phil's newsletter provides coverage for the portable Lynx, Atari ST, and oddly enough, gaming on the IBM PC. Other columns include Ask the Wiz Kid (a question and answer column), ST Action (game column), and Ramblings of an Amoeba (the IBM column). The Shape of Gaming to Come Darren Krolewski, 12311 Conservation Trail, Utica, MI 48315. Subscriptions: $5 for 6 bi-monthly issues (one year). Darren's newsletter focuses on many of today's newer systems, including the Lynx. Also, the newsletter discusses where the industry is headed. Virtual Reality was featured in a recent issue. Darren also publishes a "closet classic" review once and awhile. ZAP! Terence Micharoni, 142 Justin Ave., Staten Island, NY 10306. Subscriptions: $6 for 6 bi-monthly issues (one year). Terence provides coverage of the cartridge-based Atari systems, as well as the 8-bit computer games. He also supports a large number of non-Atari classic systems, too. The head-to-head game system comparisons, such as the Atari 5200 vs. Colecovision or the Atari 2600 vs. Odyssey 2, are quite interesting to read. ZAP! recently expanded to 10 pages. I'm sure there are other newsletters out there, and I apologize for those I missed. Newsletters start up and cease publishing quickly. If you know of other Atari-related newsletters, send the addresses to AtariUser magazine so we can do a followup in the coming months. If you're interested in obtaining some of the newsletters above, but are unsure about a subscription, many of the editors will send a sample issue. Include a dollar bill or a few postage stamps when requesting a sample. Remember, these amateurs are not publishing to make a profit; they publish because they enjoy it and regard it as a hobby. If you send a check or a money order for a subscription, make the payment payable to the editor/publisher's name, not to the newsletter itself. Most banks refuse to accept any check payable to the newsletter because it is not a registered, legal business. The Atari Amateur press is a reliable source of information for niche subjects that don't get much coverage in the professional Atari magazines. Find your niche and take some time to check out the newsletters that match you. You won't be disappointed. BIO: In real life (away from producing his own newsletter about the Atari 2600) Tim Duarte teaches 8th grade English and History in New Bedford, MA. Some of the specialty "magazines" are "electronic," existing only as a text file to be downloaded or read online via modems. For our purposes this month, we'll look at the "hard copy," or printed newsletters. We'll also narrow our view to exclude "club" publications for now. What lies ahead for the Atari Amateur Press? There's still room for more newsletters. How about a newsletter devoted to the Atari 5200? 7800? 8-bit computers? If you think you'd like to start up a newsletter, write to an editor. Most of them are happy to help out and give advice to newcomers. | | | WRITE A FEW LETTERS! | | | By Andreas Barbiero | | | ---------------------------------------------------------------- We all are aware of the dwindling number of software developers for the Atari platform. With the introduction of the Falcon 030, we hope for a turn-around. But what can we do about the software we could be using now? There has been a slew of marginal games ported to the ST, a reflection of the endless series of cheap software programs around for all computers, and sales on them have been slow. Publishers seem to notice it more on the ST. You can blame it on lower Atari sales, the economy, sunspots, or A LACK OF VOCAL USERS. If these companies KNEW that if they'd produce good software for us, we would buy it, maybe they will convert the GOOD stuff and not just the junk everyone else buys on other platforms. We are a discerning userbase, we know what we like, and we won't buy garbage. In England, ST Format has had a very successful campaign with their letter writing campaign, succeeding in getting Civilization from MicroProse, and possibly even Eye of the Beholder 3, for the ST market. Now, the programs don't have to be games, they could be professional packages, which actually would be easier to convert! Recently FoxPro agreed to port over some serious business software, just before Microsoft bought them out. We are hoping that Microsoft honors its new subsidiary's past agreement and completes the software! So in a mood of optimism, I am cutting out most of the leg work for everyone by writing a generic form letter for you to print out, or copy by hand, and a couple of specific ones to the big software houses. I am also including the list of software houses so kindly compiled by Zenobot in his excellent ST gamer's digest. Thanks to ST Format and Zenobot for their efforts! In case you are curious, here are some of the best PC games available, don't be afraid to substitute your own! Eye of the Beholder - SSI Eye of the Beholder II - SSI John Madden's Football- Electronic Arts Secret of Monkey Island II - Lucasfilm Sim Ant - Ocean Sim Earth - Ocean Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe - Lucasfilm WordPerfect 5.1 - Wordperfect Corp. FoxPro - Wordperfect Corp. Lucasfilm PO Box 10307 San Rafael CA 94912 (415) 721-3300 SSI 675 Almanor Ave Sunnyvale CA 94086-2901 (408) 737-6800 Ocean Software Ltd. 6 Central St. Manchester, M2 5NS Electronic Arts 11-49 Station Rd Langley, Nr. Slough, Berkeshire SL3 8YN WordPerfect 1555 North Technology Way Orem, UT 84057 (801) 225-5000 Dear _________________________, Please covert _______________________________________ for the Atari ST series of computers, especially consider the capabilities of the STe, Mega STe, TT and Falcon 030 computers. I think your better quality software would sell in the United States, and, if available, would seriously consider buying this program for my Atari. Thank you. I think this program, made for the Atari, would be a good idea because: _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ My name is:____________________________________________________ Address:_______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ I own an ATARI_________________________________________________ Dear SSI, Please consider a conversion of the Eye of the Beholder series and other of your excellent programs to the Atari computer platform. We appreciate your past developments and would greatly enjoy any further conversions to the Atari line of home computers. The built in capabilities of the ST, STe, Mega STe and TT computers are only surpassed by the abilities of the new Atari Falcon 030, with XGA quality graphics, Digital Signal Processing, and 16 bit stereo sound built in, and standard with every new Falcon 030. Thank you for your time and consideration. My name is__________________________________________________ Address_____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Dear WordPerfect, I am writing to ask you to please allow the conversion of the software developed by FoxPro, for the Atari to continue. Sales of high quality software for the line of Atari computers continues in the United States, and also in the lucrative European markets. I would be interested in purchasing these and other packages if made for the ST, TT and Falcon series of home computers. I also wish to thank you for your support of WordPerfect for the Atari, and would ask you to make an update to 5.1 available for my computer. Thank you. My name is:_____________________________________________________ Address:________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ I own an Atari__________________________________________________ | | | WHAT IS MULTIMEDIA? | | | By Andreas Barbiero | | | ---------------------------------------------------------------- Several new terms have been coined lately, and amongst the most common is the buzzword 'multimedia.' There have been some pretty neat ads sponsored by IBM on TV espousing this new 'era' of computing targeted to the lucrative education market. Smiling children point at touchscreen monitor making elephants dance and serious adults talk about how amazing and educational "the fusion of sound and graphics is. I can just see those little kids saying "yeah, whatever lady. . .look what I can make this giraffe do. . ." Well, maybe that wasn't the best description of multimedia, but at least its more interesting than saying, Multimedia is the integration of sound and graphics into a unified, interactive presentation in an attempt to represent the immediacy of TV images and the audio impact of a CD player in displaying the visual and audio experiences of a real place, situation, or object. For instance the software would allow you to hear the music of Mozart while watching a video clip from the movie 'Amadeus,' and reading a historical account of his life. Being able to point at a country on a map of the world and getting the name, stats, and hearing the national anthem is a fusion of several separate computer operations, and possibly even educational. You may have noticed that the term keeps getting larger as I go along, and really, multimedia has yet to be fully defined and standardized. The hardware, as well as software, varies from system to system and varies according to whom you talk to, or try to buy a computer from. Mostly, when you see a system touted as multimedia it includes items like a CD-ROM and high resolution monitor, a soundcard and speakers. DOS, as in most applications, is completely useless here, so Windows is considered standard for a PC based multimedia system. Unfortunately for the PC user Windows still has some major bugs and is really just a shell. Intercommunication between multitasked operations is not possible. The system requirements for working Windows into viable operation is a hidden cost in purchasing a computer. High speed graphics boards are needed, as well as a powerful CPU. Costs of such a beast are relative to how hip you want to be. A basic system can range from $1399 to well over $3000. The CD-ROM unit is central to this type of system, and with the narrow profit margins of PC's these days, more and more dealers are trying to popularize this path as the way to re- instill excitement in Intel based computers and consequently garner more sales. CD-ROMs are in the process of becoming a mature product, are relatively inexpensive, and software for them is becoming more available and cheaper, but like a lot of other consumer products, the CDROM may not standardize fast enough before something better comes along. With the popularity of CDs in the audio business, such things as Laserdiscs are making a comeback from the sluggish growth experienced in the early 80s. Interactive CDs have been slow to catch on, and the advent of CD-ROM units for the profitable game console units has been pending now for several years. Without a standard, the market can only suffer. Writable optical disks live in the rarified price ranges in upscale computer magazines, but they ARE available for under $2000, and with storage in the gigabyte range, they are almost worth the prices they command. Kodak is making a big step into the digital field with their Photo CD technology. Taking CD-I a step further, they are allowing people to preserve their photographs, a hundred at a time, on a single CD and play them back on a TV or computer. This is an excellent method of bringing this technology to the public in a way that is interesting, obtainable, and usable to the common person. Breaking down the barriers between technology and its applications in going to be the next big step with computers. A multimedia system is going to have to breach this barrier. A computer packaged with the right hardware and software built in and priced correctly could make inroads into households which would not normally buy a computer. It would be like an appliance. People don't want to open their TVs and stereos to add cards or learn what an AUTOEXEC.BAT file is, they want something to fit on their TV cart and just simply work. The REALLY interesting side to this is, once it is IN their homes, and they suddenly realize they are comfortable with it, other purchases become possible. Game software at first, probably, but then comes business and professional software. Common home computers just don't fit the bill. Yes they are affordable, but are they as indespensible to the average household as a VCR or a answering machine? Not yet. THIS is what multimedia can do for us. All this sounds very interesting, but is it practical with today's PC? There is now a decent library of CDs available, covering all topics of interest, from business cross-references to disks full of GIFs. Faster processors allow the combination of 16bit sound and graphics, which are more than sufficient for the average user not expecting to use a Silicon Graphics professional graphics workstation. Virtual Reality will take some time before it comes really practial, and able to simulate a human, or even a chair. (despite the ignorant ramblings of the 'post modern cyber-' community) The most advanced 80486 would be taxed to its limits to handle even part of what is needed for Virtual Reality, never mind the data crunching needed for display a symphony with accompanying audio and information. Thats why there are $1000 speaker/CDROM units, and a plethora of cards for music, advanced graphics, and even TV tuners. All these are hardware options rather than software options. The basic computer needs the ability to run a modem, digitize music, manipulate video data from hardware designed into a high speed bus, without the need for a lot of extra hardware. There should be no need for a card to run a modem, and another card for a printer port, and ANOTHER to listen to music. All this should be built in and at the discretion of the software used. While many have grumbled about the lack of effective CDROM drivers from Atari, ICD has taken the MetaDOS driver and updated it. Available this month is the LINK, a SCSI host adaptor for the rest of us who aren't lucky enough to own a TT or Mac with a built in SCSI port. Drivers are available to use just ab out every optical, floptical, and any other SCSI storage device available today, including the ability to read PC CDROMs. Music and graphics has always been a strong point for Atari. With the universal MIDI interfaces on our beloved machines, and the excellent DMA STe stereo audio, we can still laugh at all those PC cards advertized to play digital sound. The non-EISA bus PCs just can't keep up with DMA driven audio, when you look close at the specifications, only a couple are capable of sample rates above 22kHz. A far cry from the 50kHz available on the average STe selling for about $350. So far an inexpensive Mega STe at $850 is keeping up pretty well. Already we have added in a bunch of 'options' on a PC, and not bought anything else but a SCSI interface on the Atari. All goes well until the spectre of MULTITASKING rears its ugly head. No-one who has used it can say that Windows is an effective multitasking environment. System 7 on the Mac has a lot of the same bugs as Windows and is just as piggy, although it IS a real operating system and already based on a graphic user interface. OS/2 applications have just started to ship, with about a thousand available today. That makes the ST software market look absolutely huge! OS/2 2.0 is a much more mature product than was available at first, and purportedly handles multitasking MUCH more efficiently than Windows. But it is just as greedy with the system as the other programs. Atari users have been waiting for MultiTOS just as avidly as they have been waiting for FSM GDOS. From all sources it appears that M-TOS is going to be a versatile and well designed product capable of handling the power of 32bit processors. And it is available with the Falcon030, sooner than Windows NT or the new OS/2 is available for the PC. Atari already has a more than decent GUI that doesn't weigh upon the computer like some other programs. An Atari needs at least 4 megs of memory to multitask well, and I have seen PC users require up to 8 megs just to get Windows running, before the applications are added in! So, now we have defined what at minimum is needed to work a multimedia system on a system affordable by an individual. And as far as purchasing a system, at list prices, Atari grabs the top of the heap. The Falcon 030, Atari's new entry level machine is equipped with enough power to manipulate video images and 16bit stereo sound better than most other systems around. With the correct software, any sort of video or audio manipulation is possible. From a simple playback of a MOD file, to having a full 8 track digital recording studio, the Falcon is designed to handle these tasks at a minimum of processor overhead and without the need for 'optional' hardware linked through a bottleneck bus. Super VGA is nice, but at anything above 256 colors, it gets monstrous on memory requirements. A 640 X 400 True color mode (not including overscan modes) is simply awesome. And then there is the DSP, this chip can grab video images and crunch them faster than most video capture boards made. Making that videophone computer available with the right software, and a cheap camera, right out of the box! The 68030 driven DSP should be able to outperform QuickTime video easily. Lexicor should be able to do this, and if they create a standard, compatable with playback of QuickTime video, they will be on top of the heap with video manipulation as well as animation software! This is what is needed. The PC architecture of adding cards to fill the newer needs of the user, while a great idea, is now being limited by the very bus it depends on to run the cards. If you compare what a MSTe or TT has in the way of built in ports, only one expansion port is REALLY needed. I would prefer to see in the future an Atari with the processor direct connector again, and a fuller implementation of the VME, or a design in the motherboard for custom graphics expansion. All the Multimedia hardware hooks into the PC bus somehow. Music cards have SCSI interfaces, and video cards are locked into the 10MHz, 16 bit bus of the standard PC. While an ST can handle enough of these functions to do an acceptable job, to be honest, newer machines are needed. 030 boards and graphics cards are available for just about every machine, but for an entry price around $799 the Falcon can outperform on price any similar upgrade available for older Ataris and PCs alike. This is not to say an older ST is completely left out, there are addons to allow up to 16 megs on a ST, and even more options available through the 030 speedup boards. The Falcon 030 is the start of a new type of computer. The sense of discovery I experienced in 1980 with my Atari 800 is gone, but replaced with the excitement of being able to outperform the graphics workstation of those days with a computer capable of sitting on my stereo cabinet, as well as performing admirably on-stage as a MIDI/SIMPTE engine for a professional rock band. As long as we get MetaDOS drivers, MultiTOS, and inexpensive memory for our machines, Multimedia won't be synonmous with IBM, but instead we will have an affordable, usable system based on a present, or future incarnation of Atari's new Falcon. Delphi: ABARBIERO F-NET Andreas Barbiero | | | ARE YOU A COMPUTER GEEK? | | | From Usenet | | | ---------------------------------------------------------------- It's striking more and more people! Like a plague it sweeps the nation! It knows no bounds - black, white, tall, short, thin, fat, that dweeb sitting next to you - maybe every your family members! Computer Geekdom! Are you worried about yourself? Do you feel drawn towards computer displays? In shopping malls do you slow down by money machines? Do you drop computer buzzwords like "Disk" and "Mega" in conversation? Do you own a Car-Computer? If you've answered yes to one of the above, it may already be too late. Do this test now, and see if your future holds fun, fortune and adventure, or 3 Meg floppies and a guest appearance on "The Worst of Oprah", a 467 part repeat series.. Try and be honest - remember, you're only cheating yourself. 1. A friend opens a magazine full of scantily-clad members of your preferred sex. Do you: A. Openly Ogle B. Act Non-Chalant C. Comment "Gee, that's got to be at least 400 dpi, colour!" D. Slip the hand down the pants for a bit of good, old-fashioned executive relief. 2. You're at a party. Someone comes over and asks you your star sign. You: A. Tell them to bugger off B. Lay them one in the groin, then tell them to bugger off. C. I don't go to parties. D. I don't get invited to parties. 3. You're at the head of a large queue in front of a cash-register in a large department store. The register gives a >beep< and stops dead. You: A. Wait patiently B. Plant all the stuff you were going to buy in a nearby baby carriage and call the store detective (to while away the time) C. Break out your ever-present C64 notebook and try to debug the thing D. I don't know 4. You're shopping for some personal hygiene equipment when the chemist runs up saying the prescription database on his 386 is corrupt. You: A. What's a prescription database? B. What's a 386? C. What's personal hygenie? D. What was the question again? 5. A friend wants to borrow a record off you. You A. Lend it out, and tell them it's a boomerang. B. Tell them to go buy it. C. Consult the database to see that status of the record concerned D. Sell it to them for a beer. 6. You'd most like to meet: A. The person who wrote "Gulag Acapeligo" B. The person who wrote "War and Peace" C. The person who wrote MSDOS D. A person who can write 7. You win a "Grocery-Grab" at a local supermarket. You've got one minute to pack a cart with as much stuff as you can. You start: A. In the Liquor Section B. In the Confectionary Lane C. At the Pencil Bar D. At the cash register 8. You've been hit by a car and your life flashes before your eyes. The thing you remember most vividly is: A. Your Mother's voice as a child B. Your first Love C. The Ascii table. D. The tire pressure was maybe a little too high 9. You get to compete on blind date. You have one statement to change the choosers mind about you. You say: A. I've got a 12 inch tounge B. I can go all night C. I'VE GOT A 386SX with 64K Ram Cache D. I've killed 5 people 10. You feel naked without your: A. Electric Guitar B. Wallet C. VT100 reference guide D. Axe 11. You see someone standing on a ledge, about to jump. You can save them if you say the right thing. You say: A. I know things are bad, but do you want to talk about it? B. I feel you just need someone to talk to C. Want to come and play on my C64? D. I bet you haven't got the guts.... . . . Oh, I see you did... 12. You told your best friend the first time you: A. Had Sex B. Had Oral Sex C. Got a Ram expansion D. Killed a cat. 13. No-one understands you like: A. Your Mother B. Your Father C. Your PC D. Your Parole Officer 14. For your 18th birthday you wanted: A. A Car B. A Shaver C. A C64 Cassette Drive D. Some Piano Wire, and the Neigbours Cat Mostly A's: You're normal. Boring Boring Boring. You're the sort of person who'll justy fritter their way thru life enjoying themselves and having a good time. Shame on you! Mostly B's: You're mostly normal. Nothing a little ECT can't clear away in any case. You mostly come into the "Mostly A's" above. Mostly C's: Geek Alert! Break out the pocket protector! With a set of horn rims and a pocket calculator, you're ready for Revenge Part #72. You can be the person that gets beat up all the time. Mostly D's: So you're a socipath; But that doesn't mean you're a bad person. Just keep taking the Lithium and everything'll be fine Are you STILL a computer geek? Ok, so you lucked out last time - you were about as socially adjusted as a onion and jelly sandwhich, BUT YOU MIGHT HAVE CHANGED! You may not be a computer geek any more! It's possible!!! (Not probable, but possible) Test yourself now! 1. It's a stag party for one of your friends. You and the rest of your friends all put money in for: a. A set of driving mirrors b. A stripper c. A stripper with a set of driving mirrors d. A VGA screen so he can check out alt.sex.pictures.of.girlies 2. You want to improve your social life. You a. Ask people to go out with you. b. Join a club to meet new people c. Drink yourself unconcious and forget about it. d. What's a social life? 3. You ideal partner would have: a. Looks b. Intelligence c. Money d. A 1.2 Gig Hard Drive, Twin floppies + SVGA screen, and 5 Meg Memory 4. You have the most horrific nightmare of your life. It involves: a. You driving off a cliff b. You showing up somewhere with no clothes on c. A hungry alsation, your private parts and some tomato sauce. d. A tax on pocket protectors and thick glasses 5. You're on blind date. The question you would ask is: a. "Name the weirdest place you ever kissed someone" b. "Name the weirdest place you ever made love" c. "Name the weirdest place you ever played soggy biscuit" d. "Name the weirdest place you ever booted MSDOS 4" 6. Your role model is: a. Rudolf Steiner b. Mother Theresa c. Charlie Manson d. R2D2 7. Your favourite fashion accessory is: a. Winklepickers b. Collar Studs c. An axe d. What's fashion? 8. If you had your life to live again, would you: a. Make no changes b. Make a few changes c. Make a lot of changes d. Upgrade to SVGA 9. Your favourite pickup line is: a. "I've just won the lottery" b. "Has anyone seen the keys to my Porsche?" c. "$hit, I'm pissed" d. "I'm superuser at work.." 10. During sexual climax, you think of: a. Your partner b. Your partner's body c. Yourself d. The 487 co-processor at 52 Meg Scoring ------- You don't really need the score card do you? Mostly A's or B's means you're the normal run-of-the-mill, 90212 (the house next door) walk alike, talk alike that gives us real jerks a bad name; C's mean you're a.. Well, frankly, I don't know what you are, but it's probably treatable with large amounts of voltage, and D's of course means that you've got a fantastic career stretched out in front of you as far as your nose can see. Happy camping. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To sign up for GEnie service call (with modem) (800) 638-8369. Upon connection type HHH and hit <return>. Wait for the U#= prompt and type XTX99436,GEnie and hit <return>. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To sign up for CompuServe service call (with phone) (800) 848-8199. Ask for operator #198. You will be promptly sent a $15.00 free membership kit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you'd like further information or would like to join AtariNet, please contact one of the following via AtariNet or Fido: Bill Scull Fido 1:363/112 AtariNet 51:1/0, Dean Lodzinski Fido 1:107/633 AtariNet 51:4/0 Terry May Fido 1:209/745 AtariNet 51:2/0, Tony Castorino Fido 1:102/1102 AtariNet 51:3/0, Don Liscombe AtariNet 51:5/0, Daron Brentwood Fido 2:255/402 AtariNet 51:6/0. You can also call the Z*Net News Service at (908) 968-8148 for more information. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can subscribe to the bi-monthly hard copy Atari Explorer Magazine for $14.95 for 6 issues, $39.95 for 18 issues. Canadian subscribers should add $5.00 per 6 issues,foreign subscribers should add $10.00 per 6 issues. Checks must be drawn in US funds on a US bank. Send orders to Atari Explorer, Post Office Box 6488, Duluth, MN 55806. VISA and MasterCard orders, call (218) 723-9202. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reprints from the GEnie ST Roundtable are Copyright (c)1992, Atari Corporation and the GEnie ST RT. Reprints from CompuServe's AtariArts, AtariPro, AtariVen, or Aportfolio Forums are Copyright (c)1992, CIS. Reprints from AtariUser Magazine are Copyright(c)1992, Quill Publishing ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Material published in this edition may NOT be reprinted without written permission, unless otherwise noted in the article. Opinions presented herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff. Atari Explorer Online Magazine is Copyright (c)1992, Atari Corporation. The Z*Net Newswire is an independent column and organization not affiliated with Atari Corp. and is Copyright 1992, Z*Net News Service/Ron Kovacs. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Help stamp out software piracy in the Atari community. Report any and all pirate activity to the Software Protection Agency, this includes your local bulletin boards. Please capture all information during your call and provide your password and logon information. This is a needed item in order to close down an illegite system. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Atari is a registered trademark of Atari Corporation. Atari Falcon030, TOS, MultiTOS, NewDesk and BLiTTER, are trademarks of Atari Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned in this publication belong to their respective owners. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Atari Explorer Online Magazine "The Official Atari Online Journal" Copyright (c)1992, Atari Computer Corporation ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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