ST Report: 23-Oct-92 #842From: Bruce D. Nelson (aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/24/92-10:16:38 PM Z
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From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 23-Oct-92 #842 Date: Sat Oct 24 22:16:38 1992 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" from STR Publishing """""""""""""" October 23, 1992 No.8.42 ========================================================================== 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 _____________________________________________________________________ > 10/23/92 STR 842 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" """""""""""""""" - The Editor's Desk - CPU Report - PORTFOLIO NEWS - PERFORMA vs FALCON - Trace Tech. - TEC Mega ships! - Apple offers EASY WAY - WIZWORKS NEWS! - ATARI USER MOVES - COLOR IMGs EXPLAINED - CANADIANS IRKED! - STR Confidential -* THE REVOLVING DOOR - ALIVE & WELL! *- -* APPLICATIONS vs UTILITIES? *- -* NEW SYSLAW LEGAL GUIDE RELEASED! *- ========================================================================== 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 (October 23) Be sure to download file TOSPAT.LZH from LIBRARY 6 of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO). This archive contains a text file, from John Townsend, listing the various TOS revisions and the patches that are appropriate for each. In addition, the patch files themselves are included. Contains: Folderxxx, CACHExxx, POOLFIX3, POOLFIX4, STEFIX, SERPTCH, SERAILFX, and MACCEL3. (Note: POOLFIX4 and SERIALFX are not from Atari, but may correct behavior the Atari patches do not.) NEW IN ATARI 8-BIT FORUM! TEXTPRO fans rejoice. A beta of the long awaited Version 5 is now available for testing. Please see messages #20900 & 20901 in the Atari 8-Bit Forum (GO ATARI8) for more information! LYNX USERS IN ATARI 8-BIT FORUM! Just a reminder to LYNX users that message section 16 and LIBRARY 16 (both named LYNX) of the Atari 8-Bit Forum are devoted to this gaming unit! FAVORITE FILES... Be included in CompuServe Magazine! Please read and respond to message # 34449 in the Atari ST Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) regarding your favorite Forum files! NEW SYSOP INFORMATION FROM SUPRA Revised information and order form for sysop purchase plan offered by Supra for their SupraFaxModem V32 and V32bis. Download file SYSOP.TXT from LIBRARY 15 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). 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!" """""""""""""""""""""" Speaking of priorities and special treatment.... the big question for the last three weeks has been "Why have the Codeheads been left out in the cold?" The double speak rhetorical answers we've been noting are not only depressingly familiar, they're still ridiculous! Application vs Utility. The nerve of some people. When one can stand still and watch this marketplace pulse positive and negative with regularity, it becomes a simple deduction, even for the neophyte, its alive but in deep, deep trouble. When Atari's "braintrust" allows itself to be smoke screened by the emotions, politics and head games of its underlings there is no room left for reason and good common sense. We've stated this before and we'll continue to say it again and again and again. "When the Codehead name comes up.... its synonymous with solid support, innovative creativity and impeccable public relations." Hmmm come to think of it, not even Atari can stack up to those accolades. Seriously though, the Codeheads certainly deserve each and every one of those pats on the back without reserve. Why, oh why is Atari appearing to be stabbing the Codeheads in the back? Why was the decision to give a Falcon to other developers who only import products from Europe? Meanwhile the Codeheads not only import products from Europe, both hardware and top notch software, they WRITE modules and support code for those products. Codehead's expertise in understanding and tweaking code to get the very best performance out of Tos is above and beyond reproach. Whomever made the decision to exclude the Codeheads from obtaining a Falcon early on made a decision that's B.A.D. [B]raindead [A]s [D]ecided The time is now at hand to rectify a terrible wrong. Atari simply must cut through all the rhetorical effluvient their information person is using as excuses and get a Falcon to the Codeheads forthwith. After all, its only the right thing to do. On another note... its been noticed elsewhere that STReport is, once again, the object of Mr. Brodie's public verbalization. While we are elated to see him not "forgetting" us, it sad to see his energies are still devoted to his, less than masterful, crusade of dis-information. In any case, thanks for the mention Bob. Atari's new Falcon certainly does hold hope for the future of Atari. The machine is quite the "gizmo", its sure to dazzle even the snazziest of households and gamesters. The Falcon030 portrays the most affordable multimedia computer soon to be on the market today. It'll be nice to see this bird arrive in time to make the Christmas rush a real rush. 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 #43 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. -- Accolade Wins Against Sega A federal appeals court has ruled Accolade Inc. of San Jose, Calif., had the right to disassemble competitor Sega Enterprises Ltd.'s video game machine to figure out how to make games that could run on it. Calling this "a major decision on computer copyright law," Washington Post reporter John Burgess quotes Accolade supporters as saying the ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will promote competition by making it easier for small companies to create products that work with big companies' machines. A Sega spokesman declined comment, pending full examination of the decision. Sega's supporters include IBM and Intel Corp., opposed by generally smaller companies that use "open" publicly available technical standards. -- Modem Market Reaching $2.75 Billion A new study predicts sales in the U.S. modem market will rise from $1.6 billion last year to $2.75 billion in 1998, for an 8% compound annual growth rate. A statement from Market Intelligence researchers of Mountain View, Calif., says the modem market is "paced by smaller sizes and higher speeds" and estimates, "Unit sales will nearly quadruple between 1991 and 1998, from 4.5 million to 17 million respectively per year, as smaller pocket-sized modems surge." Estimates in the report, called "Modem Markets: Survival of the Fastest," include: -:- Pocket-sized modem sales will grow from $146 million in 1991 to $887 million by 1998, when they will account for nearly a third of total dial-up modem revenues. -:- Very-high-speed modems operating at over 9600 bits per second will grow the fastest, from less than 4 percent of the market in 1991 to an estimated 57 percent by 1998. -:- High-speed modems operating at 9600 bits per second, increasingly the modem standard, also will expand from 27 percent of the market in 1991 to 43 percent by 1996. -:- And, "Although medium-speed modems operating from 1200 to 4800 bits per second were the market's largest segment in 1991, with 42 percent of sales, and represent the largest installed base, their sales will soon decline dramatically and slip into insignificance late in the decade, accounting for less than 1 percent of market revenues by 1998." -:- Leased and private-line modems "face a similar fate," the report says, "from 63 percent of the market in 1988, they had already declined to 26 percent by 1991 and are projected at barely over 1 percent by 1998." -:- Fax capability will become an increasingly standard modem feature. Many new high-speed modems will support features like remote network access, Ethernet/Token Ring compatibility, modem-sharing and advanced security. By 1998, digital modems will become the norm, in line with the trend of telecommunications networks to digital structures. -- Compaq Cuts System Prices Compaq Computer Corp. has cut $100 or more off suggested prices of 13 selected models of its Compaq ProLinea, Compaq Deskpro/i, Compaq Contura, Compaq LTE Lite and Compaq portable PCs. The cheapest Compaq ProLinea desktop PC now carries a list price of $799, down from $899. -- IBM Unveils "Valuepoint" PC To compete in the low-end market, IBM this week launched four models of a new system called ValuePoint, PCs priced starting at $1,299, including a color monitor. Look for the ValuePoint units to go up against those from Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp. and AST Research Inc. The entry-level ValuePoint model is powered with a beefed version of Intel Corp.'s 386SX, which Ziegler notes also is in Compaq's cheapest ProLinea. The IBM system has an 80MB hard drive. -- Fujitsu Releases 1.8 Inch Optical Disc Fujitsu has developed an extremely small optical magnetic disc 1.8- inches in diameter, or half the size of a regular credit card. Fujitsu, which is aiming the disc at the multimedia device market, reports that its optical disc is covered with a cartridge the size of 5 x 5 cm. The current version can store 60 megabytes of data, but Fujitsu plans to make the final version store up to 128 megabytes, or the equivalent of 100 floppy disks. Fujitsu's optical disc is much smaller than one made by Japan Victor which is 2.5-inches. -- Toshiba Releases World's First 16-megabit Flash Memory Toshiba has announced plans to release a 16 megabit flash memory chip. The Japanese technology giant claims that this will be the first commercial product of its type. Japanese experts predict that flash memory will take over from magnetic memory in the very near future, so any company that gets its flash memory chips to market faster than the competition should succeed. Toshiba plans to release the 16 megabit chipset by the end of the year with a retail price of 15,000 yen ($125). This price is expected to fall to a third (5,000 yen), once the company starts producing the chips in volume, however. To put matters in perspective, Intel has been selling a 4 megabit flash memory chip for $50. Toshiba's equivalent costs $20. Toshiba officials say they want to get this price down to $10 a chip in the very near future. Flash memories come in the form of semiconductor chip, which is different from current magnetic disk memory. With these flash memories, the size of personal computers can get drastically smaller. Also, the flash memories are expected to replace the hard disks in the PCs of the future. Toshiba is aiming to get electronic still-cameras to market in a short space of time, as well as new products for the notebook and pocket computer market. -- Apple Computer Ships System 7.1, Quicktime 1.5 The long - awaited Macintosh operating system update -- System 7.1 -- with the new Quicktime 1.5 multimedia extensions is now shipping, Apple Computer has announced. ___________________________________________________________ > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" PEOPLE... ARE TALKING ===================== On CompuServe ------------- compiled by Joe Mirando Well folks, another week has come and gone. And with each day, someone asks a question about their ST. And, at least on CompuServe, for every question that is asked there is at least one answer. Let's listen in on some of the things going on. From The Atari Productivity Forum ================================= Bob Ledbetter posts: "This may not be the place for this, if so yell at me. However... My son has a Lynx (the hand-held game machine) and over the week-end things started acting really wierd. For no apparent reason it will only play the BMX game and then the little on the bike just sits at the Starting Line trying to do a wheelie. No control over anything except you can make him move forward, but nothing else. Cannot change to another game on the cartridge either. This is the only cartridge he has for it, so...I'm wondering if the cartridge itself has somehow been damaged. That doesn't make sense -- to me, at least -- as everything was working fine, and then, in the middle of playing the BMX game it started behaving like this. Any ideas???" Sysop Don LeBow answers: "Did you try cleaning the contacts on the card? That'd be the place to start. Do try to see if you can borrow another cart from someone and see if it does the same thing. If worse comes to worst, you can send it in to Atari Corp. for repair ... not sure on the charge." Bob replies to Don: "Thanx for the help. It was dirty contacts. The ole pencil eraser cleaning trick did the job. Thanx for the tip!!!" Mark Kapeluck asks about a problem he's having with un-compressing an LZH file: "I have downloaded the file "ICONS.LZH" twice and in both cases gotten crc errors when trying to uncompress it. I have no problems otherwise with the unlzh15.prg." Sysop Keith Joins tells Mark: "You need to update your LZH utility program to one that handles the newer lh5 compression. Look in library 4 and get LHARC.TTP and that should handle things." Meanwhile, as part of a continuing conversation about the sound sampling capabilities of the FALCON030, Mark Kelling posts: "Just because you have a DSP capable of full CD sound quality there is no reason it HAS to run at that rate. You can choose a lower sample rate and use less bits. The original ST could play sampled sounds and do so very well with only a VERY cheap sound chip. A demo of this is something called TREK Sounds. This was a collection of samples of Star Trek sound effects, music and dialog which would play very well on the ST. A sample of Kirk saying "To boldly go ..." is the largest at about 5-7 seconds and is only 32K bytes. (I still have it if anyone is interested!) Let's do a little re calculation of the figures you gave. You wrote: "DSP Recording at 44.1KHz in 16-bit costs 10Mb a minute!!!" OK, lets go with an 8 bit sample. Sonic quality would not be that much degraded. I speak from experience, my brother is a musician and has quite a few 8 bit sampler keyboards as well as one [expensive!] 16 bit. The sample quality depends more on the quality and clarity of the original sound than the bits used. Using 8 bits halves the required storage so that puts us at 5Mb/min. Well, why do we need 44.1KHz samples? True, CD quality sound is nice but the average game sounds are in a much lower frequency range than that provided by such a fast sample. (Just for info: We have to sample at 2X the highest frequency we expect to record.) We can go with a 22.05KHz to halve our space requirements again bringing us to 2.5Mb/min. If we are handling a large number of lower frequency sounds: large engines running, wind noise, characters grunting etc. we can sample these at 12KHz and halve storage again giving 1.25Mb/min. This is quite sufficient since most sounds could be reused/combined to produce a wide variety of effects. Also, music could be looped in such a way that only a few seconds would provide enough background sound for an entire scene. Using lower sample times and less bits would free time up in the DSP for it to do decompression of the sampled sound if needed. So sound from a DSP is quite within range of current game manufacturers, the hard part is getting them to program for it!" When asked about what hard drive mechanism was best, Tom Mynar posted: "My vote is for Fujitsu, they are real fast and have a 5 year warranty. I picked up a real nice drive from East Coast Electronics (in Texas, 713-821-8366, in Penn 215-431-1527). I bought a 520mb for $966, it can transfer as fast as my ICD Advantage can take it, I think even faster. I don't have their ad in front of me, but I bet the 80/100+ mb drives are correspondingly priced (the other prices I had on the 520 were 1095, 1150)." Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Magazine, a regular fountain of knowledge about our favorite computer and all related things, replies to Tom: "I heard that if you don't buy the drive direct from Fujitsu you don't get the 5 year warranty. Have you heard anything about that? There was a discussion about warranty periods on hard drives in the IBM hardware forum." Tom tells Albert: "I have an invoice from the dealer, which states "5 year manufacturer warranty. I have also received similar information from Hard Drives International. However, in California, the laws state that all I have to prove is that I bought it as an end user - the warranty holds. Nice to be in CA." From the "Who the heck came up with that name?" category, people are talking about the latest advancement in data storage technology. After being asked if someone was making up non-sense names Sysop Bob Retelle posts: "Yup, "floptical" is a real word all right.. it was just invented recently, so you know it's gotta be real..! Actually, I just read a little bit about these interesting little technological gems.. they're a "hybrid" between regular old magnetic recording floppy disks, like you have in your ST, and laser disks like a CD-ROM drive.. The drive uses a regular magnetic read/write recording head, but instead of relying on a stepper motor and information recorded magnetically on the disk to position the head, there's a laser which reads the track information from the disk surface, and positions the head far more precisely. The laser does not read or write the data on the disk, it only reads the pre-written track position info. This lets the head write in far narrower tracks than a normal floppy disk, which allows a lot more tracks to be written side by side... thus a LOT more info can be recorded on each floppy... something like 20 Megabytes.. (on a floppy!) The magical thing about the drives is that they can ALSO read (hmm.. but I don't recall whether they can WRITE) a normal 720K or 1.44 Meg floppy disk too. And to top it all off, the disks themselves are rather inexpensive when you consider they each hold 20Megs. Now.. I want to see how much a regular hard drive could hold if they used laser positioning in one of THOSE..!" Albert Dayes tells Bob: "Flopticals can read and WRITE 720K, 1.44meg and 21meg floppy disks." Bob, getting psyched about this news, posts: "All right..! That makes them even better than I thought, Albert... James Port asks Bob Retelle: "How fast are they Bob? Like hard drives? More like floppies? Somewhere in between? Definitely sounds like an interesting gizmo. I guess the media would have to come pre-formatted then, yes? Does this drive up the media price? What kind of a price tag does the drive carry?" Bob answers: "James, I believe the flopticals are more on the order of floppy drive access times than hard drives, since they're in effect just more precise floppies.. but as Albert mentioned, I haven't looked at access times.. The disks themselves are special, so of course they're more expensive (wish I could remember more details..), but I'd think you'd be able to format them yourself. I'm going to a have to look into these more closely.. It seems we're seeing a lot of new technologies, and new applications for existing ones, all the time.." From The Atari ST Arts Forum ============================ If you are an avid game player, there is most likely no device for your computer that's as important to you as your trusty joystick. Phil Payzant posts: "This seems like as good a place as any to butt in with a question of my own. I have been playing FS-II, FOTI, F-19 and more recently MicroProse's Grand Prix, as well as several other flying/driving games that require simultaneous joystick and keyboard use. I'm on my fourth (different) joystick, and still haven't found one that I consider satisfactory. Ideally, I'd like one that clamps to the table (as opposed to the suction cups that always let go at a crucial moment) but my dealer isn't aware of any on the market. I also really wish Atari had provided for analog joysticks, but I guess there's no way around that. Anyway, I'd appreciate any suggestions for or comments about preferred models of joystick." Sysop Bob Retelle (I still remember those Aardvark games for my T/S 1000, Bob) tells Phil: "There was a review of a joystick clamping device in an issue of AIM some time ago.. The device clamps to the table edge, then clamps the joystick to itself. I'll see if I can dig up that issue for more details..." Pat Augustine tells Phil: "Actually, I'm in kind of the same boat myself! My favorite joystick is the Epyx 500XJ (the "ergonomic" one). But since Epyx folded their tent, I've been unable to buy them. I have one left that is still working, and when it gives up, I guess I'll have to go back to my second favorite, Suncom's Slick Stick (which, by the way, is shaped perfectly for that clamping device Bob mentioned). For FOTI (back when I could fly it <g>) I used the Gravis Mousestick, which has a nice base to it. My computer desk is a REAL desk, with a center drawer, that I put the MouseStick in, and slide mostly closed. It does a great job of holding the MouseStick for me, and the MouseStick makes FOTI a real dream to fly (though it's not quite as nice in other games)." Bob adds: "Pat, speaking of "flying" your computer, I was in a computer store yesterday and saw the latest in, er.. "joysticks" for flight simulators.. It was an airplane control yoke style controller, like you've probably seen before, but this one was a lot larger than most, with buttons all over it, and it even had an "artificial horizon" "instrument" in the center... I almost felt like I had to radio in for clearance just to walk past the thing..!" Pat tells Bob: "I think I've seen that one! That artificial horizon sure is cute, isn't it? Too bad none of those things work on the ST line. But then again, after looking at the prices, I'm kind of GLAD none of them work on the ST!" Phil posts: "Thanks for your comments. What makes a Gravis Mousestick different from other joysticks? I've never seen one, although I note several people here use them. As for FOTI, you ought to be able to get a good deal on a used ST, and it would be worth it for FOTI alone!" Pat tells Phil: "The Gravis MouseStick is not just a joystick, but a MOUSE in Joystick clothing. It LOOKS like a joystick, but it sends MOUSE signals, so you get analog input rather than digital (not just "left" but how MUCH "left"). Makes more much smoother flying, and feels better in your hands than the mouse does. It will also work in joystick mode, but I prefer a tighter joystick for real joystick wiggling, so the Gravis stays in Mouse mode all the time. Please note that Gravis makes a plain joystick that looks similar to the Mousestick that does NOT have those features, but does have the large base and nice feel that the Mousestick provides. The joystick is red/black and the MouseStick is grey." John Damiano joins in the conversation: "I have a Gravis Mousestick which I love. It seems to work ok with most everything. Its very smooth and you can customize the response." Jim Linton jumps into the discussion and tells Phil: "I have used the Kraft 4 way 8 way Maze master for years even with the old 8-bit Atari computers, can't be beat. You can block out the diag. for maze games like Pac Man or you can use them with games like Grand Prix. The are also fairly cheap at about 12-13 dollars, hope this helps." From the Atari Vendors Forum ============================ Duane Keenan tells us: "My new TT has developed a strange bug: One click chooses the program, but a double-click only starts to load the pr program. It takes a third click to get the program (any program) loaded completely. It also seems to require 3 clicks to quit. Could the CPX or Control panel have gotten messed-up? Also, I can't delete a folder... trying to change the status between read only & read/write is impossible- both selections are grayed-out. Any hints?" Sysop Ron Luks posts: "Those are REALLY odd problems, and (unfortunately for you) this is the first time we've heard of either of them. I think your best answers would come directly from Atari Corp and they don't regularly monitor this forum as much as the AtariPro forum. I'd suggest you re-post this message in Ataripro directed to Mike Fulton or John Townsend or Dan Macnamee." Brian Gockley of ST Informer Magazine tells Duane: "A lot of problems on the TT & MegaSTe derive from conflicts or errors in the Newdesk.INF file. Try renaming it INX, rebooting and seeing if your problem is gone." Dick Paddock posts: "If you haven't tried this, I suggest you change the double-click rate. This can cause two to appear as one, or vice versa." Pat Augustine asks: "Is there a way to use ESDI drives on the ST? I may have an opportunity to pick up some fairly large ESDI drives (300MB) for next to nothing and was wondering." Tom Mynar tells Pat: "Someone asked this question awhile back and I believe the response was that you have to use their older software. Plus the SCSI==>ESDI controller boards. Unless you can get it so cheap that buying a large power supply is offset, it might not be as good a deal as it looks. If they are large (8") old drives, they probably have a short lifespan left." Pat tells Tom: "Thanks for the feedback. The price could still be right (FREE! my company may be throwing them away, but maybe not). I wonder where one would get a SCSI-->ESDI board?" Albert Dayes tells Pat: "You can try selling the ESDI drive in the IBM hardware forum since they sell hard drives over there. (GO IBMHW)" Well friends and neighbors, it's time for me to wrap this up. Tune in again next week and listen to what they say when... People are talking *********************************************************************** 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! TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (10/21/92) """""""""""""""""""""""""""" STREPORT 8.41 NEW SWEDISH MONO EMULATOR DROIDS PAULA20D.LZH CINDY CRAWFORD SPECTRUM SILKMOUSE 2.6 GEMDOS MANUAL CYBERNETIX MEGA DEPACK V.20 POWERDOS 1.2 All of the above files can be found in the RECENT ARRIVALS database for at least one week after the posting of this list. Please Note that in the case of online magazines, only the most current issue in the database at the time of this compilation is considered for the Top 10 list. Also, for all files, a submission is eligible for the Top 10 list for only four weeks after its original uploading. DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! *********************************************************************** > FALCON vs PERFORMA STR FOCUS! Comparing the two... """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" A BRIEF COMPARISON; FALCON vs PERFORMA ====================================== by K. E. Baum I just recently stopped by STAPLES(an office supply Super store) here in southeastern PA, and was greeted by a large banner announcing the arrival of APPLE's Performa line. This is APPLE's new low cost line of computers that will be sold in several different department stores including SEARS. Anyway, I just couldn't resist a comparison with Atari's new and current offerings, as well as a 486 clone. (Please feel free to correct me if I have any facts wrong) (Apple Performa) (Atari) (Laser) model : 200 400 600 Falcon Mega/STE 486SX/25 PROC : 68030 68030 68030 68030 68000 80486 SPEED : 16MHZ 16MHZ 32MHZ 16MHZ 16MHZ 25MHZ MEMORY: stock: 4Mb 4Mb 4Mb 4Mb 4Mb 4Mb max: 10Mb 10mb 64Mb 14Mb 4Mb N/A DISPLAY: max res:512x342 640x480 640x480 640x480 640x400 800x600 #colors: 1 256 256/32K 256/64K 2/4/16 256 SOUND: max res : 8bit 8bit 8bit 16bit 8bit beep max rate: 22khz 22khz 22khz 50khz 50khz boop channels: 1 1 1 8 4 chirp STORAGE: #-floppy:1-1.44 1-1.44 1-1.44 1-1.44 1-1.44 1-1.44,1-1.2 hard disk: 80Mb 80Mb 160Mb 65Mb 48Mb 100Mb EXPANSION SLOTS: 0 1PDS 3NuBus/1Ac 1PDS/Cart 1VME/Cart 5? SOFTWARE: O/S: Sys 7.1 Sys 7.1 Sys 7.1 TOS 4? TOS 2.6 DOS 5\Win 3.1 other: see below PRICE: list: $$$ $$$ $$$ $1399 N/A N/A retail: $1300 $1450 N/A N/A $1100 $1500 Notes ===== All Performa's come with the following software:Symantec Greatworks, an integrated WP/DB/spreadsheet/charting/paint/draw/telecom program. Teleware M.Y.O.B., a checkbook/cardfile program At Ease, a System 7 extension for children and novice users. Also the Performa 400 and up come with T/Maker ClickArt, a collection of clipart. The # of colors on the Perform 600 are listed as 256/32K. The Performa 600 can only display 256 colors. However there is another model, the Performa 600CD, which is the same as the 600 with the addition of a CD Rom drive and the ability to display 32K colors. The Performa 200 includes a 9" monochrome Monitor(It's a MAC Classic II with a new name). The Performa 400(it's a MAC LC II really)& 600 require the Performa Display($350) or Performa Display Plus($$more). The Laser 486 also comes with Microsoft Works for Windows and the price INCLUDES a .28 SUPER VGA MONITOR! The Atari Falcon is reported to come with a couple of Games, Audio management & recording software and utility programs. The Mega\STE comes with Hard drive utilities & CPX's. The Atari Falcon is the only computer here that I know features a DSP chip & port. Since all Performa's come with 4Mb as their base,I only listed Atari's with 4Mb configurations. *********************************************************************** :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. If you use American Express to pay your GEnie bill............ 2. October 26th, Page 945, Something Completely Different........HYW 3. Play GEnie's Football Pool and be a...........................PRO 4. Discuss the crisis up North in a FREE RTC on 10/26 in.........CANADA 5. RTC 10/25: How SMALL BUSINESS benefits from BARTER............HOSB 6. The Adventure Continues: KING'S QUEST 6 ONLY $51.97 at.......EXPRESS 7. Get a JUMP on HOLIDAY SHOPPING. FREE Catalogs at..............LANDSEND 8. STEVE BARNES, Sunday the 25th at 8 Eastern in the.............SFRT 9. Read this - or miss the HOT ACTION in.........................SOFTCLUB 10. 700+ Small Business Center addresses now online in...........DIRECTORY 11. Questions answered immediately in the NEW Mac HelpDesk........MAC 12. Synthetic KALE contest, only on the...........................PSRT 13. Don't be a turkey; get your Thanksgiving clipart at...........WP 14. Compaq, Tandy, Toshiba - which notebook to get; help is at....LAPTOPS 15. Handymen and Wannabees - Have we got a place for you..........*HOME Atari ST RT ----------- Wednesday, Oct. 28 , 10:00 pm EST --------------------------------- Purple Mountain Computers Inc will be highlighting their products. Talk with Darek Mihocka about GEMULATOR; Don Crano about STEALTH PMC; and Oscar Steele about Floptical drives and PMC 's other products. Of Special Note: ---------------- All RTC attendees for that night will receive a DISCOUNT on GEMULATOR and STEALTH from PMC! Last Week's Top Downloaded Programs/Utilities: ---------------------------------------------- 26105 DOUBLE2.LZH X S.JOHNSON10 921012 2688 220 2 Desc: STE screen height doubler - v2.0 26080 AUTOSRT4.ARC X EFS 921010 10112 196 2 Desc: Version 4.1 of autosort. 26081 BLITZ_13.LZH X E.MONACO 921010 27648 137 2 Desc: Latest Version!!! 26126 CHOICE10.LZH X T.MCCOMB 921013 21248 134 18 Desc: A new PD Font- Choice10 Type1/CFN! 26094 STR_VIEW.LZH X E.GOODMAN1 921011 14720 121 2 Desc: Digital Media's STReport Viewer 26079 WRTBT504.ARC X EFS 921010 22272 115 2 Desc: Version 5.04 of writeboot. 26137 C_SANTA.ARC X J.KOCHER1 921014 85248 114 8 Desc: arcade Santa game/great graphics GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission *********************************************************************** > The Flip Side STR Feature ".... a different viewpoint..." """"""""""""""""""""""""" A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee One of the things that I find the most difficult about writing this column is the ST Roundtable on Genie. There is so much ST information available there, that it becomes tricky to decide what to use and what not to use. Now that my column only comes out every-other-week, it's become even more difficult. I just went through over 2 megs of posts to put this column together. Since I try to keep my column down to 18-25k, you can see that I can only use 1/100th of what is available. (Sung to the tune of Green Acres) "Geeee Neee is the place to be, If you want info on your ST." All of this week's posts are from the ST Roundtable on Genie. ---------------- Want to know how to upgrade your Warp 9 or QuickST? - From John Eidsvoog (CodeHead Technologies) - Cat. 32, Topic 8, Cat. 32... Current Warp 9 information as of October 17, 1992 is as follows: Latest version: 3.73 Release notes: 3.70 Retail price: $44.95 Update from Quick ST or Turbo ST: $30 plus $3 shipping Update from Warp 9 3.50-3.61: $15 (no shipping) Version 3.70 added the new modular screensaver, Extend-O-Save (as well as other new features). For more information about this upgrade, see file #25744 W9EXTEND.TXT or read about it in the Warp 9 topic. ---------------- About the TEAC upgrade from John Eidsvoog (CodeHead Technologies) - Cat. 32, Topic 30, Msg. 140... For some time now we've been selling an improved version of the TEC specially designed for the Mega Bus, but we've never formally announced it. The TEC Mega lists for the same price as the TEC Bus Bridge that we formerly carried -- $155. The advantage of the TEC Mega is that it is all contained on one board. This board contains the Mega Bus connector AND has a "through" connector! This means that it will no longer tie up your bus and another board can easily be plugged into the TEC Mega's connector. The TOS chips reside right on the TEC Mega and the only other connec- tions that need to be made are two wires which have "pins" on them and get pushed into two of the holes in the ROM socket. Installation is even easier than it was before. Simply pop out your ROM chips, plug the TEC Mega into the bus, and push the two wires into their proper locations. ------------------------------------------ | :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: | <--bus connector | --------------- ====PAL==== | | | Even Chip | | | --------------- | | --------------- ---==--- | | | Odd Chip | | | --------------- | ------------------------------------------ It's a very clean design because there are no more ribbon cables and it doesn't tie up the bus. Installing the TOS switching option is also much easier because you no longer need to piggyback a socket on top of your ROM chip. We'll have the new TEC Mega boards (as well as the standards and CPU versions) at the WAACE show this weekend. Supplies will be limited, so if you're interested, come early. If you've been waiting to get the speed, usefulness and functionality of TOS 2.06, wait no longer. It couldn't be easier. ---------------- Want to upgrade your Calligrapher Pro to Calligrapher Gold? - From John Eidsvoog (CodeHead Technologies) - Cat. 32, Topic 32, Msg. 101... The update from Calligrapher Professional to Gold is called the Gold Extension. It retails for $100 and can be purchased through your dealer or directly from us. If you buy it from a dealer, send us your original UK disks and the Extension's registration card and we'll send you a complete set of the Gold disks. I'm not sure if the Gold Extension disk is capable of updating a UK Pro to a US Gold. If you get the Extension from us, once again send us your UK disks so we can send you a complete set of disks. We also offer "lateral" upgrades from UK Pro to US Pro, or UK Gold to US Gold, for $30. Those with UK versions do not have PostScript support and can get our version and support for $30. ---------------- From Keith Gerdes (Trace Technologies) - Cat. 2, Topic 12, Msg. 1 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... -------------------------- || || || Introducing || || Trace Technologies || || || || A Press Release || || October 12, 1992 || || || -------------------------- Trace Technologies is owned and operated by Keith Gerdes. You may be familiar with Keith's commitment -since 1986- to the Atari ST com- munity through his commercial and PD endeavors - including Data Diet, Squish, STuffer and other fine utilities; many of which were distrib- uted by or in association with Double Click Software. The first new software package to be distributed by TraceTech is Data Rescue- 'the complete data recovery solution'. Data Rescue is on schedule for a November 1992 release. Look for a demo to be uploaded shortly after this press release. And TraceTech is the new distributor and point of customer support for Data Diet. I want to thank DC for nudging me out of their "nest", giving me the opportunity to fly on my own. Version 2 is scheduled to ship in December 1992 as both an upgrade to current owners and as a new package- product announcement with full details in November. Also, please watch your online service for any change regarding the Data Diet support area. TraceTech looks forward to serving the ST userbase by producing the advanced software you've come to expect while striving for excellence in support. Oh, by the way, a glimpse into the first half of 1993 yields at least two more new products! "Just call me the new old kid on the block..." :^) Contact methods: Mail Trace Technologies PO Box 711403 Houston, TX 77271-1403 Phone (713) 771-8332 [weekdays 1PM-5PM Central Time] Online GEnie: K.GERDES ---------------- Info on The Newdesk Editor CPX - from REALM - Cat. 2, Topic 39, Msg. 156... ...The number I reached him on was 1-800-237-4737. His tech support line is 1-310-595-9114, although no one called me back. Might as well do the address too... Software Development Systems 996 Redondo Ave. #404 Long Beach, CA 90804 ---------------- From Dave Nutkins (HiSoft) - Cat. 3, Topic 3, Msg. 76... HighSpeed Pascal version 1.6 for the Atari available. This version adds the following features over version 1.5: * support for Line Debugging and global variable names for use with Mon from Devpac 3 * support for the TT's math co-processor. The new FPU code will also take advantage of the co-processor on the Falcon030 if fitted. * further improved compatibility with Turbo Pascal 5.0 * VDI arrays are larger This will be available from Oregon Research Associates soon. If you want to upgrade urgently from version 1.5, then you can order directly from us by returning your master disks with payment of 7.50 pounds. ---------------- You want to connect your Sega up to your SC1224 monitor? - Cat. 4, Topic 8, Msg. 6 & 9... From Jeff Wiles... Raymond Cable does make cables to connect a SC1224 to a Sega and the price is around $35. I had them make me one about 8 months ago but it didn't work for me. They told me I was the first one that couldn't get the two to work together and they refunded my money so it's worth a shot. Very good people to deal with and your money back if it doesn't work. From Barry Reeves... When I called Sega they gave me the number to _Redmond_ Cable (206)882-2009. They are right here in Washington state although there is also a Tennessee number, (615)478-5760. --------------- Some interesting Desk Jet information - Cat. 4, Topic 9, Msg. 62 & 74... From Mike Valent... *Color printing from ANY DeskJet* P.S, Inc. does refills and alternately can provide DJ cartridges filled with ink of various colors. I've recently received cyan, yellow and magenta cartridges and have been experimenting with four-pass four-color C-Y-M-K printing from Calamus SL. While the procedure of changing cartridges and refeeding the sheet of paper through the four color printing cycles takes a bit of time and effort, the results really look great! More from Anna Mason (Atari Advantage)... P.S. Inc will take your empty ink cartridges and refill them with colored ink. They give excellent service, too. You can write them for information and an order form at: P.S. Inc. 317 Booye Terrace Northfield, NJ 08225 Their phone #'s are: (609) 645-1888 FAX (609) 641-5235 ---------------- From Cat. 4, Topic 10, Msgs 30 - 31... Question from Bob Morrow... Anyone know if I can simply take a 1.44 MB floppy and a new floppy controller and drop them into my STe/TOS 2.06 without any problems? I may have to cut the case, but that's not a big deal. Answer from Tom McComb... No you can't. You need additional support circuitry. ---------------- Questions and answers about the ISAC Card - Cat. 4, Topic 28, Msgs. 163- 170... Question from Jim Ness... Are there any op system incompatibilities with the ISAC card? Does it work okay on TOS text screens, giving more columns and rows? And, also with GEM windows, etc? Does Warp 9 help the speed? Answer from Jim Allen (Fast Tech)... The ISAC is $299, available at Dover or through myself. Yes Jim, it is very very compatible, TOS text screens have more rows/columns, GEM windows are bigger, etc. Warp9 not only helps it's CRITICAL!! There are so many more bits moving around that the better code in Warp9 is a godsend. ISAC uses the same memory structure...pixel encoding/bit interleaving ...that the video on the motherboard uses. So it has a leg up over the other color boards in the compatibility dept. Any monitor that can do 1024x768 at 60Hz non-interlaced should be a good partner for the ISAC card. Another question from Charlie Townsley (sysop)... ...Is the ISAC a VME card for the MSTE or so I have to get the AlberTT for that? Or would the AlberTT not work either? Answer from Jim... The ISAC is for MegaST computers. The AlberTT is for MegaSTE and TT computers. Question from K.SCHAFER4... Is the AlbertTT card $299 also? I haven't been able to get any info from anyone. (mebbe Aladdin is eating my mail) Answer from Jim... Last I heard the AlberTT was $500+, I don't know where it stands now, will try to find out. ---------------- Want to build your own "Mutant ST" - Cat. 4, Topic 36, Msgs. 119-121... Question from David Vasileff... ...Suppose that I have a PC XT case w/PS. What can I do to transform it into a hard drive/second floppy case for my good ol' 1040STf? What I have in mind is to buy a host adapter and a hard drive mechanism. I need help in picking out the right adapter/mechanism, and any cabling that I need to pick up as well. I don't know what cables I already have in the case, so it won't help to ask. Can I put in a 3.5" hard drive? Or should it be 5.25? Do I have to mount stuff in there and secure it somehow, or can it just kind of sit in there? Please note that I've never owned a hard drive, so you can throw in any 'every hard drive owner should know' info if relevant. Answer from Norm Weinress... Yes you can, and I have already done it. The only cable that wasn't easily available was one for connecting the 3.5" floppies. I had to make that myself. The XT case and power supply will work fine. I used an ICD host adapter and SCSI hard drives. The cable to connect them is a standard one used in all the PC's. The cable from the host adapter to the ST is supplied by ICD. The floppies have a connector for 34-pin ribbon cables. I had to use a cable for ST floppies, with the strange 14-pin connectors, and cut off one end and attach it to a 34-pin connector. Not easy and not for the beginner. Maybe you could get an Atari store to do it for you. I also had to change some jumpers inside the Atari so it would expect both floppies to be external. Again, a shop is your best bet for that. Another answer from Ron (Atari Explorer)... Fair warning -- brewing your own can become expensive if you make a mistake and become pretty frustrating if things don't work. You may need some "hands & eyeballs on site" kinda help. The extra $100 to get a packaged and tested unit is worth considering. A great option is ICD's new Link adaptor that allows you to use standard SCSI (Macintosh, etc.) drives. But, if you enjoy doing things yourself, it's not all that bad. I'd recommend an ICD host adaptor and 3.5" SCSI hard drive combo. This will give you to most reliable long term data storage solution. A Syquest drive is worth considering also. Syquests are SCSI 5.25" removable cartridge drives and in all other ways act like a fast hard drive. They can be used for backups or you can set up different emulation cartridges to be used as needed. Initial investment is a little high but you can then add 44/88 meg cartridges as needed at $60/$100 a shot. My view of an ideal combination is a relatively small fast SCSI drive (50 meg are pretty cheap now) and a Syquest. A floppy would fit in one bay, the Syquest would another bay and the hard drive could be stuck inside after you remove the PC mother board. Best Electronics may be able to help you with a floppy cable: Best Electronics 2021 The Alameda Suite 290 San Jose, California 95126 408-243-6950 If you don't like drilling holes, a mounting trick that can be used if you do not plan on moving the enclosure around a lot is to use servo tape to mount the drives to the bottom of the case (hope nobody laughs at me too hard here :- ). Servo tape can be bought at most hobby shops that sell radio control equipment. Servo tape is a rubberized double sided tape which does a good job of isolating noise and vibration along with holding things down (as in taking a RC/10 straight into a railroad tie at 30mph and having everything fly off the car but the radio gear stuck down with the servo tape :-) You can peel the tape up and clean things off with lighter fluid if you change your mind or want to rearrange things. ---------------- From Chet Walters (WizWorks) - Cat. 7, Topic 13, Msg. 82... ========================================================= NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM WIZWORKS! MA HUBBARD'S CUPBOARD and Assorted (not sordid) Utilities $19.95 ========================================================= MA HUBBARD'S CUPBOARD Designed as an extension to TOS 2.06, NEODESK, TT TOS, HotWire and ANY program that let's you execute another program from within (Dr. Bob's MVG, FLASH, HYPERLINK). Instant access to twenty programs in a twinkling! 100% Assembly! Uses only 30K! Swap any number of menus in and out while using only that 30K! Access to hundreds of programs. Make it as complicated or as simple as you like. Make nice menus for the kid's game disks. Command lines fully (and conveniently) supported. Easy "chaining" for batch-like automation. Screen blanker capability (use those included or write your own) and date/time display. Single click/single key launches. NOTE: Why was Ma Hubbard's even written with all those program launcher menu programs and alternate desktops already out there? Because all the other one's are OVERKILL! Ma Hubbard's, though it can serve as such, is not intended for use as a "replacement" desktop. It is intended as a supplement to existing launchers and desktops. Enhancement, not replacement is the order of the day with Ma Hubbard's without the overkill complications and memory hungry madness. FSEL EXEC Put this as an icon on your desktop in TOS 2.06 or NEO DESK and you can run a program using the file selector or call up UIS III as a utility. A 100% assembly teeny tiny 1.5K program that won't suck memory from the program that you execute from it. TT PRINT OR SAVE Use the ALT/HELP keys on ANY ST or TT to save your screen to disk or print it on your HP LASER compatible printer (DeskJets too). Works in all ST and TT resolutions with grey scaling for prints of 16 color screens. Prints in three sizes and landscape. Works fine on big screen monochrome and other non-standard sized 16 color screens! FUJIMAUS This one's a HOOT! Your mouse pointer looks where it's going! It goes to sleep if you don't move it for a while. As it sleeps, it will look around to see where the heck you have gone to! Your ST busy bee also becomes animated ticking clock! Great fun! Also included is a rotating or rainbow FUJI symbol to decorate your desktop. All 100% assembly and interrupt driven to be cross compatible with nearly everything. Conflicts with FEW programs on the ST or TT. Fully configurable for your tastes. Use what you like, don't what you don't. SUPER FLAGS A super fast super convenient BATCH flag setter for executables that will let you set the FASTLOAD, TT RAM, PROTECTED MEMORY and other bits in program headers. Can set/unset a single program, only one path full, or every program on every drive that's hooked to your system! No more hunt and peck! Lets you set the FASTLOAD bits on PageStream's executable modules for really fast running of PageStream with little effort on your part. IMG TO ICON Convert any bi-level IMG file to a Degas compatible ICN file. MA HUBBARD'S GAME - For ST low res or ST high res. Takes any DEGAS picture and makes a 31 tile sliding block puzzle out of it. Can you slide them into the right places? Easy, medium and hard. A real challenge (for you cheaters, there's a "cheat" mode). All this with Ma Hubbard's CupBoard, plus more for only $19.95! ========================================================= NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM WIZWORKS! Ladies Purdy and Ugliee! Mug Shot! Data disk #3 $19.95 ========================================================= The long awaited ladies disk for Mug Shot! TWO complete .MGS files! Uglieee! George Fenton, who brought you the wild and crazy guys in MadToons, has been having some strange nightmares. He's put them on disk for you to customize as you will with Mug Shot! Make likenesses of your mother- in-law, your spinster aunt, or even the lady behind the counter at K- mart who won't give you a refund because you forgot your receipt! Purdy! Classic beauties! In direct contrast to the ladies above, you can make your dream girl right in your own home. Who said the ST wasn't sexy! =================================================================== Only $1.00 shipping and handling per order (except Tray). WizWorks! PO Box 45 Girard, OH 44420 We are not listing our phone number. Since it has been necessary to work a "day" job to survive as WizWorks, we cannot always answer the phone on a regular basis. We would prefer that you mail your orders. The reason being that you will get our answer machine more than likely and we will have to call you back several times and it will be hard to make a connection. Plus, it will up our phone bill as it will yours, and we cannot afford a large phone bill right now. Please mail us a check, money order or send us your MasterCard/VISA number and expiration date. Please give us a full address too. Don't worry, you'll get same day service on mailed in orders and there will be no delay. Sorry, but that's the reality of the market. ---------------- From John Trautschold (Missionware Software) - Cat. 8, Topic 2, Msg. 142... /*----------- Important Notice from Missionware Software -----------*/ Hi everyone... Just wanted to post a quick notice regarding upgrades from 2.0 to 2.01... I'm going to be out of town on business for two weeks beginning next Monday, October 26. I'll be returning on November 6. Although regular orders will continue to be shipped while I'm gone, I won't be able to do any upgrades until I return. Therefore, if you send in your disk for upgrade and it doesn't get returned promptly, please don't panic! We'll get them turned around as soon as we get back. If you could spread the word around a bit about this, I'd appreciate it. BTW, although I'll be out of town during this period, I will be traveling with my trusty old Stacy and will continue to communicate with all of you via GEnie. I may not be able to get on daily, but I'll do the best I can. Thanks for your understanding. As you know, Missionware Software prides itself on customer support and we regret not being able to handle all of your needs during this period. Unfortunately, business is business, so... ---------------- From John Snyder (Cali-Co) - Cat. 9, Topic 16, Msg. 1 & 3... On October 30 1992, Cali-Co. will be releasing Mah Jong solitaire 3.0 for the Atari ST. This is a solitaire game in which the tiles are removed by pairs, the object being to remove all the tiles from the playing board. Owners of Mah-Jong Solitaire 2.x can obtain a copy of 3.0 for the modest sum of $10 plus the original 2.x disk. Mah-Jong Solitaire 3.0 can be ordered directly from Cali-Co for $39.95, or from local dealers. Dealer enquiries are welcome. Note: Cali-Co uses minimalistic recycled and recyclable packaging with the intent to be environmentally friendly. Hopefully, this will encourage other corporations to help reduce packaging waste. ...There is a sound effect that the user can turn off or on. As in previous versions of Mah Jong, 3.0 provides Controls for customizing the "Look and Feel" of the game play. Sorry about no music, but we don't really have a development system for coming up with and then incorporating "Real" music into our products. If anyone out there has any suggestions... I'd LOVE to hear them! I have had success using PD .MOD players with 3.0 , but I have never seen a system for making such files or incorporating them into ones programs. ---------------- From ZENOBOT - Cat. 9, Topic 17, Msg. 5... Oxford Softworks, makers of fine computerized board games, is planning to release an ST version of Omar Sharif's Bridge, which is already out in MS/DOS format and distributed by Interplay US. Interplay wouldn't carry the ST version, of course, so it would be an import and under Oxford Softworks' name. ---------------- About the LINK - Cat. 14, Topic 9, Msgs 70-71... Question from Ron Kohorn... ...What is the difference between the LINK and a host adapter or is the LINK just a type of adaptor. Also when a hard drive has a clock, is it in the host adaptor or the drive itself. Answer from Doug Wheeler (ICD)... The Link is simply a very small external host adapter (it's the size of a cable connector). If a hard drive has a clock, it is on the host adapter, not the drive itself. ---------------- What speed of SIMMS should you use - Cat. 14, Topic 14, Msgs. 10-12... Question from Brian Harvey (sysop)... Am I correct that some MEGA STEs had 80 ns SIMMS, while others have 70 ns? Is it clearly written on the SIMMS? Is it in secret code? Do I need a Capt Crunch decoder to understand the code? The reason I am asking is that I can get a friend to buy me some 70 ns SIMMS but I do not want to buy them unless they are the right size. (I need to upgrade my MEGA STE from two to four megs.) Answer from Sheldon Winick (Computer Studio)... The last two numbers on the SIMMs represent the speed (i.e. If the last two numbers printed on the chips is 10, the speed is 100ns). Anything faster than 120ns will work just fine. Most of the factory installed SIMMs that Atari uses are either 100ns or 120ns, although I think you'll find that most of us dealers normally carry faster SIMMs as they're currently readily available and nearly the same price as the slower SIMMs (it just makes good business sense to carry products that have a larger market appeal to minimize stocking requirements). One recommendation I will make however, is to try to keep all the SIMMs in your machine the same speed, as some machines tend to give some rather 'funky' video displays when different speed SIMMs are installed. But in any event, 120ns or faster is all that you will need. ---------------- About MultiMedia - Cat. 25, Topic 10, Msgs. 6-7... From Ringo (Lexicor)... Has anyone else seen/read "Computer Pictures" magazine, it is an excellent magazine that covers MultiMedia products. It is by-monthly at a price of $8.00 Phone 914-328-9157. Now this one of the key magazines that ATARI should place Ads. It is also very clear that the current growing area in computers is the 3D animation industry. The faster the machines the easier is to render an animation. Software applications are now in the works and ATARI needs this market. Some of the Key components for multimedia & computer animation software is the Graphics Tablet, it was made very clear in this publication that a tablet with a pen is more flexible than the mouse. 3D animation rendering, high quality Film retouching/image processing applications are a must have for graphic professionals and DTP users. Lexicor has made computer animation much easier for users and current plans are to provide all ATARI users with the best graphics programs possible. That is why Lexicor is working on Phoenix 512 and other applications. This program works will all ST/e/Mega/MegaSTe/TT/Falcon systems and provide a very flexible system that will render files in a large number of resolutions with using colors palettes from 512 to 16.8 million! Graphical communication is the next step for computers, Sony and many others are working on this. So the graphics machine "ATARI" needs this applications and Lexicor Software is ready to provide this for all ATARI users. From Ed Krimen... There are a few computer graphics/multimedia/imaging/video industry publications that Atari could advertise in. In addition to Computer Pictures, there's Computer Graphics World, which is really slick. There's also AV Video, and then TV Technology which is mainly broadcast-oriented, but I have seen many Amiga references in there before. New Media which was mentioned here before is new and is also good. Actually, Computer Pictures can be sent to you free, as well as the others (except for Computer Graphics World). I don't pay for any of them. I've never paid for Computer Pictures. I even get reminders for free subscriptions to it. In fact, I haven't received one for a long while, so it's about time I give them a call. :^) They list an 800 number in the Mar/Apr issue. It says, "Then pass this copy of Computer Pictures along to a colleague to read, or if you want to keep it for yourself, give us a call on 1-800-800-5474 and ask us to send a copy to your colleague." ---------------- Until next week..... _____________________________________________________________ > COLOR IMAGES EXPLAINED STR InfoFile In depth explanations """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" UNDERSTANDING COLOR IMGS ======================== A novel by Dr. Bob 27 September 1992 IMG file formats, bi-level and color ------------------------------------ The IMG standard from DRI is composed of a file header and encoded (or not encoded) bit-image data. Bi-level, or monochrome, IMGs have a very straight forward and efficient storage method. In fact, the compression ratio is about the best around for non-LZW compression (GIFs and some TIFFs use LZW to achieve quite a great compression ratio). Bi-level IMGs have been in widespread use for quite a while but with the advent of color video systems, the IMG standard has become bogged down. This is due, primarily, to the vagueness in the description of the IMG file format concerning storage of the color data (both the color palette and the color bit image itself). Since GEM has taken a rather backseat position in the computing world today, it is doubtful that DRI will assist in clarifying the issue. And since it can be said that ATARI is the last real GEM strong hold in the computing world (being that the ST's operating system is designed in its entirety around GEM), it would seem a rather natural step that they (Atari) take some step or steps to either publish a standard or at least a suggestion for a standard for color IMG graphics. Alas, this has not happened. In all the seven years since the ST came into being, no color IMG format has gelled into a standard. Several vendors have designed both legal and illegal variations of the IMG standard in order to support color but in the end, all that has come into being is incompatibility. This document will describe four different renditions of color IMG formats (variations on a theme, you might say). A fifth, which has been discovered but not yet dissected, will be appended at a later date. Names will be given to discern one version from another. These names are not intended to detract from anyone's rights or give any privileges to anyone, but simply to keep some clarity amidst the confusion. First we'll examine the normal bi-level IMG format to give us a basis for later comparison. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - GLOSSARY insert: BI-LEVEL: Two colors. Usually meant to be black and white (B/W). This is often called monochrome although 'monochrome' can also imply shades of grey. Bi-Level is a more accurate description of the black-n-white imagery we're concerned with in this document. TOKEN: Used in uncompressing a file. A code, usually only a byte, that indicates the start of a compression scheme. For IMGs, there are four different tokens: $80=Bit-string, $00=Pattern-run, $00+$ff=VRC (note: two bytes) and there is Solid-run which is any other value not listed above. WORD: A 16-bit value, taking up two bytes of space. The order is Motorola Hi-Lo. (on other systems, the order may be reversed to lo-hi) Sample: 256 = hex $0100 $01,$00 128 = hex $0080 $00,$80 DRI: Abbreviation of Digitial Research Inc., the owner of GEM (Graphic Environment Manager) and its parts such as AES, VDI etc - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The standard DRI IMG file header is comprised of eight (8) words: word offset typical description -------------------------------------- 0 $00 $0001 IMG version 1 $02 $0008 Header length * 2 $04 $0001 Number of planes 3 $06 $0002 Pattern def len 4 $08 $0055 Microns width 5 $0A $0055 Microns height 6 $0C $0280 Image width 7 $0E $0190 Image height -------------------------------------- Let's examine each of these. IMG version: This denotes the version of the IMG file format. It is always one (1), by DRI's specification. No other IMG version has ever been designed (or authorized) see: XIMG also HEADER length: This is, slightly, a misnomer since it alludes to the LENGTH of the header. It is actually the number of WORDS in the header, so it may be more accurate to term this: HEADER COUNT All bi-level images have an 8 in this word, meaning that there are 8 words in the header. The value found here for color images will vary depending mainly on the size of the palette and also the particular color IMG rendition. note: since the palette is stored within the header of the IMG file, HEADER COUNT includes the palette data as well as the standard header. Close attention must be paid to this word when working with color IMG files since it is the only way we have to determine the start of the image data. With bi-level IMGs it was safe to assume that all IMG file headers were fixed at 8 words. An assumption like this can be dangerous when working with color IMGs. Always determine the header length from this word. the start of the image is found using: IMAGE_START = Filestart + (HEADER_LEN*2) Number of PLANES: This is, as it seems, the number of planes in the image. Bi-level (mono) images have, of course, only one plane. This word also dictates, as one would assume, the number of colors in the image. An image with 4 planes has 16 colors and an image with 8 planes has 256 colors. NUMBER COLORS = 2^PLANES. PATTERN DEFINITION length: This word is only of importance for one of the compression techniques in the IMG specification from DRI. Some authors may use it and some may not. It specifies the size of patterns for the token PATTERN-RUN, and is usually either one (1) or two (2) but can, in all legality, be ANY number. You'll find, however, that it is usually an EVEN number when it's higher than 1. A 1 means that the pattern to be duplicated is one byte in length or 8-bits. A 2 means the pattern is two bytes wide, 4 means it is four bytes wide and so on. MICRONS, words 4 and 5: MICRONS denote the actual size of the pixels. They can be teeny tiny dots or they can be huge. Many authors may choose to ignore this (and many do) since it is common practice to treat one dot as one video pixel. Also of interest here is the fact that both WIDTH and HEIGHT are specified. This means that the pixels may not necessarily be square (equal in width and height). This is often the case when the image is based on a particular video resolution such as Atari/ST Medium resolution or the PC's 2-color resolution or any other resolution where the aspect is not 1:1 (the TT's low rez comes to mind also). DPI = (25,500/MICRONS) MICRONS = (25,500/DPI) 85 MICRONS = 300 DPI 255 MICRONS = 100 DPI And finally, image WIDTH and HEIGHT: words 6 and 7. Width is specified in number of pixels and height, of course, is the number of lines (or rasters). Although the width is stated in number of pixels, the image only stores whole bytes. If the image WIDTH is 633 pixels then 80 bytes are stored. 79 full bytes and one last byte of which only 1 bit contains any information. The other 7 bits are not valid image data and may be blank, filled or totally garbage. ----------------------------------------------------------------- A note on IMG compression methods: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Although this document does not go into detail on the different compression methods used, there are some details which are important and that are not mentioned or not clearly stated in the normal channels. All and any compression ends at each raster boundary. In other words: each raster is compressed individually. Pattern runs, byte strings, bit runs all end at the end of each raster. Each new raster, if compressed, starts a fresh compression sequence. There is no overrun from one raster to another. Although it up to the author which compression functions to use, it is necessary for an IMG reader to expect a VRC function (even though one particular IMG may or may not contain one). Always assume that an absence of any VRC (or VRC=0) is the same as VRC=1. This will avoid confusion. Since a VRC of 1 does NOT mean to repeat the raster 1 time but means only to write the raster once. Actually, a VRC code of 1 (one) is completely unnecessary in any IMG. If this is encountered it is probably due to a fluke in the authors encoding technique and/or a lack of clarity in his/her source of IMG documentation. This is not to say that a VRC of 1 is in any way illegal. Quite the contrary, it is completely legal; just not a necessity. ----------------------------------------------------------------- *** COLOR IMG FORMAT VARIATIONS *** It can be said that there is only one IMG format in existence. While this is technically true, it is more a case of semantics than an actual real-life truth. If there were only one IMG format then there should be no compatibility problems with any color IMG file and any application that attempts to access that color IMG file. Sadly, that is not the case. While there may be only one FORMAT, there is certainly an abundance of color 'dialects'. Each of which is just different enough to cause woes to the end user. What can be so difficult in establishing a standard color IMG format? The main areas of contention are: 1) color palette, what type of system 2) arrangement of the bit image planes A third item has arisen due to the existence of the different 'dialects' 3) How to discern one type of color IMG file from another. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1) COLOR PALETTE: a) where b) what kind DRI specified no particular method for storing the color palette. Nor did they say where it should be stored. A) where Every color 'dialect' design has, quite curiously, chosen the best method as to where to store the palette data. It is placed directly after the normal file header and the HEADER LENGTH word is adjusted to include this palette data. Conclusion: no problem here. B) kind of color HOW should the palette be stored? This question arises since the ST community has for a long time used and has grown accustomed to the fixed size files of DEGAS, TINY and NEO. When authors then started to design color IMGs they naturally carried over some of their learning, namely the palette. These DEGAS, TINY and NEO files used a palette that is similar to the palettes of other computer systems but with the Atari ST specific word sized colors. This is commonly called a 'hardware' or, in the ST community, the 'XBIOS' style of palette. Since we're working with DRI's IMG file format, it is natural to assume that the color palette also be stored as a DRI standard may or might be. So, other authors decided to, instead, store the palette as the VDI portion of GEM would expect it. Both methods have their advantages. The XBIOS method lends itself to easy porting of other file formats since it is directly hardware oriented and can be efficiently and quickly converted to VDI colors. The VDI method, while portable with a little extra effort, does not require any modification for use in a VDI environment. Conclusion: incompatible palettes. 2) BIT IMAGE PLANES Due to DRI's vague documentation, no clear method has been established as to how to store the color bit image data and seems to be totally open to each authors interpretation. Some have chosen to store each plane of data in its entirety and separate from another, while other authors decided to interleave rasters of each plane. Once again, each method has advantages and disadvantages. Somehow, it would not be surprising to soon find yet a third method appear that stores each pixel in its entirety (like GIF files) or even a fourth method that stores the plane data in a direct ST video layout (like DEGAS, TINY, NEO). Conclusion: incompatible bit-image If it is true, then, that there exists only one IMG format then it must also be true that the IMG format is, indeed, incompatible with itself. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Here, then, are four of the color IMG dialects currently in use. We'll label them: NOSIG, HYPERPAINT, XIMG and STTT. NOSIG is an archaic dialect that is limited to 16 colors. We call it NOSIG because it contains no signature or no means by which to determine exactly what dialect this file may be. We say it is fixed to only 16 colors because, 1) no 256 color IMGs of this sort have been seen and, 2) one must _assume_ that any 8-plane form would follow the same procedures as a four plane file. SIGNATURE: none PALETTE : XBIOS (fixed at 16 colors) BITIMAGE : separate planes HYPERPAINT is an IMG format with a twist. A noted graphic editor will also create these files when used on an STe (using the STe's higher color capacity). SIGNATURE: word $0080 precedes palette PALETTE : XBIOS BITIMAGE : interleaved raster planes XIMG is called such since it stores that ascii text, "XIMG", as a signature in the file header. note: XIMG states an img version of 2 SIGNATURE: long "XIMG" precedes palette PALETTE : VDI style BITIMAGE : separate planes STTT is called such since it stores that ascii text, "STTT", as a signature in the file header. SIGNATURE: long "STTT" precedes palette PALETTE : XBIOS BITIMAGE : separate planes Legend for following chart: A) NOSIG B) HYPERPAINT C) XIMG D) STTT Sample/Typical IMG file headers for 4 plane/ 16 color IMG file: offset description A B C D ----------------------------------------------------------------- 0 imgver 1 1 2 1 2 hedlen 24 25 59 27 4 planes 4 4 4 4 6 patdef 2 2 1 1 8 micwid $0294 $022C $022C $0116 10 michgt $02DF $022C $022C $0116 12 imgwid _ _ _ _ 14 imghgt _ _ _ _ - - - - - - 16 pal $0080 "XI" "ST" 18 pal "MG" "TT" 20 $0000 $0010 22 pal pal 24 ----------------------------------------------------------------- notes: the image width and height are not shown as these will be totally dependent upon the particular image in the file. 'pal' denotes where the palette begins in the header. a 256 color IMG header is very similar. PLANES will be 8 and the value in 'hedlen' will be larger to encompass the larger color palette. The value in the header's headlength will always contain at least an eight since the IMG must have at least the 8 normal header words. Additional words will be added to this sum for the palette and any signature word or long. VDI palette: 3 words per color (1 for each of R,G,B) XBIOS palette: 1 word per color. For a 16 color VDI palette : 48 words For a 16 color XBIOS palette: 16 words For a 256 color VDI palette : 768 words For a 256 color XBIOS palette: 256 words Different variations of color IMGs may also include a signature which is also counted in the HEADER LENGTH word. NOSIG off descrp A --------------------------------------------------------------- 0 imgver 1 always 1, as per DRI specs 2 hedlen 24 24 words = 8 normal + 16 color 4 planes 4 four planes 6 patdef 2 8 micwid $0294 38 DPI 10 michgt $02DF 34 DPI 12 imgwid _ 14 imghgt _ - - - - - - 16 the palette begins here and is 16 words in the XBIOS format (1 word per palette entry) immediately following the palette is the bitimage with each plane stored in its entirety. notes: none problems: Since no signature exists, one must _assume_ that any 4-plane IMG file is actually this format. possible: solution: Check for all other variants first. If the other tests fail then assume that the IMG is this type. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" HYPERPAINT off descrp B --------------------------------------------------------------- 0 imgver 1 always 1, as per DRI specs 2 hedlen 25 8 normal + 16 colors + 1 signature 4 planes 4 four planes 6 patdef 2 8 micwid $022C 45 DPI 10 michgt $022C 45 DPI 12 imgwid _ 14 imghgt _ - - - - - - 16 $0080 (128) this is the only signature of this dialect. 18 the palette begins here and is 16 words in the XBIOS format (1 word per palette entry) immediately following the palette is the bitimage stored as 4 rasters (one from each plane) inter- leaved. notes: The order of the rasters are inverted! Plane-0 is the last raster in each group. In a four-plane IMG, the order of the rasters is: planes 3,2,1,0 problems: The simple signature is misleading since the NOSIG variant expects the palette to begin here, may easily mistake the $0080 signature word to be the first color of the palette. Since these two dialects, NOSIG and HYPERPAINT, are very different in plane layout, you'll find that a wrong choice of dialect will result in a totally trashed picture. possible: solution: The possibility of $0080 being the first palette entry is slim (but still probable). "Best Guess" is all that can be said here. =============================================================== XIMG off descrp C --------------------------------------------------------------- 0 imgver 2 NOTE THIS!! 2 hedlen 59 8 normal + (16 colors *3) + 3 signature 4 planes 4 four planes 6 patdef 1 8 micwid $022C 45 DPI 10 michgt $022C 45 DPI 12 imgwid _ 14 imghgt _ - - - - - - 16 "XIMG" signature (4 bytes) 20 $0000 zero word 22 the palette begins here. It holds 3 words per color in the VDI format of 0-1000. ( 16 colors = 48 words) (256 colors = 768 words) immediately following the palette is the bitimage stored as separate planes. notes: none problems: Eight plane images may appear a bit unwieldy but innovative coding can easily clear this hurdle. possible: Keep a pointer to the image buffer start and solution: weave the image into the proper planes as you uncompress it. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STTT off descrp D --------------------------------------------------------------- 0 imgver 1 as per DRI specs 2 hedlen 27 8 normal + 16 colors + 3 signature 4 planes 4 four planes 6 patdef 1 8 micwid $0116 90 DPI 10 michgt $0116 90 DPI 12 imgwid _ 14 imghgt _ - - - - - - 16 "STTT" signature (4 bytes) 20 $0010 palette count (or the number of colors) 22 the palette begins here and is in XBIOS form (1 word per palette entry) ( 16 colors = 16 words) (256 colors = 256 words) immediately following the palette is the bitimage stored as separate planes. notes: the 'palette count' word is a good redundancy check problems: Eight plane images may appear a bit unwieldy but innovative coding can easily clear this hurdle. possible: Keep a pointer to the image buffer start and solution: weave the image into the proper planes as you uncompress it. ______________________________________________________________ > SAME OLD POLITICS? STR FOCUS! SOFTWARE SELLS HARDWARE! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" What Are Applications? or Should The CodeHeads Have a Falcon? Compiled by Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. Senior Staff Editor for STReport Recently there's been quite a bit of controversy on all of the major on- line networks about whether Atari should put CodeHead Technology at the top of the Falcon list to receive a Falcon 030. The following are two posts from the ST Roundtable on Genie (Category 32, Topic 11, Posts #96 and 109) discussing this subject. STReport feels that after you read the CodeHead's response, you'll agree with us that the CodeHead's have taken the high-road in this discussion. ---------------- From OUTRIDER - Like others, I've gotten kind of angry about the Code-Heads not being among the first to get a Falcon. I posted messages in AtariNet to Bob Brodie from both Charles and John, as well as my own message, all expressing displeasure over this situation, and asked WHY. Here is Bob's response: -----8<----- Atari ST Computers / Atari Explorer, #96 of 101 Date: 20 Oct 92 23:13:00 From: Bob Brodie of 51:1/13.706 To: Terry May Subj: CodeHeads Falconless - Why? In reply to: >Can you please explain why CodeHead Technologies, arguably the most >respected, most liked, and most important developer for the Atari >platform has been unable to secure a Falcon030 for development? Sure...they don't write ANY applications. The CodeHeads (whom I regard as personal friends) are creators of some of the most wonderful util- ity software on the market. I personally own almost every piece of software that they have written. Maxifile, MultiDesk, HotWire, G+Plus, Code Keys, Warp 9 are all wonderful products. None of them by themselves gives people a reason to purchase an Atari Falcon030. They * enhance * the performance of the Atari Computer, via various means. With all due respect, none of the applications that CodeHead is pre- sently selling is created by them. The TEC Board is imported from Germany. Calligrapher is from the UK. Avant Vector is from Germany, MegaPaint is from Germany. NONE of those applications has been created by CodeHead Technologies. We've been asking them to create applications for several years now. They've not produced a single one. While I share your sentiment that they are well respected, liked, and revered, I cannot share your view of their importance. DMC, the makers of Calamus S/L is important. SoftLogik, the creators of PageStream is important. Digitial Arts, the creators of Retouche is important. Digitial F/X. creators of a terrific direct to disk recording system is important. Dr. T's is important. Steinberg, creators of Cubase is important. All of these developers give people a reason to choose an Atari Computer because of an application. CodeHead does not. Please do not take this as a flame to CodeHead. It's not. You asked why they don't have an Atari Falcon030 yet. This is why...no flame intended. If they have some application up their sleeve, they should fill us in on it. Again, I consider the CodeHeads to be personal friends. They know why they don't have a Falcon. --- FiFo V2.1o [IOSmail 0.89] # Origin: FNET #706: Z*Net Golden Gate - California * Origin: * 51:1/13.0@Atarinet.ftn Z*Net News Service 908-968-8148 (51:1/13.706) -----8<----- And in reply to a message I posted from GSCOTT-MOORE, also expressing displeasure at the CodeHeads being Falconless (although it's addressed to me, it's actually to GSCOTT-MOORE): -----8<----- Atari ST Computers / Atari Explorer, #99 of 101 Date: 20 Oct 92 23:14:00 From: Bob Brodie of 51:1/13.706 To: Terry May Subj: CodeHeads Falconless - Part 3 In reply to: >Where the heck do I forward this message where someone will know how >I feel about this idiocy? I am really miffed that you guys aren't >4 months into the machine and both hailing it's glories and >RECTIFYING AND OPTIMIZING ITS DEFICIENCIES! What the heck are >"utility" programmers for anyway? OK, so you found someplace to forward it to. :) In answer to what the heck are "utility" programmers for anyway...Good question. They are to enhance the applications and the system software on a computer. In the rest of the message it was fairly clear to me that the author hasn't seen the NewDesktop yet. If he really wants to give CodeHead more business, he should buy a TEC Board from them. (smile) Don't get me wrong, they write great stuff. And they will get a Falcon. AFTER applications programmers. PS- ST Report is a less than credible source. Please don't quote them in this conference any more...all it ever brings us is trouble. Thanks for understanding. --- FiFo V2.1o [IOSmail 0.89] # Origin: FNET #706: Z*Net Golden Gate - California * Origin: * 51:1/13.0@Atarinet.ftn Z*Net News Service 908-968-8148 (51:1/13.706) -----8<----- There were other responses to my query, from U.S. users and overseas users alike, all very much supportive of the CodeHeads and their quest for a Falcon, and their importance to the Atari community. I felt Bob's answer was very honest and straightforward, but it didn't change my opinion much. I think loyal developers who command an equally loyal following deserve the same loyalty from Atari. Response from John Eidsvoog at CodeHead Technologies - The quest of CodeHead Technologies to obtain access to a Falcon has drawn much attention lately across the Atari community. Discussions about the reasons why we've been unable to get a Falcon are pointless and only serve to divide an already small group of Atari enthusiasts at a time when we should all be working together toward salvaging the remains of the Atari market. The parallels between the Atari market and the United States of America are remarkable. Both institutions were once great but have faltered over the last few years as a result of misguided management. Luckily, we can do something about the state of the nation by casting our votes for those we feel can best reverse the decline we've experienced. But in the case of Atari, we have less control. As Atari enthusiasts, we're very limited in what we can do to help. Voicing our concerns will have no effect if no one is listening. The trick is to get someone to listen. As to how that can be done, I have no idea. History has taught us that Atari's direction is unswayed by the advice of its customers. At CodeHead Technologies we've always been quite independent in our development needs, not requiring much of anything from Atari except new machines when they were released. Our support for Atari computers has been steadfast over the years, unswayed by the opinions and degree of respect we receive from Atari management. While we may not agree with the habitual misdirection of Atari's marketing efforts, we have continued to try our best to provide our customers (and theirs) with the best software possible. In turn, we expect nothing from Atari but a fair shake. All we desire is that nothing impede our abilities to assure our customers of compatibility between our software and the hardware on which they'd like to use it. There seems to be a need by many to place software into predefined slots of either "applications" or "utilities". When Bob Brodie was asked why CodeHead has been unable to secure a Falcon030 for development, he responded "they don't write ANY applications." While it's true that much of the software we write is utility software, we consider at least two of our creations, HotWire and MaxiFile, to be _applications_. They provide us with a solid base from which to operate our computers. We could not be nearly as productive as we are without the use of HotWire for software development and daily operation of our computers as we fill orders, do DTP work, graphics, and on-line support. And MaxiFile is acclaimed by many as one of the best tools for use on _any_ platform. Who's going to ask Norton when they're going to write some "real applications"? Perhaps the best argument I can make is in relation to Atari's idea that applications are what sell computers, not utilities. I don't think anyone will dispute the fact that there is one piece of software that is responsible for an unprecedented surge in the sales of IBM- compatible computers and clones in the last couple of years. That piece of software is Microsoft Windows. Whatever one's individual impressions are about Windows as a usable tool, there's no denying that it has single-handedly been responsible for a revolution in the popularity of MS-DOS machines. It has turned these clumsy command-line driven machines into user-friendly machines to which those who are not computer-literate can relate. So the question is, which slot does Windows fall into? Is it a utility? If so, how could it possibly be responsible for selling all those millions of machines? Is it an application? If so, why aren't HotWire and MaxiFile considered applications? But let's ignore this flaw in logic and assume that CodeHead has NOT written any applications. Bob said, "We've been asking them to create applications for several years now. They've not produced a single one". We've answered this question over and over but apparently it hasn't sunk in. Before we invest man-years in the development of a major application, we need to have some assurance that we'll be able to sell more than a thousand copies. We keep waiting, and the Atari market keeps dwindling. No intelligent businessman is going to simply pour money down a black hole. You see, we've been asking Atari to sell computers for several years now! There has not been a significant number of NEW Atari customers for several years, and this makes it impossible to sell significant numbers of software applications. So you may be asking, "why is it that other developers are able to write major applications for Atari computers?" Let's examine the developers who are "important" in the eyes of Atari. Every one of them is either based in Europe, where there used to be a healthy market, or strongly entrenched in other platforms (like the Mac, PC, or Amiga) where they can make enough money to take a gamble on porting their software to the Atari (or continuing to simply maintain it). German Atari developers: DMC, Digital Arts, TradeiT, etc. MIDI developers heavy into other platforms: Dr. T, Steinberg, Digital F/X, C-Lab. SoftLogik: Making most of its current income from the Amiga market, but trying desperately to continuing supporting Atari. Where does this all leave CodeHead? We are indisputably the most prolific and most respected Atari-only developer in the US. What does that get us? The respect of our customers. John Eidsvoog /|\ Member of the IAAD CodeHead Technologies \|/ Serving the Atari Community ______________________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL "Rumors Tidbits Predictions Observations Tips" """"""""""""""""""""" - Sunnyvale CA REVOLVING DOOR ALIVE & WELL! ------------ The latest victims of Atari's infamous "Revolving Door" are Bernie Stollar who was going to revolutionize and upgrade Atari's communicative skills. Bernie, originally from the Village Voice in NYC, has departed from the hallowed halls of Atari after only a short stay. Then comes Alwin Stumph the newly appointed head of Atari Europe. The various Atari subsidiaries in Europe were consolidated under Stumph's Atari Germany. Stumph, long regarded as _the_ main thrust behind Atari's successes in Europe leaves shortly after it was revealed the construction costs of the new German facilities were just shy of ten million dollars. While unavailable for comment, it is rumored his departure may be linked to the now obvious "late delivery dates" of the new Atari Falcons earmarked for Europe. - Rockville, MD. GENIE'S ST RT HOSTS NOVELTY "LIVE" HONG KONG CONF. -------------- In a precedent setting "real time" environment, the ST RT on GEnie held an online conference originating at the GEIS Head Office in the Far East's jewel of the Orient, Hong Kong. A first for GEnie, the novelty conference was enjoyed by all in attendance. (approx 15 users) A number of prices were made mention of in relation to USA prices, ie., 4mb STe $150.00 US ea., Lynx games are $4.00 US ea., Not bad, considering the exchange rates, but.. when one adds in the air fare etc.. - Boca Raton, FL CIS ATARI AREA SEARCHES FOR MIDI SYSOP -------------- Due to changing priorities and interests, our MIDI expert, John Davis, has informed me that he is no longer able to devote adequate time and energies to the job of AtariArts Forum MIDI Sysop. Rather than do an incomplete job, John has suggested that we ought to find someone with more time to handle the task, especially with the upcoming introduction of the Falcon. Therefore, effective immediately, I will begin accepting applications for the job of MIDI/Music specialist for the AtariArts forum. Applicants should respond via EMAIL to Ron Luks 76703,254 between now and November 10th. Include your qualifications in the area of Midi/Music, your familiarity with the CompuServe Forum software, and any ideas for building up the Midi/Music activity (messages and library files) in the AtariArts Forum. Job responsibilities will include; posting and replying to messages and user questions in the Midi/Music message section and previewing files uploaded to the Midi/Music library. You will be furnished with free access to the Atari Forums upon acceptance and after a brief time period, a system-wide free user ID. Please include a phone number (daytime preferred, but evening phone is okay) so that we can talk in realtime. Ron Luks - 76703,254 Manager, Atari Forums on CompuServe - Winona, MN NEW SYSLAW BOOK: MASSIVELY REVISED AND EXPANDED! ---------- SysLaw, Second Edition: THE LEGAL GUIDE FOR ONLINE SERVICE PROVIDERS by Lance Rose, Esq., and Jonathan Wallace, Esq. SysLaw provides BBS sysops, network moderators and other online service providers with basic information on their rights and responsibilities, in a form that non-lawyers can easily understand. Subjects covered include the First Amendment, copyrights and trademarks, the user agreement, negligence, privacy, criminal law, searches and seizures, viruses and adult materials. SysLaw not only explains the laws, it gives detailed advice enabling system operators to create the desired balance of user services, freedom, and protection from risk on their systems. SysLaw is available from: PC Information Group 800-321-8285 or 507 452-2824 1126 East Broadway Winona, MN 55987 You may order by credit card or by mail. Price is $34.95 plus $3.00 shipping and (if applicable) sales tax. Price is subject to change after January 1, 1993. For additional information please contact: Publisher Brian Blackledge at 800-321-8285. - Cupertino, CA APPLE OFFERS THE "EASY WAY" ------------- The Easy Way; Apple USA offers creative financing and special software package deals that include applications to run IBM compatible personal computer (PC) software on the Macintosh and for data exchange with PCs to businesses. The emphasis placed in the direct mailout literature is toward the purchase of a Macintosh IIsi. Financing choices include a lease to businesses with no money down, no security deposit, and no payments for 30+ days. A "90 day same as cash" plan on a purchase of a Macintosh and software or peripherals purchased at the same time via the Apple Credit Card is also offered along with a unique trade-in/exchange program where Apple will accept used Apple, IBM, and Compaq computers with a minimum cumulative trade-in/exchange value of $1,000 credit toward the purchase of a new Macintosh. Excellent software package deals such as Lotus 1-2-3 for Macintosh, Wordperfect for Macintosh, Universal SoftPC and AccessPC is offered to Macintosh computer buyers for the discount price of $399.00 The SoftPC and AccessPC software products are specifically aimed toward allowing Macintosh users to run PC software programs and exchange data with PC users via floppy disks. - San Diego, CA "MYSTERY ORDER" OF 25,000 FALCONS PENDING? ------------- According to our sources, the _may_ be a twenty five thousand unit order of Falcons in the works. Although the originator of the PO is being kept under wraps, its alleged to be a strong 'blue chip' purchaser. Further its been reported the order is hinged on a solid delivery time table and will, more than likely, contain a clause known as a penalty clause. This could very well be the beginning bell heralding the successful journey of the Falcon for Atari. - Glendale Ca. ATARI USER MOVES TO NEW LOCATION ------------ Ask for your FREE copy of AtariUser, every month at participating computer stores, music stores, and user groups, or subscribe now for home delivery. Subscriptions are now only $15 for one year (12 issues), or $25 for rush First Class Delivery. Foreign delivery is $30 a year. Credit card orders are accepted by phone, and sample copies are $2 by mail. Contact AtariUser at their NEW address and phone numbers -------------------------------------------------------- AtariUser Magazine 249 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 332 Glendale, CA 91203 Telephone/Voicemail: 818-246-6277 FAX: 818-242-2129 GENIE: ATARIUSER __________________________________________________________ > STR Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" """"""""""""" STReport's MailBag """""""""""""""""" Messages * NOT EDITED * for content ----------------------------------- From FNET/USENET; CANADIANS IRKED! Atari USA examples Nntp-Posting-Host: cc4.crl.aecl.ca Organization: AECL RESEARCH Date: Tue Oct 20 09:02:09 EDT 1992 -In article <19OCT92.firstname.lastname@example.org- email@example.com -writes: Now that Atari Canada has died, I have to deal with Atari USA. -The situation has gone from poor to awful. My only impression of Atari -USA is that the corporation is, on the whole, suicidal. I thought I had -communication problems with Toronto; hell, things look rosy compared -with Sunnyvale. -Care to describe some of your experiences with Atari USA? When Atari Canada closed its office, I called Sunnyvale. It took 5 calls before someone was named to handle my inquiries; Barbara Benson. I Fax'ed her the details of an order that I had placed with Atari Canada just before it closed its office (TT, Portfolios). Barbara Fax'ed me that she would look after my order and that it would take about a week to process. Her FAX was on August 13th. The TT came in the last week of September, the portfolios arrived last week. Incidentally, I spoke with Shirley Taylor about the order and twice I was told that the Portfolios had been shipped. On the third call to Sunnyvale re: the Portfolios, the order was FINALLY shipped. I ordered a TT030/4/50; a TT/2/50 was shipped. I called Sunnyvale and was told a 4 meg TT RAM board was also being shipped. It arrived about 4 days after the TT. The client has a 32 meg TT RAM board and wanted 4 megs of ST RAM. I have asked for an RA number for the TT RAM and as yet have not received one. The invoice came in for the TT and I Fax'ed Atari USA to ask if the invoice was in US or CDN dollars. That was last week; still no reply. If it is in US dollars, the price of the TT030/2/50 will be $CDN 165 higher than the TT030/4/50 that Atari Canada quoted me. Now that I have had to supply 2 megs of ST RAM out of my inventory, I will end up losing money on the sale (my cost is now higher than retail and I have dozens of calls and FAX charges piled up from trying to get the order completed). This whole interaction with Sunnyvale has been a disaster. I even Fax'ed Sam Tramiel and asked him to tell his Canadian market rep to get on the job. I have asked if I could get ONE FALCON to demo and I have yet to receive either a yes or a no. So, have things gone from poor to awful, you bet! I'll repeat what I Fax'ed to Sam Tramiel. I jump through hoops for my clients; any one who wants to market a product that has inherent weaknesses (low visibility of Atari makes marketing hard) has do work hard to sell. I expect Atari USA to treat its clients (its dealers) with respect and to do whatever it takes to keep product flowing to them. If I quit Atari sales, I still have a good income to live on. If Atari USA folds, you guys will be looking for work!! C'mon, get it together and make it tolerable for me to sell Atari products. Atari Enthusiast and Ticked-off Reseller ---A reply message to the above--- I've spoken to three of the Toronto dealers and without fail they are ALL reporting the same problems! I was actually encouraged that Atari Canada were shutting down, as the type of operation was costing Atari money; BUT I expected they would leave an intact sales/marketing force. Now, this is turning into an UNMITIGATED DISASTER!! Toronto is one of the top four markets in North America (L.A., Chicago and N.Y. being the others), there is a strong (for Atari) user base and dealers can't get stock, or can only get it at prices that are completely irrational, given the market here. WAKE UP ATARI - PLEASE!!!!! Don't lose the market share you have, here. From GEnie's ST RT John Eidsvoog of the Codeheads clears the air.... but the _hurt_ is still very evident over the "NO FALCON FOR THE CODEHEADS" debacle. Category 32, Topic 31 Message 69 Tue Oct 13, 1992 J.EIDSVOOG1 [CodeHead] at 11:11 EDT Rod Martin, >...but I won't press. Wow, is that what you call "not pressing"? It sounds like you've now accepted the re-explanation of my original comment, but you're not going to believe that Charles's comment meant anything other than that we're leaving the Atari market. (And please don't take that last sentence out of context and say the CodeHeads said "we're leaving the Atari market".) Charles said "Maybe they're trying to tell us something. Maybe we should listen." That's all he said. It's quite clear. He didn't see "we're leaving the Atari market". He didn't say "that's it, we're fed up...we're outta here". He didn't say "we're not gonna take it any more". He said exactly what he said. I don't know if it's a GEnie problem, or a general problem in reading comprehension, but it really starts getting bothersome how many times people put their own interpretation on statements that are made in plain English. Both Charles and I are well skilled in the English language and when we make statements, we expect them to be taken literally. No translation is necessary. Occasionally, we may make a mistake in getting our message across, but we always try to rectify it. Admittedly, Charles's statement may have been vague, but the most I could make of what he said at face value is that it is some sort of threat. Maybe he's trying to scare Atari into respecting us as a real, professional software company, worthy of their support. As to how you can jump to the conclusion that this means we're leaving the Atari market, I don't know. Once again, please DO NOT take any of the numerous quotes and statements in this message out of context. WE ARE NOT LEAVING THE ATARI MARKET. I'm at a loss as to how I can make that any more clear. John ------------ Loyal Codehead Fans upset.... Category 32, Topic 31 Message 74 Tue Oct 13, 1992 LYRE at 23:38 EDT Rob, BTW, the ST Aladdin program is currently at version 1.50. I haven't checked to see if W9 fonts operate correctly or not. I'll get back to you. Codeheads, I know that this might seem trivial, but have you thought about doing a survey? Why not ask in the various (ha ha) Atari publications that *all* the readers reply to it. Make it a reader reply type thing, no postage necessary (your chances of getting a response are better). This might help to sway Atari in regards to obtaining a Falcon. After all, if alienating a software vendor who is supporting 90% (or whatever it happens to be) of Atari's market so that they can not provide product for a computer that might very well be a "Do or Die" situation for Atari (that's my assumption, not necessarily true) then they are _causing_ the potential failure of their own business. But then, that is not exactly "news" now is it? Lyre """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" "We don't advertise because ...." """"""""""""""""" "The business that considers itself immune to the necessity of advertising sooner or later finds itself immune to business! OR... Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does!" ...excerpt from business 101 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > ABCO SPECIALS! 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Many other configurations available. 20mb - 3.5gb NOTICE - NOTICE - NOTICE - NOTICE """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" SPECIAL PURCHASE! * 83mb - 1345mb * Hard Disk Mechanisms Call for SUPER PRICING!! Limited Time Only!! FULLY ASSEMBLED SCSI DRIVES w/o ICD LINK Available ADD $35.00 for 4 BAY SUPER CABINET w/250+w PS EXOTIC TOWER CABINETS AVAILABLE Call for Info! PLEASE NOTE: The above is partial listing only! FAST TECHNOLOGY ACCELERATOR UPGRADES AVAILABLE & INSTALLED ***** >> ABCO proudly offers ATARI PRODUCTS << Call for ABCO's * HIGHLY COMPETITIVE PRICING! * ATARI COMPUTERS * STILL THE BEST VALUE! ***** Original Atari Mouse replacement: $35.00 NEW! If you don't see what you want listed here, call us. Odds are, we either have it or, can get it for you! * GUARANTEED * AT THE BEST POSSIBLE PRICE! * ** 800-562-4037 ** "WE SERVICE WHAT WE SELL" ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ****** * SYQUEST 44MB (#555) >> ABCOFILE "44" & "88" * * REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVES * --->> LIMITED TIME SPECIAL! 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