Z*Net: 7-Nov-92 #9217From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 11/09/92-11:17:28 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: Z*Net: 7-Nov-92 #9217 Date: Mon Nov 9 23:17:28 1992 ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ##########(((((((((( ##########((( ##(( ##((((((( ##(((((((( ########## #################(( ####(( ####(((( #(( ##(( ##########(( ############# ##############(( #####(((((( ##(( (( (( ##((((( #######(( ############# ###########(( ##########(( ####(( #(((( ##(( ##########(( ############# ##########(((((((((( ##########(( ##((( ##((((((( #####(( ############# ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### Z*NET: ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE ---------------------------- November 7, 1992 Issue #17 Volume 7, Number 17 Copyright (c)1992, Syndicate Publishing Company ~ Publisher/Editor..........................Ron Kovacs ~ Assistant Editor...........................John Nagy ~ Contributing Editor........................Ed Krimen ~ Z*Net News Service........................Jon Clarke ~ Contributor................................Bob Smith $ GEnie Address..................................Z-NET $ CompuServe Address........................75300,1642 $ Delphi Address..................................ZNET $ Internet/Usenet Address................status.gen.nz $ America Online Address......................ZNET1991 $ AtariNet Address...........................51:1/13.0 * Z*Net: News Service FNET 593 AtariNet 51:1/13 (908) 968-8148 * Z*Net: Golden Gate FNET 706 AtariNet 51:1/9 (510) 373-6792 **--CONTENTS--** ### The Editors Desk..............................Ron Kovacs Just A Dream? ### The Z*Net Newswire...................................... Latest Atari News and Industry Update ### The Falcon: Close-Up and Inside................John Nagy AtariUser Magazine Exclusive! ### Gemulator Review............................Don Liscombe Full review and commentary ### Z*Net Computer Calender................................. Shows and Events ### Installing a High Density Drive.............Kevin Conway For MegaSTe Owners! ### 8-Bit Owners Update..........................Jeff Potter Utilities available! ### Lure Of The Temptress Review...........Patricia Barbiero RP Game Review ###### THE EDITORS DESK ###### By Ron Kovacs ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- IT WAS JUST A DREAM! It is a weird feeling when you fall asleep and think you ended publishing a popular online magazine. Damn, what a dream it was.... It started out simply by the release of an announcement saying that we were going to become an new online magazine, being assisted by the folks at Atari and my good friends Bobby and Pam. It seems to go on for months, through the summer and into the fall. Time would just fly by, issue after issue was released and then a terrible accident happened! My good friend Bobby was hit by a car, believe it or not, driven by his sister-in-law! It was a shock indeed! Bobby died a few days later, was buried and then the alarm clock went off. Sheesh!! Was it real or just a dream? After awaking, I know I didn't have any friends named Bobby or Pam and Z*Net really didn't go away! Seriously, thanks for downloading Z*Net Atari Online Magazine. The last issue we published appeared last April and changed to Atari Explorer Online Magazine on May 1, 1992, which continues today under the direct editing of Atari Corporation. Some of the Z*Net staff will be assisting the new staff of AEO from time to time, so don't be surprised seeing our names in the online in future releases. There has been a lot of speculation as to why the return of Z*Net, and more recently, rumors spreading about a falling out or even something more disasterous. There is nothing further from the truth about the seperation, it was amicable, friendly and our relationship remains very strong. Our hopes are that the two online magazines enhance each other. Z*Net returns to weekly release dates and as in the past, will be released AFTER 9pm eastern time on Friday evenings. (That is after we release this edition) After validation, you should see all issues on GEnie and CompuServe. Note: There are two Degas pictures attached to this edition that are part of the Exclusive Falcon article from AtariUser Magazine. ###### THE Z*NET NEWSWIRE ###### Latest Atari News and Industry Update ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- RIGHT SIZING STILL SHAKING ATARI Atari Corp continues to re-shape itself in preparation for 1993's marketing of their new products. Trimming more people and places from the expense column this fall is the announced closing of Atari's Dallas, Texas research and development labs. Forty employees and programmers working there have been offered relocated jobs at the Sunnyvale, California headquarters of Atari. It's said that a few employees who are now job shopping have a resume entry that states that their latest completed project was the Atari 68040 design. Atari similarly dismantled the Lombard, Illinois LYNX development labs earlier in 1992. Eric Smith, the original MiNT multitasking programmer whose project is the basis for the upcoming MultiTOS, started full-time work at Atari Corp in early November. Meanwhile, TOS team programmer Ken Badertscher has accepted a position with Taligent, the IBM/Apple project consortium. At the management level, Atari's rising marketing/development star Bernie Stolar resigned in October. Bernie's accomplishments during his 9-month stay included many game development contracts for Atari computers, management of the consolidation of the Entertainment division, and hiring of the new Atari Explorer magazine staff. Also leaving is long-time head of Atari Germany, Alwin Stumpf. Guesses as to why include observations that Alwin's hard-line high-market orientation conflicts with the current Atari direction of consumer-level penetration. Confusing Alwin's departure is a message signed with Stumpf's name that has been circulated online and in some publications that profess to explain why MultiTOS and FSMGDOS are being delayed (contract problems) and a statement that the Falcon030 will NOT be produced as shown. The message has been discredited as a fraud, as have followup messages in the same network purporting to be from Sam Tramiel and Jesus of Nazareth. The content of the "Stumpf" message has been denied vehemently by Atari and Stumpf co-workers, as well as disproved by other events (such as Eric Smith's hiring). Remaining Atari officials have been scurrying and working late to prepare for the mid-November Las Vegas COMDEX appearance for Atari. Holding the largest booth and the best located real estate in the huge Sands Convention Center for the worlds largest computer trade show, Atari is still mum about what they'll display. Speculation runs from a two-piece Falcon to a 68040 or even a sneak look at the Jaguar game console. Whatever it may be, Z*Net will be there, and we'll show and tell you later this month. WAACE: DC AREA FEST ANOTHER HIT The Sheraton Reston in Virginia had another full house at this year's WAACE Atari festival, October 10th and 11th. Officially attended by 1,200 to 1,400 people, down from last year's 2,000, 40 vendors still made their traditional record breaking sales this year. Inclement torrential rain leading up to the Columbus Day weekend didn't aid the turnout. Atari was able to send Bill Rehbock and several Falcons to spice things up, and Bill also spoke at seminars and the Saturday night WAACE Banquet. The technical manager from Atari told of SUTRA, a Microsoft- Works type integrated program, developed in India, that Atari is prepping to either bundle with all Falcons or to sell cheaply as a competent do-it-all starter package. Demos of the Falcon and Speedo- FSMGDOS were met with happy but impatient crowds. Most show-goers got a free copy of the just-released October AtariUser at the CodeHead and PMC booths while checking out Warp 9 and Gemulater, respectively. Other hot items were: Dave Small (with videotape annotated seminar) speaking of Spectre GCR version 3.7 to come and showing a Falcon opened up; Missionware's completed but still being updated Flash II and Cyber Paint (now working on STe and TT machines); Lexicor with JRI GenLock boards for the Falcon and showing Phoenix 512, like Spectrum 512 but for the true-color modes of the Falcon; Bob Luneski's Diamond Edge and Diamond Back II; Wintertree's Spelling Sentry; Computer STudio with deals on hardware and software (six TT's went out from STudio alone); and the DMC/Calamus/FastTech/GEnie booth. Other retailers of note included Toad, Joppa, and CompuSeller West. Seminars and special topic rooms are the special forte of the WAACE show, with a schedule that went on and on. While some were lightly attended, others were big hits. Dave Small and Bill Rehbock understandably made the biggest impact, drawing enough people to nearly empty the sales floor. Seminars on DynaCADD and Calamus, "Meet the Atari Press", telecommunication services (featuring early Atari personality Neil Harris, now of GEnie), etc., did well too. A swap room, a MIDI demo room, and an education room each held bustling crowds and great exhibits. WAACE organizers Ken Fassler, Russ Brown, and J.D. Barnes are all to be congratulated again this year for bringing a professional quality Atari show together. As always, plans have already been tossed around as to what to do next year, for another Atari date to remember. MONTREAL FAME FAME 1992 was the Festival Atari de Montreal et Environs, held the weekend of September 19 and 20. It was the first Atari Fest held in Canada's Montreal area in four years, and was organized by the Atari ST/MEGA Users Montreal (ASTMUM) and the Montreal Atari Club de Montreal (MACAM). Although attendance was only about 200, organizers call FAME a success. Vendors included MACAM with intriguing "extended calculators" that work with word processors or spreadsheets, designed to handle data and variables used in chemical calculations and statistics. Microdel, ALP Micro Systems, Progeni Computers, and Italmelodie Music also were exhibiting at FAME. ASTMUM focuses on musical and artistic uses of Atari computers, and their members consist of MIDI musicians, composers, videographers, artists, technicians, and business people. NORTH CAROLINA SHOW ON AGAIN After a pair of cancellations for 1992 dates in the San Francisco area, The Sacramento Atari ST Users Group (SST) has elected to go it alone and announce the Sacramento Atari Computer Exposition (SAC Expo) for March 13th and 14th in Sacramento, California. The earlier events were planned as cooperative efforts with Bay area clubs. SST plans a full- size two day affair, held in the special events area of the Towe Ford Museum, home of the worlds most complete antique Ford automobile collection. Admission to the museum will be free for those who attend the SAC Expo. The museum is located at the intersection of Interstates 5 and 80, just 15 minutes from the Sacramento Metropolitan Airport. Hotel reservations are available by contacting Mark or Dell at Sports Leisure Travel, 800-321-4758. Vendor packets have been mailed to the developers and vendors contacted by SST at the Glendale show in September. Contact the SAC Expo through Nick Langdon (Vendor Coordinator), C/O SST, P.O. Box 214892, Sacramento, Ca 95821-0892, or call 916-723-6425. GEnie: M.WARNER8. AARI HONG KONG ON GENIE Jon Clarke of Z*Net's Global News Gateway offered a first on GEnie in September when he hosted a worldwide real-time conference from the head office of the HongKongBank in Hong Kong. Although Jon normally does business for a New Zealand banking service, he reports in from various ports around the world as his business takes him abroad. How's the Atari market in Hong Kong? Cheap. Although there are actual Atari dealers, the prices are depressed due to both the trading rate of US currency and the presence of "backdoor" units on the market, not clones, but production from the local factories that "leak" out the back door. Jon reported that he bought a used Lynx for $1 US, and that game carts run about $4 each. He told of the Golden Shopping Center in Sham Shu Poo, with over 1,000 computer stores (!). A 4 meg STe was about $150 in US currency. All games and most programs are $4 each, with open piracy by the shop owner. "Just point to the software and it is copied while you wait." The dealer only needs one copy for the duration of his dealership. Jon added that this was mainly in the Kowloon markets, not in the "high street" stores. GEnie will soon be opening up consumer services in Hong Kong, where Jon reports there are now about 150 private BBS systems operating, including some for the Atari. The Atari Roundtables on GEnie are official information services of Atari Corporation. To sign up for GEnie service, call (with modem) 800-638- 8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type XJM11877,GEnie and hit RETURN. C-LAB FOLDS, EMAGIC TAKES OVER Internal company unrest and division has brought C-Lab, developers and manufacturers of the most successful Atari MIDI sequencing programs, Creator and Notator, to an end. C-Lab products will be taken over by a new company formed by Ensoniq, the US distributors of C-Lab as well as a line of electronic hardware for the music industry. EMAGIC will maintain support and development of the Atari platform, and includes some of the same people who were C-Lab. Notator 3.1 was recently hailed in Keyboard magazine as the best MIDI sequencing program available for any computer. Announcements from Ensoniq about Emagic include news of "Notator Logic" for the Macintosh, to be released before the end of 1992. Emagic joins Steinberg/Jones and Barefoot Software as the major remaining MIDI developers for Atari computers. Barefoot formed from the Hybrid Arts takeover this summer, and Dr. T's stopped developing for the Atari in 1992. Contact Emagic through Ensoniq Corp, attention David Netting, 155 Great Valley Parkway, Malvern, CT 19355, 213-647-3930, extension 297. ICD PRO The favorite for many Atarians, ICD's hard drive software and utilities are heralded for quality, speed, and comprehensive coverage. And it all works only when used with an ICD host adapter or Link. Until now. ICD is coming to grips with the fact that their software won't be used on Falcon and TT computers once SCSI connectivity becomes the norm, as no host adapter is used. Plans are being finalized for a "PRO" version of ICD's software to give access to all the features without a hardware requirement. Pricing is not settled but is expected to be in the $50 range. Fears of rampant piracy of the desirable software have prevented ICD from making it operate without their hardware online until now. ZUBAIR TO OFFER FIRST FALCON UPGRADE Zubair Interfaces has developed Z-RAM/Falcon, a 4 or 16 Megabyte upgrade board for the as yet unavailable Atari Falcon030. The compact four layer circuit board is completely compatible with Atari's own board. The Z-RAM board features low profile machined sockets, allowing the user to purchase the board and plug in as much RAM as desired. The board has two connectors and simply plugs into the motherboard. Owners of a Falcon030 with 1 Meg of RAM can simply pull out their 1 Meg board and plug in the Z-RAM/Falcon board. Populated with 32 1 Megabit RAM chips (1 Megabit x 1 configuration), the board becomes a 4 Megabyte upgrade. Or use 32 4 Megabit (4 Megabit x 1) RAM chips, and the board becomes a 16 Megabyte board (14 Megabytes is addressed by the system, two megabytes overlap the Falcon TOS address space and is not usable). The suggested retail price of the bare board (without RAM) is $249.95 and volume shipments will start in mid-November. Zubair Interfaces, Inc., 5243-B Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712, phone 310-408-6715. NEW 8-BIT CATALOG The Winter catalog from B&C Computervisions is now available. The 32 page booklet is full of accessories, parts, software, and hardware offers Atari systems, including lots of 8-Bit products, but plenty of Lynx and ST/STe/TT support as well. Get yours by sending for $1 to cover shipping to B&C COmputervisions, 2730 Scott Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA 95050, phone 408-986-9960. SALES SOFTWARE UPGRADE Hi-Tech Advisors announced new versions of their respected Sales-Pro point-of-sale software. Now at version 6.20, the cash drawer-to- inventory modular system has added improved back-order facilities, more versatile customer histories, and assorted speed and cosmetic enhancements. All new is another version of the software that is customized for decimal portion tracking and billing, handier for businesses that charge by weights or time. The SalePoint and Sales-Pro series begin at $99 and run up to $599 for complete systems with mail- merge, floor planning, service and repair, purchase orders, etc.. Contact Hi-Tech Advisors for demo disks and information at Box 128, Ravena NY 12143-0128, phone 800-882-4310. HIGH-DOLLAR RAM Computer memory prices have skyrocketed since the US Department of Commerce's preliminary determination that Korean microchip makers were dumping (selling below cost) chips on the US market, attempting to gain a long-term market advantage by forcing competition out of business. Tariffs may be placed on some of the companies involved after the first of the year, but the market has reacted with panic for fear of shortages or later, still higher prices. Bonds against future tariffs could go as high as 90% of the sales price of SIMMS memory chips, recently available for as low as $28 per MEG. Now, suppliers are not guaranteeing prices for more than a day or two at a time, with prices jumping 100% in a week's time. Regardless of the fact that imported SIMMS boards are the only ones currently targeted by the probe and tariff proposals, all configurations of memory chips have gone up in price as the market braces for what might be ahead. Buyers are advised to put off buying until the panic eases, as Japanese and other maker chip prices should have not been affected, and should return to near normal prices within weeks. PIRACY: A FELONY? The Software Publishers Association or SPA has come out in favor of a US Senate bill which would make intentional software piracy a felony from the current status of a misdemeanor. Senate bill S-893 would only target big-time pirates, including illegal bulletin board operations, dealers who "sweeten" hardware purchases by loading up computers with illegal copies of desirable software, and those who specifically make copies to resell them at deep discounts on a regular basis. The Piracy Felony bill would cover illegal copying for "purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain" making it a crime punishable with a fine of up to a quarter million dollars and up to five years for those making more than 50 copies in a single 180 day period. The same $250,000 upper fine limit and a maximum prison term of two years could be imposed for those "willfully" making and selling between 10 and 50 copies. Z*NET NEWS GROUPS For the users here on GEnie who have access to internet or usenet you maybe interested to know that there is now a Z*NET specific area. alt.znet.aeo <- Atari Explorer Online alt.znet.fnet<- Z*NETS FNET conferences alt.znet.pc <- Z*NET PC magazine If you sysadmin does not carry these topics on your site please ask him to get them. These news groups are now offered to over 220,000 usenet sites world wide and 40,000 Internet sites worldwide. If your sysadmin has any quiries please ask them to email us at either ... firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org where we will be happy to help in any way what so ever. WORDPERFECT LICENSES GRAMMAR CHECKER WordPerfect signed a license agreement with Reference Software International for Grammatik 5, a grammar checker. Grammatik 5 will ship with every copy of WordPerfect 5.2 for Windows, an upgrade to WordPerfect 5.1 for Windows scheduled to ship the end of November. APPLE ANNOUNCES NEW PROGRAM Apple introduced a new assistance program last week that is designed to spur the development of multimedia products such as interactive books, music and animated content. This new program, called the Apple Multimedia Program, will strengthen Apple's partners' abilities to prosper in the growing areas of multimedia creation and playback, and provide Macintosh computer users with a broader and richer range of computer-based information. The newly created multimedia program will provide multimedia developers with supportive tools and information to enable them to increase their production of multimedia titles and products on Apple platforms. NEW HIGH-VALUE NOTEBOOK FROM ZENITH Zenith Data Systems has introduced four new notebook personal computers that blend performance, affordability and quality. The four models feature the 386SL microprocessor from Intel, which is optimized for portable computing to conserve battery power. All four ZDS-600nl notebook PCs are a compact 11 inches (W) x 8.5 inches (D) x 1.9 inches (H) and weigh 6.5 pounds with a NiCad battery. MEGAMEDIA 486-66DX2 MULTIMEDIA TV SYSTEM Megamedia Computer has introduced the Mega 486-66DX2 Multimedia TV system. The Mega Model M46D2T comes standard with 4MB RAM, TEAC 1.2 and 1.44MB floppy drives, Quantum 244 MB hard drive, TV/Video tuner, NEC Multispin CD-ROM, Sound Galaxy Pro sound card, SVGA monitor, DOS 5, Windows 3.1, speakers, microphone, and headphone. The Mega M46D2T has a built-in TV tuner, hi-fi stereo amplifier, and full motion video window capabilities. Software for controlling audio, video, and TV in DOS and Windows is included. It allows users to tune in to a financial news channel in one corner of their screen, and work on their spreadsheet at the same time. Now users can play software training tapes on their VCR and watch the video in a window while learning to use new software. It has a built-in 122 channel cable-ready TV tuner. The system displays sharp, flicker-free TV on the full VGA screen with more than 2 million colors. With a keystroke, users can switch between full screen TV and TV-in-a-window. The TV window can be re-positioned or resized on the screen. Another unique feature is its ability to automatically search through all available TV channels. Users can then add or delete channels from the channel list. Built-in audio and video switchers allow convenient selection of audio and video sources through software. It hooks up to a VCR, video camera, camcorder, laserdisc, CD-ROM, or other audio/video source. The Mega M46D2T lists for $3995. The system is MPC approved and comes with an 18 month parts and lifetime labor warranty. It is available direct from Megamedia. Megamedia Computer is located at 1701-D Fortune Drive, San Jose, CA 95131. (800) 634-2633. (408) 428-9920. BROTHER ANNOUNCES NEW 10PPM POSTSCRIPT PRINTER Brother announced the HL-10PS, a 10 page-per-minute, 300 dpi, PostScript language emulation desktop laser printer with a suggested retail price of $2,395. The many features and design of the HL-10PS make it equally appropriate for use by a single user or in a network environment. In addition to supporting BR-Script, the HL-10PS emulates the HP LaserJet III (PCL 5 with HPGL/2). Automatic emulation switching is another productivity and auto-intelligence feature of the HL-10PS. The printer comes standard with BR-Script and Hewlett Packard LaserJet III (PCL5) emulations. The HL-10PS can sense which type of data it is receiving and will automatically select the proper printer emulation. Also incorporated into the HL-10PS is automatic Data Compression. This feature in graphics mode operates transparently and requires no user interaction. Data Compression reduces the file size while maintaining no loss of data. This allows more information to be processed and transferred faster with less memory requirements. The HL-10PS comes with 2 MB of RAM standard. Expansion up to 6 MB of total on board memory is easily achieved by adding industry standard SIMMs. Additional memory upgrade options available are: the MB-1000 ($149 SRP), a bare board that can be populated with either 2 or 4 megabyte industry-standard SIMMs; the MB-1020, a 2 megabyte board ($319 SRP); and the MB-1040 ($699 SRP), a 4 megabyte board. For more information, contact John Wandishin, director of marketing, Office Systems Division, Brother International Corp., 200 Cottontail Lane, Somerset, NJ 08875-6714, (908) 356-8880. AMERICA ONLINE SERVICES OVER 200,000 HOMES America Online announced last week that more than 200,000 households are now subscribing to the company's popular consumer online services. This represents a 40 percent increase over the approximately 143,000 households the company had at this time last year. Last month, The Wall Street Journal compared America Online to Prodigy and Called America Online "the sophisticated wave of the future." IBM $5.5 MILLION COMPUTER DONATION IBM has started delivery of more than $5 million in PC's that it donated to Dade County schools ravaged by Hurricane Andrew. To date, IBM's donations total nearly $10 million in cash, equipment, personnel and office space. A convoy of trucks and vans left the IBM facility at Boca Raton and headed for Homestead and South Miami, where many schools' computer labs were severely damaged or wiped out completely. The trucks were accompanied by IBM installation teams. Each team was dropped off at a school to unload and set up the computers, while the convoy headed to the next school. IBM's strategy is to deliver and install computers at 15-20 schools a week through November. Each school gets 20 computers wired into a network that lets the teachers interact with the students. Besides the 2,000 personal computers, IBM will provide the schools with training for teachers as needed, 100 larger PCs for teachers to interact with the students' computers, and 100 printers donated by Lexmark, an IBM subsidiary. NINTENDO OUTFITS BASEBALL'S ALL STAR TEAM Nintendo outfitted the 25 members of baseball's traveling All Star team with personal hand-held Game Boy video game systems for their travels to and through Japan. The software title "Game Boy Baseball" was one of 25 cartridges included in a library of game packs provided for the players. In addition, each player received a copy of the international puzzle game Tetris. A total of 90 systems were donated, including those to non- playing members of the tour. WORDPERFECT SUPPORT FOR WIRELESS WordPerfect announced last week that it will develop a gateway to link WordPerfect Office 4.0 users to RAM Mobile Data's wireless network system. According to company officials, this development indicates WordPerfect's continuing commitment to expand WordPerfect Office connectivity. WordPerfect Office is an e-mail, calendering and scheduling product that now has more than 1.2 million users. WordPerfect Office is currently available on DOS, Windows, Macintosh, UNIX and VMS platforms. GROUPS JOIN FORCES The Desktop Management Task Force (DMTF) and the Distributed Support Information Standard (DSIS) Group jointly announced their cooperative effort to facilitate and enable simple desktop management. The DMTF, composed of Digital Equipment, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, SunConnect and SynOptics Communications is providing a common method to access desktop and component information. The DSIS Group, composed of Bell Atlantic Business Systems, Digital, HAL Computer, Hewlett-Packard, ICL PLC, Microsoft, Olivetti and Sun Microsystems, is defining the necessary desktop and component information (object definitions) to populate a MIB (Management Information Base). The culmination of these efforts is expected to result in well-managed desktop systems and lead to the creation of both local and network applications to manage components. By taking advantage of these standards efforts, component manufacturers will be able to offer simple management with their products. The goal of both groups is to enable desktop management with an architectural model that is open, independent of protocols, operating systems and network operating systems, and able to port to multiple environments, such as IBM-compatible PCs, UNIX, Apple Macintoshes and so on. Companies interested in the DMTF's efforts can obtain information by contacting Chris Thomas at (801) 379-2251. Additional information on the DMTF is available via fax through Intel's 24-hour automated FaxBACK information service. FaxBACK can be reached at (800) 525-3019 in the United States and Canada, at 44-793-432-509 in Europe and at (503) 629-7576 in other international areas. Request Document No. 5570 for the DMTF Charter; Document No. 5571 for DMTF news releases; and Document No. 5572 for a DMTF white paper. Those interested in the DSIS Group's efforts can obtain information by contacting Ray Edgerton, DSIS Group chairman at (215) 296-6159. ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE CHANGES Changes are on the horizon for Atari Explorer Online, however, they are positive. Ron Kovacs, editor of AEO has moved to contributor status and remains part of the staff while the editor status is taken over by yet an un-named person. Atari Explorer will continue publishing the online and will return to regular release in November. Ron Kovacs stated, "I will begin re-publishing Z*Net Atari Online Magazine and the other Z*Net projects shortly." He went on to say, "Due to the amount of time required to manage AEO over the last few months, I was not able to watch the other Z*Net interests. Also, with Atari preparing and launching new products, attending user group events, and setting up Comdex attendance, the ability to deliver regular issues was difficult." According to Kovacs, "his goal and hopes are that both publications enhance one another and provide the Atari user with the latest information and feature articles." ELITE 2 COMING IN NOVEMBER Konami will release Elite 2 in November after a four year development. Elite 2 will use the Mega STe's 4096 color palette and increase the world total from 2000 in Elite 1 to over 100,000 covering over 70,000 light years of area. Elite is a space trading game where the user trades for goods through a number galaxies. It was originally released in 1983. ###### THE FALCON: CLOSE-UP AND INSIDE ###### Exclusive From AtariUser Magazine ###### By John Nagy ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- This article MAY NOT be reprinted without the written permission of AtariUser Magazine. Copyright(c)1992, John Nagy - AtariUser Magazine. Sightings began in Germany in April 1992, but even by that time, the Atari public knew some of what to expect. A little at a time, more details leaked out from every corner of the world. Before the Falcon030 made its first public showing (again in Germany in September), we had collected hundreds of pages of information, some detailed and some in rough rumor form. Then, after online conferences by Atari officials and technical experts, a sneak preview of the machine at the Glendale show, and the final official rollout at the Boston Computer Society meeting, the lid came off. Figuratively and literally. The first photos of a production Falcon, inside and out, are now yours, here, now, along with more real Falcon operational information than has been assembled in one place to date. Also, see last month's AtariUser for the full official Falcon specifications, and check out the Glendale Show and Boston Computer Society coverage in the NewsEdge of the magazine. Outside Unassuming to look at, the Falcon030 shown to date is to be in standard ST grey, looking like a 1040STe but for dark keys with white letters and a multicolored "ATARI" logo on the otherwise familiar front panel ID flag. Even before it was shown at Atari Messe, there was much talk about a rumored "business Falcon" with this model seen as an introductory version or game machine. Although Atari denied that another version of the Falcon would be coming anytime very soon, Jerry Pournelle of Byte Magazine says he was told that a tower/separate keyboard version might be shown as soon as at the November COMDEX. It might not be commercially available until sometime in 1993, when rumors also say that there will be at least one 68040 model Falcon above the Falcon030 and at least one Falcon model BELOW the currently shown Falcon030. Inside The Falcon is everything that an STe is, plus more of it. It operates the same familiar way with the GEM desktop, but the differences show up as you work with it. The differences are the CPU (a Motorola 68030 at 16MHz instead of a 68000 at 8MHz), a new operating system (TOS) that can use the higher functions of the new CPU, a digital signal processor (DSP, for incredibly fast manipulation of any signal), plus vastly enhanced audio and video. TOS 4.0 is part of the new Falcon. The TOS ROM (now one chip) contains all the difference resources for each country, including German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Swiss German, and Swiss French. The country and appropriate keyboard layout are stored in Non-Volatile RAM and read when the Falcon030 starts up. A CPX that will allow you to configure the Falcon030. "Falcon TOS" internal support for programmers to control hierarchial menus, pop-up menus, 3-D window and dialog objects, and full-color animated icons. When you select an icon, it will flip to a second image, giving an animated effect. While much has been said about the new icons, they add more to owner pride than to operational value. MultiTOS, the multi-tasking environment, is not yet in the ROM, and may be having some problems in late development. Reports are mixed as to the stability of the system, mostly due to programs that were written to assume they alone "owned" the computer. The easiest way to understand MultiTOS is to think of every application as though it were a loadable/ unloadable Desk Accessory, available and running at all times regardless of what else is running. Compatibility will have to be bulletproof before Atari releases it on ROM; in the meantime, a disk loaded extension system is being used for developers, and this might be the way MultiTOS starts off in commercial release. Features of MultiTOS include expanded interprocess communication and drag and drop standards. You can grab a file from a open desktop window, drop it on a window of a currently running application, and that application will react accordingly. It can also minimize windows and applications so that the desktop doesn't get cluttered. It's too early to say whether or not the features of TOS 4.0 will be put together into an upgrade kit for older TOS machines. But MultiTOS is planned for use on TT machines after it is available on the Falcon. Other ST's may never get a version, as the memory management in 68000 computers won't protect separate processes. The Falcon uses the Motorola 68030 CPU and 56001 DSP, plus a CODEC with 16 bit A-D and D-A converters. Custom chips include VIDEL (handles video functions, including overlay, overscan, true color); COMBEL (system manager and BLiTTER); SDMA (sound matrix and sound DMA control); Keyboard Processor (on board the keyboard, enhanced for higher resolution mice). Memory Debate rages as to why Atari should bother having a 1 meg model of the Falcon030, as most applications that exploit the power of the processors will want more. Officials say it's purely economics, to have a base machine that's as cheap as possible. The Falcon TOS can only "see" 1, 4, and 14 megabyte memory configurations. Unlike the TT, the Falcon is, out of the box, a 24 bit machine, that is, only the first 24 bits of the 68030 address bus are connected to anything. This is required in order to be thoroughly compatible with the ST software that is not "32 bit clean". Pricing for 1 meg Falcons will start at $799 retail, and 4 meg units with a hard drive (probably 65 meg) will be $1399. The full-blown 14 meg units might be near $2,000, but Atari won't commit to a price due to rapid RAM price fluctuations. Other configurations with and without internal hard drives will be available at intermediate (unannounced) prices. Third party development of RAM boards won't take long, as the custom board has nothing but RAM and a few capacitors, with industry standard pin connectors. The decision to put RAM on a daughterboard allows creative possibilities of third-party video and alternative memory add- ons as well as competitive RAM pricing. A third party can add "TT RAM", since TOS 4 has all the appropriate support built in. However, adding TT RAM-type boards will change the system into a 32 bit device, with both the advantages and the incompatibilities of the TT. Expansion Direct access to the DSP (and DMA) is available via a standard (NeXT type) port on the back of the Falcon. A high-density SCSI II port makes for instant connection to a flock of third party drives and devices designed to interface a MAC, Amiga, or NeXT. ACSI (Atari DMA) is gone, but you can connect most old hard drives by bypassing the host adapter or use of a third party SCSI-to-DMA adapter, which will also be required in order to use Atari laser printers. A math coprocessor socket on the motherboard will allow use of standard 68881 chips to speed up software designed for it, but many designers are more intrigued at the possibilities of using the DSP to do math at even faster speeds. Of interest to hackers is the internal expansion bus. Consisting of a double set of pin connectors, anything could be attached here. Jumpers are installed from the factory on the "through" lines to the CPU--this means that the installed add-on boards can completely take over the machine at will. That means that a complete 386 or MAC computer (not just an emulator!) can sit inside the Falcon and intelligently talk to the Falcon for peripheral handling. Such a 386SX unit was shown at Atari Messe and might be as cheap as $200. Audio The Falcon030 has built-in 16-bit analog-to-digital converters (ADC) and digital-to-analog converters (DAC) that will allow stereo sampling at rates up to 50KHz. The built-in base frequencies are set for STe DMA sound compatibility. The Falcon allows injection of any clock into the sampling system to get 44.1KHz for CD and 48KHz for DAT mastering recorders via an AES/EBU SPDIF interface. It's also possible to use the DSP to correct the system to playback 44.1 or 48 KHz samples. Full 8 track (4 Stereo) recording and editing is possible by adding the external (third-party developed) box with additional DACs/ADCs and clock in it. The audio system was changed in mid-development based on developer input at CeBIT. The DMA system and DSP interface is now remarkably flexible. The Falcon's SDMA provides a miniature switchboard to connect internal and external inputs and outputs. Any or all of the sources (external audio input, DSP transmit, ADC, DMA playback) can be "patched" to any receiving device (DMA record, DAC, DSP receive, or external audio output). Direct-to-disk recording uses the DMA sound, and need not use the DSP. So, you could be doing direct to disk recording while you use the DSP to add special effects, and still be doing MIDI at the same time. And yes, the Yamaha 3-channel sound of the ST series is still available too--compatibility, you know. A simple-to-use Stereo direct-to-disk recording and edit system (shown at Glendale and Boston) will be shipping free with the Falcon030 production machines. D2D takes about 11 megabytes per minute of CD quality sound, eating hard drive space quickly! Video A chart with comments on the many Falcon video modes concludes this feature--check it for lots of details on what monitors can produce what resolutions. True Color is the most important advancement in the Falcon video handling. True color differs from paletted colors in that each pixel on the screen can have its own color assigned, and that more colors can be selected from than there are pixels to display them. The Atari Falcon 030 doesn't just offer Super VGA graphics, it has true color 15- and 16- bit modes (up to 640x480 resolution and up to 65,536 on-screen colors). The Falcon does not have built in abilities to capture video. It can (via a cheap external adaptor) accept external video sync for high- quality genlock and overlay computer graphics on a video source using one bit of the 16 bit color information as an overlay bit. When you use the overlay bit, you get over 32,000 colors (5 bits each for red, green, and blue values). When you don't use the overlay bit, you have 65,000 colors available (adding a sixth bit for green values). Alternate video modes can be called via software to achieve special effects, such as calling a true color overscanned screen (edge-to-edge picture, like a TV) from other resolution modes, then returning to the operating mode for user input, such as in a drawing program or game. Resolution is set by selecting from the "Set Video Mode" dialog/menu item. Popup one asks for the number of colors (2, 4, 16, 256, True Color), the second asks the number of columns (40 or 80), and the third popup depends on the monitor being used. On a VGA Monitor, it says "Line Doubling (On/Off)" and on a TV or RGB monitor it says "Interlace (On/Off)." A standard TV or an ST color monitor like the SC1224 will show all resolutions except those with 240 or 480 vertical resolutions. Even the ST High (monochrome) resolution can be shown on a TV or color ST monitor by using the interlace modes. To achieve higher apparent resolution, interlace shows every even numbered line in one display frame, then the odd lines in the next. This adds flicker, but remains quite usable, especially on a TV which has a longer screen phosphor persistance that masks the flicker. A VGA monitor can't interlace, and the bandwidth required to produce 640x480 and 640x240 true color modes is too much for the VGA video hardware to handle. Therefore, the 640x400 interlaced true color mode is on the TV/Monitor. Why so many resolutions? Says John Townsend, "Basically, Leonard [Tramiel] and I went nuts on the software interface to the video hardware. If the video hardware was capable of doing a mode and the mode worked, we allowed for it. The reason I would like to think that those resolutions might be useful is because they are blindingly fast. A small screen and a small number of planes, combined with a redesigned 16MHz BLiTTER is equal to screaming eagles!" The Falcon will know what kind of monitor is attached by what adapter is plugged in. There's a 15 pin VGA adapter, an ST adapter for SC and SM monitors, a SCART/Peritel cable, and a composite video/mixed mono audio adapter. The Falcon will then only offer resolutions that your monitor can display. Adapters will be sold separately due to the variety of monitor options. What Can it Do? Demos at Atari Messe, Glendale, and Boston leave the imagination spinning. The real-time Tina Turner video played off the hard disk was stunning: full motion video in the center of the screen, while selected still images were repeatedly blitted around the border at breakneck speed, while CD quality audio was playing. The true-color slide shows brought oooh's and aaah's from everyone. But what can you expect to sit down and do with the Falcon that you can't already do with your ST? A bundle of goodies will be shipped with the Falcon030 to get creative juices (and fun hormones) going. The most fun at the shows has been via the D2D audio recorder and editor that also accesses the DSP for special effects. Set up echo, reverb, phase distortion or flanging, etc. A visual graphic equalizer is also part of this CD quality recorder. If you get some effects you like, tie them to keys with SAM, the System Audio Manager. SAM allows you to use your own (or any standard format sound file) sounds to replace any or all keyclicks, or accompany the various AES events, such as window openings and closings, the file selector, etc.. You can map a particular sound to every key to make a talking keyboard, a spelling/learning application, or just to fool around. The sounds will be available in full stereo and/or through a single internal speaker under the top cover of the Falcon, and they do NOT slow down the machine while playing. Want concert and stadium effects for your CD player or surround sound for your TV? You'd pay as much for audiophile equipment to do these things as you'll pay for the Falcon itself, and it's set to do that and more out of the box. Other inclusions are CalAppt, a Personal Information Manager that has the ability to import and export delimited file formats as well as Portfolio databases. ProCalc, a True-Color Breakout game (with digitized sound), a game called Landmines, and a talking clock accessory come with the machine, too. The third party market is gearing up for the Falcon line of Atari computers as well. At Atari Messe, there were new color versions of the products from Trade-It (Avant Vector and Repro Studio) and Shift (Arabesque & Convector). New Falcon software includes InShape, a slick 3D modeler that does Keyframe rendering with ray tracing and texture mapping in 24-bit animations. Digital Arts (Retouche CD) previewed a new true-color image editing application. HiSoft showed a true-color paint package. Eurosoft showed a Falcon version of their Paint package, Studio Effects. In the USA, Lexicor has project ready for the Falcon, including the true color drawing system called Mona Lisa, also compatible with Silicon Graphics workstations. For business uses, Atari is developing an MS-Works-type integrated application called Sutra. It reads Excel files and lets you add voice annotations to cells! What's next? Lots. The Falcon's DSP can be exploited to produce a synthesizer which out-performs almost everything. Or, it could be used as a low-cost video phone (an application that may be ready to show at COMDEX in November!). There are many new Atari-specific games on the horizon: SPACE JUNK from Imagitec Design, a space-oriented adventure game; Road Riot 4WD from Images, Steel Talons from Koveos, Llamazap from Jeff Minter; Raiden from Imagitec; and Cyber Assault from Koveos are among them, to be available between January and June of '93. They'll push the special features of the Falcon to the extremes. Meanwhile, the Falcon030 is downward compatible, even moreso than the TT. PageStream, Calamus, TouchUp, EasyDraw, and all of the favorites work quite well--and FAST. Not as fast as a TT, but squarely between the speed of a MegaSTe and a TT030. Preliminary Quick Index numbers (a benchmark developed by Darek Mihocka) indicate that CPU processes will be up to 500% faster than an ST, and about half of a TT doing ST software in ST memory. Software written to addresses the DSP for doing computations will be much, much faster yet. Who's Gonna Buy it, and When? Atari says that the Falcon030 has passed FCC Type B testing (approved for consumer as opposed to just business sales), and that sales in the USA can begin almost as soon as the permit tags arrive. The plan is to place at least two Falcons at every dealer by the end of October, with sizable production to fill orders by January. A major power in the advertising industry, Redgate Communications, is handling PR and advertising in North America. The advertising is going to be done in close connection with dealers in market areas--it's useless to advertise where dealers don't yet exist. Southern California, the California Bay Area, Chicago, and New York will be the primary targets at first. National sales coverage should be just after Christmas and into January, with regional advertising tracking the dealers that order product. The Canadian market will be handled by the area managers, the same as the USA. Of course, the Falcon030 will be selling in Europe as well, where the hard-hit US dollar makes the product even more price attractive. Europe has far more active high-end developers than the USA, so Atari will be certain to guard its cash crop with good product delivery overseas. But Atari is wise to the American users' jealousy of what is quite reasonable favoritism of other, more profitable markets, and isn't saying much in public HERE about what they are doing THERE. So? The Falcon is coming fast, it's real, and it may bring Atari back to the forefront of popular computing options. Production and promotion will be driven by the reception it gets as the Falcon makes its way across the globe. It might become a revolution; it's at the very least going to be interesting. And, like me, I'll bet you'll want a Falcon030 as soon as you can get it. Regardless of whether it changes the rest or the world, the Falcon will make home computing better for you and me, the ones who already know Atari. ###### GEMULATOR REVIEW ###### By Don Liscombe ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- GEMULATOR - RUN ST Software on your IBM CLONE - fact or fiction A first hand report on the new product for your PC - Gemulator. A hardware/software combination that allows you to run Atari ST software. My evaluation is being performed on a 486-50DX EISA machine, with an ATI Wonder XL video card using a Microsoft bus mouse. General information: Gemulator consists of 2 parts, one being an 8 bit card which holds the TOS roms and is sold by PMC, and the 68000 emulator software comes with the package (Revision 1.0 - Unregistered). Darek Mihocka, of Branch Always Software, is selling the Gemulator software as shareware for $59.95, which will entitle you to printed documentation, and the next software update. Software updates beyond this point, are $15. The software loads in and allows you to select items, such as INSTALL (a specific TOS version), BOTH (floppies), SWAP (A: and B: drives), FULLSCREEN or WINDOW mouse control, COLOR or MONO, QUICK (screen redraws for some applications), SPEED (test), REGISTER (information), and QUIT to DOS mode. Included in the software, is a machine language monitor program which is accessible from the Gemulator main menu. Depressing the F11 key, will bring you back to the Gemulator menu, while the F12 key will reboot your "ST". Installation: The TOS ROM board is easily installed, in any ISA/EISA slot which works with an 8 bit card. The circuit board is of a quality design, and all chips on the board are socketed. The board as shipped, comes with Atari TOS 2.06, and sockets exist for up to a total of 4 versions of TOS. (A total of 8 sockets are on the board for ROMS, 2 of them used by TOS 2.06) Written documentation is rather limited, and should you wish to add additional TOS ROMS to the circuit board, the picture they give displaying the position of the 6 chip rom set, is barely legible. They would have been far better off with a hand drawing, than a poor scan of a photo. Look & Feel: The display quality is excellent, both from DOS mode, and from a Window. One problem Darek makes note of, is when you double click, quite often, the system does not appear to recognize it. Adjusting the double click speed with the control panel will remedy this problem, but you will have to set up a boot disk so that it is adjusted each time you boot up. GEM screen redraws are slow, and need the assist of a screen accelerator such as Warp 9 or Turbo ST. Running Gemulator in a Window, makes the screen display crawl (no one said running a graphics display in a Window would be fast) using Windows 3.1, but it seemed to run a bit faster in an OS/2 Dos Window (sorry Microsoft). Requirements : For this 2 meg ST emulator, you will require at least 5 megabytes of RAM, which will require you to make use of your PC hard drive, to emulate RAM using a virtual device driver supplied. With 8 Megs of RAM, Gemulator does not require the virtual ram. The software will work with either 3.5" or 5.25" floppy drives, and disk I/O speed seems about normal. A 486 33Mhz is required for overall ST 100% speed. Positive Comments : Gemulator emulates the ST quite well. Although Darek has some touchups to put on some routines, he has done an excellent job so far, in getting this emulator up and running ST software. I works well with OS/2, as long as you remember to adjust your DOS settings to give Gemulator the 5.25 megs of XMS memory it wants to load into. As PCs get faster and faster, Gemulator will be able to run your ST software faster as well. Negative Comments : My opinion, is that this product, although quite an achievement, was released too early. When your advertisements indicate that "Gemulator makes your favorite Atari ST software 100% PC compatible", "Share PC's disk drives, hard drives and printers", "Reads all ST disks", "Runs Pagestream, Calamus, Flash, GFA Basic, LDW Power, etc ", and the released version fails to live up to the expectations, there are going to be a lot of disappointed people. Listed are some of the problems I have encountered so far. WINDOWS mode When you are running Gemulator in a window, the Atari mouse pointer (which becomes active when you move the Windows mouse pointer inside the DOS window), drifts away from the windows mouse pointer. This becomes very annoying, having 2 different pointing devices on the screen, both moving as you move the mouse, apart from each other. The good news is, that you can use the Atari mouse alternate keys to align the 2 pointers back together(ALT-arrow keys). The bad news, is for my system, they were not long drifting apart. This problem occurs on running in an OS/2 DOS window as well. HARD DRIVE ACCESS Darek does not have the hard drive portion of the Gemulator software completed yet. What he allows you in version 1.0, is the ability to read only, the first 32 megabytes of your C partition. This will be remedied sometime before the end of 1992, when he introduces a driver which will allow you to read and write to all IBM hard drives, and read from CDROM drives. Using the HDX HD boot program, I managed to get the drive C icon on the screen, but most of the time I accessed drive C to read, I was stopped promptly, by an Alert box "Your output device is not receiving data [cancel] [retry] ". This problem was remedied by switching to the Supra boot program. Many of the programs listed as being supported, require a hard drive for proper installation to the best of my knowledge (eg. Pagestream, Calamus, LDW power, Word Perfect). NO RS232 SUPPORT Although Flash is listed as a program you can run on your PC in both pamphlets handed out at product shows, and PMC advertisements, there is no support for the RS232 port at all, nor is there a mention of support being added in future revisions. Perhaps this was an oversight, perhaps not. GFA PROBLEMS GFA version 2.0 seems to run fine with Gemulator, but versions 3.05, 3.5 and 3.6 have some problems. The program will load in, and the screen will clear and freeze up. I have found through several tests, that using the Gemulator WINDOW mode mouse, and by clicking on the left mouse button after the screen goes blank, the editor screen will then come up. This forces you to run GFA from a window, but due to the mouse pointer problems, and the extreme slowness that the windowed screen offers, this is not very usable. This would appear to be a minor timing problem, that should be easily remedied. COPY PROTECTED DISKETTES Gemulator does not read most copy protected disks. Considering the two computers use completed different floppy controllers, it is doubtful that protected disk support will be added. It was interesting to see Gemulator load in Dungeon Master to the introduction, but then the mouse got very confused, and it would not recognize my disk as the original disk after checking for copy protection. Flight Simulator loaded up, and the screen displays looked fine, but the mouse up/down was inverted, and the keys for the throttle would not respond at all. It would appear there are still a fair number of problems to resolve on the keyboard/mouse routines, before Gemulator will handle the larger portion of games (that it can get by the copy protection on). Some games which would load in, and use VBIs to have smooth scrolling, seemed to flicker excessively. This was also evident on the load in sequence of Gunship by Microprose. HI DENSITY FLOPPY SUPPORT Although Gemulator supports read and write access to the IBM high density 5.25" and 3.5" drives, you are only able to format your floppies in 360K and 720K from the Atari format disk screen. TOS 2.06 has support for high and low density floppies, so perhaps this will be added in the future. WHAT IS NOT EMULATED (above the hard drive & RS232 restrictions) Sound, Midi, joysticks & the blitter chip are not emulated. According to the text file on the disk, over the next year, support will be added for the sound, midi, and the joystick. As I recollect, Darek was working on the blitter emulation to speed things up at the Toronto Atari Computer Exhibition (spring 1992), but I see no mention of it in any of the information I have. Suggestions for Gemulator : Hopefully, as Darek adds in these new features, he will have them as selectable items on his software menu, so that if you wish to run business applications, you do not need to enable the sound/midi/joystick rs232, etc, thus getting as much speed out of your application as possible or at least, minimize memory requirements. A save configuration would be useful from the Gemulator main menu, and would load in as a default. Attain more beta testers with various system configurations, so that software revisions do not get out with an extensive number of bugs. Send out software updates A.S.A.P., before too much negative press dampens out sales. Add in support for high density 3.5" floppy formatting from TOS 2.06. Summary : Gemulator has been shipping since mid-September 92, and yet, in my opinion, several of the advertised features, have yet to be implemented or be debugged. The next software release, will speed the program up for use with the 486 and allow you to emulate a 4 meg ST. Although the hardware requirements for 100% ST speed are high, it is a programming marvel, and whether or not this product is for you, you will have to be the judge. I bought Gemulator in the hopes of using it for programming cross development with requirements for RS232 and hard drive support. From what I have learned about the current product, I will have to wait for support in the form of new software updates over the next 6-12 months. Article by Don Liscombe SysOp of The Brewery BBS - AtariNet 51:5/0 - Fnet node 66 416-683-3089 HST Dual 14.4 - Supporting the Atari ST & IBM PC Gemulator is available from Purple Mountain Computers,Inc. 15600 NE 8th St. Suite A3-412 Bellevue, WA 98008 voice 206-747-1519 Gemulator information can be obtained either from PMC, or Branch Always Software(Darek Mihocka) 14150 NE 20th St. Suite 302 Bellevue, WA 98007 voice/recording 206-885-5893 OS/2 is copyrighted/trademarked by IBM Corp. Windows is copyrighted/trademarked by Microsoft Corp. This article may be reprinted/duplicated in any format, as long as the entire document is unchanged, and displayed in its entirety, including this notice ###### THE Z*NET COMPUTER CALENDAR 1992-1993 ###### Schedule of Shows and Events ###### ---------------------------------------------------------------- ### November 16-20, 1992 Fall COMDEX, the biggest computer trade show in the USA with 2 million square feet of show floor. Atari will again have a major presence at the Las Vegas, Nevada show, and has been soliciting for up to 50 third- party developers to participate in the huge Atari area at the Sands Convention Center, and Atari will have the largest booth in the entire Sands complex (Booth #2824). The Falcon line of computer is expected to dominate the Atari booth, with outstanding demonstrations for the dealer and distributor attendees to consider. COMDEX is where dealers and distributors make their marketing decisions of what to carry in their stores for the coming year. It's said that a glimpse of future Atari machines may be seen as well. Contact Bob Brodie at Atari Corp for information on attendance or exhibiting at COMDEX, 408-745-2052. ### December 4-6, 1992 The Computer Graphics Show 1992 at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in New York City. This is a CMC event. For more information call; (203) 852-0500, extension 234. ### January 6-9, 1993 MacWorld Expo in San Fransisco California, Sponsored by MacWorld Magazine. Titled San Fransisco '93 at the Moscone Center. ### January 13-16, 1993 The Winter Consumer Electronics Show comes to Las Vegas, Nevada. CES is an electronic playground, with everything in the way of high tech toys for kids and adults. Game consoles and hand-held entertainment items like the Atari Lynx are big here, and Atari will attend with a hotel suite showroom. Contact Atari Corp for more information on seeing their display at 408-745-2000. ### January 15-18, 1993 NAMM is the largest conclave of musicians each year. Held in Los Angeles at the Anaheim Convention Center, the variety of sights at the National Association of Music Merchandisers is wilder than at Disneyland, just next door. Atari was the first computer manufacturer to ever display at NAMM in 1987, and has become a standard at the shows. A trade show for music stores, distributors, and professionals of every strata, entertainers are seen everywhere at NAMM. Contact James Grunke at Atari Corp for more information at 408-745-2000. ### March 1993 CeBIT, the world's largest computer show with 5,000 exhibitors in 20 halls, is held annually in Hannover, Germany. Atari traditionally struts its newest wares there, usually before it's seen in the USA or anywhere else. In '93, the Atari 040 machines should be premiering, and this is the likely venue. Third party developers also use this show to introduce new hardware and software, so expect a wave of news from CeBIT every year. Atari Corp and the IAAD coordinate cross-oceanic contacts to promote worldwide marketing of Atari products, and this show is an annual touchstone of that effort. Contact Bill Rehbock at Atari Corp for information at 408-745-2000. ### March 13-14, 1993 The Sacramento Atari Computer Exposition is to be sponsored by the Sacramento Atari ST Users Group (SST) at the Towe Ford Museum in Sacramento, California. This show replaces the earlier scheduled, then cancelled Northern California Atari Fest for the Bay Area, to have been held in December 1992. A major two day effort, the SAC show is being held in the special events area of the Towe Ford Museum, home of the worlds most complete antique Ford automobile collection. As an added bonus, admission to the museum is free when you attend the Expo. The museum is located at the intersection of Interstates 5 and 80, just 15 minutes from the Sacramento Metropolitan Airport. Contact Nick Langdon (Vendor Coordinator) C/O SST, P.O. Box 214892, Sacramento, CA 95821- 0892, phone 916-723-6425, GEnie: M.WARNER8, ST-Keep BBS (SST) 916-729- 2968. ### August 3-6, 1993 MacWorld Expo at the Boston World Trade Center, Bayside Exposition Center and sponsored by MacWorld Magazine. This event is titled Boston '93. ### September 18-19, 1993 The Glendale Show returns with the Southern California Atari Computer Faire, V.7.0, in suburban Los Angeles, California. This has been the year's largest domestic Atari event, year after year. Contact John King Tarpinian at the user group HACKS at 818-246-7286 for information. ### September 20-22, 1993 The third MacWorld Expo, titled Canada '93 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, sponsored by MacWorld Magazine. ###### INSTALLING A HIGH DENSITY DRIVE IN YOUR MEGA STE ###### By Kevin Conway ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- Some time ago, I owned a 130XE and though that its 90K disks were more enough to hold everything that would ever want. Now that I have an ST, no floppy disk seems to be big enough to hold all of the stuff that I might want to stuff on it. The new Mega STe has Tos 2.06, the Ajax chip and a 1.44 Mb disk drive. Some of the older machines, such as what I bought, have Tos 2.05, no Ajax chip and a 720K disk drive. The availability of these three components is fairly good, but, despite rumour, and conjecture, it is only necessary to exchange the Ajax chip for the Western Digital floppy controller, and install a high density drive. Any standard 3.5 inch, 1/3 height high density floppy drive should work in your system. I purchased a Panasonic device and am quite pleased with it. Be aware that the Epson drive <Epson SMD-380> that Atari uses in the Mega has a custom faceplate. This faceplate will only fit on a Epson drive. To my understanding, the high density Epson drive is an Epson SMD-340. If you choose to use a drive other than Epson, you will either have to remove the faceplate from the drive, or cut the casing on your Mega to fit the drive's faceplate. The disk ejector button in the drive that I purchased does not fit through the hole that is provided for Atari's mechanism, so I have to poke a screwdriver through the hole to push the button. Since I have over six months left on my warranty, I am reluctant to deface the machine as of yet. In strict legal terms, I voided the warranty when I removed the top cover and put the new drive in, but in my mind it is far easier for the dealer to return a machine will still looks to be stock should I have major problems in the future. To get the high density drive working in your Mega STe, you will need to do the following: 1. Replace the Western Digital floppy controller chip with an Ajax chip. This chip is located under the hard drive cover. Your dealer can identify and replace this quite quickly. 2. Find the small set of dip switches in the hard drive bay. Flip switch seven to on. It should be the only one that is on. This will enable high density formatting. 3. Remove the top cover from your Mega and remove the floppy drive. The floppy drive is connected to the main system by a data cable and a power cable. It is, in turn, attached to the top cover by a mounting assembly. Don't try to move the top cover too far without disconnecting these first. Also, there is a small led attached to the top cover that serves as the power on light. You should disconnect this also. 4. Check to see that the new drive is set as D0 (drive zero). Also make sure that the RDY jumper is removed. 5. Mount the high density drive in the place of the Atari mechanism. Note that the data cable has a thin red line on one side. This is connected to pin 1 on the 34-pin connector. The drive should indicate either where pin 1 or pin 2 should be connected. Make sure that the side of the data cable that has the thin red line is attached on the same side as pin 1 or pin 2 of the drive. Reconnect the power cable to the drive. This cable only goes in _one_ way. Make sure you don't force it in, as it should clip into place quite naturally. If it is reversed, you will fry the drive when you power up your Mega. Quite costly and quite smelly too. 6. Put the top cover back into place and test the machine. You should now be able to format High Density disks in High Density. When you format from the desktop, you will see that you have the option of single sided, double sided and high density. Again, this option only appears if you flip dip switch 7. If when you test the drive, nothing happens, the data cable may be in the wrong way. This does not harm the drive. Just flip it over and it should work fine. If not, you have a problem. It's probably not a good idea to put the screws for the top cover back in until you have the drive working properly. It saves aggravation on having to put them in and take them out over and over again. Having done all of the above and successfully tested the drive, you should be able to read and write High Density disks on your STe and exchange disk with IBM systems. I have heard some people complain that have had problems reading STe- formatted high density disks on an IBM. There is a program in the public domain called FDCPATCH will load the High Density floppy cookie into the cookie jar. Apparently Tos 2.05 does not update the cookie jar properly, resulting in problems when reading on IBM systems. With the FDCPATCH program loaded, I have been able to write to High Density disks and load them successfully on IBM systems. I also have been able to save from the IBM and load on the STe without problems. Having a High Density disk allows me greater disk storage for hard drive backups as well as allowing me to exchange data more efficiently with other systems. My STe is a business work-horse; having the High density floppy makes this workhorse all the more valuable. Now, having pulled the Epson mechanism out of the STe, you will have a spare drive that can be used a 'B' mechanism. It is quite simple to hook this up. To do this, you will need the following supplies and tools: 1 - 34 pin drive connector 1 - Six-foot Atari ST disk drive cable 1 - Four pin drive power connector (small) 1 - Four pin female power supply power connector (large) 1 - Ohmmeter 1 - Soldering iron and solder You will need to do the following: 1. Cut the drive cable in half. 2. Expose the wires from the cable and strip the ends. 3. Solder the exposed ends of the wires to the 34-pin connector as per the instructions below. 4. Remove the plate covering the VME bus on the back of the STe. This is also the Serial 2 port. Disconnect the data cable for the Serial Port 2. 5. Pull the spare <hard drive> power supply cable through the back of the STe. This will be used to power your floppy. 6. Solder the large female power and the small drive connector together. Make sure that you have the right connections as a mistake will blow your drive. Using cables from an old power supply or buying new cables will allow you to solder the wires together by color - this will save costly mistakes. 7. Plug it all in and test it. You may find that your solder connections are loose, break or just not good enough and may need to do them over again. Following these instructions should give you a working 'B' drive from your spare Epson mechanism. The pin out of the atari plug is below. 10 11 8 9 6 12 13 7 2 3 1 The following connections need to be made: Atari Plug 34-pin Connector 1 30 2 32 3 3 4 8 5 10 6 Not Connected 8 16 9 18 10 20 11 22 12 24 13 26 14 28 A more complete description of the steps to creating a 'B' drive can be found in the 'teacdriv' archive on Canada Remote Systems. This documentation is provided for information only. I will make no guarantees as to the suitably or applicability of this information to your system. Following these instructions _will_ void your warranty. Copyright, 1992 Kevin J. Conway Bibliomaniac Library Consultancy ###### 8-BIT OWNERS UPDATE ###### By Jeff Potter ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- The J.D.Potter Collection of Graphics File Conversion Utilities My collection of graphics picture file conversion utilities were developed to allow the users of the classic 8-bit Atari computers access to the myriad graphic files previously available only to other computers. Some of these work with the APAC mode, which is a combination of graphics 9 and 11 which provides 256 different colors on-screen at once. (Note that APAC mode may not work well with certain monitors. It does work well with ordinary television sets. Contact me for information on monitors if you are uncertain). Other programs of mine work with a new mode (which I created) called ColorView. ColorView provides 4096 colors in 80 x 192 pixel resolution, or 64 colors in 160 x 192 pixel resolution. All products with ColorView also allow interactive color tuning from the keyboard, so you can set the color for your system without adjusting your monitor or television's color controls. ColorView also works on all monitors, including those which APAC does not. APACVIEW This program is both a decoder and viewer for GIF picture files. It lets you load GIF files and view them in one of several modes: Graphics 9, APAC, or Graphics 15. You may then save them in APAC mode, or create three-color separations for use with COLRVIEW (available separately). You can use a joystick to interactively choose areas of the image to "zoom in on". Version 2.4 lets you view certain newer files that earlier versions failed to load, as well as fixing some other shortcomings. APACSHOW This is a slideshow program that loads APAC mode files from disk for display one after another. A random-pixel dissolve from one image to another occurs every several seconds, which can be interrupted and restarted. COLRVIEW This program is the viewer for ColorView files created with APACVIEW, or downloaded from Bulletin Boards. The latest version (2.6) lets you view all the ColorView files on a disk in "slideshow" mode. DEGASRD This program lets you view Atari ST Degas format (standard or compressed, any resolution) in Graphics 9 or 15 monochrome, or in ColorView's 64 or 4096 color modes. Version 1.1 provides the same "slideshow" feature mentioned above. GIFNCODE This program allows you to load four popular Atari picture formats (MicroPainter, Micro Illustrator/Koala, Graphics 8 and 9) and convert them to GIF files. This can be done interactively, letting you convert an entire disk of pictures one after another without memorizing the filenames. This is useful for Atarians who want to exchange their pictures with other computer users via bulletin boards. ILBMREAD This program lets you load and view Amiga IFF pictures in APAC mode. The flexible joystick interface allows you to select rectangular sections of the image for further inspection. ILBMREAD also saves the output in APAC mode. All programs come with DOC files to help you understand all the important features. I also give advice on where to find source pictures for the various formats. I include my mail address as well as my e-mail address for GEnie and CompuServe, as I am always glad to receive feedback and fix any problems that may arise. All programs released so far are shareware, but if you cannot find them on your local bulletin board or pay service, they can be ordered directly from me at the following prices: PROGRAM VERSION PRICE -------- ------- ----- APACVIEW 2.4 8.50 APACSHOW 2.3 6.50 COLRVIEW 2.6 8.50 DEGASRD 1.1 8.50 GIFNCODE 1.0 6.50 ILBMREAD 2.1 6.50 Special price on APACVIEW/COLRVIEW combination: $16.00. Prices include postage and handling, in U.S. dollars (money orders preferred, personal checks accepted). Printed docs will be supplied. Disks will be SSSD unless specified otherwise (I can provide up to DSDD). The spare disk space will be filled with sample pictures usable by the selected program. Please include your full mailing address. Hope to hear from YOU soon! Jeff Potter 814 Banbury Drive Port Orange, FL 32119 GEnie: JDPOTTER CIS: 74030,2020 Internet: email@example.com ###### LURE OF THE TEMPTRESS REVIEW ###### By Patricia Barbiero ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- The manual proclaims that ". . .Lure of the Temptress is the first Virtual Theatre game ever in the entire history of the whole solar system." after my first experience with this game, I can't wait to see what Revolution software and virgin Games produces next! Virtual Theatre is the latest concept in role playing games where you, the player is involved in a real life scenario. The game is full of characters who go about their lives independently of you and your actions. These characters carry on conversations, gossip and also have their own individual personalities. You can join the village day to day life, gossip, chat with, and question the various people you meet in your explorations of this fascinating world. You are Diermot, a quiet and unassuming man caught up in a swirl of events that are beyond your control. A loyal subject of the King, you follow him to quell a revolt backed by a woman named Selena in the small village of Turnvale. As the game begins, you awaken from unconsciousness after a terrible battle that you prefer not to remember. You find yourself in a damp dungeon cell, where rats scurry by your feet, the bed is a dirty pile of straw, and a storm rages outside. A crack in the wall reveals a serf tortured by the Skorl, the same evil creatures that have imprisoned you. It is here in the dungeon that you will meet young Ratpouch, a most endearing, well intentioned rascal, who will become your constant loyal companion throughout your adventures. Ratpouch is very useful, and can be given very extensive and complicated instructions which he will very cheerfully carry out to the best of his ability. Once you have outsmarted the Skorl and escaped from the dungeon with Ratpouch, the village of Turnvale and its inhabitants unfolds before you. The only word to describe the village of Turnvale is picturesque. The graphics in this game are wonderful, with attention to detail that makes the game that much more realistic. Displayed in ST low resolution and 16 colors, more attention is given to the artistry of the graphics than attempt to overwhelm the player with a multitude of colors. The picture is extremely crisp and clear because of the use of black as both a foreground and background color. Many of the scenes give the player the sense of peeking through the trees or bushes to watch the action going on, and the aforementioned use of the color black is extremely important in adding to this effect. The few sound effects emphasize and add to the atmosphere and help to lure you deeper into the game, instead of the usual overkill of noise and music that can often be distraction. The minimal use of both color and sound provide the player with a very aesthetically pleasing game that is not only fascinating, but also relaxing. Gameplay is completely controlled by the mouse, and Diermot is easily controlled by the point and click method. Items can be examined or manipulated simply by pointing at the object and holding down the right mouse button. A menu of options will appear and is easily scrolled through. Conversing with people also works by the same method, and the conversation will unfold before your eyes. You can also eavesdrop upon others, and sometimes these conversation can be quite humorous. Just a little warning though, you need to be careful what you say and how you treat others, because just as in any other small village, the inhabitants love to gossip and rumours that can hurt your reputation can spread behind your back. The trick to the game is to look at and listen to everything, albeit discreetly as possible! Being a novice at role-playing games--actually I don't even qualify as a novice, since I can never get very far on most of the typical role playing programs--I have found this game to be very flexible to the skills of the player. I can play this game without have to constantly restore my game after getting slaughtered in a variety of ways. At the same time, my husband the expert finds the game challenging to his skills. It is a game that requires a good deal of thought and inspiration rather than skill at hand to hand combat (although you can not escape some fighting!). I find this a refreshing change in this type of game, since all too often the typical game merely tries to match the intensity and complexity of Dungeon Master. Instead, Revolution Software has tried a completely different and interesting approach which very well may change the way the graphic adventure is produced in the future. On the down side, albeit a small down side for some reason the gentlemen at Revolution Software did not see fit to make the game installable on a hard drive. The game comes on four floppy disks and is rather slow in initially loading and accessing throughout the game. Every time Diermot tries to proceed to the next screen the player is left waiting for the screen to load. This does not take more than a few seconds, but if you are trying to move quickly through several screens it can be a little frustrating! However, for a game based on a brand new concept, and of such complexity, I am surprised to find that this is the only real problem with regard to playability. I'm sure that this problem will be corrected in future games produced by Revolution Software. I have not completed this game yet, and I am looking forward not only to finishing it, but to actually playing it. I am enjoying it very much, and am very excited at the prospect of other games like it being produced. I am extremely impressed with the concept of Virtual Theatre and hope that with a continued emphasis on the game content and story, this will define graphic adventures as something more than grammar exercise or a lesson in constant violent combat. # # # **--DELPHI SIGN-UP--** **--GENIE SIGN-UP--** ============================|============================ To sign up for DELPHI call | To sign up for GENIE call (with modem) 800-695-4002. | (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection hit return | Upon connection type HHH once or twice. At Password: | and hit return. Wait for type ZNET and hit <return>. | the U#= prompt and type in | the following: XTX99436, | GEnie and hit return. ============================|============================ **--COMPUSERVE SIGN-UP--** To sign up for CompuServe service call (with phone) (800) 848-8199. Ask for operator #198. You will then be sent a $15.00 free membership kit. ========================================================= **--ATARINET INFORMATION--** If you'd like further information or would like to join AtariNet-please contact one of the following via AtariNet or Fido: Bill Scull Fido 1:363/112 AtariNet 51:1/0, Dean Lodzinski Fido 1:107/633 AtariNet 51:4/0, Terry May Fido 1:209/745 AtariNet 51:2/0, Tony Castorino Fido 1:102/1102 AtariNet 51:3/0, Don Liscombe AtariNet 51:5/0, Daron Brewood Fido 2:255/402 AtariNet 51:6/0. You can also call the Z*Net News Service at (908) 968-8148 for more info. ======================================================================== Reprints from the GEnie ST Roundtable are Copyright (c)1992, Atari Corporation and the GEnie ST RT. Reprints from CompuServe's AtariArts, AtariPro, AtariVen, or Aportfolio Forums are Copyright (c)1992, CIS. Reprints from AtariUser Magazine are Copyright(c)1992, Quill Publishing ======================================================================== Atari is a registered trademark of Atari Corporation. Atari Falcon030, TOS, MultiTOS, NewDesk and BLiTTER, are trademarks of Atari Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned in this publication belong to their respective owners. ======================================================================== **--** Z*NET OFFICIAL INFORMATION **--** ========================================================= Z*Net Atari Online Magazine is a weekly online publication covering the Atari and related computer community. Material published in this issue may be reprinted under the following terms only: articles must remain unedited and include the issue number and author at the top of each article reprinted. Reprint permission is granted, unless otherwise noted at the beginning of the article, to registered Atari user groups and not for profit publications. Opinions present herein are those of the individual authors and do not reflect those of the staff. This publication is not affiliated with the Atari Corporation. Z*Net, Z*Net News Service, Z*Net International, Rovac, Z*Net Atari Online and Z*Net Publishing are copyright (c)1992, Syndicate Publishing, PO Box 0059, Middlesex, NJ 08846-0059, Voice: (908) 968-2024, BBS: (908) 968-8148, (510) 373-6792. ===~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~== Z*Net Atari Online Magazine Copyright (C)1992, Syndicate Publishing - Ron Kovacs ===~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~==
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