ST Report: 20-Nov-92 #846From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 11/21/92-03:15:37 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 20-Nov-92 #846 Date: Sat Nov 21 15:15:37 1992 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" from STR Publishing """""""""""""" November 20, 1992 No.8.46 ========================================================================== 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 ~ Nest 90:21/350.0 904-786-4176 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 : ///Turbo Board BBS Support...1-416-274-1225 FNET.. 75 : Bloom County BBS.............1-415-965-9347 FNET. 350 : The Bounty *<Home of STR>*...1-904-786-4176 FNET. 489 : Steal Your Face BBS..........1-908-920-7981 _____________________________________________________________________ > 11/20/92 STR 846 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" """""""""""""""" - The Editor's Desk - CPU Report - 100Mhz 486! - CONCIERGE = SUTRA - USR NEWS! - GADGETS NEWS! - RS -> MultiMedia too! - CD ROMS GALORE! - FALCON030 & KODAK - TRAMIEL COMDEX CO. - COMPO PC 286 - STR Confidential -* COMDEX FALL'92 ATARI REPORTS! *- -* CBM UNVEILS $699.00 32 bit AMIGA 1200! *- -* INTERNATIONAL ATARI SOFTWARE CATALOG ANNOUNCED! *- ========================================================================== 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/NEST/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 Networking Systems. 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 ~ NEST EURONET ~ CIX ~ CLEVELAND FREE-NET ~ INTERNET ========================================================================== ============= * ATARI EDITION * ============= 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 (November 19) MIDI MUSIC MAKER ---------------- Version 2.21 of Midi Music Maker is now available in LIBRARY 5 of the Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) as file MMM221.LZH. This program plays 16 different types of music including SMF. It also will create SMF format 0 or 1 from any of the types played. New features include ability to play Dr. Ts (Atari or Amiga) and Sound Blaster CMF files, full screen file display, user definable keys, selectable drum tracks when transposing and several other new features and fixes. VERSION 6.4 of WHATIS --------------------- Version 6.4 of WHATIS is now available for download from LIBRARY 6 of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO) as file WHATIS.ARC. This version identifies over 125 file types - ARCs, LHarcs, PRGs, pics, ACCs, animations, etc... no more "what kind of file is this?" problems! Runs as a PRG or ACC or a TTP-like program on any ST/TT in any rez. Short docs included in the ARC. All the features of previous versions, plus adds PageStream 2.2 docs and LaserJet II soft fonts to the list. PAGESTREAM PATCH ---------------- A patch to convert PageStream 2.1 (UK) to PageStream 2.2 (UK) is available for download as file UKPATC.ARC from LIBRARY 11 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). This is equivalent to the US version of the patch which creates PageStream 2.2 (US). The UK version of PageStream has the word 'color' spelled as 'colour' in the Global menu. ULTIMATE ADDRESS BOOK! ---------------------- The ultimate Address Book for the PC! Reads and edits Portfolio compatible Address Book files. Advanced features! Commercial Quality! Written and uploaded by Artisan Software. Even dials the modem for you... just like the Portfolio dials over the speaker! Requires DOS-PC. Save feature disabled until registered. Download file ADR_BK.ZIP from LIBRARY 6 of the Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO). 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!" """""""""""""""""""""" A little about Microsoft's Windows. Your experience with Windows might be dismal, but I might add that your experience is not what I've experienced. Windows is not Atari's comfy, easy to use TOS by any stretch of the imagination. But then, I find that Windows 3.1 is as fast as stated.. it just takes some getting 'used to'. "Word" is very impressive and the file manager of Windows is what Atari's needed for a long, long time. Its nice to have one magnanomous set of exquisite fonts that'll work with every program within windows that requires fonts. From DTP to quickie notes.. (They're TrueType Fonts). I too, have to admit to some type of warped sense of loyalty to a machine thats given me years of fun and productivity, but when I look at the company and its approach to the market year after year, I say to myself why take them serious when they don't appear to take themselves serious. We are now beginning to hear all the typical hype coming from Comdex, yet as it all foams out, we find that a thirty work station display is missing some of the biggest names, most familar names and to a large degree, almost all of the US Developers... Why?? What gives? Is this indicative of a company who is forging ahead blazing a positive upturn in its future? Tough questions, I know, but then they must be asked as they are on the minds of most of the users worldwide. Granted, Atari is attempting to establish a new market niche of its own, but when one carefully looks over the 'theme' they are "presenting" at Comdex and then realizes who is really there in the Atari booth demonstrating "marvelous, market-shaking" new software that specifically supports the new line of computers... one can only wonder what is really going on. Atari had better get on the stick! The fat lady is climbing the stairs to the stage of the Atari Platform. Unfortunately, the folks who are running the show are very busy telling themselves and everyone around them that she's there to "play with a Falcon". Duh! Atari's booth at Comdex is huge, 4000 sq ft. with 30 equipped work stations. In fact, its the largest display in the Sands Hotel Annex. Why then was it not crowded with hungry spectators and eager developers in those 30 or so equipped work stations? Also, why weren't those spectators elbow to elbow as in the not too distant past? Could it be that almost every exhibit at Comdex has the Kodak schtick too? Or could it be the Falcon is not getting the rave reviews and ohh and ahhs we've been told it is? You bet. We're busy watching the tote board. By the way, aren't those nifty Falcon Ads and Lynx Ads, not to mention the dynamite 1040 & MSTE ads for Christmas just marvelous? It really great to see the loyal Atari dealers and the "hundreds" of newly signed up dealers (Namm Quotes) getting the support they justifiably deserve. Its wonderful to see Atari doing all the right things in time for a banner holiday sales season! _NOT!_ My sincerest hopes are for the Falcon to soar with eagles worldwide. The beauty of it all is the machine is or, at least can be the catalyst to catapult Atari back into the mainstream. Thanksgiving is this coming week and with that in mind, I'd like to wish everyone a warm, cozy holiday enjoyed with their loved ones. Please don't drink and drive. Ralph @ STReport International Online Magazine """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's Staff DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! """""""""""""""" Publisher - Editor """""""""""""""""" Ralph F. Mariano PC DIVISION AMIGA DIVISION MAC DIVISION ----------- -------------- ------------ Roger D. Stevens Charles Hill R. ALBRITTON STReport Staff Editors: """"""""""""""""""""""" Lloyd E. Pulley Sr. Dana P. Jacobson Michael Arthur Lucien Oppler Brad Martin Judith Hamner John Szczepanik Dan Stidham Joseph Mirando Steve Spivey Doyle C. Helms Contributing Correspondents: """""""""""""""""""""""""""" Michael Lee Richard Covert John Deegan Brian Converse Oliver Steinmeier Tim Holt Andrew Learner Norman Boucher Harry Steele Ben Hamilton Neil Bradley Eric Jerue Ron Deal Robert Dean Ed Westhusing James Nolan Vernon W. Smith Bruno Puglia Clemens Chin IMPORTANT NOTICE """""""""""""""" Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: Compuserve.................... 70007,4454 Delphi........................ RMARIANO BIX........................... RMARIANO FIDONET....................... 112/35 FNET.......................... NODE 350 NEST.......................... 90:21/350.0 GEnie......................... ST-REPORT """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STR'S "BELIEVE IT? OR.. WHAT?" <>###############################<> "There is no comparison! The Atari Falcon is far superior to the PC platform." Sam Tramiel, 08/92 "As I said before, all marketing announcements will be made at Duesseldorf. I will not comment on future models of the Falcon. WE ARE TALKING TODAY ABOUT A MACHINE..... WHICH WILL BE SHIPPING NEXT WEEK." Sam Tramiel, 08/92 "I've just returned from Asia, where I saw the first Atari Falcon production coming off the lines. Let's hope this new offering will make it in North America. I know that the specs are great." Sam Tramiel, 08/92 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > CPU STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Issue #47 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. -- Commodore Unveils Low-Cost Amiga Commodore Business Machines Inc. has unveiled a new low-cost Amiga, the Amiga 1200. The Amiga 1200 incorporates Commodore's 32-bit Advanced Graphics Architecture (AGA) and comes with a 3.5-inch floppy drive, 2MB of RAM and an internal IDE interface and has a suggested retail price of $699. "The high performance Amiga 1200 featuring AGA, CrossDOS, PCMCIA expand- ability, an entry level price point and compact design is a great choice as a home computer," said James Dionne, Commodore's president. "These powerful features also make it an ideal portable presentation or train- ing delivery system for the professional user. The A1200 is another step forward for Commodore as we continue to pursue a greater share of the home and professional multimedia markets." -- Virus Destroyed Report on Drug Lord Say Colombian Officials Colombian politicians allege a mysterious computer virus this week wiped out conclusions of a Senate investigation into the jailbreak of cocaine king Pablo Escobar just hours before the data was due to be presented. Reports from various committee members call the virus the "ghost of La Catedral," a reference to the prison from which Escobar and nine of his lieutenants escaped on July 22 during a bungled military operation to transfer them to another prison. "The committee's conclusions, reached after more than two months of investigation, supposedly held top military officials, ministers and former ministers responsible for the escape." <--------> COMDEX MINI-VIEW <--------> -- Comdex Expected to Draw 140,000 Backers of this year's Comdex/Fall trade show predict more than 140,000 people will attend before the closing on Friday. That would make this a "bigger than ever" 14th annual show, according to Chairman/CEO Sheldon G. Adelson of the Interface Group. -- IBM Unveils Speech Systems IBM this week unveiled a group of products that allow computers to re- cognize human speech. The units offer various speech recognition capabilities ranging "from basic PC applications to powerful, leading-edge speech technology." The products, developed by IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center for the new IBM Personal Computer Co. subsidiary, will run in a variety of PC-based environments, including DOS, Windows, OS/2 2.0 (in a DOS window). Reports say, "Through a licensing and distribution agreement with Dragon Systems Inc., the PC Co. will offer Dragon Dictate-7-km and Dragon Talk- to-Plus to its customers. Available from Dragon Systems or IBM in March 1993, Dragon Dictate-7-km costs $2,295. Other prices and launch dates vary depending on software and hardware needs." IBM officials said that customers will be drawn to use speech recogni- tion products when ease of use and productivity are important. -- IBM Hits 100mhz! Code naming it "Blue Lightning," IBM Corp. announced this week that it has hit the 100mhz speed barrier. IBM demonstrated the clock-tripling processor monday, calling it the world's fastest 486 microprocessor. Blue Lightning works through clock-tripling, a process that allows the chip to operate internally at three times its rate clock speed. The chip was developed by IBM under a long-standing agreement with Intel Corp. -- Desktop Video Products For Mac, PC Video products from Fast Electronic GmbH are being shown by Fast Elect- ronic Sales Inc. of Bellingham, Washington, a newly formed distributor for the German company. Fast Electronic Sales, officially opened October 1, is controlled by the owners of Commercial Electronics of Vancouver, British Columbia, which distributes the Fast Electronic video products in Canada, company spokeswoman Tania Elvin said. Commercial Electronics is a 35-year-old distributor of audio-visual products. Available in North America for the first time, the products include Fast's Video Machine, Screen Machine, and a Digital Video Interactive (DVI) board for laptop computers. The Video Machine, Fast's newest product, is a hardware and software combination for either the Apple Macintosh or PCs running Microsoft Windows. It lets users cut and mix live video and integrate titles, graphics, and animation from other programs, the vendor said. The PC version, which is being shown at Comdex and will be shipping this week, has a list price of $3,995. The Macintosh version is due to ship in January at $4,795. The Screen Machine is a real-time color digitizer for PCs or Mac's. It can also show text and graphics or full-motion video in a screen window of any size and shape. Now shipping, the Screen Machine has a list price of $1,795 for the PC and $1,995 for the Mac. Fast also offers cheaper versions of the Screen Machine that rely on the computer's own graphics card to display images. The Screen Machine Lite, for PCs, lists for $795. The Screen Machine Junior, for Mac's, is $1,295. Finally, Fast has a DVI board meant expressly for Toshiba T6400 laptops, using the Intel i750 B chip set. Intended for mobile multimedia applica- tions, it lists for $2,700. -- Verbatim Introduces 5.25" Rewritable Optical Disks Verbatim Corp. has introduced new 5.25-inch double-sided rewritable optical disks that store 1.1 to 1.3 gigabytes of data. A statement from the company quotes John Stevens, manager of its optical storage products marketing, as saying the disks, which meet proposed ECMA/ISO standards, now are being evaluated by a number of leading drive manufacturers. He said the disks are compatible with existing optical disk drives, adding, "Perhaps even more important is the increased data transfer rate of 750 to 1,600K/sec. This allows even faster retrieval of files, which becomes more important as the amount of archived data increases." -- US Robotics: Future Products Revealed US Robotics has revealed its plans for the product range over the coming year. As well as the Shared Access network connectivity products and data over cellular modem technology reported by Newsbytes, the company has plans to expand its modem portfolio. US Robotics was showing an enhanced version of its Worldport pocket modem. The unit has been enhanced to support V.32Bis (14,400 bits per second or bps), and plans are in hand to shrink the size of the Worldport's casing by around a third. Also in the pipeline for a first/second quarter introduction is a fax facility on the unit. A PCMCIA version of the Courier HST modem is also on the way. The modem, which will be unveiled in the second quarter of next year, will feature enhanced driver software developed specifically for data over cellular. It's been confired that the software will allow a 9,600 bps data throughput, rather than 4,800 bps available using existing technology. Rounding off the new products was a V.32 version of the budget Sportster range of modems. According to Marshall Toplansky, vice president of marketing, the high-speed Sportster should be out in the US by the end of the year, to be followed by the launch of the complete Sportster range in the UK during the first quarter of next year. Toplansky has been working with his research and development division on the development of the Worldport series of portable modems, which the company began selling when it acquired Touchbase Systems of New York 18 months ago. _______________________________________________________________ > One Man's Opinion STR FOCUS! What has the people upset? """""""""""""""""""""""""""" From CIS Atari Fora .... a sensitive topic is addressed. Falcon niche market? #: 75018 S8/Hot Topics 10-Nov-92 14:32:55 Sb: #74998-#Falcon niche? Fm: SYSOP*Ron Luks 76703,254 To: John J. Amsler 70275,676 (X) I think a very fair representation regarding the Falcon is this: Based upon reports from Dusseldorf and the BCS meeting, the Falcon does indeed have the potential to be Atari's salvation from near-death. It appears to deliver on the hardware promises that Atari has been making. However, that is only half the solution to Atari's problems. Marketing is the other half of the equation and that takes into consideration some of the more minor hardware items. For example, will there be a 2nd model of the Falcon with a detachable keyboard? etc. There are critics and enthusiasts on both sides of the debate drawing very different conclusions from the same pieces of evidence. As an interested observer, I can see some merit in the statements from both sides. Let me try to summarize my feelings as they stand today: I'm encouraged by the fact that Atari seems to have delivered on the basic hardware design. Although I have not yet seen the Falcon, enough people I know and trust have seen it and they are basically satisfied. Now, the marketing decisions, advertising decisions and final form of distribution will make or break it for Atari. This first machine does not have to be perfect, does not have to satisfy everyone completely, no be priced at 1/3 the price of a comparable clone. *BUT* (and this is a big but) it must be GOOD ENOUGH, SATISFY ENOUGH PEOPLE, and BE PRICED LOW ENOUGH to be ENOUGH of a success to enable additional models to be manufactured and sold. Quite frankly, hardware design has not been a big problem for Atari as they have shown in past models and reaffirmed with the new Falcon. Its the marketing/advertising/sales follow-up that has gotten them into the precarious situation they are in now, and thats where all eyes are focused. In my opinion, we need to focus less on what the Falcon CAN do but rather on what will be done with the Falcon. In reply Peter Joseph comments.... #: 75593 S8/Hot Topics 19-Nov-92 23:02:28 Sb: #75018-Falcon niche? Fm: Peter J. Joseph 71540,3347 To: SYSOP*Ron Luks 76703,254 Well said Ron. You know, I'm frustrated. I haven't been around here much the last couple of months. I've spent some time over the last few days reading hundreds of messages here to try to catch up on what's been going on. I didn't even know about the Falcon until just a couple weeks ago. What I've found here is that nothing has really changed. I think I've figured out why people bought STs over PCs. They're using the hundreds of dollars saved to log on here and compare their STs to PCs. I've read over 200 messages that are basically repeats of the same stuff I read last year when the TT appeared and again with the STBook; everybody wants to be as good as a PC but noone wants a PC. It's ludicrous. It's a waste of time. The way I see it, several people here think they could do much better in the computer industry than Atari. They've got all the best ideas for what would make a perfect computer; but what would it cost? Hey, I'm not trying to defend Atari's business practices. Quite frankly, their business practices suck from where I'm sitting. But, I also know that from where I'm sitting I can't see what is going on inside Atari Corporation so I'm not gonna waste time bellyaching about a company that is trying to stay afloat in an industry that is virtually monopolized by the IBM standard. So, the ST was great but 'it lacked this and it should have had that' and so on, so Atari gave us the Mega. That was great too 'but it still should've had this and that, and we want a portable' so Atari replied with the STacy; 'oh, we don't like that at all, that won't sell' so it didn't and that's a piece of history. Portfolio. 'Cute, for a toy PC'. "Here, try a TT", Atari said. 'Nice! But alas, it's still weird here and there, and compatibility, and it's pricey'. MegaSTe. 'Now there's a computer; oh wait, only 16Mhz? Ick! Gee Atari, you're just not scratching our backs where they itch'. "Well take a look at this STBook!" says Atari. 'WOW! A true laptop with..aww, no backlit screen or floppy drive'. "Well, I guess they don't want that either; pull 'em in. Gee, what's gonna make these folks happy anyway?" they said. "Ok, let's get it right this time....folks, you're gonna love this new Falcon." 'Don't be so sure Mr. Atari, as always we've got our best naysayers picking it apart and comparing it to their PCs before you even get it finished. In fact, why don't you just not bother trying anymore Atari, we're so closed-minded about your ability now that we'd rip your products apart even if they plugged directly into our brains and 'became' just what we wanted them to.' Atari: "Fine, we've gotten a bit tired of you spoiled babies anyway; you're impossible to please. <Hey guys, I guess they still don't want our stuff in the U.S. Let's redirect our efforts to the other countries again and forget this useless market altogether.>" Get the point? It's boring. It's a waste of energy. All we get is delayed or cancelled computers. The bottom line? My old 1040ST has _served my needs_ very well. I was going to upgrade to a MegaSTe but it looks like I won't do that now. Maybe I'll wait for the Falcon, I don't know; I really don't care. I'll lose more sleep wishing some Atarians were more productive than I will wishing Atari were. 'Nuf said. < Peter > P.S. Heh heh. I bet I'll get a few replies to this. :^) #: 75614 S8/Hot Topics 20-Nov-92 03:42:00 Sb: #75343-Falcon niche? Fm: Greg Wageman 74016,352 To: SYSOP*Ron Luks 76703,254 Here's another bit for the stew. Today I got a flyer from Radio Shack, advertising their new "Multimedia PC" (their words), and coincidentally saw a TV ad for the same machine. It is a 25 MHz 80486SX with SVGA monitor, CD-ROM drive, 3.5" 1.44Mbyte floppy drive, 4 Megabytes RAM, 107 MByte hard drive, 16-million color Tandy palette chip, send fax/modem, WinMate(tm), MS Bookshelf, MS Money, MS Works for Windows, MS-DOS 5.0 and Windows, for $2200, plus $100 for their under-monitor stereo amp with built-ion speakers. I have the feeling that the ability to access CD-ROM ware on a true-color display at SVGA (1024x768) resolutions is going to sell more PC's than a DSP is going to sell Falcons with no software base. Especially since the prices for equivalently-equipped systems will be competitive. -Greg ______________________________________________________________ > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" PEOPLE... ARE TALKING ===================== On CompuServe ------------- compiled by Joe Mirando From The Atari Productivity Forum ================================= Well, another week has come and gone. Let's see what posts we can find. Jim Alder asks: "How can I get some information about MetaDOS? I have a version (1/1/91) that came with my Link, but info is sketchy at best. I'd like to see what all it can do. The only file I see of interest is in the developers lib 7 and I can't get to it. Anyone have any info??" Albert Dayes, the busy guy from Atari Explorer Magazine asks: "What kind of information about MetaDOS? Have you tried any CD-ROM drives with it yet?" Jim Alder replies: "Anything! What else can it do besides run a CD player? Are there other device drivers, or just CD players. How about SCSI tape drives and such? Are there developers working on them? Can I call routines in MetaDOS from, say, GFA Basic or C? It'd be nice to have a desk ACC that would play music CDs. I've got such a routine on the IBM, and it gets a lot of use. Can Gem programs be run from MetaDOS on bootup? I always boot up Flash first to configure my modem. Haven't tried that yet. Suppose that would be an easy enough question to answer, except I don't want to have it lock me up. And yes, I have run my NEC 36 with it and it works fine. NO complaints there. But it won't work with my older controller, an AdSCSI Plus. The Link works great with it, tho." Albert tells Jim: "You could write a driver for almost any type of filesystem. For CD-ROM drives, MAC-HFS, etc. There is a developer kit for MetaDOS but I don't know the details of how it works. It been in developers hands for a long time. SCSI tape drive support. Beckemeyer Development has one already called HD TOOL-KIT is the backup program and there is a version for SCSI tape drives for $50. It works with all host adapters (supra, icd, atari,bms) ... and most scsi tape drives. Someone has it working with their Exabyte drive. Also in the future Diamond Back product will have support for SCSI tape drives as well. You can find contact information for both companies in the vendor.dat file which in the library, in this forum. Also you can e-mail to Bill Rehbock (sp?) or someone from Atari to find out more information on Metados. It was 100% assembly from what I remember of it. Oregon Research's Diamond Back with scsi tape support will have DAT drive support whenever it is released. Those discs (text only) shouldn't be to hard to make available on other platforms provided you have the support of the manufacturer. Multi-Media related ones would be more difficult. Having ISO-9660 opens up many, many possibilities." The next subject is something that all hard drive users should be familiar with: Hard drive backups. Last week, a discussion was started about what backup program to use. The discussion continues this week as Ian Braby posts: "I agree with you totally in recommending Diamond Back, but wouldn't it be even nicer if it, like Michtron's Turbo Kit, would allow you to perform an alphabetical backup of your disk?!" Carl Barron replies: "Alphabetucal backup?? I don't see a need to sort the directories of my HD's first. Is not the file listing asci? If so there exist plenty of sorts for it. I myself don't see a need, but if speed and ease are not degraded, at least when not used then why not?" When asked about compression and encryption of backups, Boris Molodyi posts: "Diamond Back II does have compressed backups (if you want to), encripted backups, image backups, and lots of other options. Program has a nice interface and is very stable. It's made by Oregon Research Associates and should be available from all decent dealers and mailorder houses." Richard Gunter tells Boris: "I can second that, Boris. I've been using the compressed backup option, and have so far been quite pleased with it. Although I've noticed a few times that it has trouble on CRC check with a few files -- that can be a bit disturbing. Boris tells Richard: "Yes, compressed back up is fine, but when I'm backimg up stuff to reformat my HD, I do it without compression. Just in case..." Pat Augustine joins in the conversation and posts: "I second the recommendations for Diamond Back II. The compressed mode is faster than uncompressed and saves disks too! It's clearly the best backup software for the ST. Fast, easy to use, and a wonderful interface." From our RSN (Real Soon Now) department, this post from James Scofield. He asks: "Is there ANY word on the Atari ST Notebook, like when it might be available?" That's why I like Atari users, they've got a sense of humor. Jim Ness tells James: "Atari has said that it was decided not to market the ST Book in this country, due to negative market reaction. It is being sold in Europe, though." Stefan Daystrom at Barefoot Software asks: "So does the _STacy_ continue to be available in that case? (Originally the STacy was going to be discontinued when the ST Book replaced it.)" See that? There's that sense of humor again. Jim Ness tells Stefan: "The STacy was definitely discontinued, although there were some units left in stock for awhile." David Lewis tells us: "Just for your information, there is a place here in Toronto advertising the ST Book for $1680 (cash only). There is no word on what the configuration is. This is a new store operated by an ex-Atari Canada employee." Sysop Bob Retelle adds: "The word from Atari is that they've "withdrawn" the ST Book pending redesign to bring it up to current standards.. A backlit screen was one of the things they mentioned wanting to add.. Don't look for one in your "local" Atari dealer anytime soon..." From the Atari ST Arts Forum ============================ Ken Lepper posts this informational note: "Just a brief note to all regarding our favorite architecture vs. the IBM clones: I have recently purchased a clone and would like to share my first impressions. (1) Windows is almost as fast as my 7-year old 520ST with 4 meg of memory, running Quick ST. (2) Adding a sound board has been a frustrating challenge while I figured out IRQ's and various conflicts. Some software does not properly execute its sound, depending on whether or not I use Windows or DOS to run it. In any event, it's been interesting learning the meaning of DMABUFFERSIZE statements. (3) The icons are fun, though I can't compare it to the new Atari desktop or Neodesk. (4) I have 3 major applications loaded: a spreadsheet, a word processor, and a telecommunications program, all for windows, loaded and 70 meg of my 130 meg hard drive is taken up with software. True I do now possess an incredible collection of online documentation.... (5) My Atari has dozens of applications spread between my 2 hard drives, with a total of 80 megs and I have 20 megs or so left over. Overall, it appears to me that the clone world has just caught up and slightly surpassed my 7 year old ST. Certainly the buttons in windows are cuter than those in say, Flash!. Some of the games I have played have graphics as good as those I've enjoyed on my ST for the last several years. It will be interesting to see how Falcon does. It is unfortunate that superior technology is not a substitute for superior marketing..... I'll continue to learn about the clones.....but only because I need to. Meanwhile, my ST sits prominently next to the clone, well used and still very functional.....and fast." Brad Hill tells Ken: "unfortunate that superior technology is not a sbstitute for superior marketing .. You've hit the frustrating truth right on the head. Thanks for the comparison!" Ken Lepper adds to his previous post: "Another thing I noticed is that some of the frustrations I've had with sytem lockups, memory not freeing up, incompatible programs, etc., are not just ST problems, but "PC" based system problems as well. It's all part of any system it seems." Oscar Steele of Purple Mountain Computing tells Ken: "You can still run ST stuff on your PC with Gemulator, so it's not so bad, you can have your cake and eat it too..." Al Rosen posts: "I have an IBM-compatible 386 computer at home. I use Procomm Plus and a 9600 Zoom v.32 bis external modem. I also have an Atari ST computer with 1 meg and no hard drive that I wanted to bring home from the office for my son to use. How can I download Atari shareware to test out on the Atari machine? Is there a program to convert from MS-Dos 5.0 (the operating system for my IBM) to the Atari operating system or do I have to set up the modem, etc direcly to the Atari although I have no hard drive and only one disk drive." Sysop Bob Retelle tells Al: "You're in luck.. the file formats used by both the IBM and Atari are almost exactly the same.. That means that a disk you format under DOS 5.0 will work perfectly in the ST's disk drive.. The only restriction is that the ST can't use High Density, so you have to remember to format it with the /f:720 switch in DOS.. once you do that, you can download files onto the floppy and the ST will be able to read them just fine..! Another thing you may want to do... Since you mentioned only having one floppy disk, and no hard drive on the ST it would make things a lot easier to uncompress the files on your IBM first, then copy the uncompressed files onto the floppy for the ST. It would be a lot more difficult to unARC large files with only one floppy drive. Once again, the compression utilities are virtually the same between the IBM and ST.. although you'll rarely find anything in the ST world that's been ZIPped, you should be able to uncompress any ARC or LZH files on your IBM. If you have any other questions, we're always here to help..!" From the Atari Vendors Forum ============================ Bill Eaton asks about Spectre GCR versions: "I am currently using Specter 2.65C and notice that it does not run System 6.05 What "Systems" does the latest Specter run and how can I get an upgrade?" Mark at Gadgets by Small tells Bill: "The current version of Spectre is 3.0. And, yes...Spectre 3.0 does support all System versions up to (and including) System 6.0.5. (In fact, System 6.0.5 is the highest >recommended< system version at this time..although, some users >are< using System 6.0.7 and 6.0.8 with their Spectres). If you are a registered Spectre owner then you need only send your request for Spectre 3.0 to the Gadgets mailing address (U.S. Postal) along with check for $20.00 (the cost of the 3.0 upgrade). If you are NOT a registered Spectre owner then you also need to send your ORIGINAL Spectre 2.65 software disk along with your request. Please be sure to include your return mailing address (you would be surprised...this has happened before!) and the serial number from the bottom of the Spectre GCR cartridge. P.S. Spectre 3.0 offers a TON of other improvements over Spectre 2.65. I don't know how you lived without 3.0 for this long! <grin>" Rob Rasmussen asks about WARP 9's Extend-O-Save: "I have Warp 9 3.73, and have loaded one of the screen saver modules that is supposed to fade to black. It works OK when the time-out has been reached. But when I move the mouse pointer to the Fade Now corner, it fades to black like it should but then a few seconds later goes away. I have it set to remain on the screen, not toggle, and am careful not to move the mouse after moving it to that corner. If prying eyes are peering over my shoulder, I want to be able to kick in the screen saver and for it to stay on til I move the mouse again. What am I doing wrong, or not doing? Guess I don't need Hotsaver anymore, right?" Charles F. Johnson of CodeHead Technologies answers: "It sounds like something is happening to cause the screensaver to kick out. Try playing with the "watched events" in the E-O-S Preferences box (i.e., the checkboxes labeled "GEM Graphics/Text," "MIDI Input," etc.)." Rob does some more checking and posts: "I've tried everything I can think of, and the screen saver still appears for only 5 seconds then disappears when I move the mouse to the Fade In corner. The Watch button settings don't seem to matter, although I found that my Midi keyboard if turned on while connected to ST midi in definitely keeps the screen saver from appearing at all, if that watch button is selected. It must be a conflict with another ACC in MultiDesk. As it turns out, I need 2 versions of the W9 ACC in my system - one in MultiDesk and the other in the root of C when I don't use MultiDesk. In a setup with only WP.PRG in Auto folder and W9.ACC as only ACC, I CAN get it to work, using the default screen saver at least. In my normal setup with MultiDesk and other ACCs and Auto Prgs, though, the screen saver won't stay on the screen. Sometimes when I configure it a certain way, like to stay on the screen and not toggle or flash, then save it, when I come back to it I see that setting did not "take", the other is selected. Hope this makes sense..." Charles F. Johnson, asks Rob: "What other AUTO programs and accs do you have installed when the screensaver fails to work? Also, which screensaver are you using? Some MIDI keyboards send out "active sensing" messages continuously over the MIDI port; this is why you need to turn off the watching of "MIDI Input" when your keyboard is plugged in." Rob does even more checking and tells Charles: "I may have found the culprit-our old friend DeskCart! A shame too, because I need the clock in DeskCart. Are there any other cartridge clocks around? Maybe the clock was preventing the screensaver from staying on the screen, but it seems like one of those "watch buttons" would have taken care of that. I tried them all, though. Hotsaver never would kick in on every screen on every program, and I always wondered why. For instance, on the Hotwire screen, the desktop, Flash terminal screen and screens where there was a dialog box, after the timeout the Hotsaver never appeared. Yet when reading messages in QuickCIS or in Flash, and other screens, it would kick in. These newer screensavers work in more places than before, but still not in other places. On a screen where Hotsaver wouldn't work, this saver may kick in after the timeout, yet "blink" (stay on for a few secs then disappear) when I do the mouse/fadeout corner. I tried all the savers on the W9 disk for medium rez, and settled on DISOLVE for now. I see that Tom Bajoras of GenEdit fame helped you write it! (I use that prg a lot, too). I would love to see more EXT screensavers for medium rez - are any available on the Codehead Quarters BBS? And what is that phone # - when I called last night it didn't answer." Charles tells Rob: "Yes, it does sound like the Deskcart clock is interfering with Extend-O-Save somehow. There are other cartridge-based clocks around, and there are also some clocks that mount inside the computer; I'm not really up-to-date on what's available, though. The number of the CodeHead Quarters BBS is 213-461-2095. The 'DISSOLVE' module does not save its configuration settings, sorry. Each screensaver module is responsible for saving its own settings; they aren't saved in the Warp 9 configuration. The next update for Warp 9 will allow you to save a config with a custom font loaded but inactive." Well folks, that's about all for this week. Let's wait and see what interesting stuff comes out after all of the activity at COMDEX has died down next week. Atari is now showing real promise. Big shows and good moves by Atari always generate a lot of messages, so tune in again next week to hear what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING _____________________________________________________________ > UK REPORTING STR INTERNATIONAL "The Awakenings" are there too. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" FALCON ->NEW CASE & BUNDLE ========================== by Dazz Freeman The Falcon range will expand in 1993. A consumer version and a CD Drive will be available. The consumer version will be repackaged in a new case and sell for 399 and be a 1Mb version (ie no MultiTOS just a games machine) and launched around May 1993. The consumer version will be packaged to appeal to games players but there will be only 1 or 2 games bolstered by productivity packages such as those available now. The idea is to get at the console users with the graphics and sound quality and make them see that a keyboard and processing power does have benefits (sounds like the same challenge that computers companies had in the early-mid 80s). The Falcon CD drive will be compatible with the dominant CD format at the time. Atari doesn't believe that it will be the CDTV format. It does believe that the format will emerge as Full Motion Video is incorporated into new systems. The 10,000 Falcons shipped this side of Xmas will sell to the techies, Atari reckon. There will be around 10 titles available this year but unlikely to be games. The vast majority will be published by Atari. Development machines are now being sent to the big games house, Ocean, US Gold etc. (Note that these houses have had the new Amiga 1200 for months!). In Jan 93 to May 93 the range of "life-enhancing" software will increase "dramatically" and around 5-10 games will appear. Gleadow admits that they will be "good rather than great titles" (dear oh dear!) and most published by Atari (I wonder why?) but developed by third parties. Space Junk is being worked on by Mirage, for instance. Some third parties will publish anonymously ;-). Gleadow reckons that the majority of the major houses will come online in June - Dec 1993, the theory is that they will have had the Falcons for 6 months and the techies will be demanding to get to grips with them. He also reckons that Comet and Dixons will be so impressed by now to start selling the Falcon. The big licence for Xmas 1993 will be available on the Falcon as Atari will get it for the Lynx any way. Gleadow reckons that 200-250,000 units will sell in 1993 making it the biggest selling home computer. (I personally can't see this at all and is a tactic to build up confidence in the retail and software house which has all but disappeared for the ST). In 1994, the new Sega and Nintendo machines will arrive presumably with interactive capabilities and backed up with advertising budgets that make Atari's losses for this year look like peanuts. Gleadow doesn't yet have an answer for them and is relying on the Falcon (and presumably the Amiga) having taken over that market (10-15 year olds). The Commodore Amiga 1200 was released last week featuring 32-bit architecture and the AA custom chip set, IDE internal interface, 2Mb RAM and a floppy disk drive. Selling at 699 and hitting stores this week, it will be a serious challenge for the Falcon. As all the major games publishers have games already written for it the Falcon doesn't have much of a chance up till Xmas this year attracting the console market they are clearly aiming at - a market not in the least interested in DSP because they don't know what it is or what benefits it will give them. Commodore plans to sell 30,000 units this year (compared to 10,000 Falcons). *********************************************************************** 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. For more information, call: DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005 DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, MA. 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 (11/18/92) ============================ STREPORT 8.45 PAULA ABDUL DYNAMITE MILLIPEDE CLONE HAPPY HALLOWEEN PIC VIEWERS FOR ST & TT AUTOSORT 4.1 SUPERIOR PAC-MAN CLONE PAULA ABDUL EXPANDED GRAPHIC PRINTER SPC 3375 1.61 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! *********************************************************************** > GADGETS UPDATE STR Spotlight A few words from Dave.... """""""""""""""""""""""""""" GADGETS UPDATE ============== Compiled by: Lloyd Pulley, Senior Editor From the Gadgets by Small RT on Genie, Cat. 1, Topic 26, Msg.1 ... Greetings, all. A lot has been happening which has kept me away from GEnie. You'll recall I'm usually a late-nighter; it's tough to do GEnie when it's late enough that I see two CRT's instead of one. (Nice 3-D, though). I'm sorry I could not drop by more often; this is why Mark and Jeff are here. (Actually, if you will think of me as the mechanic that fixes your car, and Mark/Jeff as drivers who can give you driving advice, you will see who is more valuable to you in support. There aren't that many problems where I can say, gee, that's a XON/XOFF handshake problem I should fix; it's more likely I'll have to say, "They're doing a Nil pointer and the Zerostore handler, even with five years of work, just can't handle something THAT weird." Think of a mechanic holding up a greasy part and saying "This framsis wasn't generating enough vacuum to vent the blowby in the engine so you was running rich." Mark and Crew can tell you what works, and if it doesn't work and there's a way to make it work, they know it -- with a specialty in HP Deskjet printers, I do believe, and SST's and stuff.) As most of you know, we lost about 3 months of 1992 to Eric snapping his upper leg and physical therapy. Eric is now fine -- rough-houses, runs up stairs two at a time -- but I seem to be short some hair, and the remaining hair is this odd grayish color which I assume is a short term stress reaction. I mean, come on. I'm only 34. Because of the economy being so flat, (no metaphor), we elected NOT to hire someone just to answer phones. We multi-tasked assembling, testing, and shipping SST's, MegaTalks, and GCR's by the hundreds with answering the phone. (A kind soul we know did help with the testing; it's time consuming. And it is intimidating for your 9-year old daughter to look at you and say, "This board has SCSI bad, but everything else works. Can you swap the chip?" (She hasn't learned that art yet). Yep, we pay them; want to teach them the family business concept, since we think that is going to be a big part of the 90's. Besides -- would YOU work somewhere where the kitty litter box is just one room away and staffed by The Cat That Can Overcome? So, I've been away. There has also been work essential to a new project the name you've probably heard of, HyperWeb, before I can go farther. By the way, that name and TM was taken away 6 days before I got to it, so let's try to avoid it from here on in. The concept remains the same: the next paradigm in mass storage (which, when you think about DOS, literally "Disk Operating System", is a lot of what the computers are about. And there's been the usual meritless stuff occupying time I would rather be doing anything else during, such as having bamboo pushed under my fingernails. One of the problems of being moderately known, even in a niche, is that All Sort Of Different, Real Different "People" (I use that word advisedly) come into contact with you. Fun. Oh, well. Where The Office (also known as The Salt Mines) is ... well, we are in a heavy construction area. The first thing that is usually done Monday morning is the ditch-digging crews go looking for Day-Glow paint marking telephone lines. 791- 6098, the Gadgets numbers, has gone done more than 10 times I can think of right off, and stayed down. It is routed differently than our FAX number (which they got only a couple of times), fortunately. Some day I hope this area will imitate Russia and have no growth so the telephones work. Remarkably, incredibly, a few people do call the operator, who rolls a dice or whatever, and it says, "Trouble on the line." Then, some poor slob has to squat in water and re-connect a 500-pair cable (BIG-time fun!) for the 80th time, probably the same guy that marked its location on the ground. Since we re-arranged some, the cat (who sleeps on the warm FAX machine) no longer knocks the phone slightly off-hook, enough to matter. She used to get the kitty-stretches and do that (like rolling in the sun). We have handled a very large number of calls; it's clearly a fulltime thing, but what would *you* do with the economy and with Atari betting that the only empty chamber in its Russian Roulette game is called "Falcon"? [That is a particularly gruesome metaphor I'm saving for Current Notes. No cheating.] We've also encountered The AutoDialers From Hell. These are the folks who get a busy signal, then set their phone/modem on re-dial forever. I mean, literally, we put the phone down from call #1, and it rings =instantly=. I'm thinking seriously about not taking calls that come in that way, because all that is happening is some people are cutting into line. FAXes are reliable and work well getting information back and forth. If you don't hear from us, please consider that we may have gotten pure garble and not known who to reply to. (For a time the Toshiba-san threw fits and output purely black pages. Good for decor, I guess, but hard to answer). I have tried (and failed: see above on free time) to keep up on email. Biggest problem is reading Internet, which is enough to drown any three people with no difficultly. (Jeeze, now they have a nonstop 9600 baud satellite feed from USENET, all newsgroups, for about $2500 ... drop me email if you're serious, I have a flyer from Hackers ... and they are looking for "pad-out" material in case the Net is slow that day. I do wish we could have gotten GEnie and USENET connected decently.) Between a very rapidly growing Spectre presence on Compuserve, the Internet, FAXes, Genie, multiply by email if you don't answer in two days, it's pretty overwhelming. Do you think I should hire Dan Quayle to do my PR? *********************************************************************** :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ To sign up for GEnie service: Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. GEnie costs only $4.95 a month for unlimited evening and weekend access to more than 100 services including electronic mail, online encyclopedia, shopping, news, entertainment, single-player games, and bulletin boards on leisure and professional subjects. With many other services, including the biggest collection of files to download and the best online games, for only $6 per hour. MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! Any time during your first month of membership if you are not completely satisfied, just ask for your $4.95 back. GEnie Announcements (FREE) 1. NOW AVAILABLE .. GEnie Holiday Gift Certificates............GENIESTORE 2. Hubble discovers BLACK HOLE and QUAKES in New England.......SCIENCERT 3. SAVE $16.50 - Get a FRESH Holiday Wreath for $10 at...........LANDSEND 4. Zoos in the WEST 11/20 RTC with PACHYMAN, Marty Grabien.......LEFT 5. Meet DAVE SMITH from the DISNEY Archives Appearing SOON in....FLORIDA 6. Stock Market Votes on Clinton Transition Team.................SOS 7. Award-winning Author -- DEE HOLMES -- 11/24 in................ROMANCE 8. SAVE $$ on Compact Discs -- Latest & Greatest ..............NOTEWORTHY 9. Winter Fantasy and GEN CON Registration.......................TSR 10. Get prepared for your move with a FREE H&L home buying guide..HOME 11. Compaq's prices tumble; hot new notebooks announced on........LAPTOPS 12. WPWIN 5.2 announced with Grammatik 5, ATM, and fonts on.......WP 13. November GEnieLamp means FREE time for programmers in.........A2PRO 14. Go BAREFOOT in the software -- with online support in.........*MIDI 15. Exciting theme competition this month in......................TRIVIA Welcome ****** ******** ** ** ** To the ** ** ** ** ** GEnie ****** ** ST ** ** ** ATARI ** ** Roundtable ** ** ** ****** ** ** ** ** *** ** *** The Official Online Resource of Atari Corporation *** ** *** Atari ST Roundtable Real Time Conference Special Events Calendar Nov. 25 - Phil Comeau of Wintertree will be our guest. Phil is well known for GramSlam, Grammar Expert and Spelling Sentry. NEW! Darlah's Treat: MIDIBATL.LZH! (ST/STE Color only) Great ST/STE 8 way scrolling arcade game, allows 2 machines to be networked through MIDI. STE specific features, full screen scrolling and digital audio and both versions run at the full frame rate. Must have, 2 player option is great. SHAREWARE from Moving Pixels. Darlah's Treat is available at page 475;9 and is a *Basic Service Last Week's Top Downloaded Programs/Utilities: ---------------------------------------------- 26515 VIEW132D.LZH (LH5) X C.HERBORTH 921113 22272 392 2 Desc: Awesome image viewer/converter! 26462 SEBRA.LZH X J.SCHRAM 921108 8960 135 2 Desc: Nice mono emulator... 26556 GVIEW201.LZH X B.SCHULZE1 921117 378368 113 28 Desc: View ANY picture, any rez 26509 CACHE255.LZH X D.C.GOUTHRO 921113 32512 103 10 Desc: Master Cache V2.55 26537 BIGCOOKY.LZH X M.SLAGELL 921115 2560 83 2 Desc: breathing room for cramped systems Regular Open Conference every Wednesday night, 10PM EDT, 7PM PDT DTP conference every Monday at 10PM eastern in room 3. GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission *********************************************************************** > Sam Tramiel at COMDEX STR Feature GEnie's ST RT Monday Night Conf. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Monday Night Real Time Conference Host - Lou Rocha LIVE from COMDEX with Sam Tramiel President, Atari Corporation Nov. 16, 1992 <[Lou] ST.LOU> It gives me great pleasure to welcome Sam Tramiel, President of Atari Corporation, to the ST Round Table Monday Night Real Time Conference. Many thanks to Sam for taking this time to join us on the very first night of COMDEX '92 as Atari proudly unveils its products at the largest computer trade show in North America. Sam... please tell us your impressions of the first day of COMDEX. What were the highlights for Atari Corporation? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> The show once again is a PC show and we are one of two unique offerings, the other being Apple. We really feel that we have some really exciting hardware and software in the Atari Falcon 030. The important thing is to market the machine properly and we are now planning the advertising for Q1 of 1993. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Thanks Sam. Our first question is from JCD at Mag Software. <[JCD] MAG.SOFTWARE> Hi Sam. Thanks for being here tonite. Sorry I am missing COMDEX this year. Our 1st born baby boy came Nov. 8th. Being a new dealer, I'd like to know when we will get dealer prices on the Falcons? European dealers are already advertising theirs. <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Mazel Tov Jeff on your baby, the dealer prices are now available; please call Sunnyvale on Monday next week. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Our next question is from John Cole at Lexicor <[Lexicor] J.COLE18> Hello Sam, how do you feel a possible trade war between the US and the EC will affect Atari. How would a trade war affect US marketing plans and planned production? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Your questions are very interesting but I really have no control of the situation. I really think that Europe will back off on the agricultural issues. All of Europe is against France on this. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Eric Goodman is next. Eric? <[ERIC] E.GOODMAN1> There are rumors of a tower version of the Falcon being shown at Comdex. Are these just rumors? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> There is no tower version at the show and I can't comment further. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Thanks Eric. Next we have SAM RAPP. <[Not Sam T.] SAM-RAPP> Sam, there have been questions on whether the Falcon memory sits on a 32 bit bus or a 16 bit bus. Could you clarify? Also, any design changes in the production models? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Unfortunately, Leonard and Richard Miller are not here and I am not able to answer your question. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Sam... our next question is from James French. <[James] J.FRENCH2> When will the Falcon be available in Canada, same as U.S.? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> The availability in Canuck land is the same as for the US. Yea Canada on being World Series Champions. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Sam.... the million dollar question... when do you think the dealers will see their first store models? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Some dealers will get machines very, very soon and we will contine to roll out shipments from now on, but real volumes starting in Dec/Jan. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Thanks Sam. That is good news. Next we have Keith and Bruce from Canada. <[Bruce/Keith] B.KLASSEN> Hi Sam, Here is our shopping list: 1) Is FSM and Speedo compatible? 2) When will dealers get Multitos for TT's? 3) Are all TT monitors cancelled? 4) Future of the TT in a tower and/or 040? 5)UNIX? Thanks, <[Sam] STRAMIEL> 1. FSM and Speedo are not compatible and I have been using Speedo and it is great, with lots of fonts from Bitstream. 2. MultiTos is just being released for the TT, i.e. very soon. Eric Smith, another fine Canadian, is now living in California and is finishing things off. 3. No. 4. We are planning on a 040 machine and we have no plans on expanding our unix involvement. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Sam... Brian Harvey from Nova Scotia, Canada is next. <[Brian] B.HARVEY7> Sam, what is the future of the MEGA STE? Will a MEGA Falcon replace it or will the MEGA STE be selling for a few more years? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> The Mega/Ste is still being sold today and the production will depend on the demand which I think will slack off when the Atari Falcon 030 starts shipping in volume. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Sam... Jason Brunken is next. <J.BRUNKEN> Is Atari or any other company currently working on the 'Virtual' modem/fax/phonemail system for the Falcon. If I know that I can get this I most certainly will get a Falcon! <[Sam] STRAMIEL> I don't know what a "virtual".... means, but there is a voice mail system and a great fax/modem system. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Our next question is from Robb Albright. GA <[Veg] R.ALBRIGHT7> Sam, can you give us a brief overview of apps being demoed there, and if there are any press features (TV) that we can keep our eyes open for. <[Sam] STRAMIEL> There are around 40 titles being shown, a lot of sound stuff, i.e. D2D, a beta version of "Concierge" the new name for Sutra, a wild game from Jeff Minter of Llamasoft, and a interesting sewing machine that stitches on hats and teeshirts, and the new Kodak Photo CD which now runs on The Atari Falcon 030 and the TT030. The deal with Kodak was just signed on Friday last week. Calamus showed SL which can use Kodak Photo CD and HiSoft has True Colour software. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Sam, J.BRUNKEN is willing to clarify that 'virtual' question... <J.BRUNKEN> By "virtual", I was refering to using the 56001 DSP to emulate these devices rather than paying the big bucks to buy the actual hardware. Are any companies seriously exploring the use of the DSP at this point? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> That is being worked on and should be out by second quarter 93. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Ted Patterson is next, Sam. <[Ted] J.PATTERSON3> What has been the reaction of showgoers to the Falcon 030 and other assorted goodies? Any new business likely? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> So far, the reaction has been very positive and Dealers and Distributors alike are showing interest. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Sam... Eric Goodman has been VERY patient. ;-) <[ERIC] E.GOODMAN1> Might there be a Jaguar appearing at COMDEX? And if not, what info can we get on a release date? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> We just finished the first two developer conferences, one in Sunnyvale, the other in London on the Jaguar system. It's going to be an awesome entertainment machine and delivery will be 2nd half of 93. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Rod Cobble is here. <R.COBBLE1> Hi, I was wondering Atari's plans for distributing the Falcon? Dealers? any chain stores considered? Mail Order? What will the street prices be? I need IBM compatibility, Would love to do it with one machine, Any word on Emulators? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Wow, a lot of questions. :-) We are planning of course to have dealers and chain stores and Atari mail order. There is a company in Germany, Compo, that is going to show IBM emulation tomorrow at Comdex, they say, if not very soon. One megabyte machine SRP is US $799, a 4 megabyte unit is $999 and 4 megabyte with a 65 megabyte hard drive is US $1299. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Folks... please use your time for only one question... there are ten people in the queue. Next we have Daryl Monge. <[Daryl] D.MONGE> What customer do you see for the Falcon that is not already an Atari customer? (P.S. f.y.i I would like to buy a tower Falcon040 :-) <[Sam] STRAMIEL> We are going after the mass market home user and hope that with software like voice mail for the home and other great apps we can attract new users. The machine really is FUN to use. The sound effects are incredible. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Thanks... Now it's Bill Prang. <[bill prang] B.PRANG> Sam, I have a bunch of Atari stock that was worth 6000 and is now worth 600. Do you think that the new products in line have a chance of boosting values, and is Atari still buying stock on the market? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Atari has an open plan to purchase stock back from the market and has done so in the last quarter. I, of course, cannot predict the stock market but we have "rightsized" and hopefully will be going forward in a profitable manner with the Atari Falcon 030. <[Jim] J.NESS> Bill Prang touched on this already, but let me upload it anyway... Hi. I know this is a tough one to have to answer, but let's mow through it anyway. The stock market has not shown any excitement over the Falcon intro. The quarterly financial results continue to be scary, for anyone banking on the continued existance of your company. How can you convince these financial pros that they are wrong about your company, and that they should count on some real near-term growth? This question is as important to your customers, who want to see you around for awhile, as it is to your investors, who simply would like to make some money. <[Sam] STRAMIEL> We still have close to $50 million CASH in the bank and are now running at a break even or small profit. We are not working for Wall Street but to make money for our shareholders and only think long term. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Thanks Sam for that very insightful answer. I hope it puts some of the naysayers to rest for a while. Next is Geoff Sloan. <[Geoff] G.SLOAN> Sam, can you tell us any of the companies that will be coming back to Atari to produce for the Falcon? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> It is not a question of companies coming back but of companies writing new and exciting software that takes advantage of the features of the Atari Falcon 030. For example, we are getting quite a few NeXT developers who are used to working with 56000 DSP's and of course we are causing a lot of excitement in the audio area with the DSP and Atari Falcon 030 features which is better than CD quality with 50 kHz sound. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Mike Allen is next. Mike is one of our regulars ;-) <[Curmudgeon] M.ALLEN14> When can we expect to see offical, regular Atari participation here in GEnie? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> I am going to be accessing GEnie at home and will be more active on a regular basis. (Nathan is getting that in writing!) ;-) <[Lou] ST.LOU> SAM on GEnie?.. mind-boggling ;-) Next we have Bruce and Keith again. Thanks for waiting fellas. <[Bruce/Keith] B.KLASSEN> Yo Sam. What is the status and capability of the SACK 286/386/486 card to give us that dumb DOS compatibility we could to use get people in the door, how soon for Speedo; will the wp features of Concierge have all the features of Wordup and will the spreadsheet be as good or better than LDW? P.S. We still 'love' Atari 030's!! <[Lou] ST.LOU> Sam... you can answer any ONE of those ;-) <[Sam] STRAMIEL> SACK is from Compo and is being shown tomorrow as a 386 SX. Speedo is very soon, within, I would guess, 4-6 weeks. Concierge is a completely different program than WordUp but it has an excellent word processor and the spreadsheet is EXCEL compatible rather than Lotus. We also love our Atari's. ;-) ga <[Lou] ST.LOU> Next we have Robb Albright. GA Robb.... <[Robb] R.ALBRIGHT7> Sam, I think you must have missed the second half of my first question, so let me try again. <[Robb] R.ALBRIGHT7> Have there been any TV Cameras havering around the Atari area, and could you leak who they might be if so, i.e. CNN Headline, NBC, PCTV, so we can get a visual of the excitement we are reading about. <[Sam] STRAMIEL> We have not seen in any cameras in the building yet. Hopefully we will have some exposure. However, CNN just received their review unit for technology week. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Ooops.... who's next? James Vogh! <[James] J.VOGH> Since the Falcon is a home computer, what is the status of game software and what about video phone capability? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> We, Atari, have contracted about a dozen games and they will be released over the next few months and there are a number of developers busy working away on some great games. I have seen demos in the US and in Europe, titles such as; Raiden, Road Riot H4WD, Cyber Assualt, Steel Talons and Eclipse has a great spaceship game. The special new joystick which works on the STe, Atari Falcon 030 and Jaguar will be shipping in February. It has three fire buttons and a 12 key numeric keypad. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Bill Jones from Portland ME is next. Bill GA <[Bill Jones] B.BILLJONES2> I'm a newly registered ST developer who'll buy the Falcon Dev Kit. I'm concerned about the the level of developer support for the Falcon. Will support differ with the Falcon? And will the kit be more than a box of unbound papers? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Wait, re: the Video Phone question. I have not seen it myself yet but I have been promised that this will be possible. The developer kit is much more polished that the old Atari ST kit and I feel that we are devoting a lot of quality time and effort to developer support. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Rod Martin from Network 23.... ON THE AIR! <[Net 23] R.MARTIN22> Any signs of BIG NAME companies porting BIG NAME software to Atari (Microsoft Write, PageMaker, QuarkExpress). I think this could be one of the biggest draws to current computer owners not happy with the computers they have now. <[Sam] STRAMIEL> As we build up volume, I am sure that some "big name" companies will port onto the system. I feel that some of the software now available is better than those big names and much more price competitive. We just signed up Eastman Kodak as a Developer. I think you'll agree that they are a pretty well known company. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Sam... here is Kent Cavanaugh from Surrey BC in Canada. <[Kent] K.CAVAGHAN2> Hi Sam. Many of my customers ask about repairs. While I generally recommend our two local dealers, I was wondering what was happening with the GE service contract that was to be in place already? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> I am not involved in this but will check with the US folks. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Thanks Sam... Robb Albright is back in the queue and there are no others waiting. Folks.... please /raise your hand now. <[Robb] R.ALBRIGHT7> There have been rumours that MultiTOS is "Not quite ready". Give us the scoop. Will it be shipping with the dealer demo units, and when (approx. DATE please) might my dealer here in Portland, OR see his demo units. <[Sam] STRAMIEL> You are correct that MultiTos is not quite shipping but as I said ealier, Eric Smith is now in-house and is polishing off the product and will be shipping with the Atari Falcon 030. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Wow..... ten hands just went up... hang on folks... OK... LIVE.... T. Wilson... Bruce and Keith... P.Blagay. <[Dark.Oak.Sof] T.WILSON14> Is MultiTOS and Falcon info included with new delveloper kits or are they separate packages? I'm going to buy them soon and wanted to know. <[Sam] STRAMIEL> I believe that it is all included in one kit but you can verify this for certain by sending email to Bill Rehbock B.REHBOCK. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Bruce and Keith were next in line... <[Bruce/Keith] B.KLASSEN> Will the PTC1426 monitor work properly with the Falcon? What about new SLM'S SCSI 600dpi? Thanks again Sam <[Sam] STRAMIEL> At Comdex, we are using PTC1426 on a number of Atari Falcon 030 workstations and we have no immediate plans for an Atari branded 600 dpi printer. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Paul Blagay is next Sam... <P.BLAGAY> Hi Sam, I was wondering how compatible the Falcon will be with pre-STE software? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> We took great efforts to have the Atari Falcon 030 be very compatible with all Atari 68000 machine software and we think we were quite successful. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Sam... I know you haven't had dinner yet, right? Can you handle two or three more questions? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> That is correct and we are starving. ;-) <[Lou] ST.LOU> OK we have James French and Bill Aein. <[James] J.FRENCH2> Good day, eh from Edmonton. Will there be any goodies available for dealers like promo pamphlets, etc. <[Sam] STRAMIEL> We will support Dealers with all kinds of marketing and merchandising materials. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Bill Aein. <B.AEIN> Will the street price for the Falcon be the same as manfacturers retail? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Unlikely. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Sam, could you tell us what promo literature is being distributed at COMDEX? Will there be any left for user groups, etc.? Any news about the International Software Catalog? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Atari is giving away new Atari Falcon 030 literature and many software companies have attractive new literature such as Hi-Soft and DMC's Calamus. It is a good idea to send some to our loyal user groups. I will talk to Mr. Brodie about this and the new International Software Catalog is available at, I think, $12.95 retail and I'd be happy to fill your order with your VISA card #. Please call Sunnyvale and speak to Don Thomas next week, in customer service. It is, in fact, $12.00. We just checked. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Just two more... please? And could you have someone post the address for the catalog? On GEnie... of course. ;-) Bill Prang then Mike Allen to close it up. <[bill prang] B.PRANG> Will a 17 in multisync work on the Falcon, and what is the approximate financial investment now required to be a dealer? thanks for your attendance. <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Atari Corp. 1196 Borregas Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1302 Att: Customer Service, Don Thomas. <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Yes, the size of the monitor is not a factor and the Dealer should be financially sound. The investment required depends on the sales targets and marketplace being served. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Mike Allen... take us home... <[Curmudgeon] M.ALLEN14> I have heard the Atari purchased the source code to Word Up 3. I have thought that WU3 was a WP that had great potential that ALMOST had it right. Does Atari have any plans for the WU3 source code? (Will Falcon run on th Falcon? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Mike Fulton has helped a lot on the Concierge program and he has given a lot of his Word Up experience to it. There are no plans for Word Up at this time. <[Lou] ST.LOU> No text block Sam. Just a tremendous thank you. I know we did not cover all the questions that were sent to you via GEnie but I would like to express my thanks on behalf of all Atarians for the time you took tonight. Best wishes. Any last thoughts? <[Sam] STRAMIEL> Thanks for joining us tonight in Las Vegas. We all hope that we make money tonight at the tables. :-) Wish us luck! Goodnight. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Thanks to all the folks who joined us. Don't forget the two upcoming RTC's here in the ST Round Table with Host Brian Harvey. \\\**/// Nov. 25th... Phil Comeau from Wintertree Software - Publisher of GramSlam, Grammar Expert and Spelling Sentry. THE ATARI ST ROUND TABLE - JOIN THE FUN! ========================================================================== (C) 1992 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari Roundtables. May be reprinted only with this notice intact. The Atari Roundtables on GEnie are *official* information services of Atari Corporation. 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) Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. ========================================================================= > The Flip Side STR Feature "...a different viewpoint..." """"""""""""""""""""""""" A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee All posts are from the ST RoundTable on Genie. ---------------- From Keith Gerdes (TraceTech) - Cat. 2, Topic 12, Msg. 10... Notice to Data Diet owners, I was only able to keep the registered user database up-to-date for Double Click through the end of February 1992 at which point the main office moved. I have yet to receive any of the mail from DC that covers the period after 02/92 and they didn't bother to maintain the database. :( So if you sent in your registration card or a change of address that would have been received by them during that time period, please send me GEmail or a postcard with the necessary info. Before the end of November I would like to start sending out the flyer for the Data Diet version 2 upgrade... ---------------- From Gordon Moore (Super Boot) - Cat. 2, Topic 28, Msg. 81... I'm close to having Super Boot 8.0 done and am looking for a few people who would be interested in Beta testing. If you are interested, send me some email (to G.W.MOORE) and let me know what type of system you are using (what model ST, color/mono, TOS version, hard drive software (eg. ICD, Supra, etc.), amount of memory). Some of the new features: o Multi-page display mode - display each file type on a separate page o Now plays DMA stereo sound o Can now be called from other programs with a command line o Copyright screen for SUPER_CS no longer displays every time o Can now update files and reboot from Super Boot (warm or cold boot) for files which run before Super Boot or if you want to run Super Boot from the desktop o File capacity increased from 152 files to 1824 files o Now 9 slots for "Other" files o GDOS ASSIGN.SYS files no longer have a "reserved" slot I would like to send out the Beta version by Wednesday this week and finish Beta testing before Thanksgiving. The final version should be released sometime Thanksgiving weekend. ---------------- Info about The Purple Mountain Freedom Floptical Drive special - Cat. 4, Topic 3, Msg. 90... EVERYONE, important: For some reason I have been informed that Atari User published our ad with the November 15, 1992 deadline in the November issue. If this is so (I still HAVEN'T GOTTEN an issue), then they made an error. It should be December 15, 1992. So that's when you have till for the special... ---------------- Questions and answers about printing mailing labels - Cat. 4, Topic 20, Msgs 20-25... Question from P.LOUIE1 - Has anyone ever had any problems with printing mailing labels on a dot mmatrix printer? (I have an Epson FX85) I'm afraid of having labels stuck in the printer. Am I a little paranoid? Has anyone had any messy problems with these labels? Answer from MUSE - Hey buddy, you're just a little paranoid. <g> It'll work fine, don't you worry. There is usually a little adjustment that moves the printhead back a little bit for those times when the paper is a little thick. Stick (pun intended) with Avery labels, you can't go wrong. Answer from Joe Meehan - I have printed quit a few (both at home [hundreds] and at work [thousands]). I have had a few jam, generally by mis use by some one who did not know what they were doing, or was in a hurry (me). I have always been able to easily unjam the printer. I work with about 8 different models of printers. I do suggest you get top quality labels. Answer from Mike Keller (ST Aladdin) - I've never had a label jam when printing, only when doing the unmentionable (turning the roller backwards!). I use an FX85, printed thousands of labels, both the Avery mailing and those teensy Slidescribe labels for use on slide mounts. ---------------- Information about ST and TT OverScan - Cat. 4, Topic 21, Msgs. 168-169.. Question from Norm Johnson - Has anyone heard of any retailers carrying TT Overscan. Rio Computers advertises it but does not have it in stock. Answer from Vince Patricelli - I ordered the ST OverScan from Joppa Computers so you may want to give them a call to see if they have it. I get my software updates from England. Their address and phone number is: The Atari Workshop, The Desktop Centre 17-19 Blackwater Street East Dulwich London SE22 8RS Tel: 081-693 1919 Fax: 081-693 6936 ---------------- A testimonial from Bob Parks (Dr. Bob) - I would like to take this opportunity to express my _complete_ satisfaction with Joppa's STraight/Fax software. I received my copy of STraight/Fax in April of this year at the TAF show in Toronto and, unfortunatly, was unable to use or test it until this week. It works just _great_ with the 14.4 Bocamodem/Fax! I am impressed. I have not had the chance, as yet, to test it at 14.4kb fax mode but it works just fine at 9600bps. Especialy pleasing is the ease of use. A modicum of orientation _IS_ required; mainly understanding how a fax-MODEM manipulates graphic files. It's quite simple once you see it done. I have not sent a 'single' page fax, only multiples. The first attempt was a 3-pager soley for test purposes. STraight/Fax's clear and crisp conversion of both ASCII and IMG files really impressed the folks on the receiving end! They were used to the standard built-in scans of reguar Fax machines. I think I made some new friends there :-) Really wow'd 'em! My last fax was an 11-pager to California. I took special care to ensure the quality of the IMG files for this one. STraight/Fax's conversion process retained that quality too! Now, lest you think I'm simply patronizing Joppa-Soft, I assure you: This is the very first time I used their software ...or _ANY_ fax software for that matter. I was up and running lickety-split! ...AND... I haven't even tried the ScanLite option yet :-) My compliments to the chef, guys. ---------------- Question from Damian Janssen - Cat. 3, Topic 24, Msgs 10-12... What is an OCR program? Any good ones you can reccommend for fax-to- ascii conversions? Answer from CBARRON - OCR = Optical Character Recognition. It converts bitmaps to ascii text. A good one is MIGRAPH'S OCR. It will convert IMG to ASCII, STraight FAX will convert the fax to IMG FILES if you desire. ---------------- About monitors for the TT - Cat. 4, Topic 25, Msgs 134-138... Question from Al Fasoldt - Here's a question related to the Moniterm: Is there an out-of-the-box mono monitor that works with the TT besides the TTM194 and the Moniterm? Answer from Darlah (RT Sysop) - The TM194 is a Moniterm Monitor. The TM195 is a Phillips. Both were OEM'ed for Atari to work smoothly and perfectly with the TT. The original Viking Moniters from Moniterm will not work with the TT without more aggravation that it is worth. ;-) And yes there is a standard VGA port built into the TT so Ralph was correct in saying that any VGA or SVGA monitor is plug and play. A 24" Image Systems monitor? Answer from Jim Allen (Fast Tech) - The Moniterm, TTM194/5, and Image Systems monitors will all work on the TT...with appropriate cabling. You need to follow the instructions here for adjusting a Moniterm for use with a TT. I am using an IBM Moniterm unit with an Atari MegaST moniterm adapter card, yes the monitor works, but you NEED the card also. I doubt you'll easily find one by itself, you'll usually find a card/monitor system for sale used. But you might find a Mega-to-TT upgrade buyer that kept the monitor and will sell the card alone...good hunting. ---------------- Moniterm problems - Cat. 4, Topic 32, Msgs 5-10... Question from Norm Walker - I'm having a small problem with my Moniterm - it looks like the monitor is slowly dying - once every few hours the power indicator light on the monitor goes out and the screen goes black for about one second. What's really irrratating is that this usually (not always) causes a bus error (2 bombs). What I want to know is if it is normal for the computer to bomb when the power to the monitor is switched off. I can also cause the computer to bomb by switching the monitor power off and on. When using a 'normal' Atari mono or color monitor - this does not happen, ever. Answer from SANDY.W (sysop) - Yes, it is normal for the ST to bomb (2) when the monitor is turned off. Probably has something to do with the monitor card, but I don't know for sure. There is the address and phone number in the other Moniterm topic (Topic 25) in this category, for a place that does a very good job of fixing Moniterms. You might want to give them a call. (I can't remember the name off hand.) Answer from George Richardson (Merlin Group, Inc.) - The monitor itself supplies some power to the ST driver card in the Moniterm setup, so when power to the monitor dies, the card is inaccessible to the ST. The result is the bus error. Answer from Jim Allen (Fast Tech) - Your power supply in the monitor sounds like it's dying, look up the message in top 25 here for the name and address of ASX, they repair Moniterms, and have replacement supplies. ---------------- Reports on replacing batteries in a DeskCart - Cat. 4, Topic 43, Msgs 1- 5... From J.TRAUTSCHOL My battery just died this past week. I went to Radio Shack and pur- chased a new similar (thought not exact) replacement Lithium battery. The battery cost about 3 or 4 bucks. After unsoldering the old battery and adding a couple of wires and soldering in the new one, mine too works just like new. It's really quite an easy job. ...If you are at all handy with a soldering iron, all it takes is a new battery, some solder, a couple of chunks of small gauge wire (like #22) and perhaps a desoldering tool or some solder wick. Once you've opened the DeskCart case and removed the circuit board, it'll be quite apparent where the two wires go from the existing battery. Desolder those (you may want to mark the positive and negative lead positions on the PC board) and remove the dead battery. Now, take the new battery, strip a small piece of insulation off of the hookup wire you are about to use, heat up one side of the new battery and melt some solder on it. Then tin the bare wire and reflow the solder you just placed on the battery and float the tinned section of wire into it. Let cool. (I did the negative side first since the connection for the wire into the PC board is hidden under the batter.) Put the other end of the wire into the PC board hole, and solder. Now the battery is being held in place by the first wire. Melt some solder on the plus side (top) of the battery, and repeat the process above with a new hunk of wire. Put the pc board back in the case and snap the case back together and you're all done. Just make sure you put the battery in the proper way or you could damage your DeskCart. It's really easier than the above makes it out to be! Hmmmm...the battery that I bought. I think it was the Radio Shack #CR2032 - but I've thrown out the package so am not sure. In any case, all I did was take the old battery to the Shack (to compare for size) then look for one that supplied 3 volts. The one I purchased was just slightly smaller than the original, but that doesn't really matter. The voltage *is* important though. (oops, I just found the sales slip and it is the CR2032 battery!) From T.GIRSCH (Atari Advantage Magazine) - When my DeskCart battery died, I went to my local dealer. He desoldered the battery, put in a socket and a new battery, all for about $10, and in about 10 - 15 minutes. Well worth it, because if the battery ever dies again, I can just pop it out of the socket and replace it with a new one. Bad news is, you can't quite close the casing all the way because the socket takes up too much space. But that's nothing a little electrical tape couldn't fix... ---------------- A firsthand report on the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) from Migraph by Ken VANDELLEN - Cat 5, Topic 10, Msg. 118... The Wand and sheet feeder arrived this week, and work very well. If you get the feeder, read the instructions BEFORE unpacking it. I unpacked it, and then discovered that the instructions say you should let the feeder push through a little piece of plastic that's in the mechanism, rather than just pulling it out. Fortunately, I didn't damage anything, as far as I can tell, but a warning on the plastic would have been useful. Ordinarily I unpack an item, and then read the instructions to see how to make it work. It seems reasonable. Even with the scanner turned all the way to "DARK", some letters don't have their parts joined. An "n", for example, shows up in the OCR as an "l" and a "candy cane". I don't know how to train the program to recognize the two parts as an "n". It would be useful if one could combine parts like this. ---------------- About the dictionary optimizer for Word Perfect - Cat. 13, Topic 2, Msgs 159-170... Question from K.SPRINGER1 - Just called Word Perfect to try to order the dictionary optimizer for Atari WP. Saleslady says they have discontinued all Atari products. Anyone willing to sell or make me a copy? If they are not going to sell me one, they can't complain about copies, IMHO. Reply from Ralph Mariano (ST Report) - ...I have a dictionary optimizer for the Atari Version. In fact, if one does not use the optimizer with regularity the program soon refuses to spell check. I have the latest optimizer. ...The dictionary only acts up if you add a great deal of words. Then it must be optimized. I do add a great deal to the dictionary, the specialized terms, names, locations, product names etc.. It adds up fast. The point is though, there _is_ an optimizer and it works quite well. ...please call Word Perfect's support line and let them know the version number of the program you have. There are different versions of the optimizer for different upgrade versions WP released. From Ron Hunter - The WP dictionary program is called SPELLER.PRG. It will do several utility operations on the dictionary, one of which is optimization. NOte that this takes quite some time, especially if you have an 8mhz ST and slow HD, or just short of forever on floppy. It is NOT necessary unless you add a LOT of words to the dictionary. Question from Al Fasoldt - Which version of WP works OK with the TT? Answer from Ralph Mariano - I use version 4.1 dated April 19. I believe its the last update they provided. ---------------- From Cat. 14, Topic 5, Msgs 163-164 - What does AES and VDI stand for? I see these abbreviations a lot, but don't know what they do/are. Answer from EXPLORER.5 - AES means Application Environment Manager. It's the part of GEM that handles windows, menus, dialogs, etc. Generally, it provides a graphics "environment" that programmers can use to create nifty graphics-based programs. VDI means Virtual Device Interface. It's the part of GEM that handles display and output. It's intended to provide a common interface for programs to use no matter what kind of display and output device are attached. ---------------- A 1.44 floppy question from Bob Morrow - Cat. 14, Topic 5, Msg. 167- 168... ...Can I take out the floppy controller in my STe and drop in the Ajax chip without any mods? A friend of mine seems to think it operates at 16 MHz and it won't fit in the socket. If it is a simple r/r, then I suppose all I'd have to do is install a 1.44 floppy and I'd be done, right? (I have TOS 2.06) Answer from John Townsend (Atari) - The AJAX chip operates at 16Mhz and will only work in MegaSTE machines and up. ---------------- Locating dealers - Cat. 14, Topic 12, Msg. 112-118... Question from A.PENNER - I live in Manitoba Canada I was wondering if you could tell me if there is a dealer in Canada and also if there is a dealer in North Dakota or Minnesota. Also where or how to contact them. Answer from S.DANUSER - There is an Atari dealer in Minnesota. The name is LR Data, located in White Bear Lake (a suburb of the Twin Cities). Phone is 612-770- 2447. There is also a mail-order company called E. Arthur Brown in Alexandria, MN, which sells most anything you would need (sorry, can't fine the #). I had bad luck looking for a dealer in Canada that was near to Minnesota. Answer from Graham Norton (Quay Computers) - Well if you don't mind cross border er province shopping we can help you out. Quay Computers 205 615 8th ST New Westminster, BC V3M 3S3 (604) 522-2915 ---------------- Falcon discussion from Cat. 14, Topic 20, Msgs. 72-90... From Jim Allen (Fast Tech) - The blitter question is: During DMA and graphics operations, does the blitter chip place onto the 68030 address bus, and 68030 data bus, the address of and data of the operation. In other words, when the blitter draws a line, does the 68030 chip "see" the accesses as they occur, so that a _cache_ at the 030 chip's location can be kept up-to-date with the memory alterations the blitter makes. This will be ESPECIALLY important when a 68040 chip is used, so I HOPE Atari has done the correct thing, otherwise there will need to be OS changes to "flush" the 040 caches every time the blitter blits, etc. Also, does the 68030 always get put asleep using the standard DMA handshake pins when the blitter does it's thing? In other words, when the blitter does DMA/graphics, is the 68030 bumped off the memory bus using the DMA lines...this would allow an external cache to be "flushed" on all blitter activity, if the answer to the first question is NO. As for QIndex numbers: Running in ST HIGH compatibility mode, compared against TOS 1.4 in ST MONO, the Falcon (production, rev 4) produces: Memory 487 Register 406 divide 507 shift 1737 text 167 string 172 scroll 219 draw 204 Obviously it could use Warp9 ;-) Answer from John Townsend (Atari Corp.) - The Falcon030 has a 24bit Address Bus and a 16bit Data Bus. The expansion port on the machine represents that bus. The Falcon030 can have a minimum of 1 meg of RAM and a maximum of 14 megs of RAM. Possible RAM configurations are 1meg, 4meg, or 14 megs of RAM. Jim.. Here are some answers to your BLiTTER questions: 1. Yes, during DMA and graphics operations, the BLiTTER does place on the A24/D16 bus the address and data of the operation. It works exactly like the ST BLiTTER did. In addition, the A24/D16 bus is the PDS bus in the Falcon030. In regards to your comments about flushing the cache in the 030, TOS currently does this. 2. Yes, the 68030 is bumped off the memory bus when DMA is active. I was told that it uses the standard 68K bus handshaking methods. ---------------- About Atari Explorer - Cat. 14, Topic 30, Msg. 109-110... From Ted Evans - Has there been an issue since the July/August one?? This is the last one I have received.. Did I miss one?? Or is there a huge gap, again?? Please check it out for me. I renewed my subscription in March of this year with a check, so I know I'm paid up.. Answer from Ron (Atari Explorer) - The July/August issue was the last issue shipped. The next issue is in final prep now with the staff working through the weekend. Atari people are very, very busy now days :-) I will forward your message to the subscription department to verify your subscription. Thank's for checking with us! Hang in there Atari fans. I don't know much about what is planned but from the little I hear, Comdex should be fun for all! ---------------- About WordUp - From John Townsend (Atari Corp.) - Cat. 14, Topic 35, Msgs 17-19... ...As for WordUp, that program hasn't been supported by its authors for several years and you are right: It doesn't work with FSM. At one time, Atari purchased the rights to the _source code_ to WordUp with the intentions of releasing it at some point under another name. That hasn't happened to date and I doubt that it ever will. ---------------- Announcement from Greg Labrec (Atari Corp.) - Cat. 14, Topic 42, Msg. 1... The 1992 International Software Catalog (Item# C303288-001) is now available from Atari Corporation. If you ever had a question about the availability of software on the Atari platform this catalog is a "must" for your bookshelf. here are some examples... "Is there a program that will run on my Atari that will allow me to create and edit fonts for my desktop publishing software?" (YES) "There are so many MIDI sequencers available for the Atari line of computers. What are the features that each has to offer? Which would be best for me?" (READ AND COMPARE) "I was just put in charge of a fairly large organization. Is there any software available to make my job easier" (YES) "I would like to build a library of software that would be educational for my kids" (CHECK THE LISTINGS) "I need software for my Atari that will help me design printed circuit boards and then provide drill control for the manufacture of prototypes." (NO PROBLEM) "Do you think I could use my Atari to decode and display image data from a meteorological satellite?" (YES) "Will there be any applications that create a voice-mail environment by taking advantage of the DSP in the Atari Falcon030?" (YES) "Would you happen to have any software that I could use with my Atari to assist with soil mechanics evaluation and ground water analysis?" (OF COURSE WE DO) ------------------------------------------------------------------- The catalog has more than 400 pages, contains nearly 500 entries, and features almost 175 screen shots. Categories covered include Publishing and Graphics; Multimedia and Hypertext; Personal Productivity; Connectivity and Communications; Music; Business; Education; Entertainment; Computer Aided Design; Medical; Development Tools and System Software; and Peripherals. Atari Falcon030 listings are also included. Along with the product description the reader is provided with developer information designed to help them acquire the product if it is unavailable from thier local dealer. Suggested retail price is also listed. If your local dealer runs out of catalogs you may order your catalog directly from Atari by writing to: Atari Customer Relations International Software Catalog P.O. Box 61657 Sunnyvale, CA 94088 The price is $12.00 per book. Add 8.25% sales tax if ordering from California, Illinois, or Texas. Also include $5.00 shipping and handling per order. Payment may be made by check, money order, MasterCard, or VISA. (Allow 2-4 weeks additional if paying by personal check) ---------------- Until next week..... _____________________________________________________________ > COMDEX FALL'92 STR Spotlight Reports from Comdex on GEnie's ST RT """""""""""""""""""""""""""" REPORTS ON COMDEX FROM GENIE ============================ Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley Senior Editor All of the following are from the ST Roundtable on Genie, Category 11, Topic 10, Msgs 1 through 23. Some messages were slightly edited because of line noise... From John Nagy (ZNet and AtariUser magazine) ... John Nagy here live fromthe largest booth in the Sands Convention Hall at COMDEX '92. It's the Atari Booth, with 18 Falcon half a dozen work- stations, plus a few TT's, Portfolios, and even 2 Atari 386's (to demo interfacing the Port and such....) Busy is the word today, as we set up the area. It's a new booth this year, with a wider look. Lots of devs I never saw before are here, including reps from KODAK and other places I can't tell you about til tommorrow when the show opens. Lets just say that I'm impressed and encouraged. And you will be too. Atari has a pair of phone lines for modeming, so I'll have some reports throughout myu stay here in Lost Wages, NV. I'll try to get Nathan and Bob to comment whenever possible too. From John King Tarpainian (Assistant Editor AtariUser magazine) ... Just got back from COMDEX. My feet hurt. The Black Mail and the Kodak Photo CD displays inside the Atari Booth were great as was the Creative Labs "sewing machine" interfaced to a TT. Falcons were EVERYWHERE. Jerry Pournelle was at the ATARI booth on Sunday, the day BEFORE the show opened. He and ATARI people had a nice chat. Just to let you know how large ATARI's booth was in comparison to other exhibitors, ATARI had the LARGEST booth of any single exhibitor at the Sands Expo Hall, about 4,000 sq. ft. From Bob Brodie (Atari Corp.) ... The first day of the show was the traditional slow day at the Sands Expo center, throughout the exhibition hall. The first day crowds prefer to battle onto death itself in the more visible Las Vegas Convention Center displays. Those that survive will be treated to the Atari exhibit in comfort and in depth. :-) As in past years the Atari booth is the most prominent one in the Sands Expo Center. This year the booth has a different look than the past. This years theme is Personal Integrated Media and Atari has chosen bright signage and striking blue and gray displays. Opening the booth is the Kodak Photo CD running on both a TT030 and an Atari Falcon030, staffed by Michael Bernards of Color Concepts. Michael is one of the original Calamus programmers from Germany. Kodak is very excited about the relationship with Atari as when they first developed Photo CD, they intended it for use by consumers. However, Microsoft and Apple promptly moved it into the office. With the Atari Falcon030, Atari has brought the Photo CD back into the family room. Michael Bernards spent last week at the Kodak facility porting the Photo CD Toolkit and the Photo CD slide show utility to the Atari platform. He was warmly received and had a great time! ;-) Mario Georgiou of DMC Publishing is demonstrating Calamus SL with his usual aplomb (wild abandon). :-) Hooked to a 21" Mitsubishi hi-res monitor, the 42 megabyt e TT is driving the Mitsubishi 300 dpi dye- sublimation printer as well as the Atari SLM605 and a Toshiba CD Rom drive. The Mitsubishi monitor is being driven by a Cyrel Sunrise card by Cybercube. The monitor is set at 800x600 with 16.7 million colors! You should have seen Nathan yesterday, proudly showing off the results of the brand new Kodak Photo CD import driver for Calamus SL. It is quite impressive to behold quality images from a Kodak Photo CD portrayed perfectly in Calamus SL, laid out and ready for output. Expect great things to come from this particular combination. The Dataformer Module was also being shown, which will allow a Calamus file to be exported in approximately 18 different formats. Mario exported a PostScript file via the Dataformer Module, which was then loaded into CompoScript, and printed perfectly! Digital Optical Analog is demonstrating Blackmail, their Falcon-based digital phone mail system that allows users to call in and use their touch-tone phones to navigate through various selections and options to leave messages etc. This is a new developer to the Atari platform, previously making their product for the NeXT. Using the Atari Falcon030 to operate a voice mail system will save thousands of dollars. MicroCreations is here showing off GIME Term, and GIME BBS. These are full featured term programs that incorporate unique graphic and sound capabilities. They also have a new terminal program called Rapier. I'll get more on their offerings later in the show after I've had a chance to get a demonstration of everything they have to offer. STraight FAX is being demonstrated, and is in fact proving to be the FAX unit of choice for the Atari Booth. Coupled with a SupraFAXmodem, the STraight Fax software has been shuttling faxes back and forth to Sunnyvale throughout the show. Of course, from time to time I MUST run a term program to get up on GEnie, though! :-) Love the high speed of the Supra V.32 modem! CD ROM drives are in use throughout the booth, working with the HiSoft TruePaint program, Calamus SL and Photo CD. The MultiTOS/MiNT.XFS (Extendable File System) Driver supports Standard CD-ROM, as well as CD- ROM/XA and will ship with every Falcon. Compo is showing a series of applications for the Atari Falcon030. Among them is the exciting new product MUSiCOM. MUSiCOM is direct to disk recording system, including sound manipulation and effects capabilities. Included with the program are "Karaoke" and harmonization effects that are easy to use on your own recordings. MUSiCOM will retail at less than $100, and will be available by January, 1993. Also shown by Compo is the well known word processor That's Write 2. This is an upgrade from their earlier version of Tha 's Write which adds programming, outline font capabilities, enhanced m ail merge, improved mulitiple document handling (now up to 10 documents at a time!), as well as interaction with That's Address 2...another new product from COMPO. That's Address 2 is an easy to use database program for mailing lists, and address management. That's Address 2 will be available first quarter of '93 for $99 US. A future version of That's Write that uses Speedo fonts, and outputs PostScript files is also being shown. This version will be available in 1993, and price has not been set at this time. That's Write 2 is available NOW, and retails for $259.95 US. On Tuesday, Hans Jorg Sack arrived at COMDEX from Germany, hand carrying COMPO's new Atari Falcon030 PC board. The tentative name for the product is Falcon Speed. The first version of the product will be a 286, rather than a 386. This version will be very inexpensive. It will support VGA, Super VGA, and Windows 3.1! Soon, there will be another version with a faster processsor, most discussion is about a 486. Last, but not least, CompoScript is being shown. This is the complete PostScript clone from COMPO. CompoScript uses Adobe Type I fonts, with output to virtually all printers. It can also convert EPS files, and PS files to GEM IMG and TIFF formats. CompoScript is available NOW, and retails for $349.95, or an upgrade from UltraScript is $200. SpeedoGDOS is being shown along with Concierge (formerly ST Sutra) by a representative from Bitstream. Concierge incorporates full word processor, database, and spreadsheet capabilities in a "Works" like environment. Each cut and paste between the other, so you could highlight a series of cells out of a spreadsheet, and then drop them into your word processor. SpeedoGDOS replaces FSMGDOS as Atari's font scaling module and will work with BitStream fonts, which are readily available. D2D Systems from the UK is showing D2D Edit as well as Falcon D2D, the simple to use, yet sophisticated audio sampling and editing applica- tions. Barefoot Software is showing SMPTE-Track and Edit-Track, directly across from the AdLib booth who are striving to look good against Atari's own multimedia applications. :-) To the left of the Atari booth is Ingram Micro with Creative Labs and Soundblaster to the right. Roy Garland from Data Stitch was showing his sophisticated embroidery application running on the TT. He is currently embroidering hats with the Atari logo and handing them out. They are in great demand. :-) Without a doubt, this is the most unique application being shown at the show. Many people are startled to see such a high end sewing machine activeyly churning along at the show, totally controlled by the computer. There are other things being shown in the booth, including some new games that Atari commissioned to have done, and a number of Portfolio products as well. I'll get back to you on those applications and games later, particularly the impressive HiSoft lineup. ...To provide a complete run down on all the various inner workings of each application being shown here would be very time consuming. I have a show to run, too! :) I will post again later with basic information on other products that haven't been mentioned yet. As always, the developer of those products is the best source of comprehensive information on their products. HiSoft is showing a 16 bit TruePaint program...that much I know. As for the rest of the details...you know as much as I do at this point!! :) Hopefully, we'll both be more knowledgable Real Soon Now! We have had some interesting visitors here...a reporter from Chile who swears to me that he still uses AtariWriter on an Atari 800XL rather than the MacIIci that his paper would prefer he use. Lots of inter- national types, asking all sorts of amazing questions, like where are the STs? :) Welcome to North America.... From Nathan Potechin (DMC) ... I have encountered a comedy of errors, trying to get online from Comdex. I brought along my tried and true STacy 4. Due to circumstances beyond my control or ability to correct, I cannot use the STacy at this time. I will be bringing it in for repair upon my return to Toronto. If my friends at Compuworld can't get it up and running again, it will be buried with all appropriate honours at the correct time. :-) Bob prepared the above post and then headed to his hotel room to upload it. Clearly he has encountered an inordinate amount of line noise but I believe it remains clear enough to decifer. I will not repeat all those areas already covered by Bob but try to add my own little touch of the here and now. First of all, in the RTC Monday night, I had the pleasure of joining Bob and Sam in Bob's room on the occassion of the GEnie conference. Bob has his trusty STacy, along with a magafile 44, running to perfection in his room. Hmmm, maybe I'll trade him. :-) Anyway, I am here to say that Sam himself was on keyboard, and quite proficient. In fact, Bob and I spent much of the time watching the Monday night football game. :-) Seriously, Sam was at home on GEnie and he was certainly serious about getting online here on a regular basis. Moving along ;-), I LOVE the Kodak Photo CD and I especially love the Kodak Photo CD import driver already working perfectly in Calamus SL! Particularly impressive is importing one of the well known files off the sample CD Kodak has made recognizable and zooming in to unbelievable degrees without pixelating! Atari has an Atari Falcon030 in both Motorola's DSP and 68000 booths as well as Bitstreams booth. This product is getting recognition. I listened in on a conversation with Garry Tramiel, head of Atari N.A., and one of his best Dealer, PD Patel from Mid Cities. In fact, I joined in on the meeting. Garry showed us the intended advertising and marketing of both the Lynx and the Atari Falcon030. Most of you are aware that I have been around Atari in some manner since 1985 so when I say that the marketing plan already in implementation is the most impressive I've seen from Atari in 7 years, believe it. In fact, I believe that Atari is going to start getting ... MARKET SHARE!! :-) Jack Tramiel has been sitting in on meetings throughout the week at the booth. When not in meetings he has been kibitzing with the Developers and customers. This man is good! ;-) Garry has also been in attendance throughout. Sam left to head back to Sunnyvale yesterday. Did I mention that Garry is quite well respected both from the customers and staff. He is going to do well for us Atari types. Tom, the show is not as busy as I would have liked. I blame that on the location in the Sands more than any other factor! However, the response from those that do attend has been great. Naturally I tend to hang around the Calamus display to meet and greet the Calamus owners that have made it down and they, along with myself, have been really thrilled with the Kodak CD images displayed and manioulated on the screen. :-) I'm sure that by the weekend you will start receiving a great many posts from people that simply do not have modem access at this time. You would not believe what I just went through to get online here and now. :-) I'll be back when I get another chance. If you'd like specific answers to something, please ask me. I don't do the booth by booth reports well, preferring to leap all over the place (clearly) so please ask and I will do my best to get you all an answer. ...Live from the Atari booth at Comdex once again... I just left an informative meeting with James Grunke, the very knowled- geable savant of all things music related on the Atari. I was listening to Atari's plans for NAMM. I've always wanted to go to this show but have never quite made it. This year Atari is certain to make a big splash. After a short but educational stay at Atari for Mr. Ron Smith, let me be the first to share the news that he is no longer with Atari. Many of you will wonder who this is exactly. Not to worry, that was part of the problem. :-) From Nathan Potechin (DMC) ... We have an up and running version of Kodak's Photo CD, complete and functioning perfectly within Calamus SL. Atari has the same in a stand alone version that allows you to access and view images. One prerequisite is CD drivers. We have both the original METADOS drivers AND the new MultiTOS cd drivers. Both work perfectly. SO I imagine the only delay is the availability of the new MultiTOS which is becoming quite solid. Big news related to TOS development will be announced by Atari shortly! Speaking of Comdex ... ;-) For the third year in a row, Atari has been located in the Sands Expo Center. This building was finished just in time for Atari's participation. The concept was supposed to be a satellite of the main Las Vegas Convention Center. This has proven NOT to be the case. This year, fellow exhibitors include such names as AT&T, Hyundai, MAG, Creative Labs etc.. Regardless, the crowds continue to congregate in the main building. Based on this fact, Atari will be back in the main LVCC next year and this is GREAT news. The hours in the Sands are 8:30 am - 6:00 pm throughout the week. Again, the concept was to get some draw from the main hall before they opened. The reality was that the concept didn't work! ;-) Meanwhile over at the main hall, the open from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm and are packed throughout the day. For those of you that have never worked a show of this magnitude, cement floors do a number on your feet while the constant chatter takes out your voice. What fun. :-) Oh yes, you haven't lived until you've experienced a lineup for a bus or a taxi to leave any of the convention halls. They are saying that 135,000 people are in attendance at this year's show. I SWEAR TO YOU THAT AT LEAST 50,000 OF THOSE stand in line each day to leave the hall, at the same time. Are we having fun yet? Meanwhile, Atari has been very well received. The Atari Falcon030 is definitely a hit! ______________________________________________________________ > Atari & Comdex Fall'92 STR FOCUS! Takin' a look at things.... """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ATARI'S BALL, 4TH & GOAL, AND 30 SECONDS ON THE CLOCK... ======================================================== by Dana P. Jacobson It's been really quiet in Sunnyvale lately. The only real news has been of the upcoming (and now ongoing) COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas. I haven't had a whole lot to say here in STReport, so I have waited, like the rest of you, for some positive news from Vegas. Due to other commitments, I was unable, regrettably, to attend either live conference from COMDEX on GEnie or Delphi earlier in the week. However, I have read the transcript from the GEnie conference, with interest. Except for the deal with Kodak, allowing use of the Kodak Photo CD, nothing really new or promising was announced with regard to the release of the Falcon. As some of the rumors have claimed, it now appears that the initial release date of late fall have now been changed to early January. Real big sigh... ([R]eal [S]oon [N]ow is _still_ alive and well!) For most of the past summer and early fall, at shows such as the AtariMesse, Glendale, Hartford, BCS, and WAACE, we've been deluged with more Falcon information than we could have ever dreamed possible. Atari was being visible, albeit to the existing userbase. Presentations were forthright, and extremely positive. It appeared that Atari was finally getting back on track. After WAACE, it sadly appeared that Atari and news of the Falcon just dried up. Until COMDEX, nothing substantial. Oh yeah, Eric Smith is now in Sunnyvale working to get MultiTOS working (remember all the excuses why MultiTOS wasn't shown at BCS, etc.? (Forgot the disk? ...Right!) Anyway, I came away from reading the transcript with a bad feeling again. Nothing was said that we haven't already heard before. Some questions were avoided, or simply answered in a roundabout manner. Sam Tramiel simply wasn't going to commit to anything regarding production or delivery dates. It boiled down to "it'll be here when it gets here." As the title of this editorial implies, I compare this year's COMDEX and the state of the Falcon much like a football game. It's late in the season, and Atari's record is 1-10 with only a few games left in the season. They haven't had a winning season since 1987. This year's first-round draft pick was someone called "Falcon," wearing good ole #30. But, as with rookies, he wasn't getting much playing time even though his abilities are extraordinary. Atari's fans just weren't attending many games anymore, either. They're tired of seeing games in which Atari starts off well, but keeps making a number of turnovers and giving the games away. Even the cheerleaders are having a tough time supporting the home team, game after game. All that "rah-rah" keeps going to waste. It's a real shame. Now, here we are again. Atari has just got the ball in the final 2 minutes of the game. They just put #30 in the game to give him some playing time. The Falcon has managed to move Atari up the field rapidly, but the clock is winding down, one timeout left. It's 4th down, Falcon got sacked for a 20-yard loss. Atari is on the 25-yard line, 10 seconds left in the game. The score is 24-20, a field goal won't win it for Atari; they have to go for the touchdown! Last timeout taken. The cheerleaders are up and giving the fans one last cheer, but their voices are almost gone. The fans are on their feet, but most have gone home, having been discouraged too many times in the past. Why stick around for the last few seconds, many are muttering; it's the same old thing again. Only the true diehards are left in the stands; not many in a stadium that was always full. It's disheartening to see such a stadium as Atari Corporation with such a bleak appearance. But wait, Falcon just came running back on the field! He looks ready. He has that air of determination. His teammates look weary, however. Can they keep going for one last play? We'll soon find out. Falcon has the team in the huddle. You can almost hear his enthusiasm. The fans are on their feet, hoping for a miracle play from their touted rookie. Can he move Atari that final 25 yards? The huddle breaks up, the teams are lined up. Here comes the snap count....the snap...Falcon fakes a handoff left....fades back to pass...there's a crowd of players in the end zone...Falcon is being pressured from the right....his arm is cocked....he lets the ball fly...it's a hail-mary pass....in the air.... Arrgghhh, your cable system goes on the blink!! What happened??!! I guess we'll have to wait for the late night news and see. Hopefully, Atari will have caught the ball and win the biggest game of their season and finally give the fans something to cheer about again; and a real reason to start attending the games again. Well, I don't know how well the analogy works for you. Atari has to really come up with a big play with the Falcon. Push this machine and make Atari a household name again. Being a winner will bring back the old users and developers again. It will give them a real reason to work with Atari machines once more, with renewed enthusiasm. It will show the rest of the world that Atari really is the wondrous machine that we all knew about all along. If the early news from COMDEX is any indication of things to come, I'm concerned. If the news is more than the same old story, then we have something going for us all. Atari, make it happen!! Catch that touchdown ball, and GO with it ________________________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL "Rumors Tidbits Predictions Observations Tips" """"""""""""""""""""" - Las Vegas, NV RON SMITH LEAVES ATARI! ------------- Hailed as the "Marketing Guru" Atari needed, Ron Smith recently joined Atari to put the marketing scheme in its proper perspective. It is rumored he left under a condition many have encountered in the past... he wanted to spend money to market product. Smith formally from Wang, as was Don Mandell, also became a beneficiary of the now infamous, Atari California "Paid Vacation"... a large but still somewhat exclusive executive club. No replacement has been announced. - Bellvue, WA PMC MAKES VERY SPECIAL OFFER! ----------- ST Report readers, you are entitled to a special discount of $50 off of the $299.95 retail price of Gemulator. But wait, there's more. You also get free registration, which gives you a free copy of Gemulator 2.0 with all the great features outlined in this issue of ST Report. Gemulator makes the perfect CHRISTMAS GIFT for yourself or others, so take action today! Send a letter mentioning the secret decoded password (STReport) along with a check or money order (made out to PMC in US funds) for $249.95 + $15 shipping (via Federal Express insured) by December 20, 1992 to receive your special price to: Purple Mountain Computers, Inc. 15600 NE 8th St. Ste. A3-412 Bellevue, WA 98008 206-747-1519 - Chicago, IL IAAD ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD! ----------- The Independent Association of Atari Developers (IAAD) is pleased to announce the election of a new, expanded Board of Directors. Newly-elected Board members include: Nathan Potechin of ISD/DMC, Nevin Shalit of Step Ahead Software, Jim Allen of FAST Technology, Chet Walters of Wizworks!, and Dorothy Brumleve of D.A. Brumleve. Brumleve, who will serve as President of the organization, said of the election: "Our new Board members' varied experience in the marketplace should serve us well in assisting our members and Atari Corp. We plan to maintain close contact with Atari in order to better address the needs of our members and the Atari community at large." Speaking on behalf of Atari Corp., Director of Communications Robert G. Brodie said, "It has been a great pleasure to work with the leaders of the IAAD over the past few years. I have no doubts that the IAAD and Atari will be a formidable team as the Atari Falcon030 begins to capture market share. We look forward to continued excellent relations with the IAAD and its Board of Directors." The IAAD is an organization of third-party commercial hardware and software developers supporting the Atari ST family of computers. The current membership includes most active developers in North America as well as some from abroad. Unique in the industry, the organization works to provide its membership with help in marketing, packaging, technical matters, and other issues of interest to third-party developers. Working in concert with Atari, the IAAD strives to raise Atari product awareness and to ease the introduction of new products in the marketplace. Such support takes place through member-to-member exchanges and group projects. Past projects include the "IAAD Brochure", a brochure containing descriptions of participating members' products which was produced by the IAAD, published by Atari, and distributed with Atari Explorer magazine. Commercial developers are encouraged to join by sending GEMail to the PERMIT$ address on GEnie. Developers who are not currently GEnie members may call D.A. Brumleve at 217-337-1937 for more information. ___________________________________________________________________ > STR Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" """"""""""""" STReport's MailBag """""""""""""""""" Messages * NOT EDITED * for content ----------------------------------- FROM GENIE'S ST RT Category 1, Topic 20 Message 1 Tue Nov 17, 1992 JEFF.W [ST Sysop] at 04:50 EST [Apologies ... Long Message Ahead] Dear Friends, Someone said, "All good things must come to an end." I wish I knew who that was. I'd like to find him and punch him in the face. What he said is true, but still, the truth can hurt. Those of you who are regulars on GEnie's Atari ST Roundtable may have noticed my absence from the Realtime Conferences and the Bulletin Board over the past several weeks. What have I been doing in that time, you might ask? To tell the truth, I've been ill. Severe mental depression left me exhausted and dispirited. I couldn't whip up any of the enthusiasm and vigor with which I usually approach my online sysop activities. Other areas of my life have been similarly affected. I won't go into any further details about the depression, other than to say I _am_ feeling better now. I am receiving very good health care through counselling, medication, and the incredible support from my wonderful friends and family. Although I'm feeling better, I find that I need to devote my time and energies to other matters of personal importance. Chief among these is finding a job. I have been unemployed for nearly a year (contributing significantly to this past depressive episode). And there are other personal issues that I need some time to work on. I put a great deal of time, passion, and energy into being the kind of Atari ST Roundtable sysop you may have come to know. In the best of times, this comes easily from me. I get great pleasure from doing my sysop duties well and from the knowledge that I am helping people. In bad times, it is difficult for me to be the kind of sysop I want to be and the kind of sysop that the members (that's YOU) and the other sysops of the ST Roundtable deserve. To paraphrase Lyndon Johnson, it is with a heavy heart that I come before you today. I have turned in my resignation as sysop to Darlah Potechin. I do this for a number of good reasons. The top three reasons are: 1) relieve some of the emotional weight the position places upon me during a period while I am rebuilding my health; 2) free up time and energy that I need to be devoting to my job search; and 3) allow Darlah to recruit another sysop who can put greater energy and passion into serving the interests and needs of the Atari ST Roundtable members than I can do at this time. The posting of this message marks my last appearance on GEnie as JEFF.W. In time, I will be back online using a new GEmail address. In the meantime, I will try to keep up with things as best I can from friends who remain active online. To all the folks I've come to know through GEnie, to those who I've met in person at Atari shows, to the people with whom I've had agreements and disagreements, to everyone who reads this posting ... I wish you the best of health, the best of success, and all the happiness and peace your heart can hold. Best regards, Jeff Williams P.S. For anyone who may wish to contact me before I get back online with a new account, here are some ways: A) Send GEmail to me addressed to DOUG.W (Doug Wheeler), who will relay it on to me. B) Address mail to: Jeff Williams 618 Westport Drive Rockton, Illinois 61072-2976 C) Or call (815) 624-4775. P.P.S. If anyone has any suggestions for employers I should try contacting, please let me know. I have a strong background in customer support, technical support, retail computer sales, public contact, IBM mainframe computer operations, computer operations supervision and management, quality assurance, and several other non-programming responsibilities in a large corporate data processing environment. [Reprint permission granted.] Category 14, Topic 20 Message 86 Tue Nov 17, 1992 S.WINICK at 09:31 EST Joey, Any company that spends so much effort appearing to be "selling" its yet unreleased products while existing, real products are ignored, isn't doing themselves, or their dealers and supporters, any real good. We're now coming into the holiday buying season where many companies look forward to one of their most profitable seasons of the year. Most successful companies have already geared up new ad campaigns for the products they actually have available for sale in order to maximize their potential profits for themselves and their dealers. I'm sure you've seen the excellent new Mac commercials on TV already, for example. At this time of year, I can't think of many successful companies that are instead spending so much effort in promoting 'next year's products'. That sure doesn't encourage the typical consumer to buy now. And the typical consumer will spend the same amount of money during the holiday buying season regardless of whether or not a Atari product is on his or her shopping list. As Dan said, "The Falcon is not a released machine." It is therefore currently not in our marketing plans for the Holiday '92 shopping season. Current Atari models that deserve attention are the 1040STe, MegaSTe (there are still a few in the pipeline at the present time, but they're unfortunately becoming scarce much too fast), the high end TT030 workstation, and of course, the Portfolio. The potential computer shopper looking to buy during the holiday season will either buy one of those models from Atari, or an offering from a competitor. If you were in the business of selling computers, what would you be advertising and promoting during November and December? Sheldon (Computer STudio - Asheville, NC) ------------ Category 14, Topic 20 Message 87 Tue Nov 17, 1992 DENNYA [Denny Atkin] at 12:43 EST TJ, The 040 isn't 64-bit, just 32-bit. I'd certainly hope that an 040 design would be true 32-bit... ------------ Category 14, Topic 20 Message 88 Tue Nov 17, 1992 F.BELL1 [Frank @ Home] at 16:59 EST Sheldon, Atari doesn't even seem interested in selling its older, existing, real products let alone unreleased machines. While, like you said, >most successful companies have already geared up new ad campaigns for the products they actually have [...]< Atari has gone out of it way to do nothing (and that after getting down on all fours and virtually promissing all of us that this year would be different). Sure, not >many successful companies< [...] are >spending so much effort in promoting 'next year's products'< but the Falcan was suppose to be 'this year's product'. I seem to remember quite a few 'cross my heart and hope to dies' earlier this year promissing us just that. Anyway, on the brighter side: the first batch/production run of dealer Falcons has been hitting the sheves in the last few weeks (I'm talking Germany), many developers are getting their machine and magazine articles (even newspaper articles) are becomming more frequent and more exact. In fact, one just printed the following Quick Index 2.1 figures: Video Mode: ST High VGA 16 Colors 256 Colors CPU Memory 473 (197) 406 357 Register 402 (254) 402 298 Divide 502 (254) 502 500 Shifts 1708 (259) 1708 1708 TOS Text 158 (199) 88 47 String 146 (192) 97 59 Scroll 210 (115) 40 15 GEM Dialog 192 (203) 153 114 The bracketed figures are from my Meag ST4 containing Jim Allen's T20 for comparison. Frank... ------------ Category 14, Topic 20 Message 125 Thu Nov 19, 1992 S.JOHNSON10 [Steve] at 02:20 EST Was something changed during the past few months? In the Falcon030 specifications given here BY Atari, they've stated that the machine has a "32-bit bus" and the specs in the BCS press release say "32-bit address/data bus." What the he** is going on here? Why was all of this proudly proclaimed several weeks ago if it actually has only a 24-bit address/16-bit data bus? Atari people have also been saying that 386DX and 486 boards are also being worked on for the Falcon030's PDS, but how can that be if the PDS cannot accomodate them? Although the Falcon030 is still an impressive machine with all this crippling, J.RICHTER is right that Atari mislead everyone from the very start of the official Falcon030 announcements. And people at Atari wonder why some people around here are pi**ed off??? Here are some quotes: From the transcript of Sam Tramiel's August 12th, 1992 RTC: "Here's the specs on the Atari Falcon 030: CPU: Motorola 68030 running at 16Mhz 32-bit bus" "<[wants unix] JM.HAWTHORNE> Is the expansion bus VME? <STRAMIEL> No, it is not a VME bus. It is a direct processor slot that gives developers more flexibility." -- yeah, more flexibility!!! <grin> From the transcript of Bill Rehbock's September 9th, 1992 RTC: "<[FAST TECH] J.ALLEN27> Hi Again!! Does the CPU 'see' ram as 32bits wide, and does it use the STERM or DSACKx signals as access terminations? I Just want to be sure I understand. <B.REHBOCK> Yes, I was looking at the system chart :-) Yes, it does (32 bits wide), and I'm going through the system spec to check on your other queries." From everything that's been said, it sounds like there is a 32-bit bus between RAM, the COMBEL (system controller including BLiTTER), and the VIDEL (the video controller); and a 16-bit bus between the 68030 and the COMBEL. Is this correct? ------------ Category 14, Topic 20 Message 134 Thu Nov 19, 1992 TOWNS [John@Atari] at 21:24 EDT The CPU does see RAM as 32 bits wide. The CPU maintains things internally as 32 bit. The specifications were correct the 68030 (the CPU) is 32 bits internally. (Editor Note) Internally.... Does this mean the stats change outside the CPU??? Category 14, Topic 20 Message 141 Fri Nov 20, 1992 D.ENGEL [Thunderbird] at 06:46 EST John@Lexicor First I ran around running shooting my mouth off about all the great things Atari said the Falcon030 could do. THEN I found out about the crippled PDS and the 16 bit RAM accesses of the CPU. Then I complained about them because Atari continued to deny the truth or plead ignorance. Then they gave me the answer I _did_ want to hear... the truth. Then they go back and try to make it sound like they really didn't mean to give out the truth. I'm SURE the JRI Genlock is an awesome piece of work. I didn't mean to imply anything else. I was merely pointing out that the original F030 specs dance around the Genlock issue to the point that virtually anyone who reads them gets the impression that Genlock is built into the machine. If they were upfront in the beginning I would not be upset. _____________________ \hunderbird Category 14, Topic 31 Message 80 Mon Nov 16, 1992 R.WATSON15 [Wayne Watson] at 00:07 EST If you want questions answered, try the AtariNet. That seems to be the official Atari communication system now. Atari support from their Director of Communications has died on GEnie and is alive on the AtariNet. I guess GEnie is no longer Atari's official Online Service. Question for Sam.. Why do we not see any official representation from Atari (from their so called Director of Communications) on GEnie their supposedly Official Online Service? Is this a dead issue now that Atari has switched over to AtariNet? Response from Bob is very active there but not here on GEnie. Will Atari Corp. resume communication using GEnie anytime in the future? As was said, TOWNS and once in awhile a few other do pop in here to answer our questions and their time and answers are very much appreciated. We just don't receive ANY answers from Bob or from any hardware people. Will hardware and other support increase in the furture? If Atari is using AtariNet now, why don't you just tell everyone that is what is happening? ------------ Category 14, Topic 31 Message 89 Fri Nov 20, 1992 BOB-BRODIE [Atari Corp.] at 15:49 EST Lou, Sam and I went over most of his questions that you submitted here at COMDEX. Unfortunately, there hasn't been enough time for me to put together a full list, as well as incorporate some of the other very interesting questions that were posted after you submitted the list to me. We're at the last day of COMDEX now, and while I see that some of the questions were indeed asked and answered during Sam's CO, there are others that remain unanswered. I will post those answers as soon as possible, as well as deal with the other issues that have been raised here. One issue that must be dealt with now however is the post from Wayne Watson, alleging that AtariNet is the offical online service of Atari, and his allegations that I am more active there than on here. That is incorrect. GEnie has been, and will continue to be our official online service. The perception that I am on any other network more than on GEnie is easy to understand. Most of the time that I have allocated to has been limited to e-mail and conferences. This is at the direction of Mr. Ron Smith, who is no longer with us. Since the other networks have no real time conferences, I do post there from time to time. I began discussions with Sam Tramiel regarding on-line support earlier this week. Those discussions will continue next week after I return to Sunnyvale. I'm confident that Atari will allocate more of my time to being on GEnie. :) Wayne, if you have further comments that you would like to share with me concerning this matter, I look forward to seeing them in email. regards, Bob Brodie ------------ Category 14, Topic 20 Message 77 Mon Nov 16, 1992 REALM [Joey] at 19:19 EST I know you guys at Atari are doing your best and I appreciate every little scrap of support dangled in front of me but... Atari appears to me to be the most unorganized corporation in the universe. This is based only on personal experience so it may just be me. Being a potential customer (not to mention a surviving customer) maybe I'm suppose to know the Falcon isn't available but what was all that roll out stuff about a month ago? If the thing isn't released why did we roll it out, start a topic, then never respond there again? None of this makes any sense to me... Why must the customer always be the one trying to figure out what and the heck is going on with Atari? If the Falcon isn't released then don't hope over to Germany and introduce it to the world and don't announce it on GEnie and don't allow magazines to do four page articles on it. Possible thats where the customer gets confused. ------------ """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" "AHAH! THE SECRET IS OUT!" """"""""""""""""" "HOW TO MAKE A WONDERFUL SMALL FORTUNE..... ..... START WITH A FANTASTICALLY BIG FORTUNE!" .... an 'old' Federated type guy. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > ABCO SPECIALS! STR InfoFile * 1992 HOLIDAY Prices! MORE Products! * """"""""""""""""""""""""""" ------------------------------------ ** EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! ** NOTICE: ABCO will BEAT OR MATCH * ANY * Advertised or Invoiced price * WE WILL NOT BE UNDERSOLD! ABCO COMPUTER CONSULTANTS ========================= P.O. 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CALL: 1-904-783-3319 Customer Orders & Service 9am - 8pm EDT TUES thru SAT ABCO is EXPANDING!! CALL FOR INFORMATION! SEND FOR YOUR NEW ABCO CATALOG TODAY! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International Online Magazine -* [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport *- """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STR Online! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" November 20, 1992 Since 1987 copyright (c) 1987-92 All Rights Reserved No.8.46 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International Online Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name . STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited in any way without prior written permission. 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