Z*Net: 27-Nov-92 #9220From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 11/28/92-02:13:03 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: Z*Net: 27-Nov-92 #9220 Date: Sat Nov 28 14:13:03 1992 ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ##########(((((((((( ##########((( ##(( ##((((((( ##(((((((( ########## #################(( ####(( ####(((( #(( ##(( ##########(( ############# ##############(( #####(((((( ##(( (( (( ##((((( #######(( ############# ###########(( ##########(( ####(( #(((( ##(( ##########(( ############# ##########(((((((((( ##########(( ##((( ##((((((( #####(( ############# ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ####################################################################### Z*NET: ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE ---------------------------- "Happy Thanksgiving" November 27, 1992 Issue #20 Volume 7, Number 20 Copyright (c)1992, Syndicate Publishing Company ~ Publisher/Editor..........................Ron Kovacs ~ Assistant Editor...........................John Nagy ~ Contributing Editor........................Ed Krimen ~ Writer............................Michael R. Burkley ~ Writer.....................................Bob Smith ~ Z*Net News Service........................Jon Clarke $ GEnie Address..................................Z-NET $ CompuServe Address........................75300,1642 $ Delphi Address..................................ZNET $ Internet/Usenet Address................status.gen.nz $ America Online Address......................ZNET1991 $ AtariNet Address...........................51:1/13.0 * Z*Net: News Service FNET 593 AtariNet 51:1/13 (908) 968-8148 * Z*Net: Golden Gate FNET 706 AtariNet 51:1/9 (510) 373-6792 *--CONTENTS--* ### The Z*Net Newswire................................. ### Bob Brodie In Conference On GEnie.................. ### PowerDos Review - Part Two..........Kevin J. Conway ### The Unabashed Atariophile...........Michael Burkley ### Perusing GEnie............................Ed Krimen ### Bob Brodie In Conference n Delphi.................. ### Lynx Game Reviews.........................AtariUser ### Perusing The Internet.....................Ed Krimen ### Z*Net Calender...........................Ron Kovacs ### Marketing Strategy.................Andreas Barbiero ###### Z*NET NEWSWIRE ###### Atari News Update ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- PHOENIX COMING SOON Lee Seiler from Lexicor Software has announced that his company's new software product, Phoenix, will be released on December 12, 1992. Phoenix will enable ST computer users to create stunning 512-color animations as well as still images. TT and Falcon users will be able to use anywhere from 256 colors to 32,000 colors. Phoenix supports all sorts of cameras, including universal and aeronautic, with zoom, perspective, and bank capabilities. A variety of lights is also supported, including ambient, point, and solar, which can all be edited to suit any need. Attributes can now be added to 3D2 objects, including two completely adjustable procedural mapping systems with custom texture-map wrapping. Objects can be transparent, with or without shading. Full shading is also supported; you can select polygon, gouraud, phong, or phong with shadows shading. Additionally, Phoenix supports Cyber Control. Images can be saved as SPC, GIF, or TGA, depending upon machine type. INTERNATIONAL CATALOG NOW AVAILABLE 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: o Publishing and graphics o Multimedia and hypertext o Personal productivity o Connectivity and communications o Music o Business o Education o Entertainment o Computer-aided design o Medical o Development tools and system software o 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 their 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) If you wish to order from GEnie, just leave a message to G.LABREC with the following: Name Address City, State, Zip Daytime phone number How many catalogs you would like Whether using VISA or MasterCard Card number Expiration Date Your request will be forwarded to customer service. ###### BOB BRODIE IN CONFERENCE ON GENIE ###### Edited By Ron Kovacs ###### Copyright (c)1992, GEnie ST RT, Atari Corporation ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- The following RT conference took place on GEnie, Friday evening 11/27/92. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Our guest this evening is Bob Brodie... the famous and loquacious Director of Communications for Atari Corporation ;-) It is a real treat to have Bob join us and I would like to personally welcome him back to the Real Time Conference "Hot Seat" <grin>. Bob, I noted that you posted a dozen messages today while enjoying some holiday time at home with your family. In one message you commented about getting back to online support now that your previous role has been reinstated. Can we deal with that question first? Will you have the time (during office hours) to provide GEnie support equal to the quality of today's messages? <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> Sure Lou, I'm happy to deal with that. As some of you have already either discerned, or heard, we've had another change in our leadership at Atari US. The former GM was a gentleman named Ron Smith, who was a 22 year veteran from Wang Corporation. He didn't really share my view of the value of online support. Basically, he eliminated that role from my job. This meant that I was reduced to only a few hours per week of online time here on GEnie. Most of that time was spent in email, or in real time conferences. I was not able to allocate much more time than that. As you can imagine, the Bulletin Boards here on GEnie can be a very time consuming task for us at Atari to deal with. It can easily take more than a couple of hours a day to handle everything in the fashion which it should be handled. I now report to Garry Tramiel, who's view on online support is quite similar to mine. :) It needs to be done, and our customers need to be supported. So, I'm much happier with this situation, and wish Mr. Smith well in all of his future endevors. I do have a prepared opening remark regarding COMDEX, which I will be happy to send up now. This is a unique time for a real time conference on GEnie, and I'm happy to be participating. Tonight, I'd like to focus on COMDEX and the Atari Falcon030. I'm prepared to answer just about any questions relating to those two topics. Then if time permits, we'll take on any other issues that our audience would like to discuss. For this years COMDEX, we showcased the Atari Falcon030. It is the clear centerpoint in all of our efforts. We also showed the TT030, and the Portfolio. As in years past, we showcased our machines around the applications of our developers. We had a different booth than in the past few years, which lent itself to a different type of "island" or themed approach. I'd like to go over briefly the products that were shown at each stand. Then we'll open it up to questions from the floor. On the telecommunications island, we had a brand new developer for Atari called Digital-Optical-Analog. Their product, BlackMail is a voice mail system that runs on the Atari Falcon030. BlackMail permits the design of an automated single or multi user voice mail system. This product will also function in the background under MultiTOS. Also on the telecommunications stand was STraight Fax from Joppa Software Development, running on a TT030, using a Supra FAXmodem. Micro Creations was showcasing their unique telecommunications program G.I.M.E. Term, and G.I.M.E. BBS. What sets G.I.M.E. apart from other terminal programs is the unique graphics that are easily set up and viewed by other G.I.M.E. users. Micro Creations was showing their products on an Atari Falcon030. Prominently shown in the very front of the booth was the Kodak Photo-CD, running with a TT030 with a Matrix graphics card, and also running on an Atari Falcon030. The Photo-CD was being shown by Michael Bernards of Color Concepts in Germany. Some of you may have already corresponded with Michael here on GEnie. He is also well known as one of the members of the team that programmed Calamus SL, as well as his own telecommunications program, Rufus. Michael was chosen to go to Eastman Kodak's headquarters in Rochester, NY. He spent time there getting your basic "brain dump" <grin> on all things related to the Kodak Photo-CD. He's completed the enabling software that will allow our users to be able to access the Photo-CD, as well as a developer tool kit for the Photo-CD. As you might imagine, he's a talented guy. Adjacent to the Photo-CD was DMC Publishing showing off Calamus SL, already accessing images from the Kodak Photo-CD. Calamus was shown on a TT030, with a GE-Soft TT ram board and a Cyrel Sunrise color board installed. I believe that Nathan told me he had a total of 42 megabytes of ram installed in his TT. The CyberCube card was a true 24 bit color board, fully compatible with both Calamus SL and the Photo CD. The card was driving a 21" Mitsubishi color monitor, and looked phenomenal!! As usual, Mario Georgiou of DMC was fully capable of stopping anyone in their tracks with his beautiful work in Calamus SL. On the other side of the Photo-CD we had the most unique application at the show, a high end embroidery machine controlled by an Atari TT030. The product is called the STitchitizer, and is produced by a company from Minnesota called Data Stitch. This unit was powering a Toyota embroidery machine, and used a Nanoa monitor running at 1024x768 with a Dover Research graphics card. The unit on display at the show was busily churning out baseball caps with a series of differnet Atari logos in full color, at the rate of about 1 hat every 10 minutes. The hats, as you might imagine, were very popular with show goers. This particular application caught the eye of Jack Tramiel, who promptly instructed us to make a deal to buy every hat that was produced at the show. The STitchitizer is capable of much more complex projects than just baseball caps. In the past we've had them produce some jackets for us with a beautiful rendition of the Shanghai image off of the Lynx game. We also had a sound/audio/music area, located in the back of the booth. This put us head to head with another multimedia company, called AdLib. I think we won this battle. :) Having live music using the Atari Falcon 030 at the show was a major coup. No other booth had such a truly "show stopping" performance. Our developers showing their music products included Bare Foot Software, D2D Systems Systems, and Singular Solutions. Some of you may recall some of the staff at Bare Foot Software from their previous company, Hybrid Arts. D2D Systems has exhibited previously at NAMM with us, and is the developer that created the Falcon D2D program that is bundled with every Atari Falcon030 sold. Falcon D2D is a direct to disk recording package that allows users an easy way to get started. It was a common sight througout the show to find Paul Wiffin of D2D Systems on the wrong side of his stand, jamming with Jeff from BareFoot. To say that their products will work as well with each other as they do with each other is something of an understatement! <grin> Singular Solutions was showing their digital recording and editing package that is capable of producing CD quality sound, and provides a high quality analog-to-digital conversion. We also showed the System Audio Manager (we call it SAM for short!), which will allow you to be able to assign a sound file to a keypress, a la the Sound Master on the Mac. Of course, we have gone one better than the Mac, because you can do that on an Atari with NO system slow down at all. SAM will play AVR files, Sound Master files, and sound files in the WAV format used by the SoundBlaster card from Creative Labs on the PC side. BTW, SAM will also work on STE's, Mega STEs, and TT030s!! SAM is just one of the products that we will be bundling with the Atari Falcon030. We will also include FalconD2D (which I already mentioned), Calappt, a very useful rolodex type application, a Talking Clock, a true color version of BreakOut and Landmines...complete with DSP generated sound for a terrific game. We also ship ProCalc, a complete scientific calculator useful for programmers or the rest of us that just need a couple of quickie calculations. ProCalc and Calappt both run as either applications or as desk accessories. We also had a host of Portfolio applications, which I suspect this is the wrong crowd to discuss with. :) However, I will be happy to entertain any questions that you might have about our palmtop computer. Last, but certainly not least, we had HiSoft and Oregon Research showing a passel of new things for the Atari. Not the least of these was a true color paint program for the Atari Falcon030 called TruePaint. Also showing in our booth was COMPO, with their PC board for the Falcon030, and GoldLeaf...but I'm worried that I've run on too long with this already. <[Chuck] C.KLIMUSHYN> Bob, thanks for being on line during a holiday! As an "average Joe User" I feel I was seriously misled about the Falcon being a true 32 bit computer. Could you address what broke down in the line of communication? <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> Chuck, I've been offline more than online lately. I may have missed out on some of the controversy. But based on what I saw in the BB today, most of the dis-statisfaction appears to be over the width of the direct processor slot, and it's capabilities. Please bear in mind that we envision the Atari Falcon030 to be first and foremost, an entry level home computer. We don't envision people doing high end upgrades to this machine. We will have another unit that those things will be possible with in 1993. However, the slot will work, and work well with other things like PC boards to allow you to run DOS software, not just as an emulation, but by having a true 486SX processor doing the work for you. <[Chuck] C.KLIMUSHYN> Bob, I agree the Falcon is a *great* entry level machine. I'm confused because the initial specs from Sam and Bill seemed to indicate something else. <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> Chuck, I apologize for the confusion. And I think you will be very pleased when you finally get to see the unit in person. <[Robb A.] R.ALBRIGHT7> Can you give the latest info on the arrival date of the 2 demo Falcons to dealers. I've heard as early as this weekend. This is rather important, as I have arranged with our local dealer to borrow their unit for a demonstration event at an upcoming Club meeting, complete with some advertising. <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> Robb and I have played phone tag before, Lou. :) Robb, I indicated before, the idea of the two demo units to dealers was just that, an idea. We've not set out on such a plan yet. Any rumor that you have heard that it might be this weekend is wrong. I'm a proponent of such a plan, although modesty prevents me from taking credit for being the author of the plan. :) In short, we want to get them out just as quick as we can, but we also want for them to get out to you when everything is perfect. <[James] J.VOGH> Some rumors have said the Falcon has a low compatibility rate with ST games, what is the real story? <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> The Atari Falcon030 is HIGHLY compatible, and is in fact much more compatible with the STE than the TT030 is. I was recently in Houston for their Atari Safari. A corp of young testers came to the show armed with their disks, ready to test compatiblity with the Falcon030. Without going thru everything they did, they left the show VERY impressed with the compatibility. They even ran the Flight Simulator, in all modes. Worked great!! :) <[James] J.VOGH> Are there any CD ROM games in site for the Falcon? <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> I have seen a few new game titles for the Falcon, but they don't require a CD rom. However, everything is there in the Falcon to make doing such games very easy. Keep in mind that the Falcon having the DSP chip in it makes the sound that games can, and SHOULD be doing of a much higher quality. Truly better than CD quality sound!! The games that we showed at COMDEX were Raiden, which is a conversion from the NeoGeo, Steel Talons, Cyber Assault, and....something else that escapes me at the moment. <[Keith Horiz] K.BROOKS1> With Concierge, will there be any import/export in the wp to Word-less than-Perfect and what about Lotus import/export in the spreadsheet module? Also, how soon is Speedo/MultiTOS - realistically? Sorry to be late! <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> RE Conceierge (hate the name!), there is an export, but not to WordPerfect. I think that it only exports ASCII and GEM metafiles. The spreadsheet is EXCEL compatible from what I've seen. Not 1-2-3. Sam is considering bundling it with the Falcon030 when it is done. However, there are still some changes that need to be made to the product to make us all happy. Speedo, perhaps 6 weeks last I heard. MultiTOS, January. <[Lou] ST.LOU> Bob... how about suggesting that Atari bundle Diamond Back and Diamond Edge with the HD version of the Falcon? Is that feasible? It is a great program set. <[Keith Horiz] K.BROOKS1> I hate DOS but the rest of the world wants WP. How hard can it be to do a driver for word processing?? I thought a name like Suite or Ensemble would have been sorta ok. Concierge?! With our Quebec problem? :-) <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> The guy who came up with the name is gone. I'll see what I can do :) <[Curmudgeon] M.ALLEN14> *Bob - it IS good to see your increased participation on GEnie - thanks. I hope the excellent support by TOWNS during your hiatus hasn't gone un-noticed by Atari Management. I think the hoo-haa over the F030 specs is due to the fact that many users and developers felt that Atari deliberately misled them as to what the F030 was not the actual F030 specs themselves. Anyway, my question has to do with dealer support. My local dealer (El Paso - 1 Hour away) has switched almost completely to IBM crap. He says that he isn't going to invest in anymore Atari stuff until he gets rid of the stuff (mostly old and outdated) he already has on the shelves. How is Atari going to re-attract existant dealers who are disillusioned? <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> Hi Mike, I'll be sure to pass along to the Tramiel's your praise for TOWNS. John has always done a great job online, I know I've benefitted from his expertise too. Re the Falcon030 bruhaha, it was never our intention to mislead anyone. Rather, from my view at least, it seems as if the community has focused in on just one portion of the system, one that we consider to be important, but not the be-all, end all for the system and looked at it as being the most important item on the unit. That's just not true. We want to focus on other things, like the unique DSP presence on the Falcon030, which no other CPU has, save the NeXT. This means that our users, present and future, will have access to unsurpassed computing power in their homes. THAT'S EXCITING!! However, we all know that you can't please all the people all the time. And it's apparent that the online crowd is much more interested in a high powered system. Remember, we view the Falcon030 as an entry level computer, with tremendous capabilities. Now, re the dealer. This is quite a problem. There are several different issues at play here. Who did he buy his products from? Is he dealing directly with Atari, a distributor, or is he really purchasing his products from another dealer? All of those are very germain issues in resolving his problem of stock. <[Curmudgeon] M.ALLEN14> Most of the dealer's stuff is software - sometimes from folks who are out of business <e.g. Neocept>. He has been a very good dealer in the past. I still think the point about the F030 specs is that had we not been lead to believe that it was a 32/32 bit address/data bus instead of the 24/16 bit buss it seems to be there would have been no problems. All of us agree that the F030 is a very good entry level machine. We just wish that Atari had let us know up front what it really was. I deal with DSP on a professional basis and know what magic can be performed with it. I'm really excited about the DSP as are most of us. <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> Mike, re the software problems your dealer is having. I'm gonna take a different tact and suggest that he talk with Sheldon Winick of Computer STudio. Sheldon is a very fine businessman, in addition to be president of the Dealers Association. Of which, your dealer should probably be a member. He's very interested in helping Atari dealers nationwide, and I'm sure he would be happy to help your dealer figure out how to move that stock. This is not unique, I assure you. I visited a dealer here in California that had all kinds of stuff on the shelf that was ancient, and he was trying to get full retail price for it. That included a program that had been taken off of the market, and released by the author as PD, and was on the disk of the month for the UG that I was going to visit!!! Not a pretty picture. Again, I apologize if you felt misled about the capabilities of the Atari Falcon030. It has never been our intention to mislead any of our customers in any way. <[Chuck] C.KLIMUSHYN> Bob, I heard that Falcons hit the streets in England last week. Any good news you can share about how they're doing? Like, hopefully, doors are being ripped off hinges at the local Atari dealer by crazed punters! <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> Shipments of Falcon030's to England are quite small, as we have indicated in the past. Most of the production will not really ramp up for any of our subsidaries until January. However, there are some wonderful applications coming out of the UK. <[Robb A.] R.ALBRIGHT7> You mentioned the ability to run a 486SX in the processor slot, but according to Z*Net, there was only a 386 running Windoze in Black & White. How soon do you think the 486, & Colour, will be available. (And maybe a rough SRP too?) <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> Robb, thanks for asking that! There has been considerable confusion on the PC board, in part because one had never been seen publically until COMDEX. I spoke with Theo Bruers of COMPO personally about this. He's the president of COMPO, so he is well equipped to answer this question. He tells me that he NEVER planned to do a 386 board. He's going to do a 286 version, and will follow it up with a 486SX board. The 286 will do color, and run Windoze (nice touch, Rob!), and all the other right things. It was indeed running in Mono at the show, but they ran into a set back in their development a few weeks before the show. To tell you the truth, they had decided not to show the product at all, but we were able to convince them that it was important that they show a working version of the product, and I promised Theo that we would make sure everyone knew that it was merely an early prototype, the production units will do VGA, and will be available by the time Falcon030s are available; ie January. <[Baaad Dot!] D.A.BRUMLEVE> As President of the IAAD, I am very pleased to see your visible participation in the BB of late, Bob! I think it really helps users (and devs!) to have information from, if you'll excuse the expression, the horse's mouth. ;-) I've been having fun with my Falcon. As an Atari-only owner, I'm intrigued by the ability to use a variety of third-party monitors. The highest resolutions don't perform gloriously on my SC1224. Which monitor is recommended for these? <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> Rather than give specific brand recommendations, I suggest that you look into a good quality VGA monitor. Unless of course, you are into things that are better done on other monitors. For example, if you wanted to do GENLOCKing with broadcast quality NTSC video, you want to be able to do overscan. However, the VGA standard, by definition, doesn't do overscan. Which means that you will have to look at a good quality MultiSynch in order to have a "one size fits all" monitor. At COMDEX, we showed the Falcon030 with both our own PTC1426, and the SC1224, and SC1435. It was well received. <[Keith Horiz] K.BROOKS1> What about the ACSI for the SLMs? Seen Nov92 'Publish"? Atari Games 20th bday ad produced on a Macintosh!! For Shame! :-) How soon for the 486SX? 286's only do Windoze in 'real' not std or protected modes. <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> The ACSI box is being done by a third party developer. It's not done yet :( I need to touch base with Bill Rehbock to find out what the status is on that product. No, I haven't seen PUBLISH, although it's on my desk, along with a 6" high stack of mail that congregated there while I was at COMDEX. :) Re the 486SX, JAN 93 <[Jonesy] M.JONES52> How soon can I have a Falcon '030 on my desk? <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> You'll probably be able to get a Falcon030 on your desk in Jan, we've said since Sam's CO in August that's when the larger shipments would begin to hit. Shipments prior to that will be kind of small. While it's possible that you might get one before January, I tend to doubt it. <[James] J.VOGH> What is the status of standard networking software for the Falcon (MSTE and TT03 also)? (Appletalk in particular) And what are the chances of getting X windows to run under MultiTos? The Falcon would make a good system for college and X windows would make it perfect. <[Bob] BOB-BRODIE> I haven't seen any "standard" networking software yet from us. We've had some turnover upstairs in the TOS group. I think that networking is something that they are keenly interested in, but they are re-organizing some of the tasks in the group right now, so it might be a while before you see anything directly from us. Here in the office, I have used the PowerNet product from ViewTouch with excellent results. The crew doing Atari Explorer uses it, and RELYS on it on a daily basis to do all sorts of stuff, including deciding what printer to print on! They're a very good team of evangilists for the product. And of course, it runs on the Mega STE, TT030, and other machines as well, too. Re the X Windows, I'm not sure. There is an X-Windows product that is available from Atari Germany, but I seem to recall that our people here in the US didn't share their enthusiasm for this particular product. ###### POWERDOS - PART TWO ###### Copyright 1992, Kevin J. Conway ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- (Editors Note: Part one of this two part series was published last week in issue #92-19 of Z*Net) If you are lucky enough to have some amount of free space on at least one of your drive partitions you can de-fragment the drive using the following steps: 1. Create a new folder called TEMP on the drive with the extra free space. For this purposes of this article, we will imagine that this folder exists on the 'G:' disk partition. The full pathname of this folder would be 'G:\TEMP'. 2. Copy all of the folders and files from the root directory of the disk partition to be de-fragmented to G:\TEMP. For the purposes of this article, we will call this disk partition 'C:'. The root directory is then 'C:\' When this copy operation has been completed, delete all of the information from the 'C:' disk partition. Note that if you have TOS 2.05 or higher, you could use the 'move' command in place of the 'copy' command to automatically delete the data from 'C:'. You now have a copy of all the data that was on the 'C:' disk partition in the 'G:\TEMP' folder. 3. Copy (or move with TOS 2.05 or higher) the data from 'G:\TEMP' back to 'C:\'. All of the files will have their sectors laid out consecutively as this operation is completed. The drive has now been de-fragmented. If you don't have spare room on your drive, you will have to do the de- fragmenting the hard way: 1. Backup up the disk partition to floppy using your favorite backup utility. A backup utility that writes files to folders on the floppy disk is ideal. 2. Delete all of the data from the drive partition. 3. Restore the data from the floppy to the disk partition. The disk has now been de-fragmented. In both these operations, we have laid the data out consecutively at the beginning of the drive. There is no command or easy way to force the system to write to the end of the drive. That requires some small amount of cunning. The amount of space in a drive partition consists of the freespace and the used space. If I were to fill up the freespace with junk files before restoring my data from my backup, I would fill up the drive partition. In doing so, the data that should be on the drive would be forced the end of the partition as the first available sectors would have been taken up the junk files. When I delete these junk files, these first sectors become free leaving the (permanent) restored data at the end of the drive partition. So, to modify the instructions given above: 1. Select the drive (partition) icon and use 'Show Information' to get the amount of free and used space on the drive partition. Write these numbers down for reference. 2. Backup the data from the drive partition to either floppy or another partition. 3. Delete the data from the drive partition that is being defragmented. 4. Create a folder called JUNK on the now-empty drive partition. Open that folder and copy junk files into it until the freespace available on the partition is equal to or slightly more than the amount of space that will be needed by the backed-up data files. I have found the best way to fill up the JUNK folder is to copy data from other drive partitions into this folder. 5. When the freespace on the drive being de-fragmented is equal to the amount of disk space needed for the data files, copy the data back into the original disk partition. When this operation has been completed the amount of free-space on the drive partition should be very close to zero. 6. Once the all of the original data has been restored to the drive partition, delete the JUNK folder. If PowerDos has been installed, you should really notice an improvement in disk i/o in deleting these junk files alone. Depending on the amount of files that you write to your hard drive, this defragmentation may clean up your drive for weeks or for months. You don't need to rely on perceived retrieval/execution speed to judge whether your hard drive is fragmented however. I have made mention of the Ness Benchmark program several times already in this article. By establishing a minimum level of performance on the other drive (i.e. hard drive or ramdisk) comparison test, you will have some indication of the fragmentation on your hard drive. To get a clear 'picture' of the fragmentation, you can use Beckemeyer's [freeware!] GMAP utility. GMAP will generate a map of the drive partition or floppy requested. It will show used and free sectors, fragmented data and sectors marked as bad. Using this utility it is very easy to get a idea of where the data sits on the drive and how that is affecting disk performance. GMAP also will give you its opinion on whether or not the drive requires defragmentation, or optimization in its wording. Using GMAP and NESS together can demonstrate the effectiveness of PowerDos caching routines and the detrimental effects of disk fragmentation. So, having said all of this how easy is it to install Power-Dos? Ridiculously simple is the answer. Since PowerDos is a replacement for the GEMDOS routines, it must be activated in the AUTO before any other program has had a chance to run. Other 'auto folder' programs can be left in the AUTO folder on the 'C:' drive or made to run from an AUTO folder on the 'A:' drive. [The experienced user may edit the CONFIGUR file to point PowerDos to an auto folder on any valid disk partition.] PowerDos also requires its own folder to start its own processes. PowerDos requires a 'PowerDos' folder on the boot drive; normally 'A:' or 'C:'. The CONFIGUR file must be in this folder for PowerDos to configure itself. In addition this is where PowerDos will look for any additions such as the 'alias drive' pipes or background copy programs if set in the CONFIGUR file. The experienced user can also edit the CONFIGUR file to have PowerDos continue the booting of AUTO folder program from this folder although I feel it is best to leave them where they should be. Apart from cleaning up the AUTO folder of programs that duplicate the functions of PowerDos - faster FAT routines, programs to 'add' folders, caches and memory clearing programs such as PINHEAD, there is no further work in setting up PowerDos. For those who like to tweak with their systems, DragonWare has supplied a separate configuration program called PDEXPERT. This should reside in a folder named 'POWERDOS' on the 'C:' drive partition. PDEXPERT manages a configuration file called CONFIGUR. PDEXPERT is supplied as an easy way to manipulate the parameters that PowerDos recognizes. I can see no reason to try to create my own configuration file. It should be clear that caching requires memory. Users with one megabyte of less of memory should be concerned about the amount of memory that PowerDos will use. Since PowerDos is not only a caching system, but also provides support for network file systems, it can use a far bit of memory. The variables that need attention are: Ramtop Kbytes: PowerDos can set aside memory at the top of available memory as a reserve for network processes. To bypass this feature, this variable should be set to zero. Cache sectors: This controls the size of the cache by specifying the numbers of sectors in the cache. PDEXPERT's range of values for this parameter is 50 to 999, or 25K to 499.5K. This can be set to zero to bypass this option. Alternatively, the experienced user can edit the CONFIGUR file with a text editor to set this value less than 50. If memory is a consideration remember that a small cache can be quite effective. If you can spare as little as 25K, you will cache 50 sectors. This will help considerably with small data and program files. Fewer reads will also be required for larger program files. These parameters will affect available memory. If ramtop is not reserved and cache is not set, PowerDos will use 60K in loading. In my opinion, PowerDos is not really useful without some memory being assigned as a cache. Remember that any memory required in the hard disk driver for cache or extra folders will be released. On a one megabyte machine, memory may be tight if you have a number of other AUTO folder programs or if you have a number of accessories/cpx's loaded. PowerDos has several other parameters that also affect performance: Max Program Ram: This parameter allows you to set the amount of memory assigned to a program on execution. It can stop programs grabbing all of the available memory. This can help if you have problems shelling out to '.TTP' or other programs from inside applications. Fastload Size: This controls the amount of memory that is cleared when loading a program. If you use 'PINHEAD', you can delete it from the 'AUTO' folder once this parameter is set. There are a couple of other options in PowerDos that I am not going to bother talking about as they aren't really all that important to this article. Manipulating these four parameters can make quite a difference in disk performance. I have found using PDEXPERT to be quite easy. The documentation for this part of PowerDos is quite reasonable making it easy to understand the effect of changing these parameters on system performance. Unfortunately, the documentation for PowerDos on a whole is very, very skimpy. To put it bluntly, there is no documentation for PowerDos! The 'readme' file included with the first release is nothing more than press release. It talks about the plans that DragonWare has for PowerDos and how it fits in with their networking hardware and software. It does not talk about possible hardware or software conflicts or any other problems that the user might run into. Furthermore, although this is a multi-tasking GEMDOS replacement, the user is given _no_ information on how to make programs multi-task. The only hint given is: "All legal TOS programs _will_run_ under PowerDos - and will enjoy PowerDos's lightning fast device I/O - but unless programs are written with PowerDos's extensions in mind, the ability to multitask will be limited." The user must be prepared to install and run PowerDos without the comfort of abundant documentation. Surprisingly, this lack of documentation continues with the further releases of 'goodies' for PowerDos. DragonWare has released pipes, 'alias drive' additions for PowerDos. As well, they have released a background copy program and a program to name serial ports. None of these have but the sketchiest of documentation. Of these additions, I have only been able to try the background copy program. It works, however, I had to deduce from the documentation that I needed not only to install the 'back-copy.prg' in the CONFIGUR file but add the desk accessory also. Not only that, but I had to deduce how the copy operation was to be carried out. There was nothing that told me to use the desk accessory to perform background copies, nor how to use that desk accessory. I would have particularly enjoyed some documentation with this program as after installing I experienced some strange crashes in Pagestream when doing a document kerning and in WordPerfect when moving to the bottom of a file using the 'HOME/HOME/ DOWN-ARROW' key combination. Bugs are always a concern with any program, but all the more so with a program of the complexity of PowerDos. I haven't found anything serious, nor have I heard anyone complaining about any real problems. In fact I have only noticed two real minor inconveniences: 1. Occasionally PowerDos didn't like to delete folders. This was not fixed in version 1.02; characteristically released without a 'fixed' list. These folders can be deleted by rebooting the system. It looks like PowerDos does have a minor problem with lots of folders. I should emphasize, however, that I have had no problem with loss data clusters or hidden files. Chris Roberts of DragonWare told me that this may be a problem with using a printer spooler. (I use the Word Perfect spooler.) He indicated that a PowerDos printer spooler should be available in the near future. This spooler will have many features including redirection to anther device or file, automatic selection of printer fonts and multiple copies. It should retail for about $49. 2. Occasionally, PowerDos has a problem with the file selector box. Drive partitions seem to be locked out when their letter is clicked. Editing the pathname and then clicking on the shaded top of the filename display box does change directories however. This has not been fixed in version 1.02. Other than these minor inconveniences I have not found any other real problems with PowerDos. I am pleased to say that Chris Roberts of DragonWare called me to discuss an advance copy of this article. He told me that they had hoped that the users of PowerDos would be able to install the goodies without too much documentation. DragonWare emphasizes elegantly simple solutions to problems. I agree with Chris that, for the most part, the PowerDos program and goodies are useable without a great deal of documentation, and Chris agrees with me that some small amount of documentation would be nice for the goodies. Nonetheless, the commercial version of PowerDos will be fully documented. At this time, the idea is to find all of the bugs in PowerDos and introduce users to the incredibly fast i/o routines that it offers. What follows is a brief of our conversation: The alias drive program allows the user to create folders that the system will recognize as drive partitions. These can be used to force programs to use folders on the hard drive as absolute drives. This is particularly useful for games and other programs that insist on seeing certain drive partitions that you may not have. I added a 'H:' drive partition on my 'E:' drive partition as the folder 'DRIVE_H' - it works. Alternatively, the user may format their hard drive as one BGM partition and use the alias drive program to create folders as absolute drive partitions. In other words, there would be one physical drive partition, 'C:', with folders 'DRIVE_D', 'DRIVE_E' etc. acting as partitions 'D:' and 'E:' etc. This means that the user would not have to worry about repartitioning the drive as one drive partition became used up. The whole drive would be available so that drive partitions could grow and shrink as necessary. The caveat is that this could tend to cause disk fragmentation at a faster rate with its attendant affect on disk i/o performance. Incidently, PowerDos supports drives 'A:' through 'Z:'; 26 disk partitions. The program to name serial ports is to be used as a replacement to serial port 'patch' programs that set or 'patch' rts/cts or xon/xoff handshaking. Several different configurations of the same serial port can be had by using different names for each. The user will need the parameters that xbios uses to set handshaking and serial port speed. The pipes program is meant to used to allow process intercommunication between programs. Specifically, it can be used to alert programs to the fact that a file has been created or changed. This is of particular use in PowerNet to alert users to their e-mail. Furthermore, Chris indicated that this could be used in a real ram-based clipboard. Pipes would allow programs to keep track of what was in the clipboard and what it was. PowerDos will be of real interest to those wanting to play with CD-ROMS on their Atari systems. Chris tells me that you should be able to connect a SCSI cd-rom player to your SCSI hard driver controller. When you reboot, it should show as the next available drive partition on the system. You should be able to access it without the MetaDos drivers. As far as the compatibility of PowerDos with GemDos is concerned, PowerDos is written to conform to all GemDos standards. Any program that properly follows GemDos programming rules will work properly with PowerDos. Some Public Domain programs do not, unfortunately, follow proper GemDos procedure. One of the most common violations is that a file is opened for read and is subsequently written to. In GemDos, files must be opened for read and for write separately. GemDos as implemented on the Atari will overlook this violation, but PowerDos won't. Fortunately, there seem to be very few programs that do break this rule, and certainly none of the commercial software that I use. One of the programs that does break the GemDos rules is Atari's own cachexxx.prg. Chris has told me that some people have left this in their systems when PowerDos was running and have experienced disk crashes. It can not be emphasized enough - do not use cache, FAT, folder or other hard drive 'fix' programs with PowerDos. You may have conflicts and you may cause data corruption. PowerDos does _not_ need help! The secret to PowerDos' multi-tasking is quite simple. Any program that you wish to multi-task must _not_ write to the screen. PowerDos has no facility for opening new windows on top of the main window. As a case in point, the way in which the background copier works is that the backcopy.prg program runs as a task in the background. The desk accessory passes copy parameters to the background process that then wakes up and works in the background. No 'done' window, or any other window for that matter, pops up to announce completion, so it multi- tasks fine under PowerDos. PowerDos is an integral part of the PowerNet system, which allows Atari ST/STe/TT computers to talk to other Atari ST/STe/TT, Apple MacIntoshs or Ethernet systems. PowerDos places a number of cookies in the Atari cookie jar to help with file sharing over the network. These include cookies to handle files locks, mail and spooling among other operations. I expect to be reviewing this system in the near future and am very much looking forward to it. Chris reminded me that DragonWare sells a number of excellent products for the Atari system including GMan and the Stacy battery. DragonWare hopes to be able to introduce a new Word processor from another platform in the near future with full file interchange capabilities. As well there are developing a genealogy program that will work with the genealogical archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints (the Mormons) held in Salt Lake City. To say the least this is a company that is very active in the Atari world. I am very pleased with Power-Dos, and excited by the other products that DragonWare hopes to bring to market in the near future. Getting back to subject at hand; overall, my recommendation is that PowerDos is for the experienced to advanced user. To get the best performance out of PowerDos, you should be comfortable with the idea of de-fragmenting your hard drive. Also be prepared to manipulate the programs in your AUTO folder. You will need to remove some and move the order of them around. PowerDos is not going to be useful to floppy-only users. Users without at least 1.5 megabytes of memory may have to limit their use of caching. Given these considerations, if you choose to use PowerDos, you should notice a real difference in disk i/o and program execution. I have tested PowerDos under a variety of configurations and with several different benchmarking programs. I have also compared its performance to a number of other caches. PowerDos is quite simply is the fastest cache of those I tested. It's i/o and memory management routines also help to make a tremendous difference in overall system performance. Improvements in system performance will vary from user to user, nonetheless PowerDos will make a significant difference to any user's system. Normally programs of this quality and complexity are not released as freeware. In fact, there are a number of shareware programs available that require registration fees but do not offer as much as utility as PowerDos. Installing PowerDos has been like putting a turbocharger under the hood of my MSTe. Thanks, DragonWare, for the best public domain program for the ST! PowerDos was used successfully and extensively with these applications. (Not a complete list.) Edhack version 2.36 MasterPlan MaxiMiser version 2.09G PageStream version 2.2 PFX Packer (packs programs) Straight Fax, versions 1.0 and 1.04 Word Perfect 4.1, August 18, 1989 Release date ###### THE UNABASHED ATAROPHILE ###### By Michael R. Burkley ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- B_U_R_P!! Oh, excuse me. I didn't realize that anyone was listening! I've just finished my Thanksgiving meal, which I enjoyed immensely. I've read somewhere "Better are bitter herbs among friends than a whole roast ox among enemies." That's true, and better yet I say is a whole roast ox among friends! We didn't have a roast ox, just a roast turkey, but that was enough, especially with family and friends gathered around. We have much for which to be thankful! Thinking about food usually makes me hungry (but not tonight!). Tonight, thinking about food made me think about my STe. How could I bring those two together and get an idea for this column? I thought (very briefly) about bringing in a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy and dropping it all over the keyboard. Then I could do a column on repairing an STe. I ended up canning that idea. What could I do? And then I remembered "The Grocery Lister" by Randy Hoekstra, "The Recipe Box" by Anthony W. Watson and "The Assistant Chef" by Eric Coners. "Your Personal Vitamin Profile" by Dr. Michael Colgan and "Calorie Counter" by Ron & Kathy Schaefer, MD's all came to mind, and I knew I had my column! The idea began to roll. I remembered "Blood Alcohol Content" by Dan Panke, "Make-A-Date v.2.5.3" by Jonathan Carroll, and to pass the dessert, "Big Cookie" by Mark Slagell and "Goodies" by Phil Comeau. Why I could even throw in "Who stole the Peanut Butter" by Albert Baggetta! GROCERY LISTER v.1.8 by Randy Hoekstra is something I need right now, -------------------- or at least tomorrow. We ate up all the food and soon we'll have to go shopping! This program is a household utility program that allows you to compile a list of grocery items complete with current price and total estimated cost. Making shopping lists is a sure fire way to save money grocery shopping, and you also stand a better chance of not forgetting the _one_ thing you were going to the store to buy in the first place (how many times has that happened!). Money is always a consideration (some would say a problem). The Grocery Lister will allow you to pick and choose from a list of items and prices you can quickly maintain, and then compare the sum of their prices with your spending goal. You can then add or eliminate items from your list with a simple click of your mouse (or with the comparable keyboard command). And what good would all of that be if you couldn't print out your list? Not much good, so of course you can print out your shopping lists. Color only. Excellent docs included. THE RECIPE BOX v.3.4 by Anthony W. Watson (Dated Oct. 1, 1992) is the -------------------- most comprehensive, and in my mind, the most aesthetically pleasing of all the cookbook programs available. This is a very useful program that allows you to enter, store, view, edit, resize, and print out your recipes (with lots of options all around). You can organize your recipes into up to 22 catagories. It includes a very useful search function (find all the recipes with "Chicken" as an ingredient, etc.). This version (when registered) will import Assistant Chef and Meal-Master (IBM) recipe files. GEM based. This will accept GDOS fonts if GDOS is installed. You can customize your printer. Mouse controlled. Color or mono. ST/STe/TT compatible. It uses the handsome "FrontEnd" interface that can give your GFA Basic programs a NeXT computer-like look. Docs (online and written) and numerous recipes included. All in all this program is much improved over previous versions. SHAREWARE. THE ASSISTANT CHEF v.0.9 by Eric Coners (dated 1988--another "oldie ------------------------ but a goodie") is an electronic cookbook that is an example of the saying, "Necessity is the Mother of Invention." In a ploy to get his fiancee interested in his ST he bought her the various computer cookbooks then available. She didn't like any of them. So what did he do? Did he give up? No way! He wrote his own! With this program you can view the recipes in the included database, add your own favorites, edit them, change the portion size and more. Recipes are listed by; Recipe #, Recipe name, Food Group, Food Type, Dish type, Temperature (Hot/Cold) and rating (1 -5 stars). You can also print out your recipe. Color only. TOS 1.0-1.62 (at least). Docs included. VITAMIN is "Your Personal Vitamin Profile" adapted from the book by ------- Dr. Michael Colgan. This program will ask you information about your height, weight, and sex and then a large number of other questions designed to see if you are functioning as you should be. It then offers some suggestions that you might implement for your increased health. At the end it provides a resource on many different types of vitamins as well as some commonly asked nutritional questions. Very interesting! Color or mono. TOS 1.0-1.62 compatible (at least). CALORIE COUNTER is a program by Ron & Kathy Schaefer, MD's which is --------------- designed for your use AFTER a holiday meal. This is a "golden oldie" published back in 1989 for ST Log magazine. Using the mouse and keyboard, this program will help you to "count your calories" based on an included database of foods, their calories per serving, and their levels of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. You can input a daily caloric intake goal, and this program will allow you to pick and choose from its list of foods those foods and portions that will allow you to meet your goal. After you're done you can either print out your menu to the screen or to your printer. This program will run on TOS 1.0 -1.62 (at least) and a color or mono monitor. Online docs included. BAC is a simple mouse controlled program by Dan Panke that will help --- you to calculate your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) based on your weight, the number of drinks consummed, and the time you took to consume them. Don't drink and drive, PLEASE! I do too many funerals for people whose deaths are alcohol related as it is. Color only. MAKE*A*DATE v.2.5/BETA (release 3) by Jonathan Carroll (dated October ---------------------- 26, 1992) is an absolutely fantasic program. It has nothing to do with food, or with eating (though I suppose you could schedule your meals with it!). Why I have included it here is because I can use it to schedule my exercise program that I should be starting to get rid of all that extra weight I gained today! Make*A*Date could help you with that and with MUCH more. This formerly commercial product has been updated and expanded to make a product that could be useful to anyone. It allows you to organize and store appointments, reminders (daily, weekly, or monthly), a TODO list, a phone numbers and an unlimited number of general notes. It also features an Auto-Dialer that will dial the phone for you (providing you have a modem) and will keep track of the number of times you've called someone and what charges (if any) you've incurred. Do you want to run an external program while in Make*A*Date? No problem. Up to 16 external applications can be installed. You can import and export information from your databases in a variety of configurable ways. Printer drivers are included for the HP Deskjet/Laserjet series and Epson printers with options for creating and loading other drivers. So Make*A*Date can do all of that--and more, but what does it look like? Does it have some clunky interface that is powerful but impossible to use? Not at all. Make*A*Date has an icon based interface much like DC Desktop, NeoDesk or Atari's own NewDesk. Simply click on an icon (or use the keyboard equivalent) to access any feature you wish. It's not only easy to use, it's very eye-appealing as well. Color or mono. Extensive docs included. Finally, the author says that this is a BETA test version. Don't believe him. I've been using this and I haven't managed to find anything wrong with it or to crash it once. TOS 1.0- 1.62 compatible. Recommended. BIGCOOKY by Mark Slagell (the author of SilkMouse, a great mouse -------- accelerator and screen saver) is a program for all ST/STe/TT computers (dated Nov. 15, 1992). Fortunately for me (at this moment) it is not the kind of cookie that you eat, it's for your computer instead. It is for the true power user, whose system is full of patches and gadgets and enhancements. Put it in your AUTO folder and it installs a nice, roomy cookie jar and vertical blank interrupt queue. This prevents your resident utilities from having to expand them when they run out of room; ostensibly that is the responsibility of each utility that installs a cookie or VBI routine, but when asked to add to a full list, many of them behave badly in some way, or just refuse to install. Color or mono. Docs included. GOODIES is a set of utility .TTP programs produced by Phil Comeau of ------- GramSlam fame. They are: Compare files, a hex dump of a file, a Mille Bournes game, a program to replace groups of spaces with tabs, a program to remove duplicate lines in a file, another to make non- printable characters visible, and finally, a counter for lines, words and characters in a file. Color or mono. TOS 1.0-1.62 compatible. PEANUT is "Who Stole the Peanut Butter?" by Albert Baggetta. It never ------ fails. Seems like every time you go to make a peanut butter sandwich the peanut butter is gone. Oh, the jar might be there, but it's usually empty. The walls are scraped clean with maybe a little swirling kiss of peanut butter left in the bottom center of the jar. You are the detective trying to find that closed mouth culprit, one of eleven possible suspects. There is a wonderful list of possible suspects. It makes you want to laugh just to read about them! Color only. Sound and graphics. SHAREWARE. TOS 1.0-1.62 compatible. Well, that's it for tonight. I think it's time to mosey out to the kitchen and make up a delicious turkey sandwich! Until next week! --Michael Burkley lives in Niagara Falls, NY. He is a former Polyurethane Research Chemist and is presently the pastor of the Niagara Presbyterian Church. ###### PERUSING GENIE ###### Compiled by Ed Krimen ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- Some messages may have been edited for correct spelling, grammar, and irrelevant material. CONCIERGE, MICROSOFT WORKS FOR THE ST ------------------------------------- -=> In the "Atari Corporation Online" category (14) -=> from the "Speedo GDOS" topic (35) Message 19 Mon Nov 16, 1992 TOWNS [John@Atari] at 23:59 EST P.GRIFFITH2: I am sorry that your $140 investment was wasted on WordUp. I wish something different was going to come of it, but alas I am afraid that WordUp is probably dead at this point. But, remember, Atari didn't get one red cent of your money. All we did was purchase the source code from a company that was about to go under and attempt to save a product from going down with it. Unfortunately, the source code was in about the same state as the company. The good news is that Atari will have a program called ST Works which will have a good word processor, spreadsheet, and database in one program! All of those will be SpeedoGDOS, FSMGDOS, and FontGDOS compatible. I think this program will be what alot of people have been looking for. Look for ST Works sometime after the first of the year. (I will provide more information as I receive it!) -- John Townsend, Atari Corp. ---------- Message 26 Tue Nov 17, 1992 CHAZ at 09:28 EST I think "Concierge" is a great name - I'm in the luxury hotel biz and am familiar with the term. Seems clever to me. BTW, it roughly translates to "keeper of the keys". ---------- Message 25 Tue Nov 17, 1992 D.A.BRUMLEVE [kidprgs] at 09:04 EST At the conference last night, Sam Tramiel said that ST Sutra (the MSWorks- like multi-program nearing release) is being renamed "Concierge". Personally, I think that's a mistake. Only a handful of us (out of over 50) seemed to know what a concierge is, let alone to be able to pronounce it. Sutra -- well, nobody knows what that is, maybe, but at least everyone knows how to say it. Anyway, I'm looking forward to using the program by whatever name. ---------- Message 36 Wed Nov 18, 1992 TOWNS [John@Atari] at 00:46 EDT I predict that everyone will be pretty happy with this GDOS. The fonts are readily available and reasonably priced. The speed issues have been addressed and SpeedoGDOS is pretty darn speedy. Not to mention the use of the CPX modules to make GDOS much easier to manage. And, with the SpeedoGDOS, you don't have to have 200K of Font Caches like you did under FSM. You can get away with as little as 30K! Pretty amazing. -- John ===================================== FLOPTICALS: 21 MEGS ON A FLOPPY ------------------------------- -=> In the "Hardware" category (4) -=> from the "PMC Freedom Floptical Drive" topic (3) Message 91 Wed Nov 18, 1992 D.DEMERS7 at 23:35 EST Oscar, My drive works great! I purchased it instead of a hard drive and I am glad I did. The access time is slow compared to a hard drive but it is nice to use for floppies, especially 1.44mb. I did run into a problem trying to have the floptical auto-boot and could not get it to work. A quick call to Howard at ICD solved the problem and he is sending me a disk with the software to correct the problem. This same drive is priced at $450-520 in the Computer Shopper, without the LINK. Keep up the good work guys!! ---------- Message 94 Sat Nov 21, 1992 F.OLIVAS [Fred O.] at 01:03 EST Just wanted to drop a note informing everyone how delighted I am with my new Freedom Floptical Drive. I purchased my unit from Oscar so that I could centrally locate all of my .IMG files. To further this goal, I have installed Data Diet to compress those files onto and only onto my floptical. The result? I have managed to place all 32 D/S disks (1200 images) onto one floptical and still have 45% available space left! Loving it!!! ---------- Message 95 Sat Nov 21, 1992 FAIRWEATHER [David] at 11:15 EST I am also completely satisfied with my new floptical. I must confess however, that I didn't buy a Freedom. I opted instead for the PLI Infinity. My local dealer had PLI's at a good price, ($478 including The Link) and I wanted to support my local dealer even though I could have saved $79 by mail ordering a Freedom drive. As it turned out, he was there for me to telephone talk me through some minor problems I had in setting it up in a chain with my Megafile 20 and in installing the ICD software. Now everything is working great! For $79 I also bought the added flexibility of external SCSI ID and Terminator switches. And the Infinity's smaller size is nice too. But I've seen Fred Olivas' Freedom and it is also an excellent drive. Buy a Floptical, you won't regret it. ---------- Message 97 Sat Nov 21, 1992 PMC.INC at 15:17 EST Just so everyone know, if anyone has minor problems they can give us a telephone call too and we'll be more than happy to work directly with them to fix the problem. ===================================== TRUE STORY! ----------- -=> In the "ISD Product Support" category (16) -=> from the "Calamus S/SL" topic (20) Message 81 Tue Nov 24, 1992 ST.LOU [Lou Rocha] at 21:04 EST I was at the Board offices today and stumbled across a fellow in the Music Department using a Mega 4 with a Moniterm and Calamus 1.09N. He was doing layout work for people in the Public Relations Dept. 'cause their PC network was down! He asked me to come over and show him how to use his SL upgrade which was sitting idly on another partition. Forty minutes later we had five people standing around us as I demoed some basic features, master pages, the text style list, inverse modes (they loved that one), magnetic frames, and a few other goodies. The best part was some PC'er at the back of the crowd asking "What model of Macintosh is the 'Atari'"? True Story! ===================================== LYNX HOCKEY! ------------ -=> In the "Lynx - The Game Machine" category (36) -=> from the "Hockey" topic (34) Message 1 Wed Nov 18, 1992 J.RENNER1 [Jim] at 23:57 EST Just picked up Hockey today and I can believe people aren't screaming from the rooftops "buy hockey, buy hockey, only the Canadiens could do it better!" Well they should be. If you are a hockey fan, a sports fan, or just want a new playable game for the Lynx HOCKEY is a MUST! There are only a few games on the Lynx that keep me coming back (i.e. KLAX, RAMPART, and SHANGHI) but i think i'll be adding one more to my list. The game opens up with a music score as good as KLAX (same guy did the sound) and a nice graphic. The main menu lets you practice fighting (a needed practice), and shootouts. The fighting is full screen and lets you throw four different punches. Shootouts are used at the end of a game with a tie, and turns the Lynxs long ways for a great "feel" of the shootout. The actual game setup lets you choose several different options, including refs, difficulty, and period length. You are then given the option to use default teams, balanced random teams, or 'progressive' random teams (i.e. completely random). You are then given a password that lets you use those exact setting at some later date (so you can get revenge on the a team that beat you before). Unfortunately it doesn't support league stat tracking but it does have a NHL cities by division (minus new expansion teams). And now the game play. Scrolling is fast, and the controls are smooth. At first, I thought that having to use the option keys would hinder game play, but it doesn't. You can control any player except the goalie, and all NHL rules apply (two line passes and all). The animation is good right down to the player pumping the fist after he scores. My final thoughts on Hockey: I didn't expect much, and got most everything I wanted in a sports game. Note: When I was talking about random teams, I was referring to the stats for each team. (Neat feature) Jim. (Thanks Atari for putting out a great game, keep 'em coming!) ---------- Message 2 Sat Nov 21, 1992 T.KILBRIDE at 11:51 EST I am also very impressed with HOCKEY. I wish BASEBALL HEROES had used the same idea regarding player control. In HOCKEY, you can control any skater, but you don't have to control all of them. ===================================== ###### BOB BRODIE ON DELPHI - CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT ###### Courtesy Delphi - From Capture by Chris Millar ###### Z*Net Edit by Ron Kovacs ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- *Unofficial* Delphi Conference Transcription November 17, 1992 Special Guest *Bob Brodie*, LIVE from Comdex in Las Vegas, Nevada Gordie/Bob?> Bob> It's great to be here live from Comdex. We'd like to keep this CO focused on Comdex, but if you have other questions, we'll try to handle them. I apologize that I haven't been online more lately, but I hope to have more time here in the future. Ken H> Any new product announcements at Comdex? Gordie/Bob?> Atari specific hardware, no. But there are a number of new applications being shown for the first time. Among them, the Kodak PhotoCD. MUSiCOM. A pc board from Compo. DA's Look and DA's Vektor. Ken H> I was wondering about new software for the Falcon030. Gordie/Bob?> Well, Ken, all of the applications are for the Atari Falcon030, as well as some new games, which are being ported to the Atari Falcon030. Oh, by the way, HiSoft also showed their TruePaint program, which looks really nice. Ken H> Can you interface the Kodak PhotoCD with the Falcon030? Gordie/Bob?> Yes, and with the TT030, too. ATARIPOWER7> When will my local dealer have a Falcon for me to see? Gordie/Bob> The shipments into the USA are going to be small through late December. You will see better product availability in late December and January. JJ> Up until today at Comdex... has Atari booth received any national press attention that we may look for locally? Gordie/Bob> The Comdex daily had a front page item on Atari and the Atari Falcon030. Locally? Not yet in all probability. But, we're located in the Sands Expo Center, that doesn't draw the same crowds as the main hall. We're hopeful that as the show continues, the press will be making their way in to see us. We have a great pr firm. Oliver> Bob, there have been rumors here that the TT and MSTE will be discontinued now that the Falcon is nearly here. The TT's already seem to be in short supply. Just a rumor or a fact? Gordie/Bob> I'm not aware of any plans to discontinue the TT at this time. We need a high end machine, and even though we're working on an 040, we have no date of completion or shipping yet. Therefore the TT will continue to serve as the high end machine. Regarding the MSTe, it's fate will be determined by demand. My guess is as the Atari Falcon030 ramps up, demand for the MSTe will drop. Dave> I've read that some NeXT developers have begun writing for the Atari. Are there any programs being shown which make use of the DSP? Gordie/Bob> Yes. And not all of them are from NeXT developers, either. Atari Falcon030 ships with a product called Audio Fun Machine, which uses the DSP for amazing sound effects. There will be Atari speech products that will convert text to speech and speech to text. There is a new voice mail product, called Black Mail. The use of the DSP as a high speed modem is being done by a third party developer, that will do fax as well as modem and voice mail. CMILLAR> Could you give us some specs on the Compo PC Board? Processor? Video support? Price? Anything? Also, could you even drop a HINT as to when Atari might announce a higher end Falcon030 or 040 (or Jaguar) :) Gordie/Bob> On the Compo PC Board... It's really a prototype being shown here. It is a 286 being shown, not the 386 we'd hoped to see. However, it will be very inexpensive and they will have a 486sx out soon. Andreas for AE> Gentlemen, I was wondering if there were any NEW developers demonstrating Atari things.... Gordie/Bob> Oh my stars, yes, yes, yes! There's a wonderful developer called DOA, which stands for Digital Optical Analog. Their product is called Black Mail, and is the voice mail system I mentioned earlier. Another new registered developer, you might have heard of before, called Kodak. :-) Bitstream is showing their font selections in our booth. A new German development firm called Digital Arts is being shown by Goldleaf. Another AMAZING application being shown is a computerized embroidery called the STitchitizer, by Data Stitch. A TT030 is used to control a Toyota high-end embroidery system. The embroidered hats are quite popular. Andreas for AE> What is the general reception of Atari at Comdex this year, in your opinion, and how is interest for the F030 holding out? Gordie/Bob> The people who have seen it are impressed, Andreas. Unfortunately, not enough have seen it yet. However, this is only the second day of the show, and Wednesday and Thursday should be considerably busier in the booth. Sluggo> Are any PC boards really ready now (386SX or otherwise)? Wasn't SACK working on one? _Good_ PC emulation is gonna be a prerequisite for justifying the purchase, says my wife. Lots better than this SuperCharger anyway. Gordie/Bob> Yes, there is a pc board ready now, but it's just a 286. They say they'll have a 486sx very soon. Sack and Compo are the same company to the best of my knowledge. To be even more direct, Compo is exhibiting the product in our booth, and Hans Sack is doing the demo. Try to straighten your wife out. <big grin> BAJOHNSON> Anyone demoing any outboard AD/DA's, to make the Falcon a real CD- quality multi track machine? And, will there be Falcons at NAMM? Gordie/Bob> Yes. The product is from Singular Solutions, and is called the A/D64x Audio Interface. CHUNK> Thankz again Bob for sticking through the mud slinging that has taken place in the last couple months (years?). There is still a small but DIE HARD group up here in the Tundra (Minot ND). There are two STitchitizers in North Dakota BTW. What ever happened to the G.E. service centre idea? My fingers are crossed for the Walden/Falcon team. Gordie/Bob> The GE service center plan is still being worked on. There are still some problems, but I can't comment on them. Sorry. JDBARNES> What products are currently being manufactured? As opposed to existing only in inventory? Gordie/Bob> All products are currently being manufactured in varying quantities, depending on our needs throughout the world. JDBARNES> So the MSTE and the TT are currently in production? Gordie/Bob> JD, all products means all products. ARAGONIA> Hello Bob, as a recent new Atari stock holder, 10k shares, I would like to know the planned market strategy (advert., etc) for the Falcon in the U.S. As well as the closest guess on release of the 040. My market expert people say that if an 040 is not released by end of 1st quarter 93 that it will be time to dump the stock? By the way, they are only going for a buck a share!!! Couldn't help it, stock folks said it was a good short term, 175% by end of FEB 93!!! Gordie/Bob> James, the planned market strategy for the Atari Falcon030 is to pursue the home market. We envision the machine to be a personal integrated media unit. Finally bringing the promise of multimedia to the home at consumer prices. Regarding the 040, yes we are working on one, but I can't comment further on it. Regarding the stock, we work for our shareholders, not Wall Street, and only plan for the long term. Bry> Okay.. Lastly, have actual Advertising plans been made? Is there a strategy you could share with us? Gordie/Bob> Yes, plans have been made, and I'm sorry but I can't discuss them at this time. In part, they depend on who the resellers will be, and we are in discussion with several large retailers now. Andreas for AE> Is there any truth the the extended graphics rumor on the F030? The rumor is that the F030 has been refitted with an extended 1280*960 graphics mode, with an indeterminate # of colors. Gordie/Bob> Andreas, remember when Bob mentioned that he hated rumors? The rumor is not true. Bob isn't aware of any Atari plans to support 1280x960. TIMDXX> Does Multitos support virtual memory? Gordie/Bob> MultiTOS doesn't directly support virtual memory, but there is an inexpensive product you can stick in your AUTO folder. CMILLAR> Will MetaDos be shipped with Falcons? Gordie/Bob> MetaDOS will be shipped with CD-ROM products, and is available with ICD's Link. ###### LYNX GAME REVIEWS ###### Reprinted from the October 1992 Edition of AtariUser ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- This article may NOT be reprinted without the written permission of QUILL PUBLISHING. For further information, see the AtariUser information located at the bottom of this issue. Article Copyright (c)1992, AtariUser Magazine. Reviewed: Steel Talons - BasketBrawl - Kung Fu STEEL TALONS (Lynx) Once again, the Lynx dares to go where other portable systems fear to tread, with an adaptation of Steel Talons, the arcade helicopter simulator. Your goal is to fly a military chopper through twelve missions, blowing away enemy armaments and camps. The disappointing Hard Drivin' convinced me that filled-polygon simulators were beyond the Lynx's abilities. Surprise! John Sanderson and NuFX have learned a lot from their earlier effort, making Steel Talons the cutting edge of Lynx software technology. Only three arcade features are absent: two simultaneous players, fuel limits, and the (hard!) Apache helicoptor simulation option. Everything else is preserved. As a simulator, Steel Talons gives you total control of your helicopter, and instruments show everything from structural integrity to the location of targets. The game can be viewed from behind your chopper, or in the cockpit for double points. An on-board computer tracks and aims for you, though your supply of bullets and missiles is limited. The instruction manual is a little sparse on details, leaving more for players to discover. Missions have different terrains and weather conditions, growing progressively harder, keeping the game challenging. The yoke, pedals, and stick of the original game are naturally simplified, using all of the Lynx's buttons, alone and in combinations. The controls feel properly responsive and reasonable, and learning the scheme takes about ten minutes. Filled polygon graphics are used everywhere, drawing enemies and terrain alike. The screen is updated four times a second; while not incredibly fast, it's sufficient and doesn't hurt the game. Instruments are visible without obscuring the view, and other graphics are done very nicely. There aren't many sounds, but they're used appropriately. The drumming of the chopper blades is mixed with the sounds of gunfire and missiles, with warning klaxons and assorted explosions thrown in. Finally, a slightly garbled voice gives tips, and musical tunes play throughout. Steel Talons on the Lynx is a lot of fun and a surprisingly successful conversion. If realistic air combat action stirs your blood, buy this game and take off! Atari Corp., $34.95. --Robert Jung BASKETBRAWL (Lynx) For some reason, combining basketball with violence is a popular video game trend. Now joining titles like Arch Rivals and Punkshot is Basketbrawl, a Lynx version of the Atari 7800 game. Pick your character from a pool of ten players, then play against another team, trying to score more points for six minutes of "anything goes." Players fight and mutilate opponents for the ball, while spectators join in the fray. Weapons and power-ups appear on the field, giving benefits such as speed or health. Beat five other gangs, and win the championship. A password allows you to skip stages and continue games, and two players can ComLynx for a team-up. When Basketbrawl took away the rules, it also took away the fun. Neither the brawling nor the basketball aspects are done well. Shooting consists solely of jabbing a button, fight moves are limited, and aiming attacks is difficult. Defense is nonexistent; you can't block shots or passes, steal the ball, or resist attacks. The basketball action is disrupted by fights, or seen a different way, fights are interrupted by the need to score points. The pace is frantic and confusing. Some spectators attack players randomly, with another throwing knives at everyone. It's difficult to tell when you have the ball, and you can throw it away accidentally. In the end, there's a lot of frenzied button-pressing but little satisfaction. Basketbrawl takes an idea loaded with potential, then removes the excitement with weak sports and combat action. The only thing to do is to wait for an authentic basketball game; Lynx owners may be eager for sports titles, but they're not desperate. Atari Corp., $39.95. -- Robert Jung KUNG FOOD (Lynx) Your boss at the video-game company wants to put the mutagen Rynoleum into the newest games. Acting on your conscience, you steal the toxin, haul it home, and put it in the freezer. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and now you've been turned green and six inches tall! Worse, your groceries have gained sentience, and are planning to conquer the world! Can you fight your leftovers, cure yourself, and stop this plan cold? That's KUNG FOOD for the Lynx, the video game with the goofiest plot ever devised. It's a generic "beat everything in sight" video game, as you walk left to right through five levels, battling hopping peas and potato men who block your way. You start with three lives, and helpful power-ups are scattered throughout, but you're constantly outnumbered. The graphics on KUNG FOOD are among some of the best on a Lynx. There's great use of color, detail, and animation, and elaborate opening and closing sequences. Game sounds are good and match the action, but the background and theme music are repetitive and grating. Fortunately, OPTION 2 lets you turn the music off. Take away the story, and KUNG FOOD comes across as a very average fighting game. The awkward controls and a few quirks may irritate some players, but fight fans should embrace the silliness and give this a try. Atari Corp., $34.95. --Robert Jung ###### PERUSING THE INTERNET ###### Compiled by Ed Krimen ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- Some messages may have been edited for correct spelling, grammar, and irrelevant material. FALCON SIGHTING IN AUSTRALIA ---------------------------- -=> In comp.sys.atari.st -=> From: email@example.com (James Alan Hall) -=> Date: 18 Nov 92 03:17:28 GMT Attending the Home Computer Show in Melbourne last weekend, it was surprising to see Atari having one of the largest and most prominent stands. On display were two Falcons and a 1040 ST with MIDI setup (singer, lights, tone modules and electric guitar). One Falcon ran a continuous slide show, whilst the other was used for DSP sound demonstration. Atari had sessions where they performed a full song (I've still got the blues for you) with the singer, guitar, tone modules, and lights. After getting a crowd gathered, they then spoke briefly about the ST and its MIDI capabilities and then went on to demonstrate the sound digitizing capabilities of the Falcon. This consisted of a member of the crowd singing into a microphone and the song then being played back with various effects such as delays, etc. The Atari guy then spoke through the microphone demonstrating real time sound effects that can be achieved upon any input sound. It would have been nicer to see this done with music rather than voice. I was told the Falcon will be available here in Australia at the end of January, for between (AUS$) $1000 and $1500 (I HOPE this upper end price is not for the 1 meg, no HD machine). I also asked someone from Dick Smith (the main retail outlet of atari in Australia) and was told the price would be around $1000. At the show, Atari was selling 1040 STE's for $499! $400 less than their normal price. - James. ========================================== FALCON AUDIO DETAILS -------------------- -=> In comp.sys.atari.st.tech -=> From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Howard Chu) -=> Date: 24 Nov 92 02:00:31 GMT The sound hardware in the Falcon can use one of three different clocks - 32MHz, 25 MHz, or external clock input. Additionally, the clock can be divided down by one of about 16 different standard prescale values. This is what's given in the standard sound system calls. However, it seems that the built-in codec is only allowed to be used with the 25 MHz clock. I don't know why that is... It's not a problem for the DSP, though. Regardless, the codec supports more speeds than just 12.5, 25 and 50 khz, those are just the common speeds that were also supported on the STe. As long as this is going to be a topic of discussion, please remember that there are several independent elements of the Falcon audio system that can be interconnected in a variety of ways. You can use all, some, or none of them as you see fit. In fact there are so many different elements available it's difficult to choose where to start, in a system description. You have the codec with stereo 16-bit ADC and DAC, DMA record channels, DMA playback channels, external inputs and outputs, etc. The codec's ADC can be connected to the mic input or to the Yamaha PSG output. (Independent left and right channel control there.) You can independently activate any of the 4 stereo audio tracks, and select any one of those tracks to be monitored by the internal speaker/DAC/stereo headphone jack. You can record or playback in any of 8-bit mono, 8-bit stereo, or 16-bit stereo. At system bootup I believe the ADC gets both channels from the PSG, and everything else is bypassed. For the voicemail software that I wrote (that was running all week at Comdex) on the Falcon, I had the audio matrix connecting the ADC to the DMA record channels, using only a single track. For the next version I'll have the ADC feeding the DSP, do some compression in the DSP, and feed the DSP output to the DMA record channel instead. The Falcon audio system is incredibly flexible, I only need to add two system calls to my existing code to add this functionality. (Oh, and load my compression routine into the DSP, but that's really a separate issue. That's the total impact on my code, tho.) One of the quirks I've noted is that the PSG doesn't have a hardwired connection to the speaker, and the system bell and keyclick are still generated there. If you have sound software that wants to record thru the microphone input, those system sounds disappear (unless you only set one channel to the mic, and leave one channel for the PSG...). ========================================== WHY NO RECOMPILED TOS? ---------------------- -=> In comp.sys.atari.st.tech -=> From: email@example.com (Ken Badertscher) -=> Date: 26 Nov 92 08:58:21 GMT firstname.lastname@example.org (Timothy Wilson) writes: |With all the talk in c.s.a.st about how poor the original compiler for |TOS was... why isn't there a say... 2.09 version or something |(one that runs in all machines), compiled with a good compiler? The main limiting factor is engineer-hours. There's a lot of weird code in the guts of the OS that relies on compiler-specific things. Significant progress has been made, in that by now, all of the AES and Desktop have been rewritten with compiler portability in mind. A big problem for the VDI and BIOS is that every assembler available for the ST uses different syntax for different features. Incidentally, Falcon TOS has a new GEMDOS which was compiled using the Lattice compiler. The resulting code is considerably tighter and faster than the older Alcyon-generated GEMDOS. And, of course, the multitasking kernel will most definitely not be Alcyon-compiled. ========================================== ###### THE Z*NET COMPUTER CALENDAR 1992-1993 ###### Schedule of Shows, Events and Online Conferences ###### ---------------------------------------------------------------- ### December 4-6, 1992 The Computer Graphics Show 1992 at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in New York City. This is a CMC event. For more information call; (203) 852-0500, extension 234. ### December 12, 1992 Lake County Atari Computer Enthusiasts (LCACE) will hold the 1992 LCACE Christmas Party and Swap meet. It will be held in the Auditorium of the Waukegan Public Library on County Street in Waukegan. The LCACE MIDI sig is planning a "jam session", there will be a door prize raffle, and games and other activities for everyone. In addition to the party, there will be a hardware and software Swap meet. No admission and No table charge! Doors open at 1:00pm. For more information information, call Pegasus BBS at 708-623-9570. ### December 15, 1992 Zenobot, GEnie user and writer for AtariUser Magazine and publisher/ Editor of the ST Gamers Digest Online Magazine will be the GEnie ST RT guest for a night of game discussion. Zarth will answer your questions concerning which games to buy for Christmas. This conference begins at 10:00pm EDT. ### December 20, 1992 Eugene, Oregon. Atari SWAP MEET planned at the GATEWAY MALL MEETING PLACE. The hours have not been finalized yet but tentively they will be 10am - 5pm. There may be a small admission fee this year (no more than $1.00) and there may be a table fee. ### December 24-25, 1992 Christmas 1992! Spend time with your loved ones! Hope you bought an Atari product for your favorite person! ### December 31/January 1,1993 New Years Eve, New Years Day! Happy New Year! Make those resolutions stick this time around! ### January 6-9, 1993 MacWorld Expo in San Fransisco California, Sponsored by MacWorld Magazine. Titled San Fransisco '93 at the Moscone Center. ### January 12-14, 1993 Networld '93 in Boston, Massachusettes ### January 13-16, 1993 The Winter Consumer Electronics Show comes to Las Vegas, Nevada. CES is an electronic playground, with everything in the way of high tech toys for kids and adults. Game consoles and hand-held entertainment items like the Atari Lynx are big here, and Atari will attend with a hotel suite showroom. Contact Atari Corp for more information on seeing their display at 408-745-2000. ### January 15-18, 1993 NAMM is the largest conclave of musicians each year. Held in Los Angeles at the Anaheim Convention Center, the variety of sights at the National Association of Music Merchandisers is wilder than at Disneyland, just next door. Atari was the first computer manufacturer to ever display at NAMM in 1987, and has become a standard at the shows. A trade show for music stores, distributors, and professionals of every strata, entertainers are seen everywhere at NAMM. Contact James Grunke at Atari Corp for more information at 408-745-2000. ### February 2-4, 1993 ComNet '93 in Washington, DC. ### March 1993 CeBIT, the world's largest computer show with 5,000 exhibitors in 20 halls, is held annually in Hannover, Germany. Atari traditionally struts its newest wares there, usually before it's seen in the USA or anywhere else. In '93, the Atari 040 machines should be premiering, and this is the likely venue. Third party developers also use this show to introduce new hardware and software, so expect a wave of news from CeBIT every year. Atari Corp and the IAAD coordinate cross-oceanic contacts to promote worldwide marketing of Atari products, and this show is an annual touchstone of that effort. Contact Bill Rehbock at Atari Corp for information at 408-745-2000. ### March 13-14, 1993 The Sacramento Atari Computer Exposition is to be sponsored by the Sacramento Atari ST Users Group (SST) at the Towe Ford Museum in Sacramento, California. This show replaces the earlier scheduled, then cancelled Northern California Atari Fest for the Bay Area, to have been held in December 1992. A major two day effort, the SAC show is being held in the special events area of the Towe Ford Museum, home of the worlds most complete antique Ford automobile collection. As an added bonus, admission to the museum is free when you attend the Expo. The museum is located at the intersection of Interstates 5 and 80, just 15 minutes from the Sacramento Metropolitan Airport. Contact Nick Langdon (Vendor Coordinator) C/O SST, P.O. Box 214892, Sacramento, CA 95821- 0892, phone 916-723-6425, GEnie: M.WARNER8, ST-Keep BBS (SST) 916-729- 2968. ### March 21-24, 1993 Interop Spring '93 in Washington DC. ### August 3-6, 1993 MacWorld Expo at the Boston World Trade Center, Bayside Exposition Center and sponsored by MacWorld Magazine. This event is titled Boston '93. ### September 18-19, 1993 The Glendale Show returns with the Southern California Atari Computer Faire, V.7.0, in suburban Los Angeles, California. This has been the year's largest domestic Atari event, year after year. Contact John King Tarpinian at the user group HACKS at 818-246-7286 for information. ### September 20-22, 1993 The third MacWorld Expo, titled Canada '93 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, sponsored by MacWorld Magazine. ### September 21-23, 1993 Unix Expo '93 in New York City, New York. If you have an event you would like to include on the Z*Net Calender, please send email vai GEnie to Z-NET, CompuServe 75300,1642, or via FNET to node 593 or AtariNet node 51:1/13.0 ###### MARKETING STRATEGY ###### By Andreas Barbiero ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- Everyone has heard about the fantastic new computer being introduced by Atari and the new, more aggressive, business ethic being enacted in marketing this product. But while the Falcon030 is not the end-all of computers, a series of loosely connected circumstances are emerging which could very well place Atari's products on more shelves than ever before. Many Atari users know a great deal about one facet or another of Atari computers but may have found that this knowledge does not equate perfectly to the MS-DOS world of clones. Being able to set up a harddrive on a ST and run a powerful word processor is a beast of a distinctly different temperment when done on an IBM clone. Will your ST knowledge ever bear fruit outside your home? Atari has begun a marketing strategy directed at two different groups. One group is the present Atari user who is interested in increasing his productivity with the existing software he already knows, with a machine that will be able to expand beyond his current scope of computing and lead him into areas that other platforms will have to follow later on. Many complaints have been made about the machine as to its keyboard, case, resolution, power, and so forth. The Falcon is not a Cray supercomputer, but it is an incredibly versatile machine for an unbeatable price. And its features balance what the old-line Atari users want with the other main segment of the Falcon's future market. The Falcon is the first real step towards a computer as an appliance. People buy expensive electronics, expecting them to work out of the box with a limited amount of user preparation. Videocameras are a good example. 25 years ago, TV cameras were a big budget item, never intended for the non-professional user, and so home movies on a convienient, re-recordable cassette had to wait till the technology could be simplified to the point where miniaturization could take all the maintainance out of the process and allow a person to carry one in a single hand, point and shoot. Technology had increased to where the products sophisication had developed to where it was self supporting, with only a minimum of user effort. Technology had removed itself as an impediment to creativity. People like that. Home computers have always been for the hobbyist. Only after the need for doing business at home did the market expand to embrace millions of people. Computer users talk about how much of the market PCs have, and how much other computers have. Atari has a very small percentage of the market in comparison to the clones. But we are talking about shares in the EXISTING computer market. How many people have avoided buying computers? Despite their sophistication, the average PCs are still not plug and play devices! On the other extreme, home game systems are the epitome of ease.... plug in the cartridge and away you go! These systems have penetrated the average home FAR more than computers, and have had little affect if any to the purchase of actual computers.The Falcon will not be a simplistic, or as single purposed, but it is aimed at this market. With the correct software, that one piece, grey plastic box will be able to sit on a audio and video stereo shelves, or in a home office and replace several thousand dollars worth of one-purpose hardware. This is where your Atari knowledge comes in. After we get these things into their homes something almost magical happens.... they want to know more. So they buy more software.... ....and buy more magazines, ....and buy more books, ....and need people to show them what to do when they can't do it for themselves. Now the Falcon030 can't change the American market by itself, but it will get the foot in the door, and leave those who are computer wary wide open to the idea of buying even larger machines in the future. Just as Apple made its market share in schools when it set up an entire generation of computer users which were weaned on their computers, Atari can make its marketplace by filling in the A/V hobbists dream tool, and filling in the gap between the console game units and the UNIX workstations, leaving the PC with its AUTOEXEC.BAT files in the dust, and taking those who know Atari with them. # # # **--DELPHI SIGN-UP--** **--GENIE SIGN-UP--** ============================|============================ To sign up for DELPHI call | To sign up for GENIE call (with modem) 800-695-4002. | (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection hit return | Upon connection type HHH once or twice. At Password: | and hit return. Wait for type ZNET and hit <return>. | the U#= prompt and type in | the following: XTX99436, | GEnie and hit return. ============================|============================ **--COMPUSERVE SIGN-UP--** To sign up for CompuServe service call (with phone) (800) 848-8199. Ask for operator #198. You will then be sent a $15.00 free membership kit. ========================================================= **--ATARINET INFORMATION--** If you'd like further information or would like to join AtariNet-please contact one of the following via AtariNet or Fido: Bill Scull Fido 1:363/112 AtariNet 51:1/0, Dean Lodzinski Fido 1:107/633 AtariNet 51:4/0, Terry May Fido 1:209/745 AtariNet 51:2/0, Tony Castorino Fido 1:102/1102 AtariNet 51:3/0, Don Liscombe AtariNet 51:5/0, Daron Brewood Fido 2:255/402 AtariNet 51:6/0. You can also call the Z*Net News Service at (908) 968-8148 for more info. ======================================================================== Reprints from the GEnie ST Roundtable are Copyright (c)1992, Atari Corporation and the GEnie ST RT. Reprints from CompuServe's AtariArts, AtariPro, AtariVen, or Aportfolio Forums are Copyright (c)1992, CIS. ======================================================================== Reprints from AtariUser Magazine are Copyright(c)1992, Quill Publishing. You can subscribe and read ALL of the informative articles each and every month by contacting Quill at (818) 246-6277. For $15.00 you will receive 12 issues. Send your payment to AtariUser Magazine, 249 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 332, Glendale, California, USA, 91203. Foreign delivery is $30.00 in US funds. ======================================================================== Atari is a registered trademark of Atari Corporation. Atari Falcon030, TOS, MultiTOS, NewDesk and BLiTTER, are trademarks of Atari Corporation. 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