Z*Net: 2-Jan-93 #9301From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/03/93-04:32:54 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: Z*Net: 2-Jan-93 #9301 Date: Sun Jan 3 16:32:54 1993 ####################################################################### ####################################################################### ##########(((((((((( ##########((( ##(( ##((((((( ##(((((((( ########## #################(( ####(( ####(((( #(( ##(( ##########(( ############# ##############(( #####(((((( ##(( (( (( ##((((( #######(( ############# ###########(( ##########(( ####(( #(((( ##(( ##########(( ############# ##########(((((((((( ##########(( ##((( ##((((((( #####(( ############# ####################################################################### ####################################################################### Z*NET: ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE Copyright (c)1993, Syndicate Publishing Volume 8, Number 1 Issue #485 January 2, 1993 File:93-01 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Publisher/Editor..........................................Ron Kovacs Assistant Editor...........................................Ed Krimen Writer............................................Michael R. Burkley Z*Net News International Gateway..........................Jon Clarke Z*Net News Service.........................................John Nagy ----------------------------------------------------------------------- GEnie..............Z-NET CompuServe....75300,1642 Delphi.........ZNET Internet...status.gen.nz America Online..ZNET1991 AtariNet..51:1/13.0 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- CONTENTS # The Editors Desk...........................Ron Kovacs # GEnie Top 100 Downloads of 1992............Ron Kovacs # Blackmail For Falcon................................. # CompuServe Expands To Hong Kong...................... # Optical Publishing Association....................... # Reader Commentary......................Richard Sitbon # CMC Expands.............................Press Release # Z*Net Calender....................................... # AtariUser Reviews.................................... ###### THE EDITORS DESK ###### By Ron Kovacs ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- Happy New Year! Before we get into this special vacation edition of Z*Net, here is Jon Clarke's Xmas/New Year Greeting. Seasons Greetings from the Gateway .-~~~-, Ron (The Boss) Kovacs ( ) Z*NET International ( ) -^x^- ( ) /~ ~\ ( ) John Nagy | | ( ) The other From the | | ( ) BOSS Z*NET INTERNATIONAL CREW | __ _, (~~~~-( ) HAPPY 1993 /\/\ (. ).) `_'_', ( ) SEASONS GREETINGS C __) (.( .)-( ) | /~~~ \ (_ ( ) / \ ~====' /_____/` D) /`-_ `---' \ | .__|~-/^\-~|_/_ |^^^^^^^|| | __. ||/.\ | |OooooO \ ---. \ | | \ _ _- ,`_'_' .~\ \|__ __|-____ / ) < -(. ).) > \ ( .\ (. ) \(_/ ) ~- _) \_- ooo @ (_) @ \(_//. / /_C (-.____) /((O)/ \ ._/\~_. / |_\ / / /\\\\`-----'' _|>o< |__ | \ooooO ( \ \\ \\___/ \ `_'_', / \ \__-| \ `)\\-^\\ ^--. /_(.(.)- _\ \ \ ) |-`--.`--=\-\ /-//_ ' ( c D\ \_\_) |-___/ / \ V /.~ \/\\\ (@)___/ ~| / | / | |. /`\\_/\/ / / / | ( C`-'` / | \/ (/ / /_________- \ `C__-~ | / (/ / | | | \__________| \ (/ The Editor Z*NET PACIFIC Z*NET South Ed Krimen Jon Clarke Chris Thorpe Thanks Jon! This is our first edition of the new year and we start it off by having the ENTIRE staff on vacation. It turns out that I am the ONLY person working during this holiday. :-) Missing from this issue are: The Z*Net Newswire, The Unabashed Atariophile and the Perusing GEnie column. They will be back next week. OTHER NEWS If you are up to date on community news, you should know by now that there are a number of comments and allocations being made against the mail order company, ABCO. This is the same company that advertises in ST Report Online Magazine each week. In our last few editions of the 1992, we told you about some of the things taking place and also published an article written by one of their unhappy customers. In the last three weeks, more people are surfacing with problems, specific to ABCO Computer. In our own investigation, if you want to call it that, we have validated the Better Business Bureau's label of unsatisfied rating, and spoke breifly with Ralph Mariano, the owner. He commented, "ABCO will satisfy all of it's customers.", Mariano went on to state that he had over 2800 customers. Mariano has not commented publically about the situation nor of the lawsuit filed by one of his unhappy customers. For futher information about ABCO, read the next edition of Atari Explorer Online magazine, due January 2, 1993. ###### TOP 100 DOWNLOADED FILES OF 1992 ON GENIE (ST RT) ###### Compiled by Ron Kovacs ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- F No. Filename Rank Uploader Date Bytes Acc Lib ----- ------------- ---- ------------ -------- ------- ---- --- 22445 PINHED21.ARC 1 C.F.JOHNSON 920126 12544 1090 2 25383 DUSNEWS1.ASC 2 Z-NET 920821 5248 1022 25 24702 LZH201L.LZH 3 ST.REPORT 920701 71296 976 40 24304 AEO_9203.LZH 4 Z-NET 920530 189696 869 38 25262 FALCONCO.LZH 5 JEFF.W 920813 11136 840 13 25522 STZIP200.LZH 6 M.FARMER2 920831 148992 834 40 24310 FONTGDOS.LZH 7 BOB-BRODIE 920531 462848 816 20 22547 ATARIHD5.LZH 8 B.REHBOCK 920201 78720 781 2 22969 LZH201J.LZH (LH5) 9 D.HELMS 920301 67328 769 2 23823 LZH201K.LZH 10 JEFF.W 920422 29696 754 40 26740 OXYDCOLR.LZH 11 DARLAH 921129 652160 728 8 24488 RATES.NEW 12 DARLAH 920612 7552 681 14 26515 VIEW132D.LZH 13 C.HERBORTH 921113 22272 656 28 24697 FALPRVEW.TXT 14 AD-VANTAGE 920630 6144 656 14 26549 MIDIBATL.LZH 15 ATARI-OZ 921116 488704 655 8 25535 POWERDOS.TXT 16 DRAGONWARE 920901 6656 643 22 25538 POWERDOS.LZH 17 DRAGONWARE 920901 27520 611 22 22253 ZNET9202.ARC 18 Z-NET 920111 32640 608 25 24276 W9UPGRAD.LZH 19 CODEHEAD 920529 81280 602 2 22135 ZNET9201.ARC 20 Z-NET 920103 32896 587 25 23758 ZNET9216.LZH 21 Z-NET 920417 46848 585 25 22719 ZNET9207.ARC 22 Z-NET 920215 54912 582 25 22417 ZNET9204.ARC 23 Z-NET 920125 44928 581 25 26877 PHNXDEMO.LZH 24 LEXICOR2 921211 211072 578 39 24521 AEO_9204.LZH 25 Z-NET 920614 48256 575 38 22335 ZNET9203.ARC 26 Z-NET 920118 35072 570 25 26558 TRAMIEL.LZH 27 ST.LOU 921117 8576 560 13 22545 ZNET9205.ARC 28 Z-NET 920201 40320 558 25 23342 TOOL19.LZH 29 D.FARRINGTO1 920321 97536 549 2 25030 AEO_9209.LZH 30 Z-NET 920725 43008 545 38 23212 ZNET9211.LZH 31 Z-NET 920314 38784 543 25 24383 FONTGDOS.TXT 32 R.WILSON36 920605 8192 531 20 22635 ZNET9206.ARC 33 Z-NET 920208 39936 530 25 22965 ZNET9209.ARC 34 Z-NET 920229 42368 524 25 25619 AEO_9213.LZH 35 Z-NET 920906 52224 523 38 25487 AEO_9212.LZH 36 Z-NET 920830 50176 519 25 23127 GOGODNCR.LZH 37 T.MAYFIELD1 920310 46336 512 12 23441 ZNET9213.LZH 38 Z-NET 920327 21632 511 25 23666 ZNET9215.LZH 39 Z-NET 920411 42368 509 25 26831 PCHROME3.LZH 40 D.HELMS 921206 44800 509 28 23554 ZNET9214.LZH 41 Z-NET 920403 28544 507 25 26621 ZNET9219.LZH 42 Z-NET 921122 48000 507 25 22837 ZNET9208.ARC 43 Z-NET 920223 56704 507 25 25224 AEO_9211.LZH 44 Z-NET 920808 43264 503 38 23128 HOTTOUCH.LZH 45 T.MAYFIELD1 920310 22656 503 12 25391 HLNUDE.LZH 46 J.SUPPLE 920822 28160 498 12 26598 STR846.LZH 47 ST.REPORT 921120 67584 496 19 23729 MANYGOGO.LZH 48 V.PATRICELL1 920415 43904 494 12 25113 AA_9207.TXT 49 AD-VANTAGE 920801 5248 493 14 26186 AEO_1617.LZH 50 Z-NET 921017 71680 492 38 25131 AEO_9210.LZH 51 Z-NET 920802 43520 490 38 25827 AEO_9214.LZH 52 Z-NET 920920 54016 488 38 26712 ZNET9220.LZH 53 Z-NET 921128 43776 487 25 23066 ZNET9210.ARC 54 Z-NET 920307 42112 485 25 25855 BCS_RTC.ARC 55 DARLAH 920924 6528 481 13 25890 AEO_9215.LZH 56 Z-NET 920926 37888 480 38 23345 ZNET9212.LZH 57 Z-NET 920321 31488 479 25 25609 TROI.ARC 58 KEBAUM 920905 31744 479 12 24750 SPX18.LZH 59 GRMEYER 920704 7040 476 28 22713 STR807.LZH 60 ST.REPORT 920214 60800 476 19 24382 STR823.LZH 61 ST.REPORT 920605 49792 474 19 24848 AEO_9207.LZH 62 Z-NET 920711 33920 472 38 26161 STR841.LZH 63 ST.REPORT 921016 49664 471 19 22232 PRATT.ARC 64 JEFF.W 920109 4608 469 13 26247 STR842.LZH 65 ST.REPORT 921023 54144 469 19 22206 DISKDIAG.ARC 66 D.BECKEMEYER 920107 13440 468 2 26455 ZNET9217.LZH 67 Z-NET 921107 73856 467 25 22585 FAZE.LZH (LH5) 68 R.GLOVER3 920204 8192 465 2 24292 POOLFX92.LZH 69 V.PATRICELL1 920530 16128 463 2 24947 AEO_9208.LZH 70 Z-NET 920718 49280 461 38 25472 STR835.LZH 71 ST.REPORT 920828 49280 461 19 23331 STR812.LZH 72 ST.REPORT 920320 61696 457 19 24017 STR819.LZH 73 ST.REPORT 920508 49664 456 19 26743 OXYDMONO.LZH 74 DARLAH 921129 652800 455 8 25381 STR834.LZH 75 ST.REPORT 920821 76928 455 19 26556 GVIEW201.LZH 76 B.SCHULZE1 921117 378368 454 28 26830 AEO_SE1.LZH 77 AEO.MAG 921206 31104 454 38 22326 STR803.LZH 78 ST.REPORT 920117 61056 454 19 26345 STR843.LZH 79 ST.REPORT 921030 60288 453 19 27001 ZNET9223.LZH 80 Z-NET 921219 58624 451 25 25541 PMONITOR.LZH 81 DRAGONWARE 920901 3840 451 22 22480 DS_F_015.LZH 82 T.HARTWICK 920128 20352 450 12 23435 WARP_9.TXT 83 J.EIDSVOOG1 920327 5632 450 14 22328 FUJIMAUS.LZH 84 C.WALTERS1 920117 15872 450 2 24594 MACREAD.ARC 85 T.KROFTA 920623 19840 449 2 23842 STR817.LZH 86 ST.REPORT 920424 52608 448 19 22782 STR808.LZH 87 ST.REPORT 920221 51712 448 19 26514 STR845.LZH 88 ST.REPORT 921113 56960 446 19 23049 STR810.LZH 89 ST.REPORT 920306 66816 440 19 26523 ZNET9218.LZH 90 Z-NET 921114 45696 439 25 23194 STR811.LZH 91 ST.REPORT 920313 57728 439 19 25966 STR840.LZH 92 ST.REPORT 921002 65408 437 19 25048 TOADNEWS.LZH 93 TOAD-SERV. 920726 7424 435 14 26809 BRODIE3.ARC 94 ST.LOU 921205 12672 435 13 24088 STR820.LZH 95 ST.REPORT 920515 67712 435 19 24827 STR828.LZH 96 ST-REPORT 920710 82944 434 19 23034 KITTY2.LZH 97 T.HARTWICK 920305 36224 433 12 25664 FALC_PT2.ARC 98 JEFF.W 920910 16128 433 13 22242 STR802.LZH 99 ST.REPORT 920110 41344 433 19 22725 BOINKSAV.LZH 100 R.GLOVER3 920215 25344 432 2 ###### BLACKMAIL FOR FALCON ###### New Product Coming Soon ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- Note: I obtained the following information from Digital-Optical-Analog, Inc regarding BlackMail for the Atari Falcon030. I have obtained permission to repost this information on GEnie, but PLEASE note the following... * This is not a product announcement. BlackMail hardware, software, and FCC approval are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 1993. * For futher information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Please do not remove this notice from the text. Gordon R. Meyer (GRMEYER) ST RT Librarian ======== >8 cut here =========== BlackMail BlackMail allows the design of an automated single or multi-user voice mail system which can disperse prerecorded information to a caller, store the caller's message, and forward it upon request. Callers access BlackMail using their touch tone telephone to navigate the system's hierarchical voice mail menus, leaving or retrieving messages as determined by the user. BlackMail provides a powerful caller-specific telephone answering system capable of selectively forwarding audio messages to another phone, recording them for later retrieval, or archiving messages for future reference. BlackMail can also function as an information clearinghouse able to deliver specific product or other information to customers twenty-four hours a day. BlackMail may be operated as a stand-alone application or as a background task in conjunction with multitasking operating systems. The system features flexibility... - major functions are user configurable - user may update many functions remotely - full archiving of messages - selective message forwarding - automatic paging - time stamping of messages - adjustble message compression (1.5:1 - 6:1) - hardware module can be utilized as a generic telephone interface for software and hardware developers Theory of Operation The BlackMail hardware module provides a software-controllable connection to the user's telephone network. The module is designed to detect the presence of an incoming call, notify the BlackMail software core, and then take the telephone line off-hook. Once off-hook, the BlackMail hardware translates incoming touch tones (DTMF) and transmits their equivalents through the module's serial port to the BlackMail software. Using touch tones, callers may request specific information previously uploaded by the system user, leave audio messages for specific users, as applicable, and retrieve messages which have been left for them. All of these functions are controlled by the caller using the appropriate numbers on their touch tone keypads. Audio information is transferred between the telephone line and the host computer via connections in BlackMail's hardware module. Full duplex audio information is transferred between the BlackMail hardware and the host system's audio input/output jacks via a simple cable. The BlackMail software handles automatic audio time stamping of incoming messages, message forwarding, message archiving, automatic paging, and provides an easy-to-use graphical interface for BlackMail system setup and message recording. BlackMail Technical Details Audio sampling: 8-bit mu-law quantization Audio sampling frequency: 8KHz Maximum Compression Ratios: 6:1 (platform dependent) Telephone Interface Bandpass: 320-3700 Hz Audio Jacks on the Module: Standard RCA Phono Weight: 300 grams (0.66 lb) Dimensions Height: 2.9 cm (1.125 in.) Width: 7.0 cm (2.75 in.) Length: 12.1 cm (4.75 in.) Telephone Interface Bandpass: 320-3700 Hz Telephone Interface Overvoltage Protection: 1500V Power Supply U.S.: External UL approved power supply, AC-DC converter Input: 120 V AC, 60Hz output: 9V DC, 1.5A Europe: External VDE approved power supply, AC-DC converter Input: 230 AC, 50 Hz Output: 9V DC, 1.5A Operating Environment: 0 to 40 degress C (32-105 degrees F) Enclosure: Plastic exterior with non-skid rubber feet Warranty: 6 month limited warranty on parts and labor Minimum Hardware Requirements: Atari Falcon030 with 30 MB HD NeXT workstation with 105 MB HD Apple Macintosh with 40 MB HD and integrated audio I/O All product or brandnames are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Digital-Optical-Analog, Inc. reserves the right to change its product specifications without notice as we continue to make product modifications and improvements. BlackMail is to be submitted for requisite FCC approval before the end of 1992. Final FCC approval is required before sale or distribution of this product. ###### COMPUSERVE EXPANDS NETWORK PRESENCE TO HONG KONG ###### Press Release ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 21, 1992 -- CompuServe Incorporated has extended high-quality network access to the Pacific Rim with the installation of a local access point in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong node will be utilized by corporate customers of CompuServe's value-added network services and members of the company's online information service. The newly-installed point of presence, CompuServe's first in the Pacific Rim, will support asynchronous dial access up to 9,600 bits per second, and X.25 service for CompuServe network customers. "Installation of the node in Hong Kong complements our goal of providing easy, economical access for our customers from a variety of locations worldwide," said Greg Moore, CompuServe director of network marketing. CompuServe has installed local access points in 16 major cities in Europe, Asia and Canada. Overall, the CompuServe network is accessible from more than 90 countries via CompuServe-installed points-of-presence or gateway networks. CompuServe Incorporated provides frame relay, wide and local area networking services, business information services and software to major corporations and government agencies worldwide. CompuServe also provides databases and services to meet both business and personal interests to more than 1.1 million personal computer owners worldwide through the CompuServe Information Service. CompuServe is an H&R Block company. ###### OPTICAL PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION ###### Membership Application/Information ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- OPA: Linking markets and technology for a new era of publishing Your new career in optical publishing Whether you know it now or not, your involvement in CDROM - and its myriad implications - is changing your job description and your career path. The OPA will help provide the basic background you need to apply new media to your problem. From SGML to new distribution channels, from writing the business plan to data conversion, OPA gives you the data you need to be successful in your project and product development. Can you keep up on your own? The Optical Publishing Association is the only professional and trade association dedicated to keeping its members informed about all the factors that constitute the emerging optical and digital publishing industry. CDROM and multimedia integrate elements of the three most influential businesses in the communication economy: publishing, computing and entertainment. OPA's primary goal is to provide a forum where these disparate interests come together to form the heart of a dynamic new industry. With news and developments coming from many directions, it is exceedingly difficult for any individual to follow all the events that will impact the ultimate success of your business. OPA keeps tabs on the industry and maintains a number of programs to keep its membership informed and involved, and ready to meet the challenges of new media. Publishing: communicating complex ideas at a distance At its heart, the publishing enterprise is the business of recording ideas for access by many potential customers. Multimedia and database publishing on CDROM combines the power of computing with traditional publishing models and techniques from a variety of communications and entertainment activities to deliver a vast spectrum of information: from basic text to motion video to new categories that integrate data in fascinating new ways. Corporate publishers OPA keeps you current on techniques and technology. If your job is capturing and delivering corporate documents to employees, or technical documentation to customers; or if your application for new media is sales support, training, or other innovative uses, OPA can give you the background to build cost-effective alternatives to your existing programs, and can even show you how to make new revenues from your information inventories. Commercial publishers OPA wants to help you create successful new products, for both existing customers and new markets. Effective business planning, marketing, team-building, the changing distribution landscape and other issues are equally as important as the technology and new delivery platforms. OPA programs are intended to help you evaluate new opportunities, and provide solid background on the technical choices that can turn those opportunities to profits. Programs - "Digital Publishing Business," the membership newsletter which presents new publishing technology in the context of successful business enterprise. "DPB" integrates the news of the many diverse players in an evolving enterprise. "Linking markets and technology in a new era of publishing." - OPA publishes and re-sells publications relevant to the broad spectrum of digital production and marketing. Members receive some free, like the semi-annual industry Executive Summary Report, and discounts on others. - OPA Executive Director Rich Bowers is a sysop on CompuServe's CDROM Forum, providing up-to-the-minute expert answers to both developer and consumer questions. A number of OPA lists and publications are also available for down-loading, some exclusively for OPA members. - The Technical Forum is OPA's interface to the standards development process. OPA has been directly responsible for two standards that relate directly to CDROM production and interface design. - OPA will produce a number of seminars during the year, with focuses on business issues, product design, and technical development. Members get discounts on attendance. - Special interest groups will emerge from the interests of the membership, with focuses on both corporate and commercial publishing issues. - OPA members will receive periodic special offers and discounts on relevant products and services. Join OPA Today! In a rapidly changing industry, you have to know not only the latest news, but also how that news will impact your plans or current projects. Join with professionals who share similar challenges, and support the OPA in its efforts to provide the information you need! As an individual or corporate sponsor, your dues return real value throughout the year. OPA member benefits OPA promotes and encourages the development of optical publishing; educates the public about the benefits and applications of optical publishing technology; and serves as a conduit for the exchange of information, opinions and analysis within the optical publishing industry. To accomplish these goals, the OPA offers the following services to its members: Professional members Professional membership is open to any individual with interests in optical publishing technology, production and/or market development - One year subscription to "Digital Publishing Business," the OPA's newsletter dedicated to the business of CDROM and new media publishing - A membership package including: - A Nautilus intro CDROM - A starter kit for CompuServe (to access the CDROM Forum and other services) - A $50 discount coupon for a disc from One-Off CD Shops Inc. - Semi-annual "Executive Summary" of the commercial and corporate CDROM publishing enterprise - Participation in OPA Special Interest Groups - A membership certificate - Discounts for OPA and other related publications - Discounts for OPA business and product development seminars - Discounted ads in the DPB "Classified Index" - Other discounts and special offers for OPA members to be offered from time to time Corporate Sponsors Corporate sponsorship/membership is open to any organization actively involved, or planning to be actively involved, in publishing using optical media, distribution or sales, and/or hardware or software technology development for CDROM/multimedia products. - Call for benefits and opportunities Planned OPA Programs OPA plans to offer the following activities, based on interest and volunteer participation. - Seminar series - Organization of local/regional chapters - Market research programs for specific market segments and technologies - Special newsletters for OPA SIGS Save $40 Join OPA NOW and receive a free copy of: The CDROM Publishing Enterprise Executive Summary Report: 1992 Mid-Year - What is the installed base of CDROM drives, and how fast are they selling? - What is the penetration of CDROM in corporate publishing? - What are the CDROM platform alternatives and how do they impact the business? - How can you project sales for 1993 and beyond? - What products and issues impact your planning? - How can you evaluate market studies and reports? - What are the essential issues for publishers? - How is the distribution landscape changing? The answers to these questions and more appear in this first semi-annual report compiled by the Optical Publishing Association. If your job and/ or your company or project depend on solid information about publishing on new media, you need this report. This publication is priced at $40, but you get it FREE with your membership in OPA. Complete the application and return to OPA. Don't get caught short, join OPA today! Become a member of the OPA today! Membership dues schedule (please check one) Professional $85 per year ($125 outside N. America) 100+ employees $1000 per year Less than 100 emps $ 400 per year Check enclosed (US funds from US bank required) Charge to credit card Charge card used (circle one) American Express Visa MasterCard Charge to Card #: Exp. date: --------------------------------------------------------------- Signature: Today's date: --------------------------------------------------------------- Name: Phone: ( ) --------------------------------------------------------------- Title: Fax : ( ) --------------------------------------------------------------- Company: --------------------------------------------------------------- Address: --------------------------------------------------------------- City: St: Zip: Country: --------------------------------------------------------------- Please note any special areas of interest in which you wish to participate: Education Corporate tech-doc Legal markets Corporate training Medical markets Corporate sales support Entertainment Business markets Other Your primary CDROM host is: Intel-based Macintosh UNIX CD-I Other Return to: OPA Membership PO Box 21268 Columbus OH 43221 USA or call 614/442-8805, 614/442-8815 (fax). For more information, email your address to Rich Bowers, 71700,3404 ###### READER COMMENTARY ###### By Richard Sitbon ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- I'm not a professional writer and I don't even write any "letters to the editor." But I have been a devoted Atari ST fan since 1985 and would like to see others find the value in the computers such as I have. It is for that reason I've taken the time write about the new ATARI INTERNATIONAL CATALOG (which is in book format) and share some of my perceptions. First let me introduce myself. I own a business consultation and educational resource company here in Kenai Alaska. I am also a full- time Correctional Officer at a State Prison. Both aspects of my working life require that I use a computer on a daily basis. My computer of choice has been the Mega STe and 1040STe because I can easily teach others to do my work. :-) In keeping up with the Atari computer market via BBSs and magazines I've often heard how disappointed users have been with the marketing skills of ATARI. My perception of Atari computers has been and will continue to be that, the users like me and you, sell these computers. It's obvious there are not enough dealers to make an impact needed to keep this company alive - so it must be the songs of praise from end users and user groups that get people to buy the computer. In most cases to buy an Atari computer you have to know an Atari user to find a mail order house or local store. What does that have to do with my review of the Catalog? Since we don't have many dealers and since the end user is the best salesperson for Atari I thought this Catalog would be a great asset to use when we introduce our computers to potential customers. This Catalog is packed with programs descriptions, prices, distributor addresses and the configurations required for the programs. It does not contain all the programs and most of them seem non-USA available. Certainly useful to some degree but yet it lacks a sales punch that Atari could use in any literature it produces. For example, the Catalog has a block indicating that it is produced on an Atari TT030 and using Atari programs/printer etc... a great promotional mark. But that's on the back inside cover. Nowhere in the book could I find descriptions of the Atari computers or TOS versions! No list of dealers, publications or even a small note proclaiming the Catalog as proof Atari produces fine useful computers with excellent programs. As soon as you open it up you're looking at the first listings (complete with screen shots I might add) but not even an introduction to the reader from Atari the company. There are blank pages marked "NOTES" which I find a total waste of potential advertising space. If I worked for Atari I'd ask the boss why we put out a Catalog that didn't take advantage of all the blank "NOTES" space to promote the company that makes the computers that drive programs? Why not design the Catalog with non-users in mind so that if one of our salespeople (read: end user) wanted to pass it on to others they would know what the computers look like, act like and where they could find authorized dealers. I suppose he would say "Hey, this is an international Catalog we can't go listing every dealer in the world!" Then I'd say "Hey boss. We don't have that many dealers and that's the problem. We can and should fit all the dealers in the book complete with pictures of our computers. If we can grow by using these methods maybe next year we'll need Catalogs for various continents. As it is now we can and should help every reader of this Catalog find, buy and use the Atari computer!" I'd also suggest the "boss" write a brief introduction for the book to give the readers an impression of our company as not too big to reach out and share our great products. If the executives at Atari want that advice I'm offering it free. Another problem with the Catalog I have is the way Atari ships them out. I got mine by mail and it was packed in styrofoam peanuts within a larger cardboard box. If I owned Atari I'd want to know who's idea it was to waste so much money? These Catalogs could have been shipped cheaper and just as well in a blister pack envelope. I want Atari to make profits! Aside from being a limited reference for programs, I find this Catalog an utter waste of a potentially good introduction to the non-Atari user. As I've said before; end users are the Atari sales team that sell the most computers for Atari. We need all the materials we can get our hands on to make our job a little easier. The Catalog costs $12.00 plus $5.00 for shipping. I don't mind paying the $17.00 to get this but I was very disappointed that it's not the "sales tool" I hoped it would be. (c) Richard Sitbon, PDI Enterprises PO Box 677 Kenai Alaska 99611-0677 The author authorizes the reproduction of this text only if used in full and that the author be identified as such. You can contact me on GEnie: R.SITBON ###### CMC EXPANDS ###### Press Release ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- January 1, 1993 CMC EXPANDS - OPENING ITS DOORS TO ALL INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS WORLD-WIDE The Computer Musician Coalition (CMC), an international, artist-driven collaboration, dedicated to the success of electronic musicians world- wide, announces the formation of a new division, the Creative Musicians Coalition (CMC), dedicated to the success of all independent musicians including the non-electronic bread. CMC's success in the electronic arena has proved that there is a waiting, desiring, and enthusiastic audience for new music world-wide. CMC, because of its successes, is now able and capable to expand its offerings to include both electronic and non-electronic music. Therefore, effective immediately, CMC will accept original music submissions from all independent musicians including music solely acoustic, solely electronic, electronic/acoustic mixes, vocals, meditation, and the spoken word. CMC's magazine AFTERTOUCH - New Music Discoveries, also originally electronic music based, will broaden to include new music from independent artists in both arenas. Additionally, all CMC memberships including: Connoisseur, Artist, Dealer, Radio Station, and Vendor will expand to accommodate both categories. Ron Wallace, president of CMC, states, "I am amazed at the enormous acceptance by the general public for new music. It has always been my dream for the success of the independent musician, and I feel now the window of opportunity is wide open. It's time for all independent musicians to unite and get out of their basements for the world to enjoy. I offer each of them a dream-come-true and encourage their support in all CMC endeavors." For more information about CMC memberships, music submission procedures, and a free copy of AFTERTOUCH - New Music Discoveries write or call: Ron Wallace Creative Musicians Coalition Computer Musician Coalition 1024 W. Willcox Ave. Peoria, IL 61604 Phone: (309) 685-4843 FAX: (309) 685-4878 Or Email: S.GARRIGUS (On GEnie) ###### THE 1993 Z*NET COMPUTER CALENDAR ###### Schedule of Shows, Events and Online Conferences ###### ---------------------------------------------------------------- ### January 6-9, 1993 MacWorld Expo in San Fransisco California, Sponsored by MacWorld Magazine. Titled San Fransisco '93 at the Moscone Center. Mitch Hall Associates, PO Box 4010, Dedham MA 02026; (617)361-0817, (617)361-3389 (fax). ### January 7-10, 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 8, 1993 Dateline Atari! with Bob Brodie. This is a monthly RT conference on GEnie. CO begins promptly at 10pm eastern time. Type M475 2 at any GEnie prompt. ### January 12-14, 1993 Networld '93 in Boston, Massachusettes ### January 13, 1993 The Atari ST RoundTable proudly presents The Independent Association of Atari Developers (IAAD) RTC, Wednesday, January 13, 10pm EST. The IAAD Board and many of its members will be on hand to share their experiences in the marketplace. Find out about the trials, tribulations, and joys of developing for your favorite computer! Ask about current and future products! Meet the folks who bring your computer to life with software and hardware enhancements! Attending for the IAAD: Dorothy Brumleve of D.A. Brumleve, President of the IAAD, Nathan Potechin of DMC Publishing, Chet Walters, WizWorks!, Jim Allen of FAST Technology, Nevin Shalit of Step Ahead Software Inc., Doug Wheeler of ICD Inc., John Eidsvoog of CodeHead Technologies, Chris Roberts of Dragonware, John Trautschold of Missionware, David Fletcher of Ditek, Craig Harvey of Clear Thinking, Bob Luneski of Oregon Research Associates, John Cole and Lee Seiler of Lexicor, David Beckemeyer of Beckemeyer Development Tools, Mark O'Bryan of Paradigm Software Products, John 'Hutch' Hutchinson of Fair Dinkum Technologies, Greg Kopchak of It's All Relative and more. ### 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. ### January 19-22, 1993 CD-ROM Development Workshop from Multimedia Publishing to Data Archival. UCLA Extension Bldg, Los Angeles CA. (310)825-3344, (310)206-2815 (fax) ### 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 16-19, 1993 Image World - Washington DC at the Sheraton Washington. ### March 20, 1993 Philadelphia, PA area group PACS is holding their 16th annual Computer Festival from 9 AM til 4 PM. It will be a multi-computer show with Atari showings by the PACS Atari SIG's, NEAT, CDACC, and JACS clubs. The Fest is to be at the Drexel University Main Building, 32nd and Chestnut Streets in Pennsylvania. Contact for Atari display: Alice P. Christie, 207 Pontiac Street, Lester, PA 19029, 215-521-2569, or 215- 951-1255 for general info. ### March 21-24, 1993 Interop Spring '93 in Washington DC. ### March 30 - April 1, 1993 Intermedia 93 at the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose CA. ### May 3-5, 1993 Digital Video New York/MultiMedia Exposition at the New York Sheraton in New York City. ### 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. ### October 27-29, 1993 CDROM Exposition at the World Trade Center, Boston MA. ### November 15-19, 1993 COMDEX Fall '93. Las Vegas Nevada. If you have an event you would like to include on the Z*Net Calender, please send email via GEnie to Z-NET, CompuServe 75300,1642, or via FNET to node 593 or AtariNet node 51:1/13.0 ###### ATARIUSER REVIEWS ###### Reprinted from the November Edition ###### --------------------------------------------------------------- The article MAY NOT be reprinted without the written permission of Quill Publishing. See reprint statement at the bottom of this edition. The new hardware and software for Atari products continues unabated by adverse economy or market conditions. So much has come out in the last months that we've accumulated a backlog of reviews--there's been too much to say and not enough room to say it. So this month, AtariUser is catching up, presenting reviews of more than 20 new products including hardware, software, games, applications, even books. Don't look back, because here comes the AtariUser Holiday Atari Feast of Products! Gemulater ST on a PC Emulation Hardware/Software; PC Calamus on an IBM? Yes. One of the most interesting new developments for the Atari user is Gemulater, introduced at the recent Southern California Atari Faire by its inventor, Darek Mihocka. This system, a combination of software and hardware, allows you to run your Atari programs on IBM PC's and clones! Darek is well known for developing software in 1987 that let an ST emulate an 8-bit Atari computer. Since then, he's been talking about doing an ST emulation on a PC, and now he's made good on his boast. This thing actually works, although with some limitations and some substantial machine requirements. Some people ask why you would want to do this, run Atari software on a PC. The most common buyers (other than the super-user who is really a hardware collector) are going to be Atari fans who are stuck using a PC at work, and who want to use some of their familiar programs at the office. For those who have both types of machine at home, they can now have a backup ST for emergencies. And those loyal Atari fans who have been bragging about the programs we can use, can now talk their PC using friends into enjoying our luck. Yes, Gemulater might actually increase the number of people buying Atari software, as well as extending the Atari life of users who have switched computers for whatever their reason. The requirements to use this system are severe. A minimum of a '386 PC with at least six megabytes of RAM are needed to run the Atari emulation. In fact, anything less than a '486 system running at 33 MHz will give results too slow to be satisfying. However, such systems are becoming common, especially in office and business situations. This conversion is accomplished by a combination of software and hardware. The software does a full emulation of the 68000 instruction set, rather than trying to insert a Motorola microprocessor into the PC. The hardware is an accessory board which is placed in an empty slot on the PC motherboard and contains one or more sets of Atari TOS ROMs. Although it sounds a little unusual, the two pieces are sold separately, by two different companies. The plug-in board is being sold, with a ROM set installed, by Purple Mountain Computers. The software is provided as shareware, by the author's company, Branch Always Software. Version 1.00 is being distributed by all the usual means for public domain programs, and the author requests that the user pay a $59.95 shareware fee. Registered users will receive printed documentation, a newsletter and an upgraded version (presently version 2.0) that's up to 30% faster, uses less memory, and has more features. In operation, the ST software is loaded into PC RAM, and is read by the Gemulater program. If the instruction to be executed is located in TOS, the ROM set is read from the card in the PC. In any case, the 68000 operation code is used to call an appropriate routine to emulate it in Intel (PC) code. Naturally, this takes a great deal of time, so the emulation will seem very slow except on the fastest of PC's. The size of the program to do the emulation is about three and a half megabytes. This is because the 68000 instruction set can have some 50,000 possible instructions, counting all addressing modes. Each one of these has a corresponding routine in the emulator. One of the failings of PC computers is segmented address space. This was a limitation of earlier Intel microprocessors and is the source of the often cursed "640K" limit that PC'ers are faced with. Newer Intel processors are not limited in this respect (our Motorola processors never were), but PC's are still configured in the old manner to permit using old software. Because the Gemulater program is so large, and because Atari programs expect a linear address space, this system must be run on one of the newer machines, using an Intel 80386 or 80486. The computer should have at least five and a half megabytes of available RAM. That is three and a half for the program and two megabytes of memory for the Atari programs, emulating an ST with 2 meg of RAM. If you don't have enough memory, the Gemulater can use virtual memory. That is, it will keep part of itself in a temporary file on your hard disk, and swap sections between RAM and hard disk as needed. Of course, this will slow operations even further, so it is best to run the emulator from RAM only. The registered version of Gemulater (now at V.2.0), the one sent to people who pay the shareware fee, permits using one to eight megabytes of memory as Atari RAM, in one megabyte increments, and it has been made a bit smaller, about three megabytes. Also the execution time has been improved. Pluses and Minuses Gemulater has some flaws which may be overcome in time. It also has some advantages. The first thing that should be mentioned is that there is no emulation of the cartridge port, MIDI, sound, or of the Blitter chip. This means it is not suitable for many Atari games. There will also be problems running programs that use copy protection, particularly those that use a hardware device for protection, mostly expensive music programs. The shareware version does not support the serial (modem) port, although printers plugged into the PC parallel port should work normally. Another major point is the use of hard disks. Atari and the Dos world used identical hard drive formats--until they were faced with the need to use partitions larger than 32 megabytes. There, they diverged, using non-compatible designs. The result is that for partitions smaller than 32 megabytes, the Gemulater is happy. But it can and will write beyond 32 meg and damage the data there by using the wrong method of addressing the drive. In the first released version of the program, writing to the hard drive is disabled. The registered version of the program allows writing to the hard disk, but with strong warnings about using partitions larger than 32 megabytes. The author of Gemulater plans to write a new hard disk driver that will eliminate this difficulty. Before you think everything is bad news, there are some things the Gemulater can do that the ST does not do. One of these is the use of 1.44 Megabyte floppy disks. Most PC's these days use high density floppy drives. The emulator board comes supplied with TOS V.2.06, so it will read and write high density floppies. Floppy disk formatting is not enabled, but you can easily format them under DOS. It should be mentioned that the ROM reader board has sockets for eight ROM chips. It comes with TOS in a two chip set, installed. The user may insert other versions of TOS into the remaining six sockets; one 6 chip set, or up to three more 2 chip sets. When starting the emulation, you select the TOS you want at the moment. All versions below 3.0 are supported, although reports of some problems when using the briefly used 2.05 version, and with a two chip set (as opposed to the more common 6- chip set) of TOS 1-point-anything, you'll have to add a simple pair of jumper wires to an empty spot in the Gemulater board. Darek is updating his docs to cover this. Another feature which is available in the registered version is the ability to use the PC's VGA screen to emulate the Atari TT's medium resolution, 640 x 480 with 16 colors on screen. It looks like an extended graphics card mode to any ST software. Calamus SL and other applications can use this mode and operate in color! A simple AUTO program called VGA.PRG enables it. How To Use It With the Gemulater board and software installed in the PC, the program can be executed from the DOS prompt. In order to use the PC's memory in a linearly addressed manner, it must be run in Intel's protected mode. A utility that will reconfigure the PC is provided, and is run automatically when Gemulater is invoked. The program takes some time to load (it is very big!), and will then display a prompt for the user to type in his commands, including choice of color or monochrome operation, and choice of which PC floppy drives to use. After you tell it to install your chosen TOS, the next thing you see is the usual Atari startup display. In the case of TOS 2.06, you see the Fuji logo. Even though you are expecting this, it will knock your socks off, the first time you see it on a PC. If you have placed a floppy disk in drive A, it will read your desktop information, AUTO folder programs and accessories to be installed. You are, in fact, now operating an ST. This procedure can be done under Microsoft Windows. A batch program, GEMULWIN.BAT, is provided to assist in this. From Windows, call the DOS prompt, and then run the batch program. The procedure is then the same. You can suspend the emulation, like any other PC program, and return to Windows, run other programs and then return to the emulation. The pictures shown with this article were made in exactly that way. If you have enough memory, you can even install two copies of Gemulater, in different windows, and be running two Atari applications simultaneously. In other words, multitask! In color operation, when the Emulator's window is made inactive, the palette changes. This is a function of Windows, and cannot be adjusted. However, the colors will be correct when the emulation is made active again. Monochrome doesn't show any difference. How Fast is Slow? It's ironic that the most used measure of Atari computer speed, quick Index, is another product of Darek Mihocka. Most measures of the speed of Darek's Gemulater are done using Darek's own yardstick, and while some users and developers have complained that Quick Index is to simplistic, it remains popular. Tests on a '386 33MHz PC indicate the reasons you need more: CPU Memory is only 53% of that of a stock ST, even while shifts and divides are more than double that of an ST. Screen output is almost normal for text, two-thirds normal dialog boxes, and scrolling is less than half the speed of a "normal" ST, let alone an STe. Move up (waaaay up!) to a '486/DX/50 plus a fast video card, and things improve a lot. Fully tweaked for performance (and using a software screen speeder), CPU goes to 192%, bringing 16 MHz accelerated MegaSTe performance to the PC. Disk operations go from half speed on the '386 to well over full speed. Text output hits nearly five times ST speed, while scroll and dialogs are near 200% each. In operation, even the fast PC's give the user a sense that things are moving a bit behind time. The operations are mostly fast enough, but they happen perceptibly after they are asked for. Mouse clicks are the most obvious of these, as you double click, and as your brain decides it must not have "taken", the function executes. It takes only a little use to adjust, and in fact gives overall responsiveness nearly exactly like that take as "normal" in Windows. What Works The system has been shown to work with many popular Atari programs. These include the DTP programs Calamus SL, Pagestream and Publishing Partner; word processors such as WordWriter and 1st Word Plus; painting programs Prism Paint and Degas Elite; business programs LDW Power and Pha$ar; and many others, like Hotwire, MultiDesk, MaxiFile and, very importantly, the screen accelerator, Warp 9. Using Warp 9 will speed up the screen redraws on the PC/ST just like on a real ST, and is really needed to help the emulation. Other applications and such that have been reported to work fine under Gemulater include NeoDesk (all versions), Laser C, ARCSHELL, the Control Panel, Universal Item Selector. Atari's MACCEL3 crashes, but SilkMouse and the Warp 9 mouse accelerators work. Conclusions and Speculation Gemulater, like any new product, will be found to have some faults that require correction, but it is clear that these can be overcome. The important fact is that it works with a large number of programs and proves that TOS can be run on a foreign system. It is slow, unless a very powerful PC is used. However, PC speeds are increasing, and prices are falling, so, it is possible to run at a usable rate now, and it should be possible to improve this in future. Sure, there are problems left. Communication to the storage media needs more work, as discussed above. Realistically, the shareware version without hard drive access will be more annoyance that it is worth, as you can't so much as write a config file to your drive. There are some minimal mouse problems--the image lags due to fewer redraws, causing the user to overshoot. It will be a while before the serial port works. If the Gemulater crashes, it takes a complete reboot of the PC to reclaim the memory if running in Windows. But it should be emphasized that the emulator is software. Difficulties, as they are discovered, can be fixed without buying new hardware. Aa an example, a last-minute fix to version 1 allows GFA BASIC to operate properly. Some things, like sound control and MIDI ports, would require additional hardware in the PC and software to interface to it. The author, Darek Mihocka, is a longtime Atari developer, who now works for Microsoft Corp. He is in a unique position, being thoroughly familiar with programming the ST and being in a position to understand the internal operation of Microsoft Windows and other PC software. This has allowed him to marry the two computers, and he has already shown his intention and willingness to support this product, and continue improving it. Longer term, Darek has said that he'll be considering using the same ROM board for other emulators he's planning for the PC, including the Atari 8-bit computer. This one should be easy now, as Darek showed a nearly finished (and full speed) version of the PC-XFORMER over a year ago at the Glendale show. And even MAC emulation on the PC is in Darek's plan, with MAC ROMs used on the same board, while Darek's own future MAC emulation software would reside in the PC. Gemulater cannot replace the Atari computer. Falcon or TT 68030 emulation is at best a glimmer in Darek's eye today. Gemulater cannot be made to work with all Atari software, especially those with hardware copy protection devices. But it can make a very satisfactory second machine, for most uses. And it might expand the market for ST software, which will benefit everyone who uses Atari computers. The Gemulater ROM Reader Board with TOS 2.06 sells for $299.95 from Purple Mountain Computers, 15600 N.E. 8th Street Suite A3-412, Bellevue, WA 98008. The Gemulater software, version 1.00 is in the public domain. To register and get updated versions, send $59.95 US to Branch Always Software, 14150 N.E. 20th Street Suite 302, Bellevue, WA 98007. -- Reviewed by Norm Weinress, who assisted Darek as a Beta tester during development of the Gemulater. Migraph Wand - Full Page Scanner Hardware; ST, STe, TT, Falcon Migraph brought the ST the first quality hand scanner some years back. With the advent of their new and competent Optical Character Recognition software as well as other company's FAX software, there's a need for affordable full-page scanning. Migraph has answered with THE WAND. A full 8.5" wide scanning area in what could be seen as a "two-hand- scanner" can scan a page in seconds. With the optional sheet feeder, it can do it better, faster, and far straighter than by hand. And the sheet feeder will hold 10 sheets in que for scanning. The full unit becomes a wringer-washer setup, with a tray above and behind to feed sheets out the front. The Wand (manufactured by OMRON) does resolutions up to 400 DPI in 10- DPI increments via an electronic selector pad on the unit when using the revised Touch-Up software (V.1.84), included. I found the setting process to be annoying, as you must set the software resolution first, then dismount the scanner from the sheet feeder, click it to the chosen resolution, then hold the SCAN button and move the scanner to make the setting "take", and finally return the Wand to the feeder, ready to begin. I wish the software could program the scanner, like the units that cost far more than the Migraph unit. Anyway, once you have a resolution set, you can scan all day using the software to start the scans. You might scan graphics, particularly photographs, a number of times before you have exactly what you want, as the contrast knob is quite touchy--a little adjustment goes a long way. And unlike the "light/dark" adjustments on most (all?) other scanners, the Wand's control actually changes the CONTRAST. Wow! And how are the scans? The Wand makes flawless IMG and other monochrome format images, with four adjustable dither patterns or line art settings. The Wand has a higher actual resolution than the Migraph Hand Scanner, upping the number of grayscale equivalents to 256 when saving files in a TIFF format. Grayscale images have the advantage of being able to be resized without degradation. Unfortunately, a mono conversion to grey TIFF must use pixel area averaging, losing detail in the final grayscale image. Photographs scanned on the Wand and saved as grayscale TIFF files are, in my opinion, unacceptably "soft" for use in publishing except at small sizes. Migraph is looking into ways to sharpen them. Saved as dithered PCX or IMG mono files, the detail is impeccable, but at the cost of non-scalability without unsightly patterning in the image. For creating page images for FAXes, the Wand is perfect. For OCR, doing a full page at a time will cut your work in half or more over hand scanning. Migraph has upgraded their OCR software to take advantage of the Wand as well, although automated multi-page operation is still not available (but coming, says Kevin Mitchell of Migraph). The new (and otherwise fast and wonderful) Touch-Up is updated for full page scans, but lacks a low-res prescan and area selection for re-scan, a feature of most high-buck flatbed software. As it is, you need a lot of memory available even if you want to save only part of a full page. You'll have to have room for the full page at full resolution, then clip what you want. You won't find a better full-page scanner at the price of the Wand. If you need more that the Wand can do, buckle down and save for a three- pass color scanner--of course, there's no domestic color scanner software for the Atari yet, either, so take your time. The Wand's suggested dealer retail price is $899, and includes the $299 OCR and $199 Touch-Up software. Owners of the Hand Scanner from Migraph can buy the upgrade to the Wand (re-use your interface/power supply) for $349. Either way, you'll probably want to add the sheet feeder (another $249). Other combinations and configurations are available through Migraph directly, 32799 Pacific Highway S., Federal Way, WA 98003, phone (206) 838-4677. -- John Nagy The LINK Host-in-a-Dongle Hardware; ST, STe, TT You want to use industry standard SCSI devices on your Atari. Atari has a DMA/ACSI output. What to do? LINK it. ICD Inc. has offered a top notch line of host adapters for installing in a hard drive case for some years now. More recently, they offered a Micro host adapter that mounted right on a SCSI hard drive and was barely bigger than the end of the cable. That technology has now evolved into the Link, the newest product of ICD. There's not too much to say; the Link is self contained and powered off the system you are using. It has a large-standard SCSI socket on one end and an Atari ACSI socket on the other. Attach it directly to a SCSI external device (hard drive, CD-ROM, Floptical, even printer) and your Atari ST series will talk Atari, the drive will talk SCSI, and everyone's happy. Fortunately, it's nearly that simple. The only glitches in this easy solution come from occasional unexpected interactions between other ACSI and SCSI devices. Some configurations of mixed equipment may balk with a Link in line, but it's generally resolvable with a swap of positions in the data chain or with termination changes. The Link comes in a pegboard-baggie with a DMA cable and the latest driver software from ICD. Shipped with the unit I received was V.6.0.2, which supports removable media including CD ROMS (!) and Floptical disks. The software will fine operate without the Link, but the installation, advanced caching, and formatting features won't work until it is returned to the chain. No, you can't use a Link backwards to convert the Falcon or TT SCSI port to DMA for use with older internal-host devices like the SLM804 laser printer. That'll take another, currently missing Link. If you need a Link, you need it. There's no other practical answer. Thanks, ICD, for making it a good answer. The Link, $99.96, from ICD Inc, 1220 Rock Street, Rockford, IL 61101, phone (815) 968-2228. -- John Nagy PMC Freedom Floptical Drive - Big Bytes at Fast-food Prices Hardware; ST, STe, TT, Falcon Purple Mountain Computers broke the $400 price barrier with their introductory offering of the Freedom Floptical Disk Drive. This is an unassuming looking external 3.5" floppy drive unit that can take single sided, double sided, 1.44 meg, and 21 megabyte disks. It attaches at the SCSI port of a TT or via an ICD Link (included at the price!) to the ACSI/DMA port of an ST/STe/STacy/TT. What's a Floptical disk? It looks like a standard 3.5" floppy until you slide open the metal door. You can see through the disk itself, and in the right light you can see the rainbow of CD tracks printed onto the upper surface of the disk. An infrared beam tracks on these guides like a CD player, allowing ultra precise head placement and very dense data packing. Hence, 21 megabytes on a single disk. Performance: A Floptical mechanism can read and write "normal" disks at twice the rate your old drive "A" can. And the special 21 meg disks read and write at 4 times the speed of a standard floppy, and about 1/4 the speed of a standard hard drive. That's not shabby, and near the rate of the first Atari hard drives that were dazzling in their day. Disks are presently about $25 each, but prices should drop steadily in the coming year, to as low as $5 according to some industry officials. These little marvels are the way of the future. Like all Flopticals, PMC's drive uses the InSite drive mechanism, so PMC's unit will perform exactly like any other Floptical. Buy on features, appearance, and price. I found the Freedom to operate flawlessly with the highly considered ICD software, included. However, you won't be able to fully use the drive with older computers, as TOS 1 and 1.2 can't handle the 4-sector-per-cluster arrangement that the Floptical automatically uses. With 1.4 and newer, you're golden. Features: almost none are available, but one I'd like is a SCSI ID reassignment switch available externally. PMC hasn't got one--you need to open the unit and move jumpers on the drive itself to select a compatible ID if you need it to be other than #2, as it arrives. Appearance: the PMC Freedom is as plain as allowed by law. In a word, beige. A ribbon cable exits the back of the unit, terminating in a clamp-on SCSI connector. A pair of unlabeled (and disconnected inside) connectors languish on the back panel, left over from some earlier intention for this particular case. The metal rear plate of the case gets quite (but not alarmingly) hot, as the power supply heat sink is attached to it. I noted some minimal RF interference on my mono monitor when accessing the PMC Floptical. Price: PMC has the best price yet, by a considerable margin, at the $399 introductory level. Even when/if PMC's price goes up, they'll be below the present competition. I'm hooked. I have a SyQuest 44 meg removable drive, but the versatility of the Floptical convinces me that it's the way to go today except for high-speed applications like direct-to-disk audio. Access speeds aren't critical if you have a hard drive already, and even if you are using the Floptical instead of a hard drive, it's not going to keep you waiting. In fact, I'd recommend new owners to consider a Floptical even BEFORE a hard drive, to get the best of versatile storage and portability up front. Someday all computers will have a Floptical drive instead of the suddenly meager 1.44 standard of today. Until then, do it yourself. The econobox of drives, the PMC Freedom is today's best buy. The $399 introductory price is still in effect, and includes one 21 meg disk, drive, case, power supply, ICD Link, DMA cable, and ICD driver software. More disks are $19.95 each in 4-packs. Purple Mountain Computers Inc., 15600 NE 8th Street Suite A3-412, Bellevue, WA 98008, phone (206) 747- 1519. -- John Nagy Cyberdrome - Virtual Reality Simulator Game; ST, STe, TT This new game is a little strange. If you're looking for a quick 3-D shootemup, Cyberdrome isn't it, despite having 3-D vector graphics and shootemup elements. It's a little more on the cerebral and simulation side, designed with multiple remote players in mind. Cyberdrome's storyline is reminiscent of the movie Tron. A big nasty program named CJER (cee-jer) has taken over part of a crystal mainframe computer and wants to eventually rule the whole virtual-thing. CJER has created an army of mutant combat programs to aid in its conquest. That's where you come in. At the helm of your virtual-reality hoverjet program, you must curb CJER's delusions of grandeur by deleting his minions into data oblivion. The game operates on a charge/attack cycle. In the charge cycle, you look for a memory mine, which is an "underground" (sub-grid) maze of tunnels containing many defense systems and the all-important transmitter. Key-cubes must be collected to unlock security gates, allowing you to reach the transmitter. Deleting it provides you with the access code to the next memory mine, but also sets the current mine to overload and self-deletion. You only have a few seconds to exit the mine before it goes. During the attack cycle, a Predator program (looking spider/mantis-like in the virtual reality of the Cyberdrome) is released and heads for your comm-port, your link into the computer. You can destroy the Predator program (not easy) but another one will be launched in its place. This will go on for the duration of the attack cycle. Once the Predator reaches your comm-port, it unleashes a Mole Tunneling Program which starts eating its way through your comm-port, looking for your transmitter. If it get it, you're toast (er, disconnected)! The hoverjet moves in strange ways. It makes right angle turns, can go forward and back, can slide left and right, and also goes up and down. Everything is done with the keyboard. The mouse and joystick are not supported at all, and considering how the hoverjet moves, it makes sense. The numeric keypad is used for all movement-related functions as well as shield activation and weapon firing, while the leftmost keys of the main keyboard are used for all other functions. Cyberdrome's graphics are nothing spectacular, but there are some neat touches, like the way your partner's hoverjet fades to invisibility when he/she turns on the negative shields. The sounds consist mainly of functional beeps, pings, and the whoosh of your hoverjet. You can play this game by yourself, but Cyberdrome was really designed to be played by a two-player team with two machines hooked up together via modem or null-modem cable. This is definitely a game where the gameplay transcends the graphics. It's not for everybody, but is a welcome addition to the limited realm of multiplayer/multiCPU interactive games. Rhea-FX is planning on releasing some mission disks in the future. Cyberdrome comes on one double-sided disk with manual-word-lookup copy protection, 1 meg required, runs in color only, modem and data link support, $39.95 from Fair Dinkum. -- Eric Bitton Ork - Alien Adventure Game; ST, STe, TT "The Killing Game Show meets Shadow Of The Beast with slightly insane puzzles." That's a fairly accurate description of ORK. It's a sideview omni-scrolling platform shootemup with some seriously weird aliens and landscapes. Some of the puzzles (especially in the later levels) are in the old Infocom text adventure style of obscurity. I mean, how many of you would have guessed that you needed a rocket to dislodge a key from a platform you can't reach? Never mind that you had to get the rocket from a jar that you had to place on an arrow and break by shooting a rock and letting the pieces fall on it... I guess that's why Psygnosis threw in a booklet with a complete walk-through (in four languages) free of charge. OK, in Ork, you're are an aspiring alien space captain, a member of a race of really-really-really tough customers. You're about to face your final exam, and if you make it through alive, you'll be rewarded with a star cruiser. If you don't make it through alive, you're quite obviously dead. There are only 6 levels, but they're plenty tough. You can save one game position to a disk, but only from one of the many neat little data terminals scattered throughout a level. Those terminals also provide you with object information, a map of the surrounding area (if you picked up the scanner module), the status of your character, and an indicator showing how much of the game you have completed so far. This particular Psygnosis title doesn't have the expected animated intro sequence that usually takes up all of disk 1, and it's not really missed. Ork's game graphics are very colorful. Your on-screen character is a little on the strange side, but then again, he IS an alien! He looks like an organic walker machine with cement mixers strapped to his back (they're jet engines for flying, of course). The digitized sound is nicely implemented, with a constant background thrumming, explosions and alien animal noises. If you like platform games and hard puzzles, check out Ork. It comes on 2 disks, from Psygnosis US/UK. -- Eric Bitton Mah-Jong Solitaire 3.0 - Now Much More than Drachen Game; ST, STe, TT, Falcon Times change. It was nearly two years ago that I saw Cali-Co's Mah- Jong. Then, I was unimpressed, not by Cali-Co's execution of the classic Shanghai/Ma-Jong tile match game, but by how little it distinguished itself above the free public domain title DRACHEN. The new 3.0 release of Mah-Jong is a different animal (a cat, specifically). With modest expectations of the $40 retail game, I booted and installed Mah-Jong on my hard drive. I was more than pleasantly surprised by colorful screens, dozens of choices of play area "tablecloths", a variety of tile designs, and a choice of many starting patterns. From out of the blackness above the menu bar, a pair of green cat eyes follow your every move. This is "Shadow Bouncer", and you can turn her off if she makes you nervous. All this color and design does more to the gameplay than you might imagine. The game itself has been a sure winner in every incarnation to date. The tile recognition and matching/removal rules are standard in Cali-Co's version, but the challenge varies radically depending on the combination of tiles and backgrounds. A traditional game is available, or for a maddening but compelling game, try dominos for tiles on the black neon background. Or use the Navy Flag tiles on the blue wave tablecloth. Or the animal tiles, or the little people, the Morse code or alphabet or Rune blocks... you get the idea. Not only are the games given a whole new effect, they are educational, capable of aiding recognition of letters, codes, or, um, cats. There's lots of cats here. Mah-Jong V.3.0 requires a color monitor in low resolution (fine on a TV), and any ST ever built will run it. Really nice touches throughout include switches for every conceivable option, including keyboard equivalents, show removed pieces, help, undo, random or selected game setups, and a game pause with a colorful scribbling screensaver. There's no music or sounds other than a wisking effect as tiles are removed. Cali-Co puts Mah-Jong 3.0 in an unassuming bag-pack, using minimal and environmentally sane recycled paper. At $40, it's challenge is to be worth at least $40 more than the very good free versions that populate the BBS libraries. It succeeds, and will be a lasting joy for kids and adults. Cali-Co Superior Software, P.O. Box 9873, Madison, WI 53715, (608) 255-6523. -- Dr. Paul Keith Tracker/ST - Mailing List and More Application; ST, STe, TT, Falcon Tracker/ST, from Step Ahead Software, has grown steadily from its beginnings as a mailing address database. Now, it's a unique productivity tool. I work for myself, which means that I work all the time. I have a need to keep track of the people I come in contact with, and to keep notes on these elusive entities that I call my contacts. When I call them after a few weeks or months, it's nice to remember what I've said to them. I want to segregate the people in my list so that I give myself an idea what they're about. I might even want to call them with a single flick of my finger, then type up the facts our conversations and know that my note will stay with the person's file. In the end, I'd probably like to send them a quick letter, or include some of them in a mass mailing with a personal touch, possibly a form letter customized with a their name and address and a few personalized comments. Tracker/ST is artfully crafted to do all this and more with one program on my computer, and avoid the paper, files, and confusion of office life. Tracker is divided into three sections, the ENTRY screen where you enter your information, the POWER section that lets you sort your information in a variety of different ways, and the QUICK LETTER section that formats and prints your letters. From the ENTRY screen, a one-key command lets you search for one of your records. And it happens real fast, especially handy when you're on the phone with someone on your list and you want to know their history. You'll have their whole address listing, plus an area for short notes, and entry fields that allow you to place words and symbols that can be sorted in a variety of ways when in the POWER section of the program. Tracker/ST lets you pull up a record, put on your telephone headset and dial a number of clients in quick succession. A LONG NOTES feature lets you get really detailed in your attached information. Once you've made your calls and entered any changes, you can run a report selected groups of people in your list to help you decide who you need to call next time, and what kind of action is needed in your follow up. This makes the work you do in the future easier and a lot more complete and accurate. Tracker doesn't make decisions for you, but it sorts your information in an effort to help you make those decisions. I rely on Tracker/ST as a very solid program. It's actively supported on the Genie information service by the author, Nevin Shalit, and is also designed to integrate with an advanced envelope/label program called GEMvelope, sold separately. Tracker/ST increases the effectiveness of your efforts. It provides me with the tools that I use a that a normal database just doesn't have. Tracker/ST V.3.04, $99.95, from Step Ahead Software, 496-A Hudson Street #F39, New York, NY 10014, (212) 627-5830. -- Steve Blackburn HyperLINK - Relational Interactive Database Application; ST, STe, TT HyperLINK can't really be compared with any other program on the Atari platform. Like HyperCard on the Mac, it's a database program that can show related graphic images, animation, sounds, and text, all at the same time in up to seven different windows on your color or monochrome monitor. It requires at least one meg of ram, a double sided disk drive, a hard drive is highly recommended. The disparate output formats can be linked together with buttons that you create through the use of what is called the Application Builder, a tool to create your own personalized applications. Multiple applications can run at the same time and reports can be generated for output to your printer. HyperLINK can link a number of different database functions and multiple media into one process, application, or display. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and ambition. But HyperLINK is just a tool, you have to create the functions you want to use, something that can be fairly difficult to master, and lots of work to fulfill. Fortunately, developers at JMG have gone out of their way to make their system accept and direct data files prepared with other commercial databases like DBase, and its own data can even be edited and manipulated via DBase tools. Applications can be built to track products in your inventory, collections of coins, records, people or anything you may need to keep track of in a database. Or, consider the educational possibilities of interactive displays. Business people can train their employees on the varied aspects of their jobs, and schools can generate applications to help understand difficult subjects. HyperLINK Version 2.0 has just been released which adds features, finally offers a usable manual, and fixes problems with the report generator. JMG continues to demonstrate that they and their program are here to stay. Simple database needs don't require the power and the freedom of HyperLINK. But if you want to do something that will provide you with an expanded view of your database with links to multimedia sub- processes, check it out. A free "run time only" version of HyperLINK (available on GEnie and local bulletin boards) will let you see for yourself what it can do. Sample HAP files (applications) are also available that will give you ideas, like a map of Canada that lets you click on areas to get close-up views and data about the Provinces. HyperLINK, $149, from JMG Software, 892 Upper James Street, Hamilton, Ontario L9C 3A5, (416) 575-3201. -- Steve Blackburn The ST Assembly Language Workshop Volume 1 Book; ST, STe Clayton Walnum, author of the highly acclaimed "C-Manship Complete" now breaks the assembly language coding conundrum. Designed to be a tutorial, this first volume of a three volume series teaches the basics of 68000 assembly language programming on the Atari ST to those already familiar with computer programming in high level languages like C or even BASIC. The advantages in learning assembler is that a high level language programmer can integrate assembly routines inside of existing programs for maximum efficiency. The $24.95 price includes a 260 page book and a disk. The step by step tutorial covers in eleven chapters an overview of assembly language, an explanation of the binary and hexadecimal numbering system, the ST's stacks, registers and 13 addressing modes, branching and sub-routines, and a 68000 Instruction reference by Bryan Schappel. By the end of the tutorial the reader will be able to comfortably convert numbers, call the numerous O.S. functions in GEM, and handle disk files in assembler. The accompanying disk contains the ASCII listings of the example programs, the executable versions of these programs and the public domain program "The Take Note Calculator," which can be installed as a desk accessory. The tutorial does not include an assembler, so the user must provide his own to assemble finished code. The programs in the tutorial were designed using Devpac 2, and are also supported by The Mad Mac Assembler. With the ST Assembly Language Workshop, learning 68000 Assembly is easy and straightforward for the beginner. This manual is a well organized work and a fun way to learn a potentially confusing and frustrating language. Volume 2 will expand on what is learned in Volume 1 by applying those assembly skills to GEM programming by covering file sectors, alert boxes, menus and windows. Volume 3 will cover advanced GEM programming. I look forward in continuing the workshop in volumes 2 and 3. The ST Assembly Language Workshop Volume 1, by Clayton Walnum, $24.95 with disk from Taylor Ridge Books. -- Kevin Festner The A.E.S. Quick Reference Book; ST, STe, TT The A.E.S. is the Application Environment Services that provides the Atari ST/TT high level functions. It creates and maintains the desktop environment with its drop down menus, dialog boxes, icons and windows. The A.E.S. Quick Reference is the first volume in a planned three volume reference series providing the experienced Atari programmer or developer a complete guide to the A.E.S. Library of Functions. It is not a tutorial, but rather a catalog of pre-existing assembly language function calls that can be integrated into existing programs. The $11.95 price includes a 92 page book and an accompanying diskette and is well worth the price for those already experienced in GEM programming. For the novice, this quick reference will only serve to confuse and frustrate. Each of the 68 AES functions is alphabetically ordered by function name and thoroughly explained. The assembly source code is included as well as examples of each function call in C. Assembly language or C programmers can make use of the included complete program shells as templates for their own programs. The AES libraries range from GEM interface functions, keyboard, mouse, screen and window display functions to memory and file applications, as well as AES message words. Volume two of the Quick Reference series will cover the VDI, the Virtual Device Interface, and volume three will cover the lower level OS functions found in the BIOS, XBIOS, and GEMDOS. Programmers will welcome the books, but if this all is alphabet soup to you instead of exciting news, skip this series. The A.E.S. Quick Reference is by Clayton Walnum, $11.95 including disk and bibliography, from Taylor Ridge Books. -- Kevin Festner Cubeat - MIDI Power, Low Price MIDI; ST, STe Cubeat is one of the baby brothers to Steinberg's Cubase, a program that provides a modular package for sequencing, scoring, and control over both keyboards and recording equipment. The contention is that Cubeat lacks only Cubase's notation features, and is otherwise more or less the same. But it's not quite true. On the practical side, the program will not run on the TT -- Cubase was updated, cartridge key and all, to work on the TT. Examination of the sequencer side of Cubase also indicates that Cubeat doesn't completely share its big brother's features. On the positive side, Cubeat is a lot of bang for the buck. The sequencer relies on extensive graphics in its interface, from displaying parts within tracks by event (this can be turned off) to the way editing is depicted. For example, you can make small adjustments in event placement by using a boot-shaped mouse icon to kick the chosen event into the next slot. The extensive use of graphics, even when they appear insufferably cute, makes Cubeat exceptionally easy to use even on a surface level. You can operate on the parts that make up a track represented as pieces of tape, edit them with a scissors icon and assemble them at will by using a glue tube icon. Once you start diving below the surface, the power of the program becomes very evident--you can manipulate MIDI data in a variety of ways, right down to the choice of file types, and you can sync the computer to outside devices via a number of options. Cubeat works very handily with the Fostex R8/MTC-1 multitrack tape recorder and MIDI synchronizer combination, which relies on a combination of MIDI Time Code and MIDI Machine Control. It's this power that makes Cubeat worthwhile despite the difficulties (a tendency to lock up periodically, an occasional failure to notice the copy-protection key, and disagreements with most all standard accessories and auto programs). Steinberg provides extensive support for the program via numerous accessories, available on GEnie, as well as by mail from Steinberg-Jones. If you don't need direct program access to notation, Cubeat is well worth a serious look as a powerful and easy to use MIDI sequencer and system control. Cubeat, $329, from Steinberg/Jones, 17700 Raymer Street #1001, Northridge, CA 91325, (818) 993-4091. -- Steve McDonald **--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. 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