ST Report: 21-Jan-94 #1004From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/23/94-12:59:36 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 21-Jan-94 #1004 Date: Sun Jan 23 00:59:36 1994 SILICON TIMES REPORT ==================== INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ============================= from STR Electronic Publishing Inc. January 21, 1994 No. 1004 ====================================================================== Silicon Times Report International Online Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 R.F. Mariano Publisher-Editor ----------------------------------------- Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM-4 PM EST STR Publishing Support BBS Network System * THE BOUNTY BBS * FIDO 1:112/35 ~ ITCNet 85:881/253 ~ FNET 350 ~ Nest 90:21/350 904-786-4176 USR/HST 24hrs-7 days 2400 -38.4 bps V.32-42 bis 16.8 Dual Standard FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM-6 AM EST ----------------------------------------- Fido 1:112/35 The Bounty STR Support Central 1-904-786-4176 FNET. 620 : Leif's World ................1-904-573-0734 FNET. 690 : PASTE BBS....................1-206-284-8493 FNET. 489 : Steal Your Face BBS..........1-908-920-7981 MNET - Toad Hall BBS.....................1-617-567-8642 ______________________________________________________________________ > 01/21/94 STR 1004 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" """"""""""""""""" - CPU INDUSTRY REPORT - Digital > Losses - Microsoft Profits UP - Stacker & PCTools - AOL users UP - Connect 2.44 - Deliverance a Review - HP Dashboard - The Old Fishin' Hole -* SEGA TO WORK WITH MS ON NEW OS FOR GAMES! *- -* JAMES BUCKLEY APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF APPLE USA *- -* US GOV'T. SUED OVER DATABASE! *- -* HP COLOR PRINTER SALES DOUBLED IN '93! *- ====================================================================== STReport International Online Magazine The Original * Independent * Online Magazine -* FEATURING WEEKLY *- "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ====================================================================== STReport's BBS - The Bounty BBS, invites all BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the Fido/PROWL/ITC/USENET/NEST/F-Net Mail Networks. You may also call The Bounty BBS direct @ 904-786-4176. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to computers, worldwide, through the use of excellent International Networking Systems. SysOps, worldwide, are welcome to join the STReport International Conferences. The Fido Node is 1:112/35, ITC Node is 85:881/253 Crossnet Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is #620. All computer platforms BBS systems are welcome and invited to participate. ====================================================================== CIS ~ AOL ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ PROWL ~ ITC ~ NEST ~ EURONET USENET ~ CIX ~ CLEVELAND FREE-NET ~ INTERNET ~ FNET ~ GENIE ====================================================================== COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME to the Readers of; STREPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY! CALL: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198 You will receive your complimentary time and be online in no time at all! "Enjoy CompuServe's forums; where information is at its very best! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""" Earthquakes, Blizzards, Killer Cold Waves and no end in sight. A moment's silent reverence for those who have perished and those who continue to suffer as a result of mother nature's madness. This is certainly beginning to look like the year that "was" already. Would you believe that... in certain circles some say STReport is really "the online magazine"? No matter how much I like to hear it... the truth is we are simply trying to please the most readers with the best variety in informative coverage. Your mail has certainly helped in forming the current setup for STR. We are always open to suggestions for further improvement. On the entertainment front, its amazing to witness the comments and strange postures being taken as a result of Doom becoming more and more popular. As in most everything, there are those who are passionate about the game... <g> and those who are equally passionate about not liking the game only... that's where the rub lies. Those who have voiced their disapproval the loudest have also stated that as long as the "demonic graphics" are in Doom they'll "continue to play the shareware version without registering and getting the two additional levels". This, to me, is an exercise in pure hypocrisy! "Won't pay to play but as a freebie its ok! The demonic symbolisms etc. are ok as long as the almighty buck ain't involved but as soon as you have to hit the hip.... the religious zealot's "bless me now" nerve is zinged! This is pure bunk! It smacks of snake oil and smoke dancing nothing more and nothing less. Anybody remember the famous TV preacher caught with a Texas Prostitute? When he was caught... he said he had done "wrong". But a month or so later, "he was there to "teach her the errors of her ways". True understanding and brotherly love are fast becoming a thing of the past. As it all seems to be hooray for me and the he** with you! Sad but true. The folks at ID software have produced a fine software package in Doom and deserve every lick of success they can possibly savor. To ID I say Keep up the good work! You're doing just fine. Folks, if you haven't had an opportunity to see Doom yet, do so ..you owe it to yourselves. Its a fine example of the future having arrived early. Superb programming! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's Staff DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! """""""""""""""" Publisher -Editor """""""""""""""""" Ralph F. Mariano Lloyd E. Pulley, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors """"""""""""""" PC SECTION AMIGA SECTION MAC SECTION ATARI SECTION ---------- ------------- ----------- ------------- R.D. Stevens R. Glover R. Noak D. P. Jacobson STReport Staff Editors: """"""""""""""""""""""" Dana P. Jacobson Michael Arthur John Deegan Lucien Oppler Brad Martin Judith Hamner John Szczepanik Dan Stidham Joseph Mirando Doyle Helms Frank Sereno John Duckworth Jeff Coe Steve Keipe Guillaume Brasseur Melanie Bell John Donohue Contributing Correspondents: """""""""""""""""""""""""""" Tim Holt Norman Boucher Harry Steele Clemens Chin Neil Bradley Eric Jerue Ron Deal Robert Dean Ed Westhusing James Nolan Vernon W. Smith Bruno Puglia Glenwood Drake IMPORTANT NOTICE """""""""""""""" Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: Compuserve................... 70007,4454 America Online..................STReport Delphi......................... RMARIANO BIX............................ RMARIANO FIDONET........................ 1:112/35 FNET........................... NODE 350 ITC NET...................... 85:881/253 NEST........................ 90:21/350.0 GEnie......................... ST-REPORT """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > CPU STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS """"""""""""""""" IBM/POWER-PC/PC SECTION (I) =========================== Computer Products Update - CPU Report ------------------------ ---------- Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Issue #04 By: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. ******* General Computer News ******* ** Microsoft Profits Up 22% ** A 22 percent jump in profit for the second quarter has been reported by Microsoft Corp. Microsoft earned $289 million, or 95 cents a share, in the most recent quarter, up from $236 million, or 78 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenues rose to $1.22 billion from $938 million. ** HP Color Printer Sales Doubled in '93 ** Hewlett-Packard Co. reports that it more than doubled its color printer sales last year. HP says it sold approximately 2 million color inkjet DeskJet printers worldwide in 1993, a 122% increase over 1992 when the company sold nearly 900,000 units. HP color printer sales in 1991 were 120,000. HP's says its sale of 2 million color DeskJet printers represents a figure greater than all other makes of color printers combined, based on statistics supplied by BIS Strategic Decisions, a market research firm located in Norwell, Mass. HP notes that it has sold more than 10 million monochrome and color inkjet printers since its first model was introduced in 1984. ** Digital Reports 2nd Quarter Loss ** Digital Equipment Corp. today reported a second quarter loss of $72.1 million, compared with a loss of $73.9 million for the same period a year ago. The computer maker continues to face a tough recovery with revenues for the quarter down 12% to $3.25 billion, compared to $3.69 billion in the fourth quarter of 1992. ** PC World to List Top Computers ** PC World this week introduced the PC World Top 20, a monthly listing of the industry's leading PCs. Beginning with its February issue, the PC World Top 20 will each month provide readers with a top-down ranking of the PCs that were analyzed by the PC World Test Center. "The PC World Top 20 ranks the first time a monthly computer publication has responded to the ever-shortening PC product cycles -- which is roughly six months for R&D, three months to promote and sell, and three months to 'unload' the product," says PC World's Editor-in-Chief Phil Lemmons. "The PC market is moving so incredibly fast that buyers need continuously updated information and recommendations." The PC World Top 20 will be comprised of three PC categories -- the Top 20 Power Desktops, the Top 20 Budget Desktops, and the Top 20 Mobile PCs (10 power notebooks/subnotebooks and 10 budget notebooks and subnotebooks). The top five products in each of these categories will be honored as the monthly "Best Buy." ** Sega to Work With Microsoft on New Operating System for Games ** Microsoft Corp. has agreed to supply Japan's Sega Enterprises Ltd. with a new operating system for Sega's 32-bit home video game player, "Saturn," to be released in November. A spokesman with Sega, Japan's largest maker of commercial-use amusement equipment, said the two firms also are considering cooperating in developing new game software. Saturn is to have two 32-bit RISC (reduced instruction set computing) chips in its central processing unit. Reports says Sega plans to sell it for less than $450. Sega's move follows an announcement last week by Japan's consumer electronics giant Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. that it planned for the launch on March 20 of a 32-bit home entertainment player jointly developed with 3DO Co. of the United States, and six software titles. ** Tektronix Unveils Desktop Color Printers ** Tektronix Inc. this week announced the Phaser 220i and Phaser 220e thermal transfer color printers. The 600 by 300 dots-per-inch units output at two pages per minute, feature network connectivity options and print on most laser papers. The Phaser 220 printers include dual-tray configuration options, large tray and ribbon capacities and automatic ink- level sensing to minimize the need for printer maintenance or operator attendance. The Phaser 220e and 220i are priced at $3,995.00 and $5,995.00, respectively. Both printers are available now. ** America Online Subscriber Rate Jumps ** "As a result of strong word of mouth and a growing list of partners who bundle America Online with their products, our subscriber growth has continued to accelerate," said Steve Case, president and CEO. "These new bundling agreements can help us attract new PC owners, further increasing our market share." Dell, a leading manufacturer of personal computers, will now include America Online with all of its PCs sold through consumer channels. By preinstalling the Windows version of America Online in these computers, Dell purchasers will see an icon representing America Online on their Windows desktop. This will provide quick and easy access to the America Online service. US Robotics, a leading manufacturer of modems, will expand their bundling agreement with America Online to include their entire line of consumer modems. US Robotics' Macintosh line of modems began bundling America Online last year. "As 1994 unfolds, we plan to continue to expand bundling and content partnerships because we believe they help us attract and retain customers. We plan to continue to add compelling content in a number of areas such as news, personal finance and shopping," Case added. "By making it easier for consumers to try our services, and providing them with compelling reasons to continue as customers, we believe we are well-positioned to take advantage of the encouraging market trends for consumer online services." America Online, Inc., based in Vienna, is a leading provider of online services to consumers. The company offers its more than 550,000 subscribers a wide variety of services, including electronic mail, conferencing, software, computing support, interactive magazines and newspapers, and online classes. Founded in 1985, the company has established strategic alliances with dozens of companies including Time Warner, CNN, The New York Times, Knight Ridder, Tribune Company, IBM and Apple. Personal computer owners can obtain America Online software at major retailers and bookstores, or by calling 800-827-6364. ** Government Sued Over Database ** Tax Analysts, a nonprofit publisher of legal information, has filed suit in federal court asking for portions of the Department of Justice (DOJ) JURIS database under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The dispute concerns public records which West Publishing, a private company, provided to the Department of Justice for use in its JURIS online Computer Assisted Legal Research (CALR) database system. The data are public records and, by federal law, not copyrightable. West, however, claims that it owns the arrangement of the data, and the Department of Justice is not free to release it. JURIS was established initially for DOJ's use. The President, by Executive Order 12146 (July 18, 1979), directed DOJ and its head, the Attorney General, to expand JURIS for use throughout the government legal community. All federal agency users share the cost of JURIS operation, database management and improvements. JURIS is organized into and contains federal case law material, statutory law, digest material, tax documents, Federal regulations, Federal manuals, work product material, legislative histories, federal administrative law opinions and decisions, treaties, DOJ publications on the FOIA and other such legal materials. The basis of the suit is that a federal agency should not be making exclusive arrangements to give away public data to a private company. The lawsuit will be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Richey, the same jurist who is presiding over an FOIA case involving public access to electronic mail records. ******* General Computer News ******* ** Autodesk Ships AutoSketch Release 2 ** Autodesk Inc. is now shipping AutoSketch Release 2 for Windows, a 2-D, CAD-based drawing package. Autodesk notes that the software "combines the power and precision of computer-aided design with the freedom of an illustration program by providing tools for creating sketches, technical drawings, diagrams and information-based graphics and presentations." The latest AutoSketch release features a new user interface, as well as improved file import/export capabilities and additional drawing tools. It also offers expanded CAD functionality and interoperability. AutoSketch Release 2 software is now available through Autodesk resellers and the retail channel at a suggested price of $299. Existing AutoSketch customers can upgrade to Release 2 for $99 (certain restrictions may apply). ** OS/2, Valuepoint Machines Unite ** In a move intended to sharpen its appeal to business, government and other commercial customers, IBM PC Co. this week begins bringing its PS/2 and ValuePoint products under one brand team. While PS/2 and ValuePoint computers will maintain their different labels for the time being, they will be sold by one team to be known as the Commercial Desktop brand, with Stephen Cohen, who led PS-2 marketing, directing the group. (The ValuePoint brand was designed to offer less costly models that are updated more frequently than PS/2.) He said IBM will continue to develop PS/2 and ValuePoint computers separately, partly because they have different technical designs for how information is moved inside them. ******* General Mac News ******* ** James Buckley Appointed President of Apple USA ** Apple Computer Inc. this week appointed James J. Buckley, 43, as president of Apple USA effective immediately. Reports say that Buckley will be responsible for all of the division's sales, marketing, channel, customer service and support activities. A nine-year veteran of Apple Computer, Buckley was most recently vice president and general manager for Apple USA's Higher Education division and was responsible for directing all sales, marketing, customer support and service operations to 3,500 colleges and universities in the United States. Buckley held positions as Apple USA's vice president and general manager for Northern Operations in Norwalk, Connecticut, vice president and general manager for Apple's Central Operations Group located in Chicago, area sales director of Apple's U.S. North Central Area, and director of educational sales at the company's Cupertino headquarters. ** Apple Introduces Macintosh Performa Money Edition Computer ** Money Magazine and Apple Computer have teamed up to create the Macintosh Performa 560 Money Edition, a multimedia computer designed especially for those who want to take advantage of the latest technology to manage their personal finances. Reports say the system features popular personal finance and organizational programs such as WealthBuilder by Money magazine, Quicken, MacInTax, Willmaker and Personal Recordkeeper; the ClarisWorks integrated database, word-processing and spreadsheet package; the Datebook Pro/Touchbase Pro Bundle for calendar and address-book capabilities. It also includes interactive educational programs such as the 21 volume New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia CD-ROM, the TIME Almanac CD-ROM and the American Heritage Dictionary as well as entertainment programs such as the World Tour Golf CD-ROM and Monopoly, and a special Money version of the After Dark screen saver. In addition, the system features MacLink Plus/Translators Pro, which enables users to exchange information easily with MS-DOS and Windows files. The Macintosh Performa 560 Money Edition computer features powerful Macintosh multimedia hardware, including a Sony Trinitron color monitor, 160-megabyte hard disk, an internal double-speed CD-ROM drive, built-in stereo speakers, digital sound and microphone, and a send/receive fax modem. Sold directly through Apple and at selected Circuit City stores in the United States, the computer retails for $2,199. ___________________________________________________________ > STACKER & PCTOOLS STR Feature """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" STACKER AND PC TOOLS ==================== RAMBOOST "CAN'T FIND PROFILE" FILE UNDER STACKER 3.1 SITUATION: ---------- Install Stacker 3.1. Reboot and RAMBoost may display the message "Error: Can't find profile D:\RAMBOOST\DATA\RAMBOOST.INI." However, RAMBOOST.INI does exist in the \RAMBOOST\DATA directory on the uncompressed drive D:. CAUSE: ------ This message may occur if DEVICE=C:\STACKER\STACHIGH.SYS is loaded after DEVICE=D:\RAMBOOST\RAMBOOST.EXE LOAD in the CONFIG.SYS, and when RAMBOOST.EXE and RAMBOOST.INI are on the uncompressed drive. SOLUTION: --------- Option 1: Edit the CONFIG.SYS file, move the STACHIGH.SYS device driver prior to RAMBoost, and reboot. This method will not allow RAMBoost to load the STACHIGH.SYS driver into upper memory. Option 2: 1. Move the RAMBOOST.EXE file to the \PCTOOLS directory on the compressed drive 2. Move the RAMBOOST.INI file to the \PCTOOLS\DATA directory on the compressed drive. 3. Edit the CONFIG.SYS file and change the path to RAMBOOST.EXE to reflect the new directory. For example: DEVICE=C:\PCTOOLS\RAMBOOST.EXE LOAD. However, do not change the loading order of RAMBoost and STACHIGH.SYS. 4. Reboot. This will allow RAMBoost to load the STACHIGH.SYS driver into upper memory. NOTES: ------ Prior to Stacker 3.1, RAMBoost had to be installed on the uncompressed drive. With Stacker 3.1, this is no longer necessary. PC TOOLS CANNOT FIND SYSTEM FILES UNDER STACKER 3.1 SITUATION: ---------- Install Stacker 3.1. Run PC Format, and select "Install System Files." PC Format formats the floppy, but will report "unable to locate system files." Run EDisk, and EDisk will report "Could not find system files." Under Stacker 3.0, both PC Format and EDisk could find the system files. CAUSE: ------ The method PC Format, and EDisk use to determine where the system files are, no longer works under Stacker 3.1, due to changes in how Stacker 3.1 handles drive swapping. SOLUTION: --------- Option 1: Update to PC Tools Pro V9 which solves these incompatibilities. Option 2: To create bootable floppy disks, use DOS Format with the /S parameter. To create an Emergency Disk: 1. Format a bootable floppy disk using DOS Format with the /S parameter. 2. Run EDisk, and select Configure Disk. 3. Deselect "Format disk first," and deselect DBLSPACE.BIN from the list of files for EDisk to transfer. 4. Select Create Disk to make the Emergency Disk, and when EDisk prompts for a disk, insert the bootable floppy created with DOS FORMAT /S. NOTES: ------ PC Tools Install normally renames DOS FORMAT.EXE to FORMAT!.EXE, so it may be necessary to type FORMAT! to run DOS Format. Deselecting DBLSPACE.BIN from the list of files for EDisk to transfer is necessary. DOS Format with the /S parameter will place the Stacker 3.1 DBLSPACE.BIN file on the floppy. This file is Hidden, System and Read-Only. EDisk will default to copying the DOS DBLSPACE.BIN file, which is slightly different than the Stacker DBLSPACE.BIN file, to the floppy. Because the file on the floppy is HSR, EDisk will display the message "I/O Error. Permission denied error during open for output operation in DBLSPACE.BIN" when it attempts to overwrite the file. NUMBER OF BUFFERS TO USE WITH CP BACKUP AND STACKER QUESTION: --------- Is a special configuration required for Central Point Backup when running a disk compression program such as Stacker or SuperStor? ANSWER: ------- No special configuration is required when running a disk compression program, such as Stacker or SuperStor. However, when running a disk compression program, CP Backup may require more buffers when troubleshooting a problem such as file miscompares or errors reading files from the hard drive. The additional buffers will help with the on-the-fly decompression of files. Start by editing the CONFIG.SYS file and set BUFFERS=50. It may be necessary to increase buffers to 60, 70 or even 90 if problems continue. In some cases, a disk cache like PC-Cache or SMARTDrive can be used in place of increasing buffers. Even when using a disk cache, buffers should be set to at least 30. PC TOOLS V7 AND STACKER VERSIONS 1 THROUGH 2 GENERAL CONCEPT: ---------------- Stacker takes a portion of a partition, compresses that portion, and creates a new, software-driven partition that can hold twice as much data as the original partition. The new partition, called the Stacker volume or Stacker drive, compresses all data stored to it and decompresses all data called from it. The Stacker volume is actually a large file stored on the original, non- compressed drive, called the Host drive. Stacker files will always be stored in the root directory of the Host drive, and unlike SuperStore, there can only be one compressed file per partition. The file name of the Stacker volume will vary depending on the version of Stacker and the method used to create the Stacker volume. METHOD OF CREATION NAME OF STACKER FILE Stacker V1.1 or upgraded STACVOL.000 for first drive to V2.0 from V1.1 STACVOL.001 for second drive etc. Stacker V2.0 and used the install STACVOL.DSK for all drives program to create Stacker volumes Stacker V2.0 and used Stacker STACVOL.000 for all drives commands to create Stacker volumes EXAMPLES OF STACKER DRIVES: --------------------------- If a system has an 80m hard drive, +-----------------+ partitioned as one drive C:, | C: | DOS will see this drive as: | | | | | | | | | 80 Meg | | | | | | | | | | | +-----------------+ The user installs Stacker and instructs the program to compress as much hard drive space as possible. Stacker requires that one or two meg remain uncompressed. After the Stacker volume is created, DOS now sees the drive as: +-----------------+ +-----------------+ | C: | | D: | | | | | | 2 Meg | | | | | | | +-----------------+ | | | 160 Meg | | | | | | | | | | | +-----------------+ Assuming 50% compression, twice as much hard drive capacity is available, but all data has been moved to D:, a drive that was not present prior to running Stacker. Setup files, environment settings, batch files, etc. still point to the C: drive, which means the system is not going to run correctly. That leads to what causes the most confusion on Stacker drives: DRIVE SWAPPING: --------------- By installing the SSWAP.COM command in the CONFIG.SYS, Stacker can place the drives back to the way they were before the compression. Stacker V2.0 does this automatically with the Install program. This is how DOS will see the drives when SSWAP is used: +-----------------+ +-----------------+ | C: | | D: | | | | | | | | 2 Meg | | | | | | | +-----------------+ | 160 Meg | | | | | | | | | | | +-----------------+ Everything is back to the way it was - almost. Stacker must make DOS aware of the swapping during the boot process. Unfortunately, the only way to do this is to create another CONFIG.SYS and another AUTOEXEC.BAT for the second drive. The files are normally identical. In this example, the actual AUTOEXEC.BAT is on drive C: and the actual CONFIG.SYS is on drive D:, even though both C: and D: each have an AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS. If the /SYNC option is used on the end of the SSWAP line in the CONFIG.SYS, Stacker will automatically ask if both files should be updated next time a reboot occurs. SWAPMAP: -------- Users are frequently confused as to which drives are swapped and which are not. The Stacker SWAPMAP command will display exactly which drives are swapped and the drive letter that each drive has after swapping. Following is the SWAPMAP display from the preceding illustration: Drive A: was drive A: at boot time Drive B: was drive B: at boot time Drive C: was drive D: at boot time [D:\STACVOL.DSK = 80 MB (physical)] Drive D: was drive C: at boot time This will tell the user that drives C: and D: are swapped. After swapping, drive C: is the STACVOL file. THE CONFIG.SYS The following lines will be in the CONFIG.SYS on Stacker systems: DEVICE=C:\STACKER\STACKER.COM C:\STACKER.DSK DEVICE=C:\STACKER\SSWAP.COM C: D: The first line loads the Stacker drive into memory. If there are two Stacker volumes, the line would look like the following: DEVICE=C:\STACKER\STACKER.COM C:\STACVOL.DSK D:\STACVOL.DSK The STACKER.COM device driver requires about 34k to 40k of memory, smaller if the system has a Stacker hardware coprocessor, and can be loaded high. SSWAP is NOT a TSR, and may be executed from the DOS command line. STACKER DANGERS: ---------------- Even though Stacker will double the hard drive space, there is a price to pay. Stacker will slow down faster systems, like 386 and 486 machines. It may, however, speed up slow XT machines if a coprocessor is installed. It will primarily slow down applications that open many files, such as Windows, network applications, scan functions in CPAV and CP Backup, etc. It is important to remember that the Stacker volume is just one big file. That means that if any part of that big file is damaged in any way, the entire contents of the drive may be damaged. One corrupt file, one bad sector, one cross-linked file or one error in the FAT can potentially destroy the entire Stacker volume and thereby lose all of the data (files) in the volume. Although some of these problems can be repaired, others can not. It is very important that Stacker users have current backups. DETERMINE FREE SPACE ON A STACKER VOLUME: ----------------------------------------- The amount of free space on a Stacker system causes a lot of confusion. PC Shell, CP Backup, and the DOS DIR and CHKDSK commands will all report different numbers for the amount of free space on a Stacker drive. To get the most accurate report of free space, run Stacker's SCHECK program, which is Stacker's version of CHKDSK. Following is an example: Stacker Drive Statistics ------------------------ Stacker Drive STACVOL File Drive D: C:\STACVOL.000 -------------------------------------------- Total Bytes: 139,804,670 69,907,456 Bytes Used: 102,277,120 (73%) 53,654,528 (76%) Bytes Free: 37,527,522 (26%)* 16,252,928 (23%)*** Stacker Drive Compression Ratio = 1.9:1 Projected Bytes Free = 30,252,184** * The amount of free space on the drive with full 2:1 compression. This compression ratio is not always the case, so this number may be a little high. This is the number that Stacker passes to DOS. PC Shell and CHKDSK will report this number. ** The amount of free space on the drive with the current compression ratio, which is 1.9:1 in the example. Again, this number is subject to change, but it is more accurate than the number that PC Shell or CHKDSK will report. This is the number reported by the DOS DIR command. *** The amount of free space on the drive with no compression. This is the actual disk space available without Stacker. If, for example, a user reports that there isn't any free space on the drive after copying a number of ZIP files (which hardly compress at all), but PC Shell reports that there is 10m free, run SCHECK and look at this number. This is the actual, non-stacked, amount of space free. STACKER ERRORS: --------------- There are two primary errors and both are usually caused when the system locks or by rebooting within a large program like Windows or CP Backup. "Write Protect Error" or "Volume is Write Protected" is usually a minor error. To correct, perform the following: 1. From the root of the non-stacked drive, remove the Read-only attribute from the Stacker file by typing SATTRIB -R STACVOL.DSK. 2. Go to the Stacked drive and type SCHECK /F. It will report most errors, but may not fix all of them. 3. Run CHKDSK /F on the stacked drive. 4. Reboot. The Stacker drive will be accessible once more. "Read Fault" errors are very serious. The good news is that they are almost always localized to one or two directories, and do not effect the entire drive like a write protect error. In these situations it is best to refer the caller to Stacker tech support. STACKER AND CENTRAL POINT PRODUCTS: ----------------------------------- ANTI-VIRUS ---------- Bootsafe will always report "Partition / Boot Sector was Modified". Simply place the drive letter of the non-stacked drive at the end of the Bootsafe line in the AUTOEXEC.BAT. Do not immunize the Stacker volume or the Stacker files located in the STACKER directory. CPAV 1.2 has STACKER.COM and SSWAP.COM in the Immunization Exceptions List. Installing CPAV on a V1.0 or V1.1 Stacker system will cause all of the lines added to the AUTOEXEC.BAT, such as SET CPAV=, Bootsafe and VSafe, to be added to the wrong AUTOEXEC.BAT file. This normally will cause no problem, but if the lines are to be removed or changed, make sure both AUTOEXEC.BAT files are checked. With Stacker V2.0 this doesn't matter, since both of the AUTOEXEC.BAT files are the same. COMPRESS -------- Compress will display a message as soon as you call up the program, reporting "A Stacker volume has been detected", and gives a warning message asking the user if they are sure they want to continue. Even though this message displays, we have not received any reports of data loss from our users or from STAC. Compress is a DOS level application, and since Stacker is a device level driver, there should be no problems. It is important to remember, however, that the Stacker volume is just a file, albeit a very large one. If a Stacker user suspects files are fragmented, Stacker has an optimize program called SDEFRAG. CP BACKUP --------- IMPORTANT: It is generally not necessary to back up the STACKVOL file; exclude it from the backup. If a user has already backed it up and is trying to restore it, simply overwrite the existing STACVOL file. The data in a Stacker volume will be backed up normally. You can even restore a backup done on a Stacker system to a system that does not have Stacker. Stacker allocates by sectors; DOS allocates by clusters. CP Backup is not fooled by the fact that DOS allocates a minimum of 2k per file; it takes the actual size of the file into account. Therefore CP Backup will report a great deal less than Stacker does. For example, SCHECK reports 104m, but CP Backup only reports 82m. This is because CP Backup is reporting the actual space used, not the allocated space reported by Stacker and DOS. CP Backup will still backup the entire drive. Backing up is usually slower with Stacker. This is because CP Backup calls for a file, Stacker decompresses the file, CP Backup compresses the file and writes it to floppy or tape, and Stacker compresses the file. For troubleshooting, Stacker usually requires more buffers than normal; 40 or more. These buffers are used for on-the-fly compression. DIRECTORY MAINTENANCE --------------------- With Stacker V1.0 or V1.1, it is not a good idea to delete a large directory (10m or more) on a Stacker drive. It may damage the volume. This should not be a problem with Stacker V2.0. DISKFIX ------- The DiskFix Repair a Disk function in PC Tools V7.1 provides Stacker support and will cause no problems if run on Stacked or Host drives. There is no need to run Surface Scan on a Stacked drive. Simply run it on the Host drive and it will cover both. Remember that the Stacked drive is just a file. DO NOT run a BIOS Surface Scan on a Stacker volume. As noted previously, this will make BIOS calls which are potentially dangerous to Stacker. FILE FIX -------- File Fix cannot fix a file on a stacked drive. With PC Tools V7 and V7.1, 9/21/91 file dates will return the error "A serious disk error has occurred. Run Diskfix". With 10/18/91 file dates, the error message will be "Copy to a non-compressed drive before continuing". Move the file to be fixed to an uncompressed drive and run File Fix again. Make sure that there is sufficient disk space available on the drive where the file will be fixed; double the space of the damaged file is required. PC-CACHE -------- The status window for PC-Cache does not show Stacked drives, only actual partitions. Since Stacker is just a file, it IS cached, it just does not appear in the status window. PC FORMAT --------- Stacker (and other compression software) users will get "Cannot Find System Files" error message when trying to format a bootable floppy. PC Format will ask the user to place a system disk in drive A:. Once this is done, the system files will be transferred to the floppy. PC SHELL -------- RENAMING THE VOLUME LABEL OF A STACKER DRIVE WITH PC SHELL WILL DESTROY THE ENTIRE VOLUME. This has been re-created in-house. The DOS VOL command may be used. Remember that any BIOS call like this, that bypasses DOS, is dangerous to the Stacker file and is not recommended. Remember that the amount of free disk space reported by PC Shell will usually be high. Refer to the example in the Determine Free Space section of this document. With only a few exceptions, PC Shell and its' applications, Desktop and Commute should have no problems with Stacker volumes. UNDELETE -------- All three delete protection methods, DOS, TRACKER & SENTRY, have been tested in-house. All run without problems with 100% success rate. We have recently received reports regarding Sentry. During the initial Stacker installation, Stacker does not compress hidden files. If a user has a large, 10m for example, Sentry directory (all of which is hidden), on an 80m drive, and instructs Stacker to compress 78m, Stacker will ignore the 10m Sentry directory and will actually compress 68m. Once the user reboots and loads the Stacker driver, the system will lock and the Stacker volume will not be accessible. NOTE: This is a serious problem. Advise users who experience this problem should report it to STAC electronics as they are working on a solution to this problem. NOTES: ------ PC Tools Pro V9 is generally compatible with all versions of Stacker through Stacker Version 3.1. PC Tools Pro V9 DiskFix and Optimzer also support fixing, and optimizing, a Stacker compressed volume. CANNOT FORMAT FLOPPY DISKS WITH STACKER 3.0 INSTALLED SITUATION: ---------- With Stacker 3.0 installed, PC Format may display the message "Format Failure" when trying to format a floppy disk. CAUSE: ------ Stacker 3.0 remaps floppy drives via the Stacker driver to allow floppy disks to be mounted and stacked. SOLUTION: --------- Option 1: Run PCFORM.EXE with the undocumented command-line parameter /K:8. For example: PCFORM A: /S /K:8 /K:8 disables PCFORM routines that normally check for Stacker partitions. Option 2: Remove the A:, B:, or the @ from the end of the STACKER.COM line in the CONFIG.SYS file and reboot. PC FORMAT CANNOT FIND SYSTEM FILES ON A COMPRESSED VOLUME SITUATION: ---------- PC Format may display the message "We were unable to the locate system files. Please insert a system diskette in drive A:" when using the option to Install System Files. CAUSE: This may occur on a computer running Stacker disk compression software. SOLUTION: --------- Option 1: Run the DOS Format program with the /S parameter to create a bootable disk. For example: FORMAT! A: /S Option 2: Run PC Format from a batch file that contains the following steps. Refer to the Stacker documentation for the proper commands and syntax. a. Unswap the drives with the Stacker utility SSWAP. For example; SSWAP D: C: b. PC Format command for the target floppy drive; c. Reswap the drives; reverse the order of the drives used in step a; for example; SSWAP C: D: NOTES: ------ This problem may also occur with other disk compression programs, such as SuperStor. BOOTSAFE MAY REPORT BOOT SECTOR CHANGE ON COMPRESSED VOLUME SITUATION: ---------- Run Bootsafe on a drive, which has been compressed with a program such as Stacker or SuperStor, and Bootsafe will display the message "The Boot Sector and/or the partition table has been modified." This may occur each time the computer is rebooted, even if "Update" was previously selected. CAUSE: ------ The compression software rewrites the boot sector of the compressed volume each time the computer boots, usually because of drive swapping performed by the compression software. When the boot sector of the compressed volume changes, Bootsafe detects the difference and will display the warning message. SOLUTION: --------- 1. When the message is displayed, select "Continue" or "Update." Do not select "Rebuild" as this could cause loss of data. 2. Edit the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, and specify the uncompressed volume's drive letter on the Bootsafe line. For example, if drive C: is the compressed volume, drive D: is probably the uncompressed volume. In this example, the correct syntax for Bootsafe would be: BOOTSAFE D: NOTES: ------ Running VSafe and VWatch will detect known boot sector viruses. Bootsafe will detect unknown viruses that may change the boot sector. INSTALL MAY FAIL TO TRANSFER SYSTEM FILES TO THE RECOVERY DISK SITUATION: ---------- Run Install and select to create a Recovery Disk, select the format button, and the message "We were unable to locate system files. Please insert a system diskette into drive A:" may display. CAUSE: ------ This may occur on a computer running disk compression software, such as Stacker or SuperStor, under MS-DOS or DR-DOS SOLUTION: --------- Option 1: During the Install process, specify the boot drive as the drive where the AUTOEXEC.BAT file is located. If running Stacker, SuperStor or other disk compression software, and the drives have been swapped, the AUTOEXEC.BAT file may not be located on drive C:. Option 2: Run INSTALL /RD while logged onto the boot drive. For example, if the install disks are in drive A:, log onto the boot drive, and at the DOS prompt, type: A:\INSTALL /RD<Enter> Option 3: Run the DOS Format program with the /S parameter to format a system disk for use as the Recovery Disk rather than selecting to format the disk through Install. ___________________________________________________ > DASHBOARD 2.0 STR InfoFile """""""""""""""""""""""""" NEW VERSION OF DASHBOARD FROM HP HAS MORE THAN 25 NEW FEATURES AND ENHANCEMENTS Dashboard Speeds Past Competitors as Sales Exceed 300,000 Units Hewlett-Packard Company is shipping Release 2.0 of Dashboard for Windows, a major upgrade to its award-winning, push-button utility panel for Windows. Release 2.0 of Dashboard adds the features most requested by its growing base of users, including snap-off toolbars and a DOS Command Line. "Users have driven Dashboard sales far beyond our expectations," said Harry W. (Webb) McKinney, general manager of HP's PC Software Division. "Release 2.0 gives them the features they asked for without asking them to give up a product design they're already comfortable with." Release 2.0 of Dashboard adds 25 new features and enhancements that help users work faster than ever before in Windows, including: o vertical or horizontal orientation enables users to put Dashboard within easy reach in the position they like it best; o hotkeys and hot mouse-clicks give users new options for toggling, launching and more; o snap-off toolbars let users personalize Dashboard and put quick-launch buttons, the printer panel or the program menu exactly where they want them; o Dashboard Run Window allows users to use DOS commands and drag-and-drop to launch DOS and Windows applications and files without ever leaving Windows; o the Resource Gauge's new Drive Watch monitors network drives, removable drives and CD-ROM drives; o sizing options, custom colors, custom fonts, custom screen backgrounds, launch mini-buttons and new gauges let users customize Dashboard to suit their needs. User Feedback Positive "Whether you're a power user or you're new to Windows, Dashboard puts you in the driver's seat," said Howard Kelley, a Dashboard 2.0 beta user, and president and chief executive officer of Sally Corp., a maker of entertainment robots. "New users love the instant access to applications. More experienced users -- especially in networks -- love the gauges and the customizing features. Release 2.0 of Dashboard builds on a great concept with lots of new power, yet HP has kept its promise to keep Dashboard simple." "Dashboard is ideal for the corporate environment," said Harris Z. Tilevitz, director of information systems for New York-based Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom, a leading U.S. law firm. "Dashboard makes it easier to work within Windows and allows better training and support for large corporate user groups. The new release is even more customizable, with features like snap-off toolbars and the vertical orientation." According to HP, Dashboard 1.0 has sold more than 300,000 units and holds a strong market position among Windows application launchers. Dashboard is available in English and German. It received PC Magazine's Best of 1992 honors in the January 1993 issue, the Best of 1992 in the January issue of Home Office Computing and Windows User Magazine's Editorial Best Award for 1992. Upgrade Prices and Availability Dashboard is $99.00 (U.S.). Users of Dashboard 1.0 can upgrade directly from HP for $29.00 or purchase Dashboard 2.0 through retail stores and receive a $15 upgrade rebate from HP. Dashboard 2.0 requires 1.5 MB of free disk space and Windows 3.1. Sales inquiries should be directed to Hewlett-Packard Company, PC Software Division, 974 East Arques Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94086. The phone number is 1-800-554-1305. Hewlett-Packard Company is an international manufacturer of measurement and computation products and systems recognized for excellence in quality and support. The company's products and services are used in industry, business, engineering, science, medicine and education in approximately 110 countries. HP has 93,800 employees and had revenue of $16.4 billion in its 1992 fiscal year. _______________________________________________________ > CALLING CIS STR Feature """"""""""""""""""""""" Compuserve - getting there from India ===================================== ctsy CIS by Atul Chitnis I got a call this morning. All the way from Bombay. Wow ! The gentleman at the other end had a very interesting query - what's Compuserve's Bombay phone number ? Oh oh. Many moons ago, I wrote a full article on Compuserve. I never had so many responses to anything I wrote in my life before! Not even after that unfortunate incident I had with a cheque I once issued without checking my bank balance.... But the phonecall gave me reason to think - Compuserve seems to be indelibly on the Indian businessman's mind. Am I to blame for that ? Yes? What a nice feeling! Anyway, I went back and dug up that issue of PCQ (the one I had to steal from Dayanand at PCQ Bangalore because I couldn't get a copy on the newsstands), and re-read what I wrote in those days. Woefully inadequate. Surprising that you dear people still read my column. OK, let me make amends - here's the inside dope on how to get to Compuserve. Modemer's Paradise ------------------ Everytime I log into Compuserve, I have this warm feeling washing over me. It's like coming home. The sight of the "You have Electronic Mail waiting" notice is like seeing my dog sitting on the doorstep wagging its tail seeing me approach. And, on entering the the various forums I frequent, being greeted by "11 messages waiting for you" feels like my daughter running down the garden path, arms outstretched, yelling "Papa!". Not for nothing does the world speak of Compuserve as "the biggest communication service in the universe (unless proven otherwise)". With almost a million people frequenting the place, it is the world's biggest meeting place. And it is just a phone call away. It is surprising how easy it is to meet people on Compuserve. An innocent query in a forum, and you get responses from all over the world, from people who want to help you, who want to know you, who want to interact with you... I have made it a habit of signing my name as "Atul Chitnis [India]" in forums. That country tag alongside my name is almost certain to get me responses - simply because people can't believe that I am calling from India (where people supposedly still live in caves and use smoke signals to communicate). And it also helps in business - especially since India's markets are opening up, and there are plenty of people out there who want to do business with our motherland, but were scared because of the lack of communication facilities. The very fact that I am able to communicate via Compuserve gives them hope. Yes, Compuserve is a modemer's paradise. Let me get you there. Getting to Compuserve --------------------- There are three steps you must take to get to Compuserve. 1. You HAVE to have a modem, a phone line and a PC of sorts. 2. You have to have a line of communication to Compuserve. 3. You have to get a Compuserve account. Let's take them one at a time : Getting a modem, etc. You'll have to have a PC (or a Mac, or a...), you have to have a phone, and you HAVE to have a modem. The first two are usually already in place (else you wouldn't bother reading this article). The third part is important, because this is where most people goof. Buy a GOOD modem (not a cheap Taiwanese "deal"). The better the modem, the better the returns. Make sure it has error correction (MNP/V.42), and make sure it is fast. If you haven't bought a modem yet, but are about to do so, do NOT buy a 2400 bps modem. Those old clunkers are outmoded and will be history in a year or so. Buy a 14400 bps, V.32bis modem. Do NOT buy an internal modem - they are cheaper, but much more trouble. Make sure that your PC's serial port has a 16550AF UART chip - without it, you cannot communicate at high speeds. Do NOT buy/acquire/steal an imported modem - believe me, you'll be sorry (unless, of course, the modem is made by a VERY reputed manufacturer such as Hayes, Multitech, Motorola, US Robotics, Supra or AT&T - just remember that the Indian P&T may not allow you to use an imported modem). And don't judge the modem's quality by the fact that "it sends faxes just fine" - sending a fax is not a real test - it hardly strains the modem. Getting a line of communication to Compuserve --------------------------------------------- There are a number of ways to connect to Compuserve. Some are expensive, some are more expensive, some are ridiculously expensive. The cheapest way is retiring to the Himalayas and establishing contact via meditation. That's cheap, but has been know to fail, so don't bank on this option. A more reliable (but also more expensive) way is calling Compuserve directly with an ISD call to the USA. One of the 14400 bps numbers is 001-614-764-2917. Remember that the tariff is one pulse (local call) a second. Cheaper than a call to the USA is calling the Compuserve node at Hong Kong. Since HK is a SAARC country, the tariff is only one pulse every 1.2 seconds. The number is 00852-3041332. The number takes both 9600 and 2400 bps calls. Cheapest (relatively) is INET (provided you use it wisely). To get an INET account, contact your local Telecom office. It costs Rs.1820 for registration - what you need is a X.28 dialup account. INET will not give you an account unless you are using a modem cleared for use in India by the DoT - another reason for buying a reputed modem of Indian manufacture. INET is now available in 89 cities in India. INET usage charges are Rs.200/64kb of data, plus Rs.4 per minute. Once you have your INET account, connect to the local INET node using your PC and modem. When you get to the "*" prompt, type "Npppppp,uuuuu-03132", where "pppppp" is your INET account's password, and "uuuuuu" is your INET account number. In a few seconds, you'll see the word COM on your screen, and a few seconds later you'll be prompted for a host name - enter "CIS". Next you will be asked for your Compuserve User ID and password - enter them and you are on. But we are ahead of ourselves. Let's first of all get ourselves a Compuserve account. Getting a Compuserve account Actually it is very easy getting a Compuserve account - you can register online. But there is a fatal hitch - Compuserve will only let you register if you have a credit card (VISA/MasterCard/AmericanExpress) that is valid in the USA. This rules out your local credit card - the RBI rules forbid it, except for a few rare exceptions (such as when you are a registered, $$$ earning exporter). So how do you get around this? ----------------------------- One way is to ask your contact abroad to open the account for you, based on his/her credit card, and give you the user id and password. You'll have to come to some arrangement to pay back the money. If your contact abroad has difficulties getting an account, ask him to call Compuserve's service centre (voice) at 1-800-848-8990. Or you can call them from India at 001-614-457-8650. The service centre will give you all the help you need. Another way is to ask someone abroad for the use of his/her credit card number (you'll also need the date of expiry and the bank on which it is drawn). This is dicey, and usually works only if your contact trusts you completely (son/daughter studying/working abroad, relative, VERY good friend, etc.) Then you can use that credit card number to register online. Connect to Compuserve using one of the ways mentioned above. When the connection to Compuserve is established,enter "177000,5000" as User ID and "PC*MAGNET" at the password prompt. When asked for the agreement number, enter "Z11D9200". (This may have changed, check a recent copy of PC Magazine). Enter the information that will be asked off you, (including the credit card number). Once you have registered, you'll be issued a user id, but not a password. The password will be sent to you by post after about 10 days, after Compuserve has verified the credit card information. Once you get your password, go online and change it immediately (GO PASSWORD). At the end of all this, you will have a valid Compuserve account. Congratulations. Sit back and have a Coke. Now don't call Compuserve. You ain't ready for it. Using Compuserve effectively ---------------------------- Before you call Compuserve (after you get your own account), please sit down and think. Communication of any form can be expensive unless you do it right. Standard Compuserve rates are $12.80 per hour at 2400 bps, $24 at 9600/14400 bps. If you use only e-mail and some selected services, then these rates can be $8.95/$16.00 per month, but it is easy to go outside these selected areas. Go out, and buy all the back issues of PCQ you can find that have 1993 in the masthead. Read my past articles. I have spent a good part of the year writing about effective communication methods, bone up on them. While you are at it, get a PCQ subscription so that you don't miss out on anything in the future. Get a copy of OzCIS 2.x (the world's best Compuserve automation program). OzCIS 2.x is shareware, but you can download it only from Compuserve (GO CIS:OZCIS) or get it from a friend. BBSs (including mine) CANNOT offer OzCIS 2.0 or later because the author, Steve Sneed, does not permit it. OzCIS saves me thousands of dollars a year, because it accepts all input from me before calling Compuserve, then goes online and rips through all requested actions and logs off, allowing me to peruse the results offline. You'll need a special script to use it with INET - you can pick it up from my BBS in the PCQ forum (filename OZINET2.ZIP). Getting help ------------ Once online to Compuserve, the best place to ask questions about Compuserve is in the Practice forum (GO CIS:PRACTICE). This area is free of Compuserve charges (but you will still be paying for communication costs). Ask your questions, and you are sure to get answers. Just remember the following golden rules when posting a message : 1. Do not send a message that is ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. This is considered rude and may get you banned off the area. 2. Be brief and to the point. State your question in a couple of sentences - long messages are frowned upon. 3. Don't send unsolicited messages to anyone using e-mail. You usually will make friend with people in the forums, then can carry on your relationship with them using e-mail if they indicate that this is desirable. There are various other ways of getting help. --------------------------------------------- The best way to learn about Compuserve is to pick the brains of a friend who has a Compuserve account. There are also consultants who can help you (yup, guys like me), but since it is their profession, they'll charge you for it. Dependant on how good the guy is, a consultant can very quickly get you up to speed. Make sure that HE has a Compuserve account himself and verify this on Compuserve by checking the membership directory (GO CIS:DIRECTORY) for his name. I know a number of conmen who say that they have "extensive Compuserve experience" after having seen a distant acquaintance log in once, and who'll gladly take you for a ride at your expense. Beware of such parasites. And NEVER divulge your INET or Compuserve passwords to anyone, even your friends. Always type them in yourself when needed. A "shady" friend/consultant will show his true nature when he asks you for the password instead of asking you to type in the passwords yourself. As a Compuserve member, you will also receive a free subscription of the Compuserve Magazine, which is also an invaluable resource. There are some excellent books in the market - browse through your local computer bookstall, you are sure to find something. Become a member of a BBS near you. Many Compuserve members also frequent BBSs, and you could ask them. And finally, explore Compuserve online (carefully). Make sure that you have your capture/log file open, so that you can read everything that happened later when you are offline. Do not spend time online reading what appears on the screen. Logout ------ I hope that this time round I have really given enough details on how to get to Compuserve. And I hope this article helps all those people abroad who wish to have their Indian counterparts contact them via Compuserve, but didn't know whether (and how) it could be done. See you on the other side. ---------- Note : This article appeared in the PC Quest magazine in January, 1994 and has been uploaded here with permission of the magazine. ATUL CHITNIS is the Managing Director of A.R.B.Constellation, a Communications Consultancy firm in Bangalore, India and can be contacted via E-mail at 70620,563 on Compuserve, 70620.563@COMPUSERVE.COM via InterNet, via his BBS at +91-(80)-3341137 (User ID SYSOP or log in as GUEST) or c/o PC Quest, New Delhi. He writes a regular column called COMversations for PC Quest. PC Quest is India's leading Computer magazine. A subscription costs $50/year. Write to: PC QUEST D-74, Panchsheel Enclave New Delhi 110 017, India Make subscriptions payable to: CYBER MEDIA (INDIA) LTD. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ___ ___ _____ _______ /___| /___| /_____| /_______/ The Macintosh RoundTable /____|/____| /__/|__| /__/ ________________________ /_____|_____|/__/_|__|/__/ /__/|____/|__|________|__/ /__/ |___/ |__|_/ |__|_/____ Managed by SyndiComm /__/ |__/ |__|/ |__|______/ An Official Forum of the International Computer Users Group *** STReport available in MAC RT *** ASCII TEXT for ALL GEnie users! MAC/APPLE SECTION (II) ====================== Randy Noak, Editor I had written an opening editorial carping and complaining about the bitter cold that we've been experiencing here in the Midwest. Then the earthquake hit California, and the cold didn't seem like such a big deal after all. All of us at Mac Report wish for a speedy return to normalcy for our Los Angeles readers. Circle March 14 on your calendar. It looks like that will be the release date for Apple's PowerPC computers. From all reports, they are faster than greased lightning and priced to make even the most jaded DOS/Windows user ready to dig into his/her pocketbook. After March 14 will also be the time to find great bargains on all those "obsolete" Mac Quadras gathering dust on the dealer's shelves. Who remembers Winky Dink? For those readers who don't, Winky Dink was the first Interactive TV show. Aired in the early 1950's, Winky Dink fans could, with the aid of a special "magic screen" that was stuck on the picture tube and "magic crayon" assist Winky Dink in his endeavors. When Winky Dink came to a chasm, no problem. Kids across America busied themselves drawing a bridge for Winky Dink to cross. Winky Dink needs a canoe to cross a river and evade the bad guys? No problem. Kids from California to Virginia were busy drawing the means of Winky Dink's escape. Kids _loved_ Winky Dink. Parents _hated_ Winky Dink. It seems that some children, in their haste to help their favorite cartoon hero, would "forget" to place the "magic screen" over the picture tube resulting in a Crayola-covered mess. Needless to say, Winky Dink didn't last too long. With all the talk lately about "Information Highways" and Interactive Television" it's nice to look back and realize that, baby-boomers had the opportunity to participate in some of the latest and future technologies earliest experiments. Enough of my reminiscing. On to the column. This week there's a review of Inline Software's Deliverance, a press release about Apple's new Performa, and the Mac Report Mail Bag. Remember, something big is coming! _______________________________________________________ > DELIVERENCE STR Review """""""""""""""""""""" DELIVERANCE =========== From Inline Software by Jeff Coe Senior Associate Editor Sharpen up your battle axes folks, we ve got some serious monster bashin to do. Deliverance is a good old fashioned Hack-and-Slash game with a few unusual twists thrown in to keep it interesting. You control the barbarian warrior called Stormlord as he sets out on his quest to rescue some fairies from the castle of the evil Tnarom . Armed with an unlimited supply of throwing axes, Stormlord must search the many levels of the castle, free the fairies from their bondage, and guide them back home. To get home, he must pass through the Pits of Fire (stage 2), the Enchanted Forest (stage 3), and even fly on the back of a mechanized dragon in the Winged Warriors Filled Skies (stage 4). Each level is different enough in game play, graphics and type of bad-guys to make sure you don t get tired of the whole thing. In fact, the final stage on the flying dragon could even be a different game completely. The first three stages have our hero on foot, doing hand to hand combat with the evil ones. He either throws an axe at them, or hold the axe and hacks away when things get real close. The dragon riding section is more of a sideways scrolling shoot em up, so none of the experience you gained early on in the game will be of any use to you there. Since the majority of the game is played on foot, I ll tell you a bit more about it. Your perspective on the game is from the side. You control Stormlord as he walks left or right, jumps up, crouches down or uses his weapon. The same keyboard command for jumping will also make your man climb ladders. The standard key assignments have you using the arrow keys to control direction, and the spacebar to attack. Combinations of an arrow with the spacebar permit Stormlord to throw long or short, or to hold on to the axe and just swing it in an arc all around himself. Combinations of arrow key presses will make your fighter jump left or right. These keys can be reassigned if you have a layout you think might be better. Personally, I hate the arrow keys all in a row along the bottom of the Apple Keyboard II that I use. A separate cursor control pad is much more natural to me, so I set my left, right, up and down keys to be the 4, 6, 8 and 2 keys on the numeric keypad. The game also supports the MacFly , Gravis GamePad and MouseStick II controllers. Unfortunately, I don't have any of those so I can't comment on how they respond here, but this game just screams for a joystick! At any rate, back to the game play. In addition to hacking monsters into little pieces, you also gotta save the fairies, remember? Some of them are locked up in these fancy closet things on all the different floors of the first section. To open a closet, you center your fighter in front of it, press up, which in this case makes him turn to face it, and press up again which then actually opens it. If there was a fairy in there, she ll come flying out and buzz around a bit. Touch her to add her to your collection. It s possible that the closet could also contain something else. It might be a giant spider or a couple of bats, which you need to kill quickly before they drain too much of your health. Or, the closet might contain a key, which you ll need in order to pass through doors. Watch your reflexes when opening closets! It s all too easy to instinctively hit the spacebar after opening one in order to slice a bat, and then find out you just whacked a fairy. You can t save them if you kill them! Lets talk monsters. Each section of the game has unique creatures not found elsewhere. The main nasties in the first section look alot like the monsters from the movie ALIEN . These guys come after you usually one at a time, but occasionally in groups. They also spray a delightful green blood when you get a good hit in. This is also the section with the spiders and bats I mentioned before. The second section, the Pits of Fire, is where the neatest monsters are. They look kind of like devils, but they have the unique ability to fade into the walls and disappear. Occasionally you ll see one as a blur on the wall behind you as it moves about. They can only be killed when they re solid though, and they don't stay solid for very long. As in the first section, there are some flying nasties to contend with, as well as a lava monster that pops up through a hole in the floor to spit fire at you. Section three as flying and walking monsters too, but your battle ground is on platforms up in the trees. I'll leave the details up to you to discover on your own. Each level also has the traditional end of level Boss monster that must be defeated in order to progress onward. These range from giant fire-breathing dragons to mechanical hero smashers, to combination animal machine type creatures. Probably the coolest is a giant mechanized spider thing that throws exploding spheres at you. Very tough to kill, too! Each section of the game will give you a password when you beat it. All the information about your current game will be the same when you enter the next level, including the number of lives you have left, the number of fairies you have, and the amount of health you hero currently has. An interesting project for someone might be to try to decode the password system. With a bit of luck, you could then enter each level with all of your three lives and full strength, not to mention lots of fairies. Just a quick note on strength or health. You start with a bar across the bottom of the screen that gets longer or shorter depending on the number of hits you ve taken. Resting will allow your health to gradually increase up to full again. If it gets too short, you loose a life. You have three lives. Enough about that. More Technical Stuff... Deliverance can be played on any Macintosh with a color monitor. You need at least System 6.0.7 or higher, a hard disk, and 4MB or RAM. The game can be played in several different modes, depending on your hardware. You have the choice of playing in 16 or 256 color modes, and in a large full screen mode or a smaller window mode. The small mode gives you a total gaming area that takes up about 25% of your screen area. The graphics are very sharp this way, but I found it more difficult to play. The graphics at full screen are just a touch on the blocky side, but still very good. One sour note here though. If your Mac is on the slow side (like an LC II or a Performa 400 through 430) the large graphics in 256 color mode don t scroll very smoothly. In fact it could make you sea-sick to watch it. Fortunately, dropping down to 16 color mode helps alot, and there is also an option they call FASTER that darkens the screen a touch, but seems to pick up the pace a bit too. Small screen graphics were great no matter what, and this mode also offers you the added bonus of being able to switch between applications if you re the type that enjoys doing more than one thing on your computer at a time. Sound in the game is pretty good, but nothing to get excited about. All things considered, Deliverance is a pretty good game. The graphics are good, the sound is fair, and the game play is good. On a 1 to 10 scale I'd give it about an 8. Deliverance is published by: Inline Software 308 Main Street Lakeville, CT 06039-1204 (203) 435-4995 They can also be reached on-line: AppleLink: INLINE.TECH America Online: INLINE CompuServe: 75300,2014 GEnie: INLINE MCI Mail: INLINE If you ve read this far and you decide to buy the game, I have a little cheat for you that can help make the early stages a little easier. If you make your character walk up to a wall, turn him around to face the other direction, and then press down and towards the wall, most of the time old Stormlord will crouch down, turn around and begin floating straight up the wall through floors and everything. You need to be very careful with this because if you go above the top of the playing field into unprogrammed areas you crash your Mac. There are some places where it doesn t work too, but it saved my butt a couple times. I owe this one to my son Chris, who figured it out just messing around. Now... go get those beasties! Jeff Coe is a 36 year old computer hobbyist with experience on a variety of platforms. ________________________________________ > PERFORMA MONEY EDITION STR InfoFile """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Macintosh Performa 560 Money Magazine Edition ============================================= Here's an interesting press release. It looks like Apple has realized that software sells computers. This is a package that answers the question, "What the heck do I need a computer for?" Hopefully, Apple will pursue this in future models. RELEASE MOVED OVER THE PR NEWSWIRE AT 8:31:AM EST, MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 1994 Money and Apple Team Up to Offer Multimedia Personal-Finance Computer System January 17, 1994--Money magazine and Apple Computer, Inc. today introduced a multimedia personal computer system aimed at providing consumers with a complete solution for home and financial management. The Macintosh Performa 560 Money Magazine Edition offers a unique combination of power, performance and programs with 19 preloaded software packages worth more than $1,900 MSRP. The system features popular personal-finance and organizational programs such as WealthBuilder by Money magazine, Quicken, MacInTax, Willmaker and Personal Recordkeeper; the ClarisWorks integrated database, word-processing and spreadsheet package; the Datebook Pro/Touchbase Pro Bundle for calendar and address-book capabilities; and an introductory subscription to the America Online interactive information service. It also includes interactive educational programs such as the 21- volume New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia CD-ROM, the TIME Almanac CD-ROM and the American Heritage Dictionary as well as entertainment programs such as the World Tour Golf CD-ROM and Monopoly, and a special Money version of the After Dark screen saver. In addition, the system features MacLink Plus/Translators Pro, which enables users to exchange information easily with MS-DOS and Windows files. The Performa Money Edition was designed specifically for people who want to take advantage of the latest technology to manage their personal finances. It features powerful Macintosh multimedia hardware, including a Sony Trinitron color monitor, 160-megabyte hard disk, an internal double-speed CD-ROM drive, built-in stereo speakers, digital sound and microphone, and a send/receive fax modem. The Macintosh Performa 560 Money Edition will be sold directly through Apple via a 24-hour toll-free phone number, 800-351-6111, and carries an Apple price of $2,199. The system, available Jan. 15 in the U.S. only, will also be sold nationwide at selected Circuit City stores. ___________________________________________________________ > STR Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" """"""""""""" STReport's MAC MailBag """""""""""""""""""""" Adobe's recent announcement of prices cuts on their popular Font packages was welcome news, but now Adobe has announced even further cuts for their Type On Call customers. Priced from $25 to $179, Adobe's high- quality fonts are now an even bigger bargain. Call 1-800-682-3623 for more info. The Cobb Group announces ThePage for Mac desktop publishers, Full of "Ideas, Tips & Hints.", ThePage is available for $59 per year. Write The Cobb Group at P.O. Box 35160, Louisville, KY 40232-9719. Whoa! An envelope with "FINAL NOTICE - Please Open Immediately" written on the front. Boy, this really frosts me. Of course it's a final notice for a software offer, but, in my opinion, sending a potential customer a letter that makes it appear that he/she is a deadbeat is not the way to get them to purchase your software. I won't give this company the benefit of a mention. C-WUG, the ClarisWorks User Group is offering a free upgrade to ClarisWorks 2.1 to new members. Join C-WUG and they will send you the upgrade when it is released by Claris. There are a lot of benefits available for C-WUG members including book discounts, access to C-WUG's extensive library of templates, graphics, and help files, MacAcademy videotape rentals, free telephone help and more. For a limited time the first year's membership is only $29. Call C-WUG at 1-313-454-1969. That's it for this week. I hope to make a special announcement in the next week or two, so keep your eyes open! As always, please feel free to send your comments or questions to me at: America OnLine: STReportRN Compuserve: 70323,1031 GEnie: R.NOAK ____________________________________________________________ > FOR A LAUGH OR TWO STR Feature """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF GOD HAD TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN? From the Jerry Pournelle RT on GEnie... AND GOD SAID: "IN THE BEGINNING, GOD CREATED HEAVEN AND EARTH." He was then faced with a Notice of Violation and a class action lawsuit for failing to file a Part A notification and an environmental impact statement with HEPA (Heavenly Environmental Protection Agency), an angelically staffed agency dedicated to keeping the Universe pollution free. God was granted a temporary permit for the heavenly portion of the project, but was issued a "cease and desist" order on the earthly portion, pending further review by the HEPA. Upon completion of His construction permit application and environmental impact statement, God appeared before the Heavenly Environmental Protection Commission to answer unresolved questions regarding His application. When asked why He began these projects in the first place, God simply replied that He liked to be "creative." This was not considered adequate reasoning; and God was required to substantiate this further. HEPA was unable to see any practical use for earth, since "THE EARTH WAS VOID AND EMPTY, AND DARKNESS WAS UPON THE FACE OF THE DEEP." And God said, "LET THERE BE LIGHT." He really should never have brought up this point, since one Commission member was very active in the Sierrangel Club and immediately protested, stating "How was light to be made? Would it be a nuclear-powered or coal-fired generating plant? Would there be strip mining? What about thermal pollution? Air pollution? Universal warming?" God explained that the light would come from a huge ball of fire. No one on the Commission really understood this, but it was provisionally accepted assuming (1) there would be no smog or smoke resulting from the ball of fire, (2) a separate burning permit would be required, and (3) since continuous light would be a waste of energy, it should be dark at least one-half of the time. And so God agreed to "DIVIDE THE LIGHT FROM THE DARKNESS, AND HE CALLED THE LIGHT 'DAY', AND THE DARKNESS 'NIGHT'." (The Commission expressed no interest with in-house semantics.) When asked how the earth would be covered, God said "LET THERE BE FIRMAMENT MADE AMIDST THE WATERS, AND LET IT DIVIDE THE WATERS FROM THE WATERS." One ecologically radical Commission member accused Him of double-talk, but the Commission tabled action since God would be required first to apply for a "firmament" permit from the ABLM (Angelic Bureau of Land Management), would be required to obtain water permits from the appropriate agencies involved, and further, insure that construction of any firmament would result in no net loss of wetlands. The Commission asked if there would be only water and firmament, and God said "LET THE EARTH BRING FORTH THE GREEN HERB, AND SUCH AS MAY SEED, AND THE FRUIT TREE YIELDING FRUIT AFTER ITS KIND, WHICH MAY HAVE SEEN ITSELF UPON THE EARTH." The Commission agreed to this, as long as only native seeds were to be used. About future developments, God also said "LET THE WATERS BRING FORTH THE CREEPING CREATURE HAVING LIFE, AND THE FOWL THAT MAY FLY OVER THE EARTH UNDER THE FIRMAMENT OF HEAVEN." Here again, the Commission took no formal action, since this would require approval of the Game and Fish Commission, coordinated with the Heavenly Wildlife Federation and the Audubongelic Society. It appeared that everything was in order until God said that He wanted to complete the project in six days. At this time He was advised by the Commission that His timing was completely out of the question. HEPA would require a minimum of six to nine months to review the permit application and environmental impact statement, and then there would have to be a 45-day public comment period followed by public hearings. After any and all public comments were considered, it could feasibly take 12 to 18 months before a permit could be issued. And God said, "THE HELL WITH IT!" ********************************************************************** IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= STReport International Online Magazine is available every week for your reading pleasure on DELPHI. STReport's readers are invited to join DELPHI and become a part of a friendly community of enthusiastic computer users there. SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN --DELPHI -------------- Via modem, dial up DELPHI at 1-800-695-4002 then... When connected, press RETURN once or twice and... At Password: type STREPORT and press RETURN. DELPHI's Basic Plan offers access for only $6.00 per hour, for any baud rate. The $5.95 monthly fee includes your first hour online. For more information, call: DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005 DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, MA. Try DELPHI for $1 an hour! For a limited time, you can become a trial member of DELPHI, and receive 5 hours of evening and weekend access during this month for only $5. If you're not satisfied, simply cancel your account before the end of the calendar month with no further obligation. If you keep your account active, you will automatically be enrolled in DELPHI's 10/4 Basic Plan, where you can use up to 4 weekend and evening hours a month for a minimum $10 monthly charge, with additional hours available at $3.96. But hurry, this special trial offer will expire soon! To take advantage of this limited offer, use your modem to dial 1-800-365-4636. Press <RET> once or twice. When you get the Password: prompt, type IP26 and press <RET> again. Then, just answer the questions and within a day or two, you'll officially be a member of DELPHI! DELPHI-It's getting better all the time! ********************************************************************** ATARI/JAG SECTION (III) ======================= Dana Jacobson, Editor > From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""""""""" Well, I'm still alive (if you call this living!). I had a follow- up doctor's appointment late last Friday evening, including another x-ray. I got a chance to see the x-rays, and see the comparison between the two sets. I also learned that I'm suffering from _double_ pneumonia. Apparently, the infection is in both lungs. It looks weird in an x-ray, but shows that it's clearing up. I don't feel any better physically, but I'll take the doc's word that I'm improving. He also told me to stay out of work another week, at least; and gave me an additional prescription to continue with the antibiotics I'm currently on. I've never been this sick for this length of time; I hope none of you ever experience this. I hope that all of our southern California friends made it through Monday morning's earthquake unscathed. I can't understand how you people do it, how you accept this as a common occurrence and rarely think twice about it. I mean, I live in the Northeast and hurricanes are a common weather phenomena here. But, hurricanes can be tracked and we have plenty of advance warning and plenty of time to prepare. With quakes, there's no real warning and no real preparation! Or, have we just all become numbed to these kinds of "natural" disasters? It's a scary thought, regardless... Last week I had wanted to make a few comments about the CES, but I just didn't have the energy to think. I'm planning better this week, and started my column _very_ early to prepare for the periods of no energy. Anyway, is Trip Hawkins really a bozo; or did he seriously underestimate the significance of Atari and the Jaguar? I couldn't believe some of the remarks this man made at CES!! Kudos to Ron Luks for raising Hawkins' consciousness with his poignant question! I also hope that someone mailed Hawkins a copy of the "rebuttal" that Atari's Don Thomas (unofficially) made last week, and was printed in STReport. Don did a great job of countering all of Trip's comments. I think it'll be awhile before Trip makes another speech at one of these events; at least before screening the audience! All I keep hearing these days is a plethora of praise for the Jaguar. The only negative messages that I've seen have been on CIS and posted by a self-proclaimed Nintendo employee. To-date, the games available have been getting rave reviews from the users. It's reminiscent of when the Atari 2600 first came out! I believe that the excitement is going to continue for quite some time. Still nothing on the computer side of things, however. There have been a few tidbits here and there, but no real indication as to what the future holds for Atari computers. Take, for example, some questions and answers from last week's Delphi online conference with Bob Brodie regarding the CES and other topics: (Editor's note: The following questions, answers, and comments were taken from an "unofficial" transcript of the CO. Formatting and spelling corrections were made to make reading easier. DPJ) Tony> Yes, tonight at the user meeting a question came up. Are the proceeds for the Jag going to be used to help out the computer end of the Atari line ?? BOBBRO> Yes, that is our plan. Naturally, we cannot devote 100% of the resources generated by the Jaguar to the computer line. We must be sure to re-invest in the Jaguar as well. But we are very much still interested in the computer business. Gordie> In the meantime, can we take the last answer as a confirmation that TOS is not dead? BOBBRO> Yes Bry> I don't know too much about CES, but I would like to know if Atari plans to (with the current computer climate) put future Falcons into production, or will Atari continue its efforts with a next-generation machine? BOBBRO> No comment is the real answer to that. Sorry. (Editor's note: ...and later on in the conference...) BOBBRO> We are looking at the idea of making the Jaguar chipset on a card, or perhaps a whole new computer. On the one hand, it certainly sounds like Atari is still interested in staying in the computer business, but with no clear cut indication as to direction. But, when pressed for specific answers for future plans, the reply was 'no comment.' Somehow, I don't get that warm & fuzzy feeling when I see this. I realize that Atari is presently unwilling to make any commitments with regard to non-Jaguar issues; but that lack of commitment is what has me and many other Atari users concerned. Atari's focus these days is on the Jaguar. The Jaguar's CD player apparently is scheduled to go on sale sometime this summer. If Atari's energy is on the Jaguar, for how long? What will be the determining factor for Atari to say it's time to re-invest in a computer line? There are just too many intangibles here. Speculation can drive us all insane, but what else is there? What of the dealers and developers? I can just imagine what's going on in their minds these days! Where is Atari headed? A fair question, but I don't think even Atari is quite sure at this moment. They have an apparent winner and plan to let it ride. Atari has gone full-circle: from the 2600 game console to the Falcon 030 computer. That circle is starting over again with another game console, the Jaguar. Will the path bring any new variations this time around? It's impossible for anyone to say. I haven't forgotten Part 2 of our online support staff article. I've begun work on the Compuserve section, but it's far from complete at this moment. I apologize for the lack of continuity in this piece, but it just can't be helped. STReport's resident online fisherman has landed another big one this week. Check out John Duckworth's column as he describes CoNnect 2.44, a communications program that keeps getting better. And, our resident Compuserve columnist, Joe Mirando, has found the usual variety of interesting tidbits while perusing the various Atari Forums. So, let's see what's happening with these folks, and anything else of interest along the way!! Meanwhile, I'll get ready for another appointment with my doctor Friday and see if I'm anywhere close to being near "normal" again!! This has got to break sooner or later! Until next time..... Dana P. Jacobson From Delphi's Atari Advantage TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (1/19/94) (1) CD ROM INFO (6) TOAD'S SYSINFO (2) ST ZIP 2.4 (7) DIRECT-DRIVE (3) PREMIUM MAH JONGG (8) MYCLOCK V.1.07 (4) LHARC VERSION 2.99 (9) PFXPAK V3.0 (5) BRODIE CES CONFERENCE (10) ATARI MAIL ORDER DEALERS HONORARY TOP 10 The following on-line magazines are always top downloads, frequently out-performing every other file in the databases. STREPORT (Current issue: STREPORT #10.03) ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE (Current issue: AEO - VOLUME 2, ISSUE 22) Look for the above files in the RECENT ARRIVALS database. _____________________________________________________ > The Old Fishin' Hole STR Feature """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" THE OLD FISHIN' HOLE ==================== -A Guide to the Online PD/Shareware Waters. by John R. Duckworth As I watch the evening news I feel a great deal of sorrow as I watch the hundreds of people who have lost their homes, cars, and in some cases friends and relatives to the earthquake in California. I sincerely hope that our friends in California will be able to recover quickly and move on with their normal day to day lives. This week I'll be taking a look at a shareware terminal program from Germany which may just be the answer for those who are outgrowing their old, dated terminal packages. By having an easy to use, dependable communications program, we will be more able to stay in contact and ultimately help those who are faced with situations like those in the Los Angeles area. "CoNnect 2.44" by Lars & Wolfgang Wander is a wonderful GEM compliant shareware communications package from Germany. "CoNnect" works on any Atari TOS computer and even works fine with multi-tasking operating systems such as MultiTOS. Although many of the options and features in "CoNnect" may only be obvious with the manual (available by registering), I will try to cover those features that most users will look for (and need) in a terminal program. The first task after unpacking the file is to set up the program for your specific needs, which is fairly straightforward and intuitive. Most users will want to start with the options available within the terminal window itself such as emulation, file transfer settings, terminal window and buffer sizes, and the port to use for communication. Most of these settings are fine at their default settings, but it is nice to know that everything is virtually customizable...right down to the terminal window title and colors used for the window. Next phone numbers for bulletin boards and online services will need to be entered into the dialing directory. This is a simple as clicking on an empty slot and entering a name and phone number. I looked for an area to set emulation for each service, but was unable to find such an option perhaps it can be changed from a CoSHy script. BY this time you are probably asking..."What exactly is a CoSHy script?"...well, CoSHY (not sure what it stands for since the demo version I received didn't contain a detailed document file) is a scripting language which seems mighty powerful for a terminal program which isn't commercial. Some parts of the CoSHy language can be pieced together from the extensive (and humorous) online help system, but the easiest way to program a useful CoSHy script is by the learn option. By choosing the "Learn a script" option from the miscellaneous menu, "CoNnect" will basically intercept all keyboard events and write them to a script file. In this way automatic log-on scripts can be written painlessly and effortlessly. It took all of 10 seconds for me to create a script to automatically log-on to Delphi. No strange syntax needed to be learned...it was natural, as it should be. More complex scripts can apparently be written, but a manual may be helpful when attempting such a feat. Most users appreciate it when programmers include keyboard shortcuts for menu options. The "CoNnect" author take this concept a step further by letting the user choose which keys he wants for each selection in the program. Default settings may be chosen which will assign hotkeys automatically. Another useful option is the ability to track online charges (and automatically log calls) for online services. Probably the most unique feature of "CoNnect" is the ability to assign sounds and/or .mod files to certain system and program events. "Paula" is needed when using .mod files from within "CoNnect". "CoNnect" is a very professional and complete communications package. Some other features (which I wasn't able to test) were its fax and answering machine (voice mail) capabilities...I am a bit tempted to get a ZyXEL just to use the answering machine feature! "CoNnect" has just about everything needed in a telecommunications package (and probably more). If you feel you are outgrowing your terminal program which you are now using, then by all means take a look at "CoNnect". The only feature missing is background downloading, so I may just hang on to STalker for a while more. Until next week, hang in there...it can only get better! I always appreciate constructive e-mail, if you have any questions or comments: JDUCKWORTH@delphi.com. +----------------------------------------------------------------+ | Old Fishin Hole Tackle Box * | +----------------------------------------------------------------+ | CoNnect v.2.44 | | Delphi: Atari Advantage - (READ CONNECT) | | | +----------------------------------------------------------------+ * The Tackle Box is meant to provide assistance in finding files mentioned in the column. It should not be considered a COMPLETE listing and is provided for convenience only. Delphi Atari Advantage files should be found in the Recent Arrivals section of the database until moved to their appropriate sections. ___________________________________________________ > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" PEOPLE... ARE TALKING ===================== On CompuServe ------------- compiled by Joe Mirando Hi there everyone. I'll tell you right off the bat that this week's column is going to be shorter than usual. I'll explain right after the applause dies down <grin>. This past week my grandmother lost her battle with cardio-pulmonary problems after more than four months. As anyone who has lost a close relative knows, it is quite a shock (even if, as in this case, it is expected). My grandmother, although un-aquainted with most of today's technology, was always interested and amazed by what it had to offer. I can remember many times when she would watch over my shoulder as I accessed online services, displayed digitized pictures, or did anything else that my computer can do. She was in awe of e-mail, stock quotes, downloading, and Desktop Publishing (If on-line bingo had ever caught on she would have run out and bought a computer for herself). She would often utter those well-worn words: "What'll they think of next?" as she watched, and always supported me in my electronic endeavours, even though the reasoning for some of them eluded her. For this, and for so much more, I will miss her dearly. I would like to thank those of you who expressed interest and concern after I mentioned my grandmother's heart attack back in September. Your e-mail messages have shown me that electronic interaction need not be cold and impersonal. Thank you once again. Well, I guess that I should start the column now, huh? Okay, let's get busy... From the Atari Productivity Forum ================================= Steven Russell tells us: "First off, I want to say that I am fairly new to this forum and have been reading a lot of the messages from here on various subjects. I believe that this is the place for someone to go if they are looking for help in a particular area or need information about a given subject. I have owned an Atari computer for only a little over two years now and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have question about the RAM Gizmo board for the Falcon030. When I install it on the Falcon and boot the computer the screen stays blank and you can hear some clicking, like the computer is trying to read the RAM but can't find it. The board is brand new and has 4 MEGs installed on it and the jumpers are positioned in the correct locations ( I think ). Can anyone tell me what the problem might be and a probable solution for a fix? I'm hoping that the board isn't damaged or bad from the factory. That would be a bummer." Rob Rasmussen tells Steven: "Hopefully someone familiar with the RAM Gizmo board can answer your question. I am curious how to install a board into a Falcon - it has no slots like TT, right? Tell us more about Gizmo. I might get a Falcon. How do you like yours?" Brian Gockley of ST Informer tells Steven: "We've installed RAM boards without any trouble, I would strongly recommend you contact the manufacturer and get a new board. It may have damaged RAM on it. I assume that everything works again when you take it out again?" Sysop Bob Retelle adds his voice to Brian's: "It would probably be a good idea to contact the manufacturer of the RAM expansion board about your SIMMs.. While in theory all 1 Meg SIMMs should be functionally equivalent, in practice there are some differences that can render particular SIMMs incompatible with some applications. In particular, sometimes "3 chip SIMMs" are not fully interchangable with "9 chip SIMMs", even though they have the same pinouts and specifications. It might be that your SIMMs are perfectly OK, but just incompatible with the expansion board. Hopefully the manufacturer of the board would have some experience with this and would have recommendations about what kind of SIMMs would be fully compatible." Steven replies: "The board came unpopulated and we are using Seimens Sims. Yes, When we took the board out, everything worked like brand new. I have the same problem with two different boards now and am begining to wonder if the sims might be bad as well. I guess that I will give the manufacturer a call and find out what they think. I really do appreciate your help though. I will give the manufacturer a call and find out if they have experienced this sort of thing in past or present. It seems that they would some how find a way to make the SIMMs more compatible with other SIMMs and different expansion boards. Sounds like a tall order, but if they could some how get together on a standard then the consumer would benefit greatly. I'm not sure if it would be to their benefit or not though. I have another question for you. I was wondering if you watch Computer Chronicles on Sunday afternoons? Do you remember the show that was on Sunday before christmas when they did coverage of the CES show? I was wondering why they do any coverage of Atari? they had coverage of almost everyone else but them. I really think that they should have had some sort of coverage of Atari for the efforts that atari has put forth in the past few months with the release of the Falcon030 and now the Jaguar. I guess that I'm just upset because Atari has not done a whole lot of advertising in the past and I would sincerelly like to see Atari get back to the for-front of the game and computer industry. Maybe wishful thinking. One more question before I go. Do you know of any Boot managing software that will work on the Falcon? Something like superboot v8.0 or Desk Manager. I really hate the fact that if you want to load any boot programs or desk accessories, you have to rename them and then reboot the system. Not only time consuming but a little bit of a hassle as well. I have been looking at the BBS's and Atari Base, but to no avail." Boris Molodyi jumps in and tells Steven: "Re: your boot manager question. Take a look at XBOOT from Gribnif (they have a section in ATARIVEN). It can handle AUTO programs, ACC's, and CPX's, also ASSIGN files (or any other kind of files you might want to use), and has many very nice features. It also uses GEM-like interface, with mouse support, and works on Falcon." Steven thanks Boris: "Thank you for the advice about XBoot, I think that was maybe the only boot manager that I haven't tried yet. I will look into it though. You know, If I were a programmer I would write my own boot manager program, but alas, I am not so I have to rely on others to come up with idea and hopefully there will be one strictly for the Falcon in the near future." Boris Replies: "I've tried many boot managers, too, and I've found that IMHO, XBOOT is the best. It has all the features, is compatible with all ST to Falcon machines, manages AUTO, ACC and CPX files, data files, has a scripting language etc." I'd like to add my "thumbs up" to that. XBOOT is a truly useful program. It skillfully bridges the gap between novice and expert. It can do as little or as much as you wish it to. It's a nice piece of work. Meanwhile, Ian Fleming asks about modems: "I am thinking of upgrding to a V32,fax modem.The Supra and the Zoom seem very good value.I would appreciate any feedback from users or other recommendations. What fax software is available for the ST?" Sysop Jim Ness tells Ian: "I've had very good luck with Practical Peripherals modems. My current one is a 14400. And, Ron Luks swears by Supra modems. I know you can GO SUPRA and GO PPIFORUM for Supra and PPI support online." Rob Rasmussen tells Ian: "I can't comment on Zoom since I've never used one. I use a Supra FaxModem v32bis and STraight FAX! Recommend them highly." Charles Smeton tells Ian: "My company, NewSTar Technology Management, makes STraight FAX! 2. It supports Class 1 and Class 2 Send/Receive FAX Modems such as the Supra and Zoom FAX Modems. It is available in the UK from System Solutions/Atari Workshop. Look for a review of STraight FAX! in an upcoming issue of ST Review Magazine. We also have a press release in the file area here with the features of STraight FAX! 2." Steve Adams posts: "I have a couple of questions about the Falcon: - Will 520 peripherals work with it (monitors, floppy drives, hard disks)? - How much memory can be put into a Falcon?" Bob Wilson tells Steve: "Technically one can put 14 megs into a FALCON. You can not use any floppy drives with the falcon and all hard drives externally must be SCSI. The standard ATARI expansion port is missing (you can not use an ATARI laser either). You can use ATARI monitors." Sysop Jim Ness posts this little bit of info: "Some cost trivia for folks who enjoy such things... 14400 service (available in 10 major cities) provides an average of about 1550 bytes per second for file transfers and message downloads. Under the new pricing, this means a cost of $1.76 per meg of data. 9600 service averages about 930 bytes per second, thus costs $2.94 per meg. 2400 service averages about 230 bytes per second, thus costs $5.94 per meg. It's pretty clear that if you are using an autonavigator to download files and messages, faster is better. The above average data speeds are typical for my area (Chicago) and may differ depending upon how you connect to CompuServe. The costs quoted do not include surcharges which may apply to your connections." Jonnie Santos posts: "Today's silly question of the hour is: Is there voicemail available (software/hardware) for the ST?" Sysop Bob Retelle tells Jonnie: "As far as I know, there is no voicemail product available for the ST. There is one under development (I'm not sure if it's been released or not) for the Falcon, but that one requires the DSP in the Falcon, so it's not likely there'll be a version for the ST..." Yat Siu corrects Bob: "Actually Bob...Voice Mail is sort of supported in Connect version 2.40 and 2.50 will have Class I Fax implementation as well. It can function as a Answering Machine too...EXCEPT that for this it requires the Zyxel Modem specifically...probably not quite THE VOICEMAIL but it's something for a regular ST User :)" From the Atari ST Arts Forum ============================ Chris Punton tells us: "I was wondering if I can view LHZ and other pictures on an IBM PS2. More importantly are the IBM and ATARI compatible? I thought they where." Sysop Bob Retelle tells Chris: "The IBM and Atari computers are not compatible, at least not in the normlly understood sense of an "IBM compatible" computer. The CPU chip is quite different, so the software won't run between the systems. On the other hand, there ARE some areas of compatibility, for example the compression methods you mentioned are compatible.. ARC, LZH and ZIP to name a few can be compressed and uncompressed by either kind of system interchangiably. Any GIF file we have here in the Atari libraries can be viewed by IBM picture viewers, but so far there is no IBM picture viewer that we know of that will display Atari specific file formats like .SPC or .SPU, although there is one IBM program that will display DEGAS (.PI1, .PI2, .PI3) format picture files." From the Atari Vendors Forum ============================ Beth Jane Freeman tells us: "I discovered something very interesting. When you import a graphic to the picture window, you can used variable zoom to make the image larger. This makes it MUCH easier to clip out a part of it." Mike Mortilla thanks Beth: "That could be very helpful. I also like to keep the "show pictures" option off until the set-up of the page is done. Then I don't have to wait forever for the screen to re-draw. PageStream is such a great program. I only wish they'd upgrade it. The only reason I have Calligrapher is to do flex-text. But I wouldn't consider working in it regularly. I think it would be very good for someone who publishes mags & newletters, but for the one page at a time user (me, f'rinstance) PgStream isthe cat's Meowwwwwww!" Beth tells Mike: "Yes, I agree, PGS is the Cat's Meow! I have a Tif file of my friend's cat, done on the IBM with Logitech's Fotoman, and I've used him as PGS clip art, and it comes out terrific. Thank goodness for all the import modules they have for PGS. I think you could flex the text by doing the text as an object and then using slant and/or twist under the Rotate menu. Perhaps that would do what you want to the text. Me, I love to collect fonts." Mike replies: "Actually, Beth (that;s my wife's name, tooo...<g>) I sometimes need to wrap words around curves (like a circle) the PgStrm features don't allow this and also distort the letters. Not a *BIG* deal but something I need to do at times. Yeah! Fonts are Fun!" Well folks, I told you that this would be a short column. I hope that you enjoyed it and got something out of it anyway. That's what CompuServe is all about... enjoyment and learning. It's a winning combination. So tune in again next week, same time, same station, and listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" Words of Wisdom..... """"""""""""""""" "NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE MAN WHO DOESN'T HAVE TO DO IT HIMSELF!" - A.H. 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