Atari SIG: 17-Jun-90 #101

From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 05/25/94-12:30:17 PM Z

From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Atari SIG: 17-Jun-90  #101
Date: Wed May 25 12:30:17 1994

                                     / \
                                    /   \
                                   /     \
                                  /       \
                      ___________/         \__________
                      \                              /
                       \ June 17, 1990  Vol.I  No.1 /
                        \                          /
           /________________                    __________-_____________/
          /___|_|_|_________ CLEVELAND FREE-NET _________| |___________/
         /____|_|_|_________                    ________|   |_________/
        /____/__|__\________     ATARI SIG      ________|   |________/
       /____/___|___\_______                    ______| |   | |_____/
                             /       / \      \
                            /      /     \     \
                           /     /         \    \
        //       ______                             _______          \\
       //       /      \                           /       \          \\
      ()       /________\    ON-LINE NEWSLETTER   /_________\          ()
     /||       | ______ |                         | _______ |          ||\
    //_________||ATARI ||_________________________|| ATARI ||____________\\
    -\||       ||  ST  ||                         ||   XE  ||          ||/-
      \|       ||______||      Supporting the     ||_______||          |/
      |\      /|________|\                       /|_________|         _/|
      ||\_   /____________\     Atari XE, ST,   |                    / ||
      ||  \__| /|\   ___  |                     |          |\___/|  /  ||
      ||    _|____________|     Portfolio, &    | ___________   ____   ||
      ||   |                                    \| ///////// | | __ |  ||
      ||   \ ____________ _     Lynx systems     |___________| | __ |  ||
      ||    |/////////// | \                     |______/////| | __ |  ||
            |LLLLLLLL LLL| _                     |LLLLLLLLLLL| | __ |    
            |LLLLLLLL LLL||'|                    |LLLLLLLLLLL| |____|    
            |_[____]_____| -                     |__[_____]__|  \_-/    
              (aka C.A.I.N. - Cleveland Atari Information Network)
        216/368-3888 | 300/1200/2400 bps | type 'Go Atari' at any menu       
               Atari SIG, P.O. Box 21815, Cleveland, Ohio, 44121              


Words from the Editor...........................Len Stys
What to do About Atari..........................Kevin Steele
The Atari Portfolio (Review)....................Tony Thomas
The "Atari Advantage" is a real advantage.......Len Stys
Free-Net Online Magazines and Z*Net.............
Sparta DOS X (Review)...........................Doug Wokoun
Police Quest II (Review & Hints)................Robert Stys
Alpha Music Utilties (3 Reviews)................Michael & George Polly
What is new in the Cleveland Atari World?.......Mark Leair
Free Registration and Membership Offer..........
New Sierra Games for the Atari ST...............
Lynx and new Lynx game cards....................
About the Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG..........

      Accessing Free-Net by Internet- IP address: "".
   Sending Atari SIG e-mail from Compuserve or other systems through Internet:
   Sending Atari SIG e-mail from BITNET systems usually found in colleges:

                         Words from the Editor

     Happy Father's Day and welcome to the first issue of the Cleveland
Free-Net Atari SIG's On-Line Newsletter.  WE hope you enjoy it and will
continue to bring you news, reviews, and articles every other month.

     It may seem a little ironic that we would start a newsletter at probably
one of the most depressing times in almost every Atarian's life but that is
exactly why we started one.  In this newsletter, we will not concentrate
on what Atari is doing wrong but instead we would like to concentrate
on what great things there are for your computer and how you can better use
your Atari.

     The Lynx is out and it is being advertised by Atari and just in time.
It seems as if Nintendo, NEC, and Sega are all bringing out new portable
game systems.  Each of these new portable systems will be able to run
games from their existing home system - something I'm sure Atari didn't
think they would do. But Atari has a chance if they get in a lot of America's
homes by this Christmas.  The Stacy's hard disk drive problem is being fixed
and already the Stacy is said to be the ultimate MIDI tool not to mention an
ultimate Mac Portable!  Rumor has it that the "Atari Advantage" package will be
out by Fall in the U.S. and will consist of the STe (hopefully!) and a bundle
of software to be sold in K-Mart type stores.  A few rumors have it that
a multi-million dollar advertising campaign to promote the STe and Stacy
computers in the U.S. has indeed been signed.  Of course, I cannot guarantee
that all of this is true but is seems as though it is about time that rumors
like these start becomming true.  The last bit of hope that I can give you is
from Sam Tramiel himself.  I received a letter from him about two weeks ago
that said, "Please keep the faith strong in Atari" and "you won't be
disappointed at year's end."  I believe I won't.

     Hmmm.  What do we have for you in our very first issue?  Everything.
We formally introduce the Portfolio by giving you a review on it.
A review for probably the most powerful product for the Atari 8-bits that
brings you past MS-DOS is SpartaDOX X.  SpartaDOS X as you will find out
is why 8-bitters are still 8-bitters- it is probably the best kept secret.
We bring you tons of reviews of software and products for the Atari ST.
We bring you an article on what to do about Atari.  What new titles are coming
out from Sierra for the Atari ST.  And much much much more!

Len Stys

                            What to do about Atari?


                                 Kevin Steele

      Recently, with the continuing slide of Atari's US market share, there
have been a large number of angry voices crying out, demanding that Atari get
its act together and release all those wonderful new machines it has been
promising for the last two years. Many have threatened to sell their
equipment and get Macs or clones if the new computers aren't out in this
month or that month. For those of you bemoaning the current status of the ST
market in the United States, I'd like to propose a little experiment:

        1. First, sit down in front of your ST. Okay, are you seated?
        2. Next, say these words directly at the monitor:
                "Atari has abandoned the US market!"
        3. Observe any reaction from your ST.

      Did your machine stop working? Did it evaporate before your eyes? Did
it run screaming from the room, spewing floppy disks? I thought not. Point
is, odds are your ST neither knows nor cares what the current state of the
U.S. ST market is--no matter what kind of strangeness goes on down in
Sunnyvale, odds are your ST will continue to do what it has always done,
unperturbed by rumors or vaporware, undaunted by the now-famous Atari
'revolving door' employee policy.

      You have to ask yourself one very important question:

      "Does my current computer meet my current computing needs?"

      If it does, then there is no reason for you to panic every time a new
computer is a couple of months or years late. Why be panic-stricken that the
STe, Stacy, TT, or whatever is late when you really aren't going to buy one
right away anyhow? I don't know about you, but my current system more than
meets my needs, and I'm not going to start worrying about which computer to
buy until such time as I see a genuine need to buy a new computer.

      My ST system has more than enough muscle for my needs, and my needs
are pretty big. As a freelance technical writer, I spend eight hours or more
a day in front of my ST, churning out page after page of manuals, diagrams,
invoices, and such. I've gotten nothing but positive remarks on the quality
of the work I've created with my Atari ST, and as long as I can continue to
produce professional-quality work in an expedient manner with this system, I
see no reason to waste time worrying about what my next type of computer will

      However, don't interpret any of the above as any sort of
'glossing-over' of the current status of Atari and their US policy -- my
personal views of Atari's management style really aren't that positive.
However, unlike many notable ST owners, I've made a conscious decision to
stay out of the pulpit when it comes to the ever-popular "Atari-Bashing"
sermon. If you've owned an ST for more than a month, you're bound to have
heard it -- that endless diatribe on the evils underfoot in Sunnyvale, about
the doom that each of us faces if Atari doesn't tow the line and submit to
our wishes.

      Why do I avoid "Atari-Bashing" when I share the same negative views?
Well, think of it as a cost/benefit analysis: what will bashing cost me, and
in what way will I (and others) benefit from it? In my opinion, bashing tends
to simply make one look like a whiner, especially since it really doesn't
yield any tangible benefits. If you're not a member of Atari Corp., you're
powerless to instigate changes, and all of your angry Atari-Bashing screaming
is just so much hot air in the wind. You'll save yourself (and others) an
ulcer by avoiding this practice. Owning an Atari computer these days is
discouraging enough with the scarcity of dealers and support--there's no need
to add to the doom and gloom with endless tirades on the evils of Atari

      The ST user community would be greatly enhanced if everyone who is
currently spending their evenings "flaming" about Atari on local BBS's would
instead upload a PD program, send in a shareware payment, participate in a
user group, or spend a minute or two with another user who needs some help
with their system. Take things in stride -- if your ST isn't affected by the
current antics at Atari, then you shouldn't be either!

Kevin Steele

                  The Atari Portfolio (Review)


                           Tony Thomas

If you were to tell me a few years ago that there 
would be a full-function, 8088-based computer that you 
could hold in the palm of your hand, I wouldn't have 
believed it.  Yet, I'm writing this article on just 
such a marvel of computer technology - the Atari 

The Portfolio redefines the word "portable".  When I 
bought my first portable computer - a CP/M-based 
Kaypro 2X - over five years ago, it weighed in at a hefty 
25 pounds!  Soon thereafter, I picked up another 
"portable" - a NEC 8201 (similar to Tandy Model 100) - 
which was a vast improvement, weighing in at about 5 
pounds.  The Portfolio, by contrast, tips the scales 
at just over a pound!  In fact, I was even able to 
weigh it myself on a tiny Pelouze postal scale!!

Now, the obvious question is: Just how powerful is it?  
While the Portfolio won't do away with the desktop 
computer, it is the perfect portable supplement to it.  
Since it fits into a coat pocket and runs for more 
than fifty hours on a single set of batteries, the 
Portfolio is the perfect traveling companion that will 
be at home on a plane, in a hotel room or even at the 

Files can be transferred to and from the Portfolio to 
your desktop computer via the optional serial 
interface or to an IBM-PC or compatible via the 
optional Smart Parallel interface.   Long term storage 
is also available via memory cards - an expensive 
medium (about $2-3 per Kilobyte) - limiting the 
Portfolio's usefulness as a stand-alone computer.

How compatible is the Portfolio with a PC?  First of 
all, its internal memory is only 128K, making it only 
possible to run the most miniscule PC applications.  
 Secondly, its operating system - DIP DOS - is similar 
to MS-DOS 2.11 in nearly every respect, except in the 
area of graphics.  Since it does not permit direct 
screen calls and since the screen is only 40 
characters by 8 lines), only simple programs that 
address the screen through DOS can be used.  They 
mostly fall into the category of simple utilities.

The Portfolio, however, does contain some very useful 
application programs which replicate some of the more 
powerful mega-programs.  The word processor is a 
simple ASCII editor with basic cursor movement and 
search and replace functions.  It is adequate for 
routine tasks or for material that will be later 
edited and formatted on a desktop computer (though the 
Portfolio does offer some print formatting options 
allowing material to be printed directly from that 
machine).  The spreadsheet emulates the basic 
functions of Lotus 1...2...3 Release 1A.  Lotus 
spreadsheets (memory permitting) can be loaded into 
the Portfolio and vice-versa.  The other applications 
(Address Book, Diary, Calculator) are similarly 
straightforward and simple to use.

Is the Portfolio worth it?  If you need desktop power 
in a tiny package, the answer is a resounding yes!  
While not as powerful as laptops like the Toshiba 
T1000, the Portfolio stands head and shoulders above 
PIMs (Pocket Information Managers like the Sharp 
Wizard and the Casio Boss) which are an electronic 
replacement to a Day Runner - address 
book/notepad/dairy.  The Portfolio is a palmtop 
powerhouse that will enable you to untether the 
capabilities of your desktop computer and take it with 

Tony Thomas

             The "Atari Advantage" is a real advantage


                             Len Stys

     In the beginning of this year, I wrote Sam Tramiel, President of Atari a
letter.  In this letter I stressed the fact that the "Power Pack" as it was
then called was a great idea.  The "Power Pack" now called the "Atari
Advantage" was to consist of a 520STfm with a bundle of software to be sold at
K-Mart type stores.  What???!  Put the precious Atari ST in K-Mart stores to
make it a game computer?  What about dealers?  What about beig a serious
business computer?  How could I dare to even condone such a thing?  Calm down
and I will explain my reasoning.

     Let's face it folks, Atari has no more than two dozen dealers in the U.S.
and almost half of them rip us off because we have no one else to turn to. 
Need a TOS 1.4 chip installed?  Sure, that will be $150 please.  Or how about a
512k memory upgrade for your fm?  That will be $250 please.  I have never
purchased hardware from my dealer that wasn't at retail price.  The small
number of Atari dealers may also explain why we don't see national commercials
or magazine ads for the ST computer.  Everyone is yelling, WHEN IS ATARI GOING
TO ADVERTISE!  What I would like to know is- how does Atari suppose to make any
money when they advertise and their dealers only have a handful of computers on
hand!  They would not make enough money to pay back for the advertisements let
alone make a profit. If Atari advertises in a city and there are one hundred
people who want the computer and there is only one dealer with ten computers on
hand, Atari will be losing out.  They must have enough computers in a city to
meet the demand when the advertisements create it.  This brings up another
question: why doesn't Atari just recruit more dealers?  They have been trying
but a lot of dealers would rather play it safe and stay with IBM and

     The big cry about the Atari Advantage package is that faithful dealers
will get hurt by it.  I do not see the logic in this whatsoever.  I believe
that Atari dealers will make out the best out of this deal.  It is safe to say
that these discount stores will not sell all the extras involving the ST line
of computers.  Even if they do sell floppy drives, printers, and color
monitors, they probably will not sell removable hard disks, hard drives,
modems, laser printers, and monochrome monitors.  As a new Atari Advantage user
wants to expand his or her new system, they will go to Atari dealers to do it. 
So in this case, the Atari Advantage is really an advantage for dealers. 
Professional users who are into Desk Top Publishing or MIDI will no doubt go to
Atari dealers for professional advise and help.  This is where dealers will be
able to sell the Mega ST professional computer system not to mention the
Portfolio and hopefully new TT computer.

     As for the ST becomming a serious business computer- you can forget it- 
or at least in large corporations.  The new IBM and Macintosh computers have
past the ST up in technology not to mention the new Amiga 3000.  Why would a
business purchase an Atari ST when they can buy faster and better computers
from well known business computer companies?  The TT will have to attack this
market alone.

     What about becomming a game computer?  This is probably not a bad idea. 
Atari has equipped the new STe with 6 joystick ports, 4,096 colors, stereo
sound, and better scrolling.  I believe Atari will be trying to drive out the
kiddies from Nintendo to the ST computers.  Have you noticed?  There are NO
home/personal computers on the market?  Remember what happened a few years ago?
The video game market crashed and everyone who owned a video game system
flocked to home computers.  With the ST looking so attractive to children as a
possible video game system and parents seeing the ST as taking their kids out
of video games and into serious computers, Atari may have something hot here. 
The ST may be another C64 or even another Nintendo in the personal computer
world but without competition for now.

     The Atari Advantage package may be a way of getting some desperately
needed users in the Atari world.  With more users, there is more software, with
more software, there is more users.  I for one am willing to give up my ST as a
professional system with only a few users to talk to in exchange for a
personal/home system with thousands of users to talk to.  I have seen user
groups dwindle in size, I have seen Atari magazines go out of business, I have
seen bulletin board systems close up due to lack of users, I have seen it all
and I am getting tired of it.  It is time Atari gets the ST out of its
prototype stage and into America's homes.

     The only thing that I was concerned about was the fact that the "Power
Pack" was to introduce the 520STfm into the package.  This would leave users
with 512k even though most software being produced now requires 1 meg.  This
would actually put Atari back a step when they have the 1040STe ready to go. 
The STe would be perfect in the Atari Advantage package for it can be expanded
easily in memory and has tons of nice features.  I am glad to say that I am now
hearing that the STe will be in the package instead and to me this was a great
move by Atari.

     The final question is when will this Atari Advantage be out?  It should be
out this Fall.  The only thing holding it up is contracts with software
manufacturers that Atari wants to include the STe with.  Rumor has it that
Atari has signed many major stores to carry the Atari Advantage already.  A
rumor also has it that a multi-million dollar advertising campaign has also
been given the OK for the STe, Megas, and Stacys.  So you may want to consider
saving up your money for this new package by Atari and get it for yourself,
your children, or for me- it looks as if it will be a hit.

     The Atari Advantage package should retail for around $400 and will include
a disk drive, and tons of software.

Len Stys

    T      ||ATARI      |
    h      || ON-LINE   |
    e      ||  MAGAZINES|     A
           ||-----------|     ut
    C      ||           |     t a
    l      ||   | | |   |     h  r
  Free-    ||   | | |   |     on- i
    v      ||   | | |   |     r
   Net     ||   | | |   |    line
    l   S  ||  /  |  \  | magazine
    Atari  || /   |   \ |     e
    n   g  ||           |     dealer
    d      ||1990 - ????|

                     Cleveland Free-Net with Z*Net

     Several weeks ago, the Cleveland Free-Net became a proud official
carrier of Z*Net Online Magazine as well as having an article about Free-Net
published in Z*Net.  Z*Net is one of the nation's best resources
for recent news about Atari.

     //////       //    //  //////  //////   Z*Net Atari Online Magazine
        //   /   ///   //  //        //      ---------------------------
     //    ///  // // //  //////    //              APRIL 06, 1990
  //       /   //   ///  //        //        ---------------------------
 //////       //    //  ///////   //                  Issue #514
                    (=) 1990 by Rovac Industries, Inc.
                            Post Office Box 59
                       Middlesex, New Jersey 08846
                     Z*Net Online BBS: (201) 968-8148
         Available on: * CompuServe * GEnie * Cleveland Free-Net *

     We also carry ST Report Online magazines as well as any other
publication when they become available.  They can be found in the
On-Line Magazine section in the Atari Library.

                            The SpartaDOS X cartridge
                                    a review

                                 by  Doug Wokoun

     The SpartaDOS X cartridge is the latest incantation of SpartaDOS for
the 8-bit Atari and very possibly the most powerful Disk Operating System
available for any 8-bit computer.

     The SpartaDOS X cartridge consists of 64K of ROM, with 48K (or 6
cartridge banks) formatted into a ROM-disk, and the remaining 16K used as the
main DOS core.  The ROM-disk contains files and drivers used by the system
and SpartaDOS X versions of several utilities found in the SpartaDOS ToolKit.
It also contains a very versatile ARC utility package.

     Some of the new features of SpartaDOS X (referred to as SDX):

     o  built in, memory resident FORMAT utility.  Old versions of SpartaDOS
          could only initialize Atari format disks using 'AINIT'.  To
          initialize a SpartaDOS disk required the loading of a program called
          'XINIT'.  Now, any time an XIO #254 call is made, the SDX format
          menu is brought up.  With this, you can select a variety of disk
          densities and types.  It will also allow "1-second" formatting by
          simply rewriting the root directory on a formatted disk.

     o  High speed disk I/O with U.S. Doubler, Atari XF551, and Indus GT disk

     o  New file loader supporting relocatable files (certain disk based
          commands can be held in memory and later removed) and symbol linking.

     o  Probably the lowest MEMLO of any DOS.  The DOS can load drivers under
          OS-RAM, into extended memory on an XE or at MEMLO on an 800.

     o  Environment variables: user definable PROMPTs, search PATHs, parameter
          passing on batch files, and a CARtridge or BASIC memory save 
          capability will retain programs even if the machine is shut off.

     o  The ability to go from a cartridge to internal BASIC without
          rebooting.  The CAR command enters the external cartridge, 
          "BASIC" enters internal BASIC.  You can go from Turbo BASIC XL to
          Atari BASIC to BASIC XE without rebooting! (with some provisions)

     o  Support of up to 1 Meg internal memory as a RAMDisk.

     o  "Persistent" batch files.  Continued batch file processing even after
          loading binary programs.

     o  Fast, powerful, versatile ARC utilities.  Supports ALF files.
          With these, you can Add files to an ARChive, Move (delete after
          Adding), Freshen (update files by date), Update (Freshen with Add
          capability), Delete files from an ARChive, View files in ARC,
          eXtract files, and Print ARC'd files to screen.  The ARC utilities
          also support password encryption and can function
          with the screen off to increase speed.  Also, all files are sorted
          in alphabetical order when added to the ARChive.

     o  A new MENU program very similar to the MS-DOS XTREE.EXE program.  This
          program allows multi-file operations and displays the entire
          directory tree, so files anywhere on a disk can be accessed easily.

     o  Command compatible with MS-DOS.  Directory commands have several 
          aliases.  CWD from disk based SpartaDOS can also be accessed
          as CHDIR, or CD from SDX.

     o  Drives can be referred to by letter or number.

     o  Drives can be remapped.  D1: can be SWAPped with D2:, etc. and from
          that point on, any referrences to D1: will be sent to D2: and vice

     SDX can be configured to take advantage of different hardware.  A file
placed on D1: called CONFIG.SYS is used for this, or the default configuration
can be used.  SDX can be configured to use OSRAM, or an extended bank of memory
for its drivers.  With the right setup, MEMLO can be pushed to below memory
location $1000!

     SDX uses a series of drivers to control most disk functions.  SPARTA.SYS
is the main driver and must be installed.  'DEVICE SPARTA' is used in the
CONFIG.SYS file to do this.  The number of sector buffers and file buffers
can be control by passing parameters to this driver.  Another driver is
ATARIDOS.SYS used to read Atari DOS 2.x disks.  Not installing this driver
saves memory, but then Atari DOS disks cannot be read.  The SDX cart also
contains a RAMDisk driver which can be used to install up to 3 RAMDisks of
any size.  An INDUS.SYS driver is used to program the INDUS GT to operate
at high speed.  There are also two clock drivers, used depending on whether
or not you have an R-Time 8 cartridge.

     A major change with the X cart is the way devices are addressed.  Since
ICD wanted drives to be addressed by letter or number, conflicts would have
occured with existing devices.  Also, ICD wanted SDX to be more similar to
MS-DOS, so those conventions were adopted.  E: has become CON:, P: has become
PRN:, and D1: D2: and D3: are A: B: and C:.  Switching between an IBM
machine and SpartaDOS X is much easier with these changes.

     Another feature of SDX is its I/O redirection.  With this, you can send
the output of a program to another device.  Ex: DIR >>PRN: would do a 
directory, but the results would be sent to the printer.  Also, you can
use a file to "feed" a program with input redirection.  Ex: BASIC <<file.ext
would call up internal BASIC and send it file.ext as if the contents of
that file were being typed into the machine.  This would be used in place
of batch files because you can no longer send input to BASIC from a batch

     SDX recognizes two new file attributes in addition to protected, hidden
and archive.  Hidden files do not appear in the directory, and archive is
used to mark files for backup.  This is normally used with a hard disk backup
program.  When a file is updated, the archive bit is cleared, telling a
program like Flashback that the file needs to be backed up.  All of these
are set with the ATR or ATTRIB commands (same thing).  You can also scan
directories for files with certain attributes.

     Two new commands, PEEK and POKE make many operations easier.  Instead of
going to BASIC to execute these commands, they can be sent to the command
line.  PEEK will also display the value of the memory word stored at that
location and the one following in hex and decimal.

     Parameters can now be passed to batch files.  In the batch file itself,
these are referred to as %1 through %9.  With this, you can create general
purpose batch files to automate tasks.

     Internally, SDX is very different from earlier versions of SpartaDOS.
All of the files on the cartridge are relocatable and can be held in memory.
COMMAND.COM, the command processor is one of these files.  It is 
non-resident in nature and is unLOADed from memory when binary files are
run.  This saves about 4K of memory.  It is reLOADed when the program is
exited to DOS.  Disk based programs written in relocatable format could
be loaded at MEMLO, and held, eliminating the need to reload from disk
each time.  Unfortunately, information on how to write these modules is
almost non-existant, so for now, only the programs on the cartridge can
be held.

     Some of the new commands and changes with SDX not mentioned above:

     CHTD/CHVOL - now built in
     COPY - now checks to see that there are two files specified.  Files
          could be lost with disk based SpartaDOS by accidentally not
          specifying a second filename
     DIR - /p directive pages output, /c directive gives file count.
     DUMP - Hex dump of file
     FIND - search all drives for filename
     MEM - displays banks available, extended memory
     PATH - Set search path
     PROMPT - set system prompt with meta-strings
     RS232 - now built in
     SET - display/set environment variables
     UNERASE - restore file(s)
     X - load file/disable cartridge (for long binary files)

     This is an incomplete listing of the features of SpartaDOS X.  There
are many others and new uses for the functions appear constantly.  While
learning to use SDX will take some time, it is well worth it in the end.

     SDX is available direct from ICD.  The ICD BBS contains a listing
of ICD products available direct at prices much lower than through a store
or even mail-order.  Check for the latest price.  ICD BBS: 815-968-2229.

Doug Wokoun

               ______   _____    _        __    _____    _____           
              |  __  \ /     \  | |      |  |  |     |  |     |          
              | |  | | |  _  |  | |      |  |  |  _  |  |  ___|          
              | |__| | | | | |  | |      |  |  | | |_|  | |___           
              |  ___/  | | | |  | |      |  |  | |      |     |          
              | |      | | | |  | |      |  |  | |      |  ___|          
              | |      | |_| |  | |___   |  |  | |_| |  | |___           
              | |      |     |  |     |  |  |  |     |  |     |          
              |_|      \_____/  |_____|  |__|  |_____|  |_____|          
                 _____    _    _    _____    _____   ______                    
                /     \  | |  | |  |     |  |     | |      |                 
                |  _  |  | |  | |  |  ___|  |  _  | |_    _|                  
                | | | |  | |  | |  | |___   | |_|_|   |  |                    
                | | | |  | |  | |  |     |  |    \    |  |                    
                | | | |  | |  | |  |  ___|   \__  |   |  |                    
                | |_\\|  | |__| |  | |___   | |_| |   |  |                    
                |    \\  |      |  |     |  |     |   |  |                    
                \_____\\ |______|  |_____|  |_____|   |__|                    
                            _________    _________                         
                           |         |  |         |                        
                           |___   ___|  |___   ___|                        
                               | |          | |                            
                               | |          | |                            
                               | |          | |                             
                               | |          | |                            
                            ___| |___    ___| |___                         
                           |         |  |         |                        
                           |_________|  |_________|                        

                               Review & Hints


                                 Robert Stys

     In Police Quest II, you are Sonny Bonds, a promoted Police Officer
from the first Police Quest to Homicide Officer.  You are to capture or
kill escaped criminal Jessie Bains.  In the first Police Quest game, you
put Jessie behind bars for his criminal activities and he is out to get
anyone who had anything to do with sending him to jail.

     I would first like to say that I enjoyed Police Quest II completely.
I thought it was great and well worth the money I spent for it.  It had
great graphics and great sound.  If you happen to have a musical keyboard,
I would strongly advise you to hook it up to your ST and have the game
play the music through the keyboard.  And if you don't have a keyboard and
play a lot of Sierra games, I suggest you get any kind that you can plug
MIDI cables into from your ST into it.  You will find hours and hours of
enjoyment before finishing the game and when you do, you will say to yourself,
this was a great game.  If you like danger, romance, mystery, and excitement,
Police Quest II is for you.

     Is there anything that I didn't like about it?  No, I can't say there
is.  Everything down to the Homicide Officer's Guide that comes with it is
great.  I wish however that Jim Walls, the designer of Police Quest would
reconsider making a Police Quest III.  He has just recently made Code Name:
Iceman and it is suppose to be a big hit.  He claims that he has run out of
ideas but I can think of many.  Perhaps he can try getting all the drug
pushers off the streets or maybe gangs.  I wouldn't even mind if some of the
things he used in Police Quest I & II were repeated as long as they were in
a different situation.

     I have put together a list of hints for you in order to get through
the game.  In order not to spoil the game, I put them in the order of how
you would need them.

     1) Save your game often!

     2) Try looking on the Captain's desk.

     3) Try turning over the card that you have.

     4) A bin is in the hall by counter that holds things.

     5) Try going to the shooting range and adjusting your gun about 3 times
        during the entire game.

     6) In the car, if the captain keeps calling you back, try getting in the
        car and type where you want to go before he starts calling you.

     7) Be careful at Cotten Cove someone might be waiting for you...

     8) Don't mind the stink, search it anyways!!!

     9) Look at each tank and get the one that measures 2200lbs before diving.

    10) Search the waters carefully for evidence.

    11) Try looking in one of the toilets for a surprise! -not what you think.

    12) Try drying the gun some how.

    13) Remember- every officer even at an Inn may need backup sometimes,
        and if it helps, a search warrant wouldn't hurt!

    14) Be careful when openning that door!!!

    15) Have you looked in any jackets or under any turbans lately?  It may
        just save a lot of people!

    16) When all else fails, go to the bathroom!  If that fails, go look
        for some towels!  Only 70 seconds left, hurry!

    17) Do the opposite of that of what you read.

    18) Contact Keith when the mugger appears.

    19) Look for the sewer hole, keep going even when you feel the gas is
        getting to you, then find the mask.

    20) Tell your girlfriend to keep quiet for once!

     If you need anymore help, send the Atari SIG a letter and I will be
glad to help.

Robert Stys

                         Alpha Systems Music Products


                           Michael and George Polly

   When it comes to making the ST into a sound digitizer one of the  best 
programs  out  is Digisound ST Professional by  Alpha  Systems.   In  the 
package  comes  a digitizer which slides into the  card  slot,  the  main 
program and a play routines for your own programs.   The digitizer has  2 
inputs,  one for a mic and the other for any normal audio signal.  It has 
2 knobs, one to control the input level and the other to adjust the level 
of  the  output.   The program itself has many options and many  ways  to 
manipulate  the sound.   It supports full editing,  fade  in,  fade  out, 
reverse, echo, pitch change, volume change and many others.  You can play 
a digitized sound or sample at various pitches by pressing different keys 
on  the computer or by way of a MIDI connected keyboard.   Digisound  can 
sample at rates from 5000 to 40000 samples per second and store the sound 
on disk in Digisound, ST replay, or Hippo formats.  For testing the input 
level, an oscilliscope is built in.  I find it fun to just stare at it or 
see what your voice looks like in the mind of the computer.   A real time 
echo can be applied to the input which is quite interesting. All  of this 
is tied together in GEM windows for easy use.  I have used Digisound  for 
a long time now and I still find it fun and somewhat useful to use.

     Beat Box, also by Alpha Systems, is a drum machine that uses sampled 
sounds from Digisound or other digitizing programs to make drum  patterns 
and sequences.   Beat Box can play 4 sampled sounds at the same time from 
a  selection  of  11.  Making  the pattern is as  easy  as  pointing  and 
clicking.  Playback  is through either any digitizer hardware or  the  ST 

     The final product of this series,  Jam Master,  turns your ST into a 
four  voice  polyphonic  sampling keyboard.  Jam  Master  allows  a  MIDI 
keyboard  to play sounds sampled by Digisound.  The included  four  track 
MIDI sequencer lets you play along with a previously recorded  song.  You 
can even define the keyboard to play up to 32 different sounds  depending 
on the keys pressed.  As with Beat Box,  Jam Master works with  ST-Replay 
and Hippo hardware and sound files.

Michael and George Polly

             What is happening in the Cleveland Atari World?


                           Mark Leair

Press Release - Pro!  BBS   News  Returns - Press Release:
Back by popular demand!  Pro! BBS News, an official online newsletter for
Pro! SysOps and users is returning.  Issue one of volume two should be
available for download July 1,1990, and should be available on the
support board (assuming it's up...) and The Basement BBS node x127
216-381-7859 3/12/24oo bps.  Once again PBN will like to hear from
users and SysOps of BBS Express Pro! BBSs, articles gladly accepted to
be considered for publication.  The newsletter will also run bi-monthly/6 
times a year.

Atari S.I.G.'ware:  All summer volunteer programmers are working on
public domain programs for the Atari computer.  The idea behind this
project is simple.  To spread the word on the great service the
Cleveland Free-net has to accomodate for Atari Users and to hopefully
add some more enjoyment to Atari computers.  If you would like to
volunteer to write a public domain program for this great project,
contact Mark Leair via Free-net at aa338 or on The Basement BBS
(telephone number above).
Lastly, if you don't program, but would like to help, contact Mark
on details on how you can write a game with no programming
knowledge or for other positions.

-Editor's Note:
You can also contact Mark through the Atari SIG's address in the beginning
of this newsletter.

TCP BBS II:  Just as a lot of Atari boards are going down, TCP is being
enhanced to a new and better version.  Call the old TCP BBS for more
information at 216/228-7335.

Time Zone:  Time Zone is a new Cleveland BBS that seems like it will
stick around for awhile.  The SysOp has also just added an 8-bit section
to the board so Atari 8-bitters won't feel left out.  The number for
Time Zone is 216/786-1701 at 300/1200/2400bps.

             Free-Net Registration Fee Waiver and Free Membership!

 Now for a limited time only!  You may sign up for an account with the
 Cleveland Free-Net for absolutely no charge.  And if you hurry, you may
 be one of our lucky users to get a free membership account.  This means
 no timely fee for use of the system.  To show the Cleveland Free-Net
 Administration how big the Atari community is, please include that you
 are an Atari computer user.  Thanks!

-----------  Start of first page


               Thank you for downloading this registration infor-
          mation for the Cleveland Free-Net--a free, open-access,
          community computer system brought to you by Case Western
          Reserve University School of Medicine, in conjunction with
          the Information Systems Division of AT&T and University 
          Hospitals of Cleveland.

               The registration process is very simple.  Below you 
          will find three forms.  The first of these is an agreement-- 
          the terms, if you will, of your participation on the system.  
          This form MUST be signed and dated.  The second is the 
          registration form which provides us with, among other 
          things, the information necessary to set up your "account" 
          on the system and to enter you into the user directory.  The 
          third form is an optional one, but one we think is very 
          important.  It provides us with the basic information 
          necessary to study the system and its utilization.

               To register, simply fill out these forms and mail ALL 
          THREE of them to:

                       The Cleveland Free-Net Project
                       c/o Community Telecomputing Laboratory
                       Wickenden 319
                       Case Western Reserve University
                       Cleveland, Ohio 44106

               There is NO CHARGE for this registration process and NO 
          CHARGE to utilize the system.

               We will send you your ID number, a temporary password 
          and a brief Users Guide as soon as possible.  In the 
          meantime, feel free to use the Free-Net as a visitor.  The 
          number is (216) 368-3888 (300/1200/2400 baud).

               Thank you.

                                                  T.M. Grundner, Ed.D
                                                  System Administrator

------------  New Page


             In exchange for the use of the Cleveland Free-Net 
          Computer System, I understand and agree to the following:

          1.  That the use of the Cleveland Free-Net is a privilege 
          which may be revoked by the administrators of that system at 
          any time for abusive conduct.  Such conduct would include, 
          but not be limited to, the placing of unlawful information 
          on the system, and the use of obscene, abusive or otherwise 
          objectionable language in either public or, upon registra- 
          tion of complaint, private messages.  The staff of the 
          Cleveland Free-Net will be the sole arbiter of what 
          constitutes obscene, abusive, or objectionable language.

          2. That the Cleveland Free-Net reserves the right to review 
          any material stored in files or programs to which all users 
          have access and will edit or remove any material which the 
          Cleveland Free-Net, in its sole discretion, believes may be 
          unlawful, obscene, abusive, or otherwise objectionable.

          3. That all information contained on the Cleveland Free-Net 
          is placed there for general informational and entertainment 
          purposes and is, in no way, intended to refer or be 
          applicable to any specific person, case, or situation.

          4. That the Cleveland Free-Net does NOT warrant that the 
          functions of this system will meet any specific requirement 
          you may have; nor that it will be error free or uninterrupted;
          nor shall it be liable for any indirect, incidental or con-
          sequential damages (including lost data, information or profits)
          sustained or incurred in connection with the use, operation, 
          or inability to use the system.

          5. To abide by such rules and regulations of system usage as 
          may be promulgated from time to time by the administrators 
          of the Cleveland Free-Net.

          6. In consideration for the privilege of using the Cleveland 
          Free-Net and in consideration for having access to the 
          information contained on it, I hereby release the Cleveland 
          Free-Net, its operators, and any institution with which they 
          are affiliated for any and all claims of any nature arising 
          from my use of the Free-Net.



------------ New Page
                                                         ID#: _____________
     _________________________________                   Ent: _____________
                                                         Dte: _____________
                          DO NOT WRITE ABOVE THIS LINE

                              REGISTRATION FORM

        Except where indicated, the following information will appear in 
     the system's directory of users.  "Affiliations" and "Interests" are 
     optional, but we would like to suggest you fill these items out.  The 
     ability to easily locate others with interests and affiliations 
     similar to yours is a major feature of this system and of tele- 
     computing in general.

        Please PRINT each item as you wish it to appear but, please, no 
     "handles" or obvious false names or cities.

     Required Items: (Please PRINT)

     Name: _____________________________________________________________

     City (add State
       if NOT Ohio): ___________________________________________________

     The following information is requested in case you should lose your 
     ID or password.  (It will allow us to identify that you are really 

     Mother's Maiden Name: _____________________________________________

     YOUR Date of Birth: __________________________


     To where/whom should we send your ID number and temporary password:  

     Name: _____________________________________________________________

     Address: __________________________________________________________


     City: ______________________________ State: _______ Zip____________

------------ New Page


               The Cleveland Free-Net is essentially an experimental 
          system.  It is a significant "first" in the field of 
          computing and, because of that, we believe it will be the 
          source of a great deal of study in the years to come.

               To help facilitate our ability to learn more about this 
          system and how it is used, we are asking that all registered 
          users complete a brief questionnaire about themselves.  This 
          information will be kept completely confidential.  At no 
          time will it be made available in a form that is linked to 
          your name, nor will it be made available to anyone for 
          commercial purposes.

               Answering these questions is optional.  You will still 
          be a fully registered user of the system if you do not fill 
          them out.  However, because of the unique nature of the 
          system and the unusual opportunity we have here in Cleveland 
          to study it properly from the beginning, we would like to 
          urge you to help us out by completing these items.

          Please fill in or check off the following:

          1. What is your age?  _____

          2. What is your sex?  _____  1. Male
                                _____  2. Female

          3. What is your race?
               _____ 1. White
               _____ 2. Black
               _____ 3. Asian
               _____ 4. Hispanic
               _____ 5. Other (Please specify ________________________

          3. What is your educational background?
               _____  1. Completed a graduate degree
               _____  2. Completed a 4 year college degree
               _____  3. Completed at least one year of college
               _____  4. Completed high school
               _____  5. Completed the 10th or 11th grades
               _____  6. Completed the 7th, 8th or 9th grades
               _____  7. Completed less than the 7th grade

          4. What is your occupation? (Please PRINT)


            5. What is your total approximate household income?


                            THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!

----------- End of page

                    New Games from Sierra for the Atari ST
               (Reprinted from Sierra News Magazine Vol.3, No.1)

Three New Products for ST Coming Soon!

     At a time when many publishers are discontinuing or cutting back
development on computers other than MS-DOS and Macintosh, Sierra On-Line
is moving outside of these large markets to increase; development for the
Atari ST, both in the U.S. and in Europe.

     In the first quarter of 1990, Sierra has plans to ship no fewer than
three new Sierra titles, with two of these planned between April and July.
Due out soon are new Hero's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry 3, and The Colonel's
Bequest.  Later in the year, Conquests of Camelot and Codename: Iceman will
be released for the ST in the U.S. and European markets (the ST is a
particularly strong contender in Europe, especially in Germany).

     According to Sierra Marketing Analyst Tony Caudill, "Although the Atari
ST continues to be the smallest software market Sierra sells to, we are still
looking for continued growth.  In the U.S. the rolleplaying game cateogry,
which is the cornerstone of Sierra's Atari ST business, is one of the few
gaming categories that saw actual growth in the last 12 months.  With our
imminent release of German language versions of our most popular adventure
games, we see great promise in our international ST business in the next year
as well."

Editor's Note:

     I have contacted Sierra and they tell me that most of these games should
be out by the end of this month.  I also heard that Space Quest IV is on its
way!!!!  For the ST, look at the beginning of next year.

     I would also like to remind you of ONE VERY IMPORTANT THING... remember
to send back your warranty registration card.  This tells Sierra how many
ST software titles have exactly been sold.  The more of these they receive
back, the more faster you will see new titles for the ST.

                   Lynx and new Lynx game cards

     The Lynx is the only color portable video game system available.
It has 4,096 colors, a 16-bit chip, 4 channel sound, super zoom and scrolling.
The most fascinating thing about the Lynx is that you can connect up to 8
other Lynxs together to play real great games with each a different
perspective.  Other portable systems are in the works to challenge the Lynx
but they probably won't be here until next year and with a higher price tag.

     The Lynx has a retail price of $179.95 but can be purchased for 
cheaper.  What a Christmas gift!

     What good is a portable?  The next time you are in a traffic jam,
the next time you are waiting for your wife to get done shopping, the
next time you have to wait for something with nothing to do, think to
yourself that you could have had a Lynx.

      Title available for the Lynx now are:

      California Games, Blue Lightning, Electrocop, Gates of Zendocon,
                 Chip's Challenge, & Gauntlet- The Third Encounter

      New game cards coming by this Christmas include:

      Flying Ace, 720, Paperboy, A.P.B, Rygar, Football, 3D Barrage,
      Road Blaster, Super Soccer, Checkered Flag, Tournament Cyberball,
      Zarlor Mercenary, Xenophobe, Klax, Rampage, Vindicators, Ninja Gaiden,
      Slime World, Turbo-Sub, Junkyard Dog, Ms. Pacman, and many more...

      Up to 25 new game titles will be available by the end of the year.

      Rampage - You're a huge monster trashing 175 different cities.  The
        army will try to stop you, so eat as many soldiers and tanks as you
        can. Burp.

      Klax - The latest arcade hit from Atari Games.  You must form "Klax"
        from colored tiles tumbling down the conveyor belt.  100 levels.

      Chip's Challenge - Help Chip through 144 challenging levels without
        getting nailed by cherry bombs, water traps, and literally hundreds
        of other hazards.

      Gates of Zendocon - the hideous spider Zendocon has sent you deep into
        its web of 51 deadly universes.  Survive each universe if you hope to
        return home.

      Vindicators - 2 player version of the Atari Games Arcade hit.  Drive
        your tank through alien stations to find and destroy main control

      Blue Lightning - You're flying the top secret Blue Lightning combat
        jet.  But you have to survive missiles, ice fields, canyon walls
        and the dark of night.

      Zarlor Mercenary - Fight your way through multi-layered 3-D landscapes.
        Fight well, and you will be rewarded with better armor and weapons.

      Guantlet - The enchanted Star Gem has crashed to earth. Capture it
        from evil creatures before they use its magical strength to destroy
        man.  1 to 4 players.

      Xenophobe - Four player version of the arcade hit.  Aliens have infested
        the space stations.  You lead an ill-equipped group of Astronauts to
        abolish the Alien Menace.

                 About the Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG

   The Atari SIG is a Special Interest Group servicing all Atari computer
users. In the Atari SIG, there are many different sections which you may use.

   One of the first sections that you may use is the User Group Information
listing.  Here you will be able to access information pertaining to the
Atari user group meetings for the Cleveland area.  It will contain the
time, location, and date of the meetings.

   The Atari News section is the place to go for all of the latest news being
released that is related to Atari.

   The General Bulletin Board is the place for Atari computer users to meet
and discuss any problems, suggestions, or experiences that they might have.

   The Specific Computer Boards option leads to several bulletin boards of
different computer types.  It doesn't matter what Atari computer you have,
the Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG supports it.

   The Programmers' Forum is a section of the Atari SIG dedicated to all of
the Atari programmers.  This is where programmers can discuss with other
programmers about any problems or solutions that they might have dealing
with programming.

   The Wanted & For Sale Board is the market place for Atari users.  This is
where users may post messages to sell their equipment or just let others know
what they are looking to buy.

   Another section which you may select is the Software/Product
Information section.  This part of the Atari SIG contains information on
all of the software and products available for the Atari computers.
This section includes reviews, summaries, and discounts on various
software and products.

   The Atari Library section is a place where you can get old Atari SIG
information, On-Line Magazines, and User Group Newsletters.  You may also
find various documents in the Information Base.

   The Help-Line is the place to ask specific technical questions about
your Atari computer.  The SIGOps manning the Help-Line are ready,
willing and able to help.  Your question will be answered as soon as

   And finally there is a directory of all the Atari SIG members.  This
section is a database of all the Atari SIG members.


 If you have any articles, reviews, product releases, or news that you wish to
 contribute to this newsletter, you are welcome to send them to us.  We cannot
 guarantee that your contribution will be published in the next newsletter but
 probably will be.  If you wish to send us a letter, or your contribution,
 you can send it to us by our U.S. mail address, Internet address, Bitnet
 address, or Free-Net address that can be found in the beginning of this
 newsletter.  You will receive full credit for any contribution published.

 SysOps of the Atari SIG are:   Phillip M. Chow, Jim Haynes, Mark Leair,
 ____________________________   Scotty Meredith, Len Stys, Doug Wokoun,
 Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG|  and honorary SysOp Kevin Steele.
 Newsletter  (c) 1990        |

 The Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG Newsletter is a bi-monthly released
 publication covering the Cleveland Atari Community as well as nationally.
 Opinions and commentary included in this newsletter are that of the authors
 and do not reflect those of the Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG in any way.
 The Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG Newsletter is copyright 1990 by the
 Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG.  Any article included in this newsletter
 may be reprinted as long as they remain unedited and the Cleveland Free-Net
 Atari SIG, Issue Number, and author is included at the top of the article.
 The Atari name and symbol are copyrighted by Atari Corp.  This newsletter
 is in no way affiliated with Atari Corp.  Information contained in this
 newsletter is believed to be correct but cannot be guaranteed.

           Thanks and until next time, keep the faith strong in Atari.
                Your Atari computer is and always will be #1.



Return to message index