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Article #5 (17 is last): Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.log From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Jun.17,1990 Newletter Vol.I No.1 Date: Sun Jun 17 23:58:18 1990 On Fathers' Day, June 17, 1990, the Atari SIGOps announced the Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG Newsletter: - / \ / \ / \ / \ ___________/ \__________ \ / \ 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 ___________________________________________________________________ Contents 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: "freenet-in-a.cwru.edu". ____________________________________________________________________ Sending Atari SIG e-mail from Compuserve or other systems through Internet: >INTERNET: email@example.com __________________________________________________________________________ Sending Atari SIG e-mail from BITNET systems usually found in colleges: xx004%cleveland.freenet.edu@cunyvm ______________________________________ 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 xomputer 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 t hey 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? by 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 be. 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 Corp. 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) by 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 Portfolio. 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 that 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 beach. 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 cal
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