Visit Atarimax Store


Free-Net Logo
The Atari SIG Historical Archive
Created and hosted by: atarimax.com
[ HOME | GO ATARI | 8-BIT | ST/TT | PORTFOLIO | LYNX | JAGUAR | LIBRARY ]


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: xx004@cleveland.freenet.edu
   __________________________________________________________________________
   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>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 <