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Article #148 (214 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag
Subject: Z*Magazine: 14-Feb-89 #144
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Sat Sep 18 17:09:22 1993



                           SYNDICATE ZMAGAZINE
                      Issue #144, February 14, 1989
                         "Happy Valentine's Day"
                           Copyright 1989, SPC
=========================================================================
This Week:

     <*> Editors Desk...........................Ron Kovacs

     <*> ZMag F Rating...........................John Nagy
         Text file rating system

     <*> Dataque Update.....................Chuck Stienman
         Details on the Turbo816 Project

     <*> Express The Cartridge.......................Orion
         New Product announcement

     <*> Express Cart Order Form.....................Orion

     <*> Diamond Cartridge........................Ken Leap
         A Review

     <*> Practical Solutions....................WK Whitton
         Valuable offer for STer's

     <*> ST Transformer Cable Available.................IC

     <*> Z*Break................................Ron Kovacs
         Special request from Sig Hartmann

##############################
<*>  EDITORS DESK
##############################
by Ron Kovacs

Of interest this week for 8 bitters:  Tomorrow February 15th, Chuck 
Steinman of Dataque will be in conference on CompuServe.  If you are a 
subscriber please attend.  Subject of this conference will be of the 
Turbo816.

Recent CompuServe sign-up offers have been sent in, we are submitting 
groups of names, so if your request has not be filled yet, it should be 
very shortly.  If you are interested in signing up to CompuServe, send 
your name and address on a post card to:  Syndicate Publishing, Post 
Office Box 74, Middlesex, NJ 08846.  Please allow a few weeks for your kit 
to arrive.

You can now contact Syndicate Publishing at (201) 968-8148.  Leave your 
name and number and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you are a GEnie subscriber, you can now send Atari direct feedback 
about possible plans for 8-bit developement.  Go to the Bulletin Board 
area, Catagory 15.  There have been topics assigned to assist you, please 
select the correct area before entering your comments.


##############################
<*>  THE ZMAG F RATING SYSTEM
##############################
by John Nagy

The following is my proposal for rating text material, designed
principally for online publications and articles, but you may find it
adaptable to any text material.

You will find it easy and helpful in avoiding wasted time reading files,
whether they be 1K or 74K.  It is based on five factors:

#1) Fact Rating    : Scale 0 to 10      0 being no facts what-so-ever
#2) Fudge Rating   : Scale 0 to -10     0 being NO fudge what-so-ever
#3) Factoid Rating : Scale 0 to 5       0 being no factoids
#4) Fume Rating    : Scale 0 to -5      0 being no fuming
#5) Fun Rating     : Scale -10 to +10   +10 being good fun
                                        -10 being annoying

DEFINITIONS
===========

FACT RATING
===========
Degree to which the material includes facts, substantiated and attributed.

FUDGE RATING
============
The degree to which the material includes surmise, guess-work, backfill
and particulate waste.

FACTOID RATING
==============
Degree that the material includes rumor, logical and deductive analysis.

FUME RATING
===========
Degree that the material contains commentary, editorial and attitude.

FUN RATING
==========
Overall entertainment value of the piece. Unlike the other ratings, the
fun factor can range negative or positive.

DIRECTIONS
==========
1>  Give any article 25 points to start.
2>  After reading the article, add or subtract the relevant points.
3>  Find the score below.
4>  Go to one.

RATING TABLE
============
Scoring will range from 0 to 50.  With zero being abominable and 50 being
ready for a Pulitzer.  Here are some ranges and recommended actions.

SCALE                 DESCRIPTION
=========================================================================
40-50                 Outstanding; Upload to a BBS and print a  hard copy
                      and distribute to your user group.  Include it in
                      your user group newsletter.

30-39                 Worthwhile; Tell your friends and upload to an
                      online service.

20-29                 Typical; Dont tell your friends unless they have a
                      specific interest in the topic.

10-19                 Poor; Delete file after reading.

0 - 9                 Hidious; Abort download, if too late do NOT attempt
                      to re-use disk.

This article is rated below:

Fact    =  0     (This is a feature)
Fudge   =  0     (C'mon this is a feature remember)
Factoid =  2     (Displays logical reasoning)
Fume    = -1     (Somehow, someone, somewhere might be offended)
Fun     =  7     (Not hilarious but gave you a grin)
Article = 25
============
Total   = 34

You know what to do.....                         


##############################
<*>  DATAQUE UPDATE
##############################
by Chuck Stienman
(Editor Note: This text has been edited for room)

DataQue Software
Dept. T816-C
Post Office Box  134
Ontario, OH  44862

On February 15, 1989, Compuserve will sponsor an online conference
featuring Chuck Steinman from DataQue Software to present information and
answer questions concerning the Turbo-816x project.

Feel free to distribute the information in this document to your local
user group newsletter editor.  The information contained herein is subject
to change without notice, and is provided as a public service to CIS
users, and the Atari community at large.

Anyone wishing to be on the DataQue Software mailing list should send a
Self-Addressed, Stamped #10 size Envelope to the above address. Please
state in your letter where you heard about the Turbo-816. I am receiving
dozens of letters daily, so please do not get discouraged if the questions
you ask are not specifically answered.  If time permits I try to answer
them all, but things are kind of hectic at times.

For those not familiar with the Turbo-816, it is an adapter board for the
Atari XL/XE computers which will replace the current 6502c 8-bit
processor, with a new 16-bit central processor system.  The Turbo-816 is
compatible with most of the existing hardware, and software for the Atari
8-bit computers.  With the "Dual-Prom" option so far only a handfull of
existing programs have been incompatible.  Programs which have been
incompatible with the Turbo-OS alone have been those which have used
illegal entry points into the Atari OS.
 
The Turbo-816x will come as a kit with everything you should need to get
started, some additional items will be needed under certain installations,
and these are listed in the Turbo-Install Guide. These items are things
like IC sockets, a toggle switch, wire, and solder. Tools needed to
install a Turbo-816x include a phillips screwdriver, soldering iron,
desoldering tool/solder wick, possibly a pair of plyers, and a flat
bladed screwdriver.

The Turbo-816x kit includes:  

    Turbo-816x ..................... Central Processor Board
    Turbo-OS ....................... Operating System ROM
    Turbo-816x Connecting Cable .... 12" interconnect cable
    Turbo-Install Guide ............ Step by Step Install Instructions
    Turbo-816 User Guide ........... Some General Turbo-816 Tips
    "Dual Prom" Option Guide ....... Suggested Installation Option

This kit will have a suggested price of $159.95, which will be sold
factory direct initially for $119.95, plus $4.05 shipping/handling. COD,
Foreign, and special handling would be additional.  When orders are
accepted, we will initially accept checks, or money orders.  If requests
for Visa/MC/Discover cards are high enough, we will later accept credit
card orders.  Due to the additional PROM on the 1200xl the Turbo-816x/12
is currently $10 additional.

There are several hardware devices planned for the Turbo-816 line.  Some
of the devices being developed or investigated include:

    Turbo-816a ..................... Version for the 400/800 computers
    Turbo-SRAM ..................... Static Memory Board (32k-256k)
    Turbo-ROM ...................... Program ROM board (32k-256k)
    Turbo-DRAM ..................... Dynamic Memory board (256k-4meg)
    Turbo-VID ...................... 80 column Video Adapter Card
    Turbo-CAGE ..................... Advanced External Card Cage
    Turbo-DISK ..................... Parallel Floppy Disk Interface

There are several software/firmware items planned for the Turbo-816 line.
Some software items being developed or investigated include:

    Turbo-PRG ...................... Programmers Information Kit
    Turbo-DEV ...................... Developers Information Kit
    Turbo-SRC ...................... Turbo-OS Source Code Info Kit
    Turbo-BAS ...................... New 16-bit BASIC Language
    Turbo-CEE ...................... New 16-bit C Language
    Turbo-ASM ...................... New 16-bit Assembler       
    Turbo-EDT ...................... New 16-bit Screen Editor
    Turbo-BUG ...................... New 16-bit Assembly Code Debugger

Prices for these items and other new items will be released as the items
become available.  Many items will be developed according to demand, and
the price and availability will be adjusted to reflect that demand. 

The Turbo-816x is a small 2.5" by 5" (approx) board which is mounted
inside an Atari XL/XE computer system.  It is connected via a 40 position
ribbon cable to the existing CPU socket.  The old Atari 8-bit processor is
removed, and if needed a 40 pin socket installed to allow the Turbo-816x
DIP plug to be inserted.

The Turbo-OS is a 28 pin PROM, which is installed either as a replacement
for the Atari OS PROM, or in addition to the Atari OS. This is determined
by the installation performed.  On the 1200xl there are two 24 or 28 pin
proms, and in some cases the "Dual-Prom" option is not available due to
those production runs having 24 pin PROMs.

In any case, if the installation is performed as instructed in the Turbo-
Install Guide, the original Atari OS, and CPU can be re-installed if the
Turbo-816 should ever need to be serviced. There would not need to be any
de-soldering to remove the Turbo-816x if those directions are followed
correctly.

If your Atari computer has its CPU, and PROM in sockets, then the actual
installation time, should be well under an hour.  If you must de-solder
the original OS, and CPU, then the time would be longer.

There is currently only one wire that has to be added the Atari XL/XE
motherboard to make the Turbo-816x work.  This wire is connected to an
unused pin on the Atari 6502c CPU IC socket, so if the Turbo-816x should
have to be removed, it would not effect operation with the Atari CPU at
all.

Currently there are 24 beta test sites which are testing their hardware
and software under several configurations of the Turbo-816x. They are by
now, in the second stage of their testing, and the results of the first
stage should be available by the conference.

Results so far have been very good, and a few programming bugs have been
located and corrected.  While most people may not understand how difficult
it is to write an operating system of this type from scratch (including
Atari) and still maintain the compatibility with the original OS.  Most
people would have just hacked the old OS, and put in the needed code to
support the 16-bit processor.  We have completely re-coded the Atari OS
from scratch using completely new routines.  Where optimizations could be
made, they were.  This causes some software not to work, due to using
illegal calls, but that is a problem we can fix from our end.  Companies
which use illegal entries/vectors do so at their customer's expense.
Again, with the "Dual-Prom" option installed, this is not a problem.

It is important for people to also understand that DataQue Software does
not dedicate 100% of its efforts to developing Atari products.  We make
single, and multi-processor computer systems for industrial and commercial
installations worldwide.  If it were not for these other projects, the
Turbo-816 would not be economically possible.

If you have written any assembly language applications (language, 
database, spreadsheet, or others) we will work with you to make the
conversion to 16-bit as easy as possible.  When available the programmer,
and developer kits are strongly recommended. We are also looking for
authors which would release their programs to us for conversion to 16-bit.
Again at this time we are looking mainly at application programs, not
games.

I hope you all can make it to the conference, and will have your questions
ready.  While I will not be able to comment on compatibility with many
specific hardware/software products, since many are still being tested
currently, I will try to answer where possible.

Other issues will be open for discussion, so feel free to make your
thoughts known, as we will listen to you as you are the market, and we
want to provide what you want.


##############################
<*> EXPRESS (The Cartridge)
##############################
Feb. 6, 1989

             * * * * * * New Product Announcement * * * * * *

Orion Micro Systems of Midlothian, Va. is pleased to announce the latest
addition to its product line: the new Express! terminal program in a 64K
cartridge.

The Express! cartridge is a brand new terminal program written by Keith
Ledbetter, the author of the popular Express! series of communication
programs.   The new Express! cartridge sports 64K of banked memory and is
written in 100% assembler language, allowing Keith to pack in features
that are not available in any other terminal program for the Atari 8-bit.
Even though the program has been totally rewritten, you can still sense
the user-friendly and bullet-proof environment that has always been a
favorite feature of the Express! series of programs.

The cartridge will work with any modem that has a corresponding "R:"
handler available for it.  This list includes:

 (a) any Hayes-compatible modem used with an 850, P:R: Connection, or MIO,
 (b) Atari 1030 modem,
 (c) Atari XM301 modem,
 (d) Atari SX212 modem, and
 (e) Supra MPP modem.

The Express! cartridge is built around a drop-down menu system identical
to those that are popular on many other machines like the IBM PC and the
Atari ST.   The XEP-80 80-column cartridge is also fully supported. If you
are using an XEP-80, the drop-down menuing system is replaced with a text-
based, 80-column menu.  This means you will no longer need two monitors
(ie: one for terminal mode, one for the menus).

Express! also has a full-screen, Action-type text editor built in. This is
a great feature to have, allowing you to edit the capture buffer or
compose messages for uploading to Bulletin Boards.  Supported features
include cut and paste, line tagging, find, and search/replace.

The Express! cartridge also allows you to piggyback another cartridge on
top of it.  Then, at your command, you can turn off the Express! cartridge
and run the cartridge plugged into the top of it!  Or, you can turn off
the Express! cartridge AND the cartridge above it, making the OS think
there are NO cartridges in your machine.  You may never have to pull the
cartridge out of your machine!

Express! has a planned release date of June 1, 1989 and will retail for
$69.95.   Orion will start taking pre-orders for Express! on February 6,
1989 and will give a $10.00 discount off of the retail price for pre-
orders placed directly with them prior to the June 1, 1989 release date.
(Virginia residents should add 4.5% sales tax).

Listed below are some of the many highlights of the Express! cartridge,
along with a pre-order form that you may use.  If you would like to order
by telephone, or if you have any questions about specific features of any
of our products, you can call Chris at (804) 794-9437 between the hours of
6 pm - 10 pm Eastern time.   Thanks for your support!

EXPRESS FEATURES
================

<*> Supports any available DOS, including the SpartaDOS X cartridge.
<*> Intelligent and intuitive drop-down menu system, modeled after those
    that are so popular on IBM PC's.  Those of you who have used Turbo
    Pascal or Turbo C on an IBM will feel right at home!
<*> Supports extra memory in either the 130XE or upgraded 800XL's,
    allowing you to have a 90K capture buffer.  Now you no longer have to
    be content with wimpy, 5K capture buffers!
<*> Internal SpartaDOS-type DOS shell allows quick access to the most
    commonly used DOS commands such as erase, rename, dir, type, and
    wildcard copy.  Fully supports all subdirectory commands when used
    with SpartaDOS.
<*> Full screen (Action-like) text editor allows you to edit captured
    text or compose a message without having to run an external text
    processor.
<*> Supports ANY modem which has a corresponding 'R:' handler.
<*> Works on the Atari 800, 800XL, 130XE, and the XE game machine.
<*> Fully supports the XEP-80 80 column card when using SpartaDOS X. By
    FULLY we mean FULLY!  There is a seperate, 80-column menu invoked when
    you are using the XEP-80.  You no longer need to have two monitors
    hooked up.  NOTE: XEP-80 support REQUIRES SpartaDOS X.
<*> Supports 300/1200/2400/4800/9600 baud rates.
<*> Express's new high-speed screen handler makes capturing text at the
    higher baud rates (4800 and 9600) a breeze.  No more lost characters
    while capturing text!
<*> Supports R1: thru R4: communication ports (great for null modeming).
<*> Supports Xmodem, Xmodem-CRC, Xmodem-1k (Ymodem), Ymodem Batch, Ascii
    and external windowed transfer protocals.
<*> Allows running of external, disk-based programs.  This means users can
    write utilities, such as additional transfer protocols, to run with
    the cartridge (just like the Express Professional BBS system).
<*> Supports exiting to DOS without loss of carrier.  This allows you to
    exit the cartridge and run any program, such as ARC, while remaining
    online.
<*> Supports the Hayes extended modem command set (ie: "BUSY") allowing
    for quick re-dial of busy numbers.
<*> Supports 50 phone list entries.  Each entry has settings for baud
    rate, parity, duplex, wait time, translation, and 3 macros.  These
    macros can contain control characters, making it possible to log on
    with just one keypress!  For example, "John Doe^M^Ppassword^M"  would
    output "John Doe" , pause 3 seconds, then output "password"
    .
<*> There are 7 "generic" macros that are always active, regardless of the
    current dialing entry that is active.

##############################
<*>  EXPRESS ORDER FORM
##############################

+=======================================================================+
|                     Orion Micro Systems Order Form                    |
+=======================================================================+
|  Mail Order To:   Orion Micro Systems                                 |
|                   Attn: Express! Cartridge                            |
|                   2211 Planters Row Drive                             |
|                   Midlothian, Virginia 23113                          |
+=======================================================================+
|     _____    Express! (The Cartridge). . . . . . . . . . .   $69.95   |
|               ( If Ordered Before June 1, 1989 ) . . . . . - $10.00   |
|                                                             --------  |
|                                                 Sub-Total   --------  |
|                                                                       |
|                       4.5% Sales Tax (Va. Residents Only)   ________  |
|                                                                       |
|                                    Add Shipping/Handling     $ 4.00   |
|                                                                       |
|                                                   Total     ________  |
|                                                                       |
|            (Check, Money Order, MasterCard or Visa Accepted)          |
+=======================================================================+
|                                                                       |
|  Payment By:   __ Check    __ Money Order    __ MasterCard    __ Visa |
|                                                                       |
|      Name As It Appears On Card: ____________________________________ |
|                                                                       |
|      Card Number: _______________________________  Exp Date: ________ |
|                                                                       |
|  Rush My Order As Soon As Released To:                                |
|                                                                       |
|         Name: ______________________________________________________  |
|                                                                       |
|         Address: ___________________________________________________  |
|                                                                       |
|         City: _______________________  State: _______  Zip: ________  |
|                                                                       |
|         Country: ____________________   Date Ordered: ______________  |
+=======================================================================+


##############################
<*>  DIAMOND CARTRIDGE REVIEW
##############################
by Ken Leap

Previously I reviewed the disk version of Diamond OS and complained of its
lack of features and several annoying bugs. Since then I've been in touch
with Alan Reeve, the program's author (also the creator of the News
Station programs), via Compuserve E-mail and talked with him about
Diamond's problems. I wasn't the only one. Apparently, Mr. Reeve received
so much feedback that he was convinced there was a real demand for Diamond
and that improvements were necessary.

These improvements have come in the form of a 64K ROM cartridge version of
Diamond GOS. Presently the cartridge is available in limited quantities
direct from Reeve Software. Registered owners of the disk-based Diamond
have priority and are offered a upgrade discount price of $30.00. The
suggested retail price will be $79.95.

USA Media, who will be handling marketing and distribution in partnership
with Reeve Software, is mailing a demo disk, information and order forms
to all registered owners. Most of demo's features are disabled but enough
is shown to get your interest.

I had my cartridge ordered even before USA Media's promo package arrived
in the mail. My decision was based on what Mr. Reeve had told me in his
letters. Last week, the newest version of Diamond was in my mailbox.
Here's what I found out about it.

What you get is the Diamond GOS cartridge, a utility disk, and two
manuals. They haven't come up with any packaging yet so my cartridge was
taped inside two pieces of foam and mailed in a plain brown wrapper. The
manuals are nicely done and easy to read with many illustrations. They are
a bit skimpy, just giving you what you need to get started and not much
else.

One manual is the Diamond GOS Super Cartridge User's Manual. The other is
the Diamond GOS Programmer's Guide. A note on the first page of the
programmer's guide states that it is intended for "experienced"
programmers and covers only the bare essentials of the Diamond
environment. They are right. I didn't understand much of it but it seems
very complete. It lists Diamond's system variables and routines for all
functions available from within Diamond. It also provides information on
registers and memory locations.Some information I did glean from the guide
is that Diamond can handle up to eight drop-down menus with up to 22 items
per menu. You can have up to 32 icons at once and they can be animated.
Four windows can be opened simultaneously. Windows can be buffered or
unbuffered. The windows are also full featured.
 
This means they have drag bars, fullers, closers, sliders, arrows, title
and subtitle bars, and sizers. Just like an ST GEM window. Included on the
utility disk are macro libraries for Mac/65 assembler editor and source
code for two Diamond utilities.The utility disk is in DOS 2.0 format. When
you plug in the Diamond cartridge and boot up the disk in drive one, you
get your first look at the desktop. Diamond's default configuration is for
the ST Mouse. If you don't have one, you can use the keyboard arrow keys
and the spacebar to get started.

Looking at the desktop, the first thing I noticed was that the filing-
cabinet drive icons had been replaced with little 1050 disk drives. When
you click on the drive icon, a disk pops out of the little slot. These new
icons are smaller and waste less space in the desktop screen area.

If you don't have an ST mouse you'll probably want to use a joystick (you
can also use a touch tablet or paddles) since you can't drag anything
using the keyboard. A utility program called MOUSECFG.APP is provided to
customize your input device. All you need to do is double click on the
drive icon and then double click on the file name to load and run it.
MOUSECFG.APP will let you select which device driver, which port (0 or 1,
1 is default) you want to use and set the click speed. This application
also lets select a memory driver. Default is 48K (yes you can use the
Diamond cartridge with an 800) and drivers for the 800XL and 130XE are
provided. When you click on "Save Configuration", the program will rewrite
the CONFIG.OS file on your disk with the new parameters.

One of the major problems with the original Diamond was it was only
compatible with DOS 2.0 or 2.5. The cartridge will also work with DOS XE
or Sparta DOS, in fact the default is DOS XE. To work with a different
DOS, you must change you CONFIG.OS file again. A program called
DOSCONFG.BAS (written in Atari Basic) is provided to do that. Diamond GOS
may also work with DOS's similar to 2.0 such as MYDOS or SmartDOS but I
haven't tried them yet.

There are still a few problems with Diamond and DOS compatibility that
I've noticed. The major one is that when you select the format option from
the Disk drop-down menu, it formats in DOS 2.0 (or 2.5 if your using 2.5)
single density no matter what DOS you are using. So if you wanted to
format a disk in Sparta DOS format you'd have to run XINIT.COM. But XINIT.
COM will not run with Diamond present. So if are using Sparta DOS with
Diamond, you have to remove the cartridge, boot up Sparta, run XINIT,
format your disk and then re-boot with Diamond.

The second problem is just as annoying. Now everyone knows that Sparta DOS
2.3D can read disks formated with 2.0 or 2.5, right? But if you have
Diamond configured for Sparta DOS it can only read Sparta DOS formated
disks. This leads to the third problem. If you format a disk from the
desktop while configured for Sparta DOS, you can't read it. If you try,
you get a disk error reported. Diamond will keep trying to read that disk
after you've opened a window to the drive it is in, but it can't. This
will lead to a system crash unless you put in a disk that it can read. I
assume there are similar problems with DOS XE but I don't have it and have
never used it.

While we're talking about things I didn't like, another issue is software
compatibility. In the CLICKME.TXT file, it is explained that they tried to
make it possible for non-Diamond based programs to work with the
cartridge. I tired some of my most used programs with Diamond present. 850
Express didn't work. Nor did 1st Xlent Word Processor, Textpro, Antic
Writer, Super Arc 2.3, Speed Calc, B-Calc, Disk Base Database, ALF, and
DiskComm 3.2. I was surprised to find that Daisy Dot II and the DDII font
editor did work. The DDII font utilities didn't work. The Antic Database,
Antic Music Processor and a Font editor from Compute Magazine did work.
These were all binary files. I didn't really try any Basic programs but I
think most of those would be compatible. Some PD binary games would work,
others wouldn't. This would be a major drawback if you intended to use
Diamond as your only OS. I purchased the cartridge primarily for use with
Diamond programs (such as desktop publishing).

Now the good things about Diamond GOS. It is much faster than the disk
version. It does support Time/Date stamping of files with Sparta or Dos
XE. You can also use subdirectories in the form of folders with these
DOS's. I assume this would allow you to use a hard disk drive. Command
line support for Sparta DOS COM files is provided but since most COM
files won't load, I don't see how useful this feature is.As I mentioned
before, all window features function as they should. You can also move
the windows and then save their new positions. This lets you fully
customize the appearance of your desktop. Sometimes, after you do this,
you'll have problems with fuller feature. The windows will refuse to
return to normal size from full screen. It seems to depend on where you
place them and how close they are. You can have two windows open at a time
with the desktop.

There are added icons, such as the stop sign when you want to do something
potentially destructive, and more dialog boxes (reading & writing during
disk IO and error messages). You can also view or print text files from
the desktop. This is a feature I really appreciate.

The Desk Accessory feature does work and one ACC file is included and up
to six can be loaded at boot-up depending on you memory configuration. Not
any old file can be a DESK.ACC. There must be code at the start of the 
file telling what it is, where it goes and where it should run from.

File tagging is a new feature. Now you can copy or delete multiple files.
Though you can't seem to do more than four at a time. To copy or delete a
file, just drag it to the appropriate drive icon or the trash can. You can
also copy files between windows and folders. Single drive or two drive
copying of a whole single density disk is supported. So if you want to
copy a DD disk, I guess you'd have to run Sparta without Diamond. There
are no problems reading DD Sparta disks.

You can also format a RAMdisk. With my XE, I can set up one when I use the
48K memory driver. If you use the XE memory driver, all memory is
available to the desktop and APP programs so a RAMdisk cannot be created.
You can set up a STARTUP.BAT file with Sparta and it will run before going
to the desktop. I use one to set the time and date and format a RAMdisk as
D8:, which is installed as Drive C in the desktop.

Another annoying feature of the original Diamond was that you could not
return to the desktop from basic. Now you can and it seems to work
flawlessly. With the REBOOT.ACC included on the utility disk, you can do a
coldstart with out shutting off the power.

That covers the highlights of the new Diamond GOS cartridge. All the major
bugs and shortcomings seem to have been corrected with this release. A few
new ones have popped up, mainly in the area of DOS compatibility but
hopefully they can be corrected.This new Diamond looks and works a lot
more like ST GEM. The inital set-up procedure is a bit confusing and
sometimes frustrating but once you're past that, Diamond is very easy to
learn. After all, the whole point of a desktop environment is to make life
simple for the computer user.

What is needed now are application programs to tap the full potential of
this system. New versions of Diamond Paint and Write are being written to
take advantage of the cartridge. Paint should be available now and Write
by the end of January along with a Diamond version of News Station. The
long awaited Diamond Publish is scheduled for release by the end of
February or beginning of March. Publish will work only with the cartridge.
Paint and Write will include versions compatible with the original disk
version. Reeve Software intends to continue to support the disk version of
Diamond for those who might not want or be able to afford the cartridge.
Patches to fix its bugs will soon be available.

Public Domain support is also needed. Diamond versions of popular PD
programs, such as the Express series, would be very popular. Desk
accessories will also be in demand. So if you're a programmer, dust off
your favorite tools, there is a whole new 8-bit world to conquer.

Mr. Reeve likes to talk about his programs and can be reached via E-Mail
on Compuserve (id# 71521,2200) and GENIE (id: REEVE.SOFT). Mundane
addresses for information or ordering are:

Reeve Software
9W150 Old Farm Lane
Warrenville, IL  60555
(312) 393-2317

Shelly Merrill
USA Media
180 Malcolm Rd.
Clinton, MD  20735
(301) 868-5494

##############################
<*>  PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS OFFER
##############################

The good folk at Practical Solutions have a limited time offer running at
this very moment.  If you purchased a Video Key, their RGB to color
composite converter for the ST, between 12/15/88 and 3/15/89, then you are
about to be pleasantly surprised!

Practical Solutions will send you who qualify a FREE, yes indeedy, FREE!
gift!  You will be allowed to select one item from their "Master Series"
of products and be send it no charge. The "Master Series" includes:

     Mouse Master: A Mouse/Joystick Port Controller for the ST and Amiga.

     Monitor Master: Monitor Switchbox for the ST. 

     Drive Master: Floppy Disk Drive Switchbox for the ST.

Just cut the "Golden Key" emblem from the front of your Videokey box, send
it in with proof-of-purchase, and their discount coupon, and they will
return your gift by return mail.  If you don't have this coupon, you can
obtain by it calling Practical Solutions at 602-884-9612.

This rebate offer must be postmarked by 3/30/89. The recently reduced
price of the Videokey (have seen at for as low as $79), coupled with this
fine rebate offer make this one stupendous deal!

Compiled by WK Whitton

##############################
<*>  XFORMER CABLES AVAILABLE
##############################

We at I.C., are proud to announce, that we are now the Authorized
Manufaturer, of the Xformer cables.  The Xformer cable (along with the
Xformer II software) allows you to use 8-bit peripherals (drives,
printers, etc.), and transfer the 5.25" 8-bit disks, to the GEMDOS format.
Data tranfer rate, is a FAST 19,200 bps, compared to the (up to) 2400
modem (or null-modem) transfers.

The cable carries a 90 day warranty against workmanship and defects.

Price: Only $19.95
S&H: For USA/APO/FPO, add $3.50 S&H. Add $3.00 for COD (USA only). 
Canada/Mexico add $7.00 S&H.  All other countries add $10.00 S&H.

Dealer/Distributor/User-Group inquires are welcome!

Note: We at I.C. now have Data Library (15) and Message Base (15), on
CompuServe, and are monitored on a daily basis.  You can download our
latest product catal og there, by BROwsing for the keyword "CATALOG".

In addition to making cables (including Custom ones), we also manufacture
many hardware products for the Atari 8-bits, and sell other products for
both the 8-bit and ST (ICD, Supra, CSS, to name a few).  If you have ANY
questions reguarding  this, or any of our other products, please call/
write, or send a message on CompuServe (regular or E-Mail).

Note: The Xformer software (all versions) was written by Darek Mihocka
(CompuServe # 73657,2714, GEnie: DAREKM). To register, and get the latest
version of this software, along with its utilities (on a double sided
disk), send $20 (add $2 for 2 single sided disks) to:

Darek Mihocka        
Box 2624 Station B
Kitchener, Ontario
Canada  N2H 6N2

This letter may be freely posted on BBS's, as long as it is left intact.


Innovative Concepts (I.C.)
31172 Shawn Drive
Warren, MI  48093
Phone: (313) 293-0730
CompuServe: 76004,1764

##############################
<*> Z*BREAK  February 10, 1989
##############################
from Syndicate Publishing

(Editors Note: Z*Break is a feature of SPC.  This feature will appear from 
time to time to update everyone on the latest happenings between issues of 
our publications.  This version was release late afternoon on 2/10/89.)


URGENT REQUEST FROM SIG HARTMAN
===============================

Minutes ago, Sig Hartman of Atari Corp asked us to immediatly relay the
following.

Mr. Hartman wants to promote third party American software\hardware in
Europe. "I want to help the developers build their profits and sales so
that their Atari products will be ready for the big US Rush."

Sig will be in Germany for 8 days at the Hanover Fair, the world's largest
computer show. He wants to take US produced Atari Software and Hardware to
show to potential European marketers.  Sig asks developers for the following:

1)  A detailed description of the product and sample if possible.
2)  Suggested retail pricing.
3)  Discounts available to oversea marketers.

This information must be in his hands before March 1, and the sooner the
better.

This offer should not be missed by any American developer. Please get your
information to Mr. Hartman at (408) 745-2000.

In ST*ZMAG: February 14, 1989

Thomas Dolby, Mic Fleetwood, Pointer Sisters, Yes, Mike Pinder, represent
Atari at the NAMM show.  And Atari has the HOTZ, details Tuesday.

Z*BREAK is a product of Syndicate Publishing, Copyright 1989, SPC

=========================================================================
Z*Break, ZMagazine, ST*ZMagazine are products of the Syndicate Publishing
Company.  Copyright 1989, SPC.  All Rights Reserved.  This is Issue #144.
=========================================================================




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