|The Atari SIG Historical Archive|
|Created and hosted by: atarimax.com|
|[ HOME | GO ATARI | 8-BIT | ST/TT | PORTFOLIO | LYNX | JAGUAR | LIBRARY ]|
Article #193 (214 is last): From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag Subject: Z*Magazine: 31-Dec-90 #189 Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Date: Sat Oct 2 15:40:58 1993 ==(((((((((( == Z*MAG/A\ZINE ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE =========(( === December 31, 1990 =======(( ===== Issue #189 =====(( ======= ---------------------------------- ==(((((((((( == Copyright (c)1990, Rovac Ind Inc.. Publisher/Editor : Ron Kovacs Assistant Editor : Stan Lowell ----------------------------------------------------------------------- CompuServe: 71777,2140 GEnie: Z-NET Z*NET BBS: (908) 968-8148 BLANK PAGE BBS: (908) 805-3967 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- EDITORS DESK ------------> by Ron Kovacs Well, you couldn't get any closer to the last issue of the year then this one. 1990 was a busy year for most of us and we continued to watch the continued shrinking of the Atari 8-bit user base. Strange as it may seem, we are going to continue for atleast another year with this publication and hope for the best. There are a number of topics and directions we are going to embark on in 1991 and we are really going to be looking for your support. The KIDS- 91 project is a new idea which we recently learned about and it is discussed in this edition. Also, the phone company wants more of your money and if you are a BBS sysop, you should read with great interest, the developing story about the Indiana and Michigan Sysops in this issue. This is issue #189, we start 1991 and begin our 6th year of Atari online publishing. For those of you who don't know, our first local Z*Magazine issue appeared and was published in May 1986 on the Syndicate BBS now called Z*Net Online. Our regularity has been cut way back because of the lack of Atari 8-Bit specific news, but we hope to provide more in the year to come. In this edition, a full year in review of Atari appears. I know it is NOT Atari 8-Bit exclusive, but it does give a good retrospect into the past year. Also, this is a large edition which will present and use all of the material we have saved so that we can start the new year with fresh material. Stan Lowell and myself will continue to peruse the message bases and networked areas we are involved in. For the latest when it happens, you can always read Z*Net Online Magazine, get involved with the FoReM XEP network that Stan is involved in, the FoReM/Turbo Crossnet (FNET) areas I am involved in and the pay services. We are going to focus some of January on the ST and 8-Bit BBS Networks available. As in the past, I want to thank everyone who has assisted ZMAG throughout the year. Although we only returned in September, there are many to thank for the support and information presented here in each issue. Special thanks go to Stan Lowell for his continued enthusiasm and support of the Atari 8-Bit computer. Happy 1991 everyone! 1990: THE OF ATARI IN REVIEW ============================> by John Nagy 1990... was it the year of Atari? It was a year filled with hope and with disappointment. It was a year of promises and some fulfillment. Lets look at the highlights and the lowlights together. Computer years tend to be measured from Fall Comdex to Fall Comdex rather than from the more traditional calendar. So here is a chronology of Atari since the Comdex last November 1989, up through the recent Comdex, to the end of 1990. I've focussed on Atari and added only a few major third-party announcements. While I know some folks will feel slighted by being omitted, sorry. I'll be blaming it on the editor. (Grin!) NOVEMBER 1989: Sig Hartmann retires after 5 years as front man for Atari. Comdex - the US marketplace of computers, attended by the industry bigwigs, dealers, and distributors who are deciding what lines they will buy and sell in the coming year. In the Las Vegas convention facilities Atari Corporation occupies a spot near the main entrance where they seem to sit as a foothill to the towering ZENITH and IBM exhibits just behind it. Atari has perhaps their best looking booth ever, in light colors with open feeling displays. "A Computer For Everyone" declares the overhead sign, and from the brand new palmtop Portfolio and STe to the TT (being shown in production prototypes), Atari draws lots of attention. Carrel after carrel of major third party developers each show their own lines to thousands of intrigued visitors. The STacy and Portfolio are the clear eye catchers. Over 1,000 potential distribution contacts are made for the Portfolio alone. Bob Brodie is popular already in his second month at Atari. Charles Cherry, only two weeks with Atari after leaving ANTIC Software, begins his effort to support developers in new and attractive ways, including SOFTSOURCE and distribution of dealer and user data. The mood is very up - this seems to signal a new and forward moving atmosphere at and for Atari. The Independent Association of Atari Developers (IAAD) is formed by 40 developers at the WAACE Atari show outside Washington, DC. Nathan Potechin of ISD is the first Chairperson. ST-LOG and ANALOG magazines merge, then announce that the November 1989 issue will be the last of any Atari magazines from Flynt Publications. START magazine loses Andrew Reese and editor and Tom Byron takes over, and ST-XPRESS closes altogether. GADGETS BY SMALL begins distribution of the GCR Mac Emulator, enabling the Atari ST to not only run MACINTOSH software faster thana MAC, but read and write real MAC disks... faster than a MAC. PC-SPEED, an internal IBM emulator board from Germany, is in distribution by MICHTRON, while AVANT-GARDE is unable to meet release promises with PCDITTO II, a hardware PC emulator first shown in April, 1989. DECEMBER 1989: Mike Morand, President at Atari for only two months, resigns. David Harris in named as his successor. Greg Pratt, Atari's Chief Financial Officer, continues the search for a buy for the FEDERATED GROUP store chain that has drained Atari's working capitol. The FCC passes the STACY laptop ST as a "TYPE A" device, meaning that it can only be sold as a commercial device, not in outlets for the home users. Battery operation time is admitted to be about 15 minutes for units with hard drives. JANUARY 1990: The LYNX is a major hit at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Nintendo is the clear winner in volume and promotion with the Game Boy, but the LYNX wins hearts with astounding color graphics in a hand held machine. Private showing of a prototype portable machine from NEC causes worry that the LYNX will be passed up by this newer unit by Christmas 1990. QUICK ST goes from shareware to commercial, as Darek Mihocka begins a trend in small developer success stories. ZMAGAZINE and ST*ZMAGAZINE merge to become Z*NET ONLINE, a single weekly electronic publication covering the entire Atari computer lineup. So begins the fifth year of the continuing, volunteer, non-profit Z*NET project. Avant-Garde's PCDITTO II begins actual shipment, but less than 10% of the users can make it work, and it turns out to be so large that only MEGA machines have room inside for it. TALON announces that they will begin importing the SUPERCHARGER external IBM emulator that will require no installation at all. FEBRUARY 1990: Jack Tramiel, "retired" controlling stock owner of Atari and chair of the Board of Directors, takes a more active hand in Atari policy and management. A $5,000,000.00 backorder backlog that has had some items (like Monochrome Monitors) unavailable for five months begins to ease as Atari hardware shipments arrive at dealers. Rumors begin to circulate about a new version of the MEGA computer that may be based on the STe and card-compatible with the TT. Atari makes an impression at the National Association of Music Merchandisers (NAMM) show as the only major computer display. The Hotz Box and the STacy are featured, and a concert is sponsored by Atari. MIDI-TASKING is released to developers as a BETA-TEST version, offering a multitasking environment under GEM, tailored for MIDI applications. MARCH 1990: Layoffs of 15% of the Sunnyvale Atari employees affect mostly warehouse and accounting departments, but are felt by all. After some angry power plays and short-scheduled events by commercial promoters that appear to be trying to squeeze user groups out of show production, Atari announces that they will not support Atari Fests that are not scheduled at least 120 days ahead of time and that are closer than 30 days to any other show. Charles Cherry's SoftSource system of cataloging and promoting third- party developers nears readiness on GEnie telecommunication system. FEDERATED is finally sold, the last parts going to SILO's chain of stores in a deal that gives Atari a large block of the huge UK company's stock. Avant-Garde releases a series of fixes and chip replacements that make PCDITTO II work... for as many as 80% of the owners. CALAMUS OUTLINE ART begins shipping from ISD. It comes with a conversion program to turn Outline format graphics into PostScript files. APRIL 1990: ATARI EXPLORER MAGAZINE editors David Ahl and Betsy Staples are fired by Atari, the publisher, for their critical commentary in the "Spring" issue. The issue is recalled before distribution and reworked. The second Disneyland World Of Atari is a moderate success, with showings of some new products. Gadgets's 68030 upgrade board is shown - working - and might even be faster than Atari's own TT. The STe finally passes the FCC testing and can begin distribution in the USA. MICHTRON releases FLEET STREET PUBLISHER 3.0 without fanfare, as Michtron begins winding down operations and discussing a possible sale. They continue to appear at shows with great deals. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) raids an Atari Taiwan plant and finds several pirate copies of LOTUS on employee machines. Atari denies responsibility and criticizes BSA priorities. A two-day Atarifest in Pittsburgh, PA sponsored by PACE is a resounding flop, with well under 500 attending. Worse, comments from many visitors cause fears about the rampant and apparently accepted level of piracy in the area. Discussion of the situation online and in media reports infuriate local groups. MAY 1990: At Atari's annual meeting, shareholders learn that the company has earned $1.5 million in the most recent quarter, and sees the TT. Jim Fisher is announced as the new editor of Atari Explorer, adding to Jim's duties as Vice President of Marketing. Production will be handled by Jon Jainschigg, formerly the technical editor of Explorer under Staples and Ahl. World of Atari Manager Richard Tsukiji relights old fires by announcing a WOA in San Jose less than a month before the Glendale Atari Faire, defying Atari's guidelines for show scheduling. A similar announcement in 1989 caused cancellation of BOTH shows. This year, neither plan to back down. ST JOURNAL, from Steve Lesh and Quill Publications, begins distribution of their first issue. The new ST specific magazine attempts to provide a serious user's journal of news and reviews, avoiding the "game" image entirely. JUNE 1990: The Summer CES in Chicago was attended by Atari but no new hardware or packages were offered. The long talked about "Atari Advantage" package (a bundle of LOTS of game and productivity software with a 520ST ad a very low price) was prepped then pulled out of the CES show at the last moment. The Tramiels are rethinking the contents and pricing of the bundle(s). ELIE KENAN comes to Atari from his position as Manager of Atari France, to begin preparations for his takeover of Atari USA, Canada, and France. The STacy and STe begin shipping to Atari dealers in the USA. Atari co-sponsors the "Silicon Summit", trade talks with the Soviets concerning a trade of computers for RAM CHIP production in the USSR. WOA promoter Richard Tsukiji is informed by Atari that Atari will not participate or support his San Jose show in any way, due to his late and conflicting scheduling of the show. GRIBNIF shows their NEODESK 3 for the first time, offering lots of remarkable advancements in their ST desktop replacement. ICD Inc. offers new driver software for their hard drives and host adapters that resolves a major incompatibility with Talon's Supercharger IBM emulator. JULY 1990: Dealer information from New Zealand and the Netherlands indicate that the Atari TT030 machine is being redesigned to be 32 Mhz rather than the 16 Mhz as announced. Atari USA and Atari Corp both deny the story. Atari USA is said to be looking at relocation sites in BOSTON as a place to move to from Sunnyvale, CA. Incoming manager Elie Kenan is being offered a free hand by the Tramiels, and is thought to be looking for a way to separate Atari USA and Atari Corp, now both based out of the same Sunnyvale building. Additional layoffs occur at the line level at Atari, fueling relocation rumors. A replacement for the SLM804 Atari laser printer is expected shortly. It will be a essentially a standard Epson unit, customized for Atari. The old SLM804 unit can no longer be obtained from the manufacturer. The STe is troubled by recurring reports of loss of data when used with a hard drive. Some stores test and find their entire shipments will not operate with hard drives. Atari denies that it is a systematic or design problem, but agree to replace any units found to be inoperative regardless of age or having been opened for inspection. A fraudulent FAX message purporting to be from Bob Brodie is received by MICHTRON and GADGETS BY SMALL, urging them to join a "boycott" of the WOA shows. Meanwhile, Atari reverses its decision and agrees to provide equipment as possible for the August WOA in San Jose. AUGUST 1990: San Jose WOA succeeds with a small but happy turnout of 1,500 people. Many Atari officials attend, including Sam and Leonard Tramiel and Elie Kenan. Atari supplies free equipment, but WOA refuses to participate in its safe return. Bob Brodie personally picks up the equipment and overhears promoter Richard Tsukiji discussing his plans to "have Brodie fired" from Atari. Second quarter net income for Atari: $1.5 million. Charles Cherry resigns from Atari. Developer projects are left partially on hold, and SoftSource is stalled while many developers ask for extensions of time to get the required submissions. Meanwhile, other developers complain that they got their materials to Atari on schedule and don't want the project delayed. START MAGAZINE announces that they will skip their September issue, then join with ANTIC into a single, larger publication for October 1990 in a major redesign and rededication of the magazine. Gordon Monnier of Michtron confirms that he has his company for sale. George Miller, Michtron's #2 man, leaves to join ABACUS, a book and software house in Michigan. B. N. GENIUS, an upscale gadget store with a major mail order following, features the Portfolio on the cover of their national catalog. Atari dealers are concerned about losing business. Atari attends GENCON in Milwaukee and provides major equipment and floor presence. About 10,000 visitors witness Atari as a major "player" in the gaming convention. Frank Foster resigns from Atari in a mutual decision that leaves Atari without a leader of its MIDI support section. 42,000 visitors attend an all-Atari show in Duesseldorf, Germany. The TT and ATW are major features, and developers from all over the world convene to maximize their sales potential. Hong Kong's largest English magazine, the "NEW STRAITS TIMES", conducted a reader survey and 41.8% of the votes declared the Atari ST to be their choice for "Computer of the Decade". Second place went to the Commodore Amiga with only 5.2%, third was the Macintosh with 5.1%, tied with the IBM. SEPTEMBER 1990: Glendale has the largest Atari Show ever in the US measured by number of vendors, but turnout is a somewhat disappointing 2,500. The user-group show is supported by over $20,000 of advertising by Atari Corp, extensive equipment supplies, and a full house of Atari executives and employees visiting and hosting the Atari area of the floor. Leonard Tramiel personally participates in two seminars. New Manger of Atari USA, Canada, and France Elie Kenan meets and shares his plans for Atari in private meetings with each developer during the show and gets a unanimous if cautious "thumbs up" from them. Atari formally announces new specs for the TT030 - it will be 32 Mhz after all, despite the denials, and will feature a new GEM desktop that looks similar to Gribnif's NEODESK 2 but is not related to it. After a multi-party investigation, Richard Tsukiji is forced to admit in writing that the fraudulent FAX message that defamed WOA and ST World Magazine in Bob Brodie's name did in fact come from his own office at ST WORLD. Tsukiji adds it was sent by persons unknown at a time when he himself was out of the country. Dave Small resigns from ST WORLD staff in protest. ST WORLD magazine is announced to have been sold in mid summer to its staff for the sum of $1.00, but not to its editors who had expected to be given the magazine. They leave in protest. The STe hard drive problem is fixed. Any existing STe computers should be checked for proper operation with a hard drive and returned for repair or exchange if they fail. Atari does not formally announce this event, as they do not concede to the fact that the problem existed in the first place. ICD Inc. introduces ADSPEED, a 16 Mhz accelerator board for ST and MEGA computers that features faster operation and 100% compatibility with existing software. $300. Gribnif starts sales of NEODESK 3, selling out at Glendale. TALON is rumored to be considering the purchase of MICHTRON. The Atari Elite, an organization of Atari owners in Pittsburgh, PA, threatens to sue as many as 33 persons, developers, and publications for allegedly defaming their group in news coverage and commentary about the PACE show in April. Z*NET and editor Ron Kovacs is among them. Elite's commercial software rental library is a major discussion point in allegations of organized or permissive piracy. OCTOBER 1990: WAACE holds its third DC ATARIFEST and attracts 2,000 people to a wide display of Atari and third party developers. Sales are in record numbers for attending vendors, and Atari provides similar backing to that of the Glendale show a month earlier. Elie Kenan again attends and meets with developers. Bob Brodie meets with ELITE members at WAACE to attempt to resolve their concerns and stem their threatened lawsuits. No immediate solution seems at hand as the parties assume a standoff position. Elie Kenan leaves Atari USA and Canada to return to Atari France. In the single most devastating blow to Atari morale in years, the departure of Kenan is met with disbelief and denial in the Atari community. Details are of course not released, but Kenan left after a meeting with Jack Tramiel immediately upon Kenan's return from Boston, where it is thought that he was choosing a relocation site for Atari. Greg Pratt, formerly in the Atari financial division, is named General Manager of Atari USA. Jim Fisher, Atari's VP of Advertising and Marketing as well as the official editor for Atari Explorer Magazine, resigns in an decision unrelated to Kenan's departure. Atari Canada now includes Neodesk 3.0 with every ST or STE sold. A new color monitor to compliment the STE's stereo sound is released in Canada, tagged the SC1435. The monitor is not a re-structured SC1224 as was first thought but of a completely different design with a larger screen. Both Fast Technology (Jim Allen) and Gadgets by Small (Dave Small) show 68030 boards INDEPENDENT from one another at WAACE since a splitup this summer. The COMPLETED Gadgets 030 board contained 8 megs of on-board RAM (boosting a Mega 4 to 12 megs of RAM total) as well as a 68882 math co-processor, all running at 18.4 mhz (it can run it up to a max of 33 Mhz). The board has TOS 1.6 on board, with Atari committed to licensing TOS 1.6 to Gadgets for use in the board. It can run 10.66 times the speed of the standard ST at 16 mhz - using most existing ST software. Price and availability cannot be set until Gadgets get quantity pricing on parts. NOVEMBER 1990: Atari Stock trades at prices as low as $1.75 on the American Exchange. This is down from a peak of nearly $20, only 18 months ago. After a five year-long effort the Software Protection Association was pleased to see the passage of a bill that makes software rental (other than non- profit library loans) programs illegal. One hour and a half before Congress recessed to start campaigning for reelection, the so- called "software rental bill" was finally passed. The bill makes it illegal for companies to rent software in a manner that allows users to copy and keep the program then return the original disks and documentation for re-rental. Computer Shopper Magazine, a 800 page monthly magazine that once covered all computers, drops regular Atari coverage. Amiga, Mac, and IBM remain. START magazine announces that beginning in December, the Z*NET News Service will be included in every issue. START ONLINE replaces the dormant ANTIC ONLINE on CompuServe, offering reprints of articles and featured software. A file called "TOS 2" circulates on private bulletin boards. The program provides an early version of the new TT Desktop which will operate on an ST. Atari reminds users both that the file is a STOLEN, PIRATED file that belongs to Atari, and that it is an early version that is known to be incomplete and unstable. Atari says they will have the TT READY FOR SHIPPING by COMDEX, with retail pricing for the base TT030 (2 meg RAM and a 50 megabyte hard drive) of $2,995 plus either $450 for a multiresolution color monitor, or $999 for the new 19" monochrome monitor. COMDEX arrives at Las Vegas, and Atari has the biggest booth yet. The MEGA/STe is introduced, featuring the TT look, LAN ports, 16 MHZ, built in hard drive, and the new TT desktop. Availability is planned for January, with new retail prices basing around $1,700 for 2meg RAM, 40 meg HD. The new monitors are shown, and a Scalable GDOS is demonstrated for imminent release. The TT030 is still shown but not available due to engineering changes that have prevented FCC testing. Most of the crowds pass up the ST line to see the Portfolio. MANY dealers ask to carry it, and some agree to offer the entire line. Eight bundles are announced, offering a variety of software with computers at savings over retail. MICHTRON is sold to a Newark, Delaware company, who will take over support and sales for the remaining Michtron products. PC-SPEED and AT-SPEED are taken over by TALON, and the HIGHSOFT line is apparently being marketed by GoldLeaf. MIGRAPH announces a Color Hand Scanner, to be available for the ST line in early 1991. It will require a minimum of 2 meg of RAM, and will benefit by the added speed of the Mega/STe or TT. DECEMBER 1990: Atari Corporation reports a third-quarter (ending Sept. 30, 1990) net income of barely over three million dollars on sales of $89 million, compared to a loss of $5 million on sales of $81 million for the same period last year. This year would have been a $3 million loss except for an offset of a $6 million gain from Atari repurchasing debentures at a favorable term. Net income per share is $.05. Downscaling hits Atari magazines overseas as well as in the USA. ST WORLD (UK) drops its publishing schedule back to QUARTERLY releases. An Atari emulator for the Amiga computer continues to draw comment and fire as it develops. Purporting to be "public domain", the file "ATARI1" (now in general BBS distribution worldwide) includes illegal copies of TOS and GEM internally. Reports are that the thing actually works, at speeds up to half of that of an Atari, although desk accessories do not work, and many, even most common programs do not operate. Screen appearance is also said to be very poor. Atari's stance continues to be that this file is a violation of Atari's copyrights, and that distribution will not be permitted. Atari's new MEGA/STe passes the FCC testing as a Type B (Consumer) product, and will begin US distribution as soon as mid-January. This marks the first time in memory that ANY Atari product has been approved for consumer release within 30 days of the first product announcement. The TT030 machine begins shipping to US dealers as a TYPE A COMMERCIAL USE device. The price for the base unit, a 2 MEG RAM, 50 MEG hard drive device, is still $2,995. Only VARs (Value Added Resellers) and "qualified dealers" can get the TT, and must send Atari a letter assuring that the machines will not be sold to consumer, residential users. Antonio Salerno, Vice President - Applications for Atari Corporation, resigns. Salerno had been in charge of efforts to persuade major software companies to bring their well known products to the Atari line, and had less than dramatic success. James Grunke, technical man for the super group BEACH BOYS, is to leave the band to replace Frank Foster at Atari as the Music Industry Representative and MIDI promoter. James will begin work on January 1, 1991. Formerly of NEOCEPT, makers of the powerful WORD UP graphic word processor for the Atari, programmer Mike Fulton is hired and begins work in Atari's customer and developer support area. This fuels earlier speculation that Atari may eventually buy and support Word Up as an Atari brand product. Dennis Hayes, the Cincinnati resident who pleaded guilty in late October to selling more then 5,000 copies of pirates MacIntosh ROMS, many of them to Atari users for MAC emulation, is sentenced to 5 years in prison. Until December 31, 1990, Atari Canada offers a $450.00 trade in on any 520 or 1040 towards a new Atari TT. Trade in machines will be refurbished and given to charity or used in an educational program. U.S. customers wishing more information can call (604) 275-7944. THE FUTURE... If 1990 was the Year of Atari, what will 1991 be? While there is reason for optimism in the new products and new staff at Atari, users and developers continue to leave the fold for apparently greener fields of MACs and 386 clones. Others are holding the course, hoping for better days ahead within the Atari line. What will come next for or from Atari? It is clear that the most outside interest is now being generated by the Portfolio and the LYNX. While we ST types may feel left out, it is just as clear by recent events that Atari intends to build and support the ST/TT platform for some years to come... and if that support is funded in part by sales of the MS-DOS style Portfolio and the game consoles, so be it. New products to come? There is considerable talk about a new 68000 based game machine called the PANTHER. This is NOT expected to be an ST compatible or any derivation of the existing lineup. When? Maybe mid- '91. And what about the Unix-compatible TT with multiple slots? This was known as the TT/X (eXpandable) as compared to the TT/D (Desktop) machine in press information gone by... but has the concept also gone by? A smaller, cheaper version of the LYNX handheld game unit is also still being promised... for SOMETIME. A new remodeled STacy is also rumoured in 1991. We have no firm predictions to offer for what will or will not eventually come in 1991. But here's hoping that we will all be here a year from now, wondering about '92! Z*NET NEWSWIRE ============== PRODIGY AGREES TO REFUNDS Prodigy, a computer information service, agreed this week to refund four months of fees to Texas subscribers who want to cancel the service. Prodigy was accussed by the Texas attorney general's office, of misleading customers about its costs and services. In an agreement, Prodigy said it would "clearly and conspicuously" disclose all fees in future advertisements. VENTURA PUBLISHER SHIPS Ventura Software announced late this week that it has begun shipment of Ventura Publisher, OS/2 Presentation Manager Edition, a new version of the company's desktop publishing software running under IBM's OS/2 version 1.3 Presentation Manager operating environment. This new product will be distributed to major resellers nationwide. NEW 908 AREA CODE New Jersey's new area code (908) will make its debut on customer bills next month. Beginning with bills mailed Jan. 3, customers who are located in the 908 area or those who make calls to 908 numbers will see the new area code on their bills. Customers who dial incorrectly after the new code becomes mandatory on June 8, 1991 will hear a recording with dialing instructions. The 908 area includes all of Warren County and almost all of Union County. The parts of Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Somerset counties that currently are 201 will become 908, as well as small portions of Sussex and Morris counties. The 609 area remains unchanged. SAN FRANCISCO PASSES VDT BILL Last week we reported that San Francisco California's city supervisors had been deciding upon a measure to protect users of video display terminals, (VDT). The bill, approved over the protests of business leaders, now goes to Mayor Art Agnos for signature. The measure mandates adjustable chairs, special lighting and rest breaks. Affecting all city government and businesses with 15 or more employees, the bill also requires glare shields, detachable keyboards and tables with sufficient leg space. If signed, companies have two years to implement the provision, after which violators could be fined up to $500 per day. The Mayor has ten days to decide and sign the provision. FCC LEVIES FINES The FCC has levied fines totalling $200,000 against computer equipment vendors who attended last month's Comdex trade show in Las Vegas found violating FCC rules. The FCC made 300 inspections affecting sale of personal computers and peripherals that violated FCC marketing rules. Violations cited were vendors who didn't display FCC ID numbers and others who allegedly rushed new uncertified products to market while competitors were waiting for FCC certifications of their products. A list of those fined is not available. COMPUTER RULE CHANGES A proposed FCC rule change could affect the cost and availability of motherboards for personal computers. The FCC is involved with certification programs for computers because the devices can emit radiation that cause electronic interference. The FCC requires that computer systems marketed for home use must meet Class B certification requirements. Class B specifies that emissions have to be of an intensity low enough not to disrupt communications on a wide range of frequencies. Currently, complete systems and some peripherals such as accelerator cards and video boards must be certified. However, the FCC is considering a change in the classification of motherboards to require they be certified individually. Under current regulations the boards are considered subassemblies not subject to certification. The FCC invites comments on the proposed rule change. Those interested who want to submit comments to the FCC should do so now since the first round of hearings were held last week. Comments on the proposed certification of RCPU boards (motherboards) should refer to RGen Docket No. 90-413S and should be sent to: Office of the Secretary, FCC, Gen. Docket No. 90-413, Washington, DC 20554. NEW VIRUS UNCOVERED A new computer virus has been found in the Apple Mac. The virus, called ZUC B, forces the computer's cursor to drift across the screen. When the virus finally reaches the Mac's Finder software, cursor control becomes impossible. HOTZ GETS RIGHTS TO MARKET BOX Atari has reportedly given Jimmy Hotz the rights to marketing for his full-size Hotz Midi Translator, also known as the Hotz Box. This $5,000 and up unit is designed for professional studio and tour use, and it is expected that Jimmy will be better able to promote and sell it at on his own to fellow musicians. Atari will retain the rights to marketing any consumer version of the controversial device that allows anyone, even a child, to free-style solo with or accompany pre-recorded music without a sour note... sort of the ultimate in a chord organ. Jimmy will once again join Atari at NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchandisers show this coming January 18-21. FLEET LEAVES THE STREET MIRRORSOFT of the UK has announced that FLEETSTREET PUBLISHER is being pulled off the market due to poor sales. Most other Mirrorsoft productivity titles were transferred to other lines, like MICRODEAL, but Fleetstreet was not, and has an uncertain future. Fleetstreet Publisher, recently in version 3, was marketed in the USA by MICHTRON, which also recently changed hands. YET ANOTHER REPLAY MICRODEAL, one of Michtron's main import lines, has announced REPLAY 8, replacing Replay 4 as an amateur musician's sound sampler and editor. It will feature some of the enhancements of Replay Professional. USA availability is not yet known. ST WORLD GOES QUARTERLY Downscaling has hit Atari magazines overseas as well as in the USA. ST WORLD (UK) has dropped its publishing schedule back to QUARTERLY releases. BRODIE WRITES FOR START MAGAZINE Atari's Manager of User Group Services Bob Brodie will begin a continuing column for STart Magazine, the largest US Atari specific magazine, in early 1991. His articles will be general interest items, with accent on user groups and how they help owners get more from their Ataris. MIGRAPH NEW TOUCHUP VERSION FOR TT/STE Mentioned in earlier issues of Z*NET, the Migraph Hand Scanner, Touch- Up, and Easy Draw are parts of one of the new STe bundles. We didn't mention that TOUCH-UP is going up to version 1.6, and features new abilities to save a true grey-scale image in TIFF format. However, the new features require the extended palette of the STe or TT for full use. Older ST units will not have access to all the new features of the upgraded TOUCH-UP software. REVOLTUIONARY CONCEPTS - 1991 ============================= Press Release IT'S HERE! Manteca, CA -- Just Released! The REVOLUTION HANDBOOK is now available in paperback. Designed to appeal to two distinct markets, the new REVOLUTION HANDBOOK creatively appeals to potential new computer buyers and the powerful existing base of enthusiastic Atari computer users. The book combines the best aspects of the 16-bit disk-based version released in the second half of 1989. In addition, 7 new informative chapters have been added to assist computer buyers in their efforts to shop for the optimum computer. Author, Donald A. Thomas, Jr. indicates that the time has come to offer a printed version which can benefit everyone... not just 16-bit Atari computer users. Now it is easier than ever for 8-bit and non-Atari computer users to appreciate the swelling movement designed to improve the public awareness of one of the best computer alternatives available in the U.S. marketplace. The illustrated book was entirely published using the Calamus desktop publishing system and artwork was scanned using the Migraph hand scanner... providing a formal testimonial to the impact of a low-cost, yet powerful computer configuration. Beyond the offering of a user-friendly guide to computer shopping, the latter portion of the book offers numerous suggestions and ideas that existing Atari users can economically implement to show their endorsement of their favored computer choice. Such ideas specifically address teachers, users' groups, individuals, publications, sysops, celebrities, dealers and more. A helpful index references key words throughout the book to help newcomers learn to understand the terms many of us take for granted. Noteworthy contributions include a Forward by Robert G. Brodie, Manager of User Group Services of Atari Computer Corporation. D.A. Brumleve, San Jose Computers, Atari Explorer, ISD Marketing, Shareware Connection and Computer Studio also helped by contributing advertisements to help offset initial expenses of producing the book. In addition, the publisher wishes to thank the many patient pre-orders, all of whom helped to make the book possible. Dedicated to the Atari Computer Users of North America, The REVOLUTION HANDBOOK is one more statement of Artisan Software's commitment to the Atari line of computers. Its use as a multifaceted tool will help to fuel the energetic forces targeted for productive use of the Atari computer. Look for The REVOLUTION HANDBOOK at better Atari Computer dealers or order a personally signed copy direct from Artisan Software. Send $14.95 (U.S. funds plus $1.50 shipping and handling) to Artisan Software, P.O. Box 849, Manteca, California 95336. California, add 6% sales tax. One Dollar of each book sold will be contributed to Atari to purchase Atari computers for schools. Look for REVOLUTIONARY CONCEPTS, a continuing series of articles in support of The REVOLUTION, distributed through GEnie on-line services and picked up by Atari journals and bulletin boards everywhere! Z*NET NEWSWIRE - PART 2 ======================= ATARI YEAR END SPECIAL Atari is presently running a "Year End Special" through midnight, December 31, 1990. If you purchase six 1040 STe's, you will receive either one free SC1435 Color Monitor, or TWO free SM124 Mono monitors, dealers choice. In addition, if you purchase six 520 STs, you will receive a free SM124 mono monitor. This special is exclusive of all other promo's currently in place. You have the option to either purchase existing promos, or the above mentioned year end special or any combination. For further information, contact Sales Administration, or your local rep. CHICAGO ATARIFEST UPDATE: ERRATA In Issue #546 of Z*Net Online, we listed vendors and developers who attended the Gurnee Atarifest. We failed to list others in attendance who assisted in making the event a success. Those omitted were:] Namely Computer Cellar, Mars Merchandising, Kolputer Systems, and Paper Express. We apologize for the omission. Z*NET GERMANY ============= by Michael Schuetz, Contributing Editor As Z*NET reported this fall in a totally surprising newsbreak, Elie Kenan, who had stirred so many hopes in North America left the US in October to go back to France. Up until now no official confirmation or comment has been made by Atari USA. Now just before Christmas there comes another newsflash - this time out of Atari's stronghold in Europe, GERMANY! Word is being spread in Germany that the head of Atari Germany, Alwin Stumpf, will pick up the work where Kenan has stopped. It is said that he will leave Europe in a few weeks to go to North America. At first he is supposed to stay there approximately a year. Again - no official comment or confirmation is available from Atari, but one of Germany's most reputated newspapers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), had a big article about Atari in its issue from Thursday, December 20th, 1990. The article covered several aspects about Atari in Germany, among them the story about the KAOS TOS 1.4.2 and last but not least it was mentioned that Alwin Stumpf will move to Canada shortly to steer the matters of Atari in North America from there. Stumpf switched from Commodore Germany to become the head of Atari Germany shortly after Jack Tramiel had taken over Atari in the middle of the 80ies. May be he will be able to turn around the situation in North America to Ataris favour. It is no secret that Germany is one of the best, if not THE best, Atari subsidary. Atari has done things in Germany that most US Atarians have just been dreaming of ever since 1985: They have and still are heavely advertising their computers. Since 1985 several TV commercials could be seen at prime time in the major TV stations for the ST. Radio commercials are constantly praising Atari computers and since the TT is selling here in Germany, several ads for it have been placed both in magazines and newspapers. Let's hope that the spring of 1991 will see a new blossoming of Atari in North America with it's new line of Mega STEs and TTs. By the way - as reported two weeks ago, Atari held the press conference in Munich, Germany, on December 12th. Just as expected they showed off the Mega STE. It was said there, that a limited number of Mega STEs is already on its way to Germany. The first units are believed to arrive at dealers shelves shortly after Christmas. At first only one configuration of the Mega STE will be available in Germany. It will be the Mega STE 4 with a 48 MB harddrive. The official retail price for this unit will be DM 3.000 (approx. US$ 2000) including the SM124 monochrome monitor. Z*NET NEW ZEALAND ================= by Jon Clarke, Contributing Editor SUPER PRE XMAS ADVERTISING Atari-NZ has started its pre-christmans advertising campain with avengence. Television adverts promoting the $NZ999 Atari Discovery Pack. When asked why the Discovery Pack was being promoted, Mr. Alex Davidson said, "The reason for this is the low retail demand in the economy, making purchasers more concerned about value for money than the lastest technology. We believe that offering the STFM with the Discovery Pack at $NZ999 does indeed give buyers value for money-its an excellent computer at a very attractive price. STACY NOW AVAILABLE In a dealer release Atari-NZ have advised its retailers the long awaited Stacy portable ST is now shipping to New Zealand. The first shipment will be in the stores for Christmas. With a RRP of $NZ6995 it comes with 4 megs of memory, 40 meg hard disk, and a power source, power adaptor. ATARI-NZ HAS A GOOD YEAR During the course of 1990 Atari-NZ has sold more units than the last 12 months to date. When asked if Atari-NZ was happy with the results, Mr. Alex Davidson replied, "In the current state of New Zealands economy we are more than happy with the result." When asked if Atari-NZ had a commitment to the New Zeland Atari users, Davidson said, "We certainly do and you will see this by the current advertising campain, and the great dealer pricing we are giving. Further to this I would like to state that we are over the moon with the response to the introduction of the STe and the other new products we released this year." ATARI BBS GET NATIONWIDE NETWORK A company in New Zeland offering a free noding service to System Operators of BBS's, now has three Atari BBS's noding from it. They are Harbour Board BBS in Wellington, STarlight Express in Auckland and also STaTus in Auckland. Users from all around the country are flocking to the new service. Increased activity has been seen by users of all computers as they now see what Atari BBS's have to offer. The three BBS systems mentioned all run different software from FoReM to Express to MichTron V3. To quote a comment from a promenant person from IBM at a recent All SYSOP function, "It looks like Atari has finally grown up". (We did not have the heart to tell him Atari ST's have been doing this for over five years now) BELL VERSUS BBS SYSOPS ====================== Compiled by Jerry Cross Text downloaded from GEnie ST Roundtable GTE TAKES ON INDIANA SYSOPS BBS operators in Indiana complain that GTE is forcing them to accept extra-cost business rates rather than the residential rates they have been paying. Derry Nelson, sysop of the 1149 BBS in Elkhart, Ind., says that the changes were a surprise. The worst part of the surprise seems to be the large jump in monthly rates. A typical BBS would find its monthly bill increased by almost 200 percent. The new tariff appears to give GTE wide-ranging control over its customers. As an example, the company can limit the length of calls "when in [GTE's] judgement such action is necessary." GTE claims authority to change a BBS to business rates because the service is provided "for use [of] the general public." Additional information is available from the Utility Consumer Counselor at 317/232-2494. The 1149 BBS can be reached at 219/293-1149. FROM: Mike Marotta TO: Bbs Users MSG # 130, Apr-7-90 0:31am SUBJECT: Why Business Rates These excerpts are from MPSC documents. It is established in regulatory commission administrative law that the PROVIDER files a tariff. For instance, it is a principle of regulatory law that a tariff cannot be effective prior to its filing date. A tariff that allowed this would "jump out" at a regulator who read it. Generally, however, the regulators ACCEPT the filing of the carrier and leave it to competing carriers or clients to file a complaint. Michigan Bell Telephone Company Tariff MPSC No. 7 was issued on November 21, 1966. Its age alone speaks volumes."Original Sheet 11. GENERAL REGULATIONS - CLASSIFICATION AND USE OF TELEPHONE SERVICES A. APPLICATION IS BUSINESS AND RESIDENCE RATES (Formerly Sheet 15) 1. The determination as to whether telephone service is Business or Residence is based on the character of the Use to be made of the service. Service is classified as business service where the use is primarily or substantially of a business, professional, institutional, or otherwise occupational nature. Where the business use, if any, is incidental and where the major use is of a social or domestic nature, service is classified as residence service if installed in a residence. 2. Business rates apply at the following locations, among others: a. In offices, stores and factories, and in quarters occupied by clubs, lodges, fraternal societies, schools, colleges, libraries, hospitals and other business establishments. b. In residence locations where the place of residence is in the immediate proximity to a place of business and it is evident that the telephone in the residence is or will be used for business purposes; and in the residence locations where an extension is located at a place where business rates would apply. c. In the residence of a practicing physician, dentist, veterinary, surgeon or other medical practioner who has no service at business rates at another location. d. In any residence location where there is substantial business use of the service and the customer has no service elsewhere at business rates. B.1.a.(2). A customer engaged in furnishing services of a secretarial nature may not use Telephone Company facilities to receive messages for one party to be forwarded to another party, unless such forwarding is of a temporary or occasional nature."
FROM: Mike Marotta TO: All Bbs users MSG # 131, Apr-7-90 0:32am SUBJECT: more on rates - 2 As a result of the "Variety and Spice BBS" incident of March 1990, the MPSC issued a statement. Excepts follow:"FORM LETTER FOR COMPUTER BULLETIN BOARDS If bulletin boards or access to bulletin boards is provided to calling parties at no charge other than that which may be associated with the telephone call, and are not provided in conjunction with a business, a profession, an institution or other occupation, then it would appear that the service should not be classified as a business. If, however, there is a charge associated with any level of access to the bulletin board, whether the charge is rendered to cover costs or produce a profit, then the service would be considered a business or classification as such. This would also apply if any of the previous conditions mentioned were not met." FROM: Mike Marotta TO: All Users MSG # 134, Apr-7-90 0:25am SUBJECT: Michigan Bell and You 04/06/1990 This statement was specially prepared by Michigan Bell to explain to the bulletin board user community their position on the question of business rates. The statement was given to me at my request by Michigan Bell's district manager for state government. -- Mike Marotta."Telephone Service Classifications Recently the question has arisen whether Michigan Bell is attempting to charge commercial rates to all computer bulletin boards in the state. Michigan Bell has not instituted a "program" to impose a specific class of service on any group of customers, i.e., computer bulletin boards. In fact, the decision on which class of service is required for computer bulletin boards is no different than it is for any other service. In making the decision, Michigan Bell is required to comply with tariffs approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission, which cover the matter of appropriate classification of telephone service. The applicable tariffs require Michigan Bell to classify service primarily in accordance with the use that is to be made of the service. The tariffs specify the conditions under which a service is classified, for rate purposes, as business or residence service. For example, service is classified as business where the use is primarily that of a business. In the case of computer bulletin boards, for instance, is there is a charge associated with any level of access to the board, or money is solicited in conjunction with the board, that is considered conducting a business within the meaning of Michigan Bell's tariffs. The service, therefore, would be classified as business and business rates would apply. On the other hand, service that is used primarly for domestic purposes is classified as residence service. Again, using the example of computer bulletin boards, if the board is not associated with a business and no charge is assessed or solicited for access to the board, then service may be classified as residence in accordance with the application tariffs."STATE OF INDIANA INDIANA UTILITY REGULATORY COMMISSION IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT OF ) TEN INDIVIDUALS AGAINST GTE NORTH ) CAUSE NO. 39005 INCORPORATED PERTINENT TO CERTAIN ) CHARGES FOR TELEPHONE SERVICE ) RENDERED BY GTE NORTH INCORPORATED ) BY THE COMMISSION: James R. Monk, Chairman Mark W. Cooper, Chief Administrative Law Judge On June 4, 1990, Randy Wilson, Derald A. Nelson, Clamies J. Lambright, David A. Reynolds, Thomas Battler, Don Billey, Jeff Jacobs, Jean Ludwig, George Himebaugh, Jr., and Delmar Mineard, Jr. (Complainants") filed a complaint with the Commission pursuant to IC 8-1-2-54 against GTE North Incorporated ("Respondent"). By their complaint, the Complainants state that certain of the provisions of the Respondent's tariffs on file with this Commission are unjustly discriminatory and unreasonable to the Complainants" detriment. Pursuant to notice duly published as required by law, a Prehearing Conference was held in this Cause on July 27, 1990 at 1:30 P.M., EST, in Room 908, State Office Building, Indianapolis, Indiana. At the Prehearing Conference, the parties informally agreed as to procedural and scheduling matters to be operative in this Cause. However, counsel for the Respondent indicated that it would be subsequently submitting a motion to dismiss herein and the Commission withheld the issuance of the Prehearing Conference Order pending the submission and ruling upon Respondent's Motion to Dismiss. On August 10, 1990, the Respondent filed its Answer and Motion to Dismiss, which filing appears in the following words and figures, to- wit: (H.I.) Based upon the applicable law and the filings of the parties, the Commission now finds as follows: 1. Commission Jurisdiction. The Respondent is a "public utility" within the meaning of the Public Service Commission Act, as amended. IC 8-1-2-54 provides the complaints may be filed against public utilities with the Commission pertinent to the practices and acts of those utilities. The complaint initiating this Cause was filed under the provisions of IC 8-1-2-54 and appears to satisfy the requirements thereof. The Prehearing Conference was conducted pursuant to notice duly published as required by law. IC 8-1-2 et seq. and the Commission's Rules and Regulations of Practice provide the Commission with the authority to appropriatley adjudicate and dispose of cases pending before it. Therefore, the Commission has jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter herein. 2. Commission Discussion and Findings. The Complainants allege that certain provisions of Respondent's tariffs are unjustly discriminatory and unreasonable and the Complainants have been caused harm thereby. The Complainants state that they are customers of the Respondent and are engaged in the hobby of operating a Computer Bulletin Board System ("BBS"). The Complainants allege that pursuant to these tariff provisions the Respondent is billing them at a business rate rather that a residential rate whic is inappropriate and to their detriment. The Complainants contend that the operation of a BBS is a hobby and not a business venture. The Complainants also contend that applying a business rate to them consititutes a rate change which must be subjected to public hearing prior to the application thereof. Respondent points out that the tariff complained of by the Complainants was approved by the Commission on January 31, 1990 pursuant to IC 8-1-2-42. Respondent also points out there is no dispute between the parties as to whether this is the appropriate tariff under which the Complaintant's service should be provided. Complainant citees certain language set forth at Section 6.5 of the tariff which reads, as follows: The Company shall determine if business or residence rates apply to a customer service. Respondent goes on to set forth additional language from the tariif which set forth situations under which a business reate is properly applied. Respondent concludes that BBS clearly fits the categories set forth by the tariff under which a business rate applies Respondent goes on to set forth additional language from the tariif which set forth situations under which a business reate is properly applied. Respondent concludes that BBS clearly fits the categories set forth by the tariff under which a business rate applies and the fact that Complainants allege that BBS is a hobby does not remove it from the categories as defined within the tariff. Respondent's Motion to Dismis does not clearly set forth the authority or rule under which the Motion is brought. Therefore, we must first determine the precise character of the Motion that we may know the criteria under which its propriety is to be considered. Although Respondent's filing is denominated as a "Motion to Dismiss", a review of that Motion reveals that it does not clearly fall within the parameters of the familiar request for involuntary dimissal under T.R. 41 or matters properly raised under T.R. 12 (B). It appears that Respondent's filing is most akin to a Motion for Judgement on the Pleadings as provided by T.R. 12(C) or a Motion for Summary Judgement pursuant to t.R. 56. In any event, a review of T.R. 12(C) directs that a motion brought under that rule in circumstances such as these should be treated as one for summary judgement and be disposed of as provided by T.R. 56. T.R. 56(C) sets forth the standard under which a moving party may prevail on motion for summary judgement. The Rule provides that the judgement sought shall be rendered if there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgement as a matter of law. This standard appears to be applicable in this situation. A review of the Complaint and Respondent's filing indicates that the parties agree upn the operative facts and that there exist no genuine dispute as to any material fact. The question remaining to the Commission is no then fact sensitive but whether Respondent's tariif provisions which allows the Respondent to bill the Complainants under a business rate constitutes the improper charging of a reate without prior Commission approval and/or whether that tariff provision is unjust and discriminatory. Both of which are conclusions of law for the Commission as contemplated by T.R. 56 (C). The Complainants allege that the Respondent's application of a business rate to the Complainants constitutes a rate change for which prior Commission approval must be obtained after holding a public hearing. The cleand and unambiguous terminology of Respondent's tarriff which was approved by this Commission allows the Respondent to determine wheter a particular service is appropriatley billed under a residence rate or a business rate. Clearly the tariff approved by the Commission authorizes the appropriate rate. The Complainants have not alleged that Respondent acted in a fashion inconsistent with the tariff. Therefore, when information comes to the Respondent that leads it to believe that a particular customer's situation has changed it is authorized under the tariff to impose a rate change consistent with the terms of the tariff. The Respondent's review of circumstances and decision to impose a different rate authorized under the tariff clearly does not constitute a rate change as contemplated by IC 8-1-2-42. Therefore, considering the undisputed facts the Complainants would not be entitled to prevail on this issue. The Complainants next allege, without specifically stating the reasons therefor, that Respondents tariff in question is unreasonably discriminatory. This Commission has for many decades been charged with the duty to review utility tariffs under the mandate that utility services should not be discriminator and must serve puble interest. A review of the official files of the Commission disclosed the provisions of Respondent's tariff in question are of a standard type and kind for local exchange telephone service. Further, we note that such tariff provisons were reviewed by the Commission's Engineering Division which was properly delegated with the authority to consider the propriety of that tariff and make ultimate approval or rejection thereof. Base upon a review of Respondent's tariff, we find that the tariff provisions are not unreasonable and discriminatory either as written or by their application. Therefore, we find that the Complainants are not entitled to prevail upon this issue as a matter of law. Based on forgoing, we find that Summary Judgement should be granted in favor of the Respondent and the Complaintants request to investigate the acts, practices and rates of the Respondent and for the holding of public hearing on the matter of the imposition of a business rate to the Complainants should be DENIED. IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE INDIANA UTILITY REGULATORY COMMISSION THAT: 1. The Respondent shall be deemed to have prevailed on the matters at issue herein and that Complaintants request for an investigation into the acts, practices and rates of the Respondent and the holding of public hearing upon the Respondent's imposition of a business rate upon the Complainants shall be, and hereby DENIED. 2. This Order shall be effective on and after the date of its approval. NOV 21, 1990 WHERE DOES IT GO FROM HERE? On January 29th and 31st, a hearing will be held before an administrative law judge concerning the case of the Variety & Spice BBS (Gross Point, MI) and Michigan Bell. In March, Michigan Bell informed the sysop that they would begin charging him business rates for his phone lines because they determined that his charging for access does not qualify him for residencial rates. Several cases of this nature have, or are currently being faught around the country. These files are being circulated to inform those who use or run BBS's of pending legislation in Michigan and Indiana. For more information, or if you would like to testify before the MPSC on the above date, please contact one of the following sources. Jerry Cross (voice)313-736-4544 (bbs) 313-736-3920 Variety & Spice BBS 313-885-8377 or check out one of the many Michigan BBS's that carry the Michigan ECHO message system. Please send comments or questions to G.Cross (Genie) JERRYCROSS (DELPHI) 75046,467 (CompuServe) Thanks for your support! BBS EXPRESS! ST UPDATE ====================== /\ / / 2 Presenting BBS Express! ST v1.41 / \ Copyright (c) 1987,1990 /\/\ \ Ltd. by T2 Ltd. \/\ \/ \/ (Formerly an ICD Inc. product) T2 Ltd BBS Express! Support 714-357-6806 (PC Pursuit "CACOL" node) December 24, 1990 If you are upgrading from version 1.30, you'll need to update your file DESCRIPTION format with a utility called CNVTDESC.PRG that is online at the support boards. It is recommended that you direct the program to write out your descriptions to a temporary folder, so as not to write over your existing descriptions should a problem occur. The program is very simple to use, just follow the prompts. What's New In v1.41? NEW Six new '&' variables have been added! Five of these are prompting variables (which you can use to control paging of files, etc.) and the sixth displays whether the SysOp is in or out, depending on the status of your F5 key. NEW Color in the message bases! If you or your users are in VT52 Color mode, you may now enter control commands to bring color and inverse into your messages. VT52 Mono users will be able to enter and see inverse text. ASCII users will see the messages normally. NEW Another setting has been added to the [P]arameters menu. A user may now set his high message number, and it can be saved or used on that session only. This can enable users who haven't been online in a long time to instantly bring their message pointers up to date so that they don't have to go through a lot of messages on a QuickScan. Or if a user has a need to restore an old setting, now he can do so. NEW During a message read function, you can now (ta da) [M]ove messages! Simply press 'M' when you see a message that you would like to move and the BBS will prompt you ove Or opy? Select the desired action and the BBS does the rest. You can move/copy messages from Email or any base to any other _valid_ message base. A lengthy message will be truncated to fit into a base which is predefined as having a shorter length than that of the message being moved. NEW [M]oving messages is great, but how about files? You guessed it, you can now move files from the [B]rowse mode! But that is just part of the story -- in fact, [M]ove files is part of a sub-menu called... NEW [F]ile Utilities! During browse mode in the file areas, a Sysop may press 'F' and bring up a sub-menu which looks like this: [C]opy File And Description [M]ove File And Description [S]pace Left On Drive 'x' [T]ouch Time/Datestamp Command (Or [Return]): So while browsing you can automate your maintenance duties instead of going into SysOp mode and typing MS-DOS style commands. The first two commands allow you to enter a SIG number for destination or view your list of file areas. Note that the time/datestamp is updated when moving /copying files, as in the SysOp Shell. [S]pace simply shows you free space on a drive (which you will be prompted for), and touch just updates the files time/datestamp, which makes the file appear as new to your callers. NEW The READSUB.HLP menu has a new entry: 'O'ptions. This will allow a user to set his parameters (such as translation, continuous scroll and clear screen ON/OFF) during a message scan function. Think about the advantage of being able to turn on continuous scroll mode while in a QuickScan on a busy long distance board... NEW The main command prompt now displays the actual time remaining for the user online. This takes into account the users time on previously for that day, and shows the actual logical time allowed for that call. The status lines on the SysOp screen also display the same way now. NEW Along the same lines as above, the '&' variable &33 now properly returns the logical time left per call as it should. For the last three years it has been returning the same value as &13, so was fairly useless. Now it may come in handy! NEW The call log will now show you what protocol was used for each ul/dl a user made. NEW A couple of minor things: The Idle Timeout has been cleaned up some, and the ability to search for a string when selecting someone to send mail to has been made optional. NEW Two more minor things: When changing SIGs, the BBS hotkeys any two- digit number (ie, it isn't necessary to press [Return] if entering file area 10 and above, but it is when entering a 0-9.) The pad last block option is gone (and has been for a while now) since it is outdated and confusing to most. NEW [P]arameter updates: A user may no longer change his real name via the parameter menu. It is not needed, since when logging on as new, they have the option to change any information then. After that, why should anyone need to change their real name? Also the menu option that allows the user to change his protocol has been updated so that the current protocol is displayed when listing parms (so you don't have to select it to view your current setting). KIDS-91 PROJECT =============== Compiled by Jon Clarke Date: Mon, 24 Dec 1990 15:01:26 +0100 X-To: GOLLUM::"email@example.com" Subject: The KIDS-91 discussion list To: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear friend of the KIDS-91 project, We have set up a Listserv discussion group called "KIDS-91" to serve our global project. It's meant to be a central meeting place for ALL interested persons. This is where we can * post announcements of local KIDS-91 activities. * exchange experiences, ideas and information. * upload student's responses. TO SUBSCRIBE You can subscribe to KIDS-91 by sending mail to email@example.com (or LISTSERV@NDSUVM1 on BITNET) with the BODY or TEXT of the mail containing the command SUB KIDS-91 yourfirstname yourlastname For example: SUB KIDS-91 Chen Wei Please be sure to send the command to LISTSERV and NOT to the list. Also note that the command should be in the body of the mail (in other words after the blank line following the headers) and not in the subject. The LISTSERV will receive a message which would look like this: Date: ... From: someuser@somehost To: firstname.lastname@example.org SUB KIDS-91 Chen Wei and you will automatically become a member. See you there, Odd de Presno KIDS-91 Project Director Date: Mon, 24 Dec 1990 15:00:58 +0100 X-To: GOLLUM::"email@example.com" Subject: Newsletter #4 To: firstname.lastname@example.org The KIDS-91 Newsletter A Global Dialog for Children 10-15 Years **************************************** Issue number 4, October 26 1990. IN THIS ISSUE 1. The KIDS-91 project 2. The Newsletter 3. Progress report 4. How teachers can participate in KIDS-91 5. For more information about KIDS-91. 1. KIDS-91 The aim is to get as many children in the age group 10 -15 as possible involved in a GLOBAL dialog continuing until May 12th 1991. We would like their responses to these questions: 1) Who am I? 2) What do I want to be when I grow up? 3) How do I want the world to be better when I grow up? 4) What can I do now to make this happen? We would also like the children to illustrate their future vision, for example in a drawing, a video tape, or something else. On May 12th, 1991, the children will be invited to "chat" with each other in a global electronic dialog. Exhibitions of selected parts of the responses will be shipped back to the children of the world for them to see and enjoy. 2. THE NEWSLETTER is an information bulletin for participants, sponsors, teachers, mediators, promoters, and other interested persons. Suggestions and contributions to the next issue are more than welcome. We hope to port it within 45 days or so. Write the Editor to receive future issues of the newsletter. Editor: Odd de Presno, Saltrod, Norway. Online addresses: Internet: email@example.com UUCP/EUnet: uunet!coma.uio.no!opresno S.H.S. BBS: SYSOP (Phone: +47 41 31378) 3. PROGRESS REPORT KIDS-91 is now available through Internet/BITNET through the list KIDS-91@VM1.NODAK.EDU and KIDCAFE@VM1.NODAK.EDU (see under "Level 3: Online - Participative" below". Here are some recent responses in the data base: Question #1: Who Am I? I am Arvind Howarth. I am an eleven-year-old girl. I love dolphins and hate the killing of them (pollution, tuna nets etc). I like drawing, reading, swimming and basic outdoor sport. I hope that someone will save the world, and stop the wars. Wars and the thought of them scare me. (from London, England) My name is Lucy and I am 15 years old. I enjoy acting, reading and playing the saxaphone. I am concerned with the welfare of our planet. I find myself feeling very exasperated when my careers teacher asks the class what we want to become when we grow up! As if we actually have a choice! The way the planet is going, there is only one thing left to work towards, and thats saving ours and many other creatures world! (from Australia) Question #2: What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up? I would like to go to art school and become an artist. I'm not that bothered about money, but I would love to have a job that I enjoy and that I look forward to. (Arvind) I find myself feeling very exasperated when my careers teacher asks the class what we want to become when we grow up! As if we actually have a choice! The way the planet is going, there is only one thing left to work towards, and thats saving ours and many other creatures world! As you may have guessed, I am of the opinion that there is only one thing to grow up for! Our planet! So I intend to become an activest (hopefully in theatre). (Lucy) Question #3: How Do I Want The World To Be Better When I Grow Up? I think everyone should ride a bicycle. No pollution, no petrol, and you get fit. I also think there should be no wars. Why don't the prime ministers battle it out themselves? Instead of killing the rest of the world. But it would be better if no-one had to improve anything. If everything was satisfactory without modernising. But that's too idealistic I suppose. (Arvind) By the time I am an adult, I would like the world to be like one big peaceful commune, with no seperate countries, no need or abuse of anything and a loving bond between all things. I think this may take a little time, so maybe our children will experience such peace! (Lucy) Question #4: What Can I Do Now To Make This Happen? I honestly don't think I can do anything (on my own). If everyone did the right thing - recycling, composting, demonstrating and basically living contentedly - then there would be no problem. But on my own I can't help the world. So I'll do my bit and hope everyone does their's. (Arvind) If this dream is to become reality, we will have to begin now by treating each other with love and care, and then all things around us! Peace can only be achieved by each person taking the initiative! For my part, I am in the process of starting an action group in the Byron Bay for young caring people. (Lucy) 4. How teachers can participate in KIDS-91 We assume that a copy of the KIDS-91 "Letter to Teachers" and the other material is available. If not, please ask for copies. The guidelines below is just meant to give additional details about how teachers can participate. Here are the different ways you can choose to participate in KIDS-91 with your class: Level 1: Ordinary Mail! Level 2: One-Way Electronic Mail Level 3: Online - Participative Level 4: Online - Full Interactive Communications Level 5: Online - Interactive and Planning. These different levels of teacher involvement have the following meaning: Level 1: Ordinary Mail! Have the students respond to the four questions. Responses to question 1: Each response should contain the child's name, age and city/place (as the last phrase of the response). Responses to question number 2-4: After each child's responses, add his or her name. Like this: (Alberto Blanco). Save the responses on computer diskettes (MS-DOS 5.25" or 3.5" or Macintosh) as an ordinary DOS or ASCII text file (text written with Word Perfect is also acceptable). Write the text with left margin 0 and right margin 60. You may want to let the students enter it themselves as part of the exercise. - If the school does not have computer equipment, perhaps the class could use one owned by a parent or local business for this project. Sort the student's responses by question, e.g. first all the responses to question number 1, then all responses to question number 2, etc. On the top of the file, write the teacher(s) names, the class name, the school name and mailing address. Add the electronic address, if any. (Don't forget this, if you want the school to be added to the mailing list for the final exhibition.) Note: We strongly urge you to send us the responses in electronic form (on diskette). This is the only way that we can be sure to enter the student's names correctly. Also, in this way only can we guarantee that their responses will end up in the global data base. We may be able to input hand-written responses, but can give no guarantees. Mail the diskette(s) to: KIDS-91, c/o SciNet, 131 Bloor Street West, Suite 200, Box 326, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1R8, Canada. The next step is to let the students make the drawings/paintings. Remember to have the students write their name, age and place/school CLEARLY on the front page. If the contribution is selected to be exhibited, then the audience should be able to see the name of the artist. Challenge them to find more creative ways of 'drawing themselves as adults in their desired future world'. Ref. the "Letter to Teachers" for ideas. Tell them that there is a competition going on with prizes for the most innovative creators. Mail the Creative Contributions to: KIDS-91, c/o Odd de Presno, 4815 Saltrod, Norway. We will add your school to our mailing list for the final exhibition, that we plan to send back to the world after the conclusion of the project's phase 1. Level 2: Online - One-Way Electronic Mail Prepare responses to the four questions as above. Here we'll only comment on the differences. Send the responses as electronic mail to the following electronic address: jonno@scinet.UUCP (if it fails, try: firstname.lastname@example.org) Here are some backup solutions: * upload the file to my BBS at +47 41 31378 * if your network is connected to DASnet, send to [DEZNDP]opresno * send a fax to Odd de Presno at +47 41 27111 and ask how to send it. Remember: tell what electronic mailbox(es) that you are currently using. Level 3: Online - Participative Locate a suitable, participating networking system, and access the 'local' KIDS-91 area. Here are some alternatives: * SciNet in Canada and USA (upload to items 11-14 in the "KIDS-91" con). * Internet/BITNET etc. Upload to KIDS-91@vm1.NoDak.EDU Join this LISTSERV by sending the command SUB KIDS-91 yourname to LISTSERV@vm1.NoDak.EDU (for example: SUB KIDS-91 Ole Olsen). The command should be in the BODY of the text. Keep the subject blank. Another list called KIDCAFE is established for dialog between participating children (SUB KIDCAFE yourname). * TWICS (Tokyo): use the "KIDS91" conference in PARTIcipate. * Compuserve: upload to library 10 in the Education Forum. If you want the children to upload their responses personally, use library 0 (or messages sent to section 0) in the Student's Forum. Children acting on their own should upload their responses to library 15 of the IBM Special Needs Forum. You can also use section 1 (Getting Started) of the HamNet Forum for interactive participation. * The "KIDS.91" conference on Pegasus (Australia), * The "KIDS-91" folder under "Classroom Projects" in the AGE folder on AppleLink. * The "KIDS91" conference on IRIS. * The "KIDS91" topic on MetaNet (in Salon). * GreenNet (England), * The "KIDS.91" conference on The Web (Canada). * The "KIDS.91" conference on FredsNaetet (Sweden) * The "KIDS.91" conference on PeaceNet/EcoNet (US) * The "KIDS91" conference on SHS BBS in Norway (Phone: +47 41 31378) * The KIDS-91 area on Merlin BBS (Maryland, USA). Download other childrens' responses and use them in your classes. You may want your students to upload their responses individual. Level 4: Online - Full Interactive and Communications Read and respond to all KIDS-91 topics online. Read and enter responses to the four questions directly. Send private electronic mail to other participants - form 'keypals' relationships with new friends. Let the students participate in regular online 'chats' with other children. For example, through KIDCAFE with Krystal on SciNet or Kid to Kid in IBMSPECIAL forum on CompuServe. Encourage them to explore the world with new tools. Regularly download and print out new responses from the global data base on SciNet. Use the information in geography, environmental studies, history, etc. Encourage and prepare the students to participate in the global electronic "chat" that will take place on May 12, 1991. Level 5: Online - Interactive and Planning Access SciNet in Canada (from anywhere), ask to be a member of KIDPLAN, and join the KIDS-91 staff of volunteers to help pull this here thing off. Send e-mail to jonno@scinet.UUCP about how to get access to SciNet and KIDPLAN. 5. FOR INFORMATION about KIDS-91 or if you want to help out or participate, contact the editor or one of the following persons: Nancy Stefanik: MetaNet=stefanik, PeaceNet=nstefanik, AppleLink=x0447, TCN=tcn145 Jonn Ord/SciNet: jonno@scinet.UUCP You can also write to: KIDS-91, c/o SciNet, 131 Bloor Street West, Suite 200, Box 326, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1R8, Canada OPERATION DESERT SHIELD ======================= ATARI COMPUTER DONATES PORTABLE COLOR VIDEO GAME SYSTEMS TO OPERATION DESERT SHIELD SUNNYVALE, CA (November 30, 1990) -- To give military personnel participating in Operation Desert Shield a healthy way to release pent- up energy and to alleviate some of their boredom, Atari Corporation has made arrangements with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the USO to supply Lynx portable color video game system kiosks and video game cartridges to military recreation centers in Saudi Arabia. The display kiosks that are being shipped have four Lynx systems installed as well as complete libraries of game cards. "We've packed the Lynx kiosks so they can be taken right from the palettes, plugged in and used by the men and women who are temporarily stationed in Saudi Arabia," said Meade Ames-Klein, president of the consumer products game division. "We're confident that the game systems will be in the recreation centers before the Christmas holidays." Requests from the Field Ames-Klein said that the idea of shipping Lynx systems to Operation Desert Shield was discussed shortly after the first group of troops arrived in Saudi Arabia. "Our military personnel hadn't been there a month when we received a letter from an Army sergeant requesting that we ship him a sun visor/screen guard for his Lynx so he could play his system more easily when he was off duty," Ames-Klein recalled. "Since then," he noted, "we've received dozens of letters from military personnel who have told us about endless hours of having nothing to do. They've requested accessories such as sun visors, carrying pouches and additional game cartridges. Others, have seen someone else stationed there with a Lynx and have wanted to buy their own system and games." "When it became obvious that our troops were going to be in the Middle East for some time," he continued, "we thought the Lynx systems and game cartridges would help improve morale and would provide the men and women stationed there with a little entertainment. Perhaps, for at least a short period of time, the Lynx will let them escape from the reality of their surroundings." Variety of Game Cartridges Ames-Klein said that with the exception of "Blue Lighting," a combat jet fighter game, the games are not war-oriented and have been designed to test an individual's skills and agility. With a number of the game cards, players in the recreation centers will be able to connect the Lynx game systems with ComLynx cables and enjoy multi-player competition. Game cards that are being shipped with the Kiosks include "California Games," a one- or two-player game that includes BMX biking, skateboarding, surfing and foot bag juggling; "Gates of Zendocon," a 30- level game where players conquer hostile aliens in order to return home; and "Electrocop," where the player must rescue the President's daughter. Games also include "Chip's Challenge," with 144 puzzles; "Gauntlet," where up to four players can search for the Star Gem; "Slime World" where up to eight players travel deep into the gooiest, most slippery mire in the world; "Klax,"which challenges players to stack tiles and create a klax; "Paperboy;" "Ms. PackMan" and others. Second-Generation Players Ames-Klein pointed out that many of the men and women stationed in Saudi Arabia are second-generation video game players ... they grew up playing Atari's early game systems and have returned to playing the new advanced games. "Back in 1984/85, they lost interest in video games because the software was boring," he noted. "But the new generation of video games feature dynamite graphics and color, as well as exceptional complexity and depth of play. Today's games are much more difficult to master because the game developers have taken maximum advantage of the advanced microprocessor used in the Lynx system." Ames-Klein valued the initial shipment of Lynx video game kiosks and game cartridges at $50,000. He added that, depending upon how long U.S. military are stationed in the area and the feedback they receive from USO officials, additional Lynx systems may be sent to the area. First Color Portable System Lynx, which was introduced in several test markets for Christmas last year was the video game industry's first color hand-held video entertainment system. Slightly larger than a video cassette, the system features a backlit LCD screen that displays up to 16 colors from a palette of 4,096. The Lynx screen can be rotated 180 degrees for right- or left-handed play. Powered by six "AA" batteries, the system uses credit card-sized game cartridges so players can enjoy any of the more than 15 games that are currently available. Priced at $179.95, the Lynx portable color entertainment system, accessories and game cartridges are available at major retailers across the country. For complete information on Lynx, Atari's home video game systems and growing family of video game software call or write Ron Beltramo, Vice President of Marketing, Atari Computer, 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94088, (408) 745-2000, FAX (408) 745-2088. ======================================================================= Z*MAGAZINE Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine is a bi-weekly magazine covering the Atari and related computer community. Material contained in this edition may be reprinted without permission, except where otherwise noted, unedited, with the issue number, name and author included at the top of each reprinted article. Commentary and opinions presented are those of the individual author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Z*MAGAZINE or the staff. Z*Magazine Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine, Z*Net Atari Online Magazine, Z*Net are copyright (c)1990 by Rovac Industries Inc, a registered corporation. Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey 08846. (908) 968-2024. Z*Net Online BBS 24 Hours, 1200/2400 Baud, (908) 968-8148. We can be reached on CompuServe at 71777,2140 and on GEnie at Z-NET. ======================================================================= Z*Magazine Atari 8-Bit Online Magazine Copyright (c)1990, Rovac Industries, Inc.. =======================================================================