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Article #201 (214 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag
Subject: Z*Magazine: 16-Sep-91 #197
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Sun Oct  3 15:25:25 1993


           ==(((((((((( ==    Z*MAG/A\ZINE ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE
           =========(( ===            September 16, 1991
           =======(( =====                 Issue #197
           =====(( =======    ----------------------------------
           ==(((((((((( ==    Copyright (c)1991, Rovac Ind Inc..
 
                      Publisher/Editor : Ron Kovacs
                      Assistant Editor : Stan Lowell
 
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                  CompuServe: 75300,1642    GEnie: Z-NET
        Z*NET BBS: (908) 968-8148   BLANK PAGE BBS: (908) 805-3967
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                 CONTENTS

           THE EDITORS DESK..........................Ron Kovacs
           DUSSELDORF GOES ATARI.....................Bob Brodie
           PACIFIC NORTHWEST ATARIFEST REPORT...Terry Schreiber
           LYNX ONWERS UPDATE.....................Clinton Smith
           MIST ATARIFEST SHOW REPORT................Bob Brodie
           THE 8 BIT STATE.......................Chuck Steinman
           CONNECTICUT ATARIFEST REPORT......Vincent Patricelli
 
 
 
 
 
 
 THE EDITORS DESK
 ----------------
 by Ron Kovacs
 
 
 Here is yet another issue and it didn't take 3 months to complete.  In 
 an effort to update you on recent Atari happenings, we continue with a 
 focus on the stories you might have missed during the summer.
 
 
 
 
 DUSSELDORF GOES ATARI
 ---------------------
 Eyewitness Report Exclusive for Z*Net
 by Bob Brodie, Director of Communications, Atari Corp.
 
 
 For the fourth year, Atari has hosted the world's largest Atari Fair at
 the Dusseldorf Messe.  This year's fair ran from August 23-25 in
 Dusseldorf, Germany.  The gigantic Duesseldorf Messe ("fairgrounds")
 halls held over 20,000 square meters of show space for the event
 utilizing two separate halls for the event.  This roughly translates to
 over 180 exhibitors at the show, many with very large booths.  Atari
 themselves had over 60 displays in their exhibition area.
 
 This year for the first time, Atari made provisions to have developers
 from North America in booths at the show.  Bringing their products over
 for the show were CodeHead Software, D.A. Brumleve, Double-Click, JMG
 Software, and Wuz-Tek.  Other North American developers were at the show
 as well, but were showing their wares in their distributors booths, or
 their own.  This includes developers like Gribnif Software, FAST
 Technology, ISD, Gadgets by Small, and ICD.
 
 The Atari Messe is quite literally the biggest Atari show in the world.
 Last years attendance was set at 42,000.  This year, the final count has
 not been announced, although many feel that the show was perhaps 20%
 slower than in years previous.  However, in checking with exhibitors and
 Atari Germany, sales figures didn't bear that out.  Atari Germany felt
 that the different layout of the hall this year that resulted in wider
 aisles made the show seem not nearly as busy, but much easier to
 navigate the show.  Atari Germany seemed very pleased that their market
 is now beginning to move to a different type of user--this year's show
 had a lot less of the phreaks, hackers, and pirates that have been at
 other Atari Messe's.  This year, the type of client at the show seemed
 to be a more professional user.
 
 As in years past, the show also featured a number of different seminars
 for the attendees to enjoy.  Among the many seminars given were
 Portfolio Telecommunications, DTP-the 2nd Generation, Programming with
 Omnikron products, Using 1st Base, SCSI usage, Multi-tasking and virtual
 memory, programming the XL/XE, Database applications, addressing the
 math coprocessor, Overscan, MIDI with the Portfolio, Using Notator 3.0
 in Opera, Multimedia Publishing, Music Software demonstrations, and
 Using the 68040.
 
 In going to this show, Atari US had some specific goals in mind: first
 and foremost, they wanted to continue to "build the bridge" between the
 US and Europe.  Convinced that many people were overlooking North
 American developers, Atari provided exposure to the world for the North
 Americans in the hope that they would acquire international
 distribution.  Further, Atari has long recognized that there are some
 outstanding applications across Europe, that need to brought over to
 North America.  In the past, this was apparently very difficult to do.
 However, this time around, Atari found the going much easier.  In almost
 every case when Atari US representatives spoke to a software company,
 their was great interest on their part to getting their products
 represented in North American.
 
 I took special time to introduce myself to the European Atari media that
 was present at the show.  I enjoyed speaking to them thoroughly, and
 they were quite willing to go over and visit with our North American
 developers.  This will hopefully lead into some German reviews being
 written about products like MaxiFile, Kid Publisher Pro, HyperLINK, DC
 Novetalk, STalker/STeno, and DEKA.  I spent time with XEST, ST Magazin's
 editor Hartmut Ulrich, and TOS magazine publisher Horst Brandl.  In many
 cases, arrangements were made for review copies to be provided, and more
 than once I heard the phrase "Who is your representative here in
 Europe?"
 
 DMC, the producers of CALAMUS, were showing their latest module for
 CALAMUS S/L, a multimedia package that works with a CODE-A-CHROME
 interface box for a digital frame grabber.  The frame grabber inputs
 into Calamus S/L at 16 bit color/greyscales.  24 bit color digitizing is
 next on the horizon for Calamus S/L!  The results were amazing!  The
 staff of DMC would be demonstrating their product, with a digital camera
 mounted at the top of the large screen monitor.  When they got to a
 point that they needed to import an image, they simply digitized the
 crowd standing behind the monitor, and immediately imported the image
 into Calamus.  The results are true magazine quality instant photos.
 
 Double Click Software was showing their DC NoveTalk.  This is an ST the
 capability to run a real Novell network while they are running a PC
 emulator on their ST.  These guys from Houston were showing the product
 with a STacy with an AT-Speed board installed in it.  The product
 occupies that cartridge port on the ST computers, and is said to provide
 a Local Talk capability under TOS for ST users to network with Mega STEs
 and TT's.
 
 At least three German companies were showing their own networking
 solutions: PAMS Net, Riebel (being shown in Atari Germany's booth) and
 BioNet.  Each are true ethernet compatible networks.
 
 Dave and Sandy Small aren't just showing Spectre GCR now.  Now they are
 getting into the accelerator business with their Gadgets by Small SST.
 This 68030 device not only completely replaces the ST's 68000, but also
 adds additional ram capabilities to the system as well.  Up to 12 megs
 of ram can be added.
 
 One of the great cries that Atari US has heard is "Now that there are
 VME busses in your computers, when will you have graphics cards?"  I'm
 pleased to state that we saw several more at the show.  In addition to
 the MATRIX card and the AlberTT card, which Atari is quite familiar
 with, we found at least three other graphics cards.  All of these cards
 had a variety of capabilities, and costs.  For example, the IMAGINE
 Farbgrafikkarte had the following capabilities:
 
 320x200    256 colors
 640x480    256 colors
 800x600    256 colors
 1024x768   256 colors
 1280x1024   16 colors

 In addition to the resolutions, the product also came with a long list
 of compatible software.  Here's just a portion of the list: Calamus,
 Arabesque, Cubase, Gemini, GFA Basic, LDW Power, Retouche Professional,
 Script II, Signum!2, That's Write, TMS Cranach, First Word Plus.
 
 In the same booth, we also found they had done some TT conversions to a
 tower case.  Most of these units had at least 8 megs of ram, and very
 large hard disks (200 megs plus!), Syquests, and of course a high speed
 modem mounted internally.  We found a company with a PCB (printed
 circuit board) layout program called PCB-layout plus.  This program 
 featured a full board design, and interface to a router to actually have
 the board etched/built by the computer!  There was at least one other
 company doing the same type of demonstration there, showing the ST
 controlling the router, and the board design in progress.  Very
 interesting, indeed.
 
 The gang from Atari Journal was busy showing an amazing product-software
 that gets beamed into your home via a satellite dish!  From Channel
 Videodat this interface box allows you to get literally megabytes of
 data transferred for your computer, as a subscription offer.  Truly
 amazing!
 
 GE Soft Computersysteme was the first company to come out with a third
 party ram upgrade board for the TT.  And of course, typical of third
 party upgrades, it has to be different from anything that the computer
 company manufactures.  In this case, the ram board (called the Mighty
 Mic Profiline) breaks the 16 megabyte limit that Atari has imposed on
 the TT.  Instead, their product will come with 4 megs, 8 megs, 16 megs,
 20 megs, and a whopping 32 (that's right THIRTY TWO!) megabytes of TT
 ram!
 
 From Holland came a very interesting type of disk magazine: one that is
 offered a shareware disk.  It's called STabloid and is done by a bunch
 of hard core Atari fanatics.  The disk is loaded with amazing demos,
 lots of information on how to do them.  STabloid also has articles of
 interest to most Atari owners about current events.  Chief Editor Jam
 Willekens is very excited about new arrangements in the US to distribute
 his shareware disk magazine.
 
 The fischertechnik company also showed a Lego-like contstruction set,
 all controlled by the ST.  This was quite reminiscent of the Atari ROBO
 Kit, put out by Atari UK and now being carried by Atari US.
 Fischertechnik had a miniature car wash erected, and an ST was
 controlling all the actions of the car wash, including moving a model
 car up and down the line, and rotating the brushes on the car wash.
 Very impressive models!
 
 One of the great needs in presentation hardware has always been the need
 to interface with an overhead projector.  Here in the US, N-View has a
 lock on the Atari market.  Not so in Germany--SHARP makes and sells the
 QA-75, which does a beautiful job of displaying a computer image on an
 overhead projector.  No more trying to gather the gang around the
 monitor.  The QA-75 makes it easy to us a computer to give classes, or
 just demonstrate the capabilities of your software with an ST/STE/Mega
 STE/TT!
 
 The Portfolio was not to be overlooked in any of this.  There was an
 abundance of software available for the Portfolio on a number of tables
 across the halls.  SWIFT! is a company that is making software for the
 Portfolio to do banking, insurance quotes, financial operations, and
 stock brokerage operations!  In addition, the company also has their own
 version of BASIC (called SWIFT! BASIC) complete with a compiler.  They
 also have a file transfer program called SWIFT!  Link ST, making file
 transfers painless between the ST/STE/Mega STE/TT and the Portfolio.
 
 This show is so overwhelming, it's easy to feel that you would never be
 able to cover the show properly.  I am sure that there are things that I
 have omitted in this report that others will report as very interesting
 events/products.  I trust that this will serve as just something to give
 you a hint of everything that went on in Atari Messe.
 
 

 PACIFIC NORTHWEST ATARI FESTIVAL REPORT
 ---------------------------------------
 by Terry Schreiber, Show Coordinator
 
 
 The Pacific Northwest Atari Festival took place in Canadian Richmond
 B.C., a suburb of Vancouver, on June 15th & 16th.  Total attendance for
 the two days was under nine hundred people - total expected were two
 thousand plus.
 
 Although attendance was light most dealers and developers reported brisk
 sales for the event.  Compo, Rimik, Infinite Grafix, ICD, Wizard
 Computers, ISD, Minitronics, Branch Always and all of the Music dealers
 all had excellent sales reports.  While Zubair Interfaces and Omnimon
 Peripherals reported sales were bad.  All others fell somewhere in
 between.  Hardware, both Atari and third party, sold BIG and FAST.
 Software, especially established titles, sold SLOW.
 
 Where have all the users gone?  As show coordinator, that was the
 question I asked myself the weekend of the show.  With over five
 thousand machines sold here in British Columbia - where were the users?
 Total spent on show advertising and promotion exceeded ten thousand
 dollars.  While Father's Day on Sunday may well have severly cut the 
 second day attendance, Saturday should have been fine... and was not.
 Some have speculated that, since we have a lot of well-stocked dealers
 in the general area, it's no big deal to a lot of users to see such a
 show.
 
 Compo Software flew in from England just to attend the show.  He had two
 new products for the West - That's Write and Write On.  GEnie's Darlah
 and Atari's Bob Brodie were both very taken by them, look for reviews on
 both in a later issue.  Also shown was a new mouse called "That's a
 Mouse" which is similar to most of the higher resolution mice but this
 one felt better than most.
 
 Rimik new on the developers scene is run by Richard Betson formerly with
 Talon Technologies.  Rich was demonstrating a new multi-tasking system
 from Germany called Multi-Gem and although it was a pre-release version
 showed excellent signs of being a success.
 
 JMG Software was showing Hyperlink a modular style database.  Add on
 modules for just about any application are sure to make this one a hit.
 
 Soft-Aware was showing their entry into the database market called
 Informer II.  First impressions left me with my mouse in hand.  This was
 the official database used for the show, it is slick and allows you to
 build some powerful macros.
 
 Musicode was showing their MIDI and games software.  I am not sure how
 they did on the MIDI end but Blackjack Plus was surely a hit at this
 show.
 
 SoftLogik, the Pagestream guys, were blowing people away with the color
 output on a postscript QMS Color Laser.  Even users of other brands of
 computers were definitely impressed.  Ron Tucker of Tucker Media here in
 Vancouver who, till a year ago, was an Atari user and sold it for a Mac,
 was seriously contemplating the change back to Atari.  Excellent job
 guys.  Version 2 of Pagestream was to be available for sale at the show,
 but is now scheduled for release July 1.
 
 Phil Commeau had his grammar checker, which by the way I vow to start
 using soon, Phil.  He also demonstrated a Geography Tutor which is
 currently available in English or French but I understand he is working
 to translate it into more languages.
 
 ICD had extremely brisk sales.  Host adapters, hard drives, Adspeed
 boards it didn't seem to matter they all sold except for the tape back-
 up system.  Hint - could this puppy be a little too high priced?  It
 doesn't matter because I fully intend on buying one anyway.  No serious
 computer user should be without a back-up system and at the size of the
 drives currently being sold it no longer makes it feasible to use
 floppies.  Can you afford to lose your data?
 
 Application and Design were selling their new upgraded Universal Item
 Selector.  This is a program that no one should be without.  It is
 simple to use and practically fool-proof.  Formatting, copying, setting
 attributes--this program contains what we had hoped Atari had built in
 to their new TOS.
 
 John and Charles - The CodeHeads - were doing upgrades to most of their
 product line as well as sales.  MaxiFile and MultiDesk owners were
 pleasantly surprised at the amount of work gone into the latest
 versions.  If you liked UIS you will love MaxiFile.  Although the
 features are too numerous to mention this is a MUST HAVE for anyone who
 is a power user with a large hard drive system.
 
 Zubair Interfaces attended and was selling his memory upgrades, but did
 not fair well.  We have a thing called dealers up here in B.C. and they
 all stock and sell his products, making his market fairly saturated.
 
 Omnimon Peripherals demonstrated their new DEKA interface.  This allows
 the use of an IBM style keyboard with the ST as well as relocating the
 joystick and mouse ports.
 
 Gribnif was showing their latest in software, including Cardfile and
 STENO, which premiered at this Vancouver show.  I didn't find out what
 sales they did during the two days but from the amount of people around
 the booth I would say sales were slow.  Gribnif puts out the popular
 Neodesk the desktop replacement for the Atari.
 
 Another entry into alternative desktops was Double Click.  They were
 demonstrating DC Desktop, DC Utilities, and the new DC Shower program.
 For those of you into graphics, their new DC Shower is a must.  This
 program shows almost all picture files from the desktop, a fast and
 handy way of searching through picture files.
 
 Darek Mihocka of Branch Always Software was demonstrating the latest
 Quick ST on the TT030, another first released at the show.  Darek also
 took the time to spend on the slower Sunday to do some code re-writing
 at the show.
 
 Cherry Fonts and Todd Johnson were also selling a competitor's fonts at
 the show.  Todd is now looking at expanding his fonts into other
 programs other than Calamus.
 
 Canoe Computers is based out of Edmonton and had memory upgrades and
 accelerator boards for sale.
 
 Goldleaf was demonstrating Wordflair II.  We were hoping that some of
 the new products from Germany would be available but not as of the show
 date.  Keep your eyes peeled for these products, becoming available
 shortly.
 
 David Small - always a hit at any show - was showing the SST an 030
 board for your 68000.  Also, the Spectre GCR which was running on a
 TT030.  This unit turns your computer into a Mac.  How fast David?  When
 did you say that Cray emulator was going to be ready?
 
 Micro Creations had their latest release for sale G.I.M.E., a terminal
 program offering online graphics.
 
 PDC Software was offering the Calamus Font Resource, Tracker ST STealth,
 and a few other items for sale.  This is another booth that I didn't get
 to spend any time at.
 
 Darlah Pine the System Operator of the Atari section on GEnie was there
 for the two days of the show.  Sunday we finally had the phone lines to
 the information booth and the hook-up to GEnie.  Darlah and others spent
 most of the early afternoon catching up on messages they had missed
 during the trip but the booth did not go un-noticed.  Many people
 expressed interest in signing up to GEnie at the show.
 
 Bob Brodie - have you seen Bob?  This was the guy who said I was hard to
 catch up with that weekend.  If I had a free moment I was looking for
 Bob.  "Oh Bob, ya I think I saw him in the Gadgets Seminar", damn,
 missed him again.  Yes Atari U.S.'s man on the go was living up to his
 reputation - he was everywhere but where you could find him at a moments
 notice.  We'll try this again next time Bob--in the meanwhile we will
 continue to play telephone tag.
 
 Nathan from ISD gave two seminars as well as multiple demonstrations of
 the Calamus product in Atari's area.  Nathan had the new version of
 Calamus, but unfortunately release to the public will be delayed while
 manuals are being translated and printed from the German version.
 
 Atari Canada's Geoff Earle, Murray Brown and Mark Campbell were joined
 on stage by Geoff LaCasse and Ron Grant of GXR Systems in the Atari
 display.  Atari had their full product line on display including the
 ATW/ABAQ workstation.  Atari Canada supplied most of the equipment for
 developers use at the show, many mouse clicks of thanks to Geoff Earle
 and Murray Brown.
 
 Although the show turnout was somewhat less than expected, most people
 attending as well as the developers had a good time.  Will there be a
 show next year?  That depends on how many developers will come back and
 how Atari sales fare over the next eight months.

 I would like to take this opportunity to thank those developers that did
 attend and support the event.  It was a pleasure putting faces to all
 those names, although now a week later I doubt if I could tell the
 difference between John and Charles.  Well, I'll take two Aspirin and
 the leftover keg of beer, and start looking for next year's location!
 

  

 LYNX OWNERS UPDATE
 ------------------
 by Clinton Smith
 
 
 Copyright, 1991, by Quill Publishing.  This article may NOT be reprinted
 without permission of AtariUser Magazine.  Information and subscriptions
 are available at 800-333-3567.
 
 
 ALERT BOX ITEMS
 
 NEC's TurboExpress portable game unit will not be released in Europe due
 to the established popularity of the Lynx there, according to reports in
 an online magazine from the Netherlands.  Portable Addiction, edited by
 Tjerk Heymens Visser and Yiri Kohl, is a new monthly Lynx and Portfolio
 support magazine, distributed electronically from Europe via USENET, and
 also available on U.S. BBS systems and pay services.
 
 Consolidating its resources, Atari relocated its entire entertainment
 division to Lombard, Illinois, formerly only the Lynx software
 development center.  Lawrence Siegel, a 20 year veteran of the amusement
 and video game industry with Sega, Seeburg, and Williams and former head
 of Lynx software development, has been appointed President of the Atari
 Entertainment Division.
 
 
 NEW LYNX GAMES - PREVIEW!
 Insider's first look at games in development

 By the time you read this, Warbirds and Blockout should both be out, but
 I took advantage of my proximity to the new Atari Entertainment Division
 in Chicago to get an early peek.  I gave them a call and they invited me
 down to their offices to check out some upcoming games and get the
 lowdown on what is to come.  These aren't quite reviews--I like to spend
 some serious time with a game before I make a definitive opinion.  I'll
 give you the final word on these as soon as I get my hands on them.
 
 WARBIRDS

 Warbirds is a World War I dogfighting game where you fly in 3-D through
 the skies, engaging enemy aircraft.  The surprising thing is that this
 isn't the shootemup that you would expect on a video game system.
 Instead, it's more like the flight simulators that you're used to seeing
 on 16-bit computers like the ST.
 
 You view the game from your biplane's cockpit.  Since they didn't have
 radar in WWI, you have to scan the skies with your eyes to find your
 opponent.  Holding down your B button and moving your joypad will let
 you look around and behind you.
 
 Warbirds features exceptional graphics.  The 3-D environment is very
 smooth and even has clouds to hide in.  When an enemy plane is damaged,
 smoke starts pouring out of its tail.  The game also has some nicely
 detailed, digitized pictures at the end of the mission.  If you feel
 like making your friends crash and burn, you can ComLynx up to 6
 players.

 BLOCKOUT

 Blockout is a 3-D puzzle game which is already available for most
 computers.  It's very similar to Tetris, but the action is viewed from
 above.  Three dimensional blocks fall into a pit, and you must rotate
 them as they fall so they will fit together.  Fill up an entire level
 and those blocks disappear.  If your block placement isn't very good,
 the blocks will start to stack up and once they reach the top of the
 pit, GAME OVER.
 
 The 3-D graphics of Blockout fit in perfectly with the Lynx's 3-D
 scaling abilities.  Like other puzzle games of this sort, it's extremely
 addictive and will be eating up a lot of man hours.

 THIRD PARTY DEVELOPMENTS

 A number of third party companies are working on games for the Lynx:

 COLOR DREAMS is best known as one of the companies who has produced
 third party NES titles without Nintendo's permission.  Their first Lynx
 title is Crystal Mines 2.  CM2 is a puzzle/strategy game which looks
 similar to the classic Boulderdash.  They're also working on a game
 based on the gruesome horror film, Hellraiser.

 LORICIEL (one of the biggest French developers) is doing Superskweek, an
 action game where you must repaint tiles, rescue imprisoned Skweekettes,
 and kill the monsters that are infecting your planet.  The game has 225
 levels for you to get through.
 
 SHADOWSOFT is a Canadian firm which is converting the arcade classic,
 Robotron.  They are also rumored to be working on a Lynx version of
 Joust.

 TELEGAMES USA is readying a comprehensive chess game titled Fidelity
 Ultimate Chess.  The game features 2-D and 3-D views.  Next up is a 3-D
 miniature golf simulation.

 Most of these games are due very soon.

 PLAY TIPS

 In XENOPHOBE, the Poofer Gun is the most powerful.  It has a short range
 but is very effective right through the last levels.
 
 Jump to level 144 in CHIP'S CHALLENGE with code GVXQ.  And try code MAND
 for the hidden Mandelbrot explorer, where every button has a new
 function.

 NEXT MONTH we'll have more on "games within games", hidden levels, and
 more playing hints.  If you have Lynx questions or suggestions for this
 column, contact me in care of my quarterly newsletter.  APE Newsletter,
 2104 North Kostner, Chicago, IL 60639.  I also can be reached on GEnie -
 leave a message to me at C.SMITH89 - Clinton Smith


 
 MID INDIANA ST ATARIFEST SHOW REPORT
 ------------------------------------
 by Bob Brodie, 
 Director of Communications, Atari Computer Corp.
 
 
 For the last two years, a small gathering of Atarians has met in
 Bloomington, Indiana.  The groups have used the gathering as a chance to
 have a swap meet, and attract a few small developers.  MIST is an
 association of three users groups that has shared members, and needs
 over the past few years.  The groups that form MIST are ASCII- located
 in Indianapolis, BLAST- located in Bloomington, and PAUG- located in
 West Lafayette on the campus of Purdue University.  Their goal has been
 to share information, ideas, make new friends.
 
 In making the move to Indianapolis, the members hoped that they would
 share the burden of putting on the event a little bit better.  This
 years show was put on at CADRE, Inc, a local CAD firm.  The show area
 was a comfortable seminar area at CADRE, with carpeting, air
 conditioned, and easy access to hotels and local eateries.  The wide
 open seminar room was laid out logically, so visitors would have an easy
 path in making their way around the show.
 
 Exhibitors at this event included:
 
 Atari Corporation                 MP Graphic Design
 Gribnif Software                  CompuServe
 AT/Com Electronics                Clear Thinking Software
 Unicorn Publications              Randall's Home Computers
 MegaType                          Electronic Spinster Graphics 
 Mar's Merchandising               Touch Technologies
 SKWare One                        Softlogik
 Computer Works                    ICD
 Cal Com                           DA Brumleve
 Apprentice Software               One STop
 MS Designs                        Wiz Works

 also attending were a number of user groups:

 Milwaukee Atari ST of Milwaukee, WI
 Cin'tari of Cincinnati, OH
 STar of Belleville, IL
 Lake County Area Computer Enthusiasts, Waukegan, IL
 Eastside Atari Users Group, Alton, IL
 
 From the moments the door opened, the show was very, very busy.  Show
 organizers were pleased with the turnout for Atarifest III!  Once again,
 the combination of inexpensive tables for developers ($50 a table!) and
 low admission made this event a can't miss affair!  While the turnout
 was great, and the crowd was active, I never felt like I was in a rush
 to get to the next person.  Instead, I found people to be quite patient
 waiting for their turn to talk with me about what was going on in the
 Atari Community.  I was quite surprised at the distance that some people
 drove to attend this event.  Spotted in the crowd was Paul Plants of the
 WACO User Group from the Pittsburgh, PA area!  Attending from
 Huntsville, Alabama was John Cole, ST Vice President of the Huntsville
 Atari Users Group.  Other people told me that they had driven up from
 Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, and Michigan.  I met so many new faces, I'm
 sure that I've overlooked a number of people in this report.
 
 The MIST organizers set up the exhibition area in a large open area of
 CADRE's conference center.  In addition, they had seminars set up in a
 room down the hall from the main area, which sat around 150 people.  The
 entrance to the show was in yet another area, which also had a MIDI-Maze
 ring set up in it.  Dan Ward from ASCII set up a large "white board"
 that he posted all door prize winners on.  Nice touch, Dan!  There was
 even a convenient Coke machine!
 
 A number of developers that couldn't attend this show demonstrated their
 support for MidWestern Atarians by sending along door prizes or
 advertising in the show program.  Among them was ISD Marketing, which
 donated Calamus, Outline Art, The Calamus Font Editor, a copy of the
 Guide to Calamus Desktop Publishing.  Current Notes, the Washington D.C.
 area based magazine offered a subscription to Current Notes, as well an
 ad in the show program.  Fonts by Guber sent 3 PageStream font disk
 certificates.

 The show organizers kept trying to tell me that they only had 250 people
 or so that had shown up.  I couldn't believe it, I've been to enough of
 these events that I just *knew* that the crowd was much better than
 that!  Sure enough!  During teardown the show officials acknowledged
 that they had miscounted.  The attendance was 450+!  Now there's a
 number I can believe in!

 The developers expressed great satisfaction with this event.  Tricia
 Metcalf from Gribnif Software told me that sales were better than they
 had been at the Windsor Show, which was a two day event with much higher
 booth prices!  ICD sold out of a number of items.  Wiz Works was
 badgered by people all day that wanted to buy Migraph scanner modules to
 use with MVG, and I was one of them!  Some of the user groups expressed
 disappointment with the sales of their PD libraries, while others did
 just great.  The LCACE gang did a bang up business, and EAUG had a
 terrific looking booth.

 For me, one of the highlights of the day was the MARC Meeting.  Under
 the leadership of Hank Vize, MARC (Midwest Atari Regional Council) is
 trying to make sure that all of the groups in the midwest stay in good
 contact with each other.  This meeting was open to user group officers
 only, and had a fine turnout.  MARC started in the St. Louis area.  I
 visited them in late '89, and just kind of casually remarked to Hank
 that it was a shame that the local groups didn't talk more.  He took the
 idea and ran with it, and now MARC has an e-mail list that goes from St.
 Louis to South Bend, Indiana!  Keep up the good work, guys!  Look for
 the gang from St. Louis to have a bigger role in next years MIST Show.
 Maybe they'll have to give the show a new name!

 Another bright spot was a tour of Purdue University.  Professor Dennis
 Short of Purdue's Technical Graphics Department is an Atari fan!  He's
 got a number of labs at Purdue that are crammed full of IBM/PS2's and
 Macs.  But in his office, he's got an Atari TT, running DynaCadd and
 NeoDesk3!  Professor Short is excited about the high speed performance
 of DynaCadd.  He's proposed a lab of TT's to Purdue University, all to
 be running DynaCadd! Professor Short is faculty advisor to the Purdue
 Atari Computer Enthusiasts, and spent several hours at the show.  During
 dinner on Friday night, he expressed sincere appreciation for all of the
 support Atari developers have provided him as he's learned the ins and
 outs of the TT030!  Not without a fun streak in him though, I caught the
 professor taking a hard look at a Lynx!  Hmmm, what that line about all
 work and no play?  MP Designs is the Indianapolis based VAR that is
 servicing Purdue's Atari needs.

 I'm grateful to the organizers of the MIST Atarifest III for allowing me
 to participate in this event.  Congratulations on a job well done!



 8-Bit ALERT
 -----------
 
 
 As previously reported in AtariUser, catalog close-out specialist DAMARK
 has purchased thousands of Atari SX212 300/1200-baud Hayes-compatible
 modems.  The latest Damark catalog (September 1991) now shows a reduced
 price of only $19.99!  Shipping and handling is an additional $5.50.
 These Atari modems are 8-bit ready, featuring an Atari 8-bit SIO port
 (no interface required) as well as the industry standard RS232
 connector.  At this price, no 8-bit owner should miss this modem!  Get
 terminal software for it through your club or any PD software source.
 Damark, 800-729- 9000, item number B-375-181504, catalog B-375-2006.
 
 
 THE 8-BIT STATE:  Adding BIG Power to your little system.
 ----------------
 by Chuck Steinman
 
 
 One of the most significant time saving and productivity raising
 peripherals you can add any computer system is a HARD DRIVE.  That goes
 for the 8-bit Atari too, and once you have one you will wonder why you
 hadn't upgraded before.  There is something about having many megabytes
 of files instantly available on the 8-bit that is nothing short of
 amazing.  And the speed of access and loading is blinding--quite
 literally indistinguishable from the speed of a RAMdisk.
 
 While there were hard drives made for the original 800, they appear to
 have gone underground over the years.  We'll concentrate on the newer
 systems.

 THE HOST ADAPTOR

 The gateway to hard drive use is the device called a HOST ADAPTOR.
 There are two main units used in the classic Atari world, the Multi-I/O
 (MIO) from ICD, Inc., and the Black Box (BB) by Computer Software
 Services (CSS).  Both provide similar performance, with each offering
 their own special features.  They both connect to the Atari 600XL and
 800XL PBI (Parallel Bus Interface) and to the 130XE through the ECI
 (Enhanced Cartridge Interface).  Several other companies used to market
 hosts for the classic Atari, and their products might still be available
 either second hand or from dusty dealer archives.  Beware, it might be
 impossible to find technical support.
 
 The MIO has been out for many years, but ICD is presently trying to
 close out their 8-bit lineup.  One of the unique features that the MIO
 offers is its built in RAM.  You can order the MIO with either 256K or
 1M bytes of RAM, which can be used as a RAMDisk or a print spooler.  The
 amount of RAM dedicated to each function can be user programmed using
 the built-in configuration menu.
 
 The Black Box does not have a built-in RAMDisk, but does have an
 optional printer buffer.  There is a print screen button, which will
 send a text/graphics dump of the current screen contents to your
 printer.  Another pushbutton will activate the BB debugger, extremely
 handy for programmers.  The BB also has a port on it for a parallel
 floppy drive, but they are not available.
 
 Both the MIO and BB will control up to eight disk drives, of which any
 number can be RAMDisks, standard Atari floppies, or hard drives.  You
 can change the logical drive number of any drive, or swap drive numbers
 of two drives.  Hard drives can be divided ("partitioned") into several
 separate sections, each seen as an independent disk drive.
 
 The BB and MIO both offer a serial (modem) port, a parallel (printer)
 port, and an SASI/SCSI (hard drive) expansion port. This last port will
 allow industry standard SASI or SCSI hard disk controllers to be
 attached using a 50 position ribbon cable.
 
 BUILDING A HARD DRIVE SYSTEM

 An 8-bit Atari hard drive setup will include several parts: the HOST
 (probably an MIO or BB), a CONTROLLER, a HARD DRIVE, and some kind of
 case and power supply for it all.  Other than the host, all the other
 parts will be usable on other computers (including the ST) if you later
 change systems (shame on you). Total costs can be as low as under $400
 with careful shopping. And you won't really need more than a single
 floppy anymore, perhaps freeing up some hardware you can sell.  Hard
 drives are available in a wide range of sizes, from 5 megabytes to
 hundreds of megs.  The capacity of your drive is up to you and your
 budget, but for the relatively small 8-bit applications, even a (very
 cheap!) 10 meg drive will hold an incredible array of software.  You can
 also easily add a second drive later.
 
 When buying your hard disk controller, make sure it matches your hard
 drive.  Controllers are available for Modified FM (MFM) and Run Length
 Limited (RLL) type drives.  RLL will provide 50% more disk space at
 approximately the same cost, and are usually a bit faster.  Don't use
 MFM drives with an RLL controller, as the increased data density of the
 RLL system will likely exceed the capability of the MFM drive, leading
 to data loss sooner or later.  You can usually use an RLL drive on an
 MFM controller with no harm, but with only two-thirds of the rated drive
 capacity.
 
 Another option would be to get a drive which has the controller built
 right on it.  These drives tend to be a bit faster and more expensive. 
 These are designated as "SCSI drives" and have the 50 position ribbon
 connector right on the drive.
 
 A wide variety of cases (most with power supplies) are on the market,
 with the most popular being the external "shoebox" type formerly used
 on the original PCs.
 
 To be able to access all of this disk space, you will need a DOS which
 will support hard drives--Atari's own DOS systems haven't got the
 capacity.  Both SpartaDOS (including the cart-based SDX, both sold by
 ICD, Inc.) and MyDOS 4.50 (included with the BB) fill this need very
 nicely.  Both support drives with partitions as large as 16 megabytes.
 
 Both ICD and CSS offer prepackaged hard drive systems to simplify the
 task of adding a hard drive to your 8-bit.  Call CSS or ICD to check
 their current stock, pricing, or for additional information.
 
 Resources:

 Computer Software Services P.O.  Box 17660 Rochester, NY 14617 (716)
 429-5639

 ICD Inc. 1220 Rock Street Rockford, IL  61101-1437 (815) 968-2228


 BIO: Chuck Steinman not only reads and writes about the Atari 8-bit
 computers, he designs software and hardware for them, which is sold by
 DataQue.  He can be contacted on GEnie and Delphi as DataQue, or CIS at
 user i.d. 71777,3223.


 
 CONNECTICUT ATARIFEST REPORT
 ----------------------------
 by Vincent Patricelli
 
 
 I attended the Connecticut AtariFest Saturday and spent the entire day
 there.  I would guess there was about 200-300 total people who attended
 the show, so it wasn't very big, but nonetheless very exciting.  The
 following are the vendors that attended:
 
 Gribniff Software - Rick Flashman and company was displaying several new
 exciting programs.  They were taking advance orders on Stalker 3.0 which
 should be available in about a week....it is impressive.  He says it has
 the most extensive manual for a terminal program available for the ST,
 and the program operates as an accessory completely in the background,
 including Z-modem.  The companion program Steno, a text editor as an
 accessory, has been released and works with Stalker....looks like a nice
 combo.  Also, I saw a demo of a German import drawing program called
 Arabesque.  It combines all the features of Touch Up and Easy Draw and
 more in one program....and boy is it fast and impressive.  It should be
 available in about a month and will retail for $199.  Rick said this is
 the best selling program in Germany and the only thing holding back the
 US release is the manual.  Can't wait!
 
 Atari Explorer - John Jainschigg was there giving out free copies of the
 latest Atari Explorer mag.  He gave a seminar on publishing which I only
 caught the tail end of.  They have a special on subscriptions for all
 Genie and/or Atari user group members...$9.95 for one year (6 issues)
 Good deal!
 
 GFA Basic - John Barger was there displaying the latest version of this
 popular basic program and showing off the new IBM version on a couple of
 MS DOS portable computers.  Owners of the ST version can purchase the
 IBM version for 50% off list.
 
 Step Ahead Software - Nevin Shalit was showing off his latest version of
 Tracker ST, an impressive, easy to use database program.  I attended his
 seminar and he showed off 2 fantastic products, Retouche Professional 
 and Didot.  These allow the ST/TT to do things I never even say a Mac or
 IBM do.  I was impressed!!  He is currently writing the manual for these
 products and they are going to be distributed by Goldleaf Publishing.
 Retouche allows full editing of black and white or full color photos.
 Nevin was doing some amazing things with this program.  Didot is a
 vector tracing program and more that has true bezier curves and allows
 you to set a path for text, type along the path, and do amazing
 distortions you wouldn't believe.  Each program comes in a professional
 version (big $$, $2000 retail for Retouche Professional and $900 retail
 for Didot) and a scaled down version (smaller $, around $200-300 each).
 This is a big step ahead for Atari!
 
 TidBit Software - Jeff Lomicka was demoing his program, the Good Backup
 Utility.  I also attended his seminar and he explained his philosophy
 for backups.  His program automatically deletes old data and updates it
 in the free space on incremental backups and is very reliable.  He said
 he has about 500 copies sold worldwide.  I have read favorable reviews
 of this program.
 
 Softlogik - Bill Caferelli was showing PageStream 2.1 and all the font
 sets and business templates for this fantastic program.  I got a chance
 to play with PageStream 2.1 on Bob Brodie's TT, WOW, is it impressive in
 high rez color, and fast, too!
 
 Taylor Ridge Books - Clay Walnum was displaying his book on C-Manship, a
 complete tutorial on learning to program in C on the ST, complete with a
 two disk set.  This is his excellent series from the defunct ST-Log
 magazine.
 
 Alternative Hardware - Leo Taylor was displaying several unique mutant
 ST's including one mounted in a wooden case!
 
 Atari Computer - The hit of the show was Bob Brodie.  He gave his usual
 honest and sincere seminars.  He said FSM GDOS was finished should be
 shipping by November.  The TT is in the lab and pending class B
 certification.  It has a 1.44 meg floppy in the newest version.  WordUp
 is being updated and Atari will distribute it under their own name,
 although probably not until next year some time.  The Hotz box has sort
 of been put on the back burner due to lack of interest in the product.
 New software is being developed for the Atari CD Rom player which will
 allow it to use data disks from other platforms.  The latest version
 will only have a SCSI interface and will require a host adaptor to work
 with the ST.  He spoke about the positive reception Atari is getting
 with the TT in the desktop publishing market and that Atari will be
 advertising a full page ad in Publish! magazine in next month's issue...
 YEA!
 
 Also, there was Computers Ect., the local Atari dealer offering specials
 on all software and hardware.  Paul, the owner, reported brisk sales all
 day.  Three user groups, STARR, FACE, and the Boston Computer Society
 were selling PD or used software at very good prices.
 
 Unfortunately, Jim Allen from Fast Technologies didn't make the show.  I
 heard he had a hard drive crash the day before the show.  Hope he had a
 backup :^)  I was really looking forward to seeing Turbo 20, oh well,
 maybe at WAACE.  Also, Darlah Pine from Genie was supposed to be there,
 but I guess she couldn't make it, either.
 
 All in all, it was a pretty good show.  It was small enough so you
 didn't have to fight crowds to talk to the vendors.  It was announced
 that this will be an annual event, so I am looking forward to going
 again next year.
 
 =======================================================================
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