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Article #129 (730 is last):
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
From: al661@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Ed Krimen)
Subject: ST Report: 01-Mar-91 #709
Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Reply-To: al661@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Ed Krimen)
Edited-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Date: Sun Mar 17 13:58:17 1991



           *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---*
                  """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
                  "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine"
                                   from
                            STR Publishing Inc.
                            """"""""""""""""""


 March 01, 1991                                                     No.7.09
 ==========================================================================

                  STReport International Online Magazine?
                          Post Office Box   6672
                          Jacksonville,  Florida
                               32205 ~ 6672
  
                               R.F. Mariano
                            Publisher - Editor
                 -----------------------------------------
                   Voice: 904-783-3319  10 AM - 4 PM EST
                 BBS:  904-786-4176  USR/HST DUAL STANDARD
                    FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EST
                 -----------------------------------------
   **  Fnet Node 350 * FidoNet Node 1:112/35 * NeST Node 90:19/350.0  **
             privately owned & operated STReport support BBS 
           ALL issues of STReport International Online Magazine?
                         are available along with
         A worldwide list of private bbs systems carrying STReport
    __________________________________________________________________

 > 03/01/91: STReport? #7.09  The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine!
   -------------------------
     - The Editor's Desk      - CPU REPORT        - CPU MacNews
     - NEW MAC LASER          - WF II SHIPS!      - NEW STE DEMOS! 
     - STACY POWER            - USER SUPPORT      - OPTICAL STORAGE
     - BORDER MANIA!          - Radical Type!!    - STR Confidential

                    *  1040 STe -> 20mhz - 14mb RAM!  *
                         *  TURBO 20 ANNOUNCED!  *
                     *  DON MANDEL NOW WITH ATARI!  *

 ==========================================================================
                  ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE?
                     The _Number One_ Online Magazine
                              -* FEATURING *-
                     "UP-TO-DATE News and Information"
       Current Events, Original Articles, Hot Tips, and Information
             Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports
 ==========================================================================
 STReport's  support  BBS,  NODE  #  350 invites systems using Forem ST and
 Turbo Board BBS to participate in the Fido/F-Net  Mail Network.   Or, call
 Node 350  direct at  904-786-4176, and  enjoy the excitement of exchanging
 information relative to the Atari ST  computer arena  through an excellent
 International ST Mail Network.  All registered F-NET - Crossnet SysOps are
 welcome to join the STReport Crossnet Conference.  The Crossnet Conference
 Code  is  #34813,  and  the  "Lead  Node"  is # 350.  All systems are most
 welcome to actively participate.  Support Atari Computers;  Join Today!
 ==========================================================================
   AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON:  GENIE ~ CIS ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ F-NET
 ==========================================================================


 > The Editor's Podium?

     Dealers crying foul, other  dealers pointing  fingers and  still... it
 only amounts  to a handful who are making noises.  Sorta reminds me of the
 TV commercial, "please, help me I've fallen and  can't get  up".  Somebody
 ought to push the button for these guys.

     Since  the  market  is  its  own  best teacher, STReport recommends to
 those who are ever so busy trying to modify a simple but  powerful plan to
 give Atari's  new, aggressive marketing plan a chance to work.  After all,
 Circuit City, McDuff etc., have proven themselves to be first  rate elect-
 ronics outlets  that are  totally customer oriented.  Some folks have "re-
 quested" that STReport make  some suggestions  as to  how Atari  should be
 marketing their products.  We have done so already.  To repeat the answer,
 simple and to the point, STReport fully supports  Atari's latest marketing
 efforts and energetically requests that every Atari user do the same.
  
     Some  have  threatened  to  leave  the  Atari marketplace, others have
 already done so.  In all probabilities, those who have left were apt to do
 so anyway.   Like  the guy  in blue denim overalls says; "Aw shucks, its a
 free country!"  Its truly sad to see this happen at any time but to see it
 occur at  a time when Atari is most responsive is a tragedy.  The Mega STe
 and the TT030 are designed with the user and future in mind.  Can  you say
 notebook?  Wanna bet there's a "notebook" in your future?

     STReport,  as  you  have  surely  noticed over last 8 months, has been
 slowly changing to offer comprehensive coverage and a  refreshingly infor-
 mative outlook  on computing in general.  The MS-DOS, IBM/PC platform, the
 Mac platform and the Amiga platform enjoy coverage in our  humble publica-
 tion.  Rest assured, Atari will remain the backbone of each of our issues,
 while content relative to the other platforms will  be presented  in hopes
 of providing  to our  readers a  timely, well  rounded, informative weekly
 electronic magazine.

     I would, at this time, like to take a moment to welcome  Don Mandel to
 the ranks  of those  who "try  harder" at  Atari.   Don has come aboard as
 Atari's new National Sales & Marketing Guru.  Don is slated to  handle the
 VAR side  of the  marketing plans  for Atari.   Formally  of Commodore and
 Wang, Don brings a great deal of US marketing expertise to Atari.  Welcome
 and Lots 'o' Luck! 

                         Thanks once again for your strong support!

                                                    Ralph.....






                          TODAY'S NEWS  ..TODAY!

  """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""



 > STReport's Staff              The regulars and this week's contributors!
   ================

                            Publisher - Editor
                            ------------------
                             Ralph F. Mariano


 Staff Editors:
 --------------
          Michael Arthur      Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr.     Dana P. Jacobson
          Lucien Oppler       Brad Martin              Walter Daniel
                              Oscar Steele

 Contributing Correspondents:
 ----------------------------
          Michael Lee         Richard Covert           Roger Stevens
          Brian Converse      Oliver Steinmeier        Ed Krimen
                    Gary Spiteri        Mike Stepansky

           
                             IMPORTANT NOTICE
                             ================
      Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc...
                              via E-Mail to:

                 Compuserve.................... 70007,4454
                 GEnie......................... ST.REPORT
                 Delphi........................ RMARIANO  
                 BIX........................... RMARIANO 
                 NEST.......................... 90:19/350.0  
                 FIDONET....................... 112/35       
                 FNET.......................... NODE 350 



  """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""





 > A "Quotable Quote"?
   =================

     "We  think  that  we  have  a  very clear marketing direction.  We are
     trying to sell personal  computers  to  people  at  the  best possible
     price.  Of course, we consider back-up and service by our dealers, and
     we want to develop a good  dealer network.   We  do plan  to sell cus-
     tomers like  Circuit City  [god willing].  We have no plans at present
     to sell at K-Mart.  The TT030 will  definitely be  sold through quali-
     fied dealers who can explain advanced computer use.  I cannot make any
     projections on new product from a hardware point  of view,  but we are
     definitely working  on new, portable machines.  If I announce one now,
     and don't deliver on time, you'll kill me in ST-Report."

                                                       Sam Tramiel, 2/91


  

  ***********************************************************************


   NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE


     COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME

                              to the Readers of;
  
                  ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE?
                  """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
                  "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine"

                         NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY!

               CALL: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198

                 You will receive your complimentary time
                                   and 
                       be online in no time at all!


                 WHAT'S NEW IN THE ATARI FORUMS (March 1)


 CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT

 The transcript from the  February  21st  conference  with  Sam  Tramiel is
 available  in  last  weeks  issue  of ST REPORT.  Download STR708.ARC from
 LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) in case you missed it.

 NEW IN ATARI VENDORS FORUM

 Please see HOT30.TXT in LIBRARY 16 of the  Atari Vendors  Forum (GO ATARI-
 VEN) for  CodeHead Software's  announcement of HotWire 3.0 -- a major upg-
 rade to their flexible  and powerful  menu builder/project tracker/program
 launcher.  A freeware utility program for converting Macpaint files to IMG
 raster graphics file format.  Download MAC2IMG.ARC from  LIBRARY 6  of the
 Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN).

 Example images of fractals produced by Fractal Fantasy.  Download FFCOLOR-
 1.ARC from LIBRARY 6 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN).

 Last weeks freeware upload from the generous folks  at DOUBLE  CLICK SOFT-
 WARE --  DC DIRECTORY DUMP -- available in LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors
 Forum (GO ATARIVEN).

 ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM

 The Atari Portfolio Forum has been named Atari's official online  area for
 Portfolio support.

 The PowerBASIC  and Hyperlist  beta tests continue.  Thanks to the efforts
 of Atari Portfolio Forum members, these fine products should be  ready for
 the public in the very near future.

 Be sure to check out the great new Portfolio files available in LIBRARY 1.


   NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE


  ***********************************************************************




 > CPU REPORT?
   ==========

   Issue #101
   ----------


 by Michael Arthur



 CPU Systems Roundup? XXXI
 =========================



             GRAPHICS PROCESSORS, TIGA, AND THE TI 34020 CHIP
             ================================================



     Graphics processing  has come under a lot of attention recently in the
 computer industry, as many graphics-intensive tasks, such as  ray tracing,
 realistic  animations  used  in  real-time  simulations,  and even work in
 normal 3-D CAD programs, often take up a comparatively enormous  amount of
 CPU time.   However,  while advances  have been  made, most graphics chips
 (such as the Amiga's Agnus and Denise chips or the ST's Blitter  chip) are
 either custom-designed  for a  particular system,  not powerful enough for
 sophisticated tasks,  or  not  versatile  enough  to  handle  many  of the
 operations  involved  in  computer  graphics  by themselves.  For example,
 while the blitter chip can display a circle which is generated by  the GEM
 VDI very quickly, it cannot draw the circle itself.  Texas Instruments has
 developed their 340x0 line of graphics processors, which  claim to provide
 the  speed   and  versatility  needed  for  fast  graphics  operations  on
 workstation-class systems.  Since  Atari's  TT030  line  of microcomputers
 will (hopefully)  be finding high-end uses, it is necessary to examine the
 options  and  needs  that  workstation-level  computers.    In   order  to
 understand  what  potential  graphics  processing may have, let us examine
 Texas Instruments' 34020 chip, which is currently a leader in the graphics
 coprocessor market.

     The TI  34020 chip is a graphics processor.  Unlike graphics coproces-
 sors, which only handle specific commands given to  it, this  type of chip
 is a  general-purpose microprocessor,  which is  geared towards performing
 graphics operations.  The TI 34020  can independently  access to  the main
 CPU's DRAM  and VRAM, has a local and host bus interface, and can be fully
 programmed like a normal processor.  It is the descendant of the TI 34010,
 the first of TI's 340x0 line of graphics processors.

     The TI 34020 is a 32-bit chip with a 512 byte instruction cache, which
 is capable of performing 10 million instructions per second, or  from 5-10
 times faster  than the TI 34010.  Designed to perform graphics operations,
 it supports most standard graphics and text operations, as well as provid-
 ing functions  like area  fills, Bit  block moves  (or BitBlit, one of the
 functions of the Atari ST's Blitter chip does), calculations on  fields in
 memory, and  built-in support  for windowing.   It  supports data transfer
 rates of up to 20 megabytes per second, and is also capable  of displaying
 fonts, by  storing them as bit-mapped patterns.  It has an array of raster
 operations as well.  It goes far beyond the concept  of an  ordinary grap-
 hics coprocessor,  providing many  of the  amenities needed  in areas like
 multimedia and desktop publishing.


        TT Video Boards, Standardization, and the TIGA Specification
        ------------------------------------------------------------

     Given its capabilities, several hardware companies began making graph-
 ics cards  which used  the TI  34020 as  a graphics  chip.  However, these
 boards were very diverse in abilities, and were  all incompatible, meaning
 that video  drivers had  to be written for each of them, and that software
 programs had no standard with which  to  truly  utilize  the  34020's more
 sophisticated  capabilities.    In  order  to  solve  this  dilemma, Texas
 Instruments announced TIGA, a  software  interface  for  34010-based video
 displays which  works independent  of graphics resolution, the size of the
 color palette, and the amount of displayable colors available on a board.

     TIGA is actually a  set of  functions, or  primitives, which  act as a
 programming "language"  in much  the same way that a program can use GEM's
 VDI to display graphics.  TIGA is made up of three elements:

  -  Applications Interface, which is  the  actual  set  of  commands which
     applications use for graphics operations.  This basically provides the
     same function as GEM's VDI.

  -  Communications Driver.   This  is a  TSR program  which sends commands
     given by  the AI  to the  340x0-based video  circuitry, and passes the
     results back to the computer.

  -  Graphics Manager.  This program communicates with the CD, and  acts as
     the board's  driver software.   It accepts commands given to it by the
     CD, processes them with  the video  circuitry's hardware,  and outputs
     them back to the CD.

     While the  Graphics Manager  makes a  34010 board TIGA-compatible, the
 Applications Interface is the foundation of  the TIGA  Standard.   It con-
 sists of over 150 functions and primitives, which come in three types:

 1)   Core Primitives:   These  instructions, which are standard with TIGA,
     perform basic graphics functions, such as screen clears,  cursor shape
     and displaying, and background/foreground colors.

 2)   Extended Primitives:   These  instructions (which are used only if an
     application needs them) provide  more sophisticated  commands, such as
     performing drawing  operations.  This set supports most of the 34020's
     capabilities, such as drawing lines or  circles, array  functions such
     as BitBlit  (which is  performed by the ST's Blitter Chip), displaying
     fonts, and CAD operations like panning and zooming into pictures.

 3)  User-extended (Custom) Primitives:   Programmers can  design their own
     TIGA primitives,  in order  to make the 34020 perform operations which
     are typical of the graphical user  interface which  is in  use.  Texas
     Instruments itself wrote a TIGA Device Driver for Microsoft Windows by
     designing Custom primitives,  so  all  of  Windows'  screen operations
     could be performed directly by the 34020 chip.

     Since  Extended  and  Custom  Primitives  are basically the same, a PC
 Windows application would perform  just  as  quickly  with  a  TIGA Device
 Driver for  MS Windows  as if  it were specially designed to work with the
 TIGA Extended Primitives.   This has  great portends  for operating system
 performance:

  -  CAD/rendering  programs  like  AutoCADD  or Caligari could utilize the
     34020's special  capabilities directly  (using TIGA's  standard set of
     Extended Primitives)  for tasks  like redraws and zooming to/from ima-
     ges. On sophisticated CAD images, these operations are usually CPU-in-
     tensive, and  take up  a lot of time.  Using the 34020 and TIGA, these
     operations could be done VERY quickly, and wouldn't have to  take up a
     fraction of  the processor  time that  it would ordinarily take.  This
     would result  in FAR  faster performance  in graphics-intensive opera-
     tions like solid-model object rendering.

  -   If a  microcomputer or  workstation vendor  were to bundle a TI 34010
     Graphics processor (which is a lot less expensive  than a  34020 chip)
     on its  motherboard (or video display card), it would only need to use
     one TIGA "Device Driver" to handle graphics operations  on Third-party
     Video boards.   This  would mean that someone who later bought a video
     board with a 34020 chip  wouldn't  have  to  reinstall  or reconfigure
     his/her operating  system setup  in order to fully use that video boa-
     rd's capabilities.

  -  The TI 34020 chip is downward compatible with the 34010  chip, just as
     future versions of the 340x0 chip will be.  Therefore, TIGA is already
     capable of taking advantage  of  the  increased  speed/capabilities of
     future generations of graphics coprocessors.

     Many  PC  Companies  are  already  exploring  options similar to those
 stated above.  For example, one company has  written a  TIGA device driver
 for AutoCAD which allows it to use the 34010's capabilities.  Not only did
 this result in high-resolution graphics, but using the 34010 as  a display
 list   processor   made   AutoCAD   graphics   operations   occur   almost
 instantaneously.  In addition, several  TIGA-based  video  boards  for IBM
 clones now  have device  drivers for  Microsoft Windows,  giving owners of
 Windows-based systems far more options (and far less potential stress) for
 upgrading to high-end video displays.

     However, there  are several  negative marks  against this idea, one of
 which is the price of the 34020 chip.  A 50 MHZ 34010 costs less than $60,
 and the  component cost  for making  a 34010  video board is considerable.
 This has placed Video Boards based  on  the  TI  34010  graphics processor
 above the  $800 price  range, with most 34020-based boards being priced at
 $1500 or more.  However, one  of the  true constants  of the  computer in-
 dustry has been how quickly high-end hardware becomes affordable.

     One of  the favorite  uses for computers are their graphics.  With the
 68030 TT both powerful and versatile  enough to  provide workstation-class
 capabilities, all  of the  available options for utilizing that power must
 be examined.  This essay on TIGA and the TI  34010/34020 line  of graphics
 coprocessors is  meant to  be a  "first step" in evaluating these options,
 and exploring the possibilities  which  microcomputers  make  so eminently
 tantalizing.




            ___________________________________________________





 > STR Portfolio News & Information?                  Keeping up to date...
   ================================



                         THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM
                         =========================

 On CompuServe

 #11

 by Walter Daniel  75066,164


     BJ Gleason  uploaded a  new version  of PBASIC this week.  Version 4.1
 (PBUP41.ZIP) mostly fixes bugs, but a couple of new statements were added.
 He also  uploaded a  program that will "squeeze" PBASIC files (SPB.EXE) by
 removing unneeded line numbers, REM statements, and spaces.

     Some new BASIC programs were uploaded as well.   BJ  converted a Model
 100 program  to create QCHESS.BAS, a slow (about 7 minutes per move) Chess
 program.  If you're interested in Chess for  the Portfolio,  download BJ's
 PCHESS.EXE.   PCHESS is a compiled version of QCHESS and runs much faster.
 PCHESS displays the board using text, so I'd suggest that you get  a small
 travel Chess set with magnetic pieces and refer to the Portfolio screen to
 enter moves.  BJ  also uploaded  VADER.BAS, a  Space Invaders-type program
 for PBASIC 4.1.  Hugh Campbell uploaded his Conversion Calculator (CC.BAS)
 that comes with 30 English-metric factors already in the program.

     The on-again, off-again saga of WordPerfect for the Portfolio seems to
 be on again.  A WordPerfect person posted a message with the news that the
 WordPerfect folks have a programmer officially working with  the Portfolio
 developers kit  on this  project.   The tentative  goal is for a Portfolio
 version of WordPerfect Executive that will list for $149.   There is still
 some  negotiation  to  be  done  with  the marketing department before the
 product is finalized and approved, but there are at least  three Portfolio
 owners  employed  by  WordPerfect  Corp.    For the full text, see message
 #9537.

     John Feagans  (75300,703) seems  to have  released his  driver for the
 Tandy  PDD-2  portable  floppy  drive  as a commercial product.  The PDD-2
 connects to the Portfolio  serial interface  as an  RS-232 device  and can
 store about  200k on a 3.5 inch floppy disk.  I have no other information,
 so send queries to John in the forum.

     As I've reported in  the past,  there are  other parallel  port floppy
 drives that  could conceivably  be connected  to a  Portfolio.  Sysgen has
 such a portable drive (the "Portable EasyFloppy", 3.5" and 5.25" versions,
 list price  of $395)  and is  considering developing a software driver for
 the Portfolio to use their product.  If you are interested, send a message
 to 76424,3123 or call Robyn Dudly at 800-821-2151.

     David  Stewart  has  been  working  with Turbo Pascal and reports that
 versions before 5.5 might run on the  Portfolio.    If  you  use  LZEXE to
 compress the  TPC.EXE file,  then copy TPC.EXE plus SYSTEM.TPU and DOS.TPU
 to a 128k, you  might be  able to  compile Turbo  Pascal programs  on your
 Portfolio.    Brett  Glass  reports  that  Turbo Pascal 3.01A, the generic
 MS-DOS version, works as is on the Portfolio.

     It's editorial time!  OK, I  admit it.   I'm  an engineer.   What does
 this have to do with the Portfolio?  Simple--I think that Atari and softw-
 are developers are missing  a potentially  huge market  by not positioning
 the Portfolio to get a piece of the programmable calculator pie.  I bought
 my Portfolio  hoping that  some type  of mathematics  package would become
 available, but  none has to date.  Fortunately, BJ Gleason created PBASIC,
 so I have created some numerical analysis programs on my own.   Still, the
 Portfolio could do much more if the right software was available.

     While  some  of  the  high-end  Hewlett-Packard  and Texas Instruments
 calculators have lots of good stuff, they don't have QWERTY  keyboards and
 40 by 8 character displays (240 by 64 pixels in graphics mode). The Portf-
 olio screen would make dealing  with  matrices  easier  and  the Portfolio
 keyboard  would  make  formula  entry  more  direct  than for calculators.
 There's also no need to restrict a Portfolio  program to  simply emulating
 programmable calculators.   Earlier versions of some excellent mathematics
 programs such as MATLAB or MathCAD might be small enough to fit  on a 512k
 ROM card or even a 128k ROM card.  The fully-featured Macintosh version of
 MATLAB is less than 300k!  I think that with  a little  source code   mas-
 saging, some existing programs could be running on the Portfolio soon.

     Please remember that my editorial rantings represent my opinions only,
 not those of STReport, Atari,  The  MathWorks,  MathCAD,  or  the Franklin
 Mint.  If you've got any ideas about Portfolio products, send me a message
 in the forum.




         ________________________________________________________





 > CPU STATUS REPORT?                      LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS
   =================
  

    Issue #10


    Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr.



 - Redmond, Washington                 COUNTERFEITERS NABBED BY MICROSOFT 
    -------------------

 Microsoft was awarded a summary judgement against J&S International, JIP 
 Design,  Joe Fok,  Susan Chan and Norman Chan,  five sources of at least 
 25,000 counterfeit copies of MS-DOS which had an end-user value of  $1.8 
 million.   A hearing to determine damages and other issues will be  held 
 in May.



 - Cambridge, Massachusetts             LET YOUR COMPUTER DO THE WALKING! 
   ------------------------

 The  first CD-ROM to contain the business telephone numbers  from  every 
 U.S. Yellow Pages telephone books was recently released by Dataware. The 
 CD-ROM  Yellow  Pages  contains nearly  10  million  business  telephone 
 numbers,  comes with software that allows it to be operated in a memory- 
 resident mode,  is compatible with MS-DOS systems and will be priced  at 
 $399.



 - Washington, D.C.                          PIRACY SETTLEMENT WON BY SPA 
   ----------------

 Davy McKee Corp., a construction engineering firm, agreed to settle with 
 The  Software  Publishers Association (SPA) for $300,000 in  a  software 
 copyright infringement suit.  The suit, which had been filed on November 
 16,  1990, alleged that Davy McKee routinely copied software copyrighted 
 by  Lotus,  Software  Publishing and WordPerfect,  in violation  of  the 
 Copyright Act.

 Along  with  the $300,000 settlement,  Davy McKee agreed  to  a  consent 
 decree prohibiting illegal use of the plaintiff's software,  to  destroy 
 all unauthorized copies of software manufactured by all SPA members  and 
 to  institute  formal  internal copy control procedures at  all  of  its 
 offices. In addition, the SPA will be allowed to perform annual software 
 audits at Davy McKee over the next two years.



 - Waltham, Massachusetts             LOW COST MAC LASER PRINTER FROM GCC 
   ----------------------

 GCC  Technologies has introduced the first under $1,000 Macintosh  laser 
 printer.   The  $999  Personal LaserPrinter II will work  with  all  Mac 
 models,  including the new Classic and LC.   GCC feels the PLP II  "will 
 bring superior laser printer laser printed output to customers who  were 
 previously limited to inkjet solutions."  Apple and Hewlett-Packard  are 
 also  expected to introduce an under $1,000 Mac laser  printer  sometime 
 this year.



 - Novato, California                    WORDSTAR ENTERS MACINTOSH MARKET 
   ------------------

 WordStar,  who last year shipped a quarter of a million word  processors 
 in  the  MS-DOS market,  entered into an agreement to  acquire  Lifetree 
 Software, the developer of Correct Grammar, a grammar checker for MS-DOS 
 and Macintosh computers.

 Lifetree, which was founded in 1981 by Camilo Wilson, had sales revenues 
 of $4 million in 1990.   Lifetree will become a division of WordStar and 
 will  give  WordStar  an  immediate  market  share  into  the  Macintosh 
 marketplace.



 - Fort Worth, Texas                      NEW LOW-END PC FROM RADIO SHACK 
   -----------------

 Radio Shack has announced its new Tandy 1000 TL/3, a 10 mhz 286-based PC 
 for the home-office market.

 As part of the selling price of $1,099.95,  the TL/3 will come with  MS- 
 DOS  3.3,  Radio Shack's DeskMate integrated software package  included.  
 It will also include,  640k of RAM,  a 3.5" floppy drive, 4 XT expansion 
 slogs, keyboard, a PS/2-style mouse, a 3.5-inch diskette drive, a serial 
 port,  a  parallel  port,  two joystick  ports,  a  microphone  jack,  a 
 headphone jack with volume control,  an internal speaker and a real-time 
 clock. The TL/3 can store and play back speech and sound.

 The unit supports monochrome alphanumeric,  Hercules monochrome, and CGA 
 and Tandy Enhanced CGA displays, and an optional VGA is available.



 - Fremont, California                                      SYQUEST MOVES 
   -------------------

 SyQuest  Technology Inc.  has moved to a new location at  47041  Bayside 
 Parkway  in  Fremont,  California  from its  former  Warm  Springs  Road 
 address.  The new 87,500 square foot facility includes 8,000 square feet 
 of  clean room space for the  production of removable  disk  cartridges. 
 SyQuest  disk  drives are manufactured in Singapore.



 - White Plains, New York                  PS/2 PRICE REDUCTIONS BY 5-20% 
   ----------------------

 IBM has announced 5 TO 20 percent price reductions on several models  of 
 its Personal System/2 (PS/2) family of computers.



 - Tokyo, Japan         JAPANESE MINISTRY AGAINST WAR SIMULATION SOFTWARE 
   ------------

 The  Japanese  Ministry of International Trade and Industry  (MITI)  has 
 reportedly  told  Japanese software makers and  personal  computer  game 
 magazines,  they  should not promote war images.   MITI said  that  many 
 software  makers are promoting war-related games and it might  encourage 
 war.




 - Monterey, California                        NEW MULTIUSER DOS FROM DRI 
   --------------------

 DR Multiuser DOS  is  the most recent multiuser operating system  to  be 
 released by Digital Research, the company that created CP/M, GEM and the 
 MS-DOS compatible DR DOS operating system.

 DR Multiuser DOS,  a  replacement for the company's Concurrent  DOS 386, 
 runs on 80386 and 80486-based computers, and can support up to 64 users. 
 The new operating system, which will be available in March, has a retail 
 price  of  $695 and is positioning itself as a low-cost  alternative  to 
 Unix which allows users to retain their DOS applications.





  ***********************************************************************


                    :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT:
                     _________________________________

      To sign up for GEnie service: Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369.

               Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that).
                         Wait for the U#= prompt.

                 Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN.

                       **** SIGN UP FEE WAIVED ****

           The system will now prompt you for your information.

               -> NOW!  GENIE STAR SERVICE IS IN EFFECT!! <-


  ***********************************************************************





 > STR Portfolio News & Information?                  Keeping up to date...
   ================================



                         THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM
                         =========================

 On CompuServe

 #12

 by Walter Daniel  75066,164


     David Barker posted a  fascinating message  about the  "Fn" (Function)
 key.  He noticed that the Fn key works as a "sticky" key, i.e., you do NOT
 have to hold the Fn key down while  pressing another  key.   The Portfolio
 manual clearly  states that  the Fn key must be held down, but my experim-
 ents show otherwise!   The  sticky-key  technique  works  with  those keys
 marked with  blue letters:   1  through 10  for F1 through F10; the cursor
 keys for Home, Pg Up, Pg Dn, and End; and O for  Off.   Actually, you have
 to press  the Fn  key again  to get the Portfolio to switch off.  You must
 hold down the Fn key when pressing the Ins/Del key to change Insert/Overs-
 trike modes.

     See message  #9578 for  word about  Portfolio products that DIP is of-
 fering in the United Kingdom.   Word is  that Atari  will mail  the second
 version of the APB (Accessories and Peripherals Bulletin) to all Portfolio
 owners in the near future.

     I mentioned the possibility  that  certain  versions  of  Turbo Pascal
 might run  on the Portfolio last week.  A message in the forum pointed out
 that version  4 requires  256k of  memory, so  a Portfolio  cannot run it.
 Keep in mind that version 3 will run, though.

     BJ Gleason  uploaded his  PBASIC editor for PCs this week (PBE13.ZIP).
 This PC-only program  provides  a  PBASIC  development  and  file transfer
 environment for  desktops.   Some PBASIC  programs were  uploaded as well.
 Hugh Campbell posted a  second version  of his  Conversion Calculator (CC-
 2.BAS) as well as a data entry program (DB1.BAS) that will create tab-del-
 imited files suitable for reading by database programs  running on desktop
 machines.  Another PBASIC game, Blockbuster (BLKBST.BAS) is now available.

     Do you  keep sensitive  information in your Portfolio?  Do you want to
 keep such information safe from prying eyes?   Then download  DES10.ARC, a
 Portfolio data  encryption program.  This program uses the Data Encryption
 Standard that was developed by the U.S. government for data security.



 Editor Note:
     You aren't  seeing things,  there are  two Portfolio  news articles in
 this week's issue, #11 was omitted last week.  Mea Culpa.




          ______________________________________________________





 > THE FLIP SIDE STR Feature?                       "A different viewpoint"
   =========================




                    A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT
                    ==================================



 by Michael Lee


 If you're a games player,  you should love this weeks issue as there has 
 been  lot of discussion on the major networks recently  concerning  some 
 new games coming out for the ST.

 You'll probably notice that I'm trying out a new format again this week. 
 I just haven't found one yet that I've been pleased with.   Let me  know 
 if you like it or don't like it.

                             ----------------
  
 Question from Robert Floyd from the Softlogik RT on Genie...
    Does SoftLogik plan to support the DeskJet 500 in a more complete way 
    i.e., support for the built-in fonts and font cartridges?

 Answer from Nevin Shalit (SoftLogik RT sysop) on Genie...
    I am 99.9999% certain that there will not be support for fonts in the 
    various font cartridges. This just isn't the way PageStream works.

                             ----------------

 Background  information (compiled from several posts) about  DPaint  ST, 
 from Electronic Arts (EA),  and the company that developed it, ArtisTech 
 Development,  from Anthony Pabon (ArtisTech's on-line representative) on 
 CIS....

    ArtisTech  Development is a company out of  Sacramento,  CA.  and  we 
    wrote  DPaint ST.   When we were first designing it,  we had no  idea 
    that it would be published by EA (or called "Deluxe Paint").   One of 
    our goals for DPaint was to create an awesome paint/animation program 
    that would have all features available to 512K users.

    We went through the England office of EA because it has a MUCH better 
    base  and  understanding  of  the  ST  computer.   It  is  a  strange 
    arrangement, as EA in the US has to import DPaint, even though we are 
    100  miles  from their US office.  I am not on-line  as  an  official 
    representative of EA, but I thought I'd donate any info that might be 
    useful to others.

    It is Electronic Arts' product as far as customer support and service 
    are concerned.  They get paid for that sort of thing.   You call them 
    about updates etc.

                             ----------------

 From Wayne Watson on Genie...

    I just purchased the ST4096C board for a Simm memory  upgrade...After 
    receiving it,  I read over the docs and tore apart the ST and started 
    modifying it.

    After about an hour of desoldering the resistors and rewiring things, 
    I  was ready to put the boards in place.  This required removing  the 
    shifter  chip (it was socketed) and placing the 1st board on  top  of 
    the socket.   Everything seemed to fit perfectly so I powered  up.  I 
    immediately  got  a high pitch noise from the power  supply  and  the 
    little surface mount chip on the board started smoking.  I turned off 
    the computer and called up John Russell. He told me what seemed to be 
    wrong and I went about trying to fix it. Anyway, to make a long story 
    short, I had placed the shifter board upside down. After looking over 
    the docs,  I noticed in the bottom righthand corner of one of the doc 
    sheets,  was  a little diagram.  After carefully looking over  it,  I 
    noticed that the board was upside down.  Anyway, I reinstalled it and 
    said  a little prayer and everything went fine.  I finished  touching 
    things up and put it all back together. I ran the memory test program 
    and  all  went well.  The surface mount chip must be a  tough  little 
    thing because it has been performing flawlessly for the past week.

    The board that holds the Simms fits right under the keyboard. I still 
    have  room to add other things later on if I need to.  The Simms  are 
    now  as  cheap as the Dram chips and they are a lot  easier  to  deal 
    with.  You just place the Simm in the socket,  push it back until  it 
    snaps  in  place.  That is all there is to it.  No legs  to  bend  or 
    anything. The Simms also sit at about a 30 degree angle so you do not 
    need much clearance.

    Anyone  who  is  thinking  of  upgrading  their  memory,  I  strongly 
    recommend the ST4096C board.  It is a very nice design.  You do  need 
    some soldering skills or have someone who does install it.  Make sure 
    you install the shifter board correctly. It will save you a headache. 
    I  got lucky (someone up there is watching over me) but you may  not. 
    Also, the board comes with everything you need to install it. It even 
    includes the solder (but not the soldering iron).

                             ----------------

 Comments from Lee (Lexicor Software) on CIS about problems running  some 
 games on the new STe's and TOS 1.6x...

    ...You should know by now that it is quite customary for game writers 
    to  break official programming guide lines.  I am surprised  that  so 
    many games do run.

    You will see that the authors of the most popular games will begin to 
    port  their work over to the new Atari machines as they  become  more 
    numerous (sic).

    Just  think how exciting it will be when you can play your  games  in 
    256  colors  with  stereo sound and save your  best  games  to  video 
    tape!!!

                             ----------------
 
 From Lauren (WordFlair) on Genie...

    User updates are shipping.  We held them up for a last minute bug and 
    because we were hoping to get all the FSM GDOS changes made to  avoid 
    sending  an update disk.  However,  as Atari still has  not  released 
    final  pricing or shipping dates,  we have gone ahead and shipped  to 
    users...if you don't get your update in the next week (week of 02-28-
    91), give us a call at 415/461-4552 and we'll check your order again.

    The WF II swaps will not ship till the end of the month. We are still 
    getting   orders  from  Canada  postmarked  the  15th  and  want   to 
    consolidate the orders to our duplicator. So we'll send the order off 
    to  the  duplicator next Monday so look for your swaps  in  the  next 
    couple of weeks.

    Please bear with us during this order consolidation time.  We do this 
    to  minimize cost and administrative handling in order to give to  be 
    able  to offer our users very good pricing.  Thank you all  for  your 
    patience.

                             ----------------

 From J.ROY18 on Genie...

    HERO!  I've been waiting for this for while...I had left the  author, 
    Dan  Winslow,  a message a few months ago,  asking if Hero  II  would 
    someday support modem/MIDI connections,  for simultaneously 2  player 
    play,  when they can be in different rooms,  or whatever.  He told me 
    about his new program,  HERO!,  which will be commercially  available 
    soon, and is much improved! Although there is no MIDI ability...there 
    is a modem option so you don't have to wait on your teammate.

                             ----------------

 From Cliff Allen on Genie...

    B.R.A.C.E.  (Blue Ridge Atari Computer Enthusiasts) in Asheville N.C. 
    is Proud to announce the 2nd ANNUAL COMPUTER FEST.

    Come one, come all to the Land Of the Sky and meet the Biggest little 
    Atari users group in western North Carolina.

    Date: 20 July 1991 Place: Westgate Shopping Mall (Junction of I-240 & 
    I-26) Asheville, N.C. Time: Noon to 6pm

    Stay tuned for further updates.

    Points of contact:
                             Clifford E. Allen
                            GEnie- [C.ALLEN17]
                     Internet- CALLEN@UNCAVX.UNCA.EDU
                        BITNET- CALLEN@UNCA.BITNET
                         Home Phone (704)258-3758

                             ----------------

 General information from Spectrum HoloByte about some of their  products 
 from CIS...

    ...the  Atari  ST version of Flight of the Intruder is  coming  along 
    very nicely. We hope to finish the program in a month or two.

    ...We're just finishing up VETTE! for the Macintosh this week, but it 
    still doesn't look good for either an Atari ST or Amiga version.  Not 
    enough interest in the product overseas to make it profitable.

 Question from Greg Zepka from CIS....

    Are there any plans to make a WW1 fighter combat game for the ST?

 Answer from Spectrum HoloByte on CIS...

    ...sorry  but we don't have any plans right now to do a  WWI  fighter 
    combat game.  I guess the most recent ones have been Blue Max by 360, 
    Knights of the Sky by MicroProse and Red Baron by Dynamix.  Not  sure 
    which ones will be converted to the Atari ST, though.

                             ----------------

 Compiled  from several posts by Pattie and Bill Rayl (AIM  Magazine)  on 
 Genie...

    We'd like to announce the addition of Matt Ratcliff (Mat*Rat) to  the 
    pages  of  Atari  Interface magazine.  Matt is  well  known  for  his 
    articles on the Atari 8bit line of computers,  and has many  articles 
    to his credit.

    Matt  joins fellow author Dave Plotkin,  who has been contributing  a 
    monthly  column to AIM for about half a year now.  These two  make  a 
    fine combination, and should have lots of good stuff for our readers.

    ....Atari Interface magazine has jumped in circulation from 4,500  to 
    over 6,000 with the addition of overseas distribution. We're going to 
    hold  our  ad rates to their current level,  so  advertising  in  AIM 
    becomes an even better bargain...if you'd like to find out about  our 
    rates, please call me at (313) 973-8825.

    Atari  Interface offers FREE full page ads for user  group  sponsored 
    AtariFests.  Up  to 3 months worth of advertising is offered free  of 
    charged, based on availability of ad space.

    Although we've been offering this service since we began  publishing, 
    it  hasn't been publicized much and only a few clubs have  even  used 
    the  service.  Now that AIM is sold in bookstores across the  US  and 
    Canada,  as  well as distributed overseas,  placing an ad in AIM  for 
    your club's show could prove very profitable.

    If you're planning to put on a show,  contact us at (313) 973-8825 to 
    discuss advertising.

                             ----------------

 About Populous 2 from Jim Ratkos on Genie...

    Populous 2 should be out sometime late summer or early fall. There is 
    a small write up in the March issue of ST Format.  It goes  something 
    like this:

      "Bullfrog,  the  programming team behind  Populous,  are  currently 
      working  on  the  follow-up,  ST  FORMAT  can  exclusively  reveal. 
      Populous  was the biggest selling game of 1989 and one of  the  top 
      five 16-bit titles ever,  selling 46,000 copies on the ST,  so news 
      of a follow-up is bound to create considerable interest."

      "Populous  2  will  feature completely new  code  and  is  expected 
      sometime  in  September.  Peter Molyneux,  the head  programmer  at 
      Bullfrog,  said, "It's still very early in development, but I can't 
      wait to play it.  We're using our cleverest routines yet, but we're 
      concentrating  on gameplay - honing it into the ultimate game."  He 
      added  that  the displays are now working four times  more  quickly 
      than those in the original but with ten times the depth."

      "A  brand new divine being has been introduced into  the  gameplay, 
      namely  - and we've been trying to work this one out - an  atheist. 
      The  three  deities in Populous 2 will have 30  divine  effects  to 
      choose from:"

      "Swamps Volcanoes with fiery boulders and lava streams  Earthquakes 
      where the land cracks open and people and houses fall in  Tornadoes 
      Tidal Waves Lightning Bolts Plagues Pestilence A religious kamikaze 
      maniac Armageddon Druid Priests Paladins Parting Seas Fireballs."

      "Populous 2 is actually being developed on an ST, and the Bullfrogs 
      have chosen to use a completely new display routine in the program, 
      along  with some ideas they picked up while creating the  acclaimed 
      PowerMonger.  The game will include over 200 different  animations, 
      compared to Populous' 20. The landscape will also be fully animated 
      with  terrain-sensitive land blocks.  What's  more,  buildings  and 
      cities will literally grow,  rather than just transform as they did 
      in the original Populous."

 About the original Populous - from J.ROY18 on Genie...

    ...EA  said they have a newer version of the STe compatible  Populous 
    coming in from the UK within 2 weeks, which will correct the locking-
    up problem some STe users,  like myself,  have.  They suggest sending 
    the  disk back with a letter saying you are waiting for the  new  STe 
    version coming in from the UK.

                             ----------------

 From Gordon Moore (author of Super Boot) on Genie..

    It's  been a while since I've released a new version of  Super  Boot, 
    but a new version of Super Boot will be out in about 1 - 2 weeks. New 
    features include:
      - Digitized Sound -- you can load a single sound,  a random  sound, 
        or you can link sound files to pictures
      - You can now change and save function keys within SUPERBT.PRG
      - You can change the Startgem program within SUPERBT.PRG
      - Optional attention bell
      - You can link date/time setting to function keys, so that you only 
        set the date/time for programs that really need it
      - Plus several bug fixes

    The  digitized  sound is really something else!  I'll  leave  another 
    message in this topic when I upload the final version (Version 7.0).

                             ----------------

 From Jim Burton of ANTIC on Genie...

    Unfortunately, because of the recent move to a bi-monthly format, and 
    the  need  to change the Feb issue to reflect that  (new  cover,  new 
    editorial,  etc.)  The  Feb/March  issue is going  to  be  late.  The 
    earliest  it will be mailed will be  in  mid-March.  However,  issues 
    following that are already planned out, and are practically finished, 
    so they will be out on schedule.

                             ----------------

 Until next week.....





          ______________________________________________________




 > LAND OF OZ! STR FOCUS?       "..Atari has just started a new campaign.."
   =====================



     ctsy; Fido


                            NEWS FROM AUSTRALIA
                            ===================


 by Gary Spiteri


     Atari Australia are suffering from a very similar condition to that of
 Atari America.  Simply put, there is just not enough  advertising (in fact
 there's been none in a good while).  There has _never_ been one Mega ST or
 STE advert on nation TV.  In 1990 they was one set  of adverts  - and that
 was the  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon movie being sponsored by the
 Lynx and 7800 game systems.  Of course the Amiga  is advertised  and has a
 strong marketing base...

     The result  is Australia  is _very_  Amiga-ised.  I had read somewhere
 that per head of population (only 16 million people down  here), Australia
 has the greatest Amiga concentration in the world.

     But the  ST users  are tough  people!   Those who own Atari's are very
 faithful and its a real shame that Atari Oz doesn't treat us better.  Each
 of the  States of Oz has a Atari User Group, which are strong although not
 huge.  I am proud to be a committee member of the  Atari Computer Enthusi-
 asts (New  South Wales)  - ACE  (NSW) for  short.   We have  around 350 ST
 members and although small, we have close ties  with Tony  Barker (progra-
 mmer of  SOUNDOFF, FANTASIA  etc., STE  demo's) and  Stephan Adam, another
 great programmer (you should see his ST_EYES - a conversion  of Mac EYEBA-
 LLS).   I believe  that between  Swavek Jabrzemski  (President of ACE) and
 myself, we are possibly the most vocal Australians.

     We seem to suffer from a severe case of isolation, and I  suppose this
 explains our  heavy use  of this Echo.  This echo has introduced Australia
 to KAOS, NVDI and OVERSCAN - powerful items of great  interest that no-one
 knew about.  We also keep informed through "ST Informer", "Current Notes",
 "ST  Applications" (from the UK based ST  Club), "STart",  "ST World", "ST
 Format",  "ST  Report"  and  "Znet"  online magazines.  Early 1990 saw the
 first Australian ST specific magazine "Your ST" published - it  never went
 past the  pilot issue.   Because  of these we know a fair bit about what's
 going on... including the Mega STE.

     Most of the serious software we  buy  is  either  from  importers (and
 there are  not too  many of them) or direct from the company.  Swavek even
 goes as far as  telephoning many  of the  overseas companies  and the news
 that he  is calling from Australia usually results in a cheaper price!  He
 was the  _first_ nonGerman  user of  OverScan!   (Swavek, I  know we'll be
 reading this, I hope you don't mind me rattling off like this!)

     Prices  of  items  vary,  though generally they are somewhat expensive
 because we don't have the market to support  profits through  cheaper pri-
 ces.   Its less  expensive to buy direct with overseas money orders - Ame-
 rica being the best value.  Games are the most popular software around and
 locally cost  AUS$70 each.   1040  STE's cost  AUS$995 and 520STE AUS$795.
 Buy them through Atari's distributor and for a extra AUS$100, one gets a 2
 year extended  warranty (Ideal when getting my DMA chip changed to the one
 that doesn't corrupt Hard Drives).  Mono monitors (SM124) cost AUS$400 (!)
 and the new 14" colour monitor cost AUS$495 while the older SC1224 used to
 cost AUS$595.

     Although Atari was quiet  through the  Christmas sales  season, it ap-
 pears that Atari has just started a new campaign... We'll wait and see.

     I suppose  because of  our "isolation"  I turn to you European guys to
 help out by keeping us informed.  Again I plea  to you  guys tell  me what
 STE specific  stuff is  out there - you're seen my message that includes a
 list of what ACE (NSW) has - what else is  there?   Oh well,  I'm sorry to
 paint such  a picture  but I  hope you  appreciate the way we feel when we
 Australians look at the healthy European  market, and  the bad  feeling we
 experience when  we look  at our  own.   We can but hope though, that 1991
 will be better.

     Tony Barker - the  programmer behind  SOUNDOFF, FANTASIA  etc has just
 completed two new programs - and they're _brilliant_ !

     MYMONO.PRG is  Tony's long  awaited STE  only MONO  Emulator.  It uses
 various STE hardware including the blitter and hardware  scrolling, making
 this the _fastest, most feature laden MONO emulator ever to appear_ ! 

     It even  includes a  special "Amiga like" interlace mode to create the
 best 640*400 emulation on  the colour  monitor (there's  a little flicker,
 and there  are _two_ other emulation modes).  I've run Calamus on a TV and
 it looked, and ran at a usable speed.

     Tony's latest STE demo  - MVNGPXLS.PRG  is in  his own  words "My most
 technically advanced  demo yet!".   The  sample is  _brilliant_ and the 3D
 scrolling Star Field is like  _nothing_  you're  very  seen  before.   Its
 _brilliant_ !





           _____________________________________________________





 > STACY POWER STR InfoFile?                Atari Stacy Battery products...
   ========================



  
                          MULTIBYTE INCORPORATED
                              PRESS RELEASE

 Multibyte  Inc,  manufacturer  of the Atari Stacy Battery  products  and 
 cases,   is  ALIVE  and  doing  WELL.  The  products  we  are  currently 
 manufacturing are:

    CASEY Plus - semi  rigid powered case for the Atari  Stacy  computer. 
                 Allows  for the use of the Stacy and cartridges  devices 
                 while in the case. Comes with 4.5 hour battery, case and 
                 battery charging adaptor. MSRP $368.00

    CASEY      - semi  rigid  powered case for the Atari  Stacy  computer 
                 only.  Comes with 4.5 hour battery,  case,  and  battery 
                 charging adaptor. MSRP $348.00

    CASEY Jr.  - soft carry case (unpowered) for the Atari Stacy
                 MSRP $135.00

    CASEY Jr. Internal Battery - 2.8 hour internal battery pack that fits 
                 inside  battery compartment the  Stacy  computer.  Comes 
                 with battery pack and charging adaptor. Does not require 
                 modification of computer. MSRP $198.00

    Our  Casey  line of products DO NOT void  Atari  Corporation's  Stacy 
    warranty.

    NOTE:  all time tests have been made on a Atari Stacy 4 using  floppy 
    access, hard drive tests, memory tests running consecutively with out 
    a screen saver. Times will vary on different computer models.

 This  product  line has been under development since December  of  1989.  
 This  project has had a number of setbacks due to the complexity of  the 
 engineering  for the battery packs,  the charging adaptors,  and  custom 
 building the cases.  Due to vendor supply problems,  we have been unable 
 to meet our production needs until now.

 In  the  past our suppliers have proven to be unreliable and  unable  to 
 meet our demands until recently (anger has it's uses). Fortunately these 
 little  (lengthy) and (extremely) costly delays are over as of  February 
 5, 1991.  Our shipments are due to come in on a regular schedule.

 We  received  our first production shipment of  batteries  and  chargers 
 January  31,  1991.  These  products will be shipping to  our  customers 
 starting February 1,  1991.  If you have paid for and not received  your 
 product by February 10th, 1991 PLEASE call us immediately so that we may 
 correct  our  error.  If  you have product on  backorder  and  have  not 
 received it by March 1,1991 let us know!  Right now things are extremely 
 hectic  and  we now have over 150 backorders to process please  hang  in 
 there.  We are shipping product as fast as it is assembled.

 I would like to take a moment to thank each and every customer for their 
 patience, trust, comments, suggestions, complaints, and perseverance. I 
 would also like to apologize to our loyal and frustrated customers  from 
 the  depth  of  our hearts for the frustration and  gray  hair  we  have 
 caused.  Please  accept  this apology for the delay in  processing  your 
 orders.  After  6 months of waiting,  false hopes,  and broken  delivery 
 dates  we are starting to get things rolling properly.  Forgive  us  our 
 transgressions.

 Thank you for your patronage and if you have any questions, suggestions, 
 comments,  or  complaints  please call (703)  406-9139  anytime  between 
 9:00am and 9:00 pm EST Monday through Friday.



         _________________________________________________________




 > 1ST CLASS SUPPORT! STR FOCUS?     "..it performs better than advertised"
   ============================




                       CUSTOMER SUPPORT AT ITS BEST!
                       =============================



 by Steve Barnes


     Living in  Canada has  its advantages,   namely, we get first crack at
 much of the new Atari hardware  and provide  shelter to  some of  the best
 developers in  the world.   We  also have  a devalued dollar and something
 called 'free trade'.  (HA! What a joke.)

     In May of 1990 I decided I would purchase a processor accelerator from
 Fast Technology,  I decided  to purchase  it from  the U.S. as it was sig-
 nificantly cheaper then purchasing one in Canada.

     My T16 arrived within 2 weeks  and was  shipped via  Airmail.  Reading
 over   the installation  instructions I  determined that it was a piece of
 cake to install.  I broke out the soldering iron and set to installing the
 board.   Well, its  not as easy as it looks!  If you buy yourself any kind
 of upgrade that requires more than a little bit of soldering, PAY SOMEBODY
 TO DO IT!

     Anyway, the difference was phenomenal.  I loved it.  But after about 2
 days, I noticed some very weird things happening.  I checked the board out
 and I  could make  the system crash at the same spot repeatedly.  I called
 Jim Allen (owner of Fast Technologies) and explained  my predicament.   No
 problem says Jim, send me the board and I'll fix it up pronto for you.

     The board was sent back to Jim via registered mail in September (note,
 this is out of warranty by this time.).   I've  since learned  that if any
 electrical equipment is going to fail,  it is most likely to happen in the
 first few hours of operation -  this  is  known  as  the  'burn-in period'
 claimed by  manufacturers.   If it  doesn't fail in the first few hours of
 operation it will most likely run without problems for years.

     I gave Jim a call a few weeks later to verify that he had received the
 package.  He had, and informed me that the board was in fact defective and
 would be replaced at no charge to me.  Fantastic.  But, there was a probl-
 em,  he  was  temporarily  out  of  stock on replacements for about 4 to 6
 weeks.  Well, I appreciated him telling me the truth  rather than  be told
 that the replacement was on its way.

     November;  I called Jim to check the status of my new T16.  The boards
 just came in and yours will be shipped immediately.  I don't mind telling 
 you that once you have a  little bit  of speed,   its  painful to  go back
 to8mHz!

     December;   Where the   heck  is my  T16!  "You mean you don't have it
 yet?".  Nope.  "Oh oh,  let me check on it."  Turns out my replacement got
 lost in the shuffle (literally!).  No problem,  Jim has always told me the
 truth.  I've done similar things myself.   I was  told the  board would be
 sent to me Federal Express first thing in the morning.

     Two weeks  later, Jim,  where the  heck is my T16?  "YOU DON'T HAVE IT
 YET!",  nope.  Jim gave me the waybill number for Federal Express (FE).  I
 called FE in Toronto to trace the package.

     Yes, we  have your  package but there is a problem.  It says its value
 is $1.00 and that it contains  some  type  of  computer  hardware.   "This
 doesn't seem  correct to  us.  So we're holding it here until we receive a
 copy of the invoice from FastTech.  We'll call the supplier and get him to
 FAX us a copy."

     January;   I called  FE again  and asked, where is my package?  "We're
 waiting for a copy of the  invoice".   I then  call Jim  at FastTech.   FE
 hasn't contacted  him.   I explain  what's happening.   He now immediately
 sends FE a FAX of the invoice.

     A week later.  I called FE again.  "Yessir,  we received a copy of the
 invoice, and  its been  processed and  held at  our depot until we receive
 duty, federal sales tax, G.S.T, brokerage and holding fees".  FE said.

     I simultaneously blew a gasket and gave myself a serious case of vapor
 lock.  The FE trace agent explained to me that the invoice (from FastTech)
 says the board is replacement and is thus,  treated as  a new  purchase (I
 have a  copy of  the way-bill,  its says  clearly the  board is a repaired
 unit).  Meaning I must, once again, pay duty etc., on the  board.   I then
 called Customs  and Excise  Canada to  find out exactly what was going on.
 It's true.  Unless I am  able to  prove that  I did,  in fact,  export the
 board to FastTech for repair, I would be obliged to pay the duties twice.

     No problem, I have my receipt when I sent the package back to FastTech
 registered  mail.  Not  good  enough.  We need the export  form you filled
 out at  the post  office.  ???.  Seems one of our revered postal employees
 was supposed to have me fill out an export form.  Well, you know  the post
 office.

     I called  FE once  again.  The trace agent handling my problem package
 is sick, dead, not in, out to lunch, washing the cat, etc.  Fine, I'd like
 to speak  to the  manager.   Now, I  must tell  the story  yet again.  Why
 should FE care HOW the package was labeled if it labeled properly to start
 with?  SLAM.  I get hung up on.  I call back an hour later. SLAM.

     A terrible  way to do business if you ask me.  I called FastTech, they
 agreed to have it returned to them.  Fastech would resend the  package Air
 Mail and  marked as  a "gift"  (This is  a common  method for  those of us
 living in Canada to get around paying the excessive duty and taxes).

     In the meantime, I receive notification  from FE  stating that  if the
 package is not picked up in 14 days, it will be sold or destroyed.  I find
 this to be utterly amazing, as to date, I've have NEVER received  any type
 of  invoice  or  bill  stating  that  I owe FE any money whatsoever.  Also
 included in the letter was a photo-copy of  the way-bill.   It  seems that
 Jim Allen  did declare  the board  as a repair (There is a huge difference
 in the eyes of customs between a replacement and a  repair).   Which means
 that FE,  in their  "infinite wisdom", decided to interpret the package in
 there own way.

     Jim Allen then agreed to send me cost  free replacement  (these things
 aren't cheap folks!)

     To date,  I've spent in excess of $30 in long distance calls to FE and
 to FastTech, I've been hung up  on, lied  to and  have never  received any
 form  of  an  invoice  from  Federal  Express.  To top it all off, earlier
 today, I finally received an invoice  from Federal  Express stating  I owe
 them $38.00!   Shipping  fees for  a package  they were _supposed_ to send
 back to FastTech more than a  month  ago  (he  still  hasn't  received the
 original back yet).

     Throughout  this  entire  ordeal,  Jim Allen has been sympathetic, un-
 derstanding and has extended every  possible  courtesy  to  me, absolutely
 above and  beyond what  most people would be grateful to receive.  Please,
 if I  could, in  anyway, persuade  any of  you to  purchase an accelerator
 board, by  all means, don't think twice about purchasing a board from Fast
 Technology.  The product is a  quality piece  of work,  it performs better
 than advertised, and the company stands behind it far and above the norm.
   
     As for  Federal Express, a letter has been sent to the Better Business
 Bureau with documentation and I implore you to do business with just about
 ANY other  courier on  the continent.   Dissatisfied is a gross understat-
 ement.  How they got to be as large as they are is far beyond me.

     Thanks for your time, and  I  hope  my  experiences  dealing  with FE,
 FastTech and customs will provide some degree of enlightenment.



          ______________________________________________________






 > UPS & CANADA! STR FOCUS?         "the taxmen & UPS "cometh and bungleth"
   =======================



                       A HORROR STORY AT THE BORDER
                       ============================


 by Michael Lee


 Two compiled posts from Nathan (ISD) from Genie...

 Allow me to take this opportunity to relate some facts that are starting 
 to cause me real aggravation,  not to mention money.  This is in regards 
 to UPS,  United Parcel Service. I will share the facts of two bills with 
 you  and I ask you all to bear this in mind whenever you choose  to  use 
 this service when sending us anything from the USA to Canada.

 Story #1:  A customer sent back 2 disks for updating.  He already  owned 
 1.09N but had somehow inadvertently trashed his disks.  So he sent  them 
 back to us so we could redo his originals.  By sending them back to  us, 
 he  saved a charge of $2.00 he would have incurred if we had  just  sent 
 him back two new disks as this is a registered owner of the product.  Of 
 course  he probably paid more than that to UPS for shipping but that  is 
 another story.  His disks arrived,  we replaced them and sent them back, 
 no charge.  And then yesterday,  I got in the UPS bill for his shipment, 
 not  for shipping charges,  but for everything  else  imaginable.  Those 
 costs  to  me are as follows:  For whatever reason the  disks  had  been 
 valued at $65.00? So, based on $65.00, rather than $2.00 which is really 
 all the disks are worth,  I paid 8% GST (A new Canadian Tax) = $5.26.  I 
 paid a UPS broker fee of $11.75,  a disbursement fee (whatever that  is) 
 of  $1.75 and a Brokers GST tax of .82 cents for a total UPS  charge  to 
 process  the  2  disks,  of $19.58.  None of  these  charges  relate  to 
 shipping.  Now  I could challenge this price based on the fact that  the 
 $65.00 premise was wrong to begin with,  but to be honest, its not worth 
 the aggravation of doing.

 Story #2.  This customer outdid himself.  He sent back 3 DynaCADD  disks 
 for updating,  a free update.  He valued them at US $1,300.00,  again, I 
 have  no  idea where this price came from as the full  suggested  retail 
 price is US $995.00.  But I now paid GST based on that amount = $105.26. 
 I paid a broker fee of $29.50,  a disbursement fee of $7.00 and a Broker 
 GST of $2.07 for a total of $144.13.  All this because the DynaCADD end- 
 user sent us back his 3 disks for a free update.  Obviously,  I'll fight 
 this one with UPS.

 Even if you correctly value the disks at $2.00, UPS will still charge me 
 a minimum Broker Fee and disbursement fee for more than the $2.00 value. 

 There  is  a moral to this story.  I want to stay in  business.  I  keep 
 charging  nothing  to upgrade disks that cost me $20.00  or  $144.13  to 
 receive,  I'm not going to be here very long.  I don't think that  would 
 make very many people happy,  not even our competition. So, when sending 
 disks in for an update or an upgrade from the USA, either do not use UPS 
 or  be prepared to pay the costs of doing so.  I assure you that  a  few 
 dollars  spent  in the post office for a special delivery  or  whatever, 
 will get your disks here about as fast.

 ....Any disks that are mailed back to us,  arrive without a hitch.  This 
 is the easiest way to send them. If time is a factor, then use a courier 
 service of some kind,  BUT,  value the disks at $2.00. It is an accurate 
 statement.  As I mentioned earlier,  as long as you are registered,  you 
 cannot lose out because we will replace a lost or missing disk.  Be sure 
 that  when mailing anything to us,  that you check with your local  post 
 office for the correct postage.  They do charge a few cents more to mail 
 to Canada than they do internally within the USA.  And finally,  perhaps 
 the  best  way to upgrade,  pay us $2.00 for new disks  when  upgrading, 
 along  with the upgrade fee.

 Thanks for listening.



       _____________________________________________________________





 > OPTICAL STORAGE STR InfoFile?                 The future of mass storage
   ============================




                        PHASE-CHANGE VS DYE POLYMER
                           AN ERASABLE DECISION


 by Mike Stepansky


         There are some facts I wanted to tell you about the latest 
 optical storage technology, which was not mentioned in the  recent 
 STReport issue 7.07.  This paper will  to help you  to  understand 
 more  about the latest erasable optical system  which  incorporate 
 one  of the  several technologies:  magneto-optical,  phase-change 
 and  dye-polymer.   Each  technology  is unique and  has  its  own 
 strengths and weaknesses. A new solution for the WORM disk will be 
 discussed at the end.

      MAGNETO-OPTICAL  (MO):    Most  of  the  explanation  on  the 
 technical nature of MO is pretty straightforward in STReport 7.07.  
 The key advantage of MO media is its relative longevity.  Maxwell, 
 Sony, Phillips DuPont Co.  and others have demonstrated that their 
 magneto-optical media can perform more than 7 million  write-erase 
 cycles without losing its functionality.  Most manufacturers of MO 
 media  claim  a data life of approximately  10  years.    Changing 
 information  on MO media,  however,  requires three passes of  the 
 laser:   one to erase,  a second to write new information onto the 
 disk  and a third to verify the new data.   The time  required  to 
 complete  these  steps  is one  of  MO's  greatest  disadvantages.  
 Sectors must be erased before they can be rewritten.  In addition, 
 unlike magnetic storage and other optical  alternatives,  magneto-
 optical  drives cannot write data a bit at a  time.   Instead,  an 
 entire track must be completely erased and then rewritten.

      PHASE-CHANGE:   In  the  advanced  phase-change  approach  to 
 rewritable  optical media,  laser light converts spots on  a  thin 
 film  from a duller,  photo-sensitive,  amorphous material into  a 
 highly  reflective crystalline state.   The laser beam  reads  the 
 reflection  from the crystalline surface as positive  or  negative 
 and translates the information into data.  To erase data, another, 
 more powerful beam reverses the process, changing the spot back to 
 an amorphous form.   Phase-change technology has an advantage over 
 MO  technology in that phase-change systems have direct  OVERWRITE 
 capabilities  (eliminating  the  third  pass  in  MO  technology).  
 Phase-change systems also have the ability to write data a bit  at 
 a  time.    Both  of  these  factors  produce   higher-performance 
 characteristics for the phase-change approach, so far.

      The  read-write head assemblies in phase-change  systems  are 
 also less complicated than their MO counterparts, since they don't 
 rely on a magnetic coil to change the characteristics of the disk.   
 Studies  have  shown that it is possible to write and  erase  data 
 recorded on phase-change media at least 500,000 times.  This means 
 that  the user could execute a read/erase cycle once a minute  for 
 nearly  five years and still be able to store and  retrieve  data.  
 However,  sophisticated  detector circuits in the drive  will  re-
 allocate questionable sectors long before any problems with  erase 
 cycles are encountered.

      DYE  POLYMER:   Dye  Polymer technology is  another  approach 
 being  examined by firms.   It uses organic dyes to create a  thin 
 coating on the media,  usually bluish-clear in color.   The  laser 
 beam causes small bubbles on the surface of the disk which scatter 
 light and reduce the area's reflectivity.  To erase data, the beam 
 reduces  the  bubbles  (as  oppose to  "burn"  the  pits  in  WORM 
 technology).   It is known as "expansion vs shrinkage"  phenomenon 
 due  to Curie Effect.    While no manufacturers are shipping  dye-
 polymer  systems  yet,  some  industry experts feel  that  if  the 
 approach can be made commercially feasible,  the media may be very 
 cost-effective.   However,  in  addition  to  stability  problems, 
 researchers   are  still  attempting  to  get  more  than  200,000 
 read/write cycles from the media.

      SOLUTION FOR WORM DISK:   Remember, not all optical disks are 
 created  equal.   The  design of the media and materials  used  in 
 manufacturing,  even  the manufacturing  process  itself,  differs 
 drastically from one manufacturer to another.   These  differences 
 can be a help or a hinderance to your total optical storage.   The 
 majority of commercially available write-once media (WORM) is made 
 using metals such as tellurium, antimony, selenium or bismuth.  To 
 write to the media,  according to WORM technology,  a laser  heats 
 microscopic pits on the disk.  The heating causes changes to occur 
 in the media's metallic layer - thus forming permanent bubbles  or 
 pits,  like  CD-ROM disk.   These formations change the  localized 
 surface  reflectivity and represent the information being  stored.  
 The data is then read by a lower power laser.

      The problem with these metal-coated disks is that the  metals 
 that  are used can corrode when use over time,  which  limits  the 
 life  expectancy  of  the  media.   In  addition,  since  standard 
 manufacturing processes may require multiple layers of the  metal, 
 the  chances of defects occurring increase with each layer that is 
 added to the disk's surface.

      Fortunately,   Plasmon  Data  Systems has devised  a  bubble-
 forming  media  that solves many of the problems  associated  with 
 other metal-coated disks.  By using platinum, instead of tellurium 
 or  other  metals,  Plasmon media provides  outstanding  corrosion 
 resistance,   stability  and  strength.   And  Plasmon's  patented 
 manufacturing  process requires only a SINGLE layer  of  platinum, 
 which increases the quality of the media.   Plasmon engineers have 
 further  improved the longevity and performance of their disks  by 
 learning and borrowing from nature:  moth's eye.

      MOTH-EYE  TECHNOLOGY:   Plasmon's  research  and  engineering 
 group  has  perfected a unique,  patented  "moth eye" construction 
 is modeled after the corneal surface of the eye of the night moth.  
 "This structure suppresses reflections out of the eye and enhances 
 light absorption,  which improves the moth's sight," explained one 
 Plasmon engineer.   An extreme fine, corrugated pattern is stamped 
 on  the entire surface of the disk.   This pattern is  very  light 
 absorbent,  so little light is reflected back to the light source.  
 When the write laser creates a bubble on the disk's  surface,  the 
 corrugated surface reforms and the reflective bubbles can later be 
 read as a bit of data.

      For the past nine years,  Plasmon engineers have concentrated 
 on refining and perfecting the manufacturing techniques for  their 
 media.    Innovations  such  as  moth-eye  technology  and  single 
 platinum  layering make Plasmon write-once media the best you  can 
 buy.  Plasmon  provides  a  LIFETIME  warranty  against  defective 
 workmanship and materials.

      LIFESPAN:   Plasmon is only major manufacturer of  write-once 
 media  that  guarantees the data integrity of their media  for  50 
 years - for archival purposes - in platinum.  Tellurium,  antimony 
 and  other metals limit the life expectancy of media between 5  to 
 10  years.   Although dye polymer disks contain  no  metals,  they  
 also have a limited lifetime of approximately 10 years.

      NOTES:  Plasmon's write-once optical disk can store 940 MB of 
 data, higher than the usual CD-ROM storage space.  Also, you might 
 be able to insert your own published write-once disk into a CD-ROM 
 drive for data retrieval or for massive software handling!    More 
 than that,  you can even SELL your own published WORM disk because 
 they  would  follow  the same  format,  assuming  you  follow  the 
 copyrighted  laws.    Also,  if  you wish,  you can  buy  Pinnacle 
 Micro's latest 3.5" erasable optical disk that can store 128 MB of 
 data (call 1-800-553-7070 for pricing).   Finally,  why not use an 
 optical  disk  drive  on TT?    It should be  able  to  hold 
 enormous amount of data for audio/graphics/videos/text to be  used 
 in a serious multimedia presentation.

      When choosing an erasable drive,  either in a standalone or a 
 multifunction  configuration,   it's  important  to  consider  the 
 features of the erasable technology being employed.   The type  of 
 system  chosen can make a difference in the  overall  performance, 
 dependability,  cost and ultimately,  in the satisfaction that  it 
 provides.




        __________________________________________________________


  



 > RADICAL TYPE STR InfoFile?                             THE DTP Magazine!
   =========================



                               RADICAL TYPE
                THE MAGAZINE FOR ATARI AND AMIGA PUBLISHING


 by Mike Loader

     Radical Type  is pleased  to announce  that it  now covers all desktop
 publishers  for  the  Atari  and  Amiga,  including  PageStream,  Calamus,
 Professional Page  and Saxon Publisher. Radical Type also covers all Atari
 and Amiga graphic applications, such  as  TouchUp,  Deluxe  Paint, Outline
 Art,  MVG,  Professional  Draw  and  ProVector.  Whether you use a desktop
 publisher for printing personal  letters  or  for  laying  out  full color
 advertisements, Radical Type has something for you.

     Each bimonthly issue of Radical Type is filled with tutorials, reviews
 and news. Tutorials show  how to  achieve different  text effects,  how to
 improve your  page layout and how to effectively combine text and graphics
 in a variety of programs. Fonts and graphics are reviewed in each issue so
 you know  what is  in a  package before  you buy it. Don't miss the newest
 fonts  from  Soft-Logik,  Computer  Safari,  Dennis  Palumbo, FontAbility,
 MS-Designs and  other popular  font houses. New clip art in a wide variety
 of formats in being released each month. Radical Type's reviews  will show
 you which give you the most value.

     Subscribing to  Radical Type  also gives  you the opportunity to order
 from the only public domain library  devoted to  desktop publishing. Disks
 of  great  public  domain  IMG/IFF  graphics  and PageStream fonts are now
 available. PD disks  of  Calamus  and  PostScript  Type  1  fonts  will be
 available soon.

 To subscribe to Radical Type, send a check, money order or Visa # to:

                               Radical Type
                               P.O. Box 107
                         Lazo, BC, V0R 2K0, Canada

 SUBSCRIPTION RATES: 1 year (6 issues)
       USA:           $19.80 US  ($22.70 Canadian will be billed to Visa)
       Canada:        $22.95 Cnd (includes GST)
       International: $25.95 US  (money orders only, please)

 NO RISK SUBSCRIPTION!

     Nervous about  trying a new desktop publishing magazine from 'up north
 somewhere'?  Then select  BILL ME  to receive  the first  issue before you
 pay. If  you are  not completely satisfied with Radical Type, cancel after
 receiving the first issue without any obligation.

 Order now to ensure you do not miss the next  issue.   The last  issue has
 just sold out. Don't miss the next one!

        Please fill out the following form with your subscription.


 -----------------------------------------------------------------------
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            ---------------------------------------------------






 > STReport CONFIDENTIAL?                      "ATARI NEWS & EVENTS FIRST!"
   =====================




 - Andover, MA                                   FASTECH - TURBO 20 SIZZLE!
   -----------


     Jim  Allen  of  Fast  Technology  has  announced  a number of fine new
 products destined to breathe "dazzle and  sizzle"  into  the  STe  line of
 computers.   The Turbo  20 adapter  for the  1040 STe will have an onboard
 clock and the ability to take the 1040 STe ram  to 14mb!  he said.   Also,
 for the Stacy, a special treat for STACY owners, the adapter for the Turbo
 20 will have two ROM sockets (Cartridge Oriented).  The  Mega STe  has its
 own adapter  for the  Turbo 20 and it will allow the Mega STe to zip right
 up to 10mb of RAM.  He said.  When asked about  the '030'  and its future,
 he said  when the  time comes,  (RSN), the  performance curves  are far in
 excess of all expectations.  Guess we'll have to wait  and see.   Turbo 20
 are  also  downwardly  compatible  as  a direct replacement of the current
 Turbo 16  better known as T-16.  



 - Erie, PA                                            AMIGA OWNERS BEWARE!
   --------


     It appears that a certain,  recently  announced,  RAM  upgrade  is not
 what it  is cracked up to be.  In fact, the components used in the picture
 advertisement have been recognized  as those  custom components  used in a
 totally different marketplace on a totally unrelated product.  This infor-
 mation comes from the manufacturer of the original  device as  they recog-
 nized their  goodies being represented as a "ram upgrade" that's about the
 size of the 68000.  Caveat Emptor!  



 - Boca Raton, FL                    ATARI FORUMS HAVE MIDI EXPERT & SYSOP!
   --------------


     Ron Luks, head sysop  of the  CIS Atari  fora, has  confirmed the fact
 that John  Davis, Midi  Guru for  ST Informer Magazine has been brought on
 board and will serve as sysop  and Midi  expert for  Atarians.   The Atari
 fora, accessed  by users  worldwide, have gained a great asset.  Good luck
 and congratulations to you John!



 - Los Angeles, CA                  MSTE ROMS REPORTEDLY WORK OK IN 1040STE


     A reliable source has stated that the new MSTE TOS  ROMS will function
 properly in  a 1040STE.   Therefore,  once Atari makes them available as a
 separate item, you will be able to upgrade the 1040STe's OS as well as its
 RAM.



 - Lynwood, WA                                        TCB TRACKER ARRIVES!!
   -----------


     Get ready  to rock!   The  hottest music  program to hit Europe is now
 available.  PDC is the exclusive North American  distributor and supporter
 of TCB  Tracker.   In fact,  TCB Tracker  is so hot that it was officially
 named the best music program of 1990 in Europe.

     What is  TCB Tracker?   It's  a four  track music  record and playback
 system that  includes a drum machine, sequencer, and synthesizer all built
 in.  In essence, it's a complete mixing studio.  The notes  played are all
 digitized sound,  so the  end results are crystal clear.  It allows you to
 create real digital songs, mix existing songs, or use samples for your own
 programs -- all in digital sound quality.

     Demos (both  graphics and sound) are the hottest thing in Europe.  The
 premiere demo maker, "AN Cool" Nilsson, a Swedish 18 year  old created TCB
 Tracker to  facilitate his  demo creations (see ST Format article enclosed
 for full story on  Nilsson).   For example,  the Samantha  Fox demo  is an
 example of  AN Cool's  fine craftsmanship.  The digitized sound sample was
 easily created with TCB Tracker.  In fact, doing so was the  most basic of
 processes.   Much more  complex sounds  are possible,  such as the Dragnet
 theme song.

     TCB Tracker will appeal to a wide audience,  from the  music-novice to
 advanced programmers.  For the MIDI musician it has full MIDI compatibili-
 ty. Included for the programmer is assembly and  GFA BASIC  source code to
 play songs/sounds  in their  own programs  (for both  the ST and STe).  In
 fact, every major European software house  is  now  using  TCB  Tracker to
 create music in their programs.  STe users will enjoy full Stereo support,
 as well as Bass and Treble controls.  For the  novice a  tutorial is incl-
 uded in  the manual,  a help function is offered, and technical support is
 available; using it is a breeze.

     TCB Tracker is quick and simple and it uses only about 29% of the com-
 puter's  processing  time.    Amiga  digitized sounds are compatible.  TCB
 Tracker is  fully mouse  and icon  controlled with  keyboard shortcuts for
 more advanced  users.   It works  on all ST computers from the 520 STFM to
 the Mega 4 STe (a color monitor is required).  No additional  equipment is
 needed --  it sounds  great through  the monitor speaker and it pumps with
 additional speakers hooked up.


     PDC has slashed the  retail price  of TCB  Tracker from  the projected
 price of  $99.95 to  $69.95.   Additional song disks are available in a 10
 disk set for $39.95.  We will be fully supporting users by  offering tech-
 nical support, newsletters, additional sample/module disks, and much more.

    Available from:

                         Public Domain Corp. (PDC)
                        4320 - 196th SW Suite B-140
                         Lynnwood, WA  98036-6721

                 (206) 745-5980 - Inquiries and Questions
     (800) 255-8220 - 24 Hr. orderline for USA and Canada (no humans)




      _______________________________________________________________




 > GramSlam! STR Review?
   ====================



                      WRITE IT RIGHT, RIGHT?, RIGHT!
                      ==============================


 by Bill Pike (PAC)


     When I  began writing  reviews I was just having fun passing on what I
 learned both the good and bad points of programs and  systems.   I consis-
 tently  used  a  spelling  checker  and  I thought if all the spelling was
 correct I couldn't be far wrong.  As I continued,  I had  more than  a few
 critical comments  about my  murdering the  "King's English" (sometimes by
 slow torture) by my friends  and  others,  I  found  the  need,  read that
 necessity, of  improving my  grammar.  If I was using a Itty Bitty Machine
 (IBM for  the uninitiated)  several programs  would be  available to check
 grammar,  at  a  cost  of  from  $75  to  $250,  however,  not using a IBM
 emulator, the option was not open to me.

     To make a long story shorter.  About a year-and-a-half  ago I  found a
 demo version  of a  program called  GramSlam.   I tried the program and it
 was just what I needed, and the cost  was right.   Needless  to say  I or-
 dered the  full working  version within  a few days.  Version 1.0 was awk-
 ward to work with but it did the job.  The program  is now  at version 3.0
 and  works  very  well  indeed.    GramSlam checks for 1,200 abuses of the
 English language.   I am  now using  it consistently  for all  my writing.
 Yes, I  really purchased  a program before I wrote the review.  There is a
 demo version of GramSlam version 3.0 on Compuspend for those who wish   to
 look before  buying.   I have  nothing but praise for the companies provi-
 ding this option of  try before  you buy  instead of  sticking you  with a
 program which doesn't do what you wanted.

     Enough of  the background!   The  cost of  the program  is $34.95 plus
 $3.00 shipping from Phil  Comeau Software,  43 Rueter  Street, Nepean, On-
 tario, Canada K2J3Z9.

     GramSlam is  a Grammar and Style Checker.  This program compares words
 and phrases in a document with a listing of possible errors.   The listing
 has  been  compiled  by  Phil  Comeau from nine, college level and beyond,
 books of grammar and style.   The program  will also  check for variations
 between American and English language spellings.  Yes, you can add your 
 own pet phrases to the program if you wish.

     Some of  the features  are: It  works on  any Atari  16 bit compatible
 computer, medium and hi resolution are  supported,  it  can  be  run  as a
 accessory or  from the  desktop, multi-levels of checking from Brooklyn to
 formal London are supported, the program  works with  any text editor/word
 processor which  can output  a ASCII  file, GramSlam can also run as a ap-
 plication, a readability index (FOG index, years of schooling needed to 
 understand the document) is shown after the check  is complete  along with
 the statistics  about the  document.   Yes, It does check for double words
 Cliff.

     GramSlam can output to the screen, a printer,  and/or a  disk file all
 at the  same time.   You  are shown  the problem it has found, the context
 surrounding the problem, and a suggested correction.  The program is a bit
 dumb, it  just looks  for words  and phrases so some suggestions should be
 taken with a grain of salt.  I suggest saving the file to disk  along with
 the screen  display.  This allows you to open a second window in your word
 processor/text editor containing the file of problems next to the original
 document.

     The  manual  for  the  program  is well written, and covers just about
 everything you could wish.  However  it doesn't  cover how  to install the
 program on  a Hard-Disk.   Opps,  Oh, Well we can't be perfect.  Just copy
 all the files to a folder anywhere on  the disk,  how about  in the folder
 with your word processor?  There is a discussion of how GramSlam works and
 its limitations.  A section showing  examples  of  errors  along  with the
 level assigned  to each type of error, to give you a idea of just what the
 program is reporting.  The reporting environment is discussed and examples
 are given.   You  are shown  how to edit (add) your own pet errors for the
 program to find.  There is also  a  discussion  of  how  to  interpret the
 information the  Document Statistics  Section, shown  at the completion of
 the check, shows.

     There is only one bad point I can find with the program, it only works
 well with  ASCII files.   Non-ASCII .DOC files can be checked but the pro-
 gram does get confused.  Why it is suggested to  install the  program as a
 Accessory I  don't know,   why is it necessary to install it as a Applica-
 tion (do you wish to check every file with a particular extension)?.  Just
 run GramSlam  as a program.  I suggest saving your document in .DOC format
 first (it is much easier to make corrections later) then saving the ASCII 
 file for checking by GramSlam.

                               GramSlam 3.0
                        $34.95 plus $3.00 shipping
                           Phil Comeau Software
                             43 Rueter Street 
                              Nepean, Ontario
                               Canada K2J3Z9




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 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
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   |||   Video Production Major, California State University, Chico
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