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Article #152 (730 is last): Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags From: aj848@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current) Subject: Z*Net: 17-May-91 #9121 Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys) Reply-To: aj848@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current) Edited-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys) Date: Tue May 21 00:41:38 1991 Also thanks to: Bruce D. Nelson. ==(((((((((( == Z*NET INTERNATIONAL ATARI ONLINE MAGAZINE =========(( === ----------------------------------------- =======(( ===== May 17, 1991 Issue #91-21 =====(( ======= ----------------------------------------- ==(((((((((( == (c)1989-1990-1991, Z*Net Publishing CONTENTS EDITORS DESK.........................................Ron Kovacs START MAGAZINE CEASES PUBLICATION.....................John Nagy Z*NET NEWSWIRE..........................................Z*Staff MAST ATARI SWAPFEST...............................Press Release MIDI CITY........................................Drew Reid Kerr HOTWIRE AND MAXIFILE III..........................Press Release ATARI VP RICHARD MILLER IN CONFERENCE.....................GEnie Z*NET SOFTWARE SHELF.............................Ron Berinstein ST ACCELERATORS...................................Norm Weinress COMPUTER PUBLICATIONS.............................Press Release ======================================================================= EDITORS DESK ------------ by R. Kovacs ======================================================================= This edition is Issue #21. You only missed a Z*Break this week which has been titled Issue #9120. That original release has been expanded in this weeks edition. Last week I listed our new columnist as Dave Kerr and apologies are in order already!! His name is Drew, which I knew, but was thinking about Dave obviously, Sorry Drew! Drew's first column appears this week. Midi City focuses on MIDI news and information and this weeks debut article is VERY interesting and worthwhile reading. Please forward any comments or suggestions to Drew at his GEnie Address: D.KERR1 ======================================================================= START MAGAZINE CEASES PUBLICATION --------------------------------- Story by John Nagy ======================================================================= After days of conflicting rumors, it was confirmed by STart Magazine staff members on Wednesday, May 15, that the bi-monthly Atari magazine STart will NOT publish another issue. "STart has suspended publication pending a sale of the magazine," said Editor in Chief Tom Byron. A sale is said to be in the works with unidentified parties, and no timetable is being discussed publicly. Byron also said that the next issue, the June/July edition, had been completed and was waiting for printing when he got the news today that the suspension was in effect. There are no plans at this time for the printing and distribution of that edition to be carried out. STart had been building a reputation for fiscal difficulty for many months. Writers and programmers typically waited for six or more months to be paid for their free-lance and assignment work. After closing the 8-bit Atari magazine ANTIC, and folding it into STart last October 1990, STart was to have become a much larger monthly magazine - 120 pages was the discussed target. Instead, by January 1991, STart became a bi- monthly, and remained at about 80 pages. Meanwhile, the parent corporation of STart, Antic Publishing, was having additional trouble. An Amiga computer magazine was launched and failed despite a good market for Amiga magazines. Presently, Antic Publishing's STart staff is assigned to produce PC HOME JOURNAL, aimed at the IBM market. This venture appears to be doing better. Some of those close to STart say that the Atari magazine was paying for itself within Antic, but that all funds generated by it were being used in the other corporate efforts. Dropping to a bi-monthly format, they say, was more an effort to use staff for other projects than to economize the Atari operation. Now that production is suspended, the fates of subscribers and the many writers to whom STart has owed moneys dating back to mid 1990 is not known or predictable. If STart is sold, it may be that those owed will be paid from the revenues, or the new owner may assume the liabilities of the company. A third possibility is that there would be a liquidation and sale of assets held by STart itself, which may be negligible. Some observers speculate that a sale may be impossible, as STart may have more liabilities than assets. Amounts owed creditors and writers, plus the costs of substituted magazines to fulfill existing subscriptions may overshadow the value of the established subscriber base itself, estimated at perhaps over 20,000. Talk of a sale may be real or simply an effort to postpone inevitable conflicts with creditors. Upset developers and writers stand to lose between hundreds and many thousands of dollars each for published but unpaid work. Talk has already begun regarding possibilities of legal actions and class suits against Antic Publishing, who appear at this time to be remaining in business. Z*Net will continue to follow this story which is of great concern to the entire Atari community. STart was the last independent commercial "slick" magazine for the Atari in the U.S.A. It leaves behind only the bi-monthly Atari Explorer (Atari's own magazine), newsprint publications AtariUser and ST Informer, and smaller circulation user-group based publications like Current Notes, AIM, and PSAN. ======================================================================= Z*NET NEWSWIRE -------------- Compiled by the Z*Staff ======================================================================= NEW HANDHELD COMPUTER Fujitsu has unveiled a new 16-bit handheld computer called the AcuTote 3000, featuring full PC XT and MS-DOS compatibility, enabling users to develop applications on an industry-standard hardware platform. SCANMAN 32 Logitech has announced ScanMan Model 32 for IBM and compatibles. This is an easy-to-use, black and white hand-held scanner that offers gray- scale image editing through software. The product will be available through Logitech dealers and distributors in early June at a suggested retail price of $299. Registered ScanMan Plus users can upgrade to GrayTouch software through Logitech for $25. ACCLAIM DOUBLES RELEASES AND ACQUIRES LICENSE Acclaim announced this week that it plans to double the number of software releases to the European market, having acquired the right from Nintendo to release five additional NES titles per year for the European market under the LJN label. IBM OFFERS SPECIAL PRICE IBM announced that Current(a) Version 1.2, a (PIM) software package, will be offered at the special price of $129.00, when ordered directly from IBM. IBM Desktop Software (IDS) will offer this limited time promotion through August 31, 1991. The list price of Current is $395.00. Customers may order Current directly from IBM, with a credit card, by calling the Product Information Center at 1-800-426-7699. NEW 2.5-INCH HARD DRIVES Seagate announced the expansion of its lineup with 2.5-inch hard disc drives for the portable computer market. The ST9077A and ST9038A drives feature 64 and 32 formatted megabytes of data storage capacity, respectively, and come equipped with an embedded AT interface. The new models extend Seagate's ST9096 family of 85-, 42-, and 21-megabyte 2.5 inch drives. Each model weighs just 6.5 ounces. ZENITH REDUCES PRICES Zenith announced today that it will reduce the suggested retail prices of its current line of laptop and desktop personal computers, effective Monday, May 20. PREVIOUS NEW PRICE ZDS PORTABLE PRICE PRICE REDUCTION SupersPort 386SX Model 40 $4,999 $4,399 $ 600 (12 pct) Model 120 $5,999 $5,199 $ 800 (13.3 pct) SupersPort 286e Model 40 $3,699 $3,199 $ 500 (13.5 pct) SlimsPort 286 Model 20 $3,399 $2,599 $ 800 (23.5 pct) Model 40 $3,999 $2,899 $1,100 (27.5 pct) MinisPort HD Model 20 $2,099 $1,599 $ 500 (23.8 pct) PREVIOUS NEW PRICE ZDS System PRICE PRICE REDUCTION Z-486/25E Model 80 $ 8,599 $7,499 $1,100 (12.7 pct) Model 170 $ 9,999 $8,699 $1,300 (13 pct) Z-386/33E Model 150 $ 9,699 $6,699 $3,000 (30.9 pct) Model 320 $10,999 $8,399 $2,600 (23.6 pct) Z-386/25 Model 1 $ 4,699 $3,699 $1,000 (21.2 pct) Model 70 $ 5,599 $4,499 $1,100 (19.6 pct) Model 150 $ 6,699 $5,199 $1,500 (22.3 pct) Model 320 $ 8,399 $6,899 $1,500 (17.8 pct) Z-386/20 Model 1 $ 3,799 $3,299 $ 500 (13.1 pct) Model 40 $ 4,599 $3,999 $ 600 (13 pct) Model 70 $ 4,899 $4,299 $ 600 (12.2 pct) Z-386 SX/20 Model 1 $ 2,599 $2,249 $ 350 (13.4 pct) Model 40 $ 3,199 $2,599 $ 600 (18.7 pct) Model 80 $ 3,799 $3,199 $ 600 (15.7 pct) Z-286 LP PLus Model 1 $ 1,799 $1,399 $ 400 (22.2 pct) Model 20 $ 2,099 $1,649 $ 350 (16.6 pct) Model 40 $ 2,299 $1,799 $ 500 (21.7 pct) JOHN MAHER DEAD AT 43 Services are scheduled Saturday May 18, 1991 for John Maher, publisher of Down Beat jazz magazine and president of Musicfest USA. Maher died Thursday at Hinsdale Hospital at the age of 43. The cause of death was not announced. Maher was named publisher of Down Beat Magazine in 1989 after joining the jazz publication as associate publisher in 1983. The magazine is part of the family-owned Maher Publications. Maher is survived by his wife, Margie; two sons, John IV and Brian; a daughter Kelley; his parents, two brothers and four sisters. HARRY REASONER SAYS FAREWELL Harry Reasoner, who with Mike Wallace was a founding co-editor of CBS's "60 Minutes," will sign off for the last time on Sunday, May 19. Reasoner, 68, taped his farewell Thursday, as his colleagues - Wallace, Morley Safer, Ed Bradley, Steve Kroft and Andy Rooney - added their remarks. The veteran newsman had announced his decision to step down and assume the new role of editor emeritus and contributing correspondent in November 1990, but no final date was set until this week. Reasoner and Wallace launched "60 Minutes" on Sept. 24, 1968. He left CBS in 1970 to become anchorman for ABC's evening news, where eventually he was teamed - against his will - with co-anchor Barbara Walters, who ABC had hired away from NBC. Reasoner returned to CBS and "60 Minutes" in 1978. "60 Minutes" has been in the top 10 of the A.C. Nielsen Co. prime time ratings for 14 consecutive seasons. Reasoner began his news career in 1942 with the Minneapolis Times and joined CBS in July 1956. In the summer of 1987 he underwent surgery for lung cancer, and two years later, in the fall of 1989, he had related surgery. Both operatons were deemed successful. ======================================================================= MAST ATARI SWAPFEST ------------------- Press Release ======================================================================= The Milwaukee Area ST User Group (M.A.S.T.) will be sponsoring an Atari Swapfest on June 2nd, 1991 in Milwaukee, WI. We wish to thank the following developers and vendors for committing to attend the show: Apple Annie Branch Always Software Compu-Seller West Dennis Palumbo Fonts G.K. Enterprises ICD Innovative Concepts Kolputer Systems Komtech Micro Magic MissionWare Software M-S Designs Paper Express SKware One Taylor Ridge Books Timeworks Toad Computers Touch Technologies Other User Groups that will be attending; LCACE MAAUG GCACE RACC M.A.S.T. also will have two tables set-up for selling used equipment both for our members and on a commission basis. There will be the new TT and Mega STe computers at the show. I have been assured that both machines are also for sale at the show. We also will have the new Atari Coupon Books And Catalogs from E. Arthur Brown Available to the attendees. We hope that you will be able to join us in Milwaukee for this show. We will be updating this notice as we have more information. Ticket cost is two dollars in advance, three dollars at the door. If you need a hotel, please contact one of the following: Hampton Inn (414) 466-8881 (limited double rooms) Budgetel Inns (414) 535-1300 (single rooms only) The block of rooms are reserved until May 17th under the "M.A.S.T. show". If you have any questions please feel free to call (414) 463- 9662. Thank You Directions to the show: From NORTH of Milwaukee: Hwys 41/45 - Travel South to the Burleigh St. exit. Turn RIGHT (West) onto W. Burleigh St. Proceed to the traffic lights at N. 119th St. Turn LEFT (South) at the lights, onto the frontage road leading into BOWLERO. I-43 - Travel South to Milwaukee and I-94. Turn RIGHT (West) onto I-94. Travel West to Hwys 41/45. Turn RIGHT (North) onto Hwys 41/45 to the Burleigh St. exit. Turn LEFT (West) onto W. Burleigh St. Proceed to the traffic lights at N. 119th St. Turn LEFT (South) at the lights, onto the frontage road leading into BOWLERO. From SOUTH of Milwaukee: Hwy. 43 - Travel North to I-894. Turn LEFT (North) onto I-894 and Hwys 41/45. Continue North on Hwy 41/45. Exit at Burleigh St. Turn LEFT (West) onto W. Burleigh St. Proceed to the traffic lights at N. 119th St. Turn LEFT (South) at the lights, onto the frontage road leading into Bowlero. I-94 - Travel West to I-894. Turn LEFT (West) onto I-894. You will intersect and travel on Hwys 41/45. Continue North on Hwys 41/45. Exit at Burleigh St. Turn LEFT (West) onto W. Burleigh St. Proceed to the traffic lights at N. 119th St. Turn LEFT (South) at the lights, onto the frontage road leading into BOWLERO. From WEST of Milwaukee: I-94 - Travel East. Turn LEFT (North) onto Hwys 41/45. Exit at Burleigh St. Turn LEFT (West) onto W. Burleigh St. Proceed to the traffic lights at N. 119th St. Turn LEFT (South) at the lights, onto the frontage road leading into Bowlero. For more information, check out the Milwaukee (MAST) show topic in the GEnie Atari ST Roundtable (Category 11, Topic 16). Those of you with ST Aladdin, don't forget to update your topic lists! ======================================================================= MIDI CITY --------- by Drew Reid Kerr ======================================================================= "I know two tunes: one of them is 'Yankee Doodle,' and the other isn't." -- Ulysses S. Grant They say a bedroom should be a restful place with nothing to distract you. One look at my bedroom and you'd think I was an insomniac: 4 Meg Atari 1040 STE, Megafile30, Color Monitor, receiver, two BOSS mixing boards, MIDI thru-box, Alesis SR-16 drum machine, Alesis MIDIverb, Roland Juno 2, Roland JX-10, and a wooden rack mount unit featuring a patch bay, Alesis Quadraverb, Oberheim Matrix 1000, Roland Digital Piano Module P-330, Kawai K1r, Yamaha TG-33, Roland Sampler S-550, Korg M1R, Roland D-550 and a dbx compressor. A Casio CZ101 sits on the floor. An Akai 4-track 6-input recorder. Sound cards all over the place. Another monitor for the sampler. Surge protectors protecting surge protectors. Cables, cables and more cables.... Welcome to my nightmare! Every other week, we're going to dabble into the MIDI cauldron, courtesy of the hippest musical computer around, the Atari. We are going to share some tips, ideas, maybe a few chord changes, news, and whatever falls into the pot. I'm encouraging a lot of networking and interaction between musicians, so I'd like you to drop me a line via GEnie e-mail (D.KERR1) and tell me: o What is your set-up? o What sequencing software do you use? Why? o What editor/librarian do you use? Why? I'd also like you to put in your vote for your favorite five patches for either the Roland D-50, Korg M1 or Yamaha DX-7 and WHY. Please include the third-party source for each patch. I have to limit it to these three synthesizers because of their overwhelming popularity. Every other column, we'll highlight three top patches and discuss their makeup and how they can be used. CABLE CLEANLINESS There seems to be a MIDI cable for just about every device in a studio. Soon there are enough entanglements to rival an L.A. freeway! You first step should be to get MIDI cables of different colors and assign a different hue to each synthesizer. For example, blue could run to your Roland D-50 and yellow to your EPS. I've discovered a neat little trick to help organize cables and multiple editor/librarians. Each editing session requires the cable from that particular synthesizer's Out port to be plugged into the Atari's MIDI In port, which makes for a lot of switching around. Buy a cheap metal guitar stand at your local music store. Place it near the MIDI ports of your computer. Hang each cable strand going from your editable synth over the circular grip on the stand. You can even take a piece of masking tape and label each cable with the name of each synth: "D-50," "K4," etc. Now you have all the cables right near the MIDI ports, ready to be moved in and out for your editor/librarian sessions! WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DRUM MACHINE WRESTLING! Just when you think you've got the greatest drum machine since history began, along comes another mind-boggling array of percussion units to get you running and jumping. The last several months have seen an onslaught of not only superb drum machines but equally tantalizing drum modules. When Roland brought out its R-8 and R-5 units over a year ago, they couldn't stock enough of them. Last fall saw the release of the Boss DR-550, which supplied some of Roland's heftiest drum samples for the mere price of $250! In one inexpensive box, you had a slew of R-8 sounds topped off with the perennial TR-808 snares, kicks and rides so essential to today's dance music. Three months ago, Alesis outdid them all -- the SR-16 for $350. This little baby had four outs, 243 sampled sounds with almost half of them in stereo reverb! In the bang for the buck category, I can't recommend this drum machine high enough. If you're looking for something to rack mount, there's no shortage of new sampled drum sound modules. It's really just a matter of which company's sounds you dig. Besides Roland's module version of the R-8 (R-8m), you can dive into hundreds of possibilities with Alesis' new one, which is stock full of HR-16 and HR-16B samples. If those famous Emu samples are your bag, the Procussion is the one for you. 16 CHANNELS AND WHAT DO YOU GET? Finding 16 MIDI channels too restricting for your complex layering and huge setup? There are rather expensive attach-ons that will double and sometimes triple your MIDI channels on the market. Unfortunately, I only know of one specifically for the Atari and that's C-LAB's Unitor. Having 32 or 48 MIDI channels is a feeling that's almost better than sex. You could stock up with synth upon synth, effects galore, MIDI thru boxes and know that each and every one could be running at the same time! The Unitor only works with Creator/Notator. It plugs in as a dongle into your cartridge port on the left side of your Atari. Not only does it have two sets of MIDI In and Out ports, but it doubles as Creator's SMPTE synch aide. If you're involved with scoring or want to try your hand at sequencing to SMPTE, this makes it an essential buy. But beware the sting to the wallet -- it runs over $400! If you find yourself running short with 16 channels, there are a few strategies to keep in mind. The first is: put your drum machines and effects on the same MIDI channel. Generally, drum machines do not respond to program changes, so use these channels to alter reverb, echo, compression, etc. Secondly, pay closer attention to your program changes. Multi-timbral units can usually have their entire setups modified via the program change. For example, let's say you have a Combination setup #1 on your Korg M1 (or M1R) which has the piano on Channel 1, string pads on Channel 2, and horn hits on Channel 3. Your entire unit is set to MIDI channel 7. By sending a well-placed program change to channel 7 of 2, the Korg immediately switches to Combination 2, which now has the organ on Channel 1, the string pads still on 2, and analog lead on 3. You've got two new sound patches introduced but the amount of MIDI channels used remains the same! In other words, don't be afraid to make multiple MIDI setups for one song. ======================================================================= HOTWIRE & MAXIFILE III: New & Improved! --------------------------------------- Press Release ======================================================================= HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - CodeHead Software has announced major upgrades for their flagship programs, HotWire and MaxiFile! The GEM Desktop environment of Atari's ST computers is simple to work with, but limited in many, many regards. Windows and icons are fine for some tasks, but poorly suited for others. ST software developers have been aware of this from the beginning, and a number have even produced "replacement" environments for users who find GEM too limited. Strangely enough, the most common approach taken in such replacement environments is to emulate the GEM Desktop! The Desktop's general look, functionality - and drawbacks - are reproduced, with only some additional bells and whistles to make it "better." But imitating the item you're supposedly replacing is hardly revolutionary. The approach taken by CodeHead Software's HotWire and MaxiFile III contrasts sharply with that of the GEM desktop and its imitators. HotWire is a full-featured program launcher, which makes running an application as easy as picking an item from a menu you design. HotWire completely eliminates the time-wasting drudgery of opening window after window and folder after folder to run programs. Instead, you simply click the mouse on the title of the program you wish to run, or type its assigned keyboard equivalent - press W to run your word processor, for example. You can create as many menus as you like, and even set up menus to load other menus! You can keep track of the time you spend in each program and the names of any documents on which you worked, with the help of "ledger" files. You can set up to 16 alarms (including daily, weekly or monthly alarms) that will go off in any program! And, in its latest update (version 3.1), HotWire is even more powerful and flexible than ever, with support for color-coded menus, "global blocks" of programs and/or documents, special hooks for synergistic communication with MultiDesk, MaxiFile, and other CodeHead programs, and full STe and TT compatibility. MaxiFile III is a file-handling utility par excellence, providing features and flexibility far beyond that of the GEM desktop or its imitators. Furthermore, MaxiFile III can be installed as a desk accessory, available from the Desk dropdown or via the shareware Little Green Selector (included with the package). This means you can format and copy disks, copy/move/delete/rename files, etc., from within most common ST programs. Here are just a few of the incredible new capabilities of MaxiFile III: o the ability to search any drive (or combination of drives) at lightning speed for files or folders according to their time/date stamps, archive bit settings, or up to 16 simultaneous extensions - then instantly jump to that path and select all matching files! o a "dual display" mode that shows you both source and destination directories at once, in scrolling windows. o a "safe deposit" feature that protects you from accidental file deletions in a fast, legal, transparent manner. o TRUE MS-DOS floppy disk formatting. o a "graphic disk info" display that shows the space on all connected drives both numerically and with a bar chart, including cumulative totals for all selected drives. o a blazingly fast text file viewing mode, with scrolling up and down via mouse or keyboard, tab settings, and fast string search abilities. o keyboard equivalents for every operation, including selecting files and folders in directory windows! Owners of the original MaxiFile will definitely want to upgrade to MaxiFile III - there are so many new features that an entire new manual had to be written to accompany it! Used individually, HotWire and MaxiFile can make working with your ST easier, but when used together these programs become a complete, integrated replacement for every aspect of the GEM Desktop. You can run programs, install documents, manage files, set system configurations - do just about anything you can do with the GEM Desktop, all from simple, configurable menus. You may never need - or want - to use the GEM Desktop again! And memory isn't a problem either. HotWire and MaxiFile III can be memory-resident or loaded and unloaded as you need them; they work fine both ways. Furthermore, both products are fully compatible with all release versions of Atari's TOS operating system. From the smallest 520ST to mightiest TT030, HotWire and MaxiFile III work without fail. CodeHead Software products are well known and widely respected, but some more casual users may have the mistaken impression that these programs are for technical types. Not so! CodeHead Software is for anyone who wants to make the most of his Atari ST/STe/TT. If you aren't using CodeHead Software, you're wasting computing power! For more information, contact us at: CodeHead Software P.O. Box 74090 Los Angeles, CA 90004 Tel (213) 386-5735 Fax (213) 386-5789 ======================================================================= GENIE REAL-TIME-CONFERENCE -------------------------- WITH RICHARD MILLER, ATARI VP of R&D - 5/15/91 ======================================================================= [This conference has been edited for length by the Z*NET Staff, and except for spelling and punctuation, the content presented is not altered. Some questions and answers have been re-ordered in presentation here to provide a more understandable flow. Not all questions or answers that were part of the conference are included. Decisions on editing questions were based on general interest and information content.] (C) 1991 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari Roundtables. May be reprinted only with this notice intact. The Atari Roundtables on GEnie are *official* information services of Atari Corporation. 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 XJM11877, GEnie and hit RETURN. The system will prompt you for your information.
Richard Miller is Vice President of Technology at Atari Corporation. From what I understand, this means that Richard is involved with most of the hardware development that takes place at Atari. So get your hardware questions ready folks... this is the man who can answer them for you. R.Miller: Basically, I'm responsible for hardware engineering and R&D worldwide. Leonard Tramiel takes care of software. No machines have been shipped with high density mechanisms so far. As we previously announced, we will offer inexpensive upgrades in the near future. R.Miller: There are a number of very nice video VME cards on the market and in development from third party companies. The Matrix board is currently available through Goldleaf, and there were others that showed at CEbit. There is no standard for the software interface of VME cards, and therefore no standard drivers exist, unlike, for example, Hercules graphics cards. <[Ron @ GXR] R.GRANT11> Firstly, will there be a 6U VME bus in future models of the TT line? R.Miller: Yes. <[Ron @ GXR] R.GRANT11> And second, any plans to release a customizable MegaSTE HD kit that DOESN'T come with a HD? R.Miller: No. The host adapter will not be available separately. And neither will the plastic cover. You have to buy complete hard disk upgrade kits, with the cover, host adapter, and hard disk. We considered SCSI on the motherboard, but it would have meant adding an extra DMA channel and significant costs. <[George G.] JMGSOFT> Then will Atari be selling 200 MB Hard disks? R.Miller: Yes <[George G.] JMGSOFT> Really? Truly? How long away? R.Miller: In fact, we will be selling drives up to 600mb before the end of the year. I have to say this, no major technology company is in the memory or hard drive business, Sun, Apple, IBM, all avoid commodity products and concentrate on technology. Why the hard drive package? Why the memory boards, etc. What's the strategy here? R.Miller: First, all of those companies *do* sell memory and hard disk upgrades. However, most of the time they don't give you the option. They simply sell a more expensive machine with RAM and hard disk built- in. We compete openly in these areas while also offering competitive, unexpanded versions. I can't discuss specific vendors of hard drives, but some of the new versions have significantly higher transfer rates, on disk caches and access times. These features start at around 400MB, and will cost *more*. <[PD Journal] MIKE.SCHUETZ> Will the ST Book be out after the show in Duesseldorf here in germany possibly? R.Miller: Yes, the ST BOOK *should be* shipping by then, but in limited quantities, because LCD's are on allocation and there is a severe supply shortage. <[Aric] A.FRIESEN> Anyway, can you give use any idea how much the ST Book will cost? R.Miller: Probably around $1500, certainly less than $2000, depending on configuration. [i.e. RAM, HD, modem] <[Z-Net] T.SCHREIBER1> I have heard rumors of a new palmtop being developed - any comments? R.Miller: We are definitely in the palmtop business. And we are going to continue to compete in that arena. Recently a number of new technologies have become available which open up new opportunities. Specifically, 3 volt semiconductors including Intel & Motorola CPUs and various types of RAM and ROM. This allows us to develop very long battery life machines. <[Z-Net] T.SCHREIBER1> The Portfolio...? R.Miller: Yes we are working in that area, although that market is getting pretty crowded now. <[Z-Net] T.SCHREIBER1> Are there any plans to increase the display? R.Miller: This is one of the biggest areas of incompatibility in the Portfolio. It has to be increased. <[Chuck] DATAQUE.1> Welcome!, I was wondering if there would ever be a low-end machine with some type of multi-slot expansion buss? R.Miller: The basic problem with a multi-slot machine is to allow developers sufficient freedom to be able to make interesting cards whilst at the same time insuring that everyone will work correctly together. IBM's have this problem which is why they switched to Micro Channel. There are also problems on NuBus machines. That is not to say there is no solution, and we will be launching multislot machines in the near future and they will work! R.Miller: I'm sure you'll all be pleased to hear the Mega STE got FCC Class B approval today. R.Miller: I'm sure we've already mentioned that a multitasking version of TOS is being worked on. Can't say much more than that. R.Miller: Do you want to know anything about the STylus? We all think the STylus is the opportunity to set a standard in pen input computing. That's mostly because we're starting from a point and click interface anyway, and because we have enough control of our hardware and custom chips... to create a very small and power-efficient, totally compatible product. There will be lots of ST titles that will work out of the box. The expansion port specification will be published by August. This bus is compatible between the ST BOOK and the STylus. As far as software goes, just follow the rules. We don't think we've broken anything. <[Ron @ GXR] R.GRANT11> Will Atari start producing peripherals such as better keyboards and mice for people who would ordinarily have to purchase weird switch boxes and stuff? I mean... I really like the TT keyboard, but it seems that if I wanted to add it to my Mega, I'd have to buy a TT. :-) Can't afford that for my Mega. R.Miller: We never really thought of selling TT keyboards separately. Thanks for the idea. There are already lots of third party mice available. Whatever happened to the Transputer concept? It seems to me that this would be the most cost effective upgrade path (no monitors, etc to worry about, just utilize what is currently available)? R.Miller: The Transputer, now known as the ATW, is alive and well and shipping through Atari U.K. The latest version supports Ethernet, TCPIP, and there have been various other really nice enhancements over the last few months. I was wondering more about the concept. Using a TT as sort of a through box, and adding the latest "wonderchip" to upgrade the existing computer through a plug in box? R.Miller: A company called INMOS in the U.K. have developed a 3U Transputer VME card. It works with or without the ATW, details from Atari U.K. R.Miller: It's been a pleasure. It sounds like the Atari community is still alive and kicking. By the way, I'm very pleased to announce that Lean R.Miller: tramielhn R.Miller: will be appearing i R.Miller: n the very near R.Miller: fut\ R.Miller: futu\ R.Miller: future (kicking and screaming!! I take it you meant Leonard Tramiel (part of that came out garbled on my side here). R.Miller: Sorry. Tramiel noise in the background. Great! I'll be in touch to work out the details. ======================================================================= Z*NET SOFTWARE SHELF -------------------- by Ron Berinstein ======================================================================= Well, I decided to swiftly solve my problems. I would never tell anyone even remotely interested in computers about my software collection again! I found a new girlfriend who now buys me dinner, who opens my car door, and who gives me subtle massages, and who is always there for me when I need her. I immediately ran out and bought a personal cellular phone.. This, so that she can be called to assist me instantly when I require her. I asked the bank to transfer all of my funds to a time certificate, this because I am allowing her to support me. I even changed the name to hers on my computer software charge account at TCN, the local dealer. Yes, I am now set. Finally, I can work, or play on my computer in peace, rest on the new sofa she bought, get a rubdown when I need one, "RTFM" in the comfort of the new reclining chair purchased with her credit card, and listen to the digital, stereo sounds of our new tuner/ amplifier/TV/CD/monitor. After all I feel that if I am to report on the newest software available in the ST market, I should be made to feel comfortable. You know it is a hard job collecting the best of the best! The above story excerpted from, "Dreams and Other Lies That Will Never Happen," my unauthorized biography by Reginald Smith Esq. published by Random Louse, 1991. Under the heading: Give me a BIG Surprise! ACCTS300.ARC (Functional Demo, prg. cost: $189.00) is a very nice surprise to me. The search for business accounting software is a never ending one, and since the demise of B.E.S.T. all are welcome. It is a "biggy" weighing in at just over 437,760 bytes, and is the latest version of the Hi-Tech Accounting program. The only limitation with this demo is that each file only allows 50 entries, but GL, AP, and AR, are all covered.. DCPOPBAR.ARC DC PopBar v.1.0 will give you a popop menu of the menubar entries. This occurs wherever your mouse pointer is. ST and STe compatible. 100% assembly. Under the Heading: "Drawing Conclusions, Are You?" XS_FX.ARC (Shareware $20) is a full featured drawing program that is for both ST & Ste's. You may use 512 or 4096 colors with tools. Boxes, ellipses, circles, line tools tools, bezier curves, and more. A special effects menu plus the ability to create sprites help make this an interesting file. Color cycling and the ability to create rudimentary frames for animation too! Fill patterns, flipping and sizing as well. Under the Heading: "Well Just What Sort Do You Want?" FB175.LZH First Base database program is back with an update. This is an "in-memory database" which makes it very fast to access, sort, or review data. QUICKSORT.LZH is a small file that provides you with a quick sort routine for HiSoft Basic adapted from "Turbo Pascal" by Elliot B. Koffman. It is said to have sorted over 2000 items in about 47 seconds! Hmm, with that kind of record, I think I can get Elliot a job at the local dry cleaners! MULTIDIM.ARC perfect for those who wish to sort a multi-dimensional array in GFA Basic. This is the source code that can be merged into your programs that will do just that. Ascending or descending order can be designed for any array except for boolean arrays. STREE102.ARC (Shareware $10) is perfect for those with a Hard Drive. This .ACC lets you search your drive for files matching some specific specification. Filenames (Wildcards OK), date, time, size, attributes, etc. One is then allowed to "manipulate" the resulting list. ALPGED.ARC is up on CompuServe and this alphabetic GEDCOM file lister produces a listing of GEDCOM v. 2.1 or higher files along with birth and death information. This version (1.05b) fixes a bug with the files produced by Social Security Death Index on CD Rom at the LDS l Libraries. (Hmm, maybe you know what they mean!) Color or Mono. Under the Heading: "Well, What Kind of Stock Do You Place In It?" STOCK_20.ARC (Shareware $35) is a complete stock charting and technical analysis program. You can use it to retrieve daily stock quote data from the free GEnie quote area, and it gives you the ability to turn your data into a stock history file format appending the previous days quotes as well. CAL51.ARC (Shareware $20) is the newest weekly version of CAL, the most recently most updated personal calendar program for you and your ST. New version includes HotWire alarms and DC-Squish compatibility. For those Musically inclined: DIGICOMP.LZH is a new upgrade of NoiseTracker. It gained fame because of it's "Sampled" music files. STE/TT support now in this version, as well as full stereo playback. It plays Amiga .MOD files. TRACKER1.LZH (prg.cost $69.95) demos a new version of TCB Tracker. This reupload has new support numbers and online support info. TCB Tracker allows any user, "even music novices" to create using their ST. Source included, programmers can use the sounds in their own programs, and it is full STe. TRACKER2.LZH (Demo) This is a DEMO showing off TCB Tracker. The file description says that this demo played by your ST when hooked into your stereo system will make others feel that they are listening to a CD or tape! HOUNDOG.MID Finally an Elvis tune up this month. "You Ain't Nothin' But A Hound dog!" And finally last, but not least! SPOCK.LZH is Star Trek's SPOCK SINGING! For Calamus fans: (And did you know that the word Calamus can be defined as a quill, or part of a feather? - Sure you did!) Two font sample files this week were uploaded. You might check out, TALNT.CDK and/or ABSOL.CDK. For HP Laserjet fans: HPTOGD.ARC (PD) is a neat little program that will convert HP Laserjet fonts into GDOS ones! There are a lot of HP fonts, so GDOS fans should have a field day! For those fans of the infamous SLM804: PHNTKIT2.TXT (press release) will explain to you about the Phantom of the Laser Kit from Widgets by Decker. As you know, the 804 has to stay on if your computer is going to boot up. This device lets it rest in the off position until you need it. MYMONO.ARC is an STE Mono emulator that came straight from the land down under. This version might be the fastest emulator of this kind. It also has a software mode that displays 400 lines on a regular color monitor. Noel saw another STE Demo and uploaded it. SINESTE.LZH has a "Thumping Stereo" soundtrack, and over 256 colors on screen! GALLERY.ARC (Shareware $15) will turn any Degas file into a self running /viewing program. Even filename and four lines of information can be included. Now, onward to the jacuzzi for a bit of a rest! The above files were compiled by Ron Berinstein co-sysop CodeHead Quarters BBS (213) 461-2095 from files that were either directly uploaded to CodeHead Quarters BBS, or downloaded from GEnie, Compuserve, and Delphi online services. ======================================================================= ST ACCELERATORS --------------- by Norm Weinress ======================================================================= May 1991 - Premier Issue Copyright 1991 by Quill Publishing, Reprint Permission Granted to Z*NET Online only. May not be reprinted further without permission from Quill. AtariUser Magazine is available without charge to User Groups, Computer Stores, and Book Stores (shipping paid by reciever). 30,000 copies of issue #1 were distributed, 35,000 of the June issue are being released this weekend. Contact Quill for home subscriptions ($15) or to arrange distribution. Call Toll Free, 800-333-3567, 11 AM - 5 PM Pacific time, weekdays. ST ALERT: The Mega/STe computers are coming! The new 16mHz, TT-styled machines are now shipping to the U.S. and Canada at new reduced prices: $1,699 retail for a 2 meg RAM, 50 mbyte hard drive unit. A Mega/STe 1 may become available at or below $1,000 that would have only one meg of RAM and no hard drive, allowing the user to upgrade as he desires later. Fujitsu introduced a 5-1/4" hard disk drive with a capacity of 1600 Megabytes. What does that do for me, you say? Well, small hard drives (under 100 Megabytes) are now becoming a glut on the market. So if you were thinking about getting one, now is a good time. ST STuff - How fast is faster, and how? Most new users of Atari products are impressed with their speed. Windows in GEM move and programs load pretty quickly when compared to Mac or IBM counterparts. But familiarity breeds contempt, and we heavy users constantly look for ways to make the fast faster. Your choices for speeding up your ST or STe are increasing. There are new products announced by FAST Technology, Gadgets by Small, ICD and several German companies. Atari itself is producing the Mega/STe, which is essentially the 1040 STe with an accelerated processor. These devices have taken two directions and it might be useful for you to know something about them. The idea of an accelerator is to replace the microprocessor in your ST computer, a Motorola 68000 running at 8 megaHertz, with something faster. The first direction is to use another 68000, but one running at a faster rate. That rate is usually 16mHz (twice as fast as the original), though 20mHz devices have been announced for release later this year. The advantage of this method is that most software will continue to work on the souped-up ST, but not quite all. A few programs and add-on systems are very sensitive to clock speed, and can't adjust to faster processing. So, these acceleration devices generally come with a switch that lets you slow down to 8mHz for those balky programs. Not all of them accomplish a 100% complete 8mHz mode, however - check it before you buy if you need Spectrum 512 pictures, for example. The second method of speeding up is to use the newer and more powerful 68030 microprocessor, the one that comes with the Atari TT. You'll also need the new TT TOS to make it work, and fortunately Atari has consented to license their TOS for accelerators. This method can really zip along, both because of the inherently faster processing of the 68030 and the selection of available processor chips ranging up to 50mHz. Of course, all this can also cause havoc with some programs, so one manufacturer puts a 68000 on the same board so you can switch over to it for programs that won't run on the new system. Very clever. Of course, you pay for this versatility. If you can stand some more technical talk, bear with me. Because the ST's internal systems must run at the original speed, and the data processing must share the pathways with the ST's screen display system, just adding a faster processor doesn't generate a big speedup. Early accelerators, introduced two years ago, were very disappointing because of that. To REALLY speed things up, the newer boards incorporate fast cache memories. What these do is to transfer the portion of the system memory that is currently being used by the program you're working with, into a special, fast RAM that is on the accelerator board. So, while the regular, slow memory is crawling along and sharing time with the screen display system, your accelerator is running the program in this backup copy of the data in fast RAM, with no need to share it's time with the screen. Now your program runs like greased lightning! When appropriate, the data in fast RAM is written back to regular RAM and another section of the regular memory is written into the fast cache. This way, all the required info that should be saved to disk, or displayed on the monitor, happens like it's supposed to. All the current accelerator boards for the ST and STe use this method. This is also how the Mega/STe accomplishes its 16mHz 68000 speed up. There are small differences in the results you get within each of the two types of accelerator, mainly caused by the way the manufacturer decided to implement the cache. How important these differences are isn't really clear, because benchmarking programs aren't particularly good indicators of actual use. The main thing is, the new accelerators can truly make your ST go like crazy. And they are getting better all the time. But who should buy one? My advice is that if you are using programs that require a lot of memory and calculations, these devices are for YOU! Desktop publishing, CAD, big spreadsheets and the like, are much nicer to use with an accelerator. Just ask yourself how often and for how long you sit, tapping your fingers on the desk, waiting for a screen re-draw or a calculation. Divide your budget surplus by the number of taps to determine your true need for speed. If you use your ST mostly for gaming, then an accelerator won't do much for you, except give you bragging rights at your local Atari club. On second thought, that might be worth it after all. - Norm Weinress The products mentioned are available from: Gadgets By Small 40 W. Littleton Blvd. #210-211 Littleton CO 80120 303-791-0253 Fast Technologies P.O. box 578 Andover, MA 01810 508-745-3810 ICD Inc. 1220 Rock Street Rockford, IL 61101 800-968-2228 BIO: Norm Weinress is an Atari developer and former co-owner of an Atari store in Southern California. He was an electronic engineer for TRW under Sig Hartmann. Norm also hosts the "Spuds" meetings each month for a variety of professional Atari users including programmers, musicians, and writers... but trust me, that's a whole other story. ======================================================================= COMPUTER PUBLICATIONS, UNTLD. ----------------------------- The ST CONNECTION/ST LINK Press Release ======================================================================= Just a few short notes to let everyone in on a few of the things going around here at CPU... ATARI USERS COUPON BOOKS We just finished mailing out the last few batches of the coupon book. Most of you should have received your requested copies by now. If you requested copies and have not yet received them, please leave me a note on GEnie or give us a call at 303/423-6805 and we'll take care of you. (Not many copies left, so hurry!) MAILING LIST UPDATE We just converted our Zoomracks database information over to Tracker ST. It took a little work even with Tracker's great import feature, but everything looks good so far. Of course, there's always the chance for a glitch or two, so if you have problems receiving the May or June issues, once again, please let us know and we'll give it our prompt attention! ST LINK DEBUT SET FOR SEPTEMBER!!! We're excited about this one. Beginning with our September issue, the ST CONNECTION will be going to 16 pages with the inclusion of a desktop publishing "insert". ST LINK will be providing news and information on the desktop publishing environment as it pertains to the Atari ST/Mega line. We will cover all the newest desktop publishing, word processing and graphics products each month as well as reviews on specific programs, fonts and clip art packages. That means all of you interested in public domain and shareware software will still get all the information you are used to in the ST CONNECTION and get to keep up on the rapidly-growing desktop publishing scene as well. And desktop publishers get the added advantage of finding out all about the PD/ shareware scene. If you're interested in both areas, then you're a double winner!!! What could be better? Well, the subscription price is still going to be just $14 per year! ($48 with double-sided Disk-of-the -Month) ATARI USERS COUPON BOOK...AGAIN That's right! We're gearing up for production of the 2nd Edition of the Atari Users Coupon Book. Once again, the booklet will contain coupons for valuable offers and discounts. This book is even going a step further with the addition of a third color and an increase in the distribution amount to 10,000 copies! Information packets will be going out to dealers in just a few days with distribution scheduled for August to ST user groups, Atarifests and ST Connection/ST Link subscribers! Subscriptions Available from: COMPUTER PUBLICATIONS, UNLTD. P.O. Box 2224 Arvada, CO 80001 Phone: 303/423-6805 GEnie: S.SWANSON1 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Z*Net International Atari Online Magazine Issue #91-21 May 17, 1991 (C)1991 Rovac Industries, Inc. ======================================================================= -- Michael Current '93| Internet : email@example.com Carleton College | Cleveland Free-Net : aj848 Northfield, MN 55057 | (507) 663-4962