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Article #155 (730 is last): Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 24-May-91 #721 Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys) Reply-To: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Date: Thu May 30 11:53:32 1991 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" from STR Publishing Inc. """""""""""""""""" May 24, 1991 No.7.21 ========================================================================== 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 350 * Fido Node 1:112/35 * NeST Node 90:3000/350.0 ** 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 __________________________________________________________________ > 05/24/91: STReport #7.21 The Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine! ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU REPORT - MAC REPORT - EDHAK-A Review - VIRUS ON RISE - LEMONADE? - ATW & INMOS - BIG APPLE LAYOFF - USERGROUPS PART II -* SPRING COMDEX COVERAGE! *- -* LOSS OF WORD PERFECT HURTS! *- -* NO ENGLISH TURBO C *- ========================================================================== 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 infor- mation relative to the Atari ST computer arena through an excellent Inter- national ST Mail Network. All registered F-NET - Crossnet SysOps are wel- come to join the STReport Crossnet Conference. The Crossnet Conference Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is # 350. All systems are welcome and invited to actively participate. Support Atari Computers; Join Today! ========================================================================== AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON: GENIE ~ CIS ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ F-NET ========================================================================== > The Editor's Podium Its happened again! Because of our trying to bring as much of the past week's happenings to you, this week's issue is on the "large" side. Therefore, I'll keep the editorial small. 'Tis truly great news to see the Mega STE is class B, now, to see it begin to ship in BIG NUMBERS. Atari is having no problems selling what they have to offer, they do, how- ever, need larger numbers shipped to really excite the US market. Things sure seem better than they were last year at this time. Recently online, folks have been reading about ICD's great hard disk software offerings and its being compared to Atari's AHDI, HDXxxx. Sort of like ... comparing a "Kentucky Derby Champion to a billy goat." Sure, the Atari software does the job, but how sweet it would be if ICD's soft- ware were licensed by Atari and made available to the entire Atari plat- form without the hardware recognition "hobble." ICD provides the finest and most user friendly hard drive software possible. What a marriage, Atari's superb hardware and ICD's premier software. Would be nice...... Start Magazine's chances of rebirth are now comparable to an ice cube's chances in Lucifer Land. Seems all the talk of buyers, changes etc. could very possibly have been a diversion. Seems there is a great need to "buy time" for some reason. Word has it the FTC is now awake and very curious. Hmmm, the more things change, the more they remain the same. In the nasty rumor department, it seems there's a real, first class bruhaha in the works.... If you happen to see the "sparks" ....DUCK! Time will tell this story for sure. Smart money sez it will be THE story of 1991 in the Atari computing arena. Hopefully, it will be settled 'qui- etly behind the scenes.' After all, its the ONLY smart thing to do. thank you again for your continued 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 Robert Allbritton John Szczepanik Dan Stidham Contributing Correspondants: ---------------------------- Michael Lee Richard Covert Roger Stevens Brian Converse Oliver Steinmeier Ed Krimen Tim Holt Andrew Learner Norman Boucher 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 FIDONET....................... 112/35 FNET.......................... NODE 350 NEST.......................... 90:19/350.0 *********************************************************************** 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 (May 24) ST WRITER ELITE 4.0! Bruce Noonan has uploaded version 4.0 of ST Writer Elite! The following files are now available in LIBRARY 1 ("New Uploads") of the Atari Produc- tivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO): STWEL4.ARC - ST Writer Elite 4.0 Word Processor STWELD.ARC - Documentation for ST Writer Elite 4.0 STWGER.ARC - German and Spanish ST Writer Elite 4.0 Word Processor PROGRAM OF THE WEEK FROM DOUBLE CLICK DC ASCII Dump is another program of the week by Double Click Software. DC ASCII Dump will do a screen dump of a TOS or GEM screen as text! This is the only program which does GEM screens as text! 100% assembly. ST, STe and TT compatible. Available in LIBRARY 13 of the Atari Vendors Forum (GO ATARIVEN). NEW SYSOP IN ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM Please join us in welcoming Marty Mankins to the sysop staff of the Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO)! Most of you probably already know Marty from his frequent informative message posts, but in case you haven't met him yet, he is available to help you with your Atari Portfolio! Drop him or any of the other sysops a message with your Portfolio questions. Marty's User ID number is 73217,3305. Welcome aboard, Marty! NEW VERSION OF PBASIC BJ Gleason has uploaded a new version of his BASIC interpreter: PBASIC v4.5, now available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO). Additionally, the following files are also available in LIBRARY 1 of the Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO) courtesy of BJ Gleason: STOPW.ZIP - A multidisplay stopwatch/event counter. Up to 10 timers/event. CLOCK.EXE - Turn your Portfolio into a BIG clock! BM2.ZIP - Battery Monitor Version 2; smaller than the old version. ADDRES.EXE - Address Viewer for the PC, Version 1.0 BATTST.ZIP - Battery Test for the Portfolio, version 1 THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ON COMPUSERVE HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AN OFFICIAL SUPPORT SITE BY ATARI CORPORATION "GO APORTFOLIO TO ACCESS THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM" *********************************************************************** > CPU REPORT ========== Issue # 111 ----------- by Michael Arthur CPU INSIGHTS ============= Apple's System 7.0: Revolution, Evolution, or Adaptation? ---------------------------------------------------------- Ever since OS/2 was introduced, many of its capabilities, such as virtual memory and interprocess communication, have come under much focus in the computer industry. While being praised as the future of the IBM industry, OS/2 has also been used to renew the IBM/Macintosh controversy, in that many are comparing OS/2's features to the Mac's System Software, in a "features checklist war" to see which is the "better" operating system. However, with Presentation Manager's debut, OS/2 has been at a clear advantage in features, as PM gave OS/2 a proven graphical interface to complement its versatility, and as the Mac's System Software began to falter in comparison. While MultiFinder helped to advance the Macintosh's OS, it's limited multitasking ability actually showed some of the Mac's shortfalls. This, along with Steve Jobs' innovations with the NeXT system, only helped to amplify the perception that the Macintosh was fast becoming obsolete. In order to alleviate any fears in the Macintosh market that it's technical edge was lost, Apple recently announced System 7.0, a new version of the Mac OS, which promised to both take the Macintosh into the 1990's with sophisticated, yet vital features, and to extend the Mac's lifespan by helping to fix its inadequacies, and greatly improving on its present capabilities. System 7.0 will be the new standard for the entire Mac product line, running on the Mac Plus, SE and SE/30, and the Mac II family. But there is a price for progress: while Apple has said that System 7.0 will fit in 1 Meg of RAM, it recommends at least 2 Megs of RAM for effective use. However, for the cost of extra RAM, System 7.0 has an impressive list of new capabilities, such as: InterApplication Communication (IAC) Facilities ----------------------------------------------- For several years, the Macintosh's form of IAC operations was the Clipboard, a way to "cut and paste" graphics or text from one application to another. System 7.0 refines the concept of the Clipboard with a new feature called Live Copy/Paste. With the Clipboard, a cut/paste operation was permanent, meaning that if you placed a graph from a spreadsheet rogram to a DTP application, but later updated the graph, you would have to "copy" the graph into the Clipboard and "paste" it into the DTP program again. In Live Copy/Paste, instead of performing a "Cut/Paste" operation, you would "Publish/Subscribe" data. Once you "Published" a graph (by essentially "Copying" it to a disk file called a 'publication'), the spreadsheet program would become a Publisher. In order to "Paste" that graph into the DTP, you would "Subscribe" it. Now, once you revised the graph, the "Publisher" (or the spreadsheet program) would notify the "Subscriber" (or the DTP program) that the graph had been changed, save the graph into a new 'publication, and automatically update the graph that had previously been "Pasted" into the "Subscriber", which would be the DTP program. The reason that "publications" are used, instead of having a direct, two-way data exchange, is that a Publisher can have many Subscribers. This means that, when the graph was updated, the spreadsheet program would perform the same operation on a Word Processing program that had subscribed to the graph, as it did to the DTP program. Simple as quantum physics, isn't it? Another element of System 7.0's IAC abilities is Program-to-Program Communication (or PPC), which extends the function of the Interprocess Communication (or IPC) facilities provided by multitasking OS's. Like IPC, PPC lets a program send messages and commands to other programs running on the system. However, PPC also allows you to send messages through LAN systems, so as to allow programs that are running on disparate systems to "converse", and will store messages sent to a program not currently running, sending them when the program is reactivated. The third component of 7.0's IAC strategy is AppleEvents, a standard set of commands and messages sent through PPC that can control actions of other running applications. For example, a DTP application could use AppleEvents to tell a terminal program to send a full Capture Buffer to itself. So as to fully utilize this, Apple is designing an Arexx-like user-scripting language called AppleScript, which will allow Mac Users to write their own macros for controlling an application's actions using AppleEvents. Interestingly enough, while AppleEvents will be available with System 7.0, AppleScript itself won't be provided until much later. 32-Bit Addressing with Virtual Memory ------------------------------------- Virtual Memory, first used in mainframe operating systems, and recently, in OS/2, is the ability to use hard disk storage as additional memory, so you can use more applications and data than can ordinarily be placed in RAM at one time. It does this by swapping a segment of data that isn't being used by a task or program running on the system, from system memory to a hard disk. Later, when there is enough memory to hold the data segment (or if the task needs to use the data segment), it loads the segment back into memory. However, if there still isn't enough memory to hold the segment, then it simply performes the same procedure on another data segment which hasn't been used by tasks for a while. In order to use virtual memory, the Macintosh will need either the 68851 Memory Management Unit (MMU), for use with a 68020 chip, or a 68030 chip, which has an MMU built in. 68000-based Macs, like the Mac Plus and SE, won't be able to use virtual memory. System 7.0 will allow up to 1 Gigabyte of hard disk storage to be used as virtual memory, but buying more system RAM will still be a wise idea. Reason: Virtual memory can sometimes slow down a system considerably, especially when running some system-intensive applications, such as spreadsheets. System 7.0 will also have a 32-bit memory address space. The Mac now has a 24-bit address space, allowing it to access 16 Megabytes of RAM, because its Memory Manager was designed for the 68000 chip's 24-bit external bus. System 7.0 will now be able to use the 32-bit addressing ability of the 68020 and 68030 chips to access up to 128 Megabytes of physical system RAM. However, the Mac Plus and Mac SE will still only be able to access 4 Megs of RAM, and only applications that are 32-bit clean, having 32-bit handles to access all 32 bits of the 68020's address space, will be able to access this extra memory. Interestingly enough, one of the major innovations in A/UX (Apple's version of Unix), in an ongoing committment to both run "well-behaved" Mac software, and A/UX programs simultaneously, and to allow programs that can run on both the Mac's OS and A/UX, was designing the standard for "32-bit clean" applications. Outline Fonts and Typographic Line Layout ----------------------------------------- One of the main reasons for PostScript's quick rise as a printing standard, especially in the Mac world, is its use of outline font technology. Using mathematical descriptions of lines and curves to specify characters, outline fonts retain their appearance when scaled to any point or size, and can be twisted, rotated, and generally manipulated without degradation of quality. In comparison, bitmapped fonts cannot be scaled, twisted, rotated, or manipulated without a loss of quality, and in order to fully utilize DTP software, one would have to have an entire library of files just to cover all of the possible sizes of a bitmapped font. However, if you used an outline font, you would only need to scale it to the size that you required, and only need one file on disk to cover any possibilities. It was this type of appeal that secured Postscript's place as an industry standard. However, Apple has expressed a desire to remove Postscript from its product line's appeal, and in an effort to do this, System 7.0 uses TrueType, the outline font standard being marketed by Microsoft. System 7 will also function with existing Mac bit-mapped fonts. One disadvantage of outline fonts is that they don't display/print well with low-resolution monitors or printers. In order to make them look as good on these displays as on high resolution or laser printer output, Apple's outline fonts have support for grid fitting, which tells System 7.0 how to modify the font's appearance so it looks its best at a particular resolution. In addition to a standard set of outline fonts, other font vendors (including Afga Compugraphic, Casady & Greene, and Bitstream) will be selling Truetype- compatible outline fonts that should work on both System 7.0 and Microsoft Windows 3.1 (which Microsoft has indicated will also use TrueType). System 7.0 will also have support for typographic line and text layout. This will be useful in kerning, right/left justification, and in displaying and printing foreign languages that don't have letters based on the Roman alphabet, such as Japanese and Hebrew. Finder 7.0, Enhanced MultiFinder -------------------------------- The Macintosh Finder has long been considered the front-runner in Graphical User Interface (GUI) technology. Due to its innovations in the field (combined with Apple's marketing expertise), it has become a litmus test, by which many GUI's have been compared. However, in the past few years many of Mac Finder's innovations have been met or surpassed, by newcomers like Open Look and NextStep, and by old favorites like Windows and GEM. In an effort to revitalize it, System 7.0 has made many improvements to Mac Finder. First, all menu items, including those on the Menu Bar, and hierarchical submenus, will be able to be detached, or "torn off" from their original locations. In order to install fonts and Desk Accessories, all one will need to do is to place them in the System "Folder", instead of using the Font/DA Mover. Similarly, in order to print a document from the desktop, one will simply have to drag it onto a Printer Icon. As far as the Finder's desktop is concerned, some helpful additions have been made. One will be able to play a sound, activate a Desk Acc, show samples of a font, or perform a varied set of actions by double clicking on the appropriate icon. One will also be able to create an alias, or an icon which represents another icon, and which is capable of accessing it. Aliases would be useful in many instances, such as filing an icon by subject in one folder, and using its icon's alias to organize it by date in another folder. Also, when one manipulates or zooms a window, the Finder will only scale it enough to show its contents, and one will also be able to display a help screen on any icon or menu bar. Finder 7.0's most important feature, however, may be its file-search capabilities. The Finder will be able to search for files containing a word or phrase, for files edited within a certain date or time, for files that are a certain size, or for any number of combinations or file characteristics in between. Also, MultiFinder will be able to temporarily hide any or all of the windows of open applications operating in the background, resulting in easier system use, and faster overall graphics performance. The last benefit is due to the fact that MultiFinder won't have to take up so much CPU time on graphics operations for background windows.... Audio/Sound Toolkits -------------------- With System 7.0, Apple has put a great deal of emphasis into the area of how the Mac handles sound, in all its forms. System 7.0 features a MIDI Toolkit for Mac MIDI programs, and multiple audio channel support with a multichannel sound mixer for various sound effects. 7.0 also has real-time event sequencing for sound/graphics demos, and uses algorithms to compact sound files by a 3:1 or 6:1 ratio, as well as playing the archived files in real time. Communications Toolbox, Print Architecture ------------------------------------------ The Macintosh's telecommunications support has always had room for improvement. Besides the early problems with the buggy serial driver included in the 64K Mac ROMs, Mac applications have never had a standard way to configure modem communication parameters, such as the baud rate and the number of stop bits, and in order to do so, had to access the serial drivers directly. To solve this problem, Apple has introduced the Communications Toolbox. Designed (like 32-bit QuickDraw) to work with earlier versions of System Software, the Communications Toolbox provides a ser of device-independent routines for applications to use in controlling I/O activity. For example, while low-level serial drivers will still be necessary for modem use, they will now be used by the Communications Toolbox. It will then provide Macintosh terminal programs with a set of standard dialog boxes for configuring things like baud rates, word sizes, and stop bits. The Communications Toolbox also has support for standard terminal emulation and file transfer protocols, also through dialog boxes. Apple has also developed a new Print Architecture, for improved color and gray-scale printing, custom page sizes, and background printing, as well as a new Print dialog panel, for a standardized set of print options. But while it is compatible with old Mac programs, this Print Architecture will require new printer drivers. System 7.0 has other improvements, including support for the CL/1 Remote Database Access language, allowing Mac applications to access SQL databases located on other computers, improvements to its Hierarchical File System (such as faster directory searches, unique ID numbers for all files, and hooks for accessing files from DOS, OS/2, and ProDOS disks), and Desktop Manager, a new utility for managing large amounts of files. System Software Version 7.0, released this week by Apple,truly is an impressive leap forward that shows promise in helping revitalize the aging Macintosh, helping it to escape obsolescence in the 1990s. However, while it does have many impressive new features, some of these features seem to be works in progress, as System 7.0's outline font and DTP functionality pales in comparison to Postscript, its main competition. Also, many other preferred features, such as complete multitasking capabilities for MultiFinder and full memory protection for Mac programs, has been left for later incarnations of the Mac's System Software. But this in itself may be a good sign, as it indicates that the Macintosh still has some untapped potential. And an obsolete computer is one that lacks potential. > CPU STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Issue #22 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. - San Jose, California J.D.POWER RANCS PC'S -------------------- J.D. Power, a market-research firm best known for ranking customer satisfaction with car makers, listed the 10 computer manufacturers that consumers like the best. Topping the list is Texas mail-order computer maker Dell Computer Corp. one index point above Apple Computer Inc. Surprisingly, IBM ranked below the industry average in the eyes of these users. Manufacturer Ranking Manufacturer Ranking Dell 125 Apple 124 AST 117 Hewlett-Packard 116 Everex 113 CompuAdd 106 Compaq 106 Epson 104 Toshiba 103 NEC 101 (100 = The industry average rating for a company) - Atlanta, Georgia IBM MAKES WORLD'S FASTEST MULTICHIP ---------------- In an announcement made at the Electronic Components and Technology Con- ference in Atlanta, IBM said that it has set a record for speed and closeness in a 121-chip ceramic package capable of speeding along elec- tricity at 280 million miles per hour. Engineers say they have packed a new glass ceramic chip bundle measuring five inches square with 121-chip packages spaced only three-eighths inches apart. The design of the package, an evolution of IBM's patented "Thermal Conduction Module" (TCM), invented in 1980, resembles a multi- layered club sandwich with chips bonded directly to a 63-layer slice of the glass ceramic. 140 feet of thin copper wires - each only 1/1,000th inch thick - link the chips together. - San Jose, California BUSINESSLAND IN TROUBLE - CHPTR. 11? -------------------- NEXT CUTS TIES, IBM GIVES CREDIT Effective at the end of May, Next Computer Inc. and Businessland Inc. will terminate their sales agreement, an agreement that's been in effect since March 1989. The severing of relations comes as Businessland teeters on the brink of bankruptcy According to Next, the two companies have taken different directions and "Next is expanding its independent retail dealer channel for sales to small and medium size businesses and has expanded its direct sales force and VAR and systems integrator channels for sales to corporate cus- tomers." Businessland, once one of the strongest retail chains in the country with 62 stores and branch offices throughout the world, suffered various financial blows over the past two years and has had six consecutive quarterly losses, and may seek either Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection or a buyer to take over the company. With Businessland nearly on the rocks, IBM Corporation has thrown it a life jacket; a line of credit so that it can continue to sell and ship IBM products. - Redmond, Washington TETRIS INVENTOR HAS NEW GAME ------------------- Alexy Pajitnov, the inventor of Tetris, is now working on a new game, Hatris, for Bullet Proof Software. The soviet game inventor, is in the U.S. as a Soviet citizen in a trade relationship between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Pajitnov has written 5 games which are sold in both America and in Japan. Pajitnov, a graduate in applied mathematics from Moscow Institute of Aviation in 1979, attributes his interest in game puzzles to his ear- ly teens, when he broke his leg and needed something to occupy himself. Hatris is planned for release on the Nintendo Game Boy system in June, with versions for the new 16-bit Nintendo Entertainment system, and for the personal computer as well. - Washington, D.C. SPA MAKES AN 'OOPS' --------------- Last week, the Software Publishers Association (SPA) dropped a software piracy suit against Snap-on Tools. The suit was apparently dropped when Snap-on employees were able to convince SPA watchdogs that they were in legal possession of the questionable software. - Guildford, Surrey, England WINDOWS SUPPORT FOR AUTOCAD -------------------------- According to Autodesk, a Windows extension kit for AutoCAD, their computer-aided design software, is under active development and is expected to ship in the first half of next year. The kit will enable users to run AutoCAD Release II under DOS, under Windows, or in both en- vironments interchangeably. - White Plains, New York IBM ANNOUNCES PS/2 PRICE CUTS ---------------------- IBM has joined the personal computer price cutters. On the heels of price reductions by its arch-rival, Compaq, plus Texas Instruments, Dell, and others, IBM has reduced prices on several Personal System/2 (PS/2) models by six to 24 percent. - Cupertino, California APPLE TO LAYOFF 1560 --------------------- Apple Computer will institute an across-the-board layoff of 10 percent of its 15,600 workforce this fiscal quarter, and will restructure parts of the company in order to be more profitable. Ironically, much of this Apple's current financial problems are due to the overwhelming success of the Macintosh Classic. This has forced Apple to revamp its market strategy, from one which emphasized high-gross margins to that of a volume dealer. Customer demand for Apple's Macintosh, the company says, has soared, increasing unit shipments in the company's last reported fiscal quarter by over 85 percent. Apple says it will take a number of other short-term and long-term actions -- including relocating and consolidating some functions and reducing management levels -- to reduce expenses. - Toronto, Ontario COMMODORE OFFERS NEW 386, 486 PCS IN CANADA ---------------- Commodore Business Machines has introduced three new 25mhz personal computers using Intel's 80386 and 80486 processors. These new systems will cost from $3,599 to $7,999 (Canadian). """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= As a reader of STReport International Online Magazine, you are entitled to take advantage of a special DELPHI membership offer. For only $29.95 ($20 off the standard membership price!), you will receive a lifetime subscrip- tion to DELPHI, a copy of the 500-page DELPHI: THE OFFICIAL GUIDE and over $14 worth of free time. NOTE: Special offers can be found in your favorite Atari magazines: START CURRENT NOTES ST INFORMER ATARI INTERFACE MAGAZINE SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN -- DELPHI -------------- 1. Dial 617-576-0862 with any terminal or PC and modem (at 2400 bps, dial 576-2981). 2. At the Username prompt, type JOINDELPHI. 3. At the Password prompt enter STREPORT. For more information call: DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005 or at 617-491-3393 from within Massachusetts or from outside the U.S. DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, Mass. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT -------------------- The 20/20 Advantage Plan IS FANTASTIC! And it features 20 hours online for just $20 a month! The $20 is a monthly fee that covers your first 20 hours online via direct dial into one of DELPHI's two direct-access lines, or via a special Tymnet 20/20 Access code. It also gets you additional hours at just $1.20 per hour. And you get free access to several services on DELPHI as part of the Advantage Perks. Other telecom services may have additional charges. Canadian Tymnet users have an additional telecom charge. Office Time access (7 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekdays) may have an additional charge. And of course, other restric- tions may apply. But this is still an amazing deal! For more information please contact: DELPHI at 1-800-544-4005 and ask for Member Services. DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > STR Mail Call Letters to the Editor ============= Date: 18-May-91 23:19 EDT From: Charles Hill [76370,3045] Subj: STR719 Atari NEWS 1st! TO: Ralph Mariano/70007,4454 FROM: Charles E. Hill/76370,3045 RE: ST Report #720 Ralph, In reference to the STAND-ALONE VIDEO TOASTER article in the most recent ST Report...I'd like to offer further clarification. 1) The Amiga is selling hotter than ever (unit sales up over 100% world-wide last quarter [according to the quarterly report]. This hardly constitutes a "fading" market. . 2) The stand-alone Toaster looks like an Amiga 2000 because it IS an Amiga 2000. Specifically, Commodore is selling OEM units to New Tek consisting of an Amiga 2000, Commodore A2091 hard drive controller, a Quantum 50Q hard drive, 3 Mb of RAM and no Commodore/Amiga face plate. The Toaster resides in the video slot of the Amiga. All the features mentioned in the article (24-bit paint program, color processing engine, etc.) all come bundles with the Toaster whether it is the Amiga internal board ($1495) or the New Tek OEM Amiga unit ($3995). New Tek has made no other modifications to the OEM machine. Interestingly enough, the OEM unit has a 7.14 MHz 68000 w/3 Mb RAM. The Toaster requ- ires a _minimum_ of 3 Mb to run, and then you must unload it to use the paint or color processor. New Tek recommends 5 - 7 megs of RAM (to run everything concurrently [multitasking] and more for large presentations or animations. They also recommend an accelerated Amiga (68030/68882 based) for operations. As for specifically designed for the broadcast TV market -- that is simply the Amiga. It's bus runs at 7.14 MHz (or 14.28 MHz depending on the mach- ine) which is what NTSC video is [no coincidence]. -Chas *********************************************************************** :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!! <- GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission *********************************************************************** > The Flip Side STR Feature "...a different viewpoint.." ========================= A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee About the new AT-SPEED C16 from J.Webb - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... To those of you who may be considering an IBM/DOS emulator, I thought I could give you some insight into the newest device out there, the AT-SPEED C16. This is a 16 mhz version of a CMOS 80286 machine. I just recently installed it in my old 1040 ST and it runs GREAT!! The whole process took about 45 minutes, with the software installation taking an additional 15 minutes. One hour to a FAST, FAST IBM (it blows my friends 10 mhz clone away). A [few] things to mention. One, my machine is a very old 1040, with the CPU near the disk drive. You do have to snip some plastic support for the drive away, but they can be placed elsewhere, and the finished product can not be distinguished form a non-modified ST. Second, I did not install the co-processor. I can only guess how much that will speed up floating point processes. Third, I have run up against a problem of not being able to access SCSI 0, LUN 1 my second, larger hard drive. I have to settle for three partitions totaling about 30 meg (TOS 1.0 in these old relics you know!!) Lastly, watch out for complex sound calls. It WILL lock up the mac- hine. Many of the newest games have these digitized sounds that seem to be too much for the algorithms. If your software has a no sound option though, you are good to go! Well, that's about it for now. So far, I am thrilled with the speed, and I run a 368/33 in my office. I am using pfsWrite to prepare this document, and it rips along even during spell checking. No more slow disk I/O, no more slow screen draws. This puppy hums. If anyone out there comes across a way around the sound or drive issues, please drop me a line. Any one interested in more specific info on the installation or performance, write me too... ADDENDUM: ...the installation was very straight forward, and shouldn't be a problem for the average user. Regarding the info on how I got it, I spoke with a gent at Talon named Ashley. He indicated that this new version was just getting ready to ship from Germany. It was $450 plus $50 for a virtual memory driver for use in DOS. The virtual memory driver makes my hard drive act like extended/expanded memory. Beyond that, it has been so easy to setup and use, that I'm taking it for granted. The only problem I have is with complex sound calls which frankly are the domain of games, and I prefer my ST mode for games! ---------------- A Seagate hard drive problem - questions and replies - from the ST RoundTable on Genie... From Nevin Shalit... Help! My old not-so-trusty Seagate 65 meg drive (277N?) is really freaking out. About 10 times yesterday when reading or writing it sort of restarted. It just made all the startup sounds it makes when it starts up, and I had to turn everything off and reboot. Any ideas what's going on? Help is on the way from Larry Rymal.... Your trusty old Seagate 65 meg drive is fine. Just clean your mechanism's power connectors and check your ground wire. Unplug the connectors, clean them, plug them back in. Your Seagate will be back up to snuff. I have to do this treatment every three months on my Seagate 296N and it makes the same noises as you say. I think what's happening is that resistance is building up in the connectors as surface corrosion sets in. The power supply is marginal and the resistance is just enough to push the power requirements past what you have. Confirmation from Jim Allen (FastTech)... Larry's right Nevin, I had the same thing happen, it was just the power connectors at the power supply, check them all out, clean them, and bend all the tabs in so you get a real good connection when plugged in. A happy Seagate owner - from Nevin Shalit... T H A N K Y O U.....Larry and Jim..! ....my hard drive did its restart thing about 4 times. It was horrible. I read your messages and cleaned all the power supply con- tacts and pushed them in firmly, and since then NO problems at all. I owe you each a beer...! ------------------ There have been some reports that DynaCADD (the demo and the complete version) doesn't work properly if UIS III is installed. It supposedly locksup right after a part is selected. Here's how to fix that problem and be able to use DynaCADD and UIS III together - From the ST RoundTable on Genie...Fix from Lloyd Pulley... You do not have to disable UIS III to use DynaCADD. To get UIS III to work with DynaCADD, just... 1) Open up UIS III 2) Click on the "Universal Item Selector III" name, this will allow you to go into the option menu. 3) At the top of the option window, you'll see another "Universal Item Selector III". Click on it and it will turn black (reverse colors). 4) Now save this configuration. ...Now you'll find DynaCADD works just fine. (NOTE: Anytime you run into a program that doesn't work properly with UIS III, give this a try. Sometimes it will fix the problem.) More information from Alan Hamilton... The reverse video title has to do with the way UIS does redraws. It normally uses a buffer, but this won't work with some programs. With the title highlighted, it will issue regular redraw messages. ------------------ Have you ever wanted to use a PC keyboard with your ST? Now you can, Larry Rymal tells us about the D.E.K.A. interface device - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... The D.E.K.A. interface device allows you to connect any PC keyboard to ANY Atari ST/TT computer. Earlier devices like this experimented with using the MIDI port. The D.E.K.A. actually replaces things from the keyboard end. This makes it fast! On a 1040STf, you merely open the case, unplug your keyboard connector, plug in the D.E.K.A. wiring harness, install a provided modular plug onto the plastic ST case, close the case up, plug in the D.E.K.A., and plug in your favorite IBMish keyboard to the D.E.K.A. Works great and I love it! There are a lot of keyboard variations that one can have for the ST now, whereas before, we had to use whatever BEST products would give us with their keyboard switches. You can buy the Mega keyboard and harness it in (not THAT difficult) but, although its quality is great (I have one), its feel is nothing like what you can get when you select your own clone keyboard. Now, you have your choice of whatever IBMish keyboard you want. I bought a cheap CompuDyne 101+ keyboard for $35.00! This is a sturdy clone keyboard, has a great feel, and of course, is cheap. By the way, support from Omnimon is fantastic and support continues to optimize the product. Fixes have been fast and furious as the D.E.K.A. interface is being exposed to more and more ST variations. Recall that not all STs are created equal. The D.E.K.A. has joystick/barcode scanner support built-in, mouse and joystick ports (scans up to twice the speed of the original Atari ports), and an optional internal Ni-Cad battery-backup clock. More information on D.E.K.A. from Paul Wu (WuzTEK) - from the ST Round- table on Genie... The DEKA's MSRP is $129.95. We sell them direct for $99.95 (for those poor souls that don't have access to a dealer) We accept MasterCard, Visa, and COD. You can contact us at: 714/753-9253 Omnimon Peripherals One Technology Drive Building 1E, Suite 301 Irvine, California 92718 ---------------- From Lee Seiler (Lexicor) - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... We are nearly ready to release the 24Bit card for the ST. It comes as a Kit (you plug in one chip) so FCC regs are met, and install it into the 68000 socket. You must install a plug (drill 1 hole for a new monitor jack) in the back, and zap you have "true Color". What you will have is 24 Bit Color with a palette of 16,000,000 colors with 26 on the screen at any one time (for now). The Resolution is 512x512, this is in the standard ATARI RGB format, so you don't need a new monitor. Any SC1224 will work just fine. You will see a full screen which just happens to be smaller than the screen resolution we are using. This is not an overscan system, just full screen. There is just one catch at the moment, you must run our software or should I say only our software will run in this new color environment (sic). We will have a developers kit soon so that other ATARI software developers can port to the new color world about to hit the ST world. Best of all is the price!!! Our current target price $300 to $400 But not more. LEXICOR is now shipping Phase-4 products, Rosetta, Chronos,Prism Paint and Prism render. ---------------- About Turbo-C from Rick Flashman (Gribnif) - Cat. 17, Topic 13, Message 52 from the ST Roundtable on Genie... There isn't an official distributor of Turbo-C ST in North America. However, we at Gribnif Software are set up as the 'equivalent' of a Turbo-C ST Dealer and are therefore have several copies in stock. Give us a call at (413) 584-7887 for information on how to get it and such. The price for the professional version is $275. About Turbo-C from Rick Flashman (Gribnif) - Cat. 17, Topic 13, Message 72 from the ST Roundtable on Genie... I talked to the writer of Turbo C the other day. This is all the information I have now: 1. Future versions of Turbo C will come from his company "Pure Software" (product will probably be called "Pure C"). 2. Somehow, we at Gribnif will make be able to handle interim up- grades (those are the minor upgrades) directly from our offices. More as details are worked out with Pure Software. 3. If you have any suggestions for future versions of Turbo C, let me know NOW (send E-Mail to R.FLASHMAN) and I will forward it to the programmer. 4. Even though the product will be renamed and will no longer be carried by Borland, by order of Borland USA the product can still NOT be translated to english. About Turbo-C from Dan (Gribnif) - Cat. 17, Topic 13, Message 54 from the ST Roundtable on Genie... ...Turbo Debugger does only work in 1-bitplane resolutions, unfortunately. While it will work with an SM124 (even with Overscan), a Viking/Moniterm, or TT High rez, it will not work in any resolution that uses more than one bitplane, sorry. [Version] 2.0 is the current version. We have been informed that the software development team responsible for TC has purchased the rights for TC from Borland GmbH and will soon be releasing it independently, probably under a different name. As soon as we know more about this, we will pass it on. The compiler, assembler, and debugger work fine on the TT. While the assembler can generate 68030 code, the compiler can only go up to 68020 right now. However, 68030-specific code will not run on a 68000-based machine (ST), so this is not a big drawback. While I have not personally seen Lattice C v. 5 for the ST, I am told that though it will generate slightly faster code under certain circumstances, the programming environment it provides is nowhere near as easy to use as that of Turbo C. Nonetheless, Lattice C seems to be a very good package, from my understanding. ---------------- About the new 'Phantom of the Laser' from V.PATRICELL1 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... I received the Phantom of the Laser modification a few days ago and had it installed by a friend yesterday. It works as advertised! My laser is off with the backdoor closed and I do not have to turn it on until I am ready....nice! The [installation] instructions were excellent, although you should have some experience with electronic assembly techniques before attempting to install it yourself. This was $25 well spent! ---------------- Comments about "Mega Traveler - The Zhodani Conspiracy" from B.STAHL, Cat. 9, Topic 64, Message #1 on the ST RT on Genie... Got it yesterday. Runs nicely from the hard drive, or just about any combination of floppies you could have, as long as at least one is double-sided. Copy protection is off-disk, look-it-up in the docs. Documentation is pretty good, having not only a glossary but an actual index. Character creation is pretty good, too, if you don't like the looks of one, scrap him and try another; up to 15 held in the "pool". Haven't played it enough to comment on game play. ---------------- From Doug Wheeler (ICD) - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... The ICD BBS phone # is (815) 968-2229. ---------------- A man's ST and printer rescued by Computrol - from E.GORELIK, Cat. 14, Topic 6, Message 22, from the ST Roundtable on Genie... A few days ago I incurred some heavy damage to my computer system and I think other Atarians may be able to benefit from a cautionary tale. In the March 1987 issue of ST-LOG, Matthew Ratcliff ("ST Nightmare Repair") related how he had fried the 74LS374 octal latch buffer chip in his Gemini printer and the Yamaha YM-2149 sound chip in his ST simultaneously by disconnecting the printer from his ST while the latter was still on. After reading that article in '87 I immediately discontinued my habit of freely connecting and disconnecting parallel printer to and from ST while the latter was on; from that point on, I did it only rarely, and making sure that the printer was off when I did so. The other night I disconnected the cable from my printer at a time I thought the printer was off. I then inserted the cable coming from a different computer (IBM). The print-head reacted at once, and I realized that the printer had been on all during this operation. After firing up the IBM I found that I couldn't print with it. I thought I had damaged the IBM. Careful testing, though, showed that the ST could not print with a second printer while the IBM could, so by deduction it was the ST and 1st printer that had been simul- taneously damaged, and not the IBM at all. In retrospect, the damage must have occurred when I had disconnected the ST's cable from the printer, just as had happened to Matthew Ratcliff 4 years ago. When I called NEC they told me I was looking at a $200+ charge for a new motherboard on the printer, not counting the labor. I then called Eugene Varshafsky, of Computrol. He was familiar with the problem, saying he had made many similar repairs. A friend carted my ST and printer to his shop, and he repaired both machines the same afternoon (took a few hours), replacing the Yamaha chip in the ST and a small buffer chip in the printer. His bill came to $150, including tax--for two machines, both of which are in full operation again, and thus rescuing me very quickly from a truly nasty predicament. I have to say that Computrol really came through for me in this situation, and deserves a lot of credit. Consider that the tech- nicians at NEC, in possession of the full schematics for the printer and intimately familiar with their own machine, told me that it would be so much of a hassle tracking down and replacing the damaged components that it would be easier and cheaper for them to just replace the whole motherboard, and that they never operated any other way under such circumstances; Varshafsky had to track down and repair the damage with only the partial schematics, published in the printer's handbook; and not only did he succeed, but he also fixed my ST at the same time, and all for under $140 (plus tax) total, and the same day, to boot. (Not to mention, also, the fact that he was still incensed at me for the many angry messages I had left concerning him and Computrol a few months back here on GEnie.) ---------------- Until next week..... ____________________________________________________________ > EDHAK! STR Review Let's Take a LOOK! ================= EDHAK -- GOOD STUFF! ==================== by Dan Stidham Two weeks ago, in the Windsor show report, I touched briefly on some of the major features of the commercial release of EdHak version 2.13. EdHak has been previously released in the shareware domain as a popular, albeit quick and dirty, text editor. Craig Harvey of Clear Thinking Softw- are, its author, has worked hard at making this a first class editor au extraordinaire. Using a Mega ST4 and an SM124 monitor and a Viking 2400 (big screen) monitor, I have put it through its paces. I have found not a few useful features and will report on those and a few caveats. OmniEditor.... -------------- EdHak could just have well been named The OmniEditor or OmniED (but, no, Craig didn't check with me!) as Craig has endeavored, and largely suc- ceeded, in making this utility a one-stop shop for all of your editing needs. EdHak has the ability to edit text files, data files, binary files, disk and RAM sectors. EdHak ran in all four resolutions available to this reviewer, inclu- ding Moniterm 1280 by 960, ST hi-res, medium-res and low-res. In low-res EdHak works rather elegantly, automatically handling the horizontal movem- ent of the window, effectively handling the 40 column limitation by creat- ing an 80 column virtual screen. Good thing too as EdHak has no horizon- tal scroll bar ( I think I remember Craig giving me a reason for this but I don't recall--must not have been important--just kidding). EdHak is also missing the lower right hand corner button that is used in standard GEM windows as a resizing button. The only resizing EdHak affords is on the Y axis (vertically) by using the close button as a toggle for a full screen (80 by 24) or half-screen (80 by 12). I found this to be somewhat limiting on my Moniterm as I found myself wanting to move the EdHak window horizontally so I could view directory windows and desktop icons hidden by EdHak's window. But it seems as though EDHak was recognizing only the leftmost 640 pixels of the 1280 afforded by the Moniterm horizontally, although it did allow me complete vertical movement over the 960 vertical pixel spectrum. EdHak also does not allow you to move a portion of your window off screen; its either all or nuttin'. Craig does have a new release (version 3.0) that is imminent and should address some of these limitations. Lets get virtual... ------------------- EdHak has a very interesting and smart feature that almost enables you to have your cake and eat it too. EdHak allows you to choose a buffer of any size from 4K ad infinitum, but because EdHak handles the editing and loading of ANY size file, the choice of buffer size is more a function of speed than necessity. Speed? Yes. Because EdHak manages its buffer con- tents as one continuous block of ram, if your buffer is too large, (Craig advises keeping it at 20K or lower) it can slow down insert and delete operations performed near the beginning of the buffer. I can testify from experience that this slow-down is appreciable and was reminiscent of deleting text in a DTP program. Yeah, you say, but I have lots of files much bigger than 20K. This is where necessity almost becomes a non-issue as pertaining to buffer size. When you load in text or data files, disk or ram sectors that are bigger than your buffer, EdHak allows you to choose the portion of the file you want loaded. When you reach the bottom or upper limit of your buffer, EdHak gives you an alert box and asks you if you want to shift to the next or previous portion of your file. EdHak then checks to see if any changes have been made to the outgoing buffer and, if there have been any changes, EdHak gives you the option of saving changes first. If you clicked on yes, EdHak will take care to string together the buffer-residing text with the old text residing on disk. After this chore has been accomplished a new buffer-sized block is loaded into ram. EdHak's virtual handling of files also has the added benefit of reduc- ing memory overhead when running as an accessory. I have found that EdHak takes approximately 94K of memory with a 15K buffer configuration and '- full hacking mode' activated. Ascii me about text file editing... ----------------------------------- Text editing features are complete and include such standards as word wrap, find, search and replace, reformat and many extras including func- tion key text macros, searching and replacing of all 256 ascii characters in hex, decimal or text mode, and insertion of any ascii character. All operations are executed via machine language instructions, therefore as long as your buffer is at a manageable size (20K or smaller), you'll find scrolling, saving and loading to be much faster than the competition. But there's so much more... --------------------------- But EdHak provides much more utility to further enhance its editing capabilites. Pressing ALT-U allows you to send any marked block within the buffer, or the entire buffer itself, to a serial port. EdHak gives you three uploading 'metering' options when you send your marked block: none(- fast), medium and slow. I personally tried this option at all three speeds in a session on GEnie and got less than satisfactory results. Not Craig's fault though as I haven't yet found a program (including STeno) that can dance too well with GEnie in this regard. This feature worked much better on the local BBS. Moving on, you can launch a program (PRG not TOS or TTP) from within EdHak (works best when using EdHak as a program); append and merge files at cursor points of your choosing; insert the system date into your file simply by pressing ALT-D; encrypt confidential files that can be read only by entering a password; cause EdHak to autoload the file of your choice by activating that option in the configuration menu; automatically send a printer initialization string with every file prin- ted. Alt-T stands for... ------------------- Well as Craig put it, "T stands for toggle". After running the program or entering it via a desk accessory slot (can be run as either genus by changing the extender) one finds himself in text mode automatically. This cannot be changed in the configuration. If, though, you have saved a prev- ious configuration in which you have chosen the ability to go into "full hacking mode" you can enter the "Hak" mode by toggling 'Alt-T' and sudden- ly instead of just the text, all 256 ascii characters are displayed wit- hout any formatting. Although I am sure this has its practical uses (one of which is to find out why your text file is printing out unwanted space- s--a hidden TAB character somewhere?) this mode was really meant to avail oneself of EdHak's disk sector and ram sector editing features. Gotta be careful ---------------- I have put the disk sector editing capabilites to the test and came away with some pretty favorable impressions. I inserted a floppy into d- rive A, deleted a file and then went to hacking. Loading the disk sectors was as easy as loading a file except you leave the filename part of your item selector blank. A dialog box then asks whether you want to search for a string (text, hex or decimal) or just pick a starting sector point. S- ince boot sectors are at the beginning of a disk I chose to start at point 0. Since I have a 15K buffer EdHak loaded in as much as that would allow (26 sectors at 512 bytes per sector). Almost immediately I found the FAT table, deleted the funny character that designated this file as deleted and inserted the proper first character. While I was at it I saw one other file that was toiling in deleted oblivion and I rescued it also (it just seemed to scream, "Take me with you!"). I then hit ALT-S for save and another dialog box appeared asking me to enter the sector at which to s- tart writing the 26 sector buffer contents to disk--of course in almost all cases you leave this alone or you could destroy your FAT contents entirely. After a split second the deed was done and I exited EdHak and double-clicked on disk icon A. There the newly restored files sat, smiling in the bright sunshine of day. But alas, you must be very, very careful when attempting this sort of search and rescue mission. If the disk or partition is really valuable, back it up first. For instance...for the benefit of the reader and at the peril of my 100 meg ABCO drive, I decided to delete a file in an obscure partition of my hard drive that I keep solely for GEnie arc file downlo- ads. After deleting this file, I went into EdHak out of its desk acces- sory slot and typed in ALT-O to open a new file. When the file selector came up I chose the partition where my file lay at my mercy and left the filename portion of the selector blank. Immediately EdHak went into Hak mode and eventually I found the copy of the FAT table. I found the del- eted file, reinserted a proper first character in its filename and pressed ALT-S. When I went back to check on the partition, its window contents cheerily informed me that I had 0 bytes in 0 files. I loaded the sectors back into EdHak, but this time I started the load at a point that would include a few sectors beyond the FAT table. It was here that I lea- rned about the second FAT table. "Hmmmmm....lets make the same change in the second FAT table, resave the sectors back out to disk and cross our fingers." Yup, it worked. Back came all my files and even the ones I had just restored. For your info... ---------------- Sooo...I can say that as a disk editor, EDHak will do what you want it to, with a very nice interface, but be careful! Although Craig warns of the risks of hacking around in this fashion, I feel he could have dedic- ated a few valuable sentences in his manual in giving some "...if you in- sist..." advice. That aside, Craig does afford the hacker plenty of online help while in Hak mode. The bar at the top of the GEM window that is used to drag the window to another portion of the desktop also includes some valuable info. While in text mode two bits of info are given in this for- m--"L:00087 C:049". "L:00087" means line number 87 while "C:049" means 49th column or 49th character on that line; a very nice and easy way to perform various formatting functions while in text mode. While in Hak mode two differing bits of info are given, in this form: "#005350 c:$0D". "#005350" tells us that the cursor is resting on byte number 5350 of the file while "c:$0D" very politely tells us what its hex value is. You know that funny little character I mentioned that is used to designate a del- eted file? Well what if you restored the file and while still editing the disk sector realized you restored the wrong file? Instead of trying to enter every ascii combination until you unlock the mystery, all you would have to do is point your mouse at another 'funny character' and get its hex value in the info bar, then hit ALT-I for insert byte and enter the hex value to restore it to its previous deleted state. Drumroll please... ------------------ In celebration of the Windsor show, Craig added a valuable feature called Kwiksend. Not planning on including this feature until the 3.0 rel- ease version, Craig may have executed quite a coup de tat. Most of us (especially those of us into DTP) know of the great idea that Maxwell CPU had in allowing one to clip a part of his editing window (within the Ex- pose desk accessory) and with the press of a key, send it to any applica- tion you may be working on, including PageStream or Calamus. Much, tho- ugh, has been made about the limitations imposed on this feature that inc- lude allowing only 6 lines of text and 60 columns per line. Enter EdHak. Mark ANY size block within EdHak, press ALT-K (for Kwiksend), and EdHak closes its window and immediately starts sending the marked text at appli- cation cursor point. Because EdHak utilizes the keyboard buffer on the ST to execute this function, if you have marked a large block, it takes a while to send it and therefore one would probably prefer to save it first as a text file, enter the application and import it as text. One sugges- tion here. Allow the option of stripping out carriage returns and line feeds after pressing ALT-K so that there are no messes to clean up within the receiving application. Craig also hinted to me that in future development he plans to include code for handling bit-image files, allowing viewing and editing within the desk accessory window. Craig seems determined to REALLY make this an edi- tor that edits ANYTHING! In conclusion... ---------------- EdHak is a very complete, very professional program as it sits. Like any program it has room to improve, specifically in the area of window functionality. Because it is such a practical program, the mind floods with some great suggestions for further updates. This is not a criticism but a compliment of Craig Harvey's ability to open one's imagination to possibilities and potentials. The manual is easy to follow, though a bit shallow in the area of hacking. I have met Craig personally and have en- joyed a considerate personality that seems willing to help and patient to listen and teach. This comes through in a manual that includes a two-page goldenrod-colored command summary sheet that is almost unneeded due to the mnemonic nature of all program functions. This program's stock can only rise in the ST community as one examines its performance to price ratio ($18.95 retail). This is a program to watch and a programmer that deserves all of our support! __________________________________________________________ > SPRING COMDEX! STR FOCUS "THE BEST YET!" ======================== SPRING COMDEX MINI-NEWS RELEASES Atlanta, Georgia - New from Spring Comdex Go Technology Updates Hot Keys ---------------------- Go Technology introduced two new versions of Hot Keys, the F-Key macro system for the Apple Macintosh. The packages were developed to support Aldus Pagemaker 4.0 and Silicon Beach Software's Personal Press packages. - New from Spring Comdex Xtree Intros Xtree Easy ---------------------- Xtree Corporation has unveiled Xtree Easy, a replacement for its Xtree basic file management software. The package is targetted at the novice and intermediate user. The two primary new features are Menu, which shields the user from DOS using a shell system, and pull-down menus, which allows users access to all the features of the package using a 'Windowslike' menuing system. Other features of the original Xtree package have been speeded up in Xtree Easy. - New from Spring Comdex SAMSUNG SLASHES PRICES; INTROS NEW PCS ---------------------- Samsung Information Systems America has slashed pricing on its 16 MHz Notemaster range of notebook PCs from 24-30%. At the same time the computer giant has cut pricing on its LAN workstations and file server systems as much as 25%. On the new products front, Samsung has unveiled its first Unix-only product, the SGS-19X Windows Systems Terminal, an 18-inch monochrome X- terminal based on the Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) 29000 RISC micro- processor. In addition, the company announced the Systemmaster 486/33TE, a 33MHz Unix-compatible version of its 80486-based EISA (extended in- dustry standard architecture) bus machine. Pricing on the machine, which is designed for between 8 and 12 node networks, comes in at around the $31,000 mark, although an entry-level system costs $7,699. - New from Spring Comdex CITIZEN INTROS SMALLEST LASER-QUALITY ---------------------- PRINTER FOR LAPTOPS Citizen announced its "world's smallest" laster printer aimed at the laptop computer market, the PN48 Notebook Printer. The PN48 is 2" high, 3-1/2" deep, and 11-1/2" wide and fits neatly in a briefcase next to a notebook computer". Citizen says "Now business travelers can have a com- plete portable office without compromise." Citizen claims a business letter can be produced in a little less than a minute, and the printer handles all types of paper, including envelopes and overhead transparencies. Citizen also claims it is fully compatible with virtually all software packages. The standard warranty is one year, parts and labor. The PN48 includes a lightweight (1/2 pound) rechar- geable NiCAD battery pack and lists for $549. - New from Spring Comdex WINDOW 3.0'S FIRST BIRTHDAY FEATURES ---------------------- ROCK GROUP CHICAGO Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, threw a bash for Windows 3.0's first birthday at the Omnidome in Atlanta. The party featured a concert by the rock group Chicago on the first stop of their summer tour. The party was by invitation only but crowds were estimated at between 5,000 - 6,000. - New from Spring Comdex LOTUS BUNDLES ATM ---------------------- Lotus, with Adobe Systems, announced it will bundle Adobe Systems' Adobe Type Manager (ATM) and 13 typefaces from the Adobe Type Library with its Windows 3.0 version of Lotus 1-2-3. - New from Spring Comdex CANON INTROS THREE HOME OFFICE PCS ---------------------- Canon has released three 20MHZ 80386SX-based PCs aimed at the booming home office marketplace. The machines are bundled with MS-DOS 4.01, Microsoft Works, Windows and a starter kit for the Prodigy online ser- vice. Canon is offering each of the three machines in four configura- tions. Pricing ranges from $1,998 to $3,568. - New from Spring Comdex VIRUS ATTACKS INCREASING, SAYS EXPERT ---------------------- A year ago less than 1% of computer users had experienced a virus attack. Today, 11% have and within a year nearly all will. So says Dyan Dyer, president of Command Software Systems. Dyer's products, like Security Guard and LANGard, all protect against attacks in a number of ways. But Dyer isn't just offering dire warnings. Most problems you'll find with your computers are likely still caused by mistakes of the staff. "Viruses like to advertise themselves," Dyer said. "If a PC breaks and there's no code bragging about it, chances are you don't have a virus problem." - New from Spring Comdex WINDOWS WORLD: ---------------------- BIG FIRMS SMOKE THE WINDOWS PEACE PIPE Windows World may be a surprisingly small part of this year's Spring Comdex show, but it will go down in history as an event for which all of the software industry's leaders officially got behind the Microsoft operating environment and committed to it with real products. Representatives from both Borland and Lotus demonstrated their new soft- ware running under Microsoft Windows 3.0, and committed to using it in new releases. - New from Spring Comdex MICROSOFT RETURNS TO BASICS ---------------------- Sixteen years after doing the first microcomputer BASIC (for the MITS Altair), Bill Gates has released Microsoft's Visual BASIC for Windows. Visual BASIC allows access to dynamic exchange and dynamic link lib- raries. The software can create Windows executable files that can be copies and distributed with any run-time package and without paying royalties to Microsoft. Performance was said to equal that of Quick- BASIC with compiling speed of up to a million lines a minute for simple jobs. Priced at $199. - New from Spring Comdex COMPETITION FOR MICROSOFT BASIC FOR ---------------------- WINDOWS The aisle between the Microsoft booth and the Within Technologies booth at the Atlanta Comdex turned into a no-man's-land when Within announced a competitor to Microsoft's Visual Basic, the $395 Realizer. "We have a higher level approach than Visual BASIC," explained Steve Cohn, director of systems development. "With Realizer, the programmer only has to worry about a button, instead of a button-up or a button-down system message." - New from Spring Comdex FIRST MULTIMEDIA KEYNOTE FOR COMDEX ---------------------- "Multimedia is so powerful that it will expand the (computer) market almost beyond our imagination," said Michael Braun, vice president of IBM's Multimedia and Education Division. But, Braun added, there are conditions that must prevail in the market before the promise of multi- media technology (sound and full-motion video on computer screens, usually with the help of CD-ROMs) can be fulfilled. Primarily, "The creators of multimedia applications must do well. For that to happen, the speed, cost and risk of doing multimedia applications must go down." - New from Spring Comdex GEOWORKS UNVEILS EUROPEAN SHIP ---------------------- PRICING PLANS Geoworks, the Berkeley, California-based software house has announced version 1.2 of its Geoworks Ensemble graphical environment and applic- ations package. The new version of Ensemble builds on the original version, and includes a number of new features, including support for more than 300 printers and a 100,000 word spelling checker. The package is scheduled to ship at the end of June. Registered users will be entit- led to upgrade free of charge. Pricing remains unchanged at $99-199. - New from Spring Comdex HAYES CONFIRMS PLANS FOR LANSTEP ---------------------- Hayes has confirmed that its LANstep network operating system (NOS) is now shipping to resellers in the U.S. Hayes has gone for a modular approach with LANstep. The basic starter kit for up to five users costs $595. A developer kit is available for the same price. Upgrade packs, which add another five users to the network, cost $395, while a mail gateway upgrade also costs $395. LANstep is claimed to have a number of advantages over the competition. These include full NetBIOS support along with support for CD-ROM technology within DOS, along with disk caching and fault tolerance. - New from Spring Comdex ALTIMA UNVEILS 386SX NOTEBOOK ---------------------- Altima Systems has announced a new notebook PC tipping the scales at 6.3 pounds. The machine, which retails for $2,999, will ship in the U.S. in June. The basic configuration supplied for this price comes with 1MB of RAM, expandable to 5MB internally, along with a VGA display capable of resolving 32 shades of grey. The display screen proper uses LCD tech- nology married with cold cathode fluorescent technology (CCFT). - New from Spring Comdex DARIUS OPENS U.S. HQ ---------------------- Darius Technology, the Canadian PC manufacturer, has announced plans to open an office in the U.S. In parallel with the opening of the new sales and distribution office, Darius is actively recruiting dealers and resellers in the U.S. - New from Spring Comdex NEW "BAT" KEYBOARD ---------------------- The "BAT," an ergonomically designed keyboard from Infogrip looks like two mounds of molded plastic with seven buttons on each and the design is "chordic," meaning the user types characters by pressing a com- bination of the seven keys without moving the hand, much like playing chords on a piano. The Bat has proven to be effective for handicapped people as both hands are not needed to type. It is connected to the com- puter via the serial port, but a regular keyboard connector is planned, the company said. The design was developed after making a series of studies of the human anatomy. The fingers are aligned with the forearm, and there's a palm rest for the hand to take the strain off the arm and shoulder muscles. The 20% angle of the keyboard hand rest prevents the twisting of the carpel tunnel bone that happens when the hand is held flat. The design eliminates movement of the hand completely, and anchors the fingers to eliminate as much repetitive motion as possible. - New from Spring Comdex RECORD TURNOUT FOR SPRING COMDEX ---------------------- Spring Comdex saw a record attendance of 60,000, with the aisles at the World Congress Center packed, and exhibitors all expressed pleasure with their quality and willingness to buy. This was unexpected. As recently as a few months ago there was speculation that Spring Comdex would soon fade away. ______________________________________________________________ > LEMONADE? STR Feature ........."Was that Lemonade or Serenade?" ===================== MAKING LEMONADE =============== by Tim Holt ACCEPT of El Paso Daddy was no fool. He was always coming up with little sayings that I remember long after they were told to me. Your parents probably told you the exact same sayings. Daddy may have not been a fool, but he wasn't too original. You've heard them: "Rolling stones gather no moss", "A stitch in time saves nine", etc. One of the old sayings daddy told me once was "If life gives you lemons, just make lemonade." Didn't make much sense to me then, especially since the lemonade we drank at our house came from a powder in a can. All you had to do was mix it with water, and you had lemonade. But, as the years dragged on, and water flowed under my bridge, I had begun to see the wisdom in daddy's statement. Then I bought an A- tari computer, and it all became pretty clear to me. I bought the comp- uter industry's "lemon", and by God, I learned to make lemonade. Lot's of lemonade. A few weeks back, Byte Magazine, a very pro-MS-Dos, very pro Macintosh computer magazine, ran an article by world famous science fiction author Jerry Pournelle. Most of the article was a hardware review of the new A- tari TT. Well, I didn't even know Jerry Pournelle wrote a column in BYTE. I just thought that he made lots of money writing books with Larry Niven. (By the way, if you have never read "The Mote in God's Eye", you have not read good sci-fi.) Anyway, I guess he is a computer expert because he has a column in Byte, and he has an area on Genie. Well,the article was cur- sory at best, as Jerry apparently had little time to do a real hardware review. He got some digs in at Atari, calling the company "Chaos Manor", and making fun of the time it takes for the system to cold boot.(Apparent- ly, if the screen is blank while the system is booting, this is bad: Atari TT. If it pops up with the same information everytime you boot up, tel- ling you lots of important information like how much RAM you have, this is good:MS DOS. Again, I didn't know this, but I am not a computer expert, and I don't have a column in BYTE magazine.) After reading this Hugo award winning offering,in which he NEVER real- ly said anything bad about the TT, I was left with a funny feeling: This article was about as ambiguous as a hardware review could be. Not great, not bad, just somewhere in between. So, big deal, I thought,it's more coverage than we Atarians have had in a long time. Let's see, three pages of Atari coverage in a magazine that has some real circulation...hmmm, must be worth some big bucks. Daddy also told me that "there is no such thing as BAD publicity." Madonna can verify this last claim by my Daddy. Some Atari users, on the other hand, got their panties all tied into knots because Pournelle didn't tell his readers to sell their systems and run out to buy an Atari. They started crying on the services about how unfair life is, how the world hates Atari, and how Jerry Pournelle should be strung up on the nearest oak and hung out to dry.Like these folks have NEVER had to face these facts before. That's when I remembered Daddy's saying: "When life gives you lemons... Let's look at Pournelle's column, and I will show you how to convert this "lemon" into lemonade: (By the way, the folks that make the ads for movies have been doing this for years! All it takes is a little creative sentence restructuring..) Pournelle:"The TT is what the Mega 4 should have been..." Now, here is what YOU can do with that statement: "The TT is what OTHER COMPUTERS[sic] should have been..." - Jerry Pournelle Byte Magazine Get the idea? Well, let's try another one: Pournelle: "Like all Atari machines, it has about a zillion ports..." You can turn that into: "Has a ZILLION ports!" Now, no need to upgrade, it's already there! -Byte Magazine Pournelle:"...plug in your Spectre GCR and have the equivalent of a fast Mac..." Becomes:"Zillions of ports"...making it better than [sic] "a fast Mac"! Pournelle: "...is sort of a super Atari ST." Looks like "...a super" computer... Jerry Pournelle Award winning author Are you getting the hang of it? Do you see where something that may look bad really can be made to look good? Pournelle: "It's close to state of the art for music support." You, or your ad department can make that: "...state of the art for music support." Pournelle: "You can generally use it to get the job done." I can see this becoming: "...use [the TT] to get the job done." Byte Magazine So you see, Mr. Pournelle hasn't done a disservice to the Atari com- munity. He just took what was given to him, and did what he was told to do. No reason to be mad. No reason to curse. If Pournelle gives you lemons, just make lemonade. Hey dad, pour me another glass... ___________________________________________________________ > WORD PERFECT STR Spotlight "...has dropped further development.." ========================== THE LOSS OF A GOOD FRIEND! ========================== by Dan Stidham It has recently been reported and confirmed that the WordPerfect Cor- poration has dropped further development of its WP ST version. Thats too bad; almost...well...sad. Bear with me a bit. Having Wordperfect in the circle of ST developers was almost like having Frank Sinatra perform at your next party or Willam Buckley Jr. speaking at your next Rotary Club meeting--kinda classes up the joint. You think I've overstated the case? Think I'm having jilted lover blues? Read on. The level of support you receive as a WP customer is precedent sett- ing, not only for the software industry, but all industries--bar none. WP supports a user base exceeding 7 million registered users with over 750 thoroughly trained operators standing by at toll-free numbers. WP states in their latest newsletter that its product support team, the operators alone, make up one-third of their total number of employees. These opera- tors deal with over 16,000 phone calls a day with WP committing over $2 million dollars monthly to cover the salary and long distance expense! MONTHLY! There are 22 different support teams depending on platform and applic- ation and it is the goal of each support team leader to route incoming calls to a live operator within 60 seconds of the call going on hold (ac- cording to the newsletter the average wait time is 41 seconds). WP dedic- ates four special operators, dubbed 'hold jockeys', to the task of monito- ring callers on hold and informing them how much longer they will need to wait before the next operator is available. These guys even cue up music for the captive audience to listen to while on hold. WP operators are placed in a controlled and specially designed enviro- nment to ensure distraction free assistance utilizing more than 30 cus- tomer support databases. These databases, if printed out, would fill more than half-a-million pages and are managed using keyword access. The oper- ator has access not only to stock WP written material but the solutions provided by other operators to clients with similar problems. And the WP customer was in some great company. Talk about classing up the joint. WP operators have fielded calls from the White House asking assistance on their Russian language module in preparation for an upcoming summit meeting with the Mick (Gorby). Other callers have included world renowned authors like Stephen King, James Michener and actor-writers Steve Martin, Michael Keaton and Rich Little. Recently WP was placed on the Defense Priority System during the Desert Storm campaign, to ensure that all military orders received 24 hour service. Aaaah. 'Tis too bad. Nevertheless, this incredible customer service is still available to users of the ST version of WordPerfect and all future buyers of the final version that was released April 18, 1991. Ironically, when I called WP- Corp to confirm some of the facts presented in this article, I found that the general operator was quite sympathetic with our plight. Why? Well the lady has an ST at home! She loves it by the way. She also confirmed that WP version 5.0 was indeed under development. Sighing off....er...I mean signing off... (sniff... sigh) ____________________________________________________________ > ATW & Inmos STR FOCUS A Comprehensive look at the ATW's future ===================== H1 INMOS TRANSPUTER CHIP AND THE RACE FOR TERA FLOPS ==================================================== by Mike Stepansky Has the Atari Transputer Workstation (ATW) been discontinued by the Atari U.K. officials? I think this rumor is somewhat over- exaggerated, but I do know that transputer technology is NOT dead in the private sectors and in certain universities. Also, I was not surprised to learn that most transputer scientists argue that parallel-processing computer will be and should be the next wave of computer technology after the today's limited processors architecture, like those current RISC or CISC architecture implementations. Anyway, I have been told that this fall will mark the 4th anniversary of the introduction of the INMOS T-800 Transputer microprocessor. In the first few years the T800 had by far out performed its competition such as Intels' 80386 and Motorola's 68020. Even in conjunction with their corresponding floating point coprocessors such as the 80387 or 68881, the competition could not surpass the performance of the T800 with its on-chip floating point unit. In the meantime, the competition has not slept. More and more powerful devices have been introduced to the market. At times, it appears that the microprocessor development groups are coming out with new products even faster than Detroit's three giants issue their new car models. In traditional computer technologies, as we all know, performance increases are gained by faster and faster CPU's. This puts microprocessor vendors under pressure to provide the market in very short development cycles with new and faster devices which quite often are not completely designed or show only minor improvements (a gain in performance by a factor 2). On the other hand, Transputer based parallel processor technology is inherently scalable so that additional performance can be gained by increasing the number of processors and not by waiting for the next generation. Although the T800 has been in production for almost 4 years, T800 systems have been able to grow with performance requirements up to the present and most likely could continue do so. If the competition does not sleep neither does Inmos. Without the pressure of issuing a minor enhancement each year, the Transputer developers at Inmos have used the time to make real improvements. Basically, 2 major advantages are realized with the H1 (codename for the latest Inmos Transputer chip): 1) A 10 fold increase of processor and communication links performance. This results in a 20 MFLOPS and 150 MIPS, thus giving you a total data throughput of 80 megabytes per second. Think about it! This is now available on a SINGLE chip! This puts an end to those worrisomes when you need higher clock frequency in today's serial processors (Intel or Motorola), yet where the law of quantum physics intervene. 2) Also, there is a modified channel communication protocol in conjunction with an on-chip Virtual Channel Processor (VCP) and a new switching chip (called C104) allowing each processor to send messages directly to any other processor. This is done without requiring any intermediary processors between sender and reciever (wormhole routing). Every processor can be every other processors direct neighbor. Hypercube fashion is no problem at all! In addition to these improvements, the H1 will be binary code compatible with the T800 so that software developed on the Txxx series can be directly transferred to an H1 system. The result of this will be that H1 systems will have far better software support with development environments and application software than any other device of its performance class which is used in MIMD machines. Also, there will be special hardware components available which can interface between the Transputer links from the Txxx seres and an H1 link. Specifically these features allow the integration of the performance enhancements of the H1 transputer directly in existing Transputer environments. All previously developed (or purchased) Transputer host system interfaces or Transputer I/O modules can be used in conjunction with H1 components. "So...What is the name of the company that sells and develops the state-of-the-art transputer?" you might ask. Unfortunately, not just Atari U.K., but Parsytec, as I have been told, is an independent system manufacturer located in West Chicago, Illinois. Parsytec has chosen the microprocessor it will use for their future systems very carefully. Parsytec has decided to stay with Inmos in developing the next generation of distributed memory processing systems. The European Economic Community has awarded Parsytec, together with 4 other partners, a contract to design a General Purpose MIMD Computer based on the H1 microprocessor device. It is interesting to note that Parsytec informed me that their partner in U.K. already bought one or two ATW's and planned on improving it to H1 transputer chip in Europe! Their goal is "to develop an effective architecture for general purpose parallel computers." Additionally, Parsytec's trust in the new H1 is so strong that they have decided to lead the European Teraflop Initiative (ETI) with a proposal for a 2^16 (65,536) H1 system with a scheduled delivery date late in 1993. Let's hope if they win the 1.6 TERAFLOPS race in their H1 system! Well, to close this statement, I am still looking forward to Atari U.S. to integrate this H1 Inmos system in their future system, if possible and by all means necessary to save Atari position financially in the 1990s. By the way, news just in from Inmos: H1 has just been named "T9000"! Welcome to the true 32- bit parallel computer world! Is ATW dead? I doubt it and the price tag continues to drop, thus making today's RISC and CISC chip look outdated, depending on applications. _________________________________________________________ > MAC REPORT ========== Issue #010 ---------- by Robert Allbritton MacReport *** The Court Battle Continues... June 14 is the next day that Apple & Microsoft have been given to pound each other into the legal ground. Subjects to be covered at this hearing include if Apple will be allowed to include Windows 3.0 in its lawsuit against Microsoft. In related combat, Judge Walker said that the counterclaims made by HP "are not serious." Looks like Apple will file a motion to get the counterclaims dropped. I am beginning to think Judge Walker owns a top of the line Mac IIfx... *** SuperStore Macs?!?!? Well the traditional Mac dealers are not happy about it, but it looks like Apple will begin selling the bottom of the line Macintosh Classic in PC "superstores." While no contracts have been signed, the first mass merchandiser to carry the Classic will probably be CompUSA, based in Dal- las. Now only Compaq remains as a major manufacture to not sell via vo- lume retailer as IBM has been selling the PS/1 in Sears stores for quite some time now (along with the Prodigy service, which in this humble edi- tors opinion finds more value as a paper weight...groceries by computer? I don't think so!) *** RasterOps buys Truevision With the addition of the Truevision product line, RasterOps has con- siderably expanded and diversified its product line. Previous RasterOps display cards and monitors had focused on desktop publishing and design, but Truevision's strength is in desktop video. Looks like a killer com- bination. *** Buy MacWrite, get Correct Grammar 2.0 Free! Claris Corp, Apple's software division, announced that they will begin bundling Correct Grammar 2.0 with MacWrite II. The $99 grammar checker has been a hot item on its own for the past few months. This may be the beginning of a move by Claris to retake some of the Macintosh application market that is ever more increasingly dominated by arch rival Microsoft C- orp. *** What do IBM and Apple Have in Common? - Real Estate. Seems that when Apple's add agency BBDO of L.A. wanted to show a pic- ture of a Macintosh hooked up to a office building for a splashy run in USA Today they got what they thought was a common photograph from a studio specializing in generic scenes. What they did not know is that it happ- ened to be a picture of the IBM tower in Atlanta. Apple officials claim it was all in innocence, and said it was not significant enough to re-do the adds. IBM declined to comment, but an IBM Vice President was overh- eard calling the corporate law firm of Katchum & Killum. (Just Kidding! but the ads are real!) *** Consumers like their Apples! J.D. Power & Associates, better know for rating automobile satisfac- tion, just released their first survey of consumer satisfaction with com- puter companies. The survey measured users in small and medium sized businesses and first prize went to Dell Computer, maker of IBM clones. In a close second, however, was Apple, followed by AST. IBM was not in the top 10. 2,253 users were surveyed. In printers, HP was first and in software Borland won. *** A Week With System 7.0 I am still hesitant to write a full article on System 7, mainly bec- ause I have not had time to let it fully sink in, but for now let me make a few observations. System 7 is for power users. It really shines on a Mac II class com- puter that is networked. This is NOT for Mac Plus owners. It does not work with Spectre. I tried every combination. No luck. However, I think Mr. Small is going to start work on it soon (can you say "red flag in front of a bull? I thought you could!") But the good news is the TrueType INIT and fonts released for the StyleWriter printer for System 6.0.5 and above works well under Spectre and is a good "free" repl- acement for Adobe Type Manager. The real power of System 7 will not be seen until new software pack- ages are upgraded to exploit its functions. While it is true that the LATEST release of most packages work under System 7, most older releases DONT. PageMaker 3.0 dies. Freehand 2.0 dies. Adobe Illustrator 1.9 dies. While there are more recent versions out, they are fairly new. I thought I was going to be buying a new big-screen monitor this summer. Looks like all my $$$ will be going to software upgrades now. System 7 is a DREAM to use, much nicer than the old finder. The built in file sharing networking is QUICK. Much better than TOPS. And speaking of TOPS, they just announced version 3.1 because 3.0 dies under System 7. Why bother? The file sharing built into System 7 is faster and in some ways better than TOPS, and its free. I think TOPS better do something quick, or they may lose quite a few customers. Including myself. Well, that's all for this week. Next week I will be in Japan, so if the news is a little "stale" understand that I wrote it on Sunday night! _____________________________________________________________ > GFA DISCOUNT OFFER! STR InfoFile GFA USA offers SUPER Discount..... ================================ GFA SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. - NEWS RELEASE CONTACT: Maurice Giguere 508-744-0201 GFA ANNOUNCES A 50% DISCOUNT ON GFA-BASIC FOR MS-DOS FOR ALL ST USERS!! --- --------- - --- -------- -- --------- --- ------ --- --- -- ------- Salem, Ma. April 18, 1991. GFA Software Technologies, Inc today an- nounced the availability of GFA-BASIC for MS-DOS to all registered GFA-BASIC Atari users for a 50% discount from the List Price. In effect, GFA is treating GFA-BASIC for MS-DOS as an upgrade to all Atari GFA cus- tomers. The new version of GFA-BASIC for MS-DOS means you can apply the prog- ramming know how you already have on your ST to the PC. That's right, the GFA-BASIC programs you have designed for your Atari will now work on an IBM computer. With this new GFA-BASIC, you get the familiar intuitive syntax you know and the very best BASIC you can buy for DOS. GFA-BASIC for MS-DOS gives you over 70 commands that that were bro- ught over from GEM on the Atari like menu-bars, windows, pop-ups, dialog boxes, and alert boxes. Graphical operations that would take pages of ordinary BASIC or "C" code take only a single line in GFA-BASIC. The regular list price for the 8086/88/286 version is $249; $295 for the 386 version. For a limited time, GFA will allow ST users to upgrade to the IBM version for a 50% Discount from these prices! This special offer is only available directly by phone or Fax. For more information contact: GFA Software Technologies, Inc. 27 Congress Street Salem, MA 01970 Tel: 508-744-0201 VISA/MasterCard accepted Fax: 508-744-8041 _________________________________________________________________ > STR Portfolio News & Information Keeping up to date... ================================ THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ========================= On CompuServe by Judith Hamner 72257,271 This week brought a few changes to the forum. I will be taking over as forum reporter. Walter Daniel had to step down due to the demands of graduate school. Good luck Walter. The forum also has a new Sysop this week. Marty Mankins 73217,3305 has now donned a sysop hat. Welcome Marty. It was announced that Hyperlist is now in the late stages of beta tes- ting. The new software is eagerly awaited by some forum members. Discussion on the use of the PDD2 with the Portfolio continued this week. We also had reports on the use of WP Executive on the Portfolio. The big news in the library section is the release of PBASIC 4.5 by B.J. Gleason. New features include: Serial port support, user defined functions, source code encryption, faster .PGC graphics, and Goto/Gosub X. The file name for the new release is PBAS45.ZIP. A manual is also available. Ordering information is in file MANUAL.INF. B.J. had a busy week programming. Some of his other uploads include: ADDRES.EXE a PC viewer for .ADR files BATTST.ZIP a battery tester BM2.ZIP a new, smaller version of his battery monitor CLOCK.EXE turns the PORT into a digital clock STOPW.ZIP Ten stopwatches or event timers! __________________________________________________________ > USERGROUPS STR FOCUS Starting a Usergroup ==================== SO YOU WANT TO START A USER GROUP? ================================== A primer for starting your own user group PART II by Tim Holt ACCEPT of El Paso Last time, we discussed how to go about seeing if you need a user group in your area. Hopefully, you decided to take the big plunge. You checked the BBS's, you asked your friends, you asked at the local computer dealer, and decided that a group is just what you need. Now we will look at how to obtain the most important thing any user group needs: MEMBERS. As soon as you decide to start a user group, there is something you must be warned of: You are going to have to dump some of your own money. How much you spend is up to you, but expect to spend at least $25 to "get the word out". However, in terms of getting the group off the ground, it is truly money well spent. Run off a few flyers with information about your group. This is very easy with any DTP program. It doesn't have to be great, just informative. (just a note: If you are starting an ATARI group, make sure the ATARI logo is displayed very prominently in your fly- er.. Same goes for ANY type of logo that is associated with your type of computer.) Your flyer should include AT LEAST the following information: a) MEETING TIME- When are your meeting b) MEETING PLACE- Where are you meeting c) CONTACT PERSON- Who can folks call for more information It doesn't have to be a work of art, but it should catch the eye of anyone passing by... First off, you will have to let the world know that there is a new user group out there. How do you do this? Go to where the computer users are: 1. Post the meeting times and information about your group on every local BBS. It doesn't matter if the BBS supports your computer or not. Chances are someone on that BBS knows someone with your computer that doesn't have a modem, and will pass the word on. He or she will in turn pass it on and so on. 2. Ask permission to post a flyer in all local computer stores. Everyone hates to ask strangers to do something, but I have found most store owners are willing to let you post info if you ask politely. Expect some anti ATARI sneers; it's part of the game. Some might even let you put up a little bulletin board in a co- rner somewhere in the store, where club info can be posted. If a store owner does NOT let you place club info in his store, don't be offended.(Just remember him when the club really gets some membership going...he he he...) Atari specific or authorized stores should even let you place some flyers on a counter or in a bookshelf somewhere, where pros- pective members can pick on up and take it home. Explain to the owner that your club can help him as much as he can help you. Chances are, you are already friends with the dealer. 3. Look for unusual places to post information. Are there bookst- ores that sell Atari Explorer or Current Notes, or AIM? Ask the manager if you can place a flyer by the magazine rack. Want to be real bold? Ask the manager if you can place flyers IN each magazine! This is a great way to grab someone's attention. And do not limit it to Atari specific publications! Many Atari users pass up the Atari mags and head right for the Computer Shoppers etc. Place a flyer in the local libraries. Most libraries have a "Co- mmunity Calendar" type board. Place a flyer at the site where you are going to meet. Place a small classified ad in the Computer area of the classified ads in your local paper. Place a ad in the local community college or university paper. (This usually is very inexpensive advertising: 10 cents a word!) Post a flyer in the computer science or math department of your local college. Let the newspaper know about your group. Let the local radio stations know. They usually have a community listing of groups. The radio stat- ions HAVE to list the groups as part of their FCC licencing agreements. Its called "Community service". Local TV stations often broadcast commun- ity meetings as well. The point is, no one will post your information if they don't know you exist.Let everyone know. Some will help, some won't. I am sure that you can think of many more places to let the word be known about your club. Okay, the big day arrives! Prospective members come to the meeting. NOW WHAT?? Well, the easy part is getting the members, the hard part is kee- ping the members. You and your officers must decide on what things you will GIVE members. That's right: GIVE the members. From my experience, after the folks plop down the membership they expect a song and dance, with a little magic thrown in for good measure. A small percentage will help you out (take good care of those folks, they are few and far between), the rest want entertainment. It's up to you to do that. So, here is a little list of items that are designed to keep the natives hap- py. After all,you have their money, what are you going to do with it? 1. A Club Library: How much pd stuff do you have? Good, it now belongs to the club. Gather as much as you can, copy it onto disks, keep a list of what is on each disk. (The local dealer should have a nice selection. GRAB IT! Nicely of course.. This is one of the most important parts of the club. People have come to EXPECT a club library. There is a major need for a club lib- rarian here. Remember, as leader, you need to spread the roles around. Let me digress for a moment with a word of warning: PLEASE do not let your librarian make the club library his own private collection. The library belongs to the CLUB. Buy the disks to copy, the labels, etc. Our club made the mistake of accepting the offer of someone to let his private PD collection be the club's library. When he got mad at someone else in the club, he decided to regress into childhood, took the ENTIRE library with him, and we haven't seen hide nor hair for about 15 months. Needless to say, we had to rebuild the library from scratch. Lot's of hurt feelings, lot's of bitterness because we let a private collection be the library. Be sure that you always distinguish what is the club's and what is not. The library can contain any public domain program, shareware, freeware, or demo that is produced by a company. The library CANNOT contain ANY com- mercial programs, EVEN if the company no longer supports your computer. 2. Discounts: Local computer stores usually will offer user group discounts of anywhere from 10 to 25%. Don't press the issue if you don't get the discounts you want. Remember, dealers have a greater profit margin on software than on hardware, so you may not even get a hardware discount. However, if a mem- ber spends $20 on membership, and gets a 10% on software at Bob's Computer Stand, and if the member plans to spend more than $200 on software in the time his membership, he will recoup any money spent on the membership. Essentially, he gets his membership for free! This is an excellent sel- ling point! Discounts on local products: If there is a member of your club that owns a business, ask them if you can offer the club members a discount on his services. In the past, our club has offered discounts from plants to car tune-ups from various members in our club. Discounts on Atari Publications: Current Notes, and ST Informer offer discounts to members of official Atari user group that are registered with them. 3. Giveaways: Door prizes are a great way of getting folks to show up. The prize can be ANYTHING, but traditionally, software is a good way to go. Ask your local dealer if you can get a program AT his cost. Then you don't spend so much on door prizes. Members may even offer old programs that they no longer use, and are just collecting dust. The giveaways don't even have to appear to be Atari related. In the past, we have given away books on midi, and recordings by groups that use the Atari to compose on, like Tan- gerine Dream, or Fleetwood Mac. You might make the giveaways even more spectacular at the holiday time. Of course, the type of giveaway is dire- ctly related to the financial situation of the club.(I told you that you might have to dump some money early..) 4. Auctions: Every six months or so, have a club auction, and let members sell the old unused items that are just collecting dust. Our local dealer, Jenkins' Computers, loves the idea. As soon as the auctions are over, everyone tramps over and buys things from them. Here is how we do an auction: Members must bring original Atari related products, and then we auction them off.(We have had some humdingers of bargains too: Timeworks DTP for $15!!) Then, the seller must pay the club 10% of the final selling price. So the seller gets 90% profit, the club gets 10%, and the buyer gets a new toy. We have been very successful with these, and you should too. However, you had better advertise these as you did the original club meet- ing! Let everyone know you are having an auction about 1 month in advance. 5. A club newsletter: Decide who is going to do this! IT requires a lot of time and patience, plus someone who is good at desktop publishing. Most members will NOT write for the newsletter, so many times it becomes a one man show. (On- line magazines like ST Report are great sources of information for newsle- tters when the membership has word processor fright.) This becomes as much a time sucker as being the librarian. The newsletter should be mai- led out at regular intervals, once a month, every 3 months, whatever. Who will pay for making copies? How big will it be? (Hint: One stamp pays for a nice 18 page newsletter: 9 pages front and back.) Who will make copies? What if you have 100 members and an 18 page newsletter? That's a lot of copier time, plus a lot of money! A nice alternative to making your own newsletter is letting someone else do it for you. Atari Interface Maga- zine has made a nice reputation for doing exactly that, and after two y- ears of getting suntans from Xerox machines, they are a nice relief. They are currently charging 50 cents a copy to user groups, which was actually CHEAPER for our group than copying and mailing our monthly newsletter. Contact them at: Unicorn Publication 3487 Braeburn Circle Ann Arbor, Mi 48108 (A word of warning however: AIM is a excellent publication, but the publication is notorious for erratic delivery dates. Do not expect to get the publication on the same day every month.They deliver the product, but sometimes it is up to three weeks past the publication date.) Newsletter are great for letting members that missed the meetings know what is going on, advertising upcoming events like auctions, and getting info about new products out. Members really like to get newsletters, even if they are not professional looking. I looked at the first ACCEPT newsletter: 2 pag- es, and half of one was a clip art. The rest was a message from our pres- ident who flipped out.(See previous column.) 6. Reminder phone calls: Have one member be responsible for calling the members to remind them a- bout the upcoming meeting. This should be done the week prior to the meeting, so those that forgot about the meeting can adjust their schedule. This let's members also know that you are remembering them. A nice touch, no matter how large your group becomes. 7. Get togethers: You do not always have to have a computer in front of you in order to meet with your group. Have semi-annual get togethers at local restaurants, have picnics during the summer,and do other NON computer activities. Who knows, you may actually make a friend for life! I have! Today, we looked at things to "keep the customer satisfied". Next time, we will look at what should actually happen at the meetings! ______________________________________________________ > Hard Disks STR InfoFile ***** ABCO PRICE CHANGES! ***** ======================= ** EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! ** ABCO COMPUTER ELECTRONICS INC. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672 Est. 1985 _________________________________________ Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM - 4 PM EDT BBS: 904-786-4176 12-24-96 HST FAX: 904-783-3319 12 PM - 6 AM EDT _________________________________________ HARD DISK SYSTEMS TO FIT EVERY BUDGET _________________________________________ All systems are complete and ready to use, included at NO EXTRA COST are clock/calendar and cooling blower(s). *-ALL ABCO HARD DISK SYSTEMS ARE FULLY EXPANDABLE-* (you are NOT limited to two drives ONLY!) (all cables and connectors installed) * ICD HOST ADAPTERS USED EXCLUSIVELY * OMTI HIGH SPEED CONTROLLERS * * ICD ADSCSI+ HOST ADAPTERS * FULL SCSI COMMAND SET SUPPORTED * * SCSI EMBEDDED CONTROLLER MECHANISMS * WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< Deluxe 2 bay Cabinet w/65w auto-switching PS Model Description Autopark Price ================================================== SGN4951 51Mb 28ms 3.5" Y 479.00 SGN1096 85Mb 24ms 5.25" Y 549.00 SGN2055 105mb 19ms 3.5" Y 679.00 SGN6277 120Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 789.00 SGN1296 168Mb 24ms 3.5" Y 1019.00 ================================================== ADD $35.00 for 4 BAY Super Cabinet w/250w PS PLEASE NOTE: The above is partial listing only! CPU ACCELERATOR & MEMORY UPGRADES AVAILABLE & INSTALLED >> ABCO is now taking orders for 1040 & MEGA STe Computers! << Call for VERY special Introductory prices! ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ****** * SYQUEST 44MB (#555) >> ABCO "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE * - SYQUEST 44 MB DRIVE - ICD ST ADSCSI PLUS H/A - ICD Utility Software - 3' DMA Cable - Fan & Clock - Multi-Unit Power Supply (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart. --->> SPECIAL! NOW ONLY __$ 645.00__ <<--- WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< COMPLETELY ASSEMBLED AND READY TO RUN! Cart and Utility Software Included! EXTRA CARTS: $ 74.50 DRIVE MECH ONLY: $ 349.95 ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ****** * TWIN SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVES ... PROGRAMMER'S DELIGHT * SPECIALLY PRICED ** $1019.00 ** Includes TWO cartridges! * SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE AND HARD DRIVE COMBINATIONS * - Syquest 44 Model  and the following hard drives - 50mb SQG51 $ 819.00 85mb SQG96 $ 1019.00 LOWBOY - STANDARD - DUAL BLOWER CABINETS CUSTOM CONFIGURATIONS AVAILABLE WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< Listed above are a sampling of the systems available. Prices also reflect various cabinet/power supply configurations (over sixty configurations are available, flexibility is unlimited) ALL UNITS COMPATIBLE WITH --> SUPERCHARGER - AT/PC SPEED - GCR LARGER units are available - (Custom Configurations) *>> NO REPACKS OR REFURBS USED! <<* - Custom Walnut WOODEN Cabinets - TOWER - AT - XT Cabinets - * SLM 804 Replacement Toner Cartridge Kits $42.95 * * Toner Starter Kits $49.95 * * Replacement Drums $183.95 * >> MANY other ATARI related products STOCKED << ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED -* 12 month FULL Guarantee *- (A FULL YEAR of COVERAGE) WE PAY SHIPPING!!! >BLUE LABEL UPS!< QUANTITY & USERGROUP DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE! _________________________________________ DEALERS and DISTRIBUTORS WANTED! please, call for details Personal and Company Checks are accepted. ORDER YOUR NEW UNIT TODAY! CALL: 1-800-562-4037 -=**=- CALL: 1-904-783-3319 Customer Orders ONLY Customer Service 9am - 8pm EDT Tues thru Sat ABCO is EXPANDING!! CALL FOR INFORMATION! ____________________________________________________________ > A "Quotable Quotable" ==================== "......A KINDER, GENTLER ATARI" ...Sam Tramiel """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International Online Magazine Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" May 24, 1991 16/32bit Magazine copyright = 1987-91 No.7.21 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors, staff, STReport CPU/MAC/STR or ST Report . Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Each reprint must include the name of the publication, date, issue # and the author's name. The entire publication and/or portions therein may not be edited in any way without prior written permission. The entire contents, at the time of publication, are believed to be reasonably accurate. The editors, contributors and/or staff are not responsible for either the use/misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""