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Article #235 (730 is last): Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 7-Feb-92 #806 Posted-By: xx004 (aa700 - Michael Current) Reply-To: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Date: Sat Feb 8 14:43:18 1992 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" February 07, 1992 No.8.06 ========================================================================== 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 1200 - 19.2bps V.32 - 42 FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EST ----------------------------------------- FNET 0350 - STR S-East: The Bounty **
** 1-904-786-4176 FNET 0489 - STR N-East: Steal Your Face BBS 1-908-920-7981 FNET 0075 - STR West: Bloom County BBS 1-415-965-9347 FNET 0018 - STR Canada: ///Turbo Board BBS Support 1-416-274-1225 FNET 1031 - STR Europe: <<< INTERNET - UK>>> 011-44-296-395-935 __________________________________________________________________ > 02/07/92: STReport #8.06 "Reporting ABOUT Atari not FOR Atari!" ------------------------- - The Editor's Desk - CPU REPORT - APPLE CUTS PRICES! - SIERRA PROFITS UP! - SIMM PRICES FALL - TAF SHOW NEWS - FLOW CONTROL EXPLAINED - BCS CHOSEN! - "CRYPTO 101" - VOODO & THE ST! - PORTFOLIO NEWS - STR Confidential -* GADGET'S SST SHIPS! *- -* IRS COMPUTER BURPS $$ *- -* BIX SOLD! *- ========================================================================== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE The _Number One_ & Original 16/32 bit Online Magazine -* FEATURING WEEKLY *- "UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ========================================================================== STReport's support BBS, NODE 350, invites BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the Fido/F-Net Mail Network. Or, call Node 350 direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging information relative to the Atari ST computer arena through an excellent International ST Mail Network. All registered F-NET - Crossnet SysOps are welcome to join the STReport Crossnet Conference. The Crossnet Conference Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is # 350. All systems are welcome and invited to actively participate. Support Atari Computers; Join Today! ========================================================================== AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON: GENIE ~ CIS ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ F-NET ========================================================================== 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 (February 7) =========================================== ATARI FORUMS EXPAND LYNX COVERAGE In response to the increased sales of Atari's LYNX, the first handheld 8-bit videogame unit with a color LCD screen, multiplayer capabilities and stereo sound, the staff of the Atari 8-Bit Forum has recruited the services of two well-known LYNX gaming experts, Jeff Kovach and Todd Ellering. A new library devoted to LYNX files will include game maps in GIF graphics format, help and hint files, and press releases detailing new game introductions. Kovach and Ellering will be online daily to answer LYNX questions and will host special conferences with playing tips. For more information, GO ATARI8. NETWORKING AN ATARI TO A PC If you've ever wondered about hooking up your Atari computer to a local area network (LAN), please visit the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO) and read and respond to message #56532. (Especially if you want to hook it up to a PC network.) **** NEW FROM ATARI! **** Atari has uploaded the latest version of their Hard Drive Utilities! Look for ATHDX5.LZH in Library 4 ("Utilities") in the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO) for version 5.0 of these utilities. ANOTHER NEW VERSION OF PINHEAD NOW AVAILABLE! Charles F. Johnson has uploaded the latest version of PinHead, version 2.1, to Library 6 of the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO). This version works with ANY version of TOS... Download PINH21.ARC and get the fastest bootup you have ever seen! ATARI OVERSEAS The Sysops have opened up a new message section (15) of the Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) entitled ATARI "OVERSEAS" especially for our new members from the UK, Europe and Australia. MESSAGE SECTION CHANGES IN ATARIPRO We've made a slight modification to the names of our message sections in the Atari Productivity Forum (GO ATARIPRO). Sections 4 and 5 (Personal Applications and Business Applications) have been combined into a single section named APPLICATIONS and a new section has been setup under the subject NETWORKING ATARIS. Both sections are available to the entire membership, but adjust your individual section settings accordingly. PORT-A-THON COMING SOON! Just a reminder -- *the* social event of the year, our online PORT-A- THON will be held in the conference rooms of the Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO) on Feb 21-22. Tons of prizes (both hardware and software). Spread the word! (Black Tie optional) 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 STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Issue #06 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. -- Apple Cuts Mac Prices This week, Apple Computer announced 9-37% prices cuts on many models of its Macintosh computers. The low-end Macintoshes, the Mac II, Mac LC, and Classic, will experience the highest cuts. While no price cuts were announced for the Quadra or Powerbook 140 or 170 lines, the low-end Powerbook 100's price was cut between 12-13%. Also, the Stylewriter printer was cut 33% bringing its retail price to just under $400. Apple has said it was planning to more aggressively pursue the U.S. market. -- Microsoft Dumps President In a surprise move, Microsoft replaced president Michael Hallman with a triumvirate. Mike Maples of applications, Steve Balmmer head of systems and Chief Financial Officer Francis Gaudette, will be assuming the res- ponsibility of running the company. Under the new structure Ballmer will become chief of sales and service. Maples will take over development of operating systems as well as continue leading the applications software division. Gaudette, who will continue as CFO, will also oversee the company's manufacturing, distri- bution, human resources, and other business operations. -- Sierra Posts 3rd Quarter Profits Sierra On-Line announced net earnings of $2.5 million from revenues of $16.4 million for its 3rd fiscal quarter ending December 31, 1991. Over- all earnings for the nine month period were $33.6 million compared to $25.7 million for the nine months of the previous year. Sierra On-Line, known for its games including King's Quest IV and the Leisure Suit Larry series, has introduced several new game titles in- cluding the newly released Ecoquest -- the Search for Cetus and The Castle of Dr. Brain. The company says it publishes software game titles for the IBM personal computer and compatible, the Apple Macintosh, and the Commodore Amiga computer platforms, but has also licensed "King's Quest V" to Konami which develops for the Nintendo Entertainment System. -- IBM to Start Two Computer Magazines IBM this week announced that later this month it will be starting two new computing magazines intended for customers and potential customers. According to reports, the magazines will be distributed by controlled circulation and will come out every other month. They will be sent free of charge to those that meet the qualifications. The magazines will be called Profit and Beyond Computing and essentially are to be marketing vehicles for IBM, though they will accept ads from competing computer and software companies. Profit will be aimed at small business owners, while Beyond Computing will target executives at medium and large companies. According to IBM, each will have circulation of 200,000. -- IRS Computer Goofs Due to a computer glitch, the IRS mistakenly told more than 36,000 tax- payers filing electronic returns that they were getting about $40 million in refunds. An IRS spokesperson said that they glitch has been corrected and that the only returns effected were ones filed with the Witchita, Kansas center between Jan. 10-27. According to reports, many taxpayers have already borrowed money against the refunds, so banks now stand to lose millions of dollars. One advantage to filing a computerized return is that the IRS can give quick confirmation by computer of the amount the taxpayer can expect in a refund. Many people then use that information to borrow from a bank while they wait for the refund. The IRS then sends the refund directly to the bank. Netherlands "Hackers" Arrested; Charges Pending Two computer hackers have been arrested in connection with allegedly gaining unauthorized access to a variety of computer networks around the world. The two men "hacked" into the Bronto on-line computer system at Amsterdam's Free University late last year. Following the November accesses, the pair then used the Telnet and Usenet links to gain onward access to a number of computer networks in Italy, Norway, and Spain, as well as the United States. According to reports, the pair were the first hackers to be caught by a special computer crime operations unit in the Netherlands. It seems likely that they will be charged with forgery, computer fraud, and criminal damage. *********************************************************************** :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ To sign up for GEnie service: Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. GEnie costs only $4.95 a month for unlimited evening and weekend access to more than 100 services including electronic mail, online encyclopedia, shopping, news, entertainment, single-player games, and bulletin boards on leisure and professional subjects. With many other services, including the biggest collection of files to download and the best online games, for only $6 per hour. MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! Any time during your first month of membership if you are not completely satisfied, just ask for your $4.95 back. GEnie Announcements (FREE) 1. A WORD FROM GENIE REGARDING SYSTEM SPEED...................... 2. January '92 GEnie Billing Complete. To review yours, type:.*BILL 3. Romance, Love, Parties, Prizes..............................*VALENTINE 4. NEW STORE AT GENIE MALL: Parsons Technology.................PARSONS 5. Commodore 64/128 owners win big in the.....................FLAGSHIP 6. RTC 2/9:How to get PUBLICITY--Learn an Expert's Secrets.....HOSB 7. Is ROMANTIC LOVE a myth...Join BB debate and 2/9 RTC in.....PF 8. Sports fanatics, show us what you've got, play..............TRIVIA 9. Homestead Records - How to Get the Most from Them...........GENEALOGY 10. Don't be Afraid to Venture Into.............................GEMSTONE 11. NEW Files now available, RTCs planned..Check out the SUN in.FLORIDA 12. Not one but >TWO< contests now plugged in and playing in....MIDI 13. Meet The SysOps of GEnie's Real Estate RoundTable...........GENIEUS 14. Yes sir, that's my baby -- rock & romance in . . ........*MUSIC 15. FREE magazine offer for gamers..............................SCORPIA THE GENIE ATARI ST ROUNDTABLE - AN OVERVIEW ___________________________________________ The Roundtable is an area of GEnie specifically set aside for owners and users of Atari ST computers, although all are welcome to participate. There are three main sections to the Roundtable: the Bulletin Board, the Software Library and the Real Time Conference area. The Bulletin Board contains messages from Roundtable members on a variety of Topics, organized under several Categories. These messages are all Open and available for all to read (GEnie Mail should be used for private messages). If you have a question, comment, hot rumor or an answer to someone else's question, the Bulletin Board is the place to share it. The Software Library is where we keep the Public Domain software files that are available to all Roundtable members. You can 'download' any of these files to your own computer system by using a Terminal Program which uses the 'XMODEM' file-transfer method. You can also share your favorite Public Domain programs and files with other Roundtable members by 'uploading' them to the Software Library. Uploading on GEnie is FREE, so you are encouraged to participate and help your Roundtable grow. The Real Time Conference is an area where two or more Roundtable members may get together and 'talk' in 'real-time'. You can participate in organized conferences with special guests, drop in on our weekly Open COnference, or simply join in on an impromptu chat session. Unlike posting messages or Mail for other members to read at some later time, everyone in the Conference area can see what you type immediately, and can respond to you right away, in an 'electronic conversation'. GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission *********************************************************************** > The Flip Side STR Feature "...a different view point" ========================= A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee ---------------- From the folks at the new Atari Advantage magazine - Cat. 15, Topic 4, Msg. 7, 13 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... Are you intrigued by the inside stories and the best late breaking news in the Atari market? We extend a warm welcome to NEVIN SHALIT and his famed RUMOR CITY column starting in the CHARTER issue of ATARI ADVANTAGE! -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Are you ready for personal fame, fortune or fun? ATARI ADVANTAGE is expanding coverage of the Atari market. We are looking for additional reviewers experienced in products and applications ranging across the following areas: * Graphics Programs * Desktop Publishing * Business Applications * Utilities * Hardware * Tutorials (all areas) Please leave email to Mike Lindsay at AT-VANTAGE if interested. ************************************************** ***** ATTENTION ATARI DEALERS and DEVELOPERS ***** ************************************************** We at Atari Advantage Magazine have an offer you just can't pass up... A FREE AD! Here's the deal. If you are going to advertise with us in our first few issues, with at least a 3 time contract, we will run your ad for free in our first issue. If you decide not to sign a contract with us, we'll only charge half price for the ad. Also, we're asking that you submit an ad similar in size to what you are going to be running in the future. We've spent the last couple days trying to call everyone with this offer, but we're not reaching everyone fast enough. We want to give anyone interested in advertising with us a chance to take advantage of this offer. If this sounds like the deal for you, call and let us know what size you are going to send in, and then get your ad in the mail to us! We are trying to put our first issue out by February 19-21, so we need to know RIGHT NOW if you are interested in this offer! We only have so much space to give away, so ads will be placed on a first come first serve basis--don't be the last one in! Atari Advantage can be reached in the following ways: Phone: (503) 476-3578 FAX : (503) 476-0719 GEnie: AT-VANTAGE CIS : 70007,3615 U.S. Mail: Atari Advantage Magazine P.O. Box 803 Merlin, OR 97532 UPS, FedEx: Atari Advantage Magazine 400 Galice Rd. Merlin, OR 97532 ---------------- From Jim Allen (Fast Tech) - Cat. 4, Topic 11, Msg. 123, 142 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... We have the fastest 68000 accelerator in the world, the T20 and T25, which run a 20 and 25Mhz. T20....$329.00US T25....$379.00US These fit all 520, 1040, and Mega STs. With a small adapter they fit the 1040STE also. STE adapter...$49.00US We also offer TOS 2.06 to our customers, along with an installation kit, to allow you to upgrade any 520, 1040, or MegaST. TOS 2.06....$60.00US option We also have in limited release the TURBO030, 40Mhz 68030 accelerator. It comes in two versions, half populated, and fully populated. Full surface mount design, the only user installable option is the FPU upgrade, comprised of a 60Mhz 68882 coprocessor. TURBO030 cache-only...$1,199.00US...$999.00US to T16/2x and ISD users TURBO030 4Meg........$1,999.00US...$1,495.00US to T16/2x and ISD users As soon as the 16Meg DRAMs are available, there will be a 16Meg version, hopefully by this summer. The FPU option is for Dynacadd and Lexicore SW users....$299.00US We are also working on a Virtual Memory SW option, to allow your system to have up to 128Meg of ram. Price to be set, but we are targeting $299.00US. ...the upgrade [from T20 to T25] to 25Mhz is $50, plus shipping. Anyone out there with a T20 who wants to move up, I would be more than happy to grant your request. In fact, there have been a couple enhancements, interface-wise developed that will be incorporated into any units upgraded. The TOS [TOS2.06 upgrade], and requires some soldering, but if you can handle putting a T2x in you can handle the TOS no sweat... ---------------- Question from Christian Schmitt on CIS... I've been using a 2400bps for a couple of years now and had no trouble with it. But now, when I learned about the new line of low-priced Supra v32 modems, I am really thinking about upgrading. I read now that you (or your computer) should talk to the modem at 38400bps for best results. But as far as I know the ST's serial port can only be set to 19200bps. So, working with v32bis, v42 and v42bis my maximim throughput is at approx. 1920cps. Is there a way to set the RS232 port to higher speeds than 19200bps or should I go with v32 and not v32bis? What do the people who already own and use a high speed modem think? Answer from Pat Augustine on CIS... Even at 19,200 baud you are doing ok. V32bis only goes 14,400 baud. All other speed improvements are due to compression. Yes, being able to set the port to 38,400 would be nice. I have a DA that says it does that, but whenever I attempt to use it, I lose a LOT of data from the drive, so I've pretty much given up on it. The DOCS are in German, though, so maybe I'm doing something wrong. In any case, if you spend a lot of time downloading compressed files (files that are ARCed or LZHed) you are not going to get any additional compression. Things that will be compressed will be text (like getting new messages from here, but then CIS doesn't allow compression, so it doesn't gain anything). I've got a USR Dual Standard V32. I called them to see what it would cost to upgrade to V32bis, but they don't do upgrades, according to the guy I talked to. No big deal, V32 is wonderful. But for the price difference Supra is asking, the V32bis allows for the future. ---------------- Good comments about JRI from Michael Burkley on Delphi... I have the JRI SIMM upgrade and I love it. It was hard for me to install (but I am a total flop as a solderer). I managed to bungle it, but John Russell took the ST and fixed it right up. He even said that since I had done most of the work he wouldn't charge me [anything] but shipping and $5. It has a connector for an external GENLOCK device that he sells, and another socket for a video chip that he also sells that allows your ST to display as many colors as the STe. It's a very good upgrade.... --------------- From Ron Martin (Network 23 Software) - Cat. 14, Topic 40, Msg. 191 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... Be careful. Some places that sell SIMMs at very low prices only ship FedEx - meaning $9 and up to get them to you. I bought my SIMMs about 2-3 weeks ago from The LLB Company. At the time they had... 100ns for $34.00 80ns for $36.00 70ns for $38.00 Don't be concerned about speed, though. You don't get any speed improvement with SIMMS faster than 120ns. I don't know if you need faster SIMMs for the TT or if you add an accellerator to your STE, but unless you'll be upgrading, save your money and buy 100ns. I think my machine has two 70s, one 80, and one 100. How's that for hodge-podge! A little off the subject, but they are also selling 44meg Syquest carts for $66.00. The LLB Company: 1-800-848-8967 Overnight : $6 Ground UPS: $3 Orders before 7:30pm EST weekdays ship same day. They're located in Bellevue, WA. ---------------- From Dave Seberg - Cat. 4, Topic 41, Msg. 14 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... ....There are several H.P. support numbers depending on what your needs are. They are as follows: For supplies and accesories ..................... 1-800-538-8787 For information on products and nearest dealer .. 1-800-752-0900 For help with printer operation or set-up and for nearest H.P. authorized repair center ........... 1-208-323-2551 ---------------- Comments about the M24LMAX monitor from Chris Kehoe (Finer Details) - Cat. 4, Topic 25, Msgs. 129, 130, 133 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... To Whom It May Concern, I got my M24LMAX today. I'm sorry to say I'm not at all impressed. First off, although it's supposed to be a 24 inch monitor, I could only get it to give me a 19 1/4 inch working area with a 2 inch black frame around all edges. Using the four little knobs on the back, I tried for hours to get the screen bigger but anything beyond a 19 inch screen was distorted. Not only is the usable screen not much bigger than my old 19 inch Moniterm but the imagery is not as sharp either. The center may be focused while the edges are fuzzy. And the mouse pointer has a ghost 1/4 inch to the right of it unless I turn up the brightness to the point of making everything blurred. And while straight lines are straight at the bottom and left sides of the screen the top bows in at the center and the right side is anything but staight. I'm p***ed! The liturature I got from Image Systems has a photo with the usable screen almost to the corners of the tube with no distortion or bowing at the top. That's what I expected. Lemon or no lemon, this piece of $#!+ gets shipped back to Image Systems first thing tomorrow. I'm keeping my Moniterm. ....I just talked to Joe Lloyd at Image Systems. He gave me authori- zation to send the unit back so he could check it out. I told him I didn't want the moniter if it couldn't match the usable screen size and clarity of a 24 inch Viking Moniterm. I'll post what happens. BTW, measuring the LMAX's tube diagonally from left bottom corner to top right corner gives you a 22 1/2 tube, not 24 inches. ...Joe @ Image Systems was very understanding and wanted to do what- ever was necessary to fix my situation. He suggested I send the monitor back and he'd have his tech check it out. He even offered to set it up himself and adjust it to the largest possible usable screen size. I told him that if he could not get the LMAX's usable screen size to match or better the usable screen size of the 24 inch Viking Monitern then I would not be satisfied with it. He then said a full refund of my money would not be a problem but that he'd do his best to get the LMAX to perform to my expectations. Just to be on the safe side, I had Wells Fargo Bank put a "Stop Payment" on the check I gave to UPS for the LMAX. I doubt I'll be seeing the LMAX again because personally, from what I've seen, I don't think the LMAX can match the Moniterm's screen size. In a side by side comparison the 24 inch Moniterm's usable screen is as big as the Image Systems whole tube! Although the LMAX claims to be a 24 inch monitor, it's tube is only 22 inches (diagonally). Not only that but, one of the selling points of the LMAX was that it "provides twice the brightness of most other monitors, greatly reducing eye strain in ambient lighting conditions". Well, when I explained to Joe that if I turned up the brightness on the LMAX to anything higher that what I was used to on the Moniterm, everything on the LMAX became fuzzy, out of focus. He told me that was normal and that some people are willing to sacrafice some clarity for brightness. He also said that it is also normal for the corners to be a little out of focus on any 24 inch monitor. My freind's 24 inch Viking Moniterm is crisp to the edges, just as is my 19 inch Viking Moniterm. I expected no less from the LMAX. For what it's worth, the LMAX's appearance isn't as refined as the Moniterm's either. My freinds older 24 inch Moniterm looks a lot more together/polished than the LMAX. The LMAX looked more like a prototype than a finished product. But then again, that's only my opinion. Anyway, Alex @ ALX Technology fixed my 19 inch Moniterm and unless I run into an exceptionally good deal on a 24 incher, I'll be quite content with my Viking 2/91. ---------------- From Bill Rehbock (Atari) - Cat. 14, Topic 18, Msg 66 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... I'll put together a listing of the printer drivers, etc. that are included with FSM GDOS. Off the top of my head... FSMGDOS.PRG...The O/S extension itself, scales fonts from 4 to 1000 points, gives the VDI GEM/3 Bezier drawing capability and enhanced polyline/polygon functions, caches old GDOS bitmap fonts and uses separate cache for FSM Font information and bitmaps. FONTGDOS.PRG...Alternate non-scaling version that uses only GDOS bitmap fonts and not FSM scaleable ones. Doesn't slow the VDI down by 30% like the old GDOS did. (Neither does FSMGDOS :-) Extends the drawing capabilities of the VDI also. Caches bitmap fonts for more efficient use of memory. Designed for the user that is squeezed for memory. FSMGDOS.CPX/ACC...Allows user to configure FSM Caches, current library of fonts to use, special options are provide for maximum compatibility with old, poorly written programs. FONTGDOS.CPX/ACC...Primarily a "Printer- Picker"; never edit an ASSIGN.SYS file again! Allows Draft/Final quality control of printer driver, installation and configuration of GDOS bitmap fonts and extended drivers for Metafiles, Plotters, Screen Drivers, etc. Also sets up Driver/Bitmap Font path configuration. FSMPRINT.CPX/ACC...Allows user to customize printer drivers to set page size, default quality, and in the future paper tray selection, etc. Printer Drivers include...SLM, FX80/LX (standard & wide), NX1000, JX80 (color), Oki Color, LaserJet, DeskJet, Canon Bubble Jet, NEC P6/P7, Epson Compatible 24 pin (B/W & Color), and the new Epson LQ570. (I am sure that this list is not complete.) But that's not all...you also get a very user-friendly Install program that sets everything up for you. One happy and important note...Atari is making the FSM Printer Driver Builder Kit available to qualified developers AT NO COST under the following stipulations: 1) The driver must be approved by Atari before it is released by the developer. 2) The developer must not attempt to add functionality to the driver without first consulting Atari. (To ensure maximum upward compatibility.) 3) The developer must give Atari non-exclusive rights to the source code of the driver. (To ensure that the driver library is available to all users, and can be updated quickly should the need arise.) ---------------- From John King Tarpinian - Cat. 11, Topic 12, Msg. 7 - from the ST Roundtable on Genie... *-*-*-*-* ATTENTION *-*-*-*-* Due to a possible conflict with the preferred four week distance between shows, THE GLENDALE SHOW has been able to change it's dates to September 12 & 13, 1992. For future reference, The Glendale Show has reserved September 18 & 19, 1993 for next year's show. John King Tarpinian THE GLENDALE SHOW Faire Chairperson ---------------- Until next week..... ___________________________________________________________ > TAF SHOW 1992! STR SHOW NEWS SHOW NEWS & UPDATES! ============================ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: John R. Sheehan, SJ TAF President - (416) 926-1518 GEnie: J. Sheehan14 + + + On April 4th and 5th, Atari Canada and the Toronto Atari Federation will host what may be the most exciting Atari event in North America in 1992. To be held at the Skyline Hotel on Dixon Road, near Pearson International Airport, , ACE '92, the Atari Canadian Exposition will feature the most outstanding developers in the Atari world with some of the latest programs and program updates. Local dealers will exhibit the latest hardware and peripherals, and user groups from across Canada and the United States will be on hand to share Public Domain and Shareware programs and exchange knowledge. Door prizes throughout both days of the show, special show prices and several major door prize packages will add to the excitement. Facilities will include a 22,000 square foot convention area, an additional 7,000 square foot display and exhibit space, and 7 separate meeting rooms that will host a wide range of seminars, demonstrations and mini-concerts. On Saturday evening, a formal banquet will bring together local users with major figures in the present and future course of Atari. This is the third major convention that the Toronto Atari Federation has hosted in recent years. As one of the largest user groups in Canada, if not all of North America, TAF has consistently helped bring the best and most contemporary computer technology to Toronto users. With membership of approximately 300, TAF will provide the core volunteers that make an event like this possible. However, other user groups will also be invited to participate, to help stimulate exchange of information among the various Atari groups in this region and to help broaden the base of support for this special event. Atari Canada General Manager Geoff Earle has said that this April event could easily surpass the recent Chicago convention, both in attendance and participation by developers and programmers. Basing their participation on the successful Chicago model, Atari Canada will assume many of the initial commitment costs, including facility costs and advertising. TAF will coordinate activities and provide volunteer help. TAF President John R. Sheehan, SJ noted, "The enthusiasm of our members is the reason we felt this was a good time for a show. So many members had been asking about a show, and volunteering to help that we felt we really could present a spectacular two-day event. We couldn't try it without our volunteers, but with their help, this April will see the most exciting Atari show Toronto has ever seen!" Packets for dealers and developers are being prepared and should be mailed by the end of January. Information packets for user groups will be available at around the same time. The Skyline Hotel will be offering special room rates to participants, and special travel plans should also be announced shortly. To be placed on the mailing list for Convention information, please send your name, address, and affiliation (developer, user group, dealer, etc.) to TAF's mailing address, 5334 Yonge Street, Suite 1527, Toronto, ON M2N 6M2 or leave a message at (416) 425-5357. ATARI TALENT SHOW ANNOUNCED """"""""""""""""""""""""""" As part of the Atari Canadian Exposition, ACE '92, April 4/5, a special talent competition has been announced. To demonstrate the many ways that Atari computers can be used in creative entertainment, two divisions will be open for submissions. The contest is open to all Atari Users. MUSIC AND SOUND --------------- Since Atari has long been an industry leader in MIDI applications, one division will be open for applications of sound and music. Entries may be live performance, combination of live and pre-created or totally pre-created arrangements of music and sound. Entries may be original compositions or adaptations of existing material. (Initial submission must be made on cassette tape; if accompanied by visual effects, appropriate disk program or description must also be included.) GRAPHICS OR ANIMATION --------------------- Since Atari can manipulate over sixteen million separate colors, visual arts provides another rich field for creative work. In this field, entrants may submit animated segments, or graphics displays. Submissions may include "slide shows" of created works, demonstrations of works being created, or animated creations of any type. Entertainment value will be the criteria for judging. Individual presentations should last no more than 10 minutes. Entries will go through preliminary judging, and those who are accepted will make public presentations or performances throughout the day on Saturday, April 4th, at ACE '92. Performances will be open to those attending the Exposition at no charge, and judging of finalists will take place prior to 4PM. Winners will attend the evening banquet as guests of Atari Canada. Each contestant will present their entries or performances at the evening banquet, at which time they will be judged a second time, and prizes awarded. Judging will be on the basis of creative use of the computer and entertainment value. FIRST PRIZE in each division will be a $700 gift certificate from Atari Canada, good towards the purchase of any Atari product, and a one-year membership in the Toronto Atari Federation. SECOND PLACE WINNERS will receive a $200 gift certificate from Atari Canada, and their choice of 10 disks from the TAF Library. Third Place Winners will receive a $100 Gift Certificate, and their choice of 5 disks. For an entry form, contact: ACE '92, c/o TAF 5334 Yonge Street, Suite 1527 Toronto, ON M2N 6M2 Or call: John R. Sheehan, SJ TAF President (416) 926-1518 or leave a message on the TAF BBs (416) 425-0318. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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 -------------------- Beginning September 1, 1990, DELPHI will begin offering a new plan that will save you money! The new plan is called the 20/20 Advantage Plan 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 restrictions may apply. But this is still an amazing deal! For more information, contact DELPHI at 1-800-544-4005 and ask for Member Services. DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > DELPHI & BIX STR FOCUS DELPHI & BIX UNDER ONE ROOF! ======================= GENERAL VIDEOTEX PURCHASES BIX ONLINE SERVICE ============================================= General Videotex Purchases BIX Online Service from BYTE Magazine General Videotex Corporation (GVC) announced today that it has purchased BIX, the online service developed by BYTE magazine. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. No stock was transferred between the parties. BIX is an online service for computer professionals that features interaction, advice, and programming code from top programmers, designers, and consultants. BIX is popular with hardware and software engineers, system designers, independent consultants, technology buffs and computer industry celebrities. A close alliance will continue between BIX and BYTE magazine, and BIX will remain the privileged means by which BYTE's audience and computer specialists worldwide can gain electronic access to the BYTE editorial team. In addition, the full text of BYTE magazine, BYTE's online news service, MicroBytes, and BYTE program listings will continue to be distributed through BIX. GVC also operates DELPHI, a consumer online service. Accessible with any computer and modem, DELPHI is popular for its extensive information and entertainment services and for the friendly community of people who make up its membership. The addition of BIX enhances GVC's position as a worldwide leader in the online services market. "We're happy to add BIX to our family," said General Videotex President and CEO Dan Bruns. "BIX addresses the needs of the high-tech professional while DELPHI appeals to the consumer and personal computer market. BIX is a perfect fit for General Videotex." BYTE publisher Ronald Evans cited the increasing specialization required to operate an electronic service as a prime motivator behind the sale. " We decided that we wanted to devote our resources to our publishing operations and work closely with General Videotex who will be able to enhance and extend BIX at the pace of the industry. BIX subscribers will come out ahead because of the expertise General Videotex already has in this marketplace, and BYTE will come out ahead because of our continuing editorial contribution to the new alliance with GVC." Steve Laliberte, Director of BIX for BYTE, will join GVC as its Director of Computer-Related Services. "The strength of GVC's product portfolio will translate into greatly enhanced services as BIX and DELPHI grow," said Laliberte. "GVC's expertise will ensure BIX's continued leadership in the high-tech market." GVC plans a transition of ownership to ensure continuity of service for BYTE's BIX subscribers. GVC's purchase includes the computer system and software used to operate BIX. The command structure and menu design will remain unchanged. All present products, such as binary mail attachments and the MicroBytes daily newswire, will be available. GVC has assumed all BIX subscription and customer-service obligations. Callers to the BIX toll-free help line will be assisted through GVC's Member Services department in Cambridge. GVC also designs and develops interactive services for other media. GVC currently distributes information through cable television, telex, Regional Bell telephone gateways, and throughout Latin America. The combined scope of DELPHI, BIX, and these media partners gives GVC an electronic publishing mix unmatched in the industry. Interested parties may join BIX by using their computer and modem to call 1-800-225-4129 (617-861-9767 from within Massachusetts). Once connected, press return. When asked to log in, type "BIX" and then enter "NEW" when asked for a name. General Videotex, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, began operations in 1981. It is located at 1030 Massachusetts Ave., 4th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138, (617) 491-3342 or (800) 695-4005. ______________________________________________________________ > A STUBBED TOE! STR FOCUS ".. youthful indiscretion.." ======================== EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF? ====================== by John Barnes On January 25th John Townsend, a well-known employee of Atari Corporation posted a collection of small utility programs designed to control the cache and speed of the Mega STe computers. In most instances such an act would be seen as a gesture of corporate good will aimed at providing potential buyers with a little something extra for their money. The MEGASTE.LZH package, however, contained something different: a notice that programs were shareware, that the rights were reserved to Mr. Townsend, and a request to send the $5 shareware fee to his home address. Even today, after 11 years of savings and loan scandals, tax evasion, and profiteering most America corporations do not look kindly on such actions by their hirelings. Employees of corporations are almost never permitted to publish anything related to their work without company approval. Such publications do, after all, reflect the professionalism of the company and its staff as well as company's attitudes and policies toward its products and its customers. Use of company resources for private gain is normally prohibited because the potential for fraud and abuse is too great. Even employees who leave a company and subsequently make use of their specialized knowledge can be punished. While John Townsend was not operating on the scale of Michael Milkin or Charles Keating, what he did was wrong, and I so advised him in a private GE Mail letter on Sunday, February 2nd. By February 5th the file was gone from GEnie. In the absence of a reply from Mr. Townsend I have no idea whether the letter played a role in this action. I hoped that Atari would release the files without the shareware statement and that the most Mr. Townsend would suffer would be a mild rebuke for his youthful indiscretion. Since more than 100 people had downloaded the file during the 10 days that it was posted on GEnie, it would seem that some sort of public explanation is necessary. If Atari lacked a formal company policy on such matters before this incident it is to be hoped that they now have some means of keeping the ethical compasses of their employees pointing in the right direction. A corporate culture in which "Every Man for Himself" is the prevailing attitude is one that is on the verge of total disintegration. ________________________________________________________________ > CRYPTOLOGY 101 STR Spotlight Exploring the "real" meanings. ============================ CRYPTOLOGY 101 ============== Fourty-Five different definitions of what the initials IBM stand for Compiled from about 30-40 different posts... 1) 've een ugged 2) uy oney 3) t's etter anually 4) ought acintosh 5) 've een isled 6) t it e 7) tty itty achines 8) t ombs any 9) gnorant ull anure 10) diotic ovine anure 11) ncessant owel ovement 12) ttiy itty orons 13) nferior ut arketable 14) diotic rainless utants 15) ncredibly oring achinery 16) tty itty icroprocesser 17) ntroverted rain auler 18) mbeciles ecome anagers 19) nstall igger achines 20) ecame acintosh 21) lame icrosoft 22) cky lue achines 23) diotic ull Meter 24) diots' ewilderment achines 25) diots ought e 26) mmense ins of oney 27) mperialism y arketing 28) mpractical, ut arketable 29) n a efuddled anner 30) ncest reeds orons 31) ndustry's iggest istake 32) nert lue onoliths 33) nstalled y asochists 34) nstitute of roken inds 35) ntrepid ureaucratic adness 36) nvoluntary owel ovement 37) t eats attel 38) nescapable ut ediocre 39) arely ove 40) ll egotten achine 41) t's a roken achine 42) nternational it anglers 43) nteresting ut eaningless 44) dolized y orons 45) e needing more oney _____________________________________________________________ > VOODO & YOUR ST! STR Spotlight What's going on here???? ============================== DOES VOODO WORK ON YOUR ST? =========================== by Lloyd E. Pulley On August 13, 1991, Jim Allen (Fast Technologies) left a post on the ST Roundtable on Genie (Category 28, Topic 18, Message 1) concerning a pos- sible fix that he had discovered for a problem that some GCR (Gadgets by Small) users were experiencing. The problem was that _some_ Mega ST's and TT's internal floppy drives didn't read or write properly when in Mac mode. Jim's fix was to add a second 7406 driver chip (a $.20 chip) on top of the original chip, i.e. piggybacking it. Jim mentioned in that post and in several others that he couldn't guarantee that the fix would work for everyone, that it worked for him. NOTE: at this time Gadgets did not have an official fix for this problem, they now do. Post #1 - "Your mileage may vary, the fixes might or might not work for YOUR TT, but they have worked for mine...at least my borrowed TT ;-)" Post #4 - "At least it worked for me, before adding it, Mega no format Mac disks, after adding it Mega now formats Mac disks. Same circuit on the STEs and TT too." Post #4 - "It helped out a borrowed TT too, so all I can say is give it a try." Jim admitted that he didn't know exactly why the fix worked and why it only worked on certain systems because basically all it was doing was "Boosting output by using two of them helps improve the S/N ratio." In two posts in Category 4, Topic 11, he said... "...I don't pretend to explain it, I don't have the SPECTRE code to use to try and understand it. It works in some cases, that's all I can say. Since it can't hurt, and since it cost about $.20, what's the problem?" "There are things in this world George that simply never get explained. Like gravity, time, the Joule-Thompson effect, etc." Jim's post was re-printed by Michael Lee in one of his columns for STR and it was also re-printed by Atari User magazine. And that is when the problems started for Dave Small (Gadgets by Small) and George Richardson (Merlin Group - who now does all of Gadget's warranty and service work). Some people who tried the 7406 fix found out that it didn't work for them. So they started calling Gadgets and George blaming them because Jim's "7406 fix" didn't work on their systems. They forgot, or ignored, that Jim said in his post(s) that he couldn't guarantee that the fix would work on all systems, it just worked on his...also that his fix was an unofficial one and that Gadgets was not responsible for it. Needless to say, and very understandably, with the hassle of trying to get the SST out the door, Dave and George didn't appreciate people blaming them because Jim's unofficial fix didn't work for everyone. (NOTE: Dave started shipping the SST's this week!!) So to help clarify the situation.... Jim Allen's "7406 fix" only works on some systems - and no-one knows why it works. His fix is not an official fix that is endorsed by either Fast Technologies nor Gadgets by Small, it was just a helpful hint from one ST owner to other ST owners. The fix does not in any way "...infer that there is anything wrong with the GCR. The problems experienced with TTs are solely due to differences between the ST cartridge port and the Tt cartridge port, which Gadgets could hardly have anticipated." If you have tried the fix and it did not work, don't blame (or call) Gadgets complaining about it. In some machines it works, in others it does not (it worked on my friend's - Mark Kiel - Mega). Gadgets in NO way endorses nor advocates this fix. Gadgets now has their own official fix for attempting to take care of this problem. Finally, in NO case should you attempt any hardware modifications to your system unless you are a qualified technician...and even then, they sometimes mess up. Neither Jim nor Dave should be held responsible for any problems resulting in attempting to install this, or any other fix. Below is Gadget's _official_ position about this problem... Atari-ST RoundTable Category 28, Topic 19 Message 21 Sat Nov 02, 1991 G.RICHARDSO1 [George] at 08:54 EST Gadgets by Small now has a tech note available on modifying your GCR to improve compatibility with the TT. This does not solve all problems, but does resolve all the problems with the GCR hardware. In some cases this may actually correct problems with the GCR & some other types of STs as well. The most common problem it fixes is the "You have bad or Switched ROMs" message. It may also fix some problems with Mac format disk reading, writing and formatting, although there seems to be some interaction between this and the 68030 cache as well. To Get the bulletin, either call or fax Gadgets at: Phone: (303) 791-6098 from 8:30am to 2:30pm Mountain time on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Fax: (303) 791-0253 anytime. George Richardson Merlin Group, Inc. ---------- Disclaimer: This article was put together right before STR "went to press". I've attempted to consolidate 35k+ of posts into a quick 5k+ article. If there are any mistakes in the article, they were inadvertent and I apologize. ______________________________________________________ > STR Portfolio News & Information Keeping up to date... ================================ THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ========================= On CompuServe by Judith Hamner 72257,271 We have some handy new uploads this week. Craig Davis has uploaded PKL113.EXE. This is the latest version of PKLite. This program will compress EXE and COM programs so that they take up less room on your ram cards. Programs are ready to run in the compressed form with no extra de-compress step. VBRUN.ZIP is the Windows DLL file needed to run PRTCRD.ZIP and PRTCAL.ZIP. These are programs from the library. PRTCRD will transfer data between the Windows 3 cardfile and the Portfolio's .adr files. PRTCAL is for exchanging data between the Windows calendar and the Port's .dry files. VBRUN is a library which is required to run these programs on your desktop. Thanks again to Craig Davis for locating these files and posting them here. Craig Jacobson has created several batch files to allow you to send faxes from the Portfolio. PRTFAX.DOC contains all three files. Craig makes use of Jim Ness's program Portcis which is also available in the forum library. Katsumi Nakamura has given us another use for the Portfolio. PLM.ZIP is a program to allow the Portfolio to be used as a serial line monitor. For those of you old enough to remember, there are fond memories of the Infocom series of text adventures. These have just been re-released in a collection called "Lost Treasures of Infocom". The games were text based and ported to several 40 column computers. This makes them adaptable to the Portfolio. Bill Oakes offers some pointers for set-up in INFOCO.TXT. Also, some of the games may require ANSI.SYS. There is a version suitable for the Portfolio in the forum library. There has been interest expressed in the use of the Portfolio in medical applications. We have news of a few of these this week. TROPME.ADR was uploaded by Theo Guentert. This address book file compiles the usage of drugs in tropical countries. It includes indicators, toxicity, side effects along with general remarks. BJ Gleason has shared a marvelous story with us which is printed here in its entirety: #: 24799 (H) S1/Forum Business 02-Feb-92 22:17:48 Sb: #Why I Wrote PBASIC... Fm: SYSOP*bj gleason 75300,2517 To: All All: Something really nice happened to me tonight, and I wanted to take a moment to tell you about it, because I am rather proud of this "event." [The names have been changed to protect the innocent.] I just got back from dinner, with a PBASIC user, who happened to be in DC this weekend. At home, he is a doctor, and works with children who have diabetes. He told me a story about a young boy with diabetes. The boy's parents are slightly retarded, and deaf. They were having a hard time dealing with the child's illness. So this doctor wrote a PBASIC to analyze the boy's blood sugar reading, and print out exactly what should be done [get some exercise, drink water, call doctor], and to help the parents, it also displays the information in sign language. This is why I wrote PBASIC. PBASIC is like a child to me. I am very proud of it. But I am even prouder of the programs that people write using PBASIC. I consider these programs to be my "grandchildren." And like all grandparents, I am very proud. I just wanted share this with you all. ________________________________________________________ > BCS IS CHOSEN! STR FOCUS "...this new machine will be the 68040 TT." ======================== ATARI TO UNVEIL ITS LATEST MACHINE(S) IN BOSTON! ================================================ Boston Computer Society To Host the North American Debut! ========================================================= by Dana P. Jacobson In a recent casual phone conversation with Bob Brodie, Director of Communications at Atari, early last week, I became involved with helping to initiate the planning of Atari's North American debut of its latest machine(s) in Boston at the Boston Computer Society's (BCS) General Meeting. Since the BCS is in a transition period now while looking to fill its leadership position; and the BCS/Atari group is also in transition, I referred Bob to Harry Steele, STR Correspondant, long-time BCS/Atari member and BCS activist. Harry has been an integral part of the planning of many BCS/Atari events in the past and seemed the logical person for Bob to initiate discussions of this proposed event. According to Harry, "Bob Brodie called my home last week. Bob informed me that Atari would like to make a first U.S. showing of its newest computer at a BCS monthly General Meeting. Having been a loyal Atari owner and BCS member for the past 11 years, I helped make the necessary arrangements for Atari to attend ASAP. The staff of the BCS was thrilled that Atari wanted to unveil their newest product at a BCS meeting," Harry added. Rumors are flying in an attempt to learn what new machine will be unveiled at the BCS, but Harry states that "Bob could not tell me at this time what machine will be announced at the BCS meeting. A non-disclosure agreement is in the mail." Best guesses at present is that this new machine will be the 68040 TT. Harry added that "at this present time, we do not know exactly who from Atari will be attending to announce Atari's newest computer." This will not be the first time that Atari has unveiled its newest machine at a BCS meeting. According to Harry, "in 1985, Atari made its initial showing of the 520ST at a BCS General Meeting...in Boston. At that meeting in '85, over 600 members were in attendance." Atari is not alone in its consideration of the Boston Computer Society as the organization to announce new products. Harry added that "in the past, many giants of the computer industry have shown new products or given talks to the BCS members at our monthly meetings, including (to name a few):IBM, Commodore, Apple Computer, Lotus, Microsoft, Compaq, Digital Equipment Corp., USRobotics, and NeXT." I asked Harry why he thought Atari decided on the BCS; and what the BCS had to offer to be considered for this honor. "I believe that Atari wants to announce its new product to as many non-Atari owners as possible at the BCS meeting and to show them what we already know - that Atari Corporation is still an innovative leader in the computer field," responded Harry. "The Boston Computer Society is one of the largest non-profit computer organizations in the world. The BCS has over 25,000 members in all of the 50 United States, and 48 countries. Of these, over 800 members actively volunteer an average of 10 hours per month to the BCS. Currently, there are approximately 300 Atari BCS members. Our mission is twofold: to make personal computers understandable and accessible to everyone; and to help people get the greatest possible benefit from the technology. We achieve this by providing more than 150 educational services to our members and the public. The BCS sponsors more than 1,500 meetings and educational programs each year to 50 computer user and special interest groups." Even though specifics are sketchy at the present time, response has been good. "Everyone whom I have talked to is excited that Atari has chosen the BCS and Boston," said Harry. "I view this event as something really positive from Atari. Having been involved in the planning of two AtariFests in Boston (1987 and 1990) and currently co-Director of the Atari user group and the SysOp of BCS/Atari BBS, I'm looking forward to attending this Atari guest appearance at the Boston Computer Society." According to BCS representatives, "at this present time, the BCS does not have a president. A Transition Committee has been formed for the daily operations of the BCS. Dan DiBartolomeo and the BCS/Atari user group are coordinating the presentation by Atari. For more information, please contact: The Boston Computer Society One Kendall Square Cambridge, MA 02139 (617) 252-0600 You can also contact Harry Steele via the BCS/Atari BBS, at (617) 396-4607. Information may also be available from this STReport editor on FNET Node 350 (DPJ), Delphi (DPJ) or GEnie (D.JACOBSON2). The BCS monthly General Meeting is open to all BCS members and their guests. All non-BCS members are welcome to attend this meeting. The presentation/meeting will take place April 22nd, 7:30 p.m. at the New England Life Hall. New England Life is in Copley Square in Boston, at 225 Clarendon Street. The Boston Computer Society hopes to see many of you attend. Remember: "Atari Unveils New Machine!" April 22, 1992 New England Life Hall 225 Clarendon Street Boston, MA 7:30 p.m. ________________________________________________________ > FLOW CONTROL EXPLAINED STR FOCUS "Know your Modem's Power!" ================================ A primer on using: FLOW CONTROL (FIXED LINK OPERATION) WITH THE ATARI ST COMPUTER David B. Chiquelin Author of FMAILER.TOS FNET Mailer program I, like I'm sure nearly everyone else, has gone through a learning curve on using Flow Control with the ST computer. To help you avoid the same mistakes I made I have put together this info file. I hope you will read it. It might be too basic at times, but if you bear with it you might learn something and avoid problems or the spreading of misinformation. At the end of the section on Flow Control I have added a section on general modem info. I found a good source and wanted to share the data with everyone, as it is often confusing on what V.32, V.42, Bell 208A, etc exactly are. Why use flow control? This is explained in the modem literature that comes with modems that can benefit from flow control, but I will try to cover it for those who do not have one of those modems but are nonetheless interested in its use. Some modems can perform what amounts to data compression when connected with compatible modems. What this means is the amount of data transferred can exceed the amount that would be sent using 2 "standard" modems. To understand how they perform this feat you need to understand how a standard modem operates. Modems communicate with the computer using the RS-232 port, an asyncronous device. Asynchronous means Not Synchronous. So, what does Synchronous mean? Well, a synchronous device sends a steady stream of bits no matter what. The bits may just be saying "nothing being sent", or they may contain data. Because the bits are always there the modem and computer are constantly communicating and in synch. An asynchronous device only sends bits out the port when there is data. That would seem more efficient, but the computer and modem need to know when data is coming and for how long. That is why you have the familiar 8 bit, No parity, 1 stop bit type settings in terminal programs. (Or 7 bit, Even parity, 2 stop bits, etc) All asynchronous protocols have a start bit that tells the modem/computer "Here comes some data". This is because bits are represented by a voltage level, and if 0 volts is a 0 and 12 volts is a 1, the device receiving a byte represented by 00100110 would not know what was being sent, since the first "bit" of data it would receive would be the third bit which is the first voltage signal. Using a start bit and end bit the device would then see 1 (12 volts) 00100110 and 1 (12 volts for the stop bit). It can then figure out the 0s and 1s of the data byte by the voltages and timing between the start and stop bits. So when you are operating 8-N-1, which is the normal mode for data transfers, the computer and modem send: Start bit - 8 data bits - Stop bit That works out to 10 bits for every byte of data sent out or coming in an asynchronous port. This is why a 300 baud modem sends and receives 30 characters per second instead of 37.5, and why a 2400 bps modem sends and receives 240 cps instead of 300. (2400 (bits per second)/8 (bits per byte) would equal 300 characters per second, if only the data was being sent.) As you can see, if you could strip some of those start and stop bits from the data stream you could achieve higher transmission rates, which is exactly what certain modems do. Microcom Network Protocol (MNP) modems at service class 3 are one example. The international standard V.42 modems are another example. MNP is an error detection and correction protocol so it has overhead that takes away from the gain you would expect by removing the start and stop bits. This means you end up with an 8% speed increase instead of the 20% expected. MNP service class 4 modems use a streamlined protocol to reduce the overhead and achieve about a 15% transmission speed increase. Service class 5 adds actual data compression to achieve variable transfer speed increases, depending on how "compressable" the data stream is. A file being transferred that is already compressed may actually take longer to send than if service class 4 was used, since the data can't be compressed any further and the added protocol overhead comes into play. But when transferring something like a text file, speed increases of about 200% are not unusual. However, speeding up the transfer of data between modems, which is all the data compression type modems can do, can't help you at all if your computer only sends to the modem at the connection speed. In other words, if you set the ST to 2400 bps and send data as fast as you can out the RS-232 port, you will achieve 240 cps. It doesn't matter if the modems could transfer that data at 400 cps, you are only giving it to them at 240 cps. That is exactly what happens when you set a computer port to a certain speed, the port will not send data faster than that rate. It will also not receive data faster than that rate. So why not send data out the computer faster? That is exactly what you do to take advantage of MNP (or V.42) type modems. Using a standard setup with the RS-232 port set to 2400 bps, lets imagine we connect using an MNP modem to another MNP modem at 1200 bps. Your computer sends data at 240 cps to the modem. The modem compresses the data and transfers it to the other modem at 240 cps over the 1200 bps signal. The other modem uncompr- esses the data and sends it to the other computer at 240 cps also (as- suming the other computer was also set to 2400 bps). All fine and dandy. But lets now suppose you send something that can't be compressed very much. Your computer sends it at 240 cps to the modem. The modem tries to compress it and achieves maybe 140 cps between the two modems. Where are the other 100 characters each second going? Well, into the big bit-bucket in the sky! Your data will NOT get through... There must be some way to solve this problem and the answer is Flow Control. Flow Control There are two types of flow control commonly available, hardware and software. Software uses certain characters to start and stop transmission of data. Those characters are the XON and XOFF characters, or ASCII(19) which is a ^S to stop the data transmission, and ASCII(17) which is a ^Q to restart transmission. Software flow control isn't very useful if your data being transmitted contains these two characters. The software must intercept those characters when they appear in the data stream and somehow code them to other characters for transmission. The receiver must then intercept the coded characters and change them back to the original ^S and ^Q data characters. Hardware flow control takes advantage of the control lines that are part of the RS-232 standard to control the transmission of data instead of using characters. The modem can raise the CTS (Clear To Send) signal line to signify that it is ready to send data and it is ok for the computer to send it to the modem, or lower it to tell it not to send any more. The computer can lower the RTS (Request To Send) signal if it needs to tell the modem not to send any more data (to the computer) that it has received from the other modem, and raise it when it is ok to send. This sounds simple enough, but the control via hardware is not as automatic as it seems, at least not on the ST. First, the ST Operating System (TOS) was not written properly at first to handle CTS/RTS flow control. In TOS 1.0 when the modem lowered the CTS line the computer would stop sending, and when the modem raised the CTS line the ST continued to not send data! Not a very effective method of hardware flow control. In TOS 1.2 they corrected the problem, but for some reason in TOS 1.4 they screwed it up again and flow control could not be turned on, or when it was on it simply had no effect. For TOS 1.0 a patch program was written by someone called TURBOCTS that you could use to correct the CTS bug. Unfortunately, the added overhead of the program reduced the speed at which data could be sent and received. It worked, but because it had to constantly do its thing to the RS-232 port, slowed things down a little. Slow when compared to what would be sent/received if the port was functioning properly without the need for a fix that is. For TOS 1.4 Atari itself provided the patch to correct the bug. Their corrected code replaces the code in the ROMs, so no slowdown in data transmission occurs. If you have TOS 1.4 you must use TOS14FIX.PRG if you want to use hardware flow control. TOS 2.05 users look for SERPTCH2.PRG. However... Just having hardware and an OS that properly supports it does not mean you can use CTS/RTS flow control on the ST! You would think from the name (hardware flow control) and its use of the RS-232 signal lines, that you wouldn't have to do anything in software in order to use it. Unfortunately that is not the case. The software communication programs, whatever they are, must check the status of the output port before they send each byte of data in order for hardware (CTS/RTS) flow control to work on the ST. This adds a little overhead to the code, which slows down the actual data transfer rate out the port. Many earlier programs did not check the port setting, and with the ST rendition of hardware flow control that means that having CTS/RTS turned on may be doing nothing at all. Also, any data that has made it into the ST's RS-232 buffer is still sent even after the CTS signal has been lowered. (I always assumed that since "hardware" flow control was in use, and the modem signaled the ST to stop sending data, that the ST *would* stop sending data. The ST though doesn't work this way, and continues to send data from the buffer. It simply "tells" the software not to send any more.) The ST's default RS-232 output buffer is 256 bytes, so you could have over 200 bytes sent to the modem *after* it says stop sending, even if your software immediately stopped sending data to the port. The modem though, has its own buffer and can normally handle the extra 200 or so bytes that it would be receiving. I say "normally", as there is an option on the HST modems that allows you to reduce the modem's internal buffer to 128 bytes on non-MNP connections. By doing this you reduce the amount of data that is "in-transit", and make the entire data exchange seem more "lively" to the user. You also take the very real risk of overflowing the modem's buffer unless the software is configured properly. Setting up Flow Control Now that we understand how flow control works, how do we set it up? As I already mentioned you *must* have an OS that supports it. This means TOS 1.2 or TOS 1.4 with TOS14FIX.PRG in your AUTO folder. You can also use TOS 1.0 and TURBOCTS.PRG, but your results will not be as good as using a higher TOS version. If you have an appropriate TOS setup the next step is to configure the ST's RS-232 port. When running flow control you can only achieve higher cps rates if you have the ST-modem interface running faster than the modem-modem rate. With most modems this means you set the RS-232 to 19.2K bps. The original EMULATOR.ACC did not have a setting for 19.2K, so you must obtain a version that has this setting. There is also a CONTROL.ACC that includes the RS-232 port setting function and it handles 19.2K. Set the port speed to 19.2K and click on CTS flow control. Be sure and have XON/XOFF or software flow control OFF. Do not enable Strip bit, as this removes the high bit from each character going out the port! After you set the port up, save your desktop. This will save the port settings so every time you boot your RS-232 port will automatically be set to 19.2 with CTS enabled. Now you need to set the modem up. The exact settings will depend on your modem, so I'll just give the items that must be set based on my experience with the HST and the HST commands. Data Terminal Ready Override. Set so the RS-232 port controls the modem. On the HST this is switch 1 in the UP position. Data Rate, terminal-to-modem (DTE/DCE) variable or fixed. Set this to fixed. *IMPORTANT* you must set this with your terminal program at the rate you want the modem to remain fixed at. In other words, send this command at 19.2K bps. If you send the modem this command at 2400 bps, your modem will continue to send data to the ST at 2400, even on a higher speed call. On the HST this is the &B1 command. Link Data Rate (DCE/DCE) variable or fixed. Set to variable. On the HST this is the &N0 command. Transmit Data flow control. Set to Hardware (CTS, Pin 5) flow control. On the HST use &H1. Received Data software flow control. Set OFF. On the HST it is &I0. Received Data hardware flow control. Set this to Received data output to terminal on RTS high. On the HST it is &R2. Data Set Ready (DSR, pin 6) override. This is not a flow control type setting, but should be set so the modem controls DSR. The command is &S1 on the HST. MNP Level 5 Data Compression. Your setting will depend on the type data that will be exchanged. If you will be sending compressed files (ARCed, LZHed, etc) you are probably better off leaving this turned off. To set it so compression is only enabled when the terminal-modem rate is faster than the modem-modem rate (the only time it can do you any good) use &K1 on the HST. To turn it off the command is &K0. To force it on all the time the command is &K2 on the HST. Transmit Buffer Sizes. On the HST the transmit buffer is normally 3.5K for ARQ calls (MNP) and 1.5K for non-ARQ connections. You can reduce the transmit buffer for non-ARQ calls to 128 bytes by setting S15=8 on the HST. Whether you want to or not is a personal decision. That takes care of the OS setup and the modem setup. Now all you need is software that use flow control properly! If you use ST-TERM it does not handle flow control, unless you can pick up a "fixed" version. FLASH, at least the early versions, also does not. I am not sure about any other terminal programs although I would suspect that any terminal program that is still being supported would have flow control working if you obtain the newer releases. If you are running a FoReM or ///Turbo BBS then in the FOREM/TURBO.OPT file you need to put HST on the first lien of the file. This is the baud speed to use for sending commands to the modem, and tells the BBS to always remain at 19200 bps. If using the Fmailer you also need to tell it to always use 19200 bps. You do this by placing the Fixed Link command in the node 0 area of the FNETLINK.DAT file. Note: If you use the Fixed Link command but you do not have a TOS that supports flow control, or do not have the fixes that enabled flow control to work, you will have ALL KINDS OF PROBLEMS. You *must* use CTS flow control if you have Fixed Link in your FNETLINK.DAT file. If you have CTS enabled but do not use the Fixed Link command it won't hurt you, but it won't help you either. Everything said so far about setting up the system is geared toward a high speed (9600 bps or higher) modem. However, there are many 2400 MNP capable modems in use. If you have one of these the only change in setting things up is the ST's port speed setting. Instead of using 19.2K, you just want to use the fastest speed the modem can recognize data at. This is probably going to be 9600 bps, but your modem documentation will give you the exact speed. Make sure you send the Data Rate command at 9600 bps. If using the Fmailer you would use the Fixed Link 9600 command instead of just Fixed Link. The V.42 modems are becoming more and more common also. The setup should be similar to setting an MNP modem since the theory and operation concerning flow control is the same. - * - * - * - General Modem Information (Or everything you wanted to know about standards but were afraid to ask) Source: Black Box Catalog, May 1991 CCITT V.XX Standards The Consultative Committee for International Telegraph and Telephone (CCITT) is an association that helps to establish worldwide communications standards. V.22, V.22 bis - synchronous/asynchronous data transmission, full duplex operation over 2-wire leased or dialup lines; 1200-bps data rate (2400 & 1200 bps for the V.22 bis). V.25, V.25 bis - provides for automatic calling and answering circuitry for use in the public switched telephone network (dialup lines). V.25 defines a dialup parallel interface; V.25 bis defines a dial serial inter- face. V.29 - synchronous data transmission, full-duplex operation over 4-wire lines, half-duplex operation over 2-wire lines, leased lines; 9600-, 7200-, or 4800-bps data rate. [The V.29-compliant modem is the next step in high speed modems. It specifies high-speed service over 4-wire leased lines in multipoint networks. By using a unique signal modulation techni- que called QAM, a V.29 modem can send more bits of information in the same time period than with most older modulation techniques.] V.32 - synchronous/asynchronous data transmission, full-duplex operation over 2-wire dialup or 2-wire/4-wire leased lines; 9600-bps data rate (fallback to 4800 bps). [The V.32 recommendation is the first universal standard for 9600-bps modems on both types of phone lines. V.32-compliant modems are the industry standard for high-speed networks. The main featu- res of a V.32 modem are: synch or asynch data transmission to accommodate any computer device; full-duplex operation (two-way, simultaneous data transfer) for the most efficient data exchange; trellis encoding modula- tion (an advanced form of QAM) that enables high data speeds and reduced errors; data is sent over standard dialup lines - a lot less expensive to use than leased lines. And V.32-compliant modems will work anywhere in the world, providing universal compatibility.] V.33 - synchronous data transmission, full-duplex operation over 4-wire leased lines, 14,000- or 12,000-bps rate. V.13 - This standard provides for simulated half-duplex (switched-carrier) control. V.32-and V.33-compliant modems that support this standard can be used in synchronous IBM RJE environments, allowing these types of networks to take advantage of the benefits of V.32/V.33 technology. The Bell Standards In the 1960s and 70s, Bell Labs created carrier standards for use with Bell equipment and lines, and to accommodate customers' fledgling networks. Bell 103 - asynchronous data transmission, full-duplex operation over 2-wire dialup or leased lines, 300-bps data rate. Comparable to CCITT V.21. Bell 201 B, Bell 201 C - synchronous data transmission, full-duplex operation over 4-wire leased lines and half-duplex operation over 2-wire leased lines; 2400-bps data rate. Bell 201 C - synchronous data transmission, half-duplex operation over 2-wire dialup lines; 2400-bps data rate. Comparable to CCITT V.26. Bell 208 A, Bell 208 B - synchronous data transmission, full-duplex operation over 4-wire leased lines, half-duplex operation over 2-wire leased lines; 4800-bps data rate. Bell 208 B - same as 208 A, but 2-wire dialup lines. Comparable to CCITT V.27. Bell 212 A - synchronous/asynchronous data transmission, full-duplex operation over 2-wire leased or dialup lines; 1200-bps data rate. Comparable to CCITT V.22. Protocol for Error Correction and Data Compression Error correction and data compression protocols ensure accurate, swift data transfers. The protocols are applied during the data exchange between two modems. The following protocols are the most widely used in today's modems. MNP Levels 1-4 - The Microcom Networking Protocol (MNP) developed be Microcom, Inc., enables error-free asynchronous data transmission. Although MNP is a proprietary protocol, it became an industry standard in the 1980s by default because users demanded it from manufacturers. Both modems in a connection must implement the same MNP protocols. MNP Level 5 - Incorporates the first four levels and employs a data compression algorithm. It "compresses" data by a factor of 2 to 1, allowing you to send twice the data of the modem's top transmission speed (for example, modems that transmit data at 4800 bps would send an amount of data equal to an uncompressed 9600 bps). V.42, V.42 bis - These "V Series" protocols were developed by the CCITT and are now internationally recognized standards for error control and data compression. V.42 is the CCITT's recommendation for error control; it contains two algorithms (LAPM, or Link Access Protocol, and MNP 1-4). When two V.42-compliant modems establish a connection, they use LAPM to control data errors and retransmit "bad" data blocks. If one modem supports V.42 and the other only supports MNP, then the two negotiate to use MNP protocol. In both cases, the error-control process is automatic and requires no special user actions or software programs. V.42 bis roughly corresponds to MNP Level 5. The difference is the amount of data compressed. V.42 can usually generate a 4:1 ratio of data compression (depending on the type file transmitted). ________________________________________________________ > STReport's Editorial Page "SAYING IT LIKE IT IS!" From the Editor's Desk ---------------------- This past week, the userbase was made aware of the imminent closing of another well known and respected Atari dealer. The news came in a message posted on GEnie from T. Seigal. Category 14, Topic 2 Message 122 Tue Feb 04, 1992 T.SEIGAL at 00:01 EST Just thought some people at ATARI should know that another DEALER is closing down.........This one shows how much ATARI is hurting in the U.S.A. The name is "HORIZON COMPUTERS" in Denver CO, and they were a major wholeseller for the ATARI COMPUTERS.......... ------------ At first, I felt a twinge of the old, "here we go again" feeling. But I must admit that after giving this news some thought and when coupled with other reports filtering in I came up with the following thoughts. While I deeply regret the closing of another dealer, I cannot, in all fairness, blame Atari entirely for these tragedies. One of the swiftest killers of Atari's dealers are the LOW BALL ARTISTS. Those dealers who are just coming on board and of course, those who are 'old timers' must resist getting "sucked in" to participating (trying to compete) in this catastrophic practice. An effective method to employ in protecting the vitality of the dealers out there now and for the future would be to agree upon not posting _any_ prices in ALL advertisments. Perhaps, a statement along the lines of; "WE WILL MATCH OR BETTER ANY ADVERTISED PRICE" will give those who insist on lowballing and advertising the lowball prices an indication that even with the lowball tactics they will face stiff competition. That suggestion was made to me by a very successful and responsible, dealer for whom I have the greatest respect. I might add... its a great idea! What prompted this?? Why the rehash the grief caused by lowballers? Try this on for size, this past weekend a very prominent mail order dealer proceeded to DROP THE BOTTOM OUT OF THE ONLY ATARI MARKET that's generating _any_ real quantity of sales and profits. They advertised prices, in three states*, that ARE AT OR BELOW the average dealer cost price! The smaller dealers in the vicinity of this lowball artist were advised by us to buy up as much of the product as they could aford. After all, they would be buying the product for less dollars than they could from Atari. They also would be protecting their own market area while providing a savings to be passed on to their loyal customers. * Three state's newspapers, but those very newspapers are shipped and mailed all over the world... Once again for clarity, the actions of any low baller cannot and must not be considered Atari's full responsibility. After all, once Atari sells the product.. the buyer may do what they wish with that product. The 'aftershocks' of such practices cause the "real damage" which is yet to be felt. As an example, the lowballer effectively removes the VALUE of the product and dimishes the credibility of the product, as a real contender, in an already weakened marketplace. So you have noticed, no mention is made of the lowballer's name. Why give them any publicity at all, let 'em spend to spread their word. The lowballers may provide a "bargain" or two, but in the long run, anyone who patronizes these parasites is, in reality, only contributing to the demise of the market as we know it today or, what's left of it. Atari may signing on 200+ dealers at shows etc.. That's good but the REAL "trick", is to KEEP all those NEW 'enthusiastic' dealers. With lowballers actively pulling the rug out from under a perilous market as we know it now, keeping the newly signed on dealers will indeed be quite a task. Imagine if you will, Mr. "New Dealer" receives in his initial order, sets it all out on his shelves and proudly places his ads. When the newspaper comes out, he anxiously flips through the pages to see HIS advertisement. He reads it with pride and then decides to look at the sports pages. DISASTER! He spots "Joe Glotz's" LOWBALL AD with the price SO LOW the new guy is literally STRANGLED. There you have it. That is exactly what is happening at this time to some of the new guys. The older, more experienced dealers have been 'hanging' in there for almost umptyump years and enjoy what they are doing for a living. Along comes our friend "Glotz" with the MARKET CRUSHING ADS and our friendly, dealer is now threatened and feels he must retaliate. What does he do? Also takes out an ad in hopes of competeing with Glotz! Bad move unless the little guy has bottomless pockets. Why? Because Glotz bought a boxcar load and got a _very_ good price. Almost at the same time, another fine dealer sent us a note detailing his impressions of the entire affair. Of course, to protect his dealership, we have witheld his name but his words are ever so profound. "Horizon was unfortunately fighting an uphill battle in this tight economic market. Their wholesale distributorship provided excellent personalized service, but in these tough economic times, they were simply not able to meet the lower pricing structures of the larger distributors. With everything they sold being offered direct to the consumer through lowball mail-order merchants, dealers purchasing at Horizon's regular dealer pricing were simply unable to remain competitive with others who were purchasing from the larger distributors at lower prices. In any event, they will be sorely missed. It is indeed a sad day whenever we lose such an excellent supporter of the Atari platform." The situation is slowly changing, with Atari becoming more and more involved in the mass market arena, we should see the "lowball, quickie kill artists" neutralized rather handily. Atari must penetrate the marketplace in the USA and to this end, they are seemingly making the right moves. When one considers they are in the wholesale distribution channels and at the same time appearing on the shelves in national chain stores, the future holds some real promise. CeBITT is coming up fast... it has been told to us Atari will be showing the NEW machines at this show. This should give this year a real shot in the arm. Can you imagine the marketplace if they were to ship these machines they are showing this year?? Thanks for the support! Ralph @ STReport International Online Magazine "Reporting ABOUT Atari, not FOR Atari!" Friday, February 7, 1992 - 5:05:08 pm """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's MailBag ================== > STR Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" ============= From GEnie's ST RT ------------ Category 36, Topic 20 Message 270 Sun Feb 02, 1992 D.ENGEL [Thunderbird] at 11:06 EST Don't gave the expandability of the PC _too_ much credit for it's success. The _real_ reason that so many have sold is simple: Many people had see and used PC's at work because it was originally designed as a business computer. These people chose to buy a PC for their home computer because they had a lot of interesting and expensive programs at work which they could take home and use (pirate). Soon, these people found that there were games and entertainment software available for their machine, so they bought some. At this point, they brought their programs to work because they realized that their other friends there with PC's could trade (pirate) their new software with them. These individuals knew many people who didn't use computers at work, but wanted to get one for home use. These people looked closely at the attractive platforms offered by Apple, Atari, and Amiga, but soon discovered that none of these poor computers could run the extensive library of PC programs which their friends offered to give to them (pirate). So, they put up with the klunky old PC and lived frustratedly ever after (DOS). The story you have just read is true. I know several people at work who were convinced to buy a PC over anything else, because they could take home copies of things like WordPerfect, Norton Utilities, Windows, Microsoft C, Turbo Pascal, Ventura Publisher, Corel Draw, Arts & Letters, etc., etc., etc., and so on. As far as the expandability of the PC is concerned. It isn't really a cause for it's success. It's merely the reason that the PC hasn't died yet. Take a good look at the latest PC's, and what do you have? A kludged-up obsolete antique on steroids! Having an expandable game system would be nice, but the added expense might hurt the sales of a consumer type item such as this. Putting the expandability in the computer versions would be a welcome change. By the way, designing the graphics chips for this game machine, and then using them in a new line of computers is sheer marketing genius. Think about it. If you can sell millions of consumer game machines with the same chips in them, you get to purchase or manufacture them in bulk, and get better prices. You also have less R&D cost per component because you divide the R&D cost by a larger total of components made. I really hope they use "game machine" chips in the new computers... it's what really gave the 400/800 it's edge over everything else at the time. __________________ \hunderbird ------------ Category 36, Topic 20 Message 272 Sun Feb 02, 1992 ERIDDLE [Vidiot] at 13:50 EST D.ENGEL [Thunderbird]: As the FORMER owner of many Atari based products and the current owner of a 25MHz 486 Tower & 20MHz 386SX Notebook I must say that PC Clones are definetly the way to go! Not because they are better than the Atari machines, not because the Atari's suck, not because of the piracy (On either platform (Atari or IBM)... how many US developers are STill developing for the ST/TTs?). But because I like to be able to walk into ANY software store any buy what ever I want. Not having to drool over stuff like Wing Commander, Eye of the Beholder, F- 117A, Red Baron, etc, etc... and saying "I wonder if this will EVER come to the Atari platform?" And it's not the developers fault, it's Atari's fault. I have always said that they make great products... but as a marketing company they can't handle it. The ST/TT based machines are great, Calamus DTP is unstoppable on ANY platform period! And there are other such products available also that are not available for the PC world (Stienberg/Jones Cubase... The best MIDI Sequencer program!). But Atari dosen't know how to market their products. Hell, the one thing that they really advertised besides the Lynx was the STacey laptops, and they were the biggest joke ever... great machine if your screen lasted for more that three months! Then we get to the Lynx, it is probably the best handheld available from a technical aspect but it still suffers in one respect... it has an Atari backing. If the Lynx had been purchased by Nintendo (If you remember Epyx designed the machine and sold it to Atari) EVERYONE would own one and we'd been playing with Super NES Handhelds before the Super NES was released! Stepping off my pedistal... Vid the Ripper... ------------ From DELPHI 35700 5-FEB 01:17 General Information ST-to-STe?? From: RMORROW To: ALL I called Atari Customer Support today to check on this "ST-to-STe (+$300)" deal I had heard about months ago. Well, I called (they answered on the 2nd ring), and said that the person (name?) I needed to talk to was out at lunch, but would be back and they she took my number, saying he'd call back. Sure enough, about 2 hours later he called back saying that there IS NO such offer, HAS NEVER BEEN such an offer, and was most likely the result of someone trying to 'play a game'. He said that he gets quite a f ew calls like mine. (The "deal" was, as I remembered, you could exchange your old ST and $300 for a new STe.) However, he did give me the number of a local Sunnyvale-area Atari dealer that did take trades and I called them. The two that I dealt with at Atari were quite professional and I hope that continues! I'll give them an A in customer relations. (seriously) FROM CIS 30889 S17/Community Square 05-Feb-92 23:05:12 Sb: #30869-Wash Apple Pi Fm: SYSOP*John Davis 76711,127 To: Jim Ness 74415,1727 (X) There are a couple of reasons why I don't think the ST Book will have that much impact. First, the MIDI ports aren't standard size, and will require some type of adaptor. Not a big deal at all, but I suspect that the competitions' loyalists will bring it up enough that new purchasers may look at more 'standard' solutions. Actually, that may not be an issue at all, but the fact that you can't take off-the-shelf software and put it directly into the book will be the biggest problem. An ST MIDI developer at NAMM asked to borrow the ST Book, so that he could see if his software would run ok. He couldn't, because there wasn't any way to transfer his software to the ST Books hard disk. Even if he could have, this particular developer uses copy protection, which practically demands that the computer running it has a standard floppy disk, so he would still have been out of luck. The issue with the TT is compatability. Although many of the more popular apps are being re-written for the TT (or already have been), much of the older stuff just won't work. Luckily, the older ST's still fill the bill just fine - I still don't think you'll find any better MIDI software on any other platform. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's Staff The regulars and this week's contributors! ---------------- Publisher - Editor ------------------ Ralph F. Mariano PC DIVISION AMIGA DIVISION MAC DIVISION ----------- -------------- ------------ Robert Retelle Charles Hill R. ALBRITTON STReport Staff Editors: ----------------------- Michael Arthur Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. Dana P. Jacobson Lucien Oppler Brad Martin Judith Hamner John Szczepanik Dan Stidham Joseph Mirando Doyle C. Helms Contributing Correspondents: ---------------------------- Michael Lee Richard Covert Roger Stevens Brian Converse Oliver Steinmeier Tim Holt Andrew Learner Norman Boucher Harry Steele Ben Hamilton Neil Bradley Eric Jerue Ron Deal Robert Dean Ed Westhusing James Nolan Vernon W. Smith 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 ____________________________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL "Rumors Tidbits Predictions Observations Tips" ===================== - Ann Arbor MI AIM HITTING THE "BIGTIME!" ------------ AIM magazine's distributor has recently succeeded in placing the Atari dedicated magazine in approx 250 ADDITIONAL Walden Bookstores. - Littleton, CO SST IS SHIPPING ------------- Gadget's SST shipped at the beginning of this week in quantity. Shipped were the bare-board, Option A, B, C, and C&D configurations. The unique packaging sports an eye catching box with an SR-71A Blackbird Stealth Spy Plane on its cover. - Lake Oswego, OR PHANTOM OF THE LASER "POPULAR" --------------- There is an affordable, high quality product known as the "Phantom of the Laser". The device permits the user to turn off the SLM 804/605 Laser Printer. This is accomplished by the device supplying the power to the interface that was previously supplied by the printer. Works Perfectly, I've been using one from my days with an '804' and now, with a '605'. It can be obtained from Widgets by Decker, 2399 SW Palisades Crest Dr., Lake Oswego, OR 97034-7519, 503-638-3940. - Sunnyvale, CA IS IT TOS 2.06 OR 2.07 OR WHAT! ------------- It seems now, that the word is out that the NEWDESK TOS 2.05 was going to be called 2.07 after being fixed.... The "powers that be have now decided to call it 2.06 after all! Apparently, the 'fix' to the bug introduced when the fix to the double scrolling bug was fixed was not serious enough to warrant a name change. Wonder if the SERIAL PORT PROBLEMS have been fixed and the FLOW CONTROL "features", have they been refined? Is it is....?? OR is it ain't?! Who's on first? :-) ____________________________________________________ > A "Quotable Quote" Words of Wisdom ================== "THERE IS NOTHING AS CHEAP OR FEEBLE IN DEBATE.... AS AN ASSERTION NOT BACKED BY SOLID FACT!" ZIGGY "The Zigster" ZIRCON __________________________________________________________ > ABCO SPECIALS! STR InfoFile * NEW 1992 Prices! MORE Products! * =========================== -------------------------------- ** EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY! ** NOTICE: ABCO will BEAT OR MATCH * ANY * Advertised or Invoiced price * We will NOT be undersold! ABCO COMPUTER CONSULTANTS 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) (all cables and connectors installed) - Available for all Platforms - * ICD HOST ADAPTERS USED EXCLUSIVELY * OMTI HIGH SPEED CONTROLLERS * * ICD ADSCSI+ HOST ADAPTERS * FULL SCSI COMMAND SET SUPPORTED * * SCSI EMBEDDED CONTROLLER MECHANISMS * -- QUANTUM: THE "ROLLS ROYCE" OF HARD DRIVES -- WE PAY SHIPPING & INSURANCE!!! >UPS!< (Cont. USA) Deluxe 2 bay Cabinet w/65w auto-switching PS TIME PROVEN to be the most reliable! Model Description Autopark Price ================================================== SGN4951 51Mb 3.5" Y 439.00 SGN6277 65Mb 5.25" Y 469.00 SGN1096 85Mb 5.25" Y 549.00 SQN1055 105mb 3.5" Y 599.95 SQN2055 170Mb 3.5" Y 689.00 SQN3055 240Mb 3.5" Y 939.00 SQN4055 426Mb 3.5" Y 1610.00 ================================================== FULLY ASSEMBLED SCSI DRIVES DEDUCT $60.00 ADD $35.00 for 4 BAY SUPER CABINET w/250+w PS EXOTIC TOWER CABINETS AVAIALABLE Call for Info! PLEASE NOTE: The above is partial listing only! FULLY ASSEMBLED SCSI DRIVES DEDUCT $60.00 ADD $35.00 for 4 BAY SUPER CABINET w/250+w PS EXOTIC TOWER CABINETS AVAIALABLE Call for Info! PLEASE NOTE: The above is partial listing only! CPU ACCELERATOR & MEMORY UPGRADES AVAILABLE & INSTALLED ***** >> ABCO proudly offers the fabulous 1040 & MEGA STe Computers << Call for ABCO's * VERY SPECIAL * Introductory prices! ATARI COMPUTERS * STILL THE BEST VALUE! ***** If you don't see what you want listed here, call us. Odds are, we either have it or, can get it for you! * GUARANTEED * AT THE BEST POSSIBLE PRICE! ** 800-562-4037 ** "WE SERVICE WHAT WE SELL" ****** SPECIAL - SPECIAL ****** * SYQUEST 44MB (#555) >> ABCOFILE "44" << REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE * - SYQUEST 44 MB DRIVE - ICD ST ADSCSI PLUS H/A - ICD Utility Software - 3' DMA Cable - Fan & Clock - Multi-Unit Power Supply (1) 44 MB Syquest Cart. --->> SPECIAL! NOW ONLY __$ 645.00__ <<--- **** SCSI UNITS -> ONLY $549.00 **** WE PAY SHIPPING & INSURANCE! >UPS!< (Cont. USA) 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 ** $995.95.00 ** Includes: * TWO * cartridges! * SYQUEST 44MB REMOVABLE MEDIA DRIVE AND HARD DRIVE COMBINATIONS * - Syquest 44 Model  and the following hard drives - ** 50mb SQG51S $789.00 105mb SQG105S $989.00 ** LOWBOY - STANDARD - DUAL BLOWER CABINETS CUSTOM CONFIGURATIONS AVAILABLE ** ANNOUNCING THE NEW! -> ABCO CD-ROM! ** :Special Introductory offer: ABCO CD-ROM $389.95 (limited time only) 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) * IBM - MSDOS - AMIGA - ATARI - APPLE - MACINTOSH * 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 - Atari SLM 804, SLM 804PCV Laser Toner Kits Memorex 2108, 5287 Oasys Laserpro 5287, 5308, Express 830, Express Series II Silver Express, Gold Express ** $41.95 shipping Included ** Atari SLM 605 Laser Toner Kits AT&T 593, CAF Laser, DSI Laser, DTP Systems, Epson EPL-6000 Facit P6060, Fontx Syslaser, Harris3M 2006, M-Tally MT905 Microtek Turbo PS, OAS Laserpro Executive, Packard Bell 9500 TEC LB 1305, Toshiba PageLaser 6 ** $41.95 shipping included ** (TWO Toner Carts Incl.) Panasonic Laser Toner Kits Panasonic KX -P 400 series, Panafax UF-750 Facimile ** $41.95 shipping included ** -- ALL TONER KITS * IN STOCK * -- * Toner Starter Kits-$62.95 * * Replacement (804) Drums-$186.95 * ABCO's Replacement Toner Advantages =================================== >> MANY other ATARI related products STOCKED << ALL POWER SUPPLIES UL APPROVED -* 12 month FULL Guarantee *- (A FULL YEAR of COVERAGE) WE PAY SHIPPING & INSURANCE! >UPS!< (Cont. USA) 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! SEND FOR YOUR NEW ABCO CATALOG TODAY! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International Online Magazine Available through more than 10,000 Private BBS systems WorldWide! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" February 07, 1992 16/32bit Magazine copyright 1987-92 No.8.06 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff, PCReport, STReport, AMReport, MCReport. 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. 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