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Article #275 (730 is last): Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 19-June-92 #825 Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys) Reply-To: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Date: Sun Jun 21 21:25:44 1992 *---== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ==---* """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" from STR Publishing """""""""""""" June 19, 1992 No.8.25 ========================================================================== 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 Support BBS Network System * THE BOUNTY BBS * * TURBO BOARD BBS SYSTEM * FNET 350 ~ Fido 112:35 ~ TNET 100:2/0 904-786-4176 USR/HST 24hrs - 7 days 1200 - 19.2bps V.32 - 42 bis 16.8 Dual Standard FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM - 6 AM EST ----------------------------------------- FNET.. 18 ~ TNET 100:3/0: ///Turbo Board BBS Support...1-416-274-1225 FNET.. 75 ~ TNET 100:28/0 Bloom County BBS.............1-415-965-9347 FNET. 350 ~ TNET 100:2/0 The Bounty *
*...1-904-786-4176 FNET. 489 ~ TNET 100:22/0 Steal Your Face BBS..........1-908-920-7981 FNET 1031 ~ TNET 100:1/0 <<< INTERNET - UK>>>.... 011-44-296-395-935 _____________________________________________________________________ > 06/19/92 STR 825 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" """""""""""""""" - The Editor's Desk - CPU Report - PORTFOLIO NEWS - PCs Popular? - Perot & Gates - BLUE RIDGE FEST - CFJ Rebuttal - SHAMUS REPORTING! - COMPO NEWS - CT ATARI FEST - WAACE'92 - OCR Review II -* PAGESTREAM 2.2 UPGRADE SHIPS! *- -* SUPER FOLIO DEMO RELEASED! *- -* AUA -> CASUALTY COUNT! *- THE STORM IS COMING! ========================================================================== ST REPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE The Original * Independent * Online Magazine -* FEATURING WEEKLY *- "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ========================================================================== STReport's BBS, The Bounty, invites BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the Fido/TurboNet/Atari F-Net Mail Network. You may also call our BBS direct at 904-786-4176, and enjoy the excitement of exchanging information relative to the Atari and other computers worldwide through the use of excellent International Messaging Networks. SysOps, worldwide, are quite welcome to join the STReport International Conferences. The Crossnet Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is # 350. All BBS systems are welcome and invited to actively participate. Support Atari Computers; Join Today! ========================================================================== GENIE ~ CIS ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ FNET ~ TNET ~ INTERNET EURONET ~ CIX ~ CLEVELAND FREE-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 (June 19) FONTGDOS AVAILABLE HERE! FONTGDOS is now available (courtesy Atari Corp) in LIBRARY 9 of the Atari Arts Forum (GO ATARIARTS) along with Bob Wilson's help file. Please, be sure to take advantage of our NEW SURVEY in the Atari Pro Message (GO ATARIPRO) area. Here's your chance to let us know what you want! NEW IN ATARI VENDORS FORUM (GO ATARIVEN) SoftLogik Publishing Corporation is pleased to announce the release of PageStream 2.2 for Atari ST/STe/TT computers! Please read message # 27184. For users of PageStream 2.1: Download file PATCH.LZH from LIBRARY 11 to convert to version 2.2. Users of STalker version 3.01: Be sure to download STK302.LZH from LIBRARY 8 for a program that will upgrade a registered copy of STalker 3.01 to version 3.02. An original (unmodified) STalker 3.01 disk is required for the upgrade. NEW FOR THE PORTFOLIO The ULTIMATE PORTFOLIO DEMO is now available in LIBRARY 17 of the Atari Portfolio Forum (GO APORTFOLIO), courtesy Don Thomas and Atari Corp. (This demo runs on a PC, not on the Portfolio) Superb graphics and suitable for an in-store self-running demo/promotion. THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM ON COMPUSERVE HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AN OFFICIAL SUPPORT SITE BY ATARI CORPORATION "GO APORTFOLIO TO ACCESS THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM" """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""" Summer Fun, the beaches, picnics, cycling and the sleepy time of the year for computer platforms.. or, is it? STR's infamous Crystal Ball is about ready to make another appearance and according to the barometer, things just may get hot and humid. Seems there was a comment or two on Usenet about a certain Atari mouthpiece recently bragging about being the "only Atari spokesperson in the english speaking world". Talk about ego! I guess Sam isn't able to speak for his own company any longer! One can only wonder; is the mouthpiece speaking to benefit Atari Corporation or....??? The last I saw and heard, most everyone at Atari and loyal Atarians were all disciples for Atari computers. Fact is, we all enjoy using the great hardware and are not bashful when it comes to bragging about the hardware's benefits to most anyone. While a number of Atari's well respected and highly visible people, W. Rehbock, D. Thomas, D. McNamee, J. Townsend, J. Grunke, C. Bacani and J. Patton actually go way out of their way in helping users (customers), and creating good-will for Atari, there will always be those as in any large operation, who must bathe in their own imagined glory. History has shown us these people are indeed "legends in their own minds". Usually, these people are welcomed warmly as one type of person and sadly exit as a completely different and utterly disappointing person. A classic example of this is Richard M. Nixon. Is it really a situation where power or the perception of such was too much for the current "nixonite" to handle? Time will tell and thankfully, the situation is "on the clock". On to a more enjoyable topic, Stalker 3.02, it now "has it all" and the best news is it works as promised. No hassles, headaches or RSN promises. The upgrade patch is available on all the major services. Two important points are it will go well over 38.4 kbaud now and it has the ability to use CIS' very fast Quick B+ protocol. At 9600, it yields in the mid 900s most all the time. Soft-Logik has released their new updates for the Pagestream 2.1 DTP package. The update package is available online for those who already own PGST2.1. Its Father's Day weekend, here's to all those fathers out there and to the mothers that made them fathers! In other words... have a wonderful weekend. Ralph @ STReport International Online Magazine """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's Staff DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! """""""""""""""" Publisher - Editor """""""""""""""""" Ralph F. Mariano PC DIVISION AMIGA DIVISION MAC DIVISION ----------- -------------- ------------ Roger D. Stevens Charles Hill R. ALBRITTON STReport Staff Editors: """"""""""""""""""""""" Lloyd E. Pulley Sr. Dana P. Jacobson Michael Arthur Lucien Oppler Brad Martin Judith Hamner John Szczepanik Dan Stidham Joseph Mirando Steve Spivey Doyle C. Helms Contributing Correspondents: """""""""""""""""""""""""""" Michael Lee Richard Covert John Deegan 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 Bruno Puglia Clemens Chin 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 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > CPU STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Issue #25 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. -- Austin To Intro 33 MHz 486 PC For Under $1,100 Due to new CPU technology from Cyrix, Austin Computer Systems will soon announce a 33mhz '486 PC for only $1,095. Sources say the Cyrix chips contain all the performance of a '486 CPU in a form factor the size of a standard 386 SX chip. Because the chips use the less expensive '386 SX motherboard, the system's prices can be lower. Austin's recently introduced their new 25mhz system, the $995 Cyrix 486SLC-25 computer. It comes standard with a 43MB hard drive, one MB RAM, one 3.5-inch floppy drive, and a 14-inch color VGA monitor. DOS and Windows are not included, but the system does comes preloaded with McAfee Associates' virus protection software, ViruScan. The purchase price also covers 24-hour technical support, plus a one-year parts and labor warrantee. Additional ram is available at $50 per meg. -- Top 100 Software Companies Sales up 22% in 1991 Despite weak economic conditions, the top 100 U.S. software companies reported 1991 revenues of nearly $14 billion, an impressive 22% gain over 1990. Microsoft Corp. was in the number one spot with $1.8 billion in software revenue. The firm posted a 58% gain over last year, thanks mainly to its Windows products. Computer Associates was second with $1.4 billion, with Lotus third with $828 million in annual software revenue. Software sales accounted for 16% of IBM Corp. and 20% of Digital Equip- ment Corp's 1991 worldwide revenues. -- US Electronic Products Sales Up in First Quarter Sales of domestically produced electronics products and services in the first quarter of 1992 were up 6.4% to $77.7 billion and may be a sign that the recession is abating in the electronics industry. -- National Semi Earnings at Five Year High National Semiconductor says it's showing the best financial gains the company has seen in five years. The company made the statement in its newly released fourth quarter 1992 report. Sales for the quarter which ended May 31 were $491.5 million, compared with $444.9 million a year ago. -- New Survey Says People Like PCs The times are a changing - while previous surveys showed more men using PCs than women, Logitech's newly released "PCs and People" survey says women now outnumber men 2-1 as PC users. Previous market research has shown 84% of PC users are men. The survey, polling exclusively people who already use PCs, said 75% see PCs as work companions, 98% think of PCs as a valuable aid when it comes to getting work done, and 80% said PCs are fun to use. The survey was performed via telephone interviews with 301 computer users, 68% who were women. Companies were randomly selected by size (between 50 and 350 employees) and specific inclusion was made of branch offices of Fortune 1000 companies so there would be easier access to qualified respondents, according to ADF Research. -- Even Billionaires Can Make Mistakes According an article this week in the Seattle Times, Ross Perot once had a chance to buy Microsoft Corp. for just a few million dollars. In 1979 Perot met with Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft, to discuss the possi- bility of buying the $2 million startup software company. According to Perot, "He did give me an opportunity to buy a ringside seat," but he thought Gates's asking price was too high. Perot added that Gates "has never kidded me about that, but I think if the shoe were on the other foot, I'd probably needle him." Microsoft's market value this year is $21 billion. Gates, who is 36, owns about a third of Microsoft's stock, which means he is more than twice as rich as Perot. *********************************************************************** :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. They're Here -- GEnie Hot Summer Days -- Save 30%.............*EVENTS 2. New MIDI Windows Product Announcement......................SOFTRONICS 3. Tuesday June 23 join our Mom's Night Out discussion...........FAMILY 4. 54 Programs for Windows ONLY $29.95 - Save $20+ at..........SHAREWARE 5. Emotional sign of CANCER welcomes the Sun's arrival in the....STARS 6. NEW TITLES on Computer Books @ Discount Prices................PCBOOKS 7. Batman's back, Catwoman's got him. BATMAN RETURNS reviewed....SHOWBIZ 8. Meet Caryn Navy of RAISED DOT COMPUTING.......................ABLE 9. Mortimer sez notebook prices $$$ are faaaallling down, on.....LAPTOPS 10. WIN FREE TIME for your prize BBQ recipe in....................*FOOD 11. From S/36 to Cray, we've got them all in....................MAINFRAME 12. WWI Draft Records - Microfilmed and Available at FHL........GENEALOGY 13. President Perot: See what we think in......................ASTROLOGY 14. Get Tips on Marketing Your Business Products & Services.......*HOSB 15. BRIEF, in brief...............................................BORLAND GENIE'S "HOT SUMMER DAYS" SALE! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""" From June 15 to September 7, GEnie's prime time hourly connect charge is being reduced from $18.00 per hour to $12.50 per hour; in Canada the reduction is from $25.00 to $16.00 per hour. That's savings of over 30%! And it makes GEnie Services rates most competitive with CompuServe's -- 24 hours a day. (Note: GEnie*Basic pricing is NOT applicable during prime time hours. Reduced prime time rates are in effect in the United States and Canada only, and apply at speeds up to 2400 bps.) If you're looking for software, GEnie has over 100,000 downloadable files of shareware, freeware and demoware covering the spectrum from business utilities and productivity tools, to graphics and fonts, and education and games. Software is available for virtually all personal computing platforms. GEnie also features online support from many hardware and software vendors. GE Mail is also included in the sale, with the same lower connect charges in effect. And when it comes to fun, don't forget GEnie's industry-leading selection of Multi-player Games! The lower daytime rates mean more competitive action in such hits as Kesmai's award-winning Air Warrior, the all-new MultiPlayer Battletech, Dragon's Gate, Federation II and Gemstone III. But all good things come to an end, and so will this sale. These rates are in effect until September 7, 1992. Some services are subject to additional charges. Check the online rate pages for additional details. So enjoy a Summer of Savings on GEnie, the home of Hot Summer Nights III and Hot Summer Days, too! Here are some questions about Hot Summer Days which may come up, along with the appropriate answers. 1. Are GEnie*Basic Services included in the Hot Summer Days Sale? No. This is a sale on GEnie's prime time hourly connect rate. GEnie*Basic Services remain applicable only during non-prime time hours. 2. Is 9600 baud service included? No. The sale is applicable on speeds up to and including 2400 baud. 3. Are remote access surcharges applicable? Yes. The sale does not affect our cost for those lines, so the $2 per hour charge will still apply. 4. Are all countries included? No. This sale includes the U.S. and Canada only. 5. What are the rates? The U.S. hourly rate will be $12.50 per our instead of the normal $18 per hour rate. The Canadian hourly rate will be $16.00 per hour instead of the normal $25.00 per hour. These rates are in effect Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM local time. 6. Are Chat Club rates in effect? No. Chat Club rates are in effect only during non-prime time hours. 7. Are databases and services subject to surcharges? Yes. The same surcharge rate structure which applies now will apply during the sale. This sale is only on GEnie's connect charge. 8. Can I use my Gift of Time during the sale hours? Of course! Gifts of Time apply to connect rates at any time of the day or night. 9. How long will the sale last? Hot Summer Days will be in effect from Monday, June 15 until Monday, September 7. 10. Why is GEnie offering this promotion? GEnie wants to make this summer an exciting time for its customers. GEnie hopes to attract daytime usage currently spent on other services. FROM THE ST RT New Files in Your Library No. File Name Address Description ----- ------------ ----------- ------------------------------------- 24542 PRES9206.TXT S.HOFFMANN W.A.A.C.E. AtariFest 1992 Press Rele 24539 ICONS.LZH ST.REPORT * Super Icon Collection - NEWDESK * 24537 TLINK373.LZH M.CALDWELL6 TRIPLINK version 3.73 Complete! 24530 MUSICAL.LZH G.KICHOK Musical NeoDesk 3 icons, NEW! 24529 HELPFGDS.LZH G.KICHOK Help file for FontGDOS installation 24527 GRNDPRIX.ARC E.TREMBLAY2 Three Formula One car images 24526 CSAS_FAQ.ARC S.YELVINGTO2 Usenet Atari ST FAQ (answers) 24524 PATCOLOR.LZH SGUBER Colored Wallpapter Patterns 24521 AEO_9204.LZH Z-NET Atari Explorer Online - Issue #4 24519 STKR_302.LZH GRIBNIF Upgrade STalker 3.01 to 3.02 24516 LOSERS_1.LZH D.SMITH200 But they WERE fun to draw. Also available in the Atari RT Library are Sound Files (library 11), Graphic pictures (library 5), Atari Archives (library 13), and Sale/Wanted Files (library 26). Sale/Wanted items are also available in the Bulletin Board Category 27. GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission *********************************************************************** > THE FLIP SIDE STR Feature "...a different viewpoint.." """"""""""""""""""""""""" A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT ================================== by Michael Lee Since Michael is going to be away for a while, Ralph decided that I sho- uld be on the lookout for posts that might be of general interest to our readers (i.e., he 'volunteered' me). The following posts were of inter- est to me, I hope they are also of interest to you. Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. Senior Staff Editor for ST Report ---------------- From Delphi - 38579 10-JUN 18:44 Sound & Graphics RE: Bruce Springsteen (Re: Msg 38563) From: THEBOSS99 To: BIBLINSKI (NR) My sister Patti Scialfa is married to Bruce Springsteen. He has two sisters, Virginia and Pam. Pam took the cover photo for Rolling Stone, neither has children. Since we are totally independent (THRILL HILL), Bruce doesn't like to be as associated w/anything but his Music. We go to such extremes as to cover the Brand Names of the DX-7'S on stage, never played w/a warm up band, etc. So you will never see any Logos or endorsements by the Bruce Springsteen Band. However we use Atari systems for many different reasons, MIDI being only one of them. In Europe, Atari is extremely popular and we tour there extensively! DELPHI is not really a MIDI BBS, however there are other systems we use that are huge Atari MIDI systems.Thanx 4 dropping me a line!! Michael R. Scialfa ---------------- From CIS - #: 64821 S17/Community Square 13-Jun-92 23:37:40 Sb: #An Open Letter to ATARI Fm: LEXICOR Software 75300,763 To: [F] Bill Rehbock 75300,1606 To: Mr. Bill Rehbock and the ATARI Artist Community Dear Bill and A-A's This is an open letter And intended by way of suggestion to pose what I see as an impor- tant opportunity for both ATARI and the using public. I address this open letter to Bill because he is the proper person and to the Atari users at large because my suggestion is in a way a call for continued support of the Atari computer platform. I respectfully offer the following idea: That Atari should open or create a new level of ATARI Developer. This new category would be "Developer-Artist". The developer would, with ATARI support, do what he does best....Create artistic computer art based material. This material would be used by ATARI at their many sponsored shows and in their ad- vertising. The Developers should receive the latest and best hardware ATARI has to offer...in this case I am suggesting the new FALCON....much men- tioned in the press of late. This should be a fully loaded puppy, including massive hard drives, maxed out RAMs, and the best monitors available. Such hardware should be "loaned or Given" to these developers who are usually and traditionally "with-out" as they say. In addition ATARI should provide all available software to afford the best possible Artistic computer environment for the Developer Artist. These Artists and their work should be displayed by Atari at all major Atari events, this should include the inclusion of the Artist as well as his work. Given that it is a forgone conclusion, considering recent news articles that ATARI is about to launch a new graphics platform for the Atari user, that without some substantial examples of the stunning color and resolution inherent in the rumored specs of these forth- coming computers, sales of such computers will be less than what might be expected. All should realize that very few serious computer Artists consider the ATARI a serious graphics platform. We at Lexicor have been stumbling into this problem for quite some time. There is no question that stunning graphics, both still and animated, sell computers. In fact it was only after my own work was seen by folks at Silicon Graphics, that they began to take both me and Lexicor Software applications seriously. The fact is that what we see on the monitor is what sells computers to new users. It also is what keeps contemporary users buying new Ataris as well. But then this is nothing new is it? I do not mean to suggest that I or anyone at Lexicor be included in this new category of developer I am suggesting. The plain truth is I don't have time now to do the creative work I would like and suggest be done now. I could not do justice to such a commitment. Bill, I do have some nominations I would like to put forward for you to consider - if you feel that my suggestion has any merit at all. My nominations are as follows: 1. Earl Hinson Jr of New York state 2. Barry Summer also of New York state 3. Joey (Realm) Sherman of KY 4. Norman Pickthall of Canada I don't nominate these artists lightly. They have all sent me many examples of their work and have impressed me as being a few of the very best Computer artist I have had the pleasure receive work from. Bill, I believe that you could mount a very sizeable and impressive impact on today's computer graphics community if you decided to take my suggestion. The cost to set up these and other artist would be minimal compared to the cost of paying for the same sorts of work from even a conservative advertising company. Well that's my suggestion for what it is worth....I might also suggest that any Atari ARTIST who has their work on Video tape or prin- ted out might consider sending it to Bill at Atari. It might help Bill in considering my suggestion if he has some examples of what is currently being done on the Atari. Best regards Lee Seiler ---------------- From the Soft Logik Round Table on Genie - Soft Logik RT Category 1, Topic 66 Message 1 Fri Jun 12, 1992 SL-TECH at 13:25 EDT Soft-Logik announces PageStream 2.2 for the Atari! St. Louis, Missouri (June 1992): Soft-Logik Publishing Corporation is pleased to announce the release of PageStream 2.2 for Atari ST/STe/TT computers. PageStream 2.2 includes many improved features as well as some new features. With the release of PageStream 2.2, Soft-Logik has demonstrated its commitment to the Atari market and to its loyal customers. PageStream 2.2 has enhanced import modules and printer drivers to provide users greater control. Support for plotters and sign cutters has been added, allowing desktop publishing users to access even more output devices. An improved toolbox makes PageStream's award-winning interface easier to use than ever. New keyboard shortcuts help users to move around documents more quickly, and text is displayed faster on screen. PageStream 2.2 retails for $299.95. Registered owners of version 2.1 can receive version 2.2 free of charge by downloading a patch file from Soft-Logik's BBS, GEnie or CompuServe. If owners do not have access to a modem, they can order a version 2.2 upgrade from Soft-Logik for only $25. This will give users a new four disk set and a 12 page addendum to the 2.1 manual. (The patch file online includes a readme file equiv- alent to the addendum.) Registered owners of versions prior to version 2.1 can upgrade to PageStream 2.2 for $75 and will receive a complete set of disks, two new manuals and a quick reference card. Soft-Logik Publishing Corporation ---------------- From CIS concerning rewriting GEM and TOS into assembly - #: 65019 S8/Hot Topics 15-Jun-92 23:11:16 Sb: #64825-#C-vs-Assembler Fm: John Townsend @ Atari 70007,1135 To: Boris Molodyi 70322,624 You have no idea! Do you realize how hard is it to change things now and maintain compatibility? It's VERY hard. I wouldn't even want to think about the problems that would be created if we switched the whole thing to assembler. BTW.. Just for your info: BIOS - the whole thing is in Assembly XBIOS - about 90% is in Assembly GEMDOS - Completely in C AES - about 25% Assembly VDI - about 80% Assembly As you can see, large sections of the OS are already in Assembly. There is a chance that we will be going to a better C compiler in the future that will make TOS smaller and slightly faster, but we are already doing quite a bit to make things fast. Please, tho.. don't make judgments about how "easy" it would be to write TOS in Assembly Language. It would be pretty hard to do, would take LOTS of time, and goes against one of the principles of Operating Systems: Compatibility and Maintainability. ---------------- From the ST Round Table on Genie concerning Spectrum Holobyte's games and future in the US ST market - Atari-ST RoundTable Category 9, Topic 34 Message 163 Wed Jun 17, 1992 HOLOBYTE [No.19] at 15:30 EDT We all want to do a better job in supporting all our products, whether it's for the Atari ST, IBM, Mac or Amiga. However, we are constrained on the Atari ST and Amiga side by the fact that we did not directly develop FALCON or Flight of the Intruder for the Atari ST and Amiga. In the case of FALCON, Rowan Software took the FALCON concept and some of the Mac code and wrote a brand-new game from scratch for the Atari ST and Amiga. In the case of Flight of the Intruder, Rowan Software came up with the concept, did the design, and did all the coding. That's why it's been so difficult (essentially impossible) for us to get any updates on either product. We don't really have direct control of either FALCON or FOTI for the Atari ST, nor do we have any leverage on Rowan Software to work on updates, which they believe (and rightfully so, I agree) to be financially a drain. It's especially tough for them after the collapse of Mirrorsoft in England. Atari-ST RoundTable Category 9, Topic 34 Message 164 Wed Jun 17, 1992 HOLOBYTE [No.19] at 15:34 EDT P.S. By the way, we've only done 6 games for the Atari ST: FALCON, FALCON Mission Disk I, FALCON Mission Disk II, GATO and Tetris. So I'm not sure which "other" Spectrum HoloByte games you own if you don't own either Mission Disk or FOTI. Sphere is the corporate name of Spectrum HoloByte, but they're one and the same. Atari-ST RoundTable Category 9, Topic 34 Message 165 Wed Jun 17, 1992 HOLOBYTE [No.19] at 15:39 EDT I don't know why I bother mentioning it, but we since we released Flight of the Intruder last year for the Atari ST, we have sold a grand total of 753 copies in the U.S. :-( That doesn't even cover the cost of testing the product for 6 months, let along packaging it! Even if we sold 10 times more copies in the U.S. with the European version, that still isn't worth it. I believe that if our Atari ST products had been developed in-house, we would have tried to come out with an update to be compatible with the the newer TOS versions and machines. Unfortunately, for the Atari ST market, we were not the developers nor is the market large enough to warrant developing new products. No.19 ---------------- From the Jerry Pournelle Round Table on Genie concerning Jerry getting his TT upgraded and doing a new review on it Jerry Pournelle RT Category 4, Topic 15 Message 193 Mon Jun 15, 1992 J.COLE18 [John Cole] at 21:07 EDT Well said! Your comments about Atari are right on. Atari's philosophy for home-run products has precluded building a firm base of developers and users large enough to reach critical mass. Atari, in its present form, posses no danger to anyone in the computer industry, except those directly involved with Atari ;-) Even today, that home-run swing is still present. With the exception of Font-GDOS (who's release appears to have come about only because of a supreme effort from Bob Brodie, Atari's Director of Communication) Atari has failed to produce any product promised for the ST line for a year. No ST book, No FSM Gdos, No MetaDos, No Class B TT's (though they are claimed to exist, none have been found at dealers). Coupled with astoundingly low production schedules for the TT (one rumor quoted 250 a month! WORLDWIDE! While that is doubtful, this figure ought to be in the 10's of thousands per month), which is the only machine Atari has capable of competing with PC's on a level playfield, does not cast a hopeful light on Atari's marketing success. Looking towards Atari's future, it seems that they are again swinging for the centerfield fence ;-) Atari's communication problems with developers are only surmounted by their internal communication problems. What's worse, I know several VERY good people who are doing their best at fixing things, but necessary ideas don't seem to fit into the home-run way of thinking. If you were to buy the development documentation (available separately) you would be disgusted with the tools given to create programs for your new computer. The resource construction program is the same one distributed YEARS ago. No RCS with prototyping, no profilers, only 2 commercial C compilers and only one has a source level debugger at the moment (to be fair to a group of people doing very good work, Hisoft is working on a source level debugger and should have it soon ;-) With all the problems at Atari, the dismal marketing, minimal production, zero support, there are several VERY good developers remaining in this market (which is probably the smallest since 1986, if our sales are any indication, assuming we have only a small fraction of a percentage, there are less than 30,000 active ST's in America!) Why do these people remain? Well they continue to make money in this market despite the feeble marketing and development support from Atari. These developers are very dedicated to the platform and represent the real diehards. I consider many to be friends and I know many are struggling with the decision to support other platforms with meager development resources, something Lexicor has already done with Silicon Graphics. On that note, I am very happy that you will be dusting off your TT soon (this weekend isn't it?). With Dan's visit [Dan McNamee of Atari], you should get a good idea of just what is out there in this small, tightly knit market. I would greatly appreciate it if you might find the time to see just what Lexicor has to offer on the TT platform. However, we have learned several hard lessons from Atari, and meaning no disrespect to Dan, who works very hard for the success of Atari, I'd rather not have Atari representing our software. So here is my offer :-) Lee Seiler, the president of Lexicor and a fantastic artist, to boot, has offered to fly down and show Lexicor's animation and graphics software personally, any time you feel up to it ;-) I really hope you have time to have Lee visit sometime, because I think anyone who has seen Lee's work is very impressed :-) Please leave me Email if you are interested at all. My address is J.Cole18 (as it said above ;-) John Cole, Lexicor Software Tos development division *********************************************************************** IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= STReport International Online Magazine is available every week in the ST Advantage on DELPHI. STReport readers are invited to join DELPHI and become a part of the friendly community of Atari enthusiasts there. SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN -- DELPHI -------------- Via modem, dial up DELPHI at 1-800-695-4002 then... When connected, press RETURN once or twice and... At Password: type STREPORT and press RETURN. DELPHI's Basic Plan offers access for only $6.00 per hour, for any baud rate. The $5.95 monthly fee includes your first hour online. If you spend more than 200 minutes online a month, you'll save money by enrolling in DELPHI's optional 20/20 Advantage Plan. You'll enjoy up to 20 hours online each month for the ridiculously low price of just $20.00! And if you go over that 20 hours, the rate goes up to only $1.20, still 1/5th the price of other services. There is no signup fee for joining the Basic Plan. There is a fee of $39 when you join the 20/20 Advantage Plan, a one-time $19 signup fee and your first month's $20 fee. These connect rates apply for access via Tymnet or SprintNet (within the continental United States) during home time (7 p.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays and all day weekends) or via direct dial around the clock. Telecom surcharges apply for daytime or international access via Tymnet or SprintNet. See Using DELPHI online for detailed information on telecom surcharges. For more information, call: DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005 DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, Mass. :IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: DELPHI INTRODUCES THE 10/4 PLAN. Effective July 1, 1992, all Basic Plan members will be upgraded to the 10/4 Plan and receive 4 hours of usage each month for only $10! For full details, type GO USING RATES. SprintNet home time to begin at 6:00 p.m.! Effective July 1, 1992, you may access DELPHI via SprintNet beginning at 6:00 p.m. local time without incurring a telecom surcharge. To find the SprintNet node nearest you, type GO USING ACCESS. DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! *********************************************************************** > A REBUTTAL STR FOCUS! Charles F. Johnson replies to Deegan """"""""""""""""""""" FONTGDOS - FRIEND or FOE? ========================= Mr. Deegan, I was mistaken about FONTGDOS's ability to change font assignments without rebooting. As soon as it was pointed out to me (the next day), I recanted this statement with the following message: ------------------- Atari-ST RoundTable on 920603 at 21:49 Category 32, Topic 3 John, You're right; I apologize for my misstatement. FONTGDOS does let you change font assignments. (As long as you agree to save your ASSIGN.SYS after making changes -- wiping out your old file.) However, G+PLUS is still superior, because it lets you _automatically_ load the correct ASSIGN.SYS for each program -- which is important for many existing GDOS programs, since (unfortunately) not all programs are compatible with the same ASSIGN.SYS. With FONTGDOS, changing between different GDOS programs (for example, Timeworks Publisher and Degas Elite) requires a lot of manual work on the user's part -- and he/she must also be pretty familiar with the mechanics of an ASSIGN.SYS file to do it at all. - Charles @ CodeHead Tech ------------------- I stand by everything in this message. Yes, FONTGDOS does let you change font assignments, and you can account for disparate programs like Degas Elite and Timeworks Publisher that won't work with the same ASSIGN.SYS file. HOWEVER, it's a lot of manual work to do it. With G+PLUS, the process is automatic; you set it up once and then never have to think about it again. With G+PLUS, you just run your GDOS programs whenever you want, without worrying that they'll crash because of the wrong ASSIGN.SYS file. It's interesting that the apology for my incorrect statement didn't receive the same "rumor mill" coverage as the original statement. As for the drivers included with the FONTGDOS release -- yes, they are superior to the pre-existing Atari drivers, and they do work very well with G+PLUS too. We're pleased that Atari released these improved drivers. As for Warp 9 -- somewhere wires got crossed. I _never_ said there was an "incompatibility" between FONTGDOS and Warp 9; there isn't. However, because Atari changed the way GDOS interacts with certain structures that are pointed at by a documented Line A variable, the acceleration afforded by Warp 9 when FONTGDOS is installed is lessened. Warp 9 still speeds up the system plenty -- just not quite as much as it does without FONTGDOS or with G+PLUS. See the test results below for proof of this. This information was also posted on the online services, and again, the clarifications didn't get reported. As for the "caching" feature of FONTGDOS -- I agree, that is a nice feature (although of minimal usefulness to existing GDOS programs), and again, I said so online. Again, THAT message didn't get reported. Mr. Deegan says: ->> FONT GDOS does not slow down the system as CFJ suggests. Again ->> this is an area of competition for G+Plus. An improper setup of ->> FONT GDOS _may_ slow down the system a bit and the Font Cache ->> will load fonts as needed and this may cause what appears as a ->> slow down. Sorry -- but FONTGDOS _does_ introduce about a 10% system slowdown in GEM applications. Since people are probably getting tired of reading unsupported statements about whether or not FONTGDOS introduces a system slowdown, I did some tests, with the Quick Index benchmark program, and also with the ZOOMTEST.PRG we ship with G+PLUS. The tests were conducted with a "real world" system; i.e., a Mega 4 with several other AUTO folder programs and desk accessories installed. For the ZOOMTEST results, timings are given in seconds; lower timings mean faster speeds. For Quick Index, higher percentages mean faster speeds. Here are the results of the tests: ------------------- G+PLUS - with Warp 9 ZOOMTEST (50 repetitions) -- 5.94 seconds Quick Index GEM Dialog Test -- 409% ------------------- FONTGDOS - with Warp 9 ZOOMTEST (50 repetitions) -- 6.09 seconds Quick Index GEM Dialog Test -- 356% ------------------- G+PLUS - without Warp 9 ZOOMTEST (50 repetitions) -- 18.43 seconds Quick Index GEM Dialog Test -- 144% ------------------- FONTGDOS - without Warp 9 ZOOMTEST (50 repetitions) -- 25.73 seconds Quick Index GEM Dialog Test -- 119% ------------------- Regardless of attempts to portray CodeHead's misgivings about FONTGDOS as "sour grapes" coming from a competitor, these numbers tell the true story. We ask you, the public, to take a look at the numbers and judge for yourselves. Charles @ CodeHead Tech Friday, June 12, 1992 7:46 pm ________________________________________________________________ > The UNTOLD Story! STR Spotlight PITTSBURGH.... Finally, the TRUTH! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""" THE UNTOLD STORY OF PITTSBURGH, PA ================================== by DC Signorini (c) 1991, 1992, 1992 ======= PART V ======= [This is part 5 of a 6 part story concerning the Atari arena in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. You are encouraged to read all 6 parts in their entirety. If you missed Part I, II, III, or IV, you are encouraged to read these Parts before reading further.] CASUALTY COUNT -------------- Rumor has it that both Atari Elite and PACE are suffering a year and a half later. PACE is rumored to have fewer than 90 members and Atari Elite is dropping membership too. PACE refuses to talk to Atari Elite, while Atari Elite has always had an open door policy. This attitude is not doing either group or Atari computers any good. In my eyes, Atari Elite did nothing wrong to get the reputation they currently possess. PACE and Atari Elite should have had a meeting 4 years ago to settle any and all disputes. However, the board of directors of both groups were too stubborn for such talks. Neither wanted to admit wrong doing. The Atari ST users of the Pittsburgh area have suffered because of the greed of a few selfish people. The members of the Atari Elite have suffered because certain individuals took it upon themselves to begin a "smear" campaign against the group. Those people did nothing wrong, and the Atari Elite deserves a clean slate. You see, PACE wanted the Atari Elite to crumble so badly that they were willing to do almost anything to make sure that Elite was eliminated. Little did they know, they were slicing their own throats in the process. It took them 5 years to coat the Atari Elite with kerosene only to find that when they lit the match, they too had some on them. The following article is re-printed from the Atari Elite Electronic Chronicles Newsletter and was written by John Karlovich, president of the Atari Elite-- ***** REPRINT ***** 05/29/90 Greetings to all: Until this time, THE ATARI ELITE has sat back and not said a word, we have listened and read ALL of the posts that have been printed about the Pittsburgh situation. Bear with me for awhile and you will begin to see the TRUTH unfold. There have been some false allegations being spread about The Atari Elite Organization that needs clarification, let me introduce myself. My name is John N. Karlovich and I am one of the founding members of THE ATARI ELITE and a past president of PACE (Pittsburgh Atari Computer Enthusiasts) I resigned from that position officially in November 1985. Myself and five other 520ST users started ** The ATARI ELITE ** an ST only organization. I gave the board of directors of PACE a 6 month notice of my resignation and explanation which was necessary...The secretary had NEVER taken the minutes of the meetings....The disk librarian would NOT report on how many disks were being bought or sold....And many many other functions that I will not bring up...(Leave the skeletons in the closets) The accusations that I left PACE....to be split up, is totally ridiculous. The TRUTH is BEFORE I left I made sure it was listed as a non-profit organization....The club had grown in size so much that the income we were making was quite large. If the IRS were to inquire about our income I am quite sure they would have gone to the president and the rest of the officers with many questions. Our records at that time were practically non-existent. We managed to reconstruct the previous three years and obtain the non-profit status. I instructed the board members if these conditions were not corrected in 6 months I would resign and get up in front of the membership and explain WHY.. this I did. (This is public knowledge and I only mention this as background for NEW members and the Atarians not in the Pittsburgh area.) I was to leave in October but stayed on one more month and we had an ATARI EXTRAVAGANZA. Neil Harris was coming to town and I did not want to air our dirty laundry to anyone. We passed out shirts, Frisbees, duffel bags and backpacks with the ATARI LOGO (I went out with a bang so to speak) I am sorry that there were and still are HARD feelings because of my resignation, but I guess there will exist personality conflicts. My energies were dedicated to the betterment of the club, and the promotion of Atari in the Pittsburgh area and they still are. At that time, not only myself but the VICE PRESIDENT and the TREASURER resigned the same time. The ATARI ELITE was formed out of a void that existed. As time went on more Atari People wanted to join an ST only group (That is the only machine we cater to....I am happy to say for the ST user the 8_bit is dead). We also took extra caution to assure that our meetings were on a night that would not conflict with the PACE meetings. In the past THE ATARI ELITE has tried to work with PACE, we have tried to put our differences behind us to no avail. Instead of welcoming competition, they are afraid of it. We believe that organizations should work together for the betterment of Atari and not to another's demise. As an example, PACE has had other Atari Products Shows. All of the other user groups were invited to attend BUT the ATARI ELITE was not permitted to have a space even though we have offered to pay vendors price for the booth. The reasoning given to us was that we were in the same county as they are and would be in competition for the same members. This to me sounds terrible. Apparently PACE felt that we were (are) that much better. Even if they feel that way, we should have been allowed to attend because the ATARI ELITE is promoting the ST. The phrase was that we were "STEALING" their members. Come on now, when was the last time somebody "STOLE" you? THE ATARI ELITE operates under the philosophy of Lee Iacocca "if you can find a better deal, BUY IT." The ELITE says, "If you can find a better group then JOIN IT." Lets get to the infrastructure of the matter. The question could be raised as to why we do not have our own show. The answer is that Pace has an ANNUAL SHOW and we don't want to repeat the same thing. We felt that this was something that they did well. Judging the effects of their 1990 show, it appears that they have lost their ability to do the one thing that we felt they were good at. Now they have blown it for the Pittsburgh area. They have single-handedly destroyed the reputation of Pittsburgh in the eyes of the Atari community and tried to place the blame elsewhere instead of admitting the REAL REASONS. (This has been brought out in STReport). One vast reason the show was a flop was that THE ATARI ELITE did NOT participate at all, we were not invited as a group and most of our members would not go (The ones that did go spent plenty of bucks and we have a committee set up to tally the amount which will be reported at a later date with receipts to prove it). Another untruth that has THE ATARI ELITE fired up is the belief that we are a bunch of PIRATES. This outrageous lie that was generated by a few people at PACE, has branded THE ATARI ELITE as pirates in the Atari community. Many allegations have been spread over the networks but NO PROOF has or will be found. This was started I believe because PACE is a dying club and they are trying every thing possible to discredit THE ATARI ELITE in futile hopes that the ST members will leave and join the other side. One other fact to mention is, MANY members belong to both clubs? This also is untrue, approximately a half a dozen ELITE members belong to PACE and they have said they will NOT renew their memberships with PACE because of their childlike antics. We believe that, UNLIKE PACE, we have taken an AGGRESSIVE stance against piracy. We have actually bussed our members to shows where they have purchased thousands of dollars of soft/hardware.( Video tapes are available to prove this.) We are planning on attending the D.C.show, this invitation is and has been open to ALL the user groups in the area. We will provide the transportation and tickets for this function at a reasonable cost. Another point I would like to mention is most of our members have the newest in software and hardware because of our aggressive support with the vendors. One example is; our group purchased at least 18 copies of the Universal Item Selector, (again we have the documentation to prove this). No one has mentioned the GOOD things THE ATARI ELITE are doing such as taking 14 systems to a Real Estate and Financial Investors meeting next month to show the "Power Without the Price", I do not want to blow our horn but this needed to be told. I am disheartened that the developers and vendors have been fed the WRONG impression of the ATARI ELITE because of some misinformed individuals. I challenge ALL the vendors and developers to go through your records and check to see how many people in the Pittsburgh area have purchased your products. Contact the users and ASK them how they found out about it. My bet is they heard and saw it at one of THE ATARI ELITE meetings. Time will tell the TRUTH..... The information that I have provided you with is to END this pointless "in-fighting." We are one city, and one user base with one computer. This fighting serves NO ONE! We feel we have a lot to offer the Atari community. The only ones to suffer in the end is the users... NO good can come out of strife.. We at THE ATARI ELITE are not in competition for anything. We march to the beat of our own drum, we are not followers but leaders. Our purpose is to acquaint, teach, and inform the community of the home and business computer. To foster a positive attitude in the general population regarding computers and to demonstrate the potential importance of computers to those seeking such information. Information booths have been set up in shopping malls and other locations to inform the public of the existence of such an organization where one can learn. Available to the public is a 24 hour phone line for use concerning any computer related problems or questions. A monthly meeting is held for its members to attend to view and learn about the newest products available. Technical help is also provided at these meetings for those having problems with any aspect of their computer use. A 24 hour Bulletin Board System, or BBS, is provided to the public and to the general membership. This system is a source of information and a 'meeting place' of hundreds of computer users in the Pittsburgh area, and with the advent of special processing features, the BBS is online with several hundred other BBS's across the country and around the world allowing a member or user to contact thousands of other users. Included in membership is a bi-monthly electronic newsletter provided on magnetic media (one of the first on disk). This newsletter provides the reader with literally hundreds of computer related articles and editorials plus new public domain software or shareware for the reader's use. The overall goal of this organization is to educate the novice computer user and educated user alike. We feel the public is smart enough to join a group that will benefit them the most for their membership dues. If they choose, an individual can join 10 groups. We at the Elite maintain that the more you know about your computer the more fun you can have, and the better we ALL will become. The user will go to the group(s) that they get FED the most information from, that have the best speakers, most up to-date technology and the Atari atmosphere throughout. This is what The ATARI ELITE is all about. If anyone has been offended by this message I am sorry ...this was not the purpose of this letter. The image of THE ATARI ELITE has been badly damaged and some will never change their small mind to really search out the FACTS. We will continue to work very hard to bring out ALL of the TRUTH......for you Atarians that want to learn more about your machine ...we meet the first Monday of each month at the Greentree Marriott.... *** THE ATARI ELITE *** P.O. BOX 18293 PITTSBURGH, PA 15236 If you need more information drop us a line..... For all that like to use their modems call our BBS...... AUTOBOSS/ATARI ELITE P.O. BOX 281 BUNOLA, PA. 15020 (412) 384-5609 (412) 653-7540 ***** End of re-print ***** GREAT LAKES ATARI COMPUTER CONFERENCE ------------------------------------- Patty Marshall and Paul Plants of the Westmoreland Atari Computer Organization (WACO) contacted the AUA in October of 1990 with their plans of an Atari Show in 1991. We first met Paul while we were at the WAACE show in Reston, VA, and both Tony and myself wanted to entertain the idea of an AUA co-sponsored event. So, we met with Paul and Patty, as well as Dennis McGuire of SAGE one sunday morning and discussed what would have to do to pull of a good show -- without suffering from the "Pittsburgh Syndrome" After all, our show would be nearly 150 miles north of Pittsburgh and would draw from Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, and Toronto and could provide us with a substantial draw of ST users. What we did not know at that time was that Atari had completely erased all of Pennsylvania from the map and that many developers had bad feelings about the area still. Tony and I left the meeting pretty excited and confident that a show in Erie would do very well. However, we were having some concerns as to what our actual role would be in the show and whether we had the time and manpower to co-sponsor the extravaganza. After talking about it for a few days, we decided that it would not be in the best interest of the AUA to become financially involved in the show because we would not be able to provide the other show sponsors with equal time and capital. Therefore, we announced that we would fully support the show and help promote it, however, we could not provide them with finances or manpower. Our decision was not received very well, but we had to do "what we had to do." There was no way that we would be able to give 100 percent of our time while working full time and running the AUA on the side. That was enough, and a show event would overload us and probably cause hardship at home (the spouse/girlfriend theory...). Both Paul and Patty were disappointed with us, but we really felt that our decision was well thought out. During the course of the next few months, AUA helped the show efforts by mailing flyers for the show with our normal mailing efforts such as renewals, direct mail, and newsletter. Paul estimated that between our efforts at AUA and his, nearly 8000 flyers were sent out over a 3 or 4 month period. That figure is rather substantial and really should have hit a broad population of ST users who would attend the show. Paul mentioned that he spent hundreds of dollars contacting vendors and each of them had some excuse as to why they could not attend the show. By the first of June, Paul and the Great Lakes Atari Computer Conference had confirmed three booths: Wiz Works, ICD, and Best Electronics. All of the other vendors gave excuses like "To far to travel," "Not in our budget," "We will get back to you." Paul got a run around. Even Atari fed them a line when Bob Brodie said that Atari could not attend the show because their schedule was full. We later found out that Bob committed to 2 shows, Asheville, NC and another midwest show -- both 1 day mall shows, AFTER he told Paul he could not attend the GLACC show because of the above state reason. While not one of the people Paul contacted over the 6 month period would actually state why they would "really" not attend the show, this writer knows the real reason and it does not take a genius to figure it out. Pennsylvania has been a "black hole" in the Atari Community ever since the events of April 1990. No one wants to come here because of what they "heard" about the Pittsburgh. To be honest, if I was a vendor and heard some of the things that were said, I would be hesitant too. However, I can attest that I would at least want to get the truth before I made a decision to not attend a show that had the potential to draw a thousand or more starving ST users. The three vendors who did commit to the GLACC show were also at the PACE show in 1990. Of the three, Wiz Works is the only software vendor while the other two are hardware. I suppose that the hardware guys did not feel threatened by piracy and for Wiz Works, the distance to the show was convenient. It is a shame to see the effort that these GLACC people put into the show washed away by unsubstantiated rumors about Pennsylvania and more specifically Pittsburgh. Both Paul and Patty are very discouraged at this point with Atari and I really don't blame them. But what Atari does not realize is that there are thousands of "Pauls and Patties" in the United States who do not care about Atari any longer. ==================================================================== Permission to Re-Print is granted as long as no part of this work is changed in any way and credit is given to the Author and the AUA. ==================================================================== > SHAMUS! STR Review ALL ABOUT THOSE NEW GAMING GOODIES! """""""""""""""""" *-- ST REPORT CARD # 4 --* \___ BY THE SHAMUS ___/ LEANDER - Psygnosis has been producing software for the ST since the machine's beginnings. Some of their early ST releases were hits like BARBARIAN and some were pretty poor like CAPTAIN FIZZ. Graphics have always been the strong suit of this company. In addition to this, all of the Psygnosis games are originals, not arcade or movie licenses. Leander is the latest platform game from Psygnosis and fans of this genre will be very impressed. The graphics are colourful, the sprites are huge and the scrolling is close to flawless! The use of sprites will remind you of a console game from TURBO GRAPHIX or SUPER NINTENDO. The only shortcoming of this game is the soundtrack. Frankly, all you will hear is soundchip sound-effects but you will hardly notice this anyways. Aside from the sound, this game seriously challenges and surpasses the best platform games on the ST such as GODS (The Bitmap Brothers). GRADE: A+ PARASOL STARS - Before I tell you about this game, I must mention I am a big fan of the previous two arcade conversions in this series, namely BUBBLE BOBBLE and the classic RAINBOW ISLANDS. These games are for people who enjoy a good platform game with all the hidden rooms and prizes and weapons and add- ons and end of level guardians. Parasol Stars, like Rainbow Islands, is the type of game which is more popular when it is converted than it is in the arcade. OCEAN is well known for its great conversions like Hudson Hawk and Toki. Parasol Stars is not as good as RAINBOW ISLANDS, but judged on its own merit, it is a fun game. As a one player game, this game is a B, but as a two player game, the fun is enhanced considerably. You can stun and even throw your opponent! The main problem with the conversion is the cheap way the colour was converted from the 32+ colour AMIGA to the 16 colour ST version. The sprites are not as colourful, detailed or well-defined as the conversions for other computers. The scrolling on some of the screens is also quite choppy. On early ST games, chunky scrolling was completely acceptable but in this games, the scrolling keeps this game from being exceptional. Still fun. GRADE: A ASTEROIDS - This column usually reviews commercial software, but this new SHAREWARE title is worth checking out because it is the closest thing to the classic arcade ASTEROIDS on the ST. The graphics are simple but well defined and the playability is great. A lot of the in this game is due to the sheer simplicity and addictive nature of the game. For SHAREWARE, everyone should register their copy. GRADE: B DIZZY ADVENTURES - Dizzy adventures is a compilation five brand new DIZZY adventures including BUBBLE DIZZY, PANIC DIZZY, QUICKSNAX, SPELLBOUND DIZZY and THE PRINCE OF YOLKFOLK. The strongest of the games is SPELLBOUND DIZZY. It is set up like many of the other DIZZY ADVENTURES. This is the largest DIZZY game to date with over 105 screens of cute strategy and platform action. As you may or may not know, many of these adventures have been converted over for the NINTENDO. On their own, these DIZZY games are average at best. As a package, five games for the price of one is a good deal. Recommended for people who like puzzles and platforms. GRADE: B+ TREX WARRIOR - Trex Warrior is the latest game from game writing greats, THALION (Wings of Death, Enchanted Lands). This game takes the old 8-bit game called ENCOUNTER (by Synapse) and adds better graphics, bigger explosions and some fast vector graphics. The game plan is quite basic but it is also quite fun. This game is no ENCHANTED LANDS, but it is an original shoot 'em up which will make you remember the 8-bit days. Worth a look. Grade: B+ STEEL EMPIRE - There has been an obvious lack of territorial conquest strategy games on the ST. The best ones include RISK, COLONIAL CONQUEST and LORDS OF CONQUEST. Some publishers have combined action and strategy with games like DEFENDER OF THE CROWN and NORTH AND SOUTH. This game takes many elements from both and makes a very nice futuristic strategy game. The program is quite hard to describe but it is the type of program you can not pick up and just figure it out without reading the documentation first. For strategy fans, this game will really draw you in when you find out how complex it is. Others will want to try before they buy. Grade: B _______________________________________________________ > Blue Ridge Fest! STR SHOW NEWS Summer Fun with Atari! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" BLUE RIDGE ATARIFEST '92 ======================== The Blue Ridge Atari Computer Enthusiasts (BRACE) and Computer STudio invite you to participate in the third annual Blue Ridge AtariFest on Saturday, July 18, 1992. The show will take place in the Courtyard Shop area of Westgate Shopping Center in Asheville, North Carolina (Home of Computer STudio). Exhibitor's who have already made a commitment to attend include (Alphabetical Listing): Accusoft-ST (Michael Cooper) ................ PD/Shareware Software Atari Computer Corporation (Mike Groh) ...... ABC Solutions (Peter Zalesak) ............... Publisher ST2, First Word, First Graph, tbxCAD, Kuma's KSpread4/Lite Clear Thinking (Craig Harvey) ............... EdHak CodeHead Software (John Eidsvoog) ........... Midi Spy, TOS Extension Card, Megapaint II Pro, Hotwire, G+Plus, LookIt/PopIt, etc. Computer STudio ............................. Visit a 'real' Atari Dealership in the mall DSA (Robert Dytmire & David Munsie) ......... GP Graphics Engine - New product unveiling! Goldleaf Publishing (John Fox) .............. Wordflair II, Didot, Retouche, Sherlook, etc. KAUG (Knoxville Atari Users Group) .......... P/D Library Disks KAUG (Seminar by Erik White) ................ "Beginning MIDI" Lexicor Software (John Cole) ................ Desktop Video Software Reed Mountain Press (Don Terp) .............. Desktop Publishing Seminar Software Development Systems (Scott Sanders). NewDesk Icon Editor CPX, Printer Utilities Pak ST Report/ABCO Computer (Ralph Mariano) ..... Seminar on current events in the Atari marketplace. Step Ahead Software (Nevin Shalit) .......... Tracker ST (Nevin is Current IAAD Pres.) Twilight Zone Software (Wayne Watson) ....... Transcendence BBS software. Willard Productions (Clifton Willard) ....... Professional Desktop Video WorldComm (Ralph Roberts) ................... Author of several computer books incl. "Computer Viruses" and hint books Several additional Atari developers have also expressed an interest in the show but have not yet made their commitment. The list is obviously still growing! For additional information, please contact: Sheldon Winick Cliff Allen, Show Coord. GEnie: S.WINICK GEnie: C.ALLEN17 Computer STudio Internet: CALLEN@UNCA.EDU Westgate Shopping Center phone: (704) 258-3758 40 Westgate Parkway - Suite D Asheville, NC 28806 (704) 251-0201 _______________________________________________________ > COMPO PRODUCTS STR InfoFile CompoScript - C-Font """"""""""""""""""""""""""" COMPO PRODUCTS UPDATE ===================== CompoScript ----------- CompoScript is a very powerful application that lets you work with PostScript files on your Atari computer. Why PostScript? --------------- PostScript is a page description language. It lets an application, such as a word processor, publishing program, or graphics program output files which are device independent - this means that you can output a PostScript file that can then be printed on any PostScript printer, be it a 180dpi dot matrix printer or 2400 dpi imagesetter. You'll always get the highest quality that the printer is capable of. When using applications that can drive a printer directly or via PostScript, printing via PostScript often gives superior results. There is also Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), which is a resolution independent file format for exchange of data between programs. PostScript has two typeface formats - Type 1 and Type 3. Type 1 fonts are generally considered the highest quality fonts available because they're stored as outlines that can be scaled to any size, and have hinting. Hinting is a method of accurately reproducing fonts at any size (when outline fonts are rendered at a small size or resolution, unhinted fonts can lose important font details). There are literally thousands of Type 1 fonts available, from famous font foundries or even the public domain. Type 3 fonts are similar to Type 1s, but do not have hinting and are generally slower and consume more memory. PostScript, and Encapsulated PostScript, have become the standard for data exchange on MS-DOS, Macintosh, and UNIX computer platforms. It is becoming very popular with Atari users as well, because of it's flexibility, quality, and transferability for users who work on DOS or Macintosh computers or emulators who can now take files back and forth with their Atari. Why CompoScript? ---------------- CompoScript gives your Atari and your printer PostScript compatibility. At its most basic level of operation, it outputs PostScript files on most any printer. It also lets you adjust printing resolution, print (or preview) the image to the screen, convert PostScript and Encapsulated PostScript files to GEM Image and TIFF (so you can load these files into programs that don't support PostScript), adjust screen frequency and angle for grey scale (halftone) images, and edit font names and aliases, giving you font flexibility and preventing the problem found all too often with some PostScript interpreters which default to Courier when a file requests a font that isn't available. CompoScript is the only PostScript interpreter for Atari computers that uses Type 1 fonts. Any Type 1 font can be used by CompoScript, simply by telling CompoScript where the font is located (a matter of a couple mouse clicks). It also includes 35 Type 1 fonts, which can be used with any application that uses Type 1 fonts! You may already be using PostScript, or applications that can use it. We invite you to experience the power of PostScript through our handy upgrade program. CompoScript runs on any Atari computer with a megabyte of memory and a hard disk. It has a retail price of $349.95 SPECIAL OFFER ------------- Through August 31, 1992, users who own PostScript compatible software (such as UltraScript, PageStream, and Avant Vector, among others) can purchase CompoScript for $200.00. Simply return your original disk with your order. *** Editor Note: ------------ In lieu of sending an "ORIGINAL DISK", a photocopy of the disk, book cover or receipt with be sufficient. if you have any further questions please call Compo. The number is listed at the end of this article. C-FONT CONVERT CALAMUS OUTLINE FONTS TO GEM FORMAT! About Fonts . . . There are two fundamental types of fonts - bitmap fonts and outline fonts. Any outline font must be turned into a bitmap before it can be seen on a monitor or printed to a printer. A bitmap font is a collection of dots; as such it is only a specific point size. For instance Times Roman in 8, 10, and 12 point needs 3 different bitmap fonts for the printer and, for WYSIWYG programs, 3 different bitmap fonts for the screen. An outline font is completely different. It is a mathematical representation of a font in terms of lines and curves. In its own right it is useless; before it can be used software must interpret it into a bitmap for display or printing. On Atari computers one of the most popular forms of outline font is for Calamus. C-Font will take a Calamus outline font and produce a GEM format bitmap font for both screen and printer. Who needs C-Font? Anyone who uses software that supports standard GEM format fonts will benefit from C-Font. This includes COMPO's own word processors That's Write and Write ON, any program that uses GDOS or G+Plus such as Timeworks Publisher and Easy Draw, and other software such as the Diablo emulator for laser printers. How does C-Font work? C-Font will run either as a stand alone program, or as a desk accessory. All you need to do is load a Calamus font (normally a .CFN file) and say what point size you would like C-Font to produce. C-Font will automatically create the appropriate fonts for your monitor and printer. Technical bits . . . Font sizes up to 99 points Font resolution up to 999 dpi User definable inter-character spacing Automatic superscript and subscript fonts for That's Write and Write ON Default information taken from GDOS, That's Write or Write ON screen and printer drivers Full manual control of all parameters for maximum compatibility and flexibility Support for compressed fonts, as used in That's Write 2 and Fontkit Plus. C-Font costs $29.95 available directly from COMPO Software or your favorite dealer. COMPO Software Corp. 104 Esplanade Avenue Ste. 121 Pacifica California 94044 Tel 415-355-0862 Fax 415-355-0869 ___________________________________________________________________ > Remember When? STR FOCUS! Memories.... """"""""""""""""""""""""" REPRINT FROM STREPORT # 4.06 FEB. 09, 1990 =========================================== CPU NEWSWIRE CONFIDENTIAL ========================= - Sunnyvale, CA. **** ATARI MAY HIRE NAGY! **** -------------- Coming from two ultra confidential and usually very reliable sources, it is reported that A. Salerno's division is contemplating bringing John Nagy onboard. Nagy, a central figure in many controversial developments in the Atari arena and formally of Computer Shopper and znet recently moved to California from Michigan. ________________________________________________________ > CT-AtariFest STR SHOW NEWS Hartford Atari Show """""""""""""""""""""""""" DISCOUNT OFFER ON ADMISSION TO HARTFORD ATARI SHOW ================================================== HARTFORD, Conn. (June 18, 1992) Budget-conscious Atari users can take advantage of a registration offer that will save them money during their visit to Connecticut AtariFest'92 (CAF '92) here on August 15 and 16. Show organizers have invited on-line and bulletin board users to pre-register for the Northeast's only Atari show this summer and save up to $2 off the price of admission. For a limited time, would-be show attendees can download an Earlybird Registration Form, fill in the necessary data and get $1.50 discount off the price of a one-day ticket, $2 off the price of a two-day pass. Attendees registering at the show will pay $5 and $8 for one- and two-day passes, respectively. Registrants must return the form with a check or money order by midnight July 9, 1992 to qualify for discounts. Organizers said the EarlyBird discounts will give showgoers a little more buying power with which to fill shopping bags with goodies at the show. By pre-registering, attendees can breeze through the check-in desk on the days of the show and won't be left waiting in line while other visitors grab the best bargains. CAF '92 Chairman Brian Gockley said EarlyBird registrants will also receive a pre-show mailer containing news about specials that off-the- street visitors won't learn about until the doors of CAF '92 open. An attached questionnaire asks registrants about their interests and which exhibitors and products they'd like to see at the show. The optional form is not needed to pre-register. Connecticut AtariFest '92 is rapidly shaping up as the must-go Atari event of this summer. More than two dozen leading developers and Atari dealers plan to attend. More than one dozen Atari user groups from around the Northeast will also participate. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday August 15 and Sunday August 16 at the Sheraton Hotel at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, 12 miles north of downtown Hartford. Show activities will include presentation of the latest Atari products and services, seminars on desktop publishing and video production, instruction from developers, a hands-on Atari 'Petting Zoo' spotlighting unique user creations, MIDI demonstrations, Lynx (game system) competitions, Portfolio (palmtop) applications, 8-bit support and more. Look for the EarlyBird registration form in files named 'CAFREG80.TXT' (80- column) and 'CAFREG40.TXT' (40-column) elsewhere on this on-line service or bulletin board. Prospective showgoers who do not subscribe to a major on- line service or contact Atari bulletin board systems in the Northeast can still get a pre-show discount. They should address a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Connecticut AtariFest '92 18 Elmwood Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06605 For more information about the show, contact: Brian Gockley 18 Elmwood Avenue Bridgeport, CT 06605 [Phone (203) 332-1721 E-Mail GEnie = B.GOCKLEY] Doug Finch 46 Park Avenue Old Greenwich CT 06870 [Phone (203) 637-1034 EMail CIS = 76337,1067 GEnie = D.FINCH7. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++ S E E Y O U A T T H E S H O W ! ! ! ++ ++ /-----------\/------------/ ++ ++ / )I( / ++ ++ / / I \ / ++ ++ ,/ CT ATARIFEST '92 / ++ ++ ,/ _______________________/ ++ ++ /__,/ ++ ++ ++ ++ CONNECTICUT ATARIFEST '92 Sponsored by F.A.C.E., S.T.A.R.R., ++ ++ August 15-16, 1992 D-BUG, A.U.G.O.G.H., A.M.A.U.G., ++ ++ Sheraton Hotel at Brad- C.C.C.C., the A.C.T. Group and ++ ++ ley Int'l Airpt, Hart- other Atari user groups in asso- ++ ++ ford (Windsor Locks, CT) ciation with Atari Corporation. ++ ++ ++ +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ E A R L Y B I R D D I S C O U N T F O R M +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Take advantage of a $1.50 discount on the cost of a one-day admission ticket and Save $2 off the cost of a two-day pass. make sure you're alerted to special deals and exhibitor discounts offered at CONNECTICUT ATARIFEST '92. Register now for the BIGGEST summertime show Atari will attend in the Northeast this year. ACT NOW!! This offer is in effect until July 9, 1992 only. ------------- Type or print the following information -------------- Name _______________________________________________________________ Company (if applicable) ____________________________________________ Street/PO Box ______________________________________________________ City __________________________________ State ____ ZIP _____________ Phone ________________________ Fax/Modem (specify) _________________ E-Mail addresses (specify service) _________________________________ 1-day ticket = $ 3.50 (good either day) 2-day ticket = $6.00 No. of tickets requested 1-day ____________ 2-day ____________ Return with a S.A.S.E. and check or money order payable to: PG Associates 18 Elmwood Ave. Bridgeport, CT 06605. Connecticut residents add 6% sales tax. Checks must be received no later than midnight July 9, 1992. (STR825) ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Q U E S T I O N N A I R E ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The following questions are optional and not required for registration. Your answers will be helpful, however, in determining which exhibitors you would like to see, which seminars should be scheduled and which products and services you would like see at CONNECTICUT ATARIFEST '92. Please indicate whether you are interested in receiving pre-show information from exhibitors about special offers and discounts, or would like us to withhold your replies. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to advise us. The Organizers. Atari model/system now in use ______________________________________ What applications interest you the most? ___________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ What companies/products would you like to see at the show? _________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ How, if at all, might you consider upgrading your system,software or services used? _____________________________________________________ Do you belong to a user group in your area? If so, which? __________ _____________________________ Use a local BBS? _____________________ Subscribe to Atari-specific publications? __________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ To an on-line service? _____________________________________________ Best tip to Atari, its developers and support organizations? _______ ____________________________________________________________________ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ S E E Y O U A T T H E S H O W ! ! ! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ > STR Portfolio News & Information Keeping up to date... """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" THE ATARI PORTFOLIO FORUM """"""""""""""""""""""""" On CompuServe! by STR's Roving Reporter PORTFOLIO GOES TO THE MOVIES AGAIN! =================================== The movie Star is at it again. The world famous Atari Portfolio is well represented on the set of "Made In America" starring Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson. While the particulars of the movie are being kept under wraps, we can tell you this.. the Portfolio is there, on the set, in force. So, Atari Portfolio Fans... look forward to seeing your favorite Palmtop in the "lights again. So far, there three or four on the set and more to come. ___________________________________________________________ > CSB /FTL STR Review CHAOS STRIKES BACK! - Revisited """"""""""""""""""" DUNGEON MASTER, REVISITED.....AGAIN (AGAIN!) CHAOS STRIKES BACK!! by Dana P. Jacobson A few weeks ago, I managed to pick up Dungeon Master again and I completed it (finally), and gave a description of that trip down memory lane. As I mentioned in that article, there's a lot of discussion on local bulletin boards and online services about Dungeon Master-like games, such as Knightmare, Shadowlands, Captive, and others. These discussions brought back some great memories that I had when _trying_ to play/complete Dungeon Master. Soon enough, I had the "bug" again!! With a lot of time spent, patience, and a number of helpful hints from other DM players and the DM hintbook/maps, I managed to finish the game. It was as much fun and frustrating as I remembered a few years ago! Since I also had Chaos Strikes Back (the sequel to Dungeon Master), I was determined to play and finish it as well. The first thing that I did before starting out with CSB was to search some stacks of dusty floppies and see if I still had a few disks with CSB maps and hints. I found them, chipped the dust off, and checked them out. Okay, they looked fine, so I printed them out to have them handy (I get lost in these dungeon games _very_ easily!). I then converted my champions from DM so they could be used in Chaos. I was attached to these four champions, so I figured they were appropriate for the new challenge! When starting out in CSB, your champions retain their skills, but everything else they had when you completed DM is gone. They even start out "naked". First thing that I did was to ready them with fireballs because I remembered people saying that no sooner than you begin the game, you're greeted with those favorite monsters from DM, the Worms! They were right! And, they kept regenerating every time you passed by a certain spot in the dungeon. Well, that was alright, as I managed to stockpile plenty of food from this unlimited source. Anyway, checking out the maps, I found that they weren't as good as the ones I was used to seeing while playing DM. They just weren't as clearly marked. I checked around our local dealers to see if they had the CSB hintbook, knowing that the maps _had_ to be better! Naturally, no one had it in stock....sigh. Well, knowing that one of the authors is Bob Retelle, a SysOp on Compuserve, I asked him if he knew where I might be able to find the book. He told me that I could probably get one from FTL (the company that did both games); and that he would check to see if he had any laying around somewhere (he must have a shelf of old stuff collecting dust too!). A day or so later, Bob found a hidden cache of books, and offered to send me one. Who could refuse such an offer? I got it a few days later (I wouldn't let my wife leave the house until after the UPS truck stopped in front of the house!). Back into the dungeon I go!! The CSB game is similar to DM with relation to gameplay, spells used, and graphics. What was different is the way in which the dungeon was laid out. In DM, when you started a particular level, you made your way through it and then continued to the next (or returned to the one before it). In Chaos, the dungeon levels weren't set up in the same manner. It's difficult to explain, but it appears that there are sub- levels in various places. There are also a _lot_ more pits to fall into, hidden and open. Hidden walls are plentiful as well. There are also transporters that can send you somewhere within the current level, or another level altogether! The object of Chaos Strikes Back is to locate four pieces of Corbum that Lord Chaos has hidden in the dungeon, and destroy them all by throwing them into the FULYA Pit. The game is split into four "Ways". Each of the Ways corresponds to one of the skills of your champions: DAIN, the Wizard; NETA, the Priest; KU, the Fighter; and ROS, the Ninja. Obviously, it's not that simple to just find these four pieces of Corbum and ultimately destroy them. The "Junction of the Ways" is where you start the game, and choose the path in which you wish to travel. Each way takes you to different parts of the dungeon, but will meet at three spots. The first "junction" is the initial starting point. Each of the ways from this point will take you to a second "stage", meeting at the Diabolical Demon Director area (the name _is_ appropriate!). From the DDD, you continue on the second half of your quest to complete your selected way. You then meet at each way's final stage of the game, at the Maze, which will lead you to the FULYA Pit where you can destroy the corbum. There are pits and transporters which will take you directly to the Junction of the Ways, if you need to quickly restart your travels, and, if you've prepared, some stored supplies. Chaos contains a lot of the monsters that we were accustomed to seeing in Dungeon Master. It also contains a _lot_ of new monsters; and they're tougher to battle in most cases. There are also a lot more dragons, but fortunately, these provide an almost endless supply of food, which is hard to come by in the game. Water is also not available conveniently as was found in DM. Remembering my experience in DM, "stamina" potions come in _very_ handy to survive those times when water and/or food is depleted. When either is available, stock up as much as is possible! My opinions of the CSB hintbook vary. Sometimes I hated the way in which it was done; and at other times I found it to be invaluable. I also need to explain these differences in opinion! First of all, this hintbook is designed differently than the one for the initial game. However, it was necessary due to the difference in which the game is laid out. In DM's hintbook, you were given maps of each level, quick tips for different areas on each level, and another section which contained specific tips for gameplay. The CSB book was more comprehensive. After the initial "history" of the game's plot, you're given a brief (but interesting) concept of what is expected of your champions in this new battle against Lord Chaos. Next you see a chart of the available spells that you can use, both wizard and priest. In Dungeon Master, you learned about the various available spells by finding scrolls laying around the dungeon. You then were greeted with a chart of the various monsters, and what levels they appeared. What was disappointing about this part of the book is that I wish that the authors had described the various monsters listed here. Some are quite obvious (dragons, mummies, skeletons, etc.), but what the heck are "gigglers", "rives", and "couatls"? Usually, if you can manage to pause the game and refer back to this chart, you can discover which monster you've just been faced with defeating. And, if you want to be surprised, I guess knowing in advance might not be such a great idea. Me, I'd like to know ahead of time what these things are! You're then shown a map of the Prison, similar to the area in Dungeon Master where you can choose your champions. If you start the game using the CSB champions instead of those you've "saved" from DM, there's an added feature where you can "edit" your champions' appearance, and rename them. CSB includes a utility disk in which you can do this. It also contains a "hint oracle", in which you can learn a hint or two about whatever current location that you're in during the game. For those who don't have the hintbook, this option can be very useful. The only problem is that you have to save your current location, exit the game, and then reboot with the utility disk. Then, reboot again and return to the game. I don't know if the hint oracle could have been incorporated directly into the game or not, but it would have made things easier. Perhaps the programmers figured people would be less tempted to use this option if it was tedious to use all of the time! If so, they were correct. The hintbook then goes on to describe each of the Ways leading from the initial junction of all four. Each of these sections contains miniature maps of various sections of each way. You're also given descriptions and hints pertaining to that specific area. "Exits" from that area are labeled with letters and numbers which refer you to hints with corresponding letters and numbers. What bothered me about this was that if you wanted to see the entire level at one time, you had to refer to the section of the book which contained those maps. Unfortunately, it's not always obvious how to find the corresponding level/map from the smaller ones. As I mentioned earlier, each level is broken up into sub-levels; which means that parts of the same level aren't accessible from within that same level. Part of this is due to the fact that each particular "Way" will travel to part of the level, while another "Way" will take you to another part of the level - neither meeting with each other until you reach one of the junctions. Still, it can be very confusing at times until you find someplace in the level which looks obvious and corresponds to the maps. If you fall through a pit, it'll take you a long time to discover where you are using the maps!! But, as in the DM book, there are sections in which you'll find general tips, and another where those tips will be more broadly explained. I found the maps to be done very well. I know that I couldn't find my way around in either of these games without them. The hints, when needed, provided just enough information to get you past a particular problem. There were times, however, that no matter how many hints the book provided, I couldn't resolve the predicament I found myself in. Fortunately, there are plenty of people online who can provide just enough of a hint to help you when you most need it! The one thing that I learned playing Dungeon Master is to save your game a _lot_! You never know what kind of a situation you're go to be faced with at the next turn, or at the start of a new level. At the moment, I'm still playing CSB (almost done!) and I have a stack of about 20 disks containing saved games from various points throughout. I've become experienced enough at the moment where I know that I can use some of the earlier disks over again as I'll never have the need to go that far back. Also, saving your game often allows you to have a spot to return to when you turn a corner and are faced with a monster that completely surprises you and your champions are defeated quickly. You have a chance to "practice" your skills and know what to expect and how to get past that particular danger. Once you do that, save the game again!! I'd like to give a special thanks to Bob Retelle for providing me with the means to be able to play Chaos Strikes Back. Overall, the hintbook provides you with information to help you play this game. The book doesn't always provide you the specific help that you need, but doing so would certainly take a lot of the enjoyment out of the game. I did find that I had troubles between the two sections of maps, but after completing two of the Ways, I learned how to deal with those. Currently, I'm about to toss the third piece of corbum that I've obtained into the FULYA Pit. Then, it's back to the Junction of the Ways and the final piece! Thankfully, I've just started one of my summer vacations, so I'm going to have plenty of free time to play! I know of a number of people who own CSB, but have never completed it because they became frustrated with the game because of its differences (and more difficulties) from DM. To those people, and even those of you who are better at these games, I highly recommend that you get hold of the CSB hintbook. I also recommend the first one. If you've played Dungeon Master, but never went on to Chaos Strikes Back, do it - it's a great game! If you haven't played either one yet (there may be one or two people on the face of the earth who haven't), give them a try. Well, now that I've finished this 'return to yesteryear', it's time to return to Lord Chaos and the final stages of his demise!! Then, who knows?! Maybe a return to Dungeon Master, or a new adventure with Knightmare or one of the other currently addictive dungeon-type games. Bob, any future hintbooks on the horizon? See you all in the dungeons... _________________________________________________________________ > WAACE'92 STR SHOW NEWS "THE PREMIER EAST COAST SHOW!" """""""""""""""""""""" W.A.A.C.E. AtariFest 1992 ========================= The Washington Area Atari Computer Enthusiasts will sponsor W.A.A.C.E. AtariFest 1992 on October 10 and 11. The show will again be staged at the Sheraton Reston Hotel in Reston, VA. Show hours will be from 10 am to 6 pm on both days. In addition to the shopping bargains available from over thirty vendors there will be a full round of demonstrations, tutorials, and seminars. A banquet on Saturday evening will feature a special speaker on Atari matters and Current Notes Magazine's "Author of the Year" award. Special mixers will cap off the evening's festivities. The 1990 and 1991 editions of the show attracted approximately 2000 visitors. The Sheraton Reston Hotel is a spacious, attractive facility located in a park-like setting near Washington, DC. The hotel is offering a special room rate of $59 per night plus tax to 'Fest attendees. Call 1-800-392-ROOM or 703-620-9000 for reservations. Be sure to mention W.A.A.C.E. AtariFest '92. The number of rooms available at this special rate is limited, so make your reservations early. The price that W.A.A.C.E. will have to pay for the exhibit space is directly tied to the number of hotel rooms that are rented out. If you have any expectation at all of attending the event we would like you to reserve a room for Friday and Saturday nights. Immediately following the 1991 show Charles F. Johnson of Codehead Technologies announced that W.A.A.C.E. '91 was the most profitable outing that they had ever had, anywhere. For eight years W.A.A.C.E. has provided a complete Atari experience. 1992 promises to be in that same tradition. For additional information please contact: Charles Hoffmann 5908 Bayshire Road Springfield, VA 22152-1146 (703) 569-6734 GEnie : S. Hoffmann CompuServe : 73740,1507 Delphi : CHUCKHOFFMAN ________________________________________________________________ > MIGRAPH'S OCR STR Review OCR (Optical Character Recognition) """""""""""""""""""""""" OCR (OPTICAL CHARACTER RECOGNITION) =================================== MiGraph Inc. review Version 1.09b Part II by Doyle Helms Software Editor @ ST Report "TO SAVE SUCCEEDiNG GENERATiONS FROM THE SCOURGE OF iNTRA-GAlACTiC WAR WHiCH HAS BROUGHT UNTOlD HORROR AND SUFFERiNG TO OUR PlANETARY SOciAl SYSTEMS, AND TO REAFFiRM FAiTH IN THE FUNDA%NTAl INTElliGENT lIFE-FORM RiGHTS, iN THE DiGNiTY AND WORTH OF THE INTEllIGENT 1iFE-FORM PERSON , TO THE EQUAl RIGHTS OF MAlE AND FEMAlE AND OF PlANETARY SO=iAl SYSTEMS lARGE AND SMAll , AND TO ESTABliSH CONDiTIONS UNDER WhiCH JUSTiCE AND MUTUAl RESPECT FOR T OBlIGATiONS ARISING FROM TREATIES AND OTHER SOURCES OF iNTi@lANETARY lAW CAN BE MAINTAINED, AND TO PROMOTE SOCIAl PR%RESS AND BETTER STANDARDS OF lIFE iN lARGER FREEDOM " The above text is the direct unedited import of a file from MI-GRAPH OCR. The original text is ALL CAPITALS and monospaced. The original text was scanned at 300 dpi by a MI-GRAPH hand scanner. The results of the scan, as shown above, was processed with a NEW dictionary and NO INTERACTIVE LEARNING on my part. The point I'm trying to make here is that OCR read and processed the original text with no help from me and no dictionary from which to draw information on the text to be processed. I find the above example to be outstanding by virtue of the circumstances. The most noticeable "problems" (if you could call them that) is the failure of the OCR program to recognize the lowercase letters from the uppercase letters. The program "guessed" right, just the wrong case. The other "characters" in the processed text are OCR's way of telling you that "Hey, I don't know what the heck that character is supposed to be". Still, only VERY FEW of those are shown to crept into the translation. Keep in mind that this text was processed with NO dictionary of learned type styles and NO help from me in showing it what was what! After saving the file in its un-edited form, I reprocessed the file with INTERACTIVE LEARNING turned ON. The result of this action on my part was a few "verifications" of certain characters and a few "learn" entries to show OCR the questionable characters. Keep in mind the QUALITY of the original and the quality of the scanning plays a MAJOR role in the efficiency of the processing. The sharpest learning curve in using OCR is learning about the contrast setting of your scanner. One setting does NOT fit all situations! The type of paper and the coloration of the paper play a large part in the contrast settings of the scanner. Please note that I have found that very minute adjustments in contrast settings is the rule of thumb. I have yet been required to change the contrast setting more than a "notch" either way with my MI- GRAPH scanner. I have learned approximate settings just looking at the paper before the scan. OCR efficiency increases each time I use it and requires less and less interaction by me each time. CONCLUSION-- I can give OCR from MI-GRAPH a **** (4) STaR out of 5 for overall performance. The only improvement I can suggest at this time is for someone else to do the scanning and "teaching" for me... OCR (1.09b)from MI-GRAPH is solid, dependable, professional and I predict a long and productive future for OCR on the Atari platform. (The spelling portion of this product is based on Proximity Linguistic Technology.) MI-GRAPH Inc. 32799 Pacific Highway S. (12) Federal Way, WA 98003 Tel: (206) 838-4677 FAX: (206) 838-4702 _____________________________________________________________ > STR Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" """"""""""""" STReport's MailBag """""""""""""""""" From Delphi FORUM>Reply, Add, Read, "?" or Exit> 38672 13-JUN 10:38 General Information RE: Questions (Re: Msg 38657) From: WAYNEDUNHAM To: MADMODIFIER Lloyd, I call an FNET board every day, but never see anything. Maybe because I've got all but the local and Programming FNET bases locked out. :-) What is the official Atari FNET base anyways? Maybe I'll start reading it for free on the Fnet instead of spending big bucks over on "G" looking for 'tidbits'. Wayne Enter FOLLOW for related Message(s). From the FNET Conf : Atari Technical Msg# : 10462/10467 Lines: Extended Read: 1 Sent : Jun 17, 1992 at 10:20 AM To : Steve Johnson From : Bob Brodie at Fnet Node 319, Atari Base USA Subj : Re: <10433> Upgrade techs In reply to: - I'd like to find the people who will/can do an upgrade to a Stacy 1/20 - to include a) 4meg RAM - b) TOS 2.06 and possibly - c) bigger int. HD and - d) acceleration. - the famous Jim Allen FASTECH and Dave Small (Gadgets by...) have not - replied to my inquiries. - Try ICD. I have an AdSpeed in my Stacy-4 and I'm very happy with it. If you want to have true one stop shopping, I recommend The Computer Network very highly. They do all the service on my Stacy (on the rare occasions that it needed any). The Computer Network 818-500-3900 1605 West Glenoaks Blvd. Glendale, CA Tony is the service guy. HIGHLY recommended. Editor Note; One can't help but wonder how all the other dealers who still support Atari feel about posts like this. While a reccomendation is nice, it becomes lethal when it hurts others who do support Atari too! From the FNET Conf : STReport Online Msg# : 20598/20645 Lines: 13 Read: 18 Sent : Jun 14, 1992 at 12:38 PM To : Jon Applegate From : Chris B. Herting at Fnet Node 556, Thieves Guild-#556-Suitland-MD Subj : Re: <20560> ATARI EXPLORER - THE HARD I really do not mind about getting a few flames from Brodie and Company. I have discussed things related the ST with him and Kovacs over Z*Net before. I really hope they do see that message. They will only be upset, if they can not handle the truth. If I were to make that message two lines, it could be summed up by saying... It is time to grow up, act our ages, and quit fighting like little siblings. It is time to work together. As long as we keep arguing amongst ourselves, we will never succeed. The Atari User base is already in a deep hole looking up to IBM and the Mac. We have a LONG climb ahead of us. It requires everyone to make it to the top of this hole. Unfortunately, Brodie, Kovacs, and ST-Report need to argue. Brodie has to take his frustrations on the WAACE User's group because they will not keep Mariano from going. It is ridiculous. From the FNET Conf : STReport Online Msg# : 20599/20645 Lines: 9 Read: 18 Sent : Jun 14, 1992 at 12:41 PM To : Duke Kish From : Chris B. Herting at Fnet Node 556, Thieves Guild-#556-Suitland-MD Subj : Re: <20552> The Ultimate Footshot! Well, I was not trying to be negative. I was just trying to throw the truth in their faces. You can keep ducking it, and nothing will EVER be accomplished. I have sat back, for the last two months since I have been home from college, and watched all kinds of arguing.. It just needs to stop, plain and simple. All this frustration, has to be made into a positive. Instead of working against each other, and bringing the Atari User Base down to new levels, we should work together and try to inform non-Atari users of the platform. Teamwork.. It's what we need. And I would not be doing my duty as an Atari user not to point it out. From the FNET Conf : STReport Online Msg# : 20600/20645 Lines: 12 Read: 18 Sent : Jun 14, 1992 at 1:04 PM To : Brian-roland Miller From : Chris B. Herting at Fnet Node 556, Thieves Guild-#556-Suitland-MD Subj : Re: <20567> Atari BAshing, Philly Style Well, I do not think so. It think you have just come across an ignorant bunch of IBM users. Sure they think they IBM is a good machine. It is the #1 supported computer in the world. So they have the right to run their mouths off. The Atari Userbase is very small. But we love our ST's and we will continue to use them. We have an ST and an IBM in the house, and we use the ST a lot more. It is not because one or the other is better. We just prefer the ST over the IBM. They are both capable machines, it is a matter of what meets your needs. I would just turn the other cheek and ignore their ignorance. And not even get involved in one of those my computer is better than yours. Show them, Atari Users have class, we do not even need to pay attention to their childish remarks. From the FNET Conf : STReport Online Msg# : 20601/20645 Lines: 8 Read: 18 Sent : Jun 14, 1992 at 1:09 PM To : Mark K. From : Chris B. Herting at Fnet Node 556, Thieves Guild-#556-Suitland-MD Subj : Re: <20558> ATARI EXPLORER - THE HARD Exactly. Atari Corp has been portraying this image for some time. But Bob Brodie never had. I listen to him speak. He seemed to be the breath of fresh air Atari needed. He was the common users representative. He was one of us. What he is now.. I am unsure, and unqualified to make a complete judgement. I do know, I do not like the way he is handling situations. I do not like what he is doing to WAACE. It is downright wrong. He is working against us (Atari-Userbase) instead of with us. It makes my stomach cringe. From GEnie's ST RT Category 14, Topic 7 Message 213 Tue Jun 16, 1992 R.WATSON15 [Wayne Watson] at 06:45 EDT There seems to be several problems. 1) Atari is a small company, especially compared to Apple and IBM/Clones. They cannot handle the output like those companies can. 2) If they were to Advertise and start getting tons of orders, I don't think they would be able to keep up with the demand. They cannot keep up with it that good now. 3) Where would all those people go to get this great machine everyone is talking about? I have 2 dealers I can go to. The problem is, they are about 100+ miles away. So, people would then turn around and say, "Well, the machine may be great but, I am not going to drive a hundred or more miles to get this thing or get support". Then they would be back to square one. 4) Atari does not have the financial resources that Apple has and yet they have come out with a lot of new stuff within the last couple of years. I love the Mega STE. They did a great job I think. Yes, they had some problems with it and the TT (1.44 meg support for one) and they dropped the ball on communication to the customer but, things are looking up. 5) Atari has some real big problems with PR and communications but, hopefully they will work on this area. They also need to get their house in order (Atari Corp.). Public Relations is one of their big time short comings. I think that there may be problems with pushing the ST Book out the door but, no one is talking. All we see is that it is not going out the door and do not see what may be happening behind the scenes. I am not by all means trying to defend Atari but, they are just not in the same league as Apple and IBM/Clones. The machines in my opinion are however. The only area they need work in is the graphics area and if ANY of the rumors are true about the 'Falcon', then this will change. All in all, I think Atari has done a good job at getting new products out the door. They are still alive even with shares at $1.5 to $2.5 per share (a failure in most eyes). I don't know about others but, I love the machine. It is easier to use than a MAC although it does not have some of the nice software. They blow IBM/Clones out of the water as far as interface and speed. I have seen a 386 40 mhz machine running Windows, YUCK! My 8 mhz machine did better and I didn't have to use half my Hard Drive just to get that interface. So, all I can say is, go ahead and switch over. I will be thinking about ya when I am here working on this fantastic little machine that will run circles around an IBM/Clone running windows. Can you say 486 50 mhz running Windows and a lot of cards that will beat this poor little ol' 16 mhz STE with printer port, Hard Drive port, 1.44 meg floppy, Stereo sound, 2 modem ports, a serial port, GEM built into hardware and can run MAC and IBM software to boot. I know Jeff W., I will shut up now and get back on topic. I'll probably be getting email saying it was moved. I had to say it though. I love the machine but, not the company. The road to recovery is a long hard road. I know, I am with a company that is going through recovery but, we have managed to come from 5 million in the hole to 50 million in the black. It was a long hard struggle but, with a change of attitude and everyone working together, we managed to do it and still have a long way to go. Atari has a long way to go but, I can see they are trying. ------------ From GEnie's ST RT Category 14, Topic 7 Message 215 Tue Jun 16, 1992 B.KING8 [Brien King] at 20:39 EDT Wayne & Jonesy - You know, I was singing the same song you two were a long time ago and kept saying "Oh! But Atari is improving". Well, they have improved a _little_, but not enough to warrant me sticking around. Every one keeps saying "Look! Atari has come out with all this neat new stuff in the past _COUPLE_ of years! What more do you want?" Other companies come out with the same amount of stuff in MONTHS not years. Oh yeah. Atari is a small company and can't afford to do that, I must have forgotten. I guess they should have tried to advertise in the past 6 years and push the ST so they would have some money. As for who's still around? Well IBM is still here, Apple is still here, Commodore is still here, Atari is still here. Tell me, who is disappearing the fastest? I'll give you a hint, it starts with an A and ends with an I. If and _WHEN_ the falcon comes out, how many will be available? Where can you get them? Who will fix them? Where do you buy software that takes advantage of it? Will it be a Class B machine or stuck at Class A for two years? If the BOOK makes it out this year they might set a new record! More then one machine out within a year of announcement. Remember the good ol days when Atari put the ST out in ONLY 6 months? Like I said, I'm giving them until October, after that, I'll be looking else where for my computer needs and wants. Brien King ------------ Category 14, Topic 7 Message 218 Wed Jun 17, 1992 B.KING8 [Brien King] at 04:52 EDT The STE reminds me a lot of the C-128 from Commodore. A souped up revision of its predecessor. The STE should have been out YEARS before then, and the MEGA STE should have come out when the STE did. They were a day late and a dollar short. Don't get me wrong, the STE is a great machine, but the Amiga had the same capabilities (i.e. Stereo Sound, 4096 Colors) in 85-86 when the ST came out. Then they came out with the TT, but with still only 4096 colors. Major improvement there (yeah, I know, you don't have to list all the TT's _NEW_ features because I _OWN_ one and can list them in my sleep!). The new monitors must have taken a lot of development time! Pick a color scheme and slap a label on a GoldStar. The new SLM was probably the nicest enhancement to the Atari line. If you really want to know how well Atari is doing, then call a dealer, or developer and ask them how they are doing. Some are doing _OK_ because they are working their (you know what) off, others are struggling just to survive or going multi-platform just to pay the bills. You can blame it on what ever you want, but how many users are really left? Probably not enough to justify any major development of large projects. The majority of software today is imported and distributed by American companies because they can not afford the time and effort to develop their own programs and still expect to survive. Steve - >>...but I think a lot of people are discouraged that Atari doesn't >>seem to be doing anything to improve the situation... Thats an Understatement. Brien King ------------ From CIS Atari Fora Date: 17-Jun-92 18:48 EDT From: Gordon Meyer [72307,1502] Subj: Last issue To: STReport - Ralph 70007,4454 Ralph - Greetings! Thought I'd drop you a quick note and let you know that including the screen shots from STraight FAX was a great idea. I purchased the program (with Supra modem) at the MAST Show and it's been just great. I saw the review you printed after my purchase, but I still enjoyed the article. I got version 1.03 and haven't had a lick of trouble with it. No hesitation in suggesting it to anyone who has the memory/hard drive available. Best Regards, Gordon R. Meyer 9:11:34 pm CT Tuesday, June 16, 1992 #: 65292 S1/Forum Business 19-Jun-92 13:24:16 Sb: Online support survey Fm: SYSOP*Ron Luks 76703,254 To: All In the latest Atari Explorer Online, publisher and Director of Communications for Atari Corporation, Bob Brodie, remarked that "his online time is limited" and he asked the Atari community where they would like to see him spend his online time. He then went on to predict that everyone would respond positively to GEnie and the F-Net, but that he would leave the choice up to the public. I would like to respond by posting a survey of our world-wide membership, giving you the chance to cast your vote with your preference for online support. Please vote for one of the following as a reply to this message or via EMAIL to my user ID: As it pertains to Atari Corporations online support do you vote for: A) - We need BOB BRODIE online on CompuServe. B) - We need BOB BRODIE and others from Atari Corporation online. C) - We need representation from Atari Corporation (i.e., Bill Rehbock, J. Patton, Dan McNamee or John Townsend or others) online to keep us posted as to Atari Corp.s activities and plans, but not necessarily Bob Brodie. D) - Online Support from Atari Corporation is not necessary. Results of this survey will be compiled and posted online and forwarded to Atari Corp. and Bob Brodie by Sysop * Ron Luks. Please vote as your answers may very well determine the amount and type of official online support that is available in the months and years ahead. Ron Luks Manager Atari Forums on CompuServe """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" "...SAY IT AIN'T SO!...." """"""""""""""""" "Why would anyone wanna make a silk purse outta a sow's ear?" .... Joe "The Lonely Explorer" Tureen """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > ABCO SPECIALS! 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The entire publication and/or portions therein may not be edited in any way without prior written permission. The entire contents, at the time of publication, are believed to be reasonably accurate. The STR editors, contributors and or staff are not responsible for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""