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Article #301 (730 is last):
From: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: Atari Explorer Online: 26-Sep-92 #9215
Reply-To: aj434@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (aj434 - Bruce D. Nelson)
Date: Sun Sep 27 13:22:11 1992



                      ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE MAGAZINE
                      ------------------------------
            Published and Copyright (c)1992, Atari Corporation
                      1972-1992 - 20 Years Of Service
                           1196 Borregas Avenue
                       Sunnyvale, California 94088
 
                                AEO STAFF
 
    ~ Editor In-Chief......................................Ron Kovacs
    ~ Contributing Editor...................................Ed Krimen
    ~ Contributing Writer...................................Bob Smith
    ~ Research/AtariNet Coordinator........................Bill Scull
 
                     ARTICLE CONTRIBUTIONS - FEATURES
 
    ~ Computing On The Edge..............................Mike Mezaros
    ~ Atari Explorer Archives.........................John Jainschigg
    ~ GEnie..............................................John Hartman
    ~ AtariUser Magazine Archives....................Quill Publishing
 
                         EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
 
    ~ President, Atari Corporation........................Sam Tramiel
    ~ VP Software Development.........................Leonard Tramiel
    ~ Developer Relations Manager........................Bill Rehbock
    ~ Director, Marketing Services.........................Don Thomas
    ~ Director of Communications...........................Bob Brodie
    ~ Corporate Director, International Music Markets....James Grunke
    ~ Atari Explorer Magazine............................Mike Lindsay
    ~ AtariUser Magazine....................................John Nagy
  
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    September 26, 1992          Volume 1, Number 15          Issue #15
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                     | | |  TABLE OF CONTENTS  | | |
 
      |||  The Editors Desk...............................Ron Kovacs
 
      |||  Z*Net Newswire...........................................
           Atari News Update
 
      |||  Montreal AtariFest Report....................Ross MacIver
           Exclusive Show Report!
 
      |||  Atari Magazine [re]Reads.....Andy Eddy with Chris Bieniek
           Update of 1991 Magazine Survey
 
      |||  AtariNet Node Listing....................................
 
      |||  Kids and Kidprgs..................Beverly and Edmund Mann
           DA Brumleve programs reviewed....
 
      |||  To Be Or Not To Be...............................Bob Smith
           An aadventure into BBS land...
 
      |||  GEnie ST RT News..............................John Hartman
           Roundtable News Update
 
      |||  Star Trek Unofficial Survey..................Ken Aitchison
 
      |||  Computing On The Edge.........................Mike Mezaros
 
 

 | | |  THE EDITORS DESK
 | | |  By Ron Kovacs
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 Before we get into this week's edition, I want to send thanks to a few
 people who have sent cards and a letters with their comments and 
 encouraging words of support.  I cannot express it enough how much I
 appreciate them all.  Again, thanks!
 
 Also in the mailbag this week was a letter from Florida about the 
 dealings of a distributor, (which will remain un-named here).  This has
 been a continuing problem for a few years and I want to publically ask
 that anyone having problems with any mail-order companies, being it 
 Atari or any other platform specific, contact the Better Business Bureau
 in the state the company is located.
 
 There is NOTHING I can do to help you other than forward your complaint
 to the BBB on your behalf.  There are also local Consumer Protection
 Agencies that can assist you, and I encourage it.  We have already
 published ways to deal with mail-order in the past.  On the other side
 of the coin, I am bothered about sharing the name of this company as it
 would bring about un-necessary problems.
 
 This week we have included an update from Andy Eddy on his review of
 the Atari related publications.  We are personally pleased with the
 rating we received, thanks Andy!
 
 Part Two of the Glendale Report has been postponed until next week while
 John Nagy and crew complete the next issue of AtariUser Magazine.
 
                                  # # #
 
 
 | | |  Z*NET NEWSWIRE
 | | |  Atari News Update
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 FALCON ROLLS OUT IN BOSTON
 The Atari Falcon030 made its official US premier at a press conference
 at a Boston Computer Society meeting on September 23.  This was the
 "rollout" for the new computer that had already made sneak preview
 appearances at the California Glendale Show as well as at Atari Messe in
 Germany.  Over 400 people were expected at the Wednesday night event
 that reprised Atari's revelation of the original ST computer at BCS in
 1985.  However, only about 150 people attended the meeting that featured
 Atari's Sam Tramiel, Bob Brodie, Bill Rehbock, James Grunke and Richard
 Miller.  A press reception at Boston's Copley Hotel before the event
 drew a satisfying mix of Wall Street Journal, television news networks,
 and newsletter editors.  Overall, reactions to the machine have been
 universally positive, even if the enthusiasm hasn't been as widely
 distributed as hoped.  The presentation of the new line of computers is
 being tailored to promote Atari's Falcon as "the first system designed
 for Personal Integrated Media"  Television tapings were conducted with
 Atari on Thursday following the introduction for a series called "PCTV"
 that claims 40 million viewers.  Watch for repeat airings of this
 segment in your area.
 
 
 MASSIVE MEMORY FOR THE PORTFOLIO
 Perhaps the most exciting new products anywhere for the Atari Portfolio
 palmtop computers are the new 1, 2 and 4 meg Flash Memory Cards from
 Optrol Inc..  These massive storage cards fit entirely inside the
 Portfolio memory card slot.  The nonvolatile read/write memory has 10
 year data retention with no batteries.  Driver software on the card
 allows the user to read and write from the Portfolio or the PCcard Drive
 just as if it were a huge ramcard.  The software also allows the user to
 flash erase 64k blocks of memory up to 100,000 times to make them
 available for reuse.  List prices are $179, $254, and $399 for 1, 2, and
 4 meg cards.  Optrol Inc., P.O. Box 37157, Raleigh, NC 27627, 919-779-
 3377.
 
 
 WAACE '92 ATARIFEST BANQUET - Press Release
 Arrangements for the traditional AtariFest Banquet have been finalized.
 The banquet will be held at the Sheraton Reston Hotel in Reston,
 Virginia (same location as the Fest), on Saturday, October 10 at 8:00PM.
 
 Tickets for the dinner are priced at $25.00 per person.  The menu for
 this year includes your choice of:
 
 Chicken Europa - boneless breast of chicken topped with a hearty sauce
 with onion, mushroom, tomato and brandy.
 
 Sliced Top Sirloin Merlot - thinly sliced and topped with a hearty
 merlot wine sauce.
 
 All dinners include rolls, beverage, appetizer, salad, vegetables, and
 dessert.
 
 Immediately preceding the banquet at 6:30PM will be a poolside reception
 with complementary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar.  The reception is open
 to all banquet participants, vendors, developers, and W.A.A.C.E.
 workers.
 
 As in the past, the Current Notes Author of the Year award will be
 presented at the banquet, and we will have a guest speaker who is well
 known in the world of Atari.
 
 If you haven't attended the banquet in previous years, you've missed out
 on a golden opportunity to meet and talk with some of the best known
 Atari developers, vendors, other users, and some real nice folks in
 general.  If you plan on coming to the Fest, make it a point to join us
 at the banquet and become more of a part of the Atari Community!
 
 To order your tickets send $25.00 (check or money order) payable to
 W.A.A.C.E. Inc.  to:
 Robert M. Janice
 13425 Brookfield Drive
 Chantilly, Virginia  22021
 Attn: AtariFest Banquet
 
 **Please indicate your choice of entree!**
 
 Your ticket(s) will be mailed back to you without delay.  If your order
 is received after October 1, your ticket(s) will be available for pick
 up at the Fest on Saturday morning October 10.
 
 The number of available tickets is limited - if you plan on attending
 the banquet order your tickets today!!
 
 
 
 HOUSTON ATARI SAFARI 1992 - Press Release
 October 24th 1992, 10 am to 5 pm,
 Houston Marriott Astrodome, 2100 South Braeswood       Admission: $3
 
 Guest Speakers: Bob Brodie, CodeHeads, Double Click Software
 
 Activities: Vendor Tables, Demos, Game Room, Door Prizes, User Groups
 
 For more information: Phone Bill Kithas 713-855-0815
                           Harold Gailey 713-988-3712
                              Jim Salmon 713-879-8119
                            Phillip Keen 713-946-5284
                                HACE BBS 713-458-9923
 
 HACE would appreciate seeing you at the Houston ATARI SAFARI 92.  Plan
 now to attend.  Vendor Tables are available for $15.  To reserve tables,
 leave a message at 713-988-3712.  User groups may reserve table space
 for information, demonstrations, and membership at no cost.
 
 Anyone can become a member in the Houston Atari Computer Enthusiasts.
 HACE Membership is $22/yr.  Membership includes monthly mailing of the
 HACE newsletter (Update Atari) and AIM magazine directly to the member.
 Meetings are held the 4th Wednesday of January through October and the 
 1st Wednesday of December beginning at 6:30 pm at the 3rd Floor
 Auditorium of the Transco Tower (by the Galleria).  Meetings are open to
 all, free of charge.  The HACE BBS (713-458-9923) is also available to
 all, although HACE members receive a longer time allotment per call.
 Send your membership request to:
 
 HACE, PO Box 460212, Houston Tx, 77056-8212.  

 Arrangements have been made with the Marriott Astrodome for a special
 room rate for Atari Safari Attendees.  The normal room rate is $79.00.
 Make your room reservations by October 12th and identify yourself as an
 Houston Atari Safari attendee and you will qualify for the show rate of
 $59.00.
 
 Reservations can be made by calling the Marriott at 713-797-9000 or
 calling the national Marriott number of 800-228-9290.
 
 See you at the Houston Atari Safari!
 
 
 ATARIUSER MOVES - GLENDALE, CA, SEPT. 24, 1992:
 As part of the diversification of Quill Publishing, the successful
 AtariUser Magazine has established its own separate office and staff.
 The new address and phone numbers for AtariUser Magazine will enable
 readers and advertisers to get faster response and better service from
 the growing AtariUser staff.  Quill Publishing can receive and forward
 materials and calls, but PLEASE begin use of the new address and phone
 numbers
 
 IMMEDIATELY:
 
 AtariUser Magazine
 249 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 332
 Glendale, CA 91203

 Telephone/Voicemail: 818-246-6277
 (Live assistance for Customer Service calls is most likely on Fridays.)

 FAX: 818-242-2129
 (Put us on your FAX list, send us all press releases!  Be certain to
 include a complete address and return address cover sheet.)

 GENIE: Public Messages/Support in the ST Roundtable, Page 475, Bulletin
 Board Category 15 (Magazines), Topic 10 (AtariUser).  Our GEnie Mail
 address for private E-mail and file transfers is ATARIUSER.

 BBS: Reach us via The CodeHead Quarters BBS, 213-461-2095 (validation
 required), at addresses John Nagy or John King Tarpinian.  Use EMAIL and
 FMAIL for messages and file transfers.
 
 Well into its second year of production, AtariUser Magazine continues to
 distribute more monthly issues than any other Atari publication.  We
 ship in quantity for free distribution at dealers and at user groups,
 and individually by mail to subscribers in the USA, Canada, and six more
 countries.  AtariUser has been released on time every month since its
 inception, with the shortest editorial-to-distribution time in the
 market.  AtariUser provides the highest readership-per-dollar for
 advertisers as well.

 Longtime veteran of the Atari Press, Editor-in-Chief John Nagy, with the
 able assistance of John King Tarpinian (Glendale Show organizer), will
 continue to lead AtariUser, the world's only international "free"
 distribution single-brand computer monthly.  Quill's Steve Lesh will
 continue as Art Director and consultant, while Matt Sheldon and P. Kevin
 Horn have turned to duties in COMP, Quill's new PC magazine.
 AtariUser's new office, plus the addition of new sales staff members
 Tara Jacobs and Steve Blackburn, and Distribution Manager LaMar Pugh,
 are making AtariUser even more responsive to the needs of Atari Users
 everywhere.  Production of AtariUser is moving towards a 100% Atari pre-
 press system, with Lou Rocha overseeing the conversion to Calamus SL for
 layout and publishing.
 
 Dealers, show promoters, and user groups are encouraged to call
 AtariUser to arrange quick quantity shipments.  Individual subscriptions
 are $15 a year (12 issues) for US regular delivery, $25 for quick US
 First Class delivery, and $30 a year for delivery outside of the USA.
 Visa/Mastercard accepted.  Call AtariUser today, 818-246-2129.
 
 
 

 | | |  MONTREAL ATARIFEST REPORT
 | | |  By Ross MacIver
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 FAME 1992 (Festival Atari de Montreal et Environs), held the weekend of
 September 19 and 20, was the first Atari Fest held in the Montreal area
 in four years.  It was organized by Kest Carter-Morgan of Atari ST/MEGA
 Users Montreal (ASTMUM), and Terry Cowen of Montreal Atari Club de
 Montreal (MACAM).  The rather low turnout of 200 did not deter Cowan.
 "It was a success," he said, "but not a resounding success.  We
 demonstrated to an awful lot of people that Atari is not dead."
 
 The recent closing of the Toronto Atari office may have put a damper on
 the proceedings, but talk of the new Falcon 030 piqued everyone's
 interest.  Diotte had seen the machine in Germany, and was enthusiastic.
 He had with him a pamphlet from Atari Germany explaining the machine in
 detail.  "This is going to give Atari a real boost," Diotte said.
 
 Over at the ASTMUM booth, Kest Carter-Morgan was demonstrating a variety
 of graphics and MIDI software, including a fascinating program called
 Auto Art, which generates animated images of swirling and pulsating
 colour.  Also on display were C.D.'s and cassettes produced by members
 of ASTMUM.
 
 ASTMUM focuses on musical and artistic uses of Atari computers, and
 their members consist of MIDI musicians, composers, videographers,
 artists, technicians, and business people.  Carter-Morgan travels to
 major Atari shows to keep members up to date on the latest developments
 in the Atari world.
 
 At the MACAM booth, Henry van Eyken was showing Fleabyte, his "extended
 calculators."  These accessories are designed to work within a word-
 processor, allowing one to set up a spread-sheet and transfer the data
 from the calculator to the word-processor.  They can handle a wide
 variety of data, from chemical calculations to statistics, and allow the
 use of variables.  The programs are in constant development, and are an
 exploration of what van Eyken calls "automated problem solving."
 Fleabyte is available on Genie.
 
 The vendors represented at FAME included the aforementioned Microdel,
 ALP Micro Systems, Progeni Computers, and Italmelodie Music.
 Italmelodie was demonstrating MIDI software running on a MEGA Ste.
 Band-in-a-Box, the popular "music minus one" program, and the powerful
 sequencing program MULTI, from the Quebec company Oktal, were among the
 items shown.
 
 Although the show was relatively small, the enthusiasm and interest of
 the participants more than made up for the low turnout.  People
 generally stayed for several hours, visiting all the booths and talking
 with the various vendors and club reps.
 
 According to Carter-Morgan, there were a lot of organizational problems
 in putting the show together, and most of the job fell on his and
 Cowen's shoulders.  "For a show like this to be a success, everyone
 should pull together and forget about all the political maneuvering," he
 said.
 
 The timing of the show was also problematical.  If it had been scheduled
 for two weeks later, there would have been a possibility of showing the
 Falcon030.  As it was, we had to be content with photographs and spec
 sheets.
 
 On the whole, though, FAME 1992 provided a good base for future Atari
 Fests in the Montreal area.  The users are there, the enthusiasm is
 there, all that is needed is cooporation and commitment from the Atari
 community.
 
 Ross MacIver is a MIDI musician and writer living in Montreal.  His
 first and only computer is an Atari, which he bought about 4 years ago.
 Previous to that, he was blissfully unaware of bytes, CPU's, and Dr. T.,
 which now occupy a huge part of his head.
 
 

 
 | | |  ATARI MAGAZINE [RE]READS
 | | |  By Andy Eddy with Chris Bieniek
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 Editors Note:  This article does NOT contain a review of AtariUser
 Magazine, the magazine where it is reprinted from.  The author didn't
 feel comfortable or apropriate to cover the publication he was writing
 for.
 
 The following article is reprinted in Atari Explorer Online by
 permission of AtariUser magazine.  It MAY NOT be further reprinted
 without specific permission of AtariUser.  AtariUser Magazine, 249 North
 Brand Boulevard, Suite 332 Glendale, CA 91203  Telephone/Voicemail: 818-
 246-6277, FAX: 818-242-2129
 
 
 A little more than a year ago (AtariUser, August 1991), I sat here
 blubbering about the good old days, days filled with A.N.A.L.O.G.,
 ST-Log, Antic, Start and Atari Explorer.  At that writing, Atari
 Explorer was the only major magazine of the bunch to survive; at this
 point, AE is marginally making it--and only thanks to a major staff
 change and a commitment at Atari Corp to keep it going.  To say there
 isn't much out there is no understatement.
 
 You don't have much choice in turning to "general-coverage" magazines,
 because Atari news just doesn't make many headlines in magazines like
 Compute! and Byte.  You can find Lynx info in games magazines like
 VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, but that's a far cry from ST or
 400/800 support.
 
 Since last year's review, we've lost a few players.  ST World, published
 in Oregon, is gone after only a fitful recovery attempt last year.  And
 the classy user group joint effort from Washington State, PSAN, was gone
 for many months and is barely back as a shadow of its former self.  A
 newcomer has also arrived, but Atari Advantage has an unforeseeable
 future (see below).
 
 However, all is not lost.  The fact that you are holding and reading
 this copy of AtariUser is proof that you're not alone.  What follows is
 a sampling of what other Atari-specific publications are available in
 1992, and how they fare in these lean times.  This breaks down into
 three categories: domestic, international and online.
 
 It's important to note that all magazines require substantial income
 (via subscriptions and advertising) to maintain their size and survival.
 As a result of a dwindling Atari audience, subscription prices are
 likely fairly high, page counts are pretty low and advertisers are in
 short supply.  I'll try to delve into those criteria in the reviews that
 follow.
 
 DOMESTIC
 
 Atari Explorer *** 1/2

 3 1/2 stars on the Eddyometer

 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089  (408) 745-2000

 Frequency: Bimonthly
 Subscription Price: $14.95 for six issues
 Issue Reviewed: May/June 1992
 Editorial Slant: Still the cautious company line
 
 Summary--Last year, AE had gone back on the shelves with John Jainschigg
 at the helm.  Now, Jainschigg is departing--AE editors don't fare any
 better for security at staying employed than other Atari employees--and
 Mike Lindsay and Darren Meers (ex-ST Informer and Atari Advantage) will
 take over in-house.  That's right, Atari is bringing AE into its own
 fold for safekeeping.  We aren't aware of how this will affect quality,
 but we do have history, and it's not likely to change much.
 
 Look and Feel--AE was always a clean magazine, done on an Atari computer
 as a DTP workstation.  However, a few pages stand out as irritating.
 While body copy is nice and neat, certain headlines fall prey to over-
 compression.  There also appears to be a problem with limiting font use
 and over-designing certain pages.
 
 AE's predominantly two-column format is easy on the eyes, and doesn't
 leave you guessing where you should be looking next.  As well, paper and
 printing quality are still top-notch.  Let's hope the new staff can keep
 it up.
 
 Writing and Editing--Not much has changed in the text department, and
 the staff's contributions don't take priority over the magazine's
 subject matter.  A quick read through the magazine brought about no
 obvious errors in copy, and the articles are easy on the eyes.
 
 Utility--A problem in the past has been the lack of *news* in the
 magazine.  Atari seems perpetually behind in coverage of Atari products.
 For instance, I would consider a review on Charles Johnson's Pinhead
 utility as somewhat dated, considering I first used it back in 1988.
 Okay, it may be a new version, but still.  On the other hand, an
 interview with Chester Thompson (Genesis drummer and solo recording
 artist) should give a big boost to Atari owners, knowing that the ST is
 being taken seriously by some professionals.
 
 This issue featured such diversity as a look at the Atari Canadian
 Exposition in Toronto, looks at some dealers and DTP/graphics tools,
 details for Portfolio programmers and a preview of the Lynx version of
 Batman Returns.  Good mix.
 
 Overall Rating--Hmmm.  Changing the entire staff could be a boon or
 boondoggle--the results can not be predicted.  Let's hope the new
 editors don't mess too much with a familiar look.
 
 
 Atari Interface ** 1/2
 
 2 1/2 stars on the Eddyometer

 3487 Braeburn Circle, Ann Arbor, MI 48108  (313) 973-8825

 Frequency: Monthly
 Subscription Price: $18 for 12 issues
 Issues Reviewed: May, June and July 1992
 Editorial Slant: Something for everyone
 
 Summary--What can you say, in the shadow of Atari Explorer, about AIM?
 Well, it's monthly (not bimonthly), it's inexpensive ($18 for 12 issues,
 as opposed to $15 for six) and has good news coverage.  However, it's
 not widely distributed through major channels and falls victim to the
 effects of small publishers (weak typesetting and bad paper, for
 example).  Can its good surpass the handicaps?  It just might do the
 trick.
 
 Look and Feel--I was first disappointed to see the diminished quality of
 the three covers I saw.  The May issue has cover lines featuring
 "Arabesque," "MegaPaint" and "Silhouette," on a nice picture of a lake,
 framed in an EPS of a monochrome ST monitor and a painter putting the
 "final touches" on the picture.  However, looking deeper (at the
 description of the cover on the table of contents page) shows that only
 one segment of the cover came from any of that trio of packages.  (Also,
 having an ad for Arabesque opposite the feature tends to diminish the
 objectivity of the text, no matter how hard the editors may try.)  As
 well, the June issue has a series of letters in various typefaces all on
 a blue background, and the July cover is a GIF image of cave drawings to
 billboard a review of Titus' Prehistorik.  Covers should be exciting,
 sell the contents of the magazine and be closely related to the
 material.  These three covers were a bit of a reach.
 
 The magazine's production is decent, but I found the paper to be too
 stiff and a lot of ink came off on my hands.  Fringe publishers are
 often subject to scrimping at every turn, so there's likely not much
 that can be done in this aspect.
 
 Finally, a couple of the articles break rules of publishing, such as the
 ever-present overuse of typefaces.  Similarly, a few articles are laid
 out in one w-i-d-e column, which really stresses the reader's eyes.
 
 Writing and Editing--AIM features a great mix, thanks to its wealth of
 user-group contributions.  Articles such as David Plotkin's look at
 Atari dealers, how to choose hard drives, repairing 8-bit keyboards,
 criticism of Atari's advertising (or lack thereof) and assorted product
 reviews are the reasons a reader turns to a magazine like AIM.  There
 are also frequent columnists and tutorial series that make the reader
 feel at home.  The writing is decent, and again the editors' handling of
 material is for the most part unobtrusive.  However, there's a need for
 tighter copy editing and cleaning-up of the awkward grammar that
 beginning writers often concoct.  Granted, the reader can generally
 understand what is intended, but he shouldn't have work at it.
 
 Utility--This is the strong point of the magazine.  As noted, do-it-
 yourself construction projects and insightful commentary (such as
 Plotkin's Right On Target column and the previously mentioned piece on
 Atari's marketing tactics) are the foundation of a magazine, and AIM
 doesn't disappoint.  But as with last year's review of Vampire Empire,
 the review in the June issue of a nine-year-old game, Spelunker by
 Broderbund, is questionable.  Also, a feature series on how to program
 an 8-bit BBS might be a bit esoteric, but each issue has enough material
 for any particular reader's interests to provide great value.
 
 AIM does well in the advertising department, which, in the case of an
 enthusiast magazine, does as much to inform the reader as it does to
 support the magazine's continued health.
 
 Overall Rating--AIM's editorial surpasses its weaknesses handily.  If
 you can put aside the hurdles that are in your path--namely newsletter-
 like materials and writing/editing--you'll get a lot out of AIM's
 offerings.
 
 
 Current Notes **** 1/2
 
 4 1/2 stars on the Eddyometer

 122 N.  Johnson Rd., Sterling, VA 22170  (703) 450-4761

 Frequency: Monthly
 Subscription Price: $27 for six issues
 Issues Reviewed: May and June 1992
 Editorial Slant: Users talking to other users about using Atari
 computers usefully
 
 Summary:  One of the most stunning offerings in Current Notes is a
 column next to the editor's notes called "Ten Years Ago in Current
 Notes." That shows how long CN has been around, providing hearty
 coverage on the Atari line of products.  Looks like it's still going
 strong.
 
 Look and Feel--I noted last year that CN has a clean layout, and
 certainly nothing has changed.  Still featuring two- and three-column
 text, the magazine is easy to read and follow.  'Nuff said.  Thankfully,
 the laser output we discussed last year seems to have been smoothed out
 somewhat, which makes it that much more readable.
 
 The covers are also fairly high quality.  Okay, the May picture of an ST
 covered by an ST Star Raiders manual and fishing equipment is somewhat
 blurry, but it's a photograph just the same.  Ditto for the June cover
 of the Populous II game box and joystick cable nestled in a tree (though
 the statement the picture makes eludes me).
 
 Finally, I still wish CN would add *some* color pages to its mix, but
 budgets being what they are...
 
 Writing and Editing--Similar to AIM, CN offers a good mix of Atari-
 related material, and the handling of that text is well done.  The
 articles are intelligently written, and make their points
 satisfactorily.  As I brought up last year, CN still displays an
 identity: David Small is still up to his old (extremely fun) commentary,
 and Frank Sommers' STupdate column offers interesting and informative
 news tidbits.
 
 Utility--The two issues I reviewed featured a nice blend of material.
 Among the articles were details on using Pascal on the ST, building an
 8-bit hard drive, writing accessories, reviews of crossword programs,
 discussion of Postscript files and more.  Again, this potpourri gives
 something for everyone--which is exactly what a hobbyist magazine should
 provide.
 
 The advertising situation is also still heartening given the state of
 the Atari universe, but there are enough sources for Atari products to
 keep the reader knowledgeable and well-stocked.
 
 Overall Rating--I said it last year, and it still fits now: Current
 Notes is a magazine by Atari users for Atari users.  The publishing
 looks a little tighter, which improves its already readable package.
 
 
 ST Informer  ** 1/2
 
 2 1/2 stars on the Eddyometer

 280 Peach Street, Merlin, OR 97532  (503) 476-0071

 Frequency: Monthly
 Subscription Price: $19.95 for 12 issues
 Issues Reviewed: May, June and July 1992
 Editorial Slant: It's called "Informer" and that's what they try to do
 
 Summary: ST Informer is still printed on newsprint, but it has turned
 from newspaper to magazine format.  What is also lost is the newsy feel
 of the "original," but it's still a good value for Atarians.
 
 Look and Feel: I was very disappointed to see what was one of my
 favorite Atari publications now with lowered quality.  First of all,
 while an affordable medium for printing, some newsprint doesn't hold ink
 well without smearing.  This shows up as dropouts in some spots and
 blotches in others.  I was also surprised to see the ad on page 3 of the
 May issue seriously ghosted.
 
 What really annoyed me was the typesetting of ST Informer, in spite of
 editor/publisher Rod MacDonald's comments in the editorial column.  Rod
 stated that the May issue would contain a "mix of body styles" (which it
 does), but that a type change starting in the June issue would "allow us
 to provide 10% more news content by volume."  The June and July issues
 were indeed more consistent with regards to body copy, but there was one
 glaring problem that was also consistent: character spacing.  Without
 launching into a tutorial on typography, there are a number of
 specifications that make for easily readable type: leading (the distance
 between lines of type), point size, word spacing, and character spacing.
 ST Informer does pretty well in the other departments, but the character
 spacing make the text too "airy."  Instead of words on a page, the
 effect is that of a mixture of letters on a page; the words don't stand
 out on their own.
 
 Add to this some awkward word wraps.  More hyphenation on line wraps
 (there's little in ST Informer) or rewriting a line makes for more
 pleasing wraps and a readable product.  If Rod is anxious to get more
 material into the pages of ST Informer, he'd also gain a few percentage
 points by tightening up the text.
 
 Finally, images need to be improved in some spots.  Screen captures and
 line art are good quality, but photos need more care than I've seen
 given to them.  And the repetitive use of a few simple minded line-art
 images, peppered through the columns like rubber stamps adds little that
 says professional production.
 
 Other than those complaints, the Informer layout is clean, featuring
 most three-column layout with a smattering of two-column pages.
 
 Writing and Editing--In all honesty, this has been a strong quality of
 ST Informer.  The writing has taken a hit from a debacle that Rod
 MacDonald details (from *his* perspective) in the July issue.  The
 editorial deals with the changes in personnel that ST Informer has gone
 through, peaking with the January 1992 issue.  Hopefully, that is
 ancient history in the publication's time line.  I'd like to see it
 return to its previous quality.
 
 Utility--This, too, is ST Informer's strength.  Regardless of its name,
 the publication covers more than just ST products; Lynx Lair, for
 instance, takes the reader into the latest and greatest for Atari's
 portable game machine.  Similarly, B. Joseph Allen and Brian D.
 Gockley's Portable Report and Ralph Turner's Help Key give insights into
 the Portfolio computer and helpful tidbits for Atarians, respectively.
 
 However, I really miss the newsy feel of ST Informer, which set it apart
 from all the others in the field.  There was something to the way the
 publication presented the material that made it a welcome visitor to my
 mailbox.  Now ST Informer is trying to match the other magazines, though
 currently with a lower quality package.
 
 Advertising doesn't seem to be a big problem, and I hope that continues.
 A&D Software, sister to ST Informer, still offers a quality line of
 Atari products as well.
 
 Overall Rating: It's obvious what I felt about ST Informer in what
 appears to have been a tumultuous year for MacDonald and Associates.  I
 was saddened to see a downturn in quality and change in layout, but in
 publishing, what goes down can indeed go up.  I truly hope this is the 
 case.
 
 
 Atari Advantage

 No stars yet on the Eddyometer

 P.O. Box 610121, Houston, TX 77208-012  (713) 526-6436

 Frequency: Monthly, after getting back on schedule
 Subscription Price: $19.95 for 12 issues
 Issues Reviewed: None
 Editorial Slant: We'll know when we see it.

 Summary: Atari Advantage is to continue to be a newsprint magazine like
 AtariUser and ST Informer.  With a new editor, new staff, new writers,
 and a new home, it's a wild card until we see production.
 
 The saga continues: Atari Advantage was the child of Mike Lindsay and
 Darren Meers after the pair left ST Informer in January 1992 in a
 ownership dispute.  They produced only three issues, the last being a
 horribly delayed but well received "Falcon preview" (June/July) that was
 so specific that Atari quashed part of it before printing.  But then
 Atari hired Lindsay and Meers to do Atari Explorer, and Advantage was
 slated to perish even before it found its legs.
 
 Enter Neal Symms, Texas user group enthusiast with some publishing
 experience, and Atari Advantage is purchased, to continue in the high
 traditions set by its founders.  At least, that's the plan.  Neal admits
 to having almost none of the Advantage writers.  He's also a newcomer to
 both the public and publishing Atari worlds, and his baptism into the
 realities of this market has been an eye-opener.  Subscribers to the
 original Advantage will continue with the new Advantage.
 
 So, what to expect?  Film at eleven.
 
 
 ONLINE MAGAZINES

 These are free "electronic" magazines that are available to anyone who
 has access to CompuServe, GEnie, Delphi, UseNet and many local bulletin
 board systems.  They're basically text files that you can download and
 "read" by pulling them into any text editor or word processing program.
 

 Atari Explorer Online Magazine ****
 
 4 stars on the Eddyometer
 
 Z*Net News Service, P.O. Box 59, Middlesex, NJ 08846 (908) 968-2024,
 BBS (908) 968-8148

 Frequency: Weekly
 Issues Reviewed: July 25 and August 1, 1992
 Editorial Slant--The "mouthpiece" mag's little brother.
 
 Summary--It's hard to believe that Ron Kovacs' Z*Net online magazine has
 bloomed into an authorized Atari magazine, even adopting the Atari
 Explorer name.  Atari's Bob Brodie keeps an eye on the proceedings,
 announcing in an editorial that the intent of this electronic companion
 is to serve as "a 'farm' for writers to brought on board in the printed
 edition" of the Atari Explorer.  In reality the "official" tag hasn't
 tinkered much with Kovacs' no-nonsense approach.
 
 Look and Feel--As a simple text file, AEO can't have much of an
 identity.  The look of the magazine pretty much depends on the software
 you're using to view its pages.  The text is comfortably justified for
 an 80-column screen, but after that you're on your own!
 
 Until and unless the content of the "new Z*Net" comes under more
 scrutiny from Atari, it will likely continue to feel a lot less like a
 product catalog than like an overgrown fanzine with a benevolent
 corporate sponsor.  The connection lends an air of professionalism to an
 already clean product, but the enthusiasm is still there.
 
 Writing and Editing--Again, there's no indication that the magazine's
 current format is locked on a specific course, so the quality of the
 writing depends on the source of the articles.  Contributor Bob Smith's
 three-part feature entitled "Growing Up With Atari" proved rather
 refreshing, primarily because of its entertaining "non-techie" content
 but also because it's one of the few features that hasn't already
 appeared in another publication.
 
 At this point, AEO continues to reprint (admittedly interesting) Atari-
 related message threads from online services and articles from Atari
 Explorer and even AtariUser.  Kovacs' editorial presence is more of a
 general one--that is, I'd guess that he probably spends more time
 deciding what should go in the magazine than what it should look like
 when it gets there.  It's worth noting that outright grammatical errors
 are less common than spelling gaffes in the "pages" of AEO.
 
 Utility--The inclusion of non-Atari-related articles is a strange
 practice that lessens the impact of even the best of the online Atari
 magazines.  The worst offender I found here is probably the short Star
 Trek: Deep Space Nine fact-file--but hey, even ST-Log had a Star Trek
 cover, so who am I to complain?
 
 The mix of sources tends to yield a pretty good balance between
 technically oriented material and the easier-to-digest product reviews
 and industry news.  Lynx information is also present, and though this
 material is not as pertinent to many Atari computerists, it's certainly
 more appropriate than that news item about consulting CompuServe as part
 of your job search (unless, of course, this piece was intended for
 recently dismissed ex-employees of the high-turnover Atari itself!)
 
 Overall rating--Despite its flaws, Atari Explorer Online Magazine is
 still a solid read for Atari users who don't have the time or the
 resources to keep up with all of the avenues for this type of
 information.  A few more "exclusive" articles written especially for AEO
 would help, and I'd wager that the magazine's connections with Atari
 insiders will eventually lead up to just that.
 
 
 ST Report International Online Magazine  ** 1/2
 
 2 1/2 stars on the Eddyometer

 STR Publishing, P.O. Box 6672, Jacksonville, FL 32205-6672
 (904) 783-3319, BBS (904) 786-4176

 Frequency: Weekly
 Issues Reviewed: July 24 and July 31, 1992
 Editorial Slant--Inquiring minds want to know...or do they?

 Summary--Last year's survey described ST Report as the National Enquirer
 of the ST World.  It's still a valid analogy; editor Ralph Mariano
 shoehorns an awful lot of attention-grabbing headlines and
 sensationalistic stories into every issue.  Never mind that barely half
 of the content is actually Atari-related.
 
 Look and Feel--Like Atari Explorer Online, ST Report is formatted for an
 80-column display.  If nothing else, its "look" is consistent from week
 to week.  Both of the online magazines flow like their paper-and-staple
 cousins, with masthead, table of contents and the occasional "ad"
 (usually in the form of a plug for one of the online services.)
 
 Writing and Editing--Spotty.  Cranking out a fairly large (approximately
 130K) magazine on a weekly basis doesn't lend itself to quality control,
 so it's not fair to be too harsh.
 
 Of course, you can't fault the enthusiasm of an editor who would be so
 bold as to include an "editorial cartoon" in a text-only publication!
 I'd expect a fairly reputable spell-checker to catch some of the flaws,
 though.
 
 Utility--ST Report continues to pad itself with information that is only
 tenuously connected to the Atari world.  Worse yet, the samples reviewed
 here have too much fluff preceding the body of the magazine.  Then when
 I finally reached the "meat," I found that the first solid information
 in every issue is a roundup of non-Atari-related news items.  "IBM May
 Split Off PC Division" and "EA To Develop Games For Sega SD
 (sic...ouch!) System."

 Interesting news, to be sure, but not quite as useful as the information
 in the threads that have been reproduced here from some of the online
 services.  Of course, if you regularly download ST Report from one of
 these services, the conference transcriptions and such may be old news
 to you anyway.
 
 Overall Rating--To be honest, ST Report is not *all* bad.  At the heart
 of editor Mariano's mudslinging and righteous ramblings is a true lover
 of the Atari ST (if not of the company itself), and his single-minded
 devotion to the company's products is more of an asset than a hindrance.
 There's something to be said for the views and opinions expressed
 herein, and if you can cut through the ample rhetoric and filler, it's
 usually worthwhile to spend the few minutes it takes to download ST
 Report each week.  Wear something with asbestos, however.
 
 
 INTERNATIONAL
 
 There are three British magazines of note, but due to their handicapped
 utility, the reviews of the magazines are combined.
 
 
 Atari ST User  ****

 4 stars on the Eddyometer

 Europress Publications Ltd., Europa House, Adlington Park, Macclesfield
 SK10 4NP England  0625-878888

 Frequency: Monthly
 Subscription Price (in U.S.): $80 for 12 issues
 Issue Reviewed: June and July 1992
 Editorial Slant: Coverage of the thriving UK ST market
 
 ST Action  *** 1/2
 
 3 1/2 stars on the Eddyometer

 Europress Publications Ltd., Europa House, Adlington Park, Macclesfield
 SK10 4NP England  0625-878888

 Frequency: Monthly
 Subscription Price (in U.S.): $104 for 12 issues
 Issue Reviewed: July and August 1992
 Editorial Slant: It's play time...


 ST Format  *** 1/2
 
 3 1/2 stars on the Eddyometer

 Future Publishing, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath, Avon BA1 2BW England
 0225-442244

 Frequency: Monthly
 Subscription Price (in U.S.): 97 Pounds for 12 issues
 Issue Reviewed: August 1992
 Editorial Slant: Another spin on the British ST community

 Summary: No doubt you're suffering the sticker shock of the British
 magazine world.  Tuck your heart back in and take a deep breath: All of
 the British publications feature a disk (or two, in the case of ST
 Format) tacked onto the front cover.  In Atari ST User, you also get a
 24-page insert magazine called Gamer.  And that's not all...
 
 Look and Feel--Bang!  What you've got is the typical British enthusiast
 mag: Glossy UV (plastic-coated) cover on ST Format and Atari ST User,
 lots of color (though, the rear pages of ST Format are only black-and-
 white), flashy graphics and teeny-tiny type spread all over the pages.
 Your eyes will face massive overload--plus you'll envy the wealth of ST
 products available in the UK.  After all, the ST is still a very popular
 machine in England, strong enough that this section of the survey offers
 views of three major ST magazines.  If you can get past the small type-
 -I'm guessing about 8-point type in most cases--in four-column layout,
 you'll love what America's missing.  Oh, if STart and ST-Log were still
 able to live and breathe this well.
 
 Writing and Editing--As with most major magazines, size and production
 quality also bring about a decent staff.  The editing is top-notch; the
 writing matches it.
 
 Utility--This is a hard one.  How much will you get out of an
 advertisement offering tons of games--and prices in pounds?  However,
 because the ST market is stronger overseas, you may get some insight
 into what Atari and others are working on before it hits our shores (if
 ever).
 
 Of course, the free diskware helps too.  The June issue's disk of Atari
 ST User, for example, offers a boot-up utility, an air-combat game, a
 non-fractal landscape generator, a Shanghai-like game, an educational
 spelling program and an action/strategy game.  Suddenly, the $80 per
 year (less than $7 per issue) doesn't seem so bad.  Similarly, ST Action
 (the game-only book) has a set of commercial-product demos on its disk,
 and ST Format featured--get this--the STOS (!!) language, a 3-D
 rendering package, a demo of International Sports Challenge, a MIDI
 sequencer demo and a sprite creator/editor and more.  All of the
 magazines also feature quite a bit of the editorial package devoted to
 explaining what you get on your "cover disk(s)," with tutorials for the
 big ticket programs.
 
 I can't squabble over the articles either.  The June issue of Atari ST
 User featured over 120 pages of text and ads: a report on the Falcon, an
 article on viruses, how you can use the ST to beat the recession (yep,
 they got it too), looks at Spectre GCR and the French word processor
 Redacteur, and much more.  ST Format offerings are similar: a review of
 Calamus SL, how to create a great game, a MIDI tutorial series, etc.
 Regular columns--each magazine with its own--are for beginners,
 technical problems and questions, public-domain software (particularly
 from the U.S.), learning to program in assembly language and more.  ST
 Action, being for games only, doesn't have the news content that its
 competitors do, but it makes up for that in player-involving articles on
 "tips and cheats," peeks at public-domain software, bargain-basement
 software lists and a column called "My Ideal Compilation," which takes
 an industry insider and asks him to list his all-time favorite games.
 Don't let us forget the cornerstone of the magazine, which is tons of
 reviews.
 
 There is one problem: I just can't get past the barrier caused by the
 differences between the U.S. and British ST markets.  All the things
 that we may never see here and trouble buying import products shown in
 the magazines brings down their ratings.  These would be five-star
 publications if only the U.S. market could support them.
 
 Overall Rating--It's a mixed bag here, trying to get something out of a
 British magazine that's useful to an American ST owner.  However, the
 diskware that comes with the magazines more than covers the value
 question.  All are well designed, in a British style nonetheless, and
 packed with info.  *British* info, but Atari info, just the same.
 

 BIO: Andy Eddy is Executive Editor of VideoGames & Computer
 Entertainment (VG&CE) and TurboPlay magazines, and a long-time Atari
 journalist.  Chris Bieniek is Associate Editor for VG&CE and Senior
 Editor for TurboPlay.
 


 
 | | |  ATARINET NODES
 | | |  Revision 0.1
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 Copyright 1992 - AtariNet International Association (A.I.A)
 All rights reserved.
 
 
 51:1/0 Host - 1  Twilight_Zone
 Longwood, FL          Bill Scull            1-407-831-1613
 
 51:1/4 Steal Your Face
 Brick, NJ             Ed Lynch              1-908-920-7981
 
 51:1/6 MySTery_BBS
 Goose Creek, SC       David Blanchard       1-803-556-9730
 
 51:1/7 Down  W.A.ST.E Land BBS
 Belmont, NC           Joe Ondesko           1-704-822-1963
 
 51:1/8 Alien BBS
 Burlington, NC        Mark Cline            1-919-229-4334
 
 51:1/9 Z*Net Golden Gate
 Sunnyvale, CA         Bob Brodie            1-510-373-6792
 
 51:1/10 Atari Base
 Sunnyvale, CA         Robert Brodie         1-408-745-2196
 
 51:1/11 Sunfox's Realm
 Orlando, Fl           Erik Williams         1-407-384-8138
 
 51:1/13 Z*Net News Service
 Middlesex, NJ         Ron Kovacs            1-908-968-8148
 
 51:1/14 Micro Message Service
 Raleigh, NC           Mike Stroud           1-919-772-7654
 
 51:1/15 TBBS Info/help
 Raleigh, NC           Paul Okeefe           1-919-772-7806
 
 51:4/1 Host Hologram Inc
 Old Bridge, NJ        Dean Lodzinski        1-908-727-1914
 
 51:4/3 Assasins Grove
 Oshawa, Canada        Jeff Mitchell         1-416-571-6965
 
 51:4/4 Aces High BBS
 Matawan, NJ           Richard Guadagno      1-908-290-1133
 
 51:2/0 Host 2  The Rebel BBS
 Las Vegas, NV         Terry May             1-702-435-0786
 
 51:2/4 Sports Line BBS
 Henderson, NV         Nick Hard             1-702-565-5271
 
 51:2/5 Left Over Hippies
 Toronto, Canada       Lesley-Dee Dylan      1-416-466-8931
 
 51:2/6 The Zoo BBS
 Indianapolis, IN      Bill Jones            1-317-356-5519
 
 51:2/7 Aaron's Beard
 Dallas, TX,           Troy Wade             1-214-557-2642
 
 51:2/8 Private System   The Melting Pot
 Dallas, Tx            Paul Lester
 
 51:2/9 The DarkSTar BBS
 Salt Lake City, UT    Randy Rodrock         1-801-269-8780
 
 51:2/10 The STarship BBS
 Fort Polk, La         Rich Tietjens         1-318-535-9684
 
 51:2/11 The Choice BBS
 Las Vegas, NV         Mark Woolworth        1-702-253-6527
 
 51:2/12 Thunder Hold
 American Fork, UT     Todd Harrington       1-801-756-2901
 
 51:3/0 Host 3  The Space Station
 Canyon Country, CA    Tony Castorino        1-805-252-0450
 
 51:3/3 Atari ST Connection
 Fresno, CA            Brian Watters         1-209-436-8156
 
 51:3/4 Autoboss Atari Elite
 Bunola, PA            John Graham           1-412-384-5608
 
 51:3/5 The Yakima Atari ST BBS
 Yakima, WA            Pat Moffitt           1-509-965-2345
 
 51:3/6 FIDOdoor Support BBS
 Vandenberg AFB, CA    Bryan Hall            1-805-734-4742
 
 51:3/7 cyberSecT BBS
 Cheney, WA            Chuck Aude            1-509-235-4875
 
 51:3/9 The Mosh Bit
 Vancouver, WA         Mark Wallaert         1-206-574-1531
 
 51:3/10 Target Range
 Paramount, CA         Alan Dietrich         1-310-634-8993
 
 51:3/11 Sanctuary From The Law
 Inyokern, CA          Sean Price            1-619-377-3611
 
 51:3/12 MASATEK
 Torrance, CA          Valeriano Meneses     1-310-518-9524
 
 51:5/0 Host 5   The Brewery
 Ajax, On, Canada      Don Liscombe          1-416-683-3089
 
 51:6/0 Host 6  AtariNet NW England
 Stockport, Cheshire, UK  Daron_Brewood      44-61-429-9803
 
 51:6/2 STun NeST Central
 Stockport, Cheshire, UK  Daron Brewood      44-61-429-9803
 
 

 
 | | |  KIDS AND KIDPRGS!
 | | |  By Beverly Mann and Edmund Mann
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 Manufacturer: D.A. Brumleve
 P.O. Box 4195
 Urbana, IL 61801 8820  (217) 337-1937
 
 
 Kidprgs is the collective name of four programs, distributedby D.A.
 Brumleve Software, designed to help children three to ten years of age
 learn reading, writing, and creative skills.  Included are Kidpainter,
 a "color-in" paint program; SuperKidgrid, a program that generates
 tiled, "tangram-like" designs; Kidpublisher Professional, a kid-oriented
 desktop publishing program; and Telegram, an intriguing communications
 "game" that involves delivering singing telegrams.  The authors of
 Kidprgs -- D.A. Brumleve, M.A., T.R. Brumleve, Ph.D., and M.L. Marks,
 M.Ed. --  are all professional educators.
 
 To gather data on how kids react to Kidprgs, we loaned an Atari 1040 STe
 computer, with color monitor, to Whiz Kids, a Long Island based
 educational computing center run by Mrs. Nancy Koch.  During a three-
 week period, more than 100 children were observed using the Kidprgs
 (we're happy to report that our 1040 STe easily survived the many hands
 on sessions).
 
 During the evaluation period, notes were kept on how children reacted to
 each program, both when using the software under teacher or parent
 supervision, and during free-play periods.
 
 Kidpainter
 
 ... is a "paint" program that employs a simple, iconic user-interface.
 Unlike free-form "grownup" paint programs, Kidpainter is designed for
 the coloring-book crowd.  You create an outline picture using various
 drawing "tools," add text if desired, then apply quick color "fills"
 with your "paintbrush."  Additional modes let you create "rubber stamp"
 images for quick reproduction, and "cut up" paintings into "picture
 puzzles" for on-screen reassembly.  Paintings (and preliminary drawings)
 may be loaded and saved to disk, and printed out for hand-coloring.
 The program is solid, easy to use, and technically-clever; and, like all
 the Kidprgs, comes with a "children's manual" that will get young users
 up and running in a hurry. ($35.00)
 
 A.F. (age 5) enjoyed painting her name but did not get further involved
 with the program.  Kidpainter held her interest for about 5 minutes.
 
 E.K. (age 4 1/2) easily created a picture and dictated a short story
 which the teacher typed for her.  The child was very enthusiastic about
 this activity, a happily kept working with the program until her mother
 picked her up.
 
 Kidpainter was used at three birthday parties that were attended by
 children aged 4-7.  The program held each child's attention an average
 of 20 minutes, generating far more interest than competing programs on
 other systems.  Clearly a winner!
 
 Super Kidgrid
 
 ... presents children with a grid, subdivided by diagonal lines into
 triangles that can be filled with color to create on-screen designs and
 pictures.  Designs can be loaded and saved, and the program can turn any
 design into a "paint-by-number" printout that kids can color with "real
 world" media.  Because the grid imposes its own regularity, even very
 young children can make impressive designs with Kidgrid.  Older children
 may enjoy the "tangram" challenge of using restricted forms to create
 recognizable images (numerous samples are provided with the software to
 help get you started).  And any grownup who's into LogCabin quilting
 will immediately latch onto Kidgrid as a perfectdesign tool. ($25.00)
 
 Several children who used Kidpainter were also observed while they used 
 Super Kidgrid.  The first child, C.W. (age 4) easily grasped the
 mechanics of the program.  She selected only three colors and created a
 simple random pattern that the teacher printed in paint-by-number form.
 The child took the drawing home to complete.
 
 E.K. (age 4 1/2) created a random design with many colors but was
 somewhat intimidated when the teacher printed her creation in more
 austere "paint by numbe" form.  Her mother was pleased that she could
 bring home an activity they could work ontogether.
 
 In general, Kidgrid received a lukewarm reception from very young
 children, holding their interest for only about ten minutes before other
 activities drew them away (actually, this is pretty good performance
 when you're dealing with 4-year-olds --Ed.) We suspect that the effort
 of coordination required to fill Kidgrid's triangles may be marginally
 too great for wee folks.  Older children enjoyed the program
 considerably more, and rose more frequently to the challenge of using
 Kidgrid's tiling system to create recognizable images.  Parents tend to
 appreciate the program, both for its aesthetics, and because its paint
 -by-number output can become a shared, "real world" activity.
 
 Kidpublisher Professional
 
 ... incorporates an extensive, "Kidpainter" style drawing program, a
 text editor, and a wide selection of built-in fonts, forming an easy to
 use, yet surprisingly powerful desktop-publishing package!  Older kids
 (and even younger kids!) adore it; quickly learning the simplified user
 interface and employing Kidpublisher to make their own picture books,
 greeting cards, andother printed matter.
 
 T.G., a 6-year old girl, enjoyed creating a picture and writing a story.
 She wrote phonetically and did very well.
 
 S.C., a 7-year old girl, thoroughly enjoyed using this program.  She was
 imaginative, creative, and comfortable with Kidpublisher.  First she
 drew a picture of the computer, then she wrote a story about that
 picture.
 
 Every school aged child who was exposed to Kidpublisher during a
 supervised session, chose to use the program, exclusively, during
 subsequent 30-, 45-, or 60 minute long free-play sessions.  The
 combination of drawing and text-editing functions seems to be
 irresistible! ($35.00)
 
 Telegram
 
 ... is an "activity" program, incorporating math, music, reading, and
 humorous elements.  Children "deliver telegrams" by driving an on-screen
 vehicle to specific "addresses" in a rectangular city-grid (an
 interesting way to teach the concept of spreadsheet-cell addressing).
 After ringing the doorbell, the computer plays a familiar tune, and the
 telegram's words appear on the screen, animated in "follow the bouncing
 ball" format, for sing-along.  The telegrams, drawn from a large set
 supplied with the program, are very funny. ($25.00)
 
 Unfortunately, though the program intrigues adults, the joke seems to be
 lost on most children.  The children we observed tended to exercise the
 program's features, delivering one or two telegrams, then lose interest
 quickly, thereafter.  Boys, moreover, seemed to be embarrassed to sing
 aloud.  We suspect that Telegram might be more successful when used for
 solitary play, or in carefully-refereed group or party situations. 
 
 System Requirements
 
 Each Kidprg requires an Atari ST, Mega, or TT system with a single or
 double sided disk drive, color monitor, and dot matrix, bubble jet,
 inkjet, or laser printer that can accept an Atari screen dump.
 
 The programs are not copy protected, and a startup utility allows even
 computer timid parents to configure each program appropriately for their
 child, generate necessary backups, etc.
 
 Beverly Mann teaches English at the State University of New York at
 Farmingdale, and is an adjunct English instructor at Suffolk County
 Community College an New York Institute of Technology.  Her husband,
 Edmund Mann, is an entrepreneur, adult education teacher, and long time
 Atari Explorer author.
 
 

 | | |  TO BE OR NOT TO BE - PART ONE
 | | |  An Adventure in BBS Land!
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
        By Bob Smith
 
 
 To be or not to be , that is the question. I have been pondering this
 question for approximately three years and still have no complete
 answer.  What, pray tell, is that burning question?  Glad you asked.
 That question or dilemma is whether I was going to join the ranks of the
 Bulletin Board Warriors known as system operators (sysops for short) or
 remain as a dedicated user.
 
 About three years ago, I was still heavily entrenched in the 8 Bit
 community and active as a user of the many different Bulletin Boards
 that were and are available.  I was posting messages, uploading files,
 downloading files and generally using all of the various functions that
 I have enjoyed.  I had really not given much thought to how a Bulletin
 Board worked and really, didn't much care.  I knew if I had a problem as
 a user, I could signal for a chat with the Sysop and on occasion I would
 be fortunate to get what I had signaled for and a person would help me
 at that point.  More often though, I would have to leave the Sysop a
 message and go on with other things.  When I came back to the particular
 BBS at some future date, the answer might be waiting for me.
 
 One day I was speaking on the phone with a gentleman that I knew fairly
 well and one thing led to another and he asked me if I would be
 interested in being a remote Sysop for his 8 Bit Bulletin Board.  Not
 knowing anything about remote Sysoping I naturally said "sure".  I
 thought this would be a way of having some fun, learning something new,
 getting new or increased privileges and not having too much actual work
 to do.  Well I learned, boy, did I learn.  I didn't realize that the
 Sysop has so much to do.
 
 The first thing to get a handle on is all of the different commands for
 all of the operations that take to run a BBS.  One of the very first was
 how to access the file sigs to validate the uploads that users like
 myself would send to the BBS.  If you think that when you upload a file
 to the BBS, especially an 8 Bit Bulletin Board, it will go to it's
 proper place automatically, you would be entirely wrong.  The ST
 Bulletin Boards are just as difficult.  First the file has to be moved
 from its holding drive to the proper file sig.  It would not do to have
 a recipe database program show up in the Sysop's file sig where all of
 the technical programs are or perhaps have the game of Pacman show up in
 the utility file sig.  The purposes of these file sigs have to
 memorized, the proper commands followed and that's just the start.
 After moving the file to it's final resting place, a numerical level has
 to be asssigned so that only the users with that access level may be
 allowed to have that file.  This is done where certain files may be for
 a specific type of user, such as a Sysop looking for a BBS program file.
 A normal user would not have need of it and to prevent mistakes from
 happening if the file got into the wrong hands, an access level is
 assigned.  After that is done, a description either has to be written
 for it or if one is put up with the file, it has to be checked for
 accuracy and brevity.  Then the file is ready be validated.  This is
 only one very small part of being a remote sysop.
 
 As I went along, the other operations, duties and responsiblities were
 becoming part of my very limited knowledge of the "joys" of sysoping.
 This was not the walk in the park that I had thought it would be.  My
 respect for these invisible, but ever present persons was increasing
 dramatically.  I was now presented with a formidable task, that is, to
 learn everything I needed to know about doing what I was supposed to do
 a Remote Sysop.  Thus, the question "to be or not to be" became
 something that I started to wrestle with.  My adventure in BBS land had
 just started.....
 
 

 
 | | |  GENIE ST ROUNDTABLE NEWS
 | | |  by John Hartman, ST RT PR SysOp
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 = DARLAH'S TREAT OF THE MONTH =

 This month's "Darlah's Treat of the Month" on page 475, Option #9 is
 Diamond Edge EDGEDEMO. Type m475;9 to receive this months "Treat".  This
 archive contains a demo version of Oregon Research's new program Diamond
 Edge.  The most advanced set of disk management tools available for your
 Atari ST: Disk and data recovery, Complete Undelete, file validation and
 disk diagnostics, Data protection, Disk optimization, Bad sector
 mapping, hard disk partitioning, Disk information archival editing and
 restoration, and much more. Diamond Edge will be released on September
 12 at the Glendale show. Brought to you by Oregon Research Associates.
 
 = REALTIME CONFERENCE =

          |===================================================|
          |   Real Time Conference Special Events Calendar    |
          |===================================================|
          | Sept. 28 - A forum on CodeHead Graphic Tools,     |
          | (Monday)   including MegaPaint, Avant Vector,     |
          |            Genus, Cherry Fonts & other utilities. |
          |            Also featuring Warp 9's extensible     |
          |            screensaver -  Extend-O-Save.  Bring   |
          |            your wish list for modules.            |
          |===================================================|
          | All Real Time Conferences begin at 10:00 p.m EDT  |
          |===================================================|
 
 = Atari RTC's in Library 13 =

 25836 CODE_1.LZH               X L.ROCHA1     920922    5248     30  13
 25752 GLEN_RTC.LZH             X L.ROCHA1     920916    9984    229  13
 25664 FALC_PT2.ARC             X JEFF.W       920910   16128    414  13
 25262 FALCONCO.LZH             X JEFF.W       920813   11136    825  13

 = LIBRARY =
 Last Week's Top Downloaded Programs/Utilities:
 -------------------------------------------------
 25781 RUN_HLNK.LZH             X D.THOMPSON66 920917  172032    119   2
 25804 MEHRCPXE.LZH             X W.DOHMSTREIC 920919   25216     98   2
 25729 TOSWIN11.ZOO             X E.SMITH10    920913   44160     74   2
 25718 MULTICOL.ARC             X R.HARRINGTO1 920912    1792     61   3
 25782 HEIDSK25.LZH             X C.HAFNER     920917   54656     57  10
 -------------------------------------------------
 Last Week's New Demos:
 ---------------------------------------------------
 25830 OBURSTDM.ARC             X F.PAWLOWSKI  920920   33280     52  10
 25792 UNCLELOK.LZH             X C.HAFNER     920918   24064     47  10
 25786 KARMA_SH.LZH             X GRMEYER      920917   49792     42  10
 25782 HEIDSK25.LZH             X C.HAFNER     920917   54656     57  10
 25759 PAPYRUS.LZH              X GRMEYER      920916  379264     32  10
 ---------------------------------------------------
 Last Week's Press Releases in the Library
 -------------------------------------------------
 25822 STI_RBOK.ARC             X D.VICHA      920920    8832     66  14
 25820 NEWMATH.LZH              X FOLKDANCER1  920920    3840     26  14
 25818 PAGE20UP.LZH             X D.HALL23     920920   14336     31  14
 25800 FREEDOM.TXT              X PMC.INC      920918    3968    302  14
 25794 PMC.TXT                  X PMC.INC      920918    2432    140  14
 25793 STEA_PMC.TXT             X PMC.INC      920918    5376     62  14
 25783 DEVPAC3.TXT              X HISOFT       920917    5248     83  14
 25744 W9EXTEND.TXT             X CODEHEAD     920915    3712    275  14
 25736 ZOCRA.LZH                X C.BUCHANAN3  920914    4864     42  14
 25731 GADGETS.LZH              X PMC.INC      920914    7552    321  14
 25727 WAACEBAQ.TXT             X R.JANICE     920913    2176     53  14
 25712 ACT.NOW                  X J.LEHETT2    920912   15872     76  14

 
 
 | | |  STAR TREK: THE (UNOFFICIAL) SURVEY
 | | |  by Ken Aitchison
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 Disclaimer:  I am in no way affiliated with Star Trek or with Paramount.
 This is not an "official" survey, but reflects the opinions of a large
 number of participants in the Star Trek conferences of several nets.
 You are free to distribute this survey to whomever you wish, or upload
 it to any Bulletin Board or service that you like.  Please upload it all
 in one piece to ensure that this disclaimer is not lost.  Thanks!
 
 1. Who are your favorite and second favorite Star Trek: The Original
    Series characters?
 
 Favorite:

  Spock = 45.1%  Kirk  = 25.5%  McCoy = 15.7%  Sulu  = 5.9%  Other = 7.8%
 
 Other Trek idols include:  Khan, Chekov, Mudd and Scotty.
 Total votes: 51
 
 Second Favorite:
 
  McCoy  = 28.6%  Spock  = 28.6%  Scotty = 20.4%  Kirk   = 14.3%
  Uhura  = 4.1%   Other  = 4.1%
 
 Other popular second bananas are: Commodore Decker and Saavik (Kirstie).
 Total votes: 49
 
 
 2. Same as #1, but with Star Trek: The Next Generation.
 
 Favorite:
 
  Data   = 43.1%  Picard = 29.4%  Worf   = 9.8%  Riker  = 3.9%
  Yar    = 3.9%   Other  = 9.8%
 
 The remaining suggested write in votes for President include: Guinan,
 Deanna, Geordi, Wesley and Q.
 Total votes: 51
 
 Second Favorite:
 
  Picard  = 30.6%  Data    = 28.6%  Worf    = 10.2%  Geordi   = 9.2%
  Beverly  = 4.1%  Guinan   = 4.1%  Deanna   = 4.1%  Riker    = 4.1%
  Pulaski  = 3.1%  Tam Elbrum = 2%
 
 Oddly enough, there were no other votes in this category.
 Total votes: 49
 
 
 3. Who are your least and second least favorite TOS characters?
 
 Least Favorite:

  Kirk   = 28.2%  Chekov = 17.9%  Uhura  = 12.8%  Chapel = 10.3%
  Other  = 30.8%
 
 There were quite a few different votes on this question.  Other
 candidates for beam out, wide dispersal include Janice Rand, Roger
 Korby, Leslie, McCoy, Spock, Harry Mudd, Sulu, Red Shirts, Starfleet
 Buerocrats, and all of the space hippies from "The Way to Eden".
 Total votes: 39
 
 Second Least Favorite:
 
  Chekov = 12.9%    Uhura =  12.9%   Dr. McCoy = 9.7%
  Christine Chapel = 9.7%            "Red Shirts" = 9.7%
  Sulu = 9.7%       Kirk = 6.5%      Janice Rand = 6.5%
  Other = 22.6%
 
 The rest of the Denebian slime devils are:  Scotty, Stonn, Captain
 Stiles, Ilea, Edith Keeler and Stella Mudd.
 Total votes: 31
 
 4.  Who are your first and second Least favorite TNG characters?
 
 Least Favorite:

  Wesley = 18.9%  Deanna = 17.8%  Ro = 11.1%  Pulaski = 8.9%  Yar = 6.7%
  Riker = 4.4%    O'Brien = 4.4%  Beverly = 3.3%
  Other = 24.4%
 
 Other potential pinups for dart practice include:  Geordi, Barclay,
 Guinan, Kivas Fago, Lore, Q, Selar, Worf, Lwuxana, Nameless extras and
 Ensign Bimbo-of-the-week.
 Total votes: 45
 
 Second Least Favorite:

  Deanna = 21.6%  Yar    = 16.2%  Wesley = 12.2%  Beverly= 9.5%
  Keiko  = 8.1%   O'Brien = 5.4%  Barclay = 5.4%  Other  = 21.6%
 
 The remainder of the errors-Nomad-ought-to-sterilize include: Riker,
 Picard, Ro, Lwuxana, Armus, Crystalline entity, Vash and Pulaski.
 Total votes: 37
 
 5a.  What is your favorite Star Trek: The Original Series episode?
 
 City on the Edge of Forever = 28.6%  The Trouble With Tribbles   = 10.9%
 The Doomsday Machine        = 10.2%  Balance of Terror           =  6.1%
 Mirror, Mirror              =  4.1%  The Enterprise Incident     =  4.1%
 Amok Time                   =  4.1%  I, Mudd                     =  2.7%
 Other                       = 12.9%  No Opinion                  = 16.3%
 
 Total votes: 49
 
 5b.  What is your favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episode?
 
 Best of Both Worlds     = 37.8%   Yesterday's Enterprise  = 18.4%
 Deja Q                  =  4.1%   The Offspring           =  4.1%
 Redemption              =  3.1%   Other                   = 24.5%
 No Opinion              =  8.2%
 
 Total votes: 49
 
 5c.  Which episode is better?

 TNG episode:  60.4%   TOS episode:  12.5%   It's a tie:    6.3%
 No opinion:   20.8%
 
 Total votes: 48
 
 6(a) What is your least favorite Original Series episode?
 
 Spock's Brain                     = 31.6%
 The Way to Eden                   =  7.9%
 Let That Be Your Last Battlefield =  5.3%
 And the Children Shall Lead       =  5.3%
 Spectre of the Gun                =  5.3%
 Turnabout Intruder                =  5.3%
 Other                             = 18.4%
 No Opinion                        = 21.1%
 
 Total votes: 35
 
 (b) What's your least favorite TNG episode?
 
  Shades of Grey  = 30.8%  The Royale      = 12.8%
  The Game        =  5.1%  Justice         =  5.1%
  Haven           =  3.1%  Other           = 30.3%
  No Opinion      = 12.8%
 
  Total votes: 39
 
 (c) Which is of the two is worse?
 
  TNG episode:  42.1%  TOS episode:  31.6%
  It's a tie:   10.5%  No Opinion:   15.8%
 
 Total votes: 38
 
 7(a) What's your favorite Star Trek movie?
 
  Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan           41.8%
  Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home             23.5%
  Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country    20.4%
  Star Trek III: The Search for Spock        6.1%
  Star Trek: The Motion Picture              6.1%
  Star Trek V: The Final Frontier            0.0%
  No Opinion                                 2.0%
 
  Total votes: 49
 
 (b) What's your least favorite ST movie?
 
  Star Trek V: The Final Frontier           65.7%
  Star Trek: The Motion Picture             16.7%
  Star Trek III: The Search for Spock        3.9%
  Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home              3.9%
  Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country     2.0%
  Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan            0.0%
  No Opinion                                 9.8%
 
  Total votes: 51
 
 8.  Overall, which series is better?
 
 The Next Generation = 78.8%     The Original Series =  7.7%
 It's a tie          =  3.8%     No Opinion          =  9.6%

  Total votes: 52
 
 9.  What's the one thing you would change about Star Trek if the
     decision was up to you?
 
 Six people state that they would work on reducing inconsistiencies in
 the Trek universe.  Don Tyro clarifies this by saying that he would
 reduce the major YATIs.  He states, "Notice I said MAJOR.  Just 'cause
 there's some minor ones in there doesn't spoil the entertainment value."
 Milan Rezac specifies his thoughts as well.  "I would get more
 consistency between on-screen material and novels, manuals, etc."
 
 Six people agreed that there should be more action featured in the show.
 Andy Krokamp says simply, "It's getting too soft!"  Ian Columby feels
 that "Watching the crew solve other people's problems gets boring week
 after week."
 
 Three would alter the writing to remove the social commentary that is
 often featured on ST.  Scott Smith explains that he would "make the
 episodes less "slice of life", where things that occur now are portrayed
 in the future."  Douglas Bueoy says that there should be "Less political
 correctness, which would result in the charaters being even more
 believable."
 
 Two survey-goers would not cancel TNG after the seventh season is
 completed, and would continue producing new episodes indefinitely.
 
 Two others would work on eliminating "rushed" endings for episodes.
 Eric Troup says that he would "get rid of the five-minute wrap-up for
 episodes.
 
 Two people wouldn't change a thing, if the decision was theirs.  Jimmy
 Riddle states, "I like it just the way it is!"
 
 Several Trek fans want to see more.  Joann Mantych wants more Science
 Fiction on the show, Terrence M. Begley would like to see more androids,
 while Stuart Glen states that he would have "more posting in/out of
 regular characters.  Make it a flexible cast."
 
 Many people felt the major improvement would be to lose one or more
 members of the cast.  Those mentioned were Alexander, Lwuxana, Kirk,
 Deanna, Ferengi, and children on board the Enterprise.
 
 A number had specific nits to pick with specific charaters.  Michael
 Burkhart would like to get Riker and Troi off the bridge, Richard
 Devaney wants to see more interaction between Picard and Crusher, Wtin
 Jalanugraha would bring back Wesley Crusher, and says Cindy Matthes, "I
 would make better use of Troi's supposed powers.  I think they should
 make use of her ability to communicate telepathically with Riker."
 
 Two people had opinions on characterizations.  Heather Howe would have
 the characters grow more, and Deborah Bolen wishes to see "more real-
 life characterizations - ie: more comradery, more conflict, less
 `sweetness & light'."
 
 Quite a few had their say on how the technological end of the show ought
 to be altered.  Dennis Virzi would "ditch the holodeck", Rick Salazar
 wants "to see more and different types of Starships", and John Aitchison
 would instruct the writers to stop violating the laws of physics where
 transporters and warp drive are concerned.  Colby Gibson had this to
 say:  "I would continue to use some of the intelligence and the
 technology that is discovered all of a sudden, not just take it away."
 
 Mike Bayliss has a suggestion for "away teams": "I would have them
 having more adventures on barren moons and spacehulks so that we get to
 see a spacesuit or two."
 
 Finally, Bill Mertz would do away with the "ultra-high technology" and
 "any story using pseudo-tech as the plot device."
 
 Several BBSers had ideas on certain types of episodes.  Ethan Arenson
 would reduce the number of "character study" episodes, Rick Ekle would
 feature "more episodes on planets' surfaces", while Jim Buntjer wants to
 "do some follow up episodes.  They need to follow up Conspiracy and
 Cause and Effect."
 
 Two guys want more realism in Star trek.  Rick Dexter says he would use
 "less of the sound effects and protocol-oriented restrictions", while
 Scott Hollifield says "I would up the seriousness of the writing a notch
 or two."
 
 10. What do you think Star Trek's legacy will be like 25 years from now?
 
  30.4%  (c) Star Trek will continue to feature new television episodes/
  feature films and will be an ongoing legacy.
 
  27.4%  (a) It will be regarded as a classic TV show who served its time
  and entertained many.
 
  21.6%  (d) Trek will be even larger than it is today, with many related
  series and films being produced at the time.
 
  20.6%  (b) Star Trek will no longer feature new material, but will be
  well known via syndication and ongoing conventions.
 
 Total votes: 51
 
 
 11.  Which is your favorite Star Trek Uniform?

    42.0%     Star Trek: The Next Generation
    36.7%     ST: TWOK until about 20 years prior to TNG (Mostly red)
    10.0%     Klingon uniforms (in general)
     4.7%     Original Series
     4.0%     TNG Cadet Uniforms
     2.7%     ST: The Motion Picture (similar to TOS with some changes)
 
 Total votes: 50
 
 
 12.  What is your favorite Ship type?
 
    53.2%     Galaxy class (NCC-1701-D; the enterprise of TNG)
    11.7%     Romulan Warbird (TNG)
    11.7%     Refit enterprise and enterprise-A (throughout movies)
     9.6%     Klingon Bird of Prey
     5.3%     Reliant type Starship (seen in ST: The Wrath of Khan)
     2.1%     Original enterprise (during TOS)
     2.1%     Excelsior type (NCC-1701-B)
     2.1%     Borg Ship (Cube)
     1.1%     Klingon Battlecruiser
     1.1%     Ferengi Marauder
 Total votes: 47
 
 
 13.  What's your favorite item of Star Trek technology?
 
  33.3%     Holodeck
  20.8%     Transporter
  17.7%     Computer
  12.5%     Warp drive
   5.2%     Phasers (both hand and ship)
   3.1%     Cloaking device
   2.1%     Tricorder
   2.1%     Androids
   2.1%     Replicator
   1.0%     Communicators
 Total votes: 48
 
 
 14.  Who are your favorite Star Trek antagonists? (races; not
      individuals)
 
    26.5%     Borg
    26.5%     Romulans
    20.4%     Klingons
    13.3%     Powerful beings (Q, Trelane, Metrons, etc...)
     8.2%     Ferengi
     5.1%     Cardassians
 Total votes: 49
 
 
 15.  What is your favorite Star Trek race in general?
 
   23.2%      Androids
   19.2%      Humans
   18.5%      Klingons
   17.0%      Vulcans
    7.6%      Powerful beings (Q, Trelane, Metrons, etc...)
    2.9%      Romulans
    2.2%      Ferengi
    2.2%      Borg
    2.2%      Shapeshifters
    2.2%      Tellarites
    2.2%      Tribbles
    0.7%      Cardassians
 Total votes: 46
 
 
 16.  How much Star Trek have you seen in each of the following
      categories?  Rate yourself on a scale of 1-5, which generally
      translates to the following:
 
     (1) Star Trek?  What's that?
     (2) I've seen just a little bit of this category.
     (3) I've seen a fair amount.
     (4) I've seen most of these, but not all.
     (5) I can recite it in my sleep!
     (a) The Original Series
  1 = 0.0%     2 = 5.0%      3 = 10.0%     4 = 12.5%     5 = 72.5%
 Total votes: 40

     (b) The Animated Series
  1 = 45.9%    2 = 21.6%     3 = 13.5%     4 = 5.4%      5 = 13.5%
 Total votes: 37
 
     (c) The Feature Films
  1 = 2.6%     2 = 2.6%      3 = 15.4%     4 = 12.8%     5 = 66.7%
 Total votes: 39
 
     (d) The Next Generation
  1 = 2.6%     2 = 2.6%      3 = 0.0%      4 = 15.4%     5 = 79.5%
 Total votes: 39
 
     (e) Star Trek novels
  1 = 28.2%    2 = 25.6%     3 = 12.8%     4 = 15.4%     5 = 17.9%
 Total votes: 39
 
 18.4% of those polled didn't understand the question.  Apparently I
 didn't phrase it very well.  8^)
 
 
 17a.  Do you consider yourself to be a "Trekker", a "Trekkie" or
       neither?
 
  Trekker = 40.0% (8 votes)
  Trekkie = 40.0% (8 votes)
  Neither = 20.0% (4 votes)
 Total votes: 20
 
 The only conclusion that can be drawn from this question is that I need
 to word it more carefully in the future so I can get more votes!  It
 would probably be a close race in any event, however.
 
 
 17b.  Are you vocal about letting others know that you enjoy Trek?
 
 39.1% (a) Yes!
 43.5% (b) Somewhat.
 17.4% (c) Not really; but I'm not embarrased.  I just don't mention it.
    0% (d) No; only on BBS'es.
    0% (e) I'd die if anyone I knew found out!
 Total votes: 46
 
 
 18.  How much BBSing do you do?
 
 14.3% (a) I'm a conference host/SysOp.  Need I say more?
 59.2% (b) I read and reply to messages daily in many conferences.
    0% (c) I read and reply daily; but only in Star Trek.
 18.4% (d) I BBS several times a week.
    0% (e) I BBS once every four days to a week on the average.
  8.2% (f) It's a miracle you're even getting this reply!
 Total votes: 49
 
 

 | | |  COMPUTING ON THE EDGE
 | | |  By Mike Mezaros
 | | |  ----------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 Reprinted from Issue #35 of Z*Net PC Online Magazine.  Copyright (c)
 1992, Rovac Indusries.  May NOT be reprinted without the written
 permission of the author.
 
 
 THE CURSE OF THE BLANK CHECK

 Some of you may know that I'm more than one of the finest computer
 columnists this nation has ever seen.  I'm also in the shareware
 business.

 Shareware is a dirty game.  There's lying, stealing, cheating, money
 laundering, and lots of heavy-drinking.  To make matters worse, a
 coalition of neo-Nazis, radical feminists, and astrology program authors
 have recently wrestled control of the industry.

 Well, of course that's nonsense.  Aside from the occassional clash of
 egos, shareware is a pretty quiet industry.  Almost too quiet... like
 the loner down the street who takes pot shots at neighborhood kids with
 his assault rifle.  But that doesn't mean that those involved aren't
 often confronted with tough, moral questions.

 Of these, my personal favorite is: "Oh, no!  The check is blank."

 Just yesterday, in fact, I was forced to deal with this burning issue.

 A major university registered one of the programs I publish.  All of the
 paperwork was in order, and the proper payment had been authorized.  A
 shiny new, signed check was sent to me.  The only problem was that
 someone had forgotten to scribble in a monetary amount.  It was blank.

 Between writing, shareware, and other ventures I'm involved in, I make a
 fairly decent living for someone my age.  And I have a heck of a lot of
 fun while doing it, too.  But I'm human, and money is always short. I
 don't have a "I will write for food" sign on my back, but the grass is
 always greener for the guy who can afford an automatic sprinkler system.

 Many thoughts crossed my mind.  This is a BIG university.  What would
 they care if I "accidentally" wrote the check out for $29,000 instead of
 $29.00?  ($2,900,000 was written off early on as a bad choice because it
 might attract unwanted attention.)

 I AM a college student.  I KNOW how these big colleges work.  They're
 incredibly huge beauracracies where no one beauracrat knows what any
 other beauracrat is up to.  A check for $29,000 would probably go
 unnoticed.  And even if I did get caught, I could probably think of
 something to avoid imprisonment like "It SAID $29,000 when it arrived. I
 figured they wanted a site license," or "Officer, I've got 29,000 big
 ones that say you're NOT going to arrest me."

 Think of the oppurtunity here.  I could take this $29,000 in found money
 straight to the race track.  I could put it all on "Lucky Leo" to win.
 If I win, I pocket a hundred grand and immediately Western Union the
 original $29,000 back to the college. "Sorry," the note would say, "It
 appears you made a slight mistake and I compounded it by cashing the
 check."  If I lose, I clear all of my accounts and move to Rio.

 Or what if this is a test?  What if the university is getting ready to
 authorize a $250,000 custom programming job for my company, but wants to
 test me first to see if I'm trustworthy?  Hmmm.

 Plus, even if I was never caught, could I live with myself?  I've always
 considered myself an honest person.  Would I feel guilty forever?

 Perhaps that kind of risk isn't worth a lousy $29,000.  I guess that's
 what I decided, because I ended up writing the check out for $29.00
 about twenty seconds after opening the envelope.  I also called the
 school and let them know of their mistake.

 The ironic thing is, looking back, I should've known I was a moral
 person from the very beginning.  My first thought upon seeing the blank
 check wasn't "Hey - a blank check, what should I do?"  Rather, it was "I
 bet I could milk a column out of this incident."

 I was right, and I'm proud.

 Still, a word of advice to all of my customers and potential customers
 out there.  Make sure that you've filled in your check completely before
 sending it off to me. I'm basically an honest person, but my defenses
 are weaning and "Lucky Leo" appears to be on a roll.


 Mike Mezaros can reached on CompuServe at 71034,2654.
 
 
                            # # # # # # # # #

 Top nine fun things to do aboard the Starship Enterprise:
 ---------------------------------------------------------
 
 9. Skeet shooting the shuttlecraft
 8. Plugging Nintendo cartridges into Data
 7. Giving Worf A nuggie
 6. Ordering Pizza from Domino's then going 30 min. into the future just
    to piss them off (haha, free pizza!)
 5. Secretly replacing the Dilithium crystals with New Foldger's crystals
 4. Reprogramming the computer to play the theme to Jeopardy during self-
    destruct sequence
 3. Watching Captain Picard do his Mr. Clean impression
 2. Calling down to the transporter room, ask if they've beamed aboard
    Prince Albert In A Can
 1. Tribble sex!


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 with Atari Corp. and is Copyright (c)1992,Z*Net News Service/Ron Kovacs
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Z*Net  News  Service - Post Office Box 59, Middlesex, New Jersey  08846-
 0059.  BBS - (908) 968-8148.  Voice - (908) 968-2024.   Fnet  Node  593,
 AtariNet Node 51:1/13.0.  You can contact Atari direct via  Fnet Nodes -
 706 or 319 or via AtariNet 51:1/10.0.  Z*Net South Pacific - Fnet - 693.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Atari is a registered trademark of Atari Corporation.   Atari Falcon030, 
 TOS, MultiTOS, NewDesk and BLiTTER, are trademarks of Atari Corporation.
 All  other  trademarks  mentioned in this publication  belong  to  their 
 respective owners.
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      Atari Explorer Online Magazine
                   "The Official Atari Online Journal"
               Copyright (c)1992, Atari Computer Corporation
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~







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