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Article #327 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: Atari Explorer Online 2-Jan-93 #0201
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (aa789 - Bruce D. Nelson)
Date: Sun Jan  3 16:32:18 1993


 ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
 ::  Volume 2 - Issue  1     ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE       2 January 1993  ::
 ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::  ATARI .............. News, reviews, & solutions ............ ATARI  ::
 ::    EXPLORER ............ for the online Atari .......... EXPLORER    ::
 ::       ONLINE ................. Community .............. ONLINE       ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::         Published and Copyright = 1993 by Atari Corporation          ::
 ::          """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""           ::
 ::      Editor ....................................... Travis Guy       ::
 ::        Assistant Editor ....................... Ron Robinson         ::
 ::           Assistant Editor .................. Albert Dayes           ::
 ::             Assistant Editor ........... Andreas Barbiero            ::
 ::               Software Editor ......... Doyle C. Helms               ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::                            Contributors                              ::
 ::                            """"""""""""                              ::
 ::                Harvey Wolfe        Joesph M. Turner                  ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::                       Editorial Advisory Board                       ::
 ::                       """"""""""""""""""""""""                       ::
 ::   President, Atari Corporation........................Sam Tramiel    ::
 ::   Director of Application Software...................Bill Rehbock    ::
 ::   Director, Computer Marketing ........................Don Thomas    ::
 ::   Director of Communications...........................Bob Brodie    ::
 ::   Corporate Director, International Music Markets....James Grunke    ::
 ::   Atari Explorer Magazine............................Mike Lindsay    ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::                      Telecommunicated to you via:                    ::
 ::                      """"""""""""""""""""""""""""                    ::
 ::                             GEnie: AEO.MAG                           ::
 ::                         CompuServe: 70007,3615                       ::
 ::                            Delphi: ABARBIERO                         ::
 ::                      Fnet: AEO Conference, Node 706                  ::
 ::                  AtariNet: AEO Conference, Node 51:1/10              ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


                              Table of Contents


 * From the Editors ............................. Happy New Year, Everyone.

 * Atari Falcon030 Gaming ............... Andreas takes a first look at new
                                                  titles under development.         

 * The ALBERT File: CD-ROM & PhotoCD ............. Albert Dayes expounds on
                                                          this mass storage
                                                                technology.

 * PhotoCD for the Atari Falcon030 ....... Andreas has a few words as well.

 * Atari Users Online: GEnie .......... GEnie chat from the past two weeks.

 * I Love My Mega STe! ................. An owner's look at his "Power ST."

 * Lynx Special ............... Treat yourself or a friend to the best deal
                                 ever on the best handheld video game ever!

 * Atari Online Review .................... The newest downloads await you.
                                             Doyle directs you to the best.

 * Developing News ........................... Computer Musician Coalition.
                                               FAX Facts from NewSTar Tech. 
                                                            Pure BlackMail!

 * Continuing Coverage of CuSTomer Support ..... Follow up on ABCO Computer
                                                     Consultants' problems.

 * Shutdown ................................................ Pigskins ahoy.


                              --==--==--==--==--

 |||  From the Editors ....... Atari Explorer Online: The Next Generation
 |||  Travis Guy
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.MAG
      -------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello! Welcome to 1993, and the new Atari Explorer Online. As those of 
you who have seen our Special Editions know, AEO has returned to provide 
you, the Atari user, with timely news, reviews and insights on the World 
Atari.

We had a bit of trouble with the GIF screenshots of the Atari Falcon030 
desktop uploaded last week. It seems one of the GIFs were corrupted. Our 
apologies to those of you who tried to download them. The corrected files 
accompany this issue.  There's DESKTOP1.GIF, a 640x480 256
color GIF of the Atari Falcon030 desktop. Also included are ICONS1.GIF,
and ICONS2.GIF. These are 320x200 16 color GIFs of some of the icons that
ship with the Atari Falcon030's new desktop. All of the files were checked
with GemView 2.0 and PrismPaint.

First up in this issue is a look at gaming on the Atari Falcon030. 
Andreas recently spent some time with Bill Rehbock at Atari and got a
chance to look at some of the titles _designed_ for Atari's new machine.
To sum up Andreas' tour, "Who needs Blast Processing?"
 
Our heavy hitter this issue is Albert Dayes, with the first installment 
of what we call The ALBERT File. Albert strips away all of the confusion 
surrounding CD-ROMs with an in-depth, technically oriented discourse. 
It's over 60K in length and well worth the time needed to digest it.

After that, it's off to the GEnie message bases for questions and 
answers; developer news; Atari's Lynx Special continues; an unabashed 
Mega STe love letter, and the first installment of Doyle Helms' Atari 
Online Review. Many of you will recognize Doyle as the former Software 
Editor of ST Report - he has graciously offered to provide his services 
for readers of AEO.

Finish off the last of your turkey-leftover sandwiches. Clean up the 
party debris. Give those TV remote controls a break from the football. 
It's time to get back to work, and Atari is buckling down for the rollout.
NAMM is a few weeks away, and Atari will rock the joint. Guaranteed. 

The Saga Of The Editors' Bios: Missing for the past two issues, the 
long-promised Bios are being bumped again. Ron Robinson took his family 
down to Florida (An "EX-cellent choice" Ron) for a well deserved 
vacation, and I'm not going to bug him until he returns. Ron's Random
Ramblin' will return when Ron does. Dodge those showers and catch some
rays, dude! We'll be here when you get back.

We're off to work now.


                              --==--==--==--==--


 |||  Atari Falcon030 Gaming ................................ A first look
 |||  By: Andreas Barbiero
/ | \ Delphi: ABARBIERO        GEnie: AEO.2
      --------------------------------------------------------------------

The Atari Falcon030 is a console game killer!

In December, I took a journey into the future... the future of
entertainment. I was privileged to be included in an exciting scene, an
entire afternoon at Atari Corporation in a room with no less than *6*
Atari Falcon030 machines. Bill Rehbock sat down with me for these 
precious hours to preview the path of things to come.

We all know the specifications, they have been debated endlessly, but the
reality of all those parts coming together is a product far more powerful
than the numbers could ever hint at. When you think about 256 color
graphics, a nonplussed "eh" arises from the jaded masses. That is nothing
more than the standard on a PC. But did you ever think you would see a
Defender scenario with twelve layers of parallax scrolling, 256 color
foreground and 256 color backgrounds, running at full arcade speeds? If
that wasn't enough, there are solid digitized samples from end to end in
this game. This type of frenetic frenzy could only be spawned from the
mind of Jeff Minter. Llamazap is the game, taking side shots at every
major arcade shoot-em-up, from Asteroids to UN Squadron, while enticing
you to a blast-em fervor. The large multicolored sprites move
ballistically, and considering the amount of data that is crunched, moved,
tweaked, played and displayed, this game puts Nintendo and Genesis to
shame, never mind that blocky monolith called a PC.

The Sega Genesis has really eclipsed the Nintendo units, the Super
Nintendo really cannot compare to the Genesis, and with the new CDROM unit
for the Sega, this is a powerful game machine. But the CDROM is only a
replacement for Sega game carts. Megabytes of storage are needed for 
digitized music and sounds, and while the actual game only takes up a
small portion of the game disk, Sega is using the huge storage of this
system as a big game cart. Music aside, most games don't really benefit
from the CD system. There is no "real" video displayed, just lots of
digitized information. The Vidi animations on the ST look better than
this. Really, unless playing Sonic is critical to your existence, the
money would be better spent towards a real system, like the Atari 
Falcon030 which can not only play games but use software like Calamus SL!

TO BUILD A BETTER JOYSTICK....

Ever wonder what those 15pin ports on the STe were for? On the Atari
Falcon030 they reappear, and there is finally something to plug in them.
Mr. Rehbock had an interesting controller hooked up. It was a horseshoe
design, with a controller similar to the Sega style on top, and a 12 key
pad in the area where the open space on a real horseshoe would be. This
unit fit well in my hands, with rounded finger rests on the bottom of the
unit. This prototype is supported in the games I saw at Atari, and will
allow for more complicated multi-button games.

Atari Games has published several excellent titles under the name Tengen
for many other platforms with great success. Steel Talons and Raiden are
two that are coming to the Atari Falcon030 with a vengeance. It almost 
seems that these games are angry at being cooped up with 64 colors on
other systems, and are bursting forth with the full power of the Atari
Falcon030 driving them! For the Atari Falcon030 version of Raiden, a
popular vertical flying shoot-'em-up, the artwork will be taken from the
original stand-up arcade game. Many arcade games are multi-megabyte
giants, but still based on Motorola chips. Some people never knew the
arcade version of Gauntlet was based on the 68000!

With the audio and video manipulation abilities of the Atari Falcon030, 
the original game does not have to suffer from being pared down to fit on 
a home system, or squeezed into the confines of the limited resolution of 
a TV set. This is the most important factor, a TV set is a poor substitute
for even an older monitor like a SC1224.

There are other people developing software for the Atari Falcon030.
Several UK software houses have announced products, and they are now are
ready to roll with the Atari Falcon030s. For those of you who prefer to
fight with your mind rather than with a quick joystick, Space Junk and
Rome AD92 should be better suited to you. The increased power of the Atari
Falcon030 allows Space Junk to take the 'Elite' game theme to new levels
of realism. Rome AD92 sees you battling it out for control of the Roman
Empire at the start of the fall of this world spanning empire. While Atari
did not have a copy of this game for me, the screen shots in the UK mags
look very good. These guys are remaining a bit tight lipped about the
software they are developing, and as 3rd party devs, it is easy to end up
answering the phone all day and not getting the software done!

Atari is really giving the developers more help than some people would
suggest. Atari has signed on people to help out with teaching better ways
to exploit the DSP. Rather than give these guys a machine, Motorola
catalogs and documentation, and letting them have at it, during developers
conferences Atari brings out the experts to give new programming teams the
edge. 

WHAT ABOUT THE BIG BOYS? 

There is some very sophisticated programming coming out of the US
entertainment software houses. LucasArts calls on PC users to "Join the
Rebel Alliance" with its new X-Wing simulator. This program is a step
beyond the Wing Commander genre. Bit mapped surfaces on polygon graphics,
digital samples from the movies, this program is definitely interesting.
Now, no matter how interesting this may be on the PC (or a PC card for the
processor direct slot) imagine the possibilities on the Atari Falcon030!

Not only are the notoriously slow VGA style screens absolutely blazing on
the Atari Falcon030, but the DSP could take over all sorts of audio
wizardry. If you are interested in ever seeing this game on the Atari,
call 1-800-STARWARS and let them know!! I have dropped them a line
already, and some official stuff is in the mail for them too.

Speaking about wizardry - Wizardry VII is out, and it has come a long way
since the old Apple II days. (they snubbed us back then too...) but you
can help here too. The have had one of the longest continously developing
RPG system around, and it shows. Sir-Tech, Ogdensburg, NY (315) 393-6633.

Not to slight Steel Talons, (not that I could!) but NovaLogic also has an
exciting helocopter simulator, this one based on the experimental RAH-66
Comanche. The backgrounds are amazing, stippled and shaded realistic
lanscapes flow by, and they claim a one minute learning curve to be able
to handle this puppy. This need for computing power is amazing with this
program. On a PC, a 386DX (the real one, not the puny 386SX) or a 486 with
4 megs of linear memory is required! Comanche is a great program and
perfect for the Atari Falcon030. I don't have their phone number yet, but
here is the address. 19510 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 200, Tarzana, CA 91356.

This is not the end of the story, but the beginning. The coming months
will see the Atari Falcon030 start to arrive here, and you can be sure to 
find many interesting titles to run on your new machine. I will be
bringing you the names of new neat software to play and exciting things on
other platforms, so you can bug them to bring it on over to the best
computer to play games with - the Atari Falcon030. Of course, you could
always dig out that copy of Dungeon Master and have your own private blast
from the past!


                              --==--==--==--==--


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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                              --==--==--==--==--


 |||  The ALBERT File: CD-ROM & Photo CD ...... Coming to an Atari near you
 |||  By: Albert Dayes
/ | \ CompuServe: 70007,3615   GEnie: AEO.1
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------

/***********************************************************************
    Title:          CD.DOC

    Created:        December 10,  1992
    Last Modified:  December 31,  1992

    Purpose:        A Guide to Optical Storage with a special focus on
                    CD-ROM and Kodak's Photo CD on the Atari platform.

    Author:         Albert Dayes

    Legal Notes:    Copyright 1992 Albert Dayes, All Rights Reserved
                    Some portions Copyright 1992 Rich Bowers, used by
                    permission.
 
    Version:        1.0
***********************************************************************/

           CD-ROM on the Atari Platform NOW!


Atari owners have been waiting with baited breath for CD-ROM to arrive
on the Atari platform. Actually the CD-ROM portion has been around for
quite a while but now you can add Photo CD to the long list of tools
available on the Atari ST, TT030, and Falcon030.

This is a guide to CD-ROM in general and what it all means to the user.
Its purpose is to go beyond the endless lists of terms on optical media
and CD-ROM and explain how it can work for you. Included is a glossary 
of terms so one can have something to refer to when an unknown term 
appears.  

Thanks are in order to several people but one in particular is Rich 
Bowers (CO-SYSOP on CD-ROM forum on COMPUSERVE) who provided answers to
quite a few questions in this document. He does an outstanding job as you
will notice when you start reading it.

/***********************************************************************/

Special Thanks to:

Steve Luper      = Sysop of the CD-ROM forum on COMPUSERVE  (GO CD-ROM)

Rich Bowers      = Co-Sysop of the CD-ROM forum on COMPUSERVE and Executive
                   Director of Optical Publishing Association (OPA).  Rich
                   willingly provided answers to some of the questions in
                   this document; specifically questions: A, B, C, D, E,
                   which are Copyright 1992 Rich Bowers.

Paul McAfee      = of Kodak (Press Relations Manager for Photo CD) - for
                   all his help with my Photo CD questions.  Also for all
                   of Kodak's Press Releases dealing with Photo CD.

Scott Brownstein = Manager of Advanced Projects at Kodak - for answering
                   questions on technical details on CD technology and
                   Photo CD.

Additional Thanks:

Ron Luks        = Chief Sysop of the Atari forums on COMPUSERVE (GO ATARI)

Paul Wisotzke   = of Kodak Information Center (KIC)

Joel White      = of Kodak Information Center (KIC)

/********************************************************************/

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A) What is CD-ROM?
B) What is the difference between "disc" and "disk"?
C) How standardized is CD-ROM?
D) What is SCSI and why is it important to CD-ROM?
E) How is CD-ROM related to laserdisc (videodisc)?
F) What are the CD-ROM standards?
G) What benefit is CD-ROM to me?
H) How much does it cost to make my own CD-ROM disc?
I) What is Kodak's Photo CD?
J) What is multi-session and why is it important to Photo CD?
K) Summary of an interview Scott Brownstein - manager of Advanced Projects
   at Kodak.
L) Which is the best CD-ROM drive to buy for use on the Atari?

CONTACTS for ATARI Related CD-ROM and/or PHOTO CD products.

ISO-9660 filesystem made EASY

MULTI-SESSION made EASY

Making My OWN CD-ROM made EASY

An Atari Dream CD-ROM

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

CD-ROM DRIVE MANUFACTURERS

SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON OPTICAL MEDIA and SPECIFICATIONS


/*********************************************************************/
--==-- A) What is CD-ROM?

Physically, CD-ROM is the same compact disc that has become the standard
for the delivery of music. It is a plastic disc, 4-3/4" (12cm) in 
diameter, on which data is recorded digitally. There is also a 3-1/2"
(8cm) form factor, equivalent to the mini-disc music product (although
this size is currently used only in Sony's Data DiscMan portable reader).
Because compact disc is a digital medium, it is a natural for delivery of
information of a variety of types - text, photos, audio,
computer-generated graphics, video and software - to a computer host.

CD-ROM has many unique features that suit it to information delivery. It
has a capacity of approximately 650 million characters (about 200 million
characters for the mini-disc). This capacity is analogous to any number of
measures. It is equivalent to over 1500 high-density floppies (1.44
megabyte disk size), or over 200,000 pages of printed text. By using a
lower sampling frequency for recording audio, it can hold many hours of
sound. It can hold upwards of 10,000 high quality photographs. By using
compression and decompression techniques (in partnership with the host
computer), these numbers can be greatly increased.

It is a very durable delivery medium. It is not indestructible, but it is
not subject to magnetic fields as hard disks are, and it can be mailed
with minimal protection. The disc itself weighs only an ounce or two, and
thus is highly portable. Technical standards enable a CD-ROM to be
"portable," in a computer sense, across many types of systems.

Because compact discs are mastered and inexpensively replicated in 
quantity, CD-ROM is an ideal medium for "publishing" many copies of large
volumes of information. Because the discs are digital and have a high
capacity, they are amenable to entirely new categories of products - such
as multimedia - which have not been "published" in the past, because there
was no practical means to do so.

Thus there are large databases that have formerly been accessible only
online being published, in whole or in part, on CD-ROM. We see multimedia
presentations, which formerly were only accessible from large magnetic
discs, being packaged and distributed like other publications. CD-ROM has
inspired new methods for the delivery of existing materials, it has
inspired the creation of radically new materials, and it has inspired a
complete re-thinking of traditional publishing and distribution processes.
For this reason, we see CD-ROM as the catalyst and the means for a
"revolution" in publishing.

Compact disc was created and defined in a series of proprietary standards
by a joint effort of Sony and Philips. Compact disc-audio was introduced
as a commercial product in 1982. The first CD-ROM applications were
introduced for sale in late 1985. CD-I was announced in 1986, the first
commercial products were sold in the fall of 1991. CDTV was first sold in
the spring of 1991. The MPC specification was introduced in 1991, and the
first MPC-compliant upgrade kits and titles were launched in late 1991. Of
course, there are new CD-ROM based devices coming from Sony (via the
handheld Data Discman and the so-called Bookman), Tandy (VIS) and
cartridge-based game systems producers like Sega, NEC and Nintendo.

CD-ROM differs from CD-audio in that certain data are added to meet the
needs of computer operating systems, and to assure that the data you
receive are the same as the data originally recorded. To meet the needs of
a computer's operating system, a header is required that describes the
nature and location of the data on the disc. This is called a
volume-table-of contents, or VTOC in computer-ese. The integrity of the
data is assured through the use of multiple layers of error-correction 
codes, which further distinguish CD-ROM from CD-audio. The structure and
use of these components are mandated by standards such as the Yellow Book
(which defines the recording of data for computer use, extending the
CD-audio standard described in the Red Book), and ISO 9660, an
international standard that defines the VTOC.

Within these constraints, there are many ways to deliver information for
specific platforms and applications. These differing methods have lead to
the proliferation of "CD-ROM formats" - such as CD-ROM-XA, CD-I and so 
forth. These are described in detail below. However, all formats conform
first to the CD-audio standard, second to the CD-ROM standard, and third
to the extended specifications required for each format. In short, CD-I is
a format of CD-ROM, CDTV is a format of CD-ROM, etc.

CD-ROM requires a computer to read, interpret and display data, and to 
deal with the interactive nature of CD-ROM access and use. The initial
products were exclusively computer host-based: the drive is attached as a
peripheral to a personal computer. In recent years, a new category of
products has emerged: the so-called "information appliances," such as
CD-I, VIS, Data Discman, etc. These products also use computers, but the
computer-ness is embedded in the use of the product. The technical aspects
of many of these products are described below.


--==-- B) What is the difference between "disc" and "disk"?

The convention is that "disc" refers to optical media, while "disk" refers
to magnetic media. The distinction is important, because the different
spellings signify very different products. Most trade media seem to be
oblivious to the distinction.

By the way, the absolutely correct way of referring to CDROM is "CD-ROM."
This author and others often remove the hyphen because a) it does not 
change the meaning and b) it is easier to type. CD-ROM should not be
shortened to "CDR" because CD-R refers to compact disc-recordable 
systems, or CD-Write Once.


--==-- C) How standardized is CD-ROM?

CD-ROM is one of the most thoroughly standardized computer sub-systems in
the history of the business. The medium is standard, and the drives that
read the medium are defined by standards. The format of the header which
enables cross-platform access to data - ISO 9660 - is standardized.

Not all is perfect, however. CD-ROM developers must do business in the
real world comprised of a variety of computer platforms, operating
systems, and other factors. So the information content on a CD-ROM remains
- to some extent - dependent on the system which will access and use the
data.


--==-- D) What is SCSI, and why is it important to CD-ROM?

The Small Computer System Interface (SCSI - generally pronounced
"scuzzee"), is a standard which permits the connection of up to 7 
different devices to the host computer. Each device still requires its own
driver software.

The use of SCSI requires an interface board inserted in an expansion slot 
of a PC. Macintosh and UNIX systems are natively SCSI-based. One advantage
of SCSI is that expansion slots are conserved - instead of a proprietary
interface board required for each device, several can share the same
interface. Devices such as scanners, printers, hard drives, CD-R drives
like Philips CDD-521, MO drives, WORM drives, and some network cards
(usually ethernet), can use SCSI in addition to CD-ROM drives.

Virtually all CD-ROM drive manufacturers have one or more models that are
SCSI compatible. In most cases, the consumer has a choice of acquiring the
interface board from the CD-ROM drive vendor, or using a board from a 
third party. At the risk of offending some vendors by exclusion, note that
interfaces from Adaptec, UltraStor and Future Domain receive many comments
on the CD-ROM Forum.

A new variation on SCSI has emerged. The original standard, now called
SCSI-1, has been enhanced with a new specification called SCSI-2. SCSI-2
has standardized audio commands for CD-ROM drives. So using a SCSI-2
"play" command will work on all SCSI-2 CD-ROM drives, eliminating the need
for unique audio device drivers for each CD-ROM drive. SCSI-2 is
backwardly compatible with SCSI-1, so a SCSI-1 device will work with a
SCSI-2 interface board.

In addition, SCSI-2 will offer faster transfer speed for devices that can
support it, and the capability to transfer 16- and 32-bit paths in 
addition to the normal 8-bits. Standard SCSI connectors have 50 pins, a
new wide SCSI has a 68-pin connector. SCSI-2 has not been formally
approved yet, although some vendors are offering products with these
features.

(My thanks to Albert Dayes for providing the majority of this data.)

 NOTE:  The Atari TT is SCSI based and the Atari Falcon030 is SCSI-2 
        based, and with Atari and third party host adapters like ICD one
        can have SCSI-1 or SCSI-2 adapters available for use on the Atari
        ST series of computers.


--==-- E) How is CD-ROM related to laserdisc (videodisc)?

In the mid-1970's a number of companies introduced a 12" disc product
which could deliver movies and other graphical/video content superior to
that of videotape formats. What we know now as the laserdisc, or
videodisc, has been up, and it has been down, in terms of market 
acceptance. It has been of consistent interest for training and
educational purposes, because it provided an "interactive" capability for
the use of video material that tape does not provide. Recently, videodisc
has seen a resurgence in the consumer marketplace.

Laserdisc is an analog format: the data are recorded on the disc just as
in any other analog medium like video or audio tape. CD-ROM is a digital
format. Laserdisc gives a superior quality video picture and high quality
sound. Laserdisc is not a good medium for delivery of text, software or
manipulatable data elements. Digital video technology is still being
perfected, but no one would claim that CD-ROM can deliver as a good a tv
picture as laserdisc.

The advantage CD-ROM brings to the table is the ability to mix and match a
wide variety of data elements through retrieval or authoring software. If
the sole requirement of the consumer is high-quality video, then laserdisc
is the right product to buy. If, however, the requirement is for random
access to large volumes of mixed-format data, a high degree of 
interactivity, or converging published data with other computer
applications, then CD-ROM is the right product. It is this flexibility
(albeit with limitations in the video arena) that has captured the
attention of many new publishers.


--==-- F) What are the CD-ROM standards?

The standards have two levels, the physical and logical level. The 
physical defines how the actual disc is made (size, material, etc). The
logical defines how a device driver or operating system will view the data
that is placed on the disc.

There is a broad standard that gives the physical characteristics of the
disc and this is called the "Yellow Book." The "Yellow Book" defines all
the physical requirements for any CD-ROM disc. The "Yellow Book" has
everything basically that the "Red Book" has and more. Audio CDs are
defined by the "Red Book," and the "Yellow Book" allows for CD-ROM to have
either data or audio tracks or a hybrid that allows for both types of
tracks on a CD-ROM. This hybrid is usually referred to as mixed mode.

The logical format one can also think of as the filesystem of the CD-ROM.
In the 1986 the High Sierra format was made and when the ISO 
(International Standards Organization) modified it became the ISO-9660
standard. This ISO-9660 standard is very important since it allows for any
type of system to be able to read it. Platform independence was one of the
very important features of the ISO-9660 standard. One does notice that it
has a strong MS-DOS influence in its overall design and in some of the
limits.

It is important to note that logical format can be any filesystem and does
not necessarily mean ISO-9660. For example some discs are in Apple
Macintosh HFS (Hierarchical File System) rather than ISO-9660.

CD-ROM/XA allows everything listed above and it added a compressed audio
capability. Also, the layouts of the tracks on the physical disc have been
modified to allow for more specific track information. CD-I and Photo CD
are built on top of this enhancement to CD-ROM. The audio is ADPCM and it
is interleaved with data. This allows for nicely synchronized audio
without taking away CPU time. It is not used very much currently but this
may change in the future.

Rich Bowers, Executive Director of the OPA sums it up nicely.

    Its primary purpose was to interleave audio with other data, in effect
    to synchronize audio with a visual presentation.  Think in terms of
    making the sound come out in synch with the lips moving.

    When you consider it, there are basically two kinds of data: those
    which are time-sequence dependent and those which are not. A database
    retrieval or the presentation of a single graphic is independent of
    other data from a time perspective. Audio is absolutely tied to a
    time-sequence. Video data is also dependent on time-sequencing,
    although we have some freedom in representing motion because the
    psychological phenomenon that lets us fill in the blanks in our minds,
    in essence to see things that aren't there. Audio is less flexible
    that way.

    XA is a physical means of storing data that depends on the
    time-sequencing of related data. A new standard called HyTime (about
    which I hope to have a file uploaded soon) is a production technique
    for dealing with time-sequenced data, based on the SGML mark-up
    strategy.


Rock Ridge extensions to the ISO-9660 standard allow all the features of
the UNIX filesystem to be used. These extra information is stored the
System Use fields defined in the ISO-9660 standard. The information that
is stored there for UNIX/POSIX include uid, gid, permissions, file mode
bits, file types, setuid, setgid, sticky bit, file links, device nodes,
symbolic links, POSIX filenames, reconstruction of deep directories and
time stamps.


--==-- G) What benefit is CD-ROM to me?

The benefits can be quite numerous once you start listing all of them.
First we can discuss some of the possible uses for CD-ROMs.

Desk Top Publishing = Large amount of clip art, fonts and images can be
& Graphic Designers   found for relatively low cost from many vendors.
                      Kodak Photo CD's can have a great impact in this
                      area as well.

Musicians &         = CD-ROM discs can hold a huge amount of different
Audio Engineers       samples and sound effects covering a large range
                      of topics at a very reasonable cost. Generic
                      sequences for MIDI will also be available in the
                      future.

Writers             = Reference materials including dictionaries,
                      quotations and complete works by a large variety
                      of authors on one disc.

Programmers         = Walnut Creek has 600 megabytes of source code for
                      under $40. Being able to store all that source
                      code in a concise place is a major benefit of
                      CD-ROM. One can get C source code which includes
                      a part of BSD UNIX (including the networking code),
                      X-Windows (X11R5), and entire GNU source code for
                      under $50. The entire library of the C USERS
                      JOURNAL plus all of the program source code 
                      listings in the magazine (since 1987) for $50.

Marketing Managers  = Census data can be purchased on CD-ROM in a raw
                      ascii data format and can be loaded into a database
                      or spreadsheet for endless "what if" type of
                      manipulation. Also there are many CD-ROMs that
                      target specific geographical regions that can be
                      very useful for niche markets.

Space Exploration   = One can purchase CD-ROMs from the different space
                      missions for under $10 each from the NASA Space
                      Science Data Center.

Geology and         = The US Geological survey has quite a few CD-ROMs
Mapping               consisting of the entire USA or specific geographical
                      regions for quite a low cost. One interested in
                      graphics could generate some nice 3D graphic models.

Games               = Games are coming to CD-ROM slowly but surely.

Health Providers    = Important Medical Journals, and medical research
                      papers are available now on CD-ROM.

Lawyers             = There are a few CD-ROMs of all the laws for specific
                      states and even compilations from West Publishing, 
                      one of the largest law publishers which also includes
                      an on-line service for lawyers.

Optical Publishing  = Custom designed CD-ROMs that contain complete
                      specifications and documents is a very strong
                      growing area of the CD-ROM market. This also
                      includes multi-media titles as well and much
                      more.

Education           = Interactive learning using multi-media on CD-ROMs.
                      Research papers and much more are available in this
                      exploding market.

Religion            = The Bible (in many versions), Koran and many other
                      works from different religions all on one disc.

Family Album        = Store all the family pictures on a single disc using 
                      Photo CD.

Anyone              = Archiving important data for later retrieval. This
                      data can be anything: financial, marketing, C source
                      code, software, games, papers, audio, etc.

General             = There is a tremendous amount of information on 
                      CD-ROM discs in just plain ASCII format that anyone
                      can use with their computer. Just import it into
                      a word processor, spreadsheet or database and
                      there are endless possibilities.

One could go on and on about the possibilities.


What types are available for the Atari currently?

All discs that are ISO-9660 compliant and contain raw data, sound, clip 
art, images, etc, can be used on the Atari immediately. Currently there
are not any CD-ROMs specifically designed for the Atari ST except for a
couple that include many different shareware programs. You can not run
programs on CD-ROMs designed for other platforms like the IBM PC or the
MAC; it just like attempting to run a PC program from your Atari... it
won't work.

This will change once more people get CD-ROM drives on the Atari and start
asking for titles. The Atari Falcon030 and the TT030 have both been to 
shown to work with Kodak's Photo CD at the recent Fall 1992 Comdex show. 
It was working directly with an application (a DeskTop Publishing program)
called Calamus SL.  

The key here is the hardware and software is available to use CD-ROMs on
the Atari is available NOW! Both Atari and ICD have drivers available that
work with SCSI CD-ROM drives.


--==-- H) How much does it cost to produce my own CD-ROM disc?

One can take 600 megabytes of a hard disk and save it to tape, then send
to some specific publishers and they will convert it to a single CD-ROM
for $200. One could probably use Beckemeyer's SCSI TAPE KIT or Oregon
Research Associates Diamond Back III to perform that operation.

One should check to be sure that the publisher can handle the current tape
format. The format usually used is TAR. TAR allows for files to be backed
up and restored on many different platforms. In addition, it can split
large files and each tape is independent of the other tapes when it comes
to restoration.

If one wants to be able to create One-Offs or CD-WO discs one needs to
spend around $12,000 for everything one would need. Then you can create
your own discs at your convenience and then send it off to the duplicator
for more copies when you need to. The CD-WO media is under $50 so it isn't
too expensive from a media point of view.

The most expensive part of the creating One-Offs is CD-Writer itself which
ranges from around $7000 and up depending on the features available.  
These devices are usually SCSI devices and create a CD disc (audio or 
data) in about 30 to 70 minutes on average. The software to create a disc
image (usually called the pre-mastering phase) is around $2500 and up.
Plus a computer to handle all of that can be $3000 and up. Prices are
dropping all the time so it might now be too long before many people have
personal CD-Writers.


--==-- I) What is Kodak's Photo CD?

Is a new standard based upon an extension CD-ROM/XA specification since
it adds additional information at the track level. This new format is
called the CD-Bridge format and it is what Kodak's Photo CD is based on.

    The Photo CD system, jointly developed by Eastman Kodak Company
    and Philips stores 35-mm photographs as well as text, graphics
    and sound on compact discs.  It offers several benefits to
    consumers and professionals:

    * rapid retrieval and display of images

    * consistent and optimum image quality

    * access to powerful image manipulation

    * access to high-quality, continuous tone printing

    * support for a wide range of colors;

    * image duplication without degradation

    * support for current and future television formats


How much does it cost to get my film on a Photo CD?

The average cost is around $24 for an average roll of film. One gets the
negatives, prints and a Photo CD. One should contact their local
photofinisher or Kodak for the location of the one in your area.

The picture resolutions range from 128 x 192 to 2048 x 3072 and all 5
resolutions are in 24-bit color. How big is image of the highest
resolution?  It is around 20 megabytes in size. One can place between 100
- 150 images (PAC) on a MASTER Photo CD. Software is available on
computers that can convert these formats to a compatible graphic standard
(ie GIF, TIFF, TARGA, etc). The five picture formats that are included in
each image PAC are as follows:

Image     Resolution
==========================

Base/16 = 128 x 192  pixels
Base/4  = 256 x 384  pixels
Base    = 512 x 768  pixels
4Base   = 1024 x 1536  pixels
16Base  = 2048 x 3072  pixels

In image PAC is a compressed form that includes all 5 resolutions of a
single image and ranges from 4 to 6 megabytes on average. When used in a
program, the image is decompressed so that it can be displayed.

Stand-alone Photo CD players will play both standard audio CDs and display
Photo CD images on the television screen. Anyone will be able to enlarge
and manipulate the Photo CD images on a television to create custom Photo
CD albums with the players. Kodak's Photo CD players and Philips CD-I
players both work quite nicely.


For use with a CD-ROM on a computer system one needs to have the following:

* CD-ROM/XA (mode 2 from 1 sectors) and CD-BRIDGE format compatibility
* Display system (24-bit color is recommended for best results)
* Software driver that can read/access Photo CD discs.

In the future, Kodak Photo CD logos will be placed on compatible drives.


How is a photograph placed on a Photo CD?

* KODAK PCD Film Scanner digitizes 35-mm negatives or slides. The film is
  scanned at a minimum resolution of 2048 x 3072. The three RGB values
  (primary colors Red, Green, and Blue) are given 12-bits each for color
  values.

* Image data is encoded and color adjustments are performed in addition to
  compression. This is all done to achieve consistent, high quality
  prints. The image color is reduced to 24-bits.

* The digitized image is then written to a Photo CD disc. It is written to
  disc via CD-Writer device.

/**** A Graphical view of the Kodak Photo CD Finishing Process ****/

PCD = Photo CD


          [ EXPOSED FILM ]
                 |
                 |
          [ FILM PROCESS ] -> [ PRINTER/PAPER PROCESS ]
                 |                       |
                 |                       |
       [Negatives (or Slides)]   [ CONSUMER PRINTS]
                 |
                 |
      [KODAK PCD Film Scanner]
                 |
                 |
[KODAK PCD Data Manager (computer)] -> [KODAK PCD Printer]
                 |                             |
                 |                             |
         [KODAK PCD WRITER ]          [KODAK Index Print]
                 |
                 |
                 |
         [ Kodak Photo CD disc ]
                 |
         |-------|------------------------------------|
         |                                            |
         |                                            |
         |                                            |
   Home TV Viewing                           Personal Compututing
         |                                            |
         |                                            |
 [Kodak Photo CD Player]                  [CD-ROM (XA, Multi-Session) ]


One can find out more information on Photo CD by contacting
the Kodak Information Center (KIC).


--==-- J) What is multi-session and why is it important to Photo CD?

Multi-Session is the ability to read more than one table of contents. One
can think of a book when thinking of table of contents. A single session
drive can only read one session. This is similar to a 10 chapter book and
only being able to read the first chapter. With multi-session, one can 
read all sessions that were written at different times. If this were a
book you would be able to read all 10 chapters.

The advantage of multi-session is being able to place photographs taken at
different times. For example if one takes pictures during summer vacation
they can be placed on a Photo CD disc. At Christmas time you take more
pictures and they can be added to the disc as well. Every time one adds a
new set of pictures to a disc it is called a session. So one can see what
a useful feature Multi-Session capability is.

NOTE: Multi-Session works with all forms of CD-ROM data including Kodak's
      Photo CD. So having multi-session one is not limited to the types of
      data that can be added to the disc later on.


--==-- K) Interview with Scott Brownstein - Manager Advanced Projects at 
          Kodak (summary of the interview)

AD = Albert Dayes
SB = Scott Brownstein


AD: How long was the development process for Photo CD?
SB: Approximately 5 years.

AD: Ending in January 1992?
SB: Yes

AD: What computer was used for the development of Photo CD?
SB: Many different types ranging from MACs to VAX clusters to
    Sun SPARCstations, etc.

AD: There are currently only 5 formats for Photo CD including
    Master, PRO, Catalog, Medical and Portfolio.

NOTE: a general overview of the different formats was not part
      of the interview.

    MASTER format has a pac format with 5 different resolutions and can
    store about 100 to 150 images.

    PRO format which has higher resolution and supports larger film
    formats other than 35-mm. These include 70mm, 120mm and 4 x 5 inch,
    etc.

    CATALOG format has low resolution than base images and can contain up
    to 6000 images.

    MEDICAL format is for storing CT (Computed Tomography) and MRI
    (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) pictures in addition to standard film
    formats. It can also be used for other diagnostic scans like
    Ultrasound, PET (Positron Emission Tomographic) and Angiogram.

    PORTFOLIO format allows the mixing of images, text and audio and
    branching capability, all on one disc. These images are base
    resolution.

END NOTE:

AD: How does the Catalog format work?
SB: It contains about 800 video pages and each page can have multiple
    images on it. Each image has an index and can be used to present a
    presentation. Using indexes and branching one can generate a unique
    presentation.

    Using Kodak's Shoebox software you can find any image by using a
    keyword search. The Shoebox software works with smaller storage
    requirements all the way up to very large jukeboxes with a capability
    of over 100 Photo CD discs on-line at one time.

AD: And the Portfolio?
SB: It allows for the mixing of text, audio and images and Kodak will have
    authoring tools out in 1993. The audio in this case can be either CD
    audio (Red Book) or ADPCM. The branching is just an access method and
    in this case interactive programmed access.

AD: What makes the PRO format different from the MASTER format?
SB: The PRO format can use film sizes larger than 35-mm and allows for a
    max resolution of 8,000 x 12,000. It also has data encryption and
    security features. For example watermarking. Each image can be given
    its own unique key to effectively lock the image.

    The watermark allows for the picture to display but have a message
    across it like "PROOF" or "COPYRIGHT 1992", etc. So without knowing
    the key this watermark will always be displayed on top of the image.
    Once the person uses the correct key then the watermark will be
    removed from the image being displayed.

AD: Are images scanned at 24-bit resolution?
SB: No, they are scanned at 12-bits per RGB (Red, Green and Blue values).
    The software then compresses it to 24-bits.

    The 24-bits is actually made up of 8-bits for luminance and the rest
    for chroma.

AD: What is Kodak's Picture Exchange?
SB: Basically it allows people to store images on a consignment basis.  
    The fees are based on storage, referral and cross platform.

AD: How does one access Kodak's Picture Exchange?
SB: Anything with 9.6 (9600 baud) and higher can have access.

AD: What has been the response to Photo CD?
SB: It has been extremely positive. Having cross platform capability and
    ISO-9660 helps quite a bit. In addition it reaches both the low and
    the high end with the same technology. Also with Kodak providing
    automatic scanning equipment speeds up the process of translating film
    to Photo CD discs.

AD: What about multi-session? Are all of Kodak's Photo CD players
    multi-session?
SB: Yes all Kodak's Photo CD players are multi-session and so are CD-I
    players. The newer CD-ROM drives are also getting that capability as
    well. In addition they can all play regular audio CDs.

AD: What about CD-WO and multi-session?
SB: This entire area of CD technology is very exciting. So instead of
    being stuck with a 100 megabyte CD you can now add to it. One can add
    any type of data because of multi-session technology. Since there is
    no blank spaces between the data after the drive reads it, it will
    think that it has just a larger CD-ROM. Normal CD-audio will not work
    since it is not part of the specification. It is a problem with audio
    CDs needing TOCs. But if the audio is recorded in the first session it
    will be fine.

    The advantage of this technology is 1) it is WRITABLE and 2) it is
    PRESSABLE. Consider the low cost of floppy disks but then think of
    long it takes to write data to one. Once you have a CD you can just
    have them pressed. The average time to press a CD is about 4 to 6
    seconds or approximately 100 megabytes per second. It makes perfect
    distribution and duplication sense. With a recordable CD it is almost
    the same as having a 600 megabyte floppy.

AD: What is the most important aspect of Kodak Photo CD technology?
SB: Actually there are three things:
    a) cross platform
    b) digital audio and digital video
    c) high end (PRO market) and low end (Consumer market)

AD: Thank you


--==-- L) Which is the best CD-ROM drive to buy?

First thing it must be a SCSI CD-ROM drive! If you just want to read data
disks you can buy one of the older generation drives. Make sure that the
maker of the driver software has tested your drive so you will not be 
stuck when it doesn't work. In this case contact ICD or Atari. Also if you
need Photo CD compatibility you need one that is both multi-session and
CD-ROM/XA compatible. Most of these new drives are either just becoming
available or will be coming out in early 1993. Price range is under $800.

The drivers for regular CD-ROMs are available from Atari and ICD. One
should contact either of the two companies for additional information.

At COMDEX, in the Atari Booth the CD-ROM drive being used for Photo CD was
a Toshiba TXM3301B1. This is a single-session model and software at the
time was only single session.

Currently the software only supports MULTI-SESSION on the TT030 and Atari 
Falcon030, and only SINGLE session on the ST. It is a possibility that
multi-session capability will work on the ST in the future. Michael
Bernards wrote the driver software for Photo CD on the Atari and Calamus
SL (DTP) Photo CD access software.

Calamus SL has an Photo CD importer that supports all five resolutions of
an image.

One should contact the references given below for additional information
on availability of the Photo CD drivers. Kodak certifies CD-ROM drives
that are compatible with Photo CD as well. The best method is to ask on an
on-line service and consult magazines or call the Kodak Information
Center. Also consult with the maker of driver software since they usually
have a compatibility list of drives they have tested as well.

Toshiba, Pioneer, Sony and other have stated they will have CD-ROM drives
that will support CD-ROM/XA, multi-session and Photo CD.

The current CD-ROM/XA, multi-session Photo CD compatible drive from
Toshiba is TXM3301E1. This one is the only one currently shipping. 
Upgrades from earlier versions of the TXM3301 are possible (depending on
serial number) contact Toshiba for more information.

The year 1993 is not only the year of the Atari Falcon030 but the year of 
the CD-ROM/XA multi-session CD-ROM drives. Many will be coming out all
during the 1993 year and prices are dropping!


RECOMMENDATION:  Buy a CD-ROM/XA multi-session SCSI drive. The cost is not
                 that much higher than normal SCSI drives and you will be
                 able to enjoy a long future with Photo CD and CD-ROM.

Summary:

For general use:

1) SCSI CD-ROM drive (external)*
2) SCSI host adapter (TT030 and Atari Falcon030 have built in SCSI ports. 
                     The ST family requires SCSI host adapters like 
                     ICD).
3) SCSI driver software that supports CD-ROM drives. **
4) SCSI cables and power cables as needed.

For multi-session, and Photo CD support:

1) SCSI CD-ROM/XA, multi-session and Photo CD (external)*
2) SCSI host adapter (TT030 and Atari Falcon030 have built in SCSI ports. 
                     The ST family requires SCSI host adapters like 
                     ICD). ****
3) SCSI driver software that supports CD-ROM drives. **
4) SCSI driver software for Photo CD support.***
5) SCSI cables and power cables as needed.


* Internal drives are possible but require additional work. Contact your
  dealer for more information.

** Be sure your CD-ROM drive has been tested with CD-ROM driver software
   before purchasing one.

*** Be sure your CD-ROM drive has been tested with both the CD-ROM driver
    software and Photo CD software before purchasing one.

**** The Photo CD software driver for the ST is currently single session
     only.


/*********************************************************************/
CONTACTS for ATARI related CD-ROM and PHOTO CD products.


Atari Corporation
1196 Borregas Ave.
P.O.Box 61657
Sunnyvale, CA 94088
USA
(408) 745-2000

They also can be contacted on GEnie.

Products: MetaDOS, CD-ROM drivers, Photo CD drivers, Developer 
information, Photo CD developers' kit



Beckemeyer Development Tools
P.O.Box 21575
Oakland, CA 94620
(510) 530-9637
(510) 530-0451 (fax)

Products: Hard disk backup, optimization software, SCSI Tape backup
software


ICD
1220 Rock Street
Rockford, IL 61101-1437
USA
(800) 373-7700 (orders)
(815) 968-2228
(815) 968-6888 fax

COMPUSERVE: Atari Vendors forum (GO ATARIVEN)
GENIE:      ICD RoundTable

Products: SCSI Host Adapters, SCSI Driver Software and CD-ROM driver 
software


DMC PUBLISHING
2800 John Street, Suite 10
Markham, Ontario L3R 0E2
CANADA
(416) 479-1880
(416) 479-1882 (fax)
(was ISD Marketing at one time)

GEnie:      ISD
COMPUSERVE: Atari Vendors forum (GO ATARIVEN)
DELPHI:     ISDMARKETING

Products: Photo CD importer for Calamus SL (DTP) supporting all 5 
resolutions.


Oregon Research Associates
16200 S.W. Pacific Highway, Suite 162
Tigard, OR 97224
(503) 620-4919
(503) 639-6182 (fax)

GEnie: ORA.TECH
 
Products: Hard disk backup and optimization software, SCSI Tape backup
software


/*************************************************************************/
ISO-9660 filesystem made EASY


This is a very simple filesystem and it very easy to understand. The first
thing that happens it sector #16 is read. It then checks for the primary
volume descriptor.
                                     ____
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15- |16|  <---------- 
                                     ----            |
                                                     |
                                                     |
                                                     |
                                                     |
Check sector 16 for a Primary Volume Descriptor ------

If Sector 16 contains the Primary Volume Descriptor then jump to the root
directory. The root directory is given as an absolute sector number within
the primary volume descriptor.

PRIMARY_VOLUME_DESCRIPTOR
  {
   ID = "CD001";
   other information;
   location of root directory on the disc; ----
   size of root directory;                    |
   other information;                         |
  }                                           |
                                              |
                                              |
                                              |
                                              |
ROOT DIRECTORY <-------------------------------

The root directory contains the list of files and sub-directories. All
files and directories on an ISO-9660 CD-ROM are called directory records.

Here is an example of a root directory:

file_1.txt;1   <----- file
file_2.doc;3   <------------- file
sub_dir.;2     <----- sub directory

If we want to examine file_1.txt;1 and we read the directory record. The
directory record indicates what sector (absolute) that the file starts on
and how long the file is in bytes.

FILE_1.TXT;1
  {
   other information;
   location of file on the disc;-----------------
   size of the file (in bytes or characters);   |
  }                                             |
                                                |
                                                |
                                                |
                                                |
data for the file <------------------------------

Now suppose we want to go to the sub-directory named sub_dir.;2

SUB_DIR.;2
  {
   other information;
   location of sub directory on the disc;-----------------
   size of the sub directory (in bytes or characters);   |
  }                                                      |
                                                         |
                                                         |
data for sub directory <----------------------------------

The data for this sub-directory is different than the file. The data is a
list of all the files and sub directories in the directory. The size of
this sub-directory is given by its length in bytes.

An example of the data in the sub-directory;

.     <---- current sub-directory
..    <---- parent directory of this sub-directory named sub_dir.;2
file_99.doc;1

To read the file_99.doc;1 one uses the same method out-lined earlier to
get to file_1.txt;1.

The question is now how do we get back to the parent directory?  We read
the ".." directory record. Then jump to the location (absolute) sector of
the current directory's parent which in this case is the root directory.

..
  {
   other information;
   location of parent directory; ----|
   size of parent directory;         |
  }                                  |
                                     |
                                     |
parent directory data <---------------

The parent directory is read and its contents displayed. In this case the
parent directory is the root directory.

file_1.txt;1   <----- file
file_2.doc;3   <------------- file
sub_dir.;2     <----- sub directory

We are back to where we started again. It is not very hard to follow it at
all. It very similar to the filesystem in our Atari and IBM PC computers,
you might have noticed.

The filenames and sub-directory names look strange. Basically the
filenames are the same type as on the Atari. Its 8.3 format (for example
ATARI456.DOC) is very familiar. There is some extra characters on the end
and they add a version number. For example on some computers like
Digital's VAX every time you save the file the version number is updated.

For Example:

file.dat;1

save the file again

file.dat;2     <----- version number is updated after the file is saved.

Other than a few small things, ISO-9660 and the Atari filesystem are very
similar. As one can see the ISO-9660 CD-ROM filesystem is even simpler
than the normal Atari filesystems. For more technical details on the
ISO-9660 standard one needs to buy the ISO-9660 specification since it is
copyrighted by ISO.


/*********************************************************************/
MULTI-SESSION made EASY


When the CD-ROM drive first spins up it checks for the presence of a TOC
(table of contents) on the CD. This gives information about how big the
disc is in general terms. The first TOC is always in the same location so
all CD-ROM drives and Audio CD players check for its presence everytime
they are turned on.

With Multi-Session the entire disc has to be checked to see if more than
one session exists. The disc has a beginning and ending for each session
on the disc. So on a multi-session disc there will be several TOCs and
beginning and ending sections one for each session. The beginning and
ending sections are usually referred to lead in and lead out.

LI = (lead in) beginning
LO = (lead out) end
TOC = Table Of Contents (which is actually part of the lead in section)

/*-------------------------------------------------------------------*/

SINGLE session disc:

LI-TOC-INFORMATION-LO

/*--------------------------------------------------------------------*/

MULTI-session disc:

LI-TOC-INFORMATION-LO  (session 1)
LI-TOC-INFORMATION-LO  (session 2)
LI-TOC-INFORMATION-LO  (session 3)
LI-TOC-INFORMATION-LO  (session 4)
       .
       .
LI-TOC-INFORMATION-LO  (session n)

/*-------------------------------------------------------------------*/

Who says CD-ROM/XA multi-session drives tell the truth?

The CD-ROM/XA multi-session drive looks at a disc and reads the first 
Table Of Contents. The software driver asks if the CD-ROM/XA 
multi-session drive has found the end yet. The CD-ROM drive lies and says
no and continues searching until it finds the last TOC on the disc. The
CD-ROM/XA multi-session drive replies with a YES when has found the last
session on the disc.

The best part about a multi-session is that one can add data at any time
whenever one needs to. It will be a great way to make updates to the
family album using a Photo CD disc as one's album. So many possibilities
and all available on the Atari too.


/************************************************************************/
Making My OWN CD-ROM made EASY

Walnut Creek provides a service to make a master CD-ROM for only $200.
They will take 600 megabytes on TAPE or floppies. Yes floppies disks are
accepted provided they are in MS-DOS format. Strange thing is Atari format
is the same as MS-DOS format. Does that give any one any ideas? 

And with a Multi-Session CD-ROM/XA drive you can always add more data
later on to the disc.


/********************************************************************/
An Atari Dream CD-ROM

A dream CD-ROM for me would be to have all the articles in STart, ST-LOG,
ST-Applications, and Antic all on one CD-ROM. Just think all of those
articles and program listings in the palm of your hand.

It is not very fun searching through many STart magazines looking for that
great David Small article on the floppy disc controller (STart magazine
Fall 1987, I think?). All those great programming articles in one place...
WOW!  A CD-ROM would be perfect.

Just think of being able to look up all past reviews from all the 
different magazines in one place. A hint ... CD-ROM would be nice! Trying
to remember which magazine which they built a hard drive in... you could
search for it in seconds on a CD-ROM. Just think - complete text files and
Degas pictures for the diagrams too.

Remember something David Small said at one of his shows? "I want my 
MAC-ST!" How about a new one.

"I WANT MY ATARI CD!!!"


/*********************************************************************/
GLOSSARY OF TERMS:


ADPCM       = Adaptive Differential Pulse Code Modulation (audio that
              allows compression) and is used in CD-ROM/XA.
AES         = Audio Engineering Society
AIIM        = Association for Information and Image Management
ANSI        = American National Standards Institute
              (sets industrial standards for the USA)
ATARI       = Manufacturer of the World's Greatest Computers!
CD          = CD or CD-DA is digital audio CD that we all enjoy listening
              to. (RED BOOK) CD stands for Compact Disc. Stereo 16-bit
              sound sampled at 44.1KHz.
CD-BRIDGE   = Is an extension to CD-ROM/XA and is what Photo CD uses.
              This allows for Photo CD discs to be played on CD-I
              players as well. It adds additional information at the
              track level of CD-ROM/XA track.
CD-I        = CD-Interactive similar to CD-ROM and supports sound,
              full motion video as well as data introduced by
              Philips Corp. (GREEN BOOK)
CD-ROM      = Based on audio CDs and is a read only medium and holds about
              680 megabytes of information. (YELLOW BOOK)
CD-ROM/XA   = CD-ROM eXtended Architecture is needed for Photo CDs. Special
              information is added at the track level to give additional
              features. This is a joint Philips, Sony and Microsoft
              specification that deals with interleaving audio with data.
CD-R        = A recordable CD. See CD-WO.
CD-WO       = The disc can be written to many times but not erased. Tracks
              are on the disc but data is not present. Data can be added
              later on. (ORANGE BOOK part 2)
CHROMA      = Color attributes, such as shade, saturation and hue.
CLIENT      = In very general terms a "front end". Receives services
              from the server. See server.
DISC IMAGE  = An exact represent of bits that will be put on the CD-ROM.
              This should not be confused with a graphic "image."
DRIVER      = A series of instructions that is used to reformat the data
              from a particular peripheral device to something the
              computer can use. A printer driver is a good example.
EDC/ECC     = Error Detection Code and Error Correction Code.
GREEN BOOK  = The document which describes both disc format and
              hardware specifications for Philips' proprietary CD-I
              product.
HIGH SIERRA = (HS) the 1986 CD-ROM standard was superceeded by ISO-9660.
ISDN        = Integrated Services Digital Network - basically allows for
              voice, data and video to be used at the same time. This
              could be said to be a vehicle for a single service that
              supports all forms of signal traffic on a single platform.
ISO         = International Organization for Standardization
              (70+ standard organizations in different countries are
              involved)
ISO-9660    = This international standard specifies the filesystem on
              CD-ROM discs. (ISO 9660, 1988)
LUMINANCE   = Portions of composite video signal that control brightness.
MASTERING   = The process of physically making a disc. The facility is
              very similar to the clean room used in making computer
              chips. A glass master is "cut" using a laser; one or more
              negative nickel stampers are made; and those are used to
              produce the many copies of the CD-ROM.
MO          = Magnetic Optical drive is read/write (many times)
              optical device. Also defined in the ORANGE book part I.
MULTI-SESSION = The ability to read more than one session on a disc.
                Very important for Photo CD. (Orange Book Part 2)
NISO        = National Information Standards Organization.
ORANGE BOOK = Describes Magnetic Optical Disks and CD-Write Once discs.
              It also deals with Multi-Session as well.
PREMASTERING = The method to produce a CD-ROM before sending it to a
               mastering facility. This usually includes making the
               ISO-9660 filesystem, adding error checking and correcting
               code and making an image and then transferring the disc
               image to tape.
PHOTO CD    = Kodak's standard for storing pictures on CD-ROM discs.
POSIX       = Formal description of one form of operating system of which
              UNIX is an example. Many parts of UNIX are POSIX compatible
              but not all of UNIX. POSIX specifics specific functions
              that are part of the standard.
RED BOOK    = CD audio standard introduced by Philips and Sony
ROCK RIDGE  = Based on the fictional town in the movie "Blazing Saddles"
              is an extension to ISO-9660 that allows for all the
              special features in the UNIX filesystem to be used. Discs
              formatted with Rock Ridge extensions can still be read
              with any ISO-9660 driver.
SCSI        = Small Computer System Interface (ANSI X3.31, 1986) allows
              up to 7 devices (printers, hard disks, scanners, optical
              drives, CD-ROM drives, networking cards and more) to a single
              interface card.
SERVER      = In very general terms... "back end" (provides services to
              a client). Usually thought of in a client-server type of
              relationship. File server, printer server are good examples.
SGML        = Standard Generalized Markup Language - provides a system
              for tagging text structures with generic identifiers
              which mark the category or class to which a piece of
              text belongs. (ISO 8879, 1986)
SINGLE SESSION = The ability to read one TOC (table of contents) or one
                 session. All CD-ROM drives generally fall into this
                 category. Usually made in reference to Photo CD.
TOC         = Table of Contents (similar to the table of contents found
              in a book). All CDs have one or more of them. This also
              gives information on where the tracks start.
UNIX        = An operating system created by AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1971.
              It has become a very popular operating system and it runs on
              many different platforms. Unix International (UI) and
              USL (Unix System Laboratories) are in charge of promoting
              and enhancing the UNIX standard.
WORM        = Write Once Read Many device. You can only write to one
              area on the disc once but you can read it many, many times.
              The data that has been written can never be overwritten.
YELLOW BOOK = CD-ROM standard like the red book also by Sony and Philips.


/********************************************************************/
CD-ROM Drive manufacturers (not a complete list)


Chinon America, Inc
615 Hawaii Avenue
Torrance, CA 90503
USA
(800)-441-0222
(310)-533-0274

Hitachi Home Electronics
401 West Artesia Blvd
Compton, CA 90220
USA
(800)-369-0422
(310)-537-3766

NEC Technologies
1255 Michael Drive
Wood Dale, IL 60191
USA
(800)-366-0476
(800)-FONE-NEC
(708)-860-9500

Panasonic Communications
Two Panasonic Way
Secaucus, NJ 07904
USA
(800)-742-8086
(201)-348-7000

Philips Consumer Electronics
1 Philips Drive
Knoxville, TN 37914
USA
(615) 475-8869

Pioneer Communications of America
600 E. Cresent Ave
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
USA
(800)-527-3766
(201)-348-7000

Sony Corp of America
655 River Oaks Pkwy
San Jose, CA 95134
USA
(800)-352-7669
(408)-432-0190
(408) 434-6644

Texel
1605 Wyatt Drive
Santa Clara, CA 95054
USA
(800)-886-3935
(408)-980-1838

Toshiba America Information Systems
9740 Irvine Blvd
Irvine CA 92718
USA
(800)-456-DISK
(714) 455-0407
(714)-538-3000
(714) 583-3129 (upgrade info)


/*********************************************************************/
Sources for the standards and general information:


Audio Engineering Society (AES)
60 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10165-2520
USA


Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM)
1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910
USA
(301)-587-8202

A professional association dedicated to document and information
automation and imaging. Includes applications of micrographics, optical,
and computer technology and systems for the information professional.


American CD-I Association
11111 Santa Monica, Suite 750
Los Angeles, CA 90025
USA
(213)-444-6619

Green Book or CD-I information


American National Standards Institute
11 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
USA
212-642-4900

ANSI specifications


CD-ROM Professional Magazine
462 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897
(800)-248-8466

This is a very good magazine for anyone in the CD-ROM business.


COMPUSERVE
5000 Arlington Centre Blvd
Columbus, Ohio, 43220
USA
(800)-848-8990
(614)-457-8650

ATARIPRO forum: (GO ATARIPRO)

file(s): SCSI specifications I and II (working specifications and not the
         official which are only available from ANSI, ISO or Global
         Engineering Documents).

CD-ROM forum: (GO CD-ROM)

file(s): Complete Rock Ridge specification, High Sierra specification,
         CD-ROMF.ZIP, CDFAQ.TXT (frequently asked questions about CD-ROM),
         and many other files.  The other files deal with steps necessary
         to make your own CD-ROMs, retrieval engines, CD-ROM related
         periodicals, vendors (that sell CD-ROM discs), manufacturers
         and CD-ROM consultants.

DR DOBBS JOURNAL forum (GO DDJFORMUM)

file(s): The C source for the December 1992 issue which has an article on
         the ISO-9660 CD-ROM filesystem.

PHOTO forum (GO PHOTOFORUM)

section (5):  Dedicated to Kodak's Photo CD


Dr. Dobb's Journal
411 Borel Ave
San Mateo, CA 94402
USA
(800)-688-3987
(415)-358-9500

A magazine dedicated to programming. The December 1992 issue had an
article called "INSIDE THE ISO-9660 FILESYSTEM FORMAT." Future articles
will cover Rock Ridge, CD-I, and CD-ROM/XA.


Eastman Kodak Company
Information Center
343 State Street
Rochester, NY 14650
USA
(800)-242-2424 ext. 53 - for information of Kodak Photo CD products
                         and compatible CD-ROM drives
               ext. 36 - Locations to get Photo CD discs made

Kodak services, imaging, Photo CD, Photo CD compatibility information


GLOBAL ENGINEERING DOCUMENTS:
2805 McGraw Ave
Irvine, CA 92714
USA
(800)-854-7179
(714)-261-1455
(714)-261-7892 (fax)

More than a million documents. ISO specs and index, ANSI specs and index,
Engineering specs, Government standards, Software Standards and much, much
more. What don't they have?


Interactive Multimedia Association
3 Church Circle, Suite 800
Annapolis  MD  21401-1933
USA
(410)-626-1380
(410)-263-0590 (fax)

High level membership actively working on technical standards for
cross-platform compatibility of authoring and delivery systems.


National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
PO Box 1056
Bethesda,  MD 20827
USA
(301) 975-2814

A volunteer organization which develops ideas for a standard and then
passes it to standard organization like ANSI and ISO.


Optical Publishing Association
PO BOX 21268
Columbus, OH, 43221
USA
(614)-422-8805
(614)-442-8815 (fax)

OPA is the Optical Publishing Association, a non-profit trade and
professional group directed at helping publishers and all other players
build a digital publishing market. They also publish materials, including
a newsletter "Digital Publishing Business," and one can contact via
COMPUSERVE Rich Bowers of the OPA ( CIS id = [71333,1114] ) for more
information.


Prentice Hall
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
USA

BOOK:  SCSI: Understanding the Small Computer System Interface
       by John Lohmeyer (Standards Architect, NCR Corporation)
       Chairman X3T9.2 (scsi committee)

       Discussion of SCSI-1, and a little on SCSI-2 and SCSI-3.

SCSI BBS ( operated by NCR corp )
USA
(719)-574-0424 (bbs)

Source for SCSI information and working specifications not the complete
specifications which must be bought from ANSI or GLOBAL ENGINEERING.
This includes SCSI-1, SCSI-2, and Fast SCSI, Wide SCSI and SCSI-3.


Tech Specialist
2601 Iowa
Lawrence, KS 66046
USA
(913)-841-1631

The May 1991 of Tech Specialist had several articles on CD-ROM.
a) "The ISO 9660 File System: A Reference Document"
b) "Designing A CD-ROM Retrieval System"
c) "Networking A CD-ROM drive"

Tech Specialist is published by R&D Publications which also publishes the
C USERS JOURNAL.


Walnut Creek CD-ROM
1547 Palos Verdes Mall, Suite 260
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
USA
(800)-786-9907
(510)-947-5996
(510)-947-1644

Pre-Mastering and Mastering Services, also sells usenet/internet archives
on CD-ROM. They will make you a master CD-ROM for $200 and up. Both
ISO-9660 and Rock Ridge formatting are supported.  

CD-ROMs (CICA, Simtel20, Source Code, X11r5/GNU, C User's Group CD-ROM, 
etc.)


                              --==--==--==--==--


 |||  PhotoCD for the Atari Falcon030
 |||  By: Andreas Barbiero
/ | \ Delphi: ABARBIERO        GEnie: AEO.2
      -------------------------------------

What can the PhotoCD do for you?

Some of you may remember the articles I wrote a little while back on the
limitations and realities of CD-ROM, and why I thought that it was a
useful, but over-hyped piece of hardware. I won't reiterate what I said
then, and you may be wondering what I am doing talking about the PhotoCD
now.

Kodak's PhotoCD technology is a unique one. The ability to store pictures
on a digital disk, and then play them back on a monitor is interesting,
but may appear to have limited usefulness. CD-ROMs are slow, and a storage
only media. 660megs is a wonderful amount of storage, but limited to read
only. This is useful for permanent storage of information; dictionaries, a
thesaurus, encyclopedia, and something else that would be great to keep
forever, pictures. Photography's very nature is to make a fleeting
instance permanent. But the photographs themselves, become brittle, fade,
and lost. Being able to place 100 images on a single easy to store disk
can make these memories last almost forever, and certainly far beyond the
lifetime of a paper picture. The images are stored in several different
resolutions, with the top end at over 3,000 by 3,000 pixels! This is far
beyond the current resolution of any consumer TV or monitor, and insures
the future usefulness of the images.

Cool, so what about the Atari Falcon030? Why is this an interesting 
product for the Atari? The Atari Falcon030 utilizes the SCSI 2 interface,
which is capable of speeds more than 10 times of what a CD can transfer to
it, making any SCSI CDROM compatible with the Atari. The Atari Falcon030
also provides for some of the fastest video-bandwidth manipulation,
allowing a user to pull up a picture and edit it. Not only are the images
fantastic to view with the Atari Falcon030/PhotoCD system, but a user can
import the full image, in true color, to an application like Calamus SL,
and incorporate that into a printed document. All that is needed is a
quick output of the file to disk, and an upscale printer should be able to
print out the full color document very inexpensively!

Imagine this. You could start a business that not only uses the power of
the PhotoCD system to edit fix digital images, but a family photo could be
pulled off of one of these things, and with a video printer, custom
Christmas cards! Or you could fix up old wedding photos! Already, the 
TT030 is used in many spots around the world (YES, including the USA!) to
edit and print photographs with seamless results. A graphics board,
scanner, and printer can be set up for the fraction of the cost of stand
alone systems, and the results appear with unimaginable speed. I have seen
this done before, and the first time I said "Gee, this takes forever." It
was a 14"x11" full color image being set up for a linotype printer, and
it took about 20 minutes. A few days later, I saw basically the same thing
being done with a monochrome image which took several hours to perform!

I am a believer now. This is only a small taste of what can be done with
the PhotoCD. Next time, I will get into the nitty-gritty of this
technology, and show you a few things YOU can do with an Atari 
Falcon030/PhotoCD setup!


                              --==--==--==--==--


 |||  Atari Users Online: GEnie
 |||  Compiled by: Harvey Wolfe
/ | \ GEnie: H.WOLFE1
      -------------------------

 ************
>From the Beckemeyer Development ST Software topic, a warning about a small
problem with the HD Toolkit.
 ------------
Category 2,  Topic 34
Message 185       Wed Dec 30, 1992
D.BECKEMEYER [David @ BDT]   at 02:29 EST
 
Gerry has indeed found a bug in the HD Toolkit config files.  They don't save
all the patterns.  A new version of the HD Toolkit has been uploaded to the
BBS (510) 530-9682.  The version is 3.21.0.  One other chnge with this version
is that the .DBI files are now looked for in the current folder rather than
"C:\".

I'll have to test some more with HD Accel and Data Diet.  Can you list for me
all the programs in your AUTO folder and all .ACC files?

Thanks.

 ************
>From the Maximum Output Software topic, a message that anyone who has any
of their programs should read.
 ------------
Category 2,  Topic 47
Message 56        Tue Dec 29, 1992
D.JOHNSON52 [Doug@MOS]       at 12:52 EST
 
ALL

Response to Doug Johnson's whereabouts and support for MOS V 2.0

Doug left Houston on September 15 for a two year mission for his Church.  He
is continuing support through his father.  This support has been through
reader service cards.  The problems which have been identified through these
cards have been addressed and are continuing to be.

Even though Doug is not accessible directly by you, you can mail a description
of any problems with appropriate diagnostic messages to: Maximum Output
Software 5510 Spanish Oak Houston, TX 77066

Any problems which cannot be solved immediately by his father are sent to Doug
for him to address.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.  We will continue
to address your concerns as they arise.  Several users have received bug fixes
already.

 ************
>From the Cannon Bubble Jet topic, a description of how to get the most out
of your Bubble Jet and a comparison of the Bubble Jet versus the Ink Jet.
 ------------
Category 4,  Topic 5
Message 30        Sun Dec 27, 1992
R.BROWN30                    at 00:42 EST
 
Relative to drivers, I have used the PageStream BJ130 driver on the BJ-10e
with positively outstanding results. My  BJ-10e does not feature Epson
emulation, as it preceded the "10-ex" by a few months.

I cannot stress the need for proper papers enough. The Legacy Pen Plotter
Paper is _coated_, and it is the _no bleed_ nature of the coating that allows
the BJ-10e to optimize its performance. However, as I've mentioned, you must
allow for drying time and avoid smearing.

>From PageStream, BJ-10e output should look basically equal to 300 dpi
PostScript laser output. I have a wide assortment of printers at my avail,
with 300 and 400 dpi PostScript lasers on my desk as I type this, and, in that
I deal in professional level typography nearly every day (1270 to 3000 dpi),
that's just how it looks to my jaded but particular eyes.

My Bubblejet usually remains on loan to my production manager (I'm in the film
biz) and he usually leaves it at his machine shop under positively the worst
conditions. He runs it off a Mac Powerbook.

I reclaim it for travel to the west coast, and on every occassion, I have
bugged my eyes at the amazing consistency of print quality, especially given
the seemingly "flimsy" construction. This has yet to prove a problem over
countless air miles. I just throw it in with my clothes in a suitcase. The
hassle is packing up my Mega 4, HD, and various accessories in a big
Haliburton case. Heavy!

With Legacy Pen Plotter Paper, I would venture a guess that PageStream output
from the Bubblejet would fool, at normal viewing distance, about half of all
experienced _laser printer owners_ into thinking the BJ, like my little
portable BJ-10e, was in fact a laser device. I was wowing people two years ago
at the Glendale Show with PageStream and the Bubblejet. All were amazed.

As for overspraying, I find that a problem on my Hewlett Packard 500C in
graphic mode (black ink), but have yet to see this on the BJ. The big
difference between the two also extends to cartridge life: the BJ definitely
outlasts the DJ under the same work load and by a wide margin.

Additionally, as I've mentioned, I work directly with a paper developer, and
have had access to the very best papers for ink jet printing. To wit, nothing
I've tried on the Deskjet has yet compared to the Bubblejet on Legacy, and it
basically boils down to the _big_ difference in dpi resolution (BJ at 360 vs.
DJ at 300 dpi). The Deskjet at its best, printing on the best paper, will not
compare to the BJ at its best.

I would confess to not printing a great deal of regular text, maybe only 200-
300 pages to date, but even in text mode, the BJ has always outperformed my
Toshiba P321 24 pin dot matrix and again is much more akin to my laser printer
output. Cleaner, sharper. In fact, it always outperforms my NEC Silentwriter
Laser for pure blacks.

All problems I've ever seen on the BJ have been cartridge related, and they
have been very few, much less than the totally inconsistent DJ which changes
from morning to night from day to day. You should expect the Bubblejet
cartridge to perform with exceedingly high consistency of quality, and, again
unlike the DJ, should work at 100% until the last two or three printhead
passes where it should fail "all at once." DJ carts fail over _pages_.

With the BJ, always remember to CLEAN a new cartridge prior to printing the
first page, and of course, to remove the shipping clips and tapes before
installation. Anything less than eye-popping quality suggests a problem to me.
It should blow away all but a good 400 dpi PostScript printer.

***

If anyone is having trouble finding the Legacy product, I happen to have quite
a lot of it, and would be happy to send out a reasonable sample of the paper
to a few of those interested. Just e-mail me a mailing address.  I'm curious
to hear about results on other BJ models other than the little portable.
Obviously, this offer will be limited to, well, my mood, I suppose. NOTE: the
Legacy Pen Plotter Paper does _not_ work on the Deskjet (except for color mode
where it's O.K.). The BJ ink is far more consistent in color than DJ ink,
which is often mottled in appearance and of a totally different formula.

BTW, and finally, here's one DEFINITE source of Strathmore Legacy Pen Plotter
Paper, Product # 01-075:

Bush's Stationers 6440 Bellingham Avenue North Hollywood, CA  91606 818-766-
7117

They're maybe 10 minutes from the famous Chinese Theatre.

They do usually have to order it in: a few days at most. I don't know how they
feel about shipping.

-Richard Brown

 ************
>From the OutBurST! topic, notice of a small bug.
 ------------
Category 5,  Topic 17
Message 72        Mon Dec 21, 1992
F.PAWLOWSKI                  at 21:37 EST
 
OutBurST! 3.0 users,

The early versions of OutBurST! 3.0 that have a file creation date in November
have a minor flaw in them. The manual states to put the OBURST.INF file into
the AUTO folder, but with the early version you must put the file on the root
of the boot disk. Sorry if this  has caused any confusion.

Also I seem to have found the gremlin that caused a few people problems with
their serial port. If you have been experiencing  any problems EMAIL me the
details.

Frank Straight Edge Software

 ************
>From the GRAMSLAM topic, a story of a developer who treats his customers
very fairly.
 ------------
Category 13,  Topic 7
Message 145       Tue Dec 22, 1992
P.MORALES1 [Pat]             at 21:07 EST
 
I just received my GramSlam and Grammar Expert upgrade disks in the mail
today... and a $10.00 refund because my disks were "close" to the new version.
Shock!

Thank-you, for service above any kind of expectations.

Pat

And my best wishes to all for the holidays!
 ------------
Category 13,  Topic 7
Message 146       Sun Dec 27, 1992
P.COMEAU1 [Wintertree]       at 20:12 EST
 
Thanks, Pat, and happy holidays to you too.

The blurb in our newsletter about current versions was apparently misleading,
because quite a few people returned disks for upgrades. It just doesn't feel
right charging people for upgrades that are really minor bug fixes, so we
thought the best thing to do was return a refund. It's a lot of work (you
wouldn't believe the paperwork involved with writing a $5 check), but, heck,
it's Christmas .

Happy new year, Phil @ Wintertree

 ************
>From the topic Graphic Cards & DMC Products, CD & Mtx, a brief comment on
the capabilities of the Cybercube graphics card.
 ------------
Category 16,  Topic 26
Message 7         Mon Dec 28, 1992
ST.LOU [Lou Rocha]           at 12:28 EST
 
The CYREL card shows incredible graphics! I saw a 3500% zoom on one of the
pictures in the PHOTO CD sample library (GIF format) and the darn thing was
clean as a whistle... no jaggies or pixelation!

 ************
>From the STalker 3 topic, a warning about problems when Stalker and Let 'Em
Fly are run at the same time and a comparison of STalker versus Flash 2.
 ------------
Category 17,  Topic 3
Message 112       Mon Dec 21, 1992
E.KRIMEN [Ed Krimen]         at 01:37 EST
 
Anyone else have problems with Let 'Em Fly 1.19 and STalker 3.02 when STalker
is installed as a regular desk accessory?  STalker bombs quite well and locks
up my TT030 (TOS 3.06) with LEF on, but if I turn LEF off before I bring up
the STalker window, everything's fine.
 ------------
Category 17,  Topic 3
Message 113       Mon Dec 21, 1992
NTACTONE [Ron Hunter]        at 06:24 EDT
 
  >Anyone else have problems with Let 'Em Fly 1.19 and STalker 3.02 when
  >STalker is installed as a regular desk accessory?  STalker bombs quite
  >well and locks up my TT030 (TOS 3.06) with LEF on, but if I turn LEF off
  >before I bring up the STalker window, everything's fine. 
   Yep, LEF kills the system when I try to access STalker, so guess
 what I don't USE.  I really LIKE the LEF idea, but conflict with a
 properly written .ACC indicates SOMETHING is very wrong with LEF.
 ------------
Category 17,  Topic 3
Message 129       Mon Dec 28, 1992
P.BURNETTE                   at 02:20 EST
 
well, i asked this on the flash 2 topic so i'll be sneaky and ask it here to. 
which software is better for recreational computer use; stalker or flash 2??
  thanks in advance...

 paul =)
 ------------
Category 17,  Topic 3
Message 131       Mon Dec 28, 1992
SFRT-ASST [Kenne@SFRT]       at 15:04 EST
 
 "Likely?"

It depends on what you want to do. If you're not a programmer of Pascal or C
then BackTalk is a bit opaque. If you can write a batch file you can write .DO
file.

Stalker sidesteps some of these problems by having a BackTalk script that will
record keyboard actions into another script.

I don't have Flash II, so I can't say a lot about it.

I like Stalker, in fact, I'm using it right now.
 ------------
Category 17,  Topic 3
Message 133       Tue Dec 29, 1992
CBARRON                      at 04:02 EST
 
  RE: F2 vs Stalker.
  I have both f2 and stalker 3.02.  I find that it is a toughie as to which is
'best'. Best for what?
    Terminal emulation -F2 wins hands down.
    Most builtin file protocol selection and control - F2 again.
    Easiest to multitask - Stalker.
    Biggest type ahead buffer Stalker/steno.
    Easiest for 'normal' scripting, I am more used to scripting F2, Stalker is
more pascal like and the script needs to be compiled before using. Although
this might be faster to execute, it is more difficult to debug.  Stalker has a
much more powerful scripting language.

   RE:VIDTEX in STalker How? All I seem to get is chars>128 or nothing.  My
CI$ account is set up for vidtex and it will stay that way because it speeds
downloads/uploads over there....
 ------------
Category 17,  Topic 3
Message 134       Tue Dec 29, 1992
EXPLORER.5 [Robert Goff]     at 19:13 EST
 
My biggest criteria for which telecomm software to use is whether it's
bulletproof. I want to know that when I fire it up to log on and/or download
that it will work the first time. The original Flash was like that, albeit it
made some simplifications in terminal emulations that helped a lot. I never
noticed the difference.

Stalker's pretty good in that regard, and the extra bells and whistles made
the _very_ occasional glitch worthwhile.

I'm not going to comment on the reliability of Flash II since I haven't had my
hands on the release version. I will say that it wasn't programmed by Alan
Page, and indeed was programmed from scratch. There isn't anything of the
original Flash there except the name and a bit of the interface design.

Flash II is a _very_ full-featured program. It has an amazing amount of
options, terminal emulations, settings, automatic scripts, etc. The DO
language is much easier to use than BackTalk, and although it's not nearly as
powerful as BackTalk John talks about adding extensions to it in later
versions.

The bottom line is, I suppose, that they are very different programs and that
much of the choice depends on personal preference.

 |) |
 |)O|)
 Robert Goff

 ************
>From the GEMULATOR (Atari ST emulator) topic, news about the next version
of the program.
 ------------
Category 19,  Topic 15
Message 153       Wed Dec 30, 1992
BRASOFT [Darek]              at 00:18 EST
 
The 2.1 update which fixes the 32 meg partition limit is still in the works.
Stacker compatibility is one of the things I'm trying to support. I'm also
hoping to be able to test it on the new DOS 6's compression, but no luck
getting hold of it yet. :-(

In the meantime, as with the 2.0 upgrade, I've already added some features and
fixed a number of bugs, so very shortly I'll be sending out a maintenance
upgrade called Gemulator 2.05 which has these fixes:

 - real time clock support. When you create a file on disk it has the correct
time stamp, or when you boot up with Control Panel, it displays the correct
date (or more correctly, the time and date you had set on your PC at the
time).
 - compatibility with Maccel 3.0
 - mouse clicks no longer make the mouse "slide" a pixel
 - the missing keystroke bug fix from 2.01
 - faster emulation (roughly 10%)
 - one EXE file optimized for both 386 and 486 machines
 - INSTALL can be put in the GEMUL8R.INI file to reduce more typing

This is a free upgrade, so everyone waiting for 2.1 will still get 2.1.

Brian, regarding your slow printing with Pagestream, I've found the same thing
and am looking into it. My times are not as bad. A file that takes about 15
minutes to print under Pagestream 2.1 on Gemulator is about twice as fast on a
real ST. You're right, the creation time is about the same, but the printing
time, the actual sending of the bytes through the parallel port is much
slower. It's not as noticable when using Calamus or word processors since it
seems Pagestream sends more data to the printer. If I can track it down in the
next few days, I'll squeeze the fix into the 2.05 disk, since I probably won't
mail those out until the weekend. Thanks for pointing that out.

As for Outburst, just let me know who sells it or where to get it and I'll
look into the problem. I haven't seen it advertised and I obviously don't have
it to test.

- Darek

 ************
>From the TT Hard Drives topic, a warning from ICD about a bug in some
versions of ICDBOOT which could cause problems with TT's.
 ------------
Category 28,  Topic 14
Message 87        Thu Dec 24, 1992
DOUG.W [ICD RT]              at 11:16 EST
 
Lorne,
   You didn't say which version of ICDBOOT you are using, but we recently
found a serious bug in ICDBOOT 5.5.2 through 5.6.2 which could cause serious
problems on TTs with Fast RAM.  This bug was "accidentally" fixed in 5.6.3 and
doesn't affect any later versions. The latest version (6.0.7) is available for
downloading from the ICD RoundTable (type ICD or M1220 at any GEnie page
prompt).

--Doug @ ICD

P.S. Thanks to Dan Wilga for notifying us of this bug.
 ------------
Category 28,  Topic 14
Message 91        Fri Dec 25, 1992
DOUG.W [ICD RT]              at 12:45 EST
 
Hopefully, at some point, someone having trouble with ICDBOOT and a TT will
send us their equipment to use for a few days to try to find any lurking bugs.
Unless we can reproduce the problems people are reporting, there's not much we
can do to solve them.

--Doug @ ICD

 ************
>From the Hi Soft Tru Paint topic, some initial impressions about this new
paint program for the Falcon.
 ------------
Category 33,  Topic 15
Message 4         Wed Dec 30, 1992
ORA.TECH                     at 23:47 EST
 
Yes, I have used(and have a copy :-) of TruePaint.  It is Wonderful! An
excellent general purpose paint and graphics package for all ST's that is
STUNNING on a Falcon in True Color mode.

True Paint will be released in late January-early February and a North
American retail price has not been set.

Best regards,

Bob Luneski Oregon Research


                              --==--==--==--==--


 |||  I Love My Mega STe!
 |||  By: Joseph M. Turner
/ | \ Delphi: ATARIPOWER7
      --------------------

Well, I've been sitting here getting my rump sore having a great time 
with my orphan long enough! I've heard enough BIRD talk to make my ears 
ache. I can only feel sorry for those who complain, cause I'm STill 
tickled pink with my Atari Mega STe. And, not without good reason, either!

This article was originally intended as a promised sequel to a previous 
article I wrote for my local user group, the Mid-Florida Atari Computer 
Club. Ok, now, it's for the _whole world_!

The hardware looks great, styled with a penchant for dustballs (I gloat
every time I clean my orphan off) and an artistic flair. Flow control is
bulletproof; TOS 2.06 is so good I got rid of Neo(you know what), and I
have developed a fondness for .MOD files. A fondness that unfortunately
often exceeds my orphan's stock 48 Meg of HD space. My DTP, WP, Term, and
other programs are speedy and problem free. (If my orphan doesn't like it,
out it goes. It takes two to cooperate!)

I am happy, a locked baud rate of 19,200 bps, 25 or 50 Khz sampled music 
in the background on my stereo, and a orphan I can count on do the trick.

Yeah, the bird may fly, I sure hope it does, but from where I'm sitting 
(pun intended) my orphan with its 1.44 Meg floppy, a desktop with nifty 
features is plenty to keep me happy for a nice long time. I'm miles ahead
of any "normal" ST, and I know it. My orphan was the last and the _best_ 
of a family. I'm gonna tell you exactly _why_!

1)  It's faster.

2)  Hardware Flow Control works. Solid as gold ever could be, provided 
    the term software supports RTS/CTS.

3)  NewDesk, under TOS 2.06, is equally solid. Sure, there are 
    alternatives that offer more bells and whistles - more things to      
    break off, or get in the way, in some cases. My orphan is smooth,    
    sleek, and STock. And, dependable. I give Atari credit for that!

    Here are a few niceties I've noticed:

    --   Install Application is very versatile - it more than works, my 
         orphan makes computing easier.

    --   Folders can be created, windows opened or "traded", quickly with
         keyboard or mouse.  My orphan lets me use both hands, without two
         mice, if I want to.

    --   My orphan will search the entire HD, and both floppies, for a 
         file whose location I forgot.  All in a matter of seconds!

    --   So many items in menu's can be done "sequentially", merely by 
         selecting as many items or icons I wish.  If I want to change my
         icons, rubberband 'em all with the mouse, choose "Install Icon"
         in the options menu, and my orphan goes thru them, one by one, I
         just pick the icon I want.  My orphan let's me select a whole new
         set of icons for my "MOD" desktop, for all my drives, or go thru
         a whole bunch of applications, changing or fine-tuning 
         applications with the greatest of ease.

  --   My orphan's "rubber band" can be drawn in any direction.

  --   My orphan's internal 1.44 Meg floppy is speedy.

Sure, when the first bird flies into Orlando, it will set the stage for
the advent of a new era, for the decline of an old one. With good 
fortune, perhaps I will be adopted by the new bird family. For now, I've 
adopted one mighty fine orphan indeed, and we get along just great!


                              --==--==--==--==--


 |||
 |||  Atari's Lynx Special
/ | \ --------------------
      --------------------

                  ATARI LYNX: At a special low price

                             *** $79.95 ***

          Free Federal Express delivery!
        Hurry! Offer expires 1/31/93!
      Call 1-800-327-5151 to order now!

     Push your mind to the edge
      with the Atari Lynx:
       Backlit screen,
        stereo sound,
         50+ incredible games,
          "Flip" controls for left handed players,
           Play with up to 8 friends with "ComLynx",
            4,000 brilliant colors (16 bit graphics engine),
             The worlds largest portable video game screen (3.5" diag.)

 Atari Lynx has over 50 games - all jam packed with full color graphics,
 digital stereo sound and radical arcade style action that you won't find
 anywhere else. Get the picture? You'll find plenty of games at your
 favorite store (call us for the location nearest you).

 Many titles available at these fine locations:

      Electronics Boutique,  Software Etc.,  Babbages,
                       Waldensoftware,
       Nobody Beats the Wiz,  The Good Guys,  Toys 'R' Us.

 Or order all the software you can handle:

   Xenophobic,        Rampage,               Batman Returns,
     Pinball Jam,       Gates of Zendocon,     Toki,
       Switchblade II,    Steel Talons,          Electrocop,
         Ms. Pac Man,       Zalor Mercenary,       Ninja Gaiden,
          Paperboy,           Rygar,                 A.P.B,
         Awsome Golf,        Warbirds,              Basketbrawl,
        Blue Lightning,     California Games,      Hockey,
       Viking Child,       Xybots,                Tournament Cyberball,
      Shadow of the Beast,   NFL Football,        S.T.U.N Runner,
     Turbo Sub,               Chip's Challenge,    Block-Out,
    Hard Drivin',              Superskweek,         Crystal Mines II,
   Rampart,                     Checkered Flag,      Lynx Casino,
  Shanghai,                      Klax,                Scrapyard Dog,
   Ishido,                        Pac-Land,            Roadblasters,
    Kung Food,                     Hydra,               Robo-Squash,
     Baseball Heroes,               Dracula,             Joust,
      World Class Soccer,
       Gauntlet--The Third Encounter,
        Todd's Adventures in Slime World,
         Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure,
          Dirty Larry--Regenade Cop,
           and more!

 COMING SOON: Pit Fighter, Dinolympics, Power Factor and more every month.

 The entire Lynx game library is available from us, by calling
 1-800-327-5151.  And don't forget to order your Atari Lynx for only
 $79.95 -- that's $20 off through 1/31/93! And get FREE Federal
 Express delivery.

 Or send check or money order to:

         Atari Lynx
          P.O. Box 61657
           Sunnyvale, CA 94088-1657

            (For CA residents, please add sales tax)
              Call for further information 1-800-327-5151.
               This offer expires 1/31/93.

   "Atari", "ComLynx", and "Lynx" are registered trademarks of Atari Corp.    
Atari: an American company traded on the American Stock Exchange


                              --==--==--==--==--


 |||  
 |||  Developing News: Important items from TOS platform developers
/ | \ -------------------------------------------------------------
      -------------------------------------------------------------

 --==--                           --==--                         --==--
 --==--   Computer Musician Coalition Announces New Division     --==--
 --==--                           --==--                         --==--

** NEWS FLASH - A GEnie EXCLUSIVE  **

Immediate Release 
to All GEnie Music Enthusiasts

January 1, 1993

CMC EXPANDS - 
OPENING ITS DOORS TO ALL INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS WORLD-WIDE

The Computer Musician Coalition (CMC), an international, artist-driven
collaboration, dedicated to the success of electronic musicians 
world-wide, announces the formation of a new division, the Creative
Musicians Coalition (CMC), dedicated to the success of all independent
musicians including the non-electronic bread.

CMC's success in the electronic arena has proved that there is a waiting,
desiring, and enthusiastic audience for new music world-wide. CMC, because
of its successes, is now able and capable to expand its offerings to 
include both electronic and non-electronic music. Therefore, effective
immediately, CMC will accept original music submissions from all
independent musicians including music solely acoustic, solely electronic,
electronic/acoustic mixes, vocals, meditation, and the spoken word.

CMC's magazine AFTERTOUCH - New Music Discoveries, also originally
electronic music based, will broaden to include new music from independent
artists in both arenas. Additionally, all CMC memberships including:
Connoisseur, Artist, Dealer, Radio Station, and Vendor will expand to
accommodate both categories. 

Ron Wallace, president of CMC, states, "I am amazed at the enormous
acceptance by the general public for new music.  It has always been my 
dream for the success of the independent musician, and I feel now the
window of opportunity is wide open.  It's time for all independent
musicians to unite and get out of their basements for the world to enjoy.
I offer each of them a dream-come-true and encourage their support in all
CMC endeavors."  

For more information about CMC memberships, music submission procedures, 
and a free copy of AFTERTOUCH - New Music Discoveries write or call:

Ron Wallace
Creative Musicians Coalition
Computer Musician Coalition
1024 W. Willcox Ave.
Peoria, IL 61604
Phone: (309) 685-4843
FAX: (309) 685-4878

Or Email: S.GARRIGUS (On GEnie)

 --==--                           --==--                         --==--
 --==--        FAX Facts from NewSTar Technology Management      --==--
 --==--                           --==--                         --==--

Category 4,  Topic 24
Message 132       Tue Dec 22, 1992
C.S.SMETON [STraight FAX]    at 05:29 EST

To: VANDENHEUVEL,

Technically speaking a Class 2 Only FAX Modem is superior to a Class 1 
Only FAX Modem. The FAX Modem is composed of 3 sub-systems: A
microcontroller processor with a UART, RAM and ROM firmware, A FAX/Data
Modem Data Pump (i.e.  specialized Digital Signal Processor DSP), and the
telephone interface ringer circuit. The difference between Class 1 and
Class 2 is in the FAX Modem firmware. Supra FAX Modems support both Class
1 & Class 2. Others are Class 1 only or Class 2 only.

With Class 2, the low level timing and Group 3 FAX Protocol are performed 
by the microcontroller in the FAX Modem. In Class 1, this is handled by
the DTE computer. Since the interface between the FAX Modem and Computer
is a relatively slow RS-232 (19200 baud), this places an extra burden on
the DTE computer as to the timing of commands. Since most of the protocol
work is performed by the DTE Computer, A Class 1 only FAX Modem does not
require as a powerful microcontroller as a Class 2 FAX Modem. As such
there are some very inexpensive 2400 baud/Class 1 FAX Modems available in
the $80 range (i.e Zoom AFX).

A FAX Modem that also supports V.32, V.32bis, V.42, V.42bis on the data 
side will also require a more powerful microcontroller. So then why have
companies like Hayes and US Robotics released Class 1 only FAX Modems ?

Answer: Politics.

Hayes and US Robotics are members of the EIA/TIA TR29-2 committee that 
decides FAX standards. Class 1 was approved in late 1990. The first Class
2 ballot was presented later in 1990. It has been re-written and submitted
three more times before being approved recently. Guess who has voted
against it?

After the first Class 2 ballot was voted down, chipset vendors such as
Rockwell, Sierra Semiconductor and Exar decided to release products based 
on the first Class 2 ballot. This created a bit of difficulty for software
developers as each manufacturer's implementation varied slightly and it 
was possible that a program will work with one manufacturer's product but
not on another.

Why would the big name, high end Modem vendors not want Class 2 to be
approved? The answer is simple. Rockwell, Sierra and Exar are big
Semiconductor companies, not modem vendors. They sell these chips to 
companies like Zoom, Supra, Cardinal & Practical Peripherals who in turn
manufacturer the FAX Modem and sell in volume at a very competitive price.

Hayes & US Robotics design the modem in house and have lost significant 
market share to these other modem vendors. By voting against Class 2, they
hoped to delay its availability and as such retain their market share. It
back fired when the Class 2 products hit the street. Some of the people
who work for these companies deny the existence of Class 2 as it is
currently implemented.

Since Class 2 has been approved in a much modified form from its original
ballot, the official Class 2 is going to be called Class 2.0! Class 2.0 
FAX Modems should be available within 6 months and possibly as firmware
upgrades for existing FAX Modems. In the mean time, the committee is now
looking into Class 3 & 4, plus Voice Mail standards and Caller ID
standards. At the same time the CCITT is working on the non-computer
related FAX standards called Group 4 and beyond.

In some ways Class 2 is a restrictive layer over the low level Group 3
protocol, however it removes much of the timing responsibility away from 
the DTE computer. On an 8MHz 68000 (stock ST) or in a multi-tasking
environment (Multi-TOS) this can be critical. The best FAX Modems are
those that support both Class 1 and Class 2. On FAX Modems such as these
it is possible to switch between Class 1 and Class 2, i.e. while in Class
2 the FAX Modem may be switched into Class 1 to issue commands that might
not be possible in Class 2.

Class 2 currently has its problems in implementation differences due to 
the lack of an approved standard. Many Class 2 FAX Modems do not support
all of the features that Class 2 defined, such as binary file transfer,
error correction modes, and FAX polling. Other capabilities such as Super
Fine Resolution are not available in Class 2. All of these capabilities
can be accessed via Class 1, provided that the software application
supports them.  The software program must issue the Group 3 commands that
implement these capabilities. Of course all of these capabilities will be
available in Class 2.0.

Our decision to support Class 1 is based on three factors:

1. Many established high end FAX Modems are Class 1 only by choice. There 
are many users who are loyal to these modem vendors and will not purchase
other lesser known brands.

2. Many very low end FAX Modems are Class 1 only. We may develop a special
STraight FAX! Lite to be bundled by dealers/distributors with these FAX 
Modems to offer an entry level FAX modem with software at a very low 
price.

3. There are problems in some Class 2 implementations, since some of 
these FAX Modems also allow Class 1, the user will have a choice.

On the negative side:

1. Class 1 requires more of the DTE computer's CPU overhead. This may not 
be a problem with a TT/030, Falcon030 or other accelerated ST, however it
will be on a stock 8 Mhz ST and it will be under Multi-TOS.

2. By the time we support Class 1, everyone will start to hear about 
Class 2.0 and how great it is. Dont be suprised if there is a firmware
upgrade available for a Hayes or USR FAX Modem to support Class 2.0 in six
months.

3. Most users are moving away from 2400 baud only FAX Modems into 
V.32/V.32bis 9600/14400 baud FAX Modems.


Charles Smeton NewSTar Technology Management

BTW, Class 3 will probably allow Text and TIFF files to be FAXed directly 
with the FAX Modem doing all of the conversion.

 --==--                           --==--                         --==--
 --==--                   BlackMail Information                  --==--
 --==--                           --==--                         --==--

Note:  I obtained the following information from Digital-Optical-Analog,
Inc regarding BlackMail for the Atari Falcon030. I have obtained
permission to repost this information on GEnie, but PLEASE note the
following...

     * This is not a product announcement. BlackMail hardware, software,
     and FCC approval are expected to be completed in the first quarter of
     1993.

     * For futher information contact:  info@doa.com

Please do not remove this notice from the text.
 Gordon R. Meyer (GRMEYER)
 ST RT Librarian
======== >8 cut here ===========

BlackMail

BlackMail allows the design of an automated single or multi-user voice
mail system which can disperse prerecorded information to a caller, store
the caller's message, and forward it upon request. Callers access
BlackMail using their touch tone telephone to navigate the system's
hierarchical voice mail menus, leaving or retrieving messages as
determined by the user.  

BlackMail provides a powerful caller-specific telephone answering system
capable of selectively forwarding audio messages to another phone,
recording them for later retrieval, or archiving messages for future
reference.  

BlackMail can also function as an information clearinghouse able to
deliver specific product or other information to customers twenty-four
hours a day.  BlackMail may be operated as a stand-alone application or as
a background task in conjunction with multitasking operating systems.


The system features flexibility...

- major functions are user configurable
- user may update many functions remotely
- full archiving of messages
- selective message forwarding
- automatic paging
- time stamping of messages
- adjustble message compression (1.5:1 - 6:1)
- hardware module can be utilized as a generic telephone 
   interface for software and hardware developers


Theory of Operation

The BlackMail hardware module provides a software-controllable  
connection to the user's telephone network.  The module is designed to
detect the presence of an incoming call, notify the BlackMail software
core, and then take the telephone line  off-hook.  Once off-hook, the
BlackMail hardware translates incoming touch tones (DTMF) and transmits
their equivalents through the module's serial port to the BlackMail
software.  Using touch tones, callers may request specific information
previously uploaded by the system user, leave audio messages for specific
users, as applicable, and retrieve messages which have been left for them.
All of these functions are controlled by the caller using the appropriate
numbers on their touch tone keypads.

Audio information is transferred between the telephone line and the host
computer via connections in BlackMail's hardware module.   Full duplex
audio information is transferred between the BlackMail hardware and the
host system's audio input/output jacks via a simple cable.  The BlackMail
software handles automatic audio time stamping of incoming messages,
message  forwarding, message archiving, automatic paging, and provides an
easy-to-use graphical interface for BlackMail system setup and message
recording.

-------------------------------------------------------------
BlackMail Technical Details

Audio sampling:                   8-bit mu-law quantization
Audio sampling frequency:         8KHz 
Maximum Compression Ratios:       6:1 (platform dependent)
Telephone Interface Bandpass:     320-3700 Hz
Audio Jacks on the Module:        Standard RCA Phono
Weight:                           300 grams (0.66 lb)
Dimensions
  Height:                         2.9 cm (1.125 in.)
  Width:                          7.0 cm (2.75 in.)
  Length:                         12.1 cm (4.75 in.)
Telephone Interface Bandpass:     320-3700 Hz
Telephone Interface Overvoltage Protection:  1500V
Power Supply
  U.S.:      External UL approved power supply, AC-DC converter
    Input:   120 V AC, 60Hz
    output:  9V DC, 1.5A
  Europe:    External VDE approved power supply, AC-DC converter  
    Input:   230 AC, 50 Hz
    Output:  9V DC, 1.5A   
Operating Environment:  0 to 40 degress C (32-105 degrees F)
Enclosure:   Plastic exterior with non-skid rubber feet
Warranty:    6 month limited warranty on parts and labor

Minimum Hardware Requirements:
  Atari Falcon030 with 30 MB HD
  NeXT workstation with 105 MB HD
  Apple Macintosh with 40 MB HD and integrated audio I/O

---------------------------------------------------------------
All product or brandnames are trademarks or registered 
trademarks of their respective companies.

Digital-Optical-Analog, Inc. reserves the right to change 
its product specifications without notice as we continue 
to make product modifications and improvements.  BlackMail
is to be submitted for requisite FCC approval before the 
end of 1992.  Final FCC approval is required before sale or  
distribution of this product.
 

                              --==--==--==--==--


 |||  Atari Online Review
 |||  By: Doyle C. Helms 
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.4
      -------------------

Happy New Year! May your new year be prosperous and productive!

Let me introduce this segment of Atari Explorer Online to you and define
what it will hopefully become. With YOUR input and help I will attempt to
bring you informative software reviews and information regarding the files
listed on GEnie for you download pleasure. Please feel free to E-mail me
(AEO.4) on GEnie with your comments and suggestions.

This first installment of Atari Online Review will deal mainly with the
offerings GEnie (ST-RT). I will attempt to cover what has been posted
during the previous 2 weeks and hope you will find it informative and
helpful in deciding what your download choices will be. If I do not
include an upload in my review for a certain issue, do not take that as
the program/file is not worthy of your attention, I may very well get back
to reviewing it at a later date. If I do not review a file that you feel
should be known to other Atarians, drop me E-Mail and I WILL investigate.
Your input is always welcome!

Let us move on to this issue's reviews and meanderings...

//// Special Interest

If you are a user of XControl panel (from Atari) and you have TOS 2.05
or greater, you more than likely are the proud owner of NEWDESK ICON
EDITOR CPX from Scott Sanders. Please note that an update from
SDS(Software Development Systems) can be found on GEnie (file #27086) that
will update NewDesk Icon Editor. This file, posted by Ed Krimen, will
enable users with screens smaller than 1280x960 to patch their NewDesk
Icon Editor. Please download this file to update your program for maximum
productivity and usage.

//// Games

This being New Year's weekend and the spirit is of a joyous and fun mood,
I will take a look at the fun side of computing. Games, yes games!

     TMCL1292.LZH (file # 27081)on GEnie ST-RT, contains a 192K+ text file
of hints and cheats for various games on the ST/E. This Game cheat/help
listing was compiled by Steven Wells of New Zealand and uploaded by
M.CULVER4 to GEnie ST-RT. The author of this ASCII listing states that he
cannot be held accountable for any boredom that is caused by the use of
these cheats. Using the cheat/tip list can cause a game to go to smoothly
and all of the enjoyment is lost by the absence of a challenge. I
recommend downloading this file if you are a gamer and you need help in
order to get over a place in the game that has caused you many hours of
frustration. I do not recommend using this text file on a newly acquired
game.

     Mr. Krimen also posted a FANTASTIC game by the name of CYBERNTX.LZH
(file #27082)in the ST-RT. This game is a Defender type clone with
outstanding graphics and digitized sounds. Again, if you are a gamer, you
MUST add this file to your collection! If you are not a gamer, then this
program may just turn you into one!

     While we are on the subject of fantastic, be sure to download 
MEGAPEDE.LZH(file #27013). One of my all time favorite games on the Atari
is Centipede. I guess I am revealing my computer age a little bit here,
but what the heck. MEGAPEDE is a worthy successor to Centipede! The
author of this outstanding game is Robert Dytmire. Mr. Dytmire is also the
author of MRS.MUNCHIE, a MS.PACMAN clone. Please understand that this is
NOT a DNA clone of Centipede, but a well executed mutation! This program
is shareware, but could very well be a commercial offering at a much
higher price than the suggested shareware fee. This program requires color
and a minimum 1 megabyte system. MEGAPEDE WILL run on a TT if 24BIT.PRG is
used. 

     To further expand the definition of fantastic, you HAVE to have
OXYD(mono or color)! These games were recently offered as FREE downloads
via DARLAHs TREAT of the MONTH. If you missed the TREAT, you can still
find the files, #26743 for the MONO version and #26740 for the COLOR
version. This game is a  little difficult to describe, but rest assured
that this is one game that will become a classic. For further information,
level codes and almost anything else concerning these programs, CATegory 9
TOPic 45 has been designated to help those who pursue this game. See ya'
there!

     Do you have children? Do they like to play computer games? If so,
check out file #27011 KID_GP.LZH. This game was featured on the cover disk
of ST Review(UK Magazine). Joystick required.

     ST Review has another interesting cover disk game posted on GEnie.
EVADER.LZH(file #27012 uploaded by D.MUNSIE). IF you like fast action
shoot 'em ups, this is for you.

     STKW1218.ARC(file #26996) uploaded by J.SELLERS2 is a game for all
the Star Trek fans out there. This game contains very good animations and
digitized voices. Color and 1 meg RAM and a  Double Sided drive required.
Please have an extended format DS disk ready.

     I think the games listed above will occupy you and yours for many
hours during this holiday weekend. Once you have 'gamed' yourself to a
frazzle and are ready to get back to reality in computing, check out the
files for download listed below.

//// Productivity

     MAXID_22.LZH (file #27085 uploaded by the ever present Ed Krimen), is
a innovative RAM disk utility. When this program is executed from the AUTO
folder, MAXIDISK creates a reset proof RAMDISK that compresses data that
sent to it and decompresses when copying from or executing from the
RAMDISK.

     ALADVU20.ARC (file #27074 uploaded by J.ALLEN37) is a application
that allows the Aladdin GEnie user to load in their ATARISTR.DAT files and
perform various operations such as SEARCH. If you are an ALADDIN user (if 
not why not?) then this program is a nice addition.

     SPACSHUT.LZH (file #27073 uploaded by the author D.BECKER8) is a data
file containing information concerning the NASA Space Shuttle program.
This is a CONNECTIONS FAMILY file. Included in this data file is
animations, digitized sounds, graphics and much more. You will need
CONNECTIONS Interactive Multimedia (file #26693) program in order to
view/use this file. 

     GRMEYER uploaded a CAL_63 DAT file (file #27084)that is for the
Woodstock generation. This DAT file contains 59 events that is funny,
trivial and serious in nature. For those new to the Atari world, CAL_63
(file #26772) is a program or Accessory that is like a calendar and or
event alarm. The user can EASILY insert dates and or events to remember.
CALendar version 6.3 is commercial quality and a must have for ALL
Atarians.

     Enough of the serious stuff. Hey, this is a festive holiday weekend,
let's enjoy ourselves some more.

////  Sound Files

     D.MCANDREW has uploaded several GEM sound files for our listening
pleasure.

     #27107 WORKWORK.LZH - From the Blazing Saddles movie:
                           "Work,work,work,work,work" uttered by the 
                            Guv(Mel Brooks)
     #27106 WOMENAT.LZH  - "Hey, where are the white women at?" 
                            uttered by the Sheriff
     #27105 BS.LZH       - "Bull****!" exclaimed by the entire 
                            town
     #27104 HOJO.LZH     - "Howard Johnson is right!"
     #27097 BLOWIT.LZH   - "Blow it out *!@#*$!, Howard"
     #27095 GIBBERSH.LZH - "AROWRAR!" frontier gibberish from a 
                            Gabby Hayes type
     #27094 ARGUE.LZH    - "Now who can argue with that?"

     All of the above listed GEM SOUNDS are very humourous in nature, but
some may be a little risque. Parental guidance is expected. These GEMSOUND
files replace the system event bells and keyclicks. You will need
GEMSND_E.ZIP(STZip version 2.0 or later to extract) file #26332. The user
also needs Atari's XControl panel in order to install the CPX module.

////   Graphic Files

     PIXEL_DM.LZH (file #27049 uploaded by REALM). PIXEL GRABBER is a
program that allows the user the ability to capture screen images from
within any program. The formats for saving these images includes ICN, PI?,
NEO, PNT and IMG(GEM,XIMG,STTT or Seurat formats. GFA DATA statements is
also an option. This is a DEMO version. This DEMO allows for ONE screen
save per session.

     REALM also uploaded three DYNACADD drawings. These files are 
SMLSTILL.LZH(#27066) which  is a drawing of a small STill, LYNX.LZH
(#27065) which is a drawing of the REALM softcase for the LYNX portable
game system from Atari. Finally, PORTFOLO.LZH is a drawing of the
Portfolio(from Atari naturally)handheld computer.

     ST.LOU has uploaded several Calamus font samples. 
     File # 27056 - NEW_GOTH.LZH
          # 27055 - ITC_ZAPT.LZH
          # 27054 - ITC_SYMB.LZH
          # 27053 - ITC_SOUV.LZH

     S.GAREE has uploaded a VERY nice set of GDOS compatible fonts of the
Century SchoolBook family. CENTGDS2.ARC (#27059) contain 12,18 and 24
point GDOS fonts. The printer fonts are for 300dpi and the screen fonts
are for 72dpi. Font ID is 121

     R.FUKUDA has uploaded some PI2 format DEGAS files (ASTROBOY.ARC
#27110) from the ASTROBOY television show. These picture files were
captured using VIDI. Usually PI2 digitized files do not turn out very
well, but in my opinion, these are very good!

Well, I guess that about wraps it up (no pun intended) for this
installment of Atari Online Review. Please give me some feedback as to how
you would like to see this segment mature in the future!


                              --==--==--==--==--


 |||
 |||  GEnie Atari ST RoundTable News
/ | \ Courtesy: GEnie
      ------------------------------

Atari Roundtable Weekly News

 = DARLAH'S TREAT =

    ***************************************************************

       Happy Holidays from the Atari Roundtable and GEnie!

  Darlah's Holiday Treat of the Month [page 475;9] is PHNXDEMO.LZH
  from LEXICOR2. This the DEMO version of Phoenix object render from
  Lexicor Software. The LZH file also includes SPC & GIF sample files.
  This is a must have program for all ATARI computers. Phoenix support
  different light sources, 3 different cameras, texture and image
  mapping: SPC, GIF & TGA are support. This is a very fast render.

    ***************************************************************

 = REALTIME CONFERENCES =

 = Friday Bob Brodie RTC =

 Join Bob Brodie on Friday the 8th of January starting at 10:00 pm EST
 to talk about what is in store for Atari this coming year. Join in
 the question and answer session!

 = Scheduled Wednesday RTC Guests =

    Watch this spot for an important announcement concerning an
    upcoming RTC, featuring more Atari Programmers at one time,
    in one place, than you've ever seen before, as the IAAD
    are our special guests January 13, 1993, 10:00 pm EST.

 Have an idea for an Realtime Conference? Wish to promote a product,
 show or service? Atari Roundtable Realtime Conference provides an
 excellent platform for announcements and discussions. Contact RTC$,
 for requirements  and information on holding formal RTCs. We also
 capture and edit the formal conferences and uploads them into the
 Atari RT's Library for you.

 = Monday Realtime Conference =

 Stop in for Monday's Desktop Publishing Realtime Conferences. Hosted
 by Lou Rocha with regular guests dealing with all aspects of DTP and
 associated topics.

 = Atari ST Help Desk =

 Atari ST Roundtable holds a Sunday Help Desk to answer your questions
 on GEnie, Atari ST Roundtable and the line of Atari computers. Stop in
 and ask questions or just visit the Atari RT staff and users. The Help
 Desk starts at 9:00 pm EST Sunday on page 475;2.

 = RTC Transcripts =

      --------------------------------------------------
27028 GAMESRTC.ARC             X BRIAN.H      921220    7808     27  13
      Desc: Gaming RTC - Eric Bitton
26912 LEXICOR.ARC              X BRIAN.H      921213   16384     74  13
      Desc: LEXICOR RTC 9Dec92
26809 BRODIE3.ARC              X ST.LOU       921205   12672    430  13
      Desc: Lots of Christmas Specials from Bob
      --------------------------------------------------

    For Realtime Conference inquires and comments contact: RTC$

 = LIBRARY =

 Last Week's Top Downloaded Programs/Utilities:

      ---------------------------------------------------
27013 MEGAPEDE.LZH             X D.MUNSIE     921220  242816    219   8
      Desc: Millipede for the 90's!
27074 ALADVU20.ARC             X J.ALLEN37    921224   25728    185   7
      Desc: Version 2.0 Aladdin File Viewer
27019 PRINTALL.LZH             X OUTRIDER     921220   27648    155  28
      Desc: Multi-Format HP DJ Print Utility!
27012 EVADER.LZH               X D.MUNSIE     921220   81408    151   8
      Desc: Fast action shoot-em-up.
26996 STKW1218.ARC             X J.SELLERS2   921219  311424    138   8
      Desc: Great Star Trek battle simulation!
27082 CYBERNTX.LZH             X E.KRIMEN     921225   98560    113   8
      Desc: Excellent Defender clone
27071 CFN_SHOW.LZH             X GRMEYER      921224   14976    103  30
      Desc: Display Calamus fonts on screen
27011 KID_GP.LZH               X D.MUNSIE     921220   49152    103   8
      Desc: Cute platform type game.
      ---------------------------------------------------

 Last Week's New Demos:

      ---------------------------------------------------
27049 PIXEL_DM.LZH             X REALM        921223   34432     63  10
      Desc: Saving Screen Grabber Demo!
27008 CAMPAIGN.LZH             X S.KIPKER     921219   70272     80  10
      Desc: DEMO of New War Simulator for Atari.
      ---------------------------------------------------

 Last Week's Press Releases in the Library

      ---------------------------------------------------
27113 3DFLPTCL.ASC             X MAG.SOFTWARE 921228    4352     47  14
      Desc: Last Chance For 3-D Floptical Sale!!
27103 WONDERLA.TXT             X M.MIELKO1    921227    1536     21  14
      Desc: A new BBS!! Michael's Wonderland..
27078 CATALOG.ZIP              X B.VARGO      921225  156288     85  14
      Desc: D & P Computer Software Catalog
      ---------------------------------------------------


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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--                                                                       --
--   1. Set your communications software for half duplex (local echo)    --
--   at 300, 1200, or 2400 baud.                                         --
--                                                                       --
--   2.  Dial toll free: 1-800-638-8369 (or in Canada, 1-800-387-8330).  -- 
--   Upon connection, enter HHH.                                         --
--                                                                       --
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--                                                                       --
--   4.  Have a major credit card ready.  In the U.S., you may also use  --
--   your checking account number.                                       --
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--   638-9636 or write: GEnie, c/o GE Information Services, P.O. Box     --
--   6403, Rockville, MD 20850-1785.                                     --
--                                                                       --
--       --==--==--  Atari's Official On-line Resource!  --==--==--      --
---------------------------------------------------------------------------


                              --==--==--==--==--

 |||
 |||  Continuing Coverage of CuSTomer Support
/ | \ Courtesy: GEnie and the FNET
      ---------------------------------------

In our last issue of Atari Explorer Online, we reprinted an article
written by Don Harris, regarding his problems attempting to purchase an
Atari TT030.

To refresh your memory, Don had paid in advance for two TT030 systems from
ABCO Computer Consultants of Jacksonville, FL. ABCO is owned and operated
by Ralph Mariano, who is also publisher of ST Report International Online
Magazine. At the time of our last issue, and indeed at this time, it 
appears Ralph Mariano has yet to deliver the systems that Don Harris fully
paid for in advance. As Don indicated previously, Ralph Mariano has also
declined to refund Don's money to him.

Here are some of the recent messages online regarding ABCO Computer
Consultants, and mail order problems.


Courtesy of The Atari ST Roundtable on GEnie
------------
Category 18,  Topic 13
Message 10        Mon Dec 21, 1992
D.HARRIS8                    at 22:19 EST
 
 Lee, you're more than correct in saying there has been ample time.  It
 seems more and more that what JWEAVER said is real close to the truth.
 That is, that Ralph is using customers that pay in advance to finance
 other purchases, for interest-free loans.
 I have, therefore, filed suit against Ralph Mariano and ABCO Computer
 Consultants for Breech of Contract and also for Fraud, contending that
 he never intended to deliver the equipment I paid for because he is
 unable to.  I have received many reports from various people and places
 attesting to the way ABCO has been conducting business, and encouraging
 a suit as you have.  I also received information recently that Ralph
 indeed never intended to sell me new TT030's, but in fact he was going
 to deliver USED ones that he bought and then refurbished if necessary.
 Never once did he say, inform or even intimate that the TT's I was
 purchasing would be used.  He did, in fact, say that he wanted to be
 sure he got me the very latest product.
 Ralph's silence on this is deafening.  Perhaps he is formulating his
 defense.  I will be interested to hear what it is going to be.  I'm 
 curious to see if he can indeed defend his actions without resorting
 to insults and inuendoes aimed at me.  I have in all of my
 correspondence with him and about him tried to uphold a level of
 decency and doggedly stick to nothing but the facts.  Can the master
 of the written word (as I've heard him called!) do so as well?
 Sorry I'm here under these circumstances but Merry Christmas to all.
 Don

 --==--                           --==--                         --==--
A string of messages from the FNET seems to indicate that the problems
that Don Harris has experienced are not unique... or even strictly an
American phenomenom. There are apparently some upset sysops in the UK
awaiting hard drives and modems from ABCO as well:
 --==--                           --==--                         --==--

 Conf : Internat'l Communications
 Msg# : 62  Lines: 13  Read: 3
 Sent : Dec 3, 1992 at 8:38 AM
 To   : SysOp @ Node #669
 From : Spider-man at Spider-Man's Web (Node #711)
 Subj : Re: <58> (3 changes) ADD: 699, 189, 415.

 Nice to see this growing so quickly.  Now all we need are some posts.
 I'll start with one.  Have the European sysops that were owed modems
 and HDs received them yet or have they just been silenced by Ralph?


 Conf : Internat'l Communications
 Msg# : 73  Lines: Extended  Read: 4
 Sent : Dec 6, 1992 at 11:36 AM
 To   : Spider-Man
 From : Ben Van Bokkem at Dateline: Atari (Node #669)
 Subj : Re: (3 changes) ADD: 699, 189, 415.


 Replies: 77 78 

 In a message of <03 Dec 92  08:38:00>, Spider-Man (100:2/0) writes:

  > Nice to see this growing so quickly.  Now all we need are some posts.
  > I'll start with one.  Have the European sysops that were owed modems
  > and HDs received them yet or have they just been silenced by Ralph?
  >
 Hi Steve!  Nice to hear from you again.  Weren't you already
 taking this one via TurboNet?  As far as Ralph goes, after SEVEN
 months we still have received neither modems or refunds. Apparently he
 used the monies we sent him on other things and now claims he hasn't
 the means to honour his commitments.
 
 Although he never replied to related questions in his ST Report base,
 he just couldn't handle the embarassing questions and removed the Fnet
 Gateway to TurboNet from the base. A bit like John Miller's childish
 act in doing the same with this base,the Fnet World Sysop and Turbo
 support bases. Hence the reason for Al Petersen and Barry Torrance
 setting up new Fnet bases.  Refreshing change to have a couple of
 conscientious guys taking care of the International link on that
 side..... ;-)

 --- ScanMail 0.69
  * Origin: <<>> Aylesbury ~UK~   TurboNet (100:100/0)



 Conf : Internat'l Communications
 Msg# : 78  Lines: 10  Read: 2
 Sent : Dec 7, 1992 at 8:16 AM
 To   : Ben Van Bokkem
 From : Spider-man at Spider-Man's Web (Node #711)
 Subj : Re: <73> Re: (3 changes) ADD: 699, 189, 415. 

  Previously Ben Van Bokkem wrote:  
  > In a message of <03 Dec 92  08:38:00>, Spider-Man (100:2/0) writes:
  > 
  > Hi Steve!  Nice to hear from you again. 
  > Weren't you already taking this one via TurboNet?
  > As far as Ralph goes, after SEVEN months we still have received neither
  > modems or refunds. Apparently he used the monies we sent him on other
  > things and now claims he hasn't the means to honour his commitments.

 Yep, your recent post to Ralph came through yesterday.  


 Conf : Internat'l Communications
 Msg# : 90  Lines: Extended  Read: 7
 Sent : Dec 13, 1992 at 12:12 AM
 To   : All
 From : Ben Van Bokkem at Dateline: Atari (Node #669)
 Subj : Mr. Abco(N)


 Replies: 97 100 105 108 

 ---------[T_WLDSYS       ]-----------------------------------------------
 In a message of <11 Dec 92  03:48:24>, Colin Bruce (100:102/3) writes:

  > It seems Ralph's blatant profiteering is far more widespread than we
  > originally thought.
  >
  > =======================================================================
  >
  > Do You also have problems with this guy? I ordered two Maxtor 120Mb
  > SCSI-mechnisms and a Syquest cartridge in May this year. He
  > immediately draw the money from our MasterCard, not once but TWICE!! I
 ========================================================================

 And goodness knows how many other people he's conned.....  Perhaps it
 might be an idea for Conny to inform his credit card company exactly
 what Ralph has been up to? They might start proceedings against him

 If anyone in the US can point us in the right direction to recover the
 monies that Ralph Mariano STOLE from us, or put some 'pressure' on him
 some way, it would certainly be appreciated!

 --- ScanMail 0.69
  * Origin: <<>> Aylesbury ~UK~   TurboNet (100:100/0)


 --==--                           --==--                         --==--
And now Atari is getting letters from our customers online on GEnie
regarding ABCO Computers and Ralph Mariano:
 --==--                           --==--                         --==--


From: Walter S. Wilson

Sub: ST Report

 29 December 1992

 TO:  Bob Brodie, Atari Corporation
      Dorothy Brumleve, President - IAAD
      GEnie FEEDBACK
      Darlah Potechin, Atari ST RT
      Members of the GEnie Atari ST RT
      STReport

 RE:  STReport - My vote of no confidence (my opinions as well)

 FM:  Walter S. Wilson (WALLY.W)

 History:   ST  Report  (Silicon Times Report) is  an  electronically
 distributed  weekly E-Mag.

 The Publisher/Editor is Ralph Mariano; who  also owns  ABCO Computer
 Electronics   "Full Line Dealer & Mass Storage" [1].   ABCO runs  an
 average  8,677  byte  advertisement in each ST  Report  issue  (this
 constitutes an average of five to seven percent of ST Report).

 ST Report has historically editorialized (reported) from the, "Atari
 is  trying to pull a fast-one" point of view,  and has a  record  of
 stretched facts,  contradictions, and bullying folks who disagree or
 take  issue  with things they print.   DoubleSpeak  is  ST  Report's
 native tongue when pressed on most issues.


 Onward:    Recently,  I've  made  myself  aware  of  all  the  major
 complaints  against  ABCO Computer Electronics (also known  as  ABCO
 Computer Consultants).   There are many,  in fact, nearly as many as
 were lodged against Zephyr/etc.

 Recently,  I've seen STR (ST Report) writers ("editors")  harassing
 the Atari ST RT sysops and others who might call them on the  carpet
 for numerous issues.

 Issues such as...

      STR's Non-accountability to its reader base

      STR's extremely lop-sided reporting of Atari-related items

      STR's apparent agenda concerning Atari and Atari supporters

      ABCO's "FREE" advertising in a pay area on GEnie via STR

      Valid complaints about non-delivery of products from ABCO

      STR's "quiet" stance in this issue concerning ABCO

      The obvious conflict of interest concerning STR, Mr. Mariano,
      and ABCO

      STR's unwillingness to actually report items that are public
      domain (FCC item regarding Class B for the Falcon030) [2]

      STR's vindictiveness towards people who point out these things

 ST  Report's  Publisher/Editor  has an area on  GEnie  that  is  for
 letters  to  the editor of STR.   Many issues of great  concern  are
 being  touched on in this Topic,  yet the  Publisher/Editor  doesn't
 address a single item.

 This  same Publisher/Editor (who owns ABCO),  has a bad rating  with
 the  Better  Business  Bureau  in his  home  state,  has  many  very
 unsatisfied customers,  has a FREE FLAG on GEnie in the ST RT,  gets
 free  advertising for his company under the guise of an E-mag  in  a
 GEnie  pay  area,  and is completely aloof concerning any  of  these
 complaints.

 It appears to me and others in the Atari community that Mr.  Mariano
 is not "supporting" anything in the Atari community - except  gossip
 and bad business practices.

 To add to this debacle,  his senior writer ("editor") is akin to the
 "front  line"  in  his  GEnie  defense  squad,  and  nothing  posted
 regarding  Mr.  Mariano  gets  past  Mr.  Pulley  (either  with  his
 "official" STR stance or his "my own opinion" stance).

 It's  gotten this ridiculous...   In the ST Aladdin  RT  Mr.  Pulley
 states  as  a fact that he _is_ leaving STR after the first  of  the
 year.   Then in the Atari ST RT he and another STR writer ("editor")
 quibble over the fact that he said, "may be", and really hasn't made
 his mind up.  This is just the beginning of the doublespeak in these
 issues.   Who are we to believe;  the ST Aladdin RT Lloyd Pulley, or
 the Atari ST RT Lloyd Pulley?

 STR  writers ("editors") continue to harangue Atari Corporation  and
 Atari users in general over this Falcon FCC Class B approval.   This
 is after these writers were told where the information was (that the
 FCC had the information - which makes it public domain).   They (STR
 staff)  are still trying to convince the world that Atari is  trying
 to hide something...in the face of publicly available information to
 the contrary.

 Thanks  to  Lloyd  Pulley,  posting under  both  his  own  "personal
 opinion"  and his "official STR opinion" we've seen this  incredibly
 drawn  out harassment over  "interpreting the rules" in the  ST  RT.
 Simply  because  he  didn't like the  fact  that  his  objectionable
 message  got deleted...now he's on this personal vendetta to  police
 us all to death to make his point.

 I remember when STR covered the Zephyr computer store's questionable
 business dealings.   They did in in their best hybrid 20/20-National
 Enquirer  fashion,  and pulled absolutely no punches.   Now ABCO  is
 involved  in the very same type of questionable  business  dealings,
 and  still graces the pages of STR with no (I repeat,  NO)  scathing
 editorializing...   As  a  matter of fact,  hardly a  peep  at  all.
 Obviously  ABCO  is  receiving some sort of favoritism  due  to  the
 relationship  it  has with the Publisher/Editor  of  STR.   This  is
 hardly an "independent" publication we are talking about...hardly  a
 credible   source for  unbiased  information.  This  is  an  obvious
 conflict of interest.

 Even  further  back  (and on several subsequent  occassions)  I  can
 remember  STR's scathing stance on mail-order places,  and how  they
 hurt  real  dealers.   If  ABCO is advertising in an  E-mag  that  I
 receive in Sitka, Alaska, and they offer me ways of ordering through
 the mail...doesn't that make ABCO a mail order outfit  also?   These
 contradictions are rampant in STR's colorful history.

 What I have the biggest heartache with is this:   These people  have
 free reign in the ST RT.   They have free flags, and this gives them
 unlimited  online  resources  to  continue  this  kind  of   abusive
 activity...and apparently Atari Corporation and GEnie and the ST  RT
 approve  since they (STR and its staff) are allowed to do  all  this
 and still maintain free flags without being accountable to any of us
 for what they do, say, sell, advertise, etc.

 Sincerely,
 Walter S. Wilson


 [1] STR No.8.50, December 18, 1992  under dealer listings
 [2] STR No.8.51, December 26, 1992  STReport Confidential
    Class 'B' Certification Aye -Nay?

 The author retains all rights to this letter.  It may be used freely
 provided it remains intact and unedited in its complete form.


 ------------
Courtesy of GEnie:
Category 18,  Topic 13
Message 30        Tue Dec 01, 1992
REALM [Joey]                 at 01:21 EST

I couldn't really find a proper topic for this but everything else has
failed.  On 1/14/91 I sent Ralph some stuff at a discount before
getting paid.  I assumed it wouldn't be a problem since it's Ralph but
of coarse it was poor judgement on my part once again.

Here it is almost 2 years later and I have yet to be paid.  I've
spoken to Ralph many times but I have yet to receive anything
ressembling any sort of legal tender.  I assumed if I could trust
anyone to pay, it would be Ralph.  He seemed to believe in the
importance of supporting Atari developers and avoiding piracy.  This
is obviously not software piracy since it was Lynx goods but if you
take something without paying it's close enough.  I'm pretty sure 2
years is long enough to avoid any misunderstanding on my part.

Anyway rather then drag this out in public I've been quietly
mentioning my money about once a month.  I didn't get any excuse the
last two E-Mail letters so I just decided to bring it here.  I don't
wish to make it public but other then legal means theres not much else
I can do.  It's nothing personal, I'd just like to get paid.  Oh... I
did agree to take a 44Meg Cart in exchange as I really need one bad.
Last I heard they where backordered so if I'm complaining prematurely
I apologize. 

-----------------
Category 18,  Topic 13
Message 36        Sat Dec 05, 1992
J.ENOS [JENOS]               at 16:55 EST

I sold Ralph Mariano of ABCO Computers my Hard drives for $1030, and
found his check no good.  Can anyone suggest a way I might resolve
this problem.

 ------------
Category 18,  Topic 13
Message 90        Sat Dec 12, 1992
LEXICOR [Lee]                at 05:03 EST

This is both a personel and (LEXICOR) comment:

      We/I have purchased many thousands of dollars in goods from
ABCO/ralph.  This was up untill 18 months ago when ralph sold us a
Syquest with out the disk...44 meg carts. At that time he already owed
us one and told us that they were on back order. He also promised me
at that time that he would ship me the long over due first 44 cart and
the one just purchased right away. This never happned. Now I am a bit
blunt from time to time and I understand that no one likes getting hit
on the head over and over again about something as minor as 180
dollars of undelivered products.

      I spoke to Ralhp at least a dozen time about this and was
promised each time that the two 44 Meg carts would be sent ASAP. But
that has never happned, so now I am going to be blunt again As far as
I personally concerned (sic) and as a respected ATARI Developer and
Business I have to say that We have been cheated or defrauded if you
will out of 180 Dollars in goods which were paid for. There is simply
no excuse for such a thing. There is no communication problem here,
Ralph received money for products he advertised in this forum and has
advertised for a long time in each and every issue of STreport. As far
as I can see Ralph is very quick to attack ATARI and others when he
thinks they have in some way transgressed in his eyes, yet here we are
getting reports of possible business problems related to taking money
and not delivering goods.

      Seem to me that you don't get to bith out others for
questionable business practices and then turn around and do the same
or worse. I stand ready to offer documentation in hard copy of my
claim that at this point in time Lexicor has been cheated out of $180
Dollars in Goods by ABCO/Ralph. To add in- sult upon insult at one
point Ralph told me that he had shipped my goods and that the UPS
truck had rolled over caught fire and burned up! we would have to wait
for UPS to make good on the insurance claim be for Ralph could ship me
replacement goods.

      Through a chance problem Lexicor had when UPS totaly destroyed
a TT I had the telephone number of just the right person at UPS to
find out about the burned up UPS truck. A call confirmed what I
thought....No UPS truck had burned up in ABCO's regon or any where els
in the USA any time near Ralphs accident.

      My conclusion was he was simply not telling me the truth at
all, and had no intention of ever delivering what he owed. As far as I
can see he has no ligitimate reason for his failure in this matter. I
have jumped Ralph and Lloyed several times in this forum about their
literary slight of hand mostly because I felt then and feel now that
it is basicly dishonest to screem  whine about all the things wrong
with ATARI when they had failed to meet what I consider are minimal
business practices.

      If Ralph is going out of business then it is probibly becaues
he created the situation himself, the Atari community is to small
these days to get away with such business dealings very long. Even if
you don't see it here we all talk to one- another. I have no sympathy
for ABCO or any one else that fails or refuses to keep the deals they
make.

      I suspect that this post might get pulled because it might be
considered "not to be in the best interest of the ATARI forum" or
"that Genie might get sued by Ralh" because of content. Well If a
customer who pays money for a product advertised by a vender on genie
can't complain in that same forum about bad service and has been
refused refunds and or the goods purchased how good is the service
(Genie) in the first place, perhaps Customers who buy products from
advertisers on GENIE should go aftere GENIE instead? it seems to me
that there has to be some liability for one or both? I am not sure,
what I am sure about is that customers should not have to risk several
hundered dollars to find out they won't get what they paid for!

      I deal with customers on a daily basis and I make mistakes on
orders, get pricing wrong and any number of other problems. To date I
have only had to refund once in 4 years of selling ATARI related
products. I know just what is involved and how to fix problems, no
matter who slipped up-and no the customer is not always right, but
failing to ship for a year and a half is not acceptable, nor is
protection of such a situation.

Hows that for being blunt and to the POINT!

Lee Seiler President Lexicor Software 415 453-0271

-------------------
Category 18,  Topic 13
Message 117       Sun Dec 13, 1992
J.ENOS [JENOS]               at 00:00 EST

My complaint is still unsettled.  I have tried to contact Ralph by
phone and by EMAIL, but with no result.  My shipper is going after
Ralph for the bad check, $1030, and I am trying to contact Ralph to
try and settle this before it goes any further.  I don't know how long
the shipper is willing to wait, but his understanding has far exceeded
anything I would have expected.  If your listening to this Ralph, I
suggest you get back to me, PRONTO.

QUESTION:  I have read several posts about ABCO and Ralph M.; is ABCO
still in business.  The 800 number Ralph gave me is disconnected, and
the support line is no longer being answered.  If the business is
still alive, then it is certainly in "silent running."

----------------
Category 18,  Topic 13
Message 181       Mon Dec 21, 1992
JWEAVERJR [John@RSCARDS]     at 11:20 EST
 
A question for the SysOps: since it's becoming obvious that ABCO's
"business" consists more and more of obtaining interest-free loans
from potential customers, why are they still allowed to advertise on
GEnie (via STReport), and at GEnie's expense? Any magazine publisher
would have pulled their plug _long_ ago for this kind of crap.

----------
Category 24,  Topic 3
Message 217       Tue Dec 29, 1992
FAIRWEATHER [David]          at 21:49 EST
 
Hi all.  I have been a weekly downloader of STReport (and Znet and
AEO and every other online mag) for several years.  But after reading
in Znet about the ABCO/TT fiasco I am about to stop "subscribing" to
STReport.  I did download the most recent issue hoping to see a
detailed response, but none was forthcoming.  I can not in good faith
continue to support STReport/ABCO/Ralph Mariano if he is guilty of the
blatant lies and swindling alleged in the Znet article.  I expected to
see a detailed refutation or explanation or apology by Ralph.  As far
as I am concerned, silence or vague promises that "all folks who have
a legitimate complaint will be taken care of", is tantamount to a
tacit admission of the truth of the charges.  I want to know how
Ralph can sell anyone a "new" TT if he can't get them directly from
Atari.  I want to know about all those "defective motherboards" that
only Ralph seems to be cursed with.  I want to know why a complaining
customer can't get his money back after months of delay.  And if Ralph
isn't willing to tell me, then I don't think I need to read STReport
anymore.  How can I possibly believe anything Ralph says about Atari,
if I believe that he lies to his ABCO customers?

 --==--                           --==--                         --==--
Mr. Mariano has not posted a response to any of the complaints about the
business practices of ABCO Computer Consultants on GEnie to date. This
prompted a little bit of fun by D.A. Brumleve, President of the
Independent Association of Atari Developers:
 --==--                           --==--                         --==--

Category 24,  Topic 3
Message 147       Wed Dec 23, 1992
D.A.BRUMLEVE [kidprgs]       at 12:44 EST
 
 I've noticed that Ralph rarely posts here on GEnie even though he 
 does so frequently on other services.  And, so, without further 
 ado, I present:

      THE TOP TEN REASONS RALPH IS IN READ-ONLY MODE ON GENIE

 10) Lloyd has already posted for him.
  9) He devotes two hours a day to each service; it takes that 
     long just to read the messages on GEnie.
  8) More people would read his posts on GEnie, so he avoids 
     public embarrassment.
  7) Actually, he used to post messages, but people kept 
     responding to them.
  6) He's using his real name these days.
  5) GEnie has rules against name-calling, profanity, and 
     vulgarity, pretty much limiting what he has to say.
  4) He intends to post, but he keeps forgetting.
  3) His modem was on the UPS truck that burned up.
  2) The best defense is a good offense, and his latest editorial 
     has already provided the offense.

 And the Number 1 reason that Ralph is in read-only mode on GEnie:

  1) The handcuffs get in the way.


                            --==--==--==--==--


 |||
 |||  Shutdown ............................ Power off, EXIT, BYE, Logoff
/ | \ ------------------------------------------------------------------
      ------------------------------------------------------------------

There's an interesting GEnie RTC with many members of the IAAD set for 
January 13th. I would be remiss if I neglected to suggest that you should 
make plans to attend. Be there for this online programmer's jam session.

AEO is currently looking for staffers to provide us with message recaps 
from CompuServe, Delphi and the Internet. If you would like to share the 
wealth of information that exists on these services, please send EMail to 
one of our online addresses, or contact Bob Brodie at Atari.

Next issue, I hope to provide a peek at Atari's System Audio Manager 
(SAM), including screenshots. Until then, watch the online nets as 
preparations for NAMM build.

Until the next issue of AEO, I remain,
Your Editor
Travis Guy
"Go 'Noles! #1!"

                              --==--==--==--==--

Atari Explorer Online Magazine is a bi-weekly publication covering the
Atari computer community. Material published in this issue may be
reprinted under the following terms only: articles must remain unedited
and include the issue number and author at the top of each article
reprinted. Reprint permission is granted, unless otherwise noted at the
beginning of the article, to registered Atari user groups and not for
profit publications. Opinions presented herein are those of the individual
authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff, or of Atari
Corporation.

                              --==--==--==--==--

Atari is a registered trademark of Atari Corporation. ST, Mega ST, STE,
Mega STE, TT030, Atari Falcon030, TOS, MultiTOS, NewDesk, BLiTTER, Atari 
Lynx, Atari Portfolio, and the Atari Fuji are all trademarks of Atari
Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned in this issue belong to their
respective owners.

                              --==--==--==--==--

                      Atari Explorer Online Magazine
                   "The Official Atari Online Journal"
               Copyright = 1993, Atari Computer Corporation

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 ::  Volume 2 - Issue  1    ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE        2 January 1993  ::
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