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Article #495 (730 is last): From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags Subject: ST Report: 10-Nov-94 #1046 Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Posted-By: xx004 (ap748 - Fred Horvat) Date: Wed Nov 16 21:52:49 1994 SILICON TIMES REPORT ==================== INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ============================= from STR Electronic Publishing Inc. November 10, 1994 No. 1046 ====================================================================== Silicon Times Report International Online Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 R.F. Mariano Publisher-Editor ----------------------------------------- Voice: 1-904-783-3319 10am-4pm EST STR Publishing Support BBS Network System * THE BOUNTY BBS * ITCNet 85:881/253 JAX HUB ~ FNET 350 ~ Nest 90:301/3 904-786-4176 MULTI-NODE 24hrs-7 days 2400-115.2 bps V.32-34 v.42 bis 28.8 Hayes Optima 28.8 V.FC Data/FAX USRobotics Dual Standard 28.8 V.FC Ready Fax FAX: 904-783-3319 12am-6am EST ----------------------------------------- Fido 1:374/147.3 The Bounty STR Support Central 1-904-786-4176 FNET. 620 : Leif's World ................1-904-573-0734 FNET. 690 : PASTE BBS....................1-206-284-8493 FNET. 489 : Steal Your Face BBS..........1-908-920-7981 MNET - Toad Hall BBS.....................1-617-567-8642 ______________________________________________________________________ > 11/10/94 STR 1046 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" """"""""""""""""" - STR INDUSTRY REPORT - QuickTime 2.0 Ships - Frank's Corner - Adobe Drops Products - ZEOS Pantera P90 - Cactus B-Ball - TOSHIBA * SUPER HDS! - 32bit Disk & File - Mankins Editorial - DELL * NEW 486 LINE! - PEOPLE TALKING - DORFMAN AGAIN! -* COMDEX FALL'94 IS HERE! *- -* XEROX & HP DO DEAL! *- -* NEW TAPE BACKUP DEBUTS! *- ========================================================================== STReport International Online Magazine The Original * Independent * Online Magazine -* FEATURING WEEKLY *- "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ========================================================================== STReport's BBS - The Bounty BBS, invites all BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the ITC/PROWL/USENET/NEST/F-Net/Fido Mail Networks. You may also call The Bounty BBS direct @ 1-904-786-4176. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of excellent International Networking Systems. SysOps and users alike worldwide, are welcome to join STReport's International Conferences. ITC Node is 85:881/250, The Fido Node is 1:374/147.3, Crossnet Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is #620. All computer platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. ========================================================================== CIS ~ DELPHI ~ GENIE ~ BIX ~ PROWL ~ ITC ~ NEST ~ EURONET ~ CIX USENET ~ USPOLNET ~ CLEVELAND FREE-NET ~ INTERNET ~ FNET ~ AOL ========================================================================== SOFTWARE CREATIONS BBS is proud to distribute Silcon Times Report STReport International Online Magazine -------------------------------- With more than 130 Lines of PCBOARD access, Internet, Telnet and X.25 local access in every major city world-wide through SprintNet Software Creations delivers the files! -------------------------------------------------- Silicon Times Report joins names like Apogee Software, Borland, id Software, TriSoft, Interactive Gaming, PC Techniques, Coriolis, Fastgraph, PC Information Group, and many more. -------------------------------- Real-Time Credit Card Approval and Membership Upgrades The Software Download Store - for on the spot purchase/approval and download ability! -------------------------------- Call 1-800-4SWCBBS (479-2227); Fax 1-508-365-7214 for more information! ----------------------------------------------------- So, Get the latest releases from SOFTWARE CREATIONS BBS "Home of the Authors" * Software Creations, Voted #1 BBS for 1993 & 1994 * 1200/2400 V.42/MNP Lines : (508) 365-2359 2400-14.4k HST US Robotics Lines : (508) 368-7036 2400-16.8k V.32/V.42bis US Robotics lines : (508) 368-7139 14.4-28.8k V.32/V.42bis/V.fc Hayes Optima lines: (508) 365-9352 14.4-28.8k V.32/V.42bis/V.32terbo/V.fc US Robotics lines: (508) 368-3424 ======================================================================== COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME to the Readers of; STREPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY! CALL: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198 You will receive your complimentary time and be online in no time at all! "Enjoy CompuServe's forums; where information is at its very best! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""" Comdex Fall'94 begins in a few days...(Monday to be exact) the "heap" of release material on our incoming desk is enormous. Believe this the new goods both hardware and software is amazing. Networking (both large and small) without the need for extra cards etc.. is but one superb example of the technology that's being shown for the very first time anywhere in the world. Its really a great feeling to know you "can do" at any time your little heart desires. Or, if some one asks; "Do you have or know of a program that'll..." You know you can safely say yes as the odds of that program not being there are a million to one. Nothing like the old days of... I wonder when and if we'll be able to ... Lord knows I do not miss those days for a second. Recently, I came across someone "remarking" that I had some sort of "thing" going re; trying to put down Apple and Apple products. Nothing could possibly be further from the truth. What was said and continues to be said and will be said is simply put... if they continue as a niche market supplier they're done for. But that's really all moot now isn't it? The Power PC has/is and will change all that as the various operating systems will be made to comfortably "talk" to each other. Apple has turned its rudder slowly but surely toward the mainstream of PCs and thus reflects the bottom line, survival through joint, cooperative efforts. As each day goes by, more and more of the major, high powered, high dollar applications on the MAC platform are appearing in the GUI environment (Windows-OS/2) of the PC world with the same, if not more of their powerful features. The extremely liberal cross-platform conversion/exchange costs are making the transition virtually painless. The massive integration of the Operating Systems is, at last, going quite smoothly. Look for a great deal of Comdex Coverage over the next few weeks and remember... computing is fun! Today is Veteran's Day... My heartfelt sincere thanks to all who gave of their precious youth to make the world free for all us. God Bless each and every one of you. Thanks for reading us! Ralph... Of Special Note: ---------------- STReport will be branching out further to Internet's userbase in the very near future. We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addresses. As a result, we're putting together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wish to receive STReport on a regular basis, and we'll UUENCODE each issue and mail it to you. If you're interested in being added to our mailing list, please, send your requests to either "firstname.lastname@example.org" or, RMARIANO@DELPHI.COM. Look for mailings to begin by October first. We are also considering a number of Internet ftp sites in which to post our issues for as well. Whatever we can do to make STReport available to you. we'll try it! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's Staff DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! """""""""""""""" Publisher -Editor """""""""""""""""" Ralph F. Mariano Lloyd E. Pulley, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors """"""""""""""" PC SECTION AMIGA SECTION MAC SECTION ATARI SECTION ---------- ------------- ----------- ------------- R.D. Stevens R. Niles J. Deegan D. P. Jacobson STReport Staff Editors: """"""""""""""""""""""" Michael Arthur John Deegan Brad Martin John Szczepanik Paul Guillot Joseph Mirando Doyle Helms Frank Sereno John Duckworth Jeff Coe Steve Keipe Guillaume Brasseur Melanie Bell Jay Levy Jeff Kovach Marty Mankins Carl Prehn Paul Charchian Contributing Correspondents: """""""""""""""""""""""""""" Dominick J. Fontana Norman Boucher Clemens Chin Eric Jerue Ron Deal Mike Barnwell Ed Westhusing Glenwood Drake Vernon W.Smith Bruno Puglia Paul Haris Kevin Miller Craig Harris Allen Chang Tim Holt Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: Compuserve................... 70007,4454 Delphi......................... RMARIANO GEnie......................... ST.REPORT BIX............................ RMARIANO FIDONET..................... 1:347/147.3 FNET........................... NODE 350 ITC NET...................... 85:881/253 NEST........................ 90:21/350.0 America Online..................STReport Internet.............RMARIANO@DELPHI.COM IMPORTANT NOTICE ---------------- STReport, with its policy of not accepting any paid advertising, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Staff & Editors """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > STR INDUSTRY REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS """"""""""""""""""" IBM/POWER-PC/PC SECTION (I) =========================== Computer Products Update - CPU Report ------------------------ ---------- Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Issue #46 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. ******* General Computer News ******* ** CD Player Offers Many Formats ** Multiwave Innovation has created a new CD player that accommodates six major formats: audio CD, Video CD, CD-1 full-motion video, Karaoke CD, CD+G, and Kodak Photo CD. The unit also features built-in surround sound. Multiwave Innovation says the player, called MovieWave Station, is designed to give users access to major CD formats while avoiding the cost of purchasing multiple players. As a Video CD player, MovieWave Station provides full-motion MPEG ISO11172 video decompression and MPEG ISO11172 layer II audio decom- pression. The unit also supports the playback of Video CD (White Book) discs and Philips CD-1 Digital Video format discs. When playing Kodak Photo CDs, the player allows selective or sequen- tial viewing of images, and provides selection, rotation and zoom func- tions via a remote control The player provides a composite video output (NTSC and PAL) through RCA phono jacks. For audio CD playback, MovieWave Station has a backlit LCD panel that shows time and track information and offers controls for bidirectional search, shuffle play, repeat, intro scan and programming. For karaoke entertainment, the unit includes two microphone inputs, microphone echo, a 17-stage key shift, surround sound, and a voice cancel function that removes the vocal track from a CD. "With so many home entertainment formats based on the Compact Disc, consumers face a dilemma when considering a CD player purchase," says James Tan, president of Multiwave Innovation. "Many are uncertain which formats they should have. MovieWave Station tackles that dilemma head on -- it accommodates every major consumer CD format." MovieWave Station is set to ship in early 1995 for $399. ** Microsoft Exec Discusses Windows 95 ** Microsoft Corp. this week revealed that it hopes to launch its new online service, code-named Marvel, at the same time it releases its Windows 95 computer operating system software next year. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft executive vice president, confirmed releas- ing the two together is "our goal." However, he would not forecast just when this will take place, other than to repeat the company's already- announced goal of getting Windows 95 to market sometime in the first half of 1995. With the second major beta test of Windows 95 set to begin in a few days when copies are shipped to users, Ballmer said the results of this test will give Microsoft a more accurate idea of a launch date for the product. Among the promised new features of the system are a streamlined user interface, faster response and easy access to the Internet through Microsoft's online service, reportedly to be called the Microsoft Network. Ballmer did admit that the online service will be more limited in content than CompuServe or America Online. Industry analysts are predicting Windows 95 will be Microsoft's largest product launch ever and will generate $1 billion or more in revenue. ** Seagate Buys Applied Magnetics ** Drive drive maker Seagate Technology, continuing its spending spree, has agreed to buy the tape head subsidiary of Applied Magnetics for $21.5 million cash. In the past 12 months firm also has acquired Palindrome Corp., a de- veloper of data protection and management software, for $69 million and announced plans to built a $21.5 plant in Malaysia and a $135 million manufacturing facility in Singapore. ** QuickTime 2.0 for Windows Ships ** Apple Computer Inc. has released QuickTime 2.0 for Windows. The computer maker notes that QuickTime 2.0 for Windows gives developers a crossplatform standard for creating, using and sharing multimedia content between Apple Macintosh and Windows-based personal computers. Additionally, it offers Windows PC users higher- quality video and other multimedia features. QuickTime technology makes it possible for users to view and edit video, music, text, animations and other dynamic information on their computers. Apple states that a number of developers have already agreed to use QuickTime 2.0 for Windows in their upcoming products, including Simon & Schuster Interactive for its new Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual. Voyager, a New York-based multimedia developer, is also utilizing QuickTime 2.0 for Windows in its new titles Spinal Tap and For All Mankind. The QuickTime 2.0 for Windows Software Developers Kit is expected to become available in early 1995 for $195. ** Adobe Discontinues Products ** Adobe Systems Inc. has announced that it is discontinuing a pair of image and video editing products. With its merger with Aldus Corp. completed the company says it is making the change in order to eliminate overlap and provide better product development and technical support for customers. Effective immediately, Adobe will discontinue the retail version of Aldus PhotoStyler for Windows and offer current users an upgrade to Adobe Photoshop 3.0 for Windows for $199. Adobe, however, plans to continue providing PhotoStyler Special Edition (SE) via its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners. The company also announced that Hitchcock, a video editing tool previously distributed by Aldus, will be discontinued. ** Toshiba to Sell Super Drives ** A 2.5-inch computer hard-disk drive with a storage capacity of 1.08 gigabytes, said to be the largest in the world, is to be sold by Japan's Toshiba Corp. The company is quoted as saying it will begin sample shipments of the hard drive in January at a price of 150,000 yen, or about $1,500. Toshiba officials said the popularity of portable computers, which generally use 2.5-inch hard drives, is stimulating demand for hard drives with greater capacity. The firm said the market for 2.5-inch drives will grow 40 percent in fiscal 1994 to about $2.5 billion. Toshiba also has announced development of a 3.5-inch optical-disk drive with a 1.3-gigabyte storage capacity, which it said is the world's largest for an optical disk. The 3.5-inch drives are more popular in desktop systems. ** Xerox Signs Pact with HP ** A marketing agreement has been signed by Xerox Corp. to integrate its production laser printing systems with Hewlett-Packard Co.'s commercial Unix system-based servers. The pact calls for Xerox and Hewlett-Packard to each continue to maintain sales and marketing units for their respective product lines, but also to collaborate to identify markets and customers. ** Lotus Unveils CD-ROM SmartSuite ** Lotus Development Corp. says it will begin shipping a Windows CD-ROM version of its SmartSuite business suite software next week. Like its floppy disk-based counterpart, SmartSuite 3.0 CD-ROM Edition includes the 1-2-3 Release 5 spreadsheet; the Approach 3.0 database; the Ami Pro 3.1 word processor; the Freelance Graphics 2.1 presentation graphics application; the Organizer 1.1 personal information manager (PIM); the ScreenCam 1.1 multimedia screen and sound- capture utility; and SmartCenter, an application switching tool that provides cross- application user assistance. Lotus' SmartPics Sampler for Windows and SmarText DocOnline are new to SmartSuite 3.0 CD- ROM Edition. The SmartPics Sampler, a clip-art library, includes more than 100 pieces of clip art that are ready to use in SmartSuite applications. Lotus' SmarText DocOnline reader, available in all of Lotus' CD-ROM Editions, provides users with full product documentation. SmartSuite 3.0 CD-ROM Edition will sell for about $499. The product will be available to users of current Lotus standalone desktop applica- tions and to users of qualifying competitive suites, spreadsheets, word processors, databases and presentation graphics packages for $299. Lotus has also announced that it is shipping Lotus Gallery, a free CD-ROM that features full 45-day trial versions of several Lotus desktop applications. Additionally, the company has announced three separate Knowledge Base CD-ROM databases for its Notes, SmartSuite and cc:Mail products. ** Dell Unveils Dimension 486D ** Dell Computer Corp. has introduced the Dimension 486D, a new line of business computers for home office and small business users. The Dell Dimension 486D models are available in desktop and mini- tower configurations. The system range from a base 66MHz 486DX2 machine to a top- of-the-line 100MHz 486DX4 model. All Dell Dimension 486D models offer Pentium microprocessor upgrade capabilities. The Dimension 486D line incorporates the Enhanced IDE interface, a new standard for high-performance peripherals. With Enhanced IDE, Dimension 486D systems can accommodate hard disks with capacities ranging up to 1GB. The Dimension 486D line is available immediately. A desktop model with a 66MHz 486DX/2 CPU, 8MB of RAM, 1MB of video RAM, a 340MB hard disk, a 15-inch color monitor sells for $1,599. The Dimension 486D family replaces the Dimension V line. ** IBM Voice Software Available ** IBM's voice-activated software, called VoiceType Dictation, now is available to run on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system. Reports say the software has a 32,000-word vocabulary and types about 70 to 100 words per minute. The Windows version will cost about $1,000. VoiceType, formerly known as the IBM Personal Dictation System, already runs on IBM's OS/2 operating system and can be adapted for portable computers. It is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish on OS/2. Foreign-language versions will be available for Windows next year. ** NEC Offers Fastest Supercomputer ** A supercomputer that can process a trillion instructions a second -- making it the fastest in the world -- has been announced in Tokyo by NEC Corp. The top-end model of NEC's new SX-4 series will use a total of 512 microprocessors to accelerate to a maximum processing speed of 1.024 teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second). NEC said it will start taking orders for deliveries at the end of next year. ** Dell Unveils Multi-CPU Servers ** Dell Computer Corp. has introduced its first multiprocessor network servers: the Dell PowerEdge SP-2 and XE- 2. The new servers will be targeted at corporate and government network users who require additional processor scalability for applications such as Oracle database and Lotus Notes groupware. The new servers are based on Intel's 90MHz and 100MHz Pentium micro- processors and are compliant with the Intel Multiprocessing Platform Specification (MPS) version 1.1, the de facto standard for multiprocessing. Available this month, the Dell PowerEdge SP-2 will be priced starting at $6,598; the XE will be priced starting at $7,601 (both configured with one processor, 16MB of RAM, a 256KB cache, a 1GB SCSI hard disk, a VGA monochrome monitor and a 101-key keyboard). Both new servers can be purchased with either one or two microprocessors installed, Dell has also introduced a new Dell Server Management System, pro- viding a set of server management tools for all Dell PowerEdge servers. The new management system features a Windows graphical user interface (GUI) that enables a network administrator to remotely monitor a server's key functions. ** Apple, IBM, Motorola Sign Pact ** A pact was announced this week by IBM, Apple Computer Inc. and Motorola Inc. concerning a new hardware reference platform for computers built around the PowerPC chip they designed together. However the machines covered in the agreement will not be available to consumers until at least 1996 and the deal doesn't include a common operating system. Also: -:- The agreement does not end the incompatibility of Apple and IBM systems sold during the past decade. -:- The companies did not disclose financial terms of the agreement. -:- They did say, though, that Apple will be responsible for pre- paring its Macintosh operating software for the new machine. IBM will prepare its own OS/2 system, and Motorola will handle Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT. In a press release, the companies said the new platform defines an architecture (that is, a framework made up of open technical concepts, definitions, specifications and interfaces) that can be used by any hardware or software vendor to build compatible PowerPC-based computer products that are ready to run a tremendous variety of applications written for a number of industry operating systems. More technical information on the new hardware platform will be published next spring. ** New Tape Backup Technology Debuts ** Hewlett-Packard Co. announced this week that its Colorado Memory Systems unit is offering a new QIC-compatible system that stores up to 680 megabytes of data. Reports say that Hewlett-Packard used thin-film heads to create a high capacity system at a low price. Selling for $384, the Jumbo 700 uses data compression and runs on long-lenth, 400-foot tapes. The integration of thin-film mangeto-resistive technology has been combined with new minicartridges in a new format known as 900 Oersted media and dramatically increases recording densities. Hewlett-Packard said the Jumbo 700 conforms to the new QIC-3010-MC standard, which ensures data interchange with other QIC-compatible systems and backward compatibility with earlier QIC-40 and QIC-80 drives. "The Jumbo 700 fills the void that has existed between low-cost minicartridge drives and the higher-capacity data-cartridge systems," said Robert LiVolsi, marketing manager for the Colorado Memory Systems division. ** 'What's Online' Service Launched ** A new service called "What's Online" that will allow newspaper readers to keep up with online events has been created by Chicago's Tribune Media Services. The newspaper group says the service will provide readers "with up- to-date listings of celebrity guest appearances and other major events on the nation's online services," as well as "highlights, previews, reviews and tips." The listings will be available in daily and weekly formats. TMS Vice President Michael A. Silver said in a statement, "Interest in online services grows every day and online events are getting more and more interesting. Just like newspapers become a source for radio listings and now print television listings, we think the time is right for newspapers to begin to help readers find out what's online." The company said the new service will cover the major national online services such as CompuServe, Prodigy, America Online, GEnie, Delphi and eWorld, "as well as significant events from regional services, such as those operated by newspapers." ** New PCMCIA Card Standard Set ** The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA), in conjunction with the Japan Electronic Industry Development Association (JEIDA), has announced a new industry standard. The PCMCIA notes that the new PC Card standard is designed to enhance compatibility and functionality among PC Card products and provides for future high-performance PC Card applications. PC Cards are credit-card- sized peripheral devices that provide users with universal expansion capabilities for mobile and desktop computing platforms as well as communications and peripheral devices. PC Cards are used in a wide range of applications to provide memory, data/fax modem, local area network (LAN), mass storage, wireless communications capabilities and other functions. The PCMCIA notes that the new PC Card standard contains a wide variety of new enhancements and features designed to broaden the market for PC Card technology. The new standard includes support for multiple function I/O cards, low power cards and hosts and DMA. It also includes an interface to industry standard power management services, a 32-bit CardBus interface, and several features to enhance PC Card compatibility. PC Cards designed to the new standard will be able to offer users multiple functions on the same card, energy saving solutions by extending battery life, and support for performance-intensive applications such as multimedia, full-motion video and 100Mbps Ethernet. The PCMCIA is a non-profit trade association founded in 1989 to establish technical standards for PC Card(TM) technology. _____________________________________ > 32bit File & Disk Access STR FOCUS! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" When the update to Windows, v.3.11 appeared and then WFWG v3.11 became available a term became a buzz word in the computing community. That was.. 32bit access. As far as a technical explanation is concerned, we'll leave that to the boring technocrats. We more are interested in letting you know its worth the effort to get it working properly on your system. As stated elsewhere in this issue, (the Zeos Pentium article) waste no time in obtaining WGWG v3.11 and upgrading your Windows setup to this level. The increased performance and reliability is well worth the minimal investment required. Windows will become the considerably more reliable and faster as an added treat. The 32 bit file and disk access configuration setup that's available in the virtual memory area of the 386 enhanced choice on the control panel is straight forward and easy to configure. One point though. MS has always seemed to tell its users to make these huge swap files etc.. Not really needed! If you are running a 4mb machine... get more memory please ...get more memory. You will find that 8mb is more than sufficient for most everything except the high demand Graphics and DTP applications. Back to the swap file, a swap file of 4- 7mb is more than enough with a systme running 8mb of ram or more. The 32bit cache should be allowed to configure itself progrssively. I use a 2048k 32b cache and a 4mb swap file. Its plenty. Needless to say, my system flies. Anybody can use 32bit access if they approach its setup carefully. Its not difficult at all its simply new. Below are a few pointers and more detailed information about its use as applied to a few of the most popular and reliable hard disk mechanisms in use today. A point of information WDCTRL.DRV, the 32bit drive from Western Digital will work with types of drives other than their own. This is good. It makes the overall process easier. Readme File For Caviar Drives AC2540/AC2700/AC31000 06/17/94 Please read the appropriate section(s) in this file before attempting installation of your Caviar drive. Section 1. IBM PS/1 and PS/Value Point Computers. Section 2. Gateway 2000 VESA Local Bus systems. Section 3. Gateway 2000 PCI Bus Pentium systems. Section 4. Gateway 2000 PCI Bus 486 systems. Section 5. Using Windows 32-Bit Disk Access with Enhanced IDE drives. Section 6. DMA Mode Problems on PCI Machines Section 7. Using Windows For Workgroups 32-Bit File Access. Section 8. Disk Capacities: Mega bytes versus Million bytes Section 9. AST Desktop Systems With Translating BIOS Section 10. Installing OS/2 2.1 On Drives with More Than 503Mb Capacity -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Section 1. Special Information for Owners of IBM PS/1 and PS/Value Point Computers. IBM 386SLC based systems Some models of these systems will not support drives with more than 1,024 cylinders (528 Million bytes which equals 504 Megabytes). This is a limitation of the system BIOS in these machines. The systems in question are primarily 386SLC based computers. In these models, the maximum capacity you will obtain from a drive that has more than 1,024 cylinders is the following: AC2540 12.3 Megabytes AC2700 202.3 Megabytes AC31000 26.8 Megabytes It is not possible to circumvent this limitation using the Disk Manager software. In order to determine if you have such a machine prior to installation of the Caviar drive, you can use the DOS debug program to examine the system model identification bytes. In order to do this do the following. From the DOS prompt enter debug
You will then see the debug "hyphen" prompt, a - at the hypen prompt enter d F000:FFFE You will see the following display: F000:FFF0 F8 30 enter the following to exit debug at the hypen prompt: q If the numbers on the right side of the display match those above (i.e., F8 30) then you have one of the machines that will not support the drive. IBM 486 based systems These systems will support drives with up to 1,024 cylinders. It is not possible to obtain full capacity on some 486 models because of the way these machines cloak, or hide from view, the hard disk registers. This prevents Disk Manager from "seeing" the drive. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Section 2. Special Information for Owners of Gateway 2000 VESA Local Bus systems. If your Phoenix BIOS revision level is below 4.03, you may not be able to properly install any drive with more than 1,024 cylinders in your system. This situation requires a BIOS upgrade. Micro Firmware of Norman Oklahoma sells Phoenix BIOS upgrades that will permit the drive to function properly in these machines. They can be reached at 405-321-8333. In order to allow the drive to function correctly, albeit at reduced capacity, you must *manually* enter the following drive parameters instead of using the "AUTO CONFIGURE" option in the CMOS setup. Type Cylinders Heads Sectors Per Track Capacity User definable 1,023 16 63 503MB IMPORTANT! DO NOT use "AUTO CONFIGURE" to set up a WD drive that has more than 1,024 cylinders if you have a VESA Local Bus System. Choose User Definable instead. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Section 3. Gateway 2000 PCI Bus Pentium systems. The Gateway P5-60, P5-66, and P5-90 systems have a BIOS that will support the AC2540/AC2700/AC31000 drives at full capacity. In order to accomplish this, the CMOS drive typr MUST be set to "AUTOCONFIGURE". In the Advanced CMOS Setup option screen, "LBA Translation" should be "Enabled". Type Cylinders Heads Sectors Per Track Capacity AUTOCONFIGURE 1,048 16 63 516MB -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Section 4. Gateway 2000 PCI Bus 486 systems. The Gateway P4D-33, P4D-66, and P4D-100 systems also support the AC2540/AC2700/AC31000 drives at full capacity. In order to accomplish this , the CMOS drive type MUST be set to "AUTO TYPE". In the Advanced CMOS Setup option screen, "LBA Translation" should be "Enabled". Type Cylinders Heads Sectors Per Track Capacity AUTOTYPE 1,048 16 63 515MB -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Section 5. Using Windows 32-Bit Disk Access with Enhanced IDE drives. If you are using Windows v3.1 or Windows For Work Groups 3.11, you will not be able to use the built-in 32-Bit Disk Access driver named *WDCTRL. This is due to the fact that this driver was written prior to the introduction of Enhanced IDE drives and it therefore does not recognize drives with more than 1,024 cylinders. Included on this diskette is a replacement driver, WDCDRV.386, which will provide 32-Bit Disk Access on Western Digital Enhanced IDE drives. However, be aware that some third party software can interfere with 32-Bit Disk Access. Below is a partial list of software that has been identified as having an adverse impact on 32-Bit Disk Access drivers. There may be other software that prevents WDCDRV.386 from loading. The following lists some of the more common reasons why WDCDRV.386 may refuse to load, or may lock up the system in Windows 3.1 and Windows For Workgroups 3.11. 1. HIGHSCAN is present on emm386.exe command line. Remove the HIGHSCAN option. 2. There is another Virtual Device Driver (VxD) loaded in system.ini, or a DOS device driver loaded in config.sys, that is also talking directly to the hard disk drive. This includes but is not limited to the following: * VL-bus IDE controllers with drivers. * PCI-bus IDE controllers with drivers. such as DTC2130.SYS and DOSEIDE.SYS for Gateway 2000 PCI Bus Computers. * symevnt.386 from Symantec's Norton Desktop and the Norton Utilities version 8.0. In order for WDCDRV.386 to work, you must remove the other drivers from the system.ini and/or config.sys files. 3. DOS Undelete is in use (it uses Int 26h). Do not use UNDELETE. 4. "NoEMMDriver=ON " in system.ini causes 32BDA driver to lockup and will prevent 32-Bit FIle Access from working in Windows For Workgroups 3.11. You may have other software that *requires* this entry. However you must check the documentation for your other software to determine what impact removing this line will have on your system. 5. QEMM in Stealth mode must be setup as follows device=qemm386.sys RH:N SH:N XBDA:L or device=qemm386.sys ST:M must be changed to device=qemm386.sys ST:m Stealth mode moves certain data into high memory changing the address at which this data is located. This makes it impossible for the 32BDA driver to find this data and prevents it from loading. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Section 6. DMA Mode Problems If DMA mode was selected but the IDE channel does not support DMA, the system will lock-up. To prevent this, you must set the DMAFlag=Off option in the [WDCDRV] section of your system.ini file. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Section 7. Using Windows 32-Bit File Access. Windows 32-Bit File Access will not load if there is a file open when you start Windows For Workgroups. Some TSR programs will maintain an open file for such things as Print caching (the program PrintCache does this), or virus checking. Windows 32-Bit File Access will not load if there is disk compression in use. 32-Bit File Access can be made to work with Stacker 4.0 and Doublespace 6.2 by replacing the line device=*BLOCKDEV with the following two lines device=ios.386 device=VxDLdr.386 in the [386Enh] section of system.ini. In addition, the file RMM.D32, the Real Mode Memory Mapper, must exist in the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM subdirectory. The line device=C:\WINDOWS\ifshlp.sys must exist in the config.sys file and the file ifshlp.sys must exist in the Windows subdirectory. The line NoEMMDriver=ON must NOT appear in the [386Enh] section of system.ini as it will prevent RMM.D32 from loading which will prevent 32-Bit File Access from loading. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Section 8. Disk Capacities: Megabytes versus Million Bytes ALL drive manufacturers state and advertise capacity in Millions of Bytes. Some utility software will state drive capacity in what is called binary millions (1,024 squared which is a Megabyte), while some software will state drive capacity in decimal millions (1,000 squared). FDISK and the CMOS will use Megabytes (1,048,576) while CHKDSK uses millions of bytes. For example, an AC2540 at full capacity will be described by FDISK and the CMOS as having a capacity of 516Mb: this is equal to 540.3 million bytes, which is what CHKDSK would report. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Section 9. AST Desktop Systems With Translating BIOS In order to obtain full capacity with an AC2540/AC2700/AC31000 drive the system BIOS must support some form of translation in order to accomodate the number of cylinders these drive have. The following AST desktop systems support CHS to CHS translation. All these systems have AST FlashBIOS support so that they may be field upgraded using a BIOS upgrade disk from AST. The BIOS Revision column indicates the first BIOS revision released by AST which supports CHS to CHS translation. System BIOS Revision Premmia 2.00 Premmia MTE 2.00 Premmia SE 2.00 Premmia LX P/60 (AMI BIOS) - Premmia Business Multimedia 2.00 Bravo LP 1.01 Bravo LC 1.01 Bravo LC Business Multimedia 1.01 Bravo MT 1.01 Advantage! Pro (Bravo LC) 1.01 Advantage! Plus (Bravo MT) 1.01 Advantage! Adventure (Bravo LC) 1.01 Advantage! Adventure 486DX266mt (Bravo MT) 1.01 Advantage! EXP/60 (AMI BIOS) - The AST Technical Support numbers is (714)727-9630 and (800)727-1278. The AST BBS telephone number to obtain AST FlashBIOS upgrades are (714)727-4132. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Section 10. Installing OS/2 2.1 On Drives with More Than 503Mb Capacity There is a problem installing OS/2 on drives with more than 503Mb. This is due to a bug in OS/2 that won't allow it to boot from a partition larger than 503MB (528 million bytes). OS/2 will not install into or boot from a partition larger than 503MB. The following information will allow you to install and boot OS/2. 1 - During the install process, your are asked to accept or define the partition to install OS/2. CHOOSE DEFINE PARTITION, this will run OS/2's FDISK utility. 2 - Define the primary partition to be less than 503MB. Set the remaining disk space to an extended partition. (Normally the remaining free space is set to an extended partition or other configuration as desired). 3 - Set the primary partition to installable. 4 - Exit FDISK utility and follow the prompt to replace the floppy disk in drive A and reboot the PC. 5 - The installation should now continue normally. NOTE: If you initially tried to setup the whole disk as one bootable OS/2 partition, you will get a big red screen (INSTALL ERROR) from disk 1. Solution: - Boot DOS and run the DOS FDISK utility. - Check the current partition data using option 4, DISPLAY PARTITION. - If it shows 516MB and a file system (FAT or HPFS), go back to the main FDISK menu and choose option 3, DELETE A PARTITION OR DRIVE. - From the next menu choose option 4, DELETE A NON-DOS PARTITION, and delete the OS/2 partition. - Exit DOS's FDISK utility, and reboot to the OS/2 installation diskette and continue at step 1. In order to get the additional drive space formatted (13MB) in the extended partition, you will need to format that drive using the HPFS file system. (DOS's FAT16 file system is not supported because this drive will start above cylinder 1023.) **** Western Digital Corporation 32-bit Disk Access Issues WDCDRV.386 October 1, 1994 Quick List Of Error Messages Covered In This Document 1. WDCDRV can not load due to conflict with another virtual device. 2. WDCDRV can not load. Unrecognized disk software installed. 3. WDCDRV Validation Failed At Phase 01,00. 4. This program tried to access your hard disk in a way that is incompatible with the Windows 32-bit disk access feature (WDCTRL). This may cause your system to become unstable. 5. WDCDRV Validation Failed at Phase 09,1F. 6. Application Error: Control Caused a Load Segment Failure in module CPWIN386.CPL at address 0001:3CCA. 7. WDCDRV Validation Failed at Phase 0A,1F. 8. None. Windows For Workgroups locks up after the customer exits Windows For Workgroups and then restarts it. 9. None. Windows For Workgroups locks up when the customer starts Windows. Page 8 10. Fatal Error #2 - Turn Off Your Computer Now! The following; lists the error message (where applicable), along with the probable cause of the error message, and one or more actions to take to correct or eliminate the problem. Error Message: -------------- WDCDRV can not load due to conflict with another virtual device Probable Cause: --------------- 1. The line device=*int13 is probably missing from the [386Enh] section of SYSTEM.INI. 2. There is another VxD (Virtual Device Driver) loaded through the [386Enh] section of SYSTEM.INI. This is probably the SYMEVNT.386 driver from the Norton Desktop for Windows or the Norton Utilities v8.0. This driver must be removed for 32-bit disk access to load. 3. The CMD Windows VxD CMD640x.386 or the CMD DOS TSR driver CMD640x.SYS is loaded. If using these two drivers. WDCDRV.386 is redundant and should not be loaded. This is seen on the Gateway BATIP-3 Anigma 486 PCI motherboard. These drivers provide EIDE functionality and 32-bit Disk Access. Action: ------- 1. Insert the line device=*int13 in the [386Enh] section of SYSTEM.INI. 2. Remove the SYMEVNT.386 driver from SYSTEM.INI file. Or contact Symantec for an updated version of this driver. 3. Try to identify other recently installed VxDs or other device drivers that attempt to program the hard disk controller I/O ports directly. Remove them if you want to continue using WDCDRV.386. Background: ----------- The WDCDRV driver was unable to register itself to Windows 3.1 as a device driver, or it wasn't able to take over exclusive control of the I/O ports used by the hard disk controller. At this point, the controller has passed compatibility tests but software initialization of the control parameters hasn't been done yet. Some other VxD has already registered with the same VxD ID as WDCDRV or has already taken over the I/O port addresses that WDCDRV wants to take over. This can happen if you try to load WDCDRV more than once, or a vendor-supplied VxD wants to reserve the same I/O addresses or uses the same VxD ID as WDCDRV. Microsoft registers all VxD IDs to try to prevent these conflicts. The proper action is to identify recently installed VxDs or other device drivers that attempt to program the hard-disk controller I/O ports directly and remove them if you want to continue using FastDisk. Error Message: ------------- WDCDRV can not load. Unrecognized disk software installed. Probable Cause: --------------- 1. The most probable cause is STEALTH mode in QEMM v7.0x. 2. This error can also mean that a DOS device driver has hooked the ROM BIOS Int 13h incorrectly. WDCDRV checks for correct hooking of the interrupt by looking at the address of the interrupt handler. If it is not in conventional memory, and WDCDRV is loading , WDCDRV considers the address incorrect. Begin removing device drivers that hook Int 13h until you can successfully enable FastDisk. These device drivers can be identified by most diagnostic programs. If you still have problems, verify that all device drivers that hook Int 13h are up to date and follow Microsofts guidelines for hooking disk interrupts. NOTE: WDCDRV checks the BIOS Int 13h interrupt vector value to see if it is "acceptable". It broadcasts an Int 2Fh that asks DOS Int 13h hookers if they are "BLOCKDEV Aware". If they are aware of BlockDev and want fastdisk drivers to load then they will return 0 in CX. Action: ------- 1. Removing the command line option ST:M (or possibly ST:F) from the QEMM command line will disable STEALTH completely. The customer can also use the command line options XSTI=13 x=ssss-nnnn, where ssss is the segment address of the Int 13h handler and nnnn is the offset address. Information on obtaining the correct numbers for ssss and nnnn are contained in the file XSTI.TEC on the Quarterdeck BBS and on their Compuserve forum. 2. Run FINDHOOK.COM (available in Lib 1 of IBMHW on Compuserve in the compressed file FHOOK.COM) to identify the software hooking Int 13h. Determine if this software is critical to proper system operation. If it is not, remove it. If it is critical, do not use 32-bit disk access. Error Message: -------------- WDCDRV Validation Failed At Phase 01,00 Probable Cause: --------------- 1. The values returned by Int 13h Function 8h (Read Drive Parameters) do not match the values stored in the Drive Parameter Table or Enhanced Drive Parameter Table pointed to by Int 41h (drive C:) or Int 46h (Drive D:). This can happen if the STEALTH feature of QEMM v6.0 and above relocates the DPT or EDPT to protected mode memory. Since the FastDisk device is in its initialization phase and running in real mode, it cannot access the DPT or EDPT and cannot verify the the values contained therein match the BIOS Int 13h FUnction 8h values. 2. The BIOS is operating the drive in LBA (Logical Block Addressing) mode but has not built a valid Enhanced Drive Parameter Table. Either the signature is invalid (does not conform to the Axh pattern) or the checksum is invalid. Action: ------- 1. Removing the command line option ST:M (or ST:F) from the QEMM command line will disable STEALTH completely. Customer can also use the command line options XSTI=13 x=ssss-nnnn, where ssss is the segment address of the Int 13h handler and nnnn is the offset address. Information on the correct numbers for ssss and nnnn are found in the file XSTI.TEC on the Quarterdeck BBS or their Compuserve forum. These options prevent Stealth from relocating the Drive Parameter Tables and the Int 13h handler. 2. Run WDTBLCHK.EXE to determine if the BIOS is operating the drive in LBA mode and whether it has created a valid EDPT. If there is no valid Enhanced Drive Parameter Table, WDCDRV cannot determine the translation mode and therefore cannot load. A BIOS upgrade is necessary in this case. (WDTBLCHK.EXE is available in Lib 1 of IBMHW on Compuserve in the file CHKBIO.COM) Error Message: -------------- This program tried to access your hard disk in a way that is incompatible with the Windows 32-bit disk access feature (WDCTRL). This may cause your system to become unstable. Probable Cause: --------------- A device driver, TSR, or application tried to access the hard-disk controller ports directly while WDCDRV was loaded. WDCDRV returns an error code without performing the operation. This is probably a Virus Checker writing directly to the drive. This also occurs with the DOS UNDELETE program when run from a DOS window. Action: ------- Find the application or device driver that attempted to program the hard-disk controller ports directly. If you discover that the offending application or device is essential to the operation of your system, your only alternative is to disable FastDisk. Disable the 32-bit disk access checkbox in the Change Virtual Memory Settings dialog in the 386 Enhanced section of the Control Panel. Error Message: -------------- WDCDRV Validation Failed at Phase 09,1F Probable Cause: --------------- You attempted to use WDCDRV.386 in a system with no Western Digital high capacity drive installed. WDCDRV.386 will only load if there is at least one Western Digital drive in the system. Action: ------- 1. Remove the line device=WDCDRV.386 from the [368Enh] section of SYSTEM.INI. 2. Install a Western Digital drive. Error Message: -------------- Application Error: Control Caused a Load Segment Failure in module CPWIN386.CPL at address 0001:3CCA Probable Cause: --------------- WDCDRV.386 has a Block Count set which is greater than 0 and Windows For Workgroups is using 32-Bit FIle Access which uses Scatter/Gather DMA . This only occurs under the following conditions: Windows For Workgroups is in use 32-bit File Access is enabled WDCDRV.386 is loaded ROCKET.BIN is loaded in config.sys Action: ------- 1. Run the CAVIAR.EXE program and set the WDCDRV.386 Block Count to zero (0). If the customer has the older version of CAVIAR.EXE have them insert the following line in the [WDCDRV] section of SYSTEM.INI: BLOCKINGFACTOR=0 or 2. Place the command line option /W=1 ( or /W=1,1 for a two drive system) on the device=rocket.bin command line. This disables block writes in rocket. Error Message: -------------- WDCDRV Validation Failed at Phase 0A,1F Probable Cause: --------------- The BIOS has built an invalid Enhanced Drive Parmeter Table. Action: 1. Run WDTBLCHK to verify that there is an invalid/no Enhanced Drive Parameter Table. 2. Inform customer that a BIOS upgrade is necessary. Error Message: -------------- None. Windows For Workgroups locks up after the customer exits Windows For Workgroups and then restarts it. Probable Cause: Customer is running WFWG on top of Novell Netware 3.12 and using the Microsoft supplied ODI support layer VxD MSODISUP.386 (in the [386Enh] section of SYSTEM.INI). The Microsoft supplied ODI support driver MSODISUP.386 is incompatible with WDCDRV.386 v2.5. Action: 1. Disable WDCDRV.386. This allows network drivers to load. 2. Start WFWG with the /N command line option. This prevents the network drivers from loading and allows 32-bit Disk Access but no network access. Error Message: -------------- None. Windows For Workgroups locks up when the customer starts Windows. Probable Cause: Customer is running WDCDRV with DMA transfers set to "Auto-Detect" and the motherboard PCI-EIDE chipset does not properly implement DMA transfers. Action: 1. Start Windows with the command line option /D:F to prevent WDCDRV.386 from loading. 2. Run CAVIAR.EXE and disable DMA transfers and Scatter/Gather DMA. Error Message: -------------- Fatal Error #2 - Turn Off Your Computer Now! Probable Cause: Customer machine has a Phoenix BIOS v4.03 dated prior to July 1994 (7/94). This BIOS does not build a valid Enhanced Drive Parmeter Table yet it performs LBA translations. Action: ------- 1. Start Windows with the command line option /S to prevent WDCDRV.386 from loading. 2. Disable WDCDRV.386. 3. A BIOS upgrade is required from the motherboard/system OEM. One is available from Phoenix, but only to the OEM. _____________________________________ > Monker's Goodies! STR Feature Frank's Corner... for Kids """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" The Kids' Computing Corner -------------------------- Monker's Math Factory and Monker's Spelling Submarine reviews by Frank Sereno This week's article will include reviews of two more of Western Publishing's Step Ahead Software products. These programs are available for both IBM compatible computers running Windows and Macintosh computers. Monker's Math Factory and Monker's Spelling Submarine have the following IBM requirements: 386SX-20 CPU or greater, Windows 3.1, 5.5 megs of hard drive space, four megs of ram, video display of 640 by 480 with 256 colors, a Windows compatible sound card and a mouse. Requirements on the Mac are: color Macintosh II series or later with a high density drive, System 6.0.7 or later, two megs of ram, 7.0 megs of hard drive space and an 8-bit color monitor. Installation is the same for both programs. On an IBM compatible, simply insert the first disk and then run that disk's SETUP program while in Windows. The program will prompt you to insert disks when necessary, copy all files from the floppies to the hard drive and then create a program group and icons. On the Mac, insert disk one, then click on INSTALL. On screen instructions will again prompt the user to swap disks while it copies files to the hard drive and creates a "Step Ahead" folder and icons. Double-clicking on the proper icon on either type of computer will start the program. Monker's Math Factory is designed to teach early math skills to children ages six to eight. Among the skills learned are place value, one- and two-digit addition and subtraction, number families and counting in multiples. Math Factory also increases children's computer skills, problem solving and creative thinking skills. These skills will be learned by playing fun games involving mazes or the math machine. The main screen shows Monker and his friend Echo standing near the Math Factory. A green hedge maze is located on the right side of the screen. A picture consisting of three tiles is on the front of the math factory. Children can match and mix animal parts to create new creatures by clicking on each part. Several hotspots are located on the screen which will run amusing animations. Clicking on the hedge begins the maze games while clicking on the door to the math factory begins the math machine games. The quitting icon is a picture of a hole in the ground with a ladder emerging from it. There are two maze games with two levels of difficulty. These games require the child to guide Monker through a maze made of hedges and slippery mud puddles. The maze screen features a large picture with an overhead view of the maze. To the left are ten boxes which will be filled with toys as problems are correctly solved. Along the left edge of the screen is a box showing the number which is the key for the current maze problem. Below that is an icon for going to the math machine. Next is an icon featuring a pink flamingo. This moves the current game to a higher difficulty level using larger numbers and placing a randomly moving creature in the maze to impede Monker's travels. An icon showing a plus sign and the number series "2,4,6" allows the child to choose between the two available games. Below the maze is a picture of the math factory which will take the child back to the main screen when it is clicked upon. To move Monker about the maze, simply move the cursor to the desired destination and then hold down the left mouse button. Children will build problem solving and creative thinking skills as they determine the best path to take to gather the numbers. Often there will be no straight path to a number. Monker may have to walk to several locations to access a single number. In some mazes the child may have to use teleportation discs which magically transport Monker from one disc to another. The default maze game is the first level addition game. The child will direct Monker to select number pairs which add up to a target sum. Four numbers are in the maze. If the child picks an incorrect pair, Monker will add the two numbers, give the sum of the numbers and then repeat the target sum. On the second level, six numbers are now in the maze and the number pairs can total up to twenty. In both levels, as each number is chosen, it will be shown to the left of the maze as part of an addition equation. The second maze game teaches children skip counting or multiple addition. In the first level, four numbers in a series will be placed in the maze. Monker will ask the child to count in multiples of the target number or to keep adding that number. After finding the first number, the child can get a hint for the next answer by clicking on Monker and he will give the math equation. If the child chooses an incorrect number, Monker will tell him which number should have been selected. On the second level, two numbers not in the series are added and the child must find six numbers in the series before he gets his toy prize. Now let's examine the math machine. Available by clicking on the door to the math factory or from the math machine icon in the maze games, the math machine features ten chutes for dispensing toy prizes. These chutes surround a large oval screen which is used to display a math problem. Below that oval are ten ovals displaying the numbers zero through nine. To the left of the math machine is a door back to the main screen. To the right is the entrance to the maze games. Below the math machine are the icons for controlling gameplay. When the green button is depressed, the activity will be on the first level. The red button starts the second, more difficult level. The plus sign starts adding games and the minus sign starts subtracting games. The icon of a bar graph moves the gaming to larger numbers. In each game, Monker will announce the problem as it is displayed on the oval. In the addition games, the first level features problems which will add to less than ten. Each number will have a like number of objects placed next to it so the objects can be counted to find the answer. The child can click on the correct answer or type it in from the keyboard. On the second level, the numbers can add up to twenty and no objects are used to represent the numbers. If a wrong answer is chosen, Monker will tell the child that the correct answer is either higher or lower. By clicking on Monker, he will tell the child to "find the sum." Monker will repeat the math problem if the child clicks on it. The subtraction games are very similar. Monker will now tell the child to "find the difference." On the first level, the minuend is placed on the screen along with a representation in objects. Next the subtrahend will be displayed and that number of objects will be crossed out so the answer can be found by counting the remaining objects. The second level removes the representation of the numbers and involves numbers up to twenty. The last two games involve big numbers. The lower level game teaches place value by making graphical representations of numbers. The program then asks the child to count the ones, tens and hundreds and then correctly pronouncing the resulting number for the child. The second level game mixes addition and subtraction problems. The numbers will be represented graphically. In subtraction problems, the subtrahend will be shown by turning the blue symbols of the minuend to orange or yellow. The child will then be asked "how many ones" and then "how many tens." None of these problems will involve carrying over numbers to the tens column. The graphics in Math Factory are bright and colorful. The animations are smooth and lifelike. Monker's lips are in sync with his voice, even on a slow computer such as 386DX-40. His lips and tongue actually make the correct movements to form the words he speaks although some movements may be a bit exaggerated. The hotspot animations are very cute and amusing. The sound portion of this program is excellent. The sounds are vibrant and distinct. Monker's voice is clear and easily understood. Many amusing and appropriate sound effects are used throughout the program. The background music in the title and the main screen aren't particularly interesting but that doesn't detract from the program. The interface is extremely user friendly. From installation onward, Math Factory is easy to use. The program provides much positive feedback. Negative feedback is always very gentle. The user manual is concise and easy to read. If it has a flaw, it is that it lacks a technical support section to aid the user in case of problems. Support is provided by calling to Washington state. Math Factory is a very enjoyable computer activity. The animations should provide much entertainment for your child. The toy prizes should provide good incentive for your child to continue using the program. Educational value is excellent. Children should learn the basics of addition, subtraction, place value and other math lessons from this program. The maze games not only promote math skills but also logic and problem-solving skills. This program has a suggested retail price of $24.95. Some discounters will be selling it for under $20. Monker's Math Factory is a very good program at an exceptional price. Ratings Graphics ............ 9.0 Sounds .............. 9.0 Interface ........... 9.0 Play Value .......... 9.0 Educational Value ...10.0 Bang for the Buck ...10.0 Average ............. 9.33 ### Monker's Spelling Submarine teaches word-building skills such as rhyming, consonant blends and digraphs, long and short vowels and beginning, middle and ending sounds of words to children ages six and older. The main screen consists of the interior of a submarine. One set of activities is accessed by clicking on the X on the large wall map and the others are accessed by clicking on the ladder. The map games are maze games which require the child to find or build rhyming words. The maze is shown from an overhead vantage. Reefs and islands serve as impediments to navigation. Various currents can aid or hinder the player in his quest. Also available are two whirlpools which can be used as shortcuts from one whirlpool to the other. Monker will announce a target word and then it will be displayed in a small box. The default game involves collecting words which rhyme with the target word. On the first level, two rhyming words are placed in the maze. Use the cursor to move about the maze and gather the words. Click on the green sea creature to go the second level. This action adds randomly moving obstacles such as waterspouts. Also adding to the difficulty are more words, including one which doesn't rhyme with the maze target. Click on the "_op" icon to find word beginnings. These can be single letters or two letter combinations. The resulting words must rhyme with the target word. The first level only has two choices available and both make legal rhyming words. On the second level, at least one choice will not make a proper English word. I think that the program designers missed some excellent opportunities to teach children in this section of the program. When the child clicks on a correct letter to form a rhyming word or a complete rhyming word, it is not pronounced to the child. Wrong choices are not pronounced either. When words are added to the list under the target, these cannot be clicked on to have them read aloud either. If this had been done, I believe it would aid children in reading and enunciation. Click on the ladder to play more word games. Upon reaching the observation bubble, the child will see a fish graphic separated into three sections representing the beginning, middle and ending of words. When the child clicks on that area of the fish, he must provide the missing letter(s) from the corresponding section of the word. He will have three choices. On the first level, a graphic of the object will be shown along with a partial spelling of the word. The child will then have a choice of three single letter answers. The sun lever is the difficulty switch. On the second level, no graphic is shown and the answers can be two letter combinations. When the child makes an incorrect choice, that answer will be removed and he will be prompted to "try again, Matey." Again, when the child makes an incorrect choice, Monker doesn't pronounce it. Such an action would help children identify better the sounds associated with those letters. Graphics and sound are again excellent. It is a delight to watch the many animations and Bright Star's lip-synching technology is incredible. The sound effects and voices are done extremely well. Monker's Spelling Submarine even includes a bit more music than Math Factory, including some songs from a steel drum band. The interface is again very simple yet powerful. Navigation from one section of the program or from one exercise to another is a simple mouse click away. The manual is written well but it is missing information for solving technical problems. Play value is very good. Children should be entertained by this program for many hours. The hotspot animations and animated toy prizes will bring them back for more fun learning exercises. Educational value is good. Children learn much about spelling, rhyming and phonics. I do feel that some excellent teaching opportunities were missed when rhyming words and combination letter sounds were not pronounced. This program is an excellent buy. Monker's Spelling Submarine offers a great combination of entertainment and education at an extremely affordable price. Ratings Graphics ........... 9.0 Sounds .............10.0 Interface .......... 9.0 Play Value ......... 9.0 Educational Value .. 8.0 Bang for the Buck .. 9.0 Average ............ 9.0 ### STR and The Kids' Computing Corner Educational Software Ratings Title Software Publisher Rating Alphabet Blocks Sierra 9.67 Beginning Reading Sierra 9.67 Monker's Math Factory Western Publishing 9.33 A.J.'s World of Discovery Sierra 9.16 1-2-3 with Hickory and Me Western Publishing 9.16 A-B-C with Hickory and Me Western Publishing 9.16 Early Math Sierra 9.09 Busytown Paramount Interactive 9.00 Monker's Spelling Submarine Western Publishing 9.00 Thinkin' Things Collection 1 Edmark 8.83 The Tortoise and the Hare Broderbund 8.75 The Greatest Paper Airplanes KittyHawk 8.70 Stradiwackius T/Maker 8.67 EcoQuest Sierra 8.58 Crayola Amazing Art Adventure MicroGrafx 8.50 Just Grandma and Me Broderbund 8.41 Millie's Math House Edmark 8.41 Bug Adventure Knowledge Adventure 8.25 Gus Goes to Cybertown Modern Media Ventures 7.83 Mario's Fun with Numbers Software Toolworks 7.75 Muppet Letters American Education Pub. 7.67 What Would You Do? At Home Digital Theater 7.25 Lenny's MusicToons Paramount Interactive 7.17 Math Rabbit The Learning Company 7.17 Reading & Phonics American Education Pub. 7.17 Mixed-Up Mother Goose Sierra 7.08 Word Tales Time-Warner Interactive 7.00 Snoopy's Game Club Accolade 6.83 Yearn 2 Learn Peanuts ImageSmith 6.50 Fatty Bear's Fun Pack Humongous Entertainment 5.25 These ratings are a combined average of scores for graphics, sound, user interface, play value, educational value and bang for the buck. Readers are invited to send comments, program ratings or suggestions to the following addresses: FidoNET: Frank Sereno, 1:2235/10 Internet: Frank.Sereno@uti.com U.S. Mail: Frank Sereno 528 West Ave. Morris, IL 60450-1768 _________________________________ > ZEOS International STR InfoFile STReport Mini-Series """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ZEOS INTERNATIONAL, LTD. A DREAM SYSTEM! Let's begin the fourth article in an STReport mini-series on what can only be called a "Dream System" with the ZEOS International 90Mhz Pentium at the center. Through the course of the mini-series, we shall cover in detail the installation of each of the custom peripherals which are listed below. The Peripheral List: -------------------- A)- 2 1083 Mb Western Digital 31000a Enhanced IDE Hard Drives B)- 1 Teac CDROM CD55a 4x Drive C)- 1 Mitsumi IDE CDROM Drive D)- 1 Archive Viper 250mb SCSI Tape Backup E)- 1 Sound Blaster AWE32 Sound Card w 2mb & Roland SCD-15 Daughter Board. F)- 1 Maxtor 340Mb SCSI Hard Disk G)- 1 Canon IX-4015 SCSI Color Scanner 1200lpi w/ADF H)- 1 Fargo Primera Pro Color Printer 600dpi I)- 1 Hewlett Packard Laser Jet 4P Printer 600dpi J)- MAG Innovision MX17F Color Monitor 17" Non-Interlaced K)- 1 USRobotics Dual Standard V.34/V.FC/28.8 External Modem L)- Adaptec 1542cf SCSI Busmaster card & EZ SCSI Software along with a few other items yet to be made mention of. Installation of DOS 6.22 & WFWG 3.11 SET-UP of System by Ralph F. Mariano First things first, DOS 6.22 was installed in almost the blink of an eye. Now then, during my ramblings and lurking about the various messaging pipelines, I came across some banter about what I do or do not write. I thought I'd mention it as a way of saying "thanks for reading us" for whatever reason. For the record, STReport is put together with the dedicated effort of quite a few people who really do care. Now, let's get on with the installation of Windows for Workgroups v 3.11. The ZEOS Pantera has performed flawlessly since it came out of the box. What will WFWG do to the speed? We shall see. The installation was a breeze. Disk after disk was gobbled up, (I used gobbled because the entire process was fast) as the installation moved right along. Once completed, the re-boot prompt smilingly greeted me and re-boot we did. Up came WFWG just as neatly as you please. Elsewhere in this issue you'll find all you need to know to get the 32bit disk access and 32bit file access working properly. If you ever wanted to experience superior performance in a Windows environment, then do not hesitate..... In Fact, RUN to your nearest software outlet and obtain a copy of Windows for Workgroups v 3.11. You will thank your self repeatedly. WFWG is a "sneak preview" of things to come as far as Windows 95 is concerned. I'll talk about that a little later. While WFWG is a far cry from W95, it does give a very clear indication of what the new OS in W95 will be capable of. Once the 32b D&F access is complete, the speed performance is appreciable and of course, with this ZEOS Pantera Pentium 90, it is simply a blur. WFWG comes with many new faster drivers. Among those are the comm dirvers, comm.drv and serial.386. One of the most important features of WFWG 32bd&f access is that even though you may be using smart drive when you boot, WFWG will "turn it off" when it boots if you are using the 32bit disk and file access. This is a faster, highly efficient mode, greater than smartdrive can possibly offer. Many times in the past we've seen and heard the remarks about Window's speed. Believe this... its a thing of the past. Sure, when I began in Windows its performance left a great deal to be desired. But now, once I began to use WFWG v3.11 there was a remarkable difference. My old system flew (486dx50) with WFWG. With the Zeos, its amazing.. simply amazing. I mentioned that I'd have a thing or two to say about W95. It up to build two or so and one for the core group but the important thing is its obvious reliability, compatibility and without a doubt its high speed performance. Its not lacking any of these at all. In fact, its "detractors" are going ot be hard pressed to find any real faults. I'm willing to bet the best they'll be able to do is squawk about "cosmetics". Now comes the fun, the installation of the various software packages on this system. The Awe32 Sound Card by Sound Blaster and the daughter board SCD-15 by Roland will also be covered, not only its installation but the setup and configuration of the card and the CDROM it serves. So far, everything has been a breeze to do. Needless to say the machine I'm working with has a great deal to do with this. We've been calling a dream machine but the truth is its a very access machine that's a real pleasure to use. The Zeos Pantera is fast, reliable and simply put.. fun to use. Next week, the installation of the AWE32 card, its entourage and the Corel 5 package. Once the software installations are done, we shall proceed with the SCSI intallations. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N FARGO PRIMERA PRO COLOR PRINTERS - 600DPI For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates FARGO Primera & Primera Pro SUPERIOR QUALITY 600dpi 24 bit Photo Realistic Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's Fargo Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the FARGO Primera Pro has GOT to be the best yet. Its far superior to the newest of Color Laser Printers selling for more than three times as much. Its said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. Send for this sample now. Guaranteed you will be amazed at the superb quality. (please, allow at least a one week turn-around) A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. Fire up that high-speed modem and head for your favorite GEnie Software Library! Effective October 10, 1994, you'll be able to participate in an open beta test, offering access to GEnie Services at 9600 bps for as little as $5.00 per hour. As a result of an arrangement with Sprint, GEnie will be offering 9600 bps access from almost 300 SprintNet locations. Best of all, this high-speed access will not be subject to high-priced surcharges. The normal $2.00 per hour SprintNet surcharge will apply...even at 9600 bps! This open beta test is expected to run through the end of the year. To find the number of the SprintNet access number nearest you, simply type PHONES at any GEnie menu prompt (or use the "Move To Keyword" option in Genie for Windows and type PHONES). Remember, this rate applies only to 9600 bps access via SprintNet. So be sure to choose the access number showing "9600" in the "Baud Rate" column AND "SprintNet" in the "Network" column. From the "Fine Print" department, please note that the $2.00 per hour surcharge for SprintNet access is applicable even during your initial four hours of monthly usage. So, whether you're into downloading software, reading bulletin boards, or accessing databases, it's about to become cheaper to do it faster! GEnie Information Services copyright (C) 1994 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ___ ___ _____ _______ /___| /___| /_____| /_______/ The Macintosh RoundTable /____|/____| /__/|__| /__/ ________________________ /_____|_____|/__/_|__|/__/ /__/|____/|__|________|__/ /__/ |___/ |__|_/ |__|_/____ Managed by SyndiComm /__/ |__/ |__|/ |__|______/ An Official Forum of the International Computer Users Group *** STReport available in MAC RT *** ASCII TEXT for ALL GEnie users! MAC/APPLE SECTION (II) ====================== John Deegan, Editor (Temp) > NBA THRILLS! STR InfoFile A Thrill a minute! """"""""""""""""""""""""" ************************************************************ CACTUS LEAGUE PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL UPGRADE NOW AVAILABLE! ************************************************************ Cactus League Professional Basketball Version 4 is now available. Here is a listing of new features and enhancements to the award- winning Cactus League Professional Basketball Computer Simulation: 1. The rules enacted by the Professional Basketball Board of Governors on October 6, 1994, have been added. These rules, which went into effect at the beginning of the 1994-95 season, include awarding 3 Free Throws when a player is fouled while attempting (and missing) a 3-Point shot. 2. You may optionally save the Play-By-Play Text of a game. This is the actual text that is displayed by the simulation when you play a game. You can save the Play-By-Play text of a game even if you play the game in Instant Mode! 3. Improved Computer Coach, especially at the end of close games! 4. More Rare Plays! 5. Improved Records Module. The simulation now automatically maintains 198 different records for each league. You can View and/or Print each league's Record Book independently. Now, you can easily carry a league's Record Book from season to season, without affecting the Record Book of other leagues. Also, you may combine all of your leagues' Record Books to a Master Record Book that contains your All-Time records! 6. We have taken the Play-By-Play text to a new level! The Play- By-Play text has been freshened and lots more "Game Specific" text has been added... especially at the end of close games. The excitement of a close game is now incorporated more than ever! You won't believe how realistic and exciting it is! 7. There is a new Game Speed option: "Fast 'til Close." The Game Speed will be set to "Fast" (a key is required to continue at the end of a quarter only) at the beginning of the game (or whenever you select the "Fast 'til Close" option. If the game is close in the final minute of play, the simulation will automatically change to "Slow" game speed. "Slow" requires a key press after every basket and dead ball. This game speed allows you to savor the excitement of a close game. If the game is not close, the game speed will remain "Fast." You may adjust the text scrolling speed independently. 8. You may select "Instant 'til 4th" or "Fast 'til Close" as the default Game Speed in the Configuration Module. 9. The Import/Export functions have been enhanced and made more versatile and easier to use. Now all Export File are saved to a separate subdirectory on your hard disk. You may then, optionally, use an archiving program (such as PKZip) to archive the files. Then, copy them to a floppy to be sent to your league's statistician, or upload them to a BBS for him or her to download. You statistician then unarchives them, places them in an Import subdirectory on his or her hard disk and runs the Import Program! Easier, faster, and more efficient! Archiving utility not included. Because of the function enhancements, all league members must use Version 4. 10. We are constantly "tweaking" the game's algorithms and improving the simulation's accuracy. This version includes our very latest efforts. 11. The Statistics Module now recognizes the changes in Minimum Qualifications for Individual Leaders. These minimum requirements have changed over the years. For example, before the 1990-91 season, a player must have made 25 3-Point Field Goals (over a complete season) to be eligible to be included in the 3-Point Field Goal Percentage Leaders. In 1990-91, the minimum was increased to 50. The criterion used to determine some of the leaders has also changed. For example, before 1969-70 the Scoring Leader was determined by the total number of points scored. Beginning in 1969-70, the Scoring Leader was the player who averaged the most points and met a minimum games played criterion. This simulation now allows you to use (or change) the requirements that were actually used for each season. Some later Version 3 Game Disks included this feature. This feature was also available for downloading from The Cactus League BBS. 12. When the "Home Court Advantage" option is enabled, the name of the arena is now displayed during games played from the Basketball Simulation or in Manual Mode from the AutoSchedule Module. 13. When the "Display Tenths of Seconds" option is enabled, tenths of seconds are included during the final minute of each period in the Play-by-Play Report file (PLAY.TXT). 14. If you own Cactus League Professional Basketball AutoMerge, you need AutoMerge for Version 4. Just mention that you own AutoMerge when you order, and we'll include the upgrade free! (if you ordered your original AutoMerge from Cactus) If you upgrade to AutoMerge for Version 4 seperately, the cost is $5. plus shipping and handling. This offer is only valid if you order the upgrade and AutoMerge for Version 4 directly from Cactus. 15. Other miscellaneous enhancements have been incorporated. Many of these are not visible to the user. This is a listing of Version 4 enhancements only. Read the Cactus League Professional Basketball bulletin for complete details about his award-winning product. Cactus League Professional Basketball System Requirements: DOS Version 3.0 or later. At least 1 floppy disk drive. At least 1 hard disk drive. 580K free memory. Printer recommended. Copyright (C) 1994 Cactus Development Company, Inc. ********************************************************************** IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= STReport International Online Magazine is available every week for your reading pleasure on DELPHI. STReport's readers are invited to join DELPHI and become a part of an extremely friendly community of enthusiastic computer users there. SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN --DELPHI -------------- Via modem, dial up DELPHI at 1-800-695-4002 then... When connected, press RETURN once or twice and... At Password: type STREPORT and press RETURN. DELPHI's 20/20 Advantage Plan 20 Hours for Only $20! ----------------------------- Advantage Members have always enjoyed the lowest DELPHI access rates available. On the new 20/20 Advantage Plan, members receive their first 20 hours of access each month for only $20. If you happen to meet someone online or find some other diversion, don't worry because additional usage is only $1.80 per hour. 20/20 Advantage rates apply for access via SprintNet or Tymnet from within the continental United States during home time or via direct dial around the clock. Home Time is from 6pm to 6am weekdays. Access during business time carries a surcharge of $9 per hour. These rates apply for most services, but note that there are some surcharged areas on DELPHI which are clearly marked with a "$" sign. Who is eligible to take advantage of the plan? Any DELPHI member in good standing. Applications are reviewed and subject to approval by Delphi Internet Services Corporation. It's easy to join. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply online -- at any time -- for membership in the DELPHI 20/20 Advantage Plan. Your membership becomes active at 4 a.m. Eastern Time on the first billing day of the following month. The $20 charge will be billed to you at the beginning of the month to which it applies. Any portion of the 20 hours not used in any month does not carry forward into the next month. Advantage rates may be changed with 30 days notice given online. TRY DELPHI FOR $1 AN HOUR! For a limited time, you can become a trial member of DELPHI, and receive 5 hours of evening and weekend access during this month for only $5. If you're not satisfied, simply cancel your account before the end of the calendar month with no further obligation. If you keep your account active, you will automatically be enrolled in DELPHI's 10/4 Basic Plan, where you can use up to 4 weekend and evening hours a month for a minimum $10 monthly charge, with additional hours available at $3.96. But hurry, this special trial offer will expire soon! To take advantage of this limited offer, use your modem to dial 1-800-365-4636. Press once or twice. When you get the Password: prompt, type IP26 and press again. Then, just answer the questions and within a day or two, you'll officially be a member of DELPHI! DELPHI-It's the BEST Value and getting BETTER all the time! ************************************************************ ATARI/JAG SECTION (III) ======================= Dana Jacobson, Editor > From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""""""""" It's amazing what an irregular work schedule can do to your system, as I can reluctantly attest these days. It's getting to the point where I sometimes don't know whether I'm coming or going! It's still difficult adjusting to these odd working hours - hopefully they will be resolved before the end of the year. This week, we've learned of some additional CD releases from It's All Relative's Greg Kopchak. The world of CD for Atari computers seems to be growing, making it very inviting to consider this additional hardware. A year ago, I would have told you that you'd be wasting your money (as well as my own!) to consider a CD-Rom add-on. Now, with ExtenDOS and a number of available players and software, it's not a bad decision for those who plan to keep their Atari computers and looking for ways to improve your systems. We've also heard that there will be some additional announcements forthcoming to make this consideration even more attractive. IAR's current announcement is contained later in this issue. We've also included an interview with TraceTech's Keith Gerdes, by TAF's (Toronto Atari Federation) Howard Carson. Gerdes offers a candid overview of his past and present experiences with the Atari platform, as well as some thoughts for the future. My congratulations to TAF's Carson for a great interview and a thanks for the opportunity to bring it to you. I think you'll enjoy it. Until next time... Delphi's Atari Advantage! TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (11/9/94) (1) AHDI CONFIGURATION PRG. (6) AVP MAPS (SUB-LEVEL 3) (2) GUCK 1.8 (ENGLISH) (7) OBSESSION PINBALL (3) SPEEDO GDOS FONTS *(8) GUCK V1.8B ENGLISH DOCS *(4) HACE NEWSLETTER ARTICLES (9) ESS-CODE V6.2 *(5) COMPLETE MAPS FOR AVP *(10) PAGESTREAM LABEL PRINTING * = New on list HONORARY TOP 10 The following on-line magazines are always top downloads, frequently out-performing every other file in the databases. STREPORT (Current issue: STREPORT 10.45) Look for the above files in the RECENT ARRIVALS database. _________________________________ > Atari CDs Available! STR InfoFile! - New From It's All Relative! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" The rain has started. We had promised users who bought Photo Show Pro and a CD rom drive when it was the only thing available for the Atari a flood of new CD's for the holidays. They are now arriving. ATARI SPECIFIC CD's Crawly Crypt CD .......................NEW................... $29.99 Atari Mega Archives CD ................NEW................... $39.99 CD Service German CD Volume 1 ............................... $39.99 CD Service German CD Volume 2 ............................... $39.99 CD Service German CD Volume 3 .........NEW................... $39.99 Atari Skyline CD ......................NEW................... $39.99 Atari GEMini CD ............................................. $29.99 Winning Pictures MPC CD - Falcon Edition .................... $29.99 Audio CD Master - CD Audio Accessory ........................ $29.99 GRAPHICS -------- GIF's Galore CD ............................................. $29.99 Travel Adventure CD ......................................... $29.99 Visions CD .................................................. $29.99 Sentimental Wings CD ........................................ $29.99 Fractal Frenzy CD ........................................... $29.99 Clip Art Cornucopia CD ...................................... $29.99 Art For Kids - the world's loudest art program .............. $59.99 Multimedia Mania CD ......................................... $14.99 TEXT, INFORMATION AND DATABASES ------------------------------- Internet Info CD ............................................ $29.99 QRZ Ham Radio CD ............................................ $19.99 Project Gutenberg CD ........................................ $29.99 Space and Astronomy CD ...................................... $29.99 Check here next week for a "coming soon" list. Got a few real surprises in the works. Photo Show Pro is now available for the STe as well as the Falcon for $59.99. This is Kodak Photo CD at its best. Pick up ExtenDOS Pro for $29.99 with any order from us. We highly suggest it for best use on all Atari machines and SCSI-2 CD rom drives. If you are using anything else, your not making the most of your CD rom drive. If you have any questions about any of the above products, please post your questions here. Ask at your favorite Atari dealer or order from us direct. All orders are shipped postpaid, worldwide. Write Randall Kopchak, It's All Relative Software, 2233 Keeven Lane, Florissant MO 63031 USA. ________________________________________ > TAF Interview with Keith Gerdes! - From Double Click to TraceTech! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Reproduced in electronic form by permission of The Toronto Atari Federation (TAF). Originally published in the September/94 issue of Phoenix (the TAF Newsletter). (c)Copyright 1994, Howard E. Carson, Keith Gerdes and The Toronto Atari Federation. All rights reserved. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IS PROHIBITED. QUOTES MUST BE ATTRIBUTED. [Editor's note]: The following message was received in our query to reproduce this interview. Our request was made to Keith Gerdes and passed along to Howard Carson. Mr. Carson's reply: "You have permission to reproduce the unabridged, unexpurgated and unedited version of the Parameters I-Way Interview with Keith Gerdes. Excerpting is forbidden, and any quotes must be attributed." "I hope you can use the interview. It was a genuine pleasure doing it; Keith Gerdes is forthright and presents well thought out opinion, and thoroughly interesting viewpoints." Regards, Howard Editor's note: We agree with your assessment. We hope that our readers will enjoy it as much as we did. PARAMETERS by Howard E. Carson "I-Way interviews with people who have been instrumental in making Atari a brilliant computing platform." =Interview with Keith Gerdes of Trace Technologies, Houston, Texas. =Interviewed by Howard Carson via GEnie E-Mail Phoenix: Keith, you've had a lot of time to think about the demise (changeover?) of Double Click to, Trace Technologies. Are you happier with the organization of TraceTech? Many are unaware that DC has metastasized into TraceTech, and that Gerdes is not, in fact, dead(!). Keith: That seems to be the popular misconception.... And I never "went on to greener pastures" either. As a matter of fact, I never left the Atari market! There was a transition period in 1992 where I was mainly behind-the-scenes (of GEnie primarily) trying to start a new company and get two products beta-tested for release. To be frank, there really wasn't a "changeover" from DC to TraceTech. My only connection with DC, was DC's distribution of some of the programs I wrote, but always retained complete control of. I'll try to be brief and give a bit of history. DC was a partnership composed of 3 people: Paul Lee, Michael Vederman and Gilbert Callaghan. The first real product DC released was DC Format. I helped work on different versions with Paul and Mike. STuffer was my first major programming project release. Since Shadow, by Paul and Mike, was being commercially distributed through Antic, I thought I'd try that route too. But it turned out Antic was on its last legs, so I went with DC as the shareware distributor. You'll find other programs by me, in the DCUtilities, DCDesktop and DCShower packages. Basically, I was a part of every 'DC' commercial release except Gilbert's DCPort cartridge. Get the trend? Everything I wrote, published by DC, was actually just 'distributed by DC'. And along the way, I was never an official part, just associated with them. Looking back, I guess my mistake was not using a company name in addition to my own name. My last project distributed by DC was Data Diet v1, completely written by me. Looking in my clouded crystal ball, I made sure I retained complete control of this project from start to finish. DC began "shutting down" during the beginning of 1992, although no official statement was ever made to the effect - even 'til today. Mike had been the only active partner for several years prior to '92. I was working on the Data Diet v2 upgrade for a Summer '92 release. Since details related to that upgrade became a washout, I started working on a new project to be debuted by my company, Trace Technologies. I assembled a team of beta testers that relied on GEnie Mail for message and file transfers, gone were the "luxury" days of a beta CATegory, a DC perk. This project, Data Rescue, was released in November 1992. It was a new challenge for me since I had to do all phases of development and marketing: manual, advertising, distribution, etc. Luckily I had experience from my volunteer work in DC's office (to keep them going), and from watching Mike use PageStream. In December 1992, I mailed out a flyer announcing Data Diet v2 to registered users, and shipped the upgrade later that month, which also included a manual. Thus you could say I had been semi-busy for a few months with beta testing and the two manuals. In July 1993, just after moving beta testing from GEmail to a private message CATegory (a nice step up), I released Squish II, an upgrade to Squish v1 (aka DCSquish), available with Data Diet v1/v2 and the DCUtils. Skip ahead to late 1994, and Missouri is being wrapped up for release. This is a file viewing package similar to DCShower. It will include ShowPics & ShowHex (my programs formerly distributed in Shower) and two new modules, ShowText and ShowMe. Back to your original question..... Yes, I am much happier with the organization of TraceTech. Though as chief bottle washer and sole proprietor, I find that I miss the team atmosphere and the fact that I could program and not worry about mundane (to me) chores, like documentation and advertising. Manuals are fun, but writing is tedious, especially for THIS programmer. I would much rather be *coding* in this Text Editor! Phoenix: At the Toronto Atari Federation, we've currently got a group of managing executives who are perhaps more dedicated to Atari computers as eminently useful tools, than any other previous executive committee. We feel that TOS and GEM provide a working environment (along with the requisite software of course!), that is suited to a vast array of endeavors and interests. Why have *you* stuck with Atari all these years? Keith: 'Beats me!' That's the usual answer us loons always give.... I started out with a 16K 800 in 1981. In 1986, I bought a 520STm. Today I use a Mega2 and Falcon030. I always ask people one question: Are you being productive with your computer? I can honestly say that my computers allow me to do just that! And I'm lucky enough to use them for both personal and business purposes. Plus make a little money along the way. Not a lot mind you, as most developers are too aware. Actually the real reason I've stayed with Atari the past few years is the users. Not because they're all so great (they are though!), but because I feel it's my obligation to continue developing software for the userbase and to continue supporting the products my users have bought with their hard-earned cash. Way too many companies have abandoned the market without a word; left users in limbo waiting on product and/or support; etc. And don't kid yourself, sadly it's still happening even today! Phoenix: I'd like to get this question out of the way before we get too deeply into philosophy, Keith (or maybe we can avoid the philosophy altogether): What new products - commercial ones, that is - are you planning on releasing over the next few months, including updates? What about Shareware releases? What about Freeware releases? Keith: I just released a program called Fast Path. It's definitely the best adjunct anyone can add to their File Selector! Installing FASTPATH in your Auto Folder, calls FASTPATH every time any program calls for the File Selector (any File Selector, actually: Geneva, Selectric!, UIS III, Boxkite, LGS and so on). FASTPATH comes up and presents you with *32* different file paths (and a choice of *34* different file extensions!), enabling you to configure your most often used paths, save them and then - forever after - be able to go directly to the data files you want. My beta-testers have been absolutely raving about FASTPATH. It really *is* an amazing time-saver; inexpensive Shareware, too! The demo of FASTPATH is on most BBS's now - and GEnie and CIS. Registration levels are rising - which shows that FASTPATH is genuinely *useful*. There are three more projects in the queue for release over the next few months: Falcon030 Toolkit (F030TKIT)(ed. note: F030TKIT is out now), Missouri and Fast Menu (tentative name). There are plans for an upgrade to Data Diet v2, up to v2.5, maybe by early next year. And I imagine both Data Rescue and Squish II will see upgrades at some point next year as well. However, please do NOT put off buying anything just because you are waiting on an upgrade. Many times an upgrade is held up just because there are not enough registered users, so never put off a buying decision! Updates tend to be merely bug fixes, so I never know when they'll pop up. They are generally "free" and uploaded to the online services. Phoenix: There are rumors about the possible early '95 release of TOS 5. I have been in contact with Mike Fulton about it actually. Although Mike has not suggested a date (or even admitted to the existence of anything but a buggy beta version of TOS 4.92), he did state that TOS 5 should incorporate MultiTOS AES v1.08b (or 'c' ?) plus the rest of TOS 4.04. As long as the newest version is only a software beta of TOS 4.92 (that seems to have escaped the confines of Sunnyvale), what direction do you think Atari should take with a new version of the OS? Keith: That's all news to me. Atari's Developer Support Group has been nonexistent for a few years. There have been rumors of a "TOS 5", but it hasn't been seen in any developer online area. No file, no messages. I suppose this is yet another time it pays to be "in the grapevine". It was kind of sad, or should I say maddening, to see the real TOS team leave Atari: Pratt, Townsend, KBad, etc. They should release the infamous "fast" MTOS. Yes, it does purportedly exist and would be a welcome sight for users and developers, not to mention nice competition for Geneva and MagiC. As far as a suggested direction, I'd say continue with the multitasking AES. It's a step in the right direction. Phoenix: How often do you get to speak with other Developers, Programmers and Distributors? I guess I'm asking whether or not you have serious opportunities to bounce new ideas off other people who are also working with the Atari platform; besides your beta-testers, I mean. Keith: I speak with other developers on a periodic basis: daily, weekly, monthly, once-in-a-blue-moon, only when I have to, etc. I try to help other programmers whenever I get a chance. Distributors are few and far between. With the weak market, I don't get to talk to them enough. And we all know what that means... When it comes to floating new ideas, I rely almost exclusively on my beta testers. I will consult with other developers on occassion. Distributors have a keen insight into the market, however they tend to look way beyond my means of project development, ie: type and required manhours. Gone are the days of longterm projects, such as productivity software, for someone like me. Phoenix: There has been a lot of talk about all the new operating systems and desktops that have appeared in recent months: MagiC, NeoDesk 4, OMEn, Geneva, SMS2, Ease and the upcoming DeXterous OS. Are all of TraceTech's products (and the older DC stuff that you seem to be upgrading) getting along in these new environments (except for the OMEn environment, of course)? Keith: Yes, all of TraceTech's products seem to be doing okay in the compatibility department. I see that you left out MTOS; it *can* be a problem for some TSRs. Of the list, I have only used Geneva. Due to the change to AES4, I did have to update a couple of programs while Geneva was in the initial beta test release. I don't foresee any problem with MagiC. NeoDesk 4 and Ease are simply desktops, not OS extensions or replacements, so they shouldn't be an issue either. Phoenix: Multitasking (pre-emptive or otherwise) is certainly a popular word these days. But it's debatable whether most users actually have a legitimate place for such software in their day to day work. How about your opinions on the inherent value (or stupidity, if you prefer), of all the effort being concentrated in this area of programming? After all, Atari users still don't have any legitimate legal accounting software. And Canadian Atari users don't even have a single income tax package! I guess I'm asking if a lot of effort is being concentrated in the wrong direction? Keith: I see the debate boiling down to multi-processing, not multitasking. A majority of users will never take advantage of running multiple tasks at the same time. But they *will* have multiple processes sitting in memory ready to be switched to when needed. So you end up with a fancy "task switcher". In theory, multitasking would be great, but I don't see the software being updated/upgraded to take advantage of it. I guess that's where the type of multitasker is critical, although I still do not see steadfast singletaskers really taking full advantage of multitasking due to their past computer usage (bad habits?), available software, memory requirements and CPU speed. Is it stupid to program such an environment? Nope. I'd say the companies that have are doing quite well moneywise, right now. We'll have to see if this is a manufactured or actual user requirement. Is it stupid to program for such an environment? No, not at all. Although most developers do not plan to update or upgrade their product line. Taking advantage of AES4 is basically a step up: enhanced system calls, new calls, etc. My first major experience with AES4 programming started early this year with Fast Menu -- which works just fine on pre-AES4 machines, but gives extra features under AES4 such as program launching and custom process tracking! It's going to be another nifty Shareware release that will find a lot of good uses, for a lot of current Atari users. I guess I already stated my view on "productivity" software. Face it, "utilities" take a fraction of the time and energy to publish. Writing anything else takes the right perspective, gumption and backing; the latter being what's lacking nowadays. Money to finance a project and then some type of guaranteed payoff are hard to come by! Phoenix: In a recent conversation, Peter Zalesak of ABC Solutions in Toronto (distributor of 1st Word Plus, the K-Spread line, tbxCAD, Timeworks, Home Accounts 2, etc.) stated clearly that he believed many products - software products, that is - should be assigned a legitimate shelf life in the marketplace. For instance, he doesn't look for the venerable 1st Word Plus to be upgraded here in North America (although it already has been upgraded in Europe), because he feels it is now at the logical limit of what it was originally developed to do: process words in a couple of different formats. Do you agree that such a philosophy is good for the marketplace, noting that the WordPlus 4 upgrade includes SpeedoGDOS compatibility and a host of other features which place it in the realm of Document Processor, and that WordPlus 4 looks an awful lot like That's Write 3. It was programmed by the same team, from Compo, that coded TW3. Keith: A product lifespan depends on the product and the publisher. Obviously if the publisher dissolves, its product line will too if (it's) not picked up. That would be considered natural attrition. My belief is that the process of assigning a "shelf life" would be very difficult. What do we do? Start putting expiration dates on packages? I say leave this up to the entire marketplace: developer, distributor, dealer and user. Otherwise you will not see longterm support for, or upgrade of products, ie: Data Diet (v2), Squish (v2), Data Rescue, Missouri, FastPath, LoadAlad, Geneva, NeoDesk (v4), etc. Phoenix: Do you feel there is *always* an upgrade path? If so, does such program mobility really allow for healthy competition between developers? Or does the psychology of endless upgrading prevent real, creative advancement in software development (or for that matter, the most extensive exploitation of Atari hardware)? Keith: Upgrade a program version or upgrade from one company's product to another's product? Phoenix: I'm interested in hearing your opinions on both scenarios. Keith: Yes, I do feel upgrades are always possible. That seems to be the nature of software development, whether the developer comes up with new ideas or improvements, users make suggestions, or both. Competition is completely reliant on the product and marketplace; perhaps somewhat more on marketplace. I feel that we are long past the competitive stage since there are a limited number of users to sell to, although the number is comfortably stable. If I have a choice of whether or not to write a program which competes with a current or "announced" product, I would choose not to write it. Different factors play a part in the decision process, so this really is not very common. One recent example was whether to write a full-blown alternate file selector or write an extension to all file selectors. The decision was to write Fast Path, enhancing File Selectors across the board. In that arena, trying to compete against what's currently available, not to mention those supposedly in the works, was considered impractical, so a better solution was devised. However, if you are working on a competing product, then sure, you will do everything in your power to upgrade this product to ensure your current userbase and hope to expand the base with new users and converts. So, I would tend to agree that endless upgrading does hurt creativity and advancement of software. A point is reached where you have milked the market dry (a too-common occurrence with many pricey upgrades I see) and you need to move on. I do not feel there is always an upgrade path for a user. The market dictates the availability of software and there are not as many avenues available to a user currently. Sometimes you have a fairly direct path, other times you will have to adapt and on occassion you will be stuck with what you've got, which is not always that bad a situation. Competition? Don't get me started! Phoenix: Data Diet, Data Rescue and Squish II never went through the frightening teething problems that beset Microsoft's DoubleSpace. That would seem to indicate that Microsoft is so large, even monumental errors like DoubleSpace can be absorbed, lawsuits and all. Has a negative perception of disk compression caused by Microsoft's high profile, affected the sales of Data Diet, Data Rescue and Squish II? Keith: Months before DoubleSpace's snafus, I would have to say that sales of TraceTech compression products were already affected by a general slump in the Atari "compression" market. Various factors have been attributed (to the slump): falling hard drive prices, dwindling userbase, product confusion, user perception, etc. But Data Diet v2 is an extremely stable, reliable product; it *will* save enormous amounts of hard drive space, and provide the user with superb control. Phoenix: Not long ago, I registered LOADALAD, one of your very useful Shareware products. It was certainly a relief to use Aladdin once again to access GEnie. My Falcon had prevented me from using Aladdin up until I acquired LOADALAD. Have you had a lot of requests for Falcon upgrades of Double Click/Trace Tech products? Keith: Most requests have been for DC Programs of the Week; a combined programming effort by Mike and me. When I can, I try to oblige. It really helps if I was the author, since I still have my source code. Insider's note: the first name in the credits was always the sole author. Otherwise, updating takes me a little longer. The only required TraceTech updates were due to unannounced changes in TOS4's GEMDOS. That seemed to catch several programmers by surprise, and most of them still have not updated. After purchasing a Falcon for development and support, all TraceTech programs were updated as soon as I was made aware of a problem. I've even received requests to work on other programs. We will have to wait and see where that leads. Phoenix: Your TOS4TRAP has been a boon to every Falcon owner I know, principally because of how your excellent utility has fixed TOS 4 problems with MaxiFile and STalker - two programs which are used by thousands of Atari owners. Has rooting around in TOS 4.XX code given you some new ideas for another major application of your coding skills? I'm asking specifically if you are planning any major projects as large as Data Diet, Data Rescue and Squish II? There are certainly a lot of people who would like to see TT's and Falcon's hooked up in LAN's! Novell Netware is a royal pain to set up on DOS/Windows boxes; but once it's in place, it is *useful*! Keith: TOS4TRAP v1 has been upgraded to TOS4TRAP v2. It will be available in the Falcon030 Toolkit (F030TKIT). During the fourth quarter '94, a project tentatively named FastMenu will be released. I would say it is fairly major. If you want instant access to the menu bar anywhere on the screen or want to quickly run programs under Geneva, FastMenu can do it; although that's only a small part of its capabilities! In the past I looked into writing drivers for devices hooked up to the parallel port (ie. pocket LAN adapter, hand scanner and tape drive), but that is so top secret, it's frustrating!! Phoenix: What's secret, Keith? Your projects? Or the developers info from Atari, necessary to access (via programming code), the various ports and chips? Keith: Funny you should say that! I guess I sometimes treat 'compression' and other specialized subjects I develop, as top secret. So maybe I shouldn't gripe. Yes, those third party parallel port devices are top secret. The communication protocol to use each of them is kept under lock-and-key. I made decent headway with pocket adapters, but the others were deadends. Atari has been forthcoming with most of their hardware information. The only chips I still have questions about are the Ajax floppy controller and the Falcon030's video controller. The Ajax chip was my main concern a few months ago since I was updating a floppy disk formatter, TraceTech Formatter Jr CPX (fka DC Formatter Jr CPX), for release in the F030TKIT. Atari Dev Support never replied to my queries. I figured it out anyway! Phoenix: There are important programs around right now (the Marcel Word processor, for example), which are quite delightful in their own right, but nonetheless suffered from some notable errors in their commercial release. I feel that while Marcel is a highly useful and worthwhile piece of work, its marketing was slightly flawed. After all, Marcel started out as a commercial package and turned into a piece of $10 shareware (and spectacular value for the money!). That didn't please those folks who had paid between $50 and $70 for the commercial release, however. The WordPerfect standard (with its use of the 'clean sheet of paper' approach; except in Windows of course), is a paradigm that lends itself well to many different working environments. And many working book and column writers I know, wish that Marcel and TW3 and some of the WordPerfect philosophy could blend. Have you considered these sorts of arguments, and would you ever consider approaching another programmer with such arguments (read: criticisms), along with a desire to engage in a co-operative venture with him (or her)? Despite my previous suggestions about the validity of multitasking, there are quite a few people who have suggested that a three way marriage between Data Diet, Neodesk 4 and Geneva or MultiTOS or MagiC, could be the greatest thing to ever hit the Atari market. Such a combo might be the so-called 'Killer App', that could resurrect a lot of fortunes. Such a combo, bundled with all new Atari computers, might be a proposition that would make the Tramiels devote a lot more resources to the computer side of their business. Keith: ....not much to say....wasn't AtariWorks supposed to be the 'killer app'? Phoenix: I don't know if it was or not. There wasn't enough advertising or promotion to distinguish AtariWorks from other combinations of existing stand-alone programs. AtariWorks has been popular, I believe because of its use of SpeedoGDOS. AW is an 'o.k.' document processor; SpeedoGDOS is what gave it popularity, I think. In any case, the 'killer app' I described above is a different combination of things, compared to AW and Speedo. I suppose then, I'm asking if you think the Atari market is ripe for a *real* 'killer app'? Keith: Most definitely so! I guess we'll see if there are still gamblers on the 'productivity software' development side. The bottom line: MONEY. Isn't it always? Phoenix: How's business in Texas and how's business in the 'States in general, from an Atari businessman/programmer's standpoint? Keith: In a general sense, business is pretty good in Texas, BUT we really don't need any more out-of-state license plates. Please! From an Atari perspective, things have been and will continue to be lousy without changes at all levels, putting it bluntly, at the user level first. No developer can survive without sales. The product's out there, why don't the numbers reflect the userbase? Once products sell, developers will expand their offerings. What about poor (let me emphasize *poor*), gluttons like me? Okay, so I'm stupid and I keep developing new stuff. Phoenix: I am coming into contact with more and more people who understand that Atari is a terrific platform (perhaps better than ever before), now that virtually all of the latest applications import and export, create, save and load file formats which are perfectly compatible with DOS, Windows and System. Certainly ASCII has always been ASCII, but it has never been a consideration. So many graphics formats from other platforms are now managed perfectly by Atari software, too. That seems to indicate a very healthy future for this platform. Do you feel the same way? Do you feel that the recently ended(?) recession has created a false sense of how good or bad the marketplace really is, for Atari products? Keith: Yes, I do feel that we are just now starting to see a "healthy" surge in "graphics" support. From what I've read and seen, this support continues to be based overseas, but it is readily available over here. Most of it is way too expensive in my opinion, just like everything else imported, but that's another subject to pursue. I'm really not into economics, other than the fact that the interest rate return on simple bank investments are an utter crock! And you know who touts the benefits of low rates; guess that's one man's perspective. Invest in a gold safe, you might be better off some day. Woops, back to Ataridom. The recession has been an influencing factor on the marketplace, but because of the state of the market, I doubt it is perceptible anymore. Phoenix: Will TraceTech be attending any shows during 94/95? Keith: At this point, I only know of one show which I will be attending. It's a local one in Houston during the first part of '95. Due to budget and time constraints, I'm unable to attend shows that require much travel. However, I will try to find someone to "represent" TraceTech at shows whenever possible, as I did with Craig Harvey/Clear Thinking at some shows in 1992. Phoenix: Keith, I'd like to thank you very sincerely for taking the time to do this interview. The Toronto Atari Federation has always been in the vanguard of Atari support, but it would certainly all be pointless without the efforts of people like you and the benefits provided by the excellent products you turn out. Thank you very much. Keith: Thank you Howard. And thanks to TAF for this interview. I appreciate the continued excellent support from y'all! Keith Gerdes's Mini Bio: Native Houstonian Graduate of Texas A&M University A Ford Mustang enthusiast, but not a fanatic like some people with too much free time and money on their hands. I've owned a daily-driver 1970 Mach 1 since 1982 and I am constantly searching for just the right replacement! Anybody know of a Shelby or a Boss in a barn? END ______________________________________ JAGUAR SECTION ============== Jaguar Developer Series, Part 1.5 Raiden, Revisited! Jag Contest #2! Dorfman, Again?!? Cybermania '94, Was That for Real? Rebellion and Atari Online Conferences, and more! > From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! """""""""""""""""""""""""""" It's six weeks away from Christmas, and to everyone's dismay (of varying sorts), it's not going to be as successful a Jaguar holiday as we had hoped. Even Atari has pulled back on its originally anticipated 30-50 games in time for the holidays. The current figure is now at 20 games out by Christmas - a figure that is more realistic but will require a number of unknown (i.e. unannounced) 3rd-party releases. Atari has still not officially announced the current games in production, so it appears that the next few weeks will be full of surprises, as well as, perhaps, a number of disappointments. Disappointed? Personally, I have to admit that I share that sentiment to a certain degree. I'm disappointed with the numbers, for one. I had hoped that Atari would take this holiday season by storm. I'm also disappointed because many at Atari have worked extremely long and hard to make this holiday season a success. They're continuing to work hard. Many, like myself, continue to appreciate what these people have done to keep us informed, as well as happy with the current selection of games (and wanting more!). I know extremely little about stocks, but every time I hear the name Dorfman, I get shivers! Good old Dan has struck again, the second or third time in about six months, with his "words of wisdom" regarding Atari and the Jaguar. Every time Dorfman makes an opinion based on Martin Sass' comments about Atari, Atari stock seems to plummet. I wonder if Dan had a bad experience with Pac-Man 20 years ago!! Well, I congratulate Atari's Sam Tramiel for making a public statement in response to Dorfman's latest statement made in USA Today's business section. Unfortunately, time didn't allow me to reproduce Dorfman's article, but we have included Atari's statement which does appear to itemize a few of Dorfman's statements, with a rebuttal. Marty Mankins provides us with his ongoing series of developer articles; this issue gives you Part 1.5. I missed the recent showing of Cybermania '94, the video game's version of the Oscars. From what I've heard and read, I guess I didn't miss anything worthwhile! When I first learned that Atari didn't have any entries, I was disappointed, but after hearing about this awards show, I was relieved. We've included a brief synopsis of the show, and comments, from the Usenet. Are you interested in learning how Alien Vs. Predator was done? How about learning more about the folks at Rebellion, the makers of Alien Vs. Predator? Well, in addition to the programming staff at Rebellion, you can also get some questions from Atari answered in TWO upcoming online conferences - one on Compuserve and the other on GEnie, at the end of this month. These upcoming conferences should be extremely entertaining and informative - I recommend that you try to make at least one of them. The dates, and more info, are included in an announcement from Atari later in this section. We hope to see you there!! Come early and bring plenty of popcorn!! Need more of an incentive? How about door prizes? Contests? Do the math, and be there! Dominick Fontana takes us on a retrospective look at an early Jaguar release, Raiden. We reviewed it a number of months ago, but thought that we'd take another look at it (and other games in future issues) after seeing what later games looked like. We think you'll like this retro-look! We're also anxiously awaiting the next group of games for review, for our upcoming issues. We've also learned that Marty Mankin's impending AvP review has had its finishing touches delayed, so we're hoping for it shortly. We're also planning another AvP review as well, to truly give you an objective analysis with more than one overview. That should also be forthcoming. We're close to halfway home with our second Jaguar contest (see details below!). We've had a number of interesting entries arrive in the past few days. So far, some of them have some potential!! Don't be left out. Check out the details for this current contest and have a go at some fantastic Jaguar-related prizes! Meanwhile, let's get on with the games! Until next time... _____________________________________ > Jaguar Catalog STR InfoFile - What's currently available, what's """"""""""""""""""""""""""" coming out. Current Available Titles ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CAT # TITLE MSRP DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER J9000 Cybermorph $59.99 Atari Corp. J9006 Evolution:Dino Dudes $49.99 Atari Corp. J9005 Raiden $49.99 FABTEK, Inc/Atari Corp. J9001 Trevor McFur/ Crescent Galaxy $49.99 Atari Corp. J9010 Tempest 2000 $59.95 Llamasoft/Atari Corp. J9028 Wolfenstein 3D $69.95 id/Atari Corp. JA100 Brutal Sports FtBall $69.95 Telegames J9008 Alien vs. Predator $69.99 Rebellion/Atari Corp. Available Soon ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CAT # TITLE MSRP DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER CatBox $49.95 ICD CatBox + $69.95 ICD J9007 Checkered Flag $69.99 Atari Club Drive $59.99 Atari Doom $69.99 id/Atari Theme Park TBD Ocean Syndicate TBD Ocean Troy Aikman Football$69.99 Williams Sensible Soccer J9036 Dragon: Bruce Lee $59.99 Atari J9012 Kasumi Ninja $69.99 Atari Cannon Fodder TBD Virgin Hover Strike $59.99 Atari Iron Soldier $59.99 Atari J9042 Zool 2 $59.99 Atari Hardware and Peripherals ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CAT # TITLE MSRP MANUFACTURER J8001 Jaguar (complete) $249.99 Atari Corp. J8904 Composite Cable $19.95 J8901 Controller/Joypad $24.95 Atari Corp. J8905 S-Video Cable $19.95 ______________________________ > Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Contact: Don Thomas/Ron Beltramo Atari Corporation 408/745-2000 For immediate release JAGUAR ONLINE! MEET THE ALIEN VS. PREDATOR DESIGN TEAM! FREE-POSTERS TO CONFERENCE ATTENDEES! WIN A JAGUAR! Sunnyvale, CA-- November 7, 1994 -- As part of Atari Corporation's celebration of new 64-bit game releases for the Jaguar Interactive Multimedia System, online conferences on the GEnie and CompuServe online services have been scheduled. Within weeks following Atari's highly successful release of Alien Vs. Predator, comes a wide assortment of additional titles exclusively on the Jaguar and just in time for Christmas. The conferences will be be held Tuesday, November 29th at 5PM (Pacific Time) on CompuServe and Wednesday, November 30th at 6PM (Pacific Time) on GEnie. The guest panel will feature the Alien Vs. Predator design team, Mr. "Purple" Hampton, Senior Producer and Mr. James Grunke, Director of Audio. They will be available to answer questions, provide some great game tips and let everyone in on the inside story of the making of Alien Vs. Predator. In addition, Atari's Mr. Ron Beltramo, Vice President Marketing, will be in attendance with exciting news about upcoming releases. Other popular Atari personalities will be in attendance as well as members of the online press such as Mr. Travis Guy of Atari Explorer Online and Mr. Dana Jacobson of Silicon Times Report. All paid subscribers attending the conferences a minimum of 15 minutes will qualify for a free Alien Vs. Predator cinema-quality poster. In addition, all paid subscribers who attend each entire conference will qualify to win a complete Jaguar system, an Alien Vs. Predator game cartridge (autographed by the design team) or T-shirts. Winners will be required to answer a fundamental trivia question about Alien Vs. Predator. (Although the conference is open to subscribers worldwide, only North American members are eligible to win prizes). Also look for Atari's Fantastic Alien Vs. Predator online trivia contest to begin November 29, 1994 and end on December 9, 1994. Win a Jaguar and other prizes. Due to the great number of people expected to attend, both services are making special arrangements to accommodate the volume. For more specific information, contact the System Operators. Type JAGUAR on GEnie or GO JAGUAR on CompuServe to jump to the Atari Jaguar support areas. Both services require a computer, modem and an account in good standing. Each offers an excellent assortment of game tips, sample graphics and audio files, interactive messaging with Atari personnel and many other features. To subscribe, call 800/848-8199 to join CompuServe or 800/638-9636 to join GEnie. # # # Atari and Jaguar are trademarks or registered trademarks of Atari Corporation. All other products or services mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their owning companies. # END OF FILE # ATC ATARI CORP. (AMEX) 8-NOV-1994 09:32 ATARI RESPONDS TO DAN DORFMAN ARTICLE IN USA TODAY SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Atari Corporation: Atari senior management today rebuffed Dan Dorfman's November 7th USA Today story. Commenting on Dorfman's report Sam Tramiel, Atari President, said, "It is disruptive to the market to have a short position fund manager such as Mr. Sass put out a self serving report with critical information omitted and not even bothering to call the Company to confirm. It is further disturbing that Mr. Dorfman condones such behavior and comments on such positions." The article, with testimonial from Martin Sass of M.D. Sass Investors, was misleading and contained many inaccuracies such as: 1. Dorfman says that this is the second time that Sass shorted the stock and that the first time was in April of 1993. From what Atari understands the fact is that Sass did this in April of 1994 and that a report by Dorfman in June of 1994 quoting Sass saying that Atari was a bankruptcy candidate caused Atari stock to go down and benefitted Sass's position of being short the Atari stock to the detriment of Atari shareholders. In the months following the Dorfman report the Atari stock recovered in price and closed on November 4th at 6 3/4. Sass again is short. Atari and once more Dorfman issues a report quoting Mr. Sass and Mr. Sass benefits as the Atari stock goes down from 6 3/4 to 5 1/2 at closing on November 7, 1994. 2. Dorfman says that Atari officials were not available to comment. The fact is that Dorfman called the Atari office on Friday November 4th while a Board of Directors meeting was in progress. 3. Sass says that there is a shortage of software. The fact is that available software for the Jaguar is increasing with the delivery of five new titles by the end of November. These are, "Doom" from ID Software, "the best version of Doom on any platform" says John Romero of ID; "Checkered Flag" from Atari, a complete 3D world Formula racing game; "Club Drive" a 3D world game of driving simulation and chase; "Brutal Sports Football" from Telegames, a no holds barred game of football; and "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" from Virgin Software, an exciting fighting game based on the Universal Studio movie of the same name. Sam Tramiel says, "Software delays did occur as the development teams learned how to harness the power of the 64 bit Jaguar system. Now the developers are up to speed; we expect there to be a continuous stream of game releases throughout the balance of this year and into 1995 and the future." The most recent release "Alien vs. Predator"(TM, Twentieth Century Fox) which hit the retail shelves in October, is selling briskly, is indicative of the technically advanced gaming experience which is possible on the Jaguar system. In order to achieve a high degree of game quality and the overall success of the Jaguar platform, management has intentionally delayed the publishing of some titles. Atari expects over 20 titles to be available by Christmas 1994. 4. Dorfman says that Sass sees a big write-off of the Jaguar system as well as write-offs in Atari's PC business. The facts are that Atari is out of the PC business and took write-offs in this area in 1993. There are no more write-offs in the PC business for Atari. The Jaguar is the leading technology in the interactive game market. Atari sees a very promising future for this platform, which includes the introduction in the near future of a CD peripheral and the possible entry into the interactive cable market. Atari will soon be publishing its third quarter financial results and as expected will report a net loss of approximately $3.9 million as compared to a $17.6 million loss for the same period in 1993. The loss in the 1994 period was a result of delays in software releases as well as expenses related to promotional activity. An important fact omitted from the Dorfman article was the recently announced agreements between Atari and Sega. Sega will license from Atari a patent library for a one time cash payment of $50 million (Atari's net being less contingent legal fees and costs). Sega will also purchase $40 million of Atari stock at a price of $8.50 per share, the same per share price paid by Time Warner in April of 1994. The agreement also allows for Atari and Sega to cross license up to 5 titles per year on their respective platforms. Finally, it also permits both companies to be publishers on each others platforms if they desire. These transactions are subject to regulatory approval and are expected to close shortly. "The Jaguar represents Atari's philosophy of offering leading edge technology at affordable prices and we feel it has a very bright future," says Tramiel. Atari Corporation (AMEX: ATC) markets interactive multimedia entertainment systems, including Jaguar, the world's only 64-bit system, and the only video game system manufactured in the United States. Atari is headquartered at 1196 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089. -0- 11/8/94 /CONTACT: August Liguori, 408-745-2069, or Sam Tramiel, 408-745-8824, both of Atari Corporation/ (ATC) CO: Atari Corporation ST: California IN: CPR SU: ________________________________ > Jaguar Developers STR InfoFile - Current Developer Lists & Titles """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Game Title Date Game Type MSRP Publisher ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Air Cars 12/94 Racing $59.99 Midnight Ent. Alien vs Predator NOW Role Play/Adventure $69.99 Atari Arena Football 1Q/95 Sports TBD V Reel Assault 1Q/95 Action/Combat $59.99 Midnight Ent. Barkley Basketball 2Q/95 Sports TBD Atari Battlemorph 12/94 Flying/Action $59.99 Atari Battle Wheels 1Q/95 Racing/Combat TBD Beyond Games Blue Lightning (CD) 12/94 Flying/Action $59.99 Atari Brett Hull Hockey (CD) 2Q/95 Sports TBD Atari Brutal Sports Football NOW Sports/Combat $69.99 Telegames Bubsy 12/94 Action/Adventure $49.99 Atari Burnout 1Q/95 Sports TBD Atari Cannon Fodder 11/94 Action/Adventure TBD Virgin Checkered Flag 11/94 Racing $69.99 Atari Club Drive 11/94 Racing $59.99 Atari Creature Shock (CD) 1Q/95 Adventure/Sci-Fi TBD Atari/Virgin Cybermorph NOW Flying/Action $59.99 Atari Dactyl Joust 2Q/95 Action TBD Atari Demolition Man 1/95 Action/Combat $59.99 Atari Doom 11/94 Action/Combat $69.99 Atari Double Dragon V 12/94 Action/Adventure $59.99 Williams Dragon:Bruce Lee Story 11/94 Combat $59.99 Atari Dragon Lair (CD) 1Q/95 Adventure TBD Ready Soft Dreadnought (CD) 2Q/95 Adventure TBD Atari Dungeon Depths 1Q/95 Action/Adventure $59.99 Midnight Ent. Evolution: Dino Dudes NOW Puzzle/Adventure $49.99 Atari Flashback 12/94 Action/Adventure TBD US Gold Fight For Life 1Q/95 Combat TBD Atari Hardball Baseball 2Q/95 Sports TBD Atari Highlander (CD) 1Q/95 Action/Adventure $59.99 Atari Horrorscope 1Q/95 Combat TBD V Reel Hover Strike 11/94 Action/Combat $59.99 Atari Iron Soldier 11/94 Action/Strategy $59.99 Atari Jack Nicklaus Golf(CD) 2Q/95 Sports TBD Atari Kasumi Ninja 11/94 Combat $69.99 Atari Rage Rally 1Q/95 Racing TBD Atari Raiden NOW Action/Adventure $49.99 Atari Rayman 12/94 Action/Adventure TBD UBI Soft Robinson Requiem 1Q/95 Adventure TBD Atari Soccer Kid 1Q/95 Sports TBD Ocean Space War 12/94 Action/Adventure $59.99 Atari Star Raiders 1Q/95 Space Simulation TBD Atari Syndicate 11/94 Simulation TBD Ocean Tempest 2000 NOW Action/Adventure $59.99 Atari Theme Park 11/94 Simulation TBD Ocean Tiny Toon Adventures 1Q/95 Action/Adventure $59.99 Atari Trevor McFur NOW Action/Adventure $49.99 Atari Troy Aikman NFL Ftball 12/94 Sports $69.99 Williams Ultimate Brain Games 12/94 Puzzle TBD Telegames Ultra Vortex 12/94 Action/Adventure $69.99 Beyond Games Val D'Isere Skiing... 12/94 Sports $59.99 Atari White Men Can't Jump 1Q/95 Sports TBD TriMark Wolfenstein 3D NOW Combat/Action $59.99 Atari Zool2 11/94 Action/Adventure $59.99 Atari [Editor's note: Titles, scheduled release dates, and prices are verified with Atari and Edelman Public Relations - all are subject to change] ___________________________________ > Jaguar Developer Concerns! STR Commentary! - Wanted: More Games! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Developer Series, 1.5 ATARI JAGUAR DEVELOPER'S CORNER =============================== Send A Message: REQUEST MORE GAMES!! ------------------------------------ by Marty Mankins, STReport Jaguar editor I've been around in the computer and consumer electronic industry long enough to see new formats come and go. And the ones that stay around are the ones that had the most money and support from the consumers put into it. Some good examples are the compact disc and the Sony Walkman line of portables. Now let's take a look at the home video game market. Both Nintendo and Sega have dominated the market. How did they do it? With lots of money and support from consumers like you and I that bought their product. We bought the games when they came out. Both companies have built multiple levels of frenzied marketing plans to get new and exciting games into our hands and onto the TV. Their success is based on exercising these practices a lot. Now is the time for Atari to get more of these consumer-based programs in-line. Expand the market as much as they can. And make sure that the Jaguar developers are making great and timely strides in bringing the consumers more games. While we applaud the current games that are out now and the effort that has gone into these games to make them incredible journeys of play, I would say that we need to have more. And the developers are going to need some prodding along from both Atari and all of consumers. So how does one let the developers know what we want and when? It all starts at our dealers. Believe it or not, those retail outlets and other places where we purchase our video game systems and software make reports. Most of the reports have to do with inventory. But there are several pieces of additional information that make it back to the head company. A list of requests does make it back, but it may not be that complete. The one area that helps is returns. When a new game is produced, it is placed on the market for sale to the customer, it is assumed that all of the money that went into research, testing and insight will make this game a big seller. If something goes wrong and the market decides to leave the game on the shelf because their favorite magazine gave the product a lousy review, then they are stuck with that game and must reduce the price enough to hope people will "take a chance" and spend the money. If this doesn't work, then the company must decide what games DO sell. Then it's back to the drawing board and get some new research avenues to pursue. These type of mistakes can cost a company unless they come up with a big winner often enough to keep the profit level up and the cost of loss offset enough to make sure there is a decent size profit. So the message that goes out to the developers from all of us in the Jaguar community is this: watch the patterns of failure with other games and make sure that the games are top quality and will provide weeks and months of entertainment, with a little boredom as possible. There needs to be the level of excellence that is expected of Jaguar games. The idea of a lousy game at over $50 is not my idea of "trying out a new game". Before you know it, the games will start having some bad rap and that's tough to avoid and deal with. Now that we have some emphasis on the quality of the games, let's get to the ultimate point of success for the Jaguar - more games. Now there are a lot of ways to get games on the market. One is to create one algorithm and then change the screens for different characters and games. This is passed off on a lot of systems that people have no idea how lame this is. The licensing folks are ones to make as much money as possible, with some not having any quality standards, so long as the game plays and the customer is happy. This is not acceptable with Jaguar games. The system is too powerful to waste any slow or "dumb" looking code out to the market. The games need to be good. They need to have some lasting entertainment. There will also be that select few who will be bored of any game in a week. So you take the best shot you have, making sure that the game is as clean as it can be, burn it to ROM and ship it. Some of the games that are created on the other video game systems are nice, even if over-hyped. I would like to see Atari license games from other companies to have the big game on that system. This will cause people to jump ship where they are at and realize all of the new features of a 64-bit system with incredible games. The number of games currently on the market is small, but is growing each month and we should see another 3 games for this season. But that is still too little. We need more. Get to your resellers and let them know what system is best. Let them know that we need to have good, strong titles on the market. Let's not waste time. Call Atari. They do listen and may offer some suggestions on the best way of getting information to others concerning the Jaguar. It's time that 64-bit is the king and with the approaching level of 30 games total for the Jaguar, we will start to see all sorts of things happen for the 64-bit system. So don't lose your faith. Keep on Jaggin'. ______________________________________________ > Jaguar Raiden! STR Review, Revisited! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" RAIDEN - Available Now - Review By: Dominick J. Fontana (CIS: 74766,2154) Date of Review: November 4, 1994 Basic Information: Difficulty Level: Hard Type of Game : Vertical Shooter Format : Cartridge Developed by : Imagitec Design Inc. Published by : Atari Corporation List Price : $49.99 Opening Comments: Raiden is a copy of the arcade game of the same name. It is said to be an identical copy of its arcade counterpart, but since I don't remember all the details of the arcade Raiden, I can't say for sure. However, others who remember the original game better than I do, seem to agree that the Jaguar version is virtually identical to the original. So if you know and remember the arcade Raiden, they you already know the Jaguar Raiden. How To Play: Raiden is a 1 or 2 player game and it does not come with a controller overlay, but none is needed. You are the pilot of the Raiden Supersonic Attack Fighter, which is a ship positioned at the bottom of the play screen. Up/Down on the joypad moves your ship up or down within the confines of the viewable play area. Left/Right on the joypad moves your ship left and right. The right one-third of the screen displays game information at all times, leaving only two-thirds of the screen to display your ship and the surrounding terrain. When you move your ship to the right, you can scroll a limited amount to see the terrain that is covered by the game information and then you can scroll back to the left one-third of a screen. The A and B buttons on the Jaguar controller perform the same function. They fire a shot from the front of your ship. The C button drops a bomb below your ship. You cannot change the configuration of these buttons. The 0 (zero) button toggles the music on and off. Pressing * and # simultaneously resets the game. The Pause button toggles Pause on and off. While in Pause mode, you can change the volume of the music and the sound effects. The Option button is not used. The game also keeps a high score table of the Ten Best Scores along with the players' names. However, you can only view the High Score Table after you set a high score or right after resetting the game. There is no provision for viewing the High Score Table by user input. Volume and High Score information are retained in the Raiden cartridge even after the Jaguar game console is turned off. The main game selection screen allows you to select 1 or 2 player mode and the number of continue credits you would like. You can select from 3, 5, or 8 continue credits. During gameplay, after you lose all your ships, you will receive more ships and continue play from where you left off, if you have at least 1 continue credit remaining. After you lose all your ships and all your continue credits, the game ends. The game information screen shows the number of bombs remaining, the number of continue credits remaining, the number of ships remaining, and the score. It shows this information for 1 or 2 players. This information is always displayed during actual gameplay and blocks your view of the right one-third of the playfield. The object of the game is to maneuver your ship on the playfield and destroy the enemies, while avoiding enemy fire. The terrain automatically scrolls upward, although you have some latitude to move your ship up and down over the viewable playing surface. However, when you reach the top or bottom of the screen, you cannot force the display to scroll. The scroll rate is determined by the game. As previously mentioned, you have limited left and right scrolling. Your ship flies over varying terrain, although much of the terrain looks similar. You fly over dirt, grass, bushes, roads, water, and bridges, among other things. The enemies can either be in the air or on the ground. The air-based enemies sometimes try to crash right into you and sometimes they take a few shots and then retreat off screen. If you pass some of them without destroying them, they will scroll off the screen and not reappear. Others will always stay on the screen and scroll along with your ship until you destroy them. The ground-based enemies are sometimes stationary and sometimes they move. The stationary enemies will always scroll off the screen if you don't destroy them. Some moving ground enemies will scroll off the screen and others will follow you, if you don't destroy them. However, you can fly over ground enemies without being destroyed. If you crash into an air enemy, you lose a ship. Pressing the A or B button fires a shot or shots from the front of your ship, using your current weapon. The current weapon used is determined by the last weapon power-up that you collected. This shot can hit both air and ground-based enemies. Some enemies take more than one shot to destroy. You have unlimited ammunition when using the A or B button, so you can always fire a shot. Power-ups are items that are scattered throughout the levels or that fly from enemy ships that you destroy. They either change your current weapon, increase your weapon power, add to the number of Bombs you have, or add to your score. You collect power-ups by simply flying over them. The available power-ups are: Lasers, Automatic machine gun, Bomb, Direct fire missile, Homing missile, 3,000 points, 10,000 points, and Super Weapon Power-up. After you collect a weapon power-up you immediately begin to use that weapon. To increase the power of the weapon you are using, you must collect a series of only that weapon-type. For example, if you collect a laser, you will automatically use the least powerful laser. If you collect three more lasers in a row, then you will be using a very powerful laser. If however, you then collect an automatic machine gun weapon power-up, you will be using the least powerful machine gun. This is tricky and takes some getting used to. The Super Weapon Power-up takes you to the maximum power of the weapon you are currently using. In 2-Player Mode, you can use a Special Shot. This is not a power-up. One player simply lines up behind the other player's ship and fires into that ship's jetstream. This gives you a powerful dispersal beam. That means that your shot goes through your teammate's jetstream, is broken up into many powerful shots, and then these shots fly out of your teammate's ship in all directions in order to kill the enemies. When you press the C button you drop a Bomb, which can destroy both ground and air enemies. The Bombs are generally more powerful than the normal weapon you are using and can kill many enemies at once. However, your supply of bombs is limited. When you run out of bombs, you must collect a Bomb power-up in order to fire another bomb. There are 8 levels in the game, each more difficult than the preceding level. You fly through a level shooting the enemies, avoiding being hit, and collecting power-ups. At the end of the level, you have the equivalent of a so-called "End Boss." Sometimes there is more than one. They are big enemies with a lot of fire power, that are difficult to destroy. The game stops scrolling when you reach this point. That is, you cannot continue the game until you have destroyed them. Once you do, you are taken to a Bonus Screen, which displays the Bonus points you have collected and adds them to your score. A point to remember, that is not mentioned in the game manual, is that you only receive Bonus points for Bonus power-ups that you collected since the last time that you lost a ship. You do not receive Bonus points for all the Bonus power-ups you collected since the beginning of the level. So if you lose a ship towards the end of a level, you will only receive Bonus points if you are able to collect Bonus Point power-ups between that time and the completion of the level. Many times, you will lose a ship when battling the "End Boss," and you will not collect any Bonus power-ups between that time and when you destroy the "End Boss" to complete the level. That means you will not receive any Bonus points at all. After the Bonus screen, you are taken to the next level. After you complete all 8 levels, you then start back at level 1, but the gameplay is more difficult. Any time that you lose all your ships and you have no continue credits remaining, the game ends. Also, at the beginning and end of each level there is a short take-off or landing sequence, which is for your viewing pleasure only. You have no control of your ship at that time. There is also a brief intermission, so to speak, between the 5th and the 6th levels, when you watch your ship fly through space. At the beginning of the 6th level, you are in space and you are shooting at space rocks that look identical to the space rocks that are in the Jaguar game, Trevor McFur and the Crescent Galaxy. (A review of that game is contained in a past issue of STReport). After a short time, you exit space and continue with level 6 over the more familiar ground terrain. 2-Player Mode is a cooperative mode. You do not alternate turns with the 2nd player competing for a high score, nor do you try to shoot each other. Both players play at the same time and they cooperate in trying to destroy the enemies and complete the level. However, the bombs, continues, ships, ad sncores are kept separately for each player. So although you are cooperating to complete the level, each player is still trying to get the higher score. Opinion: Raiden provided me with some fun, but it is a dated game. There's really nothing new here. You steer your ship, blast and avoid the enemy, and collect power-ups. It becomes monotonous after awhile. This game doesn't add anything new to the vertical shooter genre. In addition, I found the game to be too difficult. If I'm going to engage in some mindless fun of blasting enemies, at least make it fairly easy for me to have that fun. Or provide different difficulty levels for the player to choose from. Even the Atari 2600 VCS had that. Raiden only has one level of difficulty and it was probably intended to provide a challenge. I found it frustrating Without the Continue Credits, I wouldn't have gotten very far in this game at all. Technically, you're supposed to be able to complete all 8 levels without any Continues. Even with the Continues, I could never complete all 8 levels, so I tried the Invincibility cheat. At that point I was able to complete all 8 levels in a relatively short period of time. Then the game just starts over at level 1 and becomes even more difficult. So even if you are proficient enough to complete all 8 levels without the cheat, the fact is that Raiden is really a very short game, limited in both its appeal and its scope. Having 99 levels would have been more appropriate. Repeating the same 8 levels over and over again is boring. That is, if you're even good enough to repeat the levels. Another problem with the game is that there is no ending. There is no ultimate goal to accomplish or feeling of satisfaction when you have accomplished that goal. Every time you play, you're just trying to beat your high score. And the game will always end with you technically "losing," because it doesn't end until you have lost all of your ships. So the game is a bit of a paradox. It's difficult to get very far in the game, but if you manage to, you are not given an appropriate reward. You simply start all over again. More variety and an ultimate goal are needed in this game. I also didn't think that there was enough variety among the 8 different levels. All 8 levels basically looked and played the same. I would have liked totally different scenarios from level to level. The controller was very easy to use and it was a simple matter to master the basic play mechanics. What made the game difficult for me was the level of play of the enemies. However, it is easy for you to control your ship and fire your weapons and bombs. I didn't like the game information obscuring the right one-third of the screen at all. The information should have been provided at the top or bottom of the screen and the whole width of the screen should have been available for gameplay. The Bonus scoring method was another sore point with me. You only get credit for the bonus points you collect from the last time you lose a ship until you complete a level. That means that every time you lose a ship, you also lose all your bonus points collected up to that point. Since I usually lost at least one ship when fighting the "End Boss," I many times wound up with no bonus points. So I think that the bonus point system is unfair. There is also no provision for getting free ships. Raiden was the third game released for the Atari Jaguar and it may have been released because the Jaguar needed games quickly and it was an easy arcade port. I also realize that if the Jaguar Raiden is indeed identical to the arcade Raiden, then most of my complaints apply to the original game and not to the Jaguar translation of that game. If Jaguar Raiden plays like arcade Raiden, then Atari did a great job with this game, but I guess that means that I don't like arcade Raiden. In any event, I hope that when Jaguar games are more plentiful that we don't see another game of this calibre. Closing Comments: Raiden is a simple vertical shooter that is too difficult to play and that is lacking in variety, scope, and originality. It is not an addictive type of game that keeps you coming back one more time to try to get to the next level. And even if it were that type of game, there are only 8 levels in the game before the levels repeat themselves. The concept behind Raiden is not that much fun to start with, and once you play it there is not much to bring you back for more. Raiden is a difficult but short game, with limited replay appeal. Ratings (based on 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest): Graphics: 7 Sound FX/Music: 7 Control: 9 Game Manual: 1 Entertainment Value: 6 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 6 Quick Ratings Comments: Graphics: The graphics were crisp, clean, and colorful, but didn't add much to the gameplay. Sound FX/Music: The sound effects were of good quality and music played throughout the game. I also liked the selection of music and kept it on during gameplay. It never got on my nerves. However, neither the sound effects nor other music were of CD quality. Control: Using the controller was a breeze. It was easy to understand and remember what to do and then easy to do it. Game Manual: One of the worst game manuals I have ever seen for either a video game or a computer game. Atari really needs to do something about the Jaguar game manuals. Most of them are pretty bad. The Raiden manual only contains two pages of actual text devoted to the game. The manual is eight pages long, but two are for the covers, one is for the Help Line and Warnings, one is for the title page, one is for the Credits and Warranty, and one is for the two illustrations. So that's six pages of boilerplate and only two pages devoted to the game. And out of those two pages, most of one page is devoted to starting the game and changing the volume. The only things mentioned regarding gameplay itself is Game Controls, Main Game Selection Screen, and Weapon Power-Ups. In the Game Controls section, it simply mentions what the A, B, C, 0, and Pause buttons do, but it does not give a description of those functions. For instance, for the C button it simply says "Bomb," but it doesn't tell you what a Bomb is or why you want to use it. It also doesn't mention how to reset the game. Plus,there is absolutely no mention at all of how to use the joypad to control the ship. The section Main Game Selection Screen (MGSS) is mislabeled. The manual describes the Game Information that is displayed while you are playing the game, such as ships remaining and score. However, the MGSS is what is displayed before you begin the game and the manual does not even mention this at all. It allows you to select the number of players and continue credits. The section Weapon Power-Ups lists the names of the power-ups and tells you what they are. However, it does not have pictures of the power-ups nor does it describe what the different weapons do. Finally, there is absolutely no section describing how you actually play the game and there are many things missing from the manual altogether. The manual doesn't explain and/or mention what a continue credit is, or that you have a limited supply of bombs, or how many ships you start with, or the Bonus Screen and how the Bonus is computed, or the High Score Table and how to enter your name, or anything at all about 2-Player Mode, except for the mention of Special Shot that can be used in that mode. In addition, in Fig. I, the Pause button was mislabeled and the line points to the Option button instead. Atari has made this mistake in their Jaguar manuals before. Very careless work. I have spent so long on the manual because I think the Raiden manual is a disgrace. It is everything that a good manual should not be. The Atari 2600 VCS manuals were much better than the Jaguar manuals and that should not be the case. I always read my game manuals and I feel cheated when I receive a poorly written one. Many developers lament the fact that the users don't read the manuals. Atari should try to encourage people to read them by devoting more time and effort to writing good ones. The Raiden manual has the opposite effect and is probably the reason that some people are put off by manuals in the first place. If Atari continues this practice it will probably be the reason why more people don't read the manuals in the future. Entertainment Value: I found Raiden to be more fun than the Jaguar game, Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy, but not by much. Trevor had better graphics than Raiden, but I guess I just like vertical shooters better than side-shooters. All in all, Raiden was fun for a short time, but after the novelty wore off and I saw how difficult the game was, I didn't play it much. Reviewer's Overall Rating: Out of the eight games currently available for the Jaguar (through Alien vs. Predator), I would rank Raiden number 7. Only Crescent Galaxy is behind it. Summary: When I bought the Jaguar in January 1994, there were only 4 games for it, so I bought them all. Raiden was one of them. I didn't think it was that much fun to play. At the time of this writing there are 8 games for the Jaguar and more are on the way. So unless you really liked the arcade version of Raiden and want a copy for the Jaguar or unless you really want a vertical shooter, I would stay away from this game. ___________________________________ > Jaguar Online STR InfoFile Online Users Growl & Purr! """""""""""""""""""""""""" Cybermania '94 From: Benjamin S. Martin Date: 5 Nov 1994 23:18:40 How many people actually watched this show. It was pretty bad. They tried really hard to get a good show, and it was good in the beginning. But quickly went downhill. They put too much Hollywood bizzazz in it. Console gaming were hardly represented. Computer games and console games were put into the same categories. Most of the time the computer have better graphics, sound, music, etc. (but have are VERY boring IMHO). And that held up here. Computer games won 10 out of the 12 awards. And one of the awards (Best Portable) was not really open to computer games. The other console game winner was Mortal Kombat(they didn't say if it was I or II). And that won Best Overall Game. This category that was voted on by the players, Hmmmm... Think they will get the hint and concentrate on Console gaming a little more next year. I mean, come on! They had an award for best CD game, why not have one for best cartridge game or Arcade game. And then they would stop the show to give out 'secret' tips and codes for games. This was REALLY cheesy. They also had Leslie Nielsen(sp?), the host, go off and do things that had NOTHING to do with games. They lost my attention big time here. They had a musical segment too. I have nothing against Herbie Hancock, but I felt that this could have been left out all together. The whole musical bit was what I think is the low point of the show. Overall I think the show sucked. Why? 1. Too much attention given to computer games. 2. Too little attention given to console games. 3. NO attention given to Arcade games. 4. Cheeesy game tips given out, that made the show really dumb! 5. Stupid Hollywood intermissions, that had no relevance here. (Ex. Leslie's shootout with cowboys. The ballon man-funny but irrelevant That Roger Rabbit guys jokes- Scratch that. He was good. The wrestlers- Why? The Simcity competition, between the Mayor of SB,and the whiz kid. The circus midgets.) 6. REALLY dumb categories (Ex. Best Actor/Actress Best Comedy- Huh?! Best MusicAL- Not best Music, Best Musical, pointless) 7. No envelope please, the Newton please 8. Not enough categories, they could of had much, much more. Anyway I thought there was definitely room for improvement. And did anyone notice that while they were taking votes for best overall game, that most computer votes were for Doom. Yet most Phone votes were for Mortal Kombat. Hmmmm.... Maybe because those who have access to Prodigy play Doom. And most who don't have access, don't have a computer, and therefore don't play Doom. I was wondering if these if these people had a clue of what is going on out there. Here are the winners: Best Action/Adventure: Doom (ID Software) Best CD-game :7th Guest(Trilobyte Inc./Virgin Games) Best Portable :Disney's Aladdin(Sega of America/Disney Software) Best Comedy :Wacky World of Miniature Golf(Philips Interactive) Best Art and Graphics:Myst(Broberbund) Governor's Award for Best Achievement in Virtual Reality :Iwerks Entertainment Best Musical :Explorer(Peter Gabriel) Best Simulation or Strategy :Simcity Enhanced CD-Rom(Interplay Productions Inc.) Best Sports :Caesar's World of Boxing(Philips Interactive Media) Best Actress :Grace Zabriskie(Voyuer) Best Actor :Robert Culp(Voyuer) Best Overall Game :Mortal Kombat My question: Which Mortal? 1 or 2? SNES, Genesis, or Arcade? -- Ben Martin e-mail:email@example.com ...Life is but a dream... And Squaresoft makes it come true... -/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/ * * J The STReport "Name the Jaguar Games" Contest J A Win a Jaguar tee-shirt _and_ A G An Official In-Store Atari Jaguar Banner!!! G * * J ____ ____ ___ ____ ___ __ / J A / / / / ` / / / / / / / ` / A G / /---/ / __ /___/ / / / /__ / / G * \ / / / / / / \\\ / / / / / / * J \/ / / /___/ / \\\ /___/ /___ /___ \__/ * J A \\\ A G \\\ G * * -/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/-STR-/ As an avid Jaguar fan, we're sure that you've been keeping a careful eye on the growing list of Jaguar games coming out. You _have_ been keeping track, right? Well, we want to find out just how attentive you've been; and we're willing to reward you for your concentration! What do you have to do? That's easy, or is it...? We want you to name the first 20 games available for the Jaguar - IN ORDER OF RELEASE - and be the first one to do so! That's right, just send us a card or letter with the first 20 games out for the Jaguar! Games include cartridges and CD-games. Oh, there aren't 20 games out yet? Well, there has to be some challenge to a contest! You'll also need to send us your name and address, of course. 1st Prize will be an official Atari Jaguar tee-shirt AND an official in-store promotional Jaguar banner! 2nd prize will be a Jaguar tee-shirt (identical to the one above). 3rd prize will be a "JAG RULES!" rubber stamp which is normally available exclusively from Artisan Software! Entries will be judged, and prizes will be awarded by the Atari/Jaguar editor of STReport, Dana Jacobson. Release dates are determined as _actual_ first-time availability of games, including Atari-published and 3rd-party games. The Jaguar pack-in game, Cybermorph, counts (hint: it should be #1!!) All entries must be received by December 20, 1994. The winners will be announced in STReport online magazine, in the issue scheduled to be released on Friday, December 23, 1994. To be eligible, please submit your entry which clearly lists your choices of the first 20 games (numbering them helps!) Also include your name and address. Winners will be determined by a random drawing until the first three winning entries are found. Contest is valid in the United States and Canada only. Employees of Atari Corporation and staff members of STReport or Amiga Report are not eligible to win. This contest is void where prohibited by law. Send your entry, your name and address to: Jaguar First 20 Games Contest STReport Online Magazine 1121 Saratoga Street East Boston, MA 02128-1225 USA Again, 1st prize includes a Jaguar tee-shirt and a Jaguar banner! The tee-shirt is 100% cotton. It's a black crew-neck shirt with the Atari Jaguar name on the chest. On the back is the famous Jaguar logo. The banner is the same as you've seen at your favorite Jaguar dealer. What? You haven't seen one? Well, it measures 4 feet wide and 2 feet tall! The Jaguar logo consists of those piercing yellow Jaguar eyes above the dark red Jaguar, claw marks and all! These banners are collector's items which are almost impossible to get anywhere! Rumor has it that this one may have been discovered in a rare cache somewhere in the bowels of Sunnyvale. And it can be all yours! Show it off proudly on the wall of your room or fly it out your window! All of your friends will want one, but only you will have one. It's awesome! JAG RULES! The 2nd prize consists of the Jaguar tee-shirt, as described above. The 3rd prize is the official "JAG RULES!" rubber stamp! Use a bright red ink pad (not included) for a vivid 2.25" by 1.5" image of JAG RULES in the impact of the Jaguar logo type style. Use it as an economical way to advertise your enthusiasm of the Atari Jaguar. Stamp your letters and your envelopes. Stamp your arm as a tattoo. Stamp your money. Stamp school notebooks and post-its. Writing a letter to your favorite software company? Stamp it! Sending a birthday card to your best friend? Stamp it! Dropping a postcard to your brother at school? Stamp it! Let everyone know you're a Jaguar gamer. After all, in the empire of high technology entertainment systems, JAG RULES! For an example of the JAG RULES logo, call the CATscan BBS. Dial 209/239-1552. Download file: JAGRULES.ZIP. File is ZIP'd and requires PKUNZIP to decompress. Or, call your favorite online service to find it! Need a tip to help you start thinking of these games? Drop us a line in E-Mail to either DPJ on Delphi, 71051,3327 on Compuserve, D.JACOBSON2 on GEnie, or Internet mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, call us at Toad Hall BBS at (617)567-8642 and leave a private message to Dana Jacobson. Are you still here? Start your list of games now!! You may even get some useful tips elsewhere in this and past/future issues of STReport! Credits: STReport and its staff would like to thank Atari Corporation for its generous donation of the banner and tee-shirts. **** Tradenames herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their owning companies. Permission hereby granted to re-post this contest text, in its entirety, anywhere that you feel it would be appropriate - your favorite BBS, user group newsletter, magazine, etc. Please spread the word! ___________________________________ > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" PEOPLE... ARE TALKING ===================== On CompuServe ------------- compiled by Joe Mirando 73637,2262 Hello again good neighbors. I hope you've enjoyed the past week. It looks like that was the last of the warm weather for a while, it now gets dark earlier, and that certain "snap" is in the air. Can it be long 'till the snow flies and we have to deal with one of the worst scourges the planet has ever known... those stupid plow drivers that go up and down the highway with the plow blades up for eight hours so that they are sure to get some overtime. Gee, I guess I need a vacation, huh? Well, at any rate, I'm glad that those guys don't ever have to plow along our electronic highway. It works out very conveniently... no snow, no snow plows. Line noise, on the other hand... Okay, let's get on with all the news, hints, tips, and info available every week right here on CompuServe... From the Atari Computing Forums =============================== William Root tells us: "My local public library here in Sacramento has opened up to modem use to access their research files but I'm having trouble getting on. The telephone ladies there are very helpful but are not computer literate. They can tell me that most of the trouble is folks with modems that do not have MNP. Can anyone tell me what that is? Also, they ask for VT102 and my comm.prg only lists VT100. My software is STTALK PRO and modem is SMART ONE made by Best Data and platform is Atari ST." Sysop Bob Retelle asks William: "What exactly happens when you have trouble connecting to the library..? MNP is an older error correction and compression scheme for modem communications that has been largely replaced by the v.32 and v.42 standards. Not having MNP shouldn't really be a problem for basic telecommunications. Also, VT100 should work just fine... VT102 is just another variation on the same terminal emulation." William tells Bob: "When I call the number, it connects but then spits out ASCII stuff always starting with WA. Could their computer be looking for IBM specific and is confused by the Atari signal?" Bob tells William: "Hmm.. sounds like the library may be using a BBS program that uses "ANSI graphics" to do things like draw boxes around text and change colors on the screen. (IBM specific graphics) Usually thoses are set up to start out in plain vanilla ASCII, then ask if you want ANSI graphics. You may have to try to get in touch with the specific person at the library who set up the BBS, as it sounds like the ones you've talked to don't have a clue as to what it's al about. Your Atari and terminal program should be able to make a standard connection with any ASCII service.. there really isn't anything special or different about it." William replies: "Sounds like I should take a trip down to the library and pound on the counter a little bit. ;)" John Trautschold of Missionware Software (read his post and see if you can tell what product he handles) tells William: "If the library is spitting out ANSI/IBM graphics, you may want to consider upgrading to a new telecom program such as Flash II. We fully support IBM/ANSI graphics and have a number of folks use it to regularly log onto library computer BBS'. P.S. We've got a demo of Flash II in the library. Enter GO ATARIVEN at the main CIS prompt and enter library, section 10, Missionware. Look for the file FLS221D.LZH and download it. If you haven't already got a program that can uncompress LZH files, you'll need that too. If that's a bit more than you can handle right now , let me know and I'll email you the demo... The Flash II demo is fully functional in all regards. All it does is limit your online time and size of uploads or downloads. ANSI mode should work just fine for him." When Nick Nimmy asks about what he needs to add a hard drive to his ST, Sysop Bob Retelle tells him: "Just to list the essentials, you need basically three things to add a hard drive to an Atari ST.. First of all is the host adapter... that goes between the ST and the hard drive. Next is the hard drive itself.. just about any SCSI drive can be used. Last is a case and powersuppl to mount and power the drive.. a cheap PC case is a good choice, and the host adapter can be mounted inside too." Brian Gockley of ST Informer Magazine adds: "Most Atari mail order stores sell plug and play hard drives. Try calling either Computer STudio or Toad: 1-800-253-0201 or 800-448-8623 respectivley. If you'ld rather build your own, then anyplace will do!" Frank Heller tells Nick: "The Supra Corporation makes a couple of "plug N play" hard drives for the ST's. They come in 52meg and 120meg flavors. They are quite reliable and they are pretty quiet (ambient noise-wise)." Brian Gockley reminisces: "My first hard drive was a Supra, it worked great fpr about 5 years. I don't know if they are still available though." While we're on the subject of hard drives, Gerard Bewick asks for help: "I have a Mega ST2 with a Hard Drive problem. I cannot acces my ST tools says I have a bad Boot Sector and cannot correct it. I have also tried St tune up and it was not able to do anything. I cannot even Zero the partition with HDX. My system has TOS 1.2 and a Megafile 30. If you can help please contact VIA e-mail." Andreas Rosenberg tells Gerard: "You are in big trouble I think. First you need to know which sector is bad on your drive. On fixed drives there are more 'boot' sectors unlike to floppies, that have only one. On fixed drives you have a boot sector on each partition (logical drive) and one for the physical drive itself (mostly called the master boot record (MBR) or root sector). If 'only' a logical boot sector is bad you may be able to repartition your drive and exclude this sector from being used by any partition. If the MBR is bad you only have one chance. You could low level format the driveand look if the MBR is working again. But I wouldn't store any important data on this drive any more. If the MBR gets faulty again (weak bits) your data is lost also. You should also check if your drive is spinning yet. Media defects are quite seldom and result mostl from shocks during operation or transport. More likely are recalibration problems (the head cannot access tracks any more) or other mechanical problems. You should also check the cable between computer and hard disc. If one wire is broken you won't be able to read correct data from your drive." Mike Myers asks about his printer: "I'm using a Star Printer and, when I bring the paper up to the bail, printing doesn't start for about an inch to an inch and a half below the top edge of the paper. Is there any way to get the print up to the top edge?" Sysop Bob Retelle tells Mike: "It may be that the printer can't physically print any higher han that.. It sounds like you're using single sheet paper.. with "pin fed" paper, with the little holes along the sides, you can position the beginning of the second sheet anywhere you want it, right to the top of the page if you want, essentially wasting the first sheet... but with single sheets, there's nothing for the printer to grab onto to hold the paper until it gets that high. My new HP DeskJet can't print any higher than about half an inch, which means it offsets the print down and can only print about 60 lines per page.. most software is set up for 66 lines per page, so it makes quite a mess unless you have intelligent software and print drivers. Unless you have the manual for the printer and can check to see if there's any kind of setting you can change, you may be stuck with that "feature" of the printer..." Jonnie Santos shares his experiences: "Having such large top and bottom margins is why I went to tractor feed paper on my printer. I know on the LJ4 at work I can get down to almost 1/4 inch which is fine - so guess I should had a new printer to my wish list too... ...geesch! it never stops, eh?" Peter Joseph asks Bob about his printer: "About your new HP, which model did you get? I'm looking at the DJ-560C to use with both my MegaST and PC with a switch. I hope the 60 line limitation you're talking about is with the Atari and not a PC. I'd hate to find myself with that limitation on such a popular new printer." Bob tells Peter: "I got the HP 520 Deskjet about a month or so ago.. now I see there's an even newer model out that can be converted to color, and is about the same price as I paid for mine... The limitation on the usable page area is inherent in the Deskjet, unfortunately. It's very similar to the situation with laser printers.. there's just no way to be able to print right up to the top of the page with the single sheet fed paper handling these printers use. With the proper printer drivers it's not as bad as it sounds, although there ARE problems printing directly from DOS.. for example, just using PRINT can give you a full sheet and a second sheet with three or four lines on it, per "normal" page. I ind that instead of just doing a quick dump of a doc file, say.. I end up loading everything into MicroSoft Works which DOES have the proper driver under DOS, and which does a very good job of printing on the DeskJet. And with Windows, there's practically no problem at all, once you install the DeskJet driver." John Masters tells Bob: "I have had a DJ520 for about a month now and I use them in college. With a little (all right a LOT) of paience and >>>the proper printer drivers<<< you can get 64 lines per page, losing one from the top and one from the bottom. You need to experiment with the page formatting in your WP. Sometimes on the college machines, using Word for Windows, I do not have time or patience to get it right so I bring the doc home and print it from my Atari (Protext v6.5, brilliant). My problem with the DJ520 is printing envelopes!" Getting back to the original problem, Peter Joseph tells Mike Myers: "I have a Star printer too and I have the same trouble. I have it hooked up to my PC now and it continues to be a hassle. The stupid bail bar is half the trouble. I'd take the front cover off, but the printer won't work without it in place. I suppose I could jumper the cover switch, but I don't really want to. Besides, the dang thing is already loud enough with the cover on! A worse problem for me however is getting ribbons and at a decent price. I have the SR-15 from the early Jurassic era I believe , and I think the ribbon is proprietary! Anyway, from Star it costs about $25. I've had the printer about 8 years and I've changed the ribbon only twice I think, if that tells you anything." "Jim" asks about upgrading his 520 ST: "I am seeking help on upgrading a 520STFM from 0.5meg to 1meg. I realise that this is something that most of you have done some time ago so there may be some one out there who can help me. I would like to know what chips I wil need to obtain and the general procedure on doing the upgrade." Bob Retelle, that Sysop guy tells Jim: "If your STFM is the 520 that was based on the 1040 motherboard, you're in for an easy memory upgrade... You'll need 16 memory chips, 256K x 1 and just about any speed faster than 150ns. You'll also need 16 decoupling capacitors and three resistors... I'm not sure what the exact values are, but you should be able to get ones similar to the ones already in your ST. The capacitors go next to the RAM chips, and the resistors go in the traces from the MMU chip to the new bank of RAM. You'll probably have to trace the lines leading back to the MMU (check the existing RAM bank to see what they look like), to where you find two solder pads right next to each other. That's where the resistor goes... there are threeplaces like that, each in a different trace. Perhaps the most difficult and time consuming part of the upgrade is removing the solder that's in the holes where the new RAM will go. During the manufacturing process, all the empty holes on the motherboard get filled with solder. You'll have to use a low powered soldering iron and a solder sucker or solder wick to remove the solder in the holes. Be very careful and take your time. One option to consider is to install IC sockets on the motherboard, then plug the new RAM chips into them. It will make replacing a chip, if it's ever necessary, a lot easier. It's also a lot safer than soldering the RAM directly. Let us know if you have any questions about doing the upgrade..." Richard Detlefsen explains a bit about Ramdisks: "Ramdisks use a section of ST memory for a disk lookalike. If the power goes, so does everything in it. It is used only for temporary storage of programs and data-but accessed very fast. Anything important must be copied to a real disk/hard drive before turning off the computer. If you only have 1 meg, then you don't have much space for current applications. With 4 megs, there is plenty of room for a 1 or 2 meg ramdisk with most programs happy." Mike Myers tells Richard: "I think I have set up a somewhat better equivalent. I have UIS, and I set up a folder for transfers, as needed. I can put files into it, until I figure ut where they are to go later. And it survives shutdown. my question is, is that all a ram disk does?" Mike Mortilla adds his own thoughts on the subject: "The real valuse of a RAM disk is in applications where temp files are stored and accessed. For example, WordPerfct creates several temp files during operation. If you use a RAM disk the program access to these files is immediate. It also saves access to the HD or floppy." From the Portfolio Topic in the Palmtop Forum ============================================= Jon Sanford posts: "I am expecting a Portfolio by UPS today. I had one before but lent it to my son while he went to college. Since I would have to kill him to get it back now I just bought a nother. It will take me a while to remember & relearn.. Fortunatly I will be getting the original DOCs & a 3rd party book. Things to keep in mind: 1. check the for sale sections on CIS. I found the one i an waiting for in the Atari Forum...Altho all inquires about Portfolio are directed here from there. 2. There is a BASIC & FORTH that I know of. 3. see 1. 4. AtARI is not makeing computers now. They still sell some Falolns & STs they have in stock. Don't expect anything from Atari... " James King posts: "I've had mine for quite a while now and love it. My wife and several of my friends have and use them. Although there are others with wider sales and "press" the Port is still the best bargain. You might contact Dave Stewart on CIS (73770,2021, I think), who has a service called Re:Port, including a newsletter and "add-ons". Because the editor and card files are TXT files, they are very flexible. The worksheet is 1-2-3 compatible. My work and home computers have successfully imported them ( as 1-2-3 files) into Excel. I'm sure that you will enjoy it. JF Davington tells about his uses for the Portfolio: "I use the Portfolio and Lotus organizer and exchange data regularly with Portman for Windows which is available in lib 9. I wrote the program to learn how to program for Windows. Its not perfect but its free and I expect to have The Portman 2.0 out within a couple of weeks. This version will have field mapping and more. Keep an eye out for it. The Portfolio may be a bit out dated but I still find it has *THE BEST KEYBOARD* available on any palmtop I've seen (Well, if I'm wrong, will someone please educate me?) and to me that counts a lot in a palmtop. Any way that's me two bits." Sysop Judy Hamner posts: "The Port does not have expandable memory. If you are talking about the RAM IC cards, I would assume that you can buy them from Atari as long as their stock lasts. They may not have every size. If anyone has contact with Atari, it would be appreciated if you report your experience here. There are still a lot of Port fans who want to know what is available and how to contact them." Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" He WANTS to be the US President!? """"""""""""""""" May 1, 1990 -- Quayle warns of the danger of asteroids crashing into Earth: "It would certainly benefit all nations to know when such a natural event might occur ... Those same asteroids which promise material riches can be a threat as well." hmmmmm..... """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > DEALER CLASSIFIED LIST STR InfoFile * Dealer Listings * """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" --------------- ABCO Incorporated ================= P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 Est. 1985 1-904-783-3319 1994 Fall SPECIALS NOW IN EFFECT! EXTENDED BY POPULAR DEMAND!! --------------------- ABCO manufactures custom storage devices! 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Diamond Computer High Speed Video Cards w/1-2mb VRAM Greatly Enhances Windows SPEED and EFFICIENCY Diamond High Performance Sonic Sound Cards Available Soundblaster Cards and compatibles 8 & 16 bit Creative Technologies' Sound Blaster 16 SCSI & Sound Blaster * AWE 32 * SUPER Sound Card Media Vision Line - True Multi-Media IDE Super IO cards & 16550 UART 2 & 4 Port Cards SCSI ADAPTER CARDS & SCANNERS COLOR & MonoChrome Call: 904-783-3319 Anytime, Voice Mail """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" COMPUTER STUDIO =============== WESTGATE SHOPPING CENTER 40 Westgate Parkway -Suite D Asheville, NC 28806 1-800-253-0201 Orders Only 1-704-251-0201 Information FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" EAST HARTFORD COMPUTER ====================== 202 Roberts St. East Hartford CT. 06108 1-203-528-4448 FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" MEGABYTE COMPUTERS ================== 907 Mebourne Hurst, TX 76053 1-817-589-2950 FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" SAN JOSE COMPUTER ================= 1278 Alma Court San Jose, CA. 95112 1-408-995-5080 FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" CompuSeller West ================ 220-1/2 W. Main St. St. Charles, IL., 60174 Ph. (708) 513-5220 FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" (DEALERS; to be listed here FREE OF CHARGE, drop us a line in Email.) """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International Online Magazine -* [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport *- AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE ON OVER 70,000 PRIVATE BBS SYSTEMS """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STR Online! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" November 10, 1994 Since 1987 copyright (c) 1994 All Rights Reserved No.1046 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International Online Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""