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In This Issue 

Z* *Net NewsWire 
The New Atari STE Reviewed 
Revolutionary Calendar 
Alice's ST STack 

February 1990 

Vol. II No. 2 

ATARI at Winter CES 

by John Nagy 

The LYNX found it to be an uphill battle at the Win¬ 
ter lyyu consumer electronics snow (Ufc,i>) in Las Vegas 
Januar y 6 through 9, but it was more a matter of being out¬ 
numbered than outranked. While the Nintendo portable 
GAMEBOYS were everywhere in the massive multi-conven¬ 
tion center showing of the latest in electronic offerings for 
the consumer marketplace, the little black-and-white (not 
even backlit!) LCD screen pales next to the dramatic Atari 
LYNX illuminated full color screen. 

Atari had not planned to have a booth on the main 
floor of the CES show... but ended up with one anyway 
EPYX (makers of Atari’s LYNX) had paid for a 20’ booth in 
the West main hall before they closed their software sales di¬ 
vision, and it was an opportunity to draw attention to the 
IYNX and Atari. A last minute display was assembled, fea¬ 
turing a pair of lovely bikini- clad girls on roller skates, with 
a small sailboat as a background. They showed the lYNX 
and invited show goers to come to the "real” Atari display in 
the Mirage Hotel. The concept was to "capture a moment” 
from the CALIFORNIA GAMES cart that is shipped with 
all IYNX game machines. Beach babes on wheels present 
your scores at the end of that game. 

Atari held a Suite in the Mirage Hotel where they dis¬ 
played the "consumer” products in their lineup. These days, 
that means the GAME CONSOLES, all the way down to the 
old 2600, and up through the IYNX. Also *big” was the 
Portfolio (no surprise tnere!) Visitors enjoyed plenty of 
munchies and pernaps the finest press information kits yet to 
be offered by Atari, offered by well informed attendants. 

The "AIARI POWER PACK”, a 520STFM bundled 
with a stack of software at a very attractive price (un¬ 
der S400) was shown. If made available, it will include 
Music Studio, Neochrome, Planetarium, maps and Legends, 
Star Raiders, Missile Command, Alien Brigade, and F15. 
Still undecided is whether to include the Timeworks set of 
Word Writer, Swiftcalc, and Data Manager, to be licensed as 
Atari products, or to go with the combination of other appli¬ 
cations like First Word Plus, Phasar, and Informer H. 

Research was done for Atari by the marketing power¬ 
house Chiat-Day to determine what a computer buyer really 
wanted and needed in the way of software. Surprising no 
one, they found that most want a word processor, a spread¬ 
sheet, and a database, plus some games. In the POWER 
PACK, Atari hopes to meet all the immediate startup needs 
of the first-time computer buyer, and provide a satisfying 

base of software to build on. Some sort of tutorial disk or 
video tape is also to be included to let tne new user get 
started more easily. At or below $400, this set looks mighty 
attract! vc 

You may be asking, ”A 520STFM? Why not the STE? 
Isn’t there a similar bundle being sold in Europe that in¬ 
cludes the new machine?” Yes, there is. But the STE is still 
not passed by the FCC for sale in the United States, and the 
price of the STE alone is expected to be significantly higher 
than the Power Pack. Now the question at ATARI is ”do we 
have enough 520’s?” Several lines have been scarce lately, 
and Atari may have to postpone the Power Pack promotion 
until stocks are higher, or to rethink it to include the STE 
later in the spring. 

This CES followed the pattern that has been developing 
across the last years - computers are "out” at the consumer 
level Games, well, maybe, but PHONES, EAXes, and 
WATCHES are the big thing again. Among the few soft¬ 
ware houses displaying goods: Electronic Arts (mostly their 
consignment house titles), TENGEN (showing lots of 
NINTENDO titles with the rest), and MICROPROSE. AMI¬ 
GA (Commodore) WAS on the main floor, but according to 
observers, they had a small, poorly attended booth along a 
wall ”in the cheap area”... 

The point of CES is to SELL manufacturers supplies to 
distributors and dealers. The Portfolio and IYNX have been 
selling themselves... with sales outstripping production to 
date. The added exposure at CES can only add to the dra¬ 
matic demand already in place for the machines. 

By the way, Atari is expected to make a MUCH bigger 
appearance at the National Association of Music Merchan¬ 
disers show... which will be going on just after we must send 
this issue on its way. Features included introduction of a 
MIDI-TASKING system, actually a multi-task environment 
that should be of particular interest to musicians. Atari will 
cap the Saturday of die show with a reunion concert with 
Eric Clapton and the old super group CREAM. This 
NAMM snow may well serve to push AIARI over the top in 
musician respect and use. Long a popular choice for music 
makers, the new products from Atari are now providing an 
affordable and unique answer for live and studio music use. 
Among the satisfied new customers: Michael Jackson, who 
visited COMDEX where he was photographed with Atari 
equipment Look for more on NAMM next month in Z*Net! 

• Z*Net is a monthly newsletter supplement produced by Rovac Industries, Inc. It is available in newsletters of registered Atari 

user groups. Z*N«* and Rovac Industries, Inc. are not affiliated with Atari Corporation. 

• Z*Net articles are Copyright © 1990 by the individual authors. Reprint permission is available from Rovac Industries in 
writing. Opinions and commentary stated within this publication are those of the indivithial author and not necessarily 
those of Z*Net or RO. Responses and feature article cantributioos are encouraged. 

• Z*Net is produced on an Atari Mega ST4 using Calamus Desktop Publishing software. This publication was printed an a 
Hewlett-Packard DeskJet printer and reproduced by user groups. Artwork and logos have been produced rat the Atari ST 
using Easy-Draw, Touch-Up, and VtDi-ST Video Digitizer.. 

• Z*Net, Z*Net Logo, Z*Net Online, and R1I are Copyright © 1990 by Rovac industries, Int, Middlesex, NJ, a registered 
corporation. Vice line: (201) 968-2024. 

ROVAC Industries. Inc. 

BO Box 59, Middlesex, NI08846 

Publisher_._Ron Kovacs 

Editor..,.....John Nagy 

Layout & Distribution JBruce Hansford 

Z*Net BBS_(201) 968-8148 


rnrrif»i£erv t»- 71777 pAd(\ 


P.O. BOX 17660, ROCHESTER, N.Y. 14617 
ATARI* PH0NE < 716 > 586-5545 

DEALER/DISTRIBUTOR/USER GROUP Discount available call for info 
PHONE orders • MASTER CARD. VISA MAIL • Money Orders. Checks 

•SHIPPING! Add $5 for Shipping/Hondling/lnsuronce within the U.S.A. 
UPS BLUE LABLE (2nd DAY AIR) dvdilable for $3 extra per shipment 
CALL TODAY! (716) 586-5545 
9 am-- 5pm (EST) WEEKDAYS 



$ 199 95 The "BLACK BOX”!® $199’* 

Tbe Block Box is a cevice tor your XL or 130XE comouter that 
aaas Tremenaous Dower to your 8-Dit Atari, it - > cs two Duttons, 
two switches, ana a set of dio switcnes visible from me outside, it 
Plugs airectly into tne Dock of the 600X1. 8C3XL. and 130XE 
computers. Custom cases mav De an optional expense. The 
Stock Box oertorms three mam tasks: interface to a SASI/SCSI bus 
device (hard disks). Parallel printer port, ana a RS232 Dort. A 
fourm obtion. avanaDie soon, will be a floppy disk port, especially 
useful to XF-551 owners The SASI/SCSI port provides the 
necessary signals for booking up mosT common nard disks. You 
mav partition your nara disk into as many drives as vou wish; up to 
9 con De accessed at at time By pressing one or tne buttons on 
the Block Box. vou w.H enter the configuration menu, where you 
con re-assign drive bumpers, etc. When you exit, vou will be right 
Dock m the program vou were running when tne switch was 
pressea. Each hard a;sx can be wnte-protectea. The Parallel 
Printer port will allow vou to hook up any printer that uses the 
stanaara Centronics interface. As an option, vou can use the 
computers extra memory as a printer buffer, or order fhe Black 
Box with 64K of on-ooara RAM. You may assign printer number 
ana une-feed options within the menu (for use wifh multiple 
prm'ers) Another amazing feature of the Block Box is the built-in 
screen aump. By pressing a button (on the box), tne contents of 
your screen will be dumped to your printer (you can define text 
or g'apnics modes with a switch)! The RS232 port supplies the full 
RS232 spec signals to’ connection to a moaem. or another 
machine (for null-moceming). The handler for *-'e Block Box s 
moaem port is bunt r< ana takes up NO memory 1 The port 
haloes rates up to t^E 19.2K BAUD! A future upgrade for the 
Block Box is a fiobbv a;sx interface ooara T ~ s wm allow the 
aacmon of up to four 5 25' or 3.5' mixtures of f'ccov arives to be 
usea with the system The arives wilt ac” ”ke standard 
singe/ennanced/doubie density disk drives, but MUCH faster! All 
drives will be Super Arpmver compatible, ana subbort ud to 2 
sides of 80 tracks A cng with this hardware uograae will come 
software capable of reaaing. writing, ana formarrmg disks in IBM s 
MS-DOS format and tre Atari ST format, ana auow you to transfer 
files between those aisk formats ana the ATari s format, in 
acanon . a machine language monitor has been aaaed to allow 
memory aisassemoiv. memorv/register changes, ana more. The 
Pnce of the Block Box is S 199.95 for the basic unit and $249.95 
wim 64k of RAM (for cmter spooler) plus $8 for S/H/l An optional 
custom BLACK BOX case is available tor $39 95 extra 

$ 199 95 The “MULTIPLEXER”!® $199*5 

This device brings the bower and flexibility of larger systems to 
your 8-bit. The Multiplexer is a device (actuaiiv a collection of 
modules) that allow uo to 8 Atans to read ana write to fhe same 
drive (typically a hard disk), printer, ana talk to eacn other. One 
'masT^r - computer (any 8-bit) is eauippea with the master 
Multiplexer interface. Tren ud to 8 'slave' combuters can hook up 
to me master, eacn navtng their own slave interface. The 
'common’ peripherals (things that are to De snared) are 
connected to the master computer. On each siave. ail disk ana 
pnnte r i/O is routed tnrcugn the master, so no anves are neeaed 
on mem The master computer can De configured in any manner 
you wisn - you can for example have certain penpnerais 'local' to 
the sove. or routed to a different numper on tne master. Under 
development is a BBS system that will make full use or mis device, 
allow mg up to 8 lines /users to be using the system err the same 
time 1 A mutiuser char mode is a feature of this program, however, 
you co not NEED this program to run a BBS with tne Multiplexer 
(but be warned that not an BBS programs will run concurrently). 
All sieves are mdepenaent. and do not need to nave the same 
program running on them This system is excellent tor BBS SysOps, 
because vou can be using your hard aisk(s) while stm running your 
BBS uninterrupted! Another example is in a classroom situation, or 
anywnere a disk neeas to be shared by different people. This is 
an EXCELLENT programming/debugging tooi as well! The 
Muftiptexer pnce is $199 95 for a master and two siave units (plus 
$5 S/h/i). Additional stave units are $69.95 each. 

$29*5 "XF551 ENHANCER!”© $29*5 

The XF551 Atari drive is a fine product with one major flaw...It 
writes to side TWO of vour floppy disks BACKWARDS. This causes 
reaa/write incompatibility problems with all otner single sides 
drives made for Atan such as Indus. Trak. Rana. Percom. Astra. 
Atari 1050. Atan 810. etc. Add the XF551 ENHANCER to the new 
XF551 drive and your problems are over! This device will restore 
100% compatibility wnne retaining original design qualities of 
Atans super new drive The XF55I ENHANCER is a MUST for all 
XF551 Owners. Installation is simple. Only $29.95 plus $4 S/H/l. 

$99*5 The "POWER PLUS”!® UKMADC $99*5 

(for 800XL'S and 130XE'sonly) 

C.S.S. has made the 'Power Plus'! memory upgrades available 
on an 'unadvertised' basis to our regular patrons. These 
upgrades have become so popular we are now making them 
avanaoie to everyone! For those of you unfamiliar with'Powef 
Phis'! upgrade, it is the most COMPATABLE upgrade available for 
the 800XL or 130 XE. All other upgrade kits have some degree of 
INCOMPATABILITY with certain software programs. C.S.S. studied 
this problem and developed the POWER PIUS upgrade which, to 
the best of our knowledge, appears to be 100% compatible. To 
upgrade a 130XE to 320K is only $99.95. To upgraae an 800XL to 
320K is only $149.95 (circuitry from a' 130XE is actually 
transplanted into the 800XL). Add $5 for S/H/l. C.S.S. will install 
these upgrades for only $20 if you wish. 


- 1(716)247-71571 - 

: or product information. WEEKLY SPECIALS, informative 
discussions on new products. theories, proaucts you a like to 
see developed, ana usea items for sale or traae. CALL (716) 
247-7157 24 hrs This BBS also features muiti-user 'CHAT* 
capabilities thanks to our new MULTIPLEXER'! which allows 
multiple user and BBS boaras to be linked so several callers can 
snare boaras or talk to eacn other simultaneously! CALL (716) 
247-7157 for BBS only For VOICE orders or repairs, please call 
our normal Hof Line numper (716) 566-5545. 

$69*5 The “SUPER ARCHIVER”!® $69*5 

The new SUPER ARCHIVER, obsoletes all copying devices currently 
available for the ATAR11050! It eliminates the neeo for Patches. PDB 
files. Computer Hardware, etc. Copies are exact duplicates of 
originals and will run on any onve; without exaggeration, the SUPER 
ARCHIVER is the most powerful PROGRAMMING/COPYING device 
available for the 1050! Installation consists of a piug-in chip and 6 
simple solder connections. Software included. Features are; 



• BUILT-IN EDITOR-reads writes 
aisDlays up 10 j 5 sectors/tracK short 

uo to 40 sectors. Track 


• BUILT-IN MAPPER-up to 42 

' DBPLAY|/COPIES Double Density 




• ULTRA-SPEED read/write 



• SCREEN DUMP to pnnter 









The SUPER ARCHIVER is so POWERFUL that omy programs we 
know that can t becopteo are the newer ELECTRONIC ARTS and 
SYNFILE/SYNCALC (34 FUlLsectors/track). If you want it 
the "BIT-WRITER"' also... then you'll be able to copy even tnese 
programs! Only $69.95 plus $5 S/H/l. 


$99*5 The “SUPER ARCHIVER II”!© $99*5 

(tor ATARI 1050 drives) 

NOW! COPIES all ENHANCED DENSITY programs plus retains all 
of the features of our World Famdus SUPER ARCHIVER! (see 
above). Allows you to COPY or CREATE single or ENHANCED 
density protection schemes (including PHANTOM SECTORS!). 
Completely automatic: compatible with the BIT-WRITER I the 
ULTIMATE BACKUP/PROGRAMMING device! Only $99.95 plus $4 
S/H/l. NOTICE! If you already own a SUPER ARCHIVER!, you can 
upgrade to a SUPER ARCHIVER II for only $29.95 plus $5 S/H/l 
disk only-no additional hardware required). 

$69*5 The “ULTRA SPEEO PLUS"!© $69*5 

imagine a universal XL/XE Operating System so easy to use that 
anyone can operate it instantly, yet so versatile and powerful that 
every Hacker. Programmer and Ramdisk owner wm wonder how they 
ever got along without it! Ultra Speed Plus puts unbelievable speed 
and convenience at your fingertips. Use ANY DOS to place an 
ULTRA SPEED format on your disks, boot any drive (1-9) upon 
power-up, format your RAMDISK in Double Density, activate a built- 
in 400/800 OS for software compatibility, plus dozens of other 
features too numerous to mention! Below are just a FEW features 
you'll find in the amazing OS: 

RAMDISK capable 
Enure MEMORY test 
thauxnpoims detective 

Boot any drive (1-9) 
upon power-up or cold- 

Supports memory 
irades up to TWO 

most modified drives 


• Boot directly from 

• Special timer circuits 
not required tor 1 or 2 
Meg upgrades 

• Baotqround colors 

• Reverse use of 

• Cold-start without 

• Built m RAMDISK _ 

contKgnratHjn editor09 RAMDISK 

duplicates floppy drive 
so sector copying and 
sector editing are now 

• Built-in (loppy/disk 
configuration editor (1-9) 

• Built-in MINI Sector 

• Toggle SCREEN OFF 
for up to 40% increase 
ot processing si 

• Toggle mtemal L... 

• Ram resident disk 
loader program 
(MACH10 menu) 

u^aterrU 0 

THREE Operating 
Systems in one 
I XL/XE, 400/800, 




80 Colum Word Processor 
Easy to use. very powerful, and NO ADDITIONAL HARDWARE 
required! Works with TV or Monitor! This “DISK ONLY" 80 Column 
Word-Processor is simple to use while offering numerous features 
such as: 

• Completely Menu driven 

• Self contained DOS 

• Complete Text formatting 

• Built-in Pnnter Dnvers 

• Page numbering 

• Justify and Endfill 

• High speed Cursor 

• Spell Checker 


• Insert and Delete 

• Search Mode 

• View only mode 

• Memory Statistics 

• Alternate Outout 

• Change screen Colors, borders, 

• Mouse compatible 

• XEP-80 Cempatibie 

One expert has compared 40 domestic and foreign word- 
proeeeeore end concluded that the RICHMANS 80 Column 
Word-Processor la the best! Only $39.95 plus $5 S/H/l. (64K 


P.O. Box 17660 
Rochester, N.Y. 14617 

$79*5 The "BIT-WRITER"!© 

The Super Archiver “BIT-WRITER"! is caoaOle of duplicating even the 
“uncooyable" EA and SYN senes which employ 34 FULL sectors/track. 
The ‘BIT-WRITER"! is caoable of reproducing these and FUTURE 
protection schemes ot non-physically damaged disks. Simple 
installation... PLUG-IN circuit board and 4 simDle soioer connections. 
The ‘SUPER ARCHIVER' with the “BIT-WRITER*' «s the ultimate 
PROGRAMMING/COPYING device lor Atari 1050 s. EXACT 
DUPUCATES of originals are made! Copies run an ANY drive. Must Oe 
used with Super Archiver. Only $79.95 plus $5 S/H/l. 

$39*5 The "QUINTOPUS"!© $39*5 

The 'QUINTOPUS"! is an inexpensive device tnat provides a 
tremendous amount ot convenience while eliminating tne problems 
associated with the endless "daisy-chaining'' of penpnerais leg: drives, 
interlaces, printers, modems, cassettes, etc ). The "QUINTOPUS"! is 
an i/O port expander that converts a single I/O outouvmout into five 
additional outputs/inputs, instead of daisy-chaining an your peripherals 
(wmch often times results in passing a signal through 30 feet or more 
ot cable!), the “QUINTOPUS"! allows each device to oe connected 
directly to the computers through only three or tour teet of cable. This is 
particularly usetul when attempting to use ULTRASPEED or 
WARPSPEED data transfer rates. The “QUINTOPUS"' also provides 
the 'extra" I/O ports often needed to connect devices not navtng daisy- 
chaimng capabilities. Cable resistance and compacitance are greatly 
reduced thereby significantly improving the opportunity of accurate 
data transfers! Only $39.95 plus $5 S/H/l. SIO cable is $5 extra if 

$59*5 The “QUINTOPUS"!© $59*5 


This Deluxe version of the “QUINTOPUS!" has all of the aoove features 
with the additional benefits of two SWITCHABLE PORTS! This means 
you can connect two computers to one printer or two printers to one 
computer: you can switch in a computer/printer combination ana while 
you re printing out a long document, switch in a second computer to 
access a modem, disk drive, cassette deck, etc: Switch multiple 
comomations of peripherals or computers without tne nassle or re¬ 
arranging I/O cables...simply flip a switch! Only $59.95 plus $5 S/H/l. 
SIO cable is $5 extra if needed. 

COMPLETE Hard Drive Systems from C.S.S. inciuqe tne BLACK 
BOX. power supply, logic board, controller. DOS. cables and assorted 
software! All systems are wired, preformatted ana nave sample 
programs on them. Simply take it out ot the box. piug it in and 
BOOT.. hassles! We currently stock 5 MEG to 80 MEG systems 
ranging from $495 to $895. Sizes range from 3 1/2 inch. 5 1/4 inch, to 
8 inch industrial quality. Call! 

Controllers available separately from Xebec. Adaptec. Seagate. 
Konan. and Western Digital. Call tor pricing. 

NEW ~ only $495 complete! Hard Drive sold separately in limited 
Quantities for only $99.95. Excellent for packing up larger hD systems! 
(Original drive cost was $1100!) 

These specials are avanaDie on a first come first servea oasis. Pre- 

ownea items are in exceptionally clean condition ana are in 
perfect operating oraer All items are warrantiea Sorry ... no 
rainchecks. Order 5 or more items and we ill oay tne freight. 
These SPECIALS are for C.S.S. customers omv - NO DEALER 
DISCOUNTS! Add $5 to oraer for S/H/l. 

1 130XE with 320K POWER PLUS 
uDgrade and Ultra Speed Plus installed 
(with power supply ana cable) 

and SILENCER installed (with 

Dower supply ana cable) 

3. SUPER PILL (without case) 


5. DISKCRACKER (Newest version) 


7 IMPOSSIBLE for 800 or 800XL 

8 KLONE II (Generic HAPPY Backup) 








































For 24-48 hour repair service on Atan computers or anves, call our 

repair department at (716) 586-5545 day or nigm. All work is 
guaranteed, NO minimum estimate fees; if you have two or 
more items for repair and don't want to spend anv money .... 
send them to us ana we II use the parts from both defective 
items to make one good working unit at NO CHARGE ... we ll 
keep the other defective item for parts! 

Z*Net News wire... 

g? All 16 Federated Electronics Super¬ 
stores in Houston and Dallas are being 
closed and their stock liquidated, a Utah 
liquidation firm has said. Western Li¬ 
quidators from Salt Lake City have pur¬ 
chased the stores’ inventory, and has 
seemingly known about the closings for 
a few months. 

c? Although it is older news, occur¬ 
ring mid 1989, Playboy Magazine men¬ 
tioned in a very recent column that 
"FEDERATED” of California was go¬ 
ing to pay 12 MILLION dollars in a se¬ 
ttlement to over 8,000 employees and 
applicants who were forced to take a 
polygraph test before employment. 

This is, indeed ”our” Atari FEDER¬ 
ATED stores. The lie-detector tests are 
illegal under California law and Fed¬ 
eral rights to privacy, and Atari/Feder¬ 
ated will have to pay. However, the 
wrongdoing was by the former owners 
of the ill-fated electronics store chain, 
and so the settlement will be just an- 
other part of the ongoing suit by Atari 
against the former owners. Atari says 
that the chain’s value was seriously 
overstated in the material supporting 
the purchase, and that items like this 
settlement were not disclosed. The 
former owners of Federated are ex¬ 
pected to be quite "collectable” when 
the suit is finally settled or tried, mak¬ 
ing the Federated adventure less pain¬ 
ful than it might otherwise be. 

e& QUICK ST Version 1.8 has been re¬ 
leased commercially by Darek Mihock- 

It is faster than ever now. speeding up 
screen writes dramatically. QUICK ST 
now matches or surpasses TURBO ST 
in most categories, plus it installs as an 
AUTO program, using 20K (less than 
1/2 of Turbo ST) and does not take up 
an accessory slot The Quick ST disk 
includes the Quick Index benchmark¬ 
ing software to test software and hard¬ 
ware accelerators. It also includes the 
Quick View file reading utility. Quick 
ST 1.8 costs $19.95 US. Branch Always 
Software, Box 2624, Station B, 
Kitchener, Ontario CANADA N2H 
6N2, (519) 570-4340. 

g? GOE UPDATE: A reader informs us 
that he received a refund for his long 
overdue prepaid order for David 
Sullivan’s Graphic Operating Environ¬ 
ment cart for the 8-bit Atari. "On De¬ 
cember 11,1988,1 ordered the GOE 
cartridge from Sullivan for $50.00 (a 
special early offering). About the same 
time, I spoke to Sullivan via phone and 
he informed me the cartridges would 

be available in the near future. I at¬ 
tempted to contact Sullivan twice in 
February... I wrote him a letter March 
4... I sent Sullivan a certified, return 
receipt requested letter on June 5,1989, 
demanding status or a refund. I got the 
letter receipt back, but no other re¬ 
sponse... On June 26,1 reported this 
matter to the US Postal Inspectors 
through the local Post Office as a mat¬ 
ter of possible mail fraud. The Postal 
Service was able to contact Sullivan at 
his new phone number (619) 275-6690, 
same address as before. Sullivan said 
he was having problems with the start- 

K 'Isk for GOE, which was the cause 
e delay. At my insistence, he said 
he would refund my money. A month 
later; I reported to the Postal Inspectors 
that I still had not received my re¬ 
fund... in Late August, I finally re¬ 
ceived a refund check. I suggest that 
anyone still having a problem with 
Sullivan, report the matter to the US 
Postal Inspectors through their local 
Post Office... of course, it is now 
highly unlikely GOE will materialize. 
Onwell, at least we have Alan Reeve’s 
Diamond” -Pat Hayes 

c? Z*NET ONLINE debuted in Janu¬ 
ary with issue #501. The numbering 
change was suggested by a reader in 
late December who felt that the exist¬ 
ing sequential system was confusing... 
Issue «238 (the actual issue number) 
says nothing about when the issue was 
released 501 means this issue is Vol¬ 
ume 5 (fifth year of production of 
ZMAGs), week 01. This system allows 
anyone to identify how old an issue is 
just by the filename. 

Computer Software Service, a ma¬ 
jor midwest distributor of computer 
hardware and software of all brands, 
has gone out of business. Phones and 
FAX numbers are unanswered as some 
developers and dealers try to figure out 
what to do next. The Addison, Illinois 
company had many dealers depending 
on them alone, offering a wide base of 
products that prominently included 
Atari and Amiga. Inside reports claim 
that the company is filing bankruptcy 
although it was making some profit 
even at the end. Company owners ap¬ 
parently decided that they could make 
more money in other businesses. Re¬ 
maining software distributors Ameri¬ 
can and Pacific, Triangle, and Horizon 
will have to pick up the slack, and 
hopefully soon. Confusing many peo¬ 
SERVICES company of Rochester, New 
York, a totally unrelated and major 8- 

bit Atari hardware and software manu¬ 
facturer and service center. CSS (New 
York) is STILL in business and doing 
better than ever with sales in 23 coun¬ 
tries. CSS (Illinois) was a multi-brand 
distributor of software products to deal¬ 
ers across the midwest, and is OUT of 
business. CSS (NYVs most recent suc¬ 
cess (among 38 products) is the BLACK 
BOX, an MIO- uke device to provide 
interfaces to printer, modem, and hard 
drives for the 8-bit Atari computer. Re¬ 
pairs are also available for computers 
and disk drives. CSS, EO. Box 17660, 
Rochester NY 14817, (716) 586-5545. 

MiniScribe, a well known disk drive 
manufacturer, filed a Federal bank¬ 
ruptcy petition on January 2. Mini¬ 
scribe has taken this step because of a 
number of investor lawsuits it now 
faces. In September 1989, a report 
stated that former managers commit¬ 
ted massive fraud over a three year per¬ 
iod. Miniscribe will be phasing out it’s 
US manufactured products by the end 
of the first quarter of 1990. 

g£> WordPerfect recently announced 
that it will provide customer support 
around the clock. The company now 
has a staff available for customers who 
need help after normal work hours. 
About one-third of WPCorp’s work 
force is assigned to customer support 
duties. Customers who need technical 
help after regular business hours may 
call the special support line at (801) 

g? Reports of PCDITTO II say it has 
indeed begun to ship in January, but 
some users are not getting results. The 
large (said to be 5” x 7”) circuit board 
is not fitting in some versions of the 
ST, and others are reporting trouble get¬ 
ting it to function. These are likely to 
be due to inadequate soldering of the 
CPU connections, but stay tuned to 
Z*Net for further reports. 

shortly add its SUPERCHARGER IBM 
box to the list of emulators available for 
the Atari ST and MEGA computers. 
This one has a major difference: it is 
really an external computer, with its 
own CPU and memory that plugs into 
your DMA port. It also allows instant 
switching between IBM and ST modes. 
An expansion box allowing the use of 
real IBM type cards is planned. $399. 
SuperCharger/Talon Technologies, 243 
NHwy. 101, t*ll Solano Beacn, CA 


Vo I. II. No. 2 


Page Z*3 

...Z*Net Newswire 

e? Major Atari ST software and hard¬ 
ware maker M1CHTRON of Michigan 
will be releasing the FAST FAX MO¬ 
DEM for the ST line in February. Also 
ready is the AMIGA version, ana Tim 
Purves of Michtron is now finishing 
the ST software. To sell at $699, the 
modem will allow all standard FAX 
sending and receiving, with the result¬ 
ing intake file viewable on screen or 
printer. The FAST FAX was first 
shown last year at the April COMDEX 
in Chicago. It was expected that spe¬ 
cial interfacing in the software would 
enable full images of pages to be devel¬ 
and sent as FAXes without ever requir¬ 
ing local printing. This feature may be 
included either at first or a later up- 
grade. Meanwhile, FLEET STREET 
PUBLISHER V 3.0 is also only weeks 
away from release. 

G? "Where in lime is Carmen 
Sandiego?”, the newest program in Bro- 
derbund Software’s award-winning 
Carmen Sandiego software series, was 
the best- selling disk-based entertain¬ 
ment software during the 1989 holiday 
season, according to software distribu¬ 
tors and retailers nationwide. Since the 
introduction in August 1989, resellers 
have reported sales of more than 
100,000 copies of the program. 

<=? A Maryland computer BBS opera¬ 
tor has been sentenced to three years in 
prison for his part in a bombing inci¬ 
dent last March. David Overeem, 18 
years old, of Gaithersburg, McL is said 
to have helped operate a BBS called 
"Pyromaniac Production Systems,” 
which reportedly provided recipes for 
an array of explosive devices, including 
rockets, car bombs, pipe bombs, bottle 
bombs and land mines. Overeem 
pleaded guilty to making a pipe bomb 
that allegedly was detonated by a friend 
on March 2 6 outside a 17-year-old girl’s 
home in a suburb of Washington, D,C. 
After Overeem’s arrest, investigators 
found computer records in his bed¬ 
room showing that hundreds of people 
had access to the BBS. Among the call¬ 
ers were some of the four teen-agers 
killed Dec. 31,1988, in the accidental 
explosion of a pipe bomb they were 
building in a Bethseda, Maryland, ga¬ 

45 ? IBM has been sued by a Texas sup¬ 
plier of telecommunications network 
management software. The suit ac¬ 
cuses IBM of unfair trade competition 
and deceptive advertising. The suit 
brought by Stonehouse & Ca of Dal¬ 

las, asks a Texas state district court to 
enjoin IBM from interfering with 
Stonehouse’s customer contracts and to 
declare IBM’s new "best solution” ads 
are false and misleading. 

On January 10, Atari User Group 
Coordinator Bob Brodie addressed a na¬ 
tional full house in a GEnie telecom¬ 
munications service conference. Said 
Bob, ”1 have been at Atari for a little 
over four months now. This has been 
both an exciting, and an educational ex¬ 
perience for me. Being a Southern 
Californian had me spoiled, and I did 
not even know it We had several 
groups, and at least five dealers all 
within an hour’s drive! And all the 
dealers carried the full line erf Atari 
products. Needless to say, I have dis¬ 
covered that to be the exception, rather 
than the rule. So many of our users do 
not have access to a dealer of any type, 
that I’m of the opinion that getting 
more dealers, ana better dealers is one 
of our greatest needs at Atari. But to 
really serve the users groups, I need 
your input I need to know what things 
you need from Atari, and from me to 
make your groups better, more interest¬ 
ing, and to grow. I realize that the pre¬ 
vious requirements for user group rec¬ 
ognition were rather arbitrary. My 
thoughts are if you’re a group, regard¬ 
less of size, I want to try to support 
you! I do have hopes of developing 
some marketing plans for user groups. 
There is a strong possibility that some 
of those purchases will require mini¬ 
mum orders. Other than mat, no spe¬ 
cial requirements! I just need to have 
the group name, acronym, address, a 
contact person, phone numbers),, a bbs 
number, and a newsletter name (if you 
have those), and I would also appreciate 
an online address on a major online 
service, like GEnie. Please remember 
to include your area code with your 
phone number, you’d be amazed how 
many people forget that!” 

Bob continued, ”If groups would like 
for me to visit them, they need to send 
me either e-mail, or a letter. It helps if 
the meeting can serve more than one 
group. Ideally I’d like to visit the larg¬ 
est number of people possible in each 
trip. So please let me know how many 
people to expect. It helps me justify the 
trip, and not look like Im just out visit¬ 
ing my relatives!!! With your help, and 
suggestions, we will have a brighter fu¬ 
ture. I also want to stress that I want to 
be as available as possible, and work to 
be an asset to your group. My office 
phone (408-745-2052) is on 24 hours 

with an answering machine. Of course 
I am here on GEnie (BOB-BRQDEE) al¬ 
most daily, and I can be FAXed at 

G? A new "modem tax” scare pin¬ 
pointed the wrong agency in January. 
Rumors circulated that tne FCC was 
again considering the measure defeated 
last year that could tack additional 
charges on phones with a modem at¬ 
tached. The facts now seem to be that 
the FCC is definitely NOT looking at 
this again, but that some local tel¬ 
ephone companies are attempting to in¬ 
stitute such charges on a state-by-state 
basis. Ward to the wise: check your 
state’s public service commission and 
congressmen’s office to find if such 
things are brewing. 

<=? Gribnif Software announced that 
NeoDesk 2.05 has been designed to 
support the ST’s ”GEM Pipeline”. This 
support allows for special * NeoDesk 
Accessories” to be written which can 
access many of the NeoDesk functions 
directly. Gribnif will be releasing new 
accessories both as public domain and 
as commercial products. The first of 
these is a PD "recoverable trashcan” (it 
allows files to be recovered after "dele¬ 
tion” using the new system)), and a 
commercial command line interpreter 
will soon follow. A Neodesk 
Developer’s Kit will be offered soon as 
well for programmers who want more 
information on making their own add¬ 
ons to the outstanding desktop alterna¬ 
tive software. Gribnif Software, (413) 

45 ? Robert J. Guadagno, founder of the 
Atari Users Association (ALLA.) al¬ 
most two years ago, has severed all ties 
with the group. Now run by the "Atari 
Elite” club, the AUA is a national user 
support group, intended to be a feed¬ 
back and lobby group with Atari and 
developers. A major focus of the AUA 
had been to stop piracy. Severe criti¬ 
cism and lack of cooperation and vol¬ 
unteers made Guadagno offer the or¬ 
ganization for other management in 
July, 1989. AUA Public Relations Of¬ 
ficer Joseph Muha offered to take the 
group ana manage it with his own user 
group, Atari Elite, but by the time the 
transfer occurred, Muha was no longer 
involved. Guadagno is disappointed 
that the "new” AUA has dropped 8-bit 
Atari support but directs interested par¬ 
ties to contact the new officers. AUA, 
C/O D.C Signorini, RD**2 Box 278B, 
Canonsburg, PA 15317. • 

Page 2*4 


February 1990 

MEET THE DEVELOPERS - Kidprgs Come of Age 

Written for Z"Net by D.A. Brumleve 

[Editor’s Note: In this new series of articles, Z*Net will 
bring be bringing you closer to the people who make our 
Atari products. We asked Dot to tell us about her experi¬ 
ences and influences in deciding to make the jump from an 
”amatuer” programmer to a commercial software publisher.] 

My husband brought home our first Atari ST in 1985. 
Our oldest son (he was seven at the time but a super wiz at 
such things) quickly mastered the operating system and the 
few adult programs we had acquired. For almost a year, it was 
"Danny’s* computer, and then Danny taught me to use the 
machine for word processing. My typewriter went into stor¬ 
age. I’ve always been a klutz when it came to drawing with a 
pen, but I found that my efforts in D.EGAJS. actually turned 
out as I intended. We got into Sundog and King’s Quest II as a 
family. Clean dishes, tidy clothes, and spotless countertops 
dropped way down on my priority list. 

Our younger children could not help but notice what fun 
we older folks were having with the computer. Two of my 
sons were excellent and prolific pen-and-ink artists, but they 
could not master D.EG.AJS.’ user-interface. Catherine, then a 
preschooler, wanted to try her hand at Music Studio and Delu¬ 
xe Piano, but could not read (words or music), so this was only 
available to her if some kina parent would help her with the 
computer. All of the children wanted to use tne games, but 
these required reading and/or higher-level thinking skills that 
were simply beyond their reach. So I looked around for com¬ 
mercial and public domain counterparts to the adult pro¬ 
grams we were using. I looked for programs that would be of 
interest to the children and would be friendly enough for them 
to use alone. I found virtually none. 

So I learned programming in 1987 with two central goals 
in mind. I wanted to create purposeful programs which 
would allow young children to use tne Atari ST as a tool to 
help them do things they otherwise could not do as well or, 
perhaps, at all. And I wanted my programs to be simple en¬ 
ough to be used completely independently by children, with 
no adult help. Since that time, I have developed some two 
dozen "kidprgs" which are now freely distributed, and one 
commercial package, PreSchool KidProgs, which is published 
by MicKTron. 

Last year I found ST-LOG and ANALOG to be wonder¬ 
ful outlets for some of my shorter programs. I wrote a col¬ 
umn and program each month, and the magazine permitted 
its disk programs to be freely distributed. Selling my pro¬ 
grams to ST-Log also enabled me to earn enough money to 
improve my development systems and to attend Atari shows. 
Unfortunately, this income ended with the demise of ANA¬ 

At the shows, I watched the CodeHead guys and "home- 
grown” developers with a certain amount of envy. They got to 
go to all these shows. They had their own booth. They pub- 
fished their own programs. They knew who their users were. 
They got feedback in the form of suggestions and complaints 
on a regular basis. They got to determine their own packag¬ 
ing, the design and layout of their manuals, the color of their 
disks, the quality of their products. They got to pay for exor¬ 
bitant ads in ST publications. They were earning some money, 
even if not millions, and plenty of respect. They could per¬ 
sonally experience all the fun and headaches of publishing. 
Yes, this was the way to go. 

I asked friends in the business for advice, and many of 
them said "Don’t even think it!” I have no qualms about dis¬ 
counting informed advice, so late last year I oegan to publish 
my kidprgs commercially under the *DA. Brumleve” label. 
(It turns out that you don’t have to pay for a trademark or 
copyright search if your company name is your own name.) 

My first product in my own company is Kidpublisher 
Professional, a desktop publishing program for elementary- 
aged children. I am now completing are three additional pro¬ 
grams: Kidpainter. which is also aimed at ages 5-11, and Su- 

P er Kidkeys (music) and Super Kidgrid (graphics) for ages 3-7. 

rograms are not copy-protected and parents and teachers are 
encouraged, when needed, to make individual copies for each 
child in the home or school. Our packaging is professional 
but low-budget, and the price ($25) is designed to attract folks 
who might otherwise forego commercial programs for the 
youngest members of their households. Documentation for 
the 5-11 age range includes both a child’s manual and an in¬ 
struction booklet for parents and teachers. Later this year, I 
hope to add a few more programs in each age range. 

Though some of these programs include games, the pri¬ 
mary purpose of each is one of self-expression, experimenta¬ 
tion, and creation. We attempt to help children take full ad¬ 
vantage of the computer’s unique and remarkable editing abil¬ 
ity. We seek to provide a consistent (and, for children, intui¬ 
tive) user interface, both within a given program and between 
programs. I now have available several classes of local school¬ 
children to test my programs and offer suggestions for im¬ 
provements of a user interface that children can readily use 
with little or no instruction. Our ultimate goal is to provide a 
complete package of sequenced programs in each of these age 
ranges, so that there is a developmentally-appropriate alterna¬ 
tive to suit each child’s needs, interests, and anilities in the 
home and classroom. 

I guess now we’re really software publishers, so watch us 
closely! Who knows? I may soon have a "D.A. Brumleve” 
Category on GEnie! • 




Page 1 


Vol. II. No. 2 


Page Z*5 



bq John Nogq 


I have seen the future of Atari ST computing... and so 
has most of the world. Unfortunately, the STE c ompu ter (E 
for "enha nced”), which will replace the 520STFM and 
1040STFM altogether, is still not available in the USA. FCC 
testing is continuing and the latest revision is expected to pass 
in the coming 6 weeks. When it does pass, the STE wilt ho¬ 
pefully • ■ — ’ • ’ ......... 


and 1040 machines - the re are n’t many of them left When 
avail able, the one-meg STE may be at or below current 
1040STFM prices, and offer more features. In Canada, the 
1040STE retails at $900 (US equivalent) but sells for as little 
as $560 in US dollars. That’s without monitor, of course. 

Through reports from European magazines, Canadian 
users. Atari tech reports, and my own hands-on experience, 
we can give you this look ahead on what to expect from the 
STE, inside and out 

The STE will come in at least three flavors... with 1, 2, 
and 4 meg or RAM. I had the opportunity to see and use 

versions in¬ 
cluding the 









line memo¬ 
ry mo¬ 

that allow 

users to increase memory as easily as plugging a card into an 
existing socket inside the computer. A complete disassembly 
appears not to be required, as tne RAM cards have a separate¬ 
ly removable shield just under the top panel. Keep in mind 
that the shield may be revised before the FCC is satisfied. 

The STE machines look just like the "current” STFM 
machines. The sole clues to the differences inside are the pair 

ihono jacks 
course, the 
model tag 

on the top. 

Inside, the changes are more apparent, with the RAM 
sockets the most obvious. The keyboard and power supply 
look to be basically unchanged (sorry... many people hate the 
keyboard feel and the underside mouse/joystick connectors!), 
but below it is a totally new motherboard. Many fewer chips 
are being used, with new VLSI superchips reducing costs, po¬ 
wer draw, heat, assembly time, and repair problems. Jim Al¬ 
len Jr., maker of the TURBO 16 accelerator boards for the ST 
and MEGAs says "This is how the ST should have been built 
in the first place.” However, Jim’s speedup board will NOT 
operate in the STE as currently designed, because the STE 
has the new SQUARE 68000 CPU chip. Turbo 16 is designed 
to solder on top of the more common rectangular 68000. Be 
assured, Jim is working on alternatives. Similar problems 
face other internal upgrade manufacturers (PCDITTO H, PC- 
SFEED, etc.) 

Apleasant sight on the new STE board is a BLITTER 
chip. These never made it to the ST series, but MEGA users 
have enjoyed the screen speed increases of this chip for some 
time. The TOS in use is version 1.6, which gives me features 
of 1.4 PLUS new possibilities. Also, the STE has an RF Mo¬ 
dulator and composite video output Although present on late 
model 1040ST’s the ability to run a TV as a monitor is a wel¬ 
come feature. Output is at least as good as the older units, 
and perhaps a bit cleaner. 

New features and capabilities include: 

* Digital 8-bit sampled pulse-code stereo audio output 
Feeding out the two jacks in the rear, the new sound is dra¬ 
matic. Music programmed for this feature sounds as good as 
most low-mid synthesizers, with full orchestration possible. 
The sound is DMA controlled so it uses no CPU time, allo¬ 
wing complex sound and complex video without interaction. 

* Two extra joystick/lightgun/paddle/etc. jacks. The 15 

pin con¬ 

nectors can 
each ac¬ 
three con¬ 
trol devi¬ 
ces, allo¬ 
wing up to 
EIGHT si¬ 
players on 
games de¬ 
signed to 

use them and the "old” joysticks-, more, if someone uses the 
keyboard too. 

* 4,096 colors available. Although the color resolution 
and number of colors at once remains the same as on the ST 
series (4 in medium, 16 in low resolution), the STE has 16 le¬ 
vels of each "pure” color (red, green, blue) instead erf just 8. 
Thus, 16 shades of exactly the same color can be generated, a 
dramatic visual improvement. Through fast palette shifting, 
graphics can appear much more varied and vibrant, and gra¬ 
dients can be much softer. Games can look a lot better. It has 


Page Z*6 


February 1990 

certainly be adjusted quick¬ 
ly. Expect things to be pre¬ 
tty well settled by the time 
you can buy the STE in the 


been suggested that SPECTRUM can and should be revised to 
display 4,096 colors at once, which will make for incredible 

* Hardware screen scrolling and control. Fans of the 8- 
bit Atari remember the ease of use of graphics modes that al¬ 
lowed "display lists” and instant screen scroll. Well, it’s back 
on the STE! It can do fast scrolls in any direction without 
cpu-hungry memory moves. 

* TOS 1.6. It appears to be almost completely compa¬ 
tible with TOS 1.4, allowing "old style” sound and color sche¬ 
mes to run as expected, but timings show it to be up to 10% 
faster in screen drawing. However, it takes a larger memory 
block now, up to 256K from the old 192K. An unexpected 

Software that supports 
the new features of the STE 
are few and far between so 
far. A few demos and a 
single game from Atari 
show great scrolling, fab 
music, and stunning 
graphics. "WHITE WA¬ 
TER MADNESS” looks and 
sounds wonderful while 
otherwise being a rather 
average game. Some deve¬ 
lopers may be reluctant to 
program screens for yet 
another palette and sound 
system, since compatibility 
with the existing ST user 
base is critical. But, just as 
many fine games feature both internal and MIDI sound out¬ 
puts, the better programs of the future will include support 
for both 512 and 4,096 color selections and digital sound. 

In short, the STE is indeed "enhanced”. It is a clear evo¬ 
lution in the development of the ST series, without the sting 
of a higher price. 

Z*Net thanks ATARI CANADA, ATARI USA, Darek 
Mibocka, and ST-World-UK for supplying some of the 
information and illustrations in this article. • 

so, computing speed could be increased many- 
but hardware TT features probably cannot be added. 

* User memory upgradable to 16 MEG Using (ex¬ 
pensive!) 4-bit wide SIMMS, you can plug in as much memo¬ 
ry as you can afford. 

There is no ”MEGA Expansion Slot” inside the STE, but 
it is said that the hardware will allow use of the JRI GEN¬ 
LOCK video system without the circuit modification needed 
in MEGAs. The standard CART slot remains, and all scan¬ 
ners, emulators, and video digitizer carts tested worked pro¬ 

Also not available in the STE is a direct method of 
"overscan” picture display. This is the ability to have picture 
elements reaching the edges or the screen and beyond, as we 
are used to on television sets. This may be the single largest 
complaint of those who hoped an "enhanced” ST would pro¬ 
vide a more competitive answer to the Amiga for video and 
desktop presentation applications. (Through software 
"tricks , some programs are able to place graphics in the 
edge "dead zones”, but these generally eliminate compatibili¬ 
ty with external video standards.) 

Minor bug reports are abounding in Canada and 
overseas. Many stem from the fact that a proper 
CONTROL.ACC control panel is not yet available. Using the 
old ST file only allows addressing the normal 512 color se¬ 
lection. Worse, each time you call the panel, ALL of your co¬ 
lors darken by a single intensity value! Another bug makes 
the STE boot into LOW resolution regardless of directions 
from a valid DESKTOEINF that tell it to start in MEDIUM. 
However, the problems are being addressed by Atari and de¬ 
velopers. The very few programs (including me popular PO- 
PULUS game) that conflict with the new TOS will almost 

Introducing Fast Technology’s 


The 16 Mhz Accelerator tor the Entire 
Atari ST Computer line 

Take your ST past its limits with TURBQ16: 







increases your ST from 8 Mhz to a blazing 16 Mhz 
Runs ALL your software up to two ttmow footer 
Requires no modtficattons other than installation 
Is compatible wlfft PC DITTO and SPECTRE 128 
Uses surface mounting tor the most compact 
accelerator anywhere 
Does not Interfere with other upgrades 

The Price: $299.99 U.S. 

P.O. Box 578, Andover MA 01810 
(508) 475-3810 

Vo/. II. No. 2 


Page 1*7 


(Editors Note: The following is reprinted ctsyof Artisan 
Software. This is the schedule of events for February 1990 
written by Donald Thomas. If vou are interested in more in¬ 
formation on THE REVOLUTION write: PO Box 849, 
Manteca, CA 95336.) 

WEEK 6 - February 4 through February 10,1990 


In honor of Valentine’s Day on February 14, call your local Hospital 
and ask for the name of a child who may benefit from a little 
recognition and attention. Design a large outline of a heart on 
a Mint p rog ram. Print it out and write: "On behalf of ’The 
REVOLUTION"; a national Atari computer user interest group, 
I wish you a speedy recovery. We admire your strength!" Sign 
and send it to the address the Hospital gives you. You may 

WEEK 7 - February 11 through February 17,1990 


In honor of President’s Day, let’s wish Mr. George Bush a pleasant 
one. To insure the publicity value, send your wishes to have a 
care of: CBS TV, 51 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019 

Send a cover letter to the network asking them to wish the Presi¬ 
dent well in our behalf over the air Mention our cause in your 

WEEK 8 - February 18 through February 24,1990 

If you do not belong to a user group, find one in your area and join. 
If you already belong, make it a project to ask a minimum of 
one friend to be your guest to the next meeting. It’s preferred 
that your invited friend does not own an Atari computer. This 
will be an opportunity to share information on why they may 
wish to consider one. 

Call your local newspaper and ask for the local news desk. Ask 
them to print announcements of meetings for your local group 
on a regular basis. 

WEEK 9 - February 25 through March 3,1990 


Get with your local users’ group and organize a benefit car wash to 
raise money to buy an Atari computer for the school. Set a 
goal of one 520Si and go from there. Groups exclusively 
centered around 8-bit can set a goal of one XE system. Con¬ 
tact the school in advance for their permission and to help 
organize the event Most local gas stations will donate space 
and even water access to do this since you will be attracting 
customers for them. Volunteer to help the school to set the 
system up. Make certain your local dealer participates and in¬ 
vite him to hand out flyers during the event Put up Atari post¬ 
ers at the site. Also make certain to use "The 
REVOLUTION*s" namesake for the event 

Write to Atari and ask them to send you a window sticker for your 
can They were available and, if not, they will just have to print 
more. Request one for each car you own. • 

Four Super Kidprgs for Your Super Kid! 

For Ages 5-11: 

☆ Kidpublisher Professional 

With this desktop publishing program for young writers, kids can 
produce booklets, posters, etc. with their own illustrations and text 
in any one of four built-in font styles. 

* Kidpainter 

Your young artist won’t be intimidated by the powerful drawing 
tools in this kidfriendly paint program. Kids can create and print 
vivid pictures and designs. 

For Ages 3-7: 

☆ Super Kidkeys 

Kids sing along as the computer plays 38 familiar songs, or play the 
keyboard and listen as the computer plays back their composition! 

☆ Super Kidgrid 

Even small children can easily create beautiful pictures and designs 
by filling the onscreen grid with color. Creations can be saved to 

To order, see your dealer or send a personal check or money order 
for US$25 for each program to: 


P.O. BOX 4195 / URBANA, IL 61801-8820 


** ** Introducing tho tgatifiuip UMt? ** ** 




Specially designed for keeping complete 
backups of your hard disk partitions, 
backup disks are TOS compatible. 

Intelligent Updates! 

Update your backup every day! Only new 
& modified files are copied, and the old 
files are deleted to make room. As good 
as an image - but done in less time. 

Great for use with Cartridge Disk Drives 

Regular S39.95, Introductory 
sale price; 


_ Suggested Petal! Pnct _ 



Tidbit Software Cngineenng Company 
25 Wood Lane, Haynard nA 01754 
Telephone (508) 897-7429 

f*eatures of the GOOD backup uiiity: 

- Copes data from a selected aetove disk 
partition to a pile of ordinary ?OS readable 
backup disks. 

• A backup can br interrupted Defer? it is 
oone. to be completed latr 

- Tou can keep your backup saveset on floppy 
disks, removaae cartridge drives. or keep a 
snedow partition on another nere disk unit 

To folder limit on backup or restore 

- Any file ttiat cannot be hi cn a single saveset 
Gisk will be soi t up across as many as needed 

Updates to the backup mi on* cooy the flies 
that have actually changed, it *cu uodate your 
backup frecMnuy, the update goes very quickly 

- The GOOD backup Utility can format floppy 
disks for you as additions oms art needed. 

- Lost or damaged disks m the oackup saveset 
ran be replaced without replacing the entire 
backup saveset 

- Checksums are used to verify wet the files on 
the active disk drive and on the backup disks 
are ail intact. 

- Write back disk cache technology is used to 
make dl the copying go fast. 

- backup can be by partition, or sdeci specific 
files by indudtng or esdudmg a set of wildcard 
file speoheabons 

- Hies can be restored as an entire partition, or 
by mid card selection When restoring an entire 
partition, only files that are actually missing 
need to be restored. 

- A reference iist can be produced for locating 
ndividual files within the beaup saveset. 

Pressing the I1CLP key will prowdc additional 
in formation at every step. 

If your dealer doesn't have the GOOD backup Utility, you can order it from the 
Computer bug, 113 Itussel St., Hadley, HA (413)584-7722 

Page Z*8 


February 1990 



8-Bit Public Domain and Shareware Survey 

by Sally Nagy 

Here's the latest and the best of recently circulated 8- 
bit Atari public domain and Shareware programs. They are 
typically available on GEnie, CompuServe, and most good 
cfub disk libraries. Whoever says the 8-bit is dead hasn't 
been checking the steady flow of quality PD and Shareware 
releases for our Atari's! 

ZYBEX.DCM: Rocketmen steal weapons from deadly 
foes. Don’t be swamped by the mosquito-thick swarm of 
phantom jets. Avoid tne force-field emitting from 
segmented, sidewinding worms trying to wave you to a final 
good-bye with their dance of death. Bright music grasps you 
at die opening screens and peppers the action with that, "just 
right” extra pizazz. Select either a 1 or 2 player game. The 
joystick moves your man up, down ana forwards. The 
digger button selects a different weapon from the arsenal 
collected once an enemy’s cluster is destroyed. The game is 
programmed by Brian Jobling, with graphics and design by 
Michael Owens, music and FX by Adam Gilmore. This 
trio’s collaboration is one well devised game. The GEnie 
upioader didn’t do Zybex justice by describing it only as a 
scramble/cobra genre. It is almost too good to be Public 

TETRIXJVRC: An excellent Russian remake of Tetris 
written by Darryl Yong in ACTION! Mark McCracken 
wrote the documentation with hints and tips for playing. 
One hint for winning at Tetrix is practice, practice, practice. 
To play, one rotates falling shape blocks to fit in a pit using 
either the joystick or keyboard. A small view screen on the 
right alerts you to which shape will be falling next. This aids 
in planning the stacking of blocks. If you enter into any of 
the other nine levels from the opening menu, you will be in 
a ’practice’ mode because you can not advance levels. Pause 
the game for that much needed break to plan your gaming 
strategy. An option is also available for speeding up the 
falling blocks. This game is a shareware offering with no 
specified amount Donations to: Darryl Yong, 1970 Benita 
Drive, 81, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 

ESCAN.BAS: Easy Scan II Demo Player displays and 
prints 62 sector picture files. Use pause to study a particular 
picture longer. Graphic modes 8, 9, 10, 11 and 15 are 
supported. ESCANBAS is written Atari Basic with Machine 
Language subroutines. Other 62 sector picture files besides 
those created by the Easy Scanner can be viewed with the 
program also. Innovative Concepts has uploaded several pic 
files created using the scanner. Pictures can be found of 
Superman, Elvis, the Seven Dwarfs from Snow White, 
Spock, Ghost Busters, DC Comics superfriends, Dennis the 
Menace, Reagan and more. 

FORMULAM.ARC: Formula Master by Marc LeBeau 
provides you with the most commonly used formula 
calculations. Convert between Celsius, Fahrenheit and 
Kelvin temperatures. Determine areas of circles, 
parallelograms, rectangles, and trapezoids. Quickly calculate 
volumes of cubes, cones, cylinders, pyramids, rectangles and 
spheres. Determine slopes of straight lines, figure out the 
distance between points. The Pythagorean theorem 
calculates the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle. 
The quadratic formula allows you to determine the value of 
x if in the form Ax 2 + Bx + C = 0. The program is menu 
driven. Just select the first letter of the choice and then 
insert the numbers as they are requested to finish the 
formulas. A must for those who use these types of formulas 

^CRABNEBU-ARC: In Crab Nebula, your mission is 
to destroy the endless supply of giant crabs. Create a path 
through four moving walls. Please note that the round 
portions of these walls are indestructible. Dodge your 
rebounding shots as well as the tracking missiles ejected by 
the crabs by maneuvering your small spaceship, u fire on 
these missiles, you must avoid their falling deori. Beware 
once the crab is destroyed, it reappears where he was killed 
and will fire a missile at you. Action moves faster as you 
enter the nine different levels of play. Spacing between 
round portions of wall become smaller. Walls and crabs 
really move. Crab Nebula is shareware. Jeffrey asks that 
people send him a letter and check to encourage him to 
continue developing more Atari 8-bit software. Jeffrey D. 
Potter, 814 Banbury Dr., Port Orange, FL 32119. 

CLOWN.OBJ: Crazy Clown Jumper by Brad 
Timmins tests coordination skills. Leap the clown from 
balloon to balloon across the chasm and back again to finish 
level 1. Balloons are released in irregular patterns. Catch the 
drifting $s for extra points. If you miss landing on a 
balloon, the clown falls to the bottom of the screen. In 
subsequent levels the platforms you jump onto change 
locations: one raises ana other one goes lower, and balloons 
float faster. 

SNAPSHOT-ARC Version 1: This utility program 
juggles or switches Atari 130 XEs, XLs or XEs witn 256K, 
ana those using the Rambo Ram upgrade from 1CD 
memory into two virtual computer systems in the computer 
at one time. By pressing shift control 1 : 8 bit users can 
switch between two different applications in seconds. Now 
that extra memory can be put to work in new ways. In the 
documentation, it was suggested that BBS operators might 
find this program particularly useful. Instead of taking 
down the BBS each time to use a word processer, they can set 
up SnapShot and switch between them at will. It was 
emphasized that users are using SnapShot at their own RISK 
for it has been tested with only a NARROW range of 
hardware and software. The author requests that users send 
comments, bug reports and suggestions to further its 
development. The switcher is fully compatible with 
MYDOS 4.5, Atari DOS 2.5 and Sparta DOS 3.z. It’s author, 
Tom Hunt, has tested it with Infocom’s games Cutthroats 
and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It works with TextPro, 
Atari Basic BUT not with Turbo Basic. If the particular 
application does not lend itself to working with programmed 
key combination used to switch between the different 
applications, Tom provides the disassembly hardware value 
of the invoking key strokes so another key or key 
combinations can be used instead. Snapshot is shareware for 
$1.00 (or if feeling generous send more). The author also 
requests you let him know what software and hardware you 
are using with it. Send shareware monies and comments to: 
Tom Hunt, 1704 Twp. Rd. 65, Jeromesville, OH 44840. • 

Vol.ll. No. 2 


Page 1*9 

Alice’s ST STack 

by Alice A mo re with Mark Quinn 

“1 / / 

Jf \ \NS> 

So far this year we have a BIG stack ’o new shareware/PD 

files and upgrades, so here are the highlights in brief: 

90CALNDRJLZH An elaborate ”1990 Family Calendar” 
with built-in holidays, and room for your own notations. 
Makes nice personal calendars. Requires Timeworks 
Desktop Publisher ST using landscape format. 

CLDEMOIARC Demo version of Cleanup ST from ICD, a 
program which checks the integrity of your disk structure 
(hard or floppy). This demo will not modify the target 

COWORKER.LZH A simple terminal program with a 
built-in split screen feature for better online conferencing. 
Includes VT-52, concurrent type/receive, 50K text buffer. 
Can be run from within Flash; or InterLink. 

MATH .ARC "Simply Math” lets you design your own math 
tests using your own math examples. A set of children’s 
math problems is included. Since there is no limit on the 
complexity of the math, all ages can use this program. 

STARSTRKARC "Star-Struck” is the better screen-saver. 
It fades to black, then gives you an expanding field of stars 
until your next keypress or mouse-move. It will kick in 
after 3 minutes of non-activity, but can also be enabled 
from the desktop or from within any GEM program. 

CHANGERJVRC Find and edit text strings m any file 
including executable code or other binary files. Includes 
search/replace and import/export 

ATAWORDSARC A text file containing 439 words which 
occur with some frequency when writing Atari articles 
and documentation. These words are not found in the 
WordWriter dictionary. The word list can be imported to 
most word processor dictionaries, or loaded in as a 
supplemental ("personal”) word list. Courtesy of Z*NET. 

ALSIDE21ARC Excellent viewer program for 
NEOchrome and D.E.G.A.S. pictures in any resolution. 
70 variable fade-outs can be placed between pictures, and 
background music is available. Four pictures included. 

GEnie’s Darlah for this varied collection of monsters, 
ghoulies, grotesque reptilian creatures, and freaky 
warriors from hades. Some of these JMG files are quite 
large, but if your printer can handle them, you’ll nave 
something interesting for decorating your cave. 


ARC602ST.ARC This upgrade is completely 
compatible with the PC version of ARC, and can create 
directories automatically. Speed has been increased 175% 
over the previous version. 

ARCSHL21.ARC Newest version of ARC SHELL, a 
program which makes simple work of deARCing just 
about anything. Covers all popular ARChiving formats. 
New features/improvements are bountiful. 

BSTAT235.LZH A sophisticated graphing and statistical 
analysis program in interpreted GFA BASIC. Speedy. 

CHEETAH2ARC A fast file-copying utility which can 
transfer up to 15 megs a minute. Many new wrinkles and 

DOWN, a colorful poker game with excellent graphics. 
Runs in mono, too. 

DIARY17SARC A stripped-down version of DIARY (ver. 

l.Jl this is a text editor in a desk accessory and takes up 
only 38K of RAM. Written in Modula-2. 

LGSEL-16ARC Version 1.6 of the mind-blowing LITTLE 
GREEN SELECTOR, which totally replaces the GEM 
item selector, and gives you doo-dads that previously were 
only in your dreams. 

PERUSER3.LZH PERUSER is a text file reader with the 
ability to search for strings, embed picture files, and, now, 
to integrate music files into text files. This is version 1.03. 

PICMAN-2.LZH PICMAN works with Charles E Johnson’s 
DESK MANAGER to allow the display of any Spectrum 
pjcture file during boot-up. This upgrade allows up to 50 
picture files to be rotated. 

RELTREE2JVRC Version 2.04 of Tree Chart, a database of 
statistics on family members capable of going back thirty- 
five generations. This version offers improved print-outs 
and GEDCOM output 

STVI381.LZH Here s the latest ST version of the UNIX VI 
text editor. Also supports UNIX, Minix (ST), MS/DOS, 
and OS/2. 

SUPRBT60ARC Multi-featured program which allows a 
multitude of configurables at boot-up time, this is version 
6.0 of SUPER BOOT, and contains lots of new features. 

THE-VCR.LZH This is version 2.0 of VCR ORGANIZER, 
a database devoted exclusively to organizing and printing 
lists of your videotape collechon. GEM- based. 


GRANPRX2.LZH In this "Gran Prix” you race against the 
clock, trying to beat your best time. Uses joystick. 
Written in STOS BASIC 

TREK1.LZH Fantastic animation of the original starship 
Enterprise warping through interstellar space. Done with 
Cyber Sculpt 

DEEPSPC.LZH An animation of a Jupiter-like planet, and 
its ring and moons. Highly recommended. 

SPINDEMO.LZH Beautiful demo of twisting text and a 
spinning globe. YOU control the video (to a certain 

WORD4ARC Converts Word Perfect 5.0 files to Atari 
Word Perfect 4.1 format Point and click. 

AREACODE.LZH Type in any three-digit American or 
Canadian area code, and this little program will tell you 
the state or province. 

GEMTOUCHARC Convert (or "touch”) files to different 
time/date stamps, then sort them by date, arranging your 
directories to suit your needs. 

MULTIPNT.ARC MultiPaint, from the April 1989 issue of 
STT-LOG. See that issue for documentation. Looks great. 

DCSHOWITARC A replacement for the "show” 
command for viewing text files. Runs from the AUTO 
folder. Also views uncompressed D.EGA.S. and 
NEOchrome pictures. From Double Click software! 

QST18DEMARC A demo of "Quick ST” version 1.8, a 
software screen accelerator from Branch Always software. 

SI-RAM .ARC Update of a very nice RAM disk and printer 
spooler from ST-INFORMER. 

MUSINV32.LZH A nice looking program that will keep 
track of your music collection. An updated version. 

[These files are readily available on GEnie, CompuServe, or 
both, as well as better BBS’s everywhere. The Z*Net 
BBS tries to keep all reviewed programs available online... 
201-968-8148.] • 

Page Z mJ lO 


February 1990 

r «f ST BOMB SQUAD: r # 

€T 74LS373 Chip Replacement gf 

ST and particulariy MEGA 2 owners can easily fix a 
widespread problem that causes random crashes. A pair of 
driver chips with the number 74LS373 (near the memory 
chips) are often to blame, performing below the necessary 
levels. Behavior to look tor includes bombs on warm up 
(about the same length of time each use), indiscriminate 
bombs (regardless of program or operation in progress), and 
bombs w hen u sing a cart Particular loading effects when 
using SPECTRE or GCR carts seem to really point the 
problem out Users who had stable machines but recently 
added TOS 1.4 mayalso experience the problems. Diagnosis 
procedures can NOT typically locate this problem. 

Repair is simple but does require complete disassembly 
of your computer, plus some soldering. If mis scares vou, 
take this article ana your computer to a braver soul wno you 
can trust Repair shops will do it for you for S35-S50. 

Replace the 74LS373 s with 74AS373 chip if you can find 
them, although almost all LS models wilt do better than what 
you are replacing. In fact, it is quite acceptable in this case to 
simply piggy-back the new chips on top of the old ones, 
attaching all legs. A cleaner operation would be to clip the 

legs of the existing 373’s, desolder and remove eachpin, and 
install sockets. Total parts costs will be well under $5 for two 
chips and two sockets. 

This information comes to use from several sources 
including David Small of Gadgets by Small, maker of the 
GCR and Spectre MAC cartridge s. Jim Allen, Jr. of FAST 
Technologies adds that a i*EW BLITTER chips can produce 
the exact same symptoms, including accelerated bombing 
under load of carts. Crashes are mere likely during 
significant screen operations, however. The "weak” blitter 
chip says "ATARI” on it while the better chip is a National 
Semiconductor ”NS” chip. The best test is swapping chips. 

A Z*Net reader reminds us that all this DOES1NDEED 
void your warranty if done within 90 days of your purchase. 
Better to TEST YOUR MACHINE thoroughly during your 
warranty period to be sure all is well, and get it fixed by 
Atari if not! Borrow carts from fellow club members for 
extended hours of tests if you have none of your own. Also, 
run intensive self-running programs (like slideshows or 
changing graphic displays) overnight a few times to see that 
your machine does not quit when warm. • 

“ ICD sells a superb, excellent, wonderful tape backup unit. I love mine, and it's saved me any 
number of times.. There's nothing else like this in the ST world; priceless and fast.** 

•Dave Small, Gadgets by Small 

“ Using the ICD Tape Backup was surprisingly simple and faster than imaginable. It was so fast 
that I doubted it was real.” -John Nagy, reviewer for Computer Shopper 

* The ICD FA*ST Tape system is a dream come 
software is incredibly flexible and easy to use 

true. The hardware works flawlessly, and the's simply the best way to back up your hard 

-Charles F. Johnson, Codehead Software 

ICD has been backing up Atari users since 1984. With hard drives, host adapters, printer interfaces, and the new 
FA»ST Tape Backup, ICD offers you more! Call us for information on our products. ( 815 ) 968-2228 


Vo/.//, No. 2 


Pago Z m 11 

Modem Mouth 

Allows modems that do NOT have an 
internal speaker to ’hear’ what is going 
on! Also works as a phone line monitor. 


Xformer Cable 

Using the Xformer Software (available 
separately from Darek Mihocka), this 
cable lets you plug an 8-bit disk drive a 
printer into the ST or Mega! $19.95 



Graphics Image Scanner, Easy Scan ll supports graphics 
modes and 15. Saves images in standard 62 sector 
format. Make Banners, flyers, posters, and more! Requires - 
XL/XE/XE-GS with 128K (or more) and Epson graphics capable 
printer. $99.95 

Print Shop Drivers 

Use your 'incompatible' printer with Print Shop and Print Shop 
Companion! $14.95 each, for your choice of the following 
printers; Atari 1020 Printer/Plotter (in 1 of 4 colors!). Okimate 10 
(black only). Epson LQ-500/800 (24-pm compatibles) 

Memory Upgrades 

Our kits INCLUDE RAM and software! 128K & 192K upgrades are 
100%-130XE Compatible. 256K and higher upgrades INCLUDE our 
Ramdrive Utility Package! Call for our low kit prices! 

XF35 Kit 

XF551 conversion kit to the 3.5' disks. Includes Upgrade ROM 
adapting cables and complete instructions. (3.5‘ drive and cage not 
included) $29.95 

Happy Doubler 

Software program Happy 1050 drives to match U.S. Doubler, 
including skew, drive numbers to D8;! Includes utilities! Only: 

Imitator Controller 

Happy 1050 Fast/Slow mode switch, write protect switch, two- 
color LED monitor. $39.95. IC1050 Controller -Same, write 
protect only. $29.95 

SIO Switch Box 

Control 2 computers with one peripheral setup. OR. 1 computer 
with 2 peripheral setups! $49.95. SIO Port Box 4 SIO ports, 
solves 'dead end' peripherals. $3995 

ICX-85 Keypad 

A numeric keypad that does NOT require handlers! Works with 
ALL your software! Deluxe version (for XL/XE/XE-GS) has the 
1200XL Function Keys. ICX-85 Kit $29.95. CX-85 Keypad - 
$49.95. Deluxe CX-85 Keypad - $69.95 

And NOW _ 
ST/MEGA Products 

BLITTER Upgrade 

It's not just fa MEGA's anymae! We will install the BLITTER 
graphic speed chip in compatible 520STFM and 1040STFM 
machines (call about identifying motherboard) fa only $75 plus 
$5 shipping. Let US do the wak fa ease and safety! 

ST/MEGA Memory Upgrades 
Fast turn-around and low prices on memay upgrades: 520ST 
to 1 MEG. $150, to 2.5 MEG, $350, to 4 MEG, $550. 
104OST to 2.5 MEG, $350, to 4 MEG. $550. MEGA 2 
to 4 meg, $350 (includes handling and shipping) 

TOS14 Installed 

Let US put the new Atari Operating System in your ST a MEGA 
fa only $125.00 Includes Utility disk. 

BOMB FIX (Driver chips) 

We can replace those weak 74LS373 drivers that can cause 
random crashes, especially on MEGA 2's and when using 
SPECTRE a TOS 1.4. We use the superia 74AS373's and do the 

wak all fa just $35.00 

Do 2 or more and SAVE! 

Do any two a mae of our upgrades at the same time and you will 
SAVE with additional discounts! Call fa details! 

BLITZ Copy Cable 

Make the fastest disk copies known to man with our BLITZ cable. 
Use two disk drives and even back up many copy-protected 
disks at lightning speed! Software and cable only $34.95 

Ordering Information 

USA - Add $3.50 fa S&K COD is available fa $3.00 extra. 
APO/FPO - Include $3.50 fa Shipping & Handling, in U.S. funds. 
Canada/Mexico Include $7.00 fa S&H. in US. funds. Other 
Countries Include $10 fa S&H, in U.S. funds. 

Innovative Concepts (1C.) 

31172 Shawn Drive, Warren, Ml 48093 
Phone: 313-293-0730, BBS: 313-978-1685 
CompuServe EMAIL ID: 760041764: GEnie address: "I.C." 
Dealer Distributor, and User Group Inquiries welcome!