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Current Notes 

Vol. 10, N1 


: : xf : x : : ; . : : : . : x : x'yx: : x;x : x ; x;x : x ; x : :- 


III ( his issue: 

I atest Atari News 
What is an AtariFest? 

I he New Look in CLI’s 
Idling, Part 2 
I he Magic Juice! 

\S here Did My Memory Go? 
\ Yankee Abroad 

l ocus on Word 

\ New ST Word Processors: 

Word Up 3.0 

\ml a New Laser Printer: 

The Hewlett 

LaserJet III 

Product Reviews: 

Space Ace, Drakkhen 
Tracker ST, Forecaster III 
Red Storm Rising, 2 

MultiDesk, MaxiFile, HotWire 

L. A 

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ST138N-1 3.5" 30MEGS 28MS- $309 
ST157N-0 3.5" 50MEGS 40MS- $319 
ST157N-1 3.5" 50MEGS 28MS- $345 
ST277N-1 5.25" 65MEGS 28MS- $349 
ST296N-1 5.25" 85MEGS 28MS-$369 
ST1096N 3.5" 85MEGS 24MS-$409 
SYQUEST SQ555 44MEG- $519 

SQ555 A III) t < -m lunations 

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30 Midi 2HMSTC k 44-$1108 
50 Ml <i 4oM SRC* A 44 - $1118 
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DUAI. 44MF.O SYQUEST -$1399 
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30 MEG 40MS- $500 
30 MEG 28MS- $524 
50 MEG 40MS- $534 
50 MEG 28MS- $560 
65 MEG 28MS- $564 
85 MEG 28MS- $584 
85 MEG 24 MSEC - $624 


Mega Tcmii h inJ9 49 
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Mon iloa Mullf $12 

Monitor Stand $14 

Monitor Stand w/pow## imp $45.95 
Mount Maatar $26 
Muumi (Atari) $44 
Mouaa (Golden Image) $17 
Multisynch Munit<« (A*nr) 1419 
Omniswilrti $79 
PC Speed (216/AT) $119 
PC Speed Hudfi |A3 
SOS Starter R ti It24 
SOS Nat work Node I7f 
Spectre (.( H i *ni $125 

t*i inter or Mod am CftMa -17 
Star NX 1000 II M ll ' tyO 

Star NX 2410 24 |hh ptintrr $290 
STAime (under rom dudi) 141 
Super char get W/IMtg 1429 
Super hai^n I..**-* ‘.upply $26.95 
Super ihargrt M.ui , r«Nor $145 
Turbotft An elet slut $257 
T w w t y Hoard $17 
Univrraal Printer Stand $13 
Video Key $39 
VidiST $124.91 

/. Keyi (uif HIM kr > i-.aitl) - $96.95 

1040 STE - call 
520FM - call 

SMI24 mono monitor - $155 
SCI224 color monitor - $319 

Z-Ram - 2.5 or 4 megs - $105 

(Board w/chips 2.5Megs- $201 4 Megs- $297) 

Z-Ram/2.5- 520 ST-2.5Meg - $100 

(Board w/chips 2.5Megs- $196) 

Z-Ram/Mega II- 4Megs - $115 

(Board w/chips- $211) 

STE SIMMS - lmeg each - $65 

Modem cable - $7 

Supra 2400 baud modem - $109 
Zoom 2400 baud modem - $99 
US Robotics Courier 2400 - $299 
US Robotics Courier HST 9600Bd - $599 

Blitz cable w/software - $46.95 
Cordless Mouse (Practical) - $84 
Cleanup ST - $24.95 
Drive Master - $32 
DVT-VCR hd backup - $129.95 
50pin SCSI drive cable 18"-$10 
HP Desk jet printer - $599 
HP Desk jet Plus printer - $699 
ICD Advantage Plus w/clock - $93.77 
ICD Advantage (no clock) - $83.77 
ICD Advantage Micro (Mega’s) - $77 
IMG Scan (Seymor-Radix) - $58 
Mega Keyboard Extension 6ft - $11 
Mega Keyboard Extension 8ft - $12 
Mega Keyboard Extension 12ft - $13 
Mega Keyboard Extension 25ft - $14 

Master 3S-$139 
Master 5S (5.25") - $205 
Atari SF314-$165 
MFD 1080 - $305 
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Drive extension cable 6 ft - $13.95 
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Current Notes 

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Opinions expressed in this publication are 
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of Current Notes Of any of the participating 
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any way with Atari Corp. 

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Table of Contents 
October 1990 

Special Reports 

10 The HP LaserJet III 

HP introduces a solid printer whose advanced features and 
incredible price make it a strong contender. 

— by MarshallVale 

14 Your Atari ST with the HP LaserJet III 

Resolution enhancement provides substantially superior quality 
but Atari ST system compatibility may be a problem. 

--by Dennis J. O’Boyle 

16 Word Up 3.0 vs Script 

Two new word processors have been released for the ST and 
both are better than almost anything else in the ST market. 

—by Christopher Anderson 

20 Wordflair Version 1.01 

Goldleaf introduces a product that appeals to a specialty mar¬ 
ket not yet addressed adequately by its competitors. 

—by MiltCrcighton 

42 TheNewLookinCLI’s 

John explains CLI’s (Command Line Interpreters) and com¬ 
pares three recent entries in this arena. 

—by John Barnes 

This publication is produced using an Atari Mega ST4, 
an Atari SMI24 monochrome monitor and a Moniterm 
Viking monitor, a Navarone scanner, and the Atari 
SLM804 Laser Printer. Most of the output is 
generated with Publisher ST. Some pages, including 
advertisements, are produced with PageStream and 
others with Calamus. 

Page 2 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

VOLUME 10, NO. 8 — OCTOBER 1990 

Atari News ♦ Commentary 

• Editorial, by Joe Waters. 4 

Atari Fans Feast at the Fest 

□ ST Update, by Frank Sommers. 6 

The "Magician" Remains Silent, Dusseldorf vs 
Glendale, Whither Art Thou, TT’s?, Atari Stock 
Swan Dive 

• Junkyard Pussycat, by John Barnes. 30 

What is an AtariFest? Where are the Applica¬ 
tions? and Electronic Fare Wars. 

• A Yankee Abroad, by Charles Warren. 64 

Tommy and the TT, ST Emulator, An AT for the 
ST, MIDI for the STE, Pagestream or Proxima?, 

• Small World, by David Small. 34 

Idling, Part2. In this second of a two-part series, 
Dave concludes his discussion about the various 
phases he encounters when creating some¬ 


■ The 8-Bit Alchemist, by Ben Poehland. 24 

The Magic Juice/ Ben reveals one of his most 
treasured discoveries in the field of computer 

□ Myths and Mysteries, by Dave Troy. 58 

Disguising ST Topics School, Desktop Publish¬ 
ing, and Databases 

□ Shareware Sampler, by Brian Miller. 62 

TestMaster2.0.1, create your own exams, and 
Guitarist Demo, master the Guitar at home 

□ ST Toolbox, by J. Andrzej Wrotniak. 72 

Doing Things a Different Way, Andrzej looks at 
new versions of MultiDesk, MaxiFile, and Hot- 
Wire from CodeHead 

□ Starting Block, by Richard A. Gunter. 28 

Where Has AH My Memory Gone? Rich explains 
how all that memory in your comptuer gets used 



□ Drakkhen, by JoeSapienza. 68 

To Arms! In a magical land. 

□ Forecaster III, by Samuel M. Van Wyck. 54 

Weather prediction and much more! 

□ HP LaserJet III, by Marshall Vale. 10 

□ HP LaserJet III, by Dennis O’Boyle. 14 

□ Red Storm Rising, by Don Elmore. 38 

Part II, stalking and killing the enemy. 

□ Script, by Christopher Anderson. 16 

(See “Word Up vs Script”) 

□ Space Ace, by Frank Sommers. 56 

When 28,800 is enough, already! 


□ Tracker ST, by H. Earl Hill. 48 

The new all-purpose track-everything program. 

□ Wordflair, by Milt Creighton. 20 

A hybrid, lying midway between a word pro¬ 
cessor and a desktop publishing program. 

□ Word Up 3.0, by Christopher Anderson. 16 

(See “Word Up vs Script”) 


□ ST-related review or article. 

■ XE/XL related review or article. 
• Machine independent article. 

Time to RENEW???? Look at your mailing label. If it has a "9010" on the first line, this means that your 
subscription ends in month 10 of 1990. That’s October, this issue! Send in your renewal ASAP to be sure you don’t 
jniss any issue of Current Notes. If you see a "9011“ or "9012," your subscription will soon end. Please renew early. ^ 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 3 

October! This is clearly AtariFest time. Those of 
you who have never attended a Fest are really missing 
a treat. The Junkyard Pussycat gives his views of the 
critical components of an Atarifest. John has certainly 
been involved in quite a few. I think my views are best 
summed up by the piece Jack Holtzhauer wrote way 
back in December of 1985 when he reviewed our very 
first Fest. Many in our audience may remember Jack’s 
account and will smile (or maybe cry) at the memories. 
For those who weren’t there, this is the way it was in 
the beginning... 

I couldn’t believe it! Fairfax High’s parking lot was half 
full when 1 pulled in at 9:30 am. All these folks couldn’t 
possibly be wasting a perfectly good Saturday to attend 
NOVATARl’s AtariFest. Could they? The event hadn’t 
received all that much publicity, had it? Are there morethan 
500 or so real Atari fans in the entire Metro area? Could half 
of them be here? Already? The show’s not due to start for 
another half-hour. 1 couldn’t believe it. 

1 grabbed my Washington Post, cuppa coffee and bag of 
Hardie’s biscuits and started walking towards the main 
entrance. I hadn’t taken more than a couple of steps when 
the sonorous voice of a public address announcer wafted 
across the parking lot from the nearby school stadium, 
explains it! These cars don’t belong to owners of an $89 
computer and its new XE and ST cousins. They belong to 
good ’ole red-blooded American football fans. What better 
place to be on a bright Saturday Fall morning than at the 
local school field, before heading home to lean back in the 
recliner and watch the NCAA on TV, a six-pack within 
easy reach. That’s more like it—puzzle solved! 

But wait a minute! I’m not the only one walking toward 
the building. There are several family groups in front of me 
and some other stragglers coming from the parking lot. And 
up ahead a couple of guys are unloading computer gear from 
vans parked near the main entrance. Maybe there will be a 
few folks here, after all. Let’s wait and see. 

Hmmm.Lots of activity in the long hallway leading to 
the cafeteria where the Fest was to be held. Folks pushing 
handcarts to and fro, those on the way in piled high with 
computer stuff. And inside the cafeteria there must be fifty 
people. A mixed bag ranging from little kids to grandmas, all 
busily at work preparing exhibit areas—running electrical 
lines, setting up computers, stringing cable, stacking mer¬ 
chandise, hanging posters and signs. They even look 
organized-could they really know what they’re doing? 
Maybe this thing will fly! 

Uh oh! Here comes Georgia Wcatherhead! I remember 
her from the last NOV ATARI meeting where she was 
seeking volunteers to work at the Fest. She's heading right 
for me with that “I need just one more” glint in her eye. I 
quickly put on my “I’mon my appointed rounds” expression 
and steered a sharp change in course towards the refreshment 
room. I sat down and read the s|>orts section while I ate my 
white-bagged breakfast, figuring it would probably be safe 
to go back into the main room in a couple of minutes. 

It was, but there must have been two hundred people in 

there then, standing a couple deep m tiont ot the exhibit 
tables strung around the room s |>erimcter. And they looked 
like they were having fun 

Palmer Pyle was on tin PA system giving away the 
first batch of door prizes He was t<> do this every half hour 
throughout the day-dozens <>| At.ui I shirts, back packs, 
and pith helmets; game cartridges donated by Black Patch 
Systems and Applied Computer Wmh mics; free subscriptions 
to PC-ADS; more gamoa donated by NOV ATARI; and 
NOVATARFs grand pi ‘.I \nd free lor the 

taking—a couple hundred (VntqHde mobiles and another 
several hundred Atari gum button I ots «*t goodies for 

The crowd must U at least another hundred stronger 
now. Time to ta> ilk around and aer whfl’ du-re was to 

see before things really got out ..! h .n.l Why not start near 
the door and work my wa> aioond the loom ’ 

Dave Meyer, hr. dan ouplcof other 

cohorts were working tl \ MING table. 

Dave was running a video i i|n f< aiming a number of 
popular Atari games V' /»d . . \hn \stro Chase, 
etc., while Heather was putting * m. other, thru their paces 
on her 800XL. M Evan I hook N<>\ \lAKI’s busy disk 
librarianand Cum/tf A< '/*•* • -•lumnut * a*, hard at work at 
another console demousiiatmg M>me t SSI's wargame 
simulations. A real hit at tin U»nih wns a video tape 
covering Neal Harris' recent visit t • NOV ATARI and 
another showing ActiventuM » < I > Id >M demonstration. 
Folks were to t m l I.nrdoop WilCh' ill day. 

Next tloot at tin I \‘ I h M II hibit Jim 

Stevenson and Ld Seward Jem m t»atmg I < t/on, Basic 
XL, Pascal etc., and m-.wifmg question-, regarding the 
features of these p«»pul u i.mgiMgu* I In > wi n swamped 
with questions regarding A * \nmn I h> the many teachers 
drawn to the lest l>> publu it> gtm< md within the Fairfax 
County school system Jim w*% *U<> lm%> selling NOVA¬ 
TARl’s fine NPX disk p«..g« «m*, /b/- film* 7‘"being a 
particular favorite. 

Next in line wa tin « "M showiase area I could see 
Evan Wallace standing Iwn k then Uhiinl tin uowd, but I 
couldn’t belly^up close enough to << what was going on. 
Maybe on the next ern ml l m s.i did m*k< it Somebody 
said you needed a visa.) 

Page 4 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

On to the productivity exhibit where Gary Purinton 
and several others were manning the store. The hit here? 
AtarilVritcr Plus, ; received just the night before from our 
favorite computer maker. They were trying to demo PJus 
while reading the manual at the same time. They hadn’t 
even seen it till after the show opened. At another console, 
Bob Waterfield was running tutorials on Synapse’s Series of 
applications software-- SynCaJc, SynFile+ etc. By the time 
word got around that Plus was on display, the area was 
grid-locked for the rest of the day. 

Just around the corner was the EDUCATIONAL area 
under the charge of Diana Burdt, Marvin Bleiberg,et al. A 
covey of XL’s was running all sorts of educational fare 
ranging from pre-school to college-level material. Marvin 
was even using his Atari to display graphs relating to 
pharmacokinetics. Come on! I can't believe you’ve never 
heard that term before? Everybody knows it relates to the 
’’study of the bodily absorption, distribution, metabolism and 
excretion of drugs” (source: Web. New Collegiate Diction: 
ary-9th ed.). Had it right on the tip of your tongue, didn’t 
you? Doesn’t it strike you as strange that our favorite ’’game 
machine” would be used for such an esoteric purpose? In any 
case, Marvin later told me he’d had a good day. He ran into 
several graduate medical students who had come up to the 
Fest from Richmond. They not only liked his graphs, they 
even understood them! Small world! 

The last exhibit table featured the Atari’s music 
capability. Working in conjunction with Jim Heard of 
Fairfax Computer Products, Steve Steinberg had a couple of 
computers up and running various 8-bit music programs.But, 
the hit here was a Casio synthesizer hooked up to thc^ 
520ST’s MIDI interface. This demo drew capacity crowds all 
day. Jim was also showing off the ST’s graphic capabilities 
using Atari’s ’’freeware” Neochrome program. He even 
brought in a professional artist to show folks how easy it 
was to produce attractive graphics screens. I’m told the 
AMIGA lost a couple of sales here. 

One of the busiest areas at the Fest was NOV ATARI’S 
own table where, while Earl Lilley, Linda Wood and other 
volunteers weren’t signing up new members,they were doing 
a land-office business selling the group’s library disks. The 
folks from AURA, the only other local users’ group present, 
were also putting on a pretty good show. It looked to me as 
if their participation was well worth their effort. 

Vendors, vendors everywhere! A dozen or so. HAL- 
COM was there demonstrating their popular Computer-Eyes 
package. Mike and Linda Barnes from XLENT Software 
with their fine ’’printware” products. COMPU-GREET1NGS, 
computer-formatted greetings cards. The publishers of PC- 
ADS, Local retailers—Portside PC, Cal Com, L&Y Elec¬ 
tronics, Black Patch Systems, STS Video, Applied Computer 
Associates, Galfal Systems, and, as previously mentioned, 
Fairfax Computer Products. Probably some others I missed. I 
had a chance to talk to several retailers after the show. They 
appeared to be more than pleased by the business the Fest 

generated, both on-site and followup. Willing to try again? 
You betcha. One even had a good suggestion for the next 
Fest. Why not set up a ’’spotlight” area—a section with 
plenty of room where demos of ’’hot items” could be 
scheduled? Maybe in an hourly rotating cycle of presen¬ 
tations? Items such as a music synthesizer hooked up to the 
ST’s MIDI interface, Computer-Eyes, Activenture’s video on 
the CD-ROM etc. Makes sense, doesn’t it? 

I closed out my stay by spending an hour or so 
sitting-in for Joe Waters at the Current Notes table, selling 
back-isues, answering questions, and such. We also had 
Atari’s new XM301 modem on display there. The three most 
frequent comments?(l) Jeez, how did they make it so small? 
(2) Can you use it to down-load? (3) So, what else is new? 

I didn’t have the answer for the first one. "I’m pretty 
sure” was my response to the second. I never did get a 
chance to look at the documentation. I directed those 
looking for other new Atari products to the PRODUCTI¬ 
VITY area where AIV P/us was on display and also 
mentioned that demo versions of Silent Butler and Home 
Planetarium had also come in from Atari the night before. I 
wished them lots of luck ’cause 1 had missed both on my first 

I never did find Silent But/er but on my way out I ran 
across the Home Planetarium demo. If I understood what I 
saw, 1 think it allows you to pick any spot on the globe, 
choose your direction and angle of view, and the program 
will display the starfield for you for any date since the dawn 
of time. Solar tracking, eclipses and plotting the progress of 
Halley’s comet are also possible. You can also use your 
joystick to zoom in and out, just as if you were using a 
variable focal length telescope. Just the thing for stargazers 
or budding astronomers. 

I enjoyed my visit. I had a chance to talk to members of 
all the local users’ groups and some others who had come 
from as far South as Georgia and the Carolinas;as far North 
as Pittsburgh; others from Jersey and New York. Most felt 
the trip more than worthwhile-better than similar events 
they had attended. I guess by the time I left, at about 1:00 
pm, over fifteen hundred visitors must have filtered through. 

Terry white is NOV ATARI’S publicity chairman. This 
event was his brainchild.Terry, Georgia Weatherhead, Diana 
Burdt, Marvin Bleiberg, Gary Purinton, and the rest of the 
folks from NOV ATARI put it together. And it worked. It 
worked well. Everybody take a bow! Better yet, encore! Next 
time let’s spread sawdust on the floor and have balloons! 
Elephants! Dancing girls? 

—Jack Holtzhauer 

’’Atari Fans Feast at the Fest,” reprinted from Vol. 5, 
No. 10 of Current Notes, (December, 1985). 

Some of you will read this at the 6th annual 
Washington AtariFest. The rest will have to read about 
the Fest in next month’s issue of Current Notes. 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 5 

The "Magician" Remains Silent, Dusseldoi 
vs Glendale, Whither Art Thou, TT’s? 
Atari Stock Swan Dive 

Fully Recovered 

The STe, the last new Atari 
machine, was declared “healthy” 
and released from the “kranken- 
house.” Dealers on both coasts, as 
well as in Europe, have announced 
that the new machines coming from 
Atari are “fine” and no longer give 
hard drives migraines, meaning wipe 
out their directories or what have 
you. What caused the problem? The 
vote seems split between the DMA 
port and the MMU chip, with Atari 
maintaining it was neither. So just 
be happy. They work now. 

He maintains that not for yet 
another month will he devise a mar¬ 
keting plan, still needing more in¬ 
sight and more information to be 
sure what direction it should take. 

If his “magic” can work, can 
create the excitement here that still 
quite thrives in Europe about “the 
latest” Atari products, then Atari, 
Mail Order, U.S., will not happen. 
The TT is apparently generating 
abundant enthusiasm, in fact, 
excitement in England and Ger¬ 
many. (See Below.) If, somehow, it 
can be “hijacked” from the FCC and 

The Stalwart & The 

Last month we used the word 
“stalwart” to denote those who had 
succumbed to Atari management’s 
“fear washing,” a new form of the 
old Chinese water torture. They 
were the ones who had recently left 
Atari, or who could be expected to 
soon. Along with this sense of fore¬ 
boding at Atari was the urgent 
expectation that “new manage¬ 
ment,” Elie Kenan, Atari’s new pre¬ 
sident of computers, could and 
would stand Atari on its head in the 
U.S. market and drive it upward into 
a position of some “recognition.” As 
one Atari-specific magazine pub¬ 
lisher noted, in paraphrase, “There’s 
no place to go now for a more 
‘enjoyable’ computer. There’s no 
reason to expect that Atari U.S. will 
survive much longer, having 
estranged most of the components 
that a business needs to be 
successful or, in these days, just to 
survive.” That said, we would like to 
reserve “our powder,” for yet 
another month. Admittedly, the rea¬ 
son is—Elie Kenan. He continues to 
refrain from wielding his new sword. 

splayed about in the U.S. in time for 
the Christmas market, it will miss 
becoming another of Atari’s “still¬ 
born” new products. In fact, hope¬ 
fully, it could breathe a bit of new 
life into the company and its market 

Atari in Germany—Rocking 

Oh, my, how we would have 
loved to have it happen here in 
Washington at the Atari Fest. A 
great debate about whether the 
attendance was 40,000 versus a 
possible 50,000, or as one U.S 
dealer attested, 60,000 attendees 
But it was, indeed, Deusseldorf, 
Germany. Remember, the Germans 
have a facility for trade fairs, which 

they call "Messes.” Many of the 
Messe halls are bigger than some of 
our train stations. So when you 
combine two halls, which the Deus¬ 
seldorf show did, with one devoted 
almost exclusively to professional 
applK aii iini«lit h 1 by the large 

German graphics companies, like 
Hell and Kot a begin to have 
one large, if not huge, display area, 
about the size of five football fields, 
all linked togothoi 

What diew the crowd? Was it 
because there were 10 times as 
many oxlubiti>n .r. iihuh were at the 
San Jose fair in California, or 50 
times ns many visitors? Well, to start 
with when you got within about 15 
kNomalM of mu Mmm area, the 

horizon was blanked with little 
squain wluti. signs leading, “Atari 
Messe one i mi son said there 
must have boon a thousand or more 
them, one at evoi, turn in every 
road loading to thu grounds. 

Inside the exhibit halls Atari Was 
• ham| 'Mini, them were 

those Who .. .minding com¬ 

plaints siimiai to what you hear in a 
novel onding dione in the U.S., 
complaints about promotions that 
u" • i s in" .it .Hid lack of 
ptodiK i when you m< >%t need it, and 
pool maiketing But these voices 
wata imothoiod h, Iim approving 

.. . it the txmdoroua ciowds, the 

novel ending displays ot peripherals 
.m l | : ' 1 " • .nid the 

evening in between in the beer halls 

with ttie ti ll rn, j demonstrative 
German people 

"iin an i , "ii Tiamtel were there 
and well 

.. by all Fite Kenan was 

revolving through tho crowds, 
s|'"n im | tnM ... II, i".elopers, par- 
in mail, those supplying the U.S. 

Page 6 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

market, e.g. ISD and Goldleaf Pub¬ 
lishing, of Ca/amus and Wordf/air 
fame. Reportedly not only these two 
developers, but several others, were 
commenting quite favorably on 
Atari’s new president. Among the 
gossip that flows as fast in German 
as it does in English, Europeans 
who know that the U.S. Atari market 
not only has fallen arches, but is 
almost shoeless, were mouthing the 
“without question it’s true” news 
that the Tramiels would close up 
Atari, U.S. and move to Germany to 
live. (If you believe that, then you’ll 
believe that Atari is about to merge 
with Macintosh.) 

The big event, of course, was 
the release for sale of Atari’s newest 
machine, the mighty TT. It was one 
of the main centers of attention. 
Price quotes varied. A stripped 
down version was reported to sell 
for the equivalent of U.S. $3,000. An 
8 meg TT with a hard drive, VGA 
monitor and keyboard was some¬ 
where between $5,000-$6,000, with 
a 4 meg version at $4,800. Obser¬ 
vers were impressed, with some 
rating its performance as superior to 
that of any version of the Mac II. Not 
everybody was happy, however. 
Developers were claiming they 
couldn’t get TT’s even though they 
had already gone on sale for the 
public. One Atari official said that 
the supply had been limited to 100 
TT’s and they were sold almost 
immediately. When more would be 
available in stores was not certain. 

Nathan Potechin was showing 
Calamus in color in beta format. The 
estimate is that it will be available in 
the U.S. just before Xmas. Memory 
upgrades for the ST were much in 
vogue. A 12 meg upgrade for Mega 
ST cost about $800, including the 4 
meg already in your Mega. Hackers 
were heard to observe that the TT 
was overpriced and no big deal; 
memory upgrades and enhance¬ 
ments of your ST would produce 
just as good results. Feran’s & 
Musique of Stuttgart were selling an 
Apple talk board for the ST, which is 
reportedly also available here on the 

west coast for about $300 
(MicroWorld, Berkeley, CA, Tele: 
415-548-8999). There was also a 
laser printer driver for the GCR Mac 
emulator. STe’s have pretty much 
replaced the standard 520’s and 
1040’s. Interestingly enough, one 
U.S. dealer decided he should visit 
an Atari dealer in Duesseldorf to 
compare notes. The phone book 
didn’t carry the word “Atari” and his 
efforts to locate one in the city were 
a failure. 

Finally, we should soon be see¬ 
ing new tools for DTP. The Euro¬ 
pean emphasis seems to be on 
graphics, graphics where software 
controls the size of the dots on the 
screen, graphics with type setting 
quality higher than Linotronics, e.g. 
3000 dots per inch. Rumors that the 
new GDOS was out and available at 
the show were prevalent and 
apparently false. These may have 
been generated by a beta display, 
but according to a knowledgeable 
official at Atari, the new GDOS is not 
out in either Europe or the U.S. and 
won’t be until the end of November. 


Last March* we reported on 
Atari’s stock and compared its 
November ’89 price to that of 
February '90; it was holding around 
5 or 6, a 50% drop from its high for 
the 52 week period of 12 3/4’s. We 
“scientifically” computed how much 
the father and son’s had lost as their 
29,104,955 million shares of stock 
had catapulted downward. Remem¬ 
ber, March 1990 was a time when 
computer stocks were not thriving 
generally. Today Atari, as then, has 
less than 1% of the U.S. computer 
market, versus Macintosh, which is 
down, but still ten times that of Atari, 
with an 11% market share, which, 
even so, makes Apple anxious. 

Despite a little buying here and 
there and some ups and downs, in 
between then and now, on 24 
August, Atari’s stock dove into the 
cellar, in the middle of the day at $2 
per share, to close by 4 P.M. EST at 
3. Another 50% cut in value for the 

Tramiels, since February; not to 
mention employees, past and pre¬ 
sent, who had stock options early 
on, and who had been waiting for 
the stock to climb back up over $8 
before trying to purchase and profit. 
For a few days, in late August and 
early September, the stock bounced 
slightly upward around 5 and then 
back towards its 24 August closing 
low. As we go to the printer, this 
mid-September, it hangs there at 3 
1/4 - 3 1/8th, twisting slowly in the 

Still in the Closet 

Why was the TT selling in 
Europe, or at least 100 of them, but 
per Atari, there will be none to show 
at the WAACE Atari Fest? Why? 
Why was Atari telling its developers 
not to bring theirs to Atari shows, 
until after Atari unveiled the TT for a 
second time at Comdex. This 
seemed all the more curious, since 
two TT’s had been displayed at the 
Anaheim show in April. At the com¬ 
ing WAACE show, there was a sug¬ 
gestion from one Atari stalwart that 
there might be a back room “treat,” 
in quarters Elie Kenan and company 
had taken “off site,” but for develo¬ 
pers only. In the old days, this would 
be done to generate a little market¬ 
ing magic. But, as one person poin¬ 
ted out, the only people buying 
Atari’s now are Atari owners who 
attend shows and elect to upgrade. 
Why try and hype them? Other 
might-be-buyers have no way of 
knowing the machine exists, much 
less what new models are available. 
So, why not bring the TT out of the 
private closet and show it to every¬ 
body at the Fest? 

Human Ware 

A group of wags who were 
berating the lack of new Atari hard¬ 
ware to be shown on the east coast, 
suddenly focused on a new type of 
fest “software.” They conjured up a 
picture of Sam T. sitting high up on 
a carnival perch, with ladder 
attached for remounting, over an 
inflated small round swimming pool, 
with an electronic switch connected 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 7 

to a battery of Atari computers, all running Space Ace. 
When the first competitor went over 28,000, down 
would come blue baby (see Space Ace ending) and 
Sam and all. During brakes and dry outs, he was to be 
replaced by Bob Brodie, the peripatetic user group 

Top Nine 

The changing leaders in the game world, or at least 
the games just arrived from Europe (Sideline Software, 
1-800-888-9273) are: Battle of Britain, F-29 Reta/iator, 
Mid-west Resistance, Shadow War, F-19, Ancient 
Beast, Bomber Mission Disk, Venus Fiy Trap, and 
Fa/con Mission Disk #2. 

Will They Ever Close O.K. Corral? 

Have you ever snuggled into your memories of the 
happiness of childhood and compared it with the warm, 
inside pleasure of using your Atari computer. Do you 
therefore lower the head, and hunch your shoulders and 
prepare, fearlessly, if self-consciously, to tell any inter¬ 
rogator why, next to “family,” there is only one “thing” 
that makes you smile, “inside,” your Atari computer. 

Well, hear this! IBM and the Mac have just jumped 
off their horses and waddle-scooted into “Shoot-Out 
Corral” to decide it, once and for ever. Who demanded 
it? Why have any carnage, over “two such nice 
machines,” smiling Atari owners ask? 

The highly-respected National Software Testing 
Laboratories decided it was time, once and for all, to 
decide! They, per our renowned computer author T.R. 
Reid, hung, right up on the barn-door wall, the naked 
frames of IBM and Mac, (and in several guises, e.g. Mac 
SE vs IBM 50Z, and Mac llci vs. IBM 70's), and 
declared, “Have at it!” Remember, when you test for 
speed, it doesn’t easily factor in “fun”; or when you 
compare price and features, or memory and price, etc., 
etc., you begin to lose sight of the bulls-eye, even with 
electronic, computer tracking. So, when the sheriff rode 
up, and the deputies hesitantly toed-over the electron¬ 
ically mutilated bodies, what could the autopsy possibly 
tell? Well, the entrails consisted of performance, ease of 
use, speed, and price, and the winner? A machine that 
never even rode into town for the shoot-out. It was the 
clone, the IBM clone, on a speedy little horse, costing 
half as much as the others. As for the Mac-IBM blast 
out, it was, per the NSTL, a standoff. 

Anaheim Revisited 

The Glendale show over the weekend of 15-16 
September was pretty much a replay of last April’s 
Anaheim. There were enhancements to our current DTP 
programs, but no really brand new programs. Atten¬ 
dance was light, making it comfortable to move around 
and enjoy. If you counted local stores, the vendor total 
possibly went as high as 35. Len Tramiel was carrying 

the banner for Atari, but had brought no hardware to 
display. He did address the group and answered 
questions, or if you will, fielded them. On Atari’s new 
marketing strategies for the U.S., he quite skillfully 
avoided even hinting at the fact that there was or wasn’t 
one. Quite properly so, if our information is correct that 
Elie Kenan is still cogitating the plan, and has almost 
absolute authority over it. 

Possibly the big news, or big little news, was the 
evidence of TT’s in the hands of developers. David 
Small had his GCR up and whirring away on his TT. 
Most DTP programs were running on TT’s with Moniterm 
big screens. The little SLM 605 was not in evidence. Len 
said it was coming with higher print quality and lower 
cost. When asked about a new "desktop" for the TT 
that someone in Europe claimed to have seen, he was 
elusive indeed; you might have thought he was Judge 
Souter before the U.S. Congress But the implication 
was certainly that a “new desktop" for the TT might well 
be in the offing. What kind of a giuphics enhancement 
management might this be? Further definition was not 


Here, NOW 


CDAR 504. $595.00 

Yes Folks! The New ATARI CDAR 8CM CO ROM Drive, is 
available at Computer Rock Thu unit u capable of reading 
both ISO and High Sicmiu f i<*ntly two 

CD s available for the CDAR 50*1 , * 1 > >i 

IBM CD an be read on the Cl >AR TA >4 

ST Software Library Titles 

Public Domain CD ROM, 240 Megabytes of 

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Clip Art Disk: 40* Megabyte* of Clip Art. lor 
desktop Publishing Imago Cal imago Cataloging 
Software included. _ Qrty $69.95 

Computer Rock, 

3785 Balboa St San hancltco. CA 94171 

ORDER LINE (415) 751 8573 

Page 8 

Current Notes 

Vot. 10, No. 8 


Toll Free From OH, PA, WV, KY, IN, MI 1 -800-52-BANDG 
15729 Madison Ave. Lakewood, Ohio 44107 1(216)521-2855* 

ST Upgrades 

When we do upgrades, we do them Right. Due to the 
various designs of the Atari computers, we have found that 
there is no "single" upgrade board that works correctly. We 
have chosen several different boards and use the one that 
best works in the ST that you own. ALL OF THE BOARDS 
NOT use a board that jams into the computer unless 
there is no other way. 

The following is the current pricing for memory 
upgrades to the Atari ST computers. Some computers have 
incompatible MMU and Glue chips, and may require 
replacement at an additional cost. Also some older units 
require additional labor. 

520ST (Old Style) to 1 megabyte % $240.00 

520STFM to 1 megabyte $120.00 

52OST/520STFM/1040ST to 2 megabyte* 0 * $340.00 

52OST/520STFM/1040ST to 4 Megabyte# $490.00 

* Some units will actually have 2.5 megabytes 
°o Expandable to 4 Megabytes 

# This upgrade is not recommended for the older style 520ST because 
the power supply may not be able to supply the extra current 

Our Service Department 

When your computer 
equipment fails to function, you 
want to obtain repairs as 
quickly as possible. As a 
general rule, it is very difficult 
to have Atari hardware 
repaired or exchanged by Atari 
"Quickly”. To the best of our 
knowledge, Atari does not 
actually repair any products 
you send to them. They 
usually rely on their excellent 
consumer product exchange program, which often takes 
many weeks, and may cost you large sums of money not 
really necessary because Atari never checks the product... 
They simply send you another one. 

Our service department repairs about 90 °o of the 
Atari products submitted for service and suggest unit 
exchange only when it is financially advantageous to the 
owner. The fact that we actually check every product could 
save you hundreds of dollars. Why should you pay $200 for 
an exchange, if it can be repaired for $60? However, if the 
cost of the repair approaches the exchange price, we will 
handle the entire exchange process (many times out of our 
stock), saving you a lot of hassle and time. 

Call For Current 
Pricing And Specials 



Removable Hard Disk 


Standard system includes 
ICD Host adaptor with 
clock, Syquest SQ555, and 
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Custom systems with built 
in 5.25" or 3.5" floppy also 

Two year warranty on 
all components. 

Additional Media Carts $89.00 

* Analog RGB Input 

* Digital RGB Input 

* Stereo Audio and Composite video 


* Super VHS Inputs 

* 640 X 200 Display 

* 14 Inch Glossy Face Screen 
(13 Inch Viewable) 

* .42 MM Pitch CRT - Provides full 

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* Green Text Display Switch 

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* Two-Year Limited Warranty 

Grea t Monitor for your STe 
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IBM AT Compatible 12.5MHz 80286 
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3.5" (1.44 Mb) floppy 

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16-bit VGA with 256K Video RAM 
Internal 2400 Baud Modem 
101 key keyboard 

3 button Logitech Compatible Mouse 

52 Sofware programs Including: 


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Publish It! 

The New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia 
Hotline Two (Nat. Directory of Addresses 
and Telephone Numbers) 

Quattro 1.0 

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Deluxe Paint II 
Microsoft Bookshelf 
CD Guide 

Mavis Beacon Typing 
Q&A 3.0 
Twist & Shout 
Much, much, more 

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We accept Visa, MC, Discover— No surcharges— Shipping costs based on 
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* As a registered owner of hardware purchased from us, we will accept calls collect. 
All prices subject to change without notice. 

The HP LaserJet III 

A Printer for All Seasons 

by Marshall Vale 

Because of new work situations, I found myself 
needing better output than my old 9-pin printer could 
provide. I began to require high quality printing at 
home. I started to look seriously at laser and ink jet 
printers, and after much hemming and hawing I pur¬ 
chased a shiny new Hewlett-Packard LaserJet III. 

Let’s Kick the Tires. 

The LaserJet III (abbreviated LJ3 from here on) is 
based on the Canon SX engine. The SX is an 8-page 
per minute printer, which is also employed in the LJ2 
and the Apple LaserWriter II series. Canon printers are 
known for their ease of use and maintenance, features 
that make the large weight and footprint more pala¬ 
table. The LJ3 weighs in at 54.6 lbs. and is 9.8” high by 
18.10” wide by 31.4” long with tray inserted (19.7” 
without tray). It was definitely a chore carrying the 
beast up to the third floor. The LJ3 retails for $2,395 
and has the low street price of $1,600 to $1,700. 

Where the LJ3 really shines is with its abundance 
of features. The LJ3 is outfitted with the new PCL level 
5, HP’s page description language. Advantages of 
PCL-5 are faster graphics 
computation and more tex¬ 
tual effects such as rotation, 
reverse, shade, and mirror. In 
addition, PCL-5 includes the 
whole HP plotter language 
so that the printer can act 
just like a plotter. 

In addition to the sturdy 
Canon SX engine, the LJ3’s 
other assets only serve to 
make it a more impressive 
printer. Probably the most 
impressive feature of the LJ3 
is HP’s new proprietary 
Resolution Enhancement chip. This resolution 
enhancement manages to squeeze an apparent 400 to 
600 dpi image out of a 300 dpi printer. It does this by 
changing the size of the laser as it is imaging and 
placing smaller-than-300 dpi dots in calculated places. 
The special chip figures out where these small, extra 
dots should go to improve the appearance of curves 
and other jagged images. All this is done on the fly by 
the chip and requires no extra overhead. 

Expandability and versatility round off the printer. 
The LJ3 sports 1 Mb of standard RAM, the general 

standard is only 512k, and can be expanded to 5 Mb in 
1 Mb increments. You can also add Adobe PostScript 
to the printer via a cartridge that fits into one of the two 
cartridge ports in the LJ3. It is a new version of 
PostScript that features much faster font rendering 
techniques and the 35 standard fonts that come in the 
Apple LaserWriter Plus & NTX. You can connect the 
printer up through either the provided parallel port or 
serial port. If you also need to hook up other types of 
I/O, there is an optional I/O port for an AppleTalk 
connector or multiple serial connectors. 


The printer was easy to set up. A thorough HP 
installation manual steps you through the procedure 
painlessly. Only two items, a toner cartridge and a 
fuser pad, needed to be instaiiud in the machine itself. 
The rest of the installation involved taking out various 
protective snaps and Styrofoam 

If you are familiar with printois based on the Canon 
engine, you know how easy it is to change toner. The 
drum, toner and developer are all in one large car¬ 
tridge Whon you need to 
repla< n the toner, you just 
slide in a now cartridge and 
change a small fuser pad. 
Cartridges aie readily avail- 
ablo suit o troth the LJ2 and 
LasoiWntoi ll's use the same 
toner cartridges. 

The LJ3 comes with a 
stmdy 200- sheet letter-size 
tiay You can get additional 
trays toi legal, envelope and 
European sizes The paper 
tray acts .is tho manual feed 
with sliders on top of the 
tray. The printer needs a lair amount of space and 
breathing room for ventilation— a consideration if you 
plan to purchase this printer 

The control panel of the LJ3 is mu h unproved 
from the LJ2. There is a small, but readable. LCD panel 
that you can set to display in venous languages. Below 
the panel are eight buttons that set all of the LJ3’s 
features. There are no DIP switches In this printer. 

Hooking up the LJ3 to my Moga2«2 (a Mega2 
upgraded to 4 megs) was a cinch All i had to do was 
move my old Star NX-to out of the way and connect 

This is sample 
te?(t of the Zapf 
Chancery font. 

Rpple LaserWriter II NTK(orig^ize) 

This is sample 
te?ct of the ZapJ 
Chancery font. 

HP LaserJet II 

Resolution Enhancement - on 


pple Laser, enlarged 400%f . ..... . . . • 
f HP LaserJet 111, enlarged 400 J 

Page 10 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

the parallel connector to the LJ3 instead. The printer is 
very quiet. In fact, I could not hear it over the jet engine 
sound of my hard drive. My first test was to try a text 
dump from the desktop of a file. (Note: The 
LJ3 does not print out a test page every time you turn 
it on. If you want a test page, you have to press a 
button to get one. It does go through an internal test 
when you turn it on.) My new LJ3 immediately spat out 
the pages at a rate of 8 per minute. 

Using the LJ3 with the ST. 

Straight ASCII dumps worked wonderfully. I will be 
able to print out my source code and files 
without hassle. For printing from other programs, one 
needs a printer driver for any version of the LaserJet or 
DeskJet (the LJ3 understands both.) I could not find a 
Degas printer driver but I did find a couple of programs 
that would print Degas files. Generally, it took one to 
two minutes to print a page. If you need to print from 
GDOS programs, there are several LJ3 GDOS drivers 
available. I did not get a chance to see how well these 
work. Word Perfect provides a driver for the printer. 
Various CAD programs should work without incident 
because the LJ3 works as a plotter. 

All the major desktop publishing software packages 
such as Ca/amus, PageStream and F/eet Street v3 all 
provide drivers for the LaserJet series. I tried the 
PageStream \/1.82 demo but encountered a problem. 
To my surprise, LJ3 did not have enough memory to 
print a full page of graphics. After printing all but 1/4” 
of the page, the printer would konk out saying it had a 
memory overflow. When I pushed the continue button,* 
the LJ3 would print out the page to the overflow point 
and then proceed to print the rest of the page on 
another sheet of paper. PageStream computes the 
page as one huge graphic image and then transmits it 
to the printer. This makes the printer choke. 

PCL-5, by itself, takes up a lot of room and needs 
extra room to operate. If your page is comprised of text 
and some graphics you will have enough memory to 
print. However, if you are doing graphics that span the 
entire page, then you run against the problem. Both 
PageStream and Ca/amus, for example, transmit the 
whole page, including text, as a graphic image, so you 
may have to upgrade the memory. 

The average time to print out the sample pages 
that came with the PageStream demo (some were 
quite complex) was around 3 to 7 minutes. I found 
PageStream’s fonts to be rather rough at small point 
sizes but overall, PageStream generated good output. 
Personally, I think Ca/amus produces cleaner prints. 

Using the LJ3 with the Macintosh. 

The other major criteria that the LJ3 needed to 
pass to be useful to me was to work with the Macin¬ 
tosh side of the world. To begin, I needed a printer 

driver for the Macintosh, known as a Chooser file, to be 
able to print to the LJ3. I decided to try McPrint from 
Insight Development. Insight Development appears to 
be a offshoot of HP since the manual lists itself with a 
HP reorder number. McPrint works as a Chooser level 
printer driver so it functions transparently much like a 
regular Apple LaserWriter driver does. It also works 
flawlessly with the parallel port. McPrint supports font 
cartridges installed in the LaserJet by actually creating 
Mac screen fonts for them. Compatibility is very good 
with various Mac programs. I tested the McPrinf LJ3 
combination with Microsoft Word 4, PageMaker 3, 
TypeSty/er, MacDraw ii, and HyperCard. McPrint’s sup¬ 
port is excellent; the support people were very friendly 
and knowledgeable. The manual is very good, stepping 
the user through the set-up procedure and including 
comments on using McPnntwilb various programs. 

The one key program with which the LJ3 and 
McPrint work beautifully is Adobe Type Manager. ATM 
gives the Mac part of PostScript’s features, thus allow¬ 
ing the Mac to display outline PostScript fonts and print 
them on non-PostScript printers at the printer’s highest 
resolution. If I want 63 point Times, ATM will display a 
smooth 63 point Times on the screen and then print it 
out smoothly and perfectly on the LJ3. 

Although using and printing with ATM is a bit 
slower than using a PostScript printer, ATM has a much 
lower price. The time it takes to print using ATM was on 
the average 4 minutes per page. Pages with graphics 
took anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes at most. Another 
nice note is that once Dave Small releases the Apple- 
Talk board for the ST, one will be able to add both the 
AppleTalk connector and the PostScript cartridge to the 
LJ3. These additions will create an extremely fast and 
genuine PostScript printer for use with both solo and 
networked computers. 

Using the LJ3 with MS-DOS? 

The LJ3 should work with the various MS-DOS 
emulators out on the market although I did not have a 
chance to try it. The LaserJet series is the most popular 
laser printer in the IBM world, so any program that 
supports a laser printer should support the LaserJet. 
Since the ST and the IBM share the same parallel port, 
there should be no incompatibilities there either. 

It’s Not Perfect. 

I do have a few gripes about the LJ3. First is the 
problem of printing a full page of graphics and running 
out of memory. This seems ridiculous considering that 
the printer comes with a megabyte of memory. I would 
think HP could have done a better job of juggling 
memory. But considering that PostScript printers 
usually have a minimum of 1.5 megs, perhaps I’m 
asking too much of the printer. What it all means is that 
I’m going to have to upgrade my memory soon. 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 11 

That leads me to my next gripe, the cost of the 
memory upgrades. Right now the choices are limited 
since the LJ3 does not use the same memory 
upgrades as the LaserJet 2 series. The HP 1 meg 
boards cost slightly over $300. This seems rather over¬ 
board since the chips are probably less than $10 each. 
One solution my dealer recommended is the Cumulus 
memory board. It costs the same as the HP but 
provides sockets for upgrading up to 4 megs by just 
adding DRAM chips. [Ed. Note: Electric Business 
Appliances offers a 4 Mb board for the LJ3 for $199; 
1411 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; 1-800-942- 

Another slight annoyance is that the Epson/IBM 
Proprinter emulation cartridge has not released yet. 
When I called HP about it, they said that there was no 
firm date or price but it would be out later this year. 
Although LaserJet drivers are generally available, it 
would be nice to be able to fall back on the standard 
Epson driver if needed. 

A major nuisance is that the printer is not very 
portable. As it weighs in at over 50lbs., it is chore to 
move. The printer is also very wide and takes up 
considerable desk or floor space. 

Finally, the printer must get up to 300 degrees 
Fahrenheit in the fuser roller in order to fuse the toner 
onto the paper. This generates lots of heat, so make 
sure there is proper ventilation in your work area. This 
is more of a problem with laser printers in general than 
with HP’s in particular but it should be taken into 
consideration. [Ed. Note: See Dennis O’Boyle com¬ 
panion article in this issue, pointing apparent incompa¬ 
tibility with LJ3’s produced after March 1990, keeping 
in mind Marshal Vale’s LJ3 was made in May 1990. A 
mystery unexplained.) 

The Final Sell 

So why did I decide to go with the LaserJet 3 when 
the DeskJet Plus and LaserJet IIP are around with their 
lower starting prices? There were a couple of deciding 
criteria. First was the expandibility. 

The LJ3 can really grow with time. It provides two 
cartridge ports like DeskJet while the IIP only provides 
one. I can add PostScript to both the LJ3 and IIP but 
can not with the DeskJet.. If I had purchased the IIP 
and had both the PostScript and Epson cartridges, I 
would have to be swapping them out as needed. This 
puts a strain on the cartridge connectors. However, 
with the LJ3, I can have both cartridges in and the 
printer automatically knows which one to use when the 
print file comes in. 

The IIP only comes with 512k of memory so to do 
any minimum work I would need to upgrade it to at 
least 1 meg which adds a couple of hundred dollars to 
the price of the printer right there. Also the IIP is only 

provided with PCL level 4, if you wanted to upgrade it 
to level 5, it would cost another couple hundred dol¬ 
lars. At this point, the IIP with all the above additions is 
only slightly less than the LJ3 thus I felt the LJ3 was 
worth it. 

The LJ3 is the only HP printer which has the 
resolution enhancement chip which really does im¬ 
prove the printed image whether it be text or graphics, 
ST or Mac, bitmap or outline. The PCL-5 prints faster 
than both the DeskJet or the IIP which use older 
versions of the language. PCL-5 also has built in text 
effects and outline fonts. However, the main advantage 
that sold me was the upgradeability. When I have the 
money and the need, I will be able to soup up the 
printer in all sorts of ways. 

In my research, I noticed a couple of mail order 
houses that offered it for about a hundred dollars less 
than the average mail order price. What I found is that 
they did not provide a toner cartridge with it. Since a 
toner cartridge costs about a hundred dollars and my 
dealer provided a cartridge with it, the price was effec¬ 
tively the same. If buying through mail order, make 
sure they provide a toner cartridge Another avenue to 
explore is see if your local HP dealer gives discounts if 
you are university staff or in the military 

A Wonderful Addition. 

The HP LaserJet 3 is a solid printer Its advanced 
features and incredible prico make it a strong contend¬ 
er. The LJ3’s resolution enhancement and upgradeabi¬ 
lity mean the printer will provido voiy high quality prints 
for many years to come. Since HP printers are a major 
standard, the LJ3 is a safe bet HP support is excellent 
and one can always find servic e neaiby If one wants 
to program printer drivers. Ml’ piovidos free develop¬ 
ment manuals to do so. I am voiy pleased with my 
LaserJet 3 and feel that bocauso of it-, multi-platform 
abilities, it would make a groat addition to any ST 

If you would like to got m touch with me please 
mail me at: 

◦ Marshall Vale. Box E. LanQuapa Resource Center, 

Brown University, Providonr :o Rl 02912. 

o Internet: mjv@brownvm biown odu 
o Bitnet: mjv@brownvm 

Special thanks to JamM "Kibo” Parry for his ST 
DTP help. 

[HP LaserJet ill. HP. DeskJet Plus. He w lett Packard; 
5161 Lankershim Btvd. N. Hollywood. CA 91601. 
Dealer Info (800) 367-4/72. Product Into (800) 752- 

[McPrint; Insight Develop VO Powell St, #500, 

Emeryville, California 94608 (415)626-9658) 

Page 12 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

BRE Software 

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Pac Man, Hangman (Color Only) 
Quick Draw V1.0 - Pictionary type 
drawing game 

ST Reverse V1.0 - Very Good 
Othello type game (Color) 

Super Breakout (Mono Only) 
Adventure Game Toolkit 
Shareware package that allows you 
to create your own top quality 
adventure games for Color or 
Monochrome monitors. See our 
complete catalog for 24 different 
games created with AGT. (DBL) 
Space Ace Demo (Color) 

Mystic Mirror: Adv. Game Similar to 
Dungeon Master. 2 Players (Color) 
Wheel of Fortune V3.0 (Color) 
Stellar Starfighter - Shoot’em Up 
Space War V1.0 - The Classic 
Space Shoot'em Up for 2 Players 
(Color Only) 

Go Up V1.0: Lode Runner Clone 
w/Editor (Monochrome) 

Tetriside Tetris type game for 
1 or 2 players (Color) 

Valgus Squared - Sequel to a Tetris 
clone. Now those seven familiar 
pieces come at you from all four 
sides of the 27 x 27 area. (Color) 
Demo of the HERO II Gaming 
System. Fully Functional w/included 
files (Color/1 Meg RAM/DBL) 

Pile Up V2.1 Tetris Clone, now 
works with TOS 1.4 (Color) 

Swiftar Demo - Great shoot’em up 
3 out of 10 levels are active. (Color) 

For Dungeon Master 

#511 - Maps for Levels 1-7 
#512 - Explicit Hints and Character Set on 
the leve above Chaos with the 
best equipment selection. 

#590 - Game Disk Organizer 

Saved game file of characters with a 
Firestaff weapon. 

#720 - Maps for Levels 8-14 

For Chaos Strikes Back 

#898 - Maps for Levels 1-10 
#899 - Walk thru of opening level. Dragon 
Lair portraits. 5 Fantasy and 3 Sci Fi 
character portraits. Prison List. 
Spells and Potions List and more! 
#1015 - Cartographer Demo 

Maps out or Edit your Dungeon 
Master or Chaos Strikes Back Saved 
Games. Demo fully functional on 
levels 1 & 2. (1 Meg RAM) 


#399 - Degas/Degas Elite Printer Drivers 
#400/800 - 3 1/2" Disk Labeling Programs 
#438 - Vanterm V3.0 - Shareware Terminal 
#443 - Intersect RAM Baby, Amortization 
#514^ Monochrome Emulator V3.0 - Run 
^ Mono programs on Color monitors 
#688/866 - H.P. Deskjet/Laserjet Utilities 

#588 - 
#596 - 









#985 - 



#768/938 - NeoDesk Icons 
#801 - Label Printing Programs 

Cassette Label Maker, Label and 
Envelope Printer and more 
#888 - Atari ST Subjects (Book) Programs 
#929 ST VIRUS KILLER V3.11 Detect 
and eliminate 15 different Viruses. 
Guards against future spreading 

#938 - NeoDesk Icons, Recoverable 

Trashcan V1.2, Quick NeoDesk INF 
Loader, NeoDesk Canvas 0.55 Beta 
#940/941 LaserBrain V1.31 - Epson 

Emulator for Atari SLM804 Laser 
Printer. (Mono Only/DBL) 

Additional Fonts on #1001-1003 
#950 24 Pin Printer Emulator - Written 
for printers without a letter quality 

Deskjet Disk Labeling Program 
Menu Master Set up menus to 
automatically load programs on 
your own disks. 

#951 - DC Show It V1.1, Head Start V1.1, 
Little Green Item Selector V1.6C 
#952 Address Labeler V2.0 - Create, 

Print and Store address labels 
DCopy V3.4 Multifunction Utility 
ARC, DeARC, Copy & more. Shell 
program included for mouse control 
#953 - SGS Net Demo V1.21 - Inexpensive 
networking system for the ST 
#988 - Fast Copy III, NX-1000 Set Up 
H.P. Deskjet Print Utility V1.4 
#991 - Label Printing for H.P. Deskjet and 
Avery 5260 Labels, Desktop 
Formatter, Disk Sector Editor 
#1008 - Icondesk - Set up different looking 
icons for different file types. 

79 icons and icon editor included. 
#1009 - Diamond Back II w/Cache Demo 

Bible on Disk 

King James Version 
Single Sided Pkg (17 Disks) $34.95 
Double Sided Pkg (8 Disks) $24.95 

Desktop Publishing 

#500/600 - Publishing Partner Fonts 
#599 - PageStream Fonts 

Binner, Futura Black, Hal, Lubalin, 
Futura Extra Bold Condensed 
#737 - Calamus V1.09 Demo - Fully 
functional except for Save 
(Mono/1 Meg RAM/DBL) 
#758/759/994 - Calamus Fonts 
#870 - PageStream Fonts 

Atari, Baby Teeth, Lucida 
Old English, Revued 
#895 - PageStream V1.8 Demo (DBL) 

#935 Desktop Publishing Utilities 

Convert to IMG V1.20 - Converts 
Degas, Neochrome, Spectrum, Art 
Director, Mac Paint and TNY pics 
to IMG format 
Demos from Wiz Works 
Fontverter Demo - Convert fonts 
between PageStream and Calamus 

PageStream File to 300 DPI IMG 
file conversion 

#1028 PageStream Font Editor V0.8 

Now you can edit and touch up 
those PageStream Fonts. 20 page 
manual included on disk. Also 
included: Improved Postscript 
Screen Fonts: Book, Chancery, 
New Century Schoolbook, Palatino 
and Times 


#810 - SHEET V2.5P Very well polished 
Shareware Spreadsheet. 

#811 - Documentation and sample files for 
Sheet V2.5 

#907 - Wordflair V1.01 Demo (DBL) 

#965 - Checkbook V1.09, Almanac (Color) 
#989 - Paperless Accountant 
#999 ST Writer V3.8 - Simple easy to 
use word processor with extensive 
documentation on disk. 

Spell V2.8 - Stand Alone Spelling 
Checker. H.P. Deskjet Driver 
#1026 - B/STAT V2.36 - Powerful graphics 
and statistics program. (DBL) 

Childrens Programs 

All Children's Programs Require a Color Monitor 
#551 - Kid Shapes 

Graphics design program patterned 
after a magnetic set. For ages 2-8 
•#552 - Kid Shapes Plus 

As above, but for older children. 
Larger number of choices for more 
complex pictures. For ages 8 & up. 
#667 - Benjamin’s ABC's 

Teaches young children the letters 
of the alphabet with digitized 
speech (DBL) 

#699 Kid Adder - Uses pictures to teach 

Kid Color - Learning game for 3-7 
year olds. Uses the mouse to 
point to boxes with a certain color. 
Kid Story V1.4 - A silly version of 
the Little Red Riding Hood. Allows 
children to create a story. 

#726 - Wolf & The 7 Kids - Adventure for 
children ages 5-9, based on the 
Grimm's fairy tale with several 
possible endings to the story. 
Numerical Go Round - Quizzes 
children on Addition, Subtraction, 
Multiplication and Division in a 
game setting. 

#920 - Simply Math, Picture Puzzler 
#982 - Body Shop: Human Anatomy Tutor 


#966 - MIDI Music Maker: Plays numerous 
music formats (EZ Track, Music 
Studio, etc.) Also converts to MIDI 
.—\ File Format 0 Files 
(#967^) Cosh Sequencer - 16 Voice MIDI 
" Recorder V2.1. From Europe. This 
is the one everyone is talking about 


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Bat Man 22.95 

Bloodwych 27.95 

Bloodwych Data Disk 19.95 
Bloodwych Hint Disk 14.95 
Breach 2 
Chaos Stnkes Back 
Chaos Hint Disk 
Chronoquest II 

Codename: Iceman 
Colonel's Bequest 
Double Dragon II 
Dragon's Breath 
Dragon's Lair 
Dungeon Master 
Hint Book 
Hint Disk 

F 19 Stealth Fighter 
Forgotten Worlds 
Hero's Quest 




















Hunt for Red October 32.95 

Iron Lord 33.95 

Jack Nicklaus Golf 29.95 

King's Quest IV 35.95 

Klax 24.95 

Leisure Suit Larry 2 34.95 

Leisure Suit Larry 3 34.95 

Lombard Rally 29.95 

Manhunter: NY 32.95 

Manhunter 2: SF 32.95 

Monopoly 23.95 

Omega 34.95 

Paperboy 24.95 

Police Quest 29.95 

Police Quest 2 34.95 

Populous 2995 

Promised Lands 16.95 

Red Storm Rising 32.95 

Risk 23.95 

Sim City 32.95 

Space Quest 29.95 

Space Quest 2 29.95 

Space Quest 3 34.95 

Space Rouge 30.95 

Starflight 29.95 

TV Sports Football 29.95 

Tetris 26.95 

The Third Courier 32.95 

Their Finest Hour 38.95 

Ultima V 35.95 

Universal Military 
Simulator II 35.95 

Wayne Gretzky 
Hockey 28.95 

Xenomorph 36.95 

Utilities and 

Canvas 19.95 

CodeHead Utilities 18.95 

Computer Guide 
to the Solar System 39.95 

DC Desktop 24.95 

DC Utilities 2.0 19.95 

Diamond Back II 32.95 

Rrst Word Plus 56.95 

Flash VI.6 16.95 

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HotWire Plus 










LDW Power 


Looklt & Pop It 


Mavis Beacon 

Teaches Typing 






Multi Desk 


MultiViewer Graphica 34 95 

Music Studio '88 


NeoDesk 3.0 


NeoDesk CLI 


Phasar 4.0 


PnntMaster Plus 




Quick ST 2 


Quick Tools 


Stalk the Market 


Synchro Express 


T racker ST 


Turbo ST 


Universal Item 

Selector III 


Virus Killer 


Word Up 3.0 








Font Editor 




PageStream 1.8 


PageStream 2.0 


Softlogik Font Disks 24.95 

Safari Font Disks 





Mouse Master 


Monitor Master 


Drive Master 


Tweety Board 


Atari ST Mouse 


Best Mouse 


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IMG Scan 


SIMM 1 Meg (STE) 




Supra 2400 Modem 




Atari SF314 Drive 


Future GTS-100X 


Future GTS-100 


IB 5 1/4" Drive 


Spectre GCR 


128K ROMs 


Dust Covers 



520ST FM/1040ST/ ST 8.95 

Mega Keyboard 


SF314/354 Drive 


ST Monitor 


SLM804 Laser 


Atari ST Book 

of Tips, Instructions, Secrets and Hints for 
the 520, 1040 and Mega ST begins where 
the Atari Owner's Manual left off, 
providing step by step instructions that 
helps both beginning and experienced 
users to get the most out of their ST's. 


Atari ST Subjects 

Topics covered include: Hard Drives, 
Running IBM Software. Disk Structure, 
File Recovery, Connecting a 5 1/4" Disk 
Drive, Assemblying your own Hard Drive, 
Sector & File Editing, Binary/Hex/Decimal 
Codes, ASCII File Problems, Escape 
Codes and much more! 


Atari ST 

Write to: BRE Software, Dept. SRT, 352 W. Bedford Ave, Suite 104, Fresno, CA 93711 

No Credit Card Surcharge. Visa/MC/Discover $15.00 Min. COD Orders Welcome. Phone Orders $20.00 Min. Shipping: P.D Disks $3.00 Ground. $5.50 2nd Day Air, Canada $3.50 Air 
Mail; Software Ground $3.50 min., 2nd Day Air $6.50 min., Canada $6.00 min. Hardware/Accessories Ground $4.00 min. COD Add $4.75 (48 States Only). Hawaii/Alaska/Puerto Rico 
Call for-S/H rates. California residents add 6.75% sales tax. Please allow 2 weeks for personal checks to clear RMA # required for defective returns. Software items replaced with 
same title only, no refunds. Some of the above prices are specials and good for this month only, please refer to this ad when ordering. Please call or see our current catalog for our 
regular prices. Price and availability subject to change without notice. No refunds on software/books. FAX orders receive a $2.00 discount on shipping charges. FAX (209) 432-2599. 


Your Atari ST 
with the 
HP LaserJet III 

A key to good-looking documentation of any type 
depends on output quality. Getting the utmost in 
quality and convenience at an acceptable price con¬ 
cerns those of us involved in desktop publishing with 
our Atari ST systems. 

But wait until you read about my experiences/ 
adventures with the Hewlett Packard LaserJet III 

Because the Atari SLM 804 laser printer was 
impossible for me to get my hands on without a 
lengthy wait, I selected the Hewlett Packard LaserJet III 
printer from my local Computer Factory outlet in 
downtown Milwaukee. You’ll find Computer Factory 
sites in Albany, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New 
York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rochester, San Fran¬ 
cisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. 

Before deciding on the LaserJet III, I called the 
store and talked to the manager, John Meyer. He was 
most receptive to the idea of me bringing my entire ST 
system to the store and trying out various printers 
before deciding on one to purchase. So, I unhooked 
my ST system, placed the components in boxes, 
packed them into the car, and headed downtown. 

John, Robin, Nate, and everyone else at the 
store—including the repair technician—were curious 
about the Atari ST. I demonstrated some of the 
capabilities of Soft Logik’s PageStream and of Ditek’s 
Calamus. They loved what they saw! Sample docu¬ 
ments printed out on the floor-model LaserJet III were 
tremendously superior in quality to what the LaserJet 
IIP provides, due to what Hewlett Packard calls 
“Resolution Enhancement” and builds into every 
LaserJet III. By quality, I mean the minimizing of those 
little step-like jagged edges especially noticeable on 
curved and slanted objects, whether text or graphics. 

So I decided on the III and about a month later I 
laid out $1,649 (an incredible value) plus tax and took a 
brand new, unopened LaserJet III home in its box. 
That’s when my troubles began. After unpacking the 
printer, hooking everything up, and reading some of 
the directions, I booted up PageStream and tried to 
print a page. The program bombed. Nothing printed. 
Calamus didn’t bomb, but went through the print cycle 
without producing a printed page. 

Attaining Near-Compatibility 
Involves Some Tricks 

by Dennis J. O’Boyle 

John at Computer Factory and I decided that the 
best thing to do was bring everything back and start a 
trouble-shooting session. He assigned his technician, 
a workbench, several other Ills and some IIPs to us in 
the repair center of the store, and we went to 
work—for over four hours. Power on. Power off. 
Hook-up, unhook, re-hook. Wait for the programs to 
run their print cycles. Try different cables. Try different 
computer systems—Computer Factory sells many 
IBM-type systems. They would output to the II I 
purchased, but the ST would not John asked if I was 
interested in an IBM clone. No, the ST is not a boat 
anchor, John! 

The floor model worked, however So I scrutinized 
the machines while Robin went for some cold sodas 
and I found that mine was manufactured in March 
1990; the floor model was produced in February 1990. 
Inside the rear paper output ramp is where you’ll find a 
tag attached to the printer with tiro d.ite of manufacture 
and other information. 

Now, often in the world of manufacturing, 
engineering departments will change a part. Or ven¬ 
dors may change, or the parts th«y supply companies 
like Hewlett Packard might bn configured differently 
enough to still be within spec ifiod tolerances but 
perhaps slightly "off" for ST purposes That’s my 
theory, anyway. And I had Bill a Customer Service 
Representative on Hewlett Packard's Personal Peri¬ 
pherals Assist Line (208-323 2‘>‘>1), going as crazy as I 
was trying to find out what was changed between the 
two months. He didn't find any difluionce in bills of 
material, etc., so I was basically alone again with my ST 
problems. Ever get that feeling 7 

John at Computer Factory traded me the floor 
model and an extra toner < aitridge for my March 
LaserJet III. So, I was pioductivo with the III, and I loved 
it. Until I had a problem. 

Pages that were text .. had multiple 

graphics would not print completely with either Cala¬ 
mus or PageStream. I had to add a ono megabyte 
memory board to the punt i k another 

$199, but I saved around $100 or more because 
Hewlett Packard charges a high price for their own 
memory boards. PageStream lequites the upgrade. 
Calamus gets by about 99% of the timo without it, but if 

Page 14 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

you’re doing a resume or a report with minimal margins 
and lots of text in a 12 point sized font or smaller, or 
multi-graphics per page, you’ll need to get the extra 

After solving the memory problem, I encountered a 
strange situation with printing 8.5” x 14” (legal size) 
pages. No luck in either Calamus or PageStream 
following the “manual feed” directions for the printer. 
Sometimes only the 8.5” x 11” portion of the page 
would print. A printer prompt asking to load the legal 
paper tray continued to appear in spite of following the 
bypass instructions in Hewlett Packard’s manual. 

Realizing that the printer and/or my software would 
not cooperate with my desires, and knowing that the 
continued production of flyers and brochures manda¬ 
ted the purchase of the legal-sized paper tray anyway, 

I shelled out another $79 for one. But when I got the 
tray home, booted up the programs and printed, 
nothing happened again. 

PageStream seems to move everything far up and 
far to the right, leaving very little on the printed page. 
One time it jumped my font size from 60 points to 
about 300 points and all it printed was part of a word. I 
gave up and switched to another program. 

Ca/amus would print anything as long as it fell 
within the “minimal margin” parameters for legal size. 
Interestingly, Ca/amus only allows 10.79” of the 14” 
length or width to be used. So what good is using legal 
sized paper anyway? 

So here I am, stranded in Milwaukee, alone with 
my ST problems again, without a way to print out 8.5” 
x 14” pages. Hewlett Packard, Soft Logik, and ISD 
Marketing, the Canadian distributor of Calamus, could 
offer no help. Personnel at the software companies 
said they were printing to LaserJet IIPs with no 
difficulty, and that the III should work just as well. But it 
doesn’t, guys! 

I think what we have here is a failure to communi¬ 
cate. Any suggestions? 

Summary. The Hewlett Packard LaserJet III printer 
with what the manufacturer terms “Resoultion 
Enhancement” provides substantially superior quality 
over other 300 dots per inch output laser printers. The 
quality appears to be about 450 dots per inch to most 

Atari ST system compatibility with the printer 
seemingly depends on the printer being manufactured 
in February, 1990. Seven machines made in March did 
not produce printed pages while two February-made 
units did. 

Software applications also affect compatibility. For 
desktop publishing with Soft Logik’s PageStream and 

Ditek International’s Ca/amus, a printer memory 
upgrade of one megabyte is required to print pages 
heavily laden with text and/or graphics. PageStream 
takes too long—up to 10 minutes or more—to p/ot 
and print a page. Calamus is much quicker, and usually 
prints out a page in about one minute. 

Legal size pages (8.5” x 14”) would not print out 
using the bypass and manual feed instructions pro¬ 
vided with the printer. The use of the proper legal size 
paper tray also failed to produce the promised results. 
Elements would move quite far off the page or resize 
themselves in PageStream. Ca/amus worked flawlessly, 
but has a built-in 3.21” minimal margin preventing full 
use of the 14” page dimension. 

Excellent service and support is available locally at 
a Computer Factory retail store for the printer. 

Manufacturers of the hardware and software were 
unaware of the problems encountered. There was 
some attempt made to assist, but no results have yet 
been attained. Perhaps with further development of 
specific printer drivers for the Hewlett Packard LaserJet 
III by Soft Logik and Ditek International, the difficulties 
with compatibility between their software packages and 
the LaserJet III will be eliminated. Ditek International 
also needs to provide greater printing dimensions on 
its 8.5” and 14” page size. 


The Ultimate Mailing List/Mail Merge/Person Tracking Software 

Trocker/ST is an exciting new application which 
combines traditional mailing list capabilities with a 
full built-in mail merge system, database style 
reporting, and much, much more. 

"This is a GREAT 
program and it has 
cut my mail list time 
by over half. I just 
wish I would have 
had this program a 
couple of years 

—B.G., Texas 

PHONE: 1411-555-im I I4U-555-7741 I |411-555-tH7 

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♦Full mail merge system built in, with word processing functions like 
cut & paste, bold, italic and underline. 

♦Computer aided entry saves you thousands of keystrokes (ancf 
lots of time )-up to 10,000 keystrokes saved per 250 names! 

♦Label settings for single, 2 and 3 across labels, and laser printed 
labels. Edit these and add your own for custom label formats. 

♦One-step "subscription aging" automatically tracks remaining 
time in a membership or subscription. 

♦Unique Quick Letter option for those occasions when you need 
to send a single "almost form letter." Great for follow-up letters. 

♦ Unlimited notes for each person in your files. 

♦Easy importing of names and addresses from all popular data 
management packages into Tracker/ST. 

See your local dealer or order from: 

Step Ahead Software, Inc. 

496-A Hudson Street, Suite F39 

Color or monochrome 
monitor. One mega¬ 
byte of RAM and a 
double sided drive 
required. Hard drive 

New York City, NY 10014 

Call 212-627-5830 for phone 
orders or more information. 


'W'lr-V' Softwa 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 15 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

Word Up 3.0 



The Best Choice Yet? 

By Christopher Anderson 

Computers may still have a 
glamorous air to them, but the truth 
is that they’re as proletarian as a 
hammer. Computer users, no mat¬ 
ter how advanced, are sheer typists 
for most of their day. Like factory 
work without the technical school 
and the union wages. Time was, 
nice people didn’t type—they dic¬ 

But by somehow convincing 
otherwise intelligent people that 
there is something cerebral about a 
machine that forces you to memo¬ 
rize the position of 26 randomly 
scrambled letters, computers have 
bullied their way onto our desks, 
probably never to leave again. What 
93.8% of ST users do with them, 
according to a recent Atari Explorer 
poll, is write. And some of us write 
all the time, which makes us espe¬ 
cially sensitive to word-processing 
software, until recently a weak area 
for the ST. Like many ST owners, I 
also use an IBM clone. I try to stick 
to the ST as much as possible, but 
when I’m two hours and 3,000 
words away from a deadline (like 
right now), I switch to the IBM. A 
simple, fast program (like XyWrite, 
which actually still uses a command 
line, if you can believe it) on an 
ordinary PC with a decent keyboard 
is about a zillion times faster in the 
real world than, say, Word Writer on 
the ST. And with an IBM you won’t 
get distracted and start playing with 
desk accessories, either. 

The problem is that ST word¬ 
processing programs are three to 
five years behind what’s available 
on the IBM and the Macintosh. Try 
Microsoft Word on either machine, 
and you’ll see what I mean. The 
state of the art in ST word proces¬ 

sors was, until recently, Word Per¬ 
fect 4.1, a buggy and crudely por¬ 
ted version of a program that came 
out three years ago on the IBM. 

Two New Ones 

In the last months, however, 
everything has changed. Two new 
word-processing programs—one 
relatively simple but almost flaw¬ 
lessly executed, the other packed 
with features—have been released 
for the ST. The first, Script (from 
Megamax) is essentially a MacWrite 
clone, which means a medium- 
complexity but polished and 
speedy WYSIWYG (this is the last 
time I'm going to spell it out: 
program for monochrome monitors 
only. The other is Word Up 3.0, a 
significant update to an already 
good program, and once its authors 
at Neocept clean up some lingering 
bugs, a program that promises to 
be one of the best word processors 
available on any machine. 

Both programs are graphical, 
which means they have displays 
that can accurately display on¬ 
screen what the printed page will 
look like. Word Up uses standard 
GDOS fonts, while Scr/ptuses spe¬ 
cial high-quality bit-mapped fonts 
shared only by Megamax’s Signum 
document processor. Both can mix 
pictures and text. 

Because these programs 
seamlessly incorporate page-layout 
features like font size and spacing- 
-without declining to the com¬ 
plexity of desktop publishing (DTP) 
programs—they offer professional- 
quality pages to the average user. 
And although they sacrifice some 
standard DTP features, they’re both 

fast and simple enough for daily 
word-processing. In fact, both are 
better word-processors than almost 
anything else in the ST market, 
even without their page-layout fea¬ 
tures. Both, for example, automati¬ 
cally reformat text as you type, 
something that even Word Perfect 
waits until you leave the current line 
to do. (And don't even mention 
Word Writer and its FI 0 key.) 

Script is the more friendly and 
basic of the two Although it’s still 
missing some desirable features in 
its fust incani,ition (a quick conver¬ 
sion from the original German ver¬ 
sion), it is well dosigned and intui¬ 
tive, with a definite Macintosh fla¬ 
vor. Because it uses custom text- 
diawinq routmos instead of GDOS, 
Sc/tpts screen performance is quite 
fast, sometimes even perky, as in 
the case of scrolling Printing qua¬ 
lity is as good as most desktop 
publishing pi. m|i.hh-, it includes a 
simple, but usually competent, 

Word Up 3 0 (which I’ll simply 
call Wo/d ( iittuHiqh it's a vast 
improvement over previous ver¬ 
sions) manages to bo much heavier 
on the features, while sacrificing 
veiy little in the way of speed or 
ease of use. It comes with a spell 
‘ !■' I ' • • luni:, both by 

far the best available for the ST. Ten 
GDOS fonts are Included and oth¬ 
ers are widely available, 

To give an Ideu of the relative 
ment 4 the two piograms, it’s 
instructive to compare them in the 
arees that mtttei w iet speed, ease 
of use, features, reliability, and print 

Page 16 

Current Notas 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 


On-screen swiftness is what 
matters most with a word-proces¬ 
sor, especially if you’re going to 
use it for the majority of your 
writing. Both of these programs are 
not only fast enough for deadline- 
pressure keyboard-pounding, but 
they compare well with word¬ 
crunching standards like Word Per¬ 
fect. Word Up has two modes, one 
using the fancy GDOS fonts on¬ 
screen, the other a plain text mode 
that uses the fast and easy-to read 
system font. Either can be the 
default and most of the program’s 
features can be used in both. 

Although Word Ups screen 
performance is generally not as 
sprightly as Scripts, in text mode 
the two are approximately equal 
and as fast as most other full- 
featured ST word-processors. 
Using a software accelerator like 
Turbo ST, Word Up passes Script 
(whose custom text-drawing rou¬ 
tines are not improved by Turbo ST) 
for general typing and approaches 
Word Perfect. Unfortunately, the 
versions of Word Up available in 
early September when this review 
was being written are unstable with 
Turbo ST. Neocept has been 
releasing updates and bug fixes on 
nearly a weekly basis for the last 
month and is aware of the problem. 
Given the solid reputation of the 
company and the overall quality of 
the program, it’s probably safe to 
assume that Word Up and Turbo ST 
will eventually be a speedy team, 
perhaps even by the time this 
reaches print. 

Both Script and Word Up can 
print in either graphics or text mode 
(using the printer’s built in fonts). 
Speed wise, the two are evenly 
matched in both modes (six to 
seven minutes per page on an HP 
DeskJet in graphics mode; draft 
mode is limited mostly by the 
speed of your printer). Both are 
considerably faster than most 
desktop publishing programs, 

although the quality of the final 
page is comparable. 

Ease of Use 

Script takes the edge here, 
thanks to its Mac-like interface. It 
uses “rulers,” bars of icons dis¬ 
played near the top of the screen, 
that help you change the format 
(justification, margins, tabs, etc.) of 
the paragraph under the cursor. 
Rulers can be cut and pasted from 
one paragraph to another to give 
them identical formats. 

Word Up uses the more tradi¬ 
tional ST style of highlighting text, 
than picking style and format 
choices from a menu. It allows the 
use of macros (of a sort) to speed 
the process up, achieving some¬ 
thing like the “paragraph tags” 
found in some DTP programs. By 
selecting the return marker before 
the paragraph to be formatted, then 
picking a pre-specified format from 
a list, Word Up can approximate 
Scripts rulers, albeit with a little 
more effort. Unfortunately, neither 
program can change style options 
like font type or point size, as 
easily. Restyling‘text calls for the 
usual highlight and pick-menu- 
item process—no great labor, but a 
little less elegant. 

Block selecting in both pro¬ 
grams is Mac-like, in which you 
drag the mouse to highlight an area 
(various shortcuts, including dou¬ 
ble-clicking on a word or a para¬ 
graph also work). Script wins this 
round with speed. Its block high¬ 
lighting is unusually responsive; 
there is almost no lag between 
mouse position and the highlight. 
Word Up, on the other hand, seems 
to want to redraw the entire high¬ 
lighted area every time you drag 
the mouse over another line. Even 
with Turbo ST installed (at your 
peril, for the moment) that delay 
can be distracting. 


Word Up takes a clear lead 
here. It allows the text to be for¬ 

matted into any number of columns 
and different sections, each of 
varying numbers of columns, can 
be on a single page. Although the 
columns are shown in the correct 
width and horizontal position on the 
editing screen, they are placed one 
after another vertically to speed up 
editing. {WordPerfect, which bogs 
down completely when redrawing 
multiple columns, could take a tip 
from Word Up on this.) 

Word Up also features a fast 
page-preview mode that is just a 
menu click away. When one tog¬ 
gles the page preview for a look (no 
editing in that mode, however), 
columns appear just as they will on 
the printed page. A reformat-col¬ 
umn command adjusts all the col¬ 
umns in a section to about the 
same length, avoiding tiresome 

Both programs allow footnotes 
{Scripts are at the end of each 
page, Word Ups are at the end of 
the document) and headers and 
footers,actually has a header 
and footer command, Word Up has 
a left, right and either “master 
page” on which you would put text 
or graphics that you wanted 
repeated on every matching page). 
Word Up has a full mail merge 
facility, while Script has no pro¬ 
visions for mail merge. Both pro¬ 
grams can give a word count and 
both can open up to four docu¬ 
ments at the same time. Text and 
graphics can be cut-and-pasted 
between the windows. 

Although both Script and Word 
Up have a spell checker, the simi¬ 
larities end there. Script won’t let 
you spell check a single word, and 
its dictionary doesn’t know most 
contractions. It flags every 
hyphenated compound word, all 
numbers, any word beginning or 
ending with a quote mark, and it 
won’t check a typed-in correction. 
Megamax is aware of the limitation 
in the spell-checker (it was added 
at the last minute for the US 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 17 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

market). Version 2.0 of Script, which 
is now available in Germany and 
will be available here in November 
or October, has a brand new spell¬ 
checker among other improve¬ 
ments, according to Megamax. 

Word Ups current spell¬ 
checker, in contrast, is the best 
available for the ST. Licensed from 
Merriam-Webster, the dictionary 
almost always guesses the correct 
word, but offers intelligent sugges¬ 
tions when it can’t. It checks about 
200 words a second, and can be 
left on while you type (either flash¬ 
ing the screen or ringing the bell 
when it detects an error). 

Equally important to a writer, 
Word Up has an excellent the¬ 
saurus (which just suggested 
“royal,” “first rate,” “bully,” and 19 
other synonyms for “excellent”). It 
offers several meanings, allowing 
you to choose the one closest to 
what you’re looking for, then pick 
from a list of words of the same 
meaning. If you shell out an extra 
$25 for the large thesaurus, you can 
select words of related meaning, 
related opposites, or antonyms. (An 
extra large dictionary is also avail¬ 
able, but I can’t believe you’ll need 
it, given the stellar performance of 
the one that comes with Word Up) 

Word Up imports and exports 
text in Word Writer, 1st Word Plus, 
and ASCII formats. Script imports 
and exports only ASCII, although it 
comes with a conversion program 
to convert WordPlus documents to 
Script format. 

Font options also divide the two 
programs, highlighting their dif¬ 
ferent intended audiences. Word 
Up allows its fonts to be scaled 
from almost any size between 2 
and 74 points. A dialog box shows 
what the font looks like at the 
selected size, permitting the user to 
pick fonts by eye. While Script also 
allows the user to select from a 
graphic display of fonts, its fonts 
can’t be scaled, and each point size 
is a separate file that must be 

loaded before it can be used. If 
you’re only likely to be using one or 
two faces and sizes, Script may be 
enough, and those fonts can be 
loaded automatically. Word Ups 
font flexibility may sound like a big 
advantage, but one should keep in 
mind that the scaled fonts do not 
print as well and take longer to 
display on-screen. Most users are 
likely to find that several faces and 
sizes are enough. 

Of course, that assumes that 
the users are satisfied with the fonts 
included with Script. If their eye is 
anything like mine, they may not. 
The program comes with a single 
font in three sizes and three faces 
(normal, bold, and italics). Unfor¬ 
tunately, the included font, known 
as Rockwell, is a somewhat plain 
serif that tends to look spidery both 
on the screen and on page. There 
is no option for using the system 
font and Script does not include a 
non-proportionally spaced font, 
which would make for a much 
easier-to-read screen display in 
cases where precise layout is not 
crucial. Megamax does offer 
several optional fonts (at $15 to $50 
each), one of which is a non¬ 
proportional face. 


In both programs, pictures are 
treated like just another—albeit 
big—character. You can delete 
them with a backspace or delete 
key, and they move around like any 
other character during text editing. 
Script only directly imports graphics 
from its sister program, Sketch (a 
drawing package that is sold 
separately) and those in STad for¬ 
mat (a standard I must admit I’ve 
never heard of). A utility program 
that comes with Script can convert 
between Sketch, Degas PI3, IMG, 
and MacPaint files. Once imported, 
pictures can be cropped and scaled 
to three different resolutions, 
although not resized. 

Word Up directly imports Degas 
(all resolutions), Neochrome, IMG, 

and GEM files. The last format, 
produced by drawing (rather than 
painting) programs, prints at the 
highest printer resolution possible 
and offers the best graphics quality. 

Unfortunately, Word Up still 
seems to have some trouble with 
GEM files, so watch for updates. An 
ability to modify the graphics once 
they’ve been imported is essential, 
and is something Word Up excels 
at. Pictures can be enlarged or 
reduced to any size, and a simple 
click on one of the borders restores 
the original proportions of the pic¬ 
ture at its new size. Both programs 
can crop graphics, although only 
Word Up can restore the picture to 
its original state. 


Once one turns off Turbo ST 
(sigh), both Script and Word Up are 
practically bullet proof. Given a 
reasonable amount of memory (at 
least 1 Mb is recommended for 
each), neither should crash. Both 
companies are working to resolve 
the problems with Turbo ST 
(,Scripts are just cosmetic). Neo- 
cept is still woikmy to resolve some 
problems with Wotd Up and Turbo- 
Jet, the printer driver that must be 
purchased separately from the 
company to use Word Up with a HP 
LaserJet, DeskJet or the Atari laser 
printer (Dialt mode works fine, 
however.) Stay tuned. 

Print Quality 

Although Word Up relies on 
GDOS's bit mapped fonts, which 
usually compare poorly to the out¬ 
line fonts used by DTP programs 
like Calamus and PageStream, 
Neocept's OUttom GDOS fonts and 
drivers appear to have bridged that 
gap. Print at 300 dpi is far better 
that Publisher ST, another program 
that uses GDOS fonts, and 
approaches outline quality. 

Scripts print in graphics mode 
is also exemplary, although, as 
noted, its fonts could use some 
woik (Megamax says that it plans 

Page 18 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

to include more fonts with the 
program in the future.) In draft 
printing, however, Script fares far 
less well. To sort of simulate the 
on-screen layout in proportional 
mode, it inserts apparently random 
spaces between words. The result 
is a classic bad compromise—a 
page that looks only vaguely like 
the final version, and is nearly 
impossible to read. Because Script 
has no onscreen draft mode, you’ll 
do best by sticking to the graphics 
mode in printing. Without a page 
preview, there’s no way to know 
how what a text-mode printout is 
going to look like. Chances are, it 
won’t look good. 

For a program that is aimed at 
least partially at utilitarian word pro¬ 
cessing, it’s unfortunate that Script 
effectively forces you to wait for a 
slow graphics printout to get decent 
copy. (On the other hand, Mac- 
Write, Scripts model, did no better. 

Because the early Apple Imagewri- 
ter printer had no internal font, all 
printing was in graphics mode. Sur¬ 
prisingly, it seemed worth it at the 
time. Times, however, change.) 
Printing on an Atari laser printer is 
much faster, of course, and the wait 
time would likely not be a problem 
(I haven’t tested it, however.) 

But even for users who do little 
printing and transmit their product 
by modem, Script is still a proble¬ 
matic choice. Although it is perhaps 
the easiest to use ST word pro¬ 
cessing program, there’s no point in 
staring at a fancy (and distracting) 
on-screen font if you’re not going 
to print with it. And despite Scripts 
speed, it would be faster in a text 

Currently, Script is best suited 
for users who do a lot of high 
quality printing. Its interface is un¬ 
equaled on the ST, and it is a 
well-rounded (albeit modestly fea¬ 

tured) word processor in most other 
respects. Version 2.0 holds great 
promise, however. 

The One To Catch 

Word Up, on the other hand, 
stands out in both regards. In draft 
mode, it’s in the same league as 
Word Perfect and the other top ST 
non-graphic word processors. In 
graphics mode, it lags Script only 
on speed and surpasses it in flexi¬ 
bility. Feature packed and elegantly 
designed, Word Up 3.0 earns my 
vote as the top ST writing program. 
To put my typing fingers where my 
mouth is, I’ve switched to Word Up 
from Word Perfect for daily writing. 
(When deadline looms, however, 
I’m back at the IBM. The ST will 
have to get a better keyboard 
before I abandon the IBM entirely.) 
Once Neocept works out the prob¬ 
lems with Turbo ST and Turbojet, 
Word Up is going to be a hard 
package to catch. 


Quick ST II 

speeds up screen graphics faster than hardware accelerators ' 
speeds up all fonts, including GDOS fonts 
requires less than 25K of memory and runs on any ST or STE 
supports all screen resolutions, including Moniterm 
supports custom desktop backgrounds and fonts 

The screen shot on the 
right shows a typical ST 
desktop with Quick ST’s 
desktop background 
feature installed. Supports 
.PI2 and .PI3 DEGAS 

Also shown is the Quick 
Manager tool manager, 
free with Quick Tools. 

Desk fi l e View Options 

M .if 

; Quick Index 2.8 
I Quick View 2.0 

IYI - is\ 


828487 bytes uyd in 20 i1 




1 X XF0RHER2 255 

\ REAOHE 1ST 7124 

1 OUICKST BftK 251185 


0REG DOC 80101 

0STII DOC son 



HRC PR6 74240 

0IHDEX16 PRG 18567 





«r KIV,UP 

« * 




Quick Teds 

- includes 10 useful Tools, including a command line interpreter, 
'fast file viewer, speed benchmarker, label maker, file finder, 
environment editor, and more. Each Tool can run as .PRG or .ACC. 

- includes Quick Manager, which supports 10 desk accessories, 
displays the time and date, free RAM, and TOS version. 

- requires less than 70K of memory and runs on any ST or STE 

Branch Always Software 
14150 N.E. 20th. St. #302 
Bellevue, WA 98007 

Available at most Atari ST dealers. 
If ordering direct, add $3 s/h. Save 
$5 when ordering both products. 
Try the Branch Always "Softwear' 
T-shirt - $9.95 M/L/XL. 


The CodeHeads announce: 

"When the START editorial staff first saw 
HotWire. our collective reaction was Wow!’" 
By far the fastest, easiest way to run 
programs on the Atari ST...from a floppy 
disk or from a hard drive! 

Build menus for all your most commonly- 
used programs. Load new menus with a 
single keypress or mouse click! 

New Ledger function records time spent in 
programs of your choice. 

Passwords may be used to restrict 
unauthorized access to certain programs. 
New on-screen clock, appears in the 
programs that you choose. 

Unlike other shells. HotWire works correctly 
with all programs, the GEM desktop. 
A seamless interface offers direct access to 
MultiDesk and MaxiFile. 

Full-featured file-handling utility lets you 
move/copy/del ete/rename/touch/lock/hlde 
any combination of files and/or folders. 

Runs as a desk aocessory or as a program 
in any resolution. 

Incorporates every file/disk feature of the 
GEM desktop plus much more. 

Intelligent disk copying routines. 

Rename folders - Print directory listings. 
Store comments about any file/folder. 
Unique and intuitive user interface designed 
for easy, speedy operation. 

Customizable for your style of use. 
Keyboard equivalents for all operations 
Quickly select from up to 20 of your 
most-used paths. 

Even runs programs and loads documents. 

Here’s what our users are saying about HotWire and MaxiFile: 

'The HotWire/MaxiFile combo has changed the way I use my ST.” 

"I haven’t used the standard GEM desktop in weeks." 

"Without HotWire and MaxiFile I’d be totally lost on the ST.” 

"...a tribute to assembly excellence." - "MaxiFile is a wonder!" 

• "HotWire and MaxiFile really 'beat up on the competition’!!" 

"’ll need to package it in asbestos because it is too hot." 
s _ " AWESOME!" - "Super!" - "a veritable software gem!" _ 

HotWire Plus (includes MaxiFile). $59.95 



G+Plus - a replacement for Atari GDOS.$34.95 

MultiDesk - load unlimited desk accessories.$29.95 

CodeHead Utilities - a collection of useful programs.$34.95 

MIDIMax - a powerful MIDI tool for performers.. $49.95 

Phone: (213) 386-5735. 
Visa, Mastercard, AmEx 
accepted. Shipping 
charge: US $2, Canada S3, 
Europe $5. CA residents 
add B.5% sales tax. 

CodeHead Software 

P.O. Box 74090 

Los Angeles, CA 90004 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 19 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

W ordf lair V ersion 1.01 

Goldleaf Publishing’s Document Processor 

Review by Milt Creighton 

Wordf/air, the latest entry into 
the maturing ST word processor 
market, is a GDOS-based program 
that aspires to compete with the 
likes of WordUp rather than Word¬ 
Perfect. You might well wonder just 
how Goldleaf expects to gain a 
foothold this late in the game, 
especially at a list price of $99.95. 
The answer lies in Wordf/aifs, 
design. It is essentially a product 
that appeals to a specialty market 
that has not yet been addressed 
adequately by its competitors. 

Before diving into the depths of 
Wordf/aifs menus, let me make a 
few general statements about the 
program’s design and suggest 
some of the resultant ramifications. 


Yes, the GDOS monster rears 
its ugly head once again. This time, 
however, it has been largely tamed 
by the installation program included 
on the Atari distribution disks in¬ 
cluded with Wordf/air. The installa¬ 
tion is performed automatically and 
painlessly. The only problem you 
might have is trying to find a GDOS 
printer driver for your dot matrix or 
laser printer. (Also included is a 
specially configured version of 
G+p/us should you prefer the 

CodeHead clone.) The SMM804 is 
the only driver included on the Atari 
distribution disk. Goldleaf does offer 
a few other GDOS printer drivers 
(such as the Epson FX-80), but 
other than those few it will be up to 
you to supply your own. Once the 
printer driver is secured, there is still 
the problem of installing it and, 
should you have a laser printer or 
24-pin dot matrix, you will also 
have to install new printer fonts and 
modify your ASSIGN.SYS file. This 
is not a job for the first-time user. 
The thing to do is get your dealer to 
install Wordf/air for your particular 
printer BEFORE you leave the 
store. Having said all that, there are 
other ramifications of using a 
GDOS-based document processor 
for your correspondence that you 
should appreciate before you buy. 

GDOS is the portion of the 
GEM operating system that controls 
the output from your ST to your 
printer. It is essentially a graphics- 
based interface similar to the one 
used by the Apple Macintosh. It has 
a number of advantages, but chief 
among them is the ability to use a 
number of fonts, styles, and sizes 
instead of being restricted to your 
printer’s native fonts. It is even 
possible to access international 
characters from 
within the pro¬ 
gram, provided 
your GDOS font 
set includes 
them. GDOS’ 
primary dis¬ 
advantage pro¬ 
ceeds directly 
from its greatest 
advantage: since 
it must print each 
character in gra¬ 
phics mode, it 

makes for very slow printing on 
anything but a laser printer. Also, 
since the characters it prints are 
bit-mapped and the larger sizes are 
obtained from doubling the dimen¬ 
sions of smaller fonts, larger 
characters can be very uneven, 
displaying prominent jagged edges. 

Import! ng G ra phi cs 

Wordf/air makes good use of its 
graphics printing and layout capa¬ 
bility and permits the importation of 
graphic images for use within 
Wordf/air documents. At the present 
time Wordf/air can only import GEM 
images and metafiles (those with 
IMG and GEM file extenders), 
although there are public domain 
programs available with good 
graphic conversion routines. On the 
down side, the importation process 
is painfully slow and there is cur¬ 
rently no easy way to optimize the 
size of the images. Nor is there a 
way to hide an image once it is 
imported. Redrawing a page (which 
happens automatically occa¬ 
sionally) brings everything to a 
dead stop whilo the image redraws. 
I found the process to be excep¬ 
tionally slow, even with the T16 
accelerator board installed! 


Wordf/a/r gains its unique 
advantages through the creation 
and manipulation of fixed and float¬ 
ing regions within documents. 
Within the borders of regions one 
can import graphic images, prepare 
and style text, draw graphs, and 
perform basic spioadsheet and 
database functions it is also pos¬ 
sible to link regions so that calcula¬ 
tions drawn from a data file and 
manipulated within a calc region, 
for example, can be fed to a pie 
chart in a graph region. The regions 

Desk File Edit Fornat Record Font Stule Page Help 

5 B355B5111 a 11 Pi \HRDFLflIR\EXMlPLE$\CflLEHD(lR.»F^ gggggg g g j 

June 1990 

Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday j Thursday 




1 ; 




2 ! 

Mists of 
Irehrd Gala 


league play 

4 i 

5 j 

bflliigs due 









Motler of 
Fearl takeoff 

10 I 






16 S 

Wordf/air Screen Shot 

Page 20 

Current Notes 

Voi. 10, No. 8 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

can be fixed at any point on the 
page or they can “float” along with 
text placed on the basic tapestry of 
the document. It is the regions that 
make Wordf/air unique among the 
document processors currently 
available within the ST market. They 
will be examined in greater detail a 
bit later in the review. Suffice it to 
say at the moment that you must 
use care not to overlap regions 
(you’ll get an error message if you 
do). Nesting a region within another 
region is permitted, however. 

Standard Features 

On the screen, Wordf/air looks 
like a cross between 1ST Word P/us 
and Ca/amus. The menu bar at the 
top of the screen contains the 
mostly familiar word processing 
headings, while the icons and hori¬ 
zontal and vertical rulers are 
reminiscent of desktop publishing 
programs. Let’s take a look at 
what’s behind the menu headings. 

The File Menu 

Not many surprises here. You 
can create a new file, open an old 
one, close a file and start a new file, 
save a file, save a file to a new 
name, or revert back to the last 
saved file. This menu also sum¬ 
mons the page setup dialog box 
(including such items as paper 
type, multiple column capability [up 
to 9!], paragraph indent, and margin 
settings), allows access to the print 
option, permits the import of an 

ASCII text file or a graphics file, 
exports an ASCII text file, permits 
saving your setup, and allows you 
to quit. The menu not only lists the 
commands for mouse users, it also 
lists the keyboard equivalent for 
each of those commands. The print 
control box allows the selection of 
the number of copies to print, print 
selected pages, activates the com¬ 
mands to bring in data from a 
merge record file and permits the 
selection of one of two word wrap 
options: (what-you-see-is-what- 
you-get [WYSIWYG] or optimized 
—something Goldleaf calls an im¬ 
proved version). The only real com¬ 
plaint here is that the import text 
command does not permit the im¬ 
port of files from other ST word 
processors. A simple ASCII option 
just doesn’t cut it, I believe. I would 
like to have seen file conversions 
for at least WordPerfect and Word- 
Writer ST, not to mention STWriter 
and WordUp. 

The Edit Menu 

The Edit Menu includes an 
“Undo” command for rescuing in¬ 
advertent deletions (just one level 
though). It also has normal block 
operations (Cut, Copy, Paste, and 
Clear) that apply both to blocks of 
text and to entire regions (Copy 
only works for text). Wordf/air also 
has good Search and Search and 
Replace options, including whole or 
partial words, matching or ignoring 
case, and operations over the entire 
document or just 
within a single 
region. You can 
Search or Search 
and Replace car¬ 
riage returns, tabs, 
or form feeds (very 
useful if you can 
only import ASCII 
files). Cutting or 
Copying text places 
it on a clipboard 
which can also be 
viewed from the Edit 
Menu. Using the 

Clear command deletes the text 
without placing it on the clipboard. 

The Format Menu 

The Format Menu includes 
commands to display horizontal 
and vertical rulers, to show or hide 
region boundaries, and to toggle a 
snap-to grid on and off. Also in this 
menu are a series of commands for 
horizontally and vertically aligning 
regions or setting standard spaces 
between selected regions. Another 
selection summons a dialog box 
that sets drawing pen thickness. 
You can draw lines in Wordf/air, but 
the drawing capabilities are pretty 
limited.. There are only three line 
thicknesses to choose from. Lines 
can be rotated with the mouse by 
manipulating one end on the desk 
top. Another option permits selec¬ 
tion of arrows. The “Frame” com¬ 
mand summons another dialog box 
that is used to frame a selected 
region with a solid border of varying 
thicknesses (three choices again). 
You can also select a frame with 
rounded or square corners. In addi¬ 
tion, under this menu are com¬ 
mands to create and activate multi¬ 
ple headers and footers. Headers 
and footers are special types of 
Write Regions that can be placed 
anywhere on a page. You may have 
different headers and footers for 
odd and even pages and you 
create a region for page numbers if 
you choose. 

One of the more powerful and 
unique commands in Wordf/air also 
appears on this menu. It is the 
command to “Float” or “Unfloat” 
regions. Floating a region such as a 
framed quotation ties that block of 
text to a particular point in the 
background text. As you continue 
to add or delete text on the back¬ 
ground that appears before the 
affected region, the quote floats 
along like a log in a river. Unfloating 
the region, on the other hand, ties 
the region to a particular spot on 
the page. The affected region 
becomes more like an island and 

Paper Type; 


I US Legal I I R4 Letter I I B5 Letter 

Nunber I l j I Spacing I 0.00 I in inches 
Margins in inches 


1.00 1 Left 

Paragraph 1 Q.G 

Bottom 1 1.00 I Right 1 1.80 I 

I OK 1 1 Help 1 1 Cancel 

Page Setup Dialog Box 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 21 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 




Decinal Places: l~Ol 

1 Paste I 







nn run rw 

rwi rwi rwi rsoRn 


] I help I I Cancel I 

Calc Region Dialog Box 

text added or deleted upstream on 
the background flows around the 
quote. At the present time, only 
Calc and Write regions can be 
floated. You can’t float graph 
regions yet and that means import¬ 
ed images can’t be floated either. 
Presumably, a future enhancement 
will take care of the matter. 

Setting Up Regions 

The “Setup Region” command 
invokes one of a number of dialog 
boxes that lie at the heart of 
Wordf/air. These dialog boxes per¬ 
mit you to customize Background 
Write, Graph (image), Calc, and 
Write Regions. For Write Regions 
the dialog box requires naming the 
region (on the Title line), selecting 
the justification of text within the 
box (left, right, centered, or justi¬ 
fied), and setting the line spacing at 
1,1.5, or 2 spaces. 

The Calc Region dialog box has 
space for a region title, selections 
for standard or comma format for 
each calc cell (selecting “Comma” 
will automatically insert commas in 
numbers 1000 and higher), symbols 
(none, dollar, or percent symbol 
shown in each cell), alignment of 
cells (left, right, or center), number 
of decimal places, and the insertion 
of a mathematical equation for 
manipulating the cells. The equa¬ 
tions entered identify the Calc cells 
to be used and specify the mathe¬ 
matical operation you wish to have 

Wordf/air can 
utilize addition, 
subtraction, mul¬ 
tiplication, divi¬ 
sion, and 
operations. A 
number of for¬ 
mulas are already 
available and can 
simply be pasted 
into the formula 
box. These in¬ 
clude such ope- 
rations as 
averaging a list of numbers, Future 
Value calculations, natural 
logarithms, and Net Present Value 
computations among others. 

Graph Regions can be linked to 
the results of Calc Regions. The 
Graph Region dialog box includes a 
Title box, selection of one of three 
types of graphs (bar graph, pie 
chart, or line graph), labels for the 
horizontal and vertical axis, and 
data set boxes. The data set boxes 
can contain numeric values or the 
titles of the Calc Regions that will 
feed the output of formulas to the 
Graph Region. The latter is dynamic 
in nature such that changing the 
input data will automatically be 
reflected in the output of the graph. 
Lastly, the data sets can be indivi¬ 
dually labeled and will appear in the 
completed graph if the region is 
large enough to accommodate 

The Record Menu 

The Record menu contains a 
number of commands for creating, 
modifying, and managing the data 
bases that feed the Calc and Graph 
Regions. They include creating new 
files, opening an old one, closing a 
file, and saving a selected portion 
of a larger data base to disk. In 
addition, you can add a new 
record, change or delete an old 
record, or select (mark) a record in 
a data base in order to create a 
subset of that data base. You can 

also sort the records in a data base 
alphabetically or numerically. You 
can even undo the sort if you 
desire. Finally, the File Info com¬ 
mand displays a number of para¬ 
meters about a selected data base. 

The Font Menu 

The Font Menu permits selec¬ 
tion among the GDOS fonts that 
have been loaded into your com¬ 
puter’s memory when the system 
was booted (or when Wordf/air was 
loaded if you are using G+p/ud). 
The fonts that are available to 
Wordf/air depend on what your 
ASSIGN.SYS file calls forth. The 
font selection can apply to an entire 
text region or just to selected text. 

The Style Menu 

Like the Font Menu, the Style 
Menu is standard stuff. You can 
select such typestyles as plain, 
bold, italics, underline, outline, su¬ 
perscript, or subscript. Like the font 
selection, the typestyle can apply 
to entire text regions or just to 
selected text. In addition, you may 
select the size of your text by 
choosing from among the available 
point sizes. The number of point 
sizes you have available will 
depend on what sizes are specified 
in your ASSIGN.SYS file. Like the 
font and typestyle selections, the 
size of the type can apply to entire 
text regions or just selected text. 

The Page Menu 

The Page Menu permits moving 
from one page to another within a 
multipage document. You may not 
simply scroll from one page to 
another like you can in most word 
processors. In this regard at least, 
Wordf/air operates more like a 
desktop publishing program. The 
commands move you forward or 
backward in the document one 
page at a time, or you can move to 
the first or final page in the docu¬ 
ment. There is no way to move to a 
selected page on this menu—but 
see the Page Icon. In addition, 
there are commands to force a 

Page 22 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

page break, insert a page (blank or 
text-filled), and cut or paste a 
page. Finally, there are several mis¬ 
cellaneous commands in this menu 
including one to specify the units of 
measurement to be utilized 
throughout Wordf/air (inches, centi¬ 
meters, or picas) and the Grid 
command. The Grid command sets 
the spacing of the dotted lines of a 
graph paper grid that you can lay 
over the Background Write Region, 
or a column grid placed similarly for 
aligning elements vertically on a 
page. The column grid permits 
specification of the number of col¬ 
umns and the spacing between 
each column. 

The Icons 

The icons are operated by 
simply clicking on them with the 
mouse. The first icon (from left to 
right) permits creation of a Fixed 
Write Region. The Calc Icon lets 
you create a Fixed Calc Region 
while a Graph Icon allows creation 
of (you guessed it) a Graph Region. 
The Title Icon displays the regions 
on a page along with the titles that 
you gave them in the Setup dialog 
box. The Grid Icon toggles a grid 
on or off over the Background Write 
Region. The Page View Icon tog¬ 
gles between the normal view and 
a full-page view. ( Wordf/air runs 
only in high and medium resolu¬ 
tion.) The Help View Icon creates a 
second window to the right of the 
current document for display of 
help text. The Drawing Icon acti¬ 
vates the drawing pen which can 
be used to draw lines. The Vacuum 
Icon removes unwanted regions 
from the Background Write Region 
while the Page Icon, which displays 
the current page number, can be 
used to go directly to a selected 
page. The Record Icons permit you 
to move through the records of a 
data base. 

The Rulers and Help 

The Horizontal Ruler allows the 
setting of margins, indents, and tab 

stops. To access the on-line help 
function simply drop down the help 
menu and select an item. 

The Manual 

The Wordf/air manual is one of 
the high points of the package. It is 
well written, clear, to the point, and 
offers three progressive tutorials 
that ease you into the program 
without a ripple. A series of hints 
and warnings throughout the 
manual suggest shortcuts or offer 
helpful advice to avoid pitfalls. The 
Appendices include a list of key¬ 
board equivalents to mouse- 
accessed commands, templates for 
several types of forms, Page 
Design Guidelines, and a very 
complete index. It is one of the best 
efforts I have seen to date. 

Other Goodies 

A few keyboard combinations 
hidden within the program don’t 
have mouse commands. <ALT> 
<M>, for example, displays avail¬ 
able memory. 

Major Shortcomings 

x No spellingchc^ker. 
x No thesaurus, 
x No hyphenation dictionary, 
x No text file conversion utility, 
x No graphic conversion utility, 
x Limited page numberingoptions. 
x No data base file conversion utility. 

Planned Upgrades 

Goldleaf has already released 
one maintenance upgrade and, by 
the time you read this, will surely 
have released another. Registered 
owners can order Wordf/air Version 
1.1 for $5. Version 1.1 is 75K 
smaller in size and fixes some 
problems associated with the su¬ 
perscript and subscript typestyles. It 
also includes a graphic conversion 
and manipulation utility, improved 
speed, and more keyboard equiva¬ 

Wordf/air ii\% due out sometime 
this quarter. The cost for registered 
owners to upgrade to the new 

version is expected to be $20 
(versus a planned retail price of 
$149). Wordf/air H will reportedly 
contain a spelling checker, the¬ 
saurus, hyphenation dictionary, and 
allow the import of data base files 
using comma or tab delimiters. In 
addition, it will have improved data 
base capabilities and improved 
graphic handling routines (possibly 
including a hide feature). 

Further upgrades are planned. 
A new version of GDOS was 
announced in Germany by Atari in 
August. The new version uses scal¬ 
able outline fonts rather than bit¬ 
mapped fonts, resulting in greatly 
improved quality of print, reduced 
memory requirements, increased 
number of memory-resident fonts, 
and nearly unlimited type sizes. 
Goldleaf is already planning to in¬ 
corporate this new GDOS in either 
the release version of Wordf/air // or 
in a future upgrade. 

The Bottom Line 

Wordf/air can’t compete with 
WordPerfect, but it really isn’t 
meant to do so. Wordf/air is a 
hybrid, lying approximately midway 
between a word processor and a 
desktop publishing program. It is 
just what Goldleaf advertises it to 
be—a document processor. Its 
GDOS roots slow printing to a crawl 
on many dot matrix printers (maybe 
unacceptably so) but is probably 
fast enough on a laser printer. The 
bit-mapped fonts are generally 
high quality as long as you steer 
away from the larger, doubled point 
sizes. Wordfiair’s most severe 
drawbacks won’t be overcome by 
the 1.1 upgrade, but eventually will 
be if Wordf/air // fulfills its promise. 
Overall, I would rate the current 
version useful since it does things 
no other ST program will do, the 1.1 
upgrade (sight unseen) rates out as 
good, and Wordf/air // is potentially 
a “must have" addition to your 
software library. 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 23 


Magic Juice! 

Last month the Alchemist threw 
out a bunch of names of people 
who made major contributions to 
the development of computers. 
Most of those names were probably 
familiar to you, but maybe some 
weren’t. This time the Alchemist will 
fill you in on who all those folks are, 
including a few obscure facts about 
even the familiar ones. 

Famous Names 

Thomas Edison—World’s 
greatest inventor. He invented the 
light bulb, electric power gener¬ 
ation, and the electric bill. In 1892 
J.P. Morgan formed General Elec¬ 
tric by merging Edison Electric 
Light Co. with a competitor. While 
fiddling around with light bulbs in 
1883, Edison discovered thermionic 
emission but didn’t know what it 
was good for. 

Nikola Tesla—Yugoslavian im¬ 
migrant who left Edison’s employ to 
pursue ideas on alternating current. 
His patents were acquired by 
George Westinghouse, whose 
company became GE’s arch-rival. 
Tesla gave us 60-Hz AC power and 
the concept of an “electronic grid” 
that provides power, communica¬ 
tions, entertainment, and informa¬ 

Lee DeForest—He used Edi¬ 
son’s discovery of thermionic emis¬ 
sion to invent the vacuum tube in 
1907 and made early contributions 
to radio. 

George Boole—A 19th century 
English mathematician. He invented 
Boolean algebra, the basis of binary 
logic upon which all modern com¬ 
puters are based. 

Charles Babbage—A 19th 
century British engineer, invented 
the cowcatcher for trains and built 

the first mechanical computer. 

Herman Hollerith—Employed 
by the Census Bureau in 1890, he 
invented data input using punched 
cards. In FORTRAN, a blank or 
undesignated character is repre¬ 
sented by H (Hollerith character). In 
1924 his Tabulating Machine Co. 
adopted the name by which we 
know it today: IBM. 

John Mauchly—Invented the 
first true electronic computer, 
employed the binary logic of Boole 
and 18,000 vacuum tubes a la 
DeForest: when ENIAC booted up, 
the lights in Philadelphia went dim. 

William Shockley—Invented 
the transistor at Bell Labs, 1947. 
Left Bell in 1955 to head up Shock- 
ley Semiconductor division of 
Beckman Instruments. The com¬ 
pany didn’t last long but gained 
fame for attracting the cream of 
American semiconductor talent. 

Jack Kilby—Invented the in¬ 
tegrated circuit at Texas Instru¬ 
ments, 1959. 

Robert Noyce—Godfather of 
the microcomputer. Co-inventor of 
the 1C, he left Shockley in 1957 to 
start up Fairchild Semiconductor, 
which became the fountainhead of 
the American semiconductor in¬ 
dustry in Silicon Valley. He left Fair- 
child in 1968 to start up Intel, which 
produced the first RAMchip in 1970 
and the first commercially success¬ 
ful 8-bit microprocessor, the 8080, 
in 1974. 

Charles Sporck—Left Fairchild 
in 1967 to head up National Semi¬ 

Nolan Bushnell—Started the 
videogame craze by inventing 

“Pong” and, with the founding of 
Atari in 1972, fired the opening 
salvo of the home computer revo¬ 
lution. By 1980 Bushnell was a 
retired millionaire, and Atari sales 
under the ownership of Warner 
Communications were $100-million 
a year. 

The Two Steves—Steve Jobs 
and Steve Wozniak, high school 
chums and co-founders of Apple 
Computer. Jobs quit Atari in 1977 to 
start up Apple, which was named to 
commemorate the summers Jobs 
spent picking apples. 

OK, with this list of famous 
names the Alchemist concludes his 
mini-course in the History of High- 
Tech. Now we can get down to 
some serious Alchemist business. 

Computer Medicine 

In the drugstore you can buy 
some stuff called Neosporin oint¬ 
ment, which is your basic mixture of 
“wonder drug" antibiotics: poly¬ 
myxin, bacitracin, and neomycin. 
Neosporin is great for promoting 
rapid healing of minor cuts, burns 
and scrapes. Only one problem 
with Neosporin. it only works on 
living critters, i.e, people. 

Computers, like people, also 
suffer their little hurts, but Neo¬ 
sporin applied to an ailing computer 
will only make a big mess and not 
help the computer at all. Much has 
been made lately of the computer 
“virus," but that’s a software illness, 
and, in any event, 8-bit machines 
appear immune (so far) to that 
particular computer malady. A sig¬ 
nificant threat to a computer’s phy¬ 
sical health comes from the 
environment: dirt, moisture, and 
corrosive nasties in the air. (Extra¬ 
neous radiation and “dirty” electri- 

Page 24 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

city also threaten your computer’s 
health, but I’ll deal with those in 
later columns.) If you’ve ever 
experienced mind-warping data 
losses caused by funky switches or 
cables which appeared to be con¬ 
nected but really weren’t, your 
machine had developed a touch of 
“environmental ague.” Oftentimes, 
radical surgery to replace the 
offending part was the only cure. 

Now the Alchemist will share 
with you one of his most treasured 
discoveries in the field of computer 
medicine, a kind of Neosporin for 
your computer. It is called Cramo/in, 
but the Alchemist frequently refers 
to it as The Magic Juice. Cramolin 
(gee, the name even sounds like 
medicine) promotes rapid healing 
of minor computer “sores.” 

The Magic Juice 

Cramolin is a special liquid 
developed for the computer indus¬ 
try by a company called Caig 
Laboratories, which makes elec¬ 
tronic chemicals and specialized 
soldering equipment for the indus¬ 
trial hi-tech manufacturing market. 
Caig’s older literature refers to Cra¬ 
molin as a contact lubricant, but the 
Alchemist feels that’s a misnomer. 
The stuff should more properly be 
called a contact conditioner, for 
reasons that will become apparent 
later. More recently, Caig has been 
promoting Cramolin as a contact 
“de-oxidizer,” but that term is only 
a partial descriptor. 

Now, just about every retail 
electronics outlet sells contact con¬ 
ditioners. But Cramo/in is in a class 
by itself. Under no circumstances 
should it ever be confused with that 
horrible “tuner spray” stuff you buy 
at Radio Shack. Tuner spray really 
IS a lubricant, a bunch a goopy oils 
dissolved in freon. Which is why 
whenever you use it on anything, 
the same problem comes back with 
a vengeance a few months later. 
About the only thing you 
accomplish with that greasy kid’s 
stuff is to push the dirt to a different 
location and present the metal 

contacts with fresh opportunities to 
corrode. Upon exposure to air, 
many lubricants gradually oxidize to 
acidic carboxylates or dry out and 
polymerize to form nonconductive 
gumballs. Cramolin is nothing like 
these kinds of contact lubricants. 

The Magic Juice is supplied in 
two different forms: there is Cram¬ 
olin CR-10, which is the Red Juice, 
and Cramo/in CR-20, which is the 
Blue Juice. You apply the red stuff 
to old contacts which need clean¬ 
ing. For new contacts, or ones 
which have already been cleaned 
with CR-10, the Blue Juice is 
applied to inhibit future corrosion. 
The two juices come in nice little 
2-dram vials (about 5cc’s) com¬ 
plete with an applicator brush in the 
cap, like fingernail polish. 

What Is It? 

Caig Labs won’t tell you what 
exactly Cramo/in is, but they do 
claim it’s nontoxic and nonflamm¬ 
able, harmless to plastics, free of 
acids, electrically nonconductive, 
stable to extremes of temperature 
and electric arcs, and repels mois¬ 
ture. The red and blue colors are no 
doubt commercial dyes. Caig ad¬ 
vises that Cramo/in should be 
stored in glass containers away 
from light. Physically, the Magic 
Juice could be described as a thin 
oil with a faintly sweet, musky 
smell, the Red being slighly more 
pungent than the Blue. That this oil 
is no lubricant becomes apparent 
when you use it. 

Last year I got tired of unplug¬ 
ging my XEP-80 and reconnecting 
the regular XL video output to the 
monitor every time I switched be¬ 
tween software that used the XEP- 
80 and software that used the usual 
40-column display. So, in true 
Alchemist fashion, I built myself a 
little switchbox that allowed me to 
change display inputs just by push¬ 
ing a rocker switch. After a few 
weeks the XEP-80 display started 
getting noisy, with fuzz and snow 
and little flashes of light on the 
screen. I got out my bottle of Red 

Juice and dabbed some on the 
switch. True to its name, the Magic 
Juice instantly restored my display. 
But the rocker switch no longer 
switches quite as easily as it did 
before I applied the Juice. After just 
a few switchings I felt the famliar 
increase in switch friction that 
characterizes a Cramolin-treated 
connection. As the Juice magically 
eats away layers of metallic sulfides 
and oxides, you can feel the con¬ 
tact wiping action grow more effi¬ 
cient: the contacts develop a 
"grab.” No oil-based lubricant 
behaves like this! 

Cramo/in never ceases to mys¬ 
tify me. The stuff has an outright 
affinity for just about any metal, and 
it migrates. If you treat your joystick 
port with it and then plug in a 
joystick, after a day or so every 
square millimeter of exposed metal 
on the joystick connector will be 
found coated with a microthin film 
of The Juice. According to Caig, 
that’s the way it’s supposed to 
work. If you place a little Cramo/in 
in the bottom of a small metal 
container, it slowly creeps up the 
inside walls, turns corners, and 
eventually finds its way to outer 
surfaces. Now you see why the 
8-Bit Alchemist calls it Magic. 

How does it work? Basically, 
the Red Juice “dissolves” away 
corrosion deposits. The Blue Juice 
adheres to metal surfaces and pre¬ 
vents contact between the metal 
and corrosive gases in the air. The 
thin nonconductive film it forms is 
only a few molecules thick, but 
electrons can still pass through via 
a mechanism akin to quantum 
mechanical tunnelling. The 
Alchemist hasn’t verified this; I only 
know the stuff works. 

The Seven Percent Solution 

The key to using Cramo/in is to 
use as little of it as possible. The 
thinner the film, the better it works. 
As supplied in the little vials, it is far 
too concentrated and has to be 
diluted first. Caig recommends 
dilution with a certain type of freon, 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 25 

but for household storage in glass 
containers, freon’s high vapor 
pressure presents an unacceptable 
explosion hazard. The safe bet, 
which the Alchemist uses, is to 
dilute The Juice with trichloroeth- 

Here’s how to do it: first, go to 
the local hardware store and pur¬ 
chase a small container (1 pint or 
less) of trichloroethane. Trich- 
loroethane is a widely used com¬ 
mercial solvent sold under a variety 
of trade names such as “Carbona,” 
“Carbo-Chlor,” or “Carbo-Trichlor” 
and is typically found in the depart¬ 
ment where furniture-stripping and 
varnish solvents are sold. A pint of 
trichloroethane will run you $3-$5. 
Next, go to the drugstore and pur¬ 
chase two 3-oz. “travel size” bot¬ 
tles of “Listerine” mouthwash; cost 
is about a dollar per bottle. While 
you’re at the drugstore, pick up a 
glass eyedropper (my druggist gave 
me one for free). Pour out the 
Listerine, wash the cap and bottles 
with hot water, and soak off the 
labels from the bottles. If you have 
some rubbing alcohol, it’s a good 
idea to rinse the bottles and caps 
with that; otherwise, place the bot¬ 
tles in a warm place for as long as it 
takes to completely dry them. Label 
one bottle “7% CRAMOLIN CR-10 in 
SWALLOWED!” and the other bottle 

Now pour the entire contents of 
the small vial of Cramo/in Red into 
the bottle labelled “7% CRAMOLIN 
CR-10.” Using the eyedropper, rinse 
out the small vial a few times with 
the trichloroethane solvent and add 
the washings to the bottle. Then 
add trichloroethane to the bottle up 
to the neck, cap it, and shake it a 
few times to mix. With the eyed¬ 
ropper, refill the small vial with 
dilute Red Juice. Rinse the eyed¬ 
ropper with fresh solvent when 
you’re done. Follow the same pro¬ 
cedure for diluting Cramo/in B/ue. 
The small vials with brushes in the 

caps are your working solutions for 
applying Cramo/in, the 3-oz. bot¬ 
tles of stock solution should be 
stored away in a dark place beyond 
the reach of children. The eyedrop¬ 
per and leftover solvent should be 
stored along with the stock Cramo- 
Hn solutions. 

In the course of using the solu¬ 
tion from the small vials you will 
eventually contaminate the solution 
in the vial. Metallic particulates and 
other gross matter in the bottom of 
the vial degrades The Juice and 
spreads contaminants to new sur¬ 

If too much junk collects in the 
bottom of the vial it is best to 
discard the remaining solution, 
rinse the vial with a litt/c fresh 
solvent, and replenish The Juice 
from your stock solution. This might 
seem wasteful, but it isn’t. You can 
refill the little vial over a dozen 
times from the stock bottle, and 
each vial is good for several hun¬ 
dred applications. Just a little Magic 
Juice goes a long, long way. There 
is no point risking contamination of 
a fresh connection by using junky 
Juice when a whole vial of the 7% 
solution only costs about a buck. 
For most people, the bottles of 
stock solution will probably last a 

Using Magic Juice 

Cramo/in should be applied 
wherever there is any type of 
mechanical connection in your 
computer system. Cable connec¬ 
tors, joystick ports, plugs, jacks and 
sockets are obvious candidates. 
Switches are another place where 
Cramo/in can work wonders. 

Unfortunately, Atari often used 
a sealed type of switch in much 
equipment (especially for power 
switches), so The Juice won’t help 
in those situations. 

Inside your computer are 
numerous other places to apply The 
Juice. I always dab some Blue 
Juice on chip sockets before in¬ 
serting chips. Adjustable potenti¬ 

ometers and ROMcart slots are 
good for a shot of Red Juice, while 
the parallel output contacts should 
be treated with Blue. In the XL/XE 
machines the flimsy plastic ribbon 
connector from the keyboard to the 
circuit board is a frequent source of 
intermittent problems. Cramolin Red 
applied to the keyboard connector 
socket is a sure cure. 

Troubles with ROMcarts are 
more often due to corroded edge 
contacts than to defective ROMs. 
You can restore an intermittent 
ROMcart by first inserting a paper¬ 
clip in one side of the slot and 
pushing back the plastic protector 
with your finger. This will expose 
the edge connector of the circuit 
card inside the cartridge. While 
holding back the plastic protector, 
rub the exposed contacts on both 
sides of the card with a pencil 
eraser to remove gross corrosion 
(after just a few swipes the contacts 
will look visibly brighter). Then apply 
Blue Juice to the contacts. If the 
ROMcart still won’t work, dis¬ 
assemble it. If the ROM(s) are sol¬ 
dered to the card, then you pro¬ 
bably have a bad ROM. If the 
ROM(s) are socketed, remove them 
(keep a note of which ROM was in 
which socket) and treat the sockets 
with Blue. If the cartridge still 
doesn’t work after this treatment, 
you have a defective ROM or a 
damaged circuit card. 

On several occasions the 
Alchemist has used Cramo/in to 
solve bizarre behavior caused by 
intermittents in 1050 disk drives. 
Aside from the SIO and power 
jacks, the 1050 has dozens of inter¬ 
nal mechanical contacts that can 
eventually develop problems. The 
drive select switch should be treat¬ 
ed with Red Juice, worked back 
and forth 15-20 times, then treated 
with Blue and worked again. LSI 
chips should be removed from their 
sockets and the sockets treated 
with Blue Juice. There are 7 or 8 
multi-pin connectors between the 
drive mechanism and the circuit 
board; these should all be treated 

Page 26 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

with Cramo/in Red with a followup 
treatment of Blue. 

There is one type of electronic 
component upon which Cramo/in 
should NEVER be used: variable 
capacitors (the 1050 has one trim- 
cap). Trimcaps don’t have 
mechanical wipers like trimpots do, 
so there is no reason to use a 
contact conditioner on one. These 
capacitors use air as their dielectric. 
Cramo/in has a different dielectric 
constant than air; if Cramo/in film 
finds its way to the “leaves” in a 
trimcap, it will change the set value 
of the capacitor and disrupt the 
circuit. Like any good medicine, 
Cramo/in has its contraindications! 

Getting the Juice 

Unfortunately, The Magic Juice 
isn’t the easiest stuff to find. Audio 

fanatics and “tweak freaks” are 
most likely to know local sources of 
the stuff if any exist in your area. (A 
thorough Cramo/in treatment will 
completely rejuvenate a tired sound 
system.) Cramo/in is sold by some 
audio shops and tweaky high-end 
audio salons; in my area it is also 
sold by jobber parts shops that 
cater to the professional electronic 
repair trade. 

You can contact Caig Labora¬ 
tories directly for product informa¬ 
tion, prices, and purchases. 
Address: 1175-0 Industrial Avenue 
Escondido CA 92025-0051; phone 
(619)743-7143. For $17.50 plus 
costs Caig will sell you the Elec¬ 
tronic Maintenance Kit which con¬ 
tains the little 2-dram vials of Red 
and Blue Juice. The kit also con¬ 
tains a bunch of odd little tools, 

applicators, lint-free cloths, tissues 
and such—but I have never found 
much use for that stuff. The Two 
Juices are also sold in 6-oz. spray 
cans: Cramo/in R5 (5% solution of 
Cramo/in Red] sells for $8.25 and 
B5 (5% Cramo/in B/ud) goes for 

The Alchemist has been using 
Cramo/in liquid and sprays for 
about 7 years. I swear by it. If I had 
a nickel for every time Cramo/in got 
me out of an electronic jam, I would 
be a Wealthy Alchemist. I use it on 
computers, video gear, hi-tech 
chemistry lab instrumentation, my 
audio system, my testbench equip¬ 
ment, household appliances, and 
my car. It’s great stuff. Try some. 
You’ll like it. And save the Neo- 
sporin\ox yourself! 

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October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 27 


My Memory 

Where Has All 

Nope, that’s neither a song title nor a sign of 
advancing age—just the plaintive cry of an Atarian who 
has discovered that his/her favorite application won’t 
run any more for lack of it. Actually, the phenomenon 
isn’t limited to Atari users; it can happen on any 
computer system from PC to mainframe. 

“Why?” you ask. (At least the Junkyard Pussycat 
did; the idea and the title of this column were his 
suggestion). Today’s computers do have lots more 
RAM than we had in the “good ole days” of the 16KB 
Atari 800. Everything, from IBM clones to STs, sells with 
1MB or more. After all, 1KB = 1024 bytes, and 1MB = 
1024KB: 1024 * 1024 = 1048576 bytes. That’s a lot, 
isn’t it? Not necessarily. 

Memory Management 

The ST’s operating system is installed in ROM, but 
it also needs some RAM just to keep track of what’s 
happening: I/O buffers, display memory, and so on. 

The operating system also has all the tables and 
functions needed to manage the system’s RAM; when 
a program is run, TOS figures out how much memory 
is required to get the application loaded, reserves the 
memory, loads the program, and transfers control to it. 

If the application needs more memory, it simply 
asks the operating system for it. TOS locates the 
requested amount of RAM, reserves it, and tells the 
application where it is. If the needed memory is not 
available, the requesting program gets an error mes¬ 
sage. This is where bad things can happen to you—it 
depends on how thorough the programmer was in 
detecting and handling such errors. 

An application can release memory it doesn’t need 
any longer by calling on another TOS service routine. 
When the application is finished, TOS releases system 
resources used by the application. Thus, if you look at 
“free RAM” before and after running an application, 
you should see the same number. 

Some Memory Eaters 

Those desk accessories and the programs in your 
AUTO folder need RAM in order to load and run. By 
definition, DAs load at boot time and stay in memory, 
hanging on to at least some of the RAM they grabbed. 
Some of them use a lot, too. 

A ramdisk accessory like RAMBABY needs enough 
space for itself (the program), and for the simulated 



by Richard Gunter 

disk. Make a 500KB ramdisk on your 1040, and there 
goes half of your memory in one swoop. LaserBrain 
(Epson emulator for the SLM804) needs upwards of 

AUTO programs vary even more widely. Some of 
them do their thing and go away entirely, as does 
Superboot. Others can’t go away. A ramdisk program 
or hard drive cache or print spooler will keep a piece of 
itself, plus the buffer/ramdisk space. That memory is 
tied up until you reboot and is, therefore, unavailable 
for other purposes. 

GDOS is a sneaky rascal: it gloms onto 14-15KB at 
boot time. BUT, it also loads the printer driver and its 
fonts when you print, so that 15KB is a bit illusory. 

Symptoms of memory shortage can be as obvious 
as a brick through the window (a nasty message from 
an application—just before it aborts), or as subtle as a 
program simply not working right. 

Gathering Data 

For all the data in the accompanying table, I used a 
little (7KB) desk accessory called FREERAM. That’s so 
the free RAM figures would be self-consistent. In the 
first section, everything is cumulative; that is, I added 
something to an empty machine, took a reading with 
FREERAM, and added the next item. 

Free (unused) RAM is shown in bytes and KBytes, 
and program sizes likewise. The KBytes figures are 
rounded up to the next integer. 

Let’s examine in detail what happens to available 
RAM as an ST user (your humble servant) sets up his 
system configuration. 

Building a Configuration 

The first entry in the table is the computed maxi¬ 
mum memory available on a Mega 2: 2MB, or 2097152 
bytes. We never see a number that high in practice, 
because GEM needs 157KB right off the bat (note this 
figure includes FREERAM.ACC). The hard drive handler 
is the next entry at just under 2KB. The rest of the first 
section shows the AUTO programs and desk acces¬ 
sories that I use most often. You can see how free 
RAM decreases as each item is added. 

The last item in my standard configuration is the 
Diablo Emulator and the Setup accessory that goes 
with it— a whopping 291KB. Whew! 

Page 28 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

This is my “normal” configuration, and I have a 
little over 1 million bytes left over for any applications I 
want to run. Now what? 

print. Dropping Hotwire out of the configuration 
released enough memory to get it done. Publisher ST 
gave no warning—just didn’t print right. 

As you can see from the second section of the 
table, Word Perfect, Phasar 4.0 | and OuickC/S have 
plenty of room to run. 

Serious Hog Time 

My problem child is Publisher ST. In general, all 
DTP packages are memory-hogs, so that it’s really not 
Publisher ST’s fault. 

As the last section of the table shows, I use a 
different configuration for publishing. The basic setup is 
Hotwire, U/S Hi (minus the accessory), and the 40- 
folder fix. I leave out everything else; CONTROL, 
calendar, etc. 

GDOS, set up for Publisher ST’s native mode, 
takes up only about 15KB. Publisher ST uses about 
336KB, with no document loaded. Last month’s article, 
which included three picture files, took another 87KB. 

Looks pretty good, eh? Still have more than a 
million bytes left. Well, yes and no. 

This configuration is sufficient to produce and print 
most of these columns. I still have the occasional 
failure, such as a recent two-page column. It had more 
picture files than usual, and one of the frames wouldn’t 

Memory Usage 

- Mega 2 ST 



Program Size 








Computed total RAM 










Hard drive handler 










CONTROL Accessory 















Hotwire 2.2 





CodeHead Ramdisk (253K) 





M-Cache (200 x 4) 





Calendar Accessory 





Diablo Emulator 

Total Used: 1002302 bytes, or 979 KB. 



” Applications 





Word Perfect 





Phasar 4.0 



256730 251 QuickClS 

Memory for Publishing 



Program Size 








Hotwire, UIS (auto), foldrIOO 





GDOS, Publisher ST 






Publisher ST loaded (no doc) 





Publisher ST w/ last article 





Uitrascript (no GDOS) 

A couple of years ago, a friend showed me a 
Christmas newsletter that he’d done, with little snow¬ 
flake images scattered here and there. I liked the idea 
and tried it myself. It didn’t work out; my two-page 
document just wouldn’t print properly on a Mega 2, but 
the original printed fine on a Mega 4. On the other 
hand, some four-page documents work fine. 

Uitrascript requires 353KB just to load. Again, that’s 
deceptive, because Uitrascript also needs LOTS of 
memory to process a postscript file. 

For postscript, I prefer to run Publisher ST, “print” 
the document to disk, then simply run Uitrascript 
without rebooting. Although GDOS, Hotwire, etc., are 
still loaded, that works most of the time. Unfortunately, 
sometimes it doesn’t work, and I must reboot and run 
Uitrascript all by itself. 

The moral? Keep a close eye on the memory 
you’re tying up with those nifty goodies, and be 
prepared to use different system configurations for the 
real memory hogs. 

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October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 29 


by John Barnes 

With two “national” user group shows and at least 
one regional event on the calendar for September and 
October, this looks like a good time to ask “Just what 
is an AtariFest?” 

The Junkyard Pussycat has watched a number of 
these events from both near and far. Walking around at 
ankle height, Pussycat style, sometimes reveals a 
different perspective. 

Is an AtariFest a computer show, a flea market, or 
a social outing? Are the Fests marketing exercises, 
media events, or educational forums? 

Fests as County Fairs 

AtariFests are really all of the above blended 
together in a way that suggests a county fair. The 
midway is well populated with merchants luring people 
out of the passing crowds to purchase their wares. 
Monitors displaying the latest tours de force beckon 
the user into lurid peep shows. Visitors to the game 
room get a spin that feels like a trip on a carnival ride. 
The user groups trolling for new members play the role 
of the local Lions club. The disk library tables, like 
church suppers, feed the masses cheaply. Like county 
fairs, the demonstration rooms provide serious users 
with a chance to evaluate the merits of the latest 
agricultural implements. The swap rooms feature 
homemade baked goods. The performances in the 
seminar and MIDI rooms take the place of the bull 
riding, tractor pulls, and country and Western shows. 

New computer systems, hard drives, and graphics 
boards are paraded before the public like carefully 
groomed 4-H steers at an auction. 

AtariFests are noisy and full of bright lights, in¬ 
digestion, and fun. 

Fests as Revival Meetings 

The county fair metaphor, however, misses the 
religious fervor that sometimes rears its head at Atari¬ 
Fests. 8-bitters, 16 bitters, and Spectre groupies all 
preach the one way to true salvation with the fervor of 
evangelists at a revival meeting. Those who have been 
born again stand up to reaffirm their faith. The conver¬ 
ted proclaim the joys of having seen the light. 

The techies converse in tongues, with their talk of 
RAMs, and ROMs, DAs, RCS’s, and other mysteries. 

The apostates, who proclaim the end of the world 
because of the greed of priests and bishops, are 
roundly jeered by the faithful. Soothsayers declaim 
their prophesies that “Piracy will be the end of us all” 
and the congregation joins in prayers to exorcise these 

AtariFests, like revival meetings, provide food for 
the soul (or at least the conscience). 

The Grass Roots 

The county fair and revival meeting comparisons 
suggest a distinctly homespun flavor. The first Atari¬ 
Fests were put on by people in user groups who 
simply felt a need to share with others of their own 
kind. The most successful shows appear to retain this 
grass roots orientation. Indeed, some participants who 
are used to grander affair ometimes experience a 
certain “culture shock” on encountering the home¬ 
brewed atmosphere of an AtariFest. 

As the fame of some events has spread, mer¬ 
chants, developers, and users from far and wide have 
scrambled to get on the band wagon. Some of the 
shows, like the WAACE event, have been forced to 
make more elaborate logistical arrangements, which 
has led to a more commercial (hence, more expensive) 

Grass roots participation remains important, how¬ 
ever, because the Atari marketplace is simply not 
lucrative enough to support large expenditures for 
marketing. Volunteers are needed to expand the edu¬ 
cational content of the shows with demonstrations, 
public domain software, and assistance to other users. 

Is It a Computer Show? 

As much as some people would like an AtariFest to 
resemble a formal computer show along the lines of a 
Mac World, or a Federal Office Systems Expo, there is 
no way to support these kinds of things from the Atari 
user base. Atari computers are simply not found in 
organizations that spend tens or hundreds of thou¬ 
sands of dollars a year on computer hardware and 

Page 30 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

software. There are no professionals who can justify 
travelling across the USA to be brought up to date on 
the latest in operating systems, applications software, 
hardware, or system management techniques for Atari 

The major show approach may be more successful 
in Europe, where this year’s Duesseldorf show is said 
to have attracted 50,000 or so visitors and a healthy 
contingent of U.S. developers. Of course, Duesseldorf 
is at most an overnight train ride from anywhere in 
western Europe, and 50,000 people represent just 8 
percent or so of the user base in this area. 

Many real computer expositions do not permit 
selling at the show, they exist simply to present 
information and to establish sales contacts to be 
followed up later. There are perhaps two or three Atari 
developers who could afford to operate in this way. 

Are Fests Effective Marketing? 

AtariFests are important to small developers 
because they get a chance to expose their products to 
a broader audience and to generate some excitement 
in the media and by word of mouth. For a “national” 
AtariFest it costs each vendor about 15 cents to 75 
cents to expose his wares to each attendee, depend¬ 
ing on the costs of travel, booth space, advertising, 
lodging, and shipping. 

A 1/4 page ad carried for half a year in Current 
Notes costs about 10 cents per subscriber, which is 
comparable to costs in other Atari media. Therefore, 
participation in one national AtariFest costs about the 
same as a concerted advertising campaign in the Atari 
magazines. This would seem to be worthwhile if the 
vendor’s presence at the Fest generates enough 
excitement to attract favorable attention. 

Organizations selling primarily to distributors may 
not find AtariFests to be as useful as trade shows when 
it comes to marketing. 

Fests as Media Happenings 

Once we recognize that the reports from each Fest 
are analyzed in minute detail we can begin to appre¬ 
ciate the extent to which these events are made for the 
media. Debuts of new products, live appearances of 
new but still unavailable hardware, and new personali¬ 
ties are all chronicled far and wide. The reportage 
tends to become rather stylized, with a laundry list of 
attending vendors being the dominant feature. Atten¬ 
tion to detail is necessary here to ward off accusations 
that one player or another has been slighted. Fest 
attendance is taken seriously as a barometer of market 

Some of the media personalities become players 
themselves. Publishers, editors, and columnists delight 
in hearing how their work has attracted the attention of 

the masses. Recognizable figures like GEnie Sysops, 
online magazine publishers, and print columnists find 
themselves surrounded by their fans on the show floor 
and at the parties. 

The post-event feelings of these media stars 
provide an important index of success. Of course, the 
media thrive on an audience, so the number of 
attendees is once again an important clue to success. 

Shopping Frenzy 

The multitude of tables at which vendors are 
pushing their wares is reminiscent of flea markets 
everywhere. We have seen ruthless competition and 
small scale price wars at past Fests. 

Festgoers fuel this tendency by using their success 
in bringing home bargains to gauge the quality of an 
event. Some visitors are very persistent in the way they 
wait, vulture-like, to pounce on product that is unloa¬ 
ded at a loss near the end of a show so that the 
vendor does not have to pack it up and carry it home. 

National developers and dealers also feed the 
shopping frenzy by measuring the success of their 
participation in terms of the quantity of product moved. 

If the earliest Fests had this aura, it was limited to 
finds in the swap rooms or from strictly local develo¬ 
pers. We now find mail order houses travelling from 
state to state trying to outdo one another in the 
discount department. This situation is bound to stabil¬ 
ize as “survival of the fittest” narrows the field. 
Regional Fests or swap meets seem to be able to 
generate good will by keeping the scope of their 
operations limited. 

The buying frenzy has a flip side: products bought 
in the heat of battle, without any real understanding of 
their quality or function, may prove useless once they 
are unpacked at home. Such “bargains” turn out to be 
something quite different. Memories in the Atari com¬ 
munity seem to be short, and the merchants seem to 
have few compunctions about selling something they 
know to be of less than quality. “What the user asks for 
is what the user gets” seems to dominate the mer¬ 
chandising philosophy. 

In the face of this, we can only counsel consumers 
to look before they leap. Magazine reviews, user group 
experience, and the track record of the vendor are all 
factors that have to be taken into account. 

Whether the flea market atmosphere represents a 
healthy market is questionable. It is, however, a fact 
that successful dealers report that a significant fraction 
of their annual profit comes from the Fests. 

New Product Hype 

Being crowded media events, AtariFests seem to 
call forth hyperbole to make individual products stand 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 31 

out from the crowd. Novelty is also an important 
attraction for visitors. 

“Introductory Specials” on products that are totally 
new to the marketplace may require that the user 
invest time and money in upgrades and fixes. Some 
Atari developers have the staying power to provide this 
kind of support, others do not. 

Products brought to market before their time risk 
tarnishing the reputation of developers. Some have 
learned this lesson, and they avoid the notoriety that 
attends the highly visible release of a crippled product. 
They also forgo possible favorable reactions. There are 
risks on both sides of this line. 

Fests are a good way for a person to see for 
himself what is really happening with new products. 

The Educational Side 

Some of the best action at AtariFests takes place 
off the display floor, in the demonstration rooms. The 
pace is slower here and there is more time to delve 
into a subject. Users who need help should be able to 
find it from someone who has experience in a particu¬ 
lar area. Given the variety of products and problems 
that are out there it is, however, unreasonable to 
expect detailed help on arcane matters. 

Vendors often spend some time in the demonst¬ 
ration rooms because the sales floor, with its con¬ 
stantly changing audience and distractions from nearby 
exhibits, is too unstructured a setting for detailed 

Demonstration rooms are a benefit to Festgoers, 
as they offer a respite for the wallet and aching feet, 
as well as a chance to soak up some new knowledge. 

The Social Side 

AtariFests should also be fun. They bring together 
interesting people who share common likes and dis¬ 
likes. Many have absorbing tales to tell. In the times 
when the show floor is still, these people may let their 
hair down and tell a few war stories. 

The Fest is also a good time to renew acquaint¬ 
ances from one’s own and other user groups. There is 
no particular rush to get to bed for the next day’s work 
or school, as there is with the monthly group meeting. 

Online personalities and authors become flesh and 
blood at a Fest. Sometimes they are what one might 
expect and at other times the real person can be 
something of a surprise from the way you had pictured 


The Pussycat, therefore, sees AtariFests as much 
more than computer expos or shopping expeditions. 

Fest visitors who take some time to look behind 
the scenes and beneath the surface will likely find a 
rather complex, interesting, and enjoyable world. 

Where are the Applications? 

J. Andrzej Wrotniak used his column in the July/ 
August 1990 Current Notes to explore (elegantly) a 
phenomenon that has often bothered the Pussycat as 
he scanned the MacConnection and MacWarehouse 
ads in the glossy rags characteristic of the Macintosh 
press: Why do those people have such a rich selection 
of applications while ST users have such slim pickings? 

The ST Toolbox columnist was being much too 
modest when he failed to mention his own experiences 
as an ST programmer. Andrzej’s E/ Cat is one of the 
most sophisticated mathematics programs available for 
any machine. He has also written an extremely power¬ 
ful program for exploring astronomical phenomena. 
These programs did not appear out of the blue. They 
were natural byproducts of projects that he was work¬ 
ing on as a professional programmer for a large firm, 
working under government contract. Et Cat evolved out 
of an effort to use Atari ST’s as workstations for 
displaying telemetry data from satellites. 

In short, he was using the machine to solve 
problems in the real, working world. 

There were other early instances of ST usage in 
laboratories and schools, but the depth of support 
available for these efforts was soon surpassed by the 
efforts of the giants like Apple, Xerox, Microsoft, et al 
and the ST’s are now relegated to the curiosity shelf. Is 
there a lesson there? The Pussycat thinks there is. 

We should not expect to see practical applications 
for ST’s as long as the machines are invisible in the 
workplace and the classroom and as long as we lack 
the tools to program them effectively. 

The Phantom Review 

The Pussycat once shared Andrzej’s view that 
reviews for poor products served no useful purpose 
except to antagonize or hurt the poor developer who 
had failed in his mission. The Pussycat now accepts 
the public’s need to be informed about these products 
as well as about the good ones. There are some 
segments of the Atari press in which the reviewers fail 
to recognize shortcomings, and the reviews published 
there mislead the consumer. Once a developer pushes 
a product out the door, that product should be able to 
withstand the harsh light of reality. Enough said. 

Electronic Fare Wars 

Two of the major online services dealing with the 
Atari community have recently announced changes to 

Page 32 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

their pricing. Reductions in standard rates are coupled 
with tantalizing offers that dangle significant cost 
reductions before the eyes of the user who signs on 
for added packages of services. 

GEnie, which has the most active Atari member¬ 
ship, is reducing its connect charge for 2400 baud 
service from $10 to $6 per hour. It is also offering a 
package called “Star*services” at a fixed rate of $4.95 
per month. 

Delphi, which has been doing a lot of advertising in 
Current Notes and ST Informer recently, has reduced 
its basic connect time charge to "Charter Members” 
via the Tymnet service to $5.40 per hour for both 1200 
and 2400 baud. People who sign up or reopen their 
accounts after 1 September now have to pay $6 per 
hour. There is also a $5.95 monthly minimum, which 
provides one hour of service. 

Delphi also offers a program called “20/20 Advan¬ 
tage” that provides up to 20 hours per month of 
connect time for a fixed monthly fee of $20 with 
subsequent hours billed at $1.20 per hour. This may be 
attractive to those who use the service a lot. 

The forces that are driving these apparent bargains 
are not clear, but competition from the Prodigy service 
run by Sears and IBM may be one factor. The fee for 
this is a flat $9.95 per month, but the service is 
currently not as well oriented toward computer users 
as are GEnie and Delphi. 

It is also possible that the “bargains” are too good 
to be true. GEnie’s Star*services does not appear to 
cover expensive services like the ST Roundtable Bulle¬ 
tin boards, file areas, or roundtable conferences. It is, 
however, supposed to cover electronic mail, which 
should make this a more useful facet of the service. 
Some of the reference services may also prove to be 
more useful at the lower rates. Placing administrative 
services under the Star plan should make them more 
useful. It also appears that Star*services will be the 
basic mode of using GEnie after 1 October, so that 
there will effectively be a minimum charge of $4.95 per 
month. This should not have a serious impact on any 
reasonably regular user of the service. 

Inactive accounts must be a problem for both 
services and the monthly minimum charges should 
smoke these out. 

Delphi’s 20/20 Advantage plan may offer some 
incentive toward increased usage, but their offerings 
are not as richly rewarding to ST users as are GEnie’s. 
Downloads are harder to find and there are fewer 
offerings. Delphi’s "forums,” resemble the message 
threads on local BBS’s more than they resemble 
GEnie’s Bulletin Boards. This means that it is harder to 
dig out old data on a topic, and the quality of the 
discourse is lower because the message threads tend 

to get off the track quickly. The traffic is also pretty 

The membership of the Atari ST Sig on Delphi is 
pretty small, which leads to a certain repetitive quality 
in the message postings. Pseudonyms (or “handles”) 
are much more common on Delphi than on GEnie, and 
this lends a somewhat surreal quality to the informa¬ 

Delphi runs on VAX mainframes, which makes 
online help much more meaningful. Keyboard input is 
buffered, which helps keep things moving. General 
Videotex Corp, the owners of Delphi, sell a nice 
paperback guide to the services and techniques for 
accessing them. 

It would unfair to pass judgement on either service 
until the new rate and service structures have been 
thoroughly tested. This little note is just the Pussycat’s 
way of alerting his friends that something is happening. 




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(X tober1990 

Current Notes 

Page 33 

Idling, Part 2 

by Dave Small 

C01990A11rights reserved. 

[Last month, Dave started explain¬ 
ing the various phases of creating 
something. He discussed the 
Bump into Doors Stage, The Blind¬ 
ing Inspiration Stage, The Rush 
Stage, the Babbling Stage, and, 
The Oh, Geeze, This is Going to Be 
a Lot of Work Stage. At the end of 
this last stage, you finally have a 
product. Now, it’s time to let other 
people see what you’ve created. 
The story continues. . . -JW] 

Showing It Off 

It happens many different places. 
At a friends house; at a user group 
meeting; at a show. You pop in the 
floppy, double click on the icon, and 
run your baby. This is a very emotional 
moment for the creator, and it always 
tickles me when I see someone trying 
to act as though it doesn’t matter to 
him what others say about his baby. 

(If it truly doesn’t matter to him, 
the program is probably not worth buy¬ 
ing. A programmer is supposed to inter¬ 
face human beings to computers, right? 
If you get someone who cares nothing 
for humans, he is not a programmer; 
there’s not a word in the language yet 
for what he is.) 

Be prepared for many people not to 
understand it (“Mac emulation? Who 
would want to run Mac software to 
begin with?”). Also be prepared for 
people who will only understand frag¬ 
ments of the concept. (“Speeds up 
disks, huh? What’s a ‘disk’ anyway?”) 
Finally, be prepared for those who will 
understand, but won’t give you any 
acknowledgement for solving the rid¬ 
dle, for making your hack available to 
them. (“Oh, all you did was write some 
device drivers for the Mac.”) 

There are many jaded people in 
computers who think any latest bril¬ 
liant innovation is worthless; most of 
the people who write computer col¬ 
umns end up this way, usually after 
getting burned a few too many times. 
Be prepared for a few reviews saying 
your idea is trash. 

(Small’s Law For Surviving 
Reviews: Any reviewer who doesn’t 
acknowledge that there is some good 
and some bad in any product is not 
worth listening to. Thus, anyone who 
judges an entire program-creation “A 
piece of ” is not worth listening to; 
nothing is entirely bad. Similarly, 
someone who raves about a program 
being “insanely great” is worthy of not 
being read. Also, remember, a music 
critic is someone who never learned 
how to play a guitar. If this reviewer is 
so hot, how come he’s not writing 

But ultimately, the public has to 
understand what you’ve done if you 
want anything to come from it. 

“If you cannot”in the long run- 
-tell everyone what you have been 
doing, your doing has been worthless.” 


(Schrodinger ranks as one of the 
very best ever in physics.) 

And that’s one reason I do articles. 
What’s the point of doing something if 
no one ever finds out about it? 

Selling It 

I don’t even pretend anymore that 
I write this stuff to sell, in a near¬ 
mercenary manner. Truth is, I write and 
create both articles and programs for 
the rush of creation, that’s all. It’s really 
pretty entirely selfish.. . except that I 
hesitate to call anyone who hangs in 
there through the teeth-grinding stage 

I happen to be married to someone 
who’s pretty good at selling (Sandy), 
and got lucky. We happened to know 
someone who has customer service at 
state of the art (Barb),and a program¬ 
mer who has as much energy for all- 
nighters as I did at 22 (Doug). Add to 
that a few people who freelance for us, 
and you've got Gadgets. 

So all those little ideas I’ve had 
(and now, that others contribute, too) 
add up. Some ideas end up as articles 
for magazines; for unknown reasons, I 
seem to be able to get the ideas of the 
programs across in an article’s restricted 
size, which magazine editors like. 

I’m quite aware that other pro¬ 
grammers aren’t so lucky; they sell their 
goodies to programming shops for a 
(tiny) percentage, or give them away as 
shareware, again for a tiny return. 
Many come under the heading of 
“starving artists.” But 1 know many 
who do their programmingfor the love 
of it, and I can relate to that. 

I have to tell you, it took me 
not-very-long to get the Mac emulator 
to pop up the “SadMac” icon, which is 
a startup screen that pops up when a 
Mac’s powerup diagnostics find out the 
Mac is sick. That hooked me. I wanted 
more. And 1 probably would done 
the Mac emulator regardless. 

One of the reasons I retain hope 
for the Atari ST is that it’s a fine 
machine to crvateX hings on. The learn¬ 
ing curve for it isn’t too bad, compared 
to some, and it can be downright sim¬ 
ple to program if you need it to be. 
And there are always going to be 
people writing programs, pushing the 
envelope, for the love of it. 

Selling Out 

I don’t say this with any scorn at 
all meant or felt. Some people can’t 
make enough to live on programming 

Page 34 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

and creating, and regrettably, there’s no 
public subsidy for them. Thus, they 
have to peddle their creativity to 
someone else, programmingfor a living. 
They do exciting things like, oh, spel¬ 
ling checkers for a product that is later 
killed by company management in a 
political dispute ... ideas for programs 
that are mangled by “marketing,” the 
absolute bane of programmers any¬ 
where (“Can’t you make it look, well, 
THIS way?” Marketing is where people 
who can’t program work). 

I’ve done this, so I know how 
lucky I am at the moment with 
Gadgets (and it gives me definite moti¬ 
vation to keep it going!). I can recall 
the utter frustration of having some 
good ideas, but just no time or energy 
to create them, at the end of a day of 
The Office. It is so hard to summon up 
the energy after a day of fending off 
marketing dweebs that have “Some 
Concerns” with your program and who 
“Want Weekly Meetings For Input.” 

I can’t say freelancing or having 
your own company has a good repu¬ 
tation in the world. College tends to 
point you straight towards working at 
a company, with a perception that it’s 
the Right Thing to do. I thought so--I 
went to CDCafter college.Incredibly,! 
was dumb enough to go to Silicon 
Valley; yes, I lived in San Jose, when 
Sandy was moving to Austin, Texas 
after college. I had a definite priority 
screwup there, which I corrected just 
four months later; 1 moved. 

Some people do start this way, get 
tired of being told that It’s The Profes¬ 
sional Thing To Do, and start creating 
on the side. It gets them by. 1 started 
this way; my first article for Creative 
Computing was written on a T.I. mini¬ 
computer, because I needed a back¬ 
space key so badly (my typing is 
awful), and printed out on a T.I. printer 
on a weekend. It all sorta started there. 

Again, I happened to get lucky. 
Not everyone does. But luck is “where 
preparation meets fortune”; you have to 
at least give luck a chance to happen, 
and most people don’t. 

In the meantime, I see really novel, 
great things in the public domain/share¬ 
ware collections (Current Notes has a 
really good collection of these, running 
into the hundreds of disks!).The only 
difference between some of those pros 
and myself is I write ... 

Burning Out 

A far more subtle danger is burning 
out on it all. I’ve seen it happen again 
and again. It’s happened to me several 
times, and the recovery was slow and 
painful; don’t tell anyone, but I’m just 
comingout of that phase right now. 

I mean, imagine sitting in an SR- 
71 Blackbird, just idling. All this ... 
POWER ... is around you. Two big 
turbofan engines just waiting, idling 
around you, all under your control. 
There’s just nothing better than sliding 
the twin throttles forward through the 
afterburner detents and the exhausts 
form standing-wave diamonds in the 
air and you’re feeling yourself 
SHOVED back into the seat as you 
accelerate, pull back on the stick, go 
through twenty thousand feet, thirty 
thousand feet, forty thousand feet ... 
what a Rush!... levellingout at seventy 
thousand, Mach 3. 


There’s only so much of this 
adrenaline you can take; only so many 
times you can push that hard Young 
people can take it more often than 
older people; that’s why young people 
fly jets at the edge of the envelope, 
and drive there as well. 

When 1 was younger, 1 put a Cor¬ 
vette engine (327, 365 HP"the car- 
burated version of the fuel-injected 
engine) into a light chassis Chevy. And 
I accelerated a lot. By coincidence, 
there was sometimes another car next 
to me accelerating, too, but officer, we 
weren’t RACING! 

Having done my share of driving in 
this manner, I’m now more of a quiet 
driver who just wants to get there. 1 
don’t often pull into the left lane, 
downshift to third, and floor it, hearing 
the scream of the 427 high (11:1 Com¬ 
pression engine through the headers, 
the pull of acceleration, these days. 

I’ve done it enough times already. 
In a way, it’s “growing up.” In a way, 
its a tragedy. As Heinlein put it, “Its 
amazing how much growing up resem¬ 
bles being too tired.” 

Computers can burn you out. 
Why? Above all else, I believe it’s 
because debugging is such a negative 
thing for people. You are looking for 
YOUR mistakes; if you want to be a 
“good” programmer, you must train 
yourself to focus your attention on 
your goofs. (Not your good stuff.) Com¬ 
puters, remember, don’t say ANY¬ 
THING when your program works; for 
instance, all a “C” compilergives you if 
you don’t screw up is a new command¬ 
line prompt. No “good job.” No 

Any psychologist can tell you 
what happens to people who only look 
at the grim side of life. I mean, imagine 
working for a boss who only says any¬ 
thing when you goof, if you want it 
put in human terms. 

This is fundamentally wrong for 
people, and I think it burns out a fair 
number of programmers, who only 
know they’re no longer happy to sit, 
scratching their heads, wondering what 
they did wrong THIS time. 

Burnout. It’s painful to want to 
create and have a depression that pre¬ 
vents it; it’s hard to feel anger towards 
the computer, and have that block new 

The solution is to stop, rest, wait, 
hope and pray the old creative itch 
comes back to you. Time heals all. Like 
anything else, if you keep pushing at it, 
it’ll stay away; you have to wait for IT 
to come to YOU. 

On a true rocket ride like, say, 
Spectre has been, fast and furious, it 
can become completely exhausting. So 
many things to do, the phone ringing 
and interrupting, other people to deal 
with; it becomes utterly draining. The 
only option at this point is a hole in the 
floor with a cover you can lock. (I 
make do with the bathroom door.) 

The Spectre GCR disk reader 
almost finished me off. I’m here to tell 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 35 

ya, people, it was completely awful. 
Oh, it’s easy to use—just stick that 
Mac disk in there and it works, easy, 
huh?"but implementing it was sheer 

1 ran into every bug 1 had ever 
imagined, and many new ones. Many 
“impossible” things happened. You 
haven’t LIVED until you discover a 
disk drive CAN go to track minus one, 
and find no readable data, and that’s 
Impossible because Everyone Knows 
that there’s a head-stop to prevent the 
drive from getting below track zero. 

Wrongo. That sentence cost me a 
week to find. The disk formatter was 
pure hell. I’ll bet you didn’t know how 
much disk RPM wobbles, but it’s a lot. 
YOU try and write a formatter that 
compensates for it. It has to last 
exactly one track long to within 32 
millionths of a second; too long, and 
you overwrite your data at the start of 
the track; too short, and you leave 
OLD data on the track, to come back 
and haunt you terribly.(“What?I have 
TWO sector 10’s? THAT’S IMPOS¬ 

Fortunately, Doug arrived at 
Gadgets about this time, and through 
sheer number of hours found some very 
subtle bugs in the code and in the 
formatter, and fixed them long after 1 
literally could not stand to look at it 
anymore. It got that bad for me. And it 
took a long time for my programming 
sense to come back after pushing 
things thaj hard; I’ve tried to make sure 
Doug gets credit for all the work he’s 
done on the newer Spectre versions. It 
surely hasn’t been all Dave. 

I don’t think I ever want to work 
quite that hard again. That whole 
spring and summer are a blur to me. 

I’ve discovered that channeling 
your creativity towards ANYTHING 
ELSE is helpful towards making it 
come back for computers. For instance, 

I write-and sometimes write about 
stuff that leaves people shaking their 
heads. I push the creative part pretty 
hard. Playing a guitar, or a keyboard, or 
a Hotz Box does it for me as well. 
(Wait until I tell you about the Hotz 

Box! Whew! At LAST, some genius 
did object oriented music programming! 
HyperCards Music is not a bad ana¬ 

It’s honestly as though there were 
some deep creative instinct inside that 
is looking for a way out, like a volcano 
trying to happen. If the “Computer” 
way out is blocked, it finds another 
way. For instance, I can find myself 
often playing along a nice counterpoint 
to the melody on the radio, which until 
I got a Hotz box 1 was never fast 
enough to express musically except 
through a whistle. 

And finally, when all else fails, you 
/ 77 /zv/back off and ease up. “Cool the 
engines down,” as the Boston song 
puts it. And you must not let people 
hassle you into getting going until you 
are ready, unless you’re content to 
create some really bad work, without 
the necessary “pre-charge” time of 
bumping-into-walls to make it really, 
really good. 

I’ve discovered that channel¬ 
ing your creativity towards 
ANYTHING ELSE is helpful 
towards making it come back 
for computers. 

Needless to say, this can be hard 
on the people you work with. They’d 
like to see you creating 9-5 each day, 
“normally.” It just doesn’t work that 
way, though. 

As 1 sit here writing this article, 
great things are happening. The Spectre 
Burnout is fading off; the creativity is 
opening back up. A new thing, some¬ 
thing I’ve wanted for at least ten years, 
is coming into existence; I’m getting 
lots of visualizing flashes for how I 
want a computer to work-new ways 
of doing things on a computer I’ve 
never seen before. I’ve alluded to it in 
previous articles, but I can’t even name 
it now. Those around me like me 
enough to insist that this one needs to 
be patented, and I can’t patent it if I’ve 
blabbed about it. 

But to me, it makes Spectre look 
like a tinker toy in terms of ultimate 
impact. I honestly think it’ll change the 
computer world, become a “given” part 
that ANY computer will have to have 
very quickly. (I realize this is not very 

The ideas are all there; I’ve had the 
creative Rush of searching so hard for 
how I want it to look-now, folks, the 
teeth grinding part begins. Ultimately, 
it’s just me and a computer, in a con¬ 
test of wills, with me trying to create 
something good enough to send out 
into the world, a wave to move com¬ 
puters everywhere. 

You say, look, that’s aiming pretty 
high. I say, if you don’t miss high 
sometimes, you aren’t trying hard 
enough. And if you don’t aim high, 
you’ll never HIT high (rememberabout 
giving luck a chance to happen?) 


I'd like to thank the many kind 
people who took the time (time is the 
ultimate commodity) to send notes, 
write letters, and whatnot on July’s 
article, comparing Atari’s performance 
to other computer companies. I really 
never have time anymore to answer the 
mail I get; I suppose it’s time to hire 
someone to organize that process 
(along with many others I’ve lost time 
for as well). 

There’s so much I haven’t talked 
about, but this article is too long 
already. The 68030 board story; whew, 
you won’t believe it. I still can’t. (It’s 
going okay, if you're wondering). 
MegaTalk. My newest project, that 
past issues of Current Notes will give 
you the name of if you’re curious. The 
hidden dedication page to Spectre 3.0- 
-yes, Spectre 3.0 is alive and ticking. 
The Atari TT. 

All those article ideas and/or pro¬ 
grams arc sitting within me, looking for 

1 guess it's time to go bump into 
some walls, huh? 

See you next time! 

Page 36 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

The Ultimate Desktop 

NeoDesk File Uiem Sort Options 


» x2| D:\DP\USCl^ 

n 1652901 butes 

3 selected iti 





IJJitllllain Storage 


main Storage 

NeoDesk CLI 

(Enter "HELP command name" or 

for more help uii th a command 
1> moue *.acc a:\ 

Batch File 

NeoDesk ™ 3 is a complete replacement 
of the boring, built-in desktop that comes 
with the Atari ST. Its advanced, yet intui¬ 
tive, graphical interface will make your 
computer both easier to use and much 
more powerful. 

It is the easiest and most affordable way 
to realize your Atari’s true potential. Many 
have called it “the ultimate upgrade for the 
Atari ST”. 

NeoDesk introduced the idea of placing 
your commonly used programs directly on 
the desktop while pioneering the concept of 
assigning different custom icons for indivi¬ 
dual files and folders. 

Now NeoDesk 3 takes you a step further, 
introducing several new and original con¬ 
cepts which will make you want to scream 
“I want my NeoDesk 3!” 

In addition to keeping commonly used 
files and programs on the desktop, you can 
now also keep folders on the desktop. And 
not to limit your creativity, with NeoDesk 
t you can even write Desktop Notes ™ right 
on t he desktop itself. 

Only NeoDesk 3 allows you to look at 
t wo different parts of the same window, 
t hjinks to its amazing Split Window fea- 
t m e Of course, each window can be set to 
display text or icons, independently of any 
■ >t her window. Each window can even have 
ilit own sorting and text options. 

NeoDesk is also smart, using all of its 
available memory for file copying so that as 
many files and folders that will fit into 
memory are read in at once. No more use¬ 
less disk swaps, even hard drives benefit 
from its speed and efficiency. 

Add some of the other NeoDesk 3 fea¬ 
tures, such as a brand new Icon Editor, key¬ 
board equivalents, desktop picture, file 
templates, Active Icons , and Hot Keys (exe¬ 
cute your favorite program with a single 
key), then you have more than enough rea¬ 
sons to buy NeoDesk. But for those of you 
who need a little more, read on. 

NeoDesk 3 now offers a unique File Clip¬ 
board ™ which lets you temporarily hold 
files and folders in memory while you are 
busy doing other things. In a way, you can 
think of it as an automatically expanding 
and shrinking ramdisk. 

You now also have the power of Macros , 
with which you can automate any series of 
desktop operations like opening windows, 
copying files, running programs, etc. These 
can also have Hot Keys assigned to them. 

NeoDesk 3 even has special support for 
5 1/4" floppy drives and formats all disks 
with the correct information so they work 
on most MS-DOS computers. 

From low resolution to ultra high resolu¬ 
tion, NeoDesk 3 supports up to 10 different 
resolutions in each system. 

Of course, these features would not be 
useful unless they were easy to use. Rest 
assured, NeoDesk 3 has been designed to 
be “upwardly compatible”. Use NeoDesk 
just like you used the original desktop, no 
need to forget all that you have learned. 

It doesn’t stop there. The included Re¬ 
coverable Trashcan lets you recover files de¬ 
leted with it at any time in the future. It 
was created using the NeoDesk Developer's 
Kit , which opens a whole new world of pos¬ 
sibilities. There’s also the NeoDesk CLI 
(both available separately), a complete win¬ 
dow based command line interpreter which 
allows you to create pop-up menus, auto¬ 
mate file operations, and much more. 

No matter who you are, NeoDesk 3 has 
something for you. From helpful search ca¬ 
pabilities to a powerful file reorder func¬ 
tion. Thanks to its ability to remove itself 
from memory, it only needs about 35K of 
memory. Of course, there’s lots more, 
which you can discover by ordering today! 

NeoDesk 3 and the NeoDesk CLI are 
available from your local dealer, or order 
toll free by calling (800) 284-GRIB and get 
FREE 2nd Day Air (US only). Call or write 
for upgrade and other information. 


P.O. Box 350 • Hadley, MA 01035 

Tel: (413) 584-7887 • Fax: (413) 584-2565 

NeoDesk, Desktop Notes, and File Clipboard are trademarks of Gribnif Software. 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

Red Storm Rising 

Part II 

by Don Elmore 

I closed the first half of this 
review (July/August CN) by promis¬ 
ing more details on stalking and 
killing the Enemy. Well, after 
rereading the previous article, I can 
see that in an attempt to give the 
reader an in-depth feel for the 
incredible realism of the game, I 
used up some three pages and 
never really got much 
beyond the beginning 
or training actions. 

Continuing in that vein 
would make this review 
longer than the 96 
page instruction 
manual! If you buy the 
game, you will have 
direct access to all of 
the nitty-gritty details, 
and if you don’t, you’ll 
have little interest in 
reading them here. So, 

I shall try and limit this 
coverage to the inter¬ 
esting play variables 

rather than how to 

acquire and compare 

acoustic signatures of vessels in 
order to identify your target. 

The two remaining levels of 

scenarios are a group of nine single 
and multiple enemy targets, and the 
“Red Storm Rising” (WW III) cam¬ 
paign. In the nine intermediate level 
challenges, you deal with battle 
situations ranging from a “one- 
on-one” duel with a Russian 
nuclear attack submarine to fighting 
a “Wolfpack” of Russian subs, to 
stalking and attacking a “boomer,” 
a Russian ballistic missile sub¬ 
marine escorted by one (or more) 
attack subs. Then, as you gain 

experience and feel a bit more 
adventuresome, you can challenge 
multiple enemy targets; a task force 
of Russian surface ships...or, the 

submariner’s dream, a Russian air¬ 
craft carrier task force. The ultimate 
is the “Red Storm Rising Cam¬ 
paign.” That consists of many dif¬ 
ferent missions and can last hours. 
And the good news is that each 
time you select the “Red Storm 
Rising” option, you face new and 
different targets in the simulation. 

We’re talking virtually weeks and/or 
months of activity without repetition 
of scenarios. The WW III campaign 
starts off with an animated 
sequence describing the deterio¬ 
ration in global politics and very 
nicely sets the scene for your 

Unfortunately, there are no sig¬ 
nificant shortcuts or hints for the 
intermediate and advanced level of 
play. You will quickly learn that the 
enemy torpedoes and missiles have 
very functional warheads (remem¬ 
ber, in the beginning and training 
modes, they don’t). Superiority 
(read survival!) depends on who 
has the better sensors and who 
knows more about using them. 
Each “encounter” generally con¬ 
sists of three phases. First, you 

attempt to locate and identify the 
enemy, then you attack him and 
then you escape. Sounds simple 
doesn’t it? Well, the first phase, in 
almost every case, is the deciding 
phase. If you can “acquire” the 
enemy vessel without being 
“acquired” in turn, then you have a 
fair shot (pardon the pun) at suc¬ 
cessfully attacking him and 
then escaping. 

Believe me, there is 
nothing more demoralizing 
than having your attempts 
at identifying your target 
interrupted by your own 
sonar crew announcing the 
sound of enemy torpedo 
tubes being fired, and a 
torpedo homing in on you. 
That’s when you quickly 
forget about identifying 
anything and you start 
evasive maneuvers im¬ 
mediately....because you 
can be sure that the enemy 
torpedoes are every bit as 
smart as yours, and if you can 
sprinkle enough chaff, drop tacti¬ 
cally effective noisemakers and 
quickly create a protecting 
“knuckle,” you just might get away 
(and fight another day). So, stealth 
and a thorough knowledge of your 
six types of sensors will give you 
the necessary edge. 

The manual has an entire sec¬ 
tion dedicated to the geopolitical 
machinations of the WW III cam¬ 
paign. Any type of land war in 
Europe Gust as in the cases of WW 
I and WW II) would depend heavily 
on reinforcements from America. 
So, the Northern Atlantic sea lanes 
take on great strategic (as well as 
tactical) importance. Russian naval 
forces targeted on the Atlantic con¬ 
voy routes must pass through the 

The Role of the SSN: In wartime, the modern nuclear attack 
submarine (SSN) is unique in its ability to perform almost any 
naval mission effectively. Only an attack submari ne can ambush 
enemy surface strike groups, seek out ballistic missile subs in 
their well-defended bastions, deliver missile strikes from just 
off the enemy coast, and take on hostile attack subs on their 
own terms. As conventional war intensifies, SSNs are called 
upon to complete these missions and many more, all vital to the 
war effort. As an SSN captain in World War III, your perform¬ 
ance could spell the difference between victory and defeat for 
the hard-pressed NATO forces. 

Page 38 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 



Helicopter with 
■ Dipping Sonar 

Enemy Surface Ship 

US Sub 

Towed Array 
Ocean Bottom 

Enemy £ ne ™y 0 L 
Diesel Sub Nuclear Sub 



Towed Array 

Listening Equipment: Submarines have complex passive arrays mounted across largi 
areas of their hull. In addition, most nuclear submarines can 'stream* a towed array oi 
hydrophones behind them. Specialized ASW surface warships have the equivalent in a VOS 
(varible depth sonar) that they trail in the ocean. Helicopters hover and lower active or 
passive sonars. 

Best & Worst Listening: Enemy diesel/electric subs can be the quietest warships m the 
world when using their electric engines. Nuclear subs are somewhat louder because then 
power plant (the reactor) must run constantly. Surface ships are loudest of all. Enemy 
helicopters that hover and dip a sonar are virtually impossible to hear. They can be spotted 
only by your radar, il they 'dip an active sonar, or from the sonobuoys they drop 

Norwegian Sea Theater and transit 
the GIUK gap (Greenland-lceland- 
United Kingdom). This gap must be 
kept clear of any and all Soviet 
warships. Because of the presence 
of both American and Russian naval 
activity in the area, the gap quickly 
takes on the appearance of a 
gigantic fishbowl. 

I know that I promised not to 
burden you with technical details, 
but...there are a couple of points 
that should be covered. One is the 
opening scene of the “Red Storm 
Rising” campaign. It is a colorful 
map of the Norwegian Sea Theater, 
and it is a busy map, indeed. From 
France at the bottom, to Greenland 
and the Iceland ice pack at the top, 
all land masses and waters are 

* der surveillance by a continuous 
_ jving stream of “sensors.” From 
sea bottom to space; you got some 
kind of coverage. SOSUS seabed 
sensors detect enemy ships and 
subs passing over a SOSUS line. 
Surface vessels have a variety of 
sensors. NATO P-3C “Orion” spot¬ 
ting aircraft locates enemy forces 
that it flies over. The USSR Tu-142 
“Bears” do the same for the Soviet 
forces. And, both NATO and the 
USSR military have recon satellites 
orbiting the area constantly. Like I 
said, a very busy screen. 

The “photo” shows that I forgot 
one of the sensors. You also have 
helicopters with dipping sonars! The 
VDS being dragged by the enemy 

surface ship is a Variable Dipping 
Sonar that ships drop off their stern. 
The point is, approximately 100% of 
tactical wartime activity is trying to 
find and positively identify the 
“enemy.” So, the quieter you can 
become (sound absorbent hull sur¬ 
faces, less cavitation from better 
designed propellers, etc.) the better 
your chances of avoiding detection 
by the enemy while you are locat¬ 
ing him (or them). 

Well, basically speaking, there 
is not much that I can add to this 
end of the review, except to say 
that I feel as strongly about Red 
Storm Rising as I did when I began 
the review. The details are incred¬ 
ible, the play never boring, the 
variety endless....and on and on 
and on. Still recommend buying it, 
unless you have absolutely no 
desire to command a submarine. 

Debonair Software 

We do few things. But we do them right. 

Desk File List Hap Plot Find Options Help 

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Star Base 

Interested in astronomy? 
This may be a program you 
have been waiting for. More 
than 9000 brightest stars. 
Planets, Sun and Moon. 
Various projections, refer¬ 
ence frames and magnifi¬ 
cations. Sort, select, find, 

El Cal 1.3 

How to improve a classic. 
From senior high to Fermi- 
lab, people are using it — 
and coming back with new 
suggestions. And we listen. 
This new version adds sta¬ 
tistical weights and errors, 
operations on data col¬ 
umns, random numbers, 

See us at theAtariFest!!! 

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n 45M f 







| | I l|Clc«r|[ H.lp | || HEHuT 



Both programs run on any ST or Mega, color or monochrome (Star Data requires 1 MByte). 
MoniTerm and TOS 1.6 OK. Prices include one update. 

To order, send a check or money order for $44 (El Cal), $43 (Star Base) or $81 (both) to 

Debonair Software, P.O.Box 521166, SLC, UT 84152-1166 

Outside continental U.S. and Canada add $5 for shipping. Utah residents add sales tax. 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 39 

Toadfile 44. 

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I S I T U 





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Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

The New Look in CLI’s 

Plain Vanilla with Chocolate Sauce 

by John Barnes 

Mouse, Be Gone? 

Command Line Interpreters 
(CLI’s) are programs that require 
you to tell your machine what to do 
by typing out words instead of 
clicking with the mouse. This is a 
real “plain vanilla” way of interact¬ 
ing with your machine. 

To some people, CLI’s are a 
throwback to the days when decks 
of punched cards steered jobs 
through mainframe computers in 
batch operations. CLI’s are still the 
dominant scheme for interacting 
with many, if not most, computers. 
UNIX, DEC’S DCL (Digital Com¬ 
mand Language), and MS-DOS are 
examples of operating systems that 
use CLI’s for their user interface. 
CP/M and DCL for DEC’S RT-11 
operating system are examples of 
CLI’s that work in very limited 
memory. Good old AtariDOS 2.0 for 
the 8-bit machines was a com¬ 
mand line interpreter, if a somewhat 
primitive one. SpartaDOS is also a 
CLI. Those available for the ST are 
much more powerful, reflecting the 
greater capabilities of the 

This review will compare three 
recent entries in this arena: TUi 
from Silicon Mountain Software, 
.ACCess from Rock Digital, and 
Neodesk CL/ from Gribnif. Unlike 
earlier, now unsupported, products 
like DOS She// from Michtron and 
DO-/T! from QMI, the new gener¬ 
ation of shells runs within a resiz¬ 
able GEM window. This gives them 
a sportier feel, and it makes them 
easier to get to when they are 
needed. All can be used either as 
desk accessories or as stand-alone 
programs run from the desktop. 

The freeware Gu/am shell pro¬ 
gram, which does not use a GEM 
window, is included as a standard 
for comparing performance and 

While the ST has several reli¬ 
able CLI’s, the Macintosh seems to 
lack them, a fault that is deeply 
regretted by some Macophiles. MS 
DOS users, on the other hand, are 
often frustrated by the need to type 
out obscure strings of file names 
and commands. Atari folks have the 
best of all possible worlds: freedom 
of choice. 

Unfortunately, only a few pro¬ 
grams for the ST make full use of 
this flexibility. A notable example is 
Tempos, the text editor of choice 
for many programmers, which is 
equally comfortable being invoked 
from a command line or the GEM 

The true ST missionary turns his 
nose up at CLI’s because they 
avoid the use of mice, dialog 
boxes, drop down menus, and the 
other trappings of GEM. {Ed: The 
first time we’ve ever been ca/ied a 
missionary. -FS\ 

When to Use a CLI 

A CLI might come in very 
handy on those days when your 
mouse is inoperative. 

Also, people who are more 
interested in getting work done than 
in talking about their machines fre¬ 
quently find CLI’s useful. There are 
a number of very fine utility pro¬ 
grams and applications that are 
much more comfortable in a com¬ 
mand line environment (See “Atari’s 
Ugly Ducklings” in Current Notes 
Vol. 9 #5). Tricks like listing a disc 

directory to a text file or running a 
complete sequence of tasks with¬ 
out human intervention (batch ope¬ 
rations) are bread and butter to 
power users. Command line pro¬ 
cedures are also self documenting, 
a matter that is vital to software 
development efforts. 

Even neophyte users some¬ 
times find the kinds of menus that 
can be built using CLI’s more con¬ 
venient than WIMP (Window-Icon- 
Menu-Pointer) interfaces. CLI’s are 
excellent for automating repetitive 
tasks performed on production 
computers, which are usually 
manned by “computer operators.” 
as distinct from “computer users.” 
Millions of secretaries across the 
land fall into this category. 

Atari’s TOS, like most modern 
operating systems, has output 
redirection and piping mechanisms 
embedded in it that GEM applica¬ 
tions do not use, but these are 
readily accessible to CLI’s. These 
functions are very helpful when 
stringing together a series of jobs 
that pass their output from one task 
to the next. 

Why Three of Them? Why 
As DAs? 

The three products being 
reviewed here differ somewhat in 
their approach. They also differ with 
respect to installation requirements, 
memory usage, complexity, and 
capabilities. The idea of a CLI as a 
desk accessory (DA) gets a mixed 
reaction from this reviewer. 
Because TOS does not support 
“reentrancy” the repertory of com¬ 
mands that can be executed inside 
a desk accessory window invoked 

Page 42 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

Table 1 - Comparison of CLI’s 




Neo CLI 






: Freeware 

Memory Requirements 





Versions j 











Batch Procedures 





Command Repertoire 








in 1 

“#’ anywhere 

Control Structures 



V. Good 

V. Good 

Environmental Vars 





Error reporting 





Function Support 





History Retrieval 

Last 3 

Last 1 

Last 1 


Inline Editing 





Launch GEM Appls 





Launch ,TOS,.TTP 





Online Help 



V. Good 







Other DA’s 





Parameter Passing 





Remains on Desktop 





Scroll Window 





Scroll speed 










User-defined Variables 





Window resizing 









V. Good 


Table of Contents 










Appearance of Docs 





Value of Contents 





Usage of Examples 





from a running application is pretty 
limited. Most functions in this class 
can be executed more quickly and 
simply using Universal Item Selec¬ 
tor, Multifile, or the Litt/e Green Fi/e 
Selector. Few, if any, utility pro¬ 
grams of any real value can be 
launched within a desk accessory 
that is running under an application. 

The idea of having the GEM 
desktop available at the same time 
as one is running a CLI does, 
however, have some attraction. 

There is a public domain desk 
accessory CLI that is not included 
in this review because it is simply 
too buggy to be taken seriously. 

Tl/J~ A Textual User Inter¬ 
face. TU/ comes from James 
Stamm, a dentist who shares a 
practice with his wife in Huntington, 
West Virginia. The Stamms have 
also built a collection of dBMAN 
procedures for handling their dental 
practice. Silicon Mountain Software 
is a side venture that they have 
formed to market some utilities that 
they have found useful over the 

.ACCess. .ACCess started out 
as a classroom project on the part 
of Eric Mahurin’s work toward a 
degree in Computer Engineering. 
The product was introduced com¬ 
mercially at the 1989 WAACE Atari- 
Fest. Current Notes staffer, Andrzej 
Wrotniak, was given a copy at that 
time. He reviewed it in Current 
Notes (Nov. ’89). There are no 
major changes to the conclusions 
of that review. The product is 
included here because it has to be 
considered in the broader picture. 

NcoDcsk CLI. This is another 
effort from the Gribnif Software 
team, with Dan Wilga doing the 
programming. In contrast to the 
others, this program runs as a desk 
accessory only, and it requires 
NeoDesk2.05 to run. 

Gulam. This program is free¬ 
ware that I downloaded off the 
Internet. It was written by Prabhaker 

Mateti at Case Western Reserve 
University back in 1988. Gu/am is a 
classical CLI shell. It is a stand 
alone program which, when it is 
invoked from the desktop, takes 
over the user interface completely. 

Functionality and Perfor¬ 

Table I lists some of the per¬ 
formance characteristics of the 
CLI’s that were reviewed for this 
project. This table is intended to 
convey a feel for the similarities and 
differences between the products. It 
is not intended as an exhaustive 

characterization of each of the pro¬ 

The meanings of the rows for 
cost and memory requirements are 
obvious. The designations in the 
“version” row indicate the different 
ways in which the proogram can be 
invoked. In the case of NeoDesk 
CLf the .NTP extension represents 
a mode, as yet unimplemented, in 
which the program can be launched 
directly from the NeoDesk shell. 

Aliasing is a technique for 
defining symbolic names to repre¬ 
sent more complicated character 
strings. For example, I use the 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 43 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

following alias under Gu/am. “alias 
ed c:\tempus2.prg.” 

This permits me to invoke Tern- 
pus to edit an ASCII file by simply 
typing ‘ed file.ext’ on the command 
line. This is a very handy capability, 
which greatly simplifies the work of 
using a command line interface. A 
more limited version of the same 
thing can be achieved by using the 
batch processing and parameter 
passing capabilities (a means of 
assigning specific values to sym¬ 
bols imbedded in a batch pro¬ 
cedure) of TU/. .ACCess and Neo- 
Desk CL/. 

The “Batch Procedures” 

capability is fundamental to a CLI, 
but it is not very useful without 
parameter passing. A batch pro¬ 
cedure is a plain ASCII file contain¬ 
ing a series of commands to be 
executed in sequence. The overall 
batch processing capability of a CLI 
is a function of other factors, which 
will be discussed later. 

The Command Repertoire of 

a CLI is defined by the variety of 
available commands that it makes 
available to the user. All of the ones 
listed here provide commands like 
“dir,” “type,” “delete,” “mkdir” 
(Make directory), “rmdir” (mkdir’s 
opposite number). Less common 
ones include “free” (to give the 
amount of free memory), or “for¬ 
mat.” This varies greatly from one 
CLI to another, and buyers are well 
advised to make sure of what they 
are getting. 

Any decent CLI should support 
the inclusion of Comments in 
batch files. This makes the files 
(particularly complex ones) more 
readable. TU/ and NeoDEsk CL/ 
require that comments be placed 
on separate lines, which somewhat 
diminishes their value. 

Control Structures allow the 
flow of batch processes to be 
altered in accordance with logical 
decisions based on the existence 
or non-existence of conditions. 

Examples of control structures in¬ 
clude “lf..Else..Endif” or “While.” 
The importance of this capability is 
determined by the complexity of 
the task at hand. 

Some programs require that 
Environmental variables be 

defined. A typical such variable is 
“path,” which specifies a list of 
paths to be searched when looking 
for a file. Users of TeX need this 
capability because it is the means 
by which the various modules 
locate their font files. The values of 
environmental variables must 
sometimes be changed in mid¬ 
stream, so that “set” and “unset” 
commands must be used. The im¬ 
portance of this feature is deter¬ 
mined by the kinds of programs 
that the user employs. 

Any CLI that gives a cryptic 
message when the user types a 
command incorrectly posesses 
poor Error Reporting, as does 
any program that simply crashes 
when it is abused. 

Function Support refers to 
the range of built in functions that 
the shell posesses. Examples in¬ 
clude “%date” (type out the current 
date and time) or “%exists” (which 
checks to see whether a given file 
is available). 

History Retrieval refers to the 
ability to recall previously used 
command lines. This can save a lot 
of retyping. When devising batch 
files it is nice to be able to save a 
sequence of command lines and 
edit them up into a permanent 
procedure. TU! allows the user to 
view the last three command lines 
using the arrow keys. Gu/am allows 
the user to scroll through the last 30 
or so lines. 

Given that many of us are poor 
typists, it is important to have a 
good scheme of Inline Editing of 
command lines. The backspace, 
arrow, and delete keys should have 
natural meanings in doing this. 
Good inline editing also facilitates 

the reuse of recalled commands for 
slightly different purposes. 

A CLI that cannot launch 
applications is useless. One should 
not expect to be able to do this 
when the CLI is being used as a 
desk accessory while a GEM appli¬ 
cation (the only kind that allows 
desk accessories) is running. When 
the GEM desktop is running, any 
CLI worth its salt should allow the 
user complete freedom to invoke 
GEM, .TTP, or .TOS applications. 
The applications should start up 
smoothly, run smoothly, and exit 
gracefully. The two rows of Table I 
that refer to this characteristic show 
that the various products differ 
greatly with respect to this. 

Since a CLI user is not continu¬ 
ously presented with reminders of 
allowable actions, it is essential that 
a CLI provide some amount of 
Online Help. A simple “?” at the 
“>” prompt should bring up a list of 
commands. A statement like “help 
xxxx” should bring up a brief 
description of the meaning and 
syntax for the command “xxxx.” 

To set up conditions to be 
evaluated by control structures, 
some means of evaluating expres¬ 
sions must be provided. This 
requires the use of Operators to 
connect elements of the expression 
which may yield arithmentic or 
Boolean (true/false) values. 

NeoDesk CL/ is the only one of 
these products that allows the user 
to access another desk accessory 
while it is active. This is a nice 
touch, as it greatly facilitates 
switching between the CLI and 
other activities. 

Parameter Passing is useful 
when batch files are used as a 
means of adding new commands to 
the command language. One could, 
for example, devise a FORTRAN 
command by writing a batch script 
like the following: 
edit %l.for! Revise source code 
f77 %l.for! Compileit 

Page 44 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

Figure 1 - TU/ Scroll Window Expanded to cover desktop. Typing "?"at ”>” 
prompt displays command repertoire. 

f771 %1! Link it 

rename % 1 .prg% 1 .tip! Give it a 

.TTP extension 

%l.ttp 1 ! Execute it using 1 as an 
input parameter 

exit ! Return to the calling shell 

By typing “fortran progname” in 
response to the “>” prompt, the 
user would open the source code 
“progname.for” for editing, cause it 
to be compiled, link the resulting 
module with others to make an 
executable image, and so forth. 
This edit, compile, link, execute 
cycle is usually done over and over 
again during the development of a 
program. There is no reason to 
keep typing the same statements 
over and over and there is no 
reason to go chasing the mouse all 
around the screen to invoke the 
various pieces. 

The “!” in the above example 
represents a delimiter for inline 
comments. This example also 
shows how permitting the com¬ 
ments to appear on the command 
line itself makes the batch file 
easier to understand. 

The batch file given in the 
above example launches .TTP 
applications and could not, there¬ 
fore, be run inside any of the desk 
accessory CLI’s while another 
application is running. If “edit” in¬ 
vokes a GEM application then TU/ 
would not be able to handle the 
job. .ACCess might be able to 
handle the job if it did not cause 
any of the applications to crash. 
NeoDesk CL/m\\ handle this prop¬ 
erly when run outside an applica¬ 
tion. The job is a piece of cake for 
Gu/am or, for that matter, the old 
QMI Do-it! shell that I used to love 
before I got Gu/am to work for me. 

Figure 1 shows the Scroll 
Window that TU/ puts up on the 
screen. This program does a nice 
job of handling this window. It is 
quick and easy to scroll backwards 
and forwards for a good distance to 
view text that has rolled off the 
screen, although I did experience 

problems with a text file that was 
more than 80 columns wide. The 
window resizes quickly and cleanly. 
ACCess does almost as well, but 
its window holds far fewer lines. 
NeoDesk CL/, on the other hand, 
erases the contents of the window 
when resizing, and text that has 
scrolled out of the window is gone 
forever. CRTL-S and CTRL-Q can 
be used to stop And resume scrol¬ 
ling in all four programs. 

NeoDesk CL/ wraps the text 
rather than letting it go beyond the 
boundary of the screen. This allows 
all of the text to be seen, but 
readability is sacrificed. 

The Scroll Speed of TU/ is 
really fast, although my use of 
QU/CK ST // may have had some¬ 
thing to do with this. This makes the 
program useful for displaying short 
text files, although Erich Rosen- 
quist’s STeno DA is clearly better 
suited to this purpose. The scroll 
speed of .ACCess is so slow as to 
be nearly unacceptable. 

User Defined Variables 

serve the same purpose in CLI 
scripts as they do in other pro¬ 
gramming languages. A CLI that 
supports these gains an extra mea¬ 
sure of flexibility with regard to the 
tasks it can undertake. 

Documentation is a critical 
issue for products like these, 
because they are anything but in¬ 
tuitive to use. Good documentation 
is well written, logically organized, 
and easy to use. Topics must be 
covered in adequate detail, with 
liberal use of examples. 

The manual should, in principle, 
tell the user everything he needs to 
know about using the product. The 
documentation for 7Z//and .ACCess 
is much too terse, more like a 
glossary, with one or two line 
definitions of the commands. 

It should be easy to find 
material in the manual. A good 
table of contents is important. A 
good index is vital because it also 
tells the authors much about how 
well they have covered their 

The table of contents for 
.ACCess is much too short, espe¬ 
cially given the absence of an 
index. Both of these contain long 
lists of VT52 escape codes without 
spelling out why this material is 
useful or important. 

The NeoDesk CL/ manual is in 
keeping with Gribnif’s tradition of 
preparing attractive, useful guides. 
The lack of an index is, however, 
more serious than the developers 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 45 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

believe. A Command Line Interpre¬ 
ter is a programming language. 
Underlying ideas crop up in several 
places and it is important to be able 
to cross-reference them. With 
Gu/am you get what you pay for, 
except that the document on the 
disk is well written. Since the entire 
document is on disk, it is easy to 
use a text editor to browse around 
in it (I have aliased “HELP” so that 
it brings up Tempus with 
GULAM.DOC in the workspace). 
This ease of access partly makes 
up for the lack of an index or a 
table of contents. 

NeoDesk CL/ provides about 10 
interesting examples of files of 
varying complexity. The other 
products could benefit from the 
presence of a few good examples 
of batch files on their disks. 
.ACCess and NeoDesk CL/ both 
depart from the established syntac¬ 
tic conventions of existing com¬ 
mand line languages to such an 
extent that the user has trouble 
getting oriented in the proper way 
to write batch procedures. 

Which, If Any, Should I 

Given the availability of other 
non-desk-accessory CLI’s, none of 
these ranks as a “must have” 

If NeoDesk CL/ were a slightly 
more polished program, it would be 
an obvious choice. Its poor hand¬ 
ling of the text window is a serious, 
but easily remediable, drawback. Its 
history recall function also needs 
improvement. It is a memory hog 
because it requires that the outer 
NeoDesk shell be locked into 
memory all of the time. This should 
not be a problem for people with 
expanded memory. NeoDesk CL! is 
clearly a promising, if not yet 
mature, product. I am keeping an 
eye on it for a future purchase. 

Those people who are not now 
using NeoDesk and who do not 
want to shell out $60 or so for 
NeoDesk and NEO-CL/ should 

recognize that 7Z//and .ACCess are 
both flawed in ways that make them 
difficult to recommend. The minor 
benefits to be gained by installing 
these desk accessories do not out¬ 
weigh the aggravation. If memory 
limits are a serious consideration, 
then forget about installing a desk 
accessory and run DO-/T/ from the 
GEM desktop. The shell takes up 
only about 30k bytes, it does the 
job for most applications, and it is 
out of the way when it is not 
needed. This product may be hard 
to find since QMI has left the scene. 
Gu/am is the CLI of choice for 
cases where DO-/T/ fails. 

It is possible to save some 
money by using PD command shell 
DAs, but my experience with these 
has not been good. 

People who have plenty of 
memory and who insist on having 

quick access to a CLI shell may be 
able to achieve this by using 
Revo/ver from Intersect to establish 
a modest memory partition with 
Gu/am running in it. This recipe may 
fail if any of the user’s applications 
are incompatible with Revo/ver. For 
me it is sufficient to have Gu/am 
among my desktop icons in Neo¬ 
Desk so that I can get to it easily. 

I find it amusing that ST devel¬ 
opers are reinventing this particular 
wheel at a time when the rest of the 
world is moving wholeheartedly 
toward Graphical User Interfaces 
(GUI) similar to those that ST users 
have known and loved since the 
beginning. Putting these things into 
GEM windows without adding any 
other functionality amounts to put¬ 
ting chocolate sauce on plain 
vanilla ice cream and calling the 
result a hot fudge sundae. 


You are busy in a GEM application. The phone interrupts. With a 
few clicks, you pop down an accessory, enter the caller’s data, check 
your calendar, schedule a meeting, address an envelope, and send the 
caller’s data to your word processor to head the confirming letter. 
You touch a few keys to select and display the cards of associates 
you want at the meeting. The accessory dials your phone to let you 
inform them. Satisfied, you get back to your application, knowing the 
accessory will remind you of the meeting. Now that’s efficiency! 

e pk A 14 | I /> The secret to 
® ® W productivity 

THE ’Rolodex’ and appointment calendar 
for your electronic desktop 

• Powerful enough for your business • Friendly enough for your family 
• Instant access to thousands of ’cards’ • Import existing data 
• Print envelopes, address books, phone lists, label sheets, and agenda 
• Superb 60 page manual • Any color or mono Atari ST 

$34.93 plus $2 S&H to US and Canada, $4 international. 
Send check or m.o. to: GT Software 
12114 Kirton Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44135-3612 

Page 46 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 


Current Notes Mi 

• ftkirtitn fai 

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Solana Beach, CA 92075 

( 619 ) 792-6511 

FAX (619) 792-9023 

out of the box. 

■ Omniswitch functions a 
monitor switcher for sfc 
ard Atari monochrome 

Atari ST/Mcga 

CN Review 


The New All-Purpose Track-Everything Program 

Review by H. Earl Hill 

Tracker/ST is an AtariST pro¬ 
ductivity program from Step Ahead 
Software (Nevin Shalit) combining a 
traditional mailing list, a built-in mail 
merge system, database-style 
reporting, and a tracking program 
all in one. It was developed using 
the SuperBase Professional DML 
from Precision Software and uses 
the SuperBase Professional Run 
Time System. It has a full GEM 
interface with drop down menus, 
click on buttons, and keyboard 
equivalents for all its functions. It 
allows an unlimited number of in¬ 
dividual files (one for your user 
group, one for your sales list, etc.) 

Tracker/ST\s, intended for users 
requiring an integrated mailing list, 
mail merge, and database, e.g. 
newsletter editors, small busi¬ 
nesses, religious and school 
organizations, musicians, clubs, 
bowling leagues, etc. For member¬ 
ship groups, Tracker/ST can adjust 
membership or subscription time 
plus assist in printing out personal¬ 
ized renewal notices. File size pre¬ 
sents no limitation to the count¬ 
down feature. For home use, it can 
keep track of events such as wed¬ 
dings and reunions to keep lists, 
keep notes on individuals, etc. 
Tracker can create, edit and save 
different label formats for printing. 
Also, it offers a built-in text editor 
and report formats, plus versatile 
file importing and exporting ability. 


Tracker/ST comes on a double 
sided disk loaded with the main 
files and auxiliaries. Tracker s un¬ 
protected and can be installed on 
floppies and/or hard drives. It runs 
on color or monochrome (TOS 
versions up to 1.6) and also sup¬ 
ports the Moniterm large-screen 

monitor. A meg of RAM is recom¬ 
mended as well as a hard drive, the 
latter because of the size of Tracker 
and the heavy disk access; other¬ 
wise, loading and similar functions 
are rather slow. Correct installation 
requires only careful attention to the 
procedures detailed in the manual. 

RAM disks are a good idea to 
use with Tracker if you have the 
memory and only floppy drives. An 
installed RAM disk can be specified 
within Tracker and will be accessed 
by some functions of Tracker. For 
example, the program uses the 
RAM disk for cutting, copying and 
pasting text, in building letters, and 
in mail merges. Some functions, 
however, operate outside of the 
RAM disk (e.g., storing names) and 
thus are not accelerated. 

Printer drivers for most com¬ 
mon printers are included. These 
include Epson 9 and 24 pin, NEC 
24 pin, Atari SLM laser printer, HP 
DeskJet, and many, many more. 
LaserBrain and self-created printer 
drivers are also supported. Ten 
preset label formats for 1, 2, and 3 

across and laser printed labels are 
available. These may all be used as 
either pre-set label formats or edi¬ 
ted and customized, such as for 
condensed printing. Besides labels, 
Rolodex< R > cards can be printed. 

How It Does It 

The “hows” of Tracker are 
many. The manual, to be discussed 
later, has 116 pages and goes into 
great detail on how to use all its 
functions. An excellent tutorial sec¬ 
tion is also included for kick-start¬ 
ing it. Tracker, although a ‘friendly’ 
program, is not exactly what you 
would call a simple program. Its 
many ingredients demand familiari¬ 
zation via the tutorial, followed by 
study and working with the feature 

Because of the depth and 
power of Tracker our review of its 
features must be in the nature of a 
summary overview. As befitting its 
GEM nature. Tracker has, three main 
screens and one secondary screen. 
The first of the main screens is the 
Entry Screen; there you create new 

Update Extras 


Page 48 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

databases, plus enter, edit and 
delete names. The second is the 
Power Station screen. Here you do 
the reports, print Mail Merges and 
Labels, and set up new label for¬ 
mats. The final screen is the Quick 
Letter screen. Here you set up a 
Mail Merge template for form letters 
using info from the Tracker files. 
Additionally, Tracker has a rather 
powerful text editor. This is where 
you create your Mail Merge tem¬ 
plates and Quick letters, and where 
the Long Notes for the Tracker files 
are created. You move between the 
main screens via the Extras menu 
bar selection. 

The Entry Screen 

The Entry Screen is the key 
area where you enter names, im¬ 
port and export names, and create 
new databases. It has a fairly typical 
database type layout with fields for 
names, addresses, phone numbers, 
categories, source, etc. This is 
where you can also enter Long 
Notes via the Text Editor. Similar to 
other databases, once you have 
established your records, you can 
scan, search, add, delete and edit. 
The Entry Screen contains six menu 
bars called File, Edit, View, Set¬ 
tings, Update and Extras. 

The File menu bar lets you 
create databases, load them, delete 
them, and rename them. As with 
the majority of functions, there are 
keyboard alternates for the com¬ 
mands. Here is also where you 
Import and Export database files, 
including those of Tracker. ASC//, 
Zoomracks //, DataManager/ST, 
SuperBase, and DBMan. By the use 
of defaults for the Entry screens, 
and a Personal Settings info base, 
you can save a lot of keystrokes 
when your database contains 
several hundred names. The num¬ 
ber of names is limited only by disk 
space; 1,800 names per floppy disk, 
45,000+ on a hard drive. 

Edit contains selections to add 
names, modify entries, view Long 
Notes, and delete entries. Tracker 

allows unlimited Long Notes for 
each person in the system—these 
are NOT limited to a few characters 
or words. 

As with common databases, 
you can view names in various 
fashions, such as next, previous, 
search, rewind, etc. A convenient 
and powerful feature is found in the 
Browse command. It lets you see 
all the names in your current data¬ 
base and allows selectable field 

Settings lets you, what else?, 
set the commands for how names 
are displayed (e.g., by sorting), set 
personal info, set Entry Defaults, 
and a host of other good things. 

Update is also as it implies, 
with the exception of the Count¬ 
down command. This lets you do a 
one-step subscription or group 
membership adjustment to auto¬ 
matically adjust the remaining time 
with a single command. 

The Extras menu bar of the 
Entry Screen contains a “clean up” 
feature. It also is where you can 
count the number of entries in your 
database, print single labels, and 
delete Long Notes. This also lets 
you access the Power Station and 
Quick Letter modules. All modules 
have this Extras menu to move 
among them. 

The Power Station 

The Power Station is where you 
print and display reports, print 
labels, and do Mail Merges. The 
main horizontal display area shows 
the “filters,” such as “only names 
from a certain state.” Filtering can 
be quite detailed and specific, and 
can involve sub-filters and even 
other filters found in “grouping” 
categories for fine-tuning reports. It 
is one of the most useful and 
versatile features. To optimize its 
use, reference to the manual would 
be recommended. 

The Power Station contains six 
menu bars covering Reports, Main- 
Sort, Filter, Grouping, Mail-Merge 
and Labels/Extras. 

On the Power Station Screen 
you have three rectangular “Set¬ 
tings” boxes to: (1) Run Report, (2) 
Mail Merge-Print, and (3) Labels- 
Print. Run Report sends reports to 
screen or printer, including easy- 
to-use grouping, sorting, counting 
and summarizing. Reports can be 
sorted on any field or grouped on 
any field. For example, users can 
easily set up a report that groups 
the names in their file by state, and 
sort them within each state by rank. 
M-Merge has settings for such 
things as margins, and offsets for, 
e.g., the date. Finally, Labels-Print 
has the settings for the type of 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 49 

Atari ST/Mcga 

CN Review 



Letters Extras 

label, margins, number of labels 
across, and printer selection. All of 
these Settings functions work in 
conjunction with the drop down 
menu bars. Labels may be printed 
alphabetically, or sorted by Zip 
Code for bulk mailing. The Power 
Station is aptly named, and has to 
be used with the manual instruc¬ 
tions (a full 30 pages) to adequately 
handle Tracker. 

Quick Letter/Text Editor 

When a full merge is not 
necessary, the Quick Letter com¬ 
mand can be used. This allows 
combining a mail merge template 
with a single name in a file to create 
a one-time, editable letter. Quick 
letters let the user add personal 
comments to standard mail merge 
templates, for business reply mail, 

The Quick Letter feature is ideal 
for using any Mail Merge template 
for “almost form letters” and busi¬ 
ness reply mail to anyone in the 
TrackerfWes. You can edit the letter 
freely before printing it without dis¬ 
turbing the contents of the mail 
merge template itself. Quick Letter 
is much like a conventional word 
processor with the exception that it 
can call templates containing data¬ 
base info and also call selected 
persons from the ‘names’ database. 
However, Quick Letters cannot be 
saved. Quick Letter has a very 
powerful ability, using the Ruler, to 
effortlessly reformat the text. No 
more “FI0!” Additionally, different 
margins can be quickly set for 
individual paragraphs. 

The Text Editor comes into play 
when you enter Long Notes for a 
name, or when you create or edit a 
Mail Merge template or build a 
Quick Letter. Overall, it is similar to 
the Quick Letter feature in oper¬ 
ation. There are several attributes of 
the text editor, however, that mark¬ 
edly differ from ordinary word pro¬ 
cessors. Specifics of these impor¬ 
tant differences and how they apply 

to the text editor are detailed in the 
manual and are essential reading. 

The Text Editor’s menu bar 
contains four selections: Project, 
Edit, Style and Options. Project is 
specific to Tracker and has selec¬ 
tions for saving Long Notes and 
templates, for printing documents, 
and switching to previous screens. 
The Edit and Style menus are 
essentially similar to conventional 
word processors. Bold, italic, and 
underline are supported as well as 
variable margins. The final feature is 
the Options menu, which has the 
Ruler, a help box for keyboard 
commands, and an insert/typeover 

The Manual—Surprise, 

Tracker’s manual and program 
were written by Nevin Shalit. Nevin 
is, of course, well known as a writer 
for ST Informer. Doubtless this 
experience has helped teach him 
what is good and bad about 
manuals. So it is no surprise that 
the manual is exemplary of what 
program manuals should be, rather 
than a sad example, as is so often 
the case. If it were an assignment 
for school it would certainly get a 
mark of A+. 

The manual contains three main 
chapters and six Appendixes. Fol¬ 
lowing the chapter on Getting Star¬ 
ted is an excellent Tutorial chapter. 

Following this are the Reference 
pages where each main function is 
covered in detail. The Appendixes 
have info on such good things as 
Printer Drivers; Preparing Files for 
Import; Tracker Field Lengths; 
Paths; etc. This concludes with a 
detailed index. The entire docu¬ 
mentation is quite understandable, 
and each section is well delineated. 
Printing is first class, and the 
manual has all the needed 
explanatory figures (screen dumps) 
to correspond with the descriptive 
text. And as if all this isn’t enough, 
the manual is spiral-bound so it 
can lie flat. Would that all manuals 
were this good! 

Support, Mods and 

Free customer support is avail¬ 
able from the company for regis¬ 
tered users. The serial number is 
your entry to phone support. Letters 
are promised answers as soon as 
possible. Tracker also is supported 
on GEnie on the ST Round Table. A 
quarterly newsletter is also in the 
works for users. Step Ahead has 
many plans to continually expand 
and improve Tracker, attested to by 
the fact that this reviewer received 
a substantial update within a week 
of receiving the first version. Sug¬ 
gestions are most welcome. 

Some changes or additions this 
reviewer would like to see would 

Page 50 

Current Notas 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

Atari ST/Mega 


CN Review 


include a summary card of all the 
keyboard commands. Also, a Help 
screen available from the main 
screens besides the Text Editor. 
The Quick Letter and Text Editor 
need a block delete function. With a 
program of this size and depth, 
small bugs are bound to surface as 
users work with it. I ran across 
some of these but this is where 
customer support becomes so im¬ 
portant. All indications are that Step 
Ahead will be very receptive to 
suggestions, bug reports, etc., and 
consider these in issuing revisions. 

Tracker, at the time of this 
writing had problems, as mentioned 
in the README.TXT, with TOS 1.4 
and the click-on buttons not work¬ 
ing correctly so that the keyboard 
commands had to be used instead. 
However, a new revision, 2.03, 
makes all of Tracker/ST’s buttons 
work on all versions of TOS. This 
upgrade is going out free to all 
users (they don’t even have to send 
in their original disks!) The 
README.TXT also has current info 
on two new features involving page 
width/length setup and improved 
filtering, plus help on using Neo- 
desk with Tracker, a further exam¬ 
ple of customer support. 

Tracker is by nature, a fixed- 
field database. This is at the same 
time both its strength and its weak¬ 
ness. The Entry Screen, being 
essentially frozen, restricts the user 
to the set fields, their positions, and 
their lengths. One example of this 
restriction is the field length of the 
Zip Code, where additional num¬ 
bers cannot be added. On the other 
hand, Tracker can use this fixed- 
field template to save thousands of 
keystrokes for computer aided 
entry. A “construction set” would 
be handy for mods of the Entry 
Screen, but probably could not be 
done due to the interlocking nature 
of the various functions. Some of 
the limitations that can occur with a 
fixed-field database, unless built in 
from the beginning, are things such 

as: (1) Inability to indicate how 
many packages of magazines 
(issues) would go to each specific 
postal zone (a function of the Zip 
Code), and (2) Inability to track a 
subscription fee paid and when it 
was paid and the revenue per issue 
(this can vary for one or two year 
subscriptions, e.g.). 


Tracker/ST is an integrated, 
GEM interface application combin¬ 
ing the features of a mailing list, 
mail merge, and person-tracking 
software program. It should appeal 
to the beginning Atari 16-bit user 
who needs an easy-to-use pro¬ 
gram with a minimum of setup and 
training, and to the experienc- ed 
ST/Mega user who needs the full 
power of an integrated application. 
Tracker provides the user with a 
personal database which can be 
extended to a number of additional 
functions. These include: 

ft Merging letters to all the names 
in the database; 

☆ Printing of labels from the 
names for virtually any type of 
label or printer; 

A Printing the newer 2- and 
3-across labels; 

ft Names in the system limited 
only by disk space; 

ft Unlimited number of individual 

ft Unlimited notes, both short and 

ft Full reports with grouping, 
sorting, counting and 

ft Specific filters for fine-tuning 

ft Advanced import and export 
capability; and last but not 

☆ A unique Quick Letter feature 
for “form letters” and business 
reply mail. 

Tracker/ST should find its niche 
with religious/school organizations, 
theater/music groups, newsletter 
publishers, clubs, the local PTA and 
Cub Scouts, etc. It may be a little 
pricey for some smaller users; per¬ 
haps for them a “Junior” version of 
Tracker may need to be developed. 
Tracker may be too restrictive for 
heavy, real-world use in a business 
environment, although for some¬ 
what simpler applications such as 
user groups it would appear to have 
much to offer and the potential to 
be the ‘tracker’ program of choice. 

Software version reviewed: 2.03. 
f,Tracker/ST ($79.95}. Step Ahead 
Software, inc., 496-A Hudson 
Street, New York City, NY 10014. 



Construction Estimator 2.0 

(Color or Monochrome) 

Very easy to use, make estimates for 
house, driveway, small building etc. 

Creates quantity and cost totals 

Functions include: footings, stem wall, 
floor slab, blockwall, rebar, ceiling ana 
floor joist, woodwalls, floor ana roof 
sheeting, cut & stack roof, sheetrock, 
roofing, soil excavation. 

ASCII file^ave & load. Also creates 
LDW Power compatible files so you can 
use a spreadsheet to further modify 
your estimate. 


Michael C. O’Massey 
9910 U.S. 395 North 
Reno Nevada 89506 
(702) 972-3659 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 51 

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** IIIPPING INFORM AT I ON - Prices do not include shipping and handling. Add $5.00 for small items ($8.00 Min. for Canada). Add $8.00 for d isk drive. Add $ 3. 30 for C.O.D. 
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Atari ST/Mcga 

CN Review 

Weather Prediction - and Much More! 

Learning About Weather and Its Indicators 

Review by Samuel M. Van Wyck 

FORECASTER III is billed as 
meteorological software. It is 
designed for use by schools and 
individuals who wish to learn about 
weather; especially weather track¬ 
ing and record keeping. Written by 
Greg Kopchak, it provides the 
interested beginner with an easily 
understood look at the tasks and 
realities of weather reporting. 

All functions may be selected 
from a standard GEM menu which 
presents a number of options. 
Naturally, the most intriguing (and 
understandable) option is weather 
forecasting, and that was the first 
one tried. The accompanying 
manual went right to the point by 
specifying the steps needed to 
initialize the FORECASTER III pro¬ 
gram prior to use. Since tempera¬ 
ture and weather patterns vary 
according to one’s location, the first 
requirement was to establish the 
observer’s position in terms of Lati¬ 
tude and Longitude, elevation and 
proximity to a time zone boundary. 
These values were easily entered in 
response to prompts contained in 
the Initialize menu and were saved 
to disk. 

The Forecasting Function. 
From the “DO FORECAST” menu, 
a data page appears asking for the 
local time, present and past baro¬ 
metric pressure and the interval 
between them, temperature, humi¬ 
dity, wind speed and direction and 
sky conditions; essentially the data 
that one would have available from 
a well-equipped home weather 
station. Based upon this, a predic¬ 
tion is made with the results being 
directed to disk, printer or screen. 

If there is a weak point in the 
utility, it lies with the forecasting 
function itself - and perhaps the 

expectations of this user. The in¬ 
struction book lists 8+ functions, 
headed by “Forecast the weather 
for the next 24 hours with your 
computer.” This led me, quite un¬ 
reasonably, to anticipate the crea¬ 
tion of an elaborate database of 
weather patterns from which the 
program would predict future con¬ 
ditions. However, the database was 
already in there, created by the 
author. In fact, the only current data 
needed to make the prediction are 
TATION. Add to that a single, 
earlier pressure reading, say two to 
six hours ago, plus the time of that 
observation and that’s it. The pro¬ 
gram then computes the forecast: 

IS AS FOLLOWS: Fair and 
generally cooler. Clear or partly 
cloudy skies. Winds are currently 
8 miles per hour. They will be 

Well, at first glance that does 
seem a bit underwhelming! I will 
admit that I expected more, but that 
was due to my preconceived notion 
as to what a forecast ought to 
contain. Mr. Kopchak’s fault? Of 
course not. He promised a forecast 
and gave me one. Not only that, 
but during the three weeks that I 
have been using the program, 
these have been better than 60% 
accurate; how much better is hard 
to say. I didn’t really try to make up 
a statistical base for comparison. 
What was not promised was that it 
would be as complete and detailed 
as the VHF broadcast over KEC-83, 
our local weather station. 

In order to understand better 
what the real strengths of the pro¬ 
gram were, I called Mr. Kopchak at 
his home in Missouri. “Who do you 
consider will be the main users of 
the FORECASTER III program?” I 
asked. “Schools and students,” he 
said, “plus anyone wanting to learn 
more about the art and science of 
weather prediction.” Ah! That 
makes a difference! To that I would 
add “...and anyone wanting to 
establish a database of weather- 
related information.” In fact, it is this 
last feature, the ability to log, pro¬ 
cess and convert data that is the 
greatest strength of the utility. 

FORECASTER III isn’t about to 
put AccuWeather or the Met Ser¬ 
vice people out of business but that 
isn’t its purpose. As soon as that 
fact is assimilated, the entire pro¬ 
duct makes a great deal of sense. It 
is a very complete but elementary 
group of utilities designed for the 
student or amateur forecaster. Now, 
let’s look at what it does well. 

The Almanac. One of the very 
nice aspects of FORECASTER III is 
the almanac. Everything you ever 
wanted to know about today, and a 
lot you didn’t, is available here. 
Consider the following: 


■J Distance from Earth in AU, KM, 

Miles & Nautical Miles. 

J Time of sunrise and sunset. 

•/ Meridian transit time. 

■j Declination. 

■J The start and ending times of 

Civil Twilight 

■j Nautical Twilight and 

■J Astronomical Twilight. 


■y Moonrise and Moonset. 

■J Time of meridian transit. 

■J Illumination percentage. 

Page 54 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

>/ Mean and actual ages. 

■j Declination. 
r Phase. 

And if all that weren’t enough, it 
announced on 24 July 1990 that the 
Julian Day Number was 2,448,097! 

The Forecast Printout. If the 

forecast itself seems a minor part of 
the overall program, it is only due to 
the almost overwhelming volume of 
data that accompanies it. On the 
forecast sheet we have: 
j Current Barometric Pressure in 
inches, millibars and 

■j The change in pressure over 

</ Temperature in F. and C. 
v Relative Humidity. 
j Dew Point and Wet Bulb 

j Prevailing Vapor Pressure and 
Mixing Ratio. 
j Air Density in Kg/M 3 . 

</ Water Vapor Density in G/M 3 . 

•J Temperature Humidity Index. 

«/ Apparent Temperature. 

</ Plus, of course, the forecast 

Maps And Graphs. If one takes 
the trouble to consult the local 
library, a compilation of tempera¬ 
ture data from past years can be 
made. These are entered as 
“norms” or average readings for 
each month. Printed in graphic 
format, they provide a visual index 
against which each day’s tempera¬ 
tures may be compared. These also 
provide a base from which data is 
compared while using other func¬ 
tions. Try as I might, I couldn’t make 
the program retrieve this data once 
it was saved to disk, necessitat¬ 
ing a laborious reentry process 
whenever they were to be used. 

struction book deals extensively 
with the various on-line ser¬ 
vices, providing both graphic 
and textual weather data. Com¬ 
puServe, among others, offers a 
wide range of information, 
usually at a surcharge to their 

basic connect fee. These services 
were not tried, as I presently do not 
have a connection to the commer¬ 
cial boards. However, sample Radar 
and other maps are included on the 
disk making it possible to view 
these without going on-line. 

Mention should be made of the 
instruction book which is more than 
adequate to get the novice started. 
For reasons that weren’t obvious, it 
was a bit hard to use. Perhaps it 
was the way that the subjects were 
sequenced that seemed awkward. 
The relationship of the headings 
and subheads isn’t intuitive, result¬ 
ing in a lot of scrambling about to 
find a reference. However, it does 
the job quite adequately; to the 
extent that even my alter ego, 
Komputer Klutz, was able to handle 
the task. 

Make Your Own Weather 

Database. A great convenience is 
the inclusion of a Lotus, VIP and 
LDW Power spreadsheet template 
customized for weather reporting. 
Anyone who is serious about fore¬ 
casting must have a database of 
past weather history for compari¬ 
son. While these records are not 
interactive with the forecasting por¬ 
tion of the program, they do give 
the user an historical perspective 
upon which to base or modify a 
prediction. A detailed summary with 
averages and deviations is provided 
at the end of the month. 

For the convenience of the 
user, a conversion utility is inclu¬ 
ded. This lightens the task of 
changing inches of mercury to mil¬ 
libars, Celsius to Fahrenheit, etc. 

And Now, the Weather.... If 

one concentrates on the many 
strengths of FORECASTER Hi it is 
apparent that it can, indeed, be a 
most useful product. I imagine any 
scout going for the Weather merit 
badge would probably find his task 
eased and learning enhanced. I 
can’t imagine a better way to keep 
and correlate weather data. Yes, 
the forecasting section is weak, 
compared to what we have come 
to take for granted from the various 
media. Remember, though, this is 
designed for the student prognosti¬ 
cator rather than the professional. 

Just for kicks, I plugged in the 
coordinates of Key West, set the 
date to the middle of the hurricane 
season and fed in catastrophic 
observations. A pressure drop of 
more than a half inch in three hours 
to 28.91 inches, temperature 94, 
humidity 89 and total overcast with 
rain and winds 20 knots from the 
NE. FORECASTER III advised me: 

There is a chance of showers 
or thundershowers. Improving 
and cooler within 12 hours. Winds 
are currently 20 miles per hour. 
They will be strong. 

I think it fair to say that this 
represents a gonzo talent for 

While I don’t intend to chuck 
my VHF weather receiver and install 
FORECASTER III in its place, I have 
already found a practical use for the 
data recording utility. Since my lady 
and I are planning a move to 
Spokane, WA in a year or so, I have 
begun a compilation of weather 
stats on the area, which will be of 
great use in figuring out which 
seasons are best for moving and 
which to avoid. I really don’t want 
my computer crossing the Rock¬ 
ies in a blizzard! 

[Forecaster III, $29.95; Ran¬ 
dall Kopchak, 2233 Keeven Lane, 
Florissant, MO 63031. Phone: 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 55 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 



When 28,800 Is Enough, Already! 

Reviewed by Prank Sommers 

Guilt Free Game Play. Pro¬ 
fessional Atari users have long 
since learned how to handle any 
childhood guilt that might possibly 
ooze into the bloodstream as a 
result of excessive game playing. In 
fact, after a challenging and 
successful bout with a fiendishly 
clever or frantically fast game, be it 
arcade or character role playing 
style, there often follows a shoul¬ 
der-squaring, head-high, glow- 
and-smile sense of triumph that 
may have been denied you during 
your work day. And when the glow 
arrives, you find yourself practicing 
your eyebrows-down, face-full-of- 
scorn look, to be used with game¬ 
playing bashers. 

Reverse Twist. So what kind 
of a game is it that causes the 
reverse reaction—one of frustra¬ 
tion, inky guilt, and mild squirming 
anger over the time wasted? Space 

How can one interactive, 
newest of the new breed of com¬ 
puter games, and kin to that arcade 
gold mine, Dragon’s Lair, do all that 
to a person? Well, let us, with the 
help of that famous analytical psy¬ 
chiatrist and successor to Freud, 
Dr. Alonzo Geshtunker, find out 

The game is played on four 
disks. After the title screen, there’s 
a short demo, projecting startlingly 
high quality graphics and excellent 
sound. Space Ace, himself, alias 
Dexter, is shown leaping from 
boulder to boulder, escaping laser- 
ray spitting satellites, while he 
blasts beasts, more vicious than 
anything glimpsed in the darkest 
night of your nightmares. You are 
instructed to push the fire button to 
start to play. A screen with Dexter, 

as he or you might look after 40 
months of pressing 200 lb. weights, 
appears and signals that you have 
zero points and only three lives. 
The documentation has told you all 
you need to know. (Toggling the joy 
stick at just the right moment and 
hitting the fire button when “cer¬ 
tain” dragons explode in front of 
you will take you to victory—and 
also insure the salvation of the 
damsel that careened out of your 
grasp and over the cliff at the onset 
of the first “attack.”) 

So it starts. With the girl cap¬ 
tured, and Capt. Borf (sic) blasting 
away at you, you toggle left, you 
toggle right, up and down, inter¬ 
spersed with a hammering of the 
fire button. Result? Three instant 
deaths and a game-over screen 
appears, announcing your score is 
“00000.” After 20 or 30 minutes of 
this, with absolutely no progress, 
you “retire” the game and go on to 
more “productive” pursuits. But, 
alas, after a day or so, or even an 
hour, you’re back at it. (Dr. Gesh¬ 
tunker identifies that as “a stubborn 

Beware the Documentation. 

Then the worst possible thing, the 
cauldron of all disasters, occurs. 
You read the docs on how to play 
the first screen. Your "enlightened" 
choice of joystick moves and timing 
allow Space Ace Dexter to avoid 
instant death, for a moment only. 
The second volley blows his head 
off. Another 10 minutes or so, with 
a combination of joystick to the 
right, joystick to the left, joystick 
down, all timed perfectly, and 
Space Ace scrambles on to the 
second screen; and your resolve 
dissolves. But there all progress 
stops. After twenty more wasted 

minutes, the game is “definitely” 

But you know the truth. Another 
day, another hour. And after com¬ 
pleting four more screens, and 
considering trying a fifth, you rec¬ 
ognize you are a mental defective, 
as you keep playing non-stop, 
wanting to solve just one more 
riddle of motion. In fact, when we 
started writing this, the sub-head- 
line read, “When 10080 Is Enough!” 
However, using a phone-call inter¬ 
ruption as an excuse, we booted 
“just one more time.” 

How Long the Scenario? 

We’ve stopped now. We’re back in 
control, because we finished the 
fourth disk. The naked idiocy of 
memorizing a series of toggles with 
an occasional press of the fire 
button, all of which “interacts” with 
the figure on the screen and causes 
him to pursue the scenario, has 
slammed home, and we think we’re 
cured. For after all, once you’ve 
memorized the “toggles” it only 
takes six minutes to complete all 
33 scenes, including loading time. 

Geshtunker to the Rescue. But 
let Dr. Alonso Geshtunker analyze it 
for us: “It’s dis vey. Die player is 
humiliated by heez inability to per¬ 
form. Zen vunce he learns how 
easy it is, he is vunce again humi¬ 
liated. Unt finally, ven he completes 
it, he knows how easy it now is, and 
he becomes disenchanted wid 
himself and his immature lack of 

There you have it. A game of 
premier sights and sounds, but too 
hard to be easily enjoyable, and too 
easy, once you learn it, to offer any 
further challenge, for “the profes¬ 
sional Atari user,” that is. What 
more can we say? (I wonder, if I 
tried it again, would the surprise 
ending be the same?) 

[Space Ace, $49.95, ReadySoft 
inc.,30 Wertheim Ct.,, Unit 2, Rich¬ 
mond Hill, Ontario, Canada L4B 
1B9 Te/:416-731-4175J 

Page 56 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

1st STOP Computer Systems 

P.0. BOX 20038 ♦ DAYTON, OHIO 45420-0038 


FA*ST 30 


1st STOP 30.... 


FA*ST 50 


1st STOP 50.... 


FA*ST 65 


1st STOP 65.... 


FA*ST 80 


1st STOP 80.... 


All hard drives are Seagate SCSI 

44 Meg Removeable w/Cartridge. 


44 Meg Cartridges. 


Hand Scanner 

IBM Emulators 

PC Ditto (software).$79 

Supercharger (1 Meg Version).$439 

Macintosh Emulator 

Spectre GCR.$218 

Spectre 128K Roms.$124 

Macintosh System Software.$49 

Macintosh HyperCard Software.$49 

We simply have too 
much to list. Please 
call if you don't see 
something. If we don't 
have it we'll get it! 

T W S ' , 

Douglas Rodson 
General Manager 


10th Frame Bowling. 

.29 Dungeon Master Editor. 


Jack Nicklaus Golf. 


1943 Battle of Midway. 

.13 Dyter07. 


Jumping Jackson. 


Action ST 2 (6 Games). 

.37 Emmanuelle (Adult). 




All Time Favorites (3 Games+) 39 Empire. 


Kid Gloves. 


Alter Beast. 

.24 Emperor of the Mines. 


Kings Quest 4 . 



.28 Eyes of Horus. 




Auto Duel. 

.26 FI5 Strike Eagle. 




Axel's Magic Hammer. 

.24 FI 6 Combat Pilot. 




Balance of Power 1990 . 

.29 F29 Retaliator. 


Leavin Termanis. 


Batman the Movie. 

.24 F40Pursuit.. 


Leisure Suit Larry 3 . 


Battle Chess. 

.29 Falcon. 


Manhunter, New York. 


Battle Tech. 

.29 Faloon Mission Disk. 


Maniac Mansion. 



.19 Fallen Angel. 


MicroLeague Baseball II.... 


Black Tiger. 

.24 Fast Lane. 


Mid Winter. 


Blood Wych. 

.29 Federation. 


Midi Maze. 

. 24 

Blood Wych Data Disk #1 ... 

.19 Ferrari Formula One. 


Millenuim 2.2. 


Blue Angel 69 (Adult) . 

.22 Fiendish Freddy. 





.22 Fighter Bomber. 


Murders in Venice. 


Breach II. 

.27 Fire!. 


Mystery of the Munmy. 

. 24 

Bride of the Robot .... 

.24 Fire Brigade. 


Nether World. 


Bridge Player 2150. 

.36 First Contact. 


Never Mind. 


California Games. 

.29 Forgotten World. 


North & South. 


Captain Fizz. 

.16 Full Metal Planet. 


Oil Imperium.. 


Castle Warrior. 

.29 Future Wars. 


P47 Thunderbolt. 


Chambers of Shaolin. 

.30 Galaxy Force. 

. 24 



Chaos Strikes Back. 

.22 Games Galore. 


Personal Nightmare. 


Chaos Strikes Editor. 

.19 Gauntlet II. 


Pursuit to Earth. 


Chariots of Wrath. 

.30 GhostBusters II... 




Chess Player 2150. 

.29 Ghouls & Ghosts. 


Pipe Mania. 


Circus Games. 

.22 Hand Drivin’. 




Cloud Kingdoms. 

.28 Harrier Combat Simulator.. 


Planet of Lust (Adult). 


Clown O Mania. 

.20 Hawaiian Odyssey. 


Planet of Robot Monsters... 


Clue - Master Detective. 

.24 Hawkeye. 





.29 Hell Raiser. 


Police Quest 2. 


Dive Bomber. 

.16 High Steel. 




Double Dragon II. 

.22 Hits Disk #2. 


Populous, Promised Land . 


Dr. Dooms Revenge. 

.26 Hound of Shadow. 


Power Drift. 


Dragon Scape. 

.24 Hunt for Red October. 


Prime Time. 


Drakken . 

.36 Impossible Mission 2. 


Pro Soccer. 

. 22 

Dungeon Master. 

. 22 International Soccer. 

. 24 

Rally Cross. 


ST Memory Upgrades 

Z-Ram - Upgrade 520 or 1040 to 2.5 or 4 Megs ....$115 

with chips for 2.5 Megs.$254 

with chips for 4 Megs.$399 

Z-Ram - Upgrade Mega 2 to 4 Megs.$129 

with chips to go to 4 Megs.$269 

$ 89 for 44 Meg? 


...the small print, well sort of... 



Odds & Ends 


Monitor Master. 

... $32 

Epyx 200XJ. 

.$14 pi; 

Duplitwix Blitz 

Video Key. 

... $72 

Epyx 500XJ.. 

..$10 p 

Mouse Master. 



.$17 pi 

The best and Fastest Disk Duplicator for the 

Drive Master. 


Switch Joystick..... 

... $31 p 

ST. Backs up a complete floppy disk faster 

Replacement Mice 


$17 m 

than the ST can format a disk. More powerful 

Cordless Mouse... 

... $04 

Quick Joy 5. 

$23 m 

than "software only" packages. Includes Blitz 

Konyo Jin Mouse 

... $49 

Disk Drives 


Software and Dual Drive Cable. Requires 2 


Master 5S. 

$199 p 

Disk Drives. 

Zoom 2400 . 


Master 3S.. 

$142 p 


Supra 2400. 


Alternative 3.5".... 

$ii9 Jm 



1st Word Plus. 

....59 FontzST. 

.22 Scan Art (Easy Draw). 


ACCess! Release 3. 

....10 G+ Plus. 

.21 Spectrum 512. 


Accounts. ST ver 2.0. 

... 89 Generation Gap (Family Tree) 29 Stalk the Market. 


BEST Business Manager.... 

.. 159 GFA Basic w/Compiler. 

.85 Shadow. 


Border Pack (Easy Draw)... 

.... 22 Hisoft Basic Professional... 

.96 STalker. 



..168 Hisoft C Interpreter. 

.60 STOS Game Creator. 


Calamus Font Editor. 

.. .58 Hotwire Plus. 

.35 Superbase Professional 3.0 


Calamus Outline. 

.169 Interlink ST. 

.24 Tiger Cub (Dr. 7). 


Circuit Maker II. 

...59 KCS Level 2. 

....209 Touch Up. 


Cleanup ST. 

....23 Laser C. 

....115 Tracker ST. 


Code Head Utilities. 

....19 Laser Debugger. 

.49 True Basic. 


Copyist II (Professional). 

.156 LDW Power Speadsheet ... 

.84 True Basic 3D Graphics. 


Data Manager. 

....51 Lotto File. 

15 True Basic Develooers ToolKit 26 

dBManV . 

.168 Mark Williams C. 

....104 TurboST. 


DC Desktop. 

... 25 Michtron BBS 3.0. 

.49 UltraScript Font PS 22. 


DC Utilities. 

....19 Multi Desk. 

.19 UltraScript Font PS 35. 


Degas Elite. 

....42 Music Studio 88. 

.36 UltraScript ST-1. 


Diamond Back. 

....24 NeoDesk. 

.29 UltraScript ST/SLM 804. 


Draw Art Professional. 

....42 PageStream. 

....115 Universal Item Selector III .... 


DTP Desktop Publisher ST . 

....77 Personal Pascal. 

.66 VIDI-ST... 


Dyna Cadd. 

. 389 Phasar 4.0. 

.54 Word Flair. 



..579 Print Master Plus. . 

.24 Word Perfect 4.1. 


Easy Draw. 

....59 ProCopy. . 

. 21 Word Quest 2 . 


Fingers (Dr. T) . 

....30 Protext . 

.99 Word Up 3.0 . 



....10 Quick ST II . 

.14 Word Writer ST . 


ST Xformer Cable 

Use with ST Xformer "The 800/XL/XE Emulator". Allows you to run 8 bit programs on your 
ST. The cable allows you to load programs from 51/4" disk or transfer them to 31/2" disks. 
With the cable, you can also load protected programs from 5 1/4" disks. Although the 
Xformer will not run all 8 bit programs, it runs quite a few and is very useful in transfering 
files from an 8 bit to your ST. The cable comes supplied with latest version of ST Xformer! 


Note: Even though Darek Mihocka has released the ST Xformer into the public domain, 
we feel it's important to pay Darek a royalty for every cable sold. It's our way of saying 
thanks for such an excellent product. 

HOURS: M-F 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. EST 
SAT 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 



For Order Status or 
Tech. Info, Call (513) 254-3160 

Call or Write for FREE CATALOG. No extra charge for credit card orders - Next day delivery extra - Alaska & Hawaii UPS Blue Label 
only - AP0 & FPO - Ohio residents add 6.5% sales tax • Allow 10 business days for personal or company checks - Returns subject 
to 20% restocking fee - Defectives require return authorization number for repair or replacement - Prices and availability subject 
to change without notice. - Minimum shipping $4 - We check all credit card orders for validity. J 


Disguising ST Topics 

(c) 1990 David C. Troy 

Hello. Fall is with us again. This is nice. I think that 
more than New Years, September is the time when we 
really make resolutions, new committments, and prom¬ 
ise ourselves that we’ll be productive and whole. For 
me a new school year has begun, along with a lot of 
other things. I’ve got a whole bunch of little stories 
here, all of which could be considered relevant. So sit 
back wide-eyed, and I’ll try to render these dry 
techno-topics a little easier to swallow. 


I switched my major to computer science just 
before the end of last semester. I was majoring in 
behavioral biology, which is fine, but I feel that I’ll be 
able to get more from computer science. At Johns 
Hopkins, at least in my sophomore year, the CS 
curriculum really doesn’t focus on programming, rather 
more on theory. Theory about sets. Theory about logic. 
Theory about data structures. In fact, three of my 
classes currently deal with the same topics. I’ve heard 
Demorgan’s laws about sets twice in one week—using 
different notation each time! How quaint that is! Oh, to 
be able to keep it all straight! Courses in creative 
writing and biology are keeping me from craziness. I’m 
really not a very logical person—I can just pass myself 
off that way sometimes. 

I decided to take Data Structures (600.327) this 
semester. I figured we’d be programming on the 
school's VAX or UNIX system, something I’d grown 
used to while taking C last semester. The DS course is 
taught using Pascal, just because everybody knows it. 
So I just figured I’d have my Stacy 4 up at school (I’m 
renting a room in an apartment with a wide view across 
Baltimore—wonderful) and I could dial into the 
school’s machine and it would be no problem for me to 
program while at school. But no—instead they decided 
they’d rather use Think Pascal on the Mac. Swell. 

Since I commute from work to school, I can’t sit 
around playing in the Mac lab. So, I figured my Stacy 
could still come to the rescue. I trekked to the Mac lab 
yesterday and copied Think Pascal onto some old ICD 
host adapter master disks, and brought them back. I 
installed pascal on my Mega (using Spectre GCR), and 
it works, and I will soon do so on my Stacy. So that’s a 
handy solution to a problem. Now I just have to hand in 
disks, written right on my Stacy, for my homework. 
Thanks, Dave Small. That’s really great. 

As far as lugging my Stacy around, it’s doable. I 
don’t really mind it, other than just being worried about 
its value. Please don’t mug me. 

Desktop Publishing 

For those of you who haven’t learned about my 
fiendish addiction to desktop publishing, you soon will. 

I have long been fascinated—nay aroused— by com¬ 
puter generated type. Back in 1983 I was playing with 
Fancy Font for CP/M. It was great! It was one of the 
first DTP packages of any kind ever! I could print in all 
these strange fonts, at roughly 144 DPI, on an Epson 
MX80. I then began using XLent Software’s Typesetter 
on the eight bit to get pretty printed results (although 
Fancy Font was still better). I started using Publishing 
Partner on the ST at the earliest opportunity, and my 
fascination with DTP has only mushroomed since. 

I, along with a friend of mine, started a business 
called Porcupine Publishing (good complement to 
Toad Computers? send feedback. Our motto is “We 
Get Your Point Across.”) We figured that since Toad 
Computers had all of this equipment just sitting around 
most of the time, we’d utilize the laser printer, the 
T-16’ed Mega 4, and the Toadfile 44 setup to do 
professional DTP work. Good plan. 

So far, we’ve done maybe ten jobs. Primarily, 
we’ve used PageStream combined with Ultrascript to 
produce very nice printed output. Then, after we’re 
satisfied with the results from the SLM804 laser, I can 
take the Postscript file (necessary to print with Ultra¬ 
script anyway) and upload it to a service bureau with 
an L300 Linotronic Imagesetter. That’s way cooL I can 
then have my copy (or my client’s copy) printed at 
1270 DPI for about $8 per page—impossible for me to 
distinguish from typeset quality. 

While I have used Calamus for some of my own 
advertising, and I helped my mother do a 44-page 
publication with it, I haven’t used it much until just 
recently. I simply am not super-thrilled with the fonts 
that come with Calamus. And when I’ve got really 
beautiful postscript fonts seducing me away, why 
should I use the public-domainesque Calamus fonts? 
So, I just recently ordered the ITC Garamond Com- 
pugraphic font for Calamus ; and let me say it does 
make a difference. Since Ca/amus prints much faster 
and can, for many things, be more powerful than 
PageStream , having the ITC Garamond font makes it a 

Page 58 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

much more attractive alternative than it was. I have ITC 
Garamond for U/trascript, and you can't tell it from the 
Calamus version. That makes me very happy. Now I 
can choose objectively between the best of both 
worlds, basing my decision on the features of the 
programs rather than on the beauty of the lettering. 

I have been using Touch-Up along with the 
Migraph Hand Scanner to scan and edit images. I’ve 
discovered Adobe Illustrator is very handy for convert¬ 
ing scanned images into Encapsulated PostScript 
(EPS). For example, I’ve got a little toad logo that a 
friend drew. She drew him with a felt tip pen, about 
three inches tall and an inch wide. I scanned him in, 
and for a long time have just used that scan whenever I 
need him, admittedly very handy. Well, when I became 
more proficient with Adobe Illustrator on the Mac 
(again using Spectre GCR), I converted my nice IMG 
format file into a MacPaint file and proceeded to use 
Illustrator to create a postscript's! ersion of my logo! 

How does this work, you might ask. Well, when 
you load a bit mapped image (like a MacPaint file) into 
Adobe Illustrator it treats that as a template to work on. 
You then use tracing and drawing tools to create 
curves which best approximate your template. Fre¬ 
quently you can just tell Illustrator to automatically 
trace your template, and it will come up with a set of 
connected bezier curves which define your bit mapped 
image quite well. What’s the advantage to this, you 
might ask? 

Well, bezier curves define a curve—not a set of 
dots as IMG files do. A curve will look the same at any 
size—that is to say it will be smooth. Dots, as you see 
when you enlarge an IMG file, look BIG up close. And 
there’s no filling in between them. They’re just big 
mean ugly jaggy dots. So, now I can take my toad logo 
and enlarge him to any printable size and he will be 
completely smooth—as smooth as my output device 
can print. That’s real handy. 

Frequently, artwork that I’m given for things is not 
the right size, or needs significant work. Adobe Illustra¬ 
tors just the tool for that. If you are into DTP, and have 
been looking for a reason to get a Spectre GCR, 
Illustrator is a big one. Another good Mac program is 
TypeStyler. It’s made by Broderbund, and it’s sort of 
like Print Shop squared. You can do quite a lot with 
lettering using TypeSty/er. Complicated fill patterns, 
curves for text to follow, circular text, and strange 
shapes are all great reasons to check out TypeStyler. 
It, too, outputs EPS files. 

When using EPS files, I must print them out using 
the PageStream-U/trascript team, rather than with 
Calamus , because Calamus just doesn’t recognize EPS 
files. But that’s life. I can, though, print out my graphics 
at 1,270 DPI if I choose, also. That’s nice and handy. 

We’re also making use of Calamus Outline Art now 
and again, to make complicated shapes. That’s really 
the nice thing about DTP on the ST—the ability to use 
several different programs together, including Mac and 
IBM programs, to obtain a result. I’ll keep you posted 
on how our DTP venture goes. If any of you are good 
at DTP and have the equipment already, starting a 
business like ours making flyers and related items 
could be a nice way to bring in a few extra dollars. 
Give it some thought. We’re charging $30 per hour for 
layout and design, although I coined the “pain to cost 
ratio system” for when we dawdle due to ignorance. 
This keeps things fair. 


The need for a database management program 
quickly became apparent to me as the number of 
names which I needed to have organized mush¬ 
roomed. Starting a small business, in the beginning, we 
kept a mailing list, sure. Napkins, ASCII files on my 
130XE, and Word Writer\\\as on the ST all helped a lot. 

I decided last year that it was about time that Toad 
Computers start sending out a mailing now and again, 
to keep our customers informed of current specials, 
and our latest exploits and such. So, I began to look for 
a database program. I knew of Data Manager ST, 
Superbase Professional, Tracker ST, DB-MAN, H&D 
Base, and a couple of others. Let me describe the 
problem, and tell you why thus far DB-MAAI has been 
the only program to solve it for me. 

I had a bunch of names in ASCII files from different 
places. They needed to be comma delimited, first, so I 
could distinguish between the various fields and import 
the file into a database at all. That was done through 
voodoo-love techniques. First, I looked at Tracker-ST. 
It is a nice program, written by Nevin Shalit, which is 
basically a mailing list maintainance program. I’m 
thinking “perfect!” Well, it’s written in the Superbase 
Professional runtime package. So, right away I know 
it’s going to be similar to Superbase. Looking at 
Tracker I noticed that the big drawback for me would 
be that it doesn’t have redefinable fields—he sets up 
about 20 which he considers to be relatively generic 
and for a stock mailing list it would be OK. Well, I really 
wanted to have more control over my data—muddy 
hands in the middle of it control. 

So I moved on to Superbase Professional. It was 
OK. I was able to import many, many names into it, 
and I produced an 11,000 piece mailing with it. The 
only problem was that I had about 10 different data¬ 
bases of names which really needed to be combined 
into one, so I could sort all the names by zipcode and 
thus eliminate 99% of the hand sorting necessary for a 
bulk mailing. I did, in fact, do all of the sorting by hand 
in the end. And after that, I swore to never do it again. 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 59 

Now I have about 60,000 nice Atari specific 
names, with about 40,000 more on the way. I needed 
to have this problem solved. Because Superbase Pro 
is a port from the IBM, it can be very unintuitive and 
hard to use. The manual is incomplete at best. When 
it came time to combine all these databases, due to 
memory and time constraints, it just wasn’t possible 
using Superbase —even after I wrote some C pro¬ 
grams to help it along. Boy, was I stumped. 

I ordered for myself the next day DB-MAN. I, for 
one reason or another, had acquired a beginners 
knowledge of DBASE III & IV, and felt I could stumble 
my way through DB-MAN. And I figured I had nothing 
to lose at this point. After I got it, within three hours, I 
had established a complete database of 50,000 
names, and was entering and editing the file like 
crazy. This was wonderful. Of course, my DB-MAN 
DBF file seems to be taking up about 17 megabytes 
of my disk. That’s insanely huge. It works, though. 

DB-MAN is, in its straight form, completely key¬ 
board driven. You can use a mouse with it, but it 
really isn’t necessary for most things. It’s completely 
programmable, and is really quite good. Entering 
names with it is smooth and easy, as where with 
Superbase it was constantly requiring extraneous 
mouse inputs during data entry. I like DB-MAN. It’s 
not pretty, but I’m tired of pretty—I want functional. 


I have been doing a lot of preparing for the 
WAACE show, and I’m real tired. I wrote a piece for 
the show program—look for it. I also made up a nice 
1270 DPI ad for the program—see what I mean about 
the quality of that L300. I’m not going to answer any 
questions this time, because I don’t really have any I 
can answer and I’ve written more than usual anyway. 
What I think I might do next time is print the ones that 
I can’t answer in hopes that someone can. That might 
be really valuable. If anyone has any questions about 
the material I presented in this column, just reach me 
in whichever way is easiest for you. This is stuff which 
I actually know quite a lot about, and I’d love to 
discuss any of the topics in more depth. Remember, 
if your question is used, you get a free CN PD disk! 

• Phone: (301) 544-6943 FAX: (301) 544-1 FAX 

• MAIL: David Troy, 556 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., 

• Severna Park, MD 21146 

• GENIE: Toad-Serv. 

• CompuServe: 72470,1605 

• Internet: 

By the way, I got mail from people telling me that 
my Internet address was really an Internet address, 
and not a Bitnet address, as I had been saying 
before. Error noted and corrected. Thanks for reading. 

- * .“ 

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MEGA ST Internal Kit 

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49Mb 40ms 


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Xtra RAM Upgrade (2.5Mb Max) $95.00 

Z-RAM (2.5Mb Max.) 95.00 

Z-RAM (4Mb Max.) 105.00 

Z-RAM (For Mega ST 2’s) 115.00 

AERCO (For 520ST or 1040ST) 125.00 

2Mb DRAM Chips (80ns) 108.00 

STe 2Mb SIMMS Upgrade Kit CALL 

ST/ime Clock Chip 42.00 

Forget-Me-Clock Cartridge 40.00 

Atari ST TOS 1.4 Chip Set 89.00 

Page 60 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 


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Complete 44MB Removable Hard Drive $729.00 
ICD AdSpeed ST Accelerator $239.00 
2Mb Upgrades as LOW as $203.00 
DVT Hard Drive Backup $109.00 
Migraph Hand Scanner $345.00 


1st Word Plus 58.00 
Atari SF314 
DS Drives 159.00 
Atari STM1 Mouse40.00 
Best ST Mouse 39.00 
Calamus DTP 169.00 
Calamus Font Ed 57.00 
Calamus Outline 165.00 
Utilties 3.0 
Cordless Mouse 

Diamond Back II 
Draw Art Pro 
Drive Master 


F-19 Stealth Fight 35.00 
F-29 Retaliator 29.50 
G+Plus 1.3 20.50 

GFA Basic 3.5e 82.00 

Develop Bk/Dk 24.00 
G Shell 35.00 

GEM Utility Pk 35.00 
Mission Control 35.00 
Harlekin 58.00 

Heroes Quest 35.00 
Hot Wire 2.3 23.00 

Hot Wire Plus 35.00 
Hoyles Bk Games 21.00 
Hyper Chart 149.00 
Hyper Draw 48.00 
Hyper Paint 29.50 
ICD Clean-Up ST 22.00 
ICD Host Adaptors 
AdSCSI Plus 94.00 
AdSCSI 84.00 

AdSCSI Micro 79.00 
Image Cat 
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Space Rogue 


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ST Books 

Capt. Fizz 


Basic Training 


Chrono Quest 


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ST-2-1 BM Drive 15.00 

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British Magazines 



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Supra Host Adaptor 

PC Productivty-Dkl 1.00 

Rev 2.0 w/clock 75.00 

PC Today-Dk 


Their Finest Hour 35.00 


Timework Publish74.00 

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Tracker ST 


ST Action-Dk 



Turbo Hard Drive 30.00 

ST Format-Dk 


Turbo Jet 


ST User-Dk 


Tweety Board 


ST World 



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Modem Features 
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n Works with any standard terminal 
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n MOV Varistor Lightning Protection! 
q Phoneline impedance matching mini¬ 
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Once more I find myself sitting before my com¬ 
puter monitor struggling to peck out this column before 
its submission is more than merely “fashionably late.” 
My family and I have just returned from a week’s 
vacation and I have been frantically trying to re-adjust 
our schedules to accommodate the start of another 
school year. 

It is perhaps fitting then that the two programs I 
want to tell you about are designed to aid in learning. 
They, however, fill two quite different niches. 

Testmaster 2.0.1 

The first is called TestMaster 2.01 which was 
written by William Shipley. If you recall from last time, I 
mentioned that another brave soul was kind enough to 
send a diskette with two of his shareware programs for 
me to try out. Bill Shipley was that individual. I gave 
TestMaster a go and I was immediately impressed. 
Finally, I found a test generating program that didn’t 
require a tutorial or advanced degree to use. 

Mr. Shipley included well written documentation for 
the use of TestMaster. However, the design of the 
program is good enough that you may be able to use 
the program without having to refer to the instructions 
at all. 

TestMaster features a graphically appealing menu 
which allows you to create tests, join tests and take 
tests. Screen prompts tell you precisely what you need 
to do, each step of the way. The program lets you 
choose from two test formats, multiple choice or 

MAIN MENU ggggs 

Create a test It 

Join tests 

Select a test 

Review data 

138 take a Multiple choice test 

eXit program 

With either test style, the computer keeps a run¬ 
ning tally of your score. Obviously, the value of one 
test style over another may depend on how many 
questions and answers you enter. The multiple choice 
test selects other answers from the test data you 
entered to display along with the correct response. You 
could be presented with the same choices for each 
question if your test size is sufficiently small. Also, you 
won’t be as likely fooled by trick answers, since the 
program randomly chooses answers from your test 

The appeal of TestMaster for me rests with its 
intuitive design and flexibility of application. I could be 
quite comfortable using the program as a learning aid 
for any college level courses I may take. I can just as 
easily use it to help my six year old learn to answer 
simple math equations. My only criticism is that once 
you started to take a test you can not abort until the 
test to be administered is completed. This may not be 
unlike real life though, since how many teachers would 
let you leave the classroom during exam time, because 
you decided you would rather bag the test? 

Mr. Shipley resides in Severna Park, Maryland, a 
stone’s throw from my grandfather’s beach cottage on 
the Severn River. The cottage was the source of my 
most pleasant memories of summer vacations, until it 
was sold in the early Seventies. The author asked that I 
submit his diskette to Current Notes for inclusion in the 
software library. It is now CN #495. I want to thank him 
for sending such a fine example of his work, and hope 
he will consider sending other efforts. 


I hope you won’t mind the departure from the 
world of shareware to tell you about a functioning 
demonstration program entitled Guitaristics. Guitaristics 
is a guitar tutorial program written by Chro-Magic 
Software of Joplin MO. The two authors, Messrs. 
Collins and LaGrange are struggling software develo¬ 
pers/musicians who have taken a big step to market 
their product themselves. I have submitted this demo 
as well to Current Notes, (see CN #496D. -JW) 

Page 62 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

I stumbled across Guitaristics one evening while 
searching for any programs related to the guitar. My 
hope was to find programs which I could use as a 
learning aid. You see, I have only been playing guitar 
for over 20 years and I am still a frustrated novice. 

Though I spent a pretty penny in on-line time, I 
was rewarded with a demo which amply displayed the 
best features of this commercial program. Enough of 
the features are enabled to give you a good feel for the 
program. However, enough of them are unavailable so 
you are left wanting to spring for the $49.00 to buy the 
program. You are reminded throughout the use of the 
demo about how to order Guitaristics. 

The program is designed to be used with either the 
computer’s internal speaker or with a midi interface. I 
am still a babe in the woods when it comes to 
understanding anything related to midi. That small fact 
did not deter me from buying a midi keyboard for use 
with my ST. As a long time and frustrated guitar player, 

I hoped that I could use the midi capability of the ST to 
help me build some chops. 

Guitaristics is designed to be the perfect computer 
guitar teacher. I dare say using Guitaristics may be a 
friendlier, and, in the long run cheaper, alternative to 
taking individual instructions with a live and typically 
crabby guitar virtuoso. 

While I won’t go into too much depth to describe 
the program, let me say that Guitaristics gives you 
plenty of help and practice opportunities. You can 
adjust the speed of play. You can listen to a scale over 
and over, and practice accordingly. You can sound 
arpeggiated chords, and I am told in the more recent 
incarnation of the program, hear the full chord itself. 

As a musician, have you ever yearned for new 
chord voicings to give your playing that extra oomph? 
Guitaristics will present you a screen full of chord 
voicings to choose from. Each note is labled to show 
you its function in the chord. The chord is shown in a 
number of locations on the guitar to help you out in 
many playing situations. 

I was quite taken with the potential of the program. 
The demo gave me a little taste, but I would need the 

working version to really try the program out. The 
authors told me they are working on an equivalent 
program for the piano. I am excited about that possibi¬ 
lity as well. 

While I bought a keyboard initially for its use as a 
midi interface, I have become quite taken with the idea 
of learning to play keyboard for its own sake. While my 
playing would never rival the likes of Liberace, Billy 
Joel or Bruce Hornsby, I have almost gotten “Mary 
Had a Little Lamb” down cold. Who knows? Today— 
“Mary Had a little Lamb,” tomorrow—“Chop Sticks.” 

As always, if you have or know of a program you 
would like to see receive deserved attention, send it to: 
Brian Miller, 13848 Delaney Road, Woodbridge, Va. 

Until next time, take care! 



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October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 63 

A Yankee Abroad 

Installment II 

by Charles Warren 

Atari in Saudi Arabia? 

Saturday morning, the 25th of 
August, a squadron of F-lllFs, led by 
Col. Tom Lennon, 48th Tactical 
Fighter Wing commander, flew from 
RAF Lakenheath to Saudi Arabia in 
support of operation Desert Shield. 

Along with the fighters, the wing 
deployed associated equipment and 
people. They are part of the deterrent 
force the United States and its allies are 
building in the area. It was a long 
weekend. Blame the United States Air 
Force if this column is late. Inciden¬ 
tally, does anyone know of an Atari 
dealer in Saudi Arabia? 

Tommy and the TT 

Now the computer-related news: 
Tommy Software, the West German 
firm responsible for MegaPaint //> have 
boycotted the Atari Fair in Dusseldorf, 
West Germany, the largest Atari show 
in the world (over 40,000 people atten¬ 
ded last year). Citing the “incompre¬ 
hensible maneuvering with which Atari 
has thoroughly unsettled the ST mar¬ 
ket,” Tommy complained that “theTT 
computer, continuously heralded for 
three years now, has still not 
appeared.” The contradiction is that 
production versions of the TT did 
appear at the show. It was even repor¬ 
ted to be “available for delivery.” I’ll 
believe it when 1 see it on the shelves. 

The TT is fast. Its Motorola 68030 
processorruns at 32 MHz instead of 16 
MHz. The TT030 also sports a new 
512K version of the OS, TOS 3.01. The 
68881 maths coprocessor is too slow 
for a 32 MHz machine, so the 68882 is 
being touted instead. According to tests 
by Atari Netherlands, ST software runs 
five to seven times faster on the TT. 
After optimization, the same software 
runs 10 times faster. 

In addition to the three ST graph¬ 
ics modes (low, medium, high) with a 
palette of 4,096 colors, the TT supports 
320 by 480 resolution with 256 colors, 
640 by 480 with 16 colors and 1,280 
by 960 in monochrome. The sound is 
supported by the three-voice YM2149, 
and the two-channel stereo DMA. In 
the realm of interfaces, the TT is 
provided with two serial (expandable to 
four), parallel, cartridge, DMA, MIDI In, 
MIDI Out, 25-pin SCSI, low speed 
LAN, and VGA monitorports. 

Atari has abandoned the System V 
Release 3 version of Unix. It has 



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Atari, Mega, and ST are registered trademarks of AtariCorp. Olympian Software 

Page 64 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

decided to use the new industry stan¬ 
dard V.4 instead. This is being ported 
to the ST by Unisoft in the UK. The 
switch is for the better, but it does 
mean a delay of at least six months. 
The TT with two megabytes of RAM 
(expandable to 24 MB),40 MB HD and 
color monitor retails in the UK for 
under $4,000. 

ST Emulator 

Medusa has launched an ST emu¬ 
lator for the Amiga. For approximately 
$360, you get a tiny PCB to slot into 
the A500 or 2000, emulation software, 
and an ST utility disk. Run a utility 
called ‘GETTOS’ which dumps the 
Atari ROM to disk (can this be legal?), 
and you have an ST which can address 
a total of nine megabytes (an improve¬ 
ment of five MB over a real ST). 

All three Atari resolutions can be 
displayed on a standard Amiga monitor, 
although mono mode does suffer from 
flicker. The emulator will read and 
write Atari format disks using Amiga 

drives. Hard drive owners can set up an 
Atari format partition. 

The emulator runs at about 95% 
the speed of a real ST, and the vast 
majority of ST applications software- 
- Calamus, Protext, and GFA BASIC 
for example—run without a hitch. 
However, don’t expect to play Chaos 
Strikes Back Most ST games software 
doesn’t work. 

This is certain to add fuel to the 
my-machine-is-better than-yours 
debate. After all, the argument goes 
(listening to Spectre GCR and PC Ditto 
owners), it is only possibleto emulate a 
machine using a machine that is signi¬ 
ficantly more powerful. 

I tend to interpret this develop¬ 
ment positively. To me, an ST emulator 
for the Amiga shows that someone has 
supreme confidence in the future of 
serious software on the ST. Besides, 
isn’t emulation the sincerest form of 

An AT for the ST 

Speaking of emulators, Silica Sys¬ 
tems is shipping the ATonce 80286 PC 
emulator for the ST. The current ver¬ 
sion 1.14 offers full ‘protected mode’ 
and supports the new 1.44 MB drives. 
Protected mode means that it will be 
able to run software such as Windows 
Jj \ and other 286-specific software. 
ATonce supports CGA, Hercules, Oli¬ 
vetti, and Toshiba T3100 video emula¬ 
tion. It also talks to the printer, serial 
and mouse ports. It retails for approxi¬ 
mately $400. 

AT Speed (the 286 heir to PC 
Speed) has been upgraded to include 
protected mode operation, and one 
other interesting feature: it can also be 
run as a background task. Rename the 
program to .ACC from .PRG and AT 
Speed can be accessed as a desktop 
accessory. However, this can only be 
achieved if the ST has over 1 MB of 
free RAM. AT Speed can be bought for 

Miu tuoah. Mac. and HyperCard are trademark* of Apple Computer, Inc. • Magic Sac and Tranalaior One are trademark* of DaU Pacific, Inc. • Adobe Dlu*traior u a trademark of Adobe Syaiem*. Inc. • PageMaker i* a trademark of Aldu* 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 65 

ATonce and AT Speed both claim 
Norton Cl ratings of 6.7. 

MIDI for the STE 

MPH are set to release TCB 
Tracker, a 4-channel music synthesizer, 
drum machine, and mixing studio that 
allows you to play back four different 
samples all at the same time in stereo 
(STE only) without special hardware. It 
will automatically make use of any 
extra memory, disk drives and MIDI 

TCB Tracker uses special techni¬ 
ques to replay all four channels simul¬ 
taneously at lOKhz. It uses a maximum 
of 28% processor time on a standard 
ST, or 5% processor time on the STE. 
Code is included on the disk to allow 
inclusion in a GFA Basic program. By 
the way, TCB Tracker was program¬ 
med by that talented demo crew, The 
Care Bears. 

Interestingly, Quartet 2 will soon 
be shipping (the second incarnation of a 

program that does much the same thing 
as TCB Tracke/). The program now 
boasts STE support and stereo output. 
A $60 adaptor can be attached to 
standard STs for stereo output. 

Pagestream or Proxima? 

A company in Britain named Net¬ 
work News Services (NNS) has been 
selling copies of PagcStream as Pro~ 
xj/na They have been bad-mouthing 
Ca/arnus'm their advertisements, calling 
it suitable only for amateurs. NNS 
claims a verbal agreement with Soft- 
logik, but Soft-logik denies any know¬ 
ledge of the deal. NNS supposedly fixed 
the “bugs” that apparently plague 
PageStream (ST Format magazine 
recently gave Prox/watho highest rat¬ 
ing that it has ever given a DTP 
package, so perhaps some of the claims 
are true). 


CPA Bas/chas been been tweaked 
yet again. Below is a list of what has 

been added in revision 3.5EE (the EE 
stands for stE and English). 

Back in Dusseldorf, Atari Germany 
launched a budget laser printer, the 
SLM605, and demonstrated Atari-Net, 
Ethernet networking for the Mega ST 

How about a little deja vu? If I 
told you about a computer company 
who announced a cheap CD ROM 
player, who promised to ship it “any 
day now,” what firm would you be 

If you guessed Commodore, you 
would be right. Commodore's CDTV 
project was launched in February 1990. 
Reporting directly to the president of 
Commodore,a secret team of 26 came 
up with a product that combines TV 
graphics, text, animation and expanded 
audio capabilities in a CD player. 

The product is expected to be in 
the shops in November, with 50 of 94 
titles published by December. I remem- 


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Page 66 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

Total Recall the Schwarzenegger 
movie, is getting the games treatment 
and should be available in October, 
from Ocean. Microprose promises the 
imminent release of Betrayal, “a board 
game without the board,” in which four 
players can play simultaneously. Also 
slated are Universal Military Simulator 
11 and Starlord Mirrorsoft is bringing 
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to your 
computer screen this Christmas. 

Electronic Arts is hoping to repeat 
the success of Populous with Power- 
Monger (Populous II), to be released 
sometime in September. Electronic Arts 
will also shortly ship Centurion:Defen¬ 
der of Roma “a more playable version” 
of Cinema ware’s Defender of the 

Mindscape is racing for pole-posi¬ 
tion with a stock-car simulation based 
on the new Tom Cruise movie, Days of 
Thunder Core Design has just released 
a SF RPG named Corporation but with 
a twist. Send your copy of the game 
back to Core with a photo and some 
personal details, and they will incor¬ 
porate you into the game. Your face 
appears on the ID card in the corner of 
the screen, and even the height at 
which you view the game is set to 
match your height. 

Infogrames will soon launch the 
successor to Tetris, Welltris This time 
the viewpoint is from above, as if 
looking down a well. Tiles fall down 
the sides and you position them as in 
Tetris. Yawn. 

ber when Atari used to be able to work 
as fast (Atari engineers brought up the 
ST prototype in six months). What ever 
happened to Atari’s CD ROM player (a 
few models in the hands of developers 
do NOT count), the CDAR504? 

In the ‘Coming Soon’ department, 
Signa Publishing promises Arabesque, a 
super-sophisticated mono graphics 
package combining bitmap images with 
vector graphics. By the end of Septem¬ 
ber, Kuma should begin delivery of 
Adimens3, a relational database that is 
described as a “cult hit” in Germany. 
Both Vortex and Sack are working on 
80386 versions of their PC emulators. 
AT Speed ‘386 should arrive first, and 
it won’t cost much more than the ‘286 
version. Rombo’s color digitizer 
upgrade, VidiChrome-ST, is set to 
arrive in September. 

Games and More Games 

And now a few paragraphs for the 
dedicated gamers. 

Lucasfilm Games have planned a 
“fourth quarter” release for The Secret 
of Monkey Island, a swash-buckling 
adventure in the style of Zak MacK- 

Next month I’ll have full details of 
the European Computer Entertainment 
Show, and more news from the Atari 
Fair in Dusseldorf. 

Happy Atari computing until then! 

Handle files Anywhere, Anytime with Universal Item Selector 
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Here’s what others say: 

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always have booted up, including 
Universal Item Selector, (1 prefer 
the extra features it offers even 
over our own START Selector).” 

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Editor START 

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and we gave it our highest recom¬ 

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Galveston, TX 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 67 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 


To ^,rms! In a Magical Land 

/ \ Reviewed by Joe Sapienza 

Harken ye to me! Pay thy strict Intent to the script laid 
doum upon this parchment! Magician. Scout, Warrior, and 
Priest, duties towards thy world are at hand for the prophesy has 
come to pass and ... [pause] ... [sudden realization!] ... 
[embarrassed pause] ... oops, forgot that I was in the 
here and now, and not in the lands of Drakkhen! I’ve 
been so involved in this game that it’s difficult to 
disengage myself from the land of the Drakks. Follow 
me and my band of adventurers, and I’ll take you on a 
journey to a magical land that has been brought to us 
by the European company, Infogrames. 

History. The empire has grown and prospered for 
ages, thanks to Magic. Priests of the One and the 
Magicians had, for years, helped grow and maintain 
crops, propel and guide the navies and build the cities 
of the land. In times of need their powers were used to 
repel enemies and heal the sick and injured. A 
civilization so dependent on this Magic that it figura¬ 
tively and literally fell when that power wholly and 
completely failed. The Emperor, while striving to 
maintain order, bid the Priests and Magicians to 
investigate the reason for this failure. After a thorough 
search, an ancient prophesy was uncovered which 
detailed the end of human kind and their magic on the 
earth when the LAST dragon in the land was killed. 

Unwilling to believe that such an event had 
occurred, they searched on until an outland warrior 
arrived at port and announced this very deed! The fact 
that he was duly tried for the heinous act, and 
executed, changed nothing, and the realization that the 
end was indeed coming stirred the Emperor and magic 
users to look to any quarter for help. Thus it was that a 
badly damaged ship sailed into port with a bedraggled 
crew and ship’s Magician. This Magician gained direct 
audience with the Emperor and his high council who 
then unfolded a fantastic tale of a new Island of 
Dragons that had appeared which would soon grow 
and encompass the land. Convinced that unraveling 
the mystery of this island was the only hope, the 
Emperor assembled four of his most valued subjects 
and, armed with all the knowledge brought back by the 
ship, sent them on the quest to save mankind. 

Don’t Just Stand There, Do Something! To 

begin playing Drakkhen, you must first create the 
characters with which you will roam the dragon island. 
A separate program is provided for this task. First, you 
determine the sex of the character you wish to create. 
Next, you choose from the cast of Priest, Fighter, 

Scout, and Magician; the program rightly changes the 
titles to Priestess and Amazon for female characters. 
Eleven spaces are provided to bequeath your cham¬ 
pion with a name and, if desired, a title. 

Your final task is assigning numerical values to five 
traits: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, 
and Education. Appropriately, the value for Luck is 
beyond your control. A D&D type set of dice randomly 
generates your numbers. The manual that accom¬ 
panies the game gives you hints as to where to assign 
your higher numbers, dependent on cast. Completing 
the above for each of your four characters then 
generates a character/game save disk to use for the 
remainder of the game. I created my heroes to match 
those I used in Dungeon MasteA 

The Quest Begins. Your color screen is divided 
into five areas that allow you to see and interact with 
the Drakkhen world. The following is a rundown of the 
five zones and their function. 

1) Character State: Shows a visual, frontal view of 
all four characters as well as their hit point, protection, 
and spell-unit levels. You can check what each 
character is carrying, add or subtract weapons and 
clothing, and activate or deactivate magical devices 
and potions. The Bottomless Pit, where you dispose of 
articles no longer necessary, and the interface with the 
weaponssmith are also accessed here. 

2) Action Window: Allows you visual access to the 
Drakkhen world. Movement of your party is performed 
in either individual or group mode. The former allows 
you to see and maneuver each character individually 
and is used in situations such as fighting, visiting 
houses, tents, and igloos, and traversing the Dragon 
castles. Control of your characters is by mouse ‘point 
and click.’ The latter is brought into play when traveling 
the lands, and while in group mode, movement is 
controlled by the four cursor keys. 

3) Weapon and Spell Display: Indicates for each 
character whether he has a weapon ready (or not), or a 
spell. As your magic users gain levels, they will acquire 
more spells. The arcane symbols that make up the 
spell are displayed. You have the option of scrolling 
through the spells available in this window, or you can 
use keyboard equivalents. 

4) Dialog Zone: Any dialog between the various 
dragons, priests, and inhabitants of the island and your 

Page 68 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

CN Review 

Atari ST/Mega 

party is displayed in this zone. Also, any feedback 
resulting from operating or inspecting your environ¬ 
ment will be displayed here. 

5) Command Zone: Eight commands are available 
for your chosen party member: Inspect, Exit, Take, 
Combat (group attack), Activate, Greet, Question, and 
Impress. These are fairly self explanatory. Various other 
control and command items are explained in the 
manual. Game load/save is performed from this zone. 

The More the Merrier? Since the premise of the 
story is the annihilation of mankind, one would expect 
to encounter a wide variety of beasts and assailants. 
You won’t be disappointed! More than 35 various 
opponents live in this world, with various methods of 
movement and attack. These monsters include Giant 
Spiders and Scorpions, Serpents and Snakes, Rock 
Monsters, Bats and Crows, Fire and Water Elementals, 
several varieties of Drak soldiers, Minotaurs, and Blobs. 
There is little room to name them all, so I’ll leave you to 
discover the rest. While obviously deadly, combat with 
these creatures provides your characters with 
experience points. When monsters are destroyed, they 
can leave jade coins, various articles of clothing, 
armour, weaponry, and magical items to the character 
who deals the killing blow. 

Four on the Floor. The Drakkhen island is 
divided into four separate regions (the Ice Lands, the 
Marshes, the Countryland, and the Desert). These 
regions are ruled by certain Dragon Lords. Part of the 
mystery and game play is determining who rules 
where. Different creatures, both friend and foe, as well 
as dwellings to visit, are inherent to these four 
quadrants. Throughout your travels your champions will 
traverse well-marked roads, which is essential to 
romping through the island. Some important informa¬ 
tion can only be gathered on these paths, while other 
tidbits must be searched for off in the countrysides. 
Magical transporters can be found that will whisk your 
group to other parts of the island in an instant! 

Mixing Business with Religion. There are, for 
those of true faith, holy temples to be found among the 
regions. Hit points can be regained, and poisons can 
be cured at the temples—provided your crew has 
enough jade to pay for the priest’s services. Given 
enough treasure, these priests even have the power to 
restore life! The amount of jade required for each of 
these deeds is considerable; one must decide whether 
to rely on your own priestly or magical abilities, or 
reload a saved game before requesting such succor. 
Also in one of the quadrants, a weaponsmith can be 
found. Greater armour, weapons, and various items of 
earthly and magical implementation can be bought and 
sold to help your band along. Be sharp! One who does 
not haggle may pay a higher price! 

October 27, 1990 

University of Massachusetts Boston 
Harbor Campus Boston, MA 02125 
Show Hours: 9:00AM - 4:00PM 
AtariFest ’90 Hotline: (617) 527-4952 

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Attendee Info 

Admission $5 
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October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 69 

Atari ST/Mega 

CN Review 

Reflections in the Magic 
Mirror. As you might expect from 
the introduction to this review, I 
loved this game. It has kept me 
deeply involved to the point of 
forsaking a lot else! Considering the 
fact that I created my Drakkhen 
characters to match my Dungeon 
Master ones, one might be led to 
believe that the two games are 
similar. Yes and No. The many 
differences are matched by the 
similarities, providing a new game 
that is easy to get hooked on. Each 
has up to four champions, male/ 
female options, and various casts to 
choose from. Unlike Dungeon Mas¬ 
ter, once a cast is picked for a 
character, she or he cannot cros¬ 
strain to other abilities. They do, 
however, increase their “profes¬ 
sion’s” levels/skills. Your party does 
not sleep, nor need you concern 
yourself with their dietary needs. 
The passing of time can be noted 
with the rising and setting of the 

Being able to see each indivi¬ 
dual character move and interact 
within the Drakk world is very 
entertaining! Certain Magic spells 
can visibly be seen leaving the 
caster's hands to travel to your 
chosen destination. During the 
fighting sequences, both the good 
and bad guys bleed—depending 
on who has the upper hand! The 
sprite animation and attention to 
detail add to the realism; quite 
often I found my body weaving with 
the scenery, and my head ducking 
some creature attacks! 

The only thing I did not like 
about this game was the very 
cryptic clues that had to be deci¬ 
phered. Many red herrings and 
frequent vague leads resulted in 
frustration. Just before I (finally) 
completed the game, I realized I’d 
been doing some things the hard 
way. One clue, which really ham¬ 
pered my ending the game, I never 
found (I read about it in the Amiga 
section on GEnie). And speaking of 
the end, the final sequences are not 

anything to write home about, but I 
was happy to get there. 

The Final Proclamation. I 

give this game “two thumbs up!” 
Judging from a few of the mes¬ 
sages I’ve read on GEnie, some 
would not. Then again, I’ve hit a few 
who didn’t care for Dungeon Master 
either. The main complaint seems 
to be the difficulty level at which the 
game starts. True, it is easy to have 
individual characters, or your whole 

group decimated very quickly, but I 
enjoyed the challenge. Save often 
and learn where safe areas are for 
your party to rest. As with any 
program, if you have the ability to 
try this game out before you buy it, 
then do so. Otherwise, if you enjoy 
games of this gender, add this 
jewel to your collection. 

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STalker and STeno 

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STalker is a complete terminal emulator that does everything in the 
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Desk File view Options 

08:32 PM 

Downloading tv.title.lzh - 59392 bytes, Blk 59 fltt 1 Err 1 06:12 

STalker: NCflUS Line 1 (2400) 

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Download this file (Y,N,Q) CN3 ? Yes 
•Transfer protocol: 


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Page 70 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

ST TOOLBOX ♦ J. Andrzej Wrotniak 

Doing Things A Different Way 

New Versions of Three Utilities from CodeHead 

I have recently received 
updates of three well-known Atari 
ST programs from CodeHead Soft¬ 
ware: HotWire, MaxiFile and Multi- 
Desk (all three are now in the Ver¬ 
sion 2 stage). Mr. Johnson, 
Mr. Eidsvoog and their co-workers 
are serious about supporting the ST 
(they know a good computer when 
they see one) and the continuing 
refinement and support of their 
products is, indeed, quite a rare 
phenomenon in the ST field. 

All programs come with well-writ¬ 
ten, complete and clear manuals and 
work as advertised. All represent incre¬ 
mental improvements from previous 
versions, and they can work as one 
system, communicating and passing 
control between themselves in a seam¬ 
less fashion-a nice touch. As a matter 
of fact, you can install them in such a 
way that all your sessions with the ST 
can be spent without using the GEM 
desktop at all. 

MultiDcsk. MultiDcsk^Wows you 
to install up to 32 desktop accessories 
at one time (there is a way to install 
more if you need to), and to change the 
accessory setup on the fly, without 
rebooting. It can be run as a desktop 
accessory itself, or directly from the 
desktop (or from HotlVire, of course). 

My review of an earlier version can 
be found in the December 1988 issue of 
Current Notes. Visible improvements 
include more flexibility in the configu¬ 
ration process and quite a few nice 
small touches scattered all around the 
program. Compatibility with some other 
ST programs has also been improved. 

A good utility is now better and 
my previous endorsement of MultiDesk 
still holds. If you have a need to 
re-load your accessories dynamically or 
to run them from the desktop, then 

MuitiDesk will do it reliably and in 

MaxiFile. This utility does things 
to your disk files such as copying, 
renaming, moving, deleting, changing 
file attributes and virtually anything 
else. In this aspect it competes directly 
with the Universal Item Selector III 

The choice between MaxiFile and 
UIS III may be, to a large extent, a 
matter of personal preferences. On one 
hand, I find UIS III quicker and more 
intuitive to use, but on the other hand, 
MaxiFile has some extra functions 
which the Z^does not have. 

For example, the directory listing 
(as shown below) can be filtered not 
just through one template (e.g. “show 
just the *.DOCfiles”),but through any 
combination of up to 16 templates (like 
“show all *.DOC, *.TXT and *.ASC 
files). In addition, th« filtering can be 
set either to include the selected exten¬ 
sions or to exclude them from the list. 
On the other hand, using some of the 
MaxiFile features seems to be less 
straightforward than it could be (for 
example, changing the “Source” and 
“Destination” paths). 

This comparison could go on and 
on. Of course, a dedicated file-handling 
utility using about three times as much 
memory as UniversalAovs can afford to 
have extra goodies included. The real 
question is whether the extra capabili¬ 
ties are worth the extra memory, 
money and trouble. The buying deci¬ 
sion will strongly depend on your file¬ 
handling needs, working habits and 
personal taste. I can live without Maxi¬ 
File but you may find it indispensable 
in your work. Try before buying, or 
better yet, get yourself a copy of the 
freeware MultiFile which is a scaled- 
down version. If you like it, you will 
like MaxiFi/eeven more. 

Hot Wire. Hot Wire is, in principle, 
a program-launching shell. You will 
not find much (if any) use for it on a 
floppy-based system, but if you have a 
hard drive, you may find it very handy- 
-depending, again, on your working 
habits and preferences. 

The main screen (see picture) cons¬ 
ists mostly of a list of programs. You 
can enter programs scattered all over 
your hard disk. From that moment on, 
clicking on a program name (yes, you 

Executing MAXIFILE.Q... 

17:16 _ 

* Source: D:\FQHTS\FONTS_LQ\ 

* Dest! C:\UTILITY\ 

676,386 bytes in 73 itens, 

Files: 4 

Folders: 0 





























































i—M Mil 













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Move Copy Erase Hane OtHer More Save 


October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 71 

can assign meaningful names to the 
entries, not just the file names) will 
execute it without fuss. 

This is not unlike placing program 
icons on the NeoDesk desktop, except 
that HotWire allows for up to 54 
programs at one time (as opposed to 16 
program icons in NeoDesk2). 

Now, this may not seem like a big 
deal, but again, you are given a very 
high degree of control on how the 
programs are run. You can assign pro¬ 
grams to “hot keys” on the keyboard, 
chain them into automatically executed 
sequences, assign default command 
lines, and much, much more. 

Desk File Edit Configure Options 

ARC Shell 
AH Address Book 
AH Printer Setter 
AH Update 

Checksum Checker 
Checksum Enbedder 
DC Formatter 
DC Squish 
Degas Elite 
Easy Draw 
El Cal 
First Mail 
First Hord Plus 

GEM Font Editor 
GFA Basic 

Hard Drive Toolkit 

Icon Editor 
Kuma Resource 
Laser C 

LD Font Editor 
OSS Pascal 
Packer II 

Prospero Compilers 
Publisher ST 
Publisher Font Table 

Resource Constructor 

Screen Dump 24^ 
Star Base 
STOS Basic 
Supra Park 

Virus Killer 

Mark MiIlians C 
Hercs Resource 
Hord Up 
Hord Mriter 






HotWire can be even installed in 
the AUTO folder, and then invoked 
from the GEM desktop with a simple 
keystroke combination or just a right 
mouse click. (Unfortunately, this does 
not seem to work from within Neo- 
Desk but the chances are that you will 
choose one of these programs to use 
and not both.) 

The program has direct hooks to 
call both MaxiFi/e and Mu/tiDcsk ]us\ 
by clicking on their respective icons. 
This means that if you choose to use 
both HotWire and MaxiFilq you may 
never need to see the GEM desktop 

1 have two minor complaints about 
HotWire First, an icon to call the File 

Selector directly from its main screen 
would be nice (if, for example, 1 choose 
not to use the MaxiFi/e&nd to do my 
disk operations from the UISIIP). 

Second, if you call MaxiFiJe or 
MultiDesk from HotWire while they 
are not installed as accessories (yes, 
they can be accessed from the disk as 
well), and if HotWire does not find 

13 issues for the 
price of 12 
























Phone _ 

You get 13 (for the price of 12) exciting issues of 
ST Informer Monthly tabloid that is packed with 
the latest Atari news, reviews, commentary and PD 
offerings, plus a FREE disk for only $18. Choose a 
FREE disk from our PD Catalog sent with your 
subscription acknowledgement. Mail this coupon 
today, or call (503) 476-0071 FAX(503) 479-1825 
and charge it to your charge card. Mention Current 
Notes for 13 for 12 offer. 

SO nnyft£gnyngf| 


Dept CN, 909 NW Starlite Place, 


Grants Pass, OR 97526 


Current Notes 
ST Library 

Club Librarians Take Note: 

CN library now on SyQuest 
44Mb Removable Cartridges 

CART i: 

CN 1989/9© 

112 PD and Shareware disks 
introduced by Current Notes from July 
1989 through June 1990. 

CART 2: 

The SPECTRE Collection 

80 Spectre disks plus all of the CN 
Magic Sac and Spectre columns from 
March of 1987 through July 1990. 

139.95 each* 

Order from CN Library, 122 N. Johnson Rd., 
Sterling, VA 22170 (703)450-4761. VISA & MC 
welcome. *+$3.S&H per disk. 

Page 72 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

them in the default directory, then it 
will give you a chance to identify their 
directories. This choice is not saved 
with the settings file. Let me stress, 
these are quite minor complaints and 
the program has really lots of thought¬ 
ful nice touches. 

Should you go right away and buy 
a copy of HotWire ?? Well, on one 
hand, it is a well-written, well-behaved 
and powerful program from a very 
dependable source. On the other, it you 
do not switch between applications 
often, you may find the GEM desktop 
quite adequate (to say nothing about 
NeoDesk vastly enhancing the stan¬ 
dard desktop without changing your 
working habits). Some “power users” 
will find HotWire an essential utility 
and a new way of life with their STs, 
others will just shrug their shoulders. 
Whatever buying decision we finally 
make, we should be happy the people 
from CodeHead provided us with a 

HotWire ($40), MultiDcsk ($30) 
and MaxiFilc($35)are available from 

CodeHead Software, P.O.Box 74090, 
Los Angeles, CA 90004 together with 
their excellent GDOS replacement, 

If you would like to learn more 
about the CodeHead pxogxams, Messrs. 
Eidsvoog and Johnson will be at the 
DC AtariFest, so you can see the 
demonstration of their programs there. 

ST Toolbox Mailbox 

QZHn the last Letters to Editor Mr. 
John Godbcy was asking about 
the availability of the German Sky 
Plot program. A couple of months 
ago 1 spotted a copy at L&Y 
Electronics in Woodbridge, VA"it 
should still be there. 

CD^Mr. Richard Oliver, USCG Ret. 
is looking for a good screen dump 
utility for his Panasonic KX-P1124. 
The Screen Dump 24 a.k.a. 
SCRDMP24.PRG (Public Domain 
courtesy of Mr. Wilga from Gribnif) 
works very nicely with both the 
KX-P and the Epson LQ series. My 
long-postponed column on the 

printer utilities should be out as 
soon as the Fest activities are over. 

ID'Dr. William Destlcr (last 
months issue) praises Debonair 
Software (of which 1 am a part) for 
making a house call to fix a minor 
problem he experienced in our 
El Cal Well, we were just having a 
party in his neighbourhood anyway, 
we had to see the problem to 
believe, and we were also hoping 
that he would not tell anybody 
about it in the first place.... No, we 
do not make house calls in Hawaii 
(unless you pay the airfare or we 
have a party scheduled there). 

If you read this column sometimes, 
and if you have any related questions 
or remarks, drop by to visit the 
Debonair/Brumlevebooth (yes, we are 
sharing with Dorothy this year) at the 
AtariFest. 1 am expecting to have Jots 
of free time, so we can chat a little—if 
you can make your way through all 
those crowds of kids. 

For your budding journalist or mathematician: 


iium nongpgOODOPOPB/57 

a unique graphics design 
program with a focus on 
creative thinking skills! 

& experiment with patterns 

☆ create and play onscreen 

☆ blind drawing and other 
unusual and challenging 

iir print your own coloring 
book, portfolio, or poster 

A block, mirroring, text: 
sophisticated functions- 
-but easy to use! 





Ibii J.s_o_pidir e. of how e.. 

Mu- Xoqb. i s fiD-ibc-lop-UoDCU and 
buJ acotbec !* rooB.. La r isbi under 

Page i 



a desktop publishing 
pron program for young writers 

& publish your own illustrated 
stories, posters, etc 
four built-in font styles, and 
parent or teacher can create 
a fifth 

extensive drawing program 
title page, LOAD options 
word wrap feature, 
underlining, and mouse 
control of cursor 


Both recommended for ages 5-11. $35 each. 

Also available: Super Kidgrid for ages 3-11, $25. 
Atari ST/STe/Mega with color monitor required. 
Printer must accept an ST screen dump. 

See us at WAACE AtariFest ’90/ 
Your child will love these programs! 
kidprgs by D.A. BGUMLEVE 

s 2173371937 

** Introducing the ©@: J v? *' 

reatures of the GOOD backup Utility: 




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 Onves 

All this 


for only: 


Suggested Retail Price, 
i massachusetts add sales tax) 



Tidbit Software Engineering Company 
25 Wood Lane, Aaynard A A 01754 
Telephone (508) 897-7429 _ 

- Copies data from a selected active disk 
partition to a pie of ordinary TOS readable 
backup disks. 

- A backup can be interrupted before it is 
done, to be completed later 

- You can keep your backup saveset on floppy 
disks, removable cartridge drives, or keep a 
shadow partition on another hard disk unit. 

- Ho folder limit on backup or restore 

- Any file that cannot be fit on a single saveset 
disk will be split up across as many as needed 

- Updates to the backup will only copy the files 
that have actually changed If you update your 
backup frequently, the update goes very quickly 

- The GOOD backup Utility can format floppy 
disks for you as additional disks are needed 

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

- Checksums are used to verify that the files on 
the active disk drive and on the backup disks 
are all intact 

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

- backup can be by partition, or select specific 
files by including or excluding a set of wildcard 
file specifications 

- Flies can be restored as an entire partition, or 
by wildcard selection When restoring an entire 
partition, only files that are actually missing 
need to be restored 

- A reference list can be produced for locating 
individual files within the backup saveset 

Pressing the FIFLP key will provide additional 
information at every step. 

If your dealer doesn't have the GOOD backup Utility, you can order it from the 
Computer bug, 113 Pusse! St, tladley, HA, 01035 (413) 584-7722 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 73 

Current Notes ST Library 

July-August 1990 


(M) VI.76. CADD package, (no 
SAVE or EXPORT) comes with a 
font editor program and several 
other utilities. Req 1MB, DS, 
mono . 


ART DEMO— (M) Working demo 
(no SAVE) to this companion 
program to Calamus. Req 1MB. 
DS, mono. 


(C) Fully-playable “dungeon 
Master” game by Mirrorsoft in¬ 
cludes split-screen for two-player 
simultaneous action. 

MONEY, horizontally-scrolling 
shoot-’em up. WIPEOUT demo. 
Intergalactic Hoverboard Chal¬ 
lenge. FONE VOICE, create crazy 
messages for your telephone 
answering machine. SPINNING 
BOXES animation. 

Payroll, (V3.0, complete payroll 
operations, quarterly reports, 
printing paychecks, up to 200 
employees can be monitored). 
Cost of Living Adjuster, Check¬ 
book VI. 14, and Personal Finance 
Manager demo. 

AND BONDS— (M) Mail Pro 
Demo: filing and mail-merge sys¬ 
tem, demo ver offers limited 
entries. Req 1MB. Stocks and 
Bonds is a game based on the 
fast action stock market game. 
#466: 16-VOICE SEQUEN¬ 
CER— features multi-voice 
recording, split keyboards and/or 
velocity ranges, simple editing 
using mouse and MIDI keyboard. 
music player fordio, Music Studio 
88, Music Construction Set, EZ- 
Track, Standard MIDI Files, Sid 
Player Music, Master Composer, 
Advanced Music System, MIDI 
Music System, Orchestra 85/90, 
Lyra 1 and 2. 


Advertising, Barnum, Casual, Cel¬ 
tic, Chrome, Flash, Harloe, 
Mouse, Schoolbook, Western. In¬ 
cludes Atari, MasterCard and VISA 
logos in .CFN format. 

EDITOR— The official font editor 
from Soft-Logik. 

#470: CLIP ART#14— People, 
all types of people in a variety of 
everyday situations, captured in 
Degas format. 

#471: CLIP ART#15— More 
People in Degas format pics. 
DSLIDE viewing program included. 
V2.14 —communicate over 
modem in color, sound, and 
motion. For use with terminal 
programs that allow the use of 
Desk Accessories. 

UTILITIES— editing and graphics 
creation utility, in-depth tutorial, 
and utility to convert Music Studio 
files to IG format for playing MIDI 
songs over your modem. 

#474: MINITERM and 

MINIBBS— Two Swiss terminal 
programs. Miniterm is a full-fea¬ 
tured desk accessory. Minibbs, a 
fully operational BBS with up/ 
download, chat mode, and mes¬ 
sage bases. 

#475: HYPERSCREEN and 
STDCAT V4. 3—Hyperscreen, 
implimentation of the Hypertext 
concept on the ST. STDCAT, disk 
cataloger program, includes full 
text search on disk volume or 
program name, comment. 

#476: ME FIRST -(C) V2.0. 
Interactive learning games/stories 
for children. Includes documen¬ 
tation and additional DATA files 
for extended play. 

#477: CLASS and EZ 
GRADE— CLASS V2.05, com¬ 
bination database and spread¬ 
sheet for teachers. EZ-Grade, 
demo of a commercial gradebook 
program from Integral Software. 
#478: SPACEWARS -(C) Ver¬ 
sion 1.0, new outer space shoot- 
em up game. 

#479: HERO IID —DEMO Of 
HERO II gaming system incl 
Dungeon Construction Set to 
create and manipulate dungeons 
for the HERO II game system. 

September 1990 
NOTES CATALOG— catalog Of 
the 500+ disks in the CN ST 

COLLECTION— complete text of 
the Magic Sac/Spectre columns 
published in CN from Mar 1987 - 
Jul 1990. 

#482D: WALLACE NO.1 — 

Cyber Animations: Dr.Who and 
Who-K9. 6 NEO pics (cigs, 
daleck, floppy, paper, whobox4, 

#483D: WALLACE NO.2— 

Cyber Animation: Albatros. 6 NEO 
pics(alarrr), diner, kitten, marquee, 
ssmonu, title2). 5 PI1 pics(choco- 
lat, express, house, shawl, 

#484D: WALLACE NO.3— 

Cyber Animations: Mad Max and 
Megafugi. Marsch.spc, ani- 
mate4.prg, and spslide.prg. 

#485: ALGEBRA I: Linear 
Equations— tutorial program 
leading the user into correct 
equation solving techniques from 
basic properties through fractional 
equation solving. 

#486: ALGEBRA I: Verbal 

Problems— Covers 10 of the 
most common type verbal pro¬ 
blems found in Albebra I text¬ 

Operations— pick adding, sub¬ 
tracting, multiplying, dividing, or a 
mixture of all four. Includes choice 
of one of two different arcade 
type learning games. 

#488: GIST (Grades, Inter¬ 
ims, Student Teams)— grades 
management program for tea¬ 

TIES— Area Code Locator, find 
the AC (and current time) of any 
city: Postal.prg, state abbrevia¬ 
tions and spellings: SHREDR VI.1, 
permanently shred data from your 
disk; HotlStat VI.1, analyze ledger 
files created by Hotwire. 

#490: THE VIRUS DISK -The 
Virus Killer, Ver 3.11, detect and 
eliminate viruses from your disks; 
Hospital, set of anti-virus utilities; 
Super Virus Killer; Flu, displays 
symptoms of viral infections. 
#491: WILD FLOWERS— 16 
stunning pictures of Wisconsin 
wild flowers in PCI format (Black- 
eye, Bloodrt, Fleabane, Forgetme, 
Goldnrod, Hawkweed, Hepatica, 
Indpipe, Paintbru, Prklypar, Sil- 
verwd, Smallow, Spiderwt, Thistle, 
Trillium, and Wildrose). 

#492: UTILITY NO.44— Fast- 
Copy III! (program and acces¬ 
sory); HyperFormat, format 927K 
on 83-track DS disk. ARC Ver 
6.02, latest version of ARC com¬ 

pression utility, runs roughly twice 
as fast as earlier Ver 5.21. 

#493D: B/STAT— Version 2.36 
of B/STAT, sophisticated graphing 
and statistical analysis program. 
Req 1 MB, DS. 


PLUS— Taipan II, VI.1: early 
1800s trade as you engage in 
combat with enemy ships.(C) GFA 
Shell Plus: replacement for the 
GFA Menux program. 

October 1990 

#495: TESTMASTER.Ver 2.01, 
Shareware by Bill Shipley, color or 
mono. Use to set up your own 
tests to help prepare for exams. 
Data for a variety of general 
subjects (like States and Capitals) 
are included on the disk. 

from chro MAGIC Software In¬ 
novations, a tool to help guitarists 
learn chords and scales in all keys 
and all positions of the fretboard, 
give insight into the concepts of 
scale improvisation and chord 
substitution, and help develop 
technical mastery of scales and 

V0.1 (Mono) Latest version of 
this popular paint program from 
Germany. Includes documentation 
in English. 

TRACKER Soundtracker (V2.5) 
Playroutine by CHECKSUM. In¬ 
cludes five songs: tar concert in 
air, dns, demons soundtrack, rsi 
rise up, and wild. 


(C) Starblade is a space-opera 
set in the 30th Century in the 
vastness of the Orion galaxy. 
Terrific graphics as you explore 
your ship. The demo version does 
not allow you to access the 

#500: YOLANDA and RICK 
DANGEROUS. (C) Demos. 
Yolanda is an arcade/adventure 
game. In demo, player is placed 
on the 1st screen of one of the 
1st 11 missions. If, however, a 
screen is completed you can go 
no further in that mission. If you 
die, a new screen is selected until 
there are no lives left. Rick 
Dangerous, part-time explorer 
and stamp collector, captured by 
the Goolu tribe, must escape. 
Demo only contains several 

Page 74 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

screens available to the user but it 
gives a fair representation on how 
good the game actually is. 

Playable demo version of this 
fast-paced space arcade game. 
Playable demo versions of two 
new arcade games: Kid Gloves 
and Back to the Future. 

DEMOs.Freeware demo version 
of NeoDesk 3, a complete 
replacement for the built-in desk¬ 
top that comes with the Atari. 
NeoDesk CLI is a complete win¬ 
dow-based command line inter¬ 
preter. It hooks into NeoDesk 
itself, taking advantage of its 
many features and capabilities. It 
can be used to create powerful 
batch files, pop-up menus, and 
much more. 

#504: KID GAMES. (C) 

KV_MATCH, Flip over squares to 
match baby and parent animals. 
LET-HUNT, learn alphabet by 
matching letters on the screen. 
ENCH FOR, Enchanged Forest, a 
variant of both ‘Shutes and Lad¬ 

ders’ and ‘Candyland’ suitable for 
children 3 and above. KVGEO-1, 
Hypertext geography, learn about 
the solar system. Shareware. 
TURES. (C) Two adventures 
created by elementary school 
children with Talespin, the Adven¬ 
ture Game Creator. SDI.TAL was 
created by 10 children in the 
2nd-5th grades, MOUNTAIN.TAL 
was designed by 8 3rd-5th gra¬ 
ders, each child was responsible 
for one or more “rooms” in a 
group-planned scenario. The chil¬ 
dren used Kidpainter to create 
their program illustrations and 
some of the text. The adult facili¬ 
tator then took notes regarding 
the children’s plans for text and 
other reactions to user selections. 
Then an adult (D.A. Brumleve) 
assembled the pictures according 
to the children’s instructions using 

#506: Utility No. 45 TLC-Play, 
play any digitized sound fmt file; 
TLC-namr, add symbols to any 
file’s name; tic-form, format a 
disk to read/write FAST!; tlc-attr, 

change any file’s attributes; 
mouse db, new mouse doubler 
V3; spirited, text ed desk acc; 
al-time, time & date setter; 
clock_5, all rez clock acc; mac- 
cel3, Atari Mouse Accelerator 3; 
ocultarx, hard disk password pro¬ 
tection; idle_22, idle screen 
saver;unlzh172, fastest extract for 

LZH archives; volume, rename 
disk volume; ST Sentry V5.1. 
#507: TADS. Text Adventure 
Development System. 

#508: Deep Space Drifter A 
Text adventure game. 

#509D: GENIE FILES 9/90 
Archive of files found in the 31 
GEnie libraries as of Sep 1, 1990. 

All Current Notes disks are only $4.00 each (add 
$1 / every 6 disks for shipping and handling up to a 
maximum of $6.00). Quantity discounts are avail¬ 

10 disks for $35 
30 disks for $100 
50 disks for $150 

CN disks are guaranteed to work. If you ever 
encounter a problem, simply return the disk and we 
will gladly replace it. Note that a "D" after a disk 
number indicates a double-sided disk. 

Order disks from CN Library, 122 N. Johnson Rd, 
Sterling, VA 22170. VISA and MasterCard orders are 
welcome (703) 450-4761. 

V 'J 

Current Notes Disk Cartridge No. 1 

July 1989 through June 1990 

112 Disks of the Finest in PD Software 

CN Library Disfcs #347 - #459 on a single 44Mb SyQuest Cartridge 


$ 139.95 

Plus $3 S&H. Individual Disks are $4 each. 


#362: A Dudley Dilemma 
#363: Tark 

#364: Rapture and Susan (R) 
#365: Ring and Pork 
#366: Adventure Game Toolkit 
#367: AGT Source Code 


#370: Norad: Satellite Tracking 
#380: The Revolution Handbook 
#382: Sub Cal, VI.14 
#402: Construction Est. VI.8 
#424: Micro RTX Demo 
#440: Star 2000 
#441: TCOS VI.2 
#452: Mono Painting Package 
#455: Inventory Pro, V3.0 

#384: Geography Tutor Demo 
#386: JIL2D(tm) Drafting 
#407: Sheet Demo 
#411: Spiritware Concord, V2.0 
#420: Access! Demo 
#445: Body Shop/Geo Tutor V2 
#450: Master Tracks Demo VI.1 
#456: Pagestream Demo, VI.8 
#459: Atari Cash Register 
Desktop Publishing 
#351: Pub. Part. Utilities 3 
#353: Print Master Icons 3 
#354: Print Master Icons 4 
#355: IMG Mortised Cuts 

#357: Pagestream Fonts 1 
#358: Calamus Fonts 1 
#395: TeX Program 
#396: TeX Printer Drivers 
#397: Metafont 
#398: IniTeX 
#399: PicTeX 

#416: Clip Art & TW Borders 
#431: KidPublisher Prof Demo 
#432: Calamus Fonts 2 
#442: Clip Art: Animals (IMG) 
#453: Clip Art: Transportation 1 
#454: Clip Art: Transportation 2 
#457: Publisher ST Borderpack 

#348: Companion 1/Trivia Quiz 
#356: BOIO 
#359: Pentimo 
#360: Bermuda Race II 
#361: Rocket Patrol/Trifide 
#373: Strip Breakout (R) 

#383: Baseball Simulator 
#387: Empire Map Collection 
#388: Breach Scenario Collection 
#389: Star Trek (STOS) 

#390: PileUp (STOS) 

#391: Super Breakout w/editor 
#419: Blaseter/Invaders/STTetris 
#421: Poker/Dragon/MacPan(M) 
#426: 11 Mean 18 Courses 
#428: Eco/Orbit 

#429: Alien Bloc/Atom Smasher 

#436: Fighter/Flight/Lunacy II 
#438: Golf/Chess/Gilgalad(M) 
#446: PileUp V2.1 
#447: Blobbrun/Virtue 

#368: VIDI-ST No.1 
#369: VIDI-ST No.2 
#371: Berthold’s Pics No.2 
#392: Spectrum Pics 6-People 
#393: Spectrum Pics 7-Space 
#394: Spectrum Pics 8-Cars 
#408: ANI ST (Aegis Animator) 
#409: Visitor & Froggie 
#410: Spectrum Color Clip Art 
#417: Saturn Animation 
#418: Skull/Dalek/Znetart 

#349: Xformer Programs No.1 
#350: Xformer Programs No.2 
#378: Elan 1.5 
#400: GFA Tutorial 


#347: Moterm Elite 1.41 
#381: VanTerm V3.8 
#422: Uniterm, V2.0E 
#449: Hagterm Elite/MiniBBS 

#352: Graphic Utilities 
#374: Codehead/C.F.Johnson 
#375: Darek Mihocka Utilities 
#376: Neodesk Icon Collection 
#377: Official Atari Utilities Disk 

#379: 31-Diskvfy,Floormt2... 
#385: DC Software Sampler 
#403: 32-Speedrdr,Adbase14... 
#404: 33-Pubpaint,Cheetahc,.. 
#405: Deskjet Utilities & Drivers 
#406: 34-Bootstv9,Desk Mngr... 
#412: Arc601,Arcshell21,Lharc51 
#413: 35-Trasncan,Diary 1.7... 
#414: 36-Lgselect,Switch630... 
#423: 37-Graphics Utilities 
#433: 38-Dictionary,Disklabel... 
#434: 39-Viewgif,Invert,Deps,... 
#435: 40-fastlzhv2,flu,uncle... 
#439: 41-Ramplus,Untar,Uux... 
#443: 42-dcopy34,reorghd2... 
#444: 43-Hpdump,Pinhead15... 
#451: Laserjet Utilities 
#458: Sticker Pics 

Text/Word Processing 
#372: MagniWriter ST 
#401: ST Writer V3.4 
#415: Hardware Mods No.1 
#425: DMC Laserbrain, VI.31 
#427: Hardware Mods No.2 
#430: ST Writer Elite, V3.8 
#448: Kepco Edit and Stevie 

CN ST Library 
122 N. Johnson Rd 
Sterling, VA 22170 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 75 

CN SPECTRE Libra ry 

New forOciobcr 

This month, Current Notes is releasing 5 
new PD and Shareware Spectre compatible 
(Version 2.65, 128K ROMs) library disks. 

S90D, Games #11, 5 new games. 
Thieves 2.0, Haunted House 1.5, Toxic 
Ravine 1.1 (pictured below), Canfield 3.1, and 
Orbital Command. 

S89D, HyperStacks #10 contains 
10 of the latest Stacks for use with Hyper¬ 
Card. They are Cursor Install. Custom.cursor, 
Food ClipArt Stack, Percentages, TidBits 90/ 
07/16, TidBits 90/07/30, TimeTravel 1.5, Trig- 
Hype, VAPD Wheels, and Whales. 

S88D. EPS ClipArt #4, 18 new Post¬ 
Script ClipArt files (use Tranverter to use 
them with ST programs). They are Anchorl, 

Anchor2, Border-FatRope, Border-Rope/ 
Floats, Channel Marker, Compass Rose, 
Lighthouse/scene, Palm Tree 1, Palm Tree 2, 
Palm Tree in a wind, Palm Tree-Stylized, 
Palm Tree/Moon, Palm Tree/setting sun, 
Rope Spool, Sailboat, Sea/Palm Background, 
Sunset sailboat, and Tropical Repeat. 

S87, Utilities #14, contains 5 new 
utilities. They are INIT-KIT plus docs, INIT- 
Scope plus docs, DiskKeeper 1.2, 
Front&Center 2.0 and Set Paths plus docs. 

S86D, Twilight Vale, an interactive 
graphics/text adventure game created with 
the World Builder adventure game creator. 
The program also has digitized sound, (see 
picture at right.) 

C New jin September ) 

S85D. EPS Clip Art #3, Apple, 
Friendly Postman, Home Fix-Up Shopper, 

Ice Cream, Jazz Guys, Key Lime Pie Slice, 
Marching Band, Mercedes 190D, Micro- 
Phone, Milk Pitcher/Cheese, Open Book, 
Pears, Satellite Diskh, Scotty Dog, Sewn by 
Hand, Spaghetti & Salad, Star-Graphes, and 
Still Life with Biscuits. 

S84, Sounds #8, Allrightee!, BBQ My 
Hamhocks, Einstein Turn Into, Getoutahere, 
Shutup Boy, Why You Little. 

S83, Utilities #13, AntiPan, Compac¬ 
tor, Disinfectant 1.8, FileCloser 1.0, KillS- 
cores, Trash Patch V2. 

S82D, HyperStacks #9, Food Chain, 
HomeCheck 2.0.3, Hypericons 2.0, Leisure 
Time 90, Month Calendar, StackMerge, 
StackScan, PhotoStack, Compress Plus, 
Virus Encyclopedia. 

S81D, Grendel 1.0, interactive gra¬ 
phics/text adventure game. 

[ ^ III* tdit CuininuncI* Weapon* 

r . 

»\i ^ 

^ Icti - 

*cr#wl» fn*r 

It* walls and 

trash Is 
arranged in 
rust pillion 
if* floor Nona 
of II looks of 

6-1 f»1l«v* 

a -1 bittit it* 
Master at the 



The SPECTRE Collection 

Current Notes PD/Shareware Cartridge No. 2 

CN Spectre Disks *l-#80 

Plus the complete text of all the Magic/Spectre columns from Current Notes —Jeff Greenblatt’s 
"Adventures in the Magic Sacdom" and the "ST/Mac Connection" (March 1987 through February 1989), 
and Doug Hodsons "Magic Spectre Tips," #1 - #14 (March 1989 through July 1990). 

$ 139.95 

The SPECTRE Collection is 
on a single SyQuest 44Mb 

removable disk cartridge. 

Individual CN disks are $4 each (10 
for $35, 30 for $100, 50 for $150) 
plus $1 per every 6 disks for S&H. 
Cartridge represents from $240 
to $320 of PD software! 

Order from: 

Current Notes Library 
122 N. Johnson Rd. 
Sterling, VA 22170 


501 - MacWrite 

502 - MacPaint 
S04 - Freehand 
S06 - PowerPoint 
S08 - Image Studio 
S12 - Full Impact 

520 - MacDraw II 

525 - MacMoney 
S28 - DAtabase 
S62 - PipeDream 
S71 - Shanghai 


551 - PostScript! 

552 - PostScript2 
S60 - PostScripts 
S80 - PostScript4 

S11 - Utility 1 
S14-Utility 2 

521 - Utility 3 

526 - FKeys 1 
S30 - Utility 4 
S39 - Utility 5 

S44 - Utility 6 
S55 - Utility 7 
S57 - Utility 8 
S63 - Utility 9 

567 - Utility 10 
S73 - Utility 11 
S79 - Utility 12 

S05 - Games 1 
S07 - Games 2 
S15 - Games 3 
S24 - Games 4 
S27 - Games 5 
S38 - Games 6 
S54 - Games 7 
S66 - Games 8 

568 - Games 9 
S75 - Games 10 
S22 - Siegfried 

546 - Everyman! 

547 - Phoenixl 

548 - Phoenix2 

549 - Lawn Zapper 

550 - Dun of Doom 

DAs Telecom 

S16 - Desk Acc No.1 S03 - Red Ryder 

S31 - Desk Acc No.2 S09 - Telecom No. 1 


Si7 - Sounds 1 
S23 - Sounds 2 
S29 - Sounds 3 
S36 - Sounds 4 
S59 - Sounds 5 
S69 - Sounds 6 
S74 - Sounds 7 
S34 - Excel Templates 
S41 - Productivity 1 
S43 - Productivity 2 
S32 - VW w/Sound 1 
S43 - VW W/Sound 2 
Clip Art 

S64 - EPS Clip Art 1 
S78 - EPS Clip Art 2 
S53 - PageMaker Art 
S58 - Clip Art 1 

HyperCard Stacks 

S10 - Stacks 1 
S13 - Stacks 2 
S35 - Stacks 3 
S37 - Stacks 4 
S61 - Stacks 5 
S65 - Stacks 6 
S70 - Stacks 7 
S72 - Stacks 8 
S19 - HC Utility 1 
S33 - HC Utility 2 
S40 - HC Utility 3 
S56 - Birds 

S18 - Graphics 1 
S45 - Graphics 2 
S77 - Graphics 3 
S76 - Startup 

Page 76 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 


NOVATAR1: Northern Virginia Atari Users'Group 


ST VP.Paul Cartwright.301-460-1431 

8-bit VP.Tom Eckhardt. 

Membership.Earl Lilley.703-281 -9017 

Treasurer.Gary Purinton.703-264-8826 

ST Librarian.703-450-3992 

8-bit Librarian.Geoff DiMego.703-425-5030 

8-bit MaiL.Thom Parkin. 

Sterling Chapter.Richard Gunter.703-471-7765 

ARMUDIC Sysop.Scott Ogden.703-450-3992 

New Members: Dues are $24/year/family and include a subscription 
to Current Notes and access to more activities. Join at the main 
meeting, at a chapter meeting, or by sending $24, payable to 
NOVATARI, to NOVATARI, PO BOX 4076, Merrifield, VA 22116. 

Novatari Main meeting: 2nd Sunday of the month at the Washing¬ 
ton Gas Light Building, 6801 Industrial Rd, Springfield, VA. Take 495 to 
east on Braddock Rd.(620) to south on Backlick Rd (617). Left on 
Industrial Rd. Washington Gas Light is the second building on the 
right. 5:30 Programmers SIG; 6:15 announcements, open forum, door 
prizes; 6:45 VAST and 8-BIT SIG meetings. 

Chapter Meeting: Sterling, Sterling Library, 7:30-9:30, Wed after the 
2nd Sunday. Contact Richard Gunter at 471-7765. 

A.U.R.A.: Atari Users Regional Association 

President.Ira Horowitz.301-384-0809 

8-bit VP.Chuck Spring.301-262-0114 

ST VP.Stewart Rosenthal.301-989-1755 

Treasurer/MembershijBill Brown.301-279-7537 

16-bit Librarian.John Barnes.301-652-0667 

Meetings: 3rd Thursday of each month in the Multipurpose Room 
at Grace Episcopal School. The school is on the east side of 
Connecticut Ave, 1/4 mile north of the Connecticut Ave (North) Exit 
from 1495. Library and swap table sales begin at 7:15, the meeting 
begins at 7:30. We have separate XL and ST demonstrations. There 
will be ST and 8-bit door prizes. 

Correspondence: All correspondence, including membership 
renewals, changes of address, etc. should be sent to: AURA, PO Box 
7761, Silver Spring, MD 20910. 

New Members. Dues are $25/year and include a subscription to 
Current Notes. Send name, address, phone number, and check to 
above address. 

FACE.: Frederick Atari Computer Enthusiasts 

President.Chris Riet man.301-791-9170 

Vice President.Mike Kerwin.301-845-4477 

Treasurer.Buddy Smallwood. 

Meetings: 4th Tuesday, 7-9:30 pm, Walkersville High School, MD 
Route 194, 1 mile north of MD Route 26 (Liberty Road). 

New Members: Dues are $25/year/family and include a subscription 
to Current Notes. Join at meeting or send check, payable to FACE, to 
Buddy Smallwood, PO Box 2026, Frederick, MD 21701. 

GRASP: Greater Richmond Atari Support Program 

President.Mickey Angell.804-744-3307 

Vice President.Terry Barker..804-379-8175 

Secretary..Tom Marvin.804-233-6155 

Meetings: 2nd and 4th Thursday, at La Prade Library, 2730 Hicks Rd. 
Dues are $20 per year and do /^/include Current Notes 

WACUG: Woodbridge Atari Computer Users' Group 

President.Lou Praino..703-221 -8193 

Treasurer.David Waalkes.703-490-1225 

Librarian..Frank Bassett.703-670-8780 

Meetings: 7-9 PM, Community Room, Potomac Branch, Prince 
William County Library, Opitz Blvd, Woodbridge, VA. Entering Wood- 
bridge from either North or South on Route 1, proceed to the 
intersection of Route 1 and Opitz Blvd (opposite Woodbridge 
Lincoln-Mercury). Turn West on Opitz and take first left turn into the 
library’s parking lot. The Community Room is located to your left 
immediately upon entering the main building. Meeting schedule: Oct. 

9 and NOV. 13 (6:30 - 9:30 pm), Dec. 15 (12:30 -4:00) 

New Members: Initial membership fee is $10 plus $1 monthly dues. 
Renewals are $20 per year, payable as of 1 January. Membership 
includes a subscription to Current Notes. Join at meeting or send 
check, payable to WACUG, to David Waalkes, 1302 Oregon Ave, 
Woodbridge, VA 22191. 

MACC: Maryland Atari Computer Club 

President.Jim HilL.301-461-7556 

Vice President.Alan Kassinof.301-486-1389 

Treasurer.John Cromwell.301-747*0949 

Secretary..Tim Caldwell.301*687-1413 

8~bit Librarian.Bill Bogdan.301 -679-7262 

ST Librarian.Tim Caldwell.301-687-1413 

Newsletter Ed.Charles Smeton.301-465-8628 

Meetings: Last Tuesday, 6:30 pm, Pikesville Library, 1 mile east 
on Reisterstown Rd from Exit 20 off the Baltimore Beltway. 

New Members: Club Dues are $25/year and include a subscription 
to Current Notes. Join at meeting or send check, payable to MACC, 
to James Hill, 8591 Wheatfield Way, Ellicott City, MD, 21043. 

MAST: Meade Atari ST Users Group 

President.John Corkran.301 -255* 1674 

* Secretary.John Corkran.301*255-1674 

PD Librarian.Dave Napierala..301-490-8217 

Tangent Line Sysop..Thomas Hutchinson... 

Tangent Line BBS.301-850*5045 

Meetings: 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Province Branch 
Library at the intersection of Ridge Rd/Rochenbach Rd and MD 175 in 
Odenton at the rear of the Severn Square shopping center. The 
meetings run from 6:30-9:00 pm. Call Bob Johnson any evening for 
further information. All correspondence, including membership 
renewals, changes of address, etc. should be sent to: MAST, c/o Bob 
Johnson, 1616B Forrest Ave, Ft Meade, MD 20755. 

New Members. Dues are $27/year and include a subscription to 
Current Notes and unlimited download and message activity on the 
Tangent Line BBS. Send name, address, phone number, and check to 
above address or join at any meeting. 

WAACE BBS Listing 


Inner Limits.(301) 356-5112 

Joppa Computers.(301)679-5809 

Pizza’s Place.(301)325-1027 

Tangent Line.(301) 850-5045 

Access to the ARMUDIC BBS requires a fee of $8/year for 
NOVATARI members and $12 for members of other user groups. 
BBS access fees are to be made payable to ''NOVATARI" and sent 
to: Novatari, PO Box 4076, Merrifield, VA 22116. 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 77 

Current Motes* Atari Club&^^T^ 

Members of listed Atari clubs may subscribe to Current Notes at a discount rate of $23 per year or $42 (2 years)—that’s over 40 percent off the 
newstand price! You may add your club to this list in either of two ways. If you have a club newsletter, add CN to your distribution list. Include a 
subscription form in your newsletter, or a message explaining the CN discount, that your members can use when they send in their subscriptions. 
Alternatively, you may become a registered CN club by sending in an initial subscription list of 10% of the membership or 6 members, whichever is 
less. (It would also help to have a list of club members.) Send to: CN Atari Clubs, 122 N. Johnson Rd., Sterling, VA 22170. For more information, call 
Joyce (703) 450-4761. NOTE: Australian and Canadian Atari clubs are also eligible. Foreign club rates are $31/year or $58/2 years.) 


A. C.E.(N.S.W-), Swavek Jabrzemski, G.P.O. 
BOX 4514, Sydney, NSW 2001 (02)664-2591 

Adelaide Atari Computer Club, Neil Pat¬ 
terson, P.O. Box 333, Norwood 5067 (08)276- 

Canberra AUG, John Ogilvy, P.O. Box El 12, 
Old Canberra, ACT 2000 
Geelong AUG Inc., Vic Fuller, P.O. Box 673, 
Geelong, Victoria 3220 (052)43-5895 
Melbourne ACE Inc., Rita Plukss, P.O. Box 
340, Rosanna 3084 (03)439-7997 
Queensland ACE, Peter Peterson, P.O. Box 
10026, Brisbane, OLD 4000 (07)349-0061 
W.A. Atari Computer Club, Chris Parker, 
P.O. Box 7169, Cloister Sq, Perth 6000 


Campbell River ACE, Tom Fisher, 241 
Carnegie St., Campbell River,B.C. V9W 2J4 

Hamilton Burlington Oakville AUG, Bob 

Berberick, 148 Golden Orchard Dr., Hamilton, 
Ont. L9C 6J6 (416)575-4936 
London Users of ST’s, Brian Wiltshire, 162 
Inverary Crescent, London, Ont. N6G 3L8 
(519)473-1406 BBS: (519)432-5144 
Montreal Atari Club, P.O. Box 4318 St. 
Laurent Stn, Ville St. Laurent, Montreal, Que. 

Montreal Atari ST/Mega Group, Jonathan 
Seldin, 4235 Ave. Wilson, Montreal,Que. H4A 

National Capital AUG, Terry Webb, P.O. 
Box 1385 - Station B, Ottawa, Ont. KIP 5R4 

The Vernon AUG, Bob Olsen, 5664 Allenby 
Crescent, Vernon, B.C. V1T 8P8 (604)542-1650 
Vantari.AUG in Vancouver, Bill Sutherland, 
P.O. Box 3614 Main Post Office, Vancouver, 

B. C. V6B 3Y6 (604)968-1450, BBS: (604)291- 


Huntsville AUG, Levin Soule, 3911 W. 
Crestview, Huntsville AL 35816 (205)534-1815, 
BBS: (205)722-0900 


NW Phoenix Atari Connection, Paul 
Parks, P.O. Box 36364, Phoenix AZ 85067 

t . No contact available, Phoenix AZ 


SE Valley Atari Connection, Tim Bar, P.O. 
BOX 662, Chandler AZ 85224 (602)821-1200 
Tucson Atari Central, Sam Furrow, 2116 E. 
1st St, Tucson AZ 85719 (602)323-3410 


Little Rock Atari Addicts, Keith Steensma, 
28 John Hancock Cir, Jacksonville AR 72076 


A.C-A-O.C., Larry Weinheimer, P.O. BOX 
9419, Fountain Valley CA 92708 (714)969-9053 

A.C.E.S., Luis Outumuro, 16132 Elgenia 
Avenue, West Covina CA 91722 818-960-7210 
A.U.G.I.E., Don Lucia, 3905 N. Lugo Ave, San 
Bernardino CA 92404 714-880-3539 
Antelope Valley ACE, Don Glover, PO Pox 
512, Palmdale CA 93590 (805)272-9084, BBS: 

Atari Anonymous User Group, Todd 
Bane, P.O. Box 1433, Upland CA 91786-1433 
(714)737-4329, BBS: (714)625-4251 
Atari Bay Area Computer Users’ 

Society, Bill Zinn, PO Box 22212, San 
Francisco CA 94122 (415)753-8483 
Atari Federation, Chester Hadely, P.O. Box 
5367, Vandenberg AFB CA 93437 (805)733- 

Atari Users’ Group of the Inland Empire, 

Don Lucia, 3905 N. Lugo, San Bernardino CA 

Bakersfield ACE, Anthony Garcia, P.O. Box 
40203, Bakersfield CA 93308 (805)397-9566 
Cajon Computer Club, Tim Adams, 639 
West 36th Street, San Bernardino CA 92405 

E.R.A.C.E., Gary Martin, 1906 Avineda Del 
Diablo, Escondido CA 92025 (619)489-9872 
Far East Atari ST, Dale Ellis, PSC Box 7075, 
APO San Francisco CA 96293 
H.A.C.K.S., John King Tarpinian, 249 North 
Brand Boulevard #321, Glendale CA 91206 

Long Beach ACE, Lee Curtis, P.O. Box 
92812, Long Beach CA 90809-2812 (213)423- 

N.O.C.C.C. ST-Sig, Dain Leese, 3852 Balsa, 

Irvine CA 92714 (714)552-5185 

Pass Area ST Enthusiasts, Steve Miller, 

1145 west Westward, Banning CA 92220 


R.A.M. of Ventura County, Tim McCoy, 
P.O. Box 112, Camarillo CA 93011 (805)482- 
4788, BBS: (805)987-6985 
ST ACE of Sonoma County, Hal Anderson, 
P.O. Box 4916, Santa R DSa CA 95402 707- 

San Diego Atari Computer Enthusiasts, 

Thomas W. Briant, PO Box 900076, San Diego 

CA 92120 (619)581-2477 

San Diego ST Users Workshop, Chester 

Edwards, 902 Nolan Way, Chula Vista CA 


Santa Barbara ACE, Avery Galbraith, P.O. 
BOX 3678, Santa Barbara CA 93130-3678 

Santa Clarita Valley ACE, Mark Ostrove, 
19449 Nadal St, Canyon Country CA 91351 

Santa Maria/Lompac ACE, Eric A. Daniels, 
P.O. BOX 2286, Orcutt CA 93457-2286 

Sift- Lea B&y ACL . No contact available, Los 
Angeles CA 90083 (213)534-3984 
The Desert Atarians, Lee Ellis, 47-800 
Madison Street #53, Indio CA 92201 (619)342- 
1600, BBS: (619)342-1647 

West Los Angeles AUG, Bill Skurski, 10393 
Almayo Ave, Los Angeles CA 90064 (213)552- 


Front Range AUG, Jerry Belfor, 3012 Rock- 

borough Ct, Fort Collins CO 80525 (303)223- 

2604, BBS: (303)223-1297 

Pikes Peek and Poke ACE, Rick Reaser, 

PO Box 17779, Colorado Springs CO 80935- 



AUG of Greater Hartford, William 
Midyette, PO Box 289, Windsor Locks CT 
06096-0289 (203)627-6996, BBS: (203)623- 

Fairfield County ACE, Paula Burton, 362 
Hattertown Rd, Monroe CT 06468 (203)452- 

ST Atari Road Runners, Glen Werner, 1160 
South Curtis St, Wallingford CT 06492 
ST Atari Users Society, Brian Rufini, 176 
Burnside, E. Hartford CT 06180 (203)289-7903 


Dover Users of STs, Al Beddow, 4434 
Vermont Dr, Dover DE 19901 (302)697-3830 


Atari Boosters League East, Hadley Nel¬ 
son, P.O. Box 1172, Winter Park FL32790 


Middle Georgia AUG, Pete Miller, 115 
Feagin Mill Rd, Warner Robins GA 31088 


Boise User Group, Gary Marston, 607 Fair 
Ln, Nampa ID 83686 208-467-9946, BBS: 

Rattlesnake ACE, Carson Walden, 301 Birch 
St., Mountain Home ID 83647 208-587-7476, 
BBS: 208-587-7603 


Central Illinois AUG, Robert Handley, 1920 
East Croxton Ave, Bloomington IL 61701-5702 

Eastside Atari Users Group, Hank Vize, 
2425 Crislisa Drive, Alton IL 62002 (618)465- 
0342, BBS: (618)254-6077 
Galesburg Atari Users Group, Michael 
Burkley, PO Box 55, Viola IL 61486 (309)596- 

Lake County ACE, Dwight Johnson, PO Box 
8788, Waukegan IL 60079 (312)623-9567 
ST Information Group, Joe Lambert, 1116 
Woodlawn Ct, Pekin IL61554 
Surburban Chicago Atarians, Mike Bres- 
lin, P.O. BOX 7226, Roselle IL 60172 ( )968- 


Atari ST Computers in Indianapolis, 

Daniel Ward, 1752 Alimingo Dr., Indianapolis IN 
46260(317)254-0031, BBS: (317)353-9326 
Bloomington Atari ST, Stu Huffman, 1752 
Alimingo Dr., Indianapolis IN 46260, BBS: 

Page 78 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

Calumet Region Atari Group, Jeff Coe, 
PO BOX 10995, Merrillville IN 46411-0995 
Eli Lilly Corp ST Users' Group, Karl 
Werner, Eli Lilly Corp Cntr, Indianapolis IN 
46285 (317)276-3020 


Midwest Atari Group-lowa Chap, Gordie 
Meyer, PO Box 1982, Ames IA 50010 


Ft. Leavenworth Atari Group, Sir , P.O. 
Box 3233, Ft. Leavenworth KS 66027 
Lawrence Atari Computer Club, Robert 
Drake, PO Box 1415, Lawrence KS 66044 

Midwest ST Atari Resource, Gary Leach, 
7213 Mastin, Merriam KS 66203 
Wichita ACE, Marilyn Merica, 501 Trotter, 
Maize KS 67101 (316)722-1078 


Atari Exchange of Louisville, Don Garr, 
PO Box 34183, Louisville KY 40232 , BBS: 


New Orleans Atari Computer Enthu¬ 
siasts, Matt Absalom, P.O. Box 73236, 
Metairie LA 70033 


Atari Users Regional Association, Bill 
Brown, PO Box 7761, Silver Spring MD 20910 

Frederick ACE, Buddy Smallwood, 923 N. 
M arket S t., Frederick M D 21701 
Maryland Atari Computer Club, James 
Hill, 8591 Wheatfield Way, Ellicott City MD 
21043 (301)461-7556 

Meade Atari ST, Bob Johnson, 1616B 
Forrest Ave, Ft. Meade MD 20755 

Southern Maryland AUG, Sam Schrinar, 
2032 Alehouse Ct, Waldorf MD 20601 


Boston Computer Society/Atari, Jerry 
Feldman, One Center Plaza, Boston MA 02108 
(617)244-3025, BBS: (617)396-4607 
Nashoba Valley Atari Computer Users' 
Society, Dave Burns, PO Box 456, Maynard 
MA 01754 

South Shore Atari Group, Norman Bou¬ 
cher, PO Box 129, Boston MA 02136 (617)361- 

Western Mass Atari User Group, Richard 
Randolph, North Westfield St., Feeding Hills 
MA 01030 413-786-0486 


Coastal Area AUG, Lowen Overby, P.O. Box 
5098, Biloxi Ml 39534 (601 )388-1515 

Michigan Atari General Information 
Conference, Mike Lechkun, 4801 Martin Rd, 
Warren Ml 48092-3491 , BBS: 313-978-7363 


Minnesota Atari ST, James Schulz, PO Box 
12016, New Brighton MN 55112 (612)533- 
4193, BBS: (612)472-6582 


ACE St Louis, Joan Ryan, PO Box 6783, St. 
Louis MO 63144 (314)645-6431 
Kansas City ACE, Ben Stockwell, 8916 
Walnut St, Kansas City MO 64114 (816)444- 

Midwest STAR, Gary Leach, 7837B Woman 
Rd, Kansas City MO 64114 (816)363-2814 

Warrensburg/Whiteman Atari Computer 
Owners, Les Lynam, PO Box 199, Warrens- 
burg MO 64093 (816)747-2543 


High Sierra Users’ Group, Michael O’Mas¬ 
sey, PO Box 2152, Sparks NV 89432 (702)972- 

New Jersey 

Jersey Atari Computer Group, P.O. Box 

5206, Newark NJ 07105-0206 (201)241-4554 

New York 

ACE of Syracuse, Bernice Futterman, 204 
East Patricia Lane, North Syracuse NY 13212 

ACO of Rochester NY, Bruce Nelson, PO 
BOX 23676, Rochester NY 14692 (716)334- 

ACUG Westchester, Roily Herman, 4 Char¬ 
lotte St, White Plains NY 10606 (914)946-4134 
Capital District ACE, Joe Bogaard, PO Box 
511, Delmar NY 12054 

Long Island Atari User Group, Harvey 
schoen, P.O. Box 92, Islip NY 11751 (516)221- 
2964, BBS: (516)221-8462 
Rockland Atari Computer Users’ Group, 
Richard Bloch, 29 Riverglen Dr., Thiells NY 
10984 (914)429-5283 

North Carolina 

Blue Ridge ACE, Sheldon Winick, 40 West- 
gate Parkway #F, Asheville NC 28806 

O hrimm e aug t No contact available, Char¬ 
lotte NC 28224 

Greenville ACE, Mary Anne Terminato, 19 
Alpine Way, Greenville NC 29609 (803)292- 

Piedmont Triad Atari Users Group, 

Danny Hartman, PO Box 1073, Greensboro NC 
27402 (919)722-9902 

Triangle Computer Club, Donald Nelson, 
Rt. 3, Box 760, Hillsborough NC 27278 
(919)942-2764 # 


Cleveland ACE, John Savarda, PO Box 
93034, Cleveland OH 44101-5034 
Miami Valley ACE, Joe Lovett, P.O. Box 
24221, Dayton OH 45424 (513)847-3970 
Northern Ohio Atari Helpers, Doug Novak, 
5538 Pearl Road, Parma OH 44129 (216)845- 
6260, BBS: (216)582-1904 

Eugene ACE, Sir, 3662 Vine Maple, Eugene 
OR 97405 

Portland Atari Club, David Moore, P.O. Box 
1692, Beaverton OR 97005 (503)240-1913 


Allentown Bethlehem Easton’s ACE, 

P.O. Box 2830, Lehigh Valley PA 18001 

N.E. Atari Team Users* Group, Allan 
Zaluda, PO Box 18150, Philadelphia PA 19116- 
0150 (215)677-6751, BBS: (215)677-1370 
Southcentral Pa ACE, Richard Basso, PO 
Box 11446, Harrisburg PA 17108-1446 

Spectrum Atari Group of Erie, Earl Hill, PO 
Box 10562, Erie PA 16514 (814)833-9905, 
BBS: (814)833-4073 

Westmoreland Atari Computer Organi¬ 
zation, Keith Krause, 230 Clairmont Street, 
North Huntingdon PA 15642 (412)834-5678 

Rhode Island 

Rhode Island Atari Computer Enthu¬ 
siasts, Steve Dunphy, 192 Webster Ave., 
Providence Rl 02909 (401 )621 -5359 

South Dakota 

Rushmore ACE, Gregg Anderson, 3512 
Lawrence Drive, Rapid City SD 57701 


Chattanooga Atari Owners Symposium, 

Phil Snider, P.O. Box 80101, Chattnooga TN 

Knoxville AUG, John Cole, P.O. Box 53362, 
Knoxville TN 37950-3362 (615)691-4435, BBS: 


Atari ST Club of El Paso, Tim Holt, 10953 
Yogi Berra, El Paso TX 79934 915-821 -2048 
Atari Users of North Texas, Gary Sewell, 
PO Box 852016, Richardson TX 75085-2016 

DAL-ACE, Rachel Duke, PO BOX 851872, 
Richardson TX 75085-1872 (214)429-6134 

,-i T A Lan Lv-riunts ^ i-iLi 11 ..meimiio, No 

contact available, San Antonio TX 78247 


Greater Richmond Atari Support Pro¬ 
gram, Thomas Marvin, 1420 Yale Ave, Rich¬ 
mond VA 23224 (804)233-6155 
Northern Virginia AUG. Earl Lilley, PO Box 
4076, Merrifield VA 22116 (703)281-9017 
Southside Tidewater Atari Tech Users 
Society, Dick Litchfield, 1805 St. Regis Circle, 
VA Beach VA 23456 (804)468-6964 
Woodbridge Atari Computer Users' 
Group, David Waalkes, 1302 Oregon Ave, 
Woodbridge VA 22191 (703)490-1225 

Atari Association of Desert Dwellers, 

Rick Raymond, Rt. 1, P.O. Box 5296, Richland 
WA 99352 

Bellevue/Redmond ACE, Joe Mraz, PO 
BOX 70097, Bellevue WA 98007 (206)747-2433 
Kitsap County ACE, Bill Penner, PO Box 
2333, Bremerton WA 98310 (206)373-4840 
R-AUG, Mike Barret, PO Box 845, Oak Harbor 
WA 98277(206)675-7167 
STDIO, Ralph Plaggenburg, 904 N. 33rd PI, 
Renton WA 98056 (206)228-5303 
STarBase, Steve Drake, 8307 27th NW, 
Seattle WA 98117 (206)782-3691 
Seattle Puget-Sound ACE, Nick Berry, PO 
Box 110576, Tacoma WA 98411-0576 

Southwest Washington Atari Group, 

Allan Cokes, P.O. Box 1515, Vancouver WA 
98668-1515, BBS: (206)574-1146 
TRACE Users’ Group, Terry Schreiber, Box 
2037, Point Roberts WA 98281 (604)943-4786 


Central Wisconsin AUG, Thomas Ptak, 217 
S. Schmidt Ave, Marshfield Wl 54449 (715)- 

Milwaukee Area AUG, Linda Heinrich, P.O. 
Box 14038, West Allis Wl 53214 (414)421-2376 
Milwaukee Area ST User Group, Bruce 
Welsch, P.O. Box 25679, Milwaukee Wl 53225 

Packerland Atari Computer Users’ 
Society, Peter Schefsky, 2714 South 11th 
Place, Sheboygan Wl 53081 414-457-451 

October 1990 

Current Notes 

Page 79 


1st Stop. 



A &D Soft ware. 



Artisan Software. 









Boston Computer Society/Atari... 



Branch Always Software. 





CodeHead Soft ware. 









Current Notes Cartridges.. 



Current Notes Spectre Library. 



Current Notes ST Library. 



D&P Computer.. 



D. A. Brumleve. 











Gadgets by SmalL. 






GT Software. 





L&Y Electronics. 



M-S Designs. 












RIO Computers. 



ST Informer.. 



Step Ahead. 



Strata . 



Talon Technology. 






Tid Bit. 



Toad Computers. 





Classified Ads 

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one of the most common computer killers! 24 hours a 
day KEYSKIN will keep liquids and other objects from 
going in the keyboard thus preventing costly 
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DS Drive Upgrade: A money saver! No hole to cut, 
fits nicely in place, 100% compatible. $55. (415) 
564-5658 (CA). 

For Sale: Portfolio with 64K Ram card, Smart Parallel 
Interface, Serial Interface, all manuals. Very little used, 
new condition. $300 or Best Offer. W. Davis, 54 
Miruela Ave. St. Augustine, FL 32084 (904) 324-3850. 
For Sale: 1040ST with 20 Mb HD, mono monitor, 
SW includes Calamus, MWC w/dbug, dbMAN V, 
Wordup. $1,200. Call (301)540-1929, ask for Rick. 

For Sale: dBMAN 5.1 in original box w/all manuals. 
Awesome database. Best offer. Jim (704) 254-9278. 
For Sale: Back - In - School - Success - Machine: 
Complete wordprocessing, entertainment, home 
productivity system. Includes 1 meg 1040ST com¬ 
puter, DS floppy drive, NX-1000 dot matrix printer, 
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software, plus “leisure” software, alias “games.’ 1 
Price $695. Call Frank 301-656-0719(day or evening). 
CN CLASSIFIED ADS. Send in your classified ad 
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22170. The cost is only $.01 per character. That’s a 
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Page 80 

Current Notes 

Vol. 10, No. 8 

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