Article #27 (214 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 1-Nov-86 #2.5
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Sat Jul 3 21:41:29 1993
November 1, 1986 Issue 2.5
Publisher/Cheif Editor: Ron Kovacs
Coordinator/Assit Editor:L Mihalik
Assistant Publisher: Ken Kirchner
Xx COMMODORE BLUES PART 3
Commodore International got a break from its bankers this week -- an
agreement to renew the company's credit line for $140 million. Last February,
Commodore was technically in default of its loans, but banks held off
calling in their money. Commodore spokesman Alan Penchansky told The
Associated Press the action is "another step in the turn around... another
question mark that was there that has been answered."Zmagazine reported in
August that Commodore posted its first profitable quarter in seven quarters,
earning $1.2 million on sales of $209 million for the period ending June 30.
This was quite a change from a year earlier, when the West Chester,Pa.,
computer maker recorded quarterly losses of $124 million on $132 million in
sales. Penchansky said Commodore has had larger profits for the quarter
ending Sept. 1, but specifics have not been released.To be signed by
mid-November, the agreement comes eight months after the Commodore announced
a temporary $135 million credit agreement that removed the banks' threat of
foreclosure, AP notes.
Xx MAX HEADROOM
Well, it really wasn't quite the same thing as having ol' Max Headroom
popping up on your computer screen, but then again, a conference in the
Public Relations and Marketing Forum with Max's personal promoters was
insightful into the man behind the screen (so to speak). Max Headroom is a
computer-generated personality, born in Great Britain where he is a major
star. He debuted in the United States last year with his own Cinemax
series, "The Max Headroom Show,"and has achieved more widespread fame as
the spokesperson, er..spokescreen, for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola.
Discussing the mystique of Max in the PR Forum was Joe Donohue, a vice
president with Coca- Cola's public relations firm, Cohn & Wolfe. He
described Max as "the latest in high-tech computer-generated video
graphics, audio wizardry and prosthetics," but refused to reveal some of
his secrets, such as whether Max's repartee work is done live. Portrayed by
the professional, Canadian actor Matt Frewer, Max has captured the
imaginations of a worldwide audience, something Cokeis zeroing in on in an
attempt to sell more soft drinks. Irreverent Max hypes Coke in the "Catch
the Wave" campaign currently airing, although some may wonder if Max is
selling Coke or Coke is selling Max. No matter to CocaCola officials, who
are pleased that their advertising campaign has resulted in commercials
that are among the best retained by consumers.
Max Headroom is best known for his witty, off-the-wall comments made while
interviewing rock groups and other pop artists. Newsweek dubbed Max the
"the TV talk show host of 1986 -- no, make that the year 2000." And for
any who might think computer-generated talk show hosts have no personality,
check out this from Video Life:
-:-Max's favorite sport: Golf.
-:-His ideal woman: Grace Jones.
-:-How much does he get paid: Nothing.
That's why he's the perfect TV host.
-:-To what does he credit hispopularity? His high degree of perfection,
plus a great deal ofmodesty.
-:-Does he prefer candle-lit dinners?
Max prefers food cooked the normal way. And that's probably the only thing
that *is* normal about Max Headroom.
Although Max did not make a personal appearance at the Oct 30th conference,
David J. Colmans, another vice president with Cohn & Wolfe, said he remains
hopeful that an "event on CompuServe" with Max himself as guest host can
bear ranged with Coca-Cola's permission. "The problems are that Max is a
computer character with no arms and hands so he can't type," said Colmans.
"But we can probably work something out and figure out a way to do some
computer graphics. If we can do it, we will because it is a natural to
have a guy like Max onCompuServe."
Xx SPA BOUNTY FOR PIRATES EXTENDED
Earlier this year, the Software
Publishers Association announced it was offering a $100 reward to anyone
turning in information about computer bulletin board systems that
distribute copyrighted software. That deal was scheduled to end tomorrow,
November 1, 1986, but nowthe SPA has extended it indefinitely. As reported
earlier in Zmag in order to collect the bounty,tipsters must provide the
name, telephone number and log-on information of a pirate BBS, as well as
the street address and name of the sysop, a disk containing copyrighted
materials downloaded from it and a printout of other copyrighted material
SPA spokeswoman Catherine Borsecnik told Ric Manning of Bulletin Board
Systems newsletter that the Washington-based trade group so far has paid
out about $500 to tipsters, and "we'll keep it up until our money starts
getting scarce." She declined to identify the boards in question, and
added, "The hardest part is getting the mailing address."
SPA Director Kenneth A. Wasch has said the group may attempt prosecution of
offending BBS operators, but would more likely ask them to voluntarily
remove copyrighted material. Bulletin Board Systems newsletter is a monthly
feature of NewsNet, which is accessible through CompuServe's IQuest
Xx ANTIC ONLINE
As many of you have noticed, we have not recently updated ANTIC ONLINE. Due
to being unable to reach a mutually acceptable contract with CompuServe, we
have found it necessary to discontinue ANTIC ONLINE. We have found the
experience to be informative and have made many friends. We thank you for
your support and kind words. You can rest assured that we will be regular
readers of SIG*ATARI, andwhere appropriate we will leave online messages.
Our commitment to online publishing has not relaxed, and you can expect
Antic to be a continuing information provider - as to where and when, watch
ANTIC and START for further information.
Jim Capparell, Publisher
Xx Product Review
PRODUCT: THE FIRST WORD PROCESSOR
MANUFACTURER: XLent Software
PO Box 5228
Springfield, VI 22150
REVIEWER: Eric Plent I enjoy using my word processor for all kinds of
things, like shopping lists, or making lists of things to take to M.O.M.
meetings. The first word processor I had was AtariWriter, and I was not
impressed with it for a few reasons, mostly the fact that it would notwork
with my STAR SG-10 printer without a printer driver. I believe XLent has
solved all those problems with the release of THE FIRST WORD PROCESSOR. I
have found this package to be very easy to use and full of features and
options I have not even started to use.
Many of the commands are much like the Atari BASIC editor, with commands
like CONTROL+INSERT working the same. This is handy for people who are
used to using the Atari editor and do not want to remember new commands.
Some of the many features can be accessed by clicking ICONS in the lower
right corner of the screen.
For example: If you want to LOAD a file, simply press ESC, choose the DISK
ICON with the arrow keys, select LOAD, and type in the filename you
want.The other ICONS in the lower right allow you to access most of the
accessory features, such as COPY a block of text, CUT and PASTE ablock of
text, and SEARCH for a word or string of words in your document. By
pressing the CONTROL+SHIFT+F combination, you can find out how many bytes
of memory you have left, and the CONTROL+SHIFT+? combo will tell you how
many sectors your document will need on a disk.
The manual that comes with the disk is well written and covers all the
features and options to great extent. So far, I have found this word
processor to have many, if not all the features of some of the higher
priced packages, such as PaperClip and AtariWriter.
I don't know how well The First Word Processor will work with large text
files, such as long DOC files from programs like 850 Express!, but I see
nothing to suggest there would be any problem.The method of print preview
XLent went with is something I have never seen before. When you use print
preview, you are prompted for the output device. You can choose from
Printer, Disk or Screen, with Screen as the default. If you choose Screen,
a little print head zips across the screen, printing your document on the
screen as a real printer would. You have the option of turning the print
head off for greater speed in preview, if youwish.
Along with the main program, themaster disk has a few utility programs used
later, such as a Printer Driver Construction Utility to set up a driver for
your printer's control codes.
The file HELP is a text help file for the XL/XE version of the main
program. It can be changed at anytime, so you can have your own helpfile,
with the commands you usemost.
PRINTSET.SYS is automaticly loaded by the word processor at boot up, and
contains specific printer codes for your printer. This is the driver, and
must be named"PRINTSET.SYS".
One section in the manual you might find out of place is the title "HOW TO
PUT PAPER INTO THE PRINTER". Don't be insulted...It is there fora reason:
With this word processor you do not insert the paper with the print head at
the very top of the page because it does not advance the paper for the top
margin, as do most. Instead, you line the paper up with the line you want
it to start at, and not above. To quote the manual: "This title may sound
a little bit condescending, but it is not meant to be. This word processor
uses a method a little bit different than most word processors and
consequently, the paper must be aligned in a different manner." It goes on
to explain the process of lining up the paper for the best results. The
text from The First Word may be used by other XLent software packages, like
MEGAFONT][+ and TYPESETTER, so you can make whole pages of graphics with
TYPESETTER, and merge text from The First Word to create full blown pro
style covers for newsletters or book reports. As you can tell, I am
impressed with the value and content of this low priced word processor ($19
is the best price I have seen thought mail order), and would suggest you
take a hard look at it before plunking down your money on AtariWriter, or
any other of the higher priced packages.
Xx Magazine Review
A Magazine Reborn review by Mike Brown I don't know how the rest of you
felt, but after not having received an issue of Atari Explorer for MANY
months, I had written them off as another cost-cutting casualty of the
Tramiel-ized Atari Corp.
I am happy to say that a "new" Atari Explorer magazine has finally arrived
in my mail and some of the details of its Genesis will surprise you! One
of the biggest surprises and pleasures of this "new" magazine is that Atari
went out and recruited some of the FINEST in available Atari computer-
journalists to form this magazine. Most outstanding was the appointment of
a personal favorite of mine, David H. Ahl, founder of Creative Computing,
and frequent contributor to Dr. Dobbs Journal as publisher. Dave brings a
host of talent from the former Creative Computing staff, including; Betsy
Staples (Editor), Ed Carlson, Bill Jacobson, and Bill Kokoni (contributing
The second most impressive thing about the magazine is that they are not
just a "house organ" for Atari. They have quite a number of software/
hardware reviews for third party items, and an impressive array of
advertisers! It is also not just Atari-specific, Dave Ahl explains things
to come in his "What's New In Technology?" section. Of course there were
the usual interviews with Atari developers (that were only interesting to
those who don't get the latest happenings from online services), and some
not-so -subtle plugs for Atari products. Another surprise was that there
was a good balance struck between the 16-bit and 8-bit worlds without
resorting to segregation. An article on programming financial formulas was
complemented by both 8-bit and ST example programs. The other two
programming articles were strictly 8-bit specific, so this implies that
there is still a considerable "awareness" of the 8-bit user at Atari!
There is a quite nice article by John Anderson (late of Family Computing)
on telecommunications and how to better use the popular ST program "FLASH".
I hope that John will make this a regular feature as I get a kick out of
his freewheeling writing style. All things considered, I am impressed by
this first effort by the "new Atari Explorer" magazine. Another nice thing
about it is that they have decided to go bimonthly instead of quarterly. I
also noticed that my subscription had been extended a bit, I assume to
compensate for the lack of a magazine for such a long time. If you are a
new user or a seasoned "Nerd" i am sure that you will find something to
like in the pages of Atari Explorer magazine. Subscriptions can be sent to:
Atari Explorer 7 Hilltop Road Mendham, NJ 07945 A one year subscription (6
issues) is a reasonable $14.95, and they do accept major bank cards.
Xx Compuserve's Iquest
A few weeks ago I was reading my monthly edition of CompuServes Online
Today Magazine, They were discussing the IQUEST area of the system so I
decided to give it a try. I captured the text and let you all see what is
there. Please note that this area of CompuServe has a surcharge attached.
You will see the cost off a 3 minute tour. This system is a large
database, you can select the topic and it will search your selection. I
entered BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEMS and this is what happened.
Enter your specific topic.
(type H for important examples) or B to back up) -> H
CONNECTING WORDS Don't use small words like: by, from, in, of, the, at, EX:
Joan Arc instead of Joan of Arc. WILD LETTERS Use / as a 'wild letter'
at the end of a word.
EX: democ/ will retrieve democracy, democratic Democrats Tax/ will
retrieve tax, taxes taxation LOGIC WORDS (and, or, not) Use AND to find
items common to two or more subjects.
EX: dog AND leash, police AND civilian control, debt AND management Use
OR to find items on either or both subjects.
EX: Bach OR Handel
dog OR cat OR pet Use NOT to exclude a subject from another.
EX: candy NOT taffy
housing NOT mobile homes Use ( ) around groups.
EX: (dog OR cat OR pet) AND leash eskimo/ AND (lawyer/ or attorn/)
Enter your specific topic.
(type H for important examples)
or B to back up) -> BBS
Is: BBS Correct ? (Yes/No) -> Y
System is now searching the selected newsletter, copyrighted 1986 and
available through NewsNet, Inc. We have no reason to believe that errors
exist in the data or services furnished. If there are any such errors the
parties hereto have no liability for any consequential, incidental or
No warranty, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to
those of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose are made. Any
liability is limited to the amount paid by the customer to CompuServe.
Accessing Network........Connected. Accessing Database Vendor...........
Each star equals one line of retrieved data. This may take several
minutes... *************************************** **************
(Time spent 1 1/2 minutes)
There are 6 item(s) which satisfy your search phrase. You are about to see
the most recent 6 headings in the database. Afterwards choose which
article to display. One full text record may be retrieved at no additional
cost. You may wish to PRINT or CAPTURE this data if possible. Press
(return) to see your search results...-> Heading # 1
Searched: Sep 30, 1986 18:26 Use (control S) to stop; (control Q) to
resume; (control C) to interrupt.
1) 7/ 1/86 EC38 BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEMS TAMPA BBS HAS LOADS OF PC
DOWNLOADS Press (return) to continue...->
Heading # 2 2) 7/ 1/86 EC38 BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEMS NORTH DAKOTA
BBS SERVES HAMS Press (return) to continue...->
Heading # 3 3) 7/ 1/86 EC38 BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEMS LUNG
ASSOCIATION SPONSORS SMOKING BBS Press (return) to continue...->
Heading # 4 4) 7/ 1/86 EC38 BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEMS SWAPPERS MEET
ON BARTER BOARD Press (return) to continue...->
Heading # 5 5) 7/ 1/86 EC38 BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEMS PROCOMM
MATCHES HIGH-PRICE TELCOM SOFTWARE Press (return) to continue...->
Heading # 6 6) 7/ 1/86 EC38 BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEMS CALIFORNIA
LAW FIRM PUTS LEGAL SERVICES ONLINE Press (return) to continue...->
1 Review Headings again
2 See full text article (need Heading #, no additional
4 Start a new search (or SOS)
5 Leave System
Total charges thus far : $7.00 -> 5 Please wait... arges: Database
Charges: 1 Searches: $7.00 0 Reprints: $0.00 0 Express
Reprints: $0.00 0 Abstracts $0.00 Surcharges
$0.00 Total Charges: $7.00 Thank-you for using IQuest!
Xx Reader Submissions
The following text came from the MOUSE BBS (219) 674-9288. User: Dave
Brehm (COPLEY RADIO NETWORK)-If you could peer into the year 1996, you
might not like what you see and hear. At least, those of you who love to
hear the thoughtful, charming, warm, truly spontaneous voice of a live
radio announcer might be a bit peeved to find COMPUTER AUTOMATION has
replaced on-air human talent. All this couldn't come at a better time, of
course, for station owners, general managers and other souls plagued by
rising talent costs. But yours truly may be looking for work, if National
Association of Broadcasters' executive vice- president John D. Abel has his
figures straight. Abel says in the next ten years we'll have MAX HEADROOM-
type synthetic disc jockeys, satellite receivers in each and every car,
hundreds more radio stations, satellite networks, super-stations and the
compact disc will practically annihilate the old vinyl record. But the
biggest change you the listener may notice is when your bill comes in the
mail. Commerical radio is already facing stiff competition from cable-TV
outlets offering alternative pay radio. More than half the stations in the
U.S. are already on cable, so the stage is set for pay-radio invasion.
(COMPUTERIZED WINE STEWARD) You say you don't know a Cabernet from a
Zinfandel? A Beaujolais from a vin rose? Well thanks to the Wine Steward
Company of San Francisco, Just about anyone can become a wine connoisseur.
That's because Wine Steward sells special computer terminals and software
to selected supermarkets that can help customers select wines. Say you're
in the mood for Italian food. The computer monitor will display a selection
of wines that go best with your meal. The high-tech wine steward also
describes each bottle of wine and gives the price. What makes the computer
system so unique is that "wine lists" are tailored to the individual store.
Wine Steward computer terminals can be found in 13 supermarket chains
Ward Cleaver may have been too hard on the Beaver. At least that seems to
be the opinion of a computer program that aids parents in understanding and
dealing with their kids. The program - called Mind Over Minors - provides
parents with specific advice for handling each child in relation to their
personality type. After the computer analyzed Ward and the Beav's
relationship it came up with these tips for dear old dad: Ward should
steer clear of the perfection standard and focus on realistic goals
instead. He should show greater patience when Beaver interrupts. And he
should invest more time in adventures with the Beav and less time on the
golf course. Credit Dr. James Johnson Human Edge, San Mateo, Ca. - Copely
(EARTH) Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico are
using a 3-D super-computer to help them solve the world's biggest jigsaw
puzzle. They're trying to determine if the Earth's six continents were
once one giant land mass. Dr. John Baumgardner say's explaining the birth
of a continent is a mojor task. To conquer it, he's feeding thousands of
bits of information regarding the Earth's core temperature, it's material
and chemical makeup and all the known math and physic principals of motion
into the super-computer. In less than one second, the super-computer
solves more than 100,000 math problems and spews out a 3-D simulation of
how the land may have seperated. Baumgardner says if the puzzle is still
perplexing, it could be some pieces are missing.
ELECTRONIC SHOPPING ZAPS CUSTOMERS
Get used to communicating with machines. The number of electronic
banking and shopping machines will double by 1988, accounting for 16
billion dollars in annual retail sales.
That's the word from Lili Mahlab of Intermark Corporation. She say's by
the turn of the century you will use electronic shopping machines for one
in every five dollars you spend. Take something as simple as purchasing
hair care products.
Mahlab says electronic selling gadgets could answer questions even an
experienced retail salesperson would stumble over.
Since the number of retail salesmen and saleswomen has declined, Mahlab
says the machines are a welcome addition to department stores.
Xx Piracy Survey Results
Hotline BBS Software Piracy Survey The Hotline Bulletin Board System in an
Atari ST-oriented system serving the Washington, D.C. metro area. The
system has been online for nearly four years and has logged over 30,000
calls. Approximately 40% of the user base are long distance callers. For
a period of twelve weeks, the Hotline conducted a user survey concerning
software piracy and received over 350 responses. With the recent crackdown
on piracy by the software industry, the basic goal of the survey was to get
some sort of indication of how serious the problem is with Atari users and
whether or not the piracy crackdown was having any effect on the attitudes
and actions of consumers as well as BBS Sysops.
Question #1: ============ Have you ever downloaded copies of copyrighted
software from a BBS? Yes: 73% No: 27%
Question #2: ============ Have you ever "traded" such software through the
mail? Yes: 37% No: 63%
Question #3: ============ Have you ever obtained copies of software from a
friend or acquaintance? Yes: 85% No: 15%
Question #4: ============ Have you ever obtained copies of software from an
organized Club or User's Group (during/after meetings, etc)? Yes: 20% No:
Question #5: ============ If you answered "yes" to any of the above, how
many copies of such programs do you own? 10 or Less: 30% 11-25: 14% 26-50:
4% 51-75: 6% 75 or More: 36% None: 10%
Question #6: ============ If you answered "yes" to any of the above, what
is your reasoning for not actually purchasing a copy of the program?
(Enter as many as you like in your response) Software is too expensive:
23% I wanted to see if it was worth buying first: 22% I "collect"
software and don't mean any harm to anyone: 13% It was available, so I
copied/ downloaded it: 22% Other reasons: 15% Does not apply to me: 5%
Question #7: ============ If more demonstration programs were available, do
you think that it would influence your decision on copying programs? Yes:
66% No: 34%
Question #8: ============ Is the software industry trying to keep the cost
of programs at its lowest possible price? Yes: 11% No: 89%
Question #9: ============ Does the fact of whether or not a program is
copy-protected influence your decision on buying a piece of software? Yes:
41% No: 59%
Question #10: ============= How much software, in terms of dollar amount,
have you purchased? Under $100: 26% $100-$250: 18% $251-$500: 20% $501-
$750: 16% $751-$1000: 0% $1001-$1500: 2% $1501-$2000: 4% Over $2000: 14%
Question #11: ============= Have you noticed fewer, the same amount, or
more BBS's which feature copyrighted software in their download sections?
Fewer BBS's: 50% Same Amount: 31% More BBS's: 19%
Question #12: ============= Is the ability to download copyrighted programs
from a BBS the primary reason for calling the system? Yes: 10% No: 90%
Question #13: ============= Are Bulletin Board Systems your primary means
of obtaining copyrighted software? Yes: 25% No: 75%
Question #14: ============= Has the current crackdown by the software
industry and the Software Publishers Association had any effect on the
attitudes of Sysops and Bulletin Board Systems in the trading of
copyrighted software that you as a user has noticed? No Effect: 30% Some
Effect: 49% Lot of Effect: 21%
Question #15: ============= Do you think the crackdown will have any long-
term effects and will limit the copying of copyrighted software in the
future? No Effect: 41% Some Effect: 49% Lot of Effect: 10%
Question #16: ============= Are you male or female? Male: 90% Female: 10%
Question #17: ============= What age category are you in? 13 or Under: 4%
14-17: 42% 18-25: 18% 26-35: 25% 36-45: 10% 46 or Over: 1%
Observations: ============= While not a scientifically conducted survey,
the answers given by the respondents can give the reader a good indication
as to the practices and attitudes of the "average" Atari user who is
involved in telecommunications and frequents Atari Bulletin Board Systems.
The large majority of the respondents own illegal copies of software, but
also have purchased large amounts of programs as well. They're mostly
teenagers with the second largest age group in the 26-35 category. They
feel that the current crackdown on piracy will have some short and long
term effects on Sysops who run pirate BBS's but state that these boards are
not their primary means of obtaining illegal copies of programs. This may
be somewhat contradictory with an earlier response that 73% obtain such
programs directly from BBS's.
The respondents felt that the software industry is not keeping the cost of
software at its lowest price possible and were split with whether or not
copy-protection influenced their decision on buying programs. They were
decidedly in favor of more demonstration programs and said that this would
effect their decision on getting illegal copies of programs that offered
When asked to justify their logic for illegally copying programs, the
answers were almost evenly split between software being too expensive,
seeing whether or not the program was worth purchasing, and that the
program was readily and easily available for copying.
This latter justification may indicate that illegally copying software is
almost an "automatic" reaction by many Bulletin Board users -- "it was
there, so I took it."
In examining these answers, I regret that I didn't ask users as to
whether or not they felt that copying software was "morally" wrong.
Nevertheless, it is evident that the software industry still suffers from
the image that they're overpricing their programs and that prospective
customers have little in the way of finding out if a program is worth
purchasing or not. More demonstration versions, less copy-protection, and
an aggressive consumer education campaign may be the best avenue of
approach by the industry if it ever expects to substantially reduce the
problem of software piracy.
-- Tom Zelinski Sysop of The Hotline Bulletin Board System
Xx Zmag update
Due to the amount of information being gathered and recieved each week,
the Zmag Systems List will become a separate file. If your system carries
Zmag on a weekly basis, Please leave me a message on CompuServe,
(71777,2140) or on the BBS you got this issue from. After I get a current
list together I will upload the file to CompuServe and the Zmag BBS
Systems. As of last count, We are currently issuing to 34 BBS systems. To
be fair to all, I would like to list them all in the weekly issues, but
space doesnt allow it at the present time. Thanks to all for your support
of Zmag. Looking forward to more text donations...
Next week... Ken White returns with a reply to Jack H. Lee's comment on
Antic Magazine, More Micro news, and more reader submissions... Happy
Zmag New Jersey November 1, 1986 Please Contribute! Next Edition November