Article #34 (214 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 15-Dec-86 #3.2
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Tue Jul 6 09:32:15 1993
December 15, 1986 Issue 3.2
Publisher: Ron Kovacs
Assistant Publisher:Ken Kirchner
Software Reviewer: Eric Plent
Coordinator: Larry Mihalik
Zmag Headquarters (New Jersey)
The Syndicate BBS
Post Office Box 74
Middlesex, NJ 08846-0074
(201) 968-8148 300/1200 24 Hours
ZMAG TABLE OF CONTENTS
12/15/86...This Week in Zmag.....
<*> ATARI 3RD QUARTER EARNINGS
<*> NEWSROOM FOR THE 8-BITS?
.....PLEA FOR HELP
<*> CHESS FOR THE ST
.....A SUPERIOR SIMULATION
<*> COMPUTER PHONE FRAUD
<*> NEW UPDATED ZMAG SYSTEMS LIST
.....THE WORLDWIDE NETWORK
<*> EDITOR'S NOTES
Xx EDITOR'S NOTE
This is our last regular edition of ZMAG for 1986. We hope you've enjoyed
reading it throughout the year and look forward to your continued support
Our "Special Zmag Systems" issue is in the works now and will close out
1986 with a listing of the network's BBS's. This issue will contain
information on each of the Zmag boards. It's our way of saying thanks to
those systems that have supported us this year. Look for this edition on or
about December 29th.
The next regular issue of Zmag will be published January 5, 1987. Zmag goes
to Monday publication in the new year, so watch for it each week.
In the December 6th edition of Zmag we ran a column devoted to gamehints
for several ST games. Unfortunately, the person that sent us these tips
neglected to attribute them to an article appearing in Family Computing
magazine. We regret this oversight and wish to give credit to Family
Computing for these gamehints. In the future, when submitting articles to
Zmag, please advise us if your submissions are from sources other than your
Finally, the Zmag staff extends Season's Greetings to all our readers as we
wish you Happy Holidays and a healthy and prosperous New Year!
Xx ATARI 8-BIT NEWS
...Facts and Figures.......
THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS
ATARI CORP. reported results of operations for the 3 months and 9 months
ending Sept. 30, 1986. Sales for the quarter were $59.9 million versus
$28.9 million for the prior year--a 107% increase. Net income for the
quarter was $9.2 million.
Sales for the 9 month period ending Sept. 30 were $165.5 mil versus $76.6
million for the same period in 1985--a 116% increase.
Sam Tramiel, President of ATARI CORP., stated "consumer acceptance and
retail takeaway continues extremely strong. Demand for the Atari video
games and the 16/32 bit ST computers exceeded our expectations."
He also said, regarding the successful initial public offering completed
during November 1986, "ATARI CORP. is now aggressively pursuing its
leadership role in the personal computer industry from a position of
strength, that is, we are virtually debt-free and have a solid equity base
on which to build the company's future."
SOFTWARE BLUES FOR 8-BITTERS
Help needed from 8-bitters by Dave Pettit
Ever since I heard about programs to create a mini-newspaper with an 8-bit
computer I have been searching for one for my Atari 800. So far I have
only found one program for other computers and one from Xlent Software that
is apparently hard to use.
The first program is 'The Newsroom' by Springboard Software, Inc. Their
program allows the user to enter their own text, choose from several fonts
and several graphics, and merge it all together to form a fancy 8 1/2 by 11
newspaper. This copy could be printed several times on your printer or
used as a master at a professional printing shop. Newspapers could be made
for your social club, for your church, for school announcements, for
classroom writing activities, your families annual newsletter, and more.
Another program by Springboard Software, Inc. is their "Certificate
Maker". This program is similar to Printshop but it makes an 8 1/2 by 11
award with border, graphic pictures, and text to the user's specifications.
This program, too, could be used by a myriad of people -- probably you,
The problem is that Springboard Software, Inc. is "not currently planning
on converting these programs to the Atari" according to a representative of
the company. But it came to me that if enough 8-bit Atari owners expressed
a real interest in their software, they would be foolish not to make it for
the Atari. I believe this is what happened to Broderbund Software and
their Printshop program.
Here is what you can do. Write or call Springboard Software, Inc. (7808
Creekridge Circle, Minneapolis, MN 55435, Ph. (612)944-3912) and tell them
in your own words that you would like to see both programs converted to the
Atari 8-bit computers. Tell them how you plan on using them, giving them
the idea that there are more people in the country like you with an Atari.
Your efforts may convince Springboard that there truly is a market for
their fine products. If it does, it will provide us all with some terrific
and useful software and keep me from buying an Apple clone which I will not
use except for this software. I thank you in advance for your help.
Xx ST NEWSFILE
....Chess for the ST!.....
Reprinted From MID-MICHIGAN ATARI
MAGAZINE (12/86) by permission.
ST NOTES by LeRoy Valley
P-K4, P-K4, P-Q4, PxP... "Would you please stop kibitzing!!!" "Checkmate
in three moves"... "Checkmate !"...
By now, most of you can probably guess what my column is about this month.
For those few uninitiated of you however, the answer is --- CHESS! That's
right, chess has finally arrived for the ST, and OH has it arrived! I'm
still dazed by my latest loss. CHESS, by Psion Ltd., is simply the best
computer chess game I've ever played.
Just to give you some point of reference, I am NOT a beginner. I've been
playing chess for 13 years and my USCF rating (even if it is 2 years old)
is 1856. I've played Chess 7.0 and Sargon III on the Atari 8 bits and
numerous other dedicated chess machines (Fidelity, GGM) and nothing
compares with this offering by Psion. Psion claims that this program won
1986 World Microcomputer Chess Championships, and I believe it. It's the
first machine that beats me consistently at tournament level (at times even
decimates me). Anyway, enough of that, you get the idea. It does play a
strong game. Now let me tell you about the features it has.
When first booted, you are greeted by an impressive 3 dimensional display
of a chess board and pieces. By moving the mouse to the top of the screen,
you can select a number of options from a menu that only appears when the
mouse is actually at the top of the screen. During normal play, the menu
is not visible, and therefore will not distract you. Movement is as simple
as pointing at the piece and clicking, then moving to the square you want
and clicking again. (Don't worry, the computer will not let you make an
There are 7 main menus at the top of the screen PSION, GAMES, PLAYERS,
LEVELS, DISPLAY, MOVES, and FEATURES. Under the PSION menu you have three
choices: HELP, LANGUAGE, and QUIT. The manual included is only 4 pages
long (the English version), but HELP describes every option in great
detail. LANGUAGE allows you to select any of 6 languages to display all of
the options in: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish.
I am NOT going to explain the QUIT option to you!
GAMES has 4 selections: NEW GAME, to start a new game at any time, OPEN
GAME, to load a previously saved game, SAVE GAME, to save the current game,
and MASTER GAMES, to access any of the 150 Master games stored on disk.
One note about NEW GAME. When you select it, the pieces aren't merely
placed back on the board. Each piece left on the board glides back to it's
home square. Nice touch.
The PLAYERS option allows you to select PLAYER vs ST, PLAYER vs PLAYER, and
ST vs ST. In the case of PLAYER vs PLAYER, Psion Chess will monitor each
players moves and all options are available to each player (such as
Analysis, Hint, and Take Back).
LEVELS gives you a full range of levels to choose from. Timed levels
include: Novice (immediate response), 2 sec., 4 sec., 6 sec., 15 sec., 30
sec., 45 sec., 1 min., 1.5 min., 2 min., 3 min., 4 min, Equal (Chess will
take as much time as you do), and Infinite (Chess will search until it has
found it's best move).
Unlike most computer chess games, Chess plays very well even at the lower
levels. Setting it as low as 6 seconds per move still yields a challenging
For those of you who think that the 3D board looks a little cluttered (or
unconventional), DISPLAY offers a 2D BOARD option. Using 2D BOARD yields a
reduced size flat 2D chess board, where movement is the same as on the 3D
board. Once 2D is selected, the choice changes to 3D BOARD. You can
switch between the boards as often as you like during the course of the
game. The nice thing about the 2D BOARD version is that you have a 2nd
window opened next to the chess board that shows a record of all moves by
both you and Chess. The record (and the board!) can be printed out.
This move record is always carried internally whether you're in 2D or 3D.
Other options under DISPLAY include HIDE MOVE RECORD, which closes the move
record window (it can be retrieved at any time), SHOW ANALYSIS, which, when
enabled, will show the current expected line of moves and the relative
advantage held by either side, and finally INVERT BOARD, which simply
changes the colors of the pieces (you still play your pieces, they're just
black instead of white, or vice versa).
The MOVES menu allows you to get a HINT, TAKE BACK a move (or moves),
CHANGE SIDES so that you're playing Chess's pieces and vice versa, OFFER
DRAW, REPLAY (used on a loaded game or on a master game to replay the
game), NEXT BEST which tells Chess to take the next best move (this helps
when looking for multiple mates), MOVE NOW which forces Chess to move NOW,
and BEST SO FAR which forces Chess to use the best move that it's found.
The final menu, FEATURES, allows you to SET UP the board (for mate problems
or analysis of games), ENABLE RESIGN to allow Chess to resign if the
situation becomes hopeless, STOP CLOCKS (yes Chess does keep time for both
of you), RESET CLOCKS back to 0, turn the SOUND OFF, PRINT MOVES to print
the entire move record (very nice!), and PRINT BOARD (even nicer!).
If it seems like this column is long winded, you're right. But this
program is worth it! Unlike many programs which play 'I'll wait till he
makes a mistake and then get him' chess, Chess plays a very aggressive
game. The opening game is complete and endgame play is devastating. For
$49.95, you can't go wrong if you want a good game of chess. If you're
looking for something to beat, then this might not be the program for you.
Well, I've got to go now. This infernal machine just challenged me to a
best out of five series. Until next month.
Xx GENERAL COMPUTER NEWS
....And Justice for All........
THREE INDICTED, TWO MORE ARRESTED IN ALLEGED MCI CRACKING CASE
Last summer's alleged theft of MCI telephone codes has resulted in
indictments of three Baltimore, Md., people and the arrest of two 14-year-
Charged in the Baltimore County indictments with theft, unauthorized
access to a computer and using a device to avoid telephone charges are
James S. Meenen, 28, of Annapolis, Gregory J. Thomas, 26, of Baltimore, and
Courtney L. Wood, 21, of Baltimore County.
Authorities told The Associated Press more indictments are expected. In
addition, E. Jay Miller, Baltimore County police spokesman, says two
teenagers were arrested Saturday and turned over to the Juvenile Services
Administration in connection with the case.
MCI also had begun its own investigation, says AP, "after identifying
confidential customer numbers that were being used without authorization."
Miller said he had no estimate on the value of the stolen services, but
quoted MCI as saying that industrywide, an estimated $500 million in
services were stolen from long-distance companies in 1985.
MICROSOFT RIGHTS CASE EXPECTED TO GO TO SEATTLE JURY THIS WEEK
A Seattle jury is expected this week to get the case of who owns the rights
to the MS-DOS operating system used on IBM PCs and compatibles.
As reported earlier, Seattle Computer Products Inc. brought a $60 million
suit against Microsoft Corp., claiming rights to the DOS, which former
employee Tim Paterson wrote.
Seattle Computer sold MS-DOS to Microsoft in July 1981, a month before the
announcement of the IBM PC. The company received a relatively small sum and
the right to receive future versions of the product for free, to sell in
conjunction with its own line of computer equipment.
Notes The Associated Press, "What the jury must decide is what constitutes
a version of an old product and what is a new product, and which of those
'versions' Seattle Computer is entitled to receive."
Xx ZMAG SYSTEMS BULLETIN
ALL SYSOPS ARE REMINDED THAT THE DEADLINE FOR MATERIAL SUBMISSIONS FOR
ZMAG'S SPECIAL EDITION 3.0 IS DECEMBER 22. PLEASE SEND US YOUR SYSTEM'S
TITLE SCREEN, MAIN MENU AND ANY OTHER PERTINENT INFO ABOUT YOUR BBS. KEEP
THE INFO BRIEF AS THERE ARE NOW 44 SYSTEMS IN THE NETWORK AND WE'D LIKE TO
INCLUDE THEM ALL IN THIS ISSUE.
Xx WORLDWIDE ZMAG SYSTEMS LIST
What follows is an up to date listing of BBS's in the ZMAG Network. This
list is published as a service to you--hopefully, there is a ZMAG system in
your area. Please patronize and contribute to it.
#1 --THE SYNDICATE BBS (201)968-8148 (New Jersey Zmag Headquarters)
#2 --THE LIONS DEN BBS (201)944-1196
BACKSTAGE BBS (201)396-0867 (201)944-1196
TEMPLE OF DOOM BOTTOM LINE
THE GATEWAY BBS THE CAVE BBS
EAST BRUNSWICK BBS THE CULT BBS
SURF CITY BBS C. CTY BBS
THE DEEP N.M. ATARI
THE W.C. SYNDICATE M.O.U.S.E BBS
ONE STONE BBS THE CARINA BBS
ATARI COMPUTER CLUB NEW YORK CITY
ATARI CONNECTION THE HELP BBS
MEGA VISION BBS BALLOON WORKS
C.H.A.O.S. BBS RUNEQUEST BBS
SWEDEN, SORMAN INFORMATION EXCHANGE
KNOTS NOOK BBS PIRATE BUSTERS
WINDY CITY (312)775-2970
(Chicago Zmag Headquarters)
BLUE MOON C.L.A.U.G BBS
HOUSE OF CHANCE SPRINGSNET BBS
RATCOM THE VAULT
DATELINE BBS THUNDER ISLAND
SPIDERS WEB BBS ACORN BBS
OFFICE BBS THE WHITE HOUSE
THE FACTS BBS MISSING LINK BBS
WONDERFUL WORLD GREAT FIRE-
OF OZ BREATHING BBS
(808)423-2754 (NO # YET)
The above list updated 12/15/86
ZMAGAZINE FINAL REGULAR EDITION 1986
Thanks to all for your support in '86
and we look forward to a better 1987.
Next Zmag release 12/29/86
Next regular edition January 5, 1987
We will now publish on Monday's!
Zmagazine December 15, 1986 Issue 3.2