Article #41 (214 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Z*Magazine: 16-Feb-87 #39
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Thu Jul 8 09:46:11 1993
Zmagazine February 16, 1987
Publisher/Editor in Chief:Ron Kovacs
This Week in Zmag......
<*> SUPRA CORP. GOES ONLINE
IN COMPUSERVE CONFERENCE
<*> ATARI IBM CLONES--RUMORS
ABOUND ON 'NON-RELEASE'
<*> COMPUTER SALES SLOWED AS
BUYERS PLAY WAITING GAME
<*> CHOCOLATE FLOPPY DISKS--
ARE THEY COPY-PROTECTED?
<*> ATARI WORD PROCESSORS
FOR THE 8-BITS--PART II
<*> KNOCKING OUT CALL-WAITING
WHILE YOU'RE ONLINE
All this and more in this weeks
edition of Zmagazine.....
Xx ZMAG ATARI NEWSWIRE
....Supra Conference on Compuserve.
Transcripts from the Conference:
(Edited by Zmag for easy reading)
Keith Ledbetter stood in as the
(JERRY CROSS) WHAT'S THE WORD ON
THE UPDATED VERSION OF EXPRESS?
(Keith) -> well, I should have some
time freeing up before long,so I
hope it will be relatively soon..but
I can't promise.
(SUPRA CORP) Supra is here, just
(Keith) I would like to thank
Supra (Mark) for taking the time to
be with us here today. They have
always been vocal on CIS in
supporting their products, and being
with us here today just enforces
that. Mark, any words you would like
to say before we start the
(SUPRA CORP) Yes..Just some news of
upcoming products. We have a new
1150 to fix the print shop problem,
we are now shipping 20,30,60M drives
for the 8 bit and we will have some
new telecommunication products in
(Keith) Ok, Mark. Thanks. Let's
open up the floor for questions.
Respond with a '?' starting NOW...
(Eric P.) ?
(MATT COFFMAN) ?
(JERRY CROSS) ?
(Roy G.) ?
(Patrick Richmond) ?
(Keith) Ok, go ahead Eric.
(Eric P.) Ok..what is the access
time on the 60MB?
(SUPRA CORP) No, the 20M is a 65ms
drive, although on the XL/XE you do
not see that great of a speed
difference between the two.
(JERRY CROSS) will the 8-bit hard
drives (20 meg) work with the
existing interface for the 10 meg?
(SUPRA CORP) Yes all of our drives
work with the same XL->SCSI
interface, we are just changing the
drive, controller for the higher
(JERRY CROSS) What is the price for
(SUPRA CORP) The 20M is $799, 30M
$995, and 60M $1995.
(Roy G.) Will the Supra hard drives
interface to other computers besides
(SUPRA CORP) Yes they will with
very little work, it takes a new SCSI
interface and the drives can be used
on a ST, Amiga, Mac +. We sell the
interface for the ST and Amiga.
Several vendors provide the Mac +
(Roy G.) I assume you can't just
apply the interface to any hard drive
for use on an 8-bit??
(SUPRA CORP) If I understand, yes
you can use our interface with any
SCSI drive or controller. We
currently work with Xebecs, Western
Digital, and Adaptecs controllers.
(Roy G.) Do you sell the interface
(SUPRA CORP) Yes we do, 199.95,
plus instructions for rolling your
(Eric P.) How well do the 20MB and
30MB interface with the ICD MIO?
(SUPRA CORP) There is no problem
interfacing to the MIO board, you
take the 50 pin SCSI cable to the 50
header in the MIO.
(Keith) OK, guess it's my turn
...Are there any new products
(that you can talk about) planned for
the 8-bits coming from Supra?
(SUPRA CORP) Right now we are
putting almost all of our resources
into HD's and accesories (tape
backup)...We are working on a new
telecommunication project which will
work on all systems for a very
(Eric P.) How many logical drives
can the 20MB be divided into?
(SUPRA CORP) We have an EPROM in
our interface which you can setup to
split the drive into as many as 8
(Eric P.) How much can each drive
hold? Each logical drive, that is.
(SUPRA CORP) Each drive can be a
max of 16M, this is due to the
(Mike S.) You said earlier that
Supra was coming out with a new
version of the 1150 interface. Will
there be an upgrade policy for people
who own the earlier model, and if so,
what will the policy be?
(SUPRA CORP) The new 1150 is being
done for 2 reasons
1. The timing problems the old
1150, MicroPrint had with SOME
printers and Print Shop (This
is fixed now on shipping
2. It is redesigned for using
We will upgrade people having
problems with PrintShop and their
printers for $7.50 if they have had
it over 90 days and free if they
purchased it less than 90 days.
(JERRY CROSS) -Are you planning a
2400 baud modem? At what price?
(SUPRA CORP) Yes..at a price that
is competetive with current 1200
(Ben H.) I am under the impression
that the Supra 1200 bps modem is
identical to the Avatex. Is this
(SUPRA CORP) Yes it is true, we OEM
the Avatex 1200.
(Ron H.) For those of us who are
not used to working with hard
drives, what exactly would we need
to set up a hard disk system using a
Supra HD and either your own
interface or an ICD MIO?
(SUPRA CORP) If you purchase our
system, then you plug it in and go.
We ship the drive with Mydos 4.3->
but you can use Sparta 2.3D. As far
as setting up your own system, you
would need our HD interface or the
MIO, a SCSI controller, SCSI HD, and
all of the power, cables, and case
for the system.
(Ron H.) Do you sell SCSI
(SUPRA CORP) We sell the Adaptec
AC-4000 (MFM drive) & 4070 (RLL)
but those contollers are better
suited to the ST as they are fast
(1:1 interleave). For the XL/XE we
suggest a 4:1 controller such as the
Xebec or Western Digital. You can
find those for $50-100 at any good
electronic mail order shop.
(Mike S.) (Maybe this question
should go to Keith?) For my own
clarification, which version of
Express works with the Supra modem?
(Keith) With which Supra modem,
(Mike S.) Yes.
(SUPRA CORP) We have been sending a
version of Express with our driver
appended to it to any 1200 owner who
calls us. SmartTerm 8.4 is still
(Mike S.)Are you planning a future
release of SmarTerm or is Supra going
to provide Express with future
(SUPRA CORP) We are still providing
SmarTerm but that should be changing
soon. Future modems will not have
Smarterm but rather Express. (How
can you compete against the best?)
(Ron Kovacs) I am currently running
your 10m drive on my BBS.
Occasionally, as of late, I have
noticed that the drive makes a
tapping noise and takes 30 seconds
to access a file. What could be the
(SUPRA CORP) Ok the noise is most
likely the grounding strap, you can
fix that by opening the drive and
putting tape on a brass tab which is
in the middle of the drive. As to
your other problem, I do not know.
You might give me a call at Supra so
that I can get more info.
(SUPRA CORP) Tech support 8-5
503-967-9081 or the office is
(JERRY CROSS) I have several club
members with a Supra 1200. Is the
Express version you referred to
available as public domain and if
not, how can they get a copy?
(SUPRA CORP) No, the version is not
PD as we have appended our driver
Simply call me and I will send a
copy to you at no charge.
(Eric P.) Does the Hard Drive DOS
support booting off of the Hard
Drive? Also, can the hard drive be
set up as any drive number?
(SUPRA CORP) We have a fake floppy
set up on the HD as drive 1, so
putting your dos there allows you
to boot from the HD. By reburning a
EPROM in our interface you can set
the drive up to be any combination
of drives 1-8.
(Eric P.) Does Supra support a BBS?
If so, what are the hours and
(SUPRA CORP) The number is
503-926-1980 24 hrs, if we can keep
BBCS from crashing. Oh it is also
(Eric P.) Is there any information
or files on the BBS about the hard
(SUPRA CORP) Yes, I have our
complete catalog. I try to keep
upcoming products current. Also I
answer questions on our products.
(Thought you might like that Keith
(Keith) Now that Supra has had
time to work with the 'Tramiel
Atari', how does your company feel
about the 8-bit line of Atari.
(SUPRA CORP) Boy, that one is a
toughie, the big question is how
long will the 8 bit line be
profitable? We are still selling
a lot of printer interfaces, some
300 and 1200 modems and some hard
drives. At CES we asked Atari how
sales of 8 bits had been. After much
discussion they said that Christmas
sales had been ok but not great. The
ST is going to start eating into 8
bit sales at some point. The 'new' 8
bit machines look like they have at
least another good Christmas, but
after that, it is anyone's guess. We
will still provide 8 bit proucts and
services as long as we can make a
buck or 2 which will most likely be
a couple years yet.
Those are some of the highlights of
the conference. Zmag will publish
more as it becomes available.
Xx ZMAG NEWSWIRE
....Atari IBM Clone In Trouble?......
Online Today OLT-615
Atari's new IBM-compatible computers
will not ship on schedule and
industry gadflies are predicting the
computers may never be seen.
Computer + Software News reports two
snags have developed that hinder the
computers, which were unveiled at the
Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show
last month and had been scheduled
for a March delivery date.
-:- Atari has not yet applied for
FCC approval, a process that can
take 40 days at best.
-:- The machines were to have
included Digital Research's GEM
interface, which would allow 700
ST software programs to work on
the Atari PC. However, talks
appear to have stalled. The trade
paper quotes an unnamed DRI
source as saying that
negotiations are further apart
now than when the machines were
"There are agreements and there are
agreements, if you know what I mean,"
says Atari communications director
Neil Harris, who stopped short of
saying the firm has a written
However, a person on Atari's sales
staff told C+SN that the machines
don't exist. Atari denies that
Industry sources said Atari sought
to divert attention at the Las Vegas
show away from clones being offered
by Commodore, Amstrad and Victor.
Meanwhile, distributor CSS, which
said it would carry the Atari line,
said it is shipping 100 Blue Chip
computers each week to mass market
Xx ZMAG GENERAL COMPUTER NEWS
....Computer Rumors Stifle Sales...
RUMORS HURTING COMPUTER SALES
It's one thing to lose sales to a
worthy competitor. It's quite
another to lose them to an unseen
force you can't do much about.
That's the problem facing computer
stores recently. Whispers that IBM
Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. are
preparing to release personal
computers soon, is "having a very
definite effect on sales," says
William E. Ladin, chairman of
ComputerCraft, Inc., a 27-store
chain based in Houston. "We hear
about a lot of companies that are
holding back" on ordering.
The problem of rumors is nothing new
to computer stores, but that makes
the problem no less vexing - partic-
ularly when computer prices are at
an all-time low.
(From USA Today--all rights
THIS FLOPPY MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH
Michael Cahlin is looking for a
legal battle to stir up some
publicity and boost sales of his
chocolate floppy disks. Cahlin, a
Los Angeles-based public relations
consultant who sells disks as a
sideline, is seeking to defend the
copyright of his $9.95 "disk" under
a new court ruling that protects
the "look and feel" of software.
The legal question: Does a choco-
late floppy disk fall in the
category of software?
Undoubtedly, the answer is no. But
Cahlin argues that the combination
of the plastic packaging and the
chocolate (the software elements, as
he calls them) creates a software
None of this would be up for debate
had the courts not changed the
software copyright laws. In the
past, programmers assumed they
could copy the appearance of a
program if they didn't copy the
underlying code. Using that logic,
future makers of chocolate disks
might have to change their recipes
to avoid a lawsuit from Cahlin.
$2,500 BOUNTY PINNED ON TROJAN HORSE
A "Trojan Horse" isn't just a
legendary sham. It's also a type
of software. When it's run by an
unsuspecting computer user, the
"Trojan Horse" destroys all data in
Quicksoft, Inc. wants to try to
crack down on the high-tech vandals
that create these programs. The
Seattle-based company is offering
$2,500 to anyone who tips the
company to the identity of the
vandal who turned a copy of their
"PC Write" word processor program
into a "Trojan Horse".
Two weeks ago, a version of "PC
Write" showed up on a Los Angeles
computer bulletin board. Two people
tried loading the program into their
machines and had the data on their
hard disk drives wiped out. No tips
have come in yet, says Quicksoft
President Bob Wallace.
Xx ZMAG PANORAMA
....Atari Word Processors Part II..
In the last issue of Zmag we
reported on several of the
commercial word processing programs
available for the Atari 8-bit
We conclude the report this week
with a look at several more of the
popular text editors.
ANTIC PUBLISHING INC., COPYRIGHT
1987. REPRINTED BY PERMISSION.
By GREGG PEARLMAN, ANTIC JUNIOR
LJK's Letter Perfect has been
around for Atari 8-bit computers
since 1981. It uses its own
operating system and cannot use
files compatible with Atari DOS
unless they are converted with LJK's
Utility Disk. This translator can
switch files back and forth between
Letter Perfect and standard Atari DOS
You also need another translator
disk (such as FIX-XL from The
Catalog) to run Letter Perfect on an
Atari XL or XE.
We used Letter Perfect as our Antic
word processor until PaperClip came
along. One of the things we liked
about it was that it could be used
with the OmniView 80-column card.
($69. CDY Consulting, 421 Hanbee,
Richardson, TX 75080. (214)
Getting to most of Letter Perfect's
file commands requires you to press
the [ESC] key, which takes you from
the editing screen to a main menu.
It takes a while to learn Letter
But once you do, you should have
little trouble. Almost
refreshingly, you can type as fast
as you want and each character will
appear on the screen almost
Letter Perfect has an outstanding
spell-checker. This, however,
necessitates using yet another disk.
But when you see how quickly the
program counts words in a document
and searches the dictionary disk,
you won't mind.
Letter Perfect's non-standard
operating system is its biggest
drawback. If you normally work with
Atari DOS files, it's inconvenient to
use a word processor that doesn't.
And what happens if you find a word
processor you like better? You must
convert all your active files with
the LJK Utility Disk.
$99.95. LJK Enterprises, 7852 Big
Bend Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63119.
(314) 962-1855. (Reviewed in Antic,
March 1985, page 38.)
With the British-designed
Superscript, beginners can select
commands from a menu structure, while
experienced users can work faster
with single-key [CONTROL] commands.
Superscript and PaperClip are the
only 8-bit Atari word processors
that offer macros and arithmetic
The macros let you type out an
assigned string of characters by
pressing one key. Superscript's
math processing is
outstanding. You can calculate in
columns, rows or tables within the
In fact, you can automate the
arithmetic with macros to create a
mini-spreadsheet -- especially since
text width can be scrolled up to 240
Print formats are very flexible and
easy to customize. You can even
print every other page, if you want
to feed your paper through twice and
produce a document that is printed
on both sides of the page. And you
can print alternating wide margins
to allow binding.
Superscript comes with an
expandable dictionary which the
distributors say contains
Actually, you get to choose between
two dictionaries, offering either
British or American spelling. You
add your own personal words to the
main dictionary simply by typing
them in and pressing a single key.
The program loads text only by line
units, so you can run out of file
space after 780 carriage returns.
Fortunately, the disk storage scheme
is more efficient.
Superscript requires an Atari XL
with at least 64K, or a 130XE. On
the 130XE, the program lets you load
two files into memory and flip back
and forth between them. Just as in
First XLEnt, you can move text
between the dual files even though
the windows are not onscreen at the
Especially if you use a lot of
arithmetic in your text files,
Superscript should be seriously
considered as your word processing
$59.95. Progressive Peripherals
and Software, 464 Kalamath Street,
Denver, CO 80204. (303) 825-4144.
(Reviewed in Antic, March 1986, page
Word Magic from The Catalog is one
of the best all-around word
processors for the Atari 8-bit
computer. It doesn't drop letters
as you type -- you can go along at
200 mph and it will keep up.
Wordwrap is fast, as is scrolling,
either via the arrow keys or the
The installation programs for Word
Magic and the printer are easy to
use. The program has several help
files, and it can read files from
other word processors that use
standard disk operating systems. As
with most products from The Catalog,
the Word Magic documentation is on
the back of the program disk.
Like PaperClip, Word Magic
occasionally locks up, we found. So
it pays to save your file often.
Also, Word Magic stores a line with
only a single carriage return as 40
bytes. It treats that the 39 screen
spaces after the return as bytes in
the file, even though they're
useless. Word Magic loads the
printer driver from disk each
time it prints. This is a
comparatively slow process.
One of the best features of this
word processor is its spell-checker.
Spell Magic ($19.95. The Catalog,
APO144.) isn't literally part of Word
Magic, but the programs definitely
work hand-in-hand. And Word Magic
can be copied to a disk containing
Spell Magic, which makes things
easier and faster.
The spell-checker is very thorough
-- although it takes some time to
load the 34,000-word dictionary.
When you load the file to be
checked, the program counts the
total words and unique words,
prompts you to insert your personal
add-on dictionary, if any, and then
to insert the Spell Magic
Dictionary. Spell Magic slowly scans
the disk, which takes over 10
minutes. But then it very quickly
checks through your document.
Spell Magic also works with
any other word processor that uses
standard Atari DOS.
$19.95. The Catalog, AP130.
$29.95 for 130XE version including
Spell Magic, APO160.
Batteries Included's HomePak is
best known for HomeTerm, an excellent
telecommunications program. It also
includes Hometext, a good
introductory word processor and
HomeFind, a good introductory file
manager. All three programs can
easily share data files.
HomeText's maximum file size is
only 6,620 bytes (1,000 to 1,500
words), which makes it suitable
primarily for writing personal
letters or short memos.
It has very few editing commands,
and its printing and storage
commands can be accessed only by
leaving the text window. Its
stylized character set is somewhat
But HomeText has an outstanding
block-move function that leaves most
of the others in the dust. Block
move, delete and copy occur almost
instantly -- but of course the small
file size maximum is a factor here.
HomeText is easy to use. If the
command letter doesn't start the
command word, at least it's in the
command word and is highlighted --
as in EXIT to Menu.
For some reason, HomeText's command
symbols are more than one character
long. In HomeText, the paragraph
symbol is "Indnt-> 5." Highlighting
a single letter in a word, as in
EXIT above, makes it hard to read.
$19.95. Batteries Included, 30
Mural Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario,
L4B 1B5, Canada. (416) 881-9941.
(Reviewed in Antic, March 1985, page
That about wraps it up. Recently,
Atari computer users were asked
what they used their computers for.
Word Processing came out near the
top of the list. Looking at some of
the top-notch software that is
available, it's easy to see why.
ZMAG RANDOM NOTES
...Defeating Call-Waiting Hang-Ups..
If you have the "call waiting"
feature on your phone line then you
know what happens when you get an
incoming call while you're online with
The following information was
supplied by Pennslyvania Bell
concerning the call-waiting
feature that will knock you off
Compuserve or any computer
network when it is activated.
Tone block has been added as an
enhancement to the call waiting
service. This feature gives you
the option of temporarily block-
ing the call-waiting on your line.
The call you make AFTER activating
Tone Block will not be interrupted
by the special tone that signals
an incoming call.
Here's how it works:
* If you have a 12-button touch
tone set, push the [*] (STAR)
button and then  . If
you have a rotary or pulse
dialing phone, simply dial
* Listen for the dial tone,
then dial the number of the
person (or computer) with
whom you wish to speak. Tone
Block is now in effect for
that call only.
Tone Block must be activated before
you make each call and works only on
outgoing calls, unless you have
WITH THREE-WAY CALLING:
If you have 3-way calling in
addition to call-waiting, the Tone
Block feature can be activated
before you make a call (as described
above) or while your call is in
progress. To initiate Tone Block
with 3-way calling while a call is
* Depress the switchhook
briefly. This puts the
calling party on hold.
* Listen for three short
tones and then dial
* If you have a 12-button
touch-tone set, push the
[*](star) button and
then dial . If you
have a rotary or pulse-
dialing phone, simply
* Listen for dial tone,
then return to the call
in progress by depres-
sing the switchhook.
Tone * Block is now in
effect for that call
TO REACTIVATE CALL WAITING:
Call-waiting is automatically
reactivated when you hang up.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
Q: IF I'm using Tone * Block on
a call, what happens if
SOMEone else tries to call
A: The party that is tring to
call you will get a busy
Q: Can I add Tone * Block on an
A: Only if you also have three-
Q: Do I have to use Tone *
Block? Can't I just Leave
call waiting as it is now?
A: You choose when and if you
want to use Tone * Block --
the remainder of the time
call waiting will be in
Q: If I use my personal
computer to transmit data
over my phone line, should
I use Tone * Block?
A: Yes. You should activate
Tone * Block to eliminate
As stated in the beginning of this
article, this information is
supplied by Bell of Pennsylvania.
The procedures described to circum-
vent call-waiting works for their
Tone Block is available in other
areas of the country but the
procedures for accessing it may be
slightly different. Consult your
local phone company for more
Zmagazine #39 February 16, 1987