1. Not old. Vintage. :)
Timothy Kline

Z*Magazine: 16-Feb-87 #39

Z*Magazine: 16-Feb-87 #39

  1. Timothy Kline
    Article #41 (214 is last):
    From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
    Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag
    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
    Issue 39
    Zmag Staff:
    Publisher/Editor in Chief:Ron Kovacs
    Editor/Coordinator:Alan Kloza

    This Week in Zmag......







    All this and more in this weeks
    edition of Zmagazine.....

    ....Supra Conference on Compuserve.

    Transcripts from the Conference:
    (Edited by Zmag for easy reading)

    Keith Ledbetter stood in as the


    (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
    2-3 months.

    (Keith) Ok, Mark. Thanks. Let's
    open up the floor for questions.
    Respond with a '?' starting NOW...

    (Eric P.) ?
    (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
    the 20?

    (SUPRA CORP) The 20M is $799, 30M
    $995, and 60M $1995.

    (Roy G.) Will the Supra hard drives
    interface to other computers besides
    8 bits?

    (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
    competetive price.

    (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
    logical drives.

    (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
    current DOS's.

    (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
    cheaper parts.

    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
    fully Hayes-compatible.

    (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,
    the 1200?

    (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
    somewhat buggy.

    (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.

    ....Atari IBM Clone In Trouble?......

    Online Today OLT-615
    (Feb. 9)

    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.

    The problems:

    -:- 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
    --Daniel Janal

    ....Computer Rumors Stifle 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


    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.


    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
    his computer.

    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.

    ....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.



    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
    Perfect commands.

    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
    columns across.

    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
    same time.

    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.

    ...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
    your modem.

    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 [7] [0]. 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
    3-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
    in progress:

    * 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 [7][0]. If you
    have a rotary or pulse-
    dialing phone, simply
    dial 1-1-7-0.
    * 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


    Call-waiting is automatically
    reactivated when you hang up.


    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
    incoming call?
    A: Only if you also have three-
    way calling.
    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
    potential transmission

    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
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