1. Not old. Vintage. :)
Timothy Kline

Z*Magazine: 5-Jan-87 #33

Z*Magazine: 5-Jan-87 #33

  1. Timothy Kline
    Article #35 (214 is last):
    From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
    Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag
    Subject: Z*Magazine: 5-Jan-87 #33
    Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
    Date: Thu Jul 8 09:35:43 1993

    Zmagazine January 5, 1987
    Issue 33
    Zmag Staff:
    Publisher/Editor in Chief:Ron Kovacs
    Editor/Coordinator:Alan Kloza
    Software Reviewer: Eric Plent

    This Week in Zmag......






    XM301 MODEM




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

    ...New Beginnings...................

    Welcome to a new year of Zmag! As
    our first issue of the year goes to
    press, we bring some discouraging
    news for telecommunicators.

    The FCC is considering new
    regulations in the communications
    industry which threatens the
    existence of such services as PC

    Read about the proposals being
    considered by the FCC in this issue
    along with a review of PC Pursuit
    and a guest editorial expressing
    displeasure with those proposals.

    Also, check out the hot news coming
    out of Atari Corp. this month about
    the new 32-bit business computer
    that's in the works.

    Zmag has changed its deadlines and
    publication dates starting with
    this issue. Look for new issues
    every Monday rather than Friday,
    beginning with this edition. We're
    always looking for contributions
    so if you have an article that
    you'd like to publish in Zmag,
    call The Syndicate BBS at

    ...FCC Threatens PC Pursuit.........


    The FCC is considering reregulating
    the packet-switching networks like
    Telenet, Tymnet, Compuserve, The
    Source and PC Pursuit. This could
    result in additional costs to the
    user. This is excerpted from
    Infomat magazine.


    By Tim Elmer

    The Federal Communications
    Commission (FCC) will vote on a
    proposal to reregulate packet
    switching networks that, if
    approved, would eliminate free
    local telephone access to those

    "If this occurs, it might
    eventually double or triple the
    costs to those using packet
    switching networks to access
    commercial on-line databases and
    information services and triple or
    quadruple the costs to those using
    Telenet's PC Pursuit," said Philip
    M. Walker, vice president and
    regulatory counsel for Telenet

    "In terms of cost impact," Walker
    said, "if we had to pay local
    access charges, it would cost us
    about $3.60 an hour at the
    originating end, for calls made by
    users to on-line databases and
    information services like
    CompuServe and The Source."

    "And with PC Pursuit, for which we
    have out-dial modems, we would have
    to pay not only $4.60 per hour
    access fees at the originating end,
    but also $4.80 at the terminating
    end, a total of about $8 or $9.
    Obviously, to survive, we would
    have to add those additional
    charges to our current fees and
    pass them on to our consumers,"
    Walker Said.

    That would almost certainly spell
    the end of PC Pursuit, and it would
    likely put out of business not only
    many independent packet switching
    networks but also many on-line
    databases and information services.

    FCC approval of changes being
    considered in Computer III, Walker
    said, "would really have a major
    impact on anyone using a packet
    switching service to access online
    bulletin boards, databases, or
    information services aimed at the
    residential user. They are just
    going to get creamed if this

    Walker said that it was not clear
    exactly when the FCC would vote on
    the proposal, but that it would
    probably be the latter part of
    January or early part of February
    1987. "They are moving very fast
    on this," he said.

    ...Business Machine in the Works....

    (Dec. 25)

    Atari plans to blitz the business
    market in 1987.

    The Sunnyvale, Calif., computer
    manufacturer, known for its home
    computers, told Computer + Software
    News it is developing a 32-bit,
    Unix-compatible machine for its first
    foray into the Fortune 500 community.

    The machine, expected to be introduced
    in the first half of 1987, apparently
    will compete with an unnamed Unix-based
    machine Apple is working on.

    Atari plans to sell its for less than
    $3,000, while an Apple source told the
    trade weekly that the"Paris"code-named
    computer will cost between $6,000 and

    The new Atari ST machine will allow
    users to off-load graphics and I/O
    processing, a capability that frees the
    machine for other tasks, said Neil
    Harris, Atari's director of marketing
    --Daniel Janal
    Online Today

    ....News for 8-Bits................

    (Taken by permission from AUGN #3)


    The first of three Atari fairs
    has been held with outstanding
    results. A total of more than ten
    thousand consumers have been
    exposed to Atari computers in the
    Los Angeles, San Jose, and Portland
    areas during August, September, and
    October. During November, the
    "road show" moved to Pittsburgh,
    with 1987 dates including Allen-
    town, Chicago, Salt Lake City,
    Denver, Boston, Buffalo, Dallas,
    and more.

    Each show begins with a media
    blitz for the weeks before the show
    dates. The show is promoted by
    independent dealers and Atari Corp.
    through newspaper and radio ads as
    well as in-store promotions. User
    groups place community events
    announcements, distribute posters,
    and have mass mailings.

    In the show itself are dealers,
    software developers, user group
    booths, and an Atari Corporate
    booth. Special seminars are held
    which target specific
    areas of interest such as music,
    business, and technical subjects.

    Participants in the shows so far
    have included Antic, Analog,
    Activision, Batteries Included,
    Haba, Hippopotamus, Regent, OSS,
    Michtron, FTL Systems, Metacomco,
    Beckmeyer Development, Quickview
    Systems, Abacus, Maxthink, Stra-
    tegic Simulations, and many others.
    Many products have been shown to
    the public for the first time at
    Atari Fairs including Atari's own
    "MicroSoft Write" word processor,
    the forthcoming "BLITTER" chip, and
    the 80-column card for the XE line,
    as well as Antic's 3-D glasses for
    "CAD 3-D", "Haba Write II" from
    Haba, Michtron's "8-Ball Pool"
    game, "Regent Word II", "DEGAS
    Elite", "Cambridge Lisp" from
    Metacomco, "Magic Sac" from Data
    Pacific (a Macintosh emulator), and
    countless others. Guest speakers
    included Atarians Sam Tramiel,
    Leonard Tramiel, Shiraz Shivji, Jim
    Tittsler, and Neil Harris, along
    with developers like Tom Hudson,
    Frank Cohen, Malcom Cecil, Paul
    Heckel, and columnist extra-
    ordinaire Jerry Pournelle. There
    have been some dynamite MIDI/music
    demonstrations by Hybrid Arts along
    with their entourage of top name

    Participating dealers reported
    spectacular sales both at the fair
    and at their stores during the fair
    thanks to the promotions sur-
    rounding it. IB Computers in
    Portland reported their all-time
    best sales on the Saturday of their

    ...New Products for the Atari.......


    Zobian Controls
    1156 Old Mill Lane
    P.O. Box 6406
    Wyomissing, PA 19610
    (215) 374-5478
    48K disk

    SuperRAT, a new high-accuracy
    digital version of Zobian's mouse for
    Atari 8-bit computers, can access every
    pixel in Graphics 8. It comes with
    Accu-Draw for $69.95 and with RAOS for
    RAOS ($49.95), the Rat-Actuated
    Operating System, gives you a "GEM"
    system on your 8-bit Atari. RAOS has
    its own icon-based desktop program,
    Z-DOS, replacing DUP.SYS, and a
    mouse-controllable, user-programmable
    windowing environment occupying 3K of
    RAM. RAOS uses a Player/Missile cursor
    to select icons and is compatible with
    most memory upgrades.

    Electronic Arts
    1820 Gateway Drive
    San Mateo, CA 94404
    (415) 571-7171
    $49.95, $48K disk

    In Star Fleet 1, each new level at
    the Officers Academy lets you role-play
    different characters and experience
    unique tasks. As a member of the
    Alliance, you must protect its outer
    regions against the invading Krellan
    and Zaldron empires. After graduating
    from the academy, you'll command one
    of 36 cruisers with a sophisticated
    array of weaponry at your fingertips.

    First Byte
    P.O Box 32
    Rice's Landing, PA 15357
    (12) 627-3596
    $24.95, 48K disk

    First Byte's Enhancements to BASIC,
    Version II is a completely rewritten
    package, not just an upgrade. You can
    access many DOS functions in immediate
    mode. Enhanced BASIC II makes it
    easier to trace your program flow for
    debugging. The software renumbers,
    block deletes and provides automatic
    line numbering.

    Mind Link Communications Inc.
    Box 488
    36 Adelaide Street East
    Toronto, M5C 2J6 Canada
    (416) 961-8858
    $24.95, 48K disk

    In the market for self-improvement?
    Mind Tuner uses proven psychological
    principles to help you manage stress
    and improve your personality and
    performance with visualizations,
    positive affirmations and subliminal
    messages that you can write for

    19808 Nordhoff Place
    Chatsworth, CA 91311
    (818) 886-5922
    48K disk

    Develop title screens on your Atari
    for your VCR or video camera, and then
    record the screens directly to
    videotape with Video Title Shop
    ($29.95). Choose from several type
    styles and sizes, create borders and
    add flair with the scrolling and
    fade-in/out features. The
    package inclues Micro-Painter Plus for
    graphics that can be used as
    backgrounds to titles.

    Experienced players of Mercenary
    will find the Second City on the other
    side of the Planet Targ, and once again
    you must escape. You'll be hindered by
    those warring planetary factions.
    Mercenary: The Second City ($14.95)
    must be played in conjunction with
    Datasoft's original Mercenary game

    Five new games come by way of
    England's PSS:

    Tobruk ($34.95) is a re-creation of
    the desert battle that threatened
    England's presence in North Africa.

    Bismarck ($34.95) puts you in
    command of the Royal Navy or the
    Bismarck itself.

    Swords & Sorcery ($34.95) is a
    role-playing fantasy that takes you
    through the underworld on a quest for
    secular and spiritual power.

    Saracen ($29.95) sends you through
    100 mazes of increasing complexity as
    you seek and try to destroy the evil
    Saracen warrior.

    Black Magic ($24.95) puts you into
    100 mazes of a fantasy world as you set
    out to destroy the forces that have
    overrun the kingdom of Marigold,
    restoring the Golden Age it once knew.

    ROADWAR 2000,
    Strategic Simulations Inc.
    1046 N. Rengstorff Avenue
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    (416) 964-1353
    48K disk

    SSI's newest release includes
    Warship ($59.95), a tactical
    ship-to-ship World War II game, Roadwar
    2000 ($39.95), a science fiction
    adventure, Gemstone Healer ($29.95),
    the sequel to the role-playing
    adventure Gemstone Warrior, and the
    Wargame Construction Set ($29.95),
    which lets you build your own war,
    fantasy or science fiction games.

    The SSI Classics line brings back
    proven hits -- now at only $14.95 each.
    Titles include Combat Leader, Computer
    Baseball, Computer Bismarck, Cytron
    Masters, Eagles, Fortress, Galactic
    Gladiators, Gemstone Warrior and Warp

    ..Features, Tips and Reviews........

    The Pilgrimage To ICD
    By Mike Brown

    While vacationing in the Chicago area
    just before Christmas, I was fortunate
    enough to be able to make the trip to
    nearby Rockford, home of Atari
    computer accessory company ICD.

    For those who do not know, ICD has
    been most prolific in the last few
    years, producing such great products
    as SpartaDOS, the US Doubler 1050
    enhancement, the Rambo XL memory
    expansion, the P:R: Connection 850
    replacement, and recently the Multi
    Input-Output Interface.

    It was the search for an MIO that
    originally brought me to
    Rockford and ICD, I had planned
    to just pick up a MIO and take
    advantage of their special on Adaptec
    hard disk controllers, but upon
    talking to ICD founding father and
    guiding light Tom Harker over the
    company BBS, I asked if it would be
    possible to take a short tour of their
    facility and tell you what it was

    The home of the most creative and
    technologically advanced products for
    Atari computers is a rented section of
    what was once a large manufacturing
    company that has fallen on hard times.
    ICD has what is called a "suite"
    within this facility and also leases
    manufacturing and warehouse space at
    this location.

    When I first arrived,
    I wondered if it was the right
    address, as there was no indication
    that there were other companies under
    the wing of the larger company. After
    being assured that I was in the right
    place by the guard, I was led back to
    ICD's "nerve center".

    Tom explained to me that they were in
    the process of getting several new
    products to market, (more later) and
    that things were somewhat in an

    The one thing that did catch me by
    surprise around the ICD offices, was
    the IBM PC "Clones" being used around
    the office for "serious" work. I would
    think that a company that makes its
    living on the Atari computer line
    would be anxious to prove the
    viability of Atari computers in an
    office environment.

    In the course of going through the ICD
    manufacturing facility (on the second
    floor), Tom and I discussed ICD's
    philosophy; "We (at ICD) have all been
    consumers, and have been in the
    situation where a product does not
    work as advertised, or does not work
    at all. We probably over-test our
    products, but we want to be known for
    putting reliability and quality
    first." The testing and "burn-in"
    areas are where the most Atari
    computer equipment is used. I saw a
    row of 600XL's running a special
    cartridge program that verifies the
    operation of every MIO that ICD ships.

    I also saw an area in the
    manufacturing facility where specially
    modified equipment checks out each US
    Doubler chipset before it is packaged.
    This 100% commitment to quality is
    unique in an industry founded on
    "cookie-cutter" production methods.

    As impressive as the plant tour was,
    the really fun stuff was getting a
    preview of what is to come in the next
    few months from ICD. Tom held
    impromptu demos of everything that is
    promised from ICD and offered several

    The products that were shown to me
    were PROTOTYPES, and may be different
    when or if they hit the market. The
    first thing I saw was a prototype of
    envisioned this as a stripped-down
    P:R: Connection, but it is obvious
    that they went with a clean sheet of
    paper on this one! The actual
    electronics module is barely larger
    than the hood for a standard
    Centronics type printer connector. The
    Printer Connection does not require
    you to buy anything extra such as
    cables or the like, just plug it into
    an Atari Serial port and to your
    printer! Unfortunately, the device
    must be the last on a "daisy chain" as
    there is no way to connect another
    serial device to it. The tentative
    price for this little gem is $59.95
    and will be available around the
    middle of February.

    The most impressive demo was the
    forthcoming 80 COLUMN ADAPTER for the
    MIO. Tom apologized to me about the
    quality of the display, since the one
    I was shown was just a prototype, and
    that they had some firmware massaging
    to do before it would be ready for
    market. I use IBM PC's quite
    frequently with EGA monitors, and I
    swear that in text mode, the 80 col
    MIO was just as sharp as the best text
    displays I have seen. The adapter will
    support the full Atari character set,
    but I am not sure about graphics,
    since I was told that has not yet been
    decided. The output of the adapter s
    full RGB nine-pin output (same as the
    IBM PC), but no mention was made about
    sound support (since most RGB monitors
    do not have internal speakers). A
    pleasant surprise is that when
    displayed on a color RGB monitor, the
    adapter displays in 16 color mode! Tom
    said that there is "almost no
    software" that supports the adapter at
    this time, but ICD plans on working
    with software developers and may
    market not only patches for existing
    software, but also whole applications
    packages for the adapter. The adapter
    is designed to be easily added to a
    MIO by the end user, I understand that
    it just involves removing four screws
    from the MIO case and plugging a
    daughterboard into the MIO main board,
    the built-in firmware does the rest.

    Tom noted that the adapter will have
    its own screen memory, so "normal"
    computer memory will not be
    significantly affected by the use of
    the adapter. What of the "official"
    Atari 80 col adapter/printer
    interface?? Tom showed me a
    pre-production version of one stripped
    down to the board level, the layout
    looked crude in comparison to the MIO
    adapter I had just seen. "We plan on
    being compatible with software written
    for the Atari adapter. We work quite
    closely with Atari and have a
    developer's non-disclosure agreement
    with Atari". The preliminary price of
    the 80 column MIO option is $99.95,
    and they are promised by the end of

    One other item that I saw, was a most
    preliminary version of SPARTA DOS X;
    SpartaDOS 3.3. Tom explained that 3.3
    was mostly 3.2 modified to work in ROM
    (shades of the ST!), and that X would
    have a lot more "neat stuff". The
    literature I have on it says that
    SpartaDOS X will have full 80 col
    support, support for the Atari 3 1/2"
    drives, and the Indus GT high speed

    The preliminary price for
    the SpartaDOS X cartridge is $79.95
    and no release date is given.

    All in all, the "fact-finding mission"
    to ICD HQ was an extremely enjoyable
    experience. It's encouraging to see
    their strong commitment to advancing
    the Atari 8-bit world.

    ....Tech Tips.....................


    I recently bought an Atari XM-301
    modem and discovered that it has a bug.
    When used with the 1050 disk drive, it
    causes the drive to time-out
    periodically and slows down software

    To fix this, three 47 0 ohm (2%
    tol) resistors can be connected to pins
    # 3, 9 & 13 on the circuit board,
    connecting to the I/O cable. Just
    unsolder the I/O cable wires from the
    board, older the resistors to the wires
    and hook them back on to the circuit
    board. My modem now works without a
    Steve Coffman 72337,3457

    ...Shows, Expos, Fleamarkets.......

    Ken Gordon Computer Shows

    The following is a list of current
    and/or future computer shows and
    expos being held by Ken Gordon
    Productions, Inc. All shows in
    this list are indoor shows, so they
    will be held rain or shine. Ad-
    mission to each show is $7.00 for
    adults, or $5.00 for children (age
    5-12). If you need any more infor-
    mation about these shows, you can
    contact Ken Gordon Productions at
    (201)297-2526 in NJ, or toll free
    1-800-631-0062 outside NJ. This
    list is presented to you by Steve
    Godun (no affiliation with Ken
    Gordon Productions, Inc).
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SHOW: Apple & Commodore Expo
    Show, Sale, and Fleamarket
    DATE: Sunday, January 11, 1987
    TIME: 10am thru 4pm
    LOCATION: Aspen Manor Convention
    Center (Parsippany, NJ)

    SHOW: (All Systems)
    DATE: Saturday, February 7, 1987
    TIME: 9am thru 4pm
    LOCATION: William Paterson College
    Recreation Center
    (Wayne, NJ)

    SHOW: (All Systems)
    DATE: Sunday, February 22, 1987
    TIME: 10am thru 4pm
    LOCATION: New York Penta Hotel
    (New York City, NY)

    ...PC Pursuit.....................

    By Greg Figueroa

    The Telecommunications market
    has never been so blessed with such
    a service as PC Pursuit. PC Pursuit
    is a service of GTE Telenet, and is
    very helpful with the wallet in terms
    of long distance phone bills.

    For $25 a month, you can access
    the following metropolitan areas all
    you want within the standard times of
    6 PM to 7 AM Monday thru Thursday,
    and from 6 PM Friday to 7 AM Monday.

    At the time of this writing,
    there are 14 areas you can call, and
    they are:

    City Area Code
    Atlanta 404
    Boston 617
    Chicago 312
    Dallas 214
    Denver 303
    Detroit 313
    Houston 713
    Los Angeles 213
    Newark 201
    New York 212
    Philadelphia 215
    San Francisco 415
    Seattle 206
    Washington D.C. 202

    And early this year, the
    following 11 cities will be
    added to the PC Pursuit network:

    City Area Code
    Portland 503
    San Jose 408
    Phoenix 602
    Milwaukee 414
    Tampa 813
    Glendale 818
    Cleveland 216
    Research Triangle
    Park 919
    Miami 305
    Minneapolis 612
    Salt Lake City 801

    For more information on PC
    Pursuit, or to register for it, call
    the support board "In Pursuit of..."
    at 1-(800)-835-3001. It has all the
    information you need and you can even
    register through the board for the

    If you have any other questions,
    please feel free to contact me on CIS
    in Easyplex or the Atari 8-Bit Forum.
    My PPN # is 72347,576.

    ...By Alan R. Bechtold.............

    At the risk of over-simplification,
    I think I should first describe
    just what a packet switched
    networking service is. These are
    the services you use to access
    online databases and commercial
    online services, such as CompuServe
    and The Source, with just a local
    telephone call. Once you call the
    local Telenet or Tymnet number, for
    example, and a connection is made,
    you are then connected with a
    computer that puts you in
    communication with the online
    services with which you wish to

    This computer is handling a number
    of calls into the main system
    computer at the same time. It
    takes information you send and
    delivers it in "packets" to the
    proper destination, picks up
    information from the online service
    computer you called, and sends it,
    also in "packets" because this
    allows the network's computers to
    offer protocol conversion and
    handle several ongoing
    communications sessions at the same

    FCC regulations allow AT&T and Bell
    Operating Companies (BOCs) to
    engage in packet-switching network
    operations, but they must also
    maintain completely separate
    accounting of their voice and
    packet switching operations. They
    must also offer free local-calling
    access to their lines to any
    competitors engaged in the packet
    switching service industry.

    The above regulations have allowed
    Telenet and Tymnet, among others,
    to operate at a reasonable cost in
    a competitive atmosphere. This is
    a case of regulation of a business
    actually resulting in increased
    competition and lower prices to

    As things stand now, you can call
    any local Telenet or Tymnet access
    number and use these services to
    inexpensively access such only
    services as CompuServe, The Source,
    Delphi, and countless others. In
    addition, GTE's new PC PURSUIT
    service now offers you the access,
    through their Telenet packet
    switching service, to literally
    hundreds of local bulletin boards
    in cities all across the
    country--for the flat charge of $25
    per month.

    But, the FCC is now being asked to
    REREGULATE this segment of the
    communications industry, elimin-
    ating the FCC requirements that
    AT&T and BOCs keep separate
    accounting records of their voice
    and packet switching services, and
    eliminating the stipulation that
    the BOCs and AT&T must offer their
    competitors in the packet switching
    business free access to their local
    telephone connection lines.

    The idea is patiently ridiculous.

    Mark Fowler, Chairman of the FCC,
    has been hailed by the press as a
    "air-market zealot." The chances
    are very good that he views this
    proposed reregulation as the magic
    road to increased competition and a
    fairer pricing for consumers.

    Unofficially, the word is out that
    the FCC advisory committee now
    considering this matter is indeed
    leaning in favor of the proposed
    reregulation of the packet
    switching industry. If the
    committee recommends these changes,
    it's likely that a majority of the
    five voting members of the FCC will
    vote in favor of the changes.

    The proposed reregulation could
    very well spell the death of PC
    PURSUIT. Because GTE also uses
    dial-out modems at the other end of
    their Telenet connections for PCP
    service, the company would be
    forced to pay an hourly charge at
    BOTH ends of the phone line --
    totaling up to $9 per hour. These
    fees would have to be added to the
    flat $25 per month that GTE now
    charges for access to PCP. It
    would simply make the final cost to
    PCP customers too high for the
    service to remain practical and

    So, this is ONE TIME you MUST use
    your word processor to produce some
    letters opposing this proposed
    reregulation! Write to:

    Honorable Mark Fowler
    Chairman of the Federal
    Communications Commission
    Washington D.C. 20554

    Refer to Computer Inquiry III in
    your letters. State clearly, in
    your own words, that competitive
    packet switching services should
    not be reregulated or subjected to
    carrier access charges, and then
    explain why not. Tell Mr. Fowler
    that reregulation of packet
    services will completely destroy
    the existing fair market for these
    services, and eventually increase
    costs, not DECREASE them.

    And Hurry! I have heard this
    matter will be going before the FCC
    for a vote in the latter part of
    January or early part of February.
    Time is running out.

    Help save PC Pursuit. Write today!

    Zmagazine January 5, 1987 Issue33
    Please Contribute!!!

    Next issue January 12th. Look for the
    updated Zmag Systems list in a future
    edition. Due to the length of the
    current list. We have decided to stop
    publishing all the systems each week.
    We will spotlight 3-5 systems each
    week. Happy New year! Ron