1. Not old. Vintage. :)
Timothy Kline

Z*Magazine: June 15, 1986 Special Edition #4

Z*Magazine: June 15, 1986 Special Edition #4

  1. Timothy Kline
    Article #10 (214 is last):
    From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
    Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.zmag
    Subject: Z*Magazine: 15-Jun-86 Special Edition #4
    Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
    Date: Sat Jul 3 20:25:29 1993

    Zmagazine Special Editon CES 1986!!
    The Final Rap Up
    Ron Kovacs-Editor June 15, 1986
    Special Edition #4

    Xx Summer CES Rap-Up

    By Jack Powell
    Associate Editor, STart

    6/4/86 CHICAGO
    Tantalizing glimpses of the long-
    rumored ST 32-bit machine were
    offered by Atari Software President
    Sig Hartmann and Computer Product
    Marketing Manager Brian Kerr.
    Hartmann said," presumably an
    operating system compatible with
    UNIX, the multi-tasking operating
    system developed by ATT Bell Labs.
    According to Kerr, the 32/32 uses
    the Motorola 68020 chip. The 68020
    is in the same "family" as the
    68000, making all 520ST and 1040ST
    software "downwardly-compatible"
    with the new machine. Atari is
    toying with two possible
    configurations: either an open
    architecture machine with slots, or
    using the ST as front end to the
    32-bit as number cruncher.

    This all happened when the
    Chicagoland Atari User's
    Group ( C.L.A.U.G.) invited Atari
    Corp., Antic magazine,
    Analog magazine, and Bill Wilkinson
    (representing both his company
    Optimized Systems Software and
    Compute! magazine) to participate
    in a Tuesday night dinner meeting
    at Trinity College. The Atari
    representatives fielded questions
    from over 250 members of several
    midwestern Atari user's groups
    during the informal panel session.

    THE IBM ST: According to Atari's
    Sig Hartmann, the ST IBM PC
    emulator will "hopefully" be ready
    before the end of the year.
    Hartmann added that he expects the
    future to bring an ST emulator for
    those unfortunate enough to still
    own an IBM PC.

    THE APPLE ST: Atari is also
    considering the possibility of
    developing their own Apple II
    emulator. This move would allow
    schools with ST computers to tap
    the vast Apple II education
    software library. Hartmann is
    negotiating the legal complications
    with Apple Computer Corp.

    BLITTER CHIP: Questions on the
    rumored "blitter chip", said to
    improve the ST's graphic
    capabilities, prompted Hartmann to
    announce, "We will definitely have
    a one-million pixel machine early
    next year." It is not known if he
    was referring to an add-on for the
    existing machines, or the
    resolution of the new 32-bit
    workstation. Hartmann also vaguely
    mentioned a project that would use
    the ST as the "brain" for a low-
    cost laser printer. Though
    Hartmann declined to source at
    Batteries Included told Antic
    that Atari has asked them to design
    software for the laser printer.

    200,000 STs WORLDWIDE: The latest
    Atari sales claims came from Kerr
    who announced sales of 200,000
    units worldwide, 40 percent of
    which have been sold in the United
    States. In Germany, the 520 and
    1040ST are number one and number
    two respectively on the German
    hardware best-seller lists.

    NEW DOCS: The infamously obtuse
    ST developer's documentation is
    being re-written by a team of seven
    professional writers. Atari expects
    to receive the first draft this
    November. No date was set for

    meeting, Bill Wilkinson announced
    Compute!'s new ST magazine,expected
    in September. Like Antic
    Publishing's STart, the new Compute
    magazine will include a 3 1/2-inch
    disk. Lee Pappas of Analog
    Computing magazine announced a
    special, one- time, exclusively
    8-bit issue. At the same time,
    Pappas took the opportunity to
    announce that ST Log, the ST
    section of Analog, will become a
    separate magazine "by the end of
    the year."


    Batteries Included showed Antic a
    sneak preview version of the new
    DEGAS Elite written by Tom Hudson.
    No release date was set for the
    updated version of the popular ST
    paint package, which will retail
    for $79. An upgrade will be
    available to registered DEGAS
    owners at half price. The new DEGAS
    can load practically any file
    format including 8-bit picture
    files, various resolution formats,
    or Macintosh and Amiga picture
    files. It works completely within
    the familiar GEM interface. Click
    and drag colors, blend between
    colors and create multicolor fills.
    Up to eight screens are available
    within RAM in the 1040ST, and half
    that number on the 520ST . Color
    palettes may be loaded from any
    picture file on disk. The program
    will eventually have a distort
    function allowing you to grab and
    stretch parts of the picture. The
    version shown had a system to
    create color animation with four
    different sets of colors. There are
    ten levels of zoom with a split
    screen which you can scroll within.

    Batteries Included also showed two
    business-oriented packages; Thunder
    ($39.95), a real-time spelling
    checker, and I*S Talk, ($79.95) an
    advanced telecommunications
    package. Both programs are now

    demonstrated Data Manager, the
    first in a series available in late
    August. All programs are GEM-based
    and all are designed so that you
    may use either the mouse or
    keyboard commands. Intuitive and
    fairly easy to use, the non-
    relational database features a
    flexible report generator. View
    records in form view or column view
    -- which looks much like a
    spreadsheet. Fields may be defined
    as text, numeric, calculator, time,
    date, and custom. The custom design
    lets you design your own field
    format from elements of the other
    field formats. SwiftCalc, the
    spreadsheet part of the package and
    the WordWrite, word processor were
    not available for demonstration.
    SwiftCalc is described as a Lotus
    1-2-3 "type" spreadsheet without
    macros, but with windows.
    Timeworks is also releasing Silvia
    Porter's Personal Finance, a
    financial planning package. All are
    packaged in in professional-looking
    IBM-style box-and-binder, and sell
    for $89.95 each.

    system, you can be sure your
    electric ice cream maker is turned
    on and ready for you when you
    return from vacation. X-10 USA has
    created a collection of home
    control hardware for various
    computers. The main controlling
    interface - which is expected to
    sell for $69.95 - is programmed by
    the computer, which may then be
    turned off. The Powerhouse retains
    the instructions and acts
    accordingly. Each remote module
    ($16.95 each) can control a single
    appliance or light. Hippopotamus
    Software and Michtron are creating
    ST software to interface with the
    X-10 Powerhouse modules.

    TERMINAL SPORTS: Hardball,
    Accolade's baseball program for
    8-bit Ataris has some very
    detailed, three-dimensional
    graphics and a good sense of play.
    Also available for the 8-bits is a
    fight game called, appropriately
    enough, Fight Night. Both games
    will be available in July for
    $29.95. For the ST, Accolade
    demonstrated Mean 18, a golf game.
    Shipping date is the end of June
    for this $49.95 golf simulation
    featuring four famous courses
    (Pebble Beach, St. Andrews) and a
    course architect program which lets
    you create your own.

    MORE FORE: Golf seems to be a
    popular ST sport this year.
    Access software has their own ST
    golf release, Leader Board ($39.95)
    with 3-D point-of-view and
    computerized scoring, handicap
    system. While swinging clubs, we
    checked out Artworx Hole in One
    Golf ($29.95) which provides an
    overhead view of the game and a
    "course creator" to design your own

    KIDS STUFF: Parents desperately
    seeking ST software suitable for
    children, will be relieved to hear
    about Baudville's Rainy Day Games,
    for kids age 4 and up. This package
    is a collection of three family
    children's classics: Concentration,
    Old Maid, and Go Fish. Also from
    Baudville, a company new to the
    Atari world, is Video Vegas, a game
    for grown ups which includes a slot
    machine, blackjack game, Keno, and
    draw poker. Guitar Wizard, a guitar
    tutorial, is in the works. The
    programs will be available this
    Fall for $34.95 each.

    BUSINESS IS WAR: Avalon Hill was
    touting Spitfire 40, a game and
    flight simulator for both the ST
    and 8-bit, available in October at
    $35 for both machines. For the
    8-bit only is Mission on
    Thunderhead ($25), an arcade
    adventure which is available now.
    In September, 8-bitters can look to
    this company for Guderian, a
    strategy game priced at $30.

    SILENT SERVICE: Programmer Silas
    Warner showed an ST version of
    Microprose Silent Service. Expected
    by the third quarter for $39.95,
    this thoroughly accurate submarine
    game contains seven scenarios which
    we were assured, are exact
    duplicates of the actual event --
    unless you change the course of
    history by torpedoing the wrong

    PENGUIN DOES IT AGAIN: A few years
    ago, Penguin Software -- makers of
    adventure games such as
    Transylvania -- created a
    marketing stir by lowering their
    prices to $19.95 at a time when
    everyone else was selling game
    software for $49.95. Well, they're
    doing it again. At CES, they took
    the opportunity to announce that
    all Penguin ST software will
    henceforth be priced at $19.95.
    Many Penguin 8-bit products are
    even lower.


    Several companies have recently
    tried incorporating movie editing
    techniques in games for a greater
    sense of reality. The Lucasfilm
    games come most readily to mind.

    Mindscape -- in addition to
    throwing the best party at CES --
    rented a hotel suite to Demonstrate
    Cinemaware, a series of
    "graphically advanced" computer
    games for the ST. Among the
    impressive list of contributors to
    this series are Bill Williams,
    author of Necromancer and
    Alleycat; Sci-Fi author and
    computer pundit Jerry Pournelle;
    Bruce Webster, author of Sundog;
    and Doug Sharp, of Chipwits fame.
    The games have theatrical titles as
    well: "Sinbad and the Throne of
    the Falcon", "The King of Chicago",
    "Defender of the Crown", and
    "S.D.I", a Sci-Fi thriller. All
    four games were prominently
    illustrated with garish movie-style
    posters hanging from the walls of
    the Mindscape suite. A Mindscape
    representative said the games were
    designed with the "older, more
    sophisticated gamer" in mind. All
    games are to be primarily the
    best graphics possible. They will
    each feature an original musical
    score and an "open universe" --
    there will be no "right" way to
    play. "We learned a lot from
    Sundog," the Mindscape rep said.
    The games will also use real-time
    situations with built-in timers.
    Players will be forced to make
    decisions within the limits. "We
    picture the player with sweat
    dripping down their faces,"
    Mindscape said.

    The Amiga demo was a little more
    involved than the ST, but both
    demos were essential picture slide
    shows with a bit of animation now
    and then. The graphics on both
    machines, however, were excellent.
    No mention was made of how many
    disks each game would require to
    display a complete movie, or how
    the designers would manage to
    manipulate massive amounts of
    graphics memory. S.D.I. the first
    release, should be ready by October
    1st. The remaining games are
    expected in time for the Christmas

    INFILTRATOR: For the 8-bit crowd,
    Mindscape will be releasing
    Infiltrator, a C-64 port. Described
    as a "strategy adventure", it
    sounds more like an arcade game.
    You are helicopter ace Captain
    Johnny "Jimbo- Baby" McGibbits.
    Your mission is to fly through
    hostile enemy air space. No release
    date was given. Price is expected
    to be $29.95.


    Although no one product struck us
    as the star of this CES, we were
    impressed by the energetic support
    of Atari by third-party developers.
    Q, no A: No name has been set for
    the Softronics' integrated package
    similar to Q & A on the IBM which
    will include telecommunications,
    CAD, word processor, database, and

    Software decorated a room in the
    West Hall to look like a Chicago
    gangster's warehouse. Computers sat
    on crates and life-size cardboard
    gangsters glared threateningly from
    behind tommy-guns. Epyx is adapting
    the Temple of Apshai Trilogy, World
    Games, and Rogue to the ST. All
    were in final form at the show and
    are expected on dealer shelves by
    the end of June. Rogue, a graphic
    version of an old classic fantasy
    role-playing game which graced the
    minis and mainframes of college
    campuses for many years, is mouse-
    driven and takes good advantage of
    ST graphics. There are 27 levels,
    and role-player fans should love
    it. The old favorite, Temple of
    Apshai has been placed within GEM
    with drop-down etc. Graphics are
    slightly clearer than the 8- bit
    versions, but otherwise the ST
    Apshai is pretty much the same as
    the 6502 classic.

    SUPRA DRIVERS: Did I mention the
    Supra 20-meg hard disk that is
    about 3 1/2-inches longer than an
    Atari 3 1/2-inch drive, but
    otherwise the same size? How about
    the Supra 60-meg hard disk which
    is the size of the old Supra
    10-meg? Supra scattered a few of
    these at select booths at CES just
    so we would believe they really

    technically minded who are
    wondering how to program the Atari
    80-column card, Jose Valdez of
    Atari tells us the adapter takes E:
    device calls and can also receive
    P: device calls. Just send certain
    codes to the device and you're on
    your way. The card will be
    completely "transparent" to any
    software using the E: device --such
    as BASIC cartridges. Programs
    addressing the screen directly will
    run into some unusual problems and
    have to be reprogrammed to work
    with the new card. FTL gave Antic
    demo disks of Micro Cookbook and
    Dungeon Master to take home. Yes,
    Micro Cookbook is a cookbook on
    disk. The database of recipes is
    easily searched according to a
    variety of categories.

    Dungeon Master, a point-of-view
    dungeon maze, will be followed up
    with construction set disk. FTL is
    currently talking to dungeon-game
    fans to find out what they like.
    The graphics on the demo disk are
    remarkable -- you "walk"
    downstairs, through doors and as
    you approach objects from a
    different angle, you get a
    different point of view. Both are
    due in September.

    A-MAZE-ING! Xanth, creator of the
    8-bit and ST Boink! and Fuji Boink!
    demos is developing a 3-D maze game
    with smooth-scrolling mazes. The
    trick here is that Xanth plans to
    make this a multi-machine game
    where each player can track down
    another with the maze.

    SHANNER SLEW: Shanner International
    has a whole slew of ST products on
    the way, including ST-Key, a desk
    accessory for function-key macros;
    Soundwave SW-1, a single-track MIDI
    sequencer; Colorwriter, a GEM-based
    word processor; LogiKhron, a real-
    time clock cartridge; and MacroDesk
    from Blue Moon Software, a desk
    accessory which includes calculator
    weekly planner, card file database,
    and alarm clock calendar.

    XLENT: Xlent Software will be
    adapting all its 8-bit products,
    including Rubber Stamp and Page
    Designer, to run on the new Atari
    XMM 801 printer. Xlent will also
    create a translator program to make
    your computer "think" the XMM 801
    is an Epson.


    Hybrid Arts, makers of professional
    MIDI software, such as DX-Droid and
    the Oasis series of waveform
    synthesizer editors, introduced EZ-
    Track ST, a consumer-oriented, 20-
    track, polyphonic MIDI recorder.
    EZ-Track lets you control up to 16
    different synthesizer channels and
    record full MIDI specs, including
    velocity, program changes, pitch
    wheel, mod wheel, and all 128 MIDI
    controls. The GEM-based program,
    expected on the shelves by July at
    $65, will be the first in a series
    of increasingly complex and
    professional ST MIDI sftwr tools.
    Frank Foster of Hybrid Arts told us
    there is a large user base of
    professional musicians using Hybrid
    Arts products on the 8-bit Atari's,
    and a growing base of musicians
    beginning to use ST's.

    Up to 11 computers to share up to
    two parallel printers with the
    Falcon ACS (Automatic Control
    System) series of printer buffer-
    controllers from Pace Mark, a
    Chicago-based hardware firm.
    The main unit, Falcon ACS 3000,
    comes with either a 64K or 128K
    buffer (priced $449.95 and $589.95
    respectively). This allows three
    computers to use one printer.
    Additional units increase the
    capabilities of the system, which
    is argeted at schools and

    Mastronic International, a London-
    base software firm with stateside
    offices in Maryland, showed several
    games for the 8-bit and announced
    more to come for the ST.

    Ninja, Speed King, Electra Glide,
    and Action Biker are 8-bit games at
    the low price of $9.99. Ninja will
    be adapted for the ST along with
    another game called Mirage.

    Hi Tech Expressions has a series of
    Print Shop-like programs with the
    added gimmick of in-computer
    animation presentations. CardWare
    (greeting cards), PartyWare
    (placemats and invitations) and
    HeartWare (mushy stuff) retail for
    $9.95 each.

    Want some cheap software? The
    Keypunch Software series of titles
    for the 8-bit all retail for $6.99
    and include Space games, Adventure
    Pak and Mind Mazes. Each disk is a
    collection of three to four games.


    We've tried to cover all available
    Atari products in these reports,
    but there were so many at CES some
    were inevitably omitted.

    Zmag Rap of the CES Show.
    Xx Other news
    Our next regular edition of Zmag
    will be June 18th.

    XxZmag Notes
    I have modified a file called
    PRINTDOC which was original made
    by Jerry White a year or two ago
    to read and or print DOC files.
    I have modified it for Zmag. This
    file will allow you to either see
    what issues are on your disk and
    give you the choice of making a
    hard copy. I have renamed it ZPRINT
    .BAS. It is available only at the
    Syndicate BBS right now. Should
    this file become a wanted utility,
    I will make sure the other Zmag
    systems get it on their Zmag file
    Zmagazine Special Edition #4
    Antic Online ctsy of Antic
    Publications, Copyright 1986.
    June 15, 1986 Happy Fathers Day!!
    See you soon!!