_ ____ ___ ______ _______ _ d# ####b g#00 `N##0" _agN#0P0N# d# d## jN## j##F J## _dN0" " d## .#]## _P ##L jN##F ### g#0" .#]## dE_j## # 0## jF ##F j##F j##' ______ dE_j## .0"""N## d" ##L0 ##F 0## 0## "9##F" .0"""5## .dF' ]## jF ##0 ##F ##F `##k d## .dF' j## .g#_ _j##___g#__ ]N _j##L_ _d##L_ `#Nh___g#N' .g#_ _j##__ """"" """"""""""" " """""" """""" """"""" """"" """""" May 7, 1993 No. 1.08 =========================================================================== Amiga Report International Online Magazine =========================================================================== "The Original Online Magazine" from STR Publishing [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport ----------------------------------------- * NOVA BBS * Amiga Report Headquarters * RUNNING STARNET BBS * FidoNet 1:362/508 An Amiga Software Distribution Site (ADS) 615-472-9748 Supra V.32bis 24hrs - 7 days Amiga Report can be FREQ'd from Nova each week. Use the filename AR.LHA and you will always get the latest issue. ----------------------------------------- * THE BOUNTY BBS * Home of STR Publications * RUNNING TURBOBOARD BBS * 904-786-4176 USR DS 16.8 24hrs - 7 days ----------------------------------------- ___________________________________________________________________________ > 05/07/93 STR-Amiga 1.08 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" ======================= - The Editor's Desk - CPU Report - New Products - Rendered Reality - STR Online - Dealer Directory - Warez Out There - SuperBase Pro - Final Copy II Rel 2 - V-Lab Digitizer - Nib Copier - SuperCard Ami II - Virus Killers -* Safe Hex International News *- -* Intel to ship 35 versions of 486 -* -* Saddan Hussein Virus *- =========================================================================== Amiga Report International Online Magazine From STR Publications [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport The Original * Independent * Online Magazine -* FEATURING WEEKLY *- "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware ~ Software ~ Corporate ~ R & D ~ Imports =========================================================================== GENIE ~ DELPHI ~ NVN ~ BIX ~ PORTAL ~ FIDO ~ INTERNET =========================================================================== :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. GEnie costs only $4.95 a month for unlimited evening and weekend access to more than 100 services including electronic mail, online encyclopedia, shopping, news, entertainment, single-player games, and bulletin boards on leisure and professional subjects. With many other services, including the biggest collection of files to download and the best online games, for only $6 per hour. MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! Any time during your first month of membership if you are not completely satisfied, just ask for your $4.95 back. GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted with permission *************************************************************************** > From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" ====================== One of the things I've noticed about the Amiga since buying mine back in January is the lack of serious business software. That is one weakness we cannot afford to have if the Amiga is to be taken seriously in all aspects of computing. Sure, most people realize what a wonderful graphics and video production system it is, but how many people are there that use it for that? Certainly not as many as would use it to, say, run a small business or keep a database. There are a small number of good business programs out there, but not nearly what is required if we expect it to penetrate the home and small business market. PageStream is an excellent desktop publishing system, Superbase Pro is a nice database, and Final Copy II is a wonderful word processor (and junior desktop publisher for that matter). But I honestly cannot think of a good spreadsheet program, or an inventory tracking system, or a point of sale package. Tape backup systems are also few and far between. I'm sure ICD will take care of that in the near future, but such a system is direly needed in the business environment. I'm pleased to say that several networking packages are in the works, from one that's almost as simply as Parnet, to an Ethernet setup, to a Novell- compatible system. Networking is another big hurdle required for serious business use. So I hope that I have either failed to notice these programs (if this is the case, then better advertising is required, as I read AmigaWorld and AC/Amiga), or else I hope somebody is working on some of them. Then there is the subject of support for these products. Soft-Logik and Softwood have proven themselves with excellent support. Customers must be assured that the packages they purchase will include excellent support, else the software will not be taken seriously, regardless of how good it is. Mike Troxell's Rendered Reality column is on vacation again this week. He told me today that he's had difficulty coming up with a good idea to write about. He said he'd rather write a GOOD bi-monthly column rather than a weekly MEDIOCRE column. I don't blame him. On another subject, some people on GEnie have expressed ill feelings toward the reprinting of their public messages in Amiga Report. After much debate, I have decided to no longer print any public messages from GEnie. The time required to track down the "owner" of each message that I'd like to print is more than I have to invest. More interest has been shown in having an AmigaGuide compatible issue of AR. I am reviewing some back issues of AR that have been converted to AmigaGuide format, and I may try test marketing such an issue in a week or so, when I have the time to sit down and dive into it. When this happens, fear not. The magazine will be just as readable in straight ASCII as it will be with AmigaGuide. I'm not going to leave anybody behind. A friend gave me an idea... I would like to invite people to send me Email detailing exceptionally good or bad experiences with mail order vendors. It does not have to be Amiga-specific (for example, if you bought a modem from a PC dealer, but it's for your Amiga). If I get enough response, I'll run a feature detailing the worst and best of the mentioned dealers, including shipping practices, how well they handle complaints, returns, etc. I'm not out to slam anybody, as many complaints are rare. But some vendors seem to take advantage of their customers, and I'd like to keep the public informed. This way, the buyer really CAN be aware. Rob @ Amiga Report """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Amiga Report's Staff DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! ==================== Editor ====== Robert Glover Technical Editor Graphics Editor Contributing Editor ================ =============== =================== Micah Thompson Mike Troxell Tom Mulcahy GEnie: BOOMER.T M.TROXELL1 FidoNet: 1:362/508.5 1:260/322 Delphi: 16BITTER Bix: HELMET Contributing Correspondents =========================== Michael Arends Christopher Davis John Deegan Michael Hensche Rob Morton Alan Quirt PC DIVISION ATARI DIVISION MAC DIVISION =========== ============== ============ Roger D. Stevens Ralph F. Mariano R. Albritton IMPORTANT NOTICE ================ Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: Delphi........................ ROB_G GEnie......................... ROB-G Internet.......................ROB_G@Delphi.COM """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > CPU STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= Computer Products Update - CPU Report ------------------------ ---------- Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Issue #18 By: John Deegan MOTOROLA ROLLS OUT NEW CHIP - Motorola Inc. has introduced the first versions of its new PowerPC chip, the MPC601, which is being touted as a major challenge to Intel Corp.'s new Pentium processor. Reports are that Motorola, which is developing the PowerPC with IBM and Apple Computer Inc., will ship two versions of the 601 with speeds of 50MHz and 66MHz. Sources say the slower chip will sell for $280 each when sold in lots of 20,000, while the faster chip is priced at $374 each. Intel has not yet disclosed the price for its Pentium, which it began shipping last month, but analysts have projected that the microprocessor will carry a price tag of about $1,000 each. Both chips are roughly equ- ivalent in terms of performance and are twice as fast as Intel's top-end 486i chip. Motorola says the 601 chip has 2.8 million transistors, or about 10% fewer than the Pentium, in a space of about 11 millimeters by 11 millimeters per side. It said high-volume production will begin in the third quarter. ACER SIGNS WALMART DEAL - Acer America Corp. has signed an agreement under which the 1,400 WalMart Stores across the country will carry Acer ACROS PC desktops. Acer said WalMart began searching last year for a new PC line to complement its 1993 PC desktop offerings from IBM and Packard Bell. WalMart will carry the ACROS 486SX/25 Models 4125 and 4130 and the ACROS 486DX/33 Model 4335. APPLE SEES EARNINGS, REVENUES GROWTH - Apple Computer Inc. Chief Fin- ancial Officer Joseph Graziano believes the company should post earnings and revenue growth in the second half of the year due to strong demand. According to Graziano, revenue will accelerate from the 15% growth recorded in the 1993 fiscal second quarter ended in March. Earnings will also increase, he said, but did not give a specific estimate. Graziano also said sales will be helped by the introduction of a range of new products. ROHM, RAMTRON TO DEVELOP FRAMS - Rohm Co Ltd. and Ramtron Interna- tional Corp. have announced they will jointly manufacture and develop ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) chips. Reports are that under the agreement, Rohm will supply complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) wafers to Ramtron. Rohm will also build a production line to produce Ramtron-designed FRAMs. A Rohm spokesman said that FRAMs have the potential to replace all existing memory chips in the future. MICROSOFT SETTLES PIRACY LAWSUITS - Microsoft Corp. has reached a settlement in its software piracy lawsuit against former Microsoft OEM licensee Z-Nix Co. Inc. Microsoft has also settled lawsuits with Z-Nix President Jimmy Chen and three Z-Nix distributors. The lawsuits were originally filed by Microsoft in June 1992 against Z-Nix for copyright and trademark infringement and breach of contract. It followed a two-month investigation, during which Microsoft alleged that it uncovered Z-Nix's massive illegal distribution of the Microsoft Windows operating system version 3.1. INTEL KEEPS HEAT ON AMD - Keeping the heat on its competitor, chip- maker Intel Corp. has filed a new suit against Advanced Micro Devices Inc. claiming AMD had infringed on Intel's copyright for the '486 microprocessor. The semiconductor giant also is asking U.S. District Judge William Ingram to reconsider his April 15 decision throwing out a jury verdict against AMD in a related Intel lawsuit. That ruling allowed AMD to begin shipping its clone of Intel's '486 microprocessor last week. ___________________________________________________________________ RUSSIA TO CERTIFY IMPORTED HARDWARE MOSCOW, RUSSIA -- Speaking at the Comtek '93 show in Moscow, the head of the Main Directorate of the State Standard Committee (Gosstandard) of Russia, Vyacheslav Gubenko, described the new plan authorities have to certify electronic and electrical devices which are sold in Russia. These changes have come about mainly due to the Law on Protection of the Customer's Rights, which went into effect this year. All electrical and electronic equipment is divided now into 22 categories which were set by Gosstandard together with the Customs Committee. According to new rules, all devices which involve electromagnetic radiation, emissions, or can be otherwise hazardous, must be certified or they will not pass customs control. This measure applies to the equipment which is imported in all contracts signed after January 1, 1993. For all contracts signed before this date, new restrictions will take an effect July 1, 1993. The certifying procedure costs about US$50-70, said Gubenko. Strangely enough, medical appliances are not be included on the list of equipment which must be certified. Also all computers that feature technical characteristics above typical (that is, more powerful than 80386-based PCs) do not fall under the certification requirements and may be imported freely. Gosstandard understands that there is a lot of confusion and disorder with the certificates right now but it hopes to straighten things out by the end of the year. According to Gubenko, in 1994 the certification will be total and comprehensive. PC'S FOR JAPANESE PUBLIC SCHOOLS TOKYO, JAPAN -- The Japanese Ministry of Education, in an effort to beef up not only computer education but the country's economy, is planning to install more personal computers at public schools including elementary schools and high schools. According to a recent Ministry report, a five-year installment plan will speed up to involve the installation of all the computers next year. The original plan also called for the installation of only 3 new PCs at each elementary school, 22 units at each junior high school, and 23 units at each senior high school. However, the latest revision calls for 22 units per elementary school, and 42 units at junior and senior high schools respectively. These figures are encouraging personal computer makers. According to a computer industry source, an additional 335,000 units will be needed for public schools due to the new Ministry plan. This translates to an expenditure of 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion). Japan also has stated that its public schools are behind in personal computer education compared with schools in the US and Europe. Under the revised plan, Japanese personal computer makers as well as foreign personal computer makers can received contracts to supply the computers to schools. Many schools use NEC's PC-9801, but Fujitsu's FM-Towns, and Apple's Macintosh are also becoming popular. HARDWARE VENDORS SUPPORT CLINTON'S ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY IRVINE, CALIFORNIA -- A number of major hardware vendors have shown support for the Clinton Administration's endorsement of the federal government buying energy-efficient computers. Among the vendors supporting the policy are AST Research, Intel, and Apple Computer. In his endorsement of computers that use less electricity, Clinton said that all federal government agencies will purchase only Energy Star products in the future, providing they are commercially available and meet the agency's performance requirements. AST Research is the latest to announce support for President Clinton's Earth Day recognition of energy-efficient computing and the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program. The company has also announced its intention to introduce an Energy Star- ompliant PC this year that exceeds Energy Star guidelines that stipulate 30-watt maximum electricity usage each for the system and monitor. In announcing the company's support, Safi Qureshey, AST president and chief executive officer, said: "We are pleased the President has given the thumbs up for federal government procurement of Energy Star-compliant PCs. The development of energy efficient PCs is the next logical step for government agencies, as well as corporate America, to take in protecting the environment, while benefitting the bottom line." According to the EPA, computer systems currently account for five percent of commercial electricity use in the United States, with potential growth to 10 percent by the year 2000. Intel has also announced support for President Clinton's actions to require the federal government to purchase energy-efficient computers. Said Andrew S. Grove, Intel president and chief executive officer, "The President and the EPA deserve a lot of credit for such an enlightened use of the federal government's purchasing power. Nudging the computer industry in this direction will pay off in both lower energy consumption and a better environment. All of Intel's new microprocessors, including the recently introduced Pentium processor, will have energy-saving circuitry that will enable computer makers to meet EPA Energy Star standards." Apple has also announced plans to market a wide range of energy-efficient personal computers and printers. Fred Forsyth, senior vice president and general manager, Macintosh Systems Division, said: "We plan to make energy efficiency a feature of all Apple computers and peripherals. Reducing power consumption is good for our customers and the environment." Apple claims that the Apple Macintosh Color Classic, introduced February 1993, is the industry's first available desktop computer system to automatically reduce power consumption to less than 25 watts when it is inactive. This power-down feature could cut in half the electricity used by the system. In June, the EPA is expected to release the Energy Star symbol for display on products that meet the program's technical criteria. CANADIAN TELECOM ACT AMENDMENTS REMOVE LICENSING OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA -- The Canadian government has introduced amendments to its proposed new telecommunications act that would remove a licensing requirement. Established Canadian carriers were unhappy with the licensing plan, which was intended to help enforce Canadian ownership requirements. In place of the licensing provisions, which would have required all communications carriers covered by the act (not including long-distance resellers) to get licenses, the amendments give the Canadian Radio- elevision and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the power to enforce Canadian-ownership rules. The proposed new law would restrict foreign ownership of carriers to 20 percent, although existing carriers that are more than 20 percent foreign- wned could remain so. In the proposed amendments, the licensing provisions are replaced with a number of new clauses giving the CRTC power to regulate ownership and related matters. The amendments also fine-tune a provision called forbearance, that allows the CRTC to decide not to exercise its regulatory powers if it decides that a hands-off policy will best serve the aims of telecommunications policy. The revised forbearance provisions place more emphasis on competition, and require the regulatory body to forbear regulation where it finds there is full competition in a particular area. The act, first tabled in February, 1992, was to receive second reading in the House of Commons this week. If passed, it will replace the antiquated Railway Act, which has been the basis of federal telecommunications regulation in Canada since 1881. A key effect of the new act -one not affected by the amendments - is to assert the federal government's authority over telecommunications across Canada. In the past, telephone companies in many provinces have been regulated by provincial governments. CFC'S, SAYS STORAGETEK LOUISVILLE, COLORADO -- Storage Technology, manufacturer and marketer of information storage and retrieval tape sub-systems, says it has eliminated the use of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other class 1 ozone-depleting substances from all its manufacturing and systems development activities worldwide. The company has manufacturing facilities in Louisville and Longmont, Colorado, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Great Britain. Storagetek Chairman Ryal Poppa told reporters the company announced its intention to eliminate CFCs in 1989, saying then its goal was to be CFC-free by the end of 1993. "This was an ambitious goal and we exceeded it by eight months," said Poppa. The company estimates it has spent about $5.5 million during the life of the program, including $1.9 million last year. CFCs have been used by nearly all electronics device manufacturers to clean circuit boards. With the concern over the depletion of the ozone layer, which protects earth from the bombardment of ultraviolet rays from space, the industry has been moving towards CFC-free operations for some time, substituting water-based cleaners and other non-ozone depleting processes. The computer controlled aqueous cleaning machine now employed by Storagetek is constructed of stainless steel, is 24 feet long, and weighs 4,500 pounds. Its conveyer belt, which moves at a speed of five feet per minute, runs two shifts per day and can handle 160 circuit boards per hour, the company said. Tom Gooch, Storagetek executive vice president for operations, said the company was cited in 1988 for emitting 345,000 pounds of CFCs and was listed as being the 21st largest emitter of CFC 113 in the United States. "Now we are free of all types of CFCs in our manufacturing - not just in Colorado, but worldwide." The company said it has also converted 17 centrifugal chillers to alternative refrigerants at a cost of another $1.3 million. The chillers, which range from 300 to 600-ton capacities, provide air conditioning and process cooling for seven buildings. Storagetek is also actively participating in other waste reduction and recycling efforts, and says it recycled more than 250 tons of corrugated cardboard, over 71 tons of white paper, and nearly two tons of aluminum soft-drink cans. For its efforts, Storagetek received the Clean Air Colorado Partner of the Year award in 1992. VOICE ACTIVATED PC DEBUTS IN UK EAST GRINSTEAD, SUSSEX, ENGLAND -- Imagine being able to control a PC, dictating copy into the machine at 30 words a minute. Enter the Shakespeare Speechwriter, a fully voice-activated PC system that supports dictation speeds of 30 words a minute - equal, the company claims, to the speed of a proficient typist. Shakespeare Speechwriter UK claims that real speech-controlled PCs have not been feasible until now, owing to inadequate processing speeds, restricted vocabularies and an inability to understand individual speech patterns. The system must be taught the idiosyncrasies of an individual's voice, a process that the company admits takes a couple of hours. As it used, it adapts itself to the user's voice and can actually be speeded up. The basic dictionary of the system is 80,000 words long, although extra words are added as the software learns the user's voice. In use, as words are spoken, they are identified in the dictionary and converted to digital text which is then shown on the screen. Ambiguous words - such as there, they're and their - are flagged as options, with the most frequently-used items being the one initially chosen by the system. A simple spoken command makes the selection from the options available Malcolm McPherson, managing director of Shakespeare Speechwriter UK, said that two breakthroughs have made the voice-activated system, which is the result of five years' work, possible. "PCs based on Intel's 486 processor now have the power to convert speech into text at speed, while the specially-developed Organizer within the package provides a quick way to resolve any errors and ambiguities," he said. The complete Shakespeare Speechwriter system, which is based around a Compaq Prolinea 4/50, costs UKP4,995. This price includes all tutorials and a mike, the company claims. INTEL TO SHIP 35 NEW VERSIONS OF 486 SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Intel plans to ship a number of new versions of the best-selling 486 processor in 1993. Nancy Pressel, spokesperson for the company said, "We'll have about 35 new versions of the 486 microprocessor this year. That can vary anywhere from 486es with new features, new packages, new speeds, or new voltages." The new products will be tailored for specific markets. Said Pressel, "They will be tailored for both the desktop and the mobile market." They will also include a number of power-saving features, geared specifically for portable computing. The company's new Pentium processor will increase in shipment volumes as the year progresses. Said Pressel, "We will ship about 10,000 Pentium processors this quarter, which is pretty low volume for us. This year we'll ship hundreds of thousands of Pentium processors. Next year we'll pass the million mark." The preceding stories are (c) 1993 NewsBytes. Reprinted with permission. ___________________________________________________________________ INTERNET CONFERENCE ON DELPHI There will be an internet conference on Delphi next week, on Thursday, May 13th at 10 pm Eastern Time. The conference is being hosted by Robert Niles (RNILES), and the guest speaker will be Walt Howe, Delphi's Internet Guru. He'll be able to answer non-Amiga-specific Internet questions. Topics will include basic internet access, how to use File Transfer Protocol (FTP), how to deal with the strange compression utilities used on the Internet (.Z and .TAR files for example). So come on in next Thursday evening and join in on the fun, learn something, or share your knowledge with others! ___________________________________________________________________ ARMYMINER V1.1 AVAILABLE FOR FTP Description: ArmyMiner is a logic board game where some of the squares do contain bombs. When clicked, the bomb-free squares display the number of bombs in their neighbourhood. The objective of the game is for the user to mark all the squares having bombs in a minimum of time. The game requires good concentration and offers a very interesting mental challenge. There are many instances of that game on different platforms (Minesweeper on IBM-compatible, XMines on XWindows, etc). ArmyMiner v1.1 integrates all of the good aspects I've seen on all the versions of that game available on personal computers. Its options include: - Automatically mark or clean the neighbours of a square - Safe start (no explosion at first click) - Safe click (gadget-like behavior for squares) - Question marks (for configuration analysis) You can also specify your own custom board settings. The game has a very useful pause option, sound effects, high-score tables and a very nice interface. It works on either OS v1.3 or 2.0, under NTSC or PAL. ArmyMiner v1.1 is freeware, binary only. You are free to use it as long as you leave my copyright notice intact. You can distribute that program as long as you don't ask any more money for it than a nominal fee for copying, and if you keep the "ArmyMiner.doc" file with it. If you want to include this program in a commercial package, you need my written permission. "Copyright 1993 Alain Laferriere, All rights reserved" About release 1.1: This is ArmyMiner v1.1 which works on all Amigas. The ArmyMiner v1.0 crashed on the Amiga 4000 because the executable was compressed with "TNM CRUNCHER 1.1" which does not work on that machine. So, I recompressed the file with PowerPacker which is said to work perfectly on all Amigas. ArmyMiner v1.1 is currently available on the following FTP sites: Switz. amiga.physik.unizh.ch (188.8.131.52) pub/aminet/game/think Scand. ftp.luth.se (184.108.40.206) pub/aminet/game/think USA ftp.etsu.edu (220.127.116.11) pub/aminet/game/think USA oes.orst.edu (18.104.22.168) pub/aminet/game/think The files you have to download are: - ArmyMiner_1.1.lzh - ArmyMiner_1.1.readme Have fun! ___________________________________________________________________ AMIGA F2C AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE f2c an automatic Fortran->C source code converter. VERSION f2c release date: 22 July 1992. COMPANY Amiga port by Eric G. Stern (firstname.lastname@example.org) from the original freely distributable sources available on netlib. AUTHORS S.I. Feldman, David M. Gay, Mark W. Maimone, N.L. Schryer Amiga port by Eric G. Stern (email@example.com) DESCRIPTION F2c is a program that translates Fortran 77 into C or C++. F2c lets one portably mix C and Fortran and makes a large body of well-tested Fortran source code available to C environments. This is a port for the SAS/C 6.2 environment. The f2c executable supplied will run on any sufficiently large Amiga, but the support libraries were assembled for the SAS/C 6.2 librarian and linker. NEW FEATURES This release has no new features from the original documented f2c. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS The f2c executable and libraries are large. A hard disk would probably be necessary for reasonable use. Also, the resulting code generated after conversion and linking is quite large. Probably 2 or more megabytes of RAM are needed. The I/O support library uses some AmigaDOS 2.0 routines. HOST NAME amiga.physik.unizh.ch and other aminet sites DIRECTORY /pub/aminet/dev/misc FILE NAMES f2c.lha PRICE This software is free. DISTRIBUTABILITY The software is freely distributable provided all copyright notices in the source code and documentation remain intact with their warranty disclaimers. ___________________________________________________________________ ITALIAN PROGRAMMER'S CONFERENCE IPISA '93 Incontro dei Programmatori Italiani per lo Sviluppo Amiga Third Edition Call for Papers Saturday, November 6 1993 Milano, Italy IPISA is an annual meeting autonomously organized by a group of people interested in computer science, programming, and applications of the Amiga line of computers. The meeting is dedicated to the presentation and diffusion of projects, experiences and non-commercial products developed using Amigas. As in the previous events, it will be possible to discuss research programs or job contacts with people otherwise difficult to reach. The meeting, one day in length, is laid out as a series of short, twenty minute, and long, forty-five minute, talks. During these talks the Italian language must be used to communicate. The proceedings consists of paper documentation and software on magnetic support. The paper documentation will be edited by the editorial board of the electronic magazine AUGS Newsletter. The organizers invite proposals in the form of a 300-word abstract, which must be received by June 5, 1993. The submission of papers to be published in the proceedings independently of their public exposition is encouraged (if necessary, the space presumably occupied on the magnetic support has to be specified). The papers can be submitted in English or Italian. In case the author desires to personally exhibit his or her work, it is necessary to specify the estimated duration of the talk. The authors will receive confirmation of their participation by June 15, 1993, and will have to send the complete papers for proceedings inclusion by September 15, 1993. Subscription costs will cover all expenses, and will be, all being well, less than 20,000 italian lire. Organizing committee: Roberto Attias, Vittorio Calzolari, Fabrizio Lodi, Sergio Ruocco (chair), Carlo Santagostino, Paolo Silvera, Reinhard Spisser, Carlo Todeschini, Sebastiano Vigna, Marco Zandonadi. e_mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com IPISA '93 c/o Fabrizio Lodi Via Faruffini 43 I-20149 Milano MI ___________________________________________________________________ KINGFISHER V1.30 AVAILABLE FOR FTP KingFisher 1.30 is now available via anonymous ftp. This major upgrade adds extensive AmigaGuide support, an ARexx port, enhancements for unattended server operation for BBS systems, greatly enhanced keyboard control, especially under KS 2.0+, ability to invoke external commands using the function keys, ability to partially or completely configure the program through tooltypes, numerous KS 2.0+ improvements (gadget colors, tab cycling, help), minor enhancements and fixes all known (and unknown ;-) bugs. General overview of KingFisher: KingFisher is a freely distributable replacement for Aquarium, providing a mechanism to search for software in Fred Fish's Library of Freely Distributable Software. KingFisher has been designed for users of both floppy-only and harddisks systems operating under either Kickstart 1.3 or Kickstart 2.0. Some features are available only under Kickstart 2.0. KingFisher v1.30 offers the following features: - Maintains a split database across multiple disk volumes, - Searches this database more than 3 times faster than Aquarium, - Multi-string searches with AND, OR, and NOT operators (boolean search expressions) including case selection and V37+ regular expressions, - Will highlight search keywords in descriptions, - Provides a small and very fast program name search index, - ARexx port with 13 commands (40+ variations), - Native AmigaGuide support with Gadget-help, Menu-help, etc. - Adds new fish directly from Contents files or Usenet postings, even from multiple concatenated postings or email contents files, - Fish can be deleted from the end of the database to undo errors, - Database is a line-oriented text file accessed through index which can be modified by hand and then reindexed, - Flexible print and export functions, including search-filtered output, - Select from multiple different search strings, - Limit searches to a portion of the database, - Follow version links to older or newer versions of software, - Maintain multiple different "bookmarks" into the database and switch between them with a single mouse click, - Supports proportional and scalable fonts for description text, - Now supports the 2.0 display database including Text Overscan. Limited support for overscan, PAL, and interlace displays is available under Kickstart 1.3. - String gadgets are optionally kept active for keyboard comfort, - Full configuration saved between executions, - Iconifies to save Chip RAM (46K). This update consists of one mandatory archive (KingFisher130.lha, sized 173589 bytes) and the optional database (KFData850.lha, sized 490953 bytes) which is distributed more as a convenience feature for those of you who are installing KingFisher for the first time and do not wish to start with the older database in other distributions. KingFisher130.lha and KFData850.lha can be found at the following ftp sites: wuarchive.wustl.edu 22.214.171.124 /systems/amiga/incoming/fish grind.isca.uiowa.edu 126.96.36.199 /amiga/Read.These (*) ftp.cso.uiuc.edu 188.8.131.52 /pub/amiga/KingFisher (*) (*) May take a little time to show up there. ___________________________________________________________________ MULTIPRINT V1.9 AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE MultiPrint VERSION 1.9 28-April-1993 This is an update to version 1.7 released on the 19th of April 1993. AUTHOR John Matthews 4 Wadham Grove, Tawa, 6203 Wellington New Zealand Phone 64 4 232-7805 Fax (by arrangement) email: Internet : firstname.lastname@example.org ( Irregular Monitoring ) DESCRIPTION MultiPrint is a program initially designed to print document files, and other text files, to as few sheets of paper as possible. It has since had other features such as bold/italic/font support, Compugraphic support, paragraph reformating and full justification added for improved flexability and readability. MultiPrint prints text files to multiple columns, on both sides of the sheet automatically, with no need to shuffle the pages. Pages are printed with a footer, with margins, page numbers, and with a gutter to allow easy stapling, or hole punching. NEW FEATURES Version 1.8 fixes a few bugs that crept into the last released version, and adds a few significant features. Bugs fixed : 1. Persistant bug with centering in non-reformatting mode fixed. 2. Fixed bug with inter-process communication, which caused the program to jam sometimes when aborted. 3. Aborting print fixed when a command-line option is misspelt, resulting in a non-existant file message. Maybe more. It's easier to debug with the preview option present. Uses less paper when printing to the screen. Changes : 1. Slight redefinition of command format. If you want to place formatting commands, in particular Justification and Centering, on their own line (they must start the line anyway or they will be ignored) without leaving a blank line, leave off the closing brace. Alternately, remember to leave the closing brace it there is supposed to be a blank line. 2. Improved preview function, to allow it to run on existing (public) screens, especially Workbench. 3. Improved preview to allow for large 'virtual' screens, in one direction (usually height) with autoscroll. 4. Added spoolling to disk, for those really large files, and background printing, where memory is required for other things. Version 1.9 fixes a few more bugs/misfeatures Bugs fixed : 1. Changed Footer options from xxxFootxxx back to xxxFooterxxx. My compiler has trouble with long string constants, so now some things are linked in as objects, and the template can be as long as necessary. 2. End-of-paragraph at end-of-page code was commented out during testing 3. LargeScreen option should now (correctly) only give you scrolling in one dimension in all displays. 4. Default Footers now give the name of the first file on a page, rather than the last. Changes 1. Made balancing the columns on last pages an option. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS MultiPrint requires 2.04 or higher. MultiPrint works best with page oriented printers, such as lasers and HP deskjets. A fast printer helps. MultiPrint provides better output with the use of Scalable fonts, and better italics/bold if you have a complete family (or more) of Scalable fonts. HOST NAME This version can be found as MultiPrint18.lha on amiga.physik.unizh.ch (184.108.40.206), where I uploaded it in the new directory. You could also try wuarchive.wustl.edu (220.127.116.11). In New Zealand, you can try kauri.vuw.ac.nz. DIRECTORY Should end up in /pub/aminet/text/print, where the last version was put. FILE NAMES MultiPrint19.lha, MultiPrint19.readme PRICE MultiPrint is shareware, basically. If you find the program useful, or need anything added, and want to encourage me, a donation is welcome, but not essential. I would like to make enough money from MultiPrint to replace the Ink Cartridge I used most of in testing MultiPrint. Suggestion, US$20 or equivalent, NZ$ if you can get them. Any amount is fine though. Hey, here's ambition ... maybe I could make enough to buy a laser printer! :-) DISTRIBUTABILITY Shareware. Distribute to whoever, but if you plan to include it in a magazine's cover disk, or anything like that - let me know first. No matter what, leave the documentation intact. ___________________________________________________________________ PAGINATE V1.00 AVAILABLE ON AMINET, GENIE, AND FILEWORKS TITLE PAGINATE VERSION V1.00 AUTHOR Fergus Duniho Internet: email@example.com GEnie : F.DUNIHO DESCRIPTION This program can do both pagination and line numbering on files. PAGINATION The pagination involves breaking a text file up into pages of equal length, and optionally marking each page with a header, a footer, or both. The headers and footers may contain the page number in various formats, including both upper and lowercase roman numerals, as well as the time and date in various formats. They may also include any other text you want to put in them. You may choose different headers and footers for odd and even pages, as well as for the first page. You may also choose to have no header or footer on the first page, on odd pages, or on even pages. And you may choose to have the same footer or header on all pages. You may also choose to make the first page a title page. A title page has no headers and footers on it. Also, "Paginate" does not begin page numbering with a title page. And as far as the headers and footers for the first page are concerned, "Paginate" does not regard the title page as the first page. It considers it as the page prior to the first page. LINE NUMBERING The line numbering consists of printing a string with the line number in it at the beginning of each line. You may choose the format of the line number, and you may put other text in the line number string. The default is to do no line numbering. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS None WHERE TO FIND PAGINATE ON AMINET SITES amiga.physik.unizh.ch and its mirrors. DIRECTORY text/misc WHERE TO FIND PAGINATE ON GENIE Amiga StarShip, Library #4, File #19202 WHERE TO FIND PAGINATE ON FILEWORKS FileWorks is the Amiga BBS in the Rochester, NY area that I use most often. Line #1: (716) 377-0719 12-14.4K v.32bis HST DS Line Line #2: (716) 377-3695 12-2400 Supra Line FidoNet 1:2613/278 FileWorks BBS PO Box 842 Fairport, NY 14450 Paginate is in the "Printer & Print Utilities" Area in the Files Library. ARCHIVE NAME paginate.lha ___________________________________________________________________ PC-TASK V2.00 DEMO AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE PC-TaskDemo VERSION 2.00 AUTHOR Chris Hames firstname.lastname@example.org DESCRIPTION PC-Task is software IBM-PC emulator, it uses your Amiga hardware so the faster you make you Amiga the faster emulation gets. You can get your Amiga running a screen as an IBM-PC with just a few clicks of the mouse button. The only thing not supplied is MSDOS. Features:- MDA and CGA graphic adapter emulation. Up to two floppy drives emulated. Two emulated hard drives either File or Partition types. Serial and parallel port emulation. Mouse emulation. New Features!!:- EGA and VGA graphic adapter emulation. Some CDROM support. Better mouse emulation. Better CGA emulation. Better Hard Disk Partition Support. Some speed ups in MDA and CGA emulation. Support for serial and parallel ports besides the defaults. Many other little improvements. COST PC-Task costs $40AUD or $35USD, see the README file for more info. Current registered users who are down for an update should all receive the new version by the end of May. The update is $10AUD or $10USD for other registered users. HOST NAME PC-Task should available on Aminet sites and wuarchive.wustl.edu. GEnie: Amiga Roundtable, file #19122. PATH Aminet: pub/aminet/misc/emu/PCTaskDemo200.lzh wuarchive: systems/amiga/incoming/PCTaskDemo200.lzh DISTRIBUTABILITY This demo version is Freely redistributable. ___________________________________________________________________ VIDEO BACKUP SYSTEM FOR AMIGA The Video Backup System AMIGA is an inexpensive and reliable hardware-interface/backup-software combination, which enables you to connect any video recorder to the Amiga and use it as a backup storage device. As many as 200 Amiga floppy disks will fit on a 4-hour tape. When used for hard disk backup, a 4-hour tape can hold 175MB of data. Key features of the Video Backup System AMIGA: - Ability to backup a complete Amiga diskette in 1 minute. Restore in the same time, even to an unformatted disk. - Hard disk backup: The software allows you to specify which files and directories are to be stored. Full or partial restore to any path. Verify function. Performance about 800 Kbyte per minute. - Recommended media: High-Grade video tapes, about $6. Low cost storage $.03 per megabyte! - The software has an intuitive, menu-driven graphical user interface. Hard disk backup looks and feels similar to other backup programs. - Control Monitor connection which allows you to switch 1084 display between amiga signal and VCR signal. (Will also allow the user to view any VCR output on the 1084.) - Very high reliability with High-Grade tape. Effective error-correction scheme ensures that a Video Backup is even more reliable than the usual backup on floppy disks. - Log files: The VBS software automatically maintains file log files, which contain title and counter position on every backup. - Video Connection Check: VBS checks whether the hardware is hooked up correctly. This ensures fool- proof operation. - Easy-to-understand manual. This product is the ideal backup system for both floppy and hard disk users. Floppy users can store large games and public domain collections on one tape, and hard disk users can make their archival backups with it. At a cost of only $99.95, no Amiga owner can afford to be without one! The Video Backup System for the Amiga was developed by: Lyppens Software Productions """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > ONLINE WEEKLY Amiga Report Online People... Are Talking! ================================= From FidoNet's Amiga_Video conference: ------------------------------------- Area: AMIGA_VIDEO (MAIL:Fido/Amiga_Video/) From: Rich Koster To: All Subj: Commodore's Keynote Speech Date: 03 May 93 22:34:24 Berend Ozceri (email@example.com) posted some interesting information from the World of Commodore show in N.Y. held last month. His writings contain some information not seen here yet. I quote in this message and the ones that follow from his post on Usenet's comp.sys.amiga.announce: KEYNOTE BY GEOFF STILLEY, VP SALES, COMMODORE This keynote speech was on the last day of the show. I wasn't really looking forward to attending it, expecting a boring speech. I was not too wrong. Even though there were a couple of interesting points, the overall speech was boring. The first thing Mr. Stilley did after greeting his audience was to go through a list of the new products shipped in 1992, which were the A3000/040, A600, A1200, and the A4000/040. Then he described the way they prioritized their market focus: 1) Video: He explained that the Amiga is the "de facto" standard in computer video and that their efforts would be to push the Amiga usage to higher levels in this area. 2) Training: Mr. Stilley explained that Amigas are widely used in training situations and that President Clinton's training/re-training policies would create a good market for the Amiga. 3) Presentation Development: He mentioned that powerful software like Amiga Vision and Scala MM200 enable a lot of people to create effective and creative presentation on their Amigas. 4) Kiosk Developers: He explained that Amiga was gaining more and more ground every day in the market of kiosks. He said that Commodore had orders of about 20 to 30 thousand machines for kiosk use. 5) The User Base: He said that Commodore wanted to give the users what they wanted and support developers. Then he proceeded by talking about Commodore's advertisement strategies. He explained that their idea was to advertise the Amiga with ads that "Jump off the page," decorated with quotes like "Hey! Go look at IBM, go look at Mac, then come back and look at the Amiga!" or "Nothing can sell you an Amiga better than a couple of minutes with a Mac or an IBM." He explained that the company hired for Commodore's advertisement campaigns was Ketchum Advertisement of Pennsylvania. He said that Ketchum is a very respected advertisement company with customers like Pizza Hut, Westinghouse, DuPont, and many more. It is the 18th largest advertisement company in the world. Ketchum supplies Commodore with full-services including advertisements and promotions, yellow pages, and sales promos. Mr. Stilley then talked about Commodore's 1993 campaign. He said that the 1993 campaign would be more focused and would provide higher impact. He explained that they would use "Amiga people" in their advertisements, meaning they would advertise with the experiences of current Amiga users. He showed a booklet called "Commodore Multimedia" that opened up to expose four pages that included experiences of a physician, a software engineer, a kiosk designer, and a videograph. The booklet talked about how these people utilized their Amiga's for multimedia applications and presentations. He further commented that the 1993 campaign would be aimed at getting the Amiga into the computer buyer's consideration set, making the Amiga a safer buy, and generating sales leads. Mr. Stilley then talked about their dealer and user-group support policies. He said that all the dealer's were (or would be) supplied with A4000 demo systems, and would be given large volumes of advertisement materials. He also mentioned that the dealers would be able to get info from Commodore's user-database, which includes information about current Amiga owners. The user-group support would consist of (but not limited to) regular mailings from Commodore, notices of promos, and loaner systems. Mr. Stilley mentioned that user-groups in need of support should contact Commodore. He said, "Call me, you will be supported." Berend 0zceri Carnegie Mellon University Freshman, Electrical and Computer Engineering --- April V0.994fRegBeta+ * Origin: Rich's $#MandeVilla by the Sea$#, Mandeville, LA USA (1:390/15.6) Area: AMIGA_VIDEO (MAIL:Fido/Amiga_Video/) From: Zoltan Hunt To: All Subj: Amiga Lobby Group #3 Date: 01 May 93 23:03:14 Amiga Lobby Bulletin #3, May 1, 1993 First off some bad news: around the end of April someone posted that CBM USA has layed-off its sales reps. Another posting by someone saying they used to work as a CBM multimedia sales rep seems to indicate that this is true. It is my opinion that this is linked to poor sales in CBM's last quarter (before the introduction of the A1200 and before the A4000 was readily available.) Another related possibility is the new joint advertising program between NewTek and CBM (announced at this year's National Association of Broadcasters show along with the Toaster4000). Perhaps (I stress perhaps) CBM hopes that NewTek will continue marketing the Toaster as successfully as it has, therefore selling Amigas for CBM. This last bit is part of this month's good news: NewTek and CBM getting together and selling Amiga and Toasters. To those who (like myself) didn't care for the AmigaGuy cartoon featured in Amiga ads, the latest news is his elimination. Last month's issue of Camcorder magazine gave the A1200 the most positive review I have heard yet. This month's issue of Computer Graphics World reviewed OpralVision(positive) and mentioned Imagine, Playmation, Alladin 4D & LightWave in their round up of low- end/mid-range rendering packages. Since the last bulletin I've received some ideas for products/companies to target, they are: 1) A monitor designed specifically for the Amiga IDEK liyama Europe B.V. Kruisweg 587, 2131 NA Hoofddorp Holland, Europe Tel + 31 20 653-0797 FAX + 31 20 653-0800 2) Standard software drivers, optimized from WB2.x or WB3.x for the pressure sensitive cordless pen Wacom drawing tablets. Maybe a ZORRO interface to transfer the data faster? Wacom Computer Systems GmbH Hellersbergstrasse 4 W-4040 Neuss 1 Germany - Europe TEL + 49 2131 16 60 01 FAX + 49 2131 10 17 60 3) Fractal Formatter: A fractal based compression system that allows lossless compression and playback (compression does take awhile in some cases.) or a full review, look at last year's last October's Printer Issue of PC Magazine. Iterate Systems Inc. 5550A Peachtree Parkway Norcross GA 30092 Telephone is (404) 840-0310, FAX is (404) 840-0806, 4) Amiga Photo-CD reader software Eastman Kodak Company 343 State Street Rochester NY 14650 5) An upgrade to Animation Studio (AGA support etc.) Walt Disney Computer Software Inc. Attn: Customer Service - "Andy" 500 S. Buena Vista St. Burbank CA 91521-6385 Disney BBS (818)567-4027 I'd like all members to write back with their top 3 choices for the products we should try to get on the Amiga. In about a month and a half from now (May 1,1993) I'll poll the results and draft a letter. If anyone has a product not on the list, send it in anyways and I'll include it on the next list (a few months from now). To anyone who wrote me E-mail and hasn't received a reply, I'm having some problems with E-mail (I receive fine but sending is another problem). Again I'd ask that anyone interested in becoming a member send in their real-world address to me at the address below: Amiga Lobby Group c/o Zoltan Hunt R. R. #2, Beeton Ontario, CANADA LOG 1AO Lastly, It looks like Commodore marketing is looking for suggestions. If you have any ideas you can write to: Mr. James Dionne Commodore Marketing Dept #480 1200 Wilson Drive West Chester PA 19380-4251 Zoltan Hunt --- Star-Net v1.02 * Origin: Amiga Zone *HST* StarNet HQ, Canada 705-424-5198 (1:229/216.0) Area: AMIGA_VIDEO (MAIL:Fido/Amiga_Video/) From: Glenn Schworak To: All Subj: Amiga is getting ignored Date: 27 Apr 93 22:13:00 I can't stand this any more. I just spent 30 minutes watching one of my favorite TV shows.... The Next Step on the Descovery channel. They had this really lame excuse for video on computers segment. They showed how the MAC and IBM could do this really "amazing stuff" (NOT!) and that there isn't a computer that can do broadcast quality video yet. There won't be for at least 2 years. I find this to be a slap in the face to all Amiga users. The Amiga wasn't even mentioned. It was simply ignored. Just because the other platforms are two years in the dust doesn't mean that we should be ignored. Am I wrong, is this system here in front of me just a toy that can't do better than the others? Answer... NO, It is far better than the others in the field of video. Personaly, I am going to write to the Descovery channel and complain about this. As a matter of fact, just a week ago, I saw Invension (also on Descovery just before The Next Step) do a great segment on the Toaster. They didn't mention the Toaster 4000, but it was filmed well before the anouncement of it so that is ok. But I think they should have at leasted made a quick comment on the Amiga. I know that the traid show they were filming in had to have at least one Amiga somewhere in there. Keep your eyes on this message base. I will be posting the name and address to write your comments to at the Descovery channel.... Glenn's World | |_| |_| |/ Amiga, Falcon, and Custom Stuff Salem, Oregon | |. | |\ SupraFAX (503) 581-6524 * Q-Blue v0.7 * --- Maximus/2 2.01wb * Origin: The Gamorian Vortex Project (1:105/601) """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Safe Hex International News =========================== FROM MICHAEL ARENDS @ SHI Regional center WEST ABOUT THE "SADDAM HUSSEIN" VIRUS: -------------------------------- Please be very careful , if you are working with the new "Saddam Hussein" file/link virus. Note that there is a boot virus with the same name, don't be confused . Here you have some facts about this virus: 1) The virus is a "multi-headed" file- and link virus. Always infected in L/Dir, if there is not an L/Dir on the disk,it will make one by itself. 2) The Saddam file virus part is always found in the L/disk-validator,with the same file length (1848) 3) The Saddam link virus part, is a VERY, VERY... easy spreading virus, it will link to all files , e.g. to all executed, written or copied files, BUT it does not change the file length, it only writes "IRAK" in the start of the files. Please Note, that all theses infected files will cause Read/ Write" errors! The original "Saddam" infects hard disks too. 4) It is IMPOSSILE to delete the virus or the link infected files with a file editor like "Diskmaster", or from CLI. 5) Attention: the "Saddam Hussein" virus doesnt infect a disk,IF copyed from another disk, AND IF your disk is error free! Please note: that VirusZ and VT are the ULTIMATE "Saddam" killers, but ONLY use "Check files" to FIND the "Saddam" virus, you must then use the "Repair disk" or like to salv the Irak infected files. These killers will find the "Saddam" virus and make it passive and repair the infected files very near 100 %,of the time but can't remove the virus itself, you have to re-install the original Disk-vaildator yourself. If you have virus infected disks, I recommmend to try to use several diff- erent killers, in some cases the killer may just break-down by meeting the virus. If you try to repair your disks, or don't find the virus you have got, a word to the wise: ALWAYS use a backup of your disk, when you have to repair your virus problems, and especially... with the "Saddam" virus or other link or file viruses! Many people have said , that they have found a "SPECIAL" virus an "Australian Parasite" virus , which cannot be killed with VirusX 4.01, (the LAST official release...) Because by a stroke of luck VirusX, is accidentally able to find the "Saddam Hussein" Disk-validator virus. The problem here is, that the Australian Parasite virus, is a virus you will find in the boot block, and the nasty "Saddam" virus is to be found in the L/Dir. After repair, always....... use a program like Quarterback Tools or Ami-back tools to check the disk to see if the disk structure is alright. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Usenet Review: Final Copy II Release 2 ======================================= By Alan Quirt (firstname.lastname@example.org) PRODUCT NAME Final Copy II, Release 2 (Feb 25, 1993). USA version. BRIEF DESCRIPTION A mid-range graphical word processor with exceptionally high-quality printing using proprietary outline fonts. Release 2 adds landscape printing and support for Postscript Type 1 Fonts and standard Amiga Compugraphic fonts. AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION Name: Softwood, Inc. Address: PO Box 50178 Phoenix, AZ 85076 USA Telephone: (800) 247-8330 (USA and Canada) (602) 431-9151 LIST PRICE $159 (US). By mailorder, approximately $90 plus shipping. An upgrade from Release 1 is available for $20 plus $5 shipping. SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS HARDWARE 2 floppies or Hard disk (strongly recommended). 1 MB RAM (more if using many fonts in a document). Barely adequate speed with a basic 68000 processor. SOFTWARE Requires Kickstart 1.3 or newer. COPY PROTECTION None. Installs easily on a hard drive using Commodore's Installer. The Installer for the Release 2 update is not set up to update an existing hard disk installation. It insists on creating a new drawer to hold the program; so if your disk is as full as mine, you may have to delete at least part of your original installation before you install the new version. MACHINE USED FOR TESTING Amiga 2000HD with 52 Mbyte Quantum drive. 1 Mbyte Chip RAM. 2 Mbytes Fast RAM on A2091 disk controller. AmigaDOS 2.04 (Kickstart 37.175, Workbench 37.67) Commodore 1080 Monitor. Printers: HP DeskJet 550C, Panasonic 9-pin. SUMMARY Here's one more view of Final Copy II. Like previous reviewers, I am glad I bought it and consider it to be excellent value. The best new feature in Release 2 is support for Postscript Type 1 fonts. Pros: - Unbeatable output quality on any printer, from 9-pin to laser. - Fine tune text: kerning, leading, width scaling, and slanting. - Style tags let you easily play with the look of a document. - The structured drawing tools work well for simple shapes. - Prints bit-mapped graphics well, and flows text smoothly around them. - Handles left and right pages, at layout time and print time. - Nearly all Softwood fonts have full support for accented characters. - Outline fonts are used on-screen, so any size looks good. - Release 2 supports Amiga Compugraphic and Postscript Type 1 fonts. Cons: - There is no Undo function, so save your work often. - Multi-column layouts apply to the whole document. - Layout is paragraph-based, not frame-based. Not a desktop publisher. - Graphics always have fixed page positions: they cannot float with text. THE FONTS Final Copy II release 1 had no support at all for standard Amiga fonts. That turned out to be a marketing problem, so Softwood added support in Release 2 for Workbench 2.1 (or higher) Compugraphic fonts. I doubt I will ever use them. I could not try them because I am still running AmigaDOS 2.04, but the upgrade documentation warns that quality is poorer than Nimbus Q. From my experience with PageSetter, I expect Compugraphic fonts to look fine on the screen, and to print with smooth shapes but ugly letter spacing (kerning). To judge by comments on the network, other programs such as ProWrite that use Compugraphic fonts have similar problems. I did try the Type 1 font support, using the two full disks of public domain fonts that Softwood is supplying free with the upgrade until the end of April. The upgrade documentation warns you that the quality of public domain fonts is spotty. If this sample is typical, I agree. Most have no accented characters, some have no lower case, some have no numbers, and the otherwise attractive Middleton font is missing lower case letter 'x'. The general look of many of them is less than professional. Still, I'm planning to keep about 15 out of 40 on my hard disk. Some are fun novelties, such as PostCrypt, a Halloween font with mossy letters. By the way, on my slow Amiga, Final Copy takes about 30 seconds to load a Type 1 font, and rendering seems a bit slower than Nimbus Q both on screen and to printer. Nimbus Q fonts in Final Copy render faster than Compugraphic fonts in PageSetter II, and print quality is better. With my old Panasonic 9-pin printer, characters are as smooth as the printer's best built-in fonts, but the printer's narrowest lines are too thick for some fonts. With my new DeskJet 550C and the right paper, the overall impression is as professional as Postscript laser printing. You cannot find public domain Amiga Nimbus Q typefaces on bulletin boards, but the program comes with a generous selection. Softwood counts typefaces the way printer makers do, claiming 35. I count 8 font families, each supplied in plain, italic, bold, and bolditalic, plus 3 single-style fonts. Most are clones of standard Postscript laser printer fonts: Avante Garde, Bookman, Courier, Helvetica, Palatino, New Century Schoolbook, and Times. You also get the bland sans-serif font "SoftSans". The specialty fonts are Symbol, Old English, and a clone of the Postscript old-style font Zapf Chancery. The serif italic fonts are true italics, not just slanted. Softwood sells four font sets, each containing 25 name-brand typefaces from ITC and Letraset. A large poster included with the program shows you samples of all of them. They cost less than the going rate for licensed fonts. List price is $100 per set, but a typical mailorder price is $60, and Softwood has had specials. In comparison, Adobe's list price is $149 (introductory price $59) for each set of 8 to 10 Postscript typefaces that it sells for Adobe Type Manager. You should budget for at least one font set. I decided that the basic serif and sans-serif fonts were equally attractive in all the sets, so I chose Set 1 to get Zapf Dingbats. The joined script fonts Balmoral and Rage Italic are good for certificates. Bible Script looks like calligraphy. Dolmen is ultra black, great for posters. The 27 typefaces in Set 1 (including surprise extra weights of Bauhaus and Kabel) are equal to at least 40 from Adobe, because Softwood doesn't need italic versions of the sans-serif ones; you can slant any font. There's also no need for condensed versions when you can scale the width of any font. It is great to be able to scale a title to 94% so that it fits perfectly on one line. PRINTING Typical print speed is a leisurely 5 minutes per page with either of my printers, using their highest quality graphics mode. Release 1 had trouble multi-tasking during printing, but Release 2 is fine (though Final Copy itself does nothing else while it prints). By choosing a lower density graphics mode (150 dpi on the DeskJet) I got reasonable rough printouts in two to three minutes a page. Forget about what Final Copy calls draft printing. It uses your printer's built-in fonts for speed, but totally ignores your page layout. Release 2 adds the ability to print in landscape (wide) mode. First the good news -- it works, and output quality is fine. But it is far too slow to be practical on an unaccelerated Amiga. A simple certificate that normally printed in under five minutes took over 33 minutes on the DeskJet in landscape mode. Setup is also a bit awkward; you have to define a custom page wider than it is high, and rearrange your margins. For example, the one labelled "right margin" controls the top of your sideways page. I've tried a little colour printing. Using public domain print drivers, the colours were murky and the printout had obvious raster lines. Using the DeskJet driver from Wolf Faust's Studio package, the quality was good, though a bit pale. I'm sure I can make it much better by playing with the dozens of adjustments. A page of black text with one colour image 4 inches wide by 3 inches high took over ten minutes to print. I hate to think how long a big colour picture would take in landscape mode! I haven't tried Postscript printing, but it looks easy in the documentation. You can send printer output to a file if you don't have a Postscript printer attached to your Amiga. Postscript landscape mode seems to use normal margins, unlike graphic printer landscape mode. DOCUMENTATION There is an attractive, spiral-bound manual nearly 200 pages long. It is clearly written and has plenty of illustrations and screen shots. It starts with a good introduction for beginners, including a short tutorial. The next nine chapters each cover a topic such as Setting Preferences, Formatting a Document, and Working with Graphics. A nine-page Reference section describes each menu very briefly. Appendices include keyboard shortcuts, a Glossary, and a list of Postscript font equivalents. One chapter describes Final Copy's outlining features. They hardly deserve a paragraph. There are some predefined style tags that will indent text so that it looks like an outline, but there are none of the features of a real outliner like More on the Macintosh (or even Microsoft Word). Perhaps they intended to have outlining, but it didn't work well enough to release. There are some strange omissions. For example the two sections on deleting text mention the Cut menu function and the backspace key, but not the Del key. (It does work normally.) There is no listing of the characters in the supplied Symbol font, so you have to find out by trial and error. The Table of Contents may be more useful than the Index. For example, the appendix on Postscript fonts is not listed under either "fonts" nor "Postscript." The update documentation is one letter-sized page printed on both sides. It describes the new features briefly but gives no help with installation. USER INTERFACE Final Copy II has an attractive, 3-dimensional, "System 2" look with a ribbon of formatting icons across the top. It follows many of Commodore's user interface guidelines, including standard keyboard shortcuts for basic menu items like Open and Save (and the poorly chosen standard cut, copy, and paste keystrokes which cannot be done with one hand). It does not use standard file requesters. I like little features, like hiding the mouse cursor when you start typing, and highlighting a whole word including the following space (but not a following punctuation mark) when you double click on it. Like Macintosh programs, Final Copy lets you replace a highlighted text block by simply typing a new version. I appreciate that feature on the Mac, but it is a mixed blessing when there is no Undo. Text is rendered to the screen using selectable horizontal and vertical resolutions. That is slower than using prescaled screen fonts, but ensures that any size of any font looks equally good. The default of 80 horizontal by 72 vertical gives text and graphics proper proportions on an interlaced or Productivity screen, but 80x80 is easier to read. You can select a non-interlaced screen to reduce flicker on older Amigas like mine, but that gives you a choice of vertically stretched or illegible text. I don't have a flicker fixer, but I find the level of flicker tolerable using the standard colour scheme and a cheap dark plastic anti-glare screen. There are some handy undocumented features in the interface. Hold down the Right Alt key, and the cursor turns into a magnifying glass with a '+' in the middle. Each mouse click magnifies the display by a factor of two, and the text is redrawn in the higher resolution. Shifted Right Alt gives a magnifying glass with a minus sign; as you might expect it has the reverse effect. Smaller magnifications remain fully editable. I found that very handy for rearranging a page to correct the overall look. If you hold down the Right Amiga key, nothing visible happens, but if you then press the left mouse button, the cursor turns into a four-way arrow. You can then drag whatever is under the cursor to a new location on the screen. This is very useful when working at high magnifications. (In my opinion, the cursor should change before you press the button.) GRAPHICS You can import IFF ILBM picture files and scale or crop them. You can create lines and boxes (round, oval, rectangular, or round-cornered) with the built-in drawing tools. Final Copy will flow text around the graphics (for illustrations) or place the graphics under the text (for separator lines or shaded text boxes). However, you cannot import or export structured drawings in any standard Amiga format, and you cannot treat text as a graphic object that can be placed in arbitrary positions on the page. The best you can do if you want a drop capital, for example, is to create it extra large in a paint program, import it, and scale it down to reduce the jagged look of its bitmapped image. COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS I have used WordPerfect and PageSetter (I and II) on my Amiga since 1987. The whole family (including children age 10 and 12) now uses Final Copy for letters, school reports, and anything else that comes along. At work I use More (an outliner and presentation graphics program) and Microsoft Word, both on a big-screen Macintosh SE whose processor is as slow as my Amiga's. Amiga WordPerfect is my obvious choice at home for heavy-duty reports with tables, footnotes, and table of contents. When I don't need those features, and at home I seldom do, I use Final Copy for its graphics, choice of fonts, and superb print quality. Final Copy is a little slower than Word (but to be fair I should compare it to Word plus Adobe Type Manager). I miss some Word features such as imported structured graphics and the ability to change the number of columns within a document. Final Copy's ads are misleading. They show a three-column newsletter with a full width banner title across the top. You can do that, but only by putting the banner in a master page that will print on every odd-numbered page. If your newsletter is more than two pages long, you will have the annoyance of having to create the front page as a separate document. In Word, you would just start a new section with a different number of columns. Structured graphics of course should allow text, as they do in Word. That would make it easy to have multi-column headlines and drop capitals. The spell checker and thesaurus, licensed from Proximity Technology, are first rate. The spell checker is better than others I have used at suggesting replacements that sound like a badly spelled word, and the thesaurus gives helpful definitions not just a list of related words. BUGS I hesitate to mention bugs nobody else has reported, as they may just mean my hardware is flakey. They are not reproducible, but I seldom use the program for an hour without encountering one of them. The scroll bars are active in real time: you can see the text move as you drag them. If I drag them quickly back and forth, or click quickly on the single-line up/down gadgets, random garbage sometimes appears superimposed on part of the text. Fortunately the program appears to recover if I just click in the scroll bar area to display a complete new screenful of text. The other bug is less common but more serious. During fast typing, the whole program locks up and stops accepting mouse or keyboard input. The only thing I can do is switch to another screen either by keyboard or with the screen-to-back gadget. If I click on the Workbench, the mouse pointer reappears and everything there works normally, even starting a new Final Copy session. I can return to the original Final Copy session, but it remains locked up with no way to save the file or quit the program. VENDOR SUPPORT Softwood quickly delivered the font pack and the upgrade to Release 2 that I ordered by phone. I mentioned the bugs I had found in Release 1, and the person I was speaking to said my report would be passed on to the programmers, but Release 2 still has the same problems. I tried to buy a copy of the British English dictionary and thesaurus, since British spellings are used in Canadian schools. I got nowhere. The best their sales person could suggest was to write to their British agent and buy a whole new copy of the British version of Final Copy. I plan to write to Softwood with a similar request, and will be most interested to see what kind of response I get. I'd prefer Email, but the company does not seem to have any presence on the networks. WARRANTY The only warranty is 90 days on the diskette medium. CONCLUSIONS Final Copy is a fine word processor. It has the three features I wanted most: style sheets, solid support for graphics, and truly professional printed output. There are a few additional features I'd like to see, and some operations are painfully slow on my Amiga, but I'm glad I bought the program. It will be most interesting to see whether the next release emphasizes desktop publishing (more layout control) or word processing (index, table of contents, outlining). COPYRIGHT NOTICE Copyright 1993 Alan Quirt. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Virus Checkers AR InfoFile =========================== FROM MICHAEL ARENDS: SHI REGIONAL CENTER WEST Speaking about SOME of the available virus checkers for the Amiga ------------------------------------------------------------------- NEVER use a killer older than 3 months. Why? Because EVERY month there are coming about 8 new viruses, and of course old killers don't find new Virii! All the virus killer programs mentioned beneath are shareware, freeware or like. The commercial virus killer programs like Viruscope, Virus Control, and Master Killer are NOT better than the the following mentioned virus killers: VIRUS CHECKER: Programmer, John Veldthuis ----------------------------------------- VIRUS_CHECKER is an excellent virus killer for all purposes, and is easy to use. Please note the excellent "Learn mode", which makes it very easy to learn new unknown boot viruses too. It is Excellent for all People, Novices and experts alike, who don't know how to start and use other more technical virus killers. VIRUSZ: Programmer, Georg Hoermann ---------------------------------- VirusZ Is a EXCELLENT killer for background running on users disks, or for a persons HARD DRIVE. Please remember you have the advantage, of having a virus killer checking your disks as a background task! This program is a MUST for everybody. Notice the excellent un-pack feature to test packed programs for viruses. This killer is a killer of quite new generation knowing more than 10 different disk packers! VIRUS INTERCEPTOR: Programmer, Johan Eliasson --------------------------------------------- Virus-Interceptor, is an utility designed to protect YOU against file- viruses.The program is designed to be small, safe, and easy to use. When it is installed in memory, it will constantly check programs that are run for virus-infection. If a virus is detected in the code, the program will be aborted before it had a chance to start! It will also check your memory at regular intervals. If a virus is detected in memory it will be removed in a safe way. It also has a unique feature: It will detect ANY new, previously unknown link-viruses in a program that was crunched with ANY of the known crunchers! and It requires an absolute minimum of user- interaction.You just start it up, and then you can go on doing whatever it is you do with your computer,and it will only disturb you if it finds a virus. FIND'EM"ALL: Programmer, Koen Peetermans ---------------------------------------- FindEmAll is a new very excellent RAM virus checker. When you want to use this program, remember first....,to format a disk, then...... install the FindEmAll on this disk or do the same at your favorit user disks. Many people don't know how VERY, VERY FAST and reliable this program is to use. The way to use this program is very special: First look at the new disks you get, (You MUST load to the start of the program), then finally load the FindEmAll program. The FindEmAll program then tell you if there is some illegal calls maybe from a virus. This program is EXCELLENT to find new unknown viruses. VT (Virus Terminator): Programmer, Heiner Schneegold ---------------------------------------------------- Use the excellent "VT" Virus Killer. It is a German killer, but I think you will be very surprised at how easy you are able to use this ultimate Killer. The author has done a very good work with the documentation, etc. This new version have a check feature for Read/Write errors and cruncher types too...Excellent! Please note; you can save your hard disk boot block too, to avoid hard disk breakdown by boot virus infection. A very good virus killer indeed very, very......useful for harddisk check, and best knowing killer programs concerning file/link viruses. VMK (Virus Memory Killer): Programmer, Chris Hames -------------------------------------------------- A unique virus killer specially for your startup-sequence with an excellent analyse function. To this day......I have not found a new virus, that VMK could not find. Please note, that VMK has a splendid feature, which shows the virus text, and most interesting ....this works ALSO if you have a new non-boot virus. BOOTX : Programmer, Peter Stuer ------------------------------- A very good all-round virus killer with file check, learn option for boot viruses, and all the things you need for a good virus killer program, except from an analyse mode, but maybe you will find it in the next version of this ultimate killer. You will NOT.......... find BootX at this disk, but have to order "The New Superkiller II", which is a disk special supporting Amiga Kickstart 2.0-3.0 programs and like. Please see more info in the special text "BootX" on this disk concerning all the new excellent features. I think the one of the best Available... including commercial killers. Too bad Peter has left the scene... LVD (Link Virus Detector) Programmer, Peter Stuer ------------------------------------------------- This program is a first defence protection scheme against link viruses, file viruses. LVD checks every executable file your Amiga tries to run BEFORE the actual program starts running. This way, if a linkvirus has attached itself to the program, it will never get a chance to be activated. LVD is meant to be put in your startup-sequence, preferably as close to the begining as possible, but NOT as the first entry since the first entry of a startup-sequence is most likely to be infected by a link- or file virus. LVD is special excellent for hard disk purpose. Don't use just one of the above virus killer programs. To get the best security alway use 2-3 of the ones above, virus killers( ALWAYS The Newest versions Possible). No ONE KILLER can be said as the best one. Maybe you prefer dark haired or maybe blond haired girls, but whom is the pretty one? There is of COURSE alot of hidden goods you first will find when you are familar the right ones. PLEASE remember to send a shareware gift to the programmer of your favorite programs! This is the only way to keep these fine programmers to keep writting better virus killers for the future! BYE Peter!! For more info you can write to one of your SHI centers at the following : Jim Maciorowski Michael Arends SHI/USA East Coast SHI/USA West Coast PO Box 724 PO Box 1531 Port Richey, FL 34673-0724 Lynnwood, WA 98046-1531 FROM YOUR SHI REGIONAL CENTER YOU CAN GET: ----------------------------------------- 1. The newest update of the NEW SUPERKILLERS for very little money. 2. Help by phone with your virus problems. 3. The latest news about new viruses. What your SHI Regional center does for YOU!: ------------------------------------------- 1. Makes translations of the virus killer docs in your language, and always do a new updates of ALL the docs,if something has changed. 2. Collects new viruses, writes advertisements or e.g. write little virus articles in order to get new viruses. 3. Spreads the virus killer disks in your country. 4. Help people with their virus problems. HOW TO PREVENT VIRUSES ---------------------- The simple way: ALWAYS write protect your disks. ALWAYS turn your Amiga off for 60 seconds and on again before you insert a write enabled disk. And please note, if using 5.25" disks, DO NOT use transparent tape for write-protection, use a black one! The best way: Use this disk and send it to your swap friends. Don't swap with lazy guys who send you virus infected disks more than one time.. We can all make mistakes, but half-brains like that should NEVER get programs from us... *************************************************************************** IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= Amiga Report International Online Magazine is available every week in the Amiga Forum on DELPHI. Amiga Report readers are invited to join DELPHI and become a part of the friendly community of computer enthusiasts there. SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN -- DELPHI -------------- Via modem, dial up DELPHI at 1-800-695-4002 then... When connected, press RETURN once or twice and.... At Password: type STREPORT and press RETURN. DELPHI's Basic Plan offers access for only $6.00 per hour, for any baud rate. The $5.95 monthly fee includes your first hour online. For more information, call: DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005 DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, MA. Try DELPHI for $1 an hour! For a limited time, you can become a trial member of DELPHI, and receive 5 hours of evening and weekend access during this month for only $5. If you're not satisfied, simply cancel your account before the end of the calendar month with no further obligation. If you keep your account active, you will automatically be enrolled in DELPHI's 10/4 Basic Plan, where you can use up to 4 weekend and evening hours a month for a minimum $10 monthly charge, with additional hours available at $3.96. But hurry, this special trial offer will expire soon! To take advantage of this limited offer, use your modem to dial 1-800-365-4636. Press
once or twice. When you get the Password: prompt, type IP26 and press again. Then, just answer the questions and within a day or two, you'll officially be a member of DELPHI! DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! *************************************************************************** > Usenet Review: Nib 2.0 ======================= By Rob Morton (email@example.com) PRODUCT NAME Nib version 2.0 BRIEF DESCRIPTION A software copier for copy-protected disks. It is described as a "disk nibbler and parameter copier." AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION Name: Stellar Systems, Inc. Address: Attn. Software Development P.O. Box 9047 Hampton, VA 23670-0047 Distributed by: Utilities Unlimited, Incorporated 1641 McCulloch Blvd, Suite #25-124 Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403 Telephone: (602) 680-9004 (Distributor) FAX: (602) 680-9006 (Distributor) E-mail: Jim_Drew@cryo.rain.com LIST PRICE I have no idea about price; it came free when I bought my Super Card Ami (see other review of this product). The manual says $44.95 (US). [MODERATOR'S NOTE: Nib 1.0 appeared in 1989 as a freely distributable product. "Registered ownership" of the commercial version 2.0 was offered to users at that time for $16. The expected list price at that time was $38.00. I can't believe I remember this stuff. - Dan] SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS None. COPY PROTECTION None. Hard drive installable. MACHINE USED FOR TESTING A2000, 1 Meg Chip RAM, 2 Meg Fast RAM, AmigaDOS 1.3, 2 internal drives, 1 external drive, 100 Megs of hard drive space. REVIEW The first thing you notice is that Nib talks to you. When you load the program, it speaks, "Nib, disk nibbler and parameter copier" in a low, sampled voice. That's pretty cool and impresses people that see this copier. It speaks quite a lot. It also says "Error", "Long", "Disks", and "Copy complete". This may seem silly, but it helps to not have to watch the screen. The user interface meets no official style guidelines, but it is very easy to use. I have used this program to remove the protection from some games that use "look up in the manual" methods. It does so quite well. It also seems to be able to copy almost any disk that doesn't have a long track on it, even if it is not in the parameter list. You can select individual tracks to copy. After you copy the disk, if there were any errors, you hit a button, and only those tracks will be copied. You can select between several different copy methods and try them out on the tracks that didn't work the first time. Of course, the ideal solution would be to have a parameter for the particular disk. As far as I know, the parameter list has not been updated at all. When you leave the program, it frees the disk drives for normal use again. PROGRAMS SUCCESSFULLY COPIED I usually used the best copier for the task. Raw Copy would copy and remove protections, so it got used for manual-based games the most. Nib got used for most of the first round of copying, and then any long tracks I did individually with Super Card Ami II. If that didn't work, then I just used Super Card Ami. (See my reviews of the other 2 copiers mentioned.) Copied: Marble Madness Menace Rampage Copied and removed "look up in the manual" protection: Battle Chess DOCUMENTATION It is on the disk but is very complete. It tells everything that one would need to know. The author even includes ASCII drawings as pictures which are accurate enough to make it understandable. LIKES AND DISLIKES Likes: The speaking, is great. I love this feature. It is great to be able instantly to pick the tracks that didn't copy the first time. As far as I know, the parameters work perfectly. (They did for me, but my game collection is not really extensive). Dislikes: It can't copy long tracks. I got this program with Super Card Ami (Hardware copier that can copy long tracks), so I would think the two should work together a little. While copying, at times the screen gets messed up temporarily. I am not sure that it is still being supported, at least I have gotten no update information on it. Suggestions: Use Super Card Ami. Update the parameter list. Stop the screen from flashing. Add a bigger vocabulary. COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS I have Raw Copy as well, and Nib has a much nicer looking interface and the unique feature of speaking. They are very similar products in that both get rid of manual, dongle, and code wheel protection schemes. Nib wins out in every category except support. With parameter copying programs, support is a must. BUGS None. VENDOR SUPPORT See above. I am not sure if they are even thinking of supporting it. WARRANTY I have no idea. It is not mentioned in the documentation. CONCLUSIONS This is a great program with no support. Because of the lack of support I would have to give this game a ranking of 3 out of 4, but that will go down as time goes on... unless games start being released without copy protection. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Warez Out There =============== By Robert Glover File: Amiga Boulder Dash Author: Jeff Bevis Status: Shareware, $20 US. Where to find: GEnie, Amiga RT, file #19195 Internet, amiga.physik.unizh.ch /amiga/games/misc/abdash11909.lha Delphi, Amiga Forum, Recent Arrivals Amiga Boulder Dash is a more-than-faithful incarnation of the original Boulder Dash from the Commodore 64/Atari 8-bit days. The look and feel have been faithfully reproduced, but at the same time, the Amiga's graphics and sound capabilities have not been wasted. The result is a very modern looking Boulder Dash. In addition to the original screens, new ones have been created. An editor even exists to create your own. The program requires Kickstart 2.0 or greater, and even runs file on my A1200, straight from the Workbench. You don't even have to turn off Mode Promotion. If you liked the original even a little, you WANT this game. File: PayCalc Author: Jeffrey A. Leinen Status: Unknown Where to find: GEnie, Amiga RT, file #19246 PayCalc is a simple, Intuition-based loan payment calculator. When run, it opens a window with your gadgets, principle, term in months, annual interest rate, and payment. All you have to do is enter the first three, and it automatically calculates the payment. It's great for figuring out how much that new car is going to cost, before you waste your time beating up on a salesman. File: Points of Light Demo Authors: Many Status: Freeware Where to find: Various public BBS's There are so many demos floating around that it's hard to recommend any of them. I stumbled across this one recently while on my one of my local Amiga BBS's. It's fairly small for a demo, being about 380K in DMS form. The special effects are pretty good -- outline text, extruded into 3D, sroll by in one part, some cool ghosting effects that turn into pictures of the authors in another, all accompanied by neat stereo music. This is not an AGA-only demo. In fact, I had to run it in ECS mode with caches off on my A1200. PAL mode is also recommended. If you like demos, or are searching for a decent one that isn't too big, this one is worthy of your consideration. *************************************************************************** > NVN WANTS YOU! AR InfoFile Another Network Supports Amiga! """""""""""""""""""""""""" National Videotext Network (NVN) ================================ National Videotext Network (NVN) has recently added an Amiga Forum to it's growing lists of available services. The Amiga Forum is ready and waiting for you! Order an extended NVN Membership of 6 or 12 months, pay for it in advance and receive a bonus in connect time at no additional charge. Choose from two subscription plans: 6-Month Membership ------------------ Pay just $30 for a 6-month Membership and receive a usage credit that entitles you to $15 of connect-time in the Premium services of your choice. Your total savings using this plan would be over $20!* 12 Month Membership ------------------- Pay $50 for a full year's Membership and get even more free time online. We'll give you a $25 usage credit to use in your favorite Premium services or try out new ones. You could save as much as $45.* For more information about either of these plans, give us a call at 1-800-336-9096. NVN HIGHLIGHTS ============== For the newcomers.... - Introducing a great new tool to make your JOBSEARCH more effective. - Amateur Radio comes to NVN! Old-timers and newcomers, visit the Ham Shack. - The secret of *fast* sales prospecting... - Attachment Capabilities are now in Email!!! - Subaccounts are now blocked from Premium Plus services... - Go Treasure Hunting with the folks in the Numismatic Collectors Forum. - Why wait an extra day to see U.S. Gov't product/service procurements?. - The NVN On-line Billing Service is Back - with Enhancements! - Shake the Last of the Winter Blues the EAASY Way! - What are eight *advantages* of searching online for information?... - NVN's Movie Forum presents....You Pick The Oscars contest... - Tell the best FISH STORY and WIN time on NVN! - Introducing the Mental Health Forum with a registered Psychiatrist on board! -=* 9600 BAUD USERS *=- $6/hour non-prime time - $9/hour prime time You can join NVN one of two ways. By voice phone 1-800-336-9096 (Client Services) or via modem phone 1-800-336-9092. *************************************************************************** > Usenet Review: Superbase Professional 4 ======================================== By Michael Hensche (firstname.lastname@example.org) PRODUCT NAME Superbase Professional 4 ("SBase4 Professional") BRIEF DESCRIPTION A powerful Amiga database program. OVERVIEW OF FEATURES At this point, I just pick some highlights off the advertising text that is printed on the box Sbase4 is being delivered in. This might give you a short overview on the functionality of the package. Relational Database System with VCR-style browse controls Database Management Language (DML) Form Design Graphical form objects (boxes, lines, etc.) Logical form objects (calculation, validation, radio buttons, checkboxes, relations, etc.) Queries can be done by standardized fill-in requestors Reportgenerator included Text editor included im-/export ASCII delimited dbase Lotus 1-2-3 Excel Superplan Telecommunications Xmodem Xmodem-CRC WXmodem LAN-Support (5-user LAN Extender Packs enable operation over Novell-compatible LANs) ARexx support Clipboard support for record and field data Upwardly file-compatible from Superbase Personal, Superbase Personal 2, Superbase Professional 3 AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION As far as I know, the Copyright is at Precision but the support (and selling) is at Oxxi. I am not sure. In the manuals I find the copyright notice in Precision's name, but on the disks it is in Oxxi's name. So here are some addresses I took from the manuals or the registration card: Precision Software Ltd. 6 Park Terasse Worcester Park Surrey England KT4 7JZ (081) 330 7166 Precision Inc. 8404 Sterling Street Irving, TX 75063 USA (214) 929 4888 or: Oxxi Inc. PO Box 90309 Long Beach, Ca 90809-0309 USA (310) 427 1227 Oxxi UK Ltd. 171 Bath Road Slough Berks. SL1 4AE UK (++44) 0753-551-777 LIST PRICE I do not know. I paid 398,- DM (German Deutschmarks). SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS HARDWARE 1 MB RAM required. I recommend an accelerated processor (e.g., 68030). I also strongly recommend a hard disk; here is how much space SBase4 takes up on my drive: Total number of files 149 Total number of directories 6 Total number of bytes in files 1847857 Total number of blocks used 3849 Total occupied : 1970688 bytes, 1.9MB. $VER: AppISizer ) Girard Cornu v0.20 Dec 2 1992 09:59:12 SOFTWARE AmigaDOS 1.3 or higher. COPY PROTECTION None. Installs on a hard drive. You must type your name and address the first time you start the program, and they are displayed every time you run the program after that. MACHINE USED FOR TESTING Amiga 2000 B, Rev. 6.2 GVP A3001 accelerator Board, 68030 CPU, 68882 coprocessor 2MB Chip RAM, 4MB Fast RAM (32-Bit) AT-Bus Hard drives: Maxtor 200 MB, Quantum 40 MB Monitor A2024 (Hedley-Monitor) Kickstart 2.04 (37.175) Workbench 2.0 REVIEW *** My Needs *** OK, before I start, I will give you some background information on why I bought the package and what I do use it for. There were some of the usual things people do on a computer which is more or less senseless like address databases or CD databases which I also wanted to do. On the other hand I am trying to realize a little project for a friend of mine (for his business). And I always was interested in databases. So I tried Superbase when it first came out. It was nice, But it used a dongle. I do not use dongles. So I did not purchase Superbase. When version 4 came out without a dongle and with a nice 2.0 look (and often feel ;), I got it. And they say: "supports ... A2024 Viking monitor." (I love software that does this.) As a small disclaimer, I will not be able to tell you details on everything Superbase does or does not. I am not able to program big packages. I am just a "normal" user with a fair knowledge of his Amiga and with fun and enthusiasm for doing complicated things because I try to realize them with computers. ;) *** The Review *** Superbase Professional or Sbase4 Professional (they changed the name) comes in a box that is much too big. They needed much space for advertising the features. In the box I find two diskettes and three manuals. One diskette contains the program itself, and the other diskette comes with some examples and example data. *** Installation *** To install the program, you double-click the "Install" icon and see the "SBase4 Install" program. It is not the Commodore-Installer, but it is more than just an install script. After a short text you can choose whether to install the program, the example files, or just part of it, by clicking on corresponding gadgets (a small hook shows your choice, default is to install all). You can enter the desired path in a string gadget. The last gadget gives you the choice to register the copy. I decided to register, so I then was prompted to enter name, organization, and serial number, which I did. (The entries have to bee at least 5 characters long, which you find out by typing less. ;)) Now all the files are copied to the desired directory. After completion, in the WBstartup drawer I found a short XIcon script that does the "SBase4:" assign. This opens a small CLI window on every startup, so I decided to do the Assign in my s:User-Startup and delete the script in WBstartup. This has to be done manually. A novice user might not understand why this window comes up on every startup. In my new drawer I find three icons: "Sbase4Pro", "SBFD4" and "readme.txt." Within this Readme file, they discuss things about new DML commands which are not in the manual (quite a lot, I think), compatibility with "Superbase 4 Windows", changes to the manual, and so on. But finally, let's see the program. Double-click, wait a second, and there it is. Gives the copyright notice... and does really look nice. I play around in the menus, start the Forms editor and ... have a GURU. Not that nice. To make the story short, it seems as if the A2024 support ends in being able to recognize it and still position requestors in the middle of the screen. I tried out different things, but did not succeed. To work around this, I looked up the manual to find out how to start SBase4 on a custom interlaced screen, but found nothing. At that moment, it seemed as if I could start SBase4 in just two ways: WB and custom. But custom still means Workbench size. There is no ScreenMode requester; I later found out that there is a Settings menu to customize the system, but there is still just a gadget to choose between use of the Workbench or a Custom screen. So I now have to switch down HiRes-Interlaced before starting Superbase if I want to use the program without a crash. If I do so, I have no problems. *** The Workspace *** The workspace is presented as two windows: a small, screen-wide one at the bottom of the screen with VCR-style gadgets, and a large one that occupies the rest of the screen. The gadgets give quick access to browse your data: jump to beginning, jump to end of file, forward/backward one entry, quick back/forward pause, and stop. There are two gadgets you might not find on a VCR: a question mark and a camera. Let us say, you have an address database indexed by name, along with an external file which might be a digitized picture of the person. With the "?" you have direct access to the index (you are prompted for a name), and with the camera you have access to the picture belonging to the current set of data. *** Creating a File *** To create a file, you select "New->File" in the "Project" menu. A window pops up and asks for the name, which you enter. A second window asks for passwords for reading and deletion of this file. Finally, a third window appears that lets you create the different fields and their types (text, numeric, date/time, external, required, read only, validated, calculation, constant, virtual). Depending on the selected type, you then give details like field length, date format, kind of calculation, etc. The types "external" and "virtual" might need a short explanation. "External" requires a full path to a text, image, or sound file. An external text file might overcome some limitations of Superbase. Text fields in Superbase can have a maximum length of 4000 characters, and a text file just has to fit in your memory to be displayed when clicking on the before-mentioned camera gadget. ASCII and Superbase-Texteditor-format is supported. An external image file (which will be displayed by clicking the camera) can be IFF (ILBM, Dynamic Hi-res, Dynamic-HAM), GIF and PCX. An external sound file will be played by clicking the camera if it is either IFF (8SVX) or plain sampled. To explain the "virtual" field, I will just cite the manual: "Virtual fields provide a way of saving disk space. Any field which is defined as virtual must have a Constant or Calculation formula attached to it. When you save a record, Superbase calculates the value of the virtual field, and if it is a key field, creates an index pointer for the record on the basis of its derived value." This value is not stored within Superbase but recalculated every time it is required. When done with your file definition (which can be changed whenever you want, if you recognize (say) that you have forgotten to define the "date of birth" field), Superbase shows the fields as a list and you can start with the data entry. Or you might create a form, which is much nicer since you can group fields logically, for example. Therefore the FormsEditor will be opened by selecting "modify->form" in the "Project" menu. *** The Forms Editor *** This comes as extra program that opens its own screen, the same size as the Workbench, with two windows similar to Superbase itself. There's a small, screen-wide window at the bottom displaying the tools, and the edit window taking over the remaining space (which is, of course, the bigger part ;)). The FormsEditor gives your creativity a wide range of possibilities. You can draw on your page, set boxes, lines, circles etc., place your fields wherever you want, change fonts and styles, etc. Your work is aided by tools like grid, snap to grid, crosshair, numerical display of mouse position, and box, circle and line tools. The above-mentioned features will suffice for simple forms that make your records look nice, but that is not all. The FormsEditor offers many powerful tools for creating applications with or without using the DML (Database Management Language). In a form, different files can be linked (for example, your address database with index-on-name and your "something special on the person" file with index-on-name). To do this, you define a field to do the linking and will then have the persons address and the special notes displayed with that form. Since the facilities of the FormsEditor are much too complex to explain them here, I will add a short list to point out some more highlights: - Forms can be created for screen or for printer output. - Forms may consist of more than one page. - Forms may display external fields (as mentioned above). - Forms offer "Transaction lines" (I will cite the manual on this later). - Forms let you define data entry order. - Forms offer fields of the type calculation, validation, pushbutton, checkbox. - You may interface to a DML program subroutine. - You may generate complete "Report"-Forms (coming to that later). Since one might not know, what "Transaction lines" are, I will again cite the manual: "Consider an example of a database application for cataloguing a book collection. It uses two files, Authors and Books. The Authors file stores the name and other details of all the authors represented in the collection, using one record for each author. The records in the Books file store the details of each book (...). In addition, the records in both files contain an alphanumeric code (the Author_Code field) which links the books to their authors. (...) It makes it easy to design a form which displays the authors and a list of their books on screen at the same time. The data would be structured as follows: Author's name, Author code Title, Subject, Publisher Title, Subject, Publisher Title, Subject, Publisher Every time you selected another record in the Authors file, Superbase would read in the next author in alphabetical order followed by a variable number of lines, one for each of the author's books." *** Report Forms *** A "Report Form" consists of some "action groups" of which you define the look and the corresponding actions. These are: HEADING BEFORE REPORT BEFORE GROUP SELECT AFTER GROUP AFTER REPORT When finished with your report, Superbase generates a DML program of your report form. Let us go back to where we started before inserting the "Forms Editor". We just created a file. For some purposes, it might not be necessary to create report forms. If you just want to extract some specific data, you can work with "Queries." *** Queries *** Queries generate a list of selected data, one line for each record. To create a "query", you select "query->edit" in the "Process" menu. A requester pops up that asks for - The title of your list (with or without date and page-number). - The fields you would like to be printed. - A "report" line where you can group, summarize or count selected fields. - The filter, that includes or excludes data. - The order (ascending, descending) of your output. - Where to direct the output (screen, file, printer, "Say" program) Queries can be saved, loaded and edited. *** The Process Menu *** In this menu you find the above mentioned Queries; you also find import and export modules/filters, split file, mail merge and label functions, and, last but not least, the "reorganize" menu item one might choose after weeks of extensive creation and deletion of data. The functions all pop up their own requestors that show the fields of your record (if a file is open). They let you choose which of fields should be selected to be printed on a label or used for a mail merge list. *** DML (Database Management Language) *** The DML is another feature I cannot cover completely in this article. I have written some small programs to get certain results from my data and I have started the project I mentioned in my introduction. But I did not get into it deeply enough to be able to find bugs or things that just bother me. And, I don't program in other languages, so I cannot compare the functionality to these. Nor can I decide whether important structures - or what ever it might be - are missing. The language is a little BASIC-like with lots of functions for easy file manipulation. It is a proprietary language, not compatible with standardized SQL (Structured Query Language, which is used (or should be) in UNIX database systems I had to cope with in business), though there are similarities. And it is not compatible with the DBase language (some people asked and this information is from others who answered). Menus or requestors can be created with little code, and structured programming is possible with various functions. Powerful commands enable you to create, insert, delete records, formatted output to file, printer or serial interface, link files, etc. All gadgets like radio buttons, checkboxes etc. I mentioned in the "Forms Editor" section can be accessed via DML. DOCUMENTATION SBase4 comes with three manuals: o "Database And Text Editor," with an introduction (Menus, Workspace, Opening Files, Using Forms, Exiting From Superbase), detailed explanation of all functions and five appendices (Error Messages, Functions, Reserved Words, ASCII Values, Superbase 4 File Types), and, last but not least, the index. o "Form Designer And Programming Language," with an introduction and a description of all functions. o "Applications Guide," with a description of the demo/example programs/files coming with Sbase4 and some kind "question and answer" part which gives answers and examples to problems that might be typical. All manuals are spiral-bound for easy handling. The "Form Designer And Programming Language" manual has the logo of "OXXI Inc." printed on it and is laser printer quality except for the screenshots. (Take a photo, copy it, copy the copy, and this is what the screenshots look like. The text is OK.) The two other manuals have high-quality, two-color printing with black/blue screenshots. As far as I am concerned, all my questions (except installation -- more on this later) are covered in detail. The manuals all start with a more or less short but complete overall description. The details are then covered in either alphabetical or thematical order as a reference. The part one is trying to look up can be found easily by using the index in each manual. There is no tutorial that leads the user to a complete address database, for example. But there is an 11-lesson chapter explaining basical handling and understanding of what to do for what reason. The lessons are: "1. Defining a File", "2. Entering Data", "3. Editing a Record," and so on, up to "11. Querying the Database" One nice thing is a "Where To Go Now" section after the introduction of the general usage of Sbase4. It leads the reader either to the lessons, the programming language, or whatever he/she wants to do first. I think both beginners and experts will find what they are looking for. But as I already said, it is useful to know how your Amiga works before reading the manuals. One thing I miss is a detailed description of the Icon Tooltypes, starting parameters, or options at the beginning of the manuals; there is no "Installation" chapter. They just tell you to insert the disk and double-click the icon. Let me cite this section: "Loading Superbase The procedure for loading Superbase is: 1. Insert a Workbench disk in drive 0 and start up the Amiga. 2. When the FastHD disc icon is displayed double-click on it. 3. When the available tools are displayed double-click on the Superbase icon. 4. When you are given a choice between Superbase (SBPRO4) and its Forms Designer (SBFD4) double-click on the Superbase icon." That's it, folks :( Somewhere in the manual you will then find a chapter about "Customizing Your System". This is the chapter where you learn about the configuration file "S:SUPERBASE.INI" to define everything (that can be defined ;)). LIKES AND DISLIKES I like the program because it suits my needs. (Okay, I don't think I need a _relational_ database system. ;)) I like the way most things can be done more ore less without consulting the manual. Menus and standard operations are logically put together. I like the "forms editor" that allows everything I need to create good looking and easy-to-handle front ends. This version of Superbase is derived from the MS-DOS version, not the original Amiga version. Thus, requesters do not always conform to the Commodore Amiga Style Guide; they have questions marks or exclamation points in stop-sign-shaped fields, which makes them look like MS-Windows (and I do not like Windows). I do not like that the file requestor tries to look like the ASL-requestor (does not always succeed ;) but IS not ASL (so it cannot be substituted by PD-ones I like more). To summarize these dislikes: Superbase is *compatible* with Workbench 2.0 but does not take advantage of its features. Finally, I do not like the program editor. I would like to use my favourite text-editor instead, since I know its commands and so on. *** Suggestions to improve the product? *** Have a look at my dislikes and you have my suggestions. I believe it would be a good idea to add a ScreenMode requestor as well as all other 2.x requestors that are there to configure/handle software. And fix the A2024 problem. COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS I have not seen similar products on my Amiga. BUGS Again: problems with the A2024 High Resolution mode. VENDOR SUPPORT I did not yet contact them. WARRANTY You can contact a hotline for half a year after registering. CONCLUSIONS I believe that this is a good product, regardless of its price. Novice users can easily create simple databases, and expert users will be able to realize complex projects (I have seen one or two on the Amiga-Affair). I'd give this product 4 stars out of 5. **** COPYRIGHT NOTICE Copyright 1993 Michael Hensche. All rights reserved. ANY QUESTIONS? If there are questions you think I might be able to answer, do not hesitate to ask them. Michael Hensche In der Lohrenbeck 30 b W-5600 Wuppertal 1 Germany Internet: email@example.com Z-Net: HIPPO@AWORLD.ZER Have fun ;-) """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Usenet Review: V-Lab 24-bit Video Digitizer ============================================ By Joseph F. Korczynski (firstname.lastname@example.org) PRODUCT NAME V-LAB V3.1 BRIEF DESCRIPTION 24-Bit Real Time Video Digitizing Card AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION Name: MacroSystemUS Address: 17019 Smugglers Cove Mt. Clemens, MI 48038 USA Telephone: (313) 263-0095 FAX: (313) 263-9639 LIST PRICE $499.95 (US). I paid $415 at my local dealer. SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS HARDWARE Amiga 2x00/3000/4000 Zorro II slot 1 MB Chip RAM, 2 MB Fast RAM minimum. 8 MB recommended. 50MB hard drive minimum. Works with all 680x0 microprocessors It is suggested that A2000 owners use an accelerator. SOFTWARE Requires AmigaDOS 2.04 (Kickstart V37.175, Workbench V37.67). Workbench 2.1 and 3.0 supported as well. COPY PROTECTION None MACHINE USED FOR TESTING Amiga 4000/040/120MB IDE hard drive 2MB CHIP RAM, 12MB 32-bit Fast RAM, 2MB 16-bit Fast RAM AmigaDOS 3.0 (Kickstart V39.106 and Workbench V39.29) C= 2091 SCSI controller populated with 2MB RAM 44MB SyQuest Removable Drive Chinon CDX-431 CD-ROM Drive DCTV display enhancer/slow scan video digitizer Canon XAPSHOT still video camera HPII compatible laser printer MINI-REVIEW Unlike DCTV, V-Lab is a real-time 24-bit video digitizer. Since upgrading from a 2000, I've had been using my DCTV exclusively for digitizing still video images. One of my dislikes of DCTV is that I am constantly switching the printer cable and DCTV digitizing cable on my parallel port. (Yeah, I know its cheaper to buy a switchbox.) In addition, I often need the capability to digitize images off of video tape. Since DCTV is a slow scan digitizer, it takes 10 seconds to digitize a video signal. This requires a VTR with excellent freeze frame capability (which I do not have). I spent about a month researching the various framegrabbers on the market. LIVE! and Progressive Peripherals Framegrabber are not actively supported by their manufacturers from my viewpoint, and I was not sure if their aging software would work under AmigaDOS 3.0. With the latest release of Art Department Professional (V2.3), I noticed that ASDG included loaders for YUVN and VLAB which were provided by MacroSystems. I opted for the V-Lab board after learning that it is AmigaDOS 2.0 compatible and it supports ARexx. Installation was fairly simple. I opened the Amiga 4000 and put the board in the next available Zorro slot. The board is not a full height card (compared to the 2091, it is about 2/3 as high). All the integrated circuits are socketed. V-Lab uses a commercially available video chip set which converts video frames and stores it in special video RAM on the V-Lab card. Once in the V-Labs memory, it can be transferred to the Amiga's system memory using a 16-bit bus width (Zorro II). The V-Lab card supports AutoConfig so there are no jumpers to set. Since the V-Lab card has two composite inputs, you can connect multiple video sources (like a still video and VTR) and select them via software. The software is delivered on a single floppy disk. It does not contain Workbench and is not bootable. Installation is painless. Clicking on the Install script, you are asked if you prefer German or English installation instructions. All you have to do is supply the path of where you want the V-Lab software installed, and the script takes care of the rest. There are also install scripts for for the V-Lab library file (LIBS: directory) and Art Department Professional YUVN and VLAB loader modules. The software takes full advantage of OS2.04 and higher environment. It is also Amiga Style Guide compliant. You have the option of running V-Lab on the Workbench or on its own public screen. The V-Lab software system offers the user an environment that puts the functions of the pull down menus in individual windows which make extensive use of gadgets to adjust various parameters. These windows include: SCAN for single frame grabbing; CONVERT for converting raw images to Amiga graphic modes both ECS and AGA; SEQUENCE for grabbing multiple frames (limited to your available system RAM); COLOR CORRECTION for adjusting chrominance, red, green, blue, contrast, luminance, and gamma; SELECT SOURCE for selecting input source signal PAL,NTSC or user definable; DEFINE SOURCE for altering PAL, NTSC or defining your image clip width (X1,X2) and height (Y1,Y2), RCA input jack, luminance filter, chroma filter, VCR mode activates built-in time base correction, VSYNC correction, noise filter, filter frequency, filer weight; PREVIEW for a grayscale thumbnail size view of the incoming video signal. Screen mode, screen fonts, window fonts and language are user definable. Extensive support for ARexx scripts. Each menu item has an ARexx equivalent. There are over 125 ARexx commands. The V-Lab hardware is capable of digitizing one frame of video in 1/30 of a second, or one field in 1/60 of a second (2 fields equal 1 frame). The maximum digitizing width and height is 720 x 611 pixels. When images are digitized, they are stored in YUVN format. In order to display the image on your Amiga or use it in other programs, you will have to render it in a display mode that your Amiga supports (ECS or AGA) and save it in that rendered IFF format. You also have the option of saving it as a 24-bit IFF. Typically, an image in the YUVN file format is 55% the size of the same image in 24-bit IFF file format. I've had the V-Lab only for a couple days, and I have successfully digitized still video images from the Canon XAPSHOT camera within the V-Lab software environment and Art Department Professional (V2.3). The images appear much sharper when digitized with V-Lab than with DCTV (you get what you pay for!). I have captured single frames and sequences from my VCR with very good results to date. DOCUMENTATION Bound printed manual. Text layout via AmigaTEX. It has the same look and feel of Art Department Professional manual. It has a table of contents but lacks an index. Includes a quick start section and gives you a thorough explanation of all menus, ARexx and AmigaDOS scripting commands. It also devotes a chapter on video signal technology (very informative for the novice). LIKES AND DISLIKES The software is very well thought out and seems bug free. I was able to use the software without out digging too deeply into the manual, and it has not crashed the system. The software is Amiga Style Guide compliant. One dislike has to do with the user manual construction. The binding seems somewhat fragile. After only two days of use, some of the pages are separating from the binding. COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS Over the years I have owned and used LIVE! (A1000), DigiView (A1000), and DCTV (A2000/A4000). Each product was an improvement over the previous one in ease of use and image quality. Because of its dual functionality as a display enhancer and slow scan digitizer, DCTV is still an excellent value. BUGS None from a user's point of view. VENDOR SUPPORT The product was developed by MacroSystems of Germany. However, it is marketed in North America by MacroSystemUS. WARRANTY A warranty/registration card is included; however, the length of warranty is not stated. I assume the standard 90 day warranty on electronics applies. CONCLUSIONS I'm impressed by the software interface and the control that user has over the hardware. As a whole I give this product 4 out of 5 stars. I think the manual should be spiral bound so that it is a bit more durable. COPYRIGHT NOTICE Copyright 1993 Joseph F. Korczynski. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > AR Dealer Directory These are not ads -- just a reader service! =================== Armadillo Brothers 753 East 3300 South Salt Lake City, Utah VOICE: 801-484-2791 GEnie: B.GRAY Finetastic Computers 721 Washington St Norwood, MA 02062 VOICE: 617-762-4166 Portal: FinetasticComputers Internet Mail: FinetasticComputers@cup.portal.com MicroSearch 9000 US 59 South, Suite 330 Houston, Texas VOICE: 713-988-2818 FAX: 713-995-4994 (Dealers: To have your name added, please send Email!) """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Amiga Report's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" ================== "These headphones are only $5.95, and we have an extended service plan for an extra $19.95." """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Amiga Report International Online Magazine ~ STR Publications -* [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport *- """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" AR Online! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" May 7, 1993 Amiga Report Copyright (c) 1993 All Rights Reserved No.1.08 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Views, Opinions and Articles Presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors and staff of Amiga Report International Online Magazine or of STR Publications. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. Amiga Report and/or portions therein may not be edited in any way without prior written per- mission. However, translation into another language is acceptable, provided the original meaning is kept intact. Amiga Report, at the time of pub- lication, is believed reasonably accurate. Amiga Report, its staff and con- tributors are not and cannot be held responsible for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained there from. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""