_ ____ ___ ______ _______ _ 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 14, 1993 No. 1.09 =========================================================================== 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 ----------------------------------------- ___________________________________________________________________________ > 05/14/93 STR-Amiga 1.09 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" ======================= - The Editor's Desk - CPU Report - New Products - Dealer Directory - AR Online - PPI040 Review - AR Confidential - Oxyd Review - Dune Review -* "The Bandito" Revealed? *- -* Internet Conference on Delphi *- =========================================================================== 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 =========================================================================== 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! *************************************************************************** > From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" ====================== It's amazing what some people will do to get money out of you. And I don't mean just individuals, but legitimate businesses. Here's a little story. I purchased a used multisync monitor from somebody on GEnie recently. When it arrived, it was working perfectly. Later that same evening, the blue color went out in it. I tried everything -- switches, cables, a thump here and there with no luck. Since I'd just bought it, I decided not to open it up, but instead to take it somewhere to have it looked at. I took it to a place called Serv-A-Comp in Chattanooga. They said there would be a $30 diagnostic fee. I agreed, and they wrote up the ticket. I called the next morning to see what they'd learned. They told me that nothing was wrong with it, and for me to come get it. When I picked it up, he turned it on and showed me that it was working just fine. I said that the drive to bring it in must have jiggled it back into order. He shrugged. I said, "gee, so I've spent $30 for nothing." He said, flatly, "yes," and charged me $30. He had the nerve to tell me that the video card on my computer was probably bad. I told him that I used an Amiga, and that I don't touch DOS Boxes. You should have seen the hateful look I got! When I got the monitor home, I hooked it up. Guess what? Yep. Still no blue. While loading the shotgun for another trip to Chattanooga, I decided to unhook the monitor. This time, I left the monitor on and slid it away from the wall, so I could get to the cables. When I tried unplugging the monitor cable from the back, BING! The color came back. The 'technician' never checked to see if the port on the back of the monitor was good. I it in about five minutes with my soldering iron. Now I did agree to the service charge, but when you consider that he never opened the case, only turned it on and said, "gee, it works!" and then charged me, that's just not cool. I think the Better Business Bureau will be getting a call from me on Monday morning. My staff and I have been doing a lot of talking lately, and we've decided to go to an every-other-week format. This will allow all of us more time for our own lives, and improve the quality of Amiga Report. It will also allow us to possibly move to an AmigaGuide format, as many people hav been requesting. This move will take place in two or three weeks, we haven't decided that part for sure. I'm shooting for the first week in June, to give people enough time to learn that we're making the change, and not going out of business. 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 Bromery David Crooke Christopher Davis Robert Niles 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 ================= NEC TO INCREASE CHIP PRODUCTION TOKYO, JAPAN, 1993 MAY 11 -- NEC Electronics will increase production of semiconductors at its California plant. The firm is planning to triple production at its Roseville, California plant within a year, thanks to a sudden surge in chip demand for the chips as well as to the rapid appreciation of the Japanese yen. NEC Electronics is currently producing 256K-bit memory chips, 1-megabit memory chips, 4-megabit memory chips, and application specific (ASIC) chips. Some 10,000 units of 1-megabit to 16-megabit memory chips are currently produced per month at this plant. By the middle of next year, the firm wants to raise output to 30,000 units per month. ASIC production will also increase. The cost of this ramp-up will be 20 billion yen ($18million), according to NEC Electronics, and the cost will be spread out over the next two years. NEC Electronics will also start producing 16-megabit memory chips at this plant in September and the goal is to produce 300,000 units of this chip per month by the end of this year. MORE ON MATSUSHITA, 3DO'S MULTIMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT DEVICE TOKYO, JAPAN, 1993 MAY 11 -- Matsushita Electric is preparing a powerful multimedia device jointly with 3DO in California. The CD-ROM based, 32-bit device will support music and game software, and will connect to a TV set. The software planned for the device ranges from games to music to education. Different from others on the market, this one will support high-quality sound, voice, and motion pictures, according to Matsushita. The retail price of this device is expected to hover around $700 to $800. The main processor boards for this device will be manufactured at Matsushita's Kobe plant this August, but the product isn't expected to hit the market until Christmas, according to Matsushita's executive Mikio Azuma, who was quoted by the Nikkei newspaper. The big advantage of this multimedia device is the software. 3DO will be a major producer of quality game software for this new device, as 3DO is backed up by Electronics Arts' Trip Hawkins. Interestingly, 3DO stock is also owned by AT&T, Time-Warner, and Namcot. Matsushita is reportedly sounding out the possibility that MCA could also produce quality entertainment software for the unit. Matsushita purchased MCA in 1991. Matsushita is currently selling a multimedia hand-held device, which is licensed by Sony. It is mainly aimed at the educational market, so Matsushita's new multimedia device will not compete with it. The following stories are (c) 1993 NewsBytes. Reprinted with permission. _________________________________________________ MAJOR REXX PLUS UPGRADE AVAILABLE APRIL, 1993 Get exactly what you and every Amiga REXX (ARexx) programmer has asked for with the Dineen Edwards Group upgrade to the REXX PLUS Compiler. Version 1.3 generates 40 to 60% smaller programs with the new run-time library option and 10% smaller programs with the default options. Smaller programs means less disk space and faster load times! All "REXX RAINBOW Library Series" functions can be included as part of the language. Rainbow Library functions are generated as run-time library calls for smaller programs, or as linker externals for faster execution. The run-time license fee is now included in the price of the REXX PLUS Compiler. The already powerful REXX PLUS Compiler compiles REXX programs that execute up to 18 times faster and are 100% re-entrant. The programs are callable from interpreted or compiled REXX programs, C, 680xx assembler, and other languages. The source listing contains flagged comment lines, IF/DO/SELECT nesting levels, and a cross-reference. Writing and debugging AREXX programs takes less time and effort with the enhanced source listing, and explicit error messages. Execution of compiled programs is transparent and automatic. Hosts using the REXX Variable Interface (RVI) work with both interpreted and compiled REXX programs. Compiler requires one meg. Compiled programs require the interpreter and a minimum of 500K. Both the compiler and compiled programs are compatible with AmigaDOS 1.3, 2.0 and 3.0. ARexx is required. Suggested retail price $150.00. Upgrade from 1.2 is free for customers ordering after October 31, 1992 when completed registration card is received. Upgrade fee of $20.00 for existing customers. Demo disk available for $5.00. Dineen Edwards Group, Inc. 19785 West Twelve Mile Rd. Suite 305 Southfield, Michigan 48076-2553 (313) 352-4288 __________________________________________________ INTRODUCING THE REXX RAINBOW LIBRARY SERIES AVAILABLE APRIL, 1993 The REXX RAINBOW Library Series is a complete product line of support libraries designed specifically for use with ARexx. Each library in the series contains functions dedicated to a specific subject. The libraries are implemented as a support library, which is callable from both interpreted and compiled AREXX programs. The REXX RAINBOW Library Series does not require REXX PLUS. However, as an added value to REXX PLUS users, all functions in each volume can be included as part of the language, and can be resolved as run-time library calls or as linker externals. The first volume in the REXX RAINBOW Library Series is the STEM/ARRAY Functions volume. This volume provides over 100 functions to manipulate single dimension arrays. The functions include string manipulation, mathematical calculations, scientific calculations, and file access. The library also includes the AssignArray() function, which allows you to build your own single or multiple dimension array functions by retrieving and assigning values from/to any REXX program in the calling sequence. The manual is 150+ pages with chapters dedicated to Symbols, Arrays, Array Functions, and Function Syntax. Tutorials and examples are used throughout each chapter to cover the subjects starting with the most elementary detail and building to the more advanced subjects. The REXX RAINBOW Library Series is compatible with AmigaDOS 1.3, 2.0 and 3.0. ARexx is required. Demo disk available for $5.00. Suggested retail price $48.00 Dineen Edwards Group, Inc. 19785 West Twelve Mile Rd. Suite 305 Southfield, Michigan 48076-2553 (313) 352-4288 __________________________________________________ MICRO SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL RELEASES RAWCOPY VERSION 1.3N. RawCopy is a powerful deprotection utility for the Amiga computers. RawCopy can bypass protection schemes for over 600 programs. Upgrades with additional entertainment, business, and educational titles are available approximately every three months. RawCopy removes passwords from manual, dongle protection, and key disk protection. RawCopy is powerful, easy to use and is not copy protected. Micro Systems International provides free technical support and pledges: In the unlikely event that you experience a problem deprotecting any program from the list, MSI will deprotect it for you at no additional charge. RawCopy retails for $59.95. (Mention this BIX ad and receive $10 off!) Call Micro Systems International at 1-800-944-3410 to order now, or to inquire about other MSI products like the following: RawCopy PC - RawCopy for the IBM PC computer RawCopy Singles - Designed for the person who wants to have deprotection parameters for the newest programs without having to wait for the next RawCopy upgrade release. A RawCopy Single deprotects one program only. RawCopy Singles are obtained by subscription to MSI's BBS and are available for IBM PC and Amiga. _________________________________________________ AMIGABASE V1.3 AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE AmigaBase VERSION 1.30, a replacement for distribution V1.22 AUTHOR Steffen Gutmann firstname.lastname@example.org DESCRIPTION AmigaBase is not a relational database with SQL interface or something like this. AmigaBase is a hierarchical programmable database. Nevertheless, or just because, AmigaBase is ideal for managing music casettes, videos, addresses, etc. Complex applications like a finance manager with automatic printing of transfer forms and writing client accounts is no problem for AmigaBase, too. NEW FEATURES & IMPROVEMENTS o Support of dead keys o English example projects o ReadMe file for each project o Install shell script o Svedish catalog file o More colors for records, variables and texts o Made look of records OS 2.0 like o Font requester o Made normal/listing display more flexible o Screen requester o Palette requester HOST NAME amiga.physik.unizh.ch (184.108.40.206) DIRECTORY ...aminet/biz/dbase FILE NAMES AmigaBase130.lha AmigaBase130.readme DISTRIBUTABILITY The program may be freely distributed, but not sold for profit. It may be included as part of the Fred Fish library. __________________________________________________ EZ-CPR V0.3 AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE EZcpr VERSION BETA v0.30 AUTHOR Cyrus Michael Sanii BIX: csanii InterNet: email@example.com <--preferred contact address DESCRIPTION This utility makes the SAS/C Debugger(CPR) easier to use. Why type in the names of all the variables you want to trace in CPR when you can use EZcpr to extract the variables from your source code. EZcpr then shows the list of all your variables and all you have to do is select with the mouse the one(s) you want to trace. EZcpr then writes out a CPR script which you can run from CPR to automatically trace the variable(s) you selected. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS AmigaOS v2.04 or greater SAS/C compiler v5.x or greater HOST NAME amiga.physik.unizh.ch(220.127.116.11) DIRECTORY /aminet/dev/debug FILE NAME EZcpr030.lha PRICE This software is shareware. To register your copy please send a cheque or money order for $10(in Canadian or US dollars, whichever is easier) to: Cyrus Sanii. 19-1404 Rosenthal Avenue Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1Z 8H9 DISTRIBUTABILITY This version has a shareware fee of $10(US or Canadian funds) You have 1 month to try the software out. If you are still using it after a month you MUST register it. __________________________________________________ IMAGEFX V1.03 ENHANCER PACKAGE AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE ImageFX 1.03 Enhancer Package VERSION Enhancement package for version 1.03 AUTHOR Nova Design, Inc. and Great Valley Products (GVP) DESCRIPTION This archive/disk contains a special upgrade to GVP's exciting image manipulation software packages; ImageFX(tm) version 1.03. ImageFX is a complete image processing system for the Amiga computer. Featuring built-in support for scanning and framegrabbing, printing, image rendering, file format conversion, painting and touchup work, not to mention hundreds of special effects combinations, ImageFX is the only 24-bit image processing software you will ever need. It is a modular, easy to use, WYSIWIG system that covers all aspects of image manipulation from start to finish. Some features included are; o Incredibly fast JPEG loading and saving o DCTV Preview Module o OpalVision Preview Module o Support of the speedy ANIM7 animation format o New preferences printing for the best printouts possible in any image processing software o ...and much much more! COST This is provided as a free upgrade to all ImageFX owners. HOST NAME ImageFX103Enhancer.lha should available on all Aminet sites. PATH Aminet: pub/aminet/new/ImageFX103Enhancer.lha DISTRIBUTABILITY This archive/disk is freely distributable as long as all files and documentation remain intact. COPYRIGHT/TRADEMARKS Copyright 1993 Nova Design, Inc., All Rights Reserved ImageFX is a trademark of GVP and Nova Design, Inc. Amiga is a trademark of Commodore Business Machines, Ltd. All other trademarks are held by their respective companies. For more information about ImageFX, contact Great Valley Products at (215) 337-8770. __________________________________________________ MRBACKUP PROFESSIONAL V1.14B DEMO AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE MRBackup Professional VERSION 1.14b COMPANY MRsoftware 348 Indian Avenue Portsmouth, RI 02871 Voice: (401) 846-7639 BBS: (401) 841-5844 (`bbs', then `new') mrr@mrsoft!network23.com firstname.lastname@example.org or topic amiga.vendors/mrsoftware AUTHOR Mark R. Rinfret DESCRIPTION A full-featured hard disk backup program supporting Fast Disk, SCSI Tape and AmigaDOS backup modes. Other features include: - Intuition "3-D" user interface - data compression/decompression - file selection filters and interactive file selection - rich ARexx command set providing access to virtually all MRBackup features and supporting automated backups and restores - built-in file management utilities - supports multiple savesets on a single tape as well as savesets that span multiple tapes - MRTape-Handler included, can be used with other software - integrated AmigaGuide (tm) online help, accessible via the Help key - easy installation via Commodore's Installer program (included) - compatible with AmigaDOS 1.3 through 3.0; dynamically selects AmigaDOS 2.04(+) features when available - non-proprietary backup format (info available to registered customers) - demo available on support BBS, BIX and various FTP sites. NEW FEATURES - enhanced floppy disk management (diskchange tracking), reduced user prompting - greatly improved floppy disk performance - major improvements in program robustness and ability to recover data from damaged savesets. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS - any Amiga running AmigaDOS 1.3 or up (2.04/2.1/3.0 compatible). - will run in 512K, 1MB recommended - hard drive not _specifically_ required, but a good idea :-) PRICE MRBackup Professional can be purchased directly from MRsoftware for $25.00 (U.S.). For orders outside the U.S., please add $5.00 for special handling. Send cash, check (U.S. banks only) or money order. Sorry - no VISA/MC at the current time. Current owners of MRBackup Professional who are not registered with MRsoftware (anyone who didn't purchase directly from MRsoftare) can upgrade to the current version of MRBackup by sending their original program disk plus $10.00 to MRsoftware. DISTRIBUTABILITY MRBackup Professional is a commercial program, copyrighted by MRsoftware. The demo version of MRBackup Professional, clearly indicated by a pop-up requester when the program is started, is freely distributable as long as the demo archive is distributed in its entirety. LOCATION This is available on Aminet (such as merlin.etsu.edu) as /pub/aminet/biz/demo/MRBackDemo114b.lha GEnie: Amiga RT, file #19307 OTHER MRBackup Professional has a wealth of features which are not easily summed up in such a brief format. A three page laser-printed product brochure, giving a more in-depth overview, is available upon request. __________________________________________________ THE PROMOTOR V1.02 AVAILABLE FOR FTP (AMINET) TITLE The Promotor VERSION 1.02 3-May-1993 This is an update to version 1.01 released on the 19th of April 1993. AUTHOR Kurt Haenen Homsemstraat 53 B-3891 Borlo Belgium email Internet : email@example.com (will not be read the next few months) DESCRIPTION The Promotor is *THE* screen promotion utility every AGA user ever wanted. Amiga2xxx wasn't bad, ForceMonitor is nice and PKludge was rather good, but they all lack the features the Promotor has to offer. Well, here's a list of what you can do ... o Specify specific screens to be promoted using the following criteria: - Name of the task requesting the screen - In case the screen is opened as a public screen, the name of that public screen. - The default title of the screen - The screen-mode requested for this screen. For this you can use any AmigaDOS wild-card pattern. o Change position and dimensions of the screen even the depth can be changed. o Change the screen-mode to use for this screen. Screen-modes can be entered using their name or using their hex ID (useful if the mode doesn't have a name). o Change the overscan mode : standard, text, graphics or video overscan ? o Change the number of Colourmap entries, whether or not to use auto-scroll, whether or not the screen should have a full intuition palette, should it be draggable, have exclusive rights for the display, have shared dripens, should it look like the workbench, have an interleaved bitmap, use the old or new system-font. o Change the dripens of the screen or use the Promotors default dripens. Specify whether 2.x or 3.x like dripens should be used. Any of these changes can be forced so that they will be used, even if the task opening the screen requested other values than the ones you specified. This is a full-functioning evaluation version of the Promotor. It pops up a requester to remind you to register, everytime you open a screen. NEW FEATURES Version 1.01 ------------ Version 1.01 fixes a bug in the registration check. Registered version would do some strange things and give some enforcer hits. Nobody will have noticed this, since nobody subscribed yet. Well, maybe noone knows this program exists ... Better post an announce to comp.sys.amiga :-) Version 1.02 ------------ Version 1.02 fixes a bug in the font handling for the screen. The previous versions didn't allow tasks to specify their own font for a screen, due to a bug in the handling of the SA_Font and SA_SysFont tags. This bug should now be fixed. In addition I've added SYSFONT and FORCESYSFONT options so the user can dictate what system font (the old topaz one or the one in the Preferences) should be used for the screen. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS The Promotor requires kickstart 3.0 or higher. I don't think I'll bother programming around the bugs in ReadArgs of 2.x! The Promotor is most useful for people with the AGA chipset, to get rid of the interlace screen, but it could also be used by A3000 owners running 3.x (developers only :-) who want to change the screenmode of their favourite application. Pre 3.0 users won't be able to use it though! HOST NAME amiga.physik.unizh.ch (18.104.22.168) or any other Aminet site DIRECTORY /pub/aminet/os30/util. FILE NAMES Promotor_1.02.lha, Promotor_1.02.readme PRICE The Promotor is shareware. If you find the program useful, or need anything added, and want to encourage me, or just want to get rid of the requester, a donation is welcome. As stated in the doc file, the shareware fee is $20 US or an equivalent amount in some other currency my bank will accept. Don't worry to much about the exchange rate, if it's about $20 US, you'll get your registration. The money would go into a modem, so I could still contact the rest of the world when my account disappears. At the moment, only bureaucracy is delaying the closing down of it, so it may be possible tha emailing me won't work anymore. DISTRIBUTABILITY Shareware. You may distribute it as much as you want, but you aren't allowed to distribute anything but the archive as I presented it. No file may be removed nor added. If you DO want to change something, you will need approval from me first. __________________________________________________ INSTALLER GAME AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE InstallerGame.lha ESCAPE FROM COMMODORE!! VERSION 1.0 AUTHOR Greg Simon InterNet: firstname.lastname@example.org DESCRIPTION This is a game written for the Commodore Installer Utility. (no, I'm not kidding) It runs on the Installer, however it installs nothing. Installer just provides an interface to a simple adventure game, where the goal is to "escape from Commodore!" SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS The Installer binary, v1.24 or higher. Whatever system runs installer (show me one that doesn't) HOST NAME ftp.luth.se [aminet] (22.214.171.124) (pending) DIRECTORY /aminet/game/hack FILE NAME InstallerGame.lha PRICE Nada. FreeWare. Enjoy it. I'm just not responsible for it. DISTRIBUTABILITY Everywhere your heart desires. __________________________________________________ ARGONAUTS NEWSLETTER INTRODUCED TO WIDER AUDIENCE INTRODUCING ARGONAUTS. After a favorable reception among registered developers it is being introduced to a wider audience. Argonauts is a quarterly newsletter for the commercially active Amiganaut. It seeks to help build a business infrastructure that will make our live easier and more profitable. Regular features include first person business accounts of product development, business opportunities, research papers, news from overseas, a developers roundtable and more. Currently we are building a registry of amiga talent, (publishers, programmers, artists, technical writers). Next issue we will be introducing $500 challenge prizes. These will be in the centuries old tradition of offering a prize to the first person to achieve some specified goal in a set time. Argonauts is also about putting some fun back into being in this market. Too many people have forgotten that is why they originally came here instead of the PC or Mac. The current issue has articles about Objective-C, DevCon 93, Shown 43%, press for more, 'q' to quit, or 'h' for help DICE, European CD-ROM, the registry, developers roundtable and more. Authors include Sarah Bell, marketing director for Stepstone Corp, developers of Objective-C, Dan Weiss, VP R&D Soft-Logik, Carl Rollo, Matt Dillon who needs no introduction and Janet Bickerstaff from the UK ICPUG. So take a chance and spend 29 cents to write for a free sample copy and subscription information ($24.95 US) to: Argonauts, Dept. A Box 94 Pearl River NY 10965 - 0094 USA Please feel free to upload this to other services such as BIX and Compuserve etc. Marc P Seybold Publisher, Argonauts """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > ONLINE WEEKLY Amiga Report Online People... Are Talking! ================================= From the Amiga_Video confernce on FidoNet ----------------------------------------- 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 Discovery channel.... ------------------------------ Area: AMIGA_VIDEO (MAIL:Fido/Amiga_Video/) From: Ron Kramer To: All Subj: Toaster TALKED ABOUT! in mag Date: 07 May 93 08:42:40 The latest VIDEOGRAPHY magazine (Aprl93) is like totally Amiga/Toaster this issue! Kikis on the cover using a 4000 toaster with 3 displays showing AMILINK on one a pic from BABYLON on the 2nd and a Toaster link image in transition on the 3rd. The issue starts with "Onward Amiga" by C. Kohler" which is the only negitive article... I think cuz he's no longer working at C=. Other then his fool hearty beliefs the magazines articles are really informative. The next articly "how low can a pro go" is excellent, Its answered some of my questions about using the new low cost Sony and JVC decks as editing units. A nice review of the JVC BR605UBS unit and the Sony SVo-9600 Both list in the 2500 - 3000.00 area. He preferred the Sony of the two. News of Personal TBC and Vscopes follow along with something on Montage and personal animation controller. (editizer) Then a nice article on "Out of this world toaster production" about toasters doing their thing for TV shows and movies. Then a story on Herbie Hancocks production company (built around his toaster). Then stories called INSTANT TOAST, Toaster Links, Building the HOT toaster (about Sunrise 16 by Lee S). A great issue! P.S.N. Pub 2 Park Ave. Suite 1820 New York, NY. 10016 ------------------------------ From the Amiga International echo on Fidonet -------------------------------------------- From: John Benn To: Tom Mulcahy Subj: 680x0 Line Motorola Inc's semiconductor division will begin sampling the next generation 32-bit, 68060 microprocessor in the third quarter. Motorola quashed its predecessor, the 68050, last year after it decided the development wasn't advanced enough to justify the spend on production (UX No 407). The 68060 will initially be offered in two versions running at 50MHz and 66MHz. The company claims the thing will perform at 100 MIPS and 15 MGFLOPS, processing more than one but less than two instructions per cycle. The 68060 is a static modular, superscalar and superpipelined part built using 0.8-micron CMOS technology - BiCMOS techniques will be incorporated in the 68080 and 68100,Motorola says The 68060 operates at 3.3 volts, features an integrated floating-point unit and has two 8Kb caches on the chip. According to Motorola UK's 68000 marketing manager, Neil Martin, the firm will ship between 100,000 and 200,000 samples as early as July, with a suggested price tag of around $500 for the 50MHz part. There are no plans for a 64-bit 68000 design. Apple Computer Inc has already declared its interest in the chip and plans to introduce a 68060-based machine in the second quarter next year. Also expected in the 680x0 complex instruction set family of microprocessors is a 250-350 MIPS 68080 due by 1995 and a 800 MIPS - probably the 68100 - by the year 2000 (UX No 380). ----------------------------- From: John Kamchen To: All Subj: A1200 Hacks The Amiga A1200: Inside & Out Part 5 Rehash May 2nd 1993 (C)1993 Silicon Synapse Electronics & John Kamchen Call the AmiTronics SIG on Stalker's Guild BBS 1-204-257-3751 Wpg, Canada. The information contained in this document should not be considered to be 100% accurate, as I am having a hard time finding anything official on this system. ( Ignore all the periods, poor message front end ) These pinouts came courtesy of Toshiba America 44pin IDC connector, 2mm (.079") pin spacing. _NAME means signal active low Name 2.5" 3.5" Desc _RESET | 1 | 1 | Drive reset GROUND | 2 | 2 | Logic Ground DD7 | 3 | 3 | Drive data bus bit 7 DD8 | 4 | 4 | Drive data bus bit 8 DD6 | 5 | 5 | Drive data bus bit 6 DD9 | 6 | 6 | Drive data bus bit 9 DD5 | 7 | 7 | Drive data bus bit 5 DD10 | 8 | 8 | Drive data bus bit 10 DD4 | 9 | 9 | Drive data bus bit 4 DD11 | 10 | 10 | Drive data bus bit 11 DD3 | 11 | 11 | Drive data bus bit 3 DD12 | 12 | 12 | Drive data bus bit 12 DD2 | 13 | 13 | Drive data bus bit 2 DD13 | 14 | 14 | Drive data bus bit 13 DD1 | 15 | 15 | Drive data bus bit 1 DD14 | 16 | 16 | Drive data bus bit 14 DD0 | 17 | 17 | Drive data bus bit 0 DD15 | 18 | 18 | Drive data bus bit 15 GROUND | 19 | 19 | Logic Ground key | 20 | 20 | Key for interface connector DMARQ | 21 | 21 | DMA request (not supported yet) GROUND | 22 | 22 | Logic Ground _DIOW | 23 | 23 | Drive I/O write GROUND | 24 | 24 | Logic Ground _DIOR | 25 | 25 | Drive I/O read GROUND | 26 | 26 | Logic Ground IORDY | 27 | 27 | I/O channel ready SPSYNC | 28 | 28 | Spindle sync (not supported yet) _DMACK | 29 | 29 | DMA acknowledge (not supported yet) GROUND | 30 | 30 | Logic Ground INTRQ | 31 | 31 | IRQ16 _IOCS16 | 32 | 32 | Drive 16 bit I/O DA1 | 33 | 33 | Drive address bus bit 1 _PDIAG | 34 | 34 | Passed diagnostics DA0 | 35 | 35 | Drive address bus bit 0 DA2 | 36 | 36 | Drive address bus bit 2 _CS1FX | 37 | 37 | Chip select 0 _CS3FX | 38 | 38 | Chip select 1 _DASP | 39 | 39 | Drive active/slave present GROUND | 40 | 40 | Logic Ground +5v | 41 | -- | +5v Logic supply +5v | 42 | -- | +5v Motor supply GROUND | 43 | -- | Power Ground RESERVED| 44 | -- | Reserved for future definition Apart from pins 41-44, the connector is standard IDE (is there a standard for IDE?) If you are like me, you will want to use a 3.5" hard drive on this system, because of the cost of those stupid 2.5" units (they run about $150 more than the equivalant sized 3.5" drive). Aside from the cost factor, there is a storage consideration. The largest 2.5" I've heard of is 120mb, but there might be a 240mb lurking around somewhere. Myself, I wouldn't put anything less that 240mb in this computer. * NOTE * The 3.5" drive you use must be an 'LPS' type (LOW PROFILE!) -| There may be a conflict with your warranty sticker & a screwdriver |- Latest word from the CBM USA (nothing ever happens up north) is that normal people can pop this friggin sticker, ONLY to put in HD's & clocks. Check with your Gold Dealer (whatever that is, like I said, up north nothing happens, including support) and ask before you de-virginate, pop the cherry, tear the hyman.. ahem.. Ever wonder why the drive is put in at an angle? It's not meant to look pretty (tho it does). The reason is simple: SPACE! The inside on the A1200 is really cramped, what with all the metal shielding and all. In a 500, many people bolted the drive to the underside of the top case (under the vent holes) and it proved to work very well. The A1200 doesn't have that option. Space is at a premium. * DO NOT DAMAGE OR DISASSEMBLE ANY ORIGINAL CABLES OR CUT ANY METAL * * You should be able to restore the A1200 to as-new condition should * * it require warranty work in that vital first year * 1) Remove the floppy drive, make it external. This is as easy as it sounds. The floppy cable (34 conductor) can be extended by any means you see fit. Simplest way would be to buy a drive cable from the local computer store. The power connector for the floppy will be shared with the HD, so look at your needs, and come up with something. I have heard that A4000 users can make an external floppy look like DF0: , by means of moving a jumper. Don't know if this works on the A1200, but it would be nice! The HD is bound to have the normal 4 pin power plug. There will be some soldering done here, keep it neat. To shield the floppy cable, wrap it in aluminium foil & duct tape (run the power plug inside the shielding!). A case from Active or Radio shack can house DF0: (make it look nice, eh?). This is better than using a 'shuffle board' system, because it allows to keep the external drive port free for DF1-3:. Install the 3.5" HD in the floppy bay. Don't loose that angle bracket. The drive should sit really nice, and not be wedged against anything. One thing you have to look out for is that the drive connectors (40 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Usenet Review: PPI Mercury 68040 Accelerator for Amiga 3000 ============================================================ By David Crooke (email@example.com) PRODUCT NAME Progressive Peripherals Inc. Mercury 68040 accelerator for the Amiga 3000. BRIEF DESCRIPTION The Mercury is a board which provides a fast Motorola 68040 processor and some memory expansion capabilities. It fits in the A3000's FastSlot, located at the right front of the motherboard. This enhances the performance of the A3000 in processor-intensive applications like compiling and ray-tracing. Fallback to the 68030 is possible with software provided, although only on the 3000/25. This is not as useful as 68000 fallback on A500/A2000 accelerators, but comes in handy for the odd, semi-awkward game (Lemmings II!). The board is available in 28MHz and 35MHz versions with 0-32 MB of RAM. AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION Name: Progressive Peripherals Inc Address: 938 Quail St. Lakewood, CO 80215-5513 USA Telephone: (303) 238-5555 PRICE I purchased my board from Creative Computers. The test configuration (28MHz Mercury with no RAM) was priced at $579.00 (US) plus shipping (shipping to Europe by air (DHL) was $80 US). VAT (17.5%) and duty (3.4%) were payable on import to the UK. This price was due to a "special offer" recently given by PPI, but stock at this price may still be available from some dealers. Other prices quoted by Creative were $879.00 for the Mercury 35MHz with no RAM, and $499.00 for the 3000/040 board (25MHz, no memory expansion, fits A3000/25 only), so I chose the Mercury 28 as the best price/performance/capabilities choice. Other dealers were more competitive on the Mercury 35 but more expensive on the Mercury 28 and 3000/040, and on shipping. I strongly advise UK readers to import products like accelerators from the US themselves. I have done this several times, and the savings are substantial over UK dealer mark-ups. HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE PREREQUISITES HARDWARE Commodore Amiga A3000 or A3000T, with ROM Kickstart version 2.04 or later. (You can use other Kickstarts from disk with appropriate software, but you must have at least 2.0 in ROM.) The reason that 2.0 Kickstart ROMs are needed is that the SoftKick A3000 (with 1.4 ROMs, which loads "wb_2.x:devs/Kickstart" from disk) uses the 68030's MMU to map the disk loaded Kickstart. Since the 68040's MMU is incompatible with the 68030's, this would fail. SOFTWARE None, but AmigaDOS 2.04 or above is strongly recommended. MACHINE USED FOR TESTING The version of the Mercury tested was the 28MHz one with no on-board memory. The test machine was an A3000/25 (normal desktop version) with 2 internal floppies, 2 internal hard disks, and 8MB of static column Fast RAM. This machine did not have 2.04 ROMs, and so they were installed at the same time as the Mercury. All performance figures are with all caches on, Kickstart in RAM, etc. The PD "Ramsey" program was used to enhance performance for "68030 mode" comparisons. COMPONENTS SUPPLIED IN PACKAGE Mercury board with 68040 processor chip fitted Floppy Disk (DS/DD 837K AmigaDOS) with PPI and CBM support software 1Mx4 80ns page mode ZIP DRAM chip 4-pin floppy drive power lead 4 mounting bolts Go-faster sticker with Motorola "04!0" logo 40 page A5 size handbook PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION (TECHNICAL) The board is about 7 inches square, and when installed covers the Fast RAM and CPU area on the front right of the A3000 motherboard, under the drive platform. The majority of the minor chips are surface-mounted, while the large memory control chips are in PLCC (?) sockets, and the 68040 is a large PGA. Eight angled sockets for byte-wide SIMMs are provided, accommodating standard PC-compatible 1Mx8 or 4Mx8 (or x9) SIMMs in groups of four, allowing configurations of 4, 8, 16, 20 or 32 Megabytes (in addition to the 18Mb on the Amiga motherboard) -- this memory option was not tested. A miniature muffin fan is mounted on a sloping bracket above the 68040, blowing air down onto and across the chip from the front to the back of the Amiga (desktop A3000). A 200-pin mini edge connector on the underside mates with the FastSlot. Holes meet up with the mounting posts on the motherboard, for securing the board with the bolts provided. Floppy-style 4-pin power connectors are provided for routing power through the board. The build quality is high. SOFTWARE INSTALLATION It is prudent to install the software first so that the system is 68040-aware on its first power-up with the accelerator. An install utility is provided; and despite a custom setup, I used it, after a careful walkthrough on the "Pretend to Install" option. The installation was successful and I made no changes, other than to "Leave Out" the "Switch" program icon in the Workbench window. HARDWARE INSTALLATION All notes refer to the desktop A3000, with differences noted. As with the installation of Fast RAM, access to the right side of the motherboard requires a major disassembly of the A3000 including removal of the drive platform, as described in the small installation handbook supplied with the 3000. If the machine is fitted with static column Fast RAM, the first memory chip, whether DIP or ZIP, must be removed, and the supplied page mode chip fitted to the ZIP socket (U850). This circumvents a bug in the A3000's memory controller (Ramsey) and allows the PPI board to do burst transactions. The board is then fitted to the FastSlot and bolted in place. The second floppy drive power lead is routed down to the board, and the lead supplied runs back up to power the second drive. If the machine is an A3000/16, the motherboard must be jumpered to 25MHz operation, and 68030 fallback mode will be unavailable. The mounting bolts supplied do not fit in the A3000T which does not normally have mounting posts fitted, but the makers claim the board is secure without them as long as the machine is not transported. It is prudent to reassemble the machine partially and test it before full reassembly, and between installation of the Kickstart ROMs and the board if doing the two upgrades simultaneously. The manual states that if the machine has low density memory (256Kx4's) in the Fast RAM area, a 256Kx4 paged mode ZIP should be purchased, but I can't see why the 1Mx4 one supplied wouldn't do. PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION The accelerator accesses the system bus through the FastSlot, and supplants the motherboard 68030 and 68881/2 with the 68040. Since the 68040's "RISC style" FPU does not support the full 68881 instruction set, the remaining functions are emulated in software by the supplied "68040.library", which is loaded by the "Init040" program placed in the startup-sequence by the installer. Due to the extremely fast implementation of the FPU instructions which are provided in hardware, in all cases the software emulation on a 28MHz 68040 exceeds the performance of the same instruction in hardware on a 33MHz 68882. General use, with predominantly simple instructions, is much faster. "Init040" also configures the accelerator memory and can map Kickstart into it if present. In a 25MHz machine, the 68040 part of the accelerator can be turned off from software with a warm boot, leaving the expansion memory available, and powerup in 68030 or 68040 mode can be selected with a jumper. SOFTWARE OPERATION The only software day-to-day users need is the "Switch" program, which switches between 68040 and 68030/88x, with a warm reboot (Ctrl-A-A). It is Intuition-based. The primary use I have found for this is to fall back to 68030 mode for speed comparisons, and to play Lemmings II. The CPU choice persists through multiple warm boots until changed or until the machine is power-cycled. There is also an Intuition-based program for manipulating the caches called "CPU040". There is nothing wrong with this, but old habits die hard and I still use Commodore's "CPU" command from the CLI. Also, you can use "CPU" to write scripts which automagically detect which processor is running, which you can't do with "CPU040". Version 37.34 of Commodore's "SetPatch" is provided. This is a 2.04 version with some 68040 fixes. Version 37.4 of 68040.library is provided. More enthusiastic users will want to use other PD and Commodore software to enhance the board's use (see RECOMMENDATIONS, below). COMPATIBILITY The hardware is designed only for the A3000 series machines, although (in theory at least) it could work in an A4000 as a replacement CPU board if there is physical space for it. Users intending to buy a 4000/030 and boost it should contact PPI! For compatibility purposes, most Amiga software falls into one of two categories, at least as far as hardware is concerned: (i) Old game, only works properly on 16-bit systems (ii) Productivity software or newer game, works on anything with enough memory. This implies that almost anything which will work with the A3000 and 2.0 to start with will work with the 68040 as well. One class of exceptions to this are programs which use self modifying code (including special loaders and self-unpacking executables). the 68040 has much larger caches than the 68030, and has a "CopyBack" (write only when necessary) mode on the data cache. The combination of these can tip some bad code over the brink, but the CopyBack mode and the caches themselves can be disabled from software, using Commodore's "CPU" command. The more important incompatibility is in the Memory Management Processor (MMU). The 68030 one is largely compatible with the old 68851, but the 68040 one is quite different. Things like Kickstart remappers ("CPU FastROM", "SetCPU KickROM") and virtual memory systems ("HDMem", "GigaMem") often do not support it, but 68040 versions or equivalents are becoming available. In particular, the Commodore Amix (Unix) system on the A3000UX does not support the 68040, but I think "Enforcer" now does. These are all minor complaints; and for most general productivity and programming use, the 68040 works seamlessly with the rest of the system. Apart from the speed increase, you'd never know it was there. PERFORMANCE Using the A3000's own memory (80ns Static Column) with burst modes, caches and CopyBack enabled, and Kickstart in RAM, the 28MHz board delivers 20,200 Dhrystones according to SysInfo 3.15. This is 4.3 times the speed of the same A3000/25 in 68030/68882 mode, 38 times the speed of a ChipRAM A600, and 10% faster than an A4000/040. All of these are integer-only. Floating point performance is over 5 MFlops, as compared to 0.66 MFlops for the 25MHz 68882. General use shows performance improvements from none, with graphics or disk intensive operations, to well over three times with large C++ compilations, as compared to the A3000/25. The LaTeX batch typesetting system (with an optimised FPU-using executable) shows around a 70% speedup over a range of documents. Tests using the "C" version of Dhrystone 1.1, compiled to use the FPU, weigh the 28MHz Mercury in at around 29,500 Dhrystones. This compares with 7,400 for the 25MHz 68030/68882, 31,000 for a Sun 4 SPARCstation ELC, and around 1,200 for an 7MHz 68000-based Amiga with (non-trapdoor) Fast RAM (the latter with no FPU, of course). MEMORY EXPANSION SYSTEM I did not test the memory expansion capability, but I believe the details given are correct. The board has 8 sockets for industry standard PC-clone style SIMMs, and accepts 1Mx8 (or 1Mx9) and/or 4Mx8 (or x9) SIMMs in two groups of 4, allowing 4, 8, 16, 20 or 32 MB. This memory is in addition to the 18MB capacity of the motherboard and CAN be used in 68030 mode as well. Memory speeds supported are 100ns, 80ns and 60ns for the 28MHz version, and 80ns, 60ns and 40ns for the 35MHz version. The preferred choice is the middle one in each case. Since the board supports the memory CAS signal, burst mode memory access can be achieved with the cheaper page mode SIMMs as well as static column. (The A3000's built-in Ramsey controller does not supply CAS, and needs Static Column mode RAM for bursting.) WARRANTY The board has a standard return-to-company warranty. SUPPORT PPI have a Tech Support phone line as well as a BBS. At the time I bought the board, they were very busy, and it was widely known that they would take a few days to respond to a call at that time. I don't know if the situation has improved. I did try to call them once (over the EC thing, see DISLIKES below) and I got a machine ("For this, press 1," etc.). As I was calling from a rural area, I did not have a pushbutton phone. I tried playing tone dial from a modem speaker down the line, which should have worked, so I suspect they might have nobbled the answering machine! No human ever came on the line. I also called Creative Computers about the EC040. Their customer service guy was very helpful, and said that he would warn other customers and get on to PPI about it. He also offered to buy the board back if I wanted, but I declined. BUGS The only bug found is an occasional tendency to boot in 68030 mode, despite 68040 being selected by the jumper. The software processor selection is 100% reliable. PARTICULAR GOOD POINTS - The performance is all you could demand from the hardware; there are no design flaws in this area. In particular, unlike A500/A2000/A1200 accelerators, there is no need to get additional RAM to realise the full benefit of the speedup. - The memory system uses cheap SIMMs, and is fairly flexible (e.g., if you have 4MB, you can put in 4 4x8's and have 20MB, and not have to dispose of the 1x8's). - The cooling fan probably prolongs CPU life (but see below). - The power arrangements ensure it does not suck too much current through the FastSlot - The kit provides *all* you need (except possibly Kickstart ROMs and a screwdriver!). DISLIKES AND MISFEATURES - The boards overclock the 68040's - the 28MHz one uses a 68040/25, and the 35MHz a 68040/33. PPI claim that these small margins are safe, given the extra cooling provided, and they are probably right (I have had no problems). - Contrary to the picture on the box, the CPU clock crystal is soldered to the board. I had toyed with the idea of replacing it (56MHz) with a 50MHz one to bring the CPU back down into its specified range, but this put me off :-) - The 68040 supplied was not a production chip, but was designated "XC68EC040RC25". Contrary to my first angry conclusion, this chip DOES have a full 68040 with MMU and FPU inside, but it has the less advanced bus system of the 68EC040. Also, the "XC" designation means it has at least one minor bug (in the design), and is therefore only for prototyping purposes. I have, however, had no problems with it, and it performs in every way like a full MC68040. - The software supplied is lacking in one major respect: it will remap Kickstart only into the board's onboard RAM, if present, and not to the motherboard Fast RAM. Also, when it does so, it takes a full 1MB, and not just 512K. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that Commodore's "CPU" command (even the AmigaDOS 3.0 version) does not support the "FastROM" option for 68040's. - The software supplied assumes you will be running AmigaDOS 2.04, which could be irritating when (if ever) a 3.x upgrade puts in an appearance. I suspect that 3.0 will have its own 68040.library and proper 68040 support in Kickstart, however. The case for 2.1 compatibility is less clear (and I don't have it to try). I am in the process of acquiring a developer's release of 3.0, so contact me by e-mail to find out how that works out. - The on board memory, when fitted, is not contiguous with the Fast RAM on the motherboard, leaving a dilemma as to which to upgrade. Some applications only use the largest *contiguous* block of free memory, and so would not fully benefit from e.g., a 3000 with 4MB of Fast RAM and another 4MB on the Mercury. This is not PPI's fault and is dictated by the A3000's design, but they could have provided MMU software to get round the problem. - The use of the page mode ZIP reduces performance in 68030 mode by about 3% against static column RAM. Not a major worry. - As mentioned, 68030 fallback is not supported on an A3000/16. RECOMMENDATIONS Any A3000 owner considering upgrading to a 4000/040, but not particularly worried about AGA graphics, is strongly encouraged to snap one of these up if it can be obtained cheaply, as the cost saving is considerable (and you get to keep that nice fast 1GB SCSI hard disk ;-)). Beware that the resale value of the upgraded A3000 machine is depressed by A4000/040 in the same way that the base machine has been knocked down by the A4000/030. Anyone who has a PPI Mercury is recommended to get the "Set040" program by Nic Wilson, which is shareware. I plead guilty in that I have yet to register, but I'm waiting to find a source of Aussie currency/cheques without the bank's massive fees. "Set040" remaps Kickstart (to any RAM) and can load "soft" Kickstarts, and picks up the slack. MY PLANS FOR THE SYSTEM When the Amiga port of Linux (PD Unix) is more advanced, I intend to complete the system with a larger hard disk, Linux, and a high resolution graphics card for which I will obtain or write X windows drivers. This will result in a fully modern, high performance Unix workstation, while still retaining Amiga compatibility, for a total cost of around L2000.00 UK, including the second-hand A3000. The other option would have been to buy a 486 PC clone and keep my old A500/030 system, but this would have cost a bit more and would be ideologically unsound. ;-) SUMMARY Apart from the graphics, the performance of the A3000 with Mercury exceeds that of the A4000/040 in all areas, and I can completely recommend the Mercury to prospective purchasers. The only thing which lets it down a tiny bit is the MMU software, but there are third party utilities available which fulfill most needs. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Usenet Review: Dune ==================== By Michael Bromery PRODUCT NAME Dune BRIEF DESCRIPTION A unique strategy game with great graphics and sound. AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION Name: CRYO. Distributed by Virgin Games. Address: Virgin Games 18061 Fitch Ave. Irvine, CA 92714 USA SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS Reportedly runs under AmigaDOS 1.3 and up. People with only 512K Chip RAM will either have to boot from floppy, or they will have to USE the boot menu to disable the startup-sequence and then run the program from the CLI. Otherwise, the game will have no sound. Anyone with at least ROMS 2.04 has a boot menu. Just hold down both mouse buttons when you reboot or power up. Keep them held down until the boot menu pops up. COPY PROTECTION "Look up in the manual" copy protection. Installs on hard drive. MACHINE USED FOR TESTING The systems that this has been tested on is an A500 with 2.04 ROMs, 512K chip, 2.5 Megs fast. The system also has a GVP HD8+ 50Meg Hard drive and a second floppy drive from Roctec. 1 Meg Agnus chip (only 512K enabled so far), EHB Denise. A friend of mine says it works just fine on an A1200. MINI REVIEW I'm surprised that hardly anybody on this net ever mentioned the game called Dune. This game is absolutely superb. You need OS 2.04 or greater to run it. (Probably because they needed OS 2.04 in order to do what looks like 3-4 Megs of graphics and special effects that you would only see in euro-demos previously and fit it in 3-disks with no compression). I could easily give a 9.5 for graphics and sound on this one. There are reasons though. The original artist did the Amiga graphics, and he used color cycling and what looks like copperlists really well. The game runs fast with or without acceleration. The only time where I could see the game slow down a bit from the otherwise speedy motion is at only one part in the game. (I wont tell you what it is... it'll spoil the fun). Don't let the really nice graphics and sound make you think this game has no playability. Dune has tons of playability and, unlike any other game, the playability enhances as you progress in the game. I can not compare this game to anything else; it uses a unique playing system that alters for the better when you get better. Technically, this is a strategy game, but of a kind that some people who don't like strategy would gladly get into. It's weird: you play it saying, "What kind of game is this?" The game then surprises you every few minutes, and you're hooked. The music in the game is done really well: lots of nice quality samples which I would love to get my hands on. The music suggests our modern style of popular tunes, but with some interstellar twists and some pretty interesting new groupings of instruments. The instruments they choose make for the uniqueness of the style. The write-up in the book about the composer seems to tell the truth in every way. I could give you a long analysis on the music style, but I won't :). The music is also available on CD. All I can say is, think of our modern popular music (American), mix it with a bit of Latin rhythm, think of the Alien soundtrack for a couple of the instruments, add a bit of the style from Endor (Ewok instrumentation and rhythm from Star Wars), mix them together, and that's as close as I could come to a picture of what it may sound like. It's a very nice buy. I'm already looking forward for the release of Dune II even though I haven't nearly come close to finishing this game. *************************************************************************** :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 *************************************************************************** > About The Internet Delphi Conference ==================================== Hosted by Robert Niles (RNILES) RNILES> Ok...looks like this is going to be it....I think we'll start. BURBS> Ok.. Make it so RNILES> First of all...thanks for coming. Walthowe is supposed to be here... RNILES> but hopefully he'll be here soon...he's not on Delphi the last time I checked. RNILES> First of all I would like to lay out some "rules".... RNILES> When you are typing and come to the end of the line, yet feel you have.. RNILES> more to say please end that line with "..." this way we know you will... RNILES> continue. I would like to keep it in a bit of order since BURBS... RNILES> is cpaturing all this... so if you have a question please... RNILES> announce yourself with "?"...and if you wish to insert a comment... RNILES> announce yourself with "!"...you will be asked to go ahead... RNILES> as soon as possible...please wait until you are asked to do so... RNILES> OK, first we'll go through a Q&A period..everyone is at different.. RNILES> levels with using the internet so it's hard to quage where to... RNILES> start...Rob_G is here to help answering the questions you ... RNILES> might have..sned them to him privately...I ask that you do this.. RNILES> where you might feel that it is irrelavant to the group...I would... RNILES> like most of this to be kept in BURBS' capture. OK...begin. BURBS> ! RNILES> go burbs BURBS> Well for starts.. Can you run down just what Internet is and why.... BURBS> I would want to use it RNILES> OK..the InterNet is a collection of several smaller nets... RNILES> which have originally been put together for educational...commercial.. RNILES> and governmental purposes...the so called spine of the InterNet is... RNILES> the NSF...National Science Foundation...with the help of then Sen... RNILES> Al Gore these networks were grouped together on a "super highway"... RNILES> so that communication between these groups would be easier... RNILES> Now this is all simplified...but that's the basics...Why do you want to... RNILES> use it??? Becuase you're file and information junkies... RNILES> Using the InterNet can take you to places all over the world... RNILES> and here on Delphi it costs only $3.00..no sales pitch..I'm just cheap.. RNILES> And there's no other way for me to do this....I send messages to.. RNILES> a friend of mine that works at boeing..I can call NASA spacelink.. RNILES> with out paying ma bell...I jump to berlin, swtserland, finland... RNILES> and other places just to get files...there's alot more even if you... RNILES> are looking for something else besides stuff for the computer...info..books.. RNILES> etc. ...OK, I'm done. BURBS> ! RNILES> go burbs BURBS> Where can I log on to Internet form Delphi? RNILES> From the Amiga SIG type "main int" or from the main menu just type "int" RNILES> ... RNILES> and that will take you to the InterNet SIG..from there you go where you please. BURBS> ! RNILES> go burbs BURBS> Looks like Im gona keep this thing going :-)........ BURBS> What would you recommened an Amiga head to Go from the Internet menu? RNILES> Depend on what you want to do..get files?...most likely.. BURBS> Most likely :-) RNILES> then you would want to FTP somewhere (FTP= File Transfer Protocol)... RNILES> there are a few good sites to go to...there are ALOT with just a few... RNILES> AMIGA files but there are two in which I frequent... RNILES> from the Internet SIG type "ftp wuarchive.wustl.edu"... RNILES> the ftp tells delphi you are entering the file transer program... RNILES> and the wuarchive.wustl.edu is the place.... RNILES> the other place is amiga.physik.unizh.ch which is in europe.. RNILES> this place is "mirrored" on wuarchive.wustl.edu also if you find it... RNILES> busy...but going there directly gets you the newer files faster... RNILES> If all of you would like I can do a run down of everything and... RNILES> we can just go on with the Q&A from there. BURBS> ! RNILES> Let me know with a "#" if you wish to do this..go burbs BURBS> So from that point... I can Download a file like I would from Delphi? RNILES> Ok...once you type "ftp wuarchive.wustl.edu" you will be... RNILES> asked for a user name...just hit return to go anonymous (which is RNILES> what you want to do when you "visit" a site to get files...and is ... RNILES> refered as "anonymous ftp") then hit return again for the password... RNILES> doing so will enter you password as "firstname.lastname@example.org" which is ... RNILES> not required, but standard protocol....after a bit you will get a "FTP>"... RNILES> prompt...at this point you are in their system...in their DOS... RNILES> You move to the area you want much like you would using the CLI... RNILES> using CD to get around...on wuarchive...the main amiga area is... RNILES> in the path "systems/amiga" just type "cd "systems/amiga"".... RNILES> You need to have the quotes when you type a name or command that... RNILES> has commands that delphi interprets as it's own... RNILES> you could simply type "cd systems" then type "cd amiga", but the other... RNILES> way is much faster...once you do that you enter an area which... RNILES> has alot more dirs...utils...os2...etc...to see what is there... GRUMPA> who RNILES> you can type either "ls" or "dir" ...dir works the way the "list"... RNILES> command in the CLI does..and the "ls" works much like the CLI's dir ... RNILES> command...next enter the dir you wish...do another "ls" to see what is there... RNILES> there might be more dirs but most of the time in this area you have... RNILES> a listing of files...you will see something like... RNILES> hamlab.lzh and hamlab.lzh.txt or such... RNILES> the .txt or .readme ending give you a desription or whatever... RNILES> the uploader wanted you to know about the file...to see the description... RNILES> type "get "hamlab.lzh.txt" tt" ...again..I often use the quotes... RNILES> as delphi here does not recognize the use of two postfixes. RNILES> ... RNILES> and it will be displayed on your screen... RNILES> the "tt" tell delphi to send it to your screen instead of your... RNILES> workspace...to have the text file sent to your workspace.. RNILES> for later viewing or whatever..leave off the "tt"... RNILES> Next..if this is the file you want to get you must first type... RNILES> ...."binary"...this tells delphi and the remote site...that you... RNILES> are requesting a binary file..otherwise it is assumed it is ascii.. RNILES> then you hit return... RNILES> and type "get hamlab.lzh" RNILES> the file will be sent to your workspace... RNILES> and you download it from there..much the same way as you do from the dbase. BURBS> ! RNILES> go burbs BURBS> Fingers hurt yet? So... Its Binary first followed by a .... BURBS> And then type the file nema? BURBS> nema = Name RNILES> Type "binary" hit then type "get filename" ...also the file... RNILES> name MUST be in quotes if it contains any capital letters or contains.. RNILES> characters that are not the standard A-Z (and the "."). RNILES> For example if the name of the file is ...it must be... RNILES> in quotes. BURBS> Ok.... Got another Question... RNILES> go burbs . BURBS> Is it eazy to spot new files on a sight? RNILES> Depends...usually there is a dir called "incoming" on these sites.... RNILES> they have almost the same set of dirs as the parent dir yet these are... RNILES> newer files....also on wuarchive..there is a listing in the main amiga dir RNILES> with the name of something like new0901.readme where the numbers are the RNILES> date..I can't remember the format exactly..I have wuarchive send it.. RNILES> to my mail box directly each day, but you can view this just as... RNILES> specified under viewing a text file. RNILES> anyone? BURBS> ! RNILES> go burbs GRUMPA> ? BURBS> How do you get wuarchive to put it in you mailbox every day? RNILES> hold grumpa...I was afraid you'd ask that...I'll have to get back.. RNILES> with you on that and I'll post it in the forum..it's been a long time. RNILES> go grumpa GRUMPA> BURBS asked my question ;-) RNILES> There's an email address... RNILES> in which you send mail to the file mgr (tucker)..I need to get you.. RNILES> the address, but the info text file on how to do it is also.. RNILES> in the main amiga dir there on wuarchive. BURBS> Anyone else have a question? GRUMPA> ? RNILES> go grumpa GRUMPA> are there more amiga sites than the 2 you listed at the start? RNILES> yes....there are quite a few....someone uploaded a list of some of the RNILES> sites in the dbase...it tells you the site and the path to the... RNILES> dir that it is in...also you can use archie to find others or something... RNILES> more specific. SIRJAMES> ? RNILES> go sirjames SIRJAMES> how do I send e-mail to someone on the other side of the world RNILES> First of all you need to know the address of that person... RNILES> for example... RNILES> my email address here on delphi is "email@example.com"... RNILES> the first part is my name on the system....followed by the "@"... RNILES> sign..then the site in which the person is on... RNILES> To send someone email through the internet... RNILES> go to any area in which you can access the mail section... RNILES> usually each sig has that command..."mail". Once there.. RNILES> type "send"... RNILES> it'll ask you "to:".... RNILES> and you enter INTERNET"name@address" ... RNILES> A quicker way would be to type IN%"name@place" RNILES> the "%" makes for a quicker way... RNILES> of not having to type out "INTERNET". BURBS> ? RNILES> go burbs BURBS> How did you get you interNet Address?... Was it automatic ? RNILES> All you have to do is register for access to the InterNet. BURBS> ? RNILES> go burbs BURBS> So you would Join the Internet Sig... just like you would join another sig on delphi? RNILES> No...once you join the internet sig...on the menu selection... RNILES> there is "Register/Cancel InterNet"...registering allows delphi... RNILES> to charge you the $3.00 and then you have access to the internet.. RNILES> at this point you may use any internet service. BURBS> And you get you address then? RNILES> that is automatic...you would be "firstname.lastname@example.org" automatically. BURBS> Ha... COOL! RNILES> yeah..it is...the nice thing is that you can communicate easier.. RNILES> with some of these programmers that have intenet email addresses... RNILES> from Delphi it takes aprox 4 min to reach Boeing...that might give... RNILES> you an example on how nice this internet email is. BURBS> ? RNILES> go burbs BURBS> Do you know of any other EUROPEAN Sights? RNILES> sure... RNILES> litamiga.epfl.ch.... RNILES> ftp.luth.se..... RNILES> ftp.uni-kl.de.... RNILES> ftp.cs.tu-berlin.de... RNILES> and nic.funet.fi.... GRUMPA> ! RNILES> there are more....but this is the list I keep. RNILES> go grumpa GRUMPA> I want to thank you for providing all this neat stuff... GRUMPA> I got dumpoed and didnt get a complete captutre so I am looking forward to BURBS copy... GRUMPA> gotta go for thanks again RNILES> ok...take care... BURBS> Grumpa? GRUMPA> Night all RNILES> Here's a overview of some of the other things avail... RNILES> We covered..the internet address..internet mail...FTPing..now ... RNILES> we'll cover Telnet and some others.... RNILES> For those who don't know Telnetting is the ability to transfer to.. RNILES> another site just as if you were calling and logging onto another.. RNILES> BBS....You do this in the same way as FTP but instead of typing... RNILES> FTP you enter TELNET...once logged on you can access that system.. RNILES> like you would a BBS...since you are loggin on..you have to have... RNILES> an account there...some sites let you..some don't...most if they... RNILES> let you will tell you on the logon screen what to enter to join... RNILES> as a guest or new user....you will need to keep a user name and a... RNILES> password just like you would here on delphi or anyother BBS... RNILES> All systems are different so I won't go into what each of these are ... RNILES> like but you are THERE....you can even call delphi and "TELNET" over RNILES> to BIX or PORTAL or whatever....TELNETting just gives you the ability to RNILES> leave delphi and call another site using the INterNet highway.... RNILES> ARCHIE..is a file...directory...site finding program.... RNILES> In the InterNet SIG enter the Other services menu ...and then type... RNILES> [archie]...hit return...delphi will connect you (actually through... RNILES> telnetting) to the Archie site..the one I like the best for here... RNILES> int he US is "rutgers" once logged on it'll give you the logon... RNILES> prompt and you type [archie] again hitting return..it'll give you an... RNILES> info screen and then another prompt...type" find [whatever]... RNILES> whatever being ..whatever you want to find..this is a good way to... RNILES> get a listing of site that have AMIGA files...just type "find amiga" and it... RNILES> go through and search out all the sites that contain any mention of the word... RNILES> "AMIGA"...you can use this to find anything. RNILES> There is also... RNILES> other services...not all often used by myself the most used ones being... RNILES> WAIS and GOPHER...for these you need to have delphi set for you as RNILES> using .... RNILES> a VT100 emulator...and have delphi echo everything... RNILES> (on delphi type [/echo host-echo]).... RNILES> And last before I answer more or finish is a couple compression... RNILES> methods found... RNILES> like files ending with .TAR and .Z ...I'll make sure these... RNILES> archivers are in the dbase ...TAr is easy to work with...much like .ARC... RNILES> or .LHA...but the .Z compression was harder to find something to ... RNILES> deal with...I looked all over for something that would decompress a .Z file... RNILES> I kept finding something that would only compress a file with the ... RNILES> .Z extention..but the docs always had intructions for decomprsssing... RNILES> these...the archive would conatin the docs and the "compress" program.. BLITHER> It's a UNIX thing. It will decompress if compressed. RNILES> I finally got one with the ...well kind of... RNILES> depends on the "compress" program..it was wierd..I got the source... RNILES> file and found out that all I had to do was rename the file called "compress" to RNILES> "uncompress" and it worked...strange...well anyways...it's now open forum..thanks for... RNILES> letting me babble..I hope I helped some...you can always ... RNILES> contact me here if you have any other "Q"s and ROB_G is avail..also BLITHER> Do you have the version of compress that will decode the 16 bit compression? RNILES> sorry Walthowe didn't come, but you can ask him. GRUMPA> Nite all BURBS> I would like to say one thing...... RNILES> blither...yes...look in amiga.physik...for compress.lzh... BLITHER> It's calle Ya, I got it. RNILES> and it has seperate compess programs for each bit difference.. RNILES> ..oh ok..go burbs BLITHER> All you have to do is put a -d flag behind it. BURBS> If everyone starts to grab .z and .tar files.. Convert them to LZH or .Lha before .... BURBS> uploading them here. RNILES> Hahaha...ok burbs...I'll also put up the compress version I have... BURBS> Good idea! BLITHER> me, too. RNILES> blither...I tried that with the file I had...I... RNILES> don't know if it had that switch but I tried them all...the only... RNILES> solution I had was to rename compress...but I'll look again..I spent 2 hours... RNILES> looking for it. BLITHER> Jeez RNILES> tell me! BLITHER> I'll upload my version. It's call compress.b16 RNILES> well it looks like most have left...I have one archive that has all... RNILES> the differnt bits...also I have compress4.0 and that is 16bit. BLITHER> I see. BLITHER> Should be no prob then. RNILES> ...I found alot of them...no no probs any more..but I'll try what you said... RNILES> it took me a while to figure out what they were conveying. BLITHER> 39 RNILES> hey...I don't recall meeting you.. BLITHER> I just joined. Don't know my way around very well yet. RNILES> thanks burbs for capturing it all...blither..how u like it so far? BLITHER> It's o.k. I missed my internet access from when I was going to school. BURBS> It will be avaiable online by tomorow morning BLITHER> But it's not the same as a Unix shell. RNILES> Yeha..me being here in the middle of Wash state..we don't have a plce RNILES> for local access to the internet..I love UNIX...good system..mostly.. BLITHER> Where in Wash.? I'm in Seattle. RNILES> 'cuz it's good to learn somrthing new though. RNILES> OK burbs thanks..I hope it helped some... RNILES> did you get all your Q's answered? RNILES> ** Group is not Quiet ** RNILES> burbs? BURBS> yes RNILES> ..out for a smoke I guess..Ok, I;m gonna go..I'm the last one here... RNILES> ...oh there you are... RNILES> looks like we're done. BURBS> Thanks for your time! RNILES> Thanks for coming! ...see ya around..I'll call your system tonight..bye! Reprinted with permission of Delphi's Amiga Forum. *************************************************************************** > 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: Oxyd ==================== By Christopher Davis (email@example.com) PRODUCT NAME Oxyd BRIEF DESCRIPTION A game of puzzles and tests that challenge you to restart all the oxygen generators (called Oxyds) on your planet. AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION Name: Dongleware Publishing, Inc. Address: P.O. Box 391829 35 Howard Street Cambridge, MA 02139 USA Telephone: (800) 228-OXYD (228-6993) (617) 497-1130 FAX: (617) 497-1130 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Compuserve 72377,351) email@example.com The Compuserve address is recommended for quicker replies. LIST PRICE The demo is free (on anonymous archive site wuarchive.wustl.edu). The Oxyd Book is available from Dongleware for US $39.00 plus postage. SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS HARDWARE Oxyd requires 2.5 Meg of RAM. A hard drive is highly recommended. I have not tried it on my 68000, but things were quite quick on my Fusion 40 accelerator. SOFTWARE There are no special software requirements. I tested with AmigaDOS version 2.04. I could not try 1.3, or anything later (2.1 or 3.0). Everything worked fine under 2.04. COPY PROTECTION There is no copy protection per se. The first 10 levels are available to all. Starting with level 11, there are "tokens" or blockers sprinkled around some levels. They usually block a key part of the map and must be removed. The only way to remove them is to consult the Oxyd book (mentioned above). The token will display a code, and that code determines which page,row and column of the book you use for countering the token. The program is hard drive installable. It can be annoying to look up the codes in the book, but I prefer this to disk-based copy protection. MACHINE USED FOR TESTING Amiga 2000 with Fusion 40 (68040) accelerator 2 Meg of Chip RAM and 8 Meg Fast RAM AmigaDOS 2.04 (KickStart 37.175, WorkBench 37.67) REVIEW Oxyd is an enjoyable game of puzzle solving for both kids and adults. A co-worker and I have both really enjoyed playing it. His young daughter also enjoys the game. The Premise, from the Oxyd book (without permission): "Welcome to the world of Oxyd. Investigate the unknown world of bits and bytes in your computer. In the guise of a small black marble you will wander through landscapes with manifold types of tokens, landscapes full of uncountable objects. And truly fascinating landscapes they are... "But this world is threatened. overnight the mysterious Oxyds, which provide the world with vital oxygen, have closed themselves. Now the entire world threatens to suffocate. Only you can rescue this digital world. "Your task is to find all Oxyds in a given landscape and to touch them. Two of each of these Oxyds have the same pattern or color and must be touched one after another in order to remain opened and to give out vital oxygen. If it was only as simple as it sounds! Unfortunately the Oxyds are scattered far and wide through the landscape, and you must frequently think carefully indeed, before you can get to them. In addition, most of the other tokens and objects in this would have completely unknown effects. Every token and every object has its own particular characteristics and is connected in a complex fashion with the other tokens and objects. Besides courage and talent you also need a good deal of scientific curiosity. "Not until all the Oxyds have been opened can you reach the next landscape. The Oxyd world consists of 100 different landscapes. You have a long way to go before you can rescue all landscapes from suffocation. But it pays off: as savior of the Oxyd world you will have ample rewards." Well, enough of that. Oxyd is a multiple platform game. Versions exist for the Amiga, Atari, Mac, PC, and NeXT. Three languages are supported -- French, English and German -- and can be changed with a simple keystroke. Let's move on to the game. The playfield is called a landscape. To get to the next landscape, you must open all the Oxyds on the current landscape. This is done by touching them. They will stay open if you touch Oxyds of the same color in sequence. The puzzles and tasks range from very simple to very difficult. There are clues on many landscapes: some are helpful, but others are confusing or not so helpful. There are bombs, dynamite, lasers, mirrors, hidden passages, and all sorts of other toys available. Couple these things with landscapes over bottomless pits, crumbling floors, slides, pools of water to drown in, quicksand, and assorted traps, and each landscape becomes a worrisome place for a lone little black marble. Oxyd is quite a simple and elegant little game. The animation is quick and smooth. I found it easy to play and a pleasurable diversion, unlike some other games that are sometimes too obtuse. Some landscapes are purely intellectual, others rely totally on your manual dexterity, and still more rely on a close mix of the two. DOCUMENTATION No paper documentation or README file came with the demo, but there is a guide incorporated into the game, giving some basic details of playing. The Oxyd book has documentation, hints, and all the codes to make blocking tokens break up disappear. The book is nicely bound. It also contains details about all the other platforms and how the different platforms can interact. There is a two-player mode that can be played by connecting two computers via a serial cable, or network. There are 100 other levels for two players to explore. LIKES AND DISLIKES I noted a lot of likes in the review but will re-state them here. I liked the simplicity of Oxyd, and that simplicity really drew me to play. You start out on the first level, and progress from there. Each level is assigned a code when you first enter it. At the beginning of your game, you are asked for a code for the particular level you wish to play. This allows you to start where you left off, instead of at the beginning each time. (It also allows my co-worker's daughter to play her favorite levels over again.) One hint: don't play level 10 more than once. Cleverness of the puzzles has also kept me interested. I am on level 38. My coworker is on level 72 or so. He has the book, and I have just ordered it. I only have one major dislike: the bugs I have found (see BUGS section). The only other dislikes I have are minor. The resolution is 320x200, and I wish it were 640x200 or 640x400 (or at least had options for those resolutions). Another problem with Oxyd was that it seems to disallow multitasking. I tried the typical Amiga-M and could bring up no other screen, nor could I pull down the current screen to access others. I consider this a serious shortcoming and would haved called it a major dislike, but it just fell short of that category, since it didn't interfere with actual game play. Welcome improvements would be addressing the bugs listed in the BUGS section, and making multitasking available. COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS I noted how all the elements of Oxyd make it an extremely enjoyable game to play: much more so than other similar types of puzzle and action games. BUGS I found quite a few that mostly dealt with my Fusion 40. If I had the 68040's copyback mode on, I would have strange problems. In one case the timed game facility would pop on, and could not be turned off. In another case, no matter what I did, the blocker squares could not be destroyed. I read the codes and nothing would happen. Oxyd currently seems to interfere with a serial connection. I first tried to play it with my terminal emulator running with a session on a remote UNIX machine. When I finished playing, I returned to that session to find it locked up and could not release it. I attribute this to its looking at the serial port in preparation for the multi-player game. VENDOR SUPPORT Dongleware is open from 9 to 5 Eastern time for orders and general information. If you are stuck on a certain problem, you may call the local Boston area number between 5 and 8 pm Eastern time on Thursdays ONLY for hints. There is also a support person in Germany who can be reached via e-mail at the addresses above. WARRANTY None. CONCLUSIONS Oxyd has a lot of potential. I hope there are another few hundred levels to play in the future. Once the bugs are fixed and some features added, it will be a first class game. I would give Oxyd 4+ out of 5 stars. 5+ for actual game and 3 for system unfriendliness (mentioned above). """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Amiga Report CONFIDENTIAL "Rumors Tidbits Predictions Observations Tips" ========================= West Chester, PA -- Commodore is said to be releasing an Amiga 1400. It will be a two piece design, similar to the Mac LC, and will have a 25 MHz 68020. Price should be slightly more than the A1200. It is also rumored that K-Mart will be selling Amiga 600's. Orlando, FL -- Atari's new Falcon machine is finally starting to trickle into US dealers. No saleable units will be available for at least another month, however, as it is reported that there are still some 120 new dealers waiting for demo units. Reports from users say that the machine is extremely slow in 256 color mode, and the new multitasking operating system, MultiTOS, is so slow as to be virtually unusable. One reason for this is the lack of a software screen accelerator for the Falcon. The OS for the Atari ST since the beginning has had poorly designed drawing routines, requiring a large patch to speed up redraws. These 'screen acclerators' have thus become very popular. So far, none of them work with the Falcon in any of the new resolutions. Hollywood, CA -- The television series, "Key West" will return to its original timeslot, Tuesday evenings at 10 pm (Eastern Time) beginning June 1st. Strong reactions from viewers about its removal may have prompted its return. Much thanks to FOX TV! Des Moines, IA -- Respresentatives of AMAZING COMPUTING and the university of Iowa held a press conferences in which they confirmed that Marc Barrett is indeed "The Bandito" of Amazing Computing "Roomers" fame. It seems that -MB- has been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder; As the Bandito, he happily stares into his A3000 monitor. As -MB- he is unable to resist the urge to open his AMAX window and pretend that his Amiga3000 is not really there. "The cat's outta the bag," said one senior editor at Amazing Computing, "we'll have to find a new rumor-monger." Inside sources suggest the Jerry Shekhel is on the "short list" to replace the now institutionalized Barrett. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > 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" ================== """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Amiga Report International Online Magazine ~ STR Publications -* [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport *- """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" AR Online! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" May 14, 1993 Amiga Report Copyright (c) 1993 All Rights Reserved No.1.09 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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. 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