Contents | < Browse | Browse >

===========================================================================
==                    Soft-Logik Conference on Portal                    ==
===========================================================================

To announce some PageStream 3.0 news, an agreement with Digita, and their
move to Windows and Mac support, Soft-Logik held a conference recently on
Portal.  It was attended by roughly 35 people, listed below...

    John D Short (John D Short)           soft-logik (soft-logik)
    Harv (Harv)                           Izzy (Izzy)
    HOWARD L GAZES (TheDuck)              Jcompton (jcompton)
    lbperez (Luis & Maria)                devasoft (devasoft)
    PKB (PKB)                             Voltar (Voltar)
    Waylander (Waylander)                 Milestone (Milestone)
    JeffH (JeffH)                         Amiga2 (Mike-SLslave)
    DonM (DonM)                           Drakon (Drakon)
    ScottJ (ScottJ)                       Michael A Radanovich
    amiga1 (Deron-SLPREZ)                 JeffW (FPW)
    CliffG (CliffG)                       Jumpdisk (Jumpdisk)
    KyleW (KyleW)                         grog (grog)
    AmiGadget (AmiGadget)                 HAWK (HAWK)
    jraGRAPHICS (jraGRAPHICS)             RickB (RickB)
    SubDriver (SubDriver)                 Amiga2 (Mike-SLslave)
    gsarff (gsarff)                       DrTed (DrTed)
    SBurroughs (SBurroughs)               sjn (sjn)
    Lyonking (Lyonking)

This conference transcript is Copyright 1994, The Amiga Zone,
all rights reserved.

Amiga Report magazine is hereby granted exclusive non-commercial
distribution rights.

Commercial reprinting or redistribution of this transcript is
expressly forbidden without permission.  Write to "harv@cup.portal.com"
if you are a commercial magazine who wishes to publish any or all
of this transcript.

Do not perform any further editing on this transcript without
first obtaining written permission.

Harv: SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO...  PLEASE SIT BACK, RELAX, DON'T TYPE, AND
      LET ME NOW INTRODUCE KEVIN DAVIDSON, OUR WUNNERFUL SOFT-LOGIK ONLINE
      SUPPORT GUY HERE WHO WILL INTRODUCE TONITE'S WUNNERFUL GUESTS...  KEVIN?

soft-logik: Thank you.  I'm very pleased to have our two guests here
            tonight.  First wearing the Deron SLPREZ trunks, is Deron
            Kazmaier (hope I pronounced that right) Deron is the President
            of Soft-Logik Publishing and the principal designer and author
            of PageStream and his slave, Michael Loader publisher of
            Radical Type Magazine and author of the PageStream 3 manual and
            other soft-logik documents Michael is the real brains behind
            the support we offer here on Portal Gentlemen, would you like
            to make any opening remarks?

Mike-SLslave: Sure. I'm going to post some stuff for Deron.

              "Thank you for coming to tonight's conference.  I'm glad to
              have this opportunity to speak with you in person.  We don't
              have anything new to announce tonight, but we have made a
              number of announcements in the last month that I'm sure you
              will want to discuss.  I know you all have a lot of
              questions, and I'll answer them in a minute.  First, I would
              like to summarize our latest news.

              PAGESTREAM3 AMIGA.  Our main priority at this time is
              PageStream3 for the Amiga.  We are committed to finishing the
              unimplemented features and fixing any problems remaining in
              the program.  We want to make it the best desktop publisher
              possible.  Version 3.0d is being released tonight and will
              greatly improve the usability of the program."

              PAGESTREAM FOR MACINTOSH AND WINDOWS.  I hope that those of
              you who are thinking about changing computers will stick with
              your present computer until we release PageStream for
              Macintosh and Windows.  I can't tell you when they will be
              available, but we have already begun work on them.  We will
              have a very affordable upgrade path from the Amiga and Atari
              versions but pricing has not been announced.  Subsequent
              versions will add support for other machine specific
              features.  There will also be a Windows version of TypeSmith,
              our font editor.

              WORDWORTH AND DATASTORE.  We recently signed an exclusive
              licensing agreement with Digita International.
              Soft-Logik is now selling and supporting Wordworth and
              Datastore in the United States and Canada.  Wordworth 3.1 is
              the latest version of Digita's award-winning word processor,
              while Datastore is a new personal database manager.  We think
              that these programs are the best in their class and will be
              of great interest to all Amiga users.  A document filter for
              PageStream3 will be available early next year to load an
              entire Wordworth document into PageStream to preserve the
              document layout.

               MOVING.  We're moving to a new building at the end of this
               coming week.  Here's our new address and phone numbers:

                                 OLD STREET ADDRESS       NEW STREET ADDRESS
                                 11131F South Towne Sq.   315 Consort Drive
                                 St. Louis, MO  63123     St. Louis, MO  63011

                                 OLD POST OFFICE BOX      NEW POST OFFICE BOX
                                 P.O. Box 510589          not yet available
                                 St. Louis, MO  63151     St. Louis, MO  63011

                                 OLD PHONE NUMBERS        NEW PHONE NUMBERS
              SALES              1-800-829-8608           1-800-829-8608
                                   314-894-8608             314-256-9595
              TECHNICAL SUPPORT  1-800-829-5816*          1-800-829-5816*
                                   314-894-0431             314-256-9333
              FAX                  314-894-3280             314-256-7773
              BBS (2 lines now!)   314-894-0057             314-256-8971

              * for paid technical support only

              That's all the latest news. I'll let Kevin take over again now.

soft-logik: Thanks Michael...

            Before I turn the conference over for questions, I'd like to
            take a point of priviledge and ask one opening question...
            Could you summarize the highlights of tonight's PageStream 3.0d
            release?

Deron-SLPREZ: Faster text, gradient fill onscreen, and more bug fixes than
              you can shake a stick at :)

jcompton: Even though the Amiga situation isn't solved yet the Amiga will
          need more going for it than ever before when it comes back out. 
          Packed-in DTP certainly couldn't hurt.  How seriously would you
          consider striking a deal to pack PageStream in with a model or
          line of Amigas?

Deron-SLPREZ: Well, we have been bundles in England on the Atari in the
              past (long time ago).  We have always been interested, but
              DTP has never been C='s target market.  I can only offer, I
              cant lead the horse to water even in this case!

CliffG: Does Wordsworth support tables and does it have end/footnotes?  If
        not will it?

Deron-SLPREZ: Wordworth supports tables and endnotes, but no footnotes.
              Its on the wishlist, but who knows when.

soft-logik: [Note, I'll have a Wordworth and Datastore preview pack in the
            Soft - Logik vendor area here by tomorrow]

ScottJ: Deron, given the unfinished state of PageStream 3.0, why didnt
        Soft- Logik wait another quarter before releasing it?

Deron-SLPREZ: Not many more reasons other than the one in the readme when
              you install...The program has almost ever feature that 2.2
              does, and so many more, that to call it "unfinished" is only
              a half truth anyway.  Yes it doesn't do everything the manual
              says it should, but it still does a whole lot...  That 1 meg
              program is 1 meg for a reason :)

Luis & Maria: how real will be the pantone supportga

Deron-SLPREZ: The pantone support is finished, so I'm not sure what your
     asking. Could you elabrate?

Luis & Maria: yes will the display will be close to the color or it will be
              like now that you see a different shade of blue when yuo ask
              for process blu or yellow when yousk for orange

Deron-SLPREZ: We ask the system for the proper color.  If your running a 4
              color screen, you not going to get an accurate on screen rep.
              Even at 256 colors it may not be 100%.  The amiga is behind
              the times when it comes to hardware calibration of colors.
              Not much I can do about that.

TheDuck: more of a suggestion than a question, the font.spec template from
         old version 2.2 doesnt load properlly, i guess because of tags...
         will this file ever be updated?  it is the most usefull of files

soft-logik: Howard, that should be fixed (3.0d?)

Deron-SLPREZ: The 2.2 document loader has been fixed so that the tag
              problem is no longer a problem.

Harv: FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR GUESTS, HOW MANY OF YOU CURRENTLY OWN
      PAGESTREAM (ANY VERSION)?  JUST SAY "YES" OR "NO" NOW PLEASE

soft-logik: yes                   CliffG: yes
TheDuck: yes                      Jumpdisk: yes
jraGRAPHICS: yes                  Michael A Radanovich: yup
Luis & Maria: yes                 grog: no
JeffH: yes                        RickB: YES
Voltar: no                        KyleW: yes
SubDriver: yes                    jcompton: Yes
FPW: nope                         HAWK: yes

KyleW: whenever I up versions I seem to loose the color palete as in I cant
       type anytrhing that will show on screen..  is there an easy way to
       keep this from hapening and fix it ?? 

Mike-SLslave: We're not sure what you mean.  Color palettes with regard to
              text not showing???

KyleW: yes text will not show up using the default after the instalation of
       30b

Mike-SLslave: Compugraphic Intellifonts?  Ensure you have the 1.0b CG.font
              engine for PageStream3.0c and then choose Settings/Fonts.
              Select the Intellifonts path.  Click on Update.  CLick on
              Save.

soft-logik: [The FONT ENGINE update is here for downloading]

DonM: I'm a long time ProPage user that converted (trying to?) with PS 4. 
      Almost none of my PP and ProDraw files have converted successfully. 
      Is that being worked on, or is there something I didn't understand?  ga

Deron-SLPREZ: About prodraw, we just found and fixed a problem with objects
              coming in with no fill on and the line weights are ok now.
              It should be close.  About propage, we ask that simple files
              that demonstrate the problem be sent in.  We can only do so
              much without the file format.

jcompton: Follow-up to my question...you said something like "C= never made
          DTP a priority".  You won't be dealing with Commodore.  Are you
          willing to give a new company a new chance?

Deron-SLPREZ: My point was that we have worked with everyone who has wanted
              to work with us.  Why wouldn't we?

Harv: Here's a non tech question: you guys pretty much own the Amiga DTP
      market now, and you now sell a word processor.  what kind of
      competitive upgrade prices do you offer?  If it's too complicated to
      type in, please give the details to Kevin so he can post it here.
      i.e.  for owners of ppage, saxon, word perfect, prowrite, etc.  etc.

Deron-SLPREZ: PageStream3 can be had for $250 direct, or $225 for "competitive"
     upgrades.. Wordworth is $135 direct, $120 for softlogik owners.

Harv: are you going to sell some kind of "super bundle" and maybe put it on
      cd-rom?

Deron-SLPREZ: cd-rom? Not likely. Bundle, probably.

soft-logik: A POLL: HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE CD-ROM DRIVES ON YOUR AMIGA? JUST TYPE
     "YES" OR "NO"

Harv: yes                           Luis & Maria: yes
soft-logik: yes                     Drakon: yes
CliffG: YES                         Jumpdisk: yes
DonM: no                            JeffH: yes
ScottJ: Soon.                       Michael A Radanovich: no, not yet
TheDuck: as of monday  :>           SBurroughs: yes
sjn: no                             grog: no
RickB: OF COURSE                    SBurroughs: a fast yes
SubDriver: Yes

Michael A Radanovich: I bought a copy of Page stream 2.2 form a friend
                      (books, disks and all, even most of his hardware),
                      but not a registration card, because he had sent that
                      in will PageStream 3.0 be available to me as an
                      upgrade, adn if so how much $?

Deron-SLPREZ: You just need to send in a photocopy of the disks with the
              reg numbers on them, and your name and address along with the
              previous owners and they will swithc registrations and you
              can upgrade.  Just call sales at 800-829-8608 tomorrow for
              more details.

DrTed: How does the PS 3.0 unimplemented feature count and bug count
       compare to released DTP progs on other platforms...

Deron-SLPREZ: No doubt that the average release is not full of so many
              unimplemented features, however, with the death of C= our
              user base was beginning to believe that we would never ship
              the program.  We had to show everyone that we were still here
              and still working on it.  No doubt in anyones mind now what a
              great program we are working on, and like I said before, it
              still does so much more than anything else on the amiga.


Luis & Maria: will you disguise art epression to bring it to PS...  or you
              will make a nue progra...m please dont abandon art
              expressionga

Deron-SLPREZ: Since PageStream3 does so much already that would go into a
              new version of ArtExpression (like Pantone support, Arexx
              Macros, import/export, etc.  etc) We won't be doing a v2 of
              AE, but we will be coming out with an AE extension for
              PageStream that adds the 3 features that AE has.  Such as
              text on a path, text/objects in a shape, and blends.  It will
              be cheaper for us to make, and cheaper for you to buy :)

ScottJ: Any chance of PGS 3.0 supporting OS/2? If not, why not?

Deron-SLPREZ: Well, you can always run Windows programs under OS/2 (better
              windows than windows, as IBM says :), and OS/2 is third on
              our list, but we can only do so much at once.

RickB: I have been a loyal Pagestream user since 1.0 and have not been able
       to use 3.0 because it is toooooooooo slow...  I also am anoyed that
       the only way I can get the patches is thru an online service.  Why
       aren't you sending out patches to 3.0 users as a regular service?

Deron-SLPREZ: Well, about the only thing slower than PageStream2 in version
              3 is text and non-ps printing.  In case you havn't noticed,
              every version of pgs3 since version a has been at least twice
              as fast as the previous for text.  We even sped up graphics
              in 3.0d!  About the other part...as we have said, once
              everything is finished, we will update all of your users.
              But to mail disks to everyone every 3 weeks would cost way to
              much.  Mike, care to upload the notice on updates by mail?

Harv: comment: if you knew there was a new patch online, wouldn't you
      rather just d/l it in a couple minutes right now than wait 3 weeks
      for a disk to show up?  I thought most people with modems preferred
      online program patches.  shrug. 

Mike-SLslave: NEW PAGESTREAM3 UPDATE OPTION       ----   Nov 15, 1994

               A few people without modems have asked if they could buy a
               subscription to all the minor PageStream 3.0 updates rather
               than having to pay $10 for each update by mail (we always
               offer the most recent minor update on disk to customers for
               $10).  Some people with modems have asked for a similar
               option since their cost to download the updates is rather
               high.  For $30 ($40 outside of Canada and the United
               States), we will mail you each of the updates (3.0d,
               3.0e...) up to and including 3.1 (which will be mailed to
               all registered owners of 3.0 automatically).  We will send
               you the current version immediately, and then each of the
               updates as they become available.

               These update disks will be identical to the update patches
               offered here online.  Most online users will find it more
               cost-effective to continue to download each update, but for
               users who have to call long-distance to get them, this
               update subscription may be more affordable.  Getting the
               updates online is more timely, since those subscribing to
               this plan won't get them until a week after the patches are
               posted online.

               Note: We're not doing this to make a profit.  We're offering
               the update subscription for those who are without modems and
               for those who have to call long-distance to download the
               patches.

HAWK: why is there no overwrite mode ?

Deron-SLPREZ: Not much real use for it in a DTP program.  If you wish to
              replace 3 letters with 4, overwrite doesn't buy you much.
              Just hilight, and type over.  Simple.

SubDriver: I just received a (second) mailing for upgrading to 3.0 saying
           it was my "last chance"..  and that the upgrade offer "wouldn't
           last long" (or implying that) I'm a 2.2 owner.  How long will
           the upgrade offer last?  ($125 , I think?)

Mike-SLslave: The $125 upgrade offer is not expiring.  The expiration thing
              was supposed to refer to the powerup upgrade offer expiring.
              It wasn't clear, my fault.

Mike-SLslave: That mailing was sent to people who hadn't upgraded from 2.x,
              and those who owned other SL programs but not pgs.

sike-SLslave: Let me post our current pricing...
                            Retail SLprice CompUp Direct
              PageStream3:  $395   $210    $225   $250
              TypeSmith2.5: $200   $110    $125   $125
              Wordworth3.1: $225   $120    $135   $135
              Datastore1.0: $160   $ 85    $ 95   $ 95
              Retail:  suggested retail price
              SLprice: for owners of other Soft-Logik programs
              CompUp:  competitive upgrades from qualifying programs
              Direct:  direct price to anybody
              To order direct, call 1-800-829-8608. Shipping is $6 US,
              $7 Canada, $20 Europe, $30 Other.

jraGRAPHICS: what direction will you be taking pagestream (and the company)
             in these new markets (i.e., audience, features, etc.)?

Deron-SLPREZ: As far as audience goes, PgS3 has a very clean interface to
              app.library, which is our Amiga specific library of
              functions.  So pgs3 really doesn't know anything about
              screens, arexx, files, modules, etc.  That is handled in
              app.library.  Same for the modules.  So we just (like thats
              an easy task :)) have to port app.library to new platforms,
              and the core codes remains unchanged.  So we can support many
              platforms with less than normal effort.  About features, I
              can't really say right now.  Why spoil the fun :)

soft-logik: Now that you're distributing WordWorth and soon Datastore, are
            there any changes anticipated in these products, or PageStream
            to make them work together better?

Deron-SLPREZ: We don't develop Wordworth or Datastore.  We just import,
              sell, and support them.  We are going to be releasing a
              document loader for wordworth that supports things like
              graphics, but more than that is just a pure fancy at this time.

              BTW, that is a pagestream document loader for loading
              wordworth docs into pagestream.

Luis & Maria: are you going to make a filter for .cdr file

Deron-SLPREZ: Its on the wishlist, but until 3.1 its nothing more than
              that.  Thats our first and only priority right now.

DrTed: A year ago in VTU, you direct sold a Publishing Pack and a Power
       Users Pack.  I bought the Power Users pack thinking I was told there
       would be a cheap upgrade to 3.0, even though not with the Pub.
       Pack.  Was I wrong??

Deron-SLPREZ: My memory is less than perfect.  Let me look up the ad..  The
              ad says on the bottom "Upgrade to PageStream3 (when
              available) is $125.

DrTed: That was for both packages???

Deron-SLPREZ: I can't see how anyone might believe otherwise when looking
              at the ad.  What are you driving at?

DrTed: Just wanted to be sure...  ..

HAWK: Is there any way to turn OFF!! that BLINKING CURSER ??? !

Deron-SLPREZ: Nope, and I might find a way to make it more annoying :)

HAWK: why! you can in Page LINER?

Deron-SLPREZ: Are you asking "might we be able to turn it off in the
              future"?  You know us programmers!  (maybe is the answer).

soft-logik: A phone-in Question from Mike Williams: How about True Type
            font support for PageStream 3?

Deron-SLPREZ: Well, since PageStream uses a modular font approach (heck,
              delete iffdoc.dfilter and you can forget about loading/saving
              documents)...  Adding support for truetype "only" requires
              writting a truetype module, but no one here has the time.
              Like I said, 3.1 is our only mission right now.  Can't start
              promissing new features yet.  However, we have asked Relog
              (the authors of TypeSMITH) if they might be intereste d.  We
              shall all have to wait and see.  Until then, typesmith works
              just fine :)

Luis & Maria: what about the 2pt.  problem when you draw a line they
              aalways come out broken in pices

Deron-SLPREZ: I'm not familiar with that problem.  I can try it out later.
              When is the 2pt line "broken"?

Luis & Maria: every time a draw a line no matter if it is in PS or AE...
              it prints in seg and if I cut the object i segments is worst,
              always with HP 4M and HP 2P

Deron-SLPREZ: I'm afraid I can't reproduce your problem with PageStream to
              ps or non-ps.  Plese send in a printout and exact steps.

DrTed: Have you been surprised at the number of people who insist on doing
       direct text entry in PS rather than using pageliner or other text
       editor???

Deron-SLPREZ: DrTed, not really. Mike uses pagestream exclusivly.

Mike-SLslave: I wrote the whole 3.0 manual in 2.2 without any text editor.

HAWK: As I ask why not a overwrite mode in pgs.  ?  PGS2.22 did and its was
      very usefull for me!  I thought that PGS3.0 was to have all the
      pgs2.0 stuff and new things?  I find that there is a lot of things
      that is not in 3.0 that was very useful

Deron-SLPREZ: OK hawk. I'll take it under advisement. GA.

RickB: So what is the target date for 3.1??

Deron-SLPREZ: RickB: Well, 3.0e should be out by christmas (probably
              christmas eve).  Our present to you.  3.1?  You want to know
              this from the man who guessed August 93 for pagestream3?  I
              really don't know.  However, I see very little left to do in
              PageStream3 to make it better than 2.x in every way.  People
              get to hung up on a version, and forget they have what we
              consider the best software written for the Amiga already.

Luis & Maria: are you going to release a driver for the Epson Color Stylus,
              and mi wife wnats to tell you how sorry she was for being
              slow tyoing...and for her spelling errors ;) wooops...I am
              sleepy ;)

Deron-SLPREZ: We support the Epson Color Stylus up to 360x360 already, and
              soon as we get the docs from epson (soon?) we will support
              that as well.  No problem on the spelling and speed!  (oops,
              we will support 720x720 as well I should have said).

TheDuck: re: pageliner i am working on a rather large document, and i would
         like to insert italics and bold into the document via pageliner
         rather than in pgs, is there a way to do this?  iv been waiting on
         the updates to place my text into pgs

soft-logik: I can help you with that.

Mike-SLslave: Refer to appendix B for a complete list of text codes to use in
     PL's function keys.

Deron-SLPREZ: We have macros already for normal and bold (choose
              settings/function keys to see them), and you can easily add
              italics.

TheDuck: must have missed it, ok, thank you

Harv: END OF FORMAL Q&A SESSION.  I'D LIKE TO THANK DERON & MIKE FROM SOFT
      LOGIK FOR JOINING US HERE TONITE.  [APPLAUSE SIGN]

CliffG: Thanks Soft-Logik guys - good chat Harv and Jason and SL!
soft-logik: [applause!]