~~~ STE SIG ARTICLE #2 ~~~

     Welcome to the STE Special Interest Group (STE SIG). If this is the 
first time you've read this section,  then let me introduce myself - I'm 
Gary Spiteri chief of STE stuff so to speak.  I do my best to look after 
the  STE  members out there by keeping you in touch with  the  news  and 
views on their machine - the STE. And so to business....

              ~~~~~~ ATTENTION! THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! ~~~~~

     As  you may or may not know the DMA handler chip that  looks  after 
hard  disk drives,  laser printers and also containing the  DMA  sampled 
sound hardware, has a major bug in it that results in the STE corrupting 
the  directories of hard drives hooked to it.  Atari are AT THIS  MOMENT 
doing  a  FREE  REPLACEMENT of the  offending  chip.  Contact  Atari  or 
ComputerFair,  or  the nearest authorised Atari dealer.  I've made  mine 
worked on and it works!  And as a bonus, the new chip also somehow fixes 
those Y modem problems (a CTS/RTS problem infact). So get to it!

* STE Public Domain Disks

     Anyone who has a modem would know about the STE section on the  ACE 
BBS.  There's  a bit there that's worth having and more will be  on  the 
way. For those who have not got a modem, fear not! here is the solution. 
Anouncing  the  "STE  ESSENTIALS" series of disks.  Disk  1  is  already 
available  from the PD library.  It contains  utilities,  patches/fixes, 
advice and other goodies. For example there is a program that allows the 
STE  to  be expanded to odd memory amounts like 2« MEG and  3  MEG.  The 
KEYBELL  programs replace the boring key click with great  sounding  DMA 
samples,  I  at  the  moment  typing with  what  sounds  like  a  manual 
     In addition to the "ESSENTIALS" disks,  the library now has the six 
STE demos written by Tony Barker.  Soon I'll get "The Jungle Demo"  from 
the  UK  and that will be released too.  And a new version  of  the  STE 
Starter disks with some of the stuff on STE ESSENTIALS #1 has also  beeb 

* New STE products

     Companies are finally begining to notice the STE and have  released 
product that take advantage of the STE's features:

     The  GST  40E  is  the first  video  digitiser/grabber  that  takes 
advantage of the external phase lock capability on the STE.  Simply plug 
it into the monitor port and away you go!  ST owners have to open  thier 
machine and install an extra chip board.

     PC  SPEED STE is an STE version of PC Speed the  IBM  emulator.  It 
simply plug into the STE fitting over the socketed CPU. It supports CGA, 
Hercules, Tandy and Olivetti High Res. displays, read the mouse (for use 
with Windows 3), the serial and parallel ports, hard drives and extented 
memory if the STE has 2MEG or more of RAM.

     A  new  game called "VAXINE" when run on an STE uses the  machine's 
extra  colours and sound to produce more colours on screen,  with  finer 
shading and extensive sample sound.  The reviewer noticed that it looked 
and sounded identical to the amiga version (big deal!)

     Deluxe  Paint 3 for the ST has a button that selects the STE's 4096 
colour pallete for finer colour choice - like 16 gray shades.

* Whats wrong with DC Showit v1.1?

     I don't know - except that when used the second time the screen  is 
blank  -  right.  Well press "T" to go to the top of the  file  and  the 
problem is fixed! I think its a memory addressing problem....!?

* The tale of 3 ARC formats...

     Okay  so  ARC  v6.02 crashes on the STE - rats!  i  suppose  a  new 
version is in the pipeline,  but in the meantime what do we use to unARC 
files  that contain subdirectories that are ARCed with v6.02?  Easy  you 
don't use ARC v6.02,  one uses Dcopy v3.6 instead!  This program is able 
to unARC all *.ARC files including subdirectories as per v6.02.
     So what happens if you want to ARC a subdirectory?  Easy you  don't 
use ARC but you use ZOO. This ARChiver is similar to ARC v6.02 but works 
on the STE. To use to you need a shell program - so use ARCGSHL v3 which 
is  an excellent shell for ARC,  ZOO and LHarc.  I personally use  LHarc 
because for its high compaction abilities, but ZOO is good too.

* TOS 1.62 is here! - somewhere

     The  latest delivery of STE's to hit the shops will besides  having 
the new DMA chip, will also have TOS 1.62. This TOS fixes to medium res. 
boot problem (no more STE_FIX needed) and a few other things (maybe even 
that  memory  sizing problem).  Rumours about a TOS 1.62  "upgrade"  are 
around - but nothing definite.  I presume to will be a upgrade like  TOS 
1.4 is now offered to existing ST owners.

     Rumours  about a new desktop designed by the makers of NeoDesk  are 
floating  around.  Its supposed to be built into the new 32 MHz TT  (yes 
the  TT is delayed to up the clock speed so it is more competetive  with 
the  Amiga 3000).  This desktop is to "migrate to the ST/STE"  soon,  so 
says  a  senior Atari dude.  Because the STE has a larger OS  ROM  space 
(256K infact thats double the ST's ROM) this new desktop could be a very 
attrative upgrade. 

* And finally to the Blacklist

     All  is quiet on the crash front lately - no-one has  contacted  me 
about  any programs that don't work on the STE,  v1.1 of  the  Blacklist 
must be good!  Still I've just written BlackList v1.2 of the  Blacklist, 
it includes a few educational titles.  If you have or know of a  program 
that crashs on the STE and it's not on the list then please let me know!

     Til next time
          Gary Spiteri
           Tel (02) 603 2970 or on the BBS as "GARY SPITERI" 

Gary Spiteri
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