User Profile

Most of the software you use is probably Shareware, this means that if you use it regularly, you are obliged to register it. This can cause major problems when you need to register a foreign product - something which is becoming increasingly likely.

In step the Shareware Support groups such as InterActive and CyberSTrider to make the process easier. Joe Connor runs InterActive and supports some of the most popular programs currently available for TOS compatible computers. He does it in his own time and doesn't make any form of profit, his services are appreciated by all Atari owners. Recently, InterActive received its 1500th registration, no mean feat considering that in some peoples eyes the Atari range has been dead and buried for a long time!

This issue the man himself has his say!

**Describe your Atari setup**

I have:

Atari Falcon 4Mb RAM, internal 250Mb IDE drive, fitted with a GESoft Eagle Sonic 32MHz 68030 accelerator and external (Mega ST) keyboard. Ancillary equipment includes a Sony 17" monitor, EZ Syquest drive, Motorola 28K8 modem and HP Laserjet 4 printer.

My favourite machine at the moment is a Mac Duo Powerbook 280 capable of running at 640x480x16 grey levels, equipped with 12Mb RAM, internal 250Mb SCSI HD and 14K4 modem and running MagiC Mac 1.2.5. Atari computing on the move! Ancillary equipment includes a minidock which the Duo plugs into via a single connecter providing access to a full size Apple Design Keyboard, Floppy drive, EZ Syquest drive, and desktop monitor which I run at 800x600x256 colours several times faster than the Falcon!

My least favourite machine is a PC 486DX266 with internal 500Mb IDE HD and 8Mb RAM. It's a bit long in the tooth now but runs Gemulator quite happily at around Mega STe speed at 640x480x6 colours.

InterActive disk duplication is carried out using an old TOS 1.0, 1040 STFM.

I have another reserve system comprising a Mega ST4 connected to an aging Syquest 44Mb external HD via a Link2 SCSI host adaptor. This runs on an 14" SVGA monitor via a MGEII graphics card equipped with a 68881 maths co-processor.

I've got several other STFMs in various states of decay and another Mega ST, Spectre GCR, a couple of old modems etc but they're pretty much redundant these days.

What is your Atari's main use?

Running InterActive, this involves translation of German software into English, using RufTrade, a dictionary and years of experience. Each project requires a user database (Address), form letters (That's Write 3), disk labels (Calamus) and email contact with the author (Cixcomm/Cixread/StiK/CAB).

How long have you been an Atari user?

Since 1987. On a trip to Germany I saw an STF my brother had purchased and we were both hooked, he was into Games, I was into Computer Aided Design (CAD) and trying out new software.

What is your favourite Atari program?

There's no one favourite, I've fallen into and out of love with Calamus, DynaCADD and CADja but really enjoy most of the software InterActive supports -if I don't like it, I won't support it.

Any information about yourself ie your occupation etc.

Here's my personal entry from the InterActive web pages:

My interest in computers dates back to the early eighties when I was heavily into programming Vic 20s, Commodore Pets, Tangerines etc. but in the mid eighties I got bored with computers which seemed to please my wife for some reason...

Unfortunately (for her) I spotted an Atari ST in Germany in 1987 and my enthusiasm was rekindled -I became a born again computer evangelist, the worst kind!

By happy coincidence some of the best Atari software was being produced in Germany and my pigeon German came in useful hacking programs into English.

Soon after I got online people asked for copies of my hacked software so I got in contact with the authors to arrange permission and that's how InterActive got started.

By profession I'm a product designer and member of the Chartered Society of Designers (Joe Connor MCSD ackshully). I teach product design part time when I'm not playing on computers or with the kids.

Since 1989 I've contributed dozens of articles to ST World, Atari ST Review, Atari World, ST Applications and most recently the most excellent AtariPhile.

I've owned most Atari hardware and software over the years but I'm my current main machine is a Mac Powerbook Duo 280, running MagiC Mac, docked in a Minidock connected to a 17" desktop monitor running 800x600x256 with external keyboard, modem and EZ Syquest.


Technology, sci-fi, armchair football/grand prix, stamp collecting (Edward VII GB only), telephone card collecting, MG Cars (I started to restore my 1966 MG Midget in 1986 and it's still in pieces), good beer (German Weissen, Czech pils, English bitter...)


Broken promises, empty beer bottles, holidays in the sun...

InterActive supported software scheme

About the scheme

The supported Shareware scheme was started by Joe Connor in 1993 to encourage authors to produce and support English language versions of their software AND to encourage UK users to register 'foreign' software. Recently the scheme was re-launched as InterActive. With currently over 1500 registrations the scheme has established the proven benefits of local support, which include:

Registration fees are set to cover the currency handling, stationary, media and postage costs incurred in mailing out master disks and providing support.

Although primarily a UK support scheme everyone is welcome to register via InterActive as an alternative to registering directly with the author(s).

The currently supported software is:

Version Software      Fee     Status and description 
v1.73e  Kandinsky     16  [S] Vector art using GDOS/Speedo/NVDI3
v2.03e  Kandinsky 2   30  [S] Upgrade from v1.73 costs 16 Sterling
v1.51e  Two-in-One    13  [S] Archive manager, twin selector style
v4.8    GFA Flydials  13  [S] Enhanced GFA GEM routines [G]
v1.06e  GFA Patch      6+ [F] GFA patchs for most interpreters/compilers
v3.5e   Everest       11  [S] Text editor, fast and ultra compatible
v3.4i   Égale         16  [S] File compare, edit and patch editor
v5.9e   GSZRZ         16  [C] XYZmodem protocols [ACC/PRG/030]
v1.4d   OCR           11+ [F] Optical Character Recognition
v1.3f   CD-Player      6+ [F] Play audio CDs
v1.3    CAB            6+ [F] Crystal Atari Browser, html browser
v1.4e   ST-Guide       6+ [R] Hypertext help system [ACC/PRG]
v2.1e   AppLine        6+ [F] Program manager, a must for MagiC users!
v0.4e   Remarker       6  [S] Adds remarks to ST-Guide pages [ACC/PRG]
v2.63e  PacShell      11  [S] Archive manager, alternative desktop style
v10.94  STG Creator    6+ [F] Create hypertexts the easy way!
v3.71e  IdeaList      13  [S] Complete printer management [ACC/PRG]
v2.04e  Adresse       16  [S] Name & Address database [ACC/PRG]
v1.5    Munch         23  [S] Art package, mono only
v1.42e  TurboBlanker  10+ [S] Falcon screensaver/accelerator[ACC/PRG]
v1.15e  Freedom       16  [S] Alternative non-modal file selector
v1.0b   Thing         13# [S] Desktop replacement, full AV server
v0.95   Look'n See    20  [S] File manager/viewer, 99 amazing modules!
v1.3c   A'la Card     25  [S] Adds GFA Basic colour and MagiC Mac support!
v1.01e  ToDo          13  [S] Project manager, simple notepad style
v2.06   GDOS Check     6+ [F] Create GDOS font lists, test printable area
v5.21   JML-Snapshot  12  [S] Screen grabber, IMG/IFF/TIF, can grab windows
v1.0    Stewart        7  [S] Customise the look & feel for MagiC! [G]
v04/96  1st-Guide     20  [S] File viewer/hypertext [ACC/PRG][G]
v1.09e  GEM-FontView  10  [S] View entire bitmap/vector character set
v1.1e   GEMTrek        6+ [F] GEM based Battleships clone [ACC/PRG]
v1.2    C.O.E.        13  [S] Falcon fantasy wargaming
v1.02   Start Me Up!   6+ [F] Start button similar to Windows 95![G]
Christoph Zwerschke   10* [F] LED Panel, DiskCake, FontSel, Ikarus etc
Coming soon:
v1.03   McBoot        15  [S] Boot manager for all TOS based machines [G]
v1.02   Notice        13  [S] Desktop accessory editor, STG/ASCII/Binary 
v2.x    STella       TBA  [S] Image database, manager, viewer and editor

Key: [C]=Commercial    [S]=Shareware       [F]=Freeware    [R]=Fairware
     [G]=German       [GD]=German Docs       +=Minimum       *=All titles
   [ACC]=Accessory   [PRG]=Application   [030]=Separate 030 version
   All prices in pounds Sterling!            #=Registered users only

How to register from inside the UK
  1. Use the included ORDER_FM.TXT to select the required software
  2. Make sure your name and address is included and legible!
  3. Make cheques/POs payable to InterActive for the total amount
  4. Send the completed order form and payment to InterActive

Additionally from outside the UK

The following methods are known to work: Country specific information
Canada:    Canadian Post Office money orders made out in *Sterling* are 
France:    For some reason I'm getting a number of local cheques (i.e. 
           written in Sterling but drawn on a french bank address.
           I can accept these but they cost £5 to negoiate so you must add 
           an extra £5 to your order total.
Europe:    In general Post Office money orders are the best way to pay.
Australia: Thanks for all the pretty plastic Aussie dollars guys -but I'd 
           rather have Sterling! Visit your Post Office and get a money 
           order made out in *Sterling*.
USA:       What a nightmare! Can I suggest a day trip to a Canadian post 
           office? I've seen it all, Amex travellers cheques (add £5 to 
           order total), local cheques (no can do), cash (fine -but at 
           your own risk). There's currently no sensible solution.

Mail:  65 Mill Road, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5LJ, England
NeST:      90:102/168.0@nest.ftn
Fanfiles:  95:110/106.4@fanfiles.ftn
Telephone: UK+(0)1206 852602 Leave a message on the answerphone!

Update service

By post:

To receive an update send a self addressed envelope including return postage (or IRC) and an unlabelled double sided floppy disk. Please state clearly:

  1. The software you'd like updated
  2. The version you're currently using

How long will I have to wait?

Due to the number of people taking advantage of the service I can't always reply as quickly as I'd like to. Often I'm waiting for a new version or simply too busy earning a living so please be patient!

If you have Internet access

InterActive have temporary web pages on:



You can obtain new English language releases via anonymous ftp, www, gopher, telnet or batch ftp from:


Path on hensa: micros/atari/tos/...

If you have a modem but no ftp access

You can obtain the latest English language releases from 42BBS:

SysOp:     Colin Fisher-McAllum
Telephone: UK+(0)1256 895106
System:    24 hour/28.8K modem/Falcon/8N1

Other Bulletin boards and ftp sites are allowed to carry the on-line archives but because minor updates to the English language version are sometimes made without changing the version number hensa and 42BBS are the places to go to ensure you have the very latest versions!

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