ANTIC AWARDSOutstanding Atarian Achievements of 1987-88
Six Antic Years
By GREGG PEARLMAN, Antic Assistant Editor
This issue's Third Annual Antic Awards show there is a wide spectrum of large and small companies, individuals and clubs providing outstanding support for the Atari Community.
This year, Antic is pleased to honor some 18 Outstanding Atarian Achievements, more than ever before. As we decided in 1987, no winners are eligible for an award in two consecutive years. There are many other deserving Atari contributors whom we expect to honor in future anniversary issues. With the help of loyal, dedicated Atari users, Antic Magazine looks forward to meeting the ever-changing needs of the Atari Community for many more years to come.
- Users Group
- Professional Programmer
- Antic Contributor
James Pierson-PerryOutstanding Antic Contributor
Having appeared in every Antic but two since March, 1987, Jim Pierson-Perry is undoubtedly our most prolific Contributing Writer these days--as well as the most versatile contributor. A research chemist for Dupont, Jim writes programs and reviews products on both the 8-bit and ST computers. His expertise includes music and MIDI software, scientific and financial applications and adventure games. Jim's Designer Labels program (April, 1987) made it possible to put Print Shop icons on stick-on labels and was just about the most popular Antic program last year.
Publishing PartnerOutstanding Product
SoftLogik's Publishing Partner desktop publishing program, is one of the most ambitious packages being marketed for the ST. It is GEM-based and easy to use, and putting DEGAS or NEOchrome pictures into your text is no problem. To date, Publishing Partner is the most popular ST desktop publishing software around. It was written entirely in 68000 assembly language by Deron Kazmaier, whose new Publishing Partner Professional upgrade is due shortly with even more powerful features.
GFA BASICOutstanding Product
Quick, memory-efficient GFA BASIC is the best BASIC programming language available for the Atari ST. Its main drawback is that unlike ST BASIC, you don't get a free copy of GFA BASIC when you purchase your computer. But users have been able to overlook this inconvenience, since GFA BASIC costs just $79.95 and supports many GEM functions by keyword. Most Antic ST programs are now written in GFA BASIC, a German import distributed in the U.S. by MichTron. GFA BASIC boasts a rapidly increasing number of support products, including a compiler for standalone machine language code.
Animation StationOutstanding Product
Suncom's Animation Station reviewed in the November 1987 Antic, consists of a sturdy, well designed graphics tablet and Baudville's Design lab paint program. Suncom, best known in the Atari market for their joysticks, is doing a fine job filling the void left when the KoalaPad and Atari Touch Tablet were no longer being made.
Virtuoso Desktop Performance Studio (April, 1988) brings true desktop video to the 8-bit Atari XL and XE. Virtuoso is a unique music/graphics interface that enables experienced users to create impressive animations with soundtracks--in real time. This is the kind of dramatically innovative software that gives the 8-bit Atari its best chance of staying viable. The brainchild of Joseph Lyons and Frank Schwartz, Virtuoso can be used for many other applications. A marine navigational plotting adaptation has already been licensed.
Boris TsikanovskyOutstanding Professional Programmer
The ST has always had 512 colors, but until Spectrum 512, you could use only 16 at a time. Boris Tsikanovsky has changed all that and then some--spectrum 512 uses "dithering" techniques to simulate not just 512 colors, but 24,389. In Spectrum 512 you can use DEGAS and NEOchrome pictures or convert Amiga .IFF and Compuserve GIF files. Two recent additions by Boris give Spectrum 512 even more flexibility. Digispec lets you convert any Amiga picture--even a 4,096-color image. Unispec turns Spectrum 512 into a desk accessory so, for example, you can grab a chunk of your picture while in DEGAS and paste it onto the current 512-color picture.
MicroMiser's TurboBase (Antic, December 1987) is a high-powered business software package that rivals the integrated applications available for IBM PC and works on 8-bit Atari systems costing a fraction of the PC price. Turbobase sets up customer directories, dated records, inventory, invoices, payroll and more. The program can take advantage of just about every hardware enhancement available for the 8-bit Atari, such as the 1Mb RAMdisk capability of ICD's Multi I/O Board and SpartaDOS 3.2.
PrintMaster SeriesOutstanding Product
This continuing series of graphics/text page printing programs from Unison World works like a highly advanced ST version of the 8-bit Atari's classic Print Shop software. But PrintMaster uses the ST's power to support much sharper graphic images and a much greater variety of printers. The series currently includes PrintMaster and PrintMaster Plus, as well as Fonts & Borders and PrintMaster Art Gallery I and II.
Take six 48K Atari 800s, each with a modem and an 850 interface, link them all together via a 20Mb Corvus Hard Disk and Multiplexer. Now toss in 25-year-old sysop Kris Meier and you have CompuTalk of Ft. Worth, Texas, possibly the largest Atari bulletin board system operated by a private individual. Meier said that before the article "Texas-Sized BBS" in the August, 1987 issue of Antic, his BBS received around 100 calls a day. But now that more Atari users know about it, that number has increased to 230--and 80% of Meier's callers read about CompuTalk in Antic.
PCS SCHOOLOutstanding School
At Patrick McShane's PCS School in Nampa, Idaho, students ranging from first grade through 12th use Atari computers to push to the limits of CAMLU-Computer Activated Motorized Lego Unit. Among the Atari-controlled Lego equipment they've developed are a plotter and a hoist that lifts upwards of 40 pounds with a 4-volt motor. Since the publication of Maverick Atari School in the October 1987 Antic, McShane's enrollment has more than doubled, and students attend from all parts of the country. "We've even heard from people from behind the Iron Curtain," says McShane.
CLAUGOutstanding Users Group
Since 1985, volunteers from CLAUG (ChicagoLand Atari Users Group) have been a mainstay in helping staff the Atari Corp. booth at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show each June in Chicago. In another CES innovation, CLAUG now holds a special dinner meeting, attended by a busload of Atari-world top executives, which is the closest thing to an Annual Atari "Roast." CLAUG exemplifies the kind of creative dedication that represents Atari users groups at their best.
ISD SpreadsheetsOutstanding Product
VIP Professional is the only spreadsheet available for the Atari ST that is fully compatible with Lotus 1-2-3, the industry standard. VIP adds GEM's smooth graphic interface to the power and flexibility of 1-2-3--it's command and file compatible. The simpler but still powerful Masterplan is a scaled-down version of VIP Professional, trading full Lotus compatibility for a friendlier user interface and a lower price.
Thunder Mountain SoftwareOutstanding Product
Thunder Mountain is Mindscape Software's "discount house"--a company dedicated to providing Atari 8-bit users with fine software for just $9.95. Thunder Mountain has a full line of educational and entertainment titles as Songwriter, Mission in Our Solar System, Run for the Money and Batty Builders. Many Thunder Mountain releases are reissues of successful older software that otherwise would be unavailable.
lf you're an ST user who is experienced with the industry standard dBASE III database software, dBMan by Versasoft is the serious ST database system you're looking for. dBMan supports command files, local and global memory variables, and permits flexible report creation. The software gives professional database designers the flexibility and power needed to develop turnkey systems.
Midwest Computer CampOutstanding Service
Housed on a magnificent old estate in the woods north of Indianapolis, Midwest Computer Camp is the largest full-time, year-round residential computer education camp in the U.S. Campers from age 8 to 18 spend six hours a day on computer activities, and there's a counselor for every four campers. Just about every conceivable brand of personal computer is available, including plenty of Ataris.
Cardiac Arrest!Outstanding Product
A 1988 episode of television's "St. Elsewhere" featured a computerized medical simulator that enabled doctors to practice emergency techniques before treating human patients. That's just what Cardiac Arrest! delivers--for both Atari 8-bit and ST computers. Our medically trained reviewer (May 1987) called Cardiac Arrest! "fascinating, useful and an invaluable study aid in Advanced Cardiac Life Support." Cardiac Arrest! is produced by Mad Scientist Software, physician Bruce Argyle's small Utah company which exemplifies how individual Atari enthusiasts can successfully bring a fine commercial product to market.
Supra Corp.Outstanding Product
Supra's fine product line of hard disks, modems and buffer/interfaces has long been in the forefront of hardware support for both Atari 8-bit and ST computers. Supra's ST hard disks come in a full range of memory sizes, including 10Mb, 20Mb, 60Mb. And Supra produces one of the very few hard disks made for 8-bit Ataris. The new Hayes-compatible Supra-Modem 2400 is another excellent product which will be reviewed in next month's Antic.
Firebird SoftwareOutstanding Product
Those hit games, The Pawn, The Guild of Thieves and Star Glider all come from one place-- Firebird Licensees, probably the most prolific Atari game marketer for the past year. Firebird's games combine flashy graphics with flashy packaging--and not just for the ST. Many titles are now available for the 8-bit Atari as well.