MAG Disk (Jun 1993) : StuffToRead / 5min5-18

                               Welcome to the
    / ___)           *StarShip* 5-MINUTE Weekend Newscast
   / (_              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  / ___)
 / (__  very weekend the *StarShip* on GEnie presents a new 5-MINUTE Weekend
(_____) Newscast in Communications Room 10 in the Real-Time Conference Area.
Featuring late-breaking stories from the Amiga community, these dynamic,
scrolling newscasts cycle every 5 minutes, so you can stop by between 6PM and
3AM Eastern time on Friday, or 3PM and 3AM Eastern time on Saturday or Sunday
and learn everything that happened during the preceding week. Industry news,
product announcements, upgrades, rumors, special *StarShip* activities, trade
show reports, GEnie usage tips, humor, recommended files to download...
              ... the works -- and it ONLY takes 5 minutes!
Each 5-MINUTE Weekend Newscast is available on *StarShip* Menu #10 during the
following week. Periodically, newscasts are combined and made available for
downloading from the *StarShip* Library.
      //                                                            \
     ||                    -*-   IMPORTANT!   -*-                    |
     ||                                                              |
     ||  As long as individual  stories are kept intact  and credit  |
     ||  is given, this  material may be  reproduced in ALL or PART  |
     ||  on a  privately owned  BBS or in a  user group newsletter.  |
     ||  See wording for proper credit at the end of this Newscast.  |
                                  ||   |
                                  ||   |
                                              Thanks to Denny Atkin, Editor,
                                                   COMPUTE's Amiga Resource,
                                                     for his generous input.
                         DateLine:  May 14, 1993
           This 5-MINUTE Newscast presents the following stories:
   1.  News from THE GATHERING 1993 in Oslo, Norway
   2.  OctaMED Professional V.4 Available from DevWare
   3.  MusicLab-IFS from Digital Expressions Research
   4.  Next Week's *StarShip* Amiga Conferences
   5.  New Product from Black Belt Systems: ApAssist
   6.  PageStream Deals from Soft-Logik
   7.  Learn Chinese, Japanese or Korean with RADtutor
   8.  Atari and Commodore Team Up on the Atiga!
                           *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                              1st of 8 Stories
                 News from THE GATHERING 1993 in Oslo, Norway
                   *StarShip* News Network Special Report
                     Copyright (c) 1993 The *StarShip*
(__  __)              by Eric ("SideWinder") Gieseke
  / /
 / /
(_/he Gathering, an annual get-together of Europe's best and greatest Amiga
talent, was held in April in Oslo, Norway, sponsored by the Euro-Demo Group,
Crusaders. This year, The Gathering attracted over 3,000 Amiga enthusiasts, the
largest group ever in attendance since its start three years ago.
New Amiga products from Europe were displayed, as well as a contest for best
animations, demos, MODs and pictures. Grand prizes in each catagory varied from
$1000 to $2500, with many incredible entries on display, pushing the Amiga to
new frontiers.
This year's winners wowwed and impressed the crowds, with First Place in the
Graphics/Audio Demo category going to the mighty Kefrens for their production
"The Desert Dream," an impressive animation/music extravaganza lasting almost
15 minutes.
      /                                                              \
     |          Winning Euro-Demo in the *StarShip* Library!          |
     |          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~          |
     |   "The Desert Dream" -- The Gathering's First Place Winning    |
     |   Euro-Demo -- incorporating fabulous 3D graphics, music       |
     |   and synchronized sound effects, is absolutely perfect for    |
     |   amazing your friends!  This 2-disk set can be downloaded     |
     |   from the *StarShip* Library:                                 |
     |                                                                |
     |   Files 19354 DESERTDREAM_1.DMS and 19363 DESERTDREAM_2.DMS    |
     |                                                                |
     |               Big downloads -- and well worth it!              |
The Demo "SPEED" by Sim/Razor grabbed Second Place. This fast 3-disk German 3D
animation/mini-movie production also had great music and sound effects. Third
Place went to "Destinations Unknown" by SPACEBALLS, the guys that brought us
the famous "State of the Art" Demo. Simply brilliant! It's demos like these
that push the Amiga beyond known limits, and show the world what our favorite
computer is capable of producing.
Many times I have convinced friends and associates to buy an Amiga just by
loading up a Euro-Style Demo, music MODule or one of the Trackers like MED, or
Pro-Tracker. And I've seen what happens when you put an eye-popping Demo on an
Amiga in a store, instead of pointing at a potential customer with that pretty
Workbench hand.
One can only imagine what these Euro-teams are cooking up on the new AGA
machines, and hopefully we won't have to wait a whole year for next year's
Gathering to find out.
The MOD Music Scene
Music on the Amiga is becoming one of the most talked about topics in the
computer world, mainly due to the growing popularity of MODs. Amiga music
MODules now can be played on just about any PC, Mac or Atari, and even on
workstations, plus of course our native Amigas. If some of these MODs were
recorded professionally, they'd be smash hits on the radio or on title tunes
for some show on television. Of course, they are 8-bit now, but with the
release of new DSP chip, hopefully sometime this year, the Amiga will enter the
domain of 16-bit, 16-32 track digital recording, essentially all the power of
MOD tracking but with many times more channels, and CD-quality 16-bit plus live
digital effects. This would be a most affordable pro-music workstation all in
one computer, making direct CD-mastering from an Amiga a very real possibility.
Composing with MED or Pro-Tracker on a standard Amiga is pretty hot, but toss
in DSP support and watch the temperature rise by a couple hundred degrees
creating a whole new market in the proccess for musicians on all spectrums of
the music scene, from hobbyists to seasoned pros. The Amiga would then open up
whole new world to many musicians around the world!
Amiga MOD Music Legends
Out of the Amiga music scene in the last few years have come some incredible
music MODs and, of course, the people who composed them. You'll find these
folks doing the 'MOD thing' for commercial projects such as entertainment
software, for competitions in Euro-Style Demos, and just for the fun making
music! There are a lot of great MOD composers around the world, most of them in
Europe though there are some fantastic musicians in the USA too, like Maruko
and Death Jester, both from Texas. My personal favorites and those I look up to
the most include...
Bjorn "Dr. Awesome" Lynne who lives in Oslo, Norway. This ex-Crusaders musician
is simply one of the best and most accomplished Amiga musicians around, with
CDs, tapes and even a movie soundtrack to his credit. He still occasionally
makes a new MOD on his Amiga but he's more active now on the 16-bit synthesizer
and studio scene. He has over 50 MODs released.
Jim "U4ia" Young is another living MOD legend. This guy is from Bristol,
England, and has composed well over 50 MODs of an amazing variety and style,
from classical to pop to Techno and beyond. Jim's music can be found all over
the world on most Amiga bulletin boards.
Chris Hulsbeck is one of the pioneers of computer music. From the early days of
the C=64 3-voice SID chip through the years into modern Amiga MODs, Chris has
composed hundreds of songs and even written his own music program to compose
special 7-voice MODs. Currently residing in Germany, Chris has also done music
for some of the hottest games ever seen on the Amiga.
HeatBeat of REBELS is one of the hottest MOD stars in the World -- even though
he's only 16 years old! He started writing MODs at age 13, and by 14 was
already a legend in the Euro-Demo scene. Living in Finland, he has composed
over 75 MODs, and the quality and style of his music is amazing. Better known
in Europe, a lot of his stuff is being sent over the ocean for our listening
Captain of IMAGE -- the man behind the all-time best MODs, Space Debris and
Beyond Music -- is a Finish composer who has left the MOD scene for a TECHNO
Band called "Dance Nation" where you can hear some of his awesome composing
skills in action. He didn't make many MODs, but those he did are breath-taking.
I also HAVE to mention guys like Romeo-Knight, who wrote the famous
Bossendorfer Piano MOD, which is a must-hear, and many other nice MODs, and
also Audio-Monster, who makes MODs that sound incredibly movie/spacey-like with
great atmosphere from sampled sounds. There are others, of course, and I wish I
knew the real names of these composers, though they're more famous by their
aliases, anyway -- and, of course, their fine musical MOD talents.
The Amiga MOD scene continues to change and evolve as new technologies and
opportunities become available to MOD composers, and new audiences tune in and
discover... the 'MOD thing.'
Much thanks to my favorite local board here in San Antonio TX, Amiga INC., for
supplying the latest European Demos, MODs and other assorted treasures from
around the world. Their number is 210/662-7669.
Stayed Tuned and Keep Track'in!
-*StarShip* News Note: You can chat with SideWinder -- who obviously knows the
MOD scene inside and out -- at most *StarShip* Tuesday night Real-Time Music
Conferences starting at 10PM Eastern time, or by leaving a message in Bulletin
Board in Category 9. Also check the *StarShip* Library for some of the
incredible music he mentions here by searching on the term MOD.
                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                             2nd of 8 Stories
              OctaMED Professional V.4 Available from DevWare
 ______       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(__  __)                   Poway, CA -- May 1993
  / /
 / /
(_/he Amiga mail order company, DevWare, has announced that it is the exclusive
U.S. distributor for OctaMED Professional Version 4, which is now available for
This marks the first time this powerful music composition program -- which is
owned by over 100,000 Amiga owners worldwide -- has been made available in the
"OctaMED Pro is the definitive budget sequencing package," according to DevWare
spokesman, Kelly Kaufman. Discover what thousands of Europeans already know and
love. Compose professional sounding music in convenient MOD format at a
fraction of the cost of OctaMED's higher-priced competitors. CU Amiga Magazine
says OctaMED Pro "has more, better implemented features than anything else on
the market."
An amazingly powerful program at an unbeatable price, OctaMED Pro features:
   o  8 channels of audio using the Amiga's own built-in audio hardware
   o  Utilizes 16 channels using any MIDI interface for the Amiga
   o  Includes its own powerful sampling software to create your own
   o  Has standard music notation display mode! Compose and edit using
      tracker or stave formats
   o  Print Option will print out all blocks in a song, complete with play
      list, instrument names and tempo information
For more information about OctaMED Pro V4, or to order, contact DevWare, 12520
Kirkham Court, Suite 1-30FL, Poway, CA 92064 or call 800/879-0759 to order or
619/679-3835 for questions; fax 619/679-2887.
                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                             3rd of 8 Stories
               MusicLab-IFS from Digital Expressions Research
   ____        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  (_  _)                Menasha, WI -- May 1993
   / /
 _/ /
(____)ntroducing an exciting new innovation in Amiga algorithmic composition!
MusicLab-IFS, from Digital Expressions Research, harnesses the beauty and
organization of fractals for your music!
Examples of fractal beauty and organization surround us. We experience it
everyday in such divers forms as the patterns created by the breaking surf, the
paths of lightning, the flickering of candles, cloud formations, and the branch
structure of trees. Now organizational principles similar to these found in
nature can be applied to your music.
Exercise your musical creativity in new ways with MusicLab-IFS! It's fun, it's
easy, and you will be rewarded with truly original music, not mere
rearrangements of someone else's music.
Composing original music can be as simple as pressing a few buttons, or as
complex as your time and creative energy allow.
Produce musical sequences from entire fractals or portions of fractals. At the
push of a button, MusicLab-IFS can generate sequences up to 200  measures long
for 8 instruments each having 4 voices; this is more than any other algorithmic
composition program can create. And music based on fractals has substantially
more musical unity and cohesiveness than any random composition, yet provides
more interest-sustaining variety than pattern-based algorithmic compositions.
Stretch your creative imagination with the many MusicLab-IFS options. You
control the mapping of fractal patterns onto a musical "score." Patterns can be
edited, magnified, or superimposed one on top of another for transitional
effects. Sequences can contain entire sections made from different fractal
patterns, or different portions of the same patterns. Entire instrument parts
can be made from different patterns.
MusicLab-IFS holds up to 12 sequences. Cut and paste between them using the
note editor. In addition to standard editing functions, the editor also
provides a wide range of experimental music options such as compression or
expansion of time or pitch intervals, cyclic permutations, retrograding, and
pitch inversion.
Musical scores and sequences can be played over MIDI or the Amiga internal
audio. Many on-screen parameters can be changed during play. Performances can
even be recorded as new sequences and saved.
MusicLab_IFS is not limited to fractal based composition. With Iterated
Function Systems and IFS Codes, an infinite number of both fractal and
non-fractal patterns can be created easily. And IFS Codes provide a standard
interface for parameter manipulation; you do not have to learn a different set
of parameters for each fractal type.
So if you are looking for new musical ideas, an infinite source royalty-free
original music, or some Saturday night entertainment, MusicLab_IFS is for you!
MusicLab-IFS allows you to...
   o Create an infinite number of fractal and non-fractal scores using
     Iterated Function Systems.
   o Produce multiple arrangements for 8 different instruments with
     up to 4 simultaneous voices per instrument.
   o Define the pitch ranges, number of voices, and allowed note
     pitches for each instrument.
   o Set a minimum chord interval for instruments having multiple voices.
   o Preview Score and sequences over MIDI or the Amiga internal audio
     while manipulating screen controls.
   o Record performance in real-time as new sequence.
   o Edit sequences with a complete graphic Note Editor containing many
     advanced options.
   o Edit and create new IFS Codes numerically or graphically.
   o Save sequences as MIDI or IFF SMUS.
Who will benefit from MusicLab-IFS...
   o Professional musicians wishing to stimulate their creative
     imaginations or increase their musical productivity.
   o Multimedia authors wishing to compose royalty-free original
     music for their video presentations.
   o Algorithmic composers and music educators.
   o Amiga hobbyists interested in music and/or fractals.
MusicLab-IFS requires an Amiga with 1.5-2 Meg Ram and Workbench 1.3/2.0. A hard
disk, accelerator, and MIDI interface are recommended.
      /                                                            \
     |                 MusicLab-IFS DEMO Available                  |
     |                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                  |
     |    A freely-distributable DEMO version of MusicLab-IFS       |
     |    is available from the *StarShip* Library in file #19359   |
     |    MUSICLAB-IFS_DEMO.LHA. It is fully function EXCEPT that   |
     |    MIDI and SAVE functions have been disabled.               |
     |                                                              |
MusicLab-IFS is available directly from Digital Expressions Research for $89.00
plus $4 for shipping and handling. Check or money order, please.
To order or for more information contact Digital Expressions Research, W6400
FireLane 8, Menasha, WI 54952 telephone 414-733-6863 (8 AM to 5 PM CST).
                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                             4th of 8 Stories
|                                                                          |
|                                           *StarShip* Amiga Conferences   |
|                          _  _                                            |
|                         / \/ \      ____   _   _                         |
|                        /      \    / _  ) / ) / )                        |
|                       / /\  /\ \  / (/ / / (_/ /                         |
|                      (_/  \/  \_)(____( (___  /                          |
|                                         ___/ /                           |
|                                        (____/                            |
|                                                                          |
| Except where noted, Conferences begin at 10PM Eastern Time in the Amiga  |
| Conference Rooms at Page 555;2. Amiga Programmers meet Wednesday nights  |
| at Pro/Am on Page 670. Amiga/GEnie HelpDesk EVERY Night at 9PM Eastern.  |
|  Sunday  |  Monday  | Tuesday |  Humpday |Thursday |  Friday  | Saturday |
| Help@9EDT| Help@9EDT|Help@9EDT| Help@9EDT|Help@9EDT| Help@9EDT| Help@9EDT|
| 16       | 17       | 18   |\ | 19       | 20      | 21       | 22       |
|5-MIN News|          |     _|  |          |         |   New    |5-MIN News|
|  3PM-3AM | DeskTop  |    (_)  | AmiGames |vv-Video!|*StarShip*|  3PM-3AM |
|    -*-   |Publishing| MOD     |  ------  |  with   | 5-MINUTE |9:Hardware|
|10PM:     |  Night   |  Music  |Programing| Yury &  | Newscast |  Clinic  |
| Graphics |          |   Night |at Pro/Am | Guests  | 6PM-3AM  |10: Party!|
                  HelpDesk *EVERY* NIGHT @ 9PM Eastern Time!
      Got a problem?  If you have questions about learning to use your
      Amiga, the *StarShip* or GEnie, we have answers! Stop by Conference
      Room 4 ANY EVENING from 9 to 10 EDT for live, on-the-spot help.
                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                             5th of 8 Stories
     _         New Product from Black Belt Systems: ApAssist
    / )        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   / /                 Glasgow, MT -- May 6, 1993
  / /
 / (_
(____)ast week Black Belt Systems uploaded a demonstration of their popular
imaging package, Imagemaster, to the *StarShip* Library in file #19275
IM_DOC.LZH. This "double-barreled" demo not only shows some of the amazing
features offered by Imagemaster, it is also an applied demonstration of Black
Belt's latest new product, ApAssist, a hypertext online documentation system
the company recently developed.
ApAssist is a hypertext document display system. It is designed to allow the
user to navigate documents quickly and easily with just a short "learning
curve." ApAssist utilizes a tool bar that presents simple control buttons that
are used for navigation. Most buttons have keyboard equivalent commands so that
browsing a document can be done without reaching for the mouse in many cases.
The following brief descriptions should suffice to get you using ApAssist
quickly and comfortably.
DATABASE: This term refers to the file, or group of files that make up a
complete ApAssist context, such as all the help for our Imagemaster R/t
DOCUMENT: This term refers to any group of information which can be accessed
within ApAssist by using the scroll bar at the right; as an example, if you
have to click on anything other than the scroll bar or its "arrows" to get to
another item in the database, then that item is not in the same document.
CONTEXT: This term refers to the particular database you are using; ApAssist
can manage more than one database at a time, allowing the user to move betweeen
them using the Subject button in the tool bar.
ApAssist controls are available through the tool bar as well as by direct
keyboard controls such as the Amiga Help key, "ESC" key, pressing C for
Contents, I for Index, backspace and spacebar keys, and using the cursor keys
to move between documents; close gadgets are also available as well as many
other intuitive keypresses.
Buttons in the main display window of ApAssist perform one of two types of
actions; either they take you to another document within the ApAssist database
you are using presently, or they may perform another action depending on the
design of the database. ApAssist can "launch" ARexx macros, which in turn can
perform any Amiga function the author of the database desires, as long as the
appropriate commands and data for those commands are available in the Amiga
running the database. So don't be surprised if you Amiga speaks to you, plays
music or shows animations - ApAssist can do almost anything, thanks to the
brilliant design of the Amiga operating system and the magic of Bill Hawes.
ApAssist for your own documents
ApAssist is available for purchase directly from Black Belt Systems. Once you
own ApAssist, you have the right to distribute your compiled ApAssist databases
with the ApAssist tool by any means you like, including networks, BBS's, disks
and with commercial software. Here are some of the features ApAssist offers:
   -  "Hypertext" navigation of unlimited size documents
   -  Unlimited number of documents open at one time
   -  Consistant, attractive, friendly user environment
   -  Support for text AND images
   -  Text variations
       - Fonts
       - Styles
       - Colors
   -  Block structure for scope control of commands
   -  Considerable text flow control
       - Word wrapping
       - Text reflow around images
       - Justification
       - Centering
       - Tabbing
   -  Macros, which provide expansion via variable substitution
   -  ARexx interface to facilitate automatic help from a host
   -  Adjusts to user's Text Overscan settings automatically
   -  Images can respond to PAL & NTSC aspect ratio sensitivity
   -  Compiled databases are SECURE TO TAMPERING and start faster
         /                                                      \
        |   Grab a functioning demo of ApAssist in *StarShip*    |
        |   Library file #19275 IM_DOC.LZH and learn all about   |
        |   Imagemaster while you're at it.                      |
Sound good to you? For more information, or to order, contact Black Belt
Systems, 398 Johnson Rd., RR-1, Box 4272, Glasgow, MT 59230 or call (800)
852-6442 ("800" Number good in the USA or Canada.)
                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                             6th of 8 Stories
                     PageStream Deals from Soft-Logik
    _                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   / \                St. Louis, MO  -- May 6, 1993
  / - \
 / ___ \
(_/   \_)s reported on the *StarShip* Bulletin Board by Soft-Logik spokesman
Michael Loader, the mail-order company Tenex is offering PageStream 2.2 (not
2.0 as advertised) without a box. This is the same thing you'd get normally,
but they're blowing out our excess inventory of 2.2, and since we're short on
boxes, we thought we'd make a tempting offer for all those people who have
always wanted to try PageStream but couldn't afford another desktop publisher.
Tenex is advertising 2.2 without a box for $79.99, instead of the suggested
$299.95 retail price. The only difference between this blow-out copy and a full
copy purchased normally is that it does NOT come with a free upgrade to 3.0. If
you want to upgrade the blowout copy to 3.0, you will have to pay $125. (Note:
the blow-out copies contain the manuals and disks shrink-wrapped together.)
To add to the confusion, some dealers may be selling PageStream 2.2 bundled
with HotLinks Editions. Since these are full copies of PageStream 2.2, they are
entitled to free upgrades to 3.0. (Any full copy bought after March 15, 1993 is
entitled to a free upgrade, as long as you keep your receipt and register.)
These are great deals too, since they come with HotLinks Editions, but since
everybody will get HotLinks, BME and PageLiner with their 3.0 upgrade, the
people buying these bundles are just getting the current versions of these
programs a little earlier. Not every dealer or mail order company will have
these. We had a few extra manuals left so we just bundled them in with
PageStream, and since we're almost out of them now, you'll have to confirm with
your dealer what you're getting.
Sorry for the confusion, but since we had some extra stock of 2.2 and HotLinks
Editions, we decided to make a few more people happy by offering some special
Font Collection on CD-ROM
Michael says they will shortly release information on Soft-Logik's first CD-ROM
offering for the Amiga. Soft-Logik has just licensed the Serials
Typecollection, an ISO 9660 CD-ROM with 1000 PostScript Type 1 fonts. It also
has the collection in TrueType format. The CD-ROM can be used on the Amiga,
Mac, PC or Atari platforms, and goes for only $499.
Soft-Logik expects to have the literature and disks available in about three
For more information, leave a message on *StarShip* Bulletin Board Category 4,
Topic 15, or contact Soft-Logik Publishing Corp., 11131 S. Towne Square, Suite
F, St. Louis, MO 63123, telephone 314/894-8608 or 800/829-8608, fax
                          *StarShip* Amiga *Flash*
                              7th of 8 Stories
               Learn Chinese, Japanese or Korean with RADtutor
    _    _     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   / \  / )           Madeira Park, B.C. -- May 12, 1993
  /   \/ /
 / /\   /
(_/  \_/Gin Research Inc. announces release of RADtutor JR., a modification of
RADtutor PRO V1.0 that has been down-sized to allow its distribution as
shareware. While the two programs have the same interface and mode of
operations RADtutor PRO is much more powerful.
         /                                                      \
        |   RADtutor JR. is available for downloading from the   |
        |    *StarShip* Library in File 19358 RADTUTOR_JR.LZH.   |
Key Features
RADtutor is the simplest, most powerful Chinese Character Aid available for the
personal computer. While the learning of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean under the
instruction of qualified teachers is obviously the best choice, many of us do
not have the opportunity to attend formal classes. Perhaps one has taken
lessons before, but only on a rudimentary level, and now wishes to take them up
again. Perhaps your interest is for business purposes. No matter what the
reason, there is now a dramatic increase in the amount of people learning one
of these languages. (In the last 10 years, the amount of people in the West
being taught Japanese on a formal basis has increased from 25,000 to over 1
It is a fact that the common thread running between the Chinese, Japanese, and
Korean written (and spoken) languages is the use of Chinese characters
(Chinese: HAN ZI, Japanese: KANJI, Korean: HAN TZU). In Japanese common usage,
fully 42 per cent of the characters are Chinese based. For Korean, the amount
is between 40 and 60 per cent, and even Vietnamese is over 33 per cent of the
total language. Over 1.5 Billion people now use a written language that
contains Chinese characters. It is know known that this is the oldest form of
writing (predating even Cuniform.) It is also the most complex, as there are
about 10,000 characters used at the technical and academic level.
The Chinese have been using essentially the same graphic characters for the
last 2000 years. In 200 B.C., a government scholar named Li Si detailed a
lexicon of 3300 characters. In the short space of 200 years, this amount had
grown to 7300 characters. Around 100 A.D., the list was revised by Xu Sheng to
hold 9300 characters under 540 Radicals. And, by 200 A.D., the list had grown
to 10,000. The next major change came in 1716 A,D., when the great Dictionary
of Emperor Kang Xi was published. This work contained a total of over 40,000
(!) characters grouped under a set of 214 Radicals. Shortly after this, a more
practical set, consisting of 10,000 characters gathered under the 214 Radicals
came about. This is the one we have today.
This method of branching all characters using their Radical (or Root) means
that, once the 214 Radicals are learned, any character can be found. (For
example, under the 104th Radical ('Disease'), not only do all of the characters
contain the same graphic outline, but they also deal with ailments and
illness.) Since the common method of teaching Oriental language is based upon
Speech, the importance of the Written characters naturally assume a secondary
nature. However, the educated use of Language implies not only Speech, but also
Reading and Writing.
To further confuse all of this, the characters used by the Japanese, Koreans,
Taiwanese, and Vietnamese are the Complex (Old) type, while the Mainland
Chinese began after 1951 to evolve a Simplified (New) type. To date about 30
per cent of all characters have been changed or simplified, so that enough of a
difference now exists that it creates a barrier between the two types, to the
extent that much care and study must be taken to enable reading of both
properly.  Add to this the existence of the two Japanese KANA cursive writing
form (Hiragana and Katakana), and the Korean form (Hangul), both of which,
being phonetically based can therefore substitute for an unlearned Chinese
character. Also, is obvious that many pronunciations will vary between
languages. This renders the use of a dictionary based upon pronunciation as
almost useless, when trying to cross reference a character. In fact, not one
single reference book, lexicon, or dictionary has this capability. It would
take over 13 different sources (many of them hard to get, or out of print; all
of them expensive) just to asssemble the information contained in RADtutor's
basic Look-Up! Another problem has been the steady decline in the use of the
least commonly used characters by the general public. The current trend is to
type in a group of the simpler phonetics (when using a computerized
wordprocessor) and let the program supply the characters by itself (much as a
child can use a pocket calculator to do complex math without the least
understanding how the correct answers are arrived at). This degradation of
reading and writing capabilities is currently causing a great amount of concern
in Japan and has generated a demand to for schools and students to get back to
the basics.
This is why, since all of the characters have a common source, the use of the
Kang Xi Radical Look-Up becomes even more pertinent today. And that is why we
have developed RADtutor.
System Requirements
RADtutor JR is quite happy on a A500 with 1 meg of RAM, and 1 drive.
For more information, download RADtutor Jr., *StarShip* Library file 19358, or
contact NGin Research Inc., R.R. 1, Site 15, Madeira Park, B.C. Canada V0N2H0.
                          *StarShip* Amiga *Flash*
                              8th of 8 Stories
                          Just for Fun Department
                 Atari and Commodore Team Up on the Atiga!
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  (_  _)              Sunnyvale, CA -- May 11, 1993
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(____)n a groundbreaking move, Atari Corporation and Commodore have announced a
joint venture into the personal computer arena. The former competitors claim to
have realized the futility of trying to compete against each other for "niche"
markets and have decided instead to "team up and have a go at Big Blue."
The new computer is called the "Atiga," and is said to combine elements from
both the ST and Amiga lines, as well as several new features. For starters, the
new machine will be based on the Intel 80286 processor. "The 68000 family is
dead," claims Atari's Bob Brodie. "The original plan was to make the Atiga PC
compatible, but about halfway through the project Jack Tramiel decided on a new
operating system based on the HP-41 handheld calculator." Text is entered in a
modified RPN (Reverse Polish Notation) in which words are entered first and
then all punctuation is added at the end of a sentence. "It's much faster when
you get used to it," claims Brodie.
In addition, the Atiga is said to borrow sound and MIDI capabilities from the
Amiga line and graphic capabilities from the Atari ST. "We wanted to build on
the Amiga's success in the music market and the ST's popularity with video
production companies," said a Commodore spokesman.
The Atiga will be available in two configurations. The first is a one piece
model with integrated monitor, keyboard and CPU. The one piece model ships with
no RAM, though an Atari spokeperson mentioned that he thought that RAM boards
might be provided by third party manufacturers at some future date.
The second configuration features a CPU and a unique Direct To Brain (DTB)
interface. Although still in early testing, the DTB interface is connected to
the user via two probes and I/O is established through a combination of
brainwaves and biorhythms. One probe is attached to a collar fitted around the
user's tongue, but spokepersons would only giggle when asked where the second
probe was connected. When asked about the RAM configuration the spokespersons
replied "Yes, that's correct," and broke into hysterical laughter.
In an unusual move, the two companies have announced the availability date of
the computer to be three weeks ago, with production scheduled to begin by next
fall. In the meantime, a media blitz is planned to start immediately with print
ads in supermarket tabloids and video spots in trailers for adult videos.
"We're really excited about this one," said the Commodore spokesperson. "Yes,
sirree, Bob." "What?" replied Brodie.
   *Jonathan Whitcomb, Alcatel Network Systems, Raleigh, North Carolina*
   *  UUCP:             GEnie: J.WHITCOMB3    *
       Reprinted by permission of the author, Jonathan Whitcomb.
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