Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 4 NO. 12 / JULY 1990

Dialog Box

Ditto II Disaster

I am concerned with the advertisement you are presently running for Avant-Garde. pc-ditto II is a nightmare for the novice computer user. I have had to replace chips off the board. I am now waiting for a GLU chip that has to be replaced before the board will work. None of the advertisements say you have to have a certain type of MNU or GLU for pc-ditto II to work. At the least, you should put a warning in the ad to alert potential buyers of the hazards.

James White
Vicksburg, MS

START magazine cannot be held responsible for any claims made by its advertisers. However, you have genuine concerns and we have forwarded a copy of your letter to Bill Teal at Avant-Garde who, despite the problems with his product, has a reputation for quality customer service. Hopefully he can satisfactorily answer your questions.--START Editor.

Tis Better To Have Tried And Failed ...

After all the time and effort I spent trying and failing to get pc-ditto II to run, I finally returned it to Avant Garde, hoping they would find the board was bad and replace it. Unfortunately, however, they simply refunded my money minus shipping costs and an explanation. My advice is do not order this item and install it yourself (unless you're very capable in microelectronics). Let the dealer install the item and be responsible for giving you an operational system. Whether or not the board works as advertised is still a mystery to me. Does it?

Roger Seeholzer
Loring AFB, ME

Getting pc-ditto II to work correctly, or in some cases, to work at all, appears to be a hit-and-miss situation--some do, some don't. David Plotkin, who reviewed the PC emulator in this issue, is one of the lucky ones--his unit installed satisfactorily into a 1040ST, though he did experience a problem refitting the radio-frequency shielding. Other than that, the unit appears to work fine.

A word of warning to all novices: any hardware add-on, especially those that require soldering, should be done by a certified repair person --there are simply too many things that can go wrong.-- START Editor.

Shipping Stacy

Things with Atari still perplex me. For example, I am still waiting to get a Stacy. I was under the impression that they are ready to ship. Also, Atari customer service seems to be nonexistent. I sent software to Mr. John Townsend over a year ago and despite four certified letters inquiring as to where they went I still have nothing to show for. No reply, no information, nothing. I am also looking forward to seeing the Hotz machine in action. I was very impressed with your interview and articles on it. I hope to see it someday.

I am now a proud owner of a modem and once I get the hang of it I hope to get online with some of the Atari representatives if they are there and see if they can honestly give me some straight answers to questions that never seem to get answered. If it were not for you and our local users group, I would definitely be lost.

I would like to thank you for your magazine. Thanks to you I have made some very good investments in software and hardware. Keep up the fine work and thanks for letting me air my frustrations. Someday I hope Atari will wake up and start listening to the many users that are out there.

Mike Mahan
Vidor, TX

As we reported in the May 1990 issue, Stacys are indeed shipping in the United States, though far below the numbers needed to sate demand. This news comes in spite of reports that Atari's manufacturing facility in Taiwan is operating at full capacity. However, since 82 percent of Atari's revenue is generated from outside North America, it is likely that most of their machines are going to Europe where Atari does the bulk of their business.

Though you do not specify exactly what software you sent to Atari, the matter does deserve further investigation. Your letter has been forwarded to John Townsend at Atari. Also, you might give Atari customer service a call. The number is 408/745-2000. If you wish to voice your concerns via modem, Atari maintains a presence on both CompuServe and GEnie.

START also hopes that Atari "wakes up and starts listening, " but that likelihood is fading as the computer company continues to grow in foreign markets. -- START Editor.

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