ST Report: 4-Apr-97 #1314From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/22/97-04:22:56 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 4-Apr-97 #1314 Date: Tue Apr 22 16:22:56 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) April 04, 1997 No.1314 Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing's FTP Support Server 10gb - Back Issues - Patches - Support Files (Continually Under Construction) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password Have you tried Microsoft's Internet Explorer yet? Microsoft's Internet Explorer is STReport's Web Browser. STReport published with MS Office 97 & Adobe Acrobat Pro v3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STR through Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 04/04/97 STR 1314 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97! - CPU Industry Report - Corel NEWS Updates - Shareware Listings - IntraNet Use SOARS - Squandered Computer - Intel, Cyrix Settle - Lucent NETPhone - 600Mhz CPU, Digital - Apple Merger DeJaVu - The Haunting Overview - People Talking - Classics & Gaming Saudi Prince Bites Into Apple Amelio Dismisses Ellison Talks CompuServe FOR SALE STReport International OnLine Magazine Featuring Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports Adobe Acrobat Pro 3.0 Please obtain the latest issue from our Auto Subscription, Web Site or FTP Site. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Publisher, Staff & Editors 1987-1997 Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 03/22/97: 4 of 6 numbers, 1 three number match >From the Editor's Desk... Spring's offerings are beginning to hit with vigor. Micrografx has released ABC Graphics Suite 2 and I might add, its lovely. Look for an in depth review in the next few weeks. It's the perfect companion to any Office Suite. Small business or large. There is a definite need for the this fine Graphical Suite. Look for more interesting information relative to Quick Books Pro and Peachtree Complete Accounting in the coming weeks. Tax-time seems to be a perfect time to be doing reviews about accounting software. Especially after the special reports last night on the 6 o'clock news about errors in the calculations of both taxes due and refunds due that are occurring on other software packages. Internet Explorer from Microsoft has to be the only Browser in the world that's either embraced or shunned with exuberance. STReport has adopted both Microsoft Office Professional 97 and Internet Explorer in any of its incarnations. They're all good as far as STReport is concerned. Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB/FTP Site, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. You'll be pleased to know you are able to download STReport directly from our very own FTP SERVER or WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list which allows a choice of either ASCII or Acrobat PDF. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Publisher, Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Help Wanted Lloyd E. Pulley Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Allen Harkleroad Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondents Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Leonard Worzala Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet firstname.lastname@example.org STR FTP ftp.streport.com WebSite http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Block Confirms Merger Talks H&R Block Inc. has acknowledged it is discussing a "business combination" involving CompuServe, the Columbus, Ohio, online service that is 80 percent-owned by the tax-preparation company. Officials in H&R Block's Kansas City, Missouri, offices did not say with whom they were negotiating, but reporter Jared Sandberg notes in The Wall Street Journal this morning that the confirmation of talks comes in the wake of reports that America Online Inc. was weighing a possible bid. CompuServe stock rose sharply again yesterday, closing at $12.625, up $1.625, or 15 percent, in Nasdaq Stock Market trading, after having risen another 12 percent on Tuesday. CompuServe declined to comment on any possibilities, and its parent company refused to elaborate on the brief statement issued yesterday. Amelio Dismisses Ellison Talks Apple Computer Inc. Chairman Gil Amelio dismisses as "nonsense" software tycoon Larry Ellison's talk about a possible takeover of the struggling computer maker. Of course, Amelio would lose his job if the Oracle Corp. chief gained control of Apple. Speaking with the San Jose Mercury News, Amelio said he thinks a change of Apple leadership would be a mistake now as the company undergoing a sweeping reorganization. He added, "If as a consequence of some suitor coming along, if that were to catapult us in new directions, that would be very bad at this point in time. Because I think we do have it figured out." As reported earlier, Ellison is forming an investor group and will decide within a couple of weeks whether to make an offer. The effort would be independent of Oracle, the second-largest software company behind Microsoft Corp. Ellison admitted this is a trial balloon to gauge interest in the idea and has even set up an electronic mailbox -- email@example.com -- and invited Apple employees, customers, stockholders and the computer industry to respond to his idea. The Associated Press quotes Ellison as saying if he makes a bid, it would give current shareholders 60 percent in cash and 40 percent stock in Apple, provided they agree to sell at the stock's current price. Meanwhile, says AP, "Industry analysts didn't think much of the idea, pointing out that shareholders could do as well simply by selling 60 percent of their stock. Some also said the problems that have caused Apple's bottom line, market share and stock price to plummet are too ingrained to be solved simply by replacing its management." Adds AP, "Ellison, after booting Amelio, other top managers and current directors, wouldn't run the company himself. He said he probably would sit on Apple's board of directors but not hold a top management position. Ellison saw a similar role for his pal Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder. Jobs was ousted from the company in a power struggle in 1985, but returned to the company in December as an adviser when Apple bought his Next Software Inc." Meanwhile, Jobs says he has no desire to move beyond his current advisory role and isn't involved in Ellison's -- or anyone else's -- possible bid for Apple. Scientists Leaving Apple An accelerated exodus of its top scientists and a dramatic reduction in research projects are the latest effects of Apple Computer Inc.'s budget cutting. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Lee Gomes says three of the five Apple "fellows" -- senior researchers who are given free rein in their laboratory pursuits -- have left the company, two of them just last week. The three -- Don Norman, Gursharan Sidhu and Alan Kay -- all are among the best-known computer scientists in their respective fields, Gomes adds. Also, Apple has shut down "a list of promising but long-term projects, such as one involving the convergence of television sets and personal computers," the Journal reports, adding, "By one Apple insider's estimate, Apple's annual budget for long-term research has been whacked to $12 million from $50 million, and the number of researchers slashed to 80 from 250." The newspaper calls this "another chapter in Apple's decline, as the company concedes it can no longer afford the pioneering research that was once one of its defining characteristics." In addition, Gomes comments, "cutting research spending so sharply makes the kind of innovation that could lead to a turnaround at Apple even more difficult." Saudi Prince Bites Into Apple About 5 percent of troubled Apple Computer Inc. has been acquired by a billionaire Saudi Arabian prince, who has been buying up shares in recent weeks. From Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, The Associated Press reports Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, nephew of Saudi King Fahd, announced his $115 million investment in Apple late yesterday. The prince also holds significant stakes in Citicorp and Disneyland Paris and announced two weeks ago that he had accumulated a 5 percent stake in the struggling carrier Trans World Airlines. As reported, Apple has lost $936 million over the past five financial quarters, and recently announced that 4,100 employees, or 30 percent of its work force, will be laid off as part of its efforts to return to profitability. In a statement, Alwaleed said, "I have been following the technology industry closely for some time, and Apple in particular for a number of months. I believe there is serious potential for Apple to provide large returns to its stockholders once again, as it did in the past." AP says Alwaleed has noted reports last week that Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison may try to acquire control of Apple, adding he "will monitor events closely." Apple Seeking Buyer, Times Says Once again, word is out that Apple Computer Inc. actively is looking for a friendly merger partner. The New York Times this morning quoted one executive who does business with Apple as saying Apple employees told him the company was again in talks with Sun Microsystems. As reported yesterday, Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud says he now owns more than 5 percent of the computer maker's stock, recently buying shares on the open market for a total of $115 million. Also, Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison has confirmed he has formed an independent investor group to gauge interest in taking over Apple. Japanese Accused of Dumping In a preliminary ruling, the U.S. Commerce Department accuses a Japanese computer maker of trying to sell four supercomputers to the U.S. government for less than the cost of one, a violation of international anti-dumping agreements. If upheld, the ruling could lead to penalty duties against Japanese supercomputer imports ranging from 27 percent to 454 percent, says Associated Press writer David Briscoe. Cray Research Inc., the U.S. manufacturer claiming damage, hails the decision as vindication after losing its first federal supercomputer contract to Japan. Meanwhile, a spokesman for NEC Corp., the Japanese company most severely affected, characterized the ruling as "poppycock," saying it is "beyond imagination." The Commerce Department's preliminary judgment accepted the figures of Cray, which estimated NEC was providing 454 percent more than the value of the contract in its winning bid for government weather forecasting computers at Boulder, Colorado. AP says a final ruling is expected in late August. A case before the Court of International Trade goes to trial April 7 to decide NEC claims that the Commerce Department is biased in favor of Cray and shouldn't be deciding the case, which was filed in July 1996. Freenet Founder Admits Porn The founder of the Freenet computer bulletin board network and a former Cleveland, Ohio, university professor has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges. And in New York City, a kindergarten teacher has been charged with sending child porn over the Internet and with attempted sexual assault on a juvenile. In the Ohio case, United Press International quotes authorities in Akron as saying former Case Western Reserve University professor Thomas Grundner has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography. The 51-year-old founder of the nation's first Freenet computer system faces a June 9 sentencing, where he could receive up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He was arrested last month and charged with possessing three or more books, magazines, periodicals, films, videotapes and other items that showed minors engaged in sexual conduct. It was back in 1984, while still an assistant professor in the family medical department at Case Reserve, that Grundner set up his computer bulletin board system, offering free e-mail, Internet access and local data. Two years later, that system became the Cleveland Freenet, the nation's first and largest public computer network. Similar freenets grew from that concept and now are available in numerous communities worldwide. Grundner left Cleveland Freenet and Case Reserve in 1992. Meanwhile, in the separate New York case, UPI quotes NYC police as saying teacher Lawrence Cohen was arrested yesterday after going to a New Jersey hotel carrying a Toys "R" Us bag filled with teddy bears, a dog leash and leather restraints, hoping to meet an 11-year-old boy. Instead, says the wire service, the 31-year-old teacher had a rendezvous with a federal agent. Authorities allege Cohen, who teaches kindergarten and computers in a Brooklyn elementary school, used the Internet to send child pornography to a federal informant calling himself "Arizona Boy Lover." A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in New Jersey says Cohen met the federal informant in an Internet chat room in mid-February. The next day, Cohen allegedly transmitted Arizona Boy Lover child pornography and an e-mail message asking to have sex with the informant's stepson. The two made contact by phone, and arranged to meet in New Jersey over the weekend, UPI says. Cyrix, Intel Settle MMX Case A settlement has been reached between Cyrix Corp. and Intel Corp. over the use of the MMX trademark, the label for Intel's new multimedia technology for Pentium chips. Reporting from Richardson, Texas, the Dow Jones news service quotes Cyrix as saying the settlement enables it to use the MMX mark with appropriate attribution. Cyrix said the settlement agreement also extends to its customers, giving them the freedom to promote Cyrix processors compatible with MMX technology without the fear of litigation. In a statement, Cyrix said, "The two parties agreed that Intel has certain MMX rights and Cyrix will give appropriate trademark attribution." Filter Software Maker Gets Calls Solid Oak Software Inc. says people are calling the company to ask if its CYBERsitter Internet filtering software can keep their children from having easy access to Net-based information posted by religious cults. "We have received numerous phone calls from concerned parents at our office requesting information about CYBERsitter and its ability to block potentially dangerous information," says Marc Kanter, vice president of Solid Oak Software. According to Kanter, CYBERsitter can be used to both filter and monitor objectionable Web sites, newsgroups, chat lines, FTP sites, incoming and outgoing e-mail and file downloads. "In the United States, much of the responsibility for overseeing the Internet will ultimately fall into the hands of the private sector, since government censorship would be nearly impossible to enforce worldwide," notes Kanter. More information is available at Solid Oaks' Web site: www.solidoak.com. Lucent Unveils Net Phone Platform Lucent Technologies has introduced a new Internet solution for communication service providers that will allow consumers and businesses make calls over the Internet using ordinary phones or fax machines. The Murray Hill, New Jersey, company's new Lucent Internet Telephony Server SP can work in any public switched network to route telephone calls over data networks, such as the Internet. Lucent says the technology will allow service providers, including telephone companies, Internet service providers and cable companies, to offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional long-distance calling. "Today we are enabling service providers to tap an entirely new market in what could be a billion dollar arena," says Gerald Butters, Lucent's president of North American network systems. "With today's dramatic and rapid improvements in technology, we now are able to make high-quality Internet telephony a reality." MCI Communications Corp. and France Telecom say they each plan to trial Lucent's new platform, while GTE Telephone Operations says it plans to conduct a laboratory evaluation of Lucent's new platform beginning this May. "Lucent's Internet Telephony Server SP raises the stakes substantially in the Internet telephony/fax gateway market," says Hilary Mine, senior vice president of market researcher Probe Research. "With its non-proprietary architecture, Lucent has addressed the critical barriers to deployment, saving service providers from being locked into one particular vendor, and moving Internet telephony into the mainstream." Digital Has 600MHz Alpha CPU Digital Equipment Corp. has added a 600MHz model to its Alpha processor family. The Maynard, Massachusetts-based computer maker says its new Alpha 21164-600MHz, with a peak execution rate of 2.4 billion instructions per second, delivers estimated 18.0 SPECint95 and 27.0 SPECfp95 ratings, the industry's top figures for both RISC and CISC processors. "Reaching 600MHz demonstrates the performance leadership that was built into the Alpha architecture," says Tim Miller, strategic marketing manager for Alpha products for Digital's semiconductor unit. "Digital offers the industry's top-performing microprocessor -- the Alpha 21164-600MHz -- for servers and workstations." Alpha 21164-600MHz samples are available now. Digital expects to announce personal workstations based on the Alpha 21164-600MHz microprocessor in the near future. Disney Launches Online Service A subscription-based Web service for children and families called Disney's Daily Blast is being launched next week Walt Disney Co. The service will cost $4.95 a month. To access it, users will need an Internet account. Reporting from Disney's Burbank, California, headquarters, The Associated Press says the service will feature up to an hour's worth of "programming" a day and will include games, puzzles, animated comic books, sports, news updates and a computerized coloring book featuring Disney characters. In deal with The Microsoft Network, MSN's 2.5 million members will get The Daily Blast free for the next 10 months, said Richard Wolpert, senior vice president of technology for Disney Online. Wolpert adds the paid site is an extension of other Disney products such as its movies, theme parks and home videos. Motorola Unveils New Modem The new 3460 Fast'R modem series with a Windows-based Fast'RVu configurator has been unveiled by Motorola Inc.'s Network Systems Division. Reporting from Mansfield, Massachusetts, the Reuter News Service says the products "allow for the quick configuration, status checking and testing of dozens of computer modems," adding, "The series is for use by network managers and systems groups, for example. With Fast'RVu, the set-up time of up to 128 modems can be reduced by a factor of 10." Saying the series is offered as an external modem or an internal card, Motorola says the suggested price is $595 for the external modem. Floppy Drives Alive and Well Many computers are now equipped with CD-ROMs and Zip drives, but floppy disk drives aren't going away, reports Dataquest Inc. The San Jose, California-based market research firm says 89.6 million floppy drive units were shipped worldwide in 1996, up 10.3 percent over 1995. Average unit prices declined 9.7 percent. Dataquest notes that Mitsumi Electronics moved into the No. 1 position with a 19.1 percent market share, while TEAC Corp. dropped to the No. 2 position with an 18.5 percent market share. "Prices will continue to erode, even with fewer suppliers offering flexible disk drive products," says Phil Devin, vice president and chief analyst of Dataquest's computer storage program. "Vendors will move to the more complex, high-capacity drives where the profits will support investment for the future. Quick acceptance of the Zip or LS-120 drives by several of the top PC makers would swing the pendulum quickly away from 1.44MB drives." More Dataquest information can be found at www.dataquest.com. Wireless E-Mail Boom Predicted A new survey by The Strategis Group, finds that 52 percent of wireless users and 40 percent of non-users are interested in two-way wireless e-mail, representing a potential total market of 44.3 million users. According to the study, the number of wireless e-mail users will grow from less than half a million today to 15.6 million in 2001. However, subscribers will grow slowly over the next two years as digital cellular, broadband PCS, and narrowband PCS networks become fully deployed. With these networks in operation, and with further development of messaging devices, growth will explode beyond 1998. "With the sudden emergence of electronic messaging and the Internet, wireless carriers are facing an incredible opportunity to extend these capabilities to the mobile environment," says John Zahurancik, an analyst with the Washington-based market research firm. "Wireless e-mail is the next logical step in the trend toward advanced wireless messaging." Multimedia Wireless System Planned Ericsson, the Stockholm-based communications equipment maker, has been selected by NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest cellular service provider, to jointly develop the first "third generation" wireless communications system capable of delivering high-speed multimedia services. The system is expected to provide a whole new range of multimedia wireless communications functions, including full motion video, video conferencing and Internet access. The system will use 5MHz W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) technology to support initial data transfer rates of 384K bps and will eventually handle up to 2M bps. W-CDMA is an advanced digital wireless technology, which is fundamentally different from "narrowband" IS95 CDMA systems now being deployed primarily for voice services. "NTT DoCoMo is committed to satisfying our growing base of subscribers seeking advanced wireless services," says a statement issued by NTT DoCoMo. "Ericsson met all the specifications for building the technologically sophisticated systems that will deliver these services." The companies said they intended to install the first experimental systems by late 1997. Plans call for full commercial deployment at the turn of the century. Sounds Come to Java on the Net A deal that will add music and sound to Java animations on the Internet's World Wide Web has been brokered by British pop star Thomas Dolby. The singer's firm Headspace Inc. will license its audio engine to Sun Microsystem's JavaSoft unit. "Suddenly sound in computing is no longer on the luxury item list. It's on the must-have list," Headspace CEO Thomas Dolby Robertson told Associated Press writer Martha Irvine. Robertson's San Mateo-based company supplies music and sound to Internet products for such Silicon Valley companies as Netscape, Yahoo and Web TV Networks. Irvine says the firm's products are aimed at bringing high-quality sound to computers and, especially the Internet, where, Robertson comments, sound quality has ranged "from mediocre to very, very poor." Headspace now has 16 employees who compose and produce music and sound for CD-ROMs, video games and the Web and its audio engine incorporates small sound files into what is known as "rich music format," allowing for uniform, continuous play on any audio-supported computer, AP says. Hundt Courts Computer Firms Computer firms should use their influence to help sway FCC commissioners to vote yes on a bill that would provide Internet access to schools, says FCC Chairman Reed Hundt. The May 8 vote is on a plan to require Internet access providers to offer discounts to libraries and schools and would reimburse them by up to $2.25 billion a year. In Tucson, Arizona, yesterday, Hundt told a PC Forum conference the FCC already has four commissioners expected to vote in favor of the plan and, "We need three." The Reuter News Service reports Hundt also reiterated that he planned to vote against a bill that would let regional Bell telephone operating companies charge Internet access providers a fee for using their local lines. In a speech that focused on the problems of the current education system in the United States, he said, "I'm not going to vote for access charges to be put on Internet access providers." He pointed out currently 65 percent of all public schools have at least one connection to the Internet but there are no telephone lines in the classrooms, adding that most teachers cannot even call for help if they were being held up at gunpoint. Said Hundt, "There are 45 million people that this communications system does not reach," referring to the number of students in the United States. He called on the industry to e-mail the FCC commissioners to support his plan, adding that the industry has enormous power. Schools Get Discounted Net Access Pacific Bell has begun offering 50 percent discounts on high-speed dedicated Internet access services to more than 9,000 California schools, community colleges, universities and libraries. Education Exclusives, the first program of its kind in the nation by a major telecommunications provider, offers participating schools and libraries Internet access services at speeds up to 100 times faster than standard analog connections along with greater reliability, notes the San Francisco-based telecommunications firm. The announcement comes on the third anniversary of Pacific Bell's Education First, a $100 million program designed to help wire public and private non-profit schools, community colleges and libraries in California. Since Education First was launched in 1994, Pacific Bell has wired more than one-third of the K-12 schools, community colleges and libraries in its service territory with high-speed ISDN lines. "The continued success of Education First depends on making the latest high-speed data technology accessible and affordable to educators and students," says Bob Lee, president of Pacific Bell's business communications services unit. "Previously available only to large businesses and corporate users, Education Exclusives now brings the power and reliability of 'industrial strength' dedicated Internet access from the boardroom to where it's most needed -- the classroom." Disabled Web Access Planned The U.S. Department of Education and the National Science Foundation have announced their financial support for the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative. The effort is designed to guide the development of industry-sponsored specifications to make the Internet accessible to all users. Technologies including descriptive video, video captioning and alternative input devices will be explored by the project. "Many Web pages cannot be accessed by people who are blind or have limited vision," says Education Secretary Richard W. Riley. "America's rush to the Information Superhighway risks leaving behind a crucial element of our population -- our nation's 49 million persons with disabilities. The Internet has fast become one of the great inventions of our lifetimes. Yet for some citizens, this dazzling medium may offer about as much usefulness as the Pony Express." The government agencies will contribute up to $800,000 to the venture. PCs Now in 40% of U.S. Households Household PC penetration in the United States rose above 40 percent for the first time ever in 1996, according to Computer Intelligence. Preliminary statistics from the La Jolla, California-based market researcher's 1997 Consumer Technology Index study, finds that more than 40 million U.S. households now own PCs. Also, for the first time ever, more than 50 percent of households with children have PCs. While penetration increased across all demographic segments in 1996, PC ownership remains closely linked to education and income, finds the study. U.S. households with some college education are much more likely to have PCs, and they lead less-educated households in PC ownership by more than 15 percentage points. "We expect that the recent introduction of lower priced, sub-$1,000 PCs and the proliferation of used PCs will continue to broaden ownership to include more lower-income households," says Mark Nelson, vice president and general manager for Computer Intelligence's consumer research group. "However, there is still a considerable gap, as penetration approaches 60 percent for households with annual incomes greater than $40,000." A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! Send for the free sample now. (For a sample that's suitable for framing, see below) Guaranteed. you will be amazed at the superb quality. (Please.. allow at least a two week turn- around). If you would like a sample printout that's suitable for framing. Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing. Order this package. It'll be on special stock and be of superb quality. We obtained a mint copy of a 1927 COLOR ENGRAVER'S YEAR BOOK. Our Scanner is doing "double duty"! The results will absolutely blow you away. If you want this high quality sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95 (Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano. Be sure to include your full return address and telephone number . The sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope. Don't hesitate.. you will not be disappointed. This "stuff" is gorgeous! A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N Shareware Treasure Chest STR Feature "The Latest & Greatest" Shareware Treasure Chest By Lloyd E. Pulley firstname.lastname@example.org Name/Version Release Date Size Price Everything I Own! 1.5a 3/26/97 2.4mb Shareware $24.95 In the event of theft or disaster, 'Everything I Own! could be the most important program on your computer. This program will enable the user to list every item in his/her home. It tracks model and serial numbers, warranty information, locations, types of items, condition, purchase price, replacement cost, brand names, where it was purchased, and much more. A very easy-to-use, but extremely reliable, backup and restore utility is also provided. You can click the mouse and check to see if any warranties are about to expire, or have already expired. EIO contains simple but comprehesive printouts that can be filtered in several ways, prints single records or the entire database. And it's all very easy to learn and use. EIO was designed with the novice user in mind, but has all the power and features an experienced user has come to expect. Download Site - http://www.blucollsoft.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Loki Diary 32-bit 1.19.04 beta 3/29/97 3.40mb Freeware Loki Diary is a Visual Basic 4.0 program for keeping a diary or journal with a little something for everyone. Designed to be easy to use, it features a calendar for quick navigation, a rich text editor, options to print any range of dates, with the ability to search the entire diary for keywords, and security functions that support an Access95 compatible database. Download Site - http://hudson.idt.net/~lokidog/index2.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price Critec Accounting 1.01 3/27/97 2,204kb Freeware Includes Debtors, Creditors, General Ledger, Cashbook, Reports, Fixed Assets, Inventory, etc. Join the Beta program to get regular updates, and many more advantages. Download Site - http://www.critec.co.nz/accounting/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price WinHacker 32-bit 2.0 Official Release 3/28/97 1.00mb Shareware WinHacker 95 is the best utility that you can use to configure the hidden Windows 95 (and Windows NT) settings. Many of the settings that change the way Windows 95 works and feels are hidden in the overwhelming registry, or in configuration files. WinHacker 95 give you a easy way to configure those settings through the GUI (graphical user interface) Download Site - http://www.wojo.com/wedge/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price NetToob Stream 32-bit 3.2 3/28/97 1.20mb Shareware $19.95 Provides the ultimate software-only solution for playing all current digital standards on a Windows based PC including MPEG-1, Video for Windows (AVI) and QuickTime for Windows (MOV) as downloaded media, and varied frame- rate MPEG-1 on-demand media without server software. With Net Toob, users now have the choice of playing media on-demand, simply by clicking on it, or by downloading the entire file and then playing it. Download Site - http://www.duplexx.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price VuePrint Pro 32-bit 5.1 4/01/97 .42mb Shareware $40 One of the better image viewers, displays every file type you can think of, even uuencoded images (from newsgroups). Download Site - http://www.hamrick.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Graphics Workshop 32-bit 1.1x patch 1 Release 3/28/97 1.80mb Shareware $40 It's a powerful Windows-based graphics viewing, manipulation and management package. The latest release has new features including TWAIN support, a slide show, password-protected images, Windows 95 long file name support, move and copy, PNG support, MPEG viewing, QuickTime viewing, direct uudecoding, multiple image and interlaced GIFs, conversion to CDR, improved colour reduction and much more. Download Site - http://www.mindworkshop.com/alchemy/gww.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price Real Player 32-bit 4.0 beta 1b 3/28/97 1.00mb Free From the makers of Real Audio comes Real Video, the only player you need to get all the great RealAudio and the new RealVideo content on the web -- all without download delays. - Stereo audio at 28.8, near-CD quality at higher bitrates, AM-quality audio at 14.4 - - Newscast-quality video at 28.8 and full-motion at higher bitrates - Download Site - http://www.real.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price WinTune97 32-bit Release Candidate 3/28/97 991kb Freeware A neat little utility from the publishers of Windows Magazine. It's a testing/tune-up app that allows you to get all the nitty gritty details of your computers set up. Test the speed of various components and more. Download Site - http://www.winmag.com/software/wt97.htm Name/Version Release Date Size Price HotJava for Win95/NT 1.0 3/29/97 6.6mb Freeware The HotJava Browser is a modular, FCS-applet aware, extensible, World Wide Web browser written in the Java programming language." The HotJava Browser conforms to Web standards and standard practice. It is designed to be highly scalable and customizable, enabling end-users, service providers and intranet providers to easily tailor it to meet their specific requirements. Like Web pages themselves, the user interface of the HotJava Browser is implemented by HTML and applets, whose behavior can be modified by an ASCII-based properties file. Extensible Unlike other browsers, HotJava can download and execute applets even behind corporate firewalls. You can extend the browser's capability dynamically, without increasing its base memory footprint, by installing new content and protocol handlers for it to use for new media types or protocols. This makes the HotJava Browser an ideal, scalable solution for the new class of network devices, such as Network Computers. It does however lack many features that other browsers support. Download Site - http://www.javasoft.com/products/HotJava/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price McAfee Scan for Windows 95 3.0.1 3/28/97 3.9mb Shareware The most popular shareware virus scanner! Comes complete with ViruShield. Download Site - http://www.mcafee.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price ZipCat Pro 2.0 3/27/97 3,775kb Shareware $25.00 Catalog any type of removable media. ZipCat remembers your volumes (disks) so that you can recatalog them with only one button! Browse and search your disks offline, in a graphical drive tree format (just like Windows 95 Explorer!) Resizable window, startup and operation options, advanced searching, printing, online HELP and more make using ZipCat 95 simple. Download Site - http://www3.blackboard.com/m2s/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Keno Casino 32 Bit 2.0 3/24/97 1,977kb Shareware $19.95 Play any of your favorite Las Vegas style Keno tickets. Play - Regular, Bet Against, Catch All, Quick Pick, Super Special, Top Or Bottom, Twenty Spot, and of course Way tickets. Play Multi Race and figure your odds of winning a ticket. Save and Load Tickets. View last 1000 games. Print tickets. Graphics, great sounds, tallies your winnings, packed with on-line help,and more. Download Site - http://members.aol.com/dcastilllo/kenocent.htm Name/Version Release Date Size Price DietWatch Diary 1.01 3/7/97 1,873kb Freeware Diet Watch Diary is the world's first Internet diet software that integrates the power of web information with an easy to use yet powerful personal diet diary. With DietWatch Diary you can easily keep a log of your diet and weight within your browser, compare your nutritional profile to norms and receive up-to date reports on your diet, chart your personal data and progress, explore and reveal dependencies, get the latest diet news, share diets and nutritional information, and surf to other popular diet sites. Download Site - http://www.softwatch.com/dietwatch/welcome/welcome.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price V-Scheduler 1.2 3/21/97 3.9mb Shareware $25.00 V-SCHEDULER is a 32-bit scheduler application for Win 95. It is designed with total flexibility in mind, and consists of a highly intuitive user- interface. Visually, it sits in the top right corner of the screen and shows number of programmed items together with the current date and time. Clicking the right mouse button over the window activates the Pop Up Menu, from which you can select the various actions. Context-sensitive help is available where appropriate. Download Site - http://www.virdi.demon.co.uk/Scheduler/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Private Music Collection 1.01 3/27/97 847kb Shareware Private Music Collection is a database to handle your CD's Records, tapes etc. It can handle up to 8500 records. You can search on all fields and print and export lists. Beside these normal features you can make a genre list to choose from, show an image of the CD-cover and play the CD in your CD-ROM player. Download Site - http://www.tomb.demon.nl/us/index.htm Name/Version Release Date Size Price Idyle Phone Book PRO 97 2.00 3/26/97 1,269kb Shareware $25.00 Trying to find a contact manager? Try this one out. You can keep record of all your business or personal addresses, phones and internet information. The user interface is quite intuitive, and the options are many. Dialing, leaving e-mail and browsing the web are a mouse click away. Keep printed copies of your phone book with you so you can have all this information whenever you need it. PB97 can print it in several ways: pocket booklet, franklin type, or full page. Download Site - http://pages.infinit.net/idyle/idyle-soft/pb97/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price TextPad 3.0 Beta 2 3/26/97 1,087kb Shareware $27.00 TextPad is the most powerful and flexible text editor on the market. Clean and uncluttered, the interface does not get in the way. Yet hiding just a few mouse clicks away are powerful search and replace, macro commands, and a highly customizable interface. When you need more than notepad can offer, TextPad is the obvious next step. Download Site - http://www.textpad.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price GatherTalk 32-bit 1.01 3/30/97 1.10mb Freeware GatherTalk is a phone for the Internet. It allows interactive voice conversations around the world. GatherTalk does even more than a phone. It allows teleconferencing on Internet, even with modem connections. It can support 3 people conferencing using 14.4kbps modems and 5 people conferencing using 28.8kbps modems. No special chat servers are required, all connections are direct. This shortens the transmission and processing delays, and also allows the most valuable feature, private conferencing. i.e. You can make your own conferencing groups as you wish. This version started a concept of GatherTalk PlugIn. TextTalk and WhiteBoard are two new Plug-ins for the first distribution. Download Site - http://www.cixt.cuhk.edu.hk/gtalk/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Fund Manager 2.3 3/25/97 592kb Shareware $29.00 Fund Manager is a portfolio management application for the individual investor. Fund Manager is designed to help investors monitor and analyze their stocks, mutual funds, and other investments with a wide variety of easy to use graphs and reports. Download Site - http://members.aol.com/Beiley/fundman.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price Polyview 32-bit 2.90 beta 1 3/31/97 1.40mb Shareware $20 PolyView is a BMP, GIF, JPEG, photo-cd, PNG, and TIFF graphics viewer, file conversion, and printing utility for Windows NT and Windows 95. PolyView features fast image rendering, panning, and zooming that is optimized for Windows 95 and Windows NT. PolyView is a 32 bit application that uses multithreading to enhance usability and allow time consuming operations, such as image file reading and writing, to be performed in parallel with user interface operations. PolyView's multithreaded nature also allows the reading and writing of multiple image files at the same time. With its image appearance manipulation, copy and paste facilities, and DDE execution capabilities, PolyView is an excellent companion to your favorite Web browser. Download Site - http://www.netins.net/showcase/polybytes/ BackWeb 32-bit 2.0 beta 3/31/97 2.20mb Freeware Download BackWeb today and you'll be on your way to getting personalized information, entertainment, and software delivered automatically to your desktop. BackWeb makes this possible by sending data to you in the background, taking advantage of your Internet connection's idle time while you're connected to the net. This means you no longer have to wait for long downloads or go out and search for information. You subscribe to the Channels you're interested in once and from then on information is automatically delivered to your desktop. Download Site - http://www.backweb.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price MyExplorer 8.0 Beta 3/27/97 287kb Demo Offers you the ability to map any drive to your MyExplorer Menu, add shortcuts to programs, files and directories at the click of a button and also by simply dragging its icon over the MyExplorer Setup Window. Place any document as a shortcut and MyExplorer will find its associated executable and launch the file shortcut! Download Site - http://www.dlsystems.com/myexplorer/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Background Scroller 1.01 3/27/97 134kb Freeware An application to change your Wallpaper frequently. Unzip the file and place it in a directory you like. Place your favorite Wallpapers in a directory, start Backgroundscroller and point it to the directory of the Wallpapers. Now the Wallpapers will be shown in order or random if you like. Download Site - http://www.tomb.demon.nl/us/index.htm Name/Version Release Date Size Price Irfan View32 32-bit 2.25 4/01/97 .24mb Freeware IrfanView32 is a very fast 32-Bit image viewer for Windows95 and Windows NT. It supports most formats you can think of. Download Site - http://stud1.tuwien.ac.at/~e9227474/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Multimedia Xplorer 32-bit 1.2 beta 2b 4/01/97 .75mb Shareware $20 Multimedia Xplorer is a new, powerful 32-bit application (Windows 95/NT 4.0) for handling most types of multimedia files including images, sounds, videos and icons. Main idea is to provide ONE application that handles all these different media types easily, so no need to mess with different applications. It is designed to be powerful for powerusers and at the same time it is as simple as possible, so novice users can view and manage files easily. Multimedia Xplorer has some unique ergonomy features that make it very handy to use. Download Site - http://www.estpak.ee/~ahto/moon/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Mellosoftron 32-bit 2.0 4/01/97 1.60mb Shareware $10 Mellosoftron 2.0 - * LOW-LATENCY *, fully programmable virtual sampler. Full GM support. Can be played with MIDI controller, computer keyboard or mouse. Runs with sequencer. Uses extended WAVmaker/MIDInight Express patches. Sound engine available for developers. Windows 95/NT and DirectSound 3 required. Pentium recommended. Download Site - http://www.abc.se/~m9303/ml.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price PowWow 32-bit 3.1 4/01/97 2.50mb Freeware PowWow allows up to seven (7) people to chat, transfer files, and cruise the Web together as a group. It also has voice chat at 14.4 capabilities and a conference mode. This new version Version 3.0 has Text-to-Speech capabilities Download Site - http://www.tribal.com/powwow/download/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Search 4 32-bit 2.0 beta 4/01/97 .14mb Freeware Search 4 runs in your System Tray, It serves as a "quick-launch" to four of the most powerful Search Engines on the web (Alta Vista, Lycos, WebCrawler, or Yahoo!) in the form of a pop-up menu.In addition to simply linking you to powerful seach engines, Search4 also allows you to specify a word, group of words, or phrase to search for - before your browser is even running. Simply click "Search" and it queries all four search engines and returns the results from those queries together, in the form of four framed windows in your browser (Supports Netscape and Internet Explorer) Download Site - http://www.intermania.com/search4/index.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price Milano's Alarm 97 1.5 4/1/97 1,8mb Shareware This is a nice alarm program: You have a current time display, alert sounds and images (for full version), 5 types of reminding styles and shut down windows. Download Site - http://www.unitel.net/milano/FStuff.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price ThumbsPlus 3.0-f2 3/24/97 2,700kb Shareware $65.00 ThumbsPlus is a graphic file viewer, locator and organizer which simplifies the process of finding and maintaining graphics, clip-art files, fonts and animations. It displays a small image (thumbnail) of each file. You can use ThumbsPlus to browse, view, edit, crop, launch external editors, and copy images to the clipboard. This update has many bug fixes. Download Site - http://www.cerious.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Keynote Music Drills 1.73 3/31/97 776kb Shareware $20.00 Designed to help music students learn to identify the notes of the bass clef, treble clef, and grand staff, and to locate their positions on the keyboard or guitar and bass guitar fingerboard. There are additional drills for the alto and tenor clefs, and bass guitar. Download Site - http://www.aloha.net/~khigaki/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Mp3 PlayList Maker 3.20 3/26/97 2,300kb Shareware $15.00 A program for creating playlists for the Mpeg3 player. Advanced creating features; moving items in the list; create a randomized list; recursive directory search for mp3's; viewing file_id.diz for each mp3; saving and loading playlists; tooltips; creating a list with all file_id.diz from the songs in a playlist; adding/editing URL's in the playlist, drag & drop both in the application and from the Explorer, calculating the exact time of a song/playlist, Id3 tagging support, creating configurable infolists & saving a database with all needed info about a playlist for very quick access plus much more. Download Site - http://arla.rsn.hk-r.se/~coq/mp3/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price LaserUp! Simple Calendar V2.0 4/1/97 298kb Shareware $12.50 This is a Windows 95 replacement for the Windows 3.1 Calendar program. It allows you more versatile printing and some other nifty features. Additions made with this version are a reporting function which will print reports of hours, milage, income, expenses, and other logged items. Download Site - http://www.santhony.com/laserup/ EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Embedded Chips Suffer From Year 2000 Problem, Too Intranet Use Soars IBM Takes Its Cue From Dell Changing Role Of The CIO Bond Seller Eyes Silicon Valley Peering Into Future, Oracle Sips Apple Juice PC Theater Gets A Boost Prison Computer Used For Child Pornography Does Net Play Role In Cult Activities? Court Says Cable Must Carry Local Broadcast TV Password Security Flaw Found In Windows NT NSF Picks Two Supercomputer Centers New Chip-Making Process Developed At Cornell U.S. Finds NEC Guilty Of Supercomputer "Dumping" Olivetti Aims High Compaq Switches To Build-On-Demand Model Gerstner On Gerstner Software Glitches Don't Bug Netscape's Andreessen Disney Web Site To Charge For Visits Apple Merger Talks: Deja Vu All Over Again CompuServe Wants To Serve A New Owner U. Of Minnesota Tightens Up On "Excessive" Internet Use AMD's Kryptonite Challenges Intel's Superman "The Squandered Computer" Microsoft Launches Local Arts & Entertainment Guide Predicting Music Sales Via Computer Modeling Disney To Buy Stake In Starwave Sun Solicits Java Chips EMBEDDED CHIPS SUFFER FROM YEAR 2000 PROBLEM, TOO It's not just aging mainframe computers that will go haywire when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, 1999 -- the electronic devices we encounter in everyday life could have problems, too, according a letter drafted by three U.S. lawmakers responsible for overseeing public and private sector responses to the Year 2000 problem. "Critical systems that depend on automated devices include security systems for badge readers, surveillance and home security systems, parking lot gates, and vaults. Other products that rely on embedded computer microchips include telephone systems, video recorders, bar code readers, automatic teller machines, medical devices, factory machinery, civilian and military avionics, process control and monitoring equipment, sprinkler systems, and air-conditioning systems." (BNA Daily Report for Executives 25 Mar 97) INTRANET USE SOARS Corporate use of intranets is skyrocketing, according to a Creative Networks, Inc survey of 52 large companies. The mean number of intranet users at the companies was 5,905 in late 1996, but that number is expected to more than double this year, to 12,408. Companies are using the intranets primarily to share information among employees and collaborate on projects. (Wall Street Journal 28 Mar 97) IBM TAKES ITS CUE FROM DELL Unable to compete directly with mail-order computer companies such as Dell and Gateway 2000, IBM plans to allow some of its most trusted distributors to produce up to 60% of its commercial PC line, using IBM parts. One of the distributors, Inacom Corp., was so enthusiastic about the proposition that it built a $20- million final assembly plant in California on spec. Inacom predicts that once the plant gears up, turnaround time on a customized IBM PC order, from initial placement to arrival on the loading dock, will be four hours at the most. "When our model begins to hit on all eight cylinders, we are going to be much more competitive against Dell," says Inacom's CEO. (24 Mar 97) CHANGING ROLE OF THE CIO As information technology increasingly becomes an integral part of most business functions, from human resources to logistical management, the role of the chief information officer is evolving as well. The CIO of Shell Oil Co. predicts that "the combination of information and communications technology will have an impact on the way business is run and structured, giving the organization the ability to bring together knowledge and skills from any part of the planet." After spending time during the '80s solving business problems one-by-one in a piecemeal manner, he realized that his "philosophy had to change to delivering perceived value, as opposed to that of a technology company that delivers technology for the sake of technology." A Gartner Group analyst predicts that in the future, the CIO "will be the key liaison to top management, and will be well-positioned to exploit technologies and innovations that go beyond the day-to- day operations. The CIO will understand the strategic vision of the company and link the mahogany-paneled offices with the data centers and the end- user help desks." (Information Week 24 Mar 97) BOND SELLER EYES SILICON VALLEY The New York investment banker who helped rock star David Bowie turn his intellectual property into $55 million worth of bonds says he'd like to do the same thing for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. "What was groundbreaking for us was using intellectual property as opposed to hard financial assets to back the deal, like mortgages," says the senior associate with Fahnestock & Co. The assets backing the Bowie bonds, which were snapped up by Prudential Insurance Co., are the royalties and licensing fees from future sales. Software companies have similar assets: "Any software component that generates a licensing revenue or royalties would be an easy candidate." (Tampa Tribune 29 Mar 97) PEERING INTO FUTURE, ORACLE SIPS APPLE JUICE Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison said in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News that he is still thinking about buying Apple in order to "save" it, and has invited anyone with an opinion to send a message to email@example.com. Many industry analysts doubt Ellison's sincerity, however, and say that if he were serious about buying Apple he wouldn't be talking about it publicly. Apple CEO Gilbert F. Amelio calls Ellison's idea "nonsense." (New York times 28 Mar 97) PC THEATER GETS A BOOST Intel, Compaq, Hitachi, NEC, Toshiba, Philips Electronics, Thomson Consumer Electronics and Mitsubishi Electric are joining forces to produce standards for a living-room personal computer, dubbed the PC theater. The PC theater, which would hook up to a large-screen TV and videogame player, would act as a server for remote controls, digital-disk players, speakers and TV sets. (Wall Street Journal 28 Mar 97) PRISON COMPUTER USED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY A federal grand jury in Minneapolis has indicted a prison inmate and convicted pedophile with using a computer purchased for a prison-run computer programming and telemarketing business to obtain and distribute child pornography over the Internet, using an anonymous remailer in Europe. The computer used by the inmate contained a list with thousands of children's names along with a cache of child pornography. U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug said, "The idea that a prisoner had this kind of access to the Internet, and was able to collect explicit child pornography and communicate with others on how to hide it is almost unbelievable." (New York Times 28 Mar 97) DOES NET PLAY ROLE IN CULT ACTIVITIES? Although many Internet enthusiasts argue that the Internet isn't creating cults like Heaven's Gate, the group that committed mass suicide this past week in Southern California, others see a dark side to the Net. University of Oregon psychologist Ray Hayman says: "Much of the stuff you find is nonsense, but because it comes off the computer it has the mark of being credible." Paul Saffo of the Institute for the Future says: "The Web is a compelling new mediumbeing put to all kinds of uses, by everyone from banks to Cub Scouts to flying saucer cults. That said, it can also be a powerful amplifier." (New York Times 28 Mar 97) But the Internet has large numbers of defenders, one of whom says: "I hate to watch news people talk about the Net. . . . One `expert' on CNN mentioned that cults often recruit on the Net because -- and I quote -- `technical people are often more gullible and more trusting.' ... We get portrayed in a crappy light.. . . This time it's a cult. Usually, it's that we're all child pornographers." (Washington Post 29 Mar 97) COURT SAYS CABLE MUST CARRY LOCAL BROADCAST TV In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Kennedy, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that cable systems must continue to live with federal "must carry" regulations requiring them to carry the signals of local broadcast television stations. The cable industry had argued unsuccessfully that forcing operators to carry certain channels violated their First Amendment right to free speech. The majority of the Court, however, was persuaded that "must carry" regulations promoted healthy competition, and feared that if cable operators were allowed to stop carrying local broadcasts, broadcasters would not be able to reach most of their potential audience or earn sufficient advertising revenue. Justice Kennedy wrote: "Congress has an independent interest in preserving a multiplicity of broadcasters to ensure that all households have access to information and entertainment on an equal footing with those who subscribe to cable." (Washington Post 1 Apr 97) PASSWORD SECURITY FLAW FOUND IN WINDOWS NT A major security flaw has been discovered in Windows NT that could allow a remote user to decode encrypted information, such as passwords, and display them as plain text. The vulnerability is in a utility tool for NT systems administrators. "It's a double-edged sword," says the principal author of the hacker's code that revealed the flaw. "This is a useful utility for migrating users to Unix systems from Windows NT, but it can also enable people to see all the actual passwords, which until now wasn't possible. If you are inside an NT system, this could be used for hacker purposes." (TechWire 31 Mar 97) NSF PICKS TWO SUPERCOMPUTER CENTERS Reducing the number of supercomputer centers it supports from four to two, the National Science Foundation has given new awards to the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California at San Diego. Educom VP Mike Roberts says: "There has never been a federal technological program that has come close to showing the social and economic benefit of the National Science Foundation supercomputer center funding program." Total spending for each of the two centers over a five-year period will be $170 million. (New York Times 31 Mar 97) NEW CHIP-MAKING PROCESS DEVELOPED AT CORNELL Researchers at Cornell University have developed a new process for making semiconductors that could result in lower manufacturing costs and new classes of chips. "It's going to potentially revolutionize the microelectronics and optoelectronics industries," says the scientist who heads up the project. The key to the new process is the creation of a universal substrate, or base, on which many different types of semiconductors can be built. With a universal substrate, "there isn't any compatibility issue between the film you want to deposit and the supporting substrate." The result will be faster, more powerful chips that can be used for everything from PCs to fiber-optic telecommunications. (InfoWorld Electric 28 Mar 97) U.S. FINDS NEC GUILTY OF SUPERCOMPUTER "DUMPING" The U.S. Department of Commerce has found NEC Corp. of Japan guilty of selling its weather-forecasting supercomputer for 454% below "fair value" to the National Science Foundation. The company had been accused of "dumping" in its bid against Cray Research for the government contract. If the ruling holds, and Cray is found to have been materially harmed, NEC will be liable for a fine worth 4-1/2 times the value of the contract. Industry observers say, however, that it will be difficult for Cray to prove material harm. The NSF contract marked the first time that the U.S. government had purchased a supercomputer from a Japanese company. (Wall Street Journal 1 Apr 97) OLIVETTI AIMS HIGH Olivetti Personal Computers, which was spun off from the Olivetti group as part of a leveraged buyout, hopes to show profitability within 12 months by focusing on the higher margin professional market for corporate servers and notebooks PCs. The company will sell between 700,000 and 800,000 machines this year. (Financial Times 1 Apr 97) COMPAQ SWITCHES TO BUILD-ON-DEMAND MODEL Compaq Computer says it will follow the lead of Dell Computer and Gateway 2000, building business computers as they're ordered, rather than basing production on market forecasting. The move could result in as much as a 10% price cut, forcing Compaq's rivals to respond in kind. "They can cause a temblor that causes change in other manufacturers as well," says the president of CompuCom Systems. Compaq is betting the new process will boost sales to $40 billion in 2000, up from $18.1 billion last year. The company plans to shift over to production-on-demand next month. (Wall Street Journal 31 Mar 97) GERSTNER ON GERSTNER Reflecting on himself in an interview with Peter Petre of Fortune magazine, IBM chief executive Lou Gerstner considers the issue of whether people are right who regard him as arrogant: "I'm tough-minded. I'm tough in business situations. I'm really focused and have little time. I guess I'm also relatively blunt. So if you want to know if I'm intense, competitive, focused, blunt, and tough, yes. That's fair. I'm guilty. Quite frankly, I am not very comfortable in chit-chat. When I go to [IBM] board meetings, I arrive two minutes before, and I leave when it's over. I don't stay for lunch or go early and have coffee. But if arrogance means pride, wanting to take credit for everything, not seeking others' advice, I don't think those are fair characterizations." (Fortune 14 Apr 97) SOFTWARE GLITCHES DON'T BUG NETSCAPE'S ANDREESSEN Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen is already thinking about the company's system-after-next, and he's not afraid of being in a hurry: "One of the advantages of moving quickly is if you do something wrong you can change it. What technologies tend to do is they tend to make a lot of mistakes... but then we go back and aggressively attach those mistakes -- and fix them. And you usually recover pretty quickly." Andreessen sees Netscape's new strength deriving from the burgeoning market for corporate intranet software, which is estimated at about $10-billion between now and 2000: "We're just going to be, you know, very upfront in terms of saying these are the products that are now tested... and there's going to be new products coming out after that that are going to be a lot more aggressively oriented. We need to work hands- on with customers to help them understand that." (St. Petersburg Times 31 Mar 97) DISNEY WEB SITE TO CHARGE FOR VISITS The Walt Disney Company will charge families $4.95 a month for children to play on its "Daily Blast" Web site, which will feature games, puzzles, and stories about Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters. The site will begin accepting visitors on April 9th. (New York Times 31 Mar 97) APPLE MERGER TALKS: DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN Apple is said once again to be looking for friendly merger candidates, and Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia -- a well-known international investor and possible silent partner for such a deal -- has during the last few weeks paid $115 million to acquire slightly more than 5% of Apple. One source close to the company says that Apple is in talks again with Sun, and Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison has recently expressed interested in buying Apple. Some industry analysts are speculating that Ellison wants to sell Apple's hardware business to one of the Macintosh clone makers that have been eroding Apple's market share, and creating a new software- only Apple company. (New York Times 3 Apr 97) COMPUSERVE WANTS TO SERVE A NEW OWNER CompuServe, now owned mainly by tax preparation company H&R Block, is in talks to be acquired. Industry analysts are speculating that the most likely suitor is America Online, though AT&T and Microsoft are other possible candidates. CompuServe currently has 2.9 million subscribers and AOL has 8 million. (Los Angeles Times 3 Apr 97) U. OF MINNESOTA TIGHTENS UP ON "EXCESSIVE" INTERNET USE The University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus has begun charging students and faculty who spend more than 30 hours a month online a $4-fee for each additional 30-hour block. The change was motivated by users who "camped out" on the university network so they could have access when they wanted it. According to the senior VP for academic affairs, the top 3% of modem users were occupying about 15% of the modem pool's resources. Some students and faculty have objected to the new policy, but University CIO Don Riley says it's been a success: "We're seeing the same resources being stretched a lot further." Educom VP Mike Roberts agrees: "Universities have an obligation to see that their resources are used well." (Chronicle of Higher Education 4 Apr 97) AMD'S KRYPTONITE CHALLENGES INTEL'S SUPERMAN Advanced Micro Devices has introduced its K6 chip (the "K" stands for Kryptonite), which it touts as nearly as fast as Intel's new Pentium II chip and about 25% cheaper. Some analysts estimate that the new chip could earn AMD up to 15% of the chip market next year, possibly doubling AMD's revenues from 1996 levels. The K6 chip is smaller than the Pentium II (making it less expensive to manufacture), but derives its power through its design, which stacks more layers of detail vertically, creating a denser processor. (Wall Street Journal 2 Apr 97) "THE SQUANDERED COMPUTER" Paul Strassmann, in his new book, "The Squandered Computer," compares corporate computer spending to Department of Defense arms spending: "The current corporate and public sector practice is not to budget computers according to defined results, but according to the perceived needs of proponent." In an interview with Investor's Business Daily, he says, "The bottom line of my book is that management has largely abdicated the technology acquisition decision to experts and consultants. They, of course, have a vested interest to jump into buying more and better and sooner. Consequently, the general tendency is to buy, and then when it doesn't work you just scrap it and go buy the next round. The build-and- scrap approach has been endemic for the last 40 years... Management has to start treating information and databases and software as capital investments that have a long life." Strassmann predicts that the enormous cost of fixing the Year 2000 problem will trigger a backlash against information technology spending: "Some people are already saying: 'We will not increase your money for Year 2000 so you have to give us savings. It has to come out of your hide... because we are not going to give you money to fix something that shouldn't have happened to begin with.'" (Investor's Business Daily 3 Apr 97) MICROSOFT LAUNCHES LOCAL ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE Microsoft has launched Seattle Sidewalk, the first of 10 local arts and entertainment guides the company plans to roll out this year. Other cities targeted by Microsoft include New York, Boston, San Francisco and Sydney, Australia. The move pits Microsoft directly against a recently announced partnership between America Online and the Seattle Times: "For us, this is a death fight. We're sitting on the local information franchise and lots of people would like to take it away from us. We're not going to let that happen," says the executive editor of the Times, one of the few metropolitan daily newspapers that's been willing to partner up with an online service. (Wall Street Journal 3 Apr 97) PREDICTING MUSIC SALES VIA COMPUTER MODELING Coopers & Lybrand is using a computer modeling software program that uses 50,000 "agents" to predict which music CDs will hit the charts and climb to the top. The 30,000-line program contains information such as age, income level, domicile, gender and buying habits for each imaginary music consumer based on Census Bureau and market research data. After plugging in some parameters for each CD, such as how popular the group is already, the program spits out the answer -- yes, this one will sell, or no, that one's a loser. The program attempts to overcome the shortcomings of straight spreadsheet prognostication, incorporating some of the chaos inherent in human affairs: "There are junctures that are very difficult to describe in mathematical equation," says the project leader. "These are for very low-probability but potentially devastating events -- for example, the rate of takeoff in fads. This program can write these complex equations itself." (Forbes 7 Apr 97) DISNEY TO BUY STAKE IN STARWAVE Walt Disney Co. has received antitrust clearance to purchase an undisclosed stake in Starwave Corp., a company owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The two companies, which already work together on ESPNET Sports Zone, plan to collaborate on a new ABC News Web site, a crucial move for ABC after it abandoned its plans to start a 24-hour cable news outlet last year. People familiar with the discussions say Disney had expressed interest in purchasing a third of the company for about $100 million. (Wall Street Journal 3 Apr 97) SUN SOLICITS JAVA CHIPS Sun Microsystems has recruited several companies to make microchips that will run its Java software, including Rockwell International, Toshiba and LG Semicon. Toshiba plans to use the chips in a new line of portable PCs; Rockwell plans to put them in "smart" cell phones; and LG Semicon plans to incorporate them into a line of Internet-ready television sets. (Wall Street Journal 2 Apr 97) Edupage is written by John Gehl (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Suzanne Douglas (email@example.com). Voice: 404-371-1853, Fax: 404-371-8057. Technical support is provided by the Office of Information Technology, University of North Carolina. EDUPAGE is what you've just finished reading. To subscribe to Edupage: send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of the message type: subscribe edupage Marvin Minsky (assuming that your name is Marvin Minsky; if it's not, substitute your own name). ... 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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE The CAUSE organization's annual conference on information technology in higher education is scheduled for the end of this month in New Orleans. The conference will bring together administrators, academicians and other managers of information resources. For full conference information check out <http://cause-www.colorado.edu > or send e-mail to email@example.com. ARCHIVES & TRANSLATIONS. For archive copies of Edupage or Update, ftp or gopher to educom.edu or see URL: < http://www.educom.edu/>. For the French edition of Edupage, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "subscribe"; or see < http://www.ijs.com >. For the Hebrew edition, send mail to email@example.com containing : SUBSCRIBE Leketnet-Word6 <name> or see < http://www.kinetica.co.il/ newsletters/leketnet/ >. For the Hungarian edition, send mail to: send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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Corel's products run on most operating systems, including: Windows, Macintoshr, UNIX, MS-DOS and OS/2 and are consistently rated among the strongest in the industry. Corel is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol: COS) and on NASDAQ-National Market System (symbol:COSFF). For more information visit Corel's home page on the Internet at http://www.corel.com. Corel and WordPerfect are registered trademarks and CorelDRAW, CorelVIDEO and CorelCAD are trademarks of Corel Corporation or Corel Corporation Limited. All products mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor email@example.com The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view In the News A New Software Give-Away As promised, The Kids' Computing Corner and the Silicon Times Report are sponsoring another software give-away promotion. Thanks to the fine people at MECC, I have a copy of Storybook Weaver Deluxe to give a lucky reader. This excellent program encourages children to develop their writing skills and to express their creativity with words and pictures. It's recommended for children ages 6 and up, and the software comes on a hybrid format CD- ROM for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. The rules are very simple. Send an entry by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com using the title Storybook. Please include your correct e-mail address. Entries must be received by 12:01am, Thursday May 8, 1997. The winner will be announced in the May 9th edition of the magazine. Winners of any contests held within the last 60 days are ineligible. Taxes, if any, are the responsibility of the winner. So flood my mailbox, gang! IndyCar Racing II Windows CD-ROM Suggested Retail: Suitable for all ages Papyrus/Sierra 3380 146th Place SE, Suite 300 Bellevue WA 98007 http://www.sierra.com Program Requirements OS: DOS 5.0 CPU: 486 HD Space: 30 MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 x 480, 256 colors CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit sound card Optional: joystick or analog steering wheel review by Jason Sereno (firstname.lastname@example.org) The rush of adrenaline pulses through your body as you take a turn at over 170 miles per hour. You carefully turn your car to the left as you try to pass Emerson Fitapaldi on the u-shaped turn at the Toronto Raceway. As you pass by on the inside corner, you bump his front tire with your the rear and he is sent flying into the outside wall. As he crashes, you mark another one up on the dash and laugh to yourself as you cross the finish line in record time. If you were a pro Indy car driver, then this wouldn't be too unique of an experience. But, if you do not race high priced Indy cars at speeds topping over 200 miles an hour, you must be playing IndyCar Racing II from Papyrus. That's right, Papyrus, probably the first name that comes to your mind when you think about racing simulations has brought you IndyCar Racing II, the sequel to the very successful IndyCar Racing. The program is a fun game to play, with 15 real Indy tracks and 31 real drivers with replicas of their cars. If you are not satisfied with the drivers and their cars' paint jobs however, you can edit both with editors that come along with the game. IndyCar Racing II also features many options for the graphics, driving, sound, and interface. The program contains an instant replay option so you can save the replays and show them to your friends. The game consists of realistic crashes that make you believe you are really on the raceway too. Along with all of this, IndyCar Racing II contains multiplayer capability over a serial link or modem. Despite some nagging bugs and problems I had with my sound card, I think this is a great game that is fun for race fans of all ages. Just as in its predecessor, IndyCar Racing II is set up just like a real season. You can have a championship season, in which you race at all 15 of the tracks consecutively. You will be tracked by a point system that will determine the winner at the end of the season. The only negative thing is that there is no way to have two championship seasons at once. You can have a single race, or do some preseason testing, too. All these options have basically the same set up. For a single race or a race in a season, you start with a practice session. In this practice session, you will race along with other drivers to get a feel of the track. After that, you will qualify to see what position you will start in the actual race. Some tracks position you depending on your track time and other use your average speed. After this, you will warm up before the race. When you are finished with this, it is time for the actual race to begin. Depending on the settings you choose, you can start with a pace lap or start when all cars are in position. You will see yellow, green, white, and even black flags, while in the game. If you do not know what these flags represent, you will see words describing what you are to do and giving you an explanation next to the flags. IndyCar Racing II has 31 real pro IndyCar drivers. The drivers have individual characteristics and each car has a unique paint job. Each car is identical to the drivers' actual cars as of the release of the program. If you are not satisfied or get bored with the same old drivers and cars, you can edit both. The driver's name and info can be edited within the game. You can change his name, nickname, hometown, engine type, and even tire company along with many other things. The car's paint job can be edited using a program that comes along with the game. The paint kit is simple to use and is similar to many of the painting programs for BMP and PCX files (like Paintbrush) that are available today that are. You can export the picture of the car onto a PCX file so it can be edited in other programs if you wish. I had fun making many different designs and logos on my cars and racing as myself instead of a pro driver. Many car sets are available on web sites and Bulletin Board Systems. A car set is a whole group of cars that have been edited by a person to fit the current drivers on the IndyCar circuit or just original artwork that has been done to the 31 cars. The car sets will also have information regarding the drivers. The program itself is very unique in its many options. You can choose graphics with high detail and textures, or you can use flat-shaded polygons. Detailed graphics make the program seem more realistic, but they do slow the frame rate down. This will cause cars to suddenly appear and disappear without warning (pop-up). I found myself cruising down a straightaway and suddenly I would be jerked off the road. When I used the replay option, it showed that I had hit a car that was stopped even though I could not see it on the screen while racing. When you change to low detailed polygon graphics, the problem is less apparent, but it is still a blow to the gameplay. You will not be able to see the game's detailed graphics when you are using the polygons. Your customized paint jobs become useless as well. Other options that are in the game deal with the driving style and mechanics of the car. You can enter the garage and change the shifting times, placement of the rear and front wings, the handling of the car, and its height off of the ground. These can change the car's feel and is good for all of the different styles that the people using the game have. You can change the actual difficulty of the driving also. You may make it so your car will not spin out, have the computer help brake, use automatic shifting, turn off all of the damage to your car making you indestructible, or change your opponents' high speeds. This will change the difficulty level of the game. One problem is that there is no way to save the settings when another person wants the car to be different in some way. If you have two or more people using the program at once, you could find yourself running into problems when it comes time to switch the diagnostics every time that you sit down to play the game. There are also options with the interface. There are three camera angles available while driving the game. One is from the driver's seat, it is some times difficult to see all that is around you from this angle. Another is a trail camera that follows the car and allows you to see more of the track and your surroundings. The last view is another trail that is higher away from the car. This lets you see the turns that are ahead of you in advance, and it makes it easier to time your turns. You can use a hotkey during the game for the camera angles, if you decide to switch during the racing. As I mentioned before, the game has a replay option. The game lets you view the whole race from start to finish. You may use one of the game's many camera angles in the replay. You can change the camera angle during the replay too. After viewing the replay, you can save it for viewing later. If you do not want the entire race, you can cut the replay down to a smaller size. Of course, everyone always says that the only reason people go to the races is to watch the crashes. Indy Car Racing II has many different crashes to watch. Although no cars ever lift off of the ground or catch fire, you will still feel like saying, "Take that!" when you knock a would be passer into the wall. After the cars have been totaled and are obviously useless, they are magically removed from the track only to be seen at the next race. Some cars still operable will idle themselves into the pit and watch the rest of the race. It is sometimes fun to turn your car around if you are out of the running for a high ranking, and crash the oncoming cars head on. If you are tired of playing with computer drones all day long, you can hook up to another person via modem or serial link. This will add depth to the game and give you more competition. If you thought that the computer drones were difficult, wait until there is actually another person driving against you. This will make you a bit more careful the next time you think about cutting off a driver in a turn. IndyCar Racing II is a very good racing simulation. The only things that I could think of that could improve the game: a patch to fix pop-up and a simple map editor. With only a limited amount of courses, this would be a very interesting feature to add. The graphics in the program are very well done considering the amount of animation that occurs per frame. The sound and overall gameplay are great. It is perfect for adults and children to play. If you are a race fan or have the need for speed, IndyCar Racing II is an excellent game for you. The Pink Panther's Passport to Peril Windows CD-ROM Street Price about $35 Ages 8 - 14 Wanderlust Interactive P.O. Box 382 New York, New York 10013 212-965-9770 http://www.wanderlust.com Program Requirements OS: Windows 3.1 CPU: 486/66 HD Space: 1 MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 x 480, 256 colors CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit sound card Misc.: mouse review by Frank Sereno (email@example.com) Are you ready for adventure? Do you love Pink Panther cartoons? Do you love to solve riddles and to listen to toe-tapping music too? Wanderlust Interactive's The Pink Panther'sT Passport to Peril combines all these fun ingredients into one satisfying edutainment package. An exclusive children's campground, Camp Chilly-Wa-Wa is the site for this mystery. Gifted children from around the world have come to the camp to further world peace. But evildoers lurk about and are trying to destroy the camp and prevent the children from fulfilling their mission. One by one, the campers become unhappy and it is up to you and the Pink Panther to bring smiles back to their faces. Pink will have to travel all over the world to accomplish this task. Along the way, you'll learn about the cultures and other facets of many lands using the PDA. Professor Von Schmarty has created the ultimate Personal Digital Assistant. It combines the features of a mobile telecommunications device with an in- depth encyclopedia. This portable reference device is easily manipulated by pressing a few buttons. The PDA makes learning and solving puzzles fun! Pink's adventures will take you `round the world from a British pub, to a Chinese opera, through the Himalayan mountains of Bhutan, to the Ganges River in India to the Australian Outback. Interacting with the many characters in these places teaches much about the people of these lands. You will gain a new respect for their cultures and traditions. Pay close attention to what they say because their words often contain clues to solve the puzzles. Unfortunately, three thugs are out to thwart Pink from accomplishing his mission. Pug and Louie are very ineffective and easy to outwit, but their leader, the Dog Father, is a much more formidable foe. You'll need to carefully gather evidence to stop his evil scheming and save Camp Chilly-Wa- Wa. The graphics are truly outstanding. The bright colors and intense detail are a visual treat. The animations are high quality as well. Oh, and a note for parents: This program is based on The New Pink Panther Show, so don't be alarmed when Pink speaks. I have to admit it took a little getting used to hearing him speak, but the voice characterizations are done exceedingly well. The program features an easy-to-use point-and-click interface. Simply click on a character to speak to him. You can also pick up objects using the same technique. If Pink has any objects in his pockets, you can use them by clicking on Pink, then selecting the item you want and then clicking where you want to use the object. You can give objects to other characters or use them on other objects. One puzzle was borrowed straight out of "Hot Shots, Part Deux". You can access the game menu by moving your cursor to the top of the screen. The program features extensive online help. You can also access hints if you need assistance solving puzzles. These little poems are witty treasures that give the player a gentle push towards the proper solution rather than overtly giving him the answer. You can also access web pages via the menu and use your PDA to learn more about the people and places you are visiting. You can save your game in progress, too. That's a very good idea because the game takes about 20 hours to complete. This depends on your puzzle-solving abilities and the amount of time you spend browsing through the PDA's files. The Pink Panther'sT Passport to Peril has tremendous educational content. The PDA has hundreds of images and many pages of textual information. Players can learn much from the many varied characters in the game. For example, I never knew that there were no cemeteries for Hindus. This program should really spark an interest in geography and social studies in children. The game is full of fun. The musical segments are reminiscent of the Schoolhouse Rock segments that are broadcast on ABC. These original songs cover many musical styles and each teaches a lesson about the cultures of other lands. It's also fun to watch Pink interact with the many characters. He's so witty and sly that it makes you laugh. Your child will enjoy watching the pratfalls of Louie and Pug. Oh, the bit with the sausage in the pub is hilarious, too! This is the first program from Wanderlust Interactive but it certainly doesn't seem like one. This is a very polished and award-winning program. Really, it is a superb game with fun for the entire family. Don't let that age range fool you because parents will enjoy playing this game too. If you're looking for more fun with Pink while waiting for their next title, be sure to visit their online game at the Wanderlust Interactive web site, http://www.wanderlust.com. If your child loves games and you wish to increase his interest in world cultures, you can't go wrong with The Pink Panther'sT Passport to Peril. It's a winner! Bill Nye the Science Guy's Stop the Rock! Windows and Mac Hybrid Street price $35 Ages 9 and up Pacific Interactive PO Box 2442 Seattle, WA 98111 http://www.pacint.com Program Requirements IBM Macintosh OS: Windows 3.1, Windows 95 OS: System 7.0.1 CPU: 486/66 CPU: 68030/25 HD Space: 1.5 MB HD Space: 1.5 MB Memory: 8 MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Graphics: 256 colors, 13" monitor CD-ROM: Double-speed CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit Windows compatible sound card Other: mouse review by Jason Sereno (firstname.lastname@example.org) Bill Nye's new interactive game, Stop the Rock teaches your child many new things about the world they live in. It uses Bill Nye as a guide through out the game along with his colleagues in the QuickTime movie format. It is a fun game with much information that your kids can really use. Stop the Rock contains many interesting experiments and with the help of Bill and his fellow scientists, you may just be able to stop the rock and save the planet while still sitting at your computer. You may be wondering what the title, Stop the Rock, means. The plot is that a meteoroid is heading for earth that will impact five days. The world's greatest scientists have designed a way to destroy the meteoroid with a super-powerful rocket and the help of a very special satellite computer named MAXX. The only problem is that MAXX goes haywire while in orbit and refuses to destroy the meteoroid unless you can prove the world is worth saving. You do this by answering seven riddles that all have to do with different aspects and time periods of the world. Can you answer Maxx's riddles and save the world from its destruction? Bill Nye and the Nyecom, which is a hand-held computer that you use to assist you in your quest, are both very useful. The Nyecom has many options on it that include direct links with Maxx and a place to store the clues that you gather on your journey through Nye Labs. The Nyecom doubles as a communications device to the other scientists who are working to save the world. You will speak to them through voice mail, QuickTime movie clips, and text written documents that will all be on the screen of the Nyecom. Bill will be popping up around you while you do your experiments to explain principles and explanations to you and give you cool facts about things like air pressure, hurricanes, volcanoes, and even plate tectonics. While trying to solve the riddles, you will stay in Nye labs the entire time. This may seem like it could get boring, but there are many things to do in the many rooms in Nye Labs. There are seventeen devices that you can use to find the clues and twenty learning objectives to master which are all adapted from the National Science Education Standards Manual. Bill and his friends will pop up during the game to give hints to put you on the right track. They appear in QuickTime movies throughout the game. When you are not using a device or watching Bill and his colleagues on the Nyecom, you will be viewing Nye Labs in a 3D interface. You control your movement through the mouse, and you use the mouse to also open, shut, and pickup certain items. The screen is usually crowded but the Nyecom takes up a large portion of it when it is turned on. If you turn if off it will take up a smaller part of the screen, but you will not be able to see the new info Bill and the other scientists have for you. The video and the sound are both spectacular in this program. When I used Stop the Rock, I received no problem with my sound card, video card, or the QuickTime movies. They all ran smoothly. Visually the program is candy for the eyes. It has many spectacular graphics and never gets boring or tiresome. The sound is great and the program features some hip music that will keep your kids entertained. If your children watch Bill Nye on TV, than this is a perfect program for them. The program takes all of the excitement, fun, from the TV show and adds a lot of new information to make Stop the Rock. Bill Nye's humor can appeal to kids and grownups alike. This program is for ages nine and up. It may be too hard for children to understand some of the science experiments or manipulate the complex devices. I even found myself looking towards the manual occasionally to determine how to solve an experiment. If your child does find some problems, you can get on the Pacific Interactive web page at http://www.pacint.com. The site lists hints and solutions to the problems you face. This superb program is fun for the entire family. It teaches you a lot about the world and every day things that you probably did not understand. You should pick up a copy of Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock today! MICROGRAFX PICTURE PUBLISHER 7 OVERVIEW Picture Publisher 7 is the leading Windows image editor offering powerful photo retouching, objects and layers, natural media brushes, 50+ image effects, GIF and JPG support for the Web plus Wizards for the most common image editing tasks. Picture Publisher allows full-time power users to get photographic results. And Picture Publisher doesn't require massive amounts of RAM or hard drive space to work on large files. Speed is a big advantage when using Picture Publisher 7. People can work on just a portion of a high-resolution image or can work on a low-resolution version of the entire image and then apply the process to the high-res version in the background. No other image editor of this caliber is as easy to use for projects as simple as scanning in a photo or as complex as creating a corporate advertisement. PROFESSIONAL POWER Our third generation Command Center tracks everything done to an image which can be reordered, disable, deleted or edited at anytime and the image will recalculate based on the new string of commands. New features include the ability to Group commands for easy organization and create Branches to easily view various scenarios created from the same image. Commands can be previewed one at a time for quick locating. Object Manager shows everything in the image and has the ability to lock, hide, and reorder objects. Objects now have independent Alpha Channels for easier creation of compound images. Internet functions are robust -- like Seamless Tile Maker with live preview, Nozzles which paint with images for great special effects and a Color Averaging Wizard to create a single, small palette for compound images heading for the Internet. Files can be exported as interleaved or transparent GIF or interlaced JPG in addition to the 50+ import and export filters. OFFICE SIMPLICITY The Acquire Wizard can be accessed from the welcome dialogue for quick scanning of images or downloading from digital cameras and simple image correction. Knowledge Wizards are online tutorials that step-through common projects and complex processes so people can learn while doing. Wizards for 13 task specific projects and 15 pre-recorded macros for complex image effects are available through the Wizard Browser. Quickly step-through complex tasks like red-eye removal, creating borders, Web page separators and buttons, contact sheets, dramatic text effects, batch file conversion and many more. Copyright c1997 Micrografx, Inc. Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 7.0.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at eleven points. z No Indenting on any paragraphs!! z No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmickery" z No underlining! z Columns shall be achieved through the use of tabs only. Or, columns in Word format. Do NOT use the space bar. z No ASCII "ART"!! z There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy z Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats z Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately z Please use a single font only in an article. TTF CG Times 12pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII will stay. Right now, since STReport is offered on a number of closed major corporate Intranets as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. It looks like it is here to stay. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor email@example.com STReport International Online Magazine Gaming Hotwire STR Feature - The World of Contemporary Gaming REALMS OF THE HAUNTING Cross-Genre Blend Of Adventure And 3-D Action Sets New Trend In Adventure GamingIrvine, California - Interplay Productions announced today the release of Realms Of The Haunting, a unique game experience which combines a spine-chilling adventure with first-person 3-D action. Developed by Gremlin Interactive, Realms Of The Haunting utilizes the innovative combination of first-person 3-D playing environments and third-person cinematic sequences to create a new standard in adventure games. Realms Of The Haunting will be available at software retail outlets on March 25th. "Playing Realms Of The Haunting was some of the most fun I've had gaming in the last year. It's one of the few games that can truly get you scared enough to jump out of your seat," said Brian Fargo, CEO of Interplay. He added, "I recommend turning down the lights while playing to really get the full experience." Realms Of The Haunting, a disturbing perception of the future based on visions of the Apocalypse, uses an advanced 3-D engine to create an intricate, detailed and frighteningly photo-realistic playing environment. Over 90 minutes of seamlessly integrated full-motion video pulls the player into a mystery that unfolds as the forces of good and evil confront one another in a world that is not quite what it seems. Realms of the Haunting's engrossing storyline, in-depth character development and intriguing puzzles will challenge gamers of all levels. The player is a young Adam Randall whose father's untimely death leads him to the remote Cornish country village of Hellston, an actual town in England. It is here that the player is pulled into the beautifully rendered 3-D Realms of Sheol (Hell), Hellud (Earth), Raquia (Spirit) and Arqua (Divine). Within these Realms are hundreds of locations filled with a host of characters and 3-D objects that provide a unique level of gaming interaction. The player's goal, to ward off the impending doom with wits alone and unite the broken Shrive with the Soulstone so that good may reign the Earth. Available on 4 CD-ROMs, Realms Of The Haunting will run on any 486DX2/66 or faster with DOS 5.0 or later and at least 16Mb RAM and 20MB hard disk space. A double-speed CD-ROM drive, a Microsoft compatible mouse and a Sound Blaster compliant sound card are required. Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson firstname.lastname@example.org From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Gulp! That was the sound of foot being inserted in mouth and swallowing hard! <g> Last week I promised the next article in the series of the article I started a few weeks ago regarding writing your own web pages. I hate breaking promises, I really do! How was I to know? Last weekend was beautiful outside and it just didn't seem right to sit and type. I did do some minor work on my personal and BBS systems (did a back-up and installed, finally, the "new" large hard drive for the BBS); but, other than that, it was a nice weekend to kick back and relax. I do most of my serious writing early in the week anyway, but not this week! Most of you know that I live in New England - the northeast part of the U.S. (for our non-American readers who may not know). Well, we got hit with a terrific April Fool's Day blizzard - 25-plus inches of snow! It was the third largest single-day snowfall in Boston's history! Wouldn't you know I've lived here through two of them! Snow doesn't usually bother me much as I grew up in Maine where snow is a way of life. But, in Massachusetts, a couple of inches of the white stuff will stop the city cold - no pun intended. And two feet? Didn't phase me too much, though. My wife and I got up early on Tuesday morning (after watching it start to pile up the night before) and spent an hour shoveling out the car. We have to park on the street (no driveway!) and since it's a main drag, it gets plowed just enough to bury your car (up to the roof as a result of this storm!). Drove to work, 25 miles away, and very few cars out on the road. Showed up at work and only 20 of my 70 employees made it in throughout the day. I work in a hospital but we're a support department. Still, we need to be there. Anyway, worked my full shift and stuck around long enough to make sure that my second and third shift staffs were going to be in, and went home. Naturally my parking "space" was plowed in again. Shoveled it out again, and went inside. I've had a bad back for years and this didn't help it much. Sit down at a computer and type at-length? Forget it, the back won't allow it! But, I still need to get online and do some research and stuff, but that was the extent of it other than reply to some mail (the mail must get through!). So, here it is late Thursday evening. The back is okay but the clock is telling me that I still don't have the required time to finish the next segment of the article. Sigh... The best part is that it's been warm all week after the storm. The snow is rapidly melting although still not enough for the snow mountains to have melted to allow me better access to my parking "cubicle". <g> Maybe by the weekend. I'll finish up on the article this weekend and we'll continue to work on the additional segments for future weeks. So, that's been my week! First weather report of the season, I think! I'm ready for some golfing! Until next time... HP-Penguin, The Atari HTML-Editor by Matthias Jaap, will with the next release support CAB directly via OLGA (Object Linking for GEM Applications). Under a multitasking session, this will be the ultimate web-editing combination for Atari and Compatibles so far. You will always find HP-Penguin and other web editing tools at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/english/jaapan.html I've now implemented web pages with frames at my homepage, You will enter the frame pages by choice. In the near future I will only update these pages and later remove the old ones, when CAB 2.0 Demo is widespread and ASH starts to sell the full package. http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille Best Regards Mille Babic Thanks to Albert Dayes for the following: I am passing this message from the Computer Law Observer for any who maybe interested: The Computer Law Observer is a free monthly e-mail newsletter that discusses legal issues relating to computers, the Internet and technology. Topics include encryption, privacy, unauthorized e-mail, copyrights, trademarks, multi-media rights and more. The Observer is written by William Galkin, an attorney specializing in this area of law, who is also the adjunct professor of computer law at the University of Maryland School of Law. To subscribe, simply send an e-mail message to email@example.com with the word "subscribe" (without the quote marks) typed into the message area. I will greatly appreciate any assistance you can provide in promoting the list - and thanks in advance! William Galkin, Editor Gaming Section Doom64 for N64! DarkLight! MDX! VR Baseball! N64 Sales Double! And More...! >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! I'll forego a continuation of our weather conditions. Yea! But, it's been a week of mostly research and putting together this week's issue of articles and news reports. Not much time for any original work, including my usual editorial comments. So, let's get to the gaming news this week and maybe I'll have plenty of time to editorialize next week. Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Midway Home Entertainment to Mark Release of Doom 64 CORSICANA, TEXAS (April 1) BUSINESS WIRE Unprecedented event celebrates release of hot new video game for popular Nintendo(R) 64 system If you think your heart can take it...on Tuesday, April 1, 1997, prepare -if you dare - to experience DOOM(TM) 64...as the ultimate in future-forward technology catapults you over the top...down through the Gates of Hell...and into the next millennium of video gaming!!! To celebrate the retail release, on "DOOM'S DAY" April 4, 1997, of the most eagerly-anticipated video game in history, DOOM 64, Midway Home Entertainment has scheduled a truly unprecedented, guaranteed-to-blow-your-mind, pre-release cyber celebration extravaganza for Tuesday, April 1, 1997. At six Cyber Cafes, in six geographically-diverse markets including New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Palo Alto, and Los Angeles, video gamers will get their first, wicked taste of the state-of-the-art technology that is DOOM 64. Each venue will feature Nintendo 64 DOOM 64 game play areas stationed throughout, offering the high-voltage, heart-pounding video game play experience for which the public has anxiously been awaiting. All six locations will be linked via a DOOM 64 auditorium on America Online, presented by HUGE ELECTRONIC BRAIN (keyword: HUB), allowing the extravaganza's guests and cyber-surfers across the globe to meet and celebrate impending "DOOM." Not only an area to "chat" with other gamers about the revolutionary, cutting edge graphics and mind-boggling game play experience that is DOOM 64, the auditorium will also provide gamers the rare opportunity to interact with Midway's DOOM 64's lead developers, Aaron Seeler and Sukru Gilman, and download compelling DOOM 64 video and photo files. A truly high-tech, interactive extravaganza, the launch celebration will also feature digital photography documentation. Photos shot digitally at each site will be posted online and available for immediate download, offering celebrants at each location a look, up-close and personal, of the madness and mayhem occurring at each DOOM 64 cyber cafe. In addition, guests will have the opportunity to participate in "c-u/c-me" video conferencing from venue to venue and beyond. Plus...bountiful food all night, prizes and much, much more! The DOOM 64 Pre-Launch Extravaganza will be happening at: alt.coffee, New York City, at 8-10 pm Cybersmith, Boston, 8-10 pm I-NETCAFE, Chicago, 7-9 pm Rick's American Cyber Grill Dallas, 7-9 pm Cybersmith, Palo Alto, 5-7 pm Cyber Java, Los Angeles, 5-7 pm Based on id software's best-selling computer game series, Midway's DOOM 64 employs state-of-the-art graphics and technology to create all the heart-stopping excitement and intense game play that gamers have come to expect from the DOOM name. DOOM 64 explodes on the Nintendo 64 with over 30 totally new levels of play, designed by Midway Home Entertainment, for fierce, pulse-racing play scenarios. In addition, DOOM's menacing monsters and hard-core weapons arsenal have been completely redesigned exclusively for the Nintendo 64, giving gamers a game playing experience like no other. DOOM 64 is also jam-packed with screaming fast real-time non-stop action, bizarre ambient lighting effects, wild new textures in full 64-bit color, earth shattering sound effects and maniacal music blasting in full, CD quality stereo sound. To top it all off, DOOM 64 is "totally stacked" with tons of new passwords and secret cheat codes to aid gamers in this insane 64-bit survival of the fittest. Originally developed by id Software as low cost shareware in 1993, DOOM quickly became one of the most popular shareware titles of all-time and one of the best selling games of the year. USA Today called DOOM "the most gripping computer game to date." Electronic Games magazine heralded DOOM as "stunningly realistic," and Computer Gaming World honored it with its "World Premiere Award: Game of the Year." Midway's 1996 Final DOOM and 1995 DOOM home video game releases were met with great critical acclaim and phenomenal retail sales success. Nintendo 64 Sales Double REDMOND, Wash., April 3 (UPI) -- Nintendo of America Inc. said Thursday sales of its Nintendo 64 video game system have more than doubled since retailers began selling the game at a new lower suggested retail price. Nintendo cut the retail price for the game by $50 to $149.95 on March 17. "Lowering our suggested retail price by $50 has apparently broadened the market for our machine substantially. Actual weekly sales totals from our key retailers have increased between 100 percent and 150 percent," said Peter Main, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Nintendo of America. "And that doesn't begin to consider what we could have sold had we been able to deliver enough machines to all of our retailers to meet demand. There's little question in our minds that the new, more affordable price, coupled with the parade of top-quality games scheduled for release this year means Nintendo 64 will remain a hot commodity again all the way through the holidays," Main added. Nintendo 64, featuring 64-bit video game technology, was launched on Sept. 29.In the five months on the market, consumers have purchased almost 2.5 million units making it the fastest selling video game system in Nintendo's history. Nintendo noted that while the strong sales results have been supply constrained since launch, worldwide production capacity for the machine, which had been averaging about 500,000 a month, will grow to an average of 1 million a month during the fiscal year which began April 1. Say It Ain't So! The Fat Lady Sings! VR Baseball '97 Company Vows to Buy Los Angeles Dodgers IRVINE, Calif., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- VR Sports announced today the release of its first in-house production, VR Baseball '97(TM). This baseball simulation game has the complete license from both Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association and delivers all the fun, excitement and realism of professional baseball. In addition, VR Sports' parent company, Interplay Productions, renewed its plans to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers. "We have been in contact with the Dodgers organization, but I cannot go beyond that at this point," said Interplay CEO Brian Fargo. "Keep in mind that in order for us to afford to buy the Dodgers we need 10 million fans to each buy a copy of VR Baseball '97 for the Sony PlayStation(TM) or for their home computer. But we are much more confident now based on the early reviews of VR Baseball '97." The fully licensed VR Baseball '97 is available now for Sony PlayStation and will be available soon for Windows(R) '95 and IBM and 100% compatible computers. The game features: z Updated rosters for 1997 and 1996 statistics z Virtual FieldVision(TM); an unlimited, real-time, 360 degrees, 3D world z All polygon players z Four uniform options: home away, alternate & practice with player names on back. Updated styles and logos for 1997 z Menu-less batting & pitching interface with instant access to pitch selection, speed and control. Select from over 80 plate locations without tipping your hand to your opponent Real-time, in-stadium scoreboard tracks scores and statistics while the big screen TV broadcasts live z Ball physics: State of the art physics model creates true flight, bounce & roll for-all surfaces such as Astroturf, grass, bats and outfield fences z Realistic ball rotation: Accurate hitting & pitching simulation. You can actually see how the ball breaks and view the ball's seam rotation z Motion capture: Polygon players are the best way to produce quick, smooth, movements for all baseball moves z 3-D Stadiums: Play night or day games with different lighting models in all 28 Major League Baseball stadiums, including 3 new ballparks: Atlanta, Anaheim and Oakland z Season simulation: super fast general manager with top 1O or full statistics. Plus mid-season All-Star voting & game z Four play options: Quick-Play, Season, Batting Practice and Home Run Derby z Three difficulty settings: All-Star, Veteran, Rookie Endurance meter: pitchers lose accuracy, speed & strength VR Sports, the sports division of Interplay Productions, is a developer and publisher of State-of-the-art, real-time, 360 degrees, 3D sports software. VR Sports releases sports software for Sega Saturn(TM), Sony PlayStation(TM), Macintosh, Windows(R) 95 and IBM and 100% compatible computers. More comprehensive information on VR Sports and its products is available through the company's worldwide web site at http://www.vrsports.com. EA Ships Darklight Conflict SAN MATEO, Calif., March 28 (UPI) -- Electronic Arts, a global interactive entertainment software company, Friday announced the shipment of Darklight Conflict, a 3D space combat game for Windows(R) 95 and MS-DOS. The company also said that the PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions are scheduled for shipment in ship in May. Electronic Arts said Darklight Conflict combines a fast, visually-stunning 3D game play with network multiplayer capacity, and a fictional background to create a game that appeals to every taste among outer-space fighter jockeys. "Darklight Conflict marks the future of space combat games," said Vice President of Marketing Alex Carloss. "You can find 50 single player missions with a choice of 15 weapons." Darklight Conflict was developed in the United Kingdom by Rage Software Limited. No hiding from "MDK" -- Playmates Interactive COSTA MESA, CALIF. (April 1) BUSINESS WIRE Genre-busting title will dominate retail outlets from coast to coast Are your trigger fingers ready? The wait is almost over for the year's biggest mega-hit-in-the-making! Playmates Interactive Entertainment Inc.'s exclusive North American version of the much-anticipated, action/strategy game, "MDK," will ship to all major retail outlets throughout the United States on May 6. Since February, gamers have stormed the Internet looking for just a peek of "MDK." Interactive demos of the title have been downloaded more than 110,000 times from the Web's top games sites, including Happy Puppy, Gamespot, C/Net's GameCenter, as well as two mirror sites on the Playmates Interactive (www.playmatestoys.com) and developer Shiny Entertainment's (www.shiny.com) Web sites. The unstoppable response to the demo confirms that "MDK" is unquestionably one of the most anticipated games of the year. Featuring astonishing graphics and gameplay that is garnering rave pre-release reviews from the gaming media, "MDK" is the first PC CD-ROM title to be developed by Shiny Entertainment, the developers responsible for the console platform smash hit "Earthworm Jim." A Sony PlayStation version of "MDK" developed by Neversoft is scheduled for release in July. "Retailers are lining up to get 'MDK' into their stores because of the remarkable response from the gaming press, the Internet and, ultimately, consumers -- who are all floored by the look and gameplay found on 'MDK,'"said David Localio, Playmates Interactive's vice president of sales & marketing. "We are thoroughly confident that this title is going to fly off the shelves come May 6 and be one of the biggest hits of the year." When alien invaders have conspired to turn the Earth into one giant stripmine, the player must assume the identity of Kurt Hectic, who must destroy the leaders of the mobile mining cities to save the planet. To effect a successful mission, the crew at Shiny has given Kurt some awesome and creative firepower. Possibly the coolest -- and deadliest -- hardware available to Kurt is a helmet-mounted sniper rifle and vision goggles that can train on an enemy up to two miles away. Some of the additional deadly equalizers players can preview on the demo include "Thumper" (a giant hammer) and the "World's Smallest Nuclear Bomb." KONAMI OF AMERICA INC: Konami Kicks Off Its First N64 Game APR 1, 1997, M2 Communications - Konami of America, Inc., the leading developer of electronic entertainment for the home video game and coin-op markets, announces the release of its first game for Nintendo 64 with International Superstar Soccer 64. "We're thrilled to announce International Superstar Soccer 64 as our first N64 system title," said Andrew Donchak, consumer division president. "This truly is the best soccer game ever released and as one of the first game developers to release an N64 game, Konami of America, Inc. is excited to be leading the way with such an impressive title. With the successes we've had with other gaming platforms, we know that we're up for the challenge of creating exciting games for the N64." International Superstar Soccer 64 will be based on Konami of Japan's breakthrough hit J League Perfect Striker. The original game has been praised by Nintendo Power as "(having) more life-like animation" than its competitors. Game Fan states, "you get non-stop commentary that is not only intelligent as it should be, but timely-a wonderful and effective combination If this is not the best soccer game out there, I'm not sure what is." Over 17,000 character movement animations, motion capture tracing technologies and full polygon graphics provide International Superstar Soccer 64 with the most realistic animations of any soccer came available. An excess of 500 different words and phrases including commentary and crowd reactions add to the stunning realism of this game. International Superstar Soccer 64 allows the gamer to choose from 36 teams, plus six all-star teams. Additionally, players can enjoy the realistic game settings that have been created based on real soccer strategies. There are four offensive strategies including Full Offense, Middle Attack, Sideline Attack and Counter Attack and four defensive strategies including Full Defense, Pressure Up, Zone Press and Offsides Trap. Basic movement such as pass and shoot are made by simple button settings. Once a player feels comfortable at the basic levels, they can change to more complicated button settings to enjoy advanced game techniques. "International Superstar Soccer 64 takes the Konami Sports Series to another level. Plain and simple, it is just an amazing game for the N64 platform," adds Randy Severin, senior product manager. "This game offers everything a gamer can ask for in a sports game-realistic player movements and is feature-intensive in character animations and sounds. All this makes the most incredible soccer game to-date-one you have to play to truly believe." THQ Gets Ready to Rumble With Stars From WCW! CALABASAS, CALIF. (April 3) ENTERTAINMENT WIRE Game features six organizations, signature moves from wrestlers including Sting, Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger THQ Inc. (NASDAQ NMS: THQI) is tag-teaming with World Championship Wrestling to provide the most realistic, body-slamming experience for the Sony PlayStation with "WCW vs. the World," available now. The 3-D pro wrestling game, which uses texture-mapped polygon graphics, combines high-impact wrestling action to create more than 550 authentic wrestling moves for its 60 wrestlers. Featuring Sting, Hulk Hogan, Lex Luger, Ric Flair, Eddy Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Rick and Scott Steiner, Chris Benoit, Lord Steven Regal and a few hidden characters from the top-syndicated World Championship Wrestling program, players can pile drive their favorite opponent using everything from flying kneedrops to neck-breakers. "WCW vs. the World" was the number one selling PlayStation title at mall-based specialty chains during the game's debut in retail stores in the United States the weekend of March 28, 1997. "We're thrilled with the early results on 'WCW vs. the World'," said Brian J. Farrell, president and CEO, THQ. "The opening numbers at mall-based specialty stores only reinforces WCW's tremendous following and the huge number of fans who are looking for the best in-your-face wrestling for their PlayStation systems." "For the first time, the fast-paced excitement of World Championship Wrestling is captured in a videogame and players can now participate in hard-core WCW action at home," said Nicholas Lambros, vice president, assistant general manager, World Championship Wrestling. "'WCW vs. the World' gives players the experience of being inside the ring with their favorite WCW wrestlers." Gamers can chose from more than 10 arenas decorated with various organizations' logos to wrestle inside and outside of the ring. An intelligent 180 degree roving camera gives constantly changing multiple viewpoints to catch every angle of the brawl. All 60 wrestlers perform their own signature moves as they pummel their opponents. Select Sting and see his famous scorpion dealthlock. Choose Hulk Hogan and witness his famed leg drop which he has performed for fans on the weekly top-syndicated WCW Monday Nitro program. Each brawler possesses between 30-40 moves. Players can choose from seven different modes of play with one-player, two-player or tournament options. Three of the modes, "Best of Seven," "Tournament" and "League Match," actually allow players to create an original belt to compete for and then stake in future matches. In the remaining modes, "League Challenge," "Exhibition Match," "Elimination Match" and "Double Title Match," gamers can compete for pre-existing belts. In "League Challenge" players choose a wrestler and take on the world's best, league by league. Each consists of five regular wrestlers and a boss wrestler. By defeating him, gamers add that league's belt to their collection. In "Best of Seven" each can create their own belt by challenging seven random opponents. "Exhibition Match" pits the computer or a friend against the player in a single match. In "Elimination" each fan can choose a team of five wrestlers. They then must decide between Tournament, where the winner stays on to fight the next opponent, or Vs. League, where they must grapple opponents in a pre-determined order. In this mode, the record of the team as a whole counts, not the individual wrestlers. By choosing "Tournament" players can create and compete in a pool of up to eight wrestlers. In "League Match" an eight-man round robin tournament is scored by two points for a win, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss. This system allows even a loser to fight his way back and win the league. Lastly, "Double Title Match" is an exclusive mode for the die-hard wrestling gamer. The most intense of all play modes, "Double Title Match" will build up a wrestler's prestige as quickly as he collects the belts of his defeated opponents. A wrestler's "Spirit," or mental state, is crucial to defeating an opponent. "Spirit" is depicted in the bottom corners of the screen by a special meter. This can be measured as the meter changes from red to white. The meter will flicker when a state of maximum "Spirit" has been reached and the fighter is extremely powerful. As a wrestler's "Spirit" increases, his moves become more potent, countering action more easily and recovering from blows more quickly. Appealing to the crowd will also raise a wrestler's "Spirit." "WCW vs. the World" is available in all major retail outlets for a suggested retail price of $49.95. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe Compiled by Joe Mirando firstname.lastname@example.org Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, another week has come and gone and, if I've uploaded this file correctly, it's time to check out what's going on with all our friends who use CompuServe. Y'know, there was a lot of talk a couple of years ago about how the advent of cheap internet access would wipe out services like CompuServe, GEnie, Delphi, and America Online. I wondered at the time about where all these new internet users would go for help. At least on CompuServe if you've got a question about how to navigate around, you can ask fairly easily. But on the internet, if you don't know how to navigate, you _can't_ ask for help because you need to navigate to do it. The "neighborhood", where folks looked out for one another could well be replaced by rules and regulations that, all too often, leave no room for personal choice. That's why I like using CompuServe. There are lots of folks ready to help with whatever you might need to know. That's hard to find on the internet right now. It may get easier but... As some of you know, I've been messing with CAB and MiNTnet, trying to find a way to easily and effectively surf the net via CompuServe using my ST. The problem here is that CompuServe requires the ability to use a PPP (Point to Point Protocol) connection, which CAB (actually STik, the dialer used with CAB) cannot do. I've spent a lot of time surfing through not only the saltpond ripples and pipeline waves of the internet, but also the technology and structure behind it all. One thing is sure... it's only going to get more interesting from here. The 'bad guys' are all around, some of them trying to figure out how to control what we see, and others trying to figure out how to make an undeserved buck on it all. God help us if they ever join forces. Luckily, mixed in with all the bad guys is... us. WE are the force that must decide what is allowable and what is fair. Of course a lot of the content on the internet is garbage. But the fact is that it has the right to be garbage. As long as we are not 'forced' to view any of the various assorted subdivisions of garbage, and are left to ourselves not only to decide what we want to see, but to take back our responsibility to decide what is proper for our children to see instead of handing the decision to someone who may well be one step away from a congressional probe or senate investigation for improper investment practices or misuse of campaign funds. Let's leave these people to make decisions on what they are best suited for (what exactly is that, anyway?) and let's take up our responsibilities again. Responsibilities are choice. If you give up responsibility, you give up choice. C'mon folks, flex those old logic muscles. You know what they say... no pain, no gain! Wow! Where did all that come from? I have no idea. But I have seen and heard plenty of people yell for help from inside the waves they've been trying to surf. As you can tell, I've come to think of services like CompuServe as huge digital neighborhoods where there is usually someone around who can lend a hand. The internet, on the other hand, is a conglomeration of individuals, each going their own way without any real contact with others doing the same thing. In this regard, the internet is less like a neighborhood and more like a highway. The term 'Information SUPER Highway" not only fits the internet, but it deepens that feeling of others whizzing by on all sides without any real notice of each other. While I have, do, and will drive down that highway to get where I'm going, I will continue to hang around the 'old neighborhood' for the memories, companionship, and help that it has always provided me in the past. I'd also like to mention that I've gone back to my old format with indented posts. Lots of folks have mentioned to me that they miss being able to easily pick out my comments from among the posts, and I agree with them. The problem is that, when we went to that damned Adobe Acrobat format, the indentations got all messed up because they were actually spaces and PCs are not advanced enough to make all characters the same width <grin>, so what should have been a nice knife-sharp left edge came out looking like a jagged wound on an otherwise nicely composed page. For those of you who, like me, avoid the PDF format and view STReport only in ASCII (the way it was meant to be), the problem is that there is only one version of this column and two versions of STReport. The column had to be 'middle-of-the- road'ed so that it would work in both formats. I think I've found a way to satisfy all the requirements. If this week's column has indented posts in it, that means that it worked! Well, let's take a look at what's happening on CompuServe. From the Atari Computing Forum Bob Ledbetter asks for help with QuickCIS: "My Mega ST4 does a strange thing every time I use QuickCIS... it changes the date by 50 years. For example, from 3-21-97, after QuickCIS makes the call to CIS the date would be changed to 3-21-47. This doesn't happen when I run the program, only when a call is made. This problem also occurs when I run SuperBase Personal 2. These are the only two programs I experience this problem in.Does anyone have any ideas and how to fix the problem?" Sysop Jim Ness, the author of QuickCIS, tells Bob: "QuickCIS reads the date provided by CompuServe when you first log in, and compares it to the ST's system date. If the two don't match, it goes with the CompuServe date, believing that to be the more reliable. However, CompuServe changed the way it displays the date, messing up the whole parsing process. Since QuickCIS is no longer being updated, it's a problem that will not go away." Bob tells Jim: "Thanx for getting back with me re: the date. Sounds like you hit the nail on the head, except for one thing. When I run Superbase Personal II, it does the same thing, i.e. subtracts 50 years from the current date. Any other ideas?" Jack Hughes tells Bob: "It's no consolation, I know, but you are not alone. Except my date change is random in that it goes back 50 years _or_ the date of my TOS 1.04 of April 6, 1989. And so it goes. If I think of it afterwards, I call up my boot prg and change it back. Seldom do. Miss it from a cold boot half the time. The major error occurs in the Data Rescue files. With bad dates they are never dumped! I use ST Tools to call the files and "Touch" them back to the right day." Bob tells Jack: "Thanx for getting back with me. Nice (?) to know I'm not alone, ha ha. For what it's worth... I very seldom run SuperBase Personal 2 this time of year. (It's not soccer season, and that's what I use SuperBase for). However, yesterday, just for grins I ran it and checked it's date and found that instead of subtracting 50 years from the current date, it ADDS 50 years. IOW just after booting up SBP.PRG the date in the Control Panel was 3/24/47, but the date in SuperBase's "date format" selector was "March 24, 2047". Interesting, huh?" Jack adds: "I neglected to point out that sometimes it does _not_ change the date! It really seems to be completely random. Sometimes minus 50 years, others it's the TOS date and sometimes nothing. The latter does not occur very often tho. It did today, which reminded me that it happenes. Do not use the other prg you mention. The problem only occurs with QwkCis. Can't say as I hold it against Jim for not keeping it up. Probably a lot of effort for little return and maybe even less cooperation." On the subject of internet browsers and PPP connections, I mention that I had heard that a May or June release is likely for TERMite, the PPP connection and Internet Mail/News reader from Oregon Research Associates. Jondahl Davis, who talked with ORA about it, tells me: "May or June is a worst-case scenario; I could hear them arguing over when it would be out. The much larger Amiga market comes first. I've also switched to Newsie, and it's working great. I just wish I could get CAB.OVL to work. Are there any particular versions of the CAB.OVL file that work best with CAB 1.5? HSModem fixed the E-mail problems, but CAB still acts like it's connecting but doesn't do anything." I tell Johdahl: "I believe the overlay file that works best is version 1.21 I've never had any luck with putting the ovl files in the MODULES folder. I put them in the same directory as CAB.APP. If the overlay file is not here in the libraries, let me know and I'll upload it." On the subject of FAXing from an ST, Dennis Larson asks for... "Help! I have just purchased _StraightFAX! v2.0_ and am having difficulties getting it to work. Everything appears to be setup properly, but when I try to connect to the fax machine at work (an HP FAX-900) I have problems. I am using a ZOOM faxmodem (1996, external mdl. 2836, v.34) Here's what happens: dialing works fine; the receiving machine answers and sends a tone my modem sounds like it is sending a tone back no connection is established the receiving machine *hangs up unexpected* from the receiving end, the log shows: calls came in status is either "no data from sending station" or "enter receive mode with no data from sending station" So what's wrong? I've tried changing modem settings, speed, RTS configuration and everything else but to no avail? What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions on how to proceed?" Our old pal Albert Dayes tells Dennis: "If you are using Class 2 try Class 1 and see if that helps." Ben @ TOC Oz. adds: "Turn 'check carrier detect' off. Many dedicated fax machines don't handle this signal properly." Joe Villarreal adds his experiences to the discussion: "I could not connect to one fax machine using STraight Fax, although I could to others that I tried. Try calling other fax numbers to see if the problem is the fax machine and not your configuration. The latest version of Straight Fax is 2.5." Rick Detlefsen asks for info about using curing a modem problem: "I've been using a 14400 modem for some time. The only problem I've encounted is when reading a text file online-after a few screens the text turns to gibberish. A ^Q resumes the scroll with normal text. I've just put in the 38400 mod which seems to work, set the rcv buffer to 16K but still get the gibberish after a few screens. Has anyone else had this problem? Resolved it? My solution is to drop to 2400 as the max rate where the gibberish doesn't appear. Thanks for any hints." Mark Showalter tells Rick: "Yes, the same thing happens to me, but I usually ignore it as it is fine in my capture buffer. It usually only happens with really large files that go zipping ( no pun intended ) by." Sysop Ron Luks adds this rather testy and somewhat inaccurate information: "It's strictly a matter of the UART on your Atari being unable to keep up at any speed faster than 9600 bps (and even that is a strain). Increasing the buffer size and installing patches are only halfway measures but nothing can completely make up for the inadequate hardware." Tisk-tisk on you, Ron. I thought surely you'd know better than that. Meanwhile, Joe Villarreal tells Rick: "I've never had "gibberish" on the screen. Freeze Dried Terminal seems to have a problem in reading large text files at speeds 9600 baud and above. If I try to do a non-stop (ns) read of let's say all the forum messages here, it would lock up after 40 to 60k of data. I would have to do a warm or cold boot to get the computer back. It has no problem in capturing a few days worth of messages though. Stalker 3 doesn't seem to have that problem at 14,400 or 28,800 baud. Do you use a serial patch program? Tos versions up to 2.05 and Tos 3.05 need the patch at speeds above 9600 baud. You might try changing the flow control settings to see if that helps. I've got Stalker set to RTS/CTS." Well folks, that's it for this week. Tune in again next time, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES Daylight Savings Time is right around the Corner.. STReport International OnLine Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM AVAILABLE through the Internet and OVER 250,000 BBS SYSTEMS WORLDWIDE All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International OnLine Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" April 04, 1997 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1314
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