ST Report: 17-Oct-97 #1341From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/21/97-11:49:25 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 17-Oct-97 #1341 Date: Tue Oct 21 11:49:25 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987) October 17, 1997 No.1341 Silicon Times Report International 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 Updated) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password Check out STReport's NEWS SERVER NEWS.STREPORT.COM Have you tried Microsoft's Powerful and Easy to Use Internet Explorer 4.0? Internet Explorer 4.0 is STReport's Official Internet Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office 97, Corel Office Perfect 8 & Adobe Acrobat Pro 3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STReport Via Email on The Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-978-670-5896 10/17/97 STR 1341 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97! - CPU Industry Report - Win98 TOP GUN! - Samsung sues Fujitsu - Holocaust DENIED?! - TI has SUPER Chips - Travelstar 8.1g HD - MSN NOT For Sale! - WEB Telescope NOW - Apple rebates & cuts $$ - More Zero5 - People Talking - Classics & Gaming Net Tax Freeze Bill Advances HP, Intel Unveil Merced Chips Two Top VPs Leave Apple STReport International Magazine Featured 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: 10/11/97: three of six numbers with 2 three number matches >From the Editor's Desk... Hey! Better late than Never! Actually they're putting in new underground feed for Cable Television (Fiber Optics) and somewhere in the area they nailed an underground electricity feed. Yup, you guessed it. No power for over four hours. I'm glad we have an outdoor BBQ. Or, it would've meant dinner out last night. In the last few weeks we saw new versions of many of our favorite software productivity packages come through the pipeline. One in particular, Corel's Perfect Office Pro 8.0 was quite impressive with its integration. Especially Corel Central. That is one lovely, centralized communications package. This past week... we saw Netscape Communicator 4.03 appear. Cool! I thought a fancy update for Corel's 4.01 version of Communicator. Oh, was I mistaken. After I read all the hype about installing 4.03 over a previous version of Communicator it would update and still use all the prior config files. Great I thought.... in like Flynn.. And out just as fast. It seems that Corel, in their infinite wisdom had decided to "rename" Netscape Communicator to "Cscape" I wonder what that stands for? All I know is not only did Communicator 4.03 not update the 4.01 version of Communicator that came with Corel Pro 8.0 and installs with Corel Central... It killed the whole enchilada. You'd think that the licensing of using someone's browser to take a cheap shot at MS would entail the use of common sense too. But no, renaming such a popular Browser EXE and having "proprietary" names on config files etc., only led to duplicity in ALL of Netscape's folders and sub-folders... User files and folders. In other words.. Netscape's Communicator 4.03 installation was totally unaware of the previous Stealth-like installation of Communicator 4.01. By Corel's installation routines. Happily, I found that while Corel Central was now a ruptured duck, nothing else in Corel Perfect Office Pro 8.0 was affected. 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 Randy Noak Lloyd E. Pulley Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondent Staff 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 Jobs Ponders 'Interim' Role Steve Jobs, Apple Computer Inc.'s interim CEO, is thinking about becoming the struggling computer maker's permanent chief, reports trade journal MacWeek. Speaking at the Macromedia Users Conference in San Francisco, Jobs said he would ponder the question during an upcoming Hawaiian vacation. Jobs also said he was listening closely to users' concerns. "We're reading every single e-mail," he stated. "Tell us what's wrong." MacWeek notes that attendees leaving the event said they found Jobs' message reassuring. "Jobs is the best thing that's happened to Apple in the past 10 years," said David Jaworski, president and CEO of Provident Ventures Interactive Inc. of Bellevue, Washington. "I hope he takes the CEO spot permanently." Two Top VPs Leave Apple Two senior vice presidents have resigned at Apple Computer Corp., another high-level executive change at the Cupertino, California, computer maker. To pursue other interests, both Dave Manovich, senior vice president of international sales, and James McCluney, senior vice president of worldwide operations, have resigned. Of the resignations, Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO, is quoted by the Reuters News Service as saying, "We don't expect to hit any speedbumps as a result of these changes." Reuters says Apple, which is already looking for a permanent CEO, said it would begin searches to fill both positions. Manovich had been with Apple most recently since February. Mitch Mandich, senior vice president for North American sales, will serve as interim head of international sales. McCluney had been with Apple since July 1996. Heidi Hedlund, Apple senior director of operations product management, will serve as interim head of operations. Microsoft Network Not for Sale A report by a new Internet publication has prompted official denials from Redmond, Washington, of rumors that the Microsoft Network online service is for sale. Microsoft spokesman Marty Taucher told the Reuter News Service the report, published by TheStreet.com and attributed to unidentified company "insiders," was false, adding, "Microsoft remains committed to MSN. It is of strategic importance to the company." As reported, MSN has undergone several transformations since it was launched in August 1995 as a proprietary online service just as the Internet began to take off commercially. Executives told Reuters they are satisfied with the rapid growth of MSN, which now has some 2.3 million subscribers, adding they plan to trim spending at MSN and other money-losing interactive media ventures but have maintained they are committed to the business. The online report suggested MSN would be valued at $1 billion, with Microsoft said to be interested in selling a majority stake but retaining controlling influence. It listed potential buyers as America Online, Internet software maker Netscape Communications Corp. and Internet service provider At Home Corp. NetCom Sold for $283.5 Million National Internet service provider Netcom On-Line Communications Services Inc. will be sold to a Colorado phone company called ICG Communications Inc. for about $283.5 million in stock. Reporting from Englewood, Colorado, the Reuters News Service says the deal calls for Netcom shareholders to receive 0.8628 share, or $22.65 a share based on ICG's closing stock price Friday, for each share of Netcom. Based in San Jose, California, Netcom has local access numbers across the United States, as well as in Canada. Reuters says the company has about 560,000 subscribers, which puts it ahead of many smaller Internet access providers. ICG officials told the wire service the combined company will employ more than 2,600 people and will have more than $420 million in quarterly annualized revenues on a pro forma basis. About half of Netcom's customers are in ICG's existing network territory and about 140,000 Netcom customers are in California, where ICG has its largest statewide fiber optic network, ICG said. HP, Intel Unveil Merced Chips The first major new computer chip designs in nearly 20 years are being unveiled this week by Intel Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. It is seen by reporter Therese Poletti of the Reuters News Service as "paving the way for how computers will run well into the next century." She says top engineers from the two companies will disclose details of the widely awaited project tomorrow, but notes production of the chips is two years away. Says Poletti, "Intel's current family of chips is built on the so-called x86 architecture used since it developed the microprocessors used in the first IBM personal computer in the early 1980s. The new design is Intel's first departure from that core processor technology in almost 20 years. It also represents one of the biggest technological shifts for the computer industry." Reuters says the firms will show the new technology -- code-named Merced -- to engineers at a technical conference called the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California. Intel is based in Santa Clara, California. "The presentations are expected to be extremely technical, with blocks and diagrams of semiconductor design layout," Poletti writes, "but the goal of the chip is simple -- to further boost computing performance and help Intel get a bigger share in the market for workstations used by engineers, servers that link computers into networks and other high-end machines." Editor Linley Gwennap of the Microprocessor Report, which sponsors the conference where the details will be discussed, estimated in a recent newsletter that the chip could run at 900 megahertz, a huge increase from Intel's fastest Pentium II chip, which runs at 300 megahertz. Analysts say the new design will be able to run current software that runs on Pentium-based PCs. "Intel has already won widespread support of the architecture, also known as IA-64," the wire service says, "but the designs have not even been used in sample chips that must be heavily tested before production can begin." Poletti says the new architecture will include some elements of Hewlett-Packard's older PA-RISC architecture, which uses Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) technology, adding applications developed for H-P workstations running PA-RISC chips will also run on the Merced architecture. Intel says Merced will be in production in 1999. Intel, HP Unveil Their EPIC Built around the Merced chip, a new architecture called EPIC (Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing) has been unveiled as the foundation for Intel Corp.'s next generation of microprocessors. Expect it to be in production by 1999. As reported earlier, the new chip, developed with Hewlett-Packard Co., is aimed at high-performance workstations and server computers, running corporate networks and applications such as online transaction processing, querying and storage of massive databases and three-dimensional graphics. Reporting from San Jose, California, for the Reuter News Service, writer Therese Poletti observes, "Analysts said the architecture is significant, not only because of the performance boost it promises users, but also as a technology which will help transform Intel into a supplier of chips beyond personal computers." Says President Janet Ramkissoon of Quadra Capital Inc., a money manager based in New York, "To pigeon hole Intel as a PC company is wrong. This is Intel ... moving into an environment that was owned by minicomputers and mainframes. We are talking about mainframe and supercomputing type capability here." Intel told analyst yesterday the new architecture will increase computing performance and initially, the chip is expected to deliver processing speeds of about 900 megahertz, compared with the fastest Pentium speeds currently of 300 megahertz. John Crawford, an Intel fellow told the Microprocessor Forum, "The objectives were ... breakthrough performance and headroom for the future. We wanted to make sure it had a long life, that we could crank it into the future." Poletti says the architecture is being designed so that all current applications running on Intel's current processors and on Hewlett-Packard's UNIX-based systems will run on Merced and Merced follow-on chips. So far, 22 companies have announced support for the EPIC architecture, which is still in the design phase, including Microsoft Corp., Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., International Business Machines Corp., Sequent Computer Systems Inc. and many other major companies. Adds Poletti, "The new architecture, which defines the flow of operations within a microprocessor, is a significant departure from previous computer architectures, because it will enable an EPIC based chip to process many instructions in parallel." Intel says older architectures such as CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computing) and RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing), process instructions sequentially, or one after the other. Intel has mostly based its current processors on the CISC architecture, and combined some elements of RISC. "The instruction set within the chip," says Reuters, "will include elements of speculation and predication, which the engineers likened to a bank teller being prepared with two completed possible transaction slips for each customer waiting in line." TI Said Readying Super Chips Reports from London are that U.S. chipmaker Texas Instruments is set to unveil an ultrafast silicon chip that can be developed cheaply enough for inclusion in everyday devices. The Reuters News Service quotes the British Financial Times as saying the new chips are derived from processors used in mobile telephones and would allow computers to generate three-dimensional pictures of cinematic quality. The newspaper says the chips also will allow telescopes to see into deep space, enhance virtual-reality systems and provide high-resolution medical images. New Drive Sets Storage Record A new high-capacity hard disk drive for notebook computers has been developed by IBM which says the device shatters the existing storage record for such units. Dubbed the Travelstar 8GS, the hard drive is about the size of a music cassette tape and holds 8.1 gigabytes of information, the Reuters News Service reports, noting that currently, the largest notebook hard drives hold about five gigabytes. An IBM spokeswoman told the wire service the drive is the first to surpass a storage density of three billion bits per square inch on each of its disk platters, an amount of data roughly equivalent to 187,500 double-spaced typewritten pages. Look for the new hard drive will be available in December. IBM also is announcing several other new hard drive models, at capacities of 6.4 gigabytes, 3.2 gigabytes and 2.1 gigabytes. The latter two are about half the thickness of the larger drives. Apple Cuts Prices, Sets Rebates Apple Computer Inc. has lowered prices by up to $1,000 on selected desktop and notebook computer models and has introduced cash-back rebates on some computers and peripherals. Apple has cut prices of its desktop Power Macintosh 8600 line by $600 to $800, and is offering cash rebates of $250 to $300. It has also reduced prices on its Apple PowerBook 3400 notebooks by $800 to $1,000. The computer maker is offering rebates on several of its printers, scanners and digital cameras. The rebates can be increased when the equipment is bought in combination with a computer system. For complete terms and details, visit Apple's Web site . Microsoft Offers Reference Bundle Microsoft Corp. has combined three of its leading multimedia reference tools into a single product. The new "Microsoft Encarta Reference Suite 98" includes the "Encarta 98 Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition," "Encarta Virtual Globe 1998 Edition" and the "Bookshelf 98" CD-ROM reference library. The combined works contain more than 20 million words of text in over 50,000 articles. There are 32,000 articles in the "Encarta 98 Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition," 1.2 million place names in the "Encarta Virtual Globe 1998 Edition" and more than 600,000 entries for definitions, synonyms and quotes in "Bookshelf 98." "Microsoft's reference titles combine multimedia brilliance with up-to-date editorial content to bring information to life and inspire the user's imagination," says Craig Bartholomew, general manager of Microsoft's reference business unit. "This suite offers people top value with best-of-breed products at a compelling price." Windows 95 and Windows NT versions of the "Microsoft Encarta Reference Suite 98" are available now for $109. Schools and other educational institutions can acquire the product at a discount. Enhanced Handhelds Unveiled LG Electronics U.S.A. Inc. has introduced the second generation models of its Phenom Computer (H/PC). The new Phenom and Phenom+, based on Microsoft Windows CE 2.0, include a built-in modem, two NiMH rechargeable batteries and pocket versions of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Enhancements include 8MB of memory, a wide 640- by 240-dot resolution backlit screen and VGA output for delivering Pocket PowerPoint presentations on the road. The LG Phenom+ also includes a built-in CDPD modem. Color screens are slated to become available on Phenom models in early 1998. Both Phenoms are powered by a 32-bit SuperH RISC CPU. The updated Phenom is set to become available in December at $599. The Phenom+ is scheduled to ship in March 1998 for $899. LG Electronics is headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Visit the Phenom Web site for more details. Apple Ships Rhapsody Beta Apple Computer, Inc. has shipped an early version of its next-generation operating system -- code named Rhapsody -- to more than 10,000 software developers worldwide. The computer maker says its Rhapsody Developer Release is intended to allow software developers to begin creating the applications that will run on the new operating system. Apple expects Rhapsody to complement Mac OS in its overall operating system strategy. "While Mac OS will move forward as Apple's volume operating system, delivering market leading ease-of-use, multimedia and Internet integration, Rhapsody will be initially targeted at server and high-end desktop applications," notes a statement issued by Apple. Rhapsody aims to integrate the Mac OS's ease-of-use and functionality with leading-edge technologies pioneered by NeXT Software Inc.'s OPENSTEP operating system. Apple is delivering Rhapsody first on selected PowerPC models including, the Power Macintosh 8500, 8600, 9500 and 9600. As Rhapsody matures, Apple expects all Macintosh systems shipped from early 1997 to be able to run the new operating system. Apple also plans to introduce developer releases of Rhapsody for PC compatibles. A full customer release of Rhapsody is scheduled for 1998. For full details on Apple's operating system strategy, visit Apple's operating system Web page . Plastic Sheet Battery Debuts A battery that resembles a plastic sheet has been developed by Bellcore. Bellcore researchers demonstrated the battery's ability to power a standard laptop computer, children's toys and cellular telephones today at the Power 97 trade show in Santa Clara, California. The company is offering to help battery makers bring the technology to market. "Our battery technology offers four times the power for the same weight as conventional battery technology," says Christina Lampe-Onnerud, a senior scientist at Bellcore's energy storage research laboratory. "We can configure it to fit the application, so that you can charge it up in a hurry, or slowly." Bellcore, headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey, is a provider of communications software, engineering and consulting services. More information about Bellcore is available at its Web site . Intel Readies 1st 64-Bit Processor Intel Corp. reports that the first entry in its new family of 64-bit microprocessors -- code named Merced -- is scheduled for production in 1999. The Santa Clara, California, chipmaker says the processor will be produced on its 0.18 micron process technology, which is currently under development. The Merced processors will run all the software that currently operates on 32-bit Intel processor-based computers. Intel reports that it has been working with more than 20 computer industry leaders over the past two years to create operating systems, application software and other products that will capitalize on Merced's 64-bit architecture. Next week, Intel will join with Hewlett-Packard Co. to announce a new jointly developed 64-bit instruction set architecture (ISA) for Merced. The ISA has been in development since 1994. Visit Intel on the Web at . CompuServe Sets Web-Based Service CompuServe Corp. says its new Web-based service will make "the best of CompuServe" -- including the company's acclaimed Forums and communities - directly available for the first time to Internet users. The service is slated to debut in the U.S. and Canada later this year. In an online news conference, CompuServe officials said the new product will be "one of the largest, most content-rich sites on the World Wide Web, day one." They also revealed that the initiative, formerly code-named "CSi 97," now has a product name and tagline: "C from CompuServe -- The Net's Best Thing." "C from CompuServe will feature the best of the company's award-winning CSi proprietary online service -- including more than 500 of Csi's acclaimed Forums and hundreds of research databases from high-end providers -- plus links to thousands of the best topically related external Web sites," says Sam Uretsky, vice president of business management for Csi. The new product is aimed at business, professional, technical and other sophisticated consumers, who comprise 36 percent of all Web users today, according to Odyssey Research. The largest unmet need of this attractive segment is for community, says Uretsky. "That's why CompuServe's renowned interactive communities, called Forums, are at the heart of 'C from CompuServe.'" "This is a new market opportunity, not a migration play," notes Uretsky. "Members of our existing CSi service will also have access to the new product for no additional fee." C from CompuServe will offer three distinct privilege levels: z The Guest level, where any Web user can access more than 500 Forums, with a vast range of topics and unique content, on a 'read-only' basis at no cost. For added convenience, there will be reciprocal links to thousands of Web sites chosen for their value and relatedness to the Forum topics. The reciprocal links have the added function of pointing large numbers of users toward the C from CompuServe Guest level, which is supported by ad revenue. z The Member level will feature hundreds of research databases from high-end providers. Use will be on a pay-per- view, transaction basis. Users entering the site from the Guest level or other avenues register and supply credit card information only once, and can then use services at any time. The Member level is supported by transaction and ad revenue. z The Subscriber level offers three initial subscription options: a full subscription to C from CompuServe, allowing users to post and receive messages in Forums, and access selected value-added content; subscription to an enhanced Communications package that includes fully integrated e-mail, voice mail, fax and pager services; and subscription to Computing Pro, a special value-added service for computing professionals. The Subscriber levels will be supported by subscription fee, transaction and ad revenue. Web-Linked Observatory Planned Imagine controlling an 8-ton telescope from your home computer so you can zoom in for a look at your favorite galaxy. Reporting from Montville, Ohio, The Associated Press says it is just a matter of time. The Nassau Astronomical Station at Case Western University plans to link to the Web. "Basically," astronomy department chairman Earle Luck told the wire service, "we want to set it up as a World Wide Web site and dedicate a percentage of its time for anyone who wants to use it." AP says remote-control motors will be installed next month and software is being developed to let computer users aim the telescope and download its images. "The telescope's narrow field of view makes it unwieldy for viewing the moon or any planets," AP says, "but it should capture crisp images of distant galaxies and nebulae, which are interstellar clouds of gas or dust." Luck notes only a few telescopes can be accessed online, and this will be the only one with a spectrograph, which measures a star's speed and chemical composition. The project will cost $175,000 to $200,000, with most coming from private donors and the department. Officials expect it to be running by the summer of 1999. Compaq in Sports Arena Deal Compaq Computer Corp. wants to place its name on Houston's largest indoor sports arena. The computer maker has offered to provide $5.4 million over the next six years to upgrade The Summit, the city- owned sports and entertainment facility that's home to the NBA's Houston Rockets. In addition to changing the facility's name to Compaq Center, enhancements to the arena would include updating telescreens, installing a new ice floor, replacing light fixtures, recovering the seats and upgrading elevators and escalators. The renaming is subject to approval from the Houston City Council, but has gained the support of Mayor Bob Lanier. "This agreement enables Houston to undertake a capital improvement program without using taxpayer dollars," says Lanier. "I'm also very pleased to see that Compaq is associating themselves with Houston in this manner. Compaq is a first-class global computer giant that has been a part of Houston since it was founded fifteen years ago. Compaq is one of America's greatest business success stories and it's great to see this high tech leader lend its name more prominently to the community." "As one of the largest employers in Houston, we are excited to have the opportunity to contribute to this effort that benefits the Houston community," says Eckhard Pfeiffer, Compaq's president and CEO. "Compaq is proud to call Houston home, not only because it's a great place to work and do business, but also because it's a great place to live. This agreement will provide an even better atmosphere for the 2.2 million fans who enjoy arena sports and entertainment each year." Samsung Sues Fujitsu Samsung Electronics Co. Inc. is accusing Fujitsu Ltd.'s U.S. affiliate Fujitsu Microelectronics Inc. of patent infringement, saying Fujitsu's synchronous dynamic random access memory chips contain features covered by three patents owned by Samsung. According to the Reuter News Service, the patents are for data output buffers of semiconductor and synchronous memory devices and for a "system for selecting one of a plurality of memory banks" for active cycles and inactive precharge cycles. Samsung wants a jury trial and a court order barring Fujitsu from making or selling the alleged infringing products, plus unspecified triple damages for alleged deliberate infringement. Sun Micro Sees Microsoft In an amended complaint, Sun Microsystems Inc. is claiming $35 million in damages as a result of Microsoft Corp.'s alleged unlawful distribution of the Sun source code as a part of the beta version of Microsoft's software development kit for Java. United Press International notes Sun previously sued Microsoft for alleging breach of contract because Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 and other software failed compatibility tests for Java. Reporting from San Jose, California, UPI quotes Sun officials as saying the contracts, which were signed in March 1996, now have been made available to the public following considerable media interest in the case. Sun says that when the documents were signed, both parties had agreed to keep them confidential and they were originally filed with the court under seal. "We believe the contracts will speak for themselves," Sun added in a statement. "Our position on Microsoft's breaches of the contracts and other misconduct have been clearly articulated in the complaint. Because this matter is in litigation, we will refrain from publicly debating specific terms of the contracts." Sun noted, though, "Revisiting the business model Sun has developed in openly licensing the Java technology to 117 entities worldwide. We have contracted with each of our licensees to act as distributors of the Java technology so that each licensee can realize the benefits of cross-platform compatibility with all other licensees." NCR Realigns Operations NCR Corp. on the heels of a $9 million third-quarter loss, today announced sweeping operational changes, including the realignment of 130 sales and professional services organizations within its business units and the implementation of new efficiency processes. The moves will result in the loss of 1,000 infrastructure and staff support jobs, says the Dayton, Ohio, computer maker, which was spun off from AT&T Corp. earlier this year. NCR employs about 38,000 people worldwide. NCR says its business units will now have total profit and loss responsibility, as well as dedicated sales and professional services resources. In addition to simplifying the company's organization, the sales teams will be more tightly linked with business unit research and development, product management, marketing and manufacturing. The company also says it plans to make process improvements in sales support work and staff support in order to cut expenses and free up workers for sales team assignments. "Having total responsibility for profit and loss in our business units simplifies and clarifies who is accountable for meeting customer needs," says Lars Nyberg, NCR's chairman and CEO. "The changes we are making also enable faster decision-making and allow us to operate more efficiently, consistently and competitively." Visit NCR's Web site at . IBM to Reorganize PC Division Sources say IBM is set to restructure its PC business in a bid to stem losses at its struggling home personal computer unit. Reporter Richard Melville of the Reuter News Service quotes unidentified people familiar with the situation as saying the streamlining will likely focus on eliminating redundancies between the corporate and consumer PC units and involve at least some job cuts. "The revamping would extend IBM's recent efforts to deal with the converging areas of consumer PCs, corporate PCs and low-cost machines called network computers," Melville says, noting the company organized the three lines in a new business unit in July, promoting executive Sam Palmisano to senior vice president and naming him head of the unit, which was dubbed the Personal Systems Group. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports layoffs in the Personal Systems group could run into the hundreds. The group, which includes the two PC divisions and IBM's network computing division, employs about 11,000 in all. Melville says IBM already has taken several steps to try to improve its consumer PC sales, including: Cutting production costs on the latest low-priced models in its Aptiva home computer line by using processors from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. rather than Intel Corp. Turning over some assembly work on the least expensive Aptivas to Acer Inc., its first move to use an outside supplier for one of its own computers. "But," notes Reuters, "even with those cost-cutting moves, prices for IBM PCs start at $1,199, above competitors' that are already below $1,000." McAfee to Buy Network General In a $1.3 billion stock deal, software publisher McAfee Associates Inc. agreed to buy Network General Corp., a move seen as part of the anti-virus developers drive into the computer networking software business. Reporter Kourosh Karimkhany of the Reuter News Service says the combined company will be called Network Associates Inc. and will be the 10th-largest software vendor. The new firm is expect to "offer almost every software product computer technicians need to keep viruses and hackers off corporate computer networks," Reuters adds. Analyst John Powers of investment bank BancAmerica Robertson Stephens in San Francisco told Karimkhany that McAfee has had "an unbelievable knack for timely, synergistic, high-yield acquisitions. I'm pretty enthusiastic about this deal." McAfee is offering 0.4167 of its shares, or about $27.66, for each share of Network General. Reuters says the firms have few products that overlap, noting McAfee specializes in anti-virus, network security and help-desk programs, while Network General specializes in diagnostic and performance-monitoring products. McAfee chief Bill Larson will be CEO/chairman of the new company, while Leslie Denend, CEO of Network General, will become president. Americans Shun Internet Shopping More than one out of three Americans have become users of the Internet during the last year, but not for shopping finds a new survey from a leading consumer researcher. "There is clearly something addictive about the availability of galaxies of information for the asking," says Britt Beemer, chairman of Charleston, South Carolina- based America's Research Group. "However, it's a very different story for shopping, where very few people -- 2.8 percent -- feel comfortable in using the Internet to make a purchase in cyberspace." When asked about the degree of trust they have for shopping at a store in a mall compared with a purchase via the Internet, the respondents opting for stores -- 72.1 percent -- outnumbered Internet shoppers -- 6.7 percent -- by more than ten to one. Notes Beemer: "Most people -- 77.9 percent -- are reluctant for security reasons to give their personal credit card data via the Internet to a virtual salesperson, but many others -- 26.9 percent -- don't want to buy something they can't see and touch; 14.9 percent say they always buy in stores; 11.6 percent report they like to pay cash; and 11.1 percent simply enjoy shopping too much to let their computer have all the fun." The few products that sell briskly via the Internet include computer software, books, apparel and home furnishings, but the percentages of people actually buying the products are nominal, Beemer says. Amazon.com Marks 1M Milestone Online bookseller Amazon.com Inc. says it will be the first Internet retailer to reach the one-millionth new customer milestone. To celebrate the event, Amazon.com will thank its customers by awarding a lucky site visitor a $10,000 prize. Also, each day during the next two weeks, 100 Amazon.com T- shirts will be awarded to visitors. Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com out of his garage in a Seattle suburb, wrapping orders and then delivering them to the post office in the family car. Bezos will hand deliver the order celebrating the one millionth new customer, regardless of the order's destination. "We have customers in more than 160 countries," says Bezos, "I don't know if I'm on my way to Tanganyika or Beijing in the next several days, or if I'm traveling by jet or jet-ski, Daimler or dug-out canoe." Market researcher Media Metrix estimates that 4.5 percent of all Web households visited Amazon.com during August. Net Tax Freeze Bill Advances Legislation that would freeze state and local taxes on the Internet passed two House subcommittees yesterday, despite strong opposition from U.S. governors and local officials. The bill, dubbed the Internet Tax Freedom Act, would bar any new taxes on Internet access or online services for an unspecified time while Congress studies the issue. The House Commerce telecommunication subcommittee and a Judiciary subcommittee on commercial law approved the measure, sponsored by Rep. Chris Cox, R-California, by voice vote. A similar bill is moving through the Senate's Commerce Committee. The bill's supporters, including software publishers and Internet service providers, say they need protection from a maze of local taxes that would hinder Internet growth. The Dow Jones News Service notes that the bill could reach the House floor before Congress breaks for its Christmas recess. 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. 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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 EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Electronic Shopping Still At The Starting Gate Jobs Considering Staying At Apple Van Houweling Named As Internet2 Chief Andreessen Replaced As Netscape's Technology Officer Funding The Next-Generation Internet Free Video-On-Demand, To The Right Address U.S. In Danger Of Catastrophic Cyber Attack Oakland Ends Welfare As We Know It ... By Adding The Net Netscape, AOL Launch Joint Messaging Service Internet2 Applications Showcased New Bill Targets Net Pirates CompuServe Woos Businesses With Latest Service Publishing Giants Merge Telescope For The Web Internet Commerce GTE Joins BT And WorldCom As Rival Suitors For MCI Intranet Use Exploding Cyberchic Hits The Fashion Runway British Cybersquatters Head For Court Tapscott Calls N-Gen "Unprecedented Force For Change" Australia Sees New Revenue Source In Online Gambling Blair Wants All U.K. Students Wired To "National Grid" Zundel's Site Exposes Jews To Hatred IBM's Power Drive BMI Creates Robot To Protect Copyrights On Web ELECTRONIC SHOPPING STILL AT THE STARTING GATE Companies sank nearly $35 billion into the Internet last year, investing in infrastructure, Web sites and data protection, according to Zona Research, but so far the returns on their investments have been low. In fact, it may be 10 to 15 years before the Internet becomes even a minor player in retail, says the chairman of America's Research Group. About 60% of U.S. households still don't own a computer, and about 85% don't have a modem. And an even greater percentage own machines that are not powerful enough to surf the Web. Only 5% of the population has any interest in using the Net as a retail outlet, says America's Research Group, and more than half of the consumers who've purchased something online say they're not sure they'll do so again. Still, some sites, such as Amazon.com and Buyers USA, are making money, and analysts say that retailers who exploit the unique aspects of the Internet with products that people want can be successful. "I'm very bullish on the Internet long-term," says one business consultant. "But right now, we have to be realistic, despite the ridiculous projections and claims of sales." (Investor's Business Daily 10 Oct 97) JOBS CONSIDERING STAYING AT APPLE Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs says he would consider staying on in the position he assumed after Gil Amelio was ousted in July. Analysts say Jobs' comments may reflect the difficulty Apple is having in attracting qualified candidates who want the CEO job. (Wall Street Journal 10 Oct 97) VAN HOUWELING NAMED AS INTERNET2 CHIEF Douglas Van Houweling has been named president of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, the nonprofit company spearheading the Internet2 initiative. Van Houweling formerly served as dean of academic outreach and vice provost for information at the University of Michigan. The Internet2 effort will focus on developing applications for a network that eventually will run at speeds as fast as 2.4 gigabits per second. "Connectivity is just the first step," says Van Houweling. "The last part of our strategy is to link everything we do with the Internet industry, so that these capabilities will go to the Internet... The greatest benefits will come at the end of the second year when the experimental and pilot implementations and protocols will show up in the products our partners are selling outside the universities." (TechWire 10 Oct 97) ANDREESSEN REPLACED AS NETSCAPE'S TECHNOLOGY OFFICER Netscape has named Eric Hahn as its new chief technology officer, replacing company co-founder Marc Andreessen, who will continue to have his other title: executive vice president of products. Hahn said: "Marc is a brilliant strategist and visionary and I would not think he's given up his vision and leadership responsibilities. Marc for the first time is taking on significant and exciting operating responsibilities managing products, and I'm returning to my first love as a technologist." (San Jose Mercury News 11 Oct 97) FUNDING THE NEXT-GENERATION INTERNET Congress has passed a budget bill that would allocate $80 million to the financing of the Next-Generation Internet, or NGI. The Clinton Administration originally had requested $100 million for the effort. Of that amount, $23 million would be obtained from the escrow account that was set up when the National Science Foundation contracted with Network Solutions Inc. to handle top-level Internet domain registrations. NSF wants to remove itself from involvement in Internet funding, and concentrate on new projects like the NGI. National Science Foundation director Joseph Bordogna says, "The Internet has become a global communications infrastructure. It is no longer a medium that primarily supports the conduct of federally supported research within the science and engineering, research and education community -- the original reason for NSF involvement." (New York Times 11 Oct 97) FREE VIDEO-ON-DEMAND, TO THE RIGHT ADDRESS Residents of New York's trendy Trump Tower will be getting video-on-demand free, offered by fledgling start-up Freelinq. The catch? Two 30-second commercials at the beginning of every film. The deal will work, says Freelinq, because advertisers will be eager to share their messages with a momentarily captive, very upscale audience. "It pushes individual ads to the right people in the right way," says the company's president, who predicts 4,000 apartments in Manhattan high-rises will be hooked up by year's end. (Broadcasting & Cable 6 Oct 97) U.S. IN DANGER OF CATASTROPHIC CYBER ATTACK Robert Marsh, the chairman of the Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection says that neither government nor industry now has the means to protect the United States against computer attacks that could shut down communications and power grid. The commission will deliver its report to President Clinton this week. (Montreal Gazette 8 Oct 97) OAKLAND ENDS WELFARE AS WE KNOW IT ... BY ADDING THE NET Oakland, California, has adopted a policy statement requiring that future public housing projects be given computer equipment and Internet access so that welfare and low-income residents can learn job-critical skills in their homes. A pilot project developed in partnership with IBM has provided 100 public housing units with IBM network stations attached to a PC server through a local area network. (Government Technology Sep 97) NETSCAPE, AOL LAUNCH JOINT MESSAGING SERVICE Netscape Communications and America Online are collaborating on a messaging service that would alert users of Netscape's browser software when they receive e-mail from AOL subscribers, enabling them to engage in a real-time dialogue over the Net. In addition, AOL will supply information to be included in Netscape's Netcaster product. Netcaster uses "push" technology to deliver content to users' PC screens. Analysts see the move as part of AOL's strategy to hedge its bets in the browser battles between Netscape and Microsoft. (Wall Street Journal 14 Oct 97) INTERNET2 APPLICATIONS SHOWCASED A demonstration held last week offered U.S. senators a glimpse of some of the applications that will be made possible by Internet2, the high-speed network project involving more than 100 universities. The demo used the National Science Foundation's Very High Performance Backbone Network Service, or vBNS, which will form the skeleton of Internet2. Senators donned 3-D goggles to experience ImmersaDesk, a kind of large-screen TV that can project computer displays in three dimensions, and examined a virtual ear housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Other applications included a scanning electron microscope that can be controlled remotely over the network, a data-mining project, and a multimedia database. (Chronicle of Higher Education 17 Oct 97) NEW BILL TARGETS NET PIRATES A bill introduced in Congress by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) would penalize first-time offenders who steal and distribute software, music or other copyrighted works on the Internet with fines up to $250,000 and three years in jail. Repeat offenders would receive even stiffer sentences. The No Electronic Theft Act amends federal copyright law to define "financial gain" as receipt of anything of value, including copyrighted works. The bill also extends the statute of limitations for criminal copyright infringement from three years to five years. (TechWire 13 Oct 97) COMPUSERVE WOOS BUSINESSES WITH LATEST SERVICE CompuServe is debuting a new Web-based online service aimed at corporate users, in an effort to generate new income to boost the company's revenue stream. The new service will be based on a hybrid business model that will derive income from advertisements as well as from subscriptions and pay-per-use access to CompuServe databases. "This is not a migration play at all," says CompuServe's VP of business management in response to concerns over the service's new focus on the Web. "It's a brand new revenue stream. We believe we'll be one of the Web's biggest sites the day we launch." (Wall Street Journal 14 Oct 97) PUBLISHING GIANTS MERGE Reed Elsevier, the world's largest publisher of academic and trade journals (as well as the owner of the Lexis-Nexis database service), is merging with Dutch publisher Wolters Kluwer. The combined company will also buy Chilton, which publishes 39 U.S. trade magazines. One industry analyst says: "The main thing is that they can now together make the large investments needed for the change from print publishing to electronic publishing." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 14 Oct 97) TELESCOPE FOR THE WEB Case Western Reserve University is modernizing an 8-ton telescope at the Nassau Astronomical Station in northeastern Ohio by installing a computerized drive and imaging system and research spectrosocope to make it the world's largest robotic telescope. It will be one of just a few large telescopes that can be accessed over the Internet. Others are at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Iowa, and the University of Bradford (U.K.). (AP 12 Oct 97) INTERNET COMMERCE Joining companies like IBM and Amazon.com in efforts to demystify electronic commerce for the consumer masses, the company CD Now, which offers information about and sells compact disks, cassettes, books and other music-related merchandise online, has begun a $10 million advertising campaign in traditional and interactive media. To give consumers a reason to buy CDs online rather than going to a record store, CD Now will be "very targeted: On a fan site of a certain band, we can advertise some rare import CDs of that band." (New York Times 14 Oct 97) GTE JOINS BT AND WORLDCOM AS RIVAL SUITORS FOR MCI GTE is offering $28 billion in cash to acquire MCI Communications, hoping that cash bid will top previous bids from British Telecommunications and Mississippi-based WorldCom. The WorldCom bid is highest ($30 billion), but offers an exchange of stock rather than cash. (Wall Street Journal 16 Oct 97) INTRANET USE EXPLODING According to researcher International Data Corp., almost 60% of U.S. and 38% of European companies use intranets, and those numbers are expected to increase to 77% and 75%, respectively, by next year. Top among intranet uses are e-mail and workforce collaboration, with document management, scheduling and corporate directories also common. (Investor's Business Daily 16 Oct 97) CYBERCHIC HITS THE FASHION RUNWAY A recent MIT Media Lab fashion show featured wearable computers, including a music synthesizer woven into a dress and a tunic that translates the wearer's speech into a foreign language. "People have always had a fascination with making themselves personally more powerful," says a Media Lab professor. "We used to associate that with magic. Now, we're getting close to working that magic into fully realized designs." Ideas for the future include using special conductive thread to reproduce a flexible printed circuit board woven right into a garment. (Business Week 20 Oct 97) BRITISH CYBERSQUATTERS HEAD FOR COURT Two British Internet consultants who registered a number of domain names, including virgin.org, bt.org and the-spice-girls.com, have been sued by a group of six major British companies, which are demanding the two relinquish the names and pay 10,000 British pounds in damages. The defendants, who operate a consulting firm called One In A Million Ltd., say they didn't register the names with the intent of reselling them to trademark holders, although they did offer British Telecommunications the bt.org name in exchange for a 4,700-pound donation to the Diana, Princess of Wales Fund. BT declined. In a possibly precedent-setting 1996 court case, a British Internet service provider that had registered the harrods.com name was forced to turn it over to the well-known Harrods department store. The chairman of the Interim Policy Oversight Committee says a partial fix for this type of dispute will be implemented in February, when new applicants for domain names will have the option of settling disputes by binding arbitration under the guidelines of the World Intellectual Property Organization. (Net Insider 15 Oct 97) TAPSCOTT CALLS N-GEN "UNPRECEDENTED FORCE FOR CHANGE" In his new book "Growing Up Digital: the Rise of the Net Generation," best-selling technology guru Don Tapscott says: "The Net-Generation is here. The baby boom has an echo and it's even louder than the original. Eighty million strong in the U.S. alone, they are combining their demographic muscle with digital mastery to transform every institution in society. They are the first generation to come of age in the digital age. They are an unprecedented force for change and they will dominate most of the 21st century." Tapscott argues that "There is no issue more important to parents, teachers, policy makers, marketers, business leaders, and social activists than understanding this new generation, their culture, psychology, values and what they intend to do with their digital expertise." Tapscott worked with 300 "N-Gen-ers" on the Net over a one-year period and combines survey research to show how the Ne(x)t Generation is changing learning, marketing, the family, the nature of the corporation and society. ("Growing Up Digital," McGraw-Hill 1997) AUSTRALIA SEES NEW REVENUE SOURCE IN ONLINE GAMBLING The government of Victoria, the largest state in Australia, plans to regulate and tax online gambling. A government administrator says: "I think it is fair to say that in Australia, where gaming is quite accepted, we have taken a very logical approach. Over the years, every time we have had trouble with illegal forms of gambling -- phone book gambling, unlicensed casinos - what we've done is provide a well-regulated alternative for people to access. That means the unlicensed activity drops to a relatively low level of significance. That same theory applies to the globalization of the Internet." (New York Times 16 Oct 97) BLAIR WANTS ALL U.K. STUDENTS WIRED TO "NATIONAL GRID" A report by the Olivetti company asserts that one-third of British homes already have a personal computer, compared with 28% in the U.S. and 20% in Germany. The report also says that Britain has an average of one computer for every secondary 8.5 secondary school students (double the number in Germany and better than Japan, France and Italy). However, only 6,000 schools in Britain are connected to the Internet, so Prime Minister Tony Blair wants all students connected via the Internet in a "national grid for learning" by 2002 -- a plan greeted with skepticism by teachers' unions. (Christian Science Monitor 16 Oct 97) WEB SITE EXPOSES JEWS TO HATRED Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel is exposing identifiable groups to hatred or contempt through material on his Web site, a Canadian Human Rights Commission tribunal has been told. The complaints arise from a California-based Internet site that targets Jews in Canada, commission lawyer Ian Binnie said yesterday. The case is one of the first attempts to apply human rights laws to the Internet. Under Canada's Human Rights Act, it is illegal to send telephone messages that could cause hatred or contempt of a special, identifiable group in Canada. Joining Binnie in the case before the tribunal is the City of Toronto's race relations committee, Toronto resident Sabina Citron, a founding member of the Canadian Holocaust Remembrance Association, and representatives of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada. (Toronto Star 15 Oct 97) Editor Note: After seeing this outrage... we dedicated an area on our FTP server that offers irrefutable photographic evidence of horrors perpetrated by the German Nation in the nineteen thirties and forties. All of Germany will forever bear the responsibility of their forefather's atrocities committed against mankind. Regardless of the reparations and/or denials offered, they are solely responsible .. IBM'S POWER DRIVE IBM's Travelstar 8GS hard drive, due out in December, holds 8.1 gigabytes of data -- so much that if all the information on the disk were printed out ondouble-spaced sheets of paper, those papers, when stacked, would be taller than the Empire State Building. At just two-thirds of an inch thick, it's designed for high-end corporate notebook computers. The company has also developed a 3 gigabyte drive -- the Travelstar 3GN -- aimed at the ultraportable laptop market. (Information Week 15 Oct 97) BMI CREATES ROBOT TO PROTECT COPYRIGHTS ON WEB BMI, the music licensing agency that represents 180,000 songwriters and music publishers, has developed a Web robot to make sure copyright holders are justly compensated for music played on the Web. The so-called "Musicbot" will surf the Web to identify sites that use music and to count the number of people who visit them. Up till now, BMI has not initiated legal proceedings against potential copyright violators on the Web, but a company vice president says that "it stands to reason in the future that it will happen." (AP 15 Oct 97) STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. Take full advantage of this spectacular reach. Explore the superb possibilities of advertising in STReport! Its very economical and smart business. In addition, STReport offers a strong window of opportunity to your company of reaching potential users on major online services and networks, the Internet, the WEB and more than 200,000 private BBS's worldwide. With a readership of better that 200,000 per week, this is truly an exceptional opportunity to maximize your company's recognition factor globally. (STReport is pronounced: "ES TEE Report") STR Publishing's Economical "Partners in Progress" Plans! "Partners in Progress" Program.. Call Today! STR Publishing, Inc. (STR, STReport, CPU Report); z maintains a commitment to utilizing the power of the Internet and Web to keep computer users, worldwide, both private and commercial, informed of new trends in equipment, upgrade reports and future planning. z offers highly informative Hardware and Software Reviews, Press Releases, hands-on stories, user experiences and show reports. z presents the NEWS about new hardware, new software and how-to publications within HOURS of its being made public. z is dedicated to keeping the users informed of what your company has to offer at incredibly, almost the moment its offered! Take full advantage of STReport's Exciting "Partners in Progress" Programs! MAXIMIZE your Company's Presence Worldwide. TODAY! Eighth Page - $50.00 Quarter Page - $100.00 per issue per issue Half Page - $200.00 per Full Page - $400.00 per issue issue Your company's color ad, as described/submitted by you or designed by us, will appear in STReport International Magazine. STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. Email us at or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm est FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs Or, write us at: STR Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 15% Holiday Discount for Month of October. Apple/Mac Section Randy Noak, Editor Mac Mania by Randy Noak Those of you that have been reading STReport for any length of time may remember me. I was the Mac Editor back in 1993. As is the custom for this type of thing, I'm supposed to tell you about my background and other information of a highly personal nature. I think I'll skip the personal info and concentrate on giving you the info that might give you, the reader, an idea about where I've been and where the column might be headed. Wait! I've already done that. Back in 1993. It might be interesting to re- issue that column with comments, where appropriate, to bring my bio up to date. Here goes. WHAT! A Macintosh column in STReport? Yep. After all the ST in STReport does stand for Silicon Times and Macs are full of silicon. Hmmm. Anyhow, beyond that tenuous connection, many Atari users are moving (have moved-Ed.) to the Macintosh platform. Since System 7 (now System 8-Ed.) and GEM share a common ancestry, anyone using an Atari will find moving to the Macintosh a relatively painless procedure. Notice that I said, "relatively painless"? There are just enough differences to make life, umm, interesting, and to, hopefully make this column interesting, and informative reading. In the weeks ahead, I'll be doing my best to entertain and inform any STReport readers thinking of moving to, or already using, Macintosh computers. I've been told that I can write about whatever I wish, so this _could_ be very interesting. Besides pontificating on whatever subject I feel like, I may do a question and answer thing, summarize some on-line stuff, tell you about Mac things I receive from the US Postal Service (and maybe some non-Mac things too-Ed.), review a software package or two, grab some freebies at trade shows, and whatever else I think might be beneficial to STReport readers. (Still sounds like a plan to me-Ed.) So here goes! So that we might get to know each other a little, I thought I might give you a little background info on myself. I started computing way back in the days of the Atari 400. 16K and a 410 Program Recorder. Those were the days. NOT! From there, I went to a 1040 ST with an extra external floppy drive. Eventually, I ended up with 2.5 megs crammed in that small 1040 case and a 20 meg hard drive. A real "power" system. I learned PageStream and Touch Up and all the Atari programs I needed to get my publishing business off the ground. Even though those programs were good, I found my self wishing that I could do more. I moved up to an Atari TT030, but even though it was fast, it still lacked features that I wanted (such as 8-bit graphics), and the software still wouldn't let me do some basic things (leader tabs) that I needed. As I read about DTP and graphics programs for Macintosh computers, I realized that Macintosh software had the features I desired, so I picked up a Spectre GCR cartridge to enable me to fill some of the holes in my Atari programs with the plethora of features available in Macintosh programs. It didn't take me long to realize that, for the most part, Macintosh software far surpassed Atari software in both features and ease of use and I began to lust after a "real" Macintosh. I waited, knowing that eventually, prices would come down to my personal point of affordability. As it turned out, I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited as Apple introduced new machines that either didn't have the features I wanted or cost too much. Finally, Apple introduced the LC III. At last, a system that I could afford (sort of), that had the "horsepower" to do what I wanted it to do . I priced LC III's at my local dealer, checked the mail order prices and bought a Performa 450 from Sears. The 450 is the same as an LC III (68030, 25mHz, 4 megs, built-in 8-bit video), but includes a monitor, keyboard, mouse, fax modem, and lotsa pre-loaded software, including Claris Works that is extra when buying an LC III. The price was good and, of course, my Performa is backed by Sears. No worries about service there. I've since added an 8 meg SIMM (to bring me up to 12 meg memory), a Syquest drive and a CD-ROM drive, and I plan to add a video SIMM to give me 16-bit color. All-in-all, I'm pretty happy with my system. (Now I have a Power Mac 7100 and a PowerBook 5300cs. There is also a Compaq Pentium system sitting on the other desk in my office. The kids use the Performa 450.-Ed.) I've been learning software since I bought my Mac, and it's been a lot of fun. Learning some of the ins-and-outs of Aldus PageMaker 5.0, Adobe Illustrator 5.0 Deluxe, Color It (Photoshop now-Ed.), Datebook and Touchbase Pro, and Claris Works among others (many , many others now-Ed.) has given me a good understanding about the Mac GUI, I think. I reactivated my Compuserve account, and have been using Compuserve Navigator to, well, navigate Compuserve (I no longer have the CIS account. It was too expensive at the time.-Ed.). I've gotten an America OnLine account and have been checking out that service as well. I'm still on GEnie, of course, and anxiously await for the long-promised Mac version of Aladdin to arrive (Is Genie still around? -Ed.) In short, I've been busy. I'm constantly amazed by the friendly and knowledgeable (and ex-Atari) people that I've met in the Mac areas of all the services, but I guess that's just part of the Mac "thing". Support, friendliness, new software, service. What a platform! That was then and this, of course, is now. Since I wrote that column, I've gotten one B.S. Degree and am working on B.S. Degree number two in computer info systems while I wait to start grad school in the Spring. I worked for Apple's late online service eWorld from it's inception until it's untimely demise and have managed to work fulltime and raise a family while doing all of that. In short, I'm a busy guy, so this column will probably not be published every week. I hope to be able to find the time to write every other week at first and will try and make it weekly as I get used to the routine again. Well, enough about me. Now it's your turn to let me know about you. Let me know what you'd like to see in this column. Tell me what type of Mac you're using and what your interests are. Please feel free to send your comments or questions to: Internet: email@example.com America OnLine: RandyNoak Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org RSN.. Jason's Jive Jason Sereno, STR Staff email@example.com Star Trek STARFLEET ACADEMY Windows 95 CD-ROM Street Price: $49.95 For ages 13 and up Interplay Productions 16815 Von Karman Ave. Irvine, CA 92606 714-553-6678 www.interplay.com Program Requirements IBM PC compatible Pentium 90 MHZ, Windows 95, 16 MB RAM, 150 MB Hard Drive Space, 4X or faster CD-ROM drive, Windows 95 compliant sound card, 1 MB VESA compliant SVGA card, Microsoft compatible mouse, DirectX 3.0a or better, Supports serial, modem, or IPX Network Before now there has ever been any type of Star Trek action simulation. What better way could there be to explore the many missions and alien vessels than the Starfleet Academy? Starfleet is where the fictional captains and staff of the future train and work to become the best in the universe. The work ethic and professionalism are why the federation is known as the best of the best. Starfleet Academy, is the first and only Star Trek 3D action simulation. In releasing this game, Interplay hopes to bring the experience of Starfleet Academy as well as simulated federation missions to your PC. Starfleet Academy does this by using three of the original cast members and the award winning composer of dozens of Star Trek episodes. Bringing the 3D portion of the game to life are over 30 textured mapped star ships and the terrific 3D environment. Mission range from destroying abandoned mines to intercepting Klingon attack cruisers. There is a mission generator that lets you play as a federation or alien ship and multiplayer capabilities are available too. If you have been waiting for a Star Trek battle simulation, there is no better time than now with Starfleet Academy from Interplay. When you begin the game you enter Starfleet as a new recruit all too ready to "Boldly go where no one has gone before." You are assigned a crew and you soon begin your two year stay at Starfleet. Your missions are a wide variety letting you explore all the functions of your ship while in your realistic simulator. The game looks and feels more like the original Star Trek television show and movies. Starfleet Academy uses three original cast members in new footage shot especially for this game. William Shatner, Walter Koenig, and George Takie come to the screen to portray their world renowned characters: Captain Kirk, Commander Checkov, and Captain Sulu for the first time in any Star Trek computer game. Captain Sulu, for the majority of the game, is your main advisor while in the academy. Also included in the game is music from the award-winning composer of dozens of Stark Trek episodes. It is very reminiscent of the Star Trek episodes of the past. This really makes this game a must-buy for any Trekker. It is almost like an interactive movie! All of the commands of a captain are at your fingertips. Your crew manage to keep their part of the ship running but it is your job to make sure everything works together. You can alter variables, relocate power supplies, soar into warp, and control your weapons from each of the four stations. Most of your controls are accessed at your captain's chair while in battle. Your scanners, photon torpedoes, phasers, and almost all of your other controls needed are on your keyboard and joystick/mouse. The controls are simple to use and in the earlier missions you are given instructions by your superiors at the simulated space stations. While in battle or in space, you can see all of the terrific ships in the game that are available to you. Four federation ships and thirty alien vessels are available to you. They are shaded by real time color light sourcing and translucent textured mapping. The result is phenomenal. The ships look distinctive and fly through space just as they do in the Star Trek movies. The graphics are very advanced and the explosions are everything a Star Trek fan could hope for. If you feel the need to, you can always create your own missions that could lead to a number of different outcomes and explosions. Battles can be waged against a slew of Klingon ships or a small group of Romulan heavy cruisers. You can also play as an alien ship trying to destroy a federation ship. If you are still looking for more of a challenge, you can play multiplayer with a modem, serial link, or network. This is definitely more challenging because other players have techniques and strategies that the computer will not. Since this is the first and only Star Trek battle simulation, I have to suggest this game to Star Trek fans. The original cast and music will bring a sense of nostalgia to childhood watchers. Other fans of movies or the new string of television shows should also appreciate this game. Starfleet Academy is not just a game for Star Trek fans though. Anyone that likes battle simulations or wants a new way to beat their friends in multiplayer battles will find this game to be a fun way of doing it. If you or someone you know is a Trekker, maybe now isn't a bad time to beat the rush on Christmas presents with Starfleet Academy from Interplay. 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 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at Twelve (12) 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 or Word Perfect format. Do NOT, under any circumstances, use the space bar. z Most of all.. PLEASE! 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 New Times Roman 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. I might add however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber both PDF and ascii. HTML is now under consideration. We'll keep you posted. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org STReport International Online Magazine Ignorance Abounds STR Spotlight Windows 98; target of Jaded and Misguided baloney! Windows 98: "The Real Deal" By Ralph F. Mariano One can understand, at times, why certain of the "controversial" or, "Limbaugh wannabe" writers in the Computing Community are ever so busy taking all sorts of goofy pot shots at Windows 98. What this reporter finds mind boggling is the number of "mindless sheep" or, I guess overly intimidated DOS babies, that are doing so. The sad part is that BOTH the so-called professional writers and the mislead "sheep" are hammering away at faults that are NOT evident in Windows 98 at all. What does this all mean to you and I? To me the hysterical, blathering "outbursts" of the pro's means they are grabbing at uninformed straws or, they have little or nothing of real substance. Its a shame because if. they spent half the energy they blow tilting at wind mills on creating informative articles the users/readers would, no doubt, benefit. After doing some checking, I found that many of these pros already have BETA copies of Windows98. Yet, they continue to bad-mouth the product. Why? I think it all boils down to a foaming, raving jealousy of the success of MS, Bill Gates and all the talented folks at MS. To these pro writers I say; They should not only feel guilty in accepting paychecks for acting like the south end of a north bound mule they should openly apologize to the users/readers for spewing forth such trash. Then comes the "highly informed" users who seemingly "chime" right in with all the phony double talk. What's up with that? It could be a number of things. One of which I feel is the primary reason. A few short years ago, these folks were the computer club's guru, the neighborhood computer whiz, the boss's favorite. Simply put, because he kept the Boss from looking like a turkey when using a computer. Today however, with the ease and simplicity of using Windows 95 and its successors, these "dinosaurs" are almost extinct. You can hear their faint roar in the distance though.. "I'll take DOS anytime over Windows.." I hear it every day as someone else in the office calls our consulting firm for help because they were given a "bum steer" by the "long time" office guru. But now, since that noise is heard so often and most already know it's a bleat denoting insecurity and fear of failure, these "dinos" are now trying to bad-mouth Windows in all its flavors. including NT! In reality, Windows 98 is a veritable LEAP and then some.. ahead of 95 and light years ahead of all the contenders. Of course, part of this is due to the fact that its becoming more and more "NT" with every new build. Its faster, more efficient, absolutely more fun to use and so much more stable. As an example. have you ever had a totally "green", (neophyte if you will), do an install of Windows over say. Win 3.1, WFWG 3.11 or, Windows 95? I mean a person totally unfamiliar with a computer. As a test of ease use and user interface, I did. This person walked away from the computer with a look of confidence that Windows 98 would be easy and fun to use. Three hours later, she was convinced. I tried the same thing with a DOS baby. I STILL hear the grumbling echoing in the halls, the restroom and the parking garage. They'll learn one day, the hard way. By that I mean; when the mailroom clerk who is proficient at using Windows 98, from at home recreational use, blazes past Old, DOS baby up the corporate ladder. Leaving the moaning "dino" in the dust. These "Dinos" have yet to learn the applause for DOS is long dead. Windows 98 is everything positive. From fat32 to all the perfectly working self correction and optimization routines. Everything about Windows 98 is screaming one important message.. You need it. I've left it running on one of our servers for well over two weeks without a re-boot and its still up running rock solid. As for the professional columnists and DOS babies. once Windows 98 is in release they'll all be busy learning new recipes on preparing Crow. Take it from me. you WANT Windows 98. It is a "must have." From the Windows 3.1 crowd all the way up those using the latest Windows SR2 950b with FAT 32. you want Windows 98. Yes, I do speak from experience. Yes, I am running Windows 98. the latest beta build (legitimately I might add) and the ultimate best I can say about this incarnation is.. YES! Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson email@example.com >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" I'm going to try to keep it very brief this week. For longtime Atarians, it's a time for "mourning" this week. The other shoe finally dropped a few days ago - the Atari Forums on CompuServe have officially closed down! It's a real shame, and a momentous loss for the Atari community. While Atari support has shifted to the Computer Club Forum (thanks folks!), it cannot possibly be the same. Ron Luks and company put a lot of years into the Atari Forums; and the memories will linger for a long time to come. To those folks, and the members over the years, I can only say THANK YOU! On another disheartening note, I keep getting e-mail in reference to my recent mentions on piracy on the Internet. More specifically, blatant piracy of Atari software. It's bad enough that people such as the alleged Pompey Pirates conducted their activities while Atari computing was quite active. But now that there are no excuses such as high prices, try before you buy, no dealers near me, and who knows what else they came up with to rationalize their acts - it's become a new variety of excuses such as "preserving" the software because original disks go bad and many titles are hard to come by these days. Bull. One of the reasons for this "new" resurgence of piracy is that Atari emulation has improved and become affordable. Former Atari users, and likely continuing users, who now have PCs are renewing their interest in Atari software. What better way to enable users to find their old favorite Atari titles but on the Internet! No fuss trying to find a dealer. No problems making online trades/sales/purchases on the Usenet. No digging through those boxes stashed away in the basement or garage. Hey, just do some web browsing. One of the more recent messages forwarded to me related how these people were anticipating my article. I'll be more than happy to oblige them, but not in the manner that they're hoping. No publicizing of their site with specific web addresses - why would they even think I'd give them free advertising? If people like those suggested as the Pompey Pirates and their "ilk" want publicity, let them advertise their sites openly and draw even more attention to themselves. Meanwhile, I'll continue to work on this article in the hopes that it might do something in a proactive light. Until next time... Atari Forums Close Down On CompuServe! News Flash: The Atari Gaming Forum is now closed. An Atari Gaming Section and library have been established in the Video Gaming Central Forum. GO VGCENTRAL to access that forum. It's been a great ride! Ron Luks Founding Sysop, Atari Forums on CompuServe 76703,254 News Flash: THE ATARI COMPUTING FORUM IS NOW CLOSED. The last message was posted today, and since I posted the very first message when this forum opened, I felt that I should post the very last one. (Note--Kevin, you were the runner up). The folks in the Computer Club Forum (GO CLUB) have opened up message sections for Atari 8-bit and 16-bit computing discussions. Please support this effort. To all my friends and colleagues and all the members who participated in the Atari Forums over the years on CompuServe, my best regards and warm wishes and a very sincere thank you for all your efforts. It was a wild ride! Ron Luks Founder and former manager Atari Forums on CompuServe 76703,254 October 15, 1997 JTS Expands Champion Family of Hard Disk Drives 4.3GB and Increasing Cache to 512KB New Drives Optimize MIG Head Technology Resulting in 1.7GB Per Platter SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- JTS Corp. (Amex: JTS), a world leader in the development of hard disk technology, today expanded its Champion family of 3.5" hard disk drives for the performance desktop PC market. The Champion family now offers drives with capacities of 4.3 gigabytes (GBs) and 3.2 gigabytes (GBs). The new drives feature increased cache of 512KB, MTBF of 500,000 hours, access times as fast as 11 milliseconds, and rotation speeds of 5400 RPM, providing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with a wide selection of high-performance, high-capacity drives. Advanced JTS engineering enables Champion drives to reach 1.7GB/platter using MIG heads. To reach similar densities, competitive products have been forced to move to more expensive MR technology. By optimizing MIG technology, JTS is able to offer its Champion hard disk drives at a significant savings per platter. "JTS is ramping production to meet anticipated demand for these high-quality, low-cost, performance products at the industry's most popular capacity points," said Tom Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of JTS Corp. "With recent OEM agreements and qualification of our Madras factory by several top-tier PC manufacturers, JTS is positioning itself for aggressive market expansion." "In the hard disk drive marketplace, the name of the game is quality, low cost, and time to market. These drives allow JTS to offer mainstream capacity points with very low cost component technology," said Crawford Del Prete, vice president, IDC Storage Research. The Champion family offers an advanced PRML read channel and Fast-ATA-3 performance, allowing for transfer rates of 16.6MB/sec. Ultra DMA will be phased in by late November 1997 which will double transfer rates from 16.6MB/sec to 33MB/sec. The drives incorporate advanced triple burst on-the-fly Error Correction Code (ECC) to increase data integrity at high throughput rates. They also feature embedded servo to eliminate the need for thermal recalibration and allow continuous throughput of data, making them ideal for MMX and multimedia applications, while the low acoustics provide whisper-quiet operation. JTS' unique encapsulation technology locks in quality and protects against handling and electrostatic discharge (ESD) damage. Industry-wide statistics reveal one-third of all units arriving DOA failed due to shock and mishandling. With JTS technology, drive reliability is significantly improved and the risk of damage during installation is minimized. In addition, the encapsulation reduces ESD resulting in an industry-leading MTBF of 500,000 hours. The Champion family incorporates an advanced Adaptec chipset for more powerful ECC capability and overall improved throughput. The Champion family of hard disk drives will be available through JTS' OEMs and worldwide network of distributors. OEM evaluation units of the 4.3GB are currently available for $199. Gaming Section More "Zero 5"!! "NBA '98"!! "F1 '97"! Professional Gamers?! The 'Yak'! And much more! >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! Professional online game-players??? What will they think of next? After reading this article, I'm left speechless! Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Pro Game Players League Debuts Advanced Micro Devices says it will sponsor the AMD Professional Gamers League, the first professional league for competitive online computer game players. The inaugural AMD PGL season will begin on Nov. 3 with a qualifying match in San Francisco at 3COM Park at Candlestick Point. The chipmaker notes that the AMD PGL will be a fully-structured professional league with star players, individual and team competition, referees, spectators, sponsors and endorsements. A governing board and a commissioner will be introduced at the launch event. Co-sponsors include Total Entertainment Network and Ziff-Davis. "The AMD PGL is an ideal venue for AMD to showcase its AMD-K6 MMX enhanced processor," says Dana Krelle, director of marketing for AMD's computation products group. "The computer gaming enthusiast is a power user who demands high performance, reliability and compatibility from his or her PC. Just as we are committed to providing the consumer the best performance for the price, AMD is also committed to provide the best platform for computer gaming, both now and in the future." Offering more than $250,000 in cash and prizes in its first year, the AMD PGL will feature two game categories: Action, represented by id Software's "Quake," and Strategy, represented by Westwood Studio's "Command & Conquer: Red Alert." Additional games and game genres will be added in the second and subsequent seasons, says AMD. More details are available on the AMD PGL Web site, located at http://www.pgl.net. Midway Home Entertainment Announces Official New Title CORSICANA, TEXAS (Oct. 16) BUSINESS WIRE - Oct. 16, 1997 - Previously announced under the working title of NBA Hardwood Heroes, NBA FastBreak '98 to hit retail in December 1997 exclusively for the Sony PlayStation The fastest way into the NBA! Midway Home Entertainment announced today that the official title of the company's first full simulation, NBA licensed basketball home video game for the Sony PlayStation will be NBA FastBreak '98. Previously announced under the working title of NBA Hardwood Heroes, NBA FastBreak '98 is scheduled to hit retail shelves in early December, 1997. The announcement was made by Paula Cook, Director of Marketing for Midway Home Entertainment. NBA FastBreak '98 is the most realistic, full-motion 5-on-5 sim you'll ever play. The pure number of dunks, shots and over-the-top exciting moves incorporated into NBA FastBreak '98 exceeds that found in any other existing video game! Midway has included the NBA's hottest players and the most exciting on-court moves, allowing game players to call the shots: use Oakley's rebound or O'Neal's power dunk; make Stockton shut down Kerr; have Hill take it to the hole and Hardaway shoot the three! There's only one way to play a more realistic game of basketball -- get drafted into the NBA. Officially licensed by the NBA, NBA FastBreak '98 boasts all the rules, features and characteristics of a real NBA basketball game and season! Offering game play engineered with motion driven physics, motion capture video and animation blending, plus outstanding CD quality digitized sound effects, commentary and music, NBA FastBreak '98 utilizes the spectacular capabilities of the Sony PlayStation to the max. The NBA FastBreak '98 development team, Visual Concepts, has equipped the game with a wide variety of special player animations never-before-seen in any other basketball video game! Boasting signature moves for key players, ambient stands so realistic that players on the video game court -- awaiting a foul shot or preparing to enter the game -- appear totally natural and life-like, as well as special celebration and contact animations, NBA FastBreak '98 provides the ultimate fast, furious and future-forward sports game experience. And for the first time ever in a basketball video game, NBA FastBreak '98 features side and back movement on both defense and offense, rebounding and blocking based on player height and ability, non-ball handler modes, boxing out moves, call for pick options, and actual plays utilized by NBA teams. With all 29 NBA teams included, as well as their logos, uniforms and home courts, NBA FastBreak '98 presents gamers with the opportunity to play ball as real NBA players. The game also allows for many professional transactions including trades and the option to release a player. To top it all off, this exciting new title features a create-a-player mode that invites gamers to custom-design players with the exact characteristics and capabilities they desire. NBA FastBreak '98 lets players take to the court in fully customizable singular preseason games or play a complete season that corresponds with the actual NBA schedule. Gamers can also hone their dribbling, passing, shooting, and dunking skills -- just like the pros -- in a unique practice mode that allows players to work on perfecting any aspect of their game. To further enhance the realism of a true NBA game play experience, NBA FastBreak '98 includes a variety of other awesome options and features such as auto action replay capabilities, full player and team statistic tracking modes, and an exciting new "On-the-Fly" play calling system which lets players use actual plays from actual NBA teams. According to Cook, "NBA FastBreak '98 delivers an unparalleled basketball simulation video game play experience. This title truly captures the essence, energy, and excitement of a live NBA game!" Activision Names BradyGAMES as Official Strategy Guide Publisher INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- BradyGAMES today announced its agreement to partner with entertainment software developer and publisher Activision, Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, BradyGAMES has the option to exclusively publish up to 11 strategy guides based on Activision games that will be released in the next year. BradyGAMES is an imprint of Macmillan Digital Publishing USA (MDP). "BradyGAMES and Activision have collaborated on titles since 1994," stated Bobby Kotick, Chairman and CEO, Activision, Inc. "Building on last year's tremendous success of the 'Official Zork Nemesis Strategy Guide' and the 'Official Guide to Spycraft: The Great Game,' we are pleased that Brady's expert authors will share their winning strategies for several of our upcoming games." "As we continue to forge strategic alliances with leaders in the game industry, we look forward to committing Brady resources to meet Activision's aggressive publishing plan," stated Lynn Zingraf, Publisher, BradyGAMES. "Activision has a very strong line up of products coming out over the next year, and we are delighted that Activision has chosen us to deliver hints and strategies to their growing customer base." BradyGAMES will publish strategy guides for Activision's PC games including "Dark Reign: The Future of War," "Zork Grand Inquisitor" and "Heavy Gear." In addition, Brady will also publish strategy guides for Activision's Sony PlayStation console games. For the latest software from Macmillan Digital Publishing USA, visit http://www.macsoftware.com. For the last demos, hints and cheats, visit BradyGAMES at http://www.bradygames.com. THQ Furthers Publishing Relationship with Disney CALABASAS, CALIF. (Oct. 13) BUSINESS WIRE - Oct. 13, 1997 - THQ Inc. (Nasdaq/NMS:THQI) Monday announced that it is continuing its long-standing relationship with Disney Interactive to include developing and publishing two new Nintendo Game Boy games in 1998 based on Disney's upcoming animated features "Mulan" and "A Bug's Life." In addition, THQ will publish and develop a third Game Boy title to be announced at a later date. "Mulan," based on Disney's summer animated feature film of the same name, is slated for release in the second quarter of 1998. THQ intends to deliver "A Bug's Life" in conjunction with Disney's upcoming Pixar motion picture in the fourth quarter of 1998. "THQ is pleased to watch our relationship with Disney grow," said Brian Farrell, president and chief executive officer of THQ. "Based on the continued strength of the Nintendo Game Boy market, THQ is happy to provide these premium titles to the millions of devoted fans eager for the hottest titles on their video-game systems." Racing Car Game Release Stalled OCT 15, 1997, M2 Communications - Psygnosis' F1'97 racing car game for the Sony PlayStation is facing a release delay. According to CTW, Psygnosis has found itself involved in a licencing dispute with Formula One Administration Ltd, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile and merchandising firm, Giss. Psygnosis is alleged to have used the FIA logo, drivers' names and known teams and circuits in the game without permission. More "Zero 5" Comments Zero-5, the 5th Jaguar-saving game in the last year is out, and it's got a lot of things going for it. Opinions on the game seem to be a bit varied but I'll go ahead and throw mine out there :) The graphics of this title are composed of 256 color, shaded and texture mapped polygons. Don't let the 256 colors fool you, it does a great job of looking more than it actually is. When you first pop this cart in, the graphics are going to jump out at you. Considering all other Jaguar polygon games, Zero-5 sports a very high poly count and framerate. This makes the game look far more "Next-Gen" than other attempts. As I started to move my ship around I was taken back by the smooth movement and nifty 3D effect that the intelligent camera created. The graphics are incredibly 3D looking even though the gameplay isn't entirely 3 dimensional (I'll get to that later). A lot of extra time went into the mission intros/endings and explosions, and these kinds of things really push the visuals over the top. The explosions are very powerful. Big polygonal chunks blast off from the terminated craft in many directions. The insides of the chunks flash red, yellow and orange colors. As these break off, multiple red pixel-shatter-like rings expand and animate from the center of the explosion. As the rings of fire fade, it creates a smokey-looking effect. In the HitPak Gunner mode (turret like mode), if you don't hit the center of the enemies, you'll blow away various parts of their craft. If you shoot the front end of a Stinger craft, the nose of the ship will explode leaving inner parts of it exposed. You can see wires and sparks on the front of the ship now! This is a very awesome effect. Now to those intros that I was talking about :) before each mission you see different scenes to set up what's about to happen. The Hit-Pak will be flying though space and it'll open up and out comes the Bam-Bam fighter complete with a voice saying, "Launch sequence initiated." Or else the Hit-Pak will be cruising though space and some bad guys will arrive at the scene just before the voice says, "Take control." It's extra touches like these that make a game stand out above others. The sound is covered very well. There are 4 techno tunes that play throughout the game. The all have very nice drum loops and techno rhythms, but lack a little bit of the melody of a T2K or D2K tune. Still, while some of the top music in a Jag game, just not topping Imagitec's masterpieces. On the upside, the tunes are nice and long. You won't be getting any short repetitious tunage :) The sound effects are quite cool! The explosion sounds in the Hit-Pak gunner sequences have a nice little bit of bass in them. the sound of your ship getting hit is very fitting as well. There are sound effects where they need to be, and they are all nicely tweaked. The voicing is a big plus as well! There is also a bass/treble slider and some pre-set equalizer settings. I think the gameplay is some of the best on any Jag game. There are 3 different modes of play that cycle throughout the game, and near the end you get combination missions. The missions are: Bam-Bam (in the small fighter alone in space), Hit-Pak gunner (turret/Missile Command 3D), and Trench sequence (ala Star Wars).... The Bam-Bam mode is the one that comes up first. This one has some control that will be tough to grasp at first. This mode is 3D, but not fully 3D. You're in the center of the screen and enemies will fly all around you. You can turn side to side, up to down, shoot towards or away from the screen, or even roll right or left. You can't fly away from the enemies, and you can't dodge enemy fire. You have to do the best to protect yourself by learning the patterns of the enemies and shooting their bullets down before they hit your ship. The effect is truly amazing. There is a part on level one where you're in the center and guys keep popping up one-by-one counter-clockwise all around you. This is where you really get an idea of what's going on. Shoot an entire pack of guys and you'll receive a power-up. Now, what you do with this power-up is up to you. You can select gun upgrade, shield repair or points. You also start each level off with 3 super lasers. Push this button and you're invincible while your laser automatically attaches to ships around you. The Hit-Pak gunner mode puts you in control of a turret. You have a 360 degree playfield where you rotate the gun right or left to locate enemies. You have a choice of a fast or slow target cursor. I usually keep it on the fast one unless I need some heavy fine tuning against a boss. Your shields aren't just one bar, they're based upon the damage you've received from around your ship. So if your south/east side shields are critical, you'll want to protect that side over the other areas. In this mode, you'll also face asteroid belts and big bosses. This mode has a bit of slowdown in it when there are multiple explosions going on. The gameplay doesn't seem to suffer from this very much though. The trench sequences require a lot of memorization to complete. You're flying though the core of an enemy starship. There are walls that you can blast though, and wall that are indestructible. You'll have to roll your ship around in a circular motion to avoid the unbreakable walls. Imagine the T2K green path bonuses with barricades you have to dodge. This mode looks really cool and is hyper fast! Don't expect to beat it the first time because it takes a lot of practice. This mode has some noticeable slowdown at times....mostly in the texture filled places. There are 15 missions in the game, and the levels go in 3's....so with every new level, you'll face new enemies with harder attack patterns and stronger weapons. Whenever you finish a level, the next is unlocked for you to play. The main problem is that you only face 4-5 enemy types in each level (with exception of the last level)....They could have mixed it up a little more to keep things a bit more interesting. The turret levels are the best examples of this. Some missions you'll face Stinger after Stinger or Scorpio after Scorpio. This is the biggest thing that I consider to be wrong with Zero-5. A lot of people have complained about the lack of autofire. To tell you the truth, I like pounding away on the controller as fast as I can. It gives me a feeling of arcade action and a blood pumping adrenaline rush :) Just holding the button down would just take the fun out of it. The difficulty of the game is going to be a bit steep for little kids or people who just aren't very good at staying with a tough game. It has quite a steep learning curve, but this is the type of game that psychos such as I crave! A challenge that just won't stop until you've gotten it near perfect. Some of the later levels require you to do close to *flawless* for the entire duration of the level (15-20 minutes long).....this is beatable, but it's not going to come easy....and that's how I like it. Very little margin for error :) I played the game up to level 15 on the Cadet difficulty setting, but I *had* to put it on Novice mode to finish it off (shame on me!).....I'm working on finishing it on Cadet, but it's near impossible I tell ya! You have to shoot the boss for 10 minutes straight.... Z5 didn't get a lot of hype...and that's one of the reasons I think I'm so impressed with it. It was kind of a sleeper hit if you know what I mean. Many people may disagree, but I say that Zero-5 is one of the best Jag games there is. I'd definitely rank it in the top 5. Don't get me wrong, Battle Sphere will be the best space shooter on the Jag (I've played it, of course).....but is it so wrong for the Jag to have another space game with some ultra fun-factor and a sweet next-gen look to it? Not at all. Graphics-9 1/2 Jag games don't come with this high of a poly count and a high framerate often. The texture mapping that is scattered around in the game is done in very good taste. Sound/Music-9 Great tunes and sound effect....a tune or two more would've really been awesome though. Control-8 1/2 A bit steep at first, but with some practice you'll be able to flip around and pinpoint enemies very quickly. Power-9 1/2 This game really takes advantage of the what polygonal power the Jaguar has, and it does it while maintaining a smooth and ultra playable framerate. Fun Factor-10 One of the funnest Jag games I've ever played. A straight up, in your face, action space shooter with some great tunes and tough missions. Overall-93% by Wes Powell ____________________________________________________________________ If you'd like to see screenshots of the game or hear some sound clips, visit Jagu-Dome in the signature below! Take it easy, Wes -- Maintainer of the Atari Jaguar page, \Jagu-Dome/ http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Park/4106/jagu-dome.html Jaguar Online STR InfoFile - Online Users Growl & Purr! Here is a post that Jeff Minter left on his web page a little while back. Seems that he is working on Project X. :) It's good to see that he's busy. -LT --- Beyond Finally, the time has come. You establish communications with the Artifact and download instructions.Finally you prepare to utter the execute command that will, hopefully, give you your first glimpse of an exotic new world... You cross every crossable portion of your anatomy, say a prayer to Turing and Babbage, and type the final command: > GOAT And, with that pleasantly caprine invocation: [blink] Wisps of cloud forming in a blue sky, tinged with impossibly psychedelic colours [blink] Distant sunrise in alien skies [blink] Boiling turbulence in the atmosphere of a gas giant [blink] Fur [blink] Flight over a receding plain of liquid metal pyramids [blink] Underwater sunlight [blink] Cerebral cortex surface... writhing... [blink] Rain falling on watercolours [blink] Sinister green organic-looking entity that oozes and moves around in a mildly disturbing manner [blink] Little Fluffy Clouds [blink] Chicken Vindaloo (err... no, not actually that last one. I missed my curry this Thursday, and I am starting to suffer spicy Indian culinary hallucinations). And, in every case, the images move gently, flowing like liquid light.. and as you had anticipated, there are no pixels... but you never quite anticipated just how beautiful they would be, or quite how they would manage to move like that... hehe... So that's basically where I have been spending my days, of late - beginning to explore incredible new spaces, and the possibilities just stagger me... I remember when I was developing T2K on the Jaguar, how I came up with that one feedback effect that proved to be so cool, and I thought how one could spend years just exploring the possibilities of that one effect... Just recently, I have been coming across effects of that magnitude almost every day. And I have only just barely begun to lightly tickle the surface of what this thing can do. My chin is bruised from the number of times that my jaw has hit the floor. The potential for algorithmic graphics on this thing is just mind-melting. I kinda knew what I was expecting, but this goes way, way beyond. Talk about machines of loving grace... X is beautiful. Just beautiful. Oh boy, are you guys gonna love this. You want psychedelic? Hey, I got yer psychedelic right here... :-) About Linux Compiled by Scott Dowdle Linux is the cooperatively developed POSIX-oriented, multi-user, multi-tasking operating system used worldwide in commercial, academic, and development sectors. Linux is used as a low-cost, fully functional Unix workstation for Internet server and other applications. Linux users are estimated at five million strong and growing. Red Hat Linux is maintained as "freely distributable" software, available from many sites on the internet. About Red Hat Software, Inc. Red Hat Software, Inc., located in Durham, NC, is a Linux distribution dedicated to pushing the Linux operating system forward, while giving back to the Linux community. They build and maintain the Red Hat Linux distribution for Intel, Alpha, and SPARC platforms. Red Hat also publishes and maintains industry standard commercial applications for Linux including OSF Motif, CDE, and the Applixware Office Suite. About Crack dot Com Crack dot Com is a small game development company located in Austin, Texas. The company was incorporated in 1996 by Dave Taylor, who is part of the team that made Doom and Quake, and Jonathan Clark, author of Abuse. Crack dot Com's web site is located at . For more information on Golgotha, check out the Golgotha section of Crack dot com's website at For the most current information, see "It's Golgotha Dammit", at . * Doom, Quake, and id Software are trademarks of id Software, Inc. Abuse, Golgotha, and Crack dot Com are trademarks of Crack dot Com, Inc. RED HAT is a trademark of Red Hat Software, Inc. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING Compiled by Joe Mirando firstname.lastname@example.org Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Another week has come and gone and it's time to look at what other Atarians are talking about online. I know that many of you will be surprised to find out that I haven't got a soapbox to stand on this week. Usually I spend the first several paragraphs of this column beating you over the head with my latest crusade or faulty thought process. Well, that's not the case this week. I'm afraid that I haven't got anything rattling around in my brain that needs getting out and airing in the light of day (or the light of a computer monitor, as the case may be). We've got CompuServe getting ready to provide access to their forums via the internet (something that Delphi has been doing for a while now), PC computer prices falling, chip manufacturers saying they've found a way to make processor chips run faster and cooler, and Internet Service Providers merging and expanding all over the place. All in all, not a lot for me to complain about.... Maybe next week. <grin> We took a look at the messages on Delphi last time, so this time we'll look at what's floating around on the UseNet... >From the COMP.SYS.ATARI.ST NewsGroup Jo Even Skarstein posts: "I've just bought a HP Deskjet 670C, which works very well with NVDI's Deskjet 550C driver. I want to use the 600dpi mode as well, and wondered if anybody has made such a driver, or know where I can get one. Given the proper documentation I can easily make one myself, but it looks like HP doesn't like to give away this info..." Malcolm (Cookie) Cooke tells Jo: "With the print driver editor for nvdi look at the laserjet printer the commands as very close build a new one and try it out or look at the print drivers in Papyrus v4 or 5 these have the deskjet printer 670c i think and you can see the commands there! Hope this helps." Boris Cahan adds his thoughts: "I just got a 672C myself, and the 550C driver works just fine with it. If you want, you can get the PCL codes from their web-site http://www.hp.com/go/peripherals, but unless you KNOW PCL, forget it. And I mean REALLY KNOW! Just set up your paper size properly, and the rest is easy. On the control codes page, Iin the start page command line is a ESC (*t300R) line make that ...t600... and change any other lines that have 300 to 600. Using makeprn.prg, you can copy the 300 dpi to a new entry, then rename the new entry to 600 DPI. CAUTION! If the 670 is the same as the 672, color is only 300 x 300, so make sure in the color page that you set it to B/W. The F HP manual says use the 550C driver! The problem is not that they don't want to, it's just that the Techs on the phone lines, and the ones who wrote the manual, think that the only computer is The PeeWee! Tell them its an Atari, they sound dumb and say "we don't support that"! IF you persist and spend 10 hrs or so trying to find an intelligent tech, you can actually get some real help. But at long distance toll rates." Martin-Eric Racine asks for help with GhostScript, the PostScript/Adobe Acrobat reader: "How does it work??? I unpacked the basic package (gs315.zoo I think), and every time CAB passes it a .PDF file, GS gives me an error message, saying it cannot locate some of its config files?!! What is the black magical spell one must recite when installing it? There was no ReadMe with this archive." Jo Even Skarstein tells Martin: "I never got GhostScript 3.33 to work either, it always complained about missing configuration-files. Somebody mentioned that a newer version would be better, but I haven't needed GS since then (trying to print out some pages of the Atari Compendium) so I haven't bothered downloading the latest version. Atari GhostScript has a dedicated web-site, I don't remember the URL but a quick search should locate it." "Mike" asks for help for a friend: "Hello Atari Users, I am an IBM user that would like to setup a friend on the net who has an Atari ST. I see alot of software like STING that looks like what I need. I see its compressed by mathods like LHARC or ZOO. I am familiar with the IBM versions of these. what do I need to get to be able to install an archiver like LHARC on my friends Atari? If I have no archiver yet, what do I need to get to install it, and where can I download it ?" William Pike tells Mike: "There are Atari versions of LHArc, Zoo,Zip,ARC, and sever other programs that are directly compatable with the versions for other systems. They should be available from any Atari Archive." Boris Cahan adds: "There are several atari sites that are still good. The ftp.umich.atari (? I am not sure if this is the right adress??) site has a file called starter.tos at the end of its directory, that has a bunch of simple archivers, of several styles. Get it with FTP, copy it to a dos 720K disk, and load it into his ST. It'll read OK. Then run it, and it is a self-extracting archive itself. That'll get him started, till he gets more full featured archivers." Neil Bradley posts: " I have a couple of Degas (pi1) files that I want to print out on a HP Deskjet 500. As I can't find a printer driver for the printer, I was hoping I could find a program that will convert the file to .gif so I can print it out using my PC. Suggestions as to programs (with URL to go to) will be appreciated." David De Ridder tells Neil: "You can print it with DMC Calamus, which is a very wide-spread commercial DTP package for the Atari. If you want to convert your PI1 to GIF, you could use Speed-of-Light (shareware) or if you also want to convert to other PC formats (like BMP), you should try GEMview (shareware). I don't have any exact web locations for these but you should try: ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/atari or http://www.hensa.ac.uk (which has a restricted access)" Peter Rottengatter, the author of STinG, the ST Next Generation TCP/IP software, posts: "The PPP code in STinG contained a couple of bad bugs, which I just fixed. So you might want to try again in a few days when the new code is available." Daniel Cohen tells Peter: "Interesting. STinG seemed to work for me OK using PP. Mind you, as I'm setting up a system for a friend (I use MagicMac, so Web browsing is done on the Mac side), I haven;t used it much yet. Still, I had no troubles with Ping, Traceroute (which I tried just to see how the connection worked), and the demo of Cab 2.0." On the subject of "The Year 2000 Bug", Mario Becroft tells us: "I don't think it will be as serious as you might think. I set my date to a year past 2000, and all the software I tried seemed to work fine. I didn't look into it in detail, however, I just tried it out for half an hour or so. There definitely will be problems, but I hope they won't be very serious." Gaven Miller goes into a bit more detail: "My TT with TOS 3.05 seems OK to 2033 (2033 has some significance to me, and I haven't tried any later date) Marios TT (with TOS 3.06) should behave similarly to mine in this regard I cannot comment about earlier/later TOS versions however (the only other ST I own [TOS 1.02 Mega ST] has been sitting in its box unused for the last few years and unpacking it will prove difficult). TOS has a function call that programmers use to get or set the date. This is done via a sixteen bit number into which is encoded the date. This sixteen bit number conains a seven bit number that TOS uses to denote the year. (The remaining nine bits are used to encode the month [four bits] and day [five bits]) This seven bit number can store either 1) 0 to 127 or 2) -64 to 63. These values are seen by TOS as offsets from 1980. Therefore the date range is either 1) 1980 to 2107 or 2) 1916 to 2043." Christopher Kmiec asks for help in finding an assembler: "I'm looking for an assembler for the ST. If I remember correctly, the beast one was DevPac3. Can anyone tell me where can I buy/get a copy of it? Also, are there any PD assemblers out there?" Dave Forrai tells him: "Yes, DevPak was/is considered the best. It was also the most expensive. There was a shareware one named TurboAss that was supposed to be pretty good. I used AssemPro and GFA Assembler. AssemPro had some really nice features (eg. reassembly) but unfortunately a little buggy. It would have been great if an AssemPro v2 had been released to clean it up a bit. Still, it was/is a decent assembler for building programs. GFA Assembler had less bugs but not as many features as AssemPro. Like all GFA products, it tended to be a bit quirky in its interface. Another plus for GFA is that it produces C object code. Unfortunately, it only generated the Alcyon format. I got a copy of GFA Assembler off a UK magazine. I don't remember what issue but perhaps someone has a copy to sell." David Leaver tells Chris and the other Dave: "I use both DevPac and Assempro. The latter is 68000 only, no fpu stuff. DevPac covers 68030 and 68881/2. Unfortunately they recognise different source codes (such as local labels, macros) The debuggers in both won't work under NVDI." Ross Purves asks: "Does anybody know if there are any cannon bj10e fonts to download on the net - I am sick of sans serif and co!!!" Mark Burmeister tells Ross: "Unless you have software that can print soft fonts in graphics mode, you won't be able to add any more to the BJ10e. The BJ10ex did add a Roman font and a few others I think. I own one of each. The BJ200 has all of the Epson fonts, so it can do a script font as well as Roman, sans-seriff and some others. Some Atari software may be able to print out different fonts on the BJ10 by using it in graphics mode, but I'm not aware of it." Hallvard Tangerass tells Ross and Mark: "Talking about the BJ-10(e/ex)... I have the BJ-10ex and I've spent a lot of time trying to configure it. I've finally got it to print in Papyrus using it's own driver, but NVDI is a bit more problematic. I have now managed to edit the driver for both 180 and 360 dpi. The only problem seems to be that in 360dpi mode an additonal formfeed is made, so that another paper is drawn into the printer (from the sheetfeeder). I don't want this! I want it to stop after 1 printing the current page (works fine in 180dpi mode as it stops shortly after the paper is drawn all the way through. My printer is set in BJ-130 emulation/mode 1/2 (DIP switch 10=ON, 11=OFF) as this was what I experienced to work best. As an answer to your question about Speedo fonts... You need NVDI for this (or some other GDOS replacement) -forget about the old and bulky original GDOS -it's plain rubbish!! And I don't think it ever supported vector fonts. I also want to recommend an excellent printout program -"Idealist" (currently at version 3.80 I think). I've managed to make a pretty decent printer driver for the BJ-10ex with proper character translations. I'm hoping to be able to get access to just about all the characters in the printer (regardless of character set mode it's set to with the DIP switches) -do any of you think this is possible and can give me some tips and pointers? It *seems* like it's possible, looking in the printer's manual and seeing the printer commands, but I wouldn't know how to use those commands properly.. But first of all, the problem with NVDI's driver in 360dpi mode -how do I stop it doing that extra form feed which feeds a new sheet from the sheet feeder?" Well folks, that's about it for this time around. Be sure to tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES Silence can be DEADLY. z They came first for the Communists...but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. z Then they came for the Jews...but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. z Then they came for the Unionists...but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Unionist. z Then they came for the Catholics...but I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. z Then they came for me...and by that time...there was no-one left to speak up for me. Rev. Martin Niemoller, commenting on events in Germany 1933-1939 STReport International Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM Every Week; OVER 250,000 Readers 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" October 17, 1997 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1341
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