ST Report: 8-Apr-94 #1015From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/12/94-09:45:21 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 8-Apr-94 #1015 Date: Tue Apr 12 09:45:21 1994 SILICON TIMES REPORT ==================== INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ============================= from STR Electronic Publishing Inc. April 08, 1994 No. 1015 ====================================================================== Silicon Times Report International Online Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 R.F. Mariano Publisher-Editor ----------------------------------------- Voice: 1-904-783-3319 10am-4pm EST STR Publishing Support BBS Network System * THE BOUNTY BBS * ITCNet 85:881/253 JAX HUB ~ FNET 350 ~ Nest 90:21/350 904-786-4176 MULTI-NODE 24hrs-7 days 2400-57.6 bps V.32-42 bis 16.8 USR Dual Standard FAX: 904-783-3319 12am-6am EST ----------------------------------------- Fido 1:374/147.3 The Bounty STR Support Central 1-904-786-4176 FNET. 620 : Leif's World ................1-904-573-0734 FNET. 690 : PASTE BBS....................1-206-284-8493 FNET. 489 : Steal Your Face BBS..........1-908-920-7981 MNET - Toad Hall BBS.....................1-617-567-8642 ______________________________________________________________________ > 04/08/94 STR 1015 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" """"""""""""""""" - CPU INDUSTRY REPORT - Ball Blazer Clone? - Power PC NEWS - CDRom Production UP - Peachtree Sold - WinCOMM PRO NEWS - Win-Dbase in Beta - Lotus ScreenCam Out - Edmark Parents Guide - WinFAX Pro 4.0 NEWS - SAFE FAX? - The Old Fishin' Hole -* Man's LIFE Saved by E-Mail! *- -* IBM Signs Deal with Stacker! *- -* Symantec, Central Point to Merge! *- ====================================================================== STReport International Online Magazine The Original * Independent * Online Magazine -* FEATURING WEEKLY *- "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ====================================================================== STReport's BBS - The Bounty BBS, invites all BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the ITC/PROWL/USENET/NEST/F-Net/Fido Mail Networks. You may also call The Bounty BBS direct @ 1-904-786-4176. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to c o m puters, worldwide, through the use of excellent International Networking Systems. SysOps, worldwide, are welcome to join the STReport International Conferences. ITC Node is 85:881/250, The Fido Node is 1:374/147.3, Crossnet Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is #620. All computer platforms BBS systems are welcome and invited to participate. ====================================================================== CIS ~ AOL ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ PROWL ~ ITC ~ NEST ~ EURONET ~ CIX USENET ~ USPOLNET ~ CLEVELAND FREE-NET ~ INTERNET ~ FNET ~ GENIE ====================================================================== COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME to the Readers of; STREPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY! CALL: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198 You will receive your complimentary time and be online in no time at all! "Enjoy CompuServe's forums; where information is at its very best! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""" STReport, through the years has introduced a number of fine people to the electronic publishing field. They began with STR and then decided to "spread their wings" and fly on their own. Some have done well, others well... they've gone on to other things entirely. This week we find that our MAC editor, Randy Noak, has discovered that the writing, compiling and gathering of tidbits for the readers every week is no "walk in the park". While with us, Randy did a bang up job and for that we give a hearty thank you. Now, let's all welcome Bob Dean who has agreed to "fill in" while we recruit a new editor for our MAC/Power PC section. Which reminds me, if you or, if you know of anyone that may be interested in doing so, tell them to get in touch with me. Spring Comdex... the electricity is already in the air. New hardware.. a good look at the Power PC units and the fabled "Pentium" silver streaks. The big story is going to be about the fabulous new software and all the hefty upgrades for the familiar titles. How sweet it is. Look for a "newcomer" to the DTP scene in the Windows NT arena real soon now... this newcomer is sure to come swaggering in the door with a great deal to offer and confidence to spare. A seasoned veteran for sure, but a new face none the less. Ralph.... """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's Staff DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! """""""""""""""" Publisher -Editor """""""""""""""""" Ralph F. Mariano Lloyd E. Pulley, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors """"""""""""""" PC SECTION AMIGA SECTION MAC SECTION ATARI SECTION ---------- ------------- ----------- ------------- R.D. Stevens R. Niles R. Dean D. P. Jacobson STReport Staff Editors: """"""""""""""""""""""" Dana P. Jacobson Michael Arthur John Deegan Lucien Oppler Brad Martin Judith Hamner John Szczepanik Dan Stidham Joseph Mirando Doyle Helms Frank Sereno John Duckworth Jeff Coe Steve Keipe Guillaume Brasseur Melanie Bell Jay Levy John Donohue Jeff Kovach Marty Mankins Carl Prehn Paul Charchian Contributing Correspondents: """""""""""""""""""""""""""" Tim Holt Norman Boucher Harry Steele Clemens Chin Neil Bradley Eric Jerue Ron Deal Robert Dean Ed Westhusing Glenwood Drake Vernon W. Smith Bruno Puglia Paul Haris Kevin Miller Craig Harris Allen Chang Dominick Fontana IMPORTANT NOTICE """""""""""""""" Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: Compuserve................... 70007,4454 America Online..................STReport Delphi......................... RMARIANO BIX............................ RMARIANO FIDONET..................... 1:347/147.3 FNET........................... NODE 350 ITC NET...................... 85:881/253 NEST........................ 90:21/350.0 GEnie......................... ST-REPORT Internet.............RMARIANO@DELPHI.COM """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > CPU STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS """"""""""""""""" IBM/POWER-PC/PC SECTION (I) =========================== Computer Products Update - CPU Report ------------------------ ---------- Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Issue #15 By: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. ******* General Computer News ******* ** IBM Signs Deal with Stacker ** IBM has signed an agreement to use the Stacker data compression technology owned by Stac Electronics. The Stacker feature will be incorporated in IBM's PC-DOS and OS/2 operating systems. The IBM-Stac pact comes six weeks after a judge ordered IBM rival Microsoft Corp. to pay Stac $120 million for illegally using Stacker data compression in its new MS-DOS 6.0 package. Microsoft now has released a new version of DOS 6 that removes the data compression feature. Stac Electronics announced it is extending its Stacker 4.0 for Windows & DOS upgrade to users of the new generation DOS's, including MS-DOS 6.0 and 6.2, PC DOS 6.1 and Novell DOS 7 through a new universal upgrade kit. The universal upgrade is available through resellers and directly from Stac for $49.95. ** Peachtree Software Sold ** One of the older names in PC software publishing, Peachtree Software Inc. of Norcross, Ga., is being acquired by Automatic Data Processing for undisclosed terms. Peachtree, best known for its accounting software for small-and medium-sized businesses, now becomes part of ADP's Employer Services Group and will retain its current management, staff and headquarters in Norcross. This is the sixth major computer-oriented merger/acquisition this year. ** Computer City Adds New Stores ** Computer City, owned by Tandy Corp., says it will increase its total number of locations to 44 worldwide with the addition of two superstores this month. The new SuperCenters will be located in Miami and King of Prussia, Pa., outside of Philadelphia. ** CD-ROM Output Up 150 Percent ** The Optical Publishing Association says production of CD-ROM products was up to 100 million discs last year, an increase of about 150% from 1992. The trade group is quoted as saying total retail value of CD-ROM titles sold in 1993 approached $1.5 billion and that the growth in the value of publishing products sold this year will be "most drastically impacted" by strong competitive pressure to drive prices down. The group estimated 70% of last year's CD-ROM output was from North America, 25% from Europe and 5% from the rest of the world. By the end of this year, the group predicted, "it will be difficult to buy a personal computer without a CD-ROM drive installed" and that prices for multimedia machines have been plummeting. ** Windows dBASE in Beta-Test ** A beta version of Borland International's new Windows- based dBASE database software has been shipped to 500 customer sites for evaluation and testing. Borland said independent research by Computer Intelligence/Infocorp indicates the firm has an opportunity to upgrade its current six million dBASE DOS users to the new Windows version of dBASE, which is scheduled to ship this summer. "dBASE for Windows," says the statement, "will provide full compati- bility with earlier versions of dBASE III PLUS and dBASE IV versions, productive object-oriented tools and technology, openness to the Windows environment, and scalability to client/server. Customers will be able to take advantage of dBASE for Windows' productive new tools and fully object-oriented programming environment for creating powerful mission- critical applications." ** Microsoft Word Sales Hit 2 Million ** Nearly 2 million copies of the Microsoft Word 6.0 for Windows have been sold since the word-processing software was introduced in November. Sources say, "More than half the sales of the new program have come (bundled) as part of its Office 4.0 suite of software applications.... Microsoft said sales of Word 6.0 have surpassed company expectations and are continuing at a rate of one copy every four seconds, or about 648,000 a month." ** HP Expands Ink-Jet Distribution ** Hewlett-Packard Co has expanded the distribution of its low-end Desk- Jet printers and mid-range ink-jet fax machines. The company has signed agreements with a variety of consumer- elect- ronics retailers and distributors, mail-order firms and mass merchan- disers. The companies are authorized to sell the printers and related supplies and accessories beginning immediately. The DeskJet printers covered by the agreements are the DeskJet 310, 520, 500C and 560C printers for PCs; and the DeskWriter 310, 520, C, 550C and 560C printers for the Macintosh. Fax machines covered by the agreements are the HP FAX-900 and FAX-950. ** Rapid Growth Seen in Multimedia ** Aggressive investment in advanced chip technology and unprecedented annual research and development expenditure have prompted a research group to predict rapid growth in multimedia hardware and software companies. The Multimedia Research Group has announced the release of "Advanced Multimedia Product R&D: Analysis of Product Strategies and Directions," a 210-page report that highlights applications strategies under development by the 60 most influential U.S. R&D organizations for 1994- 1996. Priced at $1,795, the report is available in Japanese and English language editions. The contact number for orders and information is 408/524-9767. ** Symantec, Central Point to Merge ** Symantec Corp. announced this week that it has reached a definitive agreement to merge with Central Point Software Inc. The estimated $60 million stock swap deal will unite two of the software industry's largest utility publishers. ** Lotus Releases ScreenCam ** Lotus Development Corp. says it's shipping Lotus ScreenCam for Windows, a multimedia screen and sound capture utility. The software allows users to place application screen activity, cur- sor movements and sound into an integrated file that can be saved and distributed to workgroups. The software publisher says ScreenCam can be used for training, com- munications and presentations. Users can create and share customized learning applications to demonstrate new products and services. Screen- Cam also can be used to improve the effectiveness and quality of colla- borative work processes, such as developing a budget or editing a document. In such cases, users can show and explain the logic behind their work or why they've made certain changes. "ScreenCam will revolutionize the way people work together by lever- aging the power to demonstrate and share ideas in action with spoken words," says Steve Barlow, senior manager for Lotus' Multimedia Products Group. ScreenCam is priced at $79. ** Apple Sued by Computer Dealers ** Some 400 computer dealers have sued Apple Computer Inc. alleging the computer maker acquired confidential information under the guise of a marketing contract that it never planned to honor. Alleging fraud and unfair and fraudulent business practices, the suit, filed in California's Superior Court, stems from the termination of Apple's 1991 agreements with the dealers to give them exclusivity in providing the company's systems to the education market. Under the agreements, ended in March 1993, the resellers were known as 'Apple Education Sales Consultants.' The lawsuit claims Apple created the agreements to 'expropriate for its own economic gain every shred of proprietary, confidential and special information' concerning the education microcomputer market. The dealers contend Apple used the information to sell its computer hardware directly to the education market. Participants in the suit include Southern Photo and News Inc. and Ray's Showcase Inc., both of Florida, and Computer Ware Inc. of Modesto. ** Man Saved by Electronic Mail ** An inter-office electronic mail system is being credited with saving the life of a worker when he suffered a heart attack at his desk. Jack Miller, a computer specialist at Witco Corp. in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., was able to type, "HELP. FEEL SICK. I NEED AID." Within seconds, dozens of people ... darted through the maze of cubicles at the chemical company to help... Several administered card- iopulmonary resuscitation until an ambulance took him to a hospital." The 56-year-old Miller was quoted in today's Daily News in New York as saying, "For me, 'e-mail' means 'emergency mail.' I was going, and nobody would have noticed.... I could barely tap out the words. My chest had this strange coldness and I just couldn't breathe." ** MicroNet Debuts Product Storage Line ** MicroNet Technology Inc. is rolling out a complete line of SCSI data- storage products for the Macintosh that mirrors the quality and features of the company's high-end workstation storage solutions. The new product line, called the Advantage Series, consists of both internal and external hard disk drives with capacities ranging from 170 meg to 1 gig, SyQuest removable drives, internal and external rewritable optical drives with capacities of 128MB and 230MB, CD-ROM, tape-backup systems and accessories. _________________________________________ > QEMM & STAC 4.0 STR InfoFile """""""""""""""""""""""""""" ID:S4 Stacker 4.0 and Quarterdeck Products Quarterdeck Technical Note #270 Filename: STACKER4.TEC by Robert Gaustad CompuServe: STACK4.TEC Last revised: 3/7/94 Category: SW3 Subject: The use of Stacker 4.0 with Quarterdeck products. Q. Is Stacker 4.0 compatible with Quarterdeck products? A. Yes, Stacker 4.0 is compatible with all shipping Quarterdeck products. Q. I installed Stacker 4.0 on my system and after running Optimize I found that I have 2K less available conventional memory. Why is this? A. Stacker 4.0 now uses Novell's DOS Protected Mode Services (DPMS), through the driver DPMS.EXE,to place most of the Stacker program into extended memory. When you install Stacker 4.0 on your system, the DPMS.EXE driver will automatically be placed into the CONFIG.SYS file directly above the STACHIGH.SYS device driver line. The use of the DPMS.EXE driver will reduce the size of the Stacker program from about 44K (more or less, depending upon your configuration) to about 17K. However, the DPMS.EXE driver cannot be loaded into High RAM, so it must load into conventional memory. This will reduce your conventional memory by about 2K, but since your Stacker driver is now much smaller, you should be able to load more programs into High RAM. Q. Is Stacker 4.0 compatible with QEMM's ST-DBL.SYS (Stealth DoubleSpace) driver? A. No. Even though Stacker uses a file called DBLSPACE.BIN in order to load before the CONFIG.SYS file loads, it is not sufficiently compatible with Microsoft's DoubleSpace program to allow ST-DBL.SYS to work. ST-DBL will only work with Microsoft's DOS 6 DoubleSpace. Q. After I installed Stacker 4.0 over my DoubleSpace program, I received the following message: ST-DBL: DBLSPACE is not in use, so there is no need to load ST-DBL.SYS. A. The Stacker 4.0 install does not detect or remove QEMM's ST-DBL.SYS driver, which may be in your CONFIG.SYS file if you were using Microsoft's DoubleSpace prior to installing Stacker 4.0. Upon installation, Stacker simply places a device line in the CONFIG.SYS file that reads: DEVICE=C:\STACKER\STACHIGH.SYS This line is placed at the end of the CONFIG.SYS file. If you were previously loading the ST-DBL.SYS device driver with a multi-config system, replace every ST-DBL.SYS device line with the STACHIGH.SYS device line above. If you are loading it from a single boot CONFIG.SYS, simply replace the one incidence of ST-DBL.SYS. Q. After I installed Stacker 4.0, my system locked up on the DOSDATA.SYS line during the reboot. A. If you have QEMM 7.01, you will experience a lockup during reboot. The quickest solution is to disable the DOSDATA feature of DOS-Up using the QSETUP program. From the QSETUP main menu, select "U = Enable or disable DOS-Up", followed by "P...Partial" to partially install the DOS-Up features. Toggle "3 = DOS Data...Yes" to NO in order to disable the DOSDATA.SYS driver. After saving the configuration, Optimize will run and your system's memory will be optimized. Quarterdeck is currently shipping version 7.03 of QEMM, so you should upgrade to avoid any DOSDATA conflicts. For information regarding upgrades, please refer to the end of this technote. Q. What if I don't want to use the DPMS.EXE driver? A. If you don't want to use the DPMS.EXE driver, you may remove it from the CONFIG.SYS file. Keep in mind that after removing DPMS.EXE and rebooting, the Stacker driver will be about 44K in size, so you may need to run Optimize after making this change. Q. How do I go about removing the DPMS.EXE driver from the CONFIG.SYS file? A. Stacker 4.0 has a new configuration program called CONFIG.EXE. To see what changes you can make to Stacker's configuration, simply type: CONFIG /? <ENTER> Two of the listed options that will display are: /D Adds Stacker DPMS driver to configuration files. /D- Removes Stacker DPMS driver from configuration files. If you want to remove the DPMS.EXE driver from the CONFIG.SYS file, simply type: CONFIG /D- <ENTER> You will then be asked if you are sure you want the CONFIG.SYS changed. To save the changes made, press "Y". Q. Is there any other way I can reduce the size of the Stacker driver? A. If you want to reduce the size of the Stacker driver without using DPMS.EXE, you may still use the /EMS parameter to load Stacker into EMS. Note that the use of the /EMS parameter is no longer recommended by STAC Electronics, and the /EMS switch cannot be used when the DPMS.EXE driver is being loaded. To add the /EMS switch to the STACKER.INI file, you may type: ED <ENTER> ED is the Stacker editor. Once you are in the editor, press <ALT>-F to bring up the FILE menu. Arrow down to the STACKER.INI selection and press ENTER. This will load the STACKER.INI file. Add a line in this file that says /EMS, save the file and then reboot the machine. You may have to run Optimize again in order to load the Stacker driver into High RAM. NOTE: If you add the /EMS parameter to the STACKER.INI file and you want to use QEMM's STEALTH technology, you must add a DBF:2 parameter to the QEMM device line in the CONFIG.SYS file (this can be done from ED, too). Q. What are the different sizes of the Stacker driver? A. If you are using Stacker with DPMS.EXE, the driver's resident size should be about 15K to 17K. If you are using Stacker's /EMS switch, it should be about 25K. If you are not using DPMS.EXE or the /EMS switch, the driver should be about 44K. The initialization size, the size necessary to load the driver before it shrinks down to its resident size, is 87K no matter what parameters you use. All of the above sizes may be different for each individual configuration. Issues that may affect the size of the driver might be the number of partitions or drives that are compressed, the size of the drives, and the compression ratio. Q. How do I get an upgrade to QEMM 7.03? A. The easiest way to upgrade your QEMM 7.01 or 7.02 to QEMM 7.03 is through CompuServe or the Quarterdeck BBS. NOTE: Upgrading via a patch is only available for those customers who already have QEMM 7.01 or QEMM 7.02. For customers who have QEMM version 6.0x or earlier, you must purchase an upgrade through a store or directly from Quarterdeck's Customer Service Department at (800) 354-3222. The following is a list of the upgrade patch files available on CompuServe: 701703.EXE 222k QEMM 7.03: patch for 7.01 to 7.03 701703.ZIP 207k QEMM 7.03: patch for 7.01 to 7.03 702703.EXE 147k QEMM 7.03: patch for 7.02 to 7.03 702703.ZIP 131k QEMM 7.03: patch for 7.02 to 7.03 The CompuServe patches can be found in LIB 10 - Patches / Programs. Quarterdeck BBS (310) 314-3227 Quarterdeck's Bulletin Board System Accessible by modem -- 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit The following is a list of the upgrade patch files available on the Quarterdeck BBS: 701TO703.EXE 222k self extracting ZIP version of QEMM 7.01 to 7.03 patch 701TO703.ZIP 207k patch to upgrade QEMM v7.01 to v.703 702TO703.EXE 147k self extracting ZIP version of QEMM 7.02 to 7.03 patch 702TO703.ZIP 131k patch to upgrade QEMM v7.02 to v7.03 For further information about contacting our offices, please refer to CONTACT.TEC in your \QEMM\TECHNOTE directory. ************************************************************************ *This technical note may be copied and distributed freely as long as it* *is distributed in its entirety and it is not distributed for profit. * * Copyright (C) 1994 by Quarterdeck Office Systems * ************************ E N D O F F I L E ************************* > SAFE FAX? STR Feature """"""""""""""""""""" GUIDE TO SAFE FAX ================= Q: DO I HAVE TO BE MARRIED TO HAVE SAFE FAX? A: Although married people fax quite often, there are many single people who fax complete strangers every day. Q: MY PARENTS SAY THEY NEVER HAD FAX WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG AND WERE ONLY ALLOWED TO WRITE MEMOS TO EACH OTHER UNTIL THEY WERE TWENTYONE. HOW OLD DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD BE BEFORE THEY CAN FAX ? A: Faxing can be performed at any age, once you learn the correct procedure. Q: IF I FAX MYSELF, WILL I GO BLIND? A: Certainly not, as far as we can see. Q: THERE IS A PLACE ON OUR STREET WHERE YOU CAN GO AND PAY FOR FAX. IS THIS LEGAL? A: Yes. many people have no other outlet for their fax drives and must pay a "professional" when their needs to fax become too great. Q: SHOULD A COVER ALWAYS BE USED FOR FAXING? A: Unless you are really sure of the one you're faxing, a cover sheet should be used to insure safe fax. Q: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DO THE PROCEDURE INCORRECTLY AND I FAX PREMATURELY? A: Don't panic. Many people fax prematurely when they haven't faxed in a long time. Just start Over; Most people won't mind if you try again. Q: I HAVE A PERSONAL AND BUSINESS FAX. CAN TRANSMISSIONS BECOME MIXED UP? A: Being bi-faxual can be confusing, but as long as you use a cover with each one, you won't transmit anything you're not supposed to. _____________________________________ > Edmark Guide STR Review Kids' Computing Corner """"""""""""""""""""""" Kids' Computing Corner ====================== by Frank Sereno This week I'm going to cover two publications rather than to review a program. First, I would like to thank Edmark Corporation for sending a great booklet entitled "The Parent's Guide to Educational Software for Young Children." This booklet is sent to registered owners of Edmark software. Upon reading the booklet, I realized that the information contained in it is very valuable to parents and teachers who are purchasing software for young children and I wanted to share it with the readers of STR. I contacted Edmark to obtain permission to print two items from the booklet. I called the Customer Support line but the person to whom I spoke did not have the authority to approve my request. Later that day I sent a fax off to Edmark and put my request in writing. The very next day, I received a call from Sue Whitcomb, the Director of Public Relations for Edmark. She cheerfully agreed to my request. The following worksheet for evaluating software for young children and the personal computer reference guide are copyrighted by Edmark Corporation and are being reprinted with their permission. Parent Worksheet for Educational Software Evaluation Developmentally Software to Educational Questions: Appropriate Software be evaluated Is the software child friendly? Yes _______ Does this software require reading? No _______ Is the software child speed conscious? Yes _______ Does the child control the path of the software and can the child move in and out of activities or sections when he/she desires? Yes _______ Would you call this software "drill and practice?" No _______ Is the software able to "grow with the child:" will it allow the child to explore concepts and skills in levels of increasing difficulty? Yes _______ Does the software provide children with a visual or auditory response when the child clicks on an object or character? Yes _______ Does the software take a long time to progress from screen to screen? No _______ Are the software graphics colorful, clear and appealing to children? Yes _______ Does the software offer animation? Yes _______ Does the software offer lifelike sound and voices? Yes _______ Given the developmental stage of your child, is s/he ready to learn the concepts and skills presented in this software? Yes _______ Will your child enjoy playing with this software? Yes _______ Does the software provide strong, encouraging positive feedback? Yes _______ Does the software provide strong negative feedback? No _______ Does the software encourage children to explore the program, using trial and error? Yes _______ Edmark also recommends filling out the following form and keeping it in a purse or wallet for easy reference when shopping for software. Computer Platform and Model Type ______________________________________ Computer RAM __________________________________________________________ Disk Drive Size? ________3-1/2" _________5-1/4" Do you have a Hard Drive? _____________________________________________ Hard Drive Storage Space? _____________________________________________ If IBM: Graphic Standard ______________________________________________ If Macintosh: Monochrome or Color? ___________________________________ Do you own a Keyboard __________________ Mouse ______________________ Do you own a joystick __________________ Touchscreen ________________ Printer Type __________________________________________________________ Sound Card? ___________________________________________________________ Feel free to print these out for your personal use. In the computer reference guide, I would suggest knowing the CPU and bus of your computer as well as specific model numbers. I would also recommend keeping track of how much free space is on the hard drive rather than the total of its storage. You may wish to add a line about a CD-rom and whether that drive is single, double, triple or quad speed. The booklet is full of information about resources for software evaluations, obtaining software for children with special needs, and lists several books and magazines as well as phone numbers for several publications which review software or offer parents advice on computing and children. This booklet is available free of charge to all interested parties. Simply write to Edmark Corporation, P.O. Box 3218, Redmond, WA 98073-3218. Or you may call Customer Service at 206-556-8484 or fax 206-556-8998. When making your request, please refer to the "Parent's Guide to Educational Software for Young Children." The above address and phone numbers can also be used for ordering or inquiring about Edmark software. I'd like to thank Ms. Whitcomb for calling me so quickly and for the interest she expressed in Silicon Times Report. She generously offered to send review copies of "Millie's Math House" and "Thinkin' Things" to this scribe. I hope to review both of these Edmark products in the next month. I also learned about Edmark's upgrade policy for KidDesk Family Edition. If you own KidDesk, you can upgrade to Family Edition for $19.95 plus $3.00 for shipping and handling. The Family Edition is supposed to eliminate most, if not all, of the problems found when running Windows applications from KidDesk. The Family Edition also has a great many enhancements over original KidDesk including electronic mail between family members, a notepad, an address book and more. I will do a short review of those features after I receive my upgrade. Now a brief look at the second issue of Club Kidsoft Magazine and CD-rom. Kid Clubsoft is a magazine/catalog about educational software for kids that is published quarterly. The articles in the magazine are aimed at the children while the ad pages are aimed directly at Mom and Dad's credit cards. Also available is a CD-rom disc featuring activities, demos and ads for the programs described in the magazine. Most importantly, the CD is a means to distribute commercial software by purchasing a special keyword from Kidsoft to download "ClubCode" products from the cd-rom disc to your hard drive. With the new issue, they have created separate Windows and Mac discs so that more product will be available to users of both computer platforms. They have added reviews of 42 more programs and there are more demos and downloadable programs on the disc. Perhaps the best feature is the new "Power Shopping" database search engine. There are four headings of Categories, Subjects, Age Groups and Titles for the database. With this new feature, you can choose one of five different Categories, one of eight different Subjects, one of 12 different Age Groups or choose to search alphabetically by Titles. The Categories are New Products, Hardware, ClubCode Products, Products with Demos and Club Specials. The Subjects are Creativity, Fun, Geo./History, Math, Productivity, Reading, Reference and Science. The Age Groups are Early Learning, then each year individually from 5 though 14 and then the final option of Older. For Titles, simply choose one of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Now you can do a search by a single field or you can combine one choice from each of the four headings. For example, you can choose to search for the Products with Demos or you could greatly narrow the field by choosing Products with Demos, the Subject of Math, the Age Group of 6 and a title starting with M. You would end up with Mental Math Games as the only program in this issue that would meet those parameters. This makes looking for suitable software much easier. In my opinion, a few flaws still exist in this product. The major one is that some of the demos for DOS-based programs do not take advantage of sound cards. No doubt this is a fault of the program's publisher rather than Kidsoft. Personally, I think these publishers should make their best effort to make their products shine in these demos. Forcing a parent to watch a program run with NO sound is not conducive to selling their product. Information screens about the programs are still a bit slow to load, even on my 486 DX2-66 machine with a doublespeed CD-rom drive. I would like to see demos for every program that is available as a ClubCode downloadable program so the parent can try a portion of the program before buying. Kidsoft, Inc., the publishers of Club Kidsoft can be reached via telephone at 800-354-6150 or via fax at 408-354-1033. Current subscription prices are $9.95 for one year and $14.95 for two years for either the magazine or CD-rom disc only, $17.95 for one year or $29.95 for two years for a subscription to both the disc and magazine. This is an excellent product and it seems to be only getting better. The Club Kidsoft CD-rom is a valuable resource for gaining insight into many of today's educational software programs. Once again, I thank you for reading! ______________________________ > Delrina WinComm PRO STR FOCUS! TOP STUFF FOR THE RIGHT PRICE! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Delrina WinComm PRO =================== Delrina Redefines PC Communications with "Best-of-Breed" Fax and Communications Software Solution Delrina Communications Suite<tm> Combines Delrina WinFax PRO<tm> with Full Featured Communications Capabilities of New Delrina WinComm PRO<tm> Delrina Corporation (TSE:DC) has certainly redefined PC communications with Delrina Communications Suite for Windows<tm>. The Suite is a "Best-of-Breed" combination that integrates Delrina WinFax PRO, its market leading fax software, with new Delrina WinComm PRO -- a powerful and easy-to-use communications product comparable to Procomm<tm> and Crosstalk<tm>. Delrina WinComm PRO is based in part on recently acquired technology from Hilgraeve Inc., the makers of the award-winning HyperACCESS<tm>, and integrates with Delrina WinFax PRO by eliminating port conflicts. Among the features included are: 1) predefined scripts for accessing 8 major on-line services, such as MCI Mail and CompuServe; 2) a powerful scripting language which enables the complete customization of communications sessions; 3) the industry's fastest file transfer capabilities using any standard protocol; and 4) extensive support for all popular terminal emulations. To purchase an equivalent solution users would have to buy separate fax and communications applications plus special software capable of eliminating port conflicts paying in excess of $300. The suggested retail price for Delrina Communications Suite is only $179 ($229 Cdn). "Fax modems have firmly entrenched the PC as a standard telecommunications device. In 1993, for example, we estimate 3 million units will be sold in the U.S. alone, that's about one in every four PCs shipped," said Craig Giudici, Industry Analyst with Dataquest of San Jose, California. "This convergence has created pent-up demand for an integrated software solution. Delrina Communications Suite has the right formula to set new price / performance standards -- powerful features, ease-of-use, fax and communications components that work together, and a low price." Delrina WinComm PRO is built upon several ingredients including the solid technology acquired from Hilgraeve, and Delrina's own experience in developing Delrina WinFax PRO. The emphasis on ease-of-use through intuitive icons, uncluttered screens, spreadsheet-type controls and complete customizability, follows from Delrina's own market research and customer feedback during the development cycle. "We believe that users familiar with Procomm or Crosstalk will find Delrina WinComm PRO to be as powerful, yet much easier-to-use," said Delrina President Mark Skapinker. Key Features: No Serial Port Conflict -- Since both fax and communications software address the same fax modem hardware, conflicts inevitably occur. Typically, users want to leave their fax software in automatic receive mode to await incoming faxes and engage in communications sessions only as required. In order to begin a communications session under this scenario, they must close down the fax software to release the hardware. Delrina Communications Suite eliminates port conflict, allowing Delrina WinFax PRO and Delrina WinComm PRO to naturally co-exist. This feature is unique to Delrina Communications Suite. Users can also engage in multiple sessions -- like downloading a file from a bulletin board while checking MCI Mail -- with appropriate hardware. Pre-Defined Links to the Leading Services -- Delrina WinComm PRO includes predefined icons for connecting to 8 major on-line services including MCI Mail, CompuServe, AT&T Mail, Delphi, GEnie, Dow Jones, and BIX. The icons appear on the desktop and provide instant point and click access to these services. A convenient 5000 line scrollback buffer keeps track of on-line information, saving users time and money while connected. A Powerful Scripting Language -- Delrina WinComm PRO features a powerful scripting language for completely customizing and automating communication sessions. A recorder automatically transcribes key strokes and actions thus simplifying future connections. In addition, an Application Programming Interface (API) is provided which can be accessed by any programming language, like Visual Basic<tm> or C++. Full DDE support is built-in thereby extending the power of Delrina WinComm PRO to non-communications Windows software. Extraordinary File Transfer Capabilities -- Delrina WinComm PRO supports all the popular file transfer protocols such as Xmodem, Ymodem, Zmodem, CompuServe B+ and Kermit, and runs them faster than any of the leading Windows data communications products on the market today. It also includes HyperProtocol<tm> the fastest file transfer capability in the industry to further lower transmission costs, and HyperGuard<tm> an on-line virus detector that checks for over 300 common viruses as files are downloaded. Extensive Support of Terminal Emulators -- Delrina WinComm PRO supports many terminal emulations including ANSI, TTY, VT-52, VT-100, VT-102, VT-220, VT-320, IBM3101, IBM3278 and CompuServe, so users need not switch between different applications to access their mainframe and favorite on-line service. Delrina will market Delrina Communications Suite through distributors, dealers, resellers, warehouse / superstores, and mail order houses including Ingram Micro, Merisel, Egghead and CompUSA. Existing WinFax users (PRO or LITE) can purchase the Delrina WinComm PRO portion of the Delrina Communications Suite for only $49 ($59 Cdn). Owners of WinFax LITE or users with competitive communications products can purchase the complete Suite for only $69 ($85 Cdn). Delrina is recognized as the technical and market leader in PC forms and fax software and a leading publisher of content software sold worldwide. Its award-winning WinFax has become the industry standard with over 3 million units shipped. Nearly 100 manufacturers include Delrina WinFax with their products, including IBM, Compaq, Gateway 2000, AST Research, Slate and US Robotics. Founded in 1988, Delrina employs 350 persons with headquarters in Toronto, Canada; and offices in San Jose, CA; Washington, DC; Kirkland, WA; the United Kingdom; France; Germany; and Japan. Delrina can be reached at 1-800-268-6082. _________________________________________ > WinFax PRO 4.0 STR InfoFile """"""""""""""""""""""""""" Delrina WinFax PRO 4.0 Major Upgrade of the World's Most Popular PC Fax Software Usability Improvements, Functionality for Mobile Users, Expanded Messaging Capabilities and Powerful New Features Take PC Fax to the Next Generation SAN JOSE, CA and TORONTO, ONT - March 14, 1994 - Delrina Corporation (NASDAQ:DENAF, TSE:DC) today announced Delrina WinFax PRO 4.0<tm>, a major upgrade to its popular PC fax software for Microsoft Windows<tm>. Delrina WinFax is the leading PC fax software in the world with more than 4 million users. Most of the enhancements in version 4.0 are the direct result of user feedback and usability testing. Among the major improvements in Delrina WinFax PRO 4.0 are: - Usability improvements focused on the areas of consistency, customizability, flexibility, and bringing powerful functionality to the forefront of the product. - Special functionality to address the unique needs of mobile users. - Expanded messaging capabilities that include: 1) Fax-a-File<tm>, a fax-based file transfer capability that makes it as easy to send an actual document file as it is to send a fax; and 2) built-in support for industry standard electronic mail systems like cc:Mail and Microsoft Mail. - Over 50 powerful new features, including Fax Viewer enhancements and a more accurate OCR engine. "WinFax PRO 4.0 represents a new generation of fax-based communications software, said Mark Skapinker, Delrina president. Our challenge was to build on the simplicity that WinFax provided first time PC fax users while making our product even more powerful and expanding its messaging capabilities." Usability Enhancements Since the release of version 3.0 in November 1992, Delrina WinFax PRO has been accepted throughout the PC world as the most powerful and the only complete fax package available. Much of the emphasis of the new version 4.0 is on making enhancements to the product's interface to make it more approachable to users of all skill levels. Usability Testing ----------------- Delrina conducted extensive usability testing both internally and with Usability Sciences Corp. of Irving, Texas, in the development of WinFax PRO 4.0 with the goal of making the tasks of sending, receiving and managing faxes on a computer faster and simpler. This testing resulted in some breakthroughs that fundamentally improve the usability of WinFax PRO, such as the new AdapTable<tm> interface and the Quick Cover Page. "Our objective at Usability Sciences is to work with a vendor in researching how both novice and experienced people use, in this case fax software, in various environments to gain a better understanding of their unique needs," said Jeff Schueler, president. "As a result of our work with Delrina, WinFax PRO 4.0 delivers the features and functionality advanced users demand without alienating those trying PC fax for the first time." AdapTable<tm> Interface Places Fax Management on a Drag-and-Drop Desktop WinFax PRO's AdapTable interface provides a consistent and flexible UI (User Interface), customizability, and drag and drop features. The main informational components in WinFax PRO 4.0 - the event logs (Send, Receive, Scheduled Events), Cover Page Library, Phonebook and Attachments list (i.e. fax-ready files) - have been designed so that once users learn one component of WinFax PRO 4.0, they will know how the other components of the application work. Each of these components is fully drag-and-drop customizable so that WinFax PRO users can simply and intuitively arrange their desktops to be exactly as they like to work. Building on design principles seen in other popular Windows applications like Microsoft Excel and Lotus cc:Mail, the drag-and-drop fax desktop enables users to personalize their work environments without even necessarily realizing that's what they're doing. And since WinFax PRO comes configured for use right away, users can discover and take advantage of this flexibility at their own pace. For example, information about sent and received faxes is presented in a tabular format, each column of which represents a different informational field (date, time, or status of the transmission, for instance). These columns can be resized simply by dragging their edges to the left or right. Or they can be reordered by dragging entire columns. - Consistency Speeds Learning - Since the same set of rules applies to each major component of the interface, the user requires significantly less time and effort to learn to use WinFax PRO's full functionality. For example, each fax, phone book record, folder or other interface component is an object with a menu of appropriate options available by right clicking on it. Once users learn the principle of right clicking on an object to perform operations on it, they can use those principles throughout WinFax PRO. This sort of rigorous consistency greatly reduces the time to learn the product by reducing the number of actual procedures to be learned into a fraction of what it would be otherwise. - Track, Sort, and Manage Faxes in Drag-and-Drop Folders - WinFax PRO 4.0 stores all faxes, attachments, cover pages, and phonebook records in user-definable folders and sub-folders. Users can drag and drop items into folders, which represent and do different things depending on which component of the application the user is in. For example, when a fax is dragged into an Archive folder, the associated images are automatically compressed to reduce disk space, while in the Phonebook, fax broadcast groups are created by dragging and dropping individuals into Group folders. - Variable "Views" - Users can get various expanded "views" of a highlighted item in the AdapTable interface. Expanded views, which appear along the bottom portion of the screen, provide more information about an item. For example, in the receive log, the user can see the actual fax, a detailed synopsis of the fax transmission (date, time, status, transmission speed, etc.) or the thumbnails of the fax. - Context-Sensitive Menu Bar and Menus - The main menus in WinFax PRO 4.0 have been reorganized along common lines, so that tasks such as setting up a fax modem or setting up receiving options are accessed from a single Setup menu. As users move through the various components in WinFax PRO 4.0, the Menu Bar changes, offering only the capabilities which are relevant to the component. Alternatively, users can access the most common tasks, such as viewing a fax or changing an expanded view, from context-sensitive menus by clicking the right mouse button. Object-Oriented Customizable Button Bar --------------------------------------- WinFax PRO 4.0 has an object-oriented, customizable button bar that provides instant access to commonly used functions, such as sending or viewing a fax, or for quickly accessing different components, such as the logs or Phonebook. For example, a user who wants to resubmit a failed fax can drop it onto the SEND button on the button bar. Special Functionality for Mobile Users -------------------------------------- An increasing number of portable computers today come equipped with a fax modem. WinFax PRO 4.0 includes special functionality that caters to the unique needs of these mobile users including: - Fax Autoforwarding<tm> - Fax Autoforwarding lets a user automatically forward faxes received on his PC to another location. This enables the mobile user to receive faxes at another location, while out of the office. - Fax Polling and Remote Fax Retrieval - WinFax PRO now supports fax polling and remote fax retrieval with Class 1 fax modems, which enables a mobile user to dial into his desktop PC, check for received faxes, and then automatically retrieve them on to their portable computer. - Built-in Support for Enhanced Fax Services - WinFax PRO 4.0 includes a new drop-down menu that enables users to easily access the Delrina Fax Broadcast Service. Delrina Fax Broadcast is a service that enables users to broadcast a fax, while retaining the full formatting, font control and graphics of the original document, to up to 500 recipients with a single call. A special introductory offer for up to US$50 worth of Delrina Fax Broadcast usage is included with WinFax PRO. - Robust Dialing Sequences - In order to access different services or use different credit cards for long distance fax calls, users need to quickly change and maintain many different dialing sequences - with prefixes and suffixes. Many mobile users use more than one service or long distance credit card, so having the flexibility to change and maintain multiple dialing sequences is essential. In WinFax PRO, this is accomplished from a single Setup dialog which supports up to 6 different dialing sequences. - Phonebook Preferences - Users can maintain settings for up to three different locations. For example, this would allow a mobile user who lives in one area code but works in another, to maintain a different area code and dialing prefix for each location. The user can quickly change his locale from the Setup menu when he changes locations. Expanded Messaging Capabilities Including E-Mail Support WinFax PRO 4.0 includes expanded messaging capabilities for faxing actual documents rather than fax images, sending and receiving electronic mail within WinFax PRO, and transmitting error-free faxes. - Fax-a-File<tm> - Until now, sending a fax meant sending a bit-mapped rendition or image of a document. However, new fax transmission protocols enable users with Class 1 fax modems to send their original documents or actual files (binary file) in the same easy way they currently transmit bit-mapped images. WinFax PRO 4.0 supports binary file transmission through several protocols: 1) the ITU's (formerly the CCITT) T.434 protocol for transmitting binary files; 2) Microsoft At Work, which Microsoft has included in the latest Windows for Workgroups product and plans to add to its future versions of Windows. WinFax PRO 4.0 also supports all the security and encryption capabilities under Microsoft At Work; 3) a special binary file transfer capability between WinFax PRO 4.0 users that does "on-the-fly" compression to reduce transmission time; and 4) CAS file transfer, a special protocol available for Intel and other CAS compatible fax modems. Transmission preferences for individual recipients are maintained in the Phonebook, enabling a user to fax an image to some recipients and fax a file to others. - E-Mail Support - WinFax PRO 4.0 has "universal messaging" capabilities the enable users to send, receive and manage electronic mail as well as faxes. Direct support is built in for industry standard LAN-based systems cc:Mail (VIM 2.0) and Microsoft Mail (MAPI 1.0). Users can even send a single document to several people and WinFax PRO will automatically fax it to some and e-mail it to others using cc:Mail or Microsoft Mail. - Error Correcting Mode - The current protocol for fax transmission relies on perfect line conditions to ensure quality faxes. However, adverse line conditions cause errors in fax data transmission, which typically appear as random blemishes or half-lines on a page. The problem is further magnified when attempting to fax at the higher transmission speeds of 14.4kbps. WinFax PRO 4.0 supports Error Correction Mode (ECM), which allows fax data errors to be fixed during transmission and is an essential requirement for Fax-a-File. ECM enables users with Class 1 fax modems to send perfect faxes, over any phone line, at any speed to other fax devices that also support ECM. Over 50 Powerful New Features ----------------------------- WinFax PRO 4.0 adds powerful new features and enhancements for Attachments, Cover Pages, the Fax Viewer, converting faxes into editable text, and much more. - "On-The-Fly" Attachments - Attachments are fax-ready files that are documents which have been saved to disk. In previous versions of WinFax users had to create Attachments before sending them. In WinFax PRO 4.0, Attachments can be created "on-the-fly" by selecting documents from a Windows file list when sending the fax. - Cover Page Enhancements - WinFax PRO 4.0 includes several enhancements for cover pages that provide greater user control and speed up faxing. There is a quick cover page option for users who want to simply select a recipient and add a quick message without going into the WinFax Cover Page dialog. Full font control is now available so users can mix different fonts, attributes and sizes within a single text block. This feature is available within the Cover Page Designer and for a cover page selected at the time of transmission. An on-line spell-checker is included that can be accessed in a cover page at both the design and filling stage. - Fax Viewer Enhancements - The Fax Viewer in WinFax PRO 4.0 has been optimized for speed. For example, rotating a page is about 50 times faster than in previous versions. Additional functionality includes Invert, a feature that changes the fax image to display white characters on a black background making them easier to read on monochrome and LCD displays. A Highlight and Zoom feature lets users quickly frame any part of a fax and zoom in up to 200%. - New Annotation Tools - New annotation and image manipulation tools similar to those found in paint programs have been added that enable users to quickly mark-up and modify a fax at the bit-map level. The object-oriented annotation capabilities from version 3.0 - in which annotations can be saved as a separate layer - are still available in version 4.0 with some added features. For example, users can "stamp" their signatures or other graphics directly on to Cover Pages and faxes. Also, users can mix multiple fonts, sizes and font attributes within text annotations and in text blocks on cover pages. - Xerox TextBridge<tm> OCR - Delrina WinFax PRO 4.0 includes improved OCR technology from Xerox. TextBridge is substantially more accurate and faster than the OCR capability in WinFax PRO 3.0. It also directly exports the text converted from a fax to 26 different file formats including Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, Ami Pro, Microsoft Excel, and Lotus 1-2-3. System Requirements, Availability and Pricing --------------------------------------------- Delrina WinFax PRO 4.0 requires an IBM PC or compatible with 386 or higher microprocessor; Microsoft Windows 3.1 or higher; 4MB of memory and 10MB of hard disk space. Worldwide availability of the English version of WinFax PRO 4.0 through resellers is March 1994 at a suggested retail price of US$129. Customers who purchased WinFax PRO 3.0, the Delrina Communications Suite or Delrina WinFax PRO for Networks 3.0 on or after February 1st, 1994 can upgrade to version 4.0 at no charge. Users of WinFax PRO 3.0, WinFax LITE or previous versions of WinFax can upgrade directly from Delrina for $49. In addition, Delrina has initiated an aggressive Channel Upgrade Rebate Program so users can easily purchase an upgrade to WinFax PRO 4.0 from their local retailer. Delrina is recognized as the technical and market leader in PC fax and forms software and a leading publisher of content software sold worldwide. More than 100 system manufacturers, fax modem makers and software vendors include Delrina WinFax with their offerings including IBM, Compaq, AST Research, and Hewlett Packard. Founded in 1988, the company employs over 450 people with headquarters in Toronto, Canada; and offices in San Jose, CA; Kirkland, WA; Washington, DC; the United Kingdom; France; and Germany. Delrina can be contacted at 1-800-268-6082. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ___ ___ _____ _______ /___| /___| /_____| /_______/ The Macintosh RoundTable /____|/____| /__/|__| /__/ ________________________ /_____|_____|/__/_|__|/__/ /__/|____/|__|________|__/ /__/ |___/ |__|_/ |__|_/____ Managed by SyndiComm /__/ |__/ |__|/ |__|______/ An Official Forum of the International Computer Users Group *** STReport available in MAC RT *** ASCII TEXT for ALL GEnie users! MAC/APPLE SECTION (II) ====================== R. Dean, Editor (Temp) From Randy Noak; As a result of last week's diatribe I received a grand total of zero pieces of email. I guess that says something. Perhaps it says that even owners of orphaned systems realize that time cannot stand still. Perhaps it says that owners of orphaned systems don't care as much as some would have us believe. Perhaps it's none of those things. I do know that, no matter how much we, as humans, want to deny it, time marches on. As time marches on, it's usually a good thing to reflect on where you've been and where you are going. This is one of those times for me. I've been doing this column for a little over six months now and have, I think, done the best I could under increasingly difficult circumstances. Those circumstances (entirely external to STR) have reached the point where I no longer have the time to give this column the attention that it deserves. For that reason, this is my last column for STReport. For the record, everyone at STR has been great. It's been a pleasure to work with Ralph Mariano. Again, my reasons for resigning are all external to STReport. Randy Noak, Editor _____________________________________ > Power PC Info STR InfoFile """""""""""""""""""""""""" Apple Debuts Power Macintosh Line ================================= Three New Models Combine the Power of RISC with Mainstream Software, Including Macintosh, DOS, and Windows; Prices Start at Less than $2,000 Apple Computer, Inc. has unveiled Power Macintosh --a superb new line of Apple Macintosh personal computers that offers the power of workstation computers,the affordability of mainstream personal computers, and the capability to run applications for Macintosh, MS-DOS, and Microsoft Windows. The company believes that Power Macintosh represents the platform for the next generation of personal computing. Power Macintosh running System 7 marries, for the first time, the power of RISC (reduced instruction set computing) technology with a mainstream personal computing operating system. As such, Apple believes that it has established a foundation that is,at once, so robust and approachable that it will catalyze the development of richer applications, more intuitive software, and--ultimately--wholly new ways of using computers. The three new Power Macintosh models--the Power Macintosh 6100/60, 7100/66, and 8100/80--join the midrange and high-end of the Macintosh family. Fueled by the PowerPC 601 microprocessor, which was jointly developed by Apple, IBM, and Motorola as part of their historic 1991 alliance, Power Macintosh computers offer the highest performance of any personal computer available today. When running new versions of application software optimized for PowerPC, Power Macintosh systems offer two to four times the performance of today's Intel 486 and Motorola 680x0-based personal computers. Power Macintosh computers also outperform systems based on Intel's advanced microprocessor, Pentium. Applications that require complex computation, such as graphics and engineering applications, may run up to 10 times faster on Power Macintosh than on current personal computer offerings. More than 150 software developers worldwide have committed to shipping PowerPC optimized or "native" versions of their applications. Apple is also providing a bridge from its Power Macintosh systems to thousands of existing applications for DOS and Windows with a new software program called SoftWindows from Insignia Solutions. SoftWindows comes bundled with certain Power Macintosh configurations and is also sold separately. "This introduction marks a major milestone in personal computing," said Michael Spindler, Apple's president and CEO. "Just as Macintosh changed the course of computing ten years ago, today we are defining a new era in personal computing with Power Macintosh. For customers, this means unequalled price/performance today, preservation of their past investment in Apple products, and unmatched potential for future growth. And for DOS and Windows customers, Apple offers a smooth on- ramp to the platform. "Unlike previous new platform introductions in the industry, this is a rare occasion when a new platform comes to market with thousands of applications already available on day one, and allows customers to carry forward their previous investments," Spindler added. With their cross-plaftorm compatibility, Apple expects the new systems to attract Macintosh, DOS, and Windows users. Power Macintosh computers should be particularly popular in professional and mainstream business sectors with customers whose appetite for increased speed and power was only previously met through more costly workstations. These customers would typically use computers for high-performance tasks, including publishing, graphic arts, science and research. Mainstream Operating System --------------------------- Power Macintosh computers run an optimized version of the Macintosh System 7 operating system. This means Power Macintosh users can enjoy the ease of use, simple plug-and-play, and thousands of software applications that have distinguished the Macintosh platform to date. Additionally, System 7.1.2, the version of the Macintosh operating system for Power Macintosh, has key features, such as the QuickTime multimedia architecture and QuickDraw graphics architecture, that have been tuned for even better performance. Apple plans to add additional new features for the PowerPC processor and introduce new technologies that capitalize on its advanced power. Exceptional Compatibility ------------------------- Because Power Macintosh computers run the mainstream Macintosh operating system, these new systems are compatible with previous Motorola 68000-based Macintosh systems. This means that Power Macintosh customers can choose from thousands of current Macintosh applications, peripherals, and cards--including Apple's existing family of LocalTalk , Ethernet and Token-Ring products--and run them unaltered. With the addition of the SoftWindows emulation software, DOS and Windows users have the ability to run most of their current applications on their Power Macintosh computers with performance similar to that of Intel 386 and 486 computers, depending on the application and system configuration. "At Ernst & Young we have always been strong advocates of the Macintosh. Apple's PowerPC strategy again proves we were right in our platform choice. Moreover, with Power Macintosh running SoftWindows at 486 speeds, we are able to run DOS-based, CD-ROM applications so well that we'll likely replace many of our last remaining Intel PCs," said Yves Tiberghien, senior manager, Ernst & Young Accountants, Belgium. Strong Developer and Applications Support ----------------------------------------- Virtually all the major players in the software developer community today have announced strong support for the platform worldwide, including industry leading vendors such as Adobe, Aldus, Claris, Lotus, Microsoft, Quark, and WordPerfect. More than 50 native applications are scheduled to ship at or within 30 days of introduction, with hundreds slated to be available in the first six months. Native applications (meaning those written specifically to tap the power of PowerPC) span a broad range of titles and categories, including publishing, education, multimedia, technical markets and general business (see related release, March 14, 1994, "Hundreds of Optimized Applications Announced for PowerPC"). "The speed and performance inherent in the new applications are extremely important in high-end applications such as publishing. With Power Macintosh, Apple has not only removed a performance bottleneck, but is providing an open road for future advancements," said Terry Schwadron, managing editor of the Los Angeles Times and president of the Worldwide Publishing Consortium (WWPC), a nonprofit, independent consortium of key publishing solutions providers. The first wave of Power Macintosh applications will primarily take advantage of improved speed. Apple expects that, in the future, Power Macintosh will enable new and enhanced capabilities in the area of intelligent software, animation and high-resolution video, integrated video and telecommunications, and advancements in speech recognition and language processing. Availability and Pricing ------------------------ Power Macintosh systems and a range of PowerPC 601 processor-based upgrades will be offered worldwide through Apple authorized resellers. Systems are available immediately in the U.S. and other selected regions worldwide. The U.S. Apple price ranges from $1,819 for the Power Macintosh 6100/60 base system equipped with 8MB of DRAM and a 160MB hard disk, to $4,249 for the Power Macintosh 8100/80 base system offered with 8MB of DRAM, a 250MB hard disk and 2MB of VRAM. Product availability and pricing will vary outside of the U.S. Server Products --------------- Apple Business Systems also announced that it plans to introduce Apple Workgroup Servers based on the PowerPC microprocessor in May. The client software for Apple client/server applications, including AppleShare , AppleSearch and Apple Remote Access, is compatible with Power Macintosh systems today. Apple server software, including AppleShare and AppleSearch, will also be upgraded to run under emulation on the servers and will be available in May. Specifics on the various server upgrade options will be made available in the coming weeks. Headquartered in Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) develops, manufactures, and markets personal computer, server, and personal interactive electronics systems for use in business, education, the home, science, engineering and government. A recognized pioneer and innovator in the information industry, Apple does business in more than 120 countries. Power Macintosh Specifications, Upgrades and Pricing ==================================================== Power Macintosh 6100/60 ----------------------- The most affordable Power Macintosh computer runs at 60-MHz, offers full storage and expansion features (including one 7" NuBus slot and an optional built-in CD-ROM) in a slim-line design. The base model, equipped with 8MB of DRAM and 160MB hard disk, has an Apple price of $1,819. Apple Price/CPU Only ............................................. .................... 8/160 $1819.00 8/250CD $2289.00 8/250CD/AV/2MB VRAM $2599.00 16/250/SoftWindows $2519.00 Power Macintosh 7100/66 ----------------------- Running at 66-MHz, this is ideal for general business computing. Based on Apple's Macintosh Quadra( 650 design, it offers greater expansion (three NuBus slots) and support for more colors and larger displays. The Apple price for a configuration with 8MB of DRAM, 250MB hard disk, and 1MB of VRAM starts at $2,899. Apple Price/CPU Only ............................................. .................... 8/250/1MB VRAM $2899.00 8/250CD/1MB VRAM $3179.00 8/500/CD/AV/2MB VRAM $3989.00 16/250/SoftWindows/1MB VRAM $3379.00 Power Macintosh 8100/80 ----------------------- Based on the familiar Macintosh Quadra 800 mini-tower design and running at 80-MHz, this is the highest-performance Power Macintosh model with the most flexibility. It accommodates three NuBus expansion slots, built-in video support for up to 16.7 million colors, extensive storage options, dual-channel SCSI and Level 2 cache memory. A configuration with 8MB of DRAM, 250MB hard disk, and 2MB of VRAM starts at $4,249. Apple Price/CPU Only ............................................. .................... 8/250/2MB VRAM $4249.00 8/250CD/2MB VRAM $4519.00 16/500CD/AV/2MB VRAM $5659.00 16/1000CD/2MB VRAM $6159.00 16/500/SoftWindows/2MB VRAM $5309.00 Configuration Details --------------------- All models come equipped with a built-in floating-point math coprocessor; on-board Ethernet; 16-bit, CD-quality stereo sound; and connections for the Apple GeoPort Telecom Adapter, so users can send faxes from the computer and connect to on-line information. In addition, there are separate configurations of each Power Macintosh model to support a CD-ROM drive, SoftWindows, and Apple AV Technologies--speech, telecommunications, and advanced video capabilities. PlainTalk speech-recognition and text-to-speech software comes standard with AV systems, and is also sold separately for all models. In addition to Apple's existing family of LocalTalk (r), Ethernet, and Token-Ring products, Apple plans to offer a high performance, 7" Token-Ring card for all NuBus-based Macintosh systems. The new card includes driver software that supports Novell Inc's Netware protocols when used in conjunction with Insignia Solutions' SoftWindows product. This new driver is planned to be included with version 1.4.4 of Apple's Network Software Installer disk and will provide performance enhancements and Netware support for the existing Apple Token-Ring 4/16 NB card. PowerPC 601 Processor Upgrades ------------------------------ Apple announced it has begun shipping a range of logic board and processor upgrades based on the PowerPC 601 chip for many current Macintosh systems. Logic board upgrades, which provide existing Macintosh models with the full functionality of PowerPC technology, are available for the Macintosh Quadra 840AV, 800, 660AV, 650, and 610 models; the Macintosh Centris 660AV, 650, and 610 computers; the Macintosh IIvx and IIvi, and Performa 600 products. Lower-cost processor upgrade cards are now available for the Macintosh Quadra 950, 900, 800, 700, 650, and 610 models, as well as the Macintosh Centris 650 and 610 computers. The processor upgrade card takes advantage of the processor-direct slot (PDS). Additionally, Apple Business Systems will provide PowerPC microprocessor upgrades to customers of Apple's Workgroup Server 60 and 80 models. These PowerPC processor upgrades will allow customers of Motorola 68000 server systems to upgrade to servers running Macintosh System 7 on PowerPC. In the future, Apple plans to provide PowerPC technology upgrade products for the Macintosh Quadra 605; LC 550, 575, and 520; and the Performa 550. Apple also plans to continue to work on upgrades for other Macintosh models. In addition, Apple is working in conjunction with third-party developers to provide an array of options for customers to upgrade to PowerPC technology. Apple Price ............................................. ........... Power Macintosh Upgrade Card $699.00 Power Macintosh 6100/60 Logic Board Upgrade $999.00 8MB DRAM Power Macintosh 6100/60AV Logic Board Upgrade $1399.00 8MB DRAM/2MB VRAM Power Macintosh 7100/66 Logic Board Upgrade $1499.00 8MB DRAM/1MB VRAM Power Macintosh 7100/66AV Logic Board Upgrade $1699.00 8MB DRAM/2MB VRAM Power Macintosh 8100/80 Logic Board Upgrade $1899.00 8MB DRAM/2MB VRAM, 256K Cache Power Macintosh 8100/80AV Logic Board Upgrade $1999.00 8MB DRAM/2MB VRAM, 256K Cache Power Macintosh Accessories --------------------------- Apple Price ............................................. ........... Power Macintosh 6100/60 NuBus Adapter Card $99.00 Power Macintosh 256K Cache Card $299.00 (for the 6100/60 & 7100/66) Power Macintosh Display Adapter $29.00 ____________________________________ > ACER BUILDING POWERPC STR InfoFile """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ACER BUILDING POWERPC/PENTIUM-SWAPPABLE PCS =========================================== Taiwanese computer manufacturer Acer is designing machines with swappable processor boards that will allow PowerPC, Pentium and perhaps other processors to be swapped into same machine. UK marketing manager David Tanner told PowerPC News that the company should have the motherboard ready during the next quarter, and a range of swappable processor daughter-boards will follow in the third quarter this year. Tanner says that the company has yet to decide how the new machines will be marketed: both OEM and end-user options are still available. Likewise cost of manufacture and preliminary pricing has yet to be pinned down. Until now most PC manufacturers, including IBM have said that swappable PowerPC/Pentium boxes would be difficult to produce at realistic prices, however Tanner characterises the problems as "fairly trivial, to be honest". He points to the company's ability to design and manufacture its own application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) as one factor which will help Acer along. Moreover the company is apparently aiming at PReP compliance. A population of PReP-compliant machine that can have Pentiums slotted in would, paradoxically, be a blessing for the PowerPC industry. Currently, betting on PowerPC requires a major commitment from a manufacturer, while the ability to build a single chassis with support for alternative processors would lower the stakes. So who will end up buying these boxes? "I think the answer is that we don't know" Tanner admits, likening the move to Acer's initial adoption of Windows NT - ship it and see who buys it. *Meanwhile Zenith Data Systems, owned by Compagne des Machines Bull says that it has PowerPC laptops at the "very early" design stage. 100MHZ, 0.5 MICRON POWERPC 601 ANNOUNCED, SMALLER THAN THE 603 ============================================================== As announced in our newsflash on Monday, Motorola has announced a 100MHz version of the PowerPC 601 microprocessor. The new version introduces improved fabrication techniques - it will be built on 0.5 micron CMOS, for the first time compared to 0.6 micron in the existing 601s. "Typical" power consumption has dropped from eight to four watts. Initially the new processor will be manufactured by IBM. But as with the other MPC601s, Motorola has the right to build it, should it so desire. In fact, the move to 0.5 micron makes it much easier for Motorola to build - the company has suitable fabs, whereas it didn't have easy access to 0.6 micron plants. But perhaps most significant, in the long-run is the reduction in die-size. The new 601 measures 74mm square, compared to 120mm on the existing model. This means that the processor, which still contains around 2.8m transisters is actually smaller than todays 603, which with only 1.6m measures 85mm square. Both are fabricated in 0.5micron silicon, so what's going on? A new transistor geometry, that's what - according to a Motorola spokeman. The new design lets components be packed onto the chip more tightly. Expect the new geometry to spread throughout the PowerPC line in time. The new chip is expected to ship in limited quantities in the second quarter with volume production set for fourth quarter - timing that is uncannily similar to that of Intel's 100MHz Pentium. The part has an estimated SPECint92 rating of 110, and SPECfp92 of 130. No price will be given until closer to the launch date, however Fred Sporck, director of PowerPC products for IBM Microelectronics, was quoted in the announcement as reiterating the strategy of: "delivering twice the performance of comparably-priced CISC microprocessors." Neither Apple nor IBM had any thoughts regarding their strategies for using the chips in new machines. In fact IBM's PR machine was caught on the hop by the announcement of the new chip, which Motorola apparently dragged forward, to miss the Easter break. The new perfomance comparison table runs thus: +-----------------+------------+------------+ | Processor | SPECint92 | SPECfp92 | |=================|============|============| |MPC 601 50MHz | 51 | 6 | | 66 | 62 | 80 | | 80 | 80 | 105 | | 100 | 110 | 130 | |-----------------|------------|------------| |Pentium 90 MHz | 90 | 72.7 | | 100 | 100 | 80.6 | |-----------------|------------|------------| |MPC 603 66 MHz | 60 | 70 | | 80 | 75 | 85 | +-----------------+------------+------------+ So, PowerPC once again takes the lead in the continuing leap-frog war - or it will once the new chip ships - Intel, don't forget is already shipping the 90MHz processor in volume. Intel also has that 150MHz version up its sleeve - though it is probably saving the official launch of that chip to coincide with the announcement of the MPC604 The switch to 0.5 micron technology is a surprise: there were no indications from either company that the 601 would be fabricated in anything other than 0.6. However it gives the processor's performance a much-needed kick and provides a useful performance differential between the 601 and the 603. Meanwhile, Infoworld reports that a 135MHz version of the MPC601 will be announced in June. The magazine says that the clock-multiplied processor will support bus rates of 33MHz or 66MHz. IBM declined to comment on the story. DEVELOPERS SHOULD GET NT ON POWERPC AT BEGINNING OF APRIL ========================================================= IBM engineers are trying to finish the beta version of NT-on-PowerPC in time to release the code to select developers April 1. Sister NT publication ClieNT Server News reports that a release candidate has been in the lab for a couple of weeks. Releasing it on April Fools Day lends some credence to reports that general availability could be as soon as the end of May. The beta includes a new optimized compiler written by Motorola plus TCP/IP support and other features. Up until now the development team has been limping along, hobbled by a compiler from IBM's Watson Research Center think tank that was way too esoteric. The beta release is built around the current NT Build 528, rather than Daytona, although the production release is expected to include the Daytona changes. The beta will include the Microsoft Service Pack 1 and 2 bug fixes as well as the alterations dictated by the Stac victory over Microsoft. Although the kernel is done, comms are still dicey and work on device drivers continues. Only a small group of ISVs will get the beta initially in large part because hardware shortages. Earlier it appeared IBM would ship them pre-production prototypes of a new PowerPC-based system, but what they'll actually be getting is an extended production run of the PowerPC reference platform, a fairly grim-looking little black box housing a 66MHz 601 and an ISA bus. IBM's also planning to give ISVs who don't get the hardware a CD-ROM of the code that will get them 98%-99% of the way there. It will run on any 486 box, with IBM offering to do the rest of the work at its own porting facility in Kirkland, Washington. That lab has been available for the past few months to a super-select group of ISVs, and IBM last week confirmed that so far about 30 companies have been in to do early ports. The number is limited, it seems, by real estate considerations since there are only eight spaces in the lab that can be used simultaneously. IBM is aiming to nail 50 "strategic" applications including "volume leaders" in spreadsheet, word processing and presentation graphics as well as "technology exploiters" like CAD/CAM and database servers. Apparently then there'll be another 200 packages in tow. Ctsy CIS (C) ClieNT Server News | Select 5006 for more information (c)PowerPC News - Free by mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org _______________________________________________ > Power PC Support STR InfoFile """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" Power Macintosh Wins Support from Customers =========================================== Large Corporations, Higher Education Institutions, Professional Services Firms and Industry Consultants Line Up Behind Apple's New Computing Platform As shipments of Power Macintosh computers hit resellers and distributors around the world, customers who have evaluated beta units during the past six months are expressing their support and endorsements for Apple's new platform in personal computing. These major corporations, higher education institutions, professional services firms and industry consultants are looking for ways to increase productivity within their organizations that will give them a competitive edge. Key criteria in making their purchase decisions, and the attributes which the customers applauded most about Power Macintosh, include compatibility with existing Macintosh software, DOS/Windows cross-platform compatibility, breakthrough price/performance and significant performance increases through native PowerPC applications. Large Corporations ------------------ Customer acceptance of Power Macintosh has been particularly strong from enterprise customers who appreciate the substantial performance gains in addition to the ease with which Power Macintosh fits into their complex computing environments. Lockheed, Monsanto, The Los Angeles Times, Group Health Cooperative, Val-Pak Direct Marketing Systems, Inc., SaskTel of Saskatchewan, Canada and JP Morgan & Company Incorporated are among the enterprise customers who have evaluated PowerPC technology and are considering or have expressed intent to purchase Power Macintosh. At Monsanto's World Headquarters in St. Louis, MO., for example, Power Macintosh computers will be integrated into their existing enterprise computing environment. "Because of its excellent compatibility with existing Macintosh and DOS/Windows applications, we will need to do little to accommodate the transition to Power Macintosh," said Tom Koballa, senior systems specialist at Monsanto. "Power Macintosh is going to allow the user access to information, not only from the Macintosh family of applications and capabilities, but also from the DOS/Windows world. This faster access to information will allow our users to make better decisions." Higher Education Institutions ----------------------------- Dartmouth College, The Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, Cornell University Medical College and Oberlin College are among many universities and colleges who have evaluated Power Macintosh and are making plans to incorporate the new systems into their campus computing environments. "Power Macintosh addresses our university's computing and budget requirements of needing to be able to do everything at a price that we can afford," said David VanMiddlesworth, network manager at UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management. "It allows us to run both Macintosh and DOS/Windows software at probably the best price/performance that we've seen in any new computer in a long time. Power Macintosh, with its capabilities and RISC architecture, is a machine that's going to take us into the future because the longer we own it, the better it's going to perform." Professional Services Firms --------------------------- Firms in the professions that have evaluated Power Macintosh and have announced their intent to purchase Power Macintosh include Howrey & Simon, a law firm with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. and Boston-based architectural firm Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott (SBRA). Based on an extremely favorable evaluation of Power Macintosh, SBRA has decided to purchase only Power Macintosh systems and to upgrade existing Macintosh Quadra systems. "The significant performance increases we've seen using native PowerPC applications will dramatically reduce the time it takes our designers and architects to perform the processor-demanding high-end graphics work we do," said Duncan Keefe, Macintosh systems manager at Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott. "Power Macintosh will play a key role in our overall computing strategy, allowing us to further streamline office automation and graphics tasks." Industry Consultants -------------------- Power Macintosh has also gained enthusiastic support from industry consultants in the fields of multimedia, entertainment, publishing, graphics and law. Consultants who have expressed support for the product include David Biedny, a multimedia and graphics consultant; Michael Backes, screenwriter, multimedia and special effects consultant; David Weinstein, a law firm consultant; and Wayne Gabriel, musician and multimedia producer. "Power Macintosh will provide the best price/performance for the commercial video production and multimedia industries," said consultant David Biedny of San Rafael, CA. "Even the smallest video production shops were having to turn to workstations to remain competitive, at an entry cost of $100,000. We're now going to see a $4,000 Power Macintosh going up against $35,000 workstations. Video software developers will implement new features in native PowerPC applications such as particle systems or ultra-realistic radiosity rendering that were previously available only on workstations." ********************************************************************** IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= STReport International Online Magazine is available every week for your reading pleasure on DELPHI. STReport's readers are invited to join DELPHI and become a part of a friendly community of enthusiastic computer users there. SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN --DELPHI -------------- Via modem, dial up DELPHI at 1-800-695-4002 then... When connected, press RETURN once or twice and... At Password: type STREPORT and press RETURN. DELPHI's Basic Plan offers access for only $6.00 per hour, for any baud rate. The $5.95 monthly fee includes your first hour online. 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DELPHI-It's the BEST Value and getting better all the time! ********************************************************************** ATARI/JAG SECTION (III) ======================= Dana Jacobson, Editor > From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""""""""" Spring is here. The not-so-obvious signs are there: Atari users are coming out of their long winter hibernation and starting to realize that things aren't as rosy as they'd like. Let me take a philosophical outlook on this for a minute or two. These "thoughts" are my own and may or may not agree with others on the staff here, but I feel that there's a need to express them. Most Atari users, past, present, and future are users of Atari computers. That's the impression one gets when talking about "Atari users" in general. For all intents and purposes, Atari as a viable computer company is dead. I didn't say that Atari is dead, just the computer side of it. They aren't actively moving ahead with new projects. If they are, it's very low-key and minimal. All of their resources are being directed to the Jaguar. The Jaguar, as most will agree, is Atari's last hurrah. If it doesn't succeed, they may be faced with the same predicament that Commodore is nearing. Has Atari made the right decision here? That's depends on who you ask, obviously. Atari does not have the resources to produce and market computers and Jaguars. Game consoles, such as the Jaguar, are always going to be major hits if the hardware warrants it; the Jaguar does. Computers, at least non-PC ones, aren't selling as well as the parent companies would like. If you were Atari, which option would you take? I know, I don't necessarily like that choice and the obvious answer either. I've been an "Atari" consumer since the days of the 2600. That product satisfaction led me to buy the 520ST. That same satisfaction subsequently led me to purchase the Lynx and now the Jaguar; it was a natural progression. I want to be able to use that same "logic" on future computer purchases as well, but there are too many factors prohibiting that from happening, for _me_. This isn't something new, but it is something that _many_ Atari users are finally realizing, and admitting. There is an extremely limited number of available dealers. I'm not referring to the occasional music store, touted as an official Atari dealer, who sells a minimal amount of Falcons and MIDI software. I'm talking full Atari dealers with various hardware, software, peripherals, and some service. You could probably count them all on both hands, perhaps adding a toe or two. Two to three years ago, new software was not arriving in truckloads; today it's even worse. Many of the developers are still around, but not active in the Atari market as they once were. Sure, much of our favorite software has seen a number of updates for which we're all very grateful, but new software from them is rare. Take a look at a current list of IAAD members and name any new products in the last 6 months from them. There are some, but not that many overall. Where are the new users? The old? Every week I see another message from a long-standing user who has finally given up the ghost. At best, he/she keeps the computer but also buys a Mac or a PC and spends the majority of their time with it rather than the Atari machine. They keep it around because it's hard to get rid of it, both financially and emotionally - it was a good friend. And, in the back of their mind, is some faint glimmer of hope that things might turn around. What bothers me the most about this current dilemma is how it's affecting the userbase, in a number of ways. The diehards (and I occasionally see myself in this category) are hoping that the success of the Jaguar will enable Atari to fulfill their "promise" that they will pick up where they wanted to leave off with new computer developments. Reality tells me that Atari will have to surpass the hold that the likes of Nintendo and Sega have on today's game console market. The profits will have to be so great that they can afford to take another chance with the computer industry and achieve and hold on to a toe-hold, perhaps achieve a marginal success to maintain that support. If they don't have the means to do this successfully, they're not likely to waste their time and money to do so. It's a business decision that makes sense, much to the chagrin of us all. Will the Jaguar be successful? It has all of the capabilities to be so. History Lesson #42: So did all of their past products and look where they are today. Atari has to do it right this time if they are ever going to survive. The Jaguar is going to have to provide very early successes before the competition comes along with an equal or better product. Atari has had a quick start, and a few stalls in the almost 6 months that it's been available. It appears that Atari is back on track again, and moving ahead fairly well. Let's hope that it continues, and improved a thousand-fold! The other thing that's bothering me in this regard is the current attitudes that I'm seeing online. I see current users and those sitting on the fence (or recently jumped off) at odds with each other. It's similar to what we're all used to seeing in the form of platform bashing, but amongst Atari users. There are those, as I mentioned earlier, who are the diehards who will never admit (publicly) that anything is wrong with Atari; that they're on track and things will get better in the near future. There are those who have continued to stay with the Atari platform, but realize that things aren't likely to improve anytime soon. But, the fact that they feel comfortable and moderately satisfied with what their machines can do, they're still sticking to their systems. And then there are those who have finally said, for whatever reason, that's it, I'm going to buy a Mac or PC so I can have all the software that I could ever want. Seeing all of these people, probably all "friendly" with one another at some point in the recent past, at odds with each other is a strange feeling. There has always been a controversy or another to liven things up, but that's not what I'm referring to here. It's the comments from a recently-departed user who tells someone that he's a fool for sticking with Atari computers. It's another who tells someone that he should show his support of Atari by purchasing a Falcon or a Jaguar. It's another..... I think you get my point. I think a lot of boils down to sheer frustration at not being part of the majority. Peer pressure, perhaps? It's hard to pinpoint, actually. Atari users are close to being unique - we're a loyal bunch, somewhat fanatical, but loyal nonetheless. I think it's going a bit overboard to blindly maintain loyalty to the company; we've already made that singular major purchase with our machine of choice. As long as there are developers bringing out new products, albeit in dribs and drabs, there's a reason to maintain what we have as long as we can still do what it is we want to do with them. Why buy a PC just for the ability to have more software choices if we already own software that will do it on an Atari machine? Granted, if you need to be able to do something and that capability _isn't_ there, you'd be making a right decision to go elsewhere. Should someone begrudge you for that? Of course not. On the other side of the coin, don't begrudge me for staying with the Atari platform when it aptly performs the functions that I require of it. Atari, the company, isn't going to change that whether it's still around, or not. As you'll notice, there is no Jaguar coverage in this week's issue. In case you missed it in previous issues, our expanded coverage of the Jaguar will be on an alternating weekly basis. Last week's issue brought a number of positive comments which we were all glad to see. The new staff members are feverishly working to make some improvements and additions to our coverage. Next week, we hope to provide you with reviews of Cybermorph and Crescent Galaxy, or perhaps Tempest 2000 if it's received in plenty of time to give it the look it deserves! We're also updating developer lists with proposed titles, a "tips and cheats" section, more industry news, and much more to come. We hope that you'll continue to enjoy the expanded coverage. On another happy note, I finally have my own Jaguar and I've been excited with what I've seen so far. Unfortunately, there hasn't been all that much time to enjoy it these past few days, but what I have seen so far has been impressive. With the current selection of games, and a lot more close to release, I foresee a lot of enjoyment in the upcoming weeks! Well, enough of this kibitzing. John Duckworth celebrates his 20th fishin' trip this week; and as usual, he's got a few 'keepers' this week. Must be the bait he's using these days! Joe Mirando shows us that people are still active in the Compuserve Atari forums and the advice is still flowing! And, there's even more. Until next time... _____________________________________________ Delphi's Atari Advantage! TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (4/6/94) (1) ST TOOLS 1.93 (6) AVID SOFTWARE FORMS! (2) CLEVELAND FREENET NEWSLETTER (7) MOUSE-KA-MANIA II VERSION 2.1 (3) AU! USER GROUP DIRECTORY (8) TRIPLE YAHOO (4) ST-ZIP 2.4 FIX (9) BACKWARD 2.52 (5) STIS *(10) CV TRANSLATOR V3.0 * = New on list HONORARY TOP 10 The following on-line magazines are always top downloads, frequently out-performing every other file in the databases. STREPORT (Current issue: STREPORT #10.14) ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE (Current issue: AEO - VOLUME 3, ISSUE 6) Look for the above files in the RECENT ARRIVALS database. __________________________________ > THE OLD FISHIN' HOLE STR Feature """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" THE OLD FISHIN' HOLE ==================== -A Guide to the Online PD/Shareware Waters. by John R. Duckworth I was lucky enough to fall into a virtual 'school' of new programs this week, so I'll be taking a look at no less than four fantastic new shareware offerings. The packages include a terrific little utility for Falcon owners from the mind of genius Keith Gerdes, a great Yahtzee type game for all Atari users, a wonderful new SoundTracker module editor, and yet another game from the makers of the popular shareware game "Towers". "TOS4 Trap" by Keith Gerdes of Trace Technologies is an almost'must have' program for Falcon users wishing to use certain programs which do not work quite correctly on their systems. It seems that STalker, NeoDesk, MaxiFile, and others do not function 100% on TOS 4 systems. Certain GEMDOS calls in TOS 4 were fixed from their 'broken' state in earlier TOS versions. This means that any program written which uses certain GEMDOS system calls (even though they worked fine before) will not execute properly under TOS 4. A few other problems crop up with folder deletion functions as well as certain printer output calls. All of these problems have now been addressed with "TOS4 Trap". This TSR program may be installed by running it directly from the desktop, or by simply placing it in the AUTO folder of the boot drive and forgetting about it. When installed, "TOS4 Trap" "monitors certain GEMDOS calls to make passed parameters 'TOS 4 GEMDOS compatible'". Now users can print blocks of text from STalker and those using NeoDesk will have no problems with folder deletions as well as similar problems in many other programs. Keith is asking $5 for his efforts, and for many of us using those old dependable programs, "TOS4 Trap" is well worth it. Next up is a terrific GEM based game called "Triyahoo" by Stuart Denman. Essentially a triple Yahtzee clone, "Triyahoo" will work on any Atari TOS computer in single or multi-tasking environments. The game also supports digitized sound effects for users of an STe or greater, as well as GDOS fonts for display purposes with GDOS or SpeedoGDOS installed. The object of the game is to get as high of score as possible by placing dice rolls where appropriate on the score card. Some strategy must be used since the three columns of the score card are added differently, therefore it is best to fill in the columns worth the most first. As the game progresses it is harder to fill in the columns which are left on the score card so inevitably some will be left as zero. The game is very enjoyable to play, extremely configurable, and the graphics (while sparse) are fitting to the theme and style of the game. If you are tired of solitaire, give "Triyahoo" a chance...you may become addicted. For years Atari owners have been asking for an easier way to create SoundTracker module files than the cumbersome interface used in programs such as ProTracker. While they can be effective, they are not very intuitive. "STORM!" (the working title of the demo which will be changed) is a new module editor from David Oakley of ASTRAsoft for Atari computers with DMA sound (STE's or greater) and ST high resolution or above. What sets "STORM!" apart from it's predecessors is it's module creating interface, which is entirely set around a musical staff similar to the old classic "Music Construction Set". Adding notes to your module couldn't be easier, simply left click the mouse pointer at the position on the staff where you want your note to go...to delete a note just right click. Gone are the days of cryptic music note lists and confusing keyboard charts. A full sample editor is provided to perform editing of loaded samples, either the signed or unsigned variety. Block editing functions allow the user to 'cut & paste' sections of the song pattern to new positions or delete unwanted ones. While the demo is not complete, it does give a very good idea of the direction which "STORM!" is going...and in my opinion it's headed for greatness. The full version is promised to be available sometime in May under a new name. If you are interested in music or editing module files...download the demo...then hope the real version gets delivered as promised. The last program I'll take a look at is a game by JV Enterprises called "Magno-Ball". The game is very similar to the classic "Ball Blazer" except that the view is from above the arena instead of first-person perspective. The game will work fine on any Atari TOS system but users of an STe or better will find that play is smoother. The object of the game is to run a ball to the opponents end of the field (either human or computer controlled) and shoot it into their goal. Any contact with an opponent or the arena boundaries or blockers will cause the ball to escape the players control in which case you'll have to chase it down before your opponent does. The game is simple but fun, and offers a few skill levels to choose from when playing against the computer. Download this game for a bit of entertainment break when the pressure of real work gets too great. Until next week...keep the keyboard warm for me. E-mail: JDUCKWORTH@delphi.com. +----------------------------------------------------------------+ | Old Fishin Hole Tackle Box * | +----------------------------------------------------------------+ | TOS4 Trap | | GEnie: Atari ST RT - # 32491 | | Delphi: Atari Advantage - READ TOS4 | | Triyahoo | | INTERNET: FTP from world.std.com | | STORM! | | Delphi: Atari Advantage - READ STORM | | Magno-Ball | | GEnie: Atari ST RT - # 32446 | +----------------------------------------------------------------+ * The Tackle Box is meant to provide assistance in finding files mentioned in the column. It should not be considered a COMPLETE listing and is provided for convenience only. Delphi Atari Advantage files should be found in the Recent Arrivals section of the database until moved to their appropriate sections. _____________________________________________ > Compuserve STR InfoFile Video Game Publishers Online!! """"""""""""""""""""""" **** ANNOUNCING: VIDEO GAME PUBLISHERS FORUM (GO VIDPUB) **** Announcing the grand opening of the Video Game Publishers Forum -- Your CompuServe resource for the *official* online support provided by the leading publishers in the video game industry. The Video Game Publisher forum is designed to provide game enthusiasts with the opportunity to interact directly with the publishers of your favorite video games. Each participating vendor will regularly monitor their message board and provide valuable news and product information. In the attached libraries you will find their latest press releases and product announcements, game codes, screen shots, sound files and much, much more. Customer support representatives, technical staff and designers from Data East, Takera, and Galoob (Game Genie) are already online with representatives from the other leading game publishers about to debut in the days ahead. Forum co-managers, Ron Luks and Mike Schoenbach have planned some exciting contests with great video game hardware and software prizes. The staff will have reporters covering the upcoming summer Consumer Electronics show in Chicago to bring you the latest news from the biggest names in the video game publishing field. To check out the Video Game Publishers Forum on CompuServe, type GO VIDPUB. Video game publishers interested in participating in this new forum should contact Ron Luks 76703,254 or Mike Schoenbach 76703,4363 via CompuServe electronic mail for details. _______________________________________________ > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" PEOPLE... ARE TALKING ===================== On CompuServe ------------- compiled by Joe Mirando Hidi Ho friends and neighbors. Deadlines of all kinds are closing in on me. With moving, wedding plans, writing assignments, and the like, times are about as hectic as they can get. But I still make it a point to log on to CompuServe and check out what's going on. It constantly amazes me that there is such a wealth of information available every week. You can always pick up tips on how to get the most from your favorite computer, or find the latest news about industry goings-on. C'mon along with me now and you'll see what I mean... From the Atari ST Arts Forum ============================ Yat Siu of Lexicor Software posts: "Compuserve finally got it's Internet Access up and rolling, unfortunately they still only support 9600 access (or lower) if you login via Internet which really doesn't make any sense. :) However..for people with slow CI$ access but fast Internet access you can now login via compuserve.com (it used to be hermes.merit.edu with ++$$ surcharge)." John Amsler tells Yat: "Yes, recently there were two announcements from CompuServe. People can now access CIS from within the Internet. Later on during the year, people will be able to access Internet hosts (including file transfers and Usenet newsgroups) from within CIS. It's been a LONG wait, and it should have been done a LONG time ago, but I guess patience has its rewards." From the Atari Productivity Forum ================================= Continuing a conversation from last week about Digital Research International's (they're the people who gave us GEM) DR DOS and the fact that DR DOS will read any Atari ST formatted disk on a PC, Sysop Bob Retelle posts: "Aha...! I'd forgotten that DR DOS was "Digital Research DOS"..! That's a good point about the ST being a pioneer in using 3.5 inch drives.. it wasn't until much later that people had those kinds of drive on PCs to even worry about swapping disks with..." John Feagans tells Bob: "Also recall that the original ST external floppy drives were offered in 360k and 720k 3 1/2 " versions. These certainly seem like antiques by todays standards!" Bob joins in the reminisince: "John... how true..! I remember struggling with one single sided and one double sided floppy for about a week after I "upgraded" to two floppies... the SS drive disappeared VERY quickly after that..! It does seem like a looooong time ago..!" It has been reported that the most recent version of Marcel, a popular word processor which is now shareware, conflicts with Warp9, CodeHead Technologies screen accelerator, Henri Tremblay posts: "I won't buy another screen accelerator. Warp 9 is just fine with every other program I use. I don't have the latest version, though. Marcel is the first software that has problem with my copy of Warp 9." Our own Editor Emeritus, Lloyd Pulley, tells Henri: "Same here - Warp 9 works so well with everything I use that I've seen no use in upgrading it either (I still use version 3.75/1.4)." Lloyd, the only thing I can say is: "GET THE UPGRADE!... It just keeps getting better and better." That having been said, let's check out Scott Mueller's plea for help: "I am in need of a new typewriter keyboard and mouse for my Atari Mega2 ST. The Keyboard is missing a few keys, and I also need a cable to connect the keyboard to the computer with. Is this a cable I could make myself? I have no luck finding any dealers providing these things. I am in Bergen county NJ, NYC area.." Brian Gockley of ST Informer fame tells Scott: "I would contact Sheldon Winick in N.C. He has an excellent reputation and is always available for advice. His number is (704) 251-0201." Henri Tremblay tells us: "I have been trying to make Invitation cards with my ST, but it is not easy. Is there an easy program to do it. My brother uses First Publisher (I think) on his PC and it is very easy. I had such a program on my old Adam computer. I have tried with different draw/paint packages and also with Wordflair but there is always something wrong. To make a card some sections must be inverted text, so I made the text with a paint program, inverted it and saved it as an IMG, but when I import the IMG the dimensions are not right. Any suggestion?" That Brian Gockley guy <grin> tells Henri: "What is wrong with the dimensions, in WF you can just grab the IMG with the right mounse button and then resize it with the handles that appear. What monitor are you using? You should have a mono monitor if you want things to look the same on screen as they do on the printer. A color monitor would give you problems with proportions... Do things look alright when you print them? WF should be able to make almost anything you want!" Henri tells Brian: "I type an invitation message using Hyperpaint then 'snapshot' it and had it flipped vertically. All letters look fine but upside down. When I look at the image file using for instance Picswitch all dimensions are OK but when I import the file in a block area created in Wordflair, the file is either larger or smaller which makes some letters seem 'fatter' but not all thus the bad appearance. I'll try once again." Brian asks Henri: "Why don't you just type the invitation in Wordflair and then print it out in landscape mode? That will get your letters oriented the right way, and you won't have to worry about importing." Sysop Bill Aycock, who also writes some of the best shareware programs for the ST, posts: "New in LIB 6... [76703,4061] Lib: 6 WHATIS.ZIP/Bin Bytes: 20084, Count: 748, 05-Apr-94 Title : Identifies 160+ file types: ARCs/PRGs/pics/more! Keywords: WHATIS ACC ARC DEGAS GIF LZH PRG SEQ IDENTIFY TYPE New version! WHATIS 6.7 identifies over 160 file types - ARCs, LHarcs, PRGs, pics, ACCs, animations, etc... no more "what kind of file is this?" problems! Runs as a PRG or ACC or a TTP-like program on any ST/TT in any rez. Short docs included in the ARC. All the features of previous versions, plus adds RTF (Rich Text Format) files to the list." Dan Danilowicz asks: "...Just a general question (for now). Why are hard drive partitioned? This here STe has a 20 meg hard drive that seemed to have all 20 megs available at once as Drive C. After downloading the Atari HD Utility files from here, I started experimenting (I did back everything up this time) and reading, and I decided that maybe I should reformat and let the bad sectors get marked. (I was getting error messages frequently.) Now, it seems, that the only way I have access to the full 20 megs is by installing drives. Those are the partitions, no? They weren't necessary before I reformatted, or might that have been part of my error problems?" Sysop Bob Retelle explains to Dan: "Partitions are just another way of organizing hard drive storage space. Just as sub-directories will subdivide a directory into separate areas to make it easier to organize your files, partitioning a physical hard drive will subdivide it into two or more "logical drives" which can have several advantages. One of these is helping organize files... for example, I had my ST drive partitioned into C: and D: drives. The C: drive I used for applications that seldom ever changed, like Flash for telecommunications, Degas Elite for graphics work, and STWriter for wordprocessing. Then the D: drive was used for more "transient" files, like games or graphics files I might download to check out. Also, the data files from the C: drive applications were stored on the D: drive. That also leads to another advantage of having separate partitions on a hard drive... the C: drive, since the files seldom ever changed, wouldn't get "fragmented" as files were added or deleted, so the applications would load faster. The D: drive, which did get fragmented a lot was easier to backup and restore, being only half the total size of the entire disk. Backups were easier and quicker too, since I only had to back up the C: drive if I added anything. The D: drive backups took only half the time as backing up the whole drive would have taken. Smaller partitions may also help with access speed, as it takes longer to locate a specific file in a large directory/subdirectory structure. The reason you ended up with several partitions when you reformatted the drive was probably that the WINCAP entry was set up that way. If you edit the entry for that style drive as was detailed earlier, but only include one partition with the entire storage of the drive assigned to it, you'll end up with just one large C: drive like you had before. Just for comparison, the hard drive on my IBM clone is partitioned with 1 Meg for the OS/2 Boot Manager, 20 Megs for DOS, 60 Megs for OS/2, 10 Megs for the OS/2 swap file, and 70 Megs for games.. er.. applications. It helps keep all that diverse stuff separated and organized." Dan tells Bob: "Thanks for the thorough explanation of the uses of partitions. I thought maybe they had some kinda AUTORUN.SYS use, like they can on the Atari8. I still have a lot to learn about this beauty... I'm glad you Elders here are willing to help fill in the many blanks. Oh yeah, here's another one: I can't seem to get all of the elements of the desktop to boot up when I like when I use the HD, and I can't find any reference to what I should do in the skimpy ST manual. Also, I remember reading here that a book published by Index Legalis was considered the most valuable printed resource for the ST. Is that still true, and where might I find a copy?" Bob tells Dan: "I think the address for Index Legalis is in the VENDORS files in the library here... the list includes a lot of the suppliers still supporting the Atari computer line. If I understand what you were saying about the desktop not being right at boot up, have you saved the desktop back to disk after arranging it the way you like it..? After you get all the icons and everything set up just right, go to the OPTIONS menu and choose SAVE DESKTOP. That should write a DESKTOP.INF file to your hard drive so that when you boot up everything will be arranged the way it was when it was saved." Mike Mortilla tells Dan: "Other computer experts may want to tackle this, but it's my understanding that partitions help keep the HD from fragmenting so quickly. Also, if you keep the boot partition (usually "C") seperate from the rest of the drive and the is a crash, you can usually (or most of the time...) reconstruct the C section and the rest of the drive and data are still ok. I like to keep music seperate from DTP and "utilities" so I *LIKE* partitions <!>... Anyone else care to tackle this ???" On another hard drive related topic, Scott Mueller tells us: "I really need to get a hard drive for my Atari Mega2 ST. I have been hearing different stories about hard drives for it. I talked to a guy in Sam Ash, and he said there was only one 105Meg drive that he knew worked 'correctly' with the Mega2 with ICD link. I forget the name of the drive, but it was $500+ for 105M!!? I see many cheaper SCSI drives that are twice that size. Someone please clarify what drives I can use, and possibly some recommendations?" Lloyd Pulley tells Scott: "I'm running dual Quantum 105's on my MegaST4 - one a P105S and one a LP105S (both are the same size - the second one is faster) and had no problems. I use one of the older ICD host adaptors (it has to be 5-7 years old - at the minimum - HOST.TOS shows "Original STHA")." Scott continues: "I really don't need a removable hard drive, I just need it for making life easier! I bought an IBM comp with a HD and can't think of going another day w/o a HD for the Atari. I'm not sure what my price range is, I haven't done much browsing. I really don't think I'll need more than 200 megs or so.." Kevin at PG Music tells Scott: "HDrives are like "potato chips". You'll ALWAYS want/need more once you get used to it. That's why I like removeables. 105Meg SyQuest carts can be had from $55 to $69 depending on where you buy. :)" Dazzz Smith joins the discussion and tells Kevin: "Too true, I've pretty much made up my mind to go for a 128 meg MO (magneto-optical) drive later this year, for the amount of stuff I go through it will be very handy, plus I can back up this 121 meg HD on a regular basis with one cart!" Marty Hall tell us that he's... "Looking for the cheapest, quickest way to go to use a DOS driven CDdrive with my Atari 520 expanded to 2 Meg. I have available a used pc-ditto II for $100 but not sure that's the way I want to go. This CD will be used to read data on full sized aircraft in which there is some searching to be done. a D Base based program comes with ( or on ) the CD. It is read only. Any suggestions.............?" Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine (who just happens to be one of the most knowledgeable people around) tells Marty: "If your CD-ROM drive is a SCSI device is should work with your ST. Provided you have an ICD LINK or ADSCSI host adapter. Also you need ExtenDOS v1.1 which is a CD-ROM driver that will cost you around $19.95 or so. Its available from Its All Relative who is also online here on CIS. I am assuming that the CD-ROM is ISO-9660 complaint so it will work with ExtenDOS. Since ExtenDOS gives you a drive letter you can easily access the dBASE data files without any problems. This assumes that you Atari based database program can read dBASE data files. Also if the Atari based program doesn't need to apply locks to the data file on the drive. Since nothing can be written to a read-only CD-ROM it may pose a problem. But I would assume that shouldn't be a problem. IBM AT-bus based CD-ROM drives are cheaper but they won't work on the Atari. With a SCSI CD-ROM it should work on almost any platform, for example (MAC, IBM, Atari, SUN SPARCstation, IBM RS/6000, DG AViiON, DEC mips based Unix box, etc." Well, it had to happen... designating a list of programs for a specific computer platform as "classic" usually means that there aren't any new programs (or, at least not many) for folks to talk about. Dan Daniliwicz posts: "Being pretty new to the ST world, I'm wondering if there's general agreement as to what the Greatest Hits for this platform might be. In the 8-bit world of Atari, the productivity and game classics are pretty well-known. What does everyone run around here? How does Atariworks fit in? That looks mighty tempting, but its package doesn't say much, and I can't find a press release or anything else around here that tells me more." Mike Mortilla gives Dan his list of favorites: "I've been thru a number of ST programs and don't mind telling you what my all time favorite (or otherwise still useable...<g>) programs are: EditTrack/SmpteTrack from Barefoot (sequencing) Dr T's Copyist DTP(notation...could be better supported) WordPerfect (needs an upgrade!) Pagestream (needs an upgrade...) Interlink Warp 9 (still a little problem with reversing the main screen?) Intersect RAMBaby (RAM DISK) GenEdit (MIDI editor librarian) OutBurst (print accellerator...very useful!) DC SHOWIT Touch Up (w/Migraph scanner) DB MAN V (well, almost a useful database...)" Jonnie Santos posts this about his "hunting expedition": "I finally got down to see a Jaguar in action. Don't beat me with a rubber hose, but... Is that all??? Now mind you San Diego is not real big on Atari anything. We have one local store and they had 1 demo unit. And there's a large appliance store that had one but they had it unplugged for the Sega CD-X unit - they weren't real anxious to demo the Jag. I hope to venture out today and see if I can find maybe one more source. Here is where I need some input, please. I'm not a big game person but I do like something like the old Zork (IBM) and the 7th Guest (IBM-CD) is pretty slick. I expected to see that type of stuff (live video mixed with animation) on the Jaguar. The specs sound like the thing is right out of future but my first impressions don't make me rush out to buy it. What am I missing? By what I'm describing what type of video game is close to what it sounds like I'm looking for. And does anyone else have less than fantastic review opinions about Atari's new fair-haired boy? I'm not stirring the pot but I would like some opinions, please? Since I'm not big on traditional video games my opinions may be heavily biased and worthless to those that really understanding gaming hardware/software." Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine asks Jonnie" "What games did you see on the Jaguar? Did you get to play any of them? If you did get to play any of them which one did you like?" Jonnie tells Albert: "I played briefly the one with the tunnel that has red things that come from the back of the tunnel to the front and you're supposed to shoot them. Bleck!!! But you can slap me now as I drove 40 miles this afternoon and ended up bringing one home. The sales people sold me a SVHS cable they swore worked with it - WRONG. So I'll figure out who to call for the SVHS goodie. I bought RAIDEN and it came with CYBERMORPH - which is prett neat actually. Played for 2 hours straght (even missed 60 minutes) and didn't know it. Call me fickle! ps - even with the stock coax cable it looks twice as good on my 27" RCA TV that's patched into my stereo. The subwoofer gets a good workout too! (oh my poor neighbors...)" Albert tells Jonnie: "I assume that you were playing Crescent Galaxy? I try to play Cybermorph at least once a week myself. Cybermorph is very addicting, its easy to spend hours and hours (or is that weeks and weeks <grin>) playing with the game. Atari and Redmond Cable are two places that have cables. Also your Atari dealer might have some too." Jonnie replies: "Yes, CyberMorph is addicting - I caught myself at 5:00am this morning with the headphones on playing it before going to work (and was almost late too!). Guess this is a good sign of a good product! Also, I saw for the first time the commerical on TV for the Jag! :) As for the cable... I called Toad and ordered the cable (which is in stock) and I'm in backorder status for Tempest 2000. I'm really anxious to hear the sound effects in stereo on CyberMorph - Raiden doesn't seem audibly as interesting but it's hard to tell until I get the new cable installed." Danny Bull asks: "Do you know if any other controllers will work with the Jag? Do to a spinal cord injury I have limited use of my hands. This makes the stock Jag controller a little dificult for me to use (although I've still managed to go down fighting in Cybermorph!) A controller with large buttons would be great. I remember (way bacdk in the good 'ol days) when the Atari 2600 was released, I was determined to find a joystik/paddle combo, which I did (made by an engineer friend from Lockheed, he used large plastic aircraft buttons. The controller still works with my Mega today. Made in America what can I say.) Now what the Jag needs is a super version of the Classic 4 player Warlords game (who say video games will make you anti-social?)" Albert tells Danny: "I don't know of any other controllers so far. I know there is talk about a paddle controller for Tempest. There is a company called Thrustmaster which makes other types of controllers is a developer listed in the most recent AEO vol 3 Issue 6. I think that is the correct name. Other than that the Jaguar controller is supposed to use the same pin-outs at the STE series of computers 15-pin controllers. So I would assume if your friend (the Lockheed Engineer) could get access to one it wouldn't be to hard to make one. I think the connectors are the same type used on VGA monitors so it shouldn't be too hard to find connectors. Why stop at only 4 players for Warlords ... why not 16 players? <grin>" Well folks, that's about it for this week. It's getting late and the morning rolls around far to quickly. Tune in again next time for more news, info, hints, and other interesting tidbits. And remember: no matter where you are, always listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" Who hasn't tried this? """"""""""""""""" "Whenever I'm caught between two evils, I take the one I never tried!" - Mae West """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > DEALER CLASSIFIED LIST STR InfoFile * Dealer Listings * """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" --------------- ABCO Incorporated ================= P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 Est. 1985 1-904-783-3319 1994 SPRING SPECIALS NOW IN EFFECT! ------------------------ ABCO manufactures custom storage devices! INTEL 32 BIT 486/66, w/Math CoProcessor Tower (HAS ZIF SOCKET) PLUG-IN UPGRADABLE (easy) 4MB ram upgradable to 32MB 1MB SVGA VESA VIDEO CARD Sound Blaster Compatible Stereo Sound Card DOS 6.2 - Windows for Workgroups 3.11 Included 256K CACHE - 1.44/1.2 FLOPPY Drives, Mouse & 101 deluxe Keyboard 250MB IDE hd - 2 SERIAL, 1 PARALLEL, 1 GAME PORTS 250W POWER SUPPLY TOWER SYSTEM 14" Non-Interlaced SVGA 1024x768, 28dpi Monitor 33Mhz ver. S&H Incl 1695.00 695.00 with order, balance COD other higher powered packages available or, design your own! Call for value added pricing! Call: 904-783-3319 Anytime, Voice Mail =====******===== Syquest Removable 44-105-270mb SCSI Drives All Size Platters Available Diamond Speed Star 24x SVGA/VGA Video Card w/1mbVRAM Diamond Stealth & Viper 1mb & 2mb - Call for prices Enhances Windows SPEED and EFFICIENCY Diamond High Performance Sound Cards Available Soundblaster Cards and compatibles 8 & 16 bit Pro Audio Spectrum STUDIO 16 - 16bit - Midi - Audio Recognition Top of the Media Vision PAS Line - True Multi-Media IDE Super IO cards & 16550 UART 2 & 4 Port Cards Call: 904-783-3319 Anytime, Voice Mail """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" COMPUTER STUDIO =============== WESTGATE SHOPPING CENTER 40 Westgate Parkway -Suite D Asheville, NC 28806 1-800-253-0201 Orders Only 1-704-251-0201 Information FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" EAST HARTFORD COMPUTER ====================== 202 Roberts St. East Hartford CT. 06108 1-203-528-4448 FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" MEGABYTE COMPUTERS ================== 907 Mebourne Hurst, TX 76053 1-817-589-2950 FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" SAN JOSE COMPUTER ================= 1278 Alma Court San Jose, CA. 95112 1-408-995-5080 FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" CompuSeller West ================ 220-1/2 W. 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