ST Report: 29-Dec-95 #1152

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/21/96-11:57:38 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 29-Dec-95 #1152
Date: Sun Jan 21 23:57:38 1996

                            Silicon Times Report

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                              Happy New Year!!

 December 29, 1995                                                 No.1152

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12/29/95 STR 1152        The Original Independent OnLine Magazine!
- CPU Industry Report         - Delrina W95 News       - Intel & Phoenix?
- Internet/ISDN Synergy       - CIS 4m Subs            - Cyber Culture
- Kids Computing              - Compton's Online       - Internet Overload
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                        Apple in Bind With Microsoft!
                          Feds Prowl for Net Scams
                               Canon Too BIG??

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>From the Editor's Desk...
      Happy New Year!!  For some it will be the Happiest of New Year
Celebrations and for others. well, `Nuff said.  The only way we can make
sure this will be a Happy New Year is to take every step necessary in making
certain no party hounds are permitted to DRINK and DRIVE.   Please.. DO NOT
     If the party is at your house, set up a "key box" in which everyone
puts their car keys for safe keeping.  The last party game is going to be
deadly serious and will be handled by only those who have enjoyed soft
drinks only.  They'll be the ones who determine who is or is not suitably
capable of operating a vehicle.  Make sure everyone agrees to their decision
being final and in having themselves driven home either in a cab or in their
own vehicle.  The arrangements may be a pain. but looking into the eyes of
those left behind is far more painful.  Especially.. when you know you could
have made the difference between life and death.
     This is our LAST issue for 1995.  Normally I'd be busy putting together
a list of the best and the worst of 1995 but the list would be top heavy in
the BEST category so. all I'll say is stay away from Canon Hardware Products
until such time as they get their ACT together.  They are at the bottom of
the swill pool when it comes to support and updated 32 bit drivers for their
products.  From BIOS code to printer drivers and finally their Scanner
Drivers.  Maybe Canon needs its entire executive corps revamped.  Something
is deadly wrong at Canon.  The others are Arcada Tape Backup (BAD software)
and the real pineapple of the bunch SoftRam 95, is best left totally
untouched.  Leave `em on the shelf!
     All the other Software and hardware Companies are doing the right
thing.. Intel is, to an extent.  A very large and conclusive extent.  Even
if they haven't a clue about releasing and supporting PCI Bus Mastering
Drivers for their Triton ChipSet.  It leaves one to wonder just what they'll
do with their Triton II Chipset Support.  Time will tell.
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STReport's managing editors

                    Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Editor
                  Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs

Section Editors

     PC Section                    Mac Section                   Atari
     R.F. Mariano                  J. Deegan                D. P. Jacobson

Portable Computers & Entertainment                      Kid's Computing
     Marty Mankins                                          Frank Sereno

STReport Staff Editors
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     John Szczepanik               Paul Guillot                  Joseph
     Doyle Helms                   John Duckworth           Jeff Coe
     Steve Keipe                   Guillaume Brasseur            Melanie
     Jay Levy                 Jeff Kovach                   Marty Mankins
     Carl Prehn                    Paul Charchian                Vincent P.
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     Craig Harris                  Allen Chang                   Tim Holt
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                           STReport Headline News

                   Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                        Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                        Apple in Bind With Microsoft
     Apple  Computer  Inc.  apparently is ending the year  facing  licensing
difficulties for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 operating system. Computergram
International  writes  today  that Apple finds  itself  in  a  bind  because
Microsoft's  "onerous  licensing terms ... seem to involve  (Apple)  signing
away its birthright."
     The newsletter notes Apple's Windows and MS-DOS licenses expire on Dec.
31,  and the company "has been unable to reach any compromise with Microsoft
on  the  clause  in  the license agreement that would indemnify  the  latter
against any possible infringement of Apple patents."  CI observes that  even
Microsoft foe IBM has somehow found a way to sign, "but Apple must  now  buy
the software for its Windows compatibility boards from third parties and get
less favorable terms."
                       Telecom Bill Compromise Reached
     Word  from  Washington is that Congressional conferees have reached  an
agreement on a sweeping reform of telecommunications law, a development Vice
President Al Gore calls "a victory for the American economy and the American
consumer."  In a statement, Gore, who has closely followed the measure, said
the  agreement  will prevent media concentration and will provide  for  fair
competition  between  local  and  long distance  telephone  companies.   The
measure  also includes a provision for fitting TV receivers with a  "V-chip"
that will enable families to block out violent programming.
     The  Reuter  News  Service quotes Gore as saying the  draft  bill  -  a
conference committee had worked to resolve differences in legislation passed
earlier by the Senate and the House of Representatives -- will lower  prices
and increase and improve telecommunications services.
     It  also  will preserve a diversity of television and radio  viewpoints
and prevent a media concentration that was of concern to the president, Gore
said.  Reuters says industry sources report a key dispute resolved was  "the
ground  rule  to  allow the regional telephone companies to enter  the  long
distance  business,"  noting,  "The legislation  would  open  long  distance
business  to  local  telephone  companies once  the  Federal  Communications
Commission, with advice from the Justice Department, was assured that  their
business also was open to competition."  Sources told Reuters the draft bill
will  keep  the ban on one company owning a television station and newspaper
in a single market and owning two television stations in a single market.
                        Clinton Signs Child Porn Law
     President Clinton has signed a bill into law handing tougher punishment
to purveyors of child pornography, especially in cyberspace.  The Associated
Press  notes the new law sharply increase penalties for people convicted  of
an  array  of  child-sex  offenses, imposing these increases  in  sentencing
z    Penalties for people convicted of causing a child to engage in sexually
  explicit conduct before a camera increases from the range of 57 to 71 months
  to 70 to 87 months.
z    Sentences for those convicted of distributing visual depiction's of
such activity rises from the range of 18 to 24 months to 24 to 30 months.
     And,  the  wire  service notes, the sentencing increases  double  if  a
computer  is  used to transmit child pornography pictures.   Penalties  also
sharply  increased for those convicted of transporting a minor in interstate
or foreign commerce to engage in prostitution or illegal sexual activity.
                      Bonds to Speed Ziff-Davis Buyout
     Japanese software wholesaler Softbank Corp.'s acquisition of Ziff-Davis
Publishing Co.'s computer magazine empire is expected to be speeded up by  a
new  bond issue.  Softbank, which originally unveiled the takeover Oct.  19,
yesterday  announced a $682 million convertible bond issue to  help  finance
its  $1.8  billion  acquisition of ZD, the New York  publishing  giant  that
produces PC Magazine, PC Week, MacUser and other major computer periodicals.
ZD currently is owned by Forstmann Little Co., an investment company.
     Writing  from  Tokyo  for  United Press International,  reporter  Brian
Mertens says Softbank hopes the purchase will help it form global publishing
operations  in  the U.S., Europe and promising new markets like  China,  and
analysts say the bond issue should grease the skids.  "The strength of stock
prices  should  help  the bond market digest this issue,"  said  editor  Mas
Nishimaki of Dealwatch, an equity and bond research service.
     Analyst Richard May at WestLB Securities Pacific Ltd. adds, "This  deal
will  make Softbank a big part of the U.S. and European software scene.  ...
Softbank controls half the software market in Japan, but profit margins  are
higher in publishing, so this looks like a smart move. It's not getting Ziff-
Davis  on  the  cheap -- I'd call it an average price -- but parts  of  this
market are doubling each year."
Mertens,  quoting industry insiders, concludes the deal stands  out  because
z     Is  one  of  the few large Japanese acquisitions in the United  States
  announced this year.
z    Represents a new Japanese foray into a foreign media company.
     Softbank  will  finance its purchase by issuing new bonds  and  tapping
$660 million raised through a new share issue this month. The company is  to
complete  payment  to Ziff-Davis shareholders by the end  of  February  next
year.   "Analysts  were not concerned," says Mertens, "the deal  would  mean
most  media  and  trade  shows specializing in  the  PC  business  would  be
dominated by a single company."
                          Feds Prowl for Net Scams
     Federal  law  enforcement authorities are struggling to crack  down  on
scams in the new territory of cyberspace, warning us of bogus get-rich-quick
schemes,  weight-loss  miracles,  AIDS  cures,  credit-repair  programs  and
investment  scams.  "The scams are the same -- the way you investigate  them
is  different," Lucy Morris, assistant director for credit practices at  the
Federal Trade Commission, told Roger Fillion of the Reuter News Service.
     The FTC is not alone. "Cruising cyberspace as part of their work," says
Fillion,   "are  employees  with  the  FTC,  the  Securities  and   Exchange
Commission,  the  Department of Transportation, the  Secret  Service,  state
attorneys general and state securities regulators."
     And  there are new problems. Says Reuters, "Cyberspace offers criminals
wonderful anonymity and law officers face ambiguous jurisdiction issues  due
to  the  global nature of the Internet, raising questions about whether  new
laws are needed to cope with the new medium."
Some recent cases:
z     In July Minnesota sued six companies and individuals, accusing them of
  fraud  and  illegal business on the Internet and computer online services.
  State investigators uncovered the cases while prowling cyberspace.
z    In one case a woman advertised the health benefits of a substance known
  as "germanium," suggesting it would help people with AIDS, cancer and other
  diseases.  Germanium  products have been banned  because  they  can  cause
  irreversible kidney damage.
z    In another case, a firm offered consumers, in exchange for $15, tips on
  how to send first-class letters with two-cent stamps. Four defendants have
  settled the charges and a fifth case is pending. A sixth defendant could not
  be found.

     "The  Internet is really not a different way to commit fraud.  It's  an
opportunity  to  reach  a  lot more people," said  Gary  Sundick,  associate
director  of  enforcement at the SEC, responsible for  protecting  investors
against  fraud.   In  its most publicized recent case, settled  in  a  Rhode
Island  last August, the SEC charged a man used the Internet to try to  lure
investors  to  buy bonds in an eel-farm venture. He promised  a  20  percent
return with very low risk, but failed to disclose that the venture "was  not
an  ongoing business" and that he had "no expertise" in culturing eels,  the
SEC said. As reported earlier, the SEC closed the operation before investors
handed  over  any  money.   Sundick advises Internet  surfers,  "Don't  make
investment  decisions based solely on what you see on a computer screen,  or
receiving something from somebody you don't know. Get as much information as
you can, just as if you're making any investment."
                       Intel Investing in Phoenix Tech
     Intel  Corp.  is investing $10.9 million in Phoenix Technologies  Ltd.,
which  specializes  in software used in PC design and manufacturing,  giving
the  chip  giant a 6 percent stake, with an option to add another 7  percent
over  the following four years.  Reporting from Intel's Santa Clara, Calif.,
headquarters,  United Press International says Phoenix and Intel  also  have
signed a seven-year technology licensing agreement covering circuit boards.
     "Intel  is  expected to pay Phoenix fees and royalties of at least  $20
million,  though  the  revenue under the agreement  could  be  significantly
higher  depending on shipment volumes," UPI reports.  Phoenix also plans  to
open  a  new  system  software development site, to be located  adjacent  to
Intel's  board  development facilities in Hillsboro, Ore. The  new  facility
will  begin  operation next month with a staff of 20, largely of engineering
and  program management professionals.  "Intel has agreed that it  will  not
increase  its ownership of Phoenix beyond 19.9 percent for two  years,"  UPI
                       School Pays for Net Punishment
     A  Washington state school has agreed to pay a $2,000 settlement  to  a
former student who lost a chance at a National Merit Scholarship because his
principal  didn't like what he said publicly on the Internet.  The  Bellevue
School  District  also  has agreed to seek to have the  student,  Paul  Kim,
reinstated as a National Merit finalist and has apologized for punishing the
student.   Kim,  who had a 3.8 grade average in high school  and  now  is  a
freshman  at  Columbia  University in New York, told the  Associated  Press,
"This  establishes for students and high school administrators that  freedom
of speech does apply to the Internet."
     AP  says  that earlier this month the school district acknowledged  the
actions  taken  against Kim were punitive and that it should have  respected
Kim's  right to free speech even when it disagreed with the speech.   School
district  spokeswoman Ann Oxrieder said, "I think we learned something  from
this."   Last March, while Kim was still a senior at Newport High School  in
this  Seattle  suburb, he used his home computer to write  a  spoof  of  his
school  and  posted  it  on his World Wide Web home page  on  the  Net.  His
"Unofficial Newport High School Home Page" lampooned his classmates as being
obsessed  with  sex  and  included links to  other  Internet  material  with
sexually explicit content.
     Principal   Karin   Cathey   responded   by   revoking   the   school's
recommendation  of  Kim  for a National Merit scholarship  and  for  college
admissions.  Kim  did  not  receive a Merit scholarship.   Kathleen  Taylor,
director  of  the  American Civil Liberties Union in Washington,  commented,
"The  district  has  recognized  that the  principal  had  no  authority  to
discipline a student for expressing his opinions on his own time on  a  home
computer."   AP says Kim's current home page can be reached at  Web  address e)pkk11/.
                       I-Net Technology Awarded Patent
     Security  Dynamics Technologies Inc. says it has been awarded a  patent
for  a process that's designed to provide fast and secure data transfers  on
the  Internet.   The  company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts,  says  its
Concryption  technology  combines  data  compression  and  data   encryption
technologies in a single integrated series of operations. It notes that  the
process enhances information privacy and data integrity while simultaneously
reducing  transmission time, CPU overhead and data storage space.  When  the
technology  is used with integrated public key encryption, the  identity  of
the sender and recipient can be assured, it adds.
     "The  technology encompassed by this patent could become  important  in
the  information  age,"  says Kenneth Weiss, chairman  and  chief  technical
officer  at  Security Dynamics. "I believe that Concryption is  an  enabling
concept  technology  which  could affect the  way  that  data  from  various
sources,  including  telecommunications, the Internet  and  satellites,  are
communicated in the future."
                       CompuServe Hits 4 Million Mark
     CompuServe  Inc.  says  the  worldwide  membership  of  the  CompuServe
Information  Service  has  surpassed 4  million  individuals.   The  company
reports  that  more than 200,000 new members are joining  the  service  each
month,  with local dial-up access now available in more than 140  countries.
CompuServe  officials are optimistic about prospects in the new year.   "New
computer  owners  are  realizing the value of the  online  service  and  the
Internet," says Bob Massey, CompuServe's president and CEO. "A computer that
is  not  connected  to  cyberspace is like a television  without  sound  and
     CompuServe notes that the holiday season is one of the biggest times of
year  for member acquisition in the online industry. This year, more than  3
million  people are expected to get new computers. "Our goal is to  reach  5
million  members  next spring, and we will reach that  goal,"  Massey  says.
CompuServe's  announcement comes one day after  it  announced  that  it  has
surpassed  500,000  members in Europe, with 200,000 in  the  United  Kingdom
                        CompuServe Expands in Europe
     CompuServe Inc. reports it has surpassed 500,000 members in Europe  and
200,000  members in the United Kingdom.  "We plan to more than  double  this
number  over  the  next  12 months," says Martin Turner,  product  marketing
director  at CompuServe U.K. "We have been putting the network and  customer
support infrastructure in place to accommodate the tremendous growth we have
already  experienced  and  expect to continue to experience  over  the  next
     CompuServe says it's continuing to enhance its localized interfaces and
to  add  country  and language-specific content. In the U.K.,  organizations
such  as  the Press Association, Reuters, Automobile Association, Selfridges
and Dixons now provide services and sell merchandise through CompuServe.  In
France,  CompuServe has recently added L'Express magazine and France  Cinema
Multimedia  to  its  local service offering, while in Germany,  Spiegel  and
Bertelsmann are now available.
     CompuServe  adds that it's pioneering new online technologies  such  as
machine  translation capabilities to translate e-mail,  forum  messages  and
other  documents between English, French, Spanish and German at the member's
request.   "The European market is growing rapidly, and we plan to  continue
to  expand  and  enhance our European service," says  Turner.  "We  have  an
excellent global network, including 440 access points worldwide. CompuServe,
more than any other online service, is in the ideal position to take on  the
challenges  and  maximize  the opportunities  of  offering  a  truly  global
                      Eliot Stein Begins Net Talk Show
     Online  entertainment  pioneer Eliot Stein,  best  known  for  multiple
Hollywood features on CompuServe, next Wednesday launches what is said to be
the  Internet's first live, real-time talk show.  Rock legend Johnny  Rivers
is  slated  to  be  the debut guest on the show, called Netchat  with  Eliot
Stein,   offered   through   AudioNet   (which   is   reached   at   address on the Internet's World Wide Web).
     The first program is to be broadcast at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on Jan.  3.
Rivers will be followed by actor Matt Frewer ("Max Headroom," "Lawnmower Man
2:  Beyond Cyberspace") on Jan. 10. Future guests include the cast and  crew
of  "Mystery  Science Theater 3000" and comedian/presidential candidate  Pat
     Stein says in a statement that Netchat will bring celebrities, authors,
experts  and interesting people on a weekly basis to the Net users worldwide
who  have the RealAudio software program (downloadable at AudioNet).   "They
will  be  able  to listen to the interviews on their computer as  they  take
place  in real time," the statement adds. "An 800-number will allow them  to
talk  to  the  guests as well. Interviews will be archived  for  many  weeks
     In  March 1994, Stein created CompuServe's Stein Online (GO STEIN), the
first  text-based  online real-time interactive "talk show."  Stein  is  the
longtime  editor of Hollywood Hotline (GO HOLLYWOOD) and has been associated
with  a  number of CompuServe forums, including the ShowbizMedia  Forum  (GO
SHOWBIZ), the American Oldies Diner Forum (GO OLDIES), the TV Zone Forum (GO
TVZONE) (see TV Zone) and Talkin' USA Forum (GO TALKUSA).

     Delrina Ships Cyberjack 7.0 Internet Client Software for Windows 95
               Announces Internet Access Deal with CompuServe
                          Launches Price Promotion

Editor's Summary
z    Full integration with Windows 95 (32-bit implementation; OLE-enabled
  applications; drag and drop; point and click operation) makes it easy to
  learn and use.
z    Full Internet suite provides all the tools (not just a browser) one
  needs for all aspects of the Internet.
z    Unique Guidebook organizes the Internet, ties sites and tools together,
  serves as a personal trail guide to get users surfing instantly; wizards
  help users define other areas of interest.
z    Unique update feature keeps software current with new Internet
z    Includes the new WinComm PRO 7.0 for non-Internet data communication
z    Built-in Norton Anti-Virus detection against online viruses.
z    Configuration Wizards for easy one-button access to CompuServe's
  worldwide network and other Internet Service Providers.
z    Supports SSL standard to ensure credit card confidentiality for online
z    Solid and reliable, tested by more than 40,000 users through the online
beta program.

TORONTO, ONT - Delrina Group, Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC), the world'
leading  supplier  of PC communications software, today  shipped  its  much-
awaited Internet client software for Microsoft Windows 95, Delrina Cyberjack
7.0.   Today's announcement delivers on Delrina's PC Communications at  Your
Command  vision  designed to provide the easiest and richest  communications
experience  available  on  a  PC today.  Cyberjack,  the  first  Windows  95
compliant  and  logo'd Internet suite, lifts the surfing experience  on  the
Internet to unprecedented heights through its Guidebook technology and  full
complement  of  Internet  tools, which help people  get  productive  on  the
Internet easily and quickly.
Simultaneous  with the product shipment, Delrina is announcing an  agreement
with  CompuServe's  Internet and Network Services Divisions  to  offer  one-
button  Internet  access within the Cyberjack package.  Additionally,  users
without   an   Internet  Service  Provider  (ISP)  can  take  advantage   of
CompuServe's RAMP (Remote Account Maintenance Protocol) capability and  vast
dial-up network to automatically register and access the Internet.
Cyberjack  enables users to experience the full power of  the  Internet,  by
providing  full-featured  client applications  including:   a  Web  browser;
USENet  News  reader; FTP (File Transfer Protocol) file  transfer;  Internet
chatting sessions (IRC - Internet Relay Chat); e-mail via Microsoft Exchange
(the  built-in  e-mail client software in Windows 95);  search  capabilities
with  Gopher  and Archie; Image and Zip managers with built-in Norton  Anti-
Virus;  and  more.   The  product embraces the Cyberjack  Guidebook  as  its
central  feature, which enables users to save, sort and categorize  Internet
sites.  Guidebook includes more than 500 pre-listed sites of  interest  that
provide instant access and navigation of the Internet.
"Cyberjack  organizes the Internet into a manageable and usable  information
resource,+ said Bert Amato, vice president, Delrina Group.  It ties together
all  of  the  key  services  of  the Internet  --  from  Archie  to  Web  --
automatically, providing the kind of seamless operation between the  PC  and
the  Net people have been searching for.  It+s ironic that until now,  users
must  have  a  note  pad by their side to write down cryptic  addresses  and
information. In Cyberjack for example, if you see a Web address  in  a  news
group,  all  you  have  to  do  is right click  on  it  and  Cyberjack  will
automatically launch the Web browser and take you there."
"Cyberjack  is  designed  to take off the rough edges  in  experiencing  the
Internet," said Chris LeTocq, software analyst with Dataquest of  San  Jose,
Calif.    "Cyberjack  provides  the  most  complete  Windows   95   Internet
integration  we  have  seen.  The Cyberjack Guidebook  technology  not  only
provides  new  users with a solid jumping off point for  the  Web,  it  also
provides  experienced users with a powerful tool to organize their  Internet
resources.   In  addition, both the Guidebook and Cyberjack  itself  can  be
updated across the Net.  Cyberjack is the next generation of Internet access
Keeping Current with Online Updates
Cyberjack  includes two unique update capabilities, one  for  accessing  new
content  for  the  Guidebook and a second for automatically getting  program
upgrades  and  maintenance releases.  Delrina maintains a special  Guidebook
server  on the Internet where new sites of interest and hot spots are placed
in  a remote Guidebook.  Users can transparently access the remote Guidebook
directly in Cyberjack across the Internet as if the locations were on  their
local  machine.  Double-clicking on a location icon launches the appropriate
Internet  application taking the user there.  Users can also drag a location
from  the  remote Guidebook into their own Guidebook or directly onto  their
Windows 95 Desktop.  In addition, Cyberjack includes a menu item that,  when
selected,  automatically  checks itself against  new  features  and  updates
posted  by  Delrina.   The updates occur automatically across  the  Internet
without the user having to download a patch in a separate application.
Connecting to the Internet
Cyberjack makes use of the built-in TCP/IP stack in Windows 95, which  makes
connecting to the Internet through any ISP very straightforward.  To  assist
first  time  Internet users, however, Cyberjack includes an  install  Wizard
that  helps  the user enter the appropriate values and settings for  dial-up
and/or LAN access.
Included with the standalone version of Cyberjack 7.0 is Delrina WinComm PRO
7.0 for Windows 95, a full-featured, graphically-based, general purpose data
communications   software  package  for  accessing  BBSs  (Bulletin   Boards
Services),  host computers through terminal emulation and other non-Internet
online  services, such as MCI Mail.  The product  supports the new standards
in   non-Internet  graphical  bulletin  boards  through  RIP  (Remote  Image
Processing).   It  also  shares the same built-in components  as  Cyberjack:
Image Manager, which lets people view image files as they are downloaded and
then  edit  and  manipulate  them;  ZIP Manager,  which  lets  users  manage
compressed  files  visually; and the "on-the-fly"  virus  detection  through
Norton Anti-Virus, which protects users from accidentally downloading  files
that contain viruses.  WinComm PRO also has a new VisualBasic-like scripting
language  making  it  easier  to customize for any  communications  task  or
Introductory Price Promotion
The expected street price of Cyberjack (including WinComm PRO) will be US$79
(Cdn$129).   Effectively immediately until February  29,  1996,  Delrina  is
providing dealer incentives which should result in Cyberjack being available
at an estimated street price of $49 (Cdn $69).
Cyberjack requires a 486 computer running Windows 95, with a minimum of  8MB
RAM  (16MB  recommended).  Both Cyberjack and WinComm PRO require 24MB  disk
space for a full installation.
Both  Cyberjack and WinComm are also available as part of Delrina  CommSuite
95, which also includes WinFax PRO 7.0 (fax, paging and e-mail integration),
and TalkWorks (voice messaging/telephony).
Press Contacts:
         Shelly Sofer, Symantec Corp./Delrina Group (416) 441-4702;
        Josef Zankowicz, Symantec Corp./Delrina Group (416) 441-4658;

For Product Information and Ordering call: 1-800-441-7234 or (541) 334-6054

                         Delrina Ships CommSuite 95
             The Complete Communications Solution for Windows 95
                    Launches Introductory Price Promotion

Editor's Summary

z    32-bit suite offering WinFax PRO 7.0, Cyberjack 7.0, WinComm PRO 7.0,
  TalkWorks, CommBar
z    Integrated, full-featured applications for fax, voice messaging,
telephony, Internet, data, e-mail, paging notification
z    Full complement of Internet clients (Web, FTP, IRC, News, Archie,
Gopher, Ping, and more)
z    Maximizes use of Windows 95, OLE 2.0, MAPI, TAPI, Unimodem, Winsock,
Drag-n Drop, Plug-n Play
z    Complete messaging and online communications in the background without
interrupting other work
z    Award-winning technology, Microsoft Office compatible and Windows 95
z    $99 (Cdn $129) street price promotion

TORONTO,  ONT.  The  Delrina Group, Symantec Corporation (Nasdaq:SYMC),  the
world's leading supplier of PC communications software, today announced  the
immediate  availability  of  its new Delrina CommSuite  95,  offering  full-
featured,  integrated  applications for  fax,  voice  messaging,  telephony,
Internet,  data, e-mail and paging.  Taking full advantage  of  Windows  95,
Delrina  CommSuite  turns  one+s  PC into a one-stop  communications  center
allowing  users to work more productively, carrying out tasks  like  sending
faxes,  downloading  files  or receiving voice messages  completely  in  the
background  without  interrupting other work on their computer.   Coincident
with  the product shipment Delrina announced an introductory price promotion
allowing  CommSuite 95 to be purchased at an estimated street price  of  $99
(Cdn $129).
"We  believe  CommSuite  95 provides users with all the  power,  simplicity,
integration and intelligence to communicate from one place+their  PC,+  said
Bert  Amato,  vice  president, Delrina Group.  +If you want  to  manage  any
communications from your Windows 95 desktop, CommSuite 95 can  be  your  fax
and  e-mail  repository, your telephone answering service, your  source  for
paging and your personal guide on the Internet."
The  new  integrated CommSuite 95 delivers value and communications features
not  presently available from other PC software suppliers,+ said Jack  Gold,
research  program  director, Meta Group.  +With  this  release,  Delrina  is
maximizing its technology leadership in PC telephony convergence.+  The beta
version of CommSuite 95 was recently recognized by Byte Magazine as  a  Best
of  Comdex/Fall  finalist  in the Communications  Category  and  by  Windows
Magazine as the best communications program in 1995, with a Win 100 Award.
All  of the applications in CommSuite 95 are true 32-bit, multi-tasking  and
multi-threaded  programs  that  deliver  faster,  more  reliable  background
communications.   The new products maximize the use of the  powerful  common
elements  in Windows 95, supporting OLE 2.0, MAPI, TAPI, Unimodem,  Winsock,
Drag  +n  Drop,  and  Plug  +n  Play for easier installation  and  automatic
configuration of fax modems.  The Delrina Suite includes:

z    WinFax PRO 7.0, the best way to send, receive and manage faxes for
  Windows 95.
z    Cyberjack 7.0, the best way to get the full power of the Internet for
Windows 95.
z    WinComm PRO 7.0, the best way to easily go online for Windows 95.
z    TalkWorks, the WinFax telephony option for voice mail, call
  discrimination, remote retrieval, and integrated fax-on-demand.
z    Delrina CommBar, reports real time status of all computer

z    The combination of Windows 95 and CommSuite 95, defines a new era in PC
  communications where it will be much easier for people to send and receive
  information electronically, regardless of whether the message is an image,
  voice, text, or data,+ said Marc Camm, general manager, Desktop
  Communications, Delrina Group.  And at an estimated street price of $99,
  this product is an amazing bargain, even if you only need a fraction of its

Introductory Price Promotion and Upgrades
The  expected  street  price  of CommSuite 95 will  be  US$129  (Cdn  $159).
Effective  immediately until February 29, 1996, Delrina is providing  dealer
incentives  which  would  result  in CommSuite  95  being  available  at  an
estimated  street  price  of $99 (Cdn $129).  Current  WinFax,  WinComm  and
Communications  Suite  users can upgrade to CommSuite  95  for  $69.95  (Cdn
$99.95).   A 60-day, money-back guarantee is included.
System Requirements
CommSuite 95 requires a 486 computer running Windows 95, with a minimum 8 MB
RAM  (16  MB  recommended), and 50 MB hard drive for a full  Suite  install.
TalkWorks requires a voice-capable modem.
CompuServe  is  an  H&R  Block company.  Founded in 1955,  H&R  Block  is  a
diversified  services company and the world's leader in tax preparation  and
online  information services.  H&R Block Tax Services handled almost one  in
every seven returns filed with the Internal revenue Service in 1995, serving
17.1  million  taxpayers in more than 9,500 offices  worldwide.   CompuServe
operates  the  most  comprehensive online network in  the  world,  providing
services to nearly 900 corporate accounts and more than 3.8 million users in
more than 140 countries.
Delrina  Group  of  Symantec Corp. designs, develops, markets  and  supports
innovative  PC  software products and services in the fax,  data  and  voice
communications, electronic forms and consumer software markets.  Delrina  is
recognized as the world leader in PC fax and electronic forms software.
Symantec Corp. develops, markets and supports a complete line of application
and  system  software products designed to enhance individual and  workgroup
productivity  as  well  as  manage networked  computing  environments.   The
company  is  headquartered  in Cupertino, Calif.,  and  sells  its  software
worldwide.  For sales information contact 1-800-441-7234 or (541) 334-6054.
Microsoft  and  Windows are either registered trademarks  or  trademarks  of
Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Press Contacts:
          Shelly Sofer, Symantec Corp./Delrina Group (416) 441-4702
        Josef Zankowicz, Symantec Corp./Delrina Group (416) 441-4658

STR Mail Call          "...a place for our readers to be heard"

                             STReport's MAILBAG

                         PERHAPS CANON is TOO LARGE?
     Since August 24th  . when Win95 debuted, Canon has been making funny
noises about when they would be releasing their 32 bit Scanner Drivers for
both Windows 95 and NT.  To date all that's been obvious is their excellent
evasive and non-committal actions other than mentioning December 1995 as the
time of release.  Of course, that is not happening.
     More importantly, why is this happening?  Especially by Canon??  What
is the real problem??  Perhaps someone is able to furnish the answers in a
timely fashion.  The entire Canon Scanner Userbase, Worldwide has been
"stroked" by a few courageous online support folk who've taken an awful
verbal beating from every corner of the globe.
     Below, we present but two of the calmer posts presented to the online
support people.  Its been very evident the telephone support lines at Canon
are useless with hold times of better than an hour being the norm and not
the exception.  Is it time that Microsoft stepped in on behalf of all its
customers who've invested in both the Canon IX-series Scanners and Windows
95/NT??   Must the entire World's userbase of Canon Scanners DUMP them in
favor of Hewlett Packard's Scanners sine they have managed to release their
drivers on time??
     Maybe its time for Janet Reno & Company to concentrate on the real
violator's of the consuming public's trust in both .government ensuring that
International CARTELS like Canon do the right thing and. finally get off
Microsoft's back.  At least Microsoft releases their software in a timely
fashion and at the same time provides top notch support.  Maybe. just maybe,
Microsoft can offer CANON a "wake-up call".  After all, Canon is using the
Win95 logo on their boxes for the IX-4025 Scanner.  But it doesn't offer any
support for Windows 95 or NT or any other 32 bit environment than a can of
Subject:  Canon
From:  William C. Gander 72202,577
To:  Ralph @ STReport 70007,4454
Date:  10-Dec-95  9:45

>>Canon's execs ain't seen "nuthin" yet if they don't get their collective
butts in gear.  There is a full
>>complaint being prepared to be sent to the U.S. Departments of Commerce,
Justice and State.  It'll
>>manage to  bring down the "heat" on all the procrastinating foreign
corporations doing business in
>>the US.  It doesn't matter if they have "domestic cover corporations"
setup.  They are still not exempt
>>from any US law and regulations domestic and/or foreign relative to doing
business in the USA..
>>The fun is about to begin.

Did you know that there is a sticker on the 4025 box that says to send in
your registration and get the Win 95 driver free? It does *not* mention when
they come out (if they ever do). I was irritated enough at Canon to think
about turning this in for false advertising, but instead laid out the $949
for the ScanJet 4C and forgot about it. Would Canon make a good topic for

Ralph, I have used this HP 4C scanner as a copier, to create an Echolake
photo album, to fax papers out of state, and in conjunction with Corel Photo-
Paint. All of this software works great together and Win 95 seems to enjoy
Nothing is loaded from config.sys or autoexec.bat.

And Now that I got my desk re-arranged, the 4C fits spacewise. That 4025
would have fit in better, but it just wasn't to be.  - Bill

Subject:  SCANNER DRIVER TOMORROW! - Msg Number: 71357
From:  John Bonnet 75270,3447
To:  ALL
Forum:  CAN-10   Sec: 04-Image Scanners
Date:  28-Dec-95 21:59

Well, I just visited Library 11, and saw the following message relative to
Canon's Image Scanners is still posted:

"There will be a driver with Win '95 support and enhanced features by the
end of the year.  It will be mailed to all registered users and available on

Thats great!  Since December 30 & 31 are not business days, I guess the new
driver will be posted TOMORROW!!  WOW- what a wait its been.  I may stay
signed on line for the next 24 hours so I can WATCH it appear in the forum.

Its too bad that Windows 95 caught Cannon so off guard.  I guess its the way
Microsoft was so hush-hush about the release of W95.  By the way Cannon,
here are some other headlines you may have missed:

1.  We've been to the moon.  Not much more than dust and rocks.
2.  The Mets won a world series!
3.  We elected a peanut farmer, and a movie actor as President.
4.  World War II is over.

To anyone who, like myself,  "surfs" the forums before purchasing hardware-
take heed!  When I purchased my Cannon IX3010 from Comp USA this year, it
was sitting right next to an IDENTICAL HP machine.  They were EXACTLY alike,
same specs... everything.  But the HP was almost $100 more expensive.  I,
being a smart shopper, bought the Cannon.  Guess what?  Today the people who
bought the HP have an image scanner.  Those of us who bought the Cannon have
a paperweight.  Once again, you get what you pay for....

Well, enough complaining- we're all going to get our new, Canon 32bit

Come on Canon .the end of the year is HERE NOW.  Are you??

            A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N
For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent  to
you that demonstrates FARGO Primera & Primera Pro SUPERIOR QUALITY 600dpi 24
bit  Photo  Realistic  Color Output, please send a  Self  Addressed  Stamped
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                       STReport's Fargo Printout Offer
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                      Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155
Folks,  the FARGO Primera Pro has GOT to be the best yet.  Its far  superior
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much.   Its said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words.  Send for  this
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            A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N

EDUPAGE STR Focus    Keeping the users informed

WWW "Free Speech" Case Settled
Telecom Bill At Year's End
Radio Companies Are Winners In
Telecom Overhaul
Internet/ISDN Synergy
Mass Walk-Out At Lotus?
Flashback:  The Technological
Free Offer
Compuserve Porn Warning Comes Under
Cyber Laundering
Microsoft Does About-Face On
Internet Strategy
Netscape Eyes Intranets
AT&T Manager Buyout Offer Is
Largely Ignored
Reinventing America -- Online
Arizona Central
Companies Bypass Ad Agencies In Web
Internet Overload
Boston College Chosen For Cable
Modem Trial
Java Cup
Computer Customer Service Still Has
A Way To Go
How Do You Spell Relief?

                       WWW "FREE SPEECH" CASE SETTLED
The  American  Civil  Liberties  Union has  settled  its  case  against  the
Bellevue, Washington, School District, which had been filed on behalf  of  a
student  who  had created a WWW home page that the School District  objected
to.   On  his  "Unofficial  Newport  High School  Home  Page,"  the  student
ridiculed  his classmates for their preoccupation with sex and football  and
provided links to Internet material on oral sex and masturbation;  to punish
him,  the  principal withdrew the school's support for his candidacy  for  a
National  Merit Scholarship and wrote letters to seven colleges  withdrawing
endorsement for his applications to enter those institutions.  In the out-of-
court settlement, the School District apologized to the student, promised to
have  him  reinstated as a National Merit finalist, and agreed  to  pay  him
$2,000 for a potentially lost scholarship.  The School District said in  its
statement that "the district has no right to punish students who,  on  their
own time and with their own resources exercise their right of free speech on
the Internet."  (New York Times 24 Dec 95 p9)
                         TELECOM BILL AT YEAR'S END
Some House Republicans, annoyed by White House suggestions that the Congress
had  capitulated to the Administration's demands, have expressed unhappiness
with  the  agreement  negotiated by the House-Senate  conference  committee.
However, it is unclear whether their unhappiness will slow or derail passage
of  the  bill.   (New York Times 22 Dec 95 A1)  Baby Bells will  be  happily
ringing  in  the  new  year  --  in  last-minute  maneuvering  Congressional
negotiators removed a provision that could have blocked RBOCs from marketing
local  and long-distance services together, while allowing competitors  such
as AT&T to do so.  (Wall Street Journal 26 Dec 95 A3)
The  stocks of radio companies have risen sharply due to anticipated changes
in  telecommunications regulations that will eliminate a 40-station  cap  on
national ownership of stations by a single company, and increase the  number
of  stations a company can own in a single metropolitan market.  A flurry of
consolidations  in  radio  companies is  now  expected.   (Atlanta  Journal-
Constitution 22 Dec 95 G6)
                            INTERNET/ISDN SYNERGY
"ISDN is a sleeping giant that's waking up," says the manager of BellSouth's
ISDN  business  unit,  and  industry  observers  are  predicting  that   the
integrated services digital network might actually begin generating  profits
for  telcos over the next couple of years.  "ISDN will really take off  when
phone  companies  start selling ISDN and Internet access together,"  says  a
telecommunications strategist for Furman Selz Inc.  "The average voice  call
is  five minutes, but people stay online for hours.  The phone companies see
this  as  adding up to $50 to $80 a month, per ISDN customer, in incremental
revenue."  (Investor's Business Daily 26 Dec 95 A8)
                           MASS WALK-OUT AT LOTUS?
One company insider has estimated that come February, Lotus may lose as much
as  25%  of its work force as employees collect the bonuses promised by  Lou
Gerstner  for  staying  through December and then bail  out.   The  problem,
according  to long-time IBM watchers, is that Gerstner has been unsuccessful
in  his  attempts to jump-start the sluggish giant:  "They've put on  a  new
head, but have not changed the body.  That body can resist anything," says a
Lotus employee.  (Upside Jan 96 p46)
                  CompuServe PORN WARNING COMES UNDER FIRE
CompuServe  has  begun  contacting third party content providers,  notifying
them  that  it's posted a warning to users regarding 10 or so  online  areas
that contain nude photographs.  The move comes on the heels of Congressional
efforts  to  make provision of "indecent" content punishable by  a  two-year
jail  term  and  $100,000 fine.  CompuServe's strategy,  however,  has  been
criticized  by users:  "The posting of this warning is a ridiculously  lame,
ineffective Band-Aid.  To some kids who see it, it would be like dangling  a
carrot  in  front of them."  (Wall Street Journal 22 Dec 95 B11)  Meanwhile,
CompuServe   says   its  worldwide  membership  has  surpassed   4   million
subscribers, and that more than 200,000 new members are joining each  month.
There  are  now  more  than  500,000 members in Europe.   (Atlanta  Journal-
Constitution 23 Dec 95 D3)
                              CYBER LAUNDERING
Stanley  Morris,  head  of the U.S. Treasury Department's  financial  crimes
enforcement  network, has some fears about the coming of "cybercash":   "The
nightmare  of it is that there is no registration of every transaction,  the
way  there  is if you use a Visa or MasterCard.  That's the drug kingpin  of
the  future:  the guy walking around with a chip in his pocket worth  a  few
million."  (New York Times 24 Dec 95 p4)
The  Microsoft  Network  has abandoned its original  strategy  to  keep  its
service proprietary, available only to Windows 95 users; earlier this  month
chairman Bill Gates announced that next year, MSN would be available to  all
11  million  or so users of the Internet.  "Most of the online services  are
already  looking  at  the Internet the way we are,"  says  MSN's   marketing
director, but "for the currently successful and larger online services, it's
harder  for them to make the jump."  The change in strategy leaves Microsoft
with  the task of developing new online revenue sources, which probably will
depend  on charging fees for "exclusive" content.  "Content is the  ultimate
business," says Gates.  (Business Week 25 Dec-1 Jan 96 p41)
                           NETSCAPE EYES INTRANETS
Netscape   Communications  Corp.  has  lined  up  four  systems  integration
companies  to  help  it  tackle the Intranet market  --  internal  corporate
Internet  systems.   The companies are Andersen Consulting,  EDS,  Claremont
Technology  Group and Fujitsu-owned ICL.  "A lot of what is going  on  today
with  HTTP  servers  is inside the company firewalls,  and  the  integrators
expand   our  reach  into  that  market,"  says  Netscape's  VP  of  channel
management.  (Information Week 25 Dec 95 p24)
AT&T's buyout offer to almost half of its 151,000 managers has been accepted
by  only  2.2%  of  those eligible, apparently because it is  not  lucrative
enough.  The offer, which is scheduled to expire this week, was designed  to
assist the company's split into three separate companies and its attempt  to
reduce expenses.  (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 23 Dec 95 D3)
                        REINVENTING AMERICA -- ONLINE
The Markle Foundation is sponsoring a multiplayer online Reinventing America
game, which offers players the chance to try their own hand at balancing the
federal  budget.  Over the next six months, players will be  presented  with
one  key  issue  per week, which they must incorporate into  their  spending
priorities.   At  the end of the six months, the results  will  be  sent  to
government leaders in Washington.  <  >
(Investor's Business Daily 26 Dec 95 A8)
                               ARIZONA CENTRAL
Phoenix  Newspapers Inc., publishers of The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix
Gazette,  has launched its online service ("Arizona Central") simultaneously
on AOL and the  World Wide Web < > because there's
a  different audience for each platform.  Online plans include an archive of
the  print publications, a small business area, classified advertising,  and
online partnerships with other media.  (Arizona Republic 17 Dec 95 A1-6)
                                CYBER CULTURE
Some  of  the  books drawing Christmas shoppers' attention include  ones  on
"cyber  culture" -- such as Sherry Turkle's "Life on the Screen"  about  how
the  Net  is changing the way we look at ourselves and interact with others;
and  "NetWorld"  -- David H. Rothman's look at people "who have  found  fun,
love and livelihoods online."  (USA Today 21 Dec 95 6D)
The  December 18th edition of Digital Media magazine points to the Web  site
of  The  Atlantic  Monthly and says "This compilation  of  articles  by  MIT
intellectuals  Vannevar Bush and Martin Greenberger are  harbingers  of  the
networked  infoculture  of today, written respectively  in  1945  and  1964.
Bush,  a  former  MIT  president and government war researcher,  called  for
efforts  and progress in information access that resemble current hypertext,
while  Greenberger, a computer scientist, uses Bush's proposals  to  outline
the  new market possibilities for information services, online commerce  and
community.   These  gems  from the past are a testament  to  The  Atlantic's
commitment       to      the      significance       of       ideas       at
ital Media 18 Dec 95 p27).
In  the  article he wrote more than three decades ago, Greenberger made  the
visionary prediction:  "Barring unforeseen obstacles, an on-line interactive
computer service, provided commercially by an information utility, may be as
commonplace by 2000 AD as telephone service is today.  By 2000 AD man should
have  a much better comprehension of himself and his system, not because  he
will  be  innately any smarter than he is today, but because  he  will  have
learned to use imaginatively the most powerful amplifier of intelligence yet
devised." An in-depth interview with Martin Greenberger will be featured  in
the March/April issue of Educom Review.
                                 FREE OFFER
We'll  mail  FREE COPIES of the March/April issue of Educom  Review  to  the
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the  U.S. or Canada.)  ...  You might also want to start the year off  right
by  getting  your  own  subscription -- so you won't miss  such  fascinating
features  as  a  two-part  interview  with  Internet  pioneer  Vinton  Cerf,
beginning in the May/June issue!
As  the  Web's population swells to 13.8 million by 1996, Forrester Research
points  out that the bigger numbers aren't translating to bigger income  for
advertising agencies.  Fifty-one percent of brand managers who'd  set  up  a
Web  site said they implemented their strategies without the help of  an  ad
agency.   (Investor's Business Daily 27 Dec 95 A6)  Stepping in to fill  the
gap  are  an increasing number of start-up cyberagencies, which have managed
to usurp the advisory and implementation role traditionally played by the ad
agency with regard to conventional media.  Full-service agencies say they'll
get  their chance when the client seeks to integrate its Web site  into  its
mainstream  marketing activities:  "When you marry the  technical  expertise
with  the  knowledge of and essence of the brand, that's when the  magic  is
going  to happen," says an advertising VP.  (Wall Street Journal 27  Dec  95
                              INTERNET OVERLOAD
Andrew  Seybold,  editor of "Outlook on Communications and Computing,"  sees
increasing gridlock on the Internet:  "I  believe the Internet network  will
crash  and burn, and from it will emerge the information highway,  though  I
don't know  what the access route will be...  I used to be able to get to an
Internet site, grab what I wanted and be off in five minutes.   It now takes
a  half-hour.  Forwarding mail, which used to take 10 minutes, now takes six
hours.   People  are  pushing  more  video and  graphic  material  over  the
Internet.   This  requires high bandwidth, and there's a  finite  amount  of
bandwidth  on  any network.  I believe the Internet is very close  to  where
the phone companies are on Mother's Day.  They can just  barely tolerate the
traffic."  (Investor's Business Daily 28 Dec 95 A8)
Continental  Cablevision is testing out its lightning-fast cable  modems  in
more  than 6,600 dorm rooms, 2,500 classrooms and 400 offices on the  campus
of  Boston College.  So far, the results show that faster is better -  usage
has  shot up since  the modems were installed.  One convert explains it this
way:   "Not  dialing,  always connected, and it's  astronomically   faster."
Students'  e-mail now includes photos, and student-designed  Web  sites  are
commonplace.  Meanwhile, Forrester Research predicts that by the year  2000,
there will be seven million cable modem customers, yielding $1.3 billion  in
new revenues for the cable industry.  (Wall Street Journal 27 Dec 95 p13)
                                  JAVA CUP
The  Java Cup International will award more than $1-million worth of  prizes
to winners of the contest to design the "killer  app" for HotJava.  For more
information, check out < >.  (T.H.E. Journal  Dec
95 p26)
Consumer Reports says its computer-savvy readers are not too happy with  the
way  they're  treated  by computer  companies' help desks.   Only  40%  were
"completely"  or "very" satisfied with the manufacturer's technical  support
--   "one  of  the  lowest satisfaction levels we've  ever  measured  for  a
service."   Thirty-eight  percent said they  were  kept  on   hold  for  "an
unreasonable  amount of time" and 14% said the support staff  did  not  seem
knowledgeable.  Thirty-four   percent had at least one problem that had  not
been solved.  (Consumer Reports Jan 96 p8)
                          HOW DO YOU SPELL RELIEF?
Pacific Bell has a new service for companies that want to offload their data
network  management functions.  PacBell and  Network Recovery Services  Inc.
will  provide  contingency  planning for maintaining  communications  during
disasters,   online  network  monitoring that  notifies  clients  of  system
breakdowns,  and  network  backup and data storage.   (Investor's   Business
Daily 28 Dec 95 A8)
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       Educom -- Transforming Education Through Information Technology

 Kids Computing Corner
Frank Sereno, Editor
                     Adi's Comprehensive Learning System
                               Windows CD-ROM
                           for grades 2 through 5
                          from Sierra On-Line, Inc.
                             3380 146th Place SE
                                  Suite 300
                             Bellevue, WA 98007
                            Program Requirements
                              CPU:        486/33MHz
                              RAM:       8 MB
                              OS:           Windows 3.1
                              Video:       640 x 480, 256 colors
                              Hdisk:       Yes
                              CD-ROM: Double-speed recommended
                              Misc.:       Sound card, mouse;  printer

by Frank Sereno

Adi's Comprehensive Learning System is the most ambitious educational
software that I have seen.  Its six software packages teach English,
mathematics and science to children in grades two through five in an
entertaining and comprehensive manner.  Quizzes are balanced with fun games
to prevent boredom.  Extensive audible help and a thorough visual reference
guide ensure that your child will learn the many important lessons of each
Adi's curriculum.

The series of programs is hosted by Adi, a friendly extraterrestrial.  He
lives in a fascinating classroom filled with interesting objects.  Adi
encourages your child to click around the room to explore this environment.
Various objects in the room are linked to humorous animations or amusing
activities.  On the bottom of the screen is a row of  eight icons.  The left
four icons are for the program's key features:  Learning Lab, Games Gallery,
Creativity Toolbox and Theater Lab.  The right four icons are for the
general features of the program: Help, Backwards, Forwards and Quit.

     The most important key feature is the Learning Lab.  Here is where
children will learn the many lessons of  the comprehensive and well-
researched curriculum.  Each subject is broken down into several study areas
and then those are broken down into topics.  Each topic has five study
questions and if three are answered correctly, the student will earn twenty
points toward playing games and be congratulated on knowing the subject
matter.  All questions are multiple choice.  A correct answer is rewarded
with an animation while incorrect answers beget an explanation of the
correct answer.  Feedback for correct responses and progress is positive and
enthusiastic while feedback for incorrect responses is informative and

     The Learning Lab features four icons.  A speaker icon is the Audio
Playback Button and causes Adi to repeat his last question or instruction.
The question mark icon is the Help Button, which leads to a screen
displaying an example of the student's current problem.  From that screen he
can use the Toolbox to access his Notepad and Calculator, view Edumations
(animated educational clips) through the Theater Lab, find related subject
matter in the Hypertext Glossary or view a personal  Progress Report.  These
features make learning an easy and rich experience.  Back to the main
Learning Lab screen, a thumb's up icon is used to indicate when the student
has finalized his response.    The door icon is the exit back to Adi's

     The amount of research and effort made to develop the curriculum for
this product is very evident.  The subject matter is covered completely.
Each package contains thousands of questions which teach children math,
reading and science skills.  Adi's also contains lessons on time management
and study skills which are essential tools for a lifetime in today's hectic
business world.

Of course, all work and no play make for a bored child.  When the student
gains enough points, he can then play the included games.  Some games are
educational, such as checkers or Code Breaker.  Others are simply fun, such
as pinball.  Sierra also includes a several older games such as EcoQuest:
The Search for Cetus, Goblins I and II, Lost Secret of the Rainforest and
Spelling Blizzard.  All games are not included with each package, but this
shows the variety of entertaining and educational diversions that Sierra
provides with Adi's Comprehensive Learning System.

Besides the games, Adi's includes other activities for your child's
education and recreation.  Clicking on the Toolbox icon, the student is
given the option of using several tools.  A notepad and calculator are
available.  A passworded diary is available also.  Perhaps the most
interesting tool is the Paintbox.  Here a child can learn to make pictures,
animations and multimedia presentations.  This program is very complex but
it is explained in detail in the user's manual.

     The final key feature of Adi's is the Theater.  Here your child can
view many interesting multimedia clips on topics ranging from endangered
species to stargazing.  It even includes a simple world atlas which includes
information about population and industry for each continent.  This
information isn't extensive, but it is a nice added bonus.

     The sound and graphics portions of these packages are topnotch.  Sierra
has gained a first-rate reputation as an animator and this program adds to
that reputation.  Each animation is smooth and lifelike.  Vibrant colors are
used throughout.  The sounds are exceptionally clear and distinct.  The
voice characterizations are very professionally done and are acted with
enthusiasm and style.  Sound effects are sprinkled liberally throughout the
program.  The music will never win any Grammies, but it is entertaining.

     Adi's features an excellent interface.  It is very easy to use.  The
audible help is outstanding and is available in every section of the
program.  The user manual is immense, but it contains information for all
six programs in the series and is filled with detailed information on every
exercise, feature and game that is available.  It is lacking in
troubleshooting information.   Assistance is available by phone, fax and e-

     This product has great play value.  Some games are among the best
educational software titles of their time.  For example, I reviewed
EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus about eighteen months ago.  I was very
pleased with the program's quality.  These games are of great variety so
every child should find several that he will enjoy and play repeatedly.

     Enough cannot be written about the scope of the educational content of
this product.  Sierra spent thousands of hours working with educators to
build a consensus of the proper curriculum for each grade group for each
subject.  While these programs are intended as summer study aids, they are
nearly complete enough for a full home study course.  The value is

     Adi's Comprehensive Learning System is the most thorough and unique
educational title I have yet to review.  Each title covers two years' worth
of study on its subject matter.  The titles are reasonably price with a cost
of $50 at most retailers.  The series is backed by a thirty-day moneyback
guarantee so financial risk is small.  I just cannot think of another
educational title that has this much breadth of learning and fun.  Sierra
has definitely produced another winner.


                              Graphics ....... 9.5
                              Sounds ....... 9.5
                              Interface ........ 9.5
                              Play Value ..... 10.0
                              Educational Value .. 10.0
                              Bang for the Buck .. 10.0
                              Average ...... 9.75

                           Encarta 96 World Atlas
                            CD-ROM for Windows 95
                             for ages 10 and up
                           approximate retail $40
                              One Microsoft Way
                              Redmond, WA 98052
                            Program Requirements
                              CPU:         486DX/33
                              RAM:        8 MB
                              OS:            Windows 95 or NT 3.51
                              Video:        640 by 480 with 256 colors
                              Hdisk:        7 MB for program files,
                                         up to 24 MB for temporary files
CD-ROM:  Double-speed or faster
                              Misc.:         Sound card and mouse required,
                                          printer optional
by Frank Sereno

The Encarta 96 World Atlas is an entertaining reference to the people,
cultures and places of  the world.  Click on any location in the world and
you will instantly be transported there to see the sights and sounds.
Thirty-one family portraits allow you to experience life in many places and
helps to make world exploration all the more personal.

World Atlas is an extremely resource-hungry program.  It absolutely must
have 8 MB of ram and plenty of free hard drive space for temporary files and
the Windows swapfile.  If your system isn't fully optimized for Win95, EWA
probably will not run on it.  At least I could not get it to run on a 16-MB
Pentium-100MHz system with over 100 MB free on my hard drive.  I can't find
the necessary drivers for the onboard Intel EIDE controllers to run in 32-
bit file mode, although the error message was always that I didn't have
enough free resources.  I did get it to run on a 486DX/80, but it did run a
bit slowly.

     EWA features Cosmo, an animated globe who acts as your guide through
the program.   He offers on-line help in text boxes. The help text includes
multiple buttons to seek assistance over several related topics.  If you
ignore the program, he will do various antics to attract your attention back
to the program.  The program could have been greatly enhanced for younger
users if Cosmo's help had been available as audio also.

     Since this program shares the Encarta name, you can be assured that it
is an extensive reference source.  It is full of interesting information and
facts in text, graphics and sound which can be copied to the Windows
Clipboard for use in most word processors.  To enhance the program's value
to students, Cosmo even has a help section on writing reports.  He also
cautions students against plagiarism.

     The program's interface is very similar to a Web browser.  The text
contains links to maps, graphics, sound bits or even more text.  Searches
for information can be done by choosing available topics or typing in a
keyword.  A "Go Back" button is available so the user can retrace his steps
to previous locations within the program.   A locator globe allows the user
to quickly move to various locations while a magnifying compass allows him
to make fine movements while also controlling zooming in and out from the
planet's surface.  In fact, the Web browser analogy is very fitting because
Microsoft maintains a demo of EWA on the World Wide Web at

     The program does have a few drawbacks.  Besides its need for resources
and lack of audible help, it could use more audio features.  The program
would benefit from having background music or ambient noise from geographic
locations while exploring because most of the time the program is silent.
The audio included is quite excellent.  Another feature that would have been
helpful would have been the ability to place the statistical information
into charts and graphs.  One can compare the number of camels, automobiles,
etc., between countries, but that information cannot be reproduced into
exportable charts.

     Esoteric features such as satellite maps provide for a rich learning
experience.  The family portraits and world music features help round out
this entertaining package, giving it a uniquely human touch.  This program
has so many features that it is impossible to list them all.  The wealth of
information available is astonishing and fascinating.  This program is
interesting for both children and adults, and it is definitely an excellent
addition to your reference library.  Encarta96 World Atlas is backed by a 30-
day money-back guarantee.


                              Graphics ....... 9.0
                              Sounds ....... 8.5
                              Interface ........ 8.5
                              Educational Value .. 9.5
                              Bang for the Buck .. 9.0
                              Average ...... 8.9

                      Student Writing & Research Center
                             CD-ROM for Windows
                            The Learning Company
                              6493 Kaiser Drive
                              Fremont, CA 94555
                                800 852-2255

CPU: 486/33 MHz or better
CD-ROM: Double speed drive
Operating System: Windows 3.1 or higher (including Windows 95), DOS 3.1 or
Monitor: 256-color SVGA
Hard drive: 20 MB free
Sound: Windows compatible sound card

by Angelo Marasco

Student Writing & Research Center with Compton's Concise Encyclopedia by The
Learning Company is a very serious piece of software for older children and
adults.  I found it to be a very useful program during my review.  In fact,
it turned out to be so comfortable and useful that I ended up using it to
write this review.
The Learning Company markets Student Writing Center on its own but has
chosen to team this excellent program with Compton's Concise Encyclopedia to
make a fairly complete research package. I was immediately impressed by the
amount of information that they packed onto one CD.  I was also impressed
with the quality of the encyclopedia, although I did have a little trouble
adjusting to the interface, being a Microsoft Encarta user myself.

     To keep this review down to a manageable size, I'm going to assume that
you, the readers, are familiar with the standard word processor and its
controls.  I'll try to cover the "unusual" features without boring you with
details about standard features. With that, let's go through the Student
Writing Center word processor first and leave the encyclopedia until later.
     The Student Writing Center opens with a screen which allows the user to
choose either to open an existing document or to create one of five
different types of documents: report, newsletter, journal, letter or sign.
I really thought that this was a great selection and the creative juices
immediately began flowing.  I write a newsletter and do publicity for an
organization to which I belong.  I also do much letter writing and these
reviews.  It has always been a challenge to find the right tools to do these
different types of functions. What a delight it was to find these things all
rolled into one program!
     The menu bar changes slightly for each type of document. There is also
a colorful tool bar with large buttons and icons on each button. The tool
bar features the most commonly used tools and changes slightly with each
document. One button in particular changes for every type of document. In
letter, newsletter and sign functions this button serves as the "Layout"
button. Click it and you are immediately able to change the layout of the
document. In the report function, this button becomes the "Bibliography"
button, allowing the user to add bibliography entries. In the journal
function this button serves as the "Password" button, allowing the user to
put password protection on the journal, or to change the current password.

     What's really neat about this program is the "Tips" button.  It gives
writing, grammar and style suggestions which are customized to the type of
document the user is working on.  For instance, in the sign function, the
tips button gives hints on how to create a sign, award certificate or
greeting card. In the report function the user receives tips on creating an
essay, classroom report, research paper, book report or short story. There
are other interesting tips for the other functions as well. Under the
"Tools" selection in the menu bar are additional selections for grammar tips
and writing tips. I thought that it was unfortunate that these tips were not
easily accessible under the tips button. It's great that these types of
helpers are available and The Learning Company should have made them more

     When writing a document, the ruler bar shows the tab stops and gives
the user a selection of four types of tab stops: left, center, right and
decimal. The best feature of the ruler bar is the "bullet" button which
allows simple insertion of bullets.

In the report mode, the bibliography button gives the writer the opportunity
to create different types of bibliography entries for different types of
sources: book, general reference, periodical and audio/visual. After
selecting the type of source, the writer is given a selection of several
types of entries that can be created. From this point the writer need only
answer the questions presented about title, author, publisher, etc. The
program then creates the bibliography entry based on this information. Where
were tools like this when I was writing research papers in school?

The newsletter mode opens with a choice of layouts.  These layouts include
the number of columns, choice of masthead or no masthead and lines around
and between columns and masthead.  The controls are all the same in the
newsletter mode as they are in the letter mode.

     For me, the journal mode is one of the most interesting.  For the past
nine years I have tried my best to keep a journal.  Being on paper, it gets
lost often, and now I have several notebooks full of entries collecting dust
in my closet.  An electronic journal was something I've considered but had
never found an adequate program. Student Writing & Research Center includes
an excellent electronic journal.

     The journal allows password protection to keep prying brothers and
sisters out of a personal journal. The tool bar shows the date and allows
scrolling through dates to make modifications to entries or to review
entries. A calendar button brings up a full month calendar which allows the
writer to jump to any date. Dates with journal entries in them are marked to
allow the user to quickly jump to different entries without having to scroll
through empty days. A search button allows the user to search for a specific
word or phrase. It also allows the user to search through the current entry,
all journal entries or limit the search to a specific period. I thought that
the journal function was full of useful features.

     The sign function opens by asking for the user to choose a sign layout,
which included portrait or landscape orientation and a selection of thirteen
different borders. I liked the fact that the sign function can be used to
make greeting cards and award certificates. Both can be custom designed with
the clip art which is included with the program.

     The clip art which is included with the program is varied and
interesting, although a bit limited in number. I was pleased to see so much
clip art available with the program since the word processor I use currently
has very little clip art. These pictures can be used in any of the
functions, which made them much more valuable to me. On top of this, there
are also eighteen different letterheads available. These letterheads are
used in the letter function to make letters look like they have been printed
on customized stationery. The text in the letterheads can be customized.
Some included areas for name and address or "From the desk of...." text

     The clip art pictures included with the program were in WMF (Windows
Metafile) format. I was pleased with the fact that the program also allows
for inserting BMP and PCX format pictures. Since I use BMP graphics for my
other work, this enables me to do this writing in the Student Writing &
Research Center also.

     Overall, I found the Student Writing Center to be a very valuable and
useful tool. My 12-year-old daughter was excited by its versatility and was
very comfortable with its straightforward interface. She didn't have to ask
me very  many questions to use it to write a science report she was working
on while I was reviewing the program.

     One of the best features of this software is the ability to do research
in Compton's Concise Encyclopedia.  At the click of the "Research" button,
the user has access to the encyclopedia.  It was a challenge for my 4MB
machine to get past the opening screen of  Compton's Concise Encyclopedia
since Student Writing & Research Center is meant to be run on 8 MB. However,
I thought that the wait was worth it. What I found was a very good
multimedia encyclopedia which rivals my regular encyclopedia, Microsoft

     One feature of Compton's is a series of three buttons on the bottom of
the screen: Explain, Backtrack and Exit. The last two are obvious. The one
that tickled my fancy was the "Explain" button. Click on it and the
encyclopedia will bring up a help cursor. Move the help cursor over any item
needing explanation and click on it. Then a screen pops up which explains
that feature. I like the  user-friendliness.

     The menu bar runs down the left-hand side of the screen. It features
ten different menu choices: Menu, Student Writing Center, Encyclopedia,
Multimedia, Idea Search Encyclopedia, Idea Search Multimedia, Topic Tree,
Dictionary and Thesaurus, Atlas and Timeline.

     "Menu" opens a new menu bar. From here the user can access on-line
help, create or use a bookmark list, embark on a picture tour, refer to
their research history, change the set up for the program or see the list of
credits for the program.  "Picture Tour" allows the user to watch a random
"slide show" of the pictures contained in the encyclopedia. The user can
choose a full tour or choose one of several tours limited to pictures from
specific topic areas. This is a good, random way of browsing through the
information contained in the encyclopedia. The tour can be stopped at any
point and the user can then pull up the corresponding article.  I like to
browse occasionally and the picture tour suited me.

     "Research History" allows the user to see a listing of the areas they
have been through on their search for information. The research history
lists all the types of information accessed, including forays into the
dictionary/thesaurus and sound clips and movies.

     Returning to the main menu bar, "Student Writing Center" allows the
user to immediately call up the Student Writing Center.

     "Encyclopedia" brings up a list of all the topics in the encyclopedia.
A text bar at the top allows the user to type in the first few letters of
the topic they are searching for. The encyclopedia then narrows the search.
The article can then be brought up by clicking on the "Get Item" button or
simply by double clicking on the item.

     I found the articles to be well written and was pleased to find a lot
of multimedia links in many articles. Many articles also had time line links
to place their subjects in context with current events. I'll cover the time
line a little later.
"Multimedia" brings up a list of all the multimedia items available in the
encyclopedia. These include pictures, movies, sounds and tables.

     There are many movies available. I wish that many were longer, but I
would imagine that it's difficult to pack much more onto one CD. Some titles
seemed a little off key for the contents of the movies. For instance, the
Space Travel and Exploration movie was all about the Hubble telescope, the
problems which plagued it initially and the space shuttle mission to repair
it. Why didn't they just name the movie "Hubble Telescope?" On the other
hand, the movie on orchestras was long and rich with information. I was very
pleased with that one and the movie on World War II.

     Some movies used a female narrator's voice which was distorted and
slightly difficult to understand at times. There was also a male narrator's
voice (one of three or four that I could differentiate) that was slightly
distorted. The movie on science stopped a little short, leaving the narrator
in the middle of a sentence when it ended. I also felt like some other
movies may have been truncated because they ended while the narrator was
talking and background music was still playing. This is upsetting in such an
expensive piece of software.

     Another major shortcoming was in the sounds used for some multimedia
items.  I was very upset by the fact that Compton's uses MIDI for all the
music clips I had time to play back. I love classical music.  I was
disturbed when I selected a sound clip of a piece by my favorite composer,
Sergei Rachmaninoff, and it was played on a very poor electronic imitation
of a piano. Rachmaninoff, a great pianist, must be rolling over in his
grave! Turning to another favorite, Niccolo Paganini, I was horrified to
hear one of his beautiful violin caprices reproduced by a cheesy sounding
MIDI version of a violin. It sounded more like one of those cheap plastic
electronic organs we used to get for Christmas as kids. Paganini was noted
as an extraordinarily gifted violin player. It was insulting to hear his
work reproduced so poorly. As if this wasn't bad enough, there were such
awful reproductions as jazz great Louis Armstrong done with a  cheap MIDI
imitation trumpet, supposedly to show the "style" Armstrong used. Give me a
break. Would it have been a lot of trouble to use actual sound clips of the
music being played? Because of the distorted voices and especially because
of the poor musical reproductions in Compton's Encyclopedia, The Student
Writing & Research Center took a big hit in my sound rating.

     "Idea Search Encyclopedia" and "Idea Search Multimedia" do text
searches from user input.  Each is useful for searching for obscure types of
things at those times that you have an idea of what you are looking for, but
may not know the proper title to use. Each produces a list of articles or
multimedia items that relate to the text the user enters.

     "Topic Tree" produces menus of items that lead gradually to topics and
articles. The opening topic menu is very general, covering nineteen separate
topic areas. Double-clicking on one of these topics produces another topic
menu that is more specific, and so on, until the user reaches the article.
Topic Tree led me to some interesting subjects that I would not normally
have accessed. I think that it is an excellent way to browse through the
encyclopedia and learn about subjects I might never think about in a normal
day. It's a good way for the user to expand their horizons.

     "Dictionary/Thesaurus" provides a dictionary that rivals any printed
dictionary I've ever used. It gave me all the information I needed about any
word I researched. It allows the user to type in the word to search for and
goes to that word, and it allows the user to search through a list of all
the words contained in the dictionary.  The dictionary can also be called up
by double-clicking on any word in any encyclopedia article.  This produces a
definition of that particular word, making the dictionary an extremely
valuable tool.  The thesaurus is easily called up from the dictionary
screen. It provided a wealth of synonyms and antonyms where appropriate.
The thesaurus is a valuable addition to an already full-featured dictionary.

     "Atlas" calls up the World Atlas screen, which consists of three parts.
On the right is a globe which the user clicks with the mouse cursor to
rotate to different areas. Click on an area and that area is brought to the
center of the screen. The user can then zoom in and out to study the chosen
area in detail. I thought that the detail on the globe could be better and
that it could show more cities. No topographical information is shown, which
is also a major drawback.

     In the upper left corner is a flat representation of the world. This
map shows two lines, one representing longitude, one latitude. These lines
move around as the globe is rotated and areas are chosen. The globe can also
be rotated by moving the intersection of the two lines around to different
areas of the flat map. This is a really neat feature and can be useful when
studying map coordinates.

     In the lower left corner is a list of cities, states, countries, rivers
and mountains. Double-clicking on the name brings that item to the center of
the globe screen. From there the user can zoom in and out to place the item
in relation to its surroundings. Unfortunately, the globe does not show the
mountains and does a poor job of displaying rivers. For instance, calling up
the Mississippi River brings the mouth of the river at the Mississippi Delta
into the center. However, the user must zoom in twice before being able to
actually see the river. The river at this point, up to the
Louisiana/Mississippi border, is shown in blue. From this point up to the
point where the Mississippi River separates from the Minnesota/Wisconsin
border, the river is not identified at all and is shown only as a white
state border line. In Minnesota the river returns to blue but is not even
identified! Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi is not shown at all.
I feel that these are very serious shortcomings in an otherwise excellent

     After selecting an item from the list, the user can click on the "Idea
Search" button in the atlas menu.  The encyclopedia will produce a list of
articles containing the selected item. This is a good way of getting
information about the points the user locates on the globe and really helps
to put these items in perspective.

     "Time Line" shows events of particular interest along a time line. The
time line begins at 20 billion years ago and continues until May 1995. The
user can zoom in or out to view the time line. When zoomed in, the time line
shows lists of events of interest at each year, some with pictures and some
with links to movies. When chosen, these items display a short synopsis of
the event. Some synopses offer links to full articles related to the event.
It was really fun to look through some events that have occurred during my
lifetime. I think that the kids will have a great time learning with the
time line.

     When zoomed out, the time line is in "outline view" which shows "eras."
Periods of time are separated into different eras highlighting activities,
changes and accomplishments. Selecting an era brings up a short explanation
of the accomplishments or changes which took place during this period.

     Overall, I found Compton's Concise Encyclopedia to be a feature-rich
research tool which alone makes an excellent reference work. Teamed with the
Student Writing Center it becomes an easily accessed and useful tool. While
it is an exciting tool to use, it does have its shortcomings. Some of those
shortcomings are big, as with the sounds.

     The cost of the Student Writing & Research Center is high, and I wonder
if the convenience is worth $100, but the price is still less than you would
pay for some other multimedia encyclopedias alone. If you are planning to
buy a multimedia encyclopedia for your children, this package is an
excellent option. The Student Writing & Research Center can help your
children to become real research pros while allowing them to have fun also.

     I found the graphics to be of high quality usually. Some photos were
reproduced in low resolution, but for the most part graphics, whether in
photos, movies or icons, were excellent. One neat thing about Compton's is
the moving icons it uses in the menu bar. Functionally, the movements are
totally useless. Visually, the movements are interesting.
Sounds took a big rating hit because of the distorted narrators' voices and
especially because of the cheap, cheesy MIDI music Compton's Encyclopedia
uses to play music clips.

     The interface is excellent and easily understood so I gave this aspect
a good rating. My twelve-year-old daughter could use the program with little
help and that rates well with me. Neither the Student Writing Center nor
Compton's Encyclopedia became difficult to look at, even after spending
several hours with the program. Compton's Encyclopedia offers many different
ways to approach and manipulate the features and materials which should make
it comfortable for any type of user.

     I really had to debate long and hard with myself about whether or not
to give this program a play value rating. After all, as I said at the
beginning of this review, this is a very serious piece of software. However,
my kids used it to do creative things such as making signs. I expect that
eventually they will turn to making greeting cards. Plus, an encyclopedia
with multimedia features can quickly become a play area as kids explore the
items available and just casually wander and browse. So I gave this software
a play value rating.

     Educational value in a package as well put together as this has to be
high. I feel that Student Writing & Research Center not only aids education,
but that it also promotes it by making learning fun and attractive.

     Bang for the buck was a tough one to come up with. This is one
expensive piece of software, yet it doesn't cost much more than Microsoft
Encarta while also offering an excellent and feature-rich word processor. I
felt that Student Writing & Research Center offered enough to rate a decent
bang for the buck rating. The only problem I see in this area is the fact
that encyclopedias become dated, and they become dated quickly. The package
I reviewed had the 1995 edition of Compton's Concise Encyclopedia on it. I
hope that The Learning Company has an inexpensive way of keeping this
software updated for purchasers. It is tough for the average family to come
up with $100 for a piece of software, and it is hard to justify the purchase
if that software will be obsolete in a short time. It will be interesting to
see how The Learning Company handles this dilemma.

     In closing, I just want to say that Student Writing & Research Center
is a worthwhile addition to the software library of anyone with older
children. Because it is useful to adults and children, I believe that this
program will get plenty of use in any home.

                              Graphics ....... 9.5
                              Sounds ....... 4.0
                              Interface ........ 9.5
                              Play Value ..... 8.0
                              Educational Value .. 10.0
                              Bang for the Buck .. 9.0
                              Average ...... 8.33

Editor's note:  Here's a review of a program that will be useful to any
parent.  Few things can trouble a parent more than when a child is ill.  The
Mayo Family Health Clinic cannot guarantee the health of you or child, but
it does contain extensive information which will help you to recognize
illnesses and to deal with accident trauma.  No home should be without a
medical reference guide, and Mayo Family Health Clinic is simply the best
electronic guide available.

                   Mayo Clinic Family Health 1996 Edition
by Donna Lines

Mayo Clinic Family Health 1996 Edition, Version 2.0 is greatly improved over
the original version. The 1996 Edition has been updated to include many new
features and the latest up-to-date health information.  The information is
presented in clear, easy-to-understand language without "talking down" to
the non-medical professional user. The interface is more user-friendly,
including helpful "greeters" to introduce each feature of the program.
After you become familiar with the product, you can turn the video help
feature off in the Preferences menu under Video Help Options.  There are
several new sections including General, Family, Search and Online.
The General section provides the latest information available on such topics
as Anatomy, Life Cycles, Staying Well, First Aid, Diseases and Disorders,
and Modern Medical Care.
     Anatomy shows each of the body's main systems, i.e., skin, skeletal,
muscular, endocrine, etc.  By dragging the green dot on the scroll bar next
to the illustration you can fade through several body layers.  You can click
on "view media" to see a more detailed illustration and hear a sound clip.
Click on "go to text" and you'll be given a list of links to related
articles. If there is a short movie clip available, you can click on the
film reel icon to view the movie.
     Lifecycles is divided into groups of topics by age, providing insights
to medical conditions, physical and psychological developmental stages and
concerns associated with each age group from the newborn to the elderly.
     Staying Well provides valuable tips on staying healthy covering such
topics as good nutrition, dealing with stress, and exercise.
     First Aid provides easy-to-understand information on common health
problems and medical emergencies.  There are numerous illustrations to
provide guidance to the first responder.  The user can become familiar with
the information in this section before an emergency occurs and will
therefore be better prepared.
     Diseases details symptoms, causes, diagnoses, and treatments for nearly
one thousand diseases and disorders.
     Modern Medical Care covers topics ranging from "Understanding and Using
the Health Care System" to "Dealing with Death."

     Family is a brand new section with features suggested by survey
responses from previous owners of Mayo Clinic.  There are several
subsections including Personal Profile, Common Questions, Common Symptoms,
and Drug Reference.
     Personal Profile allows users to maintain complete health records on
family members. The user completes several forms covering medical insurance
information, immunizations, special conditions, allergies, family history,
and more. You can print your personal profile for a handy reference when
you're traveling.
     Drug Reference contains current information on over four thousand
drugs.  The user can select a drug and read extensive description of what
the drug does and the medical conditions it is commonly prescribed to treat.
Also included are precautions while taking the drug, how to take the
medicine and possible side effects.  Perhaps the best feature of this
section is the ability of the user to check for possible drug interactions
between various prescription and over-the-counter remedies.  For complete
information regarding possible drug interactions you should consult with
your doctor or  pharmacist before taking any new medications, prescription
or over-the-counter.
     Poison Reference contains valuable information on common poisonous
plants and substances found in and around the home.  This section will help
you to recognize potential poison hazards.  It also offers excellent safety
advice on prevention, recognizing a poisoning event and treating a poison
     Common Questions provides answers to more than 300 of the most often
asked questions, sorted by age group.
     Common Symptoms prompts the user to answer a short series of questions
and based on the responses provides links to information on possible causes
and treatments.
     The Search section provides much improved search capabilities over the
original version.  Search allows the user to search on a word or phrase,
specific part of the anatomy, or a particular disorder or disease quickly
and easily.
     Online gives the user one-button access to the Mayo Clinic Home Page -
Online Health Network- on the Internet.  Using your local Internet service
provider and the Netscape Navigator software included you may access Mayo
Clinic's home page on the Internet by simply selecting "Online" from the
main menu.
     I was unable to load Netscape Navigator successfully from the Mayo
Clinic CD-ROM. Perhaps you will not experience the same difficulty. I did
download and install the program from another source. I was then able to
dial up my Internet provider and open Netscape Navigator.  Then I could
click on the "Online" icon in Mayo Clinic Family Health and be zipped away
to the Online Health Network web site (
     The site provides the latest information available on numerous health-
related topics.  I spent a couple of hours exploring the various features
and decided to include the Web site in this review.
     From the Home Page you can access Mayo Newsstand, Mayo Special Events,
Mayo Library, Product Information, and IVI Customer Service.
     In Mayo Newsstand you'll find new topics every week selected from
various Mayo publications.  There are three features:  Hot Topics, Ask the
Physician, and the current edition of the "Mayo Clinic Health Letter."  Hot
Topics has articles under three categories, Pediatrics, Adult and
Prevention.  Ask the Physician allows users to view other user's questions
and Mayo Clinic's staff's responses.  You can even submit your own question.
Selected questions and answers will be published.  Mayo Clinic Health Letter
is a monthly publication.  (You may also subscribe to the Health Letter,
paper copy, via the Product Info. button.)
Mayo Special Events allows you to participate in an on line discussion and
  read information on
     a featured topic.  You will need to do a one-time download of the
special software (accessed from the Special Events page) to participate in
the forums.
     Mayo Library is a reference source for a variety of information
published by the Mayo Clinic.
     IVI Community Center - you'll need to register to access this part of
the Web site. Once registered you can participate in discussions on health-
related topics on a community bulletin board.   You will also find a list of
additional sources of information on various ailments.
     Overall I found the Web site to be informative and extremely easy to
navigate.  You'll find yourself visiting this site often to say abreast of
the latest breaking news on the world of medicine.

                         Program Pluses and Minuses:

     First the Pluses:
z    The program is very user-friendly.
z    Video Help "Guides" provide information on using the various features
z    The information is presented in clear, easy-to-understand language.
z    The illustrations and animations are very well done.
z    Online one-button link to the Internet Web Site is excellent.
z    The Web Site is jammed full of the latest medical information and is
easy to navigate.

     Now the Minuses:
z    The window is not sizable, and is not full-screen.  When you view some
  illustrations, you must use the scroll bars to view the entire image.
z    Every time you start the program you have to click on "OK" at the
  disclaimer screen.
z    I was unable to Electronically Register using the Icon in the Program

     I highly recommend this product.  You will find it a valuable medical
resource that you won't want to be without.  From advice on First Aid,
dealing with stress, newborn care through health concerns of the elderly,
there is information every member of the family can use to help them make
informed decisions about their health care.
     The Mayo Clinic Family Health 1996 Edition, Version 2.0 is available on
CD-ROM, $79.95 suggested retail, $24.95 upgrade for owners of version 1.0
directly through IVI publishing.
     Contact IVI at 1-800-432-1332.
                             System Requirements
     To access sound, animations, and graphics you will need:
z    486SX 25 MHz processor or better
z    8 MB of RAM
z    8 MB Virtual Memory (Swap File)
z    Hard Disk with minimum of 10 MB free space
z    Double Speed CD-ROM drive
z    SVGA Resolution 640x480 displaying 256 colors
z    Microsoft Windows 3.1 or later
z    Microsoft Mouse or pointing device
z    MS-DOS CD-ROM extensions (MSCDEX version 2.2. or later)
z    Speakers or Headphones
z    MPC Level 1 Sound Card (WAV file capable, 8-bit minimum)

     This product will run with minimum requirements of a personal computer
with 4 MB of RAM and single speed CD-ROM drive.

 Atari Jaguar/Computer Section
Dana Jacobson, Editor

>From the Atari Editor's Desk              "Saying it like it is!"

     Well, Christmas is a few days old now; and 1996 is almost upon us.
Where did this year go?  I hope that you all had a terrific holiday; that
Santa Claus and Hanukkah Harry were good to you all!
     It's a really slow time for most people; and it's reflected in the
amount of news.  It's really a good time to just sit back and reflect over
the past year.  For me, the best part of 1995, Atari-wise, was that I added
an Atari Falcon and a CDROM player to my collection of Atari machines.  They
have both been a lot of fun to use, and very productive. As the new year
unfolds, so will more articles dealing with both pieces of hardware.  As
I've been mentioning the past few weeks, CDs for the Atari computers are
available, and quite good.  It's All Relative's Greg Kopchak has been
keeping me abreast of what's happening in this regard; and we will be taking
a closer look at some of the things that are being offered.
     It's hard to believe that I've been heading up STReport's Atari section
for a little over two years now.  I did a little research, as an end of the
year project, just to see what was happening at the time I was taking over
this section.  The more things change, the more they remain the same.  Many
of the things I discussed in my debut editorial have come to pass; some of
what I had hoped to occur, did not.  History has, apparently, repeated
itself with regard to Atari.  One thing that has changed, for the better, is
what has been a good working relationship with Atari.  Who would have
guessed, a short two years ago, that STReport and Atari would (or could) be
working together in an effort to bring you firsthand information?
Personally, I always knew it was possible if the right people were able to
put aside some differences in philosophy and make an attempt to work
     Atari's Don Thomas has to take a lot of the credit for what has
occurred these past two years.  His willingness to work with us has proved
invaluable to our readers, and Atari customers.  It hasn't been without a
few problems and bumps along the way, but Don has always gone out of his way
to help as much as possible.  For the opportunity to work together, I will
always be grateful to Don for his help.  I'm looking forward to another year
of working with Don in our effort to keep our readership informed of "all
things Atari."
     As is usual for us at this time of year, every year, I want to wish all
of our readers a very happy and prosperous new year.  We hope that 1996
turns out to be a good year for everyone, but especially those of us who are
still avid Atari users.
     And, please remember to take it easy on New Year's Eve.  If you're
prone to party, as most of us are, do NOT drink and drive.  Be a really good
spouse or friend and make sure that there's a sober, designated driver if
you plan to be on the road.  We really want to see around during the new

          Until next year, next time...

                               Jaguar Section

"...not a creature was stirring..."

>From the Editor's Controller  -  Playin' it like it is!

     It's been a quiet post-holiday week for us here at STReport, and at
Atari.  Both myself and most of Atari have been on vacation this past week.
I'm looking forward to learning how holiday sales were for the Jaguar,
especially after the $99.00 price tag was implemented.
     Online activity has been generating a lot of opinions over the new
price tag for the Jaguar.  On the negative side, many are speculating that
the price drop is the beginning of the end for Atari and Jaguar support. On
the positive, many like myself feel that the price reduction is a good thing
to generate new sales.  My only complaints are that I think Atari dropped
the price at least a month too late and the fact that who, other than the
online community, knows about the new low price?  Holiday advertising, at
least what we saw last year, wasn't.  I thought that this year there would
be a more visible level of media blitz for the Jaguar, but I just didn't see
any ads.  Last year, I saw plenty of ads.  Still, I feel that the new price
tag can only help, if Atari makes it known.  Yet, however, I have a small
degree of cynicism that tells me that Atari will find a way to fall short.
As is the norm, we will still have to wait and see how the story unfolds.
     Which brings me to my opening editorial, and reflections of one of my
early editorials as the Atari editor of STReport, just about the time of the
unveiling of the Jaguar.  In that editorial, which I have re-printed in part
below, I was really anticipating the release of the Jaguar.  While I still
believe in the premise of that editorial, I think that Atari didn't come
close to its expectations, nor ours.

>From STReport #948, my fifth editorial:
     "So, what's been happening since we last met?  Well, Jaguars are
finding new homes rapidly these days.  Although the new cat was scheduled to
go on sale yesterday, it was pretty difficult to keep them caged for too
long.  Folks in the New York City area are reporting that they have some of
these new pets purring along at home.  Rumors are flying that some stores in
the city were sold out in hours!!  The excitement that these new Atari game
machines is reminiscent of when the Atari 2600 was first made available; the
time when the name "Atari" was a household name.  It was a time when the
buzz-phrase of the day was "have you played Atari today?" Sheesh, I'm
getting a real warm sensation just thinking that Atari will be under many
Christmas trees (and Chanukah bushes) this year!  It's been a _long_ time
coming.  I hope that Atari is going to be able to keep up with what I feel
is going to be an incredible demand this winter.  The Jaguar is one cat
that's going to be in a lot of homes the next few months. Plumbers and
hedgehogs; they'll be seen in the unemployment lines soon enough!"
     Well, Atari did come out with a premier product, and one that I still
feel is superior to those at the time of its release and those that are
currently available.  But, with Atari's poor history of support aided by a
poor start with regard to numbers of games, especially quality ones have
hurt.  Added to this was what many believe to be limited marketing, has
really prevented the Jaguar from being the top-of-the-line game console on
the market today.
     What will 1996 bring?  It's anybody's guess at this point.  Will Atari
still be supporting the Jaguar in this new year?  I believe so, but I can't
say to what degree.  Will Atari's focus change over the new year? Unless
sales dramatically take an upward swing, I believe that something will have
to give by mid-1996.  If things don't improve, I see lingering support for
the Jaguar for at least a year, but likely to die out as we saw happen with
the Lynx.
     What do I think will happen in 1996?  I remain the eternal optimist,
but with a touch of "guarded realism" in-hand.  I'm hoping that the likes of
Ted Hoff will help to improve Atari's image and back it up with a comeback.
I don't think that the Jaguar will ever be close to taking the place of the
giants of the likes of Nintendo, Sony, and Sega; but I do see the Jaguar
taking its rightful place in the grand scheme of things if
     Atari can play the right cards.  It may be too late, but I'd like to
think it was possible despite all odds and Atari's history.  1996 should
prove to be an interesting year!
               Until next time...

Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile  -  The Latest Gaming News!

RESEARCH  TRIANGLE  PARK, N.C., Dec. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Interactive  Magic's
latest  title  "Star  Rangers" is receiving high marks from  game  reviewers
across the country.  Within the last month, "Star Rangers" has received  the
"game  of  the  month  award" from PC Entertainment Magazine,  an  89%  from
Computer  Game  Review  Magazine, an 85% from  PC  Gamer  Magazine  and  was
featured on CNN's "Computer Connection" holiday buying guide.
"Wild  Bill  Stealey  and his development team must  be  thrilled  with  the
initial  reviews  of 'Star Rangers,'" said Ernie Slome,  President  of  ABCO
Distributors.  "Interactive Magic really had the consumer in mind when  they
designed  this exciting new game.  If this is a sign of things  to  come,  I
can't wait to see I-Magic's lineup for 1996."
(For  a free demo of "Star Rangers" for review purposes call Dave Murray  or
Debbie  Blair  at  1-800-559-0434 or download from  I-Magic's  Web  Site  at
"Star  Rangers"  transports players to the 23rd century  where  they  become
members   of  the  intergalactic  Border  Patrol.   After  warming   up   in
arcade/practice mode, players can fly exciting missions with  a  wingmen  at
their side.  Challenged with the task of defending their galaxy, players can
use a variety of strategies to outsmart invading alien forces.
Developed  in  the  tradition of Atari's(C) award winning "Star  Raiders"(R)
game,  "Star Rangers" is designed to appeal to both new computer owners  and
experienced  gamers  alike.  The carefully designed  practice  mode  quickly
launches players into action, while the campaign mode offers players a  wide
variety of missions with varying degrees of difficulty.
"Star  Rangers"  uses  state-of-the-art textured graphics  that  produce  an
increased  sensation of space travel and explosions with incredible  detail.
Interactive Magic is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and  is
dedicated to developing and publishing high-quality, realtime simulation and
strategy games for individual and Internet/Commercial On-Line play.
       For more information, contact Dave Murray at Interactive Magic
                          1-919-461-0722, ext. 3013

Jaguar Cheats, & Hints STR InfoFile  -  Solving Those Riddles!
                            Highlander Hint Sheet
Courtesy of Atari's Ted Tahquechi

z    The first hunter in the village keeps killing me.
Try holding the punch or kick button longer.  The longer you hold the
button, the more of the move Quentin will do.  With proper timing, the first
hunters can be killed with one kick or two punches.

z    When I go out the front gate, the hunters there keep killing me; what
  am I doing wrong?
When the game starts, the first hunter that runs after you has the answer.
Kill him with a well-timed kick or punch and get the orders that he has.
The orders will alert you that there is an ambush at the front gate.  You
should avoid this area.

z    I have killed the two hunters in the village; and found the back gate,
  but it's kicked!  How do I open the gate?
a. Search the village for the answer.
b. Look in the huts to find a stick.  Walk to the gate, and use the stick.
You will break the lock and open the gate.

z    Why can't I use the stick as a weapon?
Immortals are only allowed to use swords to dispatch their enemies!

z    In the village, there are hunters in a couple of the huts that keep
  hitting me and killing me.
Get a weapon before you face these tough hunters.

z    I have searched the entire village and cannot find a sword or any other
a. Carefully watch the introduction to the game again.
b. A sword can be found on the top of the Hill of Oaths.

z    When I run out the front gate of the village, I can make it past the
  hunters, but then on the rat to the Hill of Oaths, I get killed by a tank.
a. Try going another way.
b.   Go through the back gate to the Hill of Oaths.  By the time you get to
  the Hill of Oaths, the tank will have moved elsewhere.
Walkthru of the first area: Dundee Village and Hill of Oaths

1.   Kill the first hunter that runs toward you when the game begins.  This
  can be done easily by timing a kick when the hunter is close to Quentin.

2.   Get the orders, food, and map from the hunter's dead body.

3.   Examine the map and the orders.

4.   Explore all of the huts in the village.  If there is a hunter inside,
  exit quickly or you will be hit!

5.   Find the food in the huts.

6.   Find the stick in the sleeping hut.

7.   Kill the hunter at the back gate with a well-timed kick or two punches.
  Remember, timing is the key to killing the hunters.

8.   Go to the back gate, and use the stick.  The lock will be broken and
  the gate will open.

9.   Go through the gate, and then turn right at the guard tower to get to
  the Hill of Oaths.

10.  Watch the full motion video sequence, get the sword, then use it from
  your inventory.  This will place the sword into Quentin's hands.

11.  Go back down the stairs and follow the path to the lake.  Beware of
  hiding hunters!  Kill the hunters with the sword.  The Jab move is very
  effective against advancing hunters!

12.  Walk around the lake to the tank in the distance.  Dispatch the hunter
  there, and walk past the tank to advance to the next level!
                                 Good luck!

Jaguar Catalog STR InfoFile  -   What's currently available, what's coming

Current Available Titles

     CAT #          TITLE                         MSRP

     J9000     Cybermorph               $59.99         Atari Corp.
     J9006          Evolution:Dino Dudes     $19.99    Atari Corp.
     J9005     Raiden                             $29.99    FABTEK,
Inc/Atari Corp.
     J9001     T McFur/Crescent Galaxy  $19.99    Atari Corp.
     J9010          Tempest 2000             $39.95    Llamasoft/Atari Corp.
     J9028          Wolfenstein 3D           $29.95    id/Atari Corp.
     JA100          Brutal Sports FootBall        $69.95    Telegames
     J9008          Alien vs. Predator       $69.99    Rebellion/Atari Corp.
     J9029          Doom                $69.99    id/Atari Corp.
     J9036          Dragon: Bruce Lee        $29.99    Atari Corp.
     J9003          Club Drive               $29.99    Atari Corp.
     J9007          Checkered Flag           $19.99    Atari Corp.
     J9012          Kasumi Ninja             $29.99    Atari Corp.
     J9042          Zool 2                   $19.99    Atari Corp
     J9020          Bubsy                    $19.99    Atari Corp
     J9026          Iron Soldier             $29.99    Atari Corp
     J9060          Val D'Isere Skiing       $39.99    Atari Corp.
               Cannon Fodder            $49.99    Virgin/C-West
               Syndicate           $69.99    Ocean
               Troy Aikman Football          $69.99    Williams
               Theme Park               $69.99    Ocean
               Sensible Soccer                         Telegames
               Double Dragon V          $59.99    Williams
     J9009E    Hover Strike             $39.99    Atari Corp.
     J0144E    Pinball Fantasies        $59.99    C-West
     J9052E    Super Burnout            $59.99    Atari Corp.
     J9070          White Men Can't Jump          $49.99    Atari Corp.
               Flashback           $59.99    U.S. Gold
     J9078E    VidGrid (CD)                       Atari Corp
     J9016E    Blue Lightning (CD)      $59.99    Atari Corp
     J9040          Flip-Out            $49.99    Atari Corp
     J9082          Ultra Vortek             $69.99    Atari Corp
     C3669T    Rayman              $69.99    Ubi Soft
               Power Drive Rally        $69.99         TWI
     J9101          Pitfall                  $59.99    Atari Corp.
     J9086E    Hover Strike (CD)        $59.99    Atari Corp.
     J9031E    Highlander I (CD)        $59.99    Atari Corp.
     J9061E    Ruiner Pinball           $59.99    Atari Corp.
               Dragon's Lair            $69.99    Readysoft
     J9097E    Missile Command 3D       $59.99    Atari Corp.
     J9091          Atari Karts              $59.99    Atari Corp.
               Supercross 3D            $59.99    Atari Corp.
               Fever Pitch Soccer       $59.99    Atari Corp.
               I-War                    $59.99    Atari Corp.

Available Soon

     CAT #          TITLE               MSRP      DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER
     J9069          Myst (CD)           $59.99         Atari Corp.
               Mutant Penguins          $59.99         Atari Corp.
               Battlemorph              $59.99         Atari Corp.
               Breakout 2000            $49.99         Atari Corp.
               Max Force           $59.99              Atari Corp.
     J9089          NBA Jam TE               $69.99         Atari Corp.
     J9021          Brett Hull Hockey        $69.99         Atari Corp.
     J9055          Baldies                  $59.99         Atari Corp.
               Primal Rage              $59.99         Time Warner

Hardware and Peripherals

     CAT #          TITLE               MSRP      MANUFACTURER

     J8001          Jaguar (no cart)              $99.99         Atari Corp.
     J8904          Composite Cable          $19.95
     J8901          Controller/Joypad        $24.95         Atari Corp.
     J8905          S-Video Cable            $19.95
               CatBox                   $69.95              ICD J8800
               Jaguar CD-ROM            $149.99             Atari Corp.
     J8908          JagLink Interface             $29.95              Atari
     J8910          Team Tap 4-Player Adapter)    $29.95              Atari
     J8907          Jaguar ProController          $29.95              Atari
     J8911          Memory Track             $29.95              Atari Corp.
     J8909          Tempest 2000:
                    The Soundtrack           $12.99              Atari Corp.

Jaguar Online STR InfoFile      Online Users Growl & Purr!
[Editor's note:  It's been quiet online except for a number of users
discussing their Jaguar Christmas presents found under the tree earlier in
the week.  Most activity online has seen discussion of these new games that
have arrived lately.  Since we don't want to get ahead of ourselves by
revealing many of the comments and "mini-reviews", we'll wait for the games
to find their way to our reviewers, when we'll provide full commentary on
these new games.  I think Santa forgot to stop at Sunnyvale and pick up our
gift list of review games!  Either that or he's busy playing with them at
the North Pole!  Anyway, we'll be checking with both Santa and Atari next
week to see what's up...  Atari, for the most part, has been on vacation
this past week.  This would explain the absence of Don Thomas' usual CatNips
report as well as other news out of Atari that we would normally have in
this section.  But, since it is the end of the year, and things pretty quiet
anyway, it's expected that things would be slow.  Wait 'till next year!]

ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!

                            PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

On CompuServe

compiled by
Joe Mirando

     Hidi  Ho  friends and neighbors.  I hope your holiday so far  has  been
happy and healthy.  May the rest of the season be good to you.
       My holiday has been eventful (as all my holidays are).  After all  of
the  relatives had been seen, the four (that's right, count 'em... one, two,
three,  four)  Christmas dinners, the exchanging of gifts, and  my  "special
Christmas  prayer"  which I utter silently each year, I had  time  to  think
about the true nature of the season.
       Relatives grow old and leave us, the sumptuous meals are easily taken
away as fortunes (however meager) disappear, and the gifts which seem to  be
representations of affection are easily bought and given.  So, what I'm left
with  is  my  special Christmas Prayer.  It's a simple,  private  giving  of
thanks  that  even  my  wife  has never heard me  vocalize.   It's  a  short
conversation  between  me and whatever power directs  our  lives  (I'll  not
impose  upon you with my personal beliefs).  It is this prayer that made  me
stop  and think about what this season is really about.  It's about friends,
family,  fellowship, and taking stock of the past year.  It's  been  a  good
one.   For that, I'd like to thank all of those who have been a part of this
past year.  There are many too many to name so, I'll just say thank you  and
leave it at that.
      Well, I'm sure that you have had enough of all of this so let's get on
with all the news, hints, tips, and info available every week right here  on
>From the Atari Computing Forums

First off, let's go back to this "AtariCim" thing.  Alberto Sanchez posts:

"Hi you folks! I am absolutely convinced that a decent CIM-like navigator
for Atari [will] increase the number of Atari users signing with CIS. I
personally can convince more than five people to come with us. Even a ratio
of 1:2 will be good news for us Atari enthusiasts, and of course, for CIS.
I'm sure it's possible IF somebody makes a decent GEM-CIM.

I offer... $50 in this moment for such a program. I make a compromise of 1
more user signing on CIS.  The only thing needed to get more people is
giving them Internet account good prize, and CIS has got a good prize!  Who
will do it?"

As I have been a bit vocal on this subject, I tell Alberto:

"Christmas is truly a time of miracles!  I haven't heard confirmation on
CompuServe softening its stance on HMI code, but I do know that there are
several _able_ developers interested in porting the protocol to the ST!

We've come a long way from when this thread first began.  Back then,
CompuServe would not release the code for any machine other than PC/MAC.
That gave us no chance whatsoever.  Now, at least there is a chance.

I know that the Sysops have tried to convince management since the beginning
to make it available for the ST, for which we should be eternally grateful,
but it wasn't until the users started telling FEEDBACK that we were here
here and wanted CIM/HMI that this happened.  Coincidence?? Perhaps.  But I
prefer to think that we made a difference."

Steve Ahlstrom tells me:
"I hate to tell you this, but users writing to FEEDBACK had absolutely NO
effect in CompuServe's reversal in  their HMI policy.  What made the
difference is that the roadblock, in the personage of a specific CompuServe
Vice-President, has left the company.  Once that roadblock was gone saner
heads prevailed."

I tell Steve:

"There ya go, bursting my bubble... killjoy!  <grin>

That may well be the case (I get the feeling that the folks at FEEDBACK can
only kick the info "upstairs" where it gets discarded most of the time), but
I feel that it's usually a good policy to voice our opinions.  At least that
way management, or at least FEEDBACK, knows how we feel, what we'd like to
see, etc.

 >Once that roadblock was gone saner heads prevailed. <

  Only time will tell who was right.  Most of the time, a case can be   made
that, since only one road was taken, we don't know what the other   road
would have provided... Of course, in this case, this _is_ the   correct
road.  Still, every time CIS doesn't do as well as projected,   that ex-VP
will say to himself "See that, I was right!"

For myself, I don't care if the rest of the management team was visited by
three spirits in the night....  as long as we've got at least a shot at
remaining on CIS, I'm happy.  (probably not satisfied for ever, but happy
for the moment <grin>)"

Alberto jumps in and tells me:

"I wonder if the miracle will include free Internet access with unlimited
time! ;-D  Talking seriously, I was thinking of resigning from CIS and
signing with a Spanish server providing a SLIP connection with a reasonable
prize. This would mean [that I would] loose contact with all you great
folks! But now I will stay. And if that supposed soon incoming GEM-CIM lets
us have full Internet access, with FTP & WWW included... I will be the
better Compuserve agent in Spain! Me and Atari fan Club (Spain) will
campaign for the people signing with CIS!"

Benjamin Eby tells me:

"Well, I guess all that is left now is for one of you developers to make a
definite commitment to this project.  I know if I were a developer, I would
jump at the chance to do this.  Not only is there the reason of supporting
the Atari computer that we love so much, but I think designing a successful
custom interface for Compuserve would look GREAT on a resume.  Just a
thought.  Thank you all for pledging your money towards this.  If you take a
moment and read some of the postings in the Amiga forum, you would think
they were having a Jerry Lewis Telethon, so many of the users have pledged
to buy their version of the Compuserve program from the developer.  So keep
on speaking up, because a developer does deserve enumeration for a project
that would be quite demanding of his/her knowledge of the Atari's hardware
(not to mention the time factor).  And remember DON'T GIVE UP!!! Keep your
chins up.  (Or as my brother often tells me, "Keep your nose clean, and your
lips won't chap so bad <G>.)"

I reply to Benjamin:

"If I were a developer with the resources to take on a project like this, I
think that I'd jump at it.  But I am not a  developer, and have _very_
feeble programming skills.  I _know_ that, without any doubt, I would be
unable to take on a project of this type.

As I've said, I know of one or two developers who are looking into the
possibility of either incorporating HMI into existing programs or doing a
stand-alone version.  The problem is that the new policy is so new that most
folks are unsure of exactly what restrictions there might be, or exactly
what roadblocks might be encountered along the way to completing the project
(the technical aspects).

We are far from assured of getting an AtariCim, but we're closer than we
were two weeks ago.  And yes, it is important to not give up.  Regardless of
why CIS is changing its mind, making our feelings known in a civil way can't
hurt and will probably help.

Remember Gandhi??

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do
it.  Whether it makes a difference or not, we should make our opinions
known!  Gee, can you tell that I write for STReport??"

Michel Vanhamme jumps in and tells me:

"IMHO (In my humble opinion), an AtariNav would be more useful and practical
in the short term... I don't really need the fancy pictures and stuff <G>.

And while we are dreaming, may I beg any developer who would take on  this
task to make it fully GEM-compliant? Oh, and I am willing to pay  for this,
of course."

I reply to Michel:
     "No need for a grin there, as you are absolutely right!  I had used
AtariCim in a generic sense to mean any HMI-compliant program... Which was
wrong and very misleading.  I am, as you are, hoping for a "Cim without the
CIM".  In other words, a navigator. <g>
     I think that a navigator is the way to go, at least for me.  I've
always said that the fancy pictures don't increase the value of the messages
I read or the files I download.  Of course, new users of CompuServe would
probably want the pix, but those of us who've been here for a while realize
that it's the data that makes CIS our choice, and not the bells and
Hmmm... I'm feeling a bit poetic...

           Twas the day before Christmas and all through the Forum
               We all wanted to stay here, we had us a quorum.
            But the man at the top said "It's just too much work.
             You'll just have to leave us.  You can't even lurk.
                It doesn't make sense now, to support the ST,
                 Amiga, or UNIX, it's the numbers, you see.
           Go get a machine that runs Windows, DOS, or Sys Seven.
                  Then you can join us in digital heaven."
                  But a man with a beard and a UNIX machine
           Told the guy in the boardroom "You're just being mean!
            There's no reason at all that we can't get this done
             There's lots of us folks that are in this for fun.
             We won't buy a computer, just to stay here online,
              That's just plain silly, ours do everything fine.
                 I've been watching you now for many a year,
             And I've given you presents when shouldn't, I fear.
            You've forgotten the rule that makes this place work:
                 Each user is special, you pig-headed Jerk!
            I'm putting my foot down!  No more presents for you!"
            And then he re-booted, and to the North Pole he flew.
         Well the short-sighted guy, still in shock from the sight,
           Yelled out after the spectre "I still think I'm right!
                 I'm out of here now, I've now seen it all!
                    A digital Santa in our digital mall!"
                    The digital Santa gave a digital wink
               And said to his elves "This is better, I think.
             An online provider should support those who cruise
          This electronic highway, not the machines that they use."
            Then he went to his sleigh and he yelled to the bunch
           "Let's load up and move out, we've no time for lunch!"
         "Get the bags filled with presents" he yelled out with soul
             "All he holiday trimmings.... AND ONE BAG OF COAL!"
               And I heard him exclaim from his cellular modem
          "That surely was close, but I guess that we showed 'em."
              Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night."

My friend Myles Cohen (one of those folks who makes this online service
special) tells me:

"That was true-ly beautiful...Sob!"

Benjamin Eby adds:

"I had no idea you were so talented!<G>(look out, Milton!) See ya!"

I lighten up and reply:

"Not Milton, his attempts at humor were lousy.  How 'bout Dickens?? (;^{>

By the way folks, for those who don't know, that bunch of characters at the
end is my "online portrait".  the "(" is the top of my head, the ";" are my
winking eyes, the "^" is my nose, and the "{>" are my beard and mustache.
Meanwhile, Alberto Sanchez tells me:

"That was really the funniest message I've ever read! Even when I don't
completely understand your american english (I studied english-english at
HighSchool) I'm laughing through all the lines. Since now, you're my
favourite cyberpoet!"

Jon Sanford playfully adds:

"Magnificant Poetry!  Perhaps we should petition for an "Arts & Literature"
section to put   all this culture."

I haven't replied to Jon yet, but this is what I'll reply when I have the

"I tried to put it in the literature forum, but it's such a clique!  If
you're not dead... or at least talented, they don't want to post your stuff!
<very big grin!>"

     Well folks, that's about it for this week.  Until next time please have
a happy, healthy and _SAFE_ New Year.  The first two of those are largely
out of our control, but the last is entirely within your reach.  Don't drink
and drive, and watch out for the other guy.  Tune in again next week, same
time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when...
                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING

STReport CONFIDENTIAL    "Rumors Tidbits Predictions Observations Tips"

Sunnyvale, CA.      Atari's Sam Tramiel suffers Mild Heart Attack

     Our west coast snoop reports that after a two day session a week or so
ago, at Stanford Medical Center, Sam Tramiel, Beleaguered CEO of Atari
Corp., was released to home in satisfactory condition.  According to our
snoop, Sam's Dad, Jack was more upset than Sam himself.  In any case, snoop
sez that there are no residual problems and that Sam's prognosis is as
bright as a new sunrise.  Hey Sam!!  From all of us at STReport FEEL
BETTER!!  Besides, if anything were to happen to you, who in heaven's name
would we have to give a hard time to?  All kidding aside, we're all glad to
hear you're doing fine.  To you especially, we wish a very Happy and Healthy
New Year.

                             EDITORIAL  QUICKIES       

                           Happy New Year To ALL!!
                   STReport International OnLine Magazine
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  STR OnLine!         YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE         December 29, 1995
  Since 1987      Copyrightc1995 All Rights Reserved          Issue No. 1152

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