ST Report: 12-Jul-96 #1228From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 08/02/96-11:05:36 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 12-Jul-96 #1228 Date: Fri Aug 2 23:05:36 1996 Silicon Times Report The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) July 12, 1996 No. 1228 Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 STR Electronic Publishing Inc. A subsidiary of STR Worldwide CompNews Inc. R.F. Mariano, Editor Featured in ITCNet's ITC_STREPORT Echo Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing Support BBS THE BOUNTY INTERNATIONAL BBS Featuring: * 5.0GB * of File Libraries Mustang Software's WILDCAT! Client/Server BBS Version 5 95/NT Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STR through Internet MULTI-NODE Operation 24hrs-7 days Analog & ISDN BRI Access 904-268-4116 2400-128000 bps V. 120-32-34 v.42 bis ISDN V.34 USRobotics I-MODEM NT-1 FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs BCS - Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 07/12/96 STR 1228 The Original Independent OnLine Magazine! - CPU Industry Report - Thumbs Plus 3c Ships - Corel & Bradshaw - Kid's Computing - Cardinal ISDN $199 - IBM Jobs on Net - Browser WARS - LapTop Thefts UP - Privacy Logos - SPA SUES 21 - People Talking - Jagwire News APPLE SELLING OFF PIECES? MS to SUE Argentina AOL SETTLES SUITS STReport International OnLine Magazine Featuring Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports STReport's BBS - The Bounty International BBS, invites all BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the ITC, Fido, Internet, PROWL, USENET, USPOLNet, NEST, F-Net, Mail Networks. You may also call The Bounty BBS direct @ 1-904-268-4116. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of excellent International Networking Systems. SysOps and users alike worldwide, are welcome to join STReport's International Conferences. ITC Node is 85:881/250, The Fido Node is 1:112/35, Crossnet Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is #620. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. WEB SITE: http//www.streport.com CIS ~ PRODIGY ~ DELPHI ~ GENIE ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ ITC ~ NEST ~ EURONET ~ CIX ~ USENET USPOLNET CLEVELAND FREE-NET ~ INTERNET ~ PROWL ~ FNET ~ AOL IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Publisher, Staff & Editors Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 7/06/96: 3 of 6 numbers >From the Editor's Desk... Bertha breezed right by us and believe this. I am relieved. We got some gusts and plenty of rain. But that was about it. Once again due to the beautiful weather. the editorial is short. Get outdoors, get some color, some fresh air and exercise. It'll do wonders for you. Of Special Note: http//www.streport.com STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB/NewsGroup/FTP Site and although its in its early stages of construction, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. So, as of October 01,1995, you'll be able to download STReport directly from our very own SERVER & WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR list. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Atari Section R.F. Mariano J. Deegan D. P. Jacobson Portable Computers & Entertainment Kid's Computing Corner Marty Mankins Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael Arthur John Deegan Brad Martin John Szczepanik Paul Guillot Joseph Mirando Doyle Helms John Duckworth Jeff Coe Steve Keipe Victor Mariano Melanie Bell Jay Levy Jeff Kovach Marty Mankins Carl Prehn Paul Charchian Vincent P. O'Hara Contributing Correspondents Dominick J. Fontana Norman Boucher Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Ed Westhusing Glenwood Drake Vernon W.Smith Bruno Puglia Paul Haris Kevin Miller Craig Harris Allen Chang Tim Holt Ron Satchwill Leonard Worzala Tom Sherwin Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: CompuServe 70007,4454 Prodigy CZGJ44A Delphi RMARIANO GEnie ST.REPORT BIX RMARIANO FIDONET 1:112/35 ITC NET 85:881/253 AOL STReport Internet firstname.lastname@example.org Internet CZGJ44A@prodigy.com Internet RMARIANO@delphi.com Internet 70007.4454.compuserve.com Internet STReport@AOL.Com WORLD WIDE WEB http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Settlement Reported in AOL Suits A preliminary settlement of 11 class-action lawsuits accusing America Online of overbilling millions of customers reportedly has been reached. Eric Auchard of the Reuter News Service quotes plaintiffs' lawyers as saying the settlement could mean millions of hours in free time for AOL subscribers. "The agreement, which has been preliminarily approved by San Francisco Superior Court Judge A. James Robertson, requires that America Online provide free online time to subscribers as of March 31," says Reuters. "The time is to be delivered over an unspecified four-month period." The lawyers said in a statement the settlement of the 11 class actions covers America Online customers between July 15, 1991, and last March 31 and that AOL also agreed to improved disclosures in its customer billing and cancellation practices, according to the lawyers' statement. As reported, the suits stemmed from AOL's business practices such as billing for online time by adding 15 seconds each time a customer signed on to the service and rounding up the total to the next minute. Under the agreement, said the wire service: 1. Subscribers with charges in excess of $300 from July 1991 to March 1996 would receive additional free time equal to one free hour for each $300 in charges over the $300 threshold. 2. Former subscribers with at least $300 in charges also would be eligible to receive cash compensation up to a maximum of $500,000 in total payments by the company. 3. Ex-subscribers who wish to resubscribe would receive one free hour of time in addition to any free time provided for resubscribing to the service, the lawyers said. As reported earlier, Business Week magazine has said the Federal Trade Commission might be examining the billing practices of America Online and other online services. Wash. Town Levies Net Tax A 6 percent tax on companies that connect people to the Internet has been imposed by the city of Tacoma, Wash., which also wants Internet access providers to obtain a $72-a-year local business license. The taxes apply not just to Internet access firms in Tacoma, but any that have customers in the city, according to The Associated Press, which calls Tacoma "one of a small but growing number of locales to plunge into the confusing issue of cyberspace taxation." AP observes, "The prospect of taxes being levied by thousands of taxing authorities in states, counties and cities is a daunting financial uncertainty for online services. Some providers are very small and could collapse from having to account for customer usage to meet new tax laws." On this issue, Vince Callaway, co-owner of Tacoma's Washington Internet Services, told the wire service, "Internet providers traditionally have had a tough time in billing. They now have to keep track of reporting taxes and reporting revenues based on where a customer lives. It will put them out of business based on that alone." AP says a half dozens states -- including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas -- as well as the District of Columbia already impose taxes on online services. Also the cities of Austin, Texas, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., have set taxes on Internet connection services. "Collection is haphazard, however," says AP, "and some companies have ignored the taxes, waiting for a challenge from regulators." Tax Laws Could Hinder Net Commerce A new study by accounting giant KPMG Peat Marwick finds that while more than eight out of 10 American companies believe that the Internet could become a major vehicle for exports, three out of 10 feel that the taxation of goods and services sold over the Net is a significant concern. "The enormous growth predicted for online commerce has already caught the attention of taxing authorities in the U.S. and is a subject of debate. And companies buying and selling goods and services internationally may be faced with an even bigger problem -- multiple taxation," says Nilesh K. Shah, a partner in KPMG Peat Marwick's international services practice. According the Shah, buying and selling goods electronically on an international level raises questions about where the transaction occurs and which jurisdiction has the right to collect taxes. "For example," says Shah, "if a Japanese company makes a purchase from a company headquartered in the U.S. but using a server in Bermuda, in which country did the transaction take place? Which country has the right to collect tax on the sale?" KPMG Peat Marwick reports that only a few international jurisdictions have begun to grapple with these issues and predicts that solutions will not come easily. The firm expects that governments will have to address the issue if they are to foster worldwide growth of electronic commerce. In fact, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development already has a task force which is studying trade issues related to the Internet. KPMG Peat Marwick is advising companies to gain a better understanding of the current business environment and build flexibility into their web site structure in order to minimize taxes as policies evolve. Cable TV Offers Schools Free Net Word is cable television companies will offer nearly all U.S. elementary and secondary schools free high-speed equipment for linking to the Internet. The Washington Post this morning quotes cable industry officials as saying the companies -- including Tele-Communications Inc. and Time Warner Inc. -- will offer the schools cable modems, which provide much faster access to the Internet than conventional modems that rely on telephone wires. The Reuter News Service says the project will cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars, adding, "Analysts said the companies were hoping teachers and students would use the same company to reach the Internet at home." WebTV Unveils TV Box Tech TV set-top box technology to access the Internet is being unveiled by WebTV Networks Inc., a private, start- up company, which also is announcing its first major consumer electronics partners, Sony and Philips electronics. Including Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen among its investors, WebTV says Sony and Philips Consumer Electronics plan to use its technology and online service for television this fall. The Reuter News Service notes that with this launch, the Palo Alto, Calif.,- based WebTV Networks joins "a flurry of other consumer electronics companies, such as Zenith, that are trying to turn the television into an Internet access device, or a PC/TV." However, adds the wire service, "analysts said among the many products companies are launching in this nascent area, WebTV's is among the better ones." Jupiter Communications analyst Adam Schoenfeld told Reuters, "They have the best approach I have seen to putting the Web over a TV. They have an excellent software/hardware fix to the screen resolution problem. They have overcome one basic hurdle in that the Web does not look terrible over their service." On this, WebTV President Steve Perlman said, "It hooks up to your phone line, you plug it in and you are surfing the net." Reuters notes WebTV has developed a set of technologies and guidelines for manufacturers to create a set-top box that will let consumers use their TVs to browse the Internet. "The devices can be hooked up to any regular television and a telephone line," says Reuters. "The new set-top boxes released in the fall by Sony and Philips can easily plug into a standard TV and quickly plug into the WebTV Network Service, its Internet access service. A cable modem running at a speed of 33.6 bits per second is also part of the set-top box design. WebTV says it cannot yet disclose the cost of the device because of the competition between Sony and Philips, but Perlman commented, "We view $500 as much too expensive as a mass market product and WebTV is viewed as a mass market product." Reuters says WebTV's online service has a custom browser that "presents content from the World Wide Web in a form that fits the TV and includes an interface that does not assume any prior knowledge of the Internet or the World Wide Web." IBM Posts Job Openings on Net IBM has become the first major U.S. corporation to post its job openings on an Internet site called America's Job Bank operated by the U.S. Labor Department. Labor Secretary Robert Reich says IBM will list some 24,000 job openings each year, adding, "Millions of Americans will have access to this corporate leader's high quality job openings and IBM will have access to America's hottest marketplace of jobseekers." America's Job Bank (which can be reached at World Wide Web address http://www.ajb.dni.us) receives more than 6 million hits a month, according to United Press International. As reported, the site is a joint federal- state effort that allows computer users to customize their job search according to their skills, salary requirements and geographical location. The openings include listings from 1,800 state employment service offices and from private companies. Reich said his department also is exploring setting up a Talent Bank so jobseekers can post their resumes on the Internet for employers to find. Also, he said, the department has funded grants to put computers into state employment offices, community colleges and other locations in every neighborhood. Customers Ponder Digital Changes Digital Equipment Corp. customers are skeptical of the layoffs and management changes announced by the company last week, according to a Computerworld newspaper survey of 100 Digital customers. Asked whether they felt Digital's recent decision to lay off 7,000 employees and replace its top PC Executive, Enrico Pesatori, would help the company's long-term fortune, 55 percent of the customers said the moves would not help, while only 32 percent felt that they would. But despite lack of accord on Digital's recent moves, most still remained in support of the company's overall marketing thrust. z 64 percent said Digital should not drop out of the PC business. z 56 percent supported the Digital strategy for cutting direct sales and moving more products through third party channels. z 51 percent felt Digital was generally on the right track with its sales and marketing strategy. z 63 percent felt Digital's strategic development and marketing relationship with Microsoft has been positive. The issue that most customers agreed upon was that Digital should bring its VMS workstation fees in line with its NT and Unix products. VMS is a proprietary operating system that was Digital's mainstay software for many years. Apple Licenses Monitor Technology Apple Computer Inc. and ST Electronics Systems Assembly Pte. Ltd. (STESA) today announced the signing of a monitor manufacturing and technology license agreement. The agreement, the first of its kind for Apple, grants STESA the right to build the latest Apple-designed monitors for Apple and to use Apple's proprietary process technology to manufacture monitors for other computer vendors. The deal's terms weren't disclosed. "Today's agreement further evolves Apple's strategy to provide the greatest value for the customer," says Peter Tan, managing director of Apple's Singapore unit. "By working closely with strategic allies in areas where they add most value to our business we can continue to invest in areas of our core competence." Under the agreement, STESA will initially build monitors modeled after existing high-end Apple displays. Cardinal Ships $199 ISDN Modem Cardinal Technologies Inc. has started shipping a $199 ISDN adapter. Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Cardinal says it is the first company to offer the power of an ISDN connection at a price only slightly above a 28.8K bps modem. The adapter features a Basic Rate Interface (BRI) with two 64K bps "bearer" channels, which can be combined for transfer rates up to 128K bps, and one data channel. The device supports Windows 3.1x and is Plug and Play compatible for Windows 95. Cardinal's adapter card emulates an analog modem by supporting standard AT command sets. As a result, there is no need for users to change their communications software or redefine parameters. "Cardinal designed this card to complement users' existing computers, software and phone lines to deliver fast, cost- effective Internet access that works right out of the box," says James A. Jonez, Cardinal's director of product marketing. "Cardinal is committed to providing its customers high-bandwidth digital communication solutions at breakthrough prices." "For business people and consumer users who need a faster connection than the 33.6K bps available on analog modems, ISDN delivers," adds Dataquest Inc. analyst Lisa Pelgrim. "While technologies such as cable modems and xDSL will be available in the future, ISDN is widely available today. Cardinal's $199 price is very competitive." Upgraded Paint Shop Pro Ships JASC Inc. has started shipping Paint Shop Pro 4.0, an upgraded version of its Windows-based image editing software. The $69 program, which runs under Windows 95 or Windows NT, offers dozens of new features, including an enhanced paintbrush with a wide variety of user-controllable options. Also provided is a new special effects feature that offers choices ranging from drop shadows to gradient fills. Paint Shop Pro 4.0 is designed for photo retouching, painting and image and color enhancement in all kinds of graphic design applications. The program also offers image format conversion, screen capturing capabilities and flexibility in image creation, viewing and manipulation. Registered Paint Shop users can upgrade for $23. HP Ends Disk Drive Production Hewlett-Packard Co. says it will discontinue manufacturing disk drive mechanisms in order to focus on the extended-storage market, including tape drives, libraries and CD-recordable technologies. HP states that its disk memory division -- located in Boise, Idaho, and Penang, Malaysia -- will cease operations, resulting in a pre-tax charge against earnings of approximately $150 million in the company's 1996 fiscal third quarter, which ends July 31. "Today's decision will enable us to focus on enhancing our market-leadership position in tape backup, CD-recordable products and optical and tape libraries," says Douglas K. Carnahan, an HP senior vice president. "This action makes sense for HP because our share of the disk-drive market has been declining in a very tough environment. But I want to make it clear that we'll continue to support DMD's installed-base customers." HP's disk memory division employs 1,680 people, with 1,150 located in Boise and 530 in Penang. HP says these employees will receive priority consideration for job openings at HP operations in Boise and Penang, which are large, multidivision complexes each with a total employment of more than 4,000 people. In addition, HP says its management team is working to move activities from other geographies to Boise and Penang to provide additional employment opportunities. GT Interactive Acquires Humongous GT Interactive Software Corp. reports that it has acquired Humongous Entertainment Inc., a children's software developer and publisher, for approximately $76 million. Under the deal, four million shares of GT Interactive common stock were exchanged for all of the outstanding shares of Humongous Entertainment. GT notes that Humongous has been cited by USA Today as one of "Six Firms Worth Watching in 96" and featured as one of "25 Cool Companies" in Fortune magazine. Humongous' Windows and Macintosh CD-ROM titles include Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish, Buzzy the Knowledge Bug and Pajama Sam. "Humongous Entertainment is one of the most respected and successful publishers of original interactive entertainment for children," says Ron Chaimowitz, president and CEO of New York-based GT. "Through this acquisition we plan to further leverage Humongous Entertainment's wealth of highly recognizable and endearing characters across a variety of entertainment media while also expanding our presence in the growing children's software category." Chips Up for 3rd Month, But... For the third month in a row, an important indicator for the computer chip industry has risen, with orders continuing to climb out of the slump of earlier this year. However, officials with the Semiconductor Industry Association have told The Associated Press the rise in new orders was offset by a drop in billings that, says the wire service, "reflected the lingering effects of the slowdown,." The SIA reports a June book-to-bill ratio of 0.91 in North, Central and South America, meaning chip makers got $91 in new orders for every $100 worth of semiconductors they shipped. At the same time, the group revised its May's ratio to 0.83, from its preliminary report last month of 0.84. Doug Andrey, the SIA's director of information systems and finance, told the wire service, "Actual bookings increased by 0.7 percent in June. However, most of the increase in the book-to-bill ratio can be attributed to a decline in billings." AP says that in June new orders for semiconductors rose to $3.11 billion from $3.09 billion in May. The latest order figure, however, is 28 percent lower than the $4.31 billion reported in June 1995, when the book-to-bill ratio was 1.17. Billings were $3.43 billion in June, 7.5 percent lower than May's billings of $3.70 billion. Year-ago billings also were $3.70 billion. As reported, the ratio has been below 1.0 -- the dividing point between market growth and reduction -- since the start of the year, listed at 0.92 in January, 0.89 in February and .79 in March, which was the lowest since the trade group began keeping track nine years ago. It began to rise in April, when it was 0.81. Smart Card Center Created Philips Electronics has established a Smart Transaction Center in Burlington, Massachusetts. The center, which will develop new technologies for personal financial transactions, is home to a new Philips business unit Philips Smart Cards and Systems USA. According to Philips, the Smart Transaction Center will provide customers with a wide range of options, including electronic commerce systems, custom chip sets, cards, card readers and back-end products. Philips already operates a smart card development operation in Europe. "The time is right for Philips to form a full-service smart card development and sales organization in the United States," notes Patrick J. Greaney, senior vice president of parent Philips Electronics North America Corp. "The opportunities for a broadening base of smart card customers are tremendous, and the Center brings smart card technology closer to Philips' diverse domestic businesses." The company foresees smart cards -- credit card-like devices with built-in memory and intelligence - offering greater freedom to owners of consumer products such as cellular telephones, home entertainment systems and security systems. Net Tracks War's Missing People The International Committee of the Red Cross says the Internet will be used for the first time to try and trace people missing as a result of war. Reporting from Brussels, the Reuter News Service quotes ICRC Belgium member Catherine Deman as saying, "We don't know yet if it will be effective. So far it has not been very productive. But we want to try all means available." She made the comment at a news conference on the agency's efforts to trace an estimated 11,000 people missing as a result of the war in former Yugoslavia. The search started in March when, as set out in the Dayton peace accord, the ICRC began coordinating information exchanges on missing people. "It was widened," notes the wire service, "to involve the general public last month when national ICRC offices were each sent a list of those reported missing." The list can now also be searched on the ICRC's World Wide Web site (at Web address http://www.cicr.org). Deman said the final number of missing would probably be higher than 11,000, adding, "The collection of requests for information from families is still going on. ... We have to presume many are dead but we never give up hope." Computer Follows Conversations A team of scientists at New York's University of Rochester reports it has taught a computer to follow conversation and respond to the context of dialogue and not just to clearly enunciated words. The Reuter News Service reports the scientists "programmed a workstation to respond to voice commands telling it to route imaginary trains between various cities." Says the wire service, "The machine could adapt its response to the context of dialogue and make sensible replies even when it 'misheard' what someone said." Quoting an article in the New Scientist magazine, Reuters says the computer contains a standard speech recognition program that turns sounds into words that are fed into software that analyzes the grammatical structure of the sentences. "The novel part of the system," says Reuters, "is that it then interprets sentences in the context of the rest of the dialogue. As the conversation proceeds, the computer stores the dialogue in a large buffer and uses it to make a final interpretation." Current speech recognition systems succeed very well with tightly defined tasks but understand only 40 percent of the words spoken in a two-way conversation, the scientists say. Their new software helped the computer recognize about 75 percent of the words spoken. Microsoft Admits Mexican Offense In Mexico City, Microsoft Corp. has apologized for "grave errors" in its computer thesaurus that equated Indians with cannibals. A newspaper reported last week that the Spanish thesaurus included in Microsoft's popular word processor program Word for Windows 6.0 contained "some unfortunate synonyms," notes Michael Stott of the Reuter News Service, prompting Mexican users to telephone the company to protest. The program -- used by up to 200,000 people in Mexico, a country whose population is mainly descended from Aztec and Maya Indians - suggested as several alternatives for the word "Indian," including "man-eater" and "savage." Also, notes Reuters, Spanish language program listed synonyms for: z "Western" that include "Aryan," "white" and "civilized." z "Lesbians" as "pervert" and "depraved person." Microsoft took out a full-page newspaper advertisement to say, "Microsoft Mexico offers an apology to its users and to the public in general for some grave errors in the synonyms of the Microsoft Word dictionary in Spanish, whose mistaken connotations are offensive. Microsoft Mexico marketing manager Alejandra Calatayud told the wire service the home office is dispatching a language expert this week from its software development center in Ireland to discuss changes to the thesaurus with El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico's cultural body. Said Calatayud, "We accept our responsibility and hope to have a new version of the dictionary available in about five weeks," adding the revised version will be made available free of charge via the Internet. Meanwhile, Ignacio Blum, Microsoft Mexico's product manager for office products, said the computer thesaurus was based on existing dictionaries, noting, "If you check these words in most dictionaries, you will find the same definitions." Nonetheless, Mexican politicians and academics condemned the pejorative computer thesaurus. Reuters notes the English version of the Microsoft Word program does not give the same synonyms. "Homosexual" is equated with "gay" and "lesbian" and alternative words for "Indian" include "cave dweller," "ancient tribe" and "aborigine." Net Surfing an Upscale Activity New research from Computer Intelligence InfoCorp (CII) finds that surfing the Net is an upscale activity. Even among PC users, already a decidedly upscale group, Internet users stand out, says CII. The La Jolla, California-based market researcher notes that median annual household income among Internet-using households is nearly $58,000 -- $10,000 higher than for households not using the Internet and about 75 percent higher than the median income for all U.S. households. Additionally, more than half (53 percent) of Internet- using households include at least one college graduate. This compares to 42 percent of households that have PCs but are not using the Internet, and to about a quarter of U.S. households without PCs. "Even as the use of PCs is spreading into households with lower income and education levels, Internet use remains an emphatically upscale activity," says Dave Tremblay, senior industry analyst at CII. "Those who are using the Internet are primarily using communication and information-oriented services. Shopping, ticketing and other commercial or financial services have made some inroads, but they remain largely sidelights -- so far. For most Internet users, e- mail, Web browsing, and to a lesser extent, newsgroups, remain the focus." Personal Home Page Users Warned Windows Magazine is warning people with personal home pages that the information they place online may be used against them. According to an article in the magazine's August issue, details about vacation plans, infirmities, or other personal information may tip off unscrupulous Web surfers. "If you create a Web page with information about you or your family, remember that anyone in the world can easily find that page using a powerful Web search engine," writes David W. Methvin, Windows Magazine's executive editor. "Your address or phone number is just a few clicks away thanks to Web-based directories like wyp.net, Four11 and Switchboard." Methvin warns personal home page creators to think about how much personal information they post. "The more information you reveal, the more the bad guys have to work with," he cautions. "For instance, if you note on your home page that you're in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, someone may call requesting payment for a bill that you 'must have forgotten.' Even an innocent note on your home page about 'taking that dream vacation in Europe this summer' could prompt a thief to visit your house and clean you out." SPA Sues 21 Canadian Retailers Twenty-one Canadian software retailers have been sued by the Software Publishers Association which alleges they rented software programs in violation of Canadian copyright laws. Reporting from Toronto, The Wall Street Journal says the suits are part of a continuing legal campaign in the U.S. and Canada by the Washington based software industry trade association. "The effort is aimed at prosecuting retailers that rent computer programs without authorization of the copyright holder," the paper observes. The suits -- filed in federal court in Vancouver, British Columbia; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Toronto; Montreal; and St. John, New Brunswick -- named nine software companies from the U.S. and Canada as plaintiffs. Theyseek destruction of illegally copied diskettes and CD-ROMs, court costs and punitive damages of $32,891 against each defendant. The SPA brought five lawsuits against Canadian retailers last year, of which four were settled and one is pending. Enough! Previously Published in cIEx. The Official Online Magazine of Club IE. An by Ralph F. Mariano July 8, 1996 Why A War? There comes a time.. when the average computerist stops, picks his head up and shouts; "I've stood all I can stand and I can't stand any more!" Ever feel like this? I have and just about now, after HOURS AND HOURS of fighting with three, four or, more different WEB BROWSERS. (who remembers there are so many and they're all different! I gotta say. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! What's with these pencil necked geeks who insist upon trying to make their browser. THE browser. The Bloody Battlefield Let's see.. there's Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Netscape's Navigator and of course, the myriad of little, "half hearted", mosaic derivatives that do not amount to a hill of beans. YUP! It really narrows down to the "DYNAMIC DUO" of Net Browsers.. Internet Explorer and Navigator. Big Brother Go Home We all, hopefully, know there is a "full blown" BROWSER WAR in progress. Or if not, some of you must be in the dark. In any case, believe it.. there is. I might add regretfully, it's mainly against YOU and me!! While I'm relatively certain it's not designed that way. that's exactly how its working out. It's a disgrace to see these two fine browsers seemingly taking pot shots at each other across our desktops maiming and crippling the system. This nonsense has got to stop. If this is any indication of the maturity and professional levels of the programmers involved in this travesty of consumer confidence, we the users, are in for a devil of a ride. Actually, the real outcome of this jazz. will be more regulation of the industry by "Big Brother." Hopefully, the pukes behind "the head-games" will wake up in time and knock it off. Microsoft has a real winner on its hands with Internet Explorer and Netscape's actions at trying to torpedo IE with every installation of Navigator only proves this to be resplendently true. There's No Contest Perhaps, the users should make themselves more forcefully heard through the use of Email and their Wallets. Both Netscape and Microsoft are obviously locked in a struggle to dominate the Internet with "their" product(s). Netscape's hopes are a bit "far fetched" with the noise they recently made about wanting Netscape to be "the operating system" of the Internet. Let's get real for a moment.. Netscape, in all its shaky frills, plugins and ditties. is still only a Web Browser. As IS Internet Explorer. To both NS and MS, get a grip on reality. Allow the Userbase to decide who is the "King of the Browsers." Please! Browser Wars Mean No Standards There are a number of specific points that most users demand be darn near perfect. graphical representation, speed and reliability. Do we have them? Sure do.. to one degree or another. That is, until both browsers are installed on the same system at the same time. (For comparison purposes only.) Then, all of a sudden, the crashes begin, the resource consumption goes sky high, the "battle" is enjoined. the user is bombarded with all sorts of strange happenings. Web Pages look totally different with each of the "up to date" Browsers being used. The very same Web Page viewed with each of the browsers appeared different with each browser every time. Not only that. but the background music "sounded" different each time. What is the deal here? Do we have to have these companies vying for our user loyalty? Odd way of going about it... don't you fellow "abused" users agree? The browsers must earn their rightful place in the Userbase by sheer power and reliability, not by how well they can torpedo each other while on the same system. Incognito Caches Netscape's top execs have so much confidence in their "shtick" . so much that they're busy investing in a Heath Care Insurance thing for the Net. Meanwhile, Microsoft is busy refining and polishing their entire approach to the Internet. While the installation of the other browsers demands a great deal of redundancy in DLLs, etc., Microsoft's Internet Explorer smoothly integrates with and uses many system files thus, minimizing being a "hard disk hog." Why must Netscape's Navigator insist upon those dumb "code names" for the files in the cache? Ever try to get one of the files? You gotta be darn near a CIA operative to get past the coding! Sabotage? Why does Netscape, (in all it's HUGE, BLOATED incarnations), greedily install and GRAB all the IE favorites away? Why not either, SHARE them or, keep its grubby mitts off the darn things unless the user sez so? Another programmer jewel? Sure smells like it is. Microsoft ought to put in code that ONLY permits SHARING of the Favorites. Additionally, why must Netscape Navigator's behavior, when on the same system with Internet Explorer, remind one of a bird chick in a nest nefariously trying to shove the other chick out to fall and die on the ground? Why is Netscape so diligently avoiding the use of built in files in windows? IE., the inability to play midi files right off the bat. No, one must be nickel and dimed to death with an ever increasing "plugin-for more money" parade. Meanwhile, in Internet Explorer, most all of the Netscape plugins are already part of the system, present and working flawlessly. Broken Betas Now comes the "juice". Netscape has just posted their newest; Whizbang Gold 3, "whodidit (#5) and ran", public beta build. don't tell anybody but it's fairly obvious they aren't working very closely with their plugin suppliers. a number of the most popular plugins are now broken.. including Crescendo. Fire up a midi sound page and try to go to another page or use a drop down menu function while the music is playing. Bang! You're dead! And the list is growing. Sore Losers Never Win Netscape and their infamous Navigator are definitely "playing catch-up" and at the same time "on the run" from Microsoft's far superior, Internet Explorer. The quality of Internet Explorer at this time and right on the horizon, is an easy leap year ahead of anything all seven compressed megabytes of Navigator can ever hope to offer. (Its well over fourteen megabytes once installed).. If ever a program was a hard disk hog. this is it! The High Road Takes the Hill In light of these facts.. Microsoft should most definitely take the high road. Let Netscape continue shooting itself in the foot. They are fast becoming expert sharpshooters at footshots. Microsoft must, at all costs, avoid the browser conflicts and let Netscape take all the credit for eroding user confidence in the stability of the Internet, Navigator and Netscape itself. How many remember the early Netscape Navigator Gold betas? You know, the ones where; "when you tried to un-install the sucker it completely killed Windows 95?" Let's see.. It deleted MFCANS32.DLL, MFC30.DLL, MFC030.DLL and URL.DLL. As one industry observer recently pointed out, "it sure looks like a definite plan of action - a deliberate and degenerate pattern attempting to discredit Internet Explorer." In Your Hands The solution is quite evident. The users hold the solution in their hands. Let them decide which browser is the top banana. There is no doubt that Microsoft's Internet Explorer will ultimately dominate. The entire Internet Explorer ensemble is compact, fast moving and very stable. This reporter has faith in the fact that the users have the ability to chose wisely and will do so with these things in mind. Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format Requirements for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 7.0.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at eleven points. z No Indenting on any paragraphs!! z No underlining! z Column Format shall be achieved through the use of tabs only. Do NOT use the space bar. z No ASCII "ART"!! z There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy z Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats z Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately z Please use a single font only in an article. TTF CG Times 12pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII will stay. Right now, since STReport is offered on a number of closed major corporate networks as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor STReport International Online Magazine Corel and Terry Bradshaw Team Up for New CD Football Game Ottawa, Canada - July 3, 1996 - Corel Corporation, an award-winning developer and marketer of productivity applications, graphics and multimedia software, announced today that Terry Bradshaw, legendary Hall of Fame quarterback, winner of four Super Bowls, one of the premier broadcasters in sports today and currently co-host of Fox Sports' Emmy-nominated "NFL on FOX" television show will be filming an exciting new offering from the Corelr CD HOME Line - Bradshaw Football, a 3D football game. Press will have the opportunity to photograph Terry behind the scenes during a promotional photo shoot for Bradshaw Football. "We are thrilled to be working with Terry on this project," said Dr. Michael Cowpland, president and chief executive officer of Corel Corporation. "With his team comments and play-by-play announcing, we are confident that consumers will find this to be the most entertaining football game on the CD market." Bradshaw Football is a new Windowsr 95 CD game developed for Corel by Studio Arts Multimedia, Inc. and due to ship this fall. With the most realistic high- resolution 3D football field seen in any CD game to date, this game features a free-floating 3D camera which automatically follows the gridiron. The player's viewpoint, seen through the eyes of the 3D camera, gives the player the sensation of actually being on the football field. A VCR playback feature shows instant replays of the game action. Troy Lyndon, chief executive officer of Studio Arts Multimedia, and Clark Taylor, director of sales and marketing for the Corel CD HOME line, will be available to talk about Bradshaw Football. "The last time I was this excited about a football game was when I co- produced the first 3-D John Madden FootballT game," said Troy Lyndon. Corel Corporation Incorporated in 1985, Corel Corporation is recognized internationally as an award-winning developer and marketer of productivity applications, graphics and multimedia software. Corel's product line includes CorelDRAWT, the Corelr WordPerfectr Suite, Corelr Office Professional, CorelVIDEOT and over 30 multimedia software titles. Corel's products run on most operating systems, including: Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, MS-DOS and OS/2 and are consistently rated among the strongest in the industry. The company ships its products in over 17 languages through a network of more than 160 distributors in 70 countries worldwide. Corel is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol: COS) and the NASDAQ - National Market System (symbol: COSFF). For more information visit Corel's home page on the Internet at http://www.corel.com. Corel and WordPerfect are registered trademarks and CorelVIDEO and CorelDRAW are trademarks of Corel Corporation and Corel Corporation Limited. John Madden Football is a registered trademark of Electronic Arts. All products mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents U.S. Gov't Plans Computer Emergency Response Team AT&T Targets Cyberspace AOL To Settle Class-Action Suits Over Billing Practices New Chip Locks In Brand Loyalty Berners-Lee "Staggered" By What People Put Up With On Web Nextel Seeking $1.25 Billion For Wireless Network Oil Change For Your PC Privatization Of Deutsche Telekom Moves Forward Advice To Emily Dickinson: Speak Up! IBM Wins Keyboard Injury Case Intercast Launch Laptop Theft Microsoft To Sue Argentina European Digital TV News Corp May Sell Stock In Children's TV Operation China's Computer Plans Prodigy's "Movie Studio' Model Islam And The Internet City Search Acquires Metrobeat Privacy Logos Free-Nets And Charitable Status Pixar Needs New "Toy Story" Yahoo Goes Local WebtTV To Launch By September Interactive Cable Internet Access From GTE & UUNet Australia Tackles Violence On TV New Speculation On Apple The Web's Top Ten US GOV'T PLANS COMPUTER EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM The federal government is planning a centralized emergency response team to respond to attacks on the U.S. information infrastructure. The Computer Emergency Response Team at Carnegie Mellon University, which is financed through the Defense Department, will play a major role in developing the new interagency group, which will handle security concerns related to the Internet, the telephone system, electronic banking systems, and the computerized systems that operate the country's oil pipelines and electrical power grids. (Chronicle of Higher Education 5 Jul 96 A19) AT&T TARGETS CYBERSPACE AT&T's recent investment in Nets Inc., through its spin-off of New Media Services to Jim Manzi's Industry.Net, signals its plans to become a one-stop shop for electronic communications -- from e-mail and Internet access to cellular calling and satellite TV. The company's primary strategy is to sign up millions of customers for its WorldNet Internet access service. The company will also provide its corporate customers a "hosting" service called EasyCommerce, which will create and operate corporate Web sites. At the same time, the company has scrapped Network Notes and is looking to get rid of its Imagination Network, an online gaming service; it's also considering phasing out Personalink, a messaging service that uses General Magic technology. (Business Week 8 Jul 96 p120) AOL TO SETTLE CLASS-ACTION SUITS OVER BILLING PRACTICES America Online will give some of its customers millions of hours of online time in settlement of class-action lawsuits alleging that the company overcharged its customers by adding 15 seconds to a customer's online time for billing purposes and for rounding up to the next minute. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said that "a company can charge whatever it wants. But the heart of our case was that there was insufficient disclosure." (New York Times 6 Jul 96 p19) NEW CHIP LOCKS IN BRAND LOYALTY A new chip developed by Excel Microelectronics, a San Jose subsidiary of Japan's Rohm Co., encourages buyers of laptops and other electronic devices to stick with batteries and other add-ons such as expansion cards made by the same company. The chip uses "challenge-and-response" encryption to establish compatibility between the new battery and the device. If the chips don't match, the battery is rejected. (Business Week 8 Jul 96 p125) BERNERS-LEE "STAGGERED" BY WHAT PEOPLE PUT UP WITH ON WEB World Wide Web developer Tim Berners-Lee never intended for ordinary folk to have to learn "http://" addresses and HTML formatting: "The original ideal was that anybody would very easily be able to write documents that could be connected through hypertext links. What has surprised me is the way people have been prepared to put up with manually encoding text. HTML was never supposed to be something that you would see -- it was intended to be something produced by an editor program. An analogy is with word processors. Computer users don't have to write in all kinds of codes to format their document with fonts, margins and so on. So it staggers me that people have actually put up with having to write HTML by hand. Similarly, I had not expected people to have to work out the hypertext links by looking up and typing in those long, complex codes for addressing. URL syntax was never intended for human consumption. It was intended for a machine." (Technology Review Jul 96 p32) NEXTEL SEEKING $1.25 BILLION FOR WIRELESS NETWORK Nextel Communications is negotiating for $1.25 billion in bank loans to finance a nationwide wireless voice and data communications network to serve businesses. Competing against the cellular industry, the network will install Motorola's iDEN wireless dispatch technology. Plans call for the network to cover 85% of the U.S. by 1998. (New York Times 6 Jul 96 p21) OIL CHANGE FOR YOUR PC A new subscription service from Cybermedia automatically checks the Web sites of all the software manufacturers represented on your hard drive to see if there are any upgrades available, and then can automatically install whatever's available. "You've got to have some automated way of distributing software updates and installing them without the complexity of a system like (Microsoft's) Systems Management Server," says a NASA systems coordinator. Oil Change dials into Cybermedia's Web server and compares the list of updates with what's on the customer's machine. It displays the list of those not yet installed on the client's PC and the client can then choose whether or not to accept the upgrade. A beta version is available at <www.cybermedia.com/ >. (Information Week 24 Jun 96 p114) PRIVATIZATION OF DEUTSCHE TELEKOM MOVES FORWARD Deutsche Telekom, which has won the German Parliament's approval of its plans for privatization, hopes to share trading of its stock by this November on exchanges in New York, Tokyo and Frankfurt. (Financial Times 6 Jul 96) ADVICE TO EMILY DICKINSON: SPEAK UP! Asked what will happen to literary artists in the years ahead, Esther Dyson, who is considered a prominent member of the "Net-erati," said that "some of them will write highly successful works and then go out and make speeches." And what if they are shy? "Then they won't make any money." (New York Times Magazine 7 Jul 96 p16) IBM WINS KEYBOARD INJURY CASE A U.S. District Court judge in New Jersey has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a Rutgers University data processor who claimed that IBM's keyboard design had resulted in her case of carpal tunnel syndrome. According to the Center for Office Technology, the ruling was the 19th time a repetitive stress injury case was decided in the computer maker's favor. (Investor's Business Daily 8 Jul 96 A6) Meanwhile, management consulting firm Alexander & Alexander reports that workers compensation claims related to RSI cases cost businesses more than $2 billion last year. A recent survey shows 84% of respondents are taking RSI seriously, modifying equipment, job tasks or work processes to minimize injuries. (Information Week 1 Jul 96 p108) INTERCAST LAUNCH NBC and CNN will begin transmitting television programming this month for viewing on PCs. NBC will make more than 70 hours of summer Olympics coverage available, beginning July 19. "The ability of consumers to interact with the TV programming will be a reality for the American household nationally this month," says NBC's executive VP and president of NBC Cable. "What Intercast is all about is about broadcast interactivity." CNN will offer a digest of breaking news in its Intercast service. The full text treatment of any story listed can be pulled up with a mouse click. The Intel Intercast chips that make reception of broadcast signals by PC possible are being incorporated into Pentium PCs made by Hauppauge Computer Works and Compaq. AST and Sony Corp. also have said they're ready to begin producing Intercast-ready machines. (Broadcasting & Cable 1 Jul 96 p11) LAPTOP THEFT Leading computer insurer Safeware of Columbus, Ohio, says that 208,000 computer laptops were stolen in 1995, almost 40 percent more than the previous year. (Newsweek 15 Jul 96 p42) MICROSOFT TO SUE ARGENTINA Microsoft announced it plans to sue Argentina's federal government for almost always using pirated software. It claims 90% of software used by government at all levels in that country is illegal, and this fraud costs software makers $60-million annually. (Toronto Financial Post 9 July 96 p16) EUROPEAN DIGITAL TV British Sky Broadcasting and Germany's Kirch Gruppe will jointly develop digital pay TV services in Europe. Kirch will have the first digital channel in Germany, which is Europe's largest and most lucrative television market. (Wall Street Journal 9 Jul 96 B3) NEWS CORP MAY SELL STOCK IN CHILDREN'S TV OPERATION The News Corporation, which owns 19 hours of programs run on its Fox Children's Network, may sell public stock in that operation in order to raise money for development of children's cable TV channels. (New York Times 9 Jul 96 C1) CHINA'S COMPUTER PLANS China wants by the year 2000 to have an $11-billion-a-year computer industry, which would make it one of the world's most important producers of computer systems. (Computer Industry Daily 9 Jul 96) PRODIGY'S "MOVIE STUDIO' MODEL Under CEO Ed Bennet, the online services company Prodigy, which was recently bought from IBM and Sears for about $250 million, is developing a new "movie studio" model relying on content providers that could attract Prodigy's targetted audience of individuals in their teens or twenties. (U.S. News & World Report 15 Jul 96 p85) ISLAM AND THE INTERNET Seven private Internet providers are now offering their services in Egypt, and in Jordan an online service offers a forum where local residents can talk to senior government officials; however, a number of government officials, religious conservatives, and intellectuals in those countries do not wish to the public to be exposed by the Internet to pornographic materials or subjected to an invasion of ideas that could threaten political stability and undermine Islamic culture. "If you have certain values you don't want them to be neglected," says the secretary-general of Egypt's Labor Party. "Our society is Islamic, and we have our own values, which may not be the same as the West." (Christian Science Monitor 9 Jul 96) The Monitor's new web site is at < http://www.csmonitor.com >. CITY SEARCH ACQUIRES METROBEAT The Internet startup company City Search Inc., a privately owned company financed by Goldman, Sachs, AT&T, and private investors, has purchased Metrobeat, which publishes a popular guide to Manhattan on the World Wide Web < http://www.metrobeat.com > . Metrobeat's founder explains the rationale for his creation by saying: "Everyone said to us, 'You're missing the boat -- why would you do something local when you could do something national, even international?' But it made perfect sense. People are looking to the Web for something useful." (New York Times 9 Jul 96 C3) PRIVACY LOGOS The Electronic Frontier Foundation and some companies doing business over the Internet have developed a privacy rating system to be offered by a nonprofit group called eTrust, which will license logos to Web sites indicating how much privacy a person surrenders by visiting the site. (USA Today 11 Jul 96 1B) FREE-NETS AND CHARITABLE STATUS Canada's Federal Court of Appeal has awarded charitable status to a Vancouver organization that provides free access to the information highway. In the ruling, information was described as the "currency of modern life." (Ottawa Citizen 10 Jul 96 A1) PIXAR NEEDS NEW "TOY STORY" Pixar, the Steve Jobs' computer animation company ("Toy Story"), has shut down its commercial TV unit and plans to concentrate on full-length movies. It was a stock market hit when the new offering was made last year at $22 and rose as high as $49.50 on the first day of selling. Now it's trading around $18 a share. Industry analyst Michael Murphy says the problem is that the company's expensive technology can be copied by imitators: "Cheap software replaces expensive software. When people begin making 'Toy Story'- sorts of movies on PCs, Pixar will have to move to more difficult-to-animate projects." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 11 Jul 96 B8) YAHOO GOES LOCAL Yahoo is targeting the local market, forming alliances with television stations and other media outlets in major markets. The cross-media ventures give the TV stations a presence on Yahoo's Web site, and allow the online service to provide local news and entertainment information, as well as free communications services such as bulletin boards, phone listings and interactive maps. Yahoo also plans country-specific services for Japan, France, Germany, Canada and the U.K. (Broadcasting & Cable 1 Jul 96 p60) WEBTV TO LAUNCH BY SEPTEMBER WebTV, a Silicon Valley start-up company, has teamed with big guns Sony Electronics and Philips Consumer Electronics to build a TV Web browser that's operated by a simple remote control with arrow and scroll buttons. The price is expected to be in the $200-$300 range, rather than the $500 price tag touted by other "Internet device" manufacturers, and Web TV plans to begin shipping in September. "They figured out how to make a Web site look pretty decent on a TV screen and they figured out how to use a remote control as an easy way to navigate," says an industry publisher. The WebTV's remote control works with any TV and has a green button on the upper right corner for accessing the Web. One limitation they'll have to deal with is that the machine's operating and browsing software are different from the Netscape and Microsoft products that now dominate the Web. (St. Petersburg Times 10 Jul 96 E8) INTERACTIVE CABLE Groupe Videotron's $100-million Universal Bi-Directional Interactive Project will see 30,000 homes in two cities of Quebec's Saguenay region gradually outfitted with an interactive cable TV system using Axhiom SA thermal mini- printers from France that allow receipts to be printed for people conducting home shopping and other transactions. (Toronto Financial Post 11 Jul 96 p6) INTERNET ACCESS FROM GTE & UUNET Texas-based GTE Corporation, the nation's largest local phone company, will use the UUNet communications network to offer Internet services to customers in 46 states. (Washington Post 11 Jul 96 D9) AUSTRALIA TACKLES VIOLENCE ON TV The Government of Australia is moving to curb violence on television by implementing new censorship controls that include the mandatory installation of V-chip electronic filters on all new TVs. The government will also introduce new classifications and revamp its censorship board, adopting recommendations from an inquiry into violence in the electronic media set up after April's Port Arthur massacre. (Toronto Globe & Mail 10 Jul 96 A9) NEW SPECULATION ON APPLE Although people close to Apple Computer say that the whole company is not for sale they admit the possibility that one or two of its parts might be sold off, such as the company's printer business, its Newton business, or the division of the company that makes the new Pippin TV set-top CD-ROM and Internet terminal. The latest rumor speculates a deal with Oracle Corporation. (New York Times 10 Jul 96 C8) THE WEB'S TOP TEN Web21, a fledgling Calif.-based company, is now offering a directory for tracking and ranking the most popular Web sites based on hit volume, with rankings updated weekly. The company also scans for topics most frequently requested by consumer and business users and lists the top sites in those categories. Web21 also will provide information on how a particular company's Web traffic compares with others' in the field. "We think our biggest market will be for Webmasters who want to get competitive information," says Web21's president. < http://www.100hot.com/ > (Information Week 1 Jul 96 p40) Edupage is written by John Gehl (email@example.com) & Suzanne Douglas (firstname.lastname@example.org). Voice: 404-371-1853, Fax: 404-371-8057. Technical support is provided by the Office of Information Technology, University of North Carolina. EDUPAGE is what you've just finished reading. To subscribe to Edupage: send a message to: email@example.com and in the body of the message type: subscribe edupage Marvin Minsky (assuming that your name is Marvin Minsky; if it's not, substitute your own name). ... To cancel, send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of the message type: unsubscribe edupage... Subscription problems: email@example.com. EDUCOM REVIEW is our bimonthly print magazine on learning, communications, and information technology. Subscriptions are $18 a year in the U.S.; send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. When you do, we'll ring a little bell, because we'll be so happy! Choice of bell is yours: a small dome with a button, like the one on the counter at the dry cleaners with the sign "Ring bell for service"; or a small hand bell; or a cathedral bell; or a door bell; or a chime; or a glockenspiel. Your choice. But ring it! EDUCOM UPDATE is our twice-a-month electronic summary of organizational news and events. 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For the Hebrew edition, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org containing : SUBSCRIBE Leketnet-Word6 <name> or see < http://www.kinetica.co.il/ newsletters/leketnet/ >. For the Hungarian edition, send mail to: send mail to email@example.com. An Italian edition is available on Agora' Telematica; connection and/or free subscription via BT-Tymnet and Sprint (login: <agora) or via telnet <agora.stm.it; mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org for info. For the Portuguese edition, contact email@example.com with the message SUB EDUPAGE-P Seu Primeiro Nome Seu Sobrenome. For the Spanish edition, send mail edunews@nc- rj.rnp.br with the message SUB EDUPAGE-E Su Primer Nombre, Su Apellido. Educom -- Transforming Education Through Information Technology Debian Linux STR Infofile Debian Linux Distribution Release 1.1 Now Available Software in the Public Interest Presents Debian Linux 1.1 compiled by Scott Dowdle Debian is a free-software Linux system. It is entirely free to use and re- distribute, and there is no consortium membership or payment required to participate in its distribution and development. The developers are 100 unpaid volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the Internet. We have formed the organization "Software in the Public Interest" to sponsor this development. There are 474 software packages in Debian. You can find a list and descriptions of them at http://www.debian.org/debian/FTP/. We also distribute an additional 50 non-free software packages in the "non-free" directory of our FTP archive. The Debian 1.1 system features the Linux 2.0 kernel and all-ELF executables, and can be favorably compared with the very best commercial Linux and Unix distributions. A distinguishing feature of Debian is the most sophisticated package system in the industry. The package tools help you install, upgrade, or delete individual system components while your system is running. Because Debian provides upgrade-in-place capability, there is never a need to wipe out your old system and start fresh when performing an upgrade. The package system is based on "dependencies". For example, the "gcc" C compiler package depends on another package called "binutils" that includes the linker and assembler. If you ask to install "gcc", the package system will point out that you also need "binutils", and will install it if you approve. The package tool can even automatically retrieve the programs you've requested via FTP. There is a port of Debian 1.1 to 68k processors in progress at present, and ports to Alpha, Sparc, and MIPS are expected after this. Currently there are two versions of the Debian distribution: "1.1", and the "development" version. "1.1" is stable software, and will not change. The development version is updated continuously, and you can retrieve packages from the "development" archive on our FTP sites and use them to upgrade your system at any time. Approximately three months from today, the "development" software will have been stabilized and made into Debian 1.2. Further relases will follow at three-month intervals. Besides being an excellent full-featured stand-alone Linux system. Debian is also a base upon which value- added Linux distributions can be built. By providing a reliable, full-featured base system, Debian provides Linux users with increased compatibility, and allows Linux distribution creators to eliminate duplication-of- effort and focus on the things that make their distribution special. Debian was created by Ian Murdock in 1993, and Ian's work was sponsored for one year by FSF's GNU project. Debian should be considered a direct descendent of the GNU system. The goals of the Debian developers correspond to those of the Free Software movement, however we are a separate organization from FSF. FTP Sites You can retrieve Debian 1.1 from these sites: * Australia: ftp://ftp.debian.org.au/debian/Debian-1.1/ * Germany: ftp://ftp.inf.tu-dresden.de:/pub/os/linux/debian/Debian-1.1/ * The Netherlands: ftp://ftp.leidenuniv.nl:/pub/linux/debian/Debian-1.1/ * Sweden: ftp://ftp.lh.umu.se/debian/Debian-1.1/ * United Kingdom: ftp://ftp.mcc.ac.uk/pub/linux/distributions/Debian/Debian-1.1/ * United States: o ftp://ftp.debian.org/debian/Debian-1.1/ o ftp://sun10.sep.bnl.gov/pub/Linux/debian/Debian-1.1/ (non-working hours EDT) o ftp://llug2.sep.bnl.gov/pub/debian/Debian-1.1/ o ftp://ftp.caldera.com/pub/mirrors/debian/Debian-1.1/ o ftp://debian.crosslink.net/pub/debian/Debian-1.1/ o ftp://debian.med.miami.edu/debian/Debian-1.1/ o ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/distributions/debian/Debian-1.1/ There are about a dozen other mirror sites that have not caught up with our master site yet. I'll announce them when they are ready. You can find a list of all of our mirrors on our WWW page. The installation floppy disk images and a full installation manual are in the "disks-i386" subdirectory on these sites. The rest of the software packages are in the "binary-i386" subdirectory. Web Site Visit our web site http://www.debian.org/ for more information about Debian. Mailing Lists To subscribe to the mailing lists, send the word "subscribe" to one of these addresses: debian-user-REQUEST@lists.debian.org There are a lot of experienced users on this list who can answer any question you might have. There can be 20 messages a day or more on this list. debian-announce-REQUEST@lists.debian.org Major system announcements. Averages less than one message per week. debian-changes-REQUEST@lists.debian.org This is a list for announcements of new package uploads for the Debian system. It may carry several announcements in a day. Questions and Answers Q: How should Debian be compared to other Linux systems? A: Debian is at least as good as any other Linux distribution, even the most professional. Debian's most important feature is it's package system, which allows the entire system, or any individual component, to be up-graded in place without reformatting, without losing custom configuration files, and (in most cases) without rebooting the system. Red Hat, which we consider to be the best non-Debian system available, is the only other distribution with a similar upgrade mechanism. One major difference between us and Red Hat is that Red Hat is a for-profit business, and Debian is a non-profit organization. Both distributions share a dedication to free software. We like the people at Red Hat, we admire the work they've done, and we see no reason to put down their system in order to promote our own. Debian's aim is to work together with other Linux developers rather than compete with them. For example, we encourage all creators of Linux distributions to take components from Debian. We are aware of the parallel work that Red Hat has done on packaging systems, and would like to come to some sort of package merge with them. Q: Is Debian able to run my old a.out programs? A: We provide packages containing the a.out shared libraries and an a.out development system, so that you can run and _maintain_ a.out programs as well as ELF. However, if you have a commercial application in the a.out format, now would be a good time to ask them to send you an ELF upgrade. Q: How compatible is Debian? A: We communicate with other Linux distribution creators in an effort to maintain binary compatibility across Linux distributions. Most commercial Linux products run as well under Debian as they do on the system upon which they were built. Q: What about the Free Software Foundation's GNU Project? A: FSF is still planning a GNU operating system which is based on HURD. We think they considered Debian as a first step toward this system. We still encourage them to derive from Debian. We had a more formal relationship with FSF some time ago, in that they employed Ian Murdock for a year while he was project leader, and we then called the system "Debian GNU/Linux". We still support the goals of FSF and like to think of Debian as "Son of GNU". However, we've separated our organization from FSF so that we can have exclusive control over our technical direction. We are still talking with FSF, and may soon come to some sort of resolution with them. Q: Can I make and sell Debian CDs? A: Go ahead. You don't need permission to distribute anything we've _released_, so that you can master your CD as soon as the beta-test ends. You don't have to pay us anything. We will, however, publish a list of CD manufacturers who donate money, software, and time to the Debian project, and we'll encourage users to buy from manufacturers who donate, so it's good advertising to make donations. Of course all CD manufacturers must honor the licenses of the programs in Debian. For example, many of the programs are licensed under the GPL, which requires you to distribute their source code. Q: Can Debian be packaged with non-free software? A: Yes. While all the main components of Debian are free software, we provide a non-free directory for programs that aren't freely redistributable. CD manufacturers _may_ be able to distribute the programs we've placed in that directory, depending on the license terms or their private arrangements with the authors of those software packages. CD manufacturers can also distribute the non-free software they get from other sources on the same CD. This is nothing new: free and commercial software are distributed on the same CD by many manufacturers now. Of course we still encourage software authors to release the programs they write as free software. Q: Is source code included with the system? A: Source code is included for everything. Most of the license terms of programs in the system require that source code be distributed along with the programs. Thus, it's not OK to make a CD of executable programs without the source code. Q: I'm making a special Linux distribution for a "vertical market". Can I use Debian 1.1 for the guts of a Linux system and add my own applications on top of it? A: Yes. For example, one person is building a "Linux for Hams" distribution, with specialized programs for Radio Amateurs. He's starting with Debian 1.1 as the "base system", and adding programs to control the transmitter, track satellites, etc. All of the programs he adds are packaged with the Debian package system so that his users will be able to upgrade easily when he releases subsequent CDs. Q: How do I become a Debian Developer? A: First, download the Distribution and install it on your system. Then, find a program you'd like to package that is not presently part of Debian. Then, write to Bruce@Pixar.com requesting to be added to the Developers list. Developers documentation can be found on our WWW site http://www.debian.org/. Q: Can I put my commercial program in a Debian "package" so that it installs effortlessly on any Debian system? A: Go right ahead. The package tool is free software. Q: What is "Software in the Public Interest" A: It's a non-profit organization we formed when FSF withdrew their sponsorship of Debian. We are currently incorporating as an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The purpose of the organization is to develop and distribute free software. Our goals are very much like those of FSF, and we encourage programmers to use the GNU General Public License on their programs. However, we have a slightly different focus in that we are building and distributing a Linux system that diverges in many technical details from the GNU system planned by FSF. We still communicate with FSF, and we cooperate in sending them changes to GNU software and in asking our users to donate to FSF and the GNU project. Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view In the News Big News from Humongous Entertainment Humongous Entertainment recently announced the impending release of several software titles. The first will be Pajama Sam in No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside. Pajama Sam is the newest character in Humongous' line up. He's an adventurous kid who is afraid of the dark. The player's quest in this adventure is to conquer Sam's fear. Hand-drawn animations and backgrounds are sure to delight the eye while intriguing gameplay while hold players' interest. This game will be available on CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh for children ages 3 to 8. Suggested retail is $39.95 and estimated availability is September. Next up is the second installment of Freddi Fish in Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse. This title again uses Humongous Entertainment's award-winning hand-drawn graphics. The program features 30 songs for sing- along fun. Children must solve the mystery of the missing toys by reclaiming stolen toys and building a trap to capture the culprit. This title will also be available in September in PC and Mac versions retailing for $39.95. Humongous also announced a new product line that will be available this fall. The Junior ArcadeT line features nonviolent arcade action for children ages 3 to 8. These titles will use beautiful hand-drawn graphics featuring Humongous' famous characters such as Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish and more. The first of these new titles is Putt-Putt and Pep's Balloon-O-Rama. Children must bounce Pep the dog up in the air to burst colorful balloons. The game includes 120 levels plus a level construction kit for building even more levels. Other new titles in the Junior ArcadeT line are Putt-Putt and Pep's Dog on a Stick, Freddi Fish and Luther's Water Worries and Freddi Fish and Luther's Maze Madness. These games will be available on CD-ROM for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems at a retail price of $14.95. Balloon-O-Rama will be available in October with the other titles following shortly thereafter. Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey Windows/MAC CD-ROM Ages 4-7 Suggested retail: $99.99 The Learning Company 6493 Kaiser Drive Fremont, CA 94555 (510) 792-2101 Program Requirements IBM Macintosh OS: Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 OS: System 7 CPU: 386DX/33 CPU: All color Macs HD Space: 1 MB HD Space: ? Memory: 4 MB, 8MB for Win95 Memory: 4 MB Graphics: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Graphics: 256 colors, 13" monitor CD-ROM: Double-speed CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit Windows compatible sound card Other: mouse reviewed by Angelo Marasco In the few months that I have been doing software reviews for this column I have come across some interesting children's software. Some of it has been excellent. Some of it has been good. Now I think I'll have to create a new category. "Stupendous" comes to mind. "Out of this world" works for me. I may have a hard time coming up with the words to describe just how impressed I am with Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey by The Learning Company. It's getting to the point that anytime I start a program and see the company logo for The Learning Company I get chills up and down my spine because I know that I am in for a real thrill. Can this company produce anything mediocre? Interactive Reading Journey favorably impressed me from the moment I opened the box. The program has been updated to include a record and playback feature. The Learning Company includes a microphone and stand in the package. Also included is a set of forty books that correspond to the books in the program. Somehow I get the feeling that The Learning Company is really interested in teaching children to read, not just in creating software that looks good and makes money. Interactive Reading Journey opens with a multimedia story which introduces Reader Rabbit, Sam the lion, Mat the mouse and the "reading road" that you will follow through the program. The opening whets your appetite for the interactive multimedia fun that follows. The reading road map shows five different units, each containing four "letter lands." Each land contains a unique consonant sound or letter blend and activities that correspond to their sounds. Enter the land and begin by clicking on items that begin with the featured sound. That item, whether it is a monkey, a house, a bunch of flowers or an instrument, will do something funny and entertaining. Enter the "skill house" for the land you are in and you will take part in an interactive phonics activity. Say the words and click on them, or help the monkey sort through words that end with a certain letter combination, or find the correct word and click on it to help the little chicks hatch from their shells. You will find many different and interesting activities to experience. In each land are two story books. Click on a book and Reader Rabbit introduces the story and the new words that you will learn. Turn the page and the book reads itself to you. These books are very reminiscent of the simple readers that we started with in first and second grades. Ahhhhh . . . now here is where the magic begins! Click on the microphone icon and the book allows you to record the words you are reading. Click on the ear icon and hear your recording played back. Record on every page and you can hear the entire book read back to you in your own voice! I borrowed a five-year-old while doing this review, a young lady by the name of Brittany Mariah, and let her loose on the program (yes I had to give her back, although reluctantly). Do you know how much an adult can learn from a five-year-old? Plenty! While I like to stick to the rules and go by the book, this little one obviously never heard of rules before. Her freewheeling way of dealing with the program gave me a new perspective on Interactive Reading Journey. The first thing I learned is that, when you read a book and record the words you are allowed to add various giggles and cute comments. So, when we played back Brittany's first book recording, it had a whole different character from what the program originally read to us. The second thing I learned is that you NEVER go through an activity only once and then move on. Apparently, in my twisted, adult way of thinking, I lost sight of the fact that the activities in each letter land are meant to be repeated DOZENS of times! Shame on me. Here's what's really neat for someone like Brittany, who is a pre-reader. Because the program reads the words on each page of the story book as it is turned, when Brittany went to record the page she could do so by repeating what she had just heard read to her. When she went back to the beginning of the book and listened to her recording she was able to hear herself reading the book. Technically it's not quite reading, but it was very fascinating to her to hear herself reading a book. This added a lot to her experience of the program. In addition, I can see where this will help with word recognition. As you progress through the lands, the readers become more advanced, with increasingly more difficult words to tackle. The stories also become more involved and much more interesting. Now for the ratings. Graphics receives a perfect score. The images are crisp, clear and colorful. Animations run smoothly with very few delays on my 4MB computer. Someone at The Learning Company went to a great deal of programming trouble to make sure that the characters' mouths look like they are properly forming the words they are saying. Such quality and attention to detail deserved a perfect score. Sounds are varied, interesting and really very entertaining. All the voices are pleasant. Some of them are really funny. The music used is excellent and, in some cases such as the opening theme, pretty. Sounds also receives a perfect score. Interface is excellent. Simply click on something and you're on your way. There is very little double-clicking to do. Click on the icon of Mat the mouse for help and tags appear which tell you what each item on the screen is for. Click on POP (the Program Options Pad) down in the lower right-hand corner for mostly adult options. From POP you can monitor progress through the program, see the educational benefits of the program, control access to the lands in the units, turn sounds and recording on and off and exit. Many items in this program talk, making choices easier. One thing that working with Brittany taught me is that you will probably want to slow your mouse for little, uncoordinated hands. I keep my mouse highly accelerated and the cursor arrow small. This made it very difficult for Brittany at first. After I removed the acceleration and enlarged the cursor arrow, Brittany found it very easy to click on the things she wanted to. With less worry about accuracy she could concentrate more on the program. I truly believe that play value deserves the perfect score that it also receives. When I first began doing my research I made the mistake of assuming that, because I was moving through the letter lands and units rapidly, children probably could not use Interactive Reading Journey for long because they to would finish quickly or lose interest early. Brittany showed me just how untrue this assumption was. She spent a whole bunch of time just in the sign-in area alone because she got a kick out of spelling her name and seeing it on the computer screen. Then she wanted to go through the skill house activities over and over and over again. I had a hard time convincing Brittany that she should try the story books. Once she discovered the magic of recording, she really enjoyed them. Judging by her fascination with the skill house activities and her insistence on clicking repeatedly on the animated items in the letter lands, I have to say that there is a whole lot of play value in this program. What helps too, is the fact that some animated items will do several different things when clicked on. This variation in action sent Brittany searching the entire screen for more animated items. Educational value also gets a perfect score. As I said earlier, you can't doubt The Learning Company's educational intent when you see printed readers packed with the software. The Learning Company claims that one year's worth of classroom teaching in phonics, word recognition and reading fluency is rolled into Interactive Reading Journey. When you see the letter lands and readers gradually build on each other and advance, believing this claim is not difficult. There is a lot of meat to this program. Now for the biggie, bang for the buck. Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey is very expensive. The suggested retail price is $99.99, although my editor assures me that he has seen it discounted to $69.99. The suggested retail is a hefty price, but if it keeps your child occupied for many months without losing interest while also teaching her as much as it claims then it is definitely worth it. Judging by my experience with Brittany, I have to say that this program definitely has the potential to keep little ones busy for a very long time. Since the educational value of the program is also so very high I think that you are getting good value for the dollars spent on it. At $69.99 I have absolutely no doubt in my mind about the bang for the buck and I would urge you to buy this program for your pre-readers. At $99.99 I can still enthusiastically recommend purchasing the program. Either way you are getting a whole lot for your money and you will not regret buying it. When you include the forty printed readers and the microphone in the package, you can see why I gave Interactive Reading Journey a perfect bang for the buck score at either price. Overall, I recommend that you add Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey to your educational software library. Just don't expect to get your computer back from your pre-reader for a while! Ratings Graphics 10.0 Sound 10.0 Interface 10.0 Play Value 10.0 Educational Value 10.0 Bang for the Buck 10.0 Average 10.0 Kiyeko and the Lost Night Windows CD-ROM $39.95 ages 4 to 10 Ubi Soft 80 East Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Suite 3E Larkspur, CA 94939 1-800-4-Kiyeko http://www.ubisoft.com Program Requirements OS: Windows 3.1 CPU: 486SX/25 HD Space: 1 MB Memory: 4 MB Graphics: 640 x 480, 256 colors CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit sound card Other: mouse reviewed by Frank Sereno Kiyeko and the Lost Night is a beautifully animated fable that will delight and amuse the child in all. The vibrant graphics are complemented by excellent voice characterizations featuring the narration of Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley. Its clean and simple interface guarantees your child will skillfully navigate this program quickly and easily. Learning opportunities abound because the story can be viewed in five languages. Kiyeko is very similar in format to the Living Books series. A children's story or fable is produced as a series of animated pages. The child has the choice of viewing the story or he can play in the story by finding hotspots that trigger sounds and animations. In Kiyeko, the hotspot animations are often hilariously funny and are accompanied by a fantastic variety of music and sound effects. The interface is plain and functional. Your child can choose to hear or play the tale at the main screen. He can also change the language by choosing from English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. All dialog is spoken by native speakers. You can change the language on each page by clicking on a flag. In each page, one can easily flip pages back or forward by clicking on the appropriate green leaf or go to the page selection screen by clicking on the page number. You can listen to individual words in the narration by clicking on the word. The program will read again the entire passage if you click on the green arrow. Using these controls you can easily listen to each page in several languages and learn the proper pronunciation and spelling of words. Kiyeko supports the Autoplay feature of Windows 95. The graphics are outstanding. The bright, lush colors of the Amazon rain forest spring to life on your monitor. The hand-drawn animation frames play back smoothly. The sound track is equally impressive. The music is fully orchestrated and features many different styles. The voices and sound effects are topnotch. Combined with the program's delightful humor, your child will find much entertainment and fun in Kiyeko. The program offers many educational opportunities. Your child can learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Amazon forest people. He can learn reading, vocabulary and spelling in five languages. The program's varied music will help children to enjoy different musical styles. Kiyeko and the Lost Night is a good value. It offers excellent entertainment value with fine educational content. The program also includes a free picture book that offers more details on the people, plants and animals of the Amazon rain forest. Unfortunately, the program offers only a warranty against defective media. Many programs today offer 30-Day satisfaction guarantees. I do believe most parents and children will be pleased with the beauty and content of Kiyeko and the Lost Night. Ratings Graphics 9.5 Sound 9.5 Interface 9.0 Play Value 9.0 Educational Value 8.5 Bang for the Buck 8.0 Average 8.92 Reader Rabbit's Reading Development Library 3 Windows/Mac CD-ROM suggested retail $50 for ages 5 to 8 The Learning Company 6493 Kaiser Drive Fremont, CA 94555 (510) 792-2101 Program Requirements IBM Macintosh OS: Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 OS: System 7 CPU: 386DX/33 CPU: All color Macs HD Space: 1 MB HD Space: ? Memory: 4 MB, 8MB for Win95 Memory: 4 MB Graphics: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Graphics: 256 colors, 13" monitor CD-ROM: Double-speed CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit Windows compatible sound card Other: mouse reviewed by Frank Sereno Storybook programs are a very popular genre in edutainment software. Children can read the story themselves or the computer narrator will read the story to them. Most of these programs feature humorous animations, lively music and enthusiastic voice characterizations. Reader Rabbit's Reading Development Library 3 has all this and more. Each title in the Reading Development Library features two classic children's tales rather than the single title featured in most programs. These programs are hosted by Reader Rabbit and Sam the Lion. In RDL3, the stories are "The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg" and "The Princess and the Pea." Both stories teach moral lessons and provide excellent opportunities to learn new vocabulary. Three fun learning activities are available in each story. Word recognition is the objective of the Story Match game. Children match words to pictures in an exercise that teaches vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation. Story Order teaches sequencing, comprehension and logic skills. The child's task is to sort the story pictures into the correct order according to the story he just read. The third activity is Express It. This is a letter writing activity in which your child fills in the blanks in a letter to one of the story characters. The word choices are displayed as pictures and words. You can hear the letter read by clicking on the character. Children can experiment with different wordings to learn phrasing and vocabulary. The most intriguing part of this activity is that each letter will be answered by the story character. That response will vary based on the choices the child made in his letter so the replies seem to be coming from a living person rather than a computer program. The most important feature of RDL3 is that each story is told from three perspectives. Reading the stories from other viewpoints allows your child to build an understanding of others. So many of the world's problems are caused because people ignore the perspectives and feelings of others. While the stories remain generally the same, the shading the stories gain from different viewpoints make them interesting and educational. It's like getting six stories instead of two! Reader Rabbit's Reading Development Library 3 features a fantastic interface. It is simple and intuitive with text and audible help only a mouse click away. The graphics are colorful and interesting. When the computer reads the story, it is similar to watching a fifteen-minute cartoon. The program is filled with enjoyable music and delightful sound effects. RDL3 has excellent value in both educational and play value. The Learning Company invested much time and care into the development of this product. They stand behind this program with a 30-day moneyback guarantee. This is an excellent product and you should consider it for your home library. Ratings Graphics 9.5 Sound 9.5 Interface 9.5 Play Value 9.0 Educational Value 9.5 Bang for the Buck 9.5 Average 9.42 STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Online Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. Take full advantage of this spectacular reach. Explore the superb possibilities of advertising in STReport! Its very economical and smart business. In addition, STReport offers a strong window of opportunity to your company of reaching potential users on major online services and networks, the Internet, the WEB and more than 200,000 private BBS's worldwide. This is truly an exceptional opportunity to maximize your company's recognition factor globally. (STReport is pronounced: "ES TEE Report") STR Publishing's Economical "Partners in Progress" Plans! Take Action! "Discover the REAL Advantage" of STR's EXCEPTIONAL AND HIGHLY ECONOMICAL "Partners in Progress" Program.. Call Today! STR Publishing, Inc. 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STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Email us at or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm est FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs Support BBS DATA: 904-268-4116 or, write us at: STR Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 STR hopes you will take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity to provide information concerning your company and your product line to Computer Users, world wide via STReport International Online Magazine (Since 1987). And, at the same time, helping to keep the very best Independent Online Magazine available each and every week for many years to come. STR Editor's Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" Editor's MailBag Messages * NOT EDITED * for content Hi Ralph. I would just like to say, once again how glad I am that someone has the guts to air America's dirty laundry. Unfortunately, while established in the computer industry, ST Report does not command much of an audience outside. However, I find your insights, complaints and recommendations to be true and wholly appropriate and if you were to spin off another publication perhaps dealing with Constitutional rights and political games then you could really make a difference. Your editorials usually hit the nail right on the head. While up here in Canada things are somewhat better, we grapple with many of the same issues you do (and will encounter many more challenging ones in the future) and your editorials are as helpful to us as they are to Americans. It is for good reason that America has lost respect for their governments. Among the cover-ups, lies, cheating, fraudulent, immoral and horrific clandestine behavior, there is nothing left to respect and admire. Sadly, despite all that is known (and not much is known), America has yet to wake up. People would much rather be led than lead. It is far easier to have the government decide for you because they are after all "the government so they know what they're doing"! In many cases, they do know what they are doing. And what they are doing reeks of corruption and ill will. I am one of those people who believes: A) Vince Foster was murdered. B) Clinton and Hillary are the biggest con artists to head the White House since...ah Bush...and Reagan before him (let's face it, they were all great con artists!) and unfortunately, even the Republicans are unwilling to expose the cover-up and the truth since it will destroy whatever ounce of respect and faith the people have in their government. C) Aids was invented in a laboratory. D) There will be more mutating viral strains of AIDS that will be discovered and some of them will spread like the common cold. E) Many Americans die partially BECAUSE of drugs like AZT and cancer "treatments" such as chemotherapy (spelling?). These drugs poison their bodies and kill them faster. F) Many large pharmaceutical giants are in bed with the FDA and actively discourage the use of herbal, homeopathic and other alternative medicines. They have already made 95% effective antidepressant amino acids illegal. Why take a herbal medicine that is natural, has no side effects and is cheaper when you can pay 3 times more for a "wonderdrug" such as PROZAC? Because the greed at Eli Lilly cannot patent natural substances (found in herbal medicines) so their profit margin is 1000% to 4000% lower. G) There are engines that run on water and other wonderfully plentiful resources but you will not hear about them because Imperial Oil and all the other oil conglomerates would go virtually bankrupt as the industry quickly switches. H) Tobacco companies are run by the social leeches who would - and often do - sell their own mothers for a price. "Cigarettes are not addictive, they are 'habit-forming'" EXCUSE ME????? What's the ******* difference? I) (This one might make you question my sanity or might simply state what you already believe in) Extra-terrestrial life does exist and has been visiting us for centuries. We have been under study and surveillance and when the time is right, they will make themselves known. That time will come when we stop violently killing and hurting each other, and evolve into spiritual beings, a potential we do possess. Anyway, here I am rambling. I should tell you that I have found some nice information (which you had requested) on Vince Foster. ALL of it is from the Internet. I will not transcribe the Strategic Investment articles because of the copyright issues. However, there are transcriptions of them among the articles I have downloaded! ;-) I love the Internet! I can send them to you if you want. Or you can use Alta Vista or Lycos to do a search for Vince Foster. Regards, Shervin Shahrebani. ### Shervin.. As always, your posts are eye opening and very interesting. We do agree on most of your points to almost the letter. I do agree in general with your all points including the mention of ET's being very much a part of our daily lives. Perhaps, you have a point in the establishment of an STReport-like Weekly newsletter dealing in the topics you so aptly present. It might be a good idea to leave it to our readers. So, STR Readers.; What do you think about our inaugurating a weekly Politics & The Constitution Issue? Please, Let Us hear from you. Ralph. Thumbs Plus! STR Infofile Announcing.. Thumbs+Plus(tm) ver. 3.0c! Already in use by professionals worldwide, ThumbsPlus is fast becoming the preferred product for browsing, converting, organizing, viewing, editing and cataloguing of graphic files. Supporting over 35 (and counting) file formats internally, with many more formats that can be configured or accessed via OLE, ThumbsPlus is the product of choice in its class by people who need quick, intuitive access to their graphics. Demanding people, like those at Intel, Microsoft, HP, Rockwell International, ATI Technologies, the Army, Air Force and Navy, sing high praises for Thumbs+Plus. You can even find it at NASA, where ThumbsPlus accompanies the astronauts on every Space Shuttle flight! Some of the file types supported: 1. 1. BMP, DIB, RLE: Windows bitmaps 2. IFF, LBM: Amiga formats 3. TIF: TIFF files 4. JPG: Jpeg files (JFIF) 5. GIF: CompuServe GIF 6. PNG: PiNG format 7. PCX: ZSoft pictures 8. Multi-page PCX 9. PCD: Kodak PhotoCD 10. PSD: Adobe Photoshop (2.5, 3.0) 11. FIF: Fractal images (Iterated Systems) 12. GEM, IMG: GEM metafiles and images 13. WPG: Word Perfect graphics 14. UUE: UUencoded files 15. TGA, WIN: Targa Truevision 16. CGM: Computer Graphics Metafile 17. KIZ: Kodak Postcard 18. AVI: Video for Windows 19. MOV: Apple Quicktime 20. WAV: Windows sound files 21. Windows MIDI music files 22. RAS: Sun Raster files 23. RAW: Raw grayscale or RGB files 24. STX, ST5, ST6, ST7, ST8: Santa Barbara Instruments Group (SBIG) 25. WMF, MF: Windows Metafiles 26. TTF: TrueType fonts 27. MND: Mandelbrot for Windows 28. ICO: Windows icon 29. EPS: Encapsulated Postscript (preview TIFF or MF only) 30. CDR, CMX, BMF: CorelDRAW and CorelGallery (previouw bitmap only) 31. CUR, ANI: Windows cursor (thumbnail only, Win95 only) 32. CEL: AutoDesk Animator The registered version also supports: z PFB: Adobe Type 1 Fonts z DXF: AutoCAD Exchange format z MPG: MPEG video (with appropriate MCI drivers) This new, improved ThumbsPlus is a full 32-bit application for Windows 95, Windows NT and Windows 3.1. Microsoft Win32s version 1.3 is required for operation on Windows/WfWg 3.1/3.11. Here is a partial list of the new features in 3.0 through 3.0c: ThumbsPlus version 3.0 is a 32-bit application for Windows 95, NT and 3.1/3.11 (using Win32s). z Several new file types are supported: PNG: CompuServe PiNG format (read) UUE: uuencoded files (read and decode) KIZ: Kodak Internet postcards (read image) (3.0c) FIF: Fractal Compression (read) (3.0c) SBIG: Santa Barbara Instruments Group astronomical CCD files (.STX, .ST5, .ST6, .ST7, .ST8) (3.0c) DCX: Multi-page PCX (3.0c) z Improvements handling several file types: GIF: transparency is supported (read and write). GIF: animated GIF support (display, Win 95/NT only). (3.0c) JPEG: progressive mode is supported (read and write). PSD: Photoshop version 3 files are supported. TIFF: JPEG and ZIP compression are supported. TIFF: Multi-page TIFF files (3.0c) TIFF & PSD: CIE L*a*b colorspace is supported. (3.0c) RAS: Bi-level SUN Raster files may now be read. AVI: Now supported in the shareware version. MOV: Now supported in the shareware version. z This version incorporates a new database format, with: Keyword assignment and searching. Automatic keyword assignment based on file type, file name, and file color characteristics. Long file name support (except on Windows 3.1/3.11). Selection of thumbnail size and color depth (32 gray levels, 236-color palette, or 15-bit high color). Improved disk volume recognition (especially for network & CDROM drives), assignment of volume aliases. File annotations (comments in the database). z ThumbsPlus can now read image files larger than 16Mb (except on Windows 3.1/3.11). z Improved display speed and memory usage for large files. For some file types, will view while loading a file. z Contact sheets (showing parts or all of a thumbnail catalog in a graphic file) with many config options. z Color selection for directory list folders and various other user interface elements. z Toolbar improvements: Customizable main window toolbar View window toolbar (also customizable) Tool tips for buttons on toolbars View window status line. z Addition of right-button menus (context menus). z Use of property sheets (tabbed dialog boxes) to simplify adaptation of the program to your needs. z Improved algorithms and 32-bit code result in faster image manipulation and conversion. z You may now delete directories and entire directory trees. z ThumbsPlus can use the Windows 95 Recycle Bin. z File functions also available from the view window (3.0c): Next file Previous file Copy file Move file Rename file Delete file When you register, you'll receive version 3.0c-R, which also has: z PFB: Adobe Type 1 fonts z DXF: AutoCAD Exchange format z MPG: MPEG-1 video (if you have appropriate MCI drivers) z 32-bit TWAIN scanner support. z Shows ZIP files as directories, which can be browsed, and the files in the archive may be treated as regular files. Also, network licensees get: z Network user program defaults can be set up in a THUMBS.DEF file in the network directory with ThumbsPlus. z ThumbsPlus may be installed on and run from a network drive, and the database may be shared on a network. (Single-user licenses will not operate on a network). z Network database defaults can be set up in a THUMBS.TDD file in the directory with the database. For more information, please contact: Cerious Software, Inc. http://www.cerious.com 1515 Mockingbird Ln. Suite 910 ftp://ftp.cerious.com Charlotte, NC 28209 USA CompuServe: 76352,142 Voice: 704-529-0200 firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 704-529-0497 email@example.com AOL: CeriousSW To download ThumbsPlus version 3.0c-S: World wide web: http://www.cerious.com Internet ftp: ftp://ftp.cerious.com/pub/cerious CompuServe: GO GRAPHSUP, Library 3/Graphic Viewers CompuServe: GO WINSHARE, search for THMPLS32.EXE CompuServe: GO WINUSER, search for THMPLS32.EXE AOL: Windows or Graphics & Animations areas Portable Computers Section Marty Mankins, Editor Windows95 STR Infofile WINDOWS 95 DISASTER RECOVERY Preparing to Overcome a Windows 95 system crash z Make sure you have a Windows 95 Startup Disk. If you do not have one, select Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel, select the Startup Disk tab and click Create disk.... z Install Your preferred Tape Backup Software for your tape drive and run a Full System Backup. Restoring after a system crash z Correct the cause of your problem if possible. z A format of your boot partition or drive may be needed. z Reinstall Windows 95, select the "Custom" install and un-select all options. z If DriveSpace or other disk compression utility is used on the system, install it now. z Install the Tape Backup Software for your tape drive z Select Start, Programs, Tape Backup, Backupxx.exe z Select Settings, Options..., Restore, etc.. z Select Overwrite files and.. un-check Prompt before overwriting. z Restore the full system backup from tape, using indexing from the tape. z Exit Windows 95, and reboot your system When Your Tape Backup Software restores the registry, it should merge the backup copy with the current registry. Most tape restoration programs will not overwrite registry entries that already exist. You may need to change a few settings (e.g., Screen Background, Wallpaper, etc.) to return the system to it's original configuration. Note: Microsoft includes their Emergency Recovery Utility (ERU) on the Windows 95 CD-ROM. This utility makes a backup of the registry and other important system files. In some cases, Windows 95 can be fixed by restoring the registry with this utility. It is also useful when backing up network systems since Your Tape Backup Software cannot ordinarily backup the registry from network drives. The Emergency Recovery Utility is in the \OTHER\MISC\ERU directory on the Windows 95 CD-ROM. If you have the floppy version of Windows 95, the utility can be downloaded from: Microsoft's Web site (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/download/eruzip.exe). Atari: Jaguar/Computer Section Dana Jacobson, Editor >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" I must admit that this week has been a lethargic one for me. By the time that you read this week's issue, I'll have completed the first of my two week vacation. It's a time to relax and get away from the normal routines of a regular work week. I don't think that I've ever adopted that philosophy with regard to my "duties" as an editor for STReport as long as I've had access to one of my computers and a modem. However, it is summer and it hasn't been an easy week to really sit down and maintain the usual efforts to put together an encompassing issue, regardless of the fact that news is, to be quite frank, quite slow. Granted, the summer months are always typically slow. Yet, I've been enjoying the serenity while still having some time to devote to putting out an Atari section for this week. Relaxation. It's a necessity in today's world. Anyone who denies this fact is either a workaholic, or too young to be working or old enough to be enjoying retirement. <g> I've made the time to do a number of things that I've been putting off doing for a long time: sitting down and enjoying some good books, playing some golf, throwing back a number of cold and refreshing beers, and even a movie - something I haven't done in a long time. Speaking of movies, the one I saw this past week was "Independence Day." This is a movie that I don't think anybody can avoid seeing - a very good movie. I don't remember mentioning it last week, but during one of my phone conversations with Atari's Don Thomas, he mentioned to me a bit of Atari trivia that I thought you'd be interested in. It seems that Atari computers are still big in many ways. Don mentioned to me that Atari 8bit computers (yes, I said 8 bit!) were used to design some of the graphics that were used in "Independence Day's" Pentagon interior scenes. After seeing numerous "The Making of Independence Day" reports with all of the high-tech computer work done for most of the special effects in the movie, the comparatively simplistic Atari 8bit computer played a role in the making of this masterful special effects movie. The next time one of your friends looks to needle you with a disparaging remark about Atari computers and how the PC world has taken all but center stage, you might think to bring up this little tidbit of Atari trivia to his or her attention. Indianapolis' MiST Atari show is tomorrow. I wish that I were attending but circumstances prevent me from making the trek. If you have the opportunity to attend this show, I highly recommend it. Atari shows, as I've mentioned many times over the years, are exciting events to meet other Atari users; see, feel, and purchase new software and hardware; and meet and mingle with many people with similar Atari-related interests. There's nothing better of this type of gathering. Have a great show, folks. And everyone, have a safe and enjoyable summer! Until next time... MIST 1996 at INDY on July 13 We're expecting another outstanding crowd -- and a full house - here in Indianapolis from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, July 13, at the Mid-Indiana MIST AtariFest VIII. In fact, we want to alert you that the house may be truly and fully packed because of last-minute decisions by vendors and user groups. When our June 15 "discount date" came and went, we had to decide to give up our second ballroom (or risk a hefty loss). So we are, once again, back in only one crowded room. But we expect it will be real cozy -- and busy fun! Atari Corp. has sent us a complete JAGUAR to sweeten the pot ... along with a half-dozen Jaguar games. All will either be given away as door prizes or offered for sale at auction. More door prizes are to be awarded also. Who's coming for sure? Here is the list of those who put checks in the mail. Others have expressed interest and may show up -- but we are rapidly running out of room: Toad Computers Branch Always ICD, Inc. SKWare One Computer Direct with T060 Computer Dungeon Current Notes It's All Relative Systems for Tomorrow chroMAGIC Crawly Crypt Computer Direct will introduce the 68060 DirecT060, world's fastest TOS machine, and BraSoft will debut the Gemulator for laptops. User groups signed up are: Toronto Atari Federation EAUG SCAT LAG Nashville Atari User Group LACE ACORN Purdue AUG BL.A.ST. ASCII Admission tickets are the same $3 as in the past, and entitle the buyer to a chance at the door prizes. See you there: Best Western Waterfront Plaza Hotel, US 136 (just west of I-465 and I-74) on northwest corner of Indianapolis. STR Infofile ExtenDOS Pro v2.4A: MagiC4 Anodyne Software announces: 1 July 1996 ExtenDOS Pro v2.4A: MagiC4 support and more ExtenDOS Pro version 2.4A is the latest version of Anodyne Software's CD-ROM drivers for Atari systems. Like previous versions, it provides access to CD- ROMs and audio CDs on most popular CD-ROM drives, but v2.4A offers many new features including: z support for the extended GEMDOS calls (a la MiNT) that the MagiC4 desktop uses, allowing access to CD-ROMs from the MagiC4 desktop z support for the Nakamichi MBR-7 changer z improved detection of CD-ROM change on Sanyo drives z additional retry attempts for read errors, increasing the chance of successful reads under adverse conditions. It continues to offer: z easy installation and reconfiguration via a GEM-based installation program z support for a wide range of CD-ROM drives, including changer mechanisms, plus automatic support for photoCD and audio CD on most new drives from established manufacturers z direct audioCD-to-disk recording (requires compliant hardware) z an extremely stable and well-tested environment. With ExtenDOS Pro, you can play audio CDs as easily as you can access the data on CD-ROMs. Put a CD-ROM in your drive, and access it like a large removable hard disk, or pop in an audio CD and use the included program to turn your CD-ROM drive into an audio player. Direct audioCD-to-disk recording ExtenDOS Pro now allows you to copy segments of an audio CD directly to your hard disk, at sample rates of 25.033, 44.1, or 50.066 kHz. The length of recording is limited only by the size of your hard disk! Please note that this function requires the appropriate hardware support within the CD-ROM drive; at this time, for those drives that are known to provide some form of support, the status is as follows: Drive Comments Chinon 535 (revs Q20 & R20) not tested NEC drives (current models) OK, but see NOTE below Panasonic 8004 not tested Pioneer 602x not tested Plextor 4plex not tested Sony 561 (& OEM equiv.) OK Toshiba 3401/4101/3601 OK NOTE: many recent NEC SCSI-2 drives (1995 or later) work correctly. However, earlier SCSI-2 drives such as the NEC 3Xp have problems; although they appear to function correctly, the firmware does not always return the audio data sequentially, resulting in 'stuttering' in the copied file. For the latest support information, please contact Anodyne Software via Genie (R.BURROWS1), or via the Internet (firstname.lastname@example.org), or write to the address below. Audio support ExtenDOS Pro includes the following audio functions: z play/pause/stop/eject z track forward or back z index forward or back z skip forward or back z cd repeat/shuffle z scan z set play segment z volume control These are provided through an interface visually similar to a standard audio CD player, with clearly-marked buttons and a complete time/track display. A smaller version of the main window may be selected at anytime; this is particularly effective in reducing screen clutter when running the audio player as a desk accessory. ExtenDOS Pro conforms to the defined CD-ROM software interface standard; programming details for this interface are available on request from Anodyne Software at the address below. The interface allows third- party software products such as the CDP program from Alexander Clauss to access the audio CD functions and provide functions beyond those available in the CDAUDIO program/DA. Data support ExtenDOS Pro provides support for industry-standard CD-ROM formats. You can access any ISO9660 or High Sierra format CD-ROM as if it were a removable hard disk, switch between supported disk formats without a reboot, and access files of any size. ExtenDOS Pro even provides a built-in configurable cache facility to speed up data access. And with the right drive, ExtenDOS Pro supports single-session or multisession photoCD as well. Hardware requirements ExtenDOS Pro requires a SCSI CD-ROM drive connected directly to a SCSI port, or connected to an ACSI port via an ICD AdSCSI+, Link, or Link2 (or equivalent) host adapter. Please note that other host adapters (including the original Atari host adapter, the Supra, the BMS, and certain early ICD adapters) may not be capable of transmitting the commands necessary to support audio CD and photoCD. If you're not sure whether your adapter is compatible, please contact Anodyne Software at the address below. ExtenDOS Pro runs on all TOS-based Atari systems, including the ST, STe, Mega, MegaSTe, TT030, and Falcon030. Supported functions depend on the type of drive: Function Type of drive read standard CD-ROMs Any read photoCD Most current drives audio control/play Any fully SCSI-2 compatible drive; selected SCSI-1 drives, including models from NEC and Sony audio copy Selected drives (see list above) The following is a partial list of supported drives: z . Apple CD-300e,CD-300e+,PowerCD z . Chinon 525,535 z . Compaq 561 z . MediaVision Reno z . Nakamichi MBR-7 z . NEC 25,35/72/77/80/82,73/83,37/74/84,38/74-1/84-1 z . NEC 210,3Xe/3Xi/3Xp,3Xp+/4Xe/4Xi z . Panasonic 501 z . Pioneer 602X,604X,124X z . Plextor 3024/3028,5024/5028,4plex z . Sony 6211,8022,541,561/55S z . Sun CDPlus z . Texel 3024/5024 z . Toshiba 3201,3301,3401,3501,3601,4101,5201,5301 For the latest information on supported drives, please contact Anodyne Software via Genie (R.BURROWS1), or via the Internet (email@example.com), or write to the address below. Software requirements ExtenDOS Pro requires one of the following operating environments: z . TOS (1.0 through 4.04 tested) z . MultiTOS (with MiNT v1.08 or v1.12) z . Geneva (v003/v004 tested) z . Mag!X v2 z . MagiC4 Availability ExtenDOS Pro v2.4A is available now at a suggested retail price of $39.95. Order from your local Atari dealer, or directly from: Anodyne Software 6 Cobbler Court Ottawa Ontario K1V 0B8 CANADA. If ordering from Anodyne Software, you may request a manual in French instead of in English. ExtenDOS Pro Upgrades If you are an existing ExtenDOS Pro user, you can upgrade to version 2.4A AT NO CHARGE by downloading an upgrade file. This is now available from several Atari FTP sites, including: ftp.toad.net /pub/newstuff/epro_24a.zip atari.archive.umich.edu /Diskutils/epro_24a.zip Alternatively, you may upgrade by sending your original diskette plus $7 (including shipping) to Anodyne Software at the above address. Please see below for methods of payment. ExtenDOS Upgrades Existing owners of ExtenDOS may upgrade to ExtenDOS Pro v2.4A by sending their original ExtenDOS diskette plus $20 (including shipping) to Anodyne Software at the above address. The upgrade includes a manual. Please see below for methods of payment. Methods of payment For North American orders, please make your payment by cheque or money order, in US$ for shipping to the U.S.A., in Canadian$ for shipping within Canada. Ontario residents please add 8% sales tax. For shipments outside North America, please pay by money order in US$. Please add an additional $2 for airmail shipping. Passed Along from CompuServe's Atari Forums SysOp, Don Lebow: Beatles songs for the Geek in all of us Eleanor Rigby Sits at the keyboard And waits for a line on the screen Lives in a dream Waits for a signal Finding some code That will make the machine do some more. What is it for? All the lonely users, where do they all come from? All the lonely users, why does it take so long? Guru MacKenzie Typing the lines of a program that no one will run; Isn't it fun? Look at him working, Munching some chips as he waits for the code to compile; Where is the style? All the lonely users, where do they all come from? All the lonely users, why does it take so long? Eleanor Rigby Crashes the system and loses 6 hours of work; What is it worth? Guru MacKenzie Wiping the blood off his hands as he walks from the grave; Nothing was saved. All the lonely users, where do they all come from? All the lonely users, why does it take so long? He's a real UNIX Man Sitting in his UNIX LAN Making all his UNIX .plans For nobody He's as wise as he can be Programs in lex, yacc and C UNIX Man, can you help me At all? UNIX Man, please listen My printout is missin' UNIX Man The wo-o-o-orld is your 'at' command Let It Be When I find my code in tons of trouble, Friends and colleagues come to me, Speaking words of wisdom: "Write in C." As the deadline fast approaches, And bugs are all that I can see, Somewhere, someone whispers: "Write in C." Write in C, Write in C, Write in C, oh, Write in C. LOGO's dead and buried, Write in C. I used to write a lot of FORTRAN, For science it worked flawlessly. Try using it for graphics! Write in C. If you've just spent nearly 30 hours Debugging some assembly, Soon you will be glad to Write in C. Write in C, Write in C, Write in C, yeah, Write in C. Only wimps use BASIC. Write in C. Write in C, Write in C Write in C, oh, Write in C. Pascal won't quite cut it. Write in C. Write in C, Write in C, Write in C, yeah, Write in C. Don't even mention COBOL. Write in C. Have a nice weekend :-) - don Jaguar Section Jaguar & Developers at MiST '96! >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! Yep, I'm still vacationing as mentioned earlier in this issue. Apparently, Atari and the Jaguar are also in the same mode, involuntarily. Still no new news to report about what's happening with the SEC's decision regarding the merger with JTS. Subsequently, most "normal" activity for the Jaguar, as slow as it remains, is still on hold pending the merger plans and decisions. However, the users and developers are still pushing ahead. This Saturday's MiST show promises to be enjoyable for Jaguar users. 4-Play will be in attendance with a current version of networked Battlesphere. It's also possible that Breakout 2000 will be there, demonstrated by its programmer, Mario Perdue. I'm sure that there will be other Jaguar software available to view in case there are games that you haven't seen yet. It should be an interesting show for Jaguar fans. I've heard that Towers II has been sent to Atari for "approval" and encryption. I don't know how long that process takes (I neglected to ask Atari's Don Thomas when I had the opportunity), but it appears that this title will be the next game released, published by a third party publisher, Telegames.. if all goes according to plan. Other than those little tidbits, there's little else to report. Our review of Fight for Life and Baldies should be appearing next week. We hope to be taking another look at earlier games, among other planned topics in retrospect, in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Chinese Refuse Work on WWII Game In Beijing, four Chinese workers say they would be fired rather than comply with demands of their Japanese employer and produce a computer game that features World War II battles. Guo Haijing, an employee of the Japanese Tianjin Koei Co. in the northern port city of Tianjin, told United Press International, "It is unacceptable for us to make with our own hands the images of former Japanese troops." UPI says Guo and his three colleagues balked when told to develop cartoon pictures for the game, "Final Decision of the Governor," fully aware they could lose their jobs. "We would not give in since national dignity is more important." UPI says the software depicts battles between Japanese, Chinese and U.S. troops in the Pacific. Fellow worker Liang Guangming added the software contains Japanese warplanes and warships used during the war and images of Japanese officers, including Hideki Tojo, hanged as a war criminal in 1948. Speaking with China's official Xinhua news agency, Liang commented, "The war criminals who were responsible for the deaths of many Chinese people were generals in the software program, which is unacceptable to us." (Japan launched an all-out invasion of China in 1937, killing or wounding 35 million people before Japan's surrender in 1945.) UPI says Guo, Liang and the other two employees were hired by the firm last year to develop computer grafts following their graduation from an arts institute. The workers told the wire service they were asked May 13 to produce cartoon pictures for the software using material provided by the Japanese firm. Said Liang, "What embarrassed us most was the scene of hailing Japanese troops after they won a battle." When he and the others refused to develop the software, Liang said the Japanese manager threatened them with dismissal, UPI reports. SimCity Heads to Internet Maxis is bringing its SimCity 2000 simulation software online. The San Mateo, California-based company has released SimCity 2000, a multiplayer version that allows users to build simulated cities via the Internet. In the single- player version of SimCity 2000, a player takes on the role of a super-mayor, with the power to zone development, lay roads, and raise taxes according to his or her own vision. The Network Edition, however, has players acting as city commissioners -- and decisions such as issuing bonds, instituting pollution controls or increasing school budgets must be voted on. A chat feature allows players to hold town meetings or strike deals to share city resources. Another departure from the solo game is that the Network Edition requires players to purchase land before developing it. As they build their real- estate empires, acquiring valuable properties or purchasing land to block competitive development, players must keep in mind that it is to everyone's benefit to build a successful city. To play on the Internet, one player's computer hosts the game. Up to three other players (who each own and are running a copy of the Network Edition) connect to the host by entering its IP address -- a string of numbers used by computers connected to the Internet to tell each other apart. "Until now, computer games were usually solitary experiences where the opponents were simulated by the computer," says Maxis President Sam Poole. "The Internet is now making it possible to bring people together to play games. This social dynamic has added an entirely new dimension to SimCity 2000." The SimCity 2000 Network Edition is available for Windows 95 computers at an estimated street price of $49.95 to $59.95. Sarandon to Narrate CD-ROM Class6 Interactive says it has signed actress Susan Sarandon to narrate its second CD-ROM release, "Cosmo's Rocket," an interactive adventure game. Earlier this year, Sarandon, won the "Best Actress" Academy Award for her performance in "Dead Man Walking." Class6 says "Cosmo's Rocket" is the adventure of a boy named Cosmo, who loves to build things from junk and dreams of building a rocket. He lives with his parents and his dog, Apples, in a neighborhood on the wrong side of the tracks. The CD-ROM is due out later this year for Windows 95 computers. "We are truly honored to be working with a performer of Susan Sarandon's caliber," says John Bevilacqua, senior vice president and general manager of Hollywood- based Class6. "She brings extraordinary depth of quality to our CD-ROM game with her inimitable style, grace and warmth. We are excited that Susan's narration of Cosmo's Rocket will add a new dimension to the title, bringing the game to life." ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe compiled by Joe Mirando CIS ID: 73637,2262 Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Summer has favored us here in the north east with warm, dry days for a change and I'm loving it! These are the kind of summer days that I remember when I was a child... I'm not saying that we didn't have just as many unbearably humid days back then, just that I don't remember them. Isn't it amazing how our minds work (when they work)? On another note, I'll give anyone with a Mega STE some free advice... even though my grandfather used to tell me that free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it. If you've got a Mega STE with a built-in hard drive using Atari's hard drive adaptor and begin to experience problems with reading from, writing to, or even powering up the drive, don't panic. This happened to me last week and I _did_ panic because my other computer (a STacy) is down at the moment and if the Mega goes, I'm sunk. My hard drive began to give me error messages that told me that the hard drive was not responding, that the file I tried to access was not a program or that it did not exist, and it even refused to power-up when I turned the computer on. So I checked the power connections first. No problems there, the voltages read right where they were supposed to: +5 and +12 volts. Next, I tried removing and re-seating the hard drive adaptor. Those who have seen the inside of a Mega STE know what an awkward area this is. The adaptor and the associated cables were all as they should be. It was beginning to look like my tried-and-true hard drive was getting ready to take a dirt-nap. At the moment I find myself in a... shall we say, less than favorable cash- flow situation for things computer related, so simply going out and buying a new hard drive is not an option. Besides, the only SCSI hard drives I've seen around lately hold either slightly less than the one I have now (these are getting rare), or 1.2 Gig (yep, 1,200 meg). Now I can't see buying a new hard drive with less storage than the one I have now, and I also can't bring myself to buy a drive with almost four times the storage I have now. So I decided to look around inside the case a little bit more. I could go into detail about all of the little things that I checked inside the computer and found to be in good working order, but that would bore even me. So I'll cut to the chase: It turned out to be one or two socketed chips on the hard drive adaptor board that had come loose and were causing my problems. Should this happen to you, don't go into a frenzy. And don't write to the hard drive. In this condition, it is possible that existing data could be corrupted (not likely, but possible). Simply unscrew the hard drive housing from the bottom of the case, _gently_ lift the housing up from the front and move it to the side so that it rests on the rest of the case, and gently push on the two socketed chips on the little pc board inside. Put it all back together and power that puppy up. If this doesn't work, _then_ it's time to call Toad. Our good friend and neighbor, Alejandro Aguilar from Costa Rica sent me email containing a press release for MagiC, the alternative operating system for Atari, Macintosh, and Intel-based PC's. He writes: Hi Joe, I found information today that I think is interesting about the future of the Atari operating systems, from Computer Direct of Canada: ASH announces MagiC 5 features! 27 June 1996, Edmonton: Applications Systems Heidelberg has announced some of the new features that will be included in MagiC 5, MagiC Mac 2, and Ease 5, to be released later this year. Version 5 of the popular operating system will coincide with the release of MagiC PC; which is the MagiC operating system for machines running Microsoft Windows 95. "Probably the most important aspect of these upgrades from the current MagiC user's perspective is the inclusion of long filename support." says Jon Brenda of Computer Direct. "However, these announcements will mean much more for everybody currently using the Atari platform, it means that there will be a future, not only for the machines in use now, but for nearly any machine that Atari software users will ever own. What this means is that the Atari software consumer needn't worry about buying new software today, and having it become useless to them next year." "This operating system, with its long filenames, threads and signals, as well as all the features that current MagiC users are already enjoying, is more than just a competitor to the Macintosh and Windows 95 systems." Brenda boasted "It will blow them away." The MagiC operating system running on dedicated hardware is unparalleled for its code efficiency, and according to Brenda has many features not found in the mainstream Macintosh and Windows 95 systems: "The fact that it is a true pre-emptive multitasker with interprocess communications like pipes and shared memory already puts MagiC ahead of the mainstream systems. We are already starting to see many major software packages being updated to take full advantage of MagiC." Leslie Hartmier, Vice President of the Edmonton Atari Computer Hobbyists, focused on the new 126 program limit and the long filename support when asked for his opinion of what the new features will mean to him. "Basically I will be happier with being able to name files 'Falcon_software_compatibility_list.html' instead of 'fscompl.htm' and trying to guess what it means... as 32 bit librarian for the club it will also be nice to have the new upper limit on processes while I'm testing new software. I'm pretty sure that I've come close to the previous limit on a number of occasions." Another anticipated side effect of the new versions of MagiC is that the platform will get a boost. "We used to be dependent only on Atari for our hardware, but now the OS has a chance to actually grow again, particularly with people who used to have Ataris and moved on. We expect quite a few of them to return to the platform now, especially when they see the quality of software available for the Atari." Said Brenda. When asked about Computer Direct's plans for marketing MagiC 5 to former and current Atari users in North America, Brenda was conservative. "As always, we want to be very careful to not market an unreleased product. We just want to make sure that Atari platform software users know that there is new development, and there is a lot in store for the future." MagiC 4 and Ease 4 are currently imported, supported, and distributed in North America by Computer Direct of Edmonton, and will have easy upgrade paths to the new versions. Current upgrade information will be available on Computer Direct's World Wide Web site at http://www.compdirect.com MagiC 5.0 for Atari MagiC 5.0 brings long filenames to the Atari! You have probably been frequently irritated by the limitations that using the so-called 8+3 format causes. A meaningful description of the file is often not possible. MagiC 5.0 removes this limitation elegantly. The most important point: It is not necessary to reformat your hard drive! Built into MagiC 5.0 is the Windows 95 compatible VFAT filesystem which has the benefit that MagiC 5.0 for the Atari and MagiC-Mac 2.0 each may access Windows 95 disks directly (MagiC-PC can do this this already). In addition, you can switch any partitions on your Atari hard drive(s) to the longer filename format. Packaged with MagiC 5.0 is a little program that allows you to activate and deactivate the long filenames at any time. The advantage to this is the backwards compatibility: Under TOS you can still access your files. The long filenames are merely shortened at the right length. The following programs in the ASH-Office series already support long filenames: Texel (Excel compatible spreadsheet), ArtWorx (vector graphics program), and Phoenix (database) (from version 4.2). More will follow. Other highlights of MagiC 5.0 (joined together in a shortened format): The number of simultaneous processes have been increased from a maximum of20 processes to a maximum of 126. MagiC 5.0 supports Threads and Signals, allowing the system to run faster when possible. EASE 5.0 EASE is now up to version 5.0, and with this new version, we can at last use long filenames in a regular TOS environment! This is, however, only of particular advantage to users of MagiC 5.0,MagiC-Mac and MagiC- PC. The report options for a directory window can now be configured without having to detour over the menubar. With the so-called Autolocator function, you can type in the initial letters of a file in a directory window, and choose a file in a more convenient manner. On additional little program included allows you to generate program and file groups so that you want have the most frequently used programs and documents at hand. The groups can be put on the desktop as icons, and therefore ready for use at any time. Finding files using the extended search function is now child's play. All found files are now listed in a separate window. Additional accessories may now be installed after MagiC simply by double clicking on them. Application Systems Heidelberg News 2/96 from the 6.6.1996, page 3 While I've never been a big fan of "alternative" operating systems, this one sounds great. And from what I've heard from others, it is. It is highly compatible, it's faster than TOS, it multi-tasks, and it's easy to use. What more could you ask for? Well, let's get on with the reason for this column in the first place: All the great news, hints, tips, and info available every week right here on CompuServe. >From the Atari Computing Forums Terry Cano asks for help: "I need to design a part for my truck (it's a long story). A simple CAD program would be nice. Is there any thing commerically or in Lib. for an ST???? Musically, Terry Cano Hi fellow Atarians, I need to design a part for my truck (it's a long story) a simple CAD program would be nice....... is there any such shareware or inexpensive CAD for the 1040 ST????" Our friend Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells Terry: "There is one called DynaCad which was one the more popular CAD programs. There is also CAD-3D from Antic ... both of these are commercial." Ben at TOC Oz. asks Terry: "Do you want a 3D drawing program, a vector drawing program, or a proper CAD program. What kind of Designing do you need Computer Aided ? "Toad" advertises TBX CAD for $59 U.S., apparently runs in 1Mb." Terry replies to Ben: "Hmm...... I don't know what I need. I do know what I need to do. Design a part on screen and printout for the fabrication shop. I need the ability to: Scale, centering lines, show screw holes, show angles, lengths, top, side and front views....Auto CAD for the IBM platform would be ideal...... I tried the programs here in the Lib. The JIL programs are to big, I don't have a hard drive and the other program wouldn't run. Thanks........by the way, if you have a Mitsubishi Pick-up with a cable operated clutch........beware!!!" Jack Hughes tells Terry: "I _think_ (not sure) I have a CAD prg in my archives. Really not sure if it will do what U want. Been a long time and I never did use it. I was accustomed to a more upscale drawing prg. It's shareware from Israel, maybe as long as 8 yrs ago. I'll look into it if you do not get any better offers. ps: I always prefered pencil & paper, works great." Terry tells Jack: "Yes, the program you speak of was here in our Lib. It wouldn't run.... the little just flaps away for minutes...... I'm not sure CAD 3D is advanced enough. You're right.....pencil and paper maybe the best way." Richard Rives tells Terry: "DynaCadd is still available (commercial and not very cheap). Just a thought though, it may be quicker to draw it up (3 views) than to learn a CAD program, if this is the only part you ever going to need fabricated. A good machinist reads many different forms of scribble <grin>." When Ralph Kalatucka asks: "Does the Falcon support any of these graphics [GIF, JPEG, MPEG, etc.]? Does the Falcon support the hypertext-like functions that are all over the Web?" Michel Vanhamme tells him: "Pictures: yes. Movies: AFAIK, there are some viewers around, but none support sound. And a standard Falcon will get you at most 640*480*256 colors or 320*200*65000 colors. I have a Screenblaster on mine which gives me 800*600*256. As far as the web is concerned, yes, but not through CIS until now (you need a SLIP account). And don't expect all the whistles and bells Netscape and the like offer, but considering that the most "popular" Atari WWW browser (CAB) ATM is written by *one* programmer, it's a bit of an achievement. >> But I really want to like Atari, but they keep making it hard. << Well, they can't make it any harder anymore, since they've stopped making computers <grin>. Albert Dayes tells Ralph: "I thought I saw a Apple quick-time viewer in the library recently. I believe it requires a 68020 or higher cpu though." Now, having read Albert's posts for years (and having learned quite a bit from them), I jump in and tell him: "The QuickTime movie player in the library includes 3 "flavors": One for stock 68000 machines, one for 68020 and higher machines, and one for machines equipped with math co-processors. I've used the 68000 version on a MegaSTE at 16 MHz... it's slow, but it does work (although, as you said, without sound). I wonder if Dieter Fiebelkorn (the author) has/will come up with any other enhancements for this player. With the demands of something as cpu-intensive as a quicktime movie, I'm impressed that it can be done at all." Nick Leigh tells us: "...I have an ATARI 520STFM with a memory upgrade that does not work. It is a plug on upgrade and since attempting to fit it with my friends dad, ( a computer and electronics genius ) my ST has ceased to work. I love my ST and would dearly love to have it fixed, but I do not know where I can send it or get it repaired. I live in the SE of England and do not want to travel or post it miles away. Can anyone here help with information or suggestions??? Please????" Sysop Bob Retelle asks Nick: "I guess it's an obvious question, but have you tried removing the memory upgrade? Since you indicated it was a plug-in style upgrade, it should be fairly easy to take it out and see if the original setup still works." Nick replies: "I know what to connect the two leads onto for my memory upgrade, but the video shifter chip is soldered in and i cannot risk unsoldering it. What can I do?" Julian Church tells Nick: "If you're in the UK, the manufacturers of the upgrade can supply a kit for people with soldered in video shifter chips - I think it's a socket that you solder _on top_ of the chip and plug the upgrade board into that. It's still a bit fiddly and you have to be careful (as always) with your iron so you don't cook the chip, but it's definitely a lot easier than trying to unsolder the chip and installing the socket on the main board. I suppose you could get hold of the right kind of socket at any electronics spares shop, and either solder it yourself or get someone else to do it if you don't have the skill/confidence to do it. It's a relatively simple job, so even paying someone to do it shouldn't cost that much. I think that's all correct - I hope my mate Simon Churchill (King of upgraded ST's) will jump in and add his 2p." I agree with Julian about Simon... where upgrades are concerned, Simon is THE man! Unfortunately, Simon must be either off on holiday or hard at work under the hood of his computer, because he hasn't jumped in. Meanwhile, Sean Collins tells us: "I have an old 520ST (upgraded to 1Meg) sitting in my closet. Since I don't use it and since its commercial value is very little, I've been wondering whether it would be possible to pirate the memory chips from it and put them into my Mega2 to make it into a Mega4..." Albert Dayes tells Sean: "It depends on how the Mega2 is made ... earlier ones had empty holes so you could add the chips, others had the holes filled in and others had no holes at all to perform the upgrade. With regard to the chips I would assume the memory prices would still be very inexpensive these days if you purchased them too. Also the Mega2 also only works with 2 megabytes or 4 megabytes of ram. Since your 520 only has 1 megabyte you would still need another megabyte of ram." Matthew Beasley tells us: "I have downloaded a few things from here on my PC. I then transferred them on to disk for use with my STe. This disk doesn't work because it is formatted for IBM. how do I format it for the ST without the IBM reformatting it for IBM?" Albert Dayes tells Matthew: "If you format a 720K floppy disk on the PC it should work fine on the STe. You might have problems formatting a 1.44 meg floppy as a 720K disk. Use only 720K disks and everything should work fine." Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES When we ask for advice, we are usually asking for an accomplice. People ask you for criticism, but they only want praise... Reviewing is no easy matter. To begin with, you must be sure that writing is your vocation, next you must be convinced that reviewing is not writing, hence the conclusion that your vocation is not reviewing. Well, once you feel that, you can start... I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works... I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the talent to make it short... If you steal from one author it's plagiarism; if you steal from many it's research... ..A few GEMS according to Doyle STReport International OnLine Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE ON OVER 100,000 PRIVATE BBS SYSTEMS All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International OnLine Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STR OnLine! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" July 12, 1996 Since 1987 Copyrightc1996 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1228
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