ST Report: 31-Jan-97 #1305From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/13/97-10:18:16 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 31-Jan-97 #1305 Date: Thu Feb 13 10:18:16 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) January 31, 1997 No.1305 Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing's FTP Support Server 10gb - Back Issues - Patches - Support Files (Continually Under Construction) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password STReport published with MS Office 97 & Adobe Acrobat Pro v3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STR through Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 01/31/97 STR 1305 The Original Independent OnLine Magazine! - CPU Industry Report - Diablo, GREAT! - Kid's Computing - Truespace 2 Review - Boeing Jumbo Net - Debabelizer Pro - STReport Mailcall - Online Films - Computer in a Cup - Sony PSX Sales Report - People Talking - Classics & Gaming Student Cracks Toughest Code Florida Net Tax BAD Idea INTERNET FOR LIFE 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 provision and distribution of STReport for their members. You may call The STReport Home BBS, The Bounty @ 1- 904-268-4116. Or obtain the latest issue from our WebSite. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Publisher, Staff & Editors STReport Tenth Anniversary 1987-1997 Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 1/25/97: 2 of 6 numbers, no matches >From the Editor's Desk... I've got one of the worst head colds I've had in years so I'll make this short. January is gone and the newer software packages are appearing left and right and are on the way to the stores. We are now using MS Office Pro 97 and the new PhotoShop 4 from Adobe for all our graphic work both in the magazine and on the Website. By the way speaking of the Website, its address is http://www.streport.com and our ftp site is ftp.streport.com both of these addresses are to site that are maintained on a daily basis as a service to our readers. The FTP site has roughly thirty different file areas offering all our back issues and software support for most every situation. Check the sites out and let us know what you think of them. We have tow "new" names this week, first, let me welcome Albert Dayes back! Welcome back Albert! Then on to the Alan Harkelroad.. a serious computerist and consultant, Welcome Aboard Alan! Two great guys join the STReport team! Ralph.. Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB/NewsGroup/FTP Site and although it is 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 AutoMailer 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 Special Events Section R.F. Mariano J. Deegan Lloyd E. Pulley Gaming & Entertainment Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael Arthur John Deegan Brad Martin Michael R. Burkley Paul Guillot Joseph Mirando Doyle Helms John Duckworth Jeff Coe Victor Mariano Melanie Bell Jay Levy Carl Prehn Alan Harkleroad Vincent P. O'Hara Contributing Correspondents Jason Sereno Norman Boucher Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher 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 w/attachment to: Internet firstname.lastname@example.org STR FTP ftp.streport.com WebSite http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson N.Y. Attorney General to Sue AOL New York Attorney General Dennis Vacco plans to file suit against America Online, charging the beleaguered online service with promising consumers unlimited access but delivering endless busy signals. United Press International reports that Vacco says he notified AOL of the impending legal action and gave the service five days to show why he shouldn't proceed with the lawsuit. "The Friday threat follows the filing of class-action suits in several states by AOL subscribers who claim the company failed them when it began offering unlimited Internet access for a flat fee of $19.95 a month," notes UPI. Vacco calls the heavily promoted offer "a hollow pitch" and accuses AOL of using "persistently and repeatedly deceptive business practices." He's seeking refunds for frustrated consumers. AOL, Attorneys General Settle Facing complaints from attorneys general in 36 states, America Online has agreed to give refunds to customers unable to get online, settling accusations it sold a service it couldn't reliably deliver. As noted, January was been a tough month for the Dulles, Virginia, online service, besieged by irate customers complaining of incessant busy signals after the company launched a new monthly plan of unlimited online time for $19.95. "Further straining the company's network," says business writer David E. Kalish of The Associated Press, "was a massive advertising push to expand its membership. ... Several states had threatened to sue America Online unless it promised refunds and stopped promoting the plan." As reported, AOL also was named in a half dozen suits brought by individuals who said the company effectively breached customer contracts. Under the new agreement, those of the company's customers with recent trouble logging on can request a refund of all or part of the $19.95 monthly fee, or a month's free access to the online service. "America Online did not admit any wrongdoing," Kalish reports, "but in an acknowledgement it attracted more customers thanit could handle, it agreed to largely stop advertising its online service in February and add a disclaimer to ads thereafter if people continue to encounter delays logging on." Also, the company agreed to make it easier for people to cancel its service, adding phone operators, more lines for customers to fax in their cancellations and detailed online instructions. AOL CEO Steve Case told the wire service in a phone interview, "We have acknowledged with members we underestimated" the company's ability to handle the online usage. Case declined to estimate the cost of the refund program, but analyst Jamie Kiggen of Cowen & Co. in Boston told AP the refunds should cost the company $10 million to $20 million, an amount more than offset by the company's savings from reduced advertising. Kalish says AOL customers can apply for cash refunds by calling 1-800-827-6364, or instead opt for a free month of service by writing P.O. Box 511, Ogden, Utah, 84402-0511. They can cancel service by writing P.0. Box 1600, Ogden, Utah 84401, or faxing 1-801-622-7969. AOL Sued Over Alleged Child Porn A Florida woman is suing America Online for allegedly allowing a man later convicted as a sex offender to use the service to sell to pedophiles images of his sex acts with her 11-year-old boy and two other youths. Reporting from the West Palm Beach circuit court, Angus MacSwan of the Reuter News Service quotes the suit as contending AOL has created "a home shopping network for pedophiles and child pornographers," arguing the online service is responsible for the content of the material available on its services and failed to enforce its rules and monitor its subscribers. One subscriber, former Palm Beach schoolteacher Ron Russell, who is named in the suit, was convicted of an array of sexual charges. "He says he used public channels to exchange phone numbers, tapes and photographs and to distribute them who knows where," said attorney Brian Smith, representing the woman plaintiff (identified only as "Jane Doe"). "Our claim is that America Online created a marketplace for pedophiles and child pornographers." Reuters says the suit alleges Russell used the service to sell images of sexual acts involving himself, the woman's 11-year-old son and two other boys he had befriended in 1994. Material was advertised on AOL's electronic chat rooms with titles such as 'Trading Teen Pics' and 'Young Boys for You,'" Reuters adds. The suit seeks $8 million in damages, a sum attorney Smith says he and his client chose because AOL reports it adds 8 million subscribers, but "how," Smith adds, "can you put a figure on the humiliation and mental anguish suffered?" Smith acknowledges AOL rules prohibit members from transmitting objectional, obscene or illegal material, but the suit contends the company has failed to police the rules adequately, adding, "AOL service became known to the pedophile community as a place for open discussion, trading and marketing of child pornography ... in essence AOL Inc. has created a home shopping network for pedophiles and child pornographers." The suit says AOL ignored complaints concerning Russell and its chat rooms carried exchanges of addresses and telephone numbers for the sale of pornographic material. Russell was arrested in February 1995 after a federal investigation into a ring of men, several of them teachers, who swapped child pornography by computer. Currently, he is serving a 22-year sentence for attempted sexual battery and a 14-year sentence on child pornography charges. Meanwhile, from AOL's Dulles, Virginia, headquarters, spokesman Andrew Graziani said the service has "no tolerance for this kind of activity" and "the idea that America Online is a safe haven for illegal acts is simply not true. Unfortunately there are some people who will break the law. Illegal acts of this kind are beyond the pale." He said AOL terminated accounts of people who broke its rules and worked closely with law enforcement, adding the service is studying the lawsuit to prepare a response. Senator Renews Encryption Bill A measure that would substantially eliminate export restrictions on computer encoding technology is to be reintroduce next week by Sen. Conrad Burns (R.-Montana). Burns spokesman Matt Raymond has told the Reuter News Service, "We are aiming for the 28th (of January) and it will be the same bill as last year." Reuters notes President Clinton signed an executive order in November slightly relaxing export controls on encryption technology, "but many in Congress and the computer industry have said the new Clinton policy did not go far enough to lift the Cold War era export limits that classified most encryption programs as mnitions." Burns' earlier bill had bipartisan support, but died in the Commerce Committee last year. Raymond told Reuters reporter Aaron Pressman that by since the earlier measure was introduced in the middle of the second year of the 104th Congress, "the calendar and the clock were really working against us. We had a good cross-section of support and we'll start from that baseline this year." He said Burns expected to hold some hearings on the measure in the Communications subcommittee he chairs. Says Pressman, "The Clinton administration has repeatedly stated its opposition to the Burns bill, which it said would relax export limits too much, harming law enforcement and national security efforts around the world." Reuters says that in the House of Representatives, Rep. Bob Goodlatte plans to reintroduce his encryption export bill during the first week of February. Student Cracks Toughest Code It took a California graduate student only 3 1/2 hours to crack the most secure encryption code the United States has allowed to be exported. RSA Data Security Inc. put its challenge on the Internet on Monday, offering $50,000 in prizes to those who cracked various levels of encryption codes with electronic key lengths ranging from 40 to 256 bits. The Associated Press notes the federal government, worried about security, has barred exports of codes higher than 40 bits. Devices with larger numbers of bits are stronger and harder to decode. As reported, the Clinton administration last month began allowing companies to export encryption devices with 56-bit keys -- but only if they have a way for law enforcement officials to crack the code and intercept the communications. Most computer companies have rejected that demand. In response to the RDS challenge, graduate student Ian Goldberg at the University of California-Berkeley linked together 250 idle workstations that allowed him to test 100 billion possible "keys" per hour. "That's like trying every possible combination for a safe at high speed, and many studens and employees of large companies have access to such computational power," AP reports. "In 3 1/2 hours, Goldberg had decoded the message, which read, 'This is why you should use a longer key.'" Goldberg, who won $1,000 with his effort, told the wire service the moral is clear: "This is the final proof of what we've known for years -- 40-bit encryption technology is obsolete." Meanwhile, RSA spokesman Kurt Stammberger commented, "The cryptography software that you are allowed to export is so weak as to be useless," saying the results put software exporters in a quandary. Stammberger notes almost all business software now requires built-in encryption, a necessity for any company doing business over the Internet, but says no one will buy U.S. software that can be cracked by a student in 3 1/2 hours. Adds Stammberger, "You're talking about the U.S. giving up its global dominance in software because of some outdated Cold War spy agencies. People in the industry are pretty angry ... The market is enormous, literally in the hundreds of billions of dollars." Florida Net Tax Not Suggested In Tallahassee, Florida, a state task force is recommending that access to the Internet in that state remained untaxed. Instead, says The Associated Press, "the task force is proposing that the existing hodgepodge of state and local taxes on the telecommunication industry be replaced with a single, unified tax levied on all telephone, cellular and cable television providers -- but not Internet access providers." The wire service notes the 19-member task force was created after business groups objected to a plan announced more than year ago by the state Department of Revenue to begin collecting taxes on Internet access. Following seven months of study, the group says Florida would be perceived as "anti-business" if it became only the sixth state to try to tax access to computer networks. Director Larry Fuchs of the Revenue Department and a task force member told the wire service, "The task force believed that taxing anything to do with the Internet is premature." AP says the exact amount of the unified tax and which industries will be subject to it remains to be decided by the Legislature. Office 97 Anti-Virus Help Offered Symantec Corp. says it will offer anti-virus support for the new file formats that shipped with Microsoft's Office 97 suite. Virus detection support for Office 97 datafile structures and viruses written in the Visual Basic 5.0 macro language will be available to Symantec customers via free definition files. Designed for use with the company's Norton AntiVirus products, the files are scheduled to become available by March 3 on Symantec's CompuServe Forums, Web site and other locations. "Office 97 is a depature from prior datafile structures," says Alex Haddox, product manager for the Symantec AntiVirus Research Center. "Current anti-virus technology does not understand the new file formats and, as a result, cannot detect or remove viruses from files using Office 97 technologies. Our solution includes adapting our NAVEX modular engine technology to provide the latest virus protection for Office 97, across Word, Excel and PowerPoint, along with the standard, free Norton AntiVirus and SAM definition sets, which are available to registered users." According to Symantec, 205 viruses have been documented for Word, while 5 have been found in Excel documents. Feds Study Net Congestion Federal regulators have began exploring ways to ease congestion on the Internet by giving companies incentives to provide more high-speed connections into homes. Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa notes yesterday's gathering was the first Federal Communications Commission hearing on the problem "and," she adds, "comes on the same day another technical glitch temporarily stopped customers of ... America Online, from getting electronic mail. The trouble came as AOL was working on its computers to increase its system's capacity to handle a surge in online usage." Aversa says the FCC hasn't laid out proposals, but used yesterday's hearing to collect information. FCC Chairman Reed Hundt said the goal is to provide "a climate in which we can create the maximum incentives" for companies to provide faster connections. Adds AP, "Faster connections could be achieved in several ways, including making high-speed digital phone lines, called ISDN, available to more residential telephone customers; using a technology that can provide higher speeds over existing copper phone lines into homes; an using coaxial cable with special modems." Aversa points out the issue has pitted Internet providers and computer companies against some of the nation's local Bell telephone companies - notably Pacific Telesis and Bell Atlantic - which contend soarng Internet usage could cause a breakdown in the public telephone network. However, Internet and computer companies say congestion is coming from growth in other communications traffic, not just Internet usage, saying phone companies' claims of a network overload are greatly exaggerated, they say. They also oppose financial compensation, which would likely be passed onto customers in the form of higher bills. FCC officials says that beyond upgrading local phone networks, faster connections can also be achieved with changes to the networks of Internet service providers and to "server" computers from which people get information, for instance. "Right now," notes Aversa, "most home computer users access the Internet with modems that move data at 28.8 thousand bits per second. In some markets, people can buy higher speed digital lines from local phone companies and even faster connections from a few cable companies." Web Ad Revenue Soars World Wide Web advertising revenue reached $171.5 million in 1996, up 170 percent from $63.5 million in 1995, according to figures compiled by Cowles/Simba Information. The Stamford, Connecticut, market research firm notes that the industry was fueled by tremendous growth in the final fiscal quarter, led by search engines Yahoo!, Infoseek and Excite. Web advertising totaled $77.0 million in fourth quarter, up 86.9 percent from $41.2 million in the third quarter. "Toward the end of the year, many advertisers that had debated whether or not advertising on the Web was worthwhile finally decided to take the plunge -- particularly consumer advertisers,"says Matt Kinsman, a Cowles/Simba associate editor. "Early adopters like AT&T and Microsoft continued to build their Web budgets, and now dominate the ad banner market." Yahoo! led all Web sites in advertising revenue throughout the year, finds Cowles/Simba. The company finished 1996 with $19 million in ad revenue. Search engines rounded out the top advertisers for the year, with Infoseek generating an estimated $14.1 million in ad revenue, while Excite posted a year-end total of $13.5 million. Cowles/Simba Information's Web site is located at www.simbanet.com. Magaziner Boosts Net Commerce Senior Clinton advisor Ira Magaziner says that if it does not become over-regulated, electronic commerce over the Internet could become the world's largest trade category within the next decade. In a keynote speech to an Internet Tax Policy Conference in Santa Clara, California, yesterday, the senior White House advisor for policy development said the Internet must remain a free market for electronic commerce to take off. Writing for the the Reuter News Service, reporter Sauel Perry quotes Magaziner as saying, "If we get the right kind of environment in place, we can accelerate this growth so that in a five- to 10-year time frame, trade across the Internet will actually be more than any other category of trade. If we do it wrong, we could spend 30 to 40 years trying to undo bad policy." As reported, the Clinton administration last month proposed a global electronic commerce framework and put forth a draft policy which proposes making cyberspace a duty-free zone, with no new taxes and minimal governmental regulation. "One of the reasons we wanted to move quickly is we wanted to preempt what we saw as bad policy already being thought about," said Magaziner, adding he knows of a dozen countries contemplating slapping duties on the Internet. He said the White House wanted to be "completely open" in its developing its initiative. If you want to see the White House draft document, visit the White House home page on the World Wide Web (http://whitehouse.gov), where the administration is collecting responses and hopes to issue a final version of the policy paper in March. Magaziner told the group that intellectual property protection was a key issue, along with fair use, liability and privacy, and he said the overnment's policy towards encryption, which has been sharply criticized here in Silicon Valley, is still evolving. Of the White House position, he said, "We want to preserve the Internet in its somewhat anarchic form... The economic potential is tremendous, and what we in government must do is make sure we don't mess it up or interfere." E-Sales Near $1 Billion Spurred by growing numbers of Net surfers, electronic sales of tangible goods totaled $993.4 million in 1996, a 61.8 percent increase over $613.9 million in 1995, according to research from Cowles/Simba Information. Internet-based sales represented 73.8 percent -- or $733.1 million -- of all electronic sales in 1996. That figure is projected to grow to $4.27 billion in 2000, accounting for 85 percent of all elecronic sales. Cowles/Simba predicts that overall electronic sales -- including those generated through the Internet, commercial online services, CD ROM catalogs, interactive television, kiosks and screen phones -- will reach $5.03 billion by 2000, reflecting annual growth rates of about 50 percent during the next three years. At $569.3 million in 1996, electronic sales of business-to-business products, including telecommunications hardware and office supplies, led all product categories. The category is expected to grow to $2.2 billion in 2000. "Despite these healthy growth rates, sales in the electronic marketplace have grown more slowly than expected for several reasons," says Karen Burka, editorial director of Cowles/Simba's electronic marketing and online group. "Existing electronic marketplaces -- particularly those in the consumer market -- have not demonstrated clear advantages over more traditional sales channels. Therefore, many potential buyers have not felt the need to change their shopping habits." Visit Cowles/Simba Information on the Web at www.simbanet.com. Computer Publishing Market Grows In 1996, for the second year in a row, the rapid rise in popularity of the Internet and an overall increase in the demand for high-tech information were the primary factors influencing growth in the U.S. market for computer publications, finds Cowles/Simba Information. The Stamford, Connecticut, market researcher reports that the U.S. computer publishing market, including magazines, books and online/electronic-based publications, newsletters, journals and looseleafs, grew 11.1 percent to an estimated $2.69 billion last year. Cowles/Simba predicts the computer publishing market will grow another 9.7 percent to $2.95 billion in 1997, with the magazine and book segments continuing to dominate the industry. Computer magazines, which represent the largest segment of the industry with a 57.4 percent market share, are projected to grow revenues 7.4 percent to $1.66 billion this year, notes Cowles/Simba. Meanwhile, computer book revenues are expected to grow 10.6 percent to an estimated $863 million. With public interest in the Internet at a fever pitch, growth in revenues from the online/electronic-based segment of the market continued to outpace all other market segments in 1996, up 47.4 percent to an estimated $140 million, says Cowles/Simba. The electronic segment of the computer publishing market, which includes dollars generated via Web sites and CD-ROM products created by computer publishers, is forecast to grow another 42.9 percent to $200 million in 1997, as the industry works toward creating advertising standards and an increasing number of online computer publications submit to third-party site audits. Computer books represented the second fastest-growing market segment in 1996, with estimated revenues up 15 percent. "The computer book industry has come of age. A category that was once relegated to a shelf or two in leading bookstores has now become one of the trade book industry's primary drivers of growth," says Peter Breen, a Cowles/Simba editor. "As for the impact of the Internet on the computer book market, most publishers are still using their own sites primarily as promotional tools, but online bookstores such as Amazon.com regularly rank among the top retail sites on the Web, indicating the growth potential of a major new channel of distribution." The market for computer magazines grew more than 8 percent in 1996, according to the researcher. "The development and growth of the computer magazine market has closely mirrored the development and growth of the computer industry itself," says Linda Kopp, a Cowles/Simba senior managing editor. "The continuous evolution of the computer -- first into an indispensable business tool, now into a must-have luxury item for consumers -- has consistently broadened the market and offered countless opportunities for magazine publishers to enter into new areas," says Kopp. "The home computer craze and the public's infatuation with the Internet over the past two years are prime examples of just such opportunities." Visit the Cowles/Simba Information Web site at www.simbanet.com. PC Shipments Up 18 Percent Dataquest Inc. analysts say worldwide PC shipments climbed 18 percent in 1996, to 70.9 million units, with Compaq Computer Corp., IBM and Dell Computer Corp. showing the biggest gains. Writing from San Francisco for the Reuter News Service, reporter Kourosh Karimkhany notes struggling Apple Computer Inc. suffered the biggest worldwide decline in shipments, seeing its market share decline further. And, says Karimkhany, "While the PC industry had robust growth, the increase in unit shipments was less than that in 1995 because of declining gowth in the consumer market." Also, companies that specialize in selling PCs to home users, such as NEC Corp.'s Packard Bell NEC Inc. and Apple, suffered amid a lack of exciting new products to draw customers to PC stores, Dataquest said. Some specifics from Dataquest: z Compaq retained its position as the No. 1 PC vendor in the world for three years in a row, with 7.1 million units shipped in 1996, an increase of 19 percent from 1995. It widened its market share to 10.1 percent from 10 percent. z IBM had a strong year as its worldwide PC shipments jumped 28 percent to 6.1 million. Big Blue also increased its market share to 8.6 percent in 1996 from 7.9 percent the previous year. z Hewlett-Packard Co. showed the largest growth among the top five vendors worldwide as unit shipment surged 52 percent to 2.9 million. z In the United States, Dell showed the biggest shipment increase with a 71 percent gain to 1.8 million. z Worldwide, Apple had the biggest decline in shipments as consumers avoided buying the beleaguered company's Performa line of Macintosh computers. Worldwide shipments plunged 22 percent to 3.7 million. Apple's market share in 1996 declined to 5.2 percent from 1995's 7.9 percent. Scott Miller, senior PC analyst at Dataquest, told the wire service, "Our ongoing consumer research in the U.S. shows increased interest in PC ownership." Whether that means consumer sales will rise again this year is unclear, he said, but "the fundamentals are in place for a strong home market in 1997." Clinton Seeks School Net Funds President Clinton says he will ask Congress for some $500 million to spur education technology and link schools to the Internet. At a press conference yesterday, the president said the Net proposal is included in a Clinton administration education budget proposal. Reporting for The Associated Press, education writer Robert Greene says the education budget proposal also would increase funding by 26 percent, to $620 million next year, for Goals 2000, a program to help school districts raise educational standards. "The proposal calls for spending $500 million next year, up from $257 million in fiscal year 1997, to help schools acquire technology, such as hookups with the Internet," Greene added. Wang to Sell Software Business Eastman Kodak Co. and Wang Laboratories Inc. say they have reached an agreement for Kodak to acquire Wang's software business unit for $260 million in cash. The companies say the deal will allow Wang to focus on its network and desktop integration and services business while strengthening Kodak's position in the growing imaging and work management software market. The companies say the new software business will operate as a separate Kodak subsidiary, as part of Kodak's business imaging systems organization. Robert K. Weiler, currently president of Wang Software, would become president of the new entity. The 700 employees of Wang Software would become part of the new organization, with headquarters remaining at its current location in Billerica, Massachusetts. "This contemplated transaction represents an important strategic fit with Kodak's overall imaging businesses," says George M.C. Fisher, Kodak's CEO. "Imaging storage and retrieval ... is important for imaging applications across all Kodak businesses and we believe this would help our customers more effectively integrate imaging into their mainstream businesses." "We believe this transaction will create several winning outcomes," said Joseph M. Tucci, Wang's chairman and CE. "Our shareholders benefit from the value that Bob Weiler and his team have built for Wang. In addition, our shareholders can count on us to continue building shareholder value by focusing substantial resources on opportunities in the rapidly growing market for networking and desktop integration and services. Wang customers will realize significant benefits from our focus and commitment to high quality services through a global service delivery organization." The acquisition is expected to close within 45 to 60 days. McAfee to Acquire Jade KK McAfee Inc., a leading vendor of network security and management software, says it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Jade KK, a leading anti-virus software vendor with offices in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, in a $17 million stock swap deal. The acquisition of Jade is the Santa Clara, California, company's latest move to expand its presence in the Japanese information technology market. Last month, McAfee opened its first Japanese office and hired Masahiro Kano, a veteran of Softbank, Novell and WordPerfect, as president of McAfee Japan. McAfee says its acquisition of Jade establishes it as one of Japan's leading vendors of anti-virus software. Jade, which produces the Scan Vaccine and Virus Rescue products, has the leading market share in the Japanese government market. McAfee expects the deal to be completed in March. Jade management, including Seiji Murakami, the firm's founder, president and chairman, will stay with the organization as McAfee employees. Apple Eyes Intel, Microsoft Ties Word is Apple Computer Inc. is considering closer ties with chipmaker Intel Corp. and software giant Microsoft Corp. Observers have told The New York Times the computer maker may make making a line of machines that run on Intel microprocessors. (Right now, Apple computers run on microprocessors made by Motorola Inc.) Also, says the Times, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates visited Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, earlier this month. the Reuter News Service eports, "The hour-long session was attended by Gates; Apple Chairman Gilbert Amelio; Steven Jobs, Apple's co-founder and head of NeXT Software Corp,., recently bought by Apple; and Ellen Hancock, Apple's chief technology officer." Quoting people familiar with the meeting, the Times said one item was a discussion of the possibility of Apple's licensing Windows NT, Microsoft's industrial-strength operating system for the corporate market. Amelio told the Times that within two or three years, "I would like to have the most compatible personal computer in the industry, able to run more software than anyone -- period," adding, "We're not in a world by ourselves. We have to be able to support the commodity technology standard." TrueSpace STR Review "TrueSpace 2 and BEYOND!" By Allen Harkleroad TrueSpace... To me that word conjures a vision of surrealistic worlds where anything imaginable is possible. Being as a young person deeply enthralled by science fiction I was never happy at the simple two- dimensional illustrations in the books I read. With the age of computers, three dimensions and photo realistic images are as everyday as paper towels. My fascination with 3D led me to a program from Caligari called Truespace 2. Imagine if you would instant photo-realistic render at lightening speeds. First things first. The interface is very different from what one would expect from a Windows program. The user interface and menus are very user friendly and a quite visually oriented. Truespace also uses a help toolbar much akin to Windows95's ToolTips. Another words whatever task you are doing the help line displays the description, or use of that particular tool or task. The tools are interactive and clustered very well. I particularly like the dynapick tool, which allows you to move an object or shape by continuing to hold the mouse button. You don't have to change from the tool you have active. Caligari TrueSpace 2 uses the Intel 3D rendering software engine (Intel 3DR), which affords photo-realistic renderings and a fast rendering time. The lighting special effects are quite spectacular. When editing an object you can actually change color / texture of each individual surface of the object. I know of no other 3D program that allows this so easily, just simply change the paint tool! You can view the scene that you are working on in many various aspects. It even has a preview window so that you can experiment with the scene without actually making the change permanent. All dragging, moving, or deformation of an object(s) is performed in real time, very fluid and smooth. Animation is also a great feature of TrueSpace. The program even performs key frame animation where you pick the start of the animation and the change or move the object and the program fills in the entire frames in between the beginning and end. This is a great time saving feature for any animation program. Caligari has many other fine programs including a Virtual Reality Modeling Language program (VRML). More information on Caligari and their other fine products can be found at www.caligari.com A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! Send for the free sample now. (For a sample that's suitable for framing, see below) Guaranteed. you will be amazed at the superb quality. (Please.. allow at least a two week turn- around). If you would like a sample printout that's suitable for framing. Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing. Order this package. It'll be on special stock and be of superb quality. We obtained a mint copy of a 1927 COLOR ENGRAVER'S YEAR BOOK. Our Scanner is doing "double duty"! The results will absolutely blow you away. If you want this high quality sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95 (Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano. Be sure to include your full return address and telephone number . The sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope. Don't hesitate.. you will not be disappointed. This "stuff" is gorgeous! A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N Shareware Treasure Chest STR Feature "The Latest & Greatest" Shareware Treasure Chest By Lloyd E. Pulley email@example.com An update about Lloyd. He's doing great and will soon be "back in the saddle". Debabelizer STR Product Preview DeBabelizer PRO v4.0 for Windows 95/NT 4.x By Albert Dayes What does Tempest, DeBabelizer and Missile Command have in common? Dave Theurer (pronounced "TOY-rer"). In 1980 Atari exploded on the arcade scene with a new coin-op called Missile Command and in 1981 another hit coin-op called Tempest. Both were extremely popular in both the arcade and in their home video game system recreations. Debabelizer first appeared on the Apple Macintosh and has become a very popular software title for anyone involved in the manipulation of graphic images. One thing you will notice about all of Dave Theurer's work is his attention to detail and Debabelizer is no exception. Debabelizer is a powerful graphics program which was exclusively on the Macintosh until recently. During the last few months of 1996 Equilibrium began demonstrating the new version of Debabelizer for Windows 95 / NT v4.x. This was welcome news to Windows users who always wanted a Debabelizer type product on their platform. Debabelizer PRO v4.x was shipped in late December 1996 with the first service pack released in early January 1997. The software comes on a single CD-ROM and straight forward installation procedure. Be sure to install the video software QuickTime and Indeor Video Interactive software so you can work with AVI movie files. There is no support in current version for generating or editing QuickTime movies but it will be forthcoming in a future upgrade. GRAPHIC FILE SUPPORT INCLUDES SOME ATARI FORMATS For those coming from the Atari ST platform will be glad to know that several Atari graphic file formats are supported including Degas, Neo- chrome and Spectrum. The Spectrum pictures in particular are very impressive on the PC when imported using Debabelizer PRO. Currently the program can import and export most of the import file formats that users who manipulate graphics will be happy with the overall support. Over 90 image, animation and digital video formats are currently supported. METHODS TO MANIPULATE GRAPHICS One of the best features about Debabelizer PRO is the ability to create script files to automate all your work. Every change that you make to a particular image displayed on the screen creates a log file. This log file contains a list of all operations performed on this image. These commands (operations) can be saved into a script file and used later on another image. You can create a batch list (a list of all images) and run the script against each image in the list and save a considerable amount of time. Basic image editing tools are available in Debabelizer PRO but there are other programs on the market that provide much more extensive for graphic image editing. There is a section in the preferences section to link in your favorite image editor. In my case I used the Paint Shop Pro 4.1 as my image editor of choice. Just click on the icon or the option under the TOOLS menu and your favorite image editor instantly appears. Everyone who uses Windows 95 or NT v4.x is very familiar with Windows Explorer for file manipulation. To create an list of files for the batch list one can use the Debabelizer PRO file open command or use Explorer. If you use Explorer you can drag the list of selected files into the empty batch list window to create your new batch list. In addition when you use the file open command you can choose to have the image, or movie file (.AVI) added directly to your list of files in your batch list in addition to displaying it on the screen. INTERNET AND WORLD WIDE WEB SUPPORT When viewing graphics on the world wide web you may have run into problems with different graphic palettes used by the different pictures that can cause strange graphical effects. Viewing these sites on the Internet violate the senses and generally most people want to avoid such sites. Debabelizer PRO has a solution called the SuperPalette. Basically it takes all of your graphic images and calculates a single palette that best supports all your images. After the SuperPalette is created all of your images can be remapped to the SuperPalette automatically using a script file. The second problem is all the plethora of HTML files and finding all of the references to graphic images. Debabelizer PRO has a feature that scans an HTML file and finds all of the graphic references for you automatically. After you create a batch list with all of your HTML files then Debabelizer PRO will scan each file and list all graphics under each HTML file. It appears on the screen as if the HTML file is a directory and the graphic images are in a sub-directory. The next step one creates a SuperPalette and remap all of the graphic images. Finally saving the image files back to disk and you have updated all your images without manipulating each graphic image by hand. The best part is not having to search your HTML files for each reference to a graphic image. WINDOWS Help File Creation Creating Microsoft Windows Help files can have similar problems with different palettes using images displayed on the screen. You can create SuperPalettes for your image files used in Windows Help to eliminate this problem. The alternative is add-on dlls for Windows Help v3.x (Windows 3.x) and v4.x (Windows 95 / NT 4.x) like Herd Software's ThinHelp which will change the palette on the fly for each image so this different palettes are no longer a problem. ThinHelp can produce an amazing list of effects for Help files and if you work with Windows Help files it is a product you should seriously consider. A demo and shareware version can be downloaded from the (GO HYPERTEXT) forum or from the Herd Software web site at http://www.herdsoft.com SuperPalettes and ActionArrow One can create SuperPalettes at any time and save each SuperPalette to disk as an individual file. This allows you to keep a separate palettes for each project you do, consequently it is very easy for experimentation with different palettes as well. There are a few, about 22 predefined palettes that come standard with Debabelizer PRO including a Netscape palette (useful for those working with images for the world wide web). One of the problems with other graphics programs is applying the exact same process you have performed on one graphic image to another. First imagine looking at any Windows 95 or NT 4 application. At the top right corner are three familiar buttons, close, resize, and minimize. To the left of those buttons is a new button called ActionArrow. Just think, you now have created the ultimate SuperPalette and you have just constructed a new batch list of all your images for a new web site. What can you do? Simply click on the ActionArrow on the SuperPalette window and drag and drop it into the batch list. Instantly Debabelizer PRO starts updating the SuperPalette based on the content of the images in the batch list. Additionally the operation can be performed by dragging the ActionArrow from batch list to the SuperPalette window. This is a feature I wish more companies would incorporate into their own products. IS BIG BROTHER WATCHING ME? Everything you do is being monitored and recorded without your knowledge. After an image file is opened every operation you perform on the image is recorded in a log file. This is similar to having real time version control for image processing. During the creation process it is common to make a perfect picture and then need to duplicate the same effect. With DeBabelizer PRO it becomes a simple operation by clicking on the log button (in the lower left corner of the image window) providing a list of all operations performed on the image. By copying all of the operations from the log file to a script file you can perform the same operations on a single image or a batch list. WatchMe allows the user to control the recording process. First you open a new script file and then click on the record button or menu option. All operations you perform are then saved into the script file. Clicking on the record button or the stop recording menu option, stops the recording process. Like any script you can apply it against any image or batch list. PROGRAMMER'S PRIVELEDGE - SCRIPT FILES For programmers UNIX and UNIX shells are popular because of the ability to write shell scripts to automate repetitive tasks. For graphics Debabelizer PRO has a large number of operations that can be performed on images or a batch list by using script files. More importantly you do not have to be a programmer to create useful scripts very quickly. In addition to the methods of creating script files discussed previously, you can build the script entirely by hand. Basically it a point and click operation. Almost every single command in the menu bar is available for use within a script file. You are not limited to a just menu options but can include your own comments within the script file as well. The diagnostic commands are included for determining the amount of free memory (ram), current date & time or disk space (using a particular drive letter). This is especially helpful running scripts against a large number of images in a batch list. If you are running a script against a single image you can examine the log file for that particular image to check the results of those diagnostic options. My experience with data and time comment appeared to be wrong until I realized the program was using GMT as the current time and not my current local time in California (GMT-8.0). Equilibrium is aware of this problem and is working on corrective measures. Scripts may also be used to process images before saving them to disk. I call this pre-exit processing and it has many uses which I will explain in more detail in the movie section, vida infra. MOVIE CREATION AND ALTERATION With Debabelizer PRO there are two ways to create movies you may alter an existing movie (.AVI file) or create one using MIF(Multiple Image Files). Using MIFs you can create a simple slide show or powerful video presentation in the form of an movie. First you take all of the images you want to use in the movie and place them into a batch list. Run the create movie option and you now have an AVI movie. Save to disk and you are done. To modify an existing movie (.AVI file), it must be broken into individual frames. Using the save as batch list function will break up the entire movie into individual frames(or images) automatically. You are not restricted to exporting all of the frames but you can export a subset of all the frames available. Using the green and red makers on the movie dialog play bar will determine which frames will be exported. One nice feature about the movie dialog box is that it displays the current frame being displayed in a separate square. After selecting the select number of frames it was very easy to export just frames 26 to 35 for example to a batch list. Each frame is treated as a single image and can be altered using Debabelizer PRO or other image manipulating programs such as Paint Shop Pro. After the frames (a single frame, just a few or the entire list of frames) are processed a new AVI can be created from the batch list with the "create a movie" option. Example, I downloaded from Microsoft's SoftImage web site a demo AVI file created using SoftImage. The movie which is of a missile being launched is around 1.5 megabytes in size. The first thing I did was to save a batch list and then attempt to reassemble the images back into a movie. The first frame was accepted but all following frames were rejected and so the movie was a paltry 1 frame in length. The solution from the manual is as follows
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