ST Report: 2-May-97 #1318

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 05/11/97-09:21:14 AM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 2-May-97 #1318
Date: Sun May 11 09:21:14 1997

                           Silicon Times Report
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    May 02, 1997                                                No.1318

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Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35
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>From the Editor's Desk...

     The summer is a faint reality on the horizon, so we are or, at least
should be right on top of Spring Comdex.  Too true.  This year, the show
will emphasize MMX technology with a generous sprinkling of Pentium Plus
information.  There has been a great deal of "noise" made about
motherboards that must be specially made to accommodate the Pentium MMX
chip. this is a bunch of hogwash.  If your motherboard can handle split
voltages ie., 3.3 - 2.8 vdc to the CPU, then your mother board can handle
the MMX chip.  Does the setup look familiar?  Sure does.. How about the
Cyrix Chip that needs the split voltages??  How about that those
motherboards will work with the MMX chip too.  All you look for is the
voltage regulator setup on the motherboard.

     I am talking about this because a few folks have called asking about
the problems they've encountered and the weird explanations they've gotten
from their local gurus.  Its sad to find there are "knowledgeable" folks
out there trying to talk their way around through and over the MMX thing..
while clearly showing they haven't a clue.  If they'd spend the same amount
of energy learning about the MMX and its requirements there would be no

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                          STReport Headline News

                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                      Poll: 70% Want Junk E-Mail Regs

For all the talk of free speech online, a new survey finds that nearly 70
percent of its respondents say they want junk e-mail regulated.  In a
statement from San Jose, California, officials with  online market research
specialist World Research say they polled more than 1,000 Internet users
and found not only did seven out of 10 want unsolicited electronic mail
regulated, but also:

z    43 percent of the respondents said they hate junk e-mail.
z    And 25 percent characterized it as at least "bothersome."

World Research President Michael Bach commented in the statement, "These
results send a clear message to companies using the Internet. Those
companies who send out junk e-mail promotion might be making enemies
instead of customers."

The survey also found:

z    When asked if their junk e-mail was useful, again almost 70 percent of
  the respondents said that junk e-mail was not useful at all.
z    More than 66 percent of the respondents reported receiving "some" to
  "tons" of junk e-mail with only 12 percent saying they have received none.

Says the statement, "With e-mail accounts already overloaded, Internet
users' feelings about junk e-mail could become even more negative in the
future. Since organizations such as the Blue Ribbon Campaign are fighting
against Internet censorship, Internet users may have a tough time getting
regulations passed to stop junk e-mail."

                      Postal Service Considers E-Mail

The U.S. Postal Service is working on a system to allow computer users to
send electronic mail that's just as official as snail mail.  The Postal
Service's Internet website ( explains a plan to allow
people to buy official time and date postmarks so they could send certified
and registered letters by e-mail  United Press International quotes postal
officials as saying they are working with Cylink Corp. of Sunnyvale,
California, to develop the official postmark system.

Adds UPI, "Cylink will also create a Certificate Authority so people can
prove they're who they say they are when sending official documents over
the Internet or other network systems. This would be especially useful for
commercial transactions, such as accepting a mortgage through cyberspace."
Those involved told the wire service official e-mail would have to be sent
through a secure system, which could also archive the letter for future
reference. That's important to show that a document existed at a specific
point in time, and had not been changed since it was sent.

Besides Cylink, the postal service also is working on the new technology
with Aegis Star Corp. of Palo Alto, California, UPI says.  As reported
earlier, the postal service also is talking with at least two companies
that want to make it possible for you to log into a Web site, buy postage
and then have any laser printer run it out on envelopes along with an

                       CompuServe, Time Settle Suit

An amicable resolution has been reached between CompuServe and Time
Magazine in a suit concerning CompuServe's early termination of an original
two-year contract. They say they also have reached a financial compromise
resulting from the settlement.  Reporting from CompuServe's Columbus, Ohio,
headquarters, the Reuter News Service says the terms call for Time Magazine
content to be restored on the system.  Also, Time's online area will
include an online version of the current edition of the magazine and
features and stories from Time Daily and Time Digital, two other products
of the publication.

 Time will continue to manage the Time Forum areas on the system, they
said.  "We are pleased that we have reached a mutually satisfactory
agreement that allows us to further our valued relationship with Time,"
says Denny Matteucci, CompuServe's president of interactive services.  And
Time Vice President Ken Godshall commented, "Time is happy to continue its
relationship with CompuServe and our readers on CompuServe."

                        Microsoft Accused of Piracy

Usually, it's Microsoft Corp. that is crying "piracy" in courtrooms around
the world. However, this time the Redmond, Wash., software giant is the one
being accused of electronic piracy in a suit that could impact much of the
Internet.  The complaint is being brought by Ticketmaster Corp., which
alleges Microsoft's new venture into local content on its new Seattle
Sidewalk Web site on the Internet illegally uses the Ticketmaster name and
trademark, mainly by providing links to Ticketmaster's own Web site.

Writing for the Reuter News Service, reporter Martin Wolk says the suit,
filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, seeks a federal court order
barring Microsoft from using the Ticketmaster name on the Seattle Sidewalk
site as well as unspecified damages and fees.  In its suit, Ticketmaster
says, "By accessing Ticketmaster's live event information and services
without Ticketmaster's approval, and by prominently offering it as a
service to their users, Microsoft is feathering its own nest at
Ticketmaster's expense. It is, in effect, committing electronic piracy."

Wolk says the suit was filed after the two companies broke off negotiations
and Ticketmaster instead forged a deal with Microsoft rival CitySearch to
provide online ticketing access and information about live events.
Obviously, the suit is raising eyebrows. "This is why they call it the Web
-- its a web of links all over the world," said general manager Frank
Schott of Microsoft Sidewalk. "This lawsuit is actually an attack on the
Web itself."

The ticketing agency also alleges:

z    Microsoft has published "erroneous and misleading" information about
  the type of payment the ticketing agency accepts.
z    Microsoft's use of the Ticketmaster name dilutes the commercial value
  of its own site and marketing relationships.

On this, Schott says, "It's hard for me to see how sending customers their
way can be bad for them," adding Ticketmaster is the exclusive ticketing
agency for many of the events listed by Seattle Sidewalk.  Seattle Sidewalk
was launched this month as Microsoft's first local guide to arts and
entertainment, with reviews and listings of restaurants, movies, events and
activities. The firm plans similar services in 10 to 15 more cities this
year as part of an international rollout, betting it can win a share of
advertising revenue being generated in the hotly competitive emerging

Says Wolk, "Listings of many events include information about Ticketmaster,
such as its telephone number and hours, as well as links that take users
directly to Ticketmaster's own Internet site. Ironically, Ticketmaster is
mostly owned by Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft who still owns a 9
percent stake in the software company."

                         Xerox Sues U.S. Robotics

Xerox Corp. has filed suit against U.S. Robotics Corp., claiming patent
infringement by the firm's Pilot handheld computer and separately-sold
"Graffiti" software. The suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in
Rochester, New York.  The Xerox patent covers a handwriting recognition
technology, known as Unistrokes, which Xerox says was invented at its Xerox
Palo Alto Research Center in 1993.

According to Xerox, a vice president at Palm Computing, now a subsidiary of
U.S. Robotics, had approached Xerox for information about licensing
Unistrokes after reading an article about the technology. Although he was
told that Xerox had a patent pending on Unistrokes, U.S. Robotics adopted
it without obtaining a license, says Xerox.  Xerox says the infringement
was "willful and deliberate," and the firm is seeking treble damages and an

                      Feds Proposed Internet Bomb Law

A law to punish anyone convicted of distributing detailed bomb-making
instructions to someone intent on criminal acts is being proposed by the
U.S. Justice Department.  "Anyone interested in manufacturing a bomb,
dangerous weapons or weapon of mass destruction can easily obtain detailed
instructions," the Justice Department has told Congress in a statement, not
only in "publications from the so-called underground press but also manuals
written for legitimate purposes, such as military, agricultural, industrial
and engineering purposes.

Such information is also readily available to anyone with access to a home
computer equipped with a modem."  Associated Press writer Michael J.
Sniffen notes the Antiterrorism Act of 1996 required the department to
study the availability of bomb-making information and report back to
Congress in a public statement.  That report, released late yesterday,
found "at least 50 publications substantially devoted to such information"
available to the public in the Library of Congress. The FBI has copies of
48 different "underground publications" on bomb-making.  In addition, the
Justice study group said it found one site on the Internet's World Wide Web
that allowed computer access to more than "110 different bomb-making

The report said it is impossible to predict how much future criminals will
rely on this data, but noted that bombing incidents nearly quadrupled
between 1984 and 1994, adding the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms believe such instructions "will continue to play a significant
role in aiding those intent upon ... terrorism and violence."  Sniffen
reports, "The department said a gap in federal law could be closed, without
impinging on First Amendment rights to free speech, by enacting a law
making it a crime to teach bomb-making or distribute bomb-making
instructions with intent to further a federal crime or to knowingly give
such information to someone who intends to commit a federal crime."

                    Swedish Teen Fined for Phone Attack

In Gothenburg, Sweden, the equivalent of $350 fine has been levied against
a Swedish teen-ager found guilty of paralyzing U.S. telephone switchboards
for months, prompting a global hunt by the FBI.  Not named in court, the
19- year-old -- known in the computing underground as "Demon Freaker" --
allegedly jammed Florida switchboards last year by linking them to sex
lines.  The Reuter News Service reports, "He had cracked the codes of a
company that enables Americans to call home from abroad, allowing him to
call anywhere in the United States free. Working from his bedroom at night
in this western Swedish city, he made around 60,000 calls, ringing up
$250,000 of phone bills at the U.S. company's cost."

Reuters quotes court documents as saying the teen managed to transfer the
telefax number of the adult magazine Hustler to his own line so that he
received orders for the magazine and for sexual paraphernalia. As reported
earlier, the FBI picked up the boy's trail in February 1996 when he called
a U.S. emergency number with what sounded like a real case. The operator
kept him on the line and investigators soon established he was calling from
the west coast of Sweden.  The FBI contacted Sweden's computer crime unit,
which soon closed in on the youth, "who was the only Gothenburg citizen
making so many U.S. calls at the time the switchboards were being
disrupted," Reuters says. "Police who raided his home found a single
computer and 117 floppy disks."

As noted earlier, under Swedish law, the boy could be charged only with
abuse of telephone emergency services. He did not enter a plea. Gothenburg
state prosecutor Gunnel Skeppholm told the wire service, "The crime of
sabotage is limited to Swedish territory so I couldn't bring those charges
even if I wanted to," adding sabotage carries a heavier sentence.

                      Online Services Settle with FTC

America Online, CompuServe and Prodigy Services have settled a government
charge that supposed "free trial" offers often resulted in unexpected
charges to consumers.  The Reuter News Service reports that the Federal
Trade Commission voted 5-0 to accept an agreement with the online services.
The deal will require the companies get written authorization from
consumers before the companies can tap their checking accounts

No fines were levied against the three services, but AOL must prepare a
consumer education program about the use of electronic payment systems.  It
will be distributed through the web and  in 50,000 color brochures.  "When
you sign up at a record club they tell you you have to cancel," David
Medine, who heads the credit division of the FTC, told Reuters. "When you
signed up for your free trial membership (for the on-line services) they
didn't tell you you had to cancel."

Another problem, according to Reuters, was that consumers would be
surprised by automatic debits of their checking accounts for unanticipated
amounts of money. The companies will now have to get proper authorization
to debit checking accounts. "The firms will have to provide a 10-day
advance notice of differing debits to checking accounts.If you have a flat
fee of $19.95 every month you won't get notice, but if you run up higher or
lower charges you will get notice," Medine said.

                       Ellison Putting Off Apple Bid

Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison now says he is putting off -- for now
-- a bid to take over financially troubled computer maker Apple Computer
Inc.  In a statement from Atherton, California, Ellison said that at least
for the time being, he has decided "not to pursue any transaction involving
Apple Computer Inc. or to otherwise seek control of that firm."  He said he
has not purchased any Apple stock and is not engaged in any discussions
with Apple, Apple shareholders or potential investors  concerning any
transaction involving Apple.

He said he remains interested in developments at Apple and that he may well
purchase stock for investment purposes or otherwise, or revisit in the
future his decision regarding an acquisition or control of that firm.  As
reported earlier, the software tycoon has been prominently mentioned as a
potential buyer of Apple, which has suffered steep losses this past year
amid declining sales of its Macintosh computers.  As noted, Ellison said
earlier he was forming an investor group independent of Redwood City,
California-based Oracle, the second-largest independent software company
behind Microsoft Corp. He later said he saw Apple as a maker of network
computers, simplified PCs that he strongly advocates.

The Associated Press notes the bid Ellison contemplated offering would have
given current shareholders 60 percent in cash and 40 percent stock in
Apple, provided they agreed to sell at the stock's current price.  "Still,"
the wire service adds, "his plans had met with derision from industry
analysts and other critics. Among other things, they contended his
expertise in making database software for corporations wasn't an ideal fit
with Apple's machines for creative professionals. One of his main critics
was Apple chairman Gil Amelio, who would lose his job if Ellison succeeded
in gaining control. The Oracle chairman had said Apple needs new management
and leadership if it is to survive."  AP says takeover speculation also has
centered on Sun Microsystems Inc., and a billionaire Saudi Arabian prince
who recently has accumulated about a 5 percent stake in Apple.

                     Feds OK Bell Atlantic-Nynex Deal

Bell Atlantic's proposed acquisition of Nynex will not be challenged by the
U.S. Justice Department, which says it is concluding that the $22 billion
merger does not violate federal laws. Now the deal needs the Federal
Communications Commission's OK.  As reported earlier, the deal would create
a telecommunications behemoth providing local, long distance and cellular
phone service for 40 million customers in a dozen states. Its local service
areas include the New York, Boston and Washington markets.

United Press International reports the Justice Department antitrust
division's one-paragraph announcement says the decision was made "after
thorough investigation and analysis," adding it "has decided it will not
challenge the transaction, having concluded that the merger does not
violate the antitrust laws."  Bell Atlantic Chairman/CEO Ray Smith said the
merger will "help realize the promise of the 1996 Telecom Act." That law
removed many regulatory restrictions on the Bell phone companies and opened
both local and long distance phone markets to new competition.  Nynex, Bell
Atlantic, PacTel, SBC and three other Baby Bells -- Ameritech, US West and
BellSouth -- were spun off from AT&T in the landmark, court-ordered breakup
in 1984.

                      Egghead to Buy Surplus Software

Egghead Inc. says it will acquire Surplus Software Inc. for $31.5 million.
The Spokane, Washington, computer products retailer will pay for the
acquisition by issuing 5.6 million shares of common stock.  Surplus Direct,
based in Hood River, Oregon, direct markets "previous version" computer
hardware and software. The firm operates an Internet commerce site
( that was ranked 6th in February 1997 by P.C. Meter,
a New York research firm. Since the company's formation in 1992, annualized
sales have grown from under $1 million to $48 million.

"This strategic agreement presents significant new opportunities for the
combined companies," says George Orban, Egghead Chairman and CEO. "This is
a good fit. There are clear opportunities to build on synergies in
management, product procurement, Internet commerce, marketing and retail
distribution.  Egghead and Surplus Software are already joint partners in
Egghead Computer Surplus, a retail store that opened in Portland, Oregon,
last November.

                     Cirrus Lays Off 15% of Workforce

Four hundred employees -- or 15 percent of the work force has been laid off
by Cirrus Logic Inc. as part of a shakeup following an unexpected loss for
the January-March quarter.  Reporting from Cirrus' Fremont, California,
headquarters, The Associated Press quotes the company, which makes
microprocessor chips for graphics and sound, as saying it should make money
again in the current quarter if sales live up to expectations.

AP says Cirrus will:

z    Consolidate operations and move test and assembly activities overseas.
z    Create a new Office of the President, which will report to CEO Michael
  Hackworth, who says the change will enable other executives to handle
  day-to-day activities and let him "look at the bigger picture," consider
  strategy and spend time with customers and partners.

The wire service says Cirrus lost $51.9 million, or 79 cents a share, for
its fiscal fourth quarter ended March 29. The results, which include a
restructuring charge of $21 million, compare with a loss of $88.4 million,
or $1.38 a share, for the year-ago period.

                      HP Unveils New Ink-Jet Printers

Hewlett-Packard Co. has introduced a new line of color ink-jet printers
targeted at home PC users.  With prices starting at about $200, the new
DeskJet 670C series printers offer 600 by 600 dots-per-inch (dpi) black
text printing and 600 by 300 color output. The products replace HP's
current DeskJet 400 model.

"HP is bringing its renowned ink-jet printing technology to a new category
of home customers," says Andrew Tallian, HP's consumer marketing manager
for North America. "Priced lower than an average color TV, the HP DeskJet
670C series of printers are within the budget of almost any family that
wants to add creative benefits of color printing to a home computer."
Information about HP and its products can also be found on the web at

                     Dell to Enter Workstation Market

Dell Computer Corp. plans to enter the workstation market later this year
with systems based on Microsoft's Windows NT operating system and Intel's
Pentium II processor.  Dell, the world's leading direct marketer of
computer systems, says it has created an internal organization to focus on
workstation opportunities. Workstations -- high- powered desktop computers
-- handle specialized tasks such as financial analysis, computer-aided
design or software development.

"The continued progression to open standards and the growing momentum of
industry-standard Intel processor technology and Windows NT make the timing
right for Dell's entry into the workstation market," says Michael S. Dell,
the computer marker's chairman and CEO. "Dell is a leader in delivering
products with Windows NT and a longtime champion of open standards, which
reduce the total cost and complexity of computing. With more than 90
percent of our sales going to corporations, we are uniquely positioned to
understand their requirements. Their feedback makes it clear that a Dell
entry should be very well accepted."

                      Mag Says Web Population Doubled

A survey by Business Week magazine finds the number of World Wide Web users
has almost doubled from a year ago.  According to the Reuter News Service,
the poll of 1,000 U.S. households, conducted by Baruch College and Harris
Poll, found:

z    21 percent of adults, or 40 million people, cruise the Internet's
     World Wide Web, up from 21.5 million a year ago.
z    About 12 percent use commercial online services, such as CompuServe or
     America Online, the study said.
z    The cyberspace gender gap was steadily shrinking. Women now make up
     more than two-fifths of Internet users, a group that includes World Wide
     Web and other online users, up from 23 percent in September 1995.
z    The largest age group of Internet users are people in their 40s, who
     make up about a quarter of the cyberspace population. Almost half of
     Internet users are 40 or older.
z    More than two-fifths coming from households with incomes of more than
     $50,000 a year. Only 18 percent of Internet users make $25,000 or less each

The study also found that the Internet is dominated by whites, who make up
85 percent of Internet users, Reuters says.

                      William Cohen Warns of Internet

Defense Secretary William Cohen says the threat of terrorism is likely to
increase in the U.S. as the Internet provides easier access to information
on making bombs.  Speaking in Athens, Georgia, at a forum on terrorism held
at the University of Georgia, Cohen said, "It's a real threat. We are going
to see information continue to spread as to how these weapons can be
manufactured in a homegrown laboratory."  Also at the forum, the Reuter
News Service quotes former Sen. Sam Nunn, a Georgia Democrat who was
chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as saying, "We are in a
period of the Internet transmitting knowledge to people all over the globe
in how to make weapons of mass destruction. We are in a new era and it's
time for us to recognize it."

                      Labor Dept. Scooped by Web Site

U.S. Labor Department officials say they don't know how a government-backed
World Wide Web site was able to give Net surfers an advance peek yesterday
at revisions to the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims economic
report.  The data is normally released on Thursday mornings and loaded onto
the web site on Fridays, but this week's report was online yesterday at the
Information Technology Support Center web site (,
according to the Reuter News Service.

(Initial claims for the week ending April 19 were revised to a seasonally
adjusted 319,000 claims from 324,000 reported last week, the Labor
Department reported after the leak was discovered. Continued Claims for the
week ending April 12 were revised to 2,271,000 from the previously reported
2,290,000.)  Labor Department spokesman Tom Edwards told the wire service
officials in the department are "still looking into" how the information
landed on the web.

The ITSC is a joint venture sponsored by several U.S. government offices
including the Labor Department, the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing
and Regulation, the University of Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation and
Mitretek Systems. The project's goal is to provide automated information
and technology to the 53 State Employment Security Agencies.

                      Texan Saves Woman Via Internet

Twelve-year-old Texan Sean Redden recently used the Internet to save the
life of an asthmatic woman who was suffocating half a world away.  Playing
online in an Internet chat room earlier this month, the Denton, Texas, lad
at first wasn't sure whether the "sob" and "pain" messages flashing onto
his screen were real or part of the game.  Fortunately, he decided to take
the messages seriously and -- with help from his mom, sheriff's
dispatchers, international telephone operators and Finnish paramedics --
rescued Tarja Laitinen from a locked computer lab in Kerava, Finland.

The Associated Press says the episode occurred April 14, but it wasn't
until this week that Interpol verified it was not a hoax, that Laitinen, a
20-year-old business student, had been in real trouble.  The international
police agency Teletype message routed to local sheriff's dispatchers said,
"Ms. Laitinen got the medical attention she badly needed that night and is
now doing well. It was real."  Young Redden told reporters he was in a
fantasy-oriented online chat room called Glen Shadows Tavern, when a new
character entered the room and said, "Hello, help me." While other users
took it to be more make-believe, Sean typed, "What's the matter?"

Says AP, "The woman responded that she was an asthmatic college student in
Finland who had stayed late in the computer lab, gotten locked in and was
having trouble breathing. She said she was getting worse by the minute and
gave details including her name and address."  Sean said later, "It was too
real to be a joke," so he summoned his mother, Sharon Redden, who called
police.  Via sheriff's dispatchers Debbie Strachan and Amy Schmidt, a Texas
phone operator was enlisted in the rescue effort and began calling Finnish
operators. Eventually, an ambulance crew was sent to the Finnish school,
but it still took some time for rescuers to find Laitinen, with help from
the messages she still was sending online to Sean.

Says Sean, "She started saying, `It's getting worse,' and our modem is,
like, the slowest in the universe. I was pretty nervous."  At last,
Laitinen sent a message saying she could hear the paramedics in the
hallway. Then her sign-on disappeared.  "For days," AP reports, "none of
her Texas rescuers knew what had become of her or even whether the exchange
was true. Finally, the word came from Interpol."  Sheriff Weldon Lucas told
reporters, "By keeping on the computer with her, doing what was necessary,
(Sean) did save someone's life. Everyone at first thought it was a hoax,
even him. It turned out great."

                      U.S., Europe Protest Net Names

A day before the signing ceremony, both the U.S. and the European Union
have complained they weren't adequately consulted on plans for a new system
of names for the Internet.  Reporting from Geneva, Associated Press writer
Alexander G. Higgins quotes unidentified sources as saying U.S. officials
have scolded U.N. organizations for setting up a meeting on the agreement
without getting authorization first from member governments.

Also, says Higgins, a EU official complained that European interests were
ignored in the agreement, even though the EU in general supports the need
to improve the system for assigning names to "sites" on the World Wide Web.
"While the signing is expected to go ahead with the support of many
telecommunications companies and Internet user organizations," says AP,
"the last-minute opposition underscored the lack of unanimity and the
desire by governments to exercise some control of the Internet."

The wire service says about 50 people -- among them, representatives of
corporations and Internet user groups as well as a handful of  governments
-- have been meeting in Geneva since Tuesday to discuss the accord, adding,
"The plan is to open up the registration system, currently controlled by
one corporation, the Virginia-based Network Solutions Inc., under contract
with the U.S. National Science Foundation."

At the heart of the issue is the need to satisfy the growing demand around
the world for easily remembered names for the Internet, such as
"'" or ""  Says Higgins, "In the months of
negotiations leading up to the meeting, a collection of Internet users,
companies and other interested parties agreed on a list of seven new
'extensions' for the names. They are .firm for businesses, .store for
companies selling products, .web for sites emphasizing the World Wide Web,
.arts for cultural sites, .info for information services, .nom for
individuals and .rec for recreational activities."

But a U.S. official told the meeting Washington needs more time to consider
the draft plan before announcing a position on it. AP quotes the European
edition of the Wall Street Journal as reporting the State Department had
instructed the U.S. Mission in Geneva to express its concerns that the U.N.
International Telecommunication Union had set up the signing "without
authorization of the member governments."

                     Online Banking to Boom This Year

Analysts project the number of online banking households in the U.S. will
grow 78 percent this year.  Researchers at Jupiter Communications in New
York told the Reuter News Service they project more than 4.5 million online
banking households by the end of 1997, compared with only 2.5 million at
the end of last year. And the number is expected to climb to 18 million
households by the end of 2002.  Scott Smith, director of Jupiter's digital
commerce group, told the wire service many banks are turning to the
Internet's World Wide Web of computer networks as the primary platform for
online banking.

Jupiter projects:

z    The growth rate in new online banking households slows to 66 percent
     in 1998 and 34 percent in 1999.
z    The market will become saturated by 1999 as the pool of potential
     customers is mostly acquired and major players become established in the
z    Monthly prices will gradually fall over the next six years, as an
     increasing number of banks offer free online banking.
z    As a result, cost savings rather than revenue generation will become
     the focus of the online banking market.
z    The cost of an online banking transaction will be less than one
     percent of the total cost of servicing a customer in a branch.

Reuters notes Chase Manhattan Corp., the largest U.S. bank and biggest in
New York metropolitan area, announced free online banking this week, which
rival Citicorp has had it for some time.

           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
                               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-

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

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Downtown 32-bit beta 4             4/26/97    1.90mb   Freeware

  Downtown is a comprehensive 'push' software product which automatically
delivers the latest information from your favorite web sites right to your
desktop. How it works: You create channels on the Downtown channel bar
(similar to a toolbar) for each of your preferred sites. Downtown
continually searches your channels' sites for new content, automatically
downloads it, and notifies you when new content is available. When you are
ready to view it, you just click the item of interest and instantly access
the associated web pages.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Crescendo 32-bit 3.0 beta 2 Plug-In           4/26/97  .47mb     Freeware

  New beta version of Netscape Navigator browsers that lets you listen to
background music as you browse a web site. Of course, that depends on the
site actually designing background music into its pages.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

MultiNet 32-bit 1.5 beta 5         4/26/97    1.0mb Freeware

  MultiNet is a small program that sit on your Win95 System Tray (Beside
the taskbar clock) and background check your mail account for new messages,
detetect your 'Net connection and then launch your favorites apps or adjust
your PC clock using a Time Server! It also run as an Identification
Server(IdentD). It can even Copy your IP Address to clipboard at connect.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

SuperDIR 95 7.0                    4/28/97    500kb Freeware

  There are many of us who still prefer to use the command line to
accomplish many day-to-day file management tasks. SuperDIR is an advanced
but simple to use directory lister. It completely replaces the familiar DIR
command issued at the DOS prompt. It has all the features of the DIR
command plus a huge array of other useful features.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Laser Blocks 2.2                   5/01/97    1,172kb  Demo $9.95

  A Tetris type game. Laser Blocks features an endless supply of blocks
with pipes embedded in them that fall from the sky. Line up three or more
pipe sections and a laser removes them, remove all the sections of pipe
from a given block and it disappears.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

VidFun 16-bit 3.1                  4/26/97    1.30mb   Shareware $35

  VidFun is an easy-to-use, Multimedia viewer/slideshow/screensaver
andimage utility.  It supports popular video files (MPEG, AVI, MOV,
FLC/FLI), audio files (MIDI, WAV, CD music) and many graphics files (JPEG,
WPG), and Multipage DCX/TIF fax files. It works with Windows 95; supports
Drag & Drop; and can integrates as helper app for Web browsers (e.g.,
Netscape). It features Instant Slideshows for multi-track, Multimedia
slideshows (or screensavers) with overlapped graphics, video and audio with
30+ effects, variable loops, speed, volume, size, position, background,
delays (or presentations controls) via 'spreadsheet' editor. Image
processing includes gamma, sharpen, smooth, histogram analysis and
enhancement, posterize, mosaic, color reduction, dithering, variable
emboss, combine bitmaps, RGB/CMYK/HSV/HLS color spaces... Plus, color
prints (w/ choice of dithering), format conversions (batch), TWAIN
scans/grabs, edits (cut, paste, .01 deg. rotate, flip, crop,

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Notify CD Player 32-bit 1.20 Official Release 4/26/97  .04mb     Freeware

  CDPlayer that resides in the Notify area of the taskbar in Windows 95 or
Windows NT4.0. It has some cool features such as: Features right-click menu
with all common CDactions and a Tracks menu including the names of all
tracks on the current CD, Fast left-click operation. One click to get the
next track/play, two clicks to pause/resume, three clicks to get previous
track, and compatible with CDPLAYER.EXE included in Windows 95 and Windows
NT 4.0. Can replace CDPLAYER.EXEto feature autoplay etc.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Fallout for Win95                  4/26/97    20.00mb Commercial Demo
    Note: A version in smaller downloadable parts is also available

  Set in the aftermath of a world-wide nuclear war, Fallout will challenge
you to survive in an unknown and dangerous world. You will take the role of
a Vault-dweller, a person who has grown up in a secluded, undergound
survival Vault. Circumstances arise that force you to go Outside -- to a
strange world 80 years after the end of the modern civilization. A world of
mutants, radiation, gangs and violence.

Combat in Fallout is tactical turn-based. You can take as much time as you
need to make decisions. Choose from different types of attacks, with a
variety of weapons and attack skills. Weapons include: shotguns,
flamethrowers, chainguns, rocket launchers, sledgehammers, brass knuckles
and more.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

NetAttache Pro 32-bit 2.50a        4/26/97    1.20mb   Shareware $50

  NetAttach is a second-generation Web agent that responds to the users'
need to filter data. In a nutshell, NetAttach Searches, Filters and
Delivers. It can: be set to run on demand or on a specific schedule, filter
the data, providing only new information (differences), spider mode can
retrieve all or a portion of a Web site for later off-line perusal,
automate searches of Web search engines, archive Web data, and is a smart
agent, capable of searching for pages which match Boolean logic queries "
New features in 2.0 are Easy to set up agent settings, Yahoo! At your
fingertips , Flexible timer for unattended operation Powerful, flexible
spider to retrieve multiple page levels, Up to 20 simultaneous retrievals,
Advanced differences filter to show actual difference Full text search
capability, retrieves relevant information Advanced architecture offers
compact and efficient data storage Data compression technology built-in .

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Set Me Up 32-bit 3.02              4/27/97    2.10mb   Shareware $24

  System configuration the easy way - get the most from your PC with over
50 enhancements and configuration options! Customize advanced and hidden
Windows settings, change the look and behavior of the desktop, apply
several security and logon enhancements. This release features new explorer-
style interface and includes system configuration recovery tool.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Tardis 32-bit 3.4                  4/27/97    .14mb Shareware $20

  Another utility that will keep your PC's clock correct by checking with
one of several different servers.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Metal Knights 95 0.971             4/26/97    824kb Shareware

  Metal Knights is a great new strategy game for you, the Internet Gamer!
Build and Rule great empires on different worlds at once and attempt to be
the next leader of the Universe: the supreme Metal Knight! You'll have to
efficiently manage your cities, harvest natural resources, discover more
and more advanced units to crush rival empires. Up to 10 players in each
game at once with full Internet support. Excellent gameplay, addictive, an
intuitive and very easy to play but still hard to master turn-based game!
You may play a few minutes up to a few hours a day, as you want! Internet
Game Server Running 24hrs a day! Easy to install, no stupid nag screen! Now
includes KnightSpy!

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

WinZip 32-bit 6.3 beta 1           4/27/97    .62mb Shareware $29.00

  A great utility for zipping and unzipping files. This is an absolute must
if you want to uncompress zipped files you download from the internet or
elsewhere. It has "wizards" which will help novice users with some of the
more complicated tasks. This version lets you open and extract UUencoded,
XXencoded, BinHex, and MIME files. These files can be opened via the
File/Open dialog or via drag and drop. The new Actions- > UUencode menu
entry makes it easy to encode files. The new File->Favorite Zip Folders
lists all Zip files in your favorite folders by date for easy access.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Microsoft VRML 2.0 Viewer 32-bit beta 1       4/28/97  1.14mb    Freewaree

  The viewer will allow users to view dynamic, high-quality 3-D images
based on VRML 2.0 through Microsoft Internet Explorer. By providing a
standard mechanism for viewing VRML content, Microsoft hopes to attract a
ground swell of compelling 3-D content development for the Web. MS VRML 2.0
Viewer supports standard VRML 2.0 files and specification-compliant VRML
1.0 files.

Windows 95, Internet Explorer 3.02, and DirectX 3a. are required.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Microsoft NetMeeting 32-bit 2.0    4/28/97    2.50mb   Free

  NetMeeting enables real-time voice and data communications over the
Internet. This includes the ability for two or more people to share
applications, transfer files, view and illustrate a shared whiteboard, and
chat all over standard connections. For example, on an intranet, you can
have a voice connection over the office phone system and a data connection
over the LAN.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Chgname 3.2                        4/28/97    777kb Freeware

  This is a totally reshaped and vastly improved version the file
enumeration utility, Chgname, which changes the name, dates and attributes
of up to 32767 files. Features like wildcards and step enumeration gives
the flexibility needed for managing large numbers of files. Comes with a
comprehensive help file and complete setup program.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

PhotoImpact GIF Animator 32-bit 1.5           4/28/97  1.30mb    Shareware

  There's no need to understand the technical side of the GIF89A
specification to create GIF animations. PhotoImpact GIF Animator lets you
create compact animations with drag-and-drop simplicity. It features: Drag-
and-drop animation and image loading, Modeless user interface, Drag-and-
drop composition for layering and layout, Advanced palette management,and
Built-in design features.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

CD/Spectrum Pro 32-bit 3.1 build 310          4/28/97  .27mb     Shareware

  CD/Spectrum Pro is a CD-Audio Player with Graphical Spectrum Analyzer for
Windows 95. CD/Spectrum Pro will also be ready to run on Windows NT 4.0
(also known as Shell Update Release or SUR) when that version of NT is
released. CD/Spectrum Pro has two independent parts: The CD-Audio player
and the spectrum analyzer. The CD-Audio player is a full-blown player of
audio CDs for your PC. It has many advanced features and complements the
spectrum analyzer. The spectrum analyzer graphically depicts the frequency
spectra of the CD music in real time. (Unless you don't have a Pentium, in
which case it is *almost* real time

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Bear Resemblance Game 2.0          4/30/97    279kb Shareware $5.00

  A sliding-tile puzzle played with triangular tiles. No other program like
this exists in the world at the time of this writing to the best of my
knowledge. This game uses fewer tiles than the so-called "15 game" but is
an order of magnitude harder to solve. This is a self-contained program; no
installation or additional run-time files are needed.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Search 4 32-bit 2.02               4/28/97    .80mb Freeware

  Search 4 runs in your System Tray, It serves as a "quick-launch" to four
of the most powerful Search Engines on the web (Alta Vista, Lycos,
WebCrawler, or Yahoo!) in the form of a pop-up menu.In addition to simply
linking you to powerful seach engines, Search4 also allows you to specify a
word, group of words, or phrase to search for - before your browser is even
running. Simply click "Search" and it queries all four search engines and
returns the results from those queries together, in the form of four framed
windows in your browser (Supports Netscape and Internet Explorer)

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Liquid Music Player 32-bit 1.01    4/29/97    N/A   Free

  Provides a media-rich musical experience which allows users to view art,
lyrics and credits as well as production, agency and copyright information
while listening to high-fidelity music on the Internet. In addition to the
media browsing features, the free Liquid MusicPlayer makes it simple to
download true CD-quality Dolby Digital encoded songs, or direct you to
ordering information to add the disc to your home collection.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

LOL Chat 32-bit 2.0 Official Release          4/29/97  1.00mb    Free Beta

  A new chat client that features Unlimited Connections , Full Answering
Machine, Multiple File Transfer, Login List, Surf Mode with support for
Netscape and Internet Explorer and much more.

Note:  'was CyberBabble'

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone 32-bit 2.0     4/29/97  2.56mb    Free

  The Internet Gaming Zone is Microsoft's online FREE gaming
software/service. You can play games such as Hearts, Bridge, Spades, Chess,
Checkers, Go, and Reversi. It's not all board and card games though, you
can also play most of MS's new games like MS Golf 3.0, Hellbender, Monster
Truck Madness and Close Combat. It also has ZoneLAN, which allows players
to use multiplayer games requiring the IPX protocol. (Like what Kali does).

Note:  Requires Win95/NT and MSIE 3.02

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Winter Race 3D .30                 5/1/97     7,300kb  Demo $19.95

  Ski on one track in this racing game demo. Players must avoid obstacles
such as monster trucks and pools of water by ducking or jumping.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Awale 2.0.2                        4/28/97    817kb Shareware $10.00

  This brand new version of the most popular African games (also known as
Awele, Wari, Oware, Mancala, and so on...) includes many new features that
bring this shareware to unreached levels in computerized African games.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

HipClipBoard 1.0                   4/30/97    738kb Shareware $15.00

  Enhances the Windows desktop with up to eight independant clipboard-
buffers, each having its own hotkeys for copy, cut and paste. You can run
it totally in the background or you can watch and modify the buffers in an
easy-to-use environment. HipClipBoard is very useful if you have more than
one piece of text that you want to insert at different locations of a
document. Get rid of the annoying switching around between documents. It
can also be useful when surfing on the internet: If you want to visit some
new sites, you can first copy or enter their addresses into HipClipBoard.
When going online you have them all at your fingertips and you will not
waste any time typing them in while you are online.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

V-Phone 32-bit 2.10                5/01/97    2.50mb   Shareware

  V-Fone is a new software product that will instantly transform your
computer into a video conferencing station. With V-Fone you can send and
receive - in real time - video, audio and text to and from anyone in the
world via the internet or local area network(TCP/IP). This breakthrough
technology provides full-motion video (up to 15 frames per second),
supports full color, runs on Windows 95/NT and works on all major on-line

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

WS-FTP 32-bit 4.20 beta            5/01/97    .59mb Shareware

  Designed for non-programmers but sophisticated enough for power users,
WS_FTP is widely recognized as the fastest, most powerful Windows file
transfer client application available. WS_FTP takes full advantage of
Windows' point-and-click capabilities. Its highly intuitive graphical user
interface with side-by-side directory windows for local and remote sites
makes it easy for users to select and transfer files.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Shell Wizard Pro 32-bit 3.0        5/01/97    1.70mb   Shareware $15

  Do you wish to remove those arrow overlays that Windows puts on the
shortcuts that you make on the desktop? Or do you wish to change some other
things about Windows 95 but have no idea of how to do it? ShellWizard takes
all the hard parts of configuring Windows 95 the way you like it. Its
simple interface offers easy navigation and includes a detailed online
manual. ShellWizard offers a Macro Language which allows you to use pre-
existing "plugins" which expand the capabilites of ShellWizard.
ShellWizard's Macro Language even allows you to create your own "plugins"
to further customize ShellWizard and Windows 95.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Multimedia Xplorer 32-bit 1.2      5/01/97    .75mb Shareware $20

  Multimedia Xplorer is a new, powerful 32-bit application (Windows 95/NT
4.0) for handling most types of multimedia files including images, sounds,
videos and icons. Main idea is to provide ONE application that handles all
these different media types easily, so no need to mess with different
applications. It is designed to be powerful for powerusers and at the same
time it is as simple as possible, so novice users can view and manage files
easily. Multimedia Xplorer has some unique ergonomy features that make it
very handy to use.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Kali for Win95 beta 1.1o           5/1/97     2.00mb   Shareware $20

  Kali is the largest Internet gaming system in the world with over 100,000
users and 300 servers in 35 countries. "So what do Kali actually do?
Simple: Kali makes your Internet connection appear to be an IPX connection
to your game. This means that all those IPX games can now be played with a
number of other users over the Internet.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Crumbler97 32-bit 1.7              5/01/97    1.10mb   Shareware $5

  Crumbler97 is a quick, easy, SAFE way to accept cookies..those annoying
little bits of info that nearly all web pages send to your hard
drive...Now, instead of leaving the Security level to WARN everytime, and
having to reject individually the sometimes DOZENS of cookies sent, you can
merely auto accept them.. and they are DELETED from your Hard Drive every
45 seconds via a Tray icon. Or, if you just entered a site that you know
lays the cookies on thick, say, Microsoft, then, no prob..just double click
the tray icon, and they are gone... Easy to use. No Mess, No Bother, No

   Home Page Site -

Cerious Software STR Spotlight                                "Good Stuff!"

                           The Story of Cerious

By Laura Shook

Cerious Software was founded by Phillip Crews in 1992 as a software
consulting firm.  Phillip continued to work at his full-time job but worked
part time doing freelance UNIX, VMS and Windows System programming for
companies in the US.

    Mandelbrot was written in 1993, Phillip's first significant Windows
Mandelbrot produces gorgeous fractal images based on Benoit Mandelbrot's
equations. You can select the colors to use, zoom anywhere within the set,
generate perspective views, save and load images, export to BMP files and
more.  We have recently re-released Mandelbrot as Careware to aid the
Option Institute and Fellowship in support of their Son-Rise Program(SM).
This organization is dedicated to the caring and loving of autistic
children. The Son-Rise Program trains parents of autistic children to help
their children reclaim their lives. They work miracles for these families.

In 1994, Phillip decided to develop a retail product for Windows called
ThumbsUp!  He chose to offer ThumbsUp as a shareware product because he
liked the idea of "try before you buy" and it was really the only way to
cost-effectively market/advertise the product.  ThumbsUp was Phillip's
answer to album type graphic software.  You can check out our tongue-in-
cheek Top Ten List from

A trademark search found no other computer products named ThumbsUp, but a
few months later another North Carolinian company called to let Phillip
know that they had registered a trademark on the name, which they had
actually used for a couple of years.

Phillip held an on-line contest to select a new name.  This contest
generated a lot of publicity for Thumbs.  Phillip examined 100's of entries
from users on CompuServe, AOL and the Internet.  There were some outrageous
submissions!  The end result of the contest was of course the new name
ThumbsPlus, which was submitted by Ralph Mariano!

In July of 1994 Phillip quit his day job to pursue Cerious Software and
ThumbsPlus full-time.  In late August Phillip and his new assistant (and
sister), Laura Shook, moved into a real office.  Laura had formerly worked
as a pediatric nurse, art teacher, and wrote an occasional free-lance
article, but had no real knowledge of computers until that August when she
began learning about computers, graphics, ThumbsPlus and customer relations
in a Software company.  It was during this time that NASA, and other large
companies and corporations began to ask for helpful additions to
ThumbsPlus.  Cerious Software obliged and made some very good friends!
ThumbsPlus's popularity continued to grow and in July of 1995, Phillip
hired Jeff Hurley a former co-worker, computer hacker and friend, who
organized the incorporation of Cerious Software, Inc.  Cerious Software
then moved to another larger suite in the same office building. We have
since moved again and hired three other employees:  Pam Perry who is our
office manager, Hugh McArtan in tech support and Marcia Vejar who does all
of the shipping of ThumbsPlus.

ThumbsPlus will change the way you look at graphics! Whether you're a web
professional, graphic artist or casual Internet user, you'll find that
ThumbsPlus helps you keep track of your images. Already in use by
professionals worldwide, ThumbsPlus is fast becoming the preferred product
for organizing, viewing and editing graphic files. Supporting over 60 (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, ATI, the Army, the
Air Force and the Navy, sing high praises for ThumbsPlus. You can even find
it at NASA, where ThumbsPlus accompanies the astronauts on every Space
Shuttle flight!
In the past year, after developing a popular web site, Cerious Software,
Inc. has received many shareware awards and favorable reviews.  These
include reviews from PC Magazine, STReport and Go Inside.  MCR Online
selected ThumbsPlus as the Graphic Utility of 1996.  Awards have been
received from Slaughterhouse, CyberMad, CompuServe's Win95, Winuser and
WinShare forums,, Galt Technology, Dave Central, Tucows, and
Stroud's CWS Apps.  ThumbsPlus was the download of the week in CorelNET and
the pick of the week from Microsoft and Wugnet.

Cerious Software is honored that ThumbsPlus is included in the Naval
Criminal Investigative Service's computer crime prevention initiative
"Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace". You can visit Protecting Our
Children in Cyberspace.  The url is:

Cerious Software and ThumbsPlus are both sponsors of a local children's
athletic association, Starclaire Athletic Association.


ThumbsPlus is localized in Japanese  and German  and there are distributors
of the English version in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Japan, New Zealand,
The Netherlands and the UK.

Our Macintosh version is now in 4th beta and we hope to be releasing it
soon.  The 32-bit CD ROM Developer's Kit is also almost finished, much to
the delight of many Vendors selling CD ROM's of images who have been
waiting patiently for the 32-bit ThumbsCD to be released.   Throughout our
growth and development, the ThumbsPlus user, whether shareware user or
registered user has remained infinitely important to us.  We pore over our
suggestion lists and implement any and all suggestions that make sense and
allow for continuing growth of ThumbsPlus.  We are dedicated to ThumbsPlus,
Cerious Software and the continuing development of our software and our

EDUPAGE STR Focus        Keeping the users informed


NSF Confirms It's Getting Out Of Internet Name Business
EC Wants Dialogue On New Internet Registration Plan
Bell Atlantic-Nynex Merger Wins Approval From Justice
NRC Recommends Full Access To Scientific Information
Internet Home To Hundreds Of Get-Rich-Quick Schemes
Free Software For Tracking The Market
Internet Telephony To Hurt Major Telecom Carriers
New Intel Chips Inspire Price Reduction On Older PCs
CompuServe (After Time-Out) Calls Time-In
Europe Looks To Short-Term Programs From The U.K.
One More Reason To Drive A Mercedes
Ticketmaster Sues Microsoft
ARPA Funds Research To Speed Up Internet
Prodigy To Offer Internet Service In China
TV-Computer From Compaq And Thomson
Microsoft Adds Phone Features To Browser
VLSI's Amazing Shrinking Chip Circuitry
DOE Warns Of Nasty Virus
Trinity U. Students Collaborate On Home-Automation Project
TV Stats
Boeing Gets In On Teledesic
DealJudge Throws Out Keyboard Verdict
Xerox Technology Protects Online Copyright
Will Ellison Buy Apple? Yes. No. Maybe. Not At The Moment.
UUNet Plans Spark Protests
Mining Company Digs Up Net Gold
Internet Shopping Slow To Catch On
Gates:  Microsoft News Won't Compete With Newspapers
Netscape CEO To Work For Free This Year
Turner Wants Bugs Bunny For Everyone


The National Science Foundation has confirmed that it will not renew its
contract with Network Solutions Inc.  next March, when the contract
expires. NSF's decision will effectively remove the government agency from
the  Internet domain name registration business.  "We're hoping by the time
the contract expires the Internet  community will have found some
alternative mechanisms" for domain-name registration, says an NSF
spokeswoman.  Meanwhile, Network Solutions says it will continue to
register names, even after the current  contract expires:  "We certainly
expect to be a competitor in registrations come April of '98," says the
ompany's  CEO.  (Wall Street Journal 25 Apr 97)


The European Commission has asked the U.S. government to articulate its
policy on various issues involved in  revamping the Internet domain name
registration system, and has requested a dialogue with the U.S. on how
best to respond to the International Ad Hoc Committee's proposal to create
seven new top-level domains, to be  managed by up to 28 new domain
registrars.  The EC also criticized the IAHC for excluding EC
representatives  as members.  An EC spokeswoman noted that the
recommendations would not solve the overcrowding among  .com names, and
would probably contribute to trademark disputes.  The Commission, in its
comments, also  rejected the IAHC's suggestion that the 28 new registrars
be chosen by lottery:  "We question whether the IAHC  or the Internet
Society has the authority under U.S. or International Law to do so and
doubt that the decisions  taken this way would constitute the necessary
basis for the legal and commercial stability of the eventual Registrar
organizations." (BNA Daily Report for Executives 25 Apr 97)


The U.S. Justice Department has concluded that the proposed Bell Atlantic-
Nynex merger does not violate  antitrust laws.  The combined company, which
will be called Bell Atlantic, will be the second-largest telephone
company, after AT&T.  The newly combined SBC Communications-Pacific Telesis
entity will be No. 3.   Following the merger, Bell Atlantic will control 39-
million phone lines in 13 states, from Maine to Virginia,   including the
Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York metropolitan areas.
(Investor's Business Daily 25 Apr 97)


The National Research Council has released a report recommending that
governments around the world  guarantee access to electronic databases of
scientific information by researchers, educators and others "working  in
the public good....  Full and open access to scientific data should be
adopted as the international norm for the   exchange of scientific data
derived from publicly funded research."  The report warns against proposals
currently under consideration by the World Intellectual Property
Organization, the European Community and  the U.S. House of
Representatives, saying they do not guarantee "fair use" of data by the
scientific and  education communities.  "If adopted in their current form,
these legal proposals could jeopardize basic scientific  research and
education, eliminate competition in the markets for value-added products
and services, and raise  existing thresholds to entry into insuperable
legal barriers to entry." (Chronicle of Higher Education 25
Apr 97)


The Federal Trade Commission teamed up with securities regulators and
attorneys-general in 24 states last  month, and in one day of Web surfing
found 215 cases of "marketers touting the potentially fantastic earnings to
be made by consumers who buy into their business-opportunity schemes."  The
claims included one touting  earnings of $78,000 a year selling food from
vending carts, one claiming earnings up to $100,000 a year for  grooming
pets, and one advertising income of $20,000 a month operating "900" phone
services. The FTC   warned each questionable marketer that such claims must
be  substantiated by solid evidence.  When it tried to   revisit the sites
last Monday, 37 had shut down and seven had deleted or changed their
statements.  "We   encourage consumers surfing the Web for new business
opportunity to  insist on seeing substantiation for every  objective claim
a company makes, as well as a list of every person who has signed up for
the business," says the  director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer
Protection.  The FTC says surfing the Web will be a regular part of  their
enforcement activities. (Wall Street Journal 25 Apr 97)


MicroQuest, a software company that specializes in investment software, and
PC Quote Inc., a company that  provides market information for the Web, are
teaming up to give away a software package that tracks stocks  and
financial news.  MicroQuest's Inside Track Micro software package allows
users to leave the software  running behind the scenes while they perform
other computer tasks.  The software then downloads requested  stock quotes
and other information at designated intervals, and alerts the user when a
stock reaches a certain  price.  "It's kind of like your own broker in a
box," says MicroQuest's president for operations. .
(Tampa Tribune 26 Apr 97)


A report prepared by the London consulting firm Philips Tarifica predicts
that Deutsche Telekom, which is the  largest telecommunications group in
Europe, will see revenues from international phone calls drop by at least
$171 million in 2001 as the result of cheap Internet telephony, and that
the same fate will befall other major  telecoms, including AT&T, KDD of
Japan, and VNSL in India.  (Financial Times 26 Apr 97)


In anticipation that Intel will cut some chip prices next quarter by nearly
40% as part of a transition to its next- generation Pentium II processors,
computer manufacturers have decided to announce price reductions on their
current PCs with older technology.  (San Jose Mercury News 26 Apr 97)


CompuServe and Time Inc. have ended a breach-of-contract dispute and
planned to restore Time magazine  content to CompuServe's online service.
CompuServe had attempted to terminate the contract in January after
deciding that Time's online content was not of sufficient value to continue
the agreement.
(AP 26 Apr 97)


Many European companies, lagging behind England in the application of
information technology to business  problems, are paying young programmers
from the United Kingdom as much as $3,200 a week if they are  experts in
Java, database systems, or the Internet.  The programmers work on short-
term projects.  "German  companies are slowly warming to the concept of
part-time workers who come in for three months to do a  special job and
then leave." (Financial Times 25 Apr 97)


As part of a demonstration of technological feasibility, a Mercedes E420
automobile has been outfitted by  Daimler-Benz research engineers with
equipment to allow its driver and passengers access to the Internet and
the World Wide Web.  The idea is that, sometime in the future, it will be
routinely possible for drivers to do  such things as receive customized
traffic alerts, allow car repair centers to conduct remote diagnoses of
automobile breakdowns, do e-mail, and of course read Edupage.  The
demonstration vehicle is equipped with  three flat-panel displays, a
wireless digital cellular phone and modem, a palmtop computer for
transferring data to the car system, and a global positioning navigational
system that uses satellite transmissions to display map  data and other
information.  (New York Times 29 Apr 97)

                        TICKETMASTER SUES MICROSOFT

Ticketmaster Group has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court against
Microsoft, alleging that Microsoft's  practice of offering a link from its
Seattle Sidewalk entertainment site to Ticketmaster's Web site against
Ticketmaster's wishes is "electronic piracy."  Ticketmaster says a formal
agreement, such as the one it recently  finalized with CitySearch, is
necessary before another company can offer a link to its site.
Ticketmaster had  sought such an agreement with Microsoft, but when
negotiations fizzled, Microsoft decided to offer the link  anyway.
Ticketmaster maintains that the unauthorized link dilutes the value of its
own sponsorship by  companies such as MasterCard, and says that Microsoft
was able to attract advertising to its Seattle Sidewalk  site based on the
Ticketmaster link.  "They want to suck up our content and keep the
advertising revenue from  it," says Ticketmaster's CEO.  (Wall Street
Journal 29 Apr 97)


The Advanced Research Projects Agency is funding research projects at the
University of Utah, MIT, the  University of Arizona and BBN Planet in the
hope of developing a new "active network" architecture that  would enhance
the performance and flexibility of the Internet.  "An IP packet is
passive," says a computer  scientist at the University of Utah.  "Any IP-
directed action is hardwired into the router.  This new work  involves
injecting code into the packets."  The smarter packets could then convey to
the receiving computer   that information is wanted, allowing them to
modify router information accordingly.  The data could then be  handled in
the most efficient way possible.  (InfoWorld Electric 25 Apr 97)


Prodigy Inc. is working with China North Industries to offer Internet
access, initially in the Shanghai area.   Shanghai Prodigy
Telecommunications Inc., as the joint venture is called, will create
Chinese language online  content, and will be made available to guests in
various Shanghai hotels, as  well as the Chinese public.  The  Chinese
government has stipulated that the new service must use filtering
technology, allowing them to block  undesirable content.  Prodigy noted
that its family-oriented reputation was a plus in persuading the Chinese
Government to allow them to offer the service.  "We have a good image, and
China is concerned about content," says Prodigy Chairman Greg Carr.  Up
until now, the largest Internet provider in China has been the  Ministry of
Posts & Telecommunications' Chinanet service, but with subscriber numbers
approaching 100,000,  Chinanet is having trouble keeping up.  Prodigy
expects its Chinese service to have 100,000 subscribers in 18 months.
(Wall Street Journal 29 Apr 97)


Compaq Computer and Thomson Consumer Electronics say they will market a
$5,000 "PC Theatre" that  combines a Compaq computer with an RCA 36-inch
television set (RCA is a Thomson brand).  A number of  other companies are
developing similar products, in anticipation of consumers' need to replace
or convert their  existing analog TV sets for digital ones by the year
2006. The Compaq-Thomson product will be sold as two  separate modular
products -- a TV and a computer that can be combined into one system.  (AP
28 Apr 97)


Microsoft's NetMeeting software, which will be incorporated into the next
version of its Explorer Web browser,  will enable users to place telephone
calls to conventional telephone handsets, in addition to conducting
videoconferences over the Internet and collaborating on word processing and
spreadsheet documents.  Company  officials say 60 companies have agreed to
develop products compatible with NetMeeting.  (Wall Street Journal 28 Apr


Chipmaker VLSI Technology has developed a way to make computer chips with
lines of circuitry just 0.20   microns in width (one micron is one one-
hundredth the width of a strand of human hair).  The announcement catapults
VLSI to the top of the heap in the ongoing competition to pack more
circuitry onto silicon chips.   VLSI's previous best effort was 0.35, and
even the most advanced competitors, such as Intel and Motorola, are  just
now shifting to 0.25 production.  "For a short window, companies can get a
market advantage," says a  market research analyst.  "But for the long run,
it's just the ante to stay in the game."  (Wall Street Journal 28 Apr 97)

                         DOE WARNS OF NASTY VIRUS

The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a report warning computer users
not to download and run a file  called  The "Trojan Horse"
program eventually wipes out all files on a user's hard drive,  although
some files may be saved by quickly pressing the "control-c" keys.  DOE says
the danger of the file shouldn't be confused with rumors of
an AOL4Free-infected e-mail message that attacks a  system when the e-mail
is read.  That warning is a hoax.  (St. Petersburg Times 28 Apr 97)

                          HOME-AUTOMATION PROJECT

Three engineering students at Trinity University have developed a system
that enables a PC to control a  household's appliances, including lighting,
a thermostat, a security device, and an answering machine.  The  system is
designed to handle 256 electric appliances altogether, including TV sets,
radios and coffee makers.   (Chronicle of Higher Education 2 May 97) .

                                 TV STATS

The Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association says that there are 240
million TV sets in the U.S., with  an average of 2.4 sets per home.  The
percentage of households that have TV sets is 99%, which is higher even
than the percentage having telephones (94%).  (New York Times 27 Apr 97)


Boeing is partnering with Teledesic, a satellite data communications
venture partly owned by Microsoft  Chairman Bill Gates and cellular pioneer
Craig McCaw, to build the $9-billion network of several hundred low- Earth-
orbit satellites.  As part of the deal, Boeing will purchase a 10% stake in
Teledesic for $100 million.   When complete, the Teledesic network will
offer broadband Internet access, videoconferencing and interactive
multimedia services anywhere in the world.  (Investor's Business Daily 30
Apr 97)


A federal judge has thrown out a record-breaking $5.3-million verdict
against Digital Equipment Corp. after  new evidence indicated the
plaintiff's wrist injuries were caused by a neck condition unrelated to
working  conditions. However, in a separate ruling, the court upheld a
smaller, $274,000 verdict awarded to a co-plaintiff.   The judge also threw
out a third $302,000 ruling awarded to another co-plaintiff, saying the
statute of limitations had expired.  The first plaintiff's lawyer says they
plan to appeal the decision.  (Wall Street Journal 30 Apr 97)


Xerox has developed a Digital Property Rights Language (DPRL) that encrypts
any digital work -- book, movie,   software or other -- and delivers it in
a "digital envelope" to a recipient with a designation as to how the
recipient may use that work:  "For instance, a Web publisher could
watermark a file if it is printed or disallow  printing unless it is sent
to a trusted printer." The company, which began developing DPRL four years
ago, is  now converting its software to Java, ensuring that DPRL will run
on all platforms.  (InfoWorld Electric 26 Apr 97)

                 WILL ELLISON BUY APPLE?  YES.  NO. MAYBE.
                            NOT AT THE MOMENT.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who had been telling people that he was
considering put together a hostile takeover  of Apple so that he could use
that company's manufacturing facilities to produce the stripped-down
"network  computers" he's been preaching about, says that -- at least for
now -- he has canceled plans to buy Apple.   However, he has left open the
possibility that he will "revisit in the future his decision regarding an
acquisition of control of that firm."   (New York Times 30 April 97)

                        UUNET PLANS SPARK PROTESTS

UUNet Technologies recently informed about a dozen smaller companies that
it will begin charging them for  access to its "backbone" network.  The
company currently carries those messages for free.  UUNet CEO John
Sidgmore justified the change, saying that lately it had been inundated
with a "flood of requests" from small  Internet companies, asking that
UUNet carry their traffic.  Smaller companies have accused UUNet of trying
to  create an "oligopoly" of just a few major Internet players, because
UUNet has said will not charge fees to peers  -- companies of comparable
size -- but only to the smaller ones.  (Wall Street Journal 1 May 97)

                      MINING COMPANY DIGS UP NET GOLD

The Mining Company, brainchild of former Prodigy exec Scott Kurnit, offers
a directory of about 300 Web  sites selected by a cadre of free-lance
workers who dig up eclectic sites to add to the mix.  "We've found the
elusive 500 channels," says Kurnit, who hopes to have 1,000 sites listed by
year's end, and 2,500 in 1998.  "In a  500-channel world, you'd have a
NASCAR channel," he says.  "You start to get more eclectic."  So far, the
Mining Company boasts nine large advertisers, including IBM, Big Yellow and
Moet.  "The big question is, can  a number of people do this and do this by
pointing to quality sites?" asks Kurnit, who hopes his new venture
eventually will supplant many of the one-size-fits-all search engine sites.  (Broadcasting & Cable 28 Apr 97)


A survey by America's Research Group found that more than half of consumers
who'd ordered products over  the Internet wouldn't do so again.
Respondents complained of security issues, a cumbersome return process and
delivery costs.  As a result, ARG predicts that the Internet won't become a
major retail venue for at least 10  years.  (Investor's Business Daily 30
Apr 97)


Microsoft chief executive Bill Gates told a group of newspaper publishers
that their industry should not get  "overly paranoid" over Microsoft's news
partnership with the NBC television network and the development of
information products for the general public.  He said he has no plans to
sell classified ads or hire local news  reporters.  "Don't think of
Microsoft as a primary competitor here, but think of us as somebody who can
provide technology."  (AP 30 Apr 97)


Acting on the conviction that his personal compensation should be linked to
the long-term interests of the  company and its shareholders, Netscape
chief executive James L. Barksdale has elected to forego any salary or
cash bonuses for 1997 because Netscape stock fell by two-thirds last year.
(New York Times 1 May 97)


Ted Turner, the vice chairman of Time Warner, says that the TV
entertainment channels he created for the  international market are having
difficulty making money.  In Asia, the problems are that the shows require
dubbing into so many different languages, and that India, Taiwan and China
already have successful local  entertainment shows of their own;  in
France, Turner venture is struggling with a different problem:  "The
French are very protectionist.  I've given up on the French.  Why is France
the only country in the world that  won't let in Bugs Bunny?  Boo, boo,
boo." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 1 May 97)

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Kids Computing Corner
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                        The Kids' Computing Corner
                    Computer news and software reviews
                       from a parent's point of view
                                In the News

                          STR Software Give-Away

As promised, The Kids' Computing Corner and the Silicon Times Report are
sponsoring another software give-away promotion.  Thanks to the fine people
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                            Lockergnome Online

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                                Shivers II
                             Harvest of Souls
                              Windows CD-ROM
                           Street Price: $49.95
                           For ages 13 and older
                        (Contains realistic blood)
                      3380 146th Place SE, Suite 300
                            Bellevue, WA 98007
                              (206) 641-7617
                           Program Requirements
                              OS:            Windows 3.1
                              CPU:           486DX/66
                              HD Space:      none
                              Memory:        12 MB
                              Graphics:      640 x 480, 256 colors
                              CD-ROM:   Double-speed
                              Audio:         Windows compatible sound card
                              Optional: mouse, keyboard

review by Jason Sereno (

Sierra's new release, Shivers II: Harvest of Souls, answers the age old
question:  If you are alone in a deserted town and you scream, is there
anyone alive to hear you make a sound?  Sierra, who created the original
Shivers is now releasing the sequel to their smash hit.  Shivers II has a
new story line,  lush graphics and video sequences, and loads and loads of
mind bending puzzles.  The program features a panoramic interface that lets
you scroll to see all of your surroundings in a 3D view. The double length
CD-ROM also contains a bonus audio soundtrack featuring six songs.  If you
find trouble solving puzzles you can chat with others on the Internet while
playing.  Shivers II is a thriller-mystery that will make you think while
solving puzzles and unwrapping a spine-tingling story line.

The plot of the story is simple.  You are a musician in a band named Trip
Cyclone.  You and your band members have decided to shoot a new music video
in a small town in Arizona also named Cyclone.  You are late arriving to
the town, but when you get there you find it nearly deserted.  There are no
signs of your friends, only their belongings.  There is little sign of any
life actually except for a rude motel manager who also disappears after you
meet him.  Your friends have left strange messages on your motel room
answering machine pleading with you to leave for your own safety.

When you first arrive in Cyclone, the game shows you a little bit about the
premise.  When you enter your hotel room and lay down, you have a vivid
dream that depicts the events that took place before you came to this
strange town.  Apparently, many men in the town play cards at the church in
the town center on certain nights.  They also have some alcohol present
when they play.  It appears that one night the men had a little too much to
drink and decided to drive home after one of their late night card games.
One car hit a woman broadside and killed her.  Since it is a small town and
the men have paid off the town sheriff, the accident is kept secret.  The
men even deny their drunkenness and claim that they were sober when the
accident occurred.

Another odd thing that happens is that some men in the town were digging
mines when they came upon some Indian artifacts including some petrified
Indian bodies.  Even though some people were against it and warned the
other residents, the townspeople put the artifacts and body parts on
display all and tried to start a tourist attraction in Cyclone.  There are
many books that describe the danger of this in the town library but the
townspeople paid no attention.  These events, along with many others, are
responsible for what happens to the town of Cyclone.

When playing the game you find that your friends have been abducted by
Darkcloud, a mysterious figure who seems to have gained the power of an
ancient Indian mask.  While playing the game, you try to learn the identity
of Darkcloud and the reason he captured your friends.  You soon learn that
to defeat Darkcloud and prevent him from unleashing his power on all of the
earth you will need to collect twelve Bahos sticks.  After placing them in
Devil's Mouth Canyon, you will have the final confrontation with him.
Darkcloud will have many riddles and puzzles that you must solve to find
each of the twelve Bahos sticks.

After you have solved the puzzles that are necessary and you have obtained
a Bahos stick, the process is not over.  You must enter the canyon and find
a petrograph (a Native American version of the Egyptian hieroglyphics). You
must find the corresponding symbol to each individual Bahos stick and then
solve a puzzle.  These are tangram puzzles.  You must fit together smaller
pieces to fill a larger shape.  You will solve twelve tangram puzzles, one
for each Bahos stick.  The  puzzles are hard to crack because it seems that
you might have found the correct combination until you realize that there
is one piece that will not fit in the space provided.

After you have solved a puzzle, you must travel farther into the canyon and
reach a door that is the holding place of the Bahos sticks.  You will have
to match each stick to the proper place in the mantel.  After you have
finished with one, you must go back into the town and find the others.  You
must keep in mind that when you possess a Bahos stick, your life energy
will decrease.  When you place it in the canyon, you will receive more

The story line is complemented by great graphics that add a creepy and
uncanny feeling throughout the game.  There is a great tone through out
with the green colors in the sky and the reddish terrain.  Each building
and scene use several hues of different colors.  For instance, the
Sheriff's office has a purple tone while the motel lobby is mostly shades
of red.  This is good to have because it distinguishes the locations and
livens things up a bit instead of having all of the locations black and
dull. If you find yourself wanting to go to a different location, you can
save time by jumping to the map.  From here you can enter any location that
you have previously entered.  If you are low on life due to the drain of a
Bahos stick, you can quickly go to the canyon and replenish your energy by
using the map instead of traveling all around the town of Cyclone.

The program uses QuickTime movies to present the characters of the game.
The dream sequence in the beginning is also in QuickTime as are the music
videos that help you locate your friends and solve puzzles.  The music
videos have important clues in them that help you solve puzzles and find
all of the Bahos.

When in the town of Cyclone and in the locations, the game lets you use a
great panoramic interface.  You can see all of your surroundings by moving
your mouse up, down, left, and right.  I cannot express how much more fun
this interface is to use than other first person (non-shoot em up) type
games' interfaces.  This interface lets you view any and all of the objects
at your location from where you are standing.  Let's not get confused here,
the places where you can stand are limited.  Shivers II is not a full
scrolling-type game.  You can view your surroundings from only certain
points where you are walking.  For example:  If I was the motel room at the
Cyclone motel that I first started in and I wanted to examine the dresser
drawers.  I would first walk to a position that is close to the dresser.  I
would do this by clicking my mouse (which turns into an arrow when you can
move to a destination) on or the area surrounding the dresser.  Now  I
would be able to turn 360 degrees in all directions to look for objects or
other possible directions to travel in.  From this spot I could actually
choose to examine the contents of the trash can in the corner of the room,
watch the television, or I could open the suitcase with a key (after I had
found it of course).  If I clicked on the suitcase, the panoramic view
would cease and the screen would show the suitcase alone.  From here I can
open the suitcase with the key, examine the things inside, shut it, or
leave.  After that, I would return to the panoramic view and continue on my
quest.  The way that you look around is by moving your mouse to a side of
the screen.  If you move it to the far left, you will turn left, when moved
to the far right, you will turn right, the same applies for looking up and
down.  The interface lets you examine objects also and flashback to
important highlights.  Words cannot adequately describe this truly great

The sound in the game is fantastic.  The uncanny feeling that I mentioned
before is partly due to the music in the game.  There is always some creepy
theme that alone will send shivers up your spine.  The music usually has a
climax that builds tension and then settles again or it may have moans or
whisper noises.  The music really adds a whole other dimension to the game.

Also included in Shivers II is a bonus soundtrack that has five songs
included on it.  Since Sierra included this in the software package, I have
the opportunity to double my duties as a software analyst and a music
reviewer.  The CD included is a combination of hard rock tracks with heavy
distortion and acoustic guitar riffs.  Some songs seems similar to church
music, but  they sound strangely evil.  The lyrics all pertain to the game
and even give some hints in the words.  There are some parts in the songs
that appear to be a little on the techno-side.  Each song has two singers,
a male with a good, hard rock-n-roll type of voice while the other is a
female.  She usually sings backup except for two songs.  These particular
songs don't appear to be the type of song that would be right for her.  She
seems to be forcing out parts of the songs.  The singers are not working
with very good lyrics either.  These bonus tracks are only worthwhile
listening to decipher game hints from the lyrics.  The only other reason I
could honestly suggest these tracks to someone would be if they wanted to
be depressed in a short time.

If you find yourself stuck in a puzzle, you may find it comforting to know
that Sierra has a feature that will enable you to talk to other people over
the Internet while playing.  You can answer or ask questions about certain
areas or talk about solutions through Sierra's SIGS (Sierra Internet Gaming
System).  This is helpful if you do find yourself at a dead end.  There is
also a way to make variations to the puzzles and share them with your
friends.  You can visit the Sierra web page at to
find tips and screen shots from the game too.  Sierra updates the page
weekly and it will have more information each time you visit.  There is
also a message board at the web page for people to ask questions and
receive replies from other gamers.  If all else fails and you are
desperate, I found a very useful walkthrough at
This is the only web site I found that had a complete walkthrough,
partially because the game is so new.  There should be other walkthroughs
available in the near future once the game gains popularity.

Shivers II is a best buy if you are looking for a program that will test
your mind while giving an intriguing story line. It has superb graphics and
a great interface.  Sierra  has really outdone themselves with this
tremendous program.  It is a good buy for teens and older that can handle
this thriller-mystery.  There is a little bit of blood, but it is
appropriate to the story line.  If you are looking for a fabulous puzzle
game  that will rack your brain in many different ways, Shivers II is for

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Classics & Gaming Section
Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

     This past week has been interesting.  As I mentioned last week, my
wife and I are finally seriously considering purchasing our first home.
It's a task that's enjoyable, but extremely frustrating (and even
stressful!).  If that even makes sense!  Looking through countless stacks
of home ads, setting up appointments to see houses, driving all over
creation getting there, listening to real estate agents play up strong
points and downplaying the bad, weeding out "bad" prospects, and more.

     I know, you heard some of this last week - what does it have to do
with Atari computing, you ask!  Well, part of our predicament is that both
my wife and I want someplace where we can set up our Atari computers - an
office of sorts for each of us.  My wife does extensive work on her Star
Trek fan club and newsletters with a Stacy; I run the two bulletin boards
plus my own personal Atari system.  These things require space!  We've been
outgrowing our apartment for quite some time, as well.  And, like many
enthusiastic Atari users, I amass many things Atari!

     I mention this because I just received a couple of HUGE boxes of
miscellaneous Atari items.  Just some more STuff to add to my ever-growing
collection of Atari items.  When I spot a good deal on an item, especially
when I can put it to immediate good use, I'll try to grab it.  I have 2
Falcons, a MegaSTe, 2 MegaSTs, 2 Stacys, 2 or 3 1040STs, 2 520STs, 2 ICD
tape drives, and a few odds and ends.  Can you tell I'm in for the long
haul using Atari computers? <grin>  The boxes I just received contain quite
a bit of "spare" parts and miscellaneous items - from old 5 1/4 hard drives
to various chips; software to books and manuals.  An interesting assortment
of things which will likely help me maintain my machines for a long time to
come.  But I have to be able to store this stuff somewhere!

     So, owning our own home will have its benefits in this regard, as
well.  A basement and a garage are almost a must!

     Anyway, we're having some fun looking at various houses.  It's
frustrating to find a house that we like only to learn it's either "under
agreement" or something similar.  And add to that the stress of realizing
what the final costs are going to be, and for how long!  Still, we're
looking forward to finally having a place of our own, hopefully RSN!

     So, while we continue our search, we have quite a few announcements
regarding new Atari products this week - interesting items.

Until next time...

                 CHECK_M, beta released. (New STiK client)
From: Katherine L Ellis <>
Date: 23 Apr 1997

Hi, I am pleased to announce the release of CHECK_M. CHECK_M is an online
email checker.  Allows you to constantly check your mail every X minutes.
If new mail, a window will pop up on your screen.  From there , you can
view the email or ignore  it.  If no new mail has been detected, nothing
will happen.  Works as an ACC for single-tasking users or as a PRG for
users.  This client strictly follows the POP3 RFC. CHECK_M is available on
my homepage. Bye

Hi all!

Latest version of NEWSie is now up to v0.74 and supports MIME decoding via
MUNPACK.TTP by Jos den Bekker.

Best Regards

Mille Babic


There are two new Email-clients available for use with STiK and an updated
version of The CAB Internet Access Module.  POPwatch (Freeware) by Gary A.
Priest is a POP3 mailbox tool that lets you check your POP3-mailbox before
download. You can view part of the email, delete etc. and then download for
use with NEWSie, Oasis 2 or NOS. POPwatch also has a Kill File facility for
the automatic deleting of emails that meet a specified criteria.

CheckMail (Shareware) by K. Kellis is an on-line mail checker. It allows
you to check any new mail without thinking about it. Every X minutes
CHECK_M will connect to your POP3 server and verify if any new mail came.
If yes, a window will pop up on your screen saying "From" and "size"; from
there, you can ignore it or view it.  The CAB Internet Access Module
CAB_OVL is up to version 1.25 and is bundled with two  modules, one for
MC68000 and one optimized for MC68030 machines.

You will find these archives at:

Best Regards

Mille Babic
eMail: (English, German, Swedish, Croatian)
Atari Falcon CPU40MHz:DSP50MHZ (12MB RAM 540MB+1.0GB HD)
N.AES Operating System with MiNT Kernel and N.Thing Desktop



Floppyshop  are pleased to announce the release of Beast  Software's latest
release,  Tetris II Strikes Back. Tetris is one of the oldest computer
games around,   having made an appearance on  near  enough every  computer
platform from the ZX Spectrum to the PC.  The  first Atari  version was
written by a team of Russian  programmers.  There have  been  many attempts
at Tetris clones over  the  years  but  the latest,  Tetris II, is the best
ever. It is called Tetris II for two reasons!  It  includes two versions of
Tetris and has a  two  player option.

For  those  who have not played Tetris before,  here's a  quick  run down.
Coloured blocks of  different shapes and sizes fall from above.  Your  aim
is to guide them as they fall so that they slot into each other  to  form
complete lines.  Each time a  line  is  formed,  it disappears and you are
awarded a number of points.  The blocks above it fall down to fill the
space. Gameplay continues  until the pile of blocks  reaches the top of the
playing area.  This ends the game  in some versions of Tetris,  in others
it merely results in the playing area being cleared and you lose a life.

Is Tetris II Strikes Back is "just" another Tetris clone?  Well  yes and
no... Yes, it does include a faithful recreation of the original BUT  also
offers an alternative type of game which has  a  strategic element built-in
along with a number of extras,  making it more of a challenge than the
original ever was.  Tetris II Strikes Back (sorry about the long-winded
name,  Beast Software chose it, not us!) is in fact several game styles
built into a single easy to use interface.

The games on offer are Tetris Normal (the original game) and  Tetris II,
the  modern day version.  In Tetris II,  each level sets you  a challenge
(for example you must destroy three lines at once, destroy two  lines  four
times and destroy five single lines) and  you  must complete  this
challenge to progress to the next.  The  given  tasks vary and get tougher
with each new level.  In   addition,  most levels already  have  blocks
placed in the playing area and these  must  be destroyed fast to avoid a
rapid decline in your chances of survival.  Some  can  be  eliminated in
the usual manner,  others  need  to  be bombed, certain blocks are simply

In  addition to chosing Tetris Normal or Tetris II,  you can  select which
game Type you wish to  play.  There are two types on offer. The first is as
described above and the second (available in  both Tetris Normal and Tetris
II) furnishes your armoury with four bombs.  These can  be   guided like
missiles and used to  target  "problem  areas".  These are not atomic
devices (they   destroy the targeted area  only, not the entire playing
field),  so use them wisely.  Extra bombs can be earned by destroying three
lines in a single operation.

Control  is by keyboard or joystick.  When in two player  mode,  you both
play simultaneously  on opposite sides of an  enlarged  playing area. Other
features include passwords for every level  (allowing you to recommence
play from the last level achieved), excellent music (a compilation    of
old pop tunes) for ST/STe owners and user  definable keyboard control. When
running from  floppy, no further disk accesses are made after the game has
loaded (except for saving the  highscore table. The game is hard drive

Tetris  II Strikes Back runs on any ST or STe with at least  1Mb  of memory
and includes a  printed manual. A TT/Falcon compatible version is  also
available.  Please state which version   is  required  when ordering.
Tetris  II Strikes Back is available now for  just  eight pounds +  P&P (UK
one pound,  Europe two pounds,  ROW three  pounds).  Payment  can  be made
by  credit  card  (Visa,  Access,  Mastercard, Eurocard accepted) or UK
cheque/PO. Overseas customers not paying by credit card should make payment
in UK pounds sterling using a cheque drawn on a UK bank,  International
Money Order,  Post Giro, American Express Money Order or Canadian Postal

Contact: Floppyshop, PO Box 273, Aberdeen, Scotland, U.K. AB15 8GJ
Tel: 01224 312756 (Intl +44 1224 312756)

Floppyshop, Aberdeen, Scotland.                   30th April 1997

                             VECTOR ART '97 *

Floppyshop  in  association  with  Words &  Images  are  pleased  to
announce  the  immediate  availability of VECTOR ART  '97,  a  unique
collection   of  almost  450  individual  pieces  of   high quality
vectorised clip art.  All were created by John Weller a talented DTP
enthusiast who goes under the moniker of Words & Images. He has been
responsible  for countless megabytes of  high quality clip  art  over the
years and, more recently, the prestigious Bournemouth Collection of
Calamus fonts.  He is probably better known in Atari circles  as  the  man
behind  Enthusiasts PDL and  co-editor  (along  with  Dave Mooney) of the
ST Enthusiats Newsletter (STEN).

John is a perfectionist by nature and believes that if a job's worth doing,
it's  worth  doing well,   regardless of how long  it  takes! That's why we
asked him to compile this collection of quality  vector graphics. You just
need to look at the Bournemouth CFN collection to see what we mean.  Over
300 fonts with every character in every font individually  kerned by hand!
The fact that the  job  takes  several hundred  hours to complete is
entirely irrelevant,  the  end  result must  be  100% perfect or John bins
it and starts again!  That's  the sort  of  quality  we are used to in
John's  work  and  this  latest collection is no exception.


For those of you who don't know the difference between bitmap images and
their vector based counterparts here's a brief  rundown.  Bitmap images are
pixel based,  each image being made up from thousands (or hundreds of
thousands) of dots. Typical bitmap formats are IMG, GIF, TIFF,   Degas,
NEO  etc.  These images are usually designed for  on-screen display and
serve the purpose well.  Those which are intended to  be printed out (these
are usually but not always in  IMG  format) must  be  created at
resolutions of 300 dots per inch or  higher  in order  to  reproduce well
when printed.  The result is massive  files which occupy huge amounts of
memory and disk space.  Bitmap graphics also have the disadvantage of not
being very versatile when it comes to  scaling.  Scaling  an  image to a
resolution  higher  than  was intended  results   in the image size
reducing,  scaling to  a  lower resolution gives a larger image.  It is
therefore imperative to scan the  image  at the resolution of your output
device to  obtain  best results.

Vector graphics (like vector fonts) are a whole new ball game.  They are
not made up of individual pixels.  Instead, they are constructed from
lines  and bezier curves and the length,   angle  and  relative positioning
of these elements in relation to each other,  is  stored as  mathematical
data  rather than storing  the  actual  lines  and curves.  The  advantages
of this  method are much smaller file  sizes and  resolution independence.
Scale a well drawn vector  graphic  as small  or  as large as you like and
you  retain  the  quality.  This degree  of  flexibility  is not possible
with  bitmap  images.  Atari owners may already be familiar with vector
graphics   in GEM  Metafile or Calamus CVG formats.

How The Images Were Converted

The files started life as large IMG scans,  from various PD sources, and
were then vectorised  with the truly excellent Convector 2.  This can be
set at various levels of accuracy,  giving a  range of effects from
extremely accurate auto-tracing to a crude,  almost  'woodcut' effect  in
which triangles and rhomboids replace shapes  and  lines. The  majority of
the images on these  discs have been  vectorised  at the highest level of

Invision was used to thicken and smooth any bitmap image whose  fine lines
would have been  lost during vectorisation.  Each one of  these 445 images
had to be edited to some degree or other. Convector 2 has a 'filter/smooth'
routine which can be used to remove any stray dots  or irregularities  from
a scan,  but it's a rare  image  that  will vectorise  well without a
certain  amount of tweaking at  the  bitmap stage.  Megapaint  II was used
to sharpen the images to   ensure  the best possible results.

What They've Been Tested On

Each  file has been checked with Calamus v1.09n,  running on a 4  Mb STe
with a mono  monitor.  The majority of them have also  been  run through
O-Line Art, and some through  Calamus SL so there's no reason to believe
that they'll misbehave in any other program.

About VECTOR ART '97

Vector Art '97 is a collection of CVG vector graphics.  These can be used
with  any version of   Calamus or with Kandinsky  2  (registered version),
Outline Art, DA's Vector or Arabesque.  There are probably a  few  other
packages which also support the CVG  format.  If  your Desktop   Publishing
program does not support  CVG,  just  load  the graphics  into Kandinsky
and re-save them in GEM format.  Every  DTP package  handles GEM files.
Vector Art '97 consists   f  445  images grouped  into  30 logical
categories  (including  scrolls,  borders, animals,   business, food,
occasions, humour and symbols). Vector Art '97  is available now for only
10 +  P&P (one pound UK,  two  pounds Europe,  three pounds rest of world).
Payment can be made   by credit card (Visa,  Access, Mastercard, Eurocard
accepted) or UK cheque/PO. Overseas  customers not paying by credit card
should make payment  in UK pounds sterling using a cheque drawn on a UK
bank,  International Money  Order,  Post Giro,  American Express Money
Order  or  Canadian Postal Order.

Contact: Floppyshop, PO Box 273, Aberdeen, Scotland, U.K. AB15 8GJ
Tel: 01224 312756 (Intl +44 1224 312756)

Newsbytes NewsReel - 12 Years Ago This Week

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S.A., 1997 APR 30 (Newsbytes) -- By Nick Gorski.
Twelve years ago these Newsbytes stories were filed: Dvorak Does It Again;
Atari Troubles; and Overseas News. These stories were taken from the
extensive archives at the Newsbytes Website at

Dvorak Does It Again

Never short on controversy, columnist John Dvorak is once again the first
to spill the beans! This time he's written about "the best-kept secret" of
the year. Microsoft, he says, will unveil "Excel" at a news conference May
2, a product called a "super spreadsheet" by those who have seen it. Excel
will require a 512K Mac and is expected to directly compete with Lotus'
still-unfinished "Jazz." Shipments of Excel are expected by August 1. As
the Technologic Computer Letter states, "If Lotus does not want Macintosh
to become forever known as 'The Microsoft Office,' Jazz must appear within
the next 60 days." As for Dvorak, his description of Excel was also
accompanied in a San Francisco Chronicle article, with a tirade about a
certain national magazine which prohibited him from writing about it. Said
magazine and all the other editors who saw Excel were sworn to secrecy.
He's so angry about the hush-hush, he says, "Technology writers are often
accused of being in bed with industry and this episode seems to bear it

Atari Troubles

Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies in San Jose, Ca., says the Atari
Jackintosh, which was displayed at the Hanover Fair in West Germany,
crashed nine times in succession while a company official gave him a
demonstration, according to a published report. That could be because the
Jackintosh on display was the one and same that was shown at January's
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a prototype! Yet, Atari is said to
be ready to ship 5,000 STs to Atari user's groups. Hummm... Meanwhile,
Atari's former parent company, Warner, just got slapped with another
lawsuit. The Saudi Arabian firm of United  Technology Products Inc. wants
$320 million, charging that its Atari video game machines are defective.

Mac's Losing Battle In Japan

Responding to third party developers has been fairly common for major
Japanese manufacturers, such as Fujitsu and NEC. Japanese manufacturers are
very eager to help software developers, loaning new machines with no charge
even before their release and providing free technical information.
However, Apple Japan released Macintosh in an American style without
getting help from Japanese software developers beforehand. (It seems their
major sales point was placed on the discount sale). Consequently, most of
the Japanese software developers that Apple Japan should have depended on
preferred to develop software for Japanese machines. The decline of
Macintosh started then. Yet, there is some good news. Fat Mac is finally
released, and a Japanese wordprocessor (with only one kind of font) is
being developed. But, there are just a few application software packages in
Japanese. So there's not much optimism on Mac's future here yet.

Hooligan Elements Curtailed By Hi-Tech Cards / Britbytes by Steve Gold.

I guess that US football matches are a whole lot different than those over
here in the UK, but we have a social problem with hooligan elements being
attracted to the matches -- not to watch, but to fight! Things are so bad
over here that London's Chelsea football club has seen fit to install a
giant electric fence around their pitch (some humorists say it's to keep
the team in, and not the fans out). UK computer firms of Systemsolve and
Sperry are now toting the idea that each football supporter (that includes
most of the UK), will be issued with a cash-card style piece of plastic
which will carry a photo of the offender, er sorry, "fan." Each card will
have a magnetic stripe with an ID number printed on it. Fans would then be
able to swipe (unfortunate term that) the card through a reader to enter
the match. Any fans who behave in a way that won the war, but offends the
masses, will have their number taken and will be barred access to the
match. Simple..., or is it? Have you ever seen a six foot skinhead with a
brick attack an ATM? I know who'll win!

                              Gaming Section

NFL Quarterback Club!
3DO Sold!
And more!

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

Well, after a long delay due to technical problems, the Jaguar's "Iron
Soldier 2" has been released!  We're waiting to get our hands on a review
copy of the game, as well as hearing some immediate feedback on this one.
We're all hoping that it lives up to expectations!

We've also heard that two games announced LONG AGO for the Atari Lynx: "Fat
Bobby" and "Raiden" are also now available.  Lynx fans will probably enjoy
both of these games, but personally, I've seen Raiden enough times on other
systems to likely pass on it for the Lynx; Fat Bobby may be a good addition
to the collection, however.

Not much else happening on the Jaguar front while we wait to hear some
feedback on Iron Soldier 2.  Who knows what will be happening next after
the fiasco with getting this one out the door!  Telegames will probably
think long and hard over the next few weeks to determine if the other two
announced games (Worms and Zero 5) will be released.  We'll keep you
posted.  In the meantime, let us know how you feel about IS2!

Until next time...

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

                   Samsung Buys 3DO's Hardware Division

REDWOOD CITY, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., 1997 APR 28 (Newsbytes) -- By Richard
Bowers. Once the market leader in the console gaming marketplace, 3DO
Company has taken the final steps in getting out of the hardware side by
selling its hardware division to Samsung for $20 million in cash. According
to 3DO, the deal will "significantly increased capitalization" and
completes 3DO's transformation into a video game software company.

Samsung will form a new company based in Silicon Valley focusing on
multimedia systems and semiconductor products. Approximately 75 3DO
employees, currently in 3DO's hardware systems business, will be offered
positions in the new organization. Tobin E. Farrand, currently senior vice
president of Engineering for 3DO, will become president and chief executive
officer (CEO) of the new Samsung subsidiary.

3DO also announced that founder Trip Hawkins will reassume complete
operating control of the new software-focused 3DO as chairman, CEO, and
president. Hawkins, who also founded Electronic Arts, said, "This deal
allows 3DO to continue our momentum, be more focused, and provides us with
the capital to a major player in the video game software business."

He continued: "As a world-class manufacturer, Samsung has the skills to
capitalize on the potential of our hardware designs. While we initially
pursued a joint venture structure with Samsung, we both eventually agreed
that a sales transaction was, in fact, better for both companies, because
we could each be more focused on our core competencies."
Hawkins also announced key management changes at 3DO. According to 3DO,
Hugh Martin, who has served as president and chief operating officer (COO),
will oversee the transition of the hardware business to Samsung and phase
out of his day-to-day duties. He will remain an active member of the board
of directors.

Martin, who has an engineering and operations management background, was
responsible for the design and introduction of 3DO's hardware systems. He
negotiated the very lucrative licensing of 3DO's M2 technology to
Matsushita 18 months ago and he negotiated the sale of the hardware group
to Samsung.

The Matsushita deal brought over $100 million to 3DO, and a continued
royalty income stream when Matsushita begins delivering a console with the
M2 technology.   Under the terms of the Samsung deal, some physical assets
of 3DO's hardware systems business will be sold, ownership of certain
intangible assists will be assigned, and licenses and sub-licenses covering
certain intellectual property rights will be granted to Samsung. Samsung
will assume any liabilities for Korean government taxes relating to the
transaction and 3DO will receive a net cash payment of $20 million.

The new Samsung subsidiary will assist 3DO as a subcontractor regarding the
completion of the  remaining contract obligations due under 3DO's M2
technology license with Matsushita Electric  Industrial Company Ltd. 3DO,
however, will retain all its rights to receive software royalty revenue
from the M2 deal with Matsushita.   "We are well-known for our troubles on
our first-generation hardware  system," said Hawkins. "But we followed that
with a significant profit from our second-generation M2 system, and now
we've made another major transaction that is highly profitable.

While we learned our lessons, and made two deals that gave us significant
profits, we have realized that the hardware business is for large companies
like Samsung and Matsushita." 3DO has recently signed a licensing agreement
to publish titles for the Sony PlayStation, and its first hit game for the
PC, "Heroes of Might" and "Magic II," has sold almost 200,000 units.

Acclaim For New NFL Nintendo Videogame

Washington, DC, APR. 25  (ISWire Sports Beat) -  Acclaim Entertainment Inc.
is using the marketing muscle of the National Football League (NFL), the
NFL Quarterback Club, Players Inc. -- and Green Bay Packers quarterback
Brett Favre -- to  launch the NFL Quarterback Club 98 videogame for the
Nintendo 64 platform from Nintendo Co. Ltd. in fall of 1997. Acclaim says
benefits of the new game include a fully polygonal 3-D players and
stadiums, incredibly precise control and Acclaim's proprietary
motion-capture animation that allows the players  to look and move just
like their real-life gridiron counterparts.

Acclaim director of sports marketing Bob Picunko said:  We are excited to
be the first and only licensed N64 football game on the market for the 1997
season. By combining our advanced motion-capture technology with the speed
and superior graphics of the Nintendo 64, we have been able to create a
game that would have even [the late Packers coach] Vince Lombardi doing a
double take.   The game was developed by Iguana Entertainment, creators of
the game Turok: Dinosaur Hunter for the Nintendo  64-bit platform. The new
title is the latest in a series based on the NFL Quarterback Club.

Softimage Inc: Softimage and Nintendo To Team Up

APR 30, 1997, M2 Communications - Softimage Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary
of Microsoft Corp., today announced at the Computer Game Developers
Conference that it has entered into a development agreement with Nintendo
to create a Nintendo Game Development Environment (GDE) for Softimage 3D.
The GDE will provide new video game development tools for Nintendo 64
developers using Softimage 3D. For the first time, developers will be able
to use Softimage 3D as a tightly integrated component of the Nintendo 64
development environment. This powerful combination will result in titles
that take full advantage of Nintendo 64's powerful graphics capabilities.

The Nintendo GDE is part of a continuing program by Softimage to support
video game developers on all major game platforms. Because of its close
cooperation with developers and platform vendors, Softimage has emerged as
a leading provider of game development tools; it provides the most
comprehensive solutions for video game development. The team effort with
Nintendo supports this goal and demonstrates the Softimage commitment to
serving the unique needs of the video game development community.

"Until now, developers of games for Nintendo's 64-bit system were forced to
develop their own Nintendo tools using the Softimage SDK," said Moshe
Lichtman, president of Softimage. "This new GDE allows developers to
concentrate on producing world-class titles rather than development tools.
We look forward to continued joint efforts with Nintendo to provide one of
the most comprehensive development environments for creators of Nintendo
game titles."

The GDE provides tools for seamless export and import of geometry,
hierarchies, camera, lights, materials, textures, animation and polygon
rendering attributes to ease the production process. A polygon attribute
editor allows designers to control Nintendo 64-specific rendering
attributes on a per-polygon basis, and an on-target viewer allows designers
to quickly preview the contents of their Softimage scenes on the
development hardware. The on-target viewer provides powerful camera
manipulation and playback control. These tools help ensure that
high-quality content created in Softimage 3D will maintain its rich,
dynamic look when displayed on Nintendo 64 consoles.

"With this joint effort, Nintendo 64 game developers will have access to
another set of powerful tools, so all our products will continue to give
players realistic and exciting games," said Howard Lincoln, chairman,
Nintendo of America. "The new GDE will allow developers to fully exploit
the industry-leading 64-bit graphics capabilities plus the power of the
Nintendo 64 within an easy-to-use integrated development environment."
Softimage 3D was used to create the character animation and other stunning
content for Nintendo 64's flagship game, Super Mario 64. Other Nintendo
titles created with Softimage include Nekketu Professional Baseball King
and Wave Race 64. To date, Nintendo has shipped more than 6 million
Nintendo 64 systems worldwide.   The new Nintendo 64 targeted tools will be
shown publicly for the first time in the Softimage booth at the Computer
Game Developers Conference.

Jaguar Online STR InfoFile    -    Online Users Growl & Purr!

From: Wes Powell <>
Date: Thu, 01 May 1997


Here's some info on the stability of CDRs from the head IS2 programmer,
Marc Rosocha.

Hi Wes,

> I heard that CDRs don't last as long as regular this true?

All I can say is that none of the many CD-Rs we burned during the
devevolpment of IS2 had a problem in this respect so far. We used them
heavily for beta testing, sent them around the world  and they always
worked fine. It may be true that normal CDs are a little bit more stable,
but the  difference shouldn't be considerable as long as you handle them
with the appropriate care. In case  of IS2 we had no other choice after
different CD manufaturers were not able to replicate it, otherwise there
would have been no way to publish the game.

> Also, will there be any type of picture on the CD?

Each CD gets a label, which also means additional protection for the more
sensitive upper surface.


I hope to get IS2 tomorrow!
Take it easy,
Wes Powell

ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!

                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

 On CompuServe

Compiled by Joe Mirando

     Hidi ho friends and neighbors.  Well, now that Ellen is out of the
closet, Majors is on his way out of 10 Downing Street, and Chelsea has
picked a school, let's get down to some real business.  I'll tell you right
off that this is going to be a short column because my efforts to get
MiNTnet working on my MegaSTE are driving me nuts.  I've always been the
kind to stick with something until I finally get results (stubborn?? No,
not me!  <grin>), but this time has even people who know the system inside
and out baffled.  No one seems to be able to give me even a hint of why I'm
having such trouble getting MiNT to write to a hard drive without errors.
I have  a feeling that there is something simple that I'm overlooking, but
I have no idea of what.

     Rest assured, I will keep you updated on my progress (or lack
thereof).  With my luck, I'll get the results that  I've been looking for
about a day after a commercial PPP connection package becomes available.
Well, let's take a look at what's going on in the CompuServe Atari Forums.

>From the Atari Computing Forums

Our friend Myles Cohen asks for info:
     "I have downloaded some files with a .TGZ extension...How does one
     un-tgz them?"

Carl Barron tells Myles:
     "Got gzip and tar for atari?   If not and they are not here, they
     should be on a umich mirror.

     Be warned tar is a unix program, it can contain LONG file names
     and symbolic links.

     gzip -dc filename.tgz

     tar xfv filename.tar  #rename result of gzip if not filename.tar

     tar tfv filename.tar  # lists the contents of a tar file to screen.

     Tar is a file buncher, gzip is a compressor."

Myles tells Carl:
     "That is good info...Has anyone ever written a "How To" on this

Carl tells Myles:
     "I don't know of any specific files that are written. I just
     searched under my ppn and did not find any.  If you have mint and
     the tar/gzip/shell from taf then you can do both tar and gzip 'at
     the same time' saving a huge temp file.  If you don't then you get
     a huge temp file.

        tar tvf filename           list files in tar file
        tar xvf filename           extract all files from tar
        tar xvf filename FILENAME[s]    extract FILENAME[s] from tar
                                   file.[Case sensitive and unix
                                   separators as in tvf listing.
     tar cvf filename.tar FILENAME[S]   create tar file filename.tar
                                   with contents of FILENAME[s].

     gzip filename                 compress to filename .gz
                                   [modified for 3 char extension]
     gzip -d filename.gz           decompress to filename
     gzip -dc filename.gz               decompress to stdout [screen
                                   or redirected file]
     gzip -h                       should produce a short help

     A shell is recommended as Tos desktop draws on program exit."

On the subject of how to efficiently write description files for
programs uploaded to CompuServe, Joe Villarreal posts:
     "I write a description offline with a text editor, generally 78
     characters wide.  When CompuServe asks for a description, I just do
     a "send ACSII" or "upload ASCII" whichever option your terminal
     program has.  I've done this using both Stalker and Freeze Dried
     Terminal and also with various other terminal programs on other
     computers that I have used.

     I find that the editor on CompuServe, and other on-line services,
     is a pain to use.  I generally also upload a reply to a message
     just to stay away from the online editor."

Danny Williams asks for info on creating video titles:
     "I wish to use a 520 STE for producing video titles,can anyone
     tell me what equipment I need (ie a genlock I assume),what software
     is available and how the set up would work."

Albert Dayes tells Danny:
     "The only gen-lock I recall is the one designed for the Atari Mega
     ST. I believe it used the mega bus on the Mega ST. There maybe
     others that attached to 3rd party video cards but that is the only
     one I remember."

Tom Harker of ICD (Incredibly Cool Devices) posts:
     "We are just about finished with our new version 7.x.x of ICD SCSI
     Pro Software and looking for serious beta testers.

     Please respond by EMAIL.  Include name, address, phones,
     equipment, etc."

Joe Roborecky tells Tom:
     "I'm looking foward to version 7.x.x of ICD's software. I use
     6.5.5 Pro now.

     What features will be in 7.x.x?"

Tom replies:
     [We] "Fixed a few minor bugs, added XHDI 1.2 compliancy, and a
     couple of utilities."

Stephen Wilson asks:
     "Can anyone give me a rough idea of how much my trusty Supra 30Meg
     HD is worth on the s/h market? I know it's probably going to be a
     pretty insignificant proportion of the $loads I paid for it - but
     (hey) - easy come, . . .  :)

     I won't tell you what I've been offered, suffice it to say that
     I'd probably choose to keep it as a novelty paper weight instead.
     I'm in the UK (if that's relevant).

     PS: can I advertise gear here?"

John at Missionware Software tells Stephen:
     "I recently sold my Supra 30 megger for US $25.  I'm not sure what
     that translates to in pounds at the moment.  I doubt you'll get
     much more than that for it."

Sysop Bob Retelle tells Stephen:
     "I really can't say what your drive would be worth today...  but
     as you mentioned, in these days of gigabyte hard drives, a 30 Mb
     drive probably isn't going to be worth very much.

     It's mostly a matter of what someone who needs one is willing to
     pay, and how much you're willing to accept for it.

     By the way, yes... it's fine to post an individual, non-commercial
     ad to sell Atari related stuffff here..!

     (I won't even begin to calculate how many gigabytes of hard drive
     storage I could buy today for the same cost as my original Atari
     810 floppy disk drive..!  <smile>

Well folks, I told you it was going to be a short one this week.  That's it
for now.  Remember to listen to what they are saying when...

                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING

                            EDITORIAL  QUICKIES

 "A man went to a lawyer for a defense after he had been caught embezzling
millions from his employer.  
He was concerned about going to jail, but was told by the attorney, "Don't worry 
- you'll never go to jail with all that money."  
The lawyer was right. When the man went to prison, he didn't have a dime!"

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          STReport  "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE"   May 02, 1997
      Since 1987  Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved   Issue No. 1318

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