ST Report: 19-Sep-97 #1337

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 10/15/97-09:35:37 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 19-Sep-97 #1337
Date: Wed Oct 15 21:35:37 1997

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 September 19, 1997                                               No.1337

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 - CPU Industry Report  - E3 Relocates       - What's a 64DD???
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 - NEW Logitech Scanner - Motorola kills MAC - NY Gov Kills Net Tax
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                       AMD, IBM Strike a Deal
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                    Apple Vice President Resigns

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Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35
Results: 09/13/97: three of six numbers with 2 three # matches

>From the Editor's Desk...

     I can only guess about how many of you remember the editorial
(5/12/95) about the grossly negligent manner in which CompuServe was being
operated by its top management.  Here we are today looking at Comouserve
being "absorbed" like so much food for a much larger Giant.  A Giant (AOL)
that did indeed take advantage of the times and paid careful attention to
the Internet, the online service market and the premise of being an ISP
with the most to offer.

     One cannot help but wonder why these very same clods, now wish to
threaten many of their current and past contract holders with lawsuits of
an endless description and variety for having gone to Online Services that
do indeed have a vision of the future and are aggressively pursuing that
vision.  Month after month for the last TWO years. the forums on CIS have
gone downhill with many simply changing hands to far less capable hands and
those forums easily reflect such with their poor content and interaction
with the subs.

     First on the list of serious BLUNDERS was the WOW Disaster. what a
joke that thing was.  A monstrous bloated pig that offered little or
nothing except a highly structured, can you say. dictated environment?  WOW
easily sped toward FAILURE.. Then came the internal corporate jousts with
outsiders playing politics and insiders "getting even".. meanwhile.. the
service itself was being seriously neglected.

     CIS and its current spate of Whigs should think very carefully about
their lawsuit saber rattling as this is a VERY SMALL world.  Sooner or
later, these law suit happy petunias will have to deal the very same people
they are so busy threatening at this time.  When that time comes and come
it will. the flip side of the coin will bring sweet, sweet music.  These
Whigs have no-one to blame for the implosion of CIS.  They were ever so
busy re-directing CIS' income to reflect wonderful things for the
Stockholders that they neglected to keep CIS technologically up to date.

     With that thought in mind, once AOL and its mentor discover just how
backward CIS is, technologically speaking, I'll calmly and confidently
predict that CIS will be a mere shadow of itself if not gone entirely by
this time next year.  Well done guys.  Duh!

Ps; I was going to say something about J. Berst's garbage column where he
rants and raves on about Win98 but in the interests of sanity and kindness.
he's best ignored.  What a wasteful "outberst!"  Must be the "berst" he can

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                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                          AMD, IBM Strike a Deal

IBM has embraced Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s latest microprocessor -- the
K6 -- for use in some of its Aptiva computers, encouraging the Sunnyvale,
California, chipmaker to hope other PC makers will follow suit.
The Associated Press notes that while Acer, Fujitsu and Digital have agreed
to use the K6, introduced in May, none is as big as IBM.

AMD spokesman David Frink told the wire service, "Having IBM as a customer
validates the acceptance of the K6 processor, and it certainly will be
helpful as we approach other companies worldwide."  AP notes IBM will keep
using Pentiums in most of its PCs and wouldn't say how many K6 chips it
would buy. Jim Firestone, head of IBM's consumer division, said the company
believes AMD will help it expand its product line.

The wire service says the decision also likely will add ammunition to the
price war in the chip industry. While K6 chips are about 25 percent less
expensive than comparable Pentium processors, Intel has countered with
steep price cuts. AMD responded with reductions of its own.

                      Apple Offers Japanese Mac OS 8

A Japanese version of Apple Computer Inc.'s new operating system Mac OS 8
for the Macintosh will be released Sept. 26.  Reporting from Tokyo, the
Reuter News Service Apple Japan Inc. aims to sell 800,000 units of the Mac
OS 8 in Japan by the end of December.  Apple Japan President Eiko Harada
told a news conference today Apple has sold 1.2 million units of Mac OS 8
in the United States since it was unveiled there on July 22. The new
software will incorporate Netscape Communications Corp.'s Netscape
Navigator 3.01 and Microsoft Corp.'s Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.01.  The
Japanese version of Mac OS 8 is due to be upgraded next year, but details
have not yet been decided, an Apple Japan told the wire service.

                        Apple Buys Power Computing

Apple Computer Inc. has confirmed that it will buy the core assets of
Macintosh clone maker Power Computing Corp. in a deal valued at $100
million in Apple common stock.  Apple will acquire the right to retain key
employees with expertise in direct marketing, distribution, and
engineering; Power Computing's customer database; and the license to
distribute the Mac OS operating system.  "Power Computing has pioneered
direct marketing and sales in the Macintosh market, successfully building a
$400 million business," says Steve Jobs, an Apple board member and de facto
leader. "We look forward to learning from their experience, and welcoming
their customers back into the Apple family."

"Power Computing is grateful for the tremendous support and encouragement
we have received from the entire Macintosh community," says Stephen Kahng,
Power Computing's founder and CEO. "We believe that in our small way, we
have helped to make the Macintosh stronger, and that the spirit of Power
will live on."  Power Computing will retain its name and continue to sell
Mac OS  compatible computers through Dec. 31, 1997.  Apple will provide
ongoing  Mac OS support to Power Computing customers and Power Computing
will continue to provide hardware and warranty service to its customers.

                       Apple Vice President Resigns

Guerrino De Luca, Apple Computer Inc.'s executive vice president of
marketing since February, has resigned.
Reporting from Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, the Reuter News
Service says no successor was immediately named.  In a statement, De Luca
said, "This is a personal decision which does not reflect my assessment of
the company's prospects. We are seeing a lot of changes at Apple, and I'm
confident that Apple will shine again."

                     MacWorld Expo Moving to New York

Organizers of Apple Computer Inc.'s annual MacWorld Expo say the show is
leaving Boston for "bigger and better opportunities" in New York City,
bringing millions of dollars in tourist money with it.  Reporting from
Boston, United Press International quotes the organizers as saying the fact
it had to hold the four-day event at two different locations prompted it to
relocate to the Javits Center in Manhattan.

                     Motorola Exits Mac Clone Business

Motorola Inc. plans to discontinue its Mac OS-compatible computer business
in response to Apple's recent decision to limit the introduction of its new
technology and phase out future licensing.  Motorola says it had been
negotiating with Apple since February and had reached essential agreement
on new licensing terms in  June. "But given Apple's recent decision to
phase out its support for long term licensing, the agreement could not be
implemented," notes a Motorola statement.

"This announcement brings to an end our effort to reach agreement with
Apple on terms that would have supported our continued Mac OS investments,"
says Joe Guglielmi, general manager of Motorola's computer group. "Now that
we have arrived at this juncture we will concentrate our resources on
emerging opportunities  in the market and on strengthening our profitable
embedded and technical systems business, where we remain market leaders."
Motorola's OS-compatible StarMax systems will be available for sale until
the end of the year.

                        Hitachi Sells Best Buy Deal

Hitachi PC Corp. says it has reached a deal to market its VisionBook Plus
notebook PC line through Best Buy stores.  Under the agreement,
Minneapolis-based Best Buy will distribute the systems to over 280
locations nationwide, effective immediately. Estimated street prices for
the notebooks range from $1,799 to $3,199.
"Best Buy is one of the strongest merchandisers in the consumer electronics
market for mobile computing products. This addition further demonstrates
Hitachi's continuous growth in the retail channel," says Fred Angelopoulos,
senior vice president of sales, service and support for Hitachi PC Corp.,
which is based in San Jose, California. "With our 'best of class'
philosophy, we are selective in choosing partners in the retail market who
have a strong commitment to sell portable computer products. We've found
that Best Buy effectively reaches customers who prefer to buy these
products at consumer electronics stores."  The Hitachi PC Corp. Web site
can be found at

                     Novell Chief Denies Merger Rumors

Responding to rumors of a possible merger with IBM Corp., Novell Inc.
Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt has flatly stated that the networking company
"is not for sale."  "First of all, the company is not for sale," Schmidt
told reporters at the Java Internet Business Expo in New York, adding, "I
am not allowed to comment on  any of these kinds of rumors."  Novell, which
has seen sales of its flagship NetWare client-server  network software
hammered by the rapid rise of intranets, has been the subject of intense
speculation over the past several weeks.

                           Borland Banks on Java

Remember Borland International Inc.? The software publishing wonder of the
1980s is banking on demand for programs written in the Java computer
language to fuel a come-back. Borland, still struggling after three years,
is rolling out JBuilder, a program that helps programmers write other
software in Java, the language that handles much of the communication
between computers operating in corporate networks or on the Internet.

Borland President/CEO Del Yocam told Kourosh Karimkhany of the Reuter News
Service, "JBuilder is the first industrial-strength Java development tool.
It absolutely represents new revenue for the company."

Karimkhany says the new product also will help the Scotts Valley,
California, firm expand sales among corporate accounts, where customers
spend thousands of dollars. Until now, notes Reuters, much of Borland's
revenue has come from retail sales to individual programmers, who spend
about $150 for most types of programming tools.  Borland, once the
third-largest software vendor, has seen its revenue shrink in the past
three years, but Yocam says the firm is poised to  return to profitability.
The company has slashed expenses with layoffs earlier this year, and
focused on its core programming tools business.

                      Sun Asked to Cede Java Control

A group of computer industry giants is asking Sun Microsystems Inc. to
transfer control of its Java language to an international standards-setting
organization.  In an open letter to Sun executives, Intel Corp., Microsoft
Corp., Digital Equipment Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. state they are
concerned that Sun has too much control over a language that is quickly
becoming one of the foundations of the Internet.

"We think Java is important for industry and our customers," Tom Waldrop,
an Intel spokesman told the Reuter news service. "To us it's important for
the development of the Internet, that Java remain an open standard." "The
companies said Sun, the inventor of Java, should turn over ownership of the
language to the International Standards Organization, a forum that
regulates technical standards and measures," notes Reuters. The companies
also said the Java name should be free to all interested parties.

                    HP and Kodak Set New Printer Paper

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Eastman Kodak Co. have co- developed a new glossy
ink-jet photo paper that's designed to deliver photo-quality prints.  HP
Deluxe Photo Paper is compatible with HP's new DeskJet 720C and
DeskJet 890C printers.

"This co-developed ink-jet photo-grade paper, together with KODAK Image
Enhancement technology, enables  families and businesses to quickly and
easily create superb, quality photographic images from HP ink-jet
printers," says Cliff Trott, chief marketing officer and vice president of
Kodak's digital and applied imaging  division.  HP Deluxe Photo Paper,
scheduled to become available in October, will sell for $14.99 in a
20-sheet  pack.

                     Micron Adopts New Web Technology

Lucent Technologies reports that Micron Electronics has become the first
commercial customer to use Lucent's  Internet Call Center, which allows
users to browse a Web page and talk to a sales agent over a single analog
phone line.  Lucent's Internet Call Center is designed to make it easy for
customers to  buy, order and configure PC systems from Micron over the
Internet. Using a voice-enabled browser, such as Netscape Navigator or
Microsoft Internet Explorer, Micron customers simply click a button to
speak with a sales agent while browsing Micron's Web site

"By adding Lucent's Internet Call Center to our sales operation, we are
providing our customers superior  service, giving them direct access into
our call center from our Web site," says Jim Jacobson, director of
telecommunication at Micron Electronics. "Customers can browse our Web site
for information about the PC  they want to buy and then talk to agents if
they have questions about their purchase."  Lucent Technologies has also
installed the Internet Call Center at Lucent Direct, an online catalog for
customers interested in buying Lucent products. Customers can access Lucent
Direct at

                     Iomega Unveils Enhanced Zip Drive

 Iomega Corp. plans to introduce a ZipPlus version of its 100MB Zip drive.
The Roy, Utah, company reports that the $199.95 product will include a 40
percent performance boost, an AutoDetect feature that allows the drive to
be used with either a SCSI or parallel interface, a smaller universal power
supply and an on/off switch. The drive will also be bundled with multimedia
software, including full versions of Adobe PhotoDeluxe, DataViz's Web Buddy
and Digital Arts & Sciences' Image AXS.  "Iomega conducted extensive focus
studies with our customers to determine how we could best match their
needs," said Neil Snyder, general manager of Iomega's Zip aftermarket
business. "ZipPlus has been extremely well received by our distributors and
retailers who have previewed the product.  ZipPlus is scheduled to ship
this fall. The original Zip drive will continue to be available for
$149.95.  Iomega's Web site is located at

                     Netscape to Offer Java Navigator

A "100 percent pure Java" version of Netscape Navigator client software is
being promised by next year as part  of a new deal between Netscape
Communications Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. to integrate Sun's HotJava
technology.  The Reuter News Service says the software will run on Sun's
products, including the JavaStation,  as well as any platform with a Java
Virtual Machine.  "In addition," says Reuters, "Sun's JavaSoft division has
agreed to include Netscape's HTML rendering component, JavaBean, in
conjunction with the Java development kit, making Netscape's technology the
standard for HTML rendering for Java programming language applications. Sun
also plans to ship the Java version of Netscape's browser as the standard
browser technology with Sun's products."

                       Apple Changes Newton Strategy

Apple Computer Inc. reportedly has changed its mind on its Newton hand-held
unit. Instead of spinning off the division, as it announced three months
ago, the firm is said to be developing a general-purpose version of its
eMate portable now sold only to schools.  The New York Times reports the
reversal is the latest major change made by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs
since he became de facto head of the company last month.  Business writer
Catalina Ortiz of The Associated Press notes Apple has produced the Newton
hand-held, pen-based computer for the past four years and "despite
technological improvements, the company said in May it would turn the
Newton division into an independent subsidiary."

However, Apple now has changed that strategy, says the Times, citing
unidentified sources close to the  company. Apple now plans to use the
Newton software to develop versions of the eMate for uses beyond
education.  Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies Research
International in San Jose, isn't surprised. "I  know they've been very
pleased with the response to eMate," he told Ortiz. "They would like and
have been playing with the idea of ... an eMate line."

AP notes Apple earlier this year introduced the $700 eMate, which uses
Newton software but resembles a small  notebook PC. It is built into a
translucent green plastic "clamshell" that when opens reveals the screen
and keyboard.

                      Sharp Unveils High-End Notebook

Sharp Electronics Corp. has introduced a top-of-the-line notebook computer
equipped with a 233MHz Intel Pentium MMX processor.  The new PC-9820T
notebook also offers a 13.3-inch active matrix LCD, a Universal  Serial Bus
interface and a 56.6Kbps modem. Additionally, two multifunction bays allow
for the interchange of  a floppy disk drive, CD-ROM drive, a battery pack
or an wall power adapter.   "In our continued commitment  to rapidly
deliver the latest in  portable computing innovations, Sharp specifically
designed the PC-9820T to combine both the most recent PC advances such as
Intel's 233MHz processor with MMX technology, and Sharp's larger and
brighter LCD," says David Mills, associate director of Sharp's corporate
sales division. "The result is a technologically advanced and superior
performing notebook that is capable of satisfying the needs of any
corporate executives, whether on the road or at their desks."

                    Toshiba Has Slimline DVD-ROM Drive

Toshiba America Information Systems reports it is set to begin shipping the
first slimline DVD-ROM drive designed for integration into notebook PCs.
The Irvine, California, company notes that the SD-C2002 is compatible with
all current DVD media and CD-ROM media, including CD-R. It offers a data
transfer rate of 2.7K bps for DVD and 2.4K bps for CD-ROM. Volume
production is slated to begin later this month. Toshiba will sell the drive
to notebook PC manufacturers at prices starting at $250.

"By bringing DVD-ROM in a slimline form factor to notebook computer
manufacturers, we are enabling our customers to take mobile computing to a
new level," says Maciek Brzeski director of TAIS's optical business unit.
"The SD-C2002 will be the drive of choice for high-end notebook computer
manufacturers designing in  DVD-ROM for their Winter 97 and Spring 98

                       Apple Upgrades Power Mac 6500

Apple Computer Inc.'s Power Macintosh 6500 models are now available with
new speed enhancements.
The systems, which include faster internal modems and CD- ROMs, as well as
larger hard drives in most models, are also the first Apple desktop systems
to ship with the recently introduced Mac OS 8 system software.
Designed for the family and small office/home office markets, the new Power
Macintosh 6500/300 Home Edition, 6500/275 Home Edition and 6500/275 Small
Business Edition models feature a 6GB internal hard drive, a built-in
24x-speed CD-ROM drive, a 56kbps modem and an internal 100MB Zip drive. The
Power Macintosh 6500/250 Home Edition features a 4GB internal hard drive
and no Zip drive.

"The new Power Macintosh 6500 systems incorporate numerous improvements
based on the feedback we received from our customers," says Ketil
Henriksen, an Apple product manager. "We have equipped the systems with new
features we feel will provide our customers with the simplicity, yet power
they expect from a Power Macintosh."  The enhanced Power Macintosh 6500
models are scheduled to ship during September, except for the 6500/300,
which is scheduled to ship in October. Prices range from $2,000 to $3,000.

                     Logitech Readies Flexible Scanner

Logitech is preparing to release FreeScan, a $299 scanner that's capable of
handling multiple-page documents, bound materials, photos, business cards
and a wide variety of large and small items, ranging from engineering
drawings to postage stamps.  FreeScan users feed multiple-page documents
through the unit's rear-mounted automatic document feeder and single pages
through either a front-feed slot or the document feeder. To scan bound
materials, FreeScan's motorized scanner head detaches to "travel" along
pages at a controlled speed.

"We believe customers are looking for the freedom to scan almost anything
and be assured of great results, yet they're faced with difficult tradeoffs
in finding a scanner well-suited to their needs," says Fred Swan,
Logitech's senior product manager for scanners. "With FreeScan, we're
offering options, not forcing compromises. That's why we're calling the
category 'compact multipurpose,' as opposed to 'sheetfed,' 'flatbed' or
'photo' scanner, each of which implies certain limitations."

FreeScan features a 600 by 600 dots per inch optical resolution (4,800 by
4,800 dots interpolated) and a 30-bit color depth. The unit is scheduled to
ship in late September.  Logitech's Web site is located at

                        Windows 98 Release Delayed

Release of the latest Windows upgrade is being postponed by Microsoft Corp.
to allow users of its two earlier operating systems to switch at the same
time.  Associated Press writer Rory Marshall quotes Microsoft officials as
saying the delay was unrelated to any bugs with Windows 98 and that the
publisher plans to release the software sometime between April and June
instead of by the end of March, as originally planned.  The company said it
needs more time to test upgrades for Windows 95 and its predecessor,
Windows 3.1, which is still used by millions of people.  Marshall notes
Microsoft had planned to sell only an upgrade for Windows 95 first, then
one for 3.1 later, but .

But Windows product manager Phil Holden said releasing the product in two
stages would have caused confusion among software testers and customers.
AP says Windows 98, like Windows 95, is being designed to run programs
written for earlier versions of the operating software, which runs the
basic functions of a computer, adding, "The new version of Windows won't be
the technological leap that marked the introduction of Windows 95 two years
ago. But it will combine Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser into the
general operation of the computer, while being more reliable and simpler to
operate."  Microsoft estimates about 60 million computers users still rely
on Windows 3.1, while 100 million use Windows 95 or Windows NT, a corporate
version of the software.

                     Microsoft WebTV to Face Challenge

Microsoft Corp.'s WebTV venture is about to be challenged by a firm
supported by a group of cable, communications and financial industry
companies.  According to the New York Times, Bensalem, Pennsylvania- based
start-up Worldgate Communications Inc. is building a TV-based Web browsing
that would be faster, cheaper and less demanding of the user than
Microsoft's technology. The company is backed by Scientific-Atlanta,
Citicorp, Motorola and a number of other large firms.  The newspaper notes
that within a few weeks, Worldgate will begin offering Internet service
through a set-top cable converter box, the subscriber's TV and a remote
control for $12 or less per month. The service would offer data speeds four
times faster than the fastest modem connections over conventional phone
lines, the paper adds.  Microsoft's Web TV requires consumers to buy a
special $200 set-top device and pay a $20 monthly fee.

                     Portable Computer Market Changes

The rapid expansion of the U.S. portable computer market has been driven by
increased use of the machines as primary computers, but what buyers require
and value from vendors may be changing, finds a new study by International
Data Corp.  The study notes that while current technology remains
important, other issues are coming to the forefront -- system availability,
product  reliability, vendor reputation, and warranty and service --
signaling a deemphasis on product specifications as the primary criteria
driving future portable PC purchases. On the competitive front, IDC's
report shows that the traditional market leaders are receiving a strong
challenge from up and coming vendors like Dell Computer Corp.

"It is quite clear the recent problems of product availability and  product
reliability have impacted the purchasing decision process for many portable
computer buyers," says Randy Giusto, director of mobile technology
research. "The portable PC market is mature and largely commoditized so
product features are no longer the key differentiators they once were. For
many, the current set of technology features are sufficient,  and vendor
marketing skills must move to a higher level, as the new set of purchase
criteria center on issues  such as network manageability, cost of
ownership, ease of doing business and brand strength."  The study finds
that Dell has become a formidable force among top-tier vendors, while
Toshiba is the "best of  breed" among all vendors.  IDC's Web site
( contains additional company information and  recent
news releases and offers full-text searching of recent research.

                     Sony Offers New Rewritable Discs

A new standard for large-capacity, rewritable data storage discs for
computers and digital video disc players has  been announced by Japan's
Sony Corp. and five other companies.  Reporting from Tokyo, the Reuter News
Service says the new disc, called Phase-Change Rewritables, will be
supported by Hewlett-Packard Co., Philips  Electronics NV, Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp., Ricoh Co. and Yamaha Corp.  The disk will not be compatible
with DVD-RAMs, a similar rewritable disc technology announced earlier this
year by a group of 10 major  electronic equipment makers, including Sony
and Philips. DVD-RAMS are due to hit the market at the end of this year,
Reuters notes.  The wire service quotes Sony officials as saying the disc
will be able to store 3.0 gigabytes of information on a single side,
compared with DVD-RAM's 2.6 gigabytes. Look for Sony to put the new disc on
the market in the first half of next year, but the launch date will vary
among the
six firms.

                          Wearable Computer Ships

Xybernaut Corp. has begun shipping its newest wearable computer.  The
Xybernaut l33P, designed for "hands-free" use in a variety of industrial
applications, is the first wearable computer to ship with the new 32-bit
PCMCIA cardbus technology. The system comes standard with a 133MHz Pentium
processor, 32MB of EDO RAM, a 1.4 GB hard drive, a full set of standard
ports, a built-in pointing device and an infra-red port. Also provided are
an integrated speech recognition software and two Type II or one Type III
PCMCIA cardbus slots.

The computer is powered by lithium-ion batteries that deliver 4 to 8 hours
of continuous service. A miniature headmounted VGA display presents
information as if it were being viewed on a 15-inch monitor from 2 feet
away.  "With the establishment of factory production line capabilities, and
now shipment of the 133P, Xybernaut is well on its way to providing its
customers with a range of wearable computing products to meet a variety of
requirements," says Edward G. Newman, president and CEO of Fairfax,
Virginia-based Xybernaut.

                      More Supercomputer Rules Urged

Two congressmen say U.S. controls over export of supercomputers are
inadequate for national security  purposes, urging the Clinton
administration to revise them.  Rep. Floyd Spence (R-South Carolina),
chairman of  the House National Security Committee and Rep. Ronald Dellums
(D-California), the ranking Democrat, have  released a report reaching that
conclusion by a bipartisan panel of nongovernment experts, reports The
Associated Press.  Spence said, "This report confirms my belief that the
administration's supercomputer policy fails to properly  account for
America's national security interest. I hope this report will help us
convince the administration to reconsider its policy before irreparable
damage is done to our national security."

AP notes that in October 1995, the Clinton administration relaxed export
controls based on a Stanford  University report to the Departments of
Defense and Commerce.  The congressmen say that as a result, the China and
Russia were able to obtain U.S. supercomputers that can assist them in
their nuclear and
advanced conventional weapons programs. They said Russia has acknowledged
its intention to use them to maintain its nuclear weapons stockpile.
Spence and Dellums have asked a five-member panel of outside experts to
review the Stanford study to assess the implications on U.S. national
security of relaxing supercomputer export controls. They said four of the
five panel members agreed the study had several shortcomings.

                      House Action Seen on Encryption

Suddenly, two House committees are poised to approve domestic controls on
computer encoding technology for the first time, illustrating how quickly
debate over encryption has changed in the past month.  Reporter Aaron
Pressman of the Reuter News Service observes, "Less than two months ago,
opponents of strict U.S. export controls on encryption announced that they
had the support of a majority of the House for a bill to eliminate most
restrictions. But since then, the Clinton administration stepped up its
lobbying campaign, sending the heads of the FBI and the National Security
Agency to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers in classified hearings on the
dangers posed by free export of encryption."

z    On Tuesday, the House National Security Committee gutted the bill to
  relax export controls. Pressman notes an amendment to tighten export
  controls passed on a 45 to one vote, with more than a dozen backers of the
  original bill voting for the more-stringent restrictions.
z    Yesterday, lawmakers planned to offer further amendments in the Select
  Intelligence Committee and the Commerce Committee which would impose
  domestic controls on the use of encryption, currently unregulated with the
  United States.

"The amendments," says Reuters, "would require all encryption manufacturers
to include a feature allowing the government to decode any message
covertly. The proposals also would require network operators, Internet
providers and phone companies to ensure that any encryption services they
provide to customers can be cracked by law enforcement agencies."  As
reported, FBI director Louis Freeh says such legislation is needed to allow
law enforcement agencies to continue to tap conversations of criminals and
terrorists as encryption spreads.  However, the high-tech industry contends
the technology to allow eavesdropping would increase the vulnerability and
raise the cost of all electronic messages sent by law-abiding citizens and
businesses, while criminals would disable the back doors.

                       Stronger Net Copyright Urged

Music publishers have descended on Congress asking for approval of two
international copyright treaties in a  bid to stave off what they says is a
new breed of cyber-pirates.  Appearing yesterday before the Senate
Judiciary  Committee, the publishers played an illegal, pirated version of
Madonna's hit song "Don't cry for me  Argentina," which listeners said
sounded as good as the real thing.

Citing a proliferation of such perfect digital copies on the Internet, the
publishers told the senators the treaties, passed in December by the World
Intellectual Property Organization, seek to update copyright laws across
the globe in the age of computers and computer networks.  Cary Sherman,
general counsel for the Recording Industry Association of America, told the
committee, "The Internet holds great promise for electronic commerce for
music and other forms of entertainment.  Unfortunately, the rapid growth of
the Internet also means that the peril faced by our industry is of the same
magnitude. Our sound recordings are easily copied to a computer hard
drive."  However, notes the Reuter News Service, the treaties could curb
legitimate "fair use" of copyright material, according to some libraries
and educational groups.

For instance:

z    Libraries and others favor legislation to clarify and protect fair use
  in the digital age. They back a bill by Sen. John Ashcroft (R-Missouri) to
  clarify language in the treaties and make sure fair use rights are
z    Telephone companies and online service providers have told the
  committee they fear the treaties and implementing legislation proposed by
  the Clinton administration would leave them legally liable for copyright
  infringements by any of their millions of customers. They backed
  legislation to protect them from liability unless the owner of a copyright
  work notified them of an infringement.

                        Feds Resist Net Phone Rules

Pleas by small long-distance companies to regulate Internet telephone calls
are being resisted by the federal government.  At a conference in
Washington yesterday on the Net phone technology, Commerce Department
Assistant Secretary Larry Irving said, "Washington at this point has no
need to regulate."  The Associated Press notes the America's Carriers
Telecommunications Association, a group of small long-distance companies,
is worried that the new communications may cut into profits and has asked:

z    The Federal Communications Commission to order makers of Internet
  phone technology to stop selling software that allows people to make such
z    The government to regulate Internet phone providers like traditional
  telephone carriers, meaning they would have to pay fees to support
  affordable telephone service for low-income and rural people and their
  services would be subject to state and federal regulation.

However, FCC has not yet acted on the petition, filed in March 1996.  AP
notes some 60 companies now provide Internet phone service, though the
business is still in its infancy.

                     U.N. Seeks Deal in Net Names Flap

United Nations experts say countries seeking a consensus on the issue of
expanding Internet addresses want more liberal standards to allow a greater
number of firms to settle disputes over domain names.  Speaking in Geneva
yesterday at the World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nations
agency that deals with copyrights and trademarks, the experts said new
guidelines are likely to be issued by the end of the year on registration
of corporate domain names on the Internet.

Notes the Reuter News Service, "It is hoped that those guidelines will put
an end to bidding wars over desirable names and in some cases, lawsuits by
trademark holders claiming infringement. Efforts to harmonize the system of
network addresses, which direct Web surfing and other Internet activity,
were discussed at a Geneva meeting among WIPO's member states this week."

Reuters says a bloc of global and national companies and cyberspace bodies
are seeking a new system for registering corporate addresses on the
Internet, noting that last May, they agreed to set up a dispute settlement
mechanism for domain names where WIPO will act as administrator.  WIPO
director Albert Tramposch told the wire service that participants  are
seeking a more liberal definition for a dispute settlement system than one
in a proposal drafted in January which defined internationally known
trademarks as those held in 35 or more countries located in four or more
geographical regions, a criteria which many companies were unable to meet.

Said Tramposch, "Participants felt that there was a need for providing
greater access to an administrative  dispute settlement procedure so that a
large number of companies can have their conflicts settled quicker and
more efficiently."  He said the efforts are aimed at ending confusion over
allocation of "top-level domain names" or TLDs -- counterparts of telephone
numbers on the rapidly expanding global computer system.

Overseeing the domain name change, a group called the Interim Policy
Oversight Committee, of which WIPO is a member, has proposed a new
structure for doling out domain names that envisages the creation of new
registries for international, rather than country-specific domain names.
As noted, the plan also would end a monopoly currently held by the
U.S.-based Network Solutions Inc. on so-called "generic" TLDs -- .com,
.org, and .net -- by creating seven new addressing categories such as
.store for shops and .arts for culture.

Tramposch told Reuters the Interim Policy Oversight Committee is expected
to issue new guidelines on domain names by the end of the year and to chose
new registrars of international domain names in addition to eight named so

                       Net Threat Worries Commission

A presidential commission says says government research funding should be
doubled to prevent cascading failures of the nation's power, water, finance
and emergency systems that are increasingly connected, especially through
the Internet.  Associated Press writer Beth Powell says the President's
Commission on Critical  Infrastructure Protection is reviewing security for
eight critical infrastructures: electric power distribution,
telecommunication, banking and finance, water, transportation, oil and gas
storage and transportation, emergency services and government services.

Retired Air Force Gen. Robert T. Marsh, the commission chairman, told
Powell, "These are the life support  systems of the nation. They're vital,
not only for day-to-day discourse, they're vital to national security.
They're  vital to our economic competitiveness world wide, they're vital to
our very way of life."   The advisory committee says the budget for
research and development against threats to critical infrastructure now
stands at $250 million, and recommends doubling those expenditures to $500
million in 1999 and adding $100 million a year to $1 billion by 2004.

Powell says the research and development funding is scattered through
different agencies, but is mainly in the  National Security Agency, the
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the departments of Commerce
and Energy.  Marsh said intentional or accidental damage to one aspect of
the nation's infrastructure could  domino and bring down other systems,
adding, "We're not trying to alarm. In fact, there haven't been any
serious attacks on our infrastructures. What we're saying is, let's take
prudent actions to forestall this kind of crisis happening to us in the

                     New York Governor Vetoes Net Tax

New York Gov. George Pataki has vetoed a state bill that would have made
Internet access services tax exempt,  saying that while he still supports
the Internet tax exemption, the bill passed by the Legislature was flawed.
Reporting from Albany, New York, The Associated Press quoted Pataki as
saying the measure wasn't as broad  as an administrative ruling he had
directed the state Department of Taxation and Finance to draw up earlier
this  year which would have exempted Internet access charges from sales and
use taxes as well as the telecommunications excise tax.

The governor says the bill drawn up to codify the tax department ruling
didn't exempt the Internet services from  the telecommunications excise
tax.  AP notes New York currently doesn't tax Internet services and the
governor's plan clarifies that they will not do so. The bill would have
provided the first such Internet exemptions in the nation.  Adds the wire
service, "Of the states that have established Internet tax policies,
Connecticut, Massachusetts,  Tennessee and Texas are taxing Internet
services and Nebraska has imposed a partial tax."

AP says the vetoed bill also didn't contain other key provisions of the tax
department ruling such as a clarification that New York-based Internet
providers which accept on-line advertising from companies outside of the
state would not have to pay sales tax on the revenue from those ad sales.
Also, the out-of-state companies would not pay additional New York taxes.
"Providers had been worried by carrying advertisements for mail-order
companies outside the state they would be subject to state sales tax,"
says AP. "The exemptions were intended to make New York more attractive
to Internet providers."

                     IRS Vows Electronic Taxes By '99

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service, seeking to boost electronic filing of
tax returns, plans to allow Americans to pay the taxes they owe that way,
too, in 1999.  Business writer Rob Wells of The Associated Press quotes
acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Michael Dolan as saying
taxpayers could permit the Automated Clearing House, a computerized bank
payments system, to transfer money from their checking accounts to pay
their tax bills. The IRS now allows direct deposit of tax refunds through a
similar electronic payment system.
Wells notes the announcement came as the House Ways and Means oversight
subcommittee held a hearing on  ways to improve electronic filing of tax
returns, which a recent IRS study commission said was a key element  of
reform for the tax collection agency.

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           A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N

EDUPAGE STR Focus        Keeping the users informed


The Internet Goes To Television
Airfare Web Sites Want Buyers, Not
Microsoft Buys Stake In Translation
Software Company
Integrated Circuits And Musical
Birthday Cards
Software Piracy
Lower-Priced PCs Hit The "Sweet
Security Issues Are Risk-Management
High-Level Cracking In Canada
Electronic Monographs Are "Great
Defending The Right To Hyperlink
Digital To Offer Internet Shopping
Bell Canada, Netscape Team Up On
Electronic Commerce
Chipmakers Fund Gov't Research On
Next-Generation Chips
Motorola Discontinues Mac
Super-Speedy Image Processing
Educom Project Targets Metadata
Before You Know It, There's More
History To Know
Microsoft Invests In Speech
Recognition Firm
"Information Age?". . .For Whom?
High-Tech Investment
The Proliferation Of ISPs And Other
Amusing Statistics
The Fate Of Internet Service
Internet Keeps Growing And Growing
Windows 98 Timetable
Are "Invisible" Trademarks Unfair
Walking Away From The Medicare
Computer Project
Microsoft Jump-Starts WebTV
Year 2000 Problem Is "Real,
Serious, Important"
Pentium II Prices Poised To Plunge
IBM, CompUSA Discover Just-In-Time
Sega, Microsoft To Team Up On
High-Powered Video Game


A group of companies in the cable industry is ready to begin offering
low-cost, high-speed Internet access to  standard television sets with an
ordinary set-top cable converter box, without the need for a PC or any
additional equipment.  For a fee of  no more than $12 a month, the service
will at first be available only to  subscribers in Philadelphia and
St.Louis, with other cities added next year. The coalition of companies
includes  Worldgate Communications of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, along with
backers such as Citicorp, Motorola, and a  number of cable system operators
and major advertising agencies.  Consultant Richard Doherty says:
"Worldgate is Web TV and Microsoft's worst nightmare.  They have the
cheapest cost of infrastructure, and  they can switch the Internet on for
more Americans than anyone in the country."  (New York Times 11 Sep 97)


Expedia (owned by Microsoft), Travelocity (owned by American Airlines'
parent company), and other Web sites that provide travel services are
trying to make sure that visitors don't spend too much time looking at
price quotes without eventually buying an airline ticket.  A travel Web
site must pay a fee every time it accesses an airline computer reservation
system to obtain a price quote, so the site has a definite incentive to
discourage  pure window-shopping.  Expedia says that "if a lot of  people
use the site without buying, it saps the system resources and can make it
slower."  (USA Today 10 Sep 97)


Microsoft is buying 20% of Trados GmbH, a German-based maker of translation
software, to increase its ability  to make local versions of Microsoft
software products which typically are shipped in more than 30 languages.
Trados software does not perform machine translation but instead stores
phrases and sentences after they have  been translated, so that when
similar or identical phases recur the software automatically provides the
translation.  (San Jose Mercury News 10 Sep 97)


Now 73 years old, Jack Kilby, who invented the integrated circuit at a
Texas Instruments laboratory in 1958,  marvels at how much impact his
invention has had on the world.  "I am continuously being surprised by some
of the products coming onto the market. Some of them are fascinating...
Musical Christmas and birthday cards,  neckties that play tunes. I
certainly couldn't have foreseen those."  Looking back on the microchip
revolution,  Kilby says: "It didn't happen overnight. It has been the
result of 40 years of hard work by tens of thousands of people."  (Reuter 9
Sep 97)

                              SOFTWARE PIRACY

Vice President Al Gore told the Software Publishers Association that U.S.
government departments and  agencies have been ordered to crack down on
pirated software within their offices.  While piracy is a hot issue  for
software makers, the SPA doubts much pirated software is being used in
government departments. (Toronto Globe & Mail 10 Sep 97 B12)

                   LOWER-PRICED PCs HIT THE "SWEET SPOT"

The new crop of bargain-basement PCs, priced at $1,000 or lower is
germinating a new market of buyers that   would change the computer
industry's economic model.  Packard Bell says its two top-selling models
both fall  into this category, and that the lower-priced PCs now account
for 30% of its retail sales, a figure that's  representative of the
industry as a whole. The rush to buy the new machines has boosted home-PC
sales growth,  and is predicted to push PC penetration of U.S. homes to 53%
by 2001, according to estimates by Forrester  Research.  "That sweet spot
of $999 was something I couldn't resist," says one typical consumer.  (Wall
Street Journal 10 Sep 97)


Consultant Ira Machefsky of Giga Information Group's Santa Clara office
says that the issue of computer  security is like the issue of automobile
safety.  "If I told you 100 years ago you'd ride around in a little steel
box  that could go 90 miles an hour, you'd have said that's crazy because
it's dangerous. That's similar to the Internet.  You accept the risks
because the potential benefits carry the day. But it's all about risk
management." (Information Week 8 Sep 97)

                       HIGH-LEVEL CRACKING IN CANADA

Computer Security Canada has opened an online library of computer security
breaches that have occurred on  the World Wide Web.  The site contains
examples of some of the most embarrassing Web security breaches that  have
occurred in government, the military, academia and industry. < > (Toronto Globe & Mail 10 Sep 97)


As university publishers struggle to find the right business model for
offering scholarly documents online, some  early innovators are finding
that making a monograph available electronically can boost sales of hard
copies. The National Academy Press has already put 1,700 of its books
online, and is finding that the electronic  versions of some books have
boosted sales of the hard copy monographs -- often by two to three times
the  previous level.  It's "great advertising," says the Press's director.
The MIT Press is experiencing similar results:   "For each of our
electronic books, we've approximately doubled our sales.  The plain fact is
that no one is going  to sit there and read a whole book online.  And it
costs money and time to download it."  Meanwhile, the  Association of
American Publishers has set up a Web site to showcase its new Digital
Object Identifier System,  which identifies copyrighted material and links
the user to the copyright owners.
(Chronicle of Higher Education 12 Sep 97)


World Wide Web founder Tim Berners-Lee says he's disturbed by the recent
lawsuit between Microsoft and  Ticketmaster regarding Microsoft's
unauthorized hyperlink to Ticketmaster's Web site.  "The question, 'May I
have permission to link to your site?' has got me really upset,'' he says.
The freedom to like from one site to  another should be a given:  "You and
I have a right to discuss something,'' he says, regardless of whether that
something wants to be discussed.  "You don't have to ask someone's
permission to talk about them.''  (Seattle Post-Intelligencer 10 Sep 97)


Digital Equipment Corporation, in collaboration with Wells Fargo Bank,
Microsoft, and VeriFone, will offer  computers, software and services to
retailers wanting to establish a store on the Internet.  The system will
make  use of a Digital server running Microsoft's Storefront software, with
Wells Fargo providing Internet credit card  clearing services using
software from VeriFone, a subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard. (Financial Times
10 Sep 97)


Bell Canada and Netscape Communications have formed a strategic partnership
to provide Internet services to  businesses, including secure electronic
data interchange for financial transactions and sales information
analysis.  A senior VP at Bell Canada says his company hopes to become a
major player in the Automotive  Network Exchange, the automobile industry's
initiative to automate transactions between car makers and  suppliers on
the Internet, scheduled to be fully operation next year.  (Wall Street
Journal 10 Sep 97)

                           NEXT-GENERATION CHIPS

Intel, Motorola and Advanced Micro Devices will spend $250 million to fund
a three-year R&D partnership  aimed at developing extreme ultraviolet
lithography technology.  The Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography Limited
Liability Co., as the partnership is called, will enlist the research
efforts of the Livermore, Sandia and Berkeley  national laboratories.
Intel co-founder Gordon Moore says EUV technology is vital to the chip
industry:  "The  semiconductor industry has a major problem to solve here.
EUV has a lot going for it, that's where we are  going to put our money...
We are going to pursue the technology to the point where it can be realized
as a system."  (TechWeb 11 Sep 97)

                         MOTOROLA DISCONTINUES MAC

Motorola, in response to Apple's recent decision to put limits on Mac OS
licensees, has decided to drop its Mac  OS clone business.  "This was a
tough decision for all of us, but given Apple's position we had no choice,"
says  a Motorola VP.  "You can sue for divorce, but you can't sue for
marriage." Motorola will continue to sell its  StarMax clone up to the end
of the year, but it cannot sell its StarMax Pro 6000, built on the CHRP
(common  reference hardware platform) architecture.  The StarMax Pro 6000
was slated to ship in the first two weeks of  this month, and was reputed
to be the fastest Mac on the market; it was also able to run PC
applications at the  speed of a 166-MHz Pentium.  Umax now remains the only
company able to license the Mac OS for its clones.  (InfoWorld Electric 11
Sep 97)

                       SUPER-SPEEDY IMAGE PROCESSING

Lockheed Martin Electronics & Missiles has spent 15 years developing a
super-speedy chip for military image  processing that now is moving into
commercial use in the medical and database fields.  Lockheed's chip sports
4,000 or more tiny circuit modules that can process 4,000 pixels in
parallel, speeding up considerably  time-consuming chores such as matching
fingerprints in a database or screening mammograms.  In addition, a  new
mathematical technique, called image algebra, manages to squeeze the number
of instructions needed to process a pixel by 50%.  (Business Week 15 Sep


Educom is teaming up with a coalition of academic, industry and government
organizations to develop a  metadata specification for materials used in
higher education, corporate and government training programs,  making them
easier to find on the Web.  The metadata specs provide a common vocabulary
for searching and  using various components that make up educational or
training courseware.  Educom is also making available a  Java-based tool
that will assist content developers in applying the metadata labels to
their materials.  The  metadata specification development is part of
Educom's Instructional Management Systems project.


Suggesting that laptop computers and CD-ROMs, rather than books, might be a
cheaper and better way of keeping learning materials current, the Texas
State Board of Education chairman Jack Christie says:  "We're  talking big
numbers there, and the price of this technology is coming to where it
approaches that level.  Why wait  for the rest of the nation? Why wait for
six, seven, eight years to update history?"  (New York Times 12 Sep 97)


Microsoft will invest $45 million in Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products NV,
which specializes in developing  speech recognition technology.  "Speech is
a nascent technology.  There aren't that many companies around that  have a
good core competence in this field.  Combining the efforts of the two
companies can only benefit the  user in the end," says a Microsoft manager.
Belgian-based L&H is one of the few speech recognition software   firms to
have developed products in as many as 20 different languages, and its
technology can be found in many  commercial applications, from translation
software to on-board car navigation systems.

                     "INFORMATION AGE?". . .FOR WHOM?

Project Gutenberg founder Michael S. Hart says he is disturbed by copyright
legislation in Congress which  would extend all current copyrights by 20
years with no provision for maintaining the public domain.  "To add  20
years to copyright creates a Landed Gentry of the Information Age," he
says.  The public domain is an  inalienable right of the public which
cannot be a commodity to be bought or sold, either by persons or by their
government.  "Copyright extension destroys both the concept and content of
the public domain."  (Time 15 Sep 97)

                           HIGH-TECH INVESTMENT

A study by the Conference Board of Canada found that tax breaks are not
much a lure for high-tech companies  looking to expand or relocate.
Companies identified a skilled work force as the most important influence
on  where to relocate, with quality of life a distant second and the
proximity of a local university third.  A second  study by KPMG confirmed
the Conference Board conclusions that tax breaks play only a minor role in
the  creation of high-tech clusters.  (Toronto Globe & Mail 11 Sep 97)


According to Boardwatch magazine, the number of Internet service providers
in the U.S. and Canada has  mushroomed from 1,447 in February 1996 to 4,133
in August 1997.  Presumably, all those ISPs are staying  busy handling the
2.7 trillion e-mail messages that will be sent this year, with e-mail
numbers projected to rise  to 6.9 trillion in 2000.  None of this
connectivity comes cheap:  end users spent $19 billion on Internet and
intranet products last year, roughly $1,000 for each of the 20 million
individuals who consider the Internet  "indispensible."  (Internet Index
#19, 10 Sep 97)


A study by the Gartner Group market research firm suggests that as many as
90% of the approximately 4,500  Internet Service Providers in the United
States may disappear over the next five years.  One reason for
consolidation of service providers is price competition:  with the largest
ISPs offering flat-rate access for $20 a  month in the U.S., small
operators have a difficult time making covering their costs and keeping
their prices at  the same levels.  (Financial Times 15 Sep 97)


The old phrase "growing like Topsy" may be replaced by "growing like the
Internet."  A survey by Christian  Huitema of Bellcore indicates that the
number of host computers grew from 14.7 million in September of 1996  to 26
million in September of 1997.  The goal of the survey was to count
centralized server computers, work  stations, and each modem in the modem
bank of Internet Service Providers.  (New York Times 15 Sep 97)

                           WINDOWS 98 TIMETABLE

Microsoft announced that it will delay by several months the introduction
next year of its newest Windows  software program (Windows 98), so that it
can coordinate release of two versions of the new product, one to  upgrade
Windows 3.1 and the other to upgrade Windows 95.  Made jittery by the
delay, investors caused  Microsoft stock to drop $7.25 on Monday.
(Washington Post 16 Sep 97)


Web site operators have found that a sure-fire way to lure visitors is to
incorporate a popular brand name into  "invisible" coding on their Web
pages, thereby attracting the attention of the all-important Internet
engines used by many Net surfers.  Lawyers for Playboy Enterprises are
suing Calvin Designer Label (no relation to Calvin Klein) for copyright
infringement after it incorporated the words "Playboy" and "Playmate"  into
the coding on its adult-oriented Web sites.  In another case, National
Envirotech Group, a  pipeline-reconstruction company, has agreed to delete
mentions of a larger competitor, Insituform Technologies  Inc., from the
hidden coding on its Web site.  Insituform's lawyer says the programming
trick is "very harmful"  to a company trying to attract customers on the
Web,  and "destroys the value of search engines as a way for   people to
find accurate information about companies."  "Intercepting people on the
information superhighway is  like putting up big sign on a freeway that
says Exxon, but that's not what you find once you get there," says a  law
professor at the University of San Francisco.  (Wall Street Journal 15 Sep


The Clinton Administration has terminated the contract with GTE for a new
computer system to handle  Medicare because the current system (run by 72
private insurance companies around the country) proved to be  so antiquated
and complicated that they frustrated GTE's efforts.  The Department of
Health & Human Services  has told GTE to "stop all work, make no further
shipments, place no further orders and terminate all  subcontracts."
Medicare officials say they will now work on individual pieces of the
system rather than  attempting to do the entire project at once.  (New York
Times 16 Sep 97)

                       MICROSOFT JUMP-STARTS WEB TV

Microsoft has unveiled a new, souped-up version of its WebTV system for
surfing the Net via the television.   The company's new technology is based
on an innovative chip that combines the capabilities of a TV tuner, a
cable modem and a high-speed PC modem all into one low-cost unit.  The new
boxes will enable WebTV to  develop content that combines both television
programming and Web sites in a seamless mix, using an  improved program
guide called Explore.  "We intend to define mass-market media for the next
century," says  WebTV CEO Steve Perlman.  Forrester Research predicts some
1 million Net-ready TVs will be in U.S. homes by 2000.  (Business Week 22
Sep 97)


Office of Management and Budget Administrator Sally Katzen says that the
Clinton Administration has been  aggressive in confronting the year 2000
problem, when computer programs that were coded with two-digit dates  will
not calculate correctly because they will not be able to distinguish  20th
and 19th century dates:  "I have said  repeatedly that the issue is real,
it's serious, it's important."  OMB has decided against approving spending
requests for computer technology from four agencies -- the Departments of
Agriculture, Education,  ransportation and the Agency for Internationalt
Development -- unless the purchases are related to fixing the  2000
problem. OMB says they have shown "insufficient evidence of progress.''
(AP 16 Sep 97)


Intel executives predict that, on top of drastic price cuts already made on
its Pentium II chips, further reductions  are in store.  Last month, the
price of Intel's 300-MHz Pentium II was slashed 57% to $1,131, far more
than the  typical August cuts of 20% to 30%.  Company officials now are
saying that the prices of 300-MHz Pentium  II-based PCs that now sell for
$3,500 could drop to less than $2,000.  "It wouldn't surprise me to see
that within  the next six months," says Intel's Pentium II market director.
(Investor's Business Daily 16 Sep 97)


IBM is moving to just-in-time manufacturing and electronic ordering in an
effort to compete with direct-sales  PC marketers, reduce costly inventory
stockpiles, and woo corporate customers.  As part of its Advanced
Fulfillment Initiative, IBM is authorizing a few of its large dealers to
use its PC factories to assemble  customized computers made from IBM
components and ship them directly to the buyers.  While dealers have been
doing some assembly work on their own since 1995, the new strategy will
help speed up computer  deliveries by eliminating the time it was taking
IBM to ship partly assembled PCs to dealer locations.  The  company is also
initiating a SystemXtra service program for corporate buyers that, among
other things, allows  them to upgrade to more powerful computers after 24
months.  (Wall Street Journal 15 Sep 97)  Meanwhile,  CompUSA is starting
its own custom-built PC brand, with prices ranging from $699 to $3,999.
The  computers  will be available through its retail stores, on its Web
site, over a toll-free line, and through its corporate  field-sales force.
"There's a lot of people who want built-to-order computers," says ComUSA's
CEO.  "If we  don't have it, they're going to buy it from somebody else."
(Wall Street Journal 16 Sep 97)


A Japanese newspaper reports that Sega Enterprises and Microsoft are
collaborating on a 128-bit home video game machine.  An official agreement
likely will be signed next month, say sources.  (St. Petersburg Times 15
Sep 97)

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Apple/Mac Section
Randy Noak, Editor

Stay tuned folks..

Kids Computing Corner
Frank Sereno, Editor

                      RETURNS TO LOS ANGELES IN 1999

Interactive Entertainment Industry Center Seen as Natural for Annual Focal
                         Point of Global Industry

LOS ANGELES -- SEPTEMBER 17, 1997 -- The Electronic Entertainment
Exposition (E3 Expo), the world's  largest and most prestigious interactive
entertainment trade event, will return to Los Angeles May 13 to 15,  1999
to launch a five-year run, said the show's owner, the Interactive Digital
Software Association (IDSA) and the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors
Bureau today.

E3 will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center after a two-year
engagement at the Georgia World  Congress Center (G.W.C.C.) in Atlanta.
The 1998 E3 will be held at the G.W.C.C. from May 28 to 30, 1998  and early
sales are extremely strong reports show management.

"E3 and L.A. are a natural combination: L.A. is the entertainment capital
of the world and our industry is one of  the most dynamic entertainment
mediums available today," said Doug Lowenstein, president of the IDSA.
"With the West Coast being the nexus of the global interactive
entertainment and multimedia community, L.A.  is uniquely accessible and
affordable for our exhibitors and software developers, and is also an
attractive  destination for many of our retail attendees whose support is
crucial to E3's success."

E3 was held in Los Angeles in 1995 and 1996.  In 1997, the IDSA moved the
show to Atlanta to accommodate  the growing demand for exhibit space. Since
that decision was made, the Los Angeles Convention Center  (L.A.C.C.) has
undergone an expansion permitting the show's return. The 1999 E3 Expo will
occupy the entire  L.A.C.C., covering approximately 536,000 net square feet
of exhibit space, making it one of the largest shows at the facility.

"Atlanta has been a terrific home for the E3 show and we are grateful to
the city and the Georgia World  Congress Center for their support and
commitment to its success. At the same time, our industry is closely tied
to the West Coast and a return engagement in Los Angeles is in the best
interest of all the show's  constituencies," said Larry Probst, Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer of Electronic Arts, and Chairman of the IDSA
Board of Directors.

"Congratulations to E3 for saying 'yes' to Los Angeles," said City of Los
Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.  "As  the entertainment capital of the
world, the city of angels is proud to welcome E3 back to its birthplace.
With E3  home again, the message is clear:  Los Angeles is the address of
what's new and  what's next for entertainment  technology.  As the hub of
innovation and creativity, we are proud to have E3 as a partner in shaping
the global economy for the 21st century."

"We never lost sight that this convention could return to its birthplace
and made certain E3 would be welcomed  back by the city and its dynamic
entertainment industry," said George Kirkland, president of the L.A.
Convention and Visitors Bureau.  "Today we celebrate E3's return to Los
Angeles -- especially its five-year commitment to the community."

The Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) is the only U.S.
association exclusively dedicated to  serving the business and public
affairs interests of companies that publish video and computer games for
video  consoles (such as Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, and Sony PlayStation),
personal computers, and the Internet.  The  Association's members include
the world's leading interactive entertainment software publishers,
representing  more than 80 percent of the U.S. market. In addition to
presenting E3, the IDSA serves as a leading source of  industry information
and survey data. The IDSA also conducts a worldwide anti-piracy program and
works with  the U.S. government at all levels on policy issues such as
copyright protection and Internet regulation.

E3 is operated for the IDSA by IDG World Expo and IDG Expo Management
Company.  IDG World Expo is a subsidiary of International Data Group, Inc.,
the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.   Founded in
1964, IDG had 1996 revenues of $1.7 billion and now has more than 8,500
employees worldwide.  IDG Expo Management Company is a premium provider of
information events which shape the agenda of the Information Technology

Jason's Jive

Jason Sereno, STR Staff

Nintendo NewsWire STR Spotlight

                             What Is the 64DD?

To many, the 64DD is still a mystery. takes a look at the
mysterious disk-based add-on

Nintendo announced in 1995 that it was hard at work on an add-on for its
upcoming Project Reality, the code  name for Nintendo 64. The add-on would
supplement cartridge-based games with limitless possibilities, new
inventive ways of publishing games, and a cheaper solution to cartridges.
Well, Nintendo didn't say all of this  outrightly, but the 64DD, or what
was initially termed the Bulky Drive, came to be a kind of solution
peripheral  that would make Role-Playing Games, among other kinds of games,
far more do-able on the Nintendo 64 system.

The year 1995 seems like a long time ago, now. Many journalists have spend
the better part of their lives trying  (in 1996-1997) to pry out some kind
of hard  facts about the 64DD, which Nintendo has been purposely vague
about. There have been leaks here and there about modems and Internet play,
various games, how much the  peripheral would cost, and finally, when, or
better yet -- if - the peripheral would arrive.

But now, supposedly, at the annual November Shoshinkai show (or what's now
called the Nintendo World  Show) in Japan, a Nintendo-only developers show,
the world will actually see 64DD games in the works for the  first time.
The brave new technology will have arrived, and Nintendo will debut four
games with it, Earthbound  64 (RPG), Mario Paint 64 (a specialized
creative/painting program), Sim City 2000 (sim), Pocket Monsters 64
(virtual pet/evolution). Theoretically, other developers will show their
own 64DD titles, but it's likely that the smart ones will wait to see what
Nintendo has done, and then strategize their own 64DD future.

What Is It?
The 64DD (64-megabyte disk drive) is a hardware unit that fits snugly under
the Nintendo 64. If you check the  bottom of your N64, you'll see a
removable slot called "Ext." This is where the 64DD will fit into your
Nintendo 64. The 64DD is a magnetic drive-based device that uses media
units very similar to Zip Drive disks.  A simplified comparison is to see
them as gigantic floppy disks, holding 64 Megabytes of data each. These
disks are not CD-ROMs (Compact Disks -Read Only Memory), and won't play
CDs, like the Saturn and PlayStation.

What Will It Do?
Developers to make games that use both media formats, cartridges and disks.
So, for instance, if you're Midway  and want to make a football game. You
make a game that's graphically huge and also want to update it each six
months. You make a cartridge game that also requires a disk. The disk may
hold the graphics data (like player's   games, team colors, team stats, new
players, new trades, etc.), while the cart may hold the basic game
structure  and engine. In six months, Midway can replace the disk with
another one that holds all the information for the  new season, and sell it
for less than cartridge, and which will work with that very cartridge you
initially  purchased. In this way, the game is constantly being updated and
renewed. The same holds true for other games,  like RPGs. You can load in
new adventures or worlds, or even new characters, for instance. But
developers can  also just make 64DD disk games, and skip the cartridge
altogether. So they have three choices for development: straight carts,
disk and cart, or straight disk.

The other big asset of the 64DD disk is that it is readable and writeable,
so in other words, it's a two-way  medium. CD-ROMs (remember that ROM means
Read Only Memory) can't perform this function. So, for  instance, if you're
a RPG gamer and your character is walking through the forest and you drop a
few cookie  crumbles to find your way back, you can turn off your game and
come back to the game and they'll still be there, and maybe your footprints
will still be there, too. Monsters you killed could be there and their
rotting  corpses could still be decaying. In essence, your game, once you
start playing it, will be completely different  than any one else's in the
world. With the flexibility of the 64DD, and more importantly, the
rewritabillity of  disks, your 64DD-compatible cart games will really
become far more valuable then ever before. The 64DD could very well become
the most revolutionary gaming device of the 20th century.

Modem? Did You Say Modem?
The other, more mysterious part of the 64DD is that a modem is supposed to
be used with it. Wow! You might  say, and wow, indeed, except that what
speed modem? Will the 64DD have a modem built in? Will the 64DD  use the
Internet or a  specific Nintendo gaming network? The questions are almost
endless. The  answers,   however, fit on a very short little list.
Officially, Nintendo had denied a modem for at least one year and a half.
And then Hiroshi Yamauchi, the chairman of Nintendo Co. Ltd (Nintendo
Japan), just blurted out amazing  news, most likely bringing heart attacks
to at least half of the company's marketing and PR staffs, and sending
chills down the vertebras of Nintendo's own staff, form the bottom to the
top of the chain. Yamauchi said, in no  uncertain terms, that the 64DD
would use a modem. He did not indicate, however, whether that modem would
be built-in. Most likely, if the 64DD does use one, the modem will be built

Howard Lincoln, Nintendo of America Chairman, spoke at Nintendo's Pre-E3
news briefing as a clarification.  "Mister Yamauchi indicated that there
would be a modem inclusion, so I think that, as far as we are concerned,
there will (be a modem), in the 64DD.

What does this mean? Again, the most we can do is speculate, but with the
modem comes multiplayer gaming.  And that's where the fun begins. Nintendo
64 already has four built-in ports, so imagine a game that enables
multiplayer action across the Internet with four or more players. Hmmmm...

When Will It Arrive? And for How Much?

                              First in Japan
Nintendo officially announced this last spring that the 64DD will first
arrive in Japan in March 1998. The  system will arrive with four games at
launch Earthbound 64 (RPG), Mario Paint 64 (a specialized
creative/painting program), Sim City 2000 (sim), Pocket Monsters 64
(virtual pet/evolution), and is supposed to  cost anywhere from $199 to
$99, or the equivalent in Yen. A Japanese news magazine reported the cost
would  be equivalent $149, and another has reported that it would cost $99.
There has been no definitive price set for it  -- yet. But we know the 64DD
will cost less than the Nintendo 64, so count on it costing less than $199,
no matter what.

                        Second in the North America
Nintendo's official word on the 64DD in the U.S. is so vague, people's
faces usually crinkle up in frustration and  despair: "The official word is
that Nintendo's 64DD is coming out in 1998. No games have been announced
yet,  and no firm date has been disclosed." But Nintendo has failed at
getting a fix on the 64DD, and we here at believe that the 64DD
might not arrive in the U.S. in 1998, and possibly never even arrive in the
U.S. at all. Last year at Shoshinkai, Perrin Kaplan told IGN reporters that
the 64DD will arrive by the end of 1997.  The launch date for the 64DD in
Japan has already been moved back at least twice. And now Nintendo says the
64DD will arrive in North America sometime in 1998, possibly revealed at
the June Electronic Entertainment  Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. But will it

Why Not CD-ROMs?
Nintendo has always sa id that cartridges are the best way to bring a game
to life on videogame consoles. Third- party developers have almost
unanimously disagreed, especially after learning of the inexpensive
production  costs and higher profit margins of CD-ROMs, and many were
reluctant to make Nintendo 64 games ever.  Electronic Arts turned around
when Nintendo worked a deal with it to bring all of EA's biggest sports
titles to  Nintendo 64. That was a major coupe for Nintendo, especially
since EA had previously said it wouldn't make    Nintendo 64 games. Many
developers, however, are very interested in making games for the 64DD. Why?
First,  64DD disks are just that, disks, and there is likely to be a much
smaller upfront cost and high profit margins  than for carts. Those are the
two biggest reasons. They are followed by the big  abilities to update the
games,  and to better estimate how many should initially be ordered, so
that the developer doesn't get burned by  ordering too many or too few. But
why not CD-ROMs?

There is a story behind Nintendo's love of cartridges, and basically, it
all comes down to what medium  Nintendo felt most comfortable with.
Nintendo burned its bridges with Sony when it blew up the CD-ROM  drive
deal for the Super NES (what was then to become known as the PlayStation),
and has never really looked back. The executives at Nintendo also probably
felt better making games on a medium they already knew the  mechanics of,
that is to say, with which they already had a successful history.

But Nintendo has only ever really said that cartridges had benefits that CD-
ROMs didn't, and while many  gamers somehow believed this (qualities like
fast loading games and durability), most developers, executives,  and
knowledgeable tech heads simply chuckled. The simple fact is that CD-ROMs
have much more storage  space, are easier to mass produce, provide a
business model that is far more forgiving -- and provides a far  bigger
profit margin - than cartridges will ever. Even Zelda 64, which will hold
32 megabytes on one single  cartridge, which is the most any commercial
cartridge ever held, simply doesn't compare to a standard 650  megabyte CD-
ROM. So, again, why hasn't Nintendo just  given into using CD-ROMs? Pride
has as much to do  with it as anything. Sega and Sony use CD-ROMs and
Nintendo wanted to show them up with the old stand-by,  the cartridge.

                      The Gap Narrows: Pros and Cons
What's so special about Nintendo's infamous 64DD? What separates this add-
on device from the 32Xs and Sega  CDs of the industry, if anything?

Unlike so many failed peripherals and add-ons, the 64DD doesn't merely
offer more of the same. It takes a step  into a new direction -- one
virtually unexplored in the home videogaming community: Writability.

The ability to store mass amounts of data on the writable drive opens new
doors for developers and players  alike. We're not talking about simple
save-game features here, either, though that is easily possible, too. No,
imagine add-on missions to games, extra levels, new weapons or characters,
storylines and worlds.  Theoretically, with the use of the 64DD, it would
be possible for Nintendo to distribute monthly add-ons or  updates to
existing games. Replay value would jump to new heights.

                                 More Room
Because the 64DD also upgrades the Nintendo 64 with 64 MBs of much needed
data-storage, games are likely  to be bigger and more detailed.
Incidentally, the biggest Nintendo 64 cartridge is currently Zelda 64,
which is  32 MBs. The 64DD offers twice that, plus the ability to store
data. This means more textures, more sound, and more worlds.

                              Real-Time Clock
The internal real-time clock is always ticking. Play a game at night and
upon returning in the morning, eight  hours will have passed in the game.
Enough time for a village to be burned down, or for characters to regain
health while resting, or an enemy to sneak up behind players for a surprise
attack. Welcome to the real world.

                              Enter The Modem
Sega has released its share of modems for its consoles, but without the
benefit  of writability. 64DD owners,  presumably, will not only be able to
connect to a network a play against other players, but will be able to
download add-ons,  upgrades, cheats and tweaks. It's even possible that
Nintendo will incorporate some  messaging capabilities and/or web browsing
features. With the option of writing to disk its all up for grabs.

In a nutshell the 64DD takes a giant step in closing the gap between
videogame console and PC. The one  benefit PC owners have always had over
videogame console fanatics is the fact that in the PC lies more options  --
like writability and modem technology. The 64DD, from a gamers standpoint,
is the first healthy alternative to the PC.

The First Four Games

Earthbound 64 (Mother 3)
Taking full advantage of the 64DD, Earthbound 64 offers players a huge
world tuned with the RPG gamer in  mind. The internal clock of the 64DD has
been utilized to incorporate a real-time experience, where anything a
player does can affect gameplay to create a truly individual fantasy.

Players do battle in a land where magic collides with technology and
corruption. Dark atmospheres, lush  graphics and a brutal storyline make
this game the key title for debuting the 64DD.

                              Mario Paint 64
Do you remember the 'game' Super Mario Paint for the Super NES? Now, add in
the ability to use enhanced  graphics, sound, and possibly even video, to
create amazing multimedia documents. This isn't so much of a  game as it is
a super enhanced creative tool that allows you to create cool looking
scenes. There will probably  be tons of library graphics and sounds already
installed for those who need a little push. It's believed that   Creator, a
game that showed dinosaurs and cool looking creatures rolling around, was
in essence, swallowed up  by Mario Paint 64. We're looking forward to
seeing what is shown at Shoshinkai in November.

                            Pocket Monsters 64
First of all, don't get any weird ideas about the game's title. Pocket
Monsters 64 originally started out as a card  game in Japan (and still is a
highly successful one) and then made the jump into Gameboy land. Nintendo
is  hoping to bring the successful formula to Nintendo 64 (via 64DD) in a
big way. But its first 64DD Pocket  Monsters game will be an evolution-
based virtual pet game. Think Tamagotchi and then make it complicated  and
beautifully rendered in videogame format using Nintendo's amazing graphics
engine. There is also another  Pocket Monsters game, which will come out
next year sometime. This is more like the Gameboy game. The  object is to
capture monsters and use them to your advantage. Whether or not the 64DD
will add new elements  to gameplay like customizing options, monster
interaction or the ability to send the monstrosities to a painful  death
while laughing uncontrollably is up for grabs, but we're betting there will
be a lot to this game.

                               Sim City 2000
Who hasn't heard of Sim City before? The game is wildly popular for its
unique style and addictive gameplay.  For those of you out there who have
managed to miss this game (have you heard of Quake?), the point behind it
is relatively  simple: Players build a city from scratch and must keep it
flourishing. Of course, it isn't as easy as  it sounds. There are riots,
natural disasters, and even alien invasions to worry about. The 64DD
version of the  game will no doubt take advantage of the real-time internal
clock and memory features. Imagine a city that  doesn't shut down when you
turn the power off. It's always running -- just like reality.

                                64DD Specs

Physical Dimensions/Weight:
z    10.2" x 7.5" x 3.1"
z    3.53 lbs

z    Magnetic Disk Storage Medium
z    Error Correction Support

z    Utilizes N64 console for data processing
z    Real-time Clock
z    Developer ROM
z    Contains data files to assist developers (sound bytes)
z    4" front loading disk feed
z    4 megabyte RAM expansion
z    Installed in console Memory Expansion slot

z    .75 ms seek time
z    .79 MB/sec data transfer rate
z    "Burst Access" Streams

Disk Physical Dimensions:
z    3.98" x 4.06" x .4"

z    High Density, Double-Sided
z    64 MB total capacity
z    Read/Write capable
z    Dynamic writable space
z    1-38 MB writable

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Classics & Gaming Section
Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

     Wow, what a week it's been!  After moving into our new house three
weeks ago, I returned to work this past week.  I don't know which is worse:
getting settled-in the new house or being back to work after being gone for
two weeks!  The house is coming along, slowly.  Everyone tells me that this
is normal, but my wife and I don't seem to have the patience - we want to
be settled now! <grin>  This weekend I hope to get her computer
area/"office" set up so she can resume her writing, etc.  Then to resume
finishing off my area by getting some more shelves up and perhaps adding
another bookshelf of two.  We'll get there, someday.  BTW, just a reminder
that my BBS, Toad Hall, has a new number: (978) 670-5896.  We hope to see
new and old members online there - the activity is starting to pick up
again now that the dust is starting to settle.

     It's good to be back in the thick of things Atari, though.  You feel
kind of lost being unconnected to the online community for awhile.  I still
have a "stack" of unanswered e-mail to finish up, and a few other projects
left incomplete during the move.  One thing that I have found since I've
been back online is that Atari support on CompuServe has been adopted by
the Computer Club (GO CLUB) Forum.  The folks there have added message
forums for both the 8-bit and 16-bit Atari computers; files databases are
reported to either be ported over from the  Atari Forums, or started anew
shortly.  The Computer Club Forum is essentially a forum for "orphaned"
computers - we'll fit right in with that crowd! <g>  It's comforting to
know that Atari users will still have a home on CompuServe.  And don't
forget the Atari Forum on Delphi!

     Well, time to finish up this week's issue and get started on one of
many ongoing projects at the house!  I gotta admit, it's a rewarding
process and I'm having fun - even with the occasional bits of frustration
mixed in for good measure!

Until next time...

                          POPwatch 2.30 released

POPwatch is a POP3 mailbox tool for use with STiK and Oasis1, Oasis2, and

Version 2.30 is now available from my web site (see .sig). Changes since
2.22 are:

z    New 'Reject Message' option to send a 'Failure' DSN to try and ward
  off junk email. Creates a REJECT.LOG file.See POPWATCH.TXT for more
z    Keyboard shortcuts should now work on keyboards other than UK ones.
z    Sequence of OK, Cancel buttons changed to conform to Atari Compendium
z    All LOG files are now placed in a new folder called \LOGS\ and all TMP
  files are now placed in a new folder called \TMP\
z    Internal bug fix. Now allocates 60bytes for real name *not* 60 words.

                              Gaming Section

PSX's 'Power Price'!  "OddWorld"!
"ShipWreck"!  "G-Police"!
And much more!

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

     It wasn't that long ago (a year?) that Nintendo released the N64.  Not
only was it to be another nail in the coffin for the Jaguar, but it was
supposed to dramatically bode doom for the PlayStation (Sega Saturn and 3DO
were already starting to fade along with the Jaguar).  People kept saying
that the N64 was going to be THE game machine - that nothing was going to
be able to stop its success.  Just the fact that it was a Nintendo product
would mean zillions of sales and unprecedented success.  Apparently,
Nintendo must have got some pages from Atari's [non]action business plan
and adapted it as its own!  Nintendo failed to learn from recent history:
you cannot depend on past success stories and "name recognition" to
successfully sell a product and become/remain the market leader!

     You rarely hear about the N64 these days!  Everywhere I go, every
commercial I see, every ad on the television - it's all PlayStation!  Sony
has done a terrific job with their machine.  Heck, I may leave my Jaguar
packed-up and get myself a PlayStation!  Well, maybe not yet; I still have
some unfinished business to take care of with some of my Jaguar games - I
have to beat some of them to achieve some more satisfaction.  And there are
still a few games that I haven't played yet that I want to play.  But, I am
finally getting around to some serious consideration of a "new" game
console.  When I do, it will be a Playstation, not that "N" thing!

Until next time...

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

          PlayStation Establishes "Power Price" for Select Titles

FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Sept. 16) BUSINESS WIRE - Sept. 16, 1997 - Sony
Computer Entertainment America announced today the formation of a "Power
Price" line-up for five strategic new PlayStation software titles.

Carrying a MSRP of no more than $39.95, with many retailers already
advertising the first "Power Price" title -- NFL GameDay '98 -- at $34.95,
these five PlayStation games will be among the most affordable of any new
"next generation" videogame software.  The Power Price lineup further
demonstrates the consumer benefits of the PlayStation's CD-based format:
Huge variety of games and great value for money.

The five leading "Power Price" titles are NFL GameDay '98 (available now),
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Bushido Blade, Parappa The Rapper
and Intelligent Qube.

"The key selling points for PlayStation are the depth and breadth of the
game library combined with entertainment value," said Kaz Hirai, chief
operating officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Simply put, the
PlayStation's CD-based software offers consumers enriched and engaging
entertainment in a cost effective medium."

The five titles in this new pricing tier all are "segment openers," game
titles that can broaden the demographic of the PlayStation user base.
Specifically: With its revolutionary graphics, NFL GameDay '98 will attract
sports fans to video games for the first time; Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex
Strikes Back, has youth appeal and takes the action/platform genre to a new
level with an inimitably "PlayStation" style; Intelligent Qube and Parappa
The Rapper, a sophisticated 3D puzzle game and an entirely new genre, a
music-based video game that redefine and broaden out to new categories;
and, Bushido Blade which adds a new sense of depth, subtlety and strategy
to the fighting genre.

"The PlayStation business model was structured to provide great games at a
great value to our consumers," said Andrew House, vice president,
marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Providing a $35 'Power
Price' on select titles is something that only the PlayStation can offer
and is designed to lower the entry point for an even broader base of

Currently the "Power Price"  pricing will be limited to the five
aforementioned titles.

        Arcade Action and Maritime Mayhem Set Sail in Shipwreckers!

FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Sept. 3) BUSINESS WIRE - Sept. 3, 1997 - The game that
was hailed as an oasis of originality at E3 -- Overboard! - hit stormy
waters in the form of a copyright snafu and is sailing once again into
smooth seas with a new name -- Shipwreckers!(TM)  But panic not, shipmates,
because the "maritime mayhem" gameplay of this isometric action title for
PlayStation(TM) game console and PC remains the same, only the name has
changed.  Shipwreckers! is expected at retail outlets nationwide the end of
October for the PlayStation and early November for PC CD-ROM systems.

Shipwreckers! is a smorgasbord of ship-to-ship combat, platform-style
puzzling, high-seas havoc and sea-faring exploration. It's a pirate-themed
adventure with a Jules Verne-style twist, as your ship can turn into an
airship, blast ground-to-air missiles as bomb-dropping parrots and travel
uncharted waters filled with giant lobsters, aquatic dragons and many other
fantastical creatures of the imagination.

In an ocean of "me-too" games, Shipwreckers! is a renegade original packed
with zany humor, cerebral gameplay and ship wreckin' fun for gamers of all
ages.  Players will captain a galleon on a mission to rid the world of the
infamous Blowfleet, a pirate of great cunning and power.  Along the way the
player will destroy various enemy strongholds, ports and shipyards while
building their own fleet of strangely enhanced ships with various add-ons
(for example, ships can morph into Jules Verne-style airships in this
swashbuckling extravaganza).

The game's top-down perspective 3D world creates convincing environmental
dynamics, where ships will be affected by the wind and sea conditions.
Players travel the high-seas of five distinctly themed regions, including
the Caribbean (naturally), the Middle East and the icy waters of the
Arctic, and each of the five regions contains three individual levels and a
formidable level-boss.

Ships' captains can look forward to a formidable on-board armory, with the
inevitable cannon balls, mines and depth charges essential to maritime
warfare (plus a few unexpected treats, including lightning bolts and
flame-throwers).  There are secret bays and coves to be discovered, plus a
two-player co-operative mode that allows two shipmates to explore specially
adapted multi-player levels.

Developed in-house by Psygnosis Ltd., Liverpool, Shipwreckers! is a
fantastical swashbuckle'em-up game that combines arcade shooter gameplay
with puzzle solving, strategic and exploratory elements. The beautifully
created nautical environments (complete with transparent seas, swimming
with whales, dolphins and sea-monsters) combined with gameplay-enhancing
micro-climate weather conditions will make Shipwreckers! a must-play title
for any gamer who has ever dreamed of sailing out on a pirate ship.

       THQ Races Onto New Course With "Ray Tracers" for PlayStation

CALABASAS, CALIF. (Aug. 27) BUSINESS WIRE - Aug. 27, 1997 -THQ Inc.
(Nasdaq/NMS:THQI) Wednesday announced that it intends to publish and
distribute the unique 3-D combat racing game, "Ray Tracers," in the United
States in the first quarter of 1998.   The game, which takes on the
exhilarating dimension of ramming and exploding cars for points, is being
developed by Taito Corp. for the Sony PlayStation.

In "Ray Tracers," players speed through six courses, including sewers,
underground tunnels, treacherous  canyons and grassy retreats, crashing
into any vehicle that gets in their way.  While building up points, gamers
must also race through tricky courses, saving enough time to beat clever
bosses waiting at every turn.

"THQ is exploding into the car-racing genre with a new twist on a very
popular genre," said Brian Farrell, president and CEO, THQ.  "With the
unique racing-for-points feature, THQ is giving the enormous racing fan
base a new dimension to the game, increasing the replay value and sending
players screaming through six challenging courses."

"We are thrilled to be working with a company like THQ in bringing this
combat driving game to the huge installed base of hungry PlayStation fans
nationwide," said Seizo Matsutaka, general manager, TG Division, Taito
Corp.  "The addictive racing for time and points aspects, combined with the
beautiful graphics and levels  of difficulty, makes  'Ray Tracers' an
adrenaline-rush gaming experience."

                  World-Wide Launch of G Police This Fall

FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Sept. 16) BUSINESS WIRE - Sept. 16, 1997 - Psygnosis
is gearing up for a  spectacular world-wide launch of G Police with
hard-hitting campaigns driven from all of Psygnosis' eight  publishing
territories this October.   A triple A title for both the PlayStation game
console and PC CD-ROM  systems, G Police has all the elements for success:
advanced technology, spectacular graphics, addictive game-play and an
attentive development and publishing parent.  G Police will be available at
retail outlets October 14 for the PlayStation and October 21 for the PC at
an estimated street price of $49.95.

Psygnosis is investing 2.5 million dollars behind G Police domestically
with similar investments by all other  territories. Campaigns include
everything from TV and national print placements to wide scale demo
distribution; an editorial event featuring a fleet of helicopters, and
co-promotions with such trend-setting  apparel and watch companies as
Diesel and Casio.  G Police will be marketed by Psygnosis US, French,
German, Scandinavian, Spanish, Australian, and Japanese offices for
world-wide distribution.

Developed internally by Psygnosis, G Police offers the adrenaline thrills
of flying a futuristic helicopter into and through a dazzling cityscape
while maintaining law and order with all the big guns and pyrotechnics at
your fingertips.  The target market for G Police is primarily males ages
18-28 on the PlayStation and early adopters for 3D accelerated technology.

John Golden, director of marketing, said, "There's a lot of power in
uniting the publishing divisions.  The G Police message is strong and
simple, it's good against evil, a maverick cop taking on corruption. By
generating the same message and images around the globe we're building
momentum and tremendous equity in the brand."
The shining steel 'G.P.' logo and sleek 3D rendered Havok helicopter will
emblazon a large variety of communication mediums. Psygnosis publishing
divisions will share key POP and promotional items and package art will
follow similar guidelines.

In the US, G Police debuted at E3 (The Electronic Entertainment Expo in
Atlanta, GA) on June 19 to acclaim.  Previously selected journalists were
flown to the UK headquarters to meet the development team and take an early
peek.  A nationwide retail campaign kicked off in May with the US marketing
and sales team visiting retailers to roll out the fall programs.  These
will include: national and cable TV broadcast advertising with placements
on the Fox, MTV, ESPN, ESPN2 networks, Sci-Fi Channel and other stations
from October through December, 1997; a wide scale print advertising
campaign including spread and teaser pages in multiple enthusiast
publications. Retailers are selecting from 4-color standees, posters,
static cling decals, oversized and 'coming soon' boxes, customized
promotional give-aways, videos, and in-store demos in addition to
advertisements in their circulars, direct mail pieces and holiday catalogs.

             Nintendo's Operating Profit to Surge in 1st Half

TOKYO, Sept. 17 (Kyodo) -- Nintendo Co. is expected to post a 3.4-fold jump
in unconsolidated operating profit in the first half of fiscal 1997 from a
year earlier mainly due to brisk sales of its hand-held Game Boy computer
game, a business daily reported Wednesday.   Operating profit is expected
to come to 48 billion yen for the  April-September period, 5 billion yen
more than initially projected, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.

Pretax profit is forecast to rise 67% to nearly 50 billion yen on the
assumption that the exchange rate is 120 yen  to the dollar at the end of
September, the paper said.   Because many of Nintendo's assets are based in
foreign currencies, a  fluctuation of 1 yen to the dollar can alter pretax
profits by 2.5 to 3 billion yen, it said.   Sales are now projected to be
up 54% to 200 billion yen, 20 billion yen more than initial projections, it

For the current fiscal year ending next March 31, Nintendo's operating
profit is expected to double from the previous year to 115 billion yen on a
24% sales increase to 430 billion yen on the assumption that the dollar is
traded at 120 yen on average over the October-March second half of the
year, the paper said.   Annual pretax profit is projected to rise 20% to
122 billion yen, the  newspaper said.

ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!

                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

Compiled by Joe Mirando

     Hidi ho friends and neighbors. I'd like to start off this week's
column with a bit of good news. The  Computer Club FOrum on CompuServe (GO
CLUB) is going to be providing support for Atari 8 and 16 bit  computers.
The message bases are already in place, and the file library will be setup
as soon as the legalities are  figured out and management (I'm talking
about the really big-wigs here, not the Forum management) are  satisfied
that they've got their pink, fleshy butts covered. This may take a while
since CompuServe's legal  counsel is currently busy with this AOL takeover

     I've been hanging around 'The Club' since I heard that there was a
possibility that we'd be moving there  since I was curious to see just what
kind of folks were around. I can gladly report that the folks there, both
forum management and staff, are nice people. I guess that since they are in
approximately the same boat as we  are, they understand the preference of
what the rest of the computer world considers 'inferior' machines. Most of
them have no idea of what an ST, TT, or Falcon is, but they understand that
these are the computers we use and wish to keep on using for a while yet.
So if you've got a CIS account and are looking for a place to find
programs and information, The Club is the place to look.

     I'm quite pleased to be able to say that the addition of The Club adds
nicely to the support that we'll be  providing in this column. Added to
posts from Delphi and the UseNet, there should be no shortage of help for
those of us trying to find it. I think that, to begin with, we'll try
alternating posts from the three; Delphi one  week, CIS the next, and the
UseNet the week after that. Since we all know that this is a shrinking
platform and  that there is less and less information available, this
should provide us with a good amount of helpful information each week.
UseNet coverage is interesting because can  currently I use either Delphi
or  CompuServe to gather the posts. This means that I'm actually using only
2 services to gather three sources of  information. If the overlay file for
CAB (the Atari Web Browser) ever gets changed to use 'cookies' (which
allow a service such as CIS or Delphi to quickly and easily check
membership status), I will then be able to  access all three sources of
info from only one service. Delphi has seen this trend coming and has
provided access in this manner for some time now. You can access Delphi
through an Internet Service Provider, which  means that you don't have to
worry about finding a local access number. I have a very good friend who
lives in   Costa Rica that had wanted access to a service such as
CompuServe or Delphi, but had only one local access  number to CompuServe,
and it was only 9600 baud.

Upon hearing that you could access Delphi through an ISP, he quickly joined
the service and has been busily  participating in conversations there.
While I've been conversing with him in email for quite a while,  there's
something different about posting online. It is very comfortable because
it's more like a conversation than  correspondence. While there are several
other folks that have made the same decision as this fellow, his
appearance comes to the front of my mind because I'm so used to our email
correspondence. If you're interested  in this kind of interaction  and have
access to the World Wide Web, then go to and  follow
the computer section through to The Atari Advantage.  Non-members can
participate in the message  base and in chats (try Tuesday nights at 10:00

Well, let's see... we'll start with the Delphi Atari Advantage message base
this week. Let's take a look...

                       From Delphi's Atari Advantage

George Iken from the Huston Atari COmputer Enthusiasts club (HACE) tells
us that he's...
     "Currently typing in through Flash II and Tymnet, but I looked at
     Delphi from the Internet (ie from Netscape browser and an ISP).  I
     found you couldn't access your email that way (Delphi Tech support
     responded to a query, saying you had to come in textwise) Now if I
     got NetTerm, could I use that through my ISP and come into Delphi
     via text that way?"

Gordie Meyer tells George:
     "Actually, I access my email via the net all the time. It just
     isn't part of the Delphi website, per se. What you have to do is
     set up an email client program to access it. You can use Netscape
     Mail (or whatever they're calling it now) easily as it's part of
     the Netscape bundle of software. Or you can use something like
     Eudora (which I use) or Pegasus (which I think is still freeware).

     Everything on the net is a separate bit. Email, newsgroups, ftp,
     the Web, IRC, and so on. Each one needs its own specialized client
     software, which gives everyone a lot of choice. Whether that's a
     good thing or a bad thing is left up to your own interpretation.

     However, using NetTerm, you can telnet into Delphi, and for all
     intents and purposes, it's the same as if you accessed via
     Sprintnet or Tymnet. Well, if your ISP supports 8-bit file
     transfers, that is. Mine does and I can use zmodem to upload and
     download files. With luck, yours will too."

George asks Gordie:
     "So what do you set the mail server (in Netscape mail) to point at
     (the SMTP or pop3 server to have it talk to)?  Right now it points
     to my ISP mail server, so I would have to change that info to point
     at Delphi I guess.  But to what address?"

Mark "Folkstone" tells George:
     "As far as I know, you SEND to: and RECIEVE from:"

Mark is correct. As a matter of fact, all you need to define is and somebody's (I'm not sure if it is your software or
Delphi's) decides whether SMTP or POP is used. I've been doing this for
a while now, and it works out quite well.

Alejandro Aguilar (from Costa Rica) posts this as a test:
     "Hi Joe, I am here via Internet."

While this may not seem like an important post to most people, to me it was
sort of the equivalent of Alexander  Graham Bell's "Mr. Watson, come
here... I want you". For me it marks the beginning of a new era where
communication is easier and more fun. I tell Ale:
     "Good to see you here.  Have you signed up or are you just

     Either way, technology is wonderful, isn't it?  Take a look around
     and tell us what you think!"

Ale tells me:
     "I signed up last week via the Internet. I have rights to
     participate in the forums, but only that. I'll be stopping by to
     see this message base from time to time, so don't be surprised if I
     answer late (as with this message).

     This forum is very good... (congratulations Dana)."

Dana Jacobson jumps in and tells Ale:
     "Thanks for the compliments, but they should be directed to all
     of the users here rather than to me.   The folks here are
     responsible for the atmosphere; I'm just a hired hand! <real big

Another of our friends (Ale's and mine), Rob Rasmussen, tells Alejandro:
     "Hi Ale! I'm here too. I joined a few weeks ago, accessing Delphi
     from the net like you. I have found Gemulator to be truely awesome,
     and have installed several Atari programs into the virtual drives."

>From here, it gets a little messy. Kind of like an old-fashioned
telephone party line, with several people joining the conversation.
Michael Burkley posts to Rob Rasmussen:
     "I am typing on GEMulator right now.  It's not as nice as my STe
     or TT, but it will do!  May I ask why you are using ST virtual
     drives with GEMulator?  They used to be needed but are no longer
     needed.  I just use the Clone harddrive as an Atari drive, running
     programs and copying files wherever I wish."

ALejandro tells Michael:
     "I helped Rob in the set-up of the Gemulator96. The problem is
     that the version that Rob has is used with MagiC. With this set-up,
     the PC drives are not seeing good with the MagiC file selector. So
     we seem better offto use virtual drives (and are more secure than
     using the PC real ones).

     For my part, I am in the proccess of buying MagiC-PC. After tests,
     I find it better in terms of running and drive support (you can use
     virtual and real drives at the same time).

     Regards from Costa Rica!"

Rob tells Michael:
     "I have always enjoyed your columns in the online magazines, and
     hope you keep it up!

     As for why I use GEMulator's virtual drives, besides what Ale
     explained, this is because it seemed easier for me at this point.
     In the beginning all I could access from was drive A, because I
     kept getting error messages (the dreaded "Access Denied") when I
     tried to load/save a file from my PC's hard drive. Occasionally I
     was able to load a file, like a text file on PC drive C into
     EditPlus in GEMulator, but the directory of drive C looked very
     strange from the MagiC desktop or from the item selector. So I was
     thrilled to learn how to make the virtual drives (thanks Ale!)
     because I no longer was limited to floppy-only access. And it made
     it more like my beloved 1040 ST which along with my Falcon got
     zapped by lightning a year ago (since replaced with a CLab Mk-X). I
     am open to new ways of using Gemulator though and curious to learn
     newer ways of using it. An advantage of the way you mentioned is
     being able to access any files, like text files that had been
     written in Notepad and not stored in a virtual drive. Frequently I
     wish for this, since in this case I have to copy the file from the
     PC drive to a floppy to then be able to access it in Gemulator. I
     have to choose "Windows mode" or "Atari mode" though, so for now
     I'm staying with the latter."

Now, folks, even if you are not interested in emulating an ST on a PC,
follow these next posts... it's one of the subjects that really ticks me

Rob tells Alejandro:
     "I looked for PaCifiST, and can find only the pre-release v0.47 to
     download, and it says I also need v0.46 which I can't find. I
     noticed on the Toad message board that some people think it works
     better than Gemulator, so I am at least anxious to see what it's
     like. Does it include a desktop, multitasking, 256 colors? I wish I
     could get more than just ST high rez in my Gemulator96.

     I haven't gotten MagiC 5 yet either, but I saw that Toad has it. I
     should call them to see if there is an upgrade available, and
     hopefully it won't be a pain to re-install it with Gemulator again.

On the subject of PacifiST, Michael Burkley tells Alejandro:
     "I've heard that it is very good.  I'm a bit hesitant to try it
     myself because of all the piracy of commercial programs that is
     associated with it.  There are lots of links to 1000's of pirated
     programs through the home site of the emulator.  No one associated
     with those links thinks that anything is wrong with it either.
     They are all "helping the platform to survive."  Yeah, sure."

Alejandro tells Michael:
     "In fact I am using PacifiST (up to version 0.46 - I still haven't
     tried the new pre-release). It works very good. It is made for
     compatibility, not for speed (in fact is about 60-75% Gemulator
     speed.  PacifiST by itself is almost freewarwelle (the author
     encourages to send some money for his efforts). Yes, you are right,
     some people use the PacifiST "wave" to promote "legal" piracy (at
     least they call it so). But you can use the emulator with
     confidence.  One of the big things about PacifiST is the capability
     of using protected disk converted to .ST files (disk images).
     There are some PC utils to make .ST and .MSA files from standard
     disks.  Some protected disk can be converted, some can't. If
     someone could make an .ST file constructor for the ST maybe all the
     disks would work."

     By the way, Michael, I am waiting your next column. As a Shareware
     and freeware collector, I am a fan of it. Let's promote

Greg Evans jumps in and tells Michael:
     "I got a chill the first time I trekked through the PacifiST web
     sites seeing all thos programs available for download.  Since I own
     Zany Golf I downloaded their image copy and sure enough it had a
     screen message saying "Cracked by...".  I deleted the file even
     thoug I own the original.  I did keep PacifiST and installed it on
     my PC at work.  It looks useable to do development on it so I may
     take advantage of that.  Most of the sites seem to be on Geocities
     server.  Maybe a phone call or email can shut them all down."

     Well folks, that's about it for this installment. Tune in again next
week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are
saying when...

                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING

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