ST Report: 16-Jan-98 #1402

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/20/98-05:41:43 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 16-Jan-98 #1402
Date: Fri Feb 20 17:41:43 1998

                           Silicon Times Report
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 January 16, 1998                                                 No.1402

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 01/16/98 STR 1402    "Often Emulated, But never Excelled!"
 - CPU Industry Report - Jackson  kinda Justice? - Paper Thin `Puter
 - Smurfing Clogs Net  - AOL hurt Sailor?        - NY Sues Book Docs
 - Yahoo the Leader"?  - HiTech Dream House      - HOT `Puter Site
 - Email Use on Rise   - People Talking          - Classics & Gaming
                       Netscape to Lay Off 400
                  Microsoft Softens Court Rhetoric
                      Must Jackson & Lessig Go?

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Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35
Results: 01/10/98: five of six numbers with no matches

>From the Editor's Desk...

     Last week, I went on about Cellphones and Automobile safety.  How many
of you, because of the article, noticed the cellphone yappers more easily?
Not to beleaguer the issue, but we must make certain our elected officials
take particular notice of these dangers (operating a motor vehicle while
talking on a cellphone or operating any other highly distractive gadgets)
and legislate measures to prohibit such actions.

     One of my colleagues made mention of me and the northeast.  We (myself
and the NE) have been apart for so long that I would be totally out of
place there.  One small point of information though. Here, in North Florida
we do have four seasons.  Four wonderfully mild seasons.  Its "Winter" here
now. it might be shirtsleeves during the day but at night. it gets chilly
enough to warrant a warm jacket and an extra blanket.  Of course for us,
Spring is right around the corner.  In fact, we were cleaning out the
filters and getting the pool ready.  Sunday, we plan to do a little ocean
fishing too.  Grouper filets should go real well next Sunday for snacking
during the Super Bowl.


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                          STReport Headline News

                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                     Microsoft Softens Court Rhetoric

In a bid to rein in the discourse in its ongoing anti-trust court fight
with the U.S. Justice Department, Microsoft Corp. is expressing regret for
its recent barbs against the government.  Microsoft Vice President Robert
J. Herbold, who is the company's chief operating officer, told Associated
Press writer Rob Wells, "We need to do a better job of toning down the
rhetoric."  Wells says Herbold's remarks "reflect an effort by top
Microsoft executives to rework the company's public image after a series of
legal setbacks last month."  Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray is quoted by
AP as saying, "Over the past two months, some people have perceived
Microsoft as being disrespectful to the court and the Department of
Justice, and we are very sorry to have created that impression."  Wells
cites as an example Microsoft's court filing last month in which the
company described Justice Department attorneys as "poorly informed lawyers
(who) have no vocation for software design."

But, despite a softer tone, the software publisher is not retreating from a
long-held position that it must be allowed to integrate its Internet
Explorer program into highly popular Windows 95 software.  "Microsoft
considers the case's outcome critical to its future, as it concerns the
company's ability to add new features to the Windows program," Wells says.
As reported, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig has rejected Microsoft's
request that he disqualify himself as a special adviser to the judge in the
case.  Murray said Microsoft has "received a lot of questions" from
computer industry professionals objecting to the company's stance in the
court case, but as part of its consumer research, "We are not seeing any
erosion of support for Microsoft among general public or general consumers.
We have not seen any impact whatsoever on our sales."  Meanwhile, Herbold
told the wire service Microsoft has done an inadequate job of explaining
why Internet Explorer became tightly woven into Windows. Many new software
programs -- ranging from computerized address books to tax preparation
software -- offer users access to the Internet. Microsoft included parts of
the Internet Explorer program in Windows 95 so these companies would not
have to include similar software coding in their programs as well.  "What
Internet Explorer is," Herbold said, "is a set of components to make the
operating system more Internet-friendly."

                     Microsoft Asks for Clarification

Microsoft Corp. has asked a court to direct the U.S. Justice Department to
more clearly define the "other product" it says the software publisher is
forcing computer makers to install on their PCs as a condition of licensing
Windows 95.  Reporting from Washington, Associated Press writer Rob Wells
says the new legal papers allege the government uses inconsistent and
conflicting definitions of the Internet software technology that it seeks
to separate from Windows, making it difficult for Microsoft to mount a
defense and comply with the judge's orders.  As noted, the Justice
Department sued Microsoft in October, claiming it was forcing computer
manufacturers to pre-install its Internet Explorer program, which allows
users to view and download information from the Internet, if they license
Windows 95.

The latest filing comes as Microsoft and the Justice Department are set to
square off in court next week. The government is seeking to find Microsoft
in contempt of court for violating a 1995 antitrust settlement.  Microsoft
asked Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to order the Justice Department to
"provide a definite description of the `other product' that the Justice
Department contends Microsoft forced computer manufacturers to license
along with Windows 95."  The company said the government's definition of
the program it wants separated from Windows 95 "changes from week to week
and from brief to brief."  Says the brief, "Simply stated, the DOJ alters
its description of the `other product' to suit its changing litigation
positions," adding the confusion makes it difficult for the court to rule
on the case, since the court has issued a ruling "requiring Microsoft to
offer a version of Windows 95 to computer manufacturers -- a result no one
is happy with."

                        Net Browser Claim Contested

A computer analyst has demonstrated in court that Microsoft Corp.'s
Internet Explorer browser can be separated easily from the Windows
operating system, contesting Microsoft's claim that the two are integrally
connected.  Analyst Glenn Weadock, testifying for the government in its
anti-trust hearing yesterday, used part of the Windows 95 program itself to
remove the Explorer program, which allows users to view the Internet,
Associated Press writer Rob Wells reports.

However, notes Wells, under questioning from Microsoft lawyers, Weadock was
unable to identify which Explorer files were embedded in the Windows
operating system and which would run the browsing function.  AP notes
Microsoft Vice President David Cole opened the company's rebuttal late
yesterday and continues today.  As reported, Microsoft is under court order
to stop requiring computer makers to install the Explorer software as a
condition of licensing Windows 95. The U.S. Justice Department contends
Microsoft flouted that order and is seeking to have the company held in
contempt and fined $1 million a day if it fails to comply.

The contempt charge came after Microsoft told manufacturers that because of
the court order, they would have to either use an old Windows version,
without Explorer, or a newer version that wouldn't work because of file
deletions ordered by the judge.  In court yesterday, Microsoft attorneys
told U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson the government had been
warned beforehand of that result.  Said attorney Richard J. Urowsky, "This
is not a case where the government was taken by surprise by the
consequences of the order it sought. The government got what it wanted,
knowing full well what the consequences would be."

But instead of providing a simple solution, said Justice Department
attorney Phillip Malone, Microsoft "opted for this extreme measure" of
offering a version of Windows that doesn't work, adding, "Microsoft,
through its actions, defied rather than complied with that order."
Microsoft lawyer Brad Smith said Windows has 14 million lines of computer
code -- more than is used to run the nation's air traffic control system --
and "we simply can't slice and dice it with a legal meat cleaver."

                        Jackson Nixes Microsoft Bid

Microsoft Corp.'s attempt to remove a special master overseeing its
anti-trust legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department has been rejected
by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who further castigated the company for
"defamatory" allegations of bias.  What The Wall Street Journal this
morning characterizes as Jackson's "harshly worded order" was released last
night, after two days of hearings on contempt charges against the company.

Journal reporters John R. Wilke and Don Clark observe, "His written
remarks, and pointed questions during the trial, suggest that the judge has
lost patience with the software giant and its legal strategy."  And in
another development, a Microsoft witness has disclosed the company's
controversial, hardball response to a recent court order in the case "was
crafted by Chairman Bill Gates and a small group of lawyers and software
developers," the paper adds.

As noted, Judge Jackson's court is considering the U.S. Justice
Department's allegation Microsoft defied the court by offering computer
makers a non-working version of its Windows operating system after it was
ordered to remove the Internet software.  Jackson, who earlier ordered
Microsoft to separate the two products, yesterday skeptically questioned
Microsoft Vice President David Cole, who testified company managers had no
choice under the order but to offer Windows that way.

In court, the judge asked Cole, "It seemed absolutely clear to you that I
entered an order that required you to distribute a product that would not
work -- that's what you're telling me?"  Said Cole, "In plain English, yes
.... We followed the order, and it wasn't my place to consider the
consequences."  In cross-examination, Cole testified Gates and a small
group of lawyers and software developers discussed that response the day after the court ruled Dec. 11 and in a second meeting over that weekend.

Look for closing arguments in the contempt hearing a week from today.

Meanwhile, a three-judge panel has been named to hear Microsoft's appeal of
the judge's December order, with an initial hearing set for April 21.  In
that motion, Microsoft argues Jackson overstepped his bounds by restricting
the marketing of its Internet software and that complying with the order as
written forced Microsoft to offer software that won't work.  Wilke and
Clark comment, "Apparently acting with an eye on that appeal, Microsoft
decided to follow the letter of the judge's order, which requires that all
Internet Explorer software files be deleted from Windows for computer
makers who want it that way. The approach disables Windows because the two
products share certain overlapping software files. Instead of seeking a
clarification of the order, Microsoft offered its customers the disabled
version of Windows and filed its request for an immediate appeal."

Judge Jackson has said the threat of Microsoft using its monopoly in
Windows to build another monopoly in Internet software required that
Microsoft's practice of tying the two products be  halted while he reviewed
the case.  "The company has challenged his every move," says the Journal,
"including the appointment of a Harvard University expert in Internet law,
Lawrence Lessig, as special master in the case."

As reported, Microsoft argues Lessig sent an e-mail message to Microsoft
competitor Netscape Communications Corp. that complained of problems with
Microsoft software and seemed to compare installing its Web software to
"selling his soul."  On this issue, Jackson says Lessig submitted a
declaration explaining the circumstances of his remarks and assured the
judge of his impartiality.  The Journal says the judge wrote, "The bases
given for those accusations are both trivial and altogether non- probative.
They are, therefore, defamatory, and the court finds that they were not
made in good faith. Had they been made in a more formal manner they might
well have incurred sanctions."

                       'Smurfing' Clogs the Internet

With a new technique called "smurfing," computers cranks  vandalize
corporate networks and Web sites, jamming Internet traffic and raising
security questions over the design of the network.  Writing in The Wall
Street Journal this morning, reporter Jared Sandberg notes smurfing doesn't
allow vandals to gain access to sensitive information, "but it does allow
almost any Internet user to harness the resources of hundreds of computers
on the network to flood an unwitting victim with data, crippling the
victim's network connection and degrading the speed of neighboring Internet

Concern is high enough that the Computer Emergency Response Team watchdog
group has issued a warning and potential solutions for smurfing, also often
known as "a denial-of-service attack."  Dale Drew, senior manager of
security engineering at MCI Communications Corp., told Sandberg he has been
receiving roughly four complaints a day from Internet customers victimized
by such attacks.

"Anyone with a modem is now able to launch an effective denial-of-service
attack against pretty much anyone on the Internet," he said. "You don't
need any knowledge whatsoever. You just pick your victim and press go."
The Journal says vandals are exploiting a common Internet feature called
"pinging," which allows network administrators to query remote machines to
see if they are operating correctly. The machines being pinged respond by
sending a message back to the person making the query. The smurf program
directs the responses to the intended victim's computer, not the vandal.

Also, the vandal uses a feature of pinging that broadcasts the request to
as many as several hundred associated machines at once. All these responses
from the machines trigger a digital deluge, clogging the pipeline to the
victim's machine.  Adds Sandberg, "This latest Internet vandalism once
again raises questions about the design of the network, which wasn't
initially conceived as a global marketplace. Hackers, often amateurs, often
exploit features of the network to deface online businesses. Though
problems caused by smurfing and similar antics can be fixed in a little
more than 20 minutes, such outages can take their toll on businesses that
depend on online transactions."

                        VDTs No Threat to Pregnancy

Following a three-year study of 2,400 telephone operators, government
researchers say women who work at computer terminals do not have any higher
risk of giving birth prematurely than other women.  According to the Reuter
News Service, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
says the research showed no differences in the rate of premature births
between those who worked with video display terminals and those who did

In a statement, NIOSH director Dr. Linda Rosenstock added, "NIOSH's
landmark findings have helped alleviate many concerns and uncertainties
once raised about working with VDTs."  Reuters notes NIOSH researchers
earlier said VDT workers did not have a higher risk of miscarriages,
either.  A decade ago, several studies indicated pregnant women might be at
risk from working with computer terminals, "but results were mixed,"
Reuters notes, adding, "U.S. and British government studies have since
given computer displays the all-clear."

                     New York Sues Net 'Book Doctors'

New York has sued a firm of "book doctors" alleged to have created a
network of fake agents and publishers to lure aspiring writers into
spending thousands for editing manuscripts.  Edit Ink, operated by husband
and wife William Appel and Denise Sterrs, is accused of fraudulently
generating $5.5 million in fees, according to the civil suit brought by New
York Attorney General Dennis Vacco, who contends the firm lured would-be
authors through ads placed on the Internet and in literary publications
such as the New York Times Book Review.

Adds the Reuter News Service, "Form letters that blatantly played to the
fragile egos of writers were sent to each of thousands of would-be authors
who submitted manuscripts. They were told their work showed 'great promise
and excellent commercial possibilities, but needed professional editing
before it could be published.'"  The suit says letters referred writers to
Edit Ink, which would bring the manuscript "closer to publication" for $5 a

Adds Reuters, "While hopeful authors were told only the most promising
submissions were referred to Edit Ink, the same form letter was sent to
every writer and manuscripts were not read. The supposed publisher or agent
would then receive a 15 percent kickback from Edit Ink for every manuscript
submitted for editing. ... Once the manuscript was edited and supposedly
submitted for publication, authors received a letter saying the work could
not be published after all."

Vacco says the scheme unravelled when writers started checking with the
publishers to whom they had been told their work had been submitted, and
learned that not only had the manuscripts not been received, but the
publishers had never even heard of the agents.  "One established author
beat the sham firm at its own game, however," says Reuters, "submitting a
fake manuscript described as 'a series of blatantly incoherent pages,' only
to receive the standard form letter saying the manuscript was 'close to
marketable' and referring him to Edit Ink for a final edit."  Also named in
the suit were three people who posed as publishers and agents. A temporary
retraining order has been granted by a state Supreme Court judge
prohibiting Edit Ink from hiding its financial relationship with the agents
and publishers.

                    AOL at Center of Sailor's Dismissal

The U.S. Navy plans to dismiss a sailor after finding out from his America
Online online user profile that he is gay.  Reporting from Washington, the
Reuter News Service says Senior Chief Petty Officer Timothy McVeigh has
been given an honorable discharge effective tomorrow. A Navy official told
the wire service McVeigh violated the military's "don't ask, don't tell"
policy on homosexuality because of the online profile.

Reuters says the investigation of McVeigh (who has no relation to convicted
Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh) began after the Navy obtained a copy
of his AOL Internet user profile, which indicated that he was gay, the
official said.  Speaking with The Washington Post this week, McVeigh did
not deny writing the profile, which allows users to view biographical
information about another user that has been listed voluntarily, but he did
not confirm whether he was gay.  Ann Brackbill, AOL Networks senior vice
president for communications,  told Reuters her employer considers any
other user information confidential and will give it out only to the
account holder.  Added Brackbill, "We feel very confident, while we're
still looking into it, that our policies were followed in this case."

She said AOL members' services operators verify they are talking to an
account holder by checking facts about the member such as the member's
mother's maiden name and the last four digits of their social security
number. Brackbill added the only other way AOL would give out member
information is by a court order which the Navy did not have.  Reuters says
the Navy official declined to comment on how the Navy obtained McVeigh's
profile, saying the information was part of the Navy's ongoing
investigation.  McVeigh, who has been in the Navy for 17 years, is to
receive full veterans benefits and an involuntary separation payment. He
will not be eligible for a pension.

Meanwhile, Associated Press writer John Diamond says McVeigh's online
screen name -- "'Boysrch,'" presumably meaning, 'boy search'" -- "bothered
the recipient" and "set in motion a chain of events that led to the
dismissal.  Diamond also reports gay rights and privacy advocates are
contending the Navy and AOL violated the sailor's privacy and possibly
broke the law. McVeigh told AP he plans to appeal his discharge to Navy
Secretary John Dalton.

McVeigh told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "I find it incredible that such
blatant disregard for regulations occurred and then were endorsed by the
Navy at higher levels."  Adds AP, "McVeigh's supporters say it was the Navy
that violated the don't-ask, don't-tell policy by asking AOL for
information about McVeigh. According to records of McVeigh's discharge
proceeding dating from last November, a Navy officer said he called AOL and
asked for the full name of a 'Tim' listed in the biographical profile page
under the screen name 'Boysrch.'"

The witness, who was unidentified in the records, is quoted at the hearing
as saying, "I called AOL and talked to a gentleman named Owen at Tech
Services. I said that I am the third party in receipt of a fax and wanted
to confirm the profile sheet, who it belonged to. They said it came from
Hawaii and that it was from `Timothy R. McVeigh' on the billing."
Assisting McVeigh's lawyers, attorney David Sobel, legal counsel for the
Electronic Privacy Information Center, says this conversation may go beyond
a possible violation of the don't-ask, don't-tell policy.

Adds Sobel, the Navy may have obtained evidence about McVeigh illegally
when the officer that phoned AOL failed to say he was calling from the
Navy.  AP notes the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act bars service
providers from providing government agencies with information without a
search warrant, court order or subpoena.  Attorneys and officials familiar
with the situation told AP said the case began when McVeigh sent a routine
e-mail to a Navy spouse serving as an onshore ombudsman for sailors aboard
the Chicago and their spouses.

"The woman knew McVeigh to be the author of the e-mail, which covered such
things as buying presents for Navy children for an upcoming party," says
the wire service. "But the woman noticed the 'Boysrch' screen name. She
then went to the profile page in the AOL system that provided more
background information. There, she saw that the author of the page
identified himself as 'Tim' from Honolulu and, under marital status, wrote
'gay.' Under hobbies the profile page listed 'driving, boy watching,
collecting pictures of other young studs.' The woman turned this
information over to the Navy, which initiated an investigation."

                    SEC  Wants Year 2000 Clarification

Companies need to tell investors their plans and costs for converting
computers to handle the switch to the year 2000, says the Securities and
Exchange Commission.  Writing for the Dow Jones news service today, writer
Paul Beckett quotes new guidance from the SEC's division of corporation
finance that also says companies that have not yet made assessments of Year
2000 issues must disclose that uncertainty to investors as well.

As reported, the Year 2000 presents corporations with with what the wire
service characterizes as "potentially huge problems" because many computers
were designed to recognize only dates beginning with 19 and need
substantial work, or replacement, to cope with the change in century.  Dow
Jones says the SEC has been urging companies to consider those potential
problems in disclosures they make to investors through regular filings with
the agency, adding, "Companies are required under securities laws and SEC
rules to disclose in those filings any factors that may have a material
impact on their business, financial condition or results."

These latest guidelines are contained in a staff legal bulletin and
coincides with the filing period for many companies' annual reports.  The
guidance has not been voted on by the full commission.  In general, says
the division of corporation finance, disclosure of Year 2000 issues should
be made if they are material to a company's business or financial
condition, regardless of whether remediation programs or contingency plans
are in place.

More specifically, it says, a company should "at least" disclose its
general plans, timetable, and cost estimates, if they are material,
relating to Year 2000 issues. The division added that the disclosure must
be "reasonably specific and meaningful, rather than standard boilerplate."
Also the division says investment advisers and investment companies, which
are regulated under their own statutes, may be required to disclose to
clients and shareholders if Year 2000 issues pose operational or financial
obstacles.  Says the legal bulletin, "Disclosure of the Year 2000 issue is
necessary if it is materially misleading to shareholders to omit the

                     Microsoft Sets Win98 Home Preview

Microsoft Corp. has begun a limited consumer beta preview of its Windows 98
operating system.
The software giant says the program's objective is to let computer-savvy
home users of Windows 95 try Windows 98 Beta 3 before the product is widely
available. The preview will be made available to approximately 100,000 home
users and will be rolled out in stages over the next few months.

According to Microsoft, the program's initial stage began earlier this
week, with e-mail sent to a select list of targeted consumers inviting them
to join the program for $29.95 plus shipping, handling and tax. The price
covers the cost of product support as well as a Beta Preview Program Kit,
which includes a CD-ROM with Windows 98 beta software, the Getting Started
Guide, Product Release Notes and a program brochure. Microsoft says the
program will be expanded via e-mail and the Web over the next few months
with a maximum of 100,000 participants. A Web page with questions and
answers about the program can be found on the Windows 98 Web site at .

"We developed this program based on feedback from users of Windows 95 that
home users, just like corporations, wanted a chance to preview the next
version of Windows before release," says Jonathan Roberts, Microsoft's
director of Windows marketing at Microsoft. "The Windows 98 Consumer Beta
Preview Program will give thousands of home-computer enthusiasts the
opportunity for an early test drive of Windows 98."

                    'Print on Anything' Printer Debuts

Seiko Instruments USA Inc. says it has a new printer that can print on
virtually anything.  The company, based in San Jose, California, describes
its Specialty ColorPoint Plus an "industrial-quality, dye-sublimation and
thermal-wax color printer designed to withstand the rigors of a commercial
production environment." The $5,249 unit can transfer images onto a wide
range of materials, including glass, metal, ceramic, wood, cotton and
polyester fabrics and high temperature plastics.

"At  roughly a dollar an item, a screen printer or an ad specialty house
using the ColorPoint Plus can offer customers caps, mugs, T-shirts, ties,
mouse pads and other specialty items that are individually personalized or
unique -- something silkscreening can't do," says Seiko Instruments USA
spokeswoman Darlene Long.  The Specialty ColorPoint Plus is compatible with
both PC and Macintosh systems. The printer has an output rate of
approximately 3 minutes per page.  More details are available on the Seiko
Instruments USA Web site at

                      Study: Lower Digital TV Prices

Sales of digital television sets would quadruple if manufacturers would
lower prices, according to a new survey sponsored by A.T. Kearney Inc., a
global management consulting firm.  Results of the consumer survey, which
polled 1,000 households before the holidays, showed that price is the most
critical variable driving consumer purchases of digital television sets. At
a premium of $1,000 over analog television sets, only 6 percent of
respondents said they were likely to buy a digital set. But when the
premium fell to $500,the number of potential buyers jumped to 24 percent.

"Consumers are excited about digital television, but right now the premium
prices that the sets are expected to command will keep consumers out of the
stores," says Joseph Kraemer, vice president of the communications practice
at A.T. Kearney, which is based in Arlington, Virginia. "The lower the
price, the faster the penetration of digital television in the United
States. Price is the one factor that many manufacturers can control to
accelerate penetration."

The survey also found that a sizable percentage of consumers would drop
their cable or satellite service if they could receive numerous channels
free through digital television. "This new piece of information about the
willingness of consumers to drop other television services could be used as
a marketing tool to boost consumer interest in digital television," notes

Other survey results:

z    Asked whether they would access the World Wide Web through their
  digital television, 63 percent said yes, potentially doubling Internet
  penetration in U.S. households.
z    Asked to name what will most influence a decision to buy a digital
television: 42 percent said cost; 22 percent said analog service
terminating; 20 percent said to replace a broken set; 11 percent said for
quality and/or service.
z    Assuming a reasonably priced set, two out of three households said
they would buy a digital TV within five years of introduction.

                      Hertz Expanding Car Navigation

Hertz Corp. has announced the expansion of Hertz NeverLost, its in-car
navigation system, to over 50 locations in 35 cities.  Hertz began offering
the system in 1995. The route- guidance system provides directions to any
destination by means of an in-car, four-inch video screen and
computer-generated voice prompts.  "We have widened the geographic
availability of Hertz NeverLost by increasing the number of cities where
customers may rent a unit," says Robert J. Bailey, a Hertz senior vice
president. "This broader deployment of units is a response to customer
reaction and demand."

Customers can reserve cars equipped with Neverlost for an additional $6 per
day charge.  Manufactured by Magellan Driver Information System Inc. of
Rochester Hills, Michigan, NeverLost combines global positioning system
(GPS) satellite technology with map matching technology. Navigation
Technologies Corp. of Sunnyvale, California, developed NeverLost's map

                       Microsoft Scores Set-Top Deal

In what is being called a major victory in its push to lead the convergence
of television and the Internet, Microsoft Corp. has won a contract to
supply the core software for at least 5 million advanced set-top boxes for
cable giant Tele-Communications Inc.  The deal, says reporter Martin Wolk
of the Reuter News Service, was hammered out in negotiations that lasted
until 2:30 a.m. yesterday and comes just a day after Microsoft rival Sun
Microsystems Inc. announced TCI will use its Java programming language in
the boxes, which will give consumers access to a wide range of services
from home shopping and banking to high-speed Internet access.

But, despite the Sun victory, TCI Chairman John Malone "made clear," says
Wolk, "that Microsoft's Windows CE operating system would be included in
each of up to 11.9 million boxes it plans to deploy over the next several
years, while Sun's technology would be included only if economically
viable."  Malone said in a conference call with analysts and reporters, "We
chose Microsoft because we felt they were the furthest along in terms of
convergence between the Internet and the TV set. This is the horse on which
we're going to put our money."

One analyst estimates TCI, the nation's largest cable provider, will pay
Microsoft a licensing fee of $25 per box to include a special version of
Windows CE, the software giant's growing family of software for consumer
electronics.  Reuters adds, "While TCI has committed to a minimum of 5
million units in the non-exclusive deal, Malone said the cable giant plans
to include Windows on all the 6.5 million to 11.9 million boxes it expects
to buy for itself and affiliates over the next three to five years."

Malone told reporters that part of what set Microsoft apart was its WebTV
technology, some of which will be included in the boxes, which TCI hopes to
begin deploying to its customers late this year. WebTV, which Microsoft
bought last year for $425 million, supplies Internet service through the
television set to about 200,000 subscribers. The TCI boxes will go further
and will include cable modems, allowing users to get high-speed Internet
access through their personal computers as well.

                      Sharp Eyes Paper-Thin Computers

Liquid crystal display technology that will make it possible to develop
paper-thin computers has been announced by Japanese electronics firm Sharp
Corp. and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co.  Reporting from Tokyo, the
Reuter News Service says the technology -- called continuous grain silicon
-- will allow the development of a large glass panel that incorporates both
chips, such as LCD drivers, and thin-film-transistor LCD displays.

Sharp President Haruo Tsuji told reporters today he expects products
incorporating the new technology to begin contributing to its profits in
the fiscal year that starts on April 1.  "The CGS technology also allows
LCD displays and chips to be manufactured in the same process," Reuters
adds. "This would enable the development of high-speed multimedia
terminals, including personal computers and credit card-sized
communications tools, formed on a single glass sheet of any size...  The
CGS panel can also produce high-resolution images because of high electron

The new process enables electrons to travel through semiconductors in LCDs
about 600 times faster than they do in amorphous silicon TFT LCDs widely
used at present, Sharp says, adding it used the technology to develop a
prototype of a 60-inch video projector, incorporating LCD drivers with a
speed of 13.8 MHz, the fastest in the industry.  Look for Sharp to start
mass production of such projectors within a year.

                      Dell Unveils High-End Notebook

Dell Computer Corp. has added a high-end model to its Inspiron 3000
notebook line.  The system, priced from $3,299, includes Intel's new 266MHz
Pentium processor with MMX technology and a 13.3-inch active-matrix screen.
Dell says the system, which is scheduled to begin shipping this week, is
designed for small businesses and individual users who require high
performance computer systems at aggressive prices.

The $3,299 Inspiron 3000 M266XT offers the 266MHz Pentium MMX, 32MB of RAM,
a 2.1 GB hard drive, a 20X CD-ROM drive, a 13.3-inch XGA active-matrix
display, Microsoft Office 97 Small Business Edition software and a one-year
limited warranty.  Dell has also announced price cuts on existing models in
the Inspiron 3000 line. The price of an Inspiron 3000 with a 233MHz Pentium
MMX and a 13.3-inch XGA active-matrix display has been lowered 9 percent
from $3,399 to $3,099. A version with a 200MHz Pentium MMX and a 12.1-inch
SVGA active-matrix display has been reduced 7 percent from $2,799 to

"As notebook PC component prices continue to fall, especially for large
active-matrix displays, Dell's short inventory cycle allows us to quickly
adjust prices," says Stephan Godevais, vice president of the Inspiron line.
Additional information on Dell Inspiron notebooks can be found on the
company's Web site at

                      Microsoft Ships SQL Server Beta

Microsoft Corp. has begun shipping Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Beta 2, the
first broadly available beta release of its updated Windows NT database
software.  Microsoft notes that the new release will allow independent
software vendors and customers to build and deploy fully scalable branch
automation, mobile, e-commerce and datamart database solutions more
quickly, simply and cost-effectively. The beta was made available to 1,500
Microsoft customers and independent software vendors.

Microsoft SQL Server is the leading database software for Windows NT
Server, according to International Data Corp. statistics, with 44 percent
of license shipments compared to 28 percent for second-place challenger
Oracle. IDC's latest research shows Microsoft SQL Server license sales
growing at more than 100 percent annually and projects that the market for
Windows NT-based databases will "explode" with more than 50 percent total
growth between 1997 and 2001, compared to a largely flat market for UNIX
database software.

                      New Company Targets Convergence

Four technology industry veterans -- including three technical, marketing
and management experts formerly with Intel Corp. -- have formed ShareWave
Inc., a company that aims to take a new approach to digital convergence in
the home.  ShareWave, based in El Dorado Hills, California, says its
long-term goal is to develop practical, innovative and affordable products
that help establish the home PC as the "information furnace" that centrally
connects and controls computing power and digital information among the
growing number of smart, digital appliances and sophisticated audio/visual
products now becoming prevalent in today's homes. These devices include
home entertainment systems, game consoles, telephones, kitchen appliances,
electronic notepads, home security systems, digital satellite systems (DSS)
and digital versatile disc (DVD) players.

"Over the last few years, there has been an increasing focus on bringing
digital content into the home, either through internal means, such as
CD-ROMs or DVDs, or through external means, such as telephone lines, cable
modems, and satellite feeds," says Bob Bennett, co-founder and president of
ShareWave. "No one, however, has developed a coherent strategy for what to
do with this content once it enters the home. ShareWave is developing
products that establish the PC as a central 'information furnace' in the
home. This information furnace will centrally aggregate digital content and
computing power, then wirelessly distribute them to appliances throughout
the home that are ideally suited for user interaction with that content."

Besides Bennett, a former marketing director at Intel, ShareWave
co-founders include Geoff Bland, vice president of finance and business
development, formerly a partner of REP, L.P., a $200 million institutional
investment fund; Amar Ghori, vice president of engineering, who most
recently was the architecture manager for Intel's microprocessor division;
and John White, vice president of strategic planning, whose decade at Intel
culminated in his role as a senior product planner defining next-generation

The company has raised $7.5 million in two recent rounds of financing led
by industry giants Microsoft Corp. and Vulcan Ventures, headed by
entrepreneur Paul Allen. SharWave identifies other investors as an
anonymous "large microprocessor company based in Santa Clara, California,"
and venture capital firms APV Technology Partners, L.P., Softbank Holdings
Inc. and Draper Richards L.P.  Additional information on ShareWave can be
found at the company's Web site at

                     E-Software Distrubution Analyzed

Electronic software distribution (ESD) holds many opportunities for
software companies that fully exploit the new medium, finds a new
International Data Corp. study.  The Framingham, Massachusetts, market
research firm defines ESD as the process by which end users test, purchase,
pay for and receive software electronically across the Internet. The study
notes that software vendors looking to offer ESD must work with a large
number of companies to fulfill infrastructure, services and enabling
products requirements.

"A company must develop its ESD strategy in concert with existing reseller
and complementary channel partners in order to maximize opportunity and
avoid possible channel conflict," says Stephen Graham, IDC's vice president
of software channel and alliance strategies. "ESD has forced distributors
to re-evaluate their positions as providers of time and place utility and
to examine the benefits of providing other value-added services."  An
abstract of the study is available for review on IDC's Web site at

                         One Million Faces Served!

Miros' TrueFace Access witnesses one millionth face worldwide, single
entrance system designed for small office users Miros, Inc., the market
leader of face recognition technology, today announced that more than one
million faces have passed through its TrueFace Access systems. Using Miros'
patented technology, TrueFace Access mimics how the brain recognizes faces.
When a facial match occurs, access is granted to an entrance way, while
time and attendance is documented. Throughout the world, TrueFace Access
has allowed organizations to create a more secure and efficient work-force.

Miros' one million faces have passed through TrueFace Access systems
worldwide. The India Oil Company, one of the largest employers in India,
installed the system last May to test TrueFace Access in nearly half of its
entrances. Integrated with a turnstile, the refinery identifies hundreds of
employees entering the refinery. TrueFace Access protects the facility by
allowing only enrolled employees access. At the same time, Miros'
technology monitors time and attendance for their employees in a quick and
efficient manner. The system deters "buddy checking," ensuring that one
person does not "punch" another person in or out of work. Due to the
success of this trial-run, the oil company will be fully implementing
TrueFace Access early in 1998.

Ram Ratan Gupta, chief general manager of Datamatics Limited, an access
control and time and attendance VAR, sold TrueFace Access to the refinery.
"Biometric systems are slowly starting to replace access control systems
which were previously reliant on keys and pin numbers," said Gupta. "For
customers looking for the highest level of security, biometrics offers
protection that can't be bribed, stolen or forged."

"With so many employees working different shifts at the refinery each day,
it had been impossible to accurately document time and attendance," said
P.S. Rao, chief executive officer of the India Oil Company.  "TrueFace
Access will not only keep track of our employees' hours, but will also
prevent intruders from entering the refinery premises."  "Miros has proved,
a million times over, that no matter the location, TrueFace Access is the
most effective, non-intrusive means of security and identification in the
world," stated Miros president and CEO, Dr. Michael Kuperstein. "Miros'
successes have prompted us to expand our customer base by developing a
single entrance system for small office users."

                  TrueFace Access Single Entrance System

In celebration of its millionth recognition, TrueFace Access has been made
available as a single entrance system. Small businesses now have the
ability to use the TrueFace technology in their offices. This new module
allows access into a single door and provides the user with all the
hardware and software needed to install the system. This system
incorporates all the great traits of the original TrueFace Access system
for one low price of $4,995.

TrueFace Access can not be fooled by a photograph or slight change in
appearance. Two cameras view the face, searching for depth. A live video
image is then compared to a picture previously stored in the database. The
match is based on a scale of zero to ten, with ten being a perfect match
and a score under five denying access. The varying degrees of matches allow
the user to alter his/her look, such as growing a beard, cutting hair,
gaining or losing weight.

            Tele-Direct And Philips Speech Processing Announce
                      Voice Command Restaurant Guide

Tele-Direct (Publications) Inc., one of the world's leading directory
publishers, today announced its development agreement with Philips Speech
Processing, a division of Philips Electronics N.V. to build telephony-based
speech recognition applications. These applications will allow consumers to
access  Yellow Pages(R) directory information by telephone, using natural
speech recognition.  The agreement will also allow Tele-Direct to build and
sell speech recognition applications to other companies as a Value Added
Reseller of Philips speech products.

The first application being developed by Tele-Direct using Philips' speech
recognition technology is Yellow Pages VoiceNet(R), a restaurant guide for
the Greater Toronto area of  Canada.  Consumers will be able to talk to
VoiceNet using normal sentences such as: "I am looking for an Italian
Restaurant, in the Downtown area".  VoiceNet is available to callers by
dialing 416-412-2000.  Philips is a world leader in speech recognition.  A
central focus of the speech processing group has been the development of
natural language, speaker independent speech recognition.  A natural
language interface allows callers to access information, via telephone, in
a variable and colloquial language.

"This agreement with Philips addresses one of Tele-Direct's key strategic
challenges; to find new and innovative ways to connect buyers and sellers
-- anytime, anywhere," said Doug Renwicke, Tele-Direct's President for New
Media and New Marketing Services.  "We are excited about partnering with
Tele-Direct, because it expands our ventures into North America through our
advanced speech technology, but also because this signals the proliferation
of telephony-based speech applications for the mainstream market," said
Bruce Cooperman, Senior VP Sales, Philips Speech Processing.  Tele-Direct
is Philips' first major North American partner for telecommunications
applications.  Philips has successfully implemented projects for Swiss
Federal Railways, Dutch PTT Telecom, Lufthansa, as well as several other
European companies.

                    Trend to Offer HP Virus Protection

Trend Micro Inc., a specialist in server-based virus protection, has been
tapped by Hewlett-Packard Co. to provide integrated virus protection
technology for OpenMail, HP's enterprise-wide messaging system. The deal's
terms weren't disclosed.  Trend says it will adapt its e-mail scanning
technology to provide an anti-virus product called ScanMail for OpenMail.
Trend has similar alliances with Oracle Systems Inc., Sun Microsystems
Inc., Netscape Corp., Lotus Development Corp., Microsoft Corp. and other
vendors "Companies are increasingly realizing that they need to have e-mail
virus protection in place to protect their messaging infrastructure from
the significant productivity losses that result from virus outbreaks," says
Dan Schrader, Trend's director of product marketing.  "By working with
Hewlett-Packard to provide integrated virus protection that is easy to
implement, we are helping customers to more easily adopt this core
protection technology."  More information about Trend's enterprise virus
protection products can be obtained from the company's Web site at

                       Yahoo Leads List of Web Sites

A report by an Internet research firm says more Net surfers visited the
Yahoo search engine in December than any other single site on the World
Wide Web.  The Reuter News Service quotes the research by Relevant
Knowledge Inc. as finding more than 16.7 million "unique" users traveled
last month to, where they accessed Yahoo's search
engine, news, personal e-mail and other products.  Sites operated by rival
web browser publishers Netscape Communications Corp. and Microsoft Corp.
were the second and third most trafficked, the study said, with 13.5
million and 10.5 million unique visitors, respectively.  The company's "Top
25 Domains" report says it counted "unique visitors," or
individuals who may travel to a site, or hit it, rather than the aggregate
hits, so as to more accurately measure internet traffic.  Researchers says
Yahoo, Netscape and Microsoft, in that order, also were the top ranked
sites in November.

Also, RelevantKnowledge found:

z    Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN Sportzone had the Web's highest concentration
  of male visitors, which reflects the appeal of that niche site to a
  specific target audience.
z    Internet bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc.'s site had the highest
concentration of female visitors.
z    Also ranking in the top 10 in December were with 9.4 million
visitors;, 9.2 million;, 7.9 million;, 6.8 million,, 5.5 million,,
4.6 million, and, 4.2 million.

                      U.S. Has Half of Net Population

The latest figures show the U.S. continues to have an overwhelming lead --
more than 54 percent -- in the number of Internet users. However, the
nation's share is dropping rapidly as a growing number of other countries
come to the Net.  In a statement from Glenbrook, Nevada, officials with the
Internet   Industry Almanac say the U.S. share of the Net was nearly 65
percent in 1994 and more than 80 percent in 1991. It is projected to dip to
40 percent by the end of year 2000.

"This is a common trend in the computer industry," adds the statement, "as
the U.S. normally is the pioneer in a new market segment. As the technology
spreads, the U.S. market share declines and usually drops to less than 30
percent when the technology reaches the mature phase."  The company says
countries with the most Internet users are the large industrialized
countries plus some of the smaller industrialized countries that were early
adopters of the Internet. Examples are Finland, Sweden, Norway and

"Over time," adds the statement, "these smaller industrialized countries
will be replaced by the most populous countries such as China and Russia."
Here is a list of the top 15 countries, including business, educational and
home Internet users, based on 1997 year-end estimates, listing number of
users and percentage share of the total:

1.   USA, 54.68 million users, 54.7 percent.
2.   Japan, 7.97 million, 7.97 percent.
3.   United Kingdom, 5.83 million, 5.83 percent.
4.   Canada, 4.33 million, 4.33 percent.
5.   Germany, 4.06 million, 4.07 percent.
6.   Australia, 3.35 million, 3.35 percent.
7.   Netherlands, 1.39 million, 1.39 percent.
8.   Sweden, 1.31 million, 1.31 percent.
9.   Finland, 1.25 million, 1.25 percent.
10.  France, 1.18 million, 1.17 percent.
11.  Norway, 1.01 million, 1.01 percent.
12.  Spain, 920,000, 0.92 percent.
13.  Brazil, 860,000, 0.86 percent.
14.  Italy, 840,000, 0.84 percent.
15.  Switzerland, 770,000, 0.77 percent.

The top 15 countries account for 89.76 percent of the world Net usage, says
the company, with Europe making up 21.97 percent.

                       Net Yellow Pages Market Soars

Internet yellow pages generated $21.8 million in revenues in 1997, up from
$3.9 million in 1996, finds new research from Cowles/Simba Information.
The 459 percent growth rate in 1997 is due to several factors, notes the
study, including new entrants into the highly competitive Internet yellow
pages market and revenue gains from existing services. The Internet yellow
pages market includes print yellow pages publishers, start-up online
directories and niche services. Cowles/Simba Information projects the
industry will reach $164.9 million in 2000.

The report points out that niche directories and search engines represent
competitive threats to Internet yellow pages services. "Internet yellow
pages services from print publishers and start-up companies face tremendous
competition from niche services, which have already begun siphoning away
advertisers in key yellow pages headings, such as autos, restaurants and
attorneys," says Tom Maguire, a Cowles/Simba Information editor. Search
engines, which command significant usage and advertising dollars, act as
yellow pages directories by referring consumers to business Web sites,
allowing them to bypass Internet yellow pages, he notes.  Cowles/Simba
Information, based in Stamford, Connecticut, is a leading provider of news,
analysis and market research reports on the media and information industry.
The company's Web site is located at

                    Microsoft Unveils IT Aptitude Tool

Microsoft Corp. has unveiled an online aptitude tool that's designed to
help individuals identify and prepare for an information technology career.
The software publisher says the tool, located at , is part of the Microsoft
Skills 2000 initiative aimed at addressing the IT workforce shortage by
bringing individuals into the IT industry.  The tool includes a series of
questions aimed at identifying an individual's aptitude for eight career
categories developed by NorthWest Center for Emerging Technologies and the
Regional Advanced Technology Education Consortium. Once an individual's
aptitude has been evaluated, the tool provides a road map for technical
training, enabling users to easily understand how to develop the technology
skills and knowledge needed for the identified career categories.

"Our goal is to reach out and bring new individuals into the computer
industry," says Nancy Lewis, general manager of worldwide training and
certification at Microsoft. "Many people simply don't realize they may have
the skills or an aptitude to succeed in this industry. There are many myths
about the types of IT jobs available and the requirements to obtain those
jobs. This tool aims to dispel those myths."  More information on the
Microsoft Skills 2000 initiative is available at .

                      Stolen Computer Registry on Web

Now that computers top the list of most-often-stolen equipment, the Stolen
Computer Registry, a worldwide clearinghouse for serial numbers of stolen
gear, is stepping up its efforts to fight theft. The firm's new free
database will enable victims of computer theft, as well as computer
traders, insurance companies and law enforcement agencies, to list serial
numbers of stolen equipment and compare serial numbers of suspicious gear.
Praised by law enforcement agencies as "a valuable service," the Stolen
Computer Registry has been tracking stolen gear since 1990. When stolen
gear is located, the Registry assists in its recovery and returns it to the
rightful owner.  The database can be reached at

                          Netscape to Lay Off 400

Word is Netscape Communications Corp. is set to lay off some 400 permanent
and contract workers, as it adjusts to slowing growth and rising
competition with Microsoft Corp.  Writing in The Wall Street Journal this
morning, reporter Kara Swisher  says, "The potential cuts, disclosed in
internal estimates prepared by Netscape officials, represent 12.5 percent
of  the Mountain View, California, company's total work force, which
includes 2,600 full-time employees and 600 others who work under long-term
contracts."  As reported, Netscape had predicted an undetermined number of
job reductions in response to an estimated fourth-quarter operating loss of
between $14 million and $18 million, or 15 to 19 cents  a share, which the
company attributed largely to price pressure from Microsoft.

The Journal says the layoffs will be finalized when Netscape officially
announces its results on Jan. 27, adding they bring "to a halt a major
expansion over the past several years and is the first time that it has
shrunk its staff."  The software publisher's full-time work force
mushroomed from 757 in March 1996 to 2,637 at the end of 1997.  "But," says
Swisher, "because of an intense attack by Microsoft in the
Internet-software market, Netscape has seen substantial declines in its
market share."

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

                              LEXMARK OPTRA C
                               LASER PRINTER

For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to
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sized envelope please) to:

                     STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer
                               P.O. Box 6672
                     Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155
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If  you  would  like a sample printout that's suitable  for  framing.   Yes
that's  right!   Suitable for Framing.  Order this package.   It'll  be  on
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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

                     BOTH Lessig and Perhaps, Jackson
                                 MUST GO!!

What the HELL is * REALLY * Going ON here??

An opinion by Ralph F. Mariano

     Please read the diatribe of a "Ruling" offered by Judge Thomas
Penfield Jackson.  Where, at the end of the ruling, he admonishes Microsoft
by offering that they, in all probabilities, would have received a
favorable ruling had they been more respectful in their description of
Lessig's glaringly obvious bias against Microsoft.  What is wrong with this
picture?  Jackson is already very busy punishing Microsoft!!  He readily
admits there are grounds to dump Lessig based on MS's charges of bias.  But
because Microsoft was highly descriptive in picturing Lessig's bias they
must now endure Jackson's Judicial Wrath and Lessig's bias while running
the Gauntlet of "true, unbiased Justice" according to Jackson-Lessig.  Are
we still in the USA?   Please, no mail from anyone comparing Jackson to a
17th Century "Powdered Wig" pompous ass who is a power drunk lackey of "The
King" (DOJ).  Even if it is an accurate comparison.

     "In a sharply worded order, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield
Jackson has denied a motion by Microsoft Corp. to remove his special
adviser on computer issues.  Judge Jackson's order, released late
Wednesday, described the Redmond, Wash., company's filing as "defamatory."
He said the reasons Microsoft gave for trying to remove Harvard law
professor Lawrence Lessig were "trivial and altogether non-probative. They
are, therefore, defamatory, and the court finds they were not made in good
faith."  Jackson appointed Lessig as special master last month to research
the issues of the current case between the U.S. Department of Justice and
Microsoft. The latter sought Lessig's ouster after discovering he had sent
an E-mail complaining about Microsoft to a lawyer at rival Netscape
Communications Corp."

     Only hours after Jackson adjourned the hearing concerning Lessig, he
issued an order responding to Microsoft's charges that Harvard professor
Lessig had shown bias against Microsoft and might reasonably be perceived
to be "a partisan of Netscape," a bitter rival of Microsoft in the market
for Internet Web browsers.  "The basis given for these accusations are both
trivial and altogether  non-probative," Jackson said. "They are, therefore,
defamatory and the Court  finds that they were not made in good faith."
Jackson said if the accusations  had been made in a more formal manner
"they might well have incurred sanction."

     Friends, since when does "good faith" have anything to do with the
offering of truthful submissions concerning the possible tainting of the
administration of Justice?  Jackson makes it very clear that Microsoft had
grounds but because they didn't "pussy-foot" around with Lessig's
attitudes, Jackson decided to push aside true Justice and play the silly
"Tip-Toe through the Tulips" game of who may have offended whom.  Jackson
should have simply separated the wheat from the chaff and made an INFORMED
decision on whether or not Lessig could indeed perform his duties unbiased
against Microsoft.  Most everyone will agree that those who are using
computer on the MAC platform blame Microsoft for the current state of
affairs Apple and its proprietary platform is in regardless of the highly
inflated retail prices of its hardware and gross mismanagement Apple has
"enjoyed" for the last four years.

     Jackson said Lessig had given him a declaration with assurances of the
Harvard professor's impartiality.  The ruling comes at a critical time for
Microsoft, which can expect action on the contempt motion soon.  Why must
we as taxpayers and voting citizens of this nation watch such shenanigans
by Jackson the DOJ and their high priced hirelings?  We must all take a
step back and take a good long hard look at the big picture.  Microsoft put
an end to the gouging, the nickle and diming, and the constant
incompatibilites that were commonplace a few years ago.  We must not forget
that Microsoft with its aggressive competitiveness, virtually eliminated a
great deal of the superfluous, practically useless programs that were being
foisted upon the computing masses before the advent of Win95.  Its sad to
see the short memories many have.  Better yet, perhaps Jackson and Lessig
would like to have MS remove the smooth transition Win95 and its successors
will offer when the year 2000 rolls around?

     Certainly, its beginning to appear that BOTH Lessig and Jackson must
go!!  Are there any who are both qualified and available who would truly be
unbiased??  I don't think so.  The publicity hungry dolts at DOJ who insist
upon hounding MS have made certain of that.  The entire world is aware of
the DOJ's "pursuit" of Microsoft, with most all vocally expressing their
opinions to whomever will listen.  Wouldn't it be "nice" if the entire
world were aware of the DOJ's pursuit of the giant conglomerates who LOCK
the prices of fuel, food, and power along with competitive shelf space in
the nation's supermarkets and shopping malls.  The very same ones who
create artificial shortages to keep prices up??  Ah .but to find the DOJ
actually taking on the gigantic fuel and power cartels, grain cartels, meat
cartels and dairy cartels is a blatant fantasy!  These powerful groups are
calling the shots in and for the US Government.  Now, take a good look at
the huge defense contractors.  Ever notice when there is slump in the USA's
raw materials and defense industry there is suddenly a need for US Military
action somewhere in the world?  Coincidence??  I think not.  How about you?

     Back to the present;   Gates and Microsoft are mere newbies, upstarts.
when compared to the ultra wealthy and powerful beasts that have wielded
the power in this country for decades.  Any one of the above three, at any
time, has at least 2/3rds of our elected federal officials in their

     Why does the DOJ find it ever so comfortable to HOUND Microsoft while
they seeming ignore the severe Civil Right violations going on every day in
this country??  I feel MY Civil Rights are trampled every day of the week
when I observe the ease of which I can spot the transactions, use and
transporting of illicit drug on an almost daily basis.  Where the hell is
the ever so-taxpayer conscious DOJ now??  Better yet, where is Janet Reno
when it comes to offering "Justice for All".  Is that meant to read "except
Clinton?"  Keating's Co-Defendants, Like the Bush Kids etc.?  What's with
this selective justice Reno is meting out?  Perhaps history will compare
her to Nixon's Mitchell or Germany's Elsa Koch.  It must be noted that
after all that's transpired with Reno's weird statements, actions and
decisions  the clear thinking, justice minded taxpayers of this nation must
be totally ashamed of the DOJ and Reno's brand of "Justice".  Still, we
must all wonder, just how these matters, from the Vince Foster affair, to
Colby's strange, if not bizarre death stretching the Whitewater "thing",
the campaign bux matters and finally the Jones nonsense seem to wallowing
in a "no-action" swill pool.

     To further brighten the clarity, please picture the possibility of a
"coupla old school chums, debate rivals, a simple case of professional
admiration or plain old, mesmerized by the "Harvard affiliation" syndrome
(he can't be bad. he's from Harvard).. Suddenly,  Thomas Penfield
(Penfield?) Jackson's high handed actions, punitive rulings and obviously
lopsided opinions are easily understood.   However despite the obvious
that's already been presented, including that LESSIG uses an Apple
Macintosh, not a PC and has repeatedly made it abundantly clear he holds
Microsoft in an extremely contemptible view, despises himself for having
used Microsoft Explorer.  must we believe this guy's alleged affidavit that
will be fair towards Microsoft??  Perhaps Lessig does sell bridges in NYC
and we all have webbed feet!

     While Microsoft strenuously objected to Lessig's appointment on the
grounds that he was put on the case without the company's first having an
opportunity "to make an informed decision as to whether Professor Lessig is
a suitable candidate," the government responded in a court filing that the
company had no right to choose the special master.  "Just as a judge should
not be excused on the basis of innuendo or the preferences of a particular
party, a special master should not be disqualified on such grounds," DOJ
officials said in Monday's brief. However, the company "remains free to
file a motion to disqualify [Lessig] on the basis of bias."  That
unfortunately sounds like an invitation to receive more judicial abuse at
the hands of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.

     Microsoft did claim in its earlier filing that Lessig had
"preconceived notions" about the company and about "the government's proper
role in the development of software products," based upon an E-mail
exchange between Lessig; Eric Bradley, a senior systems administrator at
Netscape Communications Corp.; and Peter Harter, Netscape's public policy
counsel.  In the exchange, released by the DOJ as part of the brief, Lessig

"OK, now this is making me really angry, and Charlie Nesson thinks we
should file a law suit. But please tell me whether this is true. When I
installed Internet Explorer 3.0 on my Mac system ... the next time I went
into Netscape, all my bookmarks screwed up. Did IE do this?"

EDUPAGE STR Focus        Keeping the users informed



TCI Picks Microsoft For TV Set-Top Boxes
But Microsoft Fails To Keep Java Outside the Box
Governor Requests Funds For California Virtual University
Dell Slashes Computer Prices, Cites Lower Component Costs
Information Technology Investment Plans Remain Strong
But Are Executives Souring On Internet?
Escaping The "Year 2000" Problem
Gay Sailor On AOL:  "Spamming" Or "Informing"?
Administration To Spend $28 Million On Tech Training
Educom Offers To Manage ".Edu" Addresses
States Likely To Target Internet In '98 Legislation
Court Advisor Again Accused Of Anti-Microsoft Bias
E-Mail Use On The Rise
Sun Set To Debut Lower Cost Workstations
S&P Unveils Online Investment-Advisory Service
Yahoo!, MCI Team Up On New Online Service
"Dirty Secrets" Of Chip Industry
SAFE Act Still In Danger
California State Postpones Industry Partnership
Microsoft Loses Bid To Dump Special Master
Slate Tries Subscription Model
High-Tech Dream House
Retailers Happy With Online Sales
Forget Push Technology -- Now It's "Pull-Casting"
Women Like Books, Men Like Sports


Tele-Communications Inc., the nation's largest cable television provider,
has decided to use a consumer version  of Microsoft's Windows operating
system to control the next generation of set-top boxes that TCI will begin
deploying in 1999.  TCI Chairman John C. Malone said of the decision: "This
is the horse we're going to ride...  This is Internet meets television so
that impulse behavior can be entered into from the couch instead of the
desk."  (New York Times 11 Jan 98)


Microsoft had been pressuring TCI not to solidify an arrangement with Sun
Microsystems to also use its  Personal Java software in addition to
Microsoft's Windows CE.  TCI and the rest of the cable industry have tried
to prevent any one supplier from gaining a lock on the new market, and have
decided to use different  vendors for different layers of the boxes'
technology.  "The cable industry by and large is very wary of  Microsoft
and very wary of any proprietary standards in the set-top box arena, so it
makes a lot of sense for  them to be talking with us on PersonalJava," says
a Sun spokesman.  (Wall Street Journal 9 Jan 98)

                        GOVERNOR REQUESTS FUNDS FOR

Governor Pete Wilson has budgeted $3 million in 1998-1999 for seed money to
help the state's higher education  systems bring their courses online as
part of the California Virtual University project.  The CVU already boasts
some 500 courses offered through 65 private and public colleges.  In
addition, Wilson has proposed spending $3  million on a University of
California digital library.  "This has to be one of the largest, if not the
largest, investments in online education in this country," says the
executive director of the virtual-university design  team.  "We're way
ahead of the curve."  The governor has called for an additional $6-million
in funding over the next three years for the CVU.  (Wall Street Journal 7
Jan 98)

                       DELL SLASHES COMPUTER PRICES
                        CITES LOWER COMPONENT COSTS

Dell Computer is cutting prices by 15% on its OptiPlex PC line, which is
marketed primarily to large businesses  and government agencies.  The
company says unexpectedly swift declines in the prices it pays for Asian-
manufactured components have enabled it to pass those cost savings onto
consumers.  (Los Angeles Times 9 Jan 98)

                            PLANS REMAIN STRONG

Companies may be cutting back on paper clips and office space, but
information technology spending is still  full speed ahead.  A survey of
250 senior information technology managers indicates that two-thirds of the
respondents intend to boost their budgets, by an average of 18% over last
year's spending.  "People are not  building traditional factories or oil
wells, but they're spending a huge chunk of money on information
technology," says an chief economist at Standard & Poor.  For most
managers,Year 2000 conversion is at the  top of their IT list, with PC
purchases and upgrading to Windows NT 5.0 second and third.  (Information
Week 5 Jan 98)


A survey by the Deloitte Consulting says that the Internet is falling out
of favor with a growing number of  North American corporate executives.
Why? Because of poor online business.  Despite a rise in corporate
Internet use, a majority of chief information officers (CIOs) are
disillusioned with the Internet's perceived  inability to improve their
companies' bottom line. Barbara Kieley, a Deloitte partner, says that 69%
of  executives questioned say Internet costs are a "significant concern,"
up from 16% in 1995.  As a result,  executives are cutting back on Internet
spending, with the number of CIOs planning to increase Internet  spending
dropping from 65% to 31%, and 17% of CIOs expecting no increase in spending
while 1% forecasting  a decrease in Internet spending.  (Ottawa Citizen 7
Jan 98)

                     ESCAPING THE "YEAR 2000" PROBLEM

Seventy-seven-year-old Bob Bemer, co-designer of the COBOL programming
language and the man  responsible for developing ASCII text and the escape
sequence, thinks he knows an elegant way to deal with the  "year 2000"
problem (which arises because older software programmed with two-digit year
designations will  not know if "00" means 2000 or 1900).  Whereas most
companies are planning a painstaking rewrite of perhaps  billions of lines
of applications-level code, Bemer's idea is to work below that -- at the
level of object code.   Though a number of large companies are skeptical,
Bell Atlantic is testing Bemer's proposal.  (New Yorker 12  Jan 98)


A sailor who is being charged from the Navy because he used the word "gay"
in his profile on America Online  lost his AOL account after using that
service to send appeals for support to other individuals he found had
described themselves in their AOL profiles as gay.  America Online had
warned the sailor that sending chain  letters was a violation of its
service agreement, but he denied it was a chain letter, saying:  "I wasn't
asking people to send it indiscriminately.  AOL's terms of service
agreement also says the service is supposed to be  informative and
interesting.  I thought it was informative to let people who might be
interested know about my
situation."  (New York Times Cybertimes 11 Jan 98)


The U.S. Labor Department will offer $3 million in grants to schools,
businesses and local governments to  retrain laid-off workers as
programmers, and an additional $8 million to construct a World Wide Web
site to facilitate job searches.  In addition, the Commerce Department has
allocated $17 million to train poor people  and give them access to
technology resources.  (Washington Post 12 Jan 98)


Educom has offered to assume responsibility for overseeing all ".edu" e-
mail addresses -- a task currently   performed by Network Solutions Inc.
under contract to the National Science Foundation.  That contract will
expire this March and a number of companies are vying for the opportunity
to assign Internet addresses.  If its  proposal is approved, Educom would
appoint a "blue-ribbon panel" of college presidents and information
officers to determine whether applicants qualify for the .edu designation.
Network Solutions recently made a  statement to the effect that its system
currently is self-policing and that generally, anyone who applies for an
.edu address receives one -- a situation that has led to increased fraud on
the Internet as fly-by-night operations  attempt to lure students for
worthless diploma programs.  (Chronicle of Higher Education 16 Jan 98)


Lawmakers and Internet lobbyists are predicting that 1998 will be a big
year for Internet legislation, with a  revisiting of online pornography and
privacy issues, as well as Net taxes and access.  According to the head of
the United States Internet Council, "consumer protection" issues such as
privacy, content regulation and Net  fraud will dominate the agenda - more
than 100 bills on these topics were held over from last year's sessions,
and more are being introduced this month.  Fueling the surge is realization
among legislators that the Internet  not only is increasingly important to
their constituencies, but also that it is a potential source of revenue.
Ohio  Governor George Voinovich is leading the charge with a bill that
would impose the first tax on Net access,  while others are holding off, or
declaring their states "Internet tax-free zones" in the hopes of luring
more Internet-based businesses.  (Net Insider 12 Jan 98)


Microsoft offered a federal judge "new evidence" of bias in Harvard law
professor Lawrence Lessig, the court- appointed "special master" asked to
review the technical issues involved in the Justice Department's antitrust
suit against Microsoft.  Previously, the company had introduced an e-mail
message in which Lessig used the  expression "sold my soul" in explaining
his decision to use Microsoft's Explorer software.  Yesterday,  Microsoft
told Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that Lessig had asked a Netscape lawyer
"what sort of solution  he would like to see embodied in a decree against
Microsoft."  Lessig denies being biased against Microsoft,  and refuses to
withdraw from the case.  (New York Times 13 Jan 98)

                          E-MAIL USE ON THE RISE

A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that 86%
of the 757 human resource  professionals polled now use e-mail, but 49% of
their companies don't train employees in the proper use of  electronic
messaging and 48% don't have written e-mail policies.  Sixty-three percent
say their firms do not  officially allow personal use of the company e-mail
system, but do not monitor messages.  Six percent had been  asked to
produce copies of e-mail messages as evidence for lawsuits.  (Miami Herald
12 Jan 98)


Sun Microsystems is offering businesses a new line of low-end workstations
-- the Darwin Ultra 5 and the  Darwin Ultra 10, priced at less than $5,000
and less than $10,000 respectively.  The machines are based on the  high-
speed UltraSparc IIi chip, and are aimed stemming the migration of low-end
users to Windows NT.   (Information Week 10 Jan 98)


Standard & Poor's, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. known for its stock index and
debt-rating business, is venturing  into a new field -- online advice
targeted toward individual investors.  S&P Personal Wealth, the initial
offering  of S&P's newly formed Investment Advisory Services unit, contains
customized investment-management  features, original editorial content,
market commentary, analysis and research.  "We're in the age of the self-
reliant investor where, by virtue of self-directed pension plans and 401(k)
plans, we're all being called on to take  much more responsibility for our
financial futures," says the president of S&P's Consumer Markets. (Wall Street Journal 12 Jan 98)


Yahoo! and MCI are developing a new Yahoo Online service, geared toward
home PC users.  The service will  offer Yahoo!'s existing e-mail, chat and
other communications functions through its Web site, and will carry the
tag line "powered by MCI Internet."  The collaboration will enable Yahoo!,
which started out as an Internet  search engine, to compete more
effectively against services such as America Online and CNET's Snap!.
(Wall  Street Journal 13 Jan 98)

                     "DIRTY SECRETS" OF CHIP INDUSTRY

A six-month investigation by USA Today has concluded that the microchip
industry commonly endangers  workers, many of them women and minorities, by
failing to fully train them about the hazardous, sometimes  deadly,
chemicals with which they work. It also charges the industry with various
other infractions of environmental health regulations.  (USA Today 13 Jan

                         SAFE ACT STILL IN DANGER

The Security and Freedom Through Encryption (SAFE) Act, sponsored by U.S.
Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.)  is intended to protect citizens' right to
use and sell strong encryption products, and prohibits the U.S.  government
from requiring citizens to give their private encryption keys to a third
party. The bill, originally  introduced in 1996 and modified last year, is
still under attack from the FBI and national security lobbyists, who
maintain that even with the modifications the bill could undermine law
enforcement efforts.  Goodlatte, who  points out that the bill had about
250 cosponsors at last count, says:  "Anytime we're dealing with anybody
who  claims that legislation threatens national security or law
enforcement, we have to take that seriously.  But we  have nothing to
apologize for.  This is a pro-law enforcement measure."  (Net Insider 13
Jan 98)


California State University System officials have put a controversial
partnership deal on hold until spring, citing  a longer-than-expected
negotiation process and a need to give incoming chancellor Charles Reed
more time to  acquaint himself with the details.  The California Education
Technology Initiative would affiliate the system  with four corporate
partners -- Fujitsu, GTE, Hughes Electronics and Microsoft -- who would
contribute some  $300 million in funds for upgrading computers, network
equipment and support services in exchange for a role  in overseeing the
system's software and hardware purchases.  The plan, which has met with
opposition from  some students, faculty and consumer groups, also calls for
selling some excess Internet capacity to off-campus  customers.  (Chronicle
of Higher Education 16 Jan 98)


U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has refused Microsoft's request
to remove Lawrence Lessig, an  expert on Internet law from Harvard
University.  Microsoft had charged that Lessig was biased against the
company, but Jackson's written remarks called those charges "defamatory."
A Microsoft spokesman said the  company was disappointed, but "will
continue to work with Prof. Lessig as we have."  In further developments, a
Microsoft witness said the company's response to a December order -- to
remove all Internet Explorer files  from Windows operating software,
thereby disabling the program -- was devised by a small group of lawyers
and software developers, along with Chairman Bill Gates.  That's not
unusual, according to Microsoft's chief  operating officer:  "Bill makes
all the important decisions here."  (Wall Street Journal 15 Jan 98)


Slate, Microsoft's online periodical, is planning a move to a subscription-
based business model, at somewhere  between $20 to $30 a pop. "We don't
believe that the advertising-only approach is sustainable for us," says
Slate's publisher.  Slate joins a growing number of publications that have
found it impossible to generate  enough revenue through Web-based
advertising alone -- the Wall Street Journal is the most successful of the
bunch, largely on the strength of its print reputation and the content
differentiation available in the online   version.  "If you have something
that isn't available somewhere else, that's how you assign value," says a
Time  New Media spokesman.  Slate's original plan was to charge $19.95 a
year for the weekly e-publication, but its  publisher now says the price
could be a bit higher, based on the number of top-notch writers it hopes to
hire. Other publications experimenting with subscription pricing include
The Economist, Business Week and  The New York Times has been
charging overseas users for access to its electronic version, and
eventually plans to charge everyone for online access.  (Broadcasting &
Cable 5 Jan 98)

                           HIGH-TECH DREAM HOUSE

Microsoft, Intel, Softbank Holdings and a venture-capital fund started by
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen are  backing a small start-up company
that's developing wireless technology to coordinate various household
functions and appliances.  ShareWare's system uses wireless radio with a
common PC as the hub.  The system  would enable the homeowner to access the
Internet from anywhere in the house using a handheld PC, and  nable
seamless transition from conventional television to program-related Web
sites, all on the same appliance.  (Business Week 19 Jan 98)


Cyberstores racked up record sales over the holidays, with $800 million
worth of goods sold to consumers over  the Web between Thanksgiving Day and
New Year's, says the Yankee Group.  That figure is more than double  the
$300 million sold during the same period in '96.  "People don't have to
deal with parking or going to a mall,"  says a Forrester Research analyst.
And you never get put on hold.  (Investor's Business Daily 14 Jan 98)


Advertisers are still debating over how to make the maximum impact on the
Web -- banner ads have fallen out  of favor because they are too easy for
the reader to skip over, and cookie technology, which was touted as the
ultimate Web surfer tracking device, can't tell "whether one person
requests a page five times or five people  request it one time."
Meanwhile, a former IBM advertising executive says online advertising will
require an  entirely marketing approach:  "The consumer will be in total
control.  We're moving from the era when the  advertiser controlled
everything through broadcasting to what I call 'pull-casting' -- where the
consumer decides  what he wants to see and when he wants to see it."  (Los
Angeles Times 15 Jan 98)

                     WOMEN LIKE BOOKS, MEN LIKE SPORTS

A survey by Relevant Knowledge Inc. shows that one in five homes surfed the
Web in December, with search  engines being the most popular destination
for all users aged 12 and over.  When the results were tabulated by
gender, and restricted to users aged 18-48, the top three sites visited by
women were,, and, and
the corresponding sites for men were,, and  (Investor's Business Daily 15 Jan 98)

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Kids Computing Corner
Frank Sereno, Editor

                        The Kids' Computing Corner
                    Computer news and software reviews
                       from a parent's point of view
                              Featured Review
                         Superman Activity Center
                            Windows/Mac CD-ROM
                               ages 5 to 10
                            Knowledge Adventure
                         1311 Grand Central Avenue
                             Glendale CA 91201
                              (800) 542-4240
                           Program Requirements
     IBM                                     Macintosh
OS:       Windows 3.1, Windows 95            OS:            System 7.1
CPU:           486SX/33                      CPU:           Performa 550 or
HD Space:      10 MB                                        HD Space:
10 MB
Memory:        8 MB                          Memory:        2.5 MB
Graphics:      640 by 480 with 256 colors                        Graphics:
256 colors, 13" monitor
CD-ROM:   Double-speed                       CD-ROM:   Double-speed
Audio:         8-bit Windows compatible sound card
Other:         mouse
                             Printer optional
review by Frank Sereno (

The Superman Activity Center is a challenging and interesting combination
of thirteen activities that are sure to please young fans of the Man of
Steel.  It is not only fun to play, but children develop important learning
skills.  The activities are spread among the three worlds of Superman: his
youth on Krypton, his adolescence in Smallville, and his dual life in
Metropolis as reporter Clark Kent and as the defender of truth, justice and
the American Way.

The program features two modes.  In active mode, children can choose any
activity in any world.  In the story mode, children see a video of
Superman's life.  To move on to the next portion of the story, they must
play the activities in that world.

Krypton has three activities.  Children can color pictures of Superman and
his family on Krypton.  The Brainiac Challenge builds listening and
memorization skills as children learn to repeat a pattern of sound and
light to break the computer's access codes.  Finally, children can build
logic skills as they guide a robotic arm to retrieve rocket ship parts.

In Smallville, children can paint the pictures in Ma Kent's scrapbook.  In
a second activity, they can use Clark's x-ray vision to find safety hazards
in various settings.  You have to be pretty sharp to recognize all the

Metropolis is a bustling, active city.  A visit to the Daily Planet
Building gives kids a chance to create their own newspaper.  They can write
stories at Clark's desk, "retouch" pictures in Jimmy Olson's photo lab,
select a front page layout at Perry White's desk and send it on to the
presses for printing.  Young publishers have many photos and several wire
stories available for the paper.  They can store five original articles,
but they will have to be careful to keep the articles short or they will be
too long to fit on the front page.  An additional game is Word Search
Challenge.   Files on Lois Lane's computer have become scrambled.  By
finding the hidden words, children can restore the files and then see a
profile of the nemeses of Superman.

While your child is visiting Metropolis, he can window shop downtown.
There he can play a memory game to capture Livewire as she travels between
television screens.  Then he can visit Lex Luthor to play a logic game much
like Othello.  You must surround your opponent's playing pieces to change
them to your color.  Finally, he can head over to S.T.A.R. Labs.  There he
can learn about eighteen constellations by tracing them in the night sky.
The last activity is a maze game.  The player must guide Superman to his
anti-Kryptonite while avoiding the baddies.  Once he has the suit, he must
capture the villain before he escapes the maze.

To give the games more play value, the patterns change each time.
Additionally, the games have three levels of difficulty.  My sons enjoyed
all of the games except for the maze game in the S.T.A.R. Labs.  Superman
was just not responsive to mouse control.  It was very difficult to guide
Superman into horizontal paths.  There is no option to use the keyboard or
a joystick.  The poor control made that particular game extremely

This is a program that can use reams of paper.  Children can print the
coloring pictures as well as the newspapers and the constellations.
Children can print achievement awards when they successfully discover the
hazards using Clark's x-ray vision.  Be sure to stock up on printer

The Superman Activity Center has high production values.  The graphics and
audio are topnotch.  The program features the voice talents of the cast of
the WB animated series.  These include Dana Delaney as Lois Lane and
Shelley Fabares as Ma Kent.  The activities are great fun and build skills
too.  This CD-ROM features a low price and a fantastic 90-day moneyback
guarantee.  If you're looking for an inexpensive, fun and wholesome
diversion for your youngsters, Knowledge Adventure's Superman Activity
Center is a great choice

Jason's Jive

Jason Sereno, STR Staff

Hi everyone,

     I am sorry to tell all of you that I do not have a review for this
issue.  I have had finals this past week that have kept me pretty
preoccupied throughout most of my days and nights.   Some of you that have
high school kids can probably relate.  However, I have put together a
preview of some titles that will be featured in my column within the next
few weeks.

     Next week, I'll have a glimpse at the Psygnosis title, G Police.  This
is a twenty-first century flight simulation that has received a great deal
of critical acclaim. (Note to self:  Avoid using the term "twenty-first
century" anymore when describing futuristic games, the twenty-first century
is only two years away!)  I'll tell you what I thought about its colossal
explosions and futuristic city landscapes.

     The following week I will share my thoughts on Sierra's FPS: Football
'98.  Will this title be able to retain its crown as the football sim of
the year?  It has some stiff competition from other PC titles, and perhaps
has lost the competitive edge it once had.

     In more of the forthcoming weeks I will have reviews of these titles,
respectively:  Seven Kingdoms from Interactive Magic, Oregon Trail 3rd
Edition published by The Learning Company, and Sierra's new Driver's Ed
Deluxe.  This title also comes with a Thrustmaster racing wheel!  I hope
you all have a good idea of the games that will be featured in the coming
weeks.  They are a pretty diverse selection.  I am also planning on another
Intergraph 3D accelerator review before the end of the first quarter.
There should be a lot of action in Jason's Jive within the next couple of

Hope you can be a part of it!


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another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of
the line"  As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall
STReport.  All in the name of progress and improved readability.  The
amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced
issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. I might add
however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber both
PDF and ascii.  HTML is now under consideration.  We'll keep you posted.
Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward
compatibility dodge" we must move forward.

     However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII
will stay.  Right now, since STReport is offered on a number of closed
major corporate Intranets as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii
readers have nothing to worry themselves about.  It looks like it is here
to stay.

Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and

                         Ralph F. Mariano,  Editor
                         STReport International Online Magazine

Classics & Gaming Section
Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

     Ah, New England weather!!  I just know that Ralph wishes he was back
living in the Northeast again - the snow, sleet, rain, and all the rest of
these wintry conditions!  Florida must really be boring with the same
weather all the time. <g>

     What a week it's been here!  To the northern Boston suburbs (where I
live now), it's been rainy but relatively warm - 50 miles north and west
(and further up) from us, they got the ice storm of the century.  My folks
are in southern Maine and were some of the lucky ones; they had a power
"blip" in the middle of the night last week, but that was it.  There are
still almost 100,000 people still without power after a week or more!  The
scenes from northern New England and Quebec are unbelievable!  Forget El
Nino - this is New England winter at its "best".   Good luck to these
people literally "roughing it" for this long - we take a lot for granted
these days.

     What makes this even  worse is the fact that we're due another
nor'easter any moment now.  In my area they're predicting about a foot of
snow, and worse to the north.  Talk about adding insult to injury...

     Sorry for the weather report, but sometimes things like Bill Gates'
woes with the Justice Department, new/old computers, playing console games,
etc. just have to take a back seat to real people trying to survive; it's
tougher to comprehend when they're closer in proximity, but not necessarily
more important than those in parts of the world in which we can only read

     Closer to home, we welcome back an old friend, and report the delay of
another in this week's issue.  Al Horton's Computer Dungeon is back in
business after a long sabbatical due to some dear family losses.  Also, it
appears that the next issue of Atari Computing will be delayed for a few
more weeks.  Read about them both, below.

Until next time...

                       The Computer Dungeon is BACK!

From: ComDungeon <>
Date: 12 Jan 1998

     THE COMPUTER DUNGEON has re-opened its doors and is once again
supporting Atari users everywhere.  The Dungeon is a family run retail
business that supports the Atari product line. Our focus is on the
entertainment side of Atari, featuring gaming software for the ST, Falcon,
and Atari video game systems. Additional services may be added as our
customers request them.

     Services we provide include:  PD/Shareware disks that YOU create (we
list the programs in our library and you tell us which ones to put on YOUR
disk), full registered versions of Shareware/Licenseware programs, new &
used software for the ST and Falcon, new and used accessories for the ST &
Falcon, and systems  - cartridges - accessories for the Atari Video Game
systems (2600-5200-7800 plus the Lynx and Jaguar). We accept VISA and
MasterCard and are in the process of setting up a toll-free telephone

     We'd like you to stop by our web site, look around, and tell us what
services you'd like to see offered. Our web site is under heavy
construction so please bear with us. We welcome any comments - suggestions
you might have regarding the content - layout of our pages. Our address is:

     We'd like to Thank ALL of our customers, who not only supported us in
the past, but for your cards and letters of support  when both my wife and
I lost our mothers.

     Thank You for taking the time to read this and we look forward to
hearing from each and every one of you. Your comments & suggestions are
always welcome and we love talking Atari anytime.

Al Horton
The Computer Dungeon
1440 Spencer Ave.
Berkeley, IL  60163
Ph: 708-547-7085
FAX: 708-547-6550

Atari Computing Issue 8 update
From: Atari Computing <>
Date: 15 Jan 1998

Atari Computing #8 running late!

Christmas celebrations, DTP holdups, and organizational changes have all
contributed to this. Rest assured we're working flat out to finalize this
issue and get it onto your doormats, our best estimate is at the moment is
mid February.  Please spread this message far and wide. For the latest
information please check our web pages on


Joe Connor
 ATARI COMPUTING - THE 60 PAGE printed magazine for all Atari users
        Written and published "BY enthusiasts FOR enthusiasts"

                              Gaming Section

New Sega Console!
"GameDay '98"/Super Bowl!
And more!

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

              Sega Confirms Work on Mystery Machine, Layoffs

Jan 12, 1998  (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 6) -- Sega of America appears
to be trying to turn a corner on its loss in the console horse race by
confirming existence of its long-rumored next-generation platform as it
also corroborated significant layoffs at the company.   Sega plans to
introduce the new console next year, it said late Friday. It also says it
trimmed 30% of its workforce "to remain financially responsible in the
interim."  Sega officials were not immediately available for comment.

Sales of Sega's Saturn have lagged behind those of the rival PlayStation
and N64.  Sega is clearly hoping to get back into the console game by
introducing a new platform. The company says it has begun briefing
developers about the new console.  It will probably cost Sega between $500m
and $750m to bring the console to market, says Electronics Arts [ERTS]
Executive VP of Marketing Bing Gordon.

Details about the new Sega system, codenamed "Dural," have been leaking out
ever since MMWIRE discovered the project early last year in documents
Sega's one-time partner 3Dfx Interactive [TDFX] filed with the Securities
and Exchange Commission.  Sega is said to be working with Microsoft [MSFT]
on the new platform's operating system, which will be Windows-compatible
and may be able to run at least some PC games (MMW, Sept. 12).  GT
Interactive [GTIS] CEO Ron Chaimowitz says Dural will also have more RAM
than PlayStation. The Windows compatibility should make developing for
Dural less expensive than otherwise since developers will be able to use
existing PC technology to build the games.

But Sega can't price the new console above $199 and remain competitive,
Chaimowitz says.  Consoles are currently priced at $149.  Sega's biggest
challenge will be to keep consumers aware of its brand until the new
console's arrival, DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole  says.  It can
accomplish that to some extent by continuing to publish titles for PC, he

                   The Debuts 'Tanarus'

NEW YORK (Jan. 13) BUSINESS WIRE - Jan. 13, 1998 - The Station Extends  Its
Game Offerings with an Exclusive Futuristic Action War Game from
PlayStation Software Development Team  Tanarus, the first online game
developed by Sony Interactive Studios America (SISA) exclusively for The, will debut on January 15. Tanarus is a futuristic,
multiplayer, online tank combat game that pits up to 10,000 opponents
against each other on a virtual battlefield. Tanarus is located at The
Station ( or The subscription is priced online at $9.95 a month.

"Tanarus puts action gamers on notice that The Station is there for them.
We are thrilled that our premier action game comes from the creative team
that has made PlayStation(TM) games the market leaders,"  said Mark
Benerofe, Vice President of Programming and Platform Development for Sony
Online Ventures Inc. "With more action, strategy and role playing games
coming in '98, and with our current game show hits like Jeopardy! Online,
Wheel of Fortune Online and Out of Order, The Station is the destination
for games on the Web."  "SISA's expertise is in game development with a
proven track record developing popular games for the PlayStation(TM) game
console. Now, with Tanarus, for the first time, we are bringing the
excitement of an action game online to the Web audience," said John
Smedley, Director of PC Development and creator of Tanarus at SISA.

Tanarus allows players around the world to develop strategies that permit
"real" tank commanders to set up defensive positions and organize offensive
strikes without using artificial intelligence. In the beta test alone,
Tanarus has been extremely well received, attracting more than 100,000
enthusiastic players. Fighting in an ever-changing, dynamic battleground
ranging from post-apocalyptic cities to industrial wastelands, players can
choose from five futuristic tanks and over 30 different weapons and
modules. In  addition, Tanarus game play is enhanced through a simultaneous
chat  feature on The Station. The minimum hardware recommendation for
Tanarus  is a PC with Windows 95 and Pentium 120 with 16 megabytes of RAM.

A CD-ROM version of Tanarus, to be used in conjunction with online play at
The Station, is priced at $19.95. It is now available at retail outlets,
and will be available for purchase online at The Station Store. The CD-ROM
adds three bonus features to enhance online play: a city editor, which
offers players the ability to create and submit original cityscapes; a
single player training mode; and CD quality music by multimedia musician
The FatMan. Retail consumers will also receive one free month of online
game play with purchase of the CD-ROM.

                Sony's Web Station joins Pay-for-Play Fray

Interctive Week Online (January 14, 1998) - In a product launch that
reflects the changing economics of the video game business, Sony Online
Ventures Inc. tomorrow plans to introduce its first pay-for-play game at
its entertainment-oriented Web site.  Sony said it plans to charge users
monthly subscription fees of $9.95 to play a new tank battle game dubbed
Tanarus starting Thursday. Online users will be able to download the
6-megabyte game for free online.

However, game developer Sony Interactive Studios America also plans to
launch a retail version of the game at a suggested price of $19.95 - about
half the price of a typical top-tier new PC software game release.  The
retail version will offer practice rounds to play against the computer and
a free one-month subscription to the fee-based site at Sony's Station, said
Mark Benerofe, vice president of programming and platform development at
Sony Online Ventures.

The idea is to encourage video game players to sample the product and  draw
them into more engaging game play available online, Benerofe said.  "This
business model is different for us," Benerofe said. "We're betting that we
can create compelling entertainment that can retain users over time."
Benerofe estimated that the Sony site will be able to support more than
10,000 users simultaneously, a scale that reflects the company's
considerable expectations for online game usage.

While the unit that developed Tanarus for the Sony Web site is the same
division that creates games for the company's Sony PlayStation game
console, the launch of Tanarus should not be considered a precursor to any
Sony efforts for Web-enabling the Sony PlayStation, Benerofe said.
However, the company is developing additional computer-based pay-for-play
titles for the Web site, including a role-playing game dubbed Everquest,
which can be seen in a test form at

              'Montezuma's Return!' Available in Online Demo
                         Jan. 30 at

NEW YORK, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- 3D adventure alert!  Montezuma's Return!,
the long-awaited real-time 3D sequel to the classic action/adventure
Montezuma's Revenge, will be available in playable interactive SVGA and
3Dfx demos beginning Jan. 30 at and various
gaming sites.

Featuring real-time immersive 3D graphics, full freedom of motion and an
advanced physics engine, this first-person full-3D game from Utopia
Technologies revolves around the efforts of modern adventurer Max Montezuma
to retrieve the lost treasure of his legendary Aztec namesake.  Gameplay is
console-style with an emphasis on jumping, puzzle-solving and obstacle

The game was created with a proprietary new 3D engine called UVision that
was under development for three years.  Among the highlights:

z    Max can look and move in every direction, and he has real-time 3D arms
  and legs that are used to solve puzzles, climb, jump, swim and fight,
  marking a major advance in gaming.
z    The game will support all 3Dfx cards as well as standard SVGA graphics
boards.  It also supports 65,000 colors and 800x600 resolution on a
standard video card costing as little as $29.  High-priced graphics cards
are not needed.
z    Graphics are groundbreaking.  Multiple moving light sources, Phong
shading and other technical features add dimension and depth; chrome
mapping makes certain objects appear as if they are made of shiny metal.
z    The physics engine makes movement more natural than ever before.
Objects react and collide with each other in a remarkably realistic manner,
taking into account slippery, sticky and bouncy surface attributes.
z    There are more than 50 hours of gameplay with hundreds of rooms to
explore in Montezuma's temple, many of them containing objects like statues
and various artifacts that must be manipulated to get where you're going.
There are also humorous full motion videos depicting Max's witty attempts
to defy death.

Montezuma's Return! is distributed by Random Soft, a division of Random
House, Inc.

            SCEA Sponsors the PlayStation(TM) NFL Players Party

Sony Computer Entertainment America, as title sponsor of the
PlayStation(TM) NFL Players Party, is bringing to San Diego the finest the
PlayStation brand has to offer.  During the VIP media/players party on the
PlayStation NFL Players Party site (Embarcadero Park South) Thursday, Jan.
22, 7:30 p.m.

The "Game Before The Game" is a videogame challenge that features a marquee
player from each of the two contending Super Bowl teams.  These two players
will compete head-to-head on PlayStation's popular football videogame NFL
GameDay(TM) '98, determining who will win the videogame version of the
Super Bowl.  For media and players only.  NFL Player Motion Capture Sony
Interactive Studios America San Diego 10075 Barnes Canyon Road, San Diego
Friday, Jan. 23, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.  NOTE: Media must RSVP in order to attend

Motion capturing enhances the realism of PlayStation's sports videogames by
using light-sensitive reflectors on real athletes, which enables the
movements of the player to be "captured" and programmed into the videogame.
Jerome Bettis was one of many players who was motion-captured at Sony
Interactive Studios America San Diego for NFL GameDay '98. Media will have
the opportunity to see how NFL GameDay '98 was made, as well as observe top
NFL players being motion-captured for NFL GameDay '99.  In addition to
covering this NFL Player Motion Capture, upon request, media will have the
opportunity to be motion captured. Locker Room Challenge At the
PlayStation NFL Players Party site (PlayStation "Locker Room" tent  area)
Saturday, Jan. 24, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.

During the NFL season, Playstation hosted the PlayStation NFL GameDay '98
"Locker Room Challenge" for each NFL team, which was a videogame tournament
for NFL players to compete against their own teammates on PlayStation's
popular NFL GameDay '98 football videogame.  At the PlayStation NFL Players
Party NFL GameDay '98 "Locker Room Challenge," winners from several NFL
teams will be pitted against each other to decide which NFL Player is the
NFL GameDay '98 MVP.

During all PlayStation NFL Players Party hours, free videogame play will be
available for all on the 68-foot long PlayStation mobile videogaming
touring vehicle.  This 68-foot attraction features 31 fully-operational
PlayStation game kiosks plus an 8 foot television screen/competition arena.
Additionally, there will be numerous PlayStation kiosks available for play
throughout the party site.  Top NFL athletes will be playing NFL GameDay
'98 throughout the party. Fans and media will have an opportunity to go
head-to-head with real  players, as well as watch player vs. player
competitions on NFL GameDay '98.  Giveaways during the party will include
seat cushions, T-shirts, miniature footballs and other cool PlayStation NFL
GameDay '98 merchandise.

ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!

                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

Compiled by Joe Mirando

     Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, hopefully you'll see this column
on time. Isn't it funny how the very technology that is supposed to make
our lives easier ends up complicating it? Before I was internet-capable I
almost never missed a deadline. Now that I have this great  information
super highway at my feet, deadlines fall away like mile markers along the
side of the asphalt. Just another one of life's little jokes, I guess.

     Before we get to the main part of the column, I'd like to make a
comment about my choice of operating systems. In the past week I've been
asked twice to explain why I "hate" MagiC, and asked once to explain why I
'prefer' Geneva to MagiC.

     The former question is invalid. I do not hate MagiC. I think it's an
amazing piece of  programming that almost everyone who uses an Atari
computer would find a great enhancement over TOS.  The latter question is a
good one. I do indeed prefer my Geneva/NeoDesk setup to both 'stock' TOS
and MagiC. While MagiC is a complete rewrite of TOS, Geneva replaces only
the part of TOS that deals with how applications are handled. This portion
is called AES (short for Application Environment Manager). Geneva leaves
the rest of the original operating system  intact. For this reason,
compatibility is higher with Geneva than it is with MagiC. To be fair,
since MagiC is a complete rewrite and was optimized in a way that the
original TOS programmers had avoided it actually increases the speed of
operations. In my opinion it is a small but noticeable increase.  And let's face it... any increase in speed is a good one. Geneva, on the other hand, slows the system down by a few percent (my benchmarks show a decrease of between two and three percent).  Even with a 1040 ST running at 8 MHz, the slowdown is barely
noticeable. I'm more than willing to part with a few percentage points to
get the features that this setup offers.

     I've been using NeoDesk for years and when Geneva became available, I
quickly ordered it (my copy is serial number 111). I've used it almost
constantly ever since then on my 1040 ST, 1040 STE, STacy, MegaSTE, and TT.
Geneva and NeoDesk are integrated so seamlessly that sometimes I have
difficulty remembering where one ends and the other begins. The same can be
said of MagiC and the Ease desktop, but I do not own Ease.  I know, I know,
this single fact makes it an unfair comparison. But this is not about a
battle of the desktops. It's about my personal preferences. While I am
quite impressed with MagiC and would (and have) recommended it to others, I
still prefer Geneva and NeoDesk.

     Before you send me mail informing me of this, yes, I know that NeoDesk
can be used as the desktop for MagiC. But the fact is that it does not work
nearly as well with MagiC as it does with Geneva. That is to be expected,
since Geneva and NeoDesk were written by the same programmer.  Another
factor is upgrading. Gribnif Software, developer and distributor of both
Geneva and NeoDesk, offer free upgrades for all but major, major upgrades
to both Geneva and  NeoDesk. Application Systems Heidelberg, the
distributor of MagiC, has seen fit to charge a fee for any upgrade to MagiC
(and most of the products it carries, for that matter). This wouldn't be
too much of a bother except for the fact that there is usually very little
said about what the upgrade contains that the previous version does not.
There is also the fact that upgrades come out with surprising regularity.
This, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. What IS a bad thing is that you
end up paying ASH each time a minor update is issued... even if you wait
for two or three updates to go by, the price you pay will be about equal to
what you would have paid if you had gotten each update.

Now, don't get me wrong... it is ASH's product and they are  entitled to
handle upgrades in any manner they choose. But I  can't imagine paying for
this slew of upgrades for both MagiC  and Ease.

Well, now that I've said all that, let's get on with this week's info...

>From The Atari Advantage Forum on Delphi

     "No doubt some of you have heard of the SyQuest SparQ
     which sells for $199, and offers 1 gig of removable storage
     per cart, which are available for $40 each or $33 each in a

     Well, a company called CastleWood has an even better deal
     on the horizon; the $199 ORB drive, which stores 2.1 gigs
     per *$29* cartridge!

     I have actually seen the SparQ in stores already, and the
     ORB is due in the first quarter of 1998.

     The bad news (for now), is that SCSI versions of both
     drives will not arrive until later in 1998. So for now,
     about the only Atari users able to take advantage of these
     deals would be Falcon owners who have the proper cable and
     setup to use a 3.5" EIDE drive.

     At the ORB's cart cost, even a massive fixed drive such as
     Quantum's 12gig TX-series Bigfoot (about $399-$425) looks
     to be a poor deal per meg. It will be interesting to see if
     the reality is relatively problem-free."

Fred "Zenic" asks:
     "Could someone E-mail me the pin outs for the Atari RGB

George Iken tells Fred:
     "The top 4 pins of the PORT (not the plug) for the RBG
     monitor are from left to right as you're looking right at
     it are 4,3,2,1
     The next row left to right is 8,7,6,5
     the third row is 12,11,10,9
     and the very bottom pin is 13

     1= audio out
     2= composite sync
     3= general purpose output
     4= monochrome detect
     5= Audio in
     6= Green
     7= Red
     8= + 12volt pullup
     9= Horizontal sync
     12=Vertical Sync

     Hope that helps .."
 Ken in Phoenix thanks George for posting the pinouts, and Fred
 for asking:
     "...I was able to re-establish color monotor connection to
     my Magnavox which had lost vertical hold.  Heck, if you
     had not asked the question, I would have thought the
     problem to be with the monitor rather than the cable."

Ken also posts:
     "STWriter but prints only garbage with Film and Art
     Director.  Was F&A Director made only for an Atari Printer
     or do I have a chance of getting the program to print
     correctly with my printer?"

Our friend Greg Evans tells Ken:
     "I no longer have a copy of F&A so I can't be sure, but it
     probably printed by doing a screen dump.  If I remember
     correctly, isn't Epson the mode used by STs for screen
     dumps?  Try resetting the printer to factory specs and see
     if that helps."

Bob Trowbridge adds:
     "Another point to consider:  Is his printer a 24 pin
     version?  I had a pgm that went in the auto folder that
     changed the screen dunmps so they would work on a 24 pin

Ken tells Bob and Greg:
     "NO, my printer is 9 pin.  ST Writer works fine.  The
     printer emulates Epson MX80.  Art & Film Director just
     prints garbage.  I don't see any reference in the manual so
     I assumed that there is or was a printer just for the ST.
     I was not around in the ST hey-day so I don't know about
     those things."

Greg replies:
     "Your printer should be compatible then.  Actually, the ST
     OS supports Epson FX mode directly, so maybe if you can put
     your MX into FX mode that would do the trick.  I would
     expect it to already be compatible, however.

     Does the manual say it prints using the built-in screen
     dump facility or using a printer driver.  If it doesn't
     say, then it should be doing a screen dump, which means you
     should be okay.  But you're not, so I'm stumped!

     What format does A&FD save its pictures?  Could you use an
     external printing program to print your images?  You could
     probably get a copy of Imagecopy 1 really cheap, say $5, or
     maybe there's a freeware program to do the job.  Check here
     in the databases.

     Here's an idea -- what happens when you press ALT-HELP?
     Do you get garbage printing or a good graphics output --
     try it with a mostly white screen to save ink, like while
     in an editor or word processor.  If you still get garbage,
     make sure you have the printer control panel set to
     dot-matrix and not daisy wheel."

Ken tells Greg:
     "Thanks... for the ALT-HELP hint...I never heard of that
     before.  I'll try it.  As to setting up the printer, it
     must be in dot matrix because the ST Writer program prints
     enlarged and sub scripts as well as std. text fonts.  Is
     the ALT-HELP combo like the shift printscreen on the XT?"

Greg tells Ken:
     "Yes, ALT-HELP is like the PC Print Screen.  KInd of a
     strange combo now that I think of it!"

"Turbo" Nick posts:
     "Here is a question for you TT/other-Atari-with-SCSI users:
     (OK, more than one question, but at least it's one topic!

     What are the characteristics of SCSI hard drives that
     would make them compatible (or not compatible) with a TT?
     In particular, would a SCSI hard drive with an "ATA-2"
     interface (is that another term for SCSI-2?) be compatible?

     A bit of background.... I still have the original 80MB
     hard drive (a Seagate ST-96[?]) in my TT.  After 5-6 years
     I'm finally running out of room, and I'm using a SyQuest
     EZ135 cartridge for extra space.  So, I'm looking at
     getting a bigger hard drive.  It doesn't have to be huge -
     in fact, I could probably go for a long time on a 500-or-so
     MB drive.  Looking around on a few catalog's Web sites, the
     smallest (new) SCSI drive I see is a Seagate [ST91430AG]
     1.44GB* "Marathon" (listed at $219.76).  It is described as
     having a "Fast ATA-2" interface, which I would guess is
     SCSI-2, but I don't know.

     To clarify:  I am looking at replacing the internal SCSI
     hard drive in my TT, not adding another fixed SCSI drive,
     nor a large (e.g. SyJet) removable (although I may replace
     my EZ135 with an EZ230 one of these days).  I don't feel
     that I need a huge drive and would rather not pay for that.

     *(Yes, I know that hard drive manufacturers refer to 10^9
     bytes as a "Gigabyte" - it's not a true GB.  It really
     doesn't matter at this point...)"

"Myers" tells Nick:
     "I can't tell you anything about compatability with the
     TT, but I can tell you that you might have trouble finding
     a small SCSI drive. Back a few years ago when I was looking
     for a 3.5" SCSI drive to mount inside my Mega ST-4, I was
     told that the smaller SCSI drives were getting very hard to
     find. I ended up with a 540 Mb, which seemed to be about
     as small as was still easy to come by. It might be hard to
     find anything new much under 1 Gb (in SCSI, that is)."

Greg Evans tells Nick:
     "As far as I know, the ATA-2 interface is IDE only --
     Atapi version 2.  A SCSI or SCSI-2 drive should work, but,
     unfortunately, not all SCSI-2s will work and I don't know
     what to look for.  SCSI-2 is also becoming hard to find as
     everything new seems to be SCSI-3, Ultra-SCSI, Wide-SCSI or
     Unltra-Wide SCSI."

"Earl5" tells Nick:
     "One thing you might consider is a re-writeable
     as good as a huge zip drive..and as good as a hard wishes."

     Well folks, that's about it for this week. Remember: If you've got a
comment about this column, information that you'd like to see added,
questions that you'd like answers to, or even if you just want to drop me a
line, go right ahead. I read every piece of email that comes my way. Heck,
that's how I've made some of my best friends. Don't be bashful, just send
that question or comment!

'Till next time, be ready to listen to what they are saying when...

                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING

                            EDITORIAL QUICKIES

     Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they
                     themselves must pass. -Confucius

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      Since 1987  Copyrightc1998 All Rights Reserved   Issue No. 1402

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