ST Report: 27-feb-98 #1408

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 03/17/98-04:54:06 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 27-feb-98 #1408
Date: Tue Mar 17 16:54:06 1998

                           Silicon Times Report
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                       (Since 1987 -  Our 11th Year)
 February 27, 1998                                                No.1408

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 - STReport MailCall      - Naked Universe - Piracy Detector
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                                   The Publisher, Staff & Editors

Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35
Results: 02/21/98: three of six numbers with no matches

>From the Editor's Desk...

     Its that time again.  This week, between the beastly storms that have
coming through the area like tin soldiers, we're going try to BBQ a Leg-O-
Lamb.  Weather permitting.

     In the meantime, the governors from most every state in the union are
teaming up to cash in on the Internet by taxing our every move.  Bunky, if
you've never written to your Congress Critter, now is the time!!  Send in
that letter of protest about the greedy actions of the nation's governors
and let your Congress Critter hear all about it.  Else, your cost to not
only acquire goodies on the `net will go up, so will your access rates and
excise taxes.

     We have our mail call flag up again as we've received some good ones
and answered them too.  Enjoy and to all, thanks for reading.


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EDUPAGE STR Focus        Keeping the users informed



Computer Sciences Rejects Computer
Associates' Offer
U.S. News Grad School Rankings
Available Online
Defining ISPs
MCI And AOL Receive Subpoenas In
Microsoft Antitrust Case
Web Rankings For Sale
Laptops Required Of Incoming
Naked Universe
Much More Interesting Than It
Computer Sciences Sues To Block
Hostile Takeover
Aid Sought For Distance Learning
Internet Morphing Into Broadcast
AAP Develops Digital I.D. System
For Publications
The Great Phone Number Shortage
A Computer In Every Garage
IBM Targets Hospitals With Latest
Software Offering
Online Courses Need To Look Good To
Be Good
You Can Use A Laptop, You Can Use A
Governors Want To Tax Internet;
Clinton Urges Moratorium
Major Phone Outage
Hackers Plague Pentagon Machines
Piracy Detector
Technology Spending Ranks No. 1
Among CFOs
Researchers Announce Breakthrough
In Chip Technology
Internet Growth Squeezing ISPs
Retailers Ready Shelves For New
Fed Chairman Concerned About Year
2000 Problem
Gates Checks Out Library


The board of Computer Sciences Corp. has unanimously rejected a $9.18
billion takeover bid by Computer Associates International, saying the bid
didn't represent "fair value" and made no "business sense."  In a strongly
worded letter, Computer Sciences Chairman Van Honeycutt urged Computer
Associates Chairman Charles Wang to "withdraw your offer immediately and
move on," adding that otherwise Computer Sciences "will utilize every legal
means necessary to defeat your attempt and will hold you and your company
responsible for any damages we sustain."  Computer Sciences has maintained
that its ability to recommend computer products from any company has been
critical to its success, and that that ability would be curtailed if it
were acquired by CA.  (Wall Street Journal 20 Feb 98)


U.S. News Online has launched the online version of the well-known Graduate
School Rankings issue of U.S. News & World Report;  it is available at the
Web site .  Unlike the
print version, the online version allows for complete sorting and ranking
based on various criteria -- such as those schools  within 50 miles of your
home. (URLwire Web Site News 20 Feb 98)

                               DEFINING ISPs

The Federal Communications Commission is struggling to decide whether
Internet service providers (ISPs) should be classified as
telecommunications companies or simply as information  providers.  The 1996
Telecommunications Act defines "telecommunications" as interstate access
to voice service, a function that Internet service providers perform when
users take advantage of Internet telephony technology.  "Why should the FCC
draw regulatory distinctions when the customer is receiving the same
functional service, whether it's between phones or computer and phone?"
says FCC Chairman William Kennard.  Internet service providers are fighting
the switch from information provider to telecommunications company because
being classified as a telecom carrier would mean that ISPs would have to
pay into the Universal Service Fund.  (TechWeb 20 Feb 98)

                       MCI AND AOL RECEIVE SUBPOENAS
                        IN MICROSOFT ANTITRUST CASE

The U.S. Department of Justice has served civil subpoenas on MCI, America
Online, and other Internet service providers in an attempt to determine
whether the companies agreed with Microsoft to favor that company's Web
browser (Internet Explorer) over the one offered by Netscape (Netscape
Navigator).  The Justice Department is claiming that Microsoft is trying to
leverage its domination of the operating system market into domination of
the market for Internet software. (San Jose Mercury News 20 Feb 98)

                           WEB RANKINGS FOR SALE

Internet entrepreneur Bill Gross is funding a new venture called Go.To.Com,
which offers a radical new approach to Web search services.  Traditional
search engines, such as Yahoo! and Lycos, have been criticized because too
much of the material they deliver is irrelevant to the original search
request.  Go.To.Com's strategy to responding to queries is based on the
idea of ranking the list in order of advertising dollars received, so that
if someone searches on the word  "flowers," for instance, the floral
service that paid the most would be listed first.  Gross points out that
the same strategy is used in the Yellow Pages, where companies that pay the
most for the largest ads get the prominent positions.  "It's a stockmarket
for attention," says Gross.  "I think it's going to change the marketplace
forever."  (Wall Street Journal 20 Feb 98)


Freshmen entering the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000
will be required to have laptop computers.  Students can either bring their
own laptop (if it meets proper specifications) or buy the machines
themselves through Student Stores on campus.  The university will offer
low-interest, four-year loans for students who wish to finance the
purchase, and will increase its financial aid budget to provide needy
students with additional grant assistance to help cover the cost of the
laptops. Some of the other institutions that require or will soon require
students to have laptop computers are Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Carnegie
Mellon, Virginia  Tech, and Western Carolina University.

                              NAKED UNIVERSE

The magazine Sky & Telescope says that the use of filtering software
programs has prevented some schools from accessing Sky Online ( ) because of the site's use of the word "naked," as
in the expression "the naked eye."  (Sky & Telescope Mar 98)


We enjoyed this reference to Edupage, which we ran across in a book called
"The Book Lover's Guide To The Internet":    "Edupage describes itself as
'a summary of news about information technology,' but it's much more
interesting than it sounds... The same folks also produce Educom Review, a
bimonthly print magazine on learning, communications and information
technology."  (Evan Morris, "The Book Lover's Guide To The Internet,"
Fawcett Columbine Press)


Computer Sciences, the computer services company threatened with a hostile
takeover by Computer Associates, which specializes in producing business
software for large corporations, has begun a lawsuit charging that CA
chairman Charles B. Wang tried to buy the loyalty of CS chief executive Van
B. Honeycutt by personally offering him $50 million in stock options and
salary.  Honeycutt rejected the offer.  (AP 24 Feb 98)


Acknowledging that "currently, we treat distance learners sort of as
stepstudents," Department of Education assistant secretary David
Longanecker says a proposal in President Clinton's recommendations for the
reauthorization of the Higher Education Act would change that.  The
proposal would give financial aid eligibility to students who attend
degree-granting institutions that educate students primarily through
distance learning;  broaden the financial aid package given to students who
take distance learning courses at a traditional institution of higher
education;  and establish a $30-million pilot program to help institutions
develop and use innovative technology.  (USA Today 24 Feb 98)


Media businesses are viewing the Internet as their next great broadcast
medium, with companies such as Walt Disney and NBC making plans to offer
video and multicasting entertainment services in the next few months.
Radio stations have already staked their claims with more than 1,100
stations broadcasting 24 hours a day over the Internet.  UUNet, a major
Internet service provider, offers a UUCast service, using a separate set of
routers from those that handle its mainstream Internet traffic.  "Deploying
a parallel, multicast infrastructure is a capital-intensive solution, but
it works," says UUNet's VP of marketing.  "The Internet becomes really
interesting when you can do something you can't do any other way," says
UUNet's manager of Web products.  "Iceland Radio broadcasts a radio feed
for people from Iceland who live in the United States and the Internet is
the only way you can get it."  (InternetWeek 23 Feb 98)


The Association of American Publishers, in conjunction with the Corporation
for National Research Initiatives, has developed an electronic
identification system for materials on the Internet.  The digital object
identifier (DOI) system links would-be content-users with content
copyright-owners through alphanumeric "tags" attached to each work.  The
AAP  hopes the system could eventually be used to restrict access to
copyrighted works, but for now, it's strictly an honor system.  The DOI
system will be maintained and administered by the newly formed
International DOI Foundation.  (CIO 15 Feb 98)


The phone industry has argued for the past couple of years that the
proliferation of fax machines and data lines has used up the available
supply of phone numbers, forcing them to subdivide area code regions into
smaller and smaller parcels.  But critics are charging that the telephone
industry has created an artificial shortage of phone numbers, costing
businesses and consumers millions of dollars in the process.  The problem
lies in antiquated central office switching equipment, combined with the
growing number of new service providers, each of which are granted phone
numbers in blocks of 10,000 in each area code.  Many of these numbers go
unused, and regulators say the phone companies could remedy the problem by
installing more sophisticated switches.  Over the past three years, the
number of area codes in the U.S. has surged by 67%.  (St. Petersburg Times
23 Feb 98)

                        A COMPUTER IN EVERY GARAGE

PC makers are targeting the automobile market, with Clarion Corp. planning
to be the first to offer a PC as a replacement for the factory-installed
radio.  The device will use Microsoft's Auto PC software, which runs on the
Windows CE operating system and includes voice-recognition technology.
Microsoft and Intel are working with Ford Motor Co.'s Visteon unit to
develop a car  PC, called ICES, which will be offered as a dealer-installed
option in California and other states this summer.  And General Motors'
Delphi Delco Electronics unit is working on a 1999 Saab complete with
on-board PC based on Microsoft software.  "The amount of software in a
vehicle is increasing by 20% to 30% a year," says the director of advanced
engineering at Delphi Delco.  Meanwhile, Sun Microsystems is working on a
PC that uses Java software to link all of a car's computer system, from
braking to airbags to dashboard meters.  (Wall Street Journal 23 Feb 98)


IBM's new Health Data Network Express will provide hospitals and healthcare
providers with a series of software packages designed to assist them in
making better use of the Internet in clinical document processing and
physician practice administration.  The company previously had tried to
market a full-service system, but found customers preferred to buy
individual modules and add to them over time.  (Wall Street Journal 23 Feb


Researchers at the University of British Columbia have concluded that to be
effective, the  appearance of an online course is as important as the
content.  "We paid attention to the feeling  and tone of the course, not
just the content and teaching processes," says one of the researchers.
"It's like going into the supermarket -- the food might look all right, but
the music drives you crazy, so you leave."  The study, "Best- and
Worst-Dressed Web Courses:  Strutting into the 21st Century in Comfort and
Style," includes a "Madonna Award for Best-Dressed Course," which was
granted to an American history course at the University of Wisconsin at
Madison.  The researchers evaluated 127 courses using 43 criteria.  (Chronicle of Higher
Education 27 Feb 98)


Georgia Tech's computer requirement for freshmen was stated incorrectly in
the announcement cited in our last issue, which said that Tech requires
students to own laptops;  Georgia Tech has corrected the report, saying it
permits students to choose either laptop OR desktop machines. (Our own
guess, though it's just a guess, is that Georgia Tech policy allows
students to bring laptops to class but not desktops.)

                      GOVERNORS WANT TO TAX INTERNET;
                         CLINTON URGES MORATORIUM

Because he believes the Internet is spurring the growth of new industries
and helping create a new economy based on high technology, President
Clinton is opposing the National Governors' Association's call to Congress
to enact legislation for a uniform system to collect state taxes on sales
conducted via Internet.  The Governors say that without such legislation
the states will increasingly be deprived of a valuable source of revenue,
but Clinton supports a moratorium on taxing Internet commerce, to allow for
long-term discussion of the issues.  (New York Times 26 Feb 98)

                            MAJOR PHONE OUTAGE

A severed cable in Illinois owned by Illuminet, a company that provides
signaling and other services to phone company networks, caused several
hours of disrupted service for customers of AT&T, Teleport, and Bell
Atlantic's mobile phone division.  Phone problems in New York City were
widespread, and a switchboard operator of that city's Columbia-Presyberian
Medical Center said:  "It's chaos, total chaos.  We've had at least 400
calls already from inside the hospital trying to call out."  (San Jose
Mercury News 26 Feb 98)


The FBI is investigating a "fairly heavy" series of attempted break-ins on
unclassified military computer networks over the past couple of weeks.  The
hackers entered the networks and placed "trap doors" in them, enabling
information to be retrieved later.  "It was widespread, and it was modestly
sophisticated," says the Pentagon's No. 2 official.  Security experts have
termed the recent attacks "ankle-biters" -- more of a nuisance than a
serious threat to national security.  Fifty-three percent of federal
government computer security managers reported unauthorized use of their
systems last year, and "This year, the number is more like 60%," says a
Computer Security Institute analyst.  (Wall Street Journal 26 Feb 98)

                              PIRACY DETECTOR

Researchers at Cambridge University in England have built a prototype of a
device that automatically sniffs out illegal software.  The mobile
electronic surveillance system detects and decodes otherwise-inaudible
radio signals emitted by a PC that are used to report licensing violations
of specially designed software.  The PC piracy scanner is modeled on
similar technology used by spies to eavesdrop on computer and telephone
communications.  A similar device is used in Great Britain to identify
scofflaws who haven't paid the annual fees required of  TV set owners.
(Information Week 16 Feb 98)


A survey of 1,400 chief financial officers, conducted by Robert Half
International, indicates that technology enhancement is the top area for
company investment in 1998.  Marketing and facilities expansion ranked
second and third.  (Investor's Business Daily 25 Feb 98)


Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin say they were able to
print circuits with dimensions as small as 0.08 microns, using a slightly
amended version of conventional optical lithography chip-making technology.
The new circuits would be about one-third the size of chips on the market
today: "It's a 'Wow!' of a technology," says the director of lithography
sciences at the Semiconductor Research Council.  "There were six
alternatives and we were expecting each to take years of research and more
than $1 billion to commercialize."  (Wall Street Journal 26 Feb 98)

                      INTERNET GROWTH SQUEEZING ISPs

With demand for bandwidth increasing exponentially, and stiff competition
holding down prices, Internet service providers are trying to figure out
how to foot the bill for new equipment and more leased bandwidth to satisfy
customers' requirements.  UUnet CEO John Sidgemore says no technology in
history has grown as fast as the Internet:  "Internet bandwidth demand is
expanding by 10 times each year.  This is presenting a scaling challenge
that we've never found before."  In response, ISPs are considering using
data storage devices to cache copies of large, frequently accessed files
within their own networks.  Another option is increased "peering," which
would allow traffic from one ISP to pass directly to customers of another
provider without going through the main Internet gateways, where most of
the congestion occurs. (TechWeb 25 Feb 98)


Retailers this week are clearing their shelves of the old 56Kbps modems in
anticipation of the arrival of new V.90-standard-compatible 56Kbps devices.
The shipments are expected to arrive sometime this week.  Modem makers warn
that Internet service providers will require up to six months to put the
new standard in place.  AT&T WorldNet, which was the only top 10 ISP not to
opt for either of the interim 56K technologies, is now positioned to move
quickly to accommodate 56K customers.  (Computer Reseller News 25 Feb 98)


Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says that the problem (caused by
the inability of old software to know what century it's in, because
space-saving programmers allocated only two digits for the "year" field) is
already hurting the economy.  And he's worried about even greater  damage
ahead: "Inevitable difficulties are going to emerge," which could lead to
"a very large problem."  Greenspan says the Fed will be ready to lend banks
tens of billions of dollars to deal with that problem, if necessary.  (USA
Today 26 Feb 98)


This week Microsoft chief Bill Gates visited Alabama, the first statewide
partner of the Gates Library Foundation whose mission is to ensure that all
citizens get a fair share of Internet time.  Gates says:  "We don't want
just the most privileged people to have the access, we want everyone to
have access."  Alabama received a $2.7 million grant from the Foundation;
states to receive funding in the next round of grants are Louisiana,
Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas, New Mexico, and West Virginia.  (AP 25 Feb


Version 1.51 Overview

Research conducted during the last year indicated that OfficeTalk users
required a link between OfficeTalk and their word processor, their two most
frequently used pieces of software. Our recent upgrade, OfficeTalk V1.51,
launched in September this year, includes several additions designed to
provide such a link, enhanced Internet mail capabilities and a number of
improvements to increase the effectiveness of OfficeTalk in countries
outside of the United Kingdom.

" ... useful enhancements make OfficeTalk 1.5 a powerful contact management
tool ... It's one of the most impressive workgroup tools around."
PC Magazine, July 1996

Enhanced Contact Management

OfficeTalk V1.51 now allows you to link to any major word processor to
create documents and archive them against companies and contacts already
held in OfficeTalk's central database. Users can create an unlimited number
of document templates which can be personal to an individual user or
available to the whole workgroup. Users can specify the information they
wish to extract from OfficeTalk and then place in their document.

New Document Archiving

OfficeTalk will create a record under the Contact for each new document.
Once the document has been printed and saved, OfficeTalk will archive the
document against the contact record as an attachment. Any user wishing to
view the document simply double clicks on the document icon and OfficeTalk
will launch the appropriate word processor and document.

Mail Merge

As well as creating single documents, users can create mail-merges directly
from OfficeTalk's Contact Manager. Once an OfficeTalk Contact group has
been selected, OfficeTalk will create a record under each Contact and
generate the mail-merge file within the appropriate word processor ready
for printing. Each contact record is linked to a single copy of the

New fax server links

You can use the OfficeTalk Contact Manager as the one workgroup-wide
address book for conventional mail, E-Mail and faxes. OfficeTalk 1.51 comes
complete with the macros required to link OfficeTalk document templates to
GFI FAXmaker fax server. Macros are supplied for use with Microsoft Word 6
and 7, Corel WordPerfect 6 and 7 and Lotus AmiPro 3.1 and WordPro. Whilst
we do not currently support any other fax servers, you may use the macros
as a basis for linking with any other fax server that supports DDE.

Workgroup-wide Internet mail

OfficeTalk 1.51 provides even closer integration with the Workgroup
Internet Gateway, enabling users to send and receive Internet mail from
OfficeTalk's Mail mode.

International Features

Contact field names can be customised to suit the standards operating in a
particular market. Files shipped with OfficeTalk are designed for the UK,
North American, Danish and Australasian markets. In addition, the UK and
North American markets also include pull down lists for Counties and States
respectively. OfficeTalk takes date and time formats from the Windows setup

                             FAXmaker Overview

                   OfficeTalk & FAXmaker for Networks 5

A network fax solution allows you to send faxes directly from your
applications such as OfficeTalk, at laser printer quality and in one tenth
of the time it takes to send a fax manually. This is the case irrespective
of whether you are sending to one recipient, or a thousand.

FAXmaker offers you a network fax solution specifically designed to
integrate with today's applications, E-Mail systems and networks. FAXmaker
can run on any network. A dedicated fax server is not required but may be
advisable depending on traffic. NT users will not require a dedicated
server for FAXmaker as FAXmaker may be installed directly on NT server.
Standard fax modems can be used and the fax server can be expanded simply,
at any time, to support up to 32 fax lines and 250 users simultaneously.

Installation of FAXmaker is straight-forward. Integration with OfficeTalk
1.51 is fast and seamless and the combination provides significant
additional functionality for OfficeTalk users. For example, document
templates can be customised, with data held in OfficeTalk's central address
book being drawn into Word, Ami Pro or WordPerfect before being
automatically transferred into FAXmaker and transmitted.

OfficeTalk can be used to create standard, workgroup-wide fax
documentation, avoiding inconsistencies in image and presentation and
reducing the time spent searching through directories for spuriously named
documents. Once created, OfficeTalk automatically fills in the relevant
fields of the documentation. Faxes are sharper and crisper than when sent
by conventional fax machines and stationery costs are reduced by the
avoidance of paper. OfficeTalk automatically tracks and records all faxes
transmitted by Contact, Company and the User who sent it.

The benefits of FAXmaker

O    You no longer need to print out your document before faxing.
O    FAXmaker will automatically retry fax numbers if they are busy.
O    Faxes are more legible and of a better quality.
O    Incoming faxes can be automatically and immediately routed to you upon
O    Only you and your system administrator can view your outgoing and
  incoming faxes. Easy to send faxes to groups of people.

                   WIG - The Workgroup Internet Gateway

WIG Version 3.0 sends and receives Internet mail seamlessly from MS
Outlook, MS Exchange Client or OfficeTalk 1.51 on a network via a single
modem or ISDN line attached to any NT 4.0 or Windows 95 PC. It comes with
additional components which also allow Windows 3.11 MS Mail users to send
and receive Internet mail. Users benefit from a single mail interface for
workgroup and Internet mail, a single folder structure for all mail and, in
the case of OfficeTalk users, a single workgroup-wide address book for both
conventional and Internet addresses accessible in OfficeTalk's Mail Mode.
The organisation benefits from easy central administration and a single
Internet connection without investment in MS Exchange Server, separate mail
servers or Internet gateways.

WIG Version 3.0 specification includes:
O    Full NT 4.0 compatibility.
O    Full event logging plus monitor window showing all activities as they
O    Pending message status.
O    Auto responder features.
O    Advanced mail forwarding.
O    Connection scheduling including day, time and number of pending
  messages options.
O    Enhanced performance and improved large attachment handling.
O    Automatic Finger protocol for SMTP hosts.
O    Multi-user POP3 account support.
O    WIG is able to encode and decode attachments in either MIME or
  UUENCODE formats and receives incoming mail using either POP3 or SMTP.

WIG is available for 29.00 or $43.50 (plus taxes) per user. Prices reduce
for larger installations. A 250 user system is less than 8.00 or $12.00
per user. WIG is made available to OfficeTalk users at no extra charge.

                   WIG enhances the acclaimed OfficeTalk

OfficeTalk has received universal acclaim and many awards as the easiest to
use, most comprehensive workgroup information manager. Its well thought out
interface, breadth of functionality and robust performance have established
it in workgroups within organisations including ABB, ASDA, BNFL, BTR,
Brother, Cazanove, CompuServe, DEC, GEC, Hewlett Packard, ICL, Informix and

Just two of the unique features that have helped ensure OfficeTalk's
success include a single central workgroup address book with comprehensive
contact management facilities, and the group view, which allows any teams'
diaries to be viewed simultaneously. OfficeTalk Version 1.51 has brought
document templating and automatic document creation and archiving to the
workgroup, further confirming OfficeTalk's superiority.

The introduction of WIG adds a further important dimension to OfficeTalk's
functionality by providing users with an Intranet facility, with the
ability to send and receive E-Mail and attachments between separate
OfficeTalk workgroups.

 OfficeTalk & WIG are developed exclusively for Sareen Software by Softalk

                    OfficeTalk Technical Specification


OfficeTalk is a Microsoft Windows on-line transaction processing solution
for workgroup computing. It is written in Microsoft Visual C++ and utilises
Microsoft Foundation Classes. It requires MS Windows 3.1x or greater

It provides a Central Workgroup Data Structure which uses Btrieve as its
underlying record manager and will run across any network that provides
access to a shared DOS directory.

                             OfficeTalk Client

OfficeTalk has a 16 bit client that runs on Windows 3.1, 3.11, 95 and NT.
The OfficeTalk executable is 2.5Mb. A full installation with associated
files (Help, etc.) but excluding data, will take up well under 3.5Mb.
Running under Windows 3.11, OfficeTalk will typically use between 7% and 9%
of Windows system resources.

                            Underlying Database

OfficeTalk is supplied with the Btrieve Version 5.1 Client and can be run
with the Btrieve Version 6 Client or Btrieve Version 5 or 6 Client/Server.
Sareen Software have not found any significant performance advantages when
running Btrieve Client/Server.


Provided that the network is fast enough and has sufficient available band
width, there is no specific limit to the size of an OfficeTalk workgroup. A
realistic maximum is in the region of 500 to 600 users. The largest
installation to date has a workgroup of 300 users. As a measure of
performance, users in this workgroup access any other colleague's diary in
under 5 seconds.

                             ODBC Data Access

ODBC data access is available for users of the OfficeTalk Data Access

                         Wide Area Network Support

As realistic minimum, OfficeTalk can run satisfactorily over WANs connected
by Kilostream lines (256Kb per second). Initial load times are
significantly improved when running over Megastream lines (1Mb per second

System Requirements:
O    Windows 3.1x minimum specification
O    386SX25 with 4mb RAM and 10mb swap file running Windows 3.1
O    Windows 3.1x recommended minimum specification
O    486SX25 with 8mb RAM and 10mb swap file running Windows 3.11
O    Windows 95 minimum specification
O    486SX25 with 8mb RAM
O    Windows 95 recommended minimum specification
O    486DX2/66 with 16mb RAM
O    Windows NT minimum specification
O    486DX2/66 with 16mb RAM
O    Windows NT recommended minimum specification
O    Pentium P120 with 24mb RAM
O    Installation Recommendations
O    Peer to Peer and slow networks;
O    Install the executable on the local machine to reduce network traffic
  and load times.
O    Server-based networks;
O    Run the executable from the server to make upgrades easier.
O    Portables used for working off-line;
O    Install the executable on the portable to reduce disconnection times.


Sareen Software Plc was formed by the team behind Deepak Sareen Associates,
to publish OfficeTalk, the first workgroup information manager, world-wide.

In June 1995, OfficeTalk won the Best UK Product category in the Ziff Davis
European Software Excellence Awards. In the UK PC Magazine's 1995 Technical
Innovation Awards OfficeTalk won the Best Office Software category and was
one of just three finalists in the Network Software Category. OfficeTalk
was also a Finalist in the 1996 SPA Codie Awards for the Best New Business
Software Program and is a recipient of a PC Plus Value award.

Award Citations.

O    Ziff Davis European Software Excellence Awards. 1995
O    PC Magazine Technical Innovation Awards; Winner, Best Office
  Application. 1995
O    PC Magazine Technical Innovation Awards; Runner-up, Best Network
  Application. 1995
O    PC Plus VALUE AWARD, Contact Manager review. August 1996

Ziff Davis European Software Excellence Awards. 1995

"The winner of the award for BEST UK SOFTWARE was OfficeTalk, from UK
software developer Sareen Software. Up until now, groupware has been
dominated by the big names of the computer software industry - Lotus, ICL,
IBM and Novell. OfficeTalk bravely breaks this mould by offering a highly
functional groupware solution that requires very little investment in money
or time to begin using it.

OfficeTalk allows small groups of end-users to make their own
workgroup-based groupware solutions, without having to wait for a
corporate-wide rollout.

The other finalists in the Best UK Software category were Superbase95 from
Superbase, which is an excellent visual database, and CopyControl 1.65 from
Microcosm, an extremely innovative multimedia development tool."

PC Magazine Technical Innovation Awards; Winner, Best Office Application.
"OfficeTalk, from Sareen Software, succeeds in making groupware usable, by
fully exploiting what the Windows GUI has to offer.

Described as a 'workgroup information manager', the things that make
OfficeTalk different are apparent from the moment you begin the
installation. The program offers diary, task management, email, project
planning and general data management facilities, and yet the whole thing is
installed from a single* floppy disk. Presentation is clear and detailed,
with obvious icons and well-distributed toolbars that can be labelled for
even better legibility.

Along with the usual views, the diary also offers a meeting mode. From here
you can schedule meetings by picking resources and participants from a
predefined list. OfficeTalk requests the presence of the relevant
participants via the email system, giving them the chance to accept or
decline by clicking the large 'Can Attend' or 'Can't Attend' buttons. Those
who can't attend can even explain why with the aid of a text note.

Along with the electronic wallchart planner, OfficeTalk offers a simple,
but functional, project management module. With Project Manager, you can
allocate assignments to your co-workers and set deadlines, start dates,
completion dates, duration and priorities for tasks. Again, other
OfficeTalk users who have been assigned tasks will be informed although you
can override this feature.

Central to OfficeTalk is its mail component. This is where all meeting
information and task assignments are held. The mail system provides all the
usual options including attachments and its unique notify option offers
'Yes/No' dialog boxes that permit the recipient to respond instantly to
simple questions.

The very competitively priced OfficeTalk 1.0 is an ideal solution for the
small-to-medium sized office, where large, more complex systems are neither
practical nor desirable."

*OfficeTalk V1.0.

PC Magazine Technical Innovation Awards; Runner-up, Best Network
Application. 1995
"One of the most amazing products we've looked at in the last year, Sareen
Software's OfficeTalk does everything a small office or corporate workgroup
could expect it to, and more. This group scheduler and personal information
manager is easy to use, costs very little and comes on just a single*
floppy disk. A rare beast indeed.

The interface is a model of usability. Its toolbar buttons sport
unambiguous icons no function is more than a single mouse click away and
everything is labelled. It doesn't scrimp on features either, offering
diary, wallchart planner, email and more. This is an elegant, intuitive
package that more than earns its keep on anyone's hard disk."

*OfficeTalk V1.0.

         PC Plus VALUE AWARD, Contact Manager review. August 1996
"OfficeTalk could be used as an example of the way network software should
work. It's simple and intuitive to install, links to workstation users are
easy to set up and it's very difficult to get lost in the system once
you've started to use it.

There are two reasons for this: Sareen Software set out to produce a
Workgroup Information Manager (WIM) which was supremely easy to use, and
OfficeTalk does less than Commence or GoldMine in some areas. However, for
many small organisations, it does more than Organizer and needs much less
training for the people who are going to use it. It also costs just 50 per

After you've run the installation program on whichever machine you intend
to use as the OfficeTalk server and entered names for your other users, you
can download the software across the workgroup. At this stage you can
choose to install it on each local workstation or run it all from the
server. The program is small, taking barely two floppy disks, and runs
quickly and efficiently with little overhead on the workgroup.

OfficeTalk is structured more like Lotus Organizer than either Commence or
GoldMine and the main diary screen shows a scrollable appointments diary as
well as a task list and calendar for the current day. You can choose to
show 'In', 'Process' and 'Out' trays and a waste basket. More than this, a
simple drop-down selector enables you to see the diaries for any other user
on the system.

Simple button functions like 'Where', 'When' and 'Who' offer information on
the location of meetings, when tasks are due for completion and which
members of the workgroup are currently logged on to the system. The 'Who'
function can be used to tell you when people go off-site, too, if they are
conscientious about filling in details before they go.

OfficeTalk is strong on scheduling and contact management. The
alphabetically tabbed address book is organised by company and is shared
across the system, but each member of the group can also have a personal
address book which is private and sorted by name. You can define any number
of document templates, which can be exported, together with details from
the contacts database, to any program which can accept ASCII or RTF files,
such as MS Word.

It's a shame, though, that there's no direct connection with fax software*
such as WinFax, so that address and number details could be held in one
centralised file.

As with the other two programmes, you can extract a copy of your OfficeTalk
database to a notebook machine for when you're away from the office. Any
changes can then be reconciled automatically on your return.

E-mail can be sent and received through OfficeTalk, either as notes over a
workgroup or through the Internet. As a nice touch, e-mail invitations to a
meeting are sent out automatically when the meeting is set up, for all
attendees to confirm they can come. External e-mail, sent through an SMTP
gateway which must already be set up, is transparent in use. You simply use
an Internet address as the destination. Mail can be received into an
OfficeTalk client or server in the same way.

OfficeTalk really is like the proverbial breath of fresh air after using
the other two programs reviewed here. Although it is restricted in its
depth of contact information in comparison to GoldMine and less flexible
than Commence, it makes up for all this in its ease of installation and the
intuitive way in which it works. OfficeTalk is the ideal workgroup manager
for the home and small business.

Both Commence and GoldMine are far too expensive. Contact management isn't
that vertical or minority a market and a price of 1,000 for five users
can't be justified. The only product of the three reviewed here that we
would recommend is OfficeTalk, which works intelligently and doesn't
require its users to understand object programming terms. You can link 20
users with OfficeTalk for the same price as five under Commence or
GoldMine. OfficeTalk gets our vote and a value for money award."

Editor's Note..

     Through the course of the next few weeks, we shall be doing an in-
depth review of Office Talk 1.5 and a teaser overview of Office Talk 2.0

     So far, I must say this application offers what appears to be the very
best in inter-office connectivity.  Superb phone messaging, excellent
layout and easy to use and understand prompting.  The next few weeks with
this baby are going to be very interesting.   Stay tuned...

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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
                             From Frank's Desk
I'd like to express my sympathies and condolences to those that have
suffered losses due to the fury of Mother Nature in the past week.  While
we in the midwest  have enjoyed an unbelievably mild winter, California has
suffered torrential flooding and central Florida was devastated by
tornadoes.  Let's all donate a gift of food, money or blood plasma to the
disaster relief agencies.

In lighter news, my two oldest boys are now amateur roller hockey players.
They played a double header on Wednesday and managed to split the two
games.  Roller hockey is really a great sport.  The action is fast-paced
and almost non-stop.  It can be a little rough, even in a non-checking
league.  Many kids just can't stop fast enough or turn quick enough to
avoid collisions.  So far, the kids have suffered no more than scrapes and
bruises.  The best part is that the game is great exercise and that my
kids' skating has really improved.  No doubt that they will be able to out-
skate the old man any day now!

So due to my duties as a "hockey dad", I have been unable to complete my
scheduled review this week.  Now that we have established a routine, I
think I'll be able to get back on track for next week.  Please accept my
                                In the News

              Reader Rabbit's 2nd Grade Arriving This Spring
The Learning Company recently announced the upcoming release of Reader
Rabbit's 2nd Grade.  The program will be on a hybrid-format CD-ROM for both
Windows and Macintosh computers and will retail for less than $30.

The disc will feature more than twenty activities that will hone children's
essential second grade skills including reading, writing, math, science and
thinking.  Activities are designed to be fun and educational.  Three
progressive levels of difficulty make it easy for children to advance to
higher skill levels.  All this learning happens while the child is guiding
Sam the Lion through Dragon's Castle.  Solving puzzles and unraveling the
mystery of the castle entice the child to come back to the game time and

For more information, call 1-800-227-5609 or visit The Learning Company Web
site at

         CyberMedia Offers 30-Day Free Trial on Guard DogT Deluxe
If you're looking to make your Internet surfing more secure, here's an
opportunity you shouldn't pass up.  CyberMedia is offer a free 30-day trial
of the full version of Guard DogT Deluxe.  Just download the software from
the company's Web site at and install it.

Guard DogT will work in the background to protect your computer from
unwanted cookies (no more unsightly crumb trails).  It will also block
hostile Java and ActiveX applets and protect sensitive information such as
passwords, e-mail and personal data.  Finally, it guards against viruses
that can be transmitted via the Internet.  Any threat to your computer is
signified by a barking dog.  So put a guard dog on your computer today.

               Funk & Wagnalls Is Now Available Via the Web
The Funk & Wagnalls Knowledge Center is now available for free trial until
April 15th.  You can check it out at  This
multimedia site will be available for a $14.95 membership fee and it is
included with the purchase of the CD-ROM and DVD versions of the Funk &
Wagnall's Multimedia Encyclopedia.

The Knowledge Center has the identical interface as the Multimedia
Encyclopedia.  Both can be researched simultaneously with the Research
Wizard.  The Knowledge Center has additional options such as Reuters news,
current news analysis, interactive art exhibits, a follow along music
center, chat areas and a term paper help section.

If you have a 486 Windows computer or a PowerPC Macintosh with a 14.4k
modem, you can visit the site and experience its multimedia delights.

          Bandai Digital Entertainment to Release DigiMonT CD-ROM
If you have had your fill of Tamagotchis, and even if you haven't, Bandai
brings forth the next step in virtual pets with the DigiMonT.  It's a
Digital MonsterT, that owners must raise, feed, train and then send into
combat.  These little electronic gladiators will surely win the hearts of
many young boys.  The battling monsters will be available for your Windows
95 PC in June for only $19.95.

Multiple players can raise several monsters on the same computer.  For the
ultimate in competition, you can take your monster to battle all comers on
the Internet at Bandai's DigiMon Web site.  The battle's result depends on
how well you train and care for your monster.  So players learn a bit about
pet care and training regimens while enjoying the antics of the rock'em,
sock'em monsters.

                               CorelDRAWT 8
                             Corel Corporation
                     for Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0
                        Estimated Retail Price $419
                       Estimated Upgrade Price $199

Review by Donna Lines (

The CorelDRAWT 8 suite includes tools for illustration, painting, photo
editing, 3D modeling and rendering.  Corel has also included several top-
notch power utilities to enhance scanning, texture creation, and color
management including Kodak Digital ScienceT Color Management System.
Always outdoing themselves, Corel has loaded the program with over 40,000
high-quality clipart images and symbols and 1,000 photos.  Also included
are 1,000 True Typer and Type 1 fonts, hundreds of 3D models, web
backgrounds, animated GIFs and over 450 DrawT and Paper Direct templates.
On top of all of this, Corel has included several Adobe-compatible Plug-Ins
including Auto F/XT Photo/Graphic Edges, Cytopia PhotoLabT, Digimarcr
Digital Watermarking, and Human Software Squizz!T that can be used with
DRAWT and Photo-PaintT.

Version 8 includes several workshops that will familiarize you with the
program and have you producing stunning graphics immediately.  The "Cool
Effects" workshops for Photo-PaintT 8 were written by well-known Photo-
PaintT experts, Debbie Cook and David Huss (author of the Corel Photo-
PaintT, The Official Guide series).

CorelDRAW 8 incorporates over 100 new enhancements.  The user now has total
control over the workspace.  You can create a custom work environment with
all the relevant tools needed for each type of project, enhancing your
productivity.  DRAWT and Photo-PaintT take advantage of new Docker windows
that the user can place anywhere in the workspace.  You can stack multiple
Dockers  with tabs for quick and easy access with reduced screen clutter.
The traditional Roll-Ups are also utilized for many of the tools.

Special features include a realistic drop shadow, which is a cinch to use
via the Roll-Up menu.  New to DRAWT 8 is the ability to place imported
objects anywhere you choose on the page, instead of the default placement
at the center of the page.  An exciting new feature is the ability to use
the Pick Tool to select one object out of a group, even if the object is
hidden beneath many other objects.  Also, it is now easier to see which
object you have selected with the Pick Tool, the cursor changes to an arrow-
headed cross when you are over the center of the selected object.

To increase your productivity, there are extensive, fully customizable
keyboard shortcuts.  This includes the Recorder and Script options.  Both
are useful when you want to apply a series of commands to more than one
object.  You can use the Recorder for the current session.  Use the Script
option if you wish to save it for future sessions.

Version 8 includes everything you need to design a web page.  You can
import the included web backgrounds, objects, menus, text boxes, and
buttons.  You can easily convert text to HTML by selecting the "Make Text
HTML Compatible" in the Text Menu.

New to Corel Photo-PaintT 8 are a streamlined Object Manager, low
resolution image editing, and extensive Undo features.  The Fade Last
Command feature found in the Edit Menu lets you undo the last command you
performed in stages, eventually undoing the command.  There are several
brush enhancements including the ability to instantaneously adjust the nib
size on screen.  This is a great new feature and a real time saver.  Set
the brush type to Symmetrical at the bottom of the brush Roll-Up and you
can paint symmetrically.  The radial option creates nibs called "points" at
various distances around the brush tool and are governed by a definable
center point.  The mirror option will mirror the nib at one point either
horizontally or vertically.  I found the Symmetrical feature useful for
creating a uniform wallpaper pattern effect.  Another new brush feature is
Orbits, which allows you to create spiral and other types of patterns, such
as dirt and DNA.  Now on screen previews are available from most effects
dialog boxes by checking the on screen preview option.  The Clip Mask
command allows you to apply a transparency over an object, allowing you to
try out changes without affecting the image below.

CorelDREAM 3D 8 is a 3D modeling and rendering program based on
MetaCreations (formerly known as Fractal Design) Ray Dream Designer
program.  The program includes hundreds of 3D objects.  You can easily
create 3D objects and export them as VRML to the Internet.

Intellimouse and MMX support help make CorelDRAW 8 a speedy and efficient
tool that the graphic artist - from the professional web page designer,
page layout artist, or photo-editor to the graphics amateur -- will
appreciate.  Whether you're an experienced CorelDRAW user or if you're a
beginner, CorelDRAWT 8 is the graphics package for you!

System Requirements:  Windows 95 or NT, 16MB RAM (32MB Strongly
Recommended), CD-ROM Drive, mouse or tablet, Pentium 90 (Pentium 133
processor recommended), 80MB hard drive space; and SVGA video.

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                             A TRUST BETRAYED?

Reprinted for use with MailCall..

            Fla. man held on porn charge after computer repair

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Reuters) - Police have arrested a Florida man on
charges of possessing child pornography after technicians repairing his
home computer found material he had downloaded from the Internet, police
said Wednesday.  Robert Gordon Edris, 52, of Jacksonville, had left his
personal computer for a hardware upgrade, said Jeff Hall, a technician at
Computer Renaissance, the independent computer store that contacted police.

Hall said an image of children having sex came onto the screen when the
computer was turned on. "We respect our customers' privacy, but in this
case it just happened to pop up," Hall said.

Store employees called police, who asked them to tell Edris his computer
was ready to pick up. When Edris arrived, detectives asked him to sign a
consent waiver so they could search his computer files and then arrested
him when they found the allegedly illegal material, a spokesman for the
Jacksonville Police Department said.

Geoff Smith, a Washington attorney with the Blue Ribbon Campaign for
Internet Free Speech, said arrests like Edris's were rare but should remind
people that personal computers were not as secure as many assumed.
"...Computer technicians could just as easily investigate your financial
portfolio or proprietary information if you keep it on your hard drive. You
have to be careful," Smith said.

An opinion

By Ralph F. Mariano

     Can you believe this nonsense???  What would happen to a lawyer or a
Doctor or, any other professional with whom people entrusted their
innermost secrets??  You and I both know the answer.  They'd soon lose
their license to practice.  Please read the above very carefully.. It is,
in itself, a contradiction.  The "technician", Jeff Hall says the porn just
"popped up".  But the cop had to ask permission to "search the hard drive"
to "find" the porn in question!

     I'd like to hear from you on this one.. How many agree. the
"technician" entrusted with the computer had no business prying into the
personal data on the drive.  His responsibility and duty was to effect the
repair or upgrade not search through the hard drive.  Or, do you feel the
"technician" was acting entirely within the scope of his responsibilities?

     My opinion is; "the tech was way, way outta line."  He had no business
looking through that customer's drive or any other computer or hard drive
entrusted to his care.  Further, if he had to look it was immediately
incumbent upon him to adhere to the trust he, directly or indirectly,
assumed when he accepted the assignment to work on that computer.
Additionally, since he did look over and/or discover whatever. he had no
right "blowing the whistle".  His actions reek of "Big Brother" snoop
tactics or, worse yet. of Germany's Gestapo encouragement of neighbor
snitch on neighbor.  His actions in my humble opinion were ghastly. Being a
computer professional myself. I find many different computers, from
professionals, Attorneys, Doctors etc., entrusted in my care.  That trust
being an "implied trust" I dare not betray.  I feel personally violated by
this young man's actions.  Obviously, he is either inexperienced or, has a
great deal to learn.

     As an aside, I am personally acquainted with the owner of the branch
store where the young man is employed along with a number of good folks who
work in another branch store owned by the same party here in town.  I find
it hard to fathom that the owner of these two stores would have gone along
with such a repulsive action.  I am especially convinced after having been
told by a number of other employees."they had received a large volume of
comments and complaints, both pro and con, relative to the young man's
actions.  Let us hear from you!  What's your opinion on this matter?

STR Editor's Mail Call    "...a place for the readers to be heard"

                             Editor's MailBag

                    Messages * NOT EDITED * for content

From: Stan Sieger []
Sent: Sunday, February 22, 1998 2:58 AM
Subject: Re your editorial

>> First, a computer technician is not a "professional" like a doctor,
lawyer, or even, priest.
He's more like a car mechanic who doesn't have to worry about getting his
fingernails dirty ;-)
Since when did either take a vow of silence? If a car mechanic came across
a loaded gun in a
car shouldn't he call the cops first and worry about whether the owner had
a valid license

Maybe the owner of the computer in question uses the same program as I do,
one that changes the desktop wallpaper on each bootup. If he was stupid
enough to use child porno as one wallpaper image that would explain why the
computer technician saw it WITHOUT "prying" but the cops needed permission
to "explore" the hardwire.

I thought possession of that stuff was a felony. Isn't it the duty of a
citizen to report  the commission of felines to the police? Seems that's
what the tech did. <<

From: Ralph F. Mariano []
Sent: Sunday, February 22, 1998 9:06 AM
To: Stan Sieger
Subject: RE: Re your editorial


     I'm a Computer Professional.. I consult, I build custom units and
systems, I design LANs and WANs for a living.  In the course of my
business.... I come across many things stored on hard drives very sensitive
material and I know I must abide by an implied trust much the same as a
Lawyer, Doctor and others with whom private citizens entrust their inner
most secrets.  Certain Lawyer accounts we have that I service have hard
disks full of client interviews and confidential information that "cops"
wold love to have so they could do "their thing."

     In this country (USA) you are innocent until proven guilty you are not
obliged to prove your innocence.  You try to use the weapon, loaded or
otherwise, found in a car by a mechanic.  That's not a good object to use
since the finding of it constitutes no crime in most states.  Further, a
cop must have "just cause" to use the weapon as such.  Now, in the matter
of porno pics you seem to immediately take the stance that this guy had
some sort of graphical booter running that flipped desktops or bootup pics.
I don't know that he did or didn't.

     I'd like to emphasize that I am very familiar with both the Computer
Stores mentioned and their owner.  Further I intend upon attending the
proceedings in this matter and perhaps testifying.  You see, if this sort
of thing is allowed to occur at will... nothing will be sacred. Not the
sanctity and privacy of your home, computer or perhaps one day, your
inner-most thoughts.  We as a society must never allow ourselves to be cast
in the role of mindless, rules following 'droids.  For when that does
happen we shall indeed lose our humanity.

Thanks for reading....

 - Ralph F. Mariano, Editor, Publisher
 - STReport International Magazine
 - SBN 3 - MSDN - 192535/1687
 - -
     IE4, When only.. The Very Finest Will Do!

From: Ralph F. Mariano []
Sent: Monday, February 23, 1998 7:47 AM
To: Stan Sieger
Subject: RE: Re your editorial

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stan Sieger []
> Sent: Sunday, February 22, 1998 4:45 PM
> To:
> Subject: RE: Re your editorial

>> must have "just cause" to use the weapon as such.  Now, in the matter of
porno pics you seem to immediately take the stance that this guy had some
sort of graphical booter running that flipped desktops or bootup pics.   I
don't know that he did or didn't.  You claimed that the only way that the
tech could know that there  was kiddie porn on the guy's computer was by
"prying." I am only  pointing out that he could have come across this info
purely innocently. Having found it he is obliged to report it to the cops.
If you found that one of your lawyer clients was laundering money for the
drug cartels would you just ignore this fact? <<

Yes.... Because of the "implied trust" I abide by.  And, my fondness of
wanting to continue earning a good living.

Why is it you find the need to use comparisons of the most heinous nature?

By the way, in Florida, possession of graphically explicit photos etc., is
not illegal.  It only becomes illegal if... its exhibited publicly.

 - Ralph F. Mariano, Editor, Publisher
 - STReport International Magazine
 - SBN 3 - MSDN - 192535/RC0
 - -
     IE4, When only.. The Very Finest Will Do!

From: Ralph F. Mariano []
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 1998 7:30 AM
To: Stan Sieger
Subject: RE: Re your editorial

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stan Sieger []
> Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 1998 12:47 AM
> To:
> Subject: RE: Re your editorial

> >By the way, in Florida, possession of graphically explicit photos etc.,
is not illegal.  It only becomes illegal if... its exhibited publicly.
Your editorial spoke of child pornography, didn't it?  Mere possession of
such is a felony under Federal statutes, isn't it?<<

Child Porn... is not illegal to have... it is illegal to make available to
others or display.

As an updater;

     The Florida State Attorney's Office has yet to charge this man with
any wrongdoing.  I personally know of three highly prominent Criminal
Attorneys who have expressed interest in defending this person "Pro Bono".

     I now know I am not alone in my convictions that the manner in which
this guy was "set-up" and arrested is a serious violation of privacy laws,
first amendment rulings and the bill of rights.

     Please, think long and hard about the ramifications of a decision to
prosecute.  Forget the defendant and the immediate situations of this case.
The precedent setting decisions in this situation will leave everyone
(including you and I) subject to unmitigated, at will, search of their
electronic data storage devices.  The future is data storage of some sort
or another.  Must it be laid open for all to see at all times?  This case
could very possibly lay the groundwork for such things.

     One Attorney I spoke with who is excellent in Family Law, Civil Law
and Constitutional Law, said very quickly; "This is all new ground we are
travelling on and as such cases formed now will set the pace for the
future."  he said.  Then to go on he said further; "We must be very careful
in laying the ground work or else in the immediate future the problems thus
generated will be enormous."

     There you have it Stan...  I'll keep you posted as this matter
develops... feel free to forward or share any of these related posts.

 - Ralph F. Mariano, Editor, Publisher
 - STReport International Magazine
 - SBN 3 - MSDN - 192535/RC0
 - -
      IE4, When only.. The Very Finest Will Do!

From: John O'Hare []
Sent: Monday, February 23, 1998 10:57 AM
Subject: Technicians responsibility regarding privacy

I don't think you can compare a computer technician to a doctor or a
lawyer, who both go through years of training, take an oath as part of
their job and are licensed in some way.  I guess it would be nice if they
did have similar job requirements, but then you'd be paying $1000 just to
get a hard drive installed.

A more fair comparison would be to compare a computer technician to an auto
mechanic or a VCR repairman.  If you take your car in to the shop and the
mechanic happened to come across some child pornography, what would his
responsibilities be?  Would it make a difference if he found it under the
seat?  In the glovebox?  How about the trunk?  What if a VCR repairman
finds a tape in a VCR brought in for service and the tape happened to
contain child pornography?  I'm not sure what the answers to these
questions are myself.  I would like to think that ones personal files on a
PC are private and not subject to snooping when a PC is brought in for
service.  Personally, I would make sure all my private files were either
removed or encrypted before I turned my PC over to someone for repair.

As for the technician in this case.  Well, being against child pornography
(as I'm sure most rational people are), I tend not to have a problem with
what he did.  I do not know however the details of the situation, which can
make a big difference.  Were there only 1 or 2 images?  If so, maybe the
person downloading them wasn't aware of what was being transferred.  If
there was a whole directory of these images, then that's another story.
Also, did that image just really popup or did the technician have to dig to
find it?   Somehow I think it's somewhere in the middle.  I doubt this PC
user had child pornography in his logo.sys file, but I don't think the
technician found it in his Netscape cache either.

So, I guess all I'm doing here is giving you a few more things to think
about.  I don't have all the facts and especially don't have all the
answers either.  I just don't think it's a simple enough case to say the
technician was wrong and put his responsibilities on par with a doctor's or
lawyer's.  Let me know  what you think.


     I thought I'd wait a day or two and answer you in the magazine..  As
you can see above I've pretty well answered your missive.   To bring you
and our readers up to date..  As of today, 27, Feb 1998 the gent in
question has yet to be charged by the State of Florida for any wrongdoing.
While he was originally represented by a Public Defender, he now has
retained a well known Attorney in Jacksonville, Florida.

     Frankly speaking. I fervently hope this matter does go to trial as I
can plainly see the entire issue of "how the internet operates" and "how
files are automatically downloaded to a person's computer" when they merely
view such files and then leave a such a site not knowing they have the
files already residing on their computer.  It scares me to dickens to think
a computer tech or whatever can search and spot something on your hardisk
when the unit is in for service.. Report you to a cop and then an
overzealous local cop can then "set you up for a bust".  This is BAD Law

     How many computer users, novices and power users alike really know
what's going on in their hard drive when they're accessing the Internet and
the Nooks and Crannies one may find themselves in??  This sort of "police
action" scare the bejeepers out of me.  If this sort of thing is allowed to
continue to happen, is this particular fashion, nobody. I mean NOBODY is
safe!  Why?  Because if anyone visits a WebSite that is, at one point or
another, tied into anything illegal, the data from that site can be found
on their hard drive!!  They too, are up for grabs.

     What if. the computer tech is one of the religious zealots??  Finds
something from a website you visited in one of the special browser
directories that's against his religion?  Abortion? Etc., Photos, Illicit
pictures, or anything else that could be deemed illegal by any stretch of
the imagination??  Buddy, you'll be in a world of hurt.  This sort of non-
sense will make it "Open Season" on folks who browse the web in its
entirety.  This action really amounts to RAW CENSORSHIP at its worst since
it used a fear tactic.

 - Ralph F. Mariano, Editor, Publisher
 - STReport International Magazine
 - SBN 3 - MSDN - 192535/RC0
 - -
      IE4, When only.. The Very Finest Will Do!

From: John O'Hare []
Sent: Monday, February 23, 1998 10:29 AM
Subject: Subscriptions

I'm not sure if I would be willing to pay for a subscription to
streport...maybe some small amount, but definately not $20.  Most of the
decent commercial magazines out there cost less than that for a
subscription.  For example, many of the ZD magazines are about $15 per year
for a
subscription...and if you want you can still get most of their content for
free via the web.

There are other issues you might want to thing of would you have
to pay people who contribute reviews?  Do you copy any of your content (ie,
news) from another source?  If so, there might be problems if you charge
for subscription.  Also, since you're emailing streport out to everyone, it
would be easy for people to pirate/distribute streport via email forwarding
or even posting issues on usenet.  Just some things to think about.

Not too sure about the end of year CD either...just doesn't seem like it
would be that useful.  I'd rather see the subscription be cheaper and
forget about the CD.


     I'm inclined to agree with you.  I'd love to see advertisers on the
website and booster listings for our readers.  Boosters at say, a buck a
shot for a listing and the commercial adverts could be of any size from
business card up to a full page.  Perhaps this exchange will plant a few
seeds and get the ball rolling.  I can be reached at my Email address and
at 904-292-9222 anytime between 9a and 5p est.

Thanks for reading STReport!

 - Ralph F. Mariano, Editor, Publisher
 - STReport International Magazine
 - SBN 3 - MSDN - 192535/RC0
 - -
      IE4, When only.. The Very Finest Will Do!

Classics & Gaming Section
Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

     This has probably been one of the worst weeks I've experienced in
quite some time.  My real job has been one disaster after another and major
projects going awry one-by-one this week.

     Another "major" thorn in my side is that my online source for
STReport's Industry News segment has been "broken" for over a week, hence
the reduced segment last week and none this week.  No replies to my
numerous letters to the support gurus, which seems typical for those who
are supposed to maintain feedback from its customers.  It appears that
"service" has rapidly evolved into another example of an oxymoron.

     The week started off with a mishap with our "new" puppy, albeit a
humorous one now that it's over.  We've been taking him to "puppy
kindergarten" (obedience, etc. training classes).  It's rare that our pup
isn't involved in something out of the ordinary at these classes!  He's a
Labrador Retriever, with pointer and hound blood in him.  Beautiful dog,
but ornery as can be - a typical dominant type of dog!   Anyway, we're the
first to arrive.  Shortly after arriving, another pup arrives (a chocolate
Lab) who has been there before and our pup gets along well.  Usually the
trainer lets the puppies run about free for the first few minutes to get
used to the other dogs and to burn up some energy.  So the two of them are
running around having a great time.

     Let me just take you back 4 days earlier.  Our pup has free run of our
yard  since it's all fenced-in.  That day, I get a call from my wife,
upset.  The pup's tail got cut somehow and bleeding.  Nothing serious, the
dog is in no pain.  However, like a typical puppy, he wags his tail a great
deal.  Naturally, as he's wagging, he's "spraying" drops of blood
everywhere!  And, if his tail hits anything, he leaves blood marks behind.
So my wife is trying to stop the bleeding while at the same time following
him around cleaning up where she can.  She finally penned him and the
bleeding had stopped (it wasn't serious, but tails are one part of a dog
that seem to bleed forever!).

     During the next couple of days, the small cut starts to heal and there
are no more problems.  We take the dog to class...

     So, back to the present.  The two Labs are running around and a third
puppy arrives, a small terrier.  After a few classes together already,
these three are good friends who like to run around and play.  But that
night, the small terrier must have seemed less playful than usual and soon
wandered over to where the "parents" we standing - near some benches.  Well
naturally the two retrievers weren't going to let that stop them; they
followed the terrier, playing and waggin' their tails with glee.  Getting
any ideas yet?

     At one point, one of the owners points to the terrier (who is all
white) and exclaims "Millie is bleeding!".   Naturally, we all turn to
look.  There's blood on the back of the terrier's neck.  Everyone's first
reaction is that one of the Labs must have nipped the terrier a little too
hard while playing.  After careful inspection, there was no bite but  there
was blood.  I started to feel uneasy.  I grabbed my pup and sure  enough,
the end of his tail was wet - and bleeding.  My  wife and I are  trying to
control him and keep him from everyone.  But he's happy, and playing.  He's
still trying to play; and of course, the tail is going a mile a minute!
People are wiping up blood drops everywhere - floor, walls, their clothes,
and everywhere else.  You couldn't really tell how splattered the people
were since most of us were wearing blue jeans and other dark clothing.
However, the trainer had on a bright yellow sweatsuit.  Is your imagination
going vivid now?  She stood up straight after determining that the terrier
was okay.  I looked at her and looked for a hole to crawl into and hide.
She looked as if someone had taken a paintbrush with red paint on it and
smacked her legs with it, front and back!  She was a sight!  My wife and I
were so embarrassed. There was nothing that we could do; and it wasn't
anybody's fault. The pup must have been wagging his tail and hit it against
something and re-injuring it, opening up the cut.  There was no way we
could stay for the class and we decided to leave before everyone else was
"painted".  There was nothing that we could say or do at that point.  I
wonder if we'll be allowed back next week?! <grin>

     The happy ending to that escapade is we took the puppy to the vet as a
precaution.  It was late evening, so we had to pay for an emergency  visit,
but that was okay.  The vet shaved the tip of his tail while three
assistants held the pup steady - picture a 6-month-old labrador retriever
that weighs 65 pounds!  Nothing serious - a small cut on both sides of the
tail.   Did I mention that the tail started to bleed again as we entered
the animal hospital?  The cut didn't require stitches, but would have to
stop bleeding and heal on its own.  Bandages are useless as the dog would
just chew them off.  So, after being assured that nothing was serious,  an
envelope full of antibiotics (as a precaution), and $65 less in my pocket,
we drove home.   What a night!

     So, it's been a bad week all the way around.  It's supposed to be a
nice weekend, so I think I'll hang around outside and have a few beers!
I've earned a quiet weekend for a change - especially after this past week!

     Let's move from dog tales (or tails!) to Atari tales.  We have a
little bit this week after a drought the past few weeks.

Until next time...

>From Mille Babic:


If your e-mailer application can't automatically break long lines, then
surf to:


POPwatch by Gary Priest is up to v2.50  A swedish RSC and docs made by me
is also available.
Resources from previous versions *will not* work with this version. New
Statistics Window shows how many emails have been sent, retrieved,
rejected, and killed.  Also shows size of HISTORY file by number of
message-id entries.

Writing and checking of HISTORY file can be turned off within General

When sending email's from NEWSie, the signature is now not prefixed with
'--'  See POPWATCH.TXT for more details.

No longer hangs when sending email from NEWSie and appending a signature
file that doesn't end in CRLF.  If no 'To:' field is found within the
header of an incoming email, then POPwatch defaults 'postmaster' as the To:
address.  In practice, this only benefits people who download email in the
NOS format.  In which case, the email is deposited in the postmaster
mailbox.  This will either be postmaster txt or can be overridden by use of
the 'alias' file.

Now automatically checks that you are using the correct version of resource
file.  This is mainly to ensure that people using the non-English resource
files cannot use the wrong one by mistake.
If POPwatch tries to automatically check for new mail, but finds that it is
already connected to the POP3 server, then it chimes the system bell as a
warning because automatic checking can only occur when POPwatch is not
connected to the POP3 server.

Verbose window now has an icon displayed when iconified.  Also no longer
loses the icon for the main iconified window, if the verbose window was
previously iconified.

Now displays 'checking against history file' when downloading initial
headers.  You will find POPwatch at:


Most of my webpages are handmade, by QED.  There's an active QED download
button in some of them, they point you to the official webpage by Christian
Felsch.  If you activate the button you will find the brand new QED v4 10


Infitra is the latest internet application of Merciful from the Netherlands
and is the latest in 'state of the art' programs for the Atari and
compatibles range of computers.  It gives the user a fully featured and
professional email tool until now only found on WINDOWS (c), UNIX, NOVELL
(c) and APPLE (c) platforms.  You can download the limited demo version
from their website, click on the 'DEMO' button of the left menu to get it!
The demo version will send your mail, but will have a fixed signature file
attached to all mail you send The signature file is a blunt advertisement
for Infitra and cannot be switched off.  The other limitations are that the
program won't send attachments and won't list on server.  Infitra is to be
found at:

As written in the previous message, NEWSie is up to v0.86.

My webpage Atari-related homepage:  You can use the symbolic link:

My e-mail address is for Atari-related e-mails and for personal e-mails.

The in the header of this mail is 'course Emailer
can't send mail through a Exim server, but you can use this address to
reply with anyway (It's forwarded).  You can also use

The exact location of the software download page is:

and the ASH download page at: They contains swedish
versions of CAB, Fiffi and Emailer with HTML docs.

A statement: My webpages is as always before, readable with browsers that
*not* or have the frames support disabled.  I always use the <NOFRAMES> tag
in my index-files and always have.  All pictures have the ALT 3D tag with
info if someone disable or can't display pictures.

Best Regards

Mille Babic
Atari Falcon 40 MHz, 12MB RAM, 10GB+540MB HD
ASH MagiC 5 20, jinnee 1.0, CAB 2.6
ASH Fiffi 1 04 & Emailer 1.0

                        Is Usenet Choking on Spam?

ZDNet News (February 20, 1998) - Make tons of money sitting on your couch!
See nude pictures of every conceivable type of person engaging in every
conceivable type of sex act! And did we mention they're nude?

Wander the virtual discussion halls of Usenet these days, and that's the
kind of advertising tainted conversation you're likely to hear.  With
messages on certain newsgroups consisting predominantly of spam, it's easy
to get the feeling that what was a platform for vibrant, intense global
conversation has turned into a giant infomercial for get-rich-quick schemes
and pornography.  Some observers and members of the Usenet community -- one
of the oldest on the Internet -- decry what they fear will be the slow
death of Usenet, noting that the massive proliferation of useless messages
is making some users turn away from the medium.

But others point out that in spite of the drawbacks, the Usenet
conversation, which literally comprises every imaginable topic, is far from
over.  As with e-mail, users have to tune out quite a bit of background
noise to get to what they want to hear. And just as in other forms of
public discourse, the denizens of Usenet are learning that freedom of
speech comes with a price, some users maintain.

Rich Tietjens, a software technician who serves as a moderator for three
newsgroups devoted to Atari computers and electric cars, said that lately
between 85 and 90 percent of articles submitted by users for posting on his
newsgroups are the Usenet equivalent of spam mail -- advertisements for
bulk e-mail marketing products, pornographic Web sites, and the like.
"It's definitely cutting down on the number of groups people follow,"
Tietjens said. In some cases, newsgroups that were once populated by dozens
of regular users have dwindled to near-vacancy, partly in reaction to the
spam onslaught, he said.

He posts only five to 10 new messages per day on his groups, he said.   The newsgroup is a perfect example of the problem: Of 30
messages posted Thursday, just two pertained to the online service. The
rest were solicitations for a variety of dubious-sounding products and
services.  One writer on the alt.culture.usenet newsgroup this week voiced
frustration with a recent influx of obscene messages having nothing to do
with the issues the group was formed to discuss.

"I think that the real purpose of Usenet is just to connect with people and
to hear other views," he wrote. "That purpose is not too well known by all
these people who  post  ads for their porn sites." While at one time such
postings were met with angry responses, "now everybody does it," he wrote.
"It is a shame that such a good thing is lost."  But other observers, such
as Steve Atkins, moderator of two drama and  theater newsgroups, said spam
needs to be kept in perspective.  The majority of newsgroups are home to
serious and thought-provoking conversation, Atkins maintained. "I see
virtually no spam on Usenet," he said. "One or two posts in a thousand,
maybe." The groups he frequents employ a spam filtering technology called
"Spam Hippo" to remove most unwanted messages, and the technology is widely
available to newsgroup moderators, Atkins said.

"In the future, Usenet will continue evolving to remain useful," Atkins
said. "Spam and other annoyances might be dealt with by technical
solutions, social solutions, or a combination of the two."  With non-spam
messages posted to Usenet averaging 350,000 per day, most newsgroups "still
provide their original function of being a place where like-minded people
can gather to ask questions, provide answers, provoke discussions, trigger
heated arguments, flirt, gossip, heckle, and fight," he said.

Unwanted messages provide a particular challenge to Deja News, the company
that operates a Web site devoted to cataloguing the massive Usenet
conversation. (On Deja News, which operates like a search engine, users can
search for Usenet postings on any topic.)  With spam messages on the rise,
company officials are seeking ways to deliver only the most useful content
to users.

"There's definitely been an uptick in the amount of spam out there," said
David Wilson, VP of marketing for Deja News, in Austin, Texas. "The
spammers may be unethical, but they're not dumb. They hit some of the most
popular newsgroups because they know that's where the eyeballs are."

"Usenet can provide incredible value and utility to people, but it's very
scattered," Wilson said. "There are so many points of access and so little
control."  While there's no way to completely block unwanted messages, the
company's new artificial intelligence spam filters are blocking out about
90 percent of the offensive messages from Deja News search results, Wilson

And two weeks ago, the company rolled out a personalized product similar to
those offered on other search engines. With My Deja News, users can get
direct delivery of new messages of interest to them, he said.

Searching for that information is no small feat: Deja News' database holds
more than 300GB of data, some 250 million archived messages, Wilson said.
New messages are numbering 900,000 per day, with the pace of posting
doubling each year.   As its use increases, the challenge for newsgroup
moderators, as well as for Deja News, is to make sure Usenet "doesn't spin
out of control," he said.

                              Gaming Section

"Resident Evil 2"!!
Gaming U.!
"GEX: Enter the Gecko"!
And more!

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

                CAPCOM: Resident Evil 2 -- The Shocks Begin

FEB 24, 1998, M2 Communications - Ahead of its scheduled spring launch in
the UK, Capcom's Resident Evil 2 has shattered sales records in the US and
Japan to become the most successful PlayStation game of all time.  In Japan
the games-buying public went crazy for the eagerly-anticipated sequel. On
January 29th, the day of Resident Evil 2's release, retailers had to open
up two hours early to appease the crowds that had gathered outside.

By the time the dust had settled on the first day, an incredible 1.8
million copies of the game had been sold. This makes Resident Evil 2 easily
the fastest-selling PlayStation game ever launched in Japan. It has left
other landmark titles standing: Final Fantasy VII took four months to hit
the 1.8 million mark whilst Gran Turismo recently shifted 1.4 million units
in its first month on sale.

In the US, meanwhile, 650,000 copies of Resident Evil 2 were sold in the
first weekend of release. Again this is a new record for the territory. It
pulled in revenues of over $19 million in two days, out-performing all
movies released in the US so far, with the exception of Titanic.  The game
will ship in the UK on April 29th and Virgin Interactive, Capcom's
long-term distribution partner, is already preparing for another
record-breaking ship-out, this time in excess of 250,000 in a single
weekend, part of a pan-European roll-out of more than 800,000.   Total
global sales of Resident Evil 2 are expected to rapidly soar past the
world-wide figure of four million achieved by the franchise since the
release of the original in 1996.

Virgin Interactive's deputy managing director Sean Brennan comments: "Our
relationship with Capcom has delivered some notable successes in the past
few years, but Resident Evil 2 will take us into a different ball park. The
incredible success achieved by the title in Japan and US has only increased
pre-release expectations that were already massive. Make no mistake, we
will deliver, with the biggest PlayStation hit ever seen, accompanied by a
suitably immodest sales and marketing offensive that will leave retailers,
rivals and consumers gasping."

        Nintendo-Supported Institute Aims To Build Game Developers

Feb 19, 1998  (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 33) -- Talented game developers
are made, not born, and too many go to Hollywood.  Those appear to be the
messages from the DigiPen Institute of Technology, which officially opened
yesterday its four-year college program that will award Baccalaureate
Degrees of Science in game development. The program will focus on computer
animation and video game programming while emphasizing real-time
interactive simulations.  DigiPen plans to grow its enrollment to 100
students for fall 1998.

Nintendo, Washington Gov. Gary Locke (D) and several industry watchers
support the move. The Institute is located in Redmond, Washington.  This is
"nothing more than a human resources [move] from a forward-looking
company," Fairfield Research analyst Gary Gabelhouse says approvingly,
believing that Microsoft's [MSFT] presence has made it hard for Nintendo to
find skilled programmers in the Seattle area.

It is "a real challenge" to get into DigiPen. It looks like a good farm for
potential Nintendo developers, says DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole,
citing a similar degree program in New Brunswick, Canada. There's a lot of
money to be made by programmers in the video game industry now, he adds.
It isn't clear if graduation ceremonies will include a rendition of the
regal Pomp and Circumstance or theme-music from the NES version of Zelda.

                 DigiPen Opens First Video Game University

REDMOND, WASHINGTON, U.S.A., 1998 FEB 23 (Newsbytes) -- By Sami Menefee,
Newsbytes. DigiPen Institute of Technology has developed a highly focused
curriculum for game-loving students who have an aptitude for dreaming up
new games. As computers become more complex, so do gamer expectations, and
DigiPen figures the ranks of gamers will provide the best new designer
candidates.  The new fully accredited game designing school actually
enrolled its first 40 students last month.

They can opt to receive a degree either as Associate of Science (AS), a
two-year program, or Bachelor of Science (BS), a four-year program. Their
diploma will read "Real Time Interactive Simulation in the World" when they
pick it up at the end of the term.  Jason Chu, registrar for DigiPen, told
Newsbytes: "This fall we will add more students in the same program and
next September, 1999, we will start a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program that
will focus on the artistic and marketing arm of the games industry."

He added: "We plan to add Master's and PhD degrees in the next two to three
years.  "We have been teaching three-dimensional (3-D) computer graphics
for several years now at our Canadian facility. Now video games use more
3-D, so there is a lot of need for 3-D graphics and we need graphics
artists to create the 3-D images."  He added: "The BA degree gives students
who want to specialize in game creation, but not the programming of them,
somewhere to focus their artistic talents," said Chu.

He said that each student must create, design, and implement a game to move
to the next semester, with the games increasing in complexity from simple
puzzles to 3-D network games that can run across different platforms.
"Each level of difficulty will require different skills," said Chu.  Once
all programs are in place, students will choose Science or Arts for their
degree, but will be able to take classes from each area, he said. All
students will get a deep grounding in the appropriate areas for their
specialties, including video-game programming, data structure and
algorithms, image-processing, math, physics, marketing, fine arts and, of
course, mythology.

DigiPen Tech is a Washington state-accredited private school located at
Nintendo of America's corporate headquarters. The giant gaming firm rents
classroom and lab space to the school and gives technical support and
curriculum guidance as needed.  "We are in a 120,000 square foot facility
and are only using 14,000 for our giant lab where the students work,"
commented Chu. "We plan to keep the ratio of student to teacher at ten to
one, so as the student population grows, we will hire more teachers," said
Chu.  Chu said the school has run a two-year program in Vancouver, British
Columbia, Canada since 1994 and has graduated 44 students. He said the
school had two reasons to move south -- about 80 percent of their students
were from the US and school officials wanted "to be closer to Nintendo."
The plan, according to school officials, is to keep enrollments small,
adding about 100 students each year.   Tuition runs $300 per unit. A BS
degree requires 160 units to complete.  An AS degree can be completed with
80 units, said Chu.  DigiPen Institute of Technology has a site on the
World Wide Web at

     Midway Home Entertainment Announces Retail Availability of 'GEX'

CORSICANA, TEXAS (Feb. 24) BUSINESS WIRE - Feb. 24, 1998 - The TV-addicted
wise-cracking Gecko is back!  Midway Home Entertainment Inc. announced
today the retail availability of GEX: Enter the Gecko(TM) for the
PlayStation(R). Developed by Crystal Dynamics and distributed by Midway
Home Entertainment, GEX: Enter the Gecko is now available wherever video
games are sold.  The announcement was made by Paula Cook, director of
Marketing for Midway Home Entertainment.  Utilizing the very latest in 3D
gaming technology, GEX: Enter the Gecko is the hilarious, action-packed
sequel to the popular PlayStation video game, GEX. Cited by the media as
one of the top titles introduced at the 1997 Electronic Entertainment Expo,
GEX: Enter the Gecko is considered one of the hottest properties on the
gaming horizon today.

GEX: Enter the Gecko for the PlayStation features GEX, the hilarious,
TV-addicted, tail-snapping, gravity-defying, wise-cracking gecko. Gamers
get to join the mercilessly madcap mission as GEX, video gaming's most
irreverent gecko, is reluctantly recruited by a secret government agency to
keep his arch rival, Rez, from taking over the country's cable TV industry!
GEX must make his way through more than fifteen levels designed as
sarcastic parodies of popular television and movies.  Full of
tongue-in-cheek references to pop culture and American media, GEX: Enter
the Gecko artfully combines humor, stunning graphics and challenging
gameplay for an unparalleled video gaming experience.

GEX: Enter the Gecko is packed with over 125 unique moves, 3,400 frames of
fluid character animation and additionally enhanced by "turn and talk"
lip-synching.  Sporting shades - he's a wild Secret Agent and Master of
Disguises - GEX is a totally original video game character. GEX's
unforgettable, trademark personality was achieved through the skill of the
talented co-star of the NBC comedy "Working" and HBO comedian Dana Gould,
who provides GEX with a voice and personality incorporating over 500
right-on celebrity impressions and hysterically sharp-witted one-liners.
No pre-rendered cut scenes mar GEX: Enter the Gecko, a superb production
expressing the finest in video game character design and application.

Along the way, all new 360 degree free-roaming 3D game play allows GEX to
explore vast, brilliantly detailed 3D levels, while providing gamers the
unique feeling of total control.  Command GEX to go where YOU want him to
go...have him scale a mountain or traverse the entire length of a starship
for video game action of a lifetime! GEX: Enter the Gecko gives you TOTAL
control in TOTAL 3D! And control is what you'll need to match mind and
muscle in this explosive, killer gecko action... whip-cracking tail
attacks, suction cup paws, flying karate kicks, tongue lashing and
environmental secrets that unlock hidden areas.

According to Cook, "We are thrilled to bring GEX: Enter the Gecko for the
PlayStation.  Within this groundbreaking video game, Crystal Dynamics has
incorporated the most phenomenally advanced 3D engine yet, assuring it's
place in video game history."  Rated K-A (Kids to Adults) by ESRB, GEX:
Enter the Gecko will also be released for gameplay on the Nintendo 64 later
this year.

ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!

                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

Compiled by Joe Mirando

Hidi ho friends and neighbors. It's another beautiful day in my
neighborhood. The temperature today was in the low 50's, and we're supposed
to get more of the same right through the weekend. While I and those around
me are enjoying the unusual weather (50 degrees in Connecticut in February
is quite unusual to say the least), we know that there will probably be a
price to be paid in the near future.

As for all this talk of el nino goes (please excuse my lack of special
characters, but I figured that everyone would know what I was talking
about), there are still some folks in the scientific community that are
intent on hashing out exactly what is and what is not caused by 'the baby'.
This troubles me for one reason... While everyone is involved in the
debate, there is less effort going into discovering exactly what causes
this mid-pacific phenomenon and we can do to to, if not stop it, then at
least forecast it.

And as if all the trouble caused by el nino isn't bad enough, there will be
another event known as 'la nina', el nino's sister, so to speak. La nina is
sort of the pendulum swinging the other way. El nino provides warmer than
normal water over a patch of ocean roughly as wide as the United States. La
nina will be exactly the opposite... a huge patch of colder water. How this
will effect global weather patterns is still being debated, but I think we
can safely say that it WILL effect them.

All of this talk puts me in mind of something that Mark Twain once said:
"Everyone talks about the weather, but no one ever DOES anything about it".
As true now as it was a hundred years  ago.  What does any of this have to
do with Atari computers??  Absolutely nothing... isn't it wonderful? <Grin>

Well, last week we sat in with the folks on Delphi, so this week we'll take
a look at that part of the internet known as the UseNet.

>From the NewsGroup

On the subject of using your ST on the internet, Keith Lever asks
for help with a problem:
     "I have recently signed up with Zetnet and can now wonder the
     WEB with my Atari.  I have had few problems with CAB so far,
     except that if I ever try to access a search engine such as
     Altavista, Yahoo etc, CAB crashes and dies.

     Does this only happen on search engine pages, or on any other
     web pages as well?"

George Crissman tells Keith:
     "If you're looking for a thorough list of search engines to
     test with CAB, allow me to recommend:"

Not really an answer to the question, but a nice tidbit of
information nonetheless. Meanwhile, Dan Ackerman, author of the
CAB overlay file that joins CAB to either STik or STinG, tells us
     "I found a problem with Altavista, if you want to try the
     beta of the next cab.ovl for stik/sting with a fix for this
     grab it from

     I make no guarantees that this won't break some other bit of
     the OVL as I've only had it available to the beta testers for
     around 7 hours now.  The only other note is there are next to
     no docs with it.  So play at your own risk."

John Whalley tells Keith:
     "One possible cause of the problem: CAB doesn't seem to be
     able to handle long URLs (even if the OVL can). If you're
     using a search engine and refine the search etc (so the URL
     gets longer with all the additional search strings etc),
     sooner or later it dies. Old versions used to just crash,
     2.5d (latest English version, AFAIK) suddenly starts writing
     all over the screen with the system font magnified
     dramatically, then it crashes!

     Anyone know if later versions (eg 2.6, 2.7) do this too?"

The author of CAB, Alexander Clauss jumps in and posts:
     "This happens only because CAB writes the URL into info line
     of the window. Unfortunately the AES (of MagiC) does not
     allow such long texts. But instead of truncating the text it
     does overwrite some internal structures. This is why you'll
     see these big fonts. Now CAB truncates the text itself.  In
     my humble opinion, this is a bug in MagiC."

Ah ha. I was wondering why I've never seen this happen on my TT
with Geneva and NeoDesk. I'm sure that Geneva has its own little
problems, so let's not get into a discussion about whether Geneva
or MagiC is the better operating system.

Meanwhile, Brian Van Tilborg posts this about the CAB/MagiC/Search
Engine problem:
     "I don't have this happen off the bat. It will happen after
     a number of searches in a row.  I have learned to follow the
     upper header on the URLs and you can pretty much predict when
     you can be in trouble:-). However you should be able to do a
     search for certain.

     I was somewhat ticked by this however I have been using
     Internet Explorer at the library and it crashed 5 times in
     2.5 hours while doing searches.  At which point I realized I
     have fewer problems with Cab 1.5 <smile>"

Since we're on the subject of the internet, Ronald Hall asks about the
possibility of adding telnet capability to his BBS. Peter Rottengatter, the
author of STinG, asks Ron:
     "What's been requested ? A Telnet client? Or a Telnet
     server? Or the possibility to log into your BBS via Telnet?"

Ron tells Peter:
     "Well, since I live Stateside, a lot of users (even long
     distance in the US) have asked if they can logon via Telnet.
     Is this something that is possible? I'm willing to invest
     time and/or money in upgrading my current hardware/software
     and adding another phone line if necessary...Please let me
     know what I need to do, if you can and thanks again!"

Peter tells Ron:
     "It mainly depends on HOW you want it. If the telnet is
     supposed to look and feel like the BBS over phone, there is
     no way apart from coding the telnet server INTO the BBS
     binary (the program you launch to start up the BBS).

     I have a Telnet server in the works, it's on low priority
     ATM however. If you install that server, and have a permanent
     Internet connection, people can log in at any time across the
     Internet. They'll get a command prompt after login, and they
     can execute commands, which you provide by placing the
     corresponding binaries into certain directories. This way
     you can easily build a telnet based command prompt
     environment for your BBS."

Since we touched on MagiC a while back, let's take a look at a
question from Magnus Kollberg about using boot programs with MagiC:
     "Does MagiC only execute those files found autoexec.bat and
     ignore all other programs even if they are executable e.g.
     have the extension *.PRG?"

Frank Perrey tells Magnus:
     "Yes, until the next coldboot.  If you are talking about the
     AUTO-folder. START-folder APP/PRGs will be executed as
     normal. Funny gimmick, I first didn't see its value but it
     really fine kicking AUTO off its throne;-)

     I found out another good tool to configure boot processes
     still remains Xboot:  if you write f.e. 'bad.prg' into your
     AUTOEXEC.BAT and Xboot changes it into 'bad.prx` it won't be
     booted under MagiC as well, just because 'bad.prg' is not
     found...(ease way to test programs that could hang up system
     and kick'em out before they could do it again)

     And you can give MagiC pathways other than AUTO to find its
     autoprograms, I've got one AUTOMAGX folder with programs
     never needed under TOS or MinT/N-AES

     All I didn't like in the end is its NAME, I patched it in my
     personal Magic.RAM to 'AUTOMAGX.BAT'."

"The Canadian Curmudgeon" asks about the state of the art of Atari
     "Does anyone know what the currently available 'Atari
     Emulators' for use on the Apple platform are ?

     If so - will they run on the new 'GE' series of Apple 'Power
     PC' products - reputedly 'optimised for Mac OS' - and are
     they happy with OS 8 ?"

Mike Freeman answers the question WITH a question:
     "Have you tried the MagicMac Demo available from either the
     ASH website, or Toad's Atari Central website? I know MagicMac
     is rather expensive, but it's VERY fast, and should work on
     PPC and OS8, as far as I know. Download it and give it a try!
     Otherwise, I've heard of one newer emulator, but I don't know
     how good it is, and what it will run on."

Nicholas Bales adds:
     "There's also NoSTalgia, which is PowerPC only. Not sure if
     it runs on a GE system. A Web search could find it."

Daniel Dreibelis tells the curmudgeon:
     "I know that the latest version of MagiCMac is OS-8
     compatible; you could get in touch with Systems Solutions or
     with Computer Direct."

Neil Orton asks about a CD Rom drive for his Falcon:
     "Can anyone tell me if there is any driver software around
     for an IDE CDROM to combine with HD Driver 7's ability to
     control 2 IDE devices?

     Also, as I already have the CDROM drive(PC surplus), would
     the Falcon PSU be able to power the CDROM via a power
     splitter cable from the internal HD power line?

     If these are dumb questions (I've got thousands of 'em!)
     please forgive my ignorance if not, thanks in advance for any

John Kolak tells Neil:
     "The internal HD gets its power from the IDE cable. I don't
     see any way to get a splitter  in unless you use a custom
     splitter off the main power supply cable. Not sure if the CD
     ROM would be too much of a drain, but it seems like a lot to
     ask of the Atari power supply. I remember all the problems
     with the drain the PC Ditto II caused on the power supply."

Dr. Uwe Seimet, the author of HDDriver, tells Neil:
     "The fact that HDDRIVER supports two IDE/EIDE devices
     (master and slave) has no influence at all on the choice of
     an IDE CDROM driver. You simply need a CDROM driver that
     supports your CDROM. HDDRIVER is not involved in this at

Rolf Anders asks a question that many of us who are hanging onto
our Atari computers will be asking in the future:
     "I wonder where it's possible to get a new mouse (or
     trackball) for my mega STe. I saw one at
     named "Beetle Mouse", but how can I order it?"

Mike Freeman tells Rolf:
     "I don't know how much Atari stock Toad still has, but you
     can e-mail them at about the Beetle Mouse.
     Otherwise, pretty much any Atari dealer should be able to
     sell you or order you a mouse. I know Systems For Tomorrow
     has some different styles, too. Go to to see what they have
     and/or get one of their catalogs."

Hallvard Tangeraas tells Rolf:
     "Order one from System Solutions in the UK!!!  I bought one
     from them, and it works great (a LOT better than the "brick"
     that comes from Atari themselves).

     I forgot how much I paid for it, but it wasn't too bad.
     You'll find all the information, email addresses etc. on
     their web page:

     (I think there's a picture of it as well -it looks pretty
     nice and modern).  I don't know anything about the "Beetle
     mouse"... perhaps someone else does."

Greg Evans adds his experiences:
     "I've got a Beetle Mouse and love it!  Very comfortable and
     comes in an assortment of styles too -- mine is a lady bug
     complete with red body and black dots!  Cute!  It's quite
     fast also and you'll never go back to an Atari mouse."

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

                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING

                            EDITORIAL QUICKIES

Food for Thought.

              Has McCarthy been Reincarnated in the form of.
                              Kenneth Starr??

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