ST Report: 17-Apr-98 #1415

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/25/98-11:21:30 AM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 17-Apr-98 #1415
Date: Sat Apr 25 11:21:30 1998

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 April 17, 1998                                                    No.1415

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CPU Industry Report          Apple Denies Imatec Claim      Windows 98 Features
11 States Pursue Microsoft   Is WIRED TIRED?                Good NEWS for Apple
Plus 98 Features             Digital Isn't Forever!         Linux Advocate
SONY PS MLB '99              People Talking                 Classics & Gaming

                                 GTE PLANS BIG ADSL ROLLOUT
                            MS Sets Price of Windows 98 Upgrade
                             Justice, Microsoft Officials Meet

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Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35
Results: 04/11/98: five of six numbers with three 3# matches


>From the Editor's Desk...

Guess whos a Grandpa again. <grin> My son Ralph and his wife
Pattie presented me with a 7lb 7oz beautiful baby boy at around
noon Monday. Mom and Baby are both doing just fine. Oh! Daddy is
doing fine too.

The DOJ is still very busy handing out hankies to the crybabies is
the computing community that cant seem to "best" Microsoft. What
a pity. In the beginning, everyone started off on a level playing
field. Some scoffed at Windows v1.0 saying itll never take hold
and went off in their own directions. Others ("the Johnnie come
latelys") came to be as a result of Windows with all its MS
inspired and generated accessory programs. Netscape comes to mind.
Barksdales Netscape would have no reason to be here had it not
been for windows in the first place. Yet Barksdale wants MS to get
off a piece of the action. Nobody forced Barksdale to come out
with a Web Browser that supports Windows. Why must MS now "give"
away its hard earned position of superiority? If I were Gates/MS
Id be rather arrogant if not downright nasty about the whole

One must concede the fact that Microsoft did make it ALL happen
from the early days of MS-DOS till today. If none of MSs efforts
had borne fruits where would we all be today? Slogging around in
CP/M and Cobal? Struggling with Digitals rubber band GUI? I know
its a bad joke but it kinda rings true. The sore losers in the
industry are trying everything in their power to force MS to give
up ground and/or to sort of "start over" whilst allowing the
criers more leeway to eat MSs lunch so to speak. What about the
MS stockholders? Theyve all of them invested their hard earned
money know the gamble they faced. They WON why should they be
forced, directly or indirectly, to give up their earnings because
Barksdale and friends are crying the blues? Hey.. Jim, this is the
FREE ENTERPRISE System. "You run what you brung". Trying crying
your way to the winners circle at any NHRA AA Fuel event like at
Gainesville FL. The judges will laugh you right into the Glades.
Netscape is on the slide. So now you wish that MS should use its
resources and surrender market position to bolster poor leadership
and slipshod marketing on Netscapes and others part?

You dont see King Kahn crying the blues or The good Doc at Corel
for that matter. They are real, true grit players in the Free
Enterprise marketplace. Corel has taken a few serious hits in the
market as has Phillippes efforts yet they come back fighting just
as hard as before and I might add, winning a few rounds too. But
they do it the right way by EARNING their winnings!! Not crying to
the DOJ and having a "bone thrown" to them.



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                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

              Justice, Microsoft Officials Meet

Top Justice Department trustbusters met Microsoft lawyers
and executives as the government pondered whether to bring
new, broader charges against the software giant. "It's not
unusual to meet with parties during the course of a
negotiation," a Justice Department spokesman said after the
3-1/2-hour meeting ended. He had no comment on the
meeting's substance. Microsoft general counsel William
Neukom entered and left the Department of Justice by car
through an auto entrance, avoiding reporters and camera
crews who were waiting outside.

We felt it was an extremely useful exchange of information
on both sides," said Mark Murray from Microsoft's
headquarters in Redmond, Wash. "I just don't think it's
appropriate to comment on the specific details of the
meeting." Microsoft, which had sought the meeting, met with
Assistant Attorney General Joel Klein and other top
antitrust officials to open a high-level dialogue when the
company is under increasing scrutiny by state and federal
law enforcement for alleged anti-competitive practices.

Some Justice Department staff lawyers say they believe the
federal government now has enough evidence to file charges
against Microsoft. In an interview this week in Washington
state, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Bob Herbold said
the company was in daily contact with federal antitrust
authorities and was providing information to state
investigators. Eleven states are preparing to file
antitrust charges against Microsoft, sources close to the
investigation have said. They said the states would accuse
Microsoft of using its dominance over computer operating
systems to extend its control to related areas, such as the
Internet. California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, Texas
and Wisconsin are involved in the case and others may join,
a source said.

In the past, Microsoft has reached agreements with
authorities when it faced a serious court challenge. For
example in January the company faced what legal experts
said was the certainty of a contempt citation from U.S.
District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. On the
morning of the hearing, Microsoft and the government
however announced they had reached an agreement that
averted the potential contempt citation. Jackson is hearing
government allegations that Microsoft violated a 1995
consent decree that was supposed to help ease the way for
increased software competition.

The Justice Department has argued Microsoft defied the
decree and competed unfairly against Netscape
Communications in the market for browsers, software needed
to look at the Internet's Web. Microsoft has asked an
appellate court to throw out the government's charges,
arguing that it was exercising a right under the decree to
integrate a Web browser into its operating system. The
expedited appeal will be argued before a three-judge panel
of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit on April 21. On Thursday, a day before the
talks with the Justice Department, Microsoft announced it
had revised contracts with about two dozen media and
entertainment companies to eliminate exclusivity

Under the contracts, content providers featured on the
"Channel Bar" of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser were
required to promote the Microsoft browser exclusively on
their main Internet pages. The contract provisions drew the
attention of Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah last month
at a hearing where he grilled Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates
on the issue. At the time, the company said that it would
get rid of the problem.

           MS Appeals to Public With Newspaper Ads

A day before Microsoft Corp. is set to meet with government
antitrust watchdogs to discuss its legal woes, the software
behemoth took its case to the public with ads in five major
U.S. newspapers.

"We believe the marketplace should determine what
innovations consumers want. At Microsoft, the freedom to
innovate for our customers is more than a goal; it is a
principle worth standing up for," the company states in
quarter-page ads in The Washington Post, The Washington
Times, The New York Times, The Seattle Times and The
Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Lawyers for Microsoft and the
Department of Justice are set to meet Friday to discuss an
upcoming federal appeals court hearing on the government's
antitrust case against the company. Although the meeting is
expected to address the DOJ's October suit over Microsoft's
Internet Explorer browser bundling with its Windows 95
operating system, also looming on the horizon is a possible
legal challenge involving the Windows 95 successor, Windows
98, which is set for a June 25 release.

Meanwhile, a dozen state attorneys general are also probing
the software giant's business practices.

         11 States Readying Action Against Microsoft

Eleven states were preparing Thursday to file antitrust
charges against Microsoft Corp. this month, increasing
pressure on the federal government to take action against
the software giant. Sources close to the investigations
said the states would bring the kind of broad, new charges
against the Redmond, Wash., company that the Justice
Department has been investigating for months. The sources
said the states would accuse Microsoft of using its
dominance over computer operating systems to extend its
control to related areas, such as the Internet.

    Bugs in Netscape Communicator Code Slow New Products

CMP Techweb reported that new offerings based on the newly
available Netscape Communicator 5.0 source code are getting
held up in production as developers struggle to make sense
of the half-baked freeware. Netscape had new business in
mind when it decided to ship Communicator code for free,
said Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale. But Bigfoot CEO Jim
Hoffman said his company, which had planned a new product
around the code, was in for some surprises. Bigfoot is
creating an Internet front end using the Netscape
Communicator source code the company released free last
week, but the job is tougher than the New York-based
company thought it would be. Reaction from other developers
to the free release of the Communicator source code has
been mixed, with many complaints that the code isn't ready
for prime time.

            Windows Terminals About To Catch Fire

The Spring Comdex computer show, which is to be held in
Chicago starting April 20, will be the unofficial
coming-out party for technology from software giant
Microsoft Corp. that enables underpowered personal
computers to control Windows-based applications running on
a sever.

In addition to providing a venue for a demonstration of
Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Terminal Server, which
enables the Windows NT operating system to distribute
server-based applications to multiple users, some analysts
and industry insiders said the event will also serve as an
occasion to crown Microsoft's victory over the Java-based
network computer (NC) movement.

"Our position is that Microsoft will win this game," said
Michael Kantrowitz, executive vice president of Neoware
Systems Inc., which makes a computing device, a so-called
Windows-based terminal, designed to run Windows
applications stored on a server. "Companies don't want to
replace their Windows applications and rewrite them in
Java. They want to use what they already have." Microsoft
first proposed its server-centric approach to personal
computing last year, largely as a defensive move to protect
the dominance of the Windows operating system in corporate
environments. Feeling threatened by the growing support
behind the network computer, an inexpensive computing
device that runs Java applications downloaded from powerful
servers, Microsoft announced it would build a multiuser
version of Windows NT that would distribute Windows
applications to scaled-down PCs.

Microsoft usurped much of the NC's momentum by providing
corporations with the means to reduce the cost and
complexity of routine maintenance by placing the bulk of
processing power on centralized servers. The key to the
projected success of Windows terminals, however, said
Eileen O'Brien, an analyst at International Data Corp., is
that it enables enterprises to reap the rewards of the
network computing model without giving up access to their
Windows applications. The sale of hardware designed to run
distributed Windows applications is expected to start
slowly, with only 302,000 terminals sold to corporations in
1998, according to O'Brien. By the middle of the year,
however, when Microsoft is expected to release the
commercial version of its Windows Terminal Server product,
O'Brien said the sale of Windows terminals should pick up,
reaching more than 5 million units in the year 2002.

Although O'Brien said she believes the Windows terminal
market will account for only about 10 percent of personal
computers sold to enterprises, others think penetration
percentages could be twice that. Chad Gibbons, product
manager at Windows terminal maker Boundless Technologies
Inc., said that in addition to being a replacement device
for mainframe terminals, Windows terminals will be deployed
as substitutes for full-blown personal computers that are
primarily used for productivity applications, such as a
word processor or a spreadsheet program.

Boundless, much like Neoware, Wyse Technologies Inc. and
other terminal makers, has diverted plans to build
Java-only devices to concentrate on Windows terminals,
which start at about $250 and should be unveiled at the
Spring Comdex show. Despite the apparent momentum around
the Windows terminal market, O'Brien said several questions
have to be answered before enterprises are likely to adopt
the technology. John Frederiksen, group product manager for
Windows Terminal Server, said pricing has yet to be set but
that it will not cost customers more to run Windows
applications from a terminal than it does from a standard

         Firm Sues Digital Over Alta Vista Trademark

Alta Vista, a British media concern, said on Wednesday that
it filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against computer
giant Digital Equipment over Digital's use of "Alta Vista"
for its Internet search engine. In the case filed in U.S.
District Court in Washington, the suit alleges that
Digital's use of Alta Vista for an increasing array of
software infringes on Alta Vista Corp.'s trademark in the
United States. The suit seeks an injunction barring
Digital's use of the mark and a court order canceling
Digital's federal trademark registrations, the company said
in a statement. A Digital spokesman said the company had
not yet received the lawsuit and will respond accordingly
after it gets the complaint.

      Microsoft to Modify 'PalmPC' Name, Bowing to 3Com

Microsoft Corp. said it agreed to resolve a brand-name
dispute with 3Com Corp. and will modify its use of the word
"Palm" in marketing its handheld computers. In a rare
retreat, Microsoft will no longer refer to its class of
tiny computers as "PalmPCs." Instead, its worldwide
marketing will use "Palm-size PCs." In return, 3Com, which
sells the popular PalmPilot handheld computer, agreed not
to pursue any lawsuits. Microsoft, the world's biggest
personal computer software company, rarely backs down from
lawsuits or marketing disputes. The Redmond, Wash., company
said it agreed to resolve the issue because of its "strong,
long standing business relationship" with 3Com, the world's
second-biggest computer networking equipment vendor.

              Apple Denies Imatec Patent Claim

Apple Computer has denied the allegations of the lawsuit
filed against it by Iamtec and said it intends to
vigorously defend itself. The lawsuit, filed February 13 in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York, contends that Apple's ColorSync products infringe on
Imatec's patents related to color calibration of computer
equipment. In response, Apple denied the infringement
claims and has counterclaimed to invalidate the Imatec
patents. Apple said that products which used the color
calibration in question were on the market in the U.S. in
1985. Apple said that using these techniques, as well as
other techniques which were publicly available before the
filing of the Imatec patents, it developed ColorSync in

          Judge's Ruling Could Bring Domain Refunds

Registrants of Internet domain names soon could get part of
their money back, thanks to a federal court ruling this
week. Federal District Court Judge Thomas Hogan ruled that
the $50 million collected for the so-called "Intellectual
Infrastructure" fund -- which is designed to go toward Web
improvements -- is an illegal tax because the government
never approved it. Network Solutions Inc. (NSOL), the
company that collects funds and registers domain names
including .org and .com, already had stopped collecting the
fees after a judge issued a preliminary injunction in
prohibiting the company from charging any more fees. That
brought the cost of registering domain names down to $35
from $50 per year. Bill Bode, a lawyer representing domain
name registrants who sued NSI in October, said he was
pleased with the outcome.

"It was a very positive ruling," said Bode, adding that
he's been getting lots of calls from domain name
registrants. "They want to know when they'll get their
money," he said. "I tell them 'soon.' "

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are still seeking class action
status, which would mean that all domain name registrants
would automatically receive refunds. The judge has yet to
rule on that issue and what will actually become of the
money in the fund. NSI's positive spin Judge Hogan threw
out claims that all fees collected by NSI were excessive
because they exceeded the company's actual costs. NSI
officials put a positive spin on that ruling.

"This decision amounts to business as usual for Network
Solutions by affirming that our position as the exclusive
registrar of domain names in .com, .net, .org and .edu is
legally constituted and that NSI can charge a market rate
for providing its services," said NSI CEO Gabe Battista in
a statement. The judge also rejected claims that NSI
amounted to an illegal monopoly.

      FCC Report Keeps Internet Mostly Free of Charges

An FCC report issued Friday on who should subsidize
telephone service for the poor and remote areas has largely
spared the Internet from charges. The FCC said services
that allowed customers to make callsover the Internet using
a regular telephone handset appeared to fall under the
definition of telecommunications services that should
contribute to universal service charges. But the agency
stopped short of decision saying it wanted to see more
information on individual Internet telephone offerings. If
charges are eventually levied, it would be a blow to firms
like Qwest Communications International Inc. and IDT Corp.,
which want to offer Internet long-distance service at rates
as low as 5 cents per minute. AT&T Corp. has also announced
plans to offer a similar service.

        Hackers Improve Vintage High-tech Sound Toys

You know you've tapped a nerve when your best innovations
come from enthusiastic fans hacking your product. What
began as a small project by the team of musician-engineers
at Swedish company Propellerheads ( to faithfully resurrect two
early '80s electronic instruments using software emulation
has blossomed into creative subculture on the Web.

Every new program feature on ReBirth 2.0, to be released in
June, reflects on its users in such a way that it becomes
hard to tell which came first: the software or the
community. "I've been working with synths since 1979," says
Ernst Nathorst-Boos, one of ReBirth's five creators. Among
the other engineers, he says, "Peter Jubel has been
building his own hardware designs and Marcus Zetterquist
has a nice little collection of his own. This is a program
we all wanted and needed for ourselves."

ReBirth, when installed on a computer, emulates the robust
Roland TR-808 drum machine running in tandem with two
rubbery TB-303 bass machines. The new release throws
another drum simulation, of the Roland TR-909, into the
mix. Introduced in 1981, the plastic Roland boxes that
ReBirth software emulates were directly responsible for the
wildfire growth of techno and rap music during the '80s.
Because Roland wanted to make machines that sounded like
conventional pop-music rhythm sections -- and were probably
not very concerned with catering to musical undergrounds --
the less-than-realistic-sounding line of drum machines was
killed off. Though the original machines retailed for a
couple hundred dollars apiece, they now fetch more than
$2000 per box from collectors.

Today, users are attracted by the "squidgy acid noise" of
ReBirth, and use the low-cost software in conjunction with
other cheap gear to produce high-quality dance tracks. (A
careful ear will catch ReBirth's rattlingon recent CDs by
Daft Punk, Nine Inch Nails, and Motley Crue.)

Nathorst-Boos says ReBirth was designed with the Internet
in mind, and points to countless Web and FTP sites, chats,
and at least one mailing list. ReBirthers like Germany's DJ
Mouse and England's Stuart C-Nation, saythey got their
start in the enthusiastic Web-based Amiga/PC tracker
culture, and they now use ReBirth to swap 50K song files
with a global pool of collaborators. Cherry Coke and
Texas-based record label Bionic Teknologies have fueled the
fire by sponsoring ReBirth song design contests.

Online users also seem inspired to hack ReBirth, by
changing its sound resources and creating slick new visual
interfaces. Baltimore-based musician scaNNer primarily
creates Jungle or Drum & Bassmusic, but didn't really like
the 808 sounds ReBirth makes. So he added some familiar
Jungle sounds as well as his own musical samples to the
ReBirth engine, and released the project as "Wobble." "I
think the driving force behind Wobble was just the ability
to do it," scaNNer says.

Propellerheads, for its part, is co-opting hackers like
scaNNer by making ReBirth easy to alter, and including
several of the most impressive "Mods," or modifications, on
its Web site and the ReBirth 2.0 CD-ROM. Besides Wobble,
the impressive amateur overhauls now distributed on the
official Web site include Pitch Black Edition, the
Metallicon, and Alien Birth. "This great subculture lives
its life regardless of what we do here in the office," says

Even before ReBirth uttered its first squawk, there were
other software synthesizers inspired by early machines like
the 303, such as Rubber Duck, created by a group of
university students called D-Lusion
(, and seq-303, by Techno Toys . Boris Diebold, R&D manager for
D-Lusion, insists its work hasn't been affected by ReBirth:
"Where they tried, and succeeded, in emulating the real 303
sound to the best, we focused on new, innovative sounds."

Now, not only synth fans are writing 303 shareware, but
Roland itself is simulating 808/303 sounds with its
retro-friendly hardware Groove Box. The knob has turned
full circle, and the Propellerheads couldn't be happier.
"It turned out we did something that first of all many
people thought was impossible," says Nathorst-Boos, "and
secondly attracted a huge range of people, from pros to
those with only a casual interest in music."

     Seiko Instruments Says to Sell First Wristwatch PC

Seiko Instruments Inc. said Wednesday it would begin
selling wristwatch personal computers in Japan on June 10 -
the world's first wearable PC.A company statement said the
new watch, called the Ruputer, can download data that
includes text and pictures from other personal computers.
The wristwatch PCs will be sold with three software
applications that run on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95
operating system, it said. Watches come equipped with a
16-bit central processing unit and 128 kilobytes of main
memory, it said.

         GTE To Offer Faster Internet Access (ADSL)

GTE today said it will offer high-speed Internet access up
to 50 times faster than conventional modems to consumers
and businesses beginning in June. The company said its
unit, GTE Network Services, will offer network-based
asymmetric digital subscriber line service in about 300
central offices in 16 states. The plan is subject to
regulatory approval, the company noted in a statement. The
company said it plans to expand this service to no less
than 30 additional markets in the second half of 1998.

This campaign "helps enable GTE to offer end-to-end
Internet solutions on a broader scale, and is in keeping
with the company's overall goal to become a national
provider of integrated telecommunications services," the
company said. The new service will provide continuous
Internet access in place of traditional dial-up modem
connections, the release said. "Consumers can
simultaneously surf the World Wide Web and place telephone
calls over the same line," the company said. GTE said it
will offer customers monthly and multi-year plans as well
as volume discounts. The monthly target price range is $30
to $250, excluding certain charges, such as an installation
fee, Internet service charges, and modem leases, the
company noted.

               Intel to Demo PII Possibilities

Intel Corp.'s latest Pentium II processors are expected to
usher in an era of improved business application
performance. At this week's launch in San Francisco of the
350MHz and 400MHz Pentium II chips, formerly code-named
Deschutes, Intel will demonstrate systems running CPU- and
I/O-intensive applications such as communications, file
compression and decompression, and virus scanning and

At the heart of the performance boost is Intel's first
100MHz bus, which speeds connections to such components as
graphics, memory and I/O. While automatic file compression,
for example, is possible today through software such as
Nico Mak Computing Inc.'s WinZip 6.3, Intel claims existing
hardware has not been robust enough to support those
capabilities. "There are still sizable delays in just
sending e-mail across the network, but [the performance] of
this architecture lets you leave the file compression
switch always turned on so every file is automatically
compressed and decompressed," said Will Swope, vice
president of marketing at Intel, in Santa Clara, Calif.

Intel officials declined to discuss systems costs or
relative performance, but independent channel sources said
the price/performance of the new computers will be worth
the upgrade. Still, in an era of dirt-cheap PCs, one of
Intel's biggest challenges will be to justify the need for
more processing power on the corporate desktop.

                  Intel to Launch New Chips

In one of its biggest product launches this year, Intel
Corp. Wednesday will launch its belated entry to the
booming sub-$1,000 PC market, and its fastest yet Pentium
II chips for the high end of the market. Intel said
hundreds of computer makers worldwide are developing PCs
around its new chips. But analysts said Intel's entry to
the low-cost market, the first in its Celeron line, will
not have the typical sweeping PC maker support and rivals
are already attacking the chip and reports on its
performance. To counter Intel, competitor National
Semiconductor Corp. will launch a new 300-megahertz version
of its Intel-compatible chip family, called the M II 300,
priced at about $180 in volume quantities of 1,000,
available in May.

      Adobe, Netscape, IBM Push New Web Imaging Format

Adobe, Netscape, and IBM say they have the format to
popularize vector graphics on the Web  the Precision
Graphics Markup Language, or PGML. The companies have
pitched the language to the World Wide Web Consortium as an
open specification for vector graphics. Rather than the
pixel-by-pixel definition of today's Web graphics standards
-- the GIF and JPEG formats -- vector graphics use concise
mathematical expressions to describe shapes, lines, and
even animated positions. Vector formats are typically more
efficient than bitmapped formats at handling special
graphics tricks on a Web page, such as animated letters
dropping into place in a sentence.

The current front-runner among vector formats is Flash,
Macromedia's proprietary technology for rendering graphics
in browsers. But the trio of companies say PGML better
satisfies the Web's scalable, lightweight vector demands
while giving graphic designers better precision over fonts,
color, layout, and compositing. It describes a graphic as a
collection of graphical objects -- path objects, shape
objects, image objects, and text objects.

In addition to using an imaging model similar to Adobe's
PostScript language and Portable Document Format, PGML is
built around the vaunted extensible markup language (XML).
Comparing it to Flash, Adobe's director of Web authoring
products emphasized this XML basis for the language. "Flash
is more of a binary kind of format, and not as easily
readable," said Ted Simonides. "PGML is controllable
through XML -- a future direction we expect to be more
widely supported."

       Macromedia Unveils New Flash Animation Products

Macromedia Inc., expanding its strategy to make more money
from Internet-related software products, will unveil new
versions of its Flash animation design program Tuesday and
announce plans to make Flash an Internet animation
standard. Macromedia, a maker of software for graphic
artists and Web page designers, also said it would make the
file format behind its Flash animation software open to
other software companies, to encourage them to base new
products on its technology. The moves could make the San
Francisco software company more influential in setting
Internet standards and could generate a significant amount
of new revenue, the company and analysts said.

       New Software Will Be Able to Grade Essay Papers

Bleary-eyed professors may soon find a way to cut down on
the time devoted to test papers with the introduction of a
computer program that can grade essays as well as people
do. "It's not for (grading) grammar or style, but it can be
used for exams in anatomy, history or psychology," said
Professor Thomas Landauer, one of the software developers
who has worked at Bell Laboratories and began working on
Intelligent Essay Assessor 10 years ago. The software uses
mathematical analysis to measure the quality of knowledge
expressed in essays.

         Microsoft Sets Price of Windows 98 Upgrade

Microsoft's Windows 98 operating system upgrade will be
released June 25 in retail outlets for sale at a suggested
price of $109, an executive of the software giant said.
Microsoft officially will announce the release date and
price today, although the June 25 date has been circulating
for weeks and at least one Internet-based retailer began
taking orders last month at about $95 a copy.

After discounting, the upgrade probably will be sold in
most stores for $89 to $100, Rob Bennett, group product
manager, said. Federal and state regulators examining the
company's business practices still could try to block
release of the product, but time is running out. Completed
software code is scheduled to be shipped to computer
manufacturers by mid-May, in time to allow them to get at
least some new machines with Windows 98 preloaded onto
store shelves by the June 25 release date.

Last week, Microsoft executives met with antitrust
regulators at the Justice Department in Washington to
discuss the continuing federal investigation, which in part
has focused on Windows 98 and its integration of the
company's Internet browsing technology. The Justice
Department contends Microsoft's use of its effective
monopoly in the computer operating system market to boost
its share of the browser market over rival Netscape
Communications is a violation of Microsoft's 1995 agreement
settling antitrust charges.

In January, Microsoft agreed to comply with a court order
by giving computer manufacturers the right to install
Windows 95 without the Internet Explorer browser icon on
the computer desktop. While Microsoft is cranking up its
impressive marketing machine to tout the benefits of
Windows 98, publicity surrounding the launch is unlikely to
approach the near-frenzy that accompanied the release of
Windows 95 three years ago.

"It's a different product, and it's also a different market
we're introducing it into," Bennett said. "It's not going
to be Windows 95." Windows 98 likely will quickly become
the standard operating system for new personal computers,
but company executives have tried to limit expectations for
how many of the nearly 120 million Windows 95 users will be
willing to invest the time and money needed to upgrade. In
addition to tighter integration of the Internet browser
with the operating system, Windows 98 adds support for some
of the latest hardware, including DVD disks, television and
the universal serial bus for peripheral devices. The new
system also offers "a lot of fixes and improvements" over
Windows 95, including faster application startup and
computer shutdown.

Windows 98 requires a minimum of a 486-class computer with
16 megabytes of random access memory and 195 megabytes of
free hard disk space for the typical installation, compared
with 120 megabytes for Windows 95, Bennett said. The system
is in the final stages of testing by 100,000 end users,
including 70,000 ordinary consumers who paid about $30 each
to get a preview of the product.

      Internet's 'Spam King' Recants But Some Doubt Him

"The Spam King," one of the most notorious junk e-mailers
on the Internet, says he has abdicated his throne and
promises never to sin again. But not everyone believes him.
Sanford Wallace, 29-year-old president of Cyber Promotions
Inc., abruptly announced his decision to a legion of
long-time adversaries who frequent a news group dedicated
to fighting bulk e-mail promotions. The term "spamming" was
derived from a "Monty Python" sketch in which a waitress
offers diners a choice of "spam, spam, spam, spam and
spam." Wallace once boasted his Philadelphia-based firm was
sending out 25 million promotional e-mails daily on behalf
of himself and his clients.

   U.S. Commerce Secretary Says Encryption Policy Failing

The Clinton administration's internal battle over
regulating data scrambling technology burst into the open
Wednesday as a top official conceded the current policy on
computer encryption was failing. Commerce Secretary William
Daley noted the administration has been unable to put in
place even a modest easing, approved by President Clinton
in 1996, of tight export limits on encryption. Encryption
products, which scramble computerized information and
render it unreadable without a password, have become an
increasingly critical means of securing global
communications and Internet commerce.

Microsoft Announces Windows 98 Is Scheduled to Be Available
on June 25

  Excitement for Windows 98 Building Among PC Enthusiasts


REDMOND, Wash. - Microsoft Corp. today announced that
customer anticipation is high for the upcoming release of
the Microsoft+ Windows+ 98 operating system, scheduled to
be available worldwide on June 25, 1998. In addition, a
recent consumer-event survey revealed that 95 percent of
those surveyed plan to upgrade. Windows 98 will be
available simultaneously to customers in stores and on new
PCs from leading manufacturers.

"Windows 98 is catching fire among the PC enthusiasts,"
said Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing, personal business
systems group at Microsoft. "The beauty of Windows 98 is
that it runs applications faster and easier than Windows
95, while unlocking a whole new range of hardware devices
and entertainment capabilities for consumers."

Customer Excitement Builds

As the launch of Windows 98 approaches, consumer
anticipation continues to grow - as evidenced by the
response to recent programs such as the quarterly Microsoft
eXtreme live satellite broadcast. The event, which
showcased Windows 98 in 45 theaters across the United
States and Canada, was sold out with approximately 40,000
enthusiasts pre-registering to attend. Survey results from
the event showed overwhelming support for the forthcoming
product, with over 95 percent of attendees announcing their
plans to upgrade to Windows 98. In addition, 97 percent of
attendees reported they would recommend Windows 98 to their
friends and family.

Over 150,000 eager consumers worldwide are participating in
Microsoft's Consumer Beta Preview Program, which offers
customers an opportunity to "test drive" the Beta 3 version
of the product before the final release.

A recent independent survey by Windows Magazine found that
62 percent of users of Windows who plan to upgrade to
Windows 98 will do so within the first six months after the
launch of the product, while 87 percent said they will do
so within the first year. This compares to 68 percent of
users who said they would upgrade to Windows 95 in the
first year. Users cited the product's increased
functionality and improved performance as key criteria for
their decision.

Windows 98 Works Better, Plays Better

Windows 98 builds on the breakthrough features of Windows
95 by improving performance, reliability and ease of use,
as well as unlocking an exciting new range of PC hardware
and entertainment capabilities.

In particular, Windows 98 offers the following key consumer

Improved performance and reliability. With Windows 98,
Microsoft has focused on improving the key areas that keep
users waiting on their PCs today, including opening
applications, which averages 36 percent faster, accessing
the Internet, viewing graphics and shutting down the PC,
which is up to two to five times quicker than with Windows
95. Windows 98 dramatically improves performance in these
areas so users can spend more time enjoying their PC and
the Internet. In addition, Windows provides users an
average of 28 percent more disk space through more
efficient storage of data on the hard drive.

Simplified navigation, help and Internet access. Windows 98
improves the key areas where PCs typically present users
with difficulties: navigating and locating information,
finding help when encountering a problem, and accessing the
Internet. The enhanced user interface of Windows 98 makes
use of key Internet Explorer technologies to unify and
simplify the desktop, making it quick and easy for users to
navigate information, whether it resides on their PC or the
Internet. Accessing help also becomes easier with the new
Web-based online help system that provides easy-to-access
information when encountering problems, enabling simplified
searching for information. Additionally, Windows Update, a
centralized Web-based resource site, allows registered
users to keep their PCs running optimally by providing the
latest drivers and system updates, ensuring their PCs are
always tuned and updated. (Web-based online help and
Windows Update require Internet access, which may require a
separate fee through a service provider).

A new range of PC hardware and entertainment capabilities.
Just as Windows 95 enabled a range of new 32-bit software
applications, Windows 98 ushers in a whole new range of
hardware and entertainment functionality. Now, not only do
games run better on Windows 98-based PCs than on
traditional game console devices, but Windows 98 includes
native support for universal serial bus (USB), which makes
using additional hardware devices as easy as plugging in a
toaster. In addition, Windows 98 provides DVD and
television broadcast capabilities, allowing a PC with a TV
tuner card to seamlessly receive and display television and
other data distributed over broadcast networks (reception
depends on the availability of broadcast sources in a given

Estimated retail pricing for the upgrade version for users
of Windows 95 and Windows 3.1 is $109 (U.S.).

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide
leader in software for personal computers. The company
offers a wide range of products and services for business
and personal use, each designed with the mission of making
it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage
of the full power of personal computing every day.

Source: National Software Testing Laboratory (NSTL),
December 1997. Results based on differences in application
load times on identical hardware systems running Windows 98
vs. Windows 95. Systems with Windows 98 used the FAT32 file
system and were optimized with the Windows 98 Maintenance
Wizard. These results are averages obtained from launching
multiple applications on a variety of PCs, with processors
ranging from 486/66MHz to Pentium 200 MMX, with 32 MB of
RAM. Your own results will vary depending on your system
configuration. Best results are obtained with faster
processors and more RAM.

Results based on a test of 200 users' hard drives. This
test calculated the space to be gained by converting from
FAT16 to FAT32. To convert to FAT32 you need a 512MB or
larger hard drive partition. Actual experience will vary
depending on hard drive partition size and number of files
on your system. Hard drive partitions in excess of 1 GB
and/or a large number of files yield best results.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or
trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or
other countries. Other product and company names herein may
be trademarks of their respective owners.

Windows 98 Beta 3 Release - Feature Overview

           New Feature                   Description


         Integrated        With the Integrated Internet Shell
         Internet Shell    included with Windows 98 Beta 3,
                           Internet access becomes a seamless part
                           of the user interface. Users will no
                           longer have to learn multiple
                           applicationsone to look at their local
                           information, perhaps another to look at
                           their network, and unquestionably
                           another to use the Internet or
                           intranet. With the Integrated Internet
                           Shell, Windows 98 Beta 3 unifies this
                           process into one utility to universally
                           view local, network, intranet, and
                           Internet data, so you can get to the
                           information you need faster and easier.

         Advanced          Windows 98 Beta 3 provides the easiest,
         Internet          fastest, and most entertaining way to
         Browsing          browse the Web. This is done via:
                              * Advanced browsing capabilities
                                such as AutoComplete, enhanced Web
                                searching, improved favorites,
                                navigation history on the
                                Forward/Back buttons, and improved
                              * Support for all major Internet
                                standards including HTML, Java,
                                ActiveX, JavaScript, Visual
                                Basic. Scripting, and major
                                security standards.
                              * Improved performance with Dynamic
                                HTML, a just-in-time Java
                                compiler, and basic code "tuning."

         Personalized      When users are asked the biggest
         Internet          problem they have with the World Wide
         Information       Web, the number one response is getting
         Delivery          the information they need. Windows 98
                           Beta 3 addresses this problem by
                           providing a mechanism to automatically
                           select and schedule downloads of the
                           information you care about. This
                           enables you to see what has changed on
                           a Web site without physically visiting
                           the site and even allows you to view
                           the site when you are not connected to
                           the Web.

         Suite of Tools    Windows 98 Beta 3 also contains rich
         for Internet      tools for online communication
         Communication     including:

                              * Outlook Express, a full featured
                                e-mail and news reading client.
                              * Microsoft NetMeeting, a complete
                                Internet conferencing solution
                                providing standards-based audio,
                                data, and video conferencing
                              * Personal Web Server (and the Web
                                Publishing Wizard), which provides
                                an easy way to publish Web pages
                                on intranets or the Internet.
                              * Microsoft FrontPad is a WYSIWYG
                                HTML editor based on the editing
                                tools in Microsoft FrontPage. 97,
                                the award-winning, full-featured
                                Web authoring and management tool.
                              * Microsoft NetShow is a platform
                                for streaming multimedia over
                                networks that range from low
                                bandwidth dial-up Internet
                                connections to high bandwidth
                                switched local area networks. From
                                simple audio to sophisticated
                                interactive Web-based
                                applications, companies use
                                NetShow to offer new streaming
                                content for applications such as
                                training, corporate
                                communications, entertainment, and
                                advertising to users all over the
                                world. The NetShow player is
                                installed with Windows 98.

         Windows           The Windows Update Web Site is an
         UpdateIncludes   extension to Windows 98. It is a new,
         the Update        centralized Web-based resource site
         Manager           that allows registered Windows 98 users
                           to get more out of their PC. Windows
                           Update keeps users systems tuned and
                           up-to-date by providing easy access to
                           the latest drivers and operating system
                           files on an on-going basis. Windows
                           Update also makes computing easier by
                           providing product assistance with
                           up-to-date information and answers to
                           users "how-do-I-do" and "how-do-I-fix"

         Dial-Up           The Dial-Up Networking included with
         Networking        Windows 98 Beta 3 has been updated to
         Improvements      support: Dial-up scripting (which can
         (Including        automate the process of connecting to
         Multilink         bulletin boards and online services);
         Channel           Dial-Up Networking user interface
         Aggregation)      enhancements to simplify setting up and
                           using dial-up connections; and support
                           for Multilink Channel Aggregation which
                           enables users to combine all available
                           dial-up lines to achieve higher
                           transfer speeds. For example, you can
                           combine two or more ISDN lines to
                           achieve speeds of up to 128K, or
                           combine two or more standard modem
                           lines. This can provide dramatic
                           performance improvements when dialing
                           into the Internet or corporate network.

         Client Support    Virtual Private Networking is a new
         for Virtual       networking support for remote users to
         Private           access their corporate network via a
         Networking (VPN)  secure connection. Virtual Private
                           Networking utilizes the Point-to-Point
                           Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). Support for
                           this service is natively built-in to
                           the operating system.

         Online Services   The Windows 98 Beta 3 desktop contains
         Folder            an Online Services Folder with links to
                           America Online (AOL), AT&T WorldNet,
                           CompuServe 3.0, and Prodigy clients.
                           When you click the link to the client,
                           a setup program starts that
                           automatically registers you with that
                           Internet Service Provider.

         Internet          The Internet Connection Wizard is
         Connection        designed to make a first time
         Wizard            connection to the Internet simple. The
                           Internet Connection Wizard gives the
                           user a list of National ISPs to choose
                           from, then the Wizard will then do all
                           of the software configuration for the

         HTML-Based        To assist users in finding "help"
         Online Help       information, Windows 98 includes an
                           HTML-based Online Help system. This
                           help system is extensible and enables
                           simplified help searching.

         15                These Troubleshooting Wizards can help
         Troubleshooting   you quickly diagnose and solve
         Wizards           technical problems with Windows 98.
                           Troubleshooters are scenario-based
                           walkthroughs that the user can
                           customize to their situation by
                           choosing the answer that fits their
                           situation. The Troubleshooting Wizards
                           included in Windows 98 address the
                           following areas: Network, Modem,
                           Startup Shutdown, Print, DriveSpace 3,
                           Memory, MS-DOS Programs, Display,
                           DirectX, Sound, The Microsoft Network,
                           Hardware Conflict, Dial-Up Networking,
                           Direct Cable Connection, and PC Card.

         Higher Quality

         Setup             Several enhancements have been made to
         Enhancements      the Windows 98 Beta 3 setup program in
                           an effort to decrease setup time while
                           increasing setup reliability. In
                           addition, the setup interface shows you
                           how far along you are with the setup

         Faster Shutdown   The time it takes to shutdown the
                           system has been dramatically reduced in
                           Windows 98.

         FAT32             FAT32 is an improved version of the FAT
                           file system that allows disks over two
                           gigabytes to be formatted as a single
                           drive. FAT32 also uses smaller clusters
                           than FAT drives, resulting in a more
                           efficient use of space on large disks.
                           On average users will get as much as 28
                           percent more hard drive space using

                           Need more space on your drive? Find out
                           how much space you can gain with FAT32

         FAT32 Conversion  For added flexibility, Windows 98 Beta
         Utility           3 includes a graphical FAT32 conversion
                           utility, which can quickly and safely
                           convert a hard drive from the original
                           version of FAT to FAT32.

         Power Management  Windows 98 Beta 3 includes built-in
         Improvements      support for Advanced Configuration and
                           Power Interface (ACPI). This allows you
                           to switch on or off your PC like you
                           would your TV set. ACPI is an open
                           industry specification proposed by
                           Intel, Microsoft, and Toshiba which
                           defines hardware interfaces that allow
                           for standard power management
                           functionality throughout a PC system.
                           In addition to ACPI support, Windows 98
                           Beta 3 includes support for the
                           Advanced Power Management (APM) 1.2
                           extensions including: Disk spindown,
                           PCMCIA modem power down, and resume on

         Windows           Windows 98 Beta 3 supports direct
         Scripting Host    script execution from the user
                           interface or the command line (a script
                           is simply a series of commands that can
                           be automatically executed). This
                           support is provided via the Windows
                           Scripting Host (WSH) and allows
                           administrators and/or users to save
                           time by automating many user interface
                           actions such as creating a shortcut,
                           connecting to a network server,
                           disconnecting from a network server,
                           etc. The WSH is extremely flexible with
                           built-in support for Visual Basic
                           scripts, Java scripts, and a language
                           independent architecture which will
                           allow other software companies to build
                           ActiveX scripting engines for languages
                           such as Perl, TCL, REXX, and Python.

         New               Windows 98 includes two new
         Accessibility     accessibility tools including - the
         Tools             Accessibility Configuration Wizard
                           which helps people adapt Windows'
                           options to their needs and preferences,
                           and a low-end screen magnifier which
                           helps people with moderate vision
                           impairments and those working on
                           unfamiliar machines.

         Win32. Driver     The Win32 Driver Model (WDM) is an all
         Model (WDM)       new, unified driver model for Windows
                           95 and
                           Windows NT. . WDM will enable new
                           devices to have a single driver for
                           both operating systems. The WDM has
                           been implemented by adding selected NT
                           Kernel services into Windows 98 Beta 3
                           via a special virtual device driver
                           (NTKERN.VXD). This allows Windows 98
                           Beta 3 to maintain full legacy device
                           driver support while adding support for
                           new WDM drivers.

         Windows           The Windows Maintenance Wizard was
         Maintenance       designed to make the PC more
         Wizard            self-maintainable. The Wizard schedules
                           tune-up jobs to be run automatically on
                           a regular basis. Windows Maintenance
                           Wizard will help you by:

                              * Deleting unnecessary files.
                              * Making sure your hard disk is
                                optimized and properly
                              * Launching applications up to 36
                                percent faster (in average).

                           You can launch the Windows Maintenance
                           Wizard from the System Tool group off
                           of the Start Menu. Features of Windows
                           Maintenance Wizard include:

                           Disk Defragmenter
                           The new Disk Defragmenter uses the
                           process of disk defragmentation to
                           increase the speed with which your most
                           frequently used applications run. To
                           accomplish, this Disk Defragmenter
                           creates a log file which identifies
                           your most commonly used programs. Once
                           this log file has been created, it can
                           be used by Disk Defragmenter to store
                           the files associated with most commonly
                           run programs (the files will be stored
                           contiguously on the hard disk). Placing
                           all of the files associated with a
                           given application in the same location
                           on your hard disk will optimize the
                           speed with which your application runs.

                           Windows 98 Beta 3 has been enhanced to
                           run ScanDisk automatically in the event
                           the operating system is shut down
                           improperly or your hard disk suffers a
                           hard error. This feature will
                           significantly help people ensure that
                           their hard drives are in proper working
                           order, free of lost clusters,
                           cross-linked files, etc.

                           Disk Cleanup
                           Disk Cleanup is a tool in Windows 98
                           Beta 3 that automates the task of
                           cleaning unwanted file off of the hard
                           disk, increasing free space. This tool
                           is a especially useful to help users
                           clean out Internet cache files that can
                           accumulate after browsing the Web.
                           Additionally, this tool is customizable
                           by the user to designate files to

         Microsoft System  Windows 98 now contains a centralized
         Information       system information utility that gathers
         Utility 4.1       system configuration information for
                           technical support. This tool is
                           comprised of a collection of ActiveX
                           controls, each responsible for
                           collecting and displaying a certain
                           category of system information in the
                           right frame of Microsoft System
                           Information Utility. A Support Engineer
                           can guide the user experiencing an
                           issue to Microsoft System Information
                           Utility to facilitate the information
                           gathering process.

         System File       System File Checker keeps track of
         Checker Utility   critical files that make your computer
                           run. If these files are moved or
                           changed, System File Checker provides
                           an easy way to restore these files.
                           Once file changes are detected, System
                           File Checker offers the user several
                           courses of action.

         Registry Checker  Registry Checker is a proactive support
                           program that finds and resolves
                           Registry problems, and regularly backs
                           up the Registry. Windows 98 Beta 3
                           provides both an MS-DOS- and a
                           Windows-based program for scanning the
                           Registry, backing up and restoring the
                           Registry and system configuration

         Automatic Skip    Automatic Skip Driver Agent (ASD)
         Driver Agent      identifies potentially dangerous
         (ASD)             failures that are known to have caused
                           Windows 98 Beta 3 systems to stop
                           responding and marks them so they are
                           bypassed on subsequent startups.
                           Automatic Skip Driver:

                              * Identifies hardware devices that
                                fail to respond when tested by
                                Windows 98 Beta 3.
                              * Displays a dialog box indicating
                                that it has detected a failure
                                that may cause the system to stop
                              * Prompts you with the option to
                                bypass this action on subsequent

         New Dr. Watson    Windows 98 Beta 3 includes an enhanced
         Utility           version of the Dr. Watson utility. With
                           Dr. Watson enabled, when a software
                           fault occurs (general protection fault,
                           hang, etc.), Dr. Watson will intercept
                           it and indicate what software faulted
                           and why. In addition, Dr. Watson
                           collects detailed information about the
                           state of your system at the time the
                           fault occurred. It logs this
                           information to disk, and can display it
                           on screen to assist administrative and
                           product support personnel in
                           determining the cause of the fault.

         System            System Configuration Utility is the
         Configuration     graphical replacement for Sysedit. This
         Utility           tool allows the user to troubleshoot
                           through a process of elimination with
                           check boxes. System Configuration
                           Utility allows the user to create and
                           restore back ups of configuration

         Version Conflict  Version Conflict Manager detects file
         Manager           version conflicts with installed
                           programs. Windows 98 Beta 3 will then
                           install the Windows version of the
                           driver. By doing this, Windows 98 Beta
                           3 puts the system in an optimal
                           compatibility stage. Version Conflict
                           Manager also stores all files and has
                           an easy user interface that enables the
                           user to change the driver if needed.

         New Backup        This new backup applet supports SCSI
         Utility           tape devices and makes backing up your
                           data easier and faster.

         Remote Access     Windows 98 Beta 3 includes all of the
         Server            components necessary to enable your
                           desktop to act as a dial-up server.
                           This allows dial-up clients to remotely
                           connect to a Windows 98 Beta 3 machine
                           for local resource access or connecting
                           to an IPX/SPX and/or NetBEUI network.

         Display Setting   Display Setting Enhancements provide
         Enhancements      support for dynamically changing screen
                           resolution and color depth. Adapter
                           refresh rate can also be set with most
                           newer display driver chipsets. Windows
                           98 Beta 3 also includes the display
                           enhancements previously available in
                           Microsoft Plus!. (Microsoft Plus! is an
                           add-on pack for Windows 95 which
                           provided several minor operating system
                           enhancements.) The enhancements with
                           Windows 98 Beta 3 include: full window
                           drag, font smoothing, wallpaper
                           stretching, large icons, and hi-color

         New Generation
         of Entertainment

         Broadcast         With a TV tuner board installed,
         Architecture      Windows 98 allows a PC to receive and
                           display television and other data
                           distributed over the broadcast
                           networks. Windows 98s Program Guide,
                           which is updated continuously, lists
                           television shows on now and in the
                           future and allows for instant tuning
                           into shows for viewing on the PC.
                           Windows 98 can also receive Enhanced
                           Television programs, which combine
                           standard television with HTML
                           information related to the programs, as
                           they become available. Additionally,
                           Windows 98 users will be able to
                           receive Internet content or other data
                           services via the broadcast networks,
                           without tying up their existing phone

         ActiveMovie      ActiveMovie is a new media-streaming
                           architecture for Windows that delivers
                           high-quality video playback while
                           exposing an extensible set of
                           interfaces upon which multimedia
                           applications and tools can be built.
                           ActiveMovie enables playback of popular
                           media types including MPEG audio, .WAV
                           audio, MPEG video, AVI video, and Apple
                           QuickTime video.

         Support for       Provides support for third parties to
         Intel MMX         build software that exploits the Intel
         Processors        Pentium Multimedia Extensions (MMX) for
                           fast audio and video support on the
                           next generation of Intel Pentium

         Enables the

         Multiple Display  Multiple Display Support allows you to
         Support           use multiple monitors and/or multiple
                           graphics adapters on a single PC. The
                           ability to have your work environment
                           displayed on multiple monitors can be
                           extremely beneficial in many areas
                           including: desktop publishing, Web
                           development, video editing, and gaming

         Support for New   One of the major goals of Windows 98
         Generation of     Beta 3 is to provide complete support
         Hardware          for users to take advantage of the
                           array of innovations which have
                           occurred in computer hardware over the
                           last few years. Some of the major
                           hardware standards supported by Windows
                           98 Beta 3 include: Universal Serial Bus
                           (USB), IEEE 1394, Accelerated Graphics
                           Port (AGP), Advanced Configuration and
                           Power Interface (ACPI), and Digital
                           Video Disc (DVD).

         PCMCIA            There have been several enhancements to
         Enhancements      Windows 98 Beta 3 with respect to
                           PCMCIA technology including:

                              * Support for PC Card32 (Cardbus):
                                Cardbus brings 32-bit performance
                                to the small PC Card form factor.
                                It enables notebooks to implement
                                high-bandwidth applications like
                                video capture and 100Mbps
                              * Support for PC Cards that operate
                                at 3.3 Volts: This enables
                                hardware manufacturers to lower
                                the power consumption of their
                                devices by using 3.3V rather than
                              * Support for Multifunction PC
                                Cards: Allows two or more
                                functions (such as LAN and Modem,
                                or SCSI and sound) on a single
                                physical PC Card. Supporting
                                Multifunction Cards helps decrease
                                the cost-per-function of PC Cards,
                                and makes better use of the
                                precious number of slots on most
                                PCs permitting more functions per

         Built-In Support  Windows 98 Beta 3 includes support for
         for Infrared      IrDA, the Infrared Data Association
         Data Association  standard for wireless connectivity.
         (IrDA)            IrDA support enables Windows 98 Beta 3
                           users to easily connect to peripheral
                           devices or other PCs without using
                           connecting cables. This driver set
                           provides infrared-equipped laptop or
                           desktop computers with the capability
                           of networking, transferring files, and
                           printing wirelessly with other
                           IrDA-compatible infrared devices.

         Distributed       The Component Object Model (COM) allows
         Component Object  software developers to create component
         Model (DCOM)      applications. Now, Distributed COM
                           (DCOM) in Windows 98 Beta 3 (and
                           Windows NT 4.0) provides the
                           infrastructure that allows DCOM
                           applications (the technology formally
                           known as Network OLE) to communicate
                           across networks without needing to
                           redevelop applications.

         Client Support    Windows 98 Beta 3 includes Client
         for NetWare       Services for NetWare that support
         Directory         Novell NetWare Directory Services
         Services (NDS)    (NDS). This enables Windows 98 Beta 3
                           users to log on to Novell NetWare 4.x
                           servers running NDS to access files and
                           print resources. This service provides
                           the key features that Novell users
                           need, such as: NDS authentication,
                           ability to browse NDS resources,
                           ability to print to NDS print queues,
                           and full support for processing NetWare
                           login scripts, NDS property pages, and
                           NDS passwords.

         32-bit Data Link  The Data Link Control (DLC) protocol is
         Control (DLC)     used primarily to access IBM mainframe
                           and IBM AS/400 computers. The 32-bit
                           DLC protocol software built-in to
                           Windows 98 Beta 3 enables a network
                           administrator to add support for 32-bit
                           and 16-bit DLC programs.

Microsoft Plus! 98

 The Ideal Companion for Windows 98

 Microsoft. Plus! 98 complements Windows. 98 with enhancements that let you work and play with
 your computer like never before. You can get the latest virus fixes, optimize your hard disk,
 choose new desktop themes, and challenge your game skills.

 Powerful System Utilities:
 McAfee VirusScan
 File Cleaner
 Start Menu Cleaner
 Compressed Folders

 More Fun and Better Looking:
 Desktop Themes
 Deluxe CD Player
 Picture It!. Express
 Spider Solitaire

 McAfee VirusScan

    * Defend your computer against viruses with this top-selling anti-virus program. If VirusScan
      3.1.6 discovers a virus, you can quickly and easily use VirusScan to remove it before other
      files are infected. You can run VirusScan to diagnose a file you've shared or downloaded
      from the Internet.
    * Receive six months of free updates. As new viruses are identified, you can download
      VirusScan updates free of charge.
    * Integrated with Windows 98 Maintenance Wizard to schedule virus scanning automatically.

 File Cleaner

    * Get the most out of your hard drive by clearing unnecessary files. The File Cleaner
      integrates with the Windows 98 Disk Cleanup feature to optimize free space on your hard
      drive. When you need more disk space to run a program or store needed files, the File
      Cleaner has easy-to-use color codes to help you determine how often you use files. The
      Advice tab gives you detailed information about file types and whether they are critical to
      your system.

 Start Menu Cleaner

    * Check your Start Menu for invalid shortcuts and empty folders. If a folder contains only one
      program or file, it is moved up a level so you can more quickly locate and open it. The
      Start Menu Cleaner also helps you quickly fix broken links.
    * Schedule regular maintenance of your Start Menu. Start Menu Cleaner integrates with the
      Windows 98 Maintenance Wizard, so you can organize your Start Menu regularly.

 Compressed Folders

    * Create compressed folders with just a few clicks, and then drag and drop files and programs
      into them to reduce their size by up to 90 percent. Compressed folders act and look like any
      other folder on your system, so you can view file properties, determine and set password
      protection, and see the compression percentage of each file.
    * Use Compression Folders to archive files, share files over the Internet, or copy files onto
      a floppy disk. To save disk space, you can run programs and view documents in the compressed
      folder without extracting them.
    * Increase your security by using password protection for individual files in compressed
      folders. Users can view your compressed folders with any compression program only if you
      give them the password.

 Desktop Themes

    * Add new colors, pictures, and humor to your desktop by choosing one of the new series of
      desktop themes. You can choose from Fashion, Science Fiction, World Travel, Falling Leaves,
      and more. Or surround yourself with the humor of Cathy, Doonesbury, FoxTrot, and Garfield
      cartoons. Perhaps you prefer the beauty of Corbis Photography, or the chill of the Universal
      Studios Horror Theme.
    * Customize your wallpaper, window colors, screen saver, sounds, mouse pointers, and more!
      Some of the themes have animated 3D screen savers.
    * Can't decide? Then rotate desktop themes automatically every month! You can always go back
      to a favorite theme later.
    * Interact with dialog boxes, icons, and sounds that are customized according to the theme you
      select for a more enhanced computing experience.

 Deluxe CD Player

    * Play your favorite CD and, with an Internet connection, instantly identify the artist, CD
      and track titles. This happens automatically, and the information is stored on your hard
      drive for the next time you play that CD.
    * Learn more about the music you enjoy. Visit linked Internet sites such as Music Boulevard,
      Billboards, and Tunes Network to help you search for information about the artist, read
      about music-related issues, and purchase CDs.

 Picture It! Express

    * Manipulate and convert images with Picture It! Express, a basic version of Microsoft Picture
      It! Use a scanner or digital image to acquire images. With Picture It! Express, you can
      crop, rotate, and flip images, soften edges, adjust contrast, and even get rid of "red eye"
      from your favorite photographs.
    * With a compatible scanner, Picture It! Express can automatically locate your image, crop it,
      and correct brightness and contrast.
    * To print your image, you can choose from a variety of standard photographic print sizes or
      customize your print size.

 Lose Your Marbles

    * Play Lose Your Marbles, SegaSoft's top-rated game, and see why it was awarded four and a
      half stars by Computer Gaming World. To win, remove the marbles from your board while adding
      more marbles to your opponent's board. You can move the rows up and down, and you can rotate
      marbles within a row. This is a fast-paced, challenging puzzle that keeps you on your toes.

 Spider Solitaire

    * Deal a hand to play the most challenging game of solitaire yet. Spider Solitaire uses two
      decks of cards. To win, you must use all of the cards to create eight rows of cards in
      ascending order from aces to kings. It is possible to win this game-can you do it? Here's a
      hint: try to empty as many slots on the board as possible within the first three deals.

                A T T E N T I O N ** A T T E N T I O N ** A T T E N T I O N


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 For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that
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                A T T E N T I O N ** A T T E N T I O N ** A T T E N T I O N

EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed

  [Image]                          Edupage


  Microsoft Buys Firefly For Its       Judge Declares NSF Domain Fund       Banks Form Group To Address Year
  Privacy Technology                   Illegal                              2000 Concerns

  Dell Shuns Discount Label            Digital Talking Heads                Michigan Introduces $30 Million
                                                                            Education/Technology Plan

  Is Wired Tired?                      Pomposity In-Pomposity Out           Qwest Announces Internet2 Grant

  AT&T Network Problem                 Security Flaw                        U.S. Leads On Year 2000 Readiness

  Chatterbots Could Cut "Hold" Time    SGI Bases Turnaround Strategy On     The State Of Journalism At The
  To Zero                              Intel Agreement                      Turn Of The Century

  GTE Plans Big ADSLl Rollout          Web Users Want To Be Left            AT&T Network Failure Takes A Toll
                                       Anonymous                            On Commerce

  IBM's Not Selling Computers-It's     Commerce Secretary Calls U.S.        Digital Isn't Forever
  Selling "E-Business Tools"           Encryption Policy A Failure

  Intel Unveils "Basic PC" Chips       Intel To Cut 3000 Jobs               Good News For Apple

  Internet Growth


Microsoft has acquired Firefly Network Inc., a spinoff of the MIT
Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass., and plans to move Firefly's 70
employees to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Using
artificial intelligence techniques, Firefly developed technologies
for both data filtering and privacy. Its filtering technology
provides a method for comparing a computer user's observed tastes,
preferences and behavior to that of other users on whom similar
data have been collected -- and then, based on those comparisons,
making recommendations on such things as books and movies that the
user would probably like. Its privacy technology is intended to

computer users control over the personal information collected by
Web sites, and to support the new privacy standard called P3P
(Platform for Privacy Preferences Project) now being developed by
the World Wide Web Consortium, an Internet standards group.
Microsoft says it is interested mainly in Firefly's privacy
technology rather than its filtering technology, but acknowledges
that "our plans are a little squishy now." Privacy advocates are
expressing concern that integration of Firefly technology into
Microsoft's Internet Explorer software for browsing the Web would
significantly expand the scope of personal information that can be
tracked on individuals using the Internet. (New York Times 10 Apr


A U.S. district court judge said Wednesday that the $30
Intellectual Infrastructure Fee charged as part of the Internet
domain name registration process has been illegally collected,
because it was never approved by Congress. "Congress may have
intended to grant NSF the authority to collect the assessment, but
it has not yet done so," wrote the judge. "Congress must pass
legislation that more explicitly conveys its intentions." More
than $45 million had been collected in the fund before it was
phased out at the beginning of this month. The judge's ruling came
in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of the American Internet
Registrants Association. Twenty-three million dollars of the fund
was slated to go to the Next Generation Internet project, which
funds universities' and research institutions' connections to a
super high-speed backbone network. The plaintiffs in the case plan
to petition the court for class-action status, which would allow
them to ask that the entire fund be returned to all domain name
holders. (Net Insider 9 Apr 98)


An international group of major banking institutions, including
Citicorp, Barclay's Bank, Deutsche Bank, Bank of Tokyo and Hong
Kong Bank, has banded together to develop a set of guidelines for
addressing the Year 2000 problem. The Global 2000 Coordinating
Group's guidelines will be distributed throughout the banking
industry by managers and regulators. The group plans to look at
financial issues, such as cash-payment systems, securities
clearance and custody systems, stocks, bond futures, commodity
exchanges, foreign currency exchanges, and derivative trading. It
will also attempt to gauge the readiness of industries linked to
the economic infrastructure, such as utilities and transportation
groups. (Information Week 9 Apr 98)

                     DELL SHUNS DISCOUNT LABEL

Dell Computer doesn't just want to be known as a discount computer
company any more. "We have value to offer that is not
price-based," says the company's vice chairman. Dell has built its
reputation on its direct sales approach, which allows it to sell
computers for 10% to 20% less than comparable models in stores.
With competitors like Compaq and IBM trying to emulate their
business model, Dell now wants to emphasize that there are other
good reasons to buy its machines. Meanwhile, Dell is hoping to
transact 50% of its sales over the Internet by the end of 2000,
which will enable it to maintain an attractive price differential
with regard to rival companies. (Wall Street Journal 10 Apr 98)

                       DIGITAL TALKING HEADS

A newly launched employee leasing firm is taking a decidedly
virtual approach to filling jobs. Using technology developed at
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Digital Personnel Inc. offers
businesses a stable of virtual employees -- photo-realistic,
computerized talking heads to use for fielding complaints or
taking product orders through the Internet. "We offer
ready-to-talk talking heads to companies," says DPI's owner. "I
see it as a natural evolutionary next step for the Internet. If
you think about how every time you go to look up the Web page of a
company, you'd much rather talk with someone than read a bunch of
text. It's the difference between reading the telephone book and
asking someone what the number is... I can't imagine any company
not wanting their Web site to have a human interface, whether it's
the IRS or Home Shopping Network." The talking heads can be
pre-programmed with canned responses to frequently asked
questions, or operate as a facade for an artificial intelligent
agent, or even serve as photogenic masks for human customer reps.
(Tampa Bay Business Journal 6 Apr 98)


Michigan Governor John Engler has proposed a plan to give 100
grants of $10,000 each to schools, libraries and community centers
to fund computer equipment, Internet access, and teacher training
on the use of computers, as well as 200 grants of up to $10,000 to
teachers who have creative plans for integrating technology into
the classroom. The plan also calls for the creation of a state
virtual university. (Government Technology Apr 98)

                          IS WIRED TIRED?

Trying to explain why Wired magazine and parent company Wired
Ventures have been unable to find new investors to take over the
magazine, media analysts are suggesting that it's simply a case of
Wired having become old news. Fortune magazine quotes one media
executive saying: "Wired made the nerd hip. But now that
everyone's online, what's its cachet?" (Forbes 20 Apr 98)

                    POMPOSITY IN, POMPOSITY OUT

Reviewing a new book by the literary critic George Steiner,
Anthony Gottlieb writes: "He is scathingly skeptical about
computer translation: it will never, he thinks, be able to emulate
our linguistic gifts. To see how bad these programs really are, I
fed some of Steiner's sentences into an English-German translation
program, then fed them back into a German-English one. The results
were not impressive: 'After the axiomatic moment ontological of
the confidence, attack comes,' was one. On the other hand, since
Steiner's original was, 'After the axiomatic moment of ontological
trust, comes aggression,' I'm not sure it's entirely the machine's
fault." (New York Times Book Review 12 Apr 98)


Qwest Communications International of Denver, Col., is donating
$500 million worth of transmission services to a consortium of
research universities working on the Internet2 project. The
project is linked to the Clinton administration's Next Generation
Internet initiative. The Qwest network initially will have a
transmission speed of 10 gigabits per second. Cisco Systems and
Nortel will also provide an indeterminate amount of hardware for
the project. Meanwhile, the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency says it will provide $50 million in grants to universities
and federal research facilities to develop technologies designed
to support the high-speed network. (Washington Post 14 Apr 98)

                        AT&T NETWORK PROBLEM

"Serious interruptions" on AT&T's high-speed fiber optic data
network began Monday afternoon and caused problems for hundreds of
multinational banks, travel agencies, insurance and credit card
companies. The problem appeared to be the result of software
errors. (USA Today 14 Apr 98)

                           SECURITY FLAW

A software developer and two UC-Berkeley graduate students have
found a flaw in GSM digital cellular phone technology that could
be used to obtain free phone service by a hacker in possession of
the credit card-like device used with the phones. However, since
the security code can not be extracted unless a thief has physical
possession of that device (the SIM card, standing for Subscriber
Identification Module), experts say the problem will have
negligible impact. It is currently of interest mainly because the
new digital systems, unlike the older analog ones, were believed
to be virtually tamperproof. (Wall Street Journal 13 Apr 98)

                 U.S. LEADS ON YEAR 2000 READINESS

While industry observers decry the lack of initiative on the part
of U.S. companies to prepare computerized systems for the
transition to the next millennium, the rest of the world is in
much worse shape. For instance, only 8% of German companies have a
formal program to deal with the problem, as opposed to 80% of
large U.S. firms. And one in five French companies hasn't begun to
overhaul its information systems, according to a 1997 Ernst &
Young study. Meanwhile, the former Eastern Bloc countries are
suffering a dearth of programmers because many have been lured to
high-wage nations such as the U.S., and some Asian nations may be
laboring under a false sense of security because they believe
their systems, which are programmed to recognize traditional
cultural calendars, are immune. "Their understanding of the
problem is, 'It's not such a big deal, we'll cope with it at the
end.' Now they've got no options." (USA Today 13 Apr 98)


Artificial intelligence software programmed to provide a
human-like interface could soon be put to work on the Web,
answering product questions or completing order forms. Gateway
2000 wants to add these "chatterbots" to its Web site to answer
technical questions: "It could be a great way to automate support
so people don't have to wait on hold," says a Gateway technology
manager. "It's one of our top priorities." Chatterbot software
works by first analyzing questions and then placing them into
categories. An answer is then formulated from a repository of
software code, called a script. (Investor's Business Daily 13 Apr


Silicon Graphics Inc. is putting the finishing touches on a broad
cross-licensing agreement with Intel that will allow the
struggling computer maker to develop custom chips inside its
Intel-based machines to enable faster performance and better
graphics than competing models. In return, Intel will be able to
design its own graphics technology into future chips without fear
of lawsuits from SGI. Meanwhile, SGI plans to concentrate its
efforts on producing new computers called Visual PCs and spinning
off its MIPS microprocessor unit into a subsidiary that might
eventually be a separate company. (Wall Street Journal 13 Apr 98)


A vice president of the Tribune Company, which owns the Chicago
Tribune and other newspapers, has issued a memo warning the
company's reporters and other staff: "The company reserves the
right to access, review and monitor your electronic mail
communications and computer usage for any business purpose. Be
aware that the company has the capability to retrieve computer
information, including messages employees send or receive and
Internet sites accessed through the company's computer system."
(Washington Post 13 Apr 98)

                     GTE PLANS BIG ADSL ROLLOUT

GTE says it will begin a large-scale deployment of asymmetric
digital subscriber line (ADSL) service beginning in June. "This is
the largest announcement on ADSL deployment to date," says the
president of GTE Network Services, who adds that the market for
data services is expected to balloon to $400 billion in the next
decade, up from $100 billion in 1995. The high-speed service is
expected to cost $30 a month, not including Internet-access fees,
installation fees and monthly equipment charges of $12. (Wall
Street Journal 13 Apr 98)


Vanderbilt University researchers Donna Hoffman, Tom Novak, and
Marcos Peralta ( / ) say that
94% of Web users surveyed have refused to provide information to a
Web site, and 40% have given fake information. (New York Times 13
Apr 98)


The failure earlier this week of AT&T's national high-speed
network didn't affect conventional or cellular telephone service,
but did manage to disrupt the portion of the network that carries
data for transactions involving credit cards, bank accounts,
travel reservations and the like. "This sort of thing is going to
happen infrequently, but more and more in the future," says the
managing director of the Yankee Group. "And it makes you realize
how vital to the lifeblood of the economy these complex computer
networks have become." There is no way to gauge how many
transactions were forfeited as a result of the blackout, but
analysts are saying the losses are likelyhuge, with thousands of
businesses affected. (New York Times 15 Apr 98)


IBM has been telling customers that their future lies in
electronic business, but up until now, it's been unclear how Big
Blue plans to capitalize on that trend. Now it's announced a
$100-million yearlong global advertising campaign based on the
slogan, "The Work Matters. The People Matter. The Tools Matter."
IBM plans to repackage its laptops, PCs and other computers as
"e-business tools," on the theory that the strategy will
differentiate it from competitors who focus on price and features.
"By positioning every IBM product as part of e-business, they
strengthen their ability to compete against other hardware and
software companies," says a senior analyst at Zona Research. (Wall
Street Journal 15 Apr 98)


Distancing the Commerce Department from the position held by the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Commerce Secretary William M.
Daley says that the Clinton Administration's controls on
encryption technology are hurting America's ability to compete
with other countries. "There are solutions out there. Solutions
that would meet some of law enforcement's needs without
compromising the concerns of the privacy and business communities.
But I fear our search has thus far been more symbolic than
sincere... The cost of our failure will be high. The ultimate
result will be foreign dominance of the market. This means a loss
of jobs here, and products that do not meet either our law
enforcement or national security needs." (New York Times 16 Apr

                       DIGITAL ISN'T FOREVER

"Digital information lasts forever, or five years -- whichever
comes first," says a senior computer scientist at RAND Corp. The
problem is that computer experts are finding out that under
less-than-optimal conditions, digital tapes and disks, including
CD-ROMs, can deteriorate in as little as five to 10 years. And the
decay, although it happens gradually, isn't evident until it's too
late, says the founder of Voyager Co., which makes commercial
CD-ROM books and games. "CDs have a tendency to degrade much
faster than anybody, at least in the companies that make them, is
willing to predict." At the same time, as data is ported from an
antiquated platform to a newer system, often there are bits that
fail to make the transition. Sometimes it's just a matter of
footnotes disappearing, but sometimes whole categories of data are
lost. "It's like playing the child's game of Telephone. It doesn't
take many translations from one media to another before you
havelost significant aspects of the original data." (Business Week
20 Apr 98)

                   INTEL UNVEILS "BASIC PC" CHIPS

Intel is moving aggressively into the "basic PC" chip market with
the introduction of its new Celeron chips. The move is seen as an
attempt by the chipmaker to protect itself in the low-end market
that up until now it has largely ignored, focusing instead on
high-speed microprocessors that power PCs in the $2,000 and up
range. Competitors Advanced Micro Devices and National
Semiconductor together already claim a 25% market share in the
basic PC chip segment. Analysts say the Celeron chips, which are
based on the same design as Intel's best-selling Pentium II chips
but lack a memory device that feeds data more quickly to the
microprocessor, are slower than competing models. Intel plans to
introduce new versions of the Celeron later in the year that will
include the memory device and have significantly higher
performance. (Financial Times 15 Apr 98)

                       INTEL TO CUT 3000 JOBS

Intel Corp. says it plans to cut 3,000 jobs as part of its
strategy to maintain dominance in an industry that is experiencing
a drop in prices at the same time that the rate of growth is
slowing. Intel also says it will reduce R&D and capital spending
by about 5%. The company plans to achieve its staff reduction over
the next six months, primarily through attrition. Chairman and CEO
Andy Grove says he believes the recent downturn is part of a
cyclical trend that will see revenues rising again in the next few
years. (Washington Post 15 Apr 98)

                        GOOD NEWS FOR APPLE

Apple Computer has surprised Wall Street by reporting quarterly
earnings that are more than double what most analysts had
expected. Lou Mazzuchelli of Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co. says:
"The company has proven they know how to clean up the house
internally and make good products," but added that "this quarter
doesn't answer completely yet when they can regain growth." (Wall
Street Journal 16 Apr 98)

                          INTERNET GROWTH

A study by the U.S. Commerce Department ( )
says that traffic on the Internet is doubling every hundred days
and predicts that electronic commerce will grow to $300 billion a
year by 2002. (USA Today 16 Apr 96)

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"It doesnt get any better"

  Adobe ImageReady Makes It Easy and Quick for Creative People to Optimize
                           Their Work for the Web

Beta Version is Now Available

San Jose, Calif., (April 13, 1998) (Nasdaq:ADBE) - Adobe believes the Web
should unleash people's creativity, not hamper it. Adobe ImageReady 1.0,
introduced today by Adobe Systems Incorporated, is a software program
certain to make the Web a more colorful and accessible place. As a powerful
and flexible image- processing tool, ImageReady streamlines the Web design
and editing process, providing designers an easy and quick way to prepare
images for the Web.

Until now, Web designers had little choice but to spend endless hours
trying to figure out how a graphic would look on their Web site when seen
with a different browser or computer. They needed to use several software
programs to cobble together their site. Typically, they did not learn until
after they completed a graphic, how long it would take for the image to
download. The technical burden took the fun and excitement out of designing
visually interesting Web graphics. ImageReady software, along with Adobe's
award winning graphics applications like Adobe PhotoshopR and Adobe
Illustrator, changes that.

Adobe ImageReady enables Web designers to make smart and quick decisions as
to how they want their artwork to appear on the Web. ImageReady empowers
designers to balance the tradeoffs between file size and image quality. "In
the past it was all trial and error," says Bart Dority, creative director
of DynaMind, a new media company in Manhattan. "As you work with ImageReady
you can see a preview of how the file will look on the Web, how large the
file size is and how long it will take to download. It saves an amazing
amount of


Adobe's latest image-editing software is about to perk up online commerce.
Potential e-commerce customers who log onto commercial Web sites often lose
patience or jump to another site when all they see are little boxes that
say GIF or JPEG. ImageReady's LiveView window lets a business minimize this
wait time for customers. "Now we can give a business a better estimate of
exactly how long it will take a potential e-commerce customer to download
any image on their Web site," says Dority. "That's another service we can
now provide our clients."

Adobe ImageReady works seamlessly with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe
Illustrator software. That is a big plus for Kazia Sealy, who works on an
employee intranet site at Time Inc. "As a graphic designer and
illustrator," says Sealy, "I want to concentrate on the art, not the
technical stuff." With Adobe's award-winning software, designers can create
original artwork in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and then work with
Adobe ImageReady to prepare the highest-quality, best looking Web sites.

Adobe ImageReady helps creative people focus on what they do best-designing
great graphics, not mastering complicated computer programs. "At DynaMind,
our staff is made up of designers, not computer specialists," says Dority.
"It's great being able to give them a new tool that looks and operates like
Photoshop," which, he says, all of his designers already know how to use.

For firms like DynaMind whose Web clients include several Fortune 500
firms, ImageReady software's features can save days of repetitive work.
"Creating a Web site for a large client can involve designing hundreds of
graphics," says Dority. But once he finds the right compression setting for
a single image, he is able to use ImageReady's automation capability to
apply that same setting to every other graphic on his site. Of the Droplets
feature, Dority says: "It literally lets me do a day's worth of work in

Among ImageReady software's other timesaving and creative features are its
ability to:

     remove the guess work from choosing between image quality and
     file size

     add more impact to a Web site with animated GIFs by using the
     built-in animation palette

     save time optimizing graphics by previewing them using the
     browser dither capability

Pricing and Availability

Adobe ImageReady is priced at $299 and is expected to ship second quarter
1998. A public preview version of the product is available through July at

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Based in San Jose, Calif., Adobe Systems Incorporated develops and supports
products to help people express and use information in more imaginative and
meaningful ways, across all print and electronic media. Founded in 1982,
Adobe helped launch the desktop publishing revolution. Today, the company
offers a market-leading line of application software and type products for
creating and distributing visually rich communication materials; licenses
its industry-standard technologies to major hardware manufacturers,
software developers, and service providers; and offers integrated software
solutions to businesses of all sizes. For more information, see Adobe's
home page at on the World Wide Web.

Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Caflisch Script, Giddyup, Image Club, Mezz,
Minion, Myriad, PageMill, Penumbra, WebMorsels and WebType are trademarks
of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Apple, Macintosh, Macintosh Quadra and Power
Macintosh are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. registered in the United
States and other countries. Microsoft and Windows are either registered
trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are
the property of their respective owners.


Kids Computing Corner

Frank Sereno, Editor

We're working on one....


Jasons Jive


Jason Sereno, STR Staff

See ya next week!

April 15, 1998


Contact: Jerry Tardif


           New Search Sleuth Unveiled for Internet 'Power Users'

VERMILLION, SD -- The WebTools Company (TWTC) announced the commercial
release of Mata Hari, a desktop search tool for knowledge workers,
professionals and others researching information on the Internet. The
software extends features found in current metasearcher, offline browser,
filter and document management products. TWTC states Mata Hari is a unique,
next-generation search solution for the growing document overload of the

"We designed what became Mata Hari to solve our own Internet search
frustrations," said Michael Bergman, chairman of TWTC and its parent,
VisualMetrics Corporation. "The enthusiastic response of early users told
us we had stumbled on a real market need." VisualMetrics established TWTC
as a wholly-owned subsidiary in late summer 1997 for the sole purpose of
commercializing Internet tools.

Users submit queries through Mata Hari to Internet search engines such as
Yahoo, Hotbot, Alta Vista or Excite. Mata Hari retrieves the actual
documents identified by the engines, removes duplicates, and then filters,
scores, indexes and stores results in a desktop database. Searches can be
immediate, work in the background, or run during off hours when Internet
connections may be faster.

According to the company, "Mata Hari translates all dialects of search
engine, cutting through the hundreds of millions of documents on the
Internet to find the exact results desired." Users can further search and
manipulate the results databases using all of Mata Haris features.

Users can pose multiple queries at the same time, in simple sentences or
using structured (AND, OR) syntax. Queries can include phrases ("my oh my")
and wildcards.

Users can search from one to all of the 100 supported engines, which may
return potentially thousands of Web link references. Mata Hari evaluates
these against the queries and flexible site and document filtering settings
chosen by the user. Final, accepted results can be as large as 1,000
complete Web documents and 65,000 unique terms.

Mata Hari can download up to 120 engine listings or documents
simultaneously, leading to rapid search times and an end to the
search-click-wait-download-review delays of conventional searching. Users
can also submit existing Web pages with links  such as bookmark listings
or the results from previous Mata Hari searches  as the source for
Internet retrievals.

The software automatically scores documents using multiple methods. Users
may rerank all documents based on those identified as matching desired
results. They can select and fine-hone results by single or multiple terms,
documents, queries or the source search engines using Mata Haris advanced
set capabilities.

Users may view documents in their Internet browser during download or later
from the database, or via a quick view local viewer. They can send
partial or complete results listings as a Web page to the browser for
printing, e-mailing to others, or archiving.

Users may annotate, delete and sort documents, or search the databases with
different queries. Mata Hari provides robust download progress messages,
document status icons, user messages and error-trapping. TWTC distributes a
comprehensive help system with the software.

"Don't be fooled by the small size of Mata Hari," said Jerry Tardif, TWTC's
president, "software performance is extremely fast and powerful." He added,
"We believe our advanced technology has raised the competitive bar many
notches." Tardif cited a potential Internet search tool market of $350
million to $450 million by the year 2000, the exponential growth and
increasing fragmentation of the Web, and established vendors as fueling
this competition. "But, to a person, our early users tell us they can now
find information they were never able to find before," he said.

Mata Hari is a Windows NT or Win95 application. It is being distributed and
supported solely via the Internet. Its price is $79.95. The complete
version 1.01 software may be downloaded for a free 30-day evaluation at:

The WebTools Company is devoted exclusively to providing user-intelligent
tools for the Internet. Mata Hari is its first product. TWTCs Web site
policy is to keep all consumer information confidential, to not issue
cookies, and to support Internet anti-spamming and privacy efforts.

VisualMetrics is a closely-held software company founded in January 1995
with strengths in data management, analysis and decision support tools,
software language translation, software portation, and platform-independent


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                              The Linux Advocate

Column #10 - April 16th, 1998

 by Scott Dowdle


First of all, I'd like to appologize for the lack of columns the last couple of
weeks. I did deliver a column to Ralph for last week, but he forgot to put it
in... so I've updated the news section and resubmitted. The whole Linux Weekly
News site reproduction in STR deal fell apart. The LWN folks have the goal of
going banner ad someday to help pay for the site... and they felt reproducing
it in STR on a weekly basis would diminish the value of the site... and I can
certainly understand that. Any any event, they did mention to me that they
don't have any exclusivity rights to the material/content they present there
and suggested that I could use their content as a template for my own. That
sounds like a great idea. :)

What follows is a list of the three best Linux related news and info sites that
I've found.  is the "News for Nerds. Stuff that counts" site. It is
updated several times daily and is basically a user contributed site, but oddly
enough, is THE BEST computer industry news site I've found to
date... and if you don't check it out every day, you can quickly fall behind.  is the best site I've found for Linux software news.
Freshmeat provides information on new and updated software for Linux. It is
updated at least once a day so check there often. is the Linux Weekly News site and a new edition is
published every Thursday. LWN is a digest of information from various sites
including the two previously mentioned and more.

 Linux News

Item #1 - Linux Devel Kernel - Hmm, let's see... the 2.1.9x development Linux
kernel has been updated about 3 or 4 times since my last column... and at the
time of writing was at 2.1.96. As it reaches 2.1.99 the push to turn it into
the new production kernel (2.2.0) will be stronger... so 2.2.0 shouldn't be
that far away... maybe a few weeks or a couple of months... you never know.

Item #2 - GIMP updates - The GIMP has been updated several times as it
approaches 1.0. The release version at the time of writing is 0.99.26. GTK (the
GUI API library which GIMP is written with) was released as 1.0 so how far away
can GIMP 1.0 be? I'm guessing a week or two.

Item #3 - MS Gets Busted - Microsoft has been in the news a lot lately. I'm not
sure if the following report is mentioned elsewhere in this issue of STR or
not, as it hasn't gotten very much press coverage since the initial story.
Anyway, the L.A. Times broke the story last Friday about Microsoft and a "just
business" PR plan that has many in the industry irritated. I'll not going to
offer an editorial on the issue because I think it speaks for itself...
although I do term this as Microsoft's latest "scandal." :) Check out the
following URL:

Item #4 - Dvorak comments - John C. Dvorak is the only industry columnist that
I've seen mention the L.A. times article and he makes some rather interesting
comments on the matter. Mr. Dvorak's column entitled,"CAUGHT IN THE ACT," may
be found at the following URL:

Item #5 - PERL Creator Interview - There is an online interview with Larry Wall
(creator and primary author of PERL) at the following URL:

An audio version of the Larry Wall interview is available in RealAudio format
at the following URLs.   OR

 Item #6 - NPR Covers Linux - National Public Radio did an 8 minute story on

Linux recently and a RealAudio recording of the broadcast is avialable at the

following URL:

Item #7 - Interview with Linus - Linus Torvalds (father of Linux) was recently
interviewed in the online pages of InfoWorld magazine. The article was
entitled, "Linus Torvalds talks economics and operating systems." It can be
found at the following URL:

 Item #8 - New Qt agreement - Qt is the GUI API library that the KDE (reviewed
below) development team picked to build KDE with. Qt is a freely available,
commercial GUI API library from Troll Tech ( ) and there
has been much debate about the licensing agreement that the Troll Tech people
have for Qt... so much debate that the Free Software Foundation decided to use
GTK (a rival GUI API library that has a much less restrictive license and used
to build such products as GIMP) to start development on an alternative to KDE
called GNOME ( Hopefully, with this new licensing
agreement, Qt will be more widely accepted in the halls of Open Source
software. This agreement is said to "guarantee the availability of Qt for free
software development now and in the future." You can find the official
announcement at the following URL:

...and LASTLY - There were SO MANY news items in the last three weeks that I've
really only skimmed the surface so readers are urged to check Slashdot's
archives as well as the Linux Weekly News site.

Linux Application Spotlight - KDE aka K Desktop Environment

What's KDE? Well, it is a complete GUI environment built for the X Window
System. I've mentioned in the past that X isn't constrained by any one Window
Manager. I've been relatively lazy with regards to exploring alternative Window
Managers for X and have stuck with Red Hat Linux's default Window Manager
configuration called AnotherLevel which is patterned very much after Microsoft
Windows 95. When I heard about KDE, I immediately visited their WWW site to
learn all about it and I have to admit that the screenshots seemed too good to
be true... and the fact that it wasn't completed yet and in beta release lead
me to believe that it couldn't be very usable in its current form... so I went
and FTPed all of the .rpm's for it and just let it sit on my hard drive for
weeks. Well, I finally got around to installing it. I thought it would be a
pain to install but given the fact that it came in Red Hat's RPM format made it
almost a no-brainer. After installing the basic packages I did have to do a
little config file editing... for example, I had to tell my startx setup that I
wanted to load KDE as my default window manager. That kind of stuff is to be
expected. In any event, the KDE folks have a pretty complete Installation Guide
on their WWW site. You can find KDE info at the following URL:

Ok, so I installed KDE... so now for a review. First of all, calling KDE (Kool
Desktop Environment) or K Desktop a "Window Manager" is pretty much a misnomer.
KDE is more of an alternative to Windows 95 as it comes with a slew of
applications and the whole KDE design is to use a common widget library so that
all KDE applications look alike, can share resources (like font selector, color
selector, file/item selector, etc) and communicate with each other. One of the
goals behind KDE is that the GUI interface should be well designed, flexible,
robust, and not require any config/text file editing. KDE is designed to be
like the MacOS, Windows 95 and OS/2... totally configurable in an object
oriented and graphical way. I was very, very skeptical about KDE's ability to
pull the whole thing off but now in all honesty I must admit that my jaw
dropped open when I saw it come up for the first time... and my jaw keep right
on dropping for the first few hours of using the K Desktop and all of the
various applications included with it. I'm not going to attempt to give a
complete review in this installment of Linux Advocate. This week's spotlight is
just an introduction to what KDE is.

If I had to describe what KDE is like, I'd have to say it is similar to Windows
98... or should I say, what Windows 98 is said to be like... since it isn't out
yet... but there are plenty of Win98 testers out there (right Ralph?). KDE is
"network transparent" and KFM (KDE's File Manager) handles local files and
remote files (via http:// and ftp://) the same. The good thing about KDE is
that it adds all of the functionality of MacOS, OS/2, and Windows 98 type
designs within the framework of the X Window System. While I have a very
specific concept with that last statement, I'm sure a lot of you readers are
lost since you probably haven't used X before. As a result, over the span of
KDE Spotlights I'm going to explain some of the basic X functionality that KDE
exploits right along with everything else.

This week I'll provide a few screenshots of the desktop environment as well as
some screenshots of a few of the applications included with KDE. I'm sure a lot
of the windows will look very familiar to everyone. :)

First of all, I upgraded my desktop computer to a Pentium 200MMX with a Diamond
Stealth 3D 2000 Pro video card and 32MB of RAM. That's a fairly common
configuration among newer systems and some might say it's under-powered. :)
Anyway, my point is that the screenshots are of a 800 x 600 screen in 16-bit


This is a shot of desktop "One" with a file browser open. At the bottom of the
screen you will see the "task bar" and the "panel." The task bar should be self
explanatory. The panel is sort of a Super version of Windows' START button. The
little icons on the panel are very similar to Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x's
ability to put shortcuts (I'm not sure if I am using the correct terminology
here) on the taskbar... for those who are familiar with that. The buttons
labeled One, Two, Three, and Four in the middle of the panel refer to the
active Desktop or "virtual screen." You see, in the X Window System environment
on Unix/Linux, most Window Managers support what is called a virtual screen (a
screen that is larger than the physical display) and they generally partition
it off into "panes" or desktops that can be instantly switched to. The good
thing about virtual desktops and panes is that you can have lots of
applications open without having to do all of the window juggling that you'd
have to do if you were limited to displaying them on one screen. You'll notice
that the currently active desktop (or pane) is related to the depressed button
in the middle of the panel. KDE supports from 1 to 8 panes but the default (as
shown) is 4. The buttons can be given whatever name you want but by default
they are simply called One, Two, etc. In KDE each pane can have it's own
background color/wallpaper setting, it's own panel andtaskbar display settings,
etc. KDE is so rich with configurable options I'm not even going to start on
them. Let's just say that the pane and the task bar have configurable settings.

Ok, getting back to screen One, you'll see a few icons on the left and KFM (a
graphical file manager) showing some of the contents of my home directory.
Although the screenshot doesn't show it, KFM is more than a file manager, it's
also a WWW browser and FTP client... as it operates with the whole, "network
transparent" theology. Now on to screen Two.


Not much to speak of in screen Two other than you'll notice the kdehelp
application that functions exactly like a WWW browser. The background for
desktop One is still a blue gradient even though Two is a nice, brown marble
wallpaper. All of the panel and task bar settings are the same but I thought
I'd give you a good look at the help app. Now on to Three.

          In Three you will notice yet another background wallpaper, the kmail
email client (that is laid out similar to the ever popular Eudora), the kscd
Audio CD player (which uses the CDDB Internet database to identify Audio CDs
and provide Artist, CD Title, and track title information) and the KMix Audio
Mixer. The "i" button on the CD player contains a popup of sites related to
Audio CDs and concert listings. Selecting something will open up a KFM window
in WWW browser mode and connect to the site listed. For example, one of the
selections in the "i" (for Information) button is "Performances >". From the Three screenshot you can see I'm listening to the
Titanic Soundtrack and selecting the previously mentioned "i" selection would
connect to passing it a request for information about James
Horner on tour. I could really go on and on about the CD player because it also
connects to where to buy other CDs by the same artist, and well as handing off
to the various WWW search engines for more info. It's really,really cool. Can
you tell I'm impressed? Ok. That's enough on Three, now on to Four.

  [Image] In desktop Four you'll see the KDE Control Center which is KDE's
          version of a configuration and control panel. I have the Desktop item
and the Windows item expanded but all of the other items are collapsed. You'll
notice that the desktop Screensaver is selected. I've picked the "krock" saver
and have opened the setup dialog for it. I offer this as an example of the
detail that the KDE folks have put into the KDE package... virtually everything
is configurable... and in a graphical way. The desktop from which the
screenshot was taken had both simulated screens moving at the same time and you
could compare the original settings verses the changes you had made... which is
really cool. Anyway, pardon me for ranting and raving.

That's enough screenshots for this installment and I've gone over a handful of
the default apps that come with KDE. As I continue my review of KDE I'll
explain in more detail what functions and features it has, what applications
come with it, how well each piece works, and what bugs I've noticed. I
installed the Beta 3 release so there are still some bugs in there but I've not
had any bugs affect the stability of the whole package nor Linux... which has
the rock solid stabilitythe computer industry has come to expect with Unix and
it's flavors.

It is rather odd running KDE on Linux because it almost turns Linux into a
different feeling Operating System... like it is no longer a multiuser,
Internet server, multitasking beast... but believe me it still is. KDE is very
fast on my machine and switching between panes and applications is
instantaneous... in fact, it'd have to say that it is noticibly faster than my
wife's Windows 95 side of the machine... even with twice as much stuff running.
KDE is just another user program to Linux and the X Window System can serve
many users simultaneously over a network with X terminals or an X server
running on another machine... either over a LAN or over the Internet... but
those are too advanced topics for now. :)


I'll continue to learn and play with KDE and all of the applications that come
with it so stay tuned for more next week BUT don't let me slow you down. If you
want to learn more about the KDE, how it is free and available in source code
or binary format, you can visit the KDE homepage (mentioned earlier) whenever
you feel like it. The KDE site doesn't contain a horde of information (like the
online docs do) but you can find a list of available applications, a some
screenshots and links to KDE app homepages, etc. ...AND JUST IN CASE you were
wondering, NO... this IS NOT an April Fool's joke, ok?

As always, if you have any questions or comments, just send me an email:

Thanks for reading!

Scott Dowdle


Classics & Gaming Section

Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

This is probably going to be a first for me, but an
appropriate one. As you'll see later in this section,
"People Are Talking" columnist Joe Mirando makes some good
points in his editorial comments this week. I want to add
to those comments; but doing so here, before you have a
chance to read Joe's column, would be wrong. So, my
editorial comments can be found at the end of this week's
section, after "People Are Talking".

To be continued...

                       Gaming Section

Psygnosis To Do N64 Games!
"Mystical Ninja"!
"MLB '99"!
And more!

Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming

         Psygnosis To Begin N64 Publishing This Year

Despite being owned by PlayStation-maker Sony Computer
Entertainment America, Psygnosis has obtained a license
from Nintendo and plans to publish at least two N64 games,
sources say, speaking on condition of anonymity. When asked
about Psygnosis' N64 plans, an official maintained
yesterday that the company is a "multi-platform developer"
concentrating on PlayStation and PC titles, declining to
comment further.

However, two weeks ago, Psygnosis VP of Business Affairs
Berry Kane told MMWire that N64 development is something
that it will "definitely" consider, believing that "there
is no reason why we won't look at all available platforms,"
including N64. A rocky history with its parent company may
have sparked Psygnosis' expected move. Psygnosis' reported
plans to support a platform from a company that rival's its
parent's PlayStation is nothing new. Psygnosis-developed
Wipeout and Destruction Derby were published by Softbank
for Sega Saturn, a Psygnosis official says.

Sony, in late 1996, tried to sell Psygnosis, reportedly for
a bloated $200m-$300m, but removed the "for sale" sign that
November, citing the quality of Destruction Derby and
Wipeout XL. Ironically, our sources say that Destruction
Derby and Wipeout XL are the first two Psygnosis titles
expected for N64, presumably this year. Porting and
revamping the PC- and PSX-based games to N64's
cartridge-based format is being handled by Psygnosis'
development studios in the U.K., one source told us. THQ,
in early 1997, had inked a deal with Sega of America and
Psygnosis to distribute seven Psygnosis Saturn titles. But
the deal fell through and THQ did not distribute the games,
a THQ official says.

            All-New PlayStation Exclusive MLB '99

15, 1998 - Play-By-Play Announcing By The Legendary Vin
Scully Highlights This Year's PlayStation MLB Videogame
Sony Interactive Studios America announced today that MLB
'99(TM), the next installment in PlayStation's incredibly
popular MLB series, is now available, exclusively for the
PlayStation(TM) game console. With all 30 MLB teams and all
the players, MLB '99 utilizes a full 3D game engine,
real-time rendering, detailed player attributes and sizes,
and exclusive features not found in any other baseball
videogame like Total Control Fielding(TM) and play-by-play
by Hall-of-Fame announcer Vin Scully.

"In addition to continually giving sports gamers the best
looking and playing sports videogames on the market, we
deliver PlayStation-exclusive key features, which is why
this year's MLB '99 will be hugely popular among sports
gamers and professional athletes," said Jeff Fox, vice
president, marketing, Sony Interactive Studios America.
"For example, MLB '99 exclusively features Total Control
Fielding(TM), which lets gamers select how they want to
field and throw, and 'Spring Training Mode,' which lets
players see if they have what it takes to make it to the
big leagues."

MLB '99 has the look and feel of real baseball, with more
than 140 new personalized moves and stances of MLB pitchers
and batters. Highly detailed player attributes and
realistic player sizes are another element that add to the
games realism. During the development of MLB '99, different
MLB star's movements, such as Giants' All-Star pitcher
Shawn Estes and center fielder Darryl Hamilton, Colorado
Rockies' pitcher Darryl Kile, Chicago White Sox' infielder
Ray Durham and Arizona Diamondbacks' outfielder Karim
Garcia, were "motion captured" to ensure the most ealistic
MLB player animations would be used in the game. All new
motion-capture animations include, home plate and fielder
collisions; side arm, barehanded, backhanded, twirl throws;
over the fence and diving catches; double play transitions;
backhand stabs; throw from the knees; "crow hops" and field
and throw on the run.

A sneak preview demo of MLB '99 was given to the teams at
their practice facilities during Spring Training. MLB
players didn't just want to be a part of the development
process of MLB '99, they wanted to play the game. All MLB
teams were given PlayStations and a copy of MLB '99 to play
throughout the 1998 season.

MLB '99 is now available and features Cal Ripken, Jr. on
the package.
MLB '99 -- Key Features

All MLB teams and players with the latest signings and

Genuine MLB stadiums and crowd noises

with specific stadium ambiance

Five dynamic camera perspectives

1998 Uniforms -- player names with updated home

away and alternate uniforms

Play-by-play by Hall-Of-Fame announcing legend Vin Scully

Total Control Fielding(TM): user can select how to field
and throw

More than 150 new personalized moves and stances of MLB
pitchers and batters

State of the art 3D game engine

providing amazing graphics and fluid and fast gameplay --
no waiting or slow load times

Highly detailed player attributes and ultra realistic
players sizes

All new motion captured animations: home plate and fielder
collisions; side arm, barehanded, backhanded, twirl throws;
over the fence and diving catches; double play transitions;
backhand stabs; throw from the knees; "crow hops" and field
and throw on the run

Spring Training Mode: Create players to play in Spring
Training Mode

Player performance (hitting pitching,  fielding and
throwing) determines if they will make it to the Major

Play Modes: Spring Training

Home Run Derby(TM) exhibition

full season with multiple season lengths


Interleague play and expansion teams: Arizona Diamondbacks
and Tampa Bay Devil Rays

"Clubhouse" Intelligence: each team manages like its real
life counterpart

End-of-season awards: AL and NL MVP and Cy Young

Three difficulty levels (rookie; veteran and all-star)

Batting cursor option (veteran and all-star levels) for the
advanced gamer

Simulation and arcade modes

Supports memory card

Analog Controller and Multi tap

1 to 2 player. Up to eight players can play with the Multi
tap adapter

    Konami of America: Mystical Ninja Leaps Into the Fray

Konami of America, Inc., the leading developer of
electronic entertainment for the home video game and
coin-op markets, announces the shipping of Mystical Ninja,
an adventure-packed game for the Nintendo 64. Mystical
Ninja features Konami's classic character, Goemon, in a new
game that combines adventure, arcade, action and RPG
elements. The new game, consistent with Konami's commitment
to creative 3D graphics and animation, features giant 3D
bosses and enemies and brilliant graphics and animation.
Mystical Ninja also allows the user to play as one of four
different unique characters, while immersed in a fully
interactive world. Plus, Mystical Ninja will be available
for Game Boy users.

"In Mystical Ninja, we are thrilled to bring back to the
lime light the well-known Goemon," said Jon Sloan, Konami
marketing manager, "We also are pleased to place Goemon in
the N64 environment which allows for engaging,
multi-faceted game play. Gamers will be especially excited
when encountering the game's hidden bonus games, surprises
and new puzzle adventures. They'll be in for a wacky ride!"

          Alien Fiends Beware -- Blasto Has Arrived

1998 - Sony Computer Entertainment America made the
universe a much safer place today with the release of
Blasto(TM), the innovative videogame developed exclusively
for the PlayStation(R) game console by Sony Interactive
Studios America. The character-driven 3D action/platform
videogame, created in the tone of 1940s big-studio cartoon
features, combines the best elements of platform, action
and shooter games. Blasto boasts huge, free-roaming 3D
environments and nonlinear gameplay (with no "levels" to
break the flow of the action), complemented by amazing
graphics and colorful animation.

Blasto stars Sony Interactive Studios America's first
originally-created superhero, the pompous and always
humorous Captain Blasto, who comes to life with the voice
of character actor Phil Hartman. With aliens to
exterminate, puzzles to solve and gigantic monsters to run
screaming from, the player is forced to negotiate tricky
paths through six diverse environments, solving puzzles and
fighting enemies at every turn. The ultimate aim? To find
the evil Bosc(TM) and put an end to his nefarious schemes.

"Blasto is a shining example of the caliber of PlayStation
games that are being developed by Sony Interactive
Studios," said Andrew House, vice president, marketing,
Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Captain Blasto is
both a very original character and a parody of the
superheroes that we all grew up with. Combine this with
innovative 3D gameplay loaded with replayability, and we're
confident that we have a sure-fire hit on our hands."

Blasto is proof positive that the PlayStation game console
possesses the strengths and depths that developers are just
now beginning to utilize. Blasto breaks out of the idea of
levels, with the entire game constantly streaming from the
CD, effectively becoming one gigantic world with multiple
"episodes." PlayStation software breakthroughs such as
environment mapping, dynamically lit characters and
backgrounds, and fully interactive music continues to
deliver innovative games that raise the popularity of the
PlayStation game console to new heights.

So, just who is Captain Blasto? At the moment, he's the
only hope the human race has for survival. He's big, he's
strong, he's pompous and he loves to fry aliens. Blasto is
just what the world needs -- a global patriot who wants
nothing more than to rid the universe of every last slimy
green alien. He believes that the ends certainly justify
the means, especially if the means include zapping as many
evil mutant clones as he possibly can. Blasto is Earth's
only chance against Bosc and his army of twisted Pear

     Psygnosis Revisits a Masterpiece: Sentinel Returns

1998 - Sequel to Classic Strategy Game Features Same
Addictive, Chilling Gameplay with Advanced Graphic Redesign
and Musical Score by John Carpenter Sentinel(tm), a 1980s
strategy game by Geoff Crammond, became an instant classic,
with an elegantly simple design, sparse yet chilling
landscape, and the slow tension of a psychological

Now, Psygnosis unveils Sentinel Returns(tm), the sequel to
this first true virtual reality game that combines the same
intensely compelling gameplay with stunning visual and
sound enhancements including a score by master of terror,
John Carpenter, who directed and wrote the soundtrack for
horror movie, Halloween. Sentinel Returns will be available
for both PC and PlayStation(R) game console in August, for
an estimated retail price of $49.95. Produced by No Name
Games, and developed by Hookstone, a U.K. production
studio, Sentinel Returns takes advantage of over ten years
of technical improvements to produce a graphic theme that
is both distinctive and haunting. The stunning 3D graphic
redesign uses advanced texturing, animation and lighting
techniques to create four eerie themed play environments,
Earth, Air, Fire and Water, as well as a final, most
terrifying level called the Void.

Adding to the atmospheric sense of the game is a chilling
score by John Carpenter, a musician and director known as
the master of superb pacing and unrelenting terror.
Carpenter's many credits include Halloween, Assault on
Precinct 13, the Fog and Escape from New York, among
others. Sentinel Returns also features stunning audio with
Q-Sound technology that adds to the player's feeling of
being surrounded and trapped. As in the original title, the
gameplay in Sentinel Returns is unnervingly abstract.
Rather than being an object in the game universe, the
player is a presence that moves through the landscapes by
transferring to different bodies. Alternately absorbing and
expending energy, the player seeks to gain control of each
level by rising to its highest point in an effort to reach
to the final, ultimate battle against the nightmare that is
the Sentinel. At each level, the player must also avoid the
invisible yet deadly, energy-draining beams of the

Sentinel Returns also features a unique sense of
claustrophobia and panic, which comes from both the
unearthly, atmospheric environment, and the player's
limited ability to survey the landscape. Scrolling is slow
and deliberate, engendering a sense of sweating paranoia as
players, feeling their energy being drained, struggle to
look around in order to escape the deadly beams. Other
refinements that enhance Sentinel Returns include a more
gradual learning curve that lures the gamer in, then
becomes progressively more addictive and challenging.
Sentinel Returns also features more than 600 crafted
levels, all of which must be sequentially attained and
conquered. Another major enhancement is a PC network play
option, which adds an entirely new dimension to the game by
allowing multiple players on a single playfield, racing
against each other to finish each level.

ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'!

                    PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

Compiled by Joe Mirando

 Hidi ho friends and neighbors. I'll tell you right off the
bat that pickins is mighty slim this week, so I thought
that this might be a good time to kick back a bit and
consider exactly where we are. No, I don't mean
geographically. I'm talking about the state of computing.
When many of us first got involved with computers, the
'state-of-the-art' was an Apple II with 2 Kilobytes of
memory and a flashy new tape drive. That was the system I
was first exposed to. It was wondrous. All you had to do
was turn the computer on, put the OS tape in the tape
drive, type in two lines of cryptic code, wait for five
minutes, and then load whichever language you were working
in at the time (for me it was Pascal, COBOL, and Integer

Connecting up to a remote computer was another matter all
together. You had to follow all of the steps outlined
above, then type in more cryptic commands to access the
modem (a whopping 300 baud, by the way), then type in the
command string and phone number, then convince the remote
computer that you really were supposed to be there and that
the reason that it rejected your password was line noise,
not because you typed the password incorrectly (if you
couldn't convince the remote computer of this in three
tries it would disconnect you and you'd have to start all
over again). And forget about uploading or downloading
files of any kind. This was ASCII-only, no-text-editor,
no-graphics, in-your-face computing. Neither the modem nor
the computer's CPU would have been able to handle anything

And yet we were on the cutting edge of technology. These
were the first affordable(?) microcomputers. Nevermind that
they were the size of large portable typewriters, or that
the monitor was a nine inch monochrome display, or that you
could type faster on an old manual typewriter, or that you
could fit more text on a post-it note than you could in
RAM, or that they broke down or overheated at the drop of a
hat. This was the forefront of the strange new world. All
you had to do to enjoy the latest game was to spend several
hours in front of the computer typing in listings from
CREATIVE COMPUTING, then save it to the tape drive and pray
that the operation went well, then run the program to see
what typos you made, fix them, re-save the program, then,
if all went right, play the game.

And here we sit, in 1998, some of us in front of our
current examples of state-of-the-art for the computer
world, and take for granted most of what went before. No,
I'm not saying that those old computers were better,
easier, faster, or cheaper than what's available today.
What I am saying is that those early machines taught us
something much more important than how to use a computer.
They taught us WHY they work. They taught us about
ingenuity in the face of a daunting technology. They taught
us patience and the value of conscientious work. If you had
a problem, you had to find it yourself. There was no set-up
wizard, no on-line help utility, and usually no office
expert available to find it for you. You were on your own
and you either sank or swam (believe me, I sank quite a few

Most of the people who use computers today are not computer
people. They are housewives, shop workers, hobbyists and
students, who just want to surf the net, design a poster,
look at a map, save a recipe, or contact a friend. Their
computer is just a tool to help them do that. And that's...
okay. It does however leave a lot of room for others to get
involved... troubleshooters, hucksters, and worst of all,
the government all want a piece of the action. The problem
is, they're getting it.

Think back to the last time you had to bring your car into
the dealership for a tune-up instead of doing it yourself.
It used to be that all you needed was the parts and a
timing light to do the job yourself. Now it's a job that
can only be done by the dealer or by a large service
station (remember actual service stations??). That's about
what we're heading for in the computer world. And it's
mostly because we, as a whole, don't know enough about our
computers. With narrowly defined plug-and-play devices and
the upcoming computers on a chip, there will be less and
less that we need to know about our computers, less that
we'll have to do, less need to even think about the
computer as anything other than a tool.

Of course, computers will keep getting faster and faster,
so we'll be able to get into tech-trouble even faster than
we do now.

Well, that's about all I've got to say for the time being.
Anybody got an extra Prozac? <G>

Let's take a look at what's going on over at Delphi...

>From Delphi's Atari Advantage Forum

Al Horton posts:

"My son recently purchased a used Sega Saturn video game
system, and with it came a device called "The NetLink". The
NetLink is a 28.8 modem that plugs into the cartridge port
on the Saturn and then with the NetLink Browser CD you can
access the Internet. I looked at this system and was really
quite impressed that a video game system could not only
access the internet but also do it quite well, with Email,
Frames, sounds, pictures, and much more.

But what really impressed me was the fact that it took my
14yr old son, who is NOT computer literate, all of 3
minutes to set it up and access the web. He needed only a
few lines of information to type in (phone number, password
etc.) of our current account and he was up and flying in no

Now this got me to really thinking... after MANY tries at
getting STick, STing, CAB, etc etc up and running with
little luck, and seeing all the messages in the newsgroups
(and here) about everyone else running into tons of
problems, WHY can this little video game system access the
Internet so very well and with no problems at all yet our
Atari's have so many problems??

Don't get me wrong.. I'm not complaining but trying to
understand. I am blown away that my 14 year old son can
access the internet with a $75 video game system and I have
nothing but problems. Is it REALLY that hard for an Atari
to access the web? Why can a video game system do it with
no files to edit, no countless folders to place, config
files to edit, etc etc etc..

I'm totally blown away by the Sega NetLink and after many,
many hours of playing around with CAB and STick I cannot
believe that accessing the web can be so easy. Again, I'm
not complaining.. just trying to understand."

Always seeing the humor in a circumstance, I tell Al:

"Probably the best way to look at the Sega vs. Atari/STiK
comparison is that your son is 14 years old. We are... not.
<G> On a more serious note, the Sega system is very
structured. There is only one model, one modem, one set of
software. This makes the connection software's job much
easier. It does not need to take into account the fact that
you may decide to switch modems or browsers or that you may
not have a particular operating system or serial port
speed. There are probably other good reasons too, but
that's just off the top of my head."

BlackJ adds:

"...I am a netlink owner myself. First of all the Sega
Saturn is one hefty piece of hardware, two parallel 24Mhz
Hitachi RISC processors. Second of all, the netlink web
browser is also very limited on it's capabilities though.
You see the sega saturn has dedicated hardware, but only
two megs of ram. Since it has dedicated hardware and
software that is universally the same, it doesn't have to
be made to have the flexible code needed for computer
platform internet. Also cab and stik are not that hard to
set up in my experience. Besides, atarians have a much
wider support base than of the sega console. In case you
haven't notice the planetweb browser in considerably slow.
at least on your atari you can handle files over 400k, can
save things, have telnet and a manarue [sic] of computer
oriented things. Now if you have a Falcon, it can probably
blow your son's netlink out of the water in just about
everything. Now if you have a regular st, that's different
because you have 4colors max and a 19.2k port limit."

Greg Evans adds his thoughts:

"Er, hm! Al! You can't mention Sega in this Forum, don't
you know that?!? <grin> It took most of us many tries to
get online with our Atari's it's true. The only thing I can
figure is the Sega is a closed system so software doesn't
need to be able to run under multiple TOS and compatible
OS's, various screen resolutions and processors as well as
upgrades, standard and not. When it finally worked for me,
STinG only really required editing two files -- default.cfg
and the dial script. For the longest time I simply didn't
have STinG enabled so it would connect and not be able to
go anywhere. Now you could argue that "active" should be
the default option and not the other way around, that's
true. Don't give up on STinG or STiK. Email me your
configuration files and I'll fix them for you. If you have
a Falcon, especially, surfing is very nice in 256 colors."

"Turbo" Nick tells Al:

"I haven't tried using STiNG yet, but I didn't have much
trouble getting STiK & CAB to work using Delphi as an ISP.
That, I believe, was largely thanks to the helpful people
who, once they got it working, uploaded their DEFAULT.CFG
and DIAL.SCR files here. I downloaded those and made only a
few changes (e.g., phone number, login name, password in
DIAL.SCR). I haven't been able to get STiK & CAB to work
properly with my local ISP, but that (according to
VILLAREAL in this forum) is probably because I can only get
a CSLIP connection to that ISP, and STiK - despite what it
says in the comments in the DEFAULT.CFG - will not work
with CSLIP. With any luck, I will be able to get STiNG to
work with that ISP. My first step (after downloading the
latest version of STiNG) will be to get it working here.
Again, one or more of those who have it working here have
uploaded their config/script files. So, I don't expect to
have too much trouble with it here."

Al replies:

"Thanks to all who responded to my message about the Sega
NetLink and the internet. Mayhaps I misspoke, or didn't
really type what I was trying to say. Let me try one more
time (though its early in the morning and I'm only on cup
two of coffee..grin) I didn't mean to imply that the Sega
NetLink was a better device than what is on the Atari or
that the NetLink browser was better than CAB. I was just
babbling that I was blown away that: A) a video game system
could browse theinternet at all; B) that it did so quite
well; and C) that it was set up with almost no effort at

I was amazed that after playing with CAB-STik-STing for
what seems like forever (put this file here, put this file
there, edit this file, now edit this file, etc etc) that my
14yr old son, with no instruction file at all, was surfing
the web after loading up his software CD and answering
about 4 simple questions.

Again, I hope that no one got the impression that I was
saying that the Sega NetLink was better than our Atari
systems and if I gave that impression I apologize. I was
just lamenting that it would be nice if the Atari had just
one package, you told it to "Install", answered a few
questions, then BOOM.. you were on the internet. Okay..
enough said... back to another cup of coffee and editing
config files... fribble-frabble-frubble-frum...."

Dana Jacobson tells Al:

"I think that we got the right impression. The Sega console
that you're describing sounds like it's _almost_
Internet-ready, right outta the box. It would be nice if
there were Atari browsers that were that way. But, as I
think it was Joe that mentioned it, it's not that generic
on Atari machines. They're not all the same; each may
require a different set-up. One of these days the Atari
versions will become more simple. I think the reason that
there seem to be problems now is because updates are coming
out before most of us become accustomed to the software.
Plus, configuring Internet settings is relatively new for
Atari users."

Greg Evans tells Al:

"No offense taken here! By the way, if you use Magic (and
you are welcome to buy my copy!) you can use PPP Connect
for easy point-and-click setup of internet access. I
haven't tried it since Magic is flaky on the Afterburner
and I have STinG working anyway. You still need to tell CAB
about client programs, etc. but that's pretty straight

I add:

"Nope, I think we all understood what you were saying. I
find it interesting that many of us came up with the same
reply... Structure, structure, structure. <grin>

All the parts of the NetLink are hard-coded to the only
option possible for the system. I doubt that anyone took
your post to mean that you were saying that the Sega was
better than an actual computer. I didn't.

I know what you mean about having to mess with config files
and such for STiK or STinG. But trust me, once you get it
going, it's pretty cool. Have another cup of coffee (I live
on coffee myself) and have another try at editing them
there config files."

Larry White posts:

"I've seen several references to "Suzy B's" CD Roms. I know
that there are several collections from different
suppliers. Any thoughts about how they compare. I have
Crawley Crypt #1 already."

Dana Jacobson tells Larry:

"Michael is biased - he's half of Suzy B's! <rbg>

I'm also biased - I know Michael and the time and effort
he's put into putting together these CDROM collections.
They are well worth the investment. There's no comparing
any of the available collections unless you're looking for
something specific; they are all good. I'd say Michael's
are better in a lot of ways. Certainly the service is
undeniably the best." *The only thing I'd like to add here
is that Michael may be biased, but I'd be willing to bet
that if his collection wasn't the best that it could
possibly be, he'd tell you that straight-out.

Greg Evans asks:

"Would there be any interest in a GEM front-end for setting
up the STinG configuration files, default.cfg and dial.scr?
I may take a whack at it and see what I can do. First
release will probably be write-only, meaning it can create
new files but not update old ones."

I reply to Greg:

"YEAH! I think that'd be great. I can't offer help in
programming, but I'd be able to test out features and such
for you."

Dana Jacobson adds:

"Absolutely! That would likely give me the incentive to try
STiNG out again. <grin>"

Bob Trowbridge adds his support:

"Sure! Especially as I am thinking about adding an ISP in
addition to Delphi. Were you thinking of something like PP
Connect that comes with CAB 2.5?"

Greg tells Bob:

"I'll have to take a look at PPP connect. I own it but
don't use it because it needs MagiC. Actually, I own that
too, but don't like it as much as Geneva. What I imagine is
a menu bar and dialogs hanging off it collecting
information about your ISP -- DNS, domain name, etc., and
personal info -- username, password, etc. After you fill
everything in the program will write the default.cfg and
dial.scr files. Oh yeah, I forgot, you will also be able to
specify your login script."

Greg also adds:

"Alex Clauss, the author of CAB confirmed for me that CAB
2.7 (the next English release -- 2.6 will not be released
in English) will support cookies! This means that all of us
telneting into Delphi from our ISPs will also be able to
connect through the Delphi home page. I think you'll need
to use CAB.OVL 1.2805 or later for that to work. No ETA for
2.7, unfortunately. Also, HTML 4.0 will follow in a
subsequent release."

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

                     PEOPLE ARE TALKING

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


In Joe's comments above, he makes some terrific points
regarding earlier computing. What I get from Joe's comments
is that computer users of yesteryear got a sense of
accomplishment using those computers. The end-user, that's
you, did most of the work. If you're about my age (no
laughing please!), you may remember some of those science
hobby kits when you were a kid. You purchased the kit,
whatever it happened to be, put it together and prayed that
you followed the instructions exactly and your project

Yesteryear's computing was similar. As Joe mentioned, the
user might type in countless lines of what seemed to be
gobbledy-gook program code; and if done correctly, turned
out to be some interesting program. If you made a mistake,
you had to find the error and fix it. To get that program
to work seemed frustrating at times, but the reward was a
program that worked.

It's not that way today. Other than compatibility problems,
most computers are foolproof. Just about anyone can use one
and perform most typical uses. Most computers today are
sold pre-loaded with software, including the operating
system (Windows '95, for example). Buying new software and
running it is a breeze. How difficult is it to select
setup.exe and click on OK? And then select RUN or
double-click your newly created program icon? Where's the
sense of accomplishment? Putting in the disk or CDROM in
the right slot, right side up?

As Joe mentioned above, more and more people are using
computers today but really don't know how to _use_ them.
People who started out using 8-bit and 16-bit computers
have a vast edge, and a basic understanding of what they're
using. Today's users have no idea what RAM means, or
signifies. All they know is more is better, but not why,
for example.

You think I'm kidding? Many people at work have new
computers at home. On occasion, one will ask me a question
regarding a problem they're having. Mind you, I do _not_
own a peecee but use one at work. A typical question goes
something like this: the person is writing a letter or
something, using MS Word for Windows. They'll tell me the
letter doesn't "look right". I try to get them to explain,
but the explanation is usually very vague that I can't
imagine what they're experiencing. So, I suggest that they
bring in the file from home. One person, in such a position
exclaimed "I can't bring in my computer; I don't know how
to take it apart!" After my laughter subsided, I told the
person, no, bring me the file on a disk. "How do I do
that?" is the typical response. Save the file to disk, or
copy it to disk, I tell them. Same response as above. I
eventually have to spell it out to them _and_ show them on
my own computer.

Granted, every "knob" will run into problems - we all did.
But many users today just "run" rather than "use" software.
They don't care why something works, or doesn't. They don't
care how something works; they're simply interested in the
end result regardless of what happened to achieve that
result. There's very little curiosity. There is a sense of
accomplishment ("I did it!"), but many have no idea what
they did.

These are just some of the reasons why I continue to use
Atari computers. The sense of how I got there is just as
important as getting there.

Until next time...

                             EDITORIAL QUICKIES

                                         SOME CLASSICS OF BRITISH BROADCASTING

                       Jon Snow:  "In a sense, Deng Xiaoping's death was inevitable, wasn't it?"
                                          Expert : "Er, yes." (Channel 4 News)

"As Phil De Glanville said, each game is unique, and this one is no different to any other." (John Sleightholme - BBC1)

          "If England are going to win this match, they're going to have to score a goal." (Jimmy Hill - BBC)

        "Beethoven, Kurtag, Charles Ives, Debussy - four very different names." (Presenter, BBC Proms, Radio 3)

     "Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got eleven Dicks on the field." (Metro Radio Sports Commentary)

      Listener: "My most embarrassing moment was when my artificial leg fell off at the altar on my wedding day."
                     Simon Fanshawe: "How awful! Do you still have an artificial leg? (Talk Radio)

                       Interviewer: "So did you see which train crashed into which train first?"
                    15-year-old: "No, they both ran into each other at the same time." (BBC Radio 4)

                                      Kilroy-Silk: "Did you mean to get pregnant?"
                                             Girl: "No. It was a cock-up."

                   Grand National winning jockey Mick Fitzgerald: "Sex is an anti-climax after that!"
                  Desmond Lynam: "Well, you gave the horse a wonderful ride,everyone saw that." (BBC)

Thanks go to ....
John Hole/WUGNET [Enfield,Middlesex,UK]

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