ST Report: 12-Jun-98 #1423

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 06/13/98-01:51:04 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 12-Jun-98 #1423
Date: Sat Jun 13 13:51:04 1998

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 June 12, 1998                                                     No.1423

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06/12/98 STR 1423

                     "Often Imitated, Never Surpassed!"

- CPU Industry Report                    - Linux Advocate        - N64 Price Cut!
- FTC OK's Compaq/Digital Merger         - NBC buys Inet Portal  - Net Trust
- AOL NEXT for Anti-Trust?               - Laser Breakthrough    - TeraStor 10gb Disk Dr
- INet Summit Planned                    - People Talking        - Classics & Gaming

                      U.S. Agency Reports "Substantial' Cyber Attacks
                               Intel to Release 450 MHz Chip
                            FTC Sues Intel Over Monopoly Abuses

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

    Heat Wave. To me, at one time, this was only a song title. Now,
    its a reality. Almost every day its been over a hundred degrees
    for the last two weeks. None the less, the beauty of Florida never
    ceases to amaze me. The seashore for example, right here in
    Jacksonville is a wonder of natural diversity. From the snow white
    sands to the life in the air, in the sea, on the shorelines and in
    the local estuaries.

    We went fishing the other day. Where else in the world can you see
    the mightiest of Naval Fleets to the tiniest of seabirds making a
    living all this from a sixteen foot sea skiff? You bet! Right
    here in the St. John's River and its tributaries. Through the
    course of the day, we saw Sand Hill Cranes, Schools of Croaker
    Fry, Bottle-Nose Dolphin, Manatee, Raccoons feeding on exposed
    Oysters along the shoreline at low tide, Sea birds of most every
    description, schools of Rays, Mullet, Ladyfish and an abundance of
    Flounder the likes of which I hadn't seen since I was a youngster.

    After cast netting for our bait, Tiger Minnows-so named for their
    stripes and sturdiness, we proceeded to drift fish for Flounders.
    We caught sixteen keeper flounders and returned nine to the sea to
    grow up some more. That's a total of twenty five flounders in
    about eight and a half hours. That's what I call good fishing.

    The Flounder here in the south are the very same as the "summer"
    flounder found in the northeast. They're also called Fluke up
    north. Especially along the Jersey Shore. As a youngster and a
    young man I fished for Fluke all along the "NY Bight". That being
    the south shore of Long Island to Cape May NJ. The best flounder
    fishing there was from Sandy Hook south along the Jersey Shore.

    Jacksonville Florida offers so much more in the way of outdoor
    living, career opportunities and good clean living, than most of
    the "more progressive and modern" cities of this nation that I
    must sing its praises. After all it is in the top five of "best
    southern cities to live in." Oh well, so much for the lovely life
    around these parts. Talk to you next week. Stay healthy and safe.



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                                     STReport Headline News
                                LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS
                             Weekly Happenings in the Computer World
                                  Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                    FTC Sues Intel Over Monopoly Abuses

        The Federal Trade Commission sued Intel Corp. to stop the
        giant maker of microprocessors from wielding its dominant
        market position "as a club" against computer makers, an
        agency official said Monday. The agency's top litigator,
        William Baer, said Intel withheld key technical information
        from leading computer makers Digital Equipment Corp.,
        Intergraph Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. to stifle
        competition and impede innovation. "The case the commission
        is bringing today seeks to prevent Intel from repeating
        this conduct in the future," Baer said.

        Baer said Intel forced the three companies to share
        valuable patents they held that could otherwise have led to
        the development of competing microprocessors. "In at least
        three separate cases against three major customers, Intel
        used its market to cut off these customers who had asserted
        their own patent rights with respect to microprocessors and
        related technologies that rivaled Intel's technology," Baer
        said. The FTC determined that Intel's dominant market share
        constituted a monopoly, subjecting the company's conduct to
        heightened scrutiny under U.S. antitrust laws.

                      Barksdale: Time To Draw The Line
          (True, a diagonal line through a circle over Barksdale's
         Jim Barksdale, a true entrepeneur at any cost to anyone...

        James Barksdale said he's not sure what the best solution
        is in the U.S. Department of Justice's case against
        Microsoft Corp. But one thing Netscape Communications
        Corp.'s chief executive officer is sure of is that it's
        time for the government to "draw the line" somewhere over
        just how far the Redmond, Wash., software maker can extend
        its monopoly might.

        "The problem is that Microsoft has done a lot of good, hard
        work, pushing and shoving, to create a monopoly on the
        desktop, which they then used to distribute other software
        products," Barksdale said during an interview at a Netscape
        briefing for press and analysts last week in San Francisco.
        "And that's through a chain of distribution partners -
        called PC OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] - who
        cannot exist without Microsoft Windows. So they control two
        layers of the distribution channel, which means if anyone
        wanted viability to get into that channel with a marvelous
        new product, there's no way for them to get in there if
        Microsoft doesn't want you to get in."

        That's just what happened to Netscape, he said, with
        Microsoft using its Windows operating system monopoly to
        prevent Windows PC OEMs from distributing Netscape's
        market-leading Navigator browser along with, or instead of,
        Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser. In the weeks
        since the DOJ and 13 states filed antitrust suits against
        Microsoft, two major PC OEMs - Gateway 2000 Inc. and
        Packard Bell NEC - announced they will distribute
        Netscape's client software along with IE on Windows 98 PCs
        later this month. Such distribution agreements would never
        have been possible without government intervention.

        As part of the remedies it's seeking, the DOJ is asking
        Microsoft to either unbundle its browser from Windows or
        distribute Netscape's Navigator browser along with IE.
        Barksdale discounted critics who say there is no precedent
        for such a remedy, citing the must-carry laws that force
        cable operators to carry third-party content on their
        networks. "The must-carry laws say that if you control a
        basic facility, you have to offer people a way to get into
        the pipe somewhere or other," Barksdale said. "So you
        either put the products in at the top of the channel -
        i.e., distributed by Microsoft - or you open up the middle
        of the channel."

        That entry into the Windows distribution channel remains an
        important one for Netscape and its browser, despite the
        fact that its now-free client software is a zero revenue
        business for the company. Its browser remains a competitive
        advantage, driving traffic to the Netcenter portal service
        that now sits at the heart of its Web site and accounts for
        about 25 percent of its revenue.

        Netscape announced plans last week to differentiate its No.
        2-ranked portal service from competitors. "I consider [our
        client software] to be a significant competitive
        advantage," Barksdale said, noting that 55 percent of the 8
        million visitors who journey to its site daily do so
        because Netcenter is the default home page on their

        The DOJ can be reached at
        Netscape can be reached at

                     FTC Clears Compaq, Digital Merger

        Compaq Computer said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission
        approved its merger with Digital Equipment. The companies
        said in a statement they expect the merger to close shortly
        after a June 11 special meeting at which Digital
        shareholders will vote on the transaction. Two-thirds of
        Digital's outstanding stock must be voted in favor of the
        transaction for it to be completed. Digital shareholders
        are to receive $30 plus 0.945 shares of Compaq stock for
        each share they hold.

                 U.S. Releases Revised Internet Names Plan

        The Clinton administration released its final plan to
        overhaul the Internet's naming system today, but scrapped
        earlier plans to quickly add more names to the system. The
        eagerly awaited final plan, overseen by senior Clinton
        adviser Ira Magaziner, seeks to resolve the controversy
        over management of some of the Internet's most basic
        functions, including the assignment and registration of
        names for World Wide Web sites.

        The administration still plans to phase out government
        involvement in he naming system by Sept. 30, 2000, as an
        initial draft of the report released in January suggested.
        But specific proposals to extend the system or dictate how
        it should function in the future have been scaled back.
        Under the current system, Network Solutions, of Herndon,
        Va., manages the naming system in the Internet's popular
        generic domains ".com," ".org" and "net" under an exclusive
        government contract that expires in September. The
        so-called top-level domains are the two- or three-letter
        suffixes at the end of every address on the Internet, as in
        the ".gov" at the end of "

        Plans to create immediate competition to Network Solutions
        were dropped, but the government said it is continuing to
        negotiate with the company to assure a level playing field
        for potential future competitors. The plan leaves all
        decisions about expanding the system up to a new U.S.-based
        non-profit group headed by 15 people selected from
        private-sector, Internet and consumer groups.

        The debate over the Internet's name and address system has
        been raging for several years since one of the fathers of
        the Net, Jon Postel, announced his own plan to add more
        addresses. Postel's plan led to a cascade of revised plans,
        highlighting the sometimes murky and ambiguous system for
        making major changes to the vast network that arose
        informally from a Cold War-era Defense Department project.

                    Industry Organizing Internet Summit

        Under orders from the White House to find a way to manage
        the Internet themselves, private industry is organizing a
        "constitutional convention" in July for the worldwide
        network. But the process, still in its infancy, already is
        drawing criticism - and raising doubts about the likelihood
        of its success - mostly focused on the behind-the-scenes
        involvement of Network Solutions Inc.

        The private company, which manages a large part of the
        Internet under an exclusive government contract that
        expires Sept. 30, is widely recognized as a pivotal
        industry player but also is widely resented for its
        influence. Concern about the company's power could threaten
        the fragile process by which the White House wants the
        often-fractious coalition of Internet professionals quickly
        to form an international nonprofit board to take over most
        online management.

        Network Solutions, based in Herndon, Va., and others are
        organizing a "Global Incorporation Alliance Workshop" to
        begin July 1 in suburban Washington. The conference has a
        Web site - registered to an NSI employee - and the company
        initially was the primary source for news about the
        gathering, until the conference hired its own public
        relations company Wednesday.

        "Any honest intent to reach a consensus, we would support -
        if it works out not to be staged," said Don Heath,
        president of the Internet Society, an international group
        devoted to maintaining and promoting worldwide computer
        network. A spokeswoman for the company, Cheryl Regan, said
        Network Solutions was "helping out administratively" at the
        conference but declined further comment. Some Internet
        leaders defended the company's involvement.

        "NSI is clearly a part of the Internet community and played
        a leading role in the formation of the Internet," said
        Harold Feld, a lawyer with the Domain Name Rights
        Coalition. "The idea that NSI shouldn't participate in any
        of these deliberations because there are a number of people
        who aren't happy about it just isn't feasible."

        The decisions made at the upcoming conference potentially
        affects every person who uses the Internet, which has
        become a vital conduit for business and communications.
        Many of the changes will be technical in nature and take
        place behind the scenes, transparent to most users. Obvious
        changes could be lower prices to register a Web address and
        the addition of new Web address suffixes, such as "rec" or
        "nom," in addition to the familiar "gov," "edu" and "com."

        Under the Clinton administration's final plan to hand over
        management of the Internet, the toughest decisions about
        running the network - such as how to organize Web addresses
        - will be left to a yet-to-be formed, 15-member board. But
        the government offered few details on how the board will be
        created, other than saying it wants the Internet community
        to handle things.

        Under the current system, Network Solutions registers all
        Web sites with the suffixes "com," "net" and "org." Under
        the new plan, Network Solutions probably will retain that
        role, but it also likely will be forced to allow other
        companies to sell Web addresses with those same suffixes.
        The European Commission, whose members met this week to
        discuss the White House plan, said Wednesday it was largely
        pleased with the proposal. But it isn't sure about allowing
        Network Solutions to maintain its dominance as the keeper
        of Web addresses.

        "We have some concerns whether that is desirable," said
        Gerard De Graaf, EU first secretary. The government has
        said it wants the new management board up and running by
        Oct. 1, with a total transfer of responsibility no later
        than Oct. 1, 2000.

                   Intel to Release 450 MHz Chip Shortly

        Computer chip giant Intel Corp. repeated Tuesday that it
        expects to release faster versions of a number of its
        processors in the next few weeks. Its flagship Pentium II
        chip, largely the standard for personal computers priced
        above $1,200, will be available in a 450 MHz version within
        weeks. The company is currently shipping 350 and 400 MHz
        versions. "We are currently selling as high as a 400 MHz
        product, and within a matter of weeks you will see a 450
        MHz product introduced," said Gordon Casey, the director of
        investor relations for Intel.

                     Computer Guru Finds Windows Glitch
                     (Is that "Finds" or "Contrives"?)
             This HAS to be the Epitome of Grandstanding... rfm

        MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - It is a malady Microsoft didn't need
        right now. A computer expert found what he diagnosed as a
        "potentially serious error" with Windows 98, which is
        scheduled for release June 25. Computer guru John Stewart
        of Spring Grove, Minn., said the problem concerns the
        start-up disk that Microsoft recommends users create when
        installing the operating system. The disk contains files
        needed to start a personal computer and troubleshoot

        It also is supposed to contain a file to remove Windows 98.
        But, in fact, no uninstall program is available on the
        disk. "It's like Ford selling you a car with instructions
        for changing the tire, and when you open the trunk, the
        spare isn't there," Stewart said. The missing uninstall
        program is located on the Windows 98 CD-ROM, and on the
        PC's hard drive, according to Microsoft spokesman Ryan
        James. "As with any software, they're prone to little
        glitches," James said. In any case, "it's a fairly rare
        scenario" that a user would choose to remove Windows 98 and
        revert to the former operating system, James said.

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    EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed

      [Image]                          Edupage


     Victory For Internet              Clinton Defends INet Subsidies
     Self-Governance                   For Schools And Libraries

     Obstacles To The WorldCom-MCI     Laser Breakthrough

     IBM To Sell PC Servers Directly   Intel To Cut Prices-TI To Get
     To Corporate Customers            Out Of Memory-Chip Business

     Netscape Refocuses On The "Net    Will Year 2000 Arrive With All
     Economy"                          Its Digits Intact?

     Issues Of The FTC Antitrust Suit  Gingrich And Gore Technology
     Against Intel                     Squabble

     Netscape To Offer Simpler         TeraStor Unveils 10-Gigabyte
     Searching                         Disk Drive

     Throwaway Movie Disks From        IBM Teams Up With Equifax For
     Circuit City                      Secure Transactions

     @Home Abroad                      Berners-Lee On The Next
                                       Generation Web

     Net Trust                         Buzzword Bingo Mania

     NBC Buys Internet Portal          Vandals Hit The Stanford
                                       Linear Accelerator Center

     Internet "Constitutional          Justice And Industry Talk
     Convention" Slated                About Encryption

     Digital TV May Spell Black-Out    First Internet Portal To Offer
     For Low-Power Stations            Online Auctions

     IBM's Digital Chip                Canadian Content On The Web


    A new Clinton Administration policy paper says that the U.S. will
    turn the administration of Internet domain-name addresses to a
    yet-to-be-established international nonprofit group whose
    membership will be decided by the private sector worldwide.
    Internet Society president Don Heath was pleased with the
    decision: "This clearly shows the U.S. government heard the
    international community and listened to them. They showed they
    understood the dynamics of the Internet, the need for bottom-up,
    grass-roots consensus building. This is a victory for the Internet
    and a victory of self-governance." (New York Times 6 Jun 98)


    Responding to strong bipartisan criticism of the new "e-rate"
    program established by the 1996 Telecommunications Act to
    subsidize Internet access in schools and libraries through fees
    imposed on long-distance companies, President Clinton told an MIT
    commencement audience: "I say we cannot afford not to have an
    e-rate. Thousands of poor schools and libraries and rural health
    centers are in desperate need of discounts. If we really believe
    that we all belong in the Information Age, then, at this sunlit
    moment of prosperity, we can't leave anyone behind in the dark."
    AT&T and MCI have said they plan to pass the new charges on to
    consumers by increasing their monthly phone bills by as much as 5
    to 6%. Clinton also urged states to impose technological literacy
    standards to insure that entering high school students are
    proficient at such tasks as word processing and Web navigation.
    (Washington Post 6 Jun 98)


    The European Union competition commissioner Karel van Miert says
    that MCI's shedding of its Internet business (in a $625 million
    cash sales to Cable & Wireless PLC) may not be "good enough" to
    allay antitrust concerns that the proposed $37 billion acquisition
    of MCI merger by WorldCom might unfairly dominate the Internet. An
    executive of GTE, which opposes the WorldCom-MCI merger and which
    has demanded that WorldCom sell its UUNet Internet service
    company, says: "Van Miert's comments today clearly indicate that
    MCI's recent attempt to create the appearance of a divestiture
    through partial sale of some minor Internet assets are not going
    to fool the E.C." (New York Times 5 Jun 98)

                             LASER BREAKTHROUGH

    Researchers from Yale University, Lucent Technologies, and the Max
    Planck Institute of Physics have developed microlasers that are
    1,000 times more powerful than conventional ones and that could
    eventually be used to speed up existing communications networks or
    become the basis for entirely new ones. Rather than sending the
    laser beam through a perfectly round cylinder, the scientists
    developed an egg-shaped cylinder in which the beam moves with a
    crisscrossing bow tie pattern of light that produces 40 milliwatts
    of power, compared to 40 microwatts in the round cylinder.
    (Science 5 Jun 98)


    Bypassing distributors in a strategic move to cut costs, IBM will
    now adopt a hybrid distribution strategy allowing it to sell
    NetInfinity PC servers directly to corporate customers. IBM is
    playing catch-up to Compaq, and IBM chief executive Lou Gerstner
    recently said: "We missed this one so badly that I don't even like
    to think about it. We let Compaq run out and grab this PC-server
    business while we were worrying about protecting our midrange
    systems." IBM currently has a 13% share of the global PC server
    business, compared to Compaq's 31% share. (New York Times 5 Jun


    As it gets ready to introduce a faster Celeron chip for personal
    computers costing less than $1,200, Intel is planning to cut
    prices on its Pentium II chips from 12 to 20%` Texas Instruments
    is in negotiations with Micron, a potential buyer for TI's
    memory-chip operations, which have been hurt by overproduction and
    declining prices. (San Jose Mercury News 6 Jun 98)


    Announcing a change from his company's former sales strategy of
    taking "all products into all markets," Netscape co-founder and
    executive vice president Marc Andreessen has told analysts and
    reporters that Netscape is shifting its focus away from a browser
    war with Microsoft. Netscape's new emphasis will be on developing
    the "net economy"-- in which traditional businesses (automaking,
    banking, publishing, etc.) create new market niches. (Washington
    Post 6 Jun 98)


    A report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by
    Triaxsys Research says that, although the nation's 250 biggest
    corporations are spending $37 billion to correct the Year 2000
    computer problem (caused by old software that uses two rather than
    four digits to code "year" fields), the progress of those
    corporations "falls considerably below levels necessary to avoid
    business disruption." Fewer than 60% of the firms have completed
    even preliminary assessments to determine the extent of the
    problem. (USA Today 6 Jun 98)


    The Federal Trade Commission's antitrust lawsuit against Intel is
    unusual in that antitrust laws are designed to protect a
    monopolist's competitors, whereas in the current case only one of
    the companies allegedly harmed by Intel's predatory tactics has
    ever been a serious Intel competitor (Digital); the others
    (Integraph and Compaq) are essentially Intel customers. What the
    three companies share is that they were all engaged in a
    continuing patent dispute with Intel, and Intel says it would have
    made no sense to give technical data to companies that were suing
    it, even though those companies needed the technical data for
    designing computers based on the new Intel chips. The FTC says
    that Digital, Integraph and Compaq may have been customers, but
    they were also rivals. (New York Times 9 Jun 98) Meanwhile, George
    Mason University law professor William Kovacic predicts that the
    FTC's case "operates at the frontiers of existing doctrine" and
    ultimately will be unsuccessful: "More likely than not, the FTC
    will fail to win case. Their chances are at best one in five." The
    case will not go to trial before next year, and "it will take
    several years to follow the process, and Intel may not even be a
    monopolist by then." (TechWeb 9 Jun 98)

         (What's this? Newt must be campaigning for re-election!!)
     The best outcome is for Newt to be sent HOME to Georgia for good!

    Saying that "it is wrong for five unelected, appointed
    commissioners [the FCC members] to be able to establish a tax on
    every telephone in the United States" in order to provide
    subsidies for discounted Internet access for schools, libraries
    and rural agencies, Speaker Newt Gingrich says he will lead an
    effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to block what he
    characterized as the "Gore tax." Vice President Al Gore responded:
    "Let me be clear: I strongly oppose any effort to pull the plug on
    the e-rate [education rate] program. I call on both Congress and
    industry to put politics aside and work with us to put 21st
    century educational technology in every classroom and library."
    Gingrich also suggested that U.S. government agencies have not
    been aggressive enough in preparing for Year 2000 computer
    problems, and predicted that they will be a political liability
    for Gore because of the vice president's alleged lack of
    leadership on the issue. (AP 8 Jun 98) On another issue, Gingrich
    told the same audience: "One of the goals should be to replace all
    textbooks with a PC. I would hope within five years they would
    have no more textbooks." The Speaker argued that a 24-hour-a-day
    Internet should be used to replace the traditional classroom
    lecture. (Atlanta-Journal Constitution 9 Jun 98)


    Netscape's newest version of the Navigator software for browsing
    the Web will be married to a massive database of keywords that
    will allow surfers to accomplish their searches more quickly. A
    user will be able to visit an Internet site simply by typing
    ordinary English words (such as "Southwest Airlines" into the
    address field at the top of the browser screen) rather than a
    formal URL, such as (San Jose Mercury News
    8 Jun 98)


    TeraStor Corp. says its 10-gigabyte removable disk drive will be
    available later this year for $800, with a 20-gigabyte product
    scheduled for release in mid-1999. Fifteen months ago, the company
    predicted it would offer drives at the same price as today's
    removable drives but with 10 times the storage capacity. Its
    latest announcement falls short of those goals, but TeraStor's
    president says he's confident his company can deliver on its
    long-term vision: "We think we have done extremely well."
    TeraStor, with backing from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is
    combining the magnetic storage techniques used in the so-called
    Winchester disk drives with the laser technology that forms the
    basis for CD-ROMs. (Wall Street Journal 8 Jun 98)


    Retail electronics chain Circuit City is about to start
    test-marketing Divx, digital disks that look like CDs but with
    seven times the capacity are capable of holding a full-length
    movie, complete with high-quality picture resolution; the disks
    will sell for $4.49 each, and a consumer can watch a movie and
    then toss it away. Circuit City says the Divx offers "a better way
    to represent a video product." To see the movie more than 48 hours
    after rental, to watch it on playback machines other than the
    person who purchased the Divx, or to buy the video outright, the
    consumer can choose among various procedures and payment plans.
    Zenith is launching a Divx player that will cost $499, about $100
    more than existing digital video players (on which Divx will not
    work). Circuit City says it expects "that within five years we
    will be able to capture 20% of the video rental market." (USA
    Today 8 Jun 98)

               (Oh well, now... the FOX is IN the Henhouse!)

    IBM is teaming up with transaction-processing company Equifax to
    co-market secure, encryption-based online commercial transactions
    via several new products. "When business is online, security
    controls are paramount," says IBM Internet division general
    manager Irving Wladawsky-Berger. IBM plans to launch its new Vault
    Registry software this summer, based on its own encryption
    technology, and Equifax will provide its own
    certificate-management services, a high-volume security-management
    application based on Vault Registry and remote authentication
    services. Meanwhile, IBM is negotiating with several of its
    Integrion electronic-banking alliance members to adopt the new
    software packages. (Computer Reseller News 9 Jun 98)

                                @HOME ABROAD

    The @Home Network has cut a deal with U.K. cable and
    telecommunications operator ComTel to market a British version of
    the cable-based Internet access service. ComTel has a potential
    subscriber base of 1 million British homes. (Broadcasting & Cable
    1 Jun 98)


    World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee says creating order out of
    the chaos of the Web is the next item on his agenda: "Whereas
    phase one of the Web put all the accessible information into one
    huge book, if you like, in phase two we will turn all the
    accessible data into one huge database. This will have a
    tremendous effect on e-commerce. You could say, 'Find me a company
    selling a half-inch bulb to these specifications,' and a program
    will go through all the catalogs -- which may be presented in very
    different formats -- and figure out which fields are equivalent
    and then build a database and do a comparison very quickly. Then
    it will just go ahead and order it. It would be a real mistake for
    anyone to think the Internet is done or the World Wide Web is
    done. We're just at the start of these technologies, and there's a
    huge amount of research to be done. It's very important for the
    government to keep funding it." (Los Angeles Times 8 Jun 98)

                                 NET TRUST

    A recent United Press International poll found that computer users
    put more confidence in information that they find online than that
    gleaned from more conventional sources, such as newspapers and
    television. Forty-three percent of those polled said they trusted
    the accuracy of online information versus 35% for other media. And
    59% of their computer time is spent doing work, versus 41% of time
    spent on recreational activities. (Information Week 1 Jun 98)

                            BUZZWORD BINGO MANIA

    Buzzword Bingo, a game that started in Silicon Valley as a way to
    pass the time during boring staff meetings, has become a cult
    event at many companies, as employees surreptitiously check off
    shopworn phrases such as "proactive" and "win-win" uttered by
    their unknowing superiors. Indeed, four employees of
    Inc. have been playing a covert game on their Palm Pilots for
    nearly three months, with the devices rigged to beep melodiously
    should any participant ever actually hit bingo. So far, silence
    has prevailed... (Wall Street Journal 8 Jun 98)

                          NBC BUYS INTERNET PORTAL

    NBC, the television network owned by General Electric, is buying a
    controlling interest in the Internet search and directory service
    called Snap, as well as a 5% interest in Snap's parent, CNet. Like
    AOL, MSN, Netscape, and others, NBC wants to be an
    advertiser-supported "portal" to Internet users wanting to surf
    the Web, send e-mail, and engage in chat sessions. (New York Times
    10 Jun 98)


    Computer vandals who monitored Internet traffic in order to
    "sniff" (intercept) a password to the Stanford Linear Accelerator
    Center were able to gain access to more than 30 of the federal
    research center's most important Unix servers. No permanent damage
    was done to programs or data, but the facility was closed down for
    a week, as a precaution meant to protect the lab's computing
    infrastructure. A spokesperson for the center said: "We now have
    to assess the tradeoffs of an open community vs. a more
    Internet-secure community. It's a debate that's taking place
    heatedly among different scientists." (San Jose Mercury News 10
    Jun 98)


    Network Solutions, which up until now has had exclusive rights to
    register Internet domain names under a contract with the National
    Science Foundation, is organizing, along with other industry
    players, a "Global Incorporation Alliance Workshop" next month.
    The Clinton administration's recently announced plan for the
    Internet calls for private industry to work out a new Internet
    management strategy by themselves, without government involvement.
    Decisions ultimately will be made by an as-yet-to-be-named
    15-member board, but the workshop will lay the groundwork for
    addressing many of the issues involved in designing a new system.
    The government has said it wants the new board up and running by
    Oct. 1, with a total transfer of responsibility no later than Oct.
    1, 2000. (AP 11 Jun 98)


    Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis J. Freeh met
    for two hours with the chief executive officers of Microsoft, Sun,
    Netscape, AOL, MCI Communications and Novell, to discuss the
    government's software encryption policies. The meeting, which was
    arranged by California Senator Diane Feinstein, resulted in an
    administration promise to "redouble our efforts with industry" to
    relax the export controls on "strong encryption" -- while adding:
    "We are still discussing exactly what those relaxations should be.
    That's the $64,000 question." Law enforcement officials have
    advocated a "key escrow" system that would allow investigators
    armed with a court order to inspect encrypted communications
    suspected to be related to criminal acts. That approach is
    generally frowned upon by industry leaders and privacy advocates.
    (New York Times 10 Jun 98)


    Hundreds of low-power TV stations, which form a core of the
    country's minority-owned media outlets, have been told by the FCC
    to forfeit their frequencies to larger stations for the expanded
    spectrum requirements of digital television. More than 15% of
    low-power TV stations are minority-owned, compared with 3% of
    full-power stations. "This is a spectrum grab by large companies,
    pure and simple," says one low-power station manager. More than
    300 low-power stations have petitioned the FCC for new channel
    assignments, but the FCC is warning that many of these stations
    will be forced off the air. "It will be devastating," says the
    owner of two low-power stations. "Minority owners are concentrated
    in larger urban markets... and that's where the spectrum is most
    crowded and where displacement by digital TV will happen most
    extensively." (Los Angeles 9 Jun 98)


    Excite, the search service and gateway (or "portal") site to the
    rest of the Internet, will be the first such site to bring
    consumer-to-consumer commerce through auction classifieds in which
    sellers can post their ad and designate a minimum bid, and buyers
    can obtain regular classified and auction ads and enter the
    bidding. Industry analyst Ron Rapport of Zona Research says: "This
    will educate the consumer not only how to buy over the Web but how
    to sell over the Web. Consumers will start to see these portal
    sites as the entry point for e-commerce" -- and not merely places
    to look for information. (USA Today 10 Jun 98)

                            IBM'S DIGITAL CHIP

    IBM plans to market a digital signal processor chip for cell
    phones that will in many ways mimic a popular chip made by Texas
    Instruments. TI currently controls 45% of the global DSP market.
    IBM says it built the chip from scratch using reverse engineering,
    and a TI spokeswoman declined to comment, except to say that
    imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. "This is really a
    good indication that we have the best DSP in the market. That's
    why they are cloning it." The new chip is part of a new $100
    million investment by IBM to add at least 25 new chip cores to
    IBM's existing portfolio. (Wall Street Journal 10 Jun 98)

                        CANADIAN CONTENT ON THE WEB

    The Canadian government plans to invest $30 million over the next
    five years in developing Canadian content for Internet sites,
    CD-ROMs and other multimedia projects created by private
    companies. Speaking to delegates at a conference of the Federation
    of Canadian Municipalities, Prime Minister Chretien reiterated
    plans for Ottawa to spend $260 million to help communities
    "wire-up," announced an additional $55 million in federal funding
    for CANARIE, the joint public-private sector venture for Internet
    technology, and confirmed a previous announcement of another $205
    million for SchoolNet to link every school and public library in
    Canada to the Internet. (Toronto Star 9 Jun 98)

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                             The Linux Advocate

    Column #14

    by Scott Dowdle
    June 11th, 1998


    For starters, this is a fill in column. I've been taking notes and
    working on the News section but realized that I have a lot more
    work than I can get done before deadline and wanted to at least
    submit something for this issue. This will make three LAs in three
    weeks so I don't feel too bad about not getting the regular column
    out. :)

    So, what did I find for a filler? Well, something really cool.
    Lars Wirzenius was a speaker at the 1998 Linux Expo weekend before
    last. I'm sure that name doesn't sound familiar to those who are
    fairly new to the Linux Community. I'll not give a rundown of who
    Lars is because he a good job of that in the text that follows
    entitled, "Linux Anecdotes," which is basically a transcript of
    the speech he gave at Linux Expo. Enjoy!

    (start long quote here)

    Linux Anecdotes

    Lars Wirzenius

    27 April 1998


    A look at the history of Linux, as seen by a long time Linux user.
    The talk is a series of anecdotes, shy of technical details, and
    sprinkled with personal memories.

    Who I am and why I am here

    I seem to have acquired a little bit of reputation in the Linux
    community, despite my efforts in to stay quiet and invisible, so
    that I don't get so many questions from people having trouble with

    Part of my reputation is that I know Linux pretty well. That part
    is based on the time when I and Linus Torvalds---I assume you know
    Linus---shared an office at the University of Helsinki. In
    reality, I don't know Linux all that well. For example, my one
    stab at kernel programmingresulted in a bug that took three years
    to track down and fix, and even then it was done by someone
    hacking OS/2. I'm referring to the sprintf function inside the

    I wrote sprintf in the summer of 1991. Linus needed some easy way
    to print messages from the kernel, and did not then know how to
    use the stdarg mechanism to implement variable argument lists to
    functions. I see some people in the audience shaking their heads.
    Yes, it's true. There was a time when Linus didn't know
    everything. Really. Trust me. I was there.

    Anyway, I wrote a simple sprintf for Linus, to show him how it was
    done, and he used in the Linux kernel, after some modification.
    The bug was in the handling of an asterisk as the width for an
    output field. I forgot to increment a pointer past the asterisk,
    so the code had no chance of working for this case. No chance at
    all. This was clear to anyone who tried it. Obviously, I didn't,
    which means that I probably shouldn't be employed to write
    software. In 1994, three years later, one Friedemann Baitinger
    noticed the bug, and sent me a patch. He was using the sprintf
    while debugging a device driver he was writing for OS/2.

    Anyway, back to who I am. I've been a friend of Linus since before
    Linux even existed. We met as first-year students in 1988. When he
    started to write Linux, I naturally followed things with interest
    and some jealousy. Except for sprintf, I didn't really
    participate, since I'm not a hacker, just a wannabe. When Linux
    and its community grew, I took part in various non-technical
    things that needed doing. For example, I helped created the Linux
    Documentation Project, and co-moderated comp.os.linux.announce,
    also known as cola.

    My moderating cola is the reason I'm here. When I had been doing
    it for five years, that is, in last December, I decided to retire
    from it and found a successor. In my farewell note to the group, I
    jokingly said that I wouldn't mind getting a trip around the
    world, if anyone wanted to send me one. It happens that some
    people don't understand jokes, and it seems that Marc Ewing is one
    of them. He told me I would come here to give a talk and he
    wouldn't take no for an answer. If you feel bored now, you know
    whom to blame.

    Linus the god

    You all know Linus, at least by reputation. The wonder-child. The
    coding wizard. The hacker god. Well, it wasn't always like that.
    What I'm about to say next may shock the most devout Linuxers in
    the audience, but that's all right. This is a free country, and
    anyway, I've been promised police protection.

    I've already told you that Linus didn't always know everything.
    I'm not saying he isn't omniscient now. After all, he might now be
    a god and I'm not lightning-proof. So I'm only going to talk about
    old times. I'm sure he'll forgive me that.

    Not only did Linus not know everything about C, he also didn't
    know anything about PC's. In fact, he didn't even have one when I
    first met him. When he bought his first PC, he didn't even start
    hacking it right away. Instead, he played computer games,
    especially one called something like Prince of Persia. I've never
    understood that part of him. I mean, what's a computer game worth
    if it doesn't simulate playing cards? No, give me solitaire, if
    you want me to play with a computer.

    Even a few years later, when Linux was already a success, Linus
    had this strange fascination for silly computer games, such as
    Doom and Quake. By then he'd already learned some social skills
    and knew that one just doesn't admit to liking computer games
    after the age of 12. So when he was playin Doom, he used to
    explain that he was debugging and stress testing memory management
    and the X server.

    When Linus decides to learn something, he really learns it, and
    usually quickly. This is why he may now be omniscient. I remember
    once when we were being questioned about some math home work. I
    happened to know Linus hadn't done it. But bold as he was even
    then, he claimed to have done them anyway. As luck would have it,
    the teacher wanted Linus to present his solution to the class. On
    the way to the blackboard, Linus read the problem, then stood in
    front of the board for a second or two, and went on to present a
    solution that the teacher couldn't understand. Linus can be quite
    annoying like that.

    Once, when Linus was abroad at some conference or another, he
    modified my shell setup scripts so that when I logged in, it
    looked as if I was using MS-DOS. That was fun, of course, but it
    begged for revenge. This happened while we were sharing an office
    at the university, so once when Linus went out to get something to
    drink or something, I created an alias for startx for him. My
    alias first ran the real startx, and then printed out a kernel
    `Oops' message. The first time Linus noticed this made him a bit
    worried, but he logged out and cleared the screen too fast to read
    it, but the second time made him really worried. I'd copied the
    `Oops' message from linux-kernel, and of course it didn't suit
    Linus's kernel at all. He had gotten as far as decoding the
    message by hand, and muttering something like ``Why is it crashing
    there? It can't crash there!'', when I burst out laughing and told
    him what I'd done. Linus what quite relieved and never tried any
    practical jokes on me again.

    The early times

    Let's go back to the spring of 1991. In January, Linus bought a
    PC. He'd been using a Sinclair QL before that, which, like much
    British computer stuff, was ingenious and almost unusably
    different from everything else. Like every self-respecting hacker,
    Linus had written some software development tools of his own; an
    editor and an assembler, I think. He'd also modified the QL
    hardware a bit, to replace a broken keyboard, and to add a
    PC-compatible floppy drive. When he bought the PC, he wrote a
    device driver for the QL so he could move stuff from the QL to the

    When he got up to speed with the PC, after having played enough
    Prince of Persia, he started learning about programming the PC.
    Especially assembly language programming, since only wimps use
    high level languages. I remember one day when he was quite proud
    for having written a strlen function in assembly. Gee, I was

    As I said, when Linus decides to learn, he really learns. A few
    weeks later he showed me two simple concurrent processes. One
    printed out A's as fast as it could, the other B's. That was much
    more fun to look at than his strlen, but not, I think, immediately
    as useful.

    As time progressed, Linus added keyboard and serial port drivers,
    so that he could use his modem from the PC. Normal people would
    have used one of the dozens of existing terminal emulators, but
    Linus had to write his own. After that, he spent a long time just
    reading netnews. Sorry, I mean of course that he was debugging his
    terminal emulation code by reading netnews. The emulator consisted
    of two processes, one reading the keyboard and writing to the
    serial port, the other reading the serial port and writing to the
    screen and emulating a terminal.

    At some point during this time Linus decided he wanted a Unix-like
    system at home, and the obvious choice back then was Minix, since
    it was the only thing he could afford. As it happened, Linus
    wasn't very happy with Minix, so he kept improving his terminal
    emulator, and modifying it to become more like an operating
    system. I guess we can conclude by now that he succeeded.

    The success of Linux wasn't automatic, and things might well have
    gone differently. For example, if the Hurd had been finished a few
    years ago, Linux probably wouldn't exist today. Or the BSD systems
    might have taken over the free operating system marketplace.

    However, things went as they did, and Linux prospered. The success
    has resulted in fame and also material rewards for rewards,
    including money. One of the first rewards wasn't money, but
    virtual beer. You may have heard the expression, since it is still
    used somewhat, but these days it is just a general good wish
    phrase. Originally, it had a very concrete meaning. Two guys from
    Oxford, England, calling themselves the Oxford Beer Trolls, wanted
    to buy Linus some beer, but since it was impractical to move
    either themselves, Linus, or the beer physically around, they
    asked me to receive the money via mail, and buy Linus beer with
    it, and that's what happened. So, virtual beer really means money,
    preferably money sent to me.

    Alas, people started sending Linus money directly. I'm not sure
    they did it out of gratitude, however, since they usually sent
    personal checks from the US. As Linus quickly learned, Finnish
    banks really, really hate checks. Especially personal checks.
    Particularly personal checks from the US. They invent all sorts of
    bureaucratic pit-falls and rules and fees to make it difficult and
    expensive to use checks. If you want to make trouble for a Finn,
    send him a personal check from the US. And that's not a joke.

    Linus also got some other stuff via mail. For example, a pair of
    40 megabyte hard disks. That was really nice, since it meant that
    Linus was finally able to keep some backups. Not that he did, of
    course. One of his well-known quotes is: "Backups are for wimps.
    Real men upload their data to an FTP site and have everyone else
    mirror it." He said that even after dialling his hard disk.

    At one point, Linus had implemented device files in /dev, and
    wanted to dial up the university computer and debug his terminal
    emulation code again. So he starts his terminal emulator program
    and tells it to use /dev/hda. That should have been /dev/ttyS1.
    Oops. Now his master boot record started with "ATDT" and the
    university modem pool phone number. I think he implemented
    permission checking the following day.

    The name Linux was not coined by Linus himself, strange though
    that may seem to people familiar with his self-esteem. It was
    coined by Ari Lemmke, the administrator at who first
    made Linux available for FTP. Ari had to coin a name since Linus
    had failed to give a proper one, so Ari invented one and it stuck.

    A few days after Linux was put on for the first time,
    Linus was bubbling with excitement. Ari had sent him the first
    download statistics for Linux, and there were literally tens of
    downloads! Ooh, the glory of success.

    My own Linux history

    My own Linux history is rather boring. I first installed Linux on
    a 109 megabyte hard disk that already had MS-DOS and SCO Xenix.
    That was rather cramped, so I got rid of SCO Xenix, first, and
    MS-DOS, later, when I no longer needed for work. However, 109
    megabytes isn't nearly enough for Linux anyway, so I bought a new
    hard disk and had my first kernel panic. I had some trouble
    getting the two hard disks to work together, so I was iterating
    various combinations of the seven jumpers on them. That gives
    rather a large number of possibilities, so I got a bit careless
    with how I attached the cables. At one point, I swiveled my chair,
    hit the computer with my knee, and the cable got loose and Linux
    paniced. That was fun. I never did get the two disks working
    together, however.

    My first Linux installation was from the boot and root floppy pair
    that many old timers remember with fondness. I don't remember much
    about them, but I do remember having to edit offsets 508 and 509
    of the boot floppy to set the root file system. The first time I
    did this, I didn't have a binary editor, so I used something like
    Emacs, which luckily was binary clean, even though I had to count
    the offsets manually.

    Later, when distributions started to get built, I tried them out.
    That was a bit painful, since I only had a 2400 bit/s modem. What
    I did was invade a computer classroom at the university, or at
    least about half a dozen computers, and had them formatting
    floppies and downloading stuff via ftp in parallel. Then I carried
    the 50 or so floppies home, and tried to install Slackware or
    whatever from them. Usually, I found that one or two of the
    floppies had gone bad during the trip home, so I then had to spend
    a few hours downloading some files with the modem. I rather prefer
    my current situation, with a 10 Mbit/s connection to

    I did prefer the original keyboard driver, however, since I didn't
    have to configure it for Finnish. I really don't understand why
    Linus went and changed the default to be American.


    When Linux was young, in 1993 or so, I made some visiting cards
    that said I was a Linux fanatic. I've since been cured of that by
    meeting some real Linux fanatics. If you haven't had the dubious
    pleasure, let me tell, it ain't fun. This talk is meant to be fun,
    so I won't go on about advocacy any further.

    The future

    Every look at the history of Linux seems to end in a look at the
    future. I guess this one should also.

    Linux the operating system kernel seems to me to be relatively
    finished. There's a lot of work to do, bugs to fix, drivers to
    write, architectures to port to, but that's pretty small stuff.
    It's not like the huge changes in the past, such as demand paging,
    networking, or the port to the Alpha.

    The operating system distributions built on top of Linux the
    kernel still need a lot of work, but most of it just needs to be
    done. There's some huge projects remaining, such as good graphical
    desktops, but they're being worked on, so things are looking good
    on that front as well.

    Where should Linux go next, then? I think the answer is clear, if
    you think about it: fluffy toys.

    What is it that Linux has that no other operating system has? A
    cuddly, lovable, silly-looking mascot. If we play our cards right,
    the Linux penguin could be the next mass-consumer hit product. Can
    you imagine a Windows flag competing against our penguin? No, this
    time Mr. Gates has definitely dropped the ball and we're in
    exactly the right position to pick it up. Forget Microsoft,
    they're history. Start worrying about Mattel and the Barbie doll!

    (end long quote here)


    I've been mulling over ideas on what to do with this column in the
    future and the next column will probably be the last that focuses
    on the news section since Slashdot and the Linux Weekly News site
    are doing such a fantastic job. In passing I just wanted to
    mention that GIMP 1.0 was finally released but I haven't had a
    chance to look at it yet. I still haven't gotten Red Hat Linux 5.1
    and an email from the LinuxMall folks says that the number of
    orders they got on their special offer was just staggeringly
    greater than they could have ever anticipated... and that they
    were running behind getting them all shipped out. Maybe early next
    week. In any event, I'll make sure it doesn't delay me from
    getting a column out next week!

                                   The CWSApps Weekly Newsletter
                                    Volume 3.08 - June 10, 1998


1. Introduction
2. New Additions to CWSApps
3. Updated Apps for the Week
4. Top 25 Downloads for the Week
5. Cool App of the Week

1. Introduction

Welcome to the CWSApps Weekly Newsletter. Each week we will be delivering a message to your mailbox
that is designed to help keep you up to date with the Internet software scene. The newsletter will
offer a summary of the latest and greatest Net software updates as well as breaking software news
and revisions made to the CWSApps Web site.

As always, any feedback you have on the newsletter will be greatly appreciated. Please send
comments (good and bad) to or fill out our comments form at .


2. New Additions to CWSApps

- Cosmo Player v2.1 - a VRML Browser


Download: (3.2 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

- Cosmo PageFX v1.0 Beta - a VRML Development Tool


Download: (13 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

- Cosmo Worlds v2.0 - a VRML Development Tool


Download: (18 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

- HomeSpace Designer v2.5 - a VRML Development Tool


Download: (7.5 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

- Norton AntiVirus June Virus Definition - a Virus Scanner Update


(1.4 MB)

Rating: Untested

-- Servers --

- MailMax v2.0 - a Mail Server


Download: (7.1 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

- Vermillion FTP Daemon v5.0 - a FTP Server


Download: (0.3 MB)

Rating: 4.5 Stars

- aVirt Mail Server v3.0 - a Mail Server


Download: (0.7 MB)

Rating: 3 Stars

- MERCUR v3.0 - a Mail Server


Download: (2.3 MB)

Rating: 3 Stars

- Rover v1.2 - a Mail Server


Download: (0.5 MB)

Rating: 3 Stars

3. Updated Apps for the Week

Note: The '*' icon identifies apps that have shown significant improvement since their last
updates. These apps typically exhibit important new features that make them 'must-have' updates.

- FTP Voyager v6.0.0.1 - a FTP Client


Download: (1.9 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

- HotDog Professional Webmaster Suite v5.0 Beta 3 - a HTML Editor


Download: (1.2 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

- Internet Neighborhood v1.6 Build 3 - a FTP Client

CWSApps Location:

Download: (1.3 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

- TextPad v3.2.4 - a Text/HTML Editor


Download: (1.4 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

* Carmel AntiVirus v2.4 - a Virus Scanner

CWSApps Location:

Download: (1.4 MB)

Rating: 4 Stars

- CRT v2.2 Beta 6 - a Telnet Client

CWSApps Location:

Download: (1.1 MB)

Rating: 4 Stars

- Internet Control Center (ICC 98) v6.4 - an Internet Utility

CWSApps Location:

Download: (3.7 MB)

Rating: 4 Stars

- SecureCRT v2.2 Beta 6 - a Telnet Client

CWSApps Location:

Download: (1.1 MB)

Rating: 4 Stars

- NewsBin v2.21 Beta Release - a Newsreader

CWSApps Location:

Download: (1.1 MB)

Rating: 3 Stars

- Microsoft Liquid Motion v1.0 Official Release - a Web Graphics App


Download: (0.2 MB)

Rating: Not Yet Reviewed

- Netscape 5.0 Source Code - For Developer Use Only


Download: (15 MB)

Rating: Not Yet Reviewed

-- Servers --

* Apache v1.30 Official Release - a Web Server


Download: (1.8 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

- Conference Room v1.5.05 - a Chat Server


Download: (3.2 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

- War FTP Daemon v1.70 Beta 1.2 - a FTP Server


Download: (3.7 MB)

Rating: 5 Stars

- Xitami v2.1b2 - a Web Server

ServerWatch Location:

Download: (0.6 MB)

Rating: 4.5 Stars

4. Top 25 Downloads - Movers and Shakers

The June 8th update for the Top 25 Downloads on CWSApps is now available. Here are the apps that
have moved up (the 'movers') or have fallen (the 'shakers') seven or more places during the past
week. For the complete Top 25 results for the past week, check out:

You can also check out the results for the entire month at:

--The Movers--

- HotDog Professional Webmaster Suite - a HTML Editor

Up to #9 from #16

- FTP Voyager - a FTP Client

Debuts this week at #14

- Eudora Pro - a Mail Client

Returns to the list at #18

- WS-FTP Pro - a FTP Client

Returns to the list at #20

- Free Agent - a Newsreader

Returns to the list at #21

- AtomTime 98 - an Internet Utility

Returns to the list at #24

- NetTerm - a Telnet Client

Returns to the list at #25

--The Shakers--

- RealPlayer - an Audio/Video App

Down from #2 to #16

- WinAmp - an Audio MP3 Player

Exits the list (#32) from #4

- PowerDesk Utilities 98 - a Windows Shell Enhancement

Down from #6 to #23

- VirusScan June Virus Definition - a Virus Definition Update

Exits the list (#28) from #15

- QuickTime - a Multimedia Viewer

Exits the list (#29) from #20

- Thumbs Plus - a Graphics Application

Exits the list (#30) from #23

- TextPad - a Text/HTML Editor

Exits the list (#37) from #24

- Outlook 98 - a Mail Client

Exits the list (#36) from #25

5. Cool App of the Week - Cosmo Player


Download: (3.2 MB)

Version: 2.1

Rating: 5 Stars


Cosmo Player is the VRML viewer of choice for more than 20 million Internet users--although the
vast majority of them probably don't even realize they have the client on their systems. Version
1.0 of the freeware Cosmo Player client is packaged with Netscape Communicator as the browser's
default VRML viewer. Considering he still limited use of VRML on the Web, the initial release of
Cosmo Player works just fine for most users. But there are a variety of reasons to upgrade to the
latest release of Cosmo Player. is the ultimate resource on the Net for timely and accurate data about Web server
technology. Because the Web server market is so unique and changes so rapidly, Webmasters utilize daily to stay current with the latest server products and industry advancements.
You'll love the user-friendly layout featuring the latest news and trends.

Visit now and get a quick, easy snapshot of what each of the listed
servers has to offer.

Version 2.1 improves on the initial release in several areas, with an entirely redesigned user
interface and extreme improvements in performance highlighting the changes. Support for 16-bit
color has been added as have Direct3D hardware acceleration, full compliance with the VRML97 event
model, OpenGL and Direct3D is the rendering APIs, and full support for Internet Explorer 4.0.
Downloading Cosmo Player 2.1 also enables you to use the viewer both as a VRML plug-in for Netscape
and as the default VRML viewer for Internet Explorer 4.0 (via an ActiveX Control).

Cosmo Player features include full compliance with the VRML 2.0 specification; support for
Microsoft Direct 3D and DirectSound3D (through DirectX 5); support for up to eight simultaneous 3D
scenes on the same Web page; support for OpenGL, MMX, AGP, and other user-side graphics
technologies; a number of development features (including JavaScript and VRMLScript support); and
navigation speed controls.

Additional features include collision detection,; headlight effects, animation transitions,
specular and emissive color shine-through on textured objects, turbo mode, and a VRML console for
detailed information on hardware and software use. Cosmo Player also supports a wide variety of
Internet media in addition to VRML worlds, including MPEG audio/video, Spatialized Sound, WAV, AVI,
AIFF, MIDI, QuickTime, GIF, JPEG, PNG, and animated GIF files.


The best is yet to come for VRML, a language considered by many to still be in its infancy. There's
little doubt that VRML is the future of 3D on the Web, but actually getting from here to there has
been a bit of a challenge to date. The largest stepping stones thus far have been the absence of a
universal VRML viewer and the lack of intuitive and easy-to-use VRML development tools.

Cosmo Software is trying to change the former by making Cosmo Player the universal VRML viewer of
choice, but Cosmo Player is likely to have a fight on its hands as Windows 98 is expected to
include Intervista's WorldView VRML 2 browser. Regardless of which app eventually wins out, a
universal VRML viewer of some form can't be too far away.

Significant headway has also been made in the area of development tools, where Cosmo Software is
once again leading the way. Universal adoption of VRML will likely come in small steps, but the
first of those steps has already been taken in the form of VRML Web advertising banners. VRML
banners have only recently taken off in terms of popularity, but their potential is unlimited. Bill
McCloskey of Cosmo Software is one proponent touting VRML for its Web advertising potential:

"VRML as a technology provides significant advantages to the advertiser looking to create
compelling, eye- catching experiences for their web-based banners and interstitials. Many of these
advantages can be summed up by the phrase 'Small is Beautiful.' In a file size of 12 KB or less
(typical of a standard static GIF banner) the advertiser can create a fully interactive banner with
smooth full-color animation, without having to rely on streaming or sever-based technologies.

"With VRML, television-like experiences can be achieved today using today's bandwidth constraints.
This translates into higher click-through and increased brand recognition which benefits both sites
and advertisers alike."


Cosmo Software's PageFX software, now in beta release, allows developers to add depth, motion, and
interactivity to Web graphics. In other words, it fits perfectly with the trend toward VRML banners
on the Web. The $329 PageFX makes it simple to create animated banners with full sound, URL-linking
capabilities, complex objects, and smooth motion. And because its vector files describe the objects
and motions mathematically as opposed to pixel-by-pixel definitions, the file sizes for the banners
are much smaller than would be found in a standard animated banner. Check out WebReference's
outstanding VRML for Web Advertising   column for an
introductory guide to VRML banners and their potential for use on the Web.

Cosmo Software offers two other VRML development tools for designers wanting to create complete 3D
environments for the web. The entry-level HomeSpace Designer allows a developer to easily turn 2D
Web sites into 3D VRML HomeSpace sites. Sophisticated graphics file support, intuitive design
tools, and extensive animation capabilities combine to help make creating totally VRML-compliant
worlds as simple as possible. Best of all, anyone with a standard VRML browser (like Cosmo Player)
can visit a VRML world created with the $139 HomeSpace Designer.

The high-end Cosmo Worlds is a comprehensive interactive 3D Web authoring and publishing
application that enables the creation of professional, state-of-the-art, interactive 3D content for
the Web. With full support for the Moving Worlds specification in VRML 2.0 and a wide array of
powerful tools for creating, optimizing, and publishing complex objects, motions, and animated
worlds, the $999 Cosmo Worlds is the ultimate VRML development tool. All three of the Cosmo
Software development tools can be downloaded for free as 30-day evaluation releases.


The best is definitely yet to come for both VRML and the Cosmo line of products. For now, grab a
copy of the latest release of Cosmo Player to ensure that you can take full advantage of the VRML
banners and logos just now starting to appear on web sites and also to prepare yourself for the 3D
environments coming soon to a web site near you.

Want a preview of the possibilities? Check out the interactive game Chomp! after downloading Cosmo Player and get a glimpse of
what the future of VRML has to offer.

- Pros: VRML 2.0 is, in a word, awesome; animated 3D worlds; excellent collection of development
- Cons: VRML is still in its infancy (limited applications), VRML use on the Web requires a browser

                                        Taking Another Look!


Bell Atlantic Corp. said Monday it will start work next month on a new long-distance data
transmission network that it hopes will boost its annual revenues by several billion dollars within
the next five years. Bell Atlantic said in a news release it has hired Lucent Technologies Inc.
under a $200 million five-year contract to build and equip the new network, which initially will be
concentrated in major metropolitan hubs within its East Coast service area.

                                 AOL TO BUY MIRABILIS FOR $287 MLN
                (Joel Klein, Mr. TrustBuster, Where are you Now.. when we need you?)
      Or, is Klein & Reno going to wait until AOL controls every aspect of  Telcom Networking
    and then make a deal so the control freaks in favor of federal eavesdropping get their way?

America Online Inc. said Monday it had agreed to acquire the Israel-based company Mirabilis Ltd.
for $287 million. The purchase price could grow to as much as $120 million depending on Mirabilis's
operations over the next three years. Mirabilis developed ICQ technology, which informs Internet
users when family, friends and business colleagues are online and enables them to exchange messages
in real-time. ICQ also gives users the ability to play games and exchange files. More than 12
million people have registered to use the technology, America Online said.


The FCC has extended until the end of the week a deadline for deciding how much money to raise for
a controversial program for subsidizing Internet access for schools, agency officials said Monday.
Under a prior order, the Federal Communications Commission was to have decided by Tuesday how much
long-distance telephone companies should pay to subsidize Internet connections for schools and
libraries. More than 30,000 schools and libraries requested $2 billion under the program created in
the 1996 Telecommunications Act and known as the education rate, or e-rate. But last week, a group
of lawmakers opposed to the program turned up the heat on the agency and demanded no money be
raised for the second half of the year.


You jolt awake in the middle of the night with a recurring nightmare. The bad guys have penetrated
the Pentagon's computers. They now control the instructions for the U.S. nuclear arsenal and are
holding the Western world ransom. Unless their demands are met within 24 hours, destruction will
rain down on Washington, New York, Paris and London. Is this just the fevered imagination of
juvenile Hollywood script writers? Or are defense planners justified in seeking to spend huge sums
to combat a compelling danger? According to experts, you can relax. The threat is more Hollywood
than hard fact. Some experts say companies trying to sell the latest security software are
exploiting these fears.


Contrary to the image of a computer geek hunched in solitude over a screen, new technology will
encourage warm social relations, Nobel physics laureate Arno Penzias said Monday. "What defines us
is our social relationships. Telecommunications will allow us to maintain those relationships,"
Penzias said at the SUPERCOMM annual technology hardware and software trade show. "It will help us
to be nicer to each other and to have more fun," said Penzias, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics
in 1978 and recently retired as chief scientist at Lucent Technologies Inc.

                              FDA DESCRIBES 16 REPORTED VIAGRA DEATHS

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it had received 16 reports of men who died after
taking the best-selling impotence drug Viagra. The agency stressed there is no evidence Viagra
caused any of the deaths - although three of the men received heart drugs known to cause
potentially fatal interactions with Viagra.

                                 COMPAQ IN PACTS WITH AOL, DEC, GTE

Compaq Computer Corp. and America Online Inc. have entered into a multiyear agreement to feature
AOL on all Presario desktop Internet personal computers and to support AOL members through Compaq's
new Easy Access Internet Keyboard, the companies said Tuesday. Under the agreement, buyers of
Presario desktop Internet PCs will find an AOL icon displayed on the first screen, the companies
said in a statement. Digital Equipment Corp. said Tuesday that its Alta Vista Search site had been
selected by Compaq as a default search engine in the new line of Presario desktop PCs. Compaq also
said it had entered into a four-year Internet access pact with GTE Corp. to offer dial-up Internet
access to all Presario PC users.


Price Waterhouse, Oracle Corp. and Sun Microsystems launched the first fully integrated computer
system for running a telecommunications business. "This is the first time within the
telecommunications industry that a full portfolio of products and services have been integrated to
meet the needs of operators," Mark Dixon, senior practice director at Oracle, told Reuters. The
system, known as Compas, is a joint product of the three companies. Oracle provided the computer
software for the system, Sun Microsystems created the hardware frame and Price Waterhouse developed
an accounting template geared for telecommunications.


It may not seem like much, but developers at a small Seattle software company have found a sliver
of computer screen real estate not controlled by giant Microsoft Corp. Executives of the company
hope the space, which amounts to less than one-half inch at the bottom of a standard-size screen,
provides a wedge that can loosen Microsoft's monopoly over how computer users access applications
and content. The control bar gives the user direct access to 54 applications, documents or Internet
sites, some of which can be customized.


Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI director Louis Freeh discussed encryption policy Tuesday with
high-tech industry leaders for two hours but neither side made any new concessions, people familiar
with the meeting said. In a meeting held at the office of Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of
California, Freeh and Reno told Microsoft Corp. boss Bill Gates and other executives they needed
more time to evaluate a May 8th industry proposal to resolve some of the controversy surrounding
computer data scrambling technologies. Industry and law enforcement officials have been at odds
over encryption for years, with industry wanting strict U.S. export limits lifted and the FBI
favoring stricter controls at home and abroad.

                         NUMBER OF U.S. HOMES WITH COMPUTERS JUMPED IN '97

The number of U.S. households with at least one personal computer rose by a robust 11.4% last year
as lower prices put PCs within the reach of more families, Ziff-Davis Market Intelligence said
Tuesday. More than 45 million households, or 44.8% of all homes in the U.S., owned PCs as of
January 1998, compared with 40.7% the year before, the market researcher said. As new PC prices
slipped less than $1,000, lower-income households began to buy machines. PC penetration in U.S.
homes still ranks behind that of other consumer electronics, such as TV sets and VCRs. But the
penetration has been growing steadily.

                             CYBERSEX NOT SO HOT AFTER ALL, POLL SHOWS

Cybersex, it turns out, is not so steamy after all. In what is being billed as the first major
"click-and-tell" poll about online sex, Internet users poured cold water on feverish speculation
about their hot-and-heavy, high-tech love lives. "What catches our interest is the scandal --
pedophiles going online, compulsive sex addicts," said Al Cooper, the California sex researcher who
wrote the survey. "But we found that the vast majority of people simply use it for recreation, like
watching 'Baywatch'." The poll results, posted Tuesday on the MSNBC website (, asked
people about their "online sexual behavior:" what they look at, who they talk to, and what they get
out of it.

                              IBM TO COMPETE DIRECTLY WITH TI ON DSPS

IBM Corp. said it would compete directly with Texas Instruments Inc. in the digital signal
processor market for cellular phones. IBM said in a statement the move is part of a $100 million
investment in initiatives to help fuel its custom microchip business. The investment centers on the
addition of more than two dozen chip "cores," including one that provides full compatibility with a
Texas Instruments digital signal processor (DSP), IBM said. The core is a component reportedly
found in about half the world's cellular phones. Texas Instruments controls roughly 45% of the
$3.13 billion global DSP market.


Network Associates Inc. agreed to buy Dr. Solomon's Group Plc, a British maker of anti-virus
software, in a stock deal valued at $640 million. The companies said they plan to bundle their
products into the only package on the market incorporating anti-virus, encryption, authentication,
firewall, intrusion detection and scanning technology. While Dr. Solomon's is primarily in the
anti-virus part of the security business, Network Associates makes an entire "suite" of security
products. Computer crime experts say more needs to be done to protect desktop computers, which are
increasingly vulnerable to intrusions from hackers and other security lapses.


Government attempts to restrict encryption on the Internet will cost World Wide Web users $7.7
billion a year, according to a report released Wednesday by a group of software executives that
included Microsoft's Bill Gates. The software executives said the government's proposals for
tapping into secret data and placing limits on exports of encryption software are expensive and
increasingly irrelevant. Industry and law enforcement officials have been at odds over encryption
for years, with the industry wanting strict U.S. export limits lifted and the FBI favoring stricter
controls at home and abroad. Gates said it was too late to prevent people from getting access to
powerful encryption codes as they are available outside the U.S.


The head of a new U.S. cyber law enforcement agency told a Senate panel Wednesday a half dozen
substantial attacks had been launched since February against U.S. government computer systems.
Michael Vatis, chief of the National Infrastructure Protection Center of the FBI, refused to
elaborate, saying pending investigations prevented him. But Vatis did respond to lawmakers when
asked how many of the computer attacks he had witnessed since February - when the NIPC was created
- were considered "substantial" and separate from routine computer hacker attacks.


The U.S. expressed concern Wednesday that access to Japan's public sector computer market had
deteriorated, undermining a 1992 computer and software agreement with Tokyo. The U.S. trade
representative cited 1996 data compiled by the industry's Computer Systems Policy Project and
released June 5. The CSPP figures showed the foreign share of Japan's public sector market for
mid-range and main frame computers fell to 9.3% in 1996, the latest year for which figures are
available, from 10.2% in 1995 and 13.7% in 1994. A drop was also reported in the foreign-made
personal computer market share to 7.7% from 10.9% in 1996 from 1995, according to CSPP.

                            YAHOO! MOST POPULAR WEB SITE IN MAY - REPORT

Yahoo! Inc.'s Internet site, the consistent pacesetter for Web traffic, drew in 36% more Web
surfers in May than its nearest competitor, according to an industry report. Some 30.6 million
individuals traveled last month to, where they accessed Yahoo!'s services, which
include news, Internet search, and e-mail, Internet research firm RelevantKnowledge Inc. said.
Sites operated by online giant America Online Inc. were the second most trafficked, with 22.8
million unique visitors, followed by software company Netscape Communications Corp., with 18.8
million individuals.


The computer networking industry - for years the fastest-growing high-tech business - will expand
at its slowest rate ever in 1998 as prices for key types of equipment collapse, a market research
firm said. The main culprit for the networking industry's slowdown this year is free-falling prices
for Ethernet switches - specialized computers that route information between hundreds of personal
computers within a company. Although demand for these devices is at a record, plunging prices will
keep sales growth in check, In-Stat said. Other segments continue to show strong growth. In-Stat
said sales of routers - devices used to shuttle information between departmental or corporate
networks - will increase 11% in 1998 to $5.4 billion.


Within five years, consumers will routinely surf the Internet from their mobile phones, a panel of
wireless communications executives said. "The Internet is going to be a completely different animal
than it is today," Matthew Desch, the Northern Telecom president of wireless networks, said. "You
will have any time, anywhere IP (internet protocol) access." "Our goal is to put the Internet on
wings," said Bo Hedfors, president and CEO of the Boston-based U.S. division of Ericsson. Instead
of mobile phones, busy executives will carry "a personal communication box" that will allow them to
hold video conference calls and surf the Internet, Hedfors told attendees at Supercomm, an industry
trade show in Atlanta.

                         YEAR 2000 BUG SEEN AS HUGE CHALLENGE TO POWER GRID

All the talk of coaxing computers to clear the Millennium hurdle assumes there will still be
electricity to run them. Perhaps not. A Senate hearing Friday led by Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah,
will listen to a panel of experts explain why the vast North American power grid is also vulnerable
to the Year 2000 bug and whether pending computer malfunctions can be overcome. On this point, the
experts vary. Some warn of widespread outages when the clock strikes midnight, Jan. 1, 2000,
confounding computer chips unable to decifer the date. Others claim steps now being taken by
electric utilities, which amass sales of $230 billion a year, will ensure only minor problems. S


A supercomputer using factory-reject chips and having more than 220,000 defects, each deadly enough
to disable any other machine, could be the forerunner of "chemical computers" that are faster,
cheaper and more powerful, researchers said Thursday. The Teramac computer could offer engineers a
way to build computers chemically - something necessary for innovation in the field to continue,
they said in a report published in the journal Science. Teramac's defect tolerance made researchers
realize they could theoretically build smaller computers using chemistry. "We believe we can build
smaller-sized computer circuits using chemical reactions," said Philip Kuekes, a computer architect
at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in California, who helped build Teramac. Current silicon
technology, which uses light to produce chips, has limitations.

                         AOL TO SETTLE INVESTOR SUIT FOR UP TO $35 MILLION

America Online said Thursday it would pay up to $35 million to settle a lawsuit over the aggressive
method it used to account for the heavy cost of marketing its online services in 1995 and 1996. AOL
said it agreed to pay the money as part of a preliminary settlement with shareholders who owned the
stock between Aug. 10, 1995 and Oct. 25, 1996. It said a substantial portion will be covered by
insurance. "We're pleased to put behind us this suit regarding events in 1995 and 1996," said
George Vradenburg, AOL senior vice president and general counsel. "We believe a lengthy and
distracting litigation process is not in the best interests of AOL's members, the company or its


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        Classics & Gaming Section
        Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

        Be grateful I didn't let my emotions get the best of me
        last week while I was writing my editorial! My blood has
        cooled down from a boil, but the topic still bothers me:
        video games' violence leads to violent acts by America's
        youth. Have you ever heard anything so absurd? I read a few
        articles on the "subject" last week. Some of these recent
        stupid acts of violence by some "sick" kids is being blamed
        on video games. When is our society going start accepting
        responsibility for itself?

        I'm so tired of hearing or reading "blame it on..."! God
        forbid a parent realize they didn't do a terrific job
        raising their son or daughter. Perish the thought that a
        child needs help, mental help. Stop making excuses for

        The human race, supported by history all the way back to
        the beginning of the bible, is wracked with violence. No
        matter how much we'd like to think we've "grown" over
        hundreds of years; no matter how many times we keep telling
        ourselves that no "rational" person could do such a thing
        without some form of "irrational influence" - forget it.

        People react in different ways, some more violent than
        others. People control themselves differently; and some not
        at all. Blaming violent behavior on video games,
        television, movies, books, rock music, rap music, pictures
        of naked men/women, ad nauseum is a flight from reality - a
        failure to accept responsibility for our own behavior.

        I'm glad I could get that off my chest! Last week I was
        ready to editorialize in a more harsher tone; I feel better
        having cooled off first and thinking more rationally. What
        a concept......

        Until next time...

        A member posted this to my forum...

        From: Angela Howe, Delphi's Soap Opera Forum Manager

         "The Day The Service Died", Sung to the tune of "American
         A long, long time ago, I can still remember when I dialed
                               up their help
        desk lines. And I knew if I had the chance, they could make
                                  my modem
             dance with chats and GIFs and silly pick-up lines.

         But, Help Desk phone calls made me shiver with every busy
                              they'd deliver.
               Bad news on the front page, A 19-hour outrage.

        I can't remember if I cried when I realized that Steve Case
                                 had lied.
        But something touched me deep inside, The day, the ser-vice

         So, Bye-Bye to Amer'ca Online, Drove my modem to a domain
                                  and it's
          working just fine. And good old geeks are cheering users
                              offline. Saying
         this'll be the day that they die. This'll be the day that
                                 they die.

         Did you write the book of TOS, Will you send your password
                                to PWD-BOSS
                           if an IM tells you so.

        And will you believe the Motley Fool when he tells you that
                                the service
             rules, And, can you teach me how to web real slow?

         Well, I know you sold the service short, 'Cause I saw your
                             quarterly report.
          Steve Case sold off his stock, It fell just like a rock.

        It was a crazy, costly high-tech play, as they slashed away
                                  at what
          subscribers pay, And half their users went away, the day
                             the service died.

         So, Bye-Bye to Amer'ca Online, Drove my modem to a domain
                                  and it's
          working just fine. And good old geeks are cheering users
                              offline. Saying
         this'll be the day that they die. This'll be the day that
                                 they die.

         Well for two days we've been on our own And dial-ins click
                                on a rolling
        phone But that's not how it used to be, When the mogul came
                                to Virginia
          court, With an OS icon and a browser port, And a desktop
                        that looked like Apple III.

         And while Jim Clark was looking down, The mogul stole his
                               thorny crown,
            The browser war was turned, Mozilla,... was spurned.

         And while Steve left users out to bond, With hosts unable
                                to respond,
           6 million newbies all were conned, The day the service

         So, Bye-Bye to Amer'ca Online, Drove my modem to a domain
                                  and it's
          working just fine. And good old geeks are cheering users

        Saying this'll be the day that they die. This'll be the day
                               that they die.

            Da Chronic ducked their software guards, And stole a
                               million credit
                  cards, to use accounts he'd gotten free.

         And so Steve Case went to the FBI, and he told Boardwatch*
                                  a little
           lie, That hackers wanted child pornography * But while
                               Steve Case was
         looking down, The hackers pulled his e-mail down, They put
                                 it on the
                       net, He can't be trusted, yet!

         And while user cynicism climbs, At sign-on ads and welcome
                                rhymes, they
         scan their e-mail for, "Good Times," The day the ser-vice

         So, Bye-Bye to Amer'ca Online, Drove my modem to a domain
                                  and it's
          working just fine. And good old geeks are cheering users
                              offline. Saying
         this'll be the day that they die. This'll be the day that
                                 they die.

         Helter-skelter billing needs a melter, The lawyers filed a
                  shelter, Eight million in lawyer's fees.

           But it looks like some attorney jibe, an hour if they
                             resubscribe, To a
          service marketed for free. Well, I know you're raking in
                                 the bucks,

                     'Cause I'm reading
             Until we bless the suit, The settlement is moot."

         "If AOL treats you like the Borg, Then visit,
                                Before some
           router pulls the cord,..." The day the ser-vice died.

         So, Bye-Bye to Amer'ca Online, Drove my modem to a domain
                                  and it's
          working just fine. And good old geeks are cheering users

        Saying this'll be the day that they die. This'll be the day
                               that they die.

             Bill Razzouk, the head-to-be, sold off his home in
                               Tennessee, And
                         headed for a 4-month end.

           Was he sad or just incensed when Case offered him his
                               thirty cents.
          Billing is the devil's only friend. But as I read him on
                                the page, My
        hands were clenched in fists of rage, No, "Welcome" born in
                                hell, could
                          ring that chatroom bell.

          And as chat freaks cried into the night, CompuServe read
                                 their last
         rites. I saw Earthlink laughing with delight, The day the
                               ser-vice died.

         So, Bye-Bye to Amer'ca Online, Drove my modem to a domain
                                  and it's
          working just fine. And good old geeks are cheering users

        Saying this'll be the day that they die. This'll be the day
                               that they die.

           I met a girl in Lobby 9, And I asked her if she'd stay
                              online, But she
                       just frowned and looked away,

        And I went back to the Member Lounge, To see what loyalty I
           scrounge. But Room Host said the members went away,...

        And on the net the modems screamed, At faster bits and data
          And not a tear was spoken, The hourly fees were broken,

          And the three men that I hated most: Ted, and Steve, and
        ghost, They couldn't dial up the host, The day the ser-vice

         So, Bye-Bye to Amer'ca Online, Drove my modem to a domain
                                  and it's
          working just fine. And good old geeks are cheering users

        Saying this'll be the day that they die. This'll be the day
                               that they die.

        Angela - Delphi's Soap Opera Forum Manager

        The place to watch after you watch!

                              Gaming Section

           * Game Dealer(TM) Online!
           * "Quest 64"!
           * "X-Men vs. StreetFighter"!
           * N64 Price Drop!

        Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming

                      Nintendo Follows Sony Price Cut

        Jun 4, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 107) --
        Nintendo's decision two days ago to drop the price of the
        N64 to $129.99 was in response to Sony's move to do the
        same with PlayStation, George Harrison, Nintendo's VP
        marketing, tells MMWire. The move was "not something we had
        planned," he says. "We'll be competitive and act as quickly
        as we can [in response to competitive moves]." Sony was
        telling retailers about its desired PlayStation price drop
        at E3, and the retailers told Nintendo, Harrison says. Sony
        did not respond to calls by press time yesterday. Among
        retailers, Best Buy and Electronics Boutique have both put
        the price cut into action.

             Game Dealer(TM) Launches Online Superstore to Game

        NEW YORK, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Game Dealer
        (, the Internet's game superstore, is
        open for business. Providing computer and video game
        shoppers with more features than any other Internet store,
        Game Dealer is quickly becoming the location of choice for
        game enthusiasts, parents, and gift-givers to purchase game
        software, consoles and accessories directly from their

        Game Dealer is a dynamic online store that provides
        thousands of games and accessories for Windows, Macintosh,
        PlayStation, Nintendo and Sega. Game Dealer provides
        complete online transaction capabilities, including instant
        Secure Socket Layer ordering with all major credit cards
        and shipment via major shipping carriers for as low as $4
        per delivery. Other features include detailed information
        on each product, anonymous shopping, express check out for
        registered customers, and powerful customized search

        Game Dealer customers receive order and shipping
        confirmations via email providing payment receipts and
        delivery verification for every purchase. Because Game
        Dealer is electronically linked to an extensive internal
        distribution center, most orders are shipped the same day
        they are placed.

        "The foundation of Game Dealer's success is offering an
        online game shopping experience that exceeds our customers'
        expectations, providing an easily searchable storefront
        backed by great prices, inexpensive prompt shipping and
        top-notch customer service," said Marc Daniels, Vice
        President of Store Operations. "We're not like some other
        shopping sites that make it difficult for their customer to
        find their 800 number. We want people to call us if they
        need to, and we have a toll free 800 number backed up by a
        call center with a knowledgeable live customer service
        representative, not a machine. We take great pride in our
        customer service."

          THQ Journeys Into Magical, Mystical Land of Role Playing

        THQ Inc. is venturing into an extraordinary new world with
        the delivery of "Quest 64," the first RPG adventure for the
        Nintendo 64. THQ has shipped the epic game, developed by
        Imagineer Co. Ltd. of Japan, to retailers across North
        America. Featuring breathtaking graphics, "Quest 64" casts
        players into the role of Brian, a young Spirit Tamer who
        must find his father, Lord Bartholomy, who has mysteriously
        disappeared while trying to recover Eletale's Book, the
        holy book of magic, and save the Kingdom of Celtland before
        it falls into eternal darkness.

        "After a long wait, Nintendo 64 fans of Role Playing Games
        will finally be able to get their hands on one of the most
        anticipated titles of the year," said Michael Haller,
        senior vice president, THQ. "'Quest 64' challenges players
        of all ages to master a massive, fully explorable 3-D world
        full of unthinkable monsters, intriguing characters and
        fantastic landscapes."

        Beginning June 15, THQ will air a nationwide television and
        cable advertising campaign on networks including
        Nickelodeon, NBC, ABC, Fox, MTV, USA, Cartoon Network and
        the Warner Bros. channel. In "Quest 64," players set out on
        their quest, speaking to friends, strangers, leaders and
        countrymen. As they explore the countryside, they must
        discover important clues by talking to as many people as
        they can. Many of the characters have vital information,
        others will provide items that can be added to each
        player's inventory.

        Players must uncover useful articles such as food, mystical
        trinkets and powerful magic potions throughout their
        journey. These items can revive players, be used in battle
        or help transport them to faraway places. This beautiful
        3-D world, consisting of seven cities and abundant
        locations from seacoast villages to mountain forests, gives
        enthusiasts a multitude of areas to explore. Featuring
        towns, buildings and castles full of rooms and passageways,
        the world of "Quest 64" is sometimes even dangerous.
        Players don't know what they may find. The on-screen
        compass may come in handy when maneuvering throughout the

        As Brian, an apprentice practitioner of the ancient art of
        Spirit Taming, players must learn to become a master of the
        Magic Arts in order to save Celtland from all evil. To do
        this, they test their skills and train through a series of
        trials and battles against unforgiving monsters, summoning
        the spirits of Earth, Fire, Water and Wind. More than 50
        spells are available. Spell-casting powers increase as
        players collect more elements, using magic and winning

        Fire spells engulf the enemy in an inferno. Earth spells
        draw from the Earth spirit to unleash the powers of stone.
        Wind spells lash out with the power of a deadly storm.
        Water spells sustain life and repair damage or inflict
        grave injury and icy devastation. During battle, players
        use their magic, as well as their Staff to attack. All
        combat is turn-based, alternating between the gamer and the
        monsters. If the battle is too intense, players can heal
        themselves with healing spells, food or potions. They can
        also escape by running away. But engaging in more battles
        increases strength, defense and agility.

        "Quest 64" is available at all major retail outlets in
        North America for a suggested retail price of $59.95. The
        official strategy guide is also available from Prima
        Publishing. Additionally, the game is compatible with the
        Nintendo Controller Pak.

          X-Men vs. Street Fighter - Capcom's Latest Head-to-Head

        SUNNYVALE, CALIF. (June 11) BUSINESS WIRE - June 11, 1998 -
        A collision of two great universes has erupted today as
        Capcom's latest fighter X-Men vs. Street Fighter(TM) is now
        available for the PlayStation game console. Based on the
        mega-popular arcade blockbuster of the same name, X-Men vs.
        Street Fighter is the latest head-to-head fighter from the
        company that defined the fighting game genre. In X-Men vs.
        Street Fighter, players can choose from 17 of their
        favorite characters from both Marvel's X-Men and Capcom's
        Street Fighter universes. Bringing the worlds of comic
        books and video games together, Capcom and Marvel Comics
        fuse together the world's most recognizable and popular
        characters in this head-to-head, fighting game for one or
        two players. X-Men vs. Street Fighter will sell at a
        suggested retail price of $49.99.

        Designed using Capcom's famed and fluid 2D animation, X-Men
        vs. Street Fighter delivers fighting game fans the ultimate
        in incredible comic book action. Unique to the Sony
        PlayStation version is the EX Combo System, as seen in
        Capcom's Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha. The EX Combo System
        allows players to link together a series of super moves to
        create massive and original super combos to finish off
        their opponents in a fast and furious manner.

        There are 17 playable characters to choose from which
        include 8 mutants from the X-Men universe: Cyclops, Rogue,
        Wolverine, Storm, Juggernaut, Magneto, Sabretooth and
        Gambit. The 9 Street Fighters include: Cammy, Ken, Ryu,
        Chun-Li, Akuma, M. Bison, Dhalsim, Zangief and Charlie.
        X-Men vs. Street Fighter marks the return of the incredibly
        popular character, Cammy, unseen since Super Street Fighter
        II and marks the first video game appearance ever, of
        Marvel's Gambit, Rogue, and Sabretooth.

        Xmen vs. Street Fighter is a featured title in Capcom's
        Fighters Edge frequent-buyers program. Consumers are
        awarded points with each fighting game purchase. Fighters
        Edge points are redeemable for a wide variety of quality
        merchandise ranging from baseball hats to mountain bikes.
        Complete details on the program can be found at

        ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'!

                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

        Compiled by Joe Mirando

        Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, things have returned
        to some semblance of normalcy and I again have time to
        think the deep thoughts that you are used to hearing from

        Okay, okay. So maybe they're not really deep thoughts. More
        like Deep Thought-mania... not really deep thoughts, but an
        incredible simulation. At any rate, I feel much more like
        my old self, and stand ready to let loose with my opinions.
        Like my thoughts on the differences between our Atari
        ST-series computers and the common, run-of-the-mill PCs.
        I've got sad news for you... the ST series just doesn't
        compete in today's market. 400 Megahertz Pentium II's with
        oodles of RAM, colors, and hard drive space leave our poor
        old Atari machines in the dust. Sad but true.

        As with people, though, there is much more to the equation
        than simply size and speed. There is also familiarity,
        compatibility, appropriateness, and trust. While there are
        some former Atari users who continually whine about the way
        their ST used to treat them, it is more likely the case
        that they simply hadn't a clue as to what they were doing.
        Most of these folks moved on to the Microsoft arena and
        found almost immediate kinship, since most of the users of
        that platform are not hobbyists and use their computers
        simply as tools, and simply took it as a fact of life that
        'crashes happen'.

        While 'appropriateness' is a rather shaky term to apply to
        the computer world, if you think about it, either your
        computer does what you want or need it to do, or it
        doesn't. If it doesn't then you should march right out and
        get a new one. My computers are all able to do what I need
        them to do, so they are appropriate for me to use. Could I
        do the same things I do now with a new wiz-bang Pentium II?
        Sure. But I find it a waste of money to go out and buy a
        machine that will do more than I need when I seldom have
        the time to test my current machines to their true limits.

        That I mentioned 'trust' might seem a bit strange, but
        consider the fact that we don't have to worry about
        Active-X on the Atari platform. Not only does Active-X
        provide amazing capabilities, it also allows for the
        possibility of someone accessing your information remotely
        without your knowledge. The likelihood is small, but it is
        there. I wouldn't 'trust' a computer with Active-X

        Some of you may know that I've been upgrading a '486
        computer for a relative so that she can access the
        internet. One of the main reasons I took on this project
        was to test the machine against my TT. I was pleasantly
        surprised to find that the TT outdoes the 486 in all areas
        except for the number of colors it can display... and even
        that was only after extensive and expensive add-ons. Sure,
        the 486 is not a state-of-the-art computer, and hasn't been
        for quite a number of years. But that's not the point of my
        test. They are running at about the same speed (32 MHz for
        the TT, and 33 MHz for the 486), they are both running a 32
        bit operating system (MagiC on the TT, and WIN95 on the
        486), and both used the same modem, phone line, and ISP for
        this informal test. The only real difference is the
        software that they were using to access the internet. The
        TT ran CAB, and the 486 ran Microsoft Internet Explorer.
        While CAB was designed to be used on all Atari 16/32 bit
        computers with an eye to memory conservation, Explorer was
        designed to take advantage of all the bells and whistles
        available on newer PCs. While Explorer will run on a slow
        486, it's much happier with a fast Pentium or Pentium II.
        And that's okay... unless you happen to have an older
        machine. What does this prove? Absolutely nothing. If your
        current machine works for you, use it. If it doesn't,
        decide what you need a new computer to do and go out and
        get one.

        Well, that's enough for now. Let's take a look at what's
        being said on the UseNet.

        From the NewsGroup

        Austin Walshe asks about the serial port speeds for his TT:

        "I am currently trying to use Sting with CAB etc. and
        Daconis Web on my TT. I am able to use both approaches to
        internet connectivity ok at 19200 bps but have been
        unsuccessful using modem port 2 at 33600 bps. It connects
        ok but no data is received. I have used HSMODEM 7. Can any
        one help with the correct configuration of HSMODEM if this
        is the problem. Are there any complete English docs?"

        Martin-Eric Racine tells Austin:

        "With STinG, you need HS-Modem and Serial.CPX (included
        with STinG) to correctly set your Modem2 port for 38400
        baud throughput. With MiNT, only HS-Modem is needed,
        because MiNTnet sets the modem speed."

        Roger Cain adds:

        "I think the problem is that Modem 2 does not have standard
        speeds so the modem will not recognise the faster ones. I
        have been trying to find the docs. but they have gone
        missing for the moment! If you have the prog. TOSPORTS (I
        think) or any of these diagnostic programs (Profile,
        Sysinfo etc.) you can find out what speeds are supported
        and compare them with the spec. of your modem. I think you
        will find no matches above 38k8. I have connected via the
        Serial 2. This has standard speeds and I find that running
        a DTE of 115k2 with a DCE of 28k8 is both fast and stable.
        If you do this you will, of course, need to use SCC.PRG in
        the HSMODEM set-up."

        Peter Rottengatter tells Austin:

        "Modem 2 cannot be set to 33600 bps. Use 57600 bps
        instead." See that? Short, simple, and to the point.

        Meanwhile, Martin-Eric tells Peter:

        "38400 is the maximum on Modem 2. 57600 is not available on
        a TT Modem 2."

        Peter replies:

        "Ah, that's the crap port, which does 76800 bps instead?"

        Martin-Eric replies:

        "Modem-2 speeds:

        TT: 19200, 38400, 76800, 153600.

        MEGA-STe/Falcon: 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200, 230400.

        Yes, the TT has oddball speeds based on multitples of
        19200, because it was Atari's first attempt a new
        technologies such as the SCC, so a lot of features are
        "best guess". However, the SCC can be clocked at 14 MHz,
        like the Hades, and this modification is recognized by
        HS-Modem automatically. The result is a increased speed
        limit, up to 921600 theorical. This simple modification is
        described on "The TT030 Homepage" ... "

         Kent Johansson asks:

        "Somewhile ago I read somewhere on the web that Toad had
        some MegaSTe motherboards in stock available at a rather
        fair price. As Toad have stopped selling Atari related
        items I wonder where one may get hold of such a card
        nowadays, and how much they would cost. Any hints? I'd
        rather build myself a MSTE in a tower than a PC."

        Charlie Wood tells Kent:

        "Here's the web address of Keith Scroggins who bought the
        remaining stock from Toad. I just bought some items from
        him and he mentioned that he had some STE motherboards in

        Dave Gostl asks for help with his Falcon and a SyQuest EZ

        "I'm having problems with my Falcon's int IDE drive. I've
        decided to just replace it. But all of a sudden I can't use
        the EZ135 SCSI drive. It spins up and down and ejects no
        problem. The green LED turns yellow for a sec at bootup,
        also normal. HDDriver 4.61 dosen't recognise it anymore.
        Can this be related to the IDE's impending failure? Or
        could it be a HDDriver problem? I didn't mess with
        HDDriver's setup before this happened."

        Michael Grove tells Dave:

        "I have sorta the same problem. I think it has something to
        do with the Hard Disk Cartridge itself. Some of mine are
        recognized as an EZ 135 cart, and others as an SH Megafile
        disk. I have reformatted them on every Atari possible, on a
        PC and Mac as well. On the alien machines, they are
        recognized properly, but once repartitioned with HD Driver
        (or any other driver for that matter) they asume the identy
        of an SH drive. I have used ICD Pro, SCSI Tool and AHDI
        too. At one time, I thought that because I had formatted
        and partitioned some with the IDE EZ in my Falcon, caused a
        bug when used in a SCSI EZ drive. All I can say is you're
        not alone."

        Dave tells Michael:

        "On mine I don't think it's the carts themselves. The whole
        drive seems to be non-existant. The carts were partitioned
        with Diamond Edge, all in the same manner as 1 big
        partition each. I didn't know there was an IDE version. Is
        it slower or faster than the SCSI?"

        Charles Silver tells both Dave and Michael:

        "I don't understand this at all. I've been using a SCSI EZ
        drive for years with my Falcon. It has 4 equal partitions
        using AHDI. I used PC Carts then formatted'em with AHDI, no
        problems. Of course, my internal IDE works fine, so maybe
        that's the answer. I don't boot from my EZ drive. Something
        very basic is going wrong for you."

        "pfloyd" (nah, it couldn't be <grin>) asks a very good
        question about ownership:

        "Just wondering who now owns the rights to TOS and GEM? I
        know TOS was Atari and GEM was DRI, but now that both
        companies are out of existance, who owns the copyrights?"

        Nicholas Bales tells pfloyd:

        "Hasbro owns all the Atari rights and intellectual property
        (and Caldera all the DRI stuff?)"

        Jo Vandeweighe adds:

        "Hasbro owns all the Atari rights and intellectual
        property... Excepting the TT030 hardware !"

        pfloyd asks Jo:

        "who owns the rights to the TT030???"

        Nicholas Bales tells pfloyd:

        "Well, Hasbro probzbly does own it. It was just not listed
        in the sales act. I think it was implicitely included with
        the ST and Falcon stuff. I see no reason why it would be
        separated from the rest."

        Eric Hayes posts this about some of the important settings
        for StiK, STinG, and even Windows95:

        "Earlier we had a discussion about setting MTU and other
        settings for STiNG, and someone said he wished things were
        as easy as they were with Windows, and a bunch of people
        pointed out that Windows has problems with these setting
        too, only most people never know they can mess with those.
        Well, today CNN Online has a long article about just this,
        including this juicy quote "Naturally, I'm going to point
        my finger at Microsoft. The computer giant obviously wasn't
        paying attention when it set the MTU default to 1500 in the
        Windows 95 Registry. Lower that number to 576, and your
        throughput will increase substantially." The full article
        is available at:
        and a site the author recommended as having good
        information about MTU and appropriate MTU setings is "

        Charles Silver tells Eric:

        "Hoo-Ray for PC'ers, they've discovered MTU for Windoze
        <g>. There's nothing noted in those Web sites that hasn't
        been discussed here over the past few years for STiK/STinG
        users. If you really want to "step in a bowl of jello" read
        RFC 879 :) Those PC'ers think they have discovered
        something new, not so. It seems some are selling
        "Tweaker's" to users for money!

        Bottomline: you can easily test this for yourself.

        With MTU = 576, try this setup:

        MSS = 536 [mss-40]
        RCV_WND = 2144 [mss x 4]

        Then compare with MTU = 1500

        MSS = 1460 [mss-40]
        RCV_WND = 2920 [mss x 2]

        You can experiment with a larger RCV_WND as a multiple of
        MSS. If you read RFC 879 you'll see that these settings
        depend on a lot of odd factors over which you have no
        control. So surf a bit to your favorite sites and see what
        happens. This is what I've euphemistically called
        "Optimizing" STinG. With most ISP's here in the USA I've
        tried lately, MTU = 1500 works better (faster downloads)
        with most of the URL's with CAB. But for some, I'm sure the
        MTU = 576 will work fine, maybe better. But not 2x or 3x,
        if you use the matching (MSS, RCV_WND) as shown above.
        Ahhh, I used MTU = 576 when I first started Surf'in with
        CAB/STiK, but moved on with some better settings for my

        Dennis Bishop asks for help with re-sizing JPEG pictures:

        "Is there anyway to take a jpg and make it smaller in
        display area? I've set up my page, but have been unable to
        put more than one jpg of a photo on it, I'id like to
        display some smaller ones to let the User pick them to
        order. my page is at:"

        Neil Roughley tells Dennis:

        "Go to / and
        download, the TOS binaries of The Independent
        JPEG Group's software. Within the archive are TTP-based
        JPEG utilities. To scale a JPEG, run djpeg.ttp with the
        command line:

        -scale 1/8 filein.jpg fileout.ppm

        This will create a scaled version in ppm (pbmplus color)
        format. Now take fileout.ppm and run cjpeg.ttp with the
        command line:

        fileout.ppm fileout.jpg

        This will convert the scaled ppm graphic back into a JPEG,
        which can now be used in your HTML as a thumbnail to the
        full graphic. Scaling can also be defined using 1/1, 1/2
        and 1/4. All this is the bare minimum you need to do (read
        the docs for full usage)."

        Andy Mellor asks about "Year 2000 Compliance" problems:

        "Any info on Year 2000 compliance/non-compliance out there?
        We're still using a few STs as dumb terminals."

        Nicholas Bales tells Andy:

        "The Year 2000 issue on the Atari is software related, so
        it all depends on the software you are using, since STs
        didn't have a real time clock anyway. There shouldn't be
        any problems with terminal software, but if there is,
        change the software!"

        "nbriscombe" tells Andy and Nick:

        "ST's have clocks all right, in the keyboard manager chip.
        but they are volatile. but you can get clock cards; plus
        there is a simple mod you can make with a 7400 and a
        rechargeable battery to your keyboard (but some games
        re-set this timer so its to so robust as a cartridge/scsi
        adapter clock). there were non volatile clocks in the MSTE
        and falcon. Calls to get time date from any version of tos
        is fine into 2038 (or similar). Of course this doesn't mean
        all software is compliant, a year represented as two digits
        can still give problems with > & < comparisons if the
        programmer didn't think to check if the date is < 85

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

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING

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