ST Report: 3-Jan-97 #1301

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/04/97-09:22:38 AM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 3-Jan-97 #1301
Date: Sat Jan  4 09:22:38 1997

                           Silicon Times Report
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 January 03, 1997                                                 No.1301

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

     How about those Gators!!   Now, I guess those sad jokes coming from
Coach Bowden will abate.  In any case, Florida's number one industry still
seems to be the production of first class Football players and teams.

     As with all things. Changes are inevitable.  The familiar way to reach
the STReport support BBS is undergoing sweeping changes.  Next week, you'll
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     Can you believe we've been doing STReport for TEN years?   This year,
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humble newsletter for the Atari computers in 1987 and now we are a very
humble, but highly informative weekly magazine.  All our back issues will
be available at our support site. Stay tuned for all developments as they


Of Special Note:

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                          STReport Headline News

                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                      Internet: Year's Top Tech Story

The top technology news story of 1996 was the Internet, says the nation's
leading tech writers, and the Net probably will be the top tech story of
the new year as well, they add.  Reporting from San Francisco, United Press
International notes the California business communications firm Wilson
McHenry interviewed the 25 most influential technology journalists as
listed in the publication Marketing Computers.

"It says their verdict that the Internet dominated their beat this year and
would do again in 1997 was unanimous," UPI reports.  Wilson McHenry says
everyone talks about the Internet, and that will keep up in the year to
come, "but with a sharper focus on how to turn the information superhighway
into a marketplace," adds the wire service.

                      Here's Why the Program Is Late

Ace technology columnist Gene Emery notes "Promises, Promises" could be the
theme song of the software business, since companies regularly must delay
release of new products beyond the promised debut, usually because bugs
have cropped up. Writing for the Reuter News Service, Emery notes VR Sports
(which originally promised to release its "VR Baseball" game in 1995), has
come up with a "Top Ten" list to explain why we may not see the game until
the first pitch this spring.

The reasons, listed in reverse order, a la the David Letterman Show, are:

1.   Marketing is complaining there isn't enough blood and guts in the
2.   An EA virus has been detected in VR Baseball which causes players to
        purposely throw a game.
3.   Have not been able to get the game to boot since implementing the
        "Players' Strike" feature.
4.   Two words: Nomo Mania.
5.   There was a setback in testing because many of the testers were using
        illegally corked joysticks.
6.   It takes way too many polygons to represent major-league umpires.
7.   Stupidly hired "Codeless" Joe Jackson as lead programmer.
8.   Many programmers were found aimlessly roaming through corn fields
        saying, "If you program it, it will crash."
9.   Programmers and artists can' continue without a collective bargaining
10.  Took too long to abandon the "We can save money by using the old
        source code for Pong" theory.

                      Encryption Plan Comes Next Week

The final version of the federal government's new policy on export of
computer encoding products will be unveiled next week, and insiders say the
plan is not likely to mollify the software industry and privacy advocates
who objected to the first draft.  Reporting from Washington, Aaron Pressman
of the Reuter News Service says some changes were made in the final rules,
available Friday at a government printing office, from the earlier draft,
"but the bulk of the proposal remains the same, including portions strongly
criticized by the software industry that applied to real-time

Undersecretary William Reinsch of the U.S. Commerce Department said two
weeks ago the draft rules would be modestly revised, but warned that some
objections could not be addressed.  The old rules, dating from the Cold
war, allow the administration to severely limit the export of products
containing encryption, programs that use mathematical formulas to scramble
information and render it unreadable without a password or software "key."

The new Commerce Department rules were intended as a compromise, allowing
U.S. companies to compete in the encryption market while protecting the
interests of law enforcement officials.  "The policy relies on so-called
key recovery features which allow government officials to decode encrypted
messages when acting under proper legal authority," says Pressman. "Under
the policy to be issued Monday, products containing key recovery features
will be eligible for export after a one-time review."

Reuters notes software firms had hoped the key recovery exception would
only apply to stored data, like a document on a hard drive, "but," says the
wire service, "the final rules, like the draft rules, also require key
recovery for real-time data transmission such as coded phone calls."  The
new rules say non-key recovery software with keys of up to 56 bits will be
exportable under six-month, renewable licenses until the end of 1998, but
only if the manufacturer commits to producing software with key recovery by

Also, all other encryption products, such as state-of-the art 128-bit
software without key recovery features, would continue to be treated as
munitions. "Such products include ordinary e-mail programs and even the
recently introduced set-top box for surfing the Internet with a
television," Pressman reports.

                      Bernstein Renews Encryption Row

Chicago college professor Dan Bernstein is set to square against the U.S.
government again next month on the subject of computer encryption.
Bernstein is set to teach a course on encryption Jan. 13 at the University
of Chicago, but United Press International notes new federal regulations
may require that he clear this with the government.

The professor acknowledges that new U.S. Commerce Department regulations
restricting computer encryption -- published over the Christmas holidays
and put into immediate effect this week -- might be violated by his class.
Bernstein told the wire service he thinks the Commerce Department
regulations are substantially the same as State Department regulations
ruled unconstitutional in a Dec. 6 decision by federal Judge Marilyn Hall
Patel, who ruled the controls were too broad.

Attorney Cindy Cohn, representing the professor, says she may seek an
injunction unless Washington agrees to suspend enforcement of the rules
pending a court review.  UPI notes, "Bernstein developed an encryption
algorithm. In ruling that his algorithm is protected free speech, the
courts have extended First Amendment protection to computer code."

                        WebTV Had Healthy Christmas

Makers of WebTV -- the set-top box manufactured by Philips Magnavox and
Sony Electronics that allows TV viewers to access the Internet -- are happy
with retail sales during their first Christmas season.  Writing in PC Week
Online, reporter Margaret Kane notes the device was aimed mostly at
Internet novices, although retailers like Raymond Navarrete, vice president
of Tops Appliance City, in Edison, New Jersey, said it also sold well to
computer-savvy buyers.

Said Navarrete, "There are people who said, 'My computer is in my office'
or 'It's over in the corner.' This becomes a product that can easily be
added. It's like buying a VCR."  Kane notes neither Sony nor Philips has
released sales figures for the device, "but it did make it onto the list of
'hot gifts' put out by the International Council of Shopping Centers,"
adding soe retailers suggest buyers were captivated by the novelty of the

Adds Kane, "Installation of the device is similar to setting up a VCR. It
automatically dials into WebTV Networks Inc., a Palo Alto, California,
Internet access provider that charges a flat rate. Users surf the World
Wide Web via a remote control, although peripheral devices, including
keyboards, are offered."

                      PC May Revive Japanese Village

Japan is watching to see if the new year will witness the revival of the
small rural village of Yamada in Toyama Prefecture after farmers there
received free computers linked to the Internet.  The Kyodo Japanese news
service notes that earlier last summer the Yamada office distributed a free
PC to each of 325 families in the 456-house village, where 350 households
are engaged in farming.

"The move," says Kyodo, "is aimed at bringing significant changes to the
rural community with a population of only 2,000, down from 3,000 a couple
of decades ago."  The wire adds that like many others in Japan's rural
areas, Yamada's residents were hit by the government's trade liberalization
policy on agricultural products, which means Japan can no longer offer the
same level of protection to its farmers, he said.  Local official Harunobu
Sugimoto says they might help stimulate the people by, for example,
accepting distant orders for farm products through online shopping

Meanwhile, the wire service notes 44-year-old Isao Kurata has a more
radical idea.  Says Kurata, the driving force behind Yamada's computer
project, "The latest infrared modem can provide wireless access to
information from anywhere in the village, even in the rice fields during
work breaks."  He said that although it has begun trial usage of the latest
modems, Yamada will need a total of 200 transmission poles ranging up to an
elevation of 1,000 meters for full infrared coverage of a roughly
40-square-kilometer area.

Kurata, who has used computers for 14 years, moved the base of his
machine-design office four years ago to his home vilage and came up with
the idea of introducing the Internet there. He says he now has committed
himself to voluntarily visiting up to three houses every night to teach the
families how to use the Internet, with the teleconferencing and other
application software supplied.  He said, "I want to support my home village
and make it nice to live in. The farmers can live their way and preserve
the land by comfortably accessing necessary information on things like
markets and plant diseases."

Kyodo says the village will upload information of its own -- such as data
relating to skiing and hot springs which bring the village some 1.5 billion
yen in tourist revenues every year -- and aims to increase the number of
its residents, especially the young, through the computer project.

                      Great Lakes Hot Tech Job Market

Word is the latest, greatest job market for information technology skills
in 1997 is the Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, last year's hottest market --
the Mid-Atlantic region -- has slipped all the way to 7th place, out of 9
sites.  These are the findings of a new technology employment survey 270
information services managers conducted by Computerworld newspaper, which
adds in a statement, "With most companies increasing their spending on
information technology, nationwide demand for information technology skills
will continue to grow in 1997.

The survey also finds the continuing importance of the Internet and
intranets in business is influencing the most sought after skills.  "The
hottest skills," says the paper, "include programmers experienced in HTML,
which is the language used to create Web pages, Microsoft Visual Basic
development tools, Windows NT operating systems, and TCP/IP networking."

                     IBM Creates Higher Disk Capacity

A new milestone in storing information on a hard disk is being claimed by
IBM scientists who say they have developed a drive that can hold 5 billion
bits of data in a square inch.  The Wall Street Journal reports this
morning the device could store the text of 625 novels on a single square
inch of disk surface. "That's between five and 10 times the capacity of the
disk drives currently used in typical personal computers," the paper adds.

Right now, the ultra-high capacity disk drives exist only in the laboratory
at IBM's Almaden Research Center and at its Storage Systems Division, both
based San Jose, California, but the company says it expects computers using
the drives to be available in two or three years.  The Journal comments,
"The five-billion-bit announcement comes just a year after the company said
it had developed drives with a capacity of three billion bits a square
inch. A company spokesman said he expects IBM scientists to reach the
10-billion bit level by he end of the decade."

                      SyQuest Delivers New Disk Drive

Volume shipments of SyQuest Technology Inc.'s new SyJet 1.5 gigabyte
removable cartridge disk drive are to begin this month.  In Fremont,
California, officials with the storage device maker told the Reuter News
Service the firm already has shipped more than 90,000 units of its new
EZFlyer 230 disk drive, the second of its EZ product family.  Reuters notes
SyQuest has seen its market share decline in the last year from new
competitors in the computer storage business such as Iomega Corp., a maker
of optical drives including the Zip drive. The company has been putting out
new products in an effort to meet competition.

                       X2 Performance Data Released

U.S. Robotics has released initial performance data on its new x2 modem
technology, showing that the system generally lives up to the company's
expectations.  The Skokie, Illinois, firm plans to be first to market x2
modems, with initial consumer products shipping later this month.  A
statement issued by U.S. Robotics says the company has conducted testing in
87 area codes across the U.S., with early performance data showing that the
vast majority of households should be able to download Internet text and
graphics at nearly twice the speed as current standard modem connections.
"This early test data is based on nearly 20,000 V.34 calls placed with
diagnostic software that predicts whether the connections will support the
new technology," notes the company.

"Based on early testing in seven Bell operating company regions, a high
percentage of test calls to date have only one analog-to-digital (A/D)
conversion in the path of the call, which is  a condition necessary to
connect at the higher speeds supported by x2," states U.S. Robotics.  "The
remaining calls would automatically fall back to V.34 operation, the
28.8K/33.6K bps modem standard widely used today.

"When x2 connections are not made, it's typically because there's been more
than one analog-to-digital conversion in the path of the call," states U.S.
obotics. "However, because the telephone network is evolving to a primarily
digital infrastructure, most calls to trunk side digitally-connected ISP
equipment have only one analog-to-digital conversion in their path."

U.S. Robotics also is in the process of obtaining Federal Communications
Commission certification of its x2 products. Currently, FCC rules limit the
signal level that digitally connected server equipment can transmit into
the digital portion of the network phone lines. "Based on product testing
to date, the result of this limitation is that the top transmission speed
in the downstream link is 53K bps," says U.S. Robotics. "At higher signal
levels, laboratory tests indicate that the x2 top speeds increase, with
connections at 56K bps and potentially higher rates."

                    Apple Paid Amelio $3M for 8 Months

For eight months of work, Apple Computer Inc. paid new Chairman/CEO Gilbert
Amelio nearly $3 million in salary and bonuses, according to a recent
filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The Dow Jones news
service reports that in comparison, Amelio, who joined the struggling
computer maker last February, earned $1.3 million in the previous eight
months as president/CEO at National Semiconductor Corp.

A proxy statement filed last week with the SEC says Apple paid Amelio
$655,061 in salary and $2.33 million in bonuses for the fiscal year that
ended in September. Former Apple CEO  Michael Spindler received $939,576 in
compensation and a $3.3 million severance payment when he left.

Notes Dow Jones, "Apple was losing market share and money when Amelio
arrived in February. The company has since undergone a restructuring and
reported a profit in its fourth quarter - six months earlier than many on
Wall Street had expected. However, some of the profit was reclaimed from a
$207 million restructuring charge taken earlier in the year."

                        Iomega Lays Off 500 to 700

Some 500 to 700 jobs are being eliminated at Iomega Corp.'s Roy, Utah,
plant, as the company, a leader in portable data storage units, makes plans
to shift manufacturing of its portable computer disk drives to Malaysia.
Business writer Kristen Moulton of The Associated Press quotes Iomega
officials as saying the move will help the company keep its costs down and
prices low for consumers in the competitive market.

Adds Moulton, "Production and packaging employees at the Roy plant were
told they'll lose their jobs beginning in March. The company plans job
counseling, training and flexible time so workers can find other positions.
...Workers also will get severance pay and medical benefit extesions."

Iomega's headquarters and research, prototype development, sales and
marketing offices will remain in Roy, where the company soon will move into
a new building. The firm employed 1,900 in Roy in November. Worldwide, it
had 2,800 employees, up more than 1,000 from the previous year.

                     Tandy Closes Computer City Stores

Tandy Corp. is closing 19 Computer City stores and relocating two others as
part of a strategic plan to reposition the superstore chain to focus on the
experienced user and SOHO (small office, home office) markets.  The Fort
Worth, Texas, retailers expects the moves will result in a $170 million
after-tax charge to fourth quarter earnings. Computer City has 113 outlets

Tandy is also exiting the consumer electronics superstore business. The
company has entered into contracts with Fry's Electronics Inc. of Palo
Alto, California, for the sale of the assets in six Incredible Universe
stores located in the Arlington, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona;
Portland, Oregon; Sacramento, California; and San Diego, California,
markets.  Contracts have also been entered into to sell the six buildings
and land to limited partnerships who will lease the stores to Fry's.

The deals' financial terms weren't disclosed. Fry's Electronics currently
operates 10 computer and consumer electronics  stores of up to 150,000
square feet in California.  "The Incredible Universe concept was developed
to provide a larger selection, non-commissioned sales environment and a
'hands-on' experience," says John V. Roach, Tandy's chairman and CEO.
"While individual stores enjoyed success and customers surveyed had strong
positives for Incredible Universe, the economic model is not viable for

                     CompUSA Chief Bemoans Weak Sales

CompUSA Inc. CEO James Halpin says holiday sales were weak in the Dallas
company's computer superstores.  CompUSA reported a disappointing 1.5
percent increase in same-store sales in the second quarter of fiscal year
1997, which ended Dec. 28.  "Retail sales in the last two weeks of December
were soft and that caused a little bit of disappointment, but things go
forward," stated Halpin in an interview with the Reuters news service.
Halpin added that he thought holiday sales were slow because customers are
awaiting next week's introduction of Intel's new multimedia MMX chip.  "We
think our corporate customers and a lot of our retail customers are waiting
for that chip to come out on January 8," he said.

                       Doctors' Service to Go Online

A new online service for doctors intended to provide up-to-minute medical
information is to be launched in May by a consortium of major U.S.
publishing companies, including Harcourt Brace, Wolters Kluwer and Times
Mirror.  Reporting from St. Louis, United Press International says the
Internet service will be called MD Consult, and the publishers promise it
will become for doctors what the Lexis and Westlaw services are for
lawyers.  CEO Brian Knez of Harcourt Brace told the wire service, "MD
Consult represents for us an important opportunity to meet what we believe
to be the growing demand by health care professionals for online access to
comprehensive medical information and services."

UPI says the partners will include Harcourt Brace's medical publishing
subsidiary WB Saunders Co., Wolters Kluwer's Lippincott-Raven Publishers of
Philadelphia and Times Mirror's Los Angeles-based Mosby-Year Book.  MD
Consult President Jerry Freeland said the service will allow the publishing
companies to respond quickly to customer requests for information in
different formats, adding licensing agreements have been offered to other
medical publishers. When doctors sign onto the service in May, he said,
they will be able to access the full contents of more than 35 medical
journals and 30 medical reference textbooks.  "Also available will be a
clinical reference library and access to other existing medical databases,"
says UPI.

                         Air Force Site Vandalized

Vandalized by online intruders, an Internet site operated by the U.S. Air
Force was taken down this weekend, along with some 80 other sites
maintained by the Department of Defense.  The Wall Street Journal today
noted that on Sunday morning, officials at the Department of Defense's
Defense Technical Information Center noticed that someone had gained access
to the Air Force's Web site and changed it from its standard fare.
"Instead of the unclassified information about the military service,
including fact sheets, biographies on commanders and ews releases," said
the paper, "users were offered a brief sexually explicit video clip. The
bogus site also claimed that everything the government says is effectively
a lie."

Major Cecily Christian of the U.S. Air Force told the Journal, "Some
vandals -- somebody who knows how to gain access to our computers -- was
able to gain access and put pornographic pictures on our site," adding that
the FBI and the Air Force's office of special investigations is looking
into the incident. No other Defense Department computers were affected.
The paper says the attack prompted the Defense Department to temporarily
take down its 80 other Web sites to check whether they had been altered,
but no intrusions were discovered. By yesterday afternoon, all but the Air
Force's site was back up.

                    MCI Berates NYNEX Order Processing

MCI is charging that "a seriously flawed NYNEX order processing system" is
delaying the ability of New Yorkers and New Englanders to switch their
local telephone service to another company.  "The NYNEX system fails to
meet system standards established by the Federal Communications
Commission," says a statement issued by MCI. The FCC is requiring local
telephone monopolies to install electronic order processing systems by
January 1 to ensure that customers who chose to switch their local
telephone company can do so easily and quickly.

"The NYNEX system does not meet the FCC test because it is an interim plan
that requires manual input from sales representatives and is not an
electronic, system to system solution," notes MCI. "The manual system can
lead to serious delays and errors in processing customer sales orders and
other pertinent information."

According to MCI, fully automated electronic order processing system better
enables companies to share information required to handle new service
requests, repair calls and billing information. It adds that electronic
systems also allow competitors to more quickly and more effectively resell
local network capacity at a lower cost to customers.

"NYNEX is imply not preparing a system that can meet customer needs,"  says
Donald T. Lynch, MCI senior vice president for financial operations and
accounting. "We already are competing with NYNEX through our own,
state-of-the-art local networks. Allowing NYNEX to use this flawed order
processing system would severely limit MCI's ability to expand local
competition by competing in the resale market."

             Investigation of Cowboys' Irvin, Williams Ongoing

The investigation of aggravated sexual assault charges made against Dallas
Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, offensive tackle Erik Williams and a
third unnamed suspect is continuing, but Dallas police said no charges will
be filed Thursday. "Detectives are gathering and evaluating physical
evidence and will be interviewing a number of individuals who may have
knowledge about the allegations and whereabouts of the suspects named by
the complainant," Dallas police said in a statement released Thursday
afternoon.  "Neither of the Dallas Cowboys named has been interviewed; no
determination has been made on when they might be asked to provide
statements to the police." The Cowboys visit the Carolina Panthers Sunday
in an NFC divisional playoff game. It is unlikely that the investigation
will keep either player from playing in that contest.

                   Stallings & Alabama win in final game

Gene Stallings, whose seven-year tenure at Alabama included a national
title and an NCAA probation, went  out a winner Wednesday in his final
game, a 17-14 victory over No. 15 Michigan in the Outback Bowl.  Linebacker
Dwayne Rudd returned an interception 88 yards to put the 16th-ranked
Crimson Tide ahead to  stay. Stallings announced his resignation, effective
at the end of the season, following a 24-23 victory over  Auburn on Nov.
23. Stallings, 61, was 70-15-1 at Alabama and won the 1992 national
championship with a  13-0 record. Defensive coordinator Mike Dubose takes
over for Stallings. In other New Year's Day bowl  action, Peyton Manning
threw for 408 yards and four touchdowns as No. 9 Tennessee routed 11th-
ranked  Northwestern, 48-28, in the Citrus Bowl. In the Cotton Bowl, Ko
Kealaluhi caught a 28-yard touchdown pass  with 3:39 remaining as fifth-
ranked Brigham Young overcame a 10-point deficit to defeat No. 14 Kansas
State, 19-15.  Curtis Enis scored three touchdowns as No. 7 Penn State
ripped 20th-ranked Texas, 38-15, in  the Fiesta Bowl, and Oscar Davenport
threw for one touchdown and ran for another to spark No. 11 North
Carolina to a 20-13 victory over No. 25 West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.

                 Arizona's loss set up national title game

When Florida State met Florida five weeks ago, it was for the top spot in
college football. Thursday's rematch in the Sugar Bowl will be no
different. Second-ranked Arizona State fell out of the championship hunt
with a heart-breaking 20-17 loss to No. 4 Ohio State in Wednesday's Rose
Bowl. The previously  unbeaten Sun Devils had taken the lead on an 11-yard
TD run by quarterback Jake Plummer with 1:40 to  go, only to watch the
Buckeyes march 65 yards to the winning score -- a four-yard scoring toss
from Joe  Germaine to freshman David Boston with 19 seconds left. Third-
ranked Florida (11-1) is back in the picture  and likely would claim the
championship by beating Florida State (11-0), the nation's only unbeaten
team. The Seminoles squeaked by The Gators 24-21 on Nov. 30.

                           GATORS HAMMER `NOLES
                            In pursuit of Title

Third-ranked Florida staked a claim to its first-ever national championship
as Heisman Trophy winner Danny  Wuerffel threw three touchdown passes to
Ike Hilliard and ran for another score in a 52-20 victory over top- ranked
Florida State in the Sugar Bowl at New Orleans. Wuerffel connected on
touchdown passes to Hilliard  in each of the first three quarters -- of
nine, 31 and seven yards -- and added a 47-yard completion to the  receiver
to set up another score. The third touchdown pass to Hilliard began a 28-
point explosion that broke  open a close game and enabled the Gators to
avenge a 24-21 setback to Florida State on Nov. 30. The Gators  also erased
the memory of last season's 62-24 loss to Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl, a
defeat that kept Florida coach Steve Spurrier from his first national

            Seven Letter bombs found in U.S., FBI issues alert

Seven letter bombs disguised as Christmas cards and mailed from the Middle
East were found in three  different locations in the United States
Thursday, prompting the FBI to warn Americans to be on alert. FBI
officials declined to confirm reports that they were investigating a
possible connection between the cards and  key figures in the 1993 bombing
of the World Trade Center and the foiled plot to bomb other New York
landmarks. The FBI said none of the seven letter bombs found Thursday
exploded but that they would have  caused "grave harm," including death, if

             Penney, Dayton Hudson, CompUSA report weak sales

Shoppers watched their spending this Christmas at some of the nation's
biggest stores, resulting in  disappointing sales during the important
holiday season. Providing more evidence of a weak Christmas  season, J.C.
Penney and Dayton Hudson Corp. reported some holiday sales that were below
their own  expectations. CompUSA said second-quarter sales rose only 1.5%
from a year ago. After a dismal Christmas  one year ago, store owners had
hoped a rebounding economy and high levels of consumer confidence would
ignite buying this year. In late afternoon trading, Penney was off 1-1/4 at
47-1/2, Dayton Hudson was down  1-3/8 at 37-7/8 and shares of CompUSA
dropped 5 to 15-3/4. (USA TODAY)

         Midsize manufacturers have yet to feel Internet's impact

Some U.S. manufacturers believe that the Internet will continue to have
little or no effect on their companies  over the next two years, according
to a national survey by Grant Thornton LLP. The survey found that 95
percent of the owners and top executives who run America's midsize
companies believe that the Internet is a  permanent part of the business
landscape. However, only 11 percent said that the Internet has had some
impact on their companies. In contrast, 53 percent said the Internet has
had no impact at all.

           Microsoft to introduce IE 3.0 and FrontPage for Macs

Microsoft reportedly will introduce a final version of Internet Explorer
3.0 and a version of FrontPage for  the Macintosh platform at the Macworld
trade show in San Francisco next week. Microsoft is also expected  to
introduce the ActiveX Part Adapter. This new technology is designed to run
ActiveX programs through  CyberDog, which is Apple's Internet application
suite, and other applications compatible with Apple Computer's OpenDoc

              Commercial printing shop debuts on the Internet

The first interactive commercial print shop is making its debut on the
Internet. iPrint is a self-service Internet  application that makes
designing and ordering printed materials as easy as using an ATM machine.
iPrint is a  push-button, "self-service" design environment where the
consumer can see what they are creating. The  iPrint technology is the
first desktop publishing engine of its kind for the Internet. iPrint can be
reached at

Shareware Focus STR Feature   Presenting the Latest Goodies

                         Shareware Treasure Chest

By Lloyd E. Pulley

   I've been asked if I d/l (download) and/or try all of the programs I
list.  The answer is 'no'.  There just isn't enough time to d/l and test
out all of the files.  Besides that, I don't have any use for 90% of them -
which doesn't mean that you won't.  Take the first one on my list for
example, "Wallaby".  That one I did d/l and try out, and it looked like a
good program.  But since I'm happy with WinZip, I had no need for it.  What
I do is try to get a decent mix of different types of programs for you each
week, whether they're ones that I like/would use or not.  But there are
some that I do keep and use - the Polyview graphics viewer, the Starfish
Internet meter and the McAfee virus scanner to name just three.


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Wallaby - 2.5                      1/2/97     2mg   Shareware $19.95

  Wallaby for Windows '95 is the fastest, easiest and best way to zip and
unzip in Windows '95. But thats not all - Wallaby can also create Self-
Extracting EXE's - perfect for an installation/distribution, it also has a
unique "Favourite Folders" which will seek out and locate your files.
Wallaby is also tightly integrated with the Windows '95 shell, right-click
any folder or drive and in minutes it will be compressed.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Wave Events -  2.1                 12/27/96   712k  Shareware $10.00

  A Windows 95 utility to individually install/delete up to 12 different
sound events, and their WAV file associations for any windows program. Have
different sounds/sound events for different programs. Requires VB4.0

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

McAfee Scan for Windows 95 - 2.08  12/27/96   2.07mb   Shareware $65

  The most popular shareware virus scanner! Comes complete with ViruShield.
VirusScan superior detection rates are the envy of the industry; more than
20% better than the number two market leader.  VirusScan natively supports
Windows 95 with an extensive array of features to keep your system immune
from viruses.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

PBTerm - 1.10                      12/30/96   1200k Shareware $10.00

  PBTerm is the Windows 95 client for Paintball Net. Paintball Net is a
multi-player, real-time, Internet-based game. Players deck themselves out
with everything from paintball guns to scope-mounts to refracto suits (a la
Predator) and run around the countryside taking potshots at other players
and computer controlled 'bots.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Image Commander - 2.0              12/27/96   1.97mg   Shareware $19.00

  JASC Image Commander 2.0 is a fast and easy image viewer.  It supports
over 30 file types including GIF, JPG, PNG, TIF, BMP, CDR, WMF and many
more!  It is an excellent choice for a fast default image viewer in Windows
95 or Windows NT 4.0.  Image Commander 2.0 also supports quick and easy
image conversions and fast image printing as well.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Easy Pool - 3.0 Beta 1             1/2/97     106k  Shareware $16.95

  Easy Pool is a Windows 95 software program that completely automates your
NCAA Basketball Pool. Grid-like screens, similar to the ones you see in
newspapers, make it easy to setup and manage a pool. You can print and view
detailed reports with a click of the mouse. Easy Pool now features: pick
sheet printing, selectable points setup, tie-breaker entry, on-line help,
right click option for instant player standings, and fax compatibility.
Easy Pool can track up to 1500 player participants. A MUST for any serious
College Basketball Fan!

   Download Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

MediaBlaze SE 32-bit - 3.2c        12/27/96   2.10mb   Shareware $20

  The Internet and Intranet, powered by multimedia, are booming and you
cannot afford to be left behind. There's never been a greater demand for
multimedia applications than now.  Your computer needs to become a part of
the revolution that is shaping the way computers are being used.  The best
tool to do this effectively and quickly is MediaBlaze SE.  You'll do this
quickly by individually using one of the specific tabs for different media
and executing the method.  It's really that simple.  What makes MediaBlaze
SE effective is its seemingly unlimited flexibility.  Each tab's properties
and methods give you quick control over the media selected.  Tabs for
Images, Music, Sound, Video, CD Audio, MCI Devices and more guide you
through every step.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Online Meter - 2.0                 1/1/97     2445k Shareware $15.00

 The counter for your Dial-Up Networking connections with Windows 95.
Starts counting when you connect.  Tariff definition is easy to do,
including special support for holidays.  Moreover, the program creates a
detailed log of all your connections.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Starfish InternetMeter Inlay - 2.0 01/01/97   789k  Freeware

  Watch the Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and Netscape Navigator browsers
come alive - with the InternetMeter Inlay from Starfish Software!  This
unique utility provides a glimpse of the technology behind Starfish
Internet Utilities - the essential utilities for every Internet user.  The
InternetMeter Inlay embeds itself into the top right corner of your Web
browser and tracks your online activity in real time.  Session time, data
transfer rates and connection status are all monitored - then complete
details of the browser session are added to a cumulative Call Log.

Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

GatherTalk 32-bit - Final beta 6   01/02/97   1.14mb   Freeware

 GatherTalk is a phone for the Internet.  It allows interactive voice
conversations around the world. GatherTalk does even more than a phone.  It
allows teleconferencing on Internet, even with modem connections. It can
support 3 people conferencing using 14.4kbps modems and 5 people
conferencing using 28.8kbps modems.  No special chat servers are required,
all connections are direct.  This shortens the transmission and processing
delays, and also allows the most valuable feature, private conferencing.
i.e. You can make your own conferencing groups as you wish.  This version
started a concept of GatherTalk PlugIn. TextTalk and WhiteBoard are two new
Plug-ins for the first distribution.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Personal Friends - 1.0             1/1/97     3630k Freeware

  Nouveux Personal Friends v1.0 - Is a complete database application where
you can have information about your friends, phone numbers, addresses,
names in order. Personal Friends v1.0 includes a very nice phone dialer, so
you can call your friends without having you to dial manually their
numbers. Also you can add their photos in your database, so you know who
they are. This is still a Beta but is fully functional.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

PolyView - 2.80 beta               12/30/96   1300k Shareware $20.00

  PolyView by Polybytes is a shareware graphics viewer, conversion, and
printing utility that has been optimized for use with Windows 95 and
Windows NT (Intel). PolyView's noteworthy features are:

z    Supports most of the popular graphics image formats, including BMP,
        GIF, JPEG, PCX, Photo-CD (read-only), PNG, TARGA, TIFF, and many others.
z    Multithreading is used to enhance usability and allow time consuming
        operations, such as image file reading and writing, to be performed in
        parallel with user interface operations.
z    Both full screen and windowed slide shows, using specified or random
z    A wide variety of image appearance manipulation and filtering
z    Highly effective interpolated zooming.
z    Sophisticated color resolution and pixel size manipulation algorithms.
z    Thumbnail and directory browsers for image file management.
z    DDE communication capabilities for convenient linking to your web
        browser, news reader, or HTML editor.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Disk PieCharter 32-bit - 2.1       12/29/96   85k   Shareware $15

  Disk Piecharter for Windows 95/NT is a Graphical Disk Explorer that shows
disk usage per file and per directory in a piechart.  You can zoom in and
out on piechart segments (directories). You can also delete files and
directory trees with it. Then it immediately shows the effect on free

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

HyperSnap - 2.78                   12/18/96   396k  Shareware $20.00

  HyperSnap brings professional quality, convenient Windows 95 and NT
screen captures to your fingertips.  It was designed for ease of use, with
powerful and useful features to aid the professional as well as support the
needs of the occasional user.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

QuickV1.0                          12/30/96   1.77mg   Freeware

  QuickV will view/play .wav .avi and most video formats, it will even
display .bmp's (bitmaps).  But it is mainly for playing .wav and .avi

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Kali - 1.1g                        12/29/96   1860k Shareware $20.00

  Kali is the largest Internet gaming system in the world with over 70,000
users and 200 servers in 33 countries. Kali supports more games than any
other internet gaming system, including Apache, Big Red Racing, Command &
Conquer, Cyberstorm, Deadlock, Descent / Descent 2, Doom / Doom II, Duke
Nukem 3D, EF2000, Fire Fight, Hellbender, Heretic, Hexen, Links LS,
Mechwarrior 2, Monster Truck Madness, Mortal Kombat 3, Nascar Racing,
Network Fighter Duel (NetDuel), Quake, Rise of the Triad, Shattered Steel,
Super Karts, Terminal Velocity, Top Gun, VR Pool, Warcraft / Warcraft 2,
Red Alert, Master of Orion II, Heroes of Might and Magic II, Marathon 2,
Hellbender, Descent95, Doom95, and others.New features include organized
game launching screens for Duke Nukem, Doom, Doom2, Heretic, Hexen,
Terminal Velocity, and Quake. Now supports faster game play (compression),
Winsock IPX, and multiple configurations.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

PowerPGP - 2.00                    12/28/96   1086k Shareware $20.00

  PowerPGP 2.00 is a front end Encryption Shell for PGP.  Although mainly
designed for Message encryption it's totally redesigned File Encryption and
Key Management interfaces make it one of the most powerful and user
friendly PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) front ends available. Redesigned from
the ground up PowerPGP has even more Power. Requires DOS PGP to be properly
installed before trying to use PowerPGP.

With the increasing popularity of the Internet, Online Services, and BBS's
more and more people are communicating electronically. After all why not?
It's faster, more convenient, and cheaper. What most people don't realize
is how easily someone can read their private messages. Anyone at the
console of any of these systems can read your messages. Whats more it isn't
even illegal for them to do so.

So... What does one do to protect themselves? You can encrypt those
messages with PGP. And to make the process of doing so easier you can use
PowerPGP for Windows to do it. With PowerPGP you can write you message in
PowerPGP and encrypt it. After that you can cut and paste your message into
any windows based e-mail program. This includes many Windows terminal
programs that connect to ANSI BBS systems.

What PowerPGP is, exactly, is a windows based shell for the DOS PGP
program. It makes encrypting a snap without having to know the complex
command line switches required to use PGP.

   Download Site -

PowerPGP DOES require PGP to be installed properly on the system before
using PowerPGP

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

CYBERMAN Calculator - 1.4          12/29/96   961k  Freeware

  This is a calculator we all have waiting for. Huge numbers and display
and it's freeware. Nice Icon-animated and shows different events every time
you press a button!

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Card File '97 - 1.0                12/31/96   2108k Shareware $5.00

  This is a full-featured card file program that includes password
protection, registry tampering detection (if someone trys to alter your
win95 registry setting for Card File '97 password or password state),
changeable fonts and colors, automatic record saving, automatic
opening/displaying of "default" file (this can be set by the user), file
encryption for records (so no one can read your files through an ASCII

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Video Poker - 2.01                 1/6/96     182k  Shareware $10.00

  Play Vegas-style video poker from the comforts of your home.  While this
game is fun and challenging, you won't go broke putting quarters into this
game. Payout odds are based on real Vegas machines.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Hover Race 32-bit - beta           12/30/96   2.50mb   Freeware

  Multi player hovercraft racing over the internet.  Rev up your racer and
compete against human opponents from all around the world.  Up to eight
players can engage in races around different courses.  It also has a
convenient meeting room for chatting and setting up games with other
players.  The game is very quick, with a great physics model, easy to learn
and intuitive gameplay, and various options such as speed up zones and
weapons.  And all with no lag!  The game plays with no pauses or skips on a
14.4k connection. It's free, and doesn't cost anything to play.  HoverRace
is very easy to play with only a few keys.  Furthermore, HoverRace is not
violent. You won't find any blood or death in HoverRace.

Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

See 'Em Post It Notes 32-bit - 1.0 1/1/97     .03mb Freeware

  Pop an icon in your tray at startup for quick and easy access to
com'puter post it notes. Viritually unlimited number of notes, each note
has an alarm feature, group notes by category, easy maintenance of notes
... organize your desk, your day, your life! Resource friendly.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Vosaic 32-bit - 1.0 plug-in Official Release  12/31/96 .82mb     Shareware

  Real time streaming of video means you don't have to wait for the whole
video to be downloaded before being able to watch it.  Vosaic adaptively
streams MPEG1, MPEG2 and H.263 video over a wide range of transmission

Both high quality MPEG audio and low-bitrate GSM audio is supported, as
well as a very low bitrate 3.3 Kbit/s audio.  Vosaic's Video Datagram
Protocol intelligently adapts to the available network bandwidth and CPU
power on your machine, providing the best possible video transmission under
the circumstances. A full set of control buttons enable you to play and
stop, and even fast forward or rewind through the video.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

MidiMaster 32-bit - 6.0 beta 1     12/31/96   830k  Shareware $18.99

  MidiMaster is a multimedia player for Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 that
supports MID, RMI, AVI, QuickTime and WAV formats.  It is not only a media
player but also a media file organizer.  It is specially designed for those
who like a desktop media player which brings convenience whenever they play
and manage their beloved media files.  MidiMaster runs on both Windows 95
and Windows NT 4.0 as it provides specific Windows 95 GUI features.  Also,
users can either minimize MidiMaster to taskbar or shrink it to the
TaskTray of Windows 95.  MidiMaster also provides library functions for
managing or categorizing media files.  It has many extensive functions
which make media files playing extremely simple and controllable. There are
many more functions available to make your life of playing media files

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

DUNCE - 2.5                        12/31/96   118k  Freeware

  An excellant little utility that automatically hits the "connect to"
button for you if your using Win 95'.  It also will fill in your password,
start other programs for you, and automatically redial your provider if the
line is busy until it gets through.  This is a "must" have program.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Net Term 32-bit - 4.0              12/29/96   .77mb Shareware $20

  The benefits of NetTerm is in it's ability to provide you with a DIALER,
TELNET CLIENT, and support for national BULLETIN BOARDS with only one
program.  As an extra, NetTerm has tools to resolve host names to IP
address and remove WINSOCK.DLL from memory for those with multiple TCP/IP
stacks.  The benefits of NetTerm is in it's ability to provide you with a
DIALER, TELNET CLIENT, and support for national BULLETIN BOARDS with only
one program.  As an extra, NetTerm has tools to resolve host names to IP
address and remove WINSOCK.DLL from memory for those with multiple TCP/IP

16-bit version 4.0 (590kb) also available.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Hard Disk Sleeper 32-bit - 1.42    12/29/96   .07mb Shareware $20

  With HDSleep, you can control the Power Management of your IDE and EIDE
harddisk drives even if your BIOS does not support it. This is not only a
question of power saving, it significantly reduces the noise your computer
makes.  HDSleep enables you to define suspend times common to all drives
or, apply independent settings to each of them.  With the small taskbar
icon and its context menus, you will control the power management just with
a mouse-click.

HDSleep works with IDE- and Enhanced-IDE-compatible drives only.  Do not
use HDSleep for SCSI drives.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

PIRATES - The Quest For The Seas - 2.01       12/31/96 3.2mb     Shareware

  The multiplayer strategy game of piracy and plunder on the high seas, now
in it's second major release! Play with up to 5 of your friends by email,
or match wits with the computer pirates.  Make an honest living as a trader
or plunder and terrorize the local merchants and other players.  Bury and
hunt for treasure, build and customize your ship, and be the master of the
Caribbean. Includes tutorial.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

CD/Spectrum Pro 32-bit - 3.0 build 301        1/2/97   204k Shareware

  CD/Spectrum Pro has two independent parts: The CD-Audio player and the
spectrum analyzer.  The CD-Audio player has almost every feature you can
find on any software CD player - programmed mode, intro mode, optional
taskbar icon operation,auto-play, auto-exit, auto-eject, artist/track/title
database, etc.  It also recognizes CDP files which can save you from typing
in all the track/title information for your CDs.  The spectrum analyzer
graphically depicts the frequency spectra of the CD music in real time.
(Unless you don't have a Pentium, in which case it is *almost* real time
<g>)  You may use either or both of the components without effect on the
other.  In other words, if you don't like the CD player, you can close it
and use only the spectrum analyzer, or the other way around.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Norton AntiVirus                   1/2/97     1.00mb   Freeware

  January '96 definition update for Norton AntiVirus.  This file is a
complete replacement for any previous definitions set for all of the Norton
AntiVirus products. The product list includes Norton AntiVirus 3.0 (DOS/Win
3.1), Norton AntiVirus for Windows 95, Norton AntiVirus Scanner for Windows
NT, and Norton AntiVirus for NetWare 1.0 and 2.0.  Note:  If you have an
older version of Norton then you'll also have to get this upgrade.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Crescendo Plug-in - version 2.31   12/31/96   1192k Freeware

UPDATE (STR1251) -    Crescendo is a Web "Streaming" music player for
Netscape and Microsoft browsers that lets you listen to MIDI music as you
browse a web site.  Over one thousand sites already have it...and hundreds
more are being added each month.  "Streaming" is the ability to listen to
music while it is being sent to you over the Internet.  Final update.

   Download Site -


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

EditPad 32-bit - 1.31.1            1/2/97     210k  Postcardware

UPDATE (STR1251 & STR1252) -   EditPad is a replacement for the standard
Windows NotePad.  EditPad requires Windows 95 or later to run.  No
additional DLLs or whatever are required.

   Download Site -


Nintendo/Mario 64 STR Review  A quick, to the point review

                       CHECKING OUT THE NINTENDO 64

By Brain M. Boucher

    Nintendo 64, in summary, is a game which combines strategy and skill
with amazing sixty-four bit graphics and a wide array of levels and worlds.

    The game's most obvious feature is its amazing three-dimensional
graphics system.  These graphics are very real, allowing the player to feel
he is moving across a plane in any direction chosen.  Instead of being
forced to adhere to the conventional everything-is-right-in-front-or-
behind-of-everything-else appearance.  This gives the game most of its
amazing reality, allowing the player to "see" his location, as well as his
surroundings, better.

    The game also has an amazing controller system.  The controller itself
has been specially manufactured to fit any hand. One of the things that
makes conventional video games so difficult is when you need to press two
buttons at once and maintain running at the same time.  Usually, it takes a
lot of effort and practice to do this, and in certain games, "training" can
be lethal.  Nintendo has solved this problem by making the multiple buttons
on their sleek controller ergonomically designed to be easily reached
without shifting hand positions. Another good point of the controller is
the fact that movement is controlled by an analog joystick, not the
traditional four button (up, down, left, and right) approach.  This allows
the character to move in any direcition in a range of 360x. The joystick
itself is so small it can be moved with only two fingers, and not a whole

    The most popular game out for Nintendo 64, at present, is Super Mario
64. This game can, at times be hard to control, but all in all, it is
extremely challenging.  One reason for this might be that Super Mario 64
covers a wide variety of settings, from the warm, light forest of the woods
outside the castle to the freezing, slippery world of the Big Penguin Race
to the watery world of the Jolly Roger Course.  Mario is capable of
swimming up, down, and in any other direction, including completely
submerging.  He reacts to different environments in fitting ways, again
making the game more realistic.

    In conclusion, I believe the Nintendo 64 and Super Mario 64 are the
beginning of a new wave of games covering, for the first time, an extra
dimension in fun and excitement. I would recommend the N64 system to all.

Watch for our special overview of the 64DD

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

                              LEXMARK OPTRA C
                               LASER PRINTER

For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to
you  that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color
Output,  please  send  a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope  [SASE]  (business
sized envelope please) to:

                     STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer
                               P.O. Box 6672
                     Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155
Folks,  the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range.
It  is  far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet.  It is  said
that  ONE Picture is worth a thousand words.  The out put from the  Lexmark
Optra C is worth ten thousand words!  Send for the free sample now. (For  a
sample  that's suitable for framing, see below)  Guaranteed.  you  will  be
amazed  at  the superb quality. (Please.. allow at least a two  week  turn-

If  you  would  like a sample printout that's suitable  for  framing.   Yes
that's  right!   Suitable for Framing.  Order this package.   It'll  be  on
special stock and be of superb quality.  We obtained a mint copy of a  1927
COLOR  ENGRAVER'S  YEAR  BOOK.  Our Scanner is doing  "double  duty"!   The
results  will  absolutely blow you away.  If you  want  this  high  quality
sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95
(Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano.
Be  sure  to include your full return address and telephone number  .   The
sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope.  Don't
hesitate.. you will not be disappointed.  This "stuff" is gorgeous!

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

EDUPAGE STR Focus        Keeping the users informed


FCC Reluctant To Apply Access Charges To Internet Providers
AOL Ponders Alternative Revenue Sources
China Strengthens Control Over Internet
Point.  Click.  Bet.
Cyber Freeway Offers Free Ride On Internet
New Domain Names On Track
Air Force Web Page Hacked Into By Vandals
Encryption Export Policy Takes Effect, Remains Controversial
Software Pirates Make Out Like Bandits
NLII's Instructional Management System Project
Judge Rules Internet Off-Limits For Convict
Consulting Company Urges Academics To Sell Research
A Brown-Out For Consumer Electronics
IBM Develops Hefty Hard Drive
World Book Teams With IBM On CD-ROM Encyclopedia

                           TO INTERNET PROVIDERS
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that Internet Service
Providers (ISPs) should not have  to pay the same "access fees" that long-
distance companies now pay to local phone companies for connecting  long-
distance calls at their initiation and destinations.  ISPs are not
currently paying such fees, although the  local phone service companies
argue that Internet usage accounts for an increasing amount of phone
traffic  and the phone companies are being prevented from recovering the
associated costs.  AOL chief executive  Steve Case dismisses such arguments
as a request for a "modem tax," and Intel executive Paul Misener says  that
Intel will submit to the FCC a paper that will "debunk Bell studies which
have wildly overstated the  negative impact on their network" resulting
from Internet communication.  (New York Times 26 Dec 96 C2)


Admitting that it will never make money charging a flat monthly fee of
$19.95, America Online is  considering charging extra fees for some premium
services, such as online games, which would become  accessible only via a
separate amusement park area.  "Offering something that is unique and
different could  be translated into being able to charge money," says the
company's marketing VP.  In addition to the tiered  fee structure, AOL also
is looking to advertising and electronic transactions for alternative
revenue streams.  (Investor's Business Daily 26 Dec 96 A9)


The newspaper called China Consumers Daily says that China plans to
increase its controls over the Internet,  which already include the
requirement that all Internet users register with the police.  In its war
against  pornography and "cultural rubbish," Chinese police detained more
than 47,000 people and seized 320,000  pornographic products in the first
ten months of 1996.  Chinese authorities use the term "cultural rubbish" to
include anything they consider unhealthy or politically suspect.  (Atlanta
Journal-Constitution 27 Dec 96 D3)

                           POINT.  CLICK.  BET.

New York's Off-Track Betting Corp. is sponsoring an experimental Web site
that offers bettors the option of  placing their wagers directly via their
PCs.  While there are many sites that focus on betting, OTB's site is  the
first state-sponsored race-wagering business to allow customers to bet
directly from a PC -- the other sites  require users to make their bets by
phone.  "We've been testing it internally for a couple of months," says
the company's director of corporate services.  "If our test is successful,
we will go live to the general public,  probably within a month."  The New
York Council on Problem Gambling sees the new development as just  more of
a bad thing, however:  "The person never has to get up from their chair and
in no time at all can  lose a lot of money," says the Council's director.
(Wall Street Journal 26 Dec 96 p11)


Hyper Net USA thinks it has found a way around the flat-pricing dilemma
facing many Internet service  providers today.  After a one-time fee of
$29.95, its Cyber FreeWay service offers free unlimited access to
residents in San Francisco who are willing to provide their household
demographic data.  The information is  then given to advertisers who target
users with online ads, which are segregated in a secondary window on  the
right side of the screen and change about every minute or so.  The service
has been a big hit in Japan,  home of Hyper Net's parent company, drawing
more than 135,000 subscribers. (Investor's Business Daily 26 Dec 96 A8)

                         NEW DOMAIN NAMES ON TRACK

The Internet Ad Hoc Committee, formed under the auspices of the Internet
Society, has recommended  creating seven new generic top-level domains (in
addition to the existing .com, .edu, .org and .net domains)  as part of its
"Draft Specifications for Administration and Management of gTLDs" (generic
Top Level  Domains).  The Ad Hoc Committee will come up with the new domain
names following input from the  Internet community and other stakeholders.
In addition, the committee has recommended the creation of 20  to 30 new
domain name registrars, all of whom would compete in the second-level
domain business.   Organizations could compete for registrar status by
plunking down a $20,000 registration fee and hoping for  the best in a
lottery draw.  Losers would have their money refunded.  In addition, the
committee has  recommended that second-level domain name applications be
subject to a 60-day publication period before  being assigned to an
applicant as part of an effort to "promote accountability, discourage
extortion and  minimize obsolete entries."  (BNA Daily Report for
Executives 24 Dec 96 A15)


The U.S. Air Force's home page on the World Wide Web < >
was broken into Monday  afternoon and replaced with a pornographic image,
obscenities, and anti-government tirades.  Identifying himself only as a 23-
year-old San Diego "business man," the individual who claimed
responsibility for the  invasion told a reporter by telephone:  "This was a
complete server takeover.  We literally could have  dismantled all the
electronic information, including e-mail."  The man said that he and the
individuals who  participated with him in the vandalism "didn't do any
damage," and claimed that, "We did it simply to show  them you've got to
upgrade security.  The security is simply pathetic on government systems,
and it's not  stopping anyone.  One of the people involved in the actual
break-in was only 15.  A foreign government  could go through that security
in a few minutes."  He gave himself only 50-50 odds of not being caught,
and predicted:  "The government is going to treat this very, very
seriously.  The illegality of this is extreme."   The Air Force Office of
Special Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigations are
investigating the break-in.  (New York Times 31 Dec 96 A9)

                           REMAINS CONTROVERSIAL

The Commerce Department has put into effect the new rules it devised to
relax the restrictions on exportation  of encryption software, but the
computer industry says the rules are still too restrictive and will inhibit
effective competition with foreign manufacturers with powerful offerings,
and a lawyer for the non-profit  Electronic Privacy Information Center
describes the government's strategy as a "shell game," because there's
"very little functional difference" between the new rules and the old ones,
which had been rejected in part by  a U.S. district judge in San Francisco.
"They've just moved the pea under a different shell, but the rules are  the
same."  (Washington Post 31 Dec 96)


Data gathered by the Business Software Alliance and the Software Publishers
Association indicates that the  retail value of pirated software last year
was $13.2 billion, up 8% from 1994.  In comparison, software  vendors
received $15.5 billion in revenue in 1995.  U.S.-based pirates accounted
for the largest monetary  value of illegally acquired software -- $2.9
billion -- but had the lowest piracy rate -- 26% -- of any country.
Highest was Vietnam with 99%.  (Information Week 23 Dec 96 p26)


Educom's National Learning Information Infrastructure has launched a new
effort, dubbed the Instructional  Management System project.  The goal of
the project is to develop and publish standards for information  management
systems, creating a common mechanism for organization and retrieval of Web-
based  instructional objects used in coursework, and providing a framework
within which individual software  objects or modules can be integrated.
The project will ensure that instructional software developers will have  a
technical standard that allows modules to be shared among institutions and
across a wide range of technical  environments.  For more information see < > or  (WCET
Communiqu Dec 96 p22)


A U.S. district judge in Florida has sentenced an online child pornography
trader to a $5,000 fine, five  years' probation and a prohibition against
subscribing to any computer online service for the length of his
probation. The U.S. Parole Commission says it's aware of only two other
cases nationwide in which a judge  has ordered Internet restrictions.  This
case is of particular interest because the sentence prompted an Ocala
federal probation officer to design a software program called "Sleuth" that
automatically searches hard drives  and generates a complete list of files,
so that probation officers can check the computers themselves, rather  than
calling in computer technicians to ascertain whether parolees are adhering
to the terms of their release.    The program has been shipped to the U.S.
Parole office in Washington, D.C., and may be distributed  nationally.
(Tampa Tribune 31 Dec 96 A1)

                             TO SELL RESEARCH

New findings from Toronto-based Mercer Management Consulting Inc. indicate
that it takes 6,000 scientific  findings to generate a single successful
new venture.  Therefore, Mercer suggests that academic research and
development efforts take on a more commercial focus:  "As institutional
budgets shrink and outside grants  become scarcer, universities have more
incentive to commercialize the results of scientific scholarship...   The
research conclusively shows that by adopting a business-world strategy
toward commercialization of  scientific research, not-for-profit research
institutions can capture an enormous opportunity to replace diminishing
internal budgets."   (Investor's Business Daily 30 Dec 96 A6)


Suffering from weak consumer electronic sales this year, the Tandy
Corporation is closing all of its  Incredible Universe stores and 19 of 108
of its Computer City stores.  The Incredible Universe stores were  about
five times the size of most electronics stores.  Tandy's rivals are also
experiencing slow-downs, and  one industry analyst described the current
environment as "terrible" for consumer electronics, because  "they're all
banging heads selling similar products."  (USA Today 30 Dec 96)

                       IBM DEVELOPS HEFTY HARD DRIVE

IBM has developed a computer hard-disk drive capable of storing five
billion bits per square inch, or three  times as much as the most advanced
systems it currently sells.  The new drives won't reach the consumer
market for several years.  IBM expects that it will reach the 10-billion
bits per square inch level by the end of the decade.  (New York Times 31
Dec 96 C4)

                       WORLD BOOK TEAMS WITH IBM ON
                            CD-ROM ENCYCLOPEDIA

IBM and World Book Inc. have teamed up to develop a multimedia version of
World Book's 22-volume   encyclopedia, priced at $59.99 (after a $20
rebate).  The main competing product, Microsoft's Encarta, is  priced at
$79, but Microsoft says it's not worried.  (Business Week 30 Dec 96 p6)

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Kids Computing Corner
Frank Sereno, Editor
                        The Kids' Computing Corner
                    Computer news and software reviews
                       from a parent's point of view
                               MS-DOS CD-ROM
                                rated Teen+
                                 about $45
                                id Software
                           Program Requirements
                              OS:            DOS 5.0
                              CPU:           Pentium
                              HD Space:      80 MB

               Memory:        8 MB
               Graphics:      VGA or SVGA
               CD-ROM:   for program installation and soundtrack
               Audio:         8-bit sound card
               Other:         mouse or joystick are optional
                         network card for network play
                         modem and an ISP for Internet play
review by Jason Sereno

If one of your New Year's resolutions this year was to spend less time on
the computer, I would not suggest picking up id Software's Quake.  Unless
you have been in a hole in the ground for the last few months, Quake is
what was on almost every gamer's Christmas list who didn't have it already.
Quake uses the interface that id made so popular with Doom, but Quake is a
huge step up from that now classic game.

About the only thing that is similar in this game from the Doom series is
the story:  You wake up from a phone call early in the morning from your
commander.  It's about the military's slipgate device.  The military was
going to use the slipgate to transfer people and cargo from one place to
another instantly.  But it seems an enemy named Quake who comes from
another galaxy is using his own slipgates to insert his deathsquads into
the militaries bases to kidnap, kill, and steal.

The military starts "Operation Counterstrike" to find Quake and stop him.
You are given charge of the operation.  While you are scouting the
neighborhood, you hear gunshots from your base.  It seems that Quake has
caught on to "Operation Counterstrike," and has hit your base first.  You
race back to the base and find that you are the only one left.  You know
that there is a slipgate inside the base set to Quake's dimension.  You
figure that you can use the slipgate to attack Quake personally, so you
pump a round in your shotgun and start the adventure.

I found the story somewhat familiar, but it did have its own unique
aspects.  You did notice that there is a new twist on things when id came
up with the idea of slipgates.  You can start out in one of  four different
episodes.  Each one is a different dimension.  To travel to another
dimension, you need to get a rune that you will have the opportunity to get
at the end of the dimensions.  The dimensions run from 5 to 8 levels. With
each dimension, there are additional monsters and with more monsters, the
higher the difficulty.

You may have noticed that Quake has nothing to do with traveling into the
depths of Hell, but there are certain things that do seem to be a little on
the satanic side.  There is a power-up that makes you invulnerable while
places 666 on your status bar.  But do not be alarmed, there is a section
in the booklet and a readme file that comes with the game entitled
"commonly asked questions."  It includes a question that asks:  Are you
guys Satan-worshipers?  The answer is: No.

Graphically, this game is unique.  You may recall that Doom used the same
background to show you your statistics for a level after you had finished
it.  Quake on the other hand, has a different background for every level.
The background is a shot of the level you have just finished from a view
that oversees a specific area of the level.  If  there are enemies still
left, you can watch them walk around.  You can hear the wind howl and watch
the clouds move across the sky.

Quake is very graphically advanced compared to other 3D shooter games out
there.  (In my opinion this includes Duke Nukem 3D.)  The game features
very detailed graphics.  Even though it is frequently dark throughout the
game, you are still able to see the great detail in the textures and

The sounds are great and the monsters are placed very well in this game.
For those of you who have played Doom, you may recall finding yourself
getting tired of hearing imp after imp yell as they were killed.  There are
also very few rooms full of the same monsters like doom.  Don't get me
wrong, some levels contain more than 50 monsters, but the monsters are so
well placed that you rarely find yourself too overwhelmed.  There is no
"kill all" weapon that destroys all of the monsters in an area with one
shot unlike Doom also.

All in all, if you are looking for the next step in 3D shooting games I
strongly suggest purchasing Quake.  If you are looking for a sexually
explicit game with overrated action and graphics at a high price, then
Quake will not be your choice. But if you are looking for a game with a
high fun factor, excellent graphics, and a multiplayer option by modem or
serial link, purchase the registered version of Quake today!

Out of 5

Graphics:           4.5
Sounds:        4.0
Playability:        5.0
Addiction level:    4.5
Overall:       4.5

                            Dinosaur Explorers
                            Mac/Windows CD-ROM
                               ages 4 and up
                             approximately $35
                            18000 Studebaker Rd
                                 Suite 200
                            Cerritos, CA 90703
                           Program Requirements
     IBM                                     Macintosh
OS:       Windows 3.1, Windows 95            OS:            System 7.0
CPU:           486SX/33                      CPU:           LCIII or
HD Space:      2 MB                                         HD Space:
1 MB
Memory:        4 MB                          Memory:        8 MB
Graphics:      640 by 480 with 256 colors                   Graphics:
256 colors, 13" monitor
CD-ROM:   Double-speed                       CD-ROM:   Double-speed
Audio:         8-bit Windows compatible sound card
Other:         mouse
review by Frank and Jeremy Sereno

N-TK has produced another winning program in their Memorex Children's
Series.  This latest addition to the Explorer series features the three
friendliest prehistoric hosts this side of BarneyT.  T-Bone the T-Rex,
Tracy Triceratops and Squawk the Joke Bird will lead your children to many
fun activities and learning games.

Here's a min-review of Dinosaur Explorer by my son Jeremy, age 8:

You can dig for fossils and put them together.  There is a fun matching
game.  You can collect coins to play Dino Munch.  It is a lot of fun.  You
can also paint dinosaurs. You can shuffle body parts in the Shuffle game.
The graphics are very nice.  The program is easy to use, but I had some
trouble moving the dinosaur in Dino Munch.  Squawk's jokes made me laugh.
I really like this program.

Just the enter the clubhouse and you'll be amazed at the many selections
available.  Dinosaurs are divided into ten groups.  Just click on a group
and you'll get to see several members of that group.  Each dinosaur's name
is pronounced.  If you click on T-Bone, he'll describe the pictured
dinosaur.  If you click on the dinosaur, he'll tell a funny story.  These
sections are informative and amusing for young and old.

The Dino Encyclopedia is a brief, but entertaining multimedia source of
dinosaur information.  T-Bone narrates the pages filled with graphics and
music.  You can even watch an interview of a museum curator.  The one
shortcoming that I see is that you cannot search or select a topic.  You
can only turn the pages of the book forward or back.

Click on the sandbox and you are transported to a fossil dig.  Brush away
the sand and pick open the rocks to discover dinosaur bones.  When you find
all the bones, you then assemble the dinosaur while it gives you hints to
its identity.  This portion of the program is similar to Message in a
Fossil which was reviewed in this column a few weeks ago, but it certainly
isn't as detailed or realistic.  Jeremy really enjoyed this portion of the
program.  Unfortunately, this section of the program consistently crashed
his computer running Windows 3.1.  I didn't have time to contact technical
support, but I would guess I need new video drivers.  It did work fine on
my computer running Windows 95.

You can access a rudimentary painting program by clicking on the crayons.
The program has ten pictures that you can color any way you wish.  This is
a fun activity for younger children and helps teach them how to better use
the mouse.

More activities can be found in the bookcase.  You can play a matching game
that lets players match dinosaur pictures or match dinosaur pictures to the
creatures' names.  You'll have to pay attention to the learning portions of
the program to match the names to the pictures because many of these
dinosaurs are uncommon.  Another activity is Shuffle-o-saurus.  Here you
can mix and match dinosaur parts to make your own creations.  You can even
hear the pronunciation of the names of your customized dinosaurs.  This
will really entertain younger children.  The final activities in the
bookcase are the puzzle games.

Jigasaurus is the easiest of the games.  The puzzle starts out blank.  You
are to place the pieces on the puzzle, but as you move them over the puzzle
a red square appears and that is where the piece belongs.  Dino Scramble is
more difficult.  In a small square you can see the completed puzzle, but on
the puzzle board the pieces are mixed up.  You must move the pieces into
the correct locations to match the original puzzle.  The most difficult and
entertaining puzzles are in Questasaurus.  The puzzle board is covered with
answers.  You will be shown a small square from the puzzle, but you must
answer a question to place the piece correctly.   This a great learning
exercise that is fun too.

The Prehysteric Cartoons are available by clicking on the TV.  You can
choose from three movies.  The first is a Superman short in which he fights
a prehistoric monster.  The second movie is a Daffy Duck short in which a
caveman tries to capture him for breakfast.  The third movie is a
compilation of many movie sequences set to an original song.  While younger
children may be entertained by these shorts, they have little educational

One activity remains.  Click on Squawk the Joke Bird and you can hear some
prehistoric humor.  These puns and riddles are suitable for children ages 4
to 8.  The jokes are funny and they keep your children entertained.  The
riddles will make them think a bit.

Dinosaur Explorers has an excellent interface.  The packaging declares "no
parents or manuals are necessary" and I believe them.  Each activity is
explained at the start and you can click on the host to have the
instructions repeated.  The sounds, music and graphics are excellent.  The
program features a myriad of fun learning activities that should entertain
your children for months.  I will have to say that I would not recommend
this program for children older than ten as they would probably be more
interested in facts that could be learned from more serious offerings.  In
conclusion, Dinosaur Explorers is an easy-to-use program that will
entertain and educate children ages four through ten.  It is very
reasonably priced and a good addition to your child's software library.  Be
sure to come back next week when we will review The Magic School Bus
Explores in the Age of the Dinosaurs and I will compare all three dinosaur
programs reviewed in this column.

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Gaming Hotwire STR Feature - The World of Contemporary Gaming

Featuring the Action from;

                   "Video Gaming Central" on CompuServe

ZONE 2 STR Review  For the Playstation

                                  ZONE 2

Ctsy CIS, VG Central
What a difference a year makes! Konami shocked the sports gaming world last
year when it introduced an  action packed, 3D polygonal based basketball
title.  Against some formidable competition, Konami's In The  Zone went on
to become a tremendous success. My only reservations with Zone 1 were that
the game didn't feature all of the NBA players, there wasn't a simulation
mode, the graphics were a little choppy and some  of the announcing was out
of line. Other than that, Zone 1 played like stink.

Because of this, NBA In The Zone held it's own against strong basketball
titles from both Electronic Arts  and Sony. Well, now it's round two and
Zone has returned with better graphics, all of the players (save a  few),
simulation modes (featuring full seasons and playoffs) and sharper
commentary. In every way, NBA In  The Zone 2 completely towers over the
memory of the first game Konami has created a remarkable franchise  here,
gamers. Let's hit the hardwood to take a look.

The graphics for Zone 2 are awesome. Not only are all of the NBA team
courts and uniforms represented  extremely well, but each of the virtual
players actually has a physical resemblance to his NBA counterpart.  There
are definitely going to be moments during this game where you'll have to
blink to make sure you're  not watching the real thing.
The player animation of Zone 2 not been created using motion capture tech,
so you will notice some  unnatural choppiness in the movement, but the
animators have done a truly marvelous job of recreating the  glide and
slide of the sport.  However, as clean and articulated as the player
movements are in Zone 2, they  still don't hold a candle to the player
animation of NBA Live 97. So I think it'd be a safe bet to say that next
year's Zone will be sporting motion captured flash.

I didn't really care much for the set up interface of this game. There's
nothing in the pre-game screens (or  the opening cinematics) that had me
more impressed than last year's b-ball titles (not to mention Live 97's).
Straight forward team select and player creation screens shouldn't be
enough to cause you to look away in  horror, however, so don't think for a
moment that I was even remotely discouraged with the visuals of this
title. When I look at the graphics of a b-ball game, it's only the on-the-
court action that really counts.

The action in NBA In The Zone 2 is excellent. Passing, shooting, stealing
and dunking are all effortless. The  tangible and intuitive control you
have over your current on-screen character is spell binding. Perhaps
because the animation isn't motion captured, you do get the feeling that
action-reaction is as quick as  synapses shooting through your noggin.
Trust me, hoops fans, you'll smile lots.


There's a severe problem with the computer controlled artificial
intelligence of In The Zone 2. The player  you're controlling and his
opposition maneuver like a dream but when you play a one player game,
you'll  quickly discover how lazy the computer controlled players away from
the ball are. I didn't notice it at first,  but when I did, I nearly fell
out of my chair - everybody that's not in the immediate vicinity of the
basketball  stands around like they're waiting for the bus!

Compare this to the always in motion, continuously working players of NBA
Live 97 and I think you'll agree  with me, Zone 2 is a different kind of
hoops than the stuff we watch on Sunday afternoons. If I were a GM  of one
of the teams in Zone 2 and I saw this kind of inactivity, there'd be a
whole lot of firing going on after  every game. It's kind of a bummer when
you play solo, because it's so easy to tear it up past the computer;
however, multi-player games come off brilliantly, thanks to your friends'
constant, adrenaline inflected  player motion.

Another gripe...  Quick 'round-the-key passes to try and break the double
teams are frustrating because for  some silly reason, the speed of the pass
is almost identical to the speed of your opposing players. No matter  how
hard you try to whip it to your teammate, the double team finds its way
there to stop you from getting  the easy step. Dishing to players sprinting
for the net is also a pia because of these weak passes.

There really should have been some way to add pepper to the round ball so
the  smarter, offensively minded  layer could rightfully take advantage. I
found this lame attempt to keep the defense comparatively matched  up (when
was the last time you played a basketball videogame where the defensive
equaled the offensive?) to  the offense interminably annoying. After all,
if I can beat the computer with my mind, I should have the  ability to
defeat the computer with my speed on the simulated court. I didn't like
having that ability taken  away from me.

On defense, Zone 2 positively dominates. The ability to pounce on a player
and block his weak school yard  jam is very rewarding. That concussive slap
and the sputter of the ball is one of the most enjoyable things  you can
get out of your PlayStation. Make sure you practice up on squaring against
your offensive threat - you won't regret it.

Zone 2 introduces some new key features to the control this time out. A
turbo (or Power) button has been  added which gives your slam master a
little bit of added juice to take it to the hole. Also, on-the-fly
defensive  and offensive formations (basic, basic plays) are also
achievable at the press of a button.  And then there's  that lovely action
button. Last year, the action button was effective for snaking past
defenders by spinning or  dribbling through your legs. This year that
action button plays a part in the glory of the highlight footage.
Reversals, 360 slams, through the legs double clutch jams and some highly
impressive monster dunks are all  part of the hysteria. Get comfortable
with that button.

The music of Zone 2 echoes some of the stuff you heard in last year's title
but there's definitely a whole lot  more funky diversity. Tunes pop in
through the arena's loudspeakers whenever things slow down a little.  And
the between play music does get groovy in its own right. I wasn't blown
away by the musical soundtrack of this game but I wasn't insulted either.
For those that need a comparative note, the music here  doesn't hold a Bic
lighter to the super swell sounds of Live 97 but considering the amount of
experience EA  Sports' b-ball musicians have, how could you expect it to?

The squeaks and squawks of high priced high tops on hardwood have been
eloquently captured in this title  but some of the other real life sounds
don't fare quite as well. The rather violent smacks of stealing the rock
and slapping it away are on the cartoony side of simulation, but the roar
of the fans and the echoing chords of  rah rah tunes make up for them.
Nothing really out of order in the sound F/Xdepartment, so don't be afraid
to blast it.

The attempt here was to provide the best of all worlds in a basketball
simulation. Konami came so close to   perfect it's scary. Look out for the
chance to hear the national anthem sung in a number of different ways, or
stand back as you watch the consummate player intros (you can tell who's
who by their faces - even MJ).  This is a game developed by people who love
the game; that's easy to see.

I was impressed by the ability to let your players take the hit (and then
the resulting foul shot) when they go  up for jumpers. I also loved the
animation of fade aways and show time dunk fests. This year, the replay
doesn't have to pop up after every basket but don't be surprised if you
want it to; this is one pretty game to  watch.   I would have liked to have
seen "Player of the Game" screens at half time and at the end of a game
and a little more on-screen data (Chicago's on a 6-0 run - that kind of
thing) would have rocked, but these are quibbles.

The Best?

No, NBA In The Zone 2 is not the best basketball game I've ever played. I'm
still trying to figure out if that  honor goes to NBA Live 96 for the
Genesis or Live 97 for the PSX. The lack of mobility from the computer
controlled players; the easy to beat AI; the slow as molasses passes; and
the lack of motion captured   animation are the determining factors in my
not raising a blue ribbon above Zone 2.

However, that being said, I do have to admit that there are very few
basketball titles, or sports titles in  general, that can even come close
to being as instantly captivating and addictive as this game. With Zone 2,
Konami has permanently cemented a place in my best sports games of all time
list. The company has raised  the bar on b-ball graphics flash and speed
(except for the passes) and has created a franchise that will no  doubt
live on for years. As far as I'm concerned, as of today, there are only two
serious contenders for your PlayStation basketball dollars. In The Zone 2
is one of them.

In The Zone 2  9 out of 10

Classics & Entertainment Section
Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

1997.  Where did this past year go??  Well, there's no use worrying about
it; we have a new year with all kinds of potential - let's look ahead to
it.  Hope you all had an enjoyable and safe holiday.

Like last week, this is another slow week for news.  Most places are shut
down for the holiday and not much is happening between Christmas and New
Years.  This year is no different.  About the only news worth noting this
week is that Albert Dayes, formerly of Atari Explorer Online magazine, has
recently joined us.  Albert will be helping us out with both PC and Atari
articles.  We're glad to have him with us and look forward to seeing his
name in print again.

Until next time...

                              Gaming Section

                      Towers II & Breakout 2000 Tips!
                         Nintendo 64 X-mas Sales!
                           PSX Sales!  Who's #1?

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

Towers II and Breakout 2000 continue to dominate the Jaguar news.  Both
games are still being discussed heavily on the Usenet and various online
services.  We haven't received our review copies yet, but we have managed
to get a copy of Towers II gratis from the folks at JV Enterprises.  I'll
be getting that out to one of our reviewers shortly (if I can stop myself
from playing it long enough to mail it out!).  It's a fun game to play,
reminiscent of my days of being monopolized with Dungeon Master and Chaos
Strikes Back.

Most of the Jaguar news in this week's issue relates to tips and
information for the latest two games - from the respective programmers.
Interesting stuff, especially if you're in the need.

The other ongoing gaming news revolves around the sales figures from Sony
and Nintendo.  Both companies have claimed terrific sales figures, but
we'll wait for the neutral sources before taking anything for granted.
Regardless, I believe that the consumer base had a terrific holiday season
with systems and games to choose from, albeit that the N64 was a lesser
player in that regard.  Nintendo had good sales of a limited system and
games, while the PlayStation had terrific sales with plenty of machines and
tons of games to select.

Until next time...

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

                        Nintendo 64 Breaks Records

Nintendo 64 is the fastest-selling video game system in the company's
history, says Redmond, Washington, officials with Nintendo of America.
Hardware and software sales for the system have averaged more than $5
million a day since its Sept. 29 launch.  Nintendo Vice President Peter
Main told United Press International the 64's fourth quarter sales were 1.6
million units, with a retail price of $199.95 each, adding that for those
Christmas shoppers who were unable to find the unit, the company plans to
ship another 500,000 to 700,000 systems between Jan. 1 and March 31.

Said Main, "With a half billion dollars in total revenue in just three
months time, Nintendo 64 became a sizable industry all by itself," adding
the product launch helped reinvigorate the entire video game sector.

                Nintendo 64 Systems Led US Christmas Sales

KYOTO, JAPAN, 1996 JAN 2 (Newsbytes) -- By Martyn Williams. Nintendo Co.
Ltd. [TOKYO:7974] said its new Nintendo 64 games system led Christmas sales
in the United States. In a news release, cutely datelined from the North
Pole, the company claimed sales of 1.6 million from its September 29 launch
to Christmas Day.  The company said this made the system the hottest toy of
the holidays, outstripping even "Tickle Me Elmo," which is reported to have
sold around a million units.  The company, which had forecast shortages in
the period to the end of the year, said it forecasts sales in the three
months to March 31 to total 500,000 to 700,000 systems.

The Nintendo 64 is competing with Sony's PlayStation and Sega's Saturn in
the next generation game console market, but came to market much later than
its competitors. Sony launched the PlayStation in Japan in December, 1994,
and in the United States in September, 1995, while Sega entered the market
in Japan in November, 1994, and in the United States in June, 1995.  In
contrast, Nintendo joined the battle in June, 1996, in Japan and September,
1996, in the United States. Its delay cost the company dearly, as could be
seen when it announced financial results for the first half of fiscal 1996,
April to September 1996. Current profits fell 53.0  percent to 30 billion
yen, and sales dropped 3.7 percent.

The Nintendo 64 launch will do much to help turn this situation around, but
Nintendo will need more than cute press releases to win the battle,
analysts tell Newsbytes. Worldwide PlayStation shipments totaled nine
million units at the end of October, making it the leading system,
wellahead of Sega's Saturn, at 3.5 million units.  Nintendo is now
concentrating on developing a wider range of software titles to encourage
sales. Over 40 new games were recently on show at "Shoshinkai," a Tokyo
exhibition of Nintendo-related software and hardware.

The company also received a boost from Time Magazine when it named the
Nintendo 64 its "1996 Machine  of the Year," a category that covers the
entire consumer electronics industry. Nintendo said the magazine  judged
that its console, "has done to video-gaming what the 707 did to air

Jaguar Cheats, & Hints STR InfoFile  -  Solving Those Riddles!

OK, here's the first cheat code for Breakout 2000.

At the beginning of a level (before either player launches a ball, but
after the bricks have been placed) press the 1, 3 and 5 buttons. A
confirmation tone will sound and you will be given 99 balls to complete the
phase. The ball count will be reset to 5 at the beginning of the next

-- Mario

Towers II Hints!

1a. How do you unlock the gold doors on the first level?
1b. I am wandering around the first 3 levels, and I can't go farther?

A. Custodians have the responsibility of cleaning up all of the rooms in
the tower. Try talking to them about keys. If they don't respond
topleasantries, well you know what to do next!

2. I'm on the 2nd level in the chain room, what order do I pull the chains

A. One of the thieves gives you a hint on which chain to pull first. You
know what chain to pull last by looking at the punctuation of the phrase on
the scroll. Then it's just a matter of finding out which order to pull the
other two chain levers in. Remember, it's a poem. If you make a mistake,
you can always pull the rest chain, and try again.

3. There are 3 Iron Golems, guarding an entrance, that I can't kill! How do
I get past them?

Those Iron Golems are pretty tough. In fact, chances are that nothing you
possess right now can even hurt them. So, our best advice it to leave them
be; at least for now.

4. What do you do with those tornado looking creatures (air elementals),
they are not effected by anything?

They are made of air, everything goes through them. You need to find a
spell that can affect air. Talk to the thief, down a pit, in the earth
elemental area. You know, earth elementals, those creatures with no legs
that hit really hard!  Don't forget to make sure you have a way back up the
pit, or you'll be trapped just like the thief.

5. I fully charged the mace, but there is a door in the water elemental
area that I can't unlock?

When you teleported into the library, there was a scroll that talked about
the mishap on the upper levels, and how it was resolved. It read in part,
"... Using the Mace, I have sealed the only exits to those floors. The Mace
of Elements, which alone can unlock the door, has been drained..."

More Towers II Hints!

1.   How do you unlock the gold doors on the first level?
2.   I am wandering around the first 3 levels, and I can't go farther?
3.   I'm on the 2nd level in the chain room, what order do I pull the
        chains in?
4.   There are 3 Iron Golems, guarding an entrance, that I can't kill! How
        do I get past them?
5.   Is there a trick to getting rid of the boulders in the Earth Elemental
6.   What do you do with those tornado looking creatures (air elementals),
        they are not effected by anything?
7.   How do you remove the sword from the boulder in the Fire Elemental
8.   I fully charged the mace, but there is a door in the water elemental
        area that I can't unlock?
9.   I have been eliminating the creatures in the undead level, and I have
        come across several Bleached Bones.  What do I do with them?
10.  I am finding pieces of a sword, what do I do with them?
11.  Niniane, keeps asking for a diamond, black pearl, and bloodstone.
        Where do I find them?
12.  I made my way to level 8, and I have not been able to progress
        further. What do I  do?
13.  How do I open the gate on level 8, after the secret door?
14.  Salvon does not seem affected by anything that I possess.  How do I
        get rid of him?

1. How do you unlock the gold doors on the first level?

Custodians have the responsibility of cleaning up all of the rooms in the
tower.  Try talking  to them about keys.  If they don't respond to
pleasantries, well you know what to do next!

2. I am wandering around the first 3 levels, and I can't go farther?

In the throne room, behind the gold doors, is a locked secret door.  No key
will unlock that door, but there is something in that very same room that

3.  I'm on the 2nd level in the chain room, what order do I pull the chains

One of the thieves gives you a hint on which chain to pull first.  You know
what chain to pull  last by looking at the punctuation of the phrase on the
scroll.  Then it's just a matter of finding out which order to pull the
other two chain levers in.  Remember, it's a poem. If you make a mistake,
you can always pull the reset chain, and try again.

4. There are 3 Iron Golems, guarding an entrance, that I can't kill! How do
I get past them?

Those Iron Golems are pretty tough.  In fact, chances are that nothing you
possess right now can even hurt them.  So, our best advice it to leave them
be; at least for now.

5. Is there a trick to getting rid of the boulders in the Earth Elemental

The four plates on the floor act as combinations to open up all the passage
ways, two steps at a time.

6. What do you do with those tornado looking creatures (air elementals),
they are not effected by anything?

They are made of air, everything goes through them.  You need to find a
spell that can affect air.  Talk to the thief, down a pit, in the earth
elemental area.  You know, earth elementals, those creatures with no legs
that hit really hard!  Don't forget to make sure you have a way back up the
pit, or you'll be trapped just like the thief.

7. How do you remove the sword from the boulder in the Fire Elemental area?

You must talk to another thief, this time down a pit in the domain of the
Air Elementals.

8. I fully charged the mace, but there is a door in the water elemental
area that I can't unlock?

When you teleported into th library, there was a scroll that talked about
the mishap on the upper levels, and how it was resolved.  It read in part,
"... Using the Mace, I have sealed the only exits to those floors. The Mace
of Elements, which alone can unlock the door, has been drained..."

9. I have been eliminating the creatures in the undead level, and I have
come across several Bleached Bones.   What do I do with them?

These bones are the remains of the council members of Lamini.  You must
find a way to bring them back, so that you might gather some information
from them.  The scribe mentions foul green liquid that Daggan used to raise
the dead.  Find it, and bones will be no more.

10. I am finding pieces of a sword, what do I do with them?

There are three pieces of the Holy Sword, which you must mend.  Sir Mordred
makes reference to the "raw energy" that was created by Salvon as he tried
to break free of his imprisonment.  This energy can mend the sword.

11. Niniane, keeps asking for a diamond, black pearl, and bloodstone. Where
do I find them?

Back in the Elemental's domain, there are diamonds and pearls with the
Earth Elementals and Bloodstones with the Fire Elementals.
12. I made my way to level 8, and I have not been able to progress further.
What do I do?

You must be struck by two forms of energy to unlock the secret door. The
only place where this can occur, is the same place where you activated that
energy. Then you must find the secret door, which is marked between lights.

13. How do I open the gate on level 8, after the secret door?

Jared has the key. Did you revive him?

14. Salvon does not seem affected by anything that I possess.  How do I get
rid of him?

Salvon cannot be hurt by anything, except the Holy Sword and Aura of Death.
You cannot advance until Salvon is banished once again.

                                 JV Games
                               PO Box 97455
                            Las Vegas, NV 89193
                              (702) 734-9689
                            (702) 433-3973 Fax

ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!

                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

 On CompuServe

Compiled by Joe Mirando
CIS ID: 73637,2262

     Hidi ho friends and neighbors.  Well, it looks like we've all survived
yet another year and are (hopefully)  none the worse for it.  As a went
about my business today, most folks decided it would be a neighborly thing
to do to ask what my New Year's Resolution was.

     The first time I was asked, I simply said, "I didn't make one."  Which
happened to be the truth.  I've long  since given up making promises to
myself that I know I'm not going to keep.
     The second time I was asked, I replied, "I'm going to hack into the
IRS computer and make sure that  everyone in the country gets a refund."
This is quite a bit above and beyond my capabilities but the cool  thing
about being a "computer person" in a world of computer-person-wannabes is
that they never know for  sure if you can do it or not.  Rest assured, Mr.
IRS Commissioner, I cannot.

     The third time I was asked, I got a bit ticked off about it.  It seems
that people are not only not interested in  their own resolutions but they
take it as a sacred task to find out what your was.  I answered, "I'm going
to  go around and choke the life out of everyone who asks me what my New
Year's Resolution was."  The  fourth, fifth, etc. times, I didn't answer at
all.  Then I started to think that perhaps I should have made one.   But
what should it be?  World Peace?  An end to world hunger? Shelters for the
homeless in every city?  All  worthy causes, to be sure. But since my red
cape was lost in a dry cleaning accident, I have little hope of  attaining
any of these.  I decided to set my sights a bit more realistically and
decided that, sometime in 1997,  I will get a web browser for the Atari ST
series of computers to work for me.  Those of you who know me,  and those
of you who read this column with any frequency, know that I've been messing
about off and on  with several of the available Atari-flavored web
browsers... all with no or little success.  Let's hope that changes in the
near future.

     Now,  let's get to the reason you read this column in the first
place... all the 'stuff' (yes, it's a computer term)  to be found every
week right here on CompuServe.

                      From the Atari Computing Forums

Jon Hartmann asks:
"How do I connect my atari to compuserve?"

The Big Kahuna himself, Sysop Ron Luks, replies:
"There is no Atari software for CompuServe (CIM).  You'll have to use
generic ASCII telecomm software to access this system."

Albert Dayes tells Jon:
"You can use any telecommunications program that supports VT-100 and a
external hayes compatible modem and that should be it."

Dennis Bishop adds:
"It doesn't have to be vt-100, I'm using Flash 1.6 in Atari and I have my
CIS settings set for vt-52."

David Trigger asks:
"Can anyone please point me in the direction of usable  fax software for a
1040ST?  I'm new here and trying to find my way around."

Our own workaholic, Dana Jacobson, tells David:
"I'd recommend STraight Fax, a commercial product.  You can get it at most
dealers such as Toad Computers."

Michael Pappas asks for help:
"I've been downloading a lot of zipped files from this forum and I'm having
a lot of problems unzipping it.  I  need a good unzip program that'll work
with the files on here.  If anyone knows of any good unzipping  programs
for the ST, please let me know."

Albert Dayes tells Michael:
"ST-ZIP v2.6 seems to work well with everything I throw at it. If that
fails there is stunzip which a much older version."

Jack Hughes adds:
"As Albert said STZIP2.6 works very well.  However, I have been having
problems lately.  I use a shell  program (EDM Shell) to do the hard part of
uncompressing files.  Of late it has told me "no files found" but  a
listing shows they are in fact there.  Therefor I have gone directly to
STZIP and successfully unzipped all files.  Zip 2.6 is itself a zipped
file.  A Catch 22."

Paul Malcom asks:
"Does anyone know how to get a comms prog to access Compuserve without
getting garbage across the  screen? The only prog that works so far is
QuickCis but I want to use STarCall or FZDT. Any help would be  much

Sysop Bob Retelle tells Paul:
"The usual cause of "garbage" when you log into CompuServe is having your
communications settings at  "8N1"...  which actually is the correct setting
for an Atari, but which causes CompuServe to send ASCII  characters with
the high bit set, thus resulting in what looks like random garbage.  The
usual solution is to check your telecommunications program for an option
which is usually called  "Strip  High Bit", or "Strip 8th Bit" and turn it
ON  .That should eliminate the "garbage"..."

Doug Howatt tells Bob:
"Thank you for the advice, about strip 8bit it will save me from pulling
out the little hair I have. I have been  very frustrated with my terminal

Joe Villarreal tells Paul (and all telecom users):
"I haven't tried Starcall but have used FZDT extensively.  Select Strip 7th
emulation and have it configured  as 8 bit,1 stop bit, and no parity; you
need to have it configured like this in order to download files."

Albert Dayes adds his preference (and mine):
"I use FLASH 2 and it works fine for me. I have never used the
telecommunications programs you have mentioned however."

On the subject of using a 1.44 meg floppy drive on an ST, Curt Vendel posts
this to Marcos Sanchez:
"I'm not an ST expert ( I owned a Mega STe for a while) I'm more of an
8bitter myself, but if I do recall,  check your ROM level, I think you have
to have TOS 2.06 to properly use 1.44" drives, this may or may not be

Having researched this very subject before I purchased my last computer, I
tell Curt:
"You are quite correct.  TOS 2.05 was SUPPOSED to be the first version to
allow 1.44 MB disks, but  somehow  that portion of the code didn't work
reliably (from what I remember).  TOS 2.06 (in an  ST/MEGA/STE/MEGA STE) or
higher (TT or Falcon) must be used to use 1.44 meg disks.  The Western
Digital Floppy Controller chip must also be replaced with the "Ajax" chip,
which provides the correct signal  speed for 1.44 drives.  In STE/MEGA STE
machines, it's a simple plug 'n' play operation.  In an  ST/MEGA, there's
some re-wiring and additional hardware (I think) that needs to be put in.
Needless to say, this is best left to a professional.... unless you like
sweating. <grimace>"

Curt replies:
"Aha!!!  That would explain why I could use a 1.44 on my Mega STe, very

In the Atari Gaming Forum Steve Watkins asks:
"Isn't Iron Soldier II still a CD ROM?   I wonder what per CD cost they
could manufacture them at...  considering the teeny-tiny Jaguar CD base.
Still, should be much less risk than carts."

Larry Tipton tells Steve:
"The last word was that it is CD based -- lots of FMV sequences. But the
game itself looked pretty much like  the original -- with NO network play.
I suppose it could be either way. Cart or CD. The last I heard was  that
there were less than 10,000 CD units sold."

Daniel Skelton tells us about his experiences with CDs:
"From the experience we had putting together the "Supercharger" CD for the
2600, it is possible to run less  than 500 CDs for about $5.00 each.  Cost
is minimal compared to carts. These were commercially-produced  CDs with
two-color artwork, not CD-Rs. Of our $18/unit selling price, well over half
the cost was from the  high-resolution manual with multicolor covers, not
to mention that pesky packing and postage.

So it's possible for a CD to be created with a low user base, sporting a
high-quality manual with color  covers, for less than $15 in media creation
costs. This, of course, does not include man-hour costs for layout,
programming, etc., because in our case those services were provided by
volunteers.  Any CD game should be more easily producible than a cartridge-
based game. That only 10,000 CD units  sold limits the potential customer
base too severely, though, to choose CD over Cart if the game can be
released in either form."

Steve Watkins tells Daniel:
"Sure, we know they're far, far cheaper than carts.  The real question is
can they even sell CDs in an amount   that will be worth the effort?  There
is a (starving, desparate) core still going strong, but I think the vast
majority of Jaguar (CD) owners probably already moved on... ???  [It] makes
a big difference, not so much  in raw bucks to have your man(woman)power
doing the project, but also in having them NOT doing other  things.  ...The
question is do you go for a tiny potential market of Jaguar CD owners for
little cost and little  return, or do you go for the much, much larger cart
base and less profits?  I think if they sold anything close  to 10,000 CDs
they'd be pulling off a miracle."

Friend to all Atarians, Don Thomas, asks Daniel:
"Do you guys have an official release date on that CD?"

Daniel tells Don:
"I don't think we had an "official" release date for the Supercharger CD.
We basically just started shipping  the minute every item was complete, and
did not have anything as formal as a real release date.  In related  news,
I now understand from reading my e-mail after the holidays that the entire
pressing of 350 copies has  sold out, so there are no more available at the
current time. If we are able to get agreement from Atari and  Bridgestone
Multimedia Inc., the two companies which own aspects of the Supercharger
game copyrights,  we may be able to press additional copies; however, none
are anticipated at this time, and making a move  toward pressing additional
copies would be driven by Glenn Saunders, who produced the project and has
handled distribution and publicity."

On the subject of the much anticipated BattleSphere from 4-Play, Larry
Tipton posts:
" is something from our friend Thunderbird...

 BattleSphere Update                 12/28/96

Hey there BattleSphere Phanatics! The wait is drawing to a close.
Gauntlet Play Mode is now in Playtesting, and I must say that it RULES!!!
Never before have I met such a challenging shooter game in my life!
(Well... maybe Tempest 2000). But it's great!!!

The levels start off pretty easy for me (I'm an expert) but the ememy
gets smarter and stronger as you go. Some levels require a great deal of
strategy as you're outnumbered and outgunned. Careful planning of when
and where to use your special weapons is crucial.

The level bosses are particularly fun and challenging, and really make
the time fly by. Finding the weakness in these guys is going to be a real
challenge! It took me 90 minutes to get through one particular level and
I know the achilles heel already (heh heh heh) you guys are gonna love

Watch out now that the enemy AI is programmed to use special weapons on
you. Some of you complained a while back that some of our special weapons
were not particularly useful, right? Well, you'll be singing a different
tune when you discover how "INeffective" they are when the enemy is using
them on you. (Don't cry to me.)

At any rate... if you finish all 100 levels of Gauntlet, you will indeed
be a supreme BattleSphere champion.

In other news, our nifty new introduction which tells the story of the
game is completed, which really spiffs up our Attract Mode.  There's even
some cool easter-eggs in that sucker.

There's a couple of other things new too, but I can't tell anyone about
them ;-) Let's just say we have another "first" for Jaguar games!"

[Now, anyone who's read STReport for more than a very short time knows that
there is often animosity  between the folks here and the folks at 4-Play.
I've always done my best to stay away from it, but we all understand that
we are known by the tags at the end of our online signatures.  I'll tell
you quite truthfully  that I can't wait to play this bad boy!  Most of it
will probably be well beyond my abilities, but it does sound hot!]

Larry Tipton posts:
"...There seems to be a lot up unsold CD units floating around. If they
drop below $50 I'll probablly pick up  a second unit. The demand for good
CDs should be high at least for the folks that have the CD Unit.  Rumors
are now appearing claiming that Iron Soldier 2 will come out on CD and a
scaled down version will  appear in cart form about two months later. Have
you heard this rumor?"

Craig Harris tells Larry:
"$49.99 at Nobody Beats the Wiz."

     Well folks, that's about it for this week.  It's time for me to go
work on my New Year's Resolution  <grin>.  Be sure to 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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