ST Report: 18-Apr-97 #1316

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/22/97-04:55:45 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 18-Apr-97 #1316
Date: Tue Apr 22 16:55:45 1997

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    April 18, 1997                                              No.1316

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 - CPU Industry Report - STR Mail Bag    - Shareware Listings
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 - MoneyClip Banking   - Color of Money  - Compaq buys Microcom
 - Privacy Legislation - People Talking  - Classics & Gaming
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>From the Editor's Desk...

     This  week, a test is taking place.  A test of practicality as far as
STReport is concerned.  You see, we are in the midst of comparing Word
Perfect v7.02.19 and MS Word 7.  Try as we have, its been difficult to find
many major professional offices not using Word Perfect in one version or
another.  The mere mention of changing Word Processors or Office
Applications usually throws the entire office into a panic and then, open

     In all fairness to Word Perfect, I must admit it was the WP of choice
for STR for many years.  Only in the last two and half years have we used
Word.  So far, I have yet to wean myself from wanting a "Reveal Codes" in
MS Word to be at my beck and call along with many of the other familiar,
very  practical and highly useful features of Word Perfect.  One very ugly
thing has popped up though, it seems Word Perfect does not like having
Adobe Acrobat as a printer.  It religiously errors out every time its
called.  Of course for us this is a very serious problem.  I called Word
Perfect Support two days ago and was promised a return call.  Here it is
Friday and still no return call about the Acrobat 3.0 and Word Perfect
collision course.  So. we are still working with "old faithful" Word 7.

     Mind you now, Word 7 has its warts too.  One in particular, that
really frosts my jewels is the goofy way it saves files especially if one
wishes to save to another WP's format.  RTF???  Who is kidding who here?
This is a comfy dodge.  The RTF file is a huge highly bloated candidate for
a sewage treatment plant.  Let's get back to the real deal folks. the save
files. regardless of in which format should be faithful to the program and
program version not some slide by RTF nonsense.  Next, comes the LACK of a
Reveal Codes like Word Perfect has had for years and years!  Yes, you are
100% right.  I did mention Reveal Codes thrice in this column.  Maybe, just
maybe the code cruncher responsible at MS for adding desirable features
will get the message.

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                          STReport Headline News

                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                      PC Magazine Praises CompuServe

CompuServe has been rated the best online service by the venerable
PCMagazine.  Awarding the Columbus, Ohio, online service its Editors'
Choice award, the magazine says in its May 6 issue CompuServe is "providing
the best of both worlds" in that it "delivers what we have come to expect
from an online service while giving us complete and easy access to the
Internet."   Comparing online services, PC Magazine commended CompuServe
for refocusing on the fundamentals of what makes a strong online service
instead of providing "splashy graphics and television metaphors."
Strengths cited by PC Magazine include reliable connectivity, discussion
forums, extensive file download libraries, a flexible and powerful
electronic mail service, an improved user interface and a fully functional
version of Internet Explorer 3.0.  And praising the system's "solid roster
of content and stellar databases of periodicals," the magazine said, "CSi
offers the greatest depth of content in the online world."

                      Germans Charge CompuServe Chief

In what may be a test case to see how far authorities can go in trying to
police cyberspace, German prosecutors have charged CompuServe's German
chief with being an accessory to the dissemination of pornography.
Reporting from Bonn, writer William Boston of the Reuter News Service notes
the charges actually date back to an investigation begun at the end of
1995, "when Bavarian authorities sparked an outcry among cyber-liberty
advocates by forcing CompuServe to close down access to over 200
sex-related Internet news groups."

While the prosecutors did not name the accused, CompuServe officials
confirmed the charges were filed against Felix Somm, managing director of
its operations in Germany and Central Europe.  Munich prosecutors said in a
statement, "He is accused in numerous instances in 1995 and 1996 of
knowingly allowing images of child pornography, violent sex and sex with
animals from newsgroups from the so-called Internet to be accessible to
customers of CompuServe Germany."

The prosecutors also said that certain computer games available to
CompuServe members in Germany violated laws against "glorifying violence"
and contained outlawed pictures of Adolf Hitler and Nazi symbols such as
swastikas.  Specifically, Somm is charged with "assisting in the
distribution of pornographic materials as well as premeditated and
negligent violation of laws concerning writings that are dangerous to

>From its Columbus, Ohio, headquarters, CompuServe released a statement late
yesterday saying it "believes that the accusation against Mr. Somm is
entirely groundless and that he will ultimately be vindicated," adding, "We
plan to vigorously oppose this action against Mr. Somm, and to fully
support him through this personally trying period."

The company also said it "has repeatedly stated that it cannot control
Internet newsgroup content, which comprises thousands of 'discussion
threads' participated in by countless individuals worldwide (only some of
whom may be CompuServe Incorporated members). Internet newsgroup content
changes constantly and cannot be monitored in advance in any meaningful

As for its own news servers, CompuServe said it "does not carry on those
computer newsgroups that have been validly reported to CompuServe Inc. as
containing child pornographic or bestiality material and which CompuServe
Inc. has been able to verify through the assistance of third parties.
Furthermore, all newsgroup access through CompuServe Inc. facilities can be
blocked at the customer level by using software tools provided by
CompuServe Incorporated to all of its members worldwide."

Reuters says the indictment -- issued on Feb. 26 but not made public until
yesterday -- is the first of its kind in Germany and is bound to spark
renewed debate about how far the long arm of the law can reach into
cyberspace.  Adds the wire service, "Despite a raging dispute over the
liability of online services for what users do over their networks, German
prosecutors believe such services are responsible when writings or images
outlawed in Germany but on computers somewhere else in the world are made
accessible to Germans over the Internet."

Noting German prosecutors have been frustrated in efforts to break child
pornography and prostitution rings that use the Internet to reach their
customers or neo-Nazis who use it to spread   hate diatribes that would be
outlawed in Germany, Reuters says, "Bonn's draft multimedia law makes an
effort to protect internet service providers against undo prosecution, but
appears to leave a loop-hole that would allow police to make providers and
online service responsible in the end."

Harald Summa, head of the Internet Media Council, a lobby group for
Internet service providers, told the wire service, "The multimedia law
states that a provider must use reasonable technical measures to control
the content on their networks."  Writing for Reuters, reporter Boston
comments, "It appears that the Munich prosecutors want to set a precedent
and prove that Somm did not do what was technically possible to stop the
transmission of cybersmut to Germans."  In Germany, conviction for
distribution of child pornography carries a sentence of up to a year in

                     1-in-5 Want High-Speed Net Access

A new survey finds that one-in-five U.S. homes would subscribe to a
high-speed Internet service for at least $40 a month when it becomes
available.  "Over 40 percent of current online users will pay $40 a month
for high-speed Internet access, while most non-online homes will wait for
prices to decline and for more compelling content to emerge," says Samuel
Book, president of consumer research at The Strategis Group, which
conducted the survey of 500 U.S. households.

The study also finds that residential online/Internet subscribers spend
about six hours per week on the Internet, including four hours a week on
the World Wide Web and online information services. The typical online
household sends and receives nine e-mail messages a week.  According to the
Washington-based market researcher, U.S. online households have mushroomed
from under five million two years ago to over 17 million today. But it
notes that higher speed is needed for mass market usage, and the next stage
of Internet evolution depends on high speed broadband networks.

                      AMA Warns of 'Snake Oil' Online

Many of the thousands of health-oriented pages on the Internet's World Wide
Web are incomplete, misleading or inaccurate, says the editor of the
Journal of the American Medical Association.  In an editorial published
yesterday, Dr. George Lundberg says science and snake oil look a lot alike
on the Internet, suggesting an AMA online "seal of approval" to help people
sort out the quacks from the quality information.

According to United Press International, Lundberg likens some information
found on the Internet to a conversation overheard at a cocktail party,
rather than effective health care information and expresses his concern
that companies that sell health-care products may be paying Web site
authors to provide links to their sales-oriented sites.  While there are
thousands of medically oriented Web sites, the key to safety is finding a
site run by a medical school or moderated by a physician or health-care
professional, said Lundberg, adding reliable sites should include:

z    A clear and precise identification of the site's author and any
     affiliation the author or experts mentioned on the site may have.
z    Information that can be verified.
z    Disclosure of any consumer ties.
z    A clear way to tell how current the information is.

                      Net Could Mean More Downsizing

As companies move to cyberspace-based automation methods to cut payrolls
and other costs, a new era of corporate downsizing could be brought by the
Internet, say industry executives.  "While the widespread layoffs of recent
years continue to spawn job insecurity in the workplace," observes reporter
David Morgan of the Reuter News Service, "the computer industry has begun
pushing new Web-based software products that allow companies to make some
traditional office jobs obsolete."

Specifically, Morgan cites:

z    The "Intranet" technology, which allows companies to set up internal
     Web sites where employees can find up-to-date information about topics such
     as health and pension plans.
z    And "Extranet" products that can be used to create external
     Internet-links between companies for the purpose of executing routine
     business transactions otherwise carried out by paper-based purchase and
     shipment order systems.

Speaking at the Internet Commerce Expo in Atlanta this week, Microsoft
Corp. Chief Operating Officer Bob Herbold said, "You can literally remove
the people who have been answering the phone in the past. All those phone
calls, all those human beings involved, all the paperwork involved can

In other developments, Reuters quotes a senior IBM executive as saying the
government of Singapore reduced manpower 45 percent and slashed costs 62
percent in some departments after moving suppliers into just such a system.
And computer executives say a cadre of corporations ranging from airlines
and automotive companies to consumer product makers and railroads are
moving steadily to take advantage of the potential benefits.

Says Chairman Shikhar Ghosh of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based software
company Open Market Inc., "Just as the Industrial Revolution changed
manufacturing capacity, the Internet will change distribution. Middle men
and middle-level companies will be eliminated and most companies in an
industrial economy are middle-level."  And while some warn the Net could
lead to a new period of economic dislocation, others say economic growth
resulting from the new efficiency of electronic dealing would more than
make up for initial job losses.

"It's less an issue of eliminating jobs than it is an issue of making
people more effective," said President Randall Whiting of the Internet
industry association, CommerceNet. "There would be so many more business
opportunities that overall, net employment would rise."

                       MSN Shuts Down E-Mail Service

The Microsoft Network has shut down its worldwide electronic mail service.
"Service should be restored midday (Pacific time) Friday, April 18. When
the servers are back online, you should receive all email that was sent to
you during the upgrade. Delivery of delayed email should be complete by
Sunday, April 20," notes a statement issued by the Redmond.
Washington-based online service.  MSN, with approximately 2.2 million
subscribers, took the e-mail servers offline for unexpected maintenance
work, notes the Reuter News Service, which adds that no prior announcement
was made of the interruption in service, which could inconvenience many of
the network's customers who rely on e-mail for business communications.

                    Study: Intranet Info Sales to Soar

Riding the continuing wave of intranet installations across corporate
America, intranet/Internet information sales will represent 20 percent--or
$5.4 billion --of all business/professional online information sales by
2000, according to a new study from Cowles/Simba Information of Stamford,
Connecticut.  "The explosion of Internet access at businesses in
combination with the rising penetration of intranet installations in large
corporations will significantly boost intranet/Internet information sales
over the next three years," says Ben de la Cruz, the report's author. The
report estimates that the number of Internet users at work reached 12.0
million in 1996, a 50 percent jump over 8.0 million in 1995.

"Corporate intranet sales still represent a small part of online business
information sales, but changing information buying habits at Fortune 500
companies will propel sales over the next several years," de la Cruz adds.
"The adoption of intranet technology is serving as a catalyst for expanding
the distribution of information services from high-level executives and
middle managers to all employees across the corporate enterprise for the
first time."

                      Graphics Improve Net Commerce?

Those attending Atlanta's Internet Commerce Expo were told developments in
online graphics and real-time video will offer consumers a tailored
shopping experience, advancing the Internet commerce to the next level.
William Kelly, general counsel for Silicon Graphics, said in a keynote
address that video "does a much better job of grabbing your attention and
certainly conveys an awful lot more information in 15 seconds than you're
going to get with a banner ad that blinks at you."

The Reuter News Service quotes Kelly as saying Internet sales offer the
opportunity for one-to-one, personalized service and marketing, adding,
"The best people in this business are using sound marketing practices and
extending them to the Web, using the Web as an extension of their existing
businesses."  He said businesses trying to reach consumers through the
Internet should drive customers to their site and engage them once they are
there and advised that businesses should gather customer information when
consumers use a Web site and provide a safe and secure environment for

In addition, Kelly said:

z    People buying products through the Internet should be allowed to
     interact with other customers to foster a sense of community.
z    The World Wide Web should allow purchases and returns to be made as
     easily as possible.

                      Ohio Library Filters Net Sites

A public library in Westerville, Ohio, has become the first in the state to
use software to limit access to certain controversial Internet sites.
According to United Press International, 20 Ohio libraries have purchased
the "Library Channel" software, developed by vImpact of Columbus to give
patrons a simple way to get on the World Wide Web, but providing the
library with the means of limiting that access. Another 30 to 40 libraries
are expected to go online in the summer.

Director Don Barlow of Westerville Library says the Library Channel can
block access to sexually explicit and other potentially offensives sites.
The software gives access only to sites previously examined by librarians.
He compared the software to the catalogs libraries have maintained for
centuries, adding, "The whole idea was to develop something like a book
collection, but, instead, create an Internet collection."

The issue of library's filtering the Net has been controversial in other
areas of the country. For instance, as reported earlier, the American Civil
Liberties Union has considered filing file suit in Orlando, Florida, over
the Orange County Public Library's policy to block sexually explicit
Internet sites on public access computers.
The Ohio library is beginning with 1,000 sites on arts and entertainment,
history, travel, business and community news. A committee of librarians
from central Ohio are finding more sites, with the goal of up to 50,000
sites by midsummer.  vImpact President Jim Zimmerman told the wire service
the software costs $5,000 to $30,000 depending on the size of the library
and how many options it selects.

                     Apple Loss Raises TakeoverThreat

Analysts say Apple Computer Inc. fears it now is more likely to be target
to a hostile takeover attempt because of its report of a huge quarterly
loss -- $708 million on a 27 percent decline in sales.  The San Jose,
Calif., Mercury News has reported Apple Chairman Gilbert Amelio is
struggling to turn the company around before the start of such an
attempting, noting that Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison has indicated
an interest in buying controlling interest in Apple.

Nonetheless, business writer Catalina Ortiz of The Associated Press today
characterizes Amelio as being "in an upbeat mood," because he thinks the
worst of the company's troubles are over now that it's paid the huge bills
for a sweeping reorganization and its purchase of Next Software Inc.  "A
painful period, but it's behind us," Amelio said Wednesday, after the
company posted its second-worst quarterly performance ever.

Apple lost $708 million -- $5.64 a share -- for its second fiscal quarter
ended March 28, including $530 million in special charges. A year ago, the
company lost $740 million, or $5.99 a share, when it took an even bigger
charge to pay for an earlier attempt at renewal. Revenue for the quarter
dropped 27 percent to $1.6 billion from $2.2 billion.

In a conference call with analysts and reporters, Amelio called the results
disappointing, but he said was confident that his strategy for turning
Apple around was working. During the quarter, he said, Apple became more
focused, cut expenses and introduced "dazzling" new computers.  "Actually,
I feel very good," he said. "I feel with the quarter behind us we can get
down to doing what we've always done, which is make great products, build
some excitement up."

                         Micron Weighs Compaq Deal

Boise, Idaho, chipmaker Micron Technology Inc. acknowledges it has held
talks to sell its personal computer subsidiary to Compaq Computer Corp.,
but says it is no longer engaged in "active" discussions and that a firm
offer was never made.  According to The Associated Press, the statements
came after J.R. Simplot, the largest individual shareholder and a board
member of Micron Technology, told a Boise television station that Compaq
was interested in buying the company's Micron Electronics unit, a $1.8
billion maker of laptops, personal computers and other high-tech gear.

Said Simplot, "If we want to sell, I think we have the opportunity."  Adds
AP, "Industry insiders have speculated in recent days about the prospect of
a Micron Electronics purchase by Compaq, which could benefit from the
Boise-based company's distribution network."  As reported earlier, Compaq
this week claimed a larger share of the expanding market for Internet
equipment by agreeing to pay $280 million for networking company Microcom

                         Samsung Nears AST Buyout

Samsung Electronics Co.'s offer to buy troubled computer maker AST Research
Inc. has been approved by the AST board, but at a higher price than
initially proposed.  Reporting from Los Angeles, The Associated Press
quotes the companies as saying Samsung Electronics will buy the half of AST
it does not already own for $170 million, or $5.40 per share. That's about
6 percent more than the $5.10 per share Samsung offered in January. Samsung
also is assuming $307 million in AST debt, AP notes.

Samsung Electronics, the flagship of the $87 billion Samsung Group in South
Korea, already had bought 49 percent of AST through a series of bailouts
that started with a $378 million cash infusion in 1995.  The wire service
notes a special committee comprised of AST's three outside directors
unanimously recommended the deal to the full board, which also approved the
deal unanimously. Shareholders must still give their approval.

"But the acquisition price," says AP, "apparently assuaged shareholders who
had sued following the January proposal, saying the proposal was too cheap
and that Samsung executives were partly to blame for AST's recent problems.
The companies said they had settled the suits, subject to Delaware Chancery
Court approval."

                       Apple, Clone Makers Near Pact

Word is a settlement is in sight in a dispute over how much Apple Computer
Inc. can charge Macintosh clone makers for selling computers based on the
Mac operating system.  Business writer David E. Kalish of The Associated
Press says Apple had wanted to sharply boost the fees to the licensees,
which include IBM, Motorola Inc. and Power Computing Corp., noting Apple
"has grown concerned that the increasing popularity of the inexpensive
clones is stealing from its own Macintosh sales."

Says Kalish, "Apple's hardline stance raised fears that it was trying to
shut out the clone makers' business, which depends on selling cheap
machines. But the company now appears to be moderating its position,
according to industry sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity."  One
executive following the negotiations told the wire service, "We are finding
a middle ground."

Macintoshes from Apple as well as the clone makers use Power PC
microprocessor chips made by Motorola and IBM, as well as the software that
runs the basic functions of the Macintosh computer.  "The licensing
negotiations," AP comments, "spotlight the bind confronting Apple as it
struggles to protect the most profitable parts of its business from
competitors. Under attack from cheaper rival machines using Intel chips and
Microsoft software, Apple's sales have dropped precipitously."

                         VLSI Unveils Gigabit Chip

The industry's first commercially available gigabit Ethernet-class silicon
for high-speed data networking applications is being introduced by VLSI
Technology Inc.  Reporting from San Jose, California, the Reuter News
Service quotes a VLSI spokeswoman as saying the Ethernet integrated
circuit, to be demonstrated at the Networld+Interop trade show in Las Vegas
in early May, can be used to relieve networking traffic bottlenecks on
corporate networks.  Dubbed the VNS67500, the chip moves information over
networks at the speed of one gigabit, or one billion bits per second, which
is 100 times faster than Ethernet and 10 times faster than so-called Fast
Ethernet devices.

Says Reuters, "VLSI said it had beat out rivals such as Texas Instruments
Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Lucent Technologies,
although analysts expect the market to gather momentum quickly."  The chip
also uses the Media Access Controller technology from Packet Engines Inc.,
which is a  leading platform for controlling how computers communicate over
an Ethernet link, Reuters  notes, adding prototypes of the chip are
available now in 0.5 micron complex metal oxide semiconductor technology
priced at $60 each for small production quantities.

                     Boca Resumes 56K Modem Shipments

Boca Research Inc. says it has resumed shipping its Boca 56K Internet
Modem. Shipments were temporarily halted in mid-March due to performance
problems in the modem's Rockwell chipset.  "We have worked with Rockwell's
team of developmental engineers to improve their chipset performance," says
Tony Zalenski, president and CEO of the Boca Raton, Florida-based modem
maker.  "We have exhaustively tested the code in-house and are confident
that the previously detected performance issues are corrected. We are
pleased with Rockwell's K56flex technology.  Zalenski notes that only
limited quantities of the modem had been shipped to identifiable locations
at the time the problem was discovered. He adds that the products were
"returned without any potential for customer dissatisfaction."  The Boca
56K Internet Modem has a street price in the $149 to $169 range.

                      Motorola Ships 56K Modems Again

Motorola Inc. has become the second company to announce that it has resumed
shipping 56K bps modems using Rockwell's K56flex chipset technology.
Motorola uses the Rockwell chipset in its SURFR modems.  On Monday, Boca
Research Inc. announced it is again shipping its K56flex-based modem line.
Shipments were temporarily halted in mid-March due to network performance
problems in the modem's Rockwell chipset.  "After a brief shipping delay,
Motorola and Rockwell engineers have improved the algorithm in the chipset
to optimize the modems' performance in all network configurations," says a
statement from Motorola's transmission products division, based in
Huntsville, Alabama.

                       24x CD-ROM Drives Make Debut

The CD-ROM drive speed bar has been raised to 24x with new products from
Panasonic and Pioneer.  Secaucus, New Jersey-based Panasonic says it
expects to begin shipping internal and external 24x models in May. The
units will be priced at $109 and $209, respectively.  Pioneer is also set
to begin shipping internal and external 24x CD-ROM drives in May. The Long
Beach, California-based company hasn't yet announced prices.

"Now that we've achieved a 24x spin rate, users can experience the data
transfer performance necessary for today's data-intensive applications.
And, they can get it for about the same price as a slower 16x drive," says
Douglas Feldner, a product manager in Panasonic's multimedia systems
division.  "Pioneer is excited to provide its OEM partners with a
high-speed, high-quality drive that can deliver in all areas of speed,
performance and durability," notes Paul Dempsey, senior vice president of
marketing for Pioneer New Media Technologies.

                        Cheap PCs Revitalize Market

Low-end PCs priced as low as $800 have stimulated a new wave of growth in
the U.S. retail PC market, finds research from Computer Intelligence.  The
La Jolla, California, market research firm notes that the U.S. retail
segment experienced three straight months of year-to-year declines until
the February arrival of sub- $1,000 PCs from Packard Bell NEC, Monorail and
Compaq, which spurred a 6 percent increase over February 1996.  "Reacting
to the distressing year-to-year decline in retail sales, many were
speculating that with the high levels of PC ownership found in
higher-income households, the growth in the home PC market would stop,"
says Matt Sargent, a Computer Intelligence analyst.

"We were looking for MMX-equipped machines to kick in demand, but in
reality it is the sub-$1,000s that have done the trick."  CI's research
shows that one key to the success of the sub-$1,000 market has been channel
selection. Previously, PC makers had focused on consumer electronic stores
and mass merchants to sell sub-$1,000 PCs. With consumers shifting their
attention to PC superstores, several PC makers placed low-cost models there
as well, with immediate success.

The top-selling model in February in PC superstores was the Packard Bell
C115, which boosted Packard Bell NEC's market share in the PC Superstores,
an area previously dominated by Compaq and one where Packard Bell NEC had
experienced problems.  "Packard Bell NEC appeared to be having problems in
late 1996, with the declines in consumer electronic stores sales and
Compaq's dominance in PC Superstores. However, sales of the new models seem
to show that Packard Bell NEC has capitalized on a significant shift in
demand for low-cost product within Compaq's previous stronghold, PC
superstores," says Sargent.

                      Yellow Pages Get Internet Guide

Bell Atlantic is binding an Internet Guide into its Yellow Pages phone
directories for the Washington, D.C., suburbs.  The Baby Bell notes that
the Internet Guide is a primer for novices written in easy-to-understand
language. It provides an overview and simple step-by-step instructions for
getting started on the Internet and the World Wide Web. The Internet Guide
also has a Web site at  "With the rapid growth of the
Internet and the shift from 'techie' to mainstream usage, we believe that
consumers will benefit from a how-to guide," says Greg Hanifee, Bell
Atlantic's Internet Guide product manager. "It is a natural fit to
incorporate useful, basic information on the Internet in the Yellow Pages."
Over the next two years, Bell Atlantic plans to add the Internet Guide to
all of its Yellow Pages directories.

                      Netscape Pushes 'Push' Release

Still trying to stave off Microsoft Corp.'s aggressive courting of the
Internet, Netscape Communications Corp. is speeding up release of a key
feature in the new version of its web browser.  Netscape told The
Associated Press a test version of the firm's upcoming Communicator browser
will incorporate so-called "push" technology in a feature called Netscape
Netcaster.  "Touted as a hot new Internet trend," notes AP, "the delivery
method sends online information directly to one's desktop, so that users
don't have to laboriously search for what they need. The Netscape Netcaster
will enable 'viewers' to receive channels of news, sports and other
information contributed by online news services from media companies
ranging from Walt Disney's ABC to Time Warner's CNN."

Look for the test version of Communicator to be available through
Netscape's Web site in 30 days, with a final version to go on sale by June
30, costing $59.95, AP says. Previously, Netscape's "push" technology
wasn't expected until later this year.  Netscape Marketing Vice President
Bob Lisbonne called this "really exciting news for end-users," adding,
"Netscape delivering push technology means this will be the end of the
`World Wide wait.'"

AP comments the early release may give Netscape "an at-least temporary edge
over far larger rival Microsoft," noting Microsoft has said it will
incorporate push features into a test version of its Internet Explorer 4.0
within the next two months, with the final release is due later in the
summer.   Meanwhile, both Netscape and Microsoft browsers also are to turn
the computer screen into a viewfinder for both the Internet and information
stored in a user's personal computer.  "Icons for everything from desktop
files to far-flung Web pages are given the same prominence on the screen,
blurring today's distinction between the Internet and a user's desktop PC,"
the wire service observes.

                     Virus Rate Nearly Triples In Year

The rate of computer virus infection in corporate America nearly tripled in
the past year, despite a significant increase in the usage of anti-virus
products, finds a new survey from the National Computer Security
Association. The survey also finds that electronic mail is now one of the
leading methods of transmitting viruses.  According to the survey,
virtually all medium and large organizations in North America have
experienced at least one computer virus infection first-hand, and
approximately 40 percent of all computers used in the surveyed companies
would experience a virus infection within a year.

Macro viruses carried in common word processing documents and spreadsheets
are the biggest problem, representing 80 percent of all infections,
compared to 49 percent a year ago. The survey finds that the instances of
macro virus infection have doubled about every four months over the past
year.  Of the 300 survey respondents -- representing more than 700,000
desktop computers and 24,000 servers -- the infection rate was found to be
about 33 of 1,000 machines infected in any given month, and 406 of 1,000
machines infected in a given year. This is a significant increase from
1996, when the chance of experiencing a computer virus was about 10 out of
every 1,000 PCs per month.

           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

Shareware Treasure Chest STR Feature         "The Latest & Greatest"

                         Shareware Treasure Chest

By Lloyd E. Pulley

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

LifeSaver 3.20                     4/17/97    1,490kb  Freeware

  A Windows 95 configuration file backup and restore utility which can be
used to recover from problems due to corrupt configuration files or changes
to configuration files which can not be undone. The Standard features
provide a fully functional copy of LifeSaver which never expires and is
free. There is a 30-day trial period for Additional features, which require
registering to use after 30 days.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

MidiMaster 32-bit 7.0 beta 3       4/15/97    1.00mb   Shareware $20

  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 easier.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Netopia Virtual Office 1.0         4/10/97    4,800kb  Shareware $49.95

  A revolutionary new way to communicate and collaborate with anyone who
has a Web browser. Netopia Virtual Office instantly transforms your PC into
a collaborative Web office where you can work with others in real-time and
exchange information. After collecting what is needed Virtual Office
creates a Webpage with the users name. When visiting the Webpage you can
transfer files to an inbox, pick up files in an outbox, chat, or voice
conference and even control the other's computer. Supports Netscape and
Internet Explorer.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Printer's Apprentice 6.5           4/10/97    1,602kb  Shareware $25.00

  Acclaimed font manager for TrueType and Adobe Type 1 fonts, exclusively
for Windows 95. This is a highly professional application with a sharp
interface. Prints and views uninstalled fonts, installs and uninstalls font
files from your system. Includes six font catalog styles, four sample
sheets, two ANSI charts and a keyboard layout. All catalogs and sample
sheets can be changed with extenstive customization features. Our three
column catalog can print up to 75 fonts per page. Fonts are easily
previewed fonts before installing or printing! Excellent companion for font
CD-ROMS, application suites, and desktop publishing. Includes full online
help, setup and uninstall. Requires the VB 4.0 Runtimes.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

BusinessCards/32 4.14              4/10/97    350kb Shareware $29.95

  Extremely intuitive and easy to use freeform organizer, an ultimate
Cardfile replacement. Award winning software - COMPACT, FAST and FLEXIBLE.
Fully Internet enabled, packed with lots of advanced features.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

PhoneFree 32-bit 1.1k plug-in      4/13/97    .19mb Freeware

  PhoneFree is the first Internet Telephony application to cut through the
Tower of Babel and offer compatibility where it counts:

*PhoneFree is an intergrated Netscape and Internet Explorer Plugin Module,
no need to learn a new and confusing interface... just click on someone's
name to call them!

*PhoneFree is compatible with Vocaltec's Internet Phone(TM) and Netscape's
Cool Talk(TM), offering you the ability to place calls to more people then
any other product.

*PhoneFree features integrated Voice Mail to any user with an email
address... and they don't need any special software to retrieve their

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

TextPad 32-bit 3.0 beta 3          4/13/97    1.10mb             Shareware $27

  DescriptionAn easy to use powerfull text editor. It has many nice
features such as: In addition to the usual cut, copy and paste
capabilities, selected text can be case shifted and block indented, and
characters, words and lines can be transposed. Cut and copied text can be
appended to the clipboard, as well as replacing its contents, OLE2 drag and
drop editing for copying and moving text between documents, and A powerful
search/replace engine using UNIX-style regular expressions, with the power
of editor macros. Sets of files in a directory tree can be searched, and
text can be replaced in all open documents at once.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size         Price

Microsoft Internet Explorer 32-bit 4.0 Beta 1 4/07/97  500kb     Freeware

  Microsoft is pleased to introduce the Platform Preview test release of
Internet Explorer 4.0-an open, integrated suite of Internet software that
includes the industry's premier Internet client and basic collaboration
solution for end users, IT managers, and developers. Internet Explorer 4.0
expands on the innovation introduced in version 3.0 to achieve Microsoft's
vision: complete integration of the Internet and the PC. The end result is
a dramatically easier and more personalized way for people to get the most
out of the Internet.  This is the first release of MSIE 4.0. This is a VERY
early release and still has bugs in it. It is not meant to be run on
primary machines. Only for the brave of heart.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Big 8 Solitaire 3.0                4/11/97    800kb Shareware

  Eight of the greatest solitaire games of all time with full computer
play. Includes Auld Lang Syne, Canfield, Flower Garden, Grannies Clock,
Klondike, Little Spider, Magic Carpet and Osmosis.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

WinFonty 1                         4/07/97    397kb Shareware

  A program that allows you to see all fonts which are installed on your
system and to try them with a chosen text, a chosen size and a chosen

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

MicroChart/32 7-02                 3/31/97    374kb Shareware $99.00

  A marching band drill design charting system. Create simple to complex
designs with powerful graphic charting tools including point, line, block,
parallelogram, arc, circle, and freeform bezier curves. Select from various
symbols and colors to represent your winds, drumline, or color guard
positions. Edit tools include move, copy, delete, mirror, scale, rotate,
and join. True Perspective viewing mode displays your drills from the press
box or visitors side using selectable heights and distances. Print with
options to select paper size, orientation, grid spacing, hash marks, and

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

PNG Live 32-bit 2.0 plug-in        4/16/97    .85mb Freeware

  PNG Live is a plugin that allows you to see PNG (Portable Network
Graphics) images directly in your web browser. The PNG image format
represents the next generation of image standards. Better compression,
higher resolution, and multiple layers of transparency are just some of its

Note:  Only works with the newest version of Netscape Communicator.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Championship Spades for 95 2.2     4/07/97    1,195kb  Shareware $39.00

  Provides a polished Spades card game for serious players. Features good
layout, fast game play,rich sounds, extensive options, and good help and
tutorials. Specializing in multiple, editable, computer personalities for
very challenging play. Spades is more interesting than Hearts, but not
quite as complex to learn as Bridge.

   Home Page Site -

          ** Five new board game collections from WinGames.Inc **

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Board Games For 2 4.0              4/11/97    781kb Shareware

Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Goban, Pipes, Race Chase, Flag Ship and Fox &
Hounds. Play with a friend on the same machine, on any network or using a

Game Chest 3.0                     4/11/97    885kb Shareware

A challenging collection of games including Backgammon, Yatze, and Rummy to
be played with two players or against the computer. Two versions of mind
numbing Solitaire as well, Queen's Audience and Fortune's Favor.

Penny's Arcade 3.0                 4/11/97    1,124kb  Shareware

Try your hand at a shooting gallery with a full range of skill levels and
configuration options. For one to four players, a carnival of prize winning

Pro Backgammon 2.0                 4/11/97    995kb Shareware

The first in our InterSoft series, Pro Backgammon has two player
capability, three levels of computer play and will support the following
remote play options: Internet, Lan, Modem and Serial. Great for tournament
play with five different match types. Board Design let's you choose your
favorite colors and patterns to constuct a custom board. And a 'can't make
a wrong move' interface allows you to move backwards or forwards moves, you
could even replay the whole game! Sound and Music.

Total Recall 3.0                   4/11/97    946kb Shareware

Follow the sights and sounds without being dazzled. A quick paced game to
challenge your memory and reaction time. Not a simple simon.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

PhoneBook95 1.4                    4/11/97    1,272kb  Shareware $20.00

 A powerful yet easy to use 32-bit Phone/Address Book Management
Application. Organize all your phone #'s, addresses, e-mail addresses etc.
with ease. Includes search and dialing capability. Also comes with an
install wizard for easy installation.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

DayCare 3.0 beta                   4/08/97    5,100kb  Shareware $39.95

  A complete home daycare management system. Tracks children, Guardians,
doctors, shot information, daily schedules, expenses, activities, Journal
functions for keeping a diary of daily events and is super intuitive and
easy to use, compare to Daycare systems costing hundreds of dollars. Beta.
users can give inputs and feedback to make the product even cooler.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Book Librarian 95 3.0              3/06/97    1605kb   Shareware $32.00

  A multi-feature book cataloging database that allows you to organize and
manage your books and other publications. There are fields for a title,
author, co-author, subjects, edition, catalog number, book number,
borrower, due date, a 64k memo field and more. Other features include a
robust report/preview system with an easy to use query system.
Imports/Exports data in dBase and ASCII format. Also includes a
backup/restore module.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

FaceIt PC 2.5                      4/11/97    5.0mb Demo $59.95

  Face recognition software that runs on any Pentium-based PC connected to
a video or digital camera.It uses your face as your visual password to
control access to your computer. FaceIt automatically locks your computer
when it detects that you are not in front of it. To gain access when you
return you simply look into the camera and FaceIt does the rest. It detects
your presence, locates your head, extracts your face, matches it to its
database of trusted users, and grants you access by unlocking the screen.
All hands-off and all in a fraction of a second. In addition FaceIt
captures and stores the face of any individual who attempts to gain access
unsuccessfully. The version offered from the website is fully functional 30
day evaluation copy.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

NeuroStock 1.7                     4/10/97    748kb Shareware $50.00

  A Neural Based Stock Trading Expert System. It learns a stock trading
pattern from historical data, learns the relations between the stock and
other stocks of the same industry, and gives buy/hold/sell advice.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Wireless Secretary and Pager Wizard 1.00.00   4/11/97  518kb     Shareware

  A pair of Windows 32 bit executable programs which optionally interface
with Microsoft Schedule+ 7.0, Microsoft Exchange and your alphanumeric
pager. These programs install on your Windows 95 or Microsoft NT computer
and work together to turn your standard alphanumeric pager into a Personal
Digital Assistant which interfaces with your computer. It does not matter
if you do not have Microsoft Schedule+ 7.0 Wireless Secretary will remind
you of appointments, events and tasks you enter into it. Also, if you do
not have Microsoft Exchange, Wireless Secretary can not send email to your
pager, but this will not hamper it's other features.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

MIDIMaster 7.0 beta 2              4/11/97    1,061kb  Shareware $20.00

  MIDI player that enables users to organize their MIDI files in libraries,
arrange them in a multifunctional Play List. MidiMaster can also play any
MIDI files in ZIP archives using its internal UNZIP capabilities. Its
enhanced user interface also makes your MIDI resources substantially
available. MidiMaster is often said as the best Midi player on this planet!
Other media file playing like WAV, AVI, Quicktime and RMI are also

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

SAMcal 2.0b 4.1                    4/08/97    1,004kb  Shareware $10.00

  A daily calendar/reminder program designed to be small, highly
configurable, and easy to use. Features include multiple recurring event
types, application launch events, and a very customizable appearance.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Beatnik 32-bit 1.0 plug-in         4/15/97    2.40mb   Free

  The Beatnik Plug-in is a driver which manages the playback of RMF and
other audio files within web browsers. It can be downloaded for free and
installed as a plug-in. The greatest strengths of the Beatnik Plug-in are
its high fidelity and its potential for interactivity. The sound quality is
comparable to high-end PC wavetable sound cards even though the processing
is entirely software-based. The potential for interactivity results from
Beatnik's support of a comprehensive set of Java-callable functions which
allow for a richer and more personalized musical experience than other
multimedia delivery solutions. Beatnik allows a web site to play music not
only upon the opening of a web page, but also on a event such as a "mouse
click" or "mouse over." These events can also trigger individual notes,
sampled voices, or sound effects; start or stop music; and change tempo,
volume, pitch, or mix.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Net.Medic 32-bit 1.0               4/15/97    N/A   Shareware $39.95

  Net.Medic is a browser companion, it works with your Internet browser to
monitor, isolate, diagnose, and correct problems that affect your Internet
experience. Now you can identify the source of your network bottleneck:
your PC, modem, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the Internet
backbone, or remote Web site server. Net.Medic identifies problems in split
seconds, offers you recommendations for solving them, and in certain cases,
automatically fixes them for you. Net.Medic is the personal Internet
utility you've been waiting for, giving you actionable information that can
measurably improve your personal online experience. Before Net.Medic, you
could only talk about your frustration. Now you can do something about it.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

MultiNet 32-bit 1.5 beta 3         4/15/97    1.00mb   Free

  MultiNet is a small program that sit on your Win95 System Tray (Beside
the taskbar clock) and background check your mail account for new messages,
detetect your 'Net connection and then launch your favorites apps or adjust
your PC clock using a Time Server! It also run as an Identification
Server(IdentD). It can even Copy your IP Address to clipboard at connect.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

ToolBar for Windows 95/NT 3.2      4/10/97    144kb Freeware

  A small freeware utility that lets you launch your favorite programs from
the Windows 95/NT desktop. Click the left mouse button to launch an
application or the right button to define a new ToolBar button. You can
also drag and drop a file's icon or shortcut directly onto the ToolBar to
quickly define a new button. ToolBar lets you organize your programs and
utilities into eight button groups. Press the arrow buttons at the bottom
of the toolbar to switch between these groups, or use the arrow keys on the
keyboard to quickly cycle through your button groups.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Disk CleanUp for Windows 95/NT 2.4 4/13/97    67kb  Freeware

  A freeware disk utility designed to clear previously deleted files.
Deleting a file will normally just remove the file's directory entry, but
the data itself still remains on the disk. CleanUp will completely
eliminate the contents of your deleted files.  Disk CleanUp provides
options to specify an NSA approved disk erasure method and background
execution priority. Disk CleanUp for Windows.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Dice Roller! 1.19                  4/12/97    104kb Shareware $5.00

  The features are you can roll between 1 and 10 dice, and you can roll the
following amounts of size on the dice: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 30, 100. You
can also add a modifier of a plus or a negative ten, or you can also choose
to let you roll negative numbers or not roll negative numbers.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

VuePrint Pro 5.1                   4/16/97    421kb Shareware $40.00

  One of the better image viewers, dispalys every file type you can think
of, even uuencoded images (from newsgroups).

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Reminders for Windows 95/NT 2.5    4/10/97    96kb  Freeware

  A freeware utility that provides a simple means of creating on-screen
reminders for important events. Event reminders are triggered when the
specified time and date occurs. Reminders can be created to trigger
messages on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis. Reminders can also be
used to launch programs at a scheduled time. Sound files (WAVs) can be
assigned to reminder messages and scheduled program launches to give an
audible warning when events occur. Reminders for Windows 95/NT can be
configured to optionally place it's program icon in the taskbar
notification tray.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

MailThing 1.2                     4/14/97    1,416kb  Shareware $22.95

  An E-Mail checker/notifier which will monitor up to 8 POP3 mailboxes. In
addition to informing you about messages stored on servers, MT allows you
to preview, save delete and print messages in any monitored mailbox. You
can also associate an external mail client for every mailbox for easy
access. However cool E-Mail client you are running Mail-Thing will be a
great compliment of it.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

FoolProof 95 3.0                   4/14/97    1,588kb  Demo

  Ensures that your computers stay set up correctly. With FoolProof
forWindows95 you can protect My Computer and The Explorer,block access to
dangerous commands and preventdragging or deleting of files. Control
internet accessby limiting access to Netscape Navigator or any other

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

WinDownload 32-bit 3.21            4/16/97    1.20mb   Shareware $10

  WinDownload is a great utility that lets you schedule the download of
selected files. WinDownload is a 32 bit, multi-thread application which can
maximize bandwidth on any size pipe. Drag and drop a shortcut from Internet
Explorer or Netscape and keep browsing. You can download the files on
demand or schedule them to download anytime you want. Copy and paste a
valid URL from any file or copy shortcut from your browser or add a new URL

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

TeleVox 32-bit 2.5 beta 3          4/16/97    1.10mb   Free beta

  TeleVox provides real-time, high-quality voice connections between one or
more users over IP networks such as the Internet. You can place calls,
conduct conferences of up to five users, or send voice messages to any
TeleVox user in the world for the price of a local Internet connection.
TeleVox 2.5 is in full compliance with the ITU's H.323 standard for call
establishment and data transport, eventually allowing TeleVox to
communicate seamlessly with any H.323 phone.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

SchizoSigz! .30                    4/16/97    1,022kb  Freeware

  An e-mail signature generator. This version adds:

1. SchizoManager! - A nice and easy way to edit all files associated with
2. Added a few options.SchizoSigz! will generate an ascii e-mail signature
file to be utilized with Eudora, Internet Mail and News, Outlook Express,
Netscape, Forte Agent, Newsreader, and more!

SchizoSigz! will automatically add a tagline, quote, or whatever at a
specified interval.  It resides in the system tray for the duration of it's
run time.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Smart Address 3.2                  4/17/97    1,058kb  Shareware $39.00

  A sophisticated Windows address management system.  For each contact
create as many customized address pages with page tabs as needed (e.g. a
page for personal contacts, a page for business contacts or even a page
just for extra telephone numbers).  Organize contacts with index keys, and
group them into an unlimited number of categories.  Associate an unlimited
number of documents with any contact; simply click the required document to
view, edit or print it.  Or associate Internet URLs. Support for E-Mail
addreses with direct links to an E-Mail client.  Create reminders with
alarms to remind you of approaching events (birthdays, invoices due), and
attach notes.  Print a variety of listings and reports, plus envelopes,
address labels, and more.  Export and import entries to and from text
files.  Use the Calendar View, to consolidate reminders from all opened
Address Books and events from all opened Diaries.  Also features powerful
search capabilities, automatic dialing of telephone numbers (via TAPI),
mail-merge data file creation for MS-Word, support for multiple Address
Books and Diaries open at any one time, and much more.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Cyber Thrill Casino 2.1            4/16/97    2,714KB  Freeware

  Exciting multi-media Internet Casino with roulette, slot machines, etc.
Play for FREE or for REAL money online. Win big $$$ in thrilling casino

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Speed up the Net 1.00.1            4/15/97    5K    Freeware

  The easy way to speed up your internet connection. Stop your PC from
making IP lookups for every site that you visit.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Registry Search & Replace 2.10     4/15/97    650kb Shareware $20.00

  A great registry editor whose features include search profiles, value
searching, Win95 and WinNT 4.0 shell integration, remote registry support,
prompted or specified replacement, improved speed and accuracy, enhanced
user interface, and more!

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Crescendo Plug-in 2.32b            4/15/97    1,192kb  Freeware

  Quite simply, it is a Plug-in for Internet Explorer and Netscape
Navigator browsers that lets you listen to background music as you browse a
Web site.  This version is needed for the new Microsoft Internet Explorer
3.02 and IE 4.0 betas.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

X-COM III: Apocalpyse              4/17/97    36.00mb  Commercial Demo

  X-COM: Apocalypse is the ultimate strategy combat game, featuring
challenging , captivating strategy gameplay and real-time or turn-based
tactical combat. The game is a substantial upgrade from the previous two X-
COM games , featuring superb SVGA graphics, more strategic gameplay , more
realistic tactical squad combat, and significantly more action in the
optional real-time combat mode. In X-COM: Apocalypse, you command the elite
X-COM troops as they strive to investigate and repel an alien invasion of
Earth. By hiring scientists and engineers , you can research and
manufacture new weapons, vehicles, and armor so that your X-COM soldiers
have the best equipment available during combat with the aliens. Through
research and combat, you must discover the source of the alien invasion ,
penetrate the alien world and destroy the alien control center to prevent
further invasions!

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Gravity 32-bit 1.1 Official Release           4/17/97  .99mb     Shareware

  Gravity is a new rules-based USENET newsreader. What's that you may be
asking, well a rules-based newsreader allows you to construct rules that
automate the sometimes overwhelming task of sifting through the newsgroups
you would like to read. When combined with display filtering, rules allow
you to quickly focus on the articles that are important to you.

   Home Page Site -

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Pronto 97 32-bit 4.01              4/17/97    2.50mb   Shareware $69.95

  Another good all around e-mail program. It features: Exchange voice
messages easily and inexpensively, Automatic highlighting of Internet and e-
mail addresses, Multi-lingual spell-checker, Multiple address-book support,
Powerful search engines and filters find messages fast, Powerful rules
automate and expedite message traffic, Synchronize multiple PCs with
multiple TCP/IP hosts and more.

   Home Page Site -

EDUPAGE STR Focus        Keeping the users informed


Internet IPO Washout?
More Price Cuts From Intel
You're Not As Secure As You Think You Are
The Color Of Money
Bill Gates Says "Next Target Is Simplicity"
Community Networks Targets Smaller Cable Systems
Compaq Buys Microcom
Don't Ask Research People Why Net Was Successful
Ellison Says Apple Bid Has "Very High Possibility" Of Success
New IBM Arrangement Offers New PCs Every 2 Years
Internet 2 Backers Brief Congress
Avant Charged With Trade Secret Theft
Netscape Begins Pushing Netcaster
Net Gives Hong Kong Insurance On Freedom Of Expression
Xerox Announces Digital-Copier Line
MoneyClip Does Online Banking
Viruses Spreading Despite Increased Efforts To Combat Them
Home PCs Are Big On Consumers' Wish List
Kodak Digital Camera For Under $1,000
Head Of CompuServe's German Unit Faces Porn Charges
Ohio Library Network To Filter The Net
Year 2000 Cost Estimates Rise
Microsoft Invades TV Land
Speed Isn't Everything When It Comes To CD-ROMs
Berkeley Creates "Distilling" Process For Web
Apple Posts Loss, Amelio Says Worst Is Over
Privacy Legislation
China Jails Execs For Copyright Piracy And Pornography

                           INTERNET IPO WASHOUT?
Barron's reports that of 35 Internet-related initial public offerings made
between 1995 and 1997, only three of the companies' shares are selling
above the initial offering price -- the lucky three are Netscape, Yahoo!
AndC/Net.  (Telecommunications Policy Review 6 Apr 97)

                        MORE PRICE CUTS FROM INTEL

Spurred by competition from Advanced Micro Devices and Cyrix, Intel is
expected to cut prices on its  microprocessors even more than usual, as
much as 25% to 30% off on its popular Pentium chips.  The company had cut
its prices only 10% to 20% last quarter, and not at all in the fourth
quarter of '96. AMD last week  announced its K6 chip, which is nearly as
fast as Intel's Pentium II, fits into current Pentium system boards, and
is priced 25% lower than the Pentium II.  Cyrix is expected to announce a
comparable chip called the M2 in  June.  (Wall Street Journal 11 Apr 97)


Platinum Technology CEO Andrew Filipowski doesn't think much of current
efforts to secure corporate  networks:  "Today, the entire scheme of
security can be characterized by two things:  either you're making it a
hassle to get into your network so a thief will go over and steal from
someone else; and/or you just hope  somebody has something more worthy to
be stolen than you do.  Only stupid people are kept out of networks.
There's plenty of them, so that's the good news....  A firewall is a pretty
crude, fundamentally stupid idea.  It often puts things that you would
prefer get stolen on one side and things you'd prefer not get stolen on the
other  side -- with no real assurances that sensitive material is being
protected.... The problem, in a nutshell, is there's  no unified security
scheme produced by anyone that can cover all the holes simultaneously to
present an impenetrable barrier."  (Investor's Business Daily 10 Apr 97)

                            THE COLOR OF MONEY

Singapore has banned Hewlett-Packard's OfficeJet Pro 1150C printer because
it doesn't conform to new  regulations designed to thwart counterfeiters --
as of next month all color photocopiers sold in Singapore must  be fitted
with a counterfeit-prevention system, which HP has determined is too
expensive, considering the  OfficeJet Pro's modest price tag.  HP says the
next version of OfficeJet Pro probably will incorporate the  system.
Owners of color photocopiers in Singapore must have a permit to do so,
which requires submitting a  list of all users, keeping the machine locked
up, notifying authorities within a week if it's moved, and keeping a  log
detailing what is copied, when it was copied, who copied it, etc.  (Wall
Street Journal 11 Apr 97)


Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who wants the PC to take its place in the living
room as part of an all-digital home  entertainment system admits that the
PC must become easier to use and promises:   "I think people are going to
be pretty stunned. They saw how quickly we adapted the PC to Internet
standards.  The next target is simplicity."  (Financial Times 11 Apr 97)


Community Networks Inc. is offering broadband Internet services to smaller
independent cable systems that  lack the deep pockets of the larger
companies such as TCI and Time Warner, but still want to offer their
subscribers Internet access.  "We were trying to decide what to do with our
extra channels," says the VP of  Cablevision of Loudon County, Va., a CNI
customer. "We are taking a different approach and offering high- speed
Internet access."  Cablevision of Loudon is testing CNI's system and hopes
to attract 10% of its 30,000  subscribers to sign up for the online
service.  CNI says its specialty is flexibility, and that it can
accommodate a  smaller cable system that wants to include local content in
its Internet offerings. (Broadcasting & Cable 7 Apr 97)

                           COMPAQ BUYS MICROCOM

Compaq is paying $280 million to buy Norwood, Massachusetts-based Microcom,
a company that  manufacturers modems and software used for management of
remote access to networks.  The acquisition,  together with a Compaq's
arrangement allowing it to resell under its own name the router products of
networking leader Cisco Systems, will further Compaq's goal of being a full-
range computer systems company with its own network products.  (New York
Times 11 Apr 97)


Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold says the development of
Mosaic and similar Web-oriented  products were social and commercial
breakthroughs (and "fine work"), but not technological breakthroughs.  "If
you'd said up front, 'My research program is that I'm going to allow
bitmaps to get transferred over this simple  protocol,' people would have
said, 'That isn't research.'  It isn't!"  And so what, exactly, has
happened?  "It turned out that a low-tech social phenomenon called the
Internet has suddenly arisen and surprised people.  But  it's like asking
people in plastics research why the hula hoop was successful."  (Upside Apr

                        ELLISON SAYS APPLE BID HAS

Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison says he thinks his bid to take over Apple
Computer could very well succeed, and  if so, there's a good chance he'll
end up being chairman.  "Within several weeks the final decision will be
made  and I think there is a very high possibility that the acquisition
will succeed," he told Japan's leading business  daily newspaper this
morning. "It is important to understand that it is not Oracle but me that
will make the   Acquisition...  We will ask the current management to
leave.  I will remain CEO of Oracle but there is a  possibility I will
become chairman of Apple."  Ellison plans to keep the Apple name but
"smoothly transfer"  Apple into a network computer maker:  "If the
acquisition succeeds we can position Apple as our production base for the
NC."  (InfoWorld Electric 15 Apr 97)


A new IBM leasing program called IBM SystemCare allows companies to lease
PCs for a flat monthly fee and  trade in their old models for new every two
years.  In addition to PCs, the SystemCare program will offer PC  servers
and network computers.  The company plans to refurbish the machines that
are returned and resell them  to customers who don't require the latest
technology.  (Wall Street Journal 14 Apr 97)


Backers of the Internet 2 project promised "killer applications" that will
benefit researchers throughout academe  if Congress decides to go ahead
with President Clinton's plan to spend $100 million on the next-generation
computer network.  Only $30 million of that will be spent directly on
university networking, pointed out  Pennsylvania State University Graham
Spanier in congressional testimony last week.  The rest will go toward
upgrading the networks of several government agencies.  "Some fear that the
Internet 2 might simply be an  effort on the part of the most prestigious
higher-education institutions to create their own private network - to
serve their own needs to the exclusion of others.  Our goals are to rapidly
deploy our success to benefit others in  the educational community and
beyond -- K-12, libraries, and institutions other than those top 100 or so,
who can't afford to take this first step."  Educom VP Mike Roberts
emphasized that the Internet 2 project is just as  much about applications
and exploring new ways to use networks in research and teaching as it is
about  hardware acquisition.  See for more
information.  (Chronicle of Higher Education 18 Apr 97)


Following a 30-month investigation, employees at Avant! Corp. and its
President have been charged with  stealing computer code from Cadence
Design Systems and using it in Avant's competing products.  Six of the
defendants are former employees of Cadence, a rival in the chip-software
design business.  Avant's chief  financial officer says the charges "are
unfounded. We're going to fight them, and we're confident we will be
exonerated." (Wall Street Journal 15 Apr 97)


Netscape Communications today is demonstrating its new push technology
called Netcaster (formerly called  Constellation), which will allow news,
sports, stock prices and other information to be displayed on a computer
user's screen.  Two pre-set packages of 10 channels -- one designed for the
home user and one for businesses --  will include material major news and
entertainment providers, but Netcaster users will be able to add other
sources of their own choosing (such as Edupage!).  The Netcaster software
will be available in the next  experimental version of the Netscape
Communicator browser software.  (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 15 Apr 97)


Fearing that freedom of the press will be curtailed after it is transferred
from British to Chinese rule on July 1st,  Hong Kong is moving rapidly to
sign on to the Internet, which is expected to remain a source of uncensored
exchanges of news and views.  In the past year, the number of Hong Kong
companies with Web pages has more  than tripled.  Dr G. S. Rao, of the
University of Brunei, Darussalam, says:  "Tightening the Net is difficult
because the information flows like an unstoppable wind. Once you try to
block people, they try to get in another  way. The Net is unpoliceable."
(Financial Times 14 Apr 97)


Xerox has developed a new line of digital copiers that can be upgraded to
fax machines and printers for  personal computers.  With these products,
Xerox will be increasingly in direct competition with Hewlett- Packard,
which currently dominates the digital-printer market.  (New York Times 15
Apr 97)

                       MONEYCLIP DOES ONLINE BANKING

A group of companies has developed a device that turns almost any PC into
an automatic teller machine.  The  MoneyClip, which is a diskette that
incorporates a smart card and access software, enables users "to perform
virtually any ATM transaction from the comfort of their homes," says the
CEO of the Home Financial Network,  one of the four developers.  In order
to use the MoneyClip, a PC has to already be loaded with online banking
software and the owner has to have an account at a bank that offers online
banking. (Tampa Tribune 14 Apr 97)

                          EFFORTS TO COMBAT THEM

The National Computer Security Association reports that the number of North
American businesses infected by  computer viruses tripled in the past year
despite increased use of anti-virus products.  Survey results indicate
that e-mail is one of the main culprits in spreading the viruses.  Macro
viruses in common word processing  documents and spreadsheets were the
biggest problem.  (Investor's Business Daily 15 Apr 97)


In a Wall Street Journal analysis of consumer spending trends since 1989,
home computers now represent a  much large portion of the total spending
picture -- 1.3% of total consumer spending, or about 12 times the
percentage spent seven years ago.  And while seven years ago, consumers
were obsessed with acquiring the  biggest RAM on the block, now they're
more concerned with using their PCs as information-gathering tools.   "The
person who's made it nowadays is the one with the most knowledge," says a
researcher at Yankelovich  Partners.  The increase in home PC spending
represents the largest jump in any consumer spending category.   (Wall
Street Journal 14 Apr 97)

                   KODAK DIGITAL CAMERA FOR UNDER $1,000

At a price of less than $1,000, Kodak's new digital camera, which delivers
1.2 pixels of information (or 1,280  by 960 dots on the screen) costs less
than one-fourth of what cameras with similar capabilities have been selling
for until now.  Although the price is still thought to be too high to
attract casual photographers, the camera is  expected to appeal strongly to
hobbyists and to professionals in real estate and other businesses. Digital
cameras  use a photosensitive chip (called a charged-coupled device) that
resolves an image into pixels that can be  transferred to a computer and
transmitted over the Internet.  (New York Times 15 Apr 97)


Felix Somm, the head of CompuServe Corp.'s German unit, has been charged by
Bavarian prosecutors with  "knowingly allowing images of child pornography,
violent sex and sex with animals" to be available on the  commercial
service via Internet newsgroups.  Officials at CompuServe's Ohio
headquarters are calling the  charges "entirely groundless" and say they'll
"vigorously oppose" the action.  The indictment was filed in  February, but
disclosed only yesterday.  CompuServe itself is not named in the action;
under German law,  criminal charges cannot be brought against a
corporation.  The Bavarian government's action stems from a raid  on
CompuServe's Munich office in December 1995, which resulted in the
commercial service temporarily  blocking access to some 200 Internet
newsgroups that featured sexually explicit material.  Access to all but the
most obscene groups was reinstated, but with filters that parents could use
to keep their children from accessing
undesireable material.  (Wall Street Journal 17 Apr 97)


Administrators at the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN), a
state agency that provides Internet  access to Ohio's 700 public libraries,
have decided to use filtering software to keep children from accessing
Internet sites that may be considered obscene, saying that "the resolution
approved by the OPLIN board strikes  a balance between the need to provide
access to these resources and our desire to protect children from
potentially harmful material.''  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
says it will go to court to challenge  the decision because "there is no
software on market that can target pornography and leave legitimate
material alone.''  The controversy began when six boys at one county
library were found looking at pornographic images  found on the Internet.
(Associated Press 16 Apr 97)

                       YEAR 2000 COST ESTIMATES RISE

Labor costs for Year-2000 projects have risen 30% since last year, when
they averaged $60 an hour, and they're  still climbing, says an analyst at
the Gartner Group.  The revised labor cost works out to about $1.50 per
line of code, up from $1.10, causing Gartner to up its widely cited
estimate of $300 billion to $600 billion for all  corporate Year 2000
projects.  A study released by Morgan Stanley & Co. last week suggests that
companies  could save some money by replacing some code with packaged
software and discarding some of the 35 million  lines of code that are
typical for a large company's computer system.  Meanwhile, a study of 24
federal agencies  by Federal Sources Inc. estimates that it will cost about
$5.6 billion for the federal government to rewrite all of  its code to be
Year-2000-compliant.  That's about 2-1/2 times higher than an estimate
submitted to Congress in   February by the Office of Management and Budget.
(Information Week 7 April 97)

                         MICROSOFT INVADES TV LAND

Microsoft has seen the future and it is digital TV.  The computer giant has
been making deals with TV  producers to launch proof-of-concept shows that
ncorporate Web-based features, and so far it's lined up gigs with Spelling
Entertainment Group's "Moesha," and the USA Network's "Pacific Blue," "Silk
Stalkings," and  "Big Easy."  In the new version, the original show appears
as a window that fills about two-thirds of the screen,  while a Web page
wrapped around the left and bottom edges beckons with icons that promise
more information  on the actors' careers or outtakes from the show's
production.  Initially, viewers with intercasting capability will  be able
to watch these shows on their PCs, but Microsoft's real goal is to provide
a reason for consumers to  purchase WebTVs -- a company Microsoft bought
last week for $425 million.  (Wall Street Journal 16 Apr 97)


CD-ROM drives are getting faster, but industry analysts say consumers
should beware of marketing hype:  "The  speed race that is going on between
the CD-ROM drive vendors is more for the benefit of the PC makers," says  a
Disk/Trend Inc. researcher.  "They need some way of differentiating their
product...  Beyond (8x), from a user  point of view, there is almost
imperceptible improvement."  With an 8x drive transferring data about 1,200
kilobytes per second, most experts say that's plenty, even for video
playback.  "In the home or SOHO (small  office-home office) environment,
there is very little to be gained by moving to leading-edge CD-ROM drives,"
says an analyst with Freeman Associations Inc.  (Investor's Business Daily
17 Apr 97)


Students and faculty members at the University of California at Berkeley
have developed a "distillation" process  that shrinks Web images, lowers
their resolution and displays them in fewer colors, enabling users to load
pages 3 to 10 times faster than they would using conventional technology.
Users will be able to dictate the  clarity and size of the distilled
images, balancing individual need for speed against readability.  They can
then  click on the distilled images and view them in their original format.
The process is currently being tested and  researchers say it should
greatly improve the efficiency of the entire campus network.  (Chronicle of
Higher Education 18 Apr 97)


Apple chief executive Gil Amelio says the $708 million loss posted by the
company for the quarter just ending  is an indication that the worst is
over and that Apple will regain profitability within six months, as it
receives the benefit of exciting new products and a saving from recent
reorganizations.  Commenting on the possibility  of a hostile takeover by
Oracle's Larry Ellison, who has said he would turn the company into a
manufacturer of  network computers, Amelio said:  `We have a different idea
-- we want to make products that people want to  buy. At this point in
time, there isn't a market for NCs of any substance, and there is a market
for the product  we're making today.''  Mr. Amelio placed the blame on
Apple's current predicament on negative press coverage:    "There is
something holding back the consumers.  That's the press, how we're covered,
the negative emphasis."   (San Jose Mercury News 17 Apr 97)

                            PRIVACY LEGISLATION

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D, California) and Charles Grassley (R, Iowa)
have introduced legislation that  would bar commercial use of Social
Security numbers and make it illegal for credit bureaus to disseminate
Social Security numbers, unlisted phone numbers, birthdates, or
individuals' mothers' maiden names.  In the  House of Representatives,
Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (D, Pennsylvania.) submitted legislation that
would  create a Commission on Privacy of Government Records and ban Social
Security or Internal Revenue Service  records from being posted on the
Internet without an individual's written permission.  (Washington Post 17
Apr 97)


Giving new evidence of a desire to crack down on the country's widespread
practice of pirating music, movie,  and other copyrighted material, Chinese
authorities have announced stiff prison penalties for two factory
manufacturers who were found guilty of large-scale illegal copying of audio
and video CDs, including 130,000  pornographic videos.  The severity of the
sentences contrasted sharply with the minor fines assessed in the past  for
such crimes, and is due to a vigorous new domestic political campaign aimed
at fighting pornography and  improving "spiritual civilization."  (New York
Times 17 Apr 97)

    Edupage is written by John Gehl ( & Suzanne Douglas
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Take Control!! STR Focus       Politics as Usual or a Sinister Warning?

                        CONTROL FREAKS ON THE RISE
                            HEAVEN HELP US ALL

By R. F. Mariano

     Control Freaks!!  They're multiplying!  All of us have come across one
a time or two.  They usually look like you or I but you can tell the moment
they open their mouth that they are Control Freak.  There are many types of
Control Freaks.  There's the Regimentation Type:  Everything they have to
say about any topic has only one definitive end .its good if it fits the
rules.  They constantly spout off about how the rules (what ever) are
"perfect", need no revisions and if you don't like it . its too bad.
Another type is the "pseudo-religious" cleanser bot . no matter where you
go you'll find one yapping about how we must stop the putrefaction of our
young people's minds.  How we must not allow them to see, feel or hear
about sex, shock entertainment, whacky music (M.Manson comes to mind), the
way things are done in other countries and read about History the way other
nations see it.  I could go on and on but what's the use??  You all get the

     How many of you went through a sheltered childhood and found that.
once you hit the "streets" you weren't running.  You were not able to do
so!  In fact, you were slowly crawling because you were stunned at how
different the real world was compared to what you were so innocently led to
believe.  Or, how many of you watched a friend or acquaintance literally go
hog wild promiscuous once they found out what they were "missing" for so
long?  It's a sad story that far too often forcefully repeats itself.  It
could be avoided if the Adults of this world would stand up and accept the
responsibilities of raising their children instead of simply allowing the
various governments of the world to do so.

     In this issue of STReport, we find the German Government trying to
rekindle an effort to "Control" the Internet in  what can only be termed
overly coercive efforts through the use of their Court System.  They are
trying to prosecute a CompuServe Executive for what they term pornographic
material.  It seems certain of the old repeatedly defeated Prussian
Nationalistic Attitudes of "what's good for us is good for the world" need
to be defeated again.  History repeating itself?   Probably.  A worthwhile
effort?  Only in Bavaria.  Its amazing how the Germans, The French and at
times The British conveniently forget about how different the outcome of WW
II would have been without the USA.  Yet the French have no problem
insulting, defying and trying constantly to be as uncooperative as they can
possibly be.  Maybe DeGaulle never should've been allowed to march into
Paris first.  He didn't win a thing, (anybody remember Marshal Petain?) was
a constant PIA to the other Allies and the moment he was "in charge" he
literally spat on the US Flag for the Allies having bombed France in
driving the Germans out.  Then comes the Brits.. they've openly admitted
their dislike of the Yanks.  All very humorously as they have said many
times about the Yanks in the UK during the war.  They are; "too loud, too
many and over here."  One can only wonder where the UK would be had the
Yanks not been "over there".  Remember many a truth was and is said in
jest.  To this day, we find many indications that the Allies are not so
allied after all.

     You may ask, what does all of this have to do with Germany trying to
prosecute a CompuServe Executive?  Easy.. Germany itself, while trying to
offer the representation of being fully Democratic, is still very high on
the list of vigorous, to the point of zealous, nationalists.  Now, with
their ongoing attempts at asserting themselves in control of the `Net.(in
addition to world money markets, high technology markets and precious jewel
markets),  it becomes painfully clear that certain of is government people
never really learned a thing as a result of WWI & II except perhaps "how
not to lose again".  Do the research. check and see which nations have sold
more nuclear weapons, facilities, high tech weapons, chemical and
biological weapons than France and Germany.  Which nations have refused
cooperation with US peace enforcement efforts more than France.  Watching
the arrogance and nationalistic attitudes, its easy to shudder while
thinking, "are we damned to see history repeat itself?"  Is this the way
the ultimate control freaks are going to bring down the explosive
population growth of the world?  That's my opinion, I could be wrong.
What's yours?

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

                             Editor's MailBag

                    Messages * NOT EDITED * for content

                               BUYER BEWARE

Dear Editor:

I have it in writing that Packard Bell (PB) will not ensure that Office 97
will install and execute under Windows  95.  Further, PB will not give you
your money back in exchange for the return of their machine.  They may, out
of the goodness of hearts, help you or they may not.  How many people would
but a PB machine if they knew  Office 97 may not install and then they
would be stuck.

In June 1996 I purchased a PB system with a 133 MHz pentium, 32 mbs and
much more from Computer City  (who turns out to be owned by Tandy, as is
Radio Shack) in San Diego.  In January 1997 I purchased Office 97.   Every
attempt to install Office 97 produces a page fault in a kernel module.
Computer City said I must speak  with Microsoft or PB.  In four calls to PB
in Utah (all at my expense) PB told me it was not their problem but
Microsoft's since the problem was in Windows 95, finally telling to not to
call them anymore about this  problem.  Microsoft in seven telephone calls
(five at my expense) to Washington (state) tried to install about a  dozen
times in various ways over a one week period.   Microsoft told me several
times that the problem was  really PB's, because the OEM version of Windows
95 was different for each OEM.   Finally Microsoft told me  that Office 97
would not install on my machine.

Since I believe that under California law I am entitled to my money back if
Office 97 will not install, I wrote a  letter under my legal letterhead to
PB, Microsoft and Computer City.  Only PB responded, telling me orally and
subsequently in writing that PB does not guarantee that Office 97 will
install or execute on their machines.   Because (and only because) I had
written a letter PB was willing to help me in installing Office 97, but
would  not give me my money back under any circumstances.  I believe PB
must accept the machine and return my  money under California law. Since I
was no longer interested in retaining the PB system, I have filed suit
against PB, Microsoft and Tandy (doing business as Computer City).  The
court date is May 12, 1997.  Would  the results be interesting?

I believe all potential buyers of computer systems have a right to know
that PB will not ensure that Office 97  will will install and execute on a
properly configured machine.

Thank you for your attention.


David B. Himelstein

Kids Computing Corner
Frank Sereno, Editor

                        The Kids' Computing Corner
                    Computer news and software reviews
                       from a parent's point of view
                                In the News
                         A New Software Give-Away
As promised, The Kids' Computing Corner and the Silicon Times Report are
sponsoring another software give-away promotion.  Thanks to the fine people
at MECC, I have a copy of Storybook Weaver Deluxe to give a lucky reader.
This excellent program encourages children to develop their writing skills
and to express their creativity with words and pictures.  It's recommended
for children ages 6 and up, and the software comes on a hybrid format CD-
ROM for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

The rules are very simple.  Send an entry by e-mail to
or using the title Storybook.  Please include your correct
e-mail address.  Entries must be received by 12:01am, Thursday May 8, 1997.
The  winner  will  be  announced in the May 9th edition  of  the  magazine.
Winners  of  any  contests  held within the last 60  days  are  ineligible.
Taxes,  if any, are the responsibility of the winner.  So flood my mailbox,

Compton's Interactive Bible - New International VersionWindows CD-ROMRetail
                     Price $50Compton's NewMedia, Inc.
                           One Athenaeum Street
                            Cambridge, MA 02142

                           Program Requirements
                              OS:            Windows 3.1
                              CPU:           486DX/66
                              HD Space: 70k
                              Memory:        8 MB
                              Graphics:      640 x 480, 256 colors
                              CD-ROM:   Double-speed
                              Audio:         8-bit sound card
                              Optional: printer
Review by Angelo Marasco ( I get the
opportunity to review a piece of software that technically isn't children's
software but which is educational nonetheless.  Compton's Interactive Bible
falls into that category.

So your first question for me is probably, "How can a Bible program be
educational?"  Well, my answer is that I think it's quite tough to do.  For
a Christian, the Bible is always educational.  As Saint Paul wrote, "All
scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation,
for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs
to God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 4:16-17)
However, the fact that the Bible is educational does not necessarily make
Bible software educational.  Anyone can present the Bible.  The key is in
the way that it is presented.

Display is one aspect of presentation.  Let's look at the display first.
Compton's uses a "tableau" to display the Bible.  Three viewers display
various types of information, depending on which resources you have used
recently.  The text viewer always displays a scripture selection.  The
media viewer displays pictures and movies and plays audio.  The find viewer
usually shows the find engine that helps you to locate information.  Along
the left side of the screen runs the path bar which gives you push-button
access to most of the features of Compton's Interactive Bible.

Personally, I love the tableau layout.  It fits my style of research.  I
like to have access to a lot of information right at my fingertips.
However, I suspect that for some people the tableau layout may be just a
bit too busy.  It can get overwhelming when nearly every option available
in the software is in your face all at the same time.  Compton's does have
a "Preferences" option in the menu that allows you to alter the tableau
layout.  One option allows you to display two viewers instead of the
standard three.  Still, this doesn't clear up the screen all that much.

Another aspect of presentation is the accompanying resources.  What does
the program offer to help you study the Bible and to understand it so that
you get more out of it?  Compton's Interactive Bible contains a
concordance, a Topical Bible, expert texts, inspirational texts, a Bible
dictionary, a timeline, an atlas and multimedia.

A Bible concordance is a list of every word in the Bible with the book,
chapter and verse of each occurrence of the word.  Having the concordance
built into the program is really nice because all you have to do is click
on a hyper-linked verse and the Bible text pops up with the word you're
researching highlighted.  This cuts research time considerably.

The Topical Bible works in a manner similar to the concordance.  Enter a
word and the Topical Bible will present a list of topics in which the word
appears.  Select a topic and you receive a definition and hyper-linked
passages that deal with this topic.

Expert and inspirational introductions precede every book of the Bible.
The expert texts provide technical information on the books such as author,
date of writing, background, literary style, cross-references, outline,
etc.  The inspirational texts read like a teaching by a pastor or priest.
They provide an in-depth look at the message behind the book.  They also
provide suggestions on how to read the book and what to think about or
meditate on.  I was extremely impressed with the quality of the
inspirational texts.  To me they are a highlight of this software.

The Bible dictionary is pretty much self-explanatory.  However, the
definitions it gives aren't the standard, short definitions you might
expect.  What you get are a very thorough description and background of the
word you entered.  The definitions also include hyper-linked references to
Bible passages.

The timeline shows in a colorful and graphical way the time relationship
between different events in Judeo-Christian history.  It is divided into
Old Testament and New Testament periods.  These are further subdivided to
show different relationships and events.  For instance, the Old Testament
has timelines on the patriarchs, the united kingdom of Israel, the divided
kingdoms of Israel and Judea, the prophets and the exile and restoration.
The New Testament contains timelines on the life of Jesus and the early
Church.  Click on any item in the timelines and the program will present
you with texts from the Bible or one of the other resources that will give
you an in-depth look at this event.

The atlas presents you with fourteen maps which, like the timeline, are
related to different events and periods in Judeo-Christian history.  Among
these are maps of the land of the patriarchs, the kingdom of David and
Solomon, the Roman Empire, Jesus' ministry, Paul's missions and Jerusalem
in Jesus' time.  Some maps allow you to zoom into certain important areas.
If you pass the cursor arrow over a city's name and it lights up you can
click on that name and a dictionary entry with hyper-linked scripture
references pops up giving you in-depth information on that city.  The atlas
is a highly valuable feature and the maps are great, but I sure would like
to see some kind of legend showing distance scales and explanations for
some map region colors.

Finally, Compton's Interactive Bible contains plenty of multimedia
offerings.  There are many beautiful, crisp and clear photographs of art,
locations and nature.  Sounds include narrated introductions to every book
of the Bible, selected verse narrations and music.  The voices used to do
the narrations are beautiful and inspiring.  I'm sure that Compton's must
have used the finest voices available for narration because every one of
them is a pleasure to listen to.  The music is varied and interesting.  It
ranges from instrumental music of various ethnic backgrounds to spirituals
to choir music to acapella pieces.  One particularly inspiring piece that I
found and fell in love with is He Is Lord sung by the African Children's

Over a year ago, I reviewed a piece of software that included Compton's
Concise Encyclopedia in it.  At that time, my major complaint was the poor
quality music that was used.  Many, if not most, of the music selections
were played with a midi device but sounded like a cheap electronic organ.
What a pleasure and a huge improvement over the encyclopedia's music the
music in Compton's Interactive Bible is.  Every music selection is a live
recording.  Most are so long that they include the entire song!  Compton's
deserves recognition for the excellent work done in this area.

Also included in the multimedia are videos and narrated slide shows.  Both
cover various subjects such as Jerusalem, Abraham, Jesus, etc.  Again, the
voices used are wonderful to listen to.  The subjects covered are
interesting.  I was pleased to find that you can vary the playback size of
the videos and slides.

Three other features included in Compton's Interactive Bible are a journal,
a reading plan and a presentation maker.  The journal is a toned-down
version of a word processor that allows you to cut and paste verses from
the Bible and record your own comments and feelings.

The reading planner really impressed me.  Scripture study is very
important.  For Christians, it is the spiritual food that keeps our faith
alive.  The reading planner contains fifteen reading plans, thirteen of
them two-week plans.  The two-week plans cover such subjects as the life
and teachings of Jesus, the life and teachings of Paul, women in the Bible
and becoming a Christian.  One remaining plan is a six-month plan that
gives a general overview of all the books of the Bible, while the other is
a three-year plan to read every word of the Bible.

Choose a reading plan and you are presented with all the readings in that
plan hyper-linked so that you can simply click on each to access it in the
Bible. Boxes are provided where you can cross off each reading after you
have read it.  In addition, you can personalize your reading history with
your name and save it so that you always know what you've covered.

I was really impressed with the reading planner.  However, I was
disappointed with the lack of reading plans.  The Bible contains so much
richness of history and faith.  I would really appreciate having another
fifteen or twenty reading plans.

The last feature is the multimedia presentation maker.  You use the
presentation maker to produce slide shows with multimedia materials
contained in Compton's Interactive Bible.  Use the title editor to make
title frames.  Bookmark and import photographs and text selections from the
Bible.  Play video clips.  Adjust the playback timings.  What you end up
with is a presentation that reflects your style and knowledge.

At first, the multimedia presentation maker was extremely confusing.  A lot
is going on here!  However, after a while I got the hang of it and was able
to make a presentation that was reasonably understandable and actually made
a point.  It may take the kids quite a while to figure out this feature, if
they decide to use it at all.  Adults, on the other hand, especially those
involved in a ministry, can find the presentation maker a valuable and
often used feature.

I think we've covered graphics, sounds, interface and educational value
pretty well.  In my opinion, they all rank highly.  But what about play
value?  Can a Bible program possibly have any play value?  Of course, it
can!  I'd consider the play value good when I look forward to opening a
program just to browse through the features it contains, for no other
reason than to browse.  Compton's Interactive Bible isn't a game, though;
it's a tool.  However, using it is fun.

I have to give Compton's Interactive Bible a perfect bang for the buck
rating.  $50 is not a bad price to pay for so many features and so much
material.  It's a wonder that Compton's can fit this much material on a CD-
ROM.  For a limited time, Compton's NewMedia is including a copy of its
Children's Bible Stories title along with Compton's Interactive Bible - New
International Version.  In September, I reviewed Children's Bible Stories
for this column.  I found it to be a wonderful program, educational, full
of activities, colorful and faithful to the Bible.  Including it makes that
$50 price tag for Compton's Interactive Bible even more attractive.
Compton's Interactive Bible is well worth adding to your reference software

                       Microsoftr Home Essentials 97
                              Windows CD-ROM
                         Street price around $100
                           Program Requirements
                              OS:            Windows 95
                              CPU:           486/66
                              HD Space:      99 to 140 MB
                              Memory:        8 MB
                              Graphics:      640 x 480, 256 colors
                              CD-ROM:   Double-speed
                              Audio:         8-bit sound card
                              Optional: modem, printer

Review by Frank Sereno (

This software suite isn't necessarily essential for home computing use, but
this assortment of home productivity titles certainly adds versatility and
great value to your system.  Microsoft Home Essentials 97 covers the gamut
from gaming to reference to productivity and offers more than a little
something for everyone.

Let's start with the crowning glory of the package, Word 97.  This powerful
program is more than a word processor; it's a document publisher of the
highest degree.  You can easily produce newsletters, faxes, brochures and
more with Word 97's wizards and templates.  You can even create HTML
documents, import graphics and do so much more.  The many tools and online
documentation make creating the perfect document just a snap and a few
mouse clicks away.

The next most essential of this suite's programs is the Encarta
encyclopedia.  Microsoft only includes the "lite" version of the program on
a single CD-ROM.  While it doesn't have all the multimedia flare of the
deluxe version, it still offers an almost endless fountain of information.
The material is suitable for users of all ages.  Great graphics, fine
illustrations and concise, informative text make Encarta a pleasure to use.
Educate with Encarta.

Next, we take a peek at Microsoft Greetings Workshop.  This handy program
includes dozens of easily customizable cards that are suitable for all
occasions.  You can produce professional-quality greeting cards in only
minutes.  The interface for producing projects from scratch could use some
refinement, but most users will quickly learn the ropes.  The program
provides a cornucopia of images that will delight the eye or tickle your
funny bone.  Get creative with Microsoft Greetings Workshop.

Microsoft Works 4.0 provides an excellent software suite.  It would not be
unreasonable to expect to pay the price of Home Essentials 97 for just the
word processor, database and spreadsheet programs included in Works.  This
mini-suite of powerful applications will meet the needs of most home users
and many small business users as well.

Not only can you educate and create with Home Essentials 97, but you can
also recreate with the addition of Microsoft Arcade.  Five classic games
are available for play on your Windows system.  Choose from Tempest,
Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede and Missile Command.  These time-tested
games launched today's multi-billion dollar game industry.  These games are
faithfully reproduced including the fun factor.

Microsoft also includes Internet Explorer software and a free trial on the
Microsoft Network.  It's also backed by Microsoft's 30-Day satisfaction
guarantee.  Home Essentials 97 is an upgrade program meaning that you must
own one of a large number of products both from Microsoft and its
competitors.  It's hard to imagine a computer that wouldn't qualify this
product.  The price is extremely modest when you consider the value of all
the included software.  Word 97 alone costs as much as this entire package.
This bundle lets the user educate, create and recreate.  Home Essentials 97
is a great value and should be welcome in any home software library.

Special Notice!! STR Infofile       File format for Articles

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     If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call.    On
another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of
the line"  As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall
STReport.  All in the name of progress and improved readability.  The
amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced
issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition.  Besides,
STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility
dodge" we must move forward.

     However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII
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to stay.

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

                         Ralph F. Mariano,  Editor
                         STReport International Online Magazine

Classics & Gaming Section
Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

Alright, since there's not much brewing in the Atari world, let's finish up
our sample website and tutorial.  If you recall from last week, we added
some background graphics, links, and other enhancements.

This week, we'll put the finishing touches on our page by adding a couple
of pictures.  After all, if we're going to be discussing our fine-feathered
friend, Beau-Coo, why not provide our visitors with a picture or two!

Here's what we ended up with last week:

<TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE>
<BODY BACKGROUND="footprnt.gif" text=#0000FF link=#C00000 vlink=#FF00FF>
<H2>How Beau-Coo Gets Adopted!</H2>
This is some text to describe what an African Grey is, how I first "met"
Beau-Coo, and how it came about that we adopted him.
<H3><img src=r_ball.gif width=15 height=15> Parrot Links</H3>
<li><a href="">African Greys!</a>
<li><a href="">Parrot Lovers!</a>
<ADRESS><AU>Dana P. Jacobson</AU><BR>
E-Mail: <A HREF=""></a>
Copyright &copy; 1997 Dana P. Jacobson<BR>
<I>Created on April 09, 1997 at 21:00</I><BR>

What we want to do is allow our visitors to see pictures of Beau-Coo
early on in the page.  In this fashion, they'll be able to see "who"
we're talking about - our subject - right off of the bat.  So, we'll want
to add the appropriate HTML code.  I've found that will work well is to
code the pictures right after the background and text color commands.
Also, we'll place one picture on the left side of the page, and the other
on the right - with our title between the two.  So, let's do it.  From  our
original code, add the following lines:

<TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE>
<BODY BACKGROUND="footprnt.gif" text=#0000FF link=#C00000 vlink=#FF00FF>
<IMG SRC="beaucoo1.gif" ALIGN=left HEIGHT= 200 WIDTH= 200>
<IMG SRC="beaucoo2.gif" ALIGN=right HEIGHT= 200 WIDTH= 200>
<H1 ALIGN=CENTER>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</H1>

The picture "beaucoo1.gif" will be on the left and "beaucoo2.gif" will be
on the right, with "Beau-Coo, An African Grey" centered between the two
pictures.  He's now a star!

Let's put it all together!

<TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE>
<BODY BACKGROUND="footprnt.gif" text=#0000FF link=#C00000 vlink=#FF00FF>
<IMG SRC="beaucoo1.gif" ALIGN=left HEIGHT= 200 WIDTH= 200>
<IMG SRC="beaucoo2.gif" ALIGN=right HEIGHT= 200 WIDTH= 200>
<H1 ALIGN=CENTER>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</H1>
<H2>How Beau-Coo Gets Adopted!</H2>
This is some text to describe what an African Grey is, how I first "met"
Beau-Coo, and how it came about that we adopted him.
<H3><img src=r_ball.gif width=15 height=15> Parrot Links</H3>
<li><a href="">African Greys!</a>
<li><a href="">Parrot Lovers!</a>
<ADRESS><AU>Dana P. Jacobson</AU><BR>
E-Mail: <A HREF=""></a>
Copyright &copy; 1997 Dana P. Jacobson<BR>
<I>Created on April 09, 1997 at 21:00</I><BR>

In the coming weeks, we'll provide a listing of HTML commands and a variety
of other helpful tips and tools.  Have fun writing your own web pages!
Drop me a line with your website address when you have your page up; I'd
like to see how you did!

Until next time...

STR Nostalgia  Newsbytes NewsReel - 12 Years Ago This Week

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S.A., 1997 APR 16 (Newsbytes) -- By Nick Gorski.
Twelve years ago these Newsbytes stories were filed: Jackintosh Countdown;
PC 2 News; Digital Bites the Mac; and News From Japan! These stories were
taken from the extensive archives at the Newsbytes Website at

                           Jackintosh Countdown

Do we have liftoff? Maybe yes, maybe no. From week to week, the planned
release date of the Jackintosh (Atari ST) changes. Now it turns out that we
won't see it in stores (unspecified stores, that is) until at least July 1.
Only selected users groups will see it before then. Atari will be sending
STs for final debugging to the support channels. Are we holding our breath?
No. Meanwhile, Atari has officially announced it is building a
manufacturing facility in the Carson City area of Nevada and will
eventually move its headquarters there from Sunnyvale, California.

                                 PC 2 News

According to the California Technology Stock Letter, the PC 2 "will conform
to the Apple standard in every way." If true, IBM's newest member will look
like an Apple Macintosh with "small footprint, windows, icons, pull-down
menus, and a mouse." No word on when the PC 2 will be unveiled at this
writing, but sometime before the year 2001 would be a sure bet.

                           Digital Bites the Mac

Digital Research plans to make its GEM operating system available to PC
owners starting April 15. The $49.95 package enables users to see a
"directory" similar to Macintosh's icons, but once  a specific software
package is booted from the system, the icons disappear.

                              And From Japan

Newly privatized Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) has started
extending its reach to the personal computer field. NTT's new hybrid PC,
called Comexel, includes a telephone, 8088 central processing unit (CPU)
and runs under MS-DOS version 2.01. The features include   Telephone
Directory, Electronic Mailing with graphic and kanji, Multiple Mailing
(sending a  message to multiple numbers of users simultaneously), and
Personal Scheduler. The Drawing  Pad with handwriting features (letters and
pictures) is an optional feature. The list price is 870,000 yen (US$3,346).

                              Gaming Section

Iron Soldier 2 Ready!
VR Sports!
PSX Down Under!
Deadlock 2!
And more!

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

Well, it appears that Iron Soldier 2 for the Jaguar is just about ready to
be released, according to an announcement found on Telegames' website (see
below).  Problems with encryption and reproduction seem to have been the
cause for the delay.  The announcement mentions that the game will be
produced on CDRs (recordable CD).  It's our understanding that using CDRs,
as opposed to normal CDs, may present a problem for users in the not-too-
distant future.  I'm looking into this possibility and hope to learn more
to report next week.  If I understand correctly, the quality of CDRs
degrade over time and could be unusable after a few years - perhaps even
faster with extended use.  As I said, I hope to learn more about this type
of media and will report next week.

Until next time...

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

                 Sony Receives Complaint About Game Advert

APR 14, 1997, M2 Communications - Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has
received a complaint concerning its advertisement for a Sony Playstation
game which featured photographs of a boy with body tattoos pinned to the
wall.  Around the photographs was graffiti designed to resemble insane
ravings written in blood.  The complainant said that the advertisement was
violent, masochistic and unsuitable in a magazine read by children.  Sony
claimed that the advertisement for the computer game Tekken 2 -- which is
based on a martial arts competition -- was crucial for consumers to
understand the plot of the game.  The ASA decided that the advertisement
was violent and unacceptable.

            Australia - PlayStation Gaming Gets Deadly Serious

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 1997 APR 16 (Newsbytes) -- By Stuart Kennedy, Computer
Daily News. Sony is getting serious about moving PlayStation kits into
Australia in large numbers.  The company has spun off a full-blown
subsidiary called Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCEA) to
distribute PlayStation boxes, software and add ons.   Michael Ephraim, as
SCEA managing director, will manage a staff of 26 at digs in Sydney's
inner-city Surry Hills. The PlayStation recently took an Australian price
hack to A$299 in order to better combat the new Nintendo 64 game box and
Ephraim will no doubt be needing to surmount some sturdy sales targets.
Sony says it sold 113,000 PlayStation units in Australia in 1996-97.

                Prepare to Join the Survivors of Gallius IV

SAN JOSE, CALIF. (April 15) BUSINESS WIRE -April 15, 1997--One of the top
selling turn-based PC strategy games of last year, Deadlock(TM), prepares
its return in Accolade's Deadlock 2(TM).   "Deadlock was one of our best
selling titles last year," said Jim Barnett, president and CEO of Accolade
Inc.  "Our customers asked us to deliver a sequel that was even bigger and
better.  As a result, we created Deadlock 2."

In the first edition of Deadlock, the player's goal was to conquer Gallius
IV.  Deadlock 2 takes place in the aftermath of the Gallius IV struggle.
During the resulting settlement of Gallius IV by the victor, many alien
shrines were discovered -- created by a mysterious race known as the
Ancients.  These shrines hold the secret to the location of the Ancient's
homeworld.  In Deadlock 2, players must prepare to risk all as they play a
linked campaign taking them from planet to planet through the galaxy on a
quest to find this valuable homeworld.

Deadlock 2 will feature all new campaign play with 42 scenarios including
hidden maps, separate campaign goals for different races, two new types of
victory conditions, including alliances between players or a win-by-combat
mode, greatly enhanced combat featuring nine new types of combat units,
including submarines, surface vessels, and air units, a fully featured map
editor, revised streamlined interface, and enhanced alien characters,
graphics, and cinematics. The game will also feature 14 new types of
buildings, a completely revised technology tree with 13 new types of
technologies, and vastly improved AI.

Also returning to the Deadlock series will be the challenging multiplayer
capabilities that made the original game such a success. Deadlock 2 will be
playable via LAN, modem and Internet.

Deadlock 2 will be available this holiday season for personal computers
running Windows 95.

              VR Sports Granted NHL(R) And NHLPA(R) Licenses
                   VR Hockey '98(TM) Set for Next Season

IRVINE, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- VR Sports, the sports division of
Interplay Productions, announced today that the National Hockey League and
the National Hockey League Players Association have awarded VR Sports
official licenses to develop interactive hockey simulations for personal
computers and console systems.  VR Sports is one of the select few who have
both the NHL and NHLPA licenses for its VR Hockey '98(TM).  The game is
scheduled to be released during the 1997-1998 NHL season.

"VR Sports is proud to continue their successful penetration of the sports
video game category with two more professional sports licenses," said Paul
Sackman, director of sports marketing for VR Sports.  "The NHL and the NHL
Player's popularity is rapidly growing each year and we promise a few
surprises with VR Hockey '98."

VR Sports just released VR Baseball '97(TM) which has the complete license
from both Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players
Association. The game utilizes Virtual FieldVision(TM): an unlimited,
real-time, 360 degree, 3D world that lets players view the action from any
perspective, even first-person, and is currently available for PlayStation
with the Win'95(TM) version releasing in July of 1997.

              Virgin Interactive Announces More Than 25 Games

IRVINE, CALIF. (April 16) BUSINESS WIRE -April 16, 1997--Virgin Interactive
(VI), one of the world's leading interactive entertainment publishers,
today announced that it has more than 25 console and computer game titles
currently in development for release in 1997 and 1998.  The company will
showcase many of these titles including NHL POWERPLAY '98 (Sony
PlayStation, PC), HELLRACER (Sony PlayStation, PC) and SABRE ACE (PC) at
the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Atlanta this June.

"Virgin Interactive has a very solid, high quality line-up of titles for
all the major gaming platforms in 1997 and 1998," said Martin Alper,
chairman of Virgin Interactive.  "The streamlined product slate that we
will showcase at E3 will clearly illustrate our very real, company-wide
charter to deliver only AA games for every viable platform."

VI has recently begun implementing one of the interactive entertainment
industry's most demanding quality control programs for video and computer
game software.  The company's review board, comprised of its top
international executives in both product development and marketing, closely
monitors each product throughout the development cycle to ensure that it
will meet the tough demands of its gamer audience.  The product review
board evaluates products for release both domestically and in Europe, where
VI is one of the continent's most successful publishers.

The 25 plus games currently on VI's production slate span across multiple
genres, including racing, flight simulation, sports, action and role
playing.  Game development is handled through external developers, the
company's Las Vegas-based Westwood Studios and in-house at Virgin's Irvine
headquarters.  At this years E3, VI's product line up will include, among

                      Sabre Ace: Conflict Over Korea

SABRE ACE: CONFLICT OVER KOREA delivers the ultimate combination of
realistic flight simulation and immersive combat missions.  Players can fly
five different aircraft used in the Korean War, aiming to advance their
U.S. or Soviet air force careers by successfully completing a series of
compelling missions.  The games advanced artificial intelligence enables
the player to interact simultaneously with up to 16 planes, all of which
react realistically and strategically correct, creating an unpredictable
experience during each gameplay session.

                             NHL Powerplay '98

NHL POWERPLAY '98, the sequel to the critically acclaimed NHL POWERPLAY '96
game, will be available at the start of this year's season in September.
Gamers will step into the skates of the NHL's greatest talents -- skating,
fighting and hooking their way down the ice toward the goal.  Once in
scoring position, players go head-to-head with goalies who take on the
characteristics of their real-life counterparts to ward off every attempted
fake-shot, stumble pass and dump-in. On-the-fly 3D environments and
motion-captured 3D animated players are featured on both platforms.  Gamers
can track stats over a season, create and trade players and live the
ultimate hockey fantasy in NHL POWERPLAY '98.


Gamers will strap themselves into the cockpit of a lightning-fast,
ground-skimming custom ship in HELLRACER, the only true free-environment 3D
racing game for the PlayStation.  Players can blaze their own trails
through five planets and 23 race circuits while battling up to 15 other
drivers and a variety of police ships. With multiple terrains and
challenging environments, gamers experience the white-knuckle thrill of
tearing through a scorching hot molten lava world, of navigating through a
rough and rocky mountain course and ripping through the narrow, winding
desert canyon environment at speeds in excess of 800 mph.  The first racer
to cross the finish line is rewarded through HellRacer's unprecedented
upgrading system, which allows racers to invest in speed-altering engine
power-ups, hard-hitting weaponry and to enter HellRacer's amazing bonus

            "Broken Sword:  The Smoking Mirror" (Working Title)

Embark on an international adventure in BROKEN SWORD: THE SMOKING MIRROR.
Gamers will unravel a tightly spun web of danger and deception in this
suspense-laden adventure, which features superb graphics, an engrossing
storyline and stunning backgrounds.  In BROKEN SWORD: THE SMOKING MIRROR,
players must solve a multitude of intriguing puzzles to propel them through
exotic locales and ultimately back more than one thousand years to uncover
a great Mayan struggle for power and riches.   Virgin Interactive will also
be showcasing hot new titles from Westwood Studios including LANDS OF LORE

             THQ Scores Knockout With "K-1 The Arena Fighters"

CALABASAS, CALIF. (April 17) BUSINESS WIRE -April 17, 1997-- Game features
ability to train and fight combatants, signature moves from star athletes
of kickboxing, karate, kung fu, kempo.  THQ Inc. (Nasdaq/NM:THQI) is
jumping into the martial-arts ring to deliver the fiercest fighting game
for the Sony PlayStation with "K-1 The Arena Fighters," available now.

The title, which uses motion-capture technology, combines high-impact,
fast-action martial arts and kickboxing to create the most realistic
fighting game available for 32-bit systems.  "K-1 The Arena Fighters,"
developed by XING Entertainment of Japan, is based on the K-1 Grand Prix
competition sponsored by K-1, the official international governing body for
matches involving various martial-arts styles, including kickboxing,
karate, kung fu and kempo.  The video game utilizes the official K-1
fighting rules and techniques throughout the game.

"By incorporating an innovative AI feature that allows players to train and
challenge their own fighter, and the official rules and regulations of K-1,
gamers, as well as fans of kickboxing, can get down and dirty with one of
the most real-to-life martial-arts games available," said Germaine Gioia,
vice president, marketing, THQ.

Featuring eight actual martial-arts fighters, including Andy Hug, Chang
Puek Kiatsongrit, Ernesto Hoost, Jerome Le Banner, Mike Bernardo, Musashi,
Peter Aerts and Sam Greco, enthusiasts can slug it out as their favorite
player, employing each fighter's own style and signature moves.

"We developed 'K-1 The Arena Fighters' with the intention of taking the top
athletes of kickboxing, karate and kung fu and including each fighter's own
signature move so players would be able to recognize and play each
character as if they were watching a real match," said Yoshio Kimura, vice
president, entertainment division, XING of Japan.

Players have a choice of backgrounds, including 2-D or 3-D arenas.  An
intelligent 360-degree roving camera gives constantly changing multiple
viewpoints to catch every angle of the fight. Additionally, an
instant-replay feature relives the highlights of each match.

Fans can choose from four fighting modes of play:  "One Player," which
allows a player to box against computer-controlled opponents; "VS," which
lets enthusiasts face off against a friend; "Tournament, " which pits
matchups between up to eight players; and "Team Battle  Mode," where
players can choose three of their favorite athletes to take on three
opponents.  The first team to win two matches is champion.

A unique AI feature gives players the ability to customize and train their
own fighter.  By setting the learning level of their fighter on one of
eight different categories, fans can train him to respond to certain
attacks in specific ways, challenging their friends' best prospects or
battling him themselves for the ultimate fighting experience.  Enthusiasts
can then pit their fighter against both computer-controlled and
human-controlled opponents.  A skilled human opponent may have a lot more
to teach.

Matches will be scored by punches, kicks, knees and trick moves and will
score points only if they cause damage to the opponent. Defense will never
earn points.  A fighter will be knocked out when he receives a blow that
brings his life gauge, the fighter's physical-strength level, below zero.
He'll lose by technical knockout if he is knocked down three times during
one round.

The Options screen gives players the chance to alter official rules and set
different parameters  for the K-1 matches.  They will be able to set the
difficulty level of their opponents, choose the number of rounds in each
match, set the number of knockouts in one round that will result in a TKO,
set the length of each round and have matches judged by physical-strength
level or by points.  "K-1 The Arena Fighters" is available in all major
retail outlets for a suggested retail price of $49.95.

Jaguar Online STR InfoFile    -    Online Users Growl & Purr!

>From Telegames [] via CIS' Atari Gaming Forum's Larry

                          Iron Soldier 2 Resolved

The projected release date of Iron Soldier 2 (CD) for Jaguar had been
delayed due to a CD replication problem. Although Atari's "officially"
licensed replicator has had the gold masters of IS2 since February 20th,
they have been unable to create problem free glass masters that are
required for mass production. Their problems are partly related to the
sophisticated security encryption on the Jag CDs.

We have come to the conclusion that the only way to make Iron Soldier 2
available is to program the product on CD-R media rather than mass
replicate CDs. We have already undertaken this expensive and time consuming
solution and project that sufficient quantities should be available for
release by April 29th.  Since this method of production costs even more
than cartridge manufacturing, we are only making a quantity that is
estimated to cover initial demand.

Accordingly, we would encourage you to order your copy from your local
Atari dealer, or Electronics Boutique, or directly from Telegames as soon
as possible to ensure that you are able to get the best product ever
released for Jaguar.  We thank you for your patience and continued support
of Jaguar.

ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!

                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

 On CompuServe

Compiled by Joe Mirando

     Hidi Ho friends and neighbors.  Well, I had a bit of a false alarm
this week.  I thought that I had finally nailed down the problem that I've
been having with using MiNTnet to get a PPP connection so that I could
access the  Web via CompuServe.  I thought that the problem was that MiNT
just doesn't like large partitions.  You see,  when my MiNT/PPP/CAB
partition had become so corrupted that I could no longer straighten it out,
I decided  to reformat the hard drive that it was on and start over.  On a
whim I formatted the drive into three partitions which were all below the
maximum GEM size limit.  I re-loaded the programs and configurations and,
ba-da- bing, it worked like a charm.  I surfed the net from right here on
CompuServe for several days without a single  incident.  Life was good and
I was ready to send copies of my setup to one or two of my good online
friends  who had asked me to do so.

     Then a terrible thing happened.  My first bad FAT.  Then a second.
Then a bad file copy.  Then another bad  FAT.  I'm sorry folks, but I just
can't nail this puppy down to where I can say "Go ahead and use it!  It
works without any problems at all".

     My best advice to anyone who wants to take a swing at this is to have
a separate hard drive to use PPPKIT on.   When it works, it DOES work.  I'm
quite happy with it when it's doing what its supposed to.  I've conversed
with the author of PPPKIT, who set it up for use on his Falcon030, and he
can't figure it out either.  I _will_  keep working on  it because I think
that it is quite an achievement and deserves a fair shake.  If there are
folks  out there who would rather muck about in all of these scripts,
configurations, and MiNT programs than send  away for a package that
promises "no-brainer" installation, this is the way to go.  There are
plenty of things in  PPPKIT that you can configure and modify, but none of
them require that special kind of arcane knowledge that comes only with
years of programming for MiNT.  You simply need to read the documentation
quite carefully and go from there.

  If you'd like to try messing around with MiNTnet and PPP connections but
can't find PPPKIT anywhere, drop me some email and when I get finished
writing my own mini-documentation for the installation I'll send you a copy
of both the original PPPKIT archive and my install docs.

  Well, let's take a look at what's going on over at CompuServe.

                    From the Atari Forums on CompuServe

Last week Stefan Szelecsenyi asked if it was possible to run a PC program
on an Atari ST simply by changing  the file type from EXE to PRG. This week
Sysop Bob Retelle tells Stefan:

"Files that have the filename extension of  .EXE  are IBM files   and will
*ONLY* run on an IBM.

Likewise, files with the  .PRG  extension are Atari files and will only run
on an Atari.

You shouldn't change the name (by renaming the file or downloading with a
different filename) because the file still won't run on the other kind of
computer, and it will just confuse the system.

  Almost all of the files we have in the software libraries here in
  the Atari Forums are for Atari computers, so you can download them
  with an IBM system (but keep the Atari filename the same as it is
  in the library), then transfer the files to your Atari on a floppy

Actually, there are instances when Atari programs will have EXE
extensions (NeoDesk is an example), but they are exceptions and have
been specially configured.  The are NOT PC programs running on an ST,
they are special ST programs.

Gunter Zerweck asks:
  "Does CIS offer the option for Atari users (who can't make use of
  Compuserve's homepage wizard) to upload a homepage via a CIS FTP

Gee, I guess Gunter doesn't read this column, does he? <grin>  I made
mention of this little fact several weeks ago.  Sysop Jim Ness _might_
read this column, because he tells Gunter:
  "Sorry, no, the only way to upload a member page is to use the
  Home Page Wizard software."

Dennis Larson tells us a bit about Outburst and Jetspeed:
  "These are two commercially available programs which are designed
  to greatly improve printing speed, especially with inkjet/bubblejet
  and laser printers (although there may be some improvement with dot
  matrix as well).  The newer high speed printers can accept data
  much faster than sent by the TOS printer driver (which came in ROM)
  of the ST.  This becomes significant with graphic dumps to the
  printer (much moreso than ascii dumps, with use the printer's
  internal fonts).  I don't know anything about stylus printers, so
  I'm can say about thosed.

  Author's speed improvement claims for full page graphics:

      for Pagestream "printing page" time (sec):
  PRINTER     TOS   OutburST!
  HP Lasetjet 4   323   10
  HP LaserJet IIIP    323   13
  Deskjet 500     323   28
  Canon BJ200     207   44

  for various applications with HP 4 printer (typical, in secs):
  Application     TOS   OutburST!
  Calamus SL      232   136
  AtariWorks      371   111
  Calamus 1.09    245   116
  Papyrus     423   237

  I have only used AtariWorks (with an Epson ActionLaser 1500 in
  HPIIIsi emulation mode) and can vouch for a _dramatic_ improvement
  in printing speed - enough to actually make AtariWorks usuable!

  OutburST! 3.3 printout accelerator (about $35.?)

  JetSpeed (aobut $20.?) - custom GDOS printer driver for use with
  GDOS and SpeedoGDOS programs, replaces regular driver for improved
  print speed and resolution.  Can be used with or without OutBurST!
  (most effective with).  Both are compatible with NVDI and Warp9,
  and written by Frank Pawlowski at:

    Straight Edge Software
    PO Box 6407
    Nashua, NH  03063

  PH. 603-672-8150 GENIE:  F.PAWLOWSKI Internet:

  I got mine through TOAD Computers, and received my last upgrade
  from Frank in 1995, so I'm not sure the address/phone info above is
  still valid - give it a try.

  All you ever wanted to know, and more! <grin>"

Mark Showalter asks:
  "Can anyone tell me how to use the Clipboard? I have two different
  prg's, a SHOWCLIP.ACC, & CLIPBOARD.prg & CLIP.prg, & some others
  like: CLIP H & CLIP C. How do these things work? I've printed out
  the doc's, but I just don't seem to be getting it. I have a 1040
  Ste w/ 2.06 & 4 meg. I'm also trying to use XCONTROL: I notice
  there's a CPX called Clipboard Manager. Must this be used also?"

Joe Villarreal tells Mark:
  "Since you are using TOS 2.06, you can just create a folder called
  CLIPBRD and then configure the Clipboard CPX to this folder and
  whether you want the clipboard file deleted on bootup.  Some
  programs use the clipboard; a file called SCRAP.TXT will be created
  which you can use later from the program. You shouldn't need the
  other clipboard programs."

A few weeks ago Gary Partington asked about his keyboard, which was
giving off an annoying "sizzling" sound.  This isn't really the kind of
thing you take for granted, so Simon Churchill gave him a few tips and
pointers.  Gary now tells Simon:

  "I didn't have any luck with the keyboard but as I had a spare I am
  using it. The repaired power supply has been installed and the
  'sizzling' noise has stopped! The 'beep-beep' noise on power up has
  also stopped but not when the power supply was swapped, just after
  a few weeks of normal use! So - it looks like everything is working
  at the moment but who knows for how long!! I now have a copy of
  Pagestream and Timeworks but no manuals - I don't suppose you might
  know where I could get some literature on either of these DTP's?"

Simon tells Gary:
  "Glad to hear your ST is back on it's feet.  As for literature for
  the two DTP's, no I can't think of anywhere where you might get
  any.  Timework's has it's own online help, it's not much but it's a
  start.  It's also quite easy to use once setup, I have V2.04 and no
  manual's and have no problem's working it.  As for Pagestream, it's
  not a package I have, you will have to give a general post and see
  if any Pagestream user's can help you...

  I've been on the web for the last hour, found a few thing's atari
  and have found the following.  You can get a program called Page
  Assistant, it's for pagestream and gives you an online help system.
  Toad sell it as well as Version 2.2 of pagestream.  It will cost

  If you can get on the web go to:

  It's a good place to visit, Toad seem's to run it/back it and you
  can order online.  Hope this is of interest."

When James DeVoge asks about where to get a replacement mouse for his
ST, Sysop Bob Retelle tells him:
  "I have a "Best Mouse" on my STe that I got from Best
  Electronics.. (408) 243-6950

  I'm not sure if they're still selling them or not, but it's one of
  the best mice I've ever used (no pun intended..!   :)

  If you'd like to try using a standard IBM style mouse, we have
  some text files in our software library here which detail some
  members' experiences.. just search using  IBM  and  MOUSE  as

  I believe there are files showing how to modify an IBM "bus mouse"
  to work on the Atari mouse port, and how to use an unmodified IBM
  serial mouse on the ST serial port (which requires a software

Yes folks, Best Electronics does still sell the BEST mouse, as well as
my personal favorite, the BEST TrackBall.  If you need a part or add-on
for your ST, give BEST a call.  It's the _best_ place to start looking.

Kevin Tekel asks:
  "Whatever happened to the Atari 130ST? Was it just a prototype for
  the 520ST?  (With 128 Kb of RAM, I presume?) Or was it actually
  sold? I remember seeing an article on it in a 1985 issue of
  Creative Computing magazine.


  I'm looking for a good Atari-brand monitor for my 520ST. What was
  the best one they made? The SC1224?"

Albert Dayes tells Kevin:
  "The 130ST never came out. Both the 520ST and the 130ST were
  supposed to come out. I assume they figured the price of the 130ST
  would not be that much different than the 520ST from a
  manufacturing point of view.

  As for Atari monitors ... I believe the best color monitor was the
  original 1224 color monitors (JVC models I think). You can probably
  contact an Atari dealer like Toad Computers to see what is
  available. You might also look around for a used monitor also."

Well folks, that's it for this week.  Keep those (email) cards and letters
coming.  And be ready to listen to what they are saying when...

                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING

                            EDITORIAL  QUICKIES

                           Ve get too soon uld..
                           Und too late schmart!

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         STReport  "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE"   April 18, 1997
      Since 1987  Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved   Issue No. 1316

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