ST Report: 21-Aug-98 #1427

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/07/98-09:48:34 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 21-Aug-98 #1427
Date: Mon Sep  7 21:48:34 1998

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 August 21, 1998                                                   No.1427

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                     "Often Imitated, Never Surpassed!"

- Email Flaws Discovered    - They're BACK! CDAII     - AOL 4.0 goes GOLD
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  From the Editor's Desk...

  We are now "laying courses in uncharted territory".  By that I mean
  dealing with manufacturers who've been around for quite a while and
  have probably experienced many things in the business community.  But
  NOT necessarily in the computing community.  How many folks do you know
  who now use a laptop computer on their boats?   Our new feature column,
  Bits & Bytes, begins with this issue and already its proven to be an
  exciting learning experience for this writer and those who are choosing
  to support the venture.  Some of the companies we approached for review
  materials were eager to cooperate and help.  They include Northstar,
  Garmin, Furuno, Raytheon, Simrad, Navionics, Maptech, Nautical Software
  ChartView Professional, Saltwater Software, Fishnet, to name but a few.
    I might add this is only the beginning.. most folks agree the
  "hands-on" approach is the best way to reach the market.  Sort of like
  a "mini or, personal showing".  The personal touch coupled with the
  computing aspect is a sure winner.  Computers one can tuck under their
  arm and still call total desktop replacements are a reality now.
  Powerful, lightweight, low power demand computers are here today.
  These laptops, interfaced with Radar, DGPS, Charters/Plotters and
  Sounders while still controlling many onboard items and functions with
  soon prove to be the coming wave of Boating/Yachting/Shipping
  Navigational Safety/Maintenance/Efficiency and vessel control.   Soon,
  no responsible Captain would be without a laptop computer on board as a
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  STReport has been serving the computing community from well before it
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  related enterprises, both large and small, come and go because they
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  Electronics World and Computing.   Its practically "virgin territory".
  The marine recreational areas and computer electronics is now a slowly
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  Bits & Bytes is going to be a bunch of fun for both us and you.  You
  see, I've been an avid boater from my toddler years and its not slowed
  a bit.  In fact, in my younger years, I operated my own 50' Charter
  fishing boat and a few of the 100'+ Party Fishing Boats in the summer
  months out of Sheepshead Bay. I was in my glory.   Strangely though, I
  never realized it.  As fate, destiny and a need to feed a family, there
  were six of us; four boys and my wife and I, would have it, I went on
  to "bigger and better".  Now some thirty odd years later, I find myself
  back with my true love, involved in the marine world again.  As part of
  the articles and reviews to be done, I'll try to offer snippets of my
  experiences from my earlier marine years and how they relate to today's
  marine experiences as far as family fun, navigational, safety and
  sportfishing is concerned.   Bits & Bytes is gonna be fun for me, I'll
  do my best to make it so for you.






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                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                         E-Mail Security Flaw Found

 A flaw in three popular e-mail programs made by Netscape and Microsoft
 gives hackers the ability to send viruses that could crash computers or
 mangle data, computer experts say. No such attacks have been reported,
 but experts fear millions of computer users will need to upgrade their
 software to keep their systems safe. "This is something that goes right
 to the soft, chewy inside of your computer," computer consultant Russ
 Cooper of Lindsey, Ontario, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. The flaw
 allows any outsider to send a booby-trapped message that could erase a
 computer's hard drive or even steal information. Most e-mail attacks
 involve attachments that are harmless unless the user runs the attached
 program. The new flaw, however, cannot be so easily avoided. In some test
 cases, simply trying to delete e-mail activated the attack.

 The attacks cannot be guarded against with "firewalls" or anti-viral
 software, two widely used security methods. Finnish researchers
 discovered the problem last month. So far, tests have shown its presence
 in three programs widely used to read electronic mail: Microsoft Corp.'s
 Outlook Express and Outlook 98 and Netscape Communications Corp.'s
 current Web browser, Communicator. Netscape and Microsoft have been
 informed of the problem. Microsoft has devised a software patch that is
 now available at its Web site. Netscape's patch is expected soon at its
 Web site.

 "We're definitely not taking this lightly," Microsoft group product
 manager George Meng told the San Jose Mercury News. "There definitely is
 a scenario in which someone could do damage to people's systems."
 Microsoft, on its Web site, said the flaw affects versions of Outlook
 Express shipped with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or 4.01 on Windows
 98, Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT for DEC Alpha, as well as
 Windows versions for Macintosh or UNIX machines. The company said users
 of the Windows 3.1 and Windows NT 3.51 operating systems are not

                  Beware Of Mysterious E-mail, Experts Say

 You might think twice about opening a package that arrives in the mail
 from an unknown sender. But do you take the same precautions with your
 e-mail? Experts as well as the companies that make e-mail programs, say
 you should, to protect your computer files from a new security flaw that
 has been discovered, as well as other potential attacks by computer

 Their warnings followed the discovery of a hole in some of the most
 popular e-mail programs, which some experts consider the biggest computer
 security problem to surface in a decade. The problem was first reported
 this week in the San Jose Mercury News, which serves California's Silicon
 Valley. The paper said there was a "gaping hole" in the e-mail programs
 made by Microsoft and Netscape Communications.

 The flaw, discovered by computer security experts in Finland, affects two
 Microsoft e-mail programs -- Outlook Express and Outlook 98 -- as well as
 Netscape's Web browser. Although both companies moved quickly to correct
 the problem, they added that people should know about some of the hazards
 inherent in using e-mail -- probably the most popular Internet
 application for home and business users -- and think twice about reading
 files from unknown senders. Microsoft said it had posted a "patch" to
 correct the flaw and had more information available on its Web site (

 Netscape said it was working on a patch and should have one available in
 two weeks. Both companies emphasized that there had been no reports of an
 actual hacker attack through the hole, which was detected in a lab
 setting by experts who routinely scan computer programs looking for bugs.

 The flaw was found last month by the Secure Programming Group at Oulu
 University in Finland. It has alarmed some experts because it appears to
 be a comparatively easy way to execute an attack. Tests found hackers
 could get to users' files as soon as the user tried to delete an
 offending message. The problem is with e-mail "attachments," commonly
 used in electronic correspondence to send background files or additional
 information. But unlike other flaws, which allow attacks only when the
 user actually runs the offending attachment, users with this flaw in
 their systems could potentially be attacked without even opening the

 "The implications and the repercussions could be so powerful and
 long-lasting that if you don't address it immediately, you run the risk
 of the problem cascading," Mike Nelson, a computer industry consultant
 who previously worked for the security firm Pretty Good Privacy, told
 Reuters. One problem with a flaw in e-mail systems is that it cannot be
 corrected centrally. Even after companies come out with a fix, it is up
 to individual users to hear about it and take the time to install it.

 "It is serious to the extent that e-mail is a widely used application,"
 said George Meng, Group Product Manager at Microsoft Office. "If somebody
 could maliciously send an e-mail to do damage, there are a lot of people
 who could potentially be affected."

 "It's the same as not locking your car," Shipley said."(The precautions
 people can take) with e-mail are literally that simple. And if they don't
 take them, either they are afraid of their computers, or they are lazy."
 Dave Rothschild, vice president of Client Products at Netscape, said the
 company advises e-mail users not to read attachments from unknown
 senders. As an alternative, users receiving a mysterious attachment may
 write back to the sender and ask them to resend it in the main body of
 the text.

             New Bills Raise Challenges for Internet Advocates

 In a move that critics say seriously threatens the right to free
 expression on the Web, the US Senate passed legislation recently that
 would restrict access to certain Internet material deemed "harmful to
 minors." The senate bill, sponsored by Senator Dan Coats (R-Indiana),
 also known as the "CDA II" bill, "would punish commercial online
 distributors of material deemed harmful to minors with up to six months
 in jail and a $50,000 fine."

 Meanwhile, a bill by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), requires that
 schools and libraries use blocking and filtering software on public-use
 computers in order to block children's access to "inappropriate"
 materials. Both bills were passed as a part of the Appropriations Bill
 last week, after a unanimous vote by the Senate earlier in the week to
 add them as amendments to that bill.

 Barry Steinhardt, president of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said
 that CDA II makes a lot of the same mistakes as the original
 Communications Decency Act, which was defeated last year after a
 nationwide campaign against it led by civil liberties organizations and
 free speech advocates.

 That campaign -- famous for the "Blue Ribbon" image that, starting in
 1996, graced thousands of Web sites-marked the most widespread online
 political protest in history. "The CDA II bill looks harmless, but it's a
 Trojan horse," said Steinhardt. "It's meant to apply only to commercial
 pornographic Web sites, but because of the ambiguous language of the
 bill, it will end up coincidentally affecting other commercial sites,
 such as or even our own Web site at the foundation," he said.

 David Crane, press secretary for Senator Coats, disagrees. "The Coats
 bill is not prohibitive, it does not ban anything," Crane said. "It
 merely requires that Web sites that contain material deemed 'harmful to
 minors' use methods that restrict access, such as use of a credit card,
 adult access code, etc." Ari Schwartz, policy analyst for the Center for
 Democracy and Technology, said the problem lies in precisely defining
 what exactly constitutes material "harmful to minors."

 "There is no useful legal test that exists to define what is 'harmful to
 minors,' that will not accidentally restrict harmless material in the
 process," said Schwartz. The McCain bill is also aimed at restricting
 access to pornography, but is specifically concerned with restricting
 minors from accessing the Internet at libraries and schools.

 "At home, parents can be in charge of what their children see or don't
 see on the Internet," said McCain's press secretary, Pia Pialorsi. "But
 in public places like a library or school, there have to be other filters
 in place."

 But those "other filters" -- the blocking and filtering software
 currently available -- are crude and overbroad, said Steinhardt. They
 inadvertently end up blocking access to sites such as the Quaker
 homepage, or the American Association of University Women, he said. "You
 can no more create a computer program to block out one community's view
 of 'indecency' or 'obscenity' than you can devise a filtering program to
 block out misguided proposals by members of Congress," Steinhardt wrote
 in an EFF statement. "Both may be desirable, but neither are possible."

 But Pialorsi said that McCain and supporters of his bill are aware of the
 technological limitations of existing filtering software, and hope to
 ameliorate that with the help of staffers at schools and libraries. "We
 encourage administrators in schools and libraries to take a hands-on
 approach in this, and want to let them determine which sites are
 objectionable or not, and how they will block them and which sites they
 will not block," Pialorsi said.

                  Microsoft Told To Hand Over Windows Code

 A federal judge has ordered Microsoft to hand over source code to its
 Windows 95 and other operating systems in a lawsuit being pressed by a
 small Utah-based software company, officials said Wednesday. Officials of
 the company, Caldera, said the code would help prove their claim that
 Microsoft had illegally restricted the ability of its DR-DOS computer
 operating system to compete in a market increasingly dominated by the
 Microsoft systems.

 At the same time U.S. Magistrate Ron Boyce also ordered Microsoft rival
 Novell, which sold Caldera the rights to DR-DOS, to hand over thousands
 of related documents to Microsoft. The source code, which is closely
 guarded by Microsoft as some of its most valuable intellectual property,
 will be handed over only to Caldera lawyers and outside experts and not
 to Caldera executives.

 Caldera Chief Executive Officer Bryan Sparks said the source code, which
 includes programmer notes, could shed light on the company's claim that
 Windows 95 was illegally tied to Microsoft's version of the old DOS
 operating system and squeezed DR-DOS out of the market. Microsoft
 spokesman Jim Cullinan said the company always had intended to hand over
 the relevant parts of the source code demanded by Caldera.

 "All we were looking for was protection for our confidential information
 and our trade secrets," he said. "Once that was in place we felt very
 comfortable about giving it over." Caldera, mostly owned by longtime
 Microsoft nemesis Ray Noorda, sued Microsoft in July 1996, shortly after
 it acquired the rights to the DR-DOS operating system from Novell, which
 Noorda founded and ran until his retirement in 1994. A trial in the case
 is scheduled for June 1999.

                Former Employee Says Acer Bowed To Microsoft

 Pressure tactics by Microsoft often led computer maker Acer America Corp.
 to use the software giant's products instead of its competitors',
 according to a former Acer product manager. Ricardo Correa said in a
 series of interviews with Reuters that in making three separate software
 decisions, Acer opted to put Microsoft applications on its consumer line
 of computers to satisfy Microsoft.

 Acer and Microsoft denied Correa's claims and said the charges come from
 a disgruntled employee. But the allegations emerge at a sensitive time as
 the U.S. government presses ahead with a major antitrust case against
 Microsoft charging that the giant software company uses strong- arm
 tactics to dominate the market.

 Whether Acer and other computer makers live in a climate of fear that
 drives them to seek safe relationships with Microsoft is a key focus of
 the government's probe of Microsoft. The Justice Department declined
 comment on Correa's allegations. Few industry insiders have been willing
 to be quoted publicly on the details of their dealings with Microsoft.
 But Correa agreed to tell his version of dealing with Microsoft because
 he was disillusioned with the industry.

 "The account manager at Microsoft would say to me, 'Ricardo, we really
 don't consider you a Microsoft partner just because you buy the operating
 system,"' adding that Microsoft CEO "Bill (Gates) is not happy with you."
 Acer America, a San Jose, Calif. member of the Acer Group of Taiwan,
 makes personal computers for sale to business and consumers, and
 technology for the industry.

 Correa said that Acer planned to place the full-featured Lotus "Smart
 Suite"-- which included a word processor, spreadsheet and other programs
 -- on its consumer PCs. But when Microsoft got wind of the change, its
 top management called Acer's top management in a coordinated campaign, he
 said. Correa said that two days before a contract was to be signed with
 Lotus in early 1997, "I was ordered to kill it."

 Lotus was replaced with a more limited package that included only
 Microsoft Word and the reference package Microsoft Bookshelf, Correa
 said. Correa said he and his boss managed to keep Lotus on the small
 portion of machines that make up the commercial market and they are there
 to this day. Lotus, a unit of IBM, had no comment.

 In another negotiation, Correa said that one of his bosses soured on a
 software licensing deal with Corel early this year. The boss feared
 Microsoft would back off from co-operating on a joint technology project.
 "He said to me, and this is a quote, 'I would pay $2 million more to keep
 Microsoft happy,"' Correa said.

 Correa said he handed in his resignation in early April, after an Acer
 manager ruled out replacing the Microsoft Encarta encyclopedia with World
 Book, made by IBM. Later World Book did get on the low end of the line
 after protests by IBM, an important customer, he said. Correa, who lives
 in San Francisco, said he decided to talk with Reuters because he was
 quitting the field of computers and software entirely.

 "I'm telling this story because there are so many people fed up in this
 industry and I'm fed up," said Correa. Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray
 described Correa's allegations as "false and misleading." Acer also
 strongly denied the allegations. Michael Culver, vice president and
 general manager of Acer's consumer business division, said Correa was a
 disgruntled employee who did not understand how decisions were made.

 "The financial and business decisions are secondary to 'ease of use'
 requirements," Culver said. "In each of these cases, (Lotus) Smart Suite
 and Corel were disqualified based on our ease of use testing, not based
 on any business negotiations." Culver said that contracts were
 confidential and he was unable to disclose terms, but he could say flatly
 that "there was no pressure brought to Acer by Bill Gates or anybody else
 at Microsoft regarding the decision to bundle Microsoft's applications
 versus any of the competitive applications."

 Acer's corporate counsel, Suchitra Narayen, said in a fax to Reuters that
 the company believed Correa's account was inaccurate or incomplete and
 said that he was not in a position to have direct knowledge about
 Microsoft matters. But people from other companies who dealt with Correa
 disagreed. Steve Houck, a sales account manager with Canadian software
 maker Corel, a rival of Microsoft best known for its Word Perfect and
 Corel Draw products, said anyone who wanted to license software to Acer
 went to Correa.

 "He would see the inner workings of that side of the business," said
 Houck. "In everything I've dealt with him he's been on the up-and-up and
 very professional." Other people who had professional dealings with
 Correa also spoke to Reuters but declined to be identified, citing a fear
 of retaliation from Microsoft. "You're lucky to get him," said one of
 them. "We all know the stories but no one will go on the record. What's
 amazing is, he decided to leave the industry."

 As part of a broad complaint against Microsoft that goes to trial on
 Sept. 8, the government wants a judge to prevent the Redmond, Wash.,
 software firm from "taking or threatening any action adverse to any
 person" for "failure to license or distribute Microsoft's Internet
 browser software or other software product." But fear pervaded Acer,
 Correa said, recalling that one of his bosses said: "Look, we cannot
 afford retaliation."

 Correa said Acer executives feared the software giant would retaliate by
 withholding crucial updates and "bug" fixes for the Microsoft Windows
 operating system. "If Microsoft does not give us information we are
 basically paralyzed," said Correa. But Microsoft said Correa's account
 mischaracterized the relationship, noting Gates spoke at Acer's 20th
 anniversary celebration in Taiwan in 1996. Correa's allegations center on
 events starting in early 1997.

 "We have a strong relationship with Acer," said Microsoft's Murray.
 "Their decisions over the years on what applications to ship have never
 had any impact on our operating system relationship." In fact, Correa
 said he greatly admired Microsoft. "Microsoft is probably the most
 professional, the most competent, the most directed company I have ever
 done business with," he said. "Not once, not twice, but every time they
 are able to outperform their competition in single-mindedness, in
 determination to accomplish the deal."

                     Oracle Unveils Year 2000 Solutions

 Oracle, the world's largest maker of database software, unveiled today a
 group of programs to help mid-sized companies ready their computers for
 the turn of the century. The so-called Year 2000 Bug could imperil
 thousands of computer systems around the world because their software and
 computer chips were not designed to deal with the millennium date change.

 Priced at $300,000, the FastForward Financials Y2K package includes
 Oracle's software to run payroll, accounting and other functions in a
 company. Oracle, based in Redwood Shores, Calif., said in 60 days it can
 install the software and work with customers so their systems and
 software are immune from the damage many experts expect at the turn of
 the century.

 "Year 2000 is definitely a problem and it's one thing you're going to see
 large companies dealing with over the next 18 months," said Martin
 Marshall, an analyst with market research firm Zona Research. The Year
 2000 computer problem stems from computer programs using a two-digit
 format to stand for years. When Jan. 1, 2000, hits, many computers will
 interpret the year as 1900. That could wreak havoc on arge computers used
 by insurance companies, banks, Wall Street firms and airlines.

 The offering from Oracle, which bundles software, support, service and
 education in one package, could help Oracle boost revenue in its
 applications business. Sales of its applications software, which helps
 companies manage payroll, accounting and other functions, have been
 erratic in recent quarters while sales of its mainstay database software
 have slowed due to increasing competition and a slower overall market.

                       Praise for Visual Page Package

 Surfing the Web is easy, but spinning a Web site can be lots more
 difficult. Since most of us don't think in HTML (hypertext markup
 language), it doesn't come naturally to write '''' when what we want to
 do is show a picture on a Web site. That's where Web site design packages
 step in, taking care of all the gobbledegook while you worry about looks.
 One of the nicer ones available is Visual Page 2.0 from Symantec Corp. of
 Cupertino, Calif.

 Visual Page has a point-and-click interface that's as easy to use as your
 favorite word processor. In fact, if you have enough skill to do a
 newsletter in your word processor, you have enough to use Visual Page to
 create a Web page. That's because Visual Page does most of the heavy
 lifting for you. As a novice, for example, you might wish to add a bitmap
 (BMP) image to a Web page, but you don't know that net browsers don't
 want to know from bitmaps. Visual Page automatically saves the file in
 GIF format for you.

 Those who already have some experience designing Web pages can also take
 advantage of absolute pixel positioning, where the location of an object
 on a Web page doesn't change the position of other objects, and other
 advanced design tools. One of the nicer features of Visual age is a
 site-wide approach to tools. Let's say you have a 20-page Web site and
 you discover that you've misspelled your employer's name on every page. A
 site-wide search-and-replace tool lets you fix that without doing it page
 by page.

 You can also do site-wide spell checking and link repair and preview your
 creation in multiple browsers, since site appearance can vary with the
 browser. Visual Page also has built-in FTP support to allow you to
 publish or download your Web pages. Although on-line help is available,
 the software package comes with really outstanding documentation, with a
 "getting started" section that takes the novice by the hand through
 creating of a site.

 System requirements for Visual Page: a 486-66-megahertz or better chip
 with 8 megabytes of RAM and Windows 95 or higher. It also supports
 Windows NT 4.0 or higher, but that takes 12 megabytes of RAM. In all
 cases, a VGA color monitor is required and the installation takes 20

 megabytes of disk space. The suggested retail price for Visual Page is
 $99.95. Symantec products are widely available at retail. The company Web
 site is

 Scanners are becoming commonplace, and the software bundled with most of
 them has a "copier" feature that scans a document and sends a copy to the
 printer. For about $250, Lumina Office Products of San Jose, Calif.,
 offers the Lumina Personal Color Copier, which will make copies even if
 the PC is turned off. That's a great idea, since the entire learning
 curve is ``press the button marked copy.'' The copier is compatible with
 Hewlett Packard DeskJet and LaserJet printers and also Epson Stylus,
 Epson Inkjet Lexmark ColorJet and Canon Bubblejet series. It comes with a
 document feeder and will handle material up to 8x14 inches.

 Of course, it can be hooked to the PC and function as a standard scanner
 and fax machine, and it includes bundled OCR software as well as
 image-editing software. But being able to make copies without wrestling
 with software is an excellent idea and great convenience. The company's
 Web site is

 Questions and comments are welcome. Send them to CompuBug, PO Box 626,
 Summit, NJ 07901. Or e-mail via the Internet . Please
 include your own e-mail address in the body of the message.

             Seagate Pushes Out Industry Pioneer Shugart As CEO

 Seagate Technology said [today] it is pushing out its chief executive,
 Alan Shugart, a pioneer in the invention of the computer disk drive, and
 replacing him with Stephen Luczo, the company's president. Seagate, the
 world's biggest disk drive manufacturer, said it asked Shugart, one of
 its founders, to retire so the company could concentrate on turning
 around the company's fortunes after a difficult year. "During the last
 several quarters, Seagate has undertaken a variety of actions in order to
 improve the company's competitive position..." Luczo said in a statement.
 "We believe that as we implement these changes the company's long- term
 competitive position will continue to improve..."

 Falling prices, slower computer sales and excess worldwide capacity held
 back disk drive makers over the last year. Seagate reported a loss for
 its fiscal year ending on July 3, of $530 million, reversing the
 year-earlier profit of $658 million. Shugart, who began his career with
 International Business Machines and joined Seagate in 1979, has been
 grooming Luczo, who joined Seagate in October 1993. The time was right
 for Shugart to leave with the end of the fiscal year, a Seagate
 spokeswoman told Reuters.

 Shugart was part of the IBM team that pioneered the original Winchester
 disk drive in the late 1960s. He left IBM in the early 1970s to found a
 succession of disk drive companies to exploit this development and has
 led the industry through boom and bust. Luczo, who also holds the title
 of chief operating officer, has been responsible for Seagate's disk drive
 and component operations since holding the two positions since 1997.
 Luczo was also named to the company's board of directors, the company
 announced. Gary Filer and Larry Perlman, current directors, were named as
 nonexecutive co-chairmen of the board.

                     Senate Backs Internet Gambling Ban

 The Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to try to shut down the
 billion-dollar Internet gambling industry, calling it addictive, a
 corrupting influence on the young and a source of crime growing out of
 control. Senators voted 90-10 to ban all forms of gambling on the
 Internet, including the interactive, pay-to-play casino-style games
 offered by an estimated 140 sites on the World Wide Web. Most are
 operated by businesses based overseas.

 "More than a billion dollars will be gambled over the Internet this
 year," said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., the provision's lead sponsor.
 "Internet gambling is unregulated, accessible by minors, addictive,
 subject to abuse for fraudulent purposes like money laundering, evasive
 of state gambling laws - and already illegal at the federal level in many

 The measure would extend to the Internet - and to new technologies
 involving microwave transmission and fiberoptic cable - the current
 federal ban on interstate gambling on sports by telephone or wire. It was
 included as an amendment to a $33.2 billion spending bill covering the
 Commerce, Justice and State departments in fiscal 1999, starting Oct. 1.
 The Senate passed the overall spending bill on a 99-0 vote. In the House,
 neither the spending bill nor an Internet gambling ban measure has
 reached the floor.

 The Senate amendment would require Internet service providers to "pull
 the plug" on those sites, Kyl said, saying a ban would "likely be
 enforced by law enforcement identifying a Web site that provides illegal
 gambling and seeking a court order enjoining the activity." During two
 days of debate on the Senate floor, the gambling amendment's supporters
 contended a ban is needed since there is no way to regulate virtual
 casinos. Unscrupulous operators are free to rig their games to cheat
 customers or accept bets from children who get their hands on parents'
 credit cards, they said. States regulate gambling within their boundaries
 but have no control over online gambling activity, including states where
 residents have declined to legalize games of chance.

 But Internet gambling spokeswoman Sue Schneider said other countries have
 found regulation can work and that some foreign governments are operating
 their own games. "All prohibition does is build up a criminal
 infrastructure," said Schneider, chairwoman of the 55-member Interactive
 Gaming Council and chief operating officer of Rolling Good Times, an
 electronic magazinethat covers the gaming industry.

 "The United States could become the odd man out," she said. Supporters of
 the Kyl provision "should talk with their colleagues in Australia and New
 Zealand, who have figured out how to do this," she said. Under the
 provision, individual gamblers could be imprisoned for 3 months and fined
 $500. Businesses running gambling sites could be imprisoned for 4 years
 and fined $20,000 or three times the amount of bets accepted.

 The provision would not ban:

    * State lotteries and off-track betting on the Internet, as long as
      the business is on "closed-loop, subscriber-based" computer systems
      inaccessible to the general public.
    * Sites for popular sports "rotisserie" leagues, in which people
      choose rosters of professional thletes and bet on their statistics,
      as long as fees are not used to pay off bets.

 Kyl said addictive gambling is a growing problem, adding that experts say
 youth gambling is rising and could surpass illegal drug use in as little
 as 10 years.

 "Gaming should be a regulated adult recreational activity,'' said Sen.
 Richard Bryan, D-Nev., a co-sponsor of the amendment. ``It is physically
 impossible for any state to regulate gaming on the Internet, and the only
 responsible choice is simply to prohibit it.'' The Senate earlier
 rejected, 82-18, a move to exempt Indian tribes, which may now run
 Internet gambling sites. Kyl said that would create a mammoth loophole.
 The Justice Department estimates $600 million was bet illegally on sports
 alone over the Internet last year, a tenfold increase over 1996, said a
 Kyl aide.

 However, the department recently expressed concern about Kyl's bill,
 saying it opposes prosecuting bettors and questions the practicality of
 trying to prosecute foreign-based businesses. Voting against the Internet
 gambling ban were Sens. Joseph Biden, D-Del.; Larry Craig, R-Idaho; Tom
 Daschle, D-S.D.; Pete Domenici, R-N.M.; Russ Feingold, D-Wis.; Tom
 Harkin, D-Iowa; Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii; Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y.;
 Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Paul Wellstone, D-Minn.

                    David Bowie Starts Internet Service

 Ground control to Rocker David Bowie confirmed Monday
 that he'll launch BowieNet, the first artist-created Internet service
 provider, in September for $19.95. BowieNet, located at will offer
 high-speed Internet service across North America beginning Sept. 1 and
 expand worldwide later in the year, the entertainer said. The site will
 offer e-mail service as well as special music and entertainment access.
 "I wanted to create an environment where not just my fans but all music
 lovers could be a part of the same community - a single place where the
 vast archives of music information could be accessed, views stated and
 ideas exchanged," Bowie said in a statement.

                      Compaq Pays $3M for Web Address

 A man struck it rich by selling a Web site address to Compaq Computer
 Corp. for $3.35 million, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. uoting
 unidentified sources, the newspaper said Compaq paid Jack Marshall of San
 Jose one of the highest prices ever for a Web site - in this case,

 The deal settles a two-year fight between Marshall and the computer
 giant, which owns the Alta Vista Internet search engine. ``I believe this
 is the largest known figure for a domain name transaction,'' said Edwin
 Hayward, who runs, a Web site that tracks such
 purchases. The trade in Web addresses is not unusual, but most addresses
 are sold for far lower prices. Speculators buy popular names for $100 and
 then sell the addresses to corporations for much higher prices. In 1996,
 a court ruled against the purchase of trademarked names, but generic
 names remain fair game. Earlier this month, Microsoft Corp. agreed to pay
 $5 million to a small, now-defunct software company from the Chicago area
 that said Microsoft stole from it the name of Internet Explorer, the name
 of browser software which Microsoft has heavily promoted for three years.

 The Alta Vista name wasn't trademarked when Marshall bought the rights in
 January 1994 for his startup company, AltaVista Technology. In November
 1995, Digital Equipment Corp., now owned by Compaq, launched a search
 engine called Alta Vista. Because it didn't own the Alta Vista address,
 it was located at But the address was confusing and many searchers ended
 up at Marshall's site, overloading his computer.

 He agreed to sell the trademark to Digital but kept the right to use the
 name on software and his Web site. However, late in 1996, Digital sued
 Marshall for the rights to on grounds Marshall had
 violated the earlier agreement by failing to state that his site was not
 the Alta Vista search engine. In March 1997, a federal judge in Boston
 told Marshall to change his logo and to add a disclaimer but didn't rule
 on the domain name itself. The Chronicle quoted unidentified sources as
 saying that, in addition to the money, Marshall won a permanent link from
 the Alta Vista search engine to his new Web site, On
 Aug. 31, Marshall will shut down his site and turn over the name.

    ISAMED Enters Clinical Evaluation for Use with Parkinson's Patients

 NovaTelligence has just announced the commencement of a two-month
 clinical evaluation process to precede the release of their newest
 product. Under development for over 11 years, ISAMED a computerized
 assessment and reminder system is currently undergoing a preliminary
 evaluation in the Department of Neurology, University of Southern
 California School of Medicine. The evaluation, under the direction of
 Cheryl Waters, M.D., Chief of the USC Division of Movement disorders,
 will determine what improvements, if any, should be made to the product
 to increase its ease of use.

 The ISAMED system consists of two computerized components one for the
 physician and one for the patient - which work together to monitor and
 manage the ongoing condition of Parkinson's patients and their response
 to medications related to the treatment of Parkinson's disease. ISAMED
 Pocket - the patient component assists patients with their often complex
 medication schedules and records information about their symptoms, side
 effects, diets and activity levels. The recorded information is then
 transferred to ISAMED Clinic the neurologist component where it can be
 analyzed in graphical or tabular format, allowing the neurologist to
 fine-tune the patient's medication schedule and recommend lifestyle
 changes as needed.

 "I think that the development of the handheld computer will take our
 capacity for patient care to a higher level," said Mark Lew, M.D., USC
 Associate Professor of Neurology, Division of Movement Disorders. "We
 will be able to better understand and monitor a patient's response to
 treatment and subsequently offer them improved pharmacological

 NovaTelligence, a privately held company founded in January 1996, is a
 leading provider of healthcare informatics based on the use of applied
 artificial intelligence. Based in San Diego, NovaTelligence is a member
 of the Microsoft Independent Software Vendor Program. More information
 about NovaTelligence is available on the Internet at

     August is National Inventors' Month: Today is the Age of Inventors

 Inventors have never been more important than they are today, and Joanne
 Hayes-Rines wants everyone to know just how important they are. "Everyone
 knows about Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers," she says. "But how
 many people know that independent inventors have created such modern
 society-changing inventions as the ATM, the disposable diaper, the Nike
 shoe, the laser and Velcro?"

 She ought to know. Hayes-Rines is President of the United Inventors'
 Association of the USA and publisher-editor of "Inventors' Digest," the
 largest circulation magazine in the country whose sole purpose is the
 uniting and education of inventors. "Together with the Academy of Applied
 Science, we're shining the spotlight on inventors by establishing August
 as National Inventors' Month," she says. (See

 "We want to recognize those talented, brave individuals who dare to be
 blatantly creative, and whose accomplishments affect every facet of our
 lives," she says. "We also want to change the all-too-often negative
 image of the inventor as a wild-eyed, wild-haired genius in the basement
 cooking up weird concoctions that threaten to blow up the neighborhood,"
 says Hayes-Rines. "Actually, the reverse is true. Inventors are
 brilliant, imaginative, fascinating and dedicated to solving problems!

 "But because of the negative image, novice inventors are afraid to be
 known as inventors. Economists worry that such negative perceptions will
 discourage people from being innovative, with serious consequences for
 American competitiveness in the next millenium. National Inventors' Month
 will encourage this creativity by showing inventors as the people who are
 changing the world and making it a better place for all of us."

 Excitement about National Inventors' Month is running high, with the
 Patent and Trademark Office museum opening its new exhibit in honor of
 the media celebration on August 11th. Ruth Nyblod, the museum's curator
 says, "Our exhibit will be dedicated to the same purpose as National
 Inventors' Month: putting faces on inventions!"

 The founders of National Inventors' Month have set up a toll-free number,
 800-791-3133, for inventors who want to learn more about how to bring
 products to market; and parents and teachers who want to encourage
 children to be inventive.

                         AOL 4.0 Upgrade Goes Gold

 America Online Inc. Thursday released the final commercial version of new
 user software that aims to upgrade the look, feel and functionality of
 the nation's largest consumer online service. AOL began offering online
 downloads of the "gold" version of its long-anticipated 4.0 upgrade
 Thursday and expects to begin offering compact discs of the software in
 marketing promotional material next month.

 The upgrade could increase usage of the AOL network in coming months as
 users download software ranging from 5 megabytes to 20 megabytes,
 depending on the software configuration they require. Such a download
 could take anywhere from 45 minutes to more than three hours on a
 standard modem handling information at 28,800 bits per second. About 2.5
 million AOL subscribers already use trial versions of the 4.0 software,
 which offers a variety of new features including a new spell check and
 changeable fonts for electronic mail and the ability to include
 photographs in e-mail messages. The new software also allows users to
 switch screen names without having to disconnect from the service.

 During its last upgrade, about 70 percent of AOL's subscriber base
 upgraded to the service's 3.0 software within six months of the
 software's release. The service typically promotes its software upgrades
 heavily online and in regular mail to consumers. AOL can handle up to
 250,000 downloads of its software daily, said Mike Connors, president of
 AOL Network Technology.

 The new software is expected to help AOL keep control of spiraling
 customer service costs, said Mike Connors, president of AOL Technologies.
 Users of early versions of AOL's 4.0 software have called the company for
 technical help about one-fourth as frequently as users of the 3.0
 software, Connors estimated. Part of the reduction in customer service
 calls results from automation features incorporated into the installation
 of the software. The new system, for instance, automatically detects the
 modem being used on the computer rather than asking the user to enter the
 make and model of the modem during installation.

                    National Hurricane Center Is Online

 Up-to-date hurricane information is now at computer users' fingertips.
 The National Hurricane Center and the Federal Emergency Management Agency
 are using the Internet to provide the status of hurricanes to the public.
 "The whole thing is an informed public. They're getting a direct report,"
 Bob Shapiro of FEMA's hurricane liaison team said Friday. "This is kind
 of personal. I think it's great." During hurricane watches and warnings,
 a 60- to 90-second video clip of a hurricane center official explaining
 storm conditions will appear on the site. The Internet address for the
 Federal Emergency Management Agency is , and
 Hurricane information is available at its sub-site for the Hurricane
 Liaison Team:

                      Virtual Medical Worlds Magazine

 Before you leave for a well deserved summer vacation, we still want to
 offer you the ninth issue of the Virtual Medical Worlds Magazine. We hope
 you will enjoy it, as if it were a sparkling Tequila Sunrise, a mixture
 of exciting flavors with something sweet to taste for everyone of you.
 The bar is open at  Or take your pick at the
 table of contents buffet below.

 As an extra holiday present, we have something special in store for you,
 on top of this. As you might remember, a select group of renowned
 telemedicine experts have shared their opinions on the establishment of
 the Telemedical Information Society for the 21st century at ITIS'98.
 Curious to know what they have told in Amsterdam last April and anxious
 to join the discussion? Please, read all about it in the three discussion
 rounds at   and enter the
 discussion platform. We assure you that it is worth the while!

 Whether you will be climbing mountains, lazing at some paradisiacal
 beach, or just staying quietly at home, let us know what is going on in
 your (telemedicine) mind. We'd love to hear from you and your holiday
 adventures ...

 Virtual Medical Worlds Magazine
 James Stewartstraat 248
 The Netherlands

 Tel.: +31-36-537 3867
 Fax: +31-36-537 5002


    * A VRML based 3D Visualization and sonification Environment
    * MedExplorer is a big hit for search fans
    * Virtual Reality therapy releases fear of flying
    * HPCN in neural network applications for industry and medicine
    * Maimonides Medical Centre shows way to hospital of the future
    * Home telemedicine help, through Internet TV
    * Cruise ship offers "On Board Virtual Emergency Room"
    * Mobile Assistant is first belt top computer
    * Digital dog tag invention inspires DoD to launch a Personal
      Information Carrier bid
    * Chernobyl patients remotely diagnosed by Japanese specialists
    * EU approach is citizen centred care
    * Is the EU's Fourth Framework Programme in a healthy state?
    * Internet2 looks promising for human anatomy study
    * Internet is therapeutic for Nordic psychiatric patients
    * Fear and negligence slow IT breakthrough in health care
    * Can telemedicine make money?
    * Telemedicine benefits are all in the mind
    * Remote child heart checkups compare well with the real thing
    * New centre speeds up drug approval process
    * Telehomecare initiative starts in Singapore
    * Is there a European healthcare market for SME's?
    * Long Dutch hospital waiting lists to appear on the Web
    * High value of telemedicine for renal therapy
    * NOVICE provides hospitals with high performance visualisation
    * Ovarian cancer treatment discussed over satellite connection
    * American nurses play major role in telehealth guidelines
    * Health care organizations start using Internet to measure outcomes
    * Help tools transform video systems into full-fledged telemedicine
    * Teleradiology centre sends patient images over the net
    * Digital picture diagnosis saves African Islanders
    * Fast computers enable perfect 3D view of the heart geometry
    * Advanced health care marketing discussed in Hawaii
    * NASA and Yale partner to commercialise telemedicine
    * Telemedicine network brings Everest expedition down to earth
    * Ethernet medical network links Pacific Islands

                      MIT Requires Online Applications

 Students aspiring to attend one of the country's most prestigious
 business schools can say farewell to one well-known ritual: the frantic,
 down-to-the-wire trip to mail an application by the deadline. Beginning
 this month, MIT's Sloan School of Management will accept applications
 only via computer - apparently becoming the nation's first graduate or
 undergraduate school to adopt such a policy.

 Plenty of the nation's 3,400 colleges and universities have been
 experimenting with electronic applications, using them as an admission
 option for the computer-savvy. But the class that will enter
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology's graduate business school in
 September 1999 is charting new territory.

 "I don't know of anybody who's gone 100 percent that way," said Mark
 Milroy, chief officer of programs and services with the National
 Association for College Admission Counseling. By wiping out paper
 applications, MIT says it will save thousands of dollars in processing,
 printing and postage costs - plus hundreds of hours of staff time.

 Using a new Internet site started by the folks who sponsor the Graduate
 Management Admission Test - the standardized exam for business school
 admission - applicants can fill out the required Sloan School forms, pay
 the application fees and arrange to have their GMAT scores sent to the
 university in one electronic package.

 The only items that can't be electronically mailed - at least, not yet -
 are college transcripts and outside recommendations. About two dozen
 other business schools, including Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth,
 Northwestern, the University of Texas, Tulane, Michigan State and the
 University of California-Davis, will accept electronic applications
 through the GradAdvantage Web site, which went online Aug. 1.

 Participating institutions pay $5,500 a year for the administrative Web
 site software. Students pay a $12 processing fee for each application.
 Only MIT is so far telling its future MBAs to forget about applying if
 they can't go online. But exemptions will be considered in the first year
 of the new plan.

 Experts said it's unlikely many undergraduate schools will require only
 online applications anytime soon. After all, it's elitist to assume that
 every applicant has computer access, said Timothy J. McDonough, a
 spokesman for the American Council on Education, which represents 1,800
 colleges and universities nationwide. And Sloan is making no changes in
 the back end of the process: Officials there still plan to send
 acceptance and rejection letters the old-fashioned way.

                Internet Virgins Called Money-making "Hoax"

 A company that was to provide the computer equipment needed to show two
 18-year-olds losing their virginity on the Internet said Friday the event
 was a money-making hoax. Seattle-based Internet Entertainment Group
 (IEG), which had signed a contract to supply the computer hardware, told
 Reuters the organizers planned to charge Internet users $5 each and then
 not deliver on their promise that the couple would have sex.

 IEG's President Seth Warshavsky said the couple was going to have AIDS
 tests and pick put condoms leading up to their Aug. 4 event and charge
 viewers for "age-verification" purposes. Then on the actual day, the
 couple would decide they were not ready for sex, he said. Mark Vega, the
 lawyer and spokesman for the couple identified as "Mark and Diane," did
 not return repeated phone calls, but in a letter posted on IEG's Web site
 said the charges were false and defamatory.

 Warshavsky said he was informed by Ken Tipton, the organizer of the
 event, in a phone call on Friday that it was aimed at fooling more people
 than Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" 60 years ago. That realistic radio
 drama duped millions of Americans into thinking that Earth was being
 invaded by Martians. Warshavsky said that Tipton had been using the
 pseudonym Oscar Wells up until the day he signed the contract with IEG.
 Wells was named on the Web site as its designer.

 "He said the reason he was calling himself Oscar Wells was that this was
 going to be the 60th anniversary of 'War of the Worlds' and this was
 going to be bigger. The whole thing was kind of a media hoax," Warshavsky
 said. Heather Dalton, IEG's spokeswoman, said, "They were not going to go
 ahead with the act. They were not going to have sex on the Internet and
 they were also going to charge $5 to view the site."

 Attorney Vega said Thursday that the site had attracted "hundreds of
 millions" of viewers and could become one the biggest ever online events.
 He insisted the Web site would have been free and that the event "was not
 about making money." IEG, which markets the sex video of actress Pamela
 Anderson and rocker Tommy Lee on its Web sites, became involved with the
 project Thursday. But 24 hours after signing the contract, the company
 pulled out because it said it suspected the organizers' motives and
 believed the event would not deliver on its promise.

 Warshavsky said, "After investigating it and talking to them further, we
 had some serious concerns about their credibility and whether they were
 really going to deliver what they said they were going to deliver." IEG
 hosts a variety of steamy Web sites and is best known for selling the
 Anderson-Lee sex tapes. It was taken to court by the couple, who were
 then married, to prevent the tape from being sold. An out-of-court
 settlement was reached and the tapes are now available.

 Since plans for the event came to light earlier this week, many critics
 have been concerned the event was either a cyberspace hoax or a
 money-making scheme. But Vega, who specializes in First Amendment cases
 at a well-known Los Angeles law firm, has maintained the event was for
 real and about freedom of speech. Critics said the couple looked more
 like buffed, beautiful actors than dewy-eyed 18-year-olds about to share
 their most intimate moment on a lavish Web site.

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


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 EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed

  [Image]                              Edupage


 Server-Level Fixes For E-Mail         IBM To Provide Services For Cable &
 Security Flaws                        Wireless
 Wall Street Passes Y2K Test           Microsoft Asks For Dismissal Of
                                       Antitrust Suit
 Pope To Be Seen And Heard On The      Smiley Faces At Apple
 Strike Ends At Bell-Atlantic          FTC Says Web Site Lied About
                                       Privacy Assurances
 Tracking Activity On The Web          Password Snatcher
 Probe Of Computer Help For Indian     $100 Million Ad Campaign For Apple
 Nuclear Testing
 Microsoft To Fix Minor Windows        Lawsuit Over Termination Of E-Mail
 Problem                               Service
 Government Lets Manufacturers Swap    It's The "Touch" In Typing That's
 Info On Y2K Problem                   Important
 Pitney Bowes Seeks Licensing Fees     Intel Catches Flak For Web
 From PC Metering Users                Advertising Tactics
 Japan Continues To Invest In          French Spending Up On Internet
 High-Tech R&D                         Services
 McDonald's Dishes Up Smart Cards      This Spam's The Real Thing
 ISPs Free From Paying Access Fees     The Bigger The Better In Online Ads
 Commerce Secretary Daley Pushes       Bill Gates Rates Private Deposition
 High-Tech Skills Training
 NBC Buys Into Intertainer             Electronic Arts Buys Westwood
 NYU Uses Financial Aid To Lure
 Foreign Students To Its Web


 Sendmail Inc., a leading producer of software used to route e-mail
 through the Internet, is offering free software patches to fix security
 flaws recently found in Microsoft Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook 98,
 and Netscape Mail. The patch will automatically trap e-mail messages
 containing attached files that could take advantage of the flaws.
 Microsoft and Netscape have already prepared fixes to protect their
 programs from attack, but Sendmail executives say it makes sense to
 install a fix at the mail server level rather than at the level of
 individual computers. (New York Times 11 Aug 98)


 If negotiations for the $2-3 billion deal are successful, IBM will be
 providing British phone giant Cable & Wireless Communications a broad
 range of information technology services. The long-term (probably
 10-year) contract would be IBM's largest contract for services provided
 outside the U.S. (Wall Street Journal 11 Aug 98)

                        WALL STREET PASSES Y2K TEST

 Donald Kittell, an official of the Securities Industry Association, says
 that Wall Street passed the first test of its readiness for Year 2000
 problems "with flying colors." The test involved the participation of 28
 firms executing a simulated trade of about 40,000 stock, bond, and option
 transactions that might take place in the last two trading days of 1999
 and the first two trading days of 2000. Expanded tests are planned for
 next spring. (New York Times 11 Aug 98)


 Denying that the company is a monopoly and denying that it's illegal to
 add features to a product, Microsoft is filing for dismissal of the
 antitrust case brought against it by the U.S. Justice Department. The
 company maintains that it added Internet features to its software not in
 order to destroy rival companies, but merely to defend itself against
 powerful companies of which it was "afraid." According to government
 lawyer Gina Talamona, "Microsoft said nothing new today." (San Jose
 Mercury News 11 Aug 98)


 Saying that "historically, the church has always been quick to take
 advantage of the technology available to spread its message," a Vatican
 spokesman announced that Roman Catholics around the world will soon be
 able to use the Internet to watch live video of Pope John Paul II. A link
 on   will launch the software and start the
 broadcast, using RealAudio software from RealNetworks Inc. The first
 broadcast will be made this Saturday. (USA Today 11 Aug 98)

                           SMILEY FACES AT APPLE

 "We have smiles on our faces," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs
 after announcing that the company received more than 150,000 advance
 orders from the U.S. and Europe for its iMac computer in the past week.
 "We're going to make loads of them. But will we be able to keep up with
 demand? I don't know. There will be tens of thousands on shelves this
 Saturday, so that may or may not be enough." (Wall Street Journal 11 Aug

                        STRIKE ENDS AT BELL-ATLANTIC

 The Communications Workers of America and Bell-Atlantic have reached a
 tentative agreement that would end its two-day-old CWA strike against the
 East-Coast phone company. The union says the agreement will give its
 members greater access to jobs in company subsidiaries that develop new
 technologies. (AP 11 Aug 98)


 The Web site Geocities, accused by the Federal Trade Commission of
 falsely assuring two million subscribers that their personal information
 was not being disclosed to others, has agreed to post its privacy policy
 on the site and to discourage children under 13 from using the site
 without parental permission. The new privacy statement, which admits that
 the company releases personally identifiable information on its
 subscribers, is reachable from a link on the Geocities home page.
 (Washington Post 14 Aug 98)

                        TRACKING ACTIVITY ON THE WEB

 Another privacy-related story: Lycos, Geocities and NBC's Videoseekers
 are among the major Web sites that will participate in a new service,
 called Engage, that was developed to track what people are looking at on
 the Internet, so that advertisers can target their marketing efforts.
 David S. Wetherell, the chief executive of CMG Information Services, the
 company behind Engage, gives this example of how the service would be
 used: "If someone comes to your bookstore for the first time, you can
 find out if they are interested in mountain climbing, organic gardening
 and tennis; you can present them books related to their interests
 immediately." Mr. Wetherell adds: "We took the highest road you could
 possibly take with respect to privacy. We think you can learn a lot more
 about someone from their behavior than from their name and address." The
 system will keep information on age, sex, income, zip code and number of
 children; it will not collect information on sexual or health related
 topics and will not store individual names, addresses, and birthdays.
 Privacy consultant Jason Catlett says: "Engage has done many good things
 to protect privacy, but my worry is that they are firing the starting gun
 in the race for the bottom. The worst actors will be left to use the most
 sophisticated surveillance techniques as they please." (New York Times 16
 Aug 98)

                             PASSWORD SNATCHER

 U.S. law enforcement agencies are hunting a computer vandal who broke
 into companies and academic institutions around the world (including
 universities such as UCLA and Harvard) and stole about 48,000 encrypted
 passwords, which he or she then decoded with a program called "John the
 Ripper." The vandal, who is thought to be operating in Europe, first came
 to police attention when a graduate student at the University of
 California, Berkeley, told officials his computer account had been
 compromised. (AP 13 Aug 98)


 The U.S. Commerce Department is investigating whether Themis Computer of
 Fremont, Washington, illegally sold high-speed microprocessors that were
 used in the controversial nuclear tests recently conducted by the Indian
 Defense Research and Development Organization. If the company knew or had
 reason to know that the devices were to be used in nuclear tests, it
 would have been breaking U.S. law to export them without Commerce
 Department approval. However, a company executive says it had received
 explicit assurances that the microprocessors were intended for
 nonmilitary purposes. (San Jose Mercury News 13 Aug 98)

                     $100 MILLION AD CAMPAIGN FOR APPLE

 Apple has prepared a $100 million advertising campaign and marketing
 campaign for its new iMac system, which is being sold with slogans such
 as, "I think, therefore I iMac." Co-founder and chief executive officer
 Steve Jobs is getting credit for giving Apple new momentum, and the head
 of a chain of Apple dealers in Florida says: "I think Jobs being Jobs is
 what has created the excitement around the iMac." (Wall Street Journal 14
 Aug 98)


 Microsoft will soon place onto its Win 98 site a software patch that
 enables users of its Windows 98 operating system to repair a minor and
 extremely rare bug that could cause an incorrect date in the computer if
 a user's machine is rebooted in the last seconds before midnight.
 However, the odds are pretty good that you can relax about it, because
 the bug is expected to affect only one in 5 or 6 million users. (TechWeb
 14 Aug 98)


 Independent filmmaker Peter Hall is suing the Internet service provider
 Earthlink Network Inc. $7 million for alleged damages to his business and
 his mental health. Earthlink (acting on incorrect information received
 from UUNet Technologies) had mistakenly accused him of being a spammer
 and had terminated his e-mail account for several days before reinstating
 it and apologizing. Some online experts say the term "spammer" is so
 scurrilous that it amounts to libel. In addition to libel, Hall is
 charging Earthlink with breach of contract, negligence, and a violation
 of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The suit is expected to
 help clarify the respective rights of Internet service providers and
 their subscribers.. (New York Times Cybertimes 14 Aug 98)


 The U.S. Justice Department will allow the 14,000 companies that belong
 to the National Association of manufacturers, along with their computer
 service suppliers, to cooperate and exchange data to help them solve
 their Year 2000 problems. Since no pricing or customer information will
 be shared by the companies, the Justice Department does not believe that
 the cooperation efforts of member companies will diminish competition
 among them. (AP 14 Aug 98)


 Canadian Web filter maker Net Nanny will begin testing "biopassword"
 technology on its Web site, with future plans calling for including it in
 their smut filters, incorporating it into office software, and licensing
 it to the security and automobile industries. The company bought the
 rights to the technology, which was developed at the Stanford Research
 Institute, in 1989. Biopassword technology records not only how you type
 your password, but also exactly how you do it, blocking would-be
 intruders who steal passwords but don't have the same keyboard touch as
 the legitimate password-holder. "I once drank three pints of beer in an
 hour," says Net Nanny CEO Gordon Ross. "My rhythm didn't match, and I was
 denied entry to my computer, because I was impaired." So then what? "When
 it ships, it will have a manual override," says Ross. (St. Petersburg
 Times 17 Aug 98)


 Postage-meter maker Pitney Bowes says it holds 15 patents covering
 "fundamental metering technologies" used for everything from coding and
 decoding addresses on envelopes to printing postage using a standard PC.
 The company is seeking licensing agreements with firms such as E-Stamp,
 that plan to market PC postage systems. E-Stamp's Internet Postage
 product, which is expected to hit the market later this year or early
 1999, is the first new postage method to be approved by the U.S. Postal
 Service in nearly eight decades. E-Stamp's CEO denies that Internet
 Postage is infringing on any Pitney Bowes patents: "We don't believe we
 need to license patents from anybody in order to bring PC postage to
 market." The U.S. Postal Service has declined to comment on the dispute.
 (Wall Street Journal 18 Aug 98)


 In an effort to sell higher-power computer chips, Intel is sponsoring an
 "Intel Inside Optimized Content" program that encourages Web sites to use
 dense, complicated graphics that slow down a computer's processor when
 the pages are downloading from the Internet. An accompanying message
 tells the user that a Pentium II microprocessor would speed up the
 process. Intel normally reimburses PC makers 50% of their Web-based
 advertising costs if the ad sports an "Intel Inside" logo, but ups its
 contribution to 75% if the site uses complicated graphics and includes
 wording that says the page could be better viewed using a Pentium II
 processor. "It's a hell of an incentive," says one Web editor. "PC
 companies are going to advertise on sites where they pay only 25% of the
 costs, as opposed to sites where they have to pay for half of the ad."
 But the innovative tactic has raised the ire of some Web site owners:
 "What they're asking us to do is turn our sites into a demonstration of
 their products," says a senior VP at IDG, publisher of Computerworld
 magazine. "We're going to optimize our content for our readers, not for
 Intel." (Tampa Tribune 17 Aug 98)


 Japan's economy may be on the downturn, but its high-tech companies are
 spending more now on R&D than ever, according to a report by the Japan
 Economic Institute. The top 20 Japanese companies are spending an average
 of 3.3% more on R&D this year than in 1997, for a total of 4.4 trillion
 yen or $34.7 billion. "It's essential, a must for Japanese corporations
 to keep investing in R&D. It is a long-term operation," says a minister
 in charge of trade, industry and energy at the Japanese Embassy in
 Washington. The report goes on to say that the driving force behind the
 Japanese spending is the worry that Asian trading partners like Thailand
 and South Korea will try to export their way out of their problems, and
 that by developing better technology Japan can continue to compete
 against nations with currency and labor-cost advantages. (Investor's
 Business Daily 18 Aug 98)


 French companies are spending more than two-thirds of their $4.5-billion
 Internet budget on services, rather than hardware and software, according
 to Mark-Ess, a French partner of Washington, DC consulting firm Market
 Access. A survey of 40 mid-sized and large French companies shows that
 companies are spending on establishing corporate Web sites, and
 developing online newsletters and catalogues. But despite the cash
 infusion, e-commerce activity in France is negligible, according to
 industry figures, which put the latest estimate at around $600 million a
 year. Still, the providers of value-added services who assist companies
 in their Internet efforts see a market ready to explode: "We started two
 years ago with nothing and now have 100 staff and sales of $8 million,"
 says a co-founder of Groupe Cyber Informatique. "This should double in a
 couple of years." (TechWeb 17 Aug 98)

                      MCDONALD'S DISHES UP SMART CARDS

 More than 800 McDonald's restaurants in Germany will participate in a
 pilot project that allows customers to pay for their food using smart
 cards. The smart card terminals use VeriFone's Transaction Automation
 Loading and Information Systems technology. An initial rollout at 55
 restaurants earlier this year resulted in more than 30,000 transactions
 during the first 10 weeks of the trial. "This move by the biggest retail
 food seller in the world portends the future for the United States," says
 Internet analyst Vernon Keenan. "We're looking at a momentum thing here
 and VeriFone is not just going to the banks and financial institutions,
 but they're trying to create a critical mass between the retailers,
 financial institutions, and other money processors, such as First Data
 Corp." (Computer Reseller News 18 Aug 98)

                         THIS SPAM'S THE REAL THING

 Hormel Foods has decided to overlook the insult of having its Spam brand
 turned into a pejorative synonym for junk e-mail, and is now looking to
 the Internet as a way to enhance the brand's image. It's launched the
 official Spam Web site , a domain name it acquired
 years ago, along with, hormel foods and others. The company
 will capitalize on its Spam brand, selling a line of Spam-logo clothing
 that includes boxer shorts and baseball caps. (New York Times 17 Aug 98)

                     ISPs FREE FROM PAYING ACCESS FEES

 A federal appeals court has upheld the Federal Communications
 Commission's ruling that Internet service providers should be exempt from
 paying local phone companies the access fees that are charged to
 long-distance carriers for use of the local loop. The decision was a blow
 to Baby Bell companies, which had argued that on a per-customer basis,
 Internet users tend to be even more of a drain on local network capacity
 than long-distance callers, and should therefore liable for the charges.
 The exemption was put into place more than a decade ago, when Internet
 access was a fledgling industry, and Baby Bells argued that both times
 and the industry had changed, and no longer warranted special protection
 from the costs of doing business. (New York Times 20 Aug 98)


 A survey conducted by Ipsos-ASI Inc., a Stamford, Conn. unit of a French
 research company, shows that consumers are 46% to 63% more likely to
 remember larger, more complicated ads than the average recall for
 standard banner-type ads. Respondents said that the "interstitial" format
 -- filling up the entire screen -- was effective 33% of the time in
 conveying an advertiser's message, compared with 16% for banners. "Now we
 have hard data that larger, more-complex online ads are generally more
 effective than basic banners and can be consumer-acceptable in a
 real-world environment," says an associate director of advertising at
 Proctor & Gamble, one of the 10 companies that commissioned the study.
 (Wall Street Journal 20 Aug 98)


 U.S. Commerce Secretary William Daley has unveiled a new Web site
 containing profiles of some 170 information technology worker-development
 programs throughout the country, and is continuing to push for regional
 solutions such as worker retraining to meet the job demands of the
 high-tech industry. "There are many innovative programs going on to build
 a high-tech workforce, but people don't know about them," he announced at
 the second in a series of town-hall meetings in Bellevue, Wash. The Web
 site can be found at . (EE Times 20 Aug 98)


 A Washington, D.C. appeals court has overturned U.S. District Judge
 Thomas Penfield Jackson's order that the deposition of Microsoft chairman
 Bill Gates and other Microsoft officials be made open to the public.
 Lawyers for several publications and wire services had argued on behalf
 of public access, citing a 1913 law that applies strictly to antitrust
 cases. Microsoft had objected to the conditions, saying that company
 trade secrets could be revealed in the process. The appellate ruling
 concluded that Microsoft could be harmed because "the disclosure could
 not be undisclosed," and said the depositions "may proceed in the manner
 they have to date," which is in private. (Wall Street Journal 20 Aug 98)

                         NBC BUYS INTO INTERTAINER

 NBC has joined Comcast Corp., U S West, Intel and Sony in investing in
 Intertainer, a pay-per-view video service on PC screens. The service is
 slated for a test this fall in 200 households in Comcast's Willow Grove,
 Pa., system outside Philadelphia, and shortly after that will debut in
 Denver as an option on U S West's DSL service. Intertainer offers
 subscribers streamed video of first-run features and kids' shows for
 $3.95 apiece, with 24-hour access. The company is talking to other
 potential partners, hoping to expand to 10-20 markets by the end of 1999,
 says Intertainer co-chairman Jonathan Taplin. (Broadcasting & Cable 10
 Aug 98)


 Game publisher Electronic Arts is buying Westwood Studios, the coveted
 computer game development arm of Virgin Interactive Entertainment Ltd.,
 for $122.5 million. "Westwood is a jewel," says Pat Becker, an Electronic
 Arts spokeswoman. "This is a great group of creative people." Electronic
 Arts, which publishes both video console and PC-based games, is ranked
 the No. 3 video game publisher behind Sony and Nintendo, and hopes the
 Westwood acquisition will help boost its PC game business to the top
 spot. For the first half of this year, it's trailed Cendant Corp. and GT
 Interactive Software in PC game publishing, according to PC Data. "PC
 games are a growing business that doesn't suffer from the transition
 phase the console business goes through," says Becker. (Investor's
 Business Daily 19 Aug 98)


 Many colleges and universities seek to attract foreign students via the
 Internet, but New York University is adding a unique financial aid
 package to sweeten the deal. NYU has been working with Citibank to put
 together its CitiAssist Global financial aid package aimed specifically
 at foreign students. The package is unusual in that it offers loans to
 students who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents -- the
 groups usually targeted by banks for lending. "We want to make the
 funding available to people who don't have the money," says the school's
 director of financial aid. "Otherwise you have only rich people." Since
 posting the information on its Web site, the school has been bombarded
 with e-mail inquiries about the program. Future plans include setting up
 a mechanism so that applications for aid can be filed electronically.
 (New York Times 19 Aug 98)

 Bits & Bytes

                       [BITSBYTES.GIF (64527 bytes)]

                                Bits & Bytes

 by R. F. Mariano

 Welcome to STReport's NEW Marine section dedicated to boating and
 computing.....  Beginning with this issue, this column will be a regular
 feature.  The purpose of which is to provide our readers with insightful
 information about the wonderful world of computers, electronics and
 programming aimed at and affecting the maritime community.  In the coming
 months, we'll be interfacing laptops with the following goodies for your
 boats; Radar, DGPS, Depth Sounders, Chart Plotters, VHF, SSB, electrical
 system chargers and monitors and just about any other worthwhile
 electronic device along with quality Software packages designed to make
 the boating world a little safer, more comfortable and of course, more

 Additionally, we are currently assembling the goodies needed that'll be
 used with a laptop, thus enabling the boat owner/Captain/marina operator
 to automate many of the daily duties involving human intervention.  As an
 example, keeping an eye on the condition of the vessel's batteries in
 relation to when the "shore power" should kick in to re-charge the
 batteries.  By doing it this way, it conserves power for the marina,
 lowers the boater's overall electric bill and maximizes efficient use of
 both the power and the facilities.  The actual applications for using a
 laptop and controlling many electronic functions, inputting course
 settings to the system's navigational units, radar units, setting gps
 destination numbers, plotting underwater markers, setting "favoeite
 fishing spots" etc., the list could go on forever.  But I'm certain you
 are getting the picture.  Its not too difficult to envision that, in the
 not too distant future, Laptops becoming part of the oem installed
 equipment list at the time the vessels are built.

 We will, hopefully, be looking at a marvelous new electronic device that
 is designed to not only enhance today's revised formula bottom paints but
 also to work with them in protecting your vessel.  This new product
 protects against barnies and other pesky organisms in a remarkably
 efficient fashion. It does it electronically through acoustics! According
 to all preliminary reports, it does it well.  We have requested the
 system for demonstration, testing and review. As soon as its installed,
 we will track its results.  BarnacleanTM is the original sonic
 antifouling system. Made in America, Barnaclean was developed and is
 manufactured in Florida by boaters for boaters around the world. It's
 maintenance-free, environmentally friendly, and completely automatic, no
 wonder Barnaclean was named "Best Gear of '95" by Yachting Magazine!

 [northstar1.gif (8273 bytes)]
 The coming months will prove to be quite interesting... the first unit we
 will be looking over and putting through rigorous testing will be the
 NorthStar Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) model 951XD.  And
 later, the 961XD will grace our column.   I can tell you this much
 already about this unit... I have yet to hear anything negative about
 this unit. In fact, while the last thing I wish to sound like is a
 groupie, the truth is NorthStar has a real winner on their hands with the
 9xxXD series DGPS.   Look for the first installment in our next issue.

 About the Northstar 951XD;

                       [nstar_951.GIF (48085 bytes)]

 Integrated Differential GPS (DGPS) receiver and chart plotter

  Northstar has proudly announced the addition of the 951X and 951XD to
  its family of DGPS systems. The new 951X series has all the features
  that made the 941X an instant success, with the added advantage of
  Navionics cartography and 12-channel GPS performance. The internal
  Tide-Track, with its 24-hour graphic display of high and low tides, the
  1,000-waypoint capability, and the 3-D perspective screen that shows up
  to 30 of the closest operator-entered waypoints, are just some of the
  features that continue to make Northstar the leader in producing the
  highest performance navigating systems today.

  The 951X series integrated GPS/Chart Plotter sets a new standard for
  accuracy, speed, and ease-of-use. The 951X's 12-channel GPS receiver
  locks onto every satellite available. The 951XD adds an internal
  dual-channel beacon receiver that uses one channel to receive
  differential corrections, while the other channel searches for other
  available beacons in case you lose the first. The result: a 20-fold
  improvement in GPS position, speed, and heading accuracy, all fully

  The 951X series uses seamless, high-resolution charts by Navionics,
  letting you pan smoothly to any area of the world. In addition, the
  Northstar adds new high-speed "rapid response" technology that lets you
  zoom in or out, or display a new area of the chart, in just a fraction
  of a second!



          * Nav-Chart cartridges by Navionics
          * Scales from 4096 to 1/8 NM
          * Display chart data, vessel, waypoints, routes, track
          * Vessel-centered mode
          * Cursor-following Browse mode
          * Built-in worldwide chart to 64 NM scale
          * Layer display control
          * Chart redraw in less than > sec
          * "Find-it-Fast" cursor locator pointers
          * "No-Chart" indicator

  Position Data:

          * Latitude/longitude (158 datums) from GPS with one-second
          * Phantom Loran-C TDs (calculated from GPS)
          * Loran-C TDs (from your existing loran: one second from
            Northstar 800, two seconds from other lorans)
          * Real-time receiver status screens

  The compact 951X combines the most accurate GPS and the best chart
  plotter in one unit, and it's rugged and completely waterproof.
  Performance. Reliability. Accuracy. The 951X delivers. For more
  information, please call Northstar at 800-628-4487.

 The 951XD is the unit we have and are installing on one of our test
 vessels. All the installation work will be done by us.  We will be using
 a Digital Camera to provide candid shots of our efforts from the ground
 up.  The vessel we will be using is a thirty foot, twin engine, cruiser
 equipped to support both inshore and offshore sportfishing.  Thus far, we
 have quite a line-up for you to discover and the the best part is you
 will be doing all these things right along with us. Including action
 packed Fishing Trips.  The DGPS installation will be done this week.  The
 entire procedure will be covered in our next issue.  Once installed, we
 shall put this puppy through its paces.  Interfacing it with our laptops
 and other devices.   In the 951XD we'll have a number of extra Charts
 provided by Navionics... On the laptops we'll be using Fish Net, Florida
 Fishing & Tide Guide, Maptech's Charting Software and Chartview Pro.  All
 of which will be thoroughly covered in the coming weeks.

                     [nstar_951_SPEC.gif (66767 bytes)]

                         [Casts.GIF (10988 bytes)]

 Got a question relative to something....

    * We have covered or reviewed?
    * Want something reviewed?
    * Want to tell us a thing or two?
    * This is the place...

 [email14.gif (38893 bytes)]

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                             The Linux Advocate

 Column #18

 August 20th, 1998
 by Scott Dowdle

 ICQ UIN: 15509440


 "WOW!" all I can say about all of the things that have happened
 both in the Linux community and to me personally since the last column.
 First of all, I gathered about 100 news URLs but decided to cut the news
 section to a bare minimum.

 There were a ton of software announcements from some major vendors with
 the most notable being Oracle, Informix, Ingress, and Netscape... all
 promising their enterprise market software for Linux. IBM even jumped
 into the fray by stating that they have their enterprise software ported
 to Linux but plan on watching how the other vendors do before they
 officially announce it and offer support. In a recent interview, an IBM
 spokesman said that they have decided to offer everything for Linux but
 to the best of my knowledge, they haven't made any formal announcement.

 There were a ton of Linux related articles in the online and print
 computer press publications. It seems that articles about Linux are
 becoming so common, they are hardly worth mentioning anymore. :)

 On a personal note, I recently got a job offer I couldn't turn down.
 "Systems Programmer" for Montana Communications Network. MCN is the
 largest Internet Service Provider in the state of Montana... serving over
 100 communities. After having worked in a grocery store for the past 7
 and 1/2 years, I am very excited to finally get a job I think I'm going
 to love. I don't start until Sept. 1st and I'll be moving from Great
 Falls to Billings. Wish me luck. I could have never gotten this job
 without the experience using Linux has given me. MCN uses BSDi and
 Solaris so I should fit right in... and I'm sure to use Linux for my
 development work since portability is a given.


 Item #1: Linus speaks again, and again, and again - There was a recent
 rash of interviews with Linus Torvalds. Linus has been speaking more and
 more about Microsoft and Windows. Check out ALL of the following URLs.
 Read every last word! :)

    * Linus makes the cover of Forbes:
    * Linus in the print issue and the digital pages of the last BOOT
    * Linus in some German computer magazine... English translation:

  Item #2: NASA uses Beowulf for law enforcement - It seems that more and
 more uses are being found for the "supercomputer off the shelf." NASA has
 put together yet another Beowulf cluster as a computer crime
 countermeasure. With their 24-node, parallel processing Beowulf cluster
 they can now analyze data in real time rather than weeks or days after
 the fact. Check out the following URL for more info:

 Item #3: Just what is the Linux Community? - In an article entitled,
 "Missing the Whole Point of Linux," Robin Miller zeros in on a concept
 that is foreign to the Microsoft crowd. I use the term "Linux community"
 all the time and my definition of what it is isn't very different from
 Mr. Miller's. Check out the following URL:

 Item #4: SunWorld online dedicates an issue to Linux - Check out all of
 the articles covering Linux this month at the following URL:

 Item #5: Caldera news update - Check out Caldera's news page to learn
 more about the following: 1) Court orders Microsoft to hand over source
 code to Windows 95 to Caldera Inc, 2) Netware for Linux is released with
 support for NDS, and 3) Caldera adopts KDE for next OpenLinux release.
 Complete coverage of may be found at the following URL:

 In a related item, Tom Yager of InfoWorld magazine wrote up a review of
 Netware for Linux entitled, "NetWare for Linux: neat party trick," which
 may be found at the following URL:

 Item #6: National Public Radio did another show about Alternative
 Operating Systems on their Science Friday program. They had some pretty
 high profile guests so check it out ASAP! The entire hour can be found
 online in RealAudio format at the following URL:

 Item #7: Will Ballmer take the fall when Linux supplants Windows NT 5.0?
 - Here's a tongue in cheek editorial about the "real" reason Bill Gates
 stepped down as President of Microsoft... in the digital pages of
 InfoWorld even:

 SPOTLIGHT: ICQ for Linux? A look at Licq

 Given the vast popularity of Mirabilis' ICQ program on the Internet...
 and given the fact that they only produce versions of ICQ for Windows and
 the Mac... and given the vast hacker qualities that exist among many in
 the Linux community... how long was it before a compatible clone of ICQ
 became available for Linux? While Mirabilis (recently bought out by
 America OnLine) HAS produced a platform independent version of ICQ based
 on Java, it isn't very popular... even though it will run on Linux, I'm
 told it is a resource hog. Since I don't even have the Java Development
 Kit installed on my machine, I opted to try one of the seven Linux native
 ICQ clones - Licq. The Licq Homepage can be found at the following URL:

 First of all, Licq is written by Graham Roff (UIN: 2127503). The reason
 there are so many ICQ clones to pick from is because the knowledge that
 has been gathered on the ICQ protocol has been made publicly available.
 In fact, there is a homepage devoted to keeping up with all of the
 programs and co-ordinating the various development efforts (Linux/Unix,
 Amiga, BeOS, Atari MiNT, and Acorn). It may be found at the following

 A Linux specific ICQ development page can be found at the following URL:

 Licq is currently still in development with a version number of 0.40
 preview 4. I've been using it since 0.34 and it is very stable and
 rapidly developing.

 Mirabilis has developed several versions of the ICQ protocol and the
 various clones aren't fully compatible with every feature of the latest
 official Mirabilis release. For complete details, refer to the previously
 mentioned homepages as they have documented everything.

 I'd like to say that Graham Roff was a great help to me with getting a
 working version of the program. Both he and I are Red Hat Linux 5.1 users
 and he was able to assist me with some RHL specific problems that arose
 from the fact that the C++ compiler and C++ libraries that shipped with
 the initial release of RHL 5.1 were broken. I've sent Mr. Roff a half
 dozen or more emails and he always responded in a timely and helpful
 manner. Chalk up another one for the Linux community. Licq is based on
 the QT QUI widget library ( which is based on C++ and I ended up getting
 a newer release of the GNU C++ compiler and the libc6 (aka glibc/thread
 safe) libraries, compiling my own copy of QT from the sources provided by
 Troll Tech, and then compiling my own copy of Licq. While that might
 sound like a daunting task for non-programmers (admittedly, I'm not much
 of a programmer yet) it really wasn't much of a task given the fact that
 everything was built with GNU Autoconf, and GNU Make. All I had to do was
 unpack the source code and type the following commands at the command

 configure <enter>

 make <enter>

 make install <enter>

 It took a few minutes to compile. GNU Autoconf is designed to examine
 your system completely and modify the Makefiles (used by GNU make) so
 that they will compile without a problem on your system. While all of the
 flavors of Unix are thought to be a sort of "Baltic State," full of
 inconsistancy and non-compatibility, reports of such are highly
 exaggerated, especially when it comes to software source written by
 authors who utilize Autoconf.

 I'll provide some screenshots of Licq in action although when I was
 grabbing them, I didn't have a whole lot of ICQ activity going on... but
 one should be able to figure out how it works and what features it has
 (relative to the real version of ICQ) easily since Licq has a very nice
 user interface.

 Here's the main screen:

  [licq-main.gif (11479 bytes)]

 The following windows are the various tabs found in the Functions
 dialogue box. They should be self explanatory.

 [licq-func3.gif (6411 bytes)]

 [licq-func5.gif (9435 bytes)]

 Licq also supports user to user chat but I didn't have any going to take
 a screenshot of. I have used it a few times and it works fine. It looks
 exactly like the real ICQ chat window BUT it has a white background with
 black text... rather than the other way around in the real ICQ. Many if
 the display options can be customized in Licq, either graphically within
 the main program or via value assignments in the plain text configuration

 I've been using Licq whenever I'm connected to the Internet and it has
 performed like a champ even though I've been through 4 beta test versions
 now. There have been a handful of times that Licq crashed... but since
 it's running on Linux, it didn't harm anything when it did... so I just
 started it back up and all was well. While, as I mentioned, there are at
 least seven different ICQ clones to pick from for Linux these days, Licq
 is the only one I've really used for any length of time because it is the
 most mature.

 One of the other programs is called Kicq and is built to communicate more
 directly with KDE (the desktop environment I use). Kicq looks very, very
 much like the real ICQ program and even has all of the animations in the
 various dialogue boxes but it doesn't have all of the functionality that
 Licq has NOW. It'll be interesting to see how all of the ICQ clones
 progress. A couple of the other clones are text based and run fine from
 the console/command line or from a remote shell account... but of course,
 since the GUI based clones are built for the X Window Systems, remote
 operation is a given as well. In conclusion, Licq is a quality product
 even in this stage of its development and Graham Roff deserves a round of
 applause. I know I'm clapping!

 SPOTLIGHT: VNC = Virtual Network Computer = Real COOL!

 For starters, the VNC homepage can be found at the following URL:

 The VNC homepage has an excellent description of what VNC is, as well as
 a good selection of screenshots. While I borrowed from the online VNC
 documentation to provide a description of the product, I produced my own

 (Begin quote from VNC documentation here)

 What is VNC? - A practical introduction

 VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing. It is, in essence, a remote
 display system which allows you to view a computing 'desktop' environment
 not only on the machine where it is running, but from anywhere on the
 Internet and from a wide variety of machine architectures.

 What makes it different from other systems?

 For this simple mode of operation, you could achieve a similar effect by
 installing an X server on your PC. The important factors which
 distinguish VNC from other remote display systems such as X are as

 No state is stored at the viewer. This means you can leave your desk, go
 to another machine, whether next door or several hundred miles away,
 reconnect to your desktop from there and finish the sentence you were
 typing. Even the cursor will be in the same place. With a PC X server, if
 your PC crashes or is restarted, all the remote applications will die.
 With VNC they go on running.

 It is small and simple. The Win32 viewer, for example, is about 150K in
 size and can be run directly from a floppy. There is no installation
 needed. It is truly platform-independent. A desktop running on a Linux
 machine may be displayed on a PC. Or a Solaris machine. Or any number of
 other architectures. The simplicity of the protocol makes it easy to port
 to new platforms. We have a Java viewer, which will run in any
 Java-capable browser. We have a Windows NT server, allowing you to view
 the desktop of a remote NT machine on any of these platforms using
 exactly the same viewer. (The NT server is not multi-user - see the
 documentation). We developed VNC to give us platform-independence after
 the success of our Teleporting system, which was purely X-based.

 It is sharable. One desktop can be displayed and used by several viewers
 at once, allowing CSCW-style applications.

 It is free! You can download it, use it, and redistribute it under the
 terms of the GNU Public Licence. Both binaries and source code are
 available from the download page, along with a complete copy of this

 (End quote from VNC documentation here)

 What can I use VNC to do?

 Well, assuming you have network access via TCP/IP (over the Internet, a
 LAN, or whatever), you can run the server on any supported platform, and
 then connect to the server by running either the viewer (again, on any
 machine platform) or via your Java enabled browser. Let me give you an
 example. The following are screenshots I captured from my home LAN which
 is made up of my laptop running Linux (limited to 640x480 internal
 display) and my desktop running Windows 95 (on the wife's side of the

 The screen capture below was done on the laptop (running the Linux native
 VNCviewer) connected to the desktop (running Windows server).

 [vnc-Win-in-Xviewer.jpg (23150 bytes)]

 As you can see, I'm viewing the Windows 95 desktop in a window on my
 Linux based KDE desktop.

 The screen capture below is the same thing except instead of using the
 VNCviewer to connect, I'm using Netscape since VNC comes with a Java
 Applet that it sends to your WWW browser automatically.

 [vnc-Win-in-Xbrowser.jpg (23989 bytes)]

 As you can tell, this screenshot looks very similar to the previous one,
 only the desktop is displayed within Netscape's browser window. To use
 your browser to connect to a VNCserver all you have to do is enter the IP
 address and the port number. VNC uses the port number 5800 + display
 number. In the above case, the URL was "http://desktop:5800". When your
 browser starts to load the page, the VNCserver will automatically
 transfer a Java Applet to your browser which it will run. A login screen
 then appears and you enter the appropriate password.

 Now let's take a look at things the other way around...

 The screen capture below was done on the Windows 95 machine running the
 VNCviewer connecting to my Linux laptop which is running the VNCserver.

 [vnc-Win-in-Xviewer.jpg (23150 bytes)]

 The resolution is set to 1024x768 on Windows 95 and the X display is also
 set to 1024x768. Whenever the desktop being viewed is larger than the
 window it is being displayed in, you can scroll around in your window to
 access all of the desktop screen. As you can see, I'm running a copy of
 ApplixWare (shameful plug) in X.

 Notice that the URL for the desktop is "http://laptop:5802". You see,
 since Unix, in this case Linux, fully supports multi-users you can run as
 many copies of the X Window System as you want. Each X display has it's
 own display number. In this example, I've created an account named quest1
 and am running the VNCserver as guest1. I just happened to also be
 running a copy of the X window system as myself (account dowdle) on the
 same machine and dowdle's X display was #1, and guest1's X display was
 display #2. To connect to a VNCserver with your browser, you just connect
 to the correct port + the display number which in this case equals 5800 +
 2 = 5802. If you use the VNCviewer to connect, you also have to give the
 display number so this isn't limited to using a browser for the client. I
 probably should have done some screen captures of what the VNC login
 dialogue box looks like (from the VNCviewer and the Java Applet) but I
 think I have enough screenshots for this edition of the column. :)

 I don't have access to a Macintosh so I was unable to produce screenshots
 that show using the Mac as a server or a client... but I'm sure you get
 the idea.

 Since the Microsoft Windows desktop and the MacOS desktop can only be run
 once, the VNCserver shares a single desktop between users. There is a
 share option to allow more than one client to connect to the same desktop
 with the local user. When multiple users are sharing the same desktop,
 they share the mouse pointer. This can be somewhat confusing but it does
 work and you get used to it in no time.

 Since the X Window Systems may be run multiple times, even as different
 users at the same time, the VNCserver can be run as many times as you
 need. Of course, running multiple copies of X tends to hog up system
 resources on your average home user machine (my laptop is a Pentium 75
 with 40MB of RAM and it can handle two copies of X running just fine, I
 haven't tried more than two though). Since a user can pick from dozens of
 different window manager programs, what your X desktop looks like is
 totally up to you. In the above examples, I was running KDE but you can
 start up multiple copies of X with different window managers just fine.
 This isn't a feature of VNC really, but of X... I just thought I'd point
 that out.

 You don't have to run a separate copy of X to allow desktop sharing
 though as the Unix version of the VNCviewer has a share option that
 allows multiple users to share the same desktop, just like the Windows
 and Mac versions do. The same mouse pointer sharing happens and it's kind
 of funny to watch. Over the past few weeks I've really given the
 VNCserver, VNCviewer, and the VNC Java Applet a real going over and I've
 not found any problems with it. I've gone out of my way to put it in
 situations that I thought were problematic and it worked just fine. Here
 are a few examples:

 1) I ran the server and the viewer on the same machine. Then I ran a
 second copy of the viewer on the same machine in shared mode... which
 means, I had the same desktop in two different windows. Moving the mouse
 around in one of them also moves it around in the other. It's kind of odd
 to view two pointers moving at the same time but you get used to it. :)

 2) I ran the server on both machines (one in Windows and the other one in
 Linux) and then I connected to the other one. What this did is let me use
 one machine while it had a window opened up to the other. If that doesn't
 make sense to you at first just think about it. It works fine.

 3) I had many IRC friends connect (not at the same time) to my Linux
 laptop running the VNCserver under the guest1 account. This limits them
 to being able to access the files owned by guest1 which is just fine. No
 risk really, since I set up the guest1 account for guests, right? I
 didn't want to put my friends out so I just gave them the URL to connect
 to (so they wouldn't have to go out of their way to download the VNC
 package) with either Netscape or MS Internet Explorer. No problems were
 reported by any of the half dozen people who tried it... including a
 person as far away as Singapore. On several occasions I ran a local copy
 of the VNCviewer so I could share the desktop with my remote user and it
 worked just fine. Doing it this way is very handy for showing people
 Linux/KDE for the first time and running a few programs for them. It
 works rather nicely.

 4) I did attempt the impossible once. Take the previous example and throw
 in a banana peal... as while I was sharing a remote user's connection to
 the VNCserver running as guest1... I ran the VNCviewer within a viewed
 session. It tried to work... it brought up a viewer window inside of the
 viewer window but the display was all grey and it never updated. It
 didn't crash but it did have to be shutdown because it didn't function
 anymore. It didn't crash Linux (as if that was even possible) or anything
 but attempting to run a viewer inside of itself simply doesn't work...
 and why should it anyway? Didn't I say made every attempt to strain this
 system to the limits? This was the last example.

 A note on performance: My home LAN is 10BaseT which means it runs at
 10Mbits per second over Ethernet cards with an oversized telephone jack
 connector. While there are 100Mbit cards and LANs based on them, I didn't
 have access to one to try it out. Using a VNC desktop isn't as fast as
 the real thing and the speed varies depending on the speed of the
 hardware involved and the bandwidth between server and client. Over my
 10BaseT network running the VNCviewer, there was a noticeable difference
 in speed when compared to the real thing. If I had to guess the speed
 difference I'd have to say that it runs about three-quarters the speed of
 the real thing but that's just a rough guess. This is a display speed
 thing I'm talking about here, as the actual speed a program runs at isn't
 altered at all... the display is just slower. When connecting to a VNC
 server with your WWW browser, there is even a more noticeable speed
 difference. The Java Applet based viewer running in your browser just
 doesn't update the screen fast enough and even over 10BaseT Ethernet it
 is annoyingly slow, especially if you have to scroll the browser window
 to see the whole desktop.

 Over the Internet, given my 28.8 PPP connection, a VNC desktop runs
 proportionally slower in both the VNCviewer and a WWW browser connection.
 While it might be annoyingly slow for some, it does still work. If I had
 to guess, I'd say that the VNCviewer is about twice as fast as the
 browser based Java Applet... but even over 28.8 the Java Applet is
 usable... it is darn slow but usable. Connecting via WWW browser over the
 Internet gives one enough encouragement to go get the stand-alone VNC
 package so one can try the VNCviewer and see how much faster it is. Of
 course, how much bandwidth the users on both the server and client sides
 are using for other Internet services (like web surfing, IRCing, etc) is
 a factor so keep in mind. Often times I had my wife's desktop using the
 Internet through my Linux laptop's 28.8 connection while I had a user
 browsing a desktop with VNC. That's a completely different subject (IP
 Masquerading) which I plan to cover next column. :)

 Oh, I almost forgot to mention... the Windows VNCviewer has many options
 not available in the Unix version. For example, there is a full screen
 mode. I tried this out and it works great. I had the Windows 95 display
 property set to 1024x768 and then switched the VNCviewer into full screen
 mode. The result was that my VNC'ed X session consumed the entire display
 and was it was no longer in a window. The only way I could tell I wasn't
 on the real thing was that the display was a little slower.

 VNC is truly an alternative to buying a commercial X Windows Server for
 Microsoft Windows or the Mac... which usually run you several hundred
 dollars. I've also heard that there is a version of VNC for the 3Com
 PalmPilot but it isn't maintained by nor distributed by the ORL folks.
 The PalmPilot version was made possible because VNC is free and open
 source. I'd expect to see more platform flavors of it to become available
 over time.

 In conclusion, while I tried to cover everything, please visit the VNC
 Homepage for complete information, documentation, and to download your
 own copy. I highly recommend it! And besides... if you work in a network,
 it's fun to install VNC on other people's machines and have the server
 start at bootup so you can connect to their machines while they are using
 them... and freak them out by typing random words or moving the mouse
 pointer around. Just kidding.

 SPOTLIGHT: What will Microsoft's strategy be against Linux?

 Given that many major players in the business software world have
 committed to providing their products for Linux (Oracle, Informix,
 Computer Associates, Netscape, and Corel as examples), how long will it
 be before we see some backlash from the Microsoft marketing machine?
 While such a question a couple of months ago might have been limited to
 the Linux community, the mainstream computer industry press (both online
 and in print) have started writing about how Linux is being perceived
 more and more as a threat to the success of Windows NT. While I've seen
 at least a dozen articles over the past couple of weeks, I'll provide
 info on the two most recent I've run across.

 A recent story in LANTIMES Online entitled, "Linux legitimacy rallies NT
 skeptics," dated August 17th, 1998 can be found at the following URL:

 Another story from Network World Online says basically the same thing as
 the previous article... that Linux is having an impact on Windows NT and
 may overtake it in the future. It requires registration to read but a
 common name and password pair that works on many sites requiring
 registration will work just fine: Username: cypherpunks Password:
 cypherpunks Don't worry, you aren't considered a hacker for using this
 commonly agreed upon account info as that is what it was created for...
 causual browsing of a specific article where one doesn't plan on using or
 maintaining a full blown, registered account, even though they are free.
 You can find it at the following URL:

 Anyway, it is becoming more and more obvious that Microsoft can't
 continue to ignore the Linux community. The Linux Weekly News site has
 had several editorial comments in the last few issues (
 that there have been a ton of positive Linux articles in the mainstream
 press and that the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) campaign will start
 soon. The LWN editor pointed out that the Linux community should ride the
 popularity wave out and keep a mature attitude even when the FUD
 starts... and to avoid flamewars completely. While good advice, it's
 interesting to ponder just what Microsoft would do to combat Linux and
 the Linux community. As you are most certainly aware, the Linux model is
 completely different from the commercial model which Microsoft stomps all
 the time. Competing against Linux may just prove problematic for
 Microsoft and many feel that they don't really stand a chance but that is
 overly optimistic. While I don't personally think there needs to be a OS
 War between Microsoft and the Linux community, I'm confident that
 Microsoft will attempt to wage one like they have done on anything and
 anybody they've even remotely perceived as a threat. Since Linux is
 definitely a threat to the increasing sales of Windows NT, such an OS War
 is unavoidable... so let's just ponder what routes Microsoft could take.

 1) An out and out FUD campaign in the press with article placements and
 ad placements practically any and everywhere. Every knows that Microsoft
 has the funds to do just about anything they want and they spend more
 money (to the best of my knowledge) than anyone else in the computer
 industry on advertising. It is highly likely that Microsoft will earmark
 a percentage of their advertising dollars in an anti-Linux FUD campaign.

 2) A completely different approach is the adapt and overcome strategy.
 Microsoft could pursue two different strategies and even combine them.
 First of all, Microsoft is perfectly able to create their own
 distribution of the Linux OS since Linux is totally Open Source. While I
 doubt they'd do this, it's an option. With a Microsoft branded Linux
 distribution, Microsoft could have a piece of the Linux action. The other
 gameplan in the adapt and overcome strategy involves porting all of the
 Microsoft applications to Linux in an attempt to capture the Linux
 application software market. While it is completely possible for
 Microsoft to use that approach, I see it as problematic for two reasons:
 a) Microsoft doesn't control the GUI API on Linux and I doubt they'd want
 to port the Win32 API to Linux, and b) How much of the Linux community
 would want to run Microsoft Office or Internet Explorer on Linux anyway.
 I don't see the Linux community being very considerate, regardless of
 quality and price, to either a Microsoft branded Linux distribution, nor
 Microsoft brand application software for Linux.

 3) Microsoft could try and buy-out Linus Torvalds and/or many of the
 independent Linux developers. This could potentially work (I'm not
 speaking for Linus or anyone else for that matter) if done correctly.
 Microsoft couldn't have any impact on current versions of Linux as they
 are totally Open Sourced and licensed under the GNU Public License, but
 they could potentially have an impact on the future development of the
 Linux kernel. Given my 3.5 years experience in the Linux community, I
 don't really see a community buy-out as either probable nor possible but
 who knows. It seems to me, as a casual Microsoft observer, that the
 buy-out strategy is usually where Microsoft starts so we'll see what

 4) Microsoft could create a new, cost free, Open Sourced operating system
 that is meant to compete directly with Linux. This highly unlikely as it
 would be a conflict of interest for Microsoft.

 5) Microsoft could progress their product offering to be more like Linux.
 They could reduce their pricing structures and add more software to the
 base system... to make it more attractive and comparable cost wise to
 Linux. I see this as a strategy Microsoft will use but I wonder just how
 far they will go. Given the fact that Windows NT just isn't as competent
 compared to Linux (in my opinion) when it comes to stability,
 scalability, performance and resource management... does it really matter
 how cheap Microsoft makes it? Cost isn't really the main reason most IS
 departments are either switching to Linux or considering switching to
 Linux. It is because Linux is such a good product. Whether Microsoft can
 produce as robust and usable a product as Linux is now (not considering
 the soon to be released Linux 2.2 kernel) remains to be seen. Given the
 fact that Microsoft employs many of the best and brightest minds in the
 computing industry it is somewhat puzzling that their products suffer
 from questionable quality issues. It is less puzzling when one considers
 how much Microsoft banks on marketing rather than technical design
 issues. There is little doubt in my mind that if Microsoft's technical
 folks were allowed to make the design and implementation decisions
 without the overhanded and authoritative input from the marketing folks,
 that Microsoft could produce better OS products. The Linux community
 would have something to worry about if the technical people were in
 control and didn't have to worry about making Windows NT just like
 Windows 98... and if they didn't have to worry about maintaining
 compatibility with older software... if they were allowed to redesign
 many of the early, more poorly designed OS services... if they weren't
 forced to build on a house of cards by using the "patch it until it
 works" development pattern. Reworded, if the Microsoft developers were
 allowed to adopt a development model similar to Linux... if they were
 allowed to redesign critical parts of the OS and not worry about having
 to maintain backwards compatibility... if they didn't have to pursue
 coding goose chases such as integrating MSIE (a client application) into
 their server OS... if the marketing people didn't dictate the development
 directions in order to pursue proprietary avenues to keep and extended
 their OS monopoly --- Microsoft could make a better product. I doubt that
 will change in any significant way ever. :)

 6) Microsoft could remain in denial and/or hope that the Linux community
 is going to screw up somehow but that is not very likely. Most everyone
 in the industry agrees (does anyone disagree?) that Microsoft is
 extremely aggressive in their competition tactics so it is highly
 unlikely they will adopt a denial stance. As Linux becomes more popular,
 the Linux community inevitably suffers from growing pains. Over the past
 few months there has been a dramatic increase in flamewars within the
 Linux community as egos build due to its increasing usage and popularity.
 This really is less of an issue among the Linux developers than it is
 among the Linux userbase... as it is most times the userbase engaging in
 various flamewars. Take the highly visible rift between the KDE and the
 Gnome userbase (two very popular desktop environments for the X Window
 System) over the GUI library that KDE is based on - QT, which isn't
 strictly Open ource. I don't see any of these flamewars as having any
 negative long term impact on the community because the main power of
 Linux is that it is robust and flexible and I doubt the userbase will
 ever settle on any single desktop environment. It simply isn't that
 important of an issue. So far as the Linux developers screwing up, they
 do it all the time. :) Seriously though, the Linux kernel isn't perfect
 nor are all of the programs available for Linux. While the Linux kernel
 developers separate production and development kernels, bugs and security
 holes do arise on a regular basis. What's different about the Linux
 community though is that fact that the Linux kernel is very aggressively
 developed and the fact that the distribution makers are very, very
 vigilant when it comes to security issues. One would be hard pressed to
 find a high quality operating system, or any operating system, which has
 been developed in the time Linux has... or one that fixes problems as
 fast as the Linux community does. Microsoft can't compete when it comes
 to fixing things quickly; Their development model isn't geared for it.
 However, it is certain that if and when Microsoft mounts a FUD campaign,
 they will concentrate on any and all problems they can find regardless of
 how fast they are fixed. The Linux community doesn't run a Windows FUD
 campaign (well, not in any organized fashion and there is certainly very
 little money, if any, behind any FUD effort) so Windows problems would
 never be publicized beyond an appropriate degree.

 In conclusion I'd like to briefly overview two points:

    * Linux is currently (NOW) a threat to Windows NT and Microsoft will
      certainly adopt some strategy and start an OS War just like they
      participated in the now legendary Browser War.
    * While I briefly outlined some scenarios above, they certainly aren't
      the only one available to the marketing folks at Microsoft. They are
      just my end user thoughts and I don't claim to be in-the-know nor
      any professional business strategist... and I welcome any comments
      or alternative scenarios that anyone wants to come up with.

 SPOTLIGHT: The LSB is dead! Long live the LSB! by Jim Pick

 The following is a representation of a recent Freshmeat editorial. For
 those unfamiliar with Freshmeat (, it's a site
 dedicated to keeping the Linux community up-to-date on software
 happenings. Freshmeat is updated about a dozen times a day and keeps an
 exhaustive archive. I include this editorial because I think it is
 noteworthy and a good introduction into the growing pains that the modern
 Linux community are facing. To find the original form of this SPOTLIGHT
 please visit the following URL:

 (Begin long quote here)

 The LSB is dead! Long live the LSB! by Jim Pick

 I signed up to write an editorial on the LSB. Unfortunately, I picked
 this week to do it. Oh joy. :-)

 I was originally going to delve into some technical details about the
 differences between Debian and Red Hat (both of which I am somewhat
 familiar with), and what obstacles lay in store for the LSB team. But the
 political shenanigans of this week have convinced me to change my
 editorial to reflect on the pros/cons of diversity in the Linux
 distribution space, and what benefits there would be to having a
 LSB/LCS-style project. I'll try to dish out some of the dirt on the
 current situation (as I understand it) as well. :-)

 I apologize for the length of this essay. I'm not very adept at
 compressing my arguments.

 First, I'll clear up some information about myself. I'm a 28 year old
 programmer / electrical engineer who has been using Linux since 1995. I
 first started with Slackware, and then moved to Debian when the 1.1
 release came out in mid-1996. That same year, I became a Debian developer
 -- so I've had about 2 years exposure to the inside dealings involved in
 building a Linux distribution (Debian is 5 years old this weekend). I'm
 also the new webmaster for LinuxHQ, which I am (very) slowly rebuilding.

 Benefits of Diversity

 Why are there so many different Linux distributions? Because, "that's the
 way Linus wants it to be".

 When he wrote the Linux kernel, his goal could have been to put together
 a complete operating system distribution - much like what many other free
 OS's (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD) have chosen to do. But as his interests
 lay primarily in hacking the kernel, he wisely left the politics of
 distribution building to others.

 As a result, there are many Linux distributions floating around out
 there. Each is different, some dramatically so.

 This is good, because they all can compete against each other. Think
 Darwin. Each distribution is evolving. The mature distributions (Red Hat,
 Debian, SuSE, Slackware, Caldera) have evolved to fit certain ecological
 niches. New distributions (ie. Stampede, Eonova, Mandrake) are born
 almost monthly. There are already many distributions that failed the
 "survival of the fittest" contest and have become extinct or morphed into
 something else (ie. SLS, Bogus, Lasermoon, Craftworks, LST).

 Some distributions target the mainstream. The vast majority of Linux
 users run a mainstream distribution, of which Red Hat currently has the
 most market share.

 But that's only a part of the story.

 There are a large number of distributions which target specific
 architectures which some of the mainstream distributions do not yet
 support (ie. Linux-ARM, MkLinux, LinuxPPC, Linux/SGI, UltraPenguin, and
 Extreme Linux for Beowulf class systems). There are even a bunch of
 distributions designed to be small (for use as rescue disks, Linux
 trial/demo disks, routers, etc.)

 There are also a number of Linux distributions that are localized for a
 particular non-English culture. I've found specialized distributions that
 cater to the Brazilian, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and
 Turkish markets. I've probably missed many. These "local" distributions
 are very important to the future of Linux, because the vast majority of
 the world's population does not speak English.

 Interesting as well are the variants of Linux that are being implanted in
 non-traditional computing devices. By the year 2001, IDG predicts that
 these devices will outnumber traditional computers. You can see examples
 of variants of Linux in action in Corel's NetWinder, Cobalt's Qube, and
 DEC's Itsy. There is competition in other areas than just the
 distributions. The Gnome vs. KDE rivalry is a good example. There are
 dozens of window managers, mail servers, web servers, web browsers, etc,
 etc, etc. All of these are competing against each other and rapidly

 As I write this, I've made a list of 50 active Linux distributions which
 I have posted on LinuxHQ. I'm hoping that some people will write in and
 give me pointers to a few more. Linux has evolved, and it's strength is
 in it's diversity. That's a large part of the reason that Linux is now
 one of the most popular OS's in the world, and will inevitably topple the
 mighty Microsoft empire.

  Costs of Diversity

 All this diversity has come at a price however. That price is a massive
 duplication of effort, incompatibility, and a fragmented community. Is
 duplication of effort a real problem? I don't believe so. If it was a
 large problem, we would see the symptoms manifest themselves in the slow
 pace of development. The development of Linux I've witnessed has been
 anything but slow. Justlook at the level of activity on Freshmeat! In
 fact, I tend to believe that our tendency to do everything at least twice
 in parallel is good. It has led to a high level of friendly (sometimes
 unfriendly) competition. This has resulted in better ways of doing
 things, as bad ideas and buggy software quickly becomes obsolete. The
 productivity gains we have achieved from competition have far outweighed
 the costs of duplication of effort.

 Is incompatibility a big problem? For the most part, it has been minimal.
 Most of the distributions are built from the same genetic material. They
 all use the Linux kernel, and they all come with the same libc and
 standard utilities you want (from GNU, BSD, and elsewhere) in order to
 have a full Unix-style environment. Open Source (tm) software is
 extremely portable, and uses tools like ./configure scripts to enable the
 software to compile just about anywhere.

 If you have the source code to a piece of Open Source software, there is
 very little stopping you from running that particular piece of software
 on any Linux distribution (or any Unix-style environment for that
 matter). After 3 years using Linux, I am now proud to use a system that
 contains nothing but Open Source software. Binary compatibility is
 trickier. Over time, major shifts do occur in the underlying libraries
 and the kernel itself. About 3 years ago, everybody moved from the a.out
 binary format to ELF. As we speak, distributions are still making the
 switch from libc5 to GNU libc. Next, some distributions will move from
 the FSSTND file layout to the FHS. These transitions will continue to
 occur, and they are very difficult to manage. Distributions need to
 control their own source code for the base system - they cannot rely on
 binaries from elsewhere.

 If you have old dynamically-linked binaries, you need to keep the old
 libraries around. If you want to run a piece of new software supplied as
 a binary, you need to have the newest libraries (forcing you to upgrade).
 Software distributed in binary format is sensitive to the way the
 different distributions name their libraries and the filesystem layout.
 Software distributed as source has none of these problems (provided that
 you re allowed to modify it). That is why the best Linux distributions
 come with full source. Free software is best distributed as source. Most
 distributions also provide pre-compiled binary packages. This is mostly a
 convenience to the users more than anything else. What distinguishes
 distributions from each other is how they plug their source together.
 Sharing binary packages across istributions is of limited value, because
 it is so easy to compile packages from source.

 People who write proprietary software have no choice but to distribute
 binaries. If they want to be portable across a wide variety of Linux
 distributions, they can do so quite easily by installing everything under
 /opt, dynamically linking with only a few well known libraries (such as
 libc), and by statically linking (or avoiding altogether) libraries that
 aren't available everywhere (ie. termcap, curses, Motif). Most
 proprietary software is already designed to be portable across a wide
 range of Unix platforms, so they already do this. IMHO, binary
 incompatibility is not a big problem across the Linux distributions right
 now, and it won't be in the future.

 This leads us to the third cost of diversity - a fragmented community.

 Some fragmentation is inevitable. There are smaller communities within
 the larger "Linux" or "Free Software" community. Anything as big and
 global as this community is going to be fragmented by lots of things:
 national boundaries, language, choice of distribution, choice of
 windowing environment, choice of programming language, or choice of
 editors. I could go on. Personally, I don't think the Linux community is
 fragmented at all. The KDE vs. Gnome thing is the deepest split I see,
 and the two sides still talk at each other. The advocacy gets nasty at
 times, but that's the nature of electronic communication - and everybody
 is constantly learning. Almost everybody reads Slashdot, Freshmeat,
 c.o.l.a., and the LDP. And we all want to beat Microsoft.

  LSB Project History

 The LSB project was Bruce Perens' baby. I'll go into a bit of history
 about Bruce (hopefully not too inaccurate) to give some insight into what
 I think the LSB was initially about. I first installed Debian in 1996,
 just after version 1.1 was released (there never was a 1.0 version).
 Bruce had recently taken over the leadership position from Ian Murdock,
 who had started Debian three years earlier. Bruce was very active in the
 development of the base system.

 He had gotten involved in Debian quite a bit earlier when it was still a
 GNU project. He was looking for a base system upon which he could build a
 custom "Linux for HAMs" distribution for amateur radio operators. I am
 speculating that Bruce believed that Debian would become the defacto base
 Linux system upon which all the distributions would be built, uniting the
 community, because it had the backing of the GNU project (which it later
 lost, before he became leader).

 In the two years when he was leader of Debian, Red Hat overtook Slackware
 and became the Linux distribution with the greatest market share. Linus
 uses Red Hat. I believe Bruce still wanted Debian to become a "standard
 base system" for other Linux distributions. He actively advocated moving
 to RPM and COAS within the project, which the rest of the developers
 showed little interest in. In the end he quit in frustration. A few
 months after quitting, he reappeared, soliciting Debian developers to
 jump ship with him to start a new RPM-based distribution. Soon after, he
 scrapped that idea, and announced the "Linux Standard Base" project,
 together with a list of mostly RPM-derived distributions that supported
 the idea. Conspicuously absent were Debian and Red Hat, who were later

 He put together a closed group of people representing several
 distributions to do the "engineering". This was to be done using a closed
 mailing list (with a public archive at Bruce's
 game plan for the LSB was to build a "reference" base system against
 which the different distributions could compare themselves against to
 judge their conformance. Bruce then set about building the base system by
 himself - alienating most of the members of the group. In a veiled act of
 mutiny, Dale Scheetz (of Debian) and Erik Troan (of Red Hat) started the
 "Linux Compatibility Standards" project to try to find some common ground
 (ie. library names) that could be written up into a paper standard.

 At the same time, Bruce was having a dispute with "Software in the Public
 Interest" (the legal front-end on Debian which he founded, then resigned
 from). It all ended this week with Bruce blowing up and resigning from
 the LSB and renouncing all involvement in Free Software. (I hope he has a
 change of heart, and comes back.) See Slashdot or the Linux Weekly News
 for the gory details. Yow! So now, we are left with picking up the pieces
 of the LSB, and reshaping it to become something that the Linux community

 Benefits to having an LSB/LCS style project

 There are almost as many Linux distributions as there are egos out there.
 Many people felt the LSB would be a good step towards unifying the Linux
 distributions. These people advocated that everybody should use the same
 packaging manager, use the file system hierarchy, share binary packages,
 etc, etc, etc. In essence, everybody would switch to using one
 distribution (closely resembling the distribution of whomever is
 espousing this view). That will never happen. Multi-million dollar
 companies such as Red Hat, Caldera, and SuSE aren't going to entrust
 their core product engineering to a community effort. Debian probably
 won't switch to rpm. And, as I argued previously, Linus doesn't want this
 to happen - this would reduce the diversity, and potential for
 world-domination, of Linux.

 But there are some good reasons for the distributions to at least talk to
 each other. If they could agree on some small policy decisions, they
 could make it easier to write source code that would run across Linux
 distributions. They could increase binary compatibility for commercial
 applications by agreeing on common filesystem hierarchy (ie. the
 FSSTND/FHS) and collaborating on naming libraries (ie. sonames).
 Determining policy such as this is, well, political. Oftentimes, there is
 no single technical solution. What emerges is a compromise based on
 negotiation. If all the distributions used identical policy for
 everything, there would be no differences between them, and no diversity.

 Some common policy would still be very nice to have. Anybody who is
 developing a distribution already has a set of policies in place. In the
 case of Debian, which is a bunch of volunteers distributed around the
 globe, this policy is written up in a formal policy document. Debian even
 has a tool called "lintian" that will analyze packages and point out
 hundreds of places where they violate policy. And it has a bug system so
 that policy violations can be tracked. The end result is a very
 consistent, high-quality distribution.

 Other distributions, such as Red Hat, Caldera or SuSE, have similar set
 of internal policies that have been informally developed, but aren't
 written up anywhere. This works for them, because the developers
 physically work together, and can talk shop over the water-cooler. One
 problem with this approach is that the "contrib" maintainers from outside
 of the company have no idea what the policies are, so they make mistakes.
 Red Hat is taking some steps to move to a Debian-style system for
 "contrib" developers with their Contrib|Net system (see

 In conclusion, I do believe there is some benefit to having some common
 policy: increased source and binary compatibility (although perfect
 binary compatibility isn't really necessary or needed), and the existence
 of some formal policy documents for "contrib" developers to use (leading
 to higher quality contrib packages). It would be a good
 community-building exercise as well, as long as it is handled with some
 political tact.

 Jim Pick

 (End long quote here)

 SPOTLIGHT: The Linux Apocalypse by Christoph Lameter

 (Begin long quote here)

                            The Linux Apocalypse

 No one really knows what Linus is working on. He is working at Transmeta.
 Transmeta is something secret and everyone has to sign an NDA to know
 what is going on. I have had no contact with them at all and I am not
 under any NDA. But from all the available information that I could find
 on the net, I think I can guess what he is doing. Linus is an expert in
 designing operating systems through his work on Linux during his studies
 in Finnland. Transmeta is a company focused on developing new VLSI(?)
 multimedia chips according to business information. This leads to the
 guess that he is probably helping to design a microprocessor of a future
 generation that will be vastly superior to the current processors both in
 multimedia performance as also in regular calculations. The advantage of
 having Linus on the team is also that a Linux port to the new
 architecture could be developed in secrecy by Linus himself.

 Taken to the extreme we could experience the following scenario one day.
 The day it finally begins:

 (Oh yes, I forgot. "Meta" is Greek and means beyond or parallel, on the
 Thus I have chosen to use the word meta in the following. The
 coming with it are... errr... intentional. Do not forget this is all


 Day X: A new arch short "meta" appears mysteriously in the 3.0.46 stable
 Linux Kernels including full-blown emulation layers for Intel and Alpha
 including emulation of common PC hardware. As usual Linus does not post
 anything to explain what is going on. The list server
 crashes due to e-mail overload with speculations. ABCNEWS brings a report
 on mysterious outages on the Internet. Slashdot reports on the new arch.
 David M. the administrator of posts an angry call to
 order to the subscribers of linux-kernel, clears the subscriptions to the
 list and requires everybody to resubscribe.

 Day X+1 day: New processors (short meta) and Motherboards of the meta
 architecture suddenly appear in quantity on all markets having been
 secretly manufactured in huge numbers in Asian chip factories. ABCNEWS
 has tracked down the source of the problem and reports about the new
 architecture released in the Linux kernel and the reason for the internet
 outages. Free Prototypes reach developers for Linux distributions.
 Slashdot reports on the new processors and the free machines. Traffic on
 #debian and other channels on LISC is getting problematic as the
 developers step up their efforts to port to the new arch.

 Day X+ 2 days: Linux distributions based on meta appear. Debian's
 autobuilding process has finished generating a complete distribution for
 the new arch within 15 hours. 15000 software packages are available for
 the new architecture in Debian 4.6. Around 2.3 Terabytes to download.
 ABCNEWS morning news reports of a new processor of unknown origins
 discovered in Asia. After Slashdot features an announcement of the new
 architecture and Debian, the Internet backbone operators order an
 emergency shutdown. Appeals are broadcast on the radio to reduce high
 volume transfers on the Internet and wait for public announcements on TV.
 ABCNEWS investigates further and has a full report at the end of the day.
 Backbone operators temporarily stop service to Debian mirrors.

 Day X+ 2 weeks: Cheapbytes makes a public announcement that orders will
 take 4 weeks to delivery given the amount of orders for the meta-based
 distributions. They upgraded the server taking orders to a meta machine
 now, so please resent your order if you could not get through.

 Day X+ 1 month: Reviews done hurriedly in computer magazines show that
 the speed of the meta architecture is around 100 times more effective
 than common computer architectures. Emulation of common other
 architectures (Intel, Alpha, Sparc) is 10 times faster than the native

 Day X + 1 month +2 days: Intel and Compaq stocks begin falling. IBM and
 RedHat stock rise significantly. The Dow is rising.

 Day X + 2 month: Computers with the meta architecture become available in
 quantity with the capability of running legacy applications. RedHat
 begins offering Redhat 21.0 with the new architecture on CD.

 Day X + 3 months: Sales of non-meta motherboards have fallen by 98%.

 Day X + 4 months: Microsoft ships NT 5.0 for Intel.with a big media event
 on TV. IBM begins to ship Debian 4.6 as the standard OS on all machines
 from mainframe to PC and announces the move on Slashdot. The news on
 Slashdot lead to another shutdown of the net and gives rise to new
 concerns about the stability of the Internet. One Slashdot users reports
 on the TV announcement from Microsoft. Others begin to wonder what a "TV"
 is (being used to interactive games and shows) and how to access the
 comical content. A knowledgeable person points to the TV-emulator package
 available on and in most distributions.

 Day X+ 5 months: Intel declares bankruptcy not having been able to
 anticipate the new market situation. The organization in liquidation
 files a complaint with the Department of Justice against unfair Business
 practices of the Linux Community mentioning especially Transmeta, Linus,
 RedHat and Debian.

 Day X + 7 months: Microsoft posts huge losses in its quarterly report.
 Consumers become used to get quick fixes for their Linux/meta OS based
 PCs. Microsoft announces the development of MetaWin a Windows version
 running on meta machines and abandons all NT development in order to
 focus on meta.

 Day X + 8 months: A series of lawsuits begin from consumers complaining
 about nonexisting Microsoft support for their products and demanding that
 Microsoft be liable for business losses resulting from software that
 Microsoft has not updated for 5 years or more and software they have sold
 with known bugs. They also demand full access to the source code like
 offered by the standard operating system in the PC world. Microsoft faces
 an additional suit by the company who designed meta for patent
 violations. A preliminary injunction is issued barring Microsoft from
 using meta technology.

 Day X + 10 months: Bill Gates commits suicide leaving a note saying "I
 only wanted to help." and triggers a procedure to erase all Microsoft
 source code at his company to cover his tracks.

 Day X + 11 months. Linus (with his wife and 5 children) moves back to
 Finnland saying that the job he came to the US has been completed.

 Day X + 12 months: The DOJ investigation into The Linux Monopoly begins.
 The DOJ finds out that the budget for Debian (one of the possible
 defendants) is $578 Dollars/year and tries to hold the 3400 Debian
 Developers liable. People in key computer science positions suddenly
 vanish to their native countries. The servers of the Hollywood studios go
 offline without connectivity since their ISP was operated by a German.
 RedHat's lawyers establish a countersuit against the DOJ for damages.

 Day X + 15 months: Microsoft files for protection under Chapter 11 from
 people trying to hold Microsoft liable. 300.000 people demonstrate in
 Washington against the practices of the Department of Justice and for a
 public mandate to GPL all retrievable Microsoft sourcecode.

 Thus the evil empire has fallen and a new paradigm of software for the
 consumers has dawned. The old has passed away and a new horizon is
 opening (following Revelation Chapter 20+21 somewhat).

 Can this be true? We still do not know what Linus is doing??..
 Maybe for our own good we should not know?
 More importantly THEY should not know.
 But what am I talking about?

 Christoph Lameter

 (End long quote here)


 I'm going to be busy with moving and starting a new job so I'm not sure
 how well I'm going to be able to handle a weekly column for the next
 month or so. It might turn out to be a breeze or maybe not. I've had to
 drop out of school for the Fall semester given the changes and I'm not
 sure what all Montana State University Billings has to offer in the
 computer coursework yet. I've been told that Rocky Mountain College (a
 private college that is more expensive than MSU) has an excellent
 Computer Science degree program so I'm definitely going to be checking
 that out ASAP.

 As always, feedback is requested.


 Jason's Jive


 Jason Sereno, STR Staff

                  Windows 98: More than 1 million served;
            nine out of 10 customers "satisfied," survey shows

 Microsoft Technical Support reports fewer customer service calls

                      [Windows98_box.gif (9775 bytes)]

 Microsoft Windows 98 is on the money. Since its release on June 25, the
 newest desktop operating system from Microsoft has flown by the 1 million
 mark, the company reports. And while sales have been brisk, the volume of
 customer support calls has not. In fact, an independent survey reveals
 that customer satisfaction with Windows 98 is very strong.

 "When the product launched three weeks ago, we were thrilled with the
 enthusiastic response from our customers," said Larry Mondry, executive
 vice president of merchandising for CompUSA. "Three weeks later, sales
 continue to exceed our expectations, and our customers report being very
 satisfied with Windows 98."

 A survey of people using Windows 98 has confirmed that consumers are
 quite pleased with the new operating system. Telecommunications Research
 Group, an independent market research firm, surveyed a random sample of
 Windows 98 users and nine out of 10 reported that they were "somewhat"
 satisfied" or "very satisfied" with it. Three out of four said they
 believed that Windows 98 was a good investment for the future. And more
 than half reported that they had already recommended it to a friend.

 Calls are also down to Microsoft Technical Support, compared to the
 number received after the launch of Windows 95. "Delivering a high
 quality product that provides customers with the best possible upgrade
 experience is our top priority, and we are happy to report that calls to
 technical support are approximately half of what we experienced with
 Windows 95," said Brad Chase, vice president of Windows marketing.

 It's just what Microsoft was hoping for.

 The company designed Windows 98 to work better and play better. Windows
 98 speeds up performance, so programs will load faster. The operating
 system also uses hard-drive space more efficiently, allowing for an
 average of 28 percent more hard-drive capacity_without compressing files.
 To make everyday computing tasks easier, Windows 98 includes new desktop
 navigation options, including a single-click program launch; forward and
 back buttons, much like those found on a Web browser; and a Start Menu
 designed for simpler customization.

                  [windows98_puzzle_EDIT.gif (1902 bytes)]

 New Internet features in Windows 98 include Web-browsing capabilities
 throughout the product and Internet tools such as Microsoft Outlook
 Express, an intuitive e-mail package. Microsoft also integrated the
 NetMeeting 2.1 conferencing application into Windows 98 for easy
 Web-based video conferences_an especially useful feature for people who
 telecommute. And new HTML-based Help includes troubleshooting tools and
 step-by-step, how-to information.

 Windows 98 is also designed to help people have more fun with their

 The operating system includes enhanced 3-D support for realistic
 game-playing, and it supports DVD, a new storage medium that looks like a
 CD-ROM but provides better sound and video and can hold 15 times more
 information on a single disk. With support for the Universal Serial Bus
 (USB) in Windows 98, people can connect joysticks, video-conferencing
 cameras, scanners and other types of peripheral hardware to their
 PCs_without rebooting. Manufacturers are developing more than 250 USB
 products, with an additional 100 expected within the next year.

 Windows 98 even includes television broadcast capabilities, so PCs that
 have a television tuner card can receive and display television and other
 data distributed over broadcast networks.

 And while customers do indeed seem pleased with all that Windows 98 has
 to offer, Microsoft remains committed to making their introduction to the
 new operating system as smooth as possible. Microsoft Technical Support
 continues to update the Support Online site with new updates.

 Microsoft Win 98 update

 Microsoft Corp., said a Windows 98 Update -- a software download it is
 putting together that will pack the latest additions to Windows 98 -- is
 not a service pack in disguise.

 A spokesman for the Redmond, Wash., software maker said Windows Update
 will include only new features, such as a new version of DirectX, a
 three-dimensional enhancement application.


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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!"

 Has it been a month already? It hasn't gone by quickly, but somehow
 during this summer I've lost track of time. It's been a terrific summer
 (okay, so June was a washout in the Northeast) and I've been having a
 ball. And yes, I'm on vacation again as we 'speak'!

 It's been fun, but busy. First time in about ten years that I've actually
 got a tan - yard work and lots of time in the pool. It's nice to not have
 that pasty-white complexion for a change! Barbecueing 4-5 times a week
 has been fun, cold beers by the pool or on the deck, mowing the lawn,
 watching the dogs (we just adopted another dog!), being with friends and
 relatives (notice 'relatives' came second!), and a whole bunch of other

 It's hard to believe that it's almost a year in the new house! Nothing
 much has progressed inside the house all summer; it's just been too nice
 to work inside! But, the fall is coming and all of those inside projects
 are getting lined-up! I'm looking forward to them also (we'll see how
 long the "fad" lasts!).

 Atari? Haven't really thought about computing much over the summer. Sure,
 I still get online everyday, but computing has taken a backseat due to
 everything else going on. I haven't lost interest, so take heart.
 Actually, I am going to miss not being able to make the World of Atari
 show next weekend (see details further on in this column). It sounds like
 it's going to be an incredible time. I'd love to be able to see many of
 my Atari friends as well as meet many whom I've only known online or by
 phone. Hopefully, we'll have some firsthand accounts of the show for you
 in an upcoming issue.

 Well, it's getting late and I have to get up early to get ready for my
 former neighbors who are coming up for the day; I haven't seen them since
 last winter. More barbecue, beer, and pool time - what a life!

 Until next time...

     Welcome to your channel Atari Member Update for the month of Aug.

 In this Member Update, you'll find:

    * MyMail update
    * POPwatch and NEWSwatch by Gary Priest
    * NEWSie v0.90
    * ASH Internet apps in swedish
    * Video software

 Statistics from my Atari page

 My new location

 1. M Y M A I L U P D A T E

    * MyMail by Erik Hdll is now up to v0.66 and here's some update info
      sent by him:
    * Problems with the new window handler was causing bombs this problems
      are now fixed.
    * Some problems with cursor in editor window fixed.
    * Problems to find web page name at add to CAB hotlist partly fixed.
    * A encoding fault in the uuencoding is now corrected.
    * Added new entry in menu for editing of personal address card.
    * Added new windows for editing of personal address card.
    * The contants in this window is saved at close of the window.
    * If the button "always send this include in new mail" is selected the
      address card is sent in all mail.
    * Incomming attachments with the name vcard.vcd is never shown in
      editor it is added to the database named vcard.txt
    * If there is no hits at search in the alias database when typing a
      name instead of a email address mymail continues to search in the
      addresscard database (vcard.txt)
    * MyMAIL is now recognizing if a popserver is locked.
    * Many small bugfixes.

 This new feature with VCards is compatible with IE Outlook and Netscape
 Mail. You can actually send a card with all your personal info, name,
 e-mailadress, URL, phone, street address

 and more and the receiver can pick it up with MyMail or the apps
 mentioned above.

 My MyMail support page is to be found at:

 There's also some new snapshots there, taken from the MagiC 6.0
 environment and the official webpage, made by the author:

 2. P O P W A T C H A N D N E W S W A T C H :

 Some features of POPwatch:

 Works with STiK, STinG and GlueSTiK, you can see your mails at your
 providers POP-server before you download them (or not), dlete any
 unwanted emails (junk mail), so you don't bother to download them at all,
 view parts of the emails before download, download selected mails into
 your standard email app, Oasis2, NEWSie or NOS, POPwatch can
 automatically check for new mails every x minutes, BubbleGEM support,
 associate sound with players like NED Player and GEMjing.

 Some features of NEWSwatch:

 Works with STiK, STinG and GlueStiK, allows you to use Oasis
 1.3x/Snews/Okami 1.29+ or Oasis2 in conjunction with STiK to send and
 receive Usenet News articles and BubbleGEM in-built help.

 POPwatch is updated to version 2.61 and NEWSwatch into 2.11. You will
 find these apps at my download bay located at:

 and at the homepage of Gary Priest, where there're other useful Internet
 apps made by him is to be found, with other various software. Apps like
 Finger, WhoIs, CoSTa, xURL, xTASK and more:

 3. N E W S i e

 Johns Rojewski's NEWSie for email, News and FTP is also updated into
 version 0.90.

 Among lots of fixes and so on, here's some of the news:

    * Support for Re-Queue of mail messages, i.e. send again from OUTBOX
    * Support Incomplete mail (i.e. "draft" status) via shift key
    * Support window Info line for Mailbox and Overview windows (Request)
    * Pass unused keypresses to AVSERVER, if server exists (Request)
    * Improve 'Extract Binaries' to look in multiple paths for programs
    * Provide UUDecode function both internally and externally (Request)
    * Translation for German language - only RSC at this time (Request)
    * Implement newsgroup first/last article display/maintenance (Request)
    * Support FTP servers w/o use of PASV command (Request)
    * Expand FTP Output buffer size for speed improvement (from 1K to 4K)
    * Support browser WWW-Authenticate w/Authorization: response to
      "Unauthorized" (401)
    * Support Status update/display in window information line (Request)
    * Provide auto-extraction of Attachments/Binaries on msgs (Request)

 4. A S H I N T E R N E T P A C K A G E S :

 ASH have updated both their Internet packages into newer versions. The
 webbrowser CAB 2.7, PPP-Connect 1.4, Fiffi 1.10 and Emailer 1.1.I have
 already translated apps from the distribution into the swedish language.
 You will find swedish RSC-files, update docs and descriptions at the

 5. M I L A N - T H E N E W T O S - C O M P U T E R

 There's lots of projects in the air now concerning this new computer, the
 machine is officially released and contain the new TOS 4.5 and the
 MiNT-based pre-emptive operating system Milan MultiOS 1.2 with lots of
 "Home"-apps, like Papyrus 6 Home, Texel Home 2, Smurf Home, etc as you
 already noticed through:

 and my swedish webpage:

 One of the most interesting developments its made by SoundPool and
 escpecially the StarTrack Audio-card and the mastering software. Thanks
 to a PCI to VME-bridge, Milan now have a professional system for Audio as
 a option.

 6. V I D E O A N D A N I M A T I O N S S O F T W A R E

 M_Player (Falcon030, TT030), MP_STE (Atari ST(F/FM/E) by TELLO Guillaume
 and AniPlayer (Falcon030, TT030, Milan) by Didier Mequignon is updated
 into v2.90, 2.79 resp 2.02. AniPlayer also contain a MagiC Setup program
 by Joachim Fornallaz for a comfort install of add-ons etc. My support
 page have turned to be a Scandinavian support webpage now, but you can
 always download the original multilignal apps from there. Here's all the
 addresses you need:

 S O M E  S T A T I S T I C S

 I've open a door for you to read the statistics according my home page.
 The stats is started in the month of April and there's some very
 interesting data to read, here's some...

 Someone is using the new MS Internet Explorer 5.x, The US Department of
 Defense have found my site interesting, WebTV, MS Windows 98 and visitors
 from nearly all the countries in the world, you can also build a picture
 of what screen resolutions is common and the color depths used, this is
 good platform if you're going to create a homepage yourself. How you
 would construct a webpage that common or all visitors can access with no
 problems, depending of their computer systems.

 You will find the stats entry at the bottom of the left frame, just below
 the buttons or directly through:

 M Y H O M E P A G E :

 Due some problems with my accounts provided by my Internet Service
 provider, I decided to stay (and move). If you have a link to my Atari
 Homepage, don't bother. It works anyway. Visitors that use this link will
 be automatically re-mapped to the new location. Anyway, the exact address

 Bottnia Internet Provider (BIP) is a swedish provider that gives

 free services to the Net.

 M Y  E - M A I L  A D D R E S S:

  My new e-mail address proivded by BIP for Atari related mails is:

 If you have my old address in your address book. don't bother, the old
 ones or works just fine, so send me some mails
 about your summer vacation or your Atari interests. Its always nice to
 get in touch with you.

 Best Regards

 Mille Babic

 Milan Update in the USA from GodFather Computer, Inc.

 From: Thomas Ferreira

 If you did not see our original message a couple weeks ago regarding the
 Milan, please read on and then send us an email so we can get you on our
 database. This way we can keep you posted if you are interested in buying
 a Milan in the USA... Email:

 The staff at GodFather Computer, Inc. would like to thank all the folks
 who sent us an email regarding the possibility of distribution of the
 Milan Computer in the USA. We must say things are looking good thus far.
 We have been told an english version will be available very soon and once
 this happens, our plans are to acquire one for testing purposes in our
 USA office. We want to make 100% sure this product is made well and that
 it performs as advertised.

 Once we feel comfortable that the english version is solid, we will start
 to accept pre-orders for the Milan. Our goal is to locate as many USA
 customers as possible for this 1st order so we can all keep our freight
 costs down since shipping from Europe to USA is not always cheap.
 Although the exact price has not been set, here are the initial
 specifications of the Milan system we will be selling for approx $899
 (USD) plus freights (freights being from Europe to USA to your doorstop):

 Milan Computer housed in the designer Milan style case, 16MB RAM, 800MB
 to 1.2GB HDD, 1.44MB FDD, Keyboard, Mouse, 2MB Video Card, Milan OS, a

 Milan revised TOS 4.x, and manual.

 GodFather Computer also sells a great line of monitors and laser printers
 to companion with your new Milan. 14" monitors start at only $109, 15" at
 $139, 17" at $249, 19" at $549, and 21" at $919. Our Digiview and Decavew
 monitors come with a 3 year warranty and the Milan at this time comes
 with a one year warranty.

 Again, these are only preliminary specifications but we expect the final
 cut to be fairly similar if not exact. The main goal is to continue
 letting you know of the progress being made on bringing the Milan to the
 USA. As soon as all the above items are 100%, we will add the Milan
 information to our web pages and begin to accept pre-orders.

 Thank you again for the interest in the Milan Computer.

 TJ Ferreira

 GodFather Computer, Inc.

                               Gaming Section

    * 'Spice World'!!
    * 'Small Soldiers'!!
    * 3DO News!
    * PSX Top 25!!
    * And Much More!!

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

 TONS of gaming news since we last met. It's been an interesting summer of
 gaming. Wonder whatever happened to going to the beach on a beautiful
 summer day... Anyway, if it's gaming you want, you got it! "Small
 Soldier", Spice Girls, NASCAR Racing, TurboProp, and more - just out or
 coming soon. Check out this issue and next for plenty of gaming news and

 Until next time...

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

                   3DO Posts Loss, Software Revenues Rise

 Video game developer 3DO reported a slightly narrower-than-expected loss
 for its first quarter and said revenues rose on the strength of its
 "Might and Magic VI" and "Army Men" games.

 The Redwood City, Calif.-based company reported a net loss of $2.6
 million, or 10 cents a share, for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30,
 compared with a profit of $21.2 million, or 72 cents, for the same period
 in the previous fiscal year. The year-ago quarter included a one-time
 gain of $18 million from the sale of assets associated with its former
 hardware business, as well as income associated with the $12.1 million in
 hardware-related revenues.

 According to First Call, which tracks analysts' estimates, the consensus
 on Wall Street was a loss of 11 cents a share. 3DO, which has transformed
 itself from maker of a video game player into a developer of games for
 personal computers, Nintendo 64 and the Sony Playstation, said software
 revenues rose to $9.5 million from $2.3 million a year earlier thanks to
 its best-selling "Might and Magic VI" and "Army Men" games.

 3DO said its software revenues in the quarter were the largest in its
 history and exceeded the revenue from its software business during the
 entire fiscal 1998 year. "We are really excited we have done that with
 two franchise properties," said John Adams, chief financial officer, in
 an interview, adding that 3DO has about 14 or 15 video games planned to
 be launched this year, which will fuel more growth.

 "These results show the speed of progress we are making as a video game
 publisher. The quality of our games is being reflected in our high
 revenue growth rate and our outstanding sell-through of our recent games
 in the marketplace," 3DO Chief Executive Trip Hawkins said in a
 statement. Adams added that the company planned to hire an additional 100
 to 125 staffers in fiscal 1999 and increase advertising and marketing
 expenses related to its upcoming launch of new video games. But overall,
 Adams said he is comfortable with analysts' forecasts of revenues of
 about $45-$55 million in fiscal 1999.

         3DO Looks To Sub-$100 Consoles To Drive Christmas Sales Up

 Aug. 04, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 9, No. 149 via COMTEX) -- 3DO is
 expecting next-generation console prices to drop to the $99 range by
 Christmas, and is building its console sales projections around that
 eventuality, CFO John Adams tells MMWire. "The penetration of console
 games into households will probably double" following such a price cut,
 he says. "It's a huge opportunity come the holiday season."

 3DO has gained entry into the console market a year earlier than it had
 planned, by picking up the rights to TOCA Championship Racing from
 UK-based Codemasters. TOCA is set for a late Aug/early Sept release on
 PlayStation and PC. The title launched before Christmas '97 in Europe and
 shipped "more than 650k units" there, Adams says.

 While TOCA (the acronym comes from British Touring Car Championship)
 isn't a strong brand outside the UK, Adams is confident of healthy US
 sales. "We're expecting to do pretty well [with TOCA]," he says. "An
 average PC game does 50-100k. At the low end, a console title does two to
 three times that," and TOCA should sell in that range.

 The company's next PSX title, Army Men 3D, an adaptation of the Army Men
 PC title, will launch this fall, with an N64 version scheduled for fiscal
 2000. 3DO is also developing a sequel to Army Men, initially for PC. PSX
 title Uprising X will launch on the cusp of Q3/Q4, Adams says. 3DO's
 first N64 title, Battle Tanks, is scheduled for release in Q4.

             Fox Interactive's "N20: Nitrous Oxide" Set to Rock

 LOS ANGELES (July 13) ENTERTAINMENT WIRE - July 13, 1998 - The hottest
 name in electronic music and the hottest game for Sony PlayStation will
 crank up the heat together this summer as Fox Interactive's hit PSX game
 "N20: Nitrous Oxide" presents The Crystal Method, live on tour with
 special guests Lunatic Calm and Taylor. This 28-city tour celebrates the
 launch of Fox Interactive's amazing new PlayStation release, "N20:
 Nitrous Oxide" -- featuring music fueled by The Crystal Method.

 "N20" is more than just a game; it's a highly captivating, sensorial
 experience that unleashes an electrified tsunami of light, color and
 sound filled with attacking insects, flashing intellibeam lights, and
 constantly morphing landscapes and tunnels. Special "N20" video game
 kiosks will be set up at each venue on the tour to give fans a chance to
 experience this summer's most talked about title.

 Tour Dates/Cities

  Aug 25-Albuquerque            Sept 5-Orlando                 Sept 18-Cleveland

  Aug 26-Oklahoma City          Sept 7-Winston-Salem           Sept 19-Chicago

  Aug 27-Dallas                 Sept 8-Myrtle Beach            Sept 21-Minneapolis

  Aug 28-Houston                Sept 9-Pittsburgh              Sept 22-Omaha

  Aug 29-Austin                 Sept 10-Boston                 Sept 23-Denver

  Aug 31-Lawrence KS            Sept 11-Philadelphia           Sept 24-Salt Lake City

  Sept 1-St. Louis              Sept 12-New York               Sept 25-San Francisco

  Sept 2-Memphis                Sept 13-Washington DC          Sept 26-Los Angeles

  Sept 3-Atlanta                Sept 15-Indianapolis           Sept 4-New Orleans

  Sept 17-Detroit

 All dates subject to change. Exact venues TBA ASAP. Check local listings
 or visit online for information on when and where
 tickets for individual tour dates will go on sale.

               Sparks Fly As Crime Killer Swerves and Crashes

 IRVINE, Calif., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Interplay Productions announced
 today its arcade title, Crime Killer(TM), for the Sony PlayStation(TM),
 has shipped to retail outlets nationwide. The ultra-addicting arcade
 action is one of the fastest games available for the PlayStation,
 boasting 60 screaming frames per second. Developed for both rookie and
 veteran gamers, Crime Killer takes players through high-speed missions
 and deadly criminal pursuits, in an effort to bring justice back to the
 futuristic streets.

 Created by U.K. developers Pixelogic Ltd., Crime Killer hits the streets
 with an arcade style that throws gamers into a variety of real-time 3D
 futuristic environments. Set in the year 2115, each player must complete
 17 levels of gut-wrenching high speed police pursuits in order to contain
 the city's rising gang violence and growing population of organized
 crime. "I've yet to see a game that runs this fast and looks this good,"
 states Karen Schohan, director of marketing at Interplay. "The energy,
 excitement and pure game playing fun is unimaginable."

 The police action begins with players outfitted in one of three specially
 equipped law enforcement vehicles: The Turbo Patrol Car, the Bike or
 Wing. With its unique moves and superior handling characteristics, each
 unit comes armed with an arsenal of high-powered lethal and non-lethal
 weaponry, energy level displays, weapon status and the ever-important
 damage indicator. As members of the Elite Protectorate, players have the
 freedom to travel through suburban sectors, industrial wastelands and war
 torn ghettos in an effort to seek out any criminal activity.

 The missions are intensified when high-speed chases take the player down
 a terrain of maze-like roads and futuristic freeways. The game can be
 played in first or third person perspective with two-player split screen
 and analog support. In either view the jolts, shakes and tilts of the
 camera are truly intensifying. With black humor throughout and a
 throbbing sound track, Crime Killer unleashes a fury of immersive game
 play at breakneck speed.

            ASC Games and Electronic Gaming Monthly Team-up ...

 DARIEN, CONN. (July 15) BUSINESS WIRE - July 15, 1998 - Sweepstakes Gives
 A Lucky Electronic Gaming Monthly Reader The Opportunity To Meet NASCAR
 Superstar Jeff Gordon. Start your engines and let the race begin to meet
 two-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon during the making of his
 video game JEFF GORDON RACING as ASC Games and Electronic Gaming Monthly
 announce the Meet Jeff Gordon(R) Sweepstakes. By completing the Meet Jeff
 Gordon(R) Sweepstakes entry form featured in the August issue of
 Electronic Gaming Monthly, entrants will have a chance to win an all
 expense paid trip for two to meet racing phenomenon Jeff Gordon while he
 is filmed for in-game video footage, and get a sneak preview of ASC
 Games' upcoming video game release, JEFF GORDON RACING. Entries must be
 received by August 15th to be eligible.

 "We're very excited to partner with Electronic Gaming Monthly for the
 Meet Jeff Gordon(R) Sweepstakes," stated Sharon Wood, Vice-President of
 Marketing for ASC Games. "This promotion is a perfect match for both ASC
 Games and Electronic Gaming Monthly because it provides a lucky EGM
 reader the opportunity to go behind the scenes during the making of JEFF
 GORDON RACING with the hottest Winston Cup superstar on the NASCAR

 Racing onto store shelves in February and March 1999 for the PlayStation
 and PC respectively, JEFF GORDON RACING is a turbo-charged, arcade-style,
 stock car racing game that features Jeff Gordon as your personal mentor,
 teammate, and ultimately, your toughest competition. From the outset of
 the development process, Jeff Gordon has participated and worked
 extremely hands-on as both co-designer and co-producer on the project.
 The end result will be a game that will give gamers the pure rush of
 driving at extreme high speeds, the heat of fierce competitive racing
 combined with a futuristic spin on stock car track and vehicle design.

 A prodigy in the racing world, Jeff Gordon is one of the most successful
 drivers in NASCAR Winston Cup history. After seventeen races this season
 Gordon has finished in first place four times and is currently the
 Winston Cup Points leader. Last season, Gordon became the youngest driver
 ever to win the coveted Daytona 500 en route to winning a career best 10
 races and his second Winston Cup Championship. His first championship in
 1995 made him the youngest driver ever to win the Winston Cup
 championship. Some of Gordon's countless awards include the 1998 NASCAR
 Future Legend Award, Time Magazine's 1996 Top Ten Sports Phenoms of the
 Year in 1996, a 1995 ESPN ESPY award for Racing's International Driver of
 the Year, and the 1995 National Motorsports Press Association's American
 Driver of the Year award.

                  Turbo Prop Racing Speeds to PlayStation

 FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (July 15) BUSINESS WIRE - July 15, 1998 - Turbo Prop
 Racing(TM), available only on the PlayStation(R) game console, is a 3D
 speed boat racing game that is sure to leave the competition all wet. The
 game, with its impressive graphics and incredible speed, will be
 available in July.

 "Turbo Prop Racing uses PlayStation's high-resolution mode, running at
 the unbelievable rate of 60 frames per second, along with advanced
 lighting effects, to produce some of the best visuals ever seen," said
 Peter Dille, senior director, product marketing, Sony Computer
 Entertainment America. "This is a high-impact game that puts you in the
 drivers seat of some of the fastest boats on the water. Every time a wave
 crashes on the hull, you will feel it." Eighteen courses offer variety,
 and when these are completed, players will have the option to compete on
 hundreds of randomly generated tracks. Upon collecting five yellow buoys
 and placing first, the option to ride the bonus tracks is offered. Upon
 completing the bonus track, the boats can be upgraded by replacing
 different parts.

 The player will need to collect these buoys while racing. A two-player
 mode allows players to choose a vertical or horizontal split screen,
 ideal for high-resolution wide-screen televisions. Turbo Prop Racing
 gives players the unique feeling that they are actually in the boat by
 applying the resistance they would feel while flying through water. The
 boats smack against the wake and are thrust from side to side by currents
 and waves, which crash against the hull in violent sprays of foam.

           "Tomba!" Brings Pink Hair and Pigs to the PlayStation

 FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (July 16) BUSINESS WIRE - July 16, 1998 - Sony
 Computer Entertainment America Inc. Thursday announced that "Tomba!" is
 now available at retailers nationwide, only for the PlayStation game
 console. Setting itself apart from traditional side-scrolling platform
 games by successfully combining a platformer with adventure and RPG
 elements, "Tomba!" features a pink-haired jungle boy who battles evil
 pigs in a wacky storyline.

 "'Tomba!' is a unique combination of a platform and role-playing game
 with a terrific sense of humor," said Peter Dille, senior director,
 product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "This weaving
 together of gameplay elements creates a deeper, richer game full of
 discovery and exploration. The challenging puzzles, intriguing gameplay,
 and likable lead character are sure to appeal to consumers of all ages."

 Gameplayers will control the main character, Tomba, as he embarks on an
 adventure to retrieve his grandfather's gold bracelet that was stolen by
 a band of evil pigs. On his quest, he heroically runs through rolling
 hills and other rich environments, visiting magical places and battling
 humorous yet challenging enemies. Tomba must search for new items and
 weapons, unveil hidden paths and discover many secret sub-levels.
 Gameplayers will also manage an inventory system similar to those in
 classic RPGs.

 Capable of a wide range of movements, including running, jumping,
 climbing, hanging, biting and hitting enemies and swinging on tree
 branches, Tomba can also move into and out of the background, resulting
 in two playable game paths and more than 100 hours of immersing gameplay.
 "Tomba!" comes from the creators of "Mega Man," "Ghouls and Ghosts" and
 "Breath of Fire," and from the producer of "Street Fighter" and "Resident
 Evil," one of the best-selling PlayStation video games of all time.
 "Tomba!" was developed by Whoopee Camp Co. Ltd.

                 Vis Brings CCG Concept To Doom-Style Game

 Jul 17, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 137) -- (London)
 Scotland-based developer Vis Interactive believes it has the world's
 first collectible computer game on its hands in long- awaited 3D PC title
 Hedz, which launches in September after prolonged delay. Published by
 Hasbro Interactive, Hedz combines Doom-style 3D gaming with features akin
 to playground games such as marbles. As with collectible card games
 (CCG), players build a strategic 'hand' - in this case, a set of cartoon
 'heads' which, when worn, bestow special properties, such as the ability
 to fly or fire weapons. Winners keep their foes' heads and use them in

 CCG players buy, sell and exchange cards to become more powerful, and
 bringing this concept to traditional computer games could prove lucrative
 to publishers. Although Hedz does not have this facility at present, Vis
 CEO Chris van der Kuyl agrees heads could be sold on the Internet. "This
 is chapter one." Sequels and cross-platform products are also possible if
 the game takes off. "It's no secret that we'd love to do Hedz II or Hedz
 64 [an N64 version of the PC-only game]," agrees VP Creative Kirk Ewing.

 At E3, Hasbro Interactive President Tom Dusenberry told MMWire he
 expected Hedz to sell 200K-300K units in the US and 150K-200K in Europe
 (MMW, May 28). Hasbro has filed a patent for Hedz in Vis' name, van der
 Kuyl says. The company is also understood to be prototyping plastic toys
 with detachable heads, based on Hedz' cartoon-style characters.

                     Purple Moon Has Software for Girls

 Preteen girls display a deplorable lack of interest in blowing things up,
 killing, maiming and other staples of entertainment software, which means
 there isn't a lot of stuff out there for them. Entertainment software
 themes are sports, combat, competition and gadgets. The virtual
 characters in the stories don't often display any emotion beyond
 aggression. Which is what, from a male perspective, makes these games so
 much fun.

 So, Purple Moon of Mountain View, Calif., which bills itself as a "girls
 entertainment company," is targeting a pretty much untapped market. Its
 latest product, Secret Paths to the Sea ($29.95), is called a "friendship
 adventure." Its available for multimedia PCs and Macintosh computers.
 What is a ``friendship adventure''? Well, for openers, when you click on
 the sofa in the starting-point clubhouse, it doesn't make a rude noise.
 Instead, it reupholsters itself in a different fabric, even though the
 original one looked fine. There are lots of fabrics available. And if you
 click on what appears to be perfectly serviceable wallpaper, you can
 change that several times, too.

 The clubhouse is a lighthouse, and the premise of the adventure is to
 help three characters with "life stuff" issues about best friends,
 families and true feelings. This is accomplished by exploring secret
 paths, all involving water, and solving puzzles that will enable the
 player to collect secret stones that contain messages to help the

 The problems? Nakili worries that another girl stole her best friend.
 Nicole thinks she's so busy she doesn't have enough time for herself.
 Arrow thinks her parents don't understand her. Not exactly
 save-the-world-from the-aliens. But when the puzzles are solved and the
 stones collected, a trip back to the lighthouse causes the stones to
 string into a magical necklace. This necklace, when given to a friend,
 turns into a story from a faraway place that will "give her a new
 perspective about what's happening in her life." The software doesn't
 offer online help because the company's research indicates that girls
 prefer to figure out things for themselves. The visuals are almost
 Impressionistic in style, and the accompanying sounds are soothing and
 peaceful. So is the approach to problem resolution.

 For example, as the reviewer's guide outlines it, the problem at Terre
 Belle Estuary is "the pelican here is very protective of her treasure. Is
 there any way to befriend her? Maybe a gift will gain her trust." (Maybe,
 but from a guy's point of view, beheading the pelican and snatching the
 treasure would take a lot less time.) System requirement for a PC:
 486DX-66 megahertz, 16 megabytes of RAM, Windows 95 or 98, sound card,
 SVGA color graphics, doublespeed CD-ROM drive or better. System
 requirements for a Macintosh: 68040-33 megahertz, 12 megabytes of RAM,
 System 7.1 or later, doublespeed CD-ROM drive, 256-color monitor,

                Spice World, the Next Step Towards World...

 FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Aug. 5) BUSINESS WIRE - Aug. 4, 1998 - Geri, we're
 all gonna miss you, but now thousands of fans actually can play you  at
 least on their PlayStation(R) game consoles -- today! Psygnosis
 introduces Spice World(TM), the only interactive video game featuring the
 five original band members in a format that really frames their love of
 fun and fantasy for fans looking to be a Spice Girl. Spice World is
 available nationwide at retail outlets for an estimated street price of
 $34.99. Since being released by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in
 July 1998, Spice World has been in the top 5 of the PlayStation charts in
 Europe. Spice World is an interactive extravaganza that gives the player
 the ability to create her own song and dance mixes: choosing the music,
 dance steps, and more. Once her virtual concert is complete, she can
 perform in the virtual TV studio.

 The player can go one step further and be any one of the original Spice
 Girls -- singing along to her favorite Spice Girl hits, such as Wannabe,
 Spice Up Your Life, and Say You'll Be There. Then she can save her
 favorite performances to be played again and again. Packed with exclusive
 live video from Spice Girl concerts, never-before-seen interviews and
 behind the scenes footage  Spice World is a game created to surpass the
 entertainment offered from mere CDs or web sites  merging the music and
 images and making them interactive; no other Spice Girl product comes
 close to satisfying a fan's craving for something...Spicy!

 Hitting retail stores in the U.S. to coincide with the Spice Girl's U.S.
 Tour, Spice World is expected to generate the most impressive run ever
 for a console game designed specifically with young girls in mind. The
 PlayStation game console has enjoyed a swell of new users ages 6 to 10 in
 the past 18 months, which represents over 25% of its market. Spice World
 is expected to top all sales records in this category to date, as girls
 discover their favorite musical sensation available as the unprecedented
 after school playmates.

 Whether the Spice Girl pop phenomenon leaves you feeling sweet or sour,
 Spicemania is in full swing. Crowned the queens of bubble gum pop by
 Entertainment Weekly, the Spice Girls continue to reign supreme. Their
 first two albums, Spice and Spice World, reached No. 1 and No. 3 in the
 charts, and secured their place in the Billboard top 10 for 8 months.
 Spice, the album, has sold over 15 million copies to date. Spice World,
 the movie, (aptly compared to The Beatles' rambunctious film A Hard Day's
 Night,) and Spice Girls: GirlPower, the book, have helped secure the band
 as pop icons here for the long haul.

 Diehard fans -- most girls ages 6 to 14 -- are hooked, and in case you
 haven't noticed, "Girl Power" is still the call to arms, even as the
 Spice Girls reorganize their power base. Spice World leads the fray as
 this multimedia sensation is poised to conquer another medium -- namely
 PlayStation game consoles in the hands of fans everywhere. If you cannot
 locate the title at your local store, you may order Psygnosis products
 directly by calling 1-800/GET-PSYG (1-800/438-7794). For current
 information on Psygnosis titles, game tips, contests, customer support
 and company information, visit us at

                Small Soldiers Movie Comes to Life On the PC

 DreamWorks Interactive and Hasbro Interactive Ship Two CD-ROM Games That
 Extend the Small Soldiers Fantasy onto the Home Computer

 BEVERLY, Mass., July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- DreamWorks Interactive and Hasbro
 Interactive are taking the lead in the computer entertainment category
 with the creation of a unique real-time strategy game specifically
 designed for boys ages eight and up. Called Small Soldiers Squad
 Commander, the game was developed to compliment this summer's
 action-adventure movie, "Small Soldiers(TM)," a co-production by
 DreamWorks Pictures and Universal Pictures. Based on extensive
 qualitative research and play-testing by more than 100 kids in this age
 group, DreamWorks Interactive (DWI) developed Squad Commander to give
 players a combination of compelling gameplay, kid-friendly design and age
 appropriate content. Hasbro Interactive will also publish a second
 computer game based on the movie called Small Soldiers Globotech Design
 Lab, where younger movie fans from ages six and up will be able to design
 and build their very own Small Soldiers action figures and then battle
 them against each other. Squad Commander will be available July 10th and
 Globotech Design Lab will ship in mid-July. Both games are available on
 Windows 95 for a suggested retail price of $29.95.

 Filling a void in the pre-teen PC game category, Squad Commander was
 designed to satisfy this age group's desire to play real-time strategy
 games. Players have a choice of characters to control, either the
 military Commando Elite or the noble Gorgonites in 20 unique missions.
 Additionally, each campaign is non-linear, allowing players to choose
 which path to take or to change campaigns altogether if they feel the
 mission they've chosen is too difficult.

 The game's story line is similar to the film but deviates enough to give
 kids a new experience. There are two completely different plots
 (Gorgonite and Commando) that unfold based on the player's choice. Kids
 will uncover new insight into each individual character's strengths and
 weaknesses and puzzles are layered within each mission, requiring players
 to use their wits and problem solving skills while fending off a constant
 stream of enemy fire. Though based on the film, all assets in the game
 are original productions designed specifically for the game by DWI. High
 production video sequences move the story along and provide added clues
 to achieve mission objectives. Tommy Lee Jones recorded the voice of
 Major Chip Hazard, leader of the Commander Elite. Original music helps
 drive the action.

 Enter the Toy Lab and create the coolest action figures of the summer! In
 Small Soldiers Globotech Design Lab by Hasbro Interactive, movie fans
 ages six and older will be able to design and custom build their very own
 Gorgonite and Commando action figures from the movie -- and train them
 for battle. Players choose to build a Commando or a Gorgonite by
 selecting from a variety of bodies, heads, arms and legs, each with
 unique battle advantages. Then they customize their soldier choosing from
 hundreds of textures, colors and decals, giving their soldiers special
 battle accessories. Built and dressed for action, players then train
 their soldiers in sparing matches to practice their new moves. Then it's
 off to battle in one of five interactive 3D environments, where players
 fight the AI soldiers or their own friends' custom designed soldiers
 (creations can be saved to disk and imported to play on a friend's

 In the small suburban town of Winslow Corners, Ohio, life is quiet,
 people are friendly, and action figures are only toys. Then again, don't
 judge an action figure by its box. Meet the Commando Elite -- action
 figures with an attitude. To them, everything else is just a toy...
 including the unsuspecting suburbanites of Winslow Corners, who have
 somehow found themselves allied with the Commandos' sworn enemies: the
 Gorgonites. The monstrous-looking, but noble Gorgonites want only to hide
 from the Commandos long enough to find the lost island of Gorgon.
 Unfortunately, the Commando Elite are not interested in truces or
 negotiations...and they don't take prisoners!

 Scheduled for release July 10, Small Soldiers is directed by Joe Dante,
 with Michael Finnell and Colin Wilson serving as producers. The
 screenplay is by Gavin Scott, Adam Rifkin and Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio.
 Walter Parkes is the executive producer and Paul Deason is the
 co-producer. Blending life action with state-of-the-art computer
 generated imagery, Small Soldiers features animatronic designs and
 effects created by the Stan Winston Studio, headed by four-time Academy
 Award(R) winner Stan Winston. The cutting-edge CGI effects were produced
 by multiple Oscar(R) winning Industrial Light & Magic, under the
 supervision of visual effects supervisors Stefen Fangmeier and Ellen
 Poon, and animation supervisor David Andrews.

 The film stars Kirsten Dunst, Gregory Smith, Jay Mohr, Phil Hartman,
 Kevin Dunn, David Cross, Ann Magnuson and Denis Leary, with Frank
 Langella as the voice of 'Archer', and Tommy Lee Jones as the voice of
 'Chip Hazard'.

                 BAYDEL: Psygnosis is Game for Baydel Raid

 JUL 8, 1998, M2 Communications - Leading RAID storage solutions company,
 Baydel has installed 820 GB of RAID storage at Europe's largest video
 games development house, Psygnosis. The company, which has published more
 than 100 titles, including the award winning Wipeout' and 'Formula 1' has
 continued to grow since early hits such as 'Lemmings' and 'Shadow of the
 Beast'. Psygnosis has now sold over one million units of 'Wipeout' and
 'Destruction Derby' since the launch of the Sony Playstation in 1995.

 Previously, local storage had caused fragmentation problems for the games
 developers. Psygnosis' games are designed using Softimage running on SGI
 and Intergraph processors, with compilers then used to transform games
 for the dedicated gaming consoles. Now, each of the 12 SGI Origin servers
 uses Baydel RAID storage, with 150 GB in the Liverpool head office, and
 90 GB each at three other locations. Raw data for each game alone uses
 over 30 GB.

 "When selecting a RAID subsystem we looked for a product that could cope
 with streaming throughput and a mix of both small and large files. Baydel
 gave us the best performance" commented Adrian Myatt, System Manager at
 Psygnosis. "It only takes 20 minutes to get each new subsystem up and
 running, and we have no need for internal support - since the RAID was
 installed, its looked after itself," he added.

 RAIDMON software from Baydel enables Psygnosis to monitor all UK sites
 from a single NT server, giving the company centralised subsystem
 management. Supplied by Reality Computers Ltd, the Baydel systems are
 also installed on Silicon Graphics UNIX machines.

              PSM is Fastest Growing Games Magazine in History

 BRISBANE, CALIF. (July 20) BUSINESS WIRE - July 20, 1998 - In less than
 12 months, Imagine Media, Inc.'s PSM: 100% Independent PlayStation
 Magazine has grown to an average paid circulation of 200,000--faster than
 any games magazine in history. This is 25% over its average paid ratebase
 of 160,000. For PSM's advertisers, this means a bonus of 40,000 paid
 readers each month over the crucial third and fourth quarter retail sales

 "PSM's circulation is continuing to explode," said Doug Faust, Publisher
 of PSM. "More than 20% of those who are buying PSM at the newsstand are
 becoming paid subscribers. And while it would seem that this conversion
 would take away from our newsstand sales, this has not been the case. In
 fact, our newsstand sales have continued to rise, making PSM America's
 best-selling PlayStation magazine by a huge margin. We expect to reach
 our largest audience ever this fourth quarter."

 In a recent study, conducted by DataWorld, Inc., 95% of PSM's readers
 named PSM as their favorite PlayStation magazine. Affinity for the
 publication's unbiased content along with its personality have been the
 cornerstone of its circulation success. PSM has managed to win
 circulation dominance without an enclosed playable demo disk, which
 competitor Ziff-Davis' Official PlayStation Magazine offers through an
 agreement with Sony. Only 3% of those who read PSM cited the Official
 PlayStation Magazine as their favorite PlayStation magazine in the same
 third-party study.

 "The editorial team has completely, absolutely, 100% nailed this
 marketplace. It's impossible to read the magazine without getting excited
 about PlayStation games. Clearly, PSM's many readers agree. The only
 question is... Where's the ceiling? We're not even close to it, yet,"
 commented Chris Anderson, President & CEO of Imagine Media, Inc.

             Imagine Media's PSM Names Top 25 PlayStation Games

 BRISBANE, CALIF. (Aug. 3) BUSINESS WIRE - Aug. 3, 1998 - In a special
 first anniversary issue, the editors of PSM: 100% Independent PlayStation
 Magazine, America's best-selling PlayStation magazine reveal their
 choices for the top 25 PlayStation games ever released in the United
 States. Coming in at the No.1 spot was Resident Evil 2, published and
 developed by Capcom USA Inc.

 PSM's "Top 25 Games of All-Time" are as follows:

  RANK     GAME TITLE                    PUBLISHER

  No.1     Resident Evil 2               Capcom USA Inc.

  No.2     Castlevania: Symphony of the  Konami of America Inc.

  No.3     Final Fantasy VII             Sony CEA (NYSE:SNE)

  No.4     Tekken 3                      Namco Hometek Inc.

  No.5     Crash Bandicoot 2             Sony CEA (NYSE:SNE)

  No.6     Gran Turismo                  Sony CEA (NYSE:SNE)

  No.7     Tomb Raider                   Eidos Interactive (Nasdaq:EIDSY)

  No.8     Wipeout XL                    Psygnosis Ltd.

  No.9     Street Fighter Ex-Plus Alpha  Capcom USA Inc.

  No.10    Colony Wars                   Psygnosis Ltd.

  No.11    Resident Evil: Director's     Capcom USA Inc.

  No.12    Bushido Blade                 Sony CEA (NYSE:SNE)

  No.13    Vigilante 8                   Activision Inc. (Nasdaq:ATVI)

  No.14    Einhander                     Sony CEA (NYSE:SNE)

  No.15    Parappa The Rapper            Sony CEA (NYSE:SNE)

  No.16    Dead or Alive                 Tecmo Inc.

  No.17    Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo  Capcom USA Inc.

  No.18    Suikoden                      Konami of America Inc.

  No.19    Klonoa                        Namco Hometek Inc.

  No.20    Need for Speed III:Hot        Electronic Arts Inc.
           Pursuit                       (Nasdaq:ERTS)

  No.21    NHL '98                       Electronic Arts Inc.

  No.22    NFL GameDay '98               Sony ISA (NYSE:SNE)

  No.23    Tekken 2                      Namco Hometek Inc.

  No.24    Jumping Flash 2               Sony CEA (NYSE:SNE)

  No.25    Ace Combat 2                  Namco Hometek Inc.

 "Last year we took an online poll to discover our readers' favorite
 games," commented Chris Slate, PSM's Editor-In-Chief. "After we published
 these results in our first issue, we got an enormous amount of mail
 asking us to reveal our overall favorites. We could not think of a better
 time to do this that with our one-year anniversary issue. We're also
 giving our readers a chance to win all 25 in a unique contest." The
 September issue of PSM: 100% Independent PlayStation Magazine will be on
 sale August 18th at more than 50,000 newsstand locations throughout the
 United States and Canada. PSM guarantees an average paid audience of
 200,000 for the second half of 1998.

                      Arcade Game Ratings Work But...

 WASHINGTON July 22 (States) -- Sen. Herb Kohl praised the video game
 industry's efforts in stopping the exposure of children to violent games,
 and hopes that new legislation isn't needed to restrict access. "We want
 to assure parents that even at the arcades, where many kids play the most
 violent video games, game makers and operators are taking steps to keep
 young kids away from the games they shouldn't play," Kohl said at a news
 conference in the Capitol.

 Last year the video arcade industry voluntarily labelled coin operated
 machines with a color-coded sticker system to warn parents and children
 of a game's contents. The American Amusement Machine Association
 announced that several game manufacturers will incorporate the warning
 system into the artwork for the video arcade machines. "The system is
 designed to provide parents with significant parents
 could make the decisions of what games their children could play," said
 Mike Rudowicz, president of the AAMA.

 But left unsupervised, some children might be more attracted to games
 with warnings of violence and gore. "I just like to see violence once in
 a while," said Chris Andresen, 14, of Woodbridge, Va. "It's pretty cool
 to see it." Although his parents don't approve of Andresen or his younger
 sisters playing the violent games, the boy -- as are many other children
 -- is often left alone when he goes to the arcade.

 But the chance that warnings might attract some children is a tradeoff to
 doing nothing said Joanne Cantor, a University of Wisconsin-Madison
 professor who studies the effect of television violence on children. "I
 think it's only fair that parents know what they are buying or what kids
 are putting money in," Cantor said. "At least it gives an honest
 representation of what you're going to get."

 Unlike ratings for movies and some television programs, the arcade game
 warnings explicitly detail the content, Cantor said. The green label is
 for games "suitable for all ages." The other eight labels -- four in
 yellow for "mild" and four in red for "strong" -- warn of animated
 violence, life like violence, sexual content and language. Executives
 from three arcade game manufacturers  Williams Bally/Midway and Atari
 Games, Sega GameWorks and National Namco of America  joined Kohl in
 support of the voluntary labels.

 Namco Cybertainment, Inc., owns two of the bigger video arcades in
 Madison, Aladdin's Castle in West Towne Mall and Cyber Station in East
 Towne Mall. Both arcades have used warning labels for more than a year.
 "I'm not sure the kids are going to focus much on the labels," said David
 Bishop, Namco Cybertainment's senior vice president of operations. "I
 think it's particularly an educational system for the parents," Bishop
 said from the company's offices just outside of Chicago. "It makes it
 easier to pick out what you feel is better for your child."

 Kohl has been working to implement a voluntary rating system since he
 first held hearings on the issue in December 1993, with Sen. Joe
 Lieberman, D-Conn. In November 1997, Kohl and Lieberman released a report
 card of the industry's warning label efforts. They gave a "good" for
 ratings implementation and a "poor" for enforcement. Kohl said that while
 most game makers are adhering to the rating system, "a few rogue
 manufacturers" label games for adults and then market them to children.
 "We have come a long way, but we still have a way to go," Kohl said.

 Gaming Online STR InfoFile - Online Users Growl & Purr!


 Contact: Mr. Keita Iida, or
 Mr. Rich Tsukiji,
 916-422-7424 (voice), 916-422-7424 (fax)


 - Yesteryear Remembered Fondly With Shared Anticipation - by Donald A.
 Thomas, Jr. (, the text for this article is available

 -- By late Friday, August 21, 1998, many of the world's most beloved
 video game creators and marketers will arrive in Las Vegas to celebrate
 the opening of the first annual Classic Video Game Show and Exhibition.
 The Saturday and Sunday event, dubbed "World of Atari '98", will play
 host to the world's first gathering of the "retro-gaming" elite and is
 open to the public.

 "We've made elaborate arrangements to turn the exhibition areas of the
 Holiday Inn Boardwalk Hotel and Casino into a living museum of the video
 game era that spawned a mammoth industry," explained Mr. Keita Iida,
 co-promoter of the show. "World of Atari '98 honors a corporate catalyst
 for so many careers and companies that built the Silicon Valley."

 Show promoters confirm today that pre-show ticket sales are already in
 the hundreds plus dozens of confirmations have been received from noted
 guests. As a first year endeavor, promoters have seen exceptionally
 pleased with the pre-show results. Among the announced attendees are
 persons such as Mr. Bill Kunkel, co-founder of "Electronic Games"

 "As someone who's been writing about and designing electronic games for
 two decades," stated Kunkel, "it always heartens me to see people who
 remember how this all started. Today, it's a little tough to explain what
 was so damned exciting about two 'paddles' and a square 'ball', but
 there's nothing like historical perspective to transform an amusement
 into a hobby.

 "We'll talk, we'll remember, and we'll laugh," Kunkel added with a smile.
 "You can't beat that with a Whack-A-Mole mallet!"

 The premiere celebration of video games from yesteryear was decidedly
 called "World of Atari '98" in honor of the veteran Show Producer, Mr.
 Rich Tsukiji. Tsukiji hosted a number of World of Atari shows at the
 Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California during the mid to late 1980's.

 "Accordingly, many of the exhibits and guests this first year are
 ex-employees or extraordinary supporters of Atari," explained Iida. "We
 are doing our best to keep up with a list of all the official
 confirmations from attending celebrities on the official WOA'98 Web

 World of Atari '98 promises a number of exhibits and activities
 throughout the two-day event including a licensed, bonded game
 collectors' auction conducted by U.S.A. Auctions. Mr. Howard Scott
 Warshaw, mastermind behind the Atari 2600 versions of "Yar's Revenge",
 "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" will debut the
 second of his continuing video series, "Once Upon Atari". Keynote
 speakers are expected to avail themselves to answer questions and sign
 autographs prior to and following their presentations or directly on the
 exhibit floor.

 "I find it very interesting that someone cares about what I did 15 years
 ago other than myself!" Mr. Steve Woita shared candidly. "Finally... a
 reunion for the little games that made this business fun!" Woita, famous
 for the Atari 2600 hits "Taz", "Asterix" and "Quadrun", also created a
 number of titles for the Sega Genesis and Nintendo platforms.

 "Classic gaming is not just a pastime for persons who remember a
 different kind of gaming experience. It is also not just a hand-me-down
 experience for a younger crowd. Classic gaming has evolved into a
 phenomenon that contemporary publishers and distributors too often
 ignore," points out Mr. Donald A. Thomas, Jr., ex-Atari Consumer Services
 and Marketing Director: "If you want to know what core gaming elements
 sell best, one has to have an appreciation for the history of the same
 classic games that established the industry. To purposely ignore those
 factors is an insistence on allowing such ignorance guide the industry's

 Persons interested in attending the Classic Gaming Show in Vegas are
 encouraged to write or call (916) 422-7424. Special room
 rates may still be available for persons who stay at the Holiday Inn
 Boardwalk Hotel and Casino. Visit the official WOA'98 Web Site at for hotel, airfare, rental car or
 exhibitor information.


 Contact: Mr. Keita Iida, or
 Mr. Rich Tsukiji,
 916-422-7424 (voice), 916-422-7424 (fax)


 - Promoters Reveal Confirmations for August Show-

 by Donald A. Thomas, Jr.

 It may have started over a year ago as no more than just a great idea,
 but it is fast becoming a reality for Mr. John Hardie and Mr. Keita Iida.
 On Saturday, August 22, the two will stand in a major Las Vegas locale
 and welcome hundreds of people to the first annual Classic Video Gaming
 and Computer Show. The show, originally planned to be held in modest
 facilities on the west coast, was moved to the Holiday Inn Boardwalk
 Hotel and Casino on the Vegas strip when promoters sought expanded
 facilities to accommodate people from all over the country.

 John and Keita are webmasters of the Atari HQ web site
 ( As long time aficionados of vintage gaming and
 computing, the two have grown up using a great number of home video game
 and computer products. They individually own extensive collections of
 classic game consoles, software, coin-operated machines and related
 paraphernalia. Urged by friends and colleagues to put their most rare
 possessions on display, John and Keita have worked hard to find the
 perfect opportunity to share their interests with their fans.

 Mr. Rich Tsukiji, has produced a number of extravagant video game and
 computer shows over the years including those held in venues such as
 Disneyland Hotel Convention Center in Anaheim, California. When Rich
 learned of Mr. Hardie's and Mr. Iida's aspirations to produce a Classic
 Video Game and Computer Show, the wheels were set in motion. The very
 first Classic Video Game and Computer Show was dubbed "World of Atari
 '98" to celebrate Atari's role within the industry and Hasbro's
 acquisition of Atari's technology and patent assets from JTS Corporation
 in early 1998.

 From the beginning, John and Keita secured the active participation from
 industry personalities and organizations to help plan and evangelize the
 event. The activities currently scheduled include keynote discussions,
 live auctions, classic coin-operated games on display and for sale,
 vintage video game systems and peripherals, an exhibit of rare video game
 and home computer products, tournaments, interviews, contests and more.

 "We are focused on classic video gaming," explains Mr. Iida during a rare
 moment of calm amidst hectic event planning. "It doesn't matter if its
 great games on older machines or re-releases on contemporary systems. It
 is very appealing to see Namco publish 'Namco Museum, Williams publish
 'Arcade Classics' or Hasbro release 'Frogger' and 'Centipede' for the
 state-of-the-art PlayStation game console. That is as much fun as it is
 to play the original games on the original systems. They are all an
 integral part of the history of video games and home computers."

 Following up on last week's announcement of honored guests (see, show promoters today announced some of
 the confirmed sponsors and events.

 Nyko Technologies, an innovative Los Angeles-based video game peripheral
 company, is sponsoring the program guide to be distributed to all
 attendees of the event. Nyko makes a number of reliable gamepads, memory
 cards, joysticks and accessories for popular game systems including the
 "TransPad" and "ArcadeMax" controllers licensed by Sony Computer
 Entertainment America for use with the PlayStation game console. The
 program guide will offer complete show schedules, special guest
 biographies, an opening letter from Mr. Donald A. Thomas, Jr. (once
 labeled the "Voice of Atari"), background information and plenty of space
 for autographs and notes.

 Namco has been named the official sponsor of the World of Atari '98
 Exhibit. Namco is a name very familiar to classic gamers and anyone
 familiar with the animated pizza-like character called Pac-Man. In recent
 years, Namco has supported a growing interest in classic games by
 releasing five PlayStation software titles in a series called "Namco
 Museum". Each disc includes five, six or seven blockbuster coin-operated
 arcade games from yesteryear; complete with the same programmable options
 that were available on the original machines. Titles include
 "Pac-Man","Galaga", "Rally-X", "Xevious", "Galaxian", "Ms. Pac-Man",
 "Pole Position II", "Dig Dug", "Assault", and "Metro-Cross" a total of 29
 games in all.

 The Namco-sponsored Exhibit at World of Atari '98 will include working
 products that were once in millions of homes worldwide such as
 Intellivision, Odyssey, Atari, Colecovision and Vectrex. Not so common
 products will also be seen in this exclusive exhibit. One such example is
 the last coin-operated pinball prototype Atari ever made called "Neutron
 Star" which is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world. Also
 on display will be the Atari 2700, an unreleased remote control
 prototypical version of the 2600. Visitors will see Cosmos, a 3D
 holographic system developed by Atari before they sold proprietary
 hologram technology to American Banknote. Visitors may enjoy seeing the
 Starpath Supercharger, a prototype of the Atari 5200 junior called the
 5100, an original Computer Space and an original coin-operated Pong in
 showroom condition.

 An ingenious group of programmers calling themselves 4Play, will host the
 first-ever "BattleSphere" Tournament using the long-awaited final version
 of the game on a network of four integrated Atari Jaguar 64-bit gaming
 systems. Attendees may also sign up to compete in a "Warlords" tournament
 on fully functional Atari 2600 video computer systems.

 Ziff-Davis TV, producer of the weekly television show "Gamespot TV" will
 be among a growing number of television and media crews covering this
 event. "Gamepsot TV" filming is planned to take place on location at the
 show on Saturday and Sunday.

 Due, in large part to the mounting enthusiasm and added activities of the
 show, Mr. Rich Tsukiji has secured larger facilities for a Friday night
 reception. The reception will welcome and acknowledge special guests,
 volunteers and show coordinators prior to opening day. Showgoers who
 pre-purchase tickets by Friday, August 14 are entitled to a personalized
 name badge, a free program guide ($5 value), substantial discounts and
 non-transferable admittance to the exclusive reception. Inquiries can be
 directed to or by calling (916) 422-7424.

 For up-to-date information on news, sponsors, guests, keynotes and other
 show information visit on the World Wide
 Web. For extensive information on the history of video games and home
 computers, visit I.C.When at


 Contact: Mr. Keita Iida, or
 Mr. Rich Tsukiji,
 916-422-7424 (voice), 916-422-4548 (fax)


 - Leading Online Gaming News Source Hosts New Sweepstakes -

 by Donald A. Thomas, Jr.

 Behind the scenes, dozens of coordinators and volunteers are gearing up
 for the Classic Game and Computer Show. In a secret San Francisco bay
 area location, a well-preserved "Computer Space" coin-op machine (circa
 1971) is being prepared for transit. In places as far away as Germany and
 France, final adjustments are being made to displays and demos to be
 unveiled on opening day. Somewhere on the east coast, private collections
 of classic video game systems and paraphernalia are being serialized and
 crated for their trek to the Holiday Inn Boardwalk Hotel and Casino in
 Las Vegas to be displayed on Saturday, August 22 and Sunday, August 23.

 The theme of the first-annual show is "World of Atari '98". It was
 inspired by Mr. Brad Koda (Best Electronics) and other ambitious
 coordinators who have joined the show's efforts since work on it began.
 Best Electronics has been a leading West Coast source of home computer
 parts and accessories for years. They specialize in rare and hard-to-find
 enhancement and upgrade components as well as mint and restored systems.

 Next Generation Online today unveiled yet
 another surprise in the World of Atari '98 arsenal of news and planned
 events. Next Generation's World of Atari Sweepstakes invites web surfers
 to visit their site and register to win one of ten pairs of weekend
 passes to the Classic Game and Computer Show. Winners will also receive
 rare pins distributed by Atari employees at major trade shows in years
 gone by and a full year subscription to Next Generation magazine.

 "Next Generation Online always has been a prominent supporter of classic
 gaming and its legacy to interactive entertainment as we know it today",
 states the announcement posted Wednesday evening on the Next Generation
 Web Site

 Entries for the Next Generation's World of Atari Sweepstakes must be
 submitted by August 13. See the Next Generation Online web site or Atari Headquarters   for more information and sweepstakes

 World of Atari '98 Show sponsors include Namco and Nyko Technologies.
 Namco is a pioneer in the gaming industry having spawned the famous
 Pac-Man phenomenon. More recently, Namco has released "The Namco Museum",
 a series of five compilations for the PlayStation game console which
 enables gamers to play emulations of twenty-nine of the world's greatest
 classic coin-op video games. Nyko is a leading peripheral company, maker
 of the ArcadeMax and the TransPad controllers for the PlayStation game

 World of Atari '98 will include an exhibit of classic home computers and
 video games including playable coin-operated arcade favorites. There will
 be an auction, vender sales, demonstrations, competitions and keynotes
 that reflect on the years of retro game development and how they affect
 us as contemporary forms of entertainment.

 For more information related to World of Atari '98, visit Webmasters who
 wish to recommend the sweepstakes to their online guests may use the
 banner found at   and
 link the clicks to . Ticket information
 may be obtained by writing or by calling (916) 422-7424. World of Atari
 '98 is endorsed by I.C. When, the most complete chronological history of
 video games and computers

                          AtariNews: On The Prowl




 It has been said that, if you put your mind to it, you can do anything,
 and 4Play has finally done what many have believed to be the impossible,
 by putting their minds to it for the last 1745 days. They have completed
 the most important step towards finishing BattleSphere: coding it. All
 that remains is the encryption, cart production, and distribution.The
 most anticipated Jaguar game of all time will be ours soon.


 Details have been released about the Wizztronics Lynx to TV adapter. The
 adapter will cost $99, which is a good price, considering the prototype
 cost $17,000! The board is 2x2 in. and must be installed. If you have a
 Lynx 2, it should be fairly easy to install, however, a Lynx 1 is much
 harder. The Lynxes widescreen aspect ratio is also maintained.
 Unfortunately, there is no graphical improvement, but the resolution
 won't be that much of a problem. And just for reference, the prototype
 was 12x15 in. with 165 components, and the final release has only 8


 A new cartridge will soon be released for the Atari Lynx. The title of
 the cart is S.I.M.I.S. which is an acronym for the contained games. Find
 out more information about this exciting new release and other upcoming
 Lynx games at:


 Clay Halliwell has come through again with the latest installment of
 Jaguar Explorer Online. It now has a new home page, and a more complete
 archive of its predecessor, Atari Explorer Online. This latest issue
 features a Worms review, Big Code Hunting, more Jaguar trivia, an
 interview with Alastair "Imagitec" Lindsay, and much, much, more!


 The World of Atari '98 is going to be a large reunion for programmers of
 the classic Atari 2600. Donald A. Thomas, Jr. ,  has released information about this great event,
 to which hundreds of people are going. The release can be read at:


 Many people have emailed me, asking me how to sign the Petition to Hasbro
 even though they don't have Web access. I'm sorry I couldn't respond to
 everyone, but if you would liketo sign it, send the following information
 to Your name, email address, and a comment that you
 would like Hasbro to read. For people with Web access, you can find the
 petition at the Atarian Atmosphere:

 Send any comments or submissions for "AtariNews: On The Prowl" to:Brian
 Gudzevich (Editor) at:

 Sponsoring web sites:

 -The Atarian Atmosphere:

 -The Jaguar's Domain:

 AtariNews: On The Prowl




 Laurens Simonis recently announced a new game for the Atari Lynx entitled
 TNT Terry. TNT is a Bomberman clone for the Lynx, and promises to be an
 action-packed game with multi-player support and sharp animation. Check
 out Laurens' web page for more info on TNT Terry:


 AtariNews has learned that Hyperdrome, the long-awaited Ballblazer-style
 game for the Atari Lynx, has been licensed by Telegames for publication.
 Stay tuned to AtariNews and the Lynx Domain for more details on this
 exciting new release!


 Want to see some of these up and coming Lynx games in action? Be sure to
 look for the Lynx table at the World of Atari '98 convention next week.
 Keita Iida recently confirmed that several unreleased Lynx games will be
 demoed at the show. Learn more about World of Atari '98 at the below web


 The Lynx to TV adapter's current estimated price is $125, and should be
 available sometime this summer. It will be on display at the WOA '98.
 Installation time is estimated at 20 min. but it is unknown at this time
 if the upgrade will be completely in the Lynx, or if there will be a
 small board inside the Lynx connecting to an adapter box outside the
 Lynx. The flip screen is implemented, and the aspect ratio is maintained.
 Pre-modified Lynxes will also be available.


 Mark "Stingray" Santora has announced he will be producing a video from
 The World of Atari '98. Here is some information released about this

    * The cost of the tape will be $25, and this includes shipping within
      the US.
    * The tape will run between 1.5 and 2 hours at SP speed.
    * All the speakers at the show will be present on the tape.
    * A direct link of BATTLESPHERE will be present.

 I will run through the dealer room and auction to show what you could've

 And if you're lucky, the MGM Grand will still have Missile Command 3D in
 the Virtuality set up. I'll go there. For more information, go to:


 After a long period of no activity from the JCU WebRing, it has
 officially returned. Now, it is looking for webmasters with Jaguar sites,
 who are members of the JCU, to join the webring. You will bring more
 visitors to your site, as well as help out other Atari sites that are
 already on the ring. To find out more about the JCU WebRing, or join it,
 go to this address:

 Send any comments or submissions for "AtariNews: On The Prowl" to: Brian
 Gudzevich (Editor) at:

 Sponsoring web sites:

 -The Atarian Atmosphere:

 -The Jaguar's Domain:

 ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'!

                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

 Compiled by Joe Mirando

 Hidi ho friends and neighbors. I guess that this is the last issue of our
 summer schedule, and that we'll resume our regular weekly schedule the
 first week of September, but I'm not positive of that. I'm assuming that
 if we get strong opinions one way or the other we'll consider modifying
 our publishing schedule. Again, I'm not really positive of anything, but
 it would seem to make sense.

 Anyway, with the summer in full swing and vacations done and over with,
 I've found out something rather interesting... I MISSED doing this column
 every week. Sure, I moaned and groaned each week when it was time to hunt
 around for interesting messages for it, but I found that when I wasn't
 doing it there was something missing.

 I've said before that I liked writing this column because I learn
 something new every time that I do it, but it does cut into an already
 tight schedule, and is somewhat time consuming. But heck, isn't that
 almost always the case with a hobby? I've been involved in one way or
 another with journalism since the mid 1970's (notice the "Y2K" compliance
 there? <grin>) and I can truthfully tell you that it is an opiate. You
 start out just getting a kick out of seeing your name in print. You soon
 get used to that and turn to 'breaking stories' and hard news to supply
 that rush of adrenaliane. But, if you're like me, that loses its luster
 too and you turn to actually helping people out. That's where I've always
 found the most enjoyment and fulfillment.

 Of course, there is always someone or something that's just aching to be
 investigated and/or exposed, but that is now the exception rather than
 the rule. Hmmm... I must be getting old. <grin>

 Another good thing about the relaxed schedule is that it gives me more
 news and info to choose from. Let's face it, things are getting a little
 sparse in the Atari info category and I don't expect it to get any
 better. The information coming from CompuServe is no more than a shadowy
 reflection of what it once was, Delphi's Atari activity is sporadic at
 best (I really don't see why, since membership is free if you access from
 the Web), and the NewsGroups tend to get a bit confusing. The one bright
 spot is the new MagiC OS mailing list I mentioned in the last issue. I'm
 going to ask the participants if any of them mind if the posts are
 published so that we can have yet another source of information from time
 to time. Even though the mailing list is supposed to be centered around
 MagiC, there are usually lots of other tidbits that many would find
 interesting. You can never have too much information.

 At any rate, I'm happy as heck about getting back to writing this column
 again. I doubt that I'd be this 'energized' if we hadn't cut back on the
 publishing schedule for the summer, so it turned out to be a good thing.

 Let's take a look at what's going on on the UseNet.

 From the NewsGroup

 Kenneth Medin tells us about a problem he's having with WDIALOG, the
 TOS/MagiC enhancement patch:

 "With Wdialog 2.01 installed neither Popwatch, Newswatch or CAB can make
 any connections. Sting itself is working perfectly both internally and
 through masquerading. I can connect perfectly with all three programs on
 my other computer at the same time as they time out on the the first one.
 Strange! This is on a MSTe with Geneva and Neodesk. CAB does work offline
 with Wdialog installed but I see no difference in CAB with or without it.
 Is it needed at all with Geneva? By the way, the other computer is a
 Stacy without any Wdialog version installed."

 Gary Priest, the author of POPWatch (among others), tells Kenneth:

 "Well I have Wdialog 2.01 installed on my Falcon with MagiC5.11, STinG
 1.15, and POPwatch, NEWSwatch, and CAB run fine. Maybe it's the order of
 your AUTO programs?"

 Pat and Anna Morales add:

 "Using all of the above on this TT with zero problems. I find that
 Wdialog works best if loaded before Geneva."

 Erik Hall adds his own experiences:

 "I have big problems with Wdialog. But my problem is that it randomly
 crashes CAB and Jinnee. Using CTRL+C CTRL+X and so on are randomly
 crashing all processes. This is not a new problem. I had this in versions
 before 2.01 If I remove wdialog, the problems are gone."

 Kenneth takes all this information in and replies:

 "Now it works without any changes from my side of the keyboard! Maybe a
 good night's sleep and a cold boot in the morning did the trick? But I do
 not see any significant differences with Wdialog installed. The only
 thing I have noticed is the new options in the print dialogue in


 Edward Kennaway asks:

 "I sometimes receive files with the .BMP suffix and I assume that these
 are for PCs. However, can these be read by any special Atari software
 program, I wonder?"

 Roger Cain tells Edward:

 "Yes, they are crude Bitmap files - no compression or anything so they
 are enormous. I use Imagecopy to display any of these that I get but I'm
 sure other graphics progs (SMURF, GEMview etc.) would deal with them."

 James Smith tells us:

 "Having had lots of failures with floppies recently, I decided to treat
 my Falcon to a new HD drive. Today I picked up a Samsung and stuck it
 into place - only to be told that 'Drive A does not exist' when I tried
 to access a disk. (I had checked that pin 1 on the new mechanism was in
 the same place as the one on the original so I think I must have had the
 ribbon connector in the right way round.) I suspect it must be the
 'famous' PC ID problem - but where are the jumpers or switch to change
 this? I cannot find any ...."

 Nicholas Bales tells James:

 "On most modern drives, they've got rid of the jumpers, probably to gain
 $0.000000001 on production costs. Chances are, however, that the option
 of setting the drive ID number is still there somewhere on the board,
 probably under the form of an open solderpad on the drive's PCB. The
 trouble is, finding the correct solderpad. The way NOT to do it, is to
 open up the drive, and try shorting each suspected solderpad with a
 screwdriver. Look for one with a marking like "ID" or "D0/D1" or
 something like that. This is really the "I got nothing to lose" approach.
 I did this with my Mitsumi, and was lucky enough to find the right pad
 before blowing up the drive or the machine. I'm afraid I can't suggest
 any correct way to do it, without getting the PCB data from Samsung."

 Terry May tells Nick:

 "I would think you'd be able to get the info from their web site or other
 tech support. I can't believe it's a carefully guarded secret."

 Nick tells Terry:

 "I tried to get the info from Mitsumi at the time, but unsuccessfully.
 The reason is probably that users are not meant to fiddle with solderpads
 on the PCB."

 David Bolt adds this little piece of info:

 "The other way to sort this problem out is to put a twist in the drive
 cable. This is how I did it. I've tried to make this as plain as
 possible, so as to reduce any misunderstandings to a minimum.

 1. Disassemble the connector at the drive end of the cable. Take great
 care not to break the clips at the edges of the connector. I did this and
 had to buy a replacement.

 2. Carefully split the ribbon cable to a distance of about 2-3 cm (1
 inch) from the now bare end of the ribbon cable, between wires 9 and 10,
 doing the same between wires 12 and 13. You should then have one length
 of 34 core cable that at about 2.5 cm from the end becomes 9 core, 3 core
 and 22 core ribbon.

 3. Place the 9 core ribbon (with pin one/red strip) back onto the
 connector in the same end it came off of. Pin one on the connector is
 often marked with a triangle.

 4. Repeat this for the 22 core ribbon.

 5. Carefully twist the 3 core so the wires 10 and 12 swap places and
 press this onto the connector in the gap.

 6. Reassemble to connector, taking care not to break the grips.

 7. Plug the connector into drive and boot.

 The reason for this is most new drives are configured as drive 1 (B:) so,
 while the Falcon, or other Atari, sends the signal to select A: (drive 0)
 the drive receives this and ignores it, since it will only respond to a
 drive 1 select.

 What this twist does is to swap the drive 1 and drive 0 select lines so
 the Atari selects drive 0 (A:) while the drive receives it as a drive 1
 select, which is what it wants. The result of which is the Atari
 recognizes, and uses, the drive."

 Theo Hopman adds:

 "And even easier way of doing it is to get a standard PC floppy drive
 ribbon cable. They come with one un-twisted connector and one already
 pre-twisted. They're inexpensive, and it shouldn't be too much trouble to
 find one with only one (or no) useless 5 1/4" floppy connector."

 Edward Kennaway asks for help with printing from CAB:

 "I own the fully functional commercial version of CAB 2.5 and the manual
 states that printing requires NVDI 3/4 or later, or GDOS. For now, I'm
 using an old NVDI release (2.00). However, I've tried GDOS without
 success. Perhaps later versions of CAB (is 2.6 out yet) will not require
 these additions. Meanwhile, I've been trying to figure out if there is
 any way round the problem for now - I know that WDIALOG may also be
 involved, though I think that is in addition to NVDI. If anyone has any
 comments on the setup, I'd be most interested."

 Eric Hays tells Edward:

 "You need a newer version of NVDI. And later version of CAB still need
 this. So make a check out to ASH." It seems that we'll all be sending a
 check to ASH sooner or later.

 Meanwhile Kevin Dermott posts:

 "I find cab and nvdi4 prints just fine but seems to take forever. Have i
 missed something?"

 Roger Cain tells Kevin:

 "Probably not! But if you don't have it already you could try setting up
 a spool file (in NVDI.INF). If you have Magic do you have DEV_FPRN.DEV

 James Pirie adds his own experience with CAB and NVDI:

 "I have CAB 1.5 and a demo of 2.7 (the new release I think) Now while 1.5
 will print using my setup of NVDI 4 it is crap, all wrongly formatted and
 squashed up, however the demo of 2.7 is perfect, just looks like it does
 on screen, apart from the image quality that is. I had lots of trouble
 with GDOS as well and was glad to see the back of it when I replaced it
 with NVDI, a very worth while investment in my opinion if only for the
 Vector Font support."

 Paul Nurminen asks:

 "Is there a way to use the file selector "SELECTRIC" with MagiC 5? I
 don't really care for the built in MagiC selector, but it seems I am
 stuck using it..."

 pascal Ricard tells Paul:

 "Yes, but it doesn't handle long filenames. After a rez change it's no
 longer there. And I had problems with Everest so..."

 Jo Even Skarstein adds:

 "What about Freedom? I've had nothing but trouble with Freedom 2, but
 Freedom 1.15 has worked perfectly under N.AES, Geneva, MagiC and MultiTOS
 for two years now. Or the latest version of Boxkite? It's non-modal and
 handles long filenames just as well as Freedom."

 Paul Nurminen asks for help in setting up one of my favorite MagiC

 "Anyone here gotten StartMeUp! to work? I just got MagiC 5 installed and
 working on my Falcon and wanted to try StartMeUp! since I don't have an
 alternate desktop yet (and Magicdesk is pretty lacking I must say - I'm
 very underwhelmed to say the least) I want a better way to launch
 programs. But I can't seem to get SMU to even load. First, I kept getting
 these messages that the START.SET file was "corrupted". Basically all the
 settings need to be customized / altered. But a lot of the programs and
 files it refers to I don't even think I have - and I haven't really
 gotten familiar with all the extra little programs and files MagiC
 creates / uses yet. So, I commented out all the lines that were causing
 it trouble, then tried to run it again, and got this dialog: "StartMeUp!
 requires XMEN_MGR. Please copy it to your MagiC-APPS folder" Well, I
 found XMEN_MGR, but there is no "MagiC-APPS" folder. Nor anything
 resembling that. I tried creating one, I tried putting XMEN_MGR just
 about every directory I could think of, but SMU won't go any further.

 Anyone have any suggestions?

 This is a terribly un-userfriendly program to set up! Configure this, re-
 type every line in this TXT file twice, copy these 47 files here there
 and everywhere in between, Use fictitious folders and directories, and
 when you're done, do it all again because we (the programmers) seem to
 think people actually ENJOY this kind of activity. Sheesh! How about a
 simple installation program? It _is_ 1998, right?"

 Neil Roughley tells Paul:

 "Magxdesk may be threadbare but it has nuances. After going through a
 little bit of a 'desktop quandary', I decided to use Magxdesk with AV-
 Server. I also have an Ease 4 desktop setup with MagiC but tend to use
 Magxdesk more now, mostly because it supports long filenames and the fact
 that AV-Server adds seven AV functions that Ease 4 and Magxdesk don't
 understand. The Thing desktop supports all of the AV protocol, so this is
 the one to use for a real 'modern' desktop. It really depends on how you
 want your desktop to interact with other programs. With the help of SMU
 I've found Magxdesk/AV-Server suits my desktop needs, even though Ease is

 Now I'm going through another quandary: long filenames. I have drive A,
 one hard-drive partition, and a Zip drive configured to use long
 filenames but some applications don't support them (like PhotoLine). And
 I really miss Selectric.

 In your MAGX.INF file you'll see a line like this:


 Just make sure StartMeUp! is in that directory, or whatever path is
 defined here. By default MagiC doesn't install the correct path pointing
 to XMEN_MGR -- this threw me off, too. You need XMEN_MGR for MagiC 5.11
 to support popup menus, something StartMeUp! uses."

 James Haslam asks a question that's been pulling at me for a while too:

 "I've heard that there is an implementation of ICQ for MiNT. How about
 one for StiNG? I have several PC owning friends who're on ICQ and they
 keep asking if I will be getting on it. Anyone know anything?"

 Peter Rottengatter, the author of STinG, tells James:

 "Christian Anderson volunteered to write a client, but Mirabilis refused
 to provide the information required for it. I do not know if he is still
 interested, but I wrote him an e-mail telling him about the MiNT version.
 In case he won't do it anymore, why don't you start porting it? <grin>"

 Well folks, that's it for this time around. There was a LOT more Stuff
 that I could have added, but I figured I'd save it for another time...
 and save your eyesight at the same time. <smile> Tune in again next time,
 same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING

                             EDITORIAL QUICKIES

                               "Common Sense"

 "Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave
 little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only
 different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants,
 and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our POSITIVELY by
 uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices.
 The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first
 a patron, the last a punisher.

 "Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best
 state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for
 when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which
 we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is
 heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.
 Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of
 kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the
 impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would
 need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary
 to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection
 of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in
 every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least.
 WHEREFORE, security being the true design and end of government, it
 unanswerably follows, that whatever FORM thereof appears most likely to
 ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is
 preferable to all others."

                                                               Thomas Paine

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