ST Report: 04-Sep-98 #1428

From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/07/98-09:48:47 PM Z

From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Subject: ST Report: 04-Sep-98 #1428
Date: Mon Sep  7 21:48:47 1998

                          [Silicon Times Report]
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                        (Since 1987 - Our 11th Year)


 September 04, 1998                                                No.1428

                Silicon Times Report International Magazine
                            R.F. Mariano, Editor
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09/04/98 STR 1428

                     "Often Imitated, Never Surpassed!"

- Maptech Chartware          - Earthlink SUED      - Redneck Rampage II
- Adobe Rejects Quark's Try  - The Lonely Net      - DaVinci Handheld
- Mad Katz Panther XL        - COOL Chips          - Northstar DGPS
- Playstation Price Cut      - Red Baron II        - World of Atari 98

                          AOL JUST GROWS AND GROWS
                   Microsoft Subpoenas Netscape Messages

                      STReport International Magazine
                              Featured Weekly
         "Accurate UP-TO-THE-MINUTE News, Reviews and Information"
  Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, Gossip and Information
             Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports

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  From the Editor's Desk...

  Well now... as the saying goes.... "all good things must come to an
  end"... Beginning with this issue, we go back on our regular, weekly
  schedule.  Maybe next year we'll go to three summer monthly issues
  instead of two like this year.  In any case, as most of you are aware,
  lately we've been enjoying rapid air changes here in Florida.   Better
  known as Hurricanes and Tropical Storms.  So far, thankfully, it hasn't
  amounted to much in North Florida.  It does however, hamper the outdoor
  activities.   In our new Bits & Bytes column, this is discussed

  It'll be interesting to watch Senator Orrin Hatch's actions over the
  next few months.   In all probabilities, he'll ranting over Clinton and
  Gates... trying to keep the pot stirred as best he can.  We shall see.
  Hatch... a virtual unknown before the "Republican Revolution" has, in
  recent months proven himself to be "just another politician".  While he
  appears to be "squeaky clean" by his dress and mannerisms one has to
  wonder.  This guy has been in the Senate for how many years?  Where was
  his BIG MOUTH during the Iran/Contra Hearings? The Panamanian Debacle
  and of course the Bank Failure Investigations???  Obvious by his lack
  of presence and silence??  This is one politico who needs to be booted
  by the TERM Limits law that's proposed.  Hatch plays favorites like
  John Q. Public plays his TV.  I simply cannot wait to hear Hatch's new
  tirades about Bill Gates and Bill Clinton.  I need a good laugh.  And
  the politicians wonder why there is LOW Voter Turnout?  Hatch and his
  cronies are good examples of some of the causes.

  It is sad to see low turn out but its a sign of the times.  Maybe the
  sleaze ball politicians we have in Washington want it that way so its
  easier to get "their" people out voting and thus fairly push the vote
  whichever way they wish.  Maybe just maybe.... the masses ought to get
  out and vote. It would be nice to see the thieves, liars and backroom
  wheeler/dealers we now call politicians blown right out of office and
  Washington D.C. in one fell swoop.  This year and the year 2000 are
  deciding factors.   Please get out and vote; locally, Statewide and



           STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU!

                    Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher, Editor

                 Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs

                              Section Editors

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                           STReport Headline News
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                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

               Microsoft Asks Court To Limit Gates Deposition

 Microsoft lawyers asked a federal judge on Tuesday to limit the U.S.
 government to no more than eight hours of deposition with its chairman
 and chief executive, Bill Gates. In response to the Justice Department's
 request last week that Gates be made available for two consecutive days
 of testimony, Microsoft accused the government of "gamesmanship" aimed at
 disrupting the company's efforts to prepare for a landmark antitrust
 trial, set to begin Sept. 8.  In its 25-page filing, the world's leading
 software company said the government "inexplicably" waited two months
 after filing its lawsuit to seek depositions from 17 Microsoft executives
 including Gates. The federal government and 20 states filed a broad
 antitrust suit against Microsoft on May 18, accusing the company of
 illegally using a monopoly in personal computer operating systems to gain
 control of the Internet software market. "Plaintiffs' decision to wait 60
 days to serve their first deposition notice is inexplicable and ...
 appears timed to interfere with Microsoft's trial preparation," the
 Redmond, Wash.-based company said in its filing.

 "The court should not countenance such gamesmanship." Microsoft said it
 offered to make available Gates, Microsoft President Steve Ballmer and
 seven other executives of the government's choosing. U.S. District Judge
 Thomas Penfield Jackson has set a hearing for Thursday to hear arguments
 on the pretrial maneuvering, which threatens to delay the start of the
 trial. Microsoft also argued in the filing that the government
 consultants should not be allowed access to closely guarded source code
 to its Windows 98 operating system unless they sign agreements that would
 limit their ability to work for Microsoft rivals for up to 18 months. The
 source code, which includes notes on how Windows 98 works, is among
 Microsoft's "most valuable and closely guarded assets," the company said.
 "That source code, for a currently shipping product responsible for
 generating billions of dollars of revenue for Microsoft, should not be
 treated cavalierly," it said.

                     Gates Questioned in Antitrust Case

 Government lawyers on Friday spent a second day questioning Microsoft
 chairman Bill Gates in preparation for a trial next month of their
 antitrust suit against the software giant. One attorney, speaking on
 condition of anonymity, said Gates was "more responsive" during 81/2
 hours of questioning Friday after being "evasive and non-responsive"
 during a similar session Thursday. A third round of questioning will be
 held next Wednesday, the attorney said. Gates, the world's richest man
 with more than an estimated $50 billion in assets, was questioned in a
 conference room at Microsoft's headquarters near Seattle. A Microsoft
 spokesman, Mark Murray, said of earlier complaints that Gates wasn't
 being responsive: ``The facts don't support the government's case, so
 it's not surprising that the government doesn't want to hear the facts.''

 U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who will preside over the
 trial, previously told government lawyers they can interview Gates "as
 long as it takes." The government planned to interview 15 Microsoft
 executives, including Gates, as it prepares for the Sept. 23 trial. The
 Justice Department and 20 states allege that Microsoft used its market
 influence as the dominant producer of operating software for personal
 computers to stifle competition in the high-tech industry.

 Attorney Sam Miller of San Francisco, who deposed Gates in 1994 for the
 Justice Department during its last investigation of Microsoft, cautioned
 that pre-trial depositions often can seem ponderous. "Unlike in a trial,
 the lawyer can ask questions over and over again, until they get an
 answer they're happy with or until the defending lawyer tells the witness
 not to answer any further," said Miller, now with the law firm Folger,
 Levin and Kahn. "It's a difficult situation for any witness, not a
 natural conversation."

 Steve Houck of the New York attorney general's office, representing the
 20 states suing Microsoft, questioned Gates for roughly six hours
 Thursday, then the Justice Department's David Boies took his turn. Boies
 also will handle the interview with Gates next Wednesday. In addition to
 Gates in the conference room, there were three lawyers each for the 20
 states, the Justice Department and Microsoft, for a total of 10 people.

 "Bill Gates will be very well prepared," said Miller, who isn't connected
 with the current case. "He's the son of a lawyer; he's been deposed
 several times, so he's well aware of the legal process. He is, by
 personality and background, very smart and generally can be combative."
 Miller said the government also likely is considering whether Gates will
 make an effective witness during the upcoming trial. Gates has testified
 publicly in at least two previous lawsuits, once in 1986 and again in

 "It gives you a very good opportunity to make a judgment about a witness,
 to size up a witness about how he will perform before a judge or jury,"
 Miller said. "That would be one of the objectives of the government's
 lawyer." The Seattle Times reported that Gates told the government during
 Thursday's deposition that he knew nothing about a reported attempt to
 persuade rival Netscape Communications Corp. to divide the market for
 Internet browsers.

 The Justice Department and 20 state attorneys general contend that
 Microsoft met with Netscape in May 1995 and offered to divide the market
 for Internet browsers. Citing a deposition with Netscape co-founder Marc
 Andreessen, the government alleged that Microsoft offered not to make
 browsers except for Windows 95 if Netscape agreed not to make browsers
 for Windows or to help design rival operating systems.

 Gates previously called the allegation about collusion "an outrageous
 lie." He said the 1995 meeting ``was to discuss various technologies
 Microsoft proposed sharing with Netscape, so that Netscape's browser
 could take advantage of the cool new features we were developing for
 Windows 95.''

                   Microsoft Subpoenas Netscape Messages

 Microsoft Corp. has demanded ``flame mail'' messages from Netscape
 Communications Corp. in a bid to scorch its competitor in next month's
 antitrust trial. Hinting at one strategy it may use at the Sept. 23
 trial, the Redmond, Wash., software company has subpoenaed internal
 electronic forums run by Netscape employees, the Journal reported. One
 forum, known as "bad attitude," is used to vent about everything from
 competitors to cafeteria food, and a second, "really bad attitude," is
 where a small circle of young engineers posted barbed messages, known as
 flame mail, about their workplace and products. Microsoft may plan to use
 some of the more embarrassing of these electronic messages to show that
 it was management errors or weak products that led to a decline in
 Netscape's share of the Internet-browser market -- not the predatory
 practices of a monopolist, as the government charges, the Journal said.

 The subpoena surprised the engineering ranks at Netscape, where frank and
 often deeply cutting criticism was common on electronic "bulletin boards"
 that were never intended to be seen by outsiders, especially the
 arch-enemy Microsoft. Bad attitude was intended as "an anything-goes
 forum for venting in as inappropriate and vitriolic a way as you felt
 like" without fear of management reprisal, one engineer wrote, the
 Journal reported. The second, private bulletin board was open by
 invitation only. "You could be on RBA only if you first flamed so hard
 that bile flowed from your eye sockets," the forum's creator, Jamie
 Zawinski, wrote on his personal Web site. He says that he has
 discontinued the forum. The Journal said Zawinski could not be reached
 for comment.

             Microsoft's internal e-mail: More ammo for the DOJ

 Microsoft's internal e-mails are starting to look like the high-tech
 industry's version of the Nixon tapes. The words of Microsoft's own
 executives and other employees ultimately could do more damage to the
 software giant than any other evidence that the Justice Department is
 gathering as it prepares for its Sept. 23 showdown in court. At first
 glance, the evidence appears damning in terms of how Microsoft tried to
 bully friends and foes alike to cave in to its demands. This will likely
 be a key piece of the government's strategy to convince U.S. District
 Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that Microsoft abused its monopoly power.
 If Justice wins that major battle, it will have a much easier time asking
 for harsh remedies to rein in Microsoft's dominance.

 But what do we learn from reading these memos? Here are a few takeaways
 that should come as no surprise to anyone who's done business with
 Microsoft or bought its products:

    * MICROSOFT IS A BULLY. Microsoft and its employees have become more
      arrogant as the company has become more successful, and it takes
      advantage of every opportunity to leverage that success to win sales
      and force concessions regarding technology.
    * BIG BUSINESS IS TOUGH. I'd be willing to bet Bill Gates and Andy
      Grove had many more knock-down, drag-out fights than the one
      chronicled in memos leaked to the press last week regarding Intel's
      planned support of native signal processing technology. That's what
      business is all about, isn't it? Put two powerful CEOs in a room to
      talk about future plans, and it's guaranteed that each one will try
      to browbeat the other into submission.
    * MICROSOFT CHEATS. Inserting code in a product to intentionally break
      another company's product, as Microsoft allegedly did with Windows
      3.1 and DR-DOS, is just plain dumb. Documenting the strategy in
      e-mail is even dumber. Saving the e-mail completes the dumbness

 The first two items beg the question, So what? Bullheadedness, arrogance
 and hardball tactics, like it or not, are accepted practices in the
 business world. In these areas, Microsoft execs are not much different
 from their peers--despite what competitors want you to think. And
 internal e-mails alone don't give a fair picture of a company's strategy.
 The third item is more disturbing, since it potentially shows that
 Microsoft plotted to intentionally subvert a competitor by technical, not
 marketing, means. Originally gathered under subpoena in Caldera's
 antitrust suit against Microsoft, the evidence could become a key part of
 the federal antitrust case.

 As these and other internal memos continue to swirl around Microsoft with
 the force of Hurricane Bonnie, the company seems more vulnerable now than
 at any other time in the past decade. While it laughed off the consent
 decree handed down in 1995 after the first government investigation into
 its business practices, things are different now. The government seems
 much more prepared this time, and every step Microsoft has taken lately
 to sway opinion its way has been a misstep. Granted, it won a key battle
 in June when a U.S. Appeals Court overturned a preliminary injunction
 against bundling Internet Explorer with Windows 95. But it has yet to win
 the war. Who knows what additional damage lurks inside the internal memos
 the Justice Department has gathered during its investigation? Right now,
 Bill Gates is probably wishing he had the e-mail equivalent of Richard
 Nixon's 18-minute gap.

              U.S. Asks Judge Not To Throw Out Microsoft Case

 The U.S. government urged a federal judge not to dismiss its antitrust
 case against Microsoft Corp., and accused Bill Gates and other executives
 of an "astonishing lack of recall" when questioned under oath. In an
 89-page filing made late on Monday in U.S. District Court here, the
 Justice Department and 20 states said they had substantial evidence that
 Microsoft had abused its dominant position to thwart rival Netscape
 Communications Corp. (NSCP - news) and take control of the market for
 Internet browsers. The filing was in reply to Microsoft's Aug. 10 request
 to have the government's landmark antitrust suit against the software
 giant dismissed. "Because Microsoft believed that it could not win what
 it repeatedly described as 'the browser war' legitimately and on the
 merits, it resorted to the predatory and anti-competitive agreements and
 conduct described," the government said.

 The company's executives, when interviewed under oath by government
 lawyers, ``claim an astonishing lack of recall,'' the brief said.
 "Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who is placed at the center of key events by
 numerous documents, displayed a particular failure of recollection at his
 deposition," the government said. "Mr. Gates' testimony appears to be
 part of a pattern of Microsoft attempting to rewrite history." Microsoft
 has repeatedly denied the government's charges and earlier this month
 asked that the case be dismissed for failing to meet basic legal

             Filmmaker Sues Internet Provider Over "Spam" Label

 New York filmmaker Peter Hall says he dislikes spammers as much as
 anyone. "They're idiots," he says. But he dislikes being accused of being
 a spammer even more. So last Thursday, the former journalist and his
 independent filmmaking company, Big Bad Productions Inc., filed a lawsuit
 against Earthlink, the California-based Internet service provider, for
 falsely identifying him as a spammer.

 Among the seven counts is the charge of libel, stemming from a list of
 terminated Earthlink accounts that was posted to Internet newsgroups. "We
 are taking the position that 'spammer' is a pejorative term," says Hall's
 lawyer, Andrew Grosso, who is seeking damages in excess of $1 million.
 "Spammers are disliked. There is even legislation before Congress that
 would prohibit spamming."

 The suit stems from a case of mistaken identity. It's nearly a year to
 the day from the morning Hall awoke to find himself starring in a
 real-life Kafka-esque drama. Hall was preparing for the theatrical
 release of his first full-length feature film, "Delinquent," when he was
 suddenly cut off from all electronic communications by his then-ISP,
 Earthlink. The reason? Earthlink had received information from UUNet, its
 backbone Internet traffic carrier, that Hall's account had been used for
 spamming AOL members.

 Unfortunately, the information was wrong. Apparently, the confusion arose
 because of a numerical identification system used to track users' online
 activity. The ID numbers are reassigned each day, but when the initial
 spam complaint -- which originated from an AOL user in Japan-was received
 by UUNet, a clerk neglected to factor in the international dateline
 difference to determine the proper user identification number. The
 confusion resulted in Hall being mistakenly ID'd as the culprit.

 UUNet then passed on the wrong information to Earthlink and the ISP took
 immediate action: Earthlink "toasted" Hall's account. Hall tried
 frantically to contact Earthlink personnel to get to the bottom of the
 problem, but claims he was rebuffed by the company's abuse department,
 which refused to listen to Hall's protestations of innocence. After UUNet
 admitted its mistake, Hall claims that Earthlink promised to immediately
 reactivate his prepaid account but inexplicably did not.

 Furthermore, Hall says that six days after his account was terminated and
 more than 24 hours after being promised that his account would be
 reopened he received a phone call from Earthlink's VP of Communications
 with an offer for six months of free service-less than what he'd spent on
 long-distance phone calls trying to remedy the situation. "I went
 ballistic," he admits.

 "I'd been up all night waiting for them to turn on my account. I'd just
 spent five years working on this film and I was desperate to get my
 email. If you want to systematically drive someone mad, this is how you'd
 do it." The next day, Hall signed up with an alternate ISP and soon found
 some emails had been forwarded from his Earthlink account. But from that
 day until the day that the lawsuit was filed, Hall says, Earthlink has
 been accepting Hall's e-mails, refusing to either forward them to him or
 bounce the messages back to the senders to alert them that the emails
 were not being received by Hall.

 According to Hall, there are at least 591 messages to him at his old
 Earthlink account which he cannot access. Grosso alleges that, under the
 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, "ISPs have a duty to either
 deliver the mail or inform the sender that it cannot be delivered."

 Hall is claiming that he suffered financially from the inability to
 promote the film's commercial debut and is seeking damages, as well as
 compensation for his mental anguish and humiliation. Earthlink had no
 comment on the lawsuit. Despite UUNet's role in the fiasco, Hall has not
 pursued legal action against the backbone.

 "UUNet asserts that its reports are not intended to be construed as
 concrete evidence of wrongdoing," explains Hall. "They were responsive
 and treated me courteously. They never treated me like a criminal. And
 they apologized."

                    Microsoft Blamed in Software Glitch

 Mark Alberding, a college student in San Francisco, was perplexed: His
 computer running Windows 95 was working fine until he installed some
 popular multimedia software called QuickTime. Suddenly, whenever he
 double-clicked to look at any of the hundreds of digital photographs on
 his hard-drive, his machine launched the new QuickTime software from
 Apple Computer instead of a rival Microsoft program he had been using to
 view pictures.

 This sometimes happens with personal computers. Ill-mannered new programs
 clash with old ones. The software ``victims'' can be programs from any
 vendor, even Microsoft. But what had been a common and fairly esoteric
 technical annoyance is a new focus in the landmark debate over whether
 Microsoft unfairly uses its enormous influence to stifle competition in
 the high-tech industry.

 In Alberding's case, Microsoft's program stopped working. But the
 company's toughest critics say that Microsoft's own software too often is
 the victor not the victim in battles with rival programs. They want the
 Justice Department - already suing Microsoft in a broad antitrust lawsuit
 - also to investigate whether the software maker is deliberately trying
 to stamp out rivals using a sort of software sabotage.

 Alberding suspects that in his case, Apple's QuickTime established itself
 as the default software to view his pictures, supplanting the viewer
 programs from Microsoft and other companies. "It basically set itself up
 as the default," Alberding said. "Sometimes when you install the most
 innocent-looking applications, all kinds of silly stuff happens," said
 Mark Stotzer, a support engineer for about 200 computer users at a
 California textbook publishing company. "I don't know how normal users
 can get anything to work after installing this stuff. In Washington,
 executive Rob Glaser of Seattle-based RealNetworks Inc. fueled the debate
 when he accused rival Microsoft of deliberately designing some of its
 newest software to ``break'' his own popular product, which lets people
 hear audio and watch video over the Internet.

 In a dramatic demonstration during a Senate hearing last month, Glaser
 showed his own Real Player G2 software working perfectly on a computer.
 But it failed with an error message after he installed Microsoft's new
 Media Player. In that case, Microsoft's player not only tried to take
 over the duties of playing audio and video files, it went belly-up
 because, unlike the G2 player, it's designed to recognize only the
 earliest types of RealNetworks audio and video data. It was as if your
 stereo's CD player suddenly decided it would try to play all your
 eight-track tapes. The largely sympathetic Senate panel appeared
 indignant. "I would think that a responsible corporation would know
 better than to deliberately disable a competitor's product,'' said
 Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, calling it "something the Justice
 Department has to take seriously."

 Microsoft's engineers blamed a mistake in Glaser's own software. They
 detailed what they called a faulty entry that RealNetworks makes in the
 Windows Registry, a repository of system settings, and they've since
 noted that RealNetworks quietly fixed the problem in software it released
 last week. Mike Elgan, the editor for Windows Magazine, complains the
 whole incident showed that Washington doesn't understand technology
 issues: "Hatch wouldn't know a registry key if it bit him in the gavel,''
 Elgan said.

 Glaser stands his ground, although his company's stock has lost one-fifth
 its value since his testimony. And one company that complained with
 Glaser about Microsoft's new Media Player, Xing Technologies, has
 retracted its statements. Meanwhile, Glaser and some of Microsoft's
 biggest rivals - including Netscape Communications and Sun Microsystems -
 want new industry-wide principles to let computer users decide which
 programs as they're installed will take control of common data files.
 Alberding, the college student, never got his problem completely solved
 espite his tinkering and a request for help on the Internet. He's all for
 the new industry plan. ``That certainly makes sense, doesn't it?'' he

            "Internet Virgin" Site Sparks Lawsuit and Bickering

 Ken Tipton, the mastermind behind the Our First Time Web site, where two
 teenagers were supposed to lose their virginity online, says the fiasco
 has become a professional and personal nightmare. The event, which was
 conceived as a theatrical hoax a la Orson Welles' fake radio broadcast
 War of the Worlds, is now the subject of a bitter legal battle.

 Tipton filed a lawsuit for defamation and breach of contract this week
 against the Internet Entertainment Group, his former Internet service
 provider in the virgin venture. IEG is the company behind one of the most
 profitable porn sites in the world and owns the rights to the infamous
 Pamela Anderson-Tommy Lee video. Tipton wants $3 million to $5 million in
 contract damages and another $10 million for defamation.

 "My client has lost millions of dollars in potential ad revenues,''
 claimed Los Angeles attorney Stan Lieber, who has advised Tipton against
 speaking directly to the press. ``Not to mention the permanent damage to
 his reputation as a filmmaker and an actor." Lieber said that Seth
 Warshavsky, IEG's president, pulled the plug on the site in mid-July when
 he learned that the teenagers were not really going to consummate their
 rosy, weeks-long online romance with sex, but were instead going to opt
 for abstinence -- the message being that safe sex, and especially
 abstinence -- are best.

 Warshavsky says that was just part of the problem. "At first, we thought
 Tipton, who was calling himself 'Oscar Welles' at that point, was being
 straight with us, that these 'teenagers' were really who they said they
 were, and that they were really going to lose their virginity online.
 After we had signed a contract with Tipton, we started to get suspicious
 about the whole arrangement.

 When Tipton was pressed to have the teenagers -- actually actors in their
 20s -- sign model releases, Warshavsky said he refused. Then, he said,
 Tipton admitted to the whole event being a sham set up to promote
 publicity for a movie he was trying to make. "He was a little tipsy when
 he confessed, and he tried to persuade us that we were all going to make
 lots of money by charging $5 a pop to viewers on the day that the two
 were supposed to lose their virginity online," Warchavsky said.

 IEG pulled out of the project a few days later, and posted an angry
 disclaimer at their site, said Tipton and his company were
 simply out to rip off the public. The ourfirsttime domain name was sold
 to another company, according to a press release from Lieber, which did
 not name the buyer. The new site uses the space to hawk skin flicks and
 sexual paraphernalia. "These people have made a mockery of the Internet
 media," proclaimed Warshavsky.

 Of course, Lieber and his client tell a different story. "Tipton was
 never going to charge for the site," Lieber said. "It was going to be a
 public service announcement about safe sex. It was only after the threat
 of legal action from religious right groups that he came up with the
 safety net plan of charging people a dollar on their credit cards, to
 prove that they weren't minors."

 Tipton is no stranger to pressure from the religious right. He says they
 were responsible for shutting down his chain of lucrative video stores in
 St. Louis, because he was distributing X-rated movies. The movie idea
 that Tipton hoped to promote with the "Internet Virgins" idea is actually
 an autobiographical story about his personal and professional struggles
 after tangling with the religious right. Tipton calls it "In the Eye of
 the Beholder."

 Any damage done to the credibility of the medium by the hoax should be
 minimal, says the Electronic Freedom Foundation's Stanton McCandlish.
 "People believe in moderated media, be it print or online or broadcast,"
 he said. "This stunt was unmoderated, so regular users of theInternet
 were probably skeptical from the beginning." "The only people who seemed
 to buy it was not the public, but newspaper editors, who are always
 scrounging around for dirt about the Internet." Warshavsky, who was only
 made aware of the lawsuit against him when a Wired News reporter told him
 about it on Thursday, said that he and IEG will fight, and may even take
 counter action against Tipton.

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 EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed


  Panel Recommends Increased         IBM Tightens Computer Security
  Spending On High-Tech R&D

  P&G Seeks To Set Standards For     Online Banking Growth Is Slower
  Web Advertising                    Than Expected

  StampMaster Granted Permission To  Developers Flocking To Macintosh
  Begin Testing                      Fold

  CyberGold Claims Patent On         Stoll Prepares New Critique Of
  "Attention Brokerage"              Computers In Schools

  Justice Dept. Asking Whether       DARPA Leads Fight Against
  Gates Pressured Groves             Domain-Name Hackers

  Adobe Rejects Quark's Overture     Canadian Internet Infrastructure

  Closing Europe's Technology Gap    L&H Thrives On Multilingual Roots

  New Handheld Device For Half The   The Lonely Net

  Patent Law In The Information Age  Lucent Serves Up New Perspective On

  New Developments In Holographic    Cool Chips

  Depositions Continue In Microsoft  AOL Just Grows And Grows

  Listening To E-Mail


 The President's Information Technology Advisory Committee, a 26-member
 panel of prominent computer scientists and industry executives, has
 recommended that the U.S. government boost spending on information
 technology research by $1 billion over five years, for a total of $2.5
 billion. The committee also suggested reviving the large, long-term
 projects that proved so productive in the 1970s and '80s. "The future
 great ideas that are not going to pan out for 15 years aren't getting
 enough support now," says the panel's co-chair. In its report, the panel
 warned against the tendency among federal agencies to focus on small,
 short-term projects to the detriment of larger, more basic science
 studies. In particular, the panel recommended additional funding for
 research into robust software, faster supercomputers and "scaleable"
 communications networks capable of handling a billion users -- the number
 of estimated Internet users in 2005. The next step for the panel is to
 conduct a series of meetings with community and federal leaders to
 develop specific funding proposals with a goal of being included in the
 FY 2000 budget. (Science 21 Aug 98)


 Working with colleagues at a Swiss university, IBM researchers have
 developed a new security scheme that effectively closes off back-door
 attempts to overwhelm computer security systems using so-called "active"
 attacks. Such attacks, which analyze the electronic responses to messages
 from Web sites to derive information that can then be used to decode an
 intercepted session, are considered to be the most dangerous hacking
 attempts that most encryption systems face. The Cramer-Shoup method,
 named for researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and
 IBM Research respectively, thwarts active attacks by preventing such
 eavesdropping. "The game is over as far as cryptography systems being
 subject to these nasty kinds of attacks," says IBM's manager of network
 security and cryptography, who notes IBM plans to disseminate its
 findings to other researchers. "This is not the sort of stuff you hold
 tight and patent. This is the sort of stuff you publish and hope everyone
 adopts it quickly." (Reuters 24 Aug 98)


 Procter & Gamble held a summit last week, inviting rival firms such as
 Unilever, Chlorox, and Nestle to join P&G in a unified effort to draft
 standards for measuring online audiences and establish a set of ad types
 that Web sites will accept. The company has set November as the deadline
 for accomplishing these tasks, and by April hopes to develop a way to
 reconcile contradictory data supplied by various online services. "Let's
 face it," says the P&G VP in charge of worldwide advertising. "There's a
 massive revolution in consumer habits. No one organization, or even a
 handful of organizations, can be the driver. No one is in control, and
 that's really disrupting the marketing landscape -- in a really positive
 way." The company says that in five years as much as 80% of its
 $3-billion advertising budget could be spent on "interactive digital
 media," including the Internet, cable, interactive television and
 high-definition TV. (Wall Street Journal 24 Aug 98)


 Although the number of financial institutions offering online banking has
 grown rapidly (54% in 1998 compared to 38% in 1997), consumers are taking
 their time changing their habits, and only about 6% of customers
 nationwide use electronic banking. Use of the World Wide Web is what may
 make the difference, because it offers a universal interface to almost
 any computer system. An executive of Integrion, a consortium of 17 banks,
 IBM, and Visa USA, says: "In the last six months, the Web has become more
 important, and banks that might not have focused on a transactional Web
 site are now doing that." (New York Times 24 Aug 98)


 StampMaster Inc., says it has received permission from the U.S. Postal
 Service to begin testing its PC postage-metering technology, using a base
 of 21 individuals and small businesses in the Washington, D.C. area. Last
 March, E-Stamp was granted similar approval, becoming the first company
 to receive such approval since postage meters were first introduced in
 1920. Unlike E-Stamp, which requires users to purchase a small hardware
 device that attaches to their PC printer port, StampMaster requires no
 additional hardware. Users set up accounts with the company and then
 download postage from the StampMaster Web site. Software on users' PCs
 then prints out the stamps as each transaction is verified. Both
 StampMaster and E-Stamp are talking to Pitney Bowes, which claims it
 holds the patents on PC postage-metering, but neither company thinks its
 technology infringes on the Pitney Bowes patents. (Wall Street Journal 25
 Aug 98)


 Software developers are turning their eyes back to the Apple Macintosh
 platform, and liking what they see. Apple has committed $100 million to
 marketing its new iMac machine, and the company is providing more free
 developer tools and working with key partners to bring more titles to
 market. Apple's strategy to stabilize its operating system has also
 contributed to the renewed confidence that many software developers have
 in the platform. "We're definitely seeing more Mac titles," says one
 computer store manager. Sales of Mac-only titles rose 12% to $21.4
 million in the first half of this year, according to PC Data. (Computer
 Retail Week 22 Aug 98)


 CyberGold says it now holds a patent that covers "attention brokerage,"
 the business of buying and selling the attention of Internet users. "We
 tried to make the patent application as broad as we possibly can," says
 CyberGold's CEO. "This new way of brokering the attention of people 
 offering their attention to other people who want their attention -- is
 pretty much covered." The company says it will license its method to
 rivals in the online incentives market, possibly for a per-transaction
 fee. (Wall Street Journal 25 Aug 98)


 Iconoclastic computer security expert, astronomer, and fierce Internet
 critic Clifford Stoll, who authored the best-selling book "Silicon Snake
 Oil," is working on a new book critical of the use of computers in
 primary and secondary education. Stoll told the Dallas Morning News: "I
 became a computer expert in my freshman year in high school, writing
 Fortran, Assembler, machine language and developing programs. Along the
 way, I've discovered that using computers . . . was a great way to make
 it look like I was doing wonderful academics when, in fact, I'm just
 screwing around. And for all the many, many hours that I've spent online
 and on computers, seems to me that most of the important work that I've
 done has happened independent of the hours that I've spent online. When I
 think of the skills that I need as an astronomer, they're skills like
 knowing mathematics, understanding physics, being able to manipulate a
 telescope, being able to write a paper, being able to read analytically
 and understand what someone else has written. Being able to poke holes in
 arguments. To be able to stand up in front of a meeting and present my
 ideas. These days, the computers are loaded with programs to guide the
 kids through things. Do they spend more time playing and learning . . .
 rather than just doing the rote work as you were doing? The main thing
 the computer is teaching . . . is that if you want to learn, you sit
 behind a screen for hours on end, that you'll accept what a machine says
 without arguing, that relationships that develop over e-mail, Web pages
 and chat rooms are transitory and shallow. That if you're ever
 frustrated, all you have to do is pull the plug and reboot the machine."
 (Dallas Morning News 24 Aug 98)


 As part of its antitrust suit against Microsoft, the U.S. Justice
 Department is trying to determine whether Microsoft chief executive Bill
 Gates made "vague threats" in 1995 to Intel chief Andy Grove about
 development of "native signal processing" (NSP) technology and about
 Intel's evolving Internet strategy. Intel wanted to develop a
 microprocessor that supported Java, which would have threatened the
 dominance of Microsoft's Windows operating systems, because programs
 written in Java could be run on any operating system. Attorney Charles F.
 Rule, an advisor to Microsoft, says: "Business partners like Intel and
 Microsoft occasionally have minor disputes, and the fact that the Justice
 Department and the states are apparently trying to shoehorn this into
 their case at the last minute shows how desperate they are." (New York
 Times 26 Aug 98)


 The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $1.4
 million contract to Network Associates to develop a cryptographic
 authentication system for the Internet's domain-address system. The new
 system will enable the Net's routing points to verify the origin of any
 given Web page, preventing hackers from corrupting Web page caches or
 rerouting domain traffic altogether. It will not, however, prevent
 hackers from breaking into individual Web servers and changing pages.
 "That's not part of this particular approach," says the director of
 Network Associates' TIS Labs. The company is working with the Internet
 Software Consortium, which will distribute the security system to Unix
 vendors when it becomes commercially available. Beta versions are
 expected to be ready in about six months, with a final product on the
 market in about 18 months. (TechWeb 26 Aug 98)

                       ADOBE REJECTS QUARK'S OVERTURE

 Quark Inc., maker of publishing and graphics software, says its offer to
 purchase rival Adobe Systems Inc. has been rejected. "Adobe has advised
 Quark that it is not interested in pursuing discussions with Quark and
 that Adobe is focused on the exciting opportunities available to the
 company, its stockholders, employees and customers," says an Adobe
 spokesman, who said the offer from Quark "failed to state any material
 terms that could constitute a firm and bona fide offer, including price."
 (Los Angeles Times 26 Aug 98) What's behind Quark's sudden offer for its
 much-larger competitor? The company says the timing is related to a
 sudden dip in Adobe's stock price: "This is not based on anything else
 but our evaluation of the company's stock," says Quark CEO F. Fred
 Ebrahimi. "Is there something wrong with being a capitalist? Well if so,
 that's too bad." (Investor's Business Daily 27 Aug 98)


 Canadian Industry Minister John Manley has unveiled plans for a
 high-speed Internet backbone, capable of moving data at speeds 1.5
 million times faster than is possible using an ordinary 28.8 Kbps modem.
 Dubbed CA*net3, the $120-million project is being touted as a showcase
 for domestic technology firms, as well as companies following Canada's
 lead in building third-generation Internet infrastructure. CANARIE, a
 Canadian research consortium, and a group led by Bell Canada will build
 the system, which could be fully operational by October. Initially, only
 the most advanced computers will be capable of handling the network's
 speed and capacity, restricting its use to university researchers and
 certain government laboratories that currently use another CANARIE
 research network. (Toronto Star 26 Aug 98)


 Analysts are predicting that by 2005, Europe may have significantly
 narrowed its technology gap with the U.S., thanks to the unifying
 influence of the euro currency, which will draw in new investment, and
 deregulated telecommunications markets, which will attract innovation and
 reduce prices overall. Currently, low PC prices (even lower than U.S.
 prices in many cases) are making Europe the world's fastest-growing major
 PC market, with sales up 17.8% for the first half of the year. Meanwhile
 Europe is pouring money into high-speed data networks, augmented by the
 estimated $125 billion that European companies are spending to prepare
 their computers for the coming euro. "Market liberalization is going to
 free up investment in Europe, and the money's going to go into high
 tech," says the president of Cisco Systems' European operations. "A new
 economy is going to be built as a result." (Business Week 31 Aug 98)


 Leading speech recognition software maker Lernout & Hauspie Speech
 Products NV is located in the heart of a region known as "Language
 Valley," aptly named for an area in Belgium, which is surrounded by
 France, the Netherlands and German. The country has three official
 languages -- French, Dutch and German -- and English is also widely
 spoken. "They have a much more global outlook than their competitors,"
 says the head of a software consulting firm. "The world doesn't speak
 just one language." L&H, which focuses on both speech and language
 translation businesses, is releasing its Voice Express Pro next month --a
 product that enables users to give verbal commands and dictate documents
 to a computer -- and another product, code-named Popeye, will let
 software developers add voice recognition to e-mail programs. L&H is also
 working on a product called iTranslator, which will translate Web pages
 from one language to another and allow users to do multilingual Web
 searches. Initially, the intended market will be non-English speakers,
 but that's going to change. "...In four to six years, there will be more
 Web sites in Chinese than in English," says the company's CEO.
 (Investor's Business Daily 26 Aug 98)


 The daVinci handheld device, introduced Monday by Royal Consumer Business
 Products, looks and functions like 3Com's popular PalmPilot but, at
 suggested prices of $99 and $150, costs only about half as much as the
 PalmPilot's $250-and-up pricetag. The basic daVinci model includes a
 256-kilobyte memory, writing recognition software, a docking station, PC
 synchronization and an optional keyboard, and the high-end daVinci Pro
 boasts a 1 megabyte memory, built-in e-mail and fax software, and a
 dockingstation with a PCMCIA card modem slot. The basic version is
 expected to hit the shelves in October, and the Pro in November. "We want
 to hit the high-volume price points," says Royal's executive director of
 marketing. The daVinci uses a proprietary script and its own operating
 system. (Computer Retail Week 26 Aug 98)

                               THE LONELY NET

 A two-year, $1.5-million study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon
 University, funded by the National Science Foundation and major
 technology companies, has concluded that Internet use appears to cause a
 decline in psychological well-being. A director of the study says, "We
 are not talking here about the extremes. These were normal adults and
 their families, and on average, for those who used the Internet most,
 things got worse." One hour a week of Internet use led on average to an
 increase of 1% on the depression scale, an increase of 0.04% on the
 loneliness scale, and a loss of 2.7 members of the subject's social
 circle (which averaged 66 people). Although the study participants used
 e-mail, chat rooms, and other social features of the Internet to interact
 with others, they reported a decline in interaction with their own family
 members and a reduction in their circles of friends. "Our hypothesis is,
 there are more cases where you're building shallow relationships [on the
 Internet], leading to an overall decline in feeling of connection to
 other people." Since the 169 study participants, all from the Pittsburgh
 area, were not chosen in a random selection process, it is not clear how
 the findings apply to the general population, but a RAND Corporation
 senior scientist says, "They did an extremely careful scientific study,
 and it's not a result that's easily ignored." (New York Times 30 Aug 98)


 The U.S. Patent and Trademark has in recent months offered patents to at
 least five online business models, including an award last week to
 CyberGold Inc. for creating a system that lets Web users earn money by
 clicking on banner ads and corporate Web sites (a business model
 described in the patent as online "attention brokerage"). University of
 Texas at Austin law professor Mark Lemley fears that this trend could
 stifle competition by granting overly broad patents, whereas University
 of California at Berkeley law professor Pamela Samuelson thinks it's
 reasonable to recognize that business models can be in and of themselves
 technological advances. Samuelson says, "If patents worked for
 manufacturers, surely they will work for the information economy." (New
 York Times Cybertimes 28 Aug 98)


 Lucent Technologies has debuted a new TV camera that gives tennis match
 viewers the ability to see the whole court from the side, thereby making
 it easier to follow the game as the ball is lobbed from one end to the
 other. It has also tested a system that shows all of the movements made
 by a player during a match, using a technology similar to that used for
 the Doppler Weather map. The technology uses computers and video to track
 information and display it, says a Lucent researcher. Meanwhile, IBM will
 be covering the U.S. Open, which begins Monday, on its Web site, which
 will feature an interactive camera that allows users to aim it and zoom
 in and out of their views of the action. The site will also have
 real-time scores and statistics, and live chat sessions hosted by special
 guests. (Wall Street Journal 28 Aug 98)


 Academic and industrial scientists have been researching ways to use
 holograms in information storage devices, but one key disadvantage has
 been the tendency of holograms to be very "volatile" -- reading them
 tends to degrade their content. Now a group at the California Institute
 of Technology has discovered that by using special, thin crystals of
 lithium niobate that incorporate traces of iron and manganese atoms, the
 resulting holograms were much more stable. The researchers found that
 they could record data durably in the crystals using ultraviolet light,
 while at the same making a hologram using two red laser beams. The UV
 light stimulated the iron and manganese atoms to liberate the electrons,
 ensuring that the hologram created by the lasers was stored by both types
 of atoms. The resulting hologram could be read by illuminating it with
 red laser light alone, which did not excite the UV-triggered manganese
 atoms, so they retained the imprinted data without loss (there was some
 degradation in the iron atom version). The work "is a step toward a
 practical holographic storage device," says Hans Coufal of the IBM
 Almaden Research Center, but says the technique will need to be modified
 to bring it to the mass market. (Scientific American Sep 98)

                                 COOL CHIPS

 Using technology developed by Intel and NCR, Columbia, S.C.-based
 KryoTech is selling PCs that use chip-cooling technology similar to that
 in your household refrigerator. Cooling chips down speeds up performance
 because the reduced thermonuclear resistance in transistors and
 interconnects means bits of data can move faster. The company's
 "thermally accelerated" systems replace the traditional cooling fan with
 a design that places the computer atop an environmentally friendly fridge
 -- cold air is pumped up from below to the processor, which is encased in
 an insulated "kryo cavity" that keeps the cold inside, protecting other
 parts of the machine from the ice and condensation. (Popular Science Sep


 In preparations for the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust suit against
 Microsoft, government lawyers questioned Microsoft chief Bill Gates for
 two days last week and the federal judge who will preside over the
 September 23 trial has indicated that the government can question Gates
 for "as long as it takes." Microsoft officials are accused of meeting
 with Netscape in 1995 and illegally offering to split the market for Web
 browsers. Gates has called the allegation "an outrageous lie." (AP 29 Aug

                          AOL JUST GROWS AND GROWS

 Without even counting its CompuServe members or its membership beyond the
 U.S., the America Online membership figure now surpasses 13 million
 subscribers. Peak usage now is 750,000 users at a time (compared to
 400,000 a year ago) and the current number of modems available is 800,000
 (compared to 447,000 last year). Modem growth rate is 34% higher than the
 rate of membership increase. (Investor's Business Daily 28 Aug 98)

                            LISTENING TO E-MAIL

 A new service called CoolMail  allows
 e-mail users to call from any phone and hear their e-mail read to them
 via automated voice after they listen to a 10-second advertisement. The
 call is free from a local access number and costs 10 cents a minute
 otherwise. A reply feature is also available. (USA Today 28 Aug 98)


                       [BITSBYTES.GIF (64527 bytes)]

 by R. F. Mariano

 Between Bonnie, Danielle and Earl.... Florida has done rather well in not
 facing the brunt of the ever fearsome Hurricane. We've had plenty of
 rain, less than gale force winds and rough seas but all in all, the only
 thing hampered was working on the boat outdoors and unfortunately,
 fishing. In this issue, we're going to begin the before and after with
 the development of the 30' Imperial Cruiser. This is the vessel that's
 getting the Furuno Radar, Northstar DGPS and Garmin 235 GPS/Depthsounder.
 But these goodies are secondary to the actual "labors of love" being
 enjoyed in getting this vessel ready for the superb Florida Fishing
 Season and of course, our detailing of our visits to various marinas,
 participating in fishing tournaments and giving seminars about the
 electronics on our boats and the interfacing of a laptop.

 To begin at the right point, I'd like to show you a before and after of
 the boat's hull. My son Vincent worked his tail off getting the hull to
 look brand spanking new. He first washed the hull then he wet sanded it
 to his satisfaction. Then came the compounding with an electric buffer
 and finally, the application of the wax and a final buffing. But all that
 came after he and his brother Victor rebuilt the V6 4.3 litre engines.
 This boat is, for all intents and purposes almost brand new at this

 [imp.gif (116862 bytes)]

 [imp_bow.gif (144225 bytes)]

 Once we begin the installation of the electronics, which is covered
 elsewhere in this column, you'll understand why I said that. Personally,
 I can't wait to get going on our "jaunts" to various marinas, fishing
 clubs and yacht clubs. Doing computer related seminars will be "old hat"
 to me but doing them for the marine community will be new and I might
 add, a highly anticipated joy. After all, I do believe that if I had the
 equipment and knowledge I have today thirty years ago, I would've never
 left the Party/Charter Boat business. Being able to do things one can do
 with a laptop interfaced with the Radar, DGPS and Sonar is true
 navigational power and then some.

 [northstar1.gif (8273 bytes)]

 About the Installation of the Northstar 951XD;

 Northstar supplied everything for the installation of the 951XD but the
 antenna mounting hardware. That's understandable since the variations
 involved with each installation are virtually unlimited. I obtained a
 Shakespear 173 compact fibreglas whip and installed that in the
 Differential Antenna's tip top. The actual installation went so easily
 that there is very little to write about. The main item was connection
 the patch cable to interface the laptop with the DGPS. That was also
 easy. In reality, a serial mouse cord will do the job nicely. Once all
 the electronics are installed... and the decals are placed on the hull,
 we go in the water.  Then we fiorst get the opportunity to tell you abuot
 how the Northstar performs.  I must admit... I used a Northstar on a
 friend's boat and we so impressed with it that I decided months ago I'd
 fight for the opportunity to tell you all about such a wonderful
 navigational aid.   Coupled with the Navionics Chart Chips... this baby
 is hard to beat.   Navionics... they make just about the very best in
 "Charts on a Chip".

 When we decided to go in this direction, we also wanted to tell you about
 some of the finest software packages available for the both the boater
 and avid fisherman.  We have them and will tell you all about them.
 Software packages like Maptech, Chart View Pro, Florida Fish & Tide
 Guide, Fishnet and of course, Thumbs Plus with our own compiled library
 of east coast fish.

                       [nstar_951.GIF (48085 bytes)]

 In addition to the northstar, we'll be installing a Furuno Radar 1621mk2
 and a Garmin 235 Depth Sounder.  Of course we'll show the before and the
 after in regard to the installations.  At about the same time we will be
 placing the Decals on the boat.   You gotta see these to believe 'em.
 They're done by Graphitek in Vermont and will be installed by Jean Schemp
 of Jacksonville... perhaps the finest Specialty Marine Lettering and Sign
 Company in Jacksonville.  More about that later.

 [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?
    * Request a Brochure about a product?
    * This is the place...

 [email14.gif (38893 bytes)]


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 Jason's Jive


 Jason Sereno, STR Staff

 Hello everyone,

 We've got a lot of catching up to do. In this installment of Jason's Jive
 we'll take a look at a couple of great games, Red Baron II from Sierra
 and Interplay's Redneck Rampage Rides Again. But first I'll tell you what
 I think about Mad Catz' Panther XL.

                                 Panther XL

                        [Panther.jpg (21439 bytes)]

                      a complete 3D combat controller

                                  Mad Catz

 All right, so John Romero seems to love this controller. He was quoted as
 saying, "If you wanna deathmatch with the big boys The Panther XL is
 your weapon of choice!". So I should be saying something similar to that
 right about now. However, there are a few drawbacks to this controller
 that keep me from giving it the title of "PC Controller of the

 The Panther XL is supposed to be the last controller you ever buy. It
 contains a total of seventeen programmable buttons, a tracking ball,
 flight stick, throttle, and a port for a connecting rudder. This is a
 heavy duty combat controller and great for avid gamers.

 However, there has been a lot of complaints concerning the flightstick.
 You'd think with two 4-way point-of-view hatches, two thumb buttons, one
 for the index finger, and even an extra for the pinky, every gamer would
 love this stick. Despite all of this, users with larger hands have found
 the pinky button basically unusable and the stick as a whole hard to
 operate. I didn't find these problems myself, but the Panther XL digital
 stick was a little stiffer to maneuver opposed to other flight sticks.
 Those of you who don't appreciate touchy controls could benefit from this

 The tracking ball is the second half of this unit. It is designed to be
 operated with your left hand while playing a game such as Quake or Duke
 Nukem. (I'm neutral). This tracking ball can also be used to replace your
 mouse with a special program that can be run in Windows. I tried it and
 the performance on my computer was a little slower than using the mouse
 and the tracking ball was awkward to control. I also enjoy eating things
 like chips or other greasy food when I play games, if I were to do that
 with the Panther XL I would surely damage the tracking ball.

 Surrounding the tracking ball are five rather large buttons. Three are on
 the top and two are on the right side. Laying between the joystick and
 tracking ball is a throttle control. On the topside of the controller is
 a port for a rudder. All of the buttons on the Panther XL are user
 programmable. There is a front end program you can run in Windows before
 you start a game with the Panther XL to configure the controller. Most
 popular games are supported such as: Unreal, Jedi Knight, Redneck
 Rampage, Turok, Airwarrior II, and over 25 others.

 So this is a very good controller, but it does have some drawbacks. Snack
 eating gamers and users with large hands may find some minor problems
 with it. the Panther XL is a very good deal at $79.99 however, and I
 found it pretty enjoyable. Look for it in stores now.

                                Red Baron II
                             Windows 95 CD-ROM

                        [Redbar~1.jpg (14258 bytes)]

                              Sierra On-Line

 All right, so you think flight sims these days are all starting to look
 alike? Me too. All of them have user definable difficulty settings,
 extensive network support, amazing polygon graphics, and of course a
 groundbreaking artificial intelligence system. So why should you go out
 and buy a new one?

 Well, Red Baron II from Sierra does have all of these accessories and a
 few added bonuses that others on the market do not. The first is a custom
 paint shop that is reminiscent of Sierra's Nascar and IndyCar series.
 Graphics can be imported or you can also alter the planes paint scheme
 like you would in Sierra's Front Page Sports football or baseball series.

 It also has a very extensive mission generator. It is very simple and
 allows you to create your own waypoints on a historically correct WWI
 map. You can also use it to control squadrons and the types of aircraft
 that fly in each battle. The truly groundbreaking feature is Dynamix's
 new 3Space 2.0 Engine. This engine's performance was superb. Gameplay was
 not effected at all when large amounts of planes entered my vicinity.

 Something else you can look forward to is the WWI booklet that comes with
 the game. It has a lot of interesting information about the first world
 war. It also contains diagrams and flight maneuvers of each plane which
 could be used to your advantage in multiplayer dogfights. Of course Red
 Baron II is also the really only World War I flight simulation on the
 market right now. Although this a quality simulation, to be honest, the
 looks aren't all that different from other sims. The speed, on the other
 hand, is very noticeable.

 So, until there comes a truly groundbreaking step in the evolution of
 flight sims, this game filled with polygons and textured mapping is going
 to probably stay king. It doesn't have the complicated computer systems
 of the modern flight sims, where you lock on and kill someone that is
 forty meters behind you. It just stays with the simple yet aged old
 concept of, "catch me if you can!"

                         Redneck Rampage Rides Again

                        [Rednec~1.gif (22237 bytes)]

                           Interplay Incorporated

 The original was, and still is, one of my favorite games of all time. So
 I was very excited to hear of the release of Redneck Rampage Rides Again.
 14 new action packed levels which include new weapons and enemies fill
 this game up to the teeth with mayhem and laughter. Also included is a
 new soundtrack that really makes you feel like killing some alien
 hillbilly clones.

 The opening sequence of Redneck Rampage Rides Again shows Leonard and
 Bubba trying to navigate home in an alien space ship. After crashing
 through a cosmonauts' space station, the duo finally arrive on earth.
 However, they are a long ways from home. So of course the goal of the
 game is to reach your hometown of Hickston, alive.

 Along the way you may find it useful if you destroy some of the Alien
 clones that seem to possess a need to make your trip as difficult as
 possible. Some of the new characters in the game include the dynamite
 wielding cheerleader, Daisy Mae, and the King of Rock n' Roll himself!
 Dogs and a special hybrid of jack o' lopes also tend to be very
 discouraging at times.

 But don't sweat it, this sequel has a few new weapons you can use at your
 disposal too. (Don't worry, the alien pectoral shooter is still there.)
 Instead of shooting just normal dynamite with your crossbow, now you can
 shoot dynamite-loaded chickens. I'm sure you can imagine where the
 dynamite is lodged in. If you want to get up close and personal with the
 aliens, you can use the always exciting slingblade. And whenever you use
 it you hear a voice very reminiscent of Billy Bob Thorton, "Mmmm-Hmmm".
 It's very humorous.

 What really adds dimension to this game is the use of automobiles.
 Leonard is able to drive not only a motorcycle in this sequel, but also a
 hydroplane. They are both loaded with their own special kind of artillery
 too. In case your run out of ammo for either vehicle, you can just run
 over any alien that comes your way. But don't get too reckless because if
 you crash your vehicle, you crash yourself. What is really cool about
 these two accessories is you can use them for pretty much a whole level
 if you want to.

 With levels like a brothel, riverboat, chicken killing factory, and many
 others, it may not be a bad idea. Each level is very immense and contains
 at least three of four secrets. Just when you think you've covered a
 whole level, you'll open a door and find an underground well that leads
 you to a whole new section. In one level the current from a river takes
 you on a wild ride through some kind of a water purification plant. From
 there you have to climb up about four stories on a ladder and enter a
 maze of caves to find Bubba and end the level. The developers of this
 game really made each level and adventure.

 To help you obtain the true hillbilly experience, Mojo Nixon has returned
 to put yet another soundtrack together for this game. It's great because
 it truly capture the spirit of being a redneck. (Take it from me, someone
 that has bailed hay, detassled corn, and used to live on a pig farm!)
 Song lyrics reiterate the life of rednecks and their guns, overweight
 women, and farm animals. This really makes the game complete.

 I was very satisfied with Redneck Rampage Rides Again. It's not a whole
 lot different from the first game, as far as graphics and sounds are
 concerned. However it has gone up a level in excitement, action, and of
 course stupidity. If you're looking for a 3D action game with large
 amounts of humor and outrageousness, definitely pick up Interplay's
 Redneck Rampage Rides Again.

 Until next time,



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 Classics & Gaming Section
 Editor Dana P. Jacobson

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

 I can't believe that this is Labor Day weekend already! It seems like
 yesterday that we opened our pool and had our first barbecue. Those three
 months just blew right by!

 I really shouldn't complain [too] much, however. I had a total of five
 weeks vacation - spent a lot of time in the pool, working in the yard,
 spending time with family and friends, countless barbecues, and numerous
 times just relaxing on the deck with various cold beverages. It's been
 our first summer here at the house and an enjoyable one. It was
 satisfying to see the good results of our labors to the yard and exterior
 of the house. Flower and vegetable gardens flourished, grass actually
 grew, and the pool was clean. Still some work to do but I'm waiting for
 some cooler weather for that. It's been great so far; it's time for the
 next season to move in. In the meantime, I'll enjoy the last [unofficial]
 weekend of the summer.

 It's a long holiday weekend, so take it easy on the roads. Remember,
 schools are opening so be extra careful out there. If you're going to
 drink, stay off the roads; the life you save could very well be mine!

 Until next time...

 Croft Soft Software Press Release

 3 August 1998

 Atari Times Special Edition...

 We are pleased to announce the first 'special edition' of the Atari
 Times. This is the first (and hopefully not the last) ever paper based
 issue of the Atari Times. It runs to 44 A5 pages.

 Special Edition 1 is centered on tutorials and contains some from
 previous issues of AT in a the more convenient paper format, as well as
 some which haven't appeared in the disk magazine at all... The first 50
 copies of the special edition are in color on high quality paper, however
 due to the high cost after these are sold further copies will be in black
 and white - make sure you get your order in quick to get this rare,
 limited, once-in-a-lifetime color edition!

 If this first special edition is a success, we will consider further,
 more generic, special editions to supplement the on-going HTML magazine
 Prices including postage and packing are shown below. Unfortunately, we
 do not currently have any distributors so all orders must be sent to the
 UK. Please note, we are only just about covering our costs (ie printing,
 copying, envelopes and postage), and we are not making any profit from
 this venture.

 Special Edition 1 is available NOW!

 Prices (inc. P&P)

    * UK:
    * #2.00 (2 UK Pounds)
    * Europe:
    * #2.50 (2 UK Pounds and 50 pence)
    * Rest of World:
    * #3.50 (3 UK Pounds and 50 pence)
    * All payments should be made in Sterling and are payable to 'Colin
    * Payment Methods:
    * UK:
    * Cheque
    * Postal Order
    * Rest of World:
    * Cheque drawn on UK bank
    * Sterling Eurocheque
    * Post Office payment (GIRO)
    * International Money Order
    * All orders should be sent to:
    * AT Special Edition,
    * c/o Colin Polonowski,
    * The Croft,
    * Hope Rd,
    * Nibley,
    * Nr Yate,
    * Bristol,
    * BS37 5JH,

 Please allow 14 days for delivery...


 If you don't live in the UK, and would like to help spread the Atari
 Times Special Edition around the globe, we need your help! We're looking
 for distributors in as many countries as possible. We'll send you a FREE
 color copy of the Atari Times Special Edition, all you need to do is copy
 it (in color or black and white) and sell it!

 You don't need to send us any money, all we ask is that you only charge
 what it costs you to print/copy and send. If you are interested in
 helping to distribute the Atari Times Special Edition(s) then please get
 in touch at the address above or e-ma


 Any further information regarding the Atari Times Special Editions will
 be available from the Atari Times Homepage at

 Or, e-mail

 Unfortunately, we cannot supply further details via post due to time

                          AtariNews: On The Prowl




 Were you unable to go to the World of Atari '98? AtariNews: On The Prowl
 has some links to places to find out more about what happened there and
 see pictures of what you missed:

 Next Generation Online's World of Atari Report:

 WIRED: Something Old, Something New:

 IC WHEN: Don Thomas looks back at the show


 Carl Forhan is pleased to announce the soon release of SFX for the Atari
 ynx. This exciting new audio tool should appeal to developers and
 tinkerers alike. Carl is currently accepting pre-orders for the SFX
 package (no money is required at this time). For more information and to
 place a pre-order, visit the SFX web pages linked to The Lynx Domain.


 Wizztronics recently demoed their "Lynx Vision" Lynx-TV adapter at World
 of Atari '98 in Las Vegas. The current estimated price is $199, and
 according to their web page, Wizztronics is now accepting orders for this


 There are currently only 116 names on the petition to Hasbro. Would you
 like to see more games on your Atari systems? Systems like the Jaguar, or
 more realistically the Lynx? There is a chance that if Hasbro knows
 people will buy games for the Lynx, that they may just release more, or
 even better, re-release it. But we need a lot more names on this
 petition! We need your help! Sign it today!

 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:

                              Gaming Section

    * PSX and N64 Price Reductions!
    * Microprose!
    * "Xena"!
    * Nyko News!
    * "World of Atari" Reports!
    * "Danger Girl"!!
    * And MUCH more!

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

 I have to tell you that I'm really jealous of those of you who were able
 to attend the World of Atari show a couple of weeks ago!! It sounded like
 it was an incredible time. Congrats to Keita Iida, John Hardie, and Rich
 Tsukiji for their enthusiasm and diligence in making it possible. All of
 that Atari nostalgia in one place at one time! And the many people from
 our past. I had to order the video to see what I missed; but reading the
 various reports, I realize just how much. The time was right as I was on
 vacation, but the money just wasn't there. As you can imagine, being a
 "new" homeowner can be a financial strain the first couple of years. I
 hope it may be worthwhile for them to have another show in a year or so.
 Anyway, we've got some coverage of the show this week, as well as tons of
 other gaming news and information. So let's get to it, shall we!!

 Until next time...

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

              Sony Computer Entertainment America Lowers Price

 FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Aug. 25) BUSINESS WIRE - August 25, 1998 - Lower
 Prices on Hardware, Software and Peripherals Make PlayStation the System
 to Beat this Holiday Season

 Continuing its role as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer
 Entertainment America announced today that effective August 30, its
 best-selling PlayStation game console will be available to consumers for
 $129, a more than 10 percent reduction from its current manufacturers
 suggested retail price. As an additional benefit to consumers, the
 company also announced lower prices on several PlayStation-branded
 peripherals and the addition of more than a dozen best-selling games to
 the "Greatest Hits" collection, a series of the most popular PlayStation
 games available for as low as $19.99.

 In June 1998, Sony Computer Entertainment America introduced a new
 PlayStation hardware offering packaged with the Dual Shock(TM) Analog
 Controller and since its market introduction, this model has been widely
 embraced by consumers and retailers. Because the PlayStation business is
 experiencing a 60 percent increase in sales from this time last year, the
 company expects sales of the already popular console to increase
 following its price reduction to $129, especially among first-time
 videogame consumers.

 "With a PlayStation now in approximately one in every 10 U.S. households,
 consumers have already demonstrated their overwhelming support and
 loyalty for our products," said Kaz Hirai, executive vice president and
 chief operating officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "As a
 result of the popularity of the PlayStation worldwide, Sony Computer
 Entertainment has been able to grow the gaming category as a whole
 representing tremendous opportunities for our partners and ultimately,
 for the consumer. With today's announcement, the PlayStation experience
 becomes attractive to an even greater audience."

 In just three years, PlayStation has become the dominant leader in
 videogame entertainment, with a North American installed base of more
 than 11.5 million consoles, and life-to-date software sales exceeding 85
 million units. According to the life-to-date figures in the June report
 from the NPD Group, a leading source of information on the videogame
 industry, PlayStation currently enjoys an impressive 56.5 percent market
 share for next generation hardware and 64.2 percent market share for next
 generation software.

 The pricing announcement is accompanied by the addition of several game
 titles to PlayStation's "Greatest Hits" series. The new "Greatest Hits"
 inductees include the following: Cool Boarders(TM) 2; Crash Bandicoot 2:
 Cortex Strikes Back(TM); 1Extreme, formerly known as ESPN(r) Extreme
 Games; Jet Moto(TM) 2; and Twisted Metal(r) 2. With the new inductees,
 the "Greatest Hits" collection now includes more than 45 of the
 top-selling and most popular PlayStation games of all time. Consumers can
 find "Greatest Hits" titles for an MSRP of $24.99, with many retailers
 advertising game titles for as low as $19.99.

 "With the announcement of our new pricing structure, the PlayStation
 business is poised to dominate the holiday selling season," said Jack
 Tretton, vice president, sales, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "It
 is clear to us that consumers are drawn to the PlayStation because of the
 ongoing entertainment value of our videogames titles. The 'Greatest Hits'
 series is an excellent opportunity for new PlayStation purchasers to get
 the very best of PlayStation and for core gamers to add classic titles to
 their existing libraries."

 Also announced today, Sony Computer Entertainment America will lower the
 price on several PlayStation-branded peripherals. On August 30, consumers
 will be able to find PlayStation memory cards retailing at a low price of
 $14.99 and in a variety of new colors, including: black, clear, gray,
 emerald and blue. In addition, consumers will be able to find lower
 prices on other peripheral units, including the Digital Controller for
 $14.99; the Multi-tap for $29.99; and the RFU Adapter for $14.99.

               Sony Slashes PSX Again; Nintendo Follows Suit

 Aug. 26, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 165 via COMTEX) -- The latest
 skirmishes in the next-generation console war began yesterday as Sony
 Computer Entertainment America and Nintendo locked horns in the run-up to

 Instead of taking the price of its PlayStation below the magic $100
 price-point, Sony yesterday opted to throw its Dual Shock Controller,
 currently valued at $32.99 at Best Buy [BBY], into the $129 package.

 However, with Sony's PSX-only unit currently shipping for $129, Sony may
 offer rebates to retailers to allow them to offload unsold inventory,
 making a $99 PlayStation a likely outcome for at least a couple of weeks.

 Nintendo responded immediately with a tit-for-tat N64 price cut to
 $129.95 with a $10 instant coupon, redeemable on any of 23 N64 games, a
 controller or a Rumble Pak. However, consumers had been paying this price
 anyway, as Nintendo was offering retailers a rebate to cover the
 $149-$129 price differential.

 Sony also announced lower prices on several PlayStation-branded
 peripherals and the addition of more than a dozen best-selling games to
 its "Greatest Hits" collection, with an MSRP of $24.99.

 Sony and Nintendo: Chronology of a Price War:

    * Sept 5, 1995: PlayStation launches in US at $299.
    * May 16, 1996: Sony drops PSX to $199 in US, claiming worldwide sales
      of 5m units, of which 1.2m were in N. America and 700k in Europe.
      More than 7m PlayStation games shipped in North America, Sony
    * September 30, 1996: Nintendo launches N64 at $199.95.
    * March 3, 1997: Sony drops PSX to $149. Meanwhile, Nintendo has "no
      immediate plans" to drop prices on hardware or software.
    * March 17, 1997: Nintendo drops N64 from $199 to $149.95, matching
      Sony. Nintendo hopes to sell 5m more N64 units by this time next
      year to add to the existing 2m US installed base.
    * June 2, 1998: Sony cuts PSX price to $129.99. Nintendo follows suit
      with an identical price cut.
    * August 25: Sony cuts PSX price to $129.99, including Dual Shock
      Controller. Nintendo responds with identical price cut.

 Source: MMWire

              Sega Releases 1st Software for New Game Machine

 TOKYO, Aug. 22 (Kyodo) -- Sega Enterprises Ltd. made a bid to regain its
 lost market share Saturday with the unveiling of "Sonic Adventure," the
 first game software for its new 128-bit Dreamcast home video game system
 set to hit stores in November. Sega said it hopes to win back customers
 it lost to Sony Corp.'s PlayStation.

 The company spent four years and hundreds of millions of yen to develop
 Sonic Adventure, the latest version of Sega's popular "Sonic the
 Hedgehog" video game series, which has been a big hit with sales of 20
 million copies worldwide. Sega plans to release the game by the end of
 this year, a Sega official said.

 The Dreamcast system -- equipped with a 128-bit processor produced by
 Hitachi Ltd., a customized Windows CE operating system developed by
 Microsoft Corp., and a 64-channel sound system made by Yamaha Corp. 
 will be put on the market Nov. 20 with a price tag of 20,000 yen to
 30,000 yen.

 At the end of March this year, Sony's 32-bit PlayStation was the
 best-selling video game machine in the world with a 32.82 million units

 Nintendo Co.'s 64-bit NINTENDO 64 ranked second with 16.14 million units
 shipped, and Sega's 32-bit Saturn lagged behind in third place with 8.86
 million units shipped.

              "Colony Wars: Vengeance" Blasts the Competition

 FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (July 20) BUSINESS WIRE - July 20, 1998 - How exactly
 perfection can be expanded on is simply an issue of time and space. The
 time is 100 years after the League's victory in the original "Colony
 Wars," and the space you'll have to work with is seemingly infinite, from
 the distances between stars, to a planet's war-torn surface. "Colony
 Wars(tm): Vengeance," Psygnosis' 3D space combat epic exclusively on
 PlayStation(R) game console delivers space fury home to Earth.

 Tides turn, as do allegiances, and this time you take on the persona of
 Mertens, an aspiring pilot bred on a distaste for the oppressive League
 of Free Nations' criminal treatment of the weakened Navy. The game
 launches you into a war waged in the name of justice, but justice is
 merely a thinly disguised way of saying "vengeance." "Colony Wars:
 Vengeance" is planned for release in November 1998.

 "Colony Wars: Vengeance" features, then builds upon the qualities enjoyed
 in the original "Colony Wars"(tm). Complex, multiple-objective missions
 are action-packed with more fighters, and the game's engine, AI, graphics
 and physics models all are significantly upgraded. The gaming environment
 is richer with more animated and detailed objects, and the characters
 have distinguishable personalities and their callous nuances pack some
 memorable emotional punches.

 In this living universe of deception, subterfuge and revenge, there are
 numerous plot twists and multiple endings sure to keep you on the edge of
 your seat. Overall, "Colony Wars: Vengeance" is a more involving gaming
 experience, going beyond the original from every angle.

 In-depth storylines, tight gameplay control responses, and futuristic
 graphics that go beyond the realms of the sci-fi genre are all
 implemented into "Colony Wars: Vengeance" to redefine the way that
 space-shooters are perceived.

 This highly anticipated sequel not only picks up the ever-evolving saga
 of the conflict between the League and the Navy, but it also starts all
 over at the beginning to a new adventure. A "promise and deliver" feature
 game that dwarfs a perfect predecessor. "Colony Wars: Vengeance" stands
 alone as the premier space epic and then leapfrogs over the horizon by
 introducing all-new, planet-based missions.

 Hit The Ground Running: The League has shut down the Navy's resources
 with the closure of the warp hole in one of the endings from the original
 "Colony Wars." This is where "Vengeance" picks up. In closing the Navy's
 supply channel, the League doomed the populace to a slow and painful

 The war that was initially limited to space is now thrown "surface side,"
 as you'll be expected to traverse varied landscape areas in accordance
 with the protection of any Naval installations and/or strategic points.
 Five planetary missions await you as you pilot your vessel deep into the
 inner-atmosphere of surface warfare.

 You'll captain an all-new "non-space" ship as you attempt to intercept
 and destroy all Navy opposition present on these varying planetary
 fronts. You'll remain committed to the seemingly impossible task of
 defending Navy outposts against all low altitude League assault vessels.

 Re-invent your previously learned outer space flying virtuosity just
 inches from a planet's surface in these five varying planetary
 atmospheric environments present under the vast blanket of space.

 Technological Advancements: Virtually every technological element of
 "Colony Wars: Vengeance" is new or significantly enhanced, making the
 game faster, darker, more intense and even more realistic. An updated and
 extremely optimized space combat engine increases mission populations

 Big ships, too, are improved with weak spots and animating sections that
 you must seek out and fire upon in order to destroy the enemy vessel. An
 enhanced physics model for objects allows fighters to realistically spin
 out of control when hit by missiles until you make the proper

 There are 24 total weapons, almost 50 percent more than in the original
 game. The game will also feature about 90 individual models and ships,
 all of which are new to "Vengeance." All of the models feature animating
 sections and textures. Additionally, collision is extremely accurate and
 runs four times faster than in the original "Colony Wars."

 A new graphics engine supports a more detailed and captivating space
 environment that is loaded with nebulae, asteroid belts, space ship
 graveyards (see some of the relics from Colony Wars past), black and
 white holes, and mine fields. The game's overall look is darkened,
 hardened and realistic with a focus towards industrial techno-gothic,
 though glowing neon weapon effects, suns and other objects provide a
 startling contrast to this futuristic nightmare.

 Planets appear spherical and have atmospheres, crafts and installations
 that appear distinctively advanced from their predecessors. Fighters
 don't just look better, they also fly better. There's also enhanced AI
 for wingmen and enemy aces alike. This allows for the implementation of
 realistic characteristics like inertia and gives you the ability to use
 objects within the nearby environment for distinct tactical advantages.

 Climactic orchestral themes, from famous composers such as Beethoven and
 Dvorak will add a tried and true classical (pardon the pun) depth to the
 involved atmospheres. Dolby surround sound is used for the bold sound
 effects like explosions, roaring engines and weapon firing.

 Speech samples also convey messages and feedback from other pilots.

           Ethan Hunt, 'Mission: Impossible' Drop in on Espionage

 SAN JOSE, CALIF. (July 20) BUSINESS WIRE - July 20, 1998 - Infogrames
 Entertainment, Inc. announced today that "Mission: Impossible," the
 eagerly-awaited action, adventure title for the Nintendo 64(TM), is now
 shipping to major retail outlets nationwide. Based on the Paramount
 Pictures feature film, the highly-charged, spy thriller engages players
 in a daring set of clandestine missions and covert operations in an
 espionage-filled world as secret-agent Ethan Hunt.

 "Mission: Impossible" is sold out through Sept. 1. High consumer demand
 for the game has forced Infogrames to allocate product shipments to its
 national retail partners. "Demand at both the consumer and retail levels
 for 'Mission: Impossible' has exceeded our wildest expectations," Mike
 Markey, vice president sales and marketing, Infogrames Entertainment,
 Inc., said.

 Developed in-house by Infogrames, "Mission: Impossible" takes players on
 a whirlwind adventure from the Russian Embassy in Prague to CIA
 headquarters in Langley, Va., to the climax at Waterloo Station in
 London. Through each top-secret encounter, players must be cunning.
 Strategy, rather than mindless shooting rampages, is required to succeed.

 "'Mission' jumps players directly into a fantasy world where they really
 feel like a top-secret agent in a dark world of counter-intelligence,"
 Markey said. "This game delivers a heart-pounding adventure at a
 suspenseful pace, ensuring fans, from video game die-hards to casual
 players, endless hours of enjoyment."

 Infogrames' title, published under the company's Ocean brand, revives the
 classic Mission: Impossible gadgets and weaponry, as players utilize
 tools including blow darts, exploding chewing gum, laser deflectors,
 night-vision goggles and face makers. "Mission: Impossible" also
 incorporates the traditional teamwork and camaraderie of the original
 series, allowing players to interact with fellow Impossible Mission Force
 (IMF) members Jim Phelps, Sarah Davies, Andrew Dowey and Jack Keifer.

 Befitting a summer blockbuster, Infogrames is supporting "Mission:
 Impossible" with a $2 million marketing campaign. This summer, movie
 trailers are playing in more than 7,000 theater screens nationwide. The
 company also plans a series of television and radio spots this fall. The
 one-player adventure for the Nintendo 64 is now shipping to retail
 outlets including, but not limited to, Toys 'R' Us, Electronics Boutique,
 Babbages, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, Sears and Montgomery Wards
 at an estimated retail price of $59.95.

                  Accolade's New Big Air Snowboarding Game
                       to Feature 10 Bands, and More

 SAN JOSE, CALIF. (July 29) BUSINESS WIRE - July 29, 1998 - Game to
 Feature Five Professional Snowboarders and Hot Soundtrack Including Songs
 From Blink 182 and Nine Other Bands. Accolade, a leading publisher and
 developer of video game software, announced today that 10 bands, nine
 licensed snowboarding companies, seven clothing manufacturers and five
 professional snowboarders will appear in the company's upcoming
 snowboarding game, Big Air(TM).

 The game will be available for the PlayStation(R) game console in the
 fall of this year. We are really trying to capture the authentic look and
 feel of snowboarding," said Monte Singman, senior producer of Big Air.
 "Big Air's exciting gameplay and inclusion of licensed music, pro
 snowboarders, official snowboards and gear lets gamers partake in a true
 snowboarding experience."

 Gold-selling MCA recording artist, Blink 182, will have two songs on the
 game's soundtrack, "Dammit" and "Untitled." In addition to Blink 182,
 nine other bands will appear on the Big Air soundtrack: punk bands Diesel
 Boy, Limp, Leatherface and Snuff, ska bands Gangster Fun and Monkey, rock
 bands Caustic Notions and The Odd Numbers, as well as alternative club
 band Andalusia. Users will have the ability to customize the soundtrack
 by selecting the songs and play order during the game. The Big Air
 soundtrack will include more than 25 songs.

 Five professional snowboarders in Big Air appear as "boss" characters and
 include Nike Big Air champion Mike Beallo as well as Burton team rider
 and this year's Playboy Halfpipe champion Ian Spiro. Three additional
 snowboarders will also appear in the game. Big Air will feature more than
 80 real snowboards from such manufactures as Palmer, Ride, Morrow,
 Joyride, Arbor, Maui and Sons International, Burton, K2, and Nitro.
 Authentic clothing from such manufactures as Wave Rave, Westbeach,
 Quiksilver and Sessions will also be included in the game. Snowboarding
 companies K2, Ride, Maui and Sons International and Burton will
 contribute clothing as well.

 Big Air allows players to choose from 30 courses including five unique
 Halfpipe, Big Air, Boardercross, Slalom or Freeride competitions in any
 of six countries. Courses are featured in Canada, Japan, Scotland,
 Switzerland, United States, and Germany. As players win competitions,
 they gain points and are awarded the opportunity to "travel" to other
 countries and compete in advanced snowboarding contests. Big Air offers
 intense multiplayer action via horizontal or vertical split screen and
 supports PlayStation analog and Dual Shock(R) controllers.

             989 Studios Unleashes an All New Concept in Racing

 FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (July 30) BUSINESS WIRE - July 30, 1998 - 989
 Studios, formerly known as Sony Interactive Studios America, announced
 today that it is publishing the upcoming title Running Wild(TM) --
 available late October, exclusively for the PlayStation(R) game console.
 Created by Universal Interactive Studios Inc., the producers of the
 top-selling PlayStation game Crash Bandicoot(TM), Running Wild fuses the
 high-speed action of traditional racing-style games with whimsical animal
 characters who compete entirely on foot.

 "We are pleased to add Running Wild to the stable of great titles 989
 Studios is releasing for the PlayStation," said Jeffery Fox, vice
 president, marketing, 989 Studios. "Running Wild combines cartoon-style
 animal characters into a compelling racing environment. The result is a
 videogame experience which is perfect for gameplayers of all ages and
 skill levels; this is a family game."

 A departure from traditional racing games, Running Wild features a cast
 of six zany, fast-running characters. Each character has a signature
 racing style and special attributes that add to their superior animal
 athleticism. Running Wild challenges gameplayers to rocket through six
 courses of rigorous terrain, including hot lava fields, frozen rivers,
 drainage tunnels and winding city streets. In addition to the high-speed
 race, obstacle ridden game environments provide a challenging element to
 the gameplay.

 "Running Wild is one of the first combination racing and character action
 games, which are the number one and number three most popular console
 video game genres," said Mark Cerny, president of Universal Interactive
 Studios. "The title offers a stunning 60 frames per second to support
 intense speed and action, and boasts excellent depth of play with mighty
 power-ups that let players really 'run wild'."

 Adding to Running Wild's appeal to gameplayers of all ages and skill
 levels is the option that allows gameplayers to decrease the game's level
 of difficulty. Difficulty levels can be adjusted by accessing the "Auto
 Run" option which automatically operates the accelerator button on the
 game pad, allowing gameplayers to focus on maneuvering the characters --
 a helpful feature for younger gameplayers. Featuring adjustable game
 modes, Running Wild roars at 60 frames per second in single player mode.
 Running Wild also features a multi-player mode that allows up to four
 players to compete simultaneously on a four-way split screen.

 Key Features

    * Auto Run: lowers difficulty settings and allows gameplayers of all
      ages to compete in the fast action race
    * Richly textured environments with crisp graphics and 3-D polygons
      creates an immersive game-playing experience
    * Viewing Modes: split-screen racing action in vertical, horizontal or
    * Control up to six fast and furious characters, including Brazz the
      zebra, Gwynne the rabbit, Boris the elephant, General the ram,
      Coronado the bull and Mei Ling the panda
    * Varying Racing Modes: challenge, circuit, time trials, practice race
      and power-ups
    * Six detailed worlds loaded with power-ups, hidden areas and menacing
      level bosses
    * Adding to the blistering racing action is the precision control
      feature which allows game characters to increase momentum and
      experience friction based on the terrain they are racing on
    * Supports analog and dual shock controllers

            THQ, B.A.S.S. to Debut First 3-D Fishing Game for PC

 GREENSBORO, N.C. (Aug. 5) ENTERTAINMENT WIRE - Aug. 5, 1998 - Game
 publisher THQ Inc. and the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society Inc. (B.A.S.S.)
 have teamed to debut the first 3-D PC fishing game, "BASS Masters
 Classic: Tournament Edition," at the 1998 BASS Masters Classic
 Tournament, Aug. 6-8, in Greensboro.

 The official game of B.A.S.S., "BASS Masters Classic: Tournament Edition"
 is scheduled to ship to retailers across North America Sept. 8. A limited
 number of copies of the game will be on sale at the B.A.S.S. and THQ
 booths during the Classic Outdoor Show, inside the Greensboro Coliseum
 Special Events Center.

 The first and only 3-D fishing game available for the PC, "BASS Masters
 Classic: Tournament Edition" is the most realistic fishing simulation on
 the market. The game features 3-D lakes and environments, amazing
 underwater views and the world's best-known fishing license: the Bass
 Anglers Sportsman Society.

 "We couldn't be happier to be participating with B.A.S.S. on a game that
 not only provides a true fishing simulation but also is fun to play,"
 said Germaine Gioia, vice president, marketing, THQ. "The Classic -- the
 Super Bowl of bass fishing -- is a great opportunity to introduce this
 ultimate fishing game to all of the BASS fishing enthusiasts."

 "BASS Masters Classic: Tournament Edition" features tips on casting and
 lure selection from bass-fishing legends Roland Martin, Shaw Grigsby, Ken
 Cook and Paul Elias. Based on the most prestigious bass-fishing
 tournament in the world, "BASS Masters Classic: Tournament Edition"
 challenges players to test their skills against those of real-life
 tournament pros on actual competition lakes like Lake Fork, Lake Mead,
 Lake Minnetonka and Lake Logan-Martin.

 "'BASS Masters Classic: Tournament Edition' really captures the
 intricacies and the excitement of competitive bass fishing on the
 BASSMASTER Tournament Trail," said Charlie Shamburger, director of
 licensing, B.A.S.S. "We couldn't be more pleased with the job THQ has
 done in creating this game, and we are thrilled to be able to feature it
 here in Greensboro during the Classic." In addition to the single-player
 format, "BASS Masters Classic: Tournament Edition" supports free
 multiplayer tournament competition for up to eight cyber-anglers over
 LAN, modem or Internet.

           Berkeley Systems Launches YOU DON'T KNOW JACK for PSX

 BERKELEY, CALIF. (Aug. 6) BUSINESS WIRE - Aug. 6, 1998 - Berkeley Systems
 Inc., a division of Sierra, today announced its award winning game YOU
 DON'T KNOW JACK(R) will soon be available for the PlayStation(R) game
 console. This edition of YOU DON'T KNOW JACK will turn any PlayStation
 into a party with more than 1,400 hilarious questions, multi-player
 action, and features specifically for the PlayStation. Created in
 partnership with Jellyvision Inc., of Chicago, the title will fall under
 the Sierra Attractions brand of games when it ships this November with an
 estimated street price of $39.95.

 "YOU DON'T KNOW JACK for PlayStation is the most fun you can have in your
 living room with your clothes on," stated Kory Stradinger, general
 manager of Berkeley Systems. "Viewing YOU DON'T KNOW JACK game play on
 television will enhance the irreverent quiz show party game experience by
 bringing the TV metaphor full circle." Recreating the swift pace of a TV
 game show and the sarcastic musings of a game show host, YOU DON'T KNOW
 JACK takes players on a wild ride from the green room all the way to
 prime time. YOU DON'T KNOW JACK for the PlayStation game console combines
 classic trivia with pop-culture references in a witty, brain-twisting
 mixture that is as challenging as it is entertaining.

 The game features original music, sound effects and hilarious dialogue as
 well as supporting new PlayStation peripherals such as the Dual Shock(TM)
 analog controller. In addition to its fast pace and hilarious content,
 YOU DON'T KNOW JACK for the PlayStation game console takes the tradition
 of social gaming to a new level by letting up to three players compete
 while lounging in the comfort of their own living room. YOU DON'T KNOW
 JACK for PlayStation contains favorite question types from past JACKs
 such as the DisOrDat(TM), ThreeWay(TM), Shortie, Impossible Question, and
 the Jack Attack(R). High culture and pop culture collide in all of the
 questions found in this irreverent quiz show party game.

 The original YOU DON'T KNOW JACK, created by Jellyvision and Berkeley
 Systems, became an instant classic when it was launched in 1995. The
 series has garnered more than 35 awards and includes YOU DON'T KNOW JACK
 Volume 2, YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Volume 3, and the all new YOU DON'T KNOW
 JACK The Ride shipping in November. YOU DON'T KNOW JACK The Irreverent
 Collection combines the entire JACK series and will also be released this
 fall. YOU DON'T KNOW JACK The Ride has an estimated street price of
 $29.95 and YOU DON'T KNOW JACK The Irreverent Collection has an estimated
 retail price of $49.95. Both will be available for Windows 95, Windows
 3.1, and Macintosh.

                 Konami of America: Swing Into the Gameplay
                          With 'Bottom of the 9TH'

 AUG 11, 1998, M2 Communications - Konami of America, Inc., leading
 developer of electronic entertainment for the home video game and PC game
 markets, is now shipping its newest addition to the Konami Sports Series,
 Bottom Of The 9TH '99 for Sony PlayStation.

 Bottom Of The 9TH '99 features improved 3D texture-mapped players; faster
 gameplay, smooth, arcade-style batter/pitcher interface; nine polygon
 body types; six playing modes; 16 beautifully rendered stadiums; multiple
 camera angles; and a real-time "play-by-play" announcer. In addition, the
 game includes the 1998 season-opening team rosters, incorporating all of
 the off-season trades and free agent signings.

 "Konami has taken the best features of last year's edition and
 dramatically improved the overall graphics and sound, taking gameplay to
 another level with Bottom Of The 9TH '99 for the Sony PlayStation,"
 states Jon Sloan, Konami's director of Marketing. "With the addition this
 year of texture-mapped players, new motion-captured animations, the
 exciting play-by-play announcer and the new scenario mode, it compares
 favorably to any baseball game on the market."

 The six modes, which include Training, Exhibition, Full Season, Scenario,
 Playoff and All-star modes, provide a wide variety of game play options.
 For instance, in the Scenario mode, the user can play a specific part of
 a dramatic game the score is tied, two outs, the bases are loaded and
 you're up with a full count in the bottom of the ninth inning. The
 Training mode allows gamers to hone pitching, fielding, batting and
 base-running skills.

 With more than 750 Major League Baseball Players Association players'
 career statistics and photos, gamers have the option to play as general
 managermaking their own trades and putting together a dream team that
 will take them to the Fall Classic.

                  BTI Signs "Genesis" as U.S. Sales Agent

 TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Canadian Corp News, AUGUST 19, 1998)--Battery
 Technologies Inc., today announced that it has entered into an exclusive
 sales agreement with Genesis Sales and Marketing of St. Louis, Missouri
 to introduce and sell its new Game Buddy(TM) Power pack. The unit is a
 portable plug-in rechargeable RAM(TM) battery pack for Nintendo's(R) Game
 Boy(R) pocket, that triples the use time of Game Boy to 22 hours of
 non-stop use. Total available hours of use with the pack exceeds 300,
 replacing at least 75 disposable batteries for significant cost savings
 to the consumer. As well, the unit has a luminescent glowing charge light
 that functions as a night-light when plugged-in. Product will be in
 stores for Christmas.

 "Nintendo has sold in excess of 30 million Game Boy pocket units, and
 there has been a resurgence of late with the introduction of the Digital
 Camera software and printer. "We are very confident that the Game
 Buddy(TM) Power pack will be a great success, given the increasing need
 for economical portable energy in the fast growing video game market"
 said J. Bruce Pope, President and CEO of BTI. The portable video game
 market is a multi-billion dollar global industry and Nintendo, Sony and
 Sega are all competing aggressively for market share with new innovative

 "Genesis" is an electronic and game manufacturers' agent with an
 infrastructure and network of sales managers across the US. The
 principals at Genesis have been instrumental in the introduction of
 numerous Video game and Consumer electronics lines, such as Atari, Sega,
 Acclaim, EIDOS, T HQ, NAMCO, Sanyo, Toshiba and Yes Entertainment. Mr.
 Mike Lee, President of "Genesis" said, "The Game Buddy(TM) Power pack is
 a super unit that not only looks great, but satisfies a real need for
 more play time at reduced cost. The Game Buddy(TM) Power pack gives you
 hours of use; you can drive from Chicago to Florida without changing
 batteries, then, just plug it in to recharge, it's that simple."

                  Hasbro Buys PC Game Publisher MicroProse

 Pawtucket, R.I.-Aug. 12-FWN/UPI--HASBRO INC. SAID TODAY it has entered
 into a definitive agreement to acquire MicroProse Inc., a publisher of
 popular simulation, 3-D action and strategy games for the personal
 computer (PC), in a deal valued at approximately $70 million, including
 assumed debt and redeemable preferred stock. Hasbro said its wholly owned
 subsidiary will begin a tender offer no later than Aug. 18 for all of
 MicroProse's outstanding common shares.

 The offer will be conditioned upon, among other things, the expiration or
 earlier termination of the applicable waiting period under the
 Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976 and the tender of a
 majority of the common shares outstanding on a fully diluted basis of
 MicroProse. Following completion of the offer, Hasbro's subsidiary will
 be merged with MicroProse and any remaining MicroProse common shares will
 be converted into the right to receive $6 a share in cash. Hasbro will
 combine the activities of MicroProse with Hasbro Interactive, its
 entertainment software publishing arm.

                      GT Invests in Blizzard Fugitives

 Aug. 21, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 162 via COMTEX) -- Recently
 departed development talent from Blizzard Entertainment and a former GT
 Interactive [GTIS] staffer formed a new development house, Fugitive
 Studios, which turned down an offer from Sega and signed with GT. GT said
 yesterday it obtains exclusive worldwide publishing rights to Fugitive's
 PC and console titles in addition to print and merchandising rights.

 Blizzard is not likely to be badly hurt by the defections since its
 developer ranks remain robust. While the vast majority of Fugitive's
 development talent had their hands in Starcraft, Warcraft II and Diablo -
 PC titles - Fugitive co-founder/CEO Greg Williams says "we will
 definitely" develop console titles. In talking to Sega, Fugitive learned
 a lot about Dreamcast technology. And depending on the timing of
 PlayStation II's release, both PSX and PSXII are also attractive
 platforms, he adds, citing PSX's large installed base.

 Fugitive's first title, a 3D action game with RPG elements, is expected
 late next year for PC. The studio may port it to Dreamcast or PSX.
 Meanwhile, Williams -- a former director of product development at GT 
 plans to add a few staffers before the game is complete and expects to
 take on a second development project within six or seven months. Quelling
 speculation to the contrary, Williams says the guys from Blizzard left on
 good terms and simply pursued an opportunity.

                NYKO Technologies Launches Classic Game ...

 LAS VEGAS (Aug. 19) ENTERTAINMENT WIRE - NYKO Technologies Inc., a
 leading video accessories company based in Los Angeles, came to Las Vegas
 recently to pay homage to the classic games that built the foundation for
 today's gaming industry, as well as to launch its newest products for
 demanding video game players. n the eve of the Classic Video Game &
 Computer Show in Las Vegas, the company launched what it calls "Today's
 Technology for Yesterday's Classics," exciting new additions to its
 well-known line of controllers and other peripherals designed for avid

 NYKO recently announced that it has been licensed by Sony Computer
 Entertainment to produce gamepads, joysticks and other popular items for
 its PlayStation game console. Since the Sony PlayStation platform will be
 supporting the introduction of new versions of the old classic games this
 fall, such as Hasbro's Centipede and Westwood's Command & Conquer, NYKO
 selected the Expo to debut its new Classic TrackBall, as well as the
 Scorpion Dual Shock Controller, to honor these titles.

 The oversized, high-density Classic TrackBall brings back that classic,
 smooth arcade quality and feel to gameplay, explained Robert Rienick,
 newly-appointed vice president, sales & marketing, for NYKO. Designed for
 all Mouse-compatible games, the NYKO Classic TrackBall offers a Turbo
 Fire feature. The debut marks the launch of the first official accessory
 designed specifically for these new classic game titles. To add to the
 TrackBall's authenticity, the design is formed from the original molds of
 the first Atari TrackBall, which NYKO has obtained for its use in the
 product's manufacture.

 Confirmed Games Compatible with NYKO

 Classic TrackBall for Sony PlayStation

                 TITLE                 BY
                 Broken Sword          THQ
                 Command & Conquer     Westwood Studios
                 Retaliation           Westwood Studios
                 Red Alert             Westwood Studios
                 Centipede             Hasbro
                 Monopoly              Hasbro
                 Atari's Greatest Hits Midway
                 DiscWorld II          Psygnosis
                 Elemental Gear        Bolt Working Designs
                 Clock Tower II        ASCII Entertainment

 While taking care of the classics with the Classic TrackBall, NYKO is
 ffering its new Scorpion controller to address a much newer trend, "Force
 Feedback." With a high-tech, ergonomic shape, the Scorpion features a
 built-in Force Feedback (dual shock adapter) and Dual Analog controls for
 use with compatible software. The controller may be switched to analog or
 digital play mode, and features Independent Turbo button functions as
 well as allowing game play in slow motion.

 Last, the company showed its SuperCobra advanced dual-system Light Gun,
 compatible with all light gun games including Namco's Gun Con mode. It
 features Force Feedback, Auto Bullet Reload and Adjustable Auto Fire. The
 SuperCobra gun is compatible with Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn

 "It is exciting to note that today we may be creating tomorrow's classics
 in our industry," Rienick added. "New trends like Force Feedback will be
 part of a gamer's repertoire for years to come."

 For further information, contact David Naghi, NYKO Technologies,
 888/444-NYKO or go to the NYKO Web site directly, at

              Xena: Warrior Princess Makes Her Polygonal Debut

 FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Aug. 21) ENTERTAINMENT WIRE - Aug. 21, 1998 - 89
 Studios, a Sony Computer Entertainment Group Company, announced today
 that it is publishing the upcoming title Xena: Warrior Princess(TM). The
 millions of fans of the hit TV series "Xena: Warrior Princess" will now
 have a chance to enjoy the hard-hitting action only Xena can deliver,
 exclusively on the PlayStation(R) game console. Available in March 1999,
 Xena: Warrior Princess couples the intrigue of an adventure game with the
 non-stop action of a fighting game.

 Bringing to life the humorous and entertaining storyline of the
 television series, the videogame version of Xena: Warrior Princess
 features characters and locations taken directly from the TV show, as
 well as an ensemble of newly created villains and dynamic new worlds to
 explore. "We're very excited to be a part of the worldwide phenomenon of
 Xena," said Jeffrey Fox, vice president, marketing, 989 Studios. "By
 creating a compelling videogame based on the characters and storyline
 from the number-one internationally syndicated television show, we're
 confident we'll deliver a game that will appeal to millions of Xena

 Gamers will enjoy the dramatic ancient adventure as Xena fights her way
 through immersive 3D game environments including Valarian's Castle,
 Hades' Underworld and the Temple of the Pinnacles. On the treacherous
 quest, gameplayers will confront vicious villains, gorgons, cyclops and
 Dyzan the fire-breathing gatekeeper of Hades. In the game, Xena embarks
 on an epic adventure to stop the Minotaur King and Amazon Queen's
 diabolical plot to kidnap Xena's friend Gabrielle and deliver her for
 sacrifice to an evil sorceress. Xena must defeat monsters, ogres and the
 minions of Hades before confronting the ultimate master of black magic.

 Xena: Warrior Princess features unparalleled 3D technology that provides
 advanced light sourcing and textured polygons that render at 30 frames
 per second. Dynamic gameplay, fluid animation and vivid graphic realism
 also heightens the intensity of the fast-playing action.

 Xena: Warrior Princess Key Features

    * Characters and locations taken directly from the top rated,
      internationally syndicated TV show
    * Arsenal of weapons: swords, staffs, hidden weapons and the Chakram
      -- Xena's trademark weapon
    * Fast-action gameplay that runs at 30 frames per second
    * Multiple dynamic light sources
    * Eight game environments each with multiple missions

     THQ To Publish PlayStation Game Based On Hit Comic, 'Danger Girl'

 CALABASAS, CALIF. (Aug. 25) BUSINESS WIRE - Aug. 25, 1998 - THQ Inc.
 Tuesday announced that it will publish and distribute a PlayStation
 adventure game based on characters from the new hit comic, "Danger Girl,"
 created by J. Scott Campbell and published monthly under Image Comics'
 Cliffhanger label.

 Interactive game developer n-Space will design and develop the game,
 scheduled for worldwide release by THQ in the fourth quarter of 1999.
 Demonstrating the comic book's popularity, New Line Cinema recently
 optioned live-action film rights. The third-person action adventure game
 will revolve around the bold exploits of an elite team of sexy, smart and
 sassy women recruited by the top-secret Danger Girl spy agency and
 charged with fighting evil. Featuring multiple characters, each with
 unique skills, "Danger Girl" imperils its beautiful and curvaceous
 heroines in seemingly hopeless situations against menacing villains as
 they use their wit and charm to fight for the forces of good.

 "'Danger Girl' is a fantastic opportunity to leverage a hot comic book
 property, a talented developer like n-Space, and THQ's strength as a
 worldwide publisher," said Steve Ryno, vice president of development,
 THQ. "THQ continually seeks out original, cutting-edge material to
 further expand our product line and 'Danger Girl' certainly fits that
 bill." "We are thrilled to be joining with THQ in this unique venture,"
 said Erick Dyke, president, n-Space Inc. "Because of our relationship
 with J. Scott Campbell and Andy Hartnell, who are participating as team
 members on the project, and THQ's proven expertise, we are confident that
 we can provide a gaming experience to rival all other action adventures
 -- and give J. Scott Campbell's women the curves they deserve!"

 "Andy and I are both quite eager to get this project underway," said
 Campbell, co-creator of "Danger Girl." "When we entered into this
 arrangement with n-Space, we knew we'd get a team that would create the
 definitive 'Danger Girl' experience. When they signed with THQ, we knew
 the product would go to market in style." Based in Orlando, Fla., n-Space
 is a leading developer of entertainment software for Windows 95 and
 console systems such as Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Established in
 1994, n-Space creates compelling, state-of-the-art games with
 cutting-edge 3-D technology and vivid, inspiring imagery. n-Space is
 represented by Interactive Studio Management LLC.

           Midway Ships GEX64: Enter the Gecko for Nintendo-R 64

 CORSICANA, TEXAS (Aug. 27) BUSINESS WIRE - August 27, 1998 - Hot on the
 Tail of the Successful PlayStation(R) Game Console Version GEX, the
 TV-addicted, wise-cracking gecko that has been entertaining PlayStation
 gamers nationwide with his irreverent personality,

 sarcastic wit and natural wall-climbing ability, leaps for the first time
 onto Nintendo(R) 64. Midway Home Entertainment, publisher of several of
 the video game market's most innovative titles, today announced that
 GEX64: Enter the Gecko for the Nintendo 64 is shipping to retail outlets
 nationwide. Midway has reported that initial shipments are greater than
 originally projected.

 Players take on the role of GEX, a TV-addicted gecko recruited by secret
 government agents to rid the world of Rez, GEX's arch enemy who is
 attempting to take over the country's television broadcasts. The journey
 leads players through 24 beautifully textured 3D worlds, each designed as
 sarcastic parodies of movies and TV. Comedian Dana Gould provides the
 voice of GEX with tons of wise cracks, sarcastic one-liners and celebrity

 "We are pleased to expand the GEX audience to Nintendo 64 gamers and take
 full advantage of its outstanding graphic capabilities," said Paula Cook,
 director of marketing at Midway Home Entertainment. "GEX64: Enter the
 Gecko is a great game for the whole family because it taps into America's
 fascination with movie and TV nostalgia and packs in outrageous
 adventures with a great sense of humor."

 GEX lampoons pop culture and the American media in such graphically
 superior worlds as the Pre-History Channel, where GEX encounters
 dinosaurs and reptiles; Scream TV, paying homage to all of GEX's favorite
 slasher TV shows and movies and The Rocket Channel, a tribute to the
 sci-fi shows that abducted countless hours of his childhood. Other areas
 include Toon TV, Kung-Fu Theater, and Rezopolis.

 In addition to stunning new graphics, the Nintendo 64 version of GEX
 features an all-new exclusive water-based level. In this waterlogged
 level, GEX can swim around and explore famous sunken ships of the past
 while avoiding killer sharks and other dangers of the sea. GEX must
 maneuver his way through a famous overturned ship, making his way to the
 mast's crow's nest to escape.

 GEX has the ability to scale walls and ceilings as well as battle his
 enemies with special moves including tail whips, flying karate kicks, and
 grabbing items with his tongue. As a secret agent and master of disguise,
 GEX dons disguises and transforms himself into a caveman, karate fighter,
 astronaut and even a duck.

 Gaming Online STR InfoFile - Online Users Growl & Purr!

                                - Keynote -

                       c 1998 - Donald A. Thomas, Jr.

                all rights reserved -

                             (Revised 08/26/98)

              Always Check the Mirror Before You Start the Car

 Keynote speech by Donald A. Thomas Jr.
 August 22, 1998 - 10:30 a.m.

 World of Atari '98 - Las Vegas, Nevada
 )1998 may be reprinted in entirety and with byline

 It was about six weeks ago or so that my family hopped a plane from the
 Sacramento to San Diego for a couple of days. It was a trip we had
 promised our son for years. -- Actually for about three years now.  At
 twelve, Kyle, was very much into skateboarding and inline skating. When
 we finally connected cable television to the house, it seemed whenever
 Kyle was not outside our house devising new tricks with his skateboard,
 he was inside watching the pro-skaters compete in ESPN2 X-treme game

 I don't know if you have watched a lot of the X-treme games like my son
 has, but Kyle has learned two major lessons in life by watching
 professional skateboard competitions. First, there are desirable careers
 to be had in that sport. Secondly, all the nation's skateboard pros live
 in San Diego, California. Hence, he has had an eager desire to visit that
 city. Kyle just knew that professional skaters were all over the streets
 in San Diego and he just had to see and mingle with them.

 So now Kyle is fifteen. He is in his early years of high school and a
 trip to San Diego is an opportunity to tour San Diego State University, a
 renowned venue for a respectable college education. Of course, now, Kyle
 isn't into skateboarding any more; it's definitely BMX trick cycling.

 We hit San Diego during a very warm, but still pleasant weekend. We
 visited the Zoo on a Sunday and toured the SDSU campus on the Monday
 before flying back home. On the evening of that Sunday, we were touring
 the area in our rental car and comparing differences between San Diego
 and the San Francisco Bay Area. At some point, Kyle told Lynn and me,
 "One thing is for sure; There aren't all the professional skaters on
 every street corner like I thought there would be!"

 How nice it was to see my son mature and get a better grasp of what the
 world is really like. Just as I was about to congratulate him on his
 astute observation, he added, "They must all be on tour."

 I guess he still has a little more maturing yet. <g>

 Good morning. My name is Don Thomas. I worked at Tramiel's Atari between
 November 1989 through August 1996. Many Atari users once knew me as a
 spokesperson for Atari offering feedback and support on CompuServe and
 the Genie online services. I have been an Atari computer user and game
 player since the early eighties and founded a small software publishing
 company I called Artisan Software in the late eighties. I have been
 profiled in publications such as Start Magazine and have had my articles
 printed in many prominent trade journals and throughout the Internet over
 the years. I currently work in the video game industry and am responsible
 for the Web Domain of "I.C.When.COM". "I.C. When" is a comprehensive
 chronological history of video games and home computers.

 In a few minutes I will offer an opportunity to answer questions you may
 have about me, my experiences at Atari or in the industry. But first, I'd
 like to share some thoughts I have with regard to the impact classic
 gaming and computing SHOULD have on us all . . . particularly the
 decision makers and the trend setters.

 So, my son, Kyle, is convinced that he understands the skateboard
 industry. He'll be the first to admit that he doesn't know everything,
 but that is not really the point. The point is more related to the
 integrity of the information he does know. For instance, he is convinced
 that skateboarders and BMX riders and inline skaters can earn a
 respectable living by touring the country and winning competitions. "All
 it takes is finding the right sponsors," he says.

 In most respects, Kyle is simply wrong and he is in for an awakening when
 he learns that life is most probably going to be made up of flipping
 hamburgers, going to school and landing a series of traditional jobs
 throughout his career. On the other hand, Kyle may very well become the
 Ralph Baer or Nolan Bushnell in some aspect of the X-Games industry. His
 determination may well persevere and he could be in the right place at
 the right time as the world adopts a new billion-dollar devotion to world
 league network of skateboard teams and competitions. If Nolan had
 listened to his critics, then he may well be an unknown engineer at
 Lockheed and the world may have never known the same "Pong" that we now

 But, while we popularize the stories that beat the odds, we often forget
 to check the mirror in life and see all the mistakes to avoid new
 failures. The gambles that lost. The bets that may have won if the
 gamblers looked at all the angles and examined all the risks before
 starting the machine that failed so unceremoniously.

 Now, let's fast-forward away from Baer's Odyssey and Bushnell's "Pong" to
 a world of PlayStation, Dreamcast, N64 and Color Game Boy. Dare I forget
 to mention Project X? I think we can all agree that the video game
 industry has changed in a quarter century. Companies make systems that
 are MIPS ahead of a time that power was evaluated by how many sprites and
 colors could be on a screen simultaneously. Technology includes terms
 related to texture mapping and full motion video instead of bank
 switching and vertical blanks. Gaming magazines tend to allocate more
 space to well endowed polygons named Lara. Publishers select games that
 spatter oceans of blood-red pixels across the screen and replay digitized
 screams of real-time animated monsters being ripped apart to terrorize
 more than just our imaginations.

 This weekend's World of Atari '98 show is indicative of an old trend that
 is re-emerging. It is one that explores the value of updating and
 republishing classic video games. Most recent examples include
 Activision's libraries of Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 compilations for
 the PC, Hasbro's release of "Frogger", Namco's series of "Namco Museum"
 titles for PlayStation, other releases such as "Centipede", "Asteroids"
 and so many more. I think it is exciting that companies are putting back
 in to my hands easy access to the games we loved playing so fondly in
 years gone by.

 In my opinion, this trend is not a step backward by any stretch of the
 imagination and I feel it has been way too slow in coming. I believe that
 the video game industry has successfully established a new market of game
 players in the last decade. By doing so, they have abandoned the original
 phenomenon that built the industry twenty years ago and, thus they have
 abandoned those who loved it so. I guess it could be similar as if the
 music industry gave up on classical, swing, blues or jazz just because
 most of the world seems to appreciate some form of rock.

 So what is it exactly that built the industry? What is this phenomenon
 that differentiates the games of the nineties from those introduced in
 the seventies and eighties?

 Many of us at Atari had a name for the formula that makes classic games
 so great. I don't know if anyone else ever tried to define it like I
 have, but it is three simple words: "The. Fun. Factor.".

 I define the fun factor as a phenomenon that includes five primary
 components: I can remember them more easily because the parts spell out
 the word PRESS as in "Press the Fire Button".

   1. high score Potential
   2. Repetition
   3. Ease of learning
   4. Strategy
   5. Secrets

 All games, past and present, have to have some mixture of these
 components to survive very long on the marketplace. But only the original
 classic games consistently maintain a balance of all of them.

 Let's look at them quickly. First, I mentioned "high score Potential". (I
 am cheating a little bit to steal the P from potential to make the
 anagram, but it is a very serious component.)

 You might remember "Pong" had scoring. It had to. It was the only measure
 of how one did when playing the game. A higher score than your opponent
 meant that you won the game. A higher score than the computer player
 meant that you beat the game. But, by today's standard, the scores were
 awfully unimpressive. A good game might conclude with a score of 11,
 maybe 15 depending on the version of "Pong" being played.

 Then there were games like "Warlords", "Breakout" and "Missile Command".
 Suddenly games allowed players to score as high into the hundreds, maybe
 thousands. Then along came "Galaxian" and "Phoenix" which doused players
 with scores in the tens and hundreds of thousands.

 Eventually, next generation games took over and high scores have been
 fading fast. Games are too complicated to score anymore. Racing games
 give lap times. R.P.G.'s reward players with new levels and fulfilled
 objectives. Arcades no longer publish player high scores over each
 machine and we never hear about a game that revealed something unusual
 simply because a determined player hit a new high score.

 There is an article I found in the most recent September 1998 issue of
 Next Generation magazine. The article starts on page 10 and is titled:
 "When was the last time you scored?" The piece concludes and I quote,
 "Will score ever come back? Probably not. As technology evolves, games
 will become even more complex, and current titles that still employ a
 high score, such as 'N20', 'Einhander', and 'Incoming', are in an
 ever-smaller minority."

 The article sheds some rays of hope however and I quote further, "But
 classic games are making something of a comeback; titles like 'Centipede'
 and 'Asteroids' are being retrofitted for the 90's, with score intact."

 Sadly the author concludes, "Still, it's safe to say that score will
 never play the pivotal role it once did in gaming history."

 If nothing else, I am not the only one that believes that high score
 potential is an elementary difference between games of today and

 Let's look at the second element of the fun factor: Repetition.

 When I say Repetition, I am describing the ability to identify a way that
 a game is played within the first few seconds of pressing the start
 button and depend on that overall premise to stay the same throughout the
 game. "Pitfall" is a game that includes climbing, swinging and jumping in
 a horizontal scrolling format. The obstacles may change their positions,
 the ladders may not always be on the left or on the right, but the game
 never ends up being different than how it started. Each new wave, each
 new level predictably resembles the one prior.

 Someone might say, ah, but "Gorf" deviated fom thart formula and "Donkey
 Kong" had a series of different virtual game venues that had a lot of
 changes from one level to the next. Well, not really. It may have taken
 more than a few seconds to learn the new looks of each level, but they
 eventually recycled and the series of levels fit the definition of
 repetition that I am describing here.

 Okay, let's look at ease of learning; the E in the anagram that defines
 the fun factor.

 Many people tell me that ease of learning is not at all missing from
 games today. They bring up games like "Unreal", "Gran Turismo" or "Crash
 Bandicoot". Yes, those are relatively easy games to learn, but are still
 far more complex than walking up to a machine, dropping a quarter and
 driving a circle through a maze to eat dots and avoid ghosts. I've played
 "Unreal". It's fun, but there are a lot complexities too. A lot of
 passages to discover. A lot of items to recover. A very difficult game to
 sit down and compete against your previous high score.

 I have played "Gran Turismo". It is undeniably a phenomenal racing game.
 Of course I have to be concerned with a lot more than I did when I played
 "Night Driver" or even "Pole Position". There's tire tread, engine
 capabilities, car handling. Not much instant plug-and-play here.

 I have enjoyed many hours of "Crash Bandicoot" and "Crash Bandicoot 2". I
 know I will rush out and buy "Crash Bandicoot 3". But it is more complex
 of a game to learn and accomplish than "Space Invaders" or "Missile

 Games from yesteryear, games that were filled with the fun factor, were
 never hard to learn. Often hard to master, but never hard to learn.

 All games require the gamer to learn and apply a strategy to master the
 gameplay. Whether it is "Checkers" or "Othello", "Boxing" or "Street
 Fighter", there are one or more strategic moves that enable competitors
 to score better with experience.

 Finally, the fun factor is unleashed in any specific game when there are
 Secrets in or about the game to be discovered. A secret may be a hidden
 level or character. Maybe it is a code to add lives or weapons. Maybe it
 is a way to see the programmer's initials such in Atari's "Adventure" or
 "Yar's Revenge". Or, perhaps it is a fascinating story on how the game
 was developed or marketed.

 So why does an understanding of the fun factor and the appealing aspects
 of video games from yesterday have significance to you and me today?

 Because we are approaching a new fork in the road. An opportunity to go
 in new directions. New generations of video game systems such as
 Dreamcast and Project X as well as whatever competing products designed
 to knock the socks off of the mass market. And before we embark on a
 journey to new next-next-generation technology, let's check the rear view
 mirror. Let us begin to recognize the market that wants to play classic
 favorites or new games that instill the fun factor into them. Let's put
 high score back into the game.

 I applaud what companies such as Hasbro for what they appear to be doing.
 Their focus on reintroducing some of the world's greatest software titles
 on up-to-date platforms is cutting edge. Hasbro has tasted the success
 with "Frogger" selling over a million copies in less than six months
 since its launch last November. "Centipede" will undoubtedly do similarly
 as well. I believe that they will do equally as well with each new title
 as long as they look back and enhance them using the same formula that
 made them great in the first place.

 Thankfully, companies like Hasbro and Activision and Namco and Nyko are
 beginning to adjust the mirror before moving forward on new projects.
 They may not always make the greatest decisions based on what they have
 seen behind them, but they are pulling out into the proverbial traffic of
 progress while being more informed.

 I'd like to suggest to forward thinking companies in this business two
 things: It's wise to check the mirror and apply the good things from the
 past into the things they do in our future. And, secondly, it would be
 smart to look for more ways to work together; to solidify a plan to help
 legitimize the gaming industry completely. Let's find more opportunities
 to recognize all the better games and to put the people who create them
 in the spotlight.


                             - The AfterMath -

 by Donald A. Thomas, Jr.
 )1997-1998 - Donald A. Thomas, Jr.
 all rights reserved -

 May be reprinted in entirety with byline.

 (Revised 08/26/98)

 (WINDOW DRESSING: Mr. Mark Santora is producing a quality video
 documentary of WOA '98. For information and ordering, visit, Mark's
 homepage at:

 Suddenly, a Vegas weekend has passed me by and I find myself on a plane
 chasing a Sunday sunset toward the western horizon. The first annual
 Classic Video Game and Home Computer Show, otherwise touted as World of
 Atari '98, had come to a close. The people and the memories have bid me a
 fond farewell. While mere hours before I was saturated in a sea of
 camaraderie I now find myself heading home in an airship of anonymity. I
 did not win the "Asteroids" cocktail table raffled by Mr. Tim Arnold to
 benefit the Las Vegas Salvation Army, but I did carry with me a few small
 boxes of memorabilia that I considern just as priceless. And I carry a
 camcorder crammed with a few hours of video. And I carry a few chocolates
 for my wife and son as they stay up at home to ask me if I had a nice

 I now feel inspired to share, with those who honored us by attending and
 for those who so desperately wanted to go, a report of the show from my
 unique perspective. It was an interesting change of pace for me. After so
 many years of attending Comdex, CES, E3 and a number of Atari-specific
 shows over the years as one of the crew, I am suddenly bestowed the title
 of Distinguished Guest. This time, I am not responsible to help set up
 walls of a booth, components of a kiosk or crates of literature. Instead,
 I am invited to verbalize my experiences at Atari, shake friends of old
 and new and sign an occasional request for an autograph.

 Mr. Keita Iida and Mr. Don Rogers greeted me at McCarran International
 Airport around noon on Friday, August 21, 1998. Both gentlemen were
 anxious to help carry my bags. In spite of my insistence to carry them
 myself, Keita managed to grab one away as I put one down to switch hands.
 They took me to the Holiday Inn Boardwalk Hotel and Casino
 ( located right on the world famous Vegas
 strip. The hotel required me to wait a couple hours to register so we
 checked my bags and a group of us drove over to TGI Friday's
 ( for lunch.

 In the earliest hours of my arrival I met all the core promoters. Mr.
 Rich Tsukiji has one of those last names that I can spell, but just
 cannot learn to pronounce. I feel redeemed, however, since I later
 learned he once misspelled my last name in the official program. Payback
 maybe? <g> In reality I have always known Rich as Rich and he has always
 known me as Don. We have always been on a first name basis from the first
 time we met. In fact, those years go back almost a decade when World of
 Atari was held at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. It was at
 that show that Rich helped me to introduce Artisan Software in its first
 ever public exhibition. Rich filled the role of producer at WOA '98. The
 event is ultimately to his credit just like we owe him for the
 experiences at so many Atari-specific events over the years. It was good
 to see Rich again and to meet Rich Tsukiji II, the proud offspring of his

 Mr. John Hardie was rubbing his tired eyes but still found plenty of
 energy to smile and welcome the guests as they arrived. John and Keita
 co-produce the Atari Headquarters web domain (
 The two gentlemen actually coordinated most of the events at the show,
 helped solicit sponsors and arrange keynotes. By this time on Friday they
 have already spent a great deal of time keeping promises and schedules on
 track. Before it would be over, they would see it get much worse before
 it would get better.

 Mr. Brad Kota, was an inspiration for this year's show. As a long time
 friend and colleague of Mr. Tsukiji, Brad helped to persuade him that
 there would be interest in a classic video game show. Brad's Best
 Electronics has always been a formidable icon in the industry with the
 world's most unique selection of hard-to-find components and parts for
 Atari video games and computers.

 I soon caught up with Mr. Randy Stoller, a memorable young man who has a
 rare collection of classic game and computer products. Mr. Jerry Jessop
 worked at Atari in the late seventies and early eighties. Jerry did a
 variety of engineering projects at Atari. Mr. Dan Kramer is renowned for
 his work on the track ball at Atari in the early years. Mr. Leonard
 Herman, author of "Pheonix: The Fall and Rise of Videogames" and the "ABC
 to the VCS" (Rolenta Press,, was setting up to offer
 autographed copies of his books. Mr. Sean Kelly, of Digital Press, set up
 next to Leonard to offer his Classic Videogame Commercial Archive on VHS
 tapes ( Amidst all the hustle and
 bustle, mammoth crates were moved carefully into the vender area. Each
 one was marked "Atari Historical Society" ( and followed closely by a Mr.
 Curt Vendel.

 By 3 p.m. on Friday, the show appeared to be coming together quite well.
 (I was happy. I finally eceived my key to room number 463.) Anyone in the
 know, however, knew things were not going as well as hoped.

 There were problems. Throughout the afternoon, Rich Tsukiji had to run
 around Las Vegas city offices to accommodate a variety of exhibition
 permits that had previously not been required. WOA '98 was becoming a
 much bigger show than some people had anticipated and an entirely new
 plateau of permits and licenses were suddenly required. With a lot of hot
 Vegas sweat and a heavy dose of Tsukiji finesse, Rich pulled everything
 together just as the city was locking the business office doors closed
 for the weekend.

 Meanwhile, back at the not-so-okay coral, Keita sat next to a pair of
 gold plated pay phones in the foyer of the convention floor. He had long
 run out of quarters to feed the phones and was now typing out the same
 numbers into his cellular phone that Don Rogers pointed out in a thick
 edition of the Las Vegas yellow pages. The mission: get between six to
 eight 19-inch color televisions to the show at a reasonable price before
 the rental stores closed and WOA '98 commenced. The long awaited
 "Battlesphere" tournaments must go on, but no televisions had shown up as
 originally planned.

 Ultimately, Keita and Rich resolved their emergencies to everyone's
 satisfaction, but the energy was building and the pressure was mounting.
 Mr. Bruce Carso and his wife and family arrived with their 15-foot box
 truck direct from B&C ComputerVisions ( Mr. Tim
 Arnold had his classic coin-ops to unload. Mr. Jerry Jessop and Mr. Dan
 Kramer had a large rental van full of artifacts for the Classic Game
 Museum. Artifacts that included the very first "Computer Space" ever
 manufactured and an original coin-op "Pong". Mr. Steve Kipker and his
 crew from Steve's Software ( set up countless
 boxes of computer and gaming software featuring notable mentions such as
 "Air Cars" ($75) for the Atari Jaguar and "Visicalc" ($1) for Atari
 computers. All new in originally shrink-wrapped packaging of course.

 Keita and John would not get much sleep again this long and anxious day.
 Even at late night hours, they had yet to set up their own contributions
 to the museum that required a painstaking system to catalog and arrange
 all of the displays and exhibits. Much of this time I didn't feel right
 just standing around. Everyone was working so hard. I did my best to
 document the course of events with my camcorder, but I did set it aside
 for a while to help Bruce and Cathy unload their truck.

 At 6:30 p.m., the doors opened across the hall of the main convention
 hall to the formal reception area. Persons connected directly to the
 production of the show took a well-deserved break and pre-ticketed
 attendees were all invited. There were two cash bars, a great sound
 system playingthe soundtrack from "Tempest 2000" and wall-to-wall people.
 Rich asked me to make a few opening remarks. People who know me do not
 think I am much capable of making just a few remarks, but I managed to
 prove them wrong this time around. I thanked Rich, Brad, John and Keita.
 I urged others to find them and thank them all as well. Rich asked me to
 tell them how to get their programs for the show and I closed with a
 formal welcome to each and everyone in attendance.

 Not too long after the reception, activities began to settle down to a
 realistic pace. Most of the venders had found time to sigh and only John
 and Keita were still in a mode that some say resembles panic. In spite of
 it all, Rich, John, Keita and a few others including myself broke awayto
 get some dinner at Applebee's Neighborhood Grille and Bar
 ( I am familiar with the Applebee's chain, but
 I have no idea where Keita took us that night to get there. The trip
 allowed me to renew a friendship with Rich and we filled in a lot of
 blanks for a number of old Atari anecdotes from days gone by.

 Immediately after dinner, we returned to the Boardwalk and Rich, Keita
 and John returned to work as if they had never yet started. The appeal of
 the slot machines overcame me and I began to throw money away into as
 many of them as I could. Ouch. By around 2:30 a.m. I returned to room 463
 and reread my keynote speech one more time. Well, two more times. Hmmm, a
 few typos. Maybe it turned out being several times before I actually
 turned out the lights around 4 a.m.

 Lynn, my wife, refused to bear the Las Vegas heat with me. She knew I
 would be pre-occupied and decided playing mom was amost important role at
 home. As always, she turned out being the wise woman I know and adore.
 Saturday was hot long before anyone had a chance to complain about it.
 Staying at the same hotel as the show was wonderful and the uncomfortable
 heat was felt only near the windows. I arose at 8:40 a.m. By 10 o'clock I
 walked past a long, long line of attendees who clearly wanted the doors
 to open sooner rather than later. At approximately, 10:07 a.m. the doors
 pushed back the crowd as they opened and the crowd calmly funneled
 themselves into the exhibition floor.

 I took a lot of videotape and will need to dedicate a day to review it
 all. But from recollection, there were items for sale and items for
 display. There were displays for display and displays for sale. There
 were mint condition Ms. Pac-Man dolls offered by Jack Berg Sales Company,
 a firm based in El Paso, Texas. There were hard-to-find coin-op art
 panels available from the Atari Historical Society. There were mint
 copies of "Metorite" ($75) for the Atari 5200 game system offered by
 Atari Headquarters. Mr. David Naghi and Mr. Robert Rienick introduce Nyko
 technologies' ( new Classic Track Ball for the
 PlayStatio (hnttp:// game console.

 In a center aisle, Tim Arnold kept track of the raffle total with a
 makeshift tally redesigned from an old pinball game. Each of his targeted
 $1,500 rung out with a loud bell and Tim would make hourly announcements
 of small prize winners using a handheld megaphone.

 At 10:30 a.m., I entered the keynote hall (a.k.a. the reception area from
 the night before). There was a small number of people there awaiting my
 arrival for my keynote. "Phew", I thought to myself as I knew speaking to
 just a few people would be a stress-less task. At that moment, Keita Iida
 saw I was ready and ran across the hall to announce my speech. In an
 instant, the crowd from the venders area swarmed to the keynote area and
 left only the rearmost group of chairs unclaimed.

 I enjoy speaking. I have performed in some amateur theater in my younger
 days and I know no shame to admit that I enjoy a little notoriety from
 time to time. This was different. People were seated before me truly
 interested in what I was about to say. Was my talk too short? Would it be
 too long? Would it be meaningful or sound like rambling? I decided the
 best thing to do was do it. I had 19 (very small) pages of script and I
 tried hard to refer to it as little as possible while looking at my
 audience as much as possible. It must have not been too bad. People asked
 a number of great questions after the talk and followed me into the
 corridor to ask more. One very attractive young lady wanted to know if I
 was the founder of Atari. I said "no".

 Now that my keynote was over, the pressure of the weekend had been lifted
 from my shoulders and I was free to do nothing more except enjoy the
 show. And I did. Big time. I met with Mr. Rob Fulop, designer of "Demon
 Attack" for the Atari 2600. I saw the rare Cosmos, the holographic game
 system, designed by Atari before Mr. Jack Tramiel sold holograph
 technology to American Banknote ( I saw rare
 prototypes such as "Dukes of Hazard" for the Atari 2600. I saw an early
 mold of the Atari Portfolio computer. I saw mint condition still-packaged
 Colecovision carts. There were photocopies of rare internal Atari
 documents. One collector showed me an entire box of badges for Atari
 employees from many, many years ago. At 5 p.m., the exhibit hall for the
 first day came to a close, but a swap meet commenced in the keynote area
 that lasted a couple hours.

 That evening, I met David Naghi and Robert Rienick in the hotel lobby at
 7 p.m. Robert's wife, Betty, also caught up with us and the trio escorted
 me to Gordon Biersch ( for dinner. David and
 Robert shared a number of great things they have planned for their
 product lines. Meanwhile I enjoyed a tremendous garlic-rubbed hanger
 steak and an unusually decadent slice of cheesecake.

 There was no rush for me to get up terribly early on Sunday. I wanted to
 be there when the doors opened at 10 a.m. and I was. My new camcorder
 also takes digital stills and I exploited some of the pre-show inactivity
 to take pictures of the coin-ops scattered throughout the hall. When the
 doors opened, a steady stream of aficionados came and left throughout the

 On this day, I had a greater opportunity to sit in on some of the other
 keynotes. First, was a presentation from Dan Kramer and Jerry Jessop.
 They told a number of stories from their days at Atari as renegade
 engineers. If the audience was not spellbound, they were laughing at an
 intentional quip or waving their hands to ask a new question. Also this
 day, I sat in on a talk by Mr. Bill Kunkel, co-founder of Electronic
 Games Magazine. Bill spoke of the early trade shows and the horrific
 videogame industry crash that tore many of the companies apart. Dave
 Staugas was WOA '98's surprise speaker during mid-afternoon. Dave spoke
 how he survived the Tramiel takeover and created a number of games and
 applications for Atari over the years. The keynotes, as well as the other
 events at World of Atari '98 are being documented by Mr. Mark Santora's
 video. For information on ordering this video visit

 In late afternoon, I introduced myself to Mr. Derek Mihocka of Gemulators
 Inc. ( who was demonstrating Gemulator '98. This
 incredible device allows Atari ST, STe and TT software or Apple
 Macintosh, Mac SE or Mac II software to run at lightning speeds in a
 Windows environment for prices way under $200.

 Also intriguing at the show was the new Lynx TV converter by Wizztronics
 ( shown by founder, Mr. Steve Cohen. The
 device enables users to play Atari handheld Lynx games directly on a
 standard television; even a big screen! The resolution looked fantastic
 and the picture was incredibly stable. For under $150 users can finally
 see and play Lynx games on a full size screen.

 Nearing the end of the day, the Auction was held and nearly one hundred
 items were put up for bid. Mr. Alan Miller, certified, licensed and
 bonded auctioneer, U.S.A. Auctions, conducted the auction. A number of
 one-of-a-kind and unusual artifacts and products were shown and blocked.
 Rich Tsukiji whispered to me that this was undoubtedly the world's first
 professional auction of Atari products.

 Around 4 p.m., Tim Arnold picked the last few winners of the raffle.
 (Darn, I did not win the "Asteroids" game.) Activities in the main hall
 had died down and vendors had already begun to pack things up. In the far
 corner, Jerry Jessop and friends were doing their best to sell off items
 still on the table. I wanted to spend some time filming the
 "Battlesphere" tournament, but it was always so crowded in that corner of
 the hall. Mr. Scott Le Grand and Ms. Stephanie Wukovitz of 4Play
 ( had the crowd
 captive, but by the time I got back over to there following the auction,
 the winner was declared and gone.

 There is no way to explain the pleasures that come to us at events such
 as these. Those of us in the industry love it. We remember unpacking
 trainloads of boxes and crates for the Winter or Summer Consumer
 Electronics Shows or a Comdex. We remember working late at night
 wondering all the while if the booth would be completed by the time the
 show started. We remember gathering late at night to fulfill traditions
 at a local pub or restaurant. We remember new product launches and all
 those times that something was supposed to work and didn't. World of
 Atari '98 serves as a forum for us to recall those memories and to relive
 them through the stories we tell.

 For those who love the industry, but are not employed as a part of it, I
 know it is equally fun to be a part of WOA '98. I know because I am
 uniquely a part of that crowd too. I got into the business as a
 happenstance and as an outsider who swore to myself that I would never
 forget how it felt to press my nose against the glass looking in. I don't
 believe I have ever failed that personal promise. Some said at WOA '98
 that I started a trend to get the programs autographed. I managed to get
 almost everyone although I missed a few. There was Rob Fulop who I did
 miss in spite of intentions otherwise, but I did get Mr. Michael Mika of
 Next Generation Magazine ( I missed Marshall Rosenthal of the LA Times (
 but I did get Ms. Van Burnham of Wired Magazine ( I got most all of the
 venders that I have known over the years to sign my programs and of
 course the likes of Sean Kelly, Leonard Herman, Jerry Jessop, Arnie Katz,
 David Staugas and the rest of the World of Atari '98.

 I am not certain why I did not see representation from Hasbro InterActive
 ( A lot of people would like to know
 what their plans are with their new acquisition. A lot of people want to
 know why ATARI.COM seems to have been abandoned since JTS
 ( shut it down (especially me since I produced the
 original site for Atari). People like Mr. Nolan Bushnell would have been
 nice to see one day. Other names that would have fit in well with the
 atmosphere would have been Activision and Williams.

 Just the same, I had one heck of a great time.

 Do I have any regrets at all? Yup. I regret losing as much as I did in
 the slots.


               Next-Generation Online: World of Atari Report

 World of Atari Report Who was there, what was shown, and is Jaguar
 BattleSphere for real? These questions and more answered in Next
 Generation Online's report on World of Atari '98.

 August 24, 1998

 It was an intriguing idea. To put on a show that centered around the
 company that started the video game craze some twenty years after it
 began. Set over three nights and two days, the World of Atari 1998 show
 took place at the Holiday Inn Casino Boardwalk in Las Vegas. And the
 gaming world may never be the same.

 The show was primarily organized by three individuals, Richard Tsukiji,
 Keita Iida, and John Hardie. These three gentlemen have been long time
 Atari supporters. At the height of Atari popularity during the Tramiel
 Era, Tsukiji organized several World of Atari shows which met with great
 success. Iida published a newsletter called the Atari Zone and helped
 launch the Atari Gaming Headquarters ( web site with John
 Hardie. Hardie has been a staunch supporter of all things Atari for many
 years including working on previous World of Atari Shows and serving as
 Vice President of the Alamo Area Atari Users Association. But, even after
 the demise of the Atari Corporation, they still saw the power that the
 company had instilled throughout the world. Relying on this knowledge,
 they decided to put together another show.

 Even though the show was titled "World of Atari," there was a much larger
 sense of community present at the show. Most of the classic gaming
 systems were represented. The Intellivision, the Colecovision, and the
 8-bit home computers stood aside the 2600, 5200,7800, and Atari XE/ST
 computers. It was quite impressive to see such a strong showing from a
 gaming era that has passed us by for perspective correcting texture
 mapping and "well endowed polygons named Lara," according to Don Thomas,
 who was [sic] worked for Atari during the Tramiel days.

 On Friday night, an informal party was thrown to kick off the show. The
 idea was simple, to get as many attendees, guests, and dealers together
 to set the mood for the weekend. And it did a fabulous job. Food, drink,
 and music kept the atmosphere light while everyone got to know one
 another. The party was topped off with a set of quick opening comments
 from Don Thomas.

 At 10 a.m. Saturday, the doors opened and the crowd made its way into the
 show. There were three different rooms for the showgoers to explore.
 First was the dealer room which was sponsored by Nyko ( At
 the Nyko booth one could try it's new trackball controller for the
 PlayStation. Running Missile Command through the Williams Arcade Classics
 CD showed just how much thought the R&D department had put into the
 trackball. They also displayed their remote RF signal adapters for the
 Playstation and Nintendo 64. No more cables running from your system to
 the tv. Just plug in one adapter to the TV and the other to your system
 of choice.

 Undeniably, the most anticipated developer at the show was 4Play.
 ( The company's
 Scott LeGrand and Stephanie Wukovitz were in attendance to show off their
 recently completed game, BattleSphere. In many circles, BattleSphere is
 generally considered to be the best Atari Jaguar game. Developed over
 four and a half years while additionally holding down steady jobs,
 BattleSphere became the light at the end of the tunnel for the hardcore
 Jaguar user - and it did not disappoint. The astounded crowd huddled
 around the consoles as it booted up. Showgoer Doug Childs remarked, "It
 was definitely worth the wait." World of Atari sponsored both a Networked
 BattleSphere and a Warlords elimination contest. Winners were given
 copies of Hasbro's Frogger, Star Wars Monopoly, and the Namco Museum
 complilation for PlayStation.

 Other developers at the show included Wizztronics, Inc.
 ( which had it's Lynx-to-TV adapter on display. This
 small modification board will allow a Lynx player to use his television
 as a display unit. The image was sharp and stable. Another developer was
 Emulators, Inc.( which had it's Atari/Mac emulation
 boards for the PC up and running. It was strange to see the Atari and Mac
 Desktops running on the PC, but they were there and they were fast.

 A multitude of exhibitors were strategically placed throughout the dealer
 room. Companies including Best Electronics (, B&C
 Computer Visions (, and Steve's Computer
 Technology( These dealers featured any game or game
 system that one wanted to add to their collection, and dealers kept their
 prices to a very respectable level.

 Also placed throughout the dealer room were some classic arcade machines
 that were open for all to play. Star Wars, Asteroids, Wizard of War,
 Gauntlet 2, Centipede, and several other classics made appearances. Even
 with machines of this size, there were rare and prototypes available for
 play. Jerry Jessop brought along the first Computer Space cabinet, the
 fiberglass gaming console that started it all. Long before Pong, this was
 the game of choice. And it was in mint condition using 95 of it's
 original parts. Also included were a prototype Atari pinball machine
 called Neutron Star from 1981, an Atari Games machine that never saw
 release called Freeze from 1995, (which was excellent and should have
 been released), and even the venerable old Pong itself.

 Namco, creators of the classic games Pac-Man, Pole Position, and Dig Dug,
 sponsored the museum Exhibit. The museum featured systems dating back as
 far as 1972 with the Magnavox Odyssey. Notable items in the museum
 included the Graduate Computer Keyboard adapter for the Atari 2600, the
 prototype of the remote controlled Atari 2600 titled the 2700, the Atari
 Mindlink Controller, the Atari Cosmos which was a holographic game
 system, the Atari Mirai which is rumored to be the design for the game
 system based on the Atari ST computer lines, and the original Virtual
 Light Machine - the Atari Video Music (1976). Over sixty items were
 present in the museum while even more rare items were found at the Atari
 Historical Society (

 The third room at the show was designated for the Keynote Speakers and
 the Sunday Evening auction. Speakers included Don Thomas, Rob Fulop (2600
 Missile Command and co-founder of Imagic), Dan Kramer (5200 trackball),
 Jerry Jessop (member of the Atari R&D team/Atari 2000 project), Scott
 LeGrand and Stephanie Wukovitz (4Play), John Harris (designer of
 Jawbreaker and Frogger for the Atari 8bit Computers), Dave Staugus
 (Millipede and Krull for the Atari 2600), and Arnie Katz, Joyce Worley,
 and Bill Kunkel (founders of the first videogame magazine, Electronic

 Said Dan Kramer of his time at Atari: "I can tell you it was a fabulous
 place to work. And it wasn't our imagination that we were doing some of
 the coolest, funnest, neatest stuff we've ever encountered. It was a
 circus all day long, but we did the work and turned out product." And
 while most of the speakers used their time to discuss their experiences
 with or involving Atari, Don Thomas struck a cord about the future of the
 gaming, "This weekend's World of Atari 98 Show is indicative of an old
 trend that is re-emerging. It is one that explores the value of updating
 and republishing classic videogames."

 But after each day ended, the group of show goers continued to enjoy
 themselves in the Vegas nightlife. Either gambling, going across the
 street to Sega Gameworks, or heading over to the Hilton to ride the Star
 Trek Experience, there were more than enough activities to take up
 whatever time was left over from the show.

 Over all, the show seemed a resounding success. It took the remnants of
 the first generation of video gaming and gave them a place to stand. The
 speakers, the museum, and the dealer rooms provided some very interesting
 sites and buys.

 And while some players may look back and scoff at the 2600 or other
 similar systems, there were more than enough people of all age groups
 enjoying themselves and proving that there is life in any platform; even
 after it has been discontinued.

 And while this year's show may be over, there is still a way to
 experience the event. A two-hour video is currently in production
 detailing the events of the past weekend. Professionally shot, edited,
 and duplicated, this tape will feature direct feeds from games at the
 show, all the speakers, the dealer room, the Namco Museum, and much more.

 For more information, go to this address -

 ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'!

                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

 Compiled by Joe Mirando

 Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, it's back to our regular schedule I
 guess. Just in time, as far as I'm concerned. There's lots of stuff that
 I want to talk about and one column a month just doesn't give me the room
 I need to vent it all. Anyone who knows me knows how I rant and rave, and
 that I don't usually stop until I'm darned good and ready. So I hope
 you're in the mood for a little good old fashioned ranting for the next
 few weeks. We're going to start with CompuServe's decision to turn "The
 Computer Club" Forum into an HMI-only place. If you're not familiar with
 The Computer Club, I'll fill you in. It's a forum dedicated to 'orphan'
 computers like our own ST line. There are users of the Texas Instruments
 TI-994A, the Coleco Adam, Timex/Sinclair ZX81, and several others that
 escape my memory at the moment. What gets my knickers in a twist is the
 idea that anyone would be best served by making this forum HMI-only.

 HMI is CompuServe's proprietary 32 bit software scheme for accessing
 their online service. It does provide some nice features, but I find it
 to be uniformly slow and cumbersome to use, RAM and hard drive intensive,
 and generally more poorly thought out and implemented than any piece of
 software I've seen on the Atari platform... ever.

 All of these shortcomings could be overlooked (even if only with
 practice) were it not for the fact that CompuServe holds the code to make
 HMI work tighter than a miser holds a dollar. They have steadfastly
 refused to release the code to those programmers who might have the time,
 ingenuity, ability, or inclination to write an application for any of
 these so-called orphan machines.

 This brings me to my next point... How wise is it to force a forum (and
 from the info I've been getting, they are FORCING forums to switch over)
 to use a protocol which will, by their own policy, deny access to the
 very users that the forum is there to help? You see, if you have an Atari
 ST, the only place on CompuServe worth going to for software and
 information is The Computer Club. The staff there is top notch without
 exception, the users that frequent the forum are knowledgable, and the
 software in the libraries, while a bit thin, is enough to keep a lot of
 users going for a while. But after September 20th, you won't be able to
 access the forum with an ST. Yes, there are a lot of ST users who also
 have either a PC or a Mac, but lots of them don't. So they won't be able
 to get to anything that the forum has to offer. Consequently, I expect
 many of them to do what I'm going to do at the end of the month... CANCEL
 MY SUBSCRIPTION TO COMPUSERVE. You probably have no idea of how much it
 hurt to have to type that last line. You see, I've used CompuServe for
 more than years now. It was my first online "home" and it's still where
 I'm most comfortable. Not necessarily because it's any better than any
 other service, but because it was my first online experience, and because
 the Sysop and staff of the now defunct Atari Forum were the best in the
 business... they spoiled me, I guess. Nonetheless, the bloom has been off
 the rose for quite a while now and even a die-hard such as myself has to
 face the fact that all good things must come to an end. The only things
 I've been using CompuServe for lately were my visits to The Computer
 Club, email, and as an ISP. With the loss of the forum, I simply cannot
 justify paying CompuServe even their minimum charge. I have therefore
 signed up with a local ISP who provides 56K v.90 access, email, web
 space, and NewsGroups. For about half of what I have been paying
 CompuServe, I've now got everything I need except for the forum. I will
 miss it quite a bit, but the folks over at Delphi's Atari Advantage forum
 are great people, the forum is more active than the Atari section within
 The Computer Club, and I've been there almost as long as I've been with
 CompuServe, so I feel almost as comfortable there.

 Another nice thing about Delphi is that, while CompuServe has seen fit to
 restrict access, Delphi has gone out of its way to expand the access
 possibilities. You can now access almost every forum on Delphi in one of
 two ways. You can use your internet connection to get there and cruise
 along web page style, or you can dial in the way we've been doing it for
 all these years and access using good old ASCII. And to add to the
 coolness of their setup, if you only access Delphi via the web (you need
 a browser that accepts and recognizes cookies, so I'll have to wait for
 CAB 2.7 to hit shore on this side of the Atlantic), access is FREE. Yes,
 that's right. It's free!

 While I'm sad beyond belief that I won't be using CompuServe any more,
 I'm glad that I've got a place like Delphi to go to. If you are a
 CompuServe subscriber and don't like this change, by all means let them
 know by sending email to FEEDBACK. I'm not saying that the only viable
 move is to leave CompuServe. It's still a great service... if you can
 access it. I guess I just don't like being told what type of computer I
 have to use if I'm going to subscribe to their service. Something seems a
 bit "back-asswards" there. It's like being told that you have to have
 either a GM or Ford automobile to use the highway... an old Volkswagon
 Beetle or Plymouth Fury just won't do.

 Well, I think I'm about out of 'attitude' for the moment, so let's take a
 look at what's going on in the NewsGroups.

 From the NewsGroup

 Alan Maydwell asks:

 "Does anyone know if it is possible to get Ghostlink to work with MagiC
 v5.11 ? I've got it to work with MagiC v2 in the past but it doesn't seem
 to get on with MagiC v5.11."

 Carsten Krumnow tells Alan:

 "Try EASE from the MagiC 2 package (if you have that one). It works."

 Alan tells Carsten:

 "Thanks for the tip but I don't have EASE as it doesn't come with the UK
 version of MagiC. I'm not sure if i'd like to use EASE anyway as I'm
 happy with Magxdesk and would rather consider using Thing or Jinee as an

 Carsten tells Alan:

 "Unfortunately all versions of MagiCDesk as well as jinnee and the newer
 versions of the EASE have the problem with Ghostlink (as well as the
 MagiC file select box...)."

 Aaron Turner asks:

 "...will cubase run in non monochrome res, or are there sequencers for
 the atari that will? I don't have a colour monitor, so to run in colour I
 need to run Atari->SCART into a TV, but it would be nice to be able to
 avoid changing monitors all the time. Either that or a simulator I
 suppose (but I have a very old 1040, and a lot of stuff seems not to run
 on my old version of TOS)>."

 Nicholas Bales tells Aaron:

 Cubase, as well as most "serious" programs, requires a 640x400
 resolution, so you need a hi res monitor. A hi-res emulator slows down
 the machine a bit, so that can cause problems with timing-intensive
 programs like Cubase. You sound a bit mixed up with resolutions/monitors,
 so here is the run down:

 monochrome=Hi-res (640x400/2 colours) => SM124/125/144... monitors only,
 or an emulator such as Sebra.

 colour=Low-res (320x200/16) or Mid-res (640x200/4) => TV or colour

 William Platt asks:

 "Are the Mega and TT keyboards the same as the falcon's?"

 Nicholas Bales tells William:

 "Not exactly, but thay can be adapted. It's just a matter of rewiring the
 connector. There are instructions for this around FTP sites, or in the
 DOITF030 archive."

 My old friend Sheldon Winick tells William:

 "No. The Mega and TT030 keyboards are external -- the Falcon uses a
 1040ST style integrated keyboard (unfortunately, with the same mushy feel
 that the 1040 had)."

 Karl Samyn posts this interesting little tidbit:

 "For those of you that are interested in connecting your Atari Computers
 to an Ethernet network, cable modem via Ethernet, or Digital Subscriber
 Line via Ethernet, please read on. A lot of people want to connect their
 Atari to an Ethernet network. It seems that with no ethernet adapters
 currently in production for Atari compatible models, and with the
 relative scarcity of previously manufactured boards, it would make sense
 to find an existing adapter for use with Atari. The one port type that
 all Atari computers can connect to is SCSI (older models require a SCSI
 host adapter such as a Link). This is also one of the fastest ports on
 the Atari computers. A few months ago, John Perez came up with the idea
 to write drivers for the already existing SCSI -> Ethernet adaptor from
 the Apple Macintosh platform. Since I couldn't contact John anymore, and
 didn't know how far he got with this project, I decided to continue it.

 The last couple of months I did some research by contacting some
 companies and people who would be able to help us. All the info I
 gathered will appear on this page : The
 purpose of this page is merely to consolidate (for public review) my
 findings thus far on the various SCSI-to-Ethernet solutions that the
 Atari community may have access to; and, to convince the right people
 that supporting our platform is worthwhile.

 Your support :

 The Atari community definately has the resources to get a project like
 this off the ground. So I need your support!! One little e-mail is
 enough. I have also started a "Hardware Petition" that I will use to
 leverage support. I would like to pool donations, purchase an adapter,
 and ship it to the software developer that has agreed to look into the

 Up to now, there are _only_ 10 people interested in a project like this,
 although I think _many_ more people want to connect their Atari to an
 ethernet network. Already a few of these people want to make a donation.

 The more people who support this project, the easier it will be to
 convince the companies to give us the necessary information. If we can
 get the help of a software or hardware company that still supports the
 Atari, it might be even easier to convince them. Interestingly, there is
 a similar project on the Amiga platform. If we cooperate with them to get
 the information we need from the companies, we have more leverage.

 Programmers wanted :

 Once I have all the necessary technical specifications, we only need
 programmers to write the drivers. A driver for MiNT and one for StiNG
 would be necessary. Are there any programmers who would like to join this
 project? Simply drop me a mail.

 If you can see yourself wanting to buy and use such a device, then please
 visit the page and fill out the petition! This will help our cause

 Mark at Particle Salad tells Karl:

 "Fine and dandy.. I'd LOVE to be able to transfer files between my Falcon
 and my Mac. However, I don't use Mint or Sting.. I assume they are
 alternate OSs.. I mainly only use my Falcon for music, so running an alt
 OS makes no sense, as CAF doesn't run under them. It would be a MUST to
 write a driver that works with TOS.. at least to me."

 Tony Cianfaglione asks for help:

 "Where can I find STing? I have CAB and STiK but there is no local SLIP
 connections so I would need STing."

 Nick Bales tells Tony quite succinctly:

 Dennis Bishop posts this about his problems with trying to start an email

 "OK, is once more taking lists, I went in 3 times today, cab
 2.7/ovl 3010. would get the main screen ok, would sign in, no troubles,
 the next page would load in ... As the 'Start New List' page is
 displayed, cab crashs with two bombs. If they are using javascript, then
 i know why it crashs. otherwise i don't know."

 Terry Ross tells Dennis:

 "I've had similar 2 bomb problems, of varying intensity. Sometimes CAB
 would bomb out as soon as I loaded it and entered a URL. I tried all
 sorts of modifications with CAB and CAB.OVL and nothing worked. Then I
 went to the STinG tools and tried to resolve the hosts. Guess what. 2
 bombs. When I deleted the CACHE.DNS from inside the STinG folder and
 started fresh, most of the sites that I was having problems with were
 available to me. Unfortunately, I've had to do this about 3 times now.
 This is using STinG 1.15 and the latest modules. I think I'm going to
 look over my archives disk to see if I can find an earlier version of
 RESOLVE.STX and see what happens."

 Nelson Cook asks:

 "Has anyone else had problems ordering stuff from ICD, of "link 2" fame?"

 Jo Vandeweghe tells Nelson:

 "They stopped business a few months ago if I remember correctly."

 Steve Hammond tells Nelson:

 "Tried ordering from them a few months ago and could never get anyone to
 return my phone calls. I an not even sure if they are still in business."

 Stephen Moss posts:

 "Question 1)

 Where can I get hold of a working Forget Me Clock cartridge and
 associated software with in the UK either new or second hand?.

 Question 2)

 In the past some people have had a minor dig at my previous postings
 because they were not word rapped, I assure you that this was down to the
 software and nothing to do with me. I am now using new software which
 should word wrap this posting. Can someone confirm this?

 Question 3)

 I have been sucessfully transfering files from a 486 PC running Windows
 3.1 to my STfm (TOS 1.2). I now have a new pentium PC running Window 95
 and since then every time I try to load a file from the floppy to my ST
 it keeps flashing that alert box which says that the data on the disk is
 damaged or the drive is not connected. Has anyone else had this problem
 and if so do they know the solution?. I suspect Windows 95, or is it that
 my TOS version is to old, I would be interseted to see if both 720k ST's
 and 1.44MB TT's/Falcon's have the same problem as me, and before you
 suggest it yes I am using a 720K MS DOS format Disk."

 Chris Crosskey tells Stephen:

 "I've not had problems with Win95 disks transfering to either my Falcon
 or my STE under TOS2.06, it might be a problem with early TOS versions.
 Also I've been able to easily transfer stuff burnt on PC CDR drives to
 the Falc and STE and from CDR's off the Falc onto PC. Apparently the new
 version of CD Recorder Pro will run on an ST so you could use CDR...."

 Harvey Kennett asks for info about the Atari line:

 "If you spare a few moments to answer any of my questions, I'd be Sooooo

 1. As far as I know, the ST machines that Atari made were

    * 520STF
    * 520STFM
    * 1040STF
    * 1040STFM
    * Falcon

 Is that correct ? I last used my Atari 1040STF some years ago and have no
 idea on what's new.

 2. Would the newest Atari (Is that the Falcon?) run my old 1040STF
 software (STOS and Cubase) or would I need to buy them again for a newer
 machine ?

 3. Whilst I remember that the 1040ST was THE musicians tool, has it been
 supplanted by a newer Atari ?"

 Vidar Olavesen tells Harvey:

 "The STe range, Mega ST range, since you have Falcon, the TT range. And
 if you're talking STf then there's 520 ST, 1040 ST, I even believe some
 were sold of 260ST too. STOS could be a problem, but maybe with pathces
 or the Backward program.But, Cubase is better if you do buy the Falcon
 version. It has direct to disk recording and such. I am not too sure
 about the differences though! You answered it yourself, the Falcon is
 newer and better music machine."

 Chris Crosskey tells Harvey:

 "If I recall correctly, there was a 260 ST, you've missed out the 520
 STM, you've missed all the Mega's (Mega ST's 1, 2 and 4 and Mega STE),
 you've missed the original (and rare 520 ST, there were the Stacy
 portables in a variety of memory and hard-disk configurations, the
 ST-Book laptop and the TT I guess would count too. Before anyone who
 doesn't know asks, the Portfolio is not a TOS machine, I know, I've got
 one. Although badges were made for 4160 STE's I don't think the machine
 itself was ever officailly released, though lots of us now have STE's
 that proudly proclaim their 4Mb status with the badge, thanks to Brad at
 Best Electronics taking them to every show he goes to ...thanks Brad:-)))
 The Falcon runs some versions of Cubase, one day I'll try it with Cubase
 v2 if no-one else has, but AFAIK Cubase 3 and up will run OK on Falcons.
 STOS....why bother? Even if it will run, most of the software it will
 produce won't....well not without some patching anyway... Yeah, the 4160
 spec STE is the baby to have, load of ACC's and still tons of space to
 have a full Cubase installation and a huge area for the song..... NVDI
 makes a big difference too, and apparently the Veloce 020 accelerator is
 compatible so you should have a flying machine available if you have an
 STE and about 120 UKP to spend on it, IIRC in mono mode it's damn near as
 fast as a Falcon..."

 Well folks, that's about it for this week. Since we're back to our normal
 schedule, tune in again next week... same time, same station, and be
 ready to listen to what they are saying when...

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING

                             EDITORIAL QUICKIES

 If you think you have a problem with computer addiction you probably have.

 Here are the warning signs:


 13 Symptoms of Computer Addiction

   1. During a 2 a.m. call to the bathroom you check your e-mail.
   2. When your neighbor mentions taking a drive, you think not miles but
   3. When channel-surfing the infomercials, you grab the remote control
      and double-click.
   4. Down at the local computer store they know your name and favorite
   5. Your favorite movies are Brainstorm, Tron, War Games, and, of course,
      2001; your preferred Murder She Wrote episode is the one in which
      Jessical solves the case of the fatal disk error.
   6. So many relatives and friends call you when they need help with their
      computers that you're considering installing a 900 number.
   7. There's an ISDN line running into your home, and the notion of low
      baud rates reminds you of nursery schools and training wheels.
   8. You have chronic lower back pain, knots in your shoulders, and a
      cramp in your mouse finger, and you can't see more than three feet in
      front of your face.
   9. Your penmanship looks worse than it did in the fourth grade.
  10. You call your PC "Cousin 'Puter".
  11. You call your computer chair "The Seat of Power."
  12. Nevery mind those old 5.25-inch floppies, you still have those hoary
      8.5 inchers!
  13. For that matter, you don't throw out bad floppies, you decorate them
      and use them as drink coasters.

                 Remember, denial is not a river in Egypt.

                           Best experienced with
                       [ie_animated.gif (7090 bytes)]
                            Click here to start

                      STReport International Magazine

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        STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" September 04, 1998
        Since 1987 Copyright)1998 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1428

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