ST Report: 25-Feb-95 #1108From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/26/95-06:38:49 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 25-Feb-95 #1108 Date: Sun Feb 26 18:38:49 1995 SILICON TIMES REPORT ==================== INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ============================= from STR Electronic Publishing Inc. A subsidiary of STR Worldwide CompNews Inc. February 24, 1995 No. 1108 ====================================================================== Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 R.F. Mariano, Editor Featured in ITCNet ITC_STREPORT ----------------------------------------- Voice: 1-904-783-3319 10am-4pm EST STR Publishing Support BBS * THE BOUNTY INTERNATIONAL BBS * Featuring: * 45GB * of Download Files Operating with * Mustang Software's WILDCAT! 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""""""""""""""""" - STR INDUSTRY REPORT - HAYES UPGRADE OFFER - INTERNET JET - KODAK DISK NEWS - HP offers NEW Vectra - 1 gb DRAM!! - IBM: NEW Thinkpad - Apple Suit Rejected - ART FESTIVAL - TelCom Sales Soar! - People Talking - Jaguar News -* APPLE SUES MICROSOFT AGAIN! *- -* Philips Denies Apple Takeover *- -* DELL'S PROFITS TRIPLE! *- ========================================================================== STReport International OnLine Magazine The Original * Independent * OnLine Magazine -* FEATURING WEEKLY *- "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ========================================================================== STReport's BBS - The Bounty BBS, invites all BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the ITC/Fido/Internet/PROWL/USENET/USPOLNet/NEST/F-Net Mail Networks. You may also call The Bounty BBS direct @ 1-904-786-4176. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of excellent International Networking Systems. SysOps and users alike worldwide, are welcome to join STReport's International Conferences. ITC Node is 85:881/250, The Fido Node is 1:112/35, Crossnet Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is #620. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. ========================================================================== CIS ~ DELPHI ~ GENIE ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ ITC ~ NEST ~ EURONET ~ CIX USENET ~ USPOLNET ~ CLEVELAND FREE-NET ~ INTERNET ~ PROWL ~ FNET ~ AOL ========================================================================== SOFTWARE CREATIONS BBS is proud to distribute Silicon Times Report STReport International OnLine Magazine -------------------------------- With more than 130 Lines of PCBOARD access, Internet, Telnet and X.25 local access in every major city world-wide through SprintNet Software Creations delivers the files! -------------------------------------------------- Silicon Times Report joins names like Apogee Software, Borland, id Software, TriSoft, Interactive Gaming, PC Techniques, Coriolis, Fastgraph, PC Information Group, and many more. -------------------------------- Real-Time Credit Card Approval and Membership Upgrades The Software Download Store - for on the spot purchase/approval and download ability! -------------------------------- Call 1-800-4SWCBBS (479-2227); Fax 1-508-365-7214 for more information! ----------------------------------------------------- So, Get the latest releases from SOFTWARE CREATIONS BBS "Home of the Authors" * Software Creations, Voted #1 BBS for 1993 & 1994 * 1200/2400 V.42/MNP Lines : (508) 365-2359 2400-14.4k HST US Robotics Lines : (508) 368-7036 2400-16.8k V.32/V.42bis US Robotics lines : (508) 368-7139 14.4-28.8k V.32/V.42bis/V.fc Hayes Optima lines: (508) 365-9352 14.4-28.8k V.32/V.42bis/V.32terbo/V.fc US Robotics lines: (508) 368-3424 ======================================================================== COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME to the Readers of; STREPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit OnLine Magazine" NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY! CALL: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198 You will receive your complimentary time and be OnLine in no time at all! "Enjoy CompuServe's forums; where information is at its very best! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" LottoMan Results: 02/18/95: one 3# match and four 2# matches ---------------- > From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""" At about four pm today, I was scanning my E-Mail when lo and behold I saw there was a Flash Rom update waiting for me from ZEOS Computers. Version 10 for the Pantera P90 Coral MB. At a time when the whining about support is seemingly at an all time high, its nice to see that despite all the nasty remarks and dire threats flying everywhere companies are still moving forward with their sights set on quality support. While I am unsure of all the new refinements to this new Bios, I know I read about it fixing a random beep problem, I am sure there are other very spiffy refinements. Especially after having noticed a performance increase. Everything seems a bit "snappier" now. While I'm yapping about service.. It seems there's an epidemic going on at this time. An epidemic where the user feels he is "entitled" to unlimited hand-holding. In the last month, while researching other topics one could not help but notice the clamoring, moaning, threatening and otherwise ultra-immature carrying on coming from all over about various companies not jumping to the whiner's every call. Some went so far as to demand toll free numbers on the help lines. Its amazing. I am willing to wager that just about every one of the companies being hammered would love to; (a) hire many people specifically to handle these types of calls, (b) install dozens of "800" lines and generally "be there" at a moment's notice. Yessir, they'll do it but are the consumers ready to _pay_ for such "ultra top notch" service? Will they accept an increase in the price of the products to cover such services? Not a chance! Everything, from disks to mainframes is being deep-discounted all over the place. Since such is the case, then the "platinum" type serve must be "discounted" too. Especially if these firms are to stay in business. There is no such thing as a free lunch. I've watched a major computer manufacturer, a very well known modem manufacturer and a very popular hard disk manufacturer get hammered repeatedly and, for the most part, unfairly over the last six months. Strangely enough... sooner or later a number of the loudest mouths pop up rather sheepishly and apologize for having made such spectacles of themselves becuase they were too lazy to read the manuals. Things do have a way of fixing themselves... Such is the real world. During the past week, on one of the OnLine services, there appeared the ever present comments about "Windoze". One, in particular, stood out like a sore thumb because it literally reeked of sour grapes. It was in a MAC area and the author was crying about the old, worn out apple lament concerning "look and feel". You had to read this post to appreciate its real meaning. This guy was actually screaming out his alarm at the real possibility that Win'95 is going to be the Top Dog. Over NT.. over them all. Especially other platforms. Going to be top dog?? In my opinion, it already is. You see, I am now and have been using Win'95 for some six weeks already and its really very nice. It did my heart good to see The Courts throw out Apple's "never-ending" suit trying to kill Windows and others saying these products "look too much like theirs". This decision should put an end to the apple killing crusade. They should only know how much ill-will this particular effort earned the company. A number of lesser computer platforms seemingly died premature deaths due in part to apple's incessant litigation. Another of the now very worn out blahs.. Is the claims of Windows being slow and very buggy. In this regard.. I say its due, in most cases, to operator error and/or improper setup and installation. I can honestly state that with a careful installation I rarely see a GPF and my system literally flies. I do not believe I am so different from anybody else. I just paid attention to detail when I installed WFWG 3.11 and also in maintaining it now. While the "generalized" bad-mouthing continues, its not surprising that much of it comes from those who had an adverse learning experience with Windows 3.0 and are now using other formats. They'll all be back eventually. After they realize that playing around with the look-a-likes and wannabes is pure folly. Win'95 will take good care of that. Speaking of Win'95... MS is offering a preview program where the users may obtain a copy of Win'95 and begin using it in the next few weeks or so. People, believe this the multitasking is wonderful and fast even with three or four major applications up and running at the same time. The Plug-n-Play feature of Win'95 works well. It works like this... say Joe Glotz ambles on down to his favorite Chump US Computer outlet and buy the very latest gizmo. He brings it home connects it however it connects, either plugs or slot. Then, he tells Win'95 its there and that's it. Win'95 does the rest. All he need do is follow the prompts if any appear. In most cases they don't since all the info needed is already known by Win'95. Apple and its zealots have very good reason to be concerned. They thought they could copyright and patent knowledge. Will they ever learn? I doubt it. Ralph... Of Special Note: ---------------- STReport will be branching out further to Internet's userbase in the very near future. We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addresses. As a result, we're putting together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wish to receive STReport on a regular basis, and we'll UUENCODE each issue and mail it to you. If you're interested in being added to our mailing list, please, send your requests to either "firstname.lastname@example.org" or, RMARIANO@DELPHI.COM. Look for mailings to begin by October first. We are also considering a number of Internet ftp sites in which to post our issues for as well. Whatever we can do to make STReport available to you. we'll try it! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's Staff DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! """""""""""""""" Publisher -Editor """""""""""""""""" Ralph F. Mariano Lloyd E. Pulley, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors """"""""""""""" PC SECTION AMIGA SECTION MAC SECTION ATARI SECTION ---------- ------------- ----------- ------------- R.D. Stevens R. Niles J. Deegan D. P. Jacobson STReport Staff Editors: """"""""""""""""""""""" Michael Arthur John Deegan Brad Martin John Szczepanik Paul Guillot Joseph Mirando Doyle Helms Frank Sereno John Duckworth Jeff Coe Steve Keipe Guillaume Brasseur Melanie Bell Jay Levy Jeff Kovach Marty Mankins Carl Prehn Paul Charchian Contributing Correspondents: """""""""""""""""""""""""""" Dominick J. Fontana Norman Boucher Clemens Chin Eric Jerue Ron Deal Mike Barnwell Ed Westhusing Glenwood Drake Vernon W.Smith Bruno Puglia Paul Haris Kevin Miller Craig Harris Allen Chang Tim Holt Patrick Hudlow Tom Sherwin Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: CompuServe................... 70007,4454 Delphi......................... RMARIANO GEnie......................... ST.REPORT BIX............................ RMARIANO FIDONET........................ 1:112/35 FNET........................... NODE 620 ITC NET...................... 85:881/253 NEST........................ 90:21/350.0 America OnLine..................STReport Internet.............RMARIANO@DELPHI.COM IMPORTANT NOTICE ---------------- STReport, with its policy of not accepting any paid advertising, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Staff & Editors """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > STR INDUSTRY REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS """"""""""""""""""" IBM/POWER-PC/PC SECTION (I) =========================== Computer Products Update - CPU Report ------------------------ ---------- Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Issue #08 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. ******* General Computer News ******* >> IBM to Launch New ThinkPad << IBM's new ThinkPad 701C, featuring a large screen and a unique key- board that slides to full size when the machine is opened, will be launched by IBM next month. Reports say the machine "solves two major complaints -- tiny screens and cramped keys -- about devices known as subnotebook computers," which are defined as computers that weigh less than four pounds. The new unit also has a screen with a 10.4-inch diagonal measurement compared to 7-inch screen on earlier models. A ThinkPad 701C with a 486 chip running at 50 MHz and a 540 megabyte hard drive is expected to cost $5,000 when it goes on sale March 7. >> OS/2 Warp with WIN-OS2 Ships << IBM has released OS/2 Warp With WIN-OS2, an operating system upgrade for customers running OS/2 2.0, OS/2 2.1 or OS/2 2.11. OS/2 Warp With WIN-OS2, often referred to as "Fullpack," gives users of earlier versions of OS/2 the OS/2 Warp operating system with integ- rated and optimized Windows 3.1 application support. The product is being released simultaneously in more than 13 languages. The first edition of OS/2 Warp, announced last October, is aimed at users already running DOS and Windows on their PCs. IBM also says it has added improved Internet support to both OS/2 Warp and OS/2 Warp With WIN-OS2. OS/2 Warp With WIN-OS2 costs $199. OS/2 2.1 and 2.11 users can upgrade for $129. >> TI Sets Gigabit Chip Research << Texas Instruments and IMEC, an independent research and development organization based in Leuven, Belgium, say they are collaborating on re- search for an advanced lithography process that will allow TI to move from megabit-class memory chips to next-generation gigabit-class devices. The cooperative effort between TI and IMEC focuses on 0.18 micron photolithography process development. The research is being done at IMEC facilities in Belgium by both TI and IMEC researchers. The joint program between IMEC and TI is the first phase of an on- going lithography research program, says TI. Photolithography refers to creating the actual circuitry of a semi- conductor chip. Shrinking the size of structures on the silicon chip to only 0.18 micron in width allows manufacturers to put significantly more functions on a chip, enabling more compact and more powerful devices. TI notes that gigabit memory chips will be capable of holding the contents of today's typical PC hard disk. The technology will enhance future digital applications such as HDTV, video on demand and desktop videoconferencing. >> Fujitsu Buys Multimedia Company << For undisclosed terms multimedia company Future Vision Technologies Inc. has been acquired by the Fujitsu Microelectronics Inc unit. of Japanese electronics giant Fujitsu Ltd. The 5-year-old Future Vision will form the basis for the Fujitsu unit's new Graphics Products business, company officials said. Future Vision currently has a PC card on the market and will have a family of chips and other multimedia products on the market within six months. >> Hewlett-Packard Earnings Up 64% << Hewlett-Packard Co. has announced first quarter earnings that climbed 64% to $602 million (or $2.30 a share) from $358 million (or $1.42 a share) a year ago. Sales for the computer company that is second only to IBM Corp. were up 29% to $7.3 billion, compared to the $5.68 billion in the year-ago quarter. Domestic revenues gained 22% to $3.2 billion and foreign sales rose 34% to $4.1 billion. HP also announced a two-for-one stock split and a 33% dividend increase. The stock split is effective Mar. 24 and distribution of new shares will begin on April 13. >> Digital Introduces New Workstations << Digital Equipment Corp. today released two entry-level Alpha computer systems for the workstation market. Reports are that the new systems include the AlphaStation 200 4/100 priced at $4,991 and the AlphaServer 400 4/166, which sells for $9,980. Digital will sell both computers directly and through independent partners. >> Intel, Micron Eye Flash Memory << A cross-licensing agreement for flash memory chip technology has been signed by chipmakers Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Corp. Reports from Intel's offices saysthe firms have agreed to use each other's patents covering the design and manufacture of the memory devices, which are commonly used as a replacement for a hard disk in a portable computer. Sources say "Flash memory is typically built into a computer or a memory card as a way of distributing a large block of software to cus- tomers. It can be erased in blocks, making it easy for software to be upgraded." >> HP Offers New Vectra Model << A new model has been added to Hewlett-Packard Co.'s high-end Vectra desktop computer line. Officials from HP said the new Pentium-based Vectra XU 5/100C system comes with an estimated street price of $3,910 and is available now. HP said the computer offers advanced 3-D graphics and networking capabilities as well as dual processing support. >> Philips Denies Apple Takeover << Philips Electronics NV this week denied any interest in a takeover of Apple Computer Inc., stressing it will not rush into any multimedia expansion. Philips Chairman Jan Timmer firmly denied the rumors when he said in a news conference, "I deny we have any interest in Apple. It's just rumor. We take our time over serious acquisitions. We're not in a hurry." >> Technology Targets Disc Pirates << Chicago-based Disc Manufacturing Inc. (DMI), the U.S.'s largest inde- pendent CD manufacturer, has introduced ImageDisc, a new technology that aims to make CDs and CD-ROMs more difficult to counterfeit. The ImageDisc process produces holographic-like images visible on both sides of the disc, providing an extra measure of piracy deterrence as well as new opportunities for graphics and artistic product differentiation. According to the Software Publishers Association, CD-ROM piracy of business software alone resulted in worldwide losses of more than $7.4 billion in 1993. The ImageDisc process imprints available, non-data areas of the disc with digitally mastered artwork, such as a logo or label. To create these holographic-like images, DMI digitizes the customer's artwork and then produces an embedded image on the glass master disc. If desired, replicated discs can still feature silk-screened artwork or offset printing over the embedded images, adding to the visual effect and adding yet another level of deterrence. >> Dell's Profits More Than Triple << Dell Computer Corp. this week reported fiscal fourth quarter profits that more than tripled from the same period a year ago due largely to strong sales of notebook and higher-end computer systems based on the Pentium microprocessor. Reports say that for the quarter ended Jan. 29, Dell earned $60.3 million (or $1.36 a share), including a one-time benefit of about $5 million (or 10 cents a share) from an extra month of international operations. This compares with $17.7 million (or 39.9 cents a share) for the fourth fiscal quarter of 1994. Sales increased 39%, topping $1 billion for the first time as they rose from $742.9 million a year ago to $1.03 billion this most recent quarter. Reports say that systems based on Intel Corp.'s Pentium micropro- cessor represented 44% of worldwide systems sales, up from 32% in the third quarter. Controversy over a flaw in the Pentium chip apparently didn't hurt those sales. >> Hitachi Makes 1-Gigiabit DRAM << A one-gigabit DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chip, with a storage capacity above any other chip now on the market, has been developed by Hitachi Ltd. This followed news NEC Corp. also has developed a one-gigabit DRAM. Hitachi officials said the firm will start sample shipments of the memory chip in 2000 and mass production in 2002. They added the new chip will be suitable for use in future multimedia terminals such as video- on-demand terminals and mobile notebook computers. NEC has said it won't start mass production of its one-gigabit DRAM until 1999 at the earliest. >> Hyundai Buys NCR Division << South Korea's Hyundai has bought NCR Microelectronic Products Divi- sion unit that makes computer chips and other electronic devices. The unit has been renamed Symbios Logic Inc. Said Al Lofthus, site director in Colorado Springs, "We thought that Symbios represented two organisms working together for mutual benefit. We like that as the idea of what we're trying to do with our business partners and what we're doing with Hyundai." Bean notes National Cash Register was founded in 1884. The name changed to NCR 30 years later. >> Spreadsheet Utility Ships << Softool Corp. has introduced CCC QuikTrak, a program that helps users automatically keep track of the changes made to a spreadsheet, why the changes were made and how to get back to a prior version. CCC QuikTrak also provides comparison capabilities that allow users to compare changes between versions and identify the impact of those changes. Additionally, CCC QuikTrak works to saves disk storage space by storing only the changes between spreadsheet versions instead of duplicate copies of the entire file. The product appears as a pull-down menu in major spreadsheet programs, such as Microsoft Excel and Lotus 1-2- 3. CCC QuikTrak is available directly from Goleta, California-based Softool as well as leading distributors and resellers. The product's suggested retail price is $99. >> New NEC PC Models Make Debut << NEC Technologies Inc. has added several new desktop PC models. The company's PowerMate V and VP desktop systems are being positioned as a line of low-end Intel 486- and Pentium processor-based systems for general office and corporate use. The models incorporate a PCI architecture and Desktop Management Interface (DMI) support. System prices range from $1,179 to $2,469. NEC is also shipping the Image P90D, a 90MHz Pentium- based slimline expandable desktop PC, as well as Image P90E and Image P100E dual processor mini-tower models. The systems are designed to meet the needs of corporate power users. NEC notes that Image P Series combines powerful processors, asset management and security options and the latest in multimedia capabilities. System prices range from $2,119 to $5,089. >> Telecommunications Sales Soaring << Fuelled by demand for high technology services, sales of U.S. telecommunications equipment and software are seen rising 15% to 16% a year. That forecast comes out of new research by the North American Tele- communications Association, whose 1995 review finds demands for elec- tronic conferencing, networking, and intelligent telephony are driving the market, which was worth $63 billion in 1994. 1994 specifics from the study: -:- Data communications equipment grew 17.6% -:- Computer and phone integration software sales rose 19% -:- Markets for equipment should soar to $96 billion in 1997 from $44.8 billion in 1990. -:- Teleconferencing, long impeded by lack of common standards, should be a market worth $5 billion by 1997. -:- The mobile communications industry should generate equipment sales of $600 million in revenues by the year 1997. >> Faked Microsoft Software Seized << West Coast authorities say they are continuing to break up a software counterfeiting ring that cost Microsoft Corp. $3.3 million in sales. Earlier this week, sheriff's deputies in Alhambra, California, un- covered software packages, computers and certificates of authenticity in an unoccupied home. The raid was the latest assault in a six-month software counter- feiting investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Four men were arrested Friday and booked for investigation of conspiracy to commit counterfeiting. Each was held on $1 million bail. Deputy Mark Bailey said the raids the same day at seven Los Angeles County locations turned up a variety of duplication materials and another factory used to manufacture pirated software disks. Bailey said, "Inside was sufficient machinery to manufacture and package the final product. The business location was a printing company that produced 83,000 manuals of instruction." He added that also seized were 200 completed counterfeit software packages, printing plates for instruction manuals, $64,000 cash, three handguns and an assault rifle. The seized software was valued at $2 million. >> Apple Claims Gates Threatened << Apple Computer Inc. has alleged that top Microsoft Corp. officials, including Chairman and CEO Bill Gates, threatened to withhold crucial software in an attempt to bully Apple into withdrawing lawsuits against Microsoft, as well as halting a competing technology development effort. Wall Street Journal reporters Don Clark and Viveca Novak report that two of the threats to Apple were delivered in person by Gates at a Jan. 13 meeting with Apple CEO Michael Spindler. Apple alleged in court that Microsoft only agreed to give the company an early version of the Windows 95 operating system after a Saturday night telephone call from assistant Attorney General Anne Bingaman, who negotiated the controversial antitrust settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Microsoft Corp. (The Justice Department confirmed for The Wall Street Journal that Bingaman did call Microsoft's lead attorney to discuss the firm's refusal to give Apple access to Windows 95.) These latest allegations have been sent by letter to U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin, who is reviewing the antitrust settlement, as well as in sworn declarations of five Apple executives. The documents have been filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. Apple has argued that the episode shows Microsoft can't be trusted to abide by the proposed settlement. Mike Maples, a Microsoft vice president, said Bingaman's call had no influence on the company's decision to give Apple a copy of Windows 95. He also denied threatening Apple, although he admitted Microsoft did ask Apple for cooperation on litigation in return for giving it Windows 95. >> CERT Warns of New Internet Crack << Federally funded network watchdogs at the Computer Emergency Response Team have issued a public warning about a new weakness they've discover- ed that could leave more than half of the host computers on the Internet vulnerable to electronic break-ins. CERT says the security lapse could let vandals commandeer Internet computers that use the UNIX operating system, specifically a program that manages electronic mail. Reports say that the new 'hole' could let hackers shut down elect- ronic-information sites that hundreds of companies have set up on the World Wide Web, a multimedia portion of the Internet. The vulnerability allows an intruder "to penetrate a hole in nearly 20 commonly used electronic-mail programs," then, according to an advisory that went up on the network last night, "read any file on the system, overwrite or destroy files." >> University Bans Internet Newsgroup << Access to an Internet "child pornography" newsgroup has been prohibited for students and teachers using campus computers at Michigan State Uni-versity. Officials are quoted as saying they don't know whether actual porn was available, "although there had been at least one complaint about an explicit photo of a 2-year-old." Reports say The decision to block the newsgroup was based only on the title because it suggested illegal activity." University officials com- pared the "child pornography" newsgroup to other blocked Internet mes- sage groups whose descriptions imply illegal action, such as "where to buy drugs." >> Supreme Court Rejects Apple Suit << Apple Computer Inc. this week lost its bid to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate its massive copyright lawsuit against rivals Microsoft Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Inc. Without comment, the court turned down Apple's argument that Microsoft's Windows software and HP's NewWave program improperly copied the screen display design of its Macintosh system. The high court decision appears to have ended seven years of litigation between the parties. __________________________________________________ > Frankie's Corner STR Feature """""""""""""""""""""""""""" The Kids' Computing Corner -------------------------- by Frank Sereno Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey Dual format CD-rom for Macintosh and Windows ages 5 to 7 suggested retail $99 from The Learning Company 6493 Kaiser Dr. Fremont, CA 94555 510-792-2101 IBM Requirements Macintosh Requirements ---------------- ---------------------- CPU: 386/25 CPU: Mac Color Classic RAM: 4 megs RAM: 4 megs Video: 16-color VGA (256 SVGA rec.) Video: 256-color Hdisk: 1 meg Hdisk: 1 meg CD-ROM: Double-speed CD-ROM: Double-speed OS: Windows 3.1 OS: System 7.0.1 Misc: Sound card, mouse "Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey" is a stimulating and entertaining program designed to build children's phonics and reading skills. It will entertain and teach children for many hours of learning fun. The program consists of forty small books which tell the tale of Reader Rabbit and friends as they journey to find a kingdom for Sam the Lion. Two books are available in each of the twenty Letter Lands. In each Letter Land, various objects beginning with the letter can be clicked on to start humorous animations. A Skill House is featured in every Letter Land as well. Children will do three exercises in each Skill House. Upon completing a number of exercises in each Letter Land, children will then progress to the next land. The interface is very simple. The child will enter his name in the log. After a short introductory animation, the Reading Journey begins. As each Letter Land begins, Reader Rabbit will read a short poem featuring the letter of the land. Reader Rabbit and his friends, Mit and Sam will be shown on a path. A sign is the button for entering the Skill House. Clicking on Reader Rabbit shows a map of the journey. Sam the Lion will give game hints if he is clicked upon. Mit the Mouse provides help. The help is displayed as text boxes but the program will say the words when the boxes are clicked upon. The storybooks are accessed by clicking on the books on the path. A Program Options Pad (POP) is available in the lower right-hand portion of the screen. Options include turning off the narration of the stories and increasing the percentage level needed to leave a Letter Land. Reader Rabbit will state the title and give a synopsis upon the start of each storybook. He will then pronounce a short list of vocabulary words which will be used in the story. As each page is turned, it will be narrated. The words will be highlighted as they are pronounced. Once the page has been ready, the child can click on the black and white illustration to colorize it. The child can click on individual words to hear them pronounced or click on the characters on the bottom of the page to hear the entire page again. As the child advances through the Letter Lands, the vocabulary will gradually become more complex and the pages will contain more words. The Skill Houses will teach children about phonics and word meanings. There are four Skill House hosts and each teaches different lessons. Nanny Toucanny teaches word sounds, Mit the Monkey teaches rhyming words, Ben the Ant teaches word meanings and Roc Fish teaches word recognition. All words used in the Skill Houses are used in the stories. Audible help is available by clicking on the host. The program tracks wrong answers so children will be asked about that word in later activities. Each host provides enthusiastic encouragement for correct answers and gentle negative feedback for incorrect answers. The graphics for "Reading Journey" are outstanding. Each screen is filled with vibrant colors and detailed characters. Animations are smooth and lifelike. The only flaw is that the character's lips are not synched with the audio track. The sound is top-notch. The voice characterizations are done as well as any animated cartoon. Each voice is distinct and easily understood. Regional dialects and proper emotional pitch adds to the realism of the voices. The program does not use a lot of music but it is done excellently. The tunes are bright and varied. Sound effects are used to great effect and are digitized with no distortion. The interface is excellent. Audible help is available in all sections of the program. The program even provides a parent's guide within the POP. The included user manual is very concise but it does contain an excellent troubleshooting guide. Technical assistance is available via a toll call. "Reading Journey" also paperback versions of each of the forty stories so that the child can practice reading while away from the computer. Play value is very good. I feel that most children will spend many hours exploring the twenty Letter Lands. The program is filled with many humorous touches which entertain both child and adult. Educational value is excellent. This program will enable most children to read with comprehension by insuring children's success and the lower levels and gradually increasing the difficulty and complexity of the vocabulary and sentences. Bang for the Buck is very good. If this program has any real shortcoming, it is its high retail price. I have seen the program discounted to around $69 but that still leaves it the high end of preschool educational software. Two points are important to remember. First, reading is a priceless skill for a person to have at any age. Second, The Learning Company backs this product with a 30-day unconditional guarantee. If you are dissatisfied with this product, you are simply required to return it with proof of purchase and your reasons for the return. You can choose to get a refund or exchange it for titles of equal value. "Reader Rabbit's Interactive Reading Journey" is an incredible mix of entertainment combined with fun learning exercises. I highly recommend this program. Ratings ------- Graphics ........... 9.5 Sounds ............. 9.5 Interface .......... 9.5 Play Value ......... 9.0 Educational Value ..10.0 Bang for the Buck .. 9.5 Average ............ 9.5 ___________________________________________ > ART FESTIVAL STR InfoFile """"""""""""""""""""""""" WINTER PARK SIDEWALK ART FESTIVAL OFFERS VIRTUAL SHOW ON COMPUSERVE One of the finest and most prestigious outdoor fine arts shows in the southeastern United States, the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Fesitval attracts over 300,000 people during three days. The central Florida show, to be held this year from March 17-19, will feature exhibits by over 250 artists competing in 9 categories: Oils and Acrylics, Watercolor, Drawings and Graphics, Photography, Metal, Clay, Glass, Sculpture and other media. An online exposition of the 36th Annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is now underway in two forums on the CompuServe Information Service: the Fine Art Forum (GO FINEART), "Winter Park ArtFest" (#22) and "WPAF Focus" (#23) sections, and the Florida Forum (GO FLORIDA), "Winter Park ArtFest" (#20) section. The Fine Art Forum focuses on the arts and techniques of the old masters, as well as local and regional traditional-media artists. The world's first online art gallery, it also represents physical galleries, museums and agencies online, most notably Mill Pond Press. The Florida Forum provides CompuServe subscribers and Florida residents a useful area of information to be used in the planning of a Florida visit or vacation, and about the state as a whole. The 'Go Graphics' Group, Inc., an Orlando-based corporation, offers professional online management of data, images, databases, information and related services through the CompuServe Information Service. Most noted is their work in supporting the popular GIF and JPEG graphics standards. 'Go Graphics' also handles the online presentation of multimedia, animation, full-motion video, page replication and other customized services for its clients. In addition to the Graphics Forums on CompuServe (GO GRAPHICS), they also manage a wide variety of special-interest forums, including the Cooks Online Forum (GO COOKS), the Dinosaur Forum (GO DINOFOR), the Florida Forum (GO FLORIDA), the Living History Forum (GO LIVING), the Vegetarian Forum (GO VEGETARIAN), and, most notably, the free Missing Children Forum (GO MISSING) in cooperation with CompuServe and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 'Go Graphics' also specializes in the customized design and day-to-day online management of an interactive area and database on behalf of major clients such as Archive Photos, Multimedia Graphics Network, Mill Pond Press and Energy Productions. Established in 1979, the CompuServe Information Service provides its worldwide membership of more than 2.5 million with databases and services to meet both business and personal interests. CompuServe can be accessed by any modem-equipped personal computer or Macintosh utilizing the CompuServe Information Manager(R) (available for Windows, Macintosh, OS/2 and DOS) or general communications software. In addition to the CompuServe Information Service, CompuServe Incorporated provides frame relay, wide and local area networking services, electronic mail and business information services to major corporations worldwide. CompuServe is an H&R Block company. Contact: Matt Drury, 'Go Graphics' email@example.com 407/658-2687 voice 407/282-0319 fax Harold L. Downing, WPSAF 407/875-0033 voice 407/875-0044 fax ___________________________________________ > STR InfoFile """""""""""" KODAK ADDS PRINTABLE DISCS TO LINE OF WRITABLE CD MEDIA ======================================================= SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 7, 1995--Customers who purchase KODAK Writable CD media with the INFOGUARD Protection System can now easily identify their discs using a new version having a special ink receptive surface. The new media, announced by Kodak today at Intermedia '95, can be custom labeled using ink-jet printers to provide a professional looking appearance, or with felt-tip markers for simplicity and convenience. The top (non-recording) surface of the new discs is blank, making the full area available for disc printing. Discs can be labeled with text, graphics, logos, or bar codes using popular work processing or graphics software and any compatible ink-jet printer. The disc identification number, (a unique feature of the KODAK INFOGUARD Protection System), etched in machine-readable bar code and human- readable numerals, is also clearly visible near the inside of the disc. The blank surface allows users to label their discs by printing text, graphics, logos or bar codes using popular word processing or graphics software and any compatible single or multicolor CD ink-jet printer. The discs can be printed using single or multiple color ink-jet printers.* "Just as the recording side of a KODAK disc performs extremely well in a wide range of CD writers, the non-recording side can be used in a variety of CD printers," said Larry Zimmer, program manager, CD Media in Kodak's Digital and Applied Imaging unit. "Customers can print on the new KODAK discs with excellent image quality, fast drying times and a well-bonded image to withstand frequent handling. The high quality appearance of the printed surface reflects the high value of the content of the disc." Zimmer explained that the printable discs are a natural extension of Kodak's Writable CD product strategy, which targets customers in medium- and high-volume CD-recordable (CD-R) applications. Products include the KODAK PCD Writer 600, the world's fastest CD writer (that can write an entire 63-min disc in 10 minutes), the PCD Writer 225 and the KODAK Disc Transporter, a robotics device that enables unattended recording of up to 75 discs at a time. "Many of our customers produce custom CDs in quantity, which they need to personalize for their external customers or label for internal tracking and distribution," Zimmer said. "Kodak's printable media provides our customers a new option for labeling these discs-- an option that gives the discs a professional look when used with an appropriate printer." KODAK Writable CD media with the INFOGUARD Protection System is also available with distinctive Kodak red and black trade dress, or can be custom screen printed to user specifications. The media is available in "63-minute" (580 megabyte) and "74-minute" (680 megabyte) storage capacities. INFOGUARD Protection System --------------------------- All KODAK Writable CD media incorporate the same unique design features that together comprise the INFOGUARD Protection System. Along with the unique identification number described above, those features include: >>> A carefully selected, highly stable dye chemistry that resists fading from light, heat, and humidity resulting in optimum data integrity; >>> A protective coating that resists scratches, dirt, rough handling, or other common mishaps that may damage the disc's readability; >>> A surface design that resists fingerprints, allowing discs to maintain a "like-new" appearance after handling; and >>> The ability to record well at speeds from 1X through 6X. Pricing, Availability --------------------- The new printable discs will be available in March, and will be sold in bulk packs of 200 discs. The 63-minute and 74-minute media have a suggested list price of $17.95 and $19.95 per disc respectively. Kodak may offer other packaging options in the future, such as individual discs packaged in jewel cases, if the market demands. For more information on KODAK Writable CD products, customers in the U.S. may call 800/CD-KODAK, or 800/235-6325. Information also is available on the Kodak forum on CompuServe (GO KODAK). (Note: Kodak and InfoGuard are trademarks.) * Kodak makes no representation with respect to the freedom to use ink-jet printers with this product. ___________________________________________ > HAYES! STR FOCUS! OPTIMA & ACCURA UPGRADES NOTICES EXTENDED! """"""""""""""""" UPDATE!!!! -- 25 Feb, 1995 -------------------------- The upgrade program for existing V.FC owners has been extended from the March 1st date listed in the press release below to June 1, 1995!! HAYES ANNOUNCES ACCURA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX ========================================== Hayes Low-Cost 28.8 kbit/s Modem Now has V.34 Capability ATLANTA, GA, 1 November 1994 --Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. today announced Hayes ACCURA 28800 V.34/V.FC + FAX modem with ITU-T V.34 capabilities. ACCURA 288 V.34/V.FC, Hayes fast, low-cost modem for personal and home office use, is shipping in the United States and Canada for US$299 and CDN$479. "ACCURA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX is ideal for home and small office users who are looking for a low-cost modem that will serve their specific needs," Hayes President Dennis C. Hayes said. "Compatibility is an important issue for home and small office users and Hayes high-speed ACCURA 288 now incorporates ITU-T V.34 and V.FC technology for maximum interoperability." Beginning 1 December and running through 1 March 1995 Hayes is offering a free upgrade to ACCURA 288 V.FC + FAX and OPTIMA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX users if they purchase an additional ACCURA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX or OPTIMA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX modem. Customers must purchase the same type of modem as the modem that they wish to upgrade in order to qualify for this special offer. Customers who do not wish to purchase an additional modem can upgrade to V.34 for US$49 before the 1 March 1995 deadline. ACCURA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX transfers data up to 115,200 bit/s using data compression and can be used for transferring large files and remote computing. "This product is positioned for the price conscious buyer who doesn't need the additional speed and operating cost savings available with Hayes OPTIMA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX. ACCURA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX is sold through the rapidly expanding retail and consumer channels to meet the needs of this particular market segment", Hayes explained. This external data + fax modem supports ITU-T V.34 and V.Fast Class (V.FC) for 28,800 bit/s data transmission; ITU-T V.42 error-control; V.42bis data compression featuring Hayes superior implementation for up to 4:1 maximum data compression for 115,200 bit/s; and Group 3 fax using V.17 for 14,400 bit/s fax transmission. The product is fully compatible with the installed base of V.32bis (14.4 kbit/s), V.32 (9600 bit/s), V.22bis (2400 bit/s), and V.22 (1200 bit/s) modems. Hayes complements its high-speed modems with Hayes ESP Communications Accelerator, a 16-bit high-speed serial card with either single or dual ports. Hayes ESP solves many of the system problems associated with using high-speed modems such as data loss, limited throughput, and poor Windows performance. ESP can enhance the performance of other high-speed serial devices such as printers, plotters and scanners. To prevent data loss, Hayes ESP provides dual 1024-byte send and receive buffers which increase the amount of data that can be buffered before the computer's processor must retrieve it. In addition, automatic flow control signals the modem to stop sending data if the buffers become full. The dedicated communications coprocessor helps provide maximum modem throughput and system performance by reducing the number of interrupts required by the computers main processor to process the transmitted data. ACCURA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX comes with Smartcom for Windows LE and Smartcom FAX for Windows LE communications software. The product's limited performance warranty is extended to five years to customers who register the product within 90 days of purchase in the U.S and Canada only. A two-year limited performance warranty is extended automatically at the time of purchase. Best known as the leader in microcomputer modems, Hayes develops, supplies and supports computer communications equipment and software for personal computers and computer communications networks. The company distributes its products in more than 65 countries through a global network of authorized distributors, dealers, mass merchants, VARs, systems integrators and original equipment manufacturers. Hayes, ACCURA, Smartcom, and ESP are trademarks of Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Other trademarks mentioned are trademarks of their respective companies. HAYES ANNOUNCES OPTIMA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX ========================================== Hayes High-Speed Award Winning Modem Now has V.34 Capability ATLANTA, GA, 1 November 1994 -- Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. today announced Hayes Smartmodem OPTIMA 28800 V.34/V.FC + FAX modem with ITU-T V.34 capabilities. OPTIMA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX, Hayes fastest modem with throughput capabilities up to 230,400 bit/s - more than a megabyte a minute - using up to 8:1 maximum data compression, is shipping in the United States and Canada for US$579 and CDN$699. "OPTIMA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX is the same award-winning OPTIMA 288 V.FC product that has been field tested for the last year. Now it incorporates V.34 technology," said Hayes President Dennis C. Hayes. "In a recent Gallup Poll, Hayes modems were named the brand of preference among Fortune 1000 companies -- all things being equal. With this product Hayes now offers the latest technology as designated by the ITU-T in our high-performance modem." "In the full year Hayes OPTIMA 288 V.FC + FAX has been on the market, it has been unchallenged in performance at compression speeds of up to 230,400 bit/s," Hayes added. "At a time when so much focus is placed on the cost of the product, buyers can benefit even more by looking at the speed of the product and the reduction in their line operating cost," Hayes explained. "With its superior 8 to 1 data compression and 230,400 bit/s operating speeds, OPTIMA 288 can save sufficient long distance charges to pay for itself within a single year...and thats on the average long distance call. When used for overseas business applications where $1 a minute is not unusual, the total cost of the OPTIMA 288 can be recovered in less than one month." Beginning 1 December and running through 1 March 1995 Hayes is offering a free upgrade to OPTIMA 288 V.FC + FAX users if they purchase an additional OPTIMA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX modem. Customers who do not wish to purchase an additional OPTIMA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX can upgrade their OPTIMA 288 V.FC + FAX modems for US$49 before the 1 March 1995 deadline. OPTIMA 288 V.34/V.FC + FAX is a high-performance solution for applications such as multi-media, remote node access to a LAN, shared modem access from a LAN, and transfer of large data files. In addition, the modem comes with Smartcom for Windows LE and Smartcom FAX for Windows LE communications software. This external data + fax modem supports ITU-T V.34 and V.Fast Class (V.FC) for 28,800 bit/s data transmission; ITU-T V.42 error-control; V.42bis data compression featuring Hayes superior implementation for up to 8:1 maximum data compression for 230,400 bit/s; and Group 3 fax using V.17 for 14,400 bit/s fax transmission. The product is fully compatible with the installed base of V.34 and V.FC (28,800 bit/s), V.32bis (14.4 kbit/s), V.32 (9600 bit/s), V.22bis (2400 bit/s), and V.22 (1200 bit/s) modems. The internal version of the modem, OPTIMA 288B V.34/V.FC + FAX will begin shipping in late December 1994 for US$499 and CDN$599. OPTIMA 288B V.34/V.FC + FAX comes complete with Hayes ESP Communications Accelerator built onto the internal board. Hayes complements its high-speed modem with Hayes ESP Communications Accelerator, a 16-bit high-speed serial card. Hayes ESP solves many of the system problems associated with using high-speed modems such as data loss, limited throughput, and poor Windows performance. ESP can enhance the performance of other high-speed serial devices such as printers, plotters and scanners. To prevent data loss, Hayes ESP provides dual 1024-byte send and receive buffers which increase the amount of data that can be buffered before the computers processor must retrieve it. In addition, automatic flow control signals the modem to stop sending data if the buffers become full. The dedicated communications coprocessor helps provide maximum modem throughput and system performance by reducing the number of interrupts required by the computers main processor to process the transmitted data. The modems limited performance warranty is extended to five years to customers who register the product within 90 days of purchase in the U.S. and Canada only. A two-year limited performance warranty is extended automatically at the time of purchase. Best known as the leader in microcomputer modems, Hayes develops, supplies and supports computer communications equipment and software for personal computers and computer communications networks. The company distributes its products in more than 65 countries through a global network of authorized distributors, dealers, mass merchants, VARs, systems integrators and original equipment manufacturers. Hayes, Smartmodem, OPTIMA, Smartcom, and ESP are trademarks of Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Other trademarks mentioned are trademarks of their respective companies. ______________________________________________ > Internet Jet STR InfoFile """"""""""""""""""""""""" Delphi Internet Jet v2.009 ========================== Introducing Delphi Internet Jet v2.009, a graphic interface for Delphi and a LOT more! It is *HIGHLY* recommended that you first download the file INTJET.TXT as this file informs you as to what files you need to run Internet Jet and how to set-up it up. You may already have some of these files and may not need to download all of them. Overview: --------- Delphi Internet Jet (or IntJet) is a Windows-based GUI that makes using Delphi easier than ever. IntJet is more than graphical front-end; it's also an off-line reader with features that include: Features: --------- * Scheduled Automatic Sessions. You can schedule IntJet to go out at some time and pick up mail, retrieve & deliver forum postings, check USENET newsgroups, etc. You can also tell it to check your mail every hour (or other time interval) or retrieve your monthly usage. * A Full-featured Mail Utility: Message quoting and reply functions are supported, and you can save frequently-used addresses in an e-mail 'address book' * Pre-configured Database of Delphi Forums and USENET newsgroups: Allows rapid at-a-glance selection of forums and newsgroups. * Forum Host Support: Change banners, topics, subjects, etc, as forum host via IntJet. * Internet Address Book: Allows you to store commonly accessed FTP sites, gopher servers, e-mail addresses and telnet sites. * User-Configurable Toolbar: Handy for recording commonly-used commands. * QWK-packet Support: Forum postings and USENET newsgroups are accessible via this popular format, allowing you to use your favorite QWK-packet-capable OLR. If you don't have a QWK packet-capable off-line reader, there are many shareware and freeware OLRs from which to choose. * Built-in SprintNet & TYMNET Phone Book: This allows fast setup and is a great help for anyone who needs to check Delphi while travelling. * Multiple User Profile Support: Do you have several accounts on Delphi? Would you like to store multiple telephone access numbers in case your preferred network provider is slow, busy, or unavailable? Would you like to save the connect configuration for several cities so you can easily connect to Delphi wherever you are? Multiple user profile support makes all this possible. * Built-in Modem Configuration Database for Rapid Setup * Supports Delphi Access from BOTH the US and the UK (Canada, too, eh!) * Product Support Via Custom Forum 267: Help is always available in Custom Forum 267. 267 is also the perfect place to suggest new features to add to IntJet. User suggestions have led to many of IntJet's features. PBE actively encourages user suggestions and regularly makes these suggestions a reality. * Automatic Bug Reporting: No program is perfect but very few programs handle their own imperfections as well as IntJet. IntJet has a built-in bug reporting feature that sends bug reports to PBE's customer support staff for prompt resolution! # Session logs are now archived (up to a total of 10) # USENET Newsgroup support (single-pass or double-pass retrieval) # Faster selection/deselection of forums System Requirements: -------------------- * Windows 3.1, 3.11 - WFWG 3.11 * VBRUN300.DLL; commonly available in both the PC databases or in the Custom Forum 267 database. * Any QWK-packet-capable OLR (only necessary for forum support) - there are several in both the PC databases and the Custom Forum 267 database. * PKZIP/PKUNZIP * DELPHI Account * Modem * 4 MB RAM Intjet 2009 is available on Delphi in custom area 267 and PC Computing. This program is a "must see" D/L your copy today. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N FARGO PRIMERA PRO COLOR PRINTERS - 600DPI For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates FARGO Primera & Primera Pro SUPERIOR QUALITY 600dpi 24 bit Photo Realistic Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's Fargo Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the FARGO Primera Pro has GOT to be the best yet. Its far superior to the newest of Color Laser Printers selling for more than three times as much. Its said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. Send for this sample now. Guaranteed you will be amazed at the superb quality. (please, allow at least a one week turn-around) A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. GENIE Information Services copyright 1995 by General Electric Information Services/GENIE, reprinted by permission """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ___ ___ _____ _______ /___| /___| /_____| /_______/ The Macintosh RoundTable /____|/____| /__/|__| /__/ ________________________ /_____|_____|/__/_|__|/__/ /__/|____/|__|________|__/ /__/ |___/ |__|_/ |__|_/____ Managed by SyndiComm /__/ |__/ |__|/ |__|______/ An Official Forum of the International Computer Users Group *** STReport available in MAC RT *** ASCII TEXT for ALL GENIE users! MAC/APPLE SECTION (II) ====================== John Deegan, Editor (Temp) > THE SPECTACLE CONTINUES! STR FOCUS ...and in this corner. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" APPLE VS MS-INTEL-CANYON ======================== For any of you who are following the latest legal action in the Apple vs ... in the video area, here's MicroSoft's statement on their support for developers using their products. Microsoft Message Follows: -------------------------- Sb: MSFT & Developer Support Fm: Rick Segal[Microsoft] 76276,2706 To: ALL Hello. Developers from all over the world have been asking about our response to the Apple Video Lawsuit. Here it is. Bottom line: Microsoft will not abandon it's developers. We care about every developer that uses Microsoft Product. This is a copy of the letter that has gone out to our developers. You are free to cross post this anywhere on any forum/BBS or NewsGroup. Thank you, Rick Segal, Manager Developer Relations firstname.lastname@example.org --------------- Microsoft Stands Behind Video for Windows Dear Developer: You may have been confronted in recent days with incomplete information from Apple Computer Inc. concerning Microsofts Video for Windows (VFW) Software Developer Kit. I want you to know that Microsoft stands behind its products and the developers that use our SDKs to produce their own great products. Because of Apples aggressive PR campaign on this subject, it becomes necessary for us to clarify our position. Microsoft has only just received information to enable us to begin to evaluate Apples case against The San Francisco Canyon Company, Intel and Microsoft. Microsoft today told the court, "In light of Canyons 1993 assignment to Intel, there are serious questions regarding whether Apple in fact owns the code on which its claim is based." This and other fundamental facts are in question in the case. Despite such questions, Apple seeks to rush its case to judgment. Intel and Microsoft are seeking, and Apple is resisting, expedited discovery in the lawsuit in order to fully explore these and other issues which Apple ignores in its statements to you and the press. To that effect, Microsoft announces the following: . First, we will aggressively defend VFW 1.1d against Apples lawsuit. . Second, if Apple files a lawsuit against you or any other developer for the distribution of VFW 1.1d, Microsoft will defend you. We will stand behind you in your use of Video for Windows and your support of the Windows platform. If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to email email@example.com. Brad Silverberg Roger Heinen Senior Vice President Senior Vice President Microsoft Microsoft **** :News Flash: ---------- FORTUNE On COMPUSERVE Exclusive: Look in FFORUM -- Section 1 News & Views To Read Apple's Letter to Federal Judge Sporkin Accusing Microsoft of Bullying Tactics. The simmering, decade-old rivalry between Apple Computer and Microsoft is boiling over. On February 13, the day before Judge Stanley Sporkin made his now famous decision to strike down the Justice Department's controversial anti-trust consent decree with Microsoft, Apple Computer delivered an envelope of documents to the judge's chambers. Those papers, which Judge Sporkin quietly placed in the public record of the case on Tuesday, February 21, give details of what Apple called anticompetitive practices of Microsoft in recent weeks. The papers include an incendiary account of a January 13 meeting in which, Apple asserts, Bill Gates personally threatened Apple CEO Michael Spindler that Microsoft would stop developing applications software for Apple's Macintosh if Apple didn't abandon its work on a software development tool called OpenDoc. Microsoft is developing a similar object- oriented development tool, OLE, that it hopes to make an industry standard. Microsoft's reaction to the letter was terse. Senior vice president Bill Neukom told Fortune late Wednesday night: "If the Apple believes it has some legal concerns about how Microsoft does business, they know how to find Microsoft and its law department. They haven't approached us yet." As a service to its Compuserve subscribers, FORTUNE is posting a electronic copy of the full text of the cover letter that accompanied the Apple court filing. It summarizes the company's provocative allegations. For a glimpse of the *real* Silicon Valley, go to News & Views in the Fortune Forum. (GO FFORUM) The letter was written by Apple's vice president, general counsel and secretary, Edward B. Stead. **** Apple Lawsuit Regarding Microsoft Video For Windows: Q & A, February 21, 1995 Q1: What is Microsoft's comment concerning the recent Apple lawsuit regarding Video For Windows? A: Microsoft has done nothing wrong. As a result, we are disappointed that Apple has chosen to take this matter to court rather than resolve it through constructive discussion. For over two months, Microsoft has attempted to resolve this matter with Apple, but Apple has remained intransigent. Further, Microsoft would like to make it clear that we will defend our products, protect our customers and insulate our developers from the impact of Apple s legal actions. Microsoft has issued a letter to developers outlining our commitment. In particular, the letter states if Apple sues any developer over use and distribution of Microsoft Video For Windows 1.1d Microsoft will defend any such lawsuit. Q2: Apple has demanded developers join the QuickTime amnesty program and stop using Video For Windows 1.1d. What is Microsoft doing about this? A: We are defending our developers and vigorously contesting Apple s lawsuit. Apple appears to be using this lawsuit and the attendant PR campaign to compel developers to switch from Video For Windows to Apple QuickTime for Windows. We think developers should be free to base their product decisions on superior technology and customer preference, not on litigation tactics or implicit threats. Microsoft stands behind Video For Windows. If Apple files a lawsuit against any developer for the distribution of Video For Windows 1.1d, Microsoft will defend that developer. Q3: What should third party developers who use Video For Windows 1.1d do? A: Developers should evaluate Apple s actions - including the amnesty program - on the merits and in the proper context. That is, Apple has asked developers to support QuickTime For Windows by implying that, if developers don t, they will be sued. Microsoft s response is we stand by our product, and we stand by our developers and customers. Q4: Why did Apple file suit now? A: You should ask Apple. The pattern of events suggests that Apple felt they were better served by the publicity and confusion generated by a lawsuit than by providing Microsoft the basic information necessary to evaluate Apple s claims and work constructively to resolve any disputes. It is unfortunate that Apple has chosen to communicate incomplete and misleading information to gain the public spotlight. Q5: Did you try to settle this matter with Apple? A: Repeatedly. As soon as Apple sued Canyon, we suggested to Apple to meet with us on this matter. Instead, Apple chose to steamroll a smaller, relatively defenseless party (Canyon) and refuse, for over six weeks, to meet. When we finally did meet, we made three reasonable requests of Apple: tell us exactly what code you believe is being misused; provide evidence of ownership of that code by Apple; and, if in fact there is a problem, propose a reasonable remedy. Apple refused to address our requests. They refused to identify what Apple code was being infringed, much less reasonably demonstrate ownership of any code. Yet they demanded that Microsoft cease all distribution of any infringing code, and that the code be recalled from both Microsoft and third party products. Without reasonably specific information it was impossible for Microsoft to determine whether there was a real problem, what action should be taken or how to even proceed with Apple to come to any resolution. In the weeks that followed, Apple continued to stall. In fact, while Microsoft executives continued to pursue business discussions on the Monday and Tuesday prior to the Thursday filing of the lawsuit, the Apple PR machine was finalizing a carefully orchestrated publicity campaign. We were surprised that Apple chose to file suit without giving the discussions a chance to succeed. Q6: Exactly what code is involved? A: This is what we would like to know. What we do know is Microsoft licensed some low level driver code from Intel that Microsoft modified and included in Video For Windows 1.1d. Intel apparently used Canyon as a subcontractor to develop some portion of that code. Apple had apparently also used Canyon as a contractor to develop portions of QuickTime for Windows. Apple claims that some of the driver code which Canyon developed for Intel had originally been developed for Apple. The code that appears to be in question is low-level assembly code which programs the registers of specific graphics chips. Generally this code is derived from the reference manuals, data books, and sample code which is provided by the graphics chip vendors. It is not clear at this point as to the origin and the ownership of the code in question. Q7: Where is the disputed code found? A: The disputed code is contained in a file called DCISVGA.DRV. This driver is called by the implementation of DCI ( Display Control Interface ) that is part of Video For Windows 1.1d. Q8: What is DCI? A: DCI is an open specification published by Microsoft and Intel to guide hardware manufacturers in building display subsystems. DCI is particularly focused upon the requirements of digital video. DCI extends the benefits of Microsoft s Direct Video Access ( DVA ) technology that first appeared in Video For Windows 1.1 into a broader range of video hardware. The primary difference between DCI and DVA is that the DCI implementation in Video For Windows 1.1d supports some additional chipsets and is an open specification which allows third parties to write their own drivers to be supported. Q9: Why did you continue to ship the disputed code after Apple sued Canyon? A: We licensed the code from Intel and therefore believed, and continue to believe, that the code belongs to Intel, not Apple. To date, Apple has not provided evidence that disproves this. It was also not at all clear what code was at issue. As stated above, Apple refused to provide any reasonable information on the matter. Further, not being a party to the litigation with Canyon, Microsoft did not have access to the discovery produced to Apple. Since we had licensed the code from a reputable and sophisticated party, Intel, the appropriate course seemed to be to continue with our business as usual and not react to unsubstantiated allegations and threats. Q10: Why did Apple s videotape show a performance difference between Video For Windows 1.1a and Video For Windows 1.1d? A: Video For Windows 1.1d added support for two graphics chips that were not supported in prior releases. Apple s demonstration videotape was carefully crafted to choose a graphics chip which was not supported in Video For Windows 1.1a. Had Apple chosen to use one of the many graphics chips already supported in earlier versions of Video For Windows, the tape would have shown comparable performance between Video For Windows 1.1a and Video For Windows 1.1d. Apple s use of this videotape misleads viewers into thinking that the performance difference is due to some change in underlying technology, rather than addition of a driver which supports the graphics chip running the video. On either QuickTime For Windows or Video For Windows, running a video on an unsupported graphics chip results in poor performance. We have created a similar videotape demonstration which shows an .AVI file playing on a 486/66 PC (similar to the configuration used by Apple in its tape) under Windows for Workgroups 3.11 with an ATI Mach32 VLB video card. The Microsoft videotape clearly demonstrates that there is little, if any, performance difference between Video For Windows 1.1a and Video For Windows 1.1d. This tape was shown to the court last Friday. Q11: How are Video for Windows and DCI being distributed? A: The code which Microsoft licensed from Intel is included in Video For Windows 1.1d and the DCI 1.0 DDK ( Device Driver Kit ). Video For Windows 1.1d is a developer toolkit. Software developers would use this toolkit to create products to capture, edit, and playback digital video. Graphics hardware developers would use the DCI toolkit to create device drivers. These toolkits are distributed through the same mechanisms that are used for other Microsoft developer tools. This includes electronic sources such as CompuServe and Microsoft's Internet FTP server, as well as on CD-ROMs like the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and the Jumpstart 2.0 CD. This is the typical way in which Microsoft distributes such tools. The Video For Windows 1.1d toolkit comes with a license that permits developers to redistribute certain runtime files in object code form, including the DCISVGA.DRV file mentioned above. The code in question was not distributed with versions of Video for Windows prior to version 1.1d. Q12: Isn t QuickTime the only cross platform digital video standard? A: No. Starting with Video for Windows 1.1, Microsoft has shipped a converter for the Macintosh to allow users and developers to use their Video for Windows movies on the Macintosh and to convert their QuickTime movies to Video for Windows. We have continued to improve this support. We recently announced our intention to support the Video for Windows file format on Apple systems without conversion. Q13: What Microsoft titles include the allegedly infringing code? A: We are still completing our investigation in this respect. Q14: Will Apple's suit affect shipment of any Microsoft products? A: We have not stopped shipment of any products. Q15: What happens next? A: Apple has filed for a preliminary injunction to prohibit us from shipping the code in question. The hearing on that is scheduled for March 30. Q16: What if I have questions not answered in this document? A: If you have any further questions, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Apple and Macintosh are registered trademarks and QuickTime is a trademark o f Apple Computer, Inc. CompuServe is a registered trademark of CompuServe, Inc. ********************************************************************** IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= STReport International OnLine Magazine is available every week for your reading pleasure on DELPHI. STReport's readers are invited to join DELPHI and become a part of an extremely friendly community of enthusiastic computer users there. SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN --DELPHI -------------- Via modem, dial up DELPHI at 1-800-695-4002 then... When connected, press RETURN once or twice and... At Password: type STREPORT and press RETURN. DELPHI's 20/20 Advantage Plan 20 Hours for Only $20! ----------------------------- Advantage Members have always enjoyed the lowest DELPHI access rates available. On the new 20/20 Advantage Plan, members receive their first 20 hours of access each month for only $20. If you happen to meet someone OnLine or find some other diversion, don't worry because additional usage is only $1.80 per hour. 20/20 Advantage rates apply for access via SprintNet or Tymnet from within the continental United States during home time or via direct dial around the clock. Home Time is from 6pm to 6am weekdays. Access during business time carries a surcharge of $9 per hour. These rates apply for most services, but note that there are some surcharged areas on DELPHI which are clearly marked with a "$" sign. Who is eligible to take advantage of the plan? Any DELPHI member in good standing. Applications are reviewed and subject to approval by Delphi Internet Services Corporation. It's easy to join. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply OnLine -- at any time -- for membership in the DELPHI 20/20 Advantage Plan. Your membership becomes active at 4 a.m. Eastern Time on the first billing day of the following month. The $20 charge will be billed to you at the beginning of the month to which it applies. Any portion of the 20 hours not used in any month does not carry forward into the next month. Advantage rates may be changed with 30 days notice given OnLine. TRY DELPHI FOR $1 AN HOUR! For a limited time, you can become a trial member of DELPHI, and receive 5 hours of evening and weekend access during this month for only $5. If you're not satisfied, simply cancel your account before the end of the calendar month with no further obligation. If you keep your account active, you will automatically be enrolled in DELPHI's 10/4 Basic Plan, where you can use up to 4 weekend and evening hours a month for a minimum $10 monthly charge, with additional hours available at $3.96. But hurry, this special trial offer will expire soon! To take advantage of this limited offer, use your modem to dial 1-800-365-4636. Press <RET> once or twice. When you get the Password: prompt, type IP26 and press <RET> again. Then, just answer the questions and within a day or two, you'll officially be a member of DELPHI! DELPHI-It's the BEST Value and getting BETTER all the time! -* ANNOUNCING: DELPHI INTERNET JET v2.009 *- -------------------------------------- Windows-based graphic interface for the otherwise text-only Delphi online service. In addition to providing the user with a graphic interface, Delphi Internet Jet can be configured to automatically gather Delphi Internet e-mail and forum messages, and place them into a QWK packet for the user's existing QWK mail reader! Complete instructions for setup, operation, Delphi membership, and a FREE five hour trial included in the INTJET.TXT file. ************************************************************ ATARI/JAG SECTION (III) ======================= Dana Jacobson, Editor > From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""""""""" ...and the luck keeps getting worse by the day!! I thought that I had a bad week up to when I had written last week's editorial comments. Then, Friday arrived! Don't ever drive on a highway, with your mother- in-law, and have your car die...literally! Fortunately, the state police arrived on the scene within a matter of minutes and saved me from the inevitable ramblings! Hmmm, maybe I should find a new car with low bucket seats, or a high pick-up!! Isn't having in-laws fun?! It's been a hectic week, so my thoughts are elsewhere this week. Let's just get to the news while I see what's left from the Presidents' Day auto sales! Until next time... _______________________________________________ Delphi's Atari Advantage! TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (2/22/95) (1) CAIN 1/95 (6) MGIF VERSION 4.2B (2) ONLY! VALENCY *(7) AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER (3) ERROR CODES AND BOMBS *(8) FEB 95 ATARI-USABLE CD-ROM (4) ST-GUIDE V.1.20 IN ENGLISH *(9) ASTERODIA - ARCADE GAME DEMO (5) ATARI E-MAIL LIST *(10) CD-RECORDER 1.00 * = New on list HONORARY TOP 10 The following on-line magazines are always top downloads, frequently out-performing every other file in the databases. STREPORT (Current issue: STREPORT 11.07) ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE (Current issue: AEO: VOLUME 4, ISSUE 2) Look for the above files in the RECENT ARRIVALS database. _________________________________________ > Lexicor Software! STR NewsFile! - DA Render Kit Announced! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Lexicor Software is proud to announce the release of DA Render Kit This package will enable you to play many animation file formats on your Atari system (SEQ, DLT, MOV, FLC, FLX, FLI, MPEG) and also help convert images from TIC, TIF, GIF, TGA, NEO, DEGAS into complete animation files. This system was originally designed for the use with Phoenix 2.0 and the Phase 4 package but can also be used with DA Render Studio and Inshape. One of its most powerful features is the successful implementation of sound into those movie files. Movie Compiler, a part of the DA Render Kit enables the user to incorporate AVR sound files in the animations. It offers frame exact detailed control of the sound and the film frame, thus it is possible to assign a soundtrack for 1, 50, 200 or any frame length. It is also possible to create title pages and have an introductory sound file with it turning your Atari into a computer home movie factory. DA Render Kit will not only play single animations and title pages, but will also allow the mixing of several animations (loading at separate times) at once or in part. Supports monochrome animations up to 24bit true color animations on the NOVA or any other graphics board. Yat @ Lexicor ____________________________________________ > STR NewsPlus """""""""""" -/- Baker Now Internet Tale Victim -/- Jake Baker -- the 20-year-old college student whose fantasy account of rape, torture and death prompted his arrest after he posted it on the Internet -- now himself has been named as the victim in a similarly posted story. Writer Tanith Tyrr, 25, of Richmond, California, told the Detroit Free Press her Internet fantasy was written in retaliation against Baker, a University of Michigan sophomore who was indicted by a federal grand jury earlier this week. Baker, who has appealed his Feb. 2 suspension from the university, was being held without bond pending arraignment on a federal charge of interstate transmission of a threat to injure. As reported, Baker, a Boardman, Ohio, resident, was charged because his graphic account carried on the Internet in January contained the real name of a woman from a class he took in the fall. He could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, if convicted. According to The Associated Press, in Tyrr's story, "she confronts Baker on a street, points a gun at him and tortures him before shooting him." AP says federal authorities in California have not commented on whether Tyrr might face the same charges as Baker, but "Tyrr, who claims to have written and edited pornography for five years, said she wasn't worried about being charged. 'I don't think anyone would think I was serious,' she said." Defense attorney Douglas Mullkoff contends Baker, also known as Abraham Jacob Alkhabaz, is being unfairly treated because his story was taken out of context and that he poses no threat. -/- Mitnick Arrest Points to Problem -/- Security risk to consumers and businesses in an increasingly networked world are underscored in this week's arrest of notorious computer intruder Kevin Mitnick, analysts say. President Jim Bidzos of RSA Data Security Inc. in Redwood Shores, California, told Martin Wolk of the Reuter News Service, "The bottom line is that it is entirely possible -- and there are a large number of people who know how to do it -- to have the run of your computers." As reported yesterday (GO OLT-221), FBI and local law officials arrested 31-year-old Mitnick in a predawn raid in Raleigh, North Carolina Authorities allege Mitnick stole 20,000 credit card numbers and billions of dollars worth of corporate information in a two-year spree of computer piracy. Says Reuters, "The case is particularly alarming as businesses rush to tap into the giant computer network ... Internet to publicize and sell their products. ... While electronic commerce is becoming an increasingly important component of the Internet, experts warn that pirates are lurking throughout cyberspace." On this point, Ron Pernick, marketing director of The WELL, said, "There's no such thing as 100 percent security on the Net. That's because of the nature of the Net -- it's about the exchange of information and ideas." Mitnick -- convicted of stealing $1 million in software from computer giant Digital Equipment Corp., and more recently, he was suspected in break-ins at Motorola Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. -- is "an especially bad dude," says Bob Kruger, director of enforcement at the Business Software Alliance, "but unfortunately he's not all that special. There are plenty of people who aspire to be Mitnick, and plenty of people out there who could give him a run for their money." Bidzos, whose company provides encryption devices, says Mitnick's long record of hacking success should serve as a warning to businesses with "Internet fever, adding, "If there's a cable that leads out the back of it, then it can be hacked from the outside." Reuters commented, "Previously computer security experts believed they could establish 'firewalls' between the Internet and the server computer that serves as a bridge to individual users and in-house company networks. But last year an attack on the San Diego Computer Center, which ultimately led to Mitnick's arrest, proved that hackers working through the Internet could masquerade as a known computer to gain access to the institution's internal network." -/- Mitnick Jailed Without Bond -/- Arrested fugitive computerist Kevin Mitnick, jailed in Raleigh, North Carolina, without bond, may use the phone to speak to his lawyers, his mother and his grandmother, but marshals or jailers must place and monitor the calls. As reported earlier, the 31-year-old Mitnick has been charged with computer fraud and illegal use of a phone access device and is accused of cracking security on some of the nation's most protected computers. Arrested by the FBI on Wednesday after a two-year manhunt, Mitnick appeared in court yesterday, but was not required to enter a plea yet. Prosecutors allege he commandeered cellular phone circuits to raid corporate computer systems and steal information worth more than $1 million, including at least 20,000 credit card numbers. Among Mitnick's alleged targets was the famed Sausalito, California, online service, The Well. "We're doing what we can, but it's impossible to give people the world with a fence around it," Well owner Bruce Katz told Associated Press writer Estes Thompson. Thompson says Mitnick's alleged security breach was so severe that Well technicians will have to rebuild the system, which has 10,000 users, from scratch next week. "We're actually going to have to go off the air for two full days to do it," Katz said, comparing it to evacuating a small town so police can search for bombs. "Since The Well was ravaged," Thompson writes, "it has moved all its internal communications and accounting systems behind a portion of its computer that the public can't reach. And a new password program going up next week will only let users chose 'strong passwords.'" Says Katz, "If people pick a word that's in the dictionary, it will tell them to find another." Meanwhile, security expert Tsutomu Shimomura, who led the high-tech posse that helped the FBI and Justice Department track down the suspect, has told the Reuter News Service that Mitnick may have been the world's most-wanted computer vandal, but he is far from the best. Speaking with Reuter's Colin Soloway, Shimomura says, "I don't think he's particularly good at this. I don't think in the great scheme of things he is particularly skilled. He could have done a lot more damage, could have been invisible doing it." Shimomura, a senior fellow at the San Diego Supercomputing Center who was one of the alleged victims of Mitnick's attacks, said that in the end it wasn't that hard to catch him. "It was very straightforward," Shimomura said, adding that once he and his colleagues discovered Mitnick had broken into The Well, they monitored his forays into dozens of other systems, including Apple, Motorola, NEC, and Silicon Graphics. With federal agents, they traced his calls back to a cellular phone exchange in Raleigh. "Just from California and the phone records we had him narrowed down to a couple of kilometers," Shimomura said. Security software designer Julia Menapace, who worked with Shimomura, said her team recovered many files that Mitnick had stored in systems. The files, which can be used as evidence, were easy to retrieve because Mitnick had not bothered to encrypt them. "It was carelessness, really," Menapace said. "I guess he thought no one would be looking for him. He didn't think he could be caught." Reuters notes agents seized a 200-channel police scanner from Mitnick's apartment at the time of the arrest Wednesday, noting, "When Mitnick eluded police by minutes in Seattle in October, a similar scanner was found in his apartment. To keep from tipping off Mitnick, neither Shimomura nor agents used radios or cellular phones and only used land lines sparingly for fear he was listening in." Shimomura told the wire service he believes Mitnick broke into his computer Christmas Day in order to steal security information and software tools that would help him break into other systems. He added, "He does not have technical expertise. He takes tools and assistance from others. His chief quality is persistence." >Shades of Bill Gates/Microsoft? Southern Baptist Convention Enters Bidding for Commodore International NASHVILLE (EP) -- In a surprise announcement today, lawyers for the Southern Baptist Convention tendered a bid for the assets of Commodore International, the ailing computer vendor which is currently in Chapter 11 protection from creditors. In light of Microsoft's acquisition of the Roman Catholic Church, announced on December 1st of last year, and IBM's bid to acquire the Episcopalian Church in the US, which was announced on January 4th of this year, it seemed likely that more mergers and acquisitions between computer companies and major religious groups, although this would mark the first time that a religious group acquired a computer company, rather than the other way around. Neither Commodore nor the SBC would make an official comment on the story, preferring to wait and see whether the SBC offer is accepted before making any official announcements. Details of the offer have not been made public, but analysts speculate that, in view of competing offers for Commodore already on the table, the SBC would have to agree to assume all outstanding debts of Commodore, as well as a cash offering. Since the SBC is not traded on any major stock exchange, a stock swap does not appear to be an option. Some analysts speculate that Commodore and the SBC would make good "fit." Commodore has never had particularly effective marketing, preferring to compete on price. Thus, technically accomplished products like the Amiga languished in the marketplace, while other, less capable products took most of the market share. Then too, Commodore offers a nice product mix to the SBC. "Baptists never seem to be able to get along with one another," commented an SBC source who asked to remain unnamed. "Any time you get two Baptists together, you get three opinions!" None of Commodore's product lines -- the Commodore 64/128, Amiga, or MS-DOS compatibles, are capable of running the same software. Some observers speculate that the SBC will revive production of the discontinued Commodore 64/128 line, in order to offer Baptists a full range of incompatible options. In fact, some speculate that the SBC would attempt to re-enter Commodore's original electronics market -- the desktop calculator. "Hey, in some Baptist churches, a calculator would be pretty radical technology!" commented an anonymous Baptist source. Programmers at Broadman, developers of the Church Information System sold through Baptist Bookstores, are said to be hard at work porting CIS to the Commodore 64/128 and Amiga platforms. Some managers at Baptist Bookstores are already trying to find room in their stores to fit in demo models of the different computer lines. "I just really don't know where to put them!" one manager wailed. "I just can't really sacrifice the praying hands snow globes, or the glow-in-the-dark Holy Family steak knives. Maybe I'll just cut back on the Guy and Ralna albums, but that's just really hard to do!" Commodore and the Southern Baptist Convention have some interesting parallels. The Baptists originally began in Europe, although they have achieved their greatest market penetration in North America. The Southern Baptists are reported to have 14 million users in the United States, with overseas marketing divisions in most countries of the world. On the other hand, Commodore began in North America, and have had their greatest success recently in Europe, where the Amiga holds a sizeable market share in Germany. "That should be no surprise," said a Baptist insider who refused to divulge his name. "A prophet is without honor in his home town." Copyright (c) 1995 Evangelical Press _________________________________________________ JAGUAR SECTION ============== Cannon Fodder Out! New Jag Prices! More Vintage Minter! Defender 2000 And much more! > From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! """""""""""""""""""""""""""" Well, Cannon Fodder is out and Marty Mankins has it in his hands. We should have a full review of it shortly. We're hoping that this initial offering for 1995 will lead to a flood of games in coming months. With the CD ROM player due out within a month (he said hopefully!), things might start happening once again. Sooner or later, these long periods of droughts have to end! We've got some interesting tidbits for you this week, including new price reductions for the core Jaguar system. Also, that amazing Minter has been busy on the World Wide Web - captured and re-posted here for your entertainment! Let's get to the rest of the column, and then get back to our Jaguars!! Me, I'm already for more Iron Soldier and Val D'Isere snowboarding! Until next time... ______________________________________ > Jaguar Catalog STR InfoFile - What's currently available, what's """"""""""""""""""""""""""" coming out. Current Available Titles ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CAT # TITLE MSRP DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER J9000 Cybermorph $59.99 Atari Corp. J9006 Evolution:Dino Dudes $49.99 Atari Corp. J9005 Raiden $49.99 FABTEK, Inc/Atari Corp. J9001 Trevor McFur/ Crescent Galaxy $49.99 Atari Corp. J9010 Tempest 2000 $59.95 Llamasoft/Atari Corp. J9028 Wolfenstein 3D $69.95 id/Atari Corp. JA100 Brutal Sports FtBall $69.95 Telegames J9008 Alien vs. Predator $69.99 Rebellion/Atari Corp. J9029 Doom $69.99 id/Atari Corp. J9036 Dragon: Bruce Lee $59.99 Atari Corp. J9003 Club Drive $59.99 Atari Corp. J9007 Checkered Flag $69.99 Atari Corp. J9012 Kasumi Ninja $69.99 Atari Corp. J9042 Zool 2 $59.99 Atari Corp J9020 Bubsy $49.99 Atari Corp J9026 Iron Soldier $59.99 Atari Corp J9060 Val D'Isere Skiing $59.99 Atari Corp. Cannon Fodder Virgin Available Soon ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CAT # TITLE MSRP DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER CatBox $69.95 ICD Hover Strike $59.99 Atari Hardware and Peripherals ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CAT # TITLE MSRP MANUFACTURER J8001 Jaguar (complete) $249.99 Atari Corp. J8904 Composite Cable $19.95 J8901 Controller/Joypad $24.95 Atari Corp. J8905 S-Video Cable $19.95 Jaguar CD-ROM $149.99 Atari Corp. ______________________________________ > Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" CATnips.... Jaguar Notes from Don Thomas Here's welcome news.... I spoke this afternoon with a dealer who had Cannon Fodder in stock. He just got them in and, although he was already beginning to sell them, he assured me that he could get more fast. To verify this great news, I called another dealer known to get software fast for their customers and he assured me he was filling orders for his customers tomorrow (Friday). What's a Cannon Fodder?... here's the excerpt from a recent press release... "Cannon Fodder: War has never been so much fun. The first of a new caliber of games published by Computer West, Cannon Fodder is a product brought to us from the innovative people at Virgin. Command your company through enemy territories and hostile environments; jungles, swamps and frozen wastelands. Highlights of this whimsical and entertaining approach to war are: Over 300 conscripts with different skills, 72 phases of action, 24 different missions, an animated introduction, an ambient soundtrack complete with the howling of icy winds and a projected minimum of 50 hours to complete the game by most gamers." "...probably the most addicting game since 'Lemmings'.", Electronic Gaming Monthly. Cannon Fodder kicks off a 1995 assortment of third-party games. Also look for Troy Aikman Football, Ultra Vortex, International Sensible Soccer, Theme Park, Syndicate and Double Dragon V coming soon to your favorite Jaguar retailer. If you are a retailer and carry Cannon Fodder in your stores, let me know and I'll pass the word. It's a fun game and I expect gamers will find it absorbing a lot of their time. --Don Thomas Atari Corporation CATnips... Jaguar news from Don Thomas I have attached a note recently released by Mr. Sam Tramiel, President of Atari Corporation. It is intended to let the online community know that we (Atari) hear them and to assure them that recent pricing strategies implemented by many of the retailers are paving the way for the Jaguar to become more and more of a mainstream multimedia entertainment product. My only two concerns are that: 1) people are not disappointed if they pass up the opportunity to get a free Tempest 2000 or Wolfenstein 3D PLUS a controller by buying the system as it is now available. Even if your retailer has a slightly higher price, this is a tremendous value. 2) the "cost reduced" Jaguar, Mr. Tramiel refers to does not include any cartridges or free offers. In the meantime, we know how much the online community helps us and stands by us and we want to let you know as much as we can as soon as possible. From Sam Tramiel... "The recent price decrease for the Jaguar at ToysRUs and Babbages, and Electronic Boutique, has caused a lot of speculation amongst our loyal Jaguar fans. Please don't go over the edge in your speculation. We at Atari will be making a public announcement in the very near future, end Feb early March, about the future pricing plans for Jaguar. Our plans revolve around the fact that we have cost reduced the system and want to make the Jag a mass market product. The announced price will make the Jag very affordable and will insure its success in the marketplace. The Jaguar will be the most affordable of the new systems and with the many great titles out there and new software titles coming it is a must buy." --Sam Tramiel _________________________________________ > Jaguar Developers STR InfoFile - Current Developer Lists & Titles """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Game Title Date Game Type MSRP Publisher ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Air Cars 1Q/95 Racing/Combat $59.99 Midnight Ent. Alien vs Predator NOW Role Play/Adventure $69.99 Atari Arena Football 1Q/95 Sports TBD V Reel Assault 1Q/95 Action/Combat $59.99 Midnight Ent. Baldy (CD) 2Q/95 Action/Adventure TBD Atari Barkley Basketball 2Q/95 Sports TBD Atari Battlemorph 1Q/95 Flying/Action $59.99 Atari Battle Sphere 1Q/95 Space/Combat TBD 4-Play Battle Wheels 1Q/95 Racing/Combat TBD Beyond Games Blue Lightning (CD) 1Q/95 Flying/Action $59.99 Atari Brett Hull Hockey (CD) 2Q/95 Sports TBD Atari Brutal Sports Football NOW Sports/Combat $69.99 Telegames Bubsy NOW Action/Adventure $49.99 Atari Burnout 1Q/95 Sports TBD Atari Cannon Fodder NOW Action/Adventure TBD Virgin Casino Royale 2Q/95 Gambling TBD Telegames CD League Bowling (CD) 2Q/95 Sports TBD V Real Checkered Flag NOW Racing $69.99 Atari Club Drive NOW Racing $59.99 Atari Commando 2Q/95 Action/Combat TBD Atari Creature Shock (CD) 1Q/95 Adventure/Sci-Fi TBD Atari/Virgin Cybermorph NOW Flying/Action $59.99 Atari Dactyl Joust 2Q/95 Action TBD Atari Demolition Man (CD) 1/95 Action/Combat $59.99 Atari Doom NOW Action/Combat $69.99 Atari Double Dragon V 1Q/95 Action/Adventure $59.99 Williams Dragon:Bruce Lee Story NOW Combat $59.99 Atari Dragon Lair (CD) 1Q/95 Adventure TBD Ready Soft Dreadnought (CD) 2Q/95 Adventure TBD Atari Dungeon Depths 1Q/95 Action/Adventure $59.99 Midnight Ent. Evolution: Dino Dudes NOW Puzzle/Adventure $49.99 Atari Fight For Life 1Q/95 Combat TBD Atari Flashback 1Q/95 Action/Adventure TBD US Gold Flip Out 2Q/95 Puzzle TBD Atari Freelancer 2120 (CD) 2Q/95 Adventure/Sci-Fi TBD Atari Galactic Gladiators 2Q/95 Space/Combat TBD Photosurr. Graham Gooch Cricket 2Q/95 Sports TBD Telegames Hammerhead 2Q/95 Flying/Sci-Fi TBD Atari Hardball Baseball 2Q/95 Sports TBD Atari Highlander (CD) 1Q/95 Action/Adventure $59.99 Atari Horrorscope 1Q/95 Combat TBD V Reel Hover Hunter 2Q/95 Action/Adventure TBD Hyper Image Hover Strike 1Q/95 Action/Combat $59.99 Atari Iron Soldier NOW Action/Strategy $59.99 Atari Jack Nicklaus Golf(CD) 2Q/95 Sports TBD Atari James Pond 3 2Q/95 Action/Adventure TBD Telegames Kasumi Ninja NOW Combat $69.99 Atari Legions of the Undead 2Q/95 Role Playing/Adv. TBD Atari Off Road Rally 2Q/95 Racing TBD TWI Phear 2Q/95 Puzzle TBD Atari Pinball Fantasies 1Q/95 Arcade TBD 21st Cent. Rage Rally 1Q/95 Racing TBD Atari Raiden NOW Action/Adventure $49.99 Atari Rayman 1Q/95 Action/Adventure TBD UBI Soft Redemption (CD) 2Q/95 Adventure TBD Atari Robinson Requiem 1Q/95 Adventure TBD Atari Ruiner Pinball 2Q/95 Arcade TBD Atari Sensible Soccer 1Q/95 Sports TBD Telegames Soccer Kid 1Q/95 Sports TBD Ocean Soul Star (CD) 2Q/95 Action/Sci-Fi TBD Atari Space Ace (CD) 2Q/95 Space/Combat TBD Ready Soft Space War 2000 1Q/95 Action/Adventure $59.99 Atari Syndicate 1Q/95 Simulation TBD Ocean Tempest 2000 NOW Action/Adventure $59.99 Atari Theme Park 1Q/95 Simulation TBD Ocean Tiny Toon Adventures 1Q/95 Action/Adventure $59.99 Atari Trevor McFur NOW Action/Adventure $49.99 Atari Troy Aikman NFL Ftball 1Q/95 Sports $69.99 Williams Ultimate Brain Games 1Q/95 Puzzle TBD Telegames Ultra Vortex 1Q/95 Action/Adventure $69.99 Beyond Games Val D'Isere Skiing... NOW Sports $59.99 Atari Vid Grid (CD) 1Q/95 Puzzle/Music Video TBD Atari White Men Can't Jump 1Q/95 Sports TBD TriMark Wolfenstein 3D NOW Combat/Action $59.99 Atari Zodiac Fighters 2Q/95 Combat TBD V-Real Zool2 NOW Action/Adventure $59.99 Atari [Editor's note: Titles, scheduled release dates, and prices are verified from Atari and Edelman Public Relations - all subject to change] ________________________________________ > Jaguar Online STR InfoFile Online Users Growl & Purr! """""""""""""""""""""""""" From STReport staffer & CIS SysOp Jeff Kovach, from CIS: Sb: 2/12 D2K Update Fm: SYSOP*Jeff Kovach 70761,3015 To: All Time for a couple of more updates on Defender 2000, from Jeff Minter's world wide web page: -------------- D2K at 12 Feb 1995 Finished off my warp sequence on Monday, then decided that I needed some momentary screens to flash up at entry and exit to warp. Doing this, I got struck by the Bug from Hell. You get one of these from time to time. My new circledraw, which is a pretty simple thing and had been working perfectly, started going bananas. At first I thought this might be the infamous A1 clipping bug manifesting itself again, and indeed after I inserted some voodoo to ward it off the problem seemed to go away. Then, upon adding a satisfying noise on exit from warp, once again the blitter began to emulate multiple curved yellow fruit. Hmm... problem appeared to be dependent on the position of code... something somewhere must be treading on RAM... Eventually after an extensive debuggery session I found that in part of a GPU module I wrote at the start of November, if a certain value was $ffc8, it would fritz my circledraw. Closer inspection revealed that I had typed 'r23' instead of 'r24' on one line of the code, so a byte was getting written to wherever r23 was pointing at, which could be anywhere... fixed the typo, all was funky. Removed the Lissajous explosions and reinstated pixelshatter. Much happier, the explosion density is back up there. Since the sprites are truecolour and the explosion-plane is 256 colour, there is a slight downgrade of the colour resolution of a shattering image, as it's translated to an approximation in the 256-colour plane; you won't care, as all the pixels are receding from each other very quickly anyway. Even so, *still* dropping out of 60Hz when you've a s***load of swarmers onscreen and plying the Llightning Llaser. Tried various optimisations, got some stuff back, but still you'd get the framedrop. Noticed that the framedrop always occurred around the biggest mountains, due to the blitter sucking bandwidth to draw the wibbly textures... so: simple solution, reduce the mountain height in Plus. 60Hz all the way. Goody. Put in the Llightning Llaser gauge - no longer unlimited. Extra charge is added when you get an extra life and Smart Bomb. Then, put in a new enemy you're going to hate. I call it the Phish, it looks like a kind of robot pterodactyl that flicks a tail like a fish. It flies towards you as soon as it 'sees' you, and takes multiple shots to kill. This makes it a pain on your Llightning Llaser - it drains multiple charges, and holds the laser for a long time - for example, if you come out the Star Gate with LL activated, expecting to pop a Llander and tractor up the Humanoid, if there's a Phish on the screen your llaser gets locked onto it for long enough that you miss the Llander and it's byebye Humanoid, hello Mutant. Phish fire bursts of conventional bullets whenever you shoot them. They also emit, when they're on the same screen as you, a stream of tiny goats - yeah, I know, Atari will probably want me to change the graphics - which bounce about leaping off the mountainsides. These are a menace. It's all too easy to catch a goat upside your ship while you're busy trying to catch a Humanoid. Finally last week, I decided that I wanted a neat effect when you Smart Bomb, so I produced this big circular explosion which expands over the screen when you do so. It looked so neat, that I thought it might look good if applied to the Llightning Llaser too, and by God it does! When you cut loose in the middle of Swarmers it's like multiple flashbulbs going off all over the screen. And still inside the 60Hz. Yummy, yummy. Next up - I have a small bug I need to fix, then maybe some AI assist to help you deal with everything.. \ (:-) Sb: 2/17 D2K Update Fm: SYSOP*Jeff Kovach 70761,3015 To: All And now the current contents of Jeff Minter's web page: ------------- From: email@example.com (Jeffrey Minter) Subject: The D2K updates from offa my Web page Date: 17 Feb 1995 21:21:30 GMT Jaguar Developments - from my Web page These are the Jag/D2K updates from my web page, which I have been asked to post here for those who are interested and don't have Web access. I'll post updates here as well as on the Web from now on. \ (:-) D2K at 17 Feb 1995 Just a quick report on this week's activities - I have just received the forms which will get me my visa, allowing me to live and work here in California for a few years, and I have to nip back to Blighty tomorrow to complete the formalities at the American embassy in London. I'll be gone about a week, and I'll doubtless avail myself of the opportunity to have a vindaloo and a few pints of llager, hang out with my UK mates, drink proper beer, experience proper English February weather (i.e. cold and icy), and most importantly collect my ski gear! It'll be a relief to finally get my visa, so I can stop being just a visitor, and do important stuff like buy that Mazda MX-5 and get the hell out of this apartment and into somewhere with beastie-support capability. I notice that the documentation says that I will officially become an Alien Worker. I hope that doesn't mean I'll have to be forever looking over my shoulder watching out for Ripley... The game's going *fine*. I am most pleased with Plus. Started the week by adding in an AI droid, which hovers near your ship 'till it 'sees' an enemy, then swoops in and lasers it up. I lliked it so much, and as it's just another generic object and easy to have other iterations of, I decided to give you a pair of these little beauties, one each side of the ship. They're great. They're fast and smart and you can really kick some severe botty with them at your side. Then, as they were so cool, I decided to make them even smarter, and have them catch falling Humanoids as well, and bring them back to your ship. This proved to be totally cool. It's just great to be in the thick of things, bad guys everywhere, robopterodactyls disgorging streams of bouncing, tail-twitching goats, Llightning Llaser blazing, and see your droids flash off, execute a couple of flawless rescues, and bring you the booty. Then, since the droids were so effective, I decided to crank up the enemy density on Plus. You get twice as many Llanders per rez-in, and twice as many on any given wave. This makes the higher levels *unbelievably* busy, but you've got the droids at your side, and your rapidfire laser's a-pumping, and you can *handle it*. Everything's just screaming by, big explosions all over the place, shreds of enemies everywhere, and it keeps 60Hz. Yum, yum, yum. I've been playing with the first demo tune sent to us by Imagitec playing back on the PC's speakers, volume on high, got up to level 30 odd, with 700,000 points - and I'm starting to get that intense, buzzing speed-rush that I love in a game... mighty fine. Got some new artworx from my artist today, but I probably won't get a chance to put them in until I get back from the Old Country <g>... after they're in, I'm gonna pull back off Plus, 'coz it's 90 percent there now, and get into the let's-torture-the-object-processor stuff which will let me determine how much funky stuff I can throw into the backgrounds on 2K. Then I can give my graphic artist specs on the BG generator and have him get *really* busy.... It's llooking more and more like this is gonna be on CD, so you can llook forward to totally awesome music, no limitations as we'll be doing direct redbook audio. Also we can have a s***load of levels, and I'd kinda like to do a historical section on there as well, as we get so much room; an interview with Eugene Jarvis, maybe, and other historical data about Defender. Anyway, that's it for now... right, I'm gonna have four masala pappadoms, a nan, and a chicken vindaloo with pilau rice, not to mention a couple of pints of llager... I'm salivating already. \ (:-) - playing T2K on my llaptop on the flight, no doubt... Sb: Minter Interview Fm: SYSOP*Jeff Kovach 70761,3015 To: All From the Internet, an interview with Jeff Minter: ------------ Newsgroups: rec.games.video.atari From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ralph Barbagallo) Subject: Hey, here's my unpublished Jeff Minter interview. Date: 20 Feb 1995 18:01:26 GMT Hey, last year, around when Tempest 2000 came out, I did an e-mail interview with Jeff minter that was supposed to get printed in good ol' NewType Gaming. It never did, but well here it is. Just to add to the raging Minter Mania here in r.g.v.atari. :) Ralph Barbagallo: Over the many years you have been involved in electronic entertainment, you have created many games. A lot of them have become genuine classics. Which game was your favorite project to work on? Jeff Minter: Probably have to be Tempest 2000, as not only was I given free rein to mess with what I consider to be one of the best shoot-em-up designs ever, but also I had *totally* kickin' hardware to do it with... I guess the most creative satisfaction I've had has been with the light synthesizers, since they're more entirely mine than any game I've done (as all games are basically variations on a number of established themes). --- RB: Have you heard from the creator of the original Tempest, David Theurer, on how he likes your version? JM: ...I regret that I have had no contact with the esteemed gentleman and therefore am unaware of how he likes Tempest 2000.... --- RB: There has been a lot of misinformation floating around about the Jaguar's hardware. Since you're a developer, could you give us some insight on how powerful the Jaguar really is (without breaking NDA of course). Could you clear up the rumors about the 68000's function in the system? JM: Well, the thing about Jag is multiple parallel processing: different processors optimized to do particular jobs most efficiently. The 68K is basically there to do non-compute-intensive stuff - you know, sync to the frame interrupt, read the joysticks, run game logic, etc. The GPU is a general-purpose RISC CPU in its own right, optimized towards graphics calculations. Typically a Jag programmer places code in the GPU to do things like poly rendering and matrix transformations. Why do a multiply on the 68K, taking 70-odd cycles, when you can do it in the GPU in one? The Blitter is one of the true 64-bit devices, and basically hurls data about at ridiculous rates. You can do *lovely* things in just one blitter op, like the melty screen effects and motion blur. The icing on the cake is the ability to do blits which are rotated and scaled, and the ability to draw lines of Gouraud-shaded pixels at full 64-bit bus bandwidth. You also get z-buffering. The combination of GPU and Blitter is particularly effective: if you keep the GPU inside its on-chip RAM it can run completely off the system bus, so you can have the GPU calculating stuff for one line of a poly or effect while the Blitter gets on with drawing the previous line. Then you have the Object Processor, which is another 64-bit beastie which is basically the best hardware sprite engine you ever saw. The distinction between sprites and playfields disappears entirely; you can have 'objects' as small as a pointing cursor or as large as a big playfield, with any bit depth; you get transparency and scaling too. Then you have the DSP: another RISC CPU, this time optimized for audio processing, giving you any kind of sound synthesis you can dream up and code. If you move to a Jag after an ST or Amiga, believe me, it'll blow yer t*ts off. :) --- RB: Although you do work with others on your game projects, you seem to be part of a shrinking group of one-man programming teams. Do you think the days of the small development team and the spare-bedroom game company are numbered due to the invasion of media giants like MCA and Viacom into the video game industry? JM: No, not really. There are certain *kinds* of games it is impossible for one individual to create - these massive FMV jobs with digitized actors etc. for example. People seem to think that because it is now possible to create such games, ordinary arcade-style blasters will die out. This simply is not true. Sometimes you don't want to play a massive, complex game for hours - sometimes you just want to sit down and give those aliens a good kicking. Tempest 2000 is a very simple game - basically glorified Space Invaders on speed in pseudo-3D - but it seems to be causing a few sore thumbs amongst Jaguar owners nonetheless ;-) and it's quite possible for an individual to code such a game. What you *do* have to do now is employ professional graphic artists and musicians (and I was lucky to have excellent examples of both on T2K), but it's still possible just to sit at home coding and put it all together yourself. Also, remember Tetris... one guy from out of nowhere comes up with a game with virtually *no* graphics, which could be written in ten lines of BASIC, which just happens to become one of the most successful games of all time, ported or cloned to just about every platform in existence (I know of a version which runs on character-mode Unix terminals) That could happen again. --- RB: It seems that the first wave of video games originated in the USA, then the Japanese became the central player, but Europe's influence is steadily growing. Is it possible that as far as software, Europe may become the new focus in the industry? JM: Hmmm... certainly there are a lot of skillful coders here, with years of experience from the ST and Amiga markets which never really took off in the US and Japan... look at the Jaguar, for example: out of the initial releases, Cybermorph, T2K, Kasumi Ninja, AVP and Humans, all UK programmed... I wouldn't like to go so far as to say that Europe will necessarily be *the* new focus, but I do believe there's a lot of coding talent in Europe which will surely be sought-after by the console manufacturers. --- RB: What do you think of the industry from an artistic standpoint? How do you feel about the level of creativity in current game designs? Are people spending too much time concentrating on using the technology rather than the actual content of the game? JM: Well, most of the mainstream 16-bit console games *do* seem to have fallen into a bit of a rut... loads of RType scrolly-shooters, loads of generic platformers etc... but I think the emergence of the more powerful systems is inspiring game designers to start doing more with their designs... I think there's a bit of a danger of 'everybody do DOOM' though which we'll have to watch out for.. I like the idea of Atari's to resurrect the old designs and bring them up to date for 2000 versions though, as a lot of those designs were successful at a time when you couldn't just clothe the same old gameplay in newer, prettier graphics, it was all down to top design... add state of the art graphics and sound to an established classic design and you've gotdynamite! Use of the tech is important, but the single most important factor in any game is playability, and designers should *never* lose track of that. Remember Tetris... --- RB: You've been on the inside early on with many Atari projects including the Panther, Jaguar, and now the Jaguar CDROM. Could you tell us a little bit more about the project you are working on for the CDROM JM: Yeah, it's a bit of code which runs when you go to play an audio CD on the Jag CDROM. Basically, it generates psychedelic effects according to the music. There should be almost 100 settings suitable for everything from rave to ambient. The user can also interact with the pattern generation using the joypad and firebuttons. Sort of like what they did on the 3D0, but a lot better. And no, I didn't get the idea from the 3D0, I have been working on light synthesizers on various hardware platforms for 10 years! -- Ralph A. Barbagallo III --- email@example.com --- Only AMIGA makes it URL: http://www.uml.edu/~rbarbaga "Don't be a Dunk!"* Possible... * R.I.P. Jay Miner: June 20th 1994 Father of the 2600, Atari 8bit, Amiga -=-VAPS Member=-=-Classic Game Collector=-=-Broke Freelance Journalist=- _________________________________________ > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" PEOPLE... ARE TALKING ===================== On CompuServe ------------- compiled by Joe Mirando CIS ID: 73637,2262 Well folks, I've been found by the fickle finger of fate yet again... As I booted up my trusty STe to capture some of the info for this week's column, my modem hiccuped and froze like a Minnesota pond in January (nice imagery, isn't it?). It turns out that it was only the saved profiles that got blown away instead of a mechanical or electrical failure in the modem itself and I was able to re-load the factory default settings, but now I'm left with the un-enviable task of remembering all of the settings that I had "tweaked" to get every last ounce of speed and reliability out of my modem (not to mention getting my BBS up-and-running again). So take a bit of advice from me: In your terminal program (while off-line) type "AT&V" (without the quotes) and capture the resulting text. Save it as a file and print out as hard copy as well. If you wish, you can simplify the task of re-installing these values by adding an "AT" before each line, changing the colons to equal signs, and removing the spaces between the characters in each line. Then, if your modem ever hiccups on you, you can simply load the file into your type-ahead buffer and send the settings to the modem then save them by typing "ATWn" (where "n" is the profile number). Had I done this, this week's column would be the usual length. Gee, how modems have advanced in the past fifteen years. I can remember my college computer lab's Hayes 300 baud modem (remember that cool smoke-grey acrylic case and the rainbow-colored ribbon cable that kept going flaky?) It was all much simpler then... just a few peeks and pokes and, pow, I was computing at the break-neck speed of 300 characters per second... And I can remember my professor telling us how pampered we were because he remembered when 110 bits per second was "the only speed in town". Well, perhaps some day we'll all be telling our grandkids that we remember back when no one had a positronic optical multiplexing sub-ether virtual gigabaud modem (neutronium pattern buffers optional, of course) ... well, maybe not all of that, but you never know! <grin> Okay, let's get on with the reason for this column: All the news, hints, tips, and other miscellaneous stuff to be found each week right here on CompuServe. From the Atari Computing Forums =============================== David [no last name available] asks for help: "I have a defective mouse on my 520 ST, can anyone recomend a replacement. Will a PC mouse work on an Atari?" Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells David: "The Golden Image mouse is the replacement one I have for my Atari ST. It works great. You can find it at Atari dealers like Toad Computers." In addition to the Golden Image mouse, I'd like to mention the Best Electronics "Fancy Mouse"... It's really cool. It has a clear case so that you can see the circuit board, ball and rollers. It also has several LEDs that blink as you move the mouse... It's quite a conversation-piece, and is in the same price range as the Golden Image and Beetle mice. Sysop Bob Retelle tells David: "A PC *bus mouse* (not the more commonly available serial mouse) will work on an ST with some modifications. We have a number of text files in our library that tell how to do this if you're interested.. just BROwse in the library with the keyword of MOUSE to find them. Also, what exactly is the problem with your urrent mouse..? There are some problems which are fairly common, and some can be fixed fairly easily..." While we're on the subject of mice, Carl Katz asks: "Has anyone out there experienced what appears to be an ST TOS bug, where the cursor control inverts and up becomes down and down becomes up? (Right and left maintain there integrity). I have experimented with dropping AUTO accessories to no avail. Any info or solutions would be greatly appreciated." My friend Myles Cohen tells Carl: "Yes...I have...annoying isn't it... Found out I was the victim of a virus...You may be one too... Cure: Virus killing program..." Michel Vanhamme tells Carl: "That seems to be the work of the "Ghost" virus. Except for the mouse cursor being inverted, it doesn't do anything harmful. I've had this virus a few years back. Solution: a virus killer, and patience, you'll have to check all your floppies. When I discovered it, I had to disinfect about 40-50 floppy disks!" Carl tells Michel: "Thanks for the info, I actually experienced this problem five years ago when started using my 1040, and it just seemed to disappear spontaneously. Problem is I just purchased a hard drive and its quite clear that the new HD is the source of the problem. Thankfully it has a virus killer." Uh-oh, I hope that Carl is mistaken about the virus originating from the hard drive, because the _original_ Ghost Virus was floppy-based _only_... it only affected you when you booted with an "infected" floppy in drive A. Carl comes back after trying the best shareware virus killer around and says: "I have tried unsuccessfully two run a later version of the virus killing program that I have- VKILLER-. I down loaded ver 3.84 and can't run it... I keep on getting TOS error #35 shortly after launching the program. This also happened with a TOS symtoms program that I downloaded. I initially thought that the programs had to be decompressed, and downloaded a two programs to try, and received the message "nothing to extract". Does anyone one know what TOS error #35 is. I need a version of VKILLER that can access my hard drive, ver 3 has no "C" hard disk option. Any info will be greatly appreciated." Sysop Bob tells Carl: "So far none of the Atari viruses that I know about will infect a hard drive... thus the lack of anything other than A and B drives in the virus killer programs. Did you get any floppy disks at the same time as the hard drive..? Those would be the main suspect in a virus infection, as the Atari viruses ride on floppy disk boot sectors. Did you uncompress the files you downloaded..? One of the most common causes of TOS ERROR #35 is trying to run a compressed file that was downloaded without using an uncompression utility to restore it to its original form." Frank Heller tells Sysop Bob: "As far as I can gather, there are such things as "link" viruses...that get into the hard drives. Check with Oregon Research about Ultimate Virus Killer. They can be reached via GO ATARIVEN. There is a brand new revision just shipping. You might want to ask them what this link thing is all about." Bob tells Frank: "There's been talk about "link viruses" for years, but still as far as my personal experience, I've never known anyone who's had any exposure to them, or known anyone else who has... Theoretically a "link virus" will infect an individual program file, and thus can be transmitted by a downloaded file, and affect hard drives (so yes, it's a real danger), but so far we haven't seen them materialize. (Fingers crossed!)" Well folks, I know that the column is _very_ short this week (HEY! Stop clapping, Lloyd <grin>), but it is getting late and I still must try to fix my modem settings (right now I'm using the factory defaults which aren't quite what I want). Please remember to print out and save your profiles as I suggested... you'll thank me someday. Next week we'll have lots more info from the Atari world and a good look into the discussions going on about Unisys and its decision to enforce its patent on LZW compression, which is used in GIF graphic viewers and many other programs. So tune in again next week and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" A true "Sign of the Times" """"""""""""""""" The REAL Shakeout is Beginning! >> APPLE SUES Microsoft ***** AGAIN!!!***** << "A true exercise in the art of Artificial Survival or A Love - Hate Relationship.. or The Beginnings of a Merger!" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International OnLine Magazine -* [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport *- AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE ON OVER 70,000 PRIVATE BBS SYSTEMS """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STR OnLine! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" February 24, 1995 Since 1987 copyright 1995 All Rights Reserved No.1108 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International OnLine Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
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