ST Trport: 3-Nov-95 #1144From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 11/25/95-09:35:10 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Trport: 3-Nov-95 #1144 Date: Sat Nov 25 09:35:10 1995 Silicon Times Report The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) November 03, 1995 No.1144 Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 STR Electronic Publishing Inc. A subsidiary of STR Worldwide CompNews Inc. R.F. Mariano, Editor Featured in ITCNet's ITC_STREPORT Echo Voice: 1-904-268-3815 10am-4pm EST STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing Support BBS THE BOUNTY INTERNATIONAL BBS Featuring: * 5.0GB * of File Libraries Mustang Software's WILDCAT! BBS v4.11 Fully Networked within the following Nets: ITCNet 85:881/250 JAX HUB FIDO Net 1:112/35 ~ Prowl ~ USPOLNet ~ FNET 350 ~ Nest 90:301/3 Delivered via Subscriber List through Internet 904-268-2237 MULTI-NODE 24hrs-7 days 2400-115.2 bps V.32-34 v.42 bis 28.8 USRobotics D/S Data/Fax 28.8 V.34 Everything ISDN USRobotics IMODEM FAX: 904-292-9222 24hrs The Bounty STReport Support Central 1-904-268-2237 FNET. 620 : Leif's World 1-904-573-0734 FNET. 690 : PASTE BBS 1-206-284-8493 FNET. 489 : Steal Your Face BBS 1-908-920-7981 MNET - Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 11/03/95 STR 1144 The Original Independent OnLine Magazine! - CPU Industry Report - Corel 6 FAQ - Delrina Updates - ThumbsPlus 3.0 - Kid's Computing - Arcada TBU? - Adaptec EZ SCSI 4.0 - STR MailBag - Borland $$ UP - PinBall Fantasies - People Talking - Jaguar NewsBits FORBES: DUMP FCC! 24 MILLION ON I-NET! PRODIGY LIBEL CASE SETTLED! STReport International 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. WEB SITE: http//www.streport.com CIS ~ PRODIGY ~ DELPHI ~ GENIE ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ ITC ~ NEST ~ EURONET ~ CIX ~ USENET USPOLNET CLEVELAND FREE-NET ~ INTERNET ~ PROWL ~ FNET ~ AOL Florida Lotto _ LottoMan v1.35 Results: 10/28/95: 2 matches in 5 plays >From the Editor's Desk... Another week closer to Christmas.. Oh! Wait! Thanksgiving is next! Why is it everywhere I turn I see Christmas decorations beginning to appear? Oh well, it is the Holiday Season. Only one measly event to mar the Holiday season. It appears the review we had in last week's issue about the CatBox ruffled a feather or two at the manufacturer's end. Basically I'd say too bad! The fellow who reviewed the product is one of the most respected voices in the audio and music worlds. Yet this manufacturer had the gall to state "he felt" the reviewer wasn't "qualified" to do the review. That's "goofy" to say. Since when must a reviewer be qualified to tell you what they think of a particular product? All I can say we'll take the heat from whomever it comes. but will not allow our review policy to be influenced or intimidated by any such foolhardy tactics. If anything, the review brought a situation or two to the manufacturer's attention that definitely need addressing. What happened was the manufacturer began a series of verbal assaults upon the reviewer that were absolutely embarrassing to the manufacturer. Yet the verbal assaults blindly continued. One thing this manufacturer and a number of others on a particular platform have yet to learn is that a review is not to "promote" their product or them. Neither is it meant to be done as a blast of wowie- zowie cheerleading. A review is done strictly for our reader's benefit. Period. We only hope that this manufacturer recognizes the folly of his lame protests and corrects the few very minor faults our reviewer discovered. I felt and still feel it was an excellent review. There will be a third review of this device in the next few weeks. Joe Mirando did the first review, Dominick Fontana did the second and I shall do the third. I must say I, like Mr. Fontana, was highly insulted by this manufacturer's nasty, unfounded remarks. Comdex is right around the corner, Office 95 is shipping.. as is a slew of other high powered software packages written especially for Windows 95. Gotta say it. "the best keeps getting better". Do I like Windows 95?? As Groucho Marx used to say, "You bet your life" I do. Ralph. Hhhhh Of Special Note: http//www.streport.com STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB/NewsGroup/FTP Site and although its in its early stages of construction, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. So, as of October 01,1995, you'll be able to download STReport directly from our very own SERVER & WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR list. In any case, our current Internet mailing list will continue to be used for at least the next eight weeks. Each of our readers will have by then, received their information packet about how they may upgrade their personal STR News Services. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Atari Section R.F. Mariano J. Deegan D. P. Jacobson Portable Computers & Entertainment Marty Mankins 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 Vincent P. O'Hara 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 Leonard Worzala Tom Sherwin Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: CompuServe 70007,4454 Prodigy CZGJ44A Delphi RMARIANO GEnie ST.REPORT BIX RMARIANO FIDONET 1:112/35 ITC NET 85:881/253 AOL STReport Internet firstname.lastname@example.org Internet CZGJ44A@prodigy.com Internet RMARIANO@delphi.com Internet 70007.4454.compuserve.com Internet STReport@AOL.Com WORLD WIDE WEB http://www.streport.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 SYSOP NEWS & CYBERWORLD REPORT "The Leading Hard Copy News Source in the BBS & Online Telecommunications World" Your own personal copy mailed to your home every month; STReport's special offer! Annual Subscription Rate of $15.95!! (normally 20.95). Include the STR offer number (STR-21) for your discount. Send your subscription to: BBS Press Services, Inc. 8125 S.W. 21st Street Topeka, KS 66615 Or, to order by phone, Please Call: 1-913-478-3157 (Voice) 1-913-478-9239 (Data) 1-913-478-1189 (FAX) Checks, Mastercard & Visa ok, Please include Full Name, Address, home Number, Card type, number & expiration date when ordering. If by mail, please _sign_ your personal order. STR INDUSTRY REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Computer Products Update - CPU Report Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson General Computer News AT&T and Cirrus Form Chip Venture AT&T Microelectronics and Cirrus Logic Inc. have announced a $600 million joint chip manufacturing venture. The companies plan to make a variety of advanced integrated circuits for use in computers, cellular phones, and other electronic devices. The project will operate in a newly constructed clean room within an existing AT&T semiconductor fabrication facility in Orlando, Florida. The venture, which will be owned 60 percent by AT&T and 40 percent by Cirrus, is slated to begin production by early 1997. The companies will equally share production capacity, which will focus initially on the 0.35-micron processing of silicon wafers. The venture's business plan calls for an eventual migration to a 0.25-micron process. AT&T and Cirrus say the venture will operate as a separate entity through a five-member board of directors, with three directors from AT&T and two from Cirrus. The venture will be named before it begins operation. The project is expected to create about 600 new jobs. US Robotics Makes Offer for Hayes US Robotics Corp. has offered to acquire Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. As part of the deal, U.S. Robotics would pay its rival's debts and add nearly $100 million of its own stock, reports the Associated Press. Such an arrangement would solidify the role of US Robotics in the modem market. Long recognized as setting the technical standard in modem design, Hayes has been reorganizing in Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy laws since last fall. It owes creditors about $60 million to $85 million. US Robotics announced it has submitted a bid to Hayes' unsecured creditors, following a procedure set out in the bankruptcy court. It also offered payment of creditors' claims with interest and up to $97.5 million of its stock, notes AP. Such a transaction would have to be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Hugh Robinson, who is presiding over the Hayes reorganization. Hayes, which had no immediate comment on the offer, is a private, Atlanta, Georgia-based company that is chiefly owned by its chairman, Dennis C. Hayes. Earlier this year, Hayes reached a tentative agreement to be purchased by Boca Research, another maker of communications products for computers, but the deal fell through. Meanwhile, AP reports that Hayes has been proceeding with its own restructuring proposal, the core of which was approved by the bankruptcy court in May. The company had $270 million in sales last year. Borland Earnings Up Eightfold Borland International Inc. has reported a nearly eightfold increase in second quarter profits despite a 37 percent drop in revenue, reports the Associated Press. Citing improvement in its client-server business and benefits from restructuring, Borland officials said the company earned $2.6 million (or 8 cents a share) for the period ending Sept. 30. This compared to earnings of $350,000 (or 1 cent a share) for the same quarter a year ago. Revenue fell to $51.3 million from $81.3 million. The company reported results after stock trading ended yesterday when its shares closed at $14.50, up 12.5 cents, on the Nasdaq Stock Market. According to CompuServe's Quick Quotes, Borland's stock was down 25 cents to $14.25 in mid-afternoon trading. Borland noted that the results represented the second straight quarter of profitability since it reorganized. Earlier this year, the company slashed its staff and scaled back its operations to concentrate of products for software developers, reports AP. "We continued to make outstanding progress toward our corporate objectives," said Borland president Gary Wetsel. While gross profit was down, expenses also were down sharply, and last year's second quarter included at $3.1 million charge for an earlier restructuring. For the first half of fiscal 1996, Borland earned $5.4 million (or 18 cents a share), down 91 percent from $61.7 million (or $1.84 a share). Revenue fell 30 percent, to $105.1 million from $150.4 million. Last year's figures include several special items, including a $99.9 million gain on the sale of Borland's Quattro Pro spreadsheet line to Novell Inc. and revenue of $24.5 million from sale of Paradox database licenses to Novell. Without the special items, Borland would have lost $35.7 million in the first six months of last year. IBM Exec May Head Digital PC Unit Bruce Claflin has resigned as general manager of product and brand management at IBM Corp.'s PC unit, and may be headed to rival Digital Equipment Corp. to lead the company's PC business. IBM says Claflin resigned to pursue other interests. An internal memo issued by the computer maker says a replacement will be named shortly. "Bruce has done an outstanding job at the (IBM) PC Co. and at IBM," says Robert Stephenson, an IBM senior vice president and group executive of the company's personal systems group. "I wish him well in his future." Late Thursday, the Reuter News Service reported that Claflin is expected to be named the head of Digital Equipment's PC business. Ex-Lotus Exec Jumps to Wang Robert Weiler, former vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at Lotus Development Corp., has joined Wang Laboratories Inc. as a senior vice president and president of the company's software business unit. Weiler left Lotus earlier this month, shortly after the resignation of CEO Jim Manzi. He is widely acknowledged as one of the driving forces behind the success of Lotus Notes, the IBM Corp. subsidiary's groupware product. In his new position, Weiler will have worldwide responsibility for the development, marketing, sale, and support of Wang's workflow, imaging, document management and COLD software products. "Bob was my colleague and friend at Lotus," says Donald P. Casey, Wang's president and chief technology officer. "I was excited when Bob expressed his interest in joining Wang, and I am now delighted to welcome him to the Wang team." Before joining Lotus in 1991, Weiler was president and chief operating officer of Interleaf Inc., an electronic publishing and document management software and services company. Prior to Interleaf, Weiler was president and chief operating officer of Cullinet Software Inc. Lotus Loses One Exec, Keeps Another Lotus Development Corp. has lost one more top executive, but retained another. The IBM Corp. subsidiary says Kc Branscomb, its senior vice president of business development, has resigned. Meanwhile, John Landry, Lotus' chief technology officer, will remain on board as a strategic technology consultant to IBM. Landry will provide strategic consulting to Lotus and IBM on the Internet and the integration of Lotus Notes and Internet technologies, as well as on IBM's network-centric computing strategy in general. Branscomb joined Lotus in October 1992 as senior vice president of business development. Previously, she was chief executive officer of IntelliCorp Inc., a Mountain View, California-based developer of object oriented software. No immediate word was released on Branscomb's plans. "We're pleased that John will continue to contribute not only to the growth of Lotus' business, but to IBM's overall network-centric computing strategy as well," says John M. Thompson, senior vice president and group executive of the IBM Software Group. "We've been impressed not only with John's understanding of technology trends, but his understanding of the market opportunities those trends create and the impact they will have on our customers' businesses." Landry joined Lotus in November 1991 as a senior vice president and chief technology officer. Previously, he was executive vice president and chief technology officer for Dun & Bradstreet Software. Prior to Dun & Bradstreet Software, Landry was chairman and CEO of Agility Systems Inc., and was executive vice president and a member of the board of directors of Cullinet Software. Lotus has been in management turmoil and bleeding top talent since the resignation of CEO Jim Manzi earlier this month. Treybig Leaving as Tandem CEO James G. "Jimmy" Treybig, one of the longest-tenured executives in Silicon Valley, is stepping down in the next six months as president/CEO of Tandem Computers Inc. so someone else can try to revitalize the company he founded 21 years ago. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, reporter Joan E. Rigdon quotes analysts as saying Treybig failed to control costs and develop a strong senior management team. Rigdon adds that after a successor is found, Treybig will be named chairman, succeeding Thomas J. Perkins, the venture capitalist who wrote the $1 million check that put Tandem into business in 1975. (Perkins, who is Tandem's largest individual shareholder with 2.2 million shares, will remain chairman of the board's executive committee.) Rigdon says Tandem also shook up the rest of its senior management team, noting Robert C. Marshall, chief operating officer, will retire by year's end, as will Donald E. Fowler, a general manager of Tandem's solution- products group. The board will add two or three executives from the computer industry to its ranks in the next six months. "Tandem announced the latest move along with surprisingly low earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter and year ended Sept. 30," the Journal reports. "Net income for the quarter plunged 72 percent to $19.8 million, or 17 cents a share, from $71 million, or 62 cents a share a year earlier, and was barely half of analysts' lowest expectations. Revenue increased 6 percent to $523.7 million from $503.8 million." The paper adds that two years ago, Tandem faced a revenue and profit drain because its main products -- fault-tolerant computers that are designed to keep working even through power outages and other glitches -- "were overpriced and didn't use a standard industry operating system, Unix." Hayes Bids to Remain Independent Intent on remaining independent, modem maker Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. has launched a plan under which it will received $35 million in equity investment. However, Hayes CEO Dennis C. Hayes has told reporter Mark Boslet of the Dow Jones News Service he doesn't see suitors Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc. and US Robotics Corp. abandoning their attempts to buy the company. Hayes told the wire service the $35 million from Northern Telecom Ltd. and Singapore-based ACMA Ltd. combined with a $50 million to $60 million credit facility from two financial institutions will enable Hayes to re-emerge from bankruptcy. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Atlanta has scheduled a Dec. 18 confirmation hearing on the plan. But "I think (US Robotics and Diamond Multimedia) will try to make a run at it," Hayes added, since they have publicly expressed their interest in the company. He added, though, that market leader US Robotics may run into regulatory hurdles if it seeks government approval for such a purchase. Northern Telecom and ACMA each will receive 24.5 percent interest in Hayes in exchange for their investment, DJNS says. Hayes told Boslet that after paying creditors with interest (estimated at about $85 million), his independent firm will have enough cash to operate, which "leaves us in a reasonable position." Hayes also said: z The turnaround in his $300 million-a-year modem business has continued, saying the firm has seen an "substantial improvement in its operating profits." z His plan to keep the company independent calls for the hiring of a chief operation officer and that the hiring process is underway. SoftKey Plans Acquisitions SoftKey International Inc. says it plans to acquire Minnesota Educational Computing Corp. (MECC) in a stock swap deal valued at $370 million. MECC specializes in educational software. Softkey, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, publishes a wide array of consumer software titles. In a separate move, Softkey is marking a hostile $606 million bid for The Learning Co., an educational software publisher that has already agreed to be acquired by Broderbund Software Inc. The Learning Co.'s titles include Reader Rabbit and Math Rabbit. "There is no overlap in the MECC product mix with SoftKey's," says Kevin O'Leary, SoftKey's president. "This further enhances SoftKey's shelf space in retail with proprietary brand name educational titles in math, social studies, language arts and science." Adds Michael Perik, SoftKey' CEO, "MECC is a leading developer in the educational software market with over 190 titles such as Oregon Trail II. It will be a great asset for SoftKey." Notes Dale E. LaFrenz, MECC's president and CEO, "This merger provides MECC with very significant opportunities to leverage its position in both the school and home educational software markets." The MECC transaction is subject to several conditions, including stockholder and government approvals. Lycos Passes a Milestone Lycos Inc. reports its World Wide Web search engine (http://www.lycos.com) has cataloged more than 10 million sites, representing nearly 92 percent of the entire Web. The Marlboro, Massachusetts, company says its online catalog currently covers 10.79 million Web sites. Current calculations put the number of Web pages, or Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) at 11.74 million worldwide on 103,059 Web servers. Lycos notes that Web servers are coming online at a rate of 6,000 per month, adding more than 1.1 million URLs every month. "Our estimates of the size of the Web are conservative," says Michael L. Mauldin, Lycos' chief scientist, and developer of the Lycos spider technology at Carnegie Mellon University. "Nevertheless, with our technology we have been able to rapidly identify and catalog new Web sites at a rate that exceeds the growth rate for the Internet as a whole." The 10 millionth Web site cataloged by Lycos deals with "Fun Insect Facts." The site, http://ham.spa.umn.edu/kris/science.html, is a sub-page of a home page belonging to a fourth year graduate student at the University of Minnesota, Kristine Sigsbee. Report Calls for I-Way Safeguards A new government study says safeguards must be built into the information superhighway to keep Americans' personal information private. "Concerns about safeguarding privacy will likely grow as the (information superhighway) becomes a pervasive, functioning reality," states the Commerce Department white paper report. It notes that the Internet and other data, voice, and video services will be used for commerce in a wide range of areas, including banking, entertainment, education, recreation, and health care in the years ahead. "These transactions, by their very execution ... create electronic records which are easily stored and processed," says the study. The 28-page report says companies on the information superhighway should voluntarily notify consumers about the implications of the personal data being collected and obtain users' permission before distributing it. Failing voluntary compliance, "government action will be needed to safeguard the legitimate privacy interests of American consumers," warns the report. The report notes that the average American's name appears on 100 mailing lists and 50 electronic databases. Survey Analyzes Web Users Home-based accounts are the primary access method to the World Wide Web for 55 percent of web surfers, finds an online survey of users of the Yahoo! World Wide Web site (http://www.yahoo.com). The survey was conducted by Yahoo! of Mountain View, California, which runs the Web search engine, and Jupiter Information, a New York-based media research firm. The average survey respondent is a single American male between the ages of 25 to 34 who holds a professional managerial career with an income between $35,000 to $49,999 and at least a college degree. Forty-six percent of survey respondents have two or more computers in their household. Six in ten users have access to a commercial online service. The majority of respondents have been on the Web for less than a year. They use online services or the Web more than once a day, and spent at least one hour during their last online session. The average user's online time per week is approximately 20 hours. Thirty-five percent of users reported that surfing Web sites is their primary online activity. Twenty-eight percent of respondents reported that e-mail is their primary online activity. Sixty-one percent of correspondents reported that they are spending less time watching TV because they were spending time online. Nearly 66 percent of respondents are unwilling to pay a monthly fee to enter Web sites. Of those who are willing to pay for entry into a Web site, slightly more than half (55 percent) say they would be willing to pay $1 to $4 per month. Nearly 30 percent of respondents have made an online purchase in the past six months with 66 percent of those having made that purchase through individual Web sites. "The large numbers of current users accessing from home validates the notion that the Web is truly a developing consumer medium," says Kurt Abrahamson, Jupiter's managing director. "The World Wide Web will be a transactional platform and a vital advertising venue. The survey results back up the strength of the Web for all sorts of commercial ventures aimed at consumers." Study Finds 24 Million on U.S. Net An exhaustive new study by Dun & Bradstreet Corp.'s Nielsen Media Research unit finds some 24 million people in the U.S. and Canada now are on the Internet, or fully 11 percent of the North American population over age 16. Writing in the Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Jared Sandberg notes that while "doubters have hotly contended that the Internet's soaring growth has been wildly inflated in the past year," the Nielsen study says "an impressive 17.6 million people use the World Wide Web ... and of those, nearly one-quarter use the Web to peek at the on-screen displays of their business rivals." Other findings: 1. Women make up about one-third of all Internet users, far more than previously thought. 2. Internet users spend an average of five hours online each week, more time than TV viewers spend with their VCRs. 3. Nearly 37 million people have access to the Internet in the U.S. and Canada, indicating an even larger potential population than the current 24 million. 4. Some 2.5 million people have purchased products or services over the Web. 5. Users tend to be upscale, educated professionals with a household income of more than $80,000. Sandberg called the Nielsen study, based on interviews with more than 4,000 households, "one of the most rigorous efforts so far to gauge usage based on a large random sample." President/CEO Nicholas Donatiello of research firm Odyssey Ventures Inc., an independent research firm, told the paper the sample is large enough for the results "to be taken seriously," adding the findings were consistent with his own previous efforts. The Nielsen report was commissioned by CommerceNet, a nonprofit consortium of high-tech companies with an interest in promoting electronic commerce. House, Senate Finalize Telecom Bill Negotiators from the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are meeting this week for the first time to iron out differences on a bill that would rewrite telecommunications laws in the United States. Reuter correspondent Roger Fillion reports from Washington, D.C., that the negotiators hope to send a final bill to President Clinton by the end of the year. The two bodies of Congress overwhelmingly passed similar pieces of legislation that would unleash competition among the telephone, cable, and broadcast industries. The bills represent the biggest rewrite of communications law in 60 years. Any compromise bill agreed to by the 45 lawmakers on the conference panel must also be approved by both chambers of Congress and signed by President Clinton, who has threatened to veto the legislation as now worded in the House and Senate bills. "Our bills are close," said Rep. Thomas Bliley, a Virginia Republican. "We should be able to work it out in a timely fashion and present a bill to the president that he will sign." Reuters notes that some of the major sticking points that could trigger a veto are provisions to allow media companies to own more television stations, cable companies and newspapers, as well as language to deregulate cable TV rates. The bills also would scrap legal barriers so local and long- distance phone and cable companies could invade each others' markets. Those opposing the legislation say it would raise phone and cable rates and promote monopoly power in the media business. But supporters disagree, insisting it will give consumers a greater choice of services, more competition, and lower rates. Study Finds Computer Crime Rising A new survey of 200 businesses across the nation has found more than 90 percent of the firms responding have been victims of computer crime. And 43.3 percent of these had been computer crime victims at least 25 times. The study -- conducted by Michigan State University criminal justice professor David Carter and research assistant Andra Katz -- "showed substantial increases in the introduction of computer viruses into company machines and harassment of employees through computer network communications," says a statement from East Lansing, Michigan. Also, the study found the most common thefts were committed by employees and contract workers, but it noted a "significant increase in computer hackers." Carter commented in the statement, "This will undoubtedly grow with the increased numbers of computers, more networking and wider computer literacy. There is also an increasing threat of computer crime from organized crime groups from Eastern Europe." He added it is difficult to put a dollar figure on many of the thefts because they represent "intellectual property" such as client lists and pricing information. The statement noted, though, that the British Banking Association recently estimated computer fraud is costing $8 billion a year or $22.4 million a day. The Michigan study projects the average business fraud is $23,000 while the average business fraud involving computers is $500,000. The study found the most common computer-related abuses by the respondents were: z Credit card fraud, 96.6 percent. z Telecommunications fraud, 96.6 percent. z Employee use of company computer equipment for personal reasons, 96 percent. z Unauthorized access to computer files for snooping, 95.1 percent. z Cellular phone fraud, 94.5 percent. z Unlawful copying of copyrighted or licensed software, 91.2 percent. The most dramatic increases over the past five years were: z Theft or attempted theft of client or customer information, 81 percent. z Theft or attempted theft of trade secrets, 77.6 percent. z Theft or attempted theft of new product plans, 76.7 percent. z Theft or attempted theft of product descriptions, 75.7 percent. z Unauthorized computer access to confidential employee information, 74.5 percent. z Unauthorized computer access to confidential business information, 74.4 percent. z Theft or attempted theft of money, 72.2 percent. z Theft or attempted theft of product pricing data, 71.8 percent. The research suggested a two- step approach to protecting against technology related crime: 1. Address physical security issues, including training employees who use computers about their responsibilities and security related issues, and controlling access to computers. 2. Address operations security, including training, screening personnel, supervision, systems monitoring, compartmentalizing critical information, cryptography and password changes on a regular basis. Online Libel Case Resolved Prodigy Services Co. says it has reached an agreement in a closely watched libel case that could lead to a ruling that online providers are not responsible for the content on their services. The Reuter news service reports that the anticipated ruling could have enormous impact on the online field and on companies offering personal computer users access to the Internet. Prodigy had been sued for libel by Stratton Oakmont Inc., a small brokerage firm, which alleged that it had been libeled by an unknown Prodigy member in messages about it on a Prodigy bulletin board. The judge ruled in May that Prodigy, as a publisher, could be held liable for statements posted on its bulletin boards. Now, Prodigy says it and Stratton Oakmont have reached an agreement that could lead to the judge reversing his ruling. "The two sides are in agreement," a Prodigy spokesman told Reuters. "This paves the way for the judge to reverse his judgment and then dismiss the case." Forbes Blasts Need for FCC Publisher and Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes said today he would scrap the Federal Communications Commission if he were elected president, since technological changes have eliminated the need for the agency. The Associated Press reports that Forbes insisted the FCC has turned into a roadblock to the development of new technology. "In recent years, the FCC has been a blocker of cellular telephones, it's been a blocker of the advance of cable television," he said. "Get rid of something that's outlived its usefulness." Forbes' comments were made during a taping of Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press" program to be aired on Sunday. The publishing magnate said he advocates a flat tax on income that he acknowledges would substantially reduce tax revenues without spurred economic activity. Asked where he would find cuts within the government to avoid ballooning the deficit, Forbes focused on the FCC, notes AP. He said that the agency was initially created when broadcasting was in its infancy to regulate access to scarce airwaves, but such fundamental justification no longer remains. Forbes is best known for running the publishing empire built around Forbes Magazine. He said he owns no broadcast outlets regulated by the FCC. Cyber Kids May Watch Less TV A new telephone survey says children who can use a computer at home watch slightly less television. And the poll of 1,200 families conducted earlier this year on behalf of a score of U.S. computer, media, and learning enterprises also found that initially girls spend more time at the keyboards than boys, but that by seventh grade, boys overtake girls. Vice President Tom Miller of Find SVP, a consulting company that performed the study in association with Grunwald Associates, told the Associated Press that four out of 10 households surveyed had PCs and reported children averaging 11.9 hours of TV a week, compared with 12.8 hours in computerless homes. Other findings: z From pre-kindergarten through third grade, girls use computers an average of 9.6 hours a week, boys 6.6 hours. In fourth through sixth grades, girls drop to 8.9 hours and boys increase to 7.2. z In seventh and eighth grades, boys put in 12.4 hours at terminals to 11 hours for girls. In high school, it is 12.3 hours for boys and 10 hours for girls. z They start out spending more time playing games, but that changes as homework increases. z In the early grades, boys do homework on computers for about three- quarters of an hour a week; girls less than less than half an hour, the study found. By high school, boys are doing 3.4 hours of homework on computers and girls 4.5 hours. CompuServe Puts Info on the Phone CompuServe Inc. is putting some of its online information on the telephone. Through an exclusive agreement with Premiere Communications Inc., the company is introducing a service that lets people take advantage of a wide variety of online communications services by dialing in from any Touch- Tone phone in the United States and from more than 40 countries. The new product, code-named the CallingAll Card, looks like a phone card, but provides access to an array of personalized information and communications products. Using a toll-free number and a private identification code, CompuServe members will be able to use a phone to preview "select" e-mail based upon personally-set criteria. For example, a CompuServe member can choose to have "priority" messages sent to his or her CallingAll Card e- mail box. Then the user can send any messages he or she wishes to read immediately to any fax machine. Other services include: fax mail, voice mail, speed dial, conference calling, travel services and news events weather and sports reports. At anytime from anywhere. Future plans include text-to-voice translation, so members can "hear" their e-mail. "Now, you don't even need a computer to access e-mail. You don't need a modem to tap into online information. You just need a phone and our CallingAll Card," says Rob Mainor, CompuServe's vice president of product marketing and business information services. Adds Steve Owens, CompuServe's account manager for strategic/OEM relationships, "This service is ideal for business people on the go. Anytime, anywhere, CompuServe's industry-leading information is right there." The CallingAll Card will be available internationally with toll-free access in more than 40 countries at its release early in the first quarter of 1996. The service will be included in the $9.95 per month CompuServe membership fee. The card will be free to current CompuServe members; however, a 25 cents per minute fee will apply when the card is in use. The CallingAll Card acts as a credit card, accruing charges as it is used. It includes 20 free minutes of access for the first month and can also be used as a traditional calling card. Lotus Ships Notes Pre-Release Lotus Development Corp. says it has begun shipping a pre-release version of its Lotus Notes Release 4.0 groupware, dubbed Test Build 2, to more than 10,000 business partners and customers worldwide. Lotus states that Test Build 2 is part of the Lotus Notes Release 4.0 phased development cycle rather than a conventional beta program. Lotus says the approach allows it to maximize development resources, permitting greater business partner and customer participation earlier in the design and development process. In mid-1994, Lotus delivered a Field Test Partner Build of Lotus Notes Release 4.0 to a select group of business partners and customers. In October 1994, nearly 250 business partners received a Professional Developers Build. Test Build 1 was delivered in June 1995 to 1,000 business partners and customers. "With Test Build 2, we commence the final phase of bringing Notes Release 4.0 to market worldwide," says Jeff Papows, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the IBM Corp. subsidiary. Lotus Notes Release 4.0 includes enhancements in integrated client-server messaging, ease of use, mobility, application development, enterprise management and Internet integration. The final version of Lotus Notes Release 4.0 is scheduled to ship before the end of 1995. The Kids' Computing Corner Holiday Activity Fun Pak Hybrid-format Windows/Macintosh CD-ROM retail price around $15 for ages 3 and up from VroomBooks, T/Maker Company 1390 Villa Street Mountain View, CA 94041 415-962-0195 Program Requirements IBM Macintosh CPU: 486 CPU: Color Macintosh RAM: 4 megs RAM: 4 megs OS: Windows 3.1 OS: System 6.0.7 Video: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Video: 256 colors Hdisk: 1k for program group Hdisk: 1k CD-ROM: Double-speed recommended CD-ROM: Double-speed recommended Misc.: Sound card, printer optional Unless you haven't watched television or ventured to your local stores, you know that Christmas is just around the corner on the calendar. If your children haven't captured the holiday spirit yet, T/Maker Company's new Holiday Activity Fun Pak will surely do the trick. This CD-ROM contains four activities based on Christmas themes. Blizzard the snowman will be your child's guide as paints pictures, unwraps gifts, decorates the tree and builds a snowman. Masterpiece Paintbox features twenty holiday line drawings. The paint program has seven colors including an excellent flesh tone. Two brush sizes are available plus a fill-in tool. A pencil eraser is used to make minor corrections while a large eraser starts the painting process over again. The line drawings can be printed out to be colored by hand. The program does not print out finished paintings nor does it allow them to be saved for later viewing. These features should have been included. Are your children already begging to decorate for Christmas? Decorate the Christmas Tree will give your children a computer simulation of decorating five different kinds of Christmas trees. The choices include two traditional pines, a cactus, a palm and a television antenna. To change the tree, simply pull on the drape cord in the picture. Children can choose from twenty-four ornaments held in a shadowbox. Children click on an ornament and drag it to the tree. Ornaments can be used more than once. The lights will twinkle when the switch is in the on position. The program again does include a save program for preserving images of favorite trees. Unwrap the Presents is a matching game featuring ten wrapped packages. Children click on packages to find the picture or sound contained within and then must find its match among the other packages. While this part of the program is nicely done, it is again lacking in features. The program provides no computer opponent nor does it readily support competing players. The number of packages cannot be changed to increase the challenge of the game nor does the computer time the player in his effort to match the packages. These features would add to the replay value of the game. The final activity is Make a Snowman's Face. Children build an almost endless assortment of snowman faces by choosing and changing his eyes, hair, mouth and nose. Faces can neither be saved nor can they be printed out. This is a fun activity for younger children but it lacks depth to entertain older children. As an added bonus, the program includes a Yule Log Screen Saver but it only works when Holiday Activity Fun Pak is running in the foreground. A dancing, crackling fire burns in the fireplace while a medley of Christmas songs is played. This portion of the program could have been improved by including more songs. It only takes a short while before the songs are repeating. Holiday Activity Fun Pak features beautifully-rendered graphics. Images appear ready to jump off the screen at the viewer. The sound portion of the program is very high quality. The voice characterization of Blizzard is enthusiastic and animated. Children will love Blizzard's cowboy lingo. The interface is very simple and easy to use. Blizzard describes the functions of each icon in every screen. If a child needs help, clicking on Blizzard will cause him to repeat his help narration. The program has no user manual except some brief installation instructions inside the CD-ROM packaging and a short readme file containing troubleshooting tips. Play value varies according the child's age and computer experience. Younger and less experienced children will enjoy this program more. The program really offers nothing new so older children will probably have played similar activities in other packages. Additionally, the program suffers low replay value because of missing save and competition features. Holiday Activity Fun Pak is not being promoted as an educational title but as a children's entertainment title. The program does have some educational value as it promotes hand-eye coordination, encourages artistic expression and allows children to exercise their visual and auditory memory. At a price of $15, Holiday Activity Fun Pak is not a large expense. It has shortcomings in that play value is not high, educational content is low and the program has no moneyback guarantee. I can only recommend this program if you have very young children and you have no other programs with similar activities. The program had a lot of potential, but perhaps it was not exploited to keep the price down. Ratings Graphics ....... 9.0 Sounds ....... 9.0 Interface ........ 9.0 Play Value ..... 6.5 Educational Value .. 5.0 Bang for the Buck .. 6.0 Average ...... 7.42 Neue Medien fr Kinder Hmm, this title sounds like something that the Muppet's Swedish Chef would say. This is actually the name for an international conference centered on new media for children. The conference will take place November 29 and 30, and December 1 in Frankfurt, Germany. The agenda will include a discussion of children's education and the opportunities for computer software to assist children's learning through interactive multimedia. You might ask, "But what does this have to do with Muppets?" Brighter Child Software has licensed the Muppet characters for use in their children's software products. The CEO of Brighter Child Interactive, Richard Pam, will be the keynote speaker for the conference. The attendees will learn how Brighter Child effectively uses licensed characters to teach children while entertaining them. Mr. Pam, a former mathematics teacher, has led Brighter Child to the forefront of the children's software industry. His company also produces a series of workbooks which can be used with the software or as stand alone learning products. Brighter Child can be contacted at 614-847-8118. TERRAGLYPH Interactive Studios FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Native Windows 95 Title Targets Whole Family TERRAGLYPH LAUNCHES HANSEL & GRETEL, 1ST SERIES OF INTERACTIVE GAMES BASED ON FAIRY TALES FEATURING HOLLYWOOD QUALITY ANIMATION, ORIGINAL MUSIC SCHAUMBURG, IL - Hansel and Gretel leap out of the pages of Grimms' fairy tales and come to life on the personal computer with the release of "Hansel & Gretel and the Enchanted Castle," a native Windows 95 interactive multimedia game for the whole family from TerraGlyph Interactive Studios. Setting a new standard for animation CD-ROMs, TerraGlyph utilizes film- quality production values, high resolution graphics and original music in the timeless tale, producing an interactive adventure game that appeals to all members of the family. "'Hansel & Gretel and the Enchanted Castle' is a great way for parents and kids to spend time together," said Ken Hansen, vice president, publishing, TerraGlyph. "We start with the basic story line and then use innovative technology, involving strategy games and spectacular images to draw the whole family into the game." Children and parents follow Hansel and Gretel as they make their way through the forest and find the castle. As in the original story, the wicked witch feeds and nourishes the pair before locking them away. In the main part of the game, Hansel must scheme to escape from the dungeon, where the witch has thrown him, to rescue Gretel. Helping players navigate through the treacherous castle is Prin, an imp early befriended by Hansel and Gretel. Prin plays hide-and-go-seek with Hansel, leading him through the rooms and providing clues in primary and secondary languages. Throughout the game, players can click on any of dozens of "hot spots" hidden in each scene, discovering clues and secrets which allow them to travel from room to room. Surprises,- hidden trap doors, secret rooms and haunting creatures - are everywhere. The game has multiple levels of difficulty, and clues are different each time the game is played, making each game solution unique. Multiple animation sequences, simultaneously displayed, keep players engrossed in the action. Because the cursor remains active, players do not have to wait for one event to end before initiating the next move. Animation is delivered at 24 frames-per-second, equivalent to Hollywood's Academy of Arts and Sciences standard, yielding the smooth performance comparable to television or animated movies. Transparent or ghost-like animations are also used. Original music and sound effects reveal the story's plot and involve players in the emotion of the characters. One song explores the motives of the stepmother as she contrives to leave Hansel and Gretel in the dark forest. Another is a lullaby sung by Hansel and Gretel to comfort each other when they find out that their heartless stepmother was planning to leave them in the forest to die. Still another song provides a glimpse into the twisted character of the wicked witch as she plots a course to "fatten up" Hansel and Gretel before she eats them. "Hansel & Gretel" also has a multiple-language feature. Choosing from English, Spanish, French, Japanese and German, users can select two of the five languages at the beginning of the title, allowing more than 220 objects to be identified in the secondary language. Prin, the imp, then provides clues incorporating both languages. For example, if the user chooses English as his primary language and Spanish as the secondary, then Prin might assist Hansel by saying, "I am hiding behind la puerta, (the door)." Players can use this information to uncover the secrets and find Gretel. "Hansel & Gretel and the Enchanted Castle" is the first in a series of interactive fairy tale CD-ROMs from TerraGlyph. Created for Windows 95, the title will be available in October 1995. Street price is expected to be $49.95. Founded in 1994, TerraGlyph Interactive Studios designs, develops, markets and distributes family entertainment software for Windows 95. The company is located at 1375 Remington Rd., Schaumburg, IL., 60173. For distribution information, call 708-781-4100. For immediate release: Activision's Mechwarrior 2 Ranks #1 3-D Combat Action Simulation Named Best-Selling Game by PC Data Los Angeles, CA- Activision inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) announced today that according to PC Data, Mechwarrior 2 was the #1 entertainment CD-ROM for the PC games category during the month of August. The 3-D combat-simulation title, which exploded onto retail shelves on July24, is being carried in approximately 9,000 stores across the United States and Canada. Translated and localized versions of Mechwarrior 2 for the international markets commenced shipping late in September. To date, 300,000 units of the game have shipped worldwide. "Mechwarrior 2 continues to be one of the strongest selling titles of the season," explains Jerry Madaio, senior buyer for Electronics Boutique. Based on the popular BattleTech universe, Mechwarrior 2 combines sophisticated simulation gameplay with vivid graphics thrusting the player into an explosive world of sight, sound and action. The game was launched with an ambitious marketing campaign of approximately $1.5 million, which included advertising in trade and consumer-based publications in addition to a number of innovative online and retail-based promotions. In November, Activision will be introducing a Mechwarrior 2 expansion pack which will offer an exciting range of new `Mechs, missions and terrains. The expansion pack will also include a NetMech feature which allows friends to compete head-to-head over a modem, or eight players to battle over a local area network. Additionally, the company will release a Windows 95 version of Mechwarrior 2 later this year. Mechwarrior 2's stunning full-motion video sequences and cutting-edge sound effects have set new standards for computer game production. To achieve this, Activision collaborated with the leading Hollywood special effects house Digital Domain (Apollo 13") and Academy Award-winning Soundelux Media Labs ("True Lies," "Pocahontas," "Braveheart," "Cliffhanger"). Activision, Inc. is a publicly held developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for Microsoft Windows and MS-DOS-compatible, Macintosh and other computers, as well as Nintendo, Sega, 3DO, and Sony PlayStation game systems. Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in London, Tokyo and Sydney, the company sells and markets products under the Activision and Infocom trade names. Believe It or Not? Sanctuary Woods announces shipment of The Riddle of Master LU Sanctuary Woods has released a 3D graphic adventure based on the life of Robert Ripley, author of the famed "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" His life was an adventure that matched that any that Indiana Jones had on the silver screen. The Riddle of Master Lu contains over two hundred rooms and more than thirty video characters that combine to give the game more than sixty hours of game play. An original score and challenging puzzles add to the gamer's experience. The story is set in 1936. Ripley must travel throughout China to find the emperor's jade seal, a talisman of great power. Failure to obtain the seal will have cataclysmic consequences for the entire world. This 3D adventure game has a suggested retail price of $59.95. It can be purchased from many retailers or directly from Sanctuary Woods by calling 1-800-943-3664. An official's player guide filled with hints is available for $12.95 also. For Immediate Release More News from Activision ACTIVISION ENTERS INTO AN EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENT WITH GAMEBANK CORPORATION TO DISTRIBUTE GAMES FOR WINDOWS 95 Deal Underscores Activision's Support for New Operating System in Japanese Marketplace One of the first American companies to strongly support Windows 95 in the Asian marketplace, Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with GAMEBANK Corporation - a joint venture between Microsoft Co., Ltd. And SOFTBANK Corporation - to release the Japanese language versions of its blockbuster games Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure and Shanghai: Great Moments on the new Microsoft Windows 95 operating system. Under the terms of the agreement, Activision will retain full ownership of the games and all distribution rights outside Japan. The announcement was made today by Bobby Kotick, Chairman and CEO, Activision, Inc. "This agreement further underscores our continued commitment to the Japanese market and to the Windows 95 operating system," explains Kotick. "Windows 95 has the ability to revolutionize the PC market, and thus expand overall gaming demand and add a whole new medium in which to play games." Two of the first games ever to be developed for Windows 95, Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure and Shanghai: Great Moments showcase the "Auto Start" capabilities of the new operating system, and take full advantage of the system's ability to increase interactive response speed, as well as enhance a game's animated graphic and sound performance. "The advent of Windows 95 has made the PC a superior platform for all sorts of games," said Hiro Fukami, president, GAMEBANK. "This is because Windows 95 includes a variety of features that dramatically improve game performance. As a result, the overall demand for games will grow rapidly, and PCs will become one of the major game platforms." In Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure, players must maneuver Pitfall Harry, Jr. through thirteen levels in a perilous attempt to rescue his father from the spirit of an evil Mayan warrior. This latest adventure contains three challenging new levels - Palenque Ruins, Tomb of Palenque and Jaina Island Falls. Game fans also will enjoy discovering an exact and playable replica of the original Atari 2600 Pitfall! hidden within a secret level of the new game. Building on the well-established Shanghai franchise, Shanghai: Great Moments features a variety of digitized video clips, computer-generated images, compelling music, and actress Rosalind Chao as a live-action emcee. This latest version also includes three all-new games - Action Shanghai, Beijing and The Great Wall - in addition to Classic Shanghai. Motion picture and television clips, colorful animations, and digitized music create lively reward screens when players match intricate pairs of tiles. After a game is successfully completed, the background screen or a video segment related to the particular tile set being played comes to life. GAMEBANK was recently formed as a joint venture by Microsoft Co., Ltd., and SOFTBANK Corporation of Tokyo, Japan. Its charter is to port the best of game software titles to Windows 95. To that end, GAMEBANK is securing publishing and distribution rights from game creators, and will handle the marketing, sales, and distribution of Windows 95-based games in a variety of markets. Benign Macintosh Virus on Edmark's Thinkin' Things 1 v1.1 CD-ROM Edmark recently published an updated release of its fine educational software title, Thinkin' Things Collection 1. This is a hybrid CD-ROM which includes both Macintosh and Windows versions of the software. Edmark recently discovered that a benign Macintosh virus resides on the disc. This virus does not affect IBM compatibles in any way and appears to do no harm to Macintosh computers. To alleviate any customer concerns, Edmark is taking the following actions: z Edmark has stopped all shipment of the infected product and has begun manufacturing new product. z Edmark has notified retail channels of the proper procedures. z A notice has been posted on their America On-Line bulletin board. z Any Macintosh customer who registers the product with Edmark will be notified of the virus and sent a replacement copy of the product. z All Macintosh customers who have a virus detecting utility can simply call Edmark for a replacement CD-ROM. z Disinfectant is being sent to customers who wish to use it to scan, disinfect and protect their system. z If customers have any questions, they can call either Customer Service at 206-556-8484 or Technical Support at 206-556-8480. To date Edmark has not detected any multiplication by the virus, nor have they detected any instances in which it copies itself from the CD to the hard drive. Edmark wants its customers to know that they take every precaution to guard against this occurrence. In this case, however, reasonable measures did not prove sufficient. Reporter's note: This just shows how important it is for everyone to maintain the integrity of your data. Make backups of your most important data on a regular basis and use virus-killing software to keep your data bug- free. The Escape of Marvin the Ape Hybrid-format Windows/Macintosh CD-ROM retail price $19.95 for ages 3 and up from VroomBooks, T/Maker Company 1390 Villa Street Mountain View, CA 94041 415-962-0195 Program Requirements IBM Macintosh CPU: 486 CPU: Color Macintosh RAM: 4 megs RAM: 4 megs OS: Windows 3.1 OS: System 6.0.7 Video: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Video: 256 colors Hdisk: 1k for program group Hdisk: 1k CD-ROM: Double-speed recommended CD-ROM: Double-speed recommended Misc.: Sound card, printer optional The Escape of Marvin Ape is an interactive multimedia version of the best-selling children's book of the same title by Caralyn M and Mark Buehner. Narrated by ingenious comedian Jonathan Winters, this title will appeal to parents as well as children. The program also features beautiful illustrations and up tempo music to delight and entertain your child. Marvin features the Interactivator user interface. It consists of a pipe surrounding the viewing screen. On the left side of the screen are the three bookworm hosts for the story. Each will talk to the child about the current page of the book when he is clicked on. Albert is a scientist and he will relate facts pertaining to an item in the page. Wendy is a teacher who will explain the story. Pablo is an artist who tries to heighten your child's imagination. The bottom pipe has two arrow buttons for moving back or forward a page. The middle button shows the page number. Clicking on that takes the child to a control panel which allows him to jump to any page; change the narration of the story to French, German or Spanish; or he can play one of three games. The final button is located on the right pipe and it is the text button. Pushing it will cause the page to be read again. The child can then click on individual words to hear them pronounced again. Each page is filled with at least a dozen hotspots. Clicking on these will result in a sound or animation surprise for your child. Some of these are humorous, others propagate the story but these will certainly entertain your child. Be sure to click on the three bookworms in each page to gain the most educational value from the program. The included games are very simple. The first is The Musical Fruit Machine. Six fruits represent six musical sounds. Clicking on a fruit sends it moving back and forth across the window. When it reaches either side, it will sound its note. Dozens of notes can be placed on the screen at once and the tempo can be changed between slow and fast. This activity promotes musical exploration and creativity. Unfortunately, it does not include a save feature for preserving your child's masterpieces. Peekaboo Windows is a matching game. Ten windows contain pictures or sounds. Your child must open one window, observe its contents, and then open the matching window. This activity promotes observation skills along with auditory and visual memory. While the program does randomize the contents of the windows to prolong game play, it will soon prove boring to older children. This activity would have benefited if the number of windows could have been increased, if a timer had been added to spur interest or if a two- player competitive mode had been included. The final activity is Masterpiece Paintbox. It features fourteen line drawings taken from the storybook illustrations. The painting program has very simple tools and only allows the child to use seven colors. The line drawings can be printed for hand coloring, but completed pictures can neither be printed nor can they be saved. These two features would have added more value to the program. The graphics in Marvin are outstanding. The illustrations are full of vibrant colors and rich details. Some animations could be smoother but this small flaw does not detract from the program. The sound portion of the program is first-class also. Jonathan Winters gives a rather low-key, but funny and effective performance reading the story. He also provides the voice of Pablo. The music is varied and interesting. Sound effects are used often and are very realistic. The interface is very easy to navigate and master. The user manual is very brief. The documentation would be better if it contained more troubleshooting tips. Free technical support is available by telephone, fax, e-mail and mail. Play value is fair. Children have many hotspots to explore and the narration is entertaining. The included activities are only average at best. Younger children may be satisfied with these, but older children (five and up) will quickly tire of them. The educational value is good. The program is filled with many interesting tidbits of information. Children can learn words by seeing them highlighted as they are read. A dictionary to explain the meaning of words would have greatly increased the value of the program. The option of listening and reading the story in four languages is an excellent learning opportunity. The Escape of Marvin the Ape is a value-priced program. It only has a guarantee of the program's media for ninety days. However, in the readme file included with the program, T/Maker offers a full refund to purchasers who find that their computers lack the capabilities to run the program. It is a nice program for younger children but may be lacking enough variety for older children. If a few more features had been added, I could have given this a definite "thumbs up" but I have to rate it as a "try before you buy" title. Ratings Graphics ....... 9.5 Sounds ....... 9.5 Interface ........ 9.0 Play Value ..... 6.5 Educational Value .. 7.0 Bang for the Buck .. 7.0 Average ...... 8.08 That's the end of this week's installment of The Kids' Computing Corner. Whew! If you have any comments, send them to email@example.com. Cerious Software, Inc. http://www.cerious.com 1515 Mockingbird Ln. Suite 209 ftp.cerious.com Charlotte, NC 28209 USA ftp firstname.lastname@example.org CompuServe: 76352,142 AOL: CeriousSW Cerious Software, Inc. is preparing to begin beta testing THE 32-BIT SHAREWARE VERSION OF THUMBSPLUS 3.0. This release will include the following new features since the last shareware release (2.0e): z 32-bit for Windows 95, NT and 3.1/3.11 (using Win32s) for much improved speed and ease-of-support. z New file types supported: PNG: CompuServe PiNG format (read/write) AVI: Windows animation (read only) MOV: Macintosh animation (read only) UUE: uuencoded files (read and decode) z A new database format, which provides: Keyword assignment and searching Automatic keyword assignment based on file type, file name, and file color characteristics Long file name support (except on Windows 3.1/3.11) Selection of thumbnail size and color depth (32 gray levels, 236-color palette, or 15-bit high color) Improved disk volume recognition (especially for network and CD-ROM drives), and assignment of volume aliases File annotations (comments in the database) z Files larger than 16Mb (except on Windows 3.1/3.11) z Improved display speed and memory usage for large files z Contact sheets (showing parts or all of a thumbnail catalog in a graphics file) z Improved OLE client support z Color selection for the directory list folders and various other user interface elements z Toolbar improvements: Customizable main window toolbar View window toolbar (also customizable) Tool tips for buttons on toolbars z View window status line z Reorganization of some menus for ease-of-use z Addition of right-button (context) menus z Use of property sheets (tabbed dialog boxes) to simplify adaptation of the program to your needs z Printing enhancements z The version 3.0-R registered beta will be ready in three to four weeks, but will only be available to registered users of ThumbsPlus. Here are some of the features in the registered version that are not in the shareware release: z Additional file types: DXF (AutoCAD Exchange format) support (2D only) ATM Adobe Type 1 font support EMF Enhanced Windows Metafiles z TWAIN scanning (TWAIN32; possibly TWAIN16 also) z Digital image filtering (sharpen, blur, etch, emboss, median, edge detection, etc.) z Image histograms and histogram equalization z OLE2 Server support for all image types it supports internally z Show ZIP files as directories, which can be browsed, and the files in the archive may be treated as regular files. Please check our Web site (http://www.cerious.com) or our FTP server (ftp.cerious.com) for announcements and the shareware beta file itself. The file should be posted around 5 Nov 1995. We also plan to make it available in the Shareware Beta (GO SWBETA) and Graphic Support (GO GRAPHS) forums on CompuServe. Remember - to test the registered beta, you must be a registered user of ThumbsPlus, so register today! Thank you for your support for ThumbsPlus and the shareware concept. President - Cerious Software, Inc. Editor's Note.. Thumbs Plus is STReport's Editor's Choice! Micrografx Reports First Quarter Results Richardson, Texas (October 23, 1995) - MicrografxO, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGXI), a leading graphics software developer, today reported income of $0.4 million, or $.05 per share, on revenues of $15.1 million for the fiscal 1996 first quarter ended September 30, 1995. For the three months ended September 30, 1994, the company reported revenues of $14.2 million and net income of $0.1 million, or $0.01 per share. "This quarter is very exciting on all fronts," said J. Paul Grayson, Micrografx chairman and chief executive officer. "Revenue and profitability growth was accompanied by an unparalleled achievement in product development and marketing, during which our entire product line was renewed and launched within a 60 day period." New product shipments during the quarter included Hallmark ConnectionsO Card StudioO and Micrografx ABC Graphics SuiteO. Hallmark Connections Card Studio was released in August 1995 and offers cards, announcements, invitations, signs and certificates that can be tailored for any occasion and created with an easy "point and click". More than 1,000 pre-designed cards feature familiar Hallmark characters, artwork and messages. In late-September 1995, the company began shipping the Micrografx ABC Graphics Suite designed for the WindowsO 95 and Windows NT operating systems. The ABC Graphics Suite is an integrated offering of diagramming, flowcharting, clipart management, painting, image editing, drawing, and 3D applications with an interface designed for Microsoft Office for Windows 95. "We are very pleased with the revenue growth this quarter given the timing of our new product releases and customers' transition to Windows 95 applications", added Gregory A. Peters, Chief Financial Officer. Revenue from our Hallmark Connections and Crayola products increased 108% over the same quarter last year to approximately $2.3 million for the quarter, comprising approximately 16% of total revenue. Our balance sheet remains strong and we ended the quarter with approximately $15 million in cash and short-term investments." Geographically for the quarter ended September 30, 1995, the Americas region contributed 45% of consolidated revenue, Europe contributed 36%, and the Pacific Rim represented 19% of total revenues. Revenue growth, as a percentage of revenue, was greatest in Japan, which showed a 55% increase over the quarter ended September 30, 1994. The company purchased 40,000 shares of the company's common stock during the first quarter ended September 30, 1995 in connection with the company's ongoing common stock repurchase program, which was approved by the company's board of directors in May 1994. The company has targeted approximately 200,000 shares to repurchase during the current fiscal year. Approximately 275,000 shares have been repurchased under the plan inception to date. In October 1995, the company released CrayolaO Art StudioO 2 and Windows DrawO 4.0. Crayola Art Studio 2 turns any home PC into a creative studio and features two age-appropriate, fun-filled play areas -- one designed for children ages 3-6 and the other ideal for children ages 6-12. Windows Draw 4.0, designed expressly for the family that uses a PC running Windows 95, offers powerful graphics capabilities that are easy to use for non-artists and features pre-designed templates that make creating stylish output in a matter of minutes easy for everyone. "With these recent announcements, Micrografx's product line has been completely refreshed for both consumer and business users running Windows 95," said J. Paul Grayson. "This product offering is the strongest in the company's history." Micrografx develops and markets graphics software to meet the creative needs of everyone who uses a personal computer. Founded in 1982, Micrografx has become a leading software publisher by responding quickly to customer and worldwide market needs. The company's U.S. operations are based in Richardson, Texas with a development office located in San Francisco. International subsidiaries are located in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and Japan. ### Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Crayola Art Studio is a trademark of Binney & Smith Properties, Inc. Hallmark, Connections and Card Studio are trademarks of Hallmark Licensing, Inc. TBU WOES STR Spotlight Separating the Chafe from the Wheat! ARCADA'S BLOOPER! By Ralph F. Mariano At first, I wanted to avoid the "name dropping" as the entire Windows 95 environment is new. But in all fairness to those companies who haven't found the Win95 arena all that "difficult" to release software On Time that [w]orks [a]s [d]esigned WAD. here we go. After last week's article about the "Disaster Recovery" nightmare, reader insistence upon knowing "what & why" about a program that caused such grief steadily increased. Thus, this follow- up article. Being on a number of beta teams over the past two years, I have managed to gain some modicum of experience as to how a productive beta and a "so-so" beta are conducted. One can easily determine the primary cause of mediocre beta efforts and a highly successful beta by observing the attitude of the beta director and/or the team of software engineers heading up the project. In the case of Arcada, it was more than obvious the Whigs in charge had very little faith in what the beta testers had to offer. That is, unless of course a tester found a bug that stopped the program in its tracks. There were numerous complaints voiced directly to this reporter, outside and after the beta itself closed, about how, exactly, people on the beta team had filed reports about problems with the software and received absolutely no acknowledgment of having done so. Or, as in a number of similar cases, having filed reports of certain problems only to find then still present in the release version of the product. While some kind of consideration may have been given to such things its fairly evident to this reporter that the product, Arcada's Tape Backup, hitting the streets at a certain time was far more important that it making it's market debut in good shape. I have given a great deal of thought to this article as it represents something I usually do not do. But in light of the number of calls, Emails and "sends" I've received it must be brought to the userbase's attention. If for no other reason than to send a very loud and clear message to Arcada and others.. that the users do have a voice and active support. As recently as yesterday, I received a call from an extremely distraught yet highly experienced user who had been told the tape drive she was using was a fault. She abided by the advice from Arcada's people only to find after she received her new DAT Drive the very same BAD condition STILL vengefully presented itself. Now, she and her husband are questioning the cables, the motherboard and their ability. Its costing these people a great deal of time and money. Arcada should be ashamed of themselves! This is a clear cut example of TWO major problems in the computer programming business. Arcada is obviously suffering deeply from both. Precisely they are; z The "Bean Counters" are calling the Shots not the programmers and beta testers. z The Marketing People are in CAHOOTS with the Bean Counters! They want to be the first ones on the market with this "wonderful" TBU Software package. Aka "bomb" A long time ago, another "software kinda guy" gave me some solid info.for short, we'll call him Leonard. He told me a story about software, its completion and its failures. He coined an expression at that time that fits this sorry situation to a tee! The Arcada Tape Backup Software is BAD. [B]roken [A]s [D]esigned. It should never have been released in its present condition. One of the most important necessities a Tape Backup Program should have is complete, no questions asked.. DISASTER RECOVERY! Arcada did not and does not at this time have a hope of offering anything close to Disaster Recovery. Oh, maybe by NEXT SPRING. as one of their reps put it. Disaster Recovery is NOT IN THIS RELEASE 1.0 VERSION. Arcada should try telling the businesses that have moved to Win95 that they have to wait `till next Spring before they can backup their data. NEXT!! Thankfully, there's more than one TBU package on the market. .. In steps.. Folks, Adaptec has outdone themselves with this beauty. Yes, it DOES have Disaster Recovery! Adaptec, long the TRUE AUTHORITY in the SCSI world, has produced an eloquent but very easy to use Tape Backup program that.. simply put, profoundly embarrasses the "blooper" Arcada left for its loyal users. After reformatting my tapes, each tape taking approximately half a minute, I was ready to go. The package consists of a disk and a CDRom. It has BOTH DOS and Windows files. The entire package is very complete. If you have or are planning to add SCSI peripherals like tape or disk drives, recordable CDR Drives, magneto-optical drives or scanners, Adaptec EZ- SCSI software provides everything you need to manage and take full advantage of each powerful device. Adaptec EZ SCSI Version 4.0 Software is a suite of practical 32bit applications and power tools that are remarkably easy to install and use. Simple desktop controls give you immediate access to any function. A unique online tutorial explains everything you need to know about SCSI in easy to understand terms. Some Key Benefits are; z Absolutely the easiest way to manage SCSI Peripherals z Perfectly tailored for Windows 95 and Windows NT operating systems z Includes these practical applications; 1. Adaptec Backup makes saving and restoring quick and easy. Select volumes, directories or files for easy backup using the graphical directory tree and a simple "drag and drop" interface. You can choose to backup all files or only those created or modified since the last backup. A number of tools let you easily specify criteria for backup, such as date of creation or date files were last saved. 2. Quick Scan is a useful companion for your scanner. You can scan an image with a single mouse click; the image can be saved as a file that can be exported to other applications, or sent to your printer for immediate viewing. 3. Audio CD Player lets you listen to your favorite CD's from your CD-ROM drive by using on screen controls. You can access the CD Audio controls automatically in a full sized "Jukebox" display, a standard sized display, a mini-sized CD player audio control panel that can be placed anywhere on your screen, or control buttons placed on yourWin95 Taskbar. Controls include start, stop, pause, eject, repeat, shuffle and program. 4. Photo CD Viewer lets you view and edit Photo CD images on your CD ROM Drive. You can display images in five different resolutions, from thumbnail to full photographic resolution, in 16 color, 256 color, gray-scale and True Color. Then you can easily manipulate images by flipping them, rotating them or cropping them. You can export images to other applications or create a slide show. Over eighty Photo CD Images are included. 5. CD Writer allows you to create your own CDs. Record information to a CD- R drive simply by dragging and dropping selected files or directories from Explorer to the CD Writer window. 6. CD Copier is the quick easy way to duplicate your personal CDs. Select the source and destination, click on the number of copies and let it fly. Copy from any SCSI-2 CD ROM to selected models of CD Recorders. z Includes these Power Tools 1. SCSI Explorer (Power Management) You can specify the time of day certain drives are powered down. Drive powerup the moment you need them. 2. SCSI Interrogator give you a clear view of your SCSI lineup. A graphical representation details the hardware characteristics of each device connected to the SCSI bus including the name and version number, available storage capacity, supported SCSI features, defects and mode parameters. 3. Read/Write Disk Cache Tool provides for faster performance of your SCSI hard drives and removable media drives. 4. SCSI Tutor helps you get the most out of your SCSI system and all your SCSI peripherals. 5. SCSI Bench measures how fast your SCSI Host Adapter transfers data 6. Drive Light allows you to monitor all SCSI Devices in use. The "lights" are installed on the Task Bar. z Pricing and Availability The Adaptec EZ SCSI 4.0 software package is available at this time and is reasonably priced at $89.95 full and $49.95 upgrade. CorelDRAW 6.0 Frequently Asked Questions The following document describes the most commonly asked questions on CorelDRAW 6.0. Please note: "FIXED" indicates that Corel has identified and corrected these issues in a pending maintenance fix of DRAW 6.0 that will be available in late November. Other issues are not Corel specific and therefore workarounds are provided where possible. Installation: Q Why is it that when I try to install DRAW 6.0, a "FILE = Common List.error message is generated? A This is most often caused by 16 bit (Real mode) CD-ROM device drivers being loaded through the AUTOEXEC.BAT and/or CONFIG.SYS files, as opposed to utilizing the native 32 bit (Protected mode) CD-ROM device drivers found in Microsoft Windows 95. Please download document 6002.txt from Library #8 for the steps needed to install DRAW correctly. Q Why does the error message, "Cannot Load Executable.." occur when I try to install? A Make sure that the system has a valid temp directory. Go to the MS-DOS Prompt, and type the word "set" to see your temp path statement. Once you have verified this, make sure that this temp path exists; if it doesn't then create it. Once this is done try the install again. Q After doing a custom install, access to different filter types in any of my DRAW applications are unavailable. Why? A When doing a Custom Install, by default, many of DRAW's import and export filters are not installed, therefore, do a custom install to select all of the filters. General: Q Why am I getting an IPF when opening the Layers Manager in DRAW 6? A Selecting the Layers Manager in CorelDRAW6.0 may cause an Invalid Page Fault (IPF) under certain conditions. To avoid this IPF, all references to 16 bit device drivers must be removed from the following configuration files: AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, WIN.INI and the SYSTEM.INI. Please download document 6001.txt from Library #8 to get all the steps necessary to eliminate this error. FIXED Q Why does the Fit Text to Path rollup display for a second then disappear? A Delete the cdrrols.cfg from the corel/draw directory to reset CorelDRAW's rollups. Open DRAW. Do not use the "autoclose" , (icon of a tack that is in the up position). FIXED Q Why is it that after saving a file in DRAW 6.0 as a DRAW 5.0 format, the file is unable to be opened and/or re-saved in DRAW 5.0? A The answer to this pertains to the styles used in the coreldrw.cdt of DRAW 6.0. Before saving as version 5.0, take the following precautionary steps: I. Open the Styles Manager, and delete all six bullet styles. II. Under the TOOLS menu, options \ advanced, remove the "enable multitasking" check. III. In the SAVE AS dialog box, remove the check for "Save Presentation Exchange Data" After doing these steps, (the first one being the most important), you should not experience problems bringing your file into DRAW 5.0. FIXED Q Why can I not move the slanted guidelines by clicking and dragging in DRAW? A Double click on the guideline to reveal the edit dialog box. Move or delete the line manually through this dialog. FIXED. Q Why is it that I am not able to edit a Powerclip when it is on another page, besides page 1, of a document? A Move the Powerclip to page one, by dragging it first to the desktop area outside of the actual page, then go to page one, and drag it onto the page. Edit the Powerclip, then drag back to the desktop, and go back to the desired page. FIXED. Q Why am I getting random IPFs, especially when using paragraph text, or saving? A Deselect "enable multitasking" from the Tools menu, then Options and Advanced. This feature can then be selected again if you are going to be doing large print jobs. If this does not help, then download our document on diagnosing and solving IPF, 2100.TXT from Library #8 in the Corelapps Forum or through our FaxBack service at 613-728-0826 Ext.3080 and ask for document 2100. EPS Filter: Q Why is it that when exporting to Encapsulated PostScript (*.eps) using the TIF preview, the preview is not seen in non Corel applications? A When using the TIF preview type, choose black and white or greyscale. FIXED. Q Why is it that when exporting to Encapsulated PostScript (*.eps) using the WMF preview, the files does not come in correctly into non Corel applications? A The EPS export filter uses whatever setting is current for the WMF export filter when it makes the WMF preview. Therefore, before doing WMF/EPS exports, export a file, any file, as WMF and clear the placeable header checkbox in the export dialog. Quit Draw to make sure the change is written to the ini file. When you start Draw again and export EPS with WMF preview, it will now work in non Corel applications. FIXED. Paragraph Text: Q Why is it that when I save a file, with paragraph text, then changing the text to italic, an IPF occurs when saving the file again? A Under the TOOLS menu, the Options and Advanced, deselect the "enable multitasking" before saving the file. FIXED. Fonts: Q Why am I only getting every other letter to appear when typing text in DRAW? A This occurs with Type 1 fonts with older versions of ATM. Make sure that the version of ATM is 3.01 or greater. Q Why is it that when I install most of my CorelDRAW fonts, I get the error "No Font List - CorelDRAW Not Installed Properly", followed by "Unexpected Condition #5000 - DRAW - 1291" when opening DRAW? A This occurs when too many, (600+), fonts have been installed through Corel's install process and has resulted in a corrupt Font file, of which still has a 64K limit. When installing fonts through Corel's install process, Corel adds the entire path of the font, which quickly brings the Font file past its 64K limit, and therefore corrupting the file. Presently the only way to resolve this is to un-install DRAW, remove the fonts that have been installed, then reinstall Windows'95. The other possibility is to rename any backups you might have of the user.dat and system.dat files then re-register any apps that have been installed after the time these back ups were created. Another work around for this will be confirmed in the next week or so. At that time, this FAQ will be updated.. If you need to have many fonts on your system it is recommended that you use a font utility program and that you install the fonts through that program, or through ControlPanel of Windows'95. Miscellaneous: Q Why can't I get the Fish-eye lenses to work on bitmaps in DRAW? A As designed. Feature was designed for vector objects only. Q Why can't I get the full screen preview to work consistently in DRAW? A Some files may have been saved with View/Preview Selected Only checked and will behave as such. Simply turn this off, (remove the check). FIXED. Option will always be set to off. Q Why is it that the contour effect does not always work text? A Use contour with simple artistic text strings. FIXED. Q Why does skewed text displays incorrectly in some situations? A Avoid large zoom levels with skewed text. FIXED. Q Why does the text rollup accept only integer font sizes in DRAW? A Use Text / Character to enter any non-integer font size. FIXED. Q Why is it that when I click and drag to resize an object, the Status Line does not reflect the increase or decrease measurement until the dragging is complete, as it did in DRAW 5? A Use the transform rollup to set a specific size. FIXED. Q Why does an IPF generate when selecting "Wrap paragraph text" attribute from the Spiral Tool properties to be used with a paragraph text block? A Close the curve before applying 'wrap paragraph text'. FIXED: No wrapping for open paths now. Document 2100 - Diagnosing Internal Page Faults (IPFs) USER ADVISORY This document is designed solely to assist the user in the detection and correction of memory conflicts, incorrect system configuration or device incompatibilities. The importance of adhering to recommended recovery precautions as listed cannot be overstated. The Corel Corporation assumes no expressed or implied liability for any system or software damages resulting from the use or misuse of this information. The operation of current computer systems depends upon the dynamic and interactive manipulation of data. Optimal performance of system hardware is essential for the correct operation of Corel software. Before attempting to diagnose and correct Invalid Page Fault (IPFs) errors within the Windows '95 environment, the following precautions are strongly recommended: 1.Create a Startup Disk. This is invaluable for the recovery of basic computer function in the event of complete system failure. The Startup Disk may be created during the Windows '95 installation process or after installation is complete by selecting "Start | Settings | Control Panel | Add- Remove Programs | Startup Disk | Create" from within Windows '95. 2.Copy the SYSTEM.DAT, USER.DAT, CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT, WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI files, plus any CD-ROM or other device drivers to a subdirectory on the STARTUP diskette, or to an additional diskette if there is not enough space on the Startup Disk. Disable the Windows Background, Screen Saver and any third-party applications to free up active memory space. Remove all applications from the Startup folder. NOTE: The following files mentioned in this document are essential to the operating system and CorelDRAW 6.0. If you are unsure as to how to edit the contents of these specific files, please contact a Microsoft Representative for further assistance. Please backup all files before making any changes by copying these files to a floppy diskette or to another directory. If the system has failed from within an active application, an attempt should be made to save any files that are currently open. If the lockup occurred while working in CorelDRAW, check for .ABK or .BAK files on the system. These are CorelDRAW autobackup files that may be renamed to a .CDR extension to recover the open file. You must rename the file to a .CDR extension before exiting Windows '95. A system IPF may be eliminated by one of the following independent trouble- shooting steps, or by a combination thereof. It is advisable, therefore, to try to re-create the IPF after completing each of the steps. This will indicate whether or not the problem has been solved and will prevent the user from taking any unnecessary steps. 1.Verify that the system conforms to Corel's minimum hardware/system requirements. 2.Exit all applications. Select Shut Down... | Restart the computer. Try to duplicate the error which caused the original failure. The error condition may not re-appear if it was caused by a momentary memory conflict. 3.If the lockup occurs when typing text of any kind, re-install that particular font. Remove the font from the Control Panel | Fonts list, and re- install the font from the original source. 4.Use STEP #4 for Installation related problems: All applications require an area of hard disk space to be set aside for the creation of temporary files used during the course of normal operations. At the DOS Command Prompt, enter the command SET to find the TEMP directory path(s). A TEMP directory path will be generated: TMP=C:\WINDOWS\TEMP TEMP=C:\WINDOWS\TEMP The TEMP directory must be located on a drive with ample space for expansion. Windows '95 supports TEMP files on compressed drives by default. Try relocating the TEMP directory to an uncompressed drive by modifying or constructing appropriate statements in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. SET TEMP=D:\TEMP SET TMP=D:\TEMP 5.Use STEP #5 for Application specific issues: Remark (REM) out the statements in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file for the SET TMP and the SET TEMP variables (by placing the statement REM before them). Open the CORELAPP.INI file and locate the [TempPaths] section. Place the alternate temp paths in this location. ie. [TempPaths] Cleanup=1 0=C:\TEMP 1=D:\TEMP 2=E:\TEMP (.etc.) Save this file and restart the system. 6.Run the Scandisk* utility by selecting Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | ScanDisk. The "Automatically fix errors" box should be selected. This will repair lost clusters and corrupted sectors of the hard- disk. 7.Using Microsoft Explorer or File Manager, locate the CORELAPP.INI file in the COREL60\CONFIG directory. Make sure to create a BACKUP of this file before proceeding to make any changes. Browse the file to find the [Temp Paths] section which contains the TEMP file directory locations, ie. 0=C:\TEMP. Additional lines may be added to this section to point to other drives or partitions on the system with available space. Insert additional TEMP file pointers underneath 0=C:\TEMP ie. 1=D:\TEMP, 2=E:\TEMP. Make appropriate changes, select File, then Save. Corel applications may be returned to default initialization values by re-naming the backup file to CORELAPP.INI, or re-copy the original from the CD-ROM. 8.In CorelDRAW 6.0, select from the Tools menu, Options then Advanced tab. De- Select the "Enable multitasking" function. 9.The drive partitions should be defragmented. Defragmentation consolidates the information stored on the hard drive so that it is more easily accessed, and prevents read/write errors when the hard drive is activated. Select "Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Defragmenter*". 10.Check system resources by invoking "Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Resource Meter*". This will place the resource meter in the bottom right hand corner of the display. Double-clicking this icon will display system statistics. Low values for System Resources, User Resources, or GDI Resources indicate that system performance is deficient, and may be the cause of IPF errors. 11.Re-boot the system. When the "Starting Windows '95" appears press F8. Choose Step-by-Step Confirmation. Select NO to avoid executing the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files. Select YES when prompted for all other questions. 12.Install the Standard VGA display driver. Select "Start | Settings | Control Panel | Display | Settings | Change Display Type... | Change Adapter Type | Show all devices | Standard display types | Standard Display Adapter (VGA)". If the video card installed on the system is not supported by Windows'95, have a backup copy of the driver on hand. 13.Verify that all devices (CD-ROM, Display Adapters, Monitor, Mouse, Sound) are operating properly. Select "Start | Settings | Control Panel | System | Device Manager". By double clicking on a device and viewing the properties of that device the Device Status may be viewed. Any device with a memory conflict will display a yellow 'flag' with an exclamation point inside it. 14.Select System Performance, Control Panel | System | Performance. Select the following settings: Graphics -> Turn OFF any video acceleration. This prevents possible memory conflicts. Virtual Memory -> Virtual Memory ( Swap File) is space reserved on the hard drive for RAM memory to store information it requires on an ongoing basis. You may specify your own settings to increase this space as follows: Select Let Me Specify My Own Virtual Memory Settings. Re-locate the virtual memory to a NON-COMPRESSED drive, and specify a Minimum of 10MB and a Maximum of 30MB (increase as necessary). Re-boot the computer when prompted. Windows will revert to managing the virtual memory by expanding or contracting it within the boundaries of your specified settings. 15.Un-Install the application. Select Start | Settings | Control Panel | Add- Remove programs | Select the application to Un-Install, or run Corel's own un- Install utility located in the Corel folder. Re-boot the computer and re- install the application when finished. 16.Safe Mode removes all specific system configuration settings, and loads generic Window '95 device drivers. It is a method of determining if system settings and device-specific drivers, etc., are interfering with the normal operation of hardware and software. To operate in Safe Mode, re-boot the computer. When the "Starting Windows '95" appears press F8. Select Safe Mode. This will bypass all startup routines including registry entries, CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files, and the [Boot] and [386Enh] sections of the SYSTEM.INI file. The standard VGA display driver will also be installed at this time. If the installed video card is not supported by Windows'95, be sure to have a backup copy of the driver on hand. Note: The user will notice reduced system speed and lower display resolution during this test. Safe Mode may also disable any CD-ROM devices. Re-booting the computer will return the system to the default configuration at any time. 17.Re-boot the computer. When "Starting Windows '95" appears, press F8 and select Command prompt only. Start Windows '95 by entering these commands on consecutive re-boots, or enter either of these commands if a specific condition is suspected: WIN /D:F -> This disables 32 bit disk access. Use this for disk access problems. WIN /D:X ->This disables the adapter area (from A000 to FFFF) which Windows '95 scans for unused space. This may resolve memory problems on systems using video accelerator cards. 18.Empty the RECYCLE BIN (if activated) of unwanted files. Invoke Recycle Bin | Properties and select "Use one setting for all drives". Select 0%, then select "Do not move files to the Recycle Bin..." This procedure prevents Window '95 from filling the hard disk with copies of deleted files. Because the Recycle Bin utilizes hard disk space, disabling its functionality allows resource intensive software to access this space more efficiently. NOTE: All subsequently deleted files will be irretrievable. To free up additional disk space for TEMP files, check each drive in the Explorer for a Hidden directory called "Recycled" (View | Options | Show all files). Remove any unnecessary files from these directories. Windows '95 will prevent the deletion of any files currently in use. 19.Through the Windows Control Panel select System | Performance | Advanced Settings | File System | Troubleshooting and select "Disable new file sharing and locking semantics". 20.For DRAW v5 and earlier releases only, Windows '95 can enhance the compatibility of 16 bit applications with its 32 bit environment. To troubleshoot 16 bit applications, enter "MKCOMPAT.EXE" at the Start | Run command line. Select "Lie about Window's version number" to allow the 16 bit application to operate under Windows 3.1 parameters. Select "Give application more stack space" to provide DOS file buffering. *Note: If these programs are not on the Desktop or Start Menu, they can be installed via "Control | Panel | Add/Remove Programs | Windows Setup | Accessories | Details..." Delrina Shows Cyberjack Internet Client Software at Internet World Show Free Beta Version of the Best Way to get the Full Power of the Internet for Windows 95 Available for Test Drive from the Internet Internet World, Boston, Booth 961 -- October 30, 1995 -- Delrina Corporation (NASDAQ:DENAF, TSE:DC), the leading developer of PC communications software for Windows will show it new Microsoft Windows 95 - based Internet client software, Delrina Cyberjack 7.0, at the Internet World trade show in Boston this week. Cyberjack is an integrated feature-rich product that makes exploring the Internet easy for both the novice and the expert Internet user. Written to take full advantage of the Microsoft Windows 95 operating system, the product encompasses a unique Cyberjack GuideBook as its central feature, which provides one-click access and navigation of the World Wide Web and the rest of the Internet. Earlier this month Delrina posted a free beta version of the much anticipated Cyberjack on the Internet for users to download and play with. More than 200,000 users have visited the special Cyberjack site to get their free copy. One user, David W. Boles of the David Boles Gang, in New York city, wrote "WOW! I just downloaded the Cyberjack beta and it is grand. It's fast and keen and cool and integrated and lovable. A home run." More Than A Web Browser Unlike existing Internet products that are mainly browser-based, Delrina Cyberjack equips users with full featured client applications including: a Web browser; UseNet News reader; FTP (File Transfer Protocol) file transfer; Internet chatting sessions (IRC -- Internet Relay Chat); e-mail via Microsoft Exchange (the built-in e-mail client software in Windows 95); search capabilities with Gopher and Archie; and more. Each of the tools can be launched individually from the Windows 95 Start Button, or the GuideBook toolbar, or by clicking on the site in a folder in the GuideBook (sites are treated as OLE 2.0 graphical objects), or by in-place activation through OLE 2.0 from within the tool itself. For example, if a user finds a Web address in a Newsgroup, they can simply right mouse click on the address and Cyberjack will parse the information, recognize it as a Web page, and automatically activate the Web browser while taking the user there. The Cyberjack GuideBook functions as a personal trail guide to the Net. Like a library card catalogue, it is the entry point that provides some sense of order to the vast wealth of information on the Internet. The on- line beta of Cyberjack comes loaded with more than 500 World Wide Web, FTP, Gopher, Newsgroup, chat addresses and search sites that are organized as objects in various file folders to make it easy to sort and categorize places of interest. To explore any of the sites, users simply click on the site name in the GuideBook and Cyberjack activates the appropriate Internet application (WWW, FTP, Gopher, etc.) taking the user there -- without having to type confusing and cryptic Internet addresses. At any point, users can click on a button on the toolbar and save the site to the GuideBook. The site can be dragged onto the user's desktop for instant access or sent as an e-mail attachment to share with others. Taking the Cyberjack Test Drive The on-line beta test drive of Cyberjack is available from Delrina's special Cyberjack World Wide Web home page at http://www.cyberjack.com. The site also includes links to other places where users can download the product, as well as media sites that have reviewed the beta version and posted their reviews. The on-line beta test drive of Cyberjack is the full featured version, but has a limited time usage that expires on December 15, 1995. The downloadable file -- cybrjack.exe -- is a self extracting ZIP compressed file of approximately 5MB. To run Cyberjack users require a minimum 486 or higher PC, with 8MB of RAM, 10MB of free disk space, Windows 95, and of course, an Internet service provider. As part of the promotion, users who provide feedback and commentary to Delrina will automatically be entered in a daily draw for a free copy of the shipping version. Cyberjack 7.0 is expected to ship in November and will be available as a standalone product with Delrina WinComm<tm> PRO 7.0 (on-line data communications software) or as part of Delrina CommSuite<tm> 95, which also includes WinFax<tm> PRO 7.0 (fax, paging and e-mail integration), TalkWorks<tm> (voice messaging/telephony), and WinComm PRO 7.0. Cyberjack 7.0 (with WinComm PRO 7.0) will have a suggested retail price of US$129 (Cdn $159). The suggested retail price for CommSuite 95 is US$179 ($229Cdn). About Delrina Delrina Corporation designs, develops, markets and supports innovative PC software products and services in the fax, data and voice communications, electronic forms, and consumer software markets. Founded in 1988, the Company is ranked in sales among the top PC software publishers in North America and is recognized as the world leader in PC fax and electronic forms. Delrina recently announced a definitive agreement to merge with Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) of Cupertino, CA. Delrina can be contacted for more information at 1-800-268-6082 or through Delrina's Internet Web site at http://www.delrina.com. Delrina Releases WinFax PRO 7.0 to Production Product Gets Thumbs Up From Beta Testers TORONTO, ONT -- November 2, 1995 -- Delrina Corporation (NASDAQ:DENAF, TSE:DC), the leading supplier of PC communications software for Windows, today announced that its new Microsoft Windows95 fax software -- WinFax PRO 7.0 -- has been released to manufacturing for production. The product will be in general distribution and begin appearing in retail outlets throughout North America in about one week. WinFax PRO 7.0 is a complete revision of the world+s most popular PC fax software that provides users with the best way to send, receive and manage faxes in Windows 95. The new 32-bit WinFax has more than 100 enhancements including: the ability to send better quality faxes, faster fax throughput, the ability to manage fax, e-mail (through MAPI), and voice messages (with the soon-to-be-released Delrina TalkWorks<tm> telephony option for WinFax PRO 7.0), new cover pages and viewer enhancements. According to Mark DeMazza of Mind Computer Consultants, Clinton, Connecticut, one of the many WinFax PRO 7.0 beta testers who helped Delrina bring the product to fruition, "WinFax PRO 7.0 looks like a fantastic product. I must say that Delrina has really worked hard to get a solid product to the market." Another beta tester, Jim Gunn of Sterling Consulting, Salt Lake City, Utah, said "I+ve in been running in production mode with WinFax PRO 7.0 since beta 3 and I+m delighted with this product." The completion of WinFax PRO 7.0 fulfills a key condition in the announced definitive agreement for Delrina to merge with Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) of Cupertino, CA. Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. Press Contact: Shelly Sofer ,Media Relations Delrina Corp. (416) 441-4702 email@example.com 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 Apple/Mac Section John Deegan, Editor (temp) STR Mail Call "...a place for our readers to be heard" STReport's MAILBAG Messages * NOT EDITED * for content Date: Fri, 27 Oct 95 22:10:38 0000 From: Shervin Shahrebani <firstname.lastname@example.org> Organization: yorku.ca To: email@example.com Subject: (no subject) X-URL: http://www.streport.com/editor.html I would just like to mention that your coverage of the Apple Macintosh world, while better now, is still lacking. Every issue, I see the "MAC" ascii banner (I read the ascii version due to lack of time!) towards the middle of the issue but after it, I often see press releases from companies releasing new products for PCs. Only occasionally do I see something for Mac or Mac/PC. Please start reviewing hardware and software for the Macintosh. Am I justified to ask for all this? I think so. Here is why: z God knows we are getting more and more software and hardware everyday in the Power Macintosh world. z Apple is now the *** #1 *** WORLDWIDE computer vendor (and number 3 in North America). z Almost 70% of multimedia development is done on Power Macs. z Apple is rated #1 in customer satisfaction (over 90% of Mac owners would buy Macs again). z Apple has shipped almost 23 million Macintoshes. They shipped 1.25 million Power Macs for the last quarter (and have been shipping 1 million Power Macs for the past few quarters, every quarter). There are currently almost 4 million Power Macintosh machines out there. z All the top notch games are being released for the PowerMac and Mac platform. Apple's software technologies such as Mac OS, Quicktime, Quicktime Conferencing, Quicktime VR, Quickdraw 3D, etc. are becoming a popular mainstay in the computer industry as a whole (all of which ship as standard with Apple's Power Macintosh 7500, 8500 and 9500 machines). While Apple's profits were down this last quarter, they had over $11 BILLION in revenues for the fiscal year, 1995! They have been experiencing major supply shortages, granted (a record $1 billion in backorders). However, there are also 1 million companies who would rather trade places with Apple RIGHT NOW. Having a huge backorder is not as bad as Wall Street Analysts and ST Report make it out to be. Besides, many of these problems will be alleviated by Spring 1996, at the latest, when the AIM (Apple IBM and Motorola) alliance catch up with the supply shortages of PowerPC chips and Apple decouples the Mac OS from the Mac custom hardware. Remember, even though Copland has been delayed, System 7.5.X IS being ported to the CHRP platform. CHRP will be a *formidable* force to deal with by the end of 1996. In the meantime, Apple is busy selling Performas and PCI PowerMacs that consistently outpace Pentium equivalents in performance, and do so at over 1 million Power Macs a quarter. Apple own 63% of the educational market. A PC World study of 23 customers ranked Apple #1 for reliability and service. Market segmentation is an industry trend and Apple is leading the way. "An October 1995 study of technical support costs in business environments by Gartner Group Consulting Services indicates there is no cost penalty for maintaining dual personal computer platform environments. Moreover, the study indicates that the higher the percentage of Macintosh in a given Mac/Windows environment, the lower the overall support costs. Support costs for Macintosh are approximately 25% lower than those for Windows." Latest reports from SPA indicate that sales of Mac apps are up 16% through May of 1995. There are thousands of Mac applications on the market today, and over 500 Mac-only applications. Attendance at Apple's developer conference in May was higher than ever. With WorldScript technology built into the Mac OS, Macintosh is the world's best multilingual computer, now available in 44 language versions. Apple is the only personal computer company with systems that run both Mac and Windows applications (albeit at a small price). ETC, ETC. I could go on and on but I think you get the point. In view of the above- mentioned facts and information, do you not deem it appropriate to increase the Macintosh coverage in STReport? After all, it is called The Silicon Times Report and NOT PC Report! And please, tone down that Microsoft and Windows 95 propaganda machine. Windows 95, while not a particularly revolutionary product when compared to the Macintosh operating system, is indeed, revolutionary when compared to Windows 3.1 or 3.11 Bill Gates is a true genius (albeit more of a business/marketing genius than anything else) and he deserves his share of credit. However, I think MS is engaging in enough marketing hoopla and STR's constant blind praise of Win 95 is doing a major *diservice* to those PC users who are spending hours trying to install the software and get it to work (some of which are very bright, computer-literate individuals and my friends!) Instead of simply praising its good points, you should point out ALL the faults and do so on a regular basis. Thank you for your time. Regards, Shervin Shahrebani. Shervin. First. thank you for reading our humble offering. Second and last.. may I take a moment to point out that my editorial comments are just that "my sincere comments". My feelings are simple. Apple . if they don't wake up soon are headed down the same path that Atari's ST and Commodore's Amiga went. Its not a happy observation, its an honest one. The signs are all there. Its just a matter of reading the signs and overcoming the disbelief one is quickly overcome with. I know, "been there and done that". As for coverage of the Mac, Power PC et., we welcome all articles and reviews of products for this platform. In fact, we are seeking a "few good people" specifically for our MAC group. Interested?? Ed.. Portable Computers & Entertainment Section Marty Mankins, Editor "Pinball Fantasies: Jaguar vs. IBM PC" By Steve Watkins Available Now Pinball Fantasies IBM Compatibles Design: Digital Illusions/FrontLine Design/Spidersoft Both Versions Published by: 21st Century Entertainment, Ltd Jaguar Conversion: Spidersoft Limited IBM (& Compatibles) PC System Requirements: 386/33 MHz or better; DOS 3.3 or higher; 150K Hard Drive Space; 560K RAM minimum (580K+ for all features); 256 Color VGA; Most Popular Soundcards. CD ROM required for Deluxe CD version. Price: $30-$40. Shop around. Jaguar Format: Cartridge Price: $59.99 PREFACE Welcome to the first STReport Head-To-Head column. Before I get into the meat of the article, I should take some time to explain what this column hopes to achieve and why I felt it would be interesting for STReport readers. The first questions I heard were: Why are you bothering with two (or more) versions of the same video game? And why am I putting them head-to- head in categories such as graphics, sound and playability? "That's not fair!" scream the faithful STReport readers. "Those systems are completely different! You're comparing Apples and Oranges!" The first answer is simple - Many video game players own two or more gaming systems. And many of those people own or use PCs and one or more video game console(s). PC gaming is getting very sophisticated. So are the consoles. High resolution, full motion graphics, CD ROM technology and stereo sound are now common in both worlds. And the price gap between a fully loaded console (console, memory cartridges, extra controllers, higher priced software) is beginning to creep up near a solid, well stocked 468 50+DX computer system. If you own the more than one system, I hope to help you decide which version of the game, if any, is the right purchase choice for you. I'd like to save you time, money and grief at the retail counter. The next answer is in three parts: 1) The comparisons will also serve as "mini-reviews" of the components of each game (in this case Jaguar and IBM compatibles). 2) Because PCs and consoles are employing the same types of technology (CD, Stereo sound, similar graphic resolutions, etc.), making them more similar than you may realize. 3) You might be able to spot which developers are doing "quick and dirty" ports of video games and which put a lot of effort into making each version excellent for it's platform (taking advantage of the best the machine has to offer). If, after reading this article, you feel that it's a good or bad idea, then please email me and let me know. Send thoughtful messages, not just, "It stinks" or "It's great!" Enjoy. NOTE: Please read STReport's review of Pinball Fantasies for the Jaguar (by Dana Jacobson) for further information. PINBALL 101 "Ever since I was a young boy, I played the silver ball..." - "Pinball Wizard" by The WHO For kids of all ages, few things beat the adrenaline rush of a great pinball machine. Most of my free hours, between the time school let out and the time I had to be seated at the dinner table, were spent playing pinball tables, like Galaxy, Viking, Mata Hari, Gorgar, Black Knight and other classic machines. Pinball is a game of skill. It requires lightning reflexes and a special touch; lightning reflexes for those incredible tip-of- the-flipper saves and the right touch for bumping the machine hard enough to affect the roll of the ball enough to save it, but light enough so as not to tilt the game. If you're good, really good, you can play for hours on a single quarter (though today's machines are set heavily against that happening). How can you beat that? Video pinball has never been able to deliver these things. I've never been a fan of video pinball games. The early versions were nothing more than glorified pong games that had little resemblance to the read thing. Between the days of the Atari 2600 and our newest toys - Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn, Atari Jaguar, 3DO and the powerful home PCs - only a few video pinball games raised my interest; David's Midnight Magic for the Apple II (and, later, other computers), Pinbot for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Devil's Crush, the best I'd seen until Pinball Fantasies, for the TurboGrafx-16. Now, finally, pinball seems to be coming of age in the land of video games. Pinball Fantasies offers highly realistic play physics, wonderful control (*), several music selections and sound effects in stereo, as well as nice, colorful graphics, within a four unique tables. (*) Depending on which version you are playing! LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, THE CATEGORIES AND WINNERS Graphics - Tables: Winner: IBM PC The PC beat the Jaguar here on only a couple of minor differences. The PC Partyland table had slightly more graphics on the table (by the flippers) and slightly better screen 'crispness.' Granted, a regular tv tends to 'bleed' colors, which is one problem. However, hooking the Jag up to RGB only made the screen look worse, as it clearly defined the pixels, making it look more blocky than I preferred. The Jaguar does have a more realistic looking ball - it's silver, where the PC ball is grey. Graphics - Miscellaneous: Winner: Jaguar The Jag wins because the table 'introduction' graphics are more colorful and it has a sizzling, psychedelic 'screen melt' for the background during the game selection, high score and credits screen. It's cool, but not important for game play. Music: Winner: Jaguar I connected the my Soundblaster 16 and the Jaguar to the same stereo and, for whatever reason, the Soundblaster was a bit better (I did choose MAXIMUM as my default sound setting during installation. Perhaps the PC version added more to the overall mix). The music you hear before and during the games is the same in both versions. However, I give the nod to the Jaguar because it had some extra music AFTER the game ends. I particularly liked the energetic tune after ending a game of Stones'N'Bones. Sound Effects: Winner: IBM PC Good all around for both versions. As far as I could tell (hear) they were nearly identical. Lots of bells, whistles and quirky sound effects throughout. Playability/Control: Winner: IBM PC This puzzles me. The Jaguar version is supposedly an identical port from the PC version, yet the game plays noticeably worse on the Jaguar. There are several examples: 1) Hitting outside (far left or right) ramps and targets is *much* tougher in all of the Jag games (I played both versions thoroughly, specifically testing outside shots). 2) The ball tends to interact with the Jaguar flipper tips in an unrealistic manner, as if it were employing slightly different physics. It can be described as jerky. This is a problem most mediocre video pinball games have. It's present in the Jaguar version, yet it's rare in the original PC version. It makes it difficult to "juggle" the ball from one flipper to the other and to make tough saves. And it's an adventure trying to hit outside targets when the ball doesn't act in a consistent manner with the tips of the flippers. 3) The "nudge" or "bump" (tilt) feature is more pronounced on the Jag, allowing for unrealistic play, such as moving a ball UP a ramp after it has lost its momentum (I was able to do this several times). 4) The Jaguar screen is simply too small for my tastes. You see the flippers and only a bit above the left and right Contact Kickers (those are the triangular rubber band kickers just above the flippers). It's not fun trying to aim for targets - *anywhere* on the table - that you cannot see! The PC version, especially in High Resolution Mode, is far better. I was able to consistently hit what I was aiming for on the PC. 5) The PC version was "tighter" and had a better "feel" during play. I'll give you two examples. When you play the Speed Devil's table, you try to get the ball into the Offroad area to collect bonus multipliers and also to get a lot of points during the special Offroad bonus time. When the ball exits this area, it drops down into the left side drain/flipper lane area. On the PC the ball can rattle around a little, but more often than not it will drop into the left flipper lane, as it was designed to do. On the Jaguar, this area is a complete adventure. The ball rattles around quite a bit and it usually DOES NOT enter the left flipper lane. And, worse, it often drains down the left drain lane. When the game is originally designed for heavy use of this area, with a small chance of losing the ball, it gets annoying to play the Jaguar version in which it becomes likely it will drain each time through the area. Second, it was easy to hit the Arcade button (on Partyland) on the PC version. In fact, it was tough to NOT hit it a bunch of times during play. However, on the Jaguar this is a tough target to hit. Also, in Partyland, the Cyclone and tunnel were much more difficult to hit from the upper left flipper than on the PC version. I liked the Jaguar controller a little better, because I would rather use the joypad than the keyboard keys. Still, when considering the comparitively poorer playability of the Jaguar version, the keyboard is a small detraction. See Options for further explanation. To give you an idea of how difficult it was to play the Jaguar version, compared to the PC version. Here are my high scores after, roughly, the same number of games played on each table (between a dozen and two dozen games each - identical number of balls and difficulty settings): Jaguar: PC: PartyLand: 43,878,630 150,562,590 Speed Devil's: 15,375,830 261,534,940 Billion Dollar Game Show: Under 50,000,000 Under 50,000,000 Stones 'N Bones: 41,455,130 155,997,010 I have no idea why these differences exist. After all, this is supposedly a direct port. However, the ball appears a *tad* smaller on the Jaguar and the flippers (tips) are fatter on the PC, so perhaps the dimensions are not quite right on the Jaguar? Or maybe the code was altered a bit? (Examples of this would be the large difference in the Tilt/Table Bump feature and also the fact that, in Partyland, the special bonuses last 30 seconds on the Jaguar as opposed to 25 on the PC. Not a major difference, but a difference just the same.) Options: Winner: IBM PC Except for one option, this was another close category. Both have identical difficulty settings. Both allow three or five ball games. Both allow you to turn off in-game music. Both allow you to customize the controllers (Jag-joypad, IBM-keyboard). The Jag allows sound effects to be turned off. Why anyone would do that, instead of simply adjusting the main volume, is beyond me, but it's there. The PC wins this category because it has an additional scrolling option (how you wish the game to follow the ball as the screen scrolls up, down and around) and, most importantly, a screen resolution selection option. On the Jaguar you get one resolution, like it or not (I didn't like it!). On the PC you can choose between Normal and High. What this translates to is how much of the table you see on the screen without the game having to scroll the screen to display where the ball is located. Both Normal and High were better than the Jaguars single mode. The Jaguar needs approximately (not scientific <G>) 3.25 "scrolls" to display the entire table. That means you see less than a third of the total table on screen at any time. In Normal resolution mode, the PC must scroll about 2.6 times to display the table, so you see more than a third of the total table. In High resolution mode, the PC needs approximately 1.75 scrolls, so you see more than half the table at one time. Believe me, this makes a huge difference in aiming your shots, following the path of the ball (easier to react to it) and being able to see what targets are lit and what you need to concentrate on. Ease of Use: Winner: Jaguar I'm sure I don't have to remind most of you why the Jaguar wins this category. Anyone with a PC will know that, depending on your system set-up, you may have to fiddle around with your Config.sys and/or Autoexec.bat file(s) to get the software to run perfectly. I had to eliminate a couple of extras with my sound driver software to get the Partyland table to load correctly. It was easy for me, but people unfamiliar with the workings of their PC may have some difficulty. The manual does a nice job of walking you through the most common problems. The only true Plug'N'Play belongs to the Jaguar version. Manual: Winner: IBM PC While both manuals do a fine job of explaining the features of each table, the manual for the PC version is more detailed and does a better job, in general, of tying together all of the goals (bonuses). The Jaguar manual was fairly terse, perhaps to save paper since Atari instruction booklets are printed with 3 languages included (English, German & French), while the PC version offered, on average, an extra page of detail for each table. Number of Players: Winner: TIE Both allow one to eight players per game. Price: Winner: IBM PC You will find the PC version for about $25-$30 less than the Jag cart, depending on where you shop (retail, discount or mail order). Sure the markets are different, but that's the way the CD ROM spins. And, of course, you get the four extra Mania tables in the $35 Pinball Fantasies Deluxe CD for your PC. Overall: Winner: IBM PC As I've explained, most of the categories were very close, as only a minor detail or two separated the Jaguar and IBM versions. However, the IBM version claimed top honors in the Price and Playability/Control categories by a large margin in each case. The physics of the ball movement on the flippers and during play is better on the PC and, to me, the physics of a video pinball game are crucial. It usually means the difference between Okay and Outstanding (PC Pinball Fantasies is outstanding). These are the reasons I have given the Overall thumbs-up to the PC version. (If you include the fact that the CD ROM version includes four additional, more challenging tables, then the PC version wins in a landslide.) If you don't compare the different versions, I would think that you'd be happy with either. However, I have played them side by side (a lot!) and I see the differences and a few are significant enough to heartily recommend the PC version over the Jaguar. I would suggest to Jaguar owners that they wait for the upcoming Ruiner Pinball, which should be released within the next 3-6 weeks, and then compare the two. BUGS: I found the following "bug" in the Jaguar version (none found, so far, in the PC version): Incorrect M-A-D sequence lit up (didn't register the A), resulting in no Crazy Letter being awarded. There was a bug in which the ball got stuck in the PC version, but this was on a Mania table (programmed by a different team), not one of the original PF tables. Atari Jaguar/Computer Section Dana Jacobson, Editor Delphi's Atari Advantage! TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (11/2/95) (1) SUPER STARIO LAND DEMO (6) DIAMOND BACK PATCH TO V3.60 (2) ZCONTROL 0.2A (7) DIAMOND BACK PATCH TO V 2.04 (3) IMCON 1.1 (8) MAGGIE DISKZINE 8 - (3)FALCON (4) WWW INTERNET ACCESS PACK 1.07 (9) SUMMIT - GRAPHICS VIEWER (5) BIG BOB THE FINDER 0.92 (10) PH WORLD CLOCK 2.0 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 1143 ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE (Current issue: AEO: VOLUME 4, ISSUE 7 Look for the above files in the RECENT ARRIVALS database. PageStream Mac Pricing! STR InfoFile! Soft Logik Announces Upgrades! From: Mike Loader @ Soft-Logik 76004,1676 Q. I own PageStream for Amiga or Atari and want to get PageStream for Macintosh. How much will it cost me? A. You have two options: 1. Wait for the Final Release Version in the first quarter of 1996. The upgrade price will be $90 if you own PageStream3, or $125 if you own an earlier version. 2. Buy the Pre-Release Version now for $25 to start using it right away. If you like it, buy the Final Release Version when it's released for just $40 if you owned PageStream3 Amiga, or $75 if you owned an earlier version for Amiga or Atari. Not only will you get to start using PageStream for Macintosh sooner, you'll save $25. Q. What's the difference between the Pre-Release Version and the Final Version? A. We're not quite ready for the Final Release yet, but the Pre-Release program will give you the opportunity to try PageStream at a very low price. The Pre-Release Version will be available in December 1995. BME, our junior image processor, is included at no extra charge. (The first Pre-Release Version will be equivalent to 3.0i for Amiga.) You can get the Pre-Release Version for just $25 to give it a try. You will receive the program on disk with a short installation and startup guide, but not a full manual. Free updates will be posted online, so that you can upgrade up to but not including the Final Version. The Final Release Version will be available at the end of the first quarter of 96 and will come with the full printed manual. The Pre-Release option will help us ensure that the Final Release is as good as possible, while giving it immediately to those who need the program now. Regards, Michael @ Soft-Logik Jaguar Section Atari's Ted Hoff Speaks Out! More Games Enter Production! Hover Strike CD & Highlander CD Out! CATnips! Atari 3rd Quarter Report! And Much More!! >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! Well, the games appear to be coming, and not limited to cart format. "Hover Strike: Unconquered Lands" and "Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods" are the latest CD games to appear and both are getting high marks so far. I've been putting a lot of time into both of these games over the past couple of weeks, but admittedly, more with Hover Strike. They're both a lot of fun and I recommend them if you own the JaguarCD. If you're debating getting the JaguarCD due to the lack of games, these two are a good start c expect more quality games soon. I was hoping to have my review of Hover Strike (CD) for this issue, but didn't complete it in time to include it in this issue. Rather than rush out a review, we'll have it for you next week. Highlander will also be appearing soon, by Craig Harris. Keep an eye out! There have been a number of rumors floating around the Usenet about Atari getting out of the Jaguar market and a variety of other comments. Atari's Ted Hoff has addressed those comments and rumors; and we've included his statement in this issue. Atari's 3rd Quarter results are in and don't look too promising. The delay in the JaguarCD getting out the door has certainly had an influence, but it's also the typical slow period of the year. However, it seems that this past quarter was worse than previous years. Atari needs to take some positive strides to overcome and move forward in this regard if it has any intention of doing well in the next few months. We all know this and I'm sure it's not unknown to Atari either. But, it still needs to be said. Atari really needs a terrific holiday season this year. It's unfortunate that it's likely that Atari will be reaching its goals for LAST year's holiday season with the amount of games available. If a game isn't in production NOW, it's doubtful that it's going to be out in time for Christmas, or even by the holiday. If my count is correct (and it could be wrong), I figure that we'll see another 6-10 games out by the holidays. A far cry from the "reaching 100 games" stated by Atari's Sam Tramiel. Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! CONTACT: Patricia Kerr or Jennifer Hansen Shandwick USA (310)479-4997 or (800)444-6663 "Hoverstrike: Unconquered Lands" Charges to Forefront Fast Action CDcROM Released for Atari Jaguar 64 SUNNYVALE cc Gamers will don flight jackets and all the courage they can muster as Atari Corporation's "Hoverstrike: Unconquered Lands" for the Jaguar 64 CD player hits stores today. The mission: pilot a state of the art armored hovercraft, equipped with a rapid fire cannon and powerful missiles to save colonists stranded on a distant planet. "Hoverstrike: Unconquered Lands is an intense space action game with enhanced cinematic effects to take full advantage of Jaguar CD capabilities," said Ted Hoff, Atari's President of North American Operations. "It is our first of more than twenty CD titles releasing soon for the Jaguar CD." Hoverstrike: Unconquered Lands engulfs players in intense battle action with realistic hovercraft simulation. It features 40 different fully texturecmapped 3D levels, including several challenging Night Vision missions and ten new missions developed specifically for the CD version of the game. Playing off the powerful 790 megabyte storage capacity of the Jaguar CD player, Hoverstrike: Unconquered Lands boasts full "Battle Surround" sound effects with CD quality soundtrack and improved game controls for smootherhovercraft handling. Hoverstrike: Unconquered Lands has a suggested retail price of $59.99 and is available in stores nationwide. For over 20 years, Atari Corporation has provided consumers with high quality, value priced entertainment. Atari Corporation markets Jaguar, the only American made, advanced 64 bit entertainment system and is located in Sunnyvale, California. CONTACT: Patricia Kerr or Jennifer Hansen Shandwick USA (310)479-4997 or (800)444-6663 Players Fulfill Their Destiny as "The Highlander" Atari Corporation Releases Second CD Title in One Week for Jaguar CD SUNNYVALE, CA (October 30) -- The rapidly expanding software library for the newly released Jaguar CD grew again this week, as Atari Corporation launched its second CD title. "Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods" was shipped to retailers this morning. An action adventure game based on the popular animated series, "Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods" boasts both a truly sensational storyline and advanced gaming technology. Players assume the role of Quentin MacLeod, an immortal whose destiny remained unclear until his mother revealed his true identity as "The Highlander." With this knowledge, Quentin must set upon a quest to fulfill his destiny, rescue his village and save humanity from the evil Kortan. "Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods" features both original dialog and Cinepak sequences from the animated series. Atari Corporation used Motion Capture technology in the development of the game, giving the 3D characters lifelike movement. "By releasing 'Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods' and 'Hoverstrike: Unconquered Lands' in successive weeks, our Jaguar CD title library is rapidly growing in scope and depth," said Ted Hoff, Atari's President of North American Operations. "We will bring Jaguar gamers numerous top-quality titles for both the Jaguar cartridge and CD formats in the next several weeks." "Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods" has a suggested retail price of $59.99, is rated K-A (appropriate for kids and adults) and is available in stores nationwide. For more than twenty years, Atari Corporation has provided consumers with high quality, value-priced entertainment. Atari Corporation markets Jaguar the only American-made, advanced 64-bit entertainment system and is located in Sunnyvale, California. HIGHLANDER (c) 1994 Gaumont Television. All rights reserved. Highlander is a protected trademark of Gaumont Television. Licensed to Atari Corporation. Cinepak and the Cinepak logo is a registered trademark of Radius Inc. Atari, the Atari logo and Jaguar are trademarks or registered trademarks of Atari Corporation. CPTV ANNOUNCES RELEASE DATES FOR TWO GAMES DENVER, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Creative Programming and Technology Ventures, Inc. (Nasdaq: CPTV), a leading producer of innovative video game development technology through its group of operating companies, today announced revised release dates for two of its new video games. The company also reported continued strong results for one of its games first introduced in September 1994, and cancellation of a previously announced contract with Atari Corporation (AMEX: ATC). Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., one of the world's leading distributors of interactive entertainment software, shipped two versions of the video game, "Demolition Man," to retail establishments in September, 1995. One version was for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System platform and the other was for the Sega Genesis video game system platform. A third platform, for the Sega CD, will be shipped within the next few weeks. All versions will be available for the 1995 Christmas holiday selling season. The "Demolition Man" game is based upon the movie of the same title starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. The video game, "Izzy's Quest for the Olympic Rings," will reportedly be shipped by publisher U.S. Gold in the Super Nintendo platform during the week of November 6, 1995 and in the Sega Genesis version the following week. "Izzy's Quest" was advertised on TV in conjunction with an August 1995 airing of the animated TV special starring "Izzy," the official mascot of the Atlanta Olympic Games. U.S. Gold reports it will initially ship 35,000 units in each platform version, and it expects sales to increase significantly as the time gets closer to the beginning of the Olympics in the summer of 1996. Gary R. Vickers, CPTV's chairman and president, commented, "In addition to U.S. Gold's promotional expenditures, we will also get a secondary benefit from the numerous advertisers who will market their products around the Izzy theme. The pre-Olympic build-up creates an opportunity for broad market penetration, including direct point of purchase and other direct sales in Atlanta where more than two million people are expected to attend the games." Ken Balthaser, president of CPTV's Alexandria Studios, said, "By dovetailing on marketing momentum created by the Olympics, U.S. Gold will be able to create a selling season from Christmas in 1995 through next summer, which is six-to-nine months longer than the typical selling season for video games." "Cagey Capers" Video Game Sales Remains Strong "Cagey Capers," a video game based on the Warner Brothers characters, Sylvester and Tweetey, has sold more than 104,000 units since its release in September, 1994, according to Time-Warner Interactive. Vickers noted, "In the currently eroding market for cartridge-based video games, where a typical product sells 25,000 to 30, 000 total units, 'Cagey Capers" superior sales demonstrate that we have the ability to design a market winner." The game was developed by Alexandria Studios, an operating company of CPTV's Virtual Hollywood subsidiary. As previously announced, anticipated sales of "Cagey Capers" are not likely to provide significant royalty revenues to the company. By agreement with the publisher, Time-Warner, Alexandria received much of its compensation in conjunction with the development of the game. Finally, CPTV also reported that Atari Corporation, citing missed development deadlines by Alexandria Studios, canceled work on "porting" the 3DO version of the video game, "Return Fire," to the Atari Jaguar platform. Balthaser, Alexandria's president, said, "Our speculation is that Atari canceled the project at least in part due to internal budgeting issues and marketing efforts in its Jaguar system." "Porting" is the adaptation of an interactive entertainment software product originally developed for use on one proprietary hardware platform so that it can be used on other platforms. Alexandria continues to seek additional game development and porting contracts with various game publishers. Creative Programming and Technology Ventures, Inc. (CPTV), through its operating subsidiaries, OddWorld Inhabitants and Alexandria Studios, headquartered in Los Osos, Calif., designs and develops interactive entertainment software for the latest video game systems, such as Sega Saturn, 3DO and Sony Playstation. It plans to publish games under its own Virtual Hollywood brand label. CPTV is headquartered in Denver and its stock trades on the Nasdaq Small-Cap market under the symbol CPTV. CONTACT: Gary Vickers, President & CEO, or Dr. Stephen Kirkpatrick, Vice President, of Creative Programming and Technology Ventures, Inc., 303-694-5324; or George Zagoudis, General Information, of FRB Chicago, 312-640-6663/(CP Sierra Sets Football Contest Software publisher Sierra On-Line has announced its Front Page Sports: Football Pro 96 Super Bowl contest. Entrants have a chance to win a Super Bowl party for 20 people -- including a 50-inch big screen TV--for correctly predicting the four teams that will play in the AFC and NFC championship games, the winners of each division and the game scores. One-hundred second- prize winners will get a one-year subscription to PC Gamer magazine and 200 third-prize winners will receive a limited edition FPS: Football Pro '96 T- shirt. Entry forms will be available in the November issue of PC Gamer magazine and in the holiday issue of InterAction magazine. Participants may also enter online by accessing Sierra's web site at www.sierra.com. Winners will be announced on Jan. 17, 1996. The contest celebrates the launch of FPS: Football Pro 96, the fourth in series of football simulations from Sierra. Nintendo Sells Billionth Game Nintendo has sold its 1 billionth video game worldwide, or the equivalent of one game for every teenager in the world, the video game giant says. "I don't know that anyone could have envisioned the universal appeal of Nintendo's interactive video games when they were first introduced," Chairman Howard Lincoln of Nintendo of America, told United Press International at his Redmond, Washington, headquarters. UPI adds, "Since introduction of the first Mario game in Japan in the early 80's, Nintendo has sold video games at the rate of nearly 3 per second of every day for the last 12 years. ... Of the 1 billion games, 50 percent were bought for the original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System introduced in Japan in 1983 and the United States in 1985. Some 23 percent were sold for the hand held Game Boy. Another 27 percent were sold for the 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System." Or, divided by geography: z 44 percent of the software cartridges were purchased in Japan. z 42 percent in the United States and Canada. z The other 14 percent sold around the world. UPI says the fastest selling game was last fall's Donkey Kong Country for the Nintendo Entertainment System, which sold more than 2 million units in five weeks in the U.S. alone. But the largest selling single game was the original Super Mario Brothers cartridge for the NES, which has sold more than 40 million copies over 12 years time. NEC Develops $3,300 Game PC A $3,300 PC called Ready PowerPlayer PC, specially designed for people who like to play games, has been created by NEC Technologies Inc. Calling it "an unusual step for a PC maker" (since "most emphasize productivity and communications uses of a personal computer"), the Associated Press comments the new machine nonetheless "may help NEC standout on store shelves among machines that mostly look and act alike." NEC Vice President Murali Dharan told the wire service, "Study after study has shown the hidden use of computers is games. People don't ever come out and say the No. 1 use is gaming but people always say it is No. 2 or 3. This is still a serious computing machine, but it is going to attract those for whom games are important." The new NEC unit is equipped with a 133MHz Pentium microprocessor, a six- speed CD-ROM drive, 1.6 gigabyte hard drive, 16MB of standard memory and 2MB of video memory. Also on board are 45-watt Yamaha speakers and Microsoft Corp.'s new SideWinder joystick, a 28,800-baud modem, speaker phone and answering machine capabilities and 11 computer games. Jaguar Online STR InfoFile Online Users Growl & Purr! A Message from Ted Hoff, President North America (10/30/95) Tomorrow is Halloween. I hope everyone has a great time and remains safe. Watch those goblins as they cross the street. <g> "Hover Strike: Unconquered Lands" and "Highlander" have reached stores and the initial feedback is "FANTASTIC!". Gamers seem to be noting even the nuances we painstakingly incorporated into these CD titles and these are just the beginning. Many more are to come. About 6 or 7 other CD titles are scheduled for release before the end of the year and the plate is full with projects on through 1996. I am particularly looking forward to "Primal Rage" and "Max Force", but games like "Dragon's Lair" and "Myst" are "Prime Time" favorites. The cart-based software lineup is also outstanding. "Ruiner Pinball" is but weeks away. I think everyone will love "Atari Karts", "NBA Jam Tournament Edition" and "Missile Command 3D". We've gone to a great deal of effort to look for an assortment of working projects that will appeal to all of you. We have some hot sports titles, graphics-intense challenges pumped full of eye candy and phenomenal remakes of classic favorites. I understand that there are some rumors being spread around. Maybe I can address one or two of them. One of them seems to be regarding "Iron Soldier II" and whether it will include all the original features planned for that title. The overall priority asked of the Producer of "Iron Soldier II" is that the game meet or exceed original specifications established for the game. These specifications were determined by many means including feedback from the original release of Iron Soldier in cartridge form. Atari has not released the specific features of "Iron Soldier II" to the public for a good reason. Specifications often change before a game makes it to a store shelf. Usually, the specifications are enhanced because programmers find new and exciting things to add as they progress through the development process. For the record, I anticipate that "Iron Soldier II" will include every feature and specification originally planned as well as new ones we decided to add. Additionally, we are regularly looking at other major enhancements. Please note that Atari Corporation is the ONLY authorized party to publicly discuss the specifications of our products. Please be suspicious of news from any other source. There are often multiple ways to accomplish tasks and specifics can change readily. We will publish more information regarding "Iron Soldier II" and other titles as soon as we have those matters confirmed and ready. I have also heard that other rumors may be brewing regarding to Atari's commitment to the Jaguar. To the best of my knowledge, these rumors are originating from the very people who don't appreciate Atari's increase in new quality software releases. I assure you that Atari Corporation is moving forward with Jaguar support and development as hard as ever. Those who have one, know this already... The Jaguar is a lot of fun to own and play. You're continued support is our mandate for the future. --Ted Hoff CATnips... Jaguar tidbits from Don Thomas (95.10.29) Top of the List... Videos are in and ready to ship. Gamers have asked me to get extra dealer/demo videos and now they're in! They are available to North American addresses for $8.95 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. California residents need to add .69 for sales tax. To order, call toll free 800/GO-ATARI during business hours or fax your order to 408/745-2088. MasterCard or Visa accepted. To mail your order, write: Another of Don's Nifty Video Offers P.O. Box 61657 Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1657 Offer while supplies last. The tape includes captures from Atari's most recent releases and the best upcoming titles. Atari's newest commercial, dubbed one of the best in September by Adweek Magazine is also included. E- Mail your order for prompt service to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Here's a note from a friend on GEnie... SERVICE: GEnie FROM: D.GNADT DATE: October 24, 1995 09:29PM CATEGORY: The Jaguar, Atari's latest game console TOPIC: Atari Jaguar, 64-bit Game Console Picked up Pitfall last week and got Hover Strike: Unconquered lands today. Hover Strike is GREAT! It's like they took all our complaints about this game and fixed them. Control is better, frame rate is better, textures are better, sound is MUCH better, more levels, nice FMV (with pretty clean sound). The night missions are sooooooooo cool now (not that they weren't before) because the flares last longer and they do gourand shaded textures! The lava at night looks killer. Hmmm........ wish they would do a nice job of redoing Checkered Flag like they have with this baby. Did Imention I love the music? Thanks Atari, you did a fine job on this one. Looking forward to more titles like this one! Frans Keylard forwarded this from the Internet... In rec.games.video.atari, email@example.com (Scott Call) wrote: This is not so much a review as a collection of observations and opinions. Oh wait... That IS a review :) Well, being a sucker for 3d games, I picked up Atari's latest offering. Hover Strike for the JagCD. For those who don't know about the cart version of HS, here's a quick lo- down: Hoverstrike is a 1st person 3d hover-tank battle game (it mutated out of efforts to make a "BattleZone 2000") in which you battle to complete a series of progressively harder levels to destroy the "Terrakan"(SP) pirates who have taken over the colony world. The game, although pretty fun, got dinged a lot for it's somewhat slow frame- rate, short horizon, and controls. Atari seems to have justified themselves in this re-release. The CD comes up with an FMV "Prepare to Launch" sequence, followed by a "Star- Wars" style scrolling intro and credits sequence. The game includes the levels from the cart, as well as 10 new ones mixed into the 6 sets of levels. The controls are now configurable, addressing many of the problems people cited with the first release of the game. 1> You can now toggle "Hover" mode on and off. A lot of people could not get used to the fact the a hovercraft continues to move along the vector it was heading, even if you steer it. With hover turned off, you stop almost instantly after releasing the accelerator. 2> You can now toggle "Damage from terrain" which turns on and off collision damage from running into steep grades, falling off of them, or sitting in a pool of lava. 3> You can toggle the affects of enemy fire on your tank. If you set it to on, you will be pushed around by enemy fire, otherwise you won't be. You can also completely configure the joypad directions and buttons. I started playing this game on one of the new levels not in the cart "Stealth Attack" The first few things I noticed: 1> Frame rate seems to be much higher than in the cart version. 2> The lighting effects of shots, explosions, etc. that was only in the Gourand-Shaded "night" levels of the cart is present in every level. 3> Overall lighting and textures appear much better. I am getting my S- Video compatible TV next week, so hopefully some of the artifacting will vanish. 4> Music is MUCH better than the cart (same tunes, but CD audio now) 5> There are 2 save slots, and it only takes up 512 bytes in a Memory Track to hold both games and all the options. Playing onwards I found that the night missions are now fully texture mapped as well. Conclusions: I was pretty non-plussed by the cart version because it lacked an instant gratification, and didn't seem to offer enough to work towards. The new control options, plus the updated game engine, however, have made the CD version a very enjoyable game for me. New Enemies and Levels, plus even better T-Mapping, make me think I'll be playing this for a while. If the cart HS just wasn't enough to suck you in, but you like a good 3d battle game, the CD version might be for you. If you dislike the whole concept of 3d gaming, or tanks, you might want to steer clear. The FMV seems (so far) to only be in the intro, and then at the end of every level. It can be toggled off. Seems to be rendered, of slightly higher object/texturing quality then Blue Lightning. Tech Observation: Although load time is about the same as it was on the cart (I guess the cart had to decompress the levels), I noticed the CD spinning up and down during the mission briefing screens. I don't know why, but it's an interesting observation (someone before had mentioned they thought the CD always spun) If anyone has any more questions about this title, feel free to ask. --Scott Call aka Zapo Zapper <A HREF = "http://www.ccnet.com/~scall/"</A> Yea, so what are they saying about Power Drive Rally?... In rec.games.video.atari, firstname.lastname@example.org (Ben Gilbert) wrote: I just picked up Power Drive Rally at the local EB yesterday, and I must say I am very impressed. This is the first new game I have got since AvP (well, ok, I bought Dino Dudes and Tempest 2000 second hand so those kept me entertained pretty well) although I am excited about all the new releases which look to be arriving for the holiday season. I didn't think they would sell PDR for $70, and that is definitely pretty steep, but I try not to think about it since it is such a good game. :) What really makes this game is all the nice touches they put on it to make it more realistic and playable. The graphics are excellent also and the overall style reminds me of the old Electronic Arts game Racing Destruction Set. If only someone could convince EA to make an updated version of that game, I'd be in heaven. Anyway, I love the various effects in PDR such as the different weather conditions (love that lightning!), road conditions, and the way the cars are animated. I really get into the game and there is a feeling of actually being there despite the fact that it's not a first person perspective type game. The different cars handle differently and I find it very challenging even just playing against the computer. Plus, the variety of courses is really cool and I like how sometimes you race the same track but in the opposite direction. The sound effects are not anything amazing but they are all that is needed for the game, and the sounds of your car running into things or sliding around corners is well done. Definite cool things about this game: - Cars: wheels turn, headlights, back up lights, love that horn! - Weather: It can be raining, snowing, thunder and lightning, or just nighttime in which case you need your headlights to see. Oh, there's also a sandstorm. :) - Tracks: There are so many different courses which you must learn and it's definitely not easy to come in on time on every course. Plus, the skill tests are not always easy to finish in time and it takes practice to learn how to maneuver your car optimally. - Road: Mud, dirt, cement, ice, snow, sand. They're all different and present different handling of your car. I could swear driving on the mud courses I can feel the mud sticking to the tires. :) - Game: You can save three games, adjust the controls, all the usual stuff. Also, there is a training mode to use before going into actual races. Minuses: - I can't think of any! Overall, this game is thoroughly enjoyable and interesting. The realism is top notch and it puts you right in the driver's seat. If you like driving games at all, this one won't disappoint you. Regards, --Ben Gilbert e-mail: email@example.com National Instruments, Austin, TX What's up at Atari lately... CONTACT: Patricia Kerr or Jennifer Hansen Shandwick USA (800)444-6663 or (310)479-4997 Atari Corporation's Jaguar Will Keep Night Owls "Up All Night" Sweepstakes through USA Network and Electronic Gaming Monthly to reach millions NEW YORK -- Atari Corporation, USA Network and Electronic Gaming Monthly have teamed up to offer sleepless viewers the "USA: Up All Night Atari Jaguar Sweepstakes." The sweepstakes will air on the "USA: Up All Night" program for three consecutive Friday nights from 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. on November 10, 17 & 24. The program is hosted by television personality Rhonda Shear. Five Grand Prize winners will receive an Atari Jaguar 64 interactive multimedia system and software including the popular titles Doom, Tempest 2000 and Alien vs. Predator. Each winning Atari Jaguar 64 bit system and software package is valued at approximately $300.To enter, Rhonda will invite viewers to fill out an entry form in the November issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly or send a postcard with their name, address and telephone number to: "USA: Up All Night Atari Jaguar Sweepstakes " P.O. Box 3966 Rockefeller Center Station New York, NY 10185-3966 The USA Network is the nation's highest rated basic cable network in primetime and is seen in over 65 million homes nationwide via 12,500 affiliates. USA: Up All Night is hosted by Rhonda Shear and Gilbert Gottfried Friday and Saturday nights from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. respectively. In addition, more than 7,000,000 copies of Electronic Gaming Monthly are distributed annually. Winners will be announced at a later date. Atari, the Atari logo and Jaguar are trademarks or registered trademarks of Atari Corporation. All Rights Reserved. All listed software is authorized by Atari for use with the Jaguar 64-Bit Multimedia System. Electronic Gaming Monthly is a registered trademark of Sendai Publishing Group Inc. 1995 Sendai Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved. RE: More about Hover Strike CD - Unconquered Lands! In rec.games.video.atari, neuralog@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM (Neuralog) wrote: In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Brian Osserman <email@example.com> wrote: "... Hoverstrike UL isn't claiming to be a sequel. It came out only a few months after Hover Strike, and by all accounts does an excellent job of living up to its billing as an enhanced version of Hover Strike. IS II" Yeah Man! HS-UL does NOT disappoint! I just finished level 2 and am having the most fun I've had with a video game since Battle Zone and Defender in the early '80's! Great mix of gameplay/strategy/graphics, and MUSIC. The music rivets you to the game. The layout of the missions forces you to use your brain to exercise the various weapons/resources you have. Very well done! I've given ample time to Cybermorph, Iron Soldier, Rayman, Tempest 2000 (all modes), and about 7 others. But none has provided the depth of enjoyment of Hover Strike CD! I was waiting for Battlemorph because I like CM so much, but now it's gonna have to go a long ways to beat HSUL. If you've got JagCD, get HSUL and have some real fun! IMHO, --Ken Land As a reminder, Highlander started shipping last Friday and I expect the critic's (er, I mean gamer's) reviews in soon. Don't forget, the Atari Jaguar is the ONLY value-packed, U.S.-built, next generation system that offers fantastic new CD games as well as a growing library of outstanding cartridge- based software. Cart-based software loads fast and offers instant play! Be cool, play Jaguar! Not to say I have any personal interest in what game system you play. <g>. More games have entered production, according to Atari's Laury Scott, on CompuServe's Jaguar Forum: Lotsa Software Coming... As you will have seen over the past week or so I have posted a number of messages regarding software now in production. In case you missed any of them between now and early-mid December the following games will hit retailers: Ruiner Pinball Missile Command 3D Battlemorph I War Fever Pitch Soccer Supercross 3D Atari Karts And the list will grow longer by the end of this week... -Laury ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe compiled by Joe Mirando 73637,2262 Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Boy, what a relief to only have _one_ column to turn in. My other effort, TECH... No Babble, will be appearing every other week. I haven't received much feedback on the new column, but what I have has been favorable. If you've got a comment or even a request. Y'know, if there's something that you'd like to know about like how a modem does what it does or how a CDROM drive works, or maybe even why PGP is a better bet than the government's "clipper" technology (look for this one next week), just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our fearless leader at streport.com and Ralph will forward it to me. Well, anyway, let's get on with the reason for _this_ column... all the cool news, hints, tips, and info available every week right here on CompuServe. >From the Atari Computing Forums Richard Peck posts: "I was after some classified ads specifiically for Ataris - but there does'nt seem to be one. I was wondering if anybody has any memory for a 1040 STf - I've currently got a standard 1 meg - and I would like another 4 or more (it's for running CuBase) - can anybody help? I live in England but I am prepared to pay shipping (as long as I can get a guarantee.!!!!)" Sysop Bob Retelle tells Richard: "Unfortunately I can't offer any recommendations for sources of Atari memory upgrades in England, but a good one to try here in the States is Toad Computers.. Their phone number is: (410) 544-6943 and they can send you a catalog of everthing they carry." Simon Churchill adds: "Get a copy of ST Format, it has a Ad section at the back. You could put in a wanted Ad and as it's all for free you have nothing to loose. You will probably need to get a newsagent to order it for you as it's quite hard to find." Patrick Wong voices a complaint: "I've been using CompuServe since the mid 80s under my parent's account and now my own and in the past year I have experienced more crashes than all my years using CompuServe put together (which were very few). Forums can't be accessed, software can't sychronize, timing is off. Forums are even taking longer to get in. I think it has something to do with the huge surge in users. There are times I can't get my mail or news. It's getting a little annoying. Let's hope that CompuServe fixes the crashing real soon." To those of you who don't have a CompuServe account I'd just like to say that these are not as widespread as they may seem. I've never had trouble getting into any Forum. My biggest complaint is the lag involved in retrieving mail. But it's not a long lag and someone who hasn't been using CompuServe for a long time wouldn't even notice it. Meanwhile, Mike Myers posts: "I searched your libraries using "IBM finder", trying to find some variation on S code (or Esscode) for my son, who has an IBM clone. All that turned up were 4 programs, all apparently for Windows. And that he doesn't have. If there's another program for sending numerics files back and forth on the internet, it would have to have an atari version for me. Suggestions?" Dana Jacobson, our own Atari Section Editor, tells Mike: "EssCode 6.3 should be here as I remember uploading it some time ago. Try doing a search using the keyword "uudecode"... I just checked, it is here: [71051,3327] Dana P. Jacobson Lib: 4 ESCD63.ZIP Bin, Bytes: 89856, Count: 53, 13-Dec-94 Last:28-Oct-95 Title : ESS-Code 6.3 - UUENCODE/UUDECODE utility. Keywords: ESS-CODE UUENCODE UUDECODE MIME BTOA SHAREWARE ELECTRIC STORM ESS-Code 6.3 from Electric Storm Software. UUENCODE/UUDECODE program, plus other options." Carl Barron tells Mike: "Look for uuencode,mime,ship in the IBM file finder, Also check UNIXFORUM especially DOS LIB there [lib 13]. You should find a summary file in the last 30 days in lib 13. [Dos endlines] Containing a oneline description [I THINK its one line] of every file in the library. If that fails try lib 5 - Communications there. There is even a windoze version I think. Note well folks he said IBM FINDER and IBM clone." Laurent Mangane asks: "Can anyone tell me how to configure the DIAL.SCR to be able to connect on Internet via a CIS node ? If possible, posting a running DIAL.SCR after removing the passwd (of course :-)) would be of appreciated help." Michel Vanhamme tells Laurent: "CIS uses the PPP protocol to connect to the Internet, while Stik only supports the SLIP protocol at this moment, so using Stik with a CIS node is impossible until Stik supports PPP (as far as I know)." Alvin Baligad posts: "I'm very interested in MagicMac but have a few questions: 1) How does MagicMac handle Atari's two button mouse? 2) How is game compatability? I know Atari didn't have the sophistication of a lot of Mac games, but I REALLY like Cannon Fodder ;> 3) Are there other developers for MagicMac specific software? This would seem to be saving grace of GEM/TOS/the Atari faithful..." Richard Brown tells Alvin: "MagiCMac does handle the 2 button mouse via a control key/click combination. The only odd thing is that certain programs that distinguish between the left and right shift keys have a little trouble in that MagiCMac does not fully emulate this esoteric BIOS call (but this will probably be corrected in the future). As for games, I'd say, on the Mac side itself you'd find a lot of fun, but nowhere near the fun of the clunky DOS universe, the defacto gaming standard. Finally, yes, there are dedicated MagiCMac software developers. I'm president of one such company. Our software is professional level stuff that really shines in the immense speed of MagiCMac on even older 68030 Macs. The thing you should know - MagiCMac's OS and Ease desktop soundly beat all things Atari (including both of our TT030's) in any measure of speed. In fact MagiC "feels" many times faster than the host Mac itself! We strongly believe that the performance levels that MagiCMac brings to the Mac universe will bolster this otherwise bogged-down platform which, like Atari before it, will soon face the end of its run in the market. This time around, however, it will not be a case of thousands of orphan machines - but millions of them - and a ready market for programs that run _unlike_ regular Mac fare - that is - WITH SPEED. ** One last note - Atarians can rejoice in another fact: any properly written program for MagiCMac will ALSO run fine on all Ataris sporting sufficient RAM (4Mb RAM should be considered normal for high-end programs). While backwards compatibility is cool - once again - it's the eye-popping SPEED of MagiCMac that will fulfill even a jaded PowerMac 9500 user (such as myself) in the quest of finally having a computer that waits on the user - instead of the vice-versa norm. Look for DynaStar's first MagiCMac programs within the next six months or so..." Alvin tells Richard: "Thanks for the info. I'm mixed about the info. I'm glad MagicMAC is so impressive, I'm glad its tolerant of older Atari STuff ;> and I hope it takes off the way Atari dedicated stuff should have. Good luck, keep up the good work. BTW, whaddya call the OS? It isn't DOS, it isn't TOS, is it MOS?" Richard adds: "As it happens, the latest version of MagiCMac, including the PowerMac version, is available now from Canada's Computer Direct. There is also an upgrade to the original MagiCMac release that eliminates much of the "German-ese" that was in the original package. We're finding MagiCMac to be the saving grace of the ill-fated MacOS platform. Unlike Atari, when Mac computing goes the way of the orphan, there will finally be a real home for new Atari softwares: millions of machines in the U.S. My programming staff is working on MagiCMac-specific software, starting with a high-end script writing system (vastly better than all similar programs attempting to accomplich these tasks on the PC or Mac). Mainly, the speed is the thing that is astounding. Our software, while backwards compatible to all the good ol' Ataris out there (4 Mb or greater, of course), FLIES in MagiC. I own all the WP's and scripting systems that have ever existed on the Mac - and I'd say our program, in MagiC, is 10-100 times faster in just about all respects. My PowerBook 145 B (25MHz 68030) is twice as fast as my Atari TT030, andis in many ways much faster than my PowerMac 9500, an $18,000 monster. I can't wait to get the PowerMac version of MagiCMac on the 9500. Another example, our Performa 638 (33 Mhz 68040) in MagiCMac is vastly faster than the 9500. The real beauty - we've been able to chuck the conventions of AtariOS, MacOS, WindowsOS, and SGI-OS (all of which we have) and introduce a "power environment" in which our programs run that finally delivers the promise of power in a GUI. To compare anything previously seen on the desktop to our system is to look backwards into the primordial swamp. We banish the featureless so-called windowed environment and empower the user with intelligent ergonomic power.... 'Nuff said for now." Patrick Wong jumps in and posts: "I've been hearing a lot about this thing called MagiCMac and I only have a vague clue of what it is. Can someone please tell me more about this thing? Or software or whatever it is. So far I think it's a ST emulator on the Mac though a slot or something. Sorta like the ST card for the IBM. Also is it true that there are companies writing software just for MagicMac? Also how much does this hardware or software cost?" Bill Anderson tells Patrick: "MacicMac can be thought of as an Atari emulator for the Mac. Actually, it is a different OS (Magic) and a replacement desktop/GUI (Ease). It is software only, and allows you to run Atari software on a Mac." Daniel Davenport posts: "I plan to buy a relational database. Of Twist and Superbase Prof, which is the best? Will be used to computerise small office system. Anyone with experience of both, who can compare?" Paul Matthews tells Daniel: "They are both excellent products and I use them both on a regular basis. Twist is better at the layout of forms for your database because of SpeedoGDOS support but Superbase is more programmable. Do you need to change the way your database works? if you do you need superbase. If you require DBASE compatability you will need to use superbase. I am awaiting my Twist 3 upgrade and i will post some information when I get it." John Peabody posts: "I don't know if anyone remembers the Atari STs anymore, but here goes... I've used my STacy (LST 2144) daily until about six months ago. Today, it won't even begin to power up at all, the battery light flashes and a low battery click-click-click comes from the speaker (it can be adjusted with the volume knob!). I opened up all the easy ports/panels to look for a battery (the large spot for the supposed nicad has always been empty), but could not find any spot for a battery... Any help? I got this machine in the UK (a grey market deal) without a manual...it's been a great little machine (*ahem*) until now." Richard Rives tells John: "I don't know if this will help or apply, but when I added some extra hardware to my Stacy (these pieces took power from the computer) I got the same resulting click sound or when booting it would die upon the hard drive access. I added a Adspeed accelerator, 127meg HD, and a Midex+(midi/smpte expander). The cure for this was to modify the power regulator board inside. I got this info from someone else so here goes: WARNING........ LONG POST! Here is a solution, ending my miserable hard drive/power supply problems for my STacy. Have you wanted to replace your inadequate stock CONNER hard drive with a larger model? You may have found that there isn't enough power available from the stock power supply, and with goodies like GCR, the entire computer crashes and reboots. WHY??...... The stock PHIHONG power supply's specifications are: 16.5V at 2.5 amps. I found by watching the oscilloscope during floppy and hard drive accesses that the external power supply can deliver EXACTLY 2.5 AMPS and NO MORE! If the load exceeds 2.500000 amps, it shuts down until the load has returned to under 2.5 amps. Nothing seemed to help. I tried tweaking the 12 and 5V potentiometers on the internal power supply board, trying other hard drives, large filter capacitors on the 5 and 12 volt lines and trying non-ATARI floppy drives. No luck here.... THE SOLUTION!......was finally discovered when I realized that by improving the filtering and stability of the power supply, the transient current loads no longer exceeded the maximum supply ratings. Simply, de-solder the 5v line leading to the hard drive at the power/regulation board. Solder the input leg of a LM340K-5 (5v, 3amp positive-voltage regulator) to the 12v line. Solder the case (GND) to the GND terminals between the 12 and 5v lines on the power supply/regulation board. Solder the wire leading to the hard drive 5volt line to the output leg of the LM340K-5. This solution has been flawless, running an impressive 2 years now! Several weeks ago, I included a couple of installments of BJ Gleason's "Reports from the Field". BJ was a professor at American University and is now teaching with the Armed Services through the University of Maryland. He is currently in Korea and, from his letters, enjoying the heck out of it. Here's his third installment: "Hey Gang... Since several of you had written asking when the next report from the field would be, well, here it is. Well, the first term ended about two weeks ago. I had a week off, so I spent a couple of days down in the Pusan (South East Coast). I also spent a few days in Osan at the Air Force base, trying to get some flying in... but there has been a lot going on. Some north koreans slipped into south korea, and things have been a bit dicey... there were major operations to catch the guys (2 of them), and Osan partipated... the second guy was caught today south of Osan... he had made quite some distance undetected. I'm scheduled to get checked out in a C172 on 1 Nov... The new term has started and I teach mon/wed from 6:30-9:30, and then Sunday, 9-4... Only two classes this time, since the third class was cancelled becasue the troops were in the field until Nov 20th. I'm teaching C and another Intro class. Another faculty member and I are planning a trip over the christmas break that might include: Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taipai, Singapore, and maybe a few other places... I'll let you know details as I get them. There is going to be next weekend a dry run of the NEO exercise, which is supposed to evacuate all non-combat personnel from Korea. I am on the short-list of people who might spend a weekend in Japan as part of the exercise... On my days off, I am taking a course in Korean... which I am sure will be as successful as my forays into Russian and German... Altho I might be able to actually use some of it... There is actually little chances to use Korean... becasue of the SOFA agreement, most signs in Korea are bilingual, and everybody who speaks Korean want to practice their english on me. The class is interesting, since during this first week, we were not allowed to take notes, and we just kept saying various things, none of which I can now remember... Let's see... that should be enough for now... oh, the OJ verdict was the big thing on the news here as well, and all my students wanted to know more about it... it was a constant topic about here. Keep those cards and letter coming! Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING STReport's "Editorial Quip" "There is nothing as cheap and weak in debate as. .assertion feeding on emotion and not backed by facts!" STReport International OnLine Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE ON OVER 100,000 PRIVATE BBS SYSTEMS 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. STR OnLine! YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE November 03, 1995 Since 1987 Copyrightc1995 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1143
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