ST Report: 1-Dec-95 #1148From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 12/02/95-09:31:15 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 1-Dec-95 #1148 Date: Sat Dec 2 09:31:15 1995 Silicon Times Report The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) December 01, 1995 No. 1148 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! 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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: 11/25/95: 3 matches in 1 play >From the Editor's Desk... Its.. December First! Less than four weeks `till Christmas left. Just about every software and hardware company in the world is prepared for the expected "Technology Gift Giving Christmas" except perhaps, one or two. One. I've written off as a waste of time. I've spent far too much time in the last few years trying to light a fire under the CEO's butt. Of course in his simplistic arrogance, he listened to nobody or if he has, he may have done so surreptitiously to avoid the possibility of having to pay royalties or some sort of fee for having implemented certain suggestions. The sad part is this guy and his brothers have dragged this once fine and very proud company into the quagmire of ridicule, shame, disgrace and ultimately the scorn of many in the business. The bottom line is. this is the not the last observation I'll make of the Tramiels and the manner in which they've turned Atari Corp. from a company that literally "Soared with Eagles" to a company that can hardly manage to "Roost with Thanksgiving Reject Turkeys". I will make it my business to slowly savor and point out each and every "faux pas" they so deftly execute until their very bitter end. Many of the highly talented people who either work or have worked (merciless Layoffs) at Atari must bear the brunt of the Tramiel enigma. Or, so I thought. There is always the silver lining in those dark clouds. It now seems that the majority of the Silicon Valley companies realize the stress and extreme pressure people working at Atari under the Tramiels must endure. As such, most long term ex-Atari employees are snapped up almost immediately upon leaving Atari. They are considered to be among the very best in the business. After all, anybody who can endure in the "Katzenjammer Day Care Center" can not only work out well anywhere, they will no doubt, prove to be exceptionally good employees and top producers. We will continue the Atari Jaguar coverage until further notice. The other company I strongly wonder about is Nintendo with its U-64 hype and gas that's being bandied about all over the gaming world. This has got to be a first folks!! Nintendo is busy trying to compete with Hot Air and yesterday's applause. Nintendo fell flat on its collective posterior with the Virtua "Boy". It should have been called Virtual "Wannabe", now they touting the U64.. wanna bet it never sees the light of day as its being described at this time?? They've given the other companies so much advance notice. It really smacks of some Nintendo corporate "genius" trying to apply the "Osborne Syndrome" as a weapon against its competition. Nintendo, like its ill-fated colleague mentioned above, had better wake up to the fact that the consumer is far better informed these days and is not about to fall for any shallow minded schemes to divert the market's attention. This reporter feels we are about to see a new, abeit very familiar name, leader in the Video Gaming marketplace. Sony is taking the market by storm. its percentage of marketshare and deep penetration has shattered all previous "figures" both estimated and posted by all other participants. We have a report about the Sony effort elsewhere in this issue. The real shakeout has begun. Along with our added, in depth coverage of Video Gaming Central, on CompuServe, piloted by Ron Luks and Mike Schoenbach, we shall offer a number different Gaming console departments. Drop by there and let `em know we sent you. If you or, anyone you know may be interested in covering the either the Nintendo, Sega or 3D0 marketplace please, let me know at email@example.com or, any of our addresses listed elsewhere in this issue. In the PC Games world, the fun factors are heating up like crazy. The new game releases from Interplay, Activision, Access and many of the others are simply put, dazzling, spellbinding and certainly entertaining. Want to try a few really great ones?? Get Descent, Dungeon Master II and Stonekeep from Interplay .these superb PC gaming masterpieces will knock your socks off! The productive side of the computing community is ready for this Christmas in a very big way.. Windows 95 is definitely taking center stage without Letterman standing in front of Gates. that appearance was hilarious. Its nice to see one can spoof Bill Gates. The updates, upgrades and new software now available for Windows 95 will most certainly "stuff any stocking" regardless of its size. It will be a great Christmas Season for those companies who have prepared and made ready their lineups for this Holiday Season. Ralph. Lost & Found: z Canon's 32 bit drivers for their Scanners and Printers and Diamond's Win95 Viper Drivers. Still, NOT FOUND and nowhere in sight. What's "with" these two giants?? Somebody, anybody. please send `em some strong, hot coffee!! August 24th was a long time ago already! 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. 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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. STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS STReport Headline News Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Europeans OK Seagate-Conner Deal A merger between U.S. disk drive makers Seagate Technology and Conner Peripherals has been approved by the European Commission, which says in a statement the deal is compatible with the European Union's common market. Reporting from Brussels, the Reuter News Service notes that while the companies involved are American, the Commission must consider the impact on the EU market in mergers of firms above a certain size. The wire service quotes the commission as saying, "In the relevant tape drive and computer software segments, the parties (EU) market shares are small and pose no threat to competition." Barrier to market entry are low, it added, and many of the existing players were planning rapid capacity expansion. Said the statement, "In this context the merger does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the compatibility." Borland Chairman Kahn Steps Down Borland International Inc. Chairman Philippe Kahn is stepping down to devote his attention to Starfish Software Inc., the company he founded shortly after being ousted as Borland's CEO. The move is set to take effect on Jan. 1. Kahn will remain a director of Borland, which he founded 12 years ago. Under Kahn's direction, and without venture capital funding, Borland grew from a garage start-up into one of the world's largest software publishers, although the firm's luster has dulled in recent years. "Given the fast pace of the growth at Starfish Software, I'm cutting back on my outside commitments in order to focus completely on Starfish," says Kahn. "I'm very excited that the company's strategy to deliver products for the Internet, online services and computer telephony got such a great response at FALL COMDEX last week. Our products are doing very well, and the future looks great -- there are so many opportunities at Starfish Software that I need to concentrate all my attention there." Packard Bell in Dollar Dilemma Word on Wall Street is that computer maker Packard Bell Electronics Inc. is going into the crucial Christmas PC sales season with unexpectedly intense competition and money problems. Writing in the Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Ralph T. King Jr. says information about potential troubles at Packard Bell emerged from a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Intel Corp., which counts Packard Bell among its largest customers. "Intel said in its 10-Q filing that it had agreed to convert part of an estimated $470 million in receivables for one of its major customers into a loan of unspecified duration," King notes. "Although Intel didn't identify the customer in the filing, analysts said they believed it to be Packard Bell." As reported earlier, the closely held Sacramento, California, firm last July sold a 20 percent stake to NEC Corp., the Japanese computer concern, for $170 million, which analysts said at the time would help shore up a balance sheet weakened by low profit margins. Intel spokesman Howard High told King the company has never made such a loan before, adding, "We are trying to get the customer through this need. Converting the receivable will help them out on books for right now." The Journal quotes analysts as saying the development will have minimal financial impact on Intel, but, says the paper, "it raises questions about Packard Bell's management of inventory or the popularity of its products, many of which are equipped with 75-megahertz Pentium chips." (The paper observes consumers "apparently prefer 100-megahertz machines, mainly sold by Compaq Computer Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co.") Analyst Drew Peck of Cowen & Co., who cited the Intel loan in a report yesterday, told the paper, "I think Packard Bell made a horrible bet and now they are paying the price." Calling Intel's becoming commercial lender for its customers "a very odd turn of events," Peck predicted Packard Bell will be forced to slash prices on an estimated 500,000 machines by $200 to $300 below its cost of about $1,500 per PC. Cray Unveiling New Super System Look for Cray Research Inc. this week to unveil a new parallel-processing supercomputer with what observers says is unprecedented speed. Reporting in the Wall Street Journal this morning, writer William M. Bulkeley says the system is part of the Eagan, Minnesota, computer maker's bid "to reassert its dominance of high-end scientific supercomputing." Bulkeley notes Cray has been best-known for its multimillion-dollar vector supercomputers that use just a few very powerful processors. "The new Cray T3E will be its second-generation parallel processor," he writes. "Unlike its predecessor, the T3D, it operates without being connected to a traditional vector supercomputer." Quoting people familiar with the machine, the Journal says the system will have "a theoretical top speed of more than one trillion operations a second, or one teraflops, a measure of supercomputer speed." (Currently the only planned teraflops machine is one that Intel Corp. is building for the Energy Department's Sandia National Laboratories.) The smallest models are likely to be priced at well under $1 million and buyers will be able to increase power by adding just a few processors at a time in the future making the systems "highly scalable" in industry parlance. The T3E can be built with as few as 16 processors or as many as 2,048 processors, the Journal writes. Artisoft Acquires Modem Technology Local area network (LAN) developer Artisoft Inc. says it has acquired the modem sharing and communications software assets of Synergy Solutions Inc. in a cash transaction valued at $1.3 million. The Synergy products, including Modem Assist Plus, operate with a wide variety of network technologies, allowing the more efficient use of leased telephone lines. "The ability for people in a workgroup to access one or a limited number of modems or phone lines is important to their productivity," says William C. Keiper, Artisoft's chairman and CEO. "We have previously indicated our intention to be more comprehensive in our approach to addressing the communications requirements of workgroups in small and mid-sized businesses, and the acquisition of the Synergy products and technology is another step in this direction." Artisoft, based in Tucson, Arizona, is best known for its LANtastic network operating system. InterNotes Web Publisher 2.0 Ships Lotus Development Corp. has released InterNotes Web Publisher Release 2.0, a program that allows organizations to extend Notes information and applications to Internet users. InterNotes Web Publisher Release 2.0 automatically publishes Notes documents and forms to the Web, translating the documents into the HTML format. It can also capture information from forms submitted via the Web, incorporating the data into Notes business process applications. "The Internet has tremendous potential to transform the way companies conduct business," says Mike Zisman, Lotus' CEO. "Lotus' plan, with Notes and its InterNotes products -- the Web Publisher and the Web Navigator -is to extend Notes' capabilities to the Web and provide features that the Web is currently lacking." InterNotes Web Publisher Release 2.0 is available for $2,995. Web Publisher 1.0 users can receive an upgrade at no charge. Release 2.0 supports the Windows NT and OS/2 operating systems and requires a Notes server and a standard HTTP server. Computer Gap Growing, Study Says Despite lowering costs of equipment and growing general awareness, the gap between those using computer technology and those who aren't is growing each year, according to a new RAND study. The report -- called "Universal Access to E-mail" -- delineates what reporter Rachael Naab of United Press International calls "the growing stratification in the United States" and suggests measures to make communication technology available to every U.S. citizen in much the same way as the U.S. Postal Service has made mail service available. Says the report, "At the individual level ... a detailed examination of Current Population Survey data from 1984 to 1989 suggest that workers who use computers on their job earn 10 to 15 percent higher wages than otherwise similar workers who do not." The study further says that on a wider level networking is directly linked to egalitarianism and participation in political concerns. Illustrating the point, the researchers described Civic Networks that now are forming, which "can support interpersonal relationships and facilitate the social integration of otherwise marginalized groups." People, though, who are not able to access networks will be poorer, further marginalized and increasingly distanced from the political process, a phenomenon one researcher called "information apartheid." The RAND researchers also say: z 60 percent of all jobs in the United States will require the technical know-how that only 20 percent of the population will be capable of handling in 20 years. z But ultimately, the market will make access more widely available. Standardized computer equipment, access through mediums already widely popular like TV and game players, public access to technology with assistance and training, and corporate service of underdeveloped areas paid for by the more affluent users are some of the possible options. Nonetheless, one reviewer noted other more basic communications infrastructure is still not in place for many people, observing, "While the study offers wonderful insight into the issue (of computer networking) it does not address the fact that there isn't universal access to phone lines in the United States or that many areas still don't have 911 numbers." CompUSA Unveils New Store Model CompUSA Inc. is using the opening of its first computer superstore in the Orlando area to present its new store model. The 26,750 square-foot outlet, located in The Marketplace At Altamonte in Altamonte Springs, Florida, features six main departments that are marked with colorful signs that are designed to be customer-friendly: PC Software, Computers and Printers, Macintosh, Multimedia, Accessories and Upgrade Center. A new CompKids area lets children ages 12 and under -- and their parents -- try out various software titles. CompKids is designed as a rocket ship with computer stations sized proportionately for smaller hands. Additionally, a new Software Sampler area allows adults to "test drive" leading software titles. "This Superstore represents CompUSA's latest, interactive store concept," says Jim Halpin, CompUSA's president and CEO. The store is set to open on Dec. 2. Gates Announces School Initiative Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has announced that proceeds from his new book, The Road Ahead, will be used to fund a project to bring classrooms online. Speaking at Georgetown University in Washington, Gates said 22 schools would participate in the two-year project, which is designed to give a wide range of students access to computers, connect them to libraries and resources and give parents online access to classrooms. "The most important use of information technology is to improve education," said Gates, who added that Microsoft is developing software called the Parent-Teacher Connection Server to let students browse the Internet for information and publish their own home pages on the World Wide Web. The product is schedule to become available free to U.S. schools this spring. Gates said Microsoft is working with hardware companies and telecommunications firms, such as Compaq Computer Corp., Bell Atlantic Corp. and Pacific Bell Corp., to wire schools, set up computer systems for the Microsoft Parent-Teacher Connection Server, and provide the selected schools with telecommunications connections, support and training. CEOs Unhappy With Marketing Almost three out of four Silicon Valley corporate leaders surveyed by a high- tech marketing firm give low ratings to their firms' marketing effectiveness. Reporting from Palo Alto, California, United Press International says Neale-May & Partners finds 74.3 percent of the CEOs surveyed rank their programs as poor, fair or average. The survey also found 96 percent of the executives, who were surveyed in September, regarded marketing as critical to the success of their companies. The CEOs told pollsters they have been recognizing the fast-changing face of the computer industry has made it tricky to develop effective marketing techniques. Research firm president Donovan Neale-May told the wire service, "High- technology companies face a unique set of marketing dynamics. They have increasingly complex messages and products and have to address larger and more fragmented markets served by multiple channels of distribution. "This is challenging some of the conventional industry thinking and putting more pressure on CEOs to innovate in the way their companies interact with the market as competition heats up and product parity pervades." In other findings, the CEOs said customer support and service was the top priority in a marketing strategy, with 49 percent rating it as "very important," followed by: Direct marketing (33 percent). Channel communications (31 percent). Sales support programs (23 percent). Public relations (21.5 percent). Trade shows (16 percent). Product design and styling (16 percent). Advertising (14 percent). Pixar Wows 'Em on Wall Street Wall Street is continuing its love affair with high-tech, yesterday sending the price of stock in Pixar Animation Studios, the computer-animation company that created the special effects for "Toy Story," soaring by 77 percent. Pixar, trading under the symbol PIXR, closed at $39 a share in heavy Nasdaq trading yesterday evening after completing its $132 million stock offering at $22 a share and reaching as high as $49.50. Reporting from Pixar's Richmond, California, headquarters, United Press International notes the offering puts about 20 percent of Pixar's shares in public hands. At the current stock price, Pixar has a market capitalization of $1.2 billion. Steven Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer, owns the remaining 80 percent of Pixar. (Jobs bought the company from film director George Lucas in 1986 and has invested $60 million in the company.) Pixar was one of the hottest new high-tech issues this year, following Internet software specialist Netscape Communications, which more than doubled its $28 initial public offering price on Aug. 9. As reported yesterday, Netscape stock now trades for more than $100 above its initial price. Pixar co-produced "Toy Story" with Walt Disney Co. and the film dominated the U.S. box office during a record-setting holiday weekend. The firm, which has about 100 employees, is committed to produce its next two movies for Disney, which has agreed to release a second film. UPI notes Pixar faces competition in its graphics and animation software sales with Microsoft Corp. and Silicon Graphics Inc. "More than 60 percent of its revenues during the first nine months of this year came from a licensing deal with Microsoft," the wire service added. AWE32 FAQ STR FactFinder Frequently Asked Questions about the SB AWE32 This is a frequently asked questions document for the Creative SB AWE32 sound card. This document summarizes many frequently asked questions and answers about the SB AWE32. If you have a question, please check this file before calling Creative Technical Support as you may find the answer contained in this document. This FAQ is organized into the following sections: * [A] SB AWE32 in General * [B] Editing Tools * [C] Programming Information * [D] SoundFont(TM) Banks * [E] Introduction to the EMU8000 chip * [F] How do I ... * [G] References * [H] NRPN Table Before you continue ... This document assumes you have a basic understanding of how MIDI works, the different MIDI messages, and how your MIDI sequencer works. If you are not familiar with these topics, please consider consulting a friend who has experience with MIDI, or consulting books on MIDI. A list of recommended reading on MIDI can be found in section G of this document. Contents SECTION A - SB AWE32 IN GENERAL 1. What is the SB AWE32? How does it differ from the SB16? 2. How much memory is shipped with the SB AWE32 card? 3. Can I upgrade the memory on my SB AWE32 card? 4. What is the recommended SIMM memory access speed? 5. How do I upgrade the memory on the card? 6. What are the uses of the 512 KB DRAM on the SB AWE32? 7. Would adding DRAM to the SB AWE32 increase the performance of WAVE file editing or manipulation? 8. Is it possible to use AWE32 sounds (16 channels) together with FM sounds from the OPL-3 chip (16 channels) in Cakewalk? 9. How many MIDI channels can the SB AWE32 handle in Windows? 10. What MIDI sequencers will work with SB AWE32? Are special drivers required? 11. Are there any plans for OS/2 and Windows NT SB AWE32 drivers? 12. What I/O port addresses are used by the EMU8000? 13. Why doesn't the EMU8000 have a built in MIDI interpreter? 14. Does the SB AWE32 support MIDI Sample Dump to transfer samples to the EMU8000? 15. What is CC0 documented in Appendix G-4 and G-5 of the SB AWE32 Getting Started Manual? How are these variation tones accessed? 16. What "drum kits" are available in GS mode? 17. Does the SB AWE32 respond to MIDI Aftertouch? 18. My PC system does not have a working NMI. What can I do to use AWEUTIL? 19. Is there a WaveBlaster upgrade option on the SB AWE32? 20. What is the benefit of adding a WaveBlaster to the SB AWE32? 21. Is it possible to load AWEUTIL into high memory? 22. Does AWEUTIL have to stay memory resident? 23. What are the long term plans to solve the problem with DOS extender games? 24. Will software written for the SB16 work with the SB AWE32? 25. Does Creative have any plans for a SCSI version of the SB AWE32? 26. What CD-ROM drives does the SB AWE32 support? 27. What are the different reverb and chorus variations available on the SB AWE32? 28. What are the undocumented JP6, JP8 and JP9 jumpers on the card? 29. How does the AWE32 Value Edition differ from the Sound Blaster AWE32? SECTION B - EDITING TOOL 1. Is there a preset editor for the SB AWE32? 2. Is it possible to patch multiple sounds across different keys, such as a drum kit? 3. How are new instruments on the SB AWE32 created? 4. What functionality does Vienna SF Studio offer? 5. Where do I get my copy of Vienna? 6. Can Vienna load samples for other systems e.g. Akai S1000 or Yamaha TG55? SECTION C - PROGRAMMING INFORMATION 1. Is programming information available for the SB AWE32? 2. Is the effect engine on the SB AWE32 programmable? SECTION D - SOUNDFONT BANK 1. What are SoundFont Collections? 2. How do SoundFont Banks work? 3. Where can I purchase SoundFont Banks? 4. What can I do with SoundFont Banks? 5. Will having 28 MB on the SB AWE32 improve the sound quality over a standard 512 KB SB AWE32? SECTION E - INTRODUCTION TO THE EMU8000 CHIP SECTION F - HOW DO I ... 1. How do I make use of RPN documented in the SB AWE32 MIDI Implementation chart? 2. How do I change an instrument's sound parameter in real time? 3. How do I select the SB AWE32's reverb and chorus variation type through MIDI? 4. How can I maximize my system's memory so that I still have plenty of room to run games after installing the SB AWE32? 5. How do I load a SoundFont Bank? 6. How do I setup my sequencer software to access the user bank that I have downloaded into the RAM? 7. How do I get the latest drivers for the SB AWE32? SECTION G - REFERENCES SECTION H - SB AWE32 NRPN IMPLEMENTATION Section A - SB AWE32 1. What is the SB AWE32? How does it differ from the SB16? The SB AWE32 is a standard SB16 MultiCD with the EMU 8000 Advanced WavEffect music synthesizer chip. The card includes all the standard SB16 features. Additionally, the SB AWE32 includes the Advanced Signal Processor and multiple interfaces supporting Creative, Mitsumi and Sony CD-ROM drives. The EMU8000 is a sub-system offering high quality music synthesis using advanced wave effects technology. It comes with an onboard dedicated effect engine. The effect engine provides high quality effects like reverb and chorus to MIDI playback. The EMU8000 supports up to 32 voices, and the effect amount for each voice can be controlled via MIDI. The EMU8000 comes integrated with 1MB of General MIDI samples and 512kB of DRAM for additional sample downloading. It can address up to 28 MB of external DRAM memory. The SB AWE32 supports General MIDI, Roland GS and Sound Canvas MT- 32 emulation. Note: MT-32 Emulation on the SB AWE32 is similar to that of the Sound Canvas; e.g., MT-32 sysex is not supported. 2. How much memory is shipped with the SB AWE32 card? The card ships with 1 MB of General MIDI ROM samples and 512 KB of DRAM for user sample downloading. 3. Can I upgrade the memory on my SB AWE32 card? The Sound Blaster AWE32 has a pair of SIMM sockets for upgrading the DRAM to as much as 28 megabytes. The SB AWE32 Value Edition card does not allow the memory to be upgraded. 4. What is the recommended SIMM memory access speed? Hardware specifications call for SIMM modules with 80 nanosecond or better access times. 5. How do I upgrade the memory on the card? To upgrade the memory, you can purchase standard SIMM modules and insert them into the SIMM sockets provided on the SB AWE32. (If you are not familiar with inserting SIMM modules, check with a technician where you purchased the SIMM modules. They should be able to help). You will also need to reconfigure the memory selector jumper on the SB AWE32 card. The SIMM sockets on the SB AWE32 were designed to accommodate industry standard 30-pin SIMM modules. You will need to insert two SIMMs of the same memory size into both of the sockets. The available memory options are: z 2 MB (using 2 1 MB SIMMs) z 8 MB (using 2 4 MB SIMMs) z 32 MB (using 2 16 MB SIMMs) Note: that you cannot mix different size (that is, 2 MB and 8 MB) SIMM modules together on a single SB AWE32 card. There are also 72 pins SIMM modules on the market. Such SIMMs can be found on motherboards that use 8 or 16 megabit SIMMs or as cache RAM. They are incompatible with the SIMM sockets on the SB AWE32 card. The EMU8000 treats the first 4 MB of its DRAM address space as ROM memory. As a result, when you insert two 16 MB SIMMs onto the SB AWE32, only 28 MB will be addressable. Note: SB AWE32 Value Edition does not allow memory upgrades. 6. What are the uses of the 512 KB DRAM on the SB AWE32? The on-board 512 KB of memory is used to hold user samples. In GS synthesizer mode, this 512 KB is used to hold the sound effects of GS. In GM synthesizer mode, the 512 KB DRAM is free, so it can hold SoundFont banks containing samples. MT-32 Synthesizer mode uses a small portion of the 512 KB of memory, therefore you can still load your own SoundFont bank samples into the rest of the free RAM space. 7. Would adding DRAM to the SB AWE32 increase the performance of WAVE file editing or manipulation? Addition of SIMM DRAM to the SB AWE32 will allow you to accommodate more SoundFont bank data. This, however, will not increase the performance of WAVE file editing or manipulation as the latter does not make use of the SIMM DRAM on the SB AWE32. 8. Is it possible to use AWE32 sounds (16 channels) together with FM sounds from the OPL-3 chip (16 channels) in Cakewalk? You can use both the AWE32 sounds AND the OPL-3 FM sounds together in Cakewalk. As both the AWE32 and OPL-3 appear under Microsoft Windows as two separate MIDI devices, you can play both devices simultaneously. There are two methods that you can use. You can either changed the MIDI Mapper settings OR change it within Cakewalk. The following is a step-by-step guide: Method 1 1. Start the Control Panel, and enter the MIDI Mapper applet. 2. Select "SB16 ALL FM" as the output setup 3. Select "Edit" to go into MIDI Setup 4. Locate the "Port" column 5. If you want a channel to be playing back using the AWE32, then select "Sound Blaster AWE32 MIDI Synthsizer". On the other hand, if you want the channel to be playing back using the OPL3, then select "Voyetra Super Sapi FM Driver" . Repeat steps 4 and 5 on other channels to assign the output port as desired. 6. Startup Cakewalk. Select "Settings" , then "MIDI Devices" 7. Select "Microsoft MIDI Mapper" as MIDI devices. Now you will have the sound playing back according to what you have set in the MIDI Mapper. Method 2 1. Startup Cakewalk. 2. Select "Settings", then "MIDI Devices" 3. You will see a dialog box with MIDI IN devices on the left, and MIDI OUT devices on the right. Click on both "Sound Blaster AWE32 MIDI Synth" and "Voyetra Super Sapi FM Driver". 4. Select "OK" 5. Activate the "Track/Measure" Window. 6. Locate the "Port" column in the Track/Measure Windows 7. If you want a track to be playing back using AWE32, double click on the tracks "Port" section, and select "1:Sound Blaster AWE32 MIDI Synth." On the other hand if you want the track to be playing back using the OPL-3 then select "2:Voyetra Super Sapi FM Driver." You can repeat steps 6 and 7 on other Cakewalk tracks to assign the output port as desired. Note: These methods could also be used if you have a WaveBlaster attached to your SB AWE32. The WaveBlaster will appear as "SB16 MIDI Out" in the "Port" column. 9. How many MIDI channels can the SB AWE32 handle in Windows? Under Windows, the SB AWE32 has two MIDI synthesizer devices, EMU8000 and OPL3. Each MIDI device is capable of supporting 16 MIDI channels, with 15 being melodic, and one channel (MIDI channel 10) being percussive. Using the two devices at once allows 32 MIDI channels to be available in Windows. 10. What MIDI sequencers will work with SB AWE32? Are special drivers required? The SB AWE32 package ships with a Windows SB AWE32 MIDI driver. Therefore, the SB AWE32 can be used with any Windows based MIDI sequencer software. For DOS, the sequencer software needs to have native SB AWE32 support. 11. Are there any plans for OS/2 and Windows NT SB AWE32 drivers? The SB AWE32 OS/2 driver is currently available with OS/2 Warp 3.0. The Windows NT driver is available as ntawe32.exe on Creative's BBS, CompuServe Forum, and Internet FTP site. See the item "How do I get the latest drivers for the SB AWE32?" in Section F for further information. 12. What I/O port addresses are used by the EMU8000? The addresses used by the EMU8000 are relative to the base I/O address of the SB16. EMU8000 Addresses are at 6xxH, AxxH and ExxH. It occupies the first four addresses at each location. For example, if the SB16 base I/O address is 220H, the EMU8000 addresses are 620H-623H, A20H-A23H and E20H- E23H. 13. Why doesn't the EMU8000 have a built in MIDI interpreter? One of the design goals of the SB AWE32 is to offer high quality music at an affordable price. The EMU8000 is just like any other synthesizer chip such as OPL2, OPL3 or OPL4. It does not have the capability to interpret MIDI commands. For it to understand MIDI commands, a MIDI interpreter is required, and this will involve adding an additional processor to process the MIDI commands and other components adding to the cost of the product. After our analysis of price and performance, we decided that our current implementation offers the best in terms of price as well as performance. To support existing games that use MPU-401, we provide a feature known as MIDI feedback using NMI (non-maskable- interrupt) which installs a small TSR program, AWEUTIL. AWEUTIL works by trapping data going out to the MPU-401 port and program the EMU8000 using the data. AWEUTIL provides compatibility with many games that support the MPU-401 interface, but will not always work with protected mode games due to the complicated ways in which DOS extenders handle NMI. Note that you can still continue to play your favorite DOS protected mode game with the on-board OPL3 FM chip. We are working closely with the game developer community to port their MIDI driver to support the SB AWE32. We have a porting laboratory at Creative Labs, Inc., where we invite developers to port their drivers to natively support the SB AWE32. We believe that in the near future the SB AWE32 will be widely supported. Currently, we already have support from several major audio driver developers for the SB AWE32 platform. 14. Does the SB AWE32 support MIDI Sample Dump to transfer samples to the EMU8000? No. The sample transfer between PC and SB AWE32 is through the PC bus, and does not dump via the SB AWE32 MIDI port. 15. What is CC0 documented in Appendix G-4 and G-5 of the SB AWE32 Getting Started Manual? How are these variation tones accessed? CC0 is short form for Continuous Controller 0 (zero), which is MIDI Bank Change. The SB AWE32 offers Sound Canvas compatibility by including the user bank instruments found on the Sound Canvas. User bank instruments are simply instruments of a similar class or variation. For example, General MIDI instrument number 25 is the Steel Acoustic Guitar, and its variation is the Ukulele. A user bank tone is just like any other General MIDI instrument. Take for example the Ukulele variation tone. Lets assume you are currently doing MIDI editing under Cakewalk Apprentice, and you sequenced a track that uses Steel Acoustic Guitar. You play the track back, and feel that the Steel Acoustic Guitar does not quite cut it, so you decide to give Ukulele a try. What you would need to do is to insert a MIDI bank change of value 8 (the user bank for Ukulele) in that track, follow immediately by a program change of 25 (Steel Acoustic Guitar) to select the user bank tone. What you have just accomplished is to set the MIDI channel in which the Steel Acoustic Guitar instrument is playing to the user bank instrument Ukulele. 16. What "drum kits" are available in GS mode? A drum kit is a collection of percussive instruments (snare drum, bass drum, hi-hats) laid across the entire MIDI keyboard. Under General MIDI, MIDI channel 10 is reserved for percussion instruments. General MIDI defines only one drum kit, which is the Standard Kit. Under the GM synth mode of the SB AWE32, channel 10 automatically uses the Standard Kit. MIDI music would be very boring if everybody used the same drum kit in every MIDI song. Imagine all MIDI songs using the same snare drum and the same bass drum, and you will have an idea of how similar every MIDI song will sound. Under the GS synth mode of the SB AWE32 there are 11 (including the Standard Drum Kit) different drum kits you can use on MIDI Channel 10. These drum kits are: Name Program # Description Standard/Jazz 0/32 Standard General MIDI drum kit. Jazz is similar to the Standard drum kit. Room 8 Similar to that of the Standard kit except that it has more room ambiance. Power 16 A gain similar to that of the Standard kit, but with more power kick and snare drums. Electronic 24 Electronic drum kit. Most of the percussion instruments in this drum kit are reminiscent of old analogue and digital rhythm machines (such as the Roland TR-707 and TR-909 rhythm machine) TR-808 25 Electronic drum kit, reminiscence of the Roland TR-808 rhythm machine. Brush 40 Similar to the Standard kit except that brushes have been added. This kit is mostly used for Jazz MIDI pieces. Orchestra 48 An immense collection of concert drums and timpani. SFX 56 A collection of Sound Effects. CM-64/32L 127 Same as the Roland MT-32 drum kit. This drum kit contains standard percussion at the lower range of the keyboard, and sound effects at the higher range of the keyboard. Drum kits are very easy to access under MIDI. Each drum kit is essentially an instrument and you select a drum kit by selecting an instrument, just as if you would select a melodic instrument. For example, if you want to select the TR-808, all you have to do is to perform a program change to 25 on MIDI channel 10. After the program change, all percussion sounds will be played back through the TR-808 drum kit. 17. Does the SB AWE32 respond to MIDI Aftertouch? The SB AWE32 Windows MIDI driver prior to version 1.03 does not support MIDI Channel Aftertouch. The current SB AWE32 driver supports MIDI Channel Aftertouch AND MIDI Controller 11 (expression). See the item "How do I get the latest drivers for the SB AWE32?" in section F for further information. 18. My PC system does not have a working NMI. What can I do to use AWEUTIL? One of the most common causes of a system not having a working NMI is that the system's memory parity checking has been turned off. You can check your system's memory parity checking status by activating your system's BIOS setup. Consult your system's user manual on how to activate BIOS/CMOS setup and memory parity checking. If your system does not have a working NMI or you have a DOS protected mode game, then you can only play games using FM music. Note: that this NMI problem only applies to DOS games or applications, not to Windows games or applications. Under Windows, all applications play music and sound effects through the standard SB AWE32 Windows drivers. As more developers include native SB AWE32 support, this NMI problem will gradually disappear. Some of the protected mode games already have SB AWE32 support via special drivers. You can obtain more information on these drivers in the Sound Blaster forum on CompuServe, or on Creative's BBS. See the item "How do I get the latest drivers for the SB AWE32?" in Section F for further information. 19. Is there a WaveBlaster upgrade option on the SB AWE32? Yes, the SB AWE32 features a WaveBlaster connector. The AWE32 Value Edition, however, does not have a WaveBlaster connector. 20. What is the benefit of adding a WaveBlaster to the SB AWE32? The WaveBlaster connector was included on the SB AWE32 to provide users an alternative wave-sample synthesis method other than the EMU8000 on the SB AWE32. By incorporating a WaveBlaster onto the SB AWE32, the total polyphony of this combination will be increased to 64, the total number of channels expanded to 32, and you will have access to a secondary palette of sampled sounds. 21. Is it possible to load AWEUTIL into high memory? AWEUTIL automatically searches for high memory and will attempt to load itself high if enough high memory is available. 22. Does AWEUTIL have to stay memory resident? AWEUTIL serves two purposes; to initialize and control the reverb and chorus effects of the FM hardware on the SB AWE32 card, and to provide NMI MIDI Feedback. AWEUTIL /S will initialize and set the reverb and chorus effect of the FM hardware, and then terminate. It will not stay resident in memory. If you want to activate NMI MIDI Feedback, then run AWEUTIL /EM:XX (XX = GM, GS, MT32) before starting your game. When you finish the game, remember to run AWEUTIL /U to unload AWEUTIL from memory. 23. What are the long term plans to solve the problem with DOS extender games? We are currently getting developers to natively support the SB AWE32. So far we have had good support from John Miles Inc. with their SB AWE32 Miles (real and protected mode) drivers, from Accolade, from HMI and from John Ratcliff with his MIDPAK drivers. As more and more developers support the SB AWE32, the DOS extended game's problem will gradually disappear. 24. Will software written for the SB16 work with the SB AWE32? Definitely. The SB AWE32 uses the same base system as the SB16, so it is fully compatible. 25. Does Creative have any plans for a SCSI version of the SB AWE32? We will deliver a SCSI version of the SB AWE32 when there is sufficient demand. 26. What CD-ROM drives does the SB AWE32 support? The SB AWE32 supports Creative, Sony and Mitsumi CD-ROM drives, but not IDE or SCSI CD-ROM drives. The AWE32 PnP supports IDE drives. 27. What are the different reverb and chorus variations available on the SB AWE32? Reverb and chorus effects add warmth and movement to MIDI playback. There are eight reverb types and eight chorus types available on the SB AWE32. Room 1 - 3 This group of reverb variation simulates the natural ambiance of a room. Room 1 simulates a small room, Room 2 simulates a slightly bigger room, and Room 3 simulates a big room. Hall 1 - 2 This group of reverb variation simulates the natural ambiance of a concert hall. It has greater depth than the room variations. Again, Hall 1 simulates a small hall, and Hall 2 simulates a larger hall. Plate Back in the old days, reverb effects were sometimes produced using a metal plate, and this type of reverb produces a metallic echo. The SB AWE32's Plate variation simulates this form of reverb. Delay This reverb produces a delay, that is, echo effect. Panning Delay This reverb variation produces a delay effect that is continuously panned left and right. Chorus 1 - 4 Chorus produces a "beating" effect. The chorus effects are more prominent going from chorus 1 to chorus 4. Feedback Chorus This chorus variation simulates a soft "swishing" effect. Flanger This chorus variation produces a more prominent feedback chorus effect. Short Delay This chorus variation simulates a delay repeated in a short time. Short Delay (feed back) This chorus variation simulates a short delay repeated (feedback) many times. These effect variations can be selected by the following sysex messages: Reverb sysex macro F0 41 10 42 12 40 01 30 XX 00 F7 where XX denotes the reverb variation to be selected. The valid values for XX are 00 - Room 1 01 - Room 2 02 - Room 3 03 - Hall 1 04 - Hall 2 05 - Plate 06 - Delay 07 - Panning Delay Chorus sysex macro F0 41 10 42 12 40 01 38 XX 00 F7 again, XX denotes the chorus variation to be selected. The valid values for XX are 00 - Chorus 1 01 - Chorus 2 02 - Chorus 3 03 - Chorus 4 04 - Feedback chorus 05 - Flanger 06 - Short Delay 07 - Short delay (FB) 28. What are the undocumented JP6, JP8 and JP9 jumpers on the card? JP8 Is a digital (SPDIF) out from the EMU8000. Pin definition: o 0 - signal, o 1 - signal ground. JP9 provides another means to control the volume of the mixer on the SB AWE32. Pin definition : o 1 - increase volume o 2 - Analog Ground o 3 - decrease volume J6 is an audio feature connector. Pin definition : o 1 - AG (Analog Ground) o 2 - Line out (Right) o 3 - AG (Analog Ground) o 4 - AG (Analog Ground) o 5 - Line out (Left) o 6 - AG (Analog Ground) o 7 - -12V o 8 - Reserved o 9 - Mic In o 10 - +12V o 11 - AG (Analog Ground) o 12 - AG (Analog Ground) o 13 - AG (Analog Ground) o 14 - AG (Analog Ground) o 15 - PC Speaker In o 16 - Mono Speaker out 29. How does the AWE32 Value Edition differ from the Sound Blaster AWE32? The Sound Blaster AWE32 Value Edition is a low-cost alternative for users who want the Advanced WavEffects realistic instrument and sound effects capabilities of the AWE32, but do not need all of the features of the AWE32 standard edition. The AWE32 Value Edition has most of the features of the Sound Blaster AWE32 card, but does not have a Wave Blaster connector, an Advanced Signal Processor, or memory upgrade capability. Also, the AWE32 Value Edition does not contain Cakewalk Apprentice, TextAssist and Vienna SF Studio software. TextAssist software is available with the CSP upgrade, and Cakewalk Apprentice is available with the Creative MIDI Kit. Section B - Editing Tool 1. Is there a preset editor for the SB AWE32? Vienna SF Studio is a SoundFont bank editing software package that allows you to create, edit and download sounds onto the Sound Blaster AWE32. You can create WAVE files to import into Vienna to create your own instruments. Vienna also allows you to program your own presets (tweaking the envelopes' generators, the LFOs and such). 2. Is it possible to patch multiple sounds across different keys, such as a drum kit? Yes, Vienna was designed for making drum kits as well. 3. How are new instruments on the SB AWE32 created? As mentioned above, you can create your own samples (using Wave Studio or Soundo'Le, for example) to import into Vienna. As an example, let's say you have a Steinway piano you would like to sample and use the Steinway sound on your SB AWE32. What you need to do is sample your Steinway in 16 bit mono WAVE files. Then you can use Vienna to edit its preset and save it as a SoundFont-compatible bank file and load it as a user bank into your SB AWE32 to play just like any normal MIDI instrument. 4. What functionality does Vienna SF Studio offer? Here is what you can do with Vienna: - Multi-sample arrangement Multi-sampling is the technique of sampling a musical instrument at different musical intervals, arranging the samples across a MIDI keyboard and assigning key ranges (for example, from key C3 to C4) to these samples. Vienna allows you to visually assign samples to key ranges. - Preset editing Once you arrange your samples across the keyboard, you can then start to program the instruments' envelopes and LFOs to your liking. Refer to Section E, Introduction to EMU8000, for information on envelopes and LFOs. - Loop point selection Vienna allows you to visually select the loop points of a sample. - Drum kit arrangement Vienna is not limited to just creating musical instruments; you can also layout and save a drum kit using any samples you desire. 5. Where do I get my copy of Vienna? Vienna is now packaged with the SB AWE32 standard edition. SB AWE32 Value owners who wish to purchased the software may contact Creative Labs directly. 6. Can Vienna load samples for other systems e.g. Akai S1000 or Yamaha TG55? Vienna can load any instrument bank that is compliant with Creative's SBK format. Vienna will not load instrument banks in other formats. Section C - Programming Information 1. Is programming information available for the SB AWE32? The SB AWE32 Developer's Information Pack is available on the Creative Labs BBS, on CompuServe, and at the Creative Labs FTP site. The filename is ADIP.EXE/ADIP.ZIP. It contains both Windows and DOS programming information. It is made for developers who intend to program the EMU8000 subsystem on the SB AWE32. Programming of other features, such as digitized sound I/O etc, is exactly same as the Sound Blaster 16. You could refer to the "Developer Kit for Sound Blaster Series, 2nd Edition" for programming in DOS and/or Windows Multimedia API for programming in Windows. For DOS environments, we have created library functions based on MIDI messages such as NoteOn, NoteOff, ProgramChange, etc. Special care has been taken to ensure that the library can be used for building TSR drivers or embedded MIDI drivers in an application. For Windows environments, we provide the API for sample downloading and effect control. 2. Is the effect engine on the SB AWE32 programmable? The effect engine on the SB AWE32 is dedicated to produce reverb, chorus and QSound effect, and is not intended to be programmable. You can, however, select different reverb or chorus variations using sysex. Refer to the item "What are the different reverb and chorus variations available on the SB AWE32?" in Section A for more information. Section D - SoundFont Bank 1. What are SoundFont Collections? E-mu SoundFont Collections are CD-ROMs that contain SoundFont Banks of varying sizes (0.5 MB to 8 MB). E-mu's SoundFont Banks include both instruments and sound effects. Many of E-mu's traditional instrument sounds will be included (for example Proteus 1-3) as well as some new sounds. 2. How do SoundFont Banks work? SoundFont Banks can be loaded into RAM on the SB AWE32. They can then be used in conjunction with a MIDI sequencer to create soundtracks or other kinds of audio creations. 3. Where can I purchase SoundFont Banks? SB AWE32 customers will be pleased to know that the first E-mu SoundFont Banks are now available for purchase directly from E-mu Systems. For the latest information on available SoundFont banks, call (408) 438-1921 x148 from 8am to 5pm Pacific Time, and ask for the Sounds Department. Fax orders should be sent to (408) 438-7854 Attention: SoundFont Order. Internet inquiries should be sent to SoundFont@emu.com. All orders should include the customer's Name, Address, Phone Number and Credit Card Information (including expiration date) and the part numbers of the SoundFont Banks being ordered. 4. What can I do with SoundFont Banks? You can: o Load SoundFont banks of your choice into the RAM of your SB AWE32 and use this set of sounds as you compose with a MIDI sequencer. o Create your own SoundFont-compatible bank with SoundFont Objects from various SoundFont Banks you already have using Vienna SF Studio software. o Edit individual SoundFont parameters with Vienna to create your own version of the sounds and then assemble your own SoundFont Objects into a SoundFont Bank. Creating your own SoundFont-compatible Objects and Banks gives you the freedom to create your own unique instruments and sound effects to differentiate your soundtracks. 5. Will having 28 MB on the SB AWE32 improve the sound quality over a standard 512 KB SB AWE32? Absolutely! The more RAM memory on your SB AWE32 the larger and fuller the sound samples you can include in your SoundFont Banks. 28mb= two 16mb 30 pin SIMMs Section E - Introduction to the EMU8000 Chip The EMU8000 has its roots in E-mu's Proteus sample playback modules and their renowned Emulator sampler. The EMU8000 has 32 individual oscillators, each playing back at 44.1 kHz. By incorporating sophisticated sample interpolation algorithms and digital filtering, the EMU8000 is capable of producing high fidelity sample playback. The EMU8000 has an extensive modulation capability using two sine-wave LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillator) and two multi- stage envelope generators. What exactly does modulation mean? Modulation means to dynamically change a parameter of an audio signal, whether it be the volume (amplitude modulation, or tremolo), pitch (frequency modulation, or vibrato) or filter cutoff frequency (filter modulation, or wah-wah). To modulate something we would require a modulation source, and a modulation destination. In the EMU8000, the modulation sources are the LFOs and the envelope generators, and the modulation destinations can be the pitch, the volume or the filter cutoff frequency. The EMU8000's LFOs and envelope generators provide a complex modulation environment. Each sound producing element of the EMU8000 consists of a resonant low-pass filter, two LFOs, in which one modulates the pitch (LFO2), and the other modulates pitch, filter cutoff and volume (LFO1) simultaneously. There are two envelope generators; envelope 1 contours both pitch and filter cutoff simultaneously, and envelope 2 contours volume. The output stage consists of an effects engine that mixes the dry signals with the Reverb/chorus level signals to produce the final mix. What are the EMU8000 sound elements? Each of the sound elements in an EMU8000 consists of the following: Oscillator An oscillator is the source of an audio signal. Low Pass Filter The low pass filter is responsible for modifying the timbres of an instrument. The low pass filter's filter cutoff values can be varied from 100 Hz to 8000 Hz. By changing the values of the filter cutoff, a myriad of analog sounding filter sweeps can be achieved. An example of a GM instrument that makes use of filter sweep is instrument number 87, Lead 7 (fifths). Amplifier The amplifier determines the loudness of an audio signal. LFO1 An LFO, or Low Frequency Oscillator, is normally used to periodically modulate, that is, change a sound parameter, whether it be volume (amplitude modulation), pitch (frequency modulation) or filter cutoff (filter modulation). It operates at sub-audio frequency from 0.042 Hz to 10.71 Hz. The LFO1 in the EMU8000 modulates the pitch, volume and filter cutoff simultaneously. LFO2 The LFO2 is similar to the LFO1, except that it modulates the pitch of the audio signal only. Resonance A filter alone would be like an equalizer, making a bright audio signal duller, but the addition of resonance greatly increases the creative potential of a filter. Increasing the resonance of a filter makes it emphasize signals at the cutoff frequency, giving the audio signal a subtle wah-wah, that is, imagine a siren sound going from bright to dull to bright again periodically. LFO1 to Volume (Tremolo) The LFO1's output is routed to the amplifier, with the depth of oscillation determined by LFO1 to Volume. LFO1 to Volume produces tremolo, which is a periodic fluctuation of volume. Lets say you are listening to a piece of music on your home stereo system. When you rapidly increase and decrease the playback volume, you are creating tremolo effect, and the speed in which you increases and decreases the volume is the tremolo rate (which corresponds to the speed at which the LFO is oscillating). An example of a GM instrument that makes use of LFO1 to Volume is instrument number 45, Tremolo Strings. LFO1 to Filter Cutoff (Wah-Wah) The LFO1's output is routed to the filter, with the depth of oscillation determined by LFO1 to Filter. LFO1 to Filter produces a periodic fluctuation in the filter cutoff frequency, producing an effect very similar to that of a wah-wah guitar (see resonance for a description of wah-wah) An example of a GM instrument that makes use of LFO1 to Filter Cutoff is instrument number 19, Rock Organ. LFO1 to Pitch (Vibrato) The LFO1's output is routed to the oscillator, with the depth of oscillation determined by LFO1 to Pitch. LFO1 to Pitch produces a periodic fluctuation in the pitch of the oscillator, producing a vibrato effect. An example of a GM instrument that makes use of LFO1 to Pitch is instrument number 57, Trumpet. LFO2 to Pitch (Vibrato) The LFO1 in the EMU8000 can simultaneously modulate pitch, volume and filter. LFO2, on the other hand, modulates only the pitch, with the depth of modulation determined by LFO2 to Pitch. LFO2 to Pitch produces a periodic fluctuation in the pitch of the oscillator, producing a vibrato effect. When this is coupled with LFO1 to Pitch, a complex vibrato effect can be achieved. Volume Envelope The character of a musical instrument is largely determined by its volume envelope, the way in which the level of the sound changes with time. For example, percussive sounds usually start suddenly and then die away, whereas a bowed sound might take quite some time to start and then sustain at a more or less fixed level. A six-stage envelope makes up the volume envelope of the EMU8000. The six stages are delay, attack, hold, decay, sustain and release. The stages can be described as follows: Delay The time between when a key is played and when the attack phase begins Attack The time it takes to go from zero to the peak (full) level. Hold The time the envelope will stay at the peak level before starting the decay phase. Decay The time it takes the envelope to go from the peak level to the sustain level. Sustain The level at which the envelope remains as long as a key is held down. Release The time it takes the envelope to fall to the zero level after the key is released. Using these six parameters can yield very realistic reproduction of the volume envelope characteristics of many musical instruments. Pitch and Filter Envelope The pitch and filter envelope is similar to the volume envelope in that it has the same envelope stages. The difference between them is that whereas the volume envelope contours the volume of the instrument over time, the pitch and filter envelope contours the pitch and filter values of the instrument over time. The pitch envelope is particularly useful in putting the finishing touches in simulating a natural instrument. For example, some wind instruments tend to go slightly sharp when they are first blown, and this characteristic can be simulated by setting up a pitch envelope with a fairly fast attack and decay. The filter envelope, on the other hand, is useful in creating synthetic sci-fi sound textures. An example of a GM instrument that makes use of the filter envelope is instrument number 86, Pad 8 (Sweep). Pitch/Filter Envelope Modulation These two parameters determine the modulation depth of the pitch and filter envelope. In the wind instrument example above, a small amount of pitch envelope modulation is desirable to simulate its natural pitch characteristics. This rich modulation capability of the EMU8000 is fully exploited by the SB AWE32 MIDI drivers. The driver also provides you with a means to change these parameters over MIDI in real time. Refer to the item "How do I change an instrument's sound parameter in real time" in Section F for more information. Section F - How Do I ... 1. How do I make use of RPN documented in the SB AWE32 MIDI Implementation chart? RPN is a short form for "Registered Parameter Number." Registered Parameter Numbers are used to represent sound or performance parameters. MIDI 1.0 specified three RPNs: RPN 0 for Pitch Bend Sensitivity, RPN 1 for Coarse Tune and RPN 2 for Fine Tune. The SB AWE32 implements only RPN 0, Pitch Bend Sensitivity. Before going into how to set pitch bend sensitivity, let's go into how pitch bending is used in MIDI. Pitch Bending is normally used to pitch shift (that is, make the pitch go higher or lower) a sustained note to achieve a "pitch gliding" effect. The default pitch bend sensitivity of the SB AWE32 is +/- 2 semitones, that is, you can go high or low of the current note by 2 semitones when using the pitch bend wheel. If you desire a more dramatic pitch bending effect, then you would need to change the pitch bend sensitivity to a higher value. Following are step-by-step instructions to set a pitch bend sensitivity value other than the default 2 semitones. Cakewalk Apprentice will be used as an example. 1. Bring up the "Event List" window for the track you want to set pitch bend sensitivity. 2. Go to the top of the event list (page up) and insert a MIDI controller event, with controller number 101 and a controller value of 0 3. Insert another MIDI Controller event immediately, with controller number 100 and controller value of 0. 4. Insert another MIDI controller event immediately, with controller number 6, and set the controller value to the desired pitch bend sensitivity. 2. How do I change an instrument's sound parameter in real time? You can change an instrument's SoundFont parameters (for example, LFO depth and speed, envelope contour) through MIDI in real time via NRPN, or Non Registered Parameter Number control. NRPN is identical to that of RPN, except that Registered Parameter Numbers are agreed upon by the MMA (MIDI Manufacturers Association) and JMSC (Japan MIDI Standards Committee), and Non Registered Parameter Number may be assigned as needed by individual manufacturers. As NRPN and Data Entry messages are MIDI controller messages, any MIDI sequencer software that supports editing of controller messages (such as Cakewalk, MasterTracks Pro) is capable of sending them. For SB AWE32 NRPN to be functional, NRPN MSB has to be 127, and NRPN LSB set to the desired parameter to be controlled (see Section H for a list of available NRPN LSB). To control the AWE32's NRPNs, enter the following series of controller events: Controller Parameter Description 99 127 This is the NRPN MSB. It is always 127. 98 NRPN LSB # The number of the effect as listed in Section H. 6 Data Entry MSB # (See equations below.) 38 Data Entry LSB # (See equations below.) Data Entry MSB # = (Actual Value + 8192) / 128 Data Entry LSB # = (Actual Value + 8192) % 128 Where "Actual Value" represents the desired increment in a specified range (see Section H). For example, here is a listing from Section H: NRPN LSB 26 (Reverb Effects Send) Realtime : No Range : [0, 255] In the example above, reverb may be controlled from levels 0 to 255. Select the desired reverb level, and use that number as the Actual Value in the equations above. These equations determine the parameters for controllers 6 and 38, respectively. For example, if you wanted to have a reverb value of 140, you would put 140 into the equations above, and come up with the value of 65 for Controller 6, and 12 for Controller 38. If you need to determine the Actual Value of an NRPN already present in a MIDI file, use the formula below: Actual value = (MSB * 128 + LSB) - 8192 A "Reset All Controllers" message (MIDI controller 121) restores the instrument's original SoundFont parameters. Refer to Section H for a table of NRPN implementation. 3. How do I select the SB AWE32's reverb and chorus variation type through MIDI? You can select the reverb and chorus variation via sysex. The SB AWE32 Windows (not DOS) driver recognizes two strings of sysex; one for selecting reverb variation, and the other for selecting chorus variation. Reverb sysex string: F0 41 10 42 12 40 01 30 XX 00 F7 Where XX indicates the reverb variations (from 0 to 7). Chorus sysex string: F0 41 10 42 12 40 01 38 XX 00 F7 Where XX indicates the chorus variation (from 0 to 7). 4. How can I maximize my system's memory so that I still have plenty of room to run games after installing the SB AWE32? There are two drivers (CTMMSYS.SYS and CTSB16.SYS) you can remove from CONFIG.SYS. These two drivers provide digital playback and recording interface under DOS. They are not used by the EMU8000 subsystem. By removing these two drivers, you will not be able to run PLAY.EXE, RECORD.EXE and SB16SET.EXE under DOS, but you will gain approximately 30K of memory. (SB16SET.EXE can be made to function without the above mentioned drivers if you download the file AWEUP.EXE.) 5. How do I load a SoundFont Bank? Loading SoundFont Banks is easy. Just use the SB AWE32 Windows Control Panel Applet, AWECP.EXE, as follows: 1. Use the up or down arrow keys next to the user bank number to select the desired bank. A dialog box appears. 2. Select the directory that contains the *.SBK files. 3. Double-click the desired file to load it into the particular user bank. 6. How do I setup my sequencer software to access the user bank that I have downloaded into the RAM? In order for a sequencer software to access the user bank, you will need to issue MIDI Continuous Controller 0 (which is a MIDI Bank Select) at the channel that you need to access the instrument. After that, follow by a MIDI Program Change to select the patch/intrument within the user bank. Using the SAMPLE.SBK (located at \SB16\SFBANK subdirectory) that is bundled with the SB AWE32 as an example, we will illustrate how this can be done. The patches contains in SAMPLE.SBK are: o 0 - bubble o 1 - dog o 2 - door o 3 - carstop o 4 - carpass o 5 - laughing o 6 - screaming o 7 - punch Supposing that you would like to use the "door" sound in Channel 5 of a piece of music. Here is the step-by-step guide that what you should do: 1. Activate the SB AWE32 Control Panel 2. Download the SAMPLE.SBK as user bank 1 (Note: you can download to any user bank that is empty ranging from 1 to 127. Bank 0 is ALWAYS reserved for Syhthesizer Bank.) 3. Activate sequencer software 4. Insert MIDI CC0 1 at Channel 5 (CC0 1 means do a Bank Select to Bank 1. We do it at Channel 5 since we wish to apply it to this channel.) 5. Insert MIDI Program Change 2. (Since "door" patch number is 2. Please take note of the numbering convention used in your MIDI sequencer. It can be either from 0-127 OR 1-128. If you are using numbering convention from 1-128 , then you should do a MIDI Program Change 3 instead of 2.) If you do any Note On in Channel 5 now, you will be able to hear the "door" sound. 7. How do I get the latest drivers for the SB AWE32? The latest SB AWE32 drivers, utilities and game compatibility list can be found at the following sites: Inside U.S.A., Canada and South America Creative Labs, Inc. BBS : (405)742-6660 Inside Europe CL-UK BBS : (44)743-360287 CL-Germany BBS : (49)2131-919820 Inside Asia Pacific Creative Technology Ltd BBS : (65)776-2423 CompuServe type GO BLASTER to enter the Creative Labs Forum Internet FTP site ftp.creaf.com Section G - References The definitive guide to MIDI would be "MIDI 1.0 Detailed Specification", published and distributed exclusively by : The International MIDI Association 5316 W.57th St. Los Angeles, CA 90056 Other MIDI related publications are : Music Through MIDI Using MIDI to create your own electronic music system by Michael Boom published by Microsoft Press Catalog number : ISBN 1-55615-0260-1 The MIDI Manual by David Miles Huber published by SAM Catalog number : ISBN 0-672-22755-6 Section H - SB AWE32 NRPN Implementation NRPN LSB 0 (Delay before LFO1 starts) Realtime : No Range : [0, 5900] Unit : 4 milliseconds Delay from 0 to 22 seconds. NRPN LSB 1 (LFO1 Frequency) Realtime : Yes Range : [0, 127] Unit : 0.084Hz LFO1 frequency from 0Hz to 10.72 Hz. NRPN LSB 2 (Delay before LFO2 starts) Realtime : No Range : [0, 5900] Unit : 4 milliseconds Delay from 0 to 22 seconds. NRPN LSB 3 (LFO2 Frequency) Realtime : Yes Range : [0, 127] Unit : 0.084Hz LFO2 frequency from 0Hz to 10.72 Hz. NRPN LSB 4 (Envelope 1 delay time) Realtime : No Range : [0, 5900] Unit : 4 milliseconds Envelope 1 Delay from 0 to 22 seconds. NRPN LSB 5 (Envelope 1 attack time) Realtime : No Range : [0, 5940] Unit : Milliseconds Envelope 1 attack time from 0 to 5.9 seconds. NRPN LSB 6 (Envelope 1 hold time) Realtime : No Range : [0, 8191] Unit : Milliseconds Envelope 1 hold time from 0 to 8 seconds. NRPN LSB 7 (Envelope 1 decay time) Realtime : No Range : [0, 5940] Unit : 4 Milliseconds Envelope 1 decay time from 0.023 to 23.7 seconds. NRPN LSB 8 (Envelope 1 sustain level) Realtime : No Range : [0, 127] Unit : 0.75dB Envelope 1 sustain level from full level down to off (0.75 dB step). NRPN LSB 9 (Envelope 1 release time) Realtime : No Range : [0, 5940] Unit : 4 milliseconds Envelope 1 release time from 0.023 to 23.7 seconds. NRPN LSB 10 (Envelope 2 delay time) Realtime : No Range : [0, 5900] Unit : 4 milliseconds Envelope 2 Delay from 0 to 22 seconds. NRPN LSB 11 (Envelope 2 attack time) Realtime : No Range : [0, 5940] Unit : Milliseconds Envelope 2 attack time from 0 to 5.9 seconds. NRPN LSB 12 (Envelope 2 hold time) Realtime : No Range : [0, 8191] Unit : Millisecond Envelope 2 hold time from 0 to 8 seconds. NRPN LSB 13 (Envelope 2 decay time) Realtime : No Range : [0, 5940] Unit : 4 milliseconds Envelope 2 decay time from 0.023 to 23.7 seconds. NRPN LSB 14 (Envelope 2 sustain level) Realtime : No Range : [0, 127] Unit : 0.75dB Envelope 2 sustain level from full level down to off. NRPN LSB 15 (Envelope 2 release time) Realtime : No Range : [0, 5940] Unit : 4 milliseconds Envelope 2 release time from 0.023 to 23.7 seconds. NRPN LSB 16 (Initial Pitch) Realtime : Yes Range : [-8192, 8191] Unit : cents Pitch tuning between -8192 and 8191 cents. NRPN LSB 17 (LFO1 to Pitch) Realtime : Yes Range : [-127, 127] Unit : 9.375 cents If data value is greater than 0, this will cause a positive (from 0 to maximum) 1 octave shift at LFO peak. On the other hand, if data value is smaller than 0, this will cause a negative (from 0 to minimum) 1 octave shift at LFO peak. NRPN LSB 18 (LFO2 to Pitch) Realtime : Yes Description : Range : [-127, 127] Unit : 9.375 cents If data value is greater than 0, this will cause a positive (from 0 to maximum) 1 octave shift at LFO peak. On the other hand, if data value is smaller than 0, this will cause a negative (from 0 to minimum) 1 octave shift at LFO peak. NRPN LSB 19 (Envelope 1 to Pitch) Realtime : No Range : [-127, 127] Unit : 9.375 cents If data value is greater than 0, this will cause a positive (from 0 to maximum) 1 octave shift at envelope peak. On the other hand, if data value is smaller than 0, this will cause a negative (from 0 to minimum) 1 octave shift at envelope peak. NRPN LSB 20 (LFO1 to Volume) Realtime : Yes Range : [0, 127] Unit : 0.1875 dB Data values smaller than 64 causes a positive phase (from 0 to maximum) volume modulation via LFO1 with magnitude of 12 dB at LFO peak. On the other hand, data values greater than or equal to 64 causes a negative phase (from 0 to minimum) volume modulation via LFO1 with magnitude of 12 dB at LFO peak. NRPN LSB 21 (Initial Filter Cutoff) Realtime : Yes Range : [0, 127] Unit : 62Hz Filter cutoff from 100Hz to 8000Hz NRPN LSB 22 (Initial Filter Resonance Coefficient) Realtime : No Range : [0, 127] The EMU8000 has a built in resonance coefficient table comprising 16 entries. Values 0-7 will select the first (0) entry, values 8-15 selects the second (1) entry and so on. Coeff Low Fc(Hz) Low Q(dB) High Fc(kHz) High Q(dB) DC Attenuation(dB) 0 92 5 Flat Flat -0.0 1 93 6 8.5 0.5 -0.5 2 94 8 8.3 1 -1.2 3 95 10 8.2 2 -1.8 4 96 11 8.1 3 -2.5 5 97 13 8.0 4 -3.3 6 98 14 7.9 5 -4.1 7 99 16 7.8 6 -5.5 8 100 17 7.7 7 - 6.0 9 100 19 7.5 9 - 6.6 10 100 20 7.4 10 -7.2 11 100 22 7.3 11 -7.9 12 100 23 7.2 13 -8.5 13 100 25 7.1 15 -9.3 14 100 26 7.1 16 -10.1 15 100 28 7.0 18 -11.0 NRPN LSB 23 (LFO1 to Filter Cutoff) Realtime : Yes Description : Range : [-64, 63] Unit : 56.25 cents Data values smaller than 64 causes a positive phase (from 0 to maximum) filter modulation via LFO1 with magnitude of 3 octaves at LFO peak. On the other hand, data values greater than or equal to 64 causes a negative phase (from 0 to minimum) filter modulation via LFO1 with magnitude of 3 octaves at LFO peak. NRPN LSB 24 (Envelope 1 to Filter Cutoff) Realtime : No Description : Range : [-127, 127] Unit : 56.25 cents Data values greater than 0 cause a positive phase (from 0 to maximum) filter modulation via Envelope 1 with magnitude of 6 octaves at envelope peak. On the other hand, values smaller than 0 cause a negative phase (from 0 to minimum) filter modulation via Envelope 1 with magnitude of 6 octaves at envelope peak. NRPN LSB 25 (Chorus Effects Send) Realtime : No Range : [0, 255] Chorus send, with 0 being the driest (no chorus effects processing), and 255 being the wettest (full chorus effect processing). NRPN LSB 26 (Reverb Effects Send) Realtime : No Range : [0, 255] Reverb send, with 0 being the driest (no reverb effects processing), and 255 being the wettest (full reverb effect processing). Creative Labs Technical Support Adaptec EZ SCSI Ver 4.0 STR Focus Adaptec EZ-SCSI 4.0 Overview If you have - or are planning to add SCSI peripherals like tape or disk drives, CD-ROM drives, recordable CD-R drives, magneto-optical drives, or scanners, Adaptec EZ-SCSI software provides everything you need to manage and take full advantage of each device. Adaptec EZ-SCSI software is a suite of 32-bit practical 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. Practical Applications: A Comprehensive, cost-effective Solution Adaptec EZ-SCSI software includes a full set of practical applications at one low price. Individual applications let you make quick and easy backups, manage audio CDs or Photo CDs on your CD-ROM drive, master and copy personal CDs to a recordable CD-R drive, and print, edit, or save scanned images. Adaptec Backup makes saving and restoring data 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 back up all files or only those created or modified since the last backup.A number of tools let you easily specify criteria for back-up, such as date of creation or date files were last saved. Audio CD Player lets you listen to your favorite CDs from your CD-ROM drive by using on-screen controls. You can access the CD audio controls automatically in a full-size "jukebox" display, a standard size display, a mini-sized CD player audio control panel that can be placed anywhere on your screen , or control buttons placed on your Windows 95 toolbar. Controls include start, stop, pause, eject, repeat, shuffle and program. 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" that runs automatically or responds to keyboard or mouse commands. More than 80 photo images are included. CD Writer allows you to create your own CDs. Record information to a CD-Rdrive simply by dragging and dropping selected files or directories from File Manager to the CD Writer window.CD Copier is the quick, easy way to duplicate your personal CDs. Select the source and destination, click on the number of copies, and then go. Copy from any SCSI-2 CD-ROM drive to selected models of CD recorders . QuickScan 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. Power Tools: The Easy Way to Peak Performance Adaptec EZ-SCSI software also includes valuable tools to enhance your computer system's performance. Individual power tools let you view detailed information on your SCSI configuration, automatically shut down disk drives when they're not in use, and monitor and fine-tune your SCSI drive performance. z SCSI Explorer, a suite of thre e tools that provides information on, and helps you fine-tune the performance of your SCSI peripherals. o Power Management reduces noise and conserves energy by automatically spinning down drives that are not in use. You can specify a time of day for drives to be powered down, have them automatically power down whenever there has been no mouse/keyboard activity or device activity for a specified time, or power them down manually whenever you wish. Drives power up again as soon as you need them. o SCSI Interrogator gives you a clear view of your I/O environment (your SCSI host adapter and your SCSI peripherals) and can help you spot trouble before there is a problem. A graphical representation details the hardware characteristics for each device connected to the SCSI bus, including name and version number, available storage capacity, supported SCSI features, defects, and mode parameters. If you have removable media devices, such as a removable disk or tape drive, you can issue commands to lock, unlock, or eject the media. o Read/Write Disk Cache tool provides faster performance for your SCSI hard drives and removable media drives. Disk caches - memory buffers which temporarily store blocks of data being read from or written to the disk - can greatly speed up disk access. Read and write caches can be fine- tuned for optimum performance. z SCSITutor is a unique online tutorial that explains everything you need to know about SCSI software, host adapters, and peripheral devices in easy- to-understand terms. It helps you get the most out of your SCSI system and all your SCSI peripherals. SCSIBench measures how fast your host adapter transfers data from the SCSI devices connected to it. It includes random, sequential, and same-sector I/O transfers for benchmarking varying transfer sizes. Drive Light lets you monitor activity on your SCSI devices and view information about read and write access for each device. You can add Drive Light icons for one or more devices on the Windows task bar so they are easily accessible. An All-In-One Solution For Your SCSI Peripherals KEY BENEFITS The easiest way to manage SCSI peripherals * For Windows(R) 95 and Windows NT(tm) operating systems * Includes these practical applications: * Adaptec Backup * QuickScan(tm) * Audio CD Player * Photo CD Viewer * CD Writer * CD Copier * Includes these power tools: * SCSI Explorer(tm) (Power Management, SCSI Interrogator(tm), Read/Write Disk Cache tool) * SCSITutor(tm) * SCSIBench(tm) * Drive Light Adaptec EZ-SCSI Software Summary: Practical Applications * Adaptec Backup - Back up and restore to/from SCSI devices. * Audio CD Player - Play audio CDs on your CD-ROM drive. * Photo CD Viewer (Magic Lantern(tm) ) - View Photo CDs on your CD-ROM drive. * CD Writer (Easy- CD(tm) ) - Copy selected files to a CD-R drive. * CD Copier - Copy an entire CD of your personal files to a CD-R drive. * QuickScan - Print, view or save scanned images. Power Tools * SCSI Explorer o Power Management - Automatically spin down drives not in use. o SCSI Interrogator - Detail the hardware characteristics of your SCSI devices. o Read/Write Disk Cache - Create disk caches to speed performance. * SCSITutor - View an online tutorial and glossary. * SCSIBench - Benchmark SCSI performance. * Drive Light - Monitor disk activity. Technical Specifications Host Adapter Support: Windows 95 and Windows NT: ASPI-compliant SCSI host adapters with mini-port drivers Windows 3.1: Adaptec SCSI host adapters I/O Interface: 32-bit ASPI for Windows 16-bit ASPI for Windows Operating System Support: Microsoft(R) Windows 95 Microsoft Windows NT (3.51) Microsoft Windows for Workgroups (3.11) Microsoft Windows (3.11) System Requirements: IBM compatible with 386 processor or better CD-ROM drive 3.5" floppy drive Adaptec, Inc.691 South Milpitas BoulevardMilpitas, California 95035Tel: (408) 945-8600Fax: (408) 262-2533 Adaptec Europe - BelgiumTel: (32) 2-352-34-11Fax: (32) 2-352-34-00 Adaptec Japan - TokyoTel: (81) 3-5276-9882Fax: (81) 3-5276-9884 Adaptec SingaporeTel: (65) 278-7300Fax: (65) 273-0163 Literature: 1-800-934-2766 (USA and Canada) or (510) 732-3829Ordering Software: 1-800-442-7274 (USA and Canada) or (408) 957-7274Interactive Fax: (408) 957-7150Adaptec USA Bulletin Board Service (BBS): (408) 945-7727 (up to 28,800 baud, using 8 bits, 1 stop bit, no parity)CompuServe: GO ADAPTECMicrosoft Network: GO ADAPTECInternet ftp server: ftp.adaptec.comWorld-Wide Web: http://www.adaptec.com Copyright(c) 1995 Adaptec, Inc. All rights reserved. Adaptec, the Adaptec logo, EZ-SCSI, IOware, the IOware logo, QuickScan, SCSI Bench, SCSI Explorer, SCSI Interrogator, and SCSITutor are trademarks of Adaptec, Inc. which may be registered in some jurisdictions. Microsoft, Windows and the Windows logo are registered trademarks and Windows NT is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation, used under license. The Photo CD logo is a registered trademark of Eastman Kodak Company used under license. Magic Lantern and Easy-CD are trademarks of In-Cat Systems USA, an Adaptec Company. All other trademarks used a re owned by their respective owners. Information supplied by Adaptec, Inc. is believed to be accurate and reliable at the time of printing, but Adaptec, Inc. assumes no responsibility for any errors that may appear in this document. Adaptec, Inc. reserves the right, without notice, to make changes in product design or specifications. Information is subject to change without notice. Editor Note. the latest updates to EZ SCSI Version 4.0 are available in the Adaptec Support Area on CIS and their BBS. Updates for backup and CdWriter 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 Taxation on taxation!! STR Spotlight Florida trying something "Cute"? Or, Setting a Dangerous Precedent? 7 to 9 + % gross receipts tax possible!! State I.S.P.'s to get Raped! Want something else to distrust your local politician over?? By R. F. Mariano Reports are filtering in that describe the "gouge of year" quietly "taking place behind the scenes". In a call that precipitated an impromptu interview with a Florida State Taxation and Revenue Official, this reporter made some very interesting discoveries. First, they (the Florida Department Of Taxation and Revenue) sent their reps out with the new tax orders to hand deliver them to the ISP's with a TEN DAY or ELSE "Response Order" attached thereto. (Talk about coercive actions!) Yes, there is a move underway to charge each and every ISP in the State of Florida a gross receipts tax if they offer Email services originating or terminating within the boundaries of the State of Florida. It appears they (Florida Department of Revenue) has concluded that since the ISP's (Internet Service Providers) are legally not required to pay Sales Tax, they can instead be hit with the Gross Receipts Tax. This UNFAIR TAX to be placed on top of State and Federal Taxes & Tariffs already in place on every business/commercial telephone bill is an outrage. Especially if its to be passed along to the consumer. Now comes the RUB! The small business, independent ISP's serving small communities throughout the State of Florida where many of the State's Internet users reside, are the one's who are going to take the real beating. In fact, odds are they're going to be put out of business by this "benevolent" "represent the people" action by the State's Revenue Department. You see, the BIG ISP's AOL, Compuserve, Genie, Delphi, Prodigy and every other interstate ISP/Online Service (BBS) will be exempt!! If that is not selective taxation at the direct expense of the state's taxpayers and citizens, nothing is. Here's how. since the ISP is located in the community they serve, there is usually no toll call involved when the user wishes to access the Internet. However, once the local ISP is gone, the user must incur toll call charges to reach one of the ISP's left in operation. On top of which, if its one of the interstate carriers, the user will also be charged access rates, hourly rates and state, local and federal sales tax! To make matters worse, this action, while quietly appearing rather passive, is going to alter if not hamper the rapid advancement and installation of Fiber Optics by the Cable Companies, the Telephone Companies and the most advanced of all, the full Internet Access to be provided to each and every household via Satellite through the existing TV reception system such as DSS, PrimeStar and others.. Its guaranteed that these companies are going to rethink their plunge into this new technology if the State is already there with its hand out on the grab! This action, on the part of the State of Florida's Department of Revenue, is guaranteed to set the prospects of inexpensive Internet access to all its taxpayers and citizens back for quite some time to come. Needless to say, once this is successfully placed in effect in the State of Florida, the remainder of the States will see this type of taxation as a veritable "Gold Mine" and rapidly follow suit. Each and every user within the boundaries of the State of Florida should, without hesitation, contact their local State Representative and complain bitterly about this action. Telegrams, letters, postcards and Telephone Calls clogging their switchboards are definitely in order. Another good contact is your local Mayor's office. In Jacksonville, Florida where AOL has recently relocated. the Mayor's office is extremely concerned over this action. Its not difficult to see the "exempt" status of AOL being challenged in court by all the State's ISP's jointly in a class action suit. After all, once the State's Department of Revenue is enjoined in such an action, the tax will be held in abeyance until the case is decided. Another viewpoint is .If there is only one service provider with absolutely nothing to loose and everything to gain who could that possibly be?? That folks, is the various Telco operations throughout the State of Florida and ultimately the USA especially since Ma Bell is totally under the control of the Federal Government in one way or another. This entire matter could very easily become a matter of control. The "Governmental Control Freaks" being the key to the entire picture. if all and I do mean all Email flows through Telco facilities then the monitoring facilities we are very familiar with will need little or no modification to provide the government with easy eavesdropping operations. Don't simply sit back and let the next Guy "do it to it". You must take action and let your local politicians know exactly how you feel about this taxation heaped upon taxation etc. About the selective taxation of ISP's. And especially about how you feel this action will impede if not totally cripple the progress of bringing the Internet into the homes of every taxpaying American at little or even no expense. After all, we all know the Internet is a veritable font of immediate knowledge begun by the US Department of Defense with taxpayer money. Must the taxpayer pay for this over and over again?? The state official I spoke to claimed they had a "right" to tax this "new technology". It obvious this taxpayer paid official has forgotten he works for the taxpayers. The only "RIGHT" this or any government has is to bring any policy changes, additions or deletions directly to the taxpayers for appraisal. Else the court systems will soon be clogged with actions attempting to hold back or otherwise reign-in "runaway government". Our youngsters deserve this access! With the gouge tax being in place to limit or otherwise preclude the less fortunate from the same educational opportunities as those who can afford the added cost of this gouge. We, as a nation will remain less educated than many other nations of the world. And the Control Freaks will have won still another round through the use of taxes till it hurts to manipulate or otherwise control the general population. This wrong! Its the very thing that brought this great nation into being! Make yourselves heard! Please, for the good of society, the NET and the country! EDUPAGE STR Focus "Keeping the computing community informed" Edupage, 28 - 30 Nov 95. Edupage, a summary of news items on information technology, is provided three times each week as a service by Educom, a Washington, D.C.-based consortium of leading colleges and universities seeking to transform education through the use of information technology. TOP STORIES Windows 95 Boosts Productivity Markey Wins On V-Chip Netcom May Be Liable In Copyright Suit Spamming Sparks Lawsuit PC Radio Days Cray Flips Over Teraflops Network Security Moves To Front Burner ITU Expected To Approve 33.6 Kbps Modems Online Anonymity Is All Relative NEC PC Marketed To Game Players Cybercomics From Tom Clancy A Free Market Approach To E-Mail Crusade Against Cyberporn Cable Vendors Gear Up For Online Service FCC Approves HDTV Standards Gartner To Buy Dataquest IBM Creates Internet Division Internet Security Risks For Consumers Overblown Information Technology & Academic Productivity Author A Virus, Go To Jail Murdoch Plans News Venture Power To Amiga Cable & Phone Net Access Psychics, Phone Sex -- Now Doctors WINDOWS 95 BOOSTS PRODUCTIVITY A test conducted by International Data Corp. shows Windows 95 users were able to complete a series of business computing tasks 19% faster than Mac users and 50% faster than OS/2 users. The tasks included managing and printing local and networked files, managing documents and software programs, checking system resources, creating shortcuts and customizing the desktop. (Investor's Business Daily 27 Nov 95 A6) MARKEY WINS ON V-CHIP Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) is smiling -- nearly five years after he first proposed it, congressional staffers adopted his proposal to require every television set sold in the U.S. to come equipped with a "V-chip" to block objectionable programming. The legislation, part of the language reconciling the House and Senate versions of the telecommunications reform bill, will give industry one year to come up with its own content ratings system and the rules for encoding and transmitting those ratings to V-chip-equipped TV sets. Markey's proposal does not require the entertainment industry to implement the ratings system, but proponents are counting on public pressure to force the industry to adopt the system once ground rules have been worked out. (Broadcasting & Cable 20 Nov 95 p11) NETCOM MAY BE LIABLE IN COPYRIGHT SUIT The San Jose Mercury News reports that a federal judge has ruled that Netcom Online Communication Services may be liable for copyright infringement because it failed to delete a subscriber's BBS posting of excerpts of copyrighted writings by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Netcom had argued that it acted more as a landlord, not responsible for the actions of its tenants, but the judge ruled that "providing a service that allows for the automatic distribution (of postings) goes well beyond renting a premises to an infringer." Netcom's lawyer replied, "If access providers are exposed to liability each time somebody complains that their copyright is violated, then I think what they will do is simply remove material," rather than take the time to investigate the complaints. (Wall Street Journal 28 Nov 95 B1) SPAMMING SPARKS LAWSUIT A Gaithersburg, Md. company is drafting a lawsuit against Philadelphia-based Promo Enterprises for using its "reply.net" address in a mass commercial e- mailing it sent to 171,000 people. ReplyNet Inc. provides a service to companies that send promotional literature online to people who request it, giving them a "reply.net" address for return mail. ReplyNet's president says Promo Enterprises used its address without authorization, and claims its reputation has been ruined as evidenced by the deluge of angry e-mail it received after Promo's mailing. Apologies and explanations were sent to everyone who wrote, but "basically their response was `Leave us alone - we don't want to hear from ReplyNet ever again.' So the damage has been done," says ReplyNet's president. (St. Petersburg Times 25 Nov 95 E8) PC RADIO DAYS Philips Electronics is coming out with new "Smart-Radio" components that hook up to your PC, allowing it to receive stereo radio along with a variety of test and other broadcast data from radio stations. The text, such as the title of a song and the artist's name, is displayed on the PC screen. The U.S. Electronics Industry Association is expected to equip several hundred radio stations in the U.S. for broadcasting audio and text to PCs, say Philips officials. (Investor's Business Daily 27 Nov 95 A6) CRAY FLIPS OVER TERAFLOPS Cray Research's new T3E machine has a theoretical top speed of more than one trillion operations a second, and is a bargain, with the smallest models priced well below $1 million. Currently the only other teraflops machine on the drawing board is one that Intel is building for Sandia National Laboratories. "We look at this as evidence of Cray reasserting its franchise in the technical computing market," says an analyst at International Data Corp. "Cray's back in the game." (Wall Street Journal 27 Nov 95 B5) NETWORK SECURITY MOVES TO FRONT BURNER Corporate America is emerging from a lengthy state of denial, and beginning to take measures to protect its electronic assets. Nearly half of the respondents to an Information Week/Ernst & Young poll reported having lost valuable information during the past two years, with at least 20 saying they'd lost information worth more than $1 million. Nearly 70% said security risks had worsened in the last five years, and nearly 80% now have a full-time information security director. As one analyst noted, "As organizational structures are flattened, corporate reliance on the availability and integrity of information systems is becoming painfully obvious." (Information Week 27 Nov 95 p32) ITU EXPECTED TO APPROVE 33.6 KBPS MODEMS The International Telecommunication Union is expected to approve modems operating at 33.6 Kbps as an "enhancement" to the current V.34 standard, rather than establishing a new standard for the speedier devices. The formal approval won't come until early next year, but companies such as U.S. Robotics, AT&T and Supra aren't waiting -- they're beginning to sell hardware and software to accommodate the new speed. (Popular Science Nov 95 p45) ONLINE ANONYMITY IS ALL RELATIVE America Online has revealed the real name of a subscriber who called herself "Jenny TRR" to a Caribbean resort owner and dive instructor who claim they were defamed in remarks she posted on an AOL bulletin board. AOL gave the subscriber a chance to object to the action, but says she didn't attempt to fight the subpoena. AOL's assistant general counsel says the service doesn't disclose information about electronic mail, which is protected by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, unless it is part of a criminal investigation. (Wall Street Journal 24 Nov 95 B1) NEC PC MARKETED TO GAME PLAYERS NEC's new $3300 Ready PowerPlayer PC is being marketed primarily as a game- playing machine rather than one intended to boost productivity or aid communications. An NEC vice president says, "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." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 26 Nov 95 F5) CYBERCOMICS FROM TOM CLANCY Novelist Tom Clancy is creating a team of comic book cybercops to star in a "graphic novel" that will be distributed via the Internet next summer. Planned spinoffs include films, CD-ROMs, video games, T-shirts, backpacks, toys "and even real novels" marketed by BIG E, a company which has almost 20 entertainment kiosks in regional malls. (Financial Times 24 Nov 95 p4) A FREE MARKET APPROACH TO E-MAIL FreeMark offers electronic mail services at no charge -- the catch is that an on-screen "stamp" of a sponsor's logo or a banner appears at the bottom of each message. The service targets small businesses and consumers who use online services for e-mail and don't feel they're getting their money's worth. Advertisers already signed up include RJR Nabisco, Campbell Soup, Radio Shack and CMP Publications. (Information Week 27 Nov 95 p84) CRUSADE AGAINST CYBERPORN Called "Enough Is Enough," a grass-roots campaign headed by Lee Jespen (the wife of a former Republican senator) and Donna Rice Hughes (who played a role in the scandal that ended the presidential hopes of Gary Hart eight years ago) is trying to win tougher laws against obscenity in cyberspace. "A lot of people assume we are talking about pictures from Hustler or Penthouse," says Ms. Hughes, who has shown members of Congress images of bondage, bestiality and pedophilia that she says were taken off the Internet. (New York Times 27 Nov 95 A8) CABLE VENDORS GEAR UP FOR ONLINE SERVICE Cable giants Tele-Communications Inc., Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp.have inked a deal with Motorola to purchase 350,000 cable modems for about $175 million. In a separate deal, Comcast will buy another 150,000 modems from Hewlett-Packard. Industry executives say they plan to start leasing the devices for $10 to $15 a month in mid-1996, with some companies intending to start their own Internet services, competing head-to-head with big-time providers such as America Online and Prodigy. TCI has already announced plans for a trial next year of its Home online service. While the new cable modems reportedly operate 1,000 times faster than telephone modems, they also are susceptible to outside interference from some signals, such as police radio, but suppliers say their devices can side-step those problems by switching to a clean channel for completing the transmission. (Wall Street Journal 29 Nov 95 A3) FCC APPROVES HDTV STANDARDS The Federal Communications Commission has endorsed technical standards for an "advanced television system," the evolutionary result of the FCC's call for high-definition television development eight years ago. The approved standard, developed by the Grand Alliance of companies such as General Instrument, Zenith Electronics, AT&T, Philips Electronics and institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the David Sarnoff Research Center, will result in digital television systems that can either produce crystal-clear high-resolution images or simultaneously beam three or four programs of "standard" resolution quality. The current Washington debate focuses on whether government should now encourage broadcasters to adopt the new standard by giving them additional channels and mandating a minimum of three hours of advanced television programming per day. FCC Chairman Reed Hundt has voiced his reservations over this approach: "Viewers paid about $75 billion" for their current TV sets. "Should we assume they welcome the extinction of analog broadcast?" (New York Times 29 Nov 95 A1) GARTNER TO BUY DATAQUEST The high-tech urge to merge is now infecting the companies that study those markets, with Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Group announcing plans to acquire Dataquest Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based unit of Dun & Bradstreet. The $75-million consolidation makes sense, as D&B also owns just over 50% of Gartner. "I think we got a great deal, and Dun & Bradstreet is only giving up half of Dataquest because they own half of us. So it's a good deal for both of us," says Gartner's CFO. (Investor's Business Daily 29 Nov 95 A6) Meanwhile, Gideon Gartner, founder of the Gartner Group, has a new pet project -- Giga Information Group -- which plans to sell analyses of information technology trends and products. It's unclear how the new venture will avoid direct competition with its predecessor. (Business Week 4 Dec 95 p44) IBM CREATES INTERNET DIVISION As evidence of IBM CEO Lou Gerstner's insistence that IBM will be a leader in "network-centric computing," the company is creating a new division which will consolidate Internet-related work now scattered in various places around the organization. (USA Today 30 Nov 95 1B) INTERNET SECURITY RISKS FOR CONSUMERS OVERBLOWN Fear of Internet crime is well-founded among businesses whose corporate networks may be compromised by curious hackers or malicious crackers, but "By and large, consumers have very little risk using and doing business on the Internet," says the chairman of Open Market Inc. While it is possible to break an encryption code and crack a secured phone line to discover an individual's credit card number, it's much easier to copy them off of discarded carbons. "If someone wanted to steal a credit card number, all they would have to do is go to any gas station and look on the ground around the pumps," says the CTO at Internet security firm Terisa Systems. (Investor's Business Daily 30 Nov 95 A8) INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & ACADEMIC PRODUCTIVITY Individual copies of the Massy-Zemsky paper, "Using Information Technology to Enhance Academic Productivity" (featured in a recent Edupage) are available at no charge. The paper is available on < http://www.educom.edu > under NLII, Key Documents, or a paper copy may be obtained by contacting Pat Bartscherer at email@example.com. (Though individual copies are free, there is a charge for bulk orders, which are available in groups of 25 for $55 a group.) AUTHOR A VIRUS, GO TO JAIL A computer cracker last week became the first virus writer sentenced to a jail term under Great Britain's Computer Misuse Act. The 26-year-old perpetrator was sentenced to 18 months in jail after pleading guilty to 11 charges connected with placing virus-infected programs on computer bulletin boards. (Investor's Business Daily 29 Nov 95 A6) MURDOCH PLANS NEWS VENTURE Rupert Murdoch is planning to give Ted Turner a run for his money, announcing his intention to start a 24-hour all-news cable channel to compete directly with Turner's CNN. Murdoch says he considers CNN's fare politically liberal, and says, "It's about time CNN was challenged." Murdoch maintains his channel will offer a "really objective" view of current events. (New York Times 29 Nov 95 C6) Ted Turner's response? If Murdoch goes through with his plans, he'll be squished "like a bug." (USA Today 30 Nov 95 2B) POWER TO AMIGA At the Video Toaster Exposition in Los Angeles, Amiga Technologies CEO Petro Tyschtschenko says the Motorola Power-PC RISC chip will be the basis of the next Amiga, planned for 1997 and called the Power-Amiga. The current Amiga 4000T will be supported by a Power-PC daughterboard which can replace the 68040- and 68060-based boards. (Speech at Video Toaster Exposition, Los Angeles) CABLE & PHONE NET ACCESS Rogers Communications will link home PCs to the Internet via cable in a Toronto suburb. Known as "Rogers Wave," the service will provide Internet connections at 500 Kbps, compared with today's standard of 28.8 Kbps without interfering with TV cable connections. (Toronto Star 28 Nov 95 C1) PSYCHICS, PHONE SEX -- NOW DOCTORS Psychic networks have them. So do phone sex operators. Now doctors have a 1-900 service in Canada that allows Canadians to obtain medical advice for $3.99 per minute. The service will have licensed New Brunswick family physicians dispensing medical advice between 3pm and 11pm EST. (Toronto Star 28 Nov 95 A1) Edupage is written by John Gehl (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Suzanne Douglas (email@example.com). Voice: 404-371-1853, Fax: 404-371-8057. 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Educom -- Transforming Education Through Information Technology Portable Computers & Entertainment Section Marty Mankins, Editor Video Gaming Hotwire STR Feature "Coverage of Video Gaming Central" on Compuserve Sony Playstation "The Sleeping Giant has Awakened!" by Ralph F. Mariano The RUDE AWAKENING has arrived for the so called competition. The 32 bit Sony Playstation has already surpassed the market penetration of the 32bit Saturn, 200,000 sold, and literally blown the doors off the 64 bit Jaguar at less than 100,000 sold. Sony, long known for quality with its Trinitron TVs, has this reputation of "longevity and reliability" going for it. (Tough numbers to overcome) But ..the little known fact that the Playstation is an extremely easy Gaming Console to program for seems to have slipped the attention of most except the programmers. Programmers and developers have flocked to the Sony camp. Bundled with the Playstation along with a teaser CD ROM is a CD ROM titled "Developer Demo" CD ROM. This a first class treat for all. Its bound to put your TV to the ultimate test. Talk about spectacular color and depth being shown. the various patterns demo sessions and the make-up session are knock-outs. I'll go so far to say you'll say to yourself . "self, I never thought my little old, TV could do those things." Sure, the Sony Playstation is a 32 bit machine but for a 32 bit machine this sucker blows away the much boasted about 64bit machine, the Atari Jaguar, that was feebly trying to be a contender. Who am I to talk?? Hah! I went for the 64bit machine first and was "duly self-impressed" with my "purchasing prowess" .that is, until I realized I once again bought into the Tramiel Atari dream no, nightmare is more like it. I got my "what fors" but good with the Atari Computers that went comatose and then the three Lynx handheld game machines and case of games. Come to think of it, I really can't explain why I went for the Jaguar except for two reasons. I thought to myself that "no company or its leadership could pull such a boner as they had three times in a row!" And of course, no matter what the company's leadership did, Atari "still produced a terrific hardware product". Was I correct?? Heavens NO! The Tramiels tried to do it "on the cheap" and with somebody else's dime and blew it! Meanwhile the programmers and developers RAN from the machine because it was so difficult to program for. The Saturn, once thought to be the upcoming "King of the Mountain" was literally "put to sleep and out of the running" a few weeks ago when the Playstation hit the market in a very impressive way. Oh, there are those who say; "well, look at what Sony spent to put the Playstation "front and center". That to me was nothing more than good business sense and a keen eye on the future. The Playstation is, for all intents and purposes a "blockbuster" of a hit that is without a doubt a sound gaming dollar investment. Software is top notch, programmers are plentiful, after market support is more than abundant but most of all the company is stable, strong and not on the cheap! Lately we're hearing rumbles and bumbles about a U64 from Nintendo. My, my I heard about that machine quite some time ago.. it was delayed and supposed to be here for this Christmas. Now, it rumored to be slated to hit the market sometime in early Spring. Great timing just in time for the summer. like people are gonna stay indoors and fiddle with two or three games. Truth is this reporter feels the U64 will never really see the light day as far as a worldwide market is concerned. Time will tell. Of the only other 64bit machine, the Atari Jaguar, while alleged to be "on the market." To date it has done little to impress gaming marketplace with the "power of a 64bit machine". A trailblazer it hasn't been. The gaming software that already on the market for the Playstation out numbers the majority of all others in both quantity and most importantly, in quality. The titles that are universally available for the Playstation are all receiving praise from every corner of the gaming consumer's world. The are some titles that are alleged to be "better than others" but that, like all art, is in the eyes of the beholder. If you're a gamer and want to experience the best. Do yourself a favor, go out in the next week or so and rent a Playstation and few of their games. You won't be disappointed. I wasn't. I liked it so much I went and got two of them and now, we're having a blast playing the new DOOM 1&2 combo CD that's out for the Playstation two people networked playing ..at the same time without crashes and feeble excuses. Along with Destruction Derby, Kileak, Ridge Racer (pack-in), Warhawk, TPC Golf, Tennis and Toshinden the line up of top flight software grows larger with every passing week. Am I impressed?? You bet. Most of all, I feel secure in knowing the support and new software will be there next year. Not some lame set of excuses and a "change of venue". Seasons Greetings... by Richard K. Moore The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take the early reindeer retirement package has triggered a good deal of concern about whether they will be replaced, and about other restructuring decisions at the North Pole. Streamlining was appropriate in view of the reality that the North Pole no longer dominates the season's gift distribution business. Home shopping channels and mail order catalogues have diminished Santa's market share and he could not sit idly by and permit further erosion of the profit picture. The reindeer downsizing was made possible through the purchase of a late model Japanese sled for the CEO's annual trip. Improved productivity from Dasher and Dancer, who summered at the Harvard Business School, is anticipated and should take up the slack with no discernible loss of service. Reduction in reindeer will also lessen airborne environmental emissions for which the North Pole has been cited and received unfavorable press. I am pleased to inform you and yours that Rudolph's role will not be disturbed. Tradition still counts for something at the North Pole. Management denies, in the strongest possible language, the earlier leak that Rudolph's nose got that way not from the cold, but from substance abuse. Calling Rudolph "a lush who was into the sauce and never did pull his share of the load" was an unfortunate comment, made by one of Santa's helpers and taken out of context at a time of year when he is known to be under executive stress. As a further restructuring, today's global challenges require the North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" subsidiary: z The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance. z The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are therefore eliminated. z The three French hens will remain intact. [After all, everyone loves the French.] z The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked. z The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks appear to be in order. z The six geese a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day is an example of the decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that from now on every goose it gets will be a good one. z The seven swans a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes and therefore enhance their out placement. z As you know, the eight maids a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching. z Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps. z Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords plus the expense of international air travel prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant because we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year. z Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music and no uniforms will produce savings which will drop right down to the bottom line. z We can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and other expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved. z Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking expansion to include the legal profession ("thirteen lawyers-a-suing") action is pending. z Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to stay competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number. Editor's Note. This was so cute I couldn't resist putting it here for all to enjoy!! Three guesses as to who it reminds me of!! STR Mail Call "...a place for our readers to be heard" STReport's MAILBAG Messages * NOT EDITED * for content Subject: EGM blows hot air again! - Msg Number: 167860 From: Gil Gulick 76347,110 To: Henry Behnen 76723,1205 Forum: VIDGAM Sec: 05-Atari Jaguar Date: 26-Nov-95 15:01 I am a Jag owner, and I am not at all happy with the way Atari has handled the Jaguar. Atari deserves criticism at every opportunity for their handling of the Jaguar. If Atari wants the Jaguar to be a next generation machine, then it will have to be judged on the same basis as the rest of the next generation machine. Many (dare I say most) of the Jag's games are just a little above 16 bit quality. The Jaguar library doesn't come close to the quality of the 3DO's. I notice you didn't answer my last question. What Jaguar title, released this year, is a truly great title? If a reviewer gets a bunch of mediocre titles for a system, he then starts going into the reviews thinking the game is going to be mediocre. As a college grad, I know this happens. You always put the most effort into the first paper you have for a class, then the next time the professor reads one of your papers, he expects it to be great. So after reviewing a bunch of mediocre (or poor) Jaguar title, the reviewer has a negative attitude about the game before he even sees it. In Short, the Atari Jaguar DESERVES to be put down. While the Jaguar may be the cheapest of the next generation systems, it is certainly not the best buys. It is the Yugo of video game systems. How many times has Atari made EGM (or any other magazine) look bad by giving them release dates Atari KNEW were false? Take the Jag CD for example. The only reason that EGM would print that the Jag CD would be available for or shortly after the '94 Christmas season, would be that Atari told them, and us, that that was when the system would be released. I believe that Atari knew that was IMPOSSIBLE, but released that date anyway. And how many Atari press releases have stated 100 games by (insert date here.) Well, by the end of '95 the Jaguar still doesn't have 100 games. So, is it any wonder the magazines are cynical towards Atari? The Jaguar is pounded by nearly every magazine on the market. And for good reason. If you are happy with the way Atari has handled the Jaguar, you need to set your standards a little higher. Gil and further, concerning the Jag.. Subject: Nitendo, first 64! - Msg Number: 99490 From: Steve Watkins 74241,3001 To: Keita Iida 75271,122 Forum: ATARIGAMING Sec: 01-Forum Business Date: 28-Nov-95 17:16 >> However, in the '90's, there is no such "magic" from Atari whatsoever. I have to disagree very strongly here. I believe Atari has the industry's most amazing Magic Act ever conceived. 1. Who else can make customers/user base DISAPPEAR so well? 2. Who else can use slight of hand/smoke and mirrors as well as Sam T? 3. (Approaching 100...75...50...Voice Modem...Virtual Reality...Jag Network...Jag Internet Web Browser...) 4. Who else in this industry has stayed alive even though they've never, ever, done anything right? (That's their Escape Act <G>) 5. Who else can change an impressive, massive, sleek, Cat (Jaguar) into a whimpering little kitty? <G> I think you owe Atari an apology - they have the most incredible magic act I've ever seen. :) Steve Editor note. Nuff Said.. I'm all Atari'd out! Moving right along.. About the Playstation.. Subject: NG - Sales Info - Msg Number: 168740 From: Shayne Judkins 72053,747 To: All Date: 28-Nov-95 14:44 I pulled this off of Next Generation's Online Web Page. I sure wouldn't have written this if I were "paid-off" by Sony. :-) (Read the WHOLE thing before forming an opinion.) ;-) PLAYSTATION TAKES THE LEAD The extraordinary 32-bit hardware war is finally being fought across America with Sony's PlayStation taking an early and commanding lead. Sony is claiming to have achieved an installed base of 200,000 machines already while Sega is claiming figures of no more than 120,000. While manufacturer figures are notoriously difficult to trust, these figures tally remarkably with Next Generation's own findings. We contacted 25 stores chosen at random across the country. All but one reported that the PlayStation was outselling the Saturn. The ratio of sales varied from two-to-one to an astonishing 12-to-one. However, in the first four weeks of the PlayStation's availability Next Generation estimates a ratio of four to one. A strong start for the PlayStation was only to be expected given the amount of pent-up desire among game players for the new machine. The Saturn has now been available for some months. Sony is naturally extremely pleased with its performance. Sega disputes its rivals' claims and points to a number of factors which may swing the pendulum back in its favour in the coming weeks. Chief among these are the new $299 price, a television advertising campaign which has just broken and the imminent availability of arcade hits such as Virtua Fighter 2 and Sega Rally exclusively for the Saturn. Most sellers of video game equipment belong to powerful chains such as Babbages, Toys R Us and Electronic Boutique. Individual store managers in the front line of the 32-bit battle are not allowed to speak to the press. Therefore we have had to hide the identities of our sources (see 'News from the Frontline'.) While purchasers of the machines come from across the social spectrum, there is a clear bias towards game sophisticated men between the ages of 17 and 25. Over 85% of buyers already own either a Saturn or a Super Nintendo. Most people buy at least two games at the point of purchase. Ridge Racer and Toshinden are the most popular. Both are selling as many units as the PlayStation itself suggesting that everyone is buying them. In the height of post-launch excitement many store managers were recommending the PlayStation to their customers. Some of the more enthusiastic sales people were therefore hardly selling any Saturns. Nearly 75% of PlayStation owners are buying the memory card straight away and up to half are buying the extra controller. Late in our survey, many reported a slowing of the PlayStation's dominance as news seeped out regarding the excellent quality of Sega's new generation of games. Two things can be read into the results of the first four weeks of PlayStation; z The first is that the machine will not have it so good again. The line goes that the Saturn's good name has been re-established by the new keener price and by those great games. Certainly, the war was always going to be fought on the quality of combat and driving games. Many feel that Toshinden & Ridge Racer has now been matched if not surpassed by Virtua Fighter 2 & Sega Rally. z The other is that Sony has enjoyed such a commanding and early lead that it has already reached a critical mass. As one retailer put it: "Pretty soon everyone will know someone with a PlayStation. It all builds upon itself." Next Generation is inclined to believe that while the Saturn may never enjoy as large an audience as the PlayStation, it is far from being a finished format. It is probable that sales ratios will close in the months ahead. NEWS FROM THE FRONTLINE During Next Generation's investigation into current sales of 32-bit hardware systems, we spoke to store managers across the US. These are a selection of quotes from store managers. Possibly the people in the best position to comment on the emerging situation. However, due to corporate rules, we are not able to reveal exact details of the whereabouts of the stores questioned. New York "A good mix of young adults, teenagers and parents are buying the machines. We find that when a parent comes in cold without much knowledge they tend to decide on a PlayStation. Some of that is due to our saying that it is a better machine and some to do with the fact that Sony have got the message out there and there is a lot of information." South Carolina "There is a tiny preference for Saturn among Megadrive owners, but the opinions of the salesman is very influential and will get more so as parents start coming in buying gifts for the holidays." California "We are selling PlayStations at a rate of five to one against the Saturn and sales of the Saturn dropped off considerably when the PS arrived. We get a lot of younger kids coming in wanting a 32-bit machine but their parents won't spend the money so our customers are older than previously" Michigan "There is a slight preference to Saturn among Sega people but on the whole people say they prefer the graphics and gameplay elements of PlayStation games. Quite often they rent both machines first before making a decison but that's with the really crazy game players." Arkansas "We're selling at a rate of 12-to-one but when people ask I generally say that I own a PlayStation myself. The only complaint so far is that release dates of software are being put back." Florida "The surprising thing is that people who used to gripe about spending $150 on a Super Nintendo are coming in and spending $300 to $400. Most people buy at least two games and then about three quarters of them buy a memory card as well." Virginia "Everyone is reading up and asking lots of questions. They are taking their time to make a decision." Nevada "We are selling PlayStations at five to one. Some people were saying that they wanted to sell their Saturns already but when I said that VF2 was coming soon they changed their minds. The fighting games are so big that that has to be a factor in the future." CONTACT US You can read news updated daily on Next Generation's net site at http://www.imagine-inc.com/ng/ Re-Posted by: Shayne Judkins Atari Jaguar/Computer Section Dana Jacobson, Editor >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" I've been getting a lot of responses in email, via the Internet, pertaining to my last few editorials. It's nice to hear from all of these readers. The feedback and support has been terrific. Two of the product announcements that have been sent are included in this issue. We hope that the feedback continues! We're still looking for articles and reviews, if you're interested. We've had a few offers and we'll see how they pan out. Meanwhile, we'll continue to do what we can to provide you with as much news and info as possible. Keep those cards and letters coming! Until next time... Announcement of NetBSD/Atari-1.1! STR InfoFile! (-: I am happy to announce the release of NetBSD/Atari-1.1 :-) What is NetBSD? NetBSD is a Berkeley Networking Release 2 (Net/2) and 4.4BSD-Lite derived system. It is a fully functional UN*X-like system which runs on several architectures and is being ported to more. NetBSD, as the name implies, is a creation of the members of the network community and without the net it's likely that this release wouldn't have come about. I didn't know that it existed for Atari! That might well be possible. Although it has been available since May 1995, this is the first 'official' release of NetBSD that incorporates support for the Atari platform. Since then numerous improvements have been added. They were added and tested by a growing group of volunteers and users of NetBSD/Atari. What hardware does it support? Currently NetBSD/Atari runs on the TT030 and the Falcon. Supported devices are: - The built-in SCSI host adapter - Should support most SCSI disks/tapes/CDROMs/MO drives. - The built-in video controller - The built-in (720Kb/1.44Mb) floppy drive - The serial2/modem2 ports - The Falcon FX memory expansion - The atari keyboard & mouse - FPU-emulation in progress. Works well enough to use most of the system. - X11R6 - mono only. Although not hardware, I think it's worth mentioning. Where can I get it? The 'home' site of NetBSD is: ftp.netbsd.org. The NetBSD/Atari-1.1 release can be found in the directory: /pub/NetBSD-1.1/atari. The installation guide can be found in 'kernels/INSTALL'. It contains all information necessary to get you started, like which files you should fetch to start installing the system. ftp.netbsd.org will probably be pretty busy after the 1.1 release, but it's always possible to get the distribution at a mirror site. The following sites spring to mind: z ftp.uni-regensburg:/pub/NetBSD-1.1 z ftp.funet.fi:/pub/unix/NetBSD/NetBSD-1.1 Where should I go for more info? If you want more information about NetBSD, for instance general info on NetBSD, mirror sites, mailing-lists and so forth, visit our www server at http://www.netbsd.org . One mailing list is of special importance to NetBSD/Atari, the 'port-atari' list. On this list, you can ask questions that are specific to the Atari port of NetBSD. To subscribe to this list, send email with body text "subscribe port-atari" to: email@example.com. I should probably also mention that you can get help by sending a body text "help" and an overview of the available lists with "lists". Good Luck, Leo. C A T H E R I N E W H E E L Dubble Dee Atari PD Library are proud to announce the imminent release of CATHERINE WHEEL. Catherine Wheel is a CD that is specifically aimed at the Atari Falcon 030, but users of other Atari computers will find programs and files that they can also use - in fact, so will users of most other computer platforms! The CD contains: z 130Meg of Falcon specific programmes, including games, graphic packages, utilities, MOD players, trackers, demos, utilities and application. z 100Meg of ST/STE programmes that are 100% Falcon compatible. This also includes games, graphic packages, utilities, MOD players, trackers, applications and utilities. z 800+ 4 (128Meg) track MOD files z 90+ 8 (or more) track MOD and S3M files z 20Megs of PD book files obtained from the Project Gutenberg data-base. Including greats like War of the Worlds, Around the World in 80 Days, Mars and Tarzan series by E.R. Burroughs and many, many more. z 100 true Type fonts compatible with NVDI 3 and Speedo-Gdos 5 z 120Megs of some of the best GIF graphics you have ever seen. z 120Megs of some of the best FLI animation files you have ever seen. All pictures, animations, fonts and mod files have been tested on a Falcon with TOS 4.01 and 4 Megs of Ram. All S3M files will work with the shareware version of Mega-Player (v1.15). Write today for further info... firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com or by snail mail to.... P.O. Box 226, Smithfield, South Australia, Australia, 5114 Jaguar Section Pitfall! Rayman! CATnips! Anti*Game! Sierra! Game Schedule Update! And more.... >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! Well, it's just a little more than three weeks until Christmas; the last Jaguar game release was a couple of weeks ago. I know that there are a number of new games in various stages of production, but whether or not they're available in time to make it under the proverbial tree is on everyone's mind at the moment. According to my calculations, there should (I said should, not will) be twelve new games out by Christmas, including 3rd party games. The wait continues... Online sources have told us that some Jaguar ads have been spotted, albeit spotty, in recent days. We've also heard that the infomercial has been spotted. If you haven't seen it yet, look for it this weekend on The Nashville Network (Sunday, December 3 at 10:00 a.m. EST) and Comedy Central (Sunday at 9:00 a.m.). E! Entertainment is also supposedly airing it, but no date or time given. There are other cable markets in which the spot is running, but no scheduled times have been noted yet. There has been some discussion online as to what kind of effect this infomercial will have on sales; whether or not it's a sign of desperation on Atari's part to sell the Jaguar. Personally, I don't know what kind of audience watches infomercials. I watched about 5 minutes of one a couple of years ago and turned it off. It was on in the middle of the night and reminded me of the old "wonder elixir" salesmen from the Old West medicine shows! I really believe that Atari needs to do some real advertising, soon, to capture some of the holiday sales. It may already be too late to do anything. I hate to say it, but I think that Atari has missed yet another holiday season. The hardware is terrific and there are a good number of excellent games available * but the public is still not aware of the product. I hope that this changes quickly, but my gut feeling is that history will be repeating itself again this year. It's a real shame if it happens. But, on to current news! Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure has received top honors (see below)for Windows '95 CDROM for September. It's available for the Jaguar also. We finally did get a complimentary copy of Rayman and our original review, courtesy of Frank Sereno, is included in this week's issue. Better late than never! Reviews of Ruiner Pinball, Pitfall, and a few others are in various stages of completion look for them soon. Our Jaguar game release schedule and price list is current as of last week, so check it out. We'll be updating it again next week and it will be available again in a couple of weeks. Don Thomas' CATnips has returned after taking a week off to enjoy the holidays. Stay tuned for Don's latest offerings later on in this issue. Last week's CIS conference transcript is nearing completion. As of this writing, it's not completely edited yet and may not make this week's issue. If not, look for it next week; hopefully I'll have it ready for this week. With winter upon us here in New England, it appears to be a good weekend to get some Christmas shopping done and some game playing time. We got some snow earlier in the week and more expected. The cold has hit and it's a great time to sit around and just relax with a controller in*hand, and the favorite Jaguar games on the screen! Until next time... Jaguar Catalog STR InfoFile - What's currently available, what's coming out. Current Available Titles CAT # TITLE MSRP DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER J9000 Cybermorph $59.99 Atari Corp. J9006 Evolution:Dino Dudes $29.99 Atari Corp. J9005 Raiden $29.99 FABTEK, Inc/Atari Corp. J9001 Trevor McFur/Crescent Galaxy $29.99 Atari Corp. J9010 Tempest 2000 $59.95 Llamasoft/Atari Corp. J9028 Wolfenstein 3D $69.95 id/Atari Corp. JA100 Brutal Sports FootBall $69.95 Telegames J9008 Alien vs. Predator $69.99 Rebellion/Atari Corp. J9029 Doom $69.99 id/Atari Corp. J9036 Dragon: Bruce Lee $39.99 Atari Corp. J9003 Club Drive $59.99 Atari Corp. J9007 Checkered Flag $39.99 Atari Corp. J9012 Kasumi Ninja $69.99 Atari Corp. J9042 Zool 2 $59.99 Atari Corp J9020 Bubsy $49.99 Atari Corp J9026 Iron Soldier $59.99 Atari Corp J9060 Val D'Isere Skiing $59.99 Atari Corp. Cannon Fodder $49.99 Virgin/C-West Syndicate $69.99 Ocean Troy Aikman Football $69.99 Williams Theme Park $69.99 Ocean Sensible Soccer Telegames Double Dragon V $59.99 Williams J9009E Hover Strike $59.99 Atari Corp. J0144E Pinball Fantasies $59.99 C-West J9052E Super Burnout $59.99 Atari Corp. J9070 White Men Can't Jump $69.99 Atari Corp. Flashback $59.99 U.S. Gold J9078E VidGrid (CD) Atari Corp J9016E Blue Lightning (CD) $59.99 Atari Corp J9040 Flip-Out $49.99 Atari Corp J9082 Ultra Vortek $69.99 Atari Corp C3669T Rayman $69.99 Ubi Soft Power Drive Rally $69.99 TWI J9101 Pitfall $59.99 Atari Corp. J9086E Hover Strike CD $59.99 Atari Corp. J9031E Highlander I (CD) $59.99 Atari Corp. J9061E Ruiner Pinball $59.99 Atari Corp. Dragon's Lair $69.99 Readysoft Available Soon CAT # TITLE MSRP DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER J9069 Myst (CD) $59.99 Atari Corp. Mutant Penguins $59.99 Atari Corp. J9091 Atari Karts $59.99 Atari Corp. Battlemorph $59.99 Atari Corp. Breakout 2000 $49.99 Atari Corp. Supercross 3D $59.99 Atari Corp. Fever Pitch TBA Atari Corp. Missile Command 3D TBA Atari Corp. I-War $49.99 Atari Corp. Max Force $59.99 Atari Corp. J9089 NBA Jam TE $69.99 Atari Corp. J9055 Baldies $59.99 Atari Corp. J9021 Brett Hull Hockey $69.99 Atari Corp. Hardware and Peripherals CAT # TITLE MSRP MANUFACTURER J8001 Jaguar (no cart) $149.99 Atari Corp. J8904 Composite Cable $19.95 J8901 Controller/Joypad $24.95 Atari Corp. J8905 S-Video Cable $19.95 CatBox $69.95 ICD J8800 Jaguar CD-ROM $149.99 Atari Corp. J8908 JagLink Interface $29.95 Atari Corp. J8910 Team Tap 4-Player Adapter) $29.95 Atari Corp. J8907 Jaguar ProController $29.95 Atari Corp. J8911 Memory Track $29.95 Atari Corp. J8909 Tempest 2000: The Soundtrack $12.99 Atari Corp. Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Nintendo to Offer 64-Bit Unit A $250 next-generation 64-bit home video game equipment will go on sale in Japan next spring from video game maker Nintendo Co. Ltd., along with three new software titles designed specifically for the new unit. Reporting from Tokyo, the French Agence France-Press International News Service quotes Nintendo as saying the product has "the top-level power of expression which is impossible for conventional ones" and is able to display "glistening translucent water" and "metallic objects and characters." Its 64-bit central processor unit is made by California-based Silicon Graphics Inc. As noted earlier, Nintendo said last May it was delaying launch of the new game in overseas markets, blaming the yen's continued strength against the dollar. The Kyoto-based company said it planned to release the "Ultra-64" game in the United States and Europe around April next year. "A Nintendo spokesman said that the launch in the U.S. and European markets was not decided yet," AFP says, "but that it might take place around the same time as in Japan." The wire service observes that when Nintendo's 16-bit Super Family Computer made its debut in 1990, it created a boom in video game machines. A total of 36.53 million units had been sold worldwide by the end of March, of which 22.06 million were sold outside Japan. "However," adds AFP, "its market share has been on the decline, with recent models competing with those of rival Japanese manufacturers, such as SegaSaturn by Sega Enterprises Ltd. and PlayStation by Sony Corp., which are 32-bit machines." Nintendo, Netscape Eye Venture Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s U.S. unit is talking with Web browser publisher Netscape Communications Corp. about possibly developing Internet connections for the video game maker's Ultra 64 advanced gaming system. Chairman Howard Lincoln of Nintendo's U.S. unit is quoted by the Reuter News Service as saying an Internet deal involving the two companies could be announced by early 1996. However, Lincoln called "unfounded" the rumors that such a deal already has been reached. Responding to a reporter's question during a teleconference from Tokyo -- where Nintendo had unveiled the first 64-bit game machine from a major video game maker -- Lincoln said, "We have not made any announcements about the use of Nintendo 64 on the Internet and I don't anticipate any announcements in the next week or so." But he added, "I do expect that there will be some announcements -there could be some announcements -- in this area by the beginning of the year." He said that before an Internet strategy can become viable, Nintendo must focus on introducing its 64-bit computer game platform and making sure that it rapidly develops a vast base of game players using 64-bit machines. Mac CD-ROM Multipack Set to Ship Sirius Publishing Inc. says the Macintosh version of its 5-Ft. 10-Pak CD-ROM multipack will ship on Dec. 8. Sold as a five-foot-long vinyl strip or in a box, the collection includes 10 CD-ROM titles that Sirius licenses from various software publishers. The $39.95 product also includes discount coupons and other promotions. The Mac version features Hell Cab by Time Warner, Dragon's Lair by ReadySoft, Prince Interactive by Grafix Zone, Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, SiriusNet by Sirius Publishing, Mad Dog McCree by IBM, 2000 Fonts by Fantazia, Dracula Unleashed by Viacom, Internet Executive by LearnKey and Battlechess Enhanced by Interplay. "We think the 5-Ft. 10-Pak Macintosh edition will do as well as the PC version," says Richard Gnant, president and CEO of the Scottdale, Arizona, company. "The multimedia market continues to see rapid growth. CONTACT: Naomi Rosenfeld or Andrea Mabel, 212-850-5600, or Media, Miriam Adler or Jean Lombard, 415-296- 7383 PITFALL: THE MAYAN ADVENTURE SWINGS TO #1 SLOT ON ... LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Activision, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced that according to PC Data, Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure was the #1 CD-ROM game for the Windows(R) 95 operating system during the month of September. "The Windows 95 version of Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure established a new standard in PC-based action games with its revolutionary depth of gameplay, nonstop action and feature-film quality animation," states Bobby Kotick, Chairman and CEO, Activision. "Taking full advantage of the new operating system, the game provides players with an existing and realistic experience unlike any other side-scrolling action title." Bringing a mix of magic and realism to a mysterious Mayan world, Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure features Harry Jr., son of the original Atari 2600 Pitfall Harry, swinging, pit-hopping, crocodile-dodging, bungee-jumping and boomeranging through 13 levels in a perilous attempt to rescue his father from an evil Mayan warrior. Players face ferocious crocodiles, deadly jaguars, possessed rain forest animals, killer skeletons and wicked warriors as they race through the jungle adventure. Older game fans will enjoy uncovering a playable version of the entire original Atari 2600 Pitfall! game hidden within one level of the new game. Activision, Inc. is a publicly held developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for Microsoft(R) Windows and MS-DOS(R)-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. Activision is a registered trademark of Activision, Inc. (c) 1995 Activision, Inc. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows and MS-DOS are either registered trademarks of trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Anti-Game Software Ships DVD Software Inc. has released UnGame 2.0 for Windows, the first Windows version of a program that's designed to erase games from company PCs. DVD, based in Irvine, California, says the new release can eliminate up to 3,100 different games and can significantly improve the productivity of PC users at work. The company notes that UnGame can detect and remove games under Windows 3.x, Windows 95, Windows NT, OS/2, DOS and all major network operating systems. UnGame 2.0 for Windows 2.0 is priced at $59.99 per file server. A shareware version of the software is available in CompuServe's Novell User Library Forum (GO NOVUSER) in the file UNGAME20.ZIP. Sierra Online Buys Papyrus Entertainment software publisher Sierra On-Line Inc. has acquired Papyrus Design Group Inc., a developer of car racing simulations, including NASCAR Racing and Indy Car Racing. The deal's financial terms weren't disclosed. NASCAR Racing, released in October 1994, has sold more than 350,000 units to date and was the sixth best selling entertainment software title in September, according to market researcher PC Data. "These products are excellent additions to our portfolio and fit our development strategy of capitalizing on successful product series," says Ken Williams, chairman and CEO of Sierra On-Line. "I'm especially excited about the addition of a talented development group to our already strong internal development resources. I expect the Papyrus and Sierra development groups to benefit from the cross-fertilization of ideas and the sharing of technologies." Founded in 1987, Papyrus employs approximately 100 people, primarily in research and development, in Watertown, Massachusetts. Sierra On-Line is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. Jaguar Game Title STR Review - "Rayman" "Rayman" -= Available Now =- by Frank Sereno Developed by: Ubi Soft Published by:Ubi Soft Price: $69.99 One big happy... The world is a bright and happy place. The Great Protoon provides for the needs of all. Bliss is an eternal state of being until the evil Mr. Dark kidnaps the Great Protoon. Now evil creatures patrol the land, capturing the friendly inhabitants of the land, the Electoons. Our hero... In steps a creature with a shock of blond hair and a radiant smile but without arms or legs. Rayman will attempt to save the day. The task is arduous as you assist Rayman through sixty screens of demanding 64-bit action. You must release all the Electoons from cages scattered about the many screens and then you must rescue the Great Protoon while avoiding over fifty different enemies. Rayman starts out with no weapons and only your wits and reflexes to save him. As you advance through the levels, Rayman will gain powers from the fairy Betilla. Some are permanent powers and some will only be in effect in that portion of the game. Rayman has to jump, climb, crawl, punch and helicopter his way through sixty levels. Nobody said this was going to be easy. And now for something completely different... Rayman is simply the most beautiful and addicting video game that my family and I have ever played. The graphics feature highly detailed and colorful backgrounds combined with multiple levels of parallax scrolling. The attention to detail is evident in every frame of amazing animation which rivals that of Disney and Don Bluth. This game is a feast for the eyes. This game is suitable for gamers ages 2 to 102. It has great playability. The control scheme is very simple and response is instantaneous. My sons, ages 5 and 7, have had no difficulty running Rayman through his paces. In fact, they have journeyed farther into the game than I have. It is a challenge to learn how to defeat the various creatures or how to traverse certain screens. It is a good idea to watch the Demo portion of Rayman to learn gaming strategy. Hints are also provided in the user manual. The sound effects and music are excellent. Some of the music can set your toes to tapping. It would have been nice to hear Rayman speak but this doesn't detract from gameplay. Some screens are more difficult than I would like. Many times you run into an obstacle before you have a chance to react to it because of the limited viewing area. In these cases you must memorize the screens and the proper series of moves to execute to complete that world. Keep your eyes open for powerups to replenish your power reserves or to gain more punching power. And be sure to grab all the blue globes that you can. These "tings" can unlock the way to hidden cages of Electoons and other goodies. Gathering 100 tings gains another life. One of the more interesting objects in the game is the grape. Knocking it from its vine, it can be used as a pogoball to jump to high ledges. It can be pushed into the water and used as a raft. Some grapes will swing from the vine rather than falling from it. Rayman can jump on these and swing to new heights. And if a grape is bounced into certain enemies, he will mutate into a grape-headed creature. He can still damage Rayman with his body, but Rayman can now stand on the creature's head and allow himself to be ported about. Graphics: 10.0 Sound FX/Music: 9.0 Control:10.0 Manual: 9.0 Entertainment: 9.0 Ratings... Graphics-10 Simply outstanding! This is most eye-appealing game to date with its lush backgrounds and fluid, flawless animation. Sound-9 Great music and fantastic sound effects. Gameplay-10 Rayman features great depth in its gaming experience combined with easy, responsive control. It is an excellent game to play with younger children. The game is challenging but always enjoyable. Addictive is an apt description for this game. Bang for the Buck-9 This game tends to be played for two or three hours at a sitting due to its addictive nature. Most players will need several weeks of play before they solve the game and I feel most players will play the game again after its completion because it is so enticing. The one shortcoming I do see is that the game has only 3 slots for saving games. If more people want to play, they will have to share slots in the battery-backed memory. The final word... If I were to own only one Jaguar game, Rayman would be it. If my family loves Rayman, I am sure that you will enjoy it also. This game should be considered a classic and is a MUST HAVE. Buy it today! And here's hoping that Ubi Soft will come out with a sequel allowing a two- player cooperative mode. Jaguar Online STR InfoFile Online Users Growl & Purr! CATnips... Jaguar tidbits from Don Thomas (95.11.28) I hate when that happens!... Right when I have a new edition of CATnips ready to go... POOF! I press the wrong key and I have to type it all in again. I guess I need a Memory Track for my Text Editor. <g>. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I sure did with my family. I had to get in all the great new movies out there... Toy Story, Money Train, Casino, Golden Eye... We had a delicious Turkey dinner complete with pumpkin pie. We went to Sacramento and did some traditional shopping (I found a video game tips book I was looking for) and I even found the opportunity to put up a few strings of holiday lights on the house (with Kyle's help, of course! <g>). My extended holiday weekend would have never started off so well if it wasn't for a great conference hosted by Jeffrey Norwood of Jaguar Journal. The conference was on Wednesday, November 22 at 5 p.m. (Pacific Time) on CompuServe in the Jaguar forum. Ted Hoff was planning to be there, but the holiday weekend caught up to a lot of us and we all had to juggle schedules. I did manage to get Ted to provide an statement for the conference which was uploaded by Jeffrey at the beginning of the event. Ron Beltramo, Dan McNamee and Francois Bertrand were all there as well as forum regulars and a lot of lurkers. Look for recent issues of Jaguar Journal, STReport and Atari Explorer Online for a capture of the complete conference. I am proud to report that confirmed Wal*Mart orders arrived. Product was shipped to 400 of their designated stores in time to be on shelves by last Friday. I hope those of you near such stores have an opportunity to tell them how much you appreciate their support of your favorite gaming interests. Their success will help inspire even greater support in the months ahead. Although there are just a few weeks before Christmas now, there is still a lot of new releases you can include on your wish list... Missile Command 3D is expected to ship to stores by Friday, December 8. I-War is expected to ship to stores by December 15. Supercross 3D is expected to ship to stores by December 15. Fever Pitch Soccer is expected to ship to stores by Friday, December 15. Dragon's Lair (CD) is in stores NOW! Attack of the Mutant Penguins is expected to ship to stores by December 22. Atari Karts is expected to ship to stores by December 22. Other games such as Primal Rage, Battlemorph and NBA Jam are also expected to ship within the next few weeks. AND, if you get some cash for the holidays, even more great titles are due out early 1996! I would like to mention my appreciation for the support many of you expressed regarding incorrect information published by some IGO (Intelligent Gaming On-Line) staff members. By now, it should be obvious that IGO's portrayal of "massive" layoffs at Atari as well as any less commitment to the Jaguar platform is simply not true. I am prepared to believe that IGO felt their data was coming from a reliable source. I am, however, disappointed that they were eagerly prepared to stand by the integrity of the information without making any attempts I know of to verify the reports. I hope that on-line subscribers recognize when they are being exploited while they seek a reliable source of genuine and accurate news. In my six plus years employment at Atari, I have never witnessed the doors being locked to employees. I have also never heard of anyone being told they could never return. Furthermore, I have frequently seen ex- employees stop in to see friends or conduct new business. As one of many, many dedicated Atari employees, I was personally disappointed by IGO's attempts to sensationalize events at Atari. I hope that they might do a much better job to substantiate reports they receive in the future. 'Nuff said. --DT Ruiner Pinball scores big on the Internet... In rec.games.video.atari, PSFT55A@prodigy.com (Jerry Danzig) wrote: This game is a lot of fun. If Pinball Fantasies emphasizes "real" pinball action, Ruiner gives you oversized tables with 3D targets that would be impossible in a real machine. Basically, there are two games. Ruiner has a nuclear scenario (!) and two large tables side-by-side connected by elaborate system of rails. Tower is an evil sorceress/monster mash affair, with three tables stacked vertically. Both games have multiple flippers and multi-ball play. Music and sound is excellent, graphics mixed. Specifically, the Tower tables look great, very solid and real like the tables in PF; the Ruiner tables, however, look "drawn" and not as real. It took me a little longer to figure out where the bumpers and flippers were, as it was harder to distinguish table graphics from physical objects. Did I say these games are FAST?!! Wickedly so. My only other gripe beyond the look of the Ruiner tables is the nudge control -- I find it very difficult on the standard controllers. The problem is you have three directions of nudge, right, left, and center; on the standard controller, these correspond to the 1,3, and 2 number keys, with right and left also duplicated by one direction of the keypad and action button C. By the time you've decided which direction you want and remember where the button is -- you've lost the ball! On the pro controller, however, left and right nudges are controlled by the fingertip buttons; guess who just ordered a Pro Controller from Bits Of Fun!!! At any rate, if you like pinball or Pinball Fantasies, you'll find a lot to like here... And so far, I haven't encountered any bugs, unlike at least one other poster here on the web... --Jerry Danzig In rec.games.video.atari, firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert L Cupples) wrote: Ok. Ok. It just came yesterday. Bit's of Fun(?) was having a sale where you can get Pinball Fantasies and Ruiner for $69.99. Since I had never seen PF and it was only another $20 over the price of Ruiner, I bought both. I've spent far more time playing Ruiner. This isn't a real review (I haven't put enough time into the game yet). I have seen no bugs (except for the ones scurrying across the playfield) so far. The artwork is terrific. There is so much drawn on the playing field that it distracts me from watching the ball, but I'll get used to it. The flippers are so well integrated into the playing fields that it's sometimes hard to tell them apart from the playing field. Some comments on the tower: There are three major playing areas. Of course all of the fun is playing at the very top. On the top and bottom areas you can activate bats which fly in loops about the playing field. In the center area you can activate bugs (silverfish?) which crawl across the playing field. I have gotten multiball a few times. The playfield scales down and scrolls the follow the lowest ball which tends to take some of the fun out of multiball, but what could have been done differently? Maybe that is what the ball cam is for, but I haven't tried to figure this option out yet. It was distracting so I have it turned off for now. Some comments on Ruiner: The object is to reach Defcon 1 to launch a missile strike, yet I've only made it to 4 so far. Animations feature airplanes which fly in loops, paratroopers(?) which fall down the board, tanks which roam about the board and take several hits to destroy, and civilian which run across the screen and need to be avoided or points are lost. Sorry folks, that is all I can say for now. I might find the time this weekend to write a real review, but now my boss awaits for my monthly report! -- Rob Cupplesemail@example.com Here's a tip from a dedicated Atari Lynx user... To: ATARI Date: 11/09/95 7:44AM ID: 7305093 From: FORHAN@MILL2.MILLCOMM.COM@INET02 I just recently learned of the secret *full 3-D* game in Battlezone 2000. This has got to be the biggest Easter egg of all time! If you don't know the code, go to the tank customization screen, press Option 1 twice, then the Option 1 - reset combo. Voila! Full 3-D secret game. Thanks again, --Carl Forhan Highlander I comments from a CATscan member... Message: = Open Discussion = #245 of 248 [8 Lines] Sent On: October 31, 1995 at 8:42pm Sent By: Brian McCleary - Loyal Jaguarian Sent To: All Replies: 1 Subject: Highlander CD Well, all I have to say is..... Uh, Spectacular, Shocking, Amazing, Surprising, Fun, and downright Impressive. If the Mags don't dedicate a few pages of pics to this one they aren't gonna. The Background Scenery alone is as good as MYST, then throw on a nifty little guy like Quentin to show it to ya, and you've gotta a winner. This game is cool, I'm not just saying that. I've been a fan of the series, and now I'm a fan of the game, and I hope the sequel is already in pre-production stages, cause I can't put this one down. It's almost an RPG! on the JAG! Yes, Yes, Yes. CATscan offers free membership and is accessed by dialing 209/239-1552 and supports up to 14.4 baud. Normal telephone toll charges apply. Jaguar Journal Thanksgiving Conference STR FOCUS Jeff @ JJ/Host: A Word From Ted Hoff... I would first like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I know it may sound like a cliche, but we do have much to be thankful for this holiday season By means of a lot of people, we have the strongest release of software titles we have ever had for the Jaguar AND that includes CD as well as cartridge titles. We have powerful retail chains on line now including select Montgomery Ward stores, Radio Shack Unlimited, Spiegel and Sears catalogs and <taking a deep breath> Wal*Mart which is expected to have product in almost 400 nationwide stores by this Friday. The software we are publishing is enjoying a consistently high review ratio which I attribute to a stringent internal quality review process. We have directed our focus to our most powerful projects like NBA JAM, Myst, Defender 2000, Highlander II, Mortal Kombat III and Magic Carpet so that we can rely on them in a timely fashion. We are also scouting new opportunities with aggressive vigor. In spite of a few unkind and inaccurate reports of Atari's overall demeanor, I am proud to declare Atari's ongoing commitment to the Jaguar platform and our commitment to stand behind it as a product. You may notice some changes in our approach to things since many of you follow us so closely. I cannot open the book as wide as I'd like to, but I'll tell you we are prioritizing ways to increase the number of satisfied Jaguar users. Examples include a national direct mail campaign we have already initiated and a nationally televised infomercial which kicks off this coming Friday. Watch for it! Don Thomas may be able to answer a few questions about those projects if you have any. I would like to also share with you that Francois Bertrand has been asked back to complete work on Fight for Life. It's important that I also tell you that our official position is the same as it has been for months.... that FFL will be released IF and WHEN it meets Atari standards. As you may have heard, the latest test reports have been favorable and I'm delighted to review it, but if Atari personnel answer your inquiries that the title remains on hold, then they are answering your question accurately. Atari remains faithful to publishing software under strict guidelines so that the product Atari customers buy meets our exceeds their expectations. At this point, I will turn the conference over to Mr. Norwood with additional thanks to him and all the members of this forum for supporting us so well. --Ted Hoff This was an Exclusive Conference Note from Atari's Ted Hoff Don Thomas@Atari: Jeff, thanks for posting Ted's formal statement... Ted planned a statement since he could not be with us this evening. Jeff @ JJ/Host: And Welcome everyone. Steve J. Scavone: i have a question Daniel J. Radzicki: i'm sure everyone does at this point Jeff @ JJ/Host: As Mr. Thomas just said, Mr. Hoff had a last minute conflict. Hold up with the questions for one minute please. Thank you for joining The Jaguar Journal and Atari in the fourth conference of the year. Here are some of the rules. Don Thomas@Atari: Jeff, FYI, Ron Beltramo IS in the audience. Jeff @ JJ/Host: I understand that. Don Thomas@Atari: Oh, ok. Jeff @ JJ/Host: To ask a question, you must type a "?", and then wait to be called on. The "?" indicates a raised hand. When done typing a question (or an answer:, type "GA" which translates to Go Ahead, and the next person will be in line. HOLD ON!!! There is no interruption allowed. Ron did just leave, and I believe he'll be back. We'll let Don take the questions. Okay, the first question is from KYLE. GA Kyle: okay First off is Atari planning to make a game to compete with sony's Ridge Racer or with Sega's Daytona? Steve J. Scavone: As a hopeful future Jag developer, what kind of support will I get from Atari if that comes to pass? Thanks Sorry about that Jeff @ JJ/Host: Scavone, please wait until you are called on! Kyle: ga Don Thomas@Atari: Kyle, Atari has plans to continue exploiting the Jaguar for a long time... Specific titles such as Ridge Racer or Sega's Daytona has not been announced, but many others have such as NBA Jam, Primal Rage, F1 Racer and more. ga Jeff @ JJ/Host: Scavone, go ahead. Steve J. Scavone: Sorry about the question. It is was an accident. My apologies to KYLE and all. Kyle: ok Steve J. Scavone: My question is As a hopeful developer, What kind of support will Atari give me and others like me in the future? Jeff @ JJ/Host: Don, are you okay? Don Thomas@Atari: Steve, support for individual developers will depend on their specific relationship with Atari as determined by their NDA, the projects they are working on and other factors... the best and fastest way to determine specific qualifications is through the developer support department. ga Steve J. Scavone: thanks Jeff @ JJ/Host: Just to inform everyone, Ron Beltramo and Francois will be answering questions later. They are both in attendance. Abia, your turn. GA Okay,, Abia, are you still here? Dan McNamee (Atari): Nope, he isn't. ;-: Jeff @ JJ/Host: Okay, Charlie is next then! GA Charlie M: Do you agree with Mr Lincoln of Nintendo that this is not the_V_ __year for 32+ bit systems? Is Atari holding back for next year? MR B? GA Don Thomas@Atari: Charlie, stand by... Charlie M: Ok Don Thomas@Atari: Charlie, I personally think Mr. Lincoln's "opinion" is based on specific conditions that exist for Nintendo and their particular needs to influence potential purchasers of their systems... ...we all can have a tendency to do that... Charlie M: Yes, I guess everyone serves their own best interest. Don Thomas@Atari: Atari has a superior system out now AND at an incredible value to get into... Charlie M: GET THE WORD OUT Don Thomas@Atari: I think the 64-bit generation has begun. ga Jeff @ JD/Host: Mr. Beltramo... the question was also aimed at you. Do you have any additional comments? GA Jeff @ JJ/Host: Mike Lipson ... GA Daniel J. Radzicki: can we go a little quicker? the system just threatened to turn me off due to lack of activity Jeff @ JJ/Host: Sorry. It could happen, but things will get speedier. Ron Beltramo (Atari): The Jaguar is here now...at a great value for $149. Mike Lipson: Is it reasonably foreseeable that the VLM will be accessible by MIDI or RCA input? That would sell a lot of Jaguars. You don't need a focus group for that! ga Don Thomas@Atari: To whom are the questions directed? Mike Lipson: Anyone at Atari who would be involved with such a decision. ga Don Thomas@Atari: Mike, a lot of people are involved in most Atari decisions....I know we continue to be anxious to look at all ways to exploit Jaguar potential...The technical answer to your inquiry is YES... Mike Lipson: Who at ATC would be responsible for MIDI/RCA access to VLM? ga Don Thomas@Atari: In the meantime, Atari is focused on other priorities such as direct marketing campaigns. ga Jeff @ JJ/Host: Harris GA. Dan McNamee (Atari): RCA is certainly feasible, MIDI would be pretty difficult and probably expensive. Jeff @ JJ/Host: Nex is .. Keith, Dan, Dana, Paul, and Jean-Charles... GA Dan McNamee (Atari): ga Craig Harris: I've noticed on the last few product, the Jaguar logo changed ever so slightly. Instead of sitting sternly on a black background, the logo now has a white aura surrounding it. Also, the spheres containing the "64- Bit" have been 3D-ized. Personally, I feel these changes make the familiar logo appear less dynamic than what it once was. Can anyone at Atari comment as to why the changes occurred? GA Don Thomas@Atari: Ron Beltramo can elaborate... from what I understand we are branching out in new forms of multimedia tools to reach the consumer... It's appropriate that multimedia forms of exposure utilize dramatic 3-D and colorful graphics. ga Ron Beltramo (Atari): Crag: I disagree with your assessment. We believe that the new logo treatment really makes the Jaguar logo stand out even better...and the 64-Bit also pops better. Jeff @ JJ/Host: Dave - you were before Keith - so GA! David A. Leonardis: Thank You for being here gang, I would like you to know that I have owned my Jaguar for over a year now and great job to the Atari gang on Highlander. My question regarding the status of certain games in development: 1-SoulStar 2-SkyHammer 3-Legions of the Undead 4Freelancer 2120, and of course Alien Vs. Predator 2. And what is the status of TWI using the Jaguar hardware for there arcade division? And what happened to the Sega/Atari crossover games? I Hope I didn't ask too much. Thanks in Advance. Ron Beltramo (Atari): Also, we felt the need to update the logo treatment after it had been out from the initial launch. Dan McNamee (Atari): 1. SoulStar is still in development. I'm not sure exactly where it is. Don Thomas@Atari: David, AEO and STReport do a good job with updates and call us regularly to get them. You listed a lot of software and my best and quick advice is to refer to the online pubs. ga Jeff @ JJ/Host: (and The Jaguar Journal!: <g> GA David A. Leonardis: ok Dan McNamee (Atari): 2. Ted T. just got back from the UK to visit the developer about that project. Don Thomas@Atari: Oh, good grief, of course, Jeff. Sorry. <g> Dan McNamee (Atari): I'm not sure about the rest. GA_V_ _ Don Thomas@Atari: <Sorry about the fast typing> David A. Leonardis: thanks. Jeff @ JJ/Host: Okay - everyone hold up! Beltramo share the "spotlight". It seems confusing.. but...... I think it would work better. I believe some people may be getting mad that others are interrupting (as well as me interrupting! We'll keep Francois til the end! Keith - GA! Keith H.: I do realize that you may not be able to directly answer this, but, can you tell us what games you realistically expect out by Christmas, and what might be a little late but be out by January 31? <GA> Don Thomas@Atari: Keith, Myst, Missile Command 3D, Battlemorph, I-War, Fever Pitch Soccer, Atari Karts, Attack/Penguins, Supercross 3D, NBA Jam are some of the definite from Atari. ga Jeff @ JD/Host: Dan, you're up at bat! GA Daniel J. Radzicki: my question is a three parter: one, when will we reap the spoils of the sega deal. Two, is there a deal with EA or is it all rumor, and three, will MK3 be regular or the newer ultimate? Also, whatever happened to the usa up all night thing? wait. jam before or after x- mas? GA Ron Beltramo (Atari): Followed by Defender 2000 and NBA Jam. Check these out. GA Dan McNamee (Atari): Add to that Baldies sometime not too long after x-mas. Probably early January. ga Ron Beltramo (Atari): USA up all night is happening on three successive Friday nights including tonight. Check it out! GA Daniel J. Radzicki: tonight? Dan McNamee (Atari): Daniel> NBA Jam will be after x-mas as well. GA Ron Beltramo (Atari): NBA Jam and Defender 2000 will be in January. GA Jeff @ JJ/Host: Okay. Dana. GA Dana @ STReport: Thanks! I'd just like to start off by thanking Jeff and the folks at Atari for making this all possible... Happy Turkey eve to all... Ted's opening comments mentioned major marketing... plans for the holiday. Specific plans? What's the scoop on the Infomercial mentioned, also? GA Daniel J. Radzicki: what about the first two parts to the question? Don Thomas@Atari: I think Ron should answer this... Daniel J. Radzicki: i'm still waiting for my answers... Jeff @ JJ/Host: Daniel - we'll get back to you in a moment. Daniel J. Radzicki: thanks Ron Beltramo (Atari): The infomercial is a terrific selling tool designed to build the Jaguar installed base. We will be airing the infomercial starting tomorrow through the first week of December in numerous markets around the country and on selected cable stations. More info will be sent out on schedules from Don Thomas. GA Dana @ STReport: Quick synopsis as to what it will cover? Jeff @ JJ/Host: Okay. I'm going to stop Ron, Don, and Dan just for now. Don Thomas@Atari: Look for it as early as this weekend.... GA Jeff @ JJ/Host: All of you who have questions for them, stay tuned! You'll be back in order in a few minutes. Francois is online, but does have to leave in a few minutes. I feel many of you may have questions, so any "?" marks at this point until he leaves is for him only! Jeff @ JJ/Host: As you know, Francois (FYB) was hired back Atari, as mentioned in the opening letter from Ted. FYB, GA! Francois: hello every body, good to see you all Jeff @ JJ/Host: Okay Francois. They've got questions ... do you have answers? Remember too use "GA" at the end of your statements! Kyle, you're up! GA Kyle: OK, is this for Francois or Don thomas? Ron Beltramo (Atari): The infomercial will be focused on the attributes of the Jaguar system and the outstanding games available and upcoming. It is different than just about any other infomercial you have ever seen. You gotta check it out. GA Kyle: is it? Jeff @ JJ/Host: All questions are for Francois! Don Thomas@Atari: THE infomercial is the best I've seen in a long time... professionally done...IMO. Kyle: Mr. francois. Is fight for life going to be for the Jag-cd, or for Jaguar-64? Francois: yes KYLE. Kyle: also, How is it compared to virtua fighter or toshinden? ga Francois: FFL is going to be a 4 Mbyte (32 Mbits) cartridge for the Jaguar_V_ __64 Kyle: neat Francois: Most of the character are fully Texture mapped (not as Virtua Fighter), and the type of fight is closer to TEKKEN than to Toshiden. GA Jeff @ JJ/Host: Charlie M. GA Charlie M: What is the problem you are having with ffl? Frame rate? <GA> Why? Daniel J. Radzicki: what if we have questions for the other guys? how do we approach them? Francois: No the frame rate in FFL is very good (up to 27 frame//second) and an average of 22. We has some design problem and some visual problems. If you look at the latest screen shot from the game, you will see that the graphics have improved a lot, and the game is now pushing the Jaguar as it should have done from the beginning. GA Jeff @ JJ/Host: Daniel - you can ask them questions after FYB is off the floor. I do have your question memorized in case you forgot! GA Charlie M: Excellent. thank you Jeff @ JJ/Host: Gibson, GA Gordon Gibson: As a fellow developer, it's good to see you getting another chance at FFL, how long do you see the game taking from here ? GA Francois: I am just finishing to clean up the latest texture for some of the characters, and debugging whatever the test department doesn't like. When you develop a game, you can make some choice which seems logical to you but are sometime not the best solution.The test department is doing a great job on this side. GA Jeff @ JJ/Host: Paul Harris, GA Paul Harris: Hello, Will you be working on anything else for the Jag and FFL? ga Sorry I mean After FFL? GA Francois: I am finishing right now FFL with Atari. My future is something I will take care off as soon as FFL will be done. Who knows ? GA Jeff @ JJ/Host: Keith H. GA Keith H.: How would you compare FFL to Sega's or Sony's latest? <ga> Francois: FFL does include a lot of thing you will not find on any of the other platform. The fact that you can develop your own fighter, fight after fight is unique. I did include a combo system in the game, which give it a deeper gameplay. And I did develop a morphing system, that is a first on a 3d fighting game. Stick with your Jaguar. Nobody else give you this sort of things. GA Jeff @ JJ/Host: My turn (you all probably noticed the question mark before!!) Can't cheat... Don Thomas@Atari: ...My experience is that FFL seems a lot more responsive than other systems... that's REAL important to me. IMO... GA Ron Beltramo (Atari): Go for it Jeff....It's your show. Jeff @ JJ/Host: I think someone had to ask this ... at the current pace you are going, when can we expect to see this title? I'm so excited after ... Don Thomas@Atari: Jeff, u mean FFL? Jeff @ JJ/Host: the description. Also, will there be a multi-player (4 players) mode where 2 can battle 2 (tag team) or for a large tournament? FFL, yes. GA Francois: Are you GA, Jeff? Jeff @ JJ/Host: Yes I am. GA Francois: Atari will take the decision to market the game, after I will give them the final code. I expect to be ready in the middle of december, so we will see from there. No no multi player game (but that's a nice idea for a fighting game.) GA Jeff @ JJ/Host: David... GA Nettie M. Stegall: Is the jag Hardware better than the playstation or is it some what a little behind it Including the Jags Cd? Jeff @ JJ/Host: Stop! Don Thomas@Atari: Jeff, are we to answer the hardware question? Jeff @ JJ/Host: But, Franc ... tell Nettie what you think -- Jaguar or PS!! GA Don Thomas@Atari: Was that the next one? Jeff @ JJ/Host: Not unless you are John Mathieson! <g> Dan, Don, and Ron - you guys will be on the floor again in about 3 questions!. Don Thomas@Atari: Is John Mathieson here? Jeff @ JJ/Host: GA kenney resseger: FYB Can you work STR Ralph and ATC Sam in as characters in FFL so they can finally have it out with each other ? Steve Watkins: Happy Thanksgiving, All! Jeff @ JJ/Host: Kenny. GA (was that your question?) ga Francois: The Jaguar architecture is different than the playstation's one. I do believe that the Jaguar may be stronger in certain area, but not all of them. The Jag+Jag CD is a strong environment, and you should see some beautiful products coming out for those two. GA Jeff @ JJ/Host: Okay, Ken, GA Nettie M. Stegall: ok Is the Jaguar version of MK3 as you know of it IS it going to be a arcade copy or somewhat less of a perfect copy Jeff @ JJ/Host: Scavone, GA. Questions for Francois only. Francois: this one is not for me. If you are done, I do have some people waiting for me. GA Steve J. Scavone: Hi FYB, I just wanted to know, have you come even close to tapping the Jag potential? ga Jeff @ JJ/Host: FYB - that one's for you! ga Francois: during the development of FFL, I did discover some new way (faster way) to do things. Sometime, it wasn't too late to make the modification to include those new tricks in the code,, but not all of the time. If I had to redo FFL from scratch today, I do believe I may go faster on some area. But the actual result is still pretty impressive.GA Jeff @ JJ/Host: Okay, stop asking questions for a minute! Steve J. Scavone: thanks. I look forward to programming on the Jaguar. ga Jeff @ JD/Host: Don, Ron, and FYB must leave now. Please say bye (everyone can!) Frank Ricco: Is the VR helmet project still alive? Also has Acclaim or EA signed with ATARI?? Jeff @ JJ/Host: bye don, ron, and fyb! Steve J. Scavone: bye FYB Paul Harris: bye Charlie M: bye bye Gordon Gibson: Bye guys... Steve J. Scavone: and ROn and Don Charlie M: Bye Bye <sob> Keith H.: bye Daniel J. Radzicki: thanks don Craig Harris: Don't go! Don't Go!!!! Please, have mercy! I mean..ahem...bye.. Francois: bye bye, and happy thanksgiving every body. Daniel J. Radzicki: thanks rob Frank Ricci: SEE YA :: Don Thomas@Atari: I don't know about the others, but I do have to go... Big day tomorrow! <g> Steve J. Scavone: Happy Thanksgiving ALL!!! Don Thomas@Atari: Happy T-Day! Charlie M: Will anyone still be here to answer questions? Daniel J. Radzicki: happy thanksgiving! Dan McNamee (Atari): I'll be here a little bit longer. Steve J. Scavone: cool Ron Beltramo (Atari): Thanks to all for participating in the forum tonight. There is a lot of great things going on at Atari, and Ted Hoff is doing a great job of instilling a new spirit in the company. With lots of new games coming for the Jaguar almost every day and an extensive list of new software still to come. Hang in there for the rest of the Jaguar story. Happy Thanksgiving to all. I told Jeff we should do this again soon. 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. It's that time again. Yep, that's right. It's the time of the week when we tiptoe through the news, hints, tips, and other assorted tidbits to be found every week right here on CompuServe. Let's take a look.... >From the Atari Computing Forums Rob Rasmussen asks Sysop Jim Ness about how WinCim works: "You had said that WinCim's connection to the host is like a big CIS-B protocol bi-directional file transfer and I find this very fascinating. Does this apply for when SENding to other users in real time? I have played with my friend's copy of WinCim on her PC, and strangely didn't find it that much different than Ascii mode - I still see the same info on the screen, messages with same headers, user lists, announcements, etc - although of course they are all in the pretty windows. I haven't explored it too much to really see the big difference. I was using Flash to chat in a forum and a new user (with WinCim) couldn't _comprehend_ why I couldn't immediately view a Gif in the library without having to download it first. I know Flash 2 allows viewing of pics online but I haven't got the hang of it yet. I understand that to view a pic online, even with Cim, it is still being downloaded to the screen, so maybe this is one of Cim's advantages? If the Cim connection is a big B-transfer, then how are packets or whatever handled in the Ascii connection?" Jim tells Rob: "CIS B+ was designed as a multi-purpose protocol. Each packet includes an identifier, so the receiver knows what that packet is for. When in Flash doing a download, of course, there is no question what the packet is for. But, in WinCIM, a packet can be from several different sources, since you can be in a conference, reading new messages, and downloading a file, all at the same time. WinCIM receives the packet, checks the ID to see which "task" the packet is for, and then deals with it. In ASCII, there are no packets. All is character-by-character, just as it seems. This results in more work for the host machines at CIS, and that's one reason CIS is migrating away from an ASCII environment. The other reason is that right now there are two parallel software environments - one for ASCII access, and the other for CIM and its brethren. As CompuServe moves to all new host hardware, they are avoiding the cost of rewriting both environments. The vast majority of online users are calling via CIM or similar, so that's the one CIS has chosen to perpetuate." Lionel Wall posts: "I have an Atari ST1040 with what appears to be a defective power supply: the internal 0.5amp fuse keeps blowing. Does anyone know where in the UK I can get it repaired for a reasonable price?" Masayuki Fuse tells Lionel: "These shops can repair Ataris, in UK. Analogic Computers Unit6, Ashway Center, Elm Crescent, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey KT2 6HH TEL:0181 546 9575 FAX:0181 541 4671 Fast Atari Repairs 144 Tanner Street, Tower Bridge, London SE1 2HG TEL:0171 252 3553 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org First Computer Centre (Showroom) Unit3, Armley Park Court, Stanningleyrd, Leeds, LS12 2AE TEL:0113 231 9444 FAX:0113 231 9191 e-mail:email@example.com The Upgrede Shop 37 Crossall Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 6QF TEL:01625 503448" Terry Cano adds: "The power supply is easily replaced......if you're sure that's the problem. I suggest TOAD Computers the supply is $69 plus shipping. They are easy to replace." Mark Kelling tells Lionel: "Sorry to hear about the power supply problem. I had a similar problem which resulted in a totally fried ST! Unfortunately, the ST power supply is more of a throw away type and is not easily repaired. Try Best or Toad computers here in the US for a replacement. The cost is not that much and the replacement is simply plug-n-play!" Ben at TOC Australia posts on a subject that is near and dear to my heart: "I was catching up with this forum last night, and I noticed with some concern the tone, and content of the discussion of the preceding weeks. 1. It is uneconomical for compuserve to write software, or have it written for them, and they earn $20 squillion per month in membership ? ............. Poor diddums... what a tragic circumstance ;-) I thought I paid $9.95 a month for a service ? 2. Any PROPERLY written Atari software will handle all screen resolutions, in one way or another, on the machines they are intended for ! 3. Biological fact : in many human communities, up to 2/3 of the male population, has some degree of genetic colour blindness !.... I am one of these people...... 256 colour icons ....... Bah Humbug ! Quote from the 8 bit days " Graphics sells computers.." Yeh, but to what degree ? where does the line become fuzzy ?... this is the real world ;-) 4. Car analogies, (boy I love you yanky dudes :-) I don't see the ST series as an old car struggling to come up to modern standards. I would reserve that one for 8 bit stuff. (even so 8 bit processors have there uses.... why hit a nail with a sledge hammer ?) I would see the 16/32 bit devices as older technology common work vehicles, that if given the simple upgrade of LPG, will be more cost efficient, fuel efficient, and less harmful to the environment, which certainly enhances all our lives !!!!! (I'm sure the guys from Toad & others, would be only too happy to enhance your machine, with the myriad of products available from all over the world) ......... O.K. myriad was probably stretching it too far ;-) 5. "Assorted lesser platforms are a small % of the overall cake" ..... Hmmmm....? 10% of an extremely large cake ..... Hmmmm ...... I'll have that (with revolution in his eyes ;-) Hands up to start Atariserve P-) Arrgh me buccko's..... 6. ATARI is NOT DEAD, the computing side is having a little sleep with Walt Disney. They'll both be back when the circumstances are appropriate to resurrect them ;-) As for stocks & shares, they would probably go up if they gave overseas dealers Jaguars, before the Asian producers take hold o/s, as is happening here(Aus.). If Dana ? wants to buy stock in a platform that's going somewhere..... try C-LAB Falcons..... very popular in countries where Macs aren't cheap !!!! ;-) 7. Technical note : Any closed architecture , parallel processing system, will out perform an open architecture common buss system at the same buss speed and buss width !!!!!! Please remember this when comparing systems. It is prudent to note therefore, that the inverse is also true... A closed architecture parallel processing system, can have a slower (read cheaper) buss for the SAME throughput as the open ones ! For this reason, combined with Atari's irrational fear of advertising, brings us an affordable platform with many talents ;-) ( Y'all simply have to see Apex/Expose' on an accelerated Falcon to agree with me :-) 8. Support (as has been noted several times) is proportional to sales .... so the more Falcons you buy the more support you will get ;-) If you are groaning about having to change platforms because of Atari's situation, I think you can't see the wood for the trees :-) There are several advantages in C-LAB taking over the production of Falcons. One being they only sell Falcons ! Another being German precision engineering, Also they are in an economy which sees Mac as too expensive, and IBMs etc as what they really are, which makes a perfect breeding ground for Falcon interest. They have 6 models at present with no. 7 due for release soon. They will be bringing out models with faster buss speeds etc, and I heard an unsubstantiated rumor that, they are working on a Risc processor version ? 9. Support - Compuserve, I don't know what the technical drama is with CIM, but I seen a lot of references to HTP..... A mate o' mine from out bush, passed a program on t' me, that he got from a foreign gent' that says HTP a lot, I thought you guys might like a Captain Cook ;-) see attached .zip 10. I hope I haven't provoked anyone too intensely :-)" On a related subject, Hal Scheie posts: "I am just now trying wincis on my new Pentium, and I just don't have the time to sit around to sit around and wait. Are there any good programs to automate cis for the PC?" Sysop Jim Ness tells Hal: "I would suggest OzWIN (GO OZWIN) or NavCIS (GO NAVCIS) if you want a Windows offline reader. If you prefer a DOS environment, TAPCIS (GO TAPCIS) is the venerable solution." James Port tells Hal: "Hal the one I like the best: i.e. the one that reminded me the most of Jim Ness' Atari autonavigator when I had to shift to a 386 is/was TAPCIS." Beth Jane Freeman asks for help: "I'm using a 1040 ST, souped up with TOS 2.06, and four megs of RAM. I've hooked it up to a USR Sportster 14.4 FAX/Modem, and I use Storm to call various BBS's, including CompuServe. The problem is that the modem seems to drop characters, both on the screen and in the capture buffer. However, file transfers work properly. I also have a manual switchbox, with which I share the modem with a SCSI based MS DOS computer. When the DOS computer is working (it's having a koniption fit right now -- i.e.: it's down), the modem works accurately, and I don't experience the loss of any characters on screen or in the capture buffer. Does anyone know why this happens, and if so what do I do to correct the problem? It's annoying to miss parts of messages and/or screen information." Sysop Keith Joins tells Beth: "The serial port is being over-run at the higher speed. You need to use a patch in your auto folder to correct this. Most people have used SERFX (I was using SERFX2) and while this worked fine at 9600 baud it couldn't handle 14.4 baud (at least with Storm) and I was dropping a lot of characters and even entire lines. I switched to the following program that is available in library 2 and have almost no problems at all now." Sysop Jim Ness adds: "The Atari computers have a very small input buffer for modem communications. When you have a high speed connection, and are trying to both receive data and display it on the screen, the data comes in too fast for the computer. It accumulates in the input buffer. If the buffer is large enough, no problem. If the buffer is too small, some characters will get lost. I recommend you add a serial port patch program to your AUTO folder, to resolve the problem. I believe there is one called SERPATCH in the libraries here. It will both enlarge the buffer and improve the way the serial port works during high speed connections." Johnny Tat asks for help: "I'm having a problem Downloading files. Can anybody help me here! I'm useing a Atari 1040 STe with 2 meg, Hard drive, Currently using Freeze Dried Terminal...But I can't d/l anything...I get a Missing or bad header error message?? I ready to give up and buy A PC!! Please Somebody help me out!!" Sysop Keith Joins tells Johnny: "Be sure you are connecting at 8n1. I don't recall if FDT has an option to strip the high bit or not but if it does you want to enable that to prevent garbage being displayed." Well folks, that's it for this week. Tune in again next week, same time, same channel, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES Atari Jaguar Christmas 1995 R.I.P. 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 December 24, 1995 Since 1987 Copyrightc1995 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1148
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